Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ghana Audit Service wins best performance audit report in Africa

Mr Edward Dua Agyeman, Auditor-General of Ghana Audit Service on Tuesday presented an award won by the service for submitting the best performance audit report in Africa. The report that won the award was the "Management of Police Residential Accommodation in Ghana".Presenting the award to staff in Accra, Mr Agyeman said "I collected it on behalf of the performance audit department, it reflects the great credit of the department and in particular the team that worked on the report".Performance audit is an audit of economy, efficiency and effectiveness on how public institutions use resources given to them by Parliament.Mr Agyeman received the inaugural award at the 6th Governing Board meeting of AFROSAI E in Lusaka, Zambia on April 21, this year. The Swedish National Audit Office organised the competition among 23 members to promote development of performance audit in the AFROSAI E region.The award was externally assessed by experienced performance auditors from Norway, United Kingdom and the Netherlands by beating off fierce competition particularly from Supreme Audit Institutions of South Africa and Botswana. AFROSAI E is a regional organisation of English-Speaking African Supreme Audit Institutions with 23 members including Ghana Audit Service.It was to promote sharing of experiences and best practice in the performance audit to highlight efforts made by performance auditors in the region.The Audit Service Act 2000, 584 gives the service powers to undertake performance audits. The review team considered that the report would be valuable to parliamentarians and decision makers.The report recommended that the police administration should implement its proposal to use police acquired lands as equity to obtain private financing to develop commercial and residential facilities and accommodation for police personnel.It recommended that Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies should be contacted to assist in providing the accommodation needs of police personnel in their areas to enhance police presence and security.
Source:GNA

Swine Flu: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Outbreak

Concern that the world could be on the brink of the first influenza pandemic in more than 40 years escalated Sunday as France, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Spain reported potential new cases in which people had been infected with swine flu and Canada confirmed several new cases. In the U.S., where 20 such infections have been confirmed, federal health officials declared a public-health emergency and are preparing to distribute to state and local agenciesa quarter of the country's 50 million-dose stockpile of antiviral drugs. Meanwhile, in hard-hit Mexico, where more than 80 people have died from what is believed to be swine flu, the government closed all public schools and canceled hundreds of public events in Mexico City.Though the World Health Organization (WHO) is referring to the situation as a "public-health emergency of international concern," the apparent emergence in several countries of an entirely new strain of H1N1 flu virus has led some scientists to believe that it is only a matter of time before the WHO declares pandemic status, a move that could prompt travel bans to infected countries. "We are clearly seeing wide spread," says Michael Osterholm, a pandemic risk expert who runs the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. "There is no question."Health officials in Washington were quick to point out Sunday that none of the 20 cases identified in the U.S. so far has been fatal; all but one of the victims has recovered without needing to be hospitalized. Officials also noted that only one American has been infected so far who had not recently traveled to Mexico - a woman in Kansas got sick after her husband returned from a business trip in that country, where he became ill - but that could change as more intensive disease surveillance begins. "As we continue to look for more cases, I expect we're going to find them," said acting Centers for Disease Control (CDC) director Richard Besser.In the U.S., where cases have also been found in California, Texas, and New York City, the declaration of a public-health emergency is part of what federal officials termed an "aggressive response" to the outbreaks. In addition to releasing from the national stockpile some 12.5 million doses of the antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza - which scientists say has so far been effective against the H1N1 swine flu virus - the Department of Homeland Security will begin "passive surveillance" to screen people entering the U.S. Any traveler coming from a country with a confirmed human swine flu infection will be questioned, checked for symptoms and potentially isolated if they are found ill. Though the CDC has issued public warnings about the more serious outbreak in Mexico, there are no recommendations from Washington against traveling to the neighboring country.That is in contrast to the more extreme actions of some other governments, including Hong Kong, where officials on Sunday urged residents to avoid going to Mexico. Hong Kong officials also ordered the immediate detention in a hospital of anyone who arrives with a fever above 100.4 F, respiratory symptoms and a history of traveling over the past seven days to a city with a confirmed case of swine flu infection.But Washington officials Sunday did their best not to overstate the situation and emphasized that their response wasn't out of the ordinary. "I wish we could call it declaration of emergency preparedness, because that's really what it is in this context," said Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. "We're preparing in an environment where we really don't know ultimately what the size or seriousness of this outbreak is going to be." Right now health officials around the world are trying to take precautions without inciting panic. Here are just a few of the questions facing them - and ultimately, us as well:1. Is this a flu pandemic?The influenza virus is constantly mutating. That's why we can't get full immunity to the flu, the way we can to diseases like chicken pox, because there are multiple strains of the flu virus and they change from year to year. However, even though the virus makes us sick, our immune systems can usually muster enough of a response so that the flu is rarely fatal for healthy people.But every once in awhile, the virus shifts its genetic structure so much that our immune systems offer no protection whatsoever. (This usually happens when a flu virus found in animals - like the avian flu still circulating in Asia - swaps genes with other viruses in a process called reassortment, and jumps to human beings.) A flu pandemic occurs when a new flu virus emerges for which humans have little or no immunity and then spreads easily from person to person around the world. In the 20th century we had two mild flu pandemics, in 1968 and 1957, and the severe "Spanish flu" pandemic of 1918, which killed an estimated 40 to 50 million people worldwide.The WHO has the responsibility of declaring when a new flu pandemic is underway, and to simplify the process, the U.N. body has established six pandemic phases. Thanks to H5N1 avian flu, which has killed 257 people since 2003 but doesn't spread very well from one human to another, we're currently at phase 3. If the WHO upgraded that status to phase 4, which is marked by a new virus that begins to pass easily enough from person to person that we can detect community-sized outbreaks, such a move would effectively mean that we've got a pandemic on our hands.The H1N1 swine flu virus has already been identified as a new virus, with genes from human and avian flus as well as the swine variety. And since it is apparently causing large-scale outbreaks in Mexico, along with separate confirmed cases in the U.S. and Canada and suspected cases in other countries, it would seem that we've already met the criteria for phase 4. But though an emergency committee met on April 25 to evaluate the situation, the WHO hasn't made the pandemic declaration yet. Keiji Fukuda, the WHO's interim assistant director-general for health, security and environment, said on Sunday that its experts "would like a little bit more information and a little bit more time to consider this." The committee is set to meet again by April 28 at the latest.As health officials have repeatedly emphasized, with good reason, the swine flu situation is evolving rapidly, and more lab tests are needed to ascertain exactly what is going on in Mexico and elsewhere. "We want to make sure we're on solid ground," said Fukuda, a highly respected former CDC official and flu expert.2. What will happen if this outbreak gets classified as a pandemic?Moving the world to pandemic phase 4 would be the signal for serious containment actions to be taken on the national and international level. Given that these actions would have major implications for the global economy, not to mention the effects of the public fear that would ensue, there is concern that the WHO may be considering politics along with science. "What the WHO did makes no sense," says Osterholm. "In a potential pandemic, you need to have the WHO be beyond question, and (April 25) was not a good day for them."Of course, declaring a pandemic isn't a decision that should be taken lightly. For the WHO, phase 4 might trigger an attempt to keep the virus from spreading by instituting strict quarantines and blanketing infected areas with antivirals. But we appear to have missed the opportunity to contain the disease at its source since the virus is already crossing borders with ease. "We cannot stop this at the border," said Anne Schuchat, the CDC's interim director for science and public health. "We don't think that we can quench this in Mexico if it's in many communities now." That would leave the WHO and individual countries to fall back on damage control, using antivirals and old-fashioned infection control - like closing schools, limiting public gatherings and even restricting travel - to slow the spread of the virus. But such efforts would likely inflict serious damage on an already faltering global economy - and the truth is, we don't know how well those methods will work.3. Why have the U.S. cases been so much milder than the ones in Mexico?This is the question that has health officials from Geneva to Washington puzzled. In Mexico, swine flu has caused severe respiratory disease in a number of patients - and even more worryingly, has killed the sort of young and healthy people who can normally shrug off the flu. (Fueling such concerns is the fact that similar age groups died in unusually high numbers during the 1918 pandemic.) Yet the cases in the U.S. have all been mild and likely wouldn't have even garnered much attention if doctors hadn't begun actively looking for swine flu in recent days. "What we're seeing in this country so far is not anywhere near the severity of what we're hearing about in Mexico," said the CDC's Besser. "We need to understand that."Some of the difference may be due to the fact that Mexico has apparently been grappling with swine flu for weeks longer than the U.S. As doctors across the U.S. begin checking patients with respiratory symptoms for swine flu, CDC officials expect to see more severe cases in the U.S. as well - and as better epidemiological work is done in Mexico, we'll probably hear about more mild cases there too. Right now, however, the true severity of the H1N1 swine flu virus is still an open question, whose answer could change over time. The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic began with a fairly mild wave of infections in the spring, but the virus returned a few months later in a far more virulent form. That could happen with the current swine flu as well. "It's quite possible for this virus to evolve," said Fukuda. "When viruses evolve, clearly they can become more dangerous to people."4. How ready is the U.S. - and the world - to respond to a flu pandemic?In some ways, the world is better prepared for a flu pandemic today than it has ever been. Thanks to concerns over H5N1 avian flu, the WHO, the U.S. and countries around the world have stockpiled millions of doses of antivirals that can help fight swine flu as well as other strains of influenza. The U.S. has a detailed pandemic preparation plan that was drafted under former President George W. Bush. Many other countries have similar plans. SARS and bird flu have given international health officials useful practice runs for dealing with a real pandemic. We can identify new viruses faster than ever before, and we have life-saving technologies - like artificial respirators and antivirals - that weren't available back in 1918. "I believe that the world is much, much better prepared than we have ever been for dealing with this kind of situation," said Fukuda.At the same time, the very nature of globalization puts us at greater risk. International air travel means that infections can spread very quickly. And while the WHO can prepare a new swine flu vaccine strain in fairly short order, we still use a laborious, decades-old process to manufacture vaccines, meaning it would take months before the pharmaceutical industry could produce its full capacity of doses - and even then, there wouldn't be enough for everyone on the planet. The U.S. could be particularly vulnerable; only one plant, in Stillwater, Penn., makes flu vaccine in America. In a pandemic, that could produce some ugly political debates. "Do you really think the E.U. is going to release pandemic vaccine to the U.S. when its own people need it?" asks Osterholm. Indeed, the greatest risk from a pandemic might not turn out to be from the swine flu virus itself - especially if it ends up being relatively mild - but what Osterholm calls "collateral damage" if governments respond to the emergency by instituting border controls and disrupting world trade. Not only would the global recession worsen - a 2008 World Bank report estimated that a severe pandemic could reduce the world's GDP by 4.8% - but we depend on international trade now for countless necessities, from generic medicines to surgical gloves. The just-in-time production systems embraced by companies like Wal-Mart - where inventories are kept as low as possible to cut waste and boost profit - mean that we don't have stockpiles of most things. Supply chains for food, medicines and even the coal that generates half our electricity are easily disruptable, with potentially catastrophic results. Though we'll likely hear calls to close the border with Mexico, Osterholm points out that a key component used in artificial respirators comes from Mexico. "We are more vulnerable to a pandemic now than at any other time over the past 100 years," he says. "We can't depend on ourselves."5. So how scared should we be?That depends on whom you ask. Officials at the CDC and the WHO have emphasized that while the swine flu situation is serious, they're responding with an abundance of precautions. Even Osterholm, who has been highly critical of the U.S. government's long-term failures to better prepare for a pandemic, gives the CDC a 9 out of 10 for its response so far. Outside of Mexico, the swine flu hasn't looked too serious yet - unlike during the SARS outbreaks of 2003, when an entirely new virus with no obvious treatment took the world by surprise. In the U.S., the normal flu season is winding down, which should make it easier for public-health officials to pick out swine flu cases from run-of-the-mill respiratory disease. And there are simple things that people can do to protect themselves, like practicing better hygiene (wash hands frequently and cover mouth and nose when sneezing) and staying away from public places or traveling if they feel sick. "There's a role for everyone to play when an outbreak is ongoing," said Besser.But the truth is that every outbreak is unpredictable, and there's a lot we don't know yet about the new swine flu. There hasn't been a flu pandemic for more than a generation, and there hasn't been a truly virulent pandemic since long before the arrival of mass air transit. We're in terra incognito here. Panic would be counterproductive - especially if it results in knee-jerk reactions like closing international borders, which would only complicate the public-health response. But neither should we downplay our very real vulnerabilities. As Napolitano put it: "This will be a marathon, not a sprint." Be prepared. Source: Time

