MY BIRTHDAY MESSAGE TO ADAMS RUFAI OF UEW-K FAME.

MY BIRTHDAY MESSAGE TO ADAMS RUFAI OF UEW-K FAME.
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Man must not cease to be man no matter the situation. We are in a critical period of examination where getting a time to scribble as I usual do, become almost impossible but not when a gentleman who is almost indispensable in my life on campus is celebrating his milestone. I have therefore made this short time out of busy academic schedules to put these few morphemes together to at least put a smile on this close contingent of mine.

On similar occasions, Adams would have been the first as usual of him to use his flamboyant vocabularies to put scintillating smiles on my face. Such a loving character can not be left to stand in isolation without paying him homage by reasonably eulogising him. I wish I had his sort of linguistic proficiency and competency to have showered him with earthshaking diction.

With my linguistic deficiency however, humorous though, I write to extend my sincere best wishes and felicitations to him as he celebrates his birthday. In my view, the significance of such events is to examine and introspect our lives so far on earth. As young as we are, a caliber of Adams certainly is a motivation to friends and colleagues. His continues strives in life as a student activist, writer and business man, make him a symbol of admiration in my mental faculties.

Indeed, having known the gentleman for almost a year now, I have gained a lot through his motivation, criticism and praises though sometimes I feel exceedingly flattered by his descriptions of my personality. All that are very relevant to we young ones as we grow.

In his life as a student parliamentarian, he has been impeccable with his renditions on the floor of Parliament making the majority caucus a formidable force to reckoned with in the 10th Parliament.

 Adams constant flow, interlaced with well researched facts and figures makes him a colossal among men with unquestionable intellectual purity. Anytime this gentleman rises on his feet, the gratification through my heart and my mind, always give me a sort of emotional saturation, obviously evident with goose pimples all over my body. I am tempted to believe that I am not the only Hon member who might have develop this mightily undiluted administration for him. Certainly not, considering his clement and socializing posture.

Adams, as indicated earlier, I do not possess the needed linguistic ability to bake and garnish this eulogy. My little advise to you is that, keep doing the good works and never allow distraction from people who might not believe in your philosophy, ever to cow you down. I see better days ahead. I say this with enthusiasms and only time will vindicate me.

Though I am financially handicapped, to have thrown you a mega jollification, I am with you strongly in spirit. I know at the right time, we can still spend some good time together after all, you are always there for me.

Adams, of all the good things I have Learnt from you, I still have little information on your "handbag" a symbol of respect for Hon members in student parliament. I don't think you are lagging behind like me with all your head breaking semantics. Well, Adingo, the master of the game will update me that(hehehe.........)

We share one common thing which is the pen. With this pen, we shall live and one day die with even under the adversities that it may elicit. It is our sword, sharp and might, never to led us into intellectual defeat. A word to a wise........

I  succinctly admonish that you celebrate this day with care, considering the challenging nature of this year's end of semester examination. I wish you a very happy birthday.

Denis Andaban
denisandaban@gmail.com
Young Writers Forum

THE POLITICAL TOMFOOLERY IS EXCEEDINGLY DISHEARTENING.

THE POLITICAL TOMFOOLERY IS EXCEEDINGLY
DISHEARTENING.

Denis Andaban writes
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Of late, I have not been regular at my column not because I don't have much to write but busy schedules as a student leader have almost rendered by pen redundant. Thank God I am back for good with so many pertinent national issues to write about. Don't forget that writing add up more to every national discourse and I see it as a way of contributing my quota to enriching our democratic credentials as a country where freedom of expression is a fundamental democratic principle. In my today's piece, I write to express my views on the disheartening levels of violence in the country.

Ever since the NPP came into power, there has been a seeming unending violence in this country, violence perpetuated with impunity by nobody either than the NPP own appendages with various scaring nomenclatures. Predominantly known are invincible forces, Delta forces among others dotted across the length and breadth of Ghana. Many Ghanaians living in insecurity have roundly condemned the actions of these party soldiers who think that for the fact that their party is in power, there are above the laws and can torture innocent people with various degrees in the full glare of the Ghanaian public. Apart from the various rhetorical commentary by people, many are those( government inclusive) who fear to criticise these hoodlums for fear of being attacked too.

According to Williams Shakespeare "There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures".
This is the case the NPP has found it self in. While the president is watching helplessly as his boys torture many Ghanaians, the end results could be dangerous to all including the NPP. No individual owns this country more than the other! It is either government take responsibility or the country could be destroyed by such egocentric individuals.

Of all these attacks, the most barbaric are the attack on the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator and subsequently a whole court. A court which suppose to be our umbrella for justice was turned, a jungle for violence. The hypocrisy of the NPP and its surrogates is palpably visible even by the international community. Our country has made strides in consolidating its young democracy through the respect for rule of law.

 Happenings today by hungry political footsoldiers only stand to truncate our enviable democratic dispensation. How can a party who claim to be the apostles of democracy denigrate our dignity and our democratic sanctity by these heinous political roaring? It is very pathetic!! Indeed the elephant is home and is on rampage!

The national security is bargained and compromised for private party security. Even that, the various trained party terrorists are competing for daily political debris from their political lords and if care is not taken, there could be a more internal implosion that could ignite an insurgency in this country, putting the security of the country at risks. Yes!  that is what changed has done to us. We have probably changed peace for violence to satisfy desperate political vagabonds.

