Saturday, 30 November 2013

For elegant and memorable wedding videos in Ghana, check out Ripple Effect......

**Credit: All photos come courtesy of Ripple Effect....

Paulina says: Weddings are beautiful and joyous but they pass tooo quickly regardless of how much money it cost or however long it took to plan it.

Thus, fab little details: the mother of the bride praying for her daughter before she puts on her wedding gown, the delicate lace details on a silk tulle wedding dress, the way the groom wore his jacket and designer shoes, or the kiss a father gives his daughter before the start of the wedding ceremony, or the flower girls dancing to, "Who runs the World -girls" or the fabulous way your auntie wore her Kente -- whatever it is --memories are made of these -and they need to be captured, and from what I'm hearing Ripple Effect are the go-to folks for capturing your big day....

Remember, its important to view film clips of past weddings/events by any video production company you choose to work with, to make that you like their style and most importantly, that they 'get' your vision.

For more info or to see more of Ripple Effect's fab portfolio visit:


More Info:

[Ripple Effect] video production company believes in return on investment. Our company knows that you have invested a lot of passion and time into your Event.

Ripple Effect’s mission is to produce world-class video while maintaining budgets at a reasonable level, making us an excellent choice for just about any-sized project

Ripple Effect produces a wide array of creative video products, including:

Documentary Video Production
Wedding Video Production
Corporate Video Production
Small Business Profile Videos
Product Showcase Videos
Client Testimonial Videos
Real Estate & Travel Video
Television Commercial Production
Special Event Video
Educational & Training Videos
Animated graphics and logos
Promotional Packaging and Graphics
Website Video Integration & Players
Video Hosting and Search Optimization
Online Video Distribution
Viral Video Conceptualization
Video Consulting and Training

Business News: Woolworths buys back African franchises

Woolworths said on Tuesday, 5 November, that it had signed agreements to purchase its franchise businesses in Botswana‚ Namibia‚ Swaziland and Ghana.

This marks the end of franchise stores in African countries for the retailer.

Woolworths‚ like other retailers‚ is expanding its footprint on the continent as urbanisation and rising affluence fuel a boom in fast-growing cities‚ with a middle class clamouring for high-quality goods

Focused on company stores or joint ventures
Woolworths says its investments in African countries in future will be focused on company stores or joint ventures. The group has a presence in 12 African countries‚ excluding SA.

Woolworths' chief executive Ian Moir said the transaction gives the group a business of scale‚ lifts profitability of its African operations and positions it for growth in these countries. The 33 stores in the countries are predominantly clothing and general merchandise but Botswana has a significant food business.

The addition of the stores brings the combined retail turnover in African countries close to R1bn a year.

The franchise stores were previously managed by Ish Handa‚ who will become a non-executive director of Woolworths in both Botswana and Namibia once the deal is concluded. It is subject to competition commission approval in Namibia‚ Botswana and Swaziland.

Planning 82 stores in Africa

Woolworths says it plans to have about 82 stores in Africa outside of its home market by 2016. The group's retail operations and international director Paula Disberry this week said that the economic and socio-demographic trends in Africa were working in favour of Woolworths' positioning.

"The growth in sub-Saharan Africa has been over 5% for the last three years‚" she said at the World Retail Congress Africa in Sandton. The group has launched its WRewards loyalty programme to the Zambian and Mauritian markets‚ where 45% of its sales can be tracked.

"We have introduced store cards and a credit offering in Kenya and we will roll out our store card to all our African countries‚" Disberry said.


For more info about Woolworths visit:

Are the forces behind Africa's Next Top Model Sabotaging Ghana's Beautiful Roselyn Ashkar's chances of winning by giving her a 'Ghetto' make-over and making her wear the worst outfits?

Ghana's beautiful Roselyn Ashkar with her 'Ghetto' make-over blonde lace-front monstrosity wearing the worst outfit....

Angola's beautiful Michaela Pinto with elegant dark hair and fab make-up.....and good dress

Uganda's Aamito with elegant dark hair and fab make-up......and a lovely gown..

Nigeria's Opeyemi Awoyomi with high-fashion dark hair in an elegant evening gown...

South Africa's Rhulani Kubayi with dark hair and catwalk ready make-up......and a good dress.


Another very beautiful sister with gorgeous natural hair but dodgy hair colour (???), Mozambique's elegant Safira in a catwalk ready outfit.....but why couldn't they just leave her hair dark???
**Photo Credit: From the album: Epsiode 3: Modelling Thula Sindi at a Charity Fashion Show By Africa's Next Top Model

Paulina says: there are some 'African' based competitions when headed by certain 'African' nationals --you just know Ghana will never win!!!!!

And I'm not saying that's the case with Africa's Next Top Model....... but looking through the latest photos from said show, it appears our uber beautiful, uber tall and elegant Roselyn Ashkar is being sabotaged left, right and centre....

Not only was she given the worst outfit to wear at some event which I believe was "a Charity Fashion Show" but her make-over which regular readers of Ghana Rising blog will know.....I'm not a fan of, looks more 'Ghetto' than high fashion, more 'dancehall' queen than catwalk ready --and I'm it a deliberate attempt to kill our beautiful Roselyn Ashkar's chances of winning????

I'm not saying that the stylists behind Africa's Next Top Model don't understand high-fashion ......but if you look at the rest of the black girls bar another very beautiful sister --
Mozambique's Safira (wink, wink) all the other models of colour have high-fashion glossy black hair and were dresses in better grab..... What's going on????
Africa's Next Top Model ...we are watching you!!!!
Do check out the other contestants outfits via:

Friday, 29 November 2013

Fashion Event: MSimps and Heel The World (HTW)'s Christmas Shopping Gala at L'Arte Cafe from Friday 6th December at 10:00am to Saturday 7th December -6:00pm

"Come get your Christmas shopping done in the peaceful oasis of L'Arte Cafe sipping on gingerbread lattes with Christmas music playing in the background. All without a queue in sight.