Swine flu has not been detected in Ghana

The Ministries of Health and Food and Agriculture on Tuesday assured Ghanaians that the outbreak of swine flu in some part of the world that has attracted international attention has not been detected in Ghana.The two ministries reassured the public that adequate measures were being taken to mitigate any effects of the swine flu on the country's population.A statement signed by Dr George Sipa-Adjah Yankey, Minister of Health and Dr Alfred Tia, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, said in view of the seriousness of the swine flu threat, the World Health Organisation had raised the alert level to four asking all countries to instigate mitigating measures to protect their population.The ministries stated that upon the advice by the Food and Drugs Board and the Veterinary Services Division immediate restriction has been placed on the importation of pork and pork products into the country."The consumption of pork in the country has no danger attached to it. However, the two ministries advice that pork and pork products should be well cooked before consumption," the statement said. It said the Ministry of Health had enough stock of medicines for managing influenza, including swine flu, and advised that anyone with symptoms of flu including high temperature, cough, severe sore throat, body aches and chills to report to the nearest health facility for appropriate management.The statement said the Ghana Veterinary Services had intensified its surveillance and monitoring activities throughout the country and would immediately update the public should any case of swine flu be detected.The Ghana Immigration Service authorities are also maintaining vigilance at the ports of entry and all arriving passengers with signs of flu will be quarantined and provided the needed treatment. The two ministries said the government will continue to update the population on this emerging global health challenge.
Source: GNA

Monday, April 27, 2009

Total Ghana supports malaria campaign

As part of activities marking this year's World Malaria Day celebration, Total Petroleum Ghana Limited on Saturday organised a children's party across the country to create awareness on the need to prevent the disease.Mr Jonas Ayi, Executive Director, Human Resource and Communication noted that Total was organising series of educational campaign through out the country on the dangers of malaria. He noted that the company was spending over GHC 20,000 on the campaign aside other external support adding, "this is in view of the fact that one child dies every 30 seconds of the disease".Mr Ayi noted; "Total Worldwide is focusing its 2009 fight against malaria on children who were the most vulnerable group". He added that, in line with its campaign, a special educative game had been developed to enhance awareness on malaria prevention.Mr Ayi said Total Ghana would also undertake public education campaign in some selected schools and deprived areas. "Total is committed to human centred activities and we will continue to undertake such social responsibilities as a contribution to the growth and development of the society", he added.

GNA

May Day declared statutory public holiday

May 1, which is the traditional workers' day (May Day), is a statutory public holiday and should be observed as such throughout the country. This was contained in a statement signed in Accra on Monday by the Minister of the Interior, Mr Cletus Avoka.
Source:GNA

Rawlings and others honoured

Former President Jerry John Rawlings of Ghana and other four former African Heads of State were honoured by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II on sunday for their contribution towards the deepening of democratic governance on the Continent.The others were Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria; Ahmed Tejan Kabbah of Sierra Leone and Festus Mogae of Botswana.They received beautifully designed kente clothes and citations.Former Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Maria Aznar, who was also present, was honoured by the Asantehene for his love and support for Africa. He also received a kente cloth and a citation.

Source:GHP/Ghanaweb

Arthur K Blames NPP Defeat On Extravagance

Dr. Arthur Kennedy, former Director of Communication of Nana Addo's campaign team, has attributed the New Patriotic Party (NPP) defeat in the 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections to the splashing of money by the presidential aspirants at rallies during the primaries.In addition, he said the abuse of the processes in the most recent parliamentary primaries demoralized the people and resulted in the down all of the party.In an interview with The Mail he debunked the rumor that the high number of aspirants who contested, caused the NPP to lose the 2008 general election.Dr. Kennedy said, "The party obviously has mechanisms to restrict the number of parliamentary candidates but the mechanisms were abused by constituency, regional and national executives before the elections."He revealed that there is a committee investigating why the New Patriotic Party lost the elections.The NPP called for proposals from party members to review the party's constitution as part of its self-assessment programme following its defeat in the 2008 elections. The deadline for the proposals is over and 66 documents are up for consideration.According to Arthur Kennedy, the submission of the proposals is consistent with Article 19 of the party's constitution which mandates persons who wish to seek reviews in its laws to file their convictions, at least, two months to the party's national congress.Some of the proposals that he said were sent to the party executives include limiting the number of people who end up at congress as contestants.When asked about his view on the proposal, he said "I don't think it is a bad idea to make a proposal to restrict the number of people who can contest for the presidential candidacy of the NPP. It rather has to do with how it is implemented in an impartial manner".Dr. Kennedy said he was of the same opinion with some members of the Party who proposed that the number of the presidential aspirants should be reduced to five. He however thinks it should be done in good faith and with a clear conscience.He said some of the aspirants tried to work out alliances but were constrained by time.He said in order to restrict persons who want to contest as presidential aspirants, there must be criteria that will take into consideration experience, geographical balance, democratic growth and "standard" of persons.Expressing optimism, Dr. Kennedy said it is possible for the NPP to come back to power after the first four-year term of the NDC but cautioned that it is not automatic. "It is very likely for the party to come to power in the next 4years only if the members do not sit down absentmindedly waiting for the next election before they will act", he said.
Source:Daily Guide