The most worrying situation is how some political ignoramuses shamelessly attempt to defend this dastardly barbaric act perpetuated by a bunch of selfish violent people. The media which is suppose to be the voice of the voiceless rather give media space to these unscrupulous people only to insult the intelligence of discerning Ghanaians, to the extend that the minister for national security has been threatened to be sacked from his post if he dares lay hands on any of the so called forces. Any way, that is just the beginning, we have not seen anything yet.

When the NPP brought in South African Mercenaries to train these private security forces, some of us criticised it but the NPP justified their position and demonstrated that they believed so much in their private security to national security. It is probable the reason why the national security is being overpowered by these party hungry footsoldiers.

We are being told by government that they could employ such hoodlums into national security. Really!!!
So now it is only when you belong to a party in power that you can be employed right? What about the many workers that were chased out of their jobs by these party footsoldiers because their party won elections?
Hehehe... They should go ahead and employ them into the national security and I can assure them of one thing that I will not be surprised should these so called party vigilante groups ever stage a political coup in this country. Well, I'm not a doom monger.

Let me admonish government that it should better use the authority given to it by the constitution and not by hungry party footsoldiers. How can a whole government be dictated left right center by its footsoldiers? I thought the NPP claims to have all the fine brains in this country only to be controlled by a largely unemployed hungry illiterate group. I can't just fathom it. Who is in charge?

Just hundred days in government and all we can see is violence, arrogance and hypocrisy. Government is only consistent on singing rhetorics. I will do this, I will do that while transport fares continue to see astronomical increase and the ordinary Ghanaian is burdened with hardship where as some rich business community or call them the bourgeoisies are enjoying drastic reduction in air transport. Where is the common sense? There is no logic in burdening about 85% of the citizens and injecting incentives to about 15% and still call it an achievement.

What is even very fascinating and makes Dr Bawumia hypocritical is the rapidity at which the NPP is running helter skelter for loans. They made the whole world to believe that it is only an incompetent government that borrows. Dr. Bawumia how much have you borrowed so far per your own formular?
You claim of stabilizing  the Ghanaian currency but you will be exposed soon. You alone know how much you have been using to induce the the cedi just for political scores. The in sustainability of that lazy approach will throw you into the web of economic quagmire soon when you begin to do more capital intensive projects in line with your plethora of promises. You can run away but you cannot hide. Only time will expose you.

Let me not waste my time on your promises because you are yet to achieve any. All your political cacophony was out of desperation. You said you have the men but today we know you were referring to your invincible forces and Delta forces. Yes you have the men with bodies which they are using to destroy the country. We don't need that in this era of democratic civilisation!! We need men with brains to continue the progress path of Ghana. Mr President better stop sleeping and put your house in order before time catch up with you. The honeymoon period should be over! Start the work.

Denis Andaban

denisandaban@gmail.com

REPORT ON CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS IN PARLIAMENT, A POLITICAL BLANKET.

REPORT ON AYARIGA'S BRIBERY ALLEGATION IN PARLIAMENT, A POLITICAL "BLANKET".

Ever since this bribery allegation in the appointment committee came out, I have been avoiding any temptation of commenting on the issue not because I do not have an opinion but because of the trivialities brought into the whole saga by some political sycophants, probably for cheap political scores. Many people including some members of the majority described Hon Ayariga's allegations as lies even before the committee was set up to investigate the issues.

One thing that is very  obvious is that Parliament cannot indulge in a crime, then investigate itself and accept the allegations. That is naturally expectant. Following the matters ensuing the work of the committee and how long it has delayed, one could logically predict the outcome which of course, I'm vindicated.

I am of the view that it sounds ridiculous to have not involved an independent investigation. Well, that is Parliament and they would use their own standing orders to protect their own integrity. That is why I will not be wrong to say that the committee was working to protect the integrity of the house and not to do due diligence to the issue. The committee in presenting its report stated it without ambiguity. The chairman, Joe Ghartey said, putting evidence of the committee before the public is a threat to the integrity of Parliament. Like seriously? Contrary to the report of the committee, I see signs of truth in the allegations.

Let Ghanaians be reminded that this is not the first time Parliament has been accused of bribery and corruption. Some where 2013, the former NPP Member of Parliament, Hon P C Appiah Ofori accused members of Parliament of taking a bribe to a tune of $5000 each in order to push through the sale of Ghana Telecom to Vodafone. Call it " the Vodafone deal saga". Be apprised with the publication below
https://www.newsghana.com.gh/ghanaian-mps-took-5000-bribe-p-c-appiah-ofori/amp/

What did we get from that allegation? It was swept under the carpet because it is Parliament. Is the national house of Parliament beyond reproach? Hmm.... There is certainly no equality in our rule of law but only posterity shall judge us.

Again, in march 2014, one of the most prolific, respectable MP who happens to be the oldest in Parliament Hon. Alban Bagbin, also made serious allegations that corruption exist in the house. As a person who has served the house for decades and who is known for his unrepentant objectivity in public discourse, one does not need a litmus paper test to ascertain the veracity of his claims. Let me take you through the memory lane with this article
https://www.google.com.gh/amp/www.graphic.com.gh/news/politics/mps-take-bribes-bagbin-confirms-in-koforidua.amp.html

Some members of Parliament refuted the claims and rubbished it. It ended there because it is Parliament. Indeed, the general public feels threatened to chastise the house in the name of contempt of Parliament.

