Monday, December 21, 2009

Man impregnates daughter

"Your Worship, I thought I was sleeping with my wife, as the room was dark," pleaded 49-year-old Kwaku Otu when he appeared before the Akyem Swedru Circuit Court for allegedly impregnating his 19-year-old daughter.

The court, presided over by Mr Kofi Aktowiah; dismissed Otu's plea of guilty with explanation and remanded him in prison custody to re-appear on January 14, 2010.

Presenting the facts of the case at the crowded court last Tuesday, Detective Inspector Kwaku Appiah of the Oda Divisional Police Command, said about six months ago the victim's mother, Madam Amma Tenadu attended a funeral at her home town, Gomoa Potsifi in the Central Region and spent some time .there.

He said on her return, the woman noticed some changes in her daughter, indicating that she was pregnant, and questioned her about the man responsible for it. To her surprise, her daughter mentioned Otu, a farmer of Asibrim, near Akyem Akroso in the Eastern Region.

The prosecutor stated that Madam Tenadu did not believe the news so she informed her brother, Kobina Otabil about it.

When the two confronted the victim on the issue, she confirmed that her father had impregnated her.

According to him, Otabil said it was a taboo in their tradition for a father to put her biological daughter in the family way so they reported the matter to the Akrosohene, Nana Kwabena Ofori II, who is the owner of the land.

Inspector Appiah stated that the Akrosohene arbitrated the case at his palace and fined Otu GH¢400 and two sheep to pacify the victim’s family and the defiled land.

He said the chief gave Otu two weeks to pay the fine, but as he could not do so at the appointed time, he was given two more weeks to pay it.

Inspector Appiah stated that media practitioners had a hint of the case and went to the Akrosohene's palace that day to see what was going on.

He said for fear that the reporters would make the outcome of the case public, the chief . advised that the matter be sent to the Akroso Police Station.

According to him, realizing that case was very serious, the Akroso police referred the matter the case to the Oda Divisional Police Command for further investigations and the necessary action.

After thorough police investigations, Otu was put before the Akyem Swedru Circuit Court.

In his explanation, Otu said as he slept in the same dark bedroom with his wife and his daughter, he thought he was sleeping with his wife, not knowing it was rather his own daughter.

Source :
The Mirror

Ghana Women Medical and Dental Practitioners Mark International Gender Activism Week

The society of Ghana Women Medical and Dental Practitioners has marked the annual 16 days of gender activicism with a call on all stakeholders to unite and and totally eliminate all forms of gender based violence.

This year's event which was marked with a procession and a talk was done in collaboration with the wives associations of the Police,Prisons and the Armed Forces.The annual international event is aimed at highlighting gender base issues globally.

Dr.Mabel Aboah ,the president of the society advised women to consult women groups such as theirs,FIDA among others to help address some of their grievance on domestic violence.

She added that,the society's decision to mark this year's celebrations with the wives associations of the security services is to help address the many forms of gender violence that goes on in the various barracks.

The society of Ghana Women Medical and Dental Practitioners was established in 1965 after the woman medical practitioners was trained. The organization is mainly involved in activities such as medical outreach and advocacy on gender based issues.

Notably among their contributions to National development is the establishment of the Womens World Clinic at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra for screening of women and the drafting of the domestic Violence Bill which has now been passed into law.The society is an affiliate of the Medical Women International Association.

Source: Isaac Ametepe

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mills works from Jubilee House for first time

President Mills is working from the Golden Jubilee House for the first time today.

He is receiving letters of credence from various diplomats assigned to Ghana.

This will be the president's first official use of the palace since assuming office ten months ago.

And it follows several criticisms that the edifice built at the cost of $80 million was being left to go waste.

Joy News' correspondent at the presidency, Steve Anti, says the president is likely to return to the Osu castle once the ceremonies to receive the diplomats are over.

Meanwhile, the president has indicated he wouldn't mind sharing the Golden Jubilee House with staff of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

The presidency was reacting to suggestions that President Mills may never relocate to the new edifice after it was allocated, albeit temporary, to the Foreign Affairs Ministry whose official offices were gutted some three weeks ago.

Presidential spokesperson Mahama Ayariga explains that the residence is big enough to accommodate both the presidency and the ministry.

"The use of that wing [at the palace] does not disturb the future decision to use that facility. In fact the edifice is so huge that the ministry can operate from there even whilst the president is there. The fact of the minister being there does not in any way preclude the president moving in there as and when he deems it fit," Mr Ayariga said.

Mr. Ayariga also dismissed concerns that the number of people visiting the Foreign Ministry while it operates from the Jubilee House may pose a security threat to the presidency.

Joy News sources at the presidency suggest some aspects of the president's operation might soon be transferred into the Presidential Palace.

Source :

Monday, November 9, 2009

Passion for Needy supports Nsawam Medium Prison inmates

Goods worth GH¢4,142 have donated by Passion for Needy Association a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) to the inmates of the Nsawam male and female medium prisons at Nsawam in the eastern region.

The items donated by the NGO formed by senior Prophet T.B Joshua as part of his objectives of reaching out to the needy in society included, two plasma television sets, two satellite dishes including installation equipments and quantities of bar soap, washing powder and sanitary rolls.

Mrs. Janet Torgbor El-Aschker, chairperson of Passion for Needy Association who made the presentation on behalf of Prophet T.B Joshua said the donation was in line with the organization’s aim of supporting Government’s efforts in addressing the needs of the inmates.

DSP Samuel Adzewodah, Staff Officer of the Ghana Prisons Service, who received the donated items on behalf of the inmates, thanked the NGO for their benevolence. He commended the NGO for their kind gesture and most especially remembering the inmates.

Present at the ceremony were Co-chairpersons of Passion for needy Maame Araba Dadson and Divine Edem Manche. Others included some members of the NGO.

Source: Isaac Ametepe

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Passion for Needy Association supports two visually impaired with GH¢ 500

Passion for Needy Association Non Governmental organization (NGO), formed by Prophet T.B Joshua paid an amount of five hundred Ghana cedis GH¢ 500 for two visually impaired persons to pursue a study in reflexology at Parliament House in Accra.
The donation forms part of the organizations objectives of training the physically challenged was made by Mrs. Janet El-Aschkar, the Chairperson of Passion for Needy Association. The beneficiaries, Ruth Aguure and Franklin Osei Opoku thanked the organization for their kind gesture and promised to make good use of the opportunity to the benefit of others in society.
Alhaji Ibrahim Gombila, Deputy Clerk of Parliament of Ghana also thanked the NGO for their benevolence. Present at the donation ceremony was Maame Araba Dadson, Co-chairperson of Passion for Needy Association.
In a related development, an amount of five hundred and ninety-three Ghana cedis GH¢ 593 was presented to Maame Ewura Abena, a student of the Institute of Professional Studies (IPS) Legon, to persue a program in Diploma and Business Studies(DBS).
Passion for Needy Association, as part of its plans will soon start the construction of a training centre on 50 acres of land donated to them by Nan Ofori Okoh, Chief of Anomabo Pra-Ewusi to train the youth and physically challenged in society.
Source: Isaac Ametepe

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Standard Bank wins ‘Best Investment Bank from Africa’ Award

Standard Bank reinforced its credentials as a leading emerging market bank, winning the prestigious ‘Best Investment Bank from Africa’, award in The Banker’s Investment Banking Awards 2009.

The Awards, held at London’s Waldorf Hilton Hotel, recognizes excellence in investment banking around the world.

Standard Bank (20% owned by ICBC, the biggest bank in the world) - is the largest African banking group ranked by assets and earnings and operates in 17 countries in Africa, employing more than 50,000 people.

Commenting, Brian Caplen, Editor of The Banker magazine said: "We are very pleased to recognize Standard Bank's achievements in building up an investment banking presence across Africa and especially in some of the frontier markets. The bank has also been in a strong position to take advantage of international opportunities such as purchasing a stake in Troika Dialog in Russia. It's a successful formula that will be watched with interest in the months ahead."