GJA to commemorate World Press Freedom Day

The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) will commemorate this year's World Press Freedom Day on May 3 with a number of activities.A statement issued in Accra on Monday by Mr Bright Blewu, General Secretary of the GJA, said the celebration would begin with a symposium and flag-raising ceremony at the Ghana International Press Centre on Monday, May 4 at 0930 hours.The topic for the symposium is the same as the global theme for the celebration, which is, "Media, Dialogue and Mutual Understanding". The statement said speakers would include the Minister of Information Mrs Zita Okaikoi, the President of the GJA, the Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana and the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association.The rest are the President of the Institute of Public Relations, Ghana, and the Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa.The message of the UN Secretary General and the Director General of UNESCO for the Day would be presented at the symposium, which will be chaired by Mr Paul Adu-Gyamfi, Chairman of the National Media Commission.The event is being sponsored by Accra Brewery Limited and supported by Voltic Mineral Water.The statement said on May 6, there would be a dialogue in Accra under the theme, "Transforming GBC into a true Public Service Broadcaster - Challenges and the Way Forward". It would be organized in collaboration with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) and KAB Governance Consult, as part of an initiative by the GJA to promote quality public service broadcasting. The statement said Mr Berifi Apenteng, Broadcasting Consultant, will make the lead presentation, while Mr George Sarpong, Executive Secretary of the National Media Commission and Mr William Ampem-Darko, Director General of GBC, would be the lead discussants. Participants will be drawn from statutory bodies, the media, academia and civil society.The statement said the dialogue was a follow-up by the GJA to collaborative efforts in the last quarter of 2007 and early 2008 to improve Public Service Broadcasting. It said recommendations from the forum would be presented to the National Media Commission, Ministry of Information and the Vice President, Mr John Dramani Mahama.The statement said there would be another dialogue on May 7 with Ms Anna Bossman, Acting Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) on the topic "Towards Better Human Rights and Administrative Justice in Ghana". It is being organized by the GJA in collaboration with FES.It said World Press Freedom Day among other things provided an opportunity to affirm the importance of freedom of expression and press freedom - a fundamental human right enshrined in the Ghanaian Constitution and in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.It said GJA considered the theme for World Press Freedom Day celebration a good reminder to the Ghanaian media to intensify their efforts to promote unity and national cohesion and to help instil in Ghanaians the spirit of dialogue, tolerance, civility and mutual understanding in the body politic and social discourse.
Source:GNA

Saturday, April 25, 2009

NCA TO REGULATE TELECOM MASTS .

State telecom regulators will embark on a nationwide exercise to rid the country off indiscriminate erection of mast.

The regulators indicated that the exercise will begin with the licensing of separate private companies to set up telecom infrastructure mainly for co-location.

This was disclosed by the Director of Regulation and Administration at the National Communication Authority (NCA), Joshua Peprah during the meeting of stakeholders in the telecommunication industry in Accra.

The meeting was organized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) purposely at finding appropriate solution to the erection of telecom mast and its accompanied health hazards on the general public.

“It is important to critically address public perception on telecom mast and its environmental problems” said the regulator.

It has been difficult now for individual operators to share existing infrastructures due to the inappropriate installations of the mast some years ago.

Mr.Preprah further stressed the need for the public to understand that without the telecom masts, the service operators cannot provide the quality service expected of them. “The fear of the dangers of non-ionizing radiation from telecom masts to people’s health was not real, saying that scientific research had proved that non-ionizing radiations had the least effect on human health and did not pose any more danger than other emissions”.

Outlining some records on masts reactions, he said by the end of the first quarter of this year, there were about 3,000 telecom masts across the country, comprising 1,652 for MTN, 699 for TIGO, 378 for Vodafone, 250 for Zain and 112 for Kasapa.






Friday, April 24, 2009

OKYENHENE CONGRATULATES OTUMFUO.

Okyenhene Osagyefuo Amotia Ofori Panin has sent a delegation of chiefs and individuals to Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to congratulate him on the occasion of his 10th anniversary on the Golden Stool.Members of the delegation included Osabarima Kyeretwie Boakye Danquah, Abontendomhene of Akyem Abuakwa, Dr Jones Ofori Atta, Mr Fred Guggisburg Asante Ofori Atta, Mr Fred Ohene Kena and Osabarima Agyare Tenadu II, Kadehene.The rest are Osabarima Kofi Boateng III, Akwatiahene and Barima Obenakwa Kwarifa, Apedwahene. An issued press statement stated that, the congratulatory message which was on behalf of the Okyeman Council and the chiefs and people of Akyem Abuakwa was contained in a letter addressed to the Otumfuo. It said over the last decade, the Asantehene's leadership had manifested itself in various ways for which the people of Ashanti could only be proud of.It said the Okyenhene was emphatic in his belief that the duty of the leaders of the land was to be of such characters as Otumfuo had shown. It said the Okyenhene expressed gratitude to the Almighty for the decade of the Asantehene's reign. It said the delegation presented a variety of foodstuff, assorted drinks, liqueurs, cattle and sheep to support the celebrations
source;GNA

GOVERNMENT PROVIDES CUBAN MISSION WITH RESIDENCE.

The Government yersterday handed over a one-storey residence to the Cuban Mission in fulfilment of a reciprocal agreement on accommodation between Ghana and the Cuban government. Ghana and Cuba signed the agreement in 1982, with the aim of guaranteeing the provision of essential working conditions for staff of the diplomatic missions in both countries.Under the agreement Ghana was expected to provide residence to the Cuban mission in Accra and the Cuban government would reciprocate the gesture by providing residence for the Ghana Mission in Havana, Cuba. Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who handed over the keys of the building to the Cuban Ambassador, Dr Miguel Perez, at a ceremony in Accra, said the fulfilment of Ghana's obligation in the agreement would further strengthen the ties between the two countries. He said Ghana and Cuba continued to enjoy good economic relations and lauded the Cuban government's support to the country's health care delivery."Ghana government treasures our relations with you especially the role Cuban doctors have played in the country's healthcare system," he said.The minister stated that the President John Evans Atta Mills-led administration was committed to the people centred policy stated in the National Democratic Congress manifesto and pledged that it would shape the foreign policy to bring tangible benefits to the individual Ghanaian.He thanked the Cuban Ambassador for the good work done in furtherance of the economic ties between the two countries and expressed the hope that it would be further strengthened. Dr Perez thanked government and the entire citizenry for demonstration of political will to honour Ghana's part of the agreement.
Source:GNA

Thursday, April 23, 2009

BAN ON CHEAP TEXTILES SOON-MINISTER OF TRADE

PRESS STATEMENT FROM THE MINISTRY OF TRADE & INDUSTRY

It has been brought to our attention that in the interaction held on Friday the 17th of April with the various media houses on 100 days of President Atta Mills’s administration the Minister is alleged to have said that there would be a "ban on the importation of cheap textiles" soon.
We would like to thank the media for the interest shown in the event and the subsequent publicity given to the comments. However we would also like to point out that no statement was made to the effect that there would be a ban on the importation of cheap textiles, and therefore would appreciate it if the statement is corrected.
We think it would be useful however if the issues raised were restated so that in the minds of the public there could be a little more clarity on the matter at hand.
The point made was that the Ghanaian textile-manufacturing sector was in decline and that it did not need to be in that situation. It was also noted that this did not have to be the case if we as a country had the political will to enforce our laws.
The problem as stated by the textile companies in meetings that they have held with Officials of the Ministry of Trade & Industry is that imported "cheap textiles" that are both cheap in price and quality are having a detrimental effect on the Ghanaian textile industry.
Frequently, these textiles are illegally smuggled into the country and evade the payment of customs duties and other levies. Further the evidence available shows that frequently designs developed by local textile firms are copied in these "cheap" knock-off products and in some cases the logo and/or the name of one or the other local textile manufacturing firms is also printed on the edges of the textile fabric.
This means that the designs of our local textile firms are being, as it were "stolen". The other issue is that the reputation of these Ghanaian brands that have been built up by the local textile companies after investing considerably in the advertising and promotion of their products are also being used to sell other counterfeit products and the sales proceeds are not going to the owners of the brands.
The Ministry has had consultations with the textile companies and together we will first work to create public awareness on the extent of the challenge that we face. We have undertaken to draw attention to the impact on the Ghanaian textile sector in terms of infringement of trademarks and copyrights, and its impact on Government in terms of the loss of revenue due to evasion of import duties and other levies.
After discussions with the textile companies and other stakeholders, we have identified some measures to help deal with the problem. Namely, re-routing all textile imports through one port, as was done previously; taking steps to check smuggling through our borders and/or unauthorized routes; and conducting random point of sale inspections on textile products sold on the market.
We would welcome other suggestions from the public on effective ways of dealing with the problems. While we appreciate criticisms in order that we can re-examine our intended actions and refine them, we would be much more appreciative of suggestions that can provide solutions to the issues raised.
We in the Ministry believe that the Ghanaian textile companies concerns are legitimate and need to be addressed. We think it important to give opportunities to Ghanaian cotton farmers, create more opportunities for Ghanaian textile manufacturers and designers to create beautiful Ghanaian products and protect Ghanaian jobs. The Ministry of Trade & Industry will continue to think through these challenges and do its best to promote Ghanaian businesses like the local textile industries who continue to demonstrate that in spite of the challenges that they face, they are still able to produce products that are excellently made in Ghana.



