Monday, August 31, 2009

"Why is Africa Poor?" Re-Dux

My twitter comments last Monday went thus:

wondering what to say to BBC Mark Doyle when BBC's Over To You team call re:my complaint about Doyle's prog title "Why is Africa Poor?"

Shortly after, BBC did indeed call me. I talked. This is what I put in the status:
Emmanuel K Bensah Jr

Emmanuel K Bensah Jr
Just finished speaking to BBC Mark Doyle, and Rajun of BBC's "Over to You" programme. Mark Doyle sounds like a nice guy. Story behind the title dates back to no less than a Ghanaian friend of his who posed that title a while back when ...Doyle was in Ghana, as they travelled to Cape Coast from Accra! What I said was all over the place, but next Saturday's BBC "Over to You" will summarize it;-)Read More

August 24 at 2:27pm · · .

Now, here's the link to the post of the episode Sunday night:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

CSI Tamale, or how Ghana Police "won't get fooled again..."

Mighty African threw me an open challenge yesterday regarding the post about "CSI Tamale". It's great to read that the University of Development Studies is the first tertiary institution to come out with a programme like this in the country.

The specific challenge was to try and write a thriller--all tongue-in-cheek of course--but I couldn't help but wonder of the possibilities that would flow from this development at UDS. If it had been another country, they might have decided to "follow" the students to see how they reconcile the fiction that is the fantastic CSI trilogy with the reality of down-and-dirty work of using science to combat crime.

On a funny note, I even thought of who might play Horatio Caine character, and just what music would be played each time he put on those crooked sunglasses he likes to carry.

Any takers? (please, no Van Vickers' or Jackie Appiahs!)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Six Degrees of Separation: From Baako to Bensah

I have never met Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading GuideKweku Baako and don't think I might ever, especially now that he has seemingly abandoned his mother party the Convention People's Party. But there is an uncanny link between him and I: his father Kofi Baako was one-time Minister of Information in Nkrumah's government; my paternal grandfather E.K.Bensah was MP for Agona Swedru. I was surfing, as you do, when I came across an excerpt from a book in which my grandfather and Kweku Baako's father ostensibly freed some putative political prisoners.

Sometimes, am not quite sure what to do with a legacy like that. Politics is the last thing I want to do, but every couple of months, I gain greater insight into the period before the infamous CIA-sponsored coup, which took Nkrumah out of power and wonder about Ghana if Nkrumah had not been so violently cut off in his prime...

Just in Case You Missed the Comments on CHRAJ's Anna Bossman...

Last week's post about the Ghanaian media, and Anna Bossman elicited zero comments on my blog, but plenty on Facebook! Food for thought...

Updated on Thursday · ·
Francis Doku
Francis Doku
Good for you
August 20 at 12:30pm · Delete
Emmanuel K Bensah Jr
Emmanuel K Bensah Jr
the new blog has already been set up. The content is en route--so-to-speak:
August 20 at 1:14pm · Delete
Ato Ulzen-Appiah
Ato Ulzen-Appiah
She's on Facebook? how cool. another blog, Emmanuel, wonte gyae koraa! Bravo.
August 20 at 7:01pm · Delete
Francis Doku
Francis Doku
how many blogs do you have?
August 20 at 7:02pm · Delete
Anna Bossman
Anna Bossman
Thank you Emmanuel
August 20 at 9:42pm · Delete
Emmanuel K Bensah Jr
Emmanuel K Bensah Jr
Ms.Bossman, it was a great pleasure! Looks like some people are unaware how Facebook-friendly you are;-) @Francis: blogs I have? That's a tough one. Let's just say I regularly maintain six of them. Right now, I have been very regular on four. @Ato: I am begging for a translation, please; I only understood "koraa":-) Cheers!
Fri at 9:50am · Delete
Ato Ulzen-Appiah
Ato Ulzen-Appiah
hehe, wonte gyae means you don't understand stop. basically you keep on going, nothing stops you :-)
Fri at 9:53am · Delete
Oluniyi David Ajao
Oluniyi David Ajao
Hmn. The media landscape is a bit too mediocre. Indeed, Joy FM (and its sister stations) and Citi FM stand out among the legions of wanna-bes. If only many journalists were not so deeply entrenched in partisan politics.