It's also an opportunity to network with all the amazing people who will be coming. Who knows, you might strike your next business deal right there.

L'Arte Cafe is located in the same premise as Accent & Arts. Landmarks to look out for are Accra Academy School or Cocoa Clinic."

Paulina says: MSimps and Heel The World (HTW)'s Christmas Shopping Event at the fabulous L'Arte Cafe is going to be a blast, and Accra's fashionistas can't wait for the opportunity to buy from two of the most beloved fashion brands in Ghana. For more info and direction visit:


More Info:
The above high heel sandals by MSimps are available soon via:


Heel The World (HTW)
It's complicated. But like love, it is a beautiful thing the HTW Shoeicide Brogues.

You might not always understand us, but you will appreciate our genius. The Two toned Purple. To order a pair visit:

For more info visit:



L'Arte Café



This densely populated neighbourhood was chosen to allow clients and tourists the opportunity to 'enjoy the feel of the community' our gallery has been designed to provide an island of fantasy and magic to our city.

L'arte provides fine dining and first class entertainment to suit your everyday business traveller and tourist. Given the fact that many foreigners coming into the country are looking for an alternative to the 'usual'. Our aim is to cater to that subset of people who want to experience the culture and feel of Ghana but in a safe and uncompromising manner.
Paulina says: L'Arte Café looks absolutely fabulous, a must-visit for all looking new creative hubs to check out in Accra. For more info visit:


For more info and direction visit:

Zaron Hair & Make-up Launches in Ghana on Sunday 1st December 2013 in Dzorwulu, Accra.....

Actress Yvonne Nelson is the face of Zaron make-up......

Paulina says: I was checking out 'Luxe D'visage Make-Up and Hair' facebook fan page when I stumbled upon Nigerian make-up brand Zaron latest news, --its set to launch in Ghana..

Zaron Make-up which has Ghanaian actress Yvonne Nelson is its cover star, launches in Ghana on "Sunday 1st December 2013 at Dzorwulu No.52 Blohum Street on the SID theater road near Van J Eye Clinic" -from 2pm, and looks set to be a fab afternoon of yummy food, drink and "free Zaron hampers and some good discount on products."

I heard that the face of Zaron make-up, actress Yvonne Nelson will also be making an appearance...--so do check it out.
For more info about the Zaron Hair & Make-up launch in Ghana visit:

For more info about 'Luxe D'visage Make-Up and Hair visit:

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Teenager who murdered Derek Boateng is jailed for 12 years..........

Title: Schoolboy who murdered rival by stabbing him through the heart on packed bus is jailed for 12 years Dated: 9-11-2013

Derek Boateng was knifed through the heart on his 16th birthday by 15-year-old Shawn Green as horrified passengers tried to separate the two boys....

**Schoolboy who stabbed a teenage rival to death on a packed bus was yesterday found guilty of murder and jailed for at least 12 years.

Shawn Green, then 15, plunged a knife into the heart of rival Derek Boateng, who was celebrating his 16th birthday that day.

An Old Bailey jury heard how Green boarded a bus on April 23 this year and, seeing Derek, pulled the knife from his waistband.

Derek, who also had a knife, was stabbed once in the chest as passengers tried to separate the two boys.

Green, 16, of Romford, East London, denied murder and claimed he had only started carrying a knife after Derek beat him up.

After a jury returned a guilty verdict at the Old Bailey today, Judge Peter Thornton QC jailed Green for a minimum of 12 years and lifted reporting restrictions to allow his name to be published by the media for the first time, a court official said.

During the trial, prosecutor Tom Kark QC said there appeared to have been some ''previous dispute'' between the boys.

''The specific circumstances of that may not be very clear and may not matter very much,'' he said.
''Whatever had gone on before, we say this act was a senseless act of violence. It resulted in the tragic and untimely death of a young boy.

''Furthermore is the sad fact that both the defendant and the victim, Derek Boateng, were carrying knives and both produced them.

''But the prosecution suggest that it's clear who was the aggressor in this incident, and that was the defendant.''

Mr Kark said CCTV footage from cameras on board the bus had captured much of the incident, although some of it was obscured by other passengers who looked on in shock as the attack unfolded moments after Green got on outside his school just after 3pm.

Jurors were shown clips from the footage, and the trial had to be halted for 10 minutes after one of them burst into tears.

The victim, from Hackney, east London, had previously attended the school in Islington but was no longer a pupil there, the court heard.

Mr Kark said there appeared to be ''immediate hostility'' from the defendant as he boarded the bus and saw Derek sitting towards the back.

He told jurors that Green ''aggressively'' moved past other passengers towards Derek and asked ''something of the nature of 'Do you remember me?'''

Green, who was 15 at the time of the incident, then produced what was described by witnesses as a 6in-8in kitchen knife from his clothes and was seen to push it towards Derek ''two or three times'', Mr Kark said.

''There was panic, there was shouting and screaming on the bus as the passengers started to realise what was happening,'' said the prosecutor.

Mr Kark said Derek was ''very much hemmed in'' where he was sitting, but witnesses described how he tried to move back towards the window in an attempt to get away from his attacker.

Green, from Romford in Essex, admitted stabbing Derek but claimed he was acting in self-defence, the court heard.

Derek was taken to the Royal London Hospital in east London by air ambulance following the stabbing but died the following day.

The knife used to stab him was never recovered but his own weapon was found in his jacket, the court heard.

Following the verdict, Detective Chief Inspector Chris Jones, from Scotland Yard's homicide and major crime command, said: "This was an appalling attack on a crowded bus as it stopped for school pupils outside Highbury Grove School.

"It is dreadful to think that Derek, who was celebrating his 16th birthday, lost his life over nothing more than a brief clash with another teenager.

"This dreadful tragedy has left a family grieving for a much-loved son, brother and friend who had everything to live for.

"The incident has also wrecked another teenager's life and Derek's 16-year-old attacker will now spend many years behind bars. It demonstrates the devastating consequences of carrying knives and the serious harm it has on our communities."


