Friday, 13 December 2013

FIGHTING CORRUPTION WITH ZERO-CEDIS

Ghana's Corruption Perception Index (CPI) score on the recent survey published by Transparency International is 46, up from 45 last year. The nation scoring just 1 point for the whole year means that Ghana will literally need 44 years to completely eradicate corruption, if current efforts to fight this canker is not improved, other things being equal. Interestingly, the corruption cases we are yet to solve, like SADA and GYEEDA, plus ... available figures from the Auditor-General’s Department indicate that Ghana lost GH¢4,559,976,756.76 within five years as a result of irregularities in public institutions. 

Effectively combating corruption has been a major global issue, with impunity's head being demanded on a plate. Stopping the corrupt has made many to dig deep, with organisations funding promotional activities to reward those who can unearth innovative ways to help bring down the walls of corruption. The most fascinating idea yet, for me, is the ZERO-RUPEES, which is an Indian anti-corruption gimmick launched by 5th Pillar (an anti-bribery campaign). The notes look exactly like the 50 Rupees, and people are actually encouraged to hand them to corrupt officials ... more like the brothers of Ghana Police!

Friday, 29 November 2013

The Valuable Clues

Rainbow colors … less orange and indigo … add brown
An orange slice … make it a half, horizontally sliced
With a stick inserted vertically … symbolic reasons
One-seven-seven cowries … rebirth and birth

A star with its limbs truncated is tattooed on their faces
Six four-eight captured faces painted on five of their faces
A segmented glittering spine crosses their faces
And their worth is determined by the sizes of their faces

They face no rejection, and know no segregation
But they suffer abuse … cleavage they struggle not to lie
Note … six they are, but five they were
Until the two, became the last born of the six


Friday, 22 November 2013

FOLD

how do you explain this ...

napping on the laps of a father
who sits just behind the driver in a 207 bus
next to the left window ... shut
to prevent the rushing-in air from waking you up

... waking up standing on a bridge, all wet
soaked in blood and water
with the sight of the left eye lost -
left eye dangles on the cheek
held only by the optic nerve -
no sight of father with the seeing right eye

... right down the left side of the road
and the bridge as well, is this bloody river
with the 207 floating like a "white whale"
with human bodies/body parts and travelling bags floating 
like a poisoned river ... floating with dead fishes
...

how come everyone else is in the river
and you alone ... stood on the bridge?


Friday, 1 November 2013

The Concomitance of Religiosity & Corruption In Ghana

Ghana seems to "have said to corruption, thou art my father: to the worm, thou art my mother, and my sister." Job 17:13-15. Last week's post, "Religion and Ghana's Economy," may have ignited a circuitous theory on a correlation between religion and corruption. This post I believe, places a forceful quality on the kernel of religiosity and corruption in this country.

On 28th January 2002, the Daily Graphic reported that Ghana Airwayswith a debt burden of $150 million, has been suspended from the clearing house of International Airline Transport Association (IATA), with government guaranteeing more than 53% of the total debt. This was the crux of the clutch. 

On 4th June 2003, the Independent reported that the management of Ghana Airways have scheduled a special night for prayers to seek God's intervention to save the "giant airline company" from collapsing. This all night service or better, the special prayer session was themed – “Christ Is The Answer.”

Friday, 25 October 2013

Religion and Ghana's Economy

Ghana's economy keeps bleeding! The ordinary Ghanaian keeps suffering, the cost of living keeps rising, corruption keeps halting growth, and debts keep on preventing economic nourishment. Some suffering "krife" brothers console themselves with 1 Timothy 6:9-11 (for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs). Those enjoying on the other hand, never forget Ecclesiastes 10:18-20 (a feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things).

Most studies on "establishing a relationship between religion and poverty" reveals a positive correlation. A Gallup poll in 2009 in 114 countries revealed a strong correlation between religiosity and poverty, as countries with low per-capita incomes came out as the most religious. In 2012, another Gallup survey branded Ghana as the most religious nation on earth ... 

A new survey conducted by the Gallup International Association has ranked citizens of 57 countries by their religiosity. Overall, 59% of those surveyed described themselves as religious, 23% said they are not religious, and 13% said they are convinced atheists. The nations with the highest percentages of self-described religious persons are Ghana, Nigeria, Armenia, Fiji, Macedonia, Romania, Iraq, Kenya, Peru, and Brazil (GhanaWeb, 2012... and I believe this "title" is still ours! 

