ThinkExist Dynamic daily quotation

"Think of these three things: whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account"--Benjamin Franklin

secret Posted by Hello

Monday, February 21, 2005

On Blazing a Trail, Tarantino, and "Equilibrium" (Christian Bale)

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail... " (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Delusions -- indeed -- of grandeur are setting in, so stop me before I go too far;-))

point is I chanced upon my article on the deregulation thing on Club Ghana. It was for personal consumption! But hey, it's up there. What can u do? It's, I guess, stupid to assume that anything you post online will not find its way out of your intimate site, and outside the parameters of your "eccentric" or conservative world. It I sjust not possible that it will stay there untouched without the indefatigable google finding its way to it by way of its various spidering techniques:-)

Anyway, this revelation has come as an epiphany of sorts in the sense that I am fast beginning to realise I best watch what I write...clubgh Ghana has founf my site, and may visit it again. However, taking cognisance of this should not mean that I start affecting, or exaggerating, my life: it should quintessentially be about me, and my life--as solipsistic as that may sound:-(

Let me enlighten you a bit about that word. I remember it so vividly being used by a Guardian writer about Quentin Tarantino in 1998. WOuldja believe that a quick search in The Guardian's archive was unable to find it, but I found it!

here it is: the article from Guardian on Tarantino, which I would do good to just cull the first paragraph: "He always knew he'd have a place in history. He's arrogant, precious, pretentious and solipsistic. He's also a bit of a genius. Simon Hattenstone spoke to Quentin Tarantino

Blazing the trail
I am not quite sure that's what I want to do, but I must admit that it is one of the most profound quotations out there. It evokes a visceral desire {yes, my A-Level English literature training coming out rather in the wrong way!} to just to better and pust that EFFING envelope just a bit to make a difference...

I had an interesting weekend, to say the least. I am a new man for the second time. I crossed the line with a friend in a very intimate way, and am seeking to consolidate our friendship. It's a good thing I had always been attracted to her. thing is I never knew she found me attractive, too, so that is just a bit of a major boost in my confidence!

I wrote a rather rambling comment for a film with Christian Bale--"Equilibrium"--that I found profoundly interesting and yes, to borrow from my Dad's favourite word "existentialism". I didn't think I would feel it, but I do miss them, and it's been only a week plus a few days. I KNOW I won't be saying that when they arrive in two days from the Central region!:-))

anyway, here's the comment I wrote for IMDB:
Equilibrium (2002)
Breath-taking and captivating film..., 21 February 2005

*** This comment may contain spoilers ***

I caught the film from the part when Bale's character Preston runs towards the door and, in full speed, kills everyone in the room in a flash.

I fell in love.

With the film, that is. I couldn't get up to go and have my dinner! Point is, I haven't seen any of the films being referred to -- 1984, Fahrenheit 451, etc -- though I know of the authors behind them. Who can *not* know Orwell? or have heard of the oft-quoted "Matrix". I was never really a science-fiction buff, but having seen this, I may re-consider.

I cannot tell you how the beginning started (that itself is a bit of a paradox!) but all I can say that if you haven't seen this film, then you better go to an outlet and get a DVD of it.

The only words that I could mutter throughout the film was that it was an allegory. Pls let me explain. One dictionary definition of allegory is "a story which conveys a meaning different from the literal one".

I think that pretty much sums it up, though I must preface all that by saying, then again, most films carry a subtext that transcends the literal.

Christian Bale's acting was superb. Add to that the concatenation, or combination, of the fight sequences, which I though were original in their own ways from "The Matrix". The kung-fu styles and the artistic manner in which the fights were choreographed were downright sexy.

Yes, they exuded an originality that I personally didn't find in the Matrix. This film is in a class of its own, and that is why I think I have rambled incessantly.

Cutting to the chase, I would like to add that the idea that we could live in a world where we are devoid of emotion is scary. I don't think this will ever happen. That said, I thought the justification for killing people because they started to feel emotions was credible. In a world where values are tipped upside down, everything is acceptable. But, in so many ways, this film is not just about the future.

It doesn't reek so much of eschatological themes that predominate the oft-quoted "Matrix", "Gattica", to name but two...but more of the reality we are heading towards right here, right now in 2005.

