Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Back on the 31st January


I’m off – with all members of staff—to an organisational/institutional retreat an hour outside the capital (beautiful, lush, by-the-sea) for a few days.


I doubt I will be blogging, though I will be thinking about it;-)


Till then!



Monday, January 23, 2006

Oh!! Nigeria 1 - Ghana 0

Nigeria scores at the 85th minute!!! Ghana’s defence was execrable, according to all accounts. Leaving Ghana’s goalkeeper—Sammy Agyei— alone from the Nigerian striker Tawu(sp?) George Mensah’s defence considered “lousy”.




Now Ghana is to play Senegal Friday.


Thanks, DSTV for feeding into CITI-FM97.3—even though your rates are still too prohibitive—3million cedis/month!!


Double ouch!!


Adjei has just saved a goal

It’s 3.50pm GMT, and Ghana 0, Nigeria 0. Listening to commentary (BBC feed?) on CITI 97.3FM. Port Said…is the place at the African Cup of Nations, in Egypt



Ghana drawn in Group E (World Cup) in Italy, US, Czech Republic. “Difficult, difficult group for Ghanaians” says commentator…


Commentator is praising Appiah and Essien for having qualified Ghana to world cup.


3.52pm Ghana has a free kick…


Matthew Amoah plays an “outstanding” free kick…”Ghana coming close…” says commentator


4.10pm “breath-taking first half” says Zelda Kpoku, of citi-fm97.3 sports desk…


Half time!!




Friday, January 20, 2006

As the Week Draws to a Close...Thoughts on the late Lumumba, Politics, CAN 2006, Black Stars

I am immensely disheartened by the fact that the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Patrice Lumumba practically went un-noticed. Why? Just because we are not Congolese, so it doesn’t matter? And why are the Congolese bloggers (if any they may be) writing about it?


For a strange reason, Global Voices, which usually picks up my posts, and feeds it into its summaries, did not cover it AT ALL.


Was there a political motive/reason behind this? Are those who write the summaries for Global Voices not also imbued by certain prejudices that may make them deliberately, or unwittingly, not cover the issue?


Or are we waiting a good fifty years—five years from now-in 2011 before we celebrate fifty years of the man’s assassination, when the consciousness needs to build now?


As for politics, that over pre-dominates the media landscape in Ghana, it has gone down a bit for the past few days, to be replaced by Ghanaian fears as to whether Ghana’s Black Stars can bring the cup from the CAN (African Cup of Nations) home.


Yesterday, there was some interesting analysis by the softly-spoken-British-accented football analyst (Nana Agyeman, lately working for CITI-FM’s Saturday programme “Final Whistle”) of Metro TV, hosted by Paul Adom-Otchere (CITI-FM news presenter-cum-lawyer), about the Black Stars, and why Chelsea’s Michael Essien probably did not want to come to CAN 2006 (hosted in Egypt: http://www.egypt2006.com.eg/english/

) because he is a player of international repute who does not need to show his calibre at CAN, which usually serves as a platform for up-and-coming footballers.


On the diplomatic front, the First Lady of the US—Laura Bush—was in town a few days ago to emphasize the point that Ghana is one of the countries’ that has a high AIDS-rate, which is TOTALLY untrue. Ours is falling considerably. Colleagues were saying that our President did very badly in not saying anything, allowing Bush’s wife to connect HIV AIDS to the country as if to say the country was HIV – AIDS-ridden. Here are some pictures of the meeting: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/photo.day.php?ID=97602, taken by Kwasi Kpodo. It revealed Bush’s daughter (I guess it’s not the one who had the drink problem) looking very, very personable. Yum!


I wouldn’t put it past Barbara Bush, Laura’s daughter, that she’s wondering why all those darkies are looking at her like that. From the pictures, it appears Ghanaians were not that enamoured!


In any event Bush transited through Ghana to attend the inauguration of the election of the first African female Head of State to be elected on the continent. Days earlier, down in Chile, South America, a very good-looking Dr. Bachelet – also a lady – had just won elections and awaiting inauguration as the first female Head of State on the continent.


Ghanaians are holding their breath for Ghana’s game against Nigeria on 23 January.


Let’s see whether Ghana can re-claim itself from the drip-drip of complacency that had been created as a result of qualification for the World Cup a few months back!


Have a good weekend!



Tuesday, January 17, 2006

This Man Must Not be Forgotten

Were it not for history's capacity to conciliate egregious actions of yore committed against the African continent, Africa would continue to be a continent very much at war, with a people remaining fiercely racist.

Looking back 45 years to the Cold War – a tense confrontation that pitched two superpowers of US and USSR on the brink of war – the assassinations, both successful and attempted, that abounded from Congo’s Lumumba in 1961 to US’s Kennedy in 1963, and Ghana’s Nkrumah in 1966 is sufficient to perpetually enrage the psyche of Africans.

