So… here we are at the end of another week, and we have a lot to be thankful for.
This week began with a holiday, and we celebrated Eid-ul-Adha on the Super Morning Show with a big conversation on child abuse. There was the tragic story of a one and-a-half year old baby whose father beat him to death because he was taking too long to start walking. I still can't quite wrap my mind around that one.
Monday was also the day we met Moses Louis Ametamey, a young brawler who was sent to the children's borstal for slicing off a man's ear with a sharp stone. Three years later, he came out with a troubling tale of institutionalised abuse, sex, drugs, armed robbery and corruption – and that's just the borstal officials. The people who are paid to protect and rehabilitate these children, are feeding them drugs and pornography, and after their release, teaming up with them to stage armed robberies! All this while the state looks on, and the sector ministers' friends test the waters of her popularity with glossy campaign posters.
I guess on Monday, we were thankful for our children. We'd better do all we can to protect them, because if we can't, the state will. And that would be unfortunate.
On Tuesday, we were thankful for the wonderful news that GHACEM had reduced cement prices by almost three cedis per bag! Can you believe that? A price reduction! In Ghana! There is a God.
We were also very thankful for the Finance Minister, Seth Terkper. And I'm not just saying this because I know he's listening – we truly are thankful to him for his constant readiness to engage with us on the important issues. More than once he has stayed up late in the night while in the United States, just so he could join us on the show via telephone. This week, for the first time since I took over, he joined us live in the studio for a chat about the IMF, and the Cedi. He was optimistic about the cedi, and predicted disappointment for those who bet against it.
He also demonstrated a rather interesting talent for interpreting President Mahama's words, finding meanings in there that would elude most of us mere mortals. For instance, last week, when the President spoke to Reuters and disagreed with the IMF's proposal of a three-year wage freeze, it turns out we didn't quite get his meaning. Thank goodness the Finance Minister was on hand to translate for us. Turns out, what 'Presido' actually meant was that our home-grown policies had already spelt out the need for a wage freeze. Ok, so by disagreeing with the IMF, the President was actually agreeing with them.
I don't know about you, but I'd never have got that without a Terkper Translation™. See why I'm thankful?
Wednesday brought us more reasons to be thankful. The BDCs introduced a credit scoring system by which they would supply fuel to OMCs. In spite of concerns that this would cause shortages and price increases, Senyo Horsi, spoke for the BDCs, assuring – no – guaranteeing Ghanaians that the cost and availability of fuel at pumps will not change as a result of this new system. We're thankful.
Also, we got an update from the Deputy Education Minister on the evolving story of rot in the National Service Secretariat. We heard there would be a new Director in place by the end of the week. Hasn't happened yet. Maybe today, eh?
Yesterday, I personally was thankful to Uncle Ebo Whyte for giving us a much needed heads-up about retirement. All things being equal, it will come to us all. Are we preparing for the inevitable lifestyle changes that come with it?
We also started yesterday, a journey through the history of the National Identification Authority, trying to understand why 11 years into its existence, this institution is still yet to achieve its mandate. We had Prof. Ken Attafuah, former Executive Secretary of the Authority in the studio to account for his period of stewardship. We also touched on the present plans of the NIA when Mr Joseph Iroko, the current Head of Admin, Legal and Compliance told us the money spent on the previous registration exercise was not a waste, as the obsolete equipment they spent over 50 million Euros on, will still be used in the new exercise. The obsolete equipment? Ok. We are thankful.
So we'll wrap a bow around a spectacular week, with an amazing, action-packed Friday Morning show. I'll introduce you to our youngest ever Unique achiever. I call him the 13 million dollar kid. You'll find out why when we meet him later.
The IMF talks continue. Details of Ghana's three-year package are being formed in Washington DC as we speak. We're thankful George Wiafe is there with the Ghanaian delegation. He'll be giving us the inside scoop on these talks.
Also, we'll be exploring the strange, yet typical, way in which some Americans are reacting to the Ebola death of a Liberian national.
Now, it's International Mental Health Day today, and we'll be meeting a woman who will make you thankful that you're not battling mental illness in Ghana.
My name is Kojo Yankson, and I don't know about you, but I'm thankful it's Friday.
GOOD MORNING, GHANAFO!