The following is more info about said sad case....
Title: Teenager 'stabbed to death on bus next to terrified passengers'
Dated: 29-10-2013 

A 15-year-old boy in school uniform stabbed a fellow pupil to death on a packed bus in front of horrified passengers, the Old Bailey heard.
The teenager struck down Derek Boateng on the victim’s 16th birthday after making a “bee-line” for him on the 393 single decker in Highbury, the jury was told.

Derek was making his way home to Hackney when he was attacked at the back of the bus in mid-afternoon in April this year.

Both boys tussled and drew knives but Derek was “very much hemmed in”, sitting next to a terrified passenger, jurors heard.

Prosecutor Tom Kark said it was clear the defendant - who is now 16 and cannot be named for legal reasons - was the aggressor.

“The blade penetrated the right lower part of his chest and pierced - unfortunately - the right ventricle of his heart,” he said.

Derek had been a pupil at the same school as his alleged killer, who wore the school’s uniform during the attack, the court heard.

"It appeared that there had been some sort of previous dispute between the two boys,” said Mr Kark.

“Whatever had gone on before, this  was a senseless act of violence which resulted in the tragic and untimely death of a young boy.

“Both the defendant and his victim Derek were carrying knives and both produced them.”

The defendant admits stabbing Derek but he was acting in lawful self-defence, Mr Kark said.

The jury was shown CCTV from the bus, which clearly showed the shock of fellow passengers and their desperate efforts to separate the pair and save Derek’s life.

A juror became hysterical as the footage was shown prompting the judge to halt the case for 10 minutes.

The weapon was a kitchen knife between six to eight inches long, the court heard.
The victim was taken by helicopter to hospital but died the next day.

The boy, from the Romford area, denies murder. The trial continues.



Paulina says: Since reading about this case in the Evening Standard newspaper some weeks back -I just haven't been able to shake it off. I can't even begin to imagine what the Boateng family is going through -especially as Christmas is fast approaching.

I am a parent of a beautiful nine year old boy, and I know first hand that parenting isn't easy. You worry all the time -but a child not coming home -the horror!!!

But I'm wondering and praying.... As a community what can we do????

The truth is many of us Ghanaians live in some of the worst neighbourhoods in the UK(world) and I just don't know, what can we do????

What are the black (Ghanaian) churches -most are in some of the most deprived areas --doing??? Why can't they open their doors during the week to the youth???? Why can't they mentor the youth...

Its probably old fashioned now, and I'm sooo showing my age but --when I was growing up we used to be carted off to Fante School every Saturday, and some evenings were spent with other children from my mothers Fante village group (or something) and were never allowed out during the week day (it was all homework -after all) but what has happened?? I am sooo thankful to my parents --now.

I must also take this opportunity to thank my parents for working very hard to move us (the Opoku-Gyimah family) from a council flat in Manor House to a huge house in Edmonton and then to lovely family home in Waltham Cross... I can't thank them enough for just how positively this has shaped me and my siblings...

I'm thinking it might just be time for us to up our game and pray ---and try harder and start moving out of some of these forsaken, no-go areas.
We also need to start demanding some help from our churches -we are tithing our 10% --after-all....

We the Ghanaian community need to start acting as a community -again, and start being responsible and nurturing all children, not just our own..

I remember when I used to be more afraid of bumping into a Ghanaian 'anuty' whilst out and about expressing myself than a teacher or police --because I knew that if I was found misbehaving -it would be the end of the world ---when Mr & Mrs Opoku-Gyimah found out (mercy)..

And I'm thinking that maybe we need 'Ghanaian' language classes in the UK (and beyond) --again, be they Ga or Ewe or Twi or whatever --and we need them now!!!

Honestly.... it wasn't just about learning my mother tongue -but about being with like minded kids, who's parents wanted the best for them, to keep them safe and to hold onto their culture... Plus they were all as hell-bent as my own parents not wanting us kids to go astray...

I feel sooo sad, its feels like something has broken in the Ghanaian community (and the black community at large) and we are losing ourselves. Only we can't afford to carry on like this, we need to act now!!!!

Our community leaders need to come together, we a dialogue -and solutions, and 'that' community spirit back...

Do read:

Charity: Actress Yvonne Okoro builds playground for children with special needs in Dzorwulu, Accra........

A few days ago I left a message on my timeline (Facebook oOOo) asking my peeps what Ghana's money-ed 'first' this and thats were doing for Ghana -and I had one fab reply back from Ghana Rising Blog's fave fashionista -DJ Akua Afram, -who reminded me about another Ghana Rising fave fashionista, -Philanthropist, model and former Miss Universe Ghana, Menaye Donkor Muntari's school and --actress Yvonne Okoro's newly commissioned playground for children with special needs in Dzorwulu, Accra Ghana.... and I was blown away!!!

I honest to goodness had no idea actress Yvonne Okoro cared --or cared enough to build said playground!!!!

I am very impressed -and wish her firstly, a belated 'Happy Birthday' and God's Blessings (and all her hearts desires), its not often you see Ghanaians parting with (their hard earned) SIKA for charity......

I pray that this will start a trend -and inspire the rest of us to get out there and do something to better Ghana.... Goodness only knows, if we are waiting on the Ghana's government -it will never happen!!!

Ghana Rising Blog says ...Well Done Yvonne Okoro -God Bless you. xx

For more info about actress Yvonne Okoro visit:

Man jailed for carrying sawn-off shotgun

Title: Jeffery Acheampong, 24, imprisoned for 12 years for possession of firearm with intent to endanger life

Dated: 27-11-13

A MAN has been handed a 12-year prison term after he ran from police and threw a bag containing a sawn-off shotgun into bushes.

Jeffery Acheampong, 24, of Swaffer Way, Ashford, Kent, received his sentence on TueNov 22) at Canterbury Crown Court for possession of a prohibited firearm with intent to endanger life.

