Will Theresa May’s Election Gamble Backfire?

Like education where most are resisting too many tests, are we not in danger of having too many elections that decide nothing? Northern Ireland just had an inclusive election, in May there are local government elections and some mayoral elections and then this. Why does she need a fresh mandate to run the country when she already has one. Well could this just be that she is trying to sort out her party – that there are people = the bastards, who may just be challenging her un-elected authority just as Brown was challenged till he finally lost his election when it came up. Like someone suggests denying Scottish referendum vote but going to the people in England is a bit hypocritical when she should be concentrating on delivering the Brexit that she promised. she had bargained on losing the one seat she has in Scotland to gaining more seats in the labour heartland s of the north but i think that the Brexiteers of the north would rather give their vote to UKIP than to the Tories who campaign for Remain. which ever way she might end up being yet another Tory Prime Minister who succumbed to the the curse of Europe,


Ekow  Nelson

Fresh on the heels of Turkey’s referendum, British Prime Minister Theresa May appears to have taken a leaf out of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s strategy and has suddenly decided to go to the country for more legislative room to negotiate Brexit on her own terms, without much hindrance or opposition. But will this work? Or has she awakened a sleeping and demoralised ‘Remain Giant’ that had all but given up on the inevitability of so-called hard Brexit?

Up until recently, the Prime Minister argued strenuously that there was no need to legitimise her position, which she assumed without an explicit vote by the electorate after the resignation of David Cameron. But apparently, after a ponderous reflection over the long Easter weekend, she decided it was right after all to seek a mandate for her programme and her interpretation of Brexit.

She had insisted that “Brexit meant Brexit” without explaining exactly what…

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What and who the President left out

A sound analysis of why the speech was controversial and why a lot of younger people challenged the president on his being economical with the actualite. Too many names were mentioned when the real intention was to big up and rehabilitate Danquah in relation to our independence. The president failed to convince anyone in this regard and almost tarnished the respect that some of us had for Danquah as politician who unlike the president failed to reached the highest public office in our country. Ekow raises important questions about Kulungugu and if the president had cared to read the judgement of his father sitting in the the supreme court on the the treason trial he would not have used this important occasion to discuss a matter that is already settled. Nkrumah remains The Founder of Ghana.



Ekow Nelson

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, used his speech on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Ghana’s independence to retell the story of the struggle for self-government – memorialising victims and celebrating ‘heroes’ alike. He recalled seminal moments in that struggle, like the formation of the Aborigines Rights Protection Society on 4th August, 1897 and their unprecedented but successful mobilization of opposition to the Lands Bills that “forced the colonial authorities to retreat”.

In many ways, what the President did was to render his version of our recent political history about which there is little consensus, with many contested claims on both sides –especially between the United Party’s (UP) and the Convention People’s Party’s (CPP) versions of events.

While the speech was generally commendable in lauding the contributions of people as diverse as the musicologist Dr. Ephraim Amu, Yaa Asantewaa and the formidable Dede Ashikisham…

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James Barnor JamesTown Revisited – Ghana@60 a community photographic exhibition

James Barnor JamesTown Revisited – Ghana@60 a community photographic exhibition



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James Barnor has returned home and we must applaud this young at heart, 87 year old son of James Town, who still active with more projects and things to do, and who in recent times, has consistently put Ghana and Africa right at the top of the world’s attention with his iconic photographs of Ghana in its formative years.

He has been excited from last October 2016, when he held another exhibition in France at Galerie Clémentine de la Féronnière where his photographs were projected all over the Metro stations and streets of Paris as publicity for the exhibition.  This exhibition was also used to promote a book of his photographs and he had an opportunity to present one to President Mahama who was then in France to attend a conference at Unesco.

Continue reading “James Barnor JamesTown Revisited – Ghana@60 a community photographic exhibition”

James Barnor JamesTown Revisited – Ghana@60 a community photographic exhibition

James Barnor JamesTown Revisited – Ghana@60 a community photographic exhibition



Ever Young_Jamestown.jpg

James Barnor has returned home and we must applaud this young at heart, 87 year old son of James Town, who still active with more projects and things to do, and who in recent times, has consistently put Ghana and Africa right at the top of the world’s attention with his iconic photographs of Ghana in its formative years.

He has been excited from last October 2016, when he held another exhibition in France at Galerie Clémentine de la Féronnière where his photographs were projected all over the Metro stations and streets of Paris as publicity for the exhibition.  This exhibition was also used to promote a book of his photographs and he had an opportunity to present one to President Mahama who was then in France to attend a conference at Unesco.

