Afremocracy – Series 2 by Dr. Nii Amu Darko

Afremocracy – Series 2 by Dr. Nii Amu Darko

Brothers and sisters, we have come to part 2 of our discipleship classes on Afremocracy. This part is going to deal with the structure of the state. As you all know, structure defines outcome.

Good structure, good outcome. Bad structure, bad outcome. It is my belief that our country is in a mess now because we started with a bad structure and we have maintained that bad structure.

Its about time to change the bad structure to a good structure so that we can have good outcome. The structure which we advocate is Economic Federalism or Ecofed.

Before I go further, I would like to define some key terms so that we get our bearings right. The first term is the unitary state.

A unitary state is a constitutionally mandated system that concentrates power in the hand of one man, one party and one place.

At independence, it was Kwame Nkrumah, CPP and Accra, today it is Nana Akuffo Addo, NPP and Accra.
Unitary state has nothing to do with a united people or national cohesion.

Its just a system of power distribution; in this case, all the power stays at one place and if the president whom I call a Santa President, is a good guy, then he can give some of the power out for the people to exercise the power on his behalf at regional and/or local levels.

You see, there isn’t much difference between a unitary state and one-party state. The only difference is that in the unitary state, like we have in Ghana, we hold multi-party elections.

But after the multi-party elections, we form what? one-party government. It doesn’t matter the margin – you can even win with 50.1 and you will have all power in the country.

That’s why a former president can say “yen tie obiaa”, when all he got was 50.7 of the votes. I don’t want to waste time on this.

The next one, the alternative state structure is the federal state. A Federal state is also constitutionally mandated state system that divides power and responsibilities between a national government and sub-national governments.

The sub-national entities may be called states, provinces or regions – choose one. And the Constitution actually decides what each government does.

The relationship is fairly horizontal; and the governments are supposed to complement each other. That’s the kind of government or system we advocate.

There are different federal systems – the one we actually want for Ghana is economic federalism. And that’s what this lecture will focus on.

But I must say that its quite a loaded stuff, so I may actually divide the lecture into 2 or 3.

Federalism is not the same as decentralization. Decentralization is devolution of power from a central government to local governments.

Its not division of power – its devolution of power. Ghana has probably the worst form of decentralization. Because the regional minister is the chief representative of the President in the regions.

The district, municipal and metropolitan chief executives are the chief representatives of the President in the district, municipal and metropolitan areas.

They are all accountable to him and not to the people – they do his bidding. It’s even worse in Ghana because the President again, appoints 30% of the membership of these local assemblies.

The president owns the country. That’s what I mean – there is very little difference between what we have now and the one-party state. How did we get here?

You see to have a proper structure to give us the possible outcomes, we have to investigate how we got here. We cannot just do a cosmetic something to the system and think that we are going to be successful.

We need a whole politicoplasty – plastic surgery on our political structure. Talking about how we got here, I don’t even know where to begin, but I will try and simplify it.

We had three elections before Independence – 1951, 1954 and 1956. In 1951, 38 seats were contested. CPP, led then by Gbedemah (because Nkrumah was then in prison) won 34 of these seats; UGCC led by Danquah won only 2 and the other 2 seats went to independents.

After this, the UGCC dissolved. Nkrumah was released from prison and he became the head of government business in Parliament.

Then 1954 elections – before the elections, Nkrumah and Gbedemah promised cocoa farmers that they will float the producer price of cocoa – i.e. it would be linked to the world cocoa price and the farmers voted massively for CPP.

Now, when the UGCC was dissolved, Busia formed Ghana Congress Party – so in the ’54 elections it was actually fought by CPP, GCP and NPP (Northern Peoples’ Party led by Simone Dombo).

(8:46) And Busia won only one seat, nationwide, and that one seat was in Ashanti – his own seat in Wenchi and he won only by a small margin. So, you could see how CPP swept everything even in Ashanti.

But just after the elections, I think a month or so after, Gbedemah went to Parliament and announced that cocoa prices were going to be fixed and also, an export duty of 10% was going to be slapped on cocoa.

