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Duke Tagoe
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 CHRIS ATIM’S RESIGNATION LETTER
 
By Duke Tagoe
Was there a revolution in Ghana? If there was why did it fail and what lessons can be learnt. This letter reproduced below may provide some answers. Chris Bukari Atim was one of the seven original members of the PNDC that took power in Ghana on December 31, 1981. In this letter addressed to Jerry John Rawlings, Chairman of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), he speaks of how the hopes of farmers, students and soldiers were smashed in their quest to build a new Ghana based on the principles of social justice and equality for all. But if what we are being told in this letter is true, why is Jerry John Rawlings a free-man swinging his waist all over the place?
 
 It is my hope that this letter together with many brilliant pieces from progressive writers like Kojo Nubuor Ababio, Kwesi Pratt Jnr and the grassroots mobilization of Explo Nani Kofi, will invite us to reflect on how to better organise the masses towards the building of a better Ghana for all.
 
“Our war is not a war of conquest, it is a war of revolutionary liberation. We fight not only in self-defense but to free, unite and reconstruct”-Kwame Nkrumah
                                                                                                       
                                                                                                       c/o P.N.D.C HQ.,
                                                                                              GONDAR BARACKS,
                                                                                                      BURMA CAMP,
                                                                                            3rd DECEMBER, 1983
 
DEAR SIR,
 
LETTER OF RESIGNATION
 
I address this letter to you but also to the broad masses of Ghana because this country is passing through its most trying moment and you have consistently refused to tell Ghanaians the truth about what is going on.
 
As a member of the P.N.D.C who together with yourself and Sgt. Akata-Pore was most closely involved in the organization of the Revolution of 31st December 1981, I, more than anyone else in the leadership today, have a moral right as well as an obligation to speak out clearly against the derailment and betrayal of the Revolutionary Process which we all struggled so hard for, and against the system of organized opportunism, injustice and brutal oppression of honest, hard-working, selfless and patriotic soldiers, ordinary workers and brave champions of the 31st December Revolution which you are orchestrating and presiding over.
 
After the AFRC ‘handed over’ in 1979 and Limann’s government started the persecution and harassment of patriotic soldiers including yourself for their involvement in the June 4 uprising, it was the June 4 Movement, small as it was, and the student Movement which stood solidly against the reversal of the gains of June 4 and mobilized the mass of the people to resist the PNP machinations against you and other patriots. Sometimes it was a lonely fight and a lot of animosity was created. They were harassed and persecuted by the security agencies and accused of plotting coups, making guerilla camps, and so forth.
 
Today, under your leadership, these radiant flowers, these heroes of the 31st December Revolution are suffering worse harassment and persecution than under the PNP. Where Limann allowed others to do this dirty work for him, YOU ARE PERSONALLY carrying out the arrest and torture of these brave young men, Bokassa style, and forcing them to confess things that they have not done, assisted by Captain Tsikata and Mr. B.B.D Asamoah in the castle.
 
In the Armed Forces , your record of persecution of other ranks is even more appalling. ARBITRARY ARRESTS and detention of soldiers on fake charges or even on  no charge at all has become a daily routine.
 
Today, the biggest weapon in your crusade of deceit and cover-up to frame up people you want to eliminate for TRIBALISM. When Sgt. Alolga Akata-pore and I worked very closely with you towards 31st December against a government which was popularly thought to be a Northern one, you never saw any Tribalism in it. You have even forgotten (or perhaps never knew) that among the three key elements from the Recce Regiment (incidentally all Northern soldiers) that we kept in touch with constantly for almost a year before 31st December, one of them is actually from Limann’s village. Today all these gallant soldiers together even with their remotest friends are suffering in jail, accused of tribalism (‘?’) and the most ridiculous fabricated charges.
 
 WHAT YOU ARE AFRAID TO ADMIT TO YOURSELF, AND TO THE PEOPLE OF GHANA IS THAT THE DIFFERENCES THAT HAVE ARISEN AMONGST US HAVE NOTHING WHATEVER TO DO WITH TRIBALISM. BUT RATHER, ON QUESTIONS OF PRINCIPLE-e.g. LACK OF A PROGRAMME, WHERE THE REVOLUTION IS GOING, YOUR DICTOTORIAL AND ERRATIC STYLE OF RUNNING THE GOVERNMNET, AND YOUR BETRAYAL OF THE ORIGINAL AIMS OF DECEMBER 31ST. YOU ARE SHOUTING TRIBALISM MERELY TO DIVERT ATTENTION FROM THESE REAL AND CONCRETE ISSUES.
 