In Ghana, Christianity dominates religiosity, as the 2010 population census revealed a staggering 71.2% of the population being Christians. It doesn't wow me that politicians speak the language of the "71.2" by mounting political platforms with renowned gospel musicians, who sometimes remix some of their hits with campaign messages for "seven pieces of silver." Some party faithfuls dance to the original version at church, and get bibbed with the remix version at political rallies, casting votes benightedly.

In March this year, the most religious nation on earth was willing to spend $2m to sponsor some pastors to go and pray for the country in Israel. The country's leaders were placing high hopes on this move, that the outcome will be a transformation of the Ghanaian economy; a miracle. Ironically, corruption, misuse of public funds, neglecting the plight of the poor ... dominates the tenure of most of our leaders. Interestingly enough, no African country had below 85% "YES" on the Gullup report, meanwhile, majority of the countries within the region are widely perceived to be the most corrupt in the world.

So how important then is religion in the daily lives of;
the president who has a "Swiss bank account" in which he transfers public funds,
the minister who gives out contracts under his jurisdiction to "the highest bidder"
or that police officer on the Achimota-Haatso road, who doesn't accept anything below 5cedis from trotro drivers?

Let us keep praying my brothers and sisters.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Ghana's Economy in ED

... and did it get back on track? Ghana has been a stable democracy since 1992. In 2008, the late Prof. John Evans Atta Mills took over and as an economist, expectations for him to stabilize the macro economic indicators were high. He didn't disappoint. In the early months of 2012, Ghana's GDP stood around $74.9 billion, representing a 13.6% growth in 2011 and a 5-year compound annual growth of 8.0%. Inflation (CPI) continued to be in single digits, 8.7% with a public debt of 40.8% of GDP.

Friday, 27 September 2013

"Darkness" by @readJerome

Do we choose to go into the dark or are we forced? By the dark I mean the light; the only light that comes darker than the moon.

Is this not darkness? Is this not sorcery? Why do I want to suppress my ambitions for your smile? Why do I want to strangle my dreams for your touch? I know I will take life, even my own, if it pleases you, but I do not even know your last name.

Is this not darkness? Is this not sorcery? Why are you my scale of womanhood? Why are you my measure of perfection? A woman is beautiful or ugly depending on how much they look like you.

I have gone into the darkness to find my light. I have gone under the sea to find my sun. I am unwrapping the mummy, hoping under the shroud to find living flesh, undeterred by the smell of death and the taste of desolation.

Friday, 6 September 2013

THE ECONOMICS OF WHAT I FEEL

Falling for you is in equilibrium with altruism

But this altruism you complain of makes me autarky

Don’t complain like feelings can be amortized

‘Cos this feeling is no Austrian economics

My animal spirit amounts to value at risk around you

You barter my feelings, more like an arbitrage

Leaving me for Japanese deflation before abenomics



I am the bull, and ye the bear in this trade of feelings;

My positive speculations, your bounded rationality, ceteris paribus

Friday, 23 August 2013

Top 10 Career Destinations in Ghana

The African economy has been the "Keta School Boy" in the global economy, but emerging economic figures depicts tremendous growths. Africa prides herself with a population of about 70% being below age 25. The continent was not well branded. Political disputes/instability and civil wars were the major headlines from Africa. But the continent has always been blessed with natural resources and almost natural disaster free. Major economic institutions have taken so much interest in economic figures emanating from the region, and investments keep flooding the continent. More jobs are being created and the traditional career destinations are changing.

Many believe that entrepreneurship in Africa will skyrocket in the next decade, but graduates and young adults looking at getting employed in the short run will be wondering where the best opportunities are. I am glade to share with you ten of these which exists in our country "right about now."


