Welcome to Ghana Pundit: The Home of Politics and Intelligent Analysis


Grab the widget  Tech Dreams

Insist on Your Right to Education

Uneducated citizenry is like a pitch any game can be played on it. Illiteracy is what has given the politicians in Ghana the chance to fool so many people for so a long a time.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Government’s oil-revenue target is unlikely to be achieved – Imani Ghana

Policy think tank, Imani Ghana has cast doubts over government’s oil revenue target for the year following what it says is the continuous fall in oil production from the Jubilee field since last year. 

Government in this year’s budget projected to generate 650 million dollars from the oil production. Figures from January to June indicate, the country grossed nearly 230 million dollars. 

Executive Director of Imani Ghana, Franklyn Cudjoe argues, with almost 4 months to the end of the year, the revenue target is most unlikely to be achieved.

“The oil fields are not producing the barrels we want. Over the last several months, oil production has been hovering around nearly 60 thousand barrels per day compared with even the downward revised figure of 90 thousand from the initial 120 thousand target” he noted. 

According to him, the shortfall in oil production also has serious implications for the economy, especially the local currency. 

“These are very ominous signs for the falling cedi – unduly affecting our forex position. Our foreign exchange earnings and balance of trade position are getting lower because we’re not exporting.cThis means printing more money in some instances which may have serious repecussions for the economy” he noted” 

Kan-Dapaah is a conduit for NPP’s diabolical campaign against Woyome

Kan-Dapaah is a conduit for NPP’s diabolical campaign against Woyome
Alfred Agbesi Woyome
Kwame Tawiah, aide to Alfred Agbesi Woyome who is currently standing trial over a GH¢51million judgment debt controversy, claims they have ample evidence to prove that the NPP will anchor their elections 2012 campaign on the Woyome saga.

According to Tawiah, the NPP as part of its campaign strategy wants to revive what he says is the over-flogged Woyome judgement debt scandal to win the December general elections.

Mr. Tawiah was responding to recent threats by Chairman of the Public Account Committee (PAC), Albert Kan-Dapaah to haul Mr. Woyome before the Committee with the help of the IGP.

Albert Kan-Dapaah said he would write to the Inspector General of Police, Paul Tawiah Quaye to arrest Woyome and drag him before the Committee to respond to issues about the colossal amount paid to him (Woyome) as judgement debt.

But Alfred Woyome insisted he was already standing trial for the judgment debt scandal and therefore could not speak to the matter outside of court.

However, speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Friday, Kwame Tawiah maintained that Albert Kan-Dapaah was just a conduit for the NPP's diabolical plan to revive the Woyome scandal for its electioneering campaign.

He contended that the PAC Chairman had compromised his position amd could not be trusted to do a decent, fair-minded national duty.

"...Even members on his own Committee have raised issues with the Chairman’s conduct. Why this whimsical abuse of power and utter ego by Kan Dapaah”? he quizzed.

Woyome’s aide described Kan-Dapaah’s conduct as “a shame to our democracy and an abuse of power”.

He stated emphatically that Mr. Woyome will never appear before the Public Accounts Committee because the summons were illegally done.

Tawiah could not fathom why the PAC Chairman was insisting that Alfred Woyome appears before the Committee in spite of the explanations given for his inability to attend to the Committee's invitation.

He said the Woyome camp will not be cowed by the Committee's threat since, they acted in accordance with the law.

“Kan-Dapaah should write to the IGP to cause Woyome’s arrest; we are waiting patiently. We have our constitutional rights and will act according to the rule of law,” he said.

Kwame Tawiah indicated that the NPP should not delude itself into thinking that it can win elections by capitalizing on the Woyome judgement debt scandal.

“You [NPP] still want to make Woyome news; you still want to make Woyome a campaign issue they should go ahead we are waiting for them”.

Myjoyonline.com |Adwoa Gyasiwaa

Corruption fight: Akufo-Addo will be worse than Mills- PPP

Corruption fight: Akufo-Addo will be worse than Mills- PPP
The Progressive Peoples Party is not impressed with answers given by the flagbearer of New Patriotic Party Nana Akufo-Addo when he appeared at the Institute of Economic Affairs Evening Encounter.

The party among other things questioned Nana Addo’s strategy and commitment to fighting corruption if elected as president.