He was found guilty of the crime on October 17, and during his trial the court heard how on February 11 he was stopped by officers as he walked along Singleton Hill, Kent, before he attempted to escape.
Police saw him throw the bag containing the shotgun into nearby bushes as they closed in to arrest him. Inside the bag officers recovered a loaded single barrel sawn-off shotgun along with three cartridges.

Detective constable Lee Baron said: “This is yet another example of Trident's commitment to investigate the illegal possession of firearms and to bringing to book those that believe they can act with impunity within this area of criminality.”


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Gwyneth Shoes appears in the October issue of Hip Hop Weekly Magazine.....

Paulina says: Gwen Frempong Boadu's Gwyneth Shoes' popularity are growing from strength to strength --but I'm still waiting for a stockist in London. In the mean time, to purchase any of the three Gwyneth shoes shown in the editorial above ---visit:

The Emperor's New Clothes: The Merchant Bank.....Sale Part Four....

Source: Fortiz/Merchant Bank Deal Questionable-CFA
Dated: 27-11-2013

The Centre for Freedom and Accuracy (CFA) has described the sale of 90% majority shares in Merchant Bank to Fortiz Private Equity as a “dash” and has therefore called for a halt in the controversial transaction.
Mr. Andrew Awuni, Executive Director of CFA who addressed the media last Monday stated that “but we at the Centre for Freedom and Accuracy are well acquainted with the reasons for the indecent haste with which these approvals were given to Fortiz. Indeed whereas First Rand bank was made to travel a journey of three solid years from the day they were introduced to the day they got their approvals, Fortiz managed to do this in a record two and a half months”.
“We have seen the SHARE PURCHASE and SUBSCRIPTION AGREEMENT and can tell Ghanaians that the Merchant Bank Sale is more of a dash than a sale. I can go on and on to punch holes in SSNIT’s publication but I know that those who understand these things can read in between the lines and I can tell you industry players are having a good laugh at that so-called ‘best proposal’ from FORTIZ”, Mr. Awuni continued.
Published at page 8 is the full Press Statement Mr. Awuni read on Monday at the Freedom Institute.
Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media and thank you for honouring our invitation. Since we last met here when we addressed you on the Merchant Bank Sale, there have been a lot of developments some of which you may be aware of.
Since that press conference at which we kicked against the sale of SSNIT’s Shares in the Merchant Bank, many people have contacted us either to give the Centre information or seek some clarifications from us.
SSNIT has also been responding to the information the Centre put out. In four full pages of a daily newspaper, SSNIT presented some information on their deal with FORTIZ Private Equity Fund in which they sought to justify their choice of FORTIZ as the ‘best investor’.
However the problem with the advertisement is that it contained too many inaccuracies, misrepresentations and sometimes outright lies. It also inadvertently made some very damning revelations about the deal itself. For instance in the advertisement SSNIT acknowledges that due diligence is yet to be conducted on FORTIZ. Their publication says the Financial Intelligence Centre has been contracted to carry out the due diligence on Fortiz.
The question then is, if we are yet to conduct due diligence on FORTIZ, then on what basis did the Bank of Ghana grant its approval? What happens if the FIC finds something untoward with FORTIZ during their investigations? Will the Bank of Ghana reverse its approval?
But we at the Centre for Freedom and Accuracy are well acquainted with the reasons for the indecent haste with which these approvals were given to FORTIZ. Indeed whereas First Rand Bank was made to travel a journey of three solid years from the day they were introduced to the day they got their approvals, FORTIZ managed to do this in a record Two and a Half Months.
FORTIZ was introduced to Merchant Bank on the 22nd of August 2013 as an investor who was interested in buying the Bank. Even before FORTIZ could arrive at Merchant Bank, SSNIT on September 13, 2013 wrote to the Bank of Ghana to inform them of their decision to sell to FORTIZ. Then on October 13, 2013 BOG, without knowing who FORTIZ is, granted approval for SSNIT to sell to FORTIZ. Then on November 1st, 2013 BOG granted approval for the consummation of the deal.
Now ladies and gentlemen I will soon show you why this indecent haste on the part of SSNIT and the Bank of Ghana, but before that I wish to point out one or two deliberate misrepresentations in SSNIT’s advert on the FORTIZ deal.
In that advert, SSNIT gave the impression that Rand Bank was not interested in the Bad Debts of the Merchant Bank. That is an outright lie and they know it. Rand Bank requested that the bad debts be taken off the books of the Bank and dealt with as a separate matter. With advice from the Bank of Ghana, Rand Bank and the existing Shareholders were to enter into an arrangement with a local Recovery Company (UT Recovery) to manage the recovery. Any amount that was recovered was to be paid to SSNIT. SSNIT did not have to pay a dime for the recovery. Rand Bank offered to pay all the cost associated with the recovery. SSNIT was therefore not paying anything for Bad Debt as they sought to portray in that advert. It is simply not true and they know.
On the other hand, FORTIZ says it will manage to collect only 30 per cent of the Bad Debts which will go to all shareholders including themselves and that the remaining 70 per cent of the Bad debts will be the responsibility of SSNIT. We have also heard the argument that FORTIZ is a local-Ghanaian entity and that we should be proud that a Ghanaian group wants to take over Merchant Bank. Ladies and Gentlemen Merchant Bank as it exists today is already a wholly owned Ghanaian Bank owned by the ordinary people of this country. But if even we should go by their illogical submission, should we package Merchant Bank and gift it to a group of friends just because we want a Ghanaian group to own it? What we are asking for is VALUE FOR MONEY. What we are saying is that with the present arrangement it appears we are virtually giving away Merchant Bank to FORTIZ.
We have seen the SHARE PURCHASE and SUBSCRIPTION AGREEMENT and can tell Ghanaians that the Merchant Bank Sale is more of a dash than a sale. I can go on and on to punch holes in SSNIT’s publication but I know that those who understand these things can read in between the lines and I can tell you industry players are having a good laugh at that so-called ‘best proposal’ from FORTIZ.
Now my dear friends I will like to appraise you with some aspects of BOG’s own requirements for licensing so that you yourselves can compare that with the BOG’s own recommendations and Post Approval Activities in the case of FORTIZ
Under section 5C of the Banking Act, 2007 (Act 738)
The Bank of Ghana shall not grant license unless it is satisfied with:
(a) the technical knowledge, experience, financial conditions and history of the applicant;
(b) the adequacy of the capital structure of the applicant;
(c) the character of the business and its management;
(d) the adequacy of the applicants accounting control systems and records;
(e) in the case of an applicant incorporated outside Ghana, that the applicant is a branch or related company of a foreign bank of established international reputation; and
(f) ability and willingness of the applicant to comply with other conditions that the bank may impose”
Per the SSNIT press release Fortiz are yet to submit the following document:
§ Detailed Turnaround strategy, including financial projections for the next five, liquidity mobilization, and recruitment of additional key management personal for necessary due diligence(“simply they have not submitted a  business/strategic plan”)
