Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ostrich meat is good for pregnant women

Ostrich meat has been found by animal scientist to reduce the incidence of heart attack. This is because the meat is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are good for the heart and essentially for growth and development. The meat tastes better than beef; and can practically be used in any meal.Professor Anna Barnes of the Department of animal Science, School of Agriculture And Consumer Sciences, University of Ghana said ostrich meat is low in cholesterol; has high iron content which is good for especially pregnant women and anaemic patients.“Ostrich meat is a very lean meat, that is low fat and energy, good for weight watchers," she said.The consumption of meat she indicated, is not common in Ghana as many consider it as a preserve of the upper class in society but the Animal science Department is bent on popularising its production by encouraging the raising of Ostriches on commercial scale while educating the public on the benefits to be derived from its consumption.“Originally, the ostrich was raised for its feathers which were used to decorate the garments of aristocrats and its skin, a source of good leather. But, the meat, they didn't pay much attention to," she said.With the incidence of mud cow disease and bird f1u more people are now turning to the unconventional types of meat such as the ostrich."The ostrich is commercially raised in Ghana. At 10 months, the ostrich weighs about 1,000 kilogrammes. Though the production cost of the ostrich is high, the health benefits associated with it far outweighs its cost," she said.Professor Barnes said, the department is promoting the consumption of ostrich meat by offering it for sale to the public."A kilo of the ostrich meat (boneless) is selling at GH¢8.00. It is being sold at some supermarkets at the same weight for over GH¢1 0.000 or more," she said.She said in Ghana, there are farmers who are involved in ostrich farming who are doing well. It is hoped that ostrich farming will catch on with other farmers as an income generation source."Agric researchers are interested in helping farmers to expand the raising of the bird," she said.Professor Barnes encouraged Ghanaians to give ostrich meat a try and they will never regret it.
Source:The Spectator

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Accra to host Spinal Awareness Week 2009.


Chiropractic around the World and its founder Dr. Bryan Cox are proud to announce the 2009 Spinal Awareness Week will take place June 13th- 20th. The aim of Spinal Awareness Week is to provide free chiropractic care to Ghanaians while also educating the Ghanaian public about ways to strengthen their spines.

2008 was the inaugural Spinal Awareness Week, which was the first of its kind in West Africa. People all over Ghana were able to learn more about spinal health and over a thousand people were able to receive chiropractic care from a group of about 7 doctors.

This year’s event promises to be an even larger hit, as 14 doctors are coming from overseas to take part in the week. Included in the week will be the first ever Spinal Awareness Golf Classic, two Straighten Up Ghana youth events, four days of free chiropractic care for the public, as well as a church talk. The week of events has the support of the Ministry of Sports and Youth, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs.

There is no way that everyone here in Ghana can take part in our events. So to reach people who can’t reach our venues, Dr. Bryan Cox will also be using the various media channels to educate Ghanaians how to live a more spine friendly life. This way we can truly raise awareness throughout Ghana on such an important issue. This will take place in the weeks before the Spinal Awareness Week, as well as the week of our events.
Chiropractic around the World is a Ghanaian NGO that is dedicated to spreading spinal health around the world, starting with Ghana. It was founded by Dr. Bryan Cox in 2008 and organizes Spinal Awareness Week and its events

Nine Out of Ten Emails Are Spam

A new study from security firm Symantec says that email spam increased 5.1% from April to May, and now accounts for a record high 90.4% of all email.
Of course, Symantec has an interest in making people afraid of spam, since the company makes money selling anti-virus and anti-spyware software. But it's hard to argue with the proposition that spam is only getting worse.
According to the report, much of the new spam observed in May consisted of messages with little content other than a subject line and a link pointed to a social networking site -- a trick to get people to spread viruses.
Symantec also answered a question I've been wondering about: why am I getting so much strange Cyrillic spam? From the report:
Image spam continued into May with Russian language "ransom-style" spam, reminiscent of traditional ransom messages constructed from letters cut out of newspapers. The content appears to read like a ransom message and is constructed from Russian characters taken from different font styles; however, the subject line itself is unrelated, translating into "how to attract customers." The use of the Russian language character set has become more popular in recent spam runs where the Russian character set is used to hide the English language content, a spamming technique deployed to avoid content folders.
So much for Bill Gates' bold prediction made at the World Economic Forum in January 2004: “Two years from now, spam will be solved.”

NDC Govt will not renege on campaign promises- Mills

President John Evans Atta Mills on Friday stated that his administration would not renege on any of the promises it made during the electioneering campaigns and urged the people to exercise restraint as everything was orderly placed. "Now we have made a change and we shall move forward, whatever promise that we made during our campaigns will be fulfilled in the course of time".President Mills was addressing teeming party supporters who welcomed him from Loho, a village, five kilometres from the Wa Municipality as part of his two-day official visit to the Upper West Region. But for the heavy presence of security personnel, the situation could have been uncontrolable because of the heavy vehicular traffic that compelled the president's convoy to spend more than an hour before he arrived at the Presidential Lodge.The President, who arrived in the Upper West Region on road through the Upper East Region said he wanted to travel by road to identify the needs of the people who were along the routes and to find lasting solutions to those challenges.He called on party supporters to remain loyal and resolute in their ambitions and should not allow themselves to be influenced by political detractors."There are people who think we should take 100 days to solve what they took eight years to destroy which is not possible, but I can assure you that whatever we promised, we shall fulfil in the course of our administration".President Mills also thanked all the supporters for voting massively for him during the general elections and promised to execute all projects that were billed for the development of the region. The President, who was accompanied by Mr. Cletus Avoka, Minister of Interior, Lt General Joe Smith, Minister of Defence, Mr. Rashid Pelpuo, Minister of State at the Presidency, Mr. Benjamin Kunbour, Deputy Minister of Health, Mr. Mahama Ayariga, Presidential Spokesperson, among others, was earlier ushered into the region at Sicili river which serves as a boundary between the Upper East and Upper West Regions. President Mills made whistle stops at Bassisan, Kunchoggu and Tumu all in the Sissala East district of the Upper West Region to interact with teachers and school children who lined up to welcome him into the region.President Mills would on Saturday pay courtesy calls on the Chief Imam of Wa, Maulvi of Ahmadiyya Muslim mission, Tendambas, Christian Council of Ghana and finally round-up his two-day visit by addressing the Chiefs and people of the region at Wa.

West Africa border officials blamed for torpedoing ECOWAS protocol

Participants at a day's forum on the ECOWAS Protocol on the free movement of people and goods have criticized sub regional border officials for harassment and extortions in contravention of the ECOWAS agenda.This and lack of political will by regional leaders, the participants contended, are the burdens that must be off-loaded towards the realization of the intentions of the protocol to achieve rapid economic well-being of the sub-region and its citizens. Participants therefore appealed to the ECOWAS leadership and the various organizations to live up to the task of actualizing ECOWAS trade liberalization.The forum on the theme, "the ECOWAS protocol on the free movement of people" was organized by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) in collaboration with the West Africa Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) to coincide with the 34th ECOWAS Day celebration which fell on May 28.It was to engage key implementers and stakeholders in the protocol at the grassroots levels in conjunction with the media to create awareness towards the building of a local capacity. Mr Emmanuel Impraim, Assistant Commissioner of Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) Aflao conceded that non-adherence to agreed protocol by member states and non-compliance of nationals to approved procedures and smuggling and tax evasions remained obstacles to the implementation of the protocol.He was speaking on the role of the CEPS in implementing the protocol. Mr Impraim stated however stated that Ghana Customs had been consistent with the implementation of the protocol on trade liberalization since its introduction about 20 years ago. That consistency he said were in the areas of printing of Custom documents consistent with ECOWAS requirement, the Ghana Customs Tarrif Book, reduction of duties, harmonization of Custom regimes in line with the World Custom Organization and the Kyoto Convention on the standardization and harmonization of procedures and the free movement of vehicles.Mr Impraim called for a stronger political will for full implementation of all ECOWAS protocols, education of the public on their rights and responsibilities that are needed for a smooth implementation of the protocols.Mr Mathias Homey, Commander in-charge of Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) Aflao, speaking on the Sub-Regional Immigration procedures said despite the protocol on free movement, citizens still required valid travel documents to travel across borders in the sub-region He said the GIS is at war with extortion and harassment and appealed to the public to assist in cleansing the system by promptly reporting any deviant personnel from the Service who extorted money or harassed them for action. Miss Gertrude Adu Yeboh, an executive member of WACSOF urged ECOWAS citizens to get interested in the goal of creating a borderless ECOWAS with enormous economic benefit for all.

