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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Social Movements versus Corporate Greed

The power of Social Movements is growing and it is putting governments,corporations,global institutions (IMF,World Bank,WTO) and market systems (capitalism:free market, globalisation) on their toes. The Social Movements are serving as the antibodies of our threatened world. They are protecting the earth from toxins of globalisation,corporate greed, unfair trade, huge subsidies in the global north, carbon emission and environmental degradation that is wiping off livelihoods of the poor in the global south.

Thanks to Global Witness, Global Financial Integrity, Transparency International, Green Peace, Friends of the Earth and many indigenous movements in Africa, Asia and Larin America the corporations are accounting for the pollution they cause around the world.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Supporting Democracy in Africa

Democracy is not just a word. It is the wheel through which both the poor and the rich are given the opportunity to influence decisions that affect their lives including education, jobs, electricity, housing, transportation, and all the freedoms known to mankind. But recent developments in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Cameroon, Gabon, Ethiopia, Gambia and Ivory indicate that achieving democracy always come with a price. Since January protests have rocked the North African states of Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya. Similar protests have taken place in Gabon and Cameroon. The protesters have embraced jet fighters, helicopter gunships, armoured carrier assaults, water cannons, camel charge, tear gas and police brutalities.

Thousands have died. But we cannot remain aloof while thousands are massacred for demanding the right to elect their leaders, to speak their mind freely and to have access to basic necessities of life. Our silent means victory for the autocratic regimes littered across the continent. The people of Libya need our support. They need our prayers, and our encouragement. Let's us support them. Join Africa for Democracy now and let the world know how you feel about it.

Globalisation and the poor in the Global South

According to Joseph Nye of Kennedy School of Government there are many components of globalization including social globalization (fast information), environmental globalization (global warming/climate change), military/security and finally economic globalization.

Joseph Nye notes that “What economic globalization does is it tends to create a good deal of inequality. Some people get ahead while others don't get ahead as quickly or at all.”

In the advanced countries those who don’t get ahead as quickly as possible  or those that don’t get ahead at all are protected by the state through programmes such as social security, unemployment benefits, health insurance, disability benefit, study stipends, fuel/energy allowance and other safety nets. These programmes help to reduce the negative and destructive impact of globalization on their lives. On the other hand such safety nets do not exist in the global south including Africa and therefore people are more exposed to the destructive impact of economic globalization.

This is what worries many anti-poverty activists. The demonstrations in North Africa and the Middle East and its impact on fuel prices show that the world cannot ignore the inequalities that come with economic globalisation especially its devastating impact on people in the global south. 

The question is: How do we protect those in the global south that do not benefit from the wealth that economic globalization creates so that they do not react negatively to offset the wheel of globalisation? How do we create opportunities and avenues for the poor to fully participate in the  game of globalisation? What role can governments, corporations and civil society play to ensure that the poor are not left behind?

By Lord Adusei 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Facebook activists are two steps ahead of world Intelligence Agencies

It is understatement to say that the recent revolutions and uprisings taking place in North Africa and the Middle East caught the intelligence community and their political masters off guard. The intelligence community is asking why they didn’t get to know that the poor were planning to overthrow the allies of our governments in North Africa and the Middle East. They wish they had known the intensions of the poor so they could inform the corrupt, insensitive and autocratic regimes to erect firewalls around themselves. 

French General Directorate for External Security (DGSE) had no idea how poverty and corruption were uniting to overthrow their friend in Tunisia. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had no clue what the Egyptian poor were up to regarding the $1.3bn given to Mubarak to buy his cooperation and likewise the Italian Agency for External Information and Security (AISE) had no idea what was going to happen to their friend in Libya.

While Al Qaeda and the Taliban were on the radar screen of many of the intelligence agencies, it appears the Yasmin revolution planned and executed on Facebook caught the spy agencies by surprise. Facebook activists it appears have been steps ahead of the world's finest spy agencies.

It will be no news if we hear tomorrow that the corrupt and autocratic regimes in Angola, Cameroon, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of Congo, Uganda and Zimbabwe have been toppled without the spy agencies having a clue.

By Lord Adusei

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Land: The New International Strategic Asset. How Africa is losing big time

The focus on biofuel as alternative to oil, gas and coal has put new and unrealistic demand on land, and it is on record to make land the most strategic commodity in the 21st Century. 
By Lord Aikins Adusei

There are credible reports that big multinational corporations like Biofuel Africa Ltd in cahoots with corrupt politicians and traditional leaders and with the backing of global financial institutions are buying large tracts of land in parts of Africa, under bizarre circumstances, displacing rural farmers, destabilising rural communities and slowly building up chaos that is further aggravating the poverty situation in Africa.

The international craze for a reduction of carbon dioxide emission from fossil fuel guzzling cars and industries has led to an intense focus on biofuel as the solution to the pollution and associated global warming. But the production of biofuel is not taking place in the sky, it is taking place on land and is leading to a new social cancer that is slowly beginning to emerge. The focus on biofuel as alternative to oil, gas and coal has put new and unrealistic demand on land, and it is on record to make land the most strategic commodity in the 21st Century. The history of land as a strategic asset dates back to the 18th Century. During that period Physiocrats considered land the ultimate source value and all attempt was made to secure it. However, in the 19th Century labour became the most important factor of production as new factories competed aggressively for that resource. Then the importance of labour as the most important factor of production was replaced by capital in the 20th Century. Access to money was considered the ultimate source of value in production. However, in the 21st Century land is coming back as the most strategic asset.Evidence of this can be seen in the scramble for land not only in Africa but also in Latin America and Russia [1]

Driven largely by a global cartel of land speculators, many energy and agro-multinational corporations are strategically acquiring agricultural lands in poor countries of the global south particularly Africa at a rate never anticipated by land economists. The 2007 and 2008 food crisis and its associated price hikes have forced rich but food insecure countries in the Middle East and the Gulf Region to scrounge for lands in Africa further complicating matters. Meanwhile the belief in some countries in Africa like Sudan and Ethiopia that heavy injections of foreign capital will enhance agricultural technology, boost local employment, revitalize sagging agricultural sectors, and ultimately improve agricultural yields has given the corporations a field day with serious social, economic, political and environmental consequences, [2]

The land grabbing statistics worldwide and Africa in particular is not only overwhelming but is also extraordinary shocking. According to International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) a US-based policy think thank, since 2006 between 15 million and 20 million hectares of farmland around the world have been secured for biofuel and grain production, while between US$20bn and US$30bn has gone into investment [3].

