UPPER WEST MUSIC DESERVES CRITICAL ATTENTION.

                                UPPER WEST MUSIC DESERVES CRITICAL ATTENTION.


The Upper West Region is seeing tremendous improvement in every facets of life.  There is one critical sector which is rapidly developing. Unfortunately many people do not pay attention to it and many talents are still undeveloped. The creative art industry has an indispensable role in economic development. For our Region to be blessed with many talents in the movie and music sectors, we must refocus our minds to developing these many talents. Today, I write this piece to add my contributions to the development of this important sector.
First and foremost, the many up growing musicians must learn to take inspiration from those who have made it. We can boast of several stars from this our young Region. At least, I can mention Samini, Nuella Wiyaala, David BB, Prince Karim, Raphius Samingos, Rasbadingu, Imoro Ayaana among others. All these guys are making us proud with their talents. They all started with a very humble beginning. In my humble opinion, these are some of the guys that that have that have motivated the many youth who are now into it. Today, the numbers of youth who are into music in the region are almost uncountable and are indeed proving their abilities. What one will expect is healthy competition and not needless rivalry at the time we need to collectively work hard to push ahead our talents. The young musicians are good but they are doing themselves more harm than good with their needless personality attack on one another.

Also, musicians if they are committed to uplifting the region through their talents must a matter of fact consider creativity and effective management. Most of these guys lack any professional managers who understand what music production, marketing and promotions are about. The few that are lucky to have managers do not even respect them in one way or the other. Once you have taken somebody as a manager, you must remain humble and submissive to him. I know what I am talking about.

Then again, let’s look at the rate at which tracks are being released. A good manager or musician will consider timing or spacing very paramount in promotion and marketing. You may release a good track but if the timing is wrong, forget of hitting. What I want to say is that you cannot be releasing singles almost every day and expect to be on top in music promotion at this level. I know of these young musicians who are very good and can go far but they must consider technicalities in the industry very necessary.

We must also consider that we have few DJs in the region who are committed to promoting the upper west music. Permit me to give credit to D J Tobile, Original Isaac, D J Derrygee, D J Alaska, D J Lwanga, D J Lasky, D J ANNAN, D J Skinny among others who are very committed to giving so much attention to our local music in their programs. We are talking about a region where we have few sponsors for entertainment programs. Do we actually appreciate the work of these DJs? I think we must find a way of bringing our DJs on-board in our marketing and promotion. I must commend all the radio stations and sound owners who create an enabling environment for our DJs to do what they are doing.

More importantly, the Upper West Musicians Union must be proactive and draw a strategic plan to streamline the activities of all musicians in the region. That is the only way we can attach more value to our music in the region.

I urge all musicians to be original and consider our culture very paramount. The support of the region would be assuring more if the music really portrays the culture of the people. I am not by this dictating the style of music by any musician but you cannot always go exotic and sometimes profane and expert to gain support. Let’s be original, creative, humble and patient enough. We have a better future ahead.
Denis Andaban popularly called in Entertainment as Rasdonkey.
0549734023.

THINKING IS THE GREATEST INVESTMENT.

                                             

  THINKING IS THE GREATEST INVESTMENT.

It is an indisputable fact that the only vehicle that can lead us to achieve our dreams, goals and aspirations in life is INVESTMENT. Indeed, many a youth have come to understand that investment has a vitally inevitable role in achieving success. In my view, the understanding of the term and its application is skewed because the most fundamental element that one cannot do without is reasonable thinking.

My interactions with many friends who are still struggling to adjust their lives in their bits to securing a comfortable future largely attribute to lack of capital, to start anything on their own. Unfortunately, I have never heard any of them say, they lack strategic ideas. It is also a fact that the capitals such people think about getting by magic or divine grace are some humongous quantum of physical cash. I share a different thought with this piece.

In my ordinary view, thinking is the core of investment and for that matter, the greatest investment capital that is invincible but centrally paramount. One’s ability to generate ideas, set achievable goals and aims largely determines what he is able to achieve in life. I know that reasonable thinking alone cannot do the magic but it has the propensity to open doors for other peripheral elements necessary in making progress and prosperity. For me, it is absolutely unproductive to work towards physical cash as capital before generating strategic ideas for investment into any sector. Many people fail in their insatiable quest to invest without strategic ideas. For me, money without ideas resulting from critical thinking is profound poverty. Count yourself a potential successful person with strategic ideas. I am not oblivious of the fact that ideas without effective implementation only precipitate failure of dreams but with ideas, one is far ahead of reaching success.

