Search The Doctor's Report

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Oil In Liberia: How Could Liberians Settle for Only 5%?



Liberia has recently discovered oil in commercial quantities but has only 5% share
By Honourable Saka
“Bad leadership is Africa’s major problem”, -J.A Kuffuor, former president of Ghana.

The above problem as observed by the former president will NEVER change for as long as the African people do not understand why this problem exists and how the system can be defeated. Fortunately, everybody knows very well that the corruption which the West often accuse African leaders of, is the right environment that they need for their resource-control colonialism to thrive.

Liberian oil and the Looting of Africa
The looting of African oil has begun in Grand Style, this time not in Nigeria nor Ghana but right in Liberia, also located in the West African region. For a country which has remained one of Africa’s poorest for decades, many were those who heaved a deep sigh of relief when Liberia recently announced to have “discovered” oil in commercial quantities, joining her West African sisters: Ghana, Nigeria and some others.

Oil deposits in the West African coast has existed for decades
In my opinion, there is no “discovery” of oil anywhere in West Africa but the exploitation of the oil belt that runs along the coast of the entire region which the oil executives knew about for decades but did not care to build rigs till now as they tried to gain control over the unstable situations of the Middle East at that time.

Let the African people not be deceived, the oil scavengers are now looming over West Africa and if we are not careful to choose rightly between the Nigerian and Ghanaian models of exploitation, there will be no real benefit and this political bonanza could definitely be a curse for the Liberian people in the long run.

Obviously, like their Ghanaian neighbours, with the current stable political climate and the recent oil find, Liberians all over the world are gripped with the expected prosperity that the oil and gas exploration “will bring” to their country. Undoubtedly, if it is well managed, the opportunities that will accompany the exploitation of the black gold could transform the destiny of the entire country for generations to come. It is with this understanding which has consequently raised the hopes and aspirations of many in the country who look forward to seeing improvements in their living conditions from 2014 and beyond.

Unfortunately these aspirations may turn out to be a nightmare if the people do not rise up to the government to take some time and adequately scrutinize the said oil “agreement” and also set up a national platform for dialogue on the best way forward, so that together, there will be a dialogue to secure a reasonable percentage share (70% and above) for the people whose interest the government claim to serve.

According to a recent statement issued by the Nobel Peace Prize winner, President Ellen Johnson, the American Oil company, Exxon Mobil will own a whooping 80% of the oil shares discovered in Liberia, while their Canadian neighbours, the Canadian Oversea Petroleum Limited (COPL), will own 20%. Therefore many are wondering: where does this place the people of Liberia? What percentage share does the government of Liberia have in this oil deal? The African people would want to know.

Oil exploration commences with high hopes for economic transformation
Again, why the rush to explore the oil without first putting adequate measures in place to guard against the challenges that may accompany the oil exploration in the near future? Where is the government rushing to? Is President Ellen Johnson considering early retirement in the coming months? Has the government considered building local refineries to process the crude oil or Liberia will follow the Nigerian model where the raw crude is shipped to Europe after which the refined product is then shipped back to the country at ridiculous prices? Has the government considered training local engineers to take over the management of the oil industry within the shortest possible time? Why must African leaders always allow such sensitive sectors of their economy to be held hostage by a few foreign corporations?

Our major problem as Africans is that we lack leaders with adequate planning skills. Before we rush to commission most projects, we do not adequately take the time to plan against the unforeseeable challenges that may likely show up in the near future.

Is Liberia well-prepared to deal with corruption in the oil and gas sector? Is the government prepared to face the angry youth who are likely to take up arms as we see in Nigeria? In Nigeria, many agitated so-called rebel groups rose up and took arms to fight what they call “corruption in the oil and gas sector”, a situation which has currently gotten out of control. Will Liberia learn some lessons from Nigeria or as usual, the leadership will wait unprepared, for the problems to come up before they run back to their NATO saviours for solutions?

