Tag: Ghana Politics


Following Ghana’s 2012 elections in the U.S.

Follow Ghanaian Elections from Your Phone

AudioNow, America’s leading radio-by-phone platform announced today several phone numbers that can allow Ghanaian communities in the U.S. to listen to news of the upcoming presidential elections in Ghana.

Listeners can directly access radio content from Ghana, Germany, and the U.S. by dialling the station’s AudioNow number. These numbers are all based in the U.S.  and can be reached from any mobile device.  They are free to use through the customer’s voice plan.

Ghanaian Radio Stations:

Obimanso: 712.432.7758

ZangoFM: 415.655.0843

Sankofa Radio: 712.432.3264

GHRadio1: 712.432.4438

Adwenpa: 213.992.4235

The Ghanaian stations produce content in a variety of languages, from Twi to Hausa to English.  In a ground-breaking year for the Ghanaian elections, with 13 million registered voters and a peace agreement signed by all seven presidential candidates to ensure a peaceful election process, AudioNow is pleased to bring coverage of these elections, on a platform both accessible and affordable.

Ghana’s presidential elections 2012

Meet the Candidates:  Dr Abu Sakara

 

The NPP and NDC are not the only parties contesting the 2012 election…. Step forward the CPP (Convention People’s Party) and their enigmatic leader Dr Abu Sakara. Although he does not have the profile and support that messieurs President John Dramani and Nana Akufo-Addo enjoy, Dr Sakara is revelling in his underdog status to charm any potential undecided voters.

Michael Abu Sakara Foster is a Ghanaian agronomist (Agricultural Scientist) and politician. He is committed to rebuilding the CPP to provide Ghanaians an alternative choice to the two dominant parties. The CPP believe a win for them in the election will free the country from the antagonism between the two major parties which seem to be mired in the politics of acrimony to the detriment of the country.

Dr Sakara has supported parliamentarians in four constituencies in northern Ghana since 1996 and participated in two election campaigns. He has also been an active member of the Patriots whose efforts were aimed at rebuilding the CPP. He contested the 2007 congress and won a position as the first National vice chair person of the CPP.

Possibly his greatest moment in his fledgling mainstream political career was his strong performance in the first IEA Presidential debate. He came across as a competent leader and was viewed by many people as the winner of the first debate, outshining the two big names (Dramani & Akufo-Addo).

The CPP have campaigned along to a soundtrack that Ghana needs alternatives that the current two parties have failed to deliver when in power and that the governments current policies are not working.

Some of the key policies from the CPP manifesto “A new way forward, Ghana must work again” are as follows;

 

  • CPP are advocating increased state participation in the ownership of the oil and gas industry. Better auditing of the cost of exploration and development as well as improved monitoring of the output of the oil and gas.

 

 

  • Facilitate and support acquisition and utilisation of land by legislation for agricultural purposes, including fish, farming and ranching, with preference for local business.
    Support development of 200,000 hectares of sugar cane production in rotation with rice and soya bean within four years. This will provide more than 500,000 jobs in directly related industries and eliminate our protein deficit by providing a source of adequate animal feed.

 

 

  • A CPP Government will ensure the election of district chief executives within two years of coming into office. Abolish government appointees to the district assemblies
    Propose an increase of the District Assembly Common Fund from the current 7.5 per cent to 12.5 per cent.

 

 

  • They propose to implement the Whistle Blower law, which encourages the public to report corrupt practices, Pass the Freedom of Information Bill (if still pending) as part of a broad legislative agenda to improve governance and fight corruption.
    Ensure compliance with the Constitution and advocate to put open public assert declaration at the heart of public service.

 

While not expected to challenge the candidates of the two main parties at the election, Dr Sakara has slowly established the CPP as the third party in Ghanaian politics. Thus after a strong showing in the IEA Presidential debates this election could be an opportunity to cement this status and possibly make further gains.