  • Detailed CVs and complete Personality Note Forms of the directors and key personnel
  • Submit board resolution from MBG in support of the acquisition by Fortiz
  • Amend the Share sale and purchase agreement issues raised in the banking supervision department
Additionally, the Bank of Ghana is yet to carry out due diligence on the Fortiz Private Equity Fund Limited and also ascertain the appropriateness of Fortiz role in the transaction from another key regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission.
From the foregoing, is the Bank of Ghana breaching its own laws and guidelines? Clearly Bank of Ghana did not carry out the necessary due diligence as stipulated in the above Act, except for the initial due diligence based on the initial CV submitted by Fortiz and the public records of directors and shareholders.
If all the above basic requirements have not been met what was the basis of Bank of Ghana’s approval of the transaction? Did they consider the technical knowledge, experience and financial capacity of Fortiz and the adequacy of their capital structure?
And Now Ladies and Gentlemen, if you missed anything I have said so far, make sure you don’t miss this one. What I am about to say you now is the main story for today. It is crux of the matter and after Ghanaians have heard this there will be no need for anymore discussion on this matter.
A fortnight ago the Board of Merchant Bank met over the Share Purchase and Subscription Agreement and something important happened there. We managed to intercept the proceedings of that meeting and I now want to share with you excerpts of those proceedings.
The Chairman of the Board Mr. Noel Addo invited further comments from the Directors in relation to the SPSA and this is what transpired there. From this point I will be quoting from the minutes.
Professor Pupulampu (a Director of the Bank who also attended the meeting) indicated that his concern has largely been that whatever transaction is agreed on would deal with the challenges of MBG with reference to what the Bank needs as discussed under the Financial Performance review of the Bank in the minutes of 22nd October, 2013.
He said the Purchase Price as shown in the document (the Fortiz deal) is weak given the fact that the principal Shareholder (SSNIT) is being diluted to 10 per cent when compared to the FirstRand transaction, this transaction (the FORTIZ Transaction) does not give the Bank Value.
Professor Pupulampu said in his view FORTIZ is buying a Bank and must have the pedigree to own a Bank. He indicated that he was happy to have debated the document but he would want to recluse himself from approving the Sale. Professor Pupulampu has since resigned his position as Director of the Bank.
Mr. Anafure the Board Member representing  the minority shareholder SIC LIFE also stated that the KPMG report as circulated shows that of the three (3) parties who expressed an interest in the Bank, the two (2) namely; UT Bank and Sabre would have satisfied the requirements to address the Bank’s challenges. Infact he said an acquisition by Sabre would have taken the Bank’s Capital Adequacy Ration to 17 per cent. He said with the current FORTIZ transaction FORTIZ is getting 90 per cent of shareholding but Merchant Bank’s Capital Adequacy Ratio is only going up to 10 per cent being the minimum requirement of the Bank of Ghana.
Mr. Anafure said if any questions are asked as to why of the three Fortiz deal is the best he would not be able to respond satisfactorily. However as a minority, the majority shareholder (SSNIT) has taken the lead, so SIC Life would follow its lead. Mr. Anafure added that If MBG is being taken to the barest minimum in terms of Capital Adequacy Requirement, at least the Information Technology Challenge and Disaster Recovery should be taken care of.
Another Director, Dr. Seddoh stated that he is unhappy with the way Directors have been rushed to consider the SPSA. He said this is an important document for which a lot of time and efforts must be spent to study and make it a good document. Dr. Seddoh indicated that SSNIT as a majority Shareholder does appear to appreciate fully the Bank’s situation especially with the MART. Dr. Seddoh said the impression created by the FORTIZ Transaction is that SSNIT is giving the Bank away. He said SSNIT should have taken its time to find a lasting solution for MBG.
Mrs. Quartey on her part thanked the Chairman for allowing discussions on the sale. She said the Directors have demonstrated to the seller (SSNIT) that given the chance they would want to do their best. Mrs. Quartey said she would have appreciated it however if there was more time and that the Board could have been part of the process of choosing a buyer. She said for posterity sake it has to be placed on record that it would have been a better way to handle the transaction. She cautioned however that Directors must be careful not to be seen as a stumbling block.
Mr. Tetteh, a Board Member and Managing Director of MBG indicated that his passion for leading the Bank has always been to take the bank to a better level that is if the Bank is handled well. He stated that he has been far from satisfied from the way the Ag. Director General of SSNIT has been dealing with him and rushing him to sign the SPSA which at that time he had not seen or read. Mr. Tetteh said on hindsight it was a good thing that the SPSA was brought to the Directors meeting for all to see.
Mr. Tetteh averred that the Transaction to take the Bank out of its challenges has to address four key challenges affecting the Bank:
· MART Issue
  • Liquidity
  • Capital Adequacy
  • And Infrastructural Issues
Mr. Tetteh said the current Fortiz arrangement for managing the bank’s debts will not augur well for the bank. He asked “who will bear the MART credit impairment provision of some GHS112m assuming as stated in the Agreement that 70% of the portfolio is unlikely to be recovered. He said over looking this reality can undermine the Transaction in the long term. He also said that if care is not taken with the current arrangement the Bank will continue to make losses even after the take over.
Mr. Tetteh reiterated the concern that MBG as an institution and its Board have not been involved in assessing the commercial nature of the FORTIZ Transaction. It has solely been between SSNIT and the Bank of Ghana. These are legitimate issues of concern which have to be addressed in order to take the Bank to the next level.
The Chairman of the Board Mr. Noel Addo apologized to Directors for the initial stance he took in authorizing the Directors to sign the SPSA even though they had not discussed it. He said he appreciated their concerns but that the Majority Shareholder SSNIT had a different perspective.
Ladies and Gentlemen Four Members of the Board have since resigned from the Board. So now you can understand when a former Chairperson of the Board Mrs. Marian Banor says in her resignation letter that and I quote “.my resignation is prompted by recent events which in my view erode the confidence in the role and work of the Board of directors. On the grounds of principle therefore, I consider that increasingly, my role has become redundant and I do not want to compromise the firm principles of corporate and institutional governance which have guided my service to the country, the bank and the Board as its Chair.”
Ladies and Gentlemen this is how your bank, my bank, our Bank; Merchant Bank Ghana, was delivered to FORTIZ PRIVATE EQUITY FUND. Need I say more? Before I go, I want to salute these gallant men and women of Board who on the grounds of principle, refused to be part of this manipulation. Am encouraged by their actions and am convinced that we still have men and women in this country that put the national interest over and above their personal and parochial interests. I thank them and also thank all of you for your attention.


