Sunday, January 31, 2016

Close to 1000 slum dwellers displaced after latest fire outbreak in K'si


City authorities have vowed to clamp down on haphazard electricity connections in slums in the wake of yet another fire outbreak at a slum close to the Santase roundabout in Kumasi.

One person sustained severe burns and about 1000 people including women and children have been displaced in the latest slum blaze.

City Mayor Kojo Bonsu has been seeing to the medical bills of a five year old boy with a deteriorating eye problem whose medication and his family’s livelihood have been burnt.

This is the second Major slum fire after one at Dagomba line that destroyed many structures in Kumasi.

Tents are being erected to serve as shelter for women and children.

Luv Fm’s Erastus Asare Donkor reports residents in this slum close to the Santase roundabout were rudely awoken by a fire midnight on Saturday.

The women and children were whisked to safety.
But a 22-year-old washing bay attendant was trapped in the wooden structure where he was sleeping.

He sustained severe burns.
The plight of the five year-old boy caught the attention of the City Mayor Kojo Bonsu because his eyes were swollen, with a whitish fluid coming out of it.

His mum, a single mother of three and the children have been sleeping close to this filthy drain where their home used to be.

She tells me her son’s medication and everything has been lost to the fire.



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Four robbers jailed 100 years


Tarkwa (W/R), Jan. 31 GNA - A Tarkwa Circuit Court has sentenced four illegal miners to 100 years imprisonment for robbery and conspiracy to commit crime.

The convicts, Clement Okyere, 33, Desmond Quame Manu Senior, 26, Kwame Attiah, 25 and Nanjo Kwabena, 19 year-old, pleaded guilty and each jailed 25 years each.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Emmanuel Bart-Plange Brew, the presiding judge, urged Ghana Police Service to honour both the informant and the police personnel at Asankragwa in Amenfi West District for the swift interventions they made to apprehend such 'dangerous individuals in the Ghanaian society'.

Detective Chief Inspector Oscar Amponsah, the prosecutor, told the court that on January 19 the Asankragwa police had information that Okyere, Manu, Attiah, Kwabena and one Antie who had gone into hiding were planning to rob Ofa Yaw, a small-scale miner at Asankra-Breman.

Upon the tip-off, he said, the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Owusu Brempah, District Police Commander in charge of Asankragwa organised his men and laid ambush at the mining site where the convicts and their accomplices were planning to attack.

According to the prosecutor, around 1600 hours the convicts armed with single barreled shotgun came to the mining site and attempted to steal the black sand gold concentrate from their owners, but the police intervened to arrest them, but the convicts managed to escape.

He said some witnesses who were at the site when the incident happened identified the convicts, which led to the arrest Asankra-Breman where Okyere, Attiah and Kwabena were arrested.

The youth in the town also arrested Manu and handed him over to the police.

However, the police are yet to arrest Antie, one of the accomplices in the robbery.



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Happy FM prepares for 2016 valentine mass wedding


Accra, Jan. 31, GNA - Happy FM is preparing for its 2016 Annual Valentine Mass Wedding, which would host more than 30 couples at the International Conference Centre in Accra.

The all-expense paid wedding organised by Happy FM, a sports station in Ghana, is a community investment event that seeks to help couples desirous of getting married by taking on the responsibility of organising the event and providing all the necessary resources needed.

A statement issued in Accra by Mrs Naomi Nelson-Barnes, Head of Corporate Communications of Global Media Alliance Broadcast Company, mother company of Happy FM and copied to the GNA said the station would continue to positively affect the lives of Ghanaians through the event and other programmes in the years ahead.

Mrs Nelson-Barnes said: ''For 10 years this event has brought together countless households and touched thousands of lives by providing a solid foundation on which couples are unified and grow old together.

'Over the years, we have done our bit not only to organise this event, but to also keep in touch with the couples and assist them whichever way we can. Indeed they have become like family to us, and we are truly proud of having been able to play such an important role in their lives', she added.

She said as a people-centred media house, Happy FM would continue to positively affect the lives of Ghanaians through the event and other programmes in 2016 and the years to come.

The statement said the participating couples are currently undergoing weekly pre-marriage counselling with experienced marriage counsellors at the premises of Happy FM.