The more choice for Ghanaian voters only makes for a stronger democracy.  Will this year’s election be the springboard for the CPP to challenge the two main parties in the future?

Leave your comments below

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Ghana’s presidential elections 2012

Meet the Candidates : Nana Akufo-Addo

 

On December 07 2012 Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the NPP will have aspirations of becoming the President of Ghana for the second time in four years. This time round he will be hoping for a different outcome as in 2008 he was defeated by the late former President John Atta Mills of the NDC in a closely fought election that divided Ghana. Much of this division still remains four years down the line, and once again the NPP and NDC will slug it out next month in what could be another cliffhanger of a result.

But what of the NPP’S Flag bearer?  Akufo-Addo, a lawyer by trade was elected three times between 1996 and 2004 as Member of Parliament for the Abuakwa South constituency in the Eastern region of Ghana. From 2001 to 2007 he served as a Cabinet Minister, first as Attorney General and Minister for Justice and later as Foreign Minister for five years –  Akufo-Addo in many people’s eyes served President John Kufuor with distinction.

As Attorney General, he was responsible for the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law, a law that had been used to intimidate the media and criminalize free speech. The repeal has enabled the Ghanaian media to become one of the most vibrant and freest in Africa. Under his chairmanship of the Legal Sector Reform Committee, the implementation of the court automation programme was initiated. During his tenure as Foreign Minister, he was fully involved in the successful Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) peace efforts in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and Guinea Bissau, and was chairman of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council in 2003

It was these kinds of achievements that singled him out as a potential leader of the NPP. Thus Akufo-Addo resigned from the Kufuor government in July 2007 to contest for the position of presidential candidate of his party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the then ruling party of Ghana, for the 2008 elections. Competing against sixteen others, Akufo-Addo won 48% of the votes in the first round of that election, but was given a unanimous endorsement in the second round, making him the party’s presidential candidate.  He of course went on to lose that election in a run-off against John Atta Mills despite the fact in the first round Akufo-Addo received more votes than Mills.

Since receiving his party’s endorsement to run in the 2012 elections Akufo-Addo and the NPP have been campaigning on an anti-corruption platform. The slogan “Ghana MUST move forward” has been used to promote their policies on Jobs, Education & Healthcare.

Some of the NPP’s key ideologies/policies are as follows:

 

  • Job creation through economic growth: By implementing a Trade Policy that focuses on job creation for all. They believe this is the only way to break the hand to mouth existence and free Ghanaians to aspire to a better life and prosperity.

 

 

 

  • Building an educated society: By ensuring that no child is denied access to secondary education. Akufo-Addo and the NPP plan to remove the biggest obstacles that currently stand in the way of this (cost and access), in addition to tuition and other costs already borne by government. The NPP pledge that admission, library, computer, science centre and examination fees will all be free. They plan to fund this using a percentage of the oil revenues allocated to the Ghana National Petroleum Company.

 

 

 

  • Expanding access to quality health care: By reviving and restoring confidence in the NHIS, bringing public healthcare to Ghanaians doorsteps. Akufo-Addo’s goal is to achieve universal coverage of the NHIS for all Ghanaians. The NPP will spend more on public-health education and primary healthcare. They also plan to expand health facilities and increase the training of health workers.

 

 

Nana Akufo-Addo is an accomplished politician but does his policies and ideas have any substance? He is indeed correct that Ghana must move forward but is he the man to help us achieve this?

Leave your comments below

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Ghana’s presidential elections 2012

Meet the Candidates :  President John Dramani Mahama

With less than a month before the Ghanaian Presidential elections it is only right we give our readers an insight into the candidates vying for the top job in Ghana. Over the next three weeks we will be profiling the three main candidates.

First up is President John Dramani Mahama the NDC (National Democratic Congress) candidate.  Former Vice-President Mahama became president following the death of the former President John Atta Mills in July this year.  It is likely to be a straight fight between him and Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP (National Patriotic Party) for the Ghanaian Presidency with the winner likely to be the one who can capture minds of the younger voters.