In Africa the past five years has seen more rich agricultural lands being taken over by food insecure but rich countries in the Middle East and rich multinational firms in Europe, US, and Asia particularly China, Korea and India. Some of the land acquisitions have occurred under bizarre and non-transparent circumstances making experts to warn of the consequences if the practice is not stopped. In Mozambique for example China has US$800 million investment to expand 100,000 to 500,000 metric tons of rice production in the country and Skebab (Sweden) and Sun Biofuels (UK) have acquired more than 100, 000 hectares of land for biofuel production in the country. In Ethiopia, a country noted internationally for its food insecurity and its dependence on handout from the World Food Programme, the government has set aside around three million hectares of farm land to be used to produce grain and biofuel for export. Flora EcoPower (Germany) has acquired 13,000 hectares for bio-crop production while India is investing US$4 billion in agriculture, flower growing and sugar estates in that country. In Tanzania Sun Biofuels (UK) has acquired 5,500 hectares of land for sorghum (biofuel) production while the Chinese firm Chongqing See Corp has secured 300 hectares of farm lands for rice production. In the same Tanzania the Gulf State of Saudi Arabia has requested a lease of 500,000 hectares of land. In Southern Sudan Jarch Capital (USA) has signed a 400, 000 hectare deal with a local army commander while the Middle East and Gulf States of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Kuwait and Egypt together have about 1.045m hectares under their thumb in that country. In the same Sudan, South Korea is running away with 690,000 hectares of farmland secured for wheat production. In Nigeria, Trans4mation Agrictech Ltd (UK) has secured 10,000 hectares of land. In Angola, Lornho (UK) has 25,000 hectares leased to her for rice cultivation and is negotiating for a further 125,000 hectares in Malawi and Mali. China has requested 2 million hectares for jatropha production in Zambia; and in Democratic Republic of Congo the Chinese firm ZTE International has secured 2.8 million hectares for biofuel oil palm plantation [4].

These figures do not only reflect the unequal power relations between rich multinational corporations and governments of rich countries on one hand and poor African countries on the other, but it also reflects the vulnerability of African countries to the predatory activities of rich multinational corporations and governments of these rich countries. It has been argued elsewhere that the global assault on Africa has the tendency to produce the same negative effects that colonialism has had on the continent.

A major problem is that many of the corruption-ridden governments in Africa are rushing to make land deals with multinationals without proper consultation with the people and without proper studies as to the economic, social and environmental cost of such deals. Another issue is that the lands being giving to corporations by the nonchalance governments in Africa are not empty lands. They are lands that rural farmers farm on and depend on for their livelihoods. That means the farmers whose lands have been taken over by the multinationals are being denied the opportunity to make a living. They are being dispossessed of the only asset that helps put food on their tables.The lands of the poor farmers are being handed over to rich multinationals to meet the needs of populations elsewhere to the detriment of the local farmers. The local farmers are being pushed away by multinationals that are increasingly seeing land as strategic asset that must be acquired at all cost to meet their own greedy, selfish and opportunistic ambitions.

Many who support corporate land grab efforts in Africa point to Asian-style Green Revolution. Their argument is that allowing the land grabbing to go on will allow benefits such as revenue, employment, and technology transfer to be bequeathed to countries in Africa. But there are many unanswered questions regarding the so called benefits of land investments in Africa. For example what happens to displaced farmers whose lands are taken for food production to feed populations abroad? What happens to food production and food security in countries where agriculture lands are being auctioned to produce biofuel and food to feed economies elsewhere? In some of the countries where land is being taken for food and energy production people already spend between 60-75% of their income on food so what per cent of income of these poor people will be spent on food when it becomes unavailable in the local market? Most importantly what happens to communities when scarce water and other scarce resources that they depend on and which are currently being channeled into food and energy production for export abroad are depleted? What happens to farmlands that are degraded after the food is produced and exported? What happens to the polluted environment after the food and biofuels have been shipped abroad? Little is known of the environmental implications of committing hundreds of thousands of hectares of farm lands into jatropha production. New pests and diseases may emerge to confront poor farmers, who may not have benefited from the jatropha production with serious consequences. For example the use of chemicals to process the jatropha into biofuel may not only lead to contamination of soil, but also the poisoning of shallow groundwater with serious health repercussions for both humans and animals.

As Hornborg (2009) notes: "Generally speaking, social scientists will probably not get too involved in discussions about ethanol with all those engineers, agronomists, and economists who are committed to keeping the global technomass going by feeding it with corn or sugar cane. But we can listen attentively to the debate. We are told, for instance, that the conditions of people harvesting sugar cane for ethanol production in Brazil are appalling. We are told that ethanol production might in fact generate more greenhouse gases than the combustion of fossil fuels. We are told that it will accelerate tropical deforestation and loss of biodiversity. We are told that it will probably yield less horsepower per hectare than just simply growing fodder for horses. And what undoubtedly worries us the most, we are told that it is making food more expensive and contributing to malnutrition and starvation among the global poor" [5].

In Ghana for instance while the Ministry of Agriculture has allowed over 20 companies from around the world, including Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Norway and The Netherlands, to acquire land to produce biofuels, the ministry has not conducted any study to establish the social, economic and food security implications of such land deals to Ghana as a whole and the affected farmers and the communities in particular.

Current estimates by the World Food Programme (WFP) put the number of people in Ghana who are food insecure to 1.2 million; almost half the number is people living in the Northern Region of the country where the corporate land grabbing is taking place. In a paper presented during the World Bank Annual Bank conference on Land Policy and Administration in Washington, DC, April 26 and 27, 2010,Kwesi Ahoi, Ghana's Minister of Food and Agriculture admitted that on the whole Ghana remain food insecure. He stated that "Ghana is self-sufficient only in roots and tubers but deficient in cereals where it produces 51% of its needs, fish, 60% of its requirements, meat 50% of requirements and less than 30% of the raw materials needed for agro-based industries. The output of vegetables such as tomatoes and onions, the most widely used, is rather erratic and vacillates between scarcity, sufficiency and glut depending on the vagaries of the weather". [6] Yet, in spite of the food insecurity in the country, Kwesi Ahoi and his ministry are busy supervising the handing over of the same land that could make Ghana food sufficient to non-food producing multinationals.

