Saturday, October 31, 2015

TBAs in Afram Plains receive training


Donkorkrom (E/R), Oct. 31, GNA - A total of 27 traditional birth attendants (TBAs) in the Kwahu Afram Plains North District have been taken through a five-day refresher training to enhance their role in improving maternal health.

The workshop was to help reduce birth complication and high mortalities in the rural communities and was organised by the Presbyterian Hospital in the district and the Kwahu Afram Plains North Health Directorate in collaboration with the Hunger Project (THP)-Ghana.

The TBAs were trained on improving management of normal delivery, timely detection and referral of women with birth complications and how to handle mothers during referral to a health facility among others.

Closing the workshop at Donkorkrom on Friday, Mr Samuel Erasmus Afrane, the THP-Ghana Country Director, expressed the urgent need to drastically reduce maternal mortality in the country, especially in the rural areas.

He urged the TBAs to take advantage of the workshop and congratulated the participants for their voluntary work and advised them to work hard towards achieving zero maternal mortality.

Mrs Stella Deiwah, Deputy District Health Director, who also enlightened the TBAs on nutrition, challenged them to educate parents and pregnant women in their communities on the three food groups and the benefits for good health.

She encouraged the participants to refer cases of bleeding during pregnancy as well as other complications during delivery to the health centres early to save expectant mothers.

Mrs Deiwah asked the TBAs to continue robbing their hands on the stomach of expectant mothers until arrival at health centre and encouraged them on the importance of family planning and its forms.



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Air France, Lufthansa stop Sinai overflights after Russia crash


Paris (France) (AFP) - Air France and Lufthansa said Saturday they will stop flying over Egypt's Sinai peninsula after a Russian passenger plane went down in the area with the loss of all 224 people on board.

The airlines said they were taking the measure as a precaution while the cause of the Russian crash was investigated.

The Islamic State (IS) group affiliate in Egypt has said it downed the plane, without saying how, but Russia's transport minister said the claim "cannot be considered accurate" and an Egyptian security official said the plane did not crash because of an attack.

An Air France spokesperson told AFP they would not fly over Sinai until further notice, "as a precaution" while "clarification" was sought over why the Russian charter plane crashed.

Lufthansa told the German newspaper Die Welt it was taking the same measure for the same reason.

Military experts have told AFP that IS militants in Sinai do not have weapons capable of hitting an aircraft at 30,000 feet (9,000 metres), the altitude of the airliner when it lost contact.

But they have not ruled out a bomb on board or the possibility that the plane was hit by a rocket as it descended because of technical problems.

A senior Egyptian air traffic control official said the pilot of the Airbus A321 told him in their last communication that he had radio trouble.

The Kogalymavia flight with 214 Russian and three Ukranian passengers and seven crew, had taken off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in south Sinai bound for Saint Petersburg.



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Ghana needs 2.5 million dollars to close infrastructure gap


Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper, has revealed that the country is lagging behind in terms of infrastructure that could expand the economy and speed up development.

He said "efficient infrastructure creates employment, develop capital, promotes local and foreign exchange investment and trade, fuels businesses and helps to raise the standard of living and access to critical services”.

Meanwhile, it is estimated that Ghana needs to spend at least 1.5 million dollars to close the infrastructure deficit.

Mr Terkper said this at the ongoing third global conference on Public Private Partnership (PPP) in Takoradi in the Western Region.

The conference would look at ways of harnessing opportunities, international expertise and resources to accelerate Ghana's PPP Agenda.

The Minster said government desire to develop the various sectors of the economy has been strengthened by immense interest and confidence shown by the international community to help in development.

He said driving development through strong PPP would allow the public sector to tap into the financial and human capital of the private sector.

Economist with Global Holdings, Joe Barnor explained that the PPP is a contractual arrangement between a public entity and private sector party with clear agreements on shared objectives and risk sharing for the provision of infrastructure.

He said the PPP deals always enable government to provide better infrastructure and services through the use of private sector financial, human and technical and thereby freeing government resources for equally important uses.

Public Investment Division of the Ministry of Finance Magdelene Apenteng, Director, said the Ministry is developing the legal, institutional and regulatory framework for the PPP programme to ensure effective management of PPP projects.

The PPP

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Nduom reiterates call to have DCEs elected


Founder and leader of the Progressive People’s Party, Paa Kwesi Ndoum says the party is determined to have Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives elected if given the nod in the 2016 election.

He believes the partial decentralization system being operated for the past three decades has not sped up national development.

Dr. Ndoum made this comment at the 2nd National Convention to elect party officers at Takoradi in the Western Region.

“We are the ones who are saying that the Attorney General should be independent and the Minister of Justice should be the president’s lawyer so that if anyone does anything wrong politics will not be there to save them so that corruption can be attacked actively.

“We are also the only political party saying that if our people are smart enough to cast a vote to elect an MP and Assembly Member, they are also smart enough to cast a vote to elect their District Chief Executive. The PPP is saying that it is time for us to elect our MMDCEs”, he added.

He reiterated the PPP’s promise to provide quality free education which will be compulsory for every Ghanaian child.

“Free compulsory continuous education from kindergarten to the end of senior high school is what we mean. The constitution does not only say free education but free compulsory education. It is only the PPP that is insisting that our constitution says compulsory education and we will bring it to Ghanaians”.

There was no election at the PPP National convention. All six current national executives were retained in office by popular acclamation.

They include Nii Allotey Brew Hammond as the National Chairman, the National Vice Chairman went to Wiilaim Dowokpor, they had Belinda Bulley as the Second Vice Chairman, Ben Salliah as the third Vice Chairman, Mutala Mohammed as the National Secretary and the treasurer went to Felix Ogra.

The National Chairman of the PPP,

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At least one dead as Burundi police fire on funeral bus


Nairobi (AFP) - At least one person died Saturday when Burundian police fired on a bus leading a funeral cortege outside the capital Bujumbura as bystanders claimed that as many 16 were killed in the shooting.

Police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye told AFP one person died when police exchanged fire with "armed criminals" on a bus heading a funeral cortege and three vehicles behind it.

But witnesses told AFP that 10, possibly as many as 16, people had died in the shootout, insisting no shots were fired from the bus itself.

A military source speaking anonymously meanwhile spoke of "three deaths and several injured".

Nkurikiye said police had been tipped off that the man buried at the earlier funeral led a group which earlier in the week attacked a police post near a youth centre at Kamenge in the northeast of the capital.

Police allowed the funeral of the man to go ahead at Mpanda, near the city's airport but then met the cortege as it reached nearby Buringa.

"When police tried to stop the bus the miscreants inside started shooting and police responded," said Nkurikiye.

He added that armed men in two of the vehicles fired into the air as they fled the scene.

Nkurikiye also told AFP that, as well as making a dozen arrests, police had recovered two rifles and a grenade at the scene.

- Official account disputed -

Witnesses disputed the official account.

One youth who was in the cortege and traveling in a vehicle behind the bus said there were around 50 people, including women and children aboard the latter, none of them armed.

He added the man buried at the funeral had been killed two days earlier by a stray bullet.

Recent weeks have seen a slew of attacks on police by what the authorities refer to as "criminal gangs", meaning those opposing a third term for President Pierre Nkurunziza, in power since 2005 and re-elected last June.

Since then, the country has been convulsed by violence, which broke out weeks before the poll and which has cost an estimated 200 lives.

Nkurunziza opponents say his re-election breached the terms of a peace deal that paved the way to ending a 13-year civil war in 2006.

Regional attempts to broker peace talks between rival factions have made little headway.



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Stop accusing government for lack of development


Pabieman (G/A), Oct. 31, GNA - Nii Odumkpla I, the Chief of Odumkpla in the Ga South of the Greater Accra Region, has called on the chiefs in the area to stop putting blame on governments for lack of development.

He said until they collectively speak with one voice and stop the stomach politics their communities would continue to suffer.

Nii Odumkpla made the call during a meeting of chiefs, elders, opinion leaders and the youth group of Pabieman organised by Nii Pabie I, Chief of Pabieman to deliberate on the way forward of progress in the area.

They raised issues such as the tarring of the only road that link the communities to Nsawam, transportation problem, provision of pipe-borne water and public places of convenience as well as senior high school.

He expressed gratitude to Nii Pabie for his initiative and good intention of reviving the meeting which was hitherto held at Kofi Kwei.

Nii Odumkpla, who was the Chairman for the occasion said the time had come for the chiefs in the communities to come together and fight a common course, saying that some areas has fought on such path and they have succeeded in achieving their aspirations.

'We should focus more on our needs and appeal to the central government rather than playing politics, which in the long run will not help us,' he said, adding that; 'let us put behind us what has passed and look forward with one aim.'

Nii Odumkpla assured the people that he would work in collaboration with Nii Pabie to lead the community leaders to champion the way of the people for good living standard.

Nii Pabie said governments had come and gone but their road remained in the same deplorable situation, describing it as an eye-sore to community members.

He expressed worry about the attack of a driver of the Metro Mass Transit to the area, which led to the withdrawal of services, which he said is detrimental to the socio-economic activities of the majority of the people.

Mr Pius Kwame Fiakuna, former Assemblyman and an aspiring Independent Member of Parliament for the area, commended the chiefs for organising the meeting, saying the 1992 Constitution allows community leaders to demand their portion of development.

'However our country's democratic dispensation has become so much partisan and polarised that if you don't belong to any particular party you will not get help,' he said.