Other important activities that would help the couples in their marriage life would also be organised to give them a full pre-marriage package to prepare for the future.



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Ivor Greenstreet To Lead CPP In November Presidential Polls


Former General Secretary of the Convention Peoples' Party (CPP), Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, has floored three contestants to emerge winner in Saturday's polls to elect a party flagbearer.

Joy News Latiff Iddrisu who is at the International Trade Fair Centre in Accra where the elections took place reports Mr Greenstreet won at three out of four polling stations in an election that was tipped to go in favour of former Party Chair, Samia Yaba Nkrumah.

Certified results by Electoral Commission (EC) officials put Mr Greenstreet ahead with 1, 288 votes, representing 64.2% of valid votes cast, while his closest contender Samia Nkrumah managed only 579 votes.

Two other contests, Joseph Agyapong and Bright Akwetey obtained 83 and 42 votes respectively.


Certified results

Over two thousand delegates of the party from all ten regions of the country converged at the International Trade Fair Centre in Accra to select a presidential candidate for the 2016 presidential polls.

The National Delegates Congress of the party, the highest decision making body, Saturday also made key amendments to the party's constitution.

.
The CPP congress resolved that the National Youth Organiser slot of the party will now be elected at the National Delegates' Congress along with other high profile positions such as the presidential candidate.

In the past the CPP held a separate event to elect the party's National Youth Organiser and another to elect a flagbearer.

The second amendment by the congress concerns eligibility of flagbearer aspirants.

The partys Congress on Saturday January 30, 2016 resolved that members of the party who wish to contest the flagbearership position in the future would have to be members of the party for five years and must be in good standing.

In the past Presidential aspirants would have to be party members for 4 years before qualifying to contest the position.

The final amendment to the constitution by the CPP is a resolution to unite with other Nkrumaist parties, notably the Peoples' National Convention (PNC). This amendment, according to the National Chair of the party Mr. Edmund Dele, would be closed in April this year.

-myjoyonline



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SSNIT donated GH¢10,000.00 to Koforidua Regional Hospital


Koforidua, Jan. 31, GNA - The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), has donated GH¢10,000.00 to the Koforidua Regional Hospital to support the celebration its 90th anniversary.

Presenting the cheque at the launching of the anniversary and the formal opening of the 2015 Annual Performance Review Meeting of the Hospital at Koforidua, the Area Manager of SSNIT, Mr Robert Owusu Sekyere said it is the wish of SSNIT that most Ghanaians are strong and working so that many of them could become contributors to the trust.

He said SSNIT is therefore a stakeholder in the promotion of health delivery, hence the decision of Management, to support the celebration of the anniversary of the hospital.

Launching the anniversary, Dr Kwame Anim Boamah, the Medical Director of the hospital said, the health authorities decided to use the anniversary to rehabilitate all the wards.

He therefore appealed to corporate organisations and individuals to support to give the facility a facelift.

Dr Boamah said, the hospital has achieved a lot and was adjudged the best regional hospital in the country in 2013 by the Ministry of Health.

He said, despite the achievements of the hospital, there is more room for improvement and it is the desire of the management of the hospital to develop it into the leading medical centre of excellence in Ghana and West Africa.

Dr Boamah said the current 340 bed capacity referral hospital started as a small clinic at where currently the Koforidua Mangoase District Magistrict Court is located in 1926 and moved to Koforidua Polyclinic before its current site after independence.

He said the hospital had seen a lot of structural changes and the supply of medical equipment.

He expressed appreciation to government for the retooling project, which enabled the hospital to acquire much modern equipment.

Dr Boamah appealed for support for equipment to enable the hospital to provide services in laparoscopy, endoscopy, dialysis for renal failure and MRI, imaging services to help reduce the challenges faced by the patients of the hospital when they go to Accra or Kumasi to receive such services.

He said the year- long celebration would be crowned with dinner dance and awards night in December and a thanksgiving service.

The Medical Director expressed appreciation to Joy Industries, Zoomlion Limited, Jead Foundation, Interpharma Limited, Mr Kwesi Adu-Boahene and Dr Richard Akromah for rehabilitating various parts of the wards of the hospital.