Hon. Hanna Tetteh
Minister of Trade & Industry.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

CHECK COUNTERFIT TRADES IN THE COUNTRY-CHARLES COFIE.

Unilever Ghana has called on actors of the regulatory agencies including the Ghana Standards Board to work hard to put to book persons and organizations that trade in counterfeit product. This cripples the activities of genuine producers, erodes the confidence of consumers in a particular products. The Chief Executive Officer of Unilever Ghana,Mr. Charles Cofie disclosed this at Facts behind the Figures series organised by the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra ."These illegal acts such as allowing of fake goods, including food products,clothing and medicine onto the Ghanaian market showed a sign of irresponsible and poor investor motivation and at the long round collapse the economic gains of the country.Commenting on the performance of this outfit he said Unilever revenue for 2008 grew by 19.1 per cent to GH¢165.6 million up from 139.0 million in 2007 while operating margin was 17.2 percent up from 13.1 percent. "Even though the country was faced up with problems such as power crisis we move beyond boundaries to perform".The major challenge had been crude palm oil, the main raw material, whose cost went up in the world market by over 70 per cent from $800 to $1,340.Commenting on the way forward Mr. Cofie said it was going to be a challenging year, especially in the face of the global economic downturn and the risk and threat from unfair competition and was sure that Unilever would rise above the challenge through appropriate internal operations to ensure profitability. The Facts behind the Figures series as organised by the Stock Exchange is aimed at allow companies listed on the bourse to explain their performance to investing public and the press.

BE PRO-ACTIVE -MINISTER OF TRANSPORT

The Minister for Transport, Mr Mike Hammah has urged the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority (GPHA) and other stakeholders in the maritime sector to be proactive towards the achievement of the gateway project. Mr Hammah said the success of the project as well as Ghana's attainment of middle income status by the year 2020 depends on a very vibrant maritime sector, noting that 90 percent of trade worldwide was sea bound. He made the call on Tuesday, when he paid a working visit to the Tema port to acquaint himself with the port's operations and challenges. The Minister stated that the gateway project was a strategic programme drawn by government to attract a mass of investors into the country to create more jobs for the people. Mr Hammah indicated that stakeholders must complement each other's role to enable the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) improve from six percent to between eight and 10 percent. He advised the GPHA to proactively develop its infrastructure especially at the Takoradi port to be well equipped to efficiently compete with other ports in the sub region. He noted that the Takoradi port does not have the requisite infrastructure such as dedicated berths for supply vessels to support activities associated with the oil find at Cape Three Point, which is near the port.Mr Nestor Galley, Acting Director-General of GPHA in a brief presentation on the ports' activities said a strategic plan has been drawn to transform GPHA into a land port authority. Mr Galley said plans were underway to expand the infrastructure and efficiency at the port for Ghana to become the maritime hub of West Africa. He announced that the GPHA declared a provident of $3,000,000.00 for 2007 yet to be paid to government as dividend, explaining that payment has delayed because the GPHA has not held its annual general meeting for year. The dividend for 2008 has not been audited yet, although Mr Galley says, "it looks very good". In an open forum, workers of the GPHA appealed to the Ministry of Transport not to divert the 25 percent of stevedoring work of the GPHA to private firms, as private companies currently control 75 percent of stevedoring activities at the port. They also called on the government to urgently inaugurate GPHA's Board of Directors as the delay has negatively affected its operations.
Source:GNA

Monday, April 20, 2009

OTUMFUO EDUCATION FUND TO BE RE-LAUNCHED THIS WEEKEND.

The Otumfuo Education Foundation will officially re-launched the Otumfuo Education Fund this saturday 25th April 2009 in Kumasi.The fund which was inaugurated on 13th November,1999 has made education possible to several less privileged Ghanaians across the country.Some achievements of the fund includes provision of dual desks to basic schools in Ghana at a cost of GHC 5,200 and distributed in Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Region. 2714 students both first and second cycle institution including tertiary benefited form an amount of GHC148,622.26 as paid school fees and an amount of GHC90,769 was made available to institutions to help improve their infrastructure.Speaking to Journalists at a press soiree in Accra Mr.Eric Adjei who spoke on behalf of the Chairman of the foundation Nana Fredua Agyeman Pambuo said, the mission of the fund was to stop the decline in the standard of education by supplementing the efforts of the central government in "the provision of quality education for all" especially the people of Asanteman. "It is our duty to provide quality education to the youth of this country". He further stated that the foundation's objectives was to give financial aid or material assistance to the bright but needy students in the country,supply of school equipment,educational materials or teaching aids,provision and rehabilitating of school buildings and other facilities. Others Include giving of incentive packages for teachers and other educational workers who provide outstanding service,provision of any other assistance consistent with objective of the fund and investment in projects that promote education in Asanteman among others. Outlining some future prospects of the fund,he said, depending on the availability of funds to the Otumfuo education fund they would like to build a library complex in honour of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II the founder of the foundation and library stuffed with books for basic and senior level and a good ICT center.We would also like to establish a technical vocation institute to train basic school drop-outs ,also move from individual scholarships to provision of educational facilities,equipment among others to benefit many people and in line with its major objectives of advancing education in Asanteman in particular and Ghana as a whole,there will be the need to raise more funds to be able to adequately sustain the activities and programmes of the fund. Mr.Adjei finally called on the general public to join in the re launching which will take place in Kumasi with eminent persons such as the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II ,high profiled government officials,traditional rulers in Ghana,students among others.
BY:Michael Amedor

BAWKU CURFEW RENEWED.

The Minister of the Interior has, on the advice of the Upper East and Northern Regional Security Councils renewed the curfew imposed on the Bawku Municipality, Gushegu Township and their environs for another week with effect from April 20.The curfew hours for the Bawku Municipality and Gushegu Township remain unchanged from midnight to 0400 hours each day. A statement signed by the sector Minister, Mr Cletus Avoka commended the chiefs, elders, opinion leaders and the people for sustaining the peace in their respective areas. "Government urges the feuding parties in the conflict to sincerely commit themselves to the peace overtures by government and civil society organisations so as to make the pace very safe and conducive for economic and social activities.The statement reiterated that, the ban on all persons in the Bawku Municipal area, Zabugu, Binduri, Pusiga, Zoasi and Gushegu townships and their environs from carrying arms, ammunitions or any offensive weapon, was still in force and any person found with any arms or ammunition would be arrested and prosecuted.
SOURCE :GNA

Sunday, April 19, 2009

PRESIDENT MILLS TOURS VOLTA REGION.

President John Evans Atta Mills arrived at Ho to a warm welcome to the Volta Regional capital on Friday and declared the region his second home."As I drove through town I waved more than I could bear", he quipped."If today I come to you as President it's because you made it possible" President Mills told a motley crowd of royals, party members and sympathizers, including some former regional stalwarts of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who jumped ship prior to the 2000 elections perhaps seeking to make a comeback. President Mills is on a three-day visit to the region to express his appreciation to the people, but would however limit his activities to the Ho Municipal area.A mild late afternoon sun crawling across from the Eastern sky to the West, cast a golden brightness on the colourful atmosphere of friendliness at the forecourt of the Asogli Palace where the crowd amidst the throbbing of talking drums waited patiently and expectantly for the arrival of President Mills. His arrival at the forecourt suddenly sparked off pushing and shoving as the crowd surged forward to touch him compelling the police at certain points to form a human barrier between the President and his admirers.After the traditional courtesies, the Agbogbomefia Togbe Afede XIV minced no words in telling President Mills why the region contributed to his victory efforts and their expectations of him. "Volta region desired change because we have not fared well" it is therefore the expectation that the "next eight years" would bring landmark changes to the region, the Agbogbomefia said. His uncle and stool father Togbe Akpo put it more bluntly as he poured libation wishing President Mills well and reminding him of the dashed hopes of the region in the first eight years of the NDC rule. Togbe Afede said the expectations of the people of the Volta region not withstanding, President Mills should be leader of the whole of Ghana ruling in justice, fairness and humility.In a brief response President Mills thanked Togbe Afede for his role in the transition process, "I say a big thank you for coming to our aid"."I know that the greatest expectation of the region is your roads and you have Joe Gidisu, in reference to the Minister of Roads and Highways.
Source:GNA

WE WILL MAKE GHANA'S ECONOMY MORE LIQUID.