Although President Ellen Johnson has not said what would happen to the Liberian share, the President and CEO of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), Dr. Randolph McClain, explained that the negotiating team of the Liberian government secured a 5% citizens participation share in LB-13 and a further 5% royalty on oil produced from wells drilled under water depths of 0–1500 meters.

Angered by the shocking news, Okechuku, a PhD student at Oxford University wondered:

“When Liberia was in crisis, did the US and Canada send any help? I’m shocked at how a country's wealth is being giving away for peanuts. Is this the reason why the president was awarded the Nobel Prize some months ago? Ellen Johnson has always been the World Bank’s darling girl anyway. You don’t get a Nobel Peace Award without signing such deals.”

This has always been my point. The man is absolutely right! Of course that is the price the people pay when our leaders are given such awards by US-funded NGOs such as Human Right Watch, and the so-called Nobel Peace Prize.

Remember Ellen Johnson was given the Noble Prize somewhere last year? Yeah, that was when the “actual oil deal” was sealed. I guess someone now has a clue as to why our leaders will always sign such unacceptable agreements. The selfishness of our leaders is the reason for our underdevelopment. Our people must rise up and say no to all those foreign funded NGOs who have been buying-off our leaders and our independence with their so-called awards. It's a shame. No nationalism, no patriotism of any kind. How can a country that has suffered over a decade of economic hardship, settle for some 10% ‘royalty’ in a multi-billion resource like oil?

Oil for Nobel Peace Award?
Is this all that our forefathers died for? Is this the hope and the dream the government sought to build when the people gave out their mandate? But more seriously, how much of this 10% will end up in the offshore accounts of many of these ‘negotiating team’? This still remains unclear.

Meanwhile at the moment, although early indications are positive, the exact extent of oil deposits found in the country still remains unknown. Leaders have already settled for a peanut from big oil corporations as they hand over the oil reserves to the western firms with virtually nothing left for the ordinary Liberian in the near future.

The Canadian Overseas Petroleum Limited (COPL) recently disclosed offering the politicians, a mere U$45m in cash toward the purchase of block 13 of Liberia's oil industry, a move which will see Liberia lose billions of dollars every year to the COPL. I wonder why these politicians will just sell the oil reserves for merely $45m when the actual oil deposit is yet unknown? How many of the poor Liberian families will benefit from the $45m given to the politicians?

Liberian politicians have been blinded by the mere $45millon they received as “signature fee”, forgetting about the long term financial loses, the environmental damage and all the hardships the country will endure while their foreign ‘donors’ bag a whopping 95% profit shares on a monthly basis! Oh Africa! When are we seriously going to plan for tomorrow? Why are African leaders so keen on the few millions today, while they ignore the billions which the big oil companies will be reaping in the coming years?

US-funded NGOs honours President Ellen Johnson as a leverage for more oil
This brings to mind my most worried concern: Why are such sensitive agreements always held in the corridors of secrecy when the destiny of entire generations depends on them? Why must the good people of Liberia allow only a few selfish, greedy and corrupt politicians to negotiate on their behalf in camera, without adequately conveying the detail content of such agreements to the public?
For a country like Liberia which had been plunged into civil war and suffered decades of economic hardship, seeing the need to put such oil agreements in the public domain, and discussing them in consultation with leaders of the regional block would have been a better decision.

But as usual, African leaders never consult their colleagues during such critical moments. Only a few millions into their offshore accounts and the agreement is sealed, living the poor masses to their fate.