Rupert Boyd, Managing Director, Global Head of Investor Coverage, Standard Bank, Corporate and Investment Banking said: “Standard Bank has an unparalleled depth of personnel and expertise in Africa and has been actively involved in the continent’s economic fortunes for over 145 years. While this award recognizes this fact, it is also a reflection of some of the innovative and unique deals that the team have been involved in over the past twelve months; whether that be acting as Joint Issuing House/Arranger and Primary Dealer to the N275 billion Lagos State Debt Issue or as the Lead Mandated Arranger of the USD240 million Tanesco Limited loan. Furthermore, our strategic partnership with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has laid the foundation for significant expansion of trade and investment between China and Africa, and has been a defining milestone for Standard Bank.”

Standard Bank is a leading African banking group focused on emerging markets globally. It has been a mainstay of South Africa's financial system for over 145 years, and now spans 17 countries across the African continent. Its international expansion has taken it to 16 countries outside Africa

Standard Bank Plc in London is the bank's principal international subsidiary. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, and is a member of the London Stock Exchange, the London Bullion Market Association, the London Metal Exchange, the London Platinum and Palladium Market and the New York Mercantile Exchange (COMEX Division).
Source: Esi Johnson/

Monday, October 12, 2009

ECOWAS considers citizens in decision making

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has started a process that aims at encouraging citizens' participation in ECOWAS decisions and activities. The programme, called: "Community Development Programme," hopes to transform West Africa into a borderless region where ordinary citizens can enjoy free movement and trade amongst themselves. Mr Traore Kalilou, Director at the Ivorian Ministry of Regional Integration, said there was low level involvement in ECOWAS activities by non-state actors in the region hence the need for the CDP programme to make the ordinary ECOWAS citizen enjoy the privileges of ECOWAS. He said this at a workshop organized by ECOWAS for civil society organizations within the sub region to share ideas on the structure of the CDP and make inputs where necessary. The workshop brought together about 50 civil society actors and media personnel from Nigeria, Cote D' Ivoire, Liberia, Mali, Togo, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Cape Verde and Senegal The CDP, which is still at the planning stage, when established, would facilitate the creation of a region where people can live in dignity and peace under the rule of law and good governance in each of the member states. Mr Kalilou said regional integration was one of the solutions to the development problems in Africa. Mr Ken Ukaoha, a civil society actor from Nigeria, said after 38 years of ECOWAS, the region appeared not to have moved closer to development and integration as was originally envisaged. Comparing ECOWAS to the European Union he said in Europe people, even non citizens who have a visa are able to move freely from one European country to the other, however, the story is not the same in ECOWAS. "Even travelling from Ghana to Cote d'Ivoire, can take people two days because of immigration demands," Mr Ukaoha said. He said civil society organizations could help get the ordinary person integrated into ECOWAS since they are usually in touch with people at the local level. "The Community Development Programme aims at realizing the ECOWAS heads of States and government's vision 2020 of a transition from ECOWAS heads of states to ECOWAS of people," Mr Ukaoha said.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Africa Media Leadership Conference opens

African Media owners are meeting in Accra to examine how they can harness and "monetise" the continent's growing youthful audiences heavily reliant on digital media channels as their sources of news, information and entertainment.The three-day Annual Media Conference (AMLC) on the theme "Learning from the Future: Africa's Media Map in 2009", would examine efforts by African media institutions to tap the youth market and the 'digital natives' and what they could learn from other parts of the world. It is jointly sponsored by Rhodes University's Sol Plaatjie Institute for Media leadership (SPI) and Konrad Adenaur Foundation (KAS).In a speech read for Vice President John Dramani Mahama, Deputy Information Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said African governments must soon learn that the media was a partner in governance and not an opponent and should allow the provision of appropriate legislation that would create avenue for freedom of expression and proper training for journalists to improve their professional standards on the continent. He said government would continue to create an enabling environment where journalists could report freely, critically and responsibly to support the goals of democracy, economic development and human rights. Media owners and publishers, he said, had a critical role in assisting society to face challenges such as political intolerance, election mal-practices, cyber fraud, women and child abuse, and charged them to dramatically redefine media business and journalism. Vice President Mahama enjoined the media to eschew irresponsible journalism and to be agents of development and progress rather than agents of conflict, retrogression and destruction. Mr Francis Mdlongwa, Director of Rhodes University's Sol Plaatjie Institute for Media leadership (SPI) said the conference was a sequel to the one organised last year that broadly examined how Africa's media was embracing new media platforms as a source of additional audience reach and revenue.He said the conference would also examine challenges facing long established newspaper, radio and television stations for survival in the face of the proliferation of digital media platforms. "Listeners, viewers and readers are increasingly agitating for their own specific news content at their own time and place, and using preferred media platforms. Today's media audiences are not just producing, selecting and customising their news and information content, but they are also essentially re-defining the role, identity and purpose of journalism and media companies, "he said.Mr Klaus Loetzer, KAS Country Representative, said the conference was launched in 2002 as a strategy for formulation, networking and sharing of ideas and experiences by African media practitioners.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Editor speaks on Nkrumah in London via telephone.

The Editor of,Michael Father Amedor will be speaking on Press TV,London today at 14:30 GMT to voice out his view on the topic "whether Nkrumah’s vision for Ghana was able to be achieved, or was power used to serve other purposes?" through a telephony interview.
The Editor recieved the invitation yesterday via email and can be confirmed. This interview will be granted by Sarah Khalil a Tv producer at Africa Today for Press TV, ( who is currently producing a show in the light of the Nkrumah@100 celebrations.

The intended interview is expected to last several hours. Other topics to also incude the interview are "commenting on Ghana’s current development status" among others.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Outstanding Arrears Choke NHIS

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) are reeling under a shocking GH¢115 million arrears left behind by the erstwhile New Patriotic Party government (NPP). The National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration had from January to June this year released a whopping GH¢ 142,483,546.60 to the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA). This represents 96.2 per cent of government’s budgetary obligation for the period. Regrettably, this releases have gone into clearing of the arrears of the 2008, thereby generating an indebtedness to healthcare providers for the period March 2009 to date to the tune of GH¢120,933,849.The huge indebtedness to healthcare providers, is currently crippling the scheme nationwide. A letter dated August 23, 2009 and intercepted by The Heritage, detailed the cry of the scheme's boss, Mr. Sylvester Mensah to government. The letter reveals a very sorry situation that can collapse the rather laudable health policy which has and continues to save the lives of thousands of Ghanaians. According to the NHIA boss, the scheme urgently 'requires a minimum of GH¢75million within the next 24 hours, to avert a looming massive withdrawal of healthcare service delivery to NHIS subscribers, a situation that would cause a major setback to the NHIS programme.' Amongst the many challenges that are also threatening the existence of the scheme the letter stated, is the headache of how to clear an outstanding debt of GH¢115,567,612 owed the scheme as at the end of December 2008. As the Acting Chief Executive puts it, 'the precarious state of the National Health Insurance Fund, and the impending threat this poses to the NHIS as a programme to secure affordable healthcare services to residents of Ghana.' Mr. Mensah further laments that the current situation of the National Health Insurance Scheme and its resultant effect is that 'healthcare providers across the country have run out of essential logistics to provide healthcare services to our subscribers; most providers are turning away NHIS subscribers whilst others have threatened to close down, situations which have consequences for the government.' According to the acting chief executive, 'any further delay in advancing funds to the NHIA would severely damage the confidence that people have in the NHIS and derail Government's policy of a one-time premium payment expected to commence late next year.' 'We also urge that urgent mechanisms are put in place to settle all outstanding payments owed to the NHIA, whilst ensuring prompt transfers of all future funds due to the NHIA, Mr. Mensah appealed to the sector ministry in a distress letter dated August 23, 2009.
Source: The Heritage -Ghana

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Without a coherent supply chain strategy Ghana will not become a middle income status country…. Dr. Douglas Boateng

The failure of governments since 1966 to develop and implement a coherent supply chain and logistics strategy in support of the country’s gateway initiative continues to be a major impediment towards Ghana’s goals of becoming a middle income country.
Abundance of resources yet still relatively socio-economically poor!

