Friday, 31 October 2008

Strategic Business Analysis

Organisations operates in an uncertain environment for their future direction.   The recent financial crisis tells how the future can be unpredictable even with the sophisticated  available tools to management. A strategy is often needed to overcome this uncertainty. Strategic Business Analysis (SBA) is a a planning tool for the future direction and scope of an organisation. As a planning tool it looks at the long-term and considers the whole organisation including stakeholders, resources and competencies. It is basically about 'strategic management' that seeks to achieve the objectives of the organisation and adapt its scope, resources and operations to environmental changes in the long term. There are various approaches to SBA, the most common and popular is the 'top down' rational process. This strategic planning approach, also known as the Johnson, Scholes and Whittington (JSW) model, is broken down into three interdependent phases of strategic analysis, strategic choice and strategic implementation. Apart from this, there is the emergent strategies by Mintzberg (1987) that sees strategy as evolving over time and the incremenatalism approach  sees strategy as extensions of small scale practices. There is also the freewheeling opportunism to strategy, describing the process as  grabbing opportunity as they happen.

Strategic Planning

The strategic planning process  starts by setting the mission- that is identifying the purpose of the organisation - and then establishing objectives to achieve the mission. These objectives are targets usually quantified with time-limits. The next stage is analysing the internal and external environment for strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, including stakeholder analysis for their power and influences on the organisation. This process leads to identifying strategic options, making a choice and implementing the strategic plan as outlined below. This process includes a control loop that compares the objectives set to results. Deviations from the plan/objectives is adjusted in continuous periodic process.  See Below:Strategic Planning Process
Strategic planning is also carried out at different levels of an organisation. At the corporate level, decisions like, what business is the firm undertaking? What business should it be undertaking? is compared with the firm's environment, resource capabilities and the values and expectations of stakeholders.This is known as the corporate strategy. At the business level, the strategy considers how each strategic business unit (SBU) try to accomplish its mission within its selected area of activity.This is the business strategy. At the functional level, the strategy considers how distinct functions of the business support the corporate and business strategies. This the functional strategy.

The Strategic Analysis/Position

This assessment process involves analysing the environment in which an organisation operates  for example competitors, markets, regulations, opportunities and threats etc. The environmental variables - political, economic, social, technological environmental and legal are scan for their effect on the organisation and it activities. Assessing the strategic capabilities of the organisation is part of this process for example resources, competences, for its relative strengths and weaknesses. This is done taking into consideration the culture, beliefs and assumptions of the organisation; and of the power and expectations of stakeholders. Major stakeholders include shareholders, managers, employees, trade unions, customers, suppliers government and the general public.

The Strategic Choice

This is based on producing strategic options-establishing possible choice for future strategies-for example producing at the lowest cost, differentiating products and/or determining a method of growth (acquisition vs organic). The next step is assessing the options as to their comparative merits and feasibility to the organisations existing position. This is done by building on strengths, overcoming weaknesses, taking advantage of opportunities and minimising threats; The last step is the selection of an option/strategy for the organisation to pursue. the strategy chosen could be single or mixed and not be the right or wrong one but on merits and demerits. The selection is influence by values of managers and interest groups within the organisation reflecting the power structure.  These choices are made at every level of the organisation. That is at the corporate, business and operational levels.

The Strategic Implementation/Action

This process involves detailed plans or objectives for operating units, targets for managers to achieve,  including detailed specifications on how the activities are to be carried out.  Several parts form this process into a coherent plan which includes resource planning and the logistics implementation. Others include the organisation structure needed to carry out the strategy and the systems  (information, procedures and controls) employed to manage the organisation. Sub-strategies for products, markets, human resources etc. is part of this process.

Alternative Strategies

Mintzberg (1987) suggests that strategies evolve over time (emerge) and do not arise out of conscious strategic planning process. This emergent strategies result from a number of ad hoc choices in a down top approach to the final unclear objective of the strategy whiles continuously adapting to human needs. Separate part still develop as strategy proceeds in an incremental faction. The incremenatalism approach believes strategy is built on the process of consultation, compromise and accommodation by making small scale extensions of former practices. Freewheeling opportunism is another alternative strategy that grabs opportunity as they occur. Basically it is used by entrepreneurs who dislikes planning and enjoy taking risks and new ventures only to lose interest once its up and running. Johnson and Scholes describe strategy as design, experience and ideas. This they called the three lenses of strategy. Essentially, strategy as design is the same as the rational planning model and strategy as experience reflects the emergent approach, whiles strategy as ideas mirror freewheeling opportunism.

Further Reading:

Johnson G, Scholes K, and Whittington R, Exploring Corporate Strategy, FT Prentice Hall, seventh edition, 2005
Mintzberg H, Ahlstrand B, Lampel J, Strategy Safari : The Complete Guide Through the Wilds of Strategic Management, FT Prentice Hall, 1998

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Sunday, 19 October 2008

KidsCash is Following Me on Twitter

One thing you never expected and there it is in front of you. KidsCash a for-profit company dedicated to the future financial success of the youth in US is now following me on twitter. How on earth would they be following me? Is it my discussion on financial issues on twitter?KidsCash-Twitter Or recent blog posts, watch out for the scam or my personal stories,  the come back and the come back2. Whatever the reason all is in the name of social networking using social media.

One interesting thing about this organisation is, it is a for-profit company. Traditionally all companies are set up to make profits and there came variation like non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that are basically non-profits. For a company to name itself a 'for-profit' is unusual. This shows how profit minded they are from the start. Some non-profit organisations are set up to correct the imperfections in a pure capitalist/market economy. So non-profits and for-profits organisations can both work together to develop an economy.

The other issue is the , Muskegon County, Michigan based, company is a debt-free one with a cash-only philosophy. Which company on earth is completely free of debt. These kids mean business by taking a cash-only philosophy. Apart from that they have started selling their own-made products. They also offer financial education as well as community mentorship. Working with kids ages 8-18 but acknowledge that even adults need help as well. Parents can come free to any or all of the classes their children attend.

This is an effort wealthy of emulation to developing economies as well, where the teaching of this skill is virtually non-existing. It is also an alternative to AID projects like the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) in developing countries in Africa. Teaching kids to be self reliant is a first step to self-sufficiency rather  than making them dependent on others for their basic survival.