Will Liberia Repeat Nigeria and Ghana’s Mistakes?
In Nigeria for instance, as western oil companies loot some $140 Billion a year of the country’s oil, two-thirds of the country’s 160 million people live on less than $2 a day. Western oil companies are literally looting Nigeria’s oil, paying as little as a 9% royalty. Simply put, at $100 a barrel the western oil companies get $91 and Nigeria only gets $9. Or more shockingly, Big Oil makes $140 billion a year vs. Nigeria’s $10 Billion, writes Thomas C. Mountain as he reveals the shocking reasons why many Nigerians remain the poorest in Africa despite the country having plenty of oil and gas.
Ghana's Oil Has Been Sold Off Already

Today in Ghana, when Tullow Oils makes a profit of $3 billion, Ghana gets only $3 million out of that. Can this agreement truly better the lives of Ghanaians? Yet, former president Kuffuor, the man who recently suggested that bad leadership is Africa’s problem, was the same president who signed Ghana's oil agreement handing over our oil to the foreign firms. This is what happens when foreign corporations are allowed to secretly finance our politicians for into power during election periods!

The time is right for the African parliaments to consider banning these traitors who call themselves politicians from receiving funds from abroad as a means to finance their political campaigns. I am calling on the African youth to rise up and rebel against such dangerous oil agreements which has given our black gold to the foreign companies for free. This is our destiny and we must not allow foreigners to steal it through these greedy politicians who care only about themselves and their families. If the oil were to be the personal property of the politicians, would they approve such unfair contracts?

Unfortunately, instead of the African media to critically examine the content of all those oil agreement, these journalists are only concerned about elections, always discussing the politicians as if there are no other issues worth discussing.

The Way Forward:
Legislations must be introduced to ban all politicians from sourcing for funds from abroad during elections periods. It is usually during such times such contract documents are signed.
The country’s planners should not neglect other sectors of the economy. They should try to deepen economic activities in other areas in order to diversify to avoid exogenous shocks due to volatility in the prices of oil on the international markets.

Privatization of state resources must cease with immediate effect. Governments cannot continue with the habit of selling off every strategic resource without adequate long term planning. African leaders must take the pain to invest in the training of more engineers to help build our industries so that we can manage the exploitation of our resources. The current attitude of putting everything in the hands of the Whiteman must stop. The Blackman must for once develop the habit of managing his own affairs.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the beginning of a long walk to perpetual poverty and economic impoverishment in Liberia as Big Oil corporations begin to loot Liberian worth. For very $100billion of profits made by the oil corporations, Liberians will only get some few $100 million donations.
I miss Chavez, I miss Gadhafi. These leaders showed oil-rich Africans the way, but due to corruption and selfishness, our leaders will not follow their steps. This is the major reason why I hate African democracy. For it is during these election periods that our politicians sign many of such bogus contracts. Once they ‘win’ the elections, any bogus agreements presented to them by their foreign donors, they will approve it. It’s a big challenge.

It’s time for everyone to wake up and see how the ‘system’ now works in African politics. Certainly, neo-colonialism is the last stage of imperialism. Ghanaians have already settled for some 10% share in their most-talked about oil. Nigerians have quietly accepted 9% for more than 50yrs.

Liberians must never settle for 5%! Anything less than 70% must be rejected by the people. This is the only way we can fight poverty and say enough to the western corporations who continue to enrich themselves with African resources while the African people wallow in poverty. Its time we said enough is enough.

Honourable Saka
The writer is a Pan-African analyst and the founder of the Project Pan-Africa (PPA), an organization that was established to unlock the minds of the African youth to take Africa’s destiny into their hands. The PPA seeks to provide the biggest platform that will give international exposure to all hidden but exceptional talents in Africa. Please visit us at: www.projectpanafrica.org and support the project. PPA is grateful to ITech Plus, ZBC News GhanaWeb, ModernGhana and all our partners that support our vision for Africa. Email me at: honourablesaka@yahoo.co.uk

Monday, 11 March 2013

Dark Days Ahead: Chris Brown Urges African Youth To Smoke Marijuana





By Honourable Saka

At the early hours of 6th March 2013 in Ghana, it was reported that the entire air around the capital city especially areas in close proximity to the Accra sports stadium was smelling of marijuana often referred to as “wee”. For those who live in the neighbourhood, the air was too heavy to breath because the smell of marijuana could be felt everywhere around the stadium. Thanks to Chris Brown and many of his Ghanaian admirers.