The world is ruled by strategic ideas. These strategic ideas are the reason behind the proliferation of innovations and inventions globally. The most critical thinker in this idealistic global world is the one who makes use of his cognitive abilities. The problems people run away from are those critical thinkers take advantage of, to cause a change in society. In the most advanced economies dominated by the private sector, your ability to acquire wealth or occupy a niche in the enterprise of industrialization is largely dependent on your ability to keep on generating ideas through critical thinking. Such a thinking is largely positive thinking, resilient thinking, critical thinking, innovative thinking or call it visionary thinking. Ironically in the part of our world of developing economies like Ghana, people run away from problems and blame government or others without any conscious effort of making a bold step to solving those problems through critical thinking. We sit aloof and clamor for change of governments, government support, sponsorship, good education, mechanized agriculture, improved education among others as if those are the fundamental panaceas to our sea of challenges. What are we also doing individually?

 A society that lacks foresight, is a society dominated by lazy thinking populace. This is evident in the fact that most African countries with rich natural resources still lack the needed technical know-how to adequately tap them to create progressive and prosperous economies for ourselves. We don’t need any rocket scientists to tell us our problems. Not even prophesies of our so called men of God, can perform any magic in our lives if we don’t develop a positive attitude through critical thinking. It is through critical thinking that can feed this nation with enterprising ideas towards creating the much talked about industrialized nation we so much desire. No politician can do it just be mere politics and policies.

Also, we must not only think positively but originally. There is no critical thinking when you lazily copy the thinking of others without a deeper appreciation and understanding of the hidden spirit, wisdom, behind it. That is another disease among us, Africans. Almost all our policies were blindly copied. We are a unique people with different abilities capable of solving our own problems but we have thrown those abilities away for an unconscious mental slavery which is now our major development challenge people refuse to talk about. The worst offenders are some politicians who continually indoctrinate the younger generations. Most of the youth are interested in what to eat today and not what to have tomorrow. At a point, I was perplexed when very educated men of society who are politicians told the Ghanaian youth that people do not eat infrastructure and that employment is solely created by government. Since am not writing a political article, I would not dwell much on it but I succinctly think that such backward thinking must be avoided in the mind of any individual or group that aspire for greater heights in life.

We live in a society with so many professors in diverse fields yet they are unable to proffer any alternative to any emerging contemporary impediments. They are perhaps only competent in the use of jargon and largely end up in politics with fixed ideas whiles the real solutions lie in front of us. It is really fascinating. I urge my fellow youth to take a different path and consider critical thinking, the greatest investment.

Put together your aims and goals and always remain focus and committed through critical thinking. Learn to adjust yourself in the very “chameleonic” environment we find ourselves. We can sign our own financial and economic freedom when we believe in ourselves than entrenching our destinies into the hands of others.

Denis Andaban.

0208057227/0549734023.

MY TAKE ON THE TRANSITION PROCESS OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA, JANUARY 2017.

MY TAKE ON THE TRANSITION PROCESS OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA, JANUARY 2017.

Let me use this singular opportunity to convey my sincere good will congratulations to HIS EXCELLENCY NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO ADDO, the president of the REPUBLIC OF GHANA. I am the happiest person today not because you have ascended the highest throne but because Ghana has demonstrated once again to the world that we are rapidly advancing our democratic credentials. Every patriotic citizen should be a proud and happy person for this solidarity, harmony, diversity in strength as well as nationalism against self-centeredness.


Nonetheless, I have ordinarily noticed some critical issues that deserve attention in our quest to advancing our enviable democratic dispensation. My piece is to succinctly point out some of these observations which I believe many legal and political pundits would have noticed too.
Firstly, I observed that incoming members of parliament as it were, were sworn in after the Rt. Hon Speaker was elected. My confusion is that, once they were not sworn in, they were not legally recognized as members of parliament so how could they have exercised any voting Right?
In my view, I think there is a need for amendment of portions of the standing orders and the constitution to create room for the CLERKwho before the election of the speaker acts as the chairperson for proceedings, to swear in the incoming members of parliament before proceeding, to conduct elections on the speaker and his two deputies.