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Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Watch Out for the Scam

Whilst most of us are facing financial crisis at this time, there are others who want to steal all that we have worked for. I woke up this morning to find two scam emails in my inbox. The first, apparently from a bank requesting me to complete a form attachment that includes my security details for PINsenty upgrade, they called it.  Below is the email.   ScamThe email itself has the 'to:' as 'none' and the 'Cc:' as 'recipient not shown'. Some one or some group of people want to take this information for mischievous reasons.  Being a victim of scams like this in the past, I knew what I was going in for. After downloading the attachment, the details they are requesting is shown below:

Scam2Even the bank will not request such information from you so why do they want it now? Is it a security lapse in the organisation's IT system or is it an insider operation? I tried to investigate further.

When I copied the the domain name and pasted it into my browser, it came out as barciays.co.uk. So someone is playing with 'l' in the Barclays to read as capital 'i'. The web site is shown below:

Scam3 The website itself looks ok with nothing mischievous. So I wanted to find out who is behind this. Actually, I was able to know who is hosting this domain and the purported owner but due to legal reasons I can not disclose on this blog.

The lesson are straight forward:

  • Do not give your security details to anybody including the financial organisation you are dealing with.
  • Contact your financial organisation to report any suspicious scam
  • The Financial Services Authority has guidance on Staying safe against scams.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The Come Back 2

This post is a continuation of an earlier one, The Come Back, that describe the teenage years of my career. As a teenage boy leaving my parents, as part of my education, to a boarding school in the remote part of the country that landed me doing business and accounting subjects. The decision that was to be made after those years was to go on a full-time university, work full-time or combination of the two on a part-time basis.

I landed a job in an auditing practice  as an audit trainee. Computers were not that common those days. The available ones were using Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS DOS) that allow users to perform commands using a text-based programming language. I had to learn these commands rote to get things done apart from manually writing clients accounts books on ledger sheets from almost incomplete records. It was a test time for me as most of the clients had small businesses and needed a financial statement for tax purpose or requirements of the register of companies. I was in the practice for almost two years and decided to further my studies. Though qualifying for a place in a tertiary institution in the first place, I thought as at then to gain enough work experience. The work training broaden my perspective about life and it was time to move on.

I then enrolled at Institute of Professional Studies (IPS),  the institution that trains professional accountants and secretaries, on a part-time basis while continuing my job training at the accountancy firm. After three years of studies, I was to do a compulsory national service for two years. I left my city job for a rural post of Resource Personnel for Enhancing Opportunities for Women in Development (ENOWID) project. I was training the village women in records and accounting bookkeeping apart from providing them with management services on how to run their small businesses. Part of the project was the giving of micro credit to these women who have no knowledge of western form of business. I travelled the length and breath of these villages first in small vans loaded beyond capacity with sheep, goats, chicken food stuffs and human beings and then on small boats since some of the villages were not accessible by road. Volta lake I was finally given a jump bike to make my trips. Sometimes when I sit back to reflect on these experiences, I see how dangerously I was leaving, travelling on those boats without a life jackets and overloaded with all sort of stuff was something I didn't realise as at the time. I am poised to go back there and make a life changing experiences for those villagers.

After these periods with the villagers I continued with similar activities for a Church Organisation after my national service. This organisation, Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana was mother's church were we grew up and worship together. This time I was to visit branches in villages to help them sort their financial records. After a few months, I thought it was now time to go back to city. I was employed by one of the big shipping companies in the harbour city of Tema were I was subjected to handling big and numerous accounting reconciliations. It was a place that changed my career forever. This would be the content of the next blog on this series.

Related blog:

The Come Back

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Saturday, 27 September 2008

Closing the Gap with Africa

As the clouds gather for next month's (October) Black History Month (BHM), there is one particular organisation, A Serendipitous Production (ASP) Ltd, which is launching Film Education Programme as part of the festival. 

The UK Government has made it a Millennium Ghana SchoolsDevelopment Goal to encourage intercultural twinning between UK schools and their peers in Africa. ‘Closing the Gap’ films aims to show the next generation of UK school children the breadth and variety of African life, and reflect the positivity and enthusiasm not shown on main stream media. The project begins in London in September.

With the support of Film London, the organisers are able to offer schools up to a 50% discount for director led screenings, and question & answer sessions. Schools will have the opportunity to choose from 14 short films, including 5 titles from UK charity Worldwrite a UK based charity with a remit to develop and provide educational projects and programmes which promote international understanding. Closing the Gap Trailer, the original idea for ‘Closing the Gap’  was born out of ASP’s latest feature length documentary From Hay to Timbuktu.

As Director Akua Ofosuhene researched these government sponsored twinning’s she was moved to include a British African perspective that would bridge the gap between the Africa we see on our screens and the one known by Africans. Akua Says,

I don’t want school twinning to be a way of feeding British kids with the idea that Africa is a place of only hunger, aids and abject poverty that is in need of aid. I want to contribute to a view of Africa as place we can also learn from; and when the kids see ordinary and extraordinary Africans they can admire and identify with, we may have a chance of a new conversation with Africa based on equality and respect.

Links to post:

www.black-history-month.co.uk

www.aserendipitousproduction.com

Friday, 12 September 2008

The Come Back

It had been some time now since I updated this blog - almost three(3) months ago. I am happy to be back after engaging myself in a clients business (i.e. putting all the accounting stuff in order). Now, that that is behind me, this blog site would be going through something like  a regeneration. This renewal (or rebirth, if you like) would start with the early years of my accounting career, through some technical accounting stuff I had experience over the years, to the traditional things of this blog. This I would be presenting in a series of blog post running to the end of the year.

To start with, my early years of finance and accounting, all began almost twenty-five (25) years ago when I started my secondary school education of five(5) years (but ended up to be six) back in the remote part of Ghana. As a city boy(Accra), attending school in a remote part of the country meant  a residential school (boarding school, it was called). Leaving my parent at a tender age of just fourteen (14) to begin such a path was one of the enduring moment of my life time. Today I can reflect back at those moment and say it was well spent.

