Special Report to the Friedrich Naumann Foundation

  Franklin Cudjoe, Executive Director of IMANI in a Special Report to the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF)
Theme:    Freedom and Property       
Date: July 15, 2009
Venue:  The British Council, Accra
Time: 2:00pm-5:00pm, with a dinner reception to follow
In April 2009, the FNF asked IMANI founder, Franklin Cudjoe to attend an international seminar on “Freedom and Property” in Germany.  Cudjoe obliged.    As a time – honoured tradition of both IMANI and the FNF to report on their international assignments, we respectfully request your company to listen and discuss Cudjoe’s report on the importance of Property rights to a developing country such as Ghana. 

•    Property rights are the bedrock for any nation’s development.  Contrary to many conspiracy theories, Western countries grew rich by cultivating respect for property rights.  The African story on property rights is a sorry mix of colonial alienation of property from indigenes and post colonial plunder of property by African leaders in the name of wealth and welfare distribution.

•    The former Gold Coast was a prosperous country as a result of cocoa exports to the West, with cocoa farmers the most prosperous and the subsistence producers the poorest groups. Post independent politics virtually expropriated the produce of cocoa farmers through centralized marketing boards which caused a rebellion from cocoa farmers.  Marketing boards still exist today.

•    There are over 60,000 land cases in our superior courts alone, many spanning seven to ten years.  This poses a threat to investor confidence in the Ghanaian economy.

•    Intellectual property rights are even worse.  Works of art are barely rewarded.  Many Ghanaians enjoy the product of musicians but hardly would pay for their work, because many are pirated and sold.   Another, important danger to disrespecting intellectual property rights is the menace of counterfeited medicines. Ghana and many African countries are home to some 50% of counterfeited medicines.

•    In many oil producing African countries, when oil is found on your land, you are literally cleared off the land by government.  Armed rebellion against the state and oil companies follows.  This often gives rise to the notion that having natural resources is a curse.

Please note that seating is limited; confirm attendance by email and your cell phone number to Mavis at mavis@imanighana.com     before July 12, 2009)
With the deepest pleasure,
Ms. Mavis Mawudeku
Administrative Assistant
Office: 0 21 41 70 94                                        Cell: 0244 973 951

Short Bio of Mr. Cudjoe:

Mr. Cudjoe is the founder of IMANI Center for Policy & Education.  This year, the Foreign Policy Magazine named IMANI, the sixth most influential think tank in Africa.

Cudjoe is also editor of www.AfricanLiberty.org, Africa’s main platform for sharing ideas on peace, progress and prosperity and Acting Chief Evangelist of Mpedigree.NET, an innovative technological tool for fighting counterfeit medicines.

He has been cited in the U.K. House of Commons debate on aid and development in Africa in June 2005 and by South Africa’s Supreme Court Judge on a ruling on patents and Intellectual property in April 2006.

Cudjoe holds fellowships from a wide range of organizations including the Mont Pelerin Society, George Mason University, New School of Athens, and Instituto Bruno Leoni, Evian Group at IMD, Independent Institute, International Policy Network, and Atlas Economic Research Foundation.  He has won two John Templeton Foundation awards for advancing the institutional foundations of the free and democratic society in 2006.   He has shared panel with respected academics such as Deepak Lal and former Prime Ministers of Malaysia and Estonia.  He debated President Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania on colonialism and globalization in November 2005.

Cudjoe is a frequent commentator in print and broadcast media about Africa development issues, including appearances on BBC, CBC, Swiss and Swedish National TV, Austrian National Radio and varied local Ghanaian media, and has been published or quoted severally in London’s Daily Telegraph, The Wall Street Journal (all three versions), Bangkok Post, Washington Times, El Mercurio (Chile), La Republica (Costa Rica), the Ottawa Citizen, the San Francisco Chronicle, Netzeitung Voice Of Germany

Mr. Cudjoe is an Earhart doctoral fellow at Buckingham University in the U.K.

He is co-author of "The Water Revolution: Practical Solutions to Water Scarcity", with forewords by Peruvian Economist, Hernando de Soto and Sir Ian Byatt, Chairman of the Water Industry Commission for Scotland, a Senior Associate with Frontier Economics and an Honorary Professor at Birmingham University