 Again, between the time that the new parliament is inaugurated and adjourned and the time that the president elect is to be sworn in, the state technically is naked without a president and that could be dangerous. Fortunately, I was vindicated when the minority leader, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu mentioned same. Something should be done to close that gap. I have the strongest conviction that the seventh Parliament will do something to fill up that I consider a constitutional loophole.
More importantly, I need to raise issues on the swearing in of the vice president elect before the president elect. For now, it is legal because it has been a long standing convention not only in Ghana but other countries. In my ordinary analysis, we should have a second look at it. The President elect should first make his covenant with the state and then, the vice. I say this because; the role of the vice president is more of an assisting role. Also his authority only comes after the authority of the president. Besides, what would happen in any event that the president Elect is unable to take his oath after the vice has been sworn in? Yes I know the vice will be acting as the president while that of his, becomes vacant? In the absence of the president, the vice steps in as explicitly stipulated in article 60of the 1992 constitution. In my understanding, the president is first and the vice is second. Let me put it this way, once there is no head, there is no tail. There should not be any circumstances where we have the tail first and then the head.

There is another issue we should not treat lightly because of the sanctity and the spirit of our national constitution. During the oaths of both the Vice President and the President, certain portions in the oath were replaced.  For instance, the VICE PRESIDENT pronounced “SOVEREIGNTY" as "INSOVEREIGNTY". Also the president Nana Akufo Addo replaced “WELLBEING" for “WELFARE" I believe it was not deliberate but believe me, in other jurisdictions, the PRESIDENT would have to retake the oath as in the of USA where President Obama was asked to retake the oath. These are issues people can raise legal queries against in the near future as we grow. We need to meticulously prepare people who are to go through such constitutional mandated events to avoid such a legal murder.

Also, such a state function is very important beyond the investiture but to solidify the commitment to our democratic transition in the face of the citizenry and the world. In my humble view, outgoing Presidents should have the opportunity to give keynote addresses as part of outgoing governments support to the incoming governments. This is more important than the show of gestures and handshakes. The speech of guest speakers should come before that of the number one gentleman of the land. In the recent case, president Nana Akufo Addo spoke and had to sit for a long time waiting for others to deliver their speeches. Per standard protocol, the president should climax the ceremony with his speech and not any other speaker(s).

More so, on the aspect of the speech, the PRESIDENTdelivered a very inspiring and statesmanlike speech. I must thank him for that wonderful and visionary speech. However, there is one thing that would have gone unnoticed but for the inquisitive nature or otherwise the proactive nature of the media. Soon after the speech, it was discovered that the speech was plagiarized from different speeches. In fact, this has brought embarrassment to the nation and I must say, I am very disappointed at the speech writer of the PRESIDENT. The issue has been all over the international media. I think such a crime and intellectual theft is avoidable and those who caused it must be sacked immediately to avoid any future embarrassment of that sort. Such a crime has never happened in the history of Ghana. It is absolutely unprecedented and smacks magnanimous incompetence and national shame.
Another thing that has been conspicuous and consistent is the degree at which political party fanatics display political colours at such events. The colours are not only showcased by these party activists but they use such partisan cloaks to heckle and mock candidates who loss elections. This is not good for such a state function. If care is not taken, such platforms could be reduced to political party programs in the future. To paint such programs truly statutory, certain rules must prevent political parties from such partisan acts.

Those are my observations and suggestions and I stand for any corrections on any of the issues I raised since some issues are legally oriented that I might have misjudged.
I take solace in the fact that we are improving every day and the world is learning from us. Citizens must know that governance is a collective process and not a one man job. Unfortunately, when political parties are in opposition, they see it differently but quick to call for support as soon as they gain power. The NPP boycotted the 2013 Presidential inauguration but today they call on all and sundry for support. I congratulate the NDC and all political parties for contributing greatly to the success of this 2017 presidential investiture.

Political parties should contribute and work in the collective interest of Ghana and not start advocating for it after winning political power. That is the only way we can build a more advanced enviable democratic dispensation in the near future. It is time to work. For me, as a citizen, I am more than enthused to serve mother Ghana. I shall loud government when the need be and constructively criticise when the situation demands. In going forward, tolerance, constructive criticism, peace, unity, nationalism, patriotism and true citizenship are key fundamentals that we must pull together and work with all the time for the love of GOD and NATION BUILDING.
LONG LIVE GHANA.
Denis Andaban

0549734023/0208057227.

NPP Keeps On Contracting Itself On The Activities Of Government After Elections.

 NPP Keeps On Contracting Itself On The Activities Of Government After Elections.