Friday, 2 August 2013

Learn to Program: The Fundamentals

I want to develop a program which can Bluetooth, SMS or Tweet solid foods, that can actually be consumed by the receiver. Maybe you are also thinking about developing some crazy application. Jerome once thought about developing an app for mobile which when used with the camera, can reveal everything under a lady's dress, awesome right? If you sometimes ask yourself "so me koraa will i ever be able to develop an app/software" or just to know some coding to make your PC dance azonto or some small HTML to help you make your blog stand out, then this is a chance you don't wanna miss.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The State Of The Ghanaian Economy In "140"

Don't worry, Condom Tax will stop this!
Tweeting the state of the Ghanaian economy in my candid opinion is like asking the ant to carry a sick camel to the hospital. In other words, it is impossible to describe the Ghanaian economy in 140 characters (my candid opinion). I just can’t! By the time I’ll finish summarizing the effects of dumsorlogy, tax hikes and inflation, I have already exhausted 500 characters. If I start talking about high borrowing costs, low investor confidence, political disputes, and the impact of macro/micro economic policies, which have made themselves necessary concomitants, we’ll be looking at some 2000 characters. 

But my friends on twitter taught me a great lesson, that 140 is actually more than enough when it comes to describing the Ghanaian economy. I have classified all opinions into 5 categories, with a very exceptional opening comment from Kajsa. Enjoy!

Kajsa Hallberg Adu @kajsaha
But this is suppose to be money ooo, GHS 37.

“Do I even know? Economics is a mystery to me. I bought something for 6 GHC today that 2 years ago was 3. That is the reality. I don’t get it!”


Aaaa...... Oyiwa! No wonder GHS 1 can only buy 10 pieces of "pure water".


1. The "Economy is for the rich"

These friends made it clear, that to survive in the Ghanaian economy, you need to be a "borger." (The type with some foreign currencies to "waste").

Friday, 5 July 2013

The Ghana Summit 2013


So there was a mail from the Chief Economist of the Economist Intelligence Unit and I saw this interesting promo content which looked too gratifying to ignore. It had the caption "The Ghana Summit, Turning Potentials into Opportunity" and this drew my mind to so many things. But I wouldn't talk about those things but the summit. 


Our economy is growing and it's growing fast. Many disagree because of the challenges we've been facing economically and socially as well; power outages, aka "dumsor" has been our companion, fuel and gas prices keep surging up and transportation costs are becoming "unbearable" while  waste and arsonists keep destroying the little things (our markets and cities) we pride ourselves with as Ghanaians. Irrespective of all that and many more, the international community (not only The Economist) considers our economy one of the fast growing and highlights four areas the country has progressed massively;

Friday, 28 June 2013

A Look At Japan's "Abenomics"

The deflation problem for Japan started in 1997 when the country's consumption tax was increased from 3% to 5%. Nominal GDP growth rate was below zero for most of the 5 years after the tax increase. Under Shinzo Abe's "Abenomics", fiscal spending is expected to increase by 2% of GDP, at the same time raise deficits to 11.5% of GDP for 2013. Kokkai (Japanese legislature), commonly known as The National Diet passed a bill in 2012 to increase consumption tax rate to 8% in 2014 and 10% in 2015 to balance the national budget, a deliberate and an aggressive attempt to discourage consumption.

Shinzo Abe, Creator of Abenomics
Shinzo Abe (PM of Japan) is desperately trying to solve Japan's long lasting deflation problems. "Abenomics" (Abe + Economics) are a set of economic policies heralded by Japan's PM. Under this "aggressive collection" of policies are "inflation targeted at a 2% annual rate, correction of the excessive yen appreciation, setting negative interest rates, radical quantitative easing, expansion of public investment, buying operations of construction bonds by Bank of Japan (BOJ), and revision of the Bank of Japan Act" -Wikipedia.


"Abenomics = fiscal stimulus, structural reforms and, most of all, central bank money-printing" - The Economist Intelligence Unit.

Is it not surprising that an economy which wants to discourage consumption will opt for printing more

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Why Obama's Visit To Africa Will Cost Between $40m to $80m.


Credit: Autoblog
Obama visits Africa from June 26 to July 3. Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania will welcome "The First Family" at a "COST." Obama is expected to spend a night in Dakar, two nights in Johannesburg, one in Cape Town and one in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

One thing Americans canonize is their security. They always try to perfect it with contingency provisions, and provisions for the contingency provision. They will move every brick, every soldier, every resource, make a camel pass through the eye of a needle, if it means protecting the president. That may sound like a hyperbole, but that is

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

The Mysterious Dream

Source: HelloWorld
I have been having this specific dream for over seven good years now, I ain't joking. One dream, different settings, but same me doing one specific thing for over seven years. It's not everyday I have that dream anyway, but at least, every month, I have it about twice. Why one specific dream, why one specific phenomenon? Interestingly, or let me say statistically, over 50% of my dreams come to pass. Before the percentage was close to 90%, I don't know what happened for this huge drop. 