How many of us are impassionate towards the picture of people starving in Africa, or disasters in parts of the world where, as Neville Chamberlain said (paraphrased)-- in 1938 to his UK constituents before the so-called "appeasement" towards Hitler over Czechoslovakia became entrenched in history--of a country we know little of?? How many times have we tried to intervene on someone's behalf when something bad is happening to them, or when someone is in trouble? Some may say we are already living "privatised" lives, and to that extent, we are slowly and surely becoming bereft of the emotions that so characterised life a long time before Reagan and Thatcher botched things up and brought the culture of profit over people as the most important element of human personality.

You could argue that there are elements of a post-911 world in here intermixed with fears of the "Nether" (wasn't that the name of the downtown that the clerics and their enforcers would go to to destroy "contraband"?), but the point is no film is written without the context of the reality of the day, and so if it is that, then it is small wonder.

what is wonderful, however, is the blend of reality, plus the possibility of a future that will never happen, including stunning visuals that help provoke thoughts of what being human is really about that counts.

You cannot watch this film without leaving it feeling something. In that sense, the director and the writers and the people who came up with the theme -- as unoriginal as it may or may not have been -- were successful.

Because in the end, we all felt something, and we were all provoked and thoroughly disturbed.

For me, that is the making of a successful film.

I give it an 8/10

Wonder why it's still pending???

Off to lunch now. Press briefing at 3pm on our major conference coming up.


Friday, February 18, 2005

Taming of the Shrew

My god. Dee is such a shrew. She's so effing cantankerous.

Yesterday, I tried reasoning, actually no, it was more of a reprimand, but done very discretely--the way she lashed out!!

I ended up--much to my chagrin--apologising to her on the way home in from t of a much-bemused taxi driver...

who says life isn't interesting.

It's out, and I am finally so happy I have said it.

Honestly, I FANCY her so much; she's GORGEOUS and so SEXY. The way she caressed Fenix suggests that she is a very, or at least, has a very caring side. And I know. When she's quiet and calm, there's no nicer person...

But honestly, taming her is a bit of a calamity...she's too wrapped up in enjoying being shrew-like, and that, frankly, is not healthy.

I'm almost sometimes too scared to tell her stuff.

That's surely wrong, no? Why should I be afraid to speak candidly to her about things? She's not my wife nor my girlfriend. She's a friend I appreciate very much, but I don't know what she thinks of me...

I know she likes me for sure, but she does get pissed off with me.

Oh well, I'm no angel , and sometimes, I stretch her patience a bit too thin.

But all that said, I like her, so I just have to be patient. I don't even have a picture of her yet...


BTW, finally managed to meet Elaine; she's not as much of a babe in real life as I expected. A bit petite, but she's definitely good-looking. They've got a very nice house...

I'm glad I have met her, cos I don't think she's my type: she doesn't follow the news; sleeps early; is almost too effete, i.e comfortable with her life, she does not want to break out of that comfort.

For me, that's a major turnoff.

I like my women a cross between Dee, Patience, and Mabel: assertive without being aggressive; submissive without being weak-willed; good-looking and strong-minded without being whimsical...respectively...

oh, and for the latter, intelligent...

BTW Elaine paid me a complement -- out of the blue -- that I , according to her, am better lookingin real-life than in my picture on Yahoo...

am I expecting too much in a woman?

I am meeting Grace this evening...I have a bit of a crush on her...

I really hope something happens, though I cannot guarantee cos I probably will be TOO tired:-(

Besides, I'm a gentleman,

Nudge nudge, wink wink...


Thursday, February 17, 2005

A Bit of History about Citi-FM-97.3


City FM Hits Accra Airwaves Soon

Posted on: Friday, June 11, 2004 | Print this Page


ACCRA is welcoming another private radio station onto its airwaves by the end of this month. The new station, City FM, will be the tenant on 97.3 Mhz, and it will be operating from the heart of the city at Adabraka, with English dominating its programme format.
City 97.3 FM, which will be the 16th station on the Frequency Modulation dial in the Accra/Tema Metropolis, comes at the time when the competition in the broadcast industry is getting keener with each station developing new programmes to stay in the competition.

According to Mr. Samuel Attah-Mensah who will be in charge of the station, City FM will emerge gradually to its rightful position in the industry in spite of the formidable competition in the industry.

On the reach of the station he said City FM would go as far as the National Communications Authority (NCA) will allow it.

Already some names in the industry have started making the rounds as those whose voices would be heard on City FM. These include Jimmy Quist, former host of Jimmy’s Jam on Joy FM (the last of which was broadcast last Friday); Paul Adom Otchere (formerly with Joy FM and now host of Good Evening Ghana on Metro TV); Odelia Ofori, formerly of Radio Universe; and Mac Diamond (a Sunny FM presenter). Other new presenters will complement them.