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Accra-Cured lepers get 40 room accommodation


Kpandai (N/R), Jan 31, GNA - The Lepers Aid Committee, as part of the World Leprosy Day at the weekend commissioned a 40 room accommodation for cured lepers in Kpandai Nkanchina in the Northern Region.

The gesture was to provide descent and comfortable places for the cured lepers upon their request to the Committee for the past years.

Reverend Father Andrew Campbell, Board Chairman of the Committee in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said during the 2014 World Leprosy Day held at Nkanchina, the cured lepers made a request of a descent accommodation since the existing buildings were dilapidated.

He said upon the request, Nana Kumakwi, Chief of Nkanchina donated a land for the proposed building project and on January 31, 2015, there was a ground breaking ceremony for the project which commenced on February 15, 2015.

Rev Campbell emphasized that eighty per cent of the manual workforce was from the local people, adding that the challenge for the project was sourcing for main building materials and had to obtain chippings from Congo in the Upper East Region and sand from Makango in the Northern Region.

Rev Campbell said President Mahama donated food items including bags of rice, gallons of cooking oil, clothing, milo, sugar, detergent when he visited his office prior to the journey and presented a cash amount of GH¢ 250 for each of the 88 residents lepers.

He said President Mahama has been making the donation every year as a way to show love, care and compassion for the less privilege in society and urged all corporate bodies to continue to come their aid.

Rev Campbell appealed to the public not to neglect the lepers but show care for them since they are human beings and deserve to be treated as such.

He appreciated the efforts of all who helped in the building of the project including District Assemblies Common Fund, LMI holdings, Ghana International Bank, Rural Water Development Programme of Church of Christ, Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority and Samara Company limited.

Archbishop Gregory Kpeibaya, Archbishop Emeritus of Tamale, thanked all who helped in supporting the lepers, adding that the gesture has brought hope to the cured lepers in the community.

Nana Kumakwi thanked the President for the donation and appealed him to address the challenges facing the community such as health facilities, portable water, bad roads, electricity and education.

Mr Mercy Lamwara, a leper, thanked all who supported them and pray for strength and health for President Mahama to lead the country.

World Leprosy Day is observed internationally on the last Sunday of every January to increase the public awareness of the disease.

The day was chosen in commemoration of the death of Gandhi, the leader of India, who understood the importance of leprosy.



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BNARI holds training programme for farmers


Accra, Jan. 3 Roads Minister renovates school block

Tamale, Jan 31, GNA - Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Minister of Roads and Highways, has renovated a three-unit classroom block of the Tamale Presbyterian Junior High School (Kulikuli School) at the cost of GH¢10,000.00.

The school is located at the Tamale Central Constituency where Alhaji Fuseini serves as a Member of Parliament.

Alhaji Fuseini, who handed over the facility to school authorities in Tamale, said the renovation of the classroom block formed part of his efforts to invest in the future of children in the constituency.

He also presented learning materials to the school to enhance teaching and learning.

The Minister, six months ago, also presented 200 metal dual desks to the same school as part of efforts to ensure that pupils have furniture to sit on during classes.

He assured of doing his best to improve education in the constituency.

Mr Zakaria Amadu, Headmaster of the school expressed gratitude to the Minister for renovating the facility and appealed to him to help to set up a computer laboratory for the school.

Meanwhile, the Parent Teacher Association of the school had presented a citation to the Minister commending him for his immense contribution to education and youth development in the constituency.

GNA 1, GNA - The Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), has a held a day's training programme for 40 farmers in organic farming.

Participants include GAEC Farmers Association, mango and pineapple growers from the Greater Accra and Eastern Regions.

It was organised by BNARI in collaboration with GAEC Technology Transfer and Marketing Centre to educate the farmers on the use of organic fertilizer or compost in organic farming.

The workshop was on the theme: 'Nutrient recovery from solid waste management for agriculture soil amendment.'

Professor Kenneth Ellis Danso, Director of BNARI, commended the nation's farmers for the good work they have being doing.

He explained that the workshop was to equip the farmers do their work well; so as to continue producing healthy food for the nation.

He said BNARI has being using waste products to manufacture organic fertilizers; which has many benefits.

The Director noted that inorganic fertilizers pollutes the water bodies, when rain washes them into water bodies.