A statement signed by the Deputy Youth Coordinator said “It is very funny how Nana Addo talks about eradicating corruption by being an exemplary leader. We know that Ghanaians have had the opportunity of having an incorruptible leader like the late former President Mills (May his soul rest in peace) whose government could be said to be one of the most corrupt in recent times in the history of Ghana.

The full statement is as follows;


The Evening Encounter Sessions organised by the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) has been very insightful. It has afforded Ghanaians the opportunity to know what is on the minds of the various Presidential Candidates with representation in parliament. Nana Akufo Addo has also done well in honouring the invitation of the IEA by educating Ghanaians on how he intends to manage the country should he become the next CEO of Ghana for the next 4 years.

We would further like to congratulate Nana Addo for his eloquent presentation during the IEA encounter. It is very worrying that his answer on the practicality of tackling corruption in Ghana was woefully inappropriate. When the Ghana Integrity Initiative Boss questioned Akuffo Addo about how he was going to deal with the issue of corruption, it was the expectation of most Ghanaians that Nana Addo was to demonstrate practically his commitment to eradicate corruption from the system.

It is very funny how Nana Addo talks about eradicating corruption by being an exemplary leader. We know that Ghanaians have had the opportunity of having an incorruptible leader like the late former President Mills (May his soul rest in peace) whose government could be said to be one of the most corrupt in recent times in the history of Ghana. Professor Mills never liked corruption as a person yet his government could not rid itself of corruption. This is because the institutional structure of the country has made it difficult for any individual to be able to fight corruption effectively.

Today, both the NPP and the NDC are in the equalization game of who is more corrupt than the other. By this standard, we believe that the NPP flagbearer ought to have given a better option than just the old talk of being leader by example. This is a clear indication that, he does not fully appreciate the nature of corruption in our system or is not willing to be a different leader and for that matter an Akufo Addo administration is not going to be anything better than the Mills-led administration.

Secondly, Nana Addo made a very laughable suggestion by saying that he will handle Judgment debt by causing the Attorney General to publish all claims made against the state, as if to say that it is the people of Ghana who shall determine which Judgment debt to be paid and which one not to be paid. We think he could have said better than this mere populist propaganda to confuse the many unsuspecting voters.

Nana Addo claims that he had NO PROBLEM as an Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Justice and so he does not subscribe to the argument that the AG should be decoupled from the Ministry of Justice. This is a clear indication that he is not willing and does not intend to fight corruption. By continuously retaining the status of the AG as a Cabinet minister who can be hired and fired by the President, we limit the power of the AG to Prosecute “All manner of people”. This is because the AG would never be able to do an independent prosecution especially when the prosecution is likely to affect the reputation of his government. The case of the former Sports minister is not tenable because he was not a member of their Party the NPP and thus they were more comfortable to make him a scape goat.

Again, the case of the dismissal of Hon. Martin Amudi in the ongoing Woyomey case is another strong indication of how the executive can stampede the work of the AG so long as the AG remains the same as the Minister of Justice and a Cabinet minister who can be hired and sacked by the President at any time and without any reason. Practically, an AG would be compromised when he is part of cabinet discussion and will not be able to give an independent professional advice to state and so if Nana Addo was committed to eradication of corruption, he would not dismiss such an argument.

We insist that all politicians must come to realisation of this simple fact and make commitment to ensure that our legal system is reformed. Ghana needs an independent state prosecutor who cannot be sacked by the President anyhow.

We know and respect Nana Addo as a senior legal practitioner of good standing. Yet his claim that he had No Problem as an Attorney General cannot be true. We do not want to go into details of the gargantuan crimes during the Kufour Administration which were not followed up and prosecuted by the then Attorney General but we want to state that Ghana must be awake to the realities of our times. It is time to make sure that the law is able to bite.

PPP wants the opportunity to implement an Agenda for Change when our candidate is made President of the Republic of Ghana come January 2013. This Agenda is built on four pillars - Stewardship, Education, Healthcare and Jobs. We will implement the Agenda using the spirit of inclusiveness that will enable us to use the best Ghanaians; full participation of women and the youth; and above all a leadership that is incorruptible. By dealing with corruption, we can double government revenue which we will use to pay for our transformational initiatives in education, healthcare and job creation.