For Mr. Samuel Attah-Mensah this will be his third attempt at helping to set up a radio station having helped in the recruitment for Adom FM and Luv FM.

Suffer fools gladly

not suffer fools gladly

to have very little patience with people whom you think are foolish or have stupid ideas that:-)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

My great grandfather was a reverend...

Finally, I have found the info abt my great grandfather (that should be Sam and I)-- ie Dad's grandfather from

OK, it's a cache, but better than nothing!..:-)


Very Rev. Andreas Aku — 1992

Very Rev. David Bensah — 1923-1926

Very Rev. E. Awuma — 1927-1939

Very Rev. B.S. Amegashie — 1940-1951

Very Rev. M. W. Akama — 1952-1956

Very Rev. E. K. Galevo — 1957-1968

Very Rev. A. K. Abutiate — 1969-1972

Very Rev. C. K. Dovlo — 1973-1980

Very Rev. Prof. N. K. Dzobo — 1981-1990

Very Rev. E. K. Amenyedu — 1991-1995

Rt. Rev. (Cdr) F. H. Gbewonyo — 1996 –


Rev. R. S. Kwami — 1923-1945

Rev. C. G. Baeta (Professor Emeritus) — 1946-1948

Rev. G. K. Ampofo — 1948-1950

Rev. F. R. Ametorwobla — 1950-1954

Rev. F. H. Buatsi — 1954-1962

Rev. E. Y. Forson — 1963-1974

Rev. A. Y. Wurapa — 1974-1983

Rev. G. K. Atimpo — 1984-1990

Rev. V. E. Otitiaku — 1991 --1999

Rev. S. K. Ofori — 2000 -

My paternal grandfather was a Pharmacist!

Just uncovered a website, where I realise the E.K.Bensah was too uncanny.

Ofcourse, that's a bit of lie, as Dad has told me "a maintes reprises" that O'Pop, as he was endearingly referred to, was a Pharmacist before he was elected as an M.P for Swedru during the first republic when Kwame Nkrumah became president:

Past Executives

Pharm William A. Hanson [1935]

Pharm J. E. Brown [1935]

Pharm Jonny Amarteifio [1942]

Pharm Johnny Hansen [1944]

Pharm G. O. Jones-Quartey [1948]

Pharm E. K. Bensah [1961]

Pharm B. E. D. Ofori-Atta [1965]

Pharm Victor Kofi Aidoo [1971]

Pharm Dr. K. Sarpong [1974]

Pharm Ago Simmonds [1975]

Pharm J. Pearce-Biney [1981]

Pharm K. A. Ohene-Manu [1983]

Pharm E. O. Gyamfi [1987]

Pharm Prof. K. Boakye-Yiadom [1993]

Pharm D. Anim-Addo [1993]

Pharm Dela C. Ashiabor [1997]

Pharm John K. Arthur [1999]

Pharm Oscar A. C. Bruce [2001]

from: Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana

Here's their logo:

The Learning never stops...

SOmetimes work at the office can take on a kind of artifical reality in the sense that you think you are compelled to do something for which you are paid that means that if you are paid for just trawling the 'Net, then that becomes your daily routine...or just creating sub-sites, or whatnot.

Well, I disagree...

WOrking is also about consolidating what you know anad moving from what you knew little of to what you would like to know more of...

I just came across a great site -- The URL is actually The guide is a cool 92-pages read.

It'm going to be my next pet project. To master the best way possible that guide...

I had always been a budding journalist and if, as my site attests to, the closest I ever came to being a journalist were my diary entries.

I always think how many pages all the diaries I have written since I started in 1988, when Sam was alive and well, {and when we were living in 18 rue eekhout, 1900 overijse--as it was then instead of the now 3090 overijse} would comprise. Certainly more than 100 pages! I am thinking of hiring my future partner to type most of them up:-) Yeah, am serious!!!

But back to my point...I gotta be the person I so want to be...and that means learning everything and ANYTHING on how to become a better journalist...Writiing style has always been , to a certain extent, there as it were, but it needs polishing...I need an edge over most people: WRITING very well-cum-HTMLING very efficiently...that's certainly an "atout" as the French call I can capitalise on.

And now having met Mab_ face-to-face and knowing she's SO into public relations, I guess I'd like to capitalise on the knowledge so that we have PLENTY to talk about when we meet...