Ghana is one of the few countries in the world to be endowed with much needed resources that can easily serve as a catalyst for major long term socio-economic growth. …..Gold, Cocoa, Industrial diamonds bauxite, manganese and now oil! ……In addition the country is blessed with one of the most fertile agro soils in the world….Yet the country’s unemployment rate among the 18-35 years has remained among the highest in the world since 1970. In tandem with this, the country’s infrastructure is among the least developed in the world.

Having benchmarked the country’s development and economic growth with other developed and emerging economies one realized that the relative underdevelopment is mainly due to amongst others our inability to use simple supply chain principles to harness the enormous wealth at the country’s disposal.
Since the late nineties one has had the opportunity to have both formal and informal discussions with our politicians and decision makers. In most cases they are proud to pontificate about countries like Singapore Malaysia, USA, Chain India and even more recently South Africa….and how they are able to add value to imported commodities, plus move goods from various points of production to points of need within and outside their respective countries. Yet when it comes to Ghana it seems they are content to export the country’s raw materials to other countries for processing and then import it back at premium to sell locally in the regional market!

Supply chain management and Ghana’s Gateway Initiative

Ghana’s gateway initiative in theory is a resplendent model if supported by the right modus operandi. Successive governments have pontificated about the status of the country as the potential gateway into the sub region. Yet when one looks at the policies of government to date, no where has one seen any concrete long term plans to harness the potential vantage position of Ghana as a sub regional country. As a country that is supposedly the gateway into the sub region aero logistics connections is not only poor but among the most expensive in the world!!
What puzzles ordinary citizens like myself is why our leaders continue to accept that value added to our resources can only take place outside Ghana……..!!! The time has come for our leaders to rather look at Ghana as a sub regional workshop where companies with interest in marketing their products to 250 million regional inhabitants will use the country as it decoupling point.
Could Ghana have benefited more from Cocoa with a coherent supply chain strategy?
Like most economies, Ghana could have easily used cocoa to sustainably transform the economy if there was a strategic supply chain blue print. More recently one has been hearing about Cocoa Board ambitions to produce 1 million tons per annum. What difference will it make to graduate students looking for a job if most of the beans are going to end up in Europe where value adding will take place?”
Would Ghana benefit from the OIL?
There seem to be a propensity for our leaders to pontificate that the recently discovered oil is the panacea for all Ghana’s economic woes. The sad reality is that jobs are not created from the crude oil. Rather it is from the supply chain services that are associated with crude oil….!
Govt must have a supply chain and beneficiation strategy for each of Ghana’s major commodities
Through out history countries that depend on the exportation of raw commodities have relatively failed to achieve major long term socio-economic growth. The shortism in economic policies coupled with governments’ lack of strategic thought vis-à-vis supply chain management and local beneficiation continue to be an impediment for socio- economic growth. The time has come for our elected leaders to be more strategic and start thinking about:

1. How Ghana can use supply chain management as a weapon for competitive advantage
2. Positioning Ghana as sub regional workshop and decoupling point
3. Branding Ghana as a source of quality products, i.e. proudly Ghanaian,
4. Empower Ghanaians through supply chain related services
5. Creating real and much needed jobs through local beneficiation of minerals and agro commodities
6. Laying a solid socio-economic foundation for future generations
7. Thinking seriously about harnessing the potential of the gateway initiative…..d leaders to be more strategic and start thinking about:

In so doing we will be laying a solid foundation for future generations. After all, Ghana’s resources do not belong to the current generation……Rather we are just custodians (irrespective of local tribe or party affiliation) collectively tasked to harness these resources to build a better and sustainable socio-economic future for the next generation!

Dr. Douglas Boateng is the Founder, President and CEO of PanAvest International a 5PSCM niche business advisory, education, training, coaching and mentoring company. Dr Boateng’s goal is to assist companies to profitably extend their market reach through the application of long term innovative, Business Development Logistics and Supply Chain Management solutions. Dr Boateng is a FELLOW of the (a) Institute of Directors-UK & Southern Africa (b) Chartered Management Institute -UK (c) Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport-UK and the (d) Institute of Operations Management-UK

Monday, September 14, 2009

VAT Taskforce gets tough on importers for evading taxes

Reverend John Buabeng, head of the Value Added Tax (VAT) Service Taskforce has tasked traders, who import goods into the country, to supply their tax identification number to the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) or have their goods impounded.He said it was a crime to import one item and label it differently or in some cases, one item could be registered using different names and with the quantities reduced to evade the payment of the appropriate taxes.Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview, Rev. Buabeng said a combined taskforce from the VAT Service, National Security and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service have impounded five vehicles in Takoradi. The vehicles were carrying 1,310 bags of rice with one of them loaded with a quantity of shirts and other clothing, he said, adding that, "The taskforce could not trace the invoice to the supplier of one of the vehicles and this is a lost of revenue to the state" he said. He said the impounding of the vehicles was part of an ongoing nationwide exercise to arrest defaulters of tax.He said importers should endeavour to register and obtain tax identification number before importing goods into the country. "Tax evasion and smuggling of goods is a heinous offence, which is tantamount to prosecution and some times jail sentences", he said. He advised importers to give correct information of their businesses to make tracking easier for VAT officials. He warned people who serve as agent of importers to desist from such acts and register with the service.

New global alliance to increase access to financial services

Nearly 100 central bankers and other financial policymakers gathered in Nairobi on Monday for the official launch of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), a coalition of countries from the developing world committed to making savings accounts, insurance, and other financial services available to millions of people living on less than $2 a day.A statement from AFI received in Accra on Monday said research had shown that better access to financial services can fuel economic growth by raising national income via increased savings and investments in poor households as well as in small and medium enterprises."This access also enhances financial stability by injecting formal savings into the system, diversifying the capital base, and providing stability during global downturns. Yet, an estimated 2.5 billion people - over half the world's adult population - do not have access to savings accounts and other financial services," the statement said.AFI said its global network would enable developing countries to share knowledge so they can more effectively develop and implement policies designed to expand access to financial services. It brings together central banks and others representing nearly 70 percent of world's unbanked and the network will develop and implement policies to reach millions across developing world.It said while many of the smartest policies to expand financial access had come from developing countries - such as mobile phone money transfer services in Kenya and agent banking in Brazil - knowledge of these solutions was scattered in pockets around the globe. "The unique aspect of AFI is that it puts us members in the driver's seat to identify and create solutions to increase the availability and choices of financial services in our own countries," said Tarisa Watanagase, governor of the Bank of Thailand and AFI member. "Since we understand our countries' circumstances better than outside organizations, AFI creates an exceptional forum for us to share policies that work and learn from other policymakers about solutions that work for them," Watanagase said.AFI members have chosen to focus on six policy areas to increase financial inclusion for their respective countries - agent banking, diversification of financial products and providers, state bank reforms, financial identity, consumer protection and mobile phone banking. Based in Bangkok, Thailand, AFI is managed on behalf of its members by the German development organization Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH and supported with a $35 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation."AFI's peer-to-peer knowledge exchange model is playing a key role in amplifying policy solutions that work," said Alfred Hannig, Executive Director of AFI. "The most realistic and successful solutions for including poor people in the formal financial system are being innovated among our members in developing countries," He said. This grant is part of the Gates Foundation's Financial Services for the poor initiative, which is working with a wide range of public and private partners, to harness technology and innovation to make safe places to save and other financial services accessible to poor people in the developing world.AFI is a global network of central banks and other policymaking bodies in over 60 developing countries. AFI provides its members with a learning platform for peer to peer knowledge exchange on financial inclusion policies that work, and grants to help implement them.