In our weekly discussions since then, he has continued to talk about how his original studio EverYoung on St Edmonds Street needs to be turned into a photographic museum to inspire other young people in James Town British Accra where it all started.  His other project was how to replicate the exhibition of his works that the Black Cultural Archives had mounted in Othello House Kennington to commemorate the Ghana@50 anniversary.

So, when he called one day, and left a message with my son for me, saying that he was on his way to Ghana, I did not quite know what to make of it till I saw in the Ghanaian news online that he had been invested with the honour of Member of the Order of the Volta.  He came back and I was privileged to have attended a reception held in his honour by one of his good friends and Black British celebrated photographer Neil Kenlock, who once co-owned the first commercial Black Radio Station in Britain and he would not stop talking about Ghana@60

Then one day he blurted out the good news. He was going back to France in February to host an exhibition on Ghana@60 at Unesco and then he was going to take that exhibition to Ghana to the former seat of government, the Christianborg Castle.

Well, certainly some of his photographs are now at that Ghana@60 exhibition, but it never really was the the solo exhibition he had contemplated.  The first time Mr Barnor had exhibited in Ghana was in 2012 at the British Council and the Accra Mall, an exhibition sponsored by Myx Quest of Qirv, but now he has two exhibitions going – one at the Movenpick that has been sponsored by the destination-ghana conference and has been ably organised by Ambassador Johanna Odonkor-Svanikier and another at Jamestown Café in Ussher Town.

The James Town exhibition is one of the most innovative exhibitions that has been curated in our time.  It challenges but also projects and promotes the concept that our productive endeavours will best flow out of our creative thoughts and energies and that unless we can appreciate our own arts and culture, our growth and development will remain deficient and dominated by foreign content.

Joe Osae-Addo has turned his ArchiAfrika Gallery and his James Town Café into a community facility to host this important exhibition.  In so doing he is providing a service to the JamesTown community that once boasted distinctive architecture of yesteryears and he has staked his commitment to the regeneration of the area in a way that blends with the people and their spirit.  Into this mix appears Allotey Bruce-Konuah, a visual communicator now running ‘accralomigh’, a scion of the original Bruce who gave us Bruce Road and the Konuah family of educational entrepreneurs who gave us Accra Academy.  He has done marvellous work with the young pupils in Chorkor and probably now coming back home to help transform the artistic and cultural landscape of JamesTown with this unusual exhibition.

Allotey had started his working life at ‘photofusion’ in Brixton and had always been interested in recording and documenting iconic images of communities in transition so that their visual images can be preserved for posterity.

Allotey was the first to start digitising Mr Barnor’s work in 1998 at the offices of Equinox Consulting in Brixton South London. Mr Barnor had exhibited his photographs before on his 75th birthday, an exhibition attended by the then Ghna High Commissioner in the UK, Isaac Osei; his works have been previous curated by Rachel Pepper of the Acton Arts Centre, but it was Allotey who introduced Mr James Barnor to the Black Cultural Archives and through him that he met other curators who have exhibited his works at the BCA in South London, at the Autograph in Shoreditch, at the prestigious October Gallery in Holborn, in Manchester and Bristol and Medway, at Harvard University, in Chicago, in Toronto, Canada in South Africa and France and several other places.

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Now, Mr James Barnor’s face and his works have been splashed all over in several photographic and news magazines and respected newspapers such as the New York Times and the Guardian newspapers and though his photographs have been on the walls of great institutions such as the Tate Gallery and in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, but there was still unfinished business between the two.

As Allotey recounts “I am privileged to have known Mr Barnor, who I also consider to be a good friend, and I am very proud that though the genesis of this association started in Britain we are harvesting its fruitful produce in Jamestown British Accra with this unique exhibition of his works”.

Allotey says that “Mr Barnor remains an inspiration to me which is why I  started the EveryoungJBA.org project that is building a veritable archive of our past. It already provides several photographs of places and families, it will now become a fully-fledged audio visual archive to preserve the best in music, film, photographs and important documents”.

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The beauty of the current exhibition being curated by Allotey Bruce-konuah is that these ‘Independence Photographs’ were the very first negatives that Allotey digitised and it is fortuitous that these pictures now have a pride of place in the community where a lot of the action of the independence took place.

Bringing them back to the community is important it may just inspire another JamesTown born 28-year-old, the age Mr James Barnor was when he took those photographs 60 years ago to adopt photography.