Deregulation of Petroleum Sector hits Accra by storm

Accra is reeling under the pressure of the government's decision to raise fuel prices. This wasn't just the impression created by radio broadcasters on stations, such as Joy FM, or my fave station -- CITI FM -- but just a general impression around.

The date was given of 15 February, and so people have panicked against pictures like these {see below}:
No Fuel?!

Just this morning on way to work -- thankfully I got a lift from Mr.K_ -- heard on Joy 99.7fm that Dr.Paa Kwesi Nduom was the one that had initiated this deregulation. Actually, it was suggested, but I kind wonder why an ostensibly hardcore CPP-man, hailing from the Nkrumahist tradition, is promulgating, as it were, a policy that would have been inimical to our first president of Ghana, who initiated a planned and central economy!

WHat an irony...

But all that aside, the excuse is that it is the former administration -- NDC -- which one report described its policies as a "bastardisation" of Nkrumah's policies { I think this was on the CDD website} that started the deregulation process. This much was confirmed by new Minister of Energy Professor Mike Ocquaye who argued last week in that so-called workshop at LaPalm Beach Hotel that it was all the fault of the NDC, and that it, actually, isn't a bad thing!!

Anyway Albert Q is speaking on CITI Prime News at Midday to the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR)

Mrs.Abba-Loco (sp?)"There are figures to show that...was 2.5 Currently, we are doing 3.2 million litres. That is for petrol. It shot you can agree with me that we are doing our very best."

Albert Quarshiga: "my contention here is that...most of the fuel stations we visited this morning, pressure is very low...much is not being supplied...sales are nor reflecting on the market.."

Mrs Abba-Loco:"we have done our own monitoring. There is no shortage Tema, we don't have problems. We are also doing our own monitoring just to find out the nature of the problem..."

I suspect that the so-called OMCs, or oil-marketing companies, have a lot to do with what is going down in t he capital. That people are hording fuel to sell for profit suggests that the confusion that appears prevalent is critical to be broached. People are scared. They are alarmed that they know the date, yet government is not confirming.

So, who can really blame them.

And, besides, if what they said at that petroleum deregulation "workshop" is true, then it means that the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) not yet constituted has a lot to do!

watch this space...

latest stories:
Fuel Crisis: Queues Hit Accra, K’si
No Price Hikes From Budget
Fuel Crisis: Panic Buying Ahead Of Expected Hikes

Tema, Feb. 15, GNA - The Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) says it has enough fuel to supply and that the public has no cause to panic. "Our plant is still working so there is no cause for alarm because we have never stopped supplying in a day," said Mrs Aba Lokko, the refinery's Public Affairs Manager.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), she said TOR would continue to fill over 300 fuel tankers daily and that any shortage may have come from the retail stations.

She said TOR was currently not only supplying regularly but had also increased the quantity of its daily supplies to the market.

For instance from February 6, to February 11, this year, the refinery increased its daily average petrol supply from 2.5 million litres to between 3.1 and 3.9 million litres.

She said diesel supply for the same period also increased from 2.8 million litres per day to between 3.2 million litres and 4.1 million litres.

When GNA visited some filling stations around 1000 hours, there were small queues, which according to some drivers, was because some retail stations had refused to sell the products over the weekend in anticipation of price increases.
A driver at 'Community five' taxi terminal, on condition of anonymity, said it was an artificial shortage due to hoarding by some fuel station owners.

Source: GNA


again, watch this space...

Friday, February 11, 2005

Why Does Nobody Care About Blacks?

feb2005-edition Posted by Hello

This is, admittedly, a rather provocative title. Just bought it, so cannot comment. But I endeavour to bring my impressions once I get my teeth into it this weekend...;-) BTW, Business in Africa magazine claims Thabo Mbeki, President of SOuth AFrica, is "Person of the Year".

Says Who?

I don't like South Africa's attempt to portray itself as the leader of Africa, especially when the first President of Ghana, my country, Dr.Kwame Nkrumah spearheaded the battle to rid that country of Apartheid.

From Ghana in 1957 all the way to the United Nations. Also, I thought I'd add for the record that there are some allegations that J.B.Danquah was a CIA agent. I'm on that...

J.B.Danquah has been in the news for some time now, and I suspect the long-year celebrations is being spearheaded--that word again--by a key figure in the incumbent government...

But anyway, later...

what does 2005 hold in store?

jan2005-edition Posted by Hello

Anver Versi (Editor) provides some insight into "lessons in how to wreck a thriving country". He talks about Cote D'Ivoire, whilst the magasine dedicates an extensive section to what the future of the cojtinent region-wise will look like...