This created massive problems among cocoa farmers in Ashanti and that led to the formation of the National Liberation Movement – NLM by Bafuor Akoto, the Chief Linguist of the Ashantehene.

NLM came with a different political structure in mind – they wanted a federal state. Nkrumah wanted a unitary state. And this was a tussle between 1954 September when NLM was formed and July 1956 when the ’56 elections/independence elections were held.

In the middle, sometime in Sept 1955, upon request from Nkrumah, the Queen sent to Ghana, Sir Frederick Burns, a renowned constitutional authority who played a great role in the divorce between India and Pakistan in 1947, to come and help Ghana design a new Constitution for its independence.

When Frederick Burns came, I think he toured Ghana for about 5 weeks, held meetings with all stakeholders. Those who refused to meet him were the NLM members.

When Sir Burns finished, he recommended regionalism, that there should be regional assemblies that should form the bridge between national government and local governments.

And the national government should devolve some power and responsibilities to these regional assemblies. Nkrumah accepted the concept; NLM rejected it.

The Governor Gen. accepted it and it was entrenched in the independence constitution. It was entrenched – that meant that it could only be repealed by 2/3 majority by members in Parliament – and that’s what happened.

Anyway, under these regional assemblies, Ghana was divided into 5 regions – Eastern, Western, Ashanti, Trans-Volta Togoland and Northern Territories.

And each regional assembly was supposed to be headed by someone selected by the Regional House of Chiefs – except Ashanti, which was supposed to be headed by the Asantehene.

And then there were some basic functions devolved to the regional assemblies which were going to be complemented by parliament – in fact the basic ones (functions) were local government, education, agriculture, health, country and town planning and those others that would be determined by Parliament.

Now, not long after Independence – at the 1956 elections Nkrumah won 71 out of the 104 seats so he got 68% or so members of Parliament that gave him more than 2/3’s majority and he used this majority to repeal sections 32, 33, 35 (of the Constitution) which dealt with entrenched provisions and from that, he was able to repeal the Regional Assemblies’ Act.

That’s how we ended up with the unitary state, but it wasn’t meant to be so. Now, the interesting thing is this – obviously, with the collapse of the regional states, all power went to the President/Prime Minister, his party and all power was concentrated in Accra.

Interestingly, the regional assembly system that Sir Burns recommended for us is what UK itself started in 1997 – with the establishment of regional parliaments for Scotland, Whales and Northern Ireland.

So if we had kept the faith, if we had not abandoned this recommendation, we would have been 40 years ahead of the UK in constitutional development and there is no doubt in my mind, Ghana would not be where it is today.

In fact, if the NLM had been strategic, I am sure by now we would have been a full federal state, – just as UK is moving towards maximum devolution to Scotland, which is a code for federalism.

But we missed it, we missed it badly. And I am sure that if we had kept the faith and had not moved away from the recommendation, we probably wouldn’t have the problem of the Volta we have today, because they would have started with a plan or system that gave them some autonomy and the space to chart their own developmental agenda.

And the same would have happened to the other regions anyway. But we missed the boat. We are here because of errors made 60 or so years ago. But we cannot sit down and cry.

We have got to go back to the drawing board – and that’s what I have done. And that’s what I would communicate with you.

In the next part, we would look into economic federalism – how the states would be structured, how the states would be funded and the numerous benefits for Ghanaians.

Thank you very much – God bless you all.

Recorded – June 5th 2019

Afremocracy Discipleship Series 1

Afremocracy Discipleship Series 1

Good afternoon brothers and sisters. I’m going to start a new series called discipleship classes on Afremocracy.

I will record in English and Ga and others will translate them into Twi, Ewe and Hausa; eventually all the language groups will have their share.

Every good movement has a central philosophy. And for the African Reform Movement, this central philosophy is Afremocracy – democracy brewed in the African pot.

I would like to take my time to present this series in such a way that all of you will be empowered and energized to take the good news from African Reform Movement to every corner of Ghana and even beyond.

The word Africa means 3 things which I call the A.B.C. of Africa.

A – Area, land or territory. Africa is a land mass. When we draw the map of Africa we define the boundaries of Africa

B – Bloodline or biology. We are a people. Africans are a people that come from the land of Africa – that defines who we are biologically. We are black people biologically – so when we say Africa we also refer to a biological group of people.