A respected communications expert, historian, and writer, Mahama has had a varied political career. Mahama was first elected to the Parliament of Ghana in the 1996 elections to represent the Bole/Bamboi Constituency for a four-year term. In April 1997, Mahama was appointed Deputy Minister of Communications. In 2000, Mahama was re-elected for another four-year term as the Member of Parliament for the Bole/Bamboi Constituency. He was again re-elected in 2004 for a third term. From 2001 to 2004, Mahama served as the Minority Parliamentary Spokesman for Communications. In 2002, he was appointed the Director of Communications for the NDC. In January 2009, Mahama became the Vice-President of Ghana – he also served as a member of the National Economic Management Team in this capacity.

When his party the National Democratic Congress endorsed him as the 2012 Presidential Candidate, Mahama has stated that his administration is deeply committed to continuing the” Better Ghana Agenda” started under late President Mills. This agenda is a policy vision that the NDC drew up when they were elected into power four years ago and was a reaction to what they deemed was the former ruling party’s failings in sectors such as the economy, health and education.

Some of the main points from the NDC 2012 election manifesto ““Advancing the Better Ghana Agenda” is as follows;

 

  • The NDC says it would rapidly expand access to quality education at both the basic and secondary levels of education by ensuring that the 20 per cent of children who are not in school gain access to schooling; and the nearly 50 per cent who do not have access to secondary-level education gain access to JSS and SHS
  • Pledge to ensure that “ENERGY FOR ALL” slogan becomes the bedrock of socio-economic transformation by expanding production and intensifying regular and reliable access to electricity and energy including those who currently do not have access.
  • On health, the next NDC Government will double the number of Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds from about 1,600 to 3,200 to meet the needs of under-served communities.
  • On Youth and Sports, the NDC promises to establish a GH¢10 million Jobs and Enterprise Development Fund to encourage and support young people to become successful entrepreneurs and create sustainable job opportunities

 

What do you think of the policies Mahama and the NDC have put forward? Would he get your vote as the man to take Ghana forward in the next four years?

Join the debate and leave your comments below.

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Ghana’s presidential debates: Round 1

As the two main Presidential candidates clash it is the underdog who rises to the challenge to charm voters in first debate

 

With the US Presidential election campaign and Hurricane Sandy dominating the news of late, you may not be aware that the Ghanaian Presidential debate took place on 30th October 2012 in Tamale. The CPP, NDC, NPP and PNC presidential candidates were all present in Ghana’s most northern city to engage in hotly contested televised discussion on some of the policies that matter most to voters.

President Mahama of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) being the flag-bearers of the biggest parties,  both put in professional performances. Mahama seemed slightly below par, perhaps as a result of being the incumbent, and spent much of his time lauding and defending the NDC’s record in government and not enough articulating his vision for the next four years. In contrast, Akufo-Addo took every opportunity to trumpet his flagship free Senior High School policy, and likely edged it in the vision stakes as a result.

However of the two minor parties, the Convention Peoples Party’s (CPP) Abu Sakara gave a good, technocratic performance and seems to have struck a chord with many viewers, especially the young. It is extremely unlikely that this performance enough to ensure he is in the running come the election but it was refreshing to see all the same. Hassan Ayariga of the Peoples National Convention (PNC) was less impressive and assessments of his performance by the media and online have been very unflattering. He seemed not to have a core focus to his arguments and at times butted in and looked as if he was supporting President Mahama with some of his comments.

Overall Nana Akufo-Addo will be happy with his efforts and President Mahama maybe less so, whilst Abu Skara ist not likely to win, he will be happy with the impact his performance had on voters. The next Presidential debate will be held in Accra on 20 November. We wait with anticipation…

If you saw the debate what did you make of it?  Which candidate are you backing to take Ghana forward?