The acquisition of 23,700 hectares of Ghanaian land by Biofuel Africa Ltd in the northern part of the country has already forced the inhabitants of seven villages that depend on the land for their livelihoods to move to Tamale, the regional capital in search of non existing jobs. These 23,700 hectares of land were taken away from the people without adequate compensation and without viable alternatives. For example Steinar Kolnes, Biofeul Africa Ltd chief executive officer (CEO) in Ghana admitted that the company did not pay compensation to farmers whose land his corporation has seized. "We don't pay compensation...We gave the farmers two options: To stay and farm their crops alongside the jetropha or leave to other more fertile lands we had provided for them" [7] The question is if there are fertile lands as the chief executive claims why doesn't he use it for his jatropha business? Why is he seizing the poor farmers' land and not use his so called rich land for his jatropha business?

The findings of an in-depth study sponsored by the World Bank on the impact of corporate land grabbing in Ghana have implicated the biofuel corporations in the country. According to the World Bank study published in 2010 [8] "The most direct and immediate impact of biofuels relates to land loss… Some 70 households from three communities were involuntarily vacated from their lands, without any form of restitution, following the harvest of yam (the primary cash crop) from the 2008 growing season. For two of the villages this equated to between 40 and 50 percent of households. Of those households that lost land, on average nearly 60 percent of their total landholdings were acquired by the company. Only 20 percent of households were able to obtain some replacement land, with most households unsuccessful in recovering both the quantity and quality of land lost to the plantation. These households cited increasing land scarcity and land quality concerns as key obstacles."

The World Bank study concludes: "In all the plantations assessed households were required to relinquish landholdings for the purpose of plantation development. At the majority of plantations, directly affected households were not consulted by the company, nor did they formally acquiesce to transferring their land. With the exception of one company that promised to pay approximately US$ 1 per acre per year to those losing land, no formal compensation measures have been proposed by other companies or by the relevant Traditional Authorities" [9]. These findings which corroborate Steinar Kolnes' statement that his company does not pay compensation show that the corporations are paying close to nothing for their robbery. The question is how many Europeans, Americans, and Koreans will accept approximately US$ 1 per acre per year as compensation for not farming on a land that acts as the source of livelihood? Instead of Africans benefiting from the new international status of land they are being handed peanuts by the corporations who have are making money the crudest way by dispossessing the farmers without compensation.

Meanwhile similar reports of people losing their livelihoods are being reported in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mali, Zambia and war ravaged Sudan. Thus the commodification of land is threatening rural farmers whose lands are being seized by these greedy multinationals acting in cahoots with local politicians and traditional leaders. The consequence of such blind land grabbing by bio-multinationals is that food security efforts of a continent frequently scarred by food shortages, hunger and starvation is being compromised. Such acts are creating unnecessary tension and chaos in many farming societies and helping to destabilise the cohesiveness of rural communities. The peace and stability that many communities have enjoyed for decades are being breached as a result of the land grabs especially in communities where farmers have been left without compensation and without alternatives. The danger is that the carving up of rich arable farmlands for production of non-food commodities such as biofuel if not checked will worsen the continent's food security efforts and force already poor people into hunger and starvation. That warning has been issued already in the GRAIN Report of 2008.

The Report by the Spain based NGO-GRAIN states that: "Food corporations and private investors, hungry for profits in the midst of the deepening financial crisis, see investment in foreign farmland as an important new source of revenue. As a result, fertile agricultural land is becoming increasingly privatised and concentrated. If left unchecked, this global land grab could spell the end of small-scale farming, and rural livelihoods, in numerous places around the world". [10]

The true value of that warning cannot be underestimated because the danger is already appearing. That is the leasing of these lands to multinationals under circumstances that leave much to be desired, as indicated by Ghana's example is forcing many rural farmers to move into the cities and towns in search of non-existing jobs. That is the commodification of land is pushing already poor farmers out of farming and into cities that have little to offer them. These cities are already overburdened with populations and face major problems as discussed by Mike Davis in his book the "Planet of Slums" [11]. In effect the seizing of the poor farmers' land is destroying their only hope of survival on earth.

Governments in Africa that think major agro-multinationals securing large tracts of land under dubious means could help initiate Asian-style Green Revolution in Africa must know and understand that in Asia the Green Revolution was largely successful because of the role played by smallholders [12]. These smallholders who played pivotal role in making Asia economies food sufficient are the very people being displaced by the multinationals and the rich countries and their hedge fund managers. Such displacements will produce nothing but a backlash with serious economic and political consequences.

Dangerous consequences are always in the pipeline when corporate interests coincide with that of corrupt and insensitive governments as we have seen between oil giant Shell and the corrupt federal government in Nigeria. Niger Delta crisis was largely created when the interest of Royal Shell Corporation coincided with that of the corrupt regimes that ruled the country since 1966. Thus the accumulation by dispossession currently underway in Africa will definitely produce its consequences not only for people being robbed of their lands but also the corporations acting in cahoots with the indifference governments in Africa. Rich governments securing lands in Africa may altogether lose their investments when landless farmers and hungry communities begin to make claims to what has been unjustly taken away from them.

The political ramifications of outsourcing lands to multinational have had its first casualty in Madagascar. The toppling of the government in Madagascar after 1.3 million hectares of land was sold to the Korean firm Daewoo and another 465,000 hectares to Varun International of India demonstrates the political cost such non-transparent land arrangement poses to the security and stability of governments in Africa. Lesson should be learnt from that and it must serve as an eye opener to all those scrounging for lands in Africa and in the process helping to destabilise the people and their communities.

When foods being produced by the multinationals and rich governments are exported the shortages that will be created and the associated price hikes will produce devastating and undesirable effects. Avoiding the shortages and its undesirable effects through the implementation of policies that give first priority to smallholders and local farmers producing food for local consumption must be the objective of governments in Africa.


[1] Hornborg, A. 2009. Zero-Sum World Challenges in Conceptualizing Environmental Load Displacement and Ecologically Unequal Exchange in the World-System. International Journal of Comparative Sociology. SAGE Publications.

[2] Kugelman, M. and Levenstein, S. L (eds).2009. LAND GRAB? The Race for the World's Farmland. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C.

[3] IFPRI 2009 cited in the Economist "Outsourcing's Third Wave," Economist, May 21, 2009, available from

[4] Hornborg, A. 2009. Zero-Sum World Challenges in Conceptualizing Environmental Load Displacement and Ecologically Unequal Exchange in the World-System. International Journal of Comparative Sociology. SAGE Publications.

[5] Von Braun, J. and Meinzen-Dick, R. 2009. "Land Grabbing" by Foreign Investors in Developing countries: Risks and Opportunities. IFPRI Policy Brief. April 2009.

[6]World Bank, 2010 Annual Bank conference on land policy and administration Washington, DC April 26 and 27, 2010. Government's Role in Attracting Viable Agricultural Investment: Experiences from Ghana

[7] IRIN, 2009. Ghana: Land grabs force hundreds off farms, growers say.