How could you so easily write off the critical, dangerous and sensitive role played by Sgt. Akata-Pore in the events of 31st December? A soldier who sacrifices his duties studies at the University to undertake special assignments which saved your life several times, and enabled us to outsmart the security agencies when they decided to arrest you and I a few days before 31st December? Knowing that the mass of the people are not awre of the true story of December 31st, you can afford now to stand on platforms and tell cock and bull stories of some so-called “eight bold soldiers” including yourself who, one fine day, materialized from nowhere, got organized (we are not told how) and stormed the “gates of heaven” to liberate Ghanaians from their slavery. These ‘silent heroes’ who are not on the PNDC, but who you claim deserve better to be on the council than everybody else except yourself, why can’t you name them? If you want to be honest with the people of this country why don’t you mention the names of those eight heroes and let other Ghanaians judge your claims? I am positively certain that you will never dare to mention of those eight, not only because it might give people a real clue to the connections of those who kidnapped and killed the judges last June as well as PDC activists in the Volta Region, but also because the masses will see more clearly some of the people the Chairman of the PNDC considers the proper ‘revolutionaries’ and the kind of people he would have liked on the PNDC.
 
Who are the heroes of 31st December? Without in the least overlooking the crucial role of certain individuals in history and notwithstanding whatever heroic part that any “eight daring commandos” can play, it is very necessary to emphasise that NOWHERE IS REVOLUTION POSSIBLE WITTHOUT THE PARTICIPATION OF THE BROAD MASSES. The real heroes of any revolution are the masses: In this case, all those workers and progressives who struggled and created the conditions for December 31st, then organized to consolidate the uprising, the mass of the soldiers who could have, but refused to oppose the uprising and rather welcomed and took part in it, the PDC elements who are being harassed and killed for their valour and patriotism and the cadres of the NDC secretariat (formerly INCC) who worked so hard and selflessly WITHOUT PAY and oftentimes without food to keep the flames of the revolution alive.
 
I must confess that I am among the most disappointed and saddest persons in the country today. I am pained about my colleagues and comrades in the cells, about the regime of fascism and insipient dictatorship which you are instituting, about the personality cult which you are gradually cultivating with the aid of sycophants, charlatans, opportunists, and all types of counter-revolutionaries who are the only people now surrounding you. I am appalled at the obvious betrayal of the revolutionary hopes and aspirations of our people which you are carrying with monstrous cynicism under the banner of revolutionary rhetoric and bare faced lies. “The worst kind of counter-revolutionary”, to quote you, “is the one who uses the revolutionary language but does otherwise”.
 
It is now crystal clear that you have abandoned the original goals of the revolution to become a fascist dictator while continuing to deceive the masses with populist rhetoric and sheer demagoguery. The warning that you gave to Captain Tsikata, P.V Obeng and myself at the Castle sometime ago that if we did not eliminate the influence of the NDM in the revolution you would abandon the progressives and become a dictator on your own is now being carried out.
 
It is not strange to me at all that you should be mounting a campaign against the June 4 Movement of which you are Chairman and other progressive organizations today. I understand you perfectly. To be a dictator, a “SHOGUN” it is necessary to destroy all institutions and persons who are “forces to reckon with”, who are capable of exercising some independent authority or influence and who cannot be bribed or cajoled into abandoning their principles. You are aiming to be your favourite idol, Lord Taranaga, SHOGUN (or Supreme ruler in Japanese) which was inscribed on your birthday cake last June, a picture of which exists.
 
Only a simpleton will believe that the real reason you started to hate the cadre of the June 4 Movement and the NDC secretariat was that they were creating so-called ‘animosity’ by their statements. After all, who has created more animosity in this country since 31st December than those among the eight nameless so-called heroes who organized, abducted and killed the judges and the retired Major in cold blood last June? Who has created more animosity in this country than Captain Kojo Tsikata who is the most unpopular single individual in Ghana today and yet is your closest confidante, wielding a tremendous amount of power and spending lots of foreign exchange without accounting to anybody but himself?
 
No, there are deeper reasons why certain cadres and organizations have to be liquidated or neutralised.
 
You made it very plain on October 27th when you said to members of the Council during a heated argument that you made a mistake in allowing Sgt. Akata-Pore and I to be on the Council because we were sure to become, forces in your words, “forces to reckon with” and it will be difficult to “manipulate” us or play any tricks around us. When you said this I knew straightaway what would follow-thus the developments since October 29th and your attempts to frame us up are not too surprising.
 
