Posted by Business in Ghana on June 15, 2015
Sydney Casely-Hayford, firstname.lastname@example.org
It is pouring down tears this morning. All day and at 6pm showing no signs of letting up. It is not a threatening thunderstorm or tornado or any such, it is just raining as it does every rainy season, a mild “Hurricane Tetteh”, not as wicked as “Hurricane Vanoko” from June 4. But Ghana’s current “rain phobia” has sent people cowering and even “Aglowians” are not in church.
Yet we are none the wiser. All the debris emptied from the large drains and gutters last week, piled along the edges, waiting to flow back in their settlement zone. And we have “ayariga-flexed” four fuel stations, as examples of waterway-blocking-unruly-recalcitrant owners determined to kill us by creating floods.
I heard one of our budding parliamentarians say we should all gather for prayer for the rains to stop and avoid death.
He was holding a bugle attached to a loud speaker with an in-built amplifier and with no regard for the noise level enshrined in our byelaw he was blurting out all sorts of prickly passages from the Christian bible and berating passersby for not donating tithes to his cause.
I listened for ten minutes and asked which he prefers. Death by rain, by fire or death from hunger? I didn’t get an answer so I donated ten cedis and walked away.
On to observe the count in the Awutu Senya West constituency where I had interest in George Andah’s bid for Hannah Tetteh’s seat. Hannah could not be there to hear the resounding victory when it was announced, a massive 282 of 539 delegates. And it was peaceful and friendly all the way to the end. She tweeted from South Africa, her apologies for being away on government business. Roll on 2016.
But George was not the only one who won; Kojo Oppong Nkrumah as well as a few with “Occupier” mentality came through, setting the stage for what hopefully will become a new wave of parliamentarians in the future.
And I learnt a whole new lesson in politics. Did you know that most of the delegates who vote the candidates as their representatives will demand transport, water and jolloff rice with chicken or forfeit the vote? I was amazed when I heard many persons discussing such stories as I milled through the crowd. An eye opener indeed.
So I wondered. Would they really, truly vote me in if all I need do is find ten cedis worth of relief for them? I hoped not, but it looks that way.
And that tells you a story. For ten cedis …………… parliamentary candidate? What is the output if the fee is only that? No wonder some persons get into the House and can’t read contracts and legislation.
Which must account for our failure to appreciate the impact we have on the international market as a major exporter of a significant psychological crop such as cocoa.
The International Cocoa Organization revised down its output forecasts for Ghana cocoa from 810,000 tonnes to 696,000 tonnes over the past few weeks. This represents a 22 per cent fall from the previous year’s harvest of 897,000 tonnes.
On the physical cocoa market, the price for Ghana beans have risen sharply and are now priced around £200 a tonne above futures prices — currently at around £2,039 a tonne on Liffe. However, the uncertainty has led to offers and bids for cocoa drying up, according to brokers.
If shipments from Ghana are not made, traders fear the cost to the cocoa trading industry could be as large as $40m.
It is unclear which part of the supply chain will bear the extra costs, but rather than the costs being passed on to the Ghanaian cocoa authority, the ultimate seller, it looks like the industry are going to bear it.
If that is the case, it will be a blow for cocoa trading companies whose margins for buying and selling cocoa are “aboloo” thin.
This is hugely significant for the cocoa trading industry. According to the ICCO, the sharp fall in Ghana’s cocoa production could have been caused by seasonal dryness caused by strong harmattan winds, inadequate rainfall, late application of fertiliser, and the curtailment of the government’s mass spraying program.
Well, we can avoid the fertilizer and mass spraying issues. As for rainfall, we know we have a ten-year cyclical pattern but we could have down-forecast to avoid the expectation of higher produce. What can you do about harmattan? All the rest we could have countered, but mediocrity stopped us dead in the underbrush.
So, panic in Parliament as Ebola attempted to invade Hohoe in the Volta Region.
Read this informed comment by a good listener and someone with an Occupier mentality. I edited out what is not relevant for this week and I am taking the liberty of publishing without his permission.
I believe persons such as this must be listened to and the fact that he feels concerned enough to write to me means he has confidence in his knowledge.
“My heart bled when I listened to the conversation on most of our media – radio, print and TV. It was so disheartening. I was further disgusted by the sickening ignorance exhibited in Parliament yesterday. As I listened to the sound bites from the Honourable Members of Parliament on radio today, I almost cried. Then I asked, “If this is one CLEAR example of an ill informed decision by our MPs then the quality of decisions made in our Parliament is QUESTIONABLE”.
The decision by Parliament to STOP THE EBOLA VACCINE CLINICAL TRIALS IS THE MOST IGNORANT DECISION I HAVE EVER COME ACROSS. It is a disgrace to science and to medical research and I bow my head in shame as a new professional.
First of all, VACCINE DEVELOPMENT goes through several phases, and one of the last stages is Clinical Trials. The current trend is to use a PART OF THE VIRUS, and not the whole virus, modify it so that our bodies can recognize the pathogen and develop antibodies against it.
At the stage of Clinical Trials, the vaccine has been developed and tried on animals and has been found to be good enough to move from the lab to the field (humans). The vaccine by this time has undergone several improvements. In clinical trials, our main aim is to establish the safety of the vaccine on humans, the best mode of administration, the possible tissue reaction to the vaccine AND NOT TO INDUCE THE DISEASE IN HUMANS as is being bundled about so ignorantly.
Please bear in mind that this is the SAME PROCESS that MEASLES, POLIO, YELLOW FEVER, HEPATITIS B, CERVICAL CANCER, RABIES, TETANUS TOXOID, SNAKE ANTI-VENINS et al have gone through.
And now the question about WHY NOT DO THE CLINICAL TRIALS IN THE AFFECTED COUNTRIES? My humble response is this: WE DO NOT VACCINATE SICK ANIMALS / INDIVIDUALS. Only healthy individuals are vaccinated. We treat sick animals/ humans first and when they have a clean bill of health, we vaccinate them. Therefore taking the trials to these countries is a false start.
No one in the U.S. or UN is planning to bring Ebola to Ghana.
WHY HOHOE? It’s simply because the University of Allied Health Sciences is in the Volta Region.
I am currently involved in a clinical trial for a drug being developed against prostate cancer. Does that mean we are bringing prostate cancer to the people? Please my fellow Ghanaians, let’s be MORE RATIONAL THAN EMOTIONAL.”
And there lies the reason why we have to do something about Parliament. In OccupyGhana we talk of the “Arrogance of Ignorance”. But this is a more dangerous precept. Not only has Parliament embarrassed itself, like Cocobod have done in the poor management of our cocoa output and created an international financial catastrophe, they have in their ignorance shown how they are not ready to think like persons who have actually spent time in higher education.
The Cocobod CEO is still employed. And Parliament voted unanimously to stop the clinical trials.
Black Stars lost 3-0 to Mali. How? Since when? Asamoah Gyan blamed the pitch, and to a large extent he is right. We pay people $100,000 for appearance money (and these persons are not even playing matches) but we cannot find enough money to grow grass.
And for ten cedis, you can place your parliamentarian to go and make ignorant decisions.
Ghana, Aha a yε din papa. Alius atrox week advenio. Another terrible week to come!