C – Culture or mindset. We talk of a people who come from Africa who have a similar mindset. And like the say – know the mind and you will know the man.

The African, whether Ghanaian, Togolese, Nigerian, Tanzanian, we have similar mindset and that defines our situation now. That defines our level of development.

Development is not about finding oil and building sky-scrapers – it is a mental energy that is able to create tools to overcome the environment or nature and from there you earn your living.

Those who have developed this mental energy and have created these tools are called developed nations. Those who haven’t are called underdeveloped nations.

The good thing is that we all have this potential to develop these tools because at the beginning all mankind was blessed and commanded to be fruitful, multiply, replenish and subdue the earth.

We haven’t created the tools to subdue the earth and that is the fundamentals of our struggling.

The African Reform Movement is a movement to reform the mindset of the African so that the African also can a develop the tools to overcome the environment and earn his living from his environment.

People panic when they hear the word “Africa” because they think we are talking about continental government. No. I am the last person to talk about continental government – because that is actually not necessary.

When I say Africa I mean the mindset. When we were kids, there was this trotro driver from La, and he had at the back of his trotro – Moding Sane – Black man matter, black man mindset.

He didn’t have La people on his mind; he didn’t even have the whole of Ghana or Ghana and Nigeria in his mind – he had the whole Africa in his mind.

He realized way back then that the African mindset was the same and so he wrote behind his trotro – Moding Sane. That illiterate driver knew that the fundamental problem of the African was his mindset.

Not whether Ghana and Togo were under the same government, or Ghana and Zimbabwe are under the same government. He knew our fundamental problem was the mindset.

Today political scientists, lawyers, whatever do not quite understand the basis of our struggles. They think bringing together 54 corrupt and incompetent governments under the same government, Africa’s problems would be solved.

No. The African problem is the mindset. When we say African Reform Movement, we are talking of reforming the African mindset so that we will be in a position to also subdue the earth.

To do that and do it from the foundation, we need to change our value system, we need to change our mindset, we need a new system of government.

If you would remember when Obama came to Ghana he said something to the effect that: Make no mistake, development depends on good governance, and it is this single ingredient which is missing in so many places in Africa and for so long.

It is the key that would unlock Africa’s potential. Good governance means good system of government and that is where Afremocracy comes in.

As the system of government coming from the reformed mind of the African. We also have to contribute to the rule of law in the world.

We cannot decide to be receiving all the time, for it is more blessed to give than to receive. Afremocracy is Africa’s contribution to good governance.

The world is struggling. You can see upheavals all over, because the governing systems in the world are collapsing, they are breaking down.

We also have to make our voice heard. Like Obama prophesied when he came to Accra, he said in the 21st century, it is not only things that are said in Washington, Moscow, Rome or London that would count, but things also spoken from Africa and from Accra will also be important.

So we are starting from here – Afremocracy – Democracy brewed in an African pot.

Democracy from its roots means – demos and cratia. “Demos” means the people and “cratia” is rule or power so basically it is rule of/by the people.

Now, in Afremocracy is Af is Africa, re – Reform and cratia is rule or power. So Afremocracy is the system of governance from the reformed mind of the African.

Its very important that we grasp these concepts very well because that is what we are going to tell other people. African Reform Movement – ARM – is not about a continental government.

It’s about reforming the mindset of the African so that he can take his/her proper place among the nations of the world.

So that he can also subdue nature and be able to be fruitful, multiply and also share with the other people of the world what we are able to do with our God-given brains.

Afremocracy, as I said in the beginning is our central philosophy. I have written a book on it and this book there are 5 chapters.

The first chapter is on the structure of the state, which in simple terms is economic federalism. The structure of Ghana at this point in time is unitary system of government.

We want to change it to economic federalism. I will talk about these chapters individually. The second chapter is about separation of powers in the new state.

As we speak now, we are supposed to have an executive, a legislature and a judiciary – and they are meant to be independent of each other.

But you all know there is nothing like that. The President even selects the Speaker of Parliament and he doesn’t have to be a member of Parliament.