Mr Fiakuna said to every position there are responsibilities and asked the people to vote for him to change the face of the constituency come 2016.

Mr Isaac Efiemuasem, a member of a youth group of Pabieman said members formed the group to offer support to the chief of the community to facilitate environmental sanitation.

He said this would help to prevent diseases as a result of open defecation which is common due to lack of places of convenience in the locality.



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At least two killed in C.Africa violence ahead of polls


Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) - At least two people were killed and several wounded Saturday in sectarian violence in the capital of the Central African Republic, a military source said, the latest outbreak of unrest ahead of elections expected next month.

"Several houses were torched and heavy gunfire was heard in the Christian districts besieged by armed Muslims," he said, adding that several hundred people fled the attacks in Bangui. "Men, women and children were running in all directions," he said.

Christian militiamen and army soldiers "took positions... to protect the residents," the source said.

A diplomat said some of the UN and French forces who intervened were engaged sporadically by small groups.

Also Saturday, transitional President Catherine Samba-Panza announced that a first round of legislative and presidential elections and a constitutional referendum would be held next month.

"There is already a consensus that these operations be held in December," she said, adding that while the latest upsurge in violence "perhaps does not jeopardise" the elections, it was "worrying".

She said the government was "counting on" UN peacekeepers and French soldiers, as well as the army, to "halt the current violence and especially to protect the people who feel a bit abandoned."

The National Authority for Elections' latest timetable proposes a constitutional referendum on December 6, to be followed by a first round of presidential and legislative elections on December 13. If a second-round run-off is called for, it would take place on January 24, 2016.

The constitutional referendum was most recently set for October 4, while the other polls had been scheduled for October 18. All had already been postponed twice.

Samba-Panza said "the legal timeframe and the current situation" precluded completing the elections this year, adding: "We have to be realistic."

The fresh unrest came two days after four people were killed and around 20 wounded in Bangui in a reprisal attack avenging the deaths of two Muslims.

One of the poorest and most unstable countries in Africa, the landlocked former French colony plunged into chaos after president Francois Bozize was ousted in a coup in March 2013.

The mainly Muslim Seleka rebels behind the coup went on a bloody rampage that triggered the emergence of equally dangerous anti-balaka (anti-machete) militias in mostly Christian communities.

Parliament appointed Samba-Panza the country's transitional leader in January 2014 until elections can be held.

Violence between members of the Christian and Muslim communities flared again in September, leaving scores dead and hundreds injured before an international force restored calm.



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Vote For Real Change – Nana


The presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has called on Ghanaians to effect a real change of government come 2016 by voting massively for him as president.

He asked the citizenry who will be hitting the polls on the election day to cast their ballots to trust him as a competent leader who, when given the power, will serve the country with a clean heart and see to it that the country enjoys great economic transformation.

Nana Akufo-Addo made the call when addressing a massive crowd of Ghanaian residents in Canada at a town hall meeting in Toronto on Tuesday, October 26, 2015.

The town hall meeting which was organised by the NPP Canada branch in collaboration with the Toronto Chapter was to give the presidential candidate the platform to present his vision and mission as the party drives to power next year and also to interact with the people.

'I am asking all of you Ghanaians to trust me Akufo-Addo by giving me the power to serve as the chief executive and I assure you that I will serve the country with a clean heart and see to it that the country achieves the needed economic transformation that we all are yearning for,' he said.

Nana Akufo-Addo's call received deafening applause and the largest standing ovation at the occasion, with the crowd replying him in unison, 'You have our trust and support.'

What could be described as a near stampede happened immediately after ten minutes past seven when people started rushing into the main auditorium of the Ghanaian Presbyterian Church in Toronto, with many of them coming straight from work to listen to Nana Akufo-Addo.

Presenting the true picture of the situation back home to Ghanaians in Canada, Nana Addo pointed out that governance in Ghana presently is nothing to write home about.

He said 'All the economic indicators are poor; the 3.5 percent of Ghanaian economic growth as claimed by the NDC government is in doubt.'

Nana Akufo-Addo observed that major business companies go to micro finance institutions instead of banks for loans because President Mahama's government has developed a high appetite for borrowing from the banks, thus raising interest rates very high.

According to him, there is widespread enterprise failure across the country because of the erratic power supply dubbed 'dumsor', creating joblessness for many a young energetic men and women and resulting in economic hardships.

He further noted that Ghana's economy is not growing and that the 9.5 billion national debt from Nkrumah's regime through to President John Agyekum Kufuor's eight years in government has, in the seven years under NDC government, ballooned to 94.5 billion.

He therefore asked Ghanaians to vote massively for him to come and form the next government to transform the economy by diversifying agriculture, industry and manufacturing, and develop bilateral trade relations with ECOWAS states to generate the needed revenue to develop the country.



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Energy Conserving Project launched in Upper East


Sumbrungu (UE), Oct. 31, GNA - An energy conserving project has been launched in the Upper East Region to help address the issue of desertification and climate change.

The project dubbed: 'Energy conserving cooking bag also known as the Wonderbag,' is being patronised by many women in communities across the districts in the region.

The Coalition of Good which is made up of the Centre for Skill Training, Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy, Wonderbag Company, PFIZER, a Multinational Pharmaceutical Company based in the United States are implementing the project.

The bag is made with insulated material that conserves heat and a cooking pot.

To use the bag therefore, one is expected to boil his or her food within three to four minutes with the conventional means of cooking before transferring the food into the Wonderbag, which then continues with the cooking without using charcoal, fuel wood or LPG gas.

The food often takes within 45 minutes to one hour to cook.

Demonstrating how to apply the technology to a group of women at Bolgatanga and Sumbrungu to launch the project, Mr Yem Nyeya, Director of the Wonderbag project, said the environment in the region is noted among the other regions to be most degraded.

He cited human activities such as charcoal burning and indiscriminate tree felling as some of the challenges facing the region.

He expressed the hope that with the intervention of the technology, it would help address the problem.

'Apart from the technology reducing the amount of fuel wood and charcoal used in cooking, the technology is smokeless, and can also be used to preserve consumables as well as cut down labour of women who walk long distances in search of fuel wood. It is also key in achieving the SDGs' the Director stressed.

Mr Bismark Ayorogo Adongo, the operation manager of the Coalition of Good, which is implementing the project explained that Wonderbags have been subsidised from GH₵250.00 to GH₵20.00 each with the support of PFIZER, a Pharmaceutical Company from the United States.

He explained that among the intention of the technology is to empower women economically so that the money used by them to purchase charcoal and fuel wood could be channeled to help take care of their families particularly children.

He stated that one of the advantages of the new innovation is that unlike the conventional form of cooking, which kills food nutrients, the new technology preserves all the nutritional values of the food.

'This is an additional plus to the project and it will help in curbing the nutritional problem among women and children in the region', he added.

He disclosed that already the project had distributed 550 bags to communities like Bongo, Bolgatanga, Tongo, Zorko, Sumbrungu, Wunkongo, Zanlerigu, Yokote, Gowrie and Kongo.

Mr Gareth Vic Joen, a staff of the Wonderbag Company, said the Company which was formed in 2007 in South Africa had supplied millions of the Wonderbags in many countries including the UK and USA and other African countries.

Naba Baba Salifu Aleemyarum, Paramount Chief of Bongo who is the Chief Executive officer of the Green Bongo project, urged his colleague chiefs in the region to encourage their communities to patronize the product to help curb desertification in the region.

Mr Edward Ayagle, former Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive expressed the need to upscale the project to all the communities in the region

Many of the women who had used the innovation confirmed the efficacy of the Wonderbag, adding that it had cut down cost and labour.



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Russian airliner crash in Egypt's Sinai kills 224


Cairo (AFP) - A Russian airliner carrying 224 people crashed in a mountainous area of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, killing everyone on board, officials said.

It was one of the deadliest incidents involving Airbus aircraft over the past decade.

The Islamic State (IS) group affiliate in Egypt claimed it downed the plane, without saying how.

Egyptian Prime Minister Sharif Ismail expressed doubt about the claim, saying "experts confirmed that a plane cannot be downed at such an altitude", and Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov said the claim "cannot be considered accurate".

Germany's Lufthansa and Air France said they would halt flights over Sinai until the reasons behind the crash became clear.

The Airbus A321 with 214 Russian and three Ukranian passengers and seven crew, had taken off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in south Sinai bound for Saint Petersburg.

It lost contact with air traffic control 23 minutes later.

"Unfortunately, all passengers of Kogalymavia flight 9268 Sharm el-Sheikh-Saint Petersburg have died. We issue condolences to family and friends," the Russian embassy in Cairo said.

The wreckage was found roughly 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of the North Sinai town of El-Arish, Egyptian officials said.

Debris and bodies was spread over an area of between six and eight square kilometres (two and a half to just over three square miles).

The aircraft's black box had been retrieved and sent for analysis, Ismail said.

The IS affiliate waging an insurgency in the Sinai claimed that "the soldiers of the caliphate succeeded in bringing down a Russian plane".

It said this was in revenge for Russian air strikes against IS in Syria.

Three military experts said IS in Sinai does not have surface-to-air missiles capable of hitting a plane at high altitude.

- Rescue teams -

But they could not exclude the possibility of a bomb on board or a surface-to-air missile strike if the aircraft had been descending to make an emergency landing.

The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin ordered rescue teams dispatched to Egypt.