Good write-up Emmanuel. Keep up the good work.
Fri at 10:12am · Delete
Emmanuel K Bensah Jr
Emmanuel K Bensah Jr
@Ato: takes one to know one, I guess!;-) @David:thx for kind words. Keep the fire burning urself!
Fri at 12:19pm · Delete
Nana Awere Damoah
Nana Awere Damoah
@Emmanuel: I do have my own little testimony concerning Madam Bossman. I was preparing for the launch of my first book Excursions In My Mind last Dec (See fotos of book launch:, and was looking for someone to chair the function. A friend said he may be able to get Madam Bossman to ... Read Morechair, but I said, hey, pls I dont think she will have time to attend. so we find another person to chair. I find her on Facebook, humbly ask that I be her friend, which she consented to. I invite her on FB to attend the launching; she again accepted the invite, joining the events page on FB. D-Day, I am standing infront of the hall, I see a car arrive, a policeman opens the door and with my mouth aping the opened door of the car, I welcome Madam Bossman to my book launch! Biggest surprise of the day, which still thrills me when I think of it. So she is right, she sees no 'small fries'.
Fri at 9:57pm · Delete
Nana Awere Damoah
Nana Awere Damoah
On the other point u raised, I hold the view that we have vy little creative writing amongst our journalists. most of them are just conveyor belts. The minister said, the victim said, the President reported that...bla bla. I am in Nigeria presently and anytime I come here, reading their newspapers is a pleasure, though I think some tend to be ... Read Morevoluble, but there is indeed creativity, fluency and depth in what they write. And there are journalists who are into articles that go behind the scenes, analytical treatment of the headlines. We dont see that a lot in Ghana. And when we do see such attempts, the political innuendoes just cloud the intended messages. We have some work to do, and it shd start when the practitioners themselves acknowledge that they have a deficit that they need to clear to the point of excellence.
Fri at 10:08pm · Delete
Nana Awere Damoah
Nana Awere Damoah
Finally on Shamima, I was privileged to meet her in Nottingham when a reception was hosted for British council scholars in the Midlands, when I was a Chevening scholar then and I was impressed with her; her mettle shows in her work at Citi. Which brings to mind another fine journalist, Marie Acolatse, at Metro TV (I think her surname has changed ... Read Morenow, abi?), also a Chevening scholar. The Chevening thing is coincidental, but my main point is that for both ladies, advance training has had a part to play in their excellence. Komla is another example. Kwaku Baako impressed me always with how much he learns and improves each time I listen to him. There are countless examples of such who have done some more training just beyond GIJ. Our journalists need to realise that strand, their training shdnt end at GIJ. A knowledge of English and access to ink, paper, mic or camera shdnt be the only criteria for journalism. Continuous training and self-development shd be the key.
Fri at 10:15pm · Delete
Nana Awere Damoah
Nana Awere Damoah
Now, finally (hehe, u know when u are sitting under the voice of a boring and lengthly sermon/speech and the speaker says finally or in conclusion, pls dont take him at his word, lol), vy nice piece, I enjoyed reading it. Cheers and menti gyae!
Fri at 10:19pm · Delete
Ato Ulzen-Appiah
Ato Ulzen-Appiah
am i now Madam Bossman's biggest fan or what? :-)
Fri at 11:30pm · Delete
Julius Sowu
Julius Sowu
Am adding my voice to the praise of Ms Anna Bossman, for her work.

Nana more to the point there is no doubt on the creativity of our peoples, you just have to be at any bossing session to know we as a nation have a creativity in turn of phrase which is the envy of the world. Its the freedom of mind which seems to hold us back when applying this creativity, I have always put this down to our attitude to authority, for some reason when given authority/responsibility we tend to defer to our "boss" and as such do nothing for fear of doing the wrong thing.
Thus the average Journalist will not report as he sees it but how it will be perceived, and as in many cases this impacts his livelihood not surprising.
... Read More
This independence of mind is missing not just in Journalism, but in many spheres of our community.