Yet Akata-Pore and I never wanted to become members of the Council. You remember that even before 31st December. I told you that after the uprising my greatest wish was to remain where I was, to continue to make my modest contribution. I finally accepted to be a member of the Council on the insistence of you and Captain Tsikata after the uprising.
 
I do remember also that Sgt. Alolga was very much opposed  to being put on the Council insisting that he had to go back to school. I took part in convincing him to represent the revolutionary ranks on the Council because all of us appreciated his modesty and simple honesty, which was in sharp contrast to some of his other colleagues.
 
Having being convinced to serve, we all thought honestly and sincerely that this time a true revolution that would bring dignity, greater freedom, and justice to our people was beginning. WE DID NOT UNDER-RATE THE PROBLEMS, but all of us were inspired by your leadership and the common goals which we shared.
 
Before 31st December, the three of us-You, Akata-Pore and I were in total agreement about what kind of revolution we were trying to make, and all the soldiers we were in touch with were in agreement as well.
 
The broad outline of a future political programme for the revolution was contained in the first issue of the “Workers Banner”, in the leading article entitled “Which Way Forward-Workers, Soldiers, Policemen and Farmers and Ghana?” That paper helped greatly to prepare the climate among the troops for 31st December. You remember quite well that soldiers who were found with that paper were arrested and beaten up. One soldier at MATS was even arrested, beaten and transferred to Tamale for talking to his RSM “as if he had read the “Workers’ Banner”!
 
If we had taken that outline programme seriously there would have been no crisis such as we are witnessing today.
 
But to continue with our expectations at the beginning of the revolution, we knew that along the way there would be mistakes, even big ones. After all, revolution is a very difficult thing and the only human being who does not make a mistake is the one who does nothing. But so long as frank and open discussions of all matters take place, we would definitely find the correct path forward despite any difficulties.
 
But very quickly it became clear that all the shouting about democratization of decision-making, Power to the people and so forth was hypocritical through and through. There is not even the slightest democracy within the PNDC itself, the highest revolutionary organ in the country. Little wonder the PDCs met with many frustrations and started degenerating all over the country.
 
There is no PNDC outside of Capt. Tsikata and yourself. How can there be a revolution without democratic leadership, without collective decision-making and open and frank discussion of the fundamental issues of the revolution? How can mistakes be corrected if there is no forum for discussing them?

Every attempt has been made so far to achieve a certain minimum level of mutual confidence, and collective responsibility has been frustrated by you and Capt. Tsikata. As a result the PNDC as a government does not exist except in name.
 
It is merely a convenient cover under which you and Capt. Tsikata carry out your undemocratic rule. The PNDC government is a farce and this has been fully borne out by recent events.
 
You have remained insensitive to the cry of the masses for a clear direction and programme for the revolution. In the absence of any material benefits and in the midst of so much suffering and pain, the very least we can do is to give the people a clear indication of how we intend to lead them out of the crisis and to mobilise them around such a programme. If people have no food to eat, the revolution must offer them some well-founded hope or demonstrate the capacity to organise them to produce food or else they will abandon it.
 
The demand for a clear direction and programme for the revolution is a just and sensible one but the insults that you have been heaping on some of us for supporting that demand does not inspire any confidence in the honesty of your intentions. We feel very much betrayed.
 
A revolution thrives in the constant mobilisation of the people, on being frank, honest and open with them all the time. Any attempt to depoliticize them, create confusion in their minds, divide them or withhold the truth from them, is counter-revolutionary and you have done all these things. Having called for PDCs you turned out to be the chief obstacle to their development. As a result they have no legal backing, no power, and certainly do not share in any decision making process, which is concentrated in your hands. You have to direct responsibility for the excesses and misguided things which have been done by some PDCs, out of frustration and /national direction from the PNDC.
 
In order just to survive and hold on to power you have raised the national spectre and thereby disarmed the political consciousness of people the high level of which had been one of the greatest achievements of the December 31st revolution. Never in the history of Ghana have such primitive and backward sentiments like tribalism become so dominant in our lives. Pursuing the same divide and rule tactics, you have set military units against each other, and, within the units, tribe against tribe. Right now there is a great deal of tension in the armed forces and the country as a whole, created by these your survival antics.
 