[8] Schoneveld, G. C. et al. 2010. Towards Sustainable Biofuel Development: Assessing the Local Impacts of Large-Scale Foreign Land Acquisitions in Ghana. World Bank.

[9] Schoneveld, G. C. et al. 2010. Towards Sustainable Biofuel Development: Assessing the Local Impacts of Large-Scale Foreign Land Acquisitions in Ghana. World Bank.

[10] GRAIN, 2008 Seized: The 2008 land grab for food and financial

[11] Davis, M.2006. Planet of Slums. Published by Verso.

[12] Jirström et al. 2005. Addressing Food Crisis in Africa - What Can Sub-Saharan Africa learn from Asian experiences in Addressing Food Crisis ITS? CIDA Report

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Libya and the silence in US and Europe

There are report of horrendous atrocities being committed against the Libyan people by Gaddafi and his agents. While the reports make me sick it is the near-silence coming from Europe and America that rattles me. I must say without hesitation that I am deeply and horror-struck at the silent in Washington and Europe regarding the atrocities being carried out by the Libyan regime against the innocent and good people of Libya. The silence is another proof of the corrupt relationship between Gaddafi and European and American leadership. We are witnessing another Rwanda in Libya yet because of oil the US, Europe and Security Council in which they control are quiet.

The African Union has not said anything. The US is only rambling. The European Union has proven once again how irrelevant and ineffective it has become in shaping global events. The Arab League is as useless as it has ever been.  

This is why Europe and America won't take action against Gaddafi. 79% of Libya's oil goes to Europe. Out of the 79% Italy gets 32%; Germany 14%; France 10% and the rest of Europe 23%. US also get about 5% of her oil from Libya. Oil is the key factor here. For US and Europe oil is important than democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom to choose ones leader. Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi is known to be a close friend and a key ally of Gaddafi. In August 2009, because of a 500 million dollar oil contract between Gaddafi and British Petroleum, Britain released from prison Mr. Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the Libyan Lockerbie bomber who blew Pan Am aircraft Flight PA 103  over Scotland  in 1988 that killed 270 people most of them Americans. Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair was instrumental in ending Libya's international isolation. It is because of oil that Europe and America do not want to antagonise Gaddafi.

That is the world in which we live in.But like Rwanda the remnants of the Libyan atrocities will rebuild the country after the people have prevailed.

By Lord Adusei

Monday, February 21, 2011

It is over for Mubarak, Ben Ali and soon it will be over for Gaddafi

I have been following the development in north Africa.  I have spent a lot of time arguing for the people to claim back their countries and I am glad the people have finally risen up to redeem their country from the autocrats. 

Ben Ali, Mubarak and Gaddafi thought they were in control of their police states. They called for jet fighters, helicopter gunships, armoured carriers, water cannons, and tear gas and used it against their own people but the people refused to budge.They thought the people would not revolt. They thought the people would continue to accept their corrupt and illegitimate leadership.They were dead wrong. When they realised it was over for them and their cohorts they pleaded for mercy and promised their children would not succeed them, but the people refused to listen. They were given 2 options by the people: flee or we would crash you and your regimes. Eventually they took the best of the 2 options: they fled.

It is not over yet but I believe the people are on course to redeem themselves from the internal slavery and internal colonialism imposed on them by their so called leaders.

I can see the leaders in Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Uganda, Angola, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, and Republic of Congo panicking because like the leaders in North Africa they know they too have failed their people.

by Lord Adusei

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The enemy within: The challenges of transformation in a corrupt society

An unemployed university graduate allegedly operating an unlicensed fruit stand in Tunis was harassed by a corrupt policeman for trying to eke out an honest living under an autocratic regime. In desperation, he set himself on fire. This suicide set off demonstrations which culminated in Ben Ali’s rapid flight from Tunis. This achievement has given birth to hope for true freedom in North Africa and the Middle East. The speed of internet communication has contributed to the emerging outcome of these events in many countries. Egypt has been under continuous military rule since Nasser’s coup of 1952. It has a 40% unemployment rate. If the internet existed in 1974 when students of Ghana’s 3 major universities first marched against the Acheampong regime, Ghana’s history would have been remarkably different.

In the 60’s it was said that “Winds of Change” were sweeping across Africa These changes ushered in a period of euphoria fuelling dreams of a better tomorrow for generations of Africans to come. Unfortunately, many countries fell to persistent military rule and civilian regimes built around a culture of personality cults. Sixty years later, while Egyptians have now found a voice to demand basic rights which we take for granted in Ghana, we all share a basic problem which retards Africa’s progress as a continent.

All these teetering regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Sudan and Yemen have been propped up by dictatorial corrupt individuals and systems. In the end they deny their citizens basic needs and rights through a well choreographed mix of brutality, fear and corruption. After five progressively free and fair elections in Ghana, our democracy is growing steadily but we still have not met the promise of democracy for the vast majority of our people. The main reason for this failure is the enemy within – the Ghanaian Citizen.

President Mills confronted this enemy at the Tema Harbour this past week and laid out—in very simple and clear terms—why corruption is literally depriving citizens of health care, education and infrastructural development. The revelations from the Anas Armeyaw video are not a surprise to anyone but children under the age of 6 in Ghana. Even some of them may not be surprised but their very future is at stake.

Somehow the CEPS and police officials fingered by Anas for smuggling cocoa on the Ivorian border in July 2010 have not been prosecuted because reportedly on two occasions, the prosecution did not show up and the judge was obliged to discharge the suspects. These are some of the systemic problems President Mills faces in combating corruption in Ghana. His words were direct, honest and fair. His outrage was justified and reassuring but the next step is setting up a covert government structure with prosecutorial powers to implement lasting interventions to address this plague.

The president is correct to warn all agencies of the state that he will “descend on them” but it must portend the beginning of an implementation phase in this year of action. We must begin to see a wave of firings, arrests and prosecutions because the problem is woven so deeply into the fabric of the society that corrupt officials in all agencies operate with impunity and are well known. This is not news.

The president is at the threshold of a major transformation in Ghanaian society which will be resisted by many but leadership requires courage to bring about change so we expect Prof. Mills to do better than Kwame Nkrumah who also acknowledged corruption to the nation publicly but could not proceed from the identification phase to the implementation phase of the solution.