Russian experts would take part in the Egyptian-led investigation, Ismail said.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his French counterpart Francois Hollande sent Moscow their condolences.

Russia's emergency ministry published a list of names of the passengers, ranging in age from a 10-month-old girl to a 77-year-old woman.

A senior Egyptian aviation official said the charter flight was flying at 30,000 feet when communication was lost.

At Saint Petersburg's Pulkovo airport, family members awaited news.

Ella Smirnova, 25, said she had been there to meet her parents.

"I spoke to them last on the phone when they were already on the plane, and then I heard the news.

"I will keep hoping until the end that they are alive, but perhaps I will never see them again."

A senior Egyptian air traffic control official said the pilot told him in their last communication that he had radio trouble.

Russian aviation official Sergei Izvolsky told Interfax news agency the aircraft took off from Sharm el-Sheikh at 5:51 am (0351 GMT).

He said it did not make contact as expected with Cyprus air traffic control.

"Communication was lost today with the Airbus 321 of Kogalymavia which was carrying out flight 9268 from Sharm el-Sheikh to Saint Petersburg," Izvolsky told Russian television networks.

- Safety record -

"The plane departed Sharm el-Sheikh with 217 passengers and seven crew members. At 7:14 Moscow time the crew was scheduled to make contact with... Larnaca (Cyprus). However, this did not happen and the plane disappeared from the radar screens."

Kogalymavia, which operates under the name Metrojet, says it has two A320s and seven A321s, and that it carried 779,626 passengers in the first nine months of 2015, according to the Russian aviation agency Rosaviatsia.

Russia has a dismal air safety record, with charter operators often under pressure to book to capacity on ageing jets in an attempt to cut costs.

Kogalymavia is a small regional carrier that flies mostly international charter services.

The crash is likely to raise renewed concerns about the safety of air travel in a country with an ageing fleet of airliners.

The last major air crash in Egypt was in 2004, when a Flash Airlines Boeing 737 plunged into the Red Sea after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh.

All 148 people on board, most of them French, died.

Millions of tourists, including many Russians, visit the resort, one of Egypt's major attractions for its pristine beaches and scuba diving.

It and other resorts dotting the Red Sea coast are heavily secured by the military and police, as an Islamist militant insurgency rages in north Sinai bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip.



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224 killed as Russian airliner crashes in Egypt's Sinai


Cairo (AFP) - A Russian charter plane carrying 224 people crashed in a mountainous part of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula Saturday, killing everyone on board, officials said.

The Islamic State (IS) group affiliate in Egypt claimed it downed the plane, without saying how, but an Egyptian security official said the plane did not crash because of an attack.

Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov said the IS claim "cannot be considered accurate", adding that authorities in Egypt "have no such information that would confirm such insinuations," Russian news agencies reported.

The Airbus A321 with 214 Russian and three Ukranian passengers and seven crew, had taken off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in south Sinai bound for Saint Petersburg.

It lost contact with air traffic control 23 minutes later.

Egyptian security and medical officials said there were no survivors, and that bodies and debris were spread over around five square kilometres (two square miles).

The Russian embassy in Cairo said: "Unfortunately, all passengers of Kogalymavia flight 9268 Sharm el-Sheikh-Saint Petersburg have died. We issue condolences to family and friends."

The wreckage was found roughly 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of the North Sinai town of El-Arish, Egyptian officials said.

The IS affiliate waging an insurgency in the Sinai claimed that "the soldiers of the caliphate succeeded in bringing down a Russian plane".

It said this was in revenge for Russian air strikes against IS in Syria.

Three military experts said IS in Sinai does not have surface-to-air missiles capable of hitting a plane at high altitude.

- Rescue teams -

But they could not exclude the possibility of a bomb on board or a surface-to-air missile strike if the aircraft had descended for an emergency landing.

The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin ordered rescue teams dispatched to Egypt.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his French counterpart Francois Hollande sent Moscow their condolences.

Russia's emergency ministry published a list of names of the passengers, ranging in age from a 10-month-old girl to a 77-year-old woman.

A senior Egyptian aviation official said the charter flight was flying at 30,000 feet when communication was lost.

At Saint Petersburg's Pulkovo airport, family members awaited news.

"I am meeting my parents," said 25-year-old Ella Smirnova. "I spoke to them last on the phone when they were already on the plane, and then I heard the news."

"I will keep hoping until the end that they are alive, but perhaps I will never see them again," she said.

A senior Egyptian air traffic control official said the pilot told him in their last communication that he had radio trouble.

Russian aviation official Sergei Izvolsky told Interfax news agency the aircraft took off from Sharm el-Sheikh at 5:51 am (0351 GMT).

He said it did not make contact as expected with Cyprus air traffic control.

"Communication was lost today with the Airbus 321 of Kogalymavia which was carrying out flight 9268 from Sharm el-Sheikh to Saint Petersburg," Izvolsky told Russian television networks.

- Safety record -

"The plane departed Sharm el-Sheikh with 217 passengers and seven crew members. At 7:14 Moscow time the crew was scheduled to make contact with... Larnaca (Cyprus). However, this did not happen and the plane disappeared from the radar screens."

Kogalymavia, which operates under the name Metrojet, says it has two A320s and seven A321s, and that it carried 779,626 passengers in the first nine months of 2015, according to the Russian aviation agency Rosaviatsia.

Russia has a dismal air safety record, with charter operators often under pressure to book to capacity on ageing jets in an attempt to cut costs.

No representative of the airline could be found at the airport in Saint Petersburg and calls to company phones went unanswered.

Kogalymavia is a small regional carrier that flies mostly international charter services.

Russia's regional carriers are notorious, and the crash is likely to raise renewed concerns about the safety of air travel in a country with an ageing fleet of airliners.

The last major air crash in Egypt was in 2004, when a Flash Airlines Boeing 737 plunged into the Red Sea after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh.

All 148 people on board, most of whom were French, died.

Millions of tourists, many of them Russian, visit the resort, one of Egypt's major attractions for its pristine beaches and scuba diving.

It and other resorts dotting the Red Sea coast are heavily secured by the military and police, as an Islamist militant insurgency rages in north Sinai bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip.



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Accra Brewery supports 31st national Farmers Day




The Accra Brewery Limited (ABL) has presented to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture a cheque for GH ¢ 20,000 and 220 cases of an assortment of its brands.

This year's event is slated for 4 December 2015 at Bolgatanga in the Upper East region, under the theme "Transform Ghana: Invest in Agriculture''.

Over the past two years, Eagle Lager, ABL's cassava beer, has supported the Farmers' Day with farm implements such as power tillers, cutlasses, wellington boots and assorted products to best cassava farmers at the national and regional levels. Eagle Lager is being developed as a Sustainable Development brand to "grow economies" through agro-based and social intervention programmes.

The company hopes to develop a furrow irrigation system with a solar powered mechanized borehole for rural farmers in Yirene within the Bolga Municipality in the Upper East Region. The Yirene community has a population of 850 people with about 201 households who are mainly farmers. The gesture is in line with the company's commitment to enhance the livelihood of farmers, especially Cassava farmers, as well as contributing to the socio-economic development of the country. In recognition of ABL's consistent sponsorship, the MoFA conferred a Platinum award on the company at a sponsor's awards ceremony in Accra.

Among its brands, ABL has a number of products whose major raw material is locally produced -Club Premium Lager (maize), Stone Lager (rice), Chibuku (sorghum) as well as Eagle Lager (cassava beer).

ABL's Corporate and Legal Affairs Director, Ms Adjoba Kyiamah, who led officials of the company to present the package to the ministry, remarked that as a subsidiary of AB Miller, ABL believes in accelerating growth and development through its value chains.

"We prioritize the Ghanaian farmer, hence the use of locally grown raw materials in the production of our brands," she said. Ms Kyiamah commended farmers for their hardwork and commitment, adding that ABL is grateful for their support.

Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in charge of Crops, Ahmed Alhassan Yakubu assured that the items and cash presented will be used for the intended purpose.

He commended the company for the unflinching support it demonstrates towards the award's day, adding that "the ministry recognises ABL as allies in the celebration of the annual National Farmers' Day".

Story by Ghana|myjoyonline.com|EA

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National Hydrographic and Oceanographic Committee Inaugurated




The Ghana Maritime Authority [GMA] has set up a 12 member National Hydrographic and Oceanographic Committee to ensure that the maritime laws in territorial and international waters are properly respected in accordance with the Maritime Conventions and Treaties in force.

Addressing members of the committee, the Director General of Ghana Maritime Authority [GMA], Rev. Peter Issaka Azuma noted that the Authority conducted a National Hydrographic Technical Status exercise to assess Ghana's hydrographic and oceanographic requirements.

The exercise, according to the D-G, reveals that in the absence of a national coordinating committee, vital information needed for update of nautical charts which are essential for the safety of navigation are being archived by other government agencies.

Rev. Peter Issaka Azuma added that most hydrographic activities in Ghana are conducted under varying specifications and standards and as a result data formats are often not compatible for use at the interagency level.

He mentioned duplication of work and lack of coordination as a major setback in the sector.

The committee is therefore expected to formulate a National Hydrographic and Oceanographic standards and policies in line with the International Hydrographic Organization [IHO] and IOC specifications.

Other task includes developing and maintaining a National Hydrographic and Oceanographic Database, act as a focal point and respiratory for hydrographic and nautical information, to coordinate and plan hydrographic and oceanographic activities to avoid duplication of work.