This is an important time for Ghana so please join the debate and leave your comments below

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Ghana in a state of mourning

President John Atta Mills dead at 68

 

Ghana is a nation in shock after learning that President John Atta Mills, who was allegedly suffering from throat cancer, has died in hospital in the capital, Accra. This is the first time that a president has died while in office in Ghana. Although there had been persistent rumours of the president’s ill health his sudden death has taken many people by surprise.

A statement from the president’s office read; “ it is with a heavy heart… that we announce the sudden and untimely death of the president of the Republic of Ghana,”

Hours after the death of Atta Mills an emergency session of Parliament was held.  John Dramani Mahama, his vice-president, has been sworn in as his replacement in a ceremony in the capital. All flags were flown at half mast as Ghana began a national period of mourning.

US President Barack Obama who historically visited Ghana in 2009 paid tribute to the President, praising Mr Atta Mills as a “strong advocate for human rights and for the fair treatment of all Ghanaians”, according to a White House statement. Other tributes came in from the Presidents of Kenya and Liberia.

Ghana is hailed as a solid democracy in Africa, so Atta Mills’ sudden death should not spark a political crisis but will certainly test the country’s democratic institutions. As Vice-President John Dramani Mahama steps in as interim head of state, the question people are asking in the Ghana is: “Who is going to run for president with the ruling NDC party in December?” The obvious choice would be Mahama but who knows.

Now I have to admit I have not been a supporter and the NDC. However it is a sad day when your head of state passes. Ghanaians should use his death as a catalyst for increased unity especially in light of the upcoming elections at the end of year.

Thus the best tribute Ghana can give to Atta Mills is peaceful elections in December. Our prayers and thoughts are with the family and friends of the late president.

Any comments and condolence messages will be welcomed. God bless our homeland Ghana

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (Kwesi)

MeFiRi Ghana’s Political Corner…

Here is the third edition of Political Corner:

 

‘Democracy’

 

It was recently announced that Ghana will receiving GhC17 million,

By the British government to ensure fair elections for all civilians.

According to the UK’s Department for International Development,

The money will help provide a fair election in the former British settlement.

Agencies set to benefit include Star Ghana, the Judiciary,

The Centre for Democratic Development and others in line for beneficiary.

In a statement by the British High Commissioner, Peter Jones said,

“Ghana has shown…strides forward for democracy in West Africa” and it must spread.

He added “The UK remain extremely committed to Ghana’s democratic success”,

So it’s essential that The Gold Coast lives up to its praise in the 2012 congress.

In response, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan expressed the Commission’s appreciation,

Saying that “all who have received the support must endeavour to work for the entire nation”.

And that’s the latest Me FiRi Ghana Political Poetry.

By Anthony Lyrics

MeFiRi Ghana’s Political Corner…

Here is the second edition of Political Corner:

 

“Unity”

 

Rev. Ben Ampeah-Badu challenged Christians to utilise Easter to spread peace,

As news broke of violence over the biometric registration which are set to increase.

Speaking at the Jackson’s Park Koforidua Zone Easter Convention,

He claimed the country was sitting on a time bomb amid all the unrest and tension.

The man of God said it was unfortunate that Ghana faced such hard times,

With reports of blackmailing, corruption and other grave crimes.

Urging Ghanaians to create an environment of love and liberation,

He said “vices were fighting against the growth and development of the nation”.

Rev. Samuel Asare added that most people failed to recognise the Easter celebration,

Resorting to merry making and other things that did not give God the glorification.

He insisted Christians should rise from their slumber and look to Jesus,

Avoiding sins such as lies, theft and deceit, all for the righteousness that frees us.

Rev. Asare latter expressed his concern over the country’s high political fraction,

Calling on political parties to use dialogue to bring about order and satisfaction.

 

And that’s the latest Me FiRi Ghana Political Poetry.

By Anthony Lyrics