In all these instances, nobody cares to dig out the truth. My question is who is protecting the public purse? I have observed that anytime there is an issue which has to do with the general good of members of Parliament, I hear almost one voice among them but same cannot be said on very pertinent national issues, without showing partisan patriotism.
The bribery allegations made by Hon Ayariga is not an issue that is alien in the house, I have cited the instances so why should the report of the committee be surprising to somebody who has been following politics for more than a decade? I cannot trust the findings of the committee. In any case, it is not stated anywhere in the report that Ayariga lied. All I could read was no evidence. Really!!

I am not a lawyer and I'm not closer to becoming one but which evidence are they talking about? Physical, oral or circumstantial evidence? For me, the issue has been covered by a political blanket just to prevent any embarrassment and pubic opprobrium on the house. That is absolutely pathetic. The integrity of the house is not important than that of the country. Ironically, the house is not unaware that the nation loses millions of cedis annually through corruption but when any cases of such is reported, they sing the evidence song. Very very pathetic.

I hold this strong conviction that many a citizen can make judgement on the work of the committee. We are not politically powerful but we own our conscience. Ayariga must not be bastardized for that bold decision: he should be eulogized. As for the mandate of the committee to recommend those sanctions including citing contempt of Parliament, I leave that to the legal luminaries though in my ordinary perspective, the whole process of the so called fact finding is legally pathetic.

The issue does not call for any political side taking. Those who are celebrating over the exoneration of the house should think again. The convoluted nature of bribery and the lazy methodology we as a people always seek to adopt to minimize it are incongruous and inconsequential. The " evidence debate" is what is rather escalating this cancerous epidemic. We have forgotten that rumors and perceptions are fundamental benchmarks of measuring bribery and corruption globally. So why are we allowing the "evidence debate" to cover people? We cannot take relativity out of the " evidence debate". Yes we must know that.

Whether a lie or the truth, God remain our judge.

Denis Andaban.

denisandaban@gmail.com

THE CURRENT PRESIDENT OF ASA, A SYMBOL OF ADMIRATION TO MANY.

THE CURRENT PRESIDENT
OF ASA, A SYMBOL OF ADMIRATION TO MANY.

We are in an era where the masses have established certain unavoidable perception about leaders. Most of the emerging predicaments of society are largely blamed on leaders. Taking a bold step to lead a group of people in itself is an achievement to oneself but what makes one unique is their ability to lead to the expectations of their followers. The University of Education, Kumasi campus had had issues of leadership nemesis over the years and many students always murmur in disguise anytime issues pertaining leadership surfaces. The only hope left is the few credible leaders who passionately want to leave a legacy for all. In today's article, I shall celebrate a gentleman of Accounting Students Association fame, Hon Seidu Abdulai who has gained my respect and admiration.

Before that let me congratulate the Accounting Students Association for celebrating their week in a grand style. In fact, I must say that their week celebration is unprecedented in my life on campus. Participation was simply amazing. The celebration attracted all students and not just Accounting Students and every willing soul could satisfactorily enjoy the accompanying exulting euphoria of a celebration climaxed with more than thousand students. From where I sit, the activities of ASA can easily take over that of SRC in the coming years if they continue to have credible leadership. I don't want to be a prophet of doom but considering the level of publicity of the SRC week celebration, it is likely not to record any better participation as compared to the gargantuan numbers recorded by the famous ASA dinner night which I took part.

Personally, I did not go there to dine and wine but to ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of the celebration by talking to few participants and monitoring events at first sight. I was exceedingly flabbergasted with some of the things being said by some participants. Many I spoke to, showered praises on the president of the Association, Hon Seidu Abdulai. From indication, he is one of the best leaders of our time. He is a symbol of admiration to many including me as a budding student enthusiastic activist cum writer.

I remember my first day in student Parliament. After the sitting, he was one of the people I saw quality in aside very valuable materials like Hon Eric Dumenu, Hon Williams Appiah, Hon Akwasi Boakye among others. As for veterans like Rt Hon Dapilaa, former speaker, Rt. Hon Clifford(former speaker), they are another set of colossal of men with enviable sagacity to be talked about perhaps in another piece of write up. As a student parliamentarian, I feel proud of Hon Seidu Abdulai*, the ASA president, very young with exuberantly brilliant sense of purpose. He is also the majority leader and his role there again is only a vindication to the unprecedented successes he is chalking as the president of ASA.

I am talking about a president who is able to achieved the following major achievements.
1. Designed a website for ASA
2. Came out with a Database system for ASA
3. Provided a designed  customized ASA file for all members.
4. Training on soap making
5. ASA 10th anniversary cloth.
6.Organising quiz competition
Well, I am not a member of the Association but from my interview, that was what I was able to gather. They could be many more. The best satisfaction any leader can ever get is when his subjects appreciate his hard work.

Of course, he could not have done this alone but his ability to lead his team to work in unison to leave scintillating smiles in the faces of their followers, is something worth celebrating. We need the caliber of Abdulai in our institutional leadership to change the grieving leadership paralysis that is taking an elephant part of us.

It is sad that this young intelligent guy will soon be leaving the corridors of this institution. I wish I could call on him to think of going for a national portfolio in the student front to bring his experience to bare.

Let the achievement of this young amiable leader be a clarion call to the various aspirants who are promising heaven and earth that leadership is not about what you promise but what you are able to deliver. The reality check would be placed on each and every leader to evaluate  his stewardship at the end.

Let me wish *Hon Seidu Abdulai* and the entire ASA executives well and plead on all students to participate in the activities of this year's SRC WEEK CELEBRATION.

TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE COLTEK A BETTER PLACE.

Denis Andaban.

denisandaban@gmail.com

LECTURER DEMONSTRATES HIS DANCING PROWESS AT ASSOL WEEK CELEBRATION LAUNCH

UNIVERSITY LECTURER DEMONSTRATES HIS DANCING PROWESS.

It was all ecstasy when a lecturer who is known for his cordial relationship with his students showed his dancing skills at the launch of the Association of Students of Languages week celebration held at the old auditorium of the University of Education winneba, Kumasi campus, today 21st March 2017. The program started around 10:00am and ended around 3:00pm.

The department of languages is one of the most respectable departments in the University though young with not more than 400 students. The week celebration lunch provided an opportunity for students to present academic papers on different subject matters ranging from politics in Africa, gender issues to general creative writing. The auditorium was full to capacity amidst singing and dancing.

Mr Adogpa a very hardworking Lecturer who is very open to his students and always counsel his students on diverse subject matters, was called to give a keynote address. He surprised everybody in the occasion when he suddenly jumped on stage and danced to the high life music played by the DJ at the function. That escalated the euphoria in the gathering as his students gave a seeming unending cacophonous cheers that could be heard thousand of miles away.

He advised students never to limit themselves in the pursuit of their carriers.
He added that there are so many opportunities available after completion. The following are some of the excepts from his speech;
"The soul of the individual is the language.
There's no useless university degree and there's no  useless language in the world.
The opportunities of the language student are numerous but it depends on how you use it.
Use your certificate. Don't let your certificate use you". He admonished.

His short but sensational speech was full of inspirations.

STORY BY: DENIS ANDABAN

THE ELEPHANT SIZE MINISTERIAL APPOINTMENT BY NANA AKUFO ADDO, LACK OF COMMON SENSE.

ELEPHANT SIZE MINISTERIAL APPOINTMENT, A CLEAR CASE OF HYPOCRISY AND LACK OF COMMON SENSE.

Initially, I tried not to scribble anything on this unprecedented appointment being made by H.E Nana Akufo Addo, a historic humongous and overly bloated appointment that has gained both national and international attention. My silence was to avoid a situation of writing with emotions on the issue but the temptations have been irresistible and I must break my virginity on this matter.

First of all, the 1992 constitution of Ghana mandates the president to appoint ministers of state as well as deputy ministers.  In fact, the constitution is not explicitly clear on the number of ministers of state and deputy ministers to appoint. Article 78 clause 2 stipulates "the president shall appoint such ministers of state as may be necessary for the efficient running of the state".

I am sure, it is this constitutional provision that the NPP government is manipulating by appointing the record breaking 110 ministers. In my view, common sense should have informed the president that, the humongous number appointed is a profound burden to the public purse which they seek to protect. It is not necessary and it is never a guarantee to running an efficient government.

Per my little understanding, efficiency is about using limited resources to produce more desirable results and not more desirable resources for more results. There is nothing like efficiency in putting incalculable level of burden on the purse of the ordinary Ghanaian. Again, we are being told the economy is broke so how can the economy take care of these numbers? You see how they have exposed their own lies that they inherited a broken economy from the NDC? Hahahaha so soon!!

Let me borrow the words of the Minority Leader of Parliament, Hon Haruna Idrisu " competence is not measured by size." I see it very ridiculous for anybody to think that appointing more will make the government competent. Then why don't we appoint all Ghanaians, pay them huge emoluments, buy them luxurious cars, provide them security, give them accommodation, to make our country the most vibrant economy in the world?  Common sense should tell you that appointment is made considering the size of the economy, pressing emerging development predicaments as well as expertise. All over the world, countries have relatively endorsed lean government as the most efficient. May be the NPP is living in another world.

All the answers and justifications ensuing this controversy from government have been lame, nonsensical and unconvincingly irritating. I am exceedingly dumfounded, hearing the NPP communication machinery trying to defend this incongruity. May be they are only demonstrating patriotism to NPP than Ghana, the country they seek to develop. It is very pathetic! What is more annoying is that, the NPP communication machinery bastardized the NDC government under John Dramani Mahama when he appointed less than ninety ministers. Was it based on personal hatred? Let me refresh your memory.
http://kessbenfm.com/flash-back-mahama-govt-size-horribly-disappointing-nana-akomea/

What makes it justifiable today to appointed 110 and probably still counting ministers? That is the level at which double standard, hypocrisy and personal hatred has reached in Ghanaian politics where people employ dirty propaganda tools to deceive  the electorate for political power and then try to play smart on the intelligence of the very people that voted for them. It is interesting indeed!!

It has been clear so far that the appointments are rewards to party cronies and friends who sacrificed and worked for the NPP to win power. It is also clear that it is all about job for the boys even after the NPP footsoldiers chased out and ceased jobs from some public servants. Why has the president succumbed to the demands and interest of party loyalists to the detriment of mother Ghana?

I don't know whether the NPP is pretending to know or they are being clueless and ignorant that this mere distribution of political appointments to party appendages is being received with public opprobrium and ample public outcry, questioning the sensibility, honesty and confidence of government. I consider the appointment as a first test and the NPP government have failed but that is just a lesson to us all.

This singular act of gargantuan power expansionism, has the propensity to catapult corruption to unimaginable proportions. I say this because, when the size of government is too large, it increases the bureaucracy in governance, creating gabs and loopholes for corruption to escalate. So many needless portfolios in public administration only hype corruption and other forms of crimes in public administration. Yes!! That is the situation we are going to see in the days ahead and you have people still defending this conduit of corruption?