The Emperor's New Clothes: The Merchant Bank.....Sale Part Three....


Title: Mahama’s brother to cough GHC175m…As moneys owed Merchant Bank by Dec. 15
Dated: 25-11-2013

Managing Editor of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Malik Kweku Baako, has revealed that he [Kweku Baako] is aware of plans by President John Mahama’s brother, Ibrahim Mahama, to settle his company’s indebtedness to Merchant Bank by December 15, 2013.

Mr. Baako said this last Saturday, November 23 on Accra-based Joy FM’s news analysis programme, Newsfile.

Kweku Baako said the president’s brother was in the process of repaying the loan which his Engineers and Planners firm contracted from the bank in 2007.

“I have seen enough records that indicate that by December 15, Engineers and Planners (E&Ps) would have settled its indebtedness with Merchant Bank,” he said.

The loan became the subject of controversy following the proposed sale of Merchant Bank to FirstRand of South Africa. The sale, according to sources close to the shareholders, has been necessitated by huge debt profile of the bank.

Engineers and Planners took a loan of GHS57 million from the bank but huge interests have accrued on the amount.

Reports indicate that the debt now stands at 175 million Ghana cedis.

It will be recalled that Pressure group, Alliance For Accountable Governance (AFAG) had called for the assets of Mr. Ibrahim Mahama to be frozen pending investigations into the matter.

It claimed E&P’s debt was 19.1 percent of the Bank’s debt portfolio. The group also claimed the loan was reportedly left subserviced by E&P since President Mahama’s party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) came to power in 2009.

Engineers and Planners had however indicated that some technicalities caused the delay in the repayment of the loan, insisting there was a payment plan the company was following in servicing the debt.

The issue resurfaced with the announced sale of the bank to Fortiz Equity Fund.

But Kweku Baako feels it is “very petty” to politicize the sale of the Bank by trying to link Ibrahim Mahama to it. He revealed that “in the next few days it will be clear that that E&P’s indebtedness has been worked out”.


Paulina says: I'm a big fan of Abdul Malik Kweku Baako... Please note, I'm not a fan of Mr Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr, the Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper because I agree with everything he says ... --no sirree I don't ......but I'm a fan because he is fabulously Ghanaian!!!!

He has that Ghanaian wit, that intelligent way we can insult you without you knowing. That fabulous way we say some -and leave some, ---the way we 'expose wrong doers' whilst appearing to support them, -in short, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako is the spirit of Ghana --embodied.

I have often found myself frustrated with Abdul Malik Kweku Baako -the star of Joy News' Newsfile program, which I watch via ABN Sky 290...

Honestly, I have often found myself shouting .......Kweku just tell them that they are corrupt at my television ..but he is tooooooooo smart to do so. Preferring to 'expose' using a fact or statement, or a stat found during the programme ---but still managing to appear friendly (my foot), concerned (my foot), and supportive (my foot)..

Because of Mr Abdul Malik Kweku Baako ....I have yet to miss a show.... In fact I've been recording Newsfile since it started...and have come to truly respect Mr Baako, -once referred to as, "the keeper of the files" (laughter) by my least favourite member of the NDC party, you know the one!!!!

***You know the one that is presently dealing with the Republic of Ghana's boarders with its fellow Akan neighbours!!!!!...... In face it was the only time I understood what that member of the NDC party was talking about!!!!!

Mr Kweku Baako also offers a real insight into Ghana's present political situation in plain understandable English -something that can's be said for many who sit on the panel -especially one or two sooo called 'communication ministers'.

It might not appear soo ....but Mr Kweku Baako is also pretty bold. Though his style is subtle and inoffensive ----to fellow intellects (I'm not one) -his exposes are bodacious.

I also once read one of his FB fans say that Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, "made politics interesting for the youth" and I think that is the truth and a real blessing -so, if you haven't had the opportunity to watch Mr Abdul Malik Kweku Baako on Joy News' Newsfile program via ABN Sky 290 (UK) on Sunday from 9pm -than you must. You will spot him straight away -he of the ever present piles of files.....and studious bespectacled pensive look -and self-deprecating wit you wouldn't want to miss.

For more info about Mr Abdul Malik Kweku Baako visit his Facebook fan page at:

The Emperor's New Clothes: The Merchant Bank.....Sale Part Two....  

Title: Merchant Bank Sale Stinks – NPP
Dated: 22-11-2013

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Minority in Parliament has asked the government to immediately reverse the sale of Merchant Bank because the whole deal does not only stink but constitutes a gargantuan scam that will go to short-change Ghanaians.