At the beginning of the crisis I was convinced that the only way to resolve it was to unite the revolutionary forces. The situation called for statesmanship, all personal considerations set aside. But you were in no mood for any such solution. Instead, you set about deliberately trying to widen the division in the leadership with false propaganda and provocative fabrication.
 
That was an open invitation for counter-revolution to step in. Counter-revolution was bound to take advantage of the divisions in the revolutionary leadership and it seems from the speech you made at the Independence Square recently that you realised this very well and waited for it to happen so that you could use the opportunity to wipe out that section of the PNDC and the revolutionary forces you considered a threat to yourself.
 
The suspicious circumstances surrounding the coup attempt of 23rd November and your immediate action in arresting members of the June 4 Movement, the NDC secretariat, Sgt. Akata-Pore and those soldiers who, out loof their commitment to the revolution, stood bravely to quell the coup attempt confirm this beyond a doubt. Whoever heard of the coup attempt in which virtually all the leaders of the attempt are allowed to escape  first and rather tjose soldiers who fought to crush the coup are immediately arrested? Was it coincidence that you invited Akata-Pore to the castle in the afternoon of the November 23rd, and Capt. Tsikata invited me to the same place that same afternoon, which you are now using as proof that Alolga and I were coming to make sure everything was set for the so-called coup? What a miserable frame-up!
 
And why should Sgt. Akata-Pore, one of the brightest flowers of the December 31st Revolution, be dismissed from the PNDC when investigations are still to be conducted into the allegations against him? (I am aware that a soldier at post Flagstaff House has been arrested for asking the same question).
 
In these circumstances I cannot continue to maintain the deceit that I am part of a government which is committing such atrocious crimes against the people. I have personally been a victim of your harassment. Twice, on your orders, I have been searched and completely disarmed together with my body guard, and some of my personal belongings taken away by a group of heavily armed soldiers led by Lt. Richter-Addo, who incidentally refused to have anything to do with the events of December 31st, out of cowardice. They practically destroyed the flat of a a lecturer friend with whom I was staying.
 
I had hoped that the interest of the country would make you see reason and permit a peaceful solution of the matter. But I am fully convinced now that my continued membership of the Council serves no practical purpose whatever except helping to legitimise what is going on now.
 
I have decided therefore to resign formally from the PNDC. Nevertheless, my love for this country is profound, and I am deeply worried and disturbed by its present state. Our people have had enough, and in the name of the longsuffering people of Ghana, I ask you to display some statesmanship by releasing Sgt. Akata-Pore and all the soldiers and civilians you have detained for no discernible reason, and to begin a genuine process of reconciliation. This is the only way we can save our country, and avoid disaster. If you continue along your present path you would not only kill a young revolution but also the spirit of a whole people and prepare the grounds for a worse government to take over, for you will never survive to become SHOGUN of Ghana, no matter how many Mowags and tanks you surround yourself with in the castle. I am sure that you would not want posterity to remember you as the architect of Ghana’s doom.
 
I hope that is it not too late for you to see reason and put Ghana’s interests above your own.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
(CHRIS ATIM)
 
THE CHAIRMAN OF THE PNDC,
GONDAR BARRACKS,
BURMA CAMP.
 
C.c. To The People of Ghana.
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Traditional farming sacrificed to Foreign seed Companies-AFSA
 
By Duke Tagoe
Participants at an advocacy workshop organized by the Alliance for Food Sovereignty In Africa (AFSA) in Accra, Ghana have express disapproval of a plant variety protection protocol recently signed by a few African diplomats in Tanzania. The protocol frowns on collective intellectual property rights and will displace indigenous seeds that have formed the backbone of human society since primitive communalism.
 
Under what has been christened the “Arusha PVP Protocol”, local farmers with small farm sizes but who ensures sustainable agriculture, provide diversity in food crops and who are in the lead of the campaign to eradicate hunger, will be greatly marginalized.
 
Opanyin Kwame Sekyere, a local organic seed producer from Offuman in the Techiman district of the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana understands the criminality of the protocol so well. In an exclusive interview with this reporter in February this year, he said “… by soliciting my support to formulate a bill which seeks to make me rich and overcome poverty by registering my seeds but demanding that those seeds must be new, stable, distinct and uniform is like seeking my consent to dress me naked by removing my clothes and then drive me to the streets to be mocked at.
 
“The seeds I multiply under my huts you find over there were special seeds given to me by my father when I first married my wife. I survive by multiplying the seeds for the farmers in my community who in turn bring me some grains and other crops from their harvest. I also cultivate some of the seeds with my family on my fifteen acres of land. As I understand, the Plant Breeders Bill before the parliament does not accept my seeds and that is why I will not qualify for registration under the bill” he explained.
 