Everyone dreams. Its a scientific and a psychological fact. But not everyone remembers what he or she dreams about. Because I dream a lot, I equally learn a little about dreams and I try to interpret it. I get it right sometimes, and sometimes too, I get it wrong. The little I know about dream theories

Monday, 20 May 2013

The Broken Heart Syndrome

Over the weekend, I was watching my favorite TV series of all time, House M.D., which is about medical mysteries and a diagnostic genius, who is also a narcotic pain killer addict. One very interesting patient had Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy or Stress-Induced Cardiomyopathy, commonly referred to as "Broken Heart Syndrome." This is a temporary and often sudden heart condition brought on a person by a stressful event. Women are more likely than men to experience the sudden, intense chest pain — the reaction to a surge of stress hormones — that can be caused by an emotionally stressful event. It could be the death of a loved one or even a divorce, breakup or physical separation, betrayal or romantic rejection. It could even happen after a good shock (like winning a lottery), according to the American Heart Association.


Source: Fanpop
According to the University of Rochester's Christine Thompkins, "broken heart syndrome," or acute heart failure triggered by stress, is a real condition that can happen to healthy people with healthy hearts. Its symptoms include chest pain and life-threatening arrhythmias (an abnormal rate of muscle contractions in the heart), but it can be treated and reversed. Broken heart

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

BBM on ANDROID & iOS

Its official as it sounds, "Blackberry confirms plan to offer BBM app on rival platforms Android and Apple's iOS operating system" as reported by The Independent. Seriously? BBM on Android? Anyway, let me hold my nerves and delve into relevant issues.

Blackberry devices has been the toy most people prefer just because of the messaging app many reckon as the best on smart phones: The Blackberry Messanger (BBM). Those who know me very well know me as a hard core Android freak, and even though I may not be a programmer, I consider myself an advanced android user, but I have also used some Blackberry devices and BBM became an addiction for me at some point.

Lets face the fact: with the exception of the Blackberry Z10 which was released around March this year, Blackberry devices were always trailing the likes of Samsung and Apple when it comes to specs and functionalities. BB devices are known to be slow, freezes more than a freezer and tagged with "i take forever to boot". The Z10 was considered "The Messiah" of the Canadian company, and in my candid opinion, the device has exceeded expectations. Aside all the negativity and uncomfortable user experiences that the pre-Z10 presents, they are still loved for one and only one reason: The BBM!

BBM has even forced many to keep two devices (BB and Android/iOS/Windows). I asked myself "why will RIM want to release this exclusive app, which es them some competitive advantage over their rivals to their rivals?"

Friday, 19 April 2013

Top Ten Fuel Efficient Cars In Ghana

With the prices of fuel shooting up faster than a "missile launch" in Ghana, you might wan't to keep an eye on this post if you have any intentions of combining fuel efficiency with luxury in your decision to purchase a vehicle for private use in this beautiful country of ours.

Fuel Efficiency is a term used to describe the relation between the distance covered and the fuel consumed by a vehicle in covering that particular distance. Technology is gradually amending this definition anyway as manufacturers are improving vehicle features to improve fuel efficiency. A typical feature is the emerging trend of the ability of cars to run on their batteries for some few seconds before fuel is sucked into the engine.

Mileage, as wikipedia simply puts "is literally a distance measured in miles" but is also a term widely used in the automobile industry to describe the fuel efficiency of a vehicle, measured in miles per gallon (mpg). Even though we are use to liters and kilometers than miles and gallons, the L/100km measurement does not really go down well with me. Just know that 1 mile = 1.6 km and 1 gallon = 3.8 liters (to 1 d.p.).

Readers should please note that this list is just to serve as a guide in a car purchase decision. Cars which made the cut on my list were selected based on its price (relatively cheaper), it's presence in Ghana and most importantly, its average mpg. To check for the prices of each of these vehicles in Ghana, you can visit Google Trader.

10. Honda Accord

The Honda Accord Series has been one of the best selling cars in the US, and that to me means a lot. That aint the reason why it made the cut anyway, but this car is one of the most fuel efficient in Ghana. It flexes with a wide rage of engines, but i fancy the 2007 2.4L engine model. It has an amazing 28mpg for a sedan. It also comes with some cool features of which my favorite is its ABS brakes.


