In March this year Elnathan John, the Nigerian author of Born on a Tuesday, was in Ghana to promote his novel. I attended a reading he held at Vidya bookstore in Osu and I had a fun time. When we had the chance to ask him questions, a lot of them focused on his identity and the experience of growing up as a minority in Northern Nigeria (I admit I asked that question). One woman specifically asked him whether he felt the tale of a Hausa Muslim in Northern Nigeria was his to tell Continue reading
The end of the Politics I know
I woke up this morning thinking about Brexit. Not about the geopolitical or financial impact but what it means for my politics. As far as non-Ghanaian politics is concerned my sympathies usually lie with candidates or causes supported by lower-income people and the intellectual left.
In the case of the UK Labour election I backed Jeremy Corbyn because Continue reading
Is the left waging a war on free speech?
Everyone interested in social discussions online has heard of the war on free speech. Famous people who have made these accusations include Maajid Nawaz, Sam Harris, Jonathan Chait, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Fry and Bill Maher.
If I understand the complaints correctly, there is a war on two fronts. The first front is the refusal of some segments of the left to tolerate dissenting views, often on gender, race and religion, or not to accept the views from people outside of the gender, race or religion being discussed. The second front is Continue reading
What exactly is an enabling environment?
An entrepreneur, Naa, is deciding to expand her business beyond her country. She has two choices – Country A and Country B. Both countries are developing countries but they have two distinct ideas of how to progress and they’re both interested in creating an enabling environment for business.
Country A believes the responsibility of the state is to provide infrastructure and security and to allow the private sector to do the rest.
The business Continue reading
Book review: Capital in the 21st Century by Thomas Piketty
Thomas Piketty is a French economist and professor whose book, Capital in the 21st Century, published in French in 2013 and English in 2014, became an international bestseller. Piketty presents the most extensive review of wealth distribution ever attempted. Drawing from history and literature, he shows that the wealth of the world from antiquity has mostly been concentrated in the top centile (1%).
It started from the concentration of agricultural land read more
John Mahama’s campaign is flawed
With the party primaries of the NDC coming off on November 21, one cannot help but notice the several posters, banners and billboards bearing the faces and slogans of men and women hoping to get into or remain in parliament. There are several competitive match ups in the primaries that call for this level of campaigning however, the most visible campaign belongs to the contestant in the easiest primary race Continue reading
If Superheroes could vote, who would they vote for?
Superhero movies and cartoons have mostly been the way in which I got to know about superheroes growing up. Like most children, I saw superheroes as representatives of good fighting the evil that attempts to destroy the earth and the innocent helpless humans.
Becoming interested in politics made me realise that many of these superheroes had backgrounds or ideologies which shaped their worldview and determined who they took on. In this post I briefly analyse the backgrounds and ideals of five superheroes Continue reading
Is Partisanship a Good or Bad Force in Ghana Politics?
Partisanship is usually listed among the issues derailing Ghana’s march to development. And in truth, it is sometimes amusing to see how minds can change on issues depending on the position of a political party on it. This type of alignment of public opinion to the views of political parties is more remarkable because of the ideological flipflopping of the two major political parties.
It appears then that rather than ideology Continue reading
A Guide to the Ideologies of Political Parties in Ghana
A political party’s ideology guides its economic, social, governance, legal and foreign policies. One of the most vivid methods by which an ideology can be visualised is by the description of an ideal world as envisioned by the adherents of that ideology. For example, if your ideal world is one in which everything is owned by everyone (no privately-held property) and shared according to need, you are a Continue reading
The Other Victims of Al-Shabaab
At times when people have tried to draw attention to the other side of a story, they have been accused (sometimes legitimately) of glossing over the glaring crime that has been committed. Pointing at someone’s burnt house while another’s is currently on fire can sometimes be unseemly. But in the case where someone has to pay for another’s crime, we have to speak up.
At least one hundred and forty-seven people were brutally murdered by Al-Shabaab on Thursday, April 2, 2015 at the Garissa University College. Continue reading