It is not enough to have endured the slave trade of the nineteenth century, which in a UN-sponsored conference on racism in 2001, Western powers refused to give reparations for, but to be consistently dictated to, and be consistently denied the continent’s capacity to industrialise, by way of execrable trade policies that progressively hurt and hinder its development in the twenty-first century when Africa has a collective wherewithal to fend for itself, beggars belief that Africa continues to do business with those who suppressed and killed our ancestor’s souls two centuries ago.

Fine, Africans were equally bribed and corrupted to exact that degree of calamity on the continent, but that does not do away the glaring fact of their objective: throw the so-called Dark Continent into ever-more obscurity, by reducing it to one merely for extraction of minerals and resources.

It is one of the reasons why that anger has compelled me to write this biting tribute to Patrice Lumumba who, ostensibly inspired by Ghana’s Nkrumah, failed to muster sufficient support from those whom he felt could assist – the United Nations and the Russians – to rescue him from a fate worse than the proverbial death: the cutting up of his body and dissolving into acid just because he dared to speak the truth about the atrocities that the Belgians had visited on his country.

Today, I say SHAME to Belgium for having killed this man, and SHAME to the US for having had a President under the name of Eisenhower who ordered his death because of the distorted view that the man, fighting for his country, was a Communist.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Water, Water, Nowhere! (World Cup arrives in Ghana!)

I woke up yesterday to a horrible reality that the water in my tank had run out. I took it in my stride. The next best thing would just be to go buy pure water (sachet) and use that to do the things I needed to do. I was praying that it would be a temporary situation--and thank God, it was!

But to say nothing of the frustration that I felt just to see that only drops--yes drops! -- of water were dripping down into the bucket made me saw the proverbial red. Hearing on the news that the water company, Ghana Water Comany Limited (GWCL), had caused a considerable amount of confusion in many other parts of Accra, because of an apparent fault in the system outside Accra, near a place called Weija, did nothing to my rising frustration.

Ghana Water Company expects us to pay water bills every month--as you do--yet are not willing to fulfill their social contract by providing sufficient water to people. To boot, they have the audacity to go round publishing in the papers that they will conduct mass disconnection exercises.

Reports on the news (ofcourse it had to be CITI FM's Breakfast Show with Bernard Avle) indicated that as far away as Teshie-Nungua, people's water was so scant in distribution, as it were, that people were compelled either to travel very far (expensive travelling) to go fetch water, or use pure water. The problem with this is that it is expensive on both counts.

The other side of the coin, and one which I very much espouse, is that in the wake of the November decision to bring in the very dodgy South African company, as well as a Dutch company to ostensibly manage Ghana's water and (effective privatisation), earn salaries in excess of 10 million euros for the management, speaks volumes of something rather monstrous that is afoot: forcing Ghanaians to believe that an inefficiency in the water company is so grave and acute that privatisation is justified!!

News yesterday on TV3 news indicated that CAMEROON has privatised its water.

RandWater Vitens win bid for Ghana Water Company Limited
Credit: Saint Doe Tamakloe (CITI NEWS)

Tuesday, 15 November 2005

Government has announced that it would sign a technical agreement with the two bidders for the management of the Ghana Water Company Limited, Randwater of South Africa and Vitens of Holland who have put in a joint bid for the management of the company.

Minister for Works and Housing, Hon. Hackman Owusu Agyeman made this revelation when he took his turn at the meet the press series in Accra on Tuesday.

Mr. Owusu Agyemang said that the 10million Euro contract is approved by the World Bank and expressed the hope that it would bring some managerial expertise to the National Utilities provider.

As per the arrangement for the management takeover of the Ghana Water Company Limited, about six hundred workers were billed to be laid off which formed part of the campaign against the move by the coalition against the privatization of water.

However, Mr. Owusu Agyeman revealed that contrary to the earlier reservations about the repercussions of the lay offs, about 1500 employees of the company agreed to voluntarily leave the water company and explained that the this was due to the professional manner in which the situation was handled.

It is however expected that the Coalition against the Privatization of Water led by firebrand advocate, Mr. Gyekye Tandoh of the Third World Network, would hold a press briefing to indicate their position on this new development and their next line of action.

from: http://www.ghananewstoday.com/portal/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=2357&Itemid=37

Some good news is that the World Cup is in the country, with Ghana being one of the priviledged first countries to see it.

On the water front, the problem is far from resolved; many people remain still without water, with accounts of people having to travel as far as Paloma (in the centre of the capital) before obtaining some.

Now ask yourself whether this is not a sleight-of-hand by the water company to force privatisation on denizens?


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