The Minority said the government cannot afford to sell a whole national bank with stated capital of GH¢68million to a relatively unknown Fortiz Equity Fund, which does not have any experience in banking, with a stated capital of just GH¢5million.

“The whole deal is a scam and a fraud being perpetrated on the Ghanaian people because Fortiz was registered and incorporated in June 2013 and by its capitalisation did not even qualify for a non-bank financial institution licence,” the Minority said at a press conference yesterday.

The NPP Minority said the situation where Fortiz was to acquire 90 per cent of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) majority share was the most bizarre and fraudulent deal since Alfred Agbesi Woyome hoodwinked  a former Attorney-General, Betty Mould-Iddrisu, and swindled the Ghanaian taxpayer of GH¢51.2 million for no work done.

“Even though no agreement has been signed between Fortiz and other stakeholders, the Bank of Ghana has gone ahead to give approval for the sale. This is a scam,” Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, who read the Minority’s statement, said.

The Minority said what was more worrying was that Merchant Bank was being sold to  Fortiz at a time President Mahama’s brother, Ibrahim Mahama, was owing the bank to the tune of GH¢58million, which is over half of Fortiz’s asking price.

“The circumstances leading to the sale leaves a lot of sour taste in the mouths of well-meaning Ghanaians because if the initial sale of the bank to First Rand Bank of South Africa took four months for all negotiations to take place then how can a whole take-over just take three days?” Dr Assibey-Yeboah questioned.

The Minority said it could not understand why First Rand Bank of South Africa, which was ready to invest $91million or GH¢199million in exchange for 75 per cent shareholding in the bank was denied that opportunity for Fortiz to come and buy it on a silver platter.

According to the Minority, First Rand Bank, which had been in existence for 15 years, is the second largest bank in South Africa and has assets in excess of $103billion and has almost eight times the total assets of the banking industry, yet the FRB deal, which was by all standards a better deal, was rejected by SSNIT.

The Minority said it was not against a Ghanaian company taking over the Merchant Bank per se but the whole deal was a very bad one indeed.

“If we want to sell the Merchant Bank to a Ghanaian, why couldn’t we have sold it to UT Bank or the Fidelity Bank which are wholly Ghanaian owned and could have given better offers for the take-over,” the Minority queried.

The Minority, therefore, said from the foregoing, it was very clear that there were ‘unseen’ hands directing that the Merchant Bank be disposed of at that ridiculous price.

“How can it be better to hold eight per cent of GH¢90milliion offered by Fortiz and not 23 per cent of GH¢199milliion offered by First Rand Bank?” the Minority demanded and queried Fortiz’s source of financing for this ‘unwholesome’ deal.

The Minority noted that apart from the financial ‘loss’ to the state, workers of the bank were also going to be laid off as a result of the take-over, thus worsening the already bad unemployment situation in the country.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the press, the looting brigade of the ruling government are still at it again and this time round, our future savings with the SSNIT scheme has been hit by the ‘create, loot and share’ syndrome of this government,” the Minority stated.
 By Thomas Fosu Jnr


Paulina says: I'm not a fan of the NPP -in fact I can not name a poli-trickal party in Ghana that stands for what I stand for far as I'm concerned...has the interest of the Ghanaian public at heart ...but I do agree with all that's been said above....  Still.... its important to believe that things will change.. that they will change for the better -someday.

The Emperor's New Clothes: The Merchant Bank......Sale  


Title: Terminate Merchant Bank deal or meet us in court – Andrew Awuni
Dated: 11-11-2013

The Executive Director for policy Think Tank, Centre for Freedom and Accuracy, Mr. Andrew Awuni has threatened to drag the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to court over the sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz Private Equity Fund Limited.

Even though in the judgement of the Social Security and National Investment Trust (SSNIT) and Bank of Ghana, Fortiz Private Equity Fund Limited presented the best proposal among other bidders, Mr. Awuni implied the Merchant Bank transaction was shrouded in secrecy.

According to the Anti-Corruption Crusader, who spoke at a media briefing in Accra, due diligence on the sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz was yet to be done and the gaps that existed in their proposal were too gaping.

Mr. Andrew Awuni asked SSNIT to stop forthwith the deal or else his organization will seek legal redress on the transaction if finalized.

“We will explore all opportunities including possibly going to court to protect the assets of this state; I am contributor to SSNIT therefore it is my money, your money they are using to do all these things; it doesn’t make sense.”

He emphasized, “I have the capacity to take this matter to court but I think there is still time for us to reason things out; it really doesn’t make sense.”

Mr. Awuni challenged the Bank of Ghana to publish details of the transaction because Ghanaians deserved to know what is happening.

“We have taken notice of the transaction that the BOG is playing on Ghanaians; we know as a matter of fact that no agreement has been reached or signed between Fortiz and the other shareholders but the BOG has played a fast one by granting an approval to Fortiz and thus virtually tying the hands of all other parties.”

He also debunked the claim that Fortiz Equity Fund Limited has relations with the Fortis Bank of America saying, “First of all Fortiz Equity Fund Limited has no relation with the Fortis Bank of America which enjoys a large and enviable reputation in the finance industry around the world.”

He explained, “Fortiz bid to buy Merchant Bank is the only known transaction it has ever had; there is no record anywhere of any transaction that Fortiz has ever conducted and that is understandable considering that it was registered and incorporated only in June 2013 soon after the First Rand Bank deal failed.”

Mr. Awuni accordingly urged Ghanaians to rise up and demand accountability for the sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz Private Equity Fund Limited.
“We call on SSNIT to stop forthwith the deal; as a contributor to the Fund, I disagree with this sale and we call on TUC and all workers unions and associations, the Employers Association, GNAT, NAGRAT and concerned Ghanaians to rise up against this day light robbery.”

By: Abdul Karim Naatogmah/



Paulina says: We are, dot, dot...... what is call 'shafted sideways' in north London... in our sweet homeland Ghana!!!!

