Monday, July 13, 2015

Anyone for Ghanaian Coconuts? What's Ghana Government Policy on its export?

First: is there such a thing as Ghanaian coconuts? Anecdotal evidence suggests there is. Those who have tasted Nigerian coconuts say it pales into comparison to that of Ghana's on account of the juice alone.

Second: Coconuts are sold all over the capital -- nay, all over the country -- but you are sure to get some almost every corner of Accra and even its suburbs.

They go for less than a dollar. These days, that's a VERY loaded term, but rest assured they are affordable for everyone.

Today's not the day to tell you about health benefits of coconut, which are immense!

Just to say that: although West Africa is home to coconuts (at least Ghana; Nigeria; & Cote d'Ivoire feature), no West African country is in the top 10 of coconut production. That prestige goes to the East African country of Tanzania, which produced (according to 2009 figures) 577,099 thousand tonnes.

That said, UNCTAD reports that as far as coconut oil is concerned, Cote d'Ivoire is in there, with 28000 tonnes*, while it exports 19,849 tonnes* at a value of USD3,725,000 -- as per UNCTAD's data!

Again: no other West African country features, prompting my immediate question: what is my government doing strategically to ensure we enhance the value chain of our coconuts, and get to the stage where we can compete with our West African neighbour to the West of Ghana?


sent from mobile phone 》

Monday, July 06, 2015

#FilmNoir: Thinking of #Greece, Being Ghanaian...we are all Greeks today!

At a time Ghana is ready to accept next tranche of IMF money in August, it is very refreshing to see the simplicity, albeit sartorially-eloquent style, of outgone-Finance Minister Varoufakis -- a Minister who had the testicular fortitude to make history by encouraging Greeks to vote "Oxi", or "No!" to more bailouts from Europe.

It is speculated that for having dared call the Troika of the European Commission; European Central Bank; and IMF "terrorists", they no can no longer countenance his presence among negotiators.

Very democratic, that!


sent from mobile phone 》

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Film Noir, #Accra-style: of High-Rise Buildings by Accra's Beach

I took this picture around the beach, near Osu, at the centre of Accra. Ghana's Social Security National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has invested our pensions heavily into some up-and-coming flats near the beach, which prices are most likely high-and-exorbitant, totally outside the brackets of the putative middle-class family with 2.5 children!

I deliberately used a blue-ish filter as a kind of tongue-in-cheek to the film genre "film noir", which connotes gritty realism: a fatalism that has an under-current of menace, or a sense of foreboding of storm clouds ahead.

Simply put: there is a falling cedi, yet a surge of high-rise buildings. A veritable film noir, Accra-style!

sent from mobile phone 》

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Happy 55th Republic Day to Ghana!

● As a potential #Grexit weighs heavily on the minds of #Europe, will this small West African country, which was once the darling of the West for what some consider its successful prosecution of #IMF policies, begin to take cues from #Greece?

Further, as it goes down another round of IMF money, will Ghana consider how Grexit may inform Ghana's own locus in the West African integration dynamic of #ECOWAS when it's #paybacktime to the IMF? Will Ghana continue to overlook the regional space, including Ecowas Bank for Investment & Development, or will it experience the regional-panacea epiphany? #AFRICAINFOCUSSHOW

sent from mobile phone 》

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Covering Climate Change & Development in Africa -- IV: Still in the Newsroom

Still in Morocco. Still in the Newsroom trying to file stories before 6 pm. One down, and another left.

We usually know how these conferences are like: the speeches are so predictable it is not funny; so the challenge comes with how to make the stories jump out at you for the Paper the next day.

My first story about the African Union's African Risk Capacityu made it to the Paper, and I met a fortmer associate of my former workplace who has just found out am now with Radio.

How do you find it? She wondered. I must have said something like I find it liberating. Not quite sure exactly, but it was something close enough.

I was approached to write a blog post by close of the conference, and so, this is an attempt of sorts to do so. Actually, I just feel like venting!

I have met some incredible people; and found it hard to write about it as the keyboard is not particularly conducive -- there are too many Arabic characters! -- but I want to write this down for posterity.