Investors are truly turned off by this daily extortion which is not only in government agencies but across the country in a manner that has also clouded land tenure in Ghana. Chiefs are particularly notorious for frustrating investors by coming back under all sorts of pretexts to nullify previously concluded land lease transactions so they can resell already sold lands to others or absurdly to original buyers. They are aided by some members of the legal profession in collecting what has now become institutionalized as “re-entry” fees when buyers begin their projects. The judiciary should frown on these schemes which are all over the country. These unscrupulous chiefs are robbing their communities of development opportunities and should be halted in their tracks.

While I applaud the president for his bold signal to corrupt officials, I recall his visit to the Accra Psychiatric Hospital last year, which also followed an Anas exposĂ©. The mental health bill has still not been passed and psychiatric patients are still being cared for in 19th century conditions. A new modern Neuroscience facility needs to be built on part of the grounds of the outdated current hospital. Mental illnesses account for over 30% of total disease burden, whether we recognize this fact or not. With this in mind, it is extremely disappointing that a returning Ghanaian expert psychiatrist like Dr. X has been received the “go and come” treatment the president talked about. After a year in the country, Dr. X has returned to the US. We have 1 psychiatrist for 2.4 million citizens but this still goes on.

Service to ordinary citizens is a duty that must guide the actions of all public servants. The president has struck the right tone by the practice of confrontation and verification of facts. It is conservatively estimated that corruption costs Africa $300bn per year, accounting for over 25% of our GDP. This is the central issue of this era of our development as a nation. If we use technology to eliminate human interfaces leading to corruption and apply persistent enforcement, we will not need donor countries.  We may be ready to lead Africa again in ridding our nation of the greatest cause of revenue loss and hence failed development.

There are those cynical and short-sighted individuals who will have partisan responses to the president’s recent actions but any problem that sucks away about 25% of GDP should transcend narrow emotional responses that do not come with proposed solutions. In Ghana the hemorrhage amounts to an estimated $4.5bn/ year on average. The NPP had 8 years to address this problem and saw to it that appropriate legislation was passed but President Kufuor’s leadership on this issue was subpar. He simply declared zero tolerance and asked the public to bring problems to his attention. Their 8 years was a missed opportunity.

The president’s address to the CEPS officers has gone viral on YouTube. We should remember that the internet has brought down Ben Ali and will bring down Mubarak but Mills may well use it as a tool for advancing leadership with integrity and grappling with corruption in our homeland Ghana.

Prof. T. P. Manus Ulzen
February 6, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

Corruption in Africa: Where Does the Buck Stop?

 But the corporations and foreign politicians and business executives are not the only ones in the game. The governments in Africa have been doing their best to loot their countries' coffers with impunity.

*By Lord Aikins Adusei

Corruption is an endemic cancer that has devastated African societies and impoverished millions. According to the Africa Union (AU) around $148 billion are stolen from the continent by its leaders and civil servants every year. The 2006 Forbes' list of most corrupt nations had 9 out of the first 16 countries coming from Africa. According to Global Financial Integrity (GFI) a US based anti-corruption group, the continent of Africa has lost more than 854 billion dollars in illicit financial outflows between 1970 and 2008. GFI director Raymond Baker says the amount of money that has been drained out of Africa—hundreds of billions decade after decade—is far in excess of the official development assistance going into African countries.

The illicit flow of such huge amount of money is not the work of African leaders and their associates alone but also that of multinational corporations from Europe, America and Asia doing business in Africa. It is no secrete multinational corporations with investments in Africa understate their profits and falsify profit documents in order to cheat poor African countries of money due them. The corporations also undervalue their goods, indulge in smuggling, theft and the falsification of invoicing and non-payment of taxes, as well as employing kickbacks and bribes to public officials. They also overprice projects; provide safe havens for looted funds, all of which affect the financial capability of countries in Africa to fight poverty. A 2002 UN Report into the war in Congo Kinshasa found multinational corporations working in that country to be engaging in some of the dubious practices mentioned above. 

In 2002, Halliburton, a US company, was accused of establishing $180m flush fund with the intent of using it to bribe Nigeria officials in order to secure a $6billion Liquefied Gas Plant contract in Nigeria. The company fired Mr. Albert Jack Stanley, its executive. A report by the company later named a British called Jeffrey Tesler as the middleman behind the bribery. In 2010 Nigerian authorities brought charges against former US Vice President Dick Cheney and Halliburton for their role in the bribery scandal. The charges were settled out of court after the defendants agreed to pay 35 million dollars. On 17th September 2002 for example, a Canadian Engineering company called Acres International was convicted by a High Court in Lesotho for paying $260,000 bribe to secure an $8 billion dam contract in Lesotho. Achair Partners, a Swiss company and Progresso, an Italian company have been accused of bribing Somali Transition Government officials in order to secure contracts to deposit highly toxic industrial waste in the waters of Somalia. 

But the corporations and foreign politicians and business executives are not the only ones in the game. The governments in Africa have been doing their best to loot their countries' coffers with impunity. The recently released US diplomatic cables by Wikileaks indicate how corruption has become part and parcel of President Ben Ali's family and his government in Tunisia. And the worse thing is that it is getting worse by the day. Part of the cable states that: “corruption in Tunisia is getting worse. Whether it is cash, services, land, property, or yes, even your yacht, President Ben Ali's family is rumoured to covet it and reportedly gets what it wants. President Ben Ali's extended family is often cited as the nexus of Tunisian corruption. Often referred to as a quasi-mafia, an oblique mention of "the Family" is enough to indicate which family you mean. Seemingly half of the Tunisian business community can claim a Ben Ali connection through marriage, and many of these relations are reported to have made the most of their lineage. Ben Ali's wife, Leila Ben Ali, and her extended family -- the Trabelsis -- provoke the greatest ire from Tunisians." 

The Cables point out that the corruption at the presidency has trickled down to all aspect of Tunisian society. “Beyond the stories of the First Family's shady dealings, Tunisians report encountering low-level corruption as well in interactions with the police, customs, and a variety of government ministries. When a contact was asked about whether he thought corruption was better, worse, or the same, he exclaimed in exasperation “Of course it's getting worse!" He stated that corruption could not but increase as the culprits (Ben Ali and his cohorts) looked for more and more opportunities. Joking about Tunisia's rising inflation, he said that even the cost of bribes was up. "A traffic stop used to cost you 20 dinars and now it's up to 40 or 50!" The economic impact is clear, with Tunisian investors -- fearing the long-arm of "the Family" -- forgoing new investments [abroad and] keeping domestic investment rates low.” Tunisians openly talk about how corruption is destroying their country and bemoan the lack of effort by the authorities to tackle it. “Corruption is the elephant in the room; it is the problem everyone knows about, but no one can publicly acknowledge. The lack of transparency and accountability that characterize Tunisia's political system similarly plague the economy, damaging the investment climate and fueling the culture of corruption” says the Cable.

