Sunday, August 31, 2008
As the Week Opens in Accra...with AID EFFECTIVENESS: From a Carrot to a Spring Chicken, the Evolution is Complete!
Earlier this morning, I sent a text message to my significant other who is unfortunately in the Ashanti region for a funeral that I was looking like a carrot! I mean, come on: check out the orange attire. More precisely, the orange top, which has "Secretariat" written on the back. Look more closely, and you'll see "AID EFFECTIVENESS/GHANA CSO AID/EFECTIVENESS FORUM/31 AUG-1st SEP 2008/ACCRA-Ghana". Not to bore one with trivialities, but I think it gives you a sense of atmosphere. If you consider the fact that my colleague from the office who is an IT officer came dressed in tie and shirt--and looking rather swanky--you can imagine his horror when he, too, had to turn into a carrot;-)
That I was wearing brownish trousers that looked more green than brown underscored the Clarke-Kentish evolution I underwent.
How my girlfriend laughed her head off, though I guess she did it discreetly, considering how odd it might have looked at a funeral, you know...
Still, the headline was apt as a txt message later to her, as it reminded me of Areeba, when it was changing to spacefon". That was back in August 2005. It appeared I was not to impressed with the evolution, because I felt the quality was poor.
Well, here, today, as I sit at the Ghana college of Surgeon's makeshift secretariat in room 12, I know in my heart of hearts that the quality being delivered by the "volunteers" is sound.
Since this morning, we've mostly been running around like spring chickens trying to ensure that those coming for today's meeting and the main conference will be happy people holding hands, as it were.
This picture is me in the Secretariat right here holding the folder that was given us this morning. The picture above is not very flattering, but as they say, a picture proverbially paints...you know...
By the end of this post, I'll find one that accentuates the positive about me, cos I'm feeling a bit self-conscious [lights just went off to peple going "WOAH...."...back on!] about my size. I have been exercising, but being tall and already broad, I need to look muscular, and build the muscles to look stronger than flabby. I'm not happy at all. You didn't need this blog of mine to know that I am working, albeit slowly, on my weight.[just rectified stuck paper in a not-so-user-friendly CANON printer that was about to feed when the lights went off...just some of the things a volunteer needs to be ready to do!]
I am not happy at all. Smaller portions of food and more exercise is what I need. I an encouraged by the fact that tomorrow is the beginning of a NEW month, and a new ZEAL to do things better.
I never knew that the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, located in Ridge, near the Ghana Institute of Journalism, has accommodation. Wow...
No news now that that's where the CSO Forum is being held...
If you're wondering how I became a volunteer, well, it's a long story that can be summed up this way: given TWN's experience with UNCTAD XII CSO Forum, it was deemed necessary for the organisation dealing with the CSO Forum [Send FOUDNATION] to require people to assist. My colleague with the tie (see above) put my name down on the request of the big boss at work for people needing assistance with web stuff and uploading. As I write this, nothing has come in my email for uploading.
I await in anticipation...as the gruesome images of yesterday's film in METRO TV's foreign movie segment, which featured Alien vs Predator sinks into...somewhere. PREDATOR being the "enemy's enemy", or convenient "friend" was bloody bloody bizarre. Looked like the predator was not interested in killing the humans there, but Lance Henriksen's character did not know, and got himself killed when the Predator walked away from him and he retorted. Ouch!
Incidentally, the AEFgh.org website rocks. Check it out here: www.aefgh.org
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Many column inches have been written about the sale. Some people have become jaded; others more convinced that the sale should not go through--or otherwise.
The most ludicrous arguments, however, have resided with these points:
1. Those opposed to the sale are MTN/Tigo/Kasapa supporters, or opposition supporters
2. If people are so nationalistic, why don't more people use ONETOUCH?
Four years after coming back home to Ghana to make a contribution in this country by the work I do, I am profoundly disappointed by the psyche of Ghanaians and their nationalism.
Any reasonable person is at best nationalistic--but not Ghanaians.
We seem to have thrown caution of multinationals to the wind, even after witnessing the credit crunch, which proved that big capital was only interested in the bottom line.
As I write this, I am both enthused and sad listening to the insults being carried by some sections of MPs over...
Information from CITI-FM's Richard Skye:
1. NPP Flagbearer has put down two names: Hajia Ali Mahama and former deputy governer of Bank of Ghana. Choice is the latter (Dr.Baumia)
floor of parliament...
Ghana Telecom has not been able to realise its own potential...not making as much money as other competitors. All over Africa, how come the workers are so supportive? In the whole of Africa...in all the English-speaking African countries, the state-owned companies have been sold off. There must have been a reason. I am amazed that you are raising objections...document from ITU--65% of state-owned companies have been sold...you cannot allow Ghana Telecom to remain in the state it is in...
How come Westel has gone away. The spineless of them all is Ghana Telecom/ONETOUCH. It cannot compete on that basis. We cannot go on othat basis, that is why the workers have supported it.
SPEAKER: Exercise patience
MP: Kasapa is the smallest. Everyone knows that. He is misinforming the public.
MP Honorable Kan-Dapaah: technology for both hardware in this industry is proving...former MD Mr Aggrey-Mensah who said in the papers. One expert is a former MD. I want that particular office to remember that he himself...wanted to repair ??? he was told it haad gone out of production.
You cannot be small in the telecoms industry and survive. LIsten to the pleas of the GT workers...I appeal to you honorable Bagbin to cut out the politics, and let us move forward as the nation...
12.48--BAGBIN:You mentioned me...Mr.Speaker, the Honorable Kan-Dapaah is my good friend. He has mis-led everyone in his submission. When the elephant starts behaving like the kangaroo, it is a fatal...[boohs and cries...]...it has a fatal injury. Mr.Speaker, the point he raised and quoted the appeal is not the issue we are carrying on this side of the house. We want to put our case. Our position is different from the CPP, so he should not mislead the workers there against me by propagating a different position...
SPEAKER: Honorable member for Boli Bamboi!
MAHAMA:...I cannot begin without addressing a few issues my colleague raised in respect to issues to do with GT. When he talks about the issue of frequencies being allocated, Mr. Speaker, I forgive him because he is not an industry expert...at the time mobitel was licensed in 1991, GSM technology had not come in yet. No space for GSM. There was no reserve allocation for GSM...when it gave it to Mobitel, it did not know it was going to come...
KAN-DAPAAH:...he is not an engineer...I wonder where...I take exception to what he says.
MAHAMA:...if he feels offended, I withdraw that statement. At the time frequencies were allocated to mobitel...there was no reserve band for GSM. WIth the knowledge and technology available, they did not know. They allocated frequency to 900 band...it was only in mid-90s that GSM came. I wa sthe MInister at the time we asked Mobitel to reallocate its frequencies. Let me put on record that there has been no deliberate policy to ask GT not to go into mobile...as my predecessor said, indeed GT was given permission. Just that it did not take off. I heard Kan-Dapaah make this...second GSM after Spacefon was GT's ONETOUCH. How can you say that second company that offered were deliberately prevented from doing so; it is not true.
The evidence is that GT was performing...(12.56pm)
CITI-FM to return to cover Honorable Nana Akuffo-Addo's choice of running mate...