The unnecessary duplication of roles in the NPP government are very obvious and people who have objective spectacles can vividly see the harm it has started causing. There is currently a confusion of duties at the presidency. In some of the appointment letters, you see the signature of the secretary to the president, in others you see that of the communication director and then the president himself. No wonder some appointments were reversed.  Check this publication out.
http://mobile.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Appointment-scandal-hits-Flagstaff-House-518346

In all these brouhaha, I think my good friend, the  minister of information, Hon Hamid Mustafa, should kindly resign. When Ghanaians needed an explanation surrounding the unprecedented appointment, he was there panting and sweating and ended up giving insulting answers to discerning Ghanaians by saying that the NPP did not promise Ghanaians of lean government. I refer you to this publication.
http://mobile.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/NPP-never-promised-a-lean-government-Hamid-500659

I thought he was such a good communicator to handle that ministry but he loss my respect. It took the old man, the president himself to run to GBC to defend the issue only to end up embarrassing himself with uninspiring and unintelligent answers. Why should the government communication machinery be that porous and weak, to put the president in  this pathetic situation? Where lies the competence of the NPP? I see absolute incompetence, dishonesty, incapability and incoherence in the NPP government so far. The serial callers of the NPP are rather doing better discussion on this issue than what the incapable information minister and his confused boss are doing on same issues.
We cannot allow the NPP to ruin this country by sinking the economy through party aggrandizement. We won't accept it!

I am a citizen and cannot keep mute while you gamble with the development of this country for personal gains. We shall point out the ills. They can choose not to listen but let  nobody undermine the role of public discourse in any democratic dispensation.

Shall be back........

Denis Andaban
denisandaban@gmail.com

AFRICA SELLS ITS DIGNITY AND PRIDE Part 2

In part one of this article of same title published on www.moderghana.com, I roundly lamented on Africa's challenges and traced some of the causes of our problems through chronologically historic antecedents. I humbly refer you to the link below if you missed the earlier rendition so as to enable you get the line of my opinion.
https://www.modernghana.com/news/760617/africa-keeps-on-selling-its-dignity-part-one.html

In this part 2, I intend to suggest some solutions to some of the problems we face as a continent. I always have the strongest conviction that Africa is potentially rich and can be the world's economic power house if we accept to live by our own culture, fabulously fantastic in diversity and strength.

The former President of South Africa believes strongly that "African solutions to African problems..." This is where I think our culture as a people plays a pivotal role in any meaningful development. I hold same philosophy that we should learn how to solve our problems within our economic parameters. I'm not unaware of the overall impact of globalisation and global economic ties between countries but must be original in drawing any useful economy strategic plans and burry our usual economic mimics that continue to direct our economy into a "wonderland".

The most paramount step of making Africa a better continent must begin with advocating for effectively creative political leadership. It is quite obvious that Africa is bedeviled with a very worrying leadership conundrum or if you like, call it leadership paralysis. Leadership characterized with corruption, abuse of power, dictatorship, greed and above all, divide and rule. I can boldly state without mincing words that more than fifty percent of our challenges are caused by leadership nemesis.

Yinka Oyinlola(2014) is of the view that "Africa's future will be determined by African leaders". I share in his view because Africa can be reconstructed or destroyed by the actions and inactions of our leaders. We must develop an effective democratic leadership systems that can bring all our people together, inspire them and reinvigorate our penchant to creating a more desirous economic empire to salvage the growing poverty levels of the vast majority of our people. The current leadership is uninspiring because the winner takes all system, too much polarisation and the tendency of those in government only to work in the interest of their political parties and their surrogates are only worsening our plights.

The whole process of producing credible leadership must start from the family, school and the church. It is always my believe that when society holds on its values, then it can produce credible leaders with African virtues well fitted  to ameliorate our suffering.

African countries need development plans, strategically earmarking the following thematic areas; education, poverty eradication, industrialisation and modernisation of Agriculture. Such master plans must be linked to the political systems to ensure continuity and sustainability.

According to J. Peter Pham, 2015 "sustainable development is inextricably linked to social and political progress" I will explicitly digress on political progress in the next paragraph. The above thematic areas are intertwined and hold the fundamentals of the African economy that can improve the living conditions of the people through massive employment with its' accompanying gains.

More importantly, peace and political progress are fundamentally important in sustaining economic progress and prosperity. If there is war or violence in a country, the economic prospects of that country perishes. The manpower is frustrated and the whole social and economic fibre is absolutely annihilated. It is not an uncommon fact that the slow pace of our development was also precipitated by the wide spread of political instabilities in the continent. Where there are military takeovers, there is no political progress, confidence and largely lack of continuity in policy directives.

One may say that the continent is relatively politically stable but what about the threatening military insurgencies and the recent political violence in countries such as Egypt, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Sudan and others?
Going forward, African countries must truly join hands in the area of security and peace to work out a master plan of arresting such occurrences with urgency instead of sitting aloof awaiting the intervention of western powers. We cannot keep on doing same things when we keep getting the same unpleasant results. We can do it in our own ways.

Interestingly, education continue to take a gargantuan portion of the national budgets in various African countries but from where I sit, the educational systems operated across the continent do not address our challenges and hence we continue to wallow in underdevelopment. We must restructure our educational systems to take care of faculty training, critical thinking, positive change of attitude, patriotism and self confidence. When these are effectively integrated in the curricula, we can churn out responsibly educated manpower to turn around the fortunes of this continent.