As part of Ghana’s Independence celebration, Chris Brown who was billed to entertain the Ghanaian youth, took the entire nation by surprise as the American artist was rather busy smoking “wee” live on stage to the admiration of the security services and the crowd, mostly children below 16years of age. Meanwhile the act of smoking marijuana in Ghana is a serious crime punishable by punishable by severe prison sentence. This is because marijuana has destroyed the lives of many of the youth, a challenge which has prompted the government of Ghana to declare a war on drugs.

The “Hope City Concert” was meant to be a once-in-a-life-time concert, an event specially designed to mark Ghana's Independence Day: a day which Ghanaians ought to have observed in honour of their forefathers who shed their blood in the struggle to rescue the motherland from a brutal and barbaric British colonial rule.

It was however sad that the dreams of our forefathers to be shattered by the very concert expected to have taught the young generation the lessons of our colonial struggle as well as the need to be patriotic and law abiding citizens.

After about 50 minutes into his awesome performance in Ghana, Chris Brown unexpectedly paused and then asked the musically-intoxicated audience: “How many of y'all smoke weed?”
As expected, his question drew a loud response from the crowd, with some pushing clenched fists towards the sky, chanting and yelling to affirm they were marijuana smokers ready to seize the moment.

Shockingly, the positive response from the uncontrolled crowd seemed to have boosted Chris Brown's confidence, as he pulled out a neatly packaged roll of marijuana on the stage, lit it up, took a long drag and puffed thick clouds of smoke through his nostrils, trashing his foot to the raised platform in Ghana: Kwame Nkrumah’s motherland! Then the crows hailed and cheered, while the police look on with fear and trembling, as Chris Brown releases thick clouds of marijuana smoke everywhere on the stage. Unfortunately, none of the security personnel had the scene had the courage to enforce the law despite being aware that the act of smoking marijuana is a serious criminal offence in the country.

What was more annoying was the fact that, after having publicly urged the Ghanaian youth to smoke weed, Chris Brown who appeared to have mustered his confidence under the influence of marijuana had the zeal to add: “If anybody tripping on ya'll smoking weed, f**k them!”

Then the crowed who was made up of many na├»ve youngsters below age 18, chanted in return: “we will smoke wee”! “We will smoke wee”! – a clear indication that some of the Ghanaian young boys and girls were preparing their minds to become wee smokers in the near future. After all, many of them see Chris Brown as their role model.

We have to remember that many of these musicians have widely confessed to have SOLD THEIR SOULS TO THE DEVIL and are determined to win more souls for the devil.

It will therefore be dangerous for our leaders to allow such musicians big platforms to influence our vulnerable African youth in that manner.
The Ghanaian authority should therefore not be taken by any surprise if Ghanaian musicians begin to adopt the habit of smoking wee on stage as Mr Chris Brown has already shown them the way.

There are those who seek to rationalize what Chris Brown did on stage, apparently claiming that what happened was merely an act and that the singer did not actually smoke wee. Such people better get their facts right!! Before doing what you call 'demonstration' Chris Brown specifically asked the youth: “How many of y'all smoke weed?” After the crowd cheered on, Chris Brown then continued: “If anybody tripping on ya'll smoking weed, f**k them!”.
So the question: how do these two statements of Chris Brown explain what some would want to call a mere 'demonstration'?

For an American artist of his kind to smoke marijuana (wee) on such a public platform wasn’t in any way a big surprise. However, what makes the situation miserable and disappointing is the fact that the Ghana police and the military personnel who were at the scene never took any action to enforce the law when the marijuana-charged artiste arrogantly broke the laws of our beloved country with impunity. This is while the security services have been hailed by the international community for their commitment to enforcing law and order. It is very disgraceful and a big betrayal to the state, whose motto still remains “freedom and justice”.