Despite years of exports of oil, gold, diamond, bauxite, tin, coltan, uranium, manganese timber and other minerals, the continent is ranked the poorest. Revenue from the minerals finds its way into the bank accounts of corrupt government officials, civil servants and their allies.

Nigeria has consistently featured in the top 1% of the most corrupt nation on the planet. The nation has also featured on the Foreign Policy Failed States Index. The index shows that Nigeria has featured consecutively over the last four years among the top 20 failed states on earth. Since oil was first discovered in Nigeria about 50 years ago, over $400 billion have been realised from its sale but today more than 70% of Nigerians continue to live in abject poverty. The country has nothing to show for its petro-dollars except poverty, corruption, and recently violence and anarchy. Only corrupt the politicians and the big oil companies such as Shell, Mobil, BP, and Chevron have benefited. As a result, able men and women are battling dangerous seas to enter Europe and try their luck. Others have resorted to 419, a popular scam used to trick people into giving out their money and valuables. A visit to the Niger Delta region of Nigeria shows that majority of the people especially the youth are unemployed. According to Nigeria's National Population Commission 2000 about 44% of young men between the ages of 20 and 24 are unemployed. The Niger Delta region which produces about 90% of the total 2.2 million barrels produce everyday, but over the past 30 years, poverty rate has been rising steadily and living conditions remain one of the poorest in the country. Life expectancy, literacy, and infant mortality all compare unfavourably with the national average. According to Okechukwu Ibeanu only about 27 per cent of households in the Niger Delta have access to safe drinking water. At the same time only 30 per cent have access to electricity and both are below the national average. There are 82,000 people per doctor rising to 132,000 in some areas more than three times the national average of 40,000. While 76 per cent of Nigerian children attend primary school only 30-40 do so in parts of the delta. Thus despite being the goose that lays the golden egg, the Niger Delta remains one of the most deprived areas in Nigeria. 

In 2010 Sanusi Lamido, governor of Nigeria's Central Bank lamented over the corruption and economic mismanagement in his country saying: 

“As an economist, I have done and looked at the input and output content of the Nigerian economy, and I have never seen an economy with a kind of black hole like that of Nigeria. We produced cotton, yet our textile plants are not working; we produce crude oil, we import petroleum products; we produce gas and export, yet we don't have power plant. We have iron ore, we don't have steel plant; and we have hide and skin, we don't have leader products”. 

Sanusi was right. According to Paul Collier of Oxford University's Centre for the Study of African Economies, past and present leaders in Nigeria have managed to steal about 280 billion dollars of the country's oil proceeds, stashing it in abroad with the help of financial firms like, Barclays, Lloyds, and UBS. Between 2005 and 2007, several state governors and their immediate families were arrested by Scotland Yard in London on corruption and money laundering charges. Among them are James Ibori of oil rich Delta State and his wife Theresa who had their $35m asset frozen by the English court. Mr. Ibori earns about a thousand dollars a month but during his eight years as a state governor, he acquired wealth to the tune of $35m, and was able to finance the election campaign of late President Umaru Yar'Dua. He also owns a private jet and a lavish London home.

Another corrupt governor is Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, governor of oil-rich state of Bayelsa who was also arrested in London for money laundering. When Police conducted a search in his London home, they found one million pounds worth of cash. Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has been linked to a corruption scandal involving former US Congressman William Jefferson who is serving terms in prison in US. In 2007 Atiku Abubakar was accused of diverting $125m from Petroleum Development Trust Fund into his personal businesses. Okey Ibeanu and Robin Luckham note that a mechanism that was devised by Nigerian leaders for stealing oil revenue included: “diversion into special funds controlled by the president; bribes or taxation paid on oil contracts; extensive smuggling across Nigeria's borders called bunkering; as well secrete account held by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) (six such accounts were uncovered in 1997)”.

Years of oil spills have made the soil unfit for any agricultural activity. Their streams and wells are polluted and the people have no access to basic necessities of life because their leaders have enriched themselves with the money. In the 1990s, abject poverty and destruction of the environment forced the people of Ogoniland in Nigeria to demand a say in Shell operations but the Abacha regime repulsed them and had Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight Ogoni activists executed. According to available data, Abacha stole between $3 and $4 billion of Nigeria's oil money and stashed it in several secret bank accounts in Switzerland, Britain, Luxemburg, Jersey Island and Liechtenstein.

Effort by the people of Niger Delta to get the Nigerian government to develop the oil rich areas fell on death ears until the unemployed youth took up arms against the government and the oil companies, kidnapping foreign oil workers; demanding ransom and disrupting oil production. Eventually, the companies had to reduce their output by 25% in 2007-8. These disruptions seriously affected supply of oil on the world market forcing the price to skyrocket to $140 a barrel in the summer of 2008. The situation has not changed much.

In Equatorial Guinea for example oil export has earned the country billions of dollars since 1990 yet most of the 600,000 people living in the country continue to live in poverty while Teodoro Obiang Nguema and his cronies continue to siphon the oil revenue with no accountability. His looting of Equatorial Guinea's assets became public when it was discovered that the US banking firm Riggs had written to him encouraging him to loot his oil rich but economically impoverished country. Teodoro Nguema Obiang, son of Teodoro Obiang Nguema has made news headlines about how he and his associates steal and misuse E. Guinea's oil funds. 

Obiang Jr (the son) once hired Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen's 300-foot yacht Tatoosh for $700,000. His property portfolio includes a $35m estate in Malibu, California, purchased with cash, as well as a couple of estates in Cape Town, South Africa. His fleet of cars includes Bentley and a Lamborghini. The New York Times reports that "the boy king" also owns a Gulfstream V jet. Riggs Bank a US based bank is known to have helped the Obiangs steal their country's oil proceeds and hid it in US. A 2004 US Senate investigation into the activities of Riggs Bank found that President Obiang's family had received huge payments from US oil companies such as Exxon Mobil and Amerada Hess and laundered the money in US.

In 2004, President Bush Jr issued Presidential Proclamation 7750, barring corrupt leaders and their associates from entering the US but the Obiangs have been able to travel freely to the United States in spite of their massive corruption. John Bennett, the United States former ambassador to Equatorial Guinea from 1991 to 1994, told the New York Times that "Washington has turned a blind eye to the Obiangs' corruption because of US dependence on the country for natural resources".