Single Spine Salary Structure broadly acceptable- Minister

The Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, Mr Stephen Amoanor Kwao on Friday stated that it is crystal clear that the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) is no longer a debatable issue. He said the emerging consensus was that the policy is broadly acceptable and should be implemented while efforts are made to address concerns and problems.Speaking at a stakeholder consultative workshop held in Accra on Friday on the SSPP, he noted that the spirit of social dialogue exhibited by stakeholders demonstrated the commitment of both government and Organised Labour towards the implementation of the SSPP. "Let me emphasize that to engender success and ownership of the new pay policy, this common commitment should be enduring," he said, adding that, the commitment should enjoin all stakeholders to be placed on the spine without the choice of opting out. The Minister noted that there were a number of unresolved issues relating to job grading, replacement and service clarification and appealed to other unions and associations that had not yet submitted their written submissions so that a thorough appraisal of the concerns raised may be addressed.He said there would be a staged implementation approach towards resolving the concerns and issues raised at the workshop. "It is clear from the deliberations that, as we continue on our journey to implementing the Single Spine, we should open wage negotiations for 2009 to ensure workers do not unduly suffer while mechanisms and processes are put in place to implement the SSPP," he said.He asked the Fair Wages Commission (FWSC) to begin salary negotiations next week Monday for this year, urging stakeholders to take into account the prevailing economic conditions "to ensure that the outcome of the negotiations is consistent with our drive to restore macroeconomic stability."He said that the road map for the SSPP has been developed by the Technical Committee and made available to be discussed dispassionately, taking into account the Vice President's reference to the previous policy formulation and implementation of the VAT in the 1990s. He pledged government's commitment towards implementing a joint sensitization and public awareness education programme to deepen the understanding of stakeholders and the public on the SSPP. He said there was the need to resource the FWSC to deliver on its mandate and promised it would receive the desired and immediate attention of government."While this is being done, let us collectively recognize the central role of the FWSC in this new pay administration arrangement," the Minister told the stakeholders and urged them to relate with the Commission well.

Anti-tobacco law gains support

A report on a survey, to assess the levels of Second Hand Smoke (SHS) in selected places, has indicated that 80 per cent of workers in smoking and non-smoking establishments were in favour of smoke-free laws, citing health as a reason.The report said even though all smoking venues, except one, had ventilation systems, 96 per cent had Particulate Matter of 2.5 level, which fell into hazardous category of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Air Quality Index.According to Mr Winfred Agbenyikey, who conducted the research, the ventilation system cannot protect people from SHS exposure. He said the study was conducted to measure the extent of pollution caused by SHS exposure to workers and patrons in selected indoor public places.Presenting a Paper at a day's seminar on the theme: "Ban on Smoking in Public Places," for senior staff of the EPA in Accra on Thursday, he said bar owners interviewed claimed customers' preference and concerns over loss of revenue as their reason for allowing smoking in their establishments.He, however, noted that owners of non-smoking locations, which had gone smoke-free voluntarily, six months before the study, reported a hike in attendance and increased revenue after the ban.Mr Agbenyikey noted that even though there had been no studies in Ghana to indicate that a smoke-free environment in public places, led to reduced patronage and hence a decrease in revenue for owners, studies in the USA and Ireland had proved that this was totally untrue. Mr Benjamin Apelberg of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said the evidence of causation of adverse effects of exposure to second hand smoke, caused lung cancer and heart diseases in adults and exacerbation of asthma, chronic respiratory illness, reduced lung function growth and middle year diseases in children. Documents, he said, went beyond any doubt that second hand smoke harmed people's health, adding that in the course of the past 20 years, the scientific community had reached consensus that only elimination of smoking protects non-smokers from inhaling second hand smoke. According to him, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers, had indicated that "at present, the only means of effectively eliminating health risks associated with indoor exposure is to ban smoking activity". He called for the need to document the distribution of exposure and smoke-free policies and monitor trends in buildings, cities, and regions.Dr Akwasi Osei, Acting Chief Psychiatrist, said emphasis had been placed on tobacco because it was largely accepted that cannabis was very harmful, thus unfortunately pushing the harmful effects of tobacco to the background.He said experience had shown that some of the cost effective tobacco control measures, including high tobacco tax, ban on direct and indirect tobacco adverting, smoke-free environment in all public places, workplaces and large clear graphic health messages on tobacco packaging, had worked.According to Mrs Edith Wellington, Focal Person on Tobacco Control, Ghana Health Service (GHS), said Ghana had made modest progress in control of tobacco use by signing and ratifying the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and is one of the first 40 contracting parties, among others. She said the next major achievement would be the passage of the Tobacco Control Bill, which was still pending in the Ministry of Health, awaiting cabinet consideration.Mrs Wellington noted that some of the challenges were resource allocation to extend tobacco control activities to all the 10 regions of Ghana, determining new approaches to ensure continued success in cessation, prevention and protection and making tobacco control a priority area, as other health areas such as Malaria, TB, and HIV/AIDS. She called for the political will to carry out tobacco control programmes for the passage of the bill. Ms Sophia Twum-Barima, Communications Officer of the WHO, who gave highlights on the FCTC, said the convention was the first public health treaty initiated by the WHO.She said negotiations began in October 1999 and ended in March 2003 and were open for signature and ratification, adding that the objective of the FCTC was to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke. Mr Samuel Anku, Deputy Director of EPA, said over the years the GHS and stakeholders including EPA had consulted, discussed and prepared grounds for the ban on smoking in public places and called for commitment by all stakeholders in the areas of public education, sensitization and broader consultation on the matter. "As we strive to protect lives and the environment, it is my wish that this programme will send strong signals to all of us, as we make frantic efforts to ban use of tobacco in public places," he said.

Public Servants would be called to account - President

President John Atta Mills has said that the previous New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government would soon be called on to account to the people for their stewardship.He said it was expected that every government would be accountable to the people and it would be the same for the present Government. "What is right will always be right and what is wrong will be wrong, no government can change that, but there should always be accountability for stewardship," the President said when he addressed a durbar of chiefs and people of the Upper East Region in Bolgatanga. He assured the people that the present Government would not failed them, but would work hard to fulfil all its promises, saying "We will not fail you, our promises are sacred".He said the Government met a situation that it did not expect, but had taken it in its stride and was working on it.The President said it was the right thing to do by letting the people know the financial state of the nation, even though that was not going to stop the government from executing its duties.President Mills is on a two day visit to the region and was accompanied by Lt. General Joseph Smith, Minister of Defence, Mr. Cletus Avoka, Minister of Interior, Mr. Mahama Ayariga, Presidential Spokesperson and Mr. Aseidu Nketia, General Secretary of NDC.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Vice President opposed to four-year SHS

Vice President John Dramani Mahama, on Wednesday said the challenges facing Ghana's education system were more fundamental than the duration of Senior High School (SHS). He, therefore, charged participants at a two-day national forum on the duration of SHS to pay particular attention to issues of quality basic education, quality teacher training, teacher motivation and text books at the basic level.The forum was organised in fulfilment of a manifesto promise by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to seek consensus on the duration of SHS, which used to be three year until the previous government increased it to four years a few years back. Mr. Mahama noted that merely increasing the duration of SHS to four years without addressing the flaws of the basic education level had not made the situation any better."I thought the purpose of making the duration of SHS four years was to strengthen the foundation of our education system and not to cover it up," he said.The Vice President said so long us basic level, including kindergarten, primary and Junior High School (JHS), remained challenged it did not matter if the duration of SHS was extended to 10 years, the results would still be bad."We need to go back to the basics and deal with the problems of non-availability of text books, poor teacher-motivation, poor quality teachers and inadequate facilities among other things," he said.Mr. Mahama noted that the problem was even worse in the rural areas, particularly in the less privileged schools, saying that children from such schools seemed to have been condemned to illiteracy and they never got the opportunity to be well prepared for SHS.He said children from the few privileged schools did not have the same challenges as those from less-privileged school, adding that the privileged children usually entered SHS well prepared and did not need four years to complete and grasp their syllabi.Mr. Mahama urged the participants to pay attention to the predicament of the less privileged schools and make recommendations on how to effectively address the fundamental flaws at the basic level. He said government was committed to ensuring equitable access to quality education and that government was particularly interested in quality teacher training in Mathematics and Science. Mr. Mahama debunked criticism raised against the forum by some education experts, saying that consultation would always be necessary no matter how much consultation that had been on a critical national issue as education.Mr. Alex Tettey-Enyo, Minister of Education, expressed the confidence that the forum would emerged with recommendations that would put Ghana's education system on the path to greatness. He noted that a number of forums had been held in the past on Ghana's education system, but this one promised to deliver a lasting solution to challenges.The Minister urged participants to focus on addressing issues dispassionately.About 700 participants and experts, drawn from the public and private sectors, as well as from civil society, were participating in the forum. 29 May 09 Attention recipients, item 01 ends first cast.