I will end with the Ethos that saved my sanity as a young man "yes you can criticise/correct your elders, and still show respect, in fact it is your duty to do so"
Sat at 8:12am · Delete
Nana Awere Damoah
Nana Awere Damoah
@Julius: I agree with you. In his amazing book "Outliers", Malcolm Caldwell calls it 'mitigation speech', lack of assertiveness. I agree.
Sat at 8:15am · Delete
Julius Sowu
Julius Sowu
Not read Outliers but love the title and will look for it

Seeing as you raised Ms Bossman in your thread will give you a personal take on it, as we grew up there were certain oasis's in Accra where one could be a "free minded" individual and the Bossman household was one of these such places, in fact how they put up with our shenanigans at the ... Read Morefabled "box" I will put down to love.

Suffice to say everyone who passed through there turned out to be the most creative people I personally know,and can only put it down to the fact we could "find" ourselves in a society at the time which did not bode well for "free thinkers" and take this opportunity to thank the family for saving my sanity.
Sat at 8:35am · Delete
Emmanuel K Bensah Jr
Emmanuel K Bensah Jr
@Nana Awere: many thanks for ur kind comments. My God, this has got to be the longest comments I have had. I might have to drop in Ms.Bossman's name ini my posts regularly!:-) Nana, am with you on the Nigerian journalism. Though I have never been to Nigeria, our trusted friend, the 'Net, has given profound insight into our ECOWAS neighbours. @Ato: ... Read Morenot to be sycophantic or anything, but Ms.Bossman deserves more commendation than she usually gets. IMHO, her strength is all that you guys have said, PLUS the strength of her character--pity she's unable to use her French so much in Ghana:-( @Julius: if u haven't already connected with Ms.Bossman, she's reading this, and you might just do that! Thx for ALL ur insights!
5 minutes ago · Delete

Friday, August 21, 2009

Is This Ghana's Generation X?

I am writing this from AnC Shopping Mall in East Legon not because I am going to be stuck here indefinitely, but I thought it w as a while doing mobile blogging, so here it is--from no better place than this mall, where there is always plenty to observe and write about.

I could not help but notice some kids with their parents this afternoon, and was reminded very sharply that the kids are on break, so they would be around their parents at some point. What got me thinking at all about them was a mother who was shopping for croissants and pastry with her tw boys.

The younger boy was doing a lot of pointing and prodding, while the elder brother felt it necessary to relate a story about a flying croissant to his mum. Kids these days. Anything to get their mum"s attention right? She promptly ordered one or so, and the brother went off casually looking around for things tp buy. Meanwhile, all this had taken place in English, and the kid's intonation was quasi-flawless.

For just a nano-second, I imagined me a father going shopping with my progeny and being mindful to exact the degree of discipline I experienced when shopping with my mum and older brother when I was younger. The discipline was that you self-regulated at the time--long before you understood what any "self-" meant, which meant that you allowed your mum buy what she thoought and knew was good for you.

That made sense, and I guess it still makes sense,because in this digitally-exuberant society, I can foresee parents being significantly challenged by the intrusiveness of meretricious ads that seek to suggest that sugar or hedonism (as expressed in some ads) is king.

To read a few weeks back that no less than a baby tried to imitate Raffy Samuels in the Tigo ad by falling down from a table--like he falls down a tree-- reflects not just how easily kids are lured by the influences of the visual, but also how quickly they learn!

So when I see middle class Ghana with its English-speaking kids eating in eateries and restaurants, I am encouraged by this kind of exposure, but I am praying so fervently that these up-and-coming leaders learn to appreciate that the foundations of quality life in a developing country like Ghana is recognizing that Western lifestyles are good insofaras they seek to complement the traditional customs that have made Ghana a putative model in Africa.

Malls are great, but a sense of responsibility for how they can enhance our lives to make us responsible for the future is, in my view, even better for Accra's Generation X

These words brought to you by Ogo.

Has the Rain Started Again?

Currently in a taxi AnC Mall-bound. Windscreen is wet. More rain to follow suit?

___sent: e.k.bensah (OGO device)+233.268.891.841/

These words brought to you by Ogo.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Reflections on the Ghanaian Media (1): Small Fries and Anna Bossman on My Mind

On Monday evening, I was priviledged to have a brief Facebook-chat with no less than the very personable and delectable Ag.Commissioner of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice(CHRAJ) Ms.Anna Bossman.