Ras Wayo out of Big Brother Revolution

In a surprise announcement, Ghana’s representative to the just started Big Brother Africa Revolution, Ras Wayoe became the second Housemate to leave the BBA House during the show's first Eviction Show!
Wayoe entered the stage to a crowd chanting his name to a Reggae tune. Wayoe told IK he was not surprised to have left the House and does not think his Rastafarian way of life played a part in viewers not voting for him.
The first Housemate to leave the BBA: The Revolution House was Teddy from Kenya. Teddy leaves the House much to his and the crowd's surprise because he was on of the strongest personalities in the house. IK, the host, asked him if he regrets sitting on the fence with making up his mind about The Smokers' Alliance. Teddy leaves with the $2500 in his kitty.
Source: gna

Ghana charms Busta Rhymes at live concert

International hip hop icon, Busta Rhymes, nodded repeatedly Saturday night at the Accra International Conference Centre, left in no doubt his industry and dexterity has affected so many Ghanaian lovers of hip hop.Taking the stage in a Busta Rhymes Live in Ghana Concert, an initiative of CharterHouse and sponsored by telecoms giant MTN, the ace musician thrilled the crowd with several of his favourite hits, including It's a Party, I Know What You Want, Blessed, Gimme Some More, Make It Clap, Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See, Woo Hah Got You All in Check and Arab Money. “I love this”, “I made a great decision to come to Ghana” and “I love your beautiful city” were some of his confessions as the overflowing main auditorium of the Conference Centre virtually wrenched lyrics of the over a dozen songs he performed, including the latest and controversial ‘Arab Money,’ from him and rendered it perfectly.“You will definitely see us again” was his emphatic promise after what he described as “a most wonderful and successful show” that charmed the enthusiastic crowd to abandon their seats and wriggle the night away.And so powerful was his performance, supported by Spliff Star, that the joyous crowd was almost overflowing onto the stage, barred only by crash barriers thoughtfully planted there for the purpose.An enchanted fan threw him a piece of kente cloth, which he strapped over his shoulders.

Source: Isaac Yeboah

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bagbin backs calls for ministerial reshuffle

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has told Citi FM that a reshuffle in the nine-month old Mills administration will do the young Government a lot of good.He says there are weak links in the government which need tightening. Earlier, rumours of an impending reshuffle by President John Mills were brushed aside by government officials.The widely speculated reshuffle found footing in an earlier indication but nine months into the Mills administration, the Majority Leader tells Citi FM a ministerial reshuffle is critical towards strengthening the Mills administration.“There are weaknesses here and there…so I think there are areas that we need as a government to look into and maybe try and invigorate them with some new faces that could assist to get things going,” he said.Mr Bagbin also lent a limb to former President Jerry Rawlings’ open criticisms of the Mills administration.Mr Rawlings spares no punches anytime he gets the opportunity to lash at President Mills. He has on several public platforms attacked President Mills, accusing him of lacking what he terms “the revolutionary zeal” in his government.He has numerously questioned the reasoning behind President Mills’ decision to maintain some carry-over appointees from the Kufuor-administration.Mr Bagbin says there must be more of such criticisms from Mr Rawlings to put the Mills administration on its toes.“I think that it is good for the country, and I want to encourage the former presidents whether Kufuor or Jerry to keep coming up with criticisms because they have a store of experience and knowledge that is needed for the country.”

UniBank joins Moneygram Transfer Services

UniBank, financial services provider, has teamed up with Global Payment Services provider MoneyGram to offer money transfer service at the bank's 13 branch locations in the country. An agreement to that effect was signed on Thursday between the Management of uniBank and the West African office of MoneyGram International.There are currently 12 agents offering money transfer services across 1,600 locations in Ghana. "Our collaboration with MoneyGram Transfer Services represents a vast opportunity to deliver our commitment to provide safe and reliable Money Transfer Services to beneficiaries," Mr Clifford Mettle, General Manager Sales and Client Services, UniBank, told journalists at the launch of the initiative in Accra On Monday. Mr Mettle said the bank would leverage on its branch expansion programme and the relationship with Ghana Post Company to scale the competition and meet the expectations of customers. He said UniBank was using the expansion in the money transfer service as key growth strategies to enable it grow its non-funded business.Mr Mettle assured all users of the service of good and quality customer care, saying that the bank would deliver on its core values of flexibility, caring, vibrant and teamwork. Ms Funmi Omitowoju, Regional Director MoneyGram International (Anglophone West Africa), said uniBank's impressive performance was a major strength in the collaboration.She said MoneyGram had put together English-Speaking countries in West Africa to enable it address peculiar needs of the people in the region and to also build strong relationship. Ms Omitowoju said despite the global financial meltdown, the money transfer business was still robust and doing well and lauded Ghana as one of the dominant forces in the business. She pledged MoneyGram's continuous support to uniBank in meeting the goals of the collaboration for the mutual benefit of the two institutions.MoneyGram is present in 190 countries with over 18,000 agents.

Journalists to benefit from GETFund

Ghanaian journalists can now access the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) for overseas training, a government minister said on Thursday. "Even though government does not wish to interfere with the work of the media, we have made it a policy to allow individual journalists to access the GETFund for overseas training if they so wish," Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Deputy Minister of Information, told journalists in Accra.He made the announcement at a press conference dubbed "Matters Arising" during which he spelt out the achievements of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government in the areas of education, youth in agriculture and the fight against narcotic drugs trafficking. As per the theme of the press conference it was to keep the public updated on what government has been doing over the past eight months on matters of concern to the public.Mr. Ablakwa said government would, from a distance, continue to assist both the state and private media to develop their capacities in order to ensure that the "fourth estate of the realm" remained dynamic and independent in the country.He said government preferred a strong and independent media to a praise singing one, adding "we do not want the kind of media that will sing our praises only for the public to tell us something different about ourselves at the elections".Touching on the substance of his address, the minister observed that the perception that powerful people in government may be collaborating with drug barons was now a thing of the past due to effective measures put in place by the government to stem the drug menace. Over the past few weeks some arrests have been made both at the air and sea ports, with various quantities of narcotics drugs seized, and the minister said structures had been strengthened to ensure that those seized exhibited did not either vanish or metamorphose into "kokonte" overnight.On education, the minister recaptured some of the measures mentioned in either the recent Supplementary Budget or in other addresses by sector minister in the Meet the Press series. Some of the achievements, he reiterated, included 50 per cent increase in the capitation grant per pupil, GH¢13 million for the School Feeding Programme, and over GH¢11 million for free exercise books and school uniforms.Mr. Ablakwa said government had also decided to pay full tuition fees for all teachers who would be pursuing further studies through distance learning, adding that the decision was to ensure that teachers stayed in the classroom to teach while learning. "Government has also confirmed its commitment to science and technology education with the introduction of 41,000 scholarships accessible by mathematics and science students across the country," he said.The previous government dissolved the Ministry of Science and Technology and made science and technology an addendum of other ministries, a move that the minister criticized as negligence that led to the near collapse of the sector. Concerning youth in agriculture, the minister said GH¢10.7 million had been invested into the sub-sector to ensure the cultivation of some 14,000 hectares of land and jobs for more than 20,000 people in seven selected regions - Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Central, Ashanti, Volta and Brong-Ahafo.Mr. Ablakwa said to ensure food security and poverty reduction, government was investing heavily in irrigation in strategic parts of the country. The irrigation projects include 5,000 hectares of land in the Accra Plains Project and rehabilitation of 70 dams in the northern regions to irrigate 360 hectares of land, adding the part of the irrigated land would be used for rice cultivation in the north. "In the fishing industry, government has also approved the construction of two fishing habours and 12 landing sites at the total cost of US$200 million," he said He added that six cold stores would be built in selected fishing communities with seven million euros Spanish government loan. Mr. Ablakwa said six speed boats had also been ordered, out of which two had been paid for and due to be delivered in December 2009 to assist the navy to protect the country's marine domain, protect fishermen and stem the activities of pair trawlers.

Ghana to host Africa Regional Capital Market Development Conference

Ghana will host a special five-day Africa Regional Capital Market Development Conference in Accra from Monday, September 14, according to a statement issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Conference, being organised by the SEC in collaboration with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, is under the theme, "Towards Effective Regulation and Development of an Efficient Market in Africa". It is being supported by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).The statement said the Conference was being organised in the wake of the global financial credit crisis, which is not only having serious resource mobilization constraints on the economics of most African countries but also a negative impact on stock markets in Africa. Areas to be examined at the conference include current capital market development issues; building blocks needed to establish and develop efficient equity and bond markets in Africa; capital market integration and regulation in Africa; development of a viable commodities market in Africa; and challenges of securities regulation in emerging markets.