As at that time, years in secondary education was called forms depending on which year you were. Like form 1 for year 1 and form 3 for year 3 etc. These forms were split into three sections each of  A, B and C to look like form 1A, 1B, 1C and 3A, 3B, 3C etc. In the first two years that is forms 1 and 2 we were doing something like 18 subject and I was in the B class from the start. On reaching the third year (i.e. form 3), students are split into the Arts, Business, and Science subjects which were labelled A, B and C respectively. So if you are doing the Arts subjects you were given form 3A, 3B for Business and  3C for Science. We were to do at least three section subjects, and one subject from the other two section apart from the section subjects you were in. For example if you were in the B section (i.e. business subjects) you should take at least one Arts subjects and one Science subject in addition to the compulsory Business, English and Mathematics subjects. Overall we were doing something like 12 subject at that level and finally choosing 7, 8 or 9 subjects in year 4 for the final General Certificate of Education (GCE) Ordinary ('O') level exams in year 5. I will admit, now, that the system of career guidance at the time was not the best and an average student like myself had no option but to continue in my B class so I ended doing business subjects. These subjects if I can remember were (8 in total) at the Ordinary level ('O' level):

  • Business Subjects: Commerce, Business Studies, Accounting,
  • Art Subjects: Economics, Bible Studies,
  • Science Subjects: General Science (specialising in Biology),
  • Compulsory Subjects: English and Mathematics

I successfully passed all my subjects after rewriting some of the subjects ending up with 6 years instead 5 to move to the Advanced level ('A' level)

At the 'A' level it was less straight forward than the 'O' level. The subjects at this level were meant to be three but I ended up doing six subjects from two different examining bodies, though some of the subjects were related. I was then doing Business Management, Accounting, and Economics for the GCE; and Cost and Management Accounting, Financial Accounting, and Finance for The Royal Society of Arts (RSA) stage III (stage II was the equivalent of the 'O' level. The RSA was administered by the British so it was a foreign exam in Ghana by then.

After successfully going through all that at the advanced level (not all at one go but had to rewrite some papers to get a good passes). It was the time to decide on my university or tertiary education. Coming from a split family, I couldn't get straight forward answers for a young man of my early twenties. It was one of the decisions that had made me what I am today- go full-time university, work full-time or combination of the two on a part-time basis. Which one is right for me?

The answer lies in the next blog on this series, sending me on the path of my career and what that experience had been.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Interest Rate in the EU

The European Central Bank (ECB) is poised to raise interest rates on Thursday, despite mounting evidence that Eurozone growth is faltering. At the conclusion of its 5 June policy meeting, the ECB signaled that it could very well raise Eurozone interest rates, from 4.00% to 4.25%, at its 3 July policy meeting. Specifically, ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet revealed that there were some members of the ECB's governing council who believed at the June meeting that there was a case for raising interest rates immediately. Others believed that interest rates would need to rise, but later, and a third group thought there was no need to raise interest rates. Trichet stated that the ECB is monitoring current events very closely, is in a "state of heightened alert," and could enact a small interest-rate hike next month.

Source: Global Insight Perspectives

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

UK Tax Reminders

Pay As You Earn (PAYE)-The 31st of May is the last date for giving 2007-08 P60 form to each employee who was working for you at 5 April 2008.

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Sunday, 25 May 2008

George Ayittey on Leadership in Africa

Cheetah vs Hippo generations. Africa governments as vampire states. This grab-you-by the throat speech by Ghanaian economist George Ayittey unleashes an almost breathtaking torrent of controlled anger toward Africa's corrupt leaders and the complacent populace that allows them to thrive. Why, then, does he remain optimistic? Because of the new, fast-moving "Cheetah Generation," a "new breed of Africans" taking their futures into their own hands, mobilizing Africans to revive the indigenous markets and institutions that have worked for centuries. As he says: "With Cheetahs, we can take Africa back, one village at a time."


Related Post: Patrick Awuah on Leadership in Africa

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Patrick Awuah on Leadership in Africa

This video is from TED2007 though an old one it is still relevant today. Here Patrick Awuah talks about transformation in Africa through leadership training. He mention the problem of ethics as one of the root causes of the slow pace in developing the continent. He also mentions the value of creation to empower people.

The main issues to problems in Africa, he said were corruption, weaken institutions and leadership. He talked about Ashesi University and leadership training, which is the beginning to creating a perfect society.


Monday, 19 May 2008

UK Tax Submissions

Employer Annual Return forms P14s/P35 final deadline

Today is the latest date for receipt of Employer Annual Return (P14 or substitutes and P35) for the tax year ending 5 April 2008 by the HM Revenue and Customs in the UK. The quickest and easiest method is to file online by midnight. Penalties are chargeable on any returns received after today. Employers with fewer than 50 employees, will get £100 tax-free if they send the 2007-08 Return online.

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Saturday, 17 May 2008

Different Colours (One People) - Lucky Dube

It is time to remind the world as we past through this weekend and this caught my attention. The lyrics are below:


Lyrics:

Breaking those barriers
All over the world
Was not an easy thing
Yesterday your mouth was shut yeah
Couldn' t make a sound eh boy
But it' s such a good feeling today
When I can hear them from
Across the ocean singing this song
That the whole world should be singing
All the time

Chorus: (x3)
We' re...
Different colours / one people
Different colours / one people

Hey you government
Never try to separate the people
Hey you politician
Never try to separate the people

They were created in the image of God
And who are you to separate them
Bible says, he made man in his image
But it didn' t say black or white
Look at me you see BLACK
I look at you I see WHITE
Now is the time to kick that away
And join me in my song

Chorus: (x3)

Hey you politician
Never seperate the people here
Hey you man hey you man
Never try to seperate the people

Some were from America
We were from South Africa
Some were from Japan
We were from China
Some were from Australia
We were from the U.K.
Some were from Zimbabwe
We were from Ghana
Some were from Jamaica
We were from Russia
Some were from Aha-ha-ha
We were from Uhu-hu-hu

Chorus till fade

[Enjoy your week end]

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Monday, 12 May 2008

Stoweboyd in the Past Two Weeks

Stowe Boyd is one person I admire a lot, not because of how he looks but the output of his soft issues. He has a visionary and down to earth style of presentation. He is a thought leader and had been paving the way for others to follow (this is shown in his twitter stats of more followers that followings - The Twitterized Conversational Index).I am presenting in this piece an analysis of the best of his blogs in the past two weeks

Open criticism

He had a personally bad experience with an organisation that had given an information which is different from what it is doing - I Bet That Clear Is Going To Do Everything Wrong. Here he points to the right thing to be done not just apologies. This he is able to do without any fear of intimidation. This can not be done in certain parts of the world without putting yourself in any form of danger especially when you are using geoloco applications like Brightkite or Dopplr. This shows how US still remains a free country despite all the terror threats. I do hope this air of freedom would eventually spread to the rest of the world.