I like her; I've always done so. I think she often speaks truth to power. I love her candour, and the fact that she's so doughty--and such a strong woman. She has many endearing qualities, including her ability to talk to you like you mattered. I've met her personally before--but, then, she didn't know my name.

In short, we talked cursorily about the organisation of the 14th GJA Media Awards and how they could have rehearsed it. Plus the fact that we need to fight mediocrity in this country. I complained to her that I dropped the idea of meeting her at the panel because I'm small fry. It's difficult to tell with "celebrities" or people in the public eye, but when she wrote that I should have and she doesn't consider anyone "small fry", I kind of believed it. That she also engaged me first was a reflection of the degree to which she finds it important to do outreach even to people "beneath" her status. Did I say I like her?!!

All that said, I do not think you need to be a journalist to appreciate the work of journalists. Long before many of us knew what the Fourth Estate was in reference to, it was evident that their role was not to be sneezed at.

This is the reason why in scanning the media landscape, one cannot help but experience another level of frustration. Compared to my Nigerian counterparts, Ghanaian journalists in 2008/2009 have generally fallen short of quality and high standards. That might be rich coming from someone who is not a de jure journalist, but let's be real now: it's the truth! Grammar is often poor and, save the broadcast journalist, there are few that remain on top of the issues and give

robust interviews. One that easily comes to mind is CITI97.3FM's SHAMIMA MOSLEM, who is a very commendable broadcast journalist. (But more on her and CITI later!) Point is: many journalists and not just found wanting for quality, but napping.

Aware of this all-too-sorry state of affairs, which I consider a bit of a mini-crisis, I was greatly priviledged to sit on the 14th GJA Media Awards Committee out of the blue in June. The insights I have gained from these two months have only compounded the desire to do something constructive about it.

That I further got the opportunity to attend the awards night to see it all in what Graphic Showbiz's Francis Doku calls "Comedy of Errors" was not only humbling and a great honour, but a kind of great calling to blaze the trail on the improvement of standards in the profession. There is serious discontent among the fraternity of the inky kind and it needs must be resolved. I believe I would have failed if I do not take this experience to embolden a drive for improvement in the industry.

Even if I am "small fry".

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Prepare for a blitzkrieg of blog posts

I feel so energised now. It's like I can do anything I put my mind to. I've been doing some serious reflections about the trajectory of my life. Though rather stressed, it's kind of a positive stress to spur me on. Things are far from perfect: I'm battling with some inner demons over a number of unfinished projects, but I am paradoxically encouraged that faith has been placed on me to do certain things I never might have considered possible.

Some of my blog posts over the next couple of days will include Taxi Tales, where I present two stories of two different kind of taxi-drivers I encountered last two weeks...and then some!

It's great to be back blogging. I had to go and set up another blog; will for sure keep you posted.

My blog has gone down in the back-burner, and is one of the reasons why I feel aggrieved as I believe I have downplayed global issues in place of African Union ones. I'm perhaps the greatest proponent of global regional integration initiatives. I need to get back to that perspective in order to restore some degree of sanity insofar as my blogging of politics is concerned.

It's not so much the fact that the organisation I work for--Third World Network-Africa is finally on Facebook that enthuses me. It's the fact that when you have silent readers/fellow Facebookers of my blog(s) write me what I will paste below, I feel that the exuberance--digital and otherwise--I have is perhaps worth it:

I read your blog posts in detail over the weekend and find them very impressive,informative and inspiring...I think you have a great wealth of knowledge and experience to help shape our country and continent...i think your knowledge ,background and exposure puts you on a leverage above your contemporaries...Good thing your forebears kept that flame alight in the family.I know you shall cause that transformation we need...

I've clearly got work to do!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Some Thoughts on "situational blogging" in Ghana

I have wittingly used this picture, which I took in 2005 of the roundabout as a testament to my decision to take you dsown memory lane.

Now, in a bit of a departure from merely quoting articles from what I consider the "best" articles, I thought I would give you some insight into what I would call "situational blogging". There are some 207 "entries" on google as I write this, but permit me to offer a definition.

Even if no-one has defined it, let me coin it: in my view "situational blogging", or "in-situ blogging" is...

blogging on location.