Conflicts stagnating Ghana's decentralization process

Ghana's local governance system has been stagnated by conflicts, acrimony and partisan considerations among District, Municipal and Metropolitan Chief Executives (DMMCEs), and Assembly Members and Members of Parliament (MPs).Professor Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, Executive Director of Ghana Centre for Democratic Governance (CDD-Ghana), who made the observation, said "Partisan politics has intruded and disintegrated the decentralisation process at the local level, making consensus building very difficult". He was speaking at a symposium, jointly organised by the CDD-Ghana and the Canadian High Commission on the topic: "Reflection on Ghana's Decentralisation Programme: Progress, Stagnation or Retrogression", in Accra on Thursday.Prof. Gyimah-Boadi said the performance of local government in the early days of Ghana's independence made monumental gains than the present system that feigned non-partisan political system but burbled with party politics.He cited that the 30 percent government appointees to the District Assembly, according to the Local Government Act, should be technocrats and expects but surveys conducted by CDD-Ghana in 2005 and 2007, revealed that most of the appointees were political activists. Prof. Gyimah-Boadi said even though local government units were given some autonomy over finance, control from the central government had taken away that power from the local people."They do not have the capacity to manage their finance, even the District Assembly Common Fund is controlled by the central government". Prof. Gyimah-Boadi said local government policy in Ghana had brought developments since its inception in 1988 but the situation was aggravated by the total hegemony exercised by central government.He said according to Model Standing Order 16 of the District Assembly, an assembly could either choose to vet a candidate nominated by the President for the position of DCE or the assembly could constitute ad hoc vetting committee to vet the candidate.Prof. Gyimah-Boadi said that this rule had not been followed over the years adding that district assemblies were expected to approve or disapprove the President's nominee depending on what the local people needed. He said if a first and second balloting failed to gain two thirds votes of the members of the assembly, the candidate must be withdrawn for a new nomination to be made but over the years this rule had been compromised.

ECOWAS commended for action on mining

A Coalition of non-governmental organisation and civil society organisations has congratulated the Council of ECOWAS Foreign Ministers on the conclusion of the adoption process of the ECOWAS Directive on the Harmonisation of Guiding Principles and Policies in the Mining Sector in Abuja, Nigeria on 26 May 2009. Speaking at a press conference in Accra, Mr Kwabena Bomfeh, Spokesperson for the Coalition, made up of Centre for Public Interest Law (CEPIL); Youth for Action Ghana (YAG); Centre for Labour Rights and Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM), among other organisations, said the ECOWAS Directive addressed important weaknesses in Ghana's mining regulations. The regulatory framework include defining; "No Go Zones" for mining; Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), which empowers community people to say no to mining operations which have grave negative consequences and also make environmental information easily accessible to the public. The Coalition said since ECOWAS States were competing for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Mining Sector they formulated policies that served the corporate objectives of profit maximisation rather than the sovereign interest of host nations. It said instead of West Africans reaping the benefits from their natural wealth for poverty reduction, most countries in the Sub-Region including Ghana have been gripped by a "Resource Curse ", which had translated into gross human rights abuses in host communities; displacement of thousands of community people to give way to mining; loss of livelihoods; forced evictions; resettlement problems; payment of ridiculously low compensation; low royalty payment; worsening poverty; environmental problems such as pollution of water bodies, among other negative impacts. The Coalition said mining was inherently an unsustainable economic activity since it involved the exploitation of non-renewable natural resource. It said it was this light that the ECOWAS Commission initiated a concerted strategy to develop a Sub-Regional policy on mining based on high standards of accountability for mining companies and governments. "The initiative involved a wide participatory process, which brought together different stakeholders, government officials, International Financial Institutions, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and mining communities. Our organisations were involved in the consultation processes to ensure that the ECOWAS policy on mining is pro-poor;, respectful of environmental and human rights and keeps government and mining companies accountable through good governance practices," the Coalition said. It said the objectives of the ECOWAS Directive comply with the provisions of Article 31, Chapter 6 of the Revised Treaty, which prescribed the harmonisation of policies in the natural resources sector of Member States and the objectives were in the main the adoption a common mining policy and a common mining code. The main convergence of the Guiding Principles formally stated in the formulation of the Directive are: to contribute to macro-economic development of the Member States, on which territory the mining operations are conducted, and of the region as a whole by particularly ensuring a balance between the incentives to attract mining investment and national interest of the Member States. It is to strengthen the Member States' capacity to efficiently exercise their mining operations orientation and control powers and promote development of infrastructure at the local and regional levels. It would in addition ensure fair allocation of minerals income to local communities, and to the Member States in enabling the promotion of a sustainable development policy and promote national and ECOWAS citizens' businesses. It is also aimed at protecting the environment in all its aspects, during pre-mining; mining operations; closing and post-closure periods by mitigating to the maximum extent the negative impacts, in line with international best practices. The Directive aimed at ensuring transparency in operation and in the results of the mining activities as well as free access to information and its free publication and promote a participative process in mining policy formulation and implementation by consultation of the local mining communities and civil society organisations; promote human rights as related to mining operations and gender empowerment. Other members of the Coalition include; Centre for Labour Rights (CLR); Foodfirst Information Action Network (FIAN) and Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC).

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Monkeys in Boabeng-Fiema sanctuary multiply

A five-member delegation of the Boabeng-Fiema monkey sanctuary management board has toured the nine fringe communities to educate the people against practices that would affect the development of the sanctuary.The delegation, led by Mr. Edward Opoku, chairman of the board, included Mr. Kwabena Kyeremeh, board secretary and Mr. Anthony Dassah, wildfire division officer.Addressing the people at Fiema, Senya and Konkrompe at separate fora, Mr. Opoku cautioned the youth against group hunting, which he said affected the comfort of the animals. He warned the people against bushfires and advised farmers who wanted to prepare their farm lands to engage the services of local fire volunteers.Mr Opoku reminded the people about the bye-laws against chainsaw operation and reiterated that culprits would be made to face the full rigours of the law.Mr. Adu-Darko appealed to unit committees and traditional authorities to join in the education campaign by monitoring the activities of the people. He said the sanctuary is a viable economic project in the area and urged the people to protect it. Mr. Kyeremeh who is also assemblyman for Bonte-Bomini commended the chief of Boabeng, Nana Okofo Tabiri Adjei, for mobilizing the youth to fill potholes on the feeder road from the community to the sanctuary's guest house.Officials said monkeys in the Boabeng-Fiema sanctuary have multiplied and entered other communities like Busunya, Akruda number one, Akrudwa number two, Bonte, Bomiri, Senya and Konkrompe.


The Minister of Tourism Mrs. Juliana Azumah Mensah has toured the new Ambassador hotel which is still under construction in Accra. During the tour, the minister was briefed on progress of work since the start of the project till date. Some progress work done includes the effective conclusion of major works on the building with small torches to meet the stipulated time of completion.
The Minister complemented contractors of the project M. Bardissoti and Sons an Italian company for progress work. “We are all waiting for you to enjoy the serene worth of the new Ambassador hotel”. The hotel when completed will help give better employment to huge sums of Ghanaians and that’s the agenda of the Mills government.
She therefore called on management to contact her ministry when the need arises and they will be of help. Mrs.Azumah urged management to further speed up with project to meet up the deadlines stipulated by the project. The head Project Coordinator of the new Ambassador hotel thanked the minister for her tour and said was sure of meeting the deadline of the project.
BY: Michael Amedor

Aqua Vitens Threading On Dangerous Gounds

The management of Aqua Vitens Rand Ltd is threading on dangerous grounds with their tactics of intimidation of workers and violation of the contract they signed with the government of Ghana.Following demands by workers for a review of the management contract and conditions of service, a deliberate attempt is being by some management staff to victimize their subordinates.Leading the onslaught is one Ing. Matthew Adombire, General Manager, Operations. Mr. Adombiri, who is alleged to be interested in the position of Managing Director of Ghana Water Company Ltd. He has written a letter to the top hierarchy of the organization, recommending the demotion of and transfer of one Mr. Samuel Kwodwo Yeboah for gross insubordination.His offence is that he defied the orders of Mr. Adombire to deny students of the University of Ghana water supply on March 19 this year, the day President Mills was to visit the university for their congregation. The order follows an impasse between some students and workers of the Ghana Water Company Ltd.Mr. Adombire was alleged to have Mr. Yeboah to deny the school water to show them where power lies; however, the latter did otherwise, fearing the consequent embarrassment the President would have gone through in the face of a planned demonstration by the students on such a day.Mr. Adombire, angered by the ‘positive defiance,’ wrote a letter to him asking him gives reasons for which disciplinary action should not be taken against him. Not satisfied by the explanation, Mr. Adombiri has written another letter to Management, recommending his demotion and transfer to the Nawuni Intake, which according to him, “is smaller for a second chance to develop him” for failing to add an iota of knowledge for his own development.Meanwhile, the Management of Aqua Vitens Rand Ltd., is coming under serious pressure from the workers over a 30% over-board increase in salary for all workers. Their concern is that, it would benefit those who are already enjoying an “unjustified” salary adjustment of about 150%.They are calling for a review of such adjustments to ensure fairness and to boost the morale of the junior workers who are working under very dangerous conditions. Some of them work in rodent and snake-infested areas. Stay tuned for more.
Source:Democrat (Solomon Davids)