This other piece is about the discussion of being a polymath in this world of creativity - Steve Rubel Wants To Be A Polymath, And Blames The Internet. After doing some criticism he points out that

Investing 10,000 hours into some skill -- like architecture, guitar, or karate -- is a general rule of thumb for mastery at the 'black belt' level. Being a polymath simply translates into someone who has invested 10,000 hours -- 3 hours per day, 333 days per year for 10 years -- into more than one discipline.

He also made an argument for breadth (broad-mindedness):

I agree. I am not suggesting that people work to acquire a superficial awareness of a wide variety of things, but that we should, each of us, become deeply invested in a number of disciplines. We should learn music, deeply, how to play an instrument or sing, not just passively listening to the radio. We should learn to cook, not simply to appreciate great food. We should learn foreign languages, not just marvel at those who are polyglots.

How I Roll: The Ten Day Rule And Other Consultingology. Here is another interesting bit where he talks about his ten day rule and consulting work. It is basically about going solo conference which he would be expending on. He has also been promoting his twitpitch idea which he developed some weeks past: The Elevator Pitch Is Dead. Introducing The Twitpitch. He wrote about Twitter being a launch pad for other social networks: Unit Structures: Twitter, Imagined Identity and Flux and how twitter can adopt a new XMPP model for scaling: Twitter Can Be Liberated - Here’s How.

Stowe Boyd is involve in a number of products and projects one of which is workstreamer preparing to go live next month. In Open Social Communication And Workstreamer, he discussed how the application would "stream work-related information, like tasks, project updates, design notes, or meeting agendas" as opposed to emails. I do agree the move away from emails but I also think if stream feeds had been in use we human would be thinking of going the email and inbox model. This is an inherent feature of human who are always craving for new, another way, or different ways of doing things. I am currently using bascamp for my projects but equally fascinated by the hip of worksteamer and would be migrating if it turns out good.

Another application in Stowe Boyd sleeves is Front Channel: Our Micro Business Model. He said...

...We are planning to allow non-commercial use of the tool for free, as soon as we can get a hosted version of it up. For conferences that are for-fee, we intend to use this micro fee model: Fee = A x T, where A is the full retail cost of attending the conference and T is the number of tracks...

Do you know of any blogger who is a thought and visionary leader?

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Friday, 9 May 2008

Twitter to a New Level

Last two days I had being tweeting and got caught up in the twitter flow conversation stoweboyd had been talking about and here is how it went

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Then there came a reply from AterNox

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I am getting a little bit urging

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Happy ending, points made.

Along the lines elle6503, whose bio includes risk financing, had been tweeting about Hot and cold pizzas...

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At same time I asked:

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Then came in elle6503...

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So I asked again..

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Source: http://quotably.com/mskpetigo

Lots of points had been developed here which show how twitter can be different from other social media by bringing the flow to a conversation.

Related Post:

Tweets or Blogs - Personal Perspective (1)

Monday, 5 May 2008

Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)- The Inside Out

Since the new EPAs were signed in the early part of this year most African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries have not done a detailed analysis of the agreements. However, a study report on The new EPAs: comparative analysis of their content and the challenges for 2008 provides a comprehensive analysis from the authors perspectives the trade regimes for Africa that on 1 January 2008 replaced the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA), the negotiations that remain to be completed and the challenges facing Africa in implementation. The findings from the study is commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Netherlands and undertaken by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM).

According to the report, eighteen African and two Pacific countries initialed interim EPAs whiles Caribbean (CARIFORUM) countries agreed full EPAs. The remaining African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries in exception of South Africa now export to the European market under the EU Generalised System of Preferences (GSP). South Africa continues to export under its own free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU, the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA).

Key features of the interim EPAs

In part A of the report, five specific research questions where responded to in analysing the agreements initialed by African countries and, where relevant, makes a comparison with the CARIFORUM and Pacific agreements.

  • National level: what is the impact of the agreed tariff liberalisation schedules, when compared to current applied tariffs?
  • Regional level: how should the individual agreements (if applicable) be interpreted in relation to current and future regional integration initiatives?
  • ACP–EU exports: what does the DFQF market access to the EU mean for ACP countries in terms of (additional) market opening to the EU?
  • What do the agreed interim agreements/stepping stone agreements say about possibilities to opt out and conditions and time schedules to come to a full EPA
  • In how far are the agreed texts for African regions and countries i) similar to each other
    and to the text for the Caribbean region and ii) development friendly?

Levels of national commitment

In answer to the first question, the study points out how the interim EPAs were finalised in a rush to beat the deadline and how all the African EPAs are different in exception of the East African Community (EAC) region. The report point out that no clear pattern was identified that the poorer countries have longer to adjust than the richer ones or of the EPAs being tailored to development needs.

Implications for regionalism

The report points out that there is little coherence between the EPA agenda and the regional integration processes in Africa in answer to the second question.

Some key provisions of the interim agreements

Research questions 1 and 2 issues highlighted above, have been derived from the complex and detailed EPA schedules using the authors’ judgements about the relative importance of different elements of the agreements. Answering research questions 4 and 5 takes attention away from the schedules of tariffs to be liberalised or excluded towards the main texts, the impact of which will become clear only over time in the light of circumstances.

According to the study, the safest guide to what the parties have agreed and that allows a comparison to be made of each main provision in the various EPA texts is the issue-by-issue summary of the main provisions of the EPAs provided in Appendix 3 of the report. Specific border measures are provided in the EPAs which may slightly alter some of the features of the liberalisation regimes. Apart from that, there are big differences in the ‘rendezvous clauses’ in the interim EPAs which establish the areas in which negotiations must continue. These clauses are guidelines to be negotiated. In addition, the dispute avoidance and settlement provisions are more extensive and rigid than in some previous EU Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). All the EPAs except EAC have comprehensive but wholly non-binding provisions for development cooperation, mentioned in each and every chapter as well as in a section on development cooperation.