Yes, we want freedom in Ghana. But this is not the kind of freedom which my grandfather and his colleagues died for. Kwame Nkrumah must be weeping in his grave by now, as our law enforcement agencies sit down and watch some American dude with all his arrogance, trample upon the laws of our beloved country on NO OTHER PLATFORM THAN a programme designed for OUR MOST CHERISHED INDEPENDENCE DAY!

If the Ghana police and the army are afraid to enforce the laws of the land, how can the rest of Africa count on them to be able to enforce the law in areas where peace and security has been threatened?
I feel really sad about this development. How many Ghanaians will be allowed to mount a public platform anywhere in the United States or the United Kingdom and smoke a substance which is well known to be against the laws of the land and be allowed to walk free with a handsome $1million reward as Chris Brown just did in Ghana?

I call on the Ghanaian authority to sit up and ensure that laws of our land are adequately enforce at all times without any discrimination.
Let us begin to demonstrate that indeed, Ghana still remains the shining star of Africa and a leading example of Good governance and democracy in Africa.
Indeed, the "Hope City Concert" which seeks to bring about the "African Dream", would have made more sense if that $1million were invested in the lives of young and upcoming artistes here in Africa, rather than giving such huge amount of money to Chris Brown for him to come and influence the African youth to be smoking marijuana.
The African people must rise up and realize the danger side and the negative consequences of this corporate-controlled hip-hop is gradually having on the African youth. We have to act fast before the untold consequences begin to manifest in the lives of our vulnerable youth.
Dark days are truly coming ahead of Africa.

I rest my case.

Honourable Saka
The writer is a Ghanaian national who is very passionate about Ghana and Africa as a whole. He is the coordinator for the Project Pan-Africa (PPA), an organization that was set up to foster unity among Africans, to live together in harmony. Visit us at: www.projectpanafrica.org. E-mail him at: honourablesaka@yahoo.co.uk

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Ghana And Zambia Must Strengthen Relations




(A Passionate Appeal to the Gov’t. of Ghana and Zambia)
 
"Our existing relations must move beyond mere football fantasies to a more serious economic, business and cultural integration". 

By Honourable Saka

Ghana And Zambia In Perspective
From the political, economic and cultural perspectives, Ghana and Zambia have a lot in common. Having established a strong foundation of peace, stability and relatively good governance (there is still more room for improvement), there are strong indications that the future prospects of our two countries are far brighter and more promising than ever.

Aside these, in the area of sports, our beloved countries currently stand tall as role models to the admiration of the entire African continent despite a few challenges. For this reason, there is currently no doubt that a Ghana-Zambia football encounter at any level will always be a delight to watch.

As I write this piece, I can’t wait for the next day when Ghana and Zambia will meet on the football pitch for a serious “revenge” where our dedicated young men from Ghana, will finally prove to the entire world the difference between the “boys” and the “men” out there. In fact, I simply can’t wait for that day!

Like our Zambian counterparts, the people of Ghana, are naturally peaceful. All previous and recent elections which were held in Ghana (2008, 2012) and Zambia (2011) attest to our peaceful nature and our political maturity at a time when many African countries continue to battle with electoral violence and political instability. In the case of Ghana and Zambia however, the whole world have seen a successful and peaceful transfer of power from an incumbent party to the opposition. With this and many more of such attributes, we have a cause to cherish our nations and to realize that there are more opportunities we can share by further enhancing our existing relations and to possibly lead the way as the two shining examples of good governance and democracy in Africa.

This explains the reason why our political leaders MUST take immediate BOLD STEPS to ensure that our people are able to explore our beautiful countries without unnecessary border restrictions so that we can enjoy the existing cordial relationship between our two nations in a free and more welcoming manner.