Marilyn Eghan, Hydrographer, Ghana Maritime Authority, added that data put together by the committee will also provide relevant information to beach guards and operators.

She said beach guards with relevant information about beneath the sea can determine which specific areas are dangerous and deadly beach-lovers and swimmers.

"In fact, it is possible to know that a location where one stands may be normal but an inch from that particular spot may be dipper and therefore can cause one to drawn. But information obtained can rectify some of these ignorance which normally ends in deaths of many people at the beaches during festive occasions," she intimated.

Members of the Committee are drawn from GMA, Fisheries Commission, University of Ghana Marine and Fisheries department, Regional Maritime University, Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Hydrological Service Department, Survey and Mapping Division of Land Commission including a representative from GNPC and VRA.

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Academic work disrupted as a divorced watchman commits suicide in school




A 58-year old night watchman identified only as Amass has committed suicide by hanging at Chirapatre in Kumasi.

The body of the deceased, who worked at Chirapatre Roman Catholic Primary School was found behind the school's library in the early hours of Friday.

Until his death, Amass was the security man for Chirapatre Roman Catholic Primary 'A' and 'B' and the school's Library.

The divorcee husband tied a skipping rope to the branch of the tree, and tightened it with his walking stick, with his torchlight at the base.

According to Head teacher of the school, Slipy Mensah, the deceased has been suffering from what looked like stroke for the past two years.

He says Amass was due for retirement next year but could not tell what might have caused him to kill himself.

"He wasn't showing any sign of mental ailment but he was very weak and couldn't walk properly for close to three years", he revealed.

At a point, school authorities say they suggested another watchman to assist him which he agreed.

Academic activity was delayed in the early hours of Friday as the compound became chaotic with anxious children trooping in to the scene to catch a glimpse.

"We have asked the students to be indoors and later we will explain things to them. There is no fear among the students. In fact some don't even know what is happening," Mr. Mensah said.

Mr. Mensah says school authorities will take pupils and teachers through psychological counseling to enable them to overcome the effect of the tragedy.

"Psychologically, we have to psych both the students and teachers and even those around. We have plans of doing that but not this morning," he added.

Residents are surprised at the turn of event because this is the first time such an incident has occurred in the community.

"That is the first time this incident has happened here. Though we always here of such incident on radio, we are surprised someone could do this," a worried woman told Luv News.

Traditional authorities were brought in to pour libation and perform other rituals before the body was taken off the tree and handed over to police.

Assemblyman for Chirapatre, Bismark Osei Tutu, says immediate steps will be taken to have a replacement for the departed watchman to secure the school.

Police at Asokwa division have begun investigations while efforts are underway to contact relatives of the deceased.

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A fair job must be done - Ambrose Dery charges EC Committee




Former Deputy Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Ambrose P. Dery has charged the five-member committee the forum on new voters register to be fair in their recommendations.

The controversy surrounding the voter register won't go anytime soon as more people continuously put in their arguments as to why it should be changed for a new one or why it should be maintained.

Speaking to Joy News exclusively, in Wa, Ambrose Dery stated "I will advise that whoever is there to do the right job".

A forum to debate the arguments for and against the compilation of a new voters' register for the 2016 general elections is currently underway.

Justice VCRAC Crabbe is chairman of a five-member committee appointed by the Electoral Commission to oversee the discussions on the matter during the two-day forum.

The NPP parliamentary candidate for the Nandom constituency further stated all the arguments for or against the new voter register conceded that they are challenges with the voter register citing a ruling at the Supreme Court that bares people from using the National Health Insurance cards to register but they were used meaning there is a problem with the register.

"I think that is important that when all stakeholders' shares responsibility, there is confidence, there is trust and I think that is better for our electoral process,'' he stated.

He suggested two options for the Electoral Commission: Either to be solely responsible for any challenges in the voters register or to have collective responsibility with all other stakeholders for whatever challenges are in the voter register.

''If now there is an opportunity for a new register, all stakeholders must know they have obligations to discharge in respect of that register and at the end o it the outcome cannot then be challenged by anyone. If any stakeholder does that he has no basis or locus for doing that'', he said.

When asked whether he has confidence in the five member panel set up by EC tasked to conduct a forum on the voters register, Mr. Dery said he doesn't like to classify or pigeonhole people but he is of the belief that any Ghanaian who is put on there must do to the interest job.

"Whatever it is EC ultimately bears the responsibility for the outcome. EC cannot shift responsibility to anybody. It is an independent body and it is time for it now to arrive at a decision. Whatever processes it goes through now it is neither here nor there, the decision rest on the EC,'' he charged.

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Stop Using Our Slogan Ghana Must Work Again -- CPP Tells NPP


The Convention People's Party (CPP) has challenged the NPP on its increasing use of the slogan - “GHANA MUST WORK AGAIN” .

In a letter to the NPP's National Headquarters the CPP reminded the NPP that the slogan was the title of the CPP Manifesto for the 2012 Election and that the CPP used the slogan for the 2012 Elections.

The letter signed by the CPP General Secretary Nii Armah Akomfrah requested that the NPP

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Minister's Dispatch Rider Killed In Gory Crash




THE DISPATCH rider of the Ashanti Regional Minister has reportedly died after falling from his motorbike and landing on his head whilst leading the minister's convoy on Thursday.

Lance Corporal Promise Kwaku Duah, the deceased, suffered life-threatening head and neck injuries after the fall and was rushed to a health facility at Anwia Nkwanta, but he gave up the ghost a few minutes after arrival.

The policeman met his untimely death whilst leading the convoy of the minister, who was returning to Kumasi after commissioning a health facility at Tweapeasi in the Amansie West Central District.

The gory accident occurred on the Oda bridge near Anwia Nkwanta on the main Kumasi/Obuasi highway when an Urvan bus which was ahead of the minister's convoy stopped suddenly.

Lance Corporal Kwaku Duah, whose motorbike was right behind the Urvan bus, reportedly tried to avoid hitting the rear of the bus but in the process, he lost control of his motorbike and fell, landing on the road with his head.

Clement Kigeri, spokesperson of the minister, who witnessed the gory accident, disclosed that Lance Corporal Kwaku Duah's helmet broke after he landed on the road.

He was quickly rushed to a nearby health facility for treatment but died before medical care could be given to him.

Lance Corporal Kwaku Duah
Warning Signs
Clement Kigeri said earlier happenings to Lance Corporal Kwaku Duah before and during the trip 'should have indicated to us that something disastrous was about to happen.'

He said Kwaku Duah was late in reporting to work that Thursday morning so another dispatch rider was called to lead the minister's convoy, but the now deceased policeman arrived when the minister's convoy was just about to move.

Kigeri said the other dispatch rider and Kwaku Duah engaged in heated verbal exchanges over the latter's lateness, adding, 'I intervened for peace to prevail before Kwaku Duah led the convoy.'

According to him, Kwaku Duah fell from his motorbike at the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) immediately he moved the motorbike 'and we had to help him pick the motorbike from the floor...'

Kigeri said on reaching Kotwi on the main Kumasi/Obuasi highway, a certain driver crossed the motor rider 'and he nearly fell but luckily he escaped so the driver was arrested by the police in the area.'

He said getting close to Obuasi, one of the tyres of Kwaku Duah's motorbike burst so the motorbike was put at the back of one of the Pick-ups in the convoy 'and Kwaku Duah alighted at Obuasi to fix the motor whilst we left for the event.'

Kigeri said Kwaku Duah joined the minister's convoy at Obuasi when they were returning to Kumasi from the programme to prepare for another event at Ejura; but the accident occurred, leading to the rider's death.

FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi  

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Government Chases More Loans




The government has laid before parliament  another ¢ š ¬23.5 million loan agreement for purported construction and equipping of 10 polyclinics in the Central Region.

The loan agreement between the government and the Raiffeisen Bank International AG of Austria, was laid in the house yesterday by the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu, on behalf of the Finance Minister who was said to be on an official trip with the president to India.

In addition to this, the government is also asking parliament for a waiver of import duties, import VAT, Import National Health Insurance Levy, EDAIF, ECOWAS Levy, destination inspection fees and withholding tax liabilities on project equipment and materials and other project-related imports amounting to ¢ š ¬3.4 million in respect of the said project.

The loan agreement has been referred to the Finance Committee for consideration.

The new loan agreement has raised eyebrows on the minority side, with deputy minority leader, Dominic Nitiwul, saying that the way things are going he would not be surprised that by the time the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) exits power  in January 2017, Ghana's total debt would have ballooned to a whopping  GH ¢110 billion or more, as predicted by Nana Akufo-Addo - from the GH ¢9.5 billion that the present government met in 2009 when it took over power from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration.

According to the deputy minority leader, who spoke to a section of the media after yesterday's sitting, the worrying situation is that by  a year or two,  the biggest item on the country's budget will be debt repayment or debt servicing.

"How can this government spend so much above what the country generates and what is the point in starting new projects or promising new projects when you know very well that you don't have the resources to complete those projects?" he queried, saying that it had got to a point that the government has to borrow to be able to pay salaries of workers.

Mr Nitiwul, NPP Member of Parliament for Bimbilla, indicated that the recent $1 billion Eurobond that had been secured by the government would be used to solely service the country's debt.

"The IMF has directed that all the $1 billion has to be used to pay some of our debts," he said.