The way forward

Part B addresses five questions raised in the terms of reference for the study. Which considers the implications of the interim EPAs concluded in Africa, and the way they were concluded, on the continuing EPA negotiation process, and identifies options for the way forward.

  • What are the lessons learned from the EPA negotiation process?
  • Based on the findings from part A, what are the different scenarios for the way forward, including: – moving from interim to comprehensive EPAs, moving from country to
    regional EPAs, and/or moving from interim EPAs to GSP+?
  • What could be the changes and additions to the interim EPAs to make them comprehensive, development friendly and in support of regional integration?
  • What are the opportunities and threats for the ACP for the negotiations on ‘phase 2’?
  • Special attention should be given to the lessons from phase 1, the political dynamics and the interaction between regional integration and EPA negotiation processes.
  • Considering the outcomes of part A, what are the implications for aid modalities for the coming years (where should ACP and donors pay attention to compared to the current
    state of affairs)?

A turbulent negotiating process

The report mentioned the extremely challenging process and substance of the EPA negotiations resulting to tension and frustration on either side of the table. EC and ACP negotiators were unable to reach common understanding and approach on the cornerstones of new trading arrangements, especially development and regionalism. The report attributed this to various reasons but lack of institutional and technical capacity on the ACP side, as well as insufficient political leadership in many regions made the process less smooth. The first challenge is to mend bruised feelings, restore some confidence and trust and build a true partnership.

Options for the way forward

All the parties are officially committed to concluding comprehensive EPAs, and negotiations are continuing to that end in all regions.

It is not for the authors of this study to identify which is the best option, from the range of options, as this is a task for each country and region. These range from concluding full EPAs over adopting the initialed interim agreements as permanent solutions (possibly joined by additional countries), to opting out of EPAs, relying instead on the GSP to access the EU market and liberalising under the intra-regional and multilateral frameworks. The report went on to state that the challenge will be for each grouping to adopt a common approach consistent with their
regional integration processes, while promoting their development objectives as indicated by the analysis in Part A.

The need for ownership

Interests among countries within a region may differ, include varying degrees of commitment on trade in services and trade-related issues. Signing an EPA should be a sovereign decision by each country and not be pressured to join through political pressure or through aid conditionality.

The report stated that instead of moving from interim agreements directly to full EPAs it would be possible to address different areas of negotiations step-by-step through a built-in agenda consisting of rendezvous clauses with different issue-specific deadlines to finalise negotiations. It also talked about the need to increase transparency in the negotiations and their outcomes in order to allow for public scrutiny by policy makers, parliamentarians, private sector and civil society representatives. Apart from that, the asymmetries in negotiating capacity (between the EU and ACP and among the ACP) that have contributed to the incoherence of the interim agreements need to be taken into account in the further negotiations if the problems identified in Part A are not to be made worse.

Aid for Trade and EPA related development support

The total ‘theoretical revenue’ that will be lost during the first tranches of liberalisation is $359 million per year. Such inflows are needed just to maintain the support needed for domestic producers to adjust to increased competition from imports and new opportunities for exports
as a result of duty-free. As the centrepiece of the EU’s commitment to EPAs so far, it would be sensible to ensure that there is also adequate aid provision to help remove blockages to increased supply. Europe has committed itself to provide more Aid for Trade (AfT) to developing countries and should ensure that part of this enhances the use of quota-free access (DFQF) by removing obstacles to production and export, such as poor infrastructure and other physical or institutional deficiencies.

According to the report, the EU decided that EPA-related needs should be addressed through the ‘EU Aid for Trade Strategy’ in favour of all developing countries. The ACP regions and countries should proactively ensure that the EU AfT Strategy is operational and effective by identifying gaps in existing support and improvements needed in AfT delivery instruments. There is urgent need in particular to assess the added value of different mechanisms (regional funds and national-level instruments, etc.).

Related Posts

African nations in EU trade deal

EU/Africa EPAs on rocks

Globalisation challenges

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Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Blogging Don'ts

Don't post 20 times in one day just because you missed a few days the previous week. Many blogging services let you plan posts to go live at set times in the future, so use this feature to spread them over a few days.

Don't post personal information like your address, mobile number or birth date. Identity thieves get everywhere.

Don't delete comments just because someone disagrees with you. Blogging is a two-way conversation, not a one-sided rant.

Don't copy and past other blog's post and pass them off as your own. Obviously.

Don't think you can earn lots of cash by clicking your own ads. Google is wise to this sort of thing. Really

Don't write punning or obscure titles for your posts if there's a more down-to-earth alternative that get major keywords in. It'll make help you get more traffic from search engines.

Don't get involved in pointless flame wars with other bloggers. You might think its sophisticated verbal jousting, but your readers will probably just think its boring.

Related posts

Blogging Do's

Tweets or Blogs - A Personal Perspective (1)

Offline Internet User in a Development Context

Tags: Blogging, Web2.0

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Blogging Do's

Do post regularly, preferably at least once a day. The Internet is full of discarded blogs where the writer lost the habit, so it’s essential to decide how often you want to post, and stick to it.

Do keep your posts interesting and to the point; and enjoyable to read; rather than making people plough through 3000-word essays. If you do have a longer post, consider splitting it up into three or more separate posts, and running them over a few days.

Do keep a close eye on comments being posted on your blog. Partly because they can be a great basis of feedback and help put together a community of regular readers, but also make sure nobody's being rude, or posting spam links to dodgy porn site.

Do use other blogs as source stuff, adding your own spin on things they've posted and providing a link back to the original stuff. These outbound links are an important part of building traffic to your own blog, since it makes other blogs more likely to link back to you.

Do have a look at advert on your blog like Google Adsense - it’s a way to make money from simple text advert on your blog. It takes 10 minutes to set up, and could eventually fund your creation.

Do add two or three "related posts" links to the end of every post, pointing people to previous stories on your blog. If they come in through a search engine, it might tempt them to explore.

Do get to grips with a good online RSS feed reader to keep track of your favourite other blogs. It'll make it much quicker and easer to find source material for your own posts.