President John Evans Atta Mills on Tuesday said his Government met the economy in a worse state than it thought but there were enough State's assets, which Government would manage prudently to turn the economy around and make it liquid. He said whether he would subscribe to any foreign prescription or not to salvage the economy would be dictated by the exigencies of the time, but added that, Government was tackling the nation's economy in a holistic manner.President Mills gave the assurance at a press conference, held at the Castle, Osu, in Accra, as part of activities marking the first 100 days of his government, which falls on Friday April 17, 2009. The assessment of his first 100 days was in line with promises contained in the manifesto of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).The NDC promised a leaner government compared to that of the Former New Patriotic Party administration; respect for accountability and probity; cutting off of extravagance and profligacy; review of taxes and tariffs; inauguration of the Board of the National Council for Persons with Disability; tackling of the sanitation problem; composition of Boards and control of armed robbery.President Mills said agriculture remained one of his Government's priorities and it was working to reintroduce the Youth in Agriculture Programme.President Mills gave his administration high marks and said Government had achieved most of the things it set out to do within the period.He said the mandate of the government was not 100 days but four years and the first 100 days were used to lay a solid foundation. He said the austerity measures being put in place would pay dividend beyond 100 days of Government, adding that there was not even one decision that he had taken that, on hindsight, he would want to correct.He said those promises that needed more time to fulfil would be met in due course adding that there were positive signals from the investor and business communities for more job creation.President Mills said the previous administration had foreign reserves and import cover to support the cedi.The President also expressed confidence in his appointees to reach performance targets to execute the better Ghana agenda of Government, but warned that he would not spare the rod on errant appointees and those who failed to deliver.He repeated that he would run an open, honest and transparent government, and that Government's promises to the people were "sacred" and "we should abide by them".On the furore about some nominees for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) President Mills said a lot of consultation took place and he had high regard for the Party's team that went round to select the candidates and warned that those who would fall short of his Government's standard would be fired.On his movement to the Jubilee House, President Mills said that was not his priority. He said there were promises that had to be fulfilled first "before I go and get ensconced in the Jubilee House". On his position to review the Vodafone/Ghana Telecom deal before he came to power, he said a review could take place at any time, even after the re-branding of Ghana Telecom as Vodafone.He said the Government was still gathering information that was not available to them while they were outside government. The President said a national debate would soon be opened to finally determine whether to run the Senior High School (SHS) course for three or four years.The previous government started implementing a four-year SHS programme, rather than a three-year programme.In a reaction to the proposed debate, Mr Samuel Bannerman-Mensah, Director General of the Ghana Education Service, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) said he was impressed with the President's interaction, and called for the debate to come off early to determine how long students, who were at present in the second year of SHS, would be in school.Mr Ransford Tetteh, President of the Ghana Journalists Association, said the interaction was a good exchange for the President to "set the records straight" as far as the presidency was concerned. He praised the frequent interaction with the media promised by President Mills, saying it was good for growing democracy in Ghana.
Source:GNA

MTN ORGANIZES PROPOSAL WRITING WORKSHOP.

About 150 participants on Thursday attended a day's proposal writing workshop organized by MTN Ghana in Koforidua.Mr Appeadu Malcolm, MTN Ghana Foundation Coordinator Corporate Services Division, who was the resource person, told the participants that proposals to be submitted should contain the project title, date of submission, address and contact numbers of the promoters. He said there should also be a clear and concise summary of the project and the basic idea of the project should be expressed; the philosophy or premise underlying the project should also be explained. "General statements specifying the project's desired outcomes should be outlined".Mr Malcolm said the approach or method to be used in the proposed activity should be well described.He said in order to have an all-encompassing and beneficial implementation, projects had be classified into large-$250,000 and above, medium $50,000 to $249,000, small $10,000 to $49,000 and micro less than $10,000.Mr Robert Kuzoe, Senior Manager, MTN Ghana Foundation, urged the participants to put into practice what they had learnt to enhance their proposal writing.He announced that the MTN group would be celebrating this year's "21 Days of Y'ello care" which, is aimed at encouraging MTN staff to volunteer their services in supporting community upliftment activities in June.Mr Kuzoe said last year's event was used to embark on school painting activities and a health walk in three zones across the country.
Source:GNA

Friday, April 17, 2009

RAWLINGS DEBUNKS COUP ALLEGATION.

Former President Rawlings has described as laughable, suggestions that he plans to topple President Atta Mills in a coup d’├ętat because he was unhappy with the latter’s approach to governance.In a statement issued in Accra on Thursday and signed by Mr. Kofi Adams, Special Aide, the former President said such suggestions could only come from opportunists within the ruling National Democratic Congress and frustrated New Patriotic Party followers who believe vilifying Rawlings will serve their parochial interests.“President Mills served as my Vice-President and after my tenure I endorsed his candidature culminating in his eventual election this year. Ghana’s democracy has evolved significantly since 1992 and such comments are only ploys by certain opportunists within the NDC and a frustrated NPP who believe vilifying Rawlings will serve their parochial interests. Have these people not learnt their lessons, have they not had enough of me, have they not maligned me enough and achieved nothing?”The former president commended President Mills for the positive manner he conveyed his government’s aspirations at a media encounter on Tuesday to mark the first 100 days of his administration. The statement said Ghanaians needed a manifestation from the presidency that it was in control of affairs and had a grasp of the issues and President Mills did not disappoint. “The President exhibited an excellent grasp of the issues, gave positive assurances and rightfully positioned his government’s achievements in the last hundred days and that is very commendable,” Ex-President Rawlings said.The statement said former president Rawlings was particularly happy with the assurances by President Mills that he would not tolerate reports of corruption from any of his appointees and expressed satisfaction that Municipal and District Chief Executives had been particularly singled out. Said Rawlings, “Corruption at all levels of society is dangerous but when it is allowed to fester within the grassroots then we have lost the ideals for which we sought political power to lead and direct this country and Professor Mills has my total support in his quest to instill discipline and accountability within his government.”Rawlings however cautioned President Mills not to rest on his oars as there is still a lot to be done and also a lot of problems within his current structure that need to be resolved with some sense of urgency. “It is good to tout achievements such as the appointment of more women and young people into political and leadership positions as per the NDC’s manifesto promise, the quest to bring justice to the victims of the Northern conflict which led to the death of the Ya Na and Issa Molbilla’s case, but we should not overlook power play for instance within the communication’s structure of government which is now becoming a cause of concern.”The former president said contrary to the perceptions by a section of the media that he has been impatient with Professor Mills, all he has done has been to “echo the concerns and frustrations of the ordinary folk who voted us into power.” “They are justified to be impatient because they had to endure eight years of insensitive leadership that institutionalized corruption, nepotism and arrogance and they dread being told that the government they voted into power has similar attributes.“It is evident that the country is totally broke because the previous government milked the coffers dry and wanted to continue living like kings afterwards. Professor Mills has now made it clear that he took over a country that is broke and he should not hesitate to expose the rot that he has met. “The President’s approach to governance does not necessarily have to be like mine and when I criticize him I do so recognizing that. What is paramount is the need to set the records straight so Ghanaians do not judge the NDC wrongly in the future,” former President Rawlings said.Former President Rawlings called on President Mills and his government to put in place effective mechanisms to stem the economic downturn the country faces currently. He said aside the global economic recession, members of the previous government had repatriated significant amount of funds under bizarre circumstances and bold steps have to be taken to counter the continuing trend. Former President Rawlings said President Mills’ intentions to correct the wrongs of the recent past may take some time to unravel but stated it was imperative that he has frequent interactions with the people of Ghana through various fora to give a positive assurance that their concerns are being catered for.Rawlings warned all who have illegally accumulated wealth and are attempting to hide behind the umbrella of business to note that they are being watched. He also cautioned members of the new government who have made it their business to front for such people to note that they shall all be exposed sooner than later.
Source:pfm

Thursday, April 16, 2009

$48.9MILLION TO ORGANISE GHANA'S POPULATION CENSUS.

Ghana's population census to be organised next year March has been estimated to the tune of $48.9 million to help provide enough data's on demographic and socio-economic to help the country during planning.
Government Statistician Dr.Grace Bediako disclosed that highly improve technology and window software will be engage during the program to have an excellent result and also about 45,000 statisticians from the Ghana Statistical Service would be used to in the program.

She called on Ghanaians to support the up-coming program to make it a success to help in the development of the country.Population census is done every 10 years .

KASA SELECTS 61 APPLICANTS TO UNDERTAKE PROJECTS INTO NRE.

Kasa, a Non Governmental Organisation based in Accra has selected 61 applicants to undertake projects into Ghana's Natural Resource and Environment sector.The applicants selected was in two parts as announced on the current call for expression of interest (EOI) in both the print and electronic media .The applicants selected comprises, 41 for project grants and 20 for core grants.
According to the Communication Officer of Kasa,Naa Oye Nettey, 136 organizations requested for formats and a total of 102 organisations submitted their completed forms to the Kasa office for screening towards qualification to the next stage of the grant process, with some organizations applying for both core and project grants.The call was for civil society, research and media organizations. "Shortlisted applicants would start receiving notification emails from Friday, April 17 2009 with detailed information regarding requirements for submission of proposals".

She thanked applicants for expressing interest in Kasa and in natural resource and environment sector.
SOURCE:KASA OFFICE,ACCRA

GHANAIANS ADVISED TO USE FIRM'S PROSPECTUS FOR INVESTMENT DECISION.