Secretary-General of Red Cross Shamefully Confesses:

*And Blows A Further ¢116.2m On One Meeting

How blatant can Mr Andrews Frimpong, Secretary-General of the Ghana Red Cross Society be?He has admitted that he gave a catering contract amounting to million cedis to his wife.Mrs Georgina Frimpong was the beneficiary of a catering contract offered by the Red Cross for participants at a consultative meeting in Bosomtwe.Mr Andrews Frimpong, who appeared before a committee investigating alleged irregularities at the Ghana Red Cross admitted that the caterer for the meeting was his wife.He however said the amount charged was within budget for the 2007 consultative meeting which cost a whopping ¢116.2 million. A three-member committee from the Internal Audit Service described the Secretary-General's action as “a clear case of conflict of interest.” It was gathered that procurement procedures, which were well within the knowledge of Mr Andrews Frimpong were thrown to the dogs, confirming allegations of bad governance and leadership at the headquarters of the Ghana Red Cross.Mr Ernest Aikens, Assistant Auditor General, who was the chairperson of the committee was also unhappy with receipts from Twum Barimah Hotel for accommodation and meals which “seem to have been tampered with.”Again, the receipts did not include Value Added Tax and the committee cautioned against the acceptance of receipts of that kind in the future.The consultative meeting in Bosumtwi was to launch a project dubbed “3-in-1.”The project was aimed at equipping Red Cross personnel with information as they carry out educational programmes on health, safety and general societal living in the rural areas.Some disgruntled members said, though Lake Bosomtwe had several hotels, meals were cooked from Kumasi and transported with the Society's vehicle.They said this was not a cost-effective approach.Due to the long distance the food had to travel, meals served were cold and this attracted the indignation of participants.At that workshop, the Secretary-General single-handedly spent 60 million cedis to print a training manual, once again neglecting the procedures of procurement.The manuals for which Mr Andrews Frimpong claimed authorship were full of errors.Members of the management team of the Red Cross said had he discussed this with them, no error would have occurred.The same was the case of the organization of the whole meeting as the Secretary-General did not involve members of the management team. The Ghana Red Cross Society receives donor funding and government subvention to support its activities.For two months, workers nationwide have not been paid. Officials say the relief agency is cash-strapped but this paper will in subsequent editions dig more on bad leadership and rot at the headquarters. Stay tuned.
Source:By Livingstone Pay Charlie, News Editor, The Insight

Ex- foreign minister’s passport confiscated

The Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) Tuesday seized the passport used by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Akwasi Osei Adjei.The former minister is being questioned by the BNI for his alleged role in the importation of rice from India, which was allegedly paid for by the National Investment Bank.Mr Osei Adjei has expressed surprise about the turn of event and told Citi FM on Tuesday that he has still not come to terms with why the BNI invited him.“I was called to produce my passport and that to me was amazing because I have not been charged, I was invited to clarify a point and to be asked to submit my passport is something else.“We pleaded, that is not the right way to do things; instead of asking me to produce the passport, what they did was to accompany me to my house after telling them I could do it on my own.”Tuesday was the second time the former legislator and minister has been queried by the security agency since the new administration took office.However, he said the BNI informed him that he in person is not under any investigation but stated that all the questions they asked him centred on “the same rice importation”.He explained that his outfit was “mandated by (then) President Kufuor” to facilitate the transaction to beef up the country’s food security at the height of the food crisis.Even though Mr Osei Adjei could not tell the amount involved in the deal, media reports put it at $10million.“What worries me is that you go to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, it wasn’t done because of me Osei Adjei, all the papers pertaining to the transaction it wasn’t signed by me in the first place.“So just because I was the foreign minister at that time, yes I accept it, it was done through ministry, the ministry is an institution of itself so you have a memory there, you could go there, examine all the papers, examine how the rice came in; they are all there.Nobody is asking the NBI to come forward how did you import the rice, nobody is asking even the ministry to ask them, nobody is prepared to go to the India High Commission to see how India helped us in getting that rice, nobody is asking our High Commissioner in new Delhi…but everybody is pointing accusing fingers on Osei Adjei because he was the Foreign Minister.”
Source:jfm/Citi FM

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ex-speaker summoned for theft

Ghanaian criminal investigators have summoned the former speaker of parliament, Sekyi Hughes, over items he took from his official residence when he vacated the post, a police source said on Monday.Hughes, who was the speaker in the last four-year term of the administration of former president John Kufuor, was suppose to meet the investigators on Tuesday, the source said.The cost of the items Hughes took away - domestic appliances, furniture, electronic goods and gym equipment - has not been made public but the case has caused a huge outcry in Ghana in view of the economic challenges being faced by the government of John Atta-Mills.Ghana is grappling with a huge budget deficit, soaring inflation and rapid depreciation of the Ghanaian Cedi against major international currencies.Poor economic situation"It is not fair. It is morally wrong on the part of the former speaker to go away with the items knowing well the poor economic situation," said Bright Simons, an analyst with the think-tank IMANI.Hughes himself has denied any wrongdoing, saying he acted in accordance with a memo submitted to parliament in November 2008 which stated that the parliamentary leaders were entitled to the items in their residences.Some members of the opposition have said the former speaker is being treated unfairly."It is part of the grand design of the ruling National Democratic Congress to discredit former government officials who served in the Kufuor era. It is nothing but a witch hunt," Kwaku Kwarteng, communication director of the opposition New Patriotic Party said.The parliament's two previous speakers did not live in official residences.

Railway land deal creates tension

…as two transport unions vie for turf
At the time that the Ghana Railway Corporation was busy fighting to eject both legal and illegal occupants who had occupied lands close to their rail lines, the institution had also been leasing out portions of the same land to other entities to develop.Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Transport, T.L Selby has confirmed to the Financial Intelligence that a portion of railway lands behind the Neoplan Station at the North Industrial Area has been leased to a transport company to operate its terminal from.This transaction, according to Mr. Selby was done by the previous administration and has been discovered in the files.“We have found this out in the files we inherited from the previous administration and we are yet to establish how the transaction was carried out before any action can be taken on it”, Mr. Selby told this paper. The story which broke late last week had it that the Ghana Railway Corporation (GRCL) had leased a parcel of land about 50 metres form the Neoplan Station to Priceline Transports Ltd who allegedly paid GH¢ 30,000 to the corporation to operate a bus terminal.This angered officials of the Neoplan station who quickly confronted the GRCL and were told that the company needed to lease the land to get money and pay staffs salaries.Chairman of the Welfare Committee of the Neoplan Station John Awuah argued that the law does not allow for the siting of a Lorry Station so close to another one.“The law says lorry stations must be 200 metres away from one another so we do not understand why the Railway Corporation is trying to condone this illegal act”, Mr Awuah stated.According to him, last Monday, May 18, management of Railways together with personnel from the police service came to vandalize the office of the Cargo branch of the Neoplan Station which is situated on the said land.The Chairman told this paper that they were not concerned with how the GRCL manages its lands, but their main concern is the congestion that the siting of the station would create in the vicinity.According to him, Priceline Transports Ltd already has its fleet of vehicles operating from the Neoplan Station without any hindrance and so for them “to propose another station beside us is a stab in the back”.They have therefore called on the Minister for Transport to intervene in the impasse before tempers begin to flare.In 2004, it took the intervention of some Civil Society Organisations to prevent the GRCL from demolishing structures erected by people who claim to have bought the lands from the corporation.The company argued that the ‘squatters ‘were preventing expansion works it wanted to carry out on the rail lines.Earlier on, in the 1990s the argument of needing money to pay workers salaries had been cited by the then management of the Railways Corporation for the sale of those lands to people for development. These developers were later tagged squatters by the corporation and were earmarked for ejection. It is therefore surprising to discover that the same corporation that was moving to ‘reclaim’ its lands was at the same time leasing out lands to other interests.
Source:Financial Intelligence (Justice Lee Adoboe)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nkrumah stands tall among contemporaries - Dr Graham