According to the deputy minority leader, the worrying aspect of government's borrowing is that the NDC government has found an ingenious way of side-stepping parliament to borrow from the domestic market by floating bonds and issuing  treasury bills because parliament cannot have a  means of knowing what the government is using that domestic loan for and how it is going to pay those loans.

The MP for Twifo Atti Morkwa in the Central Region, Samuel Ato Amoah, told DAILY GUIDE that he was very happy that the government was going for the loan to improve health facilities in the region.

He said the polyclinics would help ease the pressure on the government hospitals in the region.

By Thomas Fosu Jnr

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21st Century Estate Kofi Asmah Accused Of Stealing Fetteh Lands




The Essel Ankwanda Royal family of Gomoa Fetteh has warned the general public to refrain from acquiring any land or property from 21st Century Real Estate Developers of Millennium City in Fetteh.

The Essel Ankwanda Royal family is calling on the leader of the ruling National Democratic Congress [NDC] to return title to all Gomoa Fetteh including those hijacked by 21st Century Real Developers at Millennium City in Fetteh.

The Royal family alleges that 21st Century Real Estate Limited and its allied companies do not owe any piece of land at the Millennium City, Fetteh or Nyanyano in the Central Region.

Kofi Asmah, the man at the center of the land litigation, according to the Royal family purported to have gotten a grant of land over 40,000 acres from their late chief Nana Abor Ewusi XVII.

Through a letter bearing the late chief's letterhead and forged signatures and thumbprints of supposed elders of Fetteh.

Addressing some section of the media, the Spokesperson for the family, Nana Abubakar Sulemana, Abusuapanyin [elder] for Fetteh Kakraba said Kofi Asmah owns no land at Gomoa Fetteh.

"We therefore challenge kofi Asmah and 21st Century to provide valid documents that indicated that the land has been paid for as reported by Mr. Asmah," he stated.

He added that there were times search at the Lands Commission reveals that the land is free however, checks later hinted that those lands has been registered in name of the 21st Century Real Estate Developers.

The Spokesperson indicated that both the indenture and the site plans that Mr. Asmah hold indicate the land is situated at Gomoa Buduburam and not Millennium City.

"How come Gomoa Buduburam became Millennium City?" Mr. Abubakar Sulemana intimated.

He added that the then Commissioner of Lands in the Central Region, on June 27th 2002, in a memorandum to the then sector Minister enumerated the fictitious and criminalities relating to Kofi Asmah in his dealings on Gomoa Fetteh lands but that came to naught.

The Spokesperson of the Essel Ankwanda Royal family has accused the police and other security capos of going to bed with Kofi Asmah in exchange for favours and lands from 21st Century Limited.

He alleges that the security apparatus and the state institutions that otherwise should have been impartial and neutral in their professional duties are manipulated and used against the allodial owners of the land especially the police.

The royal family is therefore calling on the government to step in and force Kofi Asmah to show his landmark pillars if he is really entitled to any land at Millennium City.

The Spokesperson alleges in his concluding remarks that government should sanction an immediate and full scale non-partial enquiry of an independent body into occurrences that have led to the death of several innocent persons who were against Kofi Asmah.

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Restore Akuse Back To Us - Akuse Chief Tells Prez Mahama




The Chief of Akuse-Amedeka, Nene Edralor Dokutse Peteye Ankrah IV has call on President Mahama not to renege on his promise to restore back Akuse to Akuse-Amedeka Osudoku settlement.

The Chief said the anomalous political administration of Akuse-Amedeka into the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality Assembly has generated a lot of feud and disorganized system hindering several developments on the land.

He added that the wrongful placement under the Lower Manya Krobo does not make Akuse part of the Manya Krobo Traditional Area because they are two separate clan.

According to Nene Edralor Dokutse Peteye Ankrah IV, the wrongful placement of Akuse under the Lower Manya Krobo has brought about the incidence of self-style chiefs who are claiming to be the overlords of Akuse land.

He pointed out that two self-styled chiefs, Nene Teye Titriku I and one Nene Asar-De Ahor are all claiming the ownership of the land as the Chief of Akuse.

"I, Nene Edralor Dokutse Peteye Ankrah IV is the current legitimate chief of Akuse-Amedeka and has been validly been nominated and enstooled as the Chief of Akuse in accordance with the Chieftaincy Act, 2008 [ACT 759]," he stated.

He indicated that government, the Osudoku state, Dangme state, Manya Krobo state and more particularly, the Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Assembly, knowing very well that Akuse shall be reverted back to the Dokutse Peteye Family of Akuse-Amedeka, have deliberately denied them of all development and social infustracture in the Osudoku settlement.

The Chief added that all statutory funds of the Municipality including the Assemblies Common Fund, MPs Common Fund, IGF which part were supposed to be used as funding for developmental projects in Akuse were skewed towards the Manyo Krobo's.

He claimed that Krobos and the Osudokus are separate tribes, explaining that the Osudokus first settled on the land during the colonial era before the Krobos [Yilo Krobo and Manya Krobo] came and were given the mountains by the first chief of Akuse-Amedeka, Nene Dokutse Peteye Ankrah I as their place for settlement.

He added that the Manya Krobo used their marriage relationship with the Osudoku woman Atta Abla [great grand Aunt], colonial relationship and early acceptance of Christianity which made them pals to suppress the families of the Osudoku woman so they could take over Akuse-Amedeka lands but failed.

The Chief noted that the battle has been going on in order to reclaim Akuse back but the Krobos have built a stun resistance so they could continue to enjoy all the inheritance, royalties and benefits that were due them simply because they were wrongly placed under the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality.

He posited that the Dokutse Peteye family through their respective chiefs and families since the colonial era leased and sold lands within Akuse to all government projects, the Kpone Hydroelectric project [VRA], Akuse-Asutsuare sugar project in the 1960s, the KIP and the Oceansey family.

However, as a result of the legal tussle between the opponents, royalties that were supposed to be collected by the chief of Akuse as a source of revenue for development are piled and locked up somewhere because both are claiming legitimacy over the Akuse land.

Nene Edralor Dokutse Peteye Ankrah IV and the elders also recounted their frustrations by the Akuse Police and the Odumase Circuit Court which they ended up being locked up in the police cell.

According to him, the conduct of the Akuse District Police Commander and his Honour, Francis Y. Gbeddy, Esq. the Presiding Judge of the Odumase Circuit Court must be investigated and reprimanded for condoning with some "fraudulent and selfish interest" group of individuals plunging the Akuse into chaos.

He call on government, the VRA, KIP, the Police, the Osudoku state, Manya Krobo state, and the people of Akuse-Amedeka to join hands to rebuild Akuse-Amedeka , alleviate poverty and the hardships in order to restore the declining image of the town.

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Zakat Foundation to expand projects


Tamale, Oct 30, GNA - The Zakat Foundation of America, Ghana, a social and humanitarian organization, is to expand its interventions in the southern parts of the country to benefit more vulnerable and deprived people.

Mr Habib Abubakar, Programme Manager of Zakat Foundation of America, Ghana, disclosed this when he briefed journalists in Tamale after they have toured the organization's projects in the Northern Region.

The tour was to enable the visiting Interim Programme Director of Zakat Foundation, based in Chicago, United States of America, Mr Kamal Ali Birru, to assess the projects being undertaken by Zakat Foundation of America, Ghana, in all its project areas.

Mr Abubakar said currently, Zakat Foundation of America, Ghana, which is based in Kumasi, worked in the areas of education, health, livelihood empowerment and humanitarian assistance in three regions, namely, the Brong-Ahafo, Northern and Upper East Regions.

He disclosed that the organization was implementing a livelihood programme in the Bole District where it had set up a cassava processing plant to help especially women farmers to process their cassava, including vocational training and equipping beneficiaries with machines to start work as self-employed.

He also spoke about other interventions of Zakat Foundation of America, Ghana, which he said, included the provision of medical supplies to four hospitals and 32 water wells across Bole, Bawku and Binduri.

He said the interventions were helping to transform lives, and pledged to improve on them to touch more lives.

Mr Birru, who is based in Chicago, Headquarters of Zakat Foundation, expressed gratitude to all partners, including District Assemblies, for their collaboration to ensure the delivery of the projects.



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Authorities Must Reveal The Whereabouts Of A Journalist Arrested Three Months Ago


Cameroon's authorities must urgently reveal the whereabouts of a journalist who has been held in secret detention since his arrest three months ago and give him access to lawyer and his family, Amnesty International said today.

Journalist Ahmed Abba, a Hausa language correspondent for French radio Radio France Internationale (RFI) was arrested on 28 July in the city of Maroua while investigating the Boko Haram conflict in the north of the country. Despite repeated attempts by his lawyer, RFI and his family, he has been refused any contact with the outside world and subject to secret detention - prohibited under international law. In addition, Ahmed Abba has been deprived of his right to be brought promptly before an ordinary civilian court, as well as the right to challenge the lawfulness of his detention. It is unclear if any charges have been brought against him.

"Whatever the reason for Ahmed Abba’s arrest is, there can be no justification for secret detention. Both international human rights law and Cameroonian national law require that he has regular access to a lawyer and that any charges against him be made public," said Ilaria Allegrozzi, Amnesty International Central Africa researcher.

“Holding someone in secret detention increases the risks of torture and other ill-treatment. Cameroonian authorities have committed to upholding human rights standards in all circumstances, and this can be no exception”

Since 2014 the Cameroonian authorities have arrested more than 1,000 people for allegedly supporting Boko Haram. Many are held in inhumane detention conditions in overcrowded prisons, with extremely long delays before facing trial.