Mr Francis Nana Baffoe Appiah of the research unit of Liberty Capital Ghana Ltd, an investment advisory company at Tema, has advised young Ghanaian investors to see companies' prospectus as major sources of information for their investment decisions.He said: "the prospectus accompanies every stock/share offering and it is a very important document because for many people it is the first formal introduction to the company they plan to invest in". Speaking to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday, Mr Appiah said the scope of investing for a lot of Ghanaians has now gone beyond vanilla government securities like treasury bills and notes. He said the only downside to this rapid increase in equity investing in Ghana was that the country still had very low trading volumes and activity with most of the movement on the exchange being large block trades of one or two securities from institutional investors.According to him, the prospectus outlines the history of the firm, its main line of business and organizational structure as well as contains important information about the financial performance of the firm in past years.Another consideration when buying shares or stocks, Mr Appiah said was to know the dividend policy of the firm as opposed to ones investment objectives.He said in Ghana, because a lot of people treated equities as buy and hold securities they looked for regular distributions in dividends and an upward movement in prices over the very long term. "In reading a prospectus, future outlook, dividend policy and how the firm plans to use money raised from the share offer are very important."Just like you want to know that money being loaned out to a friend or family member will be used properly so as to ensure full recovery of the debt, it is equally important to know what a firm plans to do with the money you are paying them to purchase their shares and stocks. "Always remember a share gives you part or fractional stake or ownership of the firm and you share in the profits through increased dividends or share price appreciation.Mr Appiah said the lesson to be learnt was that equity investing for the everyday Ghanaian was still new and with all the excitement that came with participating in a share offer, it was very important to remember that fundamentally you were buying part ownership of the firm.
Source:GNA

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

MARY EDETALEN IS THE RIGHT MCE FOR TEMA -TCDA


The Tema Car Dealers Association lead by Mr.Azumah kofi is appealing to President Evans Atta Mills to designate the position of the Tema Municipal Chief Executive to Madam Mary Anel Edetalen to help lift the Tema Municipality to it befitting status. She has really demonstrated to the people of Tema her great competence and endless self devotion which needs to end her the position.
"Edetalen has really help many in the Tema Society especially the needy in society and given help to all,she deserves it ". He further stated that,Edetalen with her rich business experience which has end her a lot and equally use it at the municipal level to help improve the life of the people of Tema and Ghana as a whole. He finally called on the president to take a critical look at their plight and answer to it because its only Edetalen who is fit for the position.
SOURCE:T.G.R.O

774 MILLION ILLITERATE ADULTS IN DEVELOPING WORLD-UNESCO

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) said there were about 774 million illiterate adults in the world with 64 per cent of the figure being women. The report also indicated that majority of the illiterate adults were found in developing countries adding, "Illiteracy seems to be a less priority, compared to issues of access and teaching". Mr Akwasi Addae-Boahene, Country Director, World University Services of Ghana, in a statement to launch the Global Action Week on Education organized by the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition added that literacy was one of the most neglected of the six goals of the "Education for All".The global theme for the celebration is: "Youth and Adult literacy and Lifelong Learning" but Ghana had adopted "Literacy for All, a Challenge to National Development" to drum home the need for Policy makers to pay attention to the sector.He said in Ghana nearly 42 per cent of the population was illiterate. Additionally about 50 per cent of women in Ghana were illiterate compared to 33 per cent of men.However, there are regional disparities across the rural and urban divide: the proportion of the population that is illiterate in Greater Accra is 21 per cent, while Ashanti is 40 per cent. Brong Ahafo, 54 per cent meanwhile the three northern regions has over 76 per cent. Mr. Addae-Boahene noted that the literacy rates at the basic level continued to decrease thus affecting the ability of pupils to perform.The Global Action Week 2009 which will be observed in Ghana from April 20-25 would be used to pressurize government to place literacy policies at the centre of education systems and development and create awareness on the need for families to whip up interest in reading and writing.
Source:GNA

5 KUFUOR MINISTRIES FACE AUDIT.

According to The Heritage newspaper, the office of the auditor general will soon embark on an audit of the ministries of parliamentary affairs, aviation, harbours and railways, public sector reforms and fisheries.

These ministries were among those run by the New Patriotic Party led by President John Agyekum Kufuor but which five were re-aligned or scrapped in line with President John Evans Atta Mills’s pledge to run a lean government.

The audit will include an investigation into the financial accounts of the ministries, their assets, property and files. This is expected to be followed by a submission of the files of the defunct ministries to the public records and archives administration department.

“Obviously, where the Attorney General’s department is needed, they would be called to duty,” a source at the corridors of power hinted.

Investigations revealed that, since the announcement of the re-alignment of the ministries, staff of some of the ministries, especially civil servants in charge of the stores, stated taking inventory of the assets of their ministries at the behest of their immediate bosses, who obviously have received instructions from their directors.

A visit to some of the scrapped ministries revealed empty offices. Whilst the ministry of parliamentary affairs was virtually empty, the other four had some staff who were directing visitors to the ministries, government departments or agencies (MDAs) that they could find ex-staff of the defunct ministries. Our investigation also revealed that most civil servants of the ministries realigned have been posted to other areas under the civil service. This process, however, was not sparred of some errors. For instances, an aquaculture expert that was needed in the ministry of food and agriculture was posted to the ministry of chieftaincy and culture.

Public relations officers who were on secondment at other ministries have been posted back to their mother ministry – the ministry of information. Obviously, many are those who have been trekking to the office of the head of civil service to lobby to be posted to the ministries of their choice. Chief directors and directors have been posted to other MDAs whilst those due for retirement are preparing to go home.

So difficult was it to find most of the directors of the scrapped ministries in office as the Heritage was told that such directors had reported to their new places of work, others had taken their annual leave and were familiarizing themselves with their new posts.

Emmanuel Quaye, the ex-chief director of the ministry of fisheries, told the Heritage that he would be retiring soon since he was due for retirement. He showed these reporters documentary evidence of staff who were at the ministry of fisheries and have been posted to other MDAs.

Information picked by The Heritage also indicated that the three-story building that housed the ministry of parliamentary affairs would most likely be taken over by the Office of Parliament as office space.

The land and the structure that housed the ministries of fisheries would be given to the ministry of foreign affairs who would in turn develop it for its usage. The offices of the ministry of public sector reforms, aviation, harbours and railways would be taken over by other MDAs.

Source:
The Heritage

MPIANI BUYS $70,000 MERCEDES BENZ FOR KUFUOR.

Even before the so-called concerned friends of Kufuor present him with their custom made BMW 7-series ordered from Europe, and even before Asamoah-Boateng completes his so-called fund-raising to buy a car for the ex-President, Kwadwo Mpiani, the ex-Chief of Staff has bought a brand new S-320 Mercedes Benz for him.The Benz was delivered to ex-President Kufuor last Thursday afternoon and though this paper cannot tell how much Mpiani paid for it, and whether he paid in cash or by cheques, our search has revealed that a brand new S-320 cost $70,864.50 in the open market.Obviously, it was in preparation to buy this car that Kufuor got his spokesman to tell the whole world that with the retrieval of the last batch of state vehicles from his house, he no longer has even a single car to use.Ever since he stepped down as ex-President, ordinary Ghanaians have had their ears assailed by various arguments about why the state must full be responsible for his sophisticated taste and life of opulence.Before leaving office, he grabbed a state building and installed in it sophisticated electronic equipments used imported from the US and South Africa with state funds with the belief that NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo will win the election so he can convert this state property into his personal one.When the state decided to retrieve it, Kufuor and his henchmen cried foul, claiming he was being deprived of his office. Then it came to cars. The ex-Presidency left office taking along state vehicles meant for the Presidency, a pure act of thievery. When they were retrieved by the state, he became angry and rejected the two brand new Chryslers given to him by the government.Then only last week, he is reported to have again rejected two S-320 Mercedes Benz cars offered him by the government while getting his spokesperson and apologists to tell the whole world that he no longer has a car to use.Then came news that a group calling itself Concerned Friends of Kufuor have ordered a custom-made BMW 7-series for him from Europe.Another news item fed Ghanaians was that Asamoah Boateng, a former Minister in his government was raising funds to buy the ex-President a new car. Of course, as this paper put out last week, the ex-President is reputed to be filthily rich so his the tears he is shedding alleging he has no cars are nothing but crocodile tears and an attempt to hide his loot.Intelligence source have told this paper that Kufuor has gotten people to front for him and use his own money to buy cars for him. This paper cannot tell whether Mpiani bought the car on his own or with Kufuor’s own money but what is certain is that the purchase of the brand new S-320 Benz for Kufuor was in Mpiani’s name.
Source:National Democrat

Friday, April 10, 2009

HAPPY EASTER FROM THE GHANAIAN REACTOR ONLINE TO OUR CHERISH AUDIENCE.


We at The Ghanaian Reactor Online would like to wish our cherish readers a happy Easter and urge them to use the occassion as a reflection period to meditate on the death of Jesus with brought great salvation to the world .We wish you all well and HAPPY EASTER.


We use this occassion also to inform our readers that,The Ghanaian Reactor Online team will be on break to also observe the easter celebration from today 10th -16th April 2009.Thank you.

EASTER GREETINGS TO GHANAIANS.