One might think that given the history of corruption, poverty, instability and violence in oil producing countries (like Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo and Cameroon), incoming oil producing nations like Uganda would take time to make sure there is complete transparency and zero tolerance for corruption in the oil sector. If what is happening in Uganda's young oil sector continues unchecked then there is no doubt that the country will end up being labelled another resource curse country. The US diplomatic cables released by Wikilieaks indicate that the country's leaders are engaging in massive corruption and back door dealings that are slowly adding to the dire corruption situation in the country. One case involves Security Minister and National Resistance Movement (NRM) Secretary General Amama Mbabazi and Energy and Mineral Development Minister Hilary Onek who the report says have “benefited from the sale of production rights by Heritage Oil and Gas to Italian oil giant ENI”. Security Minister Mbabazi and Energy Minister Onek “received payments from Heritage and/or ENI in exchange for their support”. According to the diplomatic cable the Italian multinational firm “ENI created a shell company in London called TKL Holdings - through Mark Christian and Moses Seruje (who acted as frontmen) to funnel money to Mbabazi. 

In Ghana, officials illegally charge 15 and 150 Ghana cedis for a birth certificate and a passport respectively. Police officers openly solicit bribes from bus and taxi drivers before they are allowed to cross mounted road blocks. Customs officials adopt all manner of tactics in order to collect money from importers and exporters before their goods are allowed to leave the ports.

Africa's political parties pledge to combat corruption with deadly force but when elected, change nothing. Ghana's former president John Kuffour pledged "zero tolerance for corruption" in his government but his party lost power for failure to tame corrupt officials.

In South Africa, Jacob Zuma battled it out for his part in the multi-billion arms deal in South Africa in 2001 until he was cleared by the court on the grounds of technicalities. In 2006, former president of Malawi Bakili Muluzi was arrested for pocketing $12m donated to his country by foreign governments. Former Zambian president Frederick Chiluba was arrested and charged with 11 counts of stealing money meant for the Zambia's development.

Guinea has large deposits of gold diamond, iron, nickel and uranium yet poverty is so severe that the country was ranked among the top 1% of most corrupt countries in Africa and 160th out of 177 in the UN's Development scale.

Gabon and Angola are no different. The late Omar Bongo of Gabon is known in the world for the way he and his family looted Gabon's oil revenue and used the proceeds to buy expensive and luxury properties in France. French Police investigation into the Bongo's illegal looting of Gabon's oil revenue established that the Bongo have 39 expensive apartment, fleet of luxury cars and owned 70 bank accounts in France. Similarly Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo Brazzaville also has 112 bank accounts in France with hundreds of millions of euros stashed in them. He also has mansions and fleet of cars similar to his father-in-law (Omar Bongo) all with the full knowledge of French authorities. 

On Friday 31, 2007, the Guardian newspaper in Britain published a report by Kroll, an international risk consultancy firm, that Daniel Arap Moi, Kenya's former president and his family banked £1 billion in 28 countries including Britain. The family used shell Companies, secret trusts, front men and his entourage to siphon the money away. Moi's family also bought multimillion pound properties in London, New York, South Africa including 10,000-hectare ranch in Australia.

In Sudan the recently released US diplomatic cables by Wikileaks show that Omar Al Bashir has been able to loot 9 billion dollars of the country's oil proceeds and stashed it in UK and other jurisdictions with the help of British banks especially the Lloyds Banking Group. According to the US cable leaked by Wikileaks Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the International Criminal Court prosecutor contemplated going public with Bashir's loots which has turned Sudan into a desert of poverty. "Ocampo reported Lloyds bank in London may be holding or knowledgeable of the whereabouts of his money".

In Egypt for instance there are reports that over the 30 year period in which Mubarak has been president, Mubarak, his wife, Suzanne, and his two sons (Gamal and Alaa) have amassed wealth to the tune of $70bn. Swiss Bank UBS and the Bank of Scotland in Britain are reputed to be hosting much of the money they have acquired, while New York, London, Los Angeles also play host to the many properties owned by the family, not to mention the countless properties they own in Egypt itself including lands and hotels in Alexandra,Cairo, Sharm el-Sheikh and Suez.

Christopher Davidson, professor of Middle East politics at Durham University, told the Guardian newspaper in UK that "Much of Mubarak's money is in Swiss bank accounts and London property. These are the favourites of Middle Eastern leaders and there is no reason to think Mubarak is any different. Gamal's Wilton Place home in London is likely to be the tip of the iceberg."  Meanwhile there are one million children roaming the streets of Cairo and other cities without home, education and future.

In countries such as Cameroon, The Gambia and Libya, a kleptocracy class of people have replaced anything democracy. Leaders amass wealth at the expense of their poor countries and continue to mismanage whatever remains of their corrupt activities. Because most of the leaders are former military officers or former rebels with no grasp of economics and management, they are unable to formulate any good economic policies that will transform and grow their economies hence poverty has become a part of the people but their leaders know not what poverty is. 

In DR Congo it is estimated that gold and diamond deposits alone could fetch the country 23 trillion dollars not to mention the abundance of timber and other several minerals that are found in large quantities such as columbo-tantalite (coltan) and cassiterite (tin ore) yet years of corruption, mismanagement, conflicts and foreign involvement have made this resource rich nation one of the poorest in the world. Western nations cannot maintain their current level of lifestyle without Congo. Most corporations in the west can easily go bust without Congo. If Congo is the bloodline of the west and the west is rich because of Congo, why is Congo so poor?

Where are the billions of dollars from the sale of these minerals? The answer lies in the history of the nation which is endemic corruption, armed conflict and foreign involvement. Mobutu in his 32 year reign is believed to have taken several billions of dollars from the treasury and deposited it in his numerous Swiss bank accounts.

Everyday in Walikale, about 16 aircraft fly out of the city with loads of minerals bound for Rwanda. These stolen minerals further find their way in the western mineral markets in London and Switzerland. The proceeds are shared by the Generals, politicians, western companies the businessmen in Rwanda, the warlords in Congo who use part of their share to acquire weapons that are used to terrorise the people and prolong the war.

Western governments are quick to preach good governance to Africa but they fail to preach the same message to their banks who act as save havens for these corrupt leaders. Even though these countries like to portray themselves as civilised and cultured, they have failed to recognise that keeping monies that are dishonestly obtained from the poor people on earth taints whatever reputation they might have. How can a continent develop when monies meant for her development are stolen by her leaders and kept by countries who praise themselves as civilised, cultured, loving and democratic?