Richard Nii Amarh
PPP Deputy Youth Coordinator (Volunteers)

Election 2012: We will deal ruthlessly with 'machomen' - Prez Mahama

Election 2012: We will deal  ruthlessly with 'machomen' - Prez Mahama
President Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama has sounded a stern warning to miscreants who are bent on fomenting trouble in the upcoming December elections.

President Mahama stated the security forces will not take lightly the activities of machomen who have made it their habit of intimidating and interfering with the election process.

The president made this known when he addressed a teeming crowd in the Bono Ahafo region who met him as part of his nationwide “Thank You Tour”.

President Mahama called on the youth of the country to stand firm and resist attempts by politicians to use them to foment trouble.

According to him the youth must rather protect the peace that the country currently enjoys.

President Mahama expressed his gratitude to the chiefs and people of Bono Ahafo region for their support during the burial of the late President John Mills.

The President’s 10-day nationwide “Thank You Tour” has already taken him to the Central, Western, Volta, and Eastern regions.

Ghana |Myjoyonline.com | Richard Nii Abbey

NPP promises to 'transform lives; transform Ghana'

NPP promises to 'transform lives; transform Ghana'
Yoofi Grant
The rallying crying of the New Patriotic Party as it heads towards the 2012 General Elections is to transform lives and to transform Ghana.

The party is seeking an ambitious overhaul of the country’s infrastructure and industry with a promise to move Ghana up the rungs of middle income.

With a new manifesto title “Transforming our lives; transforming Ghana” the opposition party says it will harness the huge natural and human resource base to the direct benefit of the Ghanaian.

A banker with the Data Bank and a key member of the manifesto drafting committee of the NPP, Yoofi Grant told Joy News’ Evans Mensah the new manifesto is set to "re-engineer how we do thing to get different results."

We need to “change systems, change processes and the outcomes will change,” he noted.

Yoofi Grant said Ghana has the resources and the can do spirit but lacked the right leadership to steer the country forward in the right direction.

A key part of the manifesto, he noted will be to change the economy which has always being a "relic of the colonial times."

He said the party will add value to its raw materials as it seeks to industrialise.

On housing, he said the party will complete the affordable housing project it started and will institute a social housing policy to ensure that those who cannot afford to own a home but are ready to rent, do so without any difficulties.

With the party flagbearer already touting education as his major issue of concern, Grant said the manifesto provides a clear road map towards the implementation of a solid educational agenda of the NPP if voted into power.

He said with a free but quality SHS education system under a Nana Akufo-Addo government, there will be much better people in the country with a clear vision.

He said the future NPP government will make Ghana a net exporter of energy with huge investments set to be made in the energy sector.

The ultimate aim he noted is to make Ghana a transformed society.

The manifesto is expected to be launched on Wednesday, three days after the the launch of the party's 2012 campaign.

Ghana|Myjoyonline.com| Nathan Gadugah

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Insurgency in Northern Mali: Diplomacy or Counterinsurgency?

By Lord Aikins Adusei

The recent take over of Northern Mali by National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and Al Qaeda franchise groups such Ansar Dine and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) present difficult challenge to the civilian and military leadership in West Africa. There is no question that AQIM working closely with Ansar Dine would use their new trophy i.e. northern Mali not only as a supermarket for terrorism but also to fuel kidnapping, drug trafficking and other contraband activities in the Sahel region and beyond. Therefore allowing them to use the region as a safe haven for terrorism and their criminal enterprise could worsen Mali’s security problems and threaten the already shaky stability in neighbouring countries of Algeria, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Mauritania, and Niger. At the same time a counterinsurgency offensive on the part of ECOWAS to dislodge the MNLA rebels and Ansar Dine could trigger multiplier effects that ECOWAS might not be ready for. It is a serious dilemma that needs to be approached with extreme caution.

In formulating a proper response to the Malian problem, the leadership in West Africa should be guided by lessons in Somalia where efforts to root out Al Shabaab have remained not only elusive but to a larger extent have been counterproductive: spreading terrorism to Uganda and Kenya. More lessons could be drawn from the U.S. experience in fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Paul Scharre, former officer of the U.S. 75th Ranger Regiment and the author of “A More Agile Pentagon” observes that the Afghan war was initially conducted with a “shock and awe” strategy using light and fast vehicles but that soon changed to the use of heavily armoured vehicles as Taliban and Al Qaeda began using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and roadside bombs to destroy convoys, road clearance vehicles and even the most potent of the coalition armoured vehicles with impressive results and with strategic consequences for the U.S. led coalition.