Something tells me this experience here in Morocco is going to be a lot more memorable than I ever dreamt of.

So am counting on noone but myself to ensure it becomes so!

If you are reading this wondering whether I am back to my blogging habits, well, kind of. The Moroccans are a lot more friendlier than I imagined.

In 2005, I was in North Africa -- Tunisia to be precise for a UN World Summit on Information Society -- and I met some incredible people in a country that looked more European than African! Those stories can be read here:

Yeah; that is how long I have been blogging. Almost a decade.


Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The African Union as a ‘Game-changer’ in combating climate Change

Emmanuel is currently in Morocco as part of the live-reporting team of the UN Economic Commission for Africa/African Union Commission/African Development Bank-sponsored Fourth Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA), which is underway till 10 October ; and where he will also file stories for the African Development Forum from 12-16th October.

The African Union as a ‘Game-changer’ in combating climate Change
By Emmanuel.K.Bensah Jr  Marakkech, Morocco

At a time when the African Union has come under considerable criticism for doing little to address pertinent development issues on the continent, along comes the African Risk Capacity to help combat climate change. If Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, Board Member of the ARC Agency Governing Board, is to be believed, the ARC is a real “game-changer” in helping address climate change in Africa.

Mr.Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, Board Member,
ARC Agency Governing Board
Established in 2012, the ARC is a specialized agency of the AU, established by a Conference of Plenipotentiaries, to help AU Member States improve their capacities to better plan, prepare and respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters.

According to Mpanu-Mpanu, it functions as an insurance scheme that helps African countries pool resources together. He believes a system like this “makes perfect economic sense as countries deal with drought”. It further helps countries insure themselves against risk.

Once a request for assistance is approved by the Board, it takes around one hundred days for the money to be disbursed. This contrasts sharply with the donor agencies, which often take between four and six months. Against this backdrop is the idea that action must be taken quickly.

Pressed on why the idea of the insurance sector helping address Africa’s problems at a time one barely hears of that sector, Mpanu-Mpanu explained that one of the reasons why the ARC is a game-changer is because it is about “changing the narrative” of African countries. It is also about understanding the risk-profile associated with climate change in the sense that when disaster strikes, a country will be well-covered.

According to their website, the ARC comprises two entities: the Specialized Agency and a financial affiliate, ARC Insurance Company Limited (the Company).  The Agency provides general oversight and supervising development of ARC capacity and services. The Company is the financial affiliate that carries out commercial insurance functions of risk pooling and risk transfer in accordance with national regulations for parametric weather insurance in Bermuda, the Caribbean, where it is located until such time that an equally favourable legal and regulatory regime exists in an AU Member State.

Mpanu-Mpanu explained that had Mauritania known of ARC when it experienced its severe drought last year, it would not have spent an excess of around one million dollars to address it. He further elaborated on the dynamics of the mechanism by explaining that, given that disaster cannot hit countries all at once, when countries pay a premium, the pot will get larger than the-over $100m that donors have helped capitalize as the ARC was established.

The ARC is supported by DFID; SIDA; KFW(German Development Bank) and Rockefeller Foundation, among others.

Mpanu-Mpanu looks forward to the day when all fifty-four member countries will be covered by the ARC.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Emmanuel K Bensah Jr shared "AFRICA IN FOCUS 23-09-14.mp3" with you

From Emmanuel K:

"Dear friends,

Kindly find the link to the podcast of #AfricainFocus show on Tuesday 23 September, which interrogated some important questions about climate change; deforestation; and how the media can help in demystifying these issues to draw greater attention to the fact that it remains a canker that all of us must unite to combat for the betterment of our nation; region; continent.

As usual, we have different segments, including our regular AU/ECOWAS five minute digest; and "Africa in the News".

We also had #EbolaWatch updates from Kobby Blay, our registered nurse at Korle-Bu.
We look forward to comments!

Kind regards,

Click here to view

(Emmanuel K shared these files using Dropbox. Enjoy!)
© 2014 Dropbox


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