Economic Prospects: Zambia vrs Ghana
Michael Chilufya Sata, President of Zambia
Zambia and Ghana are the 27th and 28th countries the World Bank has reclassified as middle-income since the year 2000. Since then, there has been a tremendous improvement in our economic indexes. Ghana and Zambia have recently been named among the top fasters growing economies in the world. Meanwhile in both Zambia and Ghana, the number of children in basic and secondary school has climbed along with literacy rates, whereas infant mortality has fallen drastically. If Ghana and Zambia strengthen the rule of law, good governance and avoid domestic instability characterized by elections, then we will continue to get gradually more prosperous and our people will continue to have better lives.

Economically, Zambia is endowed with many resources. Zambia can boast of a very wonderful and well-talented human resource. Also,  natural resources such as copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver, uranium, hydro-power are in abundance. It is expected that a lot more strategic resources are soon to be discovered in Zambia in the near future. The fact is, even without copper, Zambia is still very rich! For instance, coal is the largest source of fuel for the generation of electricity world-wide. This is another mineral which Zambia has in abundance.

John Mahama, President of Ghana
Ghana, which was referred to as the Gold Coast (before independence), can also boast of many such resources as: gold, cocoa, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower, petroleum (oil & gas), silver, salt, limestone, cotton, palm oil, and many more which are still in abundance. With good governance and proper management of resources, the construction industry can transform our beloved countries into industrialized states by the next 15 years, creating more job opportunities for the youth and thus bring unemployment to the barest minimum. It is highly possible that the construction industry, agriculture, science and technology are key sectors that can completely end poverty in our respective countries.

A second look at above list of natural resources shows that both Ghana and Zambia possess a lot in common in the mining sector and hydropower. I therefore suggest that our governments must create a common platform for the people of Ghana and Zambia to share their experiences/knowledge and exchange ideas in these common areas so that we can better manage our resources for the benefit of our people whiles learning from each other. With a joint well-committed effort, we can set up a common educational/research institution that will be tasked with the responsibility to train our own people to manage these common resources for the benefit of our people.

It must however be understood that in the 21st century, economic growth in Africa is no longer dependent on the oil, copper, cocoa, timber and other natural resources. Science and Technology is one key area that has the potential to bring about our economic transformation.

According to the Zambian Economist, though Zambia is exporting some $3bn of copper, the tax revenues from these exports are a mere $100m. The global copper boom has benefited the Chinese who own the copper company far more than it has benefited ordinary Zambians. This is the reason why we must focus on training our own people and setting up the necessary institutions for ourselves so that we can be the managers and the beneficiaries of our resources.

Most importantly, Ghana currently boasts of her ability to manufacture cars, mobile phones, laptop computers, tablets, smart TVs and many more. Thanks to Apostle Dr Safo Kantanka and RLG communications, Ghanaian innovations has recently been applauded by the former president of Zambia, Rupiah Banda, on his recent visit to Ghana where he was scheduled to lecture on the theme: “Democracy and good governance in Africa,” held at the University of Ghana. 


Former Zambian President (Left) praises Ghana's RLG
It was very encouraging how the former Zambian President lauded the unique contributions being mad by Ghana's and Africa's premier electronic assembling company, RLG Communications, in solfving the huge unemployment issue facing the continent. Dr Rupiah Banda was truly impressed during his interaction with the Chief Executive of RLG Communications, Mr. Roland Agambire, when he paid a working visit to RLG's ultra-modern Assembly plant in Accra last year.
Today, thanks to another ambituou project by the Ghanaian company. Ghana is now set to become Africa's pioneer in ICT by 2016.

With the launch of Africa’s Hope City project (to commemorate Ghana’s 56th independence), a world class ICT project aimed at bringing all ICT players under one roof and to engender paperless business practices in the country, Ghana is gradually taking up her rightful place as a global player while creating economic opportunities for over 300 million youth across the whole of Africa between the ages of 15-24 at the same time.

