20.5.09

Obama to Reward Ghana's Democratic Strides

In a country like ours, good news is hardly heard. Or to put it better, bad news sells!! I normally do not sound this pessimistic, but its good to call a spade what it is and not a big spoon .
Ok...so Obama is coming to Ghana in July...! Good News isn't it?


I think it is, and we as Ghanaians and Africans in general must be glad the president of (arguably) the most powerful country in the world is visiting. This is not the first time a sitting US president will be visiting Ghana. I remember with fond memories President Clinton's visit during president Rawlings' time. It was a sight to behold! President Bush followed up with another one during President Kufours time and now Obama in Prof. Mills' reign......that amazing!


To whom much is given, much more is expected

The statement form the White House on the visit could not have been clearer, “ the purposes of the forthcoming Obama visit to Ghana’s is for ”strengthening the US relationship with one of our most trusted partners in sub-Saharan Africa,” and also for ” highlighting the critical role that sound governance and civil society play in promoting lasting development.”



As small as we are, with our National growth rate stuttering, and our national coffers almost dry, we still do have an exportable commodity. Who would have thought that Ghana would be the beacon of hope for democracy in the sub-region and Africa as a whole?



We have come this far, not because we have better humans than the countries in turmoil, but because we have decided that leadership matters and democratically electing our leaders, is the way to ensure lasting development. Lessons from our recently held elections point to a somewhat tolerating citizenry. We have showed that we are willing to respect the voice of the masses even if we think their choice is wrong.



That is what America is built on and we are on our path to replicating that with success. This puts enormous pressure on all as a people to be mindful of the position we occupy in the eyes of the world. Often, countries start on this path and loose sight of who they are. The result is what we see in places like Kenya, Ivory Coast and some other previously stable states. Ghanaians, must be schooled to know that elections are not about life and death and its definitely not worth it dying for any politician.


Opportunities


Mr. Obama will not bring a big sack of US Dollars to Ghana. He certainly will not be signing any fat checks to us either. Don't let this disappoint you because he is bringing something more than money. He is a president with popular appeal. A man many can hardly say NO to. He has such charisma and presence and eloquence that cannot be ignored. Ghana should cease the moment and profit from this visit. The economic, social, cultural, and political ramifications are countless. This is the only way we can get real results or benefits.



I urge our ever enterprising women and men who take advantage of all occasions to make some money on the side. This is a huge moment for market. Anything about the Obama's is sellable. Just make sure you don't infringe on any copyright laws. The US hates that.


Man of Words and Action

The president of the free world is unique in his ability to back all his words with action. He is a gifted orator. He speaks of the same things you have said before, but when he speaks of things you hear them as though they were new.


That's not all that he is. He takes action and makes him and his words relevant. Ghana has over the years become a country of “big talkers”. Lots of words with no action. Talk is cheap...fellow Ghanaians! Lets learn this gift from the US president. Again, we must take steps to advertise our good wares to the world.


If you do business in the dark, you are probably selling something illegal and people will buy/bid you at the price you are advertising. We have used our media to largely advertise our country negatively. We are all to blame because if there are no buyers, there will be no sellers. Lets project our nation positively.



Lets tell our story without necessarily degrading the Ghanaian and Africans in general. Ghana will be representing tho whole continent on this visit. I urge all the put our best behavior. We are known for our hospitality. Lets showcase that too.
I urge all political party leaders to make this a thing for Ghana, and not something for the NDC or NPP or CPP or KVI...
May God Bless our homeland Ghana, and make our Nation Greater and Stronger.

Source:- Isaac TETTEH

15.5.09

Keeping your credit record clean

Only take credit or loan if you are sure you can pay it back.
Its important to know what you make right now and how much you stand to make in the near future. Its easy and very enticing to accept an offer. They normally call them pre-approved offers.


These offers are sometimes too good to be true, but that's the way they get you to sign up for a loan/credit product.

You have the option to accept only the amount you genuinely think you can pay back with a considerable ease.

You have a sturdy income now


You will be having an income soon......if a student and will be working afterwards
Always leave about 30% of your total credit unused.

Credit companies may not want you to know this but its a good thing to do. Paying back your minimum balance on time and in full is recommended. But a “maxed-out” loan/credit should be avoided always. Reason is, it will decrease your credit rating, make it difficult to pay back and most likely trigger a call from you credit card company about your spending habits. Close
Your debt/income ratio must be good.


If you plan taking on new or additional credit first check if you will get an approval. This is something you can do on your own without paying to get your credit score from a credit reporting agency. You can do this by Looking at your current income/s.......Assets. Add up all the credits/ loans on your name and those you guaranteed for others........liabilities. Don't forget to add credits that you are not using, they still count as your liabilities. Do the Math and if you are within 50% positive, you are likely to get a loan. If not, you are likely to be declined. Now the story even gets worse. The moment you get a DECLINE, your credit score is affective NEGATIVELY.
Check your credit rating/score once every year.

