Friday, 20 September 2013

SBWG: Making the most of multi-citizenship

If you are a second-generation African, like me, and you're looking at starting some sort of life in Africa (even a transnational one) chances are you'll begin at your home country. The country that your parents come from. Lucky for me I get a choice of two: Ghana and Nigeria.

So the best way that I thought to symbolically mark my moving to West Africa was to maybe get a passport. I've been thinking about it and I've been doing some digging. Apparently, dual citizenship in Ghana is not all it's cracked up to be. I have been hearing stories of people facing suspicious questioning and being made to pay "fees" at the airport to be allowed back out of the country.

Practically, dual citizenship is still a complicated right in Ghana and even more complicated for those who are claiming it for the first time instead of reclaiming their Ghanaian citizenship after losing it by virtue of emigration.

Ideologically, the idea of getting a Ghanaian passport if you're foreign-born is really thought provoking. I'm happy to be seen as British when I'm outside of Britain, that's all by virtue of the passport I travel on. Presenting a Ghanaian passport at any border control, (including ECOWAS ones to enjoy visa free mobility) really hits home the idea that I can be non-British outside of Britain and that's not an identity I've prepared myself for. Of course, if I decided to get the Nigerian passport I would face similar, maybe more confronting issues about identity and how the world sees me.

Ahh. What a difference a passport makes.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Ghana's supply to CIV's power demand.

So I read on Ghanaweb that Ghana is going to be supplying Ivory Coast with electricity. Great idea. I know normally people (including myself) often rubbish the government's ideas but I hear this electricity is from the North of Ghana to the North of Ivory Coast and from what I understand the Northern regions don't use a lot of electricity anyway so there's a lot of surplus and what better way to use that surplus than to sell it to a friend.

In Singapore, I came to realise just how important these types of agreements are to keeping the peace (Singapore did at one time have animosity towards Malaysia but now they are both reliant on each other for water - pretty important to keeping the peace). Ghana has been rumoured in the past to have had a few disagreements with Ivory Coast, I think at one time they claimed Ghana's oil fields were actually theirs. So I'm hoping that the government include in any MoUs the clause that such foolishness should cease. And then we all live happily ever after.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

I really respect Nana Akufo-Addo. If I'm honest for the 2008 elections I said hands down he was the better candidate.

The Supreme Court verdict has been out a while and in his immediate speech NADAA came out to say he was taking a break from politics. This is something, among other things, that the big wigs in the NPP are struggling to accept. But they must. They must for the good of the party, they must for the careers of the lesser politicians and they must for the country.

For the party
1. Politics is a game of "bullsh*t". You put down a card, you're either honest or dishonest, and you leave it to your opponents to sweat it over whether they'll call your bluff. The risk of their next move is entirely in their hands. So hands down calling out NADAA as your flagbearer with yet three years to go is like playing bullsh*t facing your cards up.
2. The NPP and NADAA are not guaranteed popularity in the wake of the court case, especially since the NDC want to counter adulation of statesmanship lavished upon NADAA with the age old crime of causing financial loss to the state. (You already know I think the NDC are taking the piss with that one). Nonetheless, NDC supporters and those who don't particularly care for either party may buy the idea that the NPP sulkily dragged the country through 8 months of financial turmoil to selfishly win power. That is a possible opinion. NPP supporters may feel the same, since at the end of the day a party card doesn't mean you agree all the time. The party need to retreat right now from extra-parliamentary politics. They need to build their credibility as an opposition if they want to be considered a worthy ruling party. They need to yet again, let the NDC trip themselves up by trying to call the NPP's bluff on moves it (NDC) can't be sure they've (NPP) taken - hence bullsh*t.

For lesser politicians
1. There are two ways to climb the ladder in politics. Within the party and outside of the party in the public realm. Some people will notice that some Ministers earned their place by showing their mettle in the chamber. Others, you will notice became ministers or deputies without sitting in the chamber and I think we can openly say we notice a major difference in conduct and experience (must I give Victoria Hammah as an example?). Preferably, the President has been through parliament (I say preferably because I note that if anything was to happen to Mahama, Amissah-Arthur would be president without ever being an MP.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Road to Brazil 2014

Have you heard? FiFA rankings put Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Cape Verde and Nigeria as top 5.

Now I called it earlier this year when I said Nigeria would win CAF CAN. I'm not gonna call it this time cos anything goes, but if Africa want to avoid embarrassment I think these are our best 5 teams so let's all get behind them! Sorry Egypt, Cameroon, Senegal, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso (well actually, I'm not sorry for Burkina Faso).

Bring on Brasilia 2014!

p.s. I think Ghana need to play Ethiopia because tbh if we don't get the European-based powerhouses back in time, we might struggle against the others. It pains me to say it.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Who's inviting the diaspora?

I'm doing my dissertation and I came across this. (CLICK AND READ IT) I've got into a few twitter conversations about the necessary extent of diaspora engagement. It seems Africa is capable of doing it with multinationals  with the West  with the Chinese alone, why on earth would they need their deserting brothers and sisters. Afterall the money they sent home to cover everyone's school and hospital fees was just apology money.

I think individual African governments and Africa as a whole need to bring an unambiguous statement of intent. They need to draw up, very clearly, the boundaries for the diaspora. Right now it seems there are so many questions, very few answers.

Chalewote Festival

Gutted to be missing this, this year. Thought I would share so you can enjoy.

The Chalewote street art festival has been going on for a few years now.

Here's a map provided by the organisers.

And here's the e-zine so you know what's where when.

Do what you can and get down there.