Sir Paul Reeves Concludes Visit to Fiji

Sir Paul Reeves, Special Representative of Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma to the Republic of the Fiji Islands, departed Suva early on 11 September following a two-day visit to the Republic of the Fiji Islands.

At the invitation of the Interim Government, Sir Paul visited Fiji to explore opportunities for continued Commonwealth engagement with Fiji. The objective of his visit was to support the early restoration of constitutional democracy in the country, in line with Commonwealth principles.

Speaking on the eve of his departure, Sir Paul said his discussions with the Interim Prime Minister, members of Cabinet and others had been cordial, frank and informative.

“While I do not wish to pre-empt my report to the Secretary-General, I can say that I depart Fiji with a clear understanding of the Interim Government’s plans for Fiji following the abrogation of the Constitution in April. I welcome the importance Fiji attaches to its relationship with the Commonwealth, and the willingness of the Interim Prime Minister and his government to remain in discussions with me.

“I reiterated to Commodore Bainimarama and his Ministers that the Commonwealth stands ready to support an inclusive and time-bound national political dialogue, to facilitate the return of constitutional democracy. I also emphasised the importance Commonwealth members place on the fundamental principles that underpin our organisation, including representative government, respect for human rights and the rule of law.”

The Interim Prime Minister conveyed to Sir Paul his government’s intention to implement the “Strategic Framework for Change” announced by him on 1 July 2009, which entails elections being held in 2014. “I reminded Commodore Bainimarama that such an extended timeframe for the restoration of democracy was not one the Commonwealth could support”, Sir Paul said. “In particular, I expressed my view that it is vital to re-start broad-based dialogue on electoral and constitutional issues as soon as possible, rather than delay this important work until 2012.”

Sir Paul said he was disappointed that he had been unable to meet with leaders of other political parties during this visit to Suva. “In deference to the Interim Government of Fiji as my host, I complied with its specific request not to meet with other political leaders. I remain convinced, however, that an inclusive national dialogue which recognises and respects the voices of all major political players is the only way Fiji can find its way back to a sustainable democracy. The Commonwealth will continue to listen to the viewpoints of all sectors of Fiji’s community and political life, in its efforts to assist Fiji resolve the current situation and find long-term solutions to its significant challenges.”

Sir Paul will provide a report to the Secretary-General on his discussions and findings, which will inform the Secretary-General’s briefing of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), and his consideration of the Commonwealth’s ongoing engagement with Fiji.

During the visit Sir Paul met with Interim Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, other members of the Interim Cabinet, government officials, and selected representatives from the private sector, civil society and the diplomatic corps. Sir Paul was accompanied by two senior officials from the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Source:Commonwealth Secretariat

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Three American Drug Suspects Picked at KIA

Three Americans were yesterday arrested at the Kotoka International Airport on suspicion of drug trafficking. Two of them, Abena Serwah, 19, and Shadrack Ntiamoah Bamfo, 23, are of Ghanaian parentage while the third, Joanne Gabriel, 21, is an African-American.Besides concealing the suspected drugs in the three pairs of snickers they were wearing, Abena and Joanne had stuffed their private parts with four large lump-sized drugs. Joanne alone carried three of the four lump-size drugs in her private parts. Also found on Abena Serwaa was a talisman believed to have been secured to protect them against arrest.For his part, Shadrack also concealed 19 pellets of the suspected drugs in his underwear. They were arrested while going through departure formalities to travel to New York. The three suspects had arrived in Ghana on September 2, this year, on the sponsorship of someone identified only as Alhaji Saibu. The suspects were allegedly sent to Ghana by the boyfriend of Abena Serwaa, whom they identified as Abubakari Issaka, who is based in Bronx, New York.Interestingly, Abu, as the suspects called him, is also the former boyfriend of Joanne. Confirming the arrests to the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, the acting Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board, Mr Yaw Akrasi-Sarpong, said Abena and his boyfriend, Abu had earlier visited Ghana in May this year. He said information gathered by NARCOB indicated that Abena and Shadrack knew they were coming to Ghana for the drugs.Joanne, he said, was, however, convinced by Alhaji Saibu and one Black Sunday while in Ghana to carry the drugs along. Mr Akrasi-Sarpong said efforts were underway to apprehend Alhaji Saibu and Black Sunday. He explained that Alhaji Saibu and Black Sunday met the suspects on arrival, booked a hotel for them and also provided them with the drugs.
Source:Daily Graphic

"Galamsey" operators at Kenyasi to be licensed

An office of the Minerals Commission is to be opened at Kenyasi to allow illegal miners (Galamsey) to register and obtain licenses to regularize their activities. The commission has an office at Bibiani in the Western Region that gives licenses to small scale miners.Mr. Nelson Ahedor, Senior Mining Engineer of the Minerals Commission, said the commission would provide technical assistance on mining to the licensed "galamsey" operators. He was addressing the chiefs and people of Kenyasi and Nkaseim, mining communities in the district, at separate forums on Tuesday. The forums, organised by the Brong-Ahafo Regional Security Council (REGSEC), was aimed at negotiating with the operators in finding ways to bring their activities under control.Mr. Ahedor said the government recognized the important role small scale mining played in the growth of the economy and it was against this background that the commission had demarcated 44 mining concessions across the country for its operators.He said since galamsey was illegal its operators worked sometimes during the night to outwit security agencies and this often resulted in some of them getting trapped in pits and loss of lives.He appealed to the operators to go through the procedures and obtain licenses so that they would operate in an atmosphere of peace. Mr. Eric Opoku, the Brong-Ahafo deputy Regional Minister, said the government had no intention to clamp down on "galamsey" operators but was worried about the dangers associated with their activities. He said the rate at which galamsey was gaining prominence in the Asutifi District since the advent of Newmont Ghana Gold in the area was alarming and there was the need to educate operators to obtain licenses to regularize their activities.Mr. Opoku said unemployment and poverty were the major contributory factors that led the youth to go into galamsey in mining communities. He assured the people that the government had initiated some policies such as the youth in agric programme to create job opportunities for the youth.Mr. Haruna Seidu Aboagye, Chairman of Sakamraso Galamsey Committee at Kenyasi, said the committee's membership of 4,000 in 2006 had jumped to 10,000 operators.He said members were not violent and appealed to the government to negotiate with the management of the Ahafo Project of NGGL so they could obtain concessions. At Nkaseim Nana Adjei Danso Ababio, the chief, said because of the poverty level in the area most families depended on galamsey for their survival and any attempt to collapse the industry would bring extra burden to the people. Mr. Kwadwo Bosea Kese, spokesman of the illegal miners, appealed to the district assembly to extend electricity to their operational sites.

Ghana cannot achieve Roll Back Malaria targets

Ghana would be unable to achieve the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) target of reducing the disease morbidity and mortality by 50 per cent in 2010. Mr Emmanuel Fiagbey, Country Director of the Voices for Malaria Free Future, Ghana, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) made this known at Apam, in the Gomoa West District of the Central Region on Thursday.He said although the country had made some progress to reach the target, malaria still accounted for 19 per cent of deaths of all ages with 22 per cent of the mortality rate among children under five. Ghana adopted the World Health Organisation's RBM strategy in 2000, and was expected to have reduced malaria deaths to at least 7.5 per cent in all ages and 11 per cent in children under five. Mr Fiagbey said this at a forum organised by the NGO for stakeholders in the fight against malaria.According to the RBM Country Needs Assessment report in 2008, Ghana's malaria morbidity ratio stood at 120 per 1,000 cases for all ages instead of meeting the target of 86 per 1,000. Malaria was also responsible for 35 per cent of morbidity in children under five, which fell short of the RBM target of 23 per cent. Mr Fiagbey noted that the country had however made some significant progress in the management of severe malaria, preventive treatment of expectant mothers and the use of insecticide treated nets by pregnant women and children under five.He therefore called for more government and public commitment for the adoption of interventions that would help to scale up the country's progress in meeting the RBM goals. He indicated that the heavy rains experienced in the Sub-Saharan Region this year, would likely increase malaria cases, adding that, this calls on all African government to commit more resources to fight the pandemic instead of solely relying on the Global Fund. Mr Fiagbey appealed to government to consider allocating a percentage of the country's oil revenue to interventions that would help reduce malaria cases.He also urged the district assemblies to ensure that they commit the mandatory 0.5 per cent of their share of the District Assemblies' Common Fund to fight the disease. Mr Theophilus Aidoo-Mensah, District Chief Executive, expressed worry about malaria deaths and its impact on the national economy and entreated all stakeholders to do more to eliminate the disease. He noted that malaria accounted for more than 40 per cent of all Out Patient Department cases in the district hospital and appealed to opinion leaders at Apam to facilitate the fight against the pandemic.