This is the only democracy in the world with such an arrangement. That an unelected person can lead an elected house – I have never seen it anywhere.

And the President appoints everyone in the Supreme Court – so it’s a sham.

Chapter 2 is separation of powers – how these groups are rearranged so that they are actually independent but cooperative.

Chapter 3 will deal with new structure of government. How the executive itself would be organized; how parliament would be organized and how the Council of State would be organized to give full meaning to proper democracy, keeping in mind our strong traditional heritage.

How are we going to mix the civil authority which is through elections and traditional authority which is through inheritance?

Then Chapter 4 would be on the referee – the Electoral Commission. If we have decided that we are going to have representative democracy, then it means that we must have a very fair and impartial and transparent referee who would make sure that when the gala is played, the best team wins, fairly and squarely.

And of course, the 5th chapter is about my sources of inspiration – where I got the inspiration from to write these things. We know what has plagued us regarding the Electoral Commission.

This one comes – this person is against it because it doesn’t appear to be transparent enough and so many things.

We need to move away from that – let people know that we are also thinking human beings; we are also doing something correct. And its not too hard.

We have just finished elections in Australia – 12/13 days ago and nobody knows the electoral commissioner.

Four hours after all polling stations have closed in the country, the losing candidate conceded and congratulated the winning candidate – four hours!

We have to prove that we are also creatures of God – that we can do the right thing.

These discussions will empower you to go to every village, every town, every city and preach the good news of Afremocracy.

This is the first part and I hope that you would all lend me your ears for the subsequent parts. I am hoping again that you would be able to take this message to where you have to take it to, with all the energy, the zeal and the enthusiasm.

God bless us all.

Tswa omanye aba!

Recorded by Dr. Nii Amu Darko on Saturday 1 June 2019

A LAND THAT FLOWS WITH MILK AND HONEY – As ARM brings Channel Irrigation to the North.

A LAND THAT FLOWS WITH MILK AND HONEY – As ARM brings Channel Irrigation to the North.

18 April 2016

‘’For Silver and Gold have we none, but such as we have, we give….’’

You cannot give what you do not have.
You cannot teach what you do not know.
You cannot practice what you do not understand.

The trouble with Ghana is that our leaders promise to give what they do not have, try to teach what they do not know and try to practice what they do not understand.

In short, our leaders break every rule in the book and the cumulative effect is the Ghana we have today.

The geographical North is 41% of the land surface of Ghana.

The population in 2010 was 4.1m people which represents 17% of Ghana’s population.

Annual rainfall in the north is 30-40 inches or 750mm to 1000mm of water.

The great Volta River crosses the land vertically between the western two-thirds and the eastern third of the region. It is blessed with abundant sunlight and abundant soil that support abundant grass, grains and shrubs growth.

All this is good and perfect for its transformation into a land that flows with milk and honey.
The question is, so why the pervasive, persistent poverty?

I am telling you that a time is coming and the time is very near, when Wa will give to Accra, Tamale will give to Kumasi and Bolgatanga will give to Takoradi.

I live in North-Western Victoria, 3 hours away from Melbourne by car and 30 minutes by air.

The population for the whole area is just 150 000, a fraction of the population of the North.

Annual rainfall is 11 -14 inches or 280 -350mm of water, about 1/3 of northern Ghana.

The great Murray River crosses the land and separates it from the state of New South Wales.

There is a good period of sunshine and the soil supports grass, grain and shrubs.

Though the similarities are striking, our North is better because it gets more rain.

That Victoria’s NW is one of the wealthiest parts of the state and the North the poorest part of Ghana confounds me. This is literally a land flowing with Milk and Honey, yet the North is plagued with distress, poverty and desolation.

Victoria’s NW produced 2.1billion litres of milk in 2014. At 50 cents a litre, it generated over $1b.
The whole Ghana of 27m people got $997m from oil last year.

Clearly, milk can bring in more revenue than oil. Every nation that produces Milk is wealthy. Every African nation that finds oil becomes poorer.

Why is NW Victoria so wealthy and Northern Ghana so poor despite the environmental similarities? The key answer is CHANNEL IRRIGATION. Water is life. Good water management is Wealth.