Ghanaians have been taking ....ten to the front and fifty to the back for some time ...but it now appears that the nation is having to take seventy to the side, and, its a big AND ---certain peoplesssss don't want the nation's public to complain ------or discuss it on the radio -can you Adam & Eve it?????

How can you keep 'shafting folk sideways' and expect them to stay silent -and when they complain ---you the 'shafter' ---has issues... can you believe it?????

I first heard about the sale of the Merchant bank via Joy News on ABN (Sky 290) a week or sooo back and I just couldn't get my head around it... -can you??????

What is going on back home in our sweet motherland --Ghana????.. Because whatever it is...... it is being done in the name of a 'Better Ghana' -and its not working. I personally have never known anything like it is sooooo blatant, sooo unprecedented...

Mounting taxes, high youth unemployment, inconsistent electricity supply, scarce water supply, stinky public toilets, rising STI's (there are no STI clinics available to the general public in Ghana bar the Salvation Army in Accra), mounting rubbish tips, corrupt police force and so forth, and sooooo forth.....and now the merchant bank fiasco......--coming a long to join this long list of unending issues griping Ghana ---all smacks of 'blatant' corruption or GROSS mismanagement -to me.

It appears that if the Ghana's government aren't borrowing money -then its putting up taxes or selling institutions very cheaply to members of its 'own' family...and sooo forth and sooo forth....unprecedented...

It appears my uneducated 'eyes' that if the Ghana's government isn't buying 'ministerial' bungalows then they are 'recorded' plotting' to loot the public 'Kente' purse ...unprecedented, -----unprecedented I tell you.... FBYU

What are Ghana's rich 'first' ladies doing for the nation? All those wives 'of'', all those first ladies of this and that -what are they doing for our sweet homeland Ghana? Where are their charities/foundations? Which charities do they chair? What boards are they sitting on? Who are they mentoring.... What a shame and what a disgrace!!!!!


Sunday, 24 November 2013

Ghana Rising Hearts: Vaneesha Advani's S/S 2014 Designs By Sonia Jewellery Collection........

Collection: S/S 2014
Style: 215 Ash/Opaque Ash
Description: Adjustable, large necklace
100% Italian leather
Antique handmade brass rings
Hand dyed/handmade silk strings


Collection: S/S 2014
Style: 207 Black/Black
Description: Side asymmetric, double large long necklace
100% Italian leather
Antique handmade brass rings
Hand dyed/handmade silk strings

Collection: S/S 2014
Style: 201 Ash/Opaque Coral
Description: Asymmetric, slim long necklace
Materials: Recycles glass
100% Italian leather
Antique handmade brass rings
Hand dyed/handmade silk strings


Collection: S/S 2014
Style: 211 Black/Transparent White
Description: Asymmetric large, slim triple necklace
100% Italian leather
Antique handmade brass rings
Hand dyed/handmade silk strings


Collection: S/S 2014
Style: 202 Black/Opaque Mint
Description: Asymmetric, adjustable, slim long necklace
100% Italian leather
Antique handmade brass rings
Hand dyed/handmade silk strings



Paulina says: I stumbled upon some of the most delectable jewellery I've seen in some time new to La Ghana Rising radar -Vaneesha Advani's Designs By Sonia jewellery label via the Nykyinen website and just had to share...

Jewellery designer Vaneesha Advani is of Indian origin but was born and raised in Ghana -moving to, "New York at age of seventeen to study fashion design at the prestigious Parsons School of Design, New York."

Inspired by visits to her family home in Ghana and the women of its nation, Vaneesha Advani's pared down, minimalist, high-end African inspired jewellery collection is made from natural materials including, "leather, recycled glass beads, brass beads and hand-dyed, handmade silk strings."

I love Designs By Sonia and hope to see this fab label in high end boutiques in Ghana and in London, but in the meantime, you can purchase the above lovelies via her website at:


Symbol of the DELICACY OF POLITICAL POWER, FRAGILITY OF DEMOCRACY, and RESTRAINT From the aphorism: Tumi te se kosua, woso mu den a, epae; na se woanso mu yie nso a, efiri wo nsa bo famu ma epae. Literal translation: Power is as fragile as an egg, when held too tightly it might break; if it is held too loosely, it might fall and break. The symbol points out the fragile nature of political power. As a symbol of democracy, it suggests the virtue of sharing political power. Power held in one hand is not safe. Power wielded by a chief is not absolute, nor is it expected to lead to tyranny. A chief is expected to exercise the power he wields cautiously and judiciously, or else he incurs the wrath of his subjects.


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Model Behaviour: Is Roselyn Ashkar Africa’s Next Top Model.......

Roselyn Ashkar is one of the top 10 girls left in the Africa's Next Top Model Cycle 1 House. Go girl....

Roselyn Ashkar-after her blonde make-over...


The ever beautiful Roselyn Ashkar before her transformation.....

Paulina says: I'm sooo pleased Roselyn Ashkar was chosen to represent Ghana on Africa’s Next Top Model.... She's a stunning girl, a natural beauty who was destined for a life of Ghanaian pageants before qualifying for the top ten finalists in Africa’s Next Top Model contest...

Roselyn Ashkar has always been a great beauty, I clocked her some time back and added her to my Ghanaian beauties list: ( ---but I'm sort of loving her transformation.

The much edgier, blonde curly hairstyle really suits her but I would have preferred a much darker, smoother, sleeker, straighter -more high fashion look like the one they gave Ugandan model Aamito Stacie Lagum, who is really the only 'real' competition Roselyn Ashkar -has......
Anywayssss....I'm hoping this make-over will take our Roselyn further in said contest and towards winning the modelling contract with DNA model agency and a $50,000 windfall. Ghana Rising Blog is rooting for you Roselyn Ashkar, you are 'our' Africa’s Next Top Model.......
For more info or if like me in London, you are unable to watch it ------visit the Africa’s Next Top Model website to watch film clips via:

Blogland is talking and most say she is fab and see her in the top four....