Dr Yao Graham, Executive Director of the ThirdWorld Network, has said Africa still has gaping political vacuum despite attempts by many African leaders to aspire to inherit late President Kwame Nkrumah's mantle as the visionary and driver of Pan-Africanism and continental unity.He said Nkrumah's leadership and rallying role in African affairs went well beyond his vision and theorizing to include support for national liberation movements.Dr Graham was speaking at a lecture organized by All African Student Union (AASU) as part of the "Nkrumah at 100" Lecture series in Accra. Dr Graham who spoke on the topic: "Nkrumah at 100: Lessons and challenges for African Leadership" also formed part of activities marking AU Day.He said Nkrumah's support for the liberation struggle also embodied a unity of his pan-Africanism and commitment to anti-colonial independence as a necessary precondition for the continent's unity and progress.Dr Graham said despite Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's seemingly radical stance on African unity, "the sad truth is that he is not the successor of Nkrumah that the continent currently and urgently needs." "Col Gaddafi does not offer a coherent vision or leadership practice of pan-Africanism in keeping with the needs of the age and these shortcomings are compounded by his unpredictability and histrionics." Dr Graham said some of Col Gaddafi's views and pronouncements showed him up as a man deeply marked by his years as an authoritarian leader. "Among his many bizarre acts is his current self-designation as King of Africa's kings, a reactionary assertion out of tune with the democratic logic of the continent's national liberation struggles." He said the African people want democracy not monarchs and if there was one element of Africa's postcolonial history that the masses want behind them it is the years of despotism.Dr Graham said the current global crisis had validated what critics of neo-liberalism have been saying for years, that years of growth had failed to effect any transformation or brought about any reduction in poverty.He said Africa's response to the global crisis has so far lacked urgency and the sense that this was an opportunity to make a break with some of the discredited policies that have failed to deliver transformative growth over the past couple of decades. Dr Graham said the only thing African leaders have succeed in doing at global forums is to plead for Africa to be remembered for security of aid."This is a clear sign that there are no leaders who can see opportunities for change in the current crisis." Dr Bright Oduro Kwarteng, a lecture at the Ghana Institute of Management Public Administration, accused the military and elements of the United Party (UP) tradition for conspiring with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to overthrow the Nkrumah regime in 1966. He appealed to Mills Administration to move the statute of General Emmanuel Kotoka from the airport and change the name to that of Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

Will OpenTable Spark An Internet-IPO Resurgence?

The OpenTable IPO, the first venture-backed public offering since August, popped an impressive 60% on the first day of trading. We’ll find out over the next year if it’s the beginning of the end of the internet IPO drought (to be precise, there’s been a dearth of IPOs in general).
Question is: If the market does open up again, which companies are good candidates to follow Open Table and go public?. In a New York Times article in February, venture capitalist Alan Patricof said most startups now need to reach about $250 million in value before going public (he reiterated that in a conversation with me a few days ago). So we scanned different sources, from media outlets to analyst reports, to find companies with valuations above $250 million, and that aren’t overly dependent on advertising (because of the state of that revenue source). Here are four candidates that have emerged.
Facebook: Valuations ranging from a few billion to many billions and revenue from virtual goods (in excess of $100 million by some estimates) as well as advertising. Even if the company is losing a lot of money, as many speculate, the internet darling would likely be well received by public investors. The Ladders: Valued in the hundreds of millions, and has a subscription-driven revenue stream. In addition, the job placement site is operating at a time when there have never been more people looking for jobs.Linden Labs: Some value the virtual-world company at over $1 billion, and the company estimates users will make $450 million in virtual transactions this year.
By:Rory Maher

NPP No Shaking! We shall be back

"NPP! No shaking! We shall be back," declared Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Election 2008 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), on Tuesday stressing that in spite of the "intimidation" of the ruling Government the Party would grow from strength to strength and capture power in 2012 to move Ghana forward. He said the Government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had spent the last four months intimidating innocent citizens and political opponents."We have seen attacks on NPP members in several parts of the country including Agbobloshie; Kumasi and Tamale," he said, adding that the country had experienced arson attacks in Nyihini, Lameshegu, Worizehi, Choggu and Gumbihini."All the 27 properties that were attacked belong to NPP members. Not a single one belong to an NDC member..No attempt has been made by the State to assist the innocent victims, numbering about 800, who had their homes and belongings destroyed," Nana Akufo-Addo said. Nana Akufo-Addo stated this at a party forum organized to review the current situation in the country, spell out strategies for reorganizing the Party and reinvigorate the supporters after the defeat of the Party in the last elections.The forum was attended by leading NPP members, including National Chairman and Leader of NPP, Mr Peter Mac Manu; General Secretary, Nana Ohene Ntow; the Minority Leader, Mr Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu; Second Deputy Speaker, Professor Mike Ocquaye; Former Ministers of State, Members of Parliament; National and Regional Executives of NPP as well as a large number of supporters.Nana Akufo-Addo said those affected by the violence were first and foremost, Ghanaians, whatever their political colours, and called on the law enforcement agencies to investigate and bring to book the perpetrators of these acts of violence.He said "the apparent revival of the idea of the 'democratization of violence' in our politics is unwelcome and unacceptable".He said the NPP Leadership had worked hard to restrain its supporters from reacting to these acts of intimidation and provocation. However, "I am very concerned that sooner or later, militants on our side convinced that the State cannot or will not protect them, may take measures to protect their interest, themselves and their loved ones. "Events will then be out of control, driving all of us towards a point of no is against this background that I am extremely concerned about the creeping threats to the peace process in Dagbon, which appeared to be with the active connivance of the State machinery." Nana Akufo-Addo, therefore, called on the Government to adhere to the terms agreed under the Roadmap to Peace in Dagbon as fashioned by the three eminent chiefs, the Asantehene, the Na Yiri and the Yagbon Wura."The President, the father of the nation, should show the same even-handedness in the enforcement of the roadmap that his predecessor, Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, showed even at the risk of jeopardizing his Party's traditional support base in Dagbon. That is the hallmark of statesmanship," he stated.Nana Akufo-Addo appealed to President John Evans Atta Mills, the ruling NDC, the opposition political parties and civil society to work together to make Ghana peaceful and safe to preserve the country's democratic development.


The African continent celebrates yet another Africa Day today, May 25, 2009, commemorating the 46th year of efforts by African Heads of States and Governments to foster continental politicaland economic integration, formerly through the Organization of African Unity (OAU)and now the AfricanUnion(AU).The politicalintegration process has since then been intensified.The AfricanUnion,acting through the Assembly of the Heads of States and Government and the African Union'Commission, has outlined a roadmap for the establishment of a United States of Africaby 2015, while rollingout a continentalwide economic and social development programme. Allthese major developments are expected to give rise to a people's union and society anchored on the core values and norms of democratic governance, human rights, gender parity, and peace and security. Since the historicdebate on the establishment of the United States of Africatook place in Accra in July 2007, the AfricanUnionCommission(AUC)has been assessed and the strengthening of its political,technical and operational capacities advocated. In response, the African Union Commission will be transformed into an AfricanUnionAuthorityand launched as such at the July 2009 Summit of the African Union. In April2009, the ExecutiveCouncilof the African Unionat its 1th ExtraordinarySession in Sirte, Libya, adopted a report on the creation of the African UnionAuthority, agreeing on its structures and action plan. The new African Union Authority is expected to serve as a more effective tool for accelerating political and economic integration and willhave the power to coordinate policiesahd programme implementation on behalf of the 53 Africanmember states. As the continent celebrates the 46thanniversary of organized collectiveaction in support of the economic and political integration of the states, nations and peoples of Africa, the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG),Accraand the Ghana CivilSociety Coalitionon the AfricanUnion, wish to call on the Government of Ghana to adopt measures and mechanisms that would close the existing gaps between AUSummit decisions and their implementation at the national and regional levels. People's participation in these formal processes is still very weak. Through effective public t;ducation, media-facilitated information dissemination, and improved opportunities for dialogue, public awareness Willbe raised and collaboration between state and non-state actors enhanced. Further, the Government of Ghana should support national civil society organizations to champion the effective operation of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union (ECCOSOC),which is the organ that the AfricanUnion has created for civilsociety actors to participate effectively in continental policyformulationand implementation processes.
On May 29, 2009, IDEG and the civil society coalition on the African Union will initiate a civic process for strengthening people's participation in the continental political and economic integration processes with aroundtableon the topic: "From the AU Commission to the AU Authority: Are we moving closer to the United States of Africa?" IDEGwishes all Ghanaians a reflectiveAfricaDay.