NATO, with its well trained 150,000 strong fighters and overwhelmingly superior capabilities, in addition to 305,000 Afghan Police and Armed Forces could not easily win the war against the battle-hardened, religiously and ideologically entrenched Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters. A change in both strategy and leadership on the part of U.S.-- including a 30,000 troop surge in 2009-2010-- did not overwhelmingly alter the battle environment in favour of the coalition forces. In the end U.S. began to engage the Taliban in dialogue for a negotiated political settlement. In June 2011, after ten years in Afghanistan and hundreds of billions of dollars spent in the war effort, President Barack Obama announced that he was bringing the U.S. troops home telling Americans “it is time to focus on nation building here at home”.

President Obama's announcement was made in spite of the obvious fact that Afghanistan is still unstable. While writing this piece report came in that the Taliban on Monday August 20, 2012 shot and damaged the parked plane of General Martin Dempsey, the top-most officer in the U.S. military. The attack came months after U.S. Defence Secretary Leone Panetta was made a target of a suicide attack in mid-March 2012 while on a visit to Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. It is highly uncertain what will happen in Afghanistan when the troops leave, however the U.S. willingness to engage the Taliban in dialogue for a political settlement is a major lesson that ECOWAS’ political and military leaders could learn from. In other words ECOWAS’ leaders should hesitate in launching counter offensive against the insurgents and give diplomacy a chance while keeping the military option on the table.

There are several reasons why ECOWAS must give diplomacy a chance. First AQIM, Ansar Dine and the MNLA rebels are not only unconventional fighting force that respect no rules of engagement but are also heavily armed and could put up stiff resistance to ECOWAS' counterinsurgency efforts. This means that combined with the difficult and hostile Sahara environment, it will be difficult to completely defeat them. The war could in fact drag on for years if not decades as pointed out by James Thomas Snyder author of “Counterinsurgency Vocabulary and Strategic Success” who notes that modern counterinsurgency warfare usually last between 12 and 15 years. Going by this it implies that ECOWAS will find it difficult to conduct and sustain a war that will last for 12 or 15 years especially given other serious threats in the sub region such as maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, terrorism in Nigeria, fragile stability in Ivory Coast and narcotics trafficking that equally need human, financial and material resources to confront them.

Besides, counterinsurgency like any other war could be humanly costly. AQIM, Ansar Dine and MNLA may use guerrilla tactics; hide inside the populations living in the Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu thereby making it harder for ECOWAS’ Forces to root them out. Attempt to attack the insurgents in the towns could lead to high civilian casualties which could be exploited by the insurgents to make the counterinsurgency unpopular among the population.

Additionally, a counterinsurgency could also worsen the already bad humanitarian situation in the north of the country. So far about 500,000 people are known to have fled their homes, additional 250,000 are internally displaced while a quarter of a million more live in refugee camps. More people could be forced to flee and the complicated food, water and health security situation could get worse.

Moreover, as it is common with many wars, the counterinsurgency environment can change very quickly with unpredictable outcomes. The insurgents could adapt to counterinsurgency offensive and even change the environment in their favour. They may decide to extend their activities to relatively stable areas in Mali and even to neighbouring countries. This is exactly what Al Shabaab did in Uganda on 11 July 2010 when they killed more than 85 people who had gathered to watch the FIFA World Cup that was underway in South Africa. Kenya has come under similar attacks from Al Shabaab and Boko Haram recently extended its activities to states in the middle belt of Nigeria.

More problematic is the financial situation in the ECOWAS region. ECOWAS countries, like the rest of the countries worldwide, are cash trapped due to the global financial and economic downturn. Governments in West Africa, United States and Europe are implementing austerity budget and struggling to stay afloat. Launching a war against the insurgents will not only require men but also money and military capabilities. Sending poorly equipped 3,500 fighting force to a region as big as France or U.S. state of Texas will be similar to repeating what the Malian government did when it sent soldiers with poor morale, leadership shortcomings and limited capabilities to confront the heavily armed insurgents, resulting in the lightening victory for the insurgents. 
Heavily armed Tuareg rebels  and Ansar Dine control key northern cities of Gao, Kidal, Timbuktu

In other words undertaking a counterinsurgency that could be lengthy and costly, in a financially weak-region, and in a global economy that is still struggling to recover definitely needs deep thinking and a deeper reflection. General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff recently cautioned that the complexities of modern warfare particularly counterinsurgency require “leaders who do not think linearly, but who instead seek to understand the complexity of problems before seeking to solve them”. This means that politicians and military leaders in ECOWAS seeking solution for Mali should understand the situation before prescribing any solution.

Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell IV, commanding general of the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan and Captain Nathan K. Finney in an article titled “Security, Capacity and Literacy” published in the journal  ‘Military Review’ in 2011 opined that “conventional military weapons alone will not win” the war against AQIM, Ansar Dine and the Tuareg rebels. Similarly Tony Blair in a speech on January 12, 2007 observed that “Terrorism cannot be defeated by military means alone”.

This suggests that there are other weapons that in addition to dialogue could be used to defeat the insurgents.  One such weapon is the use of intelligence. Intelligence could be beefed up in the region controlled by the insurgents. This could help ECOWAS to know the mind of the insurgents, their strategy, tactics, their movements, weapons and their operational capabilities. Intelligence could also help to identify the leadership of the insurgent for special attention and to counter their propaganda.

In his book “The War within”, Bob Woodward observed that the strategy of using accurate intelligence to conduct precision raids, targeting insurgent leaders helped to turn the tide in Iraq. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the threats he and other Al Qaeda leaders posed in Iraq were removed with the help of intelligence. Thus intelligence fusion and precision raiding focusing strongly on the leadership of insurgent could weaken the terror group’s ability to mount effective response. Intelligence could also limit damage and bloodshed and unnecessary civilian casualties. Although Ansar Dine may quickly replace their captured or killed leaders, the new leaders may lack experience and skill which will affect their decision making and ability to wage a sustained war. Intelligence could also help to dismantle the drug trafficking, kidnapping and other criminal activities that serve as a key source of funding for the insurgents.

Also a strategy could be adopted to divide the front of the insurgents. There are two broad groups involved in the insurgency in northern Mali: Tuareg rebels and Ansar Dine. The Tuareg rebels are fighting for a homeland while the Ansar Dine is religiously fanatical organisation with links to AQIM that is seeking a haven to implement terror agenda in northern Mali. In other words the Tuareg rebels and Ansar Dine have different objectives when it comes ruling their captured territory. ECOWAS could exploit the deep differences the two groups have. For example ECOWAS could isolate Ansar Dine by talking to Tuareg rebels and working with them to implement the terms of the agreement they signed with the government in 2006. Energy then could be directed at AQIM and Ansar Dine.

Working with local leaders and improving governance could serve ECOWAS well. Local leaders could be of strategic value to ECOWAS’ forces regarding intelligence, and mobilising the people against the insurgents. Mark F. Cancian, a former Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, notes that in the Iraqi province of Al Anbar it was the involvement of the local leaders ‘Awakening sheiks’ that turned the war in U.S. favour in late 2006 and early 2007.

Similarly addressing poverty, inequality and underdevelopment in northern Mali could strategically tilt the hearts and minds of the population away from MNLA and Ansar Dine. By all account northern Mali is relatively poor compared to the south of the country. The lack of development combined with minimal government presence undoubtedly contributed in the takeover of the region by MNLA, AQIM and Ansar Dine. Thus improving food security, water, energy and health security and general infrastructure such as roads, education, irrigation and housing in northern Mali could win the population over to the ECOWAS and alienate the insurgents.

More crucial is building the capabilities of the Malian Police to provide security for the civilian population. The Police having operated in the cities in the north for years may know the leadership of the insurgents, where they live and could therefore provide useful information for their arrest. Building the capabilities of Mali’s 7000 poorly equipped and poorly remunerated soldiers and restoring the soldiers’ morale could tilt the balance of power in ECOWAS favour should full scale counterinsurgency become the last resort. In other words security must go hand in hand with governance and development. The three are what Bruce Hoffman and Seth G. Jones have termed “the holy trinity of counterinsurgency”.

Lord Aikins Adusei, politicalthinker1@yahoo.com

Ghana Pundit Headline News

E-mail subscription

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Pan Africa News

Graphic Ghana


Peacefm Online - News with a vision

The Times - World News

The Times - Africa News

Pambazuka News :Emerging powers in Africa Watch

AfricaNews - RSS News

The Zimbabwe Telegraph

BBC News | Africa | World Edition

Modern Ghana

My Blog List