On Trains, Togo Crisis, Radio

It felt like I was missing Belgium, so I decided to check out the latest music on Radio Contact, which remains one of my most favourite Radio Stations in Brussels. In fact, it's the only one I was listening to after years of switching from the sometimes-inane Bel RTL. 1992 to 1993 were my best times then for listening. After a while I got bored.

The reason why Radio COntact is so interesting for me is because of the care-free nature of the presenters. That rocks. Radio is that's really the presenters that make it. Hence my love for BBC Four's flagship programme "Today", which you can find here: Today Programme. Hope the URL is correct...
Anyway, Radio Contact is going to be discussing -- not quite sure now, as the {Teen Page on Saturdays at 3pm on CITI-FM}streaming has just stopped.

But my point is simply that radio is my lifeline to the world. I sometimes prefer it to television, but it's when you're forced to watch tv--because it's there--that you think tv is indispensable...
Bottom line is that nothing is indispensable!! Anyways, going too existential here, so I will refrain and just try to get to the point.

I am still waiting for Radio Contact's website to load...but as I wait I gotta say this...
I called Juliet abt thirty mins ago; she wasn't feeling too well still. Hope she really does get better. Goot look better after my women! Nudge nudge wink wink!:-)) Thought of calling Mabel, but credits low. Also thought of Elaine, but decided to wait a bit. She's keen to talk to me, which can mean that she wants to reconcile. Apart from my contemplative bluff, I think I ought to give her time, especially because I think I still fancy the pants off her!! But must make sure I don't let on. I am simply over the moon that she was asking after me the other day, and hope great opportunities come out of it.
I arrived home late around 8 pm or so after attending the meeting organised by the Institue of Statistical, Social & Economic Research {ISSER} University of Ghana, in collaboration with the Merchant Bank, Ghana Ltd. It was at the cooly-airconditioned hall of the British Council in Accra. The URL? British then you find Ghana, or Accra or something...
The reason why this isfeaturing at all has to do with the point that on CITI Business Edition this morning (7.05am to 7.30am GMT), was it St-Doe Tamakloe?? presented the thirty mins prog on privatisation, and he drew very heavily from the lecture yesterday, which included Dr.Sam Mensah {Chief Executove, SEM International Associates}, with the Chair: Dr.Emmanuel Akwetey, IDEG. This latter dude looks very young, considering all the things he has done: World Bank/UN/Doctorate in Sweden, etc..He was in at TWN-Af the other day. Apparently he did some work with them long before KGA came there.
In any event, as per usual, I recorded the programme, along with some information about ECOWAS and its stance on Togo featured in the programme hosted by Paul Adom Otchere -- Inside Politics.
I prepare for Mankessim this evening as we will all be going tomorrow morning rather early, with me coming back on Sunday with PK--and Fenix too. My god, another strange song by Celine Dion on Radio Contact!!
Anyway, this just in from
Socialists wage class war on trains

10 February 2005
BRUSSELS – Politicians are calling on Belgium’s rail operator SNCB to scrap first-class train compartments.
The French speaking socialist party (PS) is preparing to make a case for the change before the Parliament in the next few days.
Karin Lalieux says rail travel can be made even more attractive by improving the comfort of passengers.
"Comfort is above all about being able to sit down while travelling," she said.
"Getting rid of first class would allow the increase of the number of seated places. In the short-term, by opening up first-class carriages to all, the SNCB could avoid those absurd situations where passengers are standing up in second-class while
first-class is half empty," she continued.
"It isn’t right that 15 percent of seated places are reserved for 3.6 percent of the customers," she added.
Lalieux also argued that it was safer to have passengers travelling sitting down.
Up until now, arguments for scrapping the class system in trains have fallen on deaf ears at the SNCB, which is cautious about getting rid of first-class passengers who pay 17 percent of the total ticket revenue.
Lalieux, however, dismissed those concerns, stating it was for similar reasons that the company initially refused the idea of cut-price tariffs which have finally boosted SNCB profits.
She said first-class customers wouldn’t abandon the trains and argued there were advantages to train running costs from making seating more flexible.
"The role of a public company isn’t to put in place discriminatory pricing in order to make a profit," she added.
Public Enterprise Minister Johan Vande Lanotte, whose party, the Flemish Social Democrats (SPA) also argues for scrapping first-class carriages, said he was very open to considering the PS proposals and discussing them with SNCB.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
I couldn't agree more with the proposal, as I recall for several years that from 1996-2004 when I took train from La Hulpe (outskirts in Brabant-Wallon) to Schuman (EU institutions), the first-class seats were replete with people -- a scattering as it were -- from the European Parliament, and European Commission, plus a few wealthy business reps, whereas the average people -- make that around 80 percent of people were taking the second class, with people standing up packed like Sardines...