The writer seriously commends the CEO of RLG Communications, Mr. Roland Agambire, for setting up another assembly plant in Oson state to serve the whole of Nigeria to implement the paperless systems in Nigerian schools. RLG Communications is one example of how just a little commitment from the Government of Ghana, can help transform the lives of millions of people in Africa. 

RLG Project for Accra in 2016
 The project, a six high rise towers designed with the architecture of Ghana's mud houses in mind will house over 25,000 people and create over 50,000 jobs when completed in 2016.One of the buildings will be the tallest building in Africa.

We the people of Ghana dully welcome our Zambian brothers and sisters who desire to build a career in the field of mobile computing to make Ghana their preferred destination for their career aspirations since RLG Institute of Technology offers such great opportunity. With such initiatives in place, it won’t be long; we will be able to train our own people in areas of science and technology to set up the industries that will convert our abundant raw materials to the desired products here in Africa. Yes, it is very possible for our dear nations to lead the way for the African people to be the managers of our own destinies.    

We Must Strengthen Existing Diplomatic Relations
Friendship with the flags of Ghana and Zambia
Since the overthrow of Nkrumah’s government in 1966, diplomatic relations between Ghana and Zambia came to a halt; though Zambia as a country continued to honour Kwame Nkrumah on many occasions. In 1971, Zambia named one of her tertiary institutions, the Kwame Nkrumah Teachers’ College in honour of the first President of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah for his contribution to Africa.

At some point, Ghana High Commission was operating in Zambia in 1976 only to fold up again in 1982 due to numerous coup de ta and political instabilities. It was until 2008 that Ghana’s diplomatic relations were normalized to translate the cordial political relations existing between Ghana and Zambia into mutually beneficial gains, expanding the sphere of engagement between the our countries. Therefore the Zambian Government facilitated the process by fulfilling its promise to establish a High Commission in Accra immediately. Since then, our two countries have enjoyed wonderful diplomatic relations while the bond between our people becomes stronger year after year.

According to the mission statement of the Ghana Embassy in Zambia, our bilateral cooperation is currently aimed at:
-Trade promotion
-Investment promotion
-Tourism promotion
-Wildlife exchanges
-Collaboration in mining
-Intensification of exchanges in education
-Experience sharing in social and health matters.

I am therefore appealing to Ghana and Zambia’s foreign ministers to strengthen our bilateral ties by easing the existing border restrictions to properly facilitate the above mission so that our people can fully and effectively explore the existing opportunities in our two countries and a to properly appreciate our cultural diversities.

I urge the Government of Ghana and Zambia to consider signing a Visa Abolishing Treaty as they have done with many other African countries, to make traveling to Ghana-Zambia a complete visa-free for both of our citizens. When this is done, we will be able to do business with ease and share our little expertise together for the benefit of our countries.

This would eliminate all the unnecessary delays in our desire to interact with our brothers and sisters in Zambia whom we love so much. Besides, it will further enhance the cultural and economic ties between our beloved countries as envisioned by our revolutionary leaders: Kwame Nkrumah and Kenneth Kaunda. After all, Ghana and Zambia are both standing on equal economic and political grounds so there should be no need to restrict the pace of our economic progress.

Besides, with our current promising economic prospects, Zambia and Ghana stand a lot to benefit in the long run if trade, economic and political relations were further enhanced to the highest level for the benefit of the ordinary citizenry.

May this passionate appeal touch the hearts of the Presidents and the Foreign Ministers of our dear nations, to respond to our humble desire.
Happy 56th Birthday to Ghana my motherland,
Long live Zambia, my second home!

Honourable Saka
The writer is a Ghanaian national who is so passionate about the need to strengthen relations between Ghana and Zambia. He is the coordinator for the Project Pan-Africa (PPA), an organization that was set up to foster unity among Africans to live together in harmony. The PPA seeks to create the biggest media platform that will give exposure to all the hidden talents in the youths across Africa. Visit us at: www.projectpanafrica.org. E-mail him at: honourablesaka@yahoo.co.uk