It is not for nothing that Ghana is largely considered the beacon of democracy in Africa. As such, the actions and inaction of political actors must be adding up to the growth of our governance. If our actions are ultra-vice to existing constitutional principles then clearly, we are in a path of retrogression and that is a threat to our young but enviable Democratic dispensation. I write to vehemently disagree with those, largely the New Patriotic Party, who think that governance must come to a standstill after elections.

I see governance as continues process in every democratic system and elections or transition cannot and must not impede that process. The constitution by its wisdom, mandate the incumbent government to continue to perform its duties until 6th January mid night. The new government then takes over on the 7th of January. In my view, the constitution seeks to avoid any gab in the governing process. So it is absolutely a nonstarter to argue that government cannot discharge certain legitimate actions because of transition.

Again, people who try to justify their positions on this matter introduced morality orientation into the debate and that makes them sound ridiculous and hypothetical. Who said the constitution and its framers didn’t integrate morality into the legality? Would you in that subjective view, demand that conventions, legality and democratic principles be compromised for that “morality” to satisfy one group? Governance is a serious business and rest on numerous constitutional principles and not just what is ordinarily perceived to be wrong by somebody. It sounds more of a fuzzy concept to narrow the debate to morality. We are in a democratic state and any decision by government or any group must be grounded on the supreme law of the land, THE 1992 CONSTITUTION OF GHANA.

There is nothing wrong for the government to make certain appointments that are apolitical to relevant state institutions in as much as our constitution exists. Those who do not like it in its current state can rather push for the amendment of sections of the constitution.

Then again, when government granted the proposal by National Service Scheme for an increment in their allowances, some people especially the NPP and its allies have viewed the decision with political binoculars by postulating that it is bad faith on the part of the outgoing government. Others are of the view that the outgoing government wants to put a burden on the incoming government in the management of the economy. For God’s sake, the proposal from the NSS has been under consideration as far back as July of this year.

 In any case, the increment is going to improve the lives of young people contributing their quota to national development. How can the improvement of the lives of section of our youth who are the future human resource of the country be a burden on the economy? Is the NPP government not coming to improve the lives of citizenry? Such pedestrian analysis of issues makes me skeptical of the commitment of the incoming NPP government to improve the lives and conditions of the people. Whether you like it or not, labour shall make legitimate demands for salary increment in the near future and if that will cause any inability of the NPP government to deliver its numerous promises, then I can say without any modicum of doubt, that the NPP have failed in advance.

Let me also use this opportunity to touch on the increment of the emoluments of article 71 holders as stipulated in the 1992 constitution. Frankly speaking, I am one of those who argue that the above article must be scrapped to create a level playing field for all officers and workers to be under the Single Spine Salary Structure managed by the Fair Wages and Salary Commission. I am also of the view that the income of such officers as currently in the said article must be taxable like mine as a poor village teacher.

I was expecting those who think any increment in allowances of salaries can put a burden on the public purse to engage in a constructive debate by the recent increment in the emoluments of these officers largely the Executive and Legislature. The President elect, Nana Akuffo Addo shall be the biggest beneficiary of these increments. Ironically, the NPP is silent about it after all, their Members of Parliament who are to form majority in parliament soon, clandestinely endorsed it since it is in their selfish interest. I am particularly disappointed in the national house of Parliament especially the minority caucus for demonstrating such a level of double standard. When it is in their favor, there is no banter between them but when it is in the larger interest of Ghana, they play their delay tactics around. The Right to Information Bill is one of such important bills before the house for so many years now. The minority have been against the passage of it in recent times but quick to endorse humongous increment in their emoluments including gargantuan exgratia.  Isn’t that a shame?

I think that civil society groups must push government hard in the coming days to ensure that this issue of article 71 holders is pragmatically dealt with, to save the public purse. I think the politicians are playing a “pillow game” with the ordinary Ghanaian worker. Enough of this aggrandizement!

As long as we continue to pursue the journey of democracy and want to model it to its best form, we must not remain polarized and partisan on every national discourse. Such moves only paint national policies with partisan colors and that cannot move us forward in any quest to sustain our developing democracy. Political actors should revise their notes on democracy and constitutional law well and stop confusing policy with politics. I know people as usual are going to bastardize me for coming out with this article but let the truth be told that nation building goes beyond political party affiliation.

Denis Andaban.

denisandaban@gmail.com.

0549734023.

W EARE KILLING THE GOOSE THAT LAYS THE GOLDEN EGG.

                             WE ARE KILLING THE GOOSE THAT LAYS THE GOLDEN EGG.

                                                     Reloaded.