Oh well, just thought I'd post thi picture up from BBC news:

More on that, no doubt, later...

Thursday, February 10, 2005

A tongue-in-cheek report of 9 Feb 2005 mtg at LaPalm Royal Beach Hotel, Accra

No such thing as a free lunch
10 February, 2005
By E.K.Bensah II

Ghana, it appears, has never had it so good. Its gold mines have been privatized; its telecommunications sector deregulated; its cocoa sector, too. Now, the government is thinking of deregulating its energy sector – specifically its downstream sector.

This was the theme of the so-called workshop that took place on 9 February at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel. Sponsored by the Government of Ghana, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Plannning, in collaboration with Business and Financial Times, the objective of the workshop was for stakeholders to contribute to the debate on deregulation.

The putative debate, however, was a non-starter for the workshop seemed more like government talking to us – rather than with us. First, let me define who “us” was. A quick glance at the badges of participants during a coffee break made me cringe just a bit. They were all mostly oil company representatives networking and finding ways of “jaw-jawing”.

I remained the silent observer trying to ascertain exactly what I was doing there. It was a good thing I had a question in my pocket—but not before I interviewed the Minister of State for Energy Professor Mike Oquaye.

When I asked him whether in his heart of hearts, he felt deregulation was a good thing, his first statement was sufficient to capture where he was going with the argument: “definitely”, he said, “it’s a good thing”. His basic premise was that if you have debt forgiveness—such as that provided by the German government very recently – what other option was there than to deregulate.

As to whether he would take the issue of deregulation to a referendum, he stated quite expressly that “this is not a matter of a referendum.” He continued that “this is a matter of public policy formulation”. Then, I wondered, why was civil society there? He claimed that the government was “gathering as many thoughts as possible” before submitting them to Cabinet and Parliament. At least, he assured me, “government has a direction”. Then he proceeded to direct the “blame” of deregulation process on the previous administration whilst contemporaneously adding that it would “be accepted by the people of Ghana”.

In an unexpected twist, he started talking about how deregulation would benefit the rural poor. I was confused, but he continued: “I am particularly interested in using energy in the rural areas not merely for lighting, but an instrument for cottage industry application and rural development essentially.”

All these seemed to be lovely semantics, designed to mitigate, I suspect, the frustration of civil society that felt the objective had not quite been met. That’s when I decided it was time to get ready to ask that question.

So after speeches by a Uruguayan academic-consultant that arrived, after twenty minutes, that deregulation was the best option for developing countries, I got up and introduced myself: “my name is E.K.Bensah, and I am from Third World Network”. Almost all heads turned around in surprise.

I wondered why there were no representatives of civil society on the panel to make the debate all-inclusive, then added that “short of this being a cosmetic exercise, please convince me that deregulation is going to serve the poor.”

Even one of the conference ushers, among one or two other people, later said it was a good question; suffice to say, no-one answered my question.

Looking at the agenda was enough to put you off lunch, for if it wasn’t a representative waxing lyrical about deregulation, it was a minister talking about how deregulation is not a new thing, and that it started as far back as 1996. Occasionally, they would tantalize us – the few members of civil society that were there – with the word “regulation”, and attribute it to the newly-formed National Petroleum authority. As a regulatory body, the ministers maintained, it will “be important for refining, distribution, and sale of all petrol”. To boot, it will be “the main watchdog and protector of the consumer”.

The downside was that the so-called OMCs, or Oil-Marketing companies, which had been licensed by the Energy Commission to market petroleum products in Ghana, were now on the increase. There are more than thirty in Ghana at the moment, and they are set to rise. The new untapped area of deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector provides carte blanche for them to maximize profits.

Ultimately, we were forced to accept that Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) could no longer bail out Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) because it was beginning to act as a monopoly. That trend needed to be quashed by introducing deregulation. Bailing out would even suggest that TOR was in trouble; the truth is it wasn’t. What the ministers were suggesting was that government’s propensity to subsidise TOR, with GCB financing TOR, was adversely affecting the economy, and reducing competition. Honorable Dr Nii Ashong of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning maintained that if the money that government was using to subsidize TOR had been used for schools, hospitals, salaries, etc, “the country would have been better for it”.