You can be fruitful and multiply only when you subdue the earth by overcoming the limitations of nature. Victoria’s NW has done so through channel irrigation and we haven’t.

If we do the right thing, we will also succeed.

I have seen channel irrigation, I know how it works and I understand its role in wealth creation. I know I can deliver it to redeem the North and Ghana.

Now listen to me, sons and daughters of the North, some will come to you with money, deceitful tongues and instruments of immediate convenience. Ignore them.

I come to you in the name of ideas for self-empowerment and capacity building to help you create a better future for you and your family.

For silver and gold have I none but such as I have, I give; in the name of Channel Irrigation, rise up and walk.
Tswa omanye aba.

Stay tuned for Part 2



1 March 2019

Abaa Fo Obi Lɛ Nane – The Cedi and Bandaid Economics.

On 24th July 2015, I posted an article with the above title on Facebook. Abaa fo obi lɛ nane, a very popular jama song in Ga means, your child’s leg will be amputated.

In said article, I intimated that the Government of Ghana (GoG) was treating the issue of the cedi in the same manner a mindless mother in the Ga idiom above treated the wound on her ‘’precious’’ daughter’s leg.

In the end, the leg became gangrenous and had to be amputated. Let’s first agree that laws of economics do not obey slogans and propaganda. That is clear.

In 2014, the cedi performed the worst in the whole world, and led to the unprecedented precipitous fall of GDP by 21%. When Greece’s GDP fell by 2.3%, the whole EU went into epilepticus convulsions.

Let me explain the link between a domestic currency and GDP – Gross DOMESTIC Product.

GDP is calculated in domestic currency and expressed in US$ dollars for international comparability.
In November 2018, Ghana’s rebased GDP Ghc 256b @4.80 to the $, our GDP=$53.3b.

1st March 2019, $=Ghc5.5, the Ghc256b=$46.5. Loss of $7b. Add rate of growth and subtract rate of population and inflation, and the real GDP is close to $40b. This is a disaster. We’re heading to the abyss if the bandaid economics continues.

In 2019, the GoG is still treating the ‘’cedi wound’’ with bandaid – lies and propaganda. Nana said he was upset and would fix the cedi. The technocrats from the research department of BoG are saying, things would get worse. Who do you believe?

When I wrote that article in 2015, followers from NPP thought I was very good because I was hitting JDM, their arch enemy. Some from the NDC also thought I was ‘’campaigning’’ for NPP.

The primitive mindset of the political apparatchiks was in full force. All I did was hit at bad governance, especially fiscal indiscipline, then and more so now.

I mentioned 6 factors that influence the value of a currency. One o of them which I will talk about one today is speculation.

Speculation in my opinion is quasi-science; suggestive but not certain, estimation of the direction of an economy etc. In totality, it’s an expression of confidence, not rumour mongering.

When data inspires confidence, speculation is positive and the economy booms. The reverse is equally true – zero confidence goes with negative speculation and failing economy.

Who’ll have confidence in an economy that has no debt ceiling – like Mansa at Osu Market, she buys whatever she sees on the heads of passing hawkers – it may be a cathedral, free boarding school, new regions and more districts – until her capital dries out. And we lie to justify and defend everything.

Who’ll have confidence in an economy run by liars? Is it possible our Ananse DNA is the cause of the lies we tell so shamelessly? We lied as children. Even after 70 years when living in the period of grace, we are still lying.

We are adding 12 more ministers and deputies to set a new world record total of 123 because of those useless 6 new regions. Now we have a minister of state in the Office of the Senior Minister?

Hey, Nana how does this inspire confidence? Do we think those we expect to invest in our country are stupid?

We can put the blame all the external factors that adversely affect the cedi, but we cannot blame anyone for speculating on the basis of our weak fundamentals and wrong decisions and policies.

Just imagine the confidence the world will have if we come out with a government of 25 ministers, a Parliament of 100MPs and only 55 districts? The investment world loves fiscal discipline. Don’t believe any Kwaku Ananse, the cedi will fall if confidence dries out and negative speculation looms.

God Save Ghana.