Ghana Parliament – The Need For proper Email Communication.


I do not know what exactly  prompted me to go digging, but I vaguely remember reading a Twit from one person to another. The first person making the Twit appeared to be a member of Parliament in Ghana. I was not too sure so I did a quick Google of his name and got the confirmation that he was actually a Member Of the Ghanaian Parliament. The confirmation was from the Ghana Parliamentary website. So that was good enough for me. Then something struck me. His email address was listed as a “@yahoo.com”. I did a quick scan of other members of parliament of the Ghana Parliamentary website and noted that there were a few others that had “@yahoo.com” email address. Some even did not have an email address!

I found this very strange. So it means that if one member of parliament wants to send an email – lets say a sensitive email – to another, it has to be routed from one “yahoo.com” account to another. Since most of the members listed do not have email addresses it means that exchange of emails is something that hardly occurs. Coming from an IT back ground I was expecting that there would be a proper utilisation of a  mail server, setup to cater for all members of parliament. The lack of proper utilisation of mail server can be attributed to various reasons. I will let make you suggestions in the comments section. What comes as a surprise to me is that when you go to the “Contact Us” page, there is a “info@parliament.gh” and “webtech@parliament.gh” email address. So the question is, why have all the Members of Parliament not been given a valid “@parliament.gh” email address?

To get a comparison, I took a look at the Parliamentary Site for members of Parliament in the UK. The result was totally different. So lets take a look.

Here is the link to the Ghana Parliamentary WebSite => http://www.parliament.gh
I
 must admit, most of the names that I sampled do not have an email address! The ones below are using their own personal email addresses. One does not have an email address.

This is the link for the UK Parliamentary WebSite => http://www.parliament.uk

So you can see what I am getting at in terms of my comparison. My next step will be to send an email to info@parliament.gh and ask why every member of parliament listed on the website does not have a valid “@parliament.gh” email address. If I do get a response, I wonder what the response will be.

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Christenings – Just Love Them: Amelie’s Christening


I love Christenings, even though I do not attend as many of them as I should do for someone who loves these events. Last week, I got an invite to attend one which was hosted in a little village called Stanwick, not far from where I live.

But before I continue to narrate events of that day and share optics taken, I would like to share an article I came across on the internet, buried in the archives of the New York Times. Essentially it saves me the trouble of explaining to you what an Outdooring is and what it involves. The article does a good job on this. From my personal experiences of outdoorings that I have attended in Ghana, these occasions are more intricate and detailed when performed in Ghana as a lot of other things are taken into account in preparation for that special day.

Naadu, Ewurabena and I arrived about 10 minutes early, found a spot to park and made out way into this lovely English medieval  church. The ceremony did not take that long, after which we all made track to an English pub not far away for food and drinks.
On the flip side, I also love Ghanaian Outdooring Ceremonies. Ghana being quite diverse in its culture, there are obviously different formats these Outdoorings take depending on the tribe/region the couple hosting the ceremony are from. What strikes out immediately at a Ghanaian Outdooring are the colourful traditional clothes worn by guests.

I have not been to a Ghanaian Outdooring Ceremony for quite a while, so I have made it one of my calendar events to attend one on my next visit to Ghana this September.

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Ghana Education Service employs 40,000 drivers – Nii Moi Thompson


GES_Drivers

I stumbled across this on someones Facebook page and decided to give it some space and attention on my Blog. For quite some time now, I have not been surprised by the events that have been unfolding in Ghana. Not that I have become used to them but rather I know that one day – not too far away, the ordinary Ghanaian will rise up and start kicking the backside of those politicians who think they can fool the ordinary Ghanaian forever. As mentioned on a Google+ post on something entirely different, I find it extremely hard to understand all these ministers and other Government officials who occupy very prominent positions fail to show any sort of management skills/intellect in terms of running their respective departments. To make matters worse, these are officials who have been chosen to run whatever departments they have been assigned to because they have been vetted and subsequently passed the vetting process as being qualified.