Related posts

Blogging Don'ts

Tweets or Blogs - A Personal Perspective (1)

Offline Internet User in a Development Context

Tags: Blogging, Web2.0

Alan Cash Resigns From NPP

I had been following the resignation of Alan Cash with very insightful contributions from members of brainstorming-Ghana Google groups network. However, though I am not a politician or political scientist and taking from my background, I will be discussing the issues and not the personalities. This new development requires answers to serious question vis-a-vis its implications for Ghana politics and national development. NPP

Being first runner-up to NPP presidential candidate indicates Alan has a large following and has an influential position in the party. However, breaking away from the party is not good news for the party nor the country, though it may be good for him personally. There is a common saying that 'unity is strength. So for a political institution to be split is a sign of another deep routed divisions within our society and if not handled with care could have serious consequences come December 2008 elections.

Learning from the advanced multi-party democracies, a two-party election is near to a country in unity than divided. Sorting out differences requires great courage and understanding of each sides. This has been one of the major causes of conflicts within major thriving democracies in recent times (e.g. Kenya, Zimbabwe and guess who is next). Ghana is more than matured and experienced to go through such conflicts.

Some may ask:

Will Alan form his own political party or run independently?

Will he join the another party who he shares common ideas?

What are the implications for national development?

Unfortunately most people vote on issues of personality, ethnicity, language, and religion in this part of the worlAlan Cashd ( as discussed by Baba, Mic and Bossman in a earlier post - titled 'vice presidential candidates') . Mr. Alan returning to join the NPP would be good news for the country provided he is given an influential position within the party. But would he be given any position with this kind of split? Linking with another party would be welcome news for Ghanaians but will he be welcome at the other side? These issues have development implications for the country and what civil society organizations (CSOs), charities and NGOs should be doing to prevent post election violence.

So the questions are

What are the causes of post election violence?

How can post election violence be prevented?

What role can Charities, NGOs and CSOs do to fill this gap?

The debate continues.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Building a Website That Sells

Read this doc on Scribd: Building a website that sells

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

UNCTAD XII in Accra, Ghana.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) XII will be held at the Accra International Conference Centre, Accra, Ghana from 20th to 25th of April 2008 after a pre-conference from 17th to 19th April 2008.

The Theme for this year is 'Addressing the opportunities and challenges of globalisation for development'. It has come at the important moment when the goals of globalisation had not been achieved.

It is therefore imperative to take stock of the past and find the next step for development when the world leaders gather to deliberate on the future of the world.

There will also be a live blogging session of the opening and closing ceremonies by SIL Charity Solutions.

Monday, 14 April 2008

African Tweeters

The other day I had been blogging about Tweets or Blogs - A Personal Perspective (1) and how twitter had been doing as a social network tool. But here comes something else about how many Africans are on Twitter. This little piece shows how teenagers can be vulnerable to twitter vices especially in Africa where regulation is poor or non-existing.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Offline Internet User in a Development Context

Introduction

This post is being discussed in the context of ICT for development. In a blog post Web2.0 - potentials or obstacles for connectivity? ckreutz had been discussing Internet related connectivity problems. Checking the upload and download speed using dial-ups, he came up with this...

"I checked it through CNN.com and it took 4 minutes to load the website with a 20kb-normal-African-university-connection. I, myself, had an interesting experience when I was in South Africa last year. I was faced with volume packages for internet. Suddenly, a YouTube video was not a choice, and Skype calls were much shorter. I had to think it twice whether to go on overloaded fancy news sites or not".

Speed might not be the only problems facing poor countries. Working offline and later connecting to the Internet for updates can make a lot of difference in the development context. This post discusses how this can be done using an email client, a web browser, blogging and tweeting. This list is not conclusive. There might be other good ones out there. Using calendars offline/online would be discuss in a later post.

E-mailing

Emails can be easy to read when swapping between online and offline usage. Online emails are downloaded to computers and read later when the Internet is not available using an email client. There are various email clients, common among them are Microsoft Outlook and Windows Mail. A beginner would like to choose Windows Mail since it comes preloaded with Vista. To add a new email account click ‘accounts’ on the ‘tools’ menu and click ‘add’ to open the dialog box. Follow procedure in the linked video.Windows mail_

Apart from that, message rules can be set to incoming mails to be redirected to a created folded depending on your needs. So you get your mails how you want it and where you want it. This can provide enormous flexibility to the user who has to switch between staying online and offline.

Browsing

You can subscribe to feeds to automatically check for and download updates that you can view when offline. Feeds are alternatives to email. They provide you with an update to a website when something new is added. Internet Explorer 7 (IE) can discover and display feeds as you visit websites. IE finds available feeds, the Feeds buttonclip_image002, located on the Internet Explorer toolbar, will change from gray to orange and/or play a sound.

  • To subscribe to a feed, click the Subscribe to this Feed button ie7three, and then click Subscribe to this Feed. Type a name for the feed and select the folder to create the feed in. Click Subscribe.
  • To view feeds click the Feeds button (see below). If multiple feeds are available, you'll see a list of available feeds. Select the feed you want to view. When you click the feed, you'll see a page displaying a list of items (topics and articles) you can read. ie7two

There are other third party add-ons that can support offline experience with IE7. These include Google gear, PDF Creator and Microsoft XPS Document Writer. Web pages can be stored using these tools and used when offline. The PDF Creator and Microsoft XPS Document Writer would give you the same results except that the former is compatible with the widely used Adobe Reader

Blogging

writer_screenshot Blogging can also bring a wonderful experience to the offline user. Writing new and editing old blogs is possible with Windows Live Writer. Windows Live Writer can create and post entries on your blog and works with a variety of blog services as seen in this linked video. To configure Writer to connect to Windows Live Spaces, or a blog service you must already have an account with a Windows Live ID or created an accounts with blog service like Blogger. After the account is created you can then blog online and offline.

Tweeting

One useful tool for offline tweeting is the twhirl. Loic Le Meur blogged about 20 reasons why Seesmic acquired Twhirl highlighting some good uses of twhirl. In addition to that, the offline user is able to read tweets using twhirl. To use twhirl you must have a twitter account and/or Pownce and Jaiku. You can also use it on aggregators like friendfeed. This linked video shows how to setup twhirl after downloading.

Emails or RSS Feeds?

Sometimes people are caught in between receiving updates via email or RSS feeds. Emails work well if the communication is personal and intimate otherwise RSS feeds is the ideal. With RSS feeds you choose who to receive updates or information from and not the other way round with emails. It also complements anti-spam objectives giving you much control over your information needs. But not many websites has an RSS Feed so in that case the obvious choice is email.