Wereko-Brobby's counsel protests against procedure

The Counsel for Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana @50 secretariat, Mr Akoto Ampaw, Wednesday told the Commission of Inquiry probing the activities of the secretariat that the procedure by which a witness gave his evidence-in-chief did not follow laid-down rules.He, therefore, appealed to the commission to ensure that the right thing was done.He said the commission gave witnesses the opportunity to rehash their evidence-in-chief after they had made their submission and had been cross-examined by counsel present.Mr Ampaw said the commission did that when it got to its turn to cross-examine the witnesses, a situation he said made him worried about the deliberations at the commission's sitting Wednesday.But the Chairman of the commission, Mr Justice Isaac Douse, quickly rebutted, saying that the probe was not a courtroom and that they had to play some advocacy role for witnesses who had some difficulty.The case in reference by Mr Ampaw was that of the Manager of Dorotpress Engineering Ser-vices, Mr Theophilus Pesseh, a witness, who submitted memoranda to the commission on an outstanding balance of ¢62.4 million in respect of work he had done for the secretariat.Mr Justice Douse said the memoranda submitted by Mr Pesseh was not clear because the language could not be read and understood so he was given an opportunity by the commission to submit his case in a local language of his choice.Mr Pesseh said he was .given an initial payment of ¢10 million by Dr Wereko- Brobby at the AU village while the remaining ¢62.4 million was not paid.He said Dr Wereko-Brobbey, through a contractor, called Arikamah and gave him contract to undertake plumbing works at the village.Mr Pesseh said he completed plumbing work on 13 houses at the village but Dr Wereko-Brobbey personally paid him only ¢10 million, which he took out of a polythene bag when he visited the site.He said Dr Wereko-Brobbey often visited the project site personally with polythene bag containing money to pay workers.Mr Pesseh said the workers including masons and carpenters normally formed long queues to receive their money on daily basis from Dr Wereko-Brobbey at the village. The witness was cross-examined by Mr Ampaw.On whether he had any document to show that he had entered into a contract with his client to render services to the secretariat, Mr Pesseh said he had no document to that effect but stated that orally he had a contractual agreement with Dr Wereko-Brobbey and that it was based on that that he (Dr Wereko-Brobbey) paid him ¢10 million.Mr Ampaw maintained that his client had no business with Mr Pesseh because he did not contract him to undertake any work for the secretariat.He, therefore, directed Mr Pesseh to contact the said Mr Ankamah for his outstanding balance.A member of the commission, Madam Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, told the witness that he had a serious difficulty because he did not have any document to prove the fact that he was contracted by the Ghana @ 50 Secretariat to work for the secretariat.She, therefore, asked Mr Pesseh to provide the commission with names and contact addresses of witnesses, if he had, to enable them to ascertain the truth of his assertions.Mr Justice Douse told Mr Pesseh that if he could not provide witnesses to corroborate his claim then he had to contact Mr Ankamah who sublet that work to him for his balance.The Chief Executive Officer of Starship Ventures, Mr Felix Quartey, said he had obtained judgement in his favour against the Ghana @50 Secretariat to pay him his outstanding balance with interest totalling GH¢120,159.27.He said the outstanding balance was GH¢72,538, which the secretariat defaulted in paying, a situation which compelled him to seek relief at the court of law.The Manager of Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, Mr Kwaku Manu-Asiamah, told the commission that the Ghana @ 50 Secretariat owed two companies, Novotec and Adhro, that undertook the work at the park.He said Novotec provided air conditioners which were fixed at the memorial park but had not been paid his ¢ 150,300,000 while Adhro had an outstanding balance of ¢721,934,275 to be paid.
Source:Daily Graphic

West Africa flooding affects 600,000

Torrential rains and flooding since June have affected 600,000 people in Ghana and 15 other West African nations, the United Nations has reported.The worst hit have been Burkina Faso, Senegal, Ghana and Niger, said Yvon Edoumou, a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, in the Senegalese capital, Dakar. So far, 159 people have died, he said. Sierra Leone has also been hard hit, according to the UN.The UN has not yet received reports of waterborne diseases, but a real threat exists of diarrhea or, worse, cholera.The UN World Food Programme said on September 8 that it has begun distributing food to tens of thousands of homeless flood victims.WFP has set a goal of feeding 177,500 people, mainly in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, where 150,000 people have been affected and key infrastructure - including a central hospital, schools, bridges and roads - has been damaged.

Forestry Commission gets new Board

Alhaji Collins Dauda, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, on Wednesday inaugurated an 11-member Board of the Forestry Commission and tasked it to preserve the nation's natural resources by dealing urgently with the activities of illegal timber operators.Alhaji Dauda congratulated the new Board members and said they were being ushered into office at a time when the forestry sector was facing serious challenges pertaining to the sustainable management of forest and wildlife resources.Members of the Board, chaired by Mr Yaw Boamah, a businessman, swore the oaths of allegiance and secrecy. Other members are Mr Attah Nantogmah Alhassan, Osahene Kwakui Aterkyi II, a representative National House of Chiefs, Mr Owusu Amankrah, a representative of timber trade and industry, Mr Gerald Boakye, a representative of the wildlife trade and industry and Dr. Kwame Asamoa Adam, a representative Ghana Institute of Foresters. The rest are Mr Ofori Frimpong, a representative, NGOs involved in forestry and wildlife management, Dr Wordworth Odame Larbie, a representative Lands Commission, and Dr (Mrs) Cecilia Amoah, Mr Siisi Crentsil, and Mr Samuel Kwasi Appiah, all Government Appointees. Alhaji Dauda said current records indicated that the existing forests estimated to be about 1.6 million hectares, would be gone within the next 23 years, if adequate measures were not put in place to stem the high deforestation rate of 65,000 hectares per annum. The Minister attributed the alarming situation to the upsurge of illegal forestry activities, particularly chainsaw operations, wild fires and encroachments in the forest reserves and, in some instances, wildlife protected areas as a result of illegal farming activities. Alhaji Dauda said the situation called for serious efforts to conserve the little that was left and embark on vigorous re-afforestation through large-scale plantation development to restore what had been lost.He charged the Board to, as a matter of urgency, tackle the unrelenting siege mounted on forest reserves by illegal operators. They should do this by involving the local fringe communities in protecting the resource and encouraging them to preserve commercial timber trees in off-reserve areas and also protect wildlife resources in these areas. Alhaji Dauda said dwindling forest resources had affected the finances of the Forestry Commission, particularly internally generated funds that in the past accounted for more than 60 per cent of the Commission's financial requirements. He added that the wildlife sub-sector had a lot of potential for eco-tourism development to generate revenue and foreign exchange for development and poverty reduction. The Minister also mentioned the issue of climate change and global warming, which had negative impacts on forest conservation, and urged the Forestry Commission to explore avenues for appropriate benefit sharing schemes for all stakeholders. Mr Yaw Boamah, Chairman of the Board, said it would ensure that the challenges facing the sector were given urgent attention and tackled with much expertise to save the depleting forest reserves and other natural resources from further exploitation and distraction.
Source: GNA

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Government to give up stake in GCB