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Parties Paid To Toe A Line At EC Forum Konadu


Former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings has alleged money could have changed hands to force some political parties to toe a particular line at the EC Forum on the voters’ register.

A two-day stakeholders’ forum by the Electoral Commission ends Friday as political parties outline their views about the controversial issue.

The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is spearheading the call for a new register while the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is against it.

However, Nana Konadu whose National Democratic Party (NDP), is also pushing for a fresh electoral roll, feels the position of some parties have been compromised.

“It is very difficult to tell what impact [the forum] will have when you have not actually taken a proper census of who sees the problem, what the problems are and how we are going to address it,” Mrs Rawlings told Accra-based TV3.

“Because if we listen to only party positions, when we know in this country that some parties can actually decide that we going to pay XYZ so they say the things we want, you are not going to get the best out there.”

Nana Konadu stressed that the EC needs to “talk to professionals, who can see into these things and then get your opinion even as you want to talk to party leaders on these things”.

She added: “The NDP has made certain assumptions and specific issues on what is [wrong] with the register at the moment. So, we have to look at the issues we have brought up and juxtaposed it against getting a new register or not.”

Nana Konadu also opined the allegations made by the NPP

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Friday, October 30, 2015

GhIPSS embarks on Direct Credit campaign


Accra, Oct 30, GNA - The Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) has embarked on public education to encourage more usage of Direct Credit.

This is to ensure that the public experience the benefits associated with the electronic payment system.

Direct Credit is an electronic payment system similar to standing order, where a customer instructs his or her bankers to make recurring payments of a specified amount on a specified date. However unlike the Standing Order, the Direct Credit is done electronically and it is quicker and safer.

Direct Credit is suitable for bulk payments such as salaries, insurance claims, and payment of dividends, while individuals can also use it to pay for mortgages as well as items bought on hire purchase, and other forms of interbank transfers.

Patronage of Direct Credit has been experiencing phenomenal growth since its introduction some four years ago. A number of companies are using it to pay salaries because the process is less cumbersome, while employees have quicker access to their salaries as it allows the employer's bank to send the salaries to individual worker's account directly.

The Chief Executive Officer of GhIPSS, Archie Hesse, told the GNA that companies whose employees are still experiencing delays in salaries hitting their accounts are missing out on the Direct Credit experience and urged their management to turn to ACH Direct Credit, which is a safe, secure, efficient and quicker way of making bulk payments.

He also urged companies and individuals who make other forms of recurring payments, to also opt for Direct Credit.

Mr. Hesse said GhIPSS will continue with the education to ensure that the news about the benefits of Direct Credit reached every corner of the country.

He also encouraged the financial institutions to complement their efforts by educating their customers to take advantage of the payment option and enjoy the convenient that comes with it.

He added that the Direct Credit also has express service, which the public can opt for.



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Advertising Agencies tasked to be innovative


Accra, Oct. 30, GNA - Ms Jebet Andany, Country Manager of SCANAD Ghana, a Communications Consortium, has urged marketers to be innovative and develop strategies that would ensure that customers have value for their money when they purchased brands.

Ms Andany said this at the Annual Marketing Conference, organized by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana, on the theme: 'The Future Marketing, Evolve or Die'.

Speaking on the topic: 'The Future of Brands and Brand Experience,' she said a successful brand should be able to touch consumer needs continuously since consumers now want a brand they can be identified with.

'Consumers now see advertising as a source of information to talk about with friends and gather news. The consumer no longer connects with the media but digests the information on its own entity', she added.

Ms Andany noted that, advertising is about continuous engagement, more human and less corporate, stressing that, the brand of a company must tell a story embedded in the shared memory of the customer.

She said it is incumbent for marketers to understand customers from their point of view, adding that, 'due to the influx of technology, customers are exposed to many adverts and so there is the need to satisfactorily them.'

Mr Kojo Mattah, President of CIMG, said the institute's annual awards are to create awareness for the Marketing Concept, promote high professional standards and encourage excellence among marketing practitioners.

He said organisations are now adopting creative and innovative marketing strategies in their activities in the financial, manufacturing and electronic media industry to improve on their work.

Mr Mattah said marketing has a major role to play in the development of the country and the competitive nature of global business, hence the need for continuous awareness creation programmes.

He stressed that with a marketing driven economy, players in the Ghanaian economy will be expected to rely on modern marketing practices in the realization of their business successes.



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Marketers cautioned against abuse of customer data online


Marketers have been cautioned against the use of customer data without their consent, especially in this era of internet marketing.

In a bid to reach a wider audience, some marketers have over the years resorted to the use of the internet thereby falling on personal data of even non-customers and bombarding them with unsolicited marketing materials.

Speaking with Joy Business at this year’s CIMG Strategic Marketing Conference, Managing Partner of business law firm A.B. and David, Isabel Boateng said marketers should not lose sight of the legal rights of these persons.

She pointed out that although internet marketing is the way to go and cannot be avoided in this era, marketers should know their boundaries.

“You are marketing in an era where there is a dark side, where identities could even be bought online, and so many other things.”

Brand definition she indicated is very important in these times and is premised on integrity and trust, hence, for a marketer to be able to promote that brand, it is very important that they understand the regulatory issues that affect how they market.

According to him, regulatory issues surrounding privacy, consumer protection and electronic transactions, specifically the data protection Act should be important to all marketers.

“It is important for marketers to understand what their obligations are in this era. There are legal issues related to how you process the personal data of data subjects (customers) so marketers will be deemed as data controllers and they have a responsibility to ensure that they have a secure and high safety standards in terms of how they collect data, how they hold and use information and so on” she emphasized.

Madam Boateng added that with electronic transactions there are rules in terms of the nature of marketing that can be done, issues related to unsolicited marketing, etc.



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NDC Condemns Destruction Of Voters Register At Ledzokuku


The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has in the strongest tern condemned the destruction of the party’s voters register at the Ledzokuku constituency in the Greater Accra region.

According to the party, it will not tolerate such rowdy and criminal acts by any party member, and will allow the law to deal ruthlessly with the perpetrators.

The Ledzokuku Krowor constituency office of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) witnessed chaotic scenes when some aggrieved party members destroyed the party’s voters ‘register scheduled for exhibition.

The delegates, clad in red attire with some hav­ing red bands on their wrists and around their heads, gathered at the entrance of the party office preventing executives from exhibiting the regis­ter, which was going to be used on November 7, 2015 for the party’s primaries.

According to the delegates, one of the aspiring ‘ candidates, Daniel Amartey Mensah, had infiltrated the register with foreign names, creating over 3,000 potential voters.

The constituency delegates said the register therefore needed cleaning before its exhibition, adding that they would not vote until it was cleaned.

But speaking on Peace FM Friday, First Vice National Chairman of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo said the party takes a strong exception to the destruction of the electoral roll, a development which is gradually becoming a trend in some constituencies.

“We take a serious stance on what happened in Ledzokuku yesterday, this is totally unacceptable. It is becoming one too many and we cannot allow this to continue. Constituency executives who look on for such criminality to happen will be sanctioned. They are supposed to ensure that the exhibition exercise in their respective constituencies goes on peacefully and unhindered. They should report the culprits to the police for the law to take its course”.

This is not the first time the NDC’s voters register has been destroyed. A fortnight ago some constituency executives in the Atebubu Amentin constituency burnt the voters register after they suspected foul play.

Constituency chairman, George Kyereh Mensah justified the action, stating that the register contained names of members of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) â€" a development he described as “a bit strange.”

Some executives who allegedly support the incumbent Member of Parliament for the area, Mr Sanja Nanja suspected the District Chief Executive (DCE), Sampson Owusu Boateng, of being behind that move.

The NDC is expected to go for its Parliamentary and Presidential Primaries on November 7 to elect its Candidates for the 2016 general elections.




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Capitation is to promote NHIS objectives


Cape Coast, Oct. 30, GNA - Mr. Anthony Gingong, Director in-charge of Provider Payment at the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), has said that the essence of introducing the capitation system into the operations of the National Health Insurance Policy was to ensure total attainment its objectives.

To this end, he said, the Authority has put in place all the necessary mechanisms needed to pave the way for smooth, orderly, and effective implementation of the capitation throughout the country.

Mr. Gingong was rolling out the Capitation at the Central Regional Administration in Cape Coast to kick-start the use of the Capitation System in the region.

He expressed appreciation to people in the Ashanti Region for embracing the capitation, after grappling with the tense challenges the system attracted initially when it was introduced in the region three years ago.

Mr. Gingong was hopeful that with the introduction of the Capitation, the principal aims and objectives of the NHIS centered on quality and affordable healthcare for present and future generations of the country would be achieved and sustained.

He said the Authority anticipated the initial criticisms and other challenges which erupted when it was first introduced in the Ashanti Region, because developed countries which adopted the Capitation System to support their Health Insurance Policies also suffered similar problems at the initial stages.

Mr. Gingong announced the setting up of a Regional Steering Committee, as well as Municipal and District Capitation Committees, to speed up the implementation of the system.

He said one of the most pressing issue the Capitation system was meant to eradicate from the operations of the various Municipal and District Schemes was the abuse of the Health Insurance Policy by some unpatriotic NHIS clients who intentionally hopped from facility to facility with their Health Insurance Identification Cards to collect drugs and store them in their homes.