The abundant natural resources that we have are being tapped by foreigners who owe larger shares to the detriment of indigenes. Look at the mining companies, construction companies, oil companies and you will only see few indigenous companies. We lack the confidence in ourselves and continue to empower other continents. We must find a better way of linking our education to industry to make our graduates technical "perfectos".

As long as we think of the creativity, education, industrialisation, technological advancement among others, we must not downplay the need for change of attitude. We must all accept that there is something  fundamentally wrong so that we can start at fresh after all, there is a common saying that " he who laughs last, laughs best". There is certainly light at the end of the tunnel if we all remain committed to creating a progressive and prosperous society.
Africa is our only homeland.

Denis Andaban.

denisandaban@gmail.com.

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AFRICA SELLS ITS DIGNITY AND PRIDE Part 1

 

I decided to go break from writing to psychologically accommodate the ecstasy and elation in me, having been crowned the best student writer, 2017, in the National Union of Ghana Students Award night put together by UEW-K branch. I'm most grateful to the good Lord. In today's piece I decided to use this controversial title to preach Pan Africanism. I keep asking myself why Africa is lagging behind though we keep yearning for progress and prosperity at a time we are suffering from economic catastrophes, lamentable developmental progress and moral decadence with its accompanying social vices. These issues keep embittering me and some times, make me feel like we are living in a world of cognitive subconsciousness and convoluted society with it social and moral values completely eroded. Hmmm No wonder, we are where we are!Firstly, any research about why Africa still remains an undeveloped continent would not be complete if it does not critically trace the historical antecedents of our social and political set up as well as the chronology of  metamorphoses accompanying the occupation of the African continent by the "white man" and the repercussions of their well orchestrated colonization. Though this piece is not an academic research work, I am not oblivious of that basic fact. It is a verifiable fact that Africa was very rich, economically resilient and relatively peaceful with strong social bonds before the white man's influence. I can't still fathom how gullible we were, to have subjected ourselves to manipulation by the white man, which has adversely affected us in every faculty of our lives. That notwithstanding, we still had enough time to examine the losses immediately after colonisation but it is obvious that we can't simply revisit our African values, to reshape our identities.

One very big damage the white man caused us, is the introduction of western culture through religion. They undermined and despised our very rich culture, and described it as "primitive". We gave up  so cheaply and sole our dignity and pride to them. Is it that the white man had injected some long lasting drug into our brain boxes to make us unable to reason? Under the cloaks of Christianity, we were gradually deceived to sell our spiritual powers to them. Powers they are now using to control us like remote controls. The proliferation of churches in Africa today, has still not done enough to shape the attitude and morality of society. We rather continue to encounter alarming rates of social vices. No wonder prostitution, same sex marriage, war among others have come to find a comfortable place among us.

The black man could produced whatever he wanted to use and produced what he eats but today we cannot say same yet we cannot still see. We continue to import whatever we wear and eat. People are proud of foreign goods and despises our own. We ignorantly continue to create employment in foreign countries and deprive ourselves with improved standard of living. The worse of it all, is the political confusion among us, couple with leadership paralysis, catalysing our problems. As chunua Achebe put it in his book, things falls apart, " the centre cannot hold". The people who are supposed to be the ambassadors of change of attitude are in the comfort of their luxurious green pastures, enjoying the ungodly fruits of corruption.

Africans were noted of their very strong social bonds from the family, clan, community and tribe. Today,  it is indisputable fact that such a cherished social bond that instilled love among us is disintegrated. They brought the nuclear family system, and then democracy and succeeded in indoctrinating us.

Today, in some parts of the continent, we are fighting and killing ourselves and spilling blood all over. What a pathetic situation! With all these, we still cannot see, that we need our cherished African values.

We had inherited a Europeanized education system long ago and have since not being able to localized it. The early formal education was mainly meant to train Africans to speak and interpret the language of the whites so as to join the crusade of diminishing the value of our culture. Perhaps that is why we are only good at speaking flamboyant English language and shamelessly take pride in that. Unfortunately, we have lived with it for decades and and are producing only English speaking graduates instead of problem solving graduates. Well, the African educational structure is another subject matter I will fully elucidate subsequently in another article.

Let's look at our natural resources and how they are being tapped by foreigners. In my country Ghana, they are foreigners all over our green forest depleting our resources through illegal lumbering and illegal mining. Our water bodies are polluted and we are a testimony to the climatic ramifications but we are still playing around the gallery with political rhetorics. We are so helpless and cannot profess any pragmatic remedy. What happened to the curses from our rivers, deities and shrines? If western culture is giving us this unbearable pain by contributing to our abject poverty, why don't we revisit our culture? I will support it wholeheartedly!!

The most common issue that even make us a laughing stock to the rest of the world, is our political leadership. Leadership coated with loot and share through gargantuan corruption, abuse of power, dictatorship and political violence. Yes! that is political leadership in Africa. It is about winner takes all, survival of the fittest and the worse of all, divide and rule. All these are throwing away the dignity of Africa. We must be leaving under a curse.

In the midst of all these, continental leadership like the African Union, remains a toothless dog that cannot only unite the continent but can't even address political crisis in some member countries. Leaders in the continent rather secretly make allies with other forces in other continents, leaving to themselves, shamelessly, a questionable loyalty to the African continent.