In the often-repeated cliché, ‘pictures tell a thousand words’, or rather ‘pictures do not lie’,  the fact that they cannot be easily revised means that they will not excite any controversy.

For me this is the real reason for anyone to attend this exhibition.  There are no photographs of my contribution to the cause of independence and Mr James Barnor did not capture me as I marched down the street to the event, but I was there too, but the are several photographs of some of the unsung ones who helped usher in our freedom, sixty years ago,.

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James Barnor Jamestown Revisited is running till the 5th of May 2017 at ArchiAfrica Gallery, James Town Café and on the streets of James and Ussher Town in Accra.

Ade Sawyerr is a partner in the diversity focused management consultancy Equinox Consulting that works on issues relating to economic development of disadvantaged communities and social cultural and political issues of African heritage people in the Diaspora. He can be reached at jwasawyerr@gmail.com, followed @adesawyerr, and read at https://adesawyerr.wordpress.com


History of the CPP

History of the CPP by Ekow Nelson and Micheal Gyamerah with Ade Sawyerr



Summary of the achievements of the C.P.P.


Standard of living and industrialization

During the period of the first C.P.P. government the standard of living of the people was greatly enhanced. Houses, schools clinics, hospitals, were opened. A network of roads, considered among the best in Africa was constructed. Piped water supply was provided to villages which had never before enjoyed such an amenity. Many state enterprises and corporations were set up, supervised by a State Management Committee.

Among new industries founded were two cocoa processing plants, two sugar refineries, a textile printing plant, a glass factory, a chocolate factory, a meat processing plant, and a large printing works at Tema. In addition, work was far advanced on a gold refinery at Tarkwa, cement, shoe and rubber tyre factories, and a factory for the manufacture of pre-fabricated houses. Ghana was beginning to supply local demand for many basic consumer goods, using locally produced raw materials.

The harbour at Takoradi was extended. An entirely new harbour was constructed at Tema with a dual carriageway to connect the new town and port of Tema with Accra.

Communications of all kinds, telephone, radio, newspapers were developed. Ghana had its own shipping line, the Black Star Line, also its own airline, Ghana Airways. The Ghana Navy and Air Force owe their origins to the CPP government.

Great strides were made to modernize and diversify agriculture, breaking away from the limited, colonial pattern of a single crop economy. The C.P.P.’s agricultural policy aimed to provide the nation’s food, and also the needs of industry.

State farms cultivated rubber, oil palm, banana, citrus fruits and other crops. Canning and processing plants were built. The agricultural wing of the Workers’ Brigade alone farmed some 12,500 acres of cereals and vegetables. Ghana’s forests supplied timber for a growing furniture industry and for export.

The Volta River Project (VRP)

C.P.P plans for industrialization and radical social reform involved the production of hydro-electric power on a massive scale. It was the purpose of the VRP to provide this power with enough capacity to spare for export to neighbouring states.

Ghana was estimated to have sufficient bauxite to last for 200 years. It was the intention to process this through an alumina plant at Tema using hydro-electric power from the Dam at Akosombo. The Volta Dam was officially opened by Nkrumah on 23rd January 1966. He described it as ‘the greatest of all our development projects’.


The 1961 Education Act made education compulsory for all school-age children, boys and girls. Education from primary to university level was made free. Textbooks were supplied free to pupils in primary, middle and secondary schools.

New schools and colleges were opened. The University College of the Gold Coast become the University of Ghana, enlarged with new faculties more suited to meet the needs of a rapidly developing independent state. From Achimota the University moved to Legon where an entirely new university campus had been built. Staff in the Extra-Mural Department travelled the country bringing higher education to those whose had ceased with leaving school.

The economic development plans of the party required skilled scientists and technicians. These were trained in the Kumasi College of Technology, later to become the University of Science and Technology. By 1966, Ghana had one of the highest literacy rates in Africa and among the best  public services.

Continue reading “History of the CPP”

Letter to my wife, Ahinae on her 60th birthday


My dearest Ahinae,

It is such a shame that I have not written to you for several years now, I did enjoy those days when a letter was the only means we had for corresponding with each other, but I suppose that the daily contact has provided a more meaningful way for our bonding. This letter is really meant to recognise the love that I have for you and to celebrate in my own personal way, a relationship that has developed over the years and made me a more accomplished human being and to thank you for helping to round my rough edges.