But the traditional farmer is even more disturbed. According to him, no parliamentarian alive to his responsibilities unless he be a bandit, a rogue or ignorant, will seek to pass a bill which will disrupt his livelihood because he mandates that parliamentarian to represent him.
 
A full text of the statement issued after the Pan African advocacy workshop is published below unedited;
 
African governments sell out their farmers in secret seeds protection deal
African governments, ignoring the protests of their farmers and civil society, in July 6, 2015, agreed an oppressive 'plant variety protection protocol' that will open up their countries to commercial seed monopolists, while limiting farmers rights to save, use, exchange, replant, improve, distribute and sell the seeds they have developed over countless generations.
 
On 6th July 2015, in Arusha, Tanzania, a Diplomatic Conference held under the auspices of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) adopted a harmonised regional legal framework for the protection of plant breeders' rights.
 
The Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants ('Arusha PVP Protocol') is a slightly revised version of a previous Draft ARIPO Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (the 'ARIPO PVP Protocol').
 
The previous Draft has come under consistent and severe attack by the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) because it is based on a Convention known as UPOV (International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants) 1991 - a restrictive and inflexible international legal precept, totally unsuitable for Africa.
 
Crucially, the ARIPO PVP Protocol proposed extremely strong intellectual property rights to breeders while restricting the age-old practices of African farmers freely to save, use, share and sell seeds and/or propagating material.
 
These practices are the backbone of agricultural systems in Sub-Saharan Africa; they have ensured the production and maintenance of a diverse pool of genetic resources by farmers themselves, and have safeguarded food and nutrition for tens of millions of Africans in the ARIPO region.
 
Traditional farming sacrificed to seed monopolists
The Arusha PVP Protocol is part of the broader thrust in Africa to ensure regionally seamless and expedited trade in commercially bred seed varieties for the benefit, mainly, of the foreign seed industry. Multinational seed companies intend to lay claim to seed varieties as their private possessions and to prevent others from using these varieties without the payment of royalties.
 
Germplasm developed by farming households over centuries is increasingly under threat of privatization; and ecologically embedded farming practices risk being destabilised and dislodged.
 
The broader modernization thrust of which the Arusha PVP Protocol is an intrinsic part, is designed to facilitate the transformation of African agriculture from peasant-based production to inherently inequitable, inappropriate and ecologically damaging Green Revolution/industrial agriculture.
 
Such a transformation will lead to many farming households being threatened with marginalisation or extinction, without alternative options for survival.
It is worthwhile to note that a 2002 Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Bank study, the 'International Assessment of Knowledge, Science and Technology' (IAASTD), strongly recommended a complete shift away from the Green Revolution's industrial agriculture to agroecology.
 
Exclusion of African civil society
Despite AFSA's well-established track record of constructive engagement with ARIPO on the Draft ARIPO PVP Protocol, and despite it being a Pan African network of African regional farmers and NGOs, working with millions of African farmers and consumers, AFSA was purposely excluded from the Arusha deliberations.
 
This restriction stands in sharp contrast to inclusion in the deliberations of the UPOV Secretariat, and other foreign entities, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) the European Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) and the French National Seed and Seedling Association (GNIS). The commercial seed industry (e.g. the African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA)) was particularly well represented.
 
The Arusha PVP Protocol has major implications for national decision-making. AFSA's exclusion is a violation of the right of farmers to participate in decision-making on matters related to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (Article 9.2(c ) of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA).
 
Least Developed Countries and sui generis options             
Upon adoption, the Arusha PVP Protocol was immediately signed by representatives of the governments of Ghana, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, and the Gambia. Ironically, Mozambique, the Gambia and Sao Tome and Principe are defined as Least Developed Countries (LDCs), along with a further 10 of the 19 members of ARIPO - some of the poorest countries in the world.
 
LDCs are currently not under any international obligation to provide any form of plant variety protection until 2021, let alone one based on UPOV 1991! In any event, all countries have an option to develop sui generis (i.e. unique) plant variety protection systems that cater for their specific conditions.
 
Acceptance of the Arusha PVP Protocol will eliminate this option. Smaller countries are bullied into accepting their subordination to regional bodies that are dominated by more powerful foreign countries and multinational corporate interests.
 
The countries involved as ARIPO members are Botswana, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda Zambia and Zimbabwe.
 