Blogging or Tweeting?

Beth answers this question by asking

What does the person want to accomplish?
What types of conversations are they hoping to engage in?
What type of learning?
Who are the people they want to talk to?
What are the preferred communications channels of those people?

[She answers by deliberating on twitter first...]

The 140 character limit forces you to be succinct and zero in on the essence. That's a good skill. The downside is that it can lead to miscommunication or misunderstandings. And beyond quick information exchange -- if you want a deeper reflective conversation, twitter is not the place to have it. Summarizing Twitter responses - if you want a facilitated conversation - is not easy, although with tools like this - that may change.

[She went on giving examples...]

Twitter is great for just-in-time, quick answers. What's your best tip for x? What camera should I buy? Help, I'm stuck in Minneapolis airport, anyone to share a cab?

[What about blogging?..]

A blog is great for more reflective practice. And while some say it is difficult to track conversations on blogs, it is possible to have a cross blog conversation (it is messy, like conversation threads on Twitter.) Blogs are also an excellent place to aggregate conversations - on twitter that difficult, although the 08NTC Twitter account helps to do that more effectively.

[It is also possible with friendfeed. Twitter can also be aggregated using RSS feeds like xxxx/with others]

Twitter brings the flow to a conversation like the normal human chat but it is one-to-many that makes it look like everyone is shouting a message across [a one-to-one add-on interface would enhance it use or probably an integration with an IM]. Blogs on the other hand is like someone giving a speech and comments follow after that [this is ideal for one-to-many conversation]. One commonality with the two is there is a recorded history of it unlike the human interface.

Conclusion

For the offline user an email client can save connectivity problems as well as using the facility to sort mails to folders of choice. Browsing using RSS feeds have enormous benefits when offline and the user can decide who to receive information from. Windows Live Writer is an offline application for blogging so does Twhirl for tweeting. With these applications and tips users who do not always have Internet connectivity can be able to do their work with ease. There other very useful offline applications beyond my knowledge. If you have any other application that can help the offline user do not hesitate make it known.

Related post: Tweets or Blogs - A Personal Perspective (1)

Further reading:

Ray Sims' Does Twitter fill a communication void? discusses communication alternatives.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Globalisation Challenges

Last Saturday's Progressive Governance Summit presented a number of mixed reactions in the international community and this blog is not left alone.

[In a paper by Jean Pisani-Ferry summarising the highlights of the progressive governance agenda on globalisation in the 1990s]

“It highlighted opportunities offered by globalisation, and therefore the need to embrace it…two-handed strategy, it advocated a combination of bold domestic reforms and a strengthening of global governance to make the most of economic globalisation.”

That objective however, had not been achieved. But the blame...

“However the speed and magnitude of the transformation affecting the world economy are larger than initially envisaged, while domestic policy reforms and redistribution have often been insufficient to cope with this adjustment challenge.”

The paper admits...

“…the two-handed globalisation strategy has not been invalidated by events, but has not been fully implemented.”

looking at the years ahead..

"The return of scarcity and mounting concerns over economic security; the re-emergence of state capitalism and the rise of Sovereign Wealth Funds; and financial instability represent new challenges to address. The continuing development of an open, multilateral world economy is less able to be taken for granted today than it could a decade ago.”

[what of Social Stock Markets, Microfinance, Fair Trade and EPAs]

On the whole globalisation has failed the world when most individual companies make more profits that the GDP of more than five sub-saharan African countries combined. Globalisation only help the rich nations to become more richer. There might be others who disagree but the results are there for all to see.

The discussion of globalisation can not be done without touching on Development, Climate Change and international Institutions which are also sub-themes of the summit.

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Handkerchiefs for Development

On Sunday, a friend invited me to church and since I needed more human interaction than computers didn't hesitate to go. But one thing surprised me while at the service. There was a an offer handkerchiefs to church members for protection, security and hope. I have not been to church for a while so I asked. I was told it is a point of contact to the spiritual world. But why would someone want get contact from the spirit world when he/she is in the physical world?

People are turning to churches for hope and security....

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - A Call for Action

At the progressive governance summit last Saturday, Kevin Watkins, Director of UNESCO’s Education For All Global Monitoring Report put in a paper on three proposals on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for renewing the vision and reshaping the future. This is an addition to other institutions' ‘Call for Action’ on MDGs and high-level summit in September 2008. The paper argues that “many countries are currently off track for the MDGs.” And that “renewed commitment to the MDG ambition should go hand-in-hand with a renewal of the targets and goals themselves”.

The three proposals are

  • Putting social justice and equity at the heart of the MDG agenda.
  • Strengthening and renewing the goals – beyond primary education.
  • Looking to the future – climate change and development.

There are other commentators who called for more investment in training adults to become teachers in their own country. Adding that, “not only is this beneficial to their communities but it could also inspire other people to learn and when their time comes, to pass on the things that they have learnt.”

The issue of poverty and development is much more complex than some of us think. Against this background, is the activities of SIL Charity Solutions to complement what others are doing.

Development can not be discussed without Globalisation, Climate Change and International Institutions which are also sub-themes of the summit.

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Thursday, 3 April 2008

Tweets or Blogs - A Personal Perspective (1)

Introduction

I found the use of twitter and blogging interesting, challenging, informative and sometimes addictive. I had being using twitter in the last few weeks or so and equally started blogging not more than six months ago. Whether following Crossing the Chasm theory for adoption of new technology or not, the use of web2.0 tools started when I considered setting up a charity/NGO website. This was partly driven by Google tools. Before then I thought the use of these social networks were for teenagers having fun in their own world. Apart from that, technology was not advanced for the ease use of these tools without having to consult a specialist. Another reason for the wait was the all important question on start ups. Will it scale? This piece is in three parts. The first one is about twitter and how it had been doing as a social network tool. The second is about blogging, the different blogging platforms and it use as a social network. The final one compares twitter and blogging, entities that use them and how it is shaping the world.

Twitter

I joined twitter when I was forced to follow other bloggers after commenting on their blogging posts. Interestingly, the response was phenomenal and I was not alone. Beth was able to use twitter to collaborate responses to discussions on a conference and other users on twitter. This activity can come at price though, when things go wrong. Ray Sims highlights the learning experience from the twittering that has enabled him to offer that knowledge for money.