"Inclusive information societies" and effective methods for spreading the advantages of science and technology to developing countries and the poor are the topics of a 25-29 May conference sponsored by UNCTAD and the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
The Commission on Science and Technology for Development will discuss, among other things, the preliminary findings of science, technology, and innovation policy reviews (STIPS) of Ghana and Lesotho. STIPS are carried out by UNCTAD staff at the request of developing-country governments. Delegations from Abu Dhabi, Brazil, Iraq, South Africa, and Oman will give presentations on domestic efforts to benefit from science, technology, and innovation.
These discussions will form part of a larger debate on how to enhance developing countries' homegrown abilities to use science, technology, and innovation to spur economic growth and raise living standards.
The commission will review progress made in the wake of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held in Tunisia in 2005; and it will hold panel discussions on "Mobile technology, convergence and social networking tools for development and poverty eradication"; and "Delivering innovation in global public health."
The conference programme and schedule is available at Other agencies contributing to the commission session include the International Telecommunication Union; the Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Development; and the World Health Organization.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Yahoo Is Looking To Make A Social-Networking Buy

Yahoo has been busily shopping around its assorted businesses—but it’s also on the lookout to make an acquisition of its own.
Chief Technology Officer Ari Balogh tells Reuters that Yahoo wants to buy a company that would let it become a larger player in social networking. “I can guarantee you there will be some acquisitions, and we will do some stuff in house,” he said.
The company has had lackluster success in the space on its own. It closed its year-old social-networking site, Yahoo Mash, last August, and it basically closed down another attempt, Yahoo 360, a year before that.
Yahoo has tried to make a big entry into the space via an acquisition before, reportedly offering as much as $1 billion for Facebook three years ago.
So what might Yahoo be interested in buying now? Reuters does not provide any color, and it’s not clear how Balogh is defining social networking—a category that include messaging services like Twitter and blogging services like Live Journal. However, several properties come to mind. AOL had been said to be interested in selling its social networking site, Bebo, although Time Warner chief executive Jeff Bewkes denied that last month.
Another social-networking site with big reach—but a somewhat questionable future—is hi5, which laid off half of its staff last month after it was reportedly unable to raise additional capital.

No Recovery This Year: Cowen Says Online Ad Spend Will Fall 6 %

While some might hold out hope that the economy could stabilize in the second half of the year, Cowen & Co. have lowered their revenue forecast for U.S. online ads to a 6% decline in 2009 to $22 billion.
The financial analyst firm, which tends to offer more pessimistic forecasts compared to other prognosticators, had previously anticipated that online ad spend would drop 3%. Online share of the ad market will continue to rise, but only slightly, ending this year 9.4% of total U.S. ad budgets over last year’s 8.7%.
—Facebook beats portals: In keeping with eMarketer’s expectation that Facebook’s revs will grow 9% this year, Cowen remains as bullish as ever on the social net. Though eMarketer said that Facebook will end the year with $230 million in revenues, Cowen concludes that Facebook will generate roughly $500 million in sales, mostly through display advertising.
Cowen also estimates that Facebook’s advertising growth rates will be up around 70%, the highest on its list of 22 other major online media properties. By comparison, News Corp. ( NWS - news - people )'s has the next highest growth rates at 20%.
And of that list, the only other sites that saw gains in Q1 are WebMD ( HLTH - news - people ) (16%), Google ( GOOG - news - people ) worldwide (7%), Google U.S. (4%), and Yahoo ( YHOO - news - people ) U.S. search (3%).
On the other end of the list, Yahoo display was down 13%, Microsoft ( MSFT - news - people ) dropped 16% and Time Warner ( TWX - news - people )'s AOL display fell 17%.
Cowen finds a direct connection between Facebook’s successful growth and the portals’ downward trends, even as the companies exit the recession. The basic trend is that users are spending more time with Facebook—an average of 3 hours per month on the site—than with portals. Facebook had 200 million active users in April, up from 150 million in January. If that growth trend continues, Facebook’s user base will be larger than Yahoo’s in about two years. More after the jump
—Yahoo beats AOL, MSN: That said, within the portal group, Yahoo is pegged to come out on top. Cowen expects Yahoo’s display business is $1.6 billion.

Indirect Integration for Liberian Refugees Begins in Ghana

Remnants of Liberian refugees at the Liberian Refugee Camp in Buduburam who are reluctant to be repatriated to Liberia and were unfortunate to be resettled to either the USA, Europe or Australia, as a third country of asylum, could soon experience an indirect local integration despite their persistent unwillingness to do so.Though Liberian Refugees who had inhabited the Buduburam refugee Camp since 1990 due to the 14 years of brutal civil unrest in their country have expressed their reluctance to the condition of local integration, it seems that might be the only durable solution for them. The UNHCR said such is one of the three durable solutions considering the fact that the option of resettling refugees into a third country of asylum is exhausted while an estimated numbers of 15 thousand Refugees are still unwilling to be repatriated for personal insecurity reasons amongst others.At a brief and an unannounced handover ceremony held by the UNHCR Country Representative, Ms Aida Haile Mariam, some major facilities built and run by the UNHCR for refugee purposes at the Settlement and areas adjacent in the tune of about $1.6 million (USD) were turned over to Government establishments on the 3rd of May, 2009. Those at the ceremony included the Chairman of the Ghana Refugee Board, the Chiefs and Traditional leaders of Gomoa Buduburam Village, prominent dignitaries of the Government of Ghana such as until recent, the Acting Inspector General of Police, Mrs. Elizabeth Mills-Robertson, and numerous media institutions in the Country including Religious Leaders .Other facilities turned over included the refurbished 21 beds capacity refugee hospital and its related facilities, a brand new fire engine to the National Fire Service branch at the Settlement, a brand new Toyota 4×4 pickup to the Budububuram Police for patrol within the District, an ambulance to a so-called orphanage that supports refugee children and some school buildings in operations as well as newly constructed story building for school for the indigenous children/students adjacent the camp.The unseated and prompt ceremony also was categorized by a sod cutting for the construction of an estimated $900.000(USD) quarter at the entrance of the settlement to house personnels of the police, fire service, health and education when posted at the district from the Government which at the moment, foundational work has began.Consequentially, with the massive influx of non-refugees mostly Ghanaian residents at the Settlement, the original and recognized status of the settlement as a refugee base is gradually loosing to a community status because most UNHCR built and operating facilities are now equally accessible to all residents irrespective of one’s status. Notwithstanding, there have been no reports of major or selective misunderstanding between the refugee populace and their new fast growing Ghanaian community at the camp.Refugees are being encouraged to register with the National Health Insurance Scheme just as every other Ghanaian at the St. Gregory Catholic Clinic at the camp has been registering. The interesting thing is that the clinic has recently been introduced to prominence though it has been in existence in the Country for more than a decade.Meanwhile, the verification and profiling exercise of the remnant of Liberians at the Settlement which began on the 3rd of May 2009, is ongoing.However, an insider revealed that the Ethiopian nationale Representative who has a Ghanaian husband, is bidding farewell since her tenure of service is over having spent more the three years at post.
Source:By Joseph N.N. Swen,Accra/Buduburam Bureau

Pope's representative calls for investment in child education

Most Reverend Leon Kelenga, the Apostolic Nuncio on Saturday said investment in the promotion of children education now remained the best way forward to secure Africa's holistic development in the future. He said provision of education to the children of today was the proper tool for the acquisition of knowledge to empower them to lead not only descent lives as individuals but become useful citizens to the society. Most Reverend Kelenga who is Pope Benedict XVI's representative and Vatican Ambassador to Ghana was giving a homily at the Christ the King Cathedral in Sunyani as the official celebrant of a special church service for an investiture ceremony on four senior diocesan priests of the Sunyani Catholic Diocese. The four clergymen were honoured with the title of Monsignor on August 18, 2008 by the Pope for their devoted and meritorious services to the church in various capacities.They included Rev. Monsignors John Oppong-Baah, 62 years and Spiritual Director of Saint Paul's Major Seminary at Sowutuom near Achimota in Accra since 2001 and John Kwame Nkrumah, aged 57 and now on sabbatical leave in the United States of America and was a former parish priest of Saint Theresa's parish at Berekum from 2002-2005. The rest were Rev. Monsignors Boachie-Gyan, 57 years and currently Dean of Kwasibourkrom Deanery of the Church in the Jaman South District and Richard Kyeremeh, aged 56 and presently Dean of the Sunyani Deanery is also the administrator of the Christ the King Cathedral since 2000.Most Reverend Kelenga added that every leadership role should leave behind it a memorable footprint of excellence without love and sacrifice that portrayed Jesus Christ as a model Good Shepherd of humankind.The Apostolic Nuncio therefore emphasized that since life now was not rosy but had a lot of challenges, "we only have to persist and persevere in our endeavours before success and victory can be achieved". He stressed that, Christ-like love was the lubricant for fellow-feeling, unity and peaceful co-existence in every community, adding that, since in Jesus Christ there were no traits and sentiments of ethnocentrisms, discrimination, and partiality, "we must strive to be united as the vehicle to promote our general well-being". Rev. Monsignor Oppong-Baah, on their behalf gave glory to the Almighty God and expressed appreciation to the Pope as well as all those who had, in diverse ways assisted in shaping their lives to this stage for them to be conferred with such honour. The Monsignor was full of praise and particularly grateful to teachers who, he described as doing great jobs, saying that without their directives, counselling and sacrificial services they would not have had the opportunity to rise to their present levels. Monsignor is a title of honour in the church which means, "My Lord", a title assigned to Bishops. Monsignors therefore share equal status with Bishops in the church but unlike Bishops, they do not have cathedrals as their seats.