Monday, 15 April 2013

Double Your Money In Ghana!

A friend just called me this afternoon and said "economista, how long will it take me to double my money in a secured investment in Ghana?" I scratched my head, and promised him I'll fix him a post here. 

In recent times, radio adverts about some businesses promise a 100% profit over 12 months. Awesome! But let me make something clear: every investment has some degree of risk. It is mostly the case that investments with high risks pays higher dividends, other things being equal. The little financial engineering i know is very clear and vivid about risk and returns on an investment. Even investments we think is without risks has some degree of risks and i don't want to delve into risks today. For our discussion today, I would like you to accept the reality of risks with every investment.

Credit: bdlive
Now, we all imagine quick returns with every cedi we invest. We all wish, that if we put one cedi in an investment today, we wake up the next day and its two cedis. That is possible! Twenty-four hours may even be too much. Lets talk about what we all know already. You can buy a commodity for a price and sell it the next minute for twice the amount you purchased it. You can go sit at a casino, run some slots and in some few minutes, you can quadruple your money, or visit a betting center, place some few bets and if the odds go in your favor, you can end up with some huge returns. But don't forget that these outcomes are one in a billion (just guessing, but i guess you agree).


But I have some good news. The Bank of Ghana has a 91 days Treasury bill (a risk free investment i must say) rate of 23.1195% (per anum), compounded quarterly. What this means is that, the BoG takes this 23.1195% and divide it by 4 (four quarters in a year) and at the same time multiply this 4 by the number of years you are purchasing the T/Bill. Let me try and break this down, because i want to be less technical as much as i can, but please, lets do some little maths here. 23.1195% divided by 4 will give us 5.78% (rounded to two decimal places). This is the rate which will be calculated on your investment at the end of every three months. Again, because the interest rate is for the whole year, and you are just investing for 91 days, it is the 91 days interest you'll earn out of the possible 365 days. Let me illustrate all I've said with a scenario.

"Kofi has GHC 100 and he wants to buy a 91 days T/Bill at the prevailing interest rate. How much should he expect when his investment matures?"

Investing his GHC 100, at the 23.1195% interest rate, Kofi will get GHC 105.76 at the end of 91 days, and  GHC 125.20 at the end of a year, thus a return of GHC 5.76 and GHC 25.20 respectively, which is not bad at all. I say it's not bad for two reasons: this secure (i use "secure" because it is)  because they are government bills and secondly, the interest rate is better than most mutual funds! But, this will favor only the rich and businesses who have thousand of GHC to invest. I don't mind getting GHC 25.20 on my GHC 100 at the end of the year, because most mutual funds will give me less than that, and in a layman's perspective, it will take almost 4 years for Kofi to double his GHC 100 in a risk free investment in Ghana, other things being equal. I say this because, interest rates fluctuate every time, with the BoG regulating it in conjunction with it's economic and or monitory policies.

I hope this post has been of help. But if you really want to double your money in a year, bring it to me, and I shall do it for you, no libilibi, no labalaba, highly risk-free :)

Thanks for reading.









Thursday, 28 March 2013

Biggest Cyber Attack In History!


This subject is too tempting to ignore, i couldn't resist but make a return to my blog (hoping not to go away for that long again) after months of failing to unhook my writing pen from the chest pocket of my jacket. Some of us "eat and drink" the internet, with social media enthusiasts like my buddy @readjerome complaining of spending over 70% of his national service allowance on internet bundles. What does it mean for those of us who are not cyber technocrats, hackers, software engineers, programmers etc., but social media enthusiasts or ordinary internet users to wake up and tune in to al jazeera just to hear that " a record-breaking cyber-attack targeting an anti-spam watchdog group has sent ripples of disruption coursing across the internet ...?"

"Wicked!" was what i screamed. We all hate spam. Even spammers hate spam. But if you make $200m from spamming others, you will obviously have every reason to attack anyone preventing you from doing what will make the whole world uncomfortable. "A study published last year, co-written by researchers at Microsoft and Google, found that the spam industry makes about $200m in revenue a year. But the amount spam costs society was estimated to be almost 100 times higher: $20bn" - al jazeera. That's how lucrative the spamming business is.