National sovereignty and slight changes
During the deliberations in Arusha, several delegations raised serious concerns that the Draft ARIPO PVP Protocol eroded national sovereignty because of the extensive decision-making powers vested in the ARIPO Plant Breeders Rights Office (PBRO), which operates at a regional level.
 
The government of Malawi, in particular, said that this would "have a demeaning and nullifying effect". Consequently, after long hours of negotiation, changes were made that now give Contracting States an explicit right to object to any Plant Breeders' Right (PBR) - as granted by the ARIPO PBRO, regionally - in which event the PBR will not be awarded national protection.
 
Further, Contracting States and not the ARIPO PBRO will have the right to issue compulsory licenses in the public interest.
Notwithstanding these changes, a centralised regional PVP approval system will be established and the ARIPO PBRO will have full authority to grant and administer breeders' rights on behalf of all Contracting States (e.g. to decide whether or not to grant protection, nullify or cancel PBRs, etc).
 
These regionally granted PBRs will have a uniform effect in all Contracting States. Expediently, Contracting States will be required to put scarce public resources at the disposal of breeders to enforce breeders' rights at the national level.
 
Joining UPOV 1991 - and shirking ITPGRFA-guaranteed farmers' rights
The Arusha PVP Protocol will come into force when four member states of ARIPO ratify it. In April 2014 the UPOV Council, at the cost of breaking its own rules, verified that the Draft ARIPO PVP Protocol conformed to the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention, allowing ARIPO itself as well as ARIPO Members that ratify the Protocol, to become Parties to the 1991 UPOV Convention.
 
With the new changes, to become a member of UPOV 1991, ARIPO will have to re-submit the Arusha PVP Protocol to the UPOV Council, to reassess its conformity with the 1991 Act.
Hence AFSA calls on UPOV members to reject the Arusha PVP Protocol. On numerous occasions AFSA has challenged the legitimacy of the whole process-leading up to and culminating in the adoption of the Arusha PVP Protocol.
 
AFSA has also indicated, in many public statements during discussions on the Protocol, that UPOV 1991 restricts farmers' rights to save, exchange and sell farm-saved-seed and/or the propagating material of protected varieties in their possession.
 
Farmers' rights are recognised in the ITPGRFA yet this has been ignored by the 14 member states of ARIPO that are also Parties to the ITPGRFA. By adopting the Arusha PVP Protocol these countries have placed the rights of plant breeders ahead of farmers' rights.
 
AFSA vows to continue struggle for seed sovereignty
AFSA is vehemently opposed to the Arusha PVP Protocol. This Protocol's underlying imperatives are to increase corporate seed imports, reduce breeding activity at the national level, and facilitate the monopoly by foreign companies of local seed systems and the disruption of traditional farming systems.
 
AFSA remains committed to ensuring that farmers, as breeders and users, remain at the centre of localised seed production systems and continue to exercise their rights freely to save, use, exchange, replant, improve, distribute and sell all the seed in their seed systems.
………………………………
BERNARD GURI,
CHAIRPERSON
ALLIANCE FOR FOOD SOVEREIGNTY IN AFRICA
ACCRA, AUGUST 8, 2015,
 
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Strikes
IMF and workers pull Government in opposite directions
 
By Duke Tagoe
The Mahama administration is desperately trying to do the impossible- riding two horses at the same time in opposite directions.
 
Whiles its recent agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) rule out net increases of over 10 percent of salaries and wages for Government workers some professional organizations and labour union are demanding net increases of more than 500 per cent .
 
Indeed the cumulative increase demanded by the members of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) is in excess of 500 percent.
 
Already doctors, psychiatric nurses and lawyers at the office of the Attorney- General are on strike and it is expected that other sections of organized labour will join in.
 
The IMF insists that if the Government of Ghana fails to strictly abide by its 10 per cent calling on net increase in the salaries and wages of public sector workers it will not release bailout funds.
 
The IMF has already released about a third of the bailout funds of close to US$ 1 billion to the government of Ghana.
 
Given all the current circumstances Ghana’s Minister of Finance has a delicate dance to perform.
 
The chances of the IMF showing some flexibility are almost zero leaving the fate of Ghanaian workers agitating for better conditions of service hanging in the balance.
 It appears that Government of Ghana has hardly any alternatives within the current economic paradigm.
 
 For Government, the most likely scenario short of adopting radical policy alternatives is to prepare for a prolonged period of disturbances on the labour front.
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