Ghanaian Girls In Porno ???

My attention was drawn to a news item on Ghanaweb on Thursday, May 14, 2009, tilted “Sex Scandal Rocks Koforidua”. It was then followed by the video clip of the scandal on Ghanaweb’s CasualForum a few days later. The video clip was so disgusting and outrageous. This has left me with so many questions unanswered. Much as a greater portion of the blame must be apportioned to these reckless and sometimes poor girls, the immigration laws in our country must take the blame for these criminals who migrate all the way from Nigeria, with the false pretence of acquiring knowledge and end up disgracing our nation.No one should misunderstand me, although these girls are wrong and undisciplined, we must be careful in trying to persecute them and throw them under the bus. This is a very sensitive scandal that starts with the girl and their families being embarrassed and disgraced. But once these video clips got onto the internet and it’s being watched all over the world, it becomes an embarrassment to the PROUD and HARDWORKING Ghanaian women and the nation as a whole. We should always remember that just like the saying goes, “if you educate a woman, you educate a nation”, it means that if you disgrace a Ghanaian woman, you disgrace the entire Ghanaian women.Some of these girls could come from very poor home and the money involved seems to be a meager GHC 200.00, we should remember that money is a very powerful tool that can be used to seduce these young women, not only to have sex that is being recorded, but to even commit more heinous crime. And I’m sure some of then did not knew there were video cameras in the room. So in trying to the judge the girls, we must know that it could even happen to the innocent girls we have at home with good moral upbringing. My anger is rather on these criminals we welcome into our country with open arm, and they turn around to gilt us.Has anyone paused for a second to imagine if this has happened in Nigeria or Cote D’ivoire and the men are rather Ghanaians? We would have been praying for the soul of the innocent and law-abiding Ghanaians who immigrated to these countries. If just a soccer game between Asec Memosa and Asante Kotoko in Abidjan will end up with the loss of lives of more than hundred Ghanaians, then imagine a Ghanaian preying on poor innocent Nigerians/Ivorians, having sex and selling or posting it on the web. Ghanaian hospitality has been taken for granted for far too long and it’s about time and long overdue, that we stand up for ourselves, if the government cannot stand up for us.I do not condone or promote violence, but every Ghanaian who was in Nigeria in the 70’s and 80’s can tell their stories and also tell how the police would have been going after every Ghanaian in town. I’m not proposing a reciprocatory action, but a peaceful method. It could start with the students in all our universities protesting the humiliation of Ghanaian women, until new laws are implemented for all international students. The least said about the Ghana Immigration Services the better. What laws do they have in place for all these immigrants? They are more interested in the bribes that goes into their deep pockets than implementing the flimsy weak laws in place. These Nigerian are trooping into Ghana and committing divergent forms of heinous crimes, easily bail themselves from the police with large sums of money and abscond back to Nigeria. It’s about time the government pulls the brakes on the influx of Nigerians into the country or makes the immigration laws unbearable for those who migrate with criminal intentions.
Muhammed S.S. Jawando (LRT) New York Presbyterian Hospital New York, NY
Source:Jawando, Muhammed S.S.

Global Media Forum to be held in Bonn

The Second Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum on conflict prevention in the multimedia-age and opportunities and challenges posed by new technologies and consumer habits would be held between June 3 and June 5 2009 in Bonn Germany The Forum would primarily highlight the rapid technological development in the world of media and debate the ensuing questions related to modified usage.The conference would examine the future of content delivery, especially for topics pertaining to peace and security. It would find answers to a number of questions including: Do the changes in technology and user profiles influence the way in which the media report on conflicts - or do they directly influence the way in which a war is fought? What about the impact on peace-building processes and conflict prevention strategies? What are the main challenges for the international media during this technological revolution? How have the expectations of viewers, listeners and users changed, and what is the best way to reach them in the digital age?The Forum 2009 would bring together media users and producers; peace building and conflict prevention specialists; representatives from the fields of media technology and security; public relations; the military; the arms industry as well as members of government and political parties to network and discuss the challenges and solutions for the future.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Okponglo stretch of Tetteh Quarshie - Madina Road opens to traffic

The Okponglo stretch of the Tetteh Quarshie-Madina Road would be opened to traffic at 0600 hours on Saturday May 22 2009. The opening of the road was as a result of an appeal the Ministry of Roads and Highways made to Sonitra, the construction firm, to ease the traffic congestion.The Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Joe Gidisu on Friday led a team of Engineers and the Media to inspect that stretch for onward handing over to the Ministry. Mr Gidisu after the inspection said he was satisfied with the work done and all the arrangements the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police had put in place for the effective use of the road.He urged other stakeholders to follow all the necessary directives when using the two-kilometre three-lane dual carriage road to meet the development aspirations of Ghanaians rather than turning it into an accident-prone zone. Mr Gidisu told all motorists to keep to the 50-kilometre per hour speed limit to avoid needless accidents and charged the Police and other law enforcement agencies to rigorously enforce traffic laws by punishing all offenders. "This asset will amount to nothing if drivers, pedestrians and other road users do not heed traffic rules," he noted. He told the Police not to allow the road to be taken over by hawkers and mobile phone unit vendors, describing their presence on the roads as a nuisance. The Commander of MTTU, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Daniel Avorgah said the Police would enforce the traffic laws and prosecute offenders. He said for effective traffic control, motorists going to Legon, Madina, Adenta and beyond would still use the Emmanuel Eye Clinic Diversion from 0600 hours to 1400 hours. ACP Avorgah said the new stretch would be opened for use between 1400 hours and 0600 hours. He explained that vehicular traffic to Legon, Madina and beyond becomes heavy on the Secaps Hotel-Tetteh Quarshie portion after 1400 hours and that opening the road at that time would reduce the stress motorists go through.ACP Avorgah advised drivers to drive with caution and to keep within the speed limit of 50 kilometres per hour, especially in the night since there were no streetlights on the road, adding that at that speed, drivers would be able to control emergency situations when they were crossed by pedestrians. "Even if the worse happens and a car happens to knock someone the impact will not be great so as to cause the death of the person," he said.He said if drivers were able to follow these instructions accidents would be minimized considerably. He advised drivers to use the weekend to practise until Tuesday when the road takes its full traffic load. ACP Avorgah gave the assurance that the Police were very ready to check overloading; speeding and all forms of reckless driving. The Resident Engineer of Ghana Highway Authority, Mr Ebenezer Gyampo said the road could last for more than 50 years before any major intervention in terms of repairs might begin on it. He, however, said overloading could put a stress on the road and reduce its lifespan drastically. He called on the Police to check overloading, speeding and reckless driving. The Project Manager for Sonitra, Dr Richard Kwofie said the project would be fully completed in December 2010.

Ghana needs 3,000 more accountants

Ghana needs 3,000 more accountants to enhance the financial sector whiles deepening the nation's economy, Mr Kwasi Asante, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Institute of Chattered Accountancy (ICA), has announced.He pointed out that currently there were only 2,000 recognised accountants in the country and that this development does not auger well for the accounting sector in an emerging economy like Ghana. This was contained in a speech read on his behalf at the 13th Annual National Delegates' Congress of the Association of Polytechnic HND Accountancy Students (APHAS) in Kumasi on Friday. It was on the theme; "Surviving the credit crunch era - the role of the HND Accountancy Graduate".The CEO appealed to school authorities and parents to encourage the youth to take up accounting courses to benefit the nation in the long term in view of the crucial role accountants play in the socio-economic development.He cautioned accounting students to endeavour to join recognised accountancy bodies to help advance their course, skills, expertise and knowledge for the challenges ahead. Professor Kwame Boasiako Omane-Antwi, Vice Rector of Pentecost University, advised the youth, especially tertiary students to be wary of the global economic recession which may challenge them to shun integrity in their endeavours."We must try to resist attempts by some unscrupulous people to force us into fraudulent deals that could erode the gains and investment made in us", he stated.Professor Omane-Antwi observed that today's economic environment was unstable, hostile, complex and diversified, noting that this therefore put pressure on tertiary students to continually upgrade their skills to overcome the challenges.Mr. Noel Nortey, National Predident of APHAS, insisted that the lack of creativity, innovativeness, effective management skills and ability to anticipate customers' needs were hampering effective accounting work and therefore tasked accountants to be up and doing to save their image.