This year’s farmers’ day will be celebrated on Friday 4th November 2016 and a fair, passionate and objective minded columnist like me, would certainly make time and space to celebrate our gallant but poor majority farmers. Farmers spend all their time in the field even under hostile weather conditions just to ensure that there is abundant food to feed our ever increasing population. My piece today aims at critically dissecting some major pertinent issues on the agriculture sector of our economy.

It is indisputable fact that agriculture remains the backbone of our economy.  In 2013, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO) estimated that 54% of Ghana’s working population is employed in the agriculture sector. The national average is estimated at 76.1% in the rural areas. In the three northern regions (upper west, upper east and northern region), I can comfortably state that about 95% of the people engage in various forms of agriculture. I try to let you know, that the role of agriculture is indispensable. We must therefore take the sector seriously and treat it as the foundation of our economy. Until we build a strong foundation, poverty and unemployment will continue to greet us every now and then.

Interestingly and lamentably, many of our farmers engage in peasant farming and have few or no opportunities to venture into large scale commercial farming. Farmers remain poor and in many cases, unable to pay the schools fees and other expenses of their families. The cost of inputs is relatively high whilst unfavorable rainfall patterns continually worsen their already pathetic situation. In fact, there are limited irrigation facilities to ensure all year round farming. As for the unpropitious prices for agriculture products, the least talk about it the better.

Despite all these conspicuous predicaments, we sit aloof and throw our hands in despair, perhaps awaiting a day or an era famine will befall us. Are we really serious? Anyway, such a calamity, if befallen us, would teach us a lesson to realize that indeed, agriculture is the goose that lays the golden egg. We must a matter of urgency; devise a comprehensive agriculture policy to swiftly move from the hand to mouth agriculture, to mechanized large scale farming. That is the only way the farmers’ poor condition could be ameliorated and to pave way for any meaningful industrialization which is being preached by the Ghanaian politicians as we march towards the polls in December. The fundamental truth is that agriculture is the vehicle for industrialization.

Notwithstanding the destitute nature of our agriculture sector, it is still a pillar of the economy. Between 2007 and 2016, the agriculture sector has averagely contributed 3.5% to GDP and that is not a mean contribution from a typical deprived sector. The figure could have been humongous if we had been thoughtful over the years about improving the sector. That is quiet embarrassing. Isn’t it?

Look, it is very difficult for African economies to be competitive in the global agriculture market not because of race or geographical position but because we appear to throw in the towel in the competition. Countries like Thailand and Vietnam have occupied a niche in rice production. It is as a result of their long standing commitment to their agriculture sector. No wonder we cheaply import most of our rice from these countries and that is thwarting the efforts of our few commercial rice farmers. Believe me; Ghana can do better if we are committed to capturing that height.

The youth and the educated elite of the current generation largely despite agriculture and consider it as business of the village illiterate. Let it go not unnoticed that unemployment continually escalates with our unrepentant quest for non-existent white collar jobs. I am of the strong conviction that agriculture is the ultimate salvation to our galloping unemployment situation. We have vast land for agriculture yet we remained choked in the cities struggling for survival. This growing misconception about agriculture must stop. Many politicians both in government and opposition take advantage of the situation and preach salvation but when they get there, there have many excuses for underperformance. I will personally not blame them. We live in a country where the formal sector employees through their labour unions parade along every route in town to demand better salaries. The poor farmer continues to be in the farm and has never demonstrated or gone to strike. Such a patriotic leniency should not be considered as a weakness by our farmers. To me, the most patriotic citizen in Ghana in terms of work is the Ghanaian farmer.

What I expect government to do is to institute a state farming policy which was implemented by the late Gen.I. K Acheampong. This will help us improve the sector. Our industries would get adequate raw materials and also to ease the unemployment situation that bedevils us as a country. Our national service personnel could be posted to such farms to enable them provide critical services in that area. That could be a possible way of curing the growing misconception about the sector. We also need to set up more marketing companies and agents to protect farmers’ interest in the agriculture market.  Let me loud the efforts of COCOBOD on that score. Many farmers go through frustration in the market especially during bumper harvest seasons.

In celebrating our gallant farmers in such an important day, let me pause my lamentations here and salute all farmers across the country for their wonderful contributions to national development. I specially dedicate this article to all farmers in the Daffiama-Bussie-Issa District as they celebrate this years’ event at my lovely city, Daffiama.

Long live the Ghanaian farmer.

                                                           Denis Andaban.

                                                               0549734023.