Do not check your rating or score needlessly. If you are following all the steps mentioned above, you are probably in good standing. Do not request for loans/credits repeatedly in a short span of time. This tells the companies that you are desperate and a high risk customer.



They are likely to decline your request and that will further reduce your overall score. I recommend that you check once every year to ascertain that the information you have about your credit products match what is on your file at the reporting agency. This is to look out for incorrect information, e.g. Misspelt name, address, etc., and also to look for identity theft issues.



Remember your score means could help you with a lot of things. If you have a bad score i.e below 650, you are likely not in the good books of lenders. Anything up to 900 above 650, is good. Equifax and TransUnion are responsible for monitoring our scores.



These scores are also affected by our payment of other bills e.g utility bills, cell phone bills etc. The fastest way to build up credit is to start paying down all the loans and close them off if done. Keep a low limit VISA and a low limit MasterCard, as a back-up. If you do not need more credit, do not accept offers over the phone. Also open a savings account.



You probably have a chequeing account. Start paying yourself before you pay the bills. Star small and make it constant. You can set up a “personal transfer service” to this savings account. This is good if you know your pay cycle. Set it up on the day you pay check comes in. The bank will automatically deposit money into your savings for you. Do not make your savings account accessible through the ATM.



Good Luck on building your credit and stay away from profligate spending!
Source: Isaac TETTEH

14.5.09

Gambian government held liable for 44 Ghanaian deaths


The Gambian government has been found liable for the mass murder of some 44 Ghanaians and natives of other West African countries, a joint UN and ECOWAS investigative team has disclosed.

The deceased, mostly immigrants, were found dead, 2005, in the Tangy forest in Banjul in what the Ghanaian government said was state sponsored killing.

After years of near diplomatic row between the two countries dotted with several failed commissions of enquiry, the UN and ECOWAS investigative team say the Gambian government should be held accountable.

The Government was not found directly responsible for the murders, but it failed to protect the lives of the immigrants in its jurisdiction.

By international law, countries must take responsibility for protecting the lives of its residents.

In a detailed report handed to Ghana's Foreign Minister Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni in Nigeria, two persons, one Captain Taylor and Gambian resident, Laminu Tunkara must be hunted and prosecuted for their role in the murders.

The two allegedly lured the victims from Senegal to Gambia with the promise of providing a vessel to ferry them to Europe, but that turned out to be a scam.

The stranded victims were arrested, later released but were found dead in the Gambian forest in a murder suspected to have been carried out by some gang element.

The committee has recommended the Gambian government pays compensation to the families of the victims. The two governments must however agree on the amount to be paid.

The bodies are to be exhumed and given a befitting burial in their native countries.

Ghana's Interior Minister Cletus Avoka told Joy News he is satisfied with the recommendations even though there are still some unanswered questions.

According to the Minister, the Gambian government has expressed reservations over payment of compensation claiming that that will amount to complicity in the murders.


Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline

NDC Canada regroups


The British Columbia Branch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Canada Chapter is inviting members, sympathizers, well-wishers and the Ghanaian community in and around the Province of British Columbia to a meeting Sunday, May 17, 2009, at 14455, 78th Avenue, Surrey, BC (near the Surrey Newton bus exchange).

A statement issued by the branch said the meeting is one of many geared towards constituting the British Columbia Branch of NDC Canada Chapter ahead of its official inauguration slated for June 6, 2009.

“The meeting is being organized by Friends of His Excellency Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, President of the Republic of Ghana resident in Vancouver BC,” the statement explained, and listed six main issues to be discussed at the meeting;
  • The Interim Executive Committee of the BC Branch
  • Identify a venue and plan activities for the joint inauguration the BC and Alberta Branches of NDC Canada Chapter
  • Logistics for the joint inauguration
  • Familiarization visit of NDC Canada National Executives to Vancouver, BC from June 3 -7, 2009
  • Visit of Hon. Dr. Mustapha Ahmed, MP (NDC) for Ayawaso East to Vancouver, BC
  • Outreach programs in the BC and Alberta Provinces of Canada.


The statement further explained that “The BC Branch Meeting is being organized with an open mind. This meeting however, is not a public forum. It is an NDC party meeting and there are expectations that those who will attend, do so because they are interested in joining the NDC or renewing their support for the NDC. All NDC members, well-wishers, sympathizers and the entire Ghanaian community in and around the BC Province are cordially welcome.”

Contacts: NDC Canada Chapter’s BC Representative Dr. Clement Apaak on 778-895-9242 or e-mail caapaak@yahoo.ca

General Secretary of NDC Canada Chapter, Mr. Charles N. Nkansah, on 514-999-9194 or email: info@ndccanada.com.


Source: NDC Canada Chapter (info@ndccanada.com)