Africa is poor today because Swiss and other western banks collude with African kleptocrats to loot the continent. Corruption is rife on the continent because those who steal the money never lack a place to hide it. The dictators are able to steal so much because Western governments particularly France, Britain, Switzerland and the United States often turn a blind eye to the adulterous relationship between their governments, MNCs and the dictators in Africa. On 21 June 2010 Christine Lagarde, French Finance Minister and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of World Bank wrote an article titled “No Safe Havens for Dirty Money”. In their article they urged all countries to play by the rules, fight corruption and end safe haven practices. They argued for “better regulation, good governance, and accountability. “No safe havens for tax evasion. No safe havens for money laundering and terrorism financing, and no safe havens for cozy financial regulation” so they wrote but Ms Lagarde and her government have done little if not nothing to practice what they preach. Ben Ali of Tunisia, the Bongos in Gabon, Paul Biya of Cameroon, Nguesso and Dos Santos have become very corrupt because of their closeness with successive French governments, politicians and the business elite in France. 

The impact of the large scale rampant corruption is that people who should not live in poverty are living in poverty. Roads, hospitals, schools, electricity and other social and economic infrastructures that should be provided with the money are never provided. Children die because of lack of food and lack of essential medicine in the hospitals. Unemployment becomes high because money does not circulate for people to have access to loans that could be used to establish their own businesses. Inflation becomes high and prices of food are put beyond the limit of the ordinary people. In the end the entire economy suffers. People harbouring grievances are no longer willing to sit quietly. Their frustration turned into despair and demonstration and sometimes violence uprising become the order of the day as current situation in the Niger Delta shows with consequences for everyone. Vandalism and looting of properties built with the stolen money becomes the target of the people who have been denied the opportunity to benefit from the economy.

Fighting corruption should not be left to the poor countries alone. Western countries have a duty to stop their nations being used as safe havens for stolen monies from the African continent. They should return all looted money put there by corrupt African leaders to the African people. There must be an international coalition dedicated to tracking all stolen monies on the face of the earth with Africa given to priority.

*The author is anti-corruption campaigner and the author of "Switzerland: A parasite feeding on poor African and Third World countries?"

Saturday, February 5, 2011

CEPS and Corruption in Ghana: Where Does the Buck Stop?

Recent revelations by Anas Amereyaw Anas showing how the Tema harbour has been turned into a house of thieves is no news to many Ghanaians. The only people who seem to have no idea is President Mills and his ministers who are paid with the tax payers' money to protect and defend the country and yet have failed to lead the country and act decisively when it comes to matters of national importance.


President Mills and his ministers paid with the tax payers' money are claiming ignorance about the massive corruption that exist at the harbour and indeed in many of the institutions in the country. The corruption revealed by Anas is just a tip of the iceberg if one considers in totality what is going on in the country. The culture of corruption in the country begins right from the Castle (the Seat of Government). There are people who use the office of the president to solicit favour from the public. There are ministers who are using their offices for financial and material gain at the cost of the nation. Carl Wilson and many of his cohorts are still going around with guns terrorising the people after it became known that he was using his association with Alex Segbefia (presidential aide) to steal cars from Tema Harbour.

Corruption at Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) runs deep from the head to the bottom. The head of the commission of CEPS is corrupt.There are custom officers who own 13 cars  and 5 houses in Koforidua, Accra, Tema, Ho, Aflao. The police is the same. 


Take the Accountant General's department for example where people who have gone on pension are made to pay thousands of cedis before their money is released to them. Those who are not able to pay money to the accountants sometimes die and leave their money behind. 

It is no secrete that the Lands Commission and the Town and Country planning are one of the corrupt institutions in the country. The many land disputes scattered all over the country have come about because of the corrupt officers who in cahoots with some traditional leaders are making millions of cedis at the expense of the people of Ghana.

At the Immigration Headquarters there are people who have turned their office into money making jackpot. I can give the example of one officer called George who after going to University of Sheffield in Britain to study learnt nothing but how to take bribe. This George (a senior officer) is teamed up with one officer called Victor and are making money using their office. Nobody goes to the Immigration Office without paying money. The officers there use tactics that force people to give them money. 


Does anyone know any institution in Ghana that is not corrupt? I am struggling to find one.

It is not the existence of corruption that make people unhappy and angry, it is the lack of effort by the President, his ministers and the institutions to fight corruption with the potency it needs that makes people angry. There is the tendency for people accused of corruption to be allowed to continue their corrupt activities without any penalties. Take the Elubo corruption case revealed by Anas for example. The Attorney General's office has shown no interest to prosecute CEPS and other officers who were caught on tape aiding and abetting smuggling. Take the Osu Children's Home saga also revealed by Anas in which officers were caught manhandling children, and food and items donated to them systematically stolen by the officials. No one got punished, no one got sacked. The same people who were stealing and beating the orphans are still in charge doing as usual what they have been caught on tape doing: stealing items and abusing the children. 

Take the other classic revelation by Anas i.e. the Accra Psychiatry investigation. The nurses and officer who were caught abusing inmates, and selling food and other items are still in charge doing their old stuff.

This is what makes we the people of Ghana angry. We have leaders who cannot take action. We have leaders who are happy milking nation and failing to protect the interest of the people. We have a president who is always preaching and yet failing to practice what he preaches. We are slowly documenting all these crimes one day the people of Ghana will take the law into our own hands and give ourselves justice: justice that will make sure that CEPS officers stealing, aiding and abetting smuggling; police officers taking money from drivers; accountants failing to pay pensioners; immigration officers taking money from travelers. 

We know the government is on the side of the corrupt and the powerful that is why nothing is being done to prosecute and punish the corrupt and the greedy in the country. But we know our day will come.

One day all will account to us. We the people will deliver instant justice to make the poor and the powerless strong and happy. The Sipa Yankey's and their cohorts will account to us. We shall take away from them all that they have stolen from the poor people of Ghana.

 A day will come in which those turning Ghana into the epicentre of international cocaine business will answer to the people of Ghana. A day will come in which we will deliver justice to the people of Ghana and restore true democracy, freedom, development. A day is coming in which we will rescue the nation from the wolves, and vampires in the country; from the corrupt CEPS, police, accountants and immigration officers and restore dignity to our dear nation.

We are watching and following closely what our North African brothers and sisters in Tunisia and Egypt are doing; their effort to defeat corruption, cronyism, nepotism, poverty and restore hope to the people. We are watching their effort to demand accountability, probity and justice from those entrusted with the responsibility to manage the resources of their countries. 

Our day will come very soon.

By Lord. A. Adusei