I still remember the very first time I saw you 40 years ago and the day we got married 30 years ago and I can say with all honesty that I would not have found a more suitable partner in my life; I certainly did not have any doubts when I proposed to you on my knees that are now wobbly with age, but then it was because the first time I saw you, I knew that I had found the one to share my life with.

I have seen you grow and mature into the lovely woman that you have always been and have been impressed that age has not dulled your vivacious instinct for a decent life.  But then I know that I have been lucky and blessed.  With your forthright manner, you even charmed my dear late father because you would not indulge him in his platitudes to you, he always wondered how I a recalcitrant soul and unconventional soul could cope with your strictness.  My late mother was in awe of you all through the period of our courtship, I mean if my mother Araba did not have an unkind word ever to say about you, I knew that you were the one.  My grandmother, Ma Lucy just adored you and with the many chats she had with you sitting by her coal pot as she cooked she even knew before I did that you were the only one for me.

So, the years have rolled by and I have managed to stay true to my word that I would always cherish you.  You have always done the right thing and I have learnt to accept the way you have done things in a way that only you could pull off.  I have been fascinated for instance whenever we are going out, you ask for the dress code and then decide to put on what you want to, despite the code, and then one day because of your constant headaches, you decided to cut your hair and then you buy a lot of makeup that you do not put on and yet your beauty shines through all the time.

You have stood by me and continue to do so in my period of trials, we have praised together in our times of need and god has answered our prayers, you have been selfless in your devotion towards me and my son Olumide and we continue to love you for it.  I have seen and heard you being a rock to your family and friends, as you provide them with counsel and wise words in their moments of anguish and my respect for you has grown.  I have also been impressed by the way that you have adopted my family and my friends to become your own and how at every stage on our relationship you have advocated for me and covered up my lapses proving to be the dutiful wife and doing so without any expectation of reward or even acknowledgement. I know that you are proud of me though as usual you ensure that I am firmly rooted to the ground always, curbing my flights of fancy and pretensions of grandeur when I have felt the need to show off.

I suspect that I may have had some influence on you because you have adapted to my ways, reluctantly but even in so doing you have never accepted the you have become ‘softer’ despite the hard shell that you portray to most people who do not know you.

Well I was going to write one of my very long pieces but I know that you will come back to me and say that my sentences are too long and I need to learn how to write and not write like I speak, but I suppose that you will not be correcting this piece before publication so let me end here.

I thank God who has been our solace for you and I love you, I love you and I love you again!

I hope that you enjoy today and pray that your 60+ Oyster card increases your capacity for more independent travel

From your loving husband


17th February 2017


The Outdooring, Dedication and Naming of an African Child – A Ceremony of the GaDangme People of SouthEastern Ghana – Ganyobi Kpojiemͻ Vol 1 Book Review by Gyau Kumi Adu



By Gyau Kumi Adu (joewykay55@gmail.com/ https://joewykay.wordpress.com/)

Reflections on the Book

The primal purpose of this book is to explain three interwoven cultural practices of the Gadangmes: The outdooring, dedication, and naming ceremony of Gas. Although there are writings on Ga naming ceremonies, there is no book on the Ga culture that extensively deals specifically with the depth of Ga names this way the book does. The author’s exegesis and mastery of Ga names is incredible.[1] In fact, after reading the book I realized that if you take away a person’s indigenous name, you take away a person’s distinct cultural identity and heritage. Our names partly define us. Can Ghana be said to be Ghana after all the local names have been erased? Am I still a Ghanaian when I have a totally Western name? Can my lineage be traced if I adopt a completely Western name? Can I be an indigenous Ga and still be a Christian? These were some of the lingering thoughts on my mind after I finished reading this classic book.

The outdooring ceremony is principally one in which “a baby is brought outside for the first time (usually occurring eight days after birth).”[2] In the words of the writer, the “beautiful ceremony [is] to symbolically introduce a new-born baby to God… as well as to the mysteries of the seen and the unseen world…”[3] E.A Ammah, looking at its Ga equivalent word, kpojiemͻ, notes the following: Itis made up of three words. “Kpo” is “yard”, “dzie” is from ‘dze’ “come out” or “appear”, and “mͻ” is person[Therefore it] means to “take or bring the child out into a yard.”[4]   It is at this outdooring ceremony that the baby is dedicated and given a name (family identity). Hence, a child is not recognized as part of the family without the ceremony.

Continue reading “The Outdooring, Dedication and Naming of an African Child – A Ceremony of the GaDangme People of SouthEastern Ghana – Ganyobi Kpojiemͻ Vol 1 Book Review by Gyau Kumi Adu”