Personally, I am not quite sure that deregulation of the energy sector will make the country any better. What civil society only did yesterday was to have government legitimize to us – starkly -- the reason why a theory we find so inimical to development was being considered.

At least, the lunch was good.

But as they say, there really is no such thing as a free lunch.


This is definitely a good site to re-visit. The URL:

Be excused (Meaning) Blow chunks (Meaning) Bun in the oven - A (Meaning) Calling for Huey (Meaning/Origin)Carey Street - On (Meaning/Origin)Carnal knowledge (Meaning) Collateral damage (Meaning) Colour up (Meaning) Cor blimey (Meaning/ Origin)Departed - The (Meaning) Differently abled (Meaning/Origin)Do your business (Meaning) Economical with the truth (Meaning/Origin)Eff off (Meaning) Fall asleep (Meaning) Go over to the other side (Meaning) Gordon Bennett! (Meaning/Origin)Hankie pankie (Meaning) Happy event - A (Meaning) Have it away (Meaning) House of ill repute - A (Meaning) In an interesting condition (Meaning/Origin)In reduced circumstances (Meaning) In the club (Meaning/Origin)In the family way (Meaning) In trouble (Meaning) It fell off the back of a lorry (Meaning) Kick the bucket (Meaning/Origin)Knocked up (Meaning) Lady of the night - A (Meaning) Laid off (Meaning) Leave the room (Meaning) Like the Dickens (Meaning/Origin)Lose your lunch (Meaning) Night soil (Meaning) Pass on (Meaning) Pass over to the other side (Meaning) Paying guest - A (Meaning) Pop your clogs (Meaning) Private parts (Meaning) Put on the wooden overcoat (Meaning/Origin)Put to sleep (Meaning) Sleep with (Meaning) Smallest room in the house - The (Meaning/Origin)Spend a penny (Meaning/Origin)Spend more time with my family (Meaning) The call of nature (Meaning) The wrong side of the blanket (Meaning) Tired and over emotional (Meaning) Up the duff (Meaning) Visit the ladies room (Meaning) Well endowed (Meaning) Well hung (Meaning) With child (Meaning)

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

developments, developments...

Mab and I got talking for quite a long time this afternoon. Again, made her smile a bit. She's 24 and is studying. She sounds cute. We got talking about a whole lot of interesting and inconsequential matter, when knowing me, it turned, or at least, made references


That's right, she didn't seem too bothered, which was great, but I didn't want to belabour the point that guys and girls need sex, plus the very fact that it's normal.

Each time I write about sex, I remember that girl from John Fowles' "The Collector" -- Miranda, I think. Brilliant book--even though I wasn't takinig it too seriously whilst studying A-Level at British School of Brussels...

Speaking of BSB, came across Vicky H's contact details. Great that she's working for BBC. Heard her report, and she +really+ does sound like a reporter. Good stuff!!

As for Mab and I, well, lots of good things to come...we r very keen to meet each other:-) and I hope things explode both literally and metaphorically between us...wink, wink!!!

3.58pm GMT
Just called Mer right now; she's busy in the kitchen, so has asked me to call her in circa twenty mins. let's make that thirty.

But, she started off by saying that Baab (El) was just wondering how I was or something, or at least wondering whether Mer had heard of me?!

I like it; good sign? Hope so...

Nice to know I'm being thought of...heart-warming...

anyway...let's not get ALL our hopes up!

It's just gone four, and someone may be wondering whether I am not working: well, the 'Net is down, so I am typing up thoughts instead.

CITI News---yay, with the sexy-sounding Zelda Poku...I'd REALLY love to meet her in person. There's a seriousness about her, coupled with quasi-stage fright, which I find endearing. Mmmm...and she's single...I hope to speak with Albert Q from Citi next week. Would like to talk to him...

Musn't forget that 22 March is NEPAD day.

A list of books on my office desk (which you can find: here) are:

  • Dictionary & Thesaurus {Geddes & Grosset} last reprinted 2002

  • GTUC International Trading System

  • Visions of a Better Tomorrow--NEPAD, ECOWAS and AU

  • Ghanaian Media Overview, Practitioners and Institutions

  • Cooperation South 2003 UNDP: Convergence Movements for Regional Integration

  • The New Partnership for Africa's Development--'Unity and Integration within Africa' or 'Integration of Africa into the Global Economy'

  • The last time I opened any of them was...erm...quite long!