Rumors are rife in media circles about government’s intended decision to sell off a significant portion of its stake in the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB), to raise badly needed revenue and to offer the bank full autonomy to run its operations.Government is expected to at least reduce its share holding from the current 2..% to aA Financial Intelligence source close to government relate that the issue has been topical within cabinet, and has come up for discussion at the Economic Advisory Council level.Even though the Finance Minister tells the FI there is no such intention, with Professor Kofi Afful, a member of the Economic Advisory Council denying any knowledge of this intent in an interview, evidence keeps mounting in support of the intended sale.Unusual price appreciations in the share price of the nation’s largest commercial bank on the Ghana Stock Exchange has raised eye brows that some insiders may be privy to some privileged information.From an all-year low of GH¢ 0.48, the price of GCB led a pack of recoveries in the past two weeks hitting GH¢ 0.82 before receding to GH¢ 0.81 at the close of trade last Friday. The stock has also been one of the most actively traded.There is also a corresponding attempt by government to clean up the debt sheet of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), and this is expected to be a move to free GCB’s loan portfolio of huge TOR debts to prepare the grounds for the intended offloading.As to the sale strategy, it has been speculated that government will trade off its stake in bits, in order not to violate the stipulation for the regulator’s approval before such trades in excess of 10% of total holdings are executed.It has also been said that government might off-load its stake to a strategic partner, a move that would require the bank to call for an extraordinary General Meeting before it is carried through.Should the intended offloading occur, many believe the bank could now be more profitable.Even though the bank is tauted as the country’s most widely networked bank with over 152 branches and agencies dotted all over the country, it has not returned much to its owners.Some industry experts however claim lending to government and governmental institutions has been one of the most secured investments for the bank since risk of default is low.Speculations are also rife that the unknown strategic investor could be using proxies in the current buy offs of GCB shares on the bourse.If this happens, the regulator could still find a lee way of reversing the trades if there is evidence of circumvention of any of the trading regulations.
Source:Financial Intelligence

Land Survey Holds 2009 Annual Seminar

The land surveying Division of the Ghana Institute of surveyors has held this year’s annual seminar in Accra. The 2009 Seminar was under the theme “Using geospatial technology to promote peaceful and sound environmental management”. The seminar witnessed 500 professional surveyors across the country.
Speaking at the 2009 annual seminar, president of the Ghana Institute of Surveyors called on surveyors to have a meticulous knowledge of algebra, basic calculations of geometry and trigonometry. K.H. Osei-Asante said “It is very important for us to know the law that deals with surveys, property and contracts”.
He finally told them to also be smart in using delicate instruments with accuracy and exactitude.
The Chairman of the Land Surveying Division said surveyors are required to direct, regulate and standardize the practice of all the various special aspects of the land surveying profession. Edwin Adoo-Tawiah said his outfit intends examining the best practices in terms of government policies, technology, institutional and financial approaches and their ultimate effect on the advancement of the country and improve the quality life of citizens.
At the seminar 13 technical papers were presented for discussion. Some issues accessed included the current Spatial Data Infrastructure initiatives, Geographical Information System (GIS) among others.
Source: Ghanaianreactoronline/Michael Amedor Ghana now available on your TV Screens

Without any fanfares, bells or whistles, Ghana, the newest television station in Ghana quietly hit the airwaves with a sneak preview of the programming viewers can expect to see during the final test transmissions.

Says Mr Akwasi Agyeman, CEO: “We had to check the quality of the programming lined-up for broadcast and in the process those viewers who are already tuned to Ghana, got a sneak preview of some of our programmes that we have been running.”

Viewers who still are not tuned to Ghana, here are the quick and easy steps to follow.

Tuning in to Ghana – quick and easy

Test transmissions for the free-to-air commercial channel Ghana is now available on your television sets.
How to tune in to Ghana – 4 easy steps

.Select the channel on your remote where you would like Ghana to be

.Press Menu and go to “Set-up”

.Select “Manual Search” on the UHF band and scan

.Keep scanning till you reach frequency 687.25 MHZ. Ghana is Channel 48.

This however does not mean the channel number for Ghana displayed on your screen must be 48. It could be different.

The management of Ghana would also like to appeal to viewers to bear with us if there are any breaks in transmission during the test transmission period. This is to enable our technical team to resolve any minor adjustments that still need to be done to ensure a perfect picture when we officially go on air on 1 October 2009.
Source: Brooke Nuwati/GMA

Bundestag elections: press centre for foreign journalists

The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany has the honour to inform the distinguished media houses in Ghana that for the 17th German Bundestag elections the Press and Information Office of the Federal Government will set up a press centre for foreign correspondents.

In this way, the Press and Information Office aims to support the foreign journalists who will travel to Germany specifically to report on the Bundestag elections and who have no other workspace in Berlin.

The press centre will offer work stations (with wireless internet, telephone, fax and a limited number of PCs), a television broadcast of the results on the evening of the election and shuttle service to the German Bundestag and the different party headquarters.

The press centre, located in the press and visitors centre at the Press and Information Office, will open at 1.00 p.m. on 27 September 2009.

On Monday, 28 September 2009 leading opinion pollsters will present their analysis of the election results at the Press and Information Office. Foreign correspondents are also welcome to attend this event. Further details will follow.

Correspondents will need to obtain a separate accreditation to access the press centre on election night and to attend the election analysis event on 28 September (with the following exception: access to the election analysis event is also possible for those who have a standing accreditation from the Press and Information Office); please note the included information regarding registration.
Media registration information

Registering for access to the press centre at the Press and Information Office of the Federal Government for the German Bundestag elections on 27 September 2009 and the election analysis event on 28 September 2009
.Where to register: Press and Information Office of the Federal Government, Berlin or Bonn accreditation office

.Deadline: Registration with the Press and Information Office’s accreditation office must be completed by Monday, 21 September 2009 at 4.00 p.m.; please submit the attached form when registering.

.Badges will be distributed beginning at 1.00 p.m. on 27 September 2009 at the Press and Information Office of the Federal Government, located at Reichstagufer 14, 10117 Berlin. Please note that it will not be possible to pick up badges on Saturday, 26 September 2009.

.To receive a badge, you must present a valid passport or identification card and the original editor’s letter of confirmation that were submitted with the registration.

. This accreditation is valid only for accessing the press centre on 27-28 September at the Press and Information Office, located at Reichstagufer 14, 10117 Berlin.

.The accreditation ceases to be valid at the end of the day on 28 September 2009.

Source : German Embassy /Ghana Ghana available on Sky TV Ghana, the latest free-to-air television channel, with very exciting and scintillating programming has entered into a broadcasting agreement with Sky television network, a pay-television provider in Ghana.

This agreement adds Ghana to the Sky TV bouquet. This means that viewers outside Accra with a Sky TV set-up box will be able to enjoy Ghana in the comfort of their homes.

CEO Akwasi Agyeman says “we are very happy to be involved in this venture with Sky TV. Ghana stands for quality and true entertainment. We believe Sky TV channel is a good partner who also does not compromise on quality. Together with Sky TV, we hope to reach every home in Ghana with all the stimulating programmes on the Ghana menu”.

“We’ve had a lot of complains ever since etv was taken off our bouquet. This new development with Ghana will be of great joy to our numerous viewers across Ghana. They have been spoilt with’s quality programming and cannot accept anything less” says Mr. Wilson Arthur, CEO of Sky Digital TV.
Source: Brooke Nuwati/Global Media Alliance

Exopa busted with Cocaine @KIA

Mr Ibrahim Sima, Chief Executive Officer of Exopa Model Agency in Accra, was arrested on Monday evening just before he boarded a Lufthansa Airline at the Kotoka International Airport, for attempting to carry five kilogrammes of cocaine onto the plane.Security officials who briefed journalists, said based on suspicion during random checks on passengers, Mr Sima was invited for a urine test by security operatives but could not produce any urine.The security operatives said Mr Sima's luggage was ordered to be off-loaded and a check revealed that it contained four tubers of yam that had been sliced and re-fixed making them look as a whole.They said when the tubers were detached, holes were found in each of them containing substances which proved to be cocaine following a field test. When interrogated, Mr Sima said one Salifu at Nima gave them to him to be given to someone.The security officials are investigating the case.