I think  the problems of the continent ranging from education, unemployment, moral decadence, poor political leadership among others, are uncontrollably unbearable as they continue to escalate daily. We need to adopt a radically paradigm shift from our current approaches of depending on so called developed countries to solving our problems, to a more rejuvenated self attitudinal approach. We don't need any skyrocketing science to do that!! We have the solutions right in our homes. We need to apply them. It is better late than never.

Shall be back.................
Denis Andaban

denisandaban@gmail.com

THE 2017 BUDGET STATEMENT, A CONFUSION BETWEEN POLITICS AND POLICIES.

2017 BUDGET STATEMENT,
A CONFUSION BETWEEN POLITICS AND POLICIES.

Denis Andaban writes.........

Hon Ken Offori Atta on the authority of president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo presented his maiden economic policy outline to Parliament in pursuance of article 179 of the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

As a student writer and ardent follower of national politics, I sacrificed my *creative writing* lecture for the lengthy presentation of the policy proposal by the finance minister.

I spent time following the presentation so that I can discuss the issues with confidence and alacrity, to avoid the usual political hook wings by some political communicators, who may not have the intellectual sagacity in economics to make any meaningful analysis. That is very common in a multi party society like Ghana where political communicators turn into jacks of all trade though they are really masters to non. In my piece, I intend to analyze only some few areas of interest in the budget statement since space and time wouldn't allow me to touch on everything.

While I was listening keenly to the "throat chocking presentation", two fundamental questions kept begging  for answers. I wish I could answer immediately but I had not finished satisfying my curiosity especially when my expectations from the finance minister were very high, considering the plethora of promises given by the NPP prior to the 2016 elections that crowned them winners to act in their current capacities. May be it is still relevant to state the questions in this piece.

Are we in a country pursuing an economic path that can make us economically sufficient and independent or we are pursuing an economic path illy engineered by political expedience? These two fundamental questions demand answers before one can conclude on any judgement on this budget statement.

In my view, we are adopting an economic path with political cloaks that has the propensity of leading us to a more porous, ailing, dependent and volatile economy, prone to more global economic shocks. Let's touch on few areas.

  Firstly, the finance minister has asked to abolish taxes on the importation of raw materials. Well, this is good news to importers and of course, countries who may take advantage to increase their export. The question I ask is, do we consider the medium to long term economic effects on our country? The NPP government promised Ghanaians of one district, one factory. Meaning it believes that industrialisation is the major way of solving the catapulting rate of unemployment, solving the perennial balance of payment deficit, strengthening our national currency, increasing investor confidence among other juicy economic returns.

I will always support industrialisation as the major catalyst of rapid economic transformation. Indeed, the western powers like America adopted industrial revolution in the19th century as a major tool for growth and it fantastically did the  economic magic for them.

 Also, I believe that, industrialisation is the major magnet to large scale mechanized agriculture since many a farmer will want to produce more to maximize profit in an already readily juicy market engineered by industries that need locally produced raw materials to operate.

 Contrary, if we allow tax free importation of raw materials to feed the industries that we want to set up, then believe me, we are not strategic to developing the agricultural sector. The industries will collapse. Even when such industries do not collapse, they will largely create employment in countries that can produce and sell raw materials to us. In my view, the budget should have allocated more resources to creating an enabling environment for people to locally produce raw materials to feed our industries. That is the only way we can strengthen the economy through self sufficiency, jobs and harmonization of all the other sectors of the economy.

Also, the finance minister was very loud and bold to announce that ,taxation on the importation of spare parts is scrapped. I learnt many spare part dealers celebrated over this new development after the presentation of the budget. The reality is that I don't see the economic sense in the abolition of such an important strategic economic tax. African developing economies have always faced a challenge as their markets become a dumping refuge for second hands goods. The health implications of such goods from the developed economies cannot be immediately quantified.

We are still battling with issues of environmental sanitation, pollution among other environmentally emerging predicaments with adverse health implications. Indeed government continue to spent much on health and sanitation. The tax on spare parts was necessary to help us battle with the above challenges. I don't see the sense in the removal of such a tax. In any case, the large majority of Ghanaians cannot afford cars to talk of their spare parts. Those who have the ability to afford are the few middle class or the rich. Issues of health and sanitation affect everybody in this country. Abolishing such a tax only stifles economic growth since it can only worsen our balance of payment deficits.

In the part of abolition of taxes on "kayeye", I saw too much politics in that. I stand to be corrected, there is no national tax levy on "kayaye". If some local authorities used to levy those poor head porters, does it take the national budget to correct that?  Why is the budget not finding alternatives to problems faced by these poor head porters? Most of these head porters are people who are unable to get jobs. We must find options to ameliorate their suffering and not encourage them into that pathetic business by making such political expedient bony policies on them.  In fact, the NPP promised them jobs and should not run away from it.

Again, debate ensuing the government promise of free senior high school education has not been put to rest since the budget did not specifically tell us the sources of funding. To say that, funding will come through the annual budgetary allocations and other domestic sources is vague and sounds more rhetoric. Also, the announcement that the implementation will start with the 2017/2018 academic year, that is first year of the SHSs make me think that the promise is nothing different from the NDC promise of progressively free secondary education which they indeed started the implementation before leaving office. Again, I see politics and not policy in it.