    Need to get back to getting into them--as it were!

    Net back on--thank god...

    4.18pm GMT

    Good to Talk! More thoughts on Togo, ECOWAS

    I talked to K about thirty minutes ago; she sounded a bit despondent. Not surprising in the wake of things going down in her home country of Togo. But I was also very interested to hear her speak Twi--practically fluently. And here's me thinking I speak Fanti very well.

    My god, the lady is good!

    And she sounds like a very personable person on the other side of the phone, too. She gave me my first praise today-- that I had made her feel good.

    Nice to know that I have made a contribution in someone's life today!

    Isn't that what life, ultimately, is all about?

    M called me a "darling" for showing concern about her plight.


    well, you know, what can I say? Maybe members of the opposite sex do appreciate me more than I think they do...

    The situation with Togo is distressing, but on the same day that Accra Metropolitan Assembly is trying to get rid of hawkers on the street, I guess we can exercise our minds on things other than the international-regional-national crisis that will be Togo for some time to come...

    ECOWAS is in there. That's the most important thing. Secondly, do we Ghanaians feel safe That's the second important point; anad finally, what is the government of the day trying, or doing to ensure that there's a degree of rationale and balanced judgement on the whole issue.

    Sure, Ghanaians are even condemning the fact that Ghana was present at the swearing-in, but it's good that these things are happening. I believe they can only help fortify the democracy that is still fledgling in this great country, plus help serve to remindTandja (Niger Chair of ECOWAS) et al that ECOWAS needs to continue setting precedents by maintaining its conflict prevention agenda.

  • latest from CITI-FM97.3 website:

  • World Leaders Condemn 'coup' in Togo
    Posted: 07/02/05 11:00 GMT

    The Togolese army is facing mounting international criticism after it hastily swore in Faure Gnassingbe, a son of veteran President, Gnassingbe Eyadema to succeed him on his death.

    Less than 24 hours after the announcement that Eyadema had died while being flown to France for emergency medical treatment, Togo's leadership was condemned by the pan-continental African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), while the European Union (EU), warned that any unconstitutional actions could threaten relations.

    ECOWAS Executive Secretary, Dr. Ibn Chambas in an interview with CITI NEWS, said the sub regional grouping did not support the transfer of power.

    European Union Aid Commissioner, Louis Michel called on Togo's leaders to respect the constitution warning, otherwise its ties with the EU could suffer.

    He added that anything else could only bring into question the country's stability, internal political dialogue, as well as the prospect of improvements in relations with the European Union.

    The EU, a key aid contributor to Togo, partially resumed diplomatic ties with Togo last November, after cutting off cooperation with Lome in 1993, because of violence and lack of democracy. But the EU has made it clear that continuing improvements in ties is linked to plans to hold elections this year.

    The man who under the constitution should have been named interim President, Parliamentary Speaker, Fambare Natchaba Ouattara, was reported to be heading towards the country's land border with Benin, having been prevented from returning to Togo by plane after the army sealed the borders and airports.

    AU Commission President, Alpha Oumar Konare, described the events in Togo as a seizure of power by the military.

    Olusegun Obasanjo, who is the President of Nigeria and the current Chairman of the African Union (AU), said through a spokeswoman, the AU did not accept an "unconstitutional transfer of power" in Togo.

    South African President, Thabo Mbeki, while expressing condolences for the death of Eyadema, also urged the country to "return to constitutional provisions governing succession of the head of state".

    French President Jacques Chirac, said France is totally in agreement with the condemnation of the AU of any form of coup by force in the former French colony.

    In a statement issued in Niger, President Mamadou Tandja, who is the current Chairman of the 15-member ECOWAS, voiced his "deep concern at the take-over by the Togolese armed forces, which violates the constitution".


    Monday, February 07, 2005

    The Biggest Mystery in Life

    It still amazes me how someone could still, at 27.5, be single. is that possible? STupid existential question to be asking this side of midday, but, hey, sue me! Getting a woman these days, let alone, a GOOD woman is so effing hard! Why?

    It's not always about the lloks I don't think, and it's not about owning a car or not either. It's about meeting someone you are in sync with, and it is still proving so darn annoying to make that extra effort to find a woman.

    I'm all confused, I mean it's not what exercises my mind every single day, but sometimes I think "tick, tock...where's the lady?" And I only see my ugly face...:-(


    The search continues I guess...

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