Elaborated, it refers to a kind of blogging that can only be done almost-real-time. So this means that supposing you find yourself in the Central region of Ghana, rather than wait to come back to Accra to blog about your experiences, you decide to blog in situ--on location, as it were. The same would apply to blogging from another country. The advent of more sophisticated mobile phones has given vent to many vistas on the blogosphere including, in my humble opinion, this type of blogging.

Reviewing some of my blog entries, I thought I would refer to some of them to give you an insight into where I'm coming from.

1. My UN trip to Tunis in November 2005

Suffice to say, I am now in Tunis, at this place called Hotel Oscar. The street name? “Rue de Marseillaise”. For a country that is situated right between Algeria and Libya who have dubious histories of French involvement (remember how Nobel Peace prize winner Albert Camus refused the prize for his classic ‘L’Etranger’, which blazed the trail for existentialist thought, because of his perception of French imperialism. That was one of the reasons anyway).

So how does delay and trepidation come into the story? Very easily.

I wonder why people still fly with Alitalia. Last time I took it–in 2000–to come to Accra from Brussels, we weren’t particularly impressed. There was, then also, a delay, and the serving of the food was late. This time, the food was on time, good, and very enjoyable, but the equipment looked like it needed to have “relic” parenthesised to it–and hey, if that word doesn’t exist, I am coining it right now:=)

Seriously, we were supposed to take off at 23h45. Instead, it was around 30 minutes later that we took off, when most of the passengers were dosing in the airport lounge. There was an apology over the tannoy, but being warned about the weather in Italy–misty and cold as it was–did little to assuage fears that we would get there on time.

Thankfully, we did. Most were asleep within 15 minutes of the plane taking off, but had to be awoken to be brought food.

The trepidation, thankfully, was allayed. The delay too–as we miraculously arrived on time in Malpensa, Milan. The treatment of those of us of a darker shade, even with our visas already processed, was nothing to laugh about. Being bungled in a room with around seven others, excluding my work colleague, tantamount to a cell and asked to have passports kept for about twenty minutes when it was clear that the Embassy had issued a transit visa for all of us, was humiliating. But that’s another story that deserves discussion on Trials and Tribulations of a Freshly-Arrived Denizen

BTW, went to the Exhibition parc today — Kram it’s called. Tunis is many parts of Europe, especially Paris, in a time warp!!

2. Watching the eclipse in February 2006

I didn't need this eclipse to remind of the greatness of God, but it has definitely re-inforced my belief that there is a God...

...especially hearing very shortly from my parents, by way of a phone call, that Charles Taylor who had escaped Monday from his villa after hearing that he might be taken to Sierra Leone for war crimes has been caught on Cameroon border in North-Eastern Nigeria.

3. Attending and Observing the first-ever International Africa Media Summit

Conferences like these are rarely for the faint-hearted: there's a good dose of solid, interesting, and often-times voluminous documentation to take home; not to mention a phalanx of elegant and gorgeous hostesses who, regrettably, look like they are clones of each other, what with the beautifully permed hair and the identical dressing. Do they honestly have to have teh same hairstyle?. How will you be able to tell the difference when you want to ask one of them about the fluctuating air-conditioning in the room?;-)

In any event, the summit started off with countries on six/seven rountables, with I believe Joy FM/BBC's Kwaku Sakyi-Addo opening the summit, and asking random people seated in front of sheets of paper of an AU country to describe the country, off-the-cuff, which they saw on their desk.

People described Sudan; Botswana; Mali; to name but three, and all very good general descriptions. The uncanny thing about it all was that the descriptions were ALL positive.

Not bad for a conference that aims to dissect a "re-branding" of the continent.

4. Attending UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) XII in 2008

I have spent the better part of the day uploading documents for the[sic] website, whilst simultaneously experiencing pangs of hunger. Currently located in the heart of the NGO/Press epicentre of UNCTAD XII, with two/three UNCTAD officials to the left of the room I am in, where computers and printers are located. You could say it is the secretariat, for there's plenty of paper and people wondering why their wireless is working with their laptops, yet their desktop computers are not.

5. Attending the Sixth ACP-EU Summit in 2008

his was how it all started:a quiet room that would not quite be filled to capacity, but would resonate with the francophone and anglophone voices, chiming along with Arab-looking faces, glum, bright, broad-smile, contemplative faces.