I think the finance minister is being very smart to take advantage of the gullible nature of the majority of Ghanaian electorates. Come to think of this, the NPP promised the following; one district one factory, one million dollars for each constituency as well as one village one dam in the northern parts of the country. In the budget presentation, we are being told, it is the one million dollars that is going to fund the establishment of factories and  the constructions of the dams. Interestingly, this government thinks it can politically sway all of us from critical analysis but believe me, it can never!!

Even, more importantly, is the fact that, government agreed that the country has problems with revenue generation and had not been able to meet targets as in previous budget. What then is the sense in hypocritical creating more revenue gabs without options? The issue of perennial budget deficit should have informed government, that tax reforms is about critical assessment and evaluation of the tax regime and taking the necessary steps to generating more traditional resources to cater for our budget. If the finance minister complains of lack of fiscal space, then it does make sense, abolishing certain strategic taxes and still going for loans. Common sense should have informed him this.

I however, agree with the finance minister that infrastructure plays a critical role in economic development. This is in sharp contrast to what the NPP said about the role of infrastructure prior to the 2016 elections. I heard statements like "people do not eat infrastructure", " infrastructure does not put food on the table" among others. The reality is that infrastructure is the heart of every economy. I loud the finance minister's quest to sanction infrastructural projects as a continuation of where the NDC government left. Indeed, the bar on infrastructure set by NDC government is enviable. This is evident across the length and breath of the country.

Going forward, government must ensure that our  country, does not confuse politics with policies if we really want to march into economic prosperity. The inconsistencies, double standard and lame notes on certain  economic policies make me skeptical on the several lofty ideas of this NPP government. I don't see any difference between this budget statement and the NPP promises which are; sugarcoated, loftily grounded,  overly ambitious and wantonly deceptive.
That is my ordinary perspective and I believe others share my view.

Shall be back........................

Denis Andaban

denisandaban@gmail.com

ENOUGH OF THE XENOPHOBIC ATTACKS IN SOUTH AFRICA.

ENOUGH OF THE BARBARIC XENOPHOBIC ATTACKS IN SOUTH AFRICA.

In any civilized world where freedom and justice are the fundamental principles guiding society, it sounds very medieval and extremely inhumane to destroy these very tenets of society. Rule of law is neither discriminative nor selective. A society that desires prosperity and progress, cherishes fundamental human rights.

For any group or individual, to operate on different principles apart from those stated by law, only portrays a deteriorated African society, that lacks social values and should not be supported. It is for this reason, I speak against this antisocial act of barbarism called xenophobic attack, an act that is becoming a cyclical conundrum in South Africa.

Let me start by trying to succinctly revisit certain fundamentally historical antecedents of this ugly social canker that portrays the African continent as uncivilized, barbaric and uncultured.

Before South Africa gained independence in 1994, there was a predominant  sociocultural issue that had gained global attention. That was a form of racial discrimination with the popular nomenclature, apartheid system. History tells us that blacks were largely discriminated in the area of job, education, governance and many others. The most unspeakable was, the whites and blacks could not simply coexist. Blacks settled on different geographical locations as they were not allowed to settle in the specially isolated luxurious communities of the whites. The black south Africans lived under deplorable conditions, a situation which was roundly condemned across the globe.

In 1994, the black South Africans felt that they were sidelined in the area of jobs and business and that the system favoured only  foreigners as most lucrative business ventures and jobs were being maned by foreigners to the detriment of the indigenous South Africans. They adopted what is largely described as xenophobic attacks on foreigners, burning and looting their shops and killing them in some cases.
This inhuman act has since remained with south Africans as it reoccurred in 1995, 1998, 2000, 2008, 2012 and of course, the most recent one (2017) going on.

In my view, I would have supported this xenophobic attack if it was a revolutionary tool against the white man's racist tendencies that happened in the colonial days. The world would have known that such a revolution in whatever form, was only an act to gain independence to ensure freedom, equality and justice but to adopt such a strategy after gaining independence and becoming a democratic dispensation, only amounts to a perpetration of illegality  beyond imagination. Such behavior is incongruous to democratic principles.

What has made this xenophobic attack more profane and devilish is that, colleague African immigrants are rather the target. What I find difficult to understand is, what will happen if affected countries also decide to launch reprisal attacks on south African nationals?  Those who execute this barbaric act should know that they are South Africans across the globe who have equally occupied a niche in the private business sector. At least, South Africans have telecommunications companies in Ghana and are making billions of cedis in this country. It tells us that no man is an island.

What is very pathetic though amazing, is the lackadaisical posture the continental leadership assume when it comes to such issues. Has the African Union gone into a deep slumber or it simply lacks the wherewithal to profess everlasting pragmatic remedy to such an ugly continentally anti democratic canker? In my ordinary speculation, this xenophobic attack in South Africa is a threat to the peace and unity of our continent. Well, am not a prophet of doom any way.
May be we are waiting for the worst to happen.

I still remember vividly that countries including Ghana at a point had to withdraw from any bilateral relations with South Africa in the days of *apartheid system*. For me, the rest of Africa should be ready to tell South Africa that enough is enough of that barbaric act some of their citizenry cannot just let go. If our citizens in south Africa continue to live in panic and fear, incessant attacks by uncivilized groups or individuals, then it is better we break our bilateral relations. We cannot condone such unspeakable level of terrorism.

I urge  the African Union(AU) to act beyond the usual rhetoric and find a lasting solution to this xenophobic issue.
Democratic civilization does not support such levels of barbarism. We must behave as a civilized continent and stop being a laughing stock to the rest of the world.

Denis Andaban

denisandaban@gmail.com