Maritime academy to purchase patrol boats for Volta Lake

The Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) on Friday said the authority would purchase three patrol boats to control operations and practices of overloading and drunkenness by operators on the Volta Lake.The authority is also going to construct passengers' reception facilities at major boat loading and landing stations on the Lake as well as put up jetties and suitable landing facilities for berthing of vessels.Mr Isaaka Peter Azumah, Director-General of GMA, made this known when the Minister of Transport Mr Mike Hammah, his deputy Mrs Dzifa Ativor and officials of the ministry toured the offices of the GMA in Accra. The tour was to afford the Minister to learn about challenges facing the GMA, map out for the way forward and share with management and staff the government's vision of Ghana becoming a middle income country by 2020.The GMA, which was established in 2002 by Act 630, is charged the responsibility of regulating activities of maritime as well as ensuring safety and security in the country's maritime environment, among others. Mr Azumah said the GMA has been registering and training boat operators adding that six boat centres along the Volta Lake had benefited with 872 persons going through their programmes. According to him through the establishment of a Labour Task Force by the Authority, there had been a reduction in the spate of accidents on the Volta Lake, adding since 2007, no accidents had been recorded. Mr Azumah said the GMA was poised to overcome its challenges and called on government to provide the authority with adequate funds to recruit 50 more technical staff.He said the GMA was currently waiting for the passage of Marine Pollution Bill to regulate activities on inland water ways. The Director-General asked government to also assist them with logistics such as patrol boats and security equipment to ensure the smooth operations of the Authority.Mr Hammah said transportation played a key role in the activities of the country gateway activities.He therefore urged staff and management to be proactive so as to boost investors' confidence in their operations. Mr Hammah also tasked the GMA to ensure that the youth benefited from their training programmes so as secure employment as Ghana entered the oil business. "For the youth to be employed they need to be equipped with the basic training in maritime programmes," he said.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

No fiscal policy direction for Ghana’s oil

- Revenue Watch Institute
New York based Revenue Watch Institute (RWI) has bemoaned the fact that with barely a year to commence commercial oil production off its West Coast, Ghana is yet to put in place a clear policy direction as to how expected oil revenues would be distributed and utilized.Emmanuel Kuyole, Africa Regional Coordinator for RWI said the country has neither overhauled the agencies charged with overseeing the industry nor published policies on how the discoveries would be used to benefit the country.Mr Kuyole’s comments highlights pressure in Ghana and outside for government action to help the country escape the so-called “paradox of plenty”, that has left many other resource-rich countries in the grip of graft and mass poverty.According to him, even though the Ghana has stated clearly its intention to avoid the fate of Nigeria and other troubled resource regions by setting out modalities, before the commencement of commercial oil production for royalties, dividends, corporate taxes and other levies, not much has been achieved in that direction.Speaking at a training workshop for members of the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalist (IFEJ) in Accra last Friday, Mr Kuyole explained that current projections by the German Technical Coorporation indicates that Ghana could reap as much as US$ 25 billion over the projected 25 year life span of the Jubilee oil field, for which reason prudent strategies are required ahead of time to ensure such revenues are well utilised.He expressed concern about the fact that $27 million of annual receipts from the country’s minerals resources had not impacted much on the livelihood of the citizenry since independence, calling for definitive actions to forestall a similar situation with the entry of oil set to generate $1billion in annual revenue.According to him, even though the past government worked out a draft oil policy, it is far from being a complete document as the current government has made known its intension to revise most portions of the text.Citing an instance, he said the decision to set up a new National Petroleum Authority to be in charge of oversight responsibility, with the existing Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) concentrating on its core duties has been, neglected, with the Mills’ Administration seeking to strengthen the GNPC for additional responsibility.Another major concern Mr Kuyole raised was the fact that only a model contract document between government and the Oil companies has been made public, saying that this posed a threat when it comes to issues of transparency.He called for broader participation in issues relating to the expected oil revenues to ensure that such resources were used judiciously.To him, a more comprehensive oil policy document could work to ensure that the oil industry is well integrated with other sectors of the economy and satisfy the demand for local content.Credit: Financial Intelligence(Charles K. Amoah and Ebenezer Asare)
Source:Financial Intelligence

Solar Sector Could Have Sunny Spring

Tough German winter chilled profits, but better weather and Chinese subsidies will help industry.Solar product manufacturers were blindsided by snow in the first quarter, but results should thaw in the spring.
A cold winter with heavy snowfall in Germany led to a decline in installations in the world's biggest solar market. The second quarter should see an uptick in activity, Collins Stewart analyst Daniel Ries told Forbes. Germany accounts for 40.0% to 45.0% of total world demand.Last week, news that the Chinese government plans to subsidize solar power installations spread optimistic rays across the industry, energizing shares of companies that have suffered from weak pricing and tight credit markets. The Chinese government said sun-powered projects producing more than 50 kilowatts in energy output qualify for government-provided funding equal to 20 yuan ($2.92) per watt.
"This level of subsidy is substantial given that even in Germany panels are today being sold at close to 2 euros/Wp [$2.70]," said JPMorgan analyst Sandeep Deshpande, referring to watts peak, or maximum power output. "Thus the Chinese government will virtually fund the entire panel, which seems an extremely high upfront subsidy."
While Wall Street had been bracing itself for a sour start to the second quarter, a hopeful reading on housing and March auto sale number that, while gloomy, were not quite as disastrous as anticipated, lifted stocks with all three major indices gaining on the day.
And as the weather warms up, solar sector stocks got sunnier, too. American depositary receipts of JA Solar added 5.6%, or 19 cents, to close at $3.56, in New York on Wednesday. Evergreen increased 3.8%, or 8 cents, to $2.21, and LDK Solar rose 12.8%, or 81 cents, to $7.15.
Chinese companies also fared well, as Solarfun Power Holdings added 7.4%, and Trina Solar Limited 5.9%.
Bucking the upward trend was ReneSola, which lost 1.3%, or a nickel, to close at $3.95.

Rajevac names 32-man Ghana squad

Miloavn Rajevac has named a 32-man squad for Ghana’s double 2010 World Cup qualifier, with Mali and Sudan next month.
Announcing the squad to, Rajevac said: "I have selected a squad of 32 who I strongly believe would ensure our progress in the qualifying campaign over the next two games."
Ghana plays both games away with the match against the Malians coming up first in Bamako on June 7 before the Black Stars fly out for the third qualifying match with Sudan on June 20 in Omdurman.
FC Cologne attacker Dereck Boateng together with Yusif Chibsah, Joe Tex Frimpong and Prince Buabeng all make a return to the team.
There is a first-time call for Opoku Agyemang and Papa Arko.
The Black Stars lead the Group D standings with 3 points after securing an opening day win at home over Benin.
Squad in full:Goalkeepers: Richard Kingston (Wigan Athletic, England), William Amamoo (Etasaalat, Egypt) and George Owu (Al Masry, Egypt)
Defenders : John Paintsil (Fulham, England), Samuel Inkoom (Asante Kotoko, Ghana), Harrison Afful (Asante Kotoko, Ghana), John Mensah (Lyon, France) Jonathan Mensah (Free State Stars, South Africa), Jonathan Quartey (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa), Eric Addo (Roda JC, Holland)
Midfielders : Daniel Yeboah (Heart of Lions, Ghana), Isaac Vorsah (Hoffeinham, Germany),Moussa Narry (Auxerre, France), Stephen Appiah (Unattached), Michael Essien (Chelsea, England), Anthony Annan (Rosenborg, Norway), Sulley Muntari (Inter Milan, Italy) Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese, Italy), Bernard Kumordzi (Panionios FC, Greece) Rahim Ayew (Eleven Wise, Ghana) Prince Buabeng (Dundee United, Scotland) Yusif Chibsah (Gefle, Sweden) Dereck Boateng (FC Koln, Germany) Opoku Agyemang (Al Sadd, Qatar) Haminu Draman (FC Locomotiv Moskva, Russia)
Strikers: Asamoah Gyan (Rennes, France), Mathew Amoah (NAC Breda, Holland), Samuel Yeboah (Hapoel Tel Aviv, Israel), Prince Tagoe (Al-Ittifaq, Saudi Arabia) Joe Tex Frimpong (BSC Young Boys, Switzerland) Papa Arko (El Geish, Egypt)