That most of the people in the room were in smart suits, and mostly men only went to remind one of the gender equality challenges that exist--note that the theme of the Sixth ACP summit is "Promoting Human Security and Development"--as well as the challenge on keeping one's time. I don't want to believe that if the world were run by Africans, we would all be late! Ghanaman time (gmt) is bad enough; I do not want Africa Man Time!

The Council of Ministers was supposed to start at 9h00. It is some two minutes to 10! Although I have had the opportunity to do some mobile blogging, I would have preferred we start on time so that we finish accordingly. Still, it has given me the opportunity to observe and witness sycophancy and deference at work.

Sycophancy as exemplified by posse of delegates hovering around a plenipotentiary who might know next-to-nothing about the meeting, but have the lucky break of being a career diplomat who has happened to pull strings to become ambassador; and deference as evidenced by men and women dressed in sharp suits giving muted bows to passing plenipotentiaries.

If I have given the impression that I am this side short of cynical about this whole process, you would not be far off the mark!

6. Twenty minutes after former President Kufuor's accident in November 2007

Some twenty-five minutes before I arrived here from a work-related press conference to see this scene--and take a picture of it--my Mum called me to ask me whether I had heard the news about no less than the President of Ghana John Kufuor being involved in a near-fatal car crash that involved the car somersaulting THREE times, after a car, travelling at top speed hit it.

Here is how Reuters reported it:

Ghanaian President Kufuor involved in car accident - witnesses

Wed 14 Nov 2007, 13:34 GMT
[-] Text [+]

ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghanaian President John Kufuor, chairman of the African Union, escaped unhurt when a car crashed into his vehicle on Wednesday, rolling it over several times, officials and witnesses said.

7. Spintex Road diaries of traffic situation:

It,s 18h39 and the tro-tro engine has burst to life, taking the order-of-four-seated commuters to "bush road! nungua side" destination. Ofcourse some of us will stop closer.

Have to say that it seems rather incongruous listening to Natasha Bedingfield's "These Words are My Own";, and have a few commuters whistling to the lively tune behind me.

Go on, call me a snob.

While ur doing that, spare a thought for those languishing in hospitals out of family negligence, or those who have broken up on Valentine's day.

Those seem to be the small things, but they really are the bigger scheme of things.

Good health is a virtue, and having someone to call your partner or lover are two of the age-old and time-tested formulations that remind us of our humanity. and make it simultaneously meaningful.

Can't wait for CSI tomorrow morning--even if it might make me soporific the subsequent couple of hours!!

It sure is great to be alive, and have and make choices.

8. Ghana Parliament's discussion of Ghana Telecom privatisation deal in August 2008:

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 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 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...] 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 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

9. Attendance of Aid Effectiveness Forum in Accra

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

10. Radio Netherlands interviewing of me about significance of Ghana CAN2008

I spent the better part of 4pm yesterday trying to craft this entry. To me, the day seemed like an all-African affair.

I had woken up to a beautiful harmattan-yet-dry day which, in retrospect, would augur well for the rest of the day. I would hear local station CITI97.3 FM reporting the build-up of excitement of the duel between Ghana and Nigeria.

BBC Worldservice would report on the imminent ousting of Chad's Deby; the station's Have Your Say would host one whole hour on Kenya and the violence there, trying to ascertain the extent to which it was an ethnic-driven conflict. Meanwhile, Saturday's news of Tanzania's Kikwete, newly-elected African Union Chairman, denouncing the crisis in Chad, as one which would see an "excommunication" of the country, only went to underscore--along with a BBC "From Our Own Correspondent" report on the recovery of Cote d'Ivoire five years after the 2002 coup -- that on Sunday, we were all Africans.

Then my Mum reminded me to check the Internet for the download of an interview granted me, Ndesanjo Macha, Sub-Saharan Editor of Global Voices and one John, a football consultant, a week ago on Radio Netherlands International.

Amy Walker, of Radio Netherlands, would ask me a few days before the interview on the significance of Ghana 2008 on Africa.

One of my more specific questions were on how football is a great "equalizer"--or not.

At 5pm on the dot, the whole family was seated behond the tv set, with the stage set for an explosive match between West African rivals of Ghana/Nigeria.

So. There you have it--for now. I appreciate comments and queries on technical aspects associated with this kind of blogging.


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