Linking twitter and blogging is another way to engage others in discussions. I had most of the time used twitter to announce my blog posts. Twitter can also be linked to cell phone so messages can be sent and received. One important thing about tweeting is check out whether your target audience is twittering or whether twitter users are potentially interesting for your work. Twitter has a network effect for mobilization, internal communications, and extra organizational activism for the non-profit sector said Christian Kreutz. Examples include the twitter Kenyan news service, Ghana elections, afritwit, kumasiproject. Twitter could also fill the gap where radio is used for mass communication in developing countries. Ethan Zuckerman' describes how people broadcast news of deaths and funeral announcements - using the radio like a telephone in Africa. This is also highlighted by Soyapi Mumba on twitter in Africa.

Language is not alien to twitter either. For example Google is now being used in 48 languages and twitter is not an exception. Kreutz have an extensive discussion on the multilingual social web as key to collaboration. Ray Sims also has an in-dept discussion on uses, likes; dislikes, tips and the nitty-gritty of twitter. There are tools within twitter that enhances its use. These include friendfeed twhirl, twurl, tweeternotes, tweeterboad, quotably etc. Surprisingly twitter is also measured. There are others who think it is measured by the number of people following you rather than who you are following whiles others think it is vice-versa. Stoweboyed had been trying to digest this measure.

Before the conclusions here is a two and half minute explanation.

Conclusion

There use of twitter in social networks has increased collaboration on different issues than ever before. However there are others who disagree on the collaborative effect. There is another issue of flow as stoweboyd describes how he is able to make his point across. Tweeting can be challenging as most of the top tweeters spend most of the time behind the computer screen. It can also sometimes be addictive and takes away human interaction. There are other who discuss its effect at the workplace. This is subject on my next blog on twittering. Despite this it is an effective communication tool if used purposefully.

Further reading:

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Release of Near Final Version on XBRL by IASCF

The oversight body of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) Foundation XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) team yesterday released the near final version of the IFRS Taxonomy 2008.

The development of XBRL, an XML- based language, is for the automation of business information requirements for

  • preparation,
  • sharing and analysis of financial reports,
  • statements and
  • audit schedules.

The effect of this language is a dictionary of tags that explains what each tagged element is and how it should be treated under IFRSs. Participants in the world capital markets such as:

  • banking supervision,
  • securities regulation,
  • filing and registration of companies financial statements,
  • statistical reporting and
  • tax filing

are expected to adopt and implement this XBRL.

The IFRS Taxonomy 2008 has undergone extensive external review by XBRL Quality Review Team (XQRT) and represent a complete review of past taxonomies. Interested parties can access this version via http://www.iasb.org/xbrl/taxo.asp. Comments are expected till 30 May 2008. The final version is expected at the end of June 2008

© Copyright International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Presidential Jets for Ghana?

Ghana parliament last Wednesday approved a presidential jet motion. According to a GNA reporter, Adolphus, it took more than four Falcon-900hours of debate to approve by a majority of 118 to 63 for a loan agreement to purchase the jets. The worse of it, "the aeroplanes (Chinese-made) would be financed with a soft loan from the Chinese Government to be paid over a period of 25 years, while the other two (French-made) would also be financed with a loan from Societe Generale" - GNA report. Societe Generale and Government of Ghana will finance US$43.15millions and US$62millions respectively. However, the report failed to mention how much the Chinese government would be contributing. There was also a final amendment to a discrepancy in the motion and committee report and final settlement on US$31.15million in respect of the value for the US$43.15million.Read at http://tinyurl.com/2ugyb3.

This has generated more questions than answers and sometimes anger to the developing people of Ghana. Most of them feel they had been left out of the debate for which they would be using their taxes to repay. Even in the house of parliament, the "minority raised concerns that papers on the agreement had not been laid for members to make comprehensive contributions to the debate and called for the rejection of the motion" - GNA report. This comes as a surprise to some social entrepreneurs who are using their hard earned income to finance the development need of the country.

There are others who were concerned about the terms of the loan agreement which they feel had benefited the Chinese and the French. http://tinyurl.com/38l2wt

There is an issue of trust when the government was forced to say through it spokesman, Andrew Awuni that it has NOT ordered any Presidential Jet for itself Read at http://tinyurl.com/2jlvuo. This extends Mike's question just posted in the last few minutes. "What has become of "political power" in Ghana? Can any body enlighten us on this story? Are the electorates, and for that matter Ghanaian citizens safe in the hands of power?"

The debate continues

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Time to get hands-on putting a value on carbon

The current spate of declaration by financial institutions looking forward to a world with a value on carbon (and their decisions to set a value for carbon in their own calculations on project viability or to stick to broad principles on carbon which may control the future shape of their portfolios) are the latest confirmation of a world preparing itself for some kind of public policy context to emerge from international negotiations. But perhaps of equal importance is proof that the risks and opportunities from managing exposure to carbon are seen as real and present, not possible and far-away.

To find out performance and ahead of speech-making, a number of challenges face financial institutions. A carbon value helps one understand risk in a future where carbon carries a value, but how do you decide where to invest in carbon intensive projects and where not?

The carbon footprint of the average US resident is multiples that of a Ghanaian, for example. So, in a carbon controlled world, and also a world where the energy access needs of the poor are essential, what other mechanisms will global financial institutions, public and private need to make necessary carbon intensive investments?

How do you know the carbon intensity in your portfolio today? Portfolio measurements of carbon exposure on an agreed methodology are partly complete if at all for most financial institutions. Without that basic knowledge again, how do you know which carbon to add to your portfolio or how much?

After Bali there is a lot of enthusiasm and expectation around possible new sources of funding to come alongside investments to drive down the cost of fixing a cleaner technology project than would have not been considered feasible under usual conditions. This is welcome to be able to help the developing world install energy access, with cleaner, more efficient technology, sooner. But will this be sufficient.

How the analysis taking place at major financial institutions, discussing the use of sovereign funds, the large bilateral development banks in emerging markets and the banks in emerging markets, where most green house gases emitting projects are going to be installed in the next few years? These are the sources of funding in the main.

At the IFC they are chewing over these issues and many more as part of climate change strategy development. They have got some exciting stuff going on - but always looking for other good ideas.

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