Pro –opposition Think Tank, the Danquah Institute says the Electoral Commission (EC’s) decision to use de-duplication processes to rid the voters register of multiple registration will do very little to make the current voters register credible.

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We invited the media today for this news conference because we find it strange and potentialy dangerous that the most reasonable solution that was tabled by the VCRAC Crabbe panel for giving Ghana a credible register for credible elections in 2016 appears to have been totally ignored by the Electoral Commission. We, therefore, want to draw attention to this and ask you, journalists, the Fourth Estate of the Realm, to demand urgent answers from the Electoral Commission on the fate of the wise proposal from the EC’s own panel of experts for the introduction of validation for the voters’ register. Full Publication

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In recent months, political parties including the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and civil society groups such as the Let My Vote Count Alliance have made the case for urgent electoral reform in the lead up to the November 2016 elections.

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Barrister Mike Igini was, until recently, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, for Cross River and Edo States respectively. In this interview, he bares his mind on the use of the card  reader  for the 2015 general elections. Excerpts:

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Other Stories

NPA’s 10% reduction in Petroleum Prices – “Too Little” or “Too Late”?
NPA’s Arrogance or Economics? On the eve of the New Year, 2015, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) announced a reduction in ex-pump prices of petroleum products by 10% across board. This was not without drama. Most of the headlines that followed the announcement pointed to price reduction under duress. A number of civil society organizations and political parties put pressure on NPA to reduce the prices due to reasons such as the oil price crush and relative stability in the value of the local Ghanaian currency. Some of the organizations threatened public demonstrations against NPA and the Government; a situation that was expected considering that petro-politics is a feature of petroleum pricing in most parts of the world.
A growing number of sub-Saharan African countries – South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, and more recently, Ghana – now require that the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card in a mobile phone be tied to the user’s name. The main reason: to combat crime. But I am afraid that with its narrow rationale and focus, this exercise misses the big picture; i.e., a golden opportunity to develop a good database that could become the building blocks for stronger institutions and economic transformation. Cross-country growth studies show that strong institutions are the surest bet out of this quagmire, a fact that has been echoed several times by Prince Kofi Amoabeng, CEO of UT Bank and arguably, the most-respected CEO in Ghana. When asked in a recent interview on how to reform the institutions, Mr. Amoabeng emphasized the role of information. “We have to go back to the basics. Information about the people, proper home and business addresses; proper identification make it possible to collect appropriate taxes that will fund projects,” he added. But developing good institutions, when powers that be benefit from its absence, is not going to be easy. Sure, a fixed-address system will help, but you only need to take one look at Accra, not to mention smaller towns/villages, to realize that street addressing remains a dream for now.
View from AfricaBy Daniel Howden, Africa CorrespondentSaturday, 2 October 2010 To the casual visitor, the most obvious sign of China in Africa is also the most fleeting indication of the country's deepening engagement with the continent: On the road into Nairobi you pass a green and red arch commemorating Beijing's friendship with Kenya. Clones of this giant Chinese character lie in wait outside a host of other African airports. But the reality of China's surge towards becoming the continent's largest trading partner is borne out by what lies beneath your vehicle: the road was built by a Chinese contractor. If the African experience is anything to go by, China's move to strengthen its investment in Brazil is unlikely to be its last. The Centre for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University in South Africa issues a weekly update on Sino-African commerce and development. The bulletins reveal a transformative geopolitical phenomenon. This week's highlight was the US$15bn (£9.5bn) contracts signed between Ghana and China for infrastructure projects and loans for oil and gas development. Ghana's President, John Atta Mills, eschewed a high-profile global summit in New York on the future of aid to spend six days in Beijing sealing the largest deal of its kind in his nation's history.
Getting the state right : think tanks and the dissemination of New Public Management ideas in Ghana
Private research institutions, commonly referred to as think tanks, are a recent phenomenon in the Ghanaian policy environment. They are part of a growing number of NGOs that have emerged with Ghana’s political liberalisation and are attempting to influence policymaking. These institutions exert a greater influence on policies affecting the functioning of the ‘administrative state ’ than other NGOs. Through their efforts, ideas pertaining to administrative reform appear to have taken root strongly in Ghana. This paper examines the processes and methods that have been adopted by these institutions in developing policies that are being pursued to change the ‘ administrative state ’ in Ghana. It argues that the ability of these institutions to influence policies geared towards changing the administrative state can be attributed to the calibre of personnel as well as the processes and methods they have adopted. more >>>
Press Release: Gov’t loses another landmark court case; reduce fuel prices, court orders
An Accra High Court (Cocoa Affairs, Court 11) presided over by His Lordship Patrick Baayeh has handed down a heavy judgement on the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) in a case in which three plaintiffs accused the NPAand TOR of inflating fuel prices and using the money for hidden purposes. more>>
OIL DEAL FROM EQUATORIAL GUINEA: IS IT 65,000 BARRELS A DAY OR 5,500?
In the last five months alone, President J E A Mills has made two 3-day official trips to Equatorial Guinea and has on both occasions returned to Ghana with news of striking significantly different crude oil deals with his Equatorial Guinean counterpart, President Theodore Nguema Mbasogo. The Danquah Institute is also extremely disturbed by moves by the Government of Ghana to rescue a Korean company that is US$6.3 billion in debt, whilst thousands of Ghanaian companies are also in distress and would require only a fraction of that amount to stimulate them back into productivity and profitability. more >>>
NPP shouldn’t compete with NDC on who is ‘uglier’, focus on the concerns of Ghanaians
There are growing concerns over the way the opposition New Patriotic Party appears to be allowing itself to be dragged into the arena of ugly contest with the ruling National Democratic Congress. Over the last few weeks, the debate on radio and TV has been about who is uglier, with NPP and NDC recounting the other’s record of violence, ethnocentric remarks, etc. Ugly competition is the most useless strategy ever in a political campaign. It wins the competitor very little or nothing. What it does is to put the public off. The message to the public from a competition of who is the ugliest is that none of the competitors is essentially attractive. It is a no win contest.
Ghana's debt hits $13.9 billion and growing
Ghana’s total debt has doubled in just two years under President JEA Mills. Documents available to the Danquah Institute indicate that Ghana’s total debt is $13.9 billion currently. At the end of 2008, when the New Patriotic Party left office, Ghana’s domestic debt stood at GH¢4.8 billion (or $3.170bn in today’s exchange rate). At the end of 2010, under the National Democratic Congress, this had shot up to Ghc8.28bn ($5.47bn).
DI laments Government decision to stop Ghana’s multi-billion off-shore banking
The Danquah Institute has described as “very unfortunate” and “loss of a multi-billion dollar opportunity”, the decision by the Mills administration to discontinue with the arrangement by the previous government to make Ghana an offshore banking centre. Nana Attobrah, Head of Research, DI, made this known when he addressed the press Wednesday on the growing multi-million dollar trade in illegal international transfer of money to Ghana.
Chapter One: The Propagandization of Ghana’s History By Gabby Otchere-Darko You may be forgiven in thinking that the First Republic has been revisited. Thus, we have returned to the era where it is sacrilegious to criticize Kwame Nkrumah and it is rewarding to denigrate the other founding fathers of Ghana.The Monday 11 October, 2010 editorial of The Insight newspaper of Marxist-Nkrumaist, Kwesi Pratt, was simply titled ‘GABBY OTCHERE-DARKO’. The short editorial is reproduced below for emphasis:We have no quarrel with Gabby Otchere-Darko, the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute over his decision to glorify the ideals of Dr J B Danquah, an icon of reactionary and neo-colonial politics in Ghana.