So lets break this piece of news yanked from Accra City Times down:

An Economic Advisor to the President, Dr. Nii Moi Thompson has revealed that the Ghana Education Service(GES) currently employs about 40, 000 drivers.
According to him, majority of these drivers are redundant, but they have been added to the national payroll, thus increasing government’s expenditure

OK, so as not to shoot myself in the foot, I made my way to Google and did a search for the meaning of the word “redundant”. Obviously there were several hits, but I went for the Oxford Dictionary meaning. This is what is say:

“No longer in employment because there is no more work availableeight permanent staff were made redundant

So how does say 5,000 drivers [for arguments sake] get added to the payroll if they have been made redundant because there is no longer any work for them?

Dr. Thompson stated that the number of people on Ghana’s payroll, is 11 percent higher than that of the UK.

I am not going to even ask how he came about this figure, but once again, working on the basis of assumptions, does this not strike to someone [I am referring to those appointed to run the GES and those to watch over it] as alarming?

Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Tsegah said the criticisms against the GES’ move were unfounded since the number of drivers accurately corresponds with vehicles within the service.

How is this even mathematically possible when the economic advisor has mentioned that “a majority” of these drivers are redundant?

“GES is not a small organization; we are talking about an organization that spans the length, breadth, width and every part of the country”
“We are talking about 37,000 basic schools, we are talking about secondary schools, we are talking about administrative structures, we are talking about a number of institutions,”Mr. Tsegah said.
According to him, every single driver deployed by the GES plays an important role in the sector.
“If you have an institution of such a national magnitude you need drivers so you cannot just say that we have 40,000 drivers and want everybody to giggle about it. This is a serious matter”

This is what my face book friend questioned in a comment on her FB page:

“SOMEBODY tell me that with 40000 vehicles and 37000 basic schools, CHILDREN who need it are bussed to school in Ghana.
In his rebuttal, the DGES mentions 37,000 basic schools and I wish he’d added the numbers of secondary schools and tertiary institutions and what they need 40,000 cars and drivers for. Do they bus children to basic school? Does each basic school have a car or two assigned to them? In my day, boarding schools had a boneshaker or two with the school name painted on it, so maybe the number of secondary schools and tertiary institutions would be a more useful figure. The DGES is going to have to explain better about why they need 40,000 drivers. Details are important when numbers are mentioned.”

 

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The Shame Of Lavender Hill


I sincerely have hope that despite what is currently going on in all aspects of the Ghanaian economy, the country will lift  itself out of the current situation it is in and be managed properly by leaders who have vision. Fortunately or unfortunately for me I have witnessed the gradual change from good to bad since arriving in Ghana in 1970 till this present day. You may walk around the capital if Ghana, Accra and see all these high rise buildings going up, you may also see all the fly overs that have been constructed and are being constructed; and you may smile and say to yourself that Ghana is moving ahead in development. But when you actually sit back and do some deep reflection, do you really think that from what Dr Kwame Nkrumah had as a vision for Ghana and what he set rolling as his dream of a better Ghana; does the question still linger, has Ghana really developed?

Personally, I am of the opinion that Ghana has lost sight of the obvious and ignorantly ignored what needs to be taken care of. The average Ghanaian is ignorant. He/she is wrapped up in performing the basic need – surviving, and thus has no time to educate him/her self.

The Youtube Video will educate you on what is happening, what should not happen and what should happen [which will be your conclusion].

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Startup Success Stories – It Is Possible In Ghana.


I have so much respect for people who have for what ever reason[s] taken the plunge and started their own business, especially in Ghana. My main focus of course is in Information Technology. Considering the environment one finds him or herself in, kudos to those who are able to take the step towards full filling their dreams. For each Success Story that I read about, the more I am driven to chase my own goals of setting up my own company in Accra, Ghana.

Several trips to Ghana over the past years has educated me to the fact that Ghana is moving forward in terms of technological advancements. There is still a long way to go, however the gap is fast being closed with people in Technology chasing after their dreams.