Mr. Gingong described this practice as wicked and very dangerous, because it weakened the financial base of the Health Insurance Policy and drew back its progress.

Mr. Gingong and Mr. Francis Oti Frempong, Central Regional Director of the NHIA, assured Mr. Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, the Central Regional Minister, of the NHIA's readiness to team up strongly with all the major stakeholders in the Region to make the Capitation System succeed.

Mr. Quansah thanked the NHIA Management for finally rolling out the Capitation System in the Central Region, and assured them of his administration's determination to ensure a maximum success of its operation in the region.

He also admitted that the new system may encounter some challenges in the region, but expressed the hope that with intensive public education of the system much could be achieved.

The Regional Minister charged all NHIA communication officers in the region to intensify their sensitization activities on the Capitation System in all corners to accelerate its implementation.

The Regional Minister announced plans to secure a more suitable place to construct a new and befitting regional hospital in Cape Coast to replace the current one, which was now serving as a teaching hospital.



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Deliberative polling proves useful in Tamale


Tamale, Oct. 30, GNA - The Resilient Africa Network (RAN) hosted by the University for Development Studies (UDS) working in close collaboration with the Center for Deliberative Democracy (CDD) at Stanford University has disseminated its first successful Deliberative Poll (DP) results conducted in Tamale.

The poll involved a random, representative sample of the Tamale Metropolitan Area to assess the opinions of the population on issues affecting them.

Deliberative Polling (DP) is an innovative citizens' consultative process that assesses the representative opinions of a population, both before and after it has had a good chance to thoroughly discuss problems confronting their communities, and identifying appropriate solutions to them.

The Tamale DP is the first in West Africa, which showed a representative sample of the population that became more informed after deliberation, and they identified specific policy solutions that could help address Tamale's urgent problems.

The results suggested the setting up of rainwater harvesting systems in educational institutions, promotion of maximum consumption of local foods, encouraging a public-private-partnership to convert waste to energy, promoting the use of environmentally-friendly toilets, and the treatment of waste water for farming through the use of charcoal and stones, among others.

The results also showed that a higher percentage of the people want the use of clean water to produce vegetables, while others strongly recommended the ban of using untreated waste water for crop cultivation and others wanted the use of drift irrigation.

Professor Jim Fishkin, the Director of Stanford University's Centre for Deliberative Democracy, who disseminated the results in Tamale, on Wednesday, called for a continued commitment and constant touch with the communities as well as adopting innovative approach to addressing the identified problems.

He said in all, 243 persons were recruited through the random selection of households and random selection of participants within the households and interviewed, which 208 persons fully completed the two days of deliberation.

He commended Ghana for the successful DP and urged stakeholders not to relent in their efforts in trying to help raise the voices of communities in their development aspirations.

He stressed the need for district assemblies to be fully involved in addressing the policy proposals.

Mr Dennis Chirawurah, the Director of the West Africa RILab, said the team was excited about the DP, explaining that the new things would not be done but existing things would be used as well as turning them round to build the resilience of communities.

He said the engagement with communities were not over since the critical issues emerged from the DP still existed and the team intended to keep close touch with the communities and would also work together with those in civil society to achieve positive results.

The Tamale DP showed a representative sample of population that became more informed after deliberation, and they identified specific policy solutions that could help address Tamale's urgent problems.

The outcome of the DP also validates the theory that deliberative democracy can be applied in a development context even if the population has low illiteracy levels.

The DP was focused on two main categories of issues: Water, Hygiene, and Sanitation (WASH); and Livelihood and Food Security.

The purpose of the poll was to provide direction for local government and the donor agencies on how to address the most pressing needs of the people in the metropolis.



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Ghana has tremendous potential to fix economic challenges


Vice Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party says Ghana has a tremendous potential to fix the current economic challenges facing the country.

Speaking at the Financial Times' Private Equity in Africa Summit in London Wednesday, Dr.Mahamudu Bawumia said

“There’s no limit to what we can achieve and how high our economy can climb. The steps to get there are clear to me: we must stabilize the macro-economy, exhibit fiscal discipline, support and enable the private sector, and deliver a reliable energy supply for our people and businesses.”

He was invited to join a panel discussion alongside esteemed co-panelists: Grant Harris, former Senior Director for African Affairs at the White House; Aubrey Hruby, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council; and Bruce Zimmerman, Chief Investment Officer and CEO of UTIMCO, one of America’s largest endowments â€" with investments at $28 billion.

The high-profile leadership summit brought together leaders from tier one global investment firms, multilateral institutions, top think tanks, and governments.

The Financial Times summit was convened to examine the opportunities and challenges to economic development and investment in Africa. Discussions focused on the impacts of governance, corruption, and political stability on investor confidence and economic growth.

The discussants assessed Africa’s investment climate and investor perceptions, then delved into Ghana’s economic situation more specifically. The panel moderator asked Dr.Bawumia for his expert analysis on the sharp economic downturn experienced in Ghana in recent years and the decline in fiscal management, which has significantly affected investment.

The renowned economist said “Ghana experienced an economic transformation over the course of several years â€" beginning in 2001. Ghana was the star of the ‘Africa rising’ narrative. We had a blossoming economy, strong fiscal management, and a growing private sector. We entered international capital markets and were welcomed with enthusiasm. But in the past few years, it has turned into quite a sad story. After Ghana found oil, expectations rose even higher. And yet, despite all the plans to avoid the ‘oil curse’, the government has allowed us to fall victim to it.”

Dr.Bawumia continued, “We are seeing severe fiscal indiscipline. The current government has an insatiable appetite for debt. It has been on a borrowing binge â€" the debt to GDP ratio is over 70%. Interest on government debts this year will be four times Ghana’s oil revenue â€" and that’s just the interest,” he said to an audible reaction of shock from audience.

“They’ve already gone to the IMF this year for a $1billion bailout, and now they’re looking for more loans. But when you’re in a hole, you need to stop digging,” he said, as his co-panelists nodded in agreement.

According to him, there are plenty of things that can be done to fix the problems we’re facing in Ghana and to spark confidence in our economy.



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Veep encourages Ghanaians to write


Accra, Oct, 30, GNA - Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, has encouraged Ghanaians, especially those in public administration, to develop the culture of writing their memoirs for posterity.

He also said the authentic telling of our stories must be done by ourselves and not outsiders.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur made the statement when he launched a book entitled: 'Ghana Armed Forces in Lebanon and Liberia Peace Operations,' at the Kofi Annan International Peace-Keeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) at Teshie.

The 400-page book which was authored by Colonel (Dr) Emmanuel Wekem Kotia with the foreword by Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, provides insight into Ghana's contributions to peace-keeping globally, and regional peace operations, especially in Lebanon and Liberia.

The colourful launch was well attended by serving senior Military officers, as well as those retired and diplomats.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur also observed that it was such a great idea to encourage people to write since any writing was better than no writing at all.

He said it was better that our national legacy was written in text rather than in transient word.

He commended the author of the book for his in-depth look at the task, experiences and challenges of Ghana's peace-keeping contributions to the United Nations.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur stated that the international community must not be indifferent to conflicts no matter the trigger, and find solutions to them

He said over the past five decades, Ghana had shown great commitment to peace-keeping, adding that it was in the country's interest to continue in that regard.

He said it was re-assuring that an interesting trend was emerging in the Ghana Armed Forces where senior officials who had participated in major undertakings, had decided to write their observations for posterity.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur further stated that the peace-keeping activities undertaken by the country did not only add to the nation's pride, but also helped to preserve and appreciate the peace the country had.

'Witnessing the horrors of wars in conflict states have had a far reaching impact on the outlook on peacekeeping personnel and contributed to the peace the nation is enjoying' he added.

Colonel (Dr) Kotia, author of the book, who is currently the Chief Instructor and Academic Programmes Coordinator at the KAIPTC, said it looked at the contributions of African nations to peace operations in conflict zones across the world, since the deployment of the United Nations operations in the Congo in 1960.

He said Ghana over the past 50 years had earned an international reputation as one of the largest and most consistent troops contributing countries in the United Nations mandated peace operations.

He said while Ghana had long been an active contributor to peace operations, there were few studies that systematically analyzed the actual roles played by troops in many of the different conflict contexts where they had served.

Colonel (Dr) Kotia explained that the book was an attempt to fill this gap by comparing the task, experiences and challenges of Ghanaian troops in two different peace operations in Lebanon and Liberia.

Dr Festus Aubyn, a Research Fellow at KAIPTC whose review of the book was read by Dr Kofi Afful, noted that the book was an important text that offered a detailed look at the tasks, experiences and challenges of Ghana as one of the United Nations most reliable and proficient peace-keeping contributors.

He said the author's detailed strategic assessment of Ghana's peace-keeping experiences in Liberia and Lebanon, provided not only a long overdue description of this small West African country's impact on global security and conflict management.



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Pledge Pink Visits The Cancer Unit Of The Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital


Members of Pledge Pink, the Breast Cancer awareness initiative by UT Bank, have paid a working visit to the Cancer Unit of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital to interact with care givers, doctors and patients of the Unit.

This visit formed part of an outreach exercise to bring the campaign closer to the people who are practically involved in the prevention, treatment and management of the disease while interacting with them to have firsthand understanding and experience with Breast Cancer and the processes which go into cancer care in the country.

It was also in commemoration of activities in October every year, globally dedicated to awareness creation on the prevention, treatment and management of Breast Cancer.