We salute President Prof. John Atta-Mills, Government, Church and People of Ghana in the name of the Most High God, Creator of heaven and earth, God, Redeemer and King of Ghana.We bring you glad tidings of joy, and assurance of peace, stability, security and glory for the country. Ghana shall be built as one compact and blessed nation, Star of Africa in the Hand of the Most High God. Satan and the wicked of the world shall no more have dominion over Ghana, the land, nation and people chosen of the Lord God Almighty for His praise and glory in all the earth. Jehovah God is the God, builder, protector, defence and salvation of Beulah His chosen bridal nation.We make this declaration in full assurance of confidence, faith and trust in THE LOVE and POWER of GOD who created the world and bestowed diverse virtues or powers on all creation and “has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their habitation” (Acts 17: 26).It is He the Almighty who in His grace, wisdom and working power directed the various tribes or ethnic groups to come and dwell in this part of the world, long before it was declared as a territory, nation and people called Ghana. No one man, leader, chief, priest, or wise man, no hunter, warrior, leader or any ethnic group has claim, right or other over the territory and people of Ghana. God in His matchless wisdom and power worked it all out.TO HIM THEREFORE BE ALL THE GLORY. From HIM Ghana as nation and people has drawn strength and integrity as tribes in one nation from the beginning. And from Him Ghana will continue to draw salvation, strength and integrity whatever the works of Satan, spirit, men and enemies, whatever the condemnation, curses, damnable acts and the threats of saboteurs, evil workers and wicked.Ghana shall stand, develop, grow, prosper and flourish as a land and people of peace, unity and blessedness in the Hands of the Most High God.THE VISION OF GOD FOR GHANAThe vision of God for Ghana is nation and people Holy unto Himself, married and established in His Kingdom glory on earth and a crown of glory and a royal diadem in the hand of Him the LORD (Is. 62) This vision of God Almighty for Ghana is what the Spirit of the Lord would have His servant convey to the Government, Church and People of Ghana at this year’s Easter. Ghana to-day is the work of the Almighty, not of man, group or power. It is this that Ghana as nation and people should join together to celebrate with praise, joy and thanksgiving.Now, Easter is a time of THE CELEBRATION OF THE LOVE and POWER OF GOD exhibited profusely and without measure in the coming, crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ stand most eloquently for the love and power of God towards humanity. The CROSS like the rainbow is the divine symbol, atonement and reconciliation, the remission of sins and peace on earth and goodwill towards man. The Cross is accepted, acknowledged, honoured and respected unobtrusively by spirits, men and nations as symbol of peace. The blood shed on the Cross is the height of the love and power of God in the deliverance of man from sin, curses, sickness and death and spiritual captivity as a whole. The resurrection on the other hand has put paid to the harassment of man by death, the fear of death, the grave and Satan and the challenges of the weaknesses of fallen man.In CHRIST JESUS IS GOD’S LOVE and POWER, LIFE, LIGHT and LIBERTY, SALVATION and REDEMPTION, VICTORY and GLORY released to fallen man. This is the height of restoration of glory.We declare to President Mills and his Cabinet, Parliament and the Judiciary, the Chiefs and the Fourth Estate, the Church and Civil Society as a whole that EASTER IS AN APPOINTED TIME TO ALL PEOPLES and NATIONS who have come to the knowledge of the True and Living God, His Love and Power, and Blessed way in Christ Jesus to make an open confession and acknowledgement of God, His LOVE and POWER, REDEMPTION and RESTORATION. In worship, praise, thanksgiving and prayer people invite the Goodness and Mercy, Blessedness and Joy, Protection and Providence, Presence and Glory of the Most High unto themselves. Christmas is a celebration of the release of the DIVINE SPIRIT to man and the world. Easter on the other hand is celebration of The LOVE and POWER of God in the Salvation, Redemption and Restoration of glory to man.Thank God, colonial Britain placed the Gold Coast under the wings and secret place of the Almighty in Christ Jesus to the nation. Our fathers, chiefs, elders and people, and also the governments of independent Ghana have to-date accepted and honoured this BLESSED PEACE, JOY, VICTORY and HOPE in CHRIST JESUS.We trust that Government, Church and People will join hands together TO CALL UPON THE ALMIGHTY and COMMIT this time of times of global challenges, to visit His Victory, Blessing, Peace and Security upon the nation so we continue the building of the nation in peace as ONE PEOPLE, ONE NATION under ONE GOD.HAPPY EASTER!!!GOD BLESS GHANA!

Source:Agbozo, Enoch Immanuel A.

MEDIA STATEMENT BY C.F.C IN RESPONSE TO THE RECENT NEGATIVE PROPAGANDA GOING ON IN THE MEDIA AGAINST PRESIDENT J.E.A. MILLS-FULL DETAIL.

The Campaign For Change (CFC) as it’s popularly known, finds it necessary at this point to respond to the numerous negative and misleading campaigns being carried out by certain individuals and groups against the President John E.A Mills and his Government. Particularly, the THREAT OF COUP D’ETAT "advocated" by Honorable Dan Botwe, (Reference: Peacefmonline) former information Minister in the immediate past administration which seeks to indicate among other things that, the late President Limman and President Mills were not chosen by the electorate, but rather imposed on them by Flt. Lt. JJ Rawlings and that he (Rawlings) will soon overthrow the government of President Mills the way the former President Limman was overthrown. This indeed is an insult to the intelligence of Ghanaians.
Perhaps Honorable Dan Botwe and his likes need to be reminded that both former President Limman and President Mills were democratically elected as Presidents through the ballot box, and also that President Mills today stands as a true democratically chosen leader of his party haven won the mandate of its delegates who overwhelmingly elected him twice to lead the party.
Ghana as a nation has come along way and many have made a lot of sacrifices for us to achieve the democracy and stability that we enjoy today. As such, it is incumbent on all of us as citizens of this country, to defend and preserve this hard won freedom, peace and stability. It is therefore for this reason we find it extremely worrying for an Honorable member of parliament to make such irresponsible statement.
It will be recalled that since the year 2000, there has been a systematic and deliberate campaign to destroy the personality of President Mills by describing him as not being his own man and that he will be controlled by former President Rawlings if elected as President. This negative propaganda continued throughout the electioneering campaigns and indeed became much more intensified during the 2008 election with numerous radio and TV adverts including the distribution of so called "Calendars" all aimed at making the point - a vote for Mills is a vote for Rawlings.
However, three months into President Mills’s administration, it is now clear to all that President Mills is his own man and indeed does things in accordance with the constitution which he has sworn to uphold all the times and not in accordance with anybody’s wish, pressure or influence. This is so because, if former President Rawlings has the slightest control over President J.E.A Mills, he wouldn’t have gone public with his disagreement with the ‘style’ of his leadership.
Instead of Honorable Dan Botwe and his NPP apologizing to President Mills for their wrong assumption, they rather choose to misinterpret the reality to suit them without regards to its consequential effect on the stability and security of this nation. Indeed this is an irresponsible and undemocratic behaviour by people calling themselves democrats.
In the light of this development however, we therefore can safely say that this is a calculated attempt aimed at destabilizing the government and therefore make it difficult for Mills’ admistration to succeed so as to make a case for an NPP return to power.
For those who do not understand the style of President Mills’ leadership and therefore thinks he’s "too slow" for their liken and are calling for some heads to roll, let they be reminded that it is a fulfillment of a major policy statement by the President that he will be a President for all Ghanaians and not a section of them, therefore no one shall be made to suffer unduly because of his or her political, tribal or religious affiliation as happen to many others in the past. Hence his (Mills’) decision to allow many former government appointees to remain at post several months into his administration.
President Mills despite the constitutional constraints (on method of appointments) and the limited transitional period particularly in the just ended election is on record to have been the fastest President, by forming a government within three months since 1992.
What confront us as a nation today are the numerous economic challenges both within and without our frontiers which we must collectively strive to overcome as quickly as possible in order to alleviate the suffering, poverty and disease amongst our people, and not those negative and divisive campaigns and propaganda.
We are therefore at this juncture calling on President Mills and his government as a matter of urgency to investigate the following alleged acts of economic sabotage and bring perpetrators (if any) to book.
The alledge massive buying and hoarding of the dollar by certain individuals in order to create shortage, leading to the fall of the cedi
To create an effective monitoring group within the BANK OF GHANA to monitor and regulate the repatriation of foreign currency from the country and also endeavour to check the alleged trading of fake currency through the bank by certain individuals and institutions.
Continue with the investigation into the serial killing of the women which ended soon after the 2000 elections, to unravel the mystery surrounding it, in order to forestall any future occurrence and also expedite action on all outstanding issues relating to drug and corruption.
We will finally like to call on President Mills and his Government not to engage
these dishonest politicians, but rather, use the limited time and resources available to it for the benefit of the people by implementing its pro-poor oriented policies it promised, while we also ask the good people of Ghana to be patient and support government in its efforts aimed at making life better for all.
.ADAM MOHAHAMMED SANUSI
National Secretary
.ABDEL-MANAN ABDEL-RAHMAN
National Coordinator

COMMONWEALTH SECRETARY-GENERAL TO VISIT GHANA AND NIGERIA.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma will be visiting Ghana and Nigeria from 13 to 17 April 2009.The Secretary-General will be in Ghana on 14 April 2009 and in Nigeria on 16-17 April this year.
In the course of his first trip to both countries since he took office one year ago, the Secretary-General will hold meetings with President John Evans Atta Mills of Ghana and President Umaru Yar'Adua of Nigeria.
"Ghana and Nigeria are respected and valued members of the Commonwealth," the Secretary-General said. "At a time of great global, regional and national challenge, it is vital that their voices be heard in the run-up to an important Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Port-of-Spain in November."
"My visit is also an opportunity to ensure that Commonwealth assistance continues to meet the governance and development needs of the people of Ghana, Nigeria and the wider region. We are currently active in education, health, small and medium size business development, debt management, skills development for women and young people, and trade promotion," said Mr Sharma. "We also continue to support the strengthening of the democratic and public institutions that are essential to future growth."
"The exchange of expertise is two-way," he added. "The Commonwealth also greatly values and appreciates the contributions that Ghana and Nigeria continue to make, through providing experts and sharing best practice with fellow Commonwealth members."