One story I came across today was that of a lady called Regina Agyare. Regina Agyare is the CEO of Soronko Solutions.

‘When you have a dream and a desire, it is like an alarm clock goes off inside of you. Turning the snooze button does not work, as the alarm will go off again. You just have to wake up.’

Check out Regina’s piece on Lean In

 

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Searching/Ideas….Something to Knock Me Out


My initial thoughts for plot 22 was to renovate both the Out Building and the Main House. However after careful thought coupled with ideas from other sources and finally looking at the finances available to me; the best option was to demolish the whole place and build a new structure. Ok so that was the first thing out the way. The second issue, finding an example of a house, built or picture was not hard to find. My brother has recently built himself a  house at McCarthy Hill. It is absolutely beautiful. I had previously seen optics of it on Facebook, but my immediate thoughts were that these were probably optics he had obtained elsewhere (smile). I did not even realise he was having a house built for him and his family. The house looks lovely, something certainly along my tastes. When I was in Ghana this March, I made arrangements with him one afternoon for him to take me to his crib. The optics did not tell a lie. It even has a swimming pool! The amazing thing is that so much detail has been incorporated onto a limited portion of land. Next door to him, his neighbour is almost 80% completed on his building. It looked absolutely horrible. I see a lot of these types of buildings being built in Accra. They are hideous. They have massive roofs and about two to fours tall pillars making up part of the front of the building. I totally hate them.

I have posted some optics of his crib; and this is just the outside. One thing that impressed me was the location of the water tank. It is not perched on some tall structure purposely built for it or on the top of the house as you mostly see. It is actually at the back of the house on the ground. Water is feed to the house by a pump. He has really done a good job of it. I could go on for ever describing his crib.

It does not take much to get ones creative juices flowing. For him, he got some inspiration from Houzz. The next thing was to get him to introduce me to the contractor who built his house. I have been in constant contact the contractor, but have also engaged another builder to throw some designs at me. I really want to make this building stand out from the rest. I need it to be the talk of Nyaniba, so it has to be very appealing to the eye.

So far, my brothers contractor, Boadi has not been able to “wow” me. This other builder, Justice has caught my eye with his sketch and 3D design drawings presented. I have thrown a sketch his way, but the results from him do not move me. His 3D drawing based on the sketch doe not move me.

This is what Justice has suggested:
Approach View Front View

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Changing The face of Nyaniba Estates.


Nyaniba is such an awesome place to live. I have never thought much about this place. My first glimpse of Nyaniba Estates was when I returned to Ghana from the UK with my Mum. I was 10 years old. My first school there was St Michaels International School, situated next to Akoadjie Park. Back in those days, we had 24/7 electricity and water. The roads were properly tarred. As kids, we did not have a care in the world. I moved away back to the UK after my National Service teaching at Tamale Secondary School. I returned briefly shortly after the death of my Mum to bury her. This was when I noticed that things had changed. The road [as I knew it as Blogordao Road] in front of my crib had totally lost its top surface. Most of the gutters were blocked with all manner of refuse. I found it hard to believe that this was the posh neighbourhood I had grown up in. I felt really sad.

NyanibaGutterNyaniba Gutter Close Up
I did not let this discourage me. After all we all have a part to play in the development of our community. It did not take long for me to get this mess sorted. I am proud to say that this gutter no longer looks like this.

Over the past 6 years that I have been making regular trips to Accra/Nyaniba, the roads appear to be maintained, at least the ones that I frequently use. The one the runs in front of my crib has certainly been resurfaced. A lot of people are renovating their homes or knocking them completely to build new structures. This is good. The ones that I have seen so far are extremely nice. I feel that these are exciting times in Nyaniba.

The Plot.

The PlotTo put things into a better perspective, I have added as a layer the location of my crib as seen on the Site Plan in relation to where it fits in on Google maps.
Over the months to come, I would like to share with you my plans for the development I have for Plot 22. Because of Plot 22’s location, I would like to have something exciting built. Something that will certainly stand out to most people who drive up and down the Ring Road past Labone Junction.

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