Pledge Pink, led by lead Coordinator, Mrs. Zara Neequaye, expressed her appreciation on behalf of UT Bank and Pledge Pink to the Unit and reiterated its support towards the Oncology Department’s efforts in tirelessly providing diagnostics, treatment and post-cancer care to patients.

Mrs. Neequaye intimated that the visit was a rare privilege to better partner the Cancer Unit in re-strategizing to intensify public education on the prevention, treatment and management of Breast Cancer which has become the leading cause of cancer related deaths among women - five hundred thousand lives globally and one thousand nationally every year.

Welcoming Pledge Pink to the Cancer Unit, the Deputy Head of the Unit, Dr. Verna Vanderpuje bemoaned the spate of late diagnosis which could be attributed to a lack of regular screening, or late reporting of symptoms of the diseases to health facilities.

Touching on challenges in the delivery of quality care to patients, Dr. Vanderpuje cited the negative influence from peers whose negative counsel on victims that a mastectomy is the only option once a diagnosis has been made as a serious barrier to early diagnosis and treatment.

She remarked that most patients who presented with the disease in its latter stages needlessly suffered avoidable agony, at which point it became more of symptom control rather than a complete cure.

Dr. Vanderpuje stressed the importance of adopting preventive measures as opposed to having no choice but to succumb to the debilitating effects of a fully-blown cancer. She revealed that the Oncology Unit grappled with many cases of which 25% - 30% were Breast Cancer cases.

According to Dr. Vanderpuje, available data could only be indicative of a bigger problem which did not rule out the possibility of a high number of unreported cases and assured that survival rates will see a steady rise if patients and the rest of the public are educated better on preventive measures, treatment and management options.

Dr. Edwin Wiredu, Head of the department of Pathology, stressed the need for male partners of affected female patients to extend the needed physical and emotional support to their loved ones to increase their chances of survival and called for a change in mind set towards women with breast cancer.

Globally, the month of October has been dedicated to the creation of awareness about the prevention, treatment and management of Breast Cancer. Breast Cancer remains the commonest cancer among women and the second commonest cancer worldwide. More than 500,000 women worldwide have died from Breast Cancer and its associated mortality figures are still rising sharply.

Both medical practitioners noted that Breast Cancer is not a death sentence and assured that early diagnosis is key to survival.

Pledge Pink urges all women (and men) to undergo regular screening and seek early medical intervention. Breast Cancer is preventable, treatable and manageable; early detection is the key to a positive prognosis and a chance at life.


2015-10-30 174309




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Restore Akuse Back To Us


The Chief of Akuse-Amedeka, Nene Edralor Dokutse Peteye Ankrah IV has call on President Mahama not to renege on his promise to restore back Akuse to Akuse-Amedeka Osudoku settlement.

The Chief said the anomalous political administration of Akuse-Amedeka into the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality Assembly has generated a lot of feud and disorganized system hindering several developments on the land.

He added that the wrongful placement under the Lower Manya Krobo does not make Akuse part of the Manya Krobo Traditional Area because they are two separate clan.

According to Nene Edralor Dokutse Peteye Ankrah IV, the wrongful placement of Akuse under the Lower Manya Krobo has brought about the incidence of self-style chiefs who are claiming to be the overlords of Akuse land.

He pointed out that two self-styled chiefs, Nene Teye Titriku I and one Nene Asar-De Ahor are all claiming the ownership of the land as the Chief of Akuse.

“I, Nene Edralor Dokutse Peteye Ankrah IV is the current legitimate chief of Akuse-Amedeka and has been validly been nominated and enstooled as the Chief of Akuse in accordance with the Chieftaincy Act, 2008 [ACT 759],” he stated.

He indicated that government, the Osudoku state, Dangme state, Manya Krobo state and more particularly, the Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Assembly, knowing very well that Akuse shall be reverted back to the Dokutse Peteye Family of Akuse-Amedeka, have deliberately denied them of all development and social infustracture in the Osudoku settlement.

The Chief added that all statutory funds of the Municipality including the Assemblies Common Fund, MPs Common Fund, IGF which part were supposed to be used as funding for developmental projects in Akuse were skewed towards the Manyo Krobo’s.

He claimed that Krobos and the Osudokus are separate tribes, explaining that the Osudokus first settled on the land during the colonial era before the Krobos [Yilo Krobo and Manya Krobo] came and were given the mountains by the first chief of Akuse-Amedeka, Nene Dokutse Peteye Ankrah I as their place for settlement.

He added that the Manya Krobo used their marriage relationship with the Osudoku woman Atta Abla [great grand Aunt], colonial relationship and early acceptance of Christianity which made them pals to suppress the families of the Osudoku woman so they could take over Akuse-Amedeka lands but failed.

The Chief noted that the battle has been going on in order to reclaim Akuse back but the Krobos have built a stun resistance so they could continue to enjoy all the inheritance, royalties and benefits that were due them simply because they were wrongly placed under the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality.

He posited that the Dokutse Peteye family through their respective chiefs and families since the colonial era leased and sold lands within Akuse to all government projects, the Kpone Hydroelectric project [VRA], Akuse-Asutsuare sugar project in the 1960s, the KIP and the Oceansey family.

However, as a result of the legal tussle between the opponents, royalties that were supposed to be collected by the chief of Akuse as a source of revenue for development are piled and locked up somewhere because both are claiming legitimacy over the Akuse land.

Nene Edralor Dokutse Peteye Ankrah IV and the elders also recounted their frustrations by the Akuse Police and the Odumase Circuit Court which they ended up being locked up in the police cell.

According to him, the conduct of the Akuse District Police Commander and his Honour, Francis Y. Gbeddy, Esq. the Presiding Judge of the Odumase Circuit Court must be investigated and reprimanded for condoning with some “fraudulent and selfish interest” group of individuals plunging the Akuse into chaos.

He call on government, the VRA, KIP,

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Akufo Addo Must Rather Be Commended


New Crusading Guide managing-editor Malik Kwaku Baako could not have put it any better and more poignantly, when he characterized the patently opaque process by which the Presidency solicits contractors for the production of “Presidential Diaries” as “naked robbery” (See “Processes for Printing Presidential Diaries ‘Naked Robbery’ â€" Baako Charges” MyJoyOnline.com / Ghanaweb.com 10/25/15). After several calls, including one from this writer, went out for the Chief Resident of the Flagstaff House to reveal the firm solicited for the purpose most recently, we are told that Mr. John Dramani Mahama and/or his minions have revealed that it was a company called JIT Magazines and Diary Services that was awarded such commercial bid.

Now, the question that logically arises is exactly how such bidding process was conducted, and whether there was any official announcement put out for competitive proposals to be submitted to the presidency at all. If not, then it well appears that somebody either resident or employed at the Flagstaff House was out to criminally scam the Ghanaian taxpayer. More so because we are told that while the proprietor/contractor from the JIT Magazines and Diary Services was allowed to freely use Presidential Letterheads to solicit funds for the express purpose of printing the diaries, the contractor was not in any way required to render a public account of exactly how much money was raised and from what sources for the printing of the Presidential Diaries.

This is a gross violation of public trust because even as I noted in a previous column, the use of the image of the presidency, including Presidential Letterheads, is the bona fide property of the Sovereign People of Ghana and not the property of any private individual or group of individuals. If, indeed, JIT Magazines and Diary Services was authorized to use Presidential Letterheads to solicit printing funds for the so-called Presidential Diaries, as reportedly claimed by Messrs. Clement Apaak, Stanislav X. Dogbe and Felix Kwakye-Ofosu, then, of course, the people have a right to know exactly how much was raised, as well as how much of such funding as was reportedly raised was applied to the printing of the aforesaid diaries.

Now, where it gets tricky is the rather scandalously lame assertion by these so-called presidential staffers that the “state did not spend a dime, a cent or even a pesewa” in the production of these diaries. And on the latter count, we are also told that the Presidency usually prints about 1,500 to 2,000 diaries, at least according to Dr. Apaak. That still does not answer the critical question of exactly how many Presidential Diaries were printed in the latest instance. The New Crusading Guide’s Mr. Baako is also dead-on-target when he carps the Mahama Flagstff House for continuing to conduct the business of having the Presidential Diaries printed in the same opaque and corruption-prone manner, simply because it is the way that business has been done by previous administrations.

First of all, we need to establish when this untenably opaque process was put in place and precisely why no subsequent administrations apparently found no good reason to either change or improve upon protocol. This is what the tired concepts of “Fiscal Discipline, Transparency and Accountability” are indisputably about. As for the question of whether the 2016 Presidential Candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party ought to apologize for calling the fiscal responsibility and priorities of the Mahama government into question, in the matter of whether, indeed, the real amount involved in the printing of the Presidential Diaries was $1 million and not the $10 million claimed by Nana Akufo-Addo, in a public address to New Patriotic Party stalwarts in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, I beg to differ with Mr. Baako. And the crystal clear reason is because as yet we really don’t know the exact monetary figures expended in the printing of the Presidential Diaries.

Which means that Nana Akufo-Addo has yet to be proven wrong by President Mahama and his minions. Rather, we ought to be commending Nana Akufo-Addo for so opportunely bringing to light a practice that may not only have resulted in the bilking of the Ghanaian taxpayer to the tune of millions of dollars and cedis by the clearly unethical use of their name and reputation in the solicitation of funding for the benefit of a few highly placed politicians and their cronies in the corporate establishment, but may also have further enhanced the unsavory culture of official and executive corruption.



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