Paga Crocodile Pond In Danger

Paga is a very small town with its own market North of Navrongo right on the Ghana/Burkina Faso border. It is noted for its sacred pond, which is a sanctuary for crocodiles.The crocodiles are said to be totems for the people of Kassena who reside in Paga and the surrounding communities. It is believed that each native of Paga has a corresponding crocodile representing each person's soul.To this day there are plenty of crocodiles in the Paga pond and crocodile meat is forbidden. At the Paga pond you can see people collecting water or doing their wash very close to crocodiles. Local tradition THE SUN was told by a caretaker has it that, there have been actual instances when deaths of important personalities in the community coincided with that of some crocodiles.The reptiles are normally enticed out of the pond by the whistling of the caretaker and the brandishing of a fowl, which the crocodiles quickly snatch with their snouts. If you are courageous, you can sit on, or hold the beast's tail for a good camera pose.The caretaker charges a fee for the fowl and basic interpretation. On the more commercial side of things the crocodiles have brought a sort of road-side tourist attraction to Paga. The caretakers of the Paga crocodile pond have said that if the place is not distilled it may ruin the existence of the tourist attraction.Speaking to THE SUN in an interview one of the guards MR. Salifu Awewozem said that the existence of the pond is because of the torrential rains experienced for the past three years. One of the crocodiles which he said is ninety years old and many other of it type needs special feeding to keep them alive. Mr. Awewozem said the only source of feeding the crocodiles is when visitors buy fowls to attract them which he noted is not enough. He therefore appealed to government, friends of animals and other organizations to assist keep and sustain the existence of the crocodile pond.
Source:THE SUN


Yersterday, September 8th was International Literacy Day. The Day was set aside by the UN to sensitize the world generally about the problems and challenges posed by illiteracy to personal growth; community development; national progress and global advancement.

The platform has been used every year to roll out the debilitating effects of illiteracy and its ramifications to development into the public domain Through this the public is informed about the dangerous effect of illiteracy which is subtly eating deep into the social, economic and political fibre of our society.

Illiteracy is not a respecter of persons, communities and nations. Its striking effects could be seen wherever it shows its ugly head. It is the main cause for ignorance, poverty, disease, squalor and underdevelopment. Nations that bear the brunt of illiteracy have often shown visible signs of underdevelopment. It has been established that literacy has undeniably very strong links with development. Nations with high levels of literacy are found in the top echelons of development.


Literacy is the diagnosis for addressing the problems and challenges created by illiteracy. There is certainly an invisible power in literacy that can overturn the gloomy picture created by illiteracy. It has the power to turn ignorant persons into knowledgeable people; poverty stricken families into economically sound ones and dependable economies into independent ones. The theme for the 2009-2010 biennium of the United Nations Literacy Decade is “Literacy and Empowerment”.

This year’s International Literacy Day therefore puts the spot light on the empowering role of literacy and its importance for participation, citizenship and social development.


Flowing from the above, the theme for this year’s International Literacy Day Celebration in Ghana is “Functional Literacy-Key to National Participation, Good Citizenship and Social Development” There is no doubt that the three core areas of this year’s theme are heavily dependent on functional literacy. Functional literacy is an indispensable means for ensuring sound human development which is the main tool for expressing good citizenship, national participation and social development.


The Week long celebration is being commemorated with clean-up exercises at the national, regional, district and community levels. In Accra, the clean-up exercise was undertaken at the Maamobi Polyclinic. Special Christian and Moslem Thanks Giving Services were also held to thank the Almighty God for His support for literacy work as part of the celebration. Learners from adult literacy classes, staff of the NFED and other stakeholders will participate in the exercise. There will also be radio and TV discussion programmes on the significance of the day.


It is widely accepted that literacy skills are basic necessities for informed decision- making and personal empowerment. It is an undeniable fact that the National Functional Literacy Programme (NFLP) being implemented by the Non-Formal Education Division of the Ministry of Education has contributed immensely towards ensuring good citizenship, national participation and socio-economic development.

It has provided graduates with the essential life, civic and occupational skills which are prerequisites for participation in national development programmes. Its civic awareness component has prepared learners to actively and effectively take part in governance programmes at the community levels and accept the views of others as necessary ingredients for deepening democracy and community participation.

The infusion of income generating projects as part of the overall literacy delivery of the NFLP has given thousands of adult learners the impetus for their economic liberation and that of their families. In addition, learners have also contributed towards the direct socio-economic development of their communities through the empowerment received from the discussion of the pictures in the primer. Some have led their communities to provide market sheds, wells, schools and other social facilities to improve the living conditions of their people.

The NFLP has also churned out literacy graduates into the mainstream formal educational sector and have through that opened wider opportunities for climbing to further heights in life. Some of the learners have also taken-up responsible roles in their communities such as Traditional Birth Attendants, Pastors, Deacons, Assemblymen and Women, Catechists, Businessmen and Unit Committees members.

As we celebrate International Literacy Day today, September 8th, 2009, we extend warm felicitations to all who have contributed towards the success of the NFLP, especially, facilitators, supervisors, district, regional and national staff as well as collaborating agencies, community based organizations, donors and other adult literacy providers.

We want to take the opportunity to call on all stakeholders of literacy not to relent on their oars but to continue to strive to ensure the reduction of illiteracy to single digits in the not too distant future. To achieve this vision, we want to urge each literate person to teach one adult learner.


GH¢5million Used On tea cups

Common Fund Administrator testifies at Ghana@50 Commission of Inquiry Accra, Sept. 8, GNA - Mr Joshua Magnus Nicol, Administrator of the Common fund on Tuesday said the "huge deductions" that District Assemblies claimed were deducted from their Common Fund allocations was on the instructions of the office of the President.Testifying at the Ghana@50 Commission of Inquiry, Mr Nicol said:"My Lord, I was only acting upon instructions from the Minister of Local Government, who received a letter from the Office of the President stating that the cost of the Ghana@50 plastic cups supplied to the Assemblies should be deducted from their Common Fund allocations".Coordinating Directors of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, who appeared before the Commission, complained of huge deductions made from their respective Common Funds in respect of the anniversary souvenirs.While some of the Assemblies claimed the deductions did not correspond to the quantity of items received, others said although they did not receive such souvenirs, deductions were made from their Common Funds.The allegations by the Assemblies compelled the Commission to subpoena the Administrator of the Common Fund to appear before it to offer explanations.Mr Nicol said his outfit received a letter from the Office of the President instructing him to deduct GH¢5,160,000 from the Assemblies' Common Funds in respect of 5.4 million anniversary plastic drinking cups with a unit price of GHp97.The cups were to be distributed to school children in the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDs) in lieu of the Jubilee celebration.He said acting on the directive, he wrote to the Ghana Education Service (GES) to make available the number of beneficiaries in each district after, which deductions were made in respect of the number of children per the unit cost of the cups.Mr Nicol told the Commission that payment was to be spread in four quarters and that after the deduction from the third quarter, his outfit, received complaints from the various Assemblies about the deduction.He said, the Assemblies were therefore asked to submit letters stating their grievances adding "But as I speak now My Lord, none of the Assemblies have done so. It is only Gonja West, which submitted a letter indicating that they had not received any cups".When the Commission's counsel asked Mr Nicol whether he sought the consent of the MMD's before the deductions were made, he said that he assumed the former Chief of Staff, Mr Kwadwo Mpiani had discussed the issue with them since the directive came from the Office of the President."My Lord, it was not my duty to do so. I was only acting on the directive from the Minister of Local Government," he said. When asked about what he intended to do with Assemblies that had not received the cups but saw deductions made to their Common Funds, Nicol said when confirmed that the Ghana@50 Secretariat did not supply the cups, government would give them (Common Fund Secretariat) the authorization to refund the monies.Mr Willie Odoi, Managing Director of F.Malawi Engineering Company Limited, said the company supplied to the Ghana@50 Secretariat the public address system that was used at the Independence Square on the day of the celebration.He said the company received part payment of GH¢44,137.45 from the Secretariat on February 4, 2007 leaving an outstanding balance of GH¢44,137.45.Sivnesh Kumar, General Manager of Interplast Limited, who also appeared, told the Commission that the Ghana@50 Secretariat owed it 49,687 dollars for windows it supplied for the 60 presidential houses built by the African Union Development Consortium Limited (AUDCL) projects at Ridge and the La AU village at Cantonment.The company was, however, asked to demand such claims from the AUDCL and not the Ghana@50 Secretariat since AUDCL contracted them to supply the windows.