SOURCE:COMMONWEALTH OFFICE (LONDON).

INFLATION INCHES UP IN MARCH.

The annual inflation rate continues its upward swing, reaching 20.53 percent in March, up from 20.34 percent a month earlier, the Ghana Statistical Service said on Thursday. Briefing the press on the latest figures, Dr Grace Bediako, Government Statistician, said the easing of the monthly rate of inflation might be an indication of slow pace in the increases. The monthly rate of inflation recorded in March 2009 was 1.95 percent down from February's two percent."Currently, it is pretty hard to predict the rate. We expect it to go down unless something on the international scene brings it up," Dr Bediako said.The rate of inflation has been on the increase for five consecutive months from November 2008 to March 2009, driven primarily by the non-food group, such as hotels, restaurants and cafes. The contributions of the non-food and food groups to the inflation rate in March 2009 were 12.12 per cent and 8.41 percent respectively. In the non-food category, hotels, cafes and restaurants, furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance, health, clothing and footwear, among others contributed more than one percentage point to the annual rate of inflation.Vegetables, including potatoes and other tuber vegetables, fish, bread and cereals contributed highest in the food group. The rate of inflation was higher in the urban than in the rural areas on account of increases in inflationary pressures in the Ashanti and Greater Accra Regions, which are the most populated. The urban inflation stood at 22.83 percent while rural inflation was 20.45 percent.Inflation rates recorded in the regions ranged from 15.29 percent in the Western Region to 25.55 percent in the Northern Region. Five regions recorded inflation rates above the national rate of 20.53 percent. 9 April 09
Source:GNA

GHANAIAN TROOPS IN COTE D' IVOIRE COMMENDED.

The Force Commander of the United Nations Operations in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI), Maj Gen Fernand Marcel Amoussou has praised the Ghanaian troops serving with the United Nations in Cote d’Ivoire for their professionalism and dedication to duty. Maj Gen Amoussou added that he has monitored the activities of the Ghanaian troops since their inception in the mission area in December last year and is convinced beyond all reasonable doubt that they have lived up to expectation.Maj Gen Amousou made these observations when he paid a days working visit to the troops in Bondoukou where the Ghana Battalion is based. He was met on arrival at the Battalion Headquarters by the Commanding Officer of the tenth Ghanaian Battalion, Lt Col Robert Affram. He inspected a Guard of Honour before receiving detailed briefing on the operational, administrative and logistic situation on the Battalion. The Commanding Officer, Lt Col Affram informed the Force Commander that his troops have effectively dominated its area of operational responsibility with robust long range mobile and foot patrols.Lt Col Affram added that the Ghana Battalion continue to provide transport, security and other logistic support to the electoral commission to enable them successfully complete the identification exercise that has been recently embarked upon. This in his opinion will lead to free and fair elections which are expected to be organised later in the year. On humanitarian assistance, Lt Col Affram informed the Force Commander that the level I hospital being operated by the Battalion continue to treat the local populace free of charge. This he added has gone a long way to endear the Ghanaian troops to the Ivorians. He assured that this will continue until total peace is fully restored to Cote d’Ivoire. He also assured the Force Commander that his troops will remain professional and neutral during the electioneering campaign activities.On his part, Maj Gen Amoussou traced the long relations he has had with Officers of the Ghana Armed Forces, mentioning in particular Gen Akafia and Gen Obeng whom he said were Officers of high standing and was therefore not surprised at the professional posture of the Ghanaian troops serving under him. He challenged them to work even harder as the days ahead are going to be more challenging, especially when full electioneering campaign begins.The tenth Ghana Battalion was inserted into the mission area in December 2008 under the Command of Lt Col Robert Affram with Maj Parbey as his deputy. The troops are based in Bondoukou and Bouna. A few are also based in Abidjan where they provide escort duties to both senior military and civil personalities.Also present was the Sector East Commander, Brig Gen Zaffar Iqbal.
Source: Lt (GN) Andy La-Anyane Press Information Officer UNOCI GHANBATT 10
BY:La-Anyane, Andy

Thursday, April 9, 2009

GHANAIANS NOT HAPPY ABOUT THE OUT COME OF G20 SUMMIT.

Some section of the Ghanaian public have expressed worry over the recent meeting of the G20 countries.Their plight was that, the African continent was not considered in various areas especially in the global economic melt down. " We know they are always making plans to favor them,if they as first world countries are sufferring what about Africa". Talking to Allvoices.com they said even though plans have been made to give African some money,that will not go well with them because theses moneys will end up in individual pockets leaving the ordinary African suffering.They therefore called on G20 members to find more better means of distribution of money and saving many lives.

GHANA SHOWS APPRECIATION TO U.S GOVERNMENT.

The Minister of Information, Mrs. Zita Okaikoi on Wednesday commended the American government for its assistance to Ghana in ensuring the rule of law and democracy. She explained that the two countries had a long-term relationship that should be strengthened to enhance development.The Information Minister said this when the American Ambassador, Mr Donald Teitelbaum called on her to introduce himself and congratulate her on the assumption of duty as the Minister for the Ministry. Mrs Okaikoi said government would give a new face to the Ministry and make it more proactive, citing the creation of a website where information about government's activities were placed. The introduction of the E-governance, she said was an area in which the Ministry was so much involved by providing the contents. "We will also turn the Ghanaian media around and give it an international standard to reach greater heights and will ask the US government for assistance when the need arises". She commended the former US President George Bush for voting 17 million dollars under his initiative to fight malaria in Africa. Mr Teitelbuam recounted US's relationship and said US would expect a long-term partnership.He noted that President Barack Obama had pledged to provide financial assistance to developing countries including Ghana. The US Ambassador assured the Minister of US assistance in ensuring democracy and development."Action speaks louder than words and let people judge you by what you do and not what you say," he told the Information Minister.
Source:GNA

PRE -EASTER ROAD SAFETY CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED.

Mr. Kwadwo Nyamekye Marfo, the Brong- Ahafo Regional Minister, has launched the region's pre-Easter road safety education and awareness campaign in Sunyani with a call on the public to help promote road safety during the festivities. "It behoves on us as stakeholders - passengers, drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, herdsmen, cart pushers, transport associations and indeed the general public - to put all hands on deck to promote road safety to stem the carnage on our roads", he said.In a speech read for him the regional minister said statistics showed that road accidents in the region had increased since last year and that the situation in the country was alarming. Mr. Nyamekye Marfo said he found the theme for the campaign, "Road Safety - Everyone's Responsibility" as very appropriate and timely as many people would be travelling to their hometowns for the Easter festivities."Let it be the responsibility of all of us to promote road safety in the country. It is the responsibility of passengers to report a drunken driver who drives recklessly to the appropriate agencies for the appropriate punishment to be meted to him." "Pedestrians should be careful when crossing the roads, drivers should observe road signs and obey them and vehicle owners should periodically maintain their vehicles", he said. Mr. Nyamekye Marfo called on all, particularly motorists, to avoid major accident factors such as drunk driving, speeding, non-maintenance of vehicles, careless overtaking and general impatience during the Easter festivities and beyond. Mr. Daniel Wuaku, the Brong-Ahafo Regional manager of National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), said the Easter season registered a high incidence of road accidents and the campaign was aimed at educating road users to protect their lives and the lives of others. He said the education campaign would be extended to the districts in the region, adding that the NRSC was in constant consultation with all major stakeholders to institute measures to deal with the increasing carnage on the roads.These include the ban on the sale of alcohol at lorry stations, towing of broken down vehicles on highways at the expense of their owners, the establishment of a national drivers' academy and speed limiters on commercial vehicles so they do not speed above 100 kilometres per hour.Deputy Commissioner of Police Seth Charles Oteng, Regional Police Commander, advised drivers to be focused whilst on the road to avoid unnecessary accidents.Assistant Superintendent Paul Wesley Baah, the Regional MTTU boss, urged drivers to rest enough whilst undertaking long journeys since fatigue was also a key factor in accidents. Mr. Atta Boahen, an official of the GPRTU, advised passengers to be patient with drivers and not to do anything to distract the attention of the driver.
Source:GNA