He said there had been complains about the quality of vegetables being exported from Ghana to the European Union market; which is of a major concern to stakeholders.

He explained that the workshop would enable participants gain knowledge on safe measures to be practiced to enhance their farming business to generate more income.

Prof Danso cautioned farmers against the misuse of weedicides and pesticides, which release chemicals into the food chain; eventually affecting the health of consumers.

BNARI was established to be Ghana's leading public institution that provides solutions to challenges in agriculture, health and industry through exploration and exploitation of scientific knowledge in biotechnology and nuclear science.

Mr Alfred Ampomah, a participant and a pineapple farmer from the Eastern Region in an interview with the Ghana News Agency appealed to government to subsidise fertilizers; so that the average farmer can afford.



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Uncorrected refractive errors leading cause of visual impairment


Wa, Jan. 31, GNA - Uncorrected refractive errors are the leading cause of visual impairment globally, says Dr Oscar Debrah, Head of Eye Care - Ghana.

He said even though they are conditions that in the main could be treated or managed by spectacles, it still remains a major challenge globally.

Dr Debrah who said this during the inauguration of Bliss Eye Care facility in Wa said the condition affects both children and adults.

He explained that the education of children with refractive errors could be seriously effected while in adults especially those who are more than 40 years, driving and reading become a real challenge for them.

He said in Ghana refractive error services are mostly delivered in the urban areas, especially Accra and Kumasi, since the major service providers are in the private sector.

'This leaves a major gap in the delivery of these services in many communities especially the rural areas,' he pointed out.

He therefore welcomed the inauguration of Bliss Eye Care to provide refractive error services in the Upper West Region in particular and the entire northern sector.

Dr Debrah congratulated Dr Zakarea Al-hasan Balure for his foresight in establishing the facility to provide refractive eye care services.

Dr Winfred Ofosu, the Acting Regional Director of Health Services stated that prevention of avoidable visual impairment is a topmost agenda as far as eye care is concerned in the region.

He noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) Prevention of Blindness Programme estimated in 2010 that globally 285 million people were visually impaired.

According to the data, 80 per cent (228 million people) of visual impairment including blindness are avoidable.

Again, the date stated that 90 per cent of the world's visually impaired people live in developing countries such as Ghana.

Dr Ofosu noted that the two main causes of visual impairment are uncorrected refractive errors, 42 per cent and cataract, 33 per cent.

He said cost-effective interventions to reduce the burden of both conditions exist in all countries, revealing that the Region has onchocerciasis and trachoma, which causes blindness but are preventable.

He said noted that this year, there would be intensified efforts in eye care through community and school screening to detect and treat people with visual problems.

Dr Balure said he shares the pain of clients when they receive poor services from an optometrist and promised to avail himself to give optometry in the region and the country at large a new image.

'I am determined to fight for utmost attention paid to pediatric optometry in Ghana; a guarantee to relevant and resultant acceptance of professional optometry in Ghana in the future.'

Dr Balure said the doors of Bliss Eye Care are opened to all.

He acknowledged the immense support of Swiss Red Cross through Ghana Red Cross Society, Vision 2020 Switzerland and Peter and Hazel Roost of Roost Optic - Switzerland to the realization of the Bliss Eye Care concept.

Alhaji Amidu Sulemana, Regional Minister commended Dr Balure for his foresight and urged young people to emulate his example by venturing into self-employable ventures and not over rely on non-existent jobs in the public sector.



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Bunkpurugu Chief wants expedited action on chieftaincy case


Bunkpurugu (N/R), Jan. 31, GNA - Naa Alhaji Abuba Nasinmong, Paramount Chief of Bunkpurugu, has reiterated his call for expedited action on the case challenging his authority as the legitimate chief of the area.

He expressed his readiness to accept the verdict of the Northern Regional House of Chief (NRHC) on the case saying a speedy resolution would ensure peace in the traditional area.

Naa Alhaji Nasinmong was speaking on Saturday when the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr John Kudalor led a team of security chiefs to his palace at Bunkpurugu to ascertain the causes of the conflict in the area and what measures to put in place to arrest it.

The IGP's delegation comprised Major General Opoku-Adusei, Chief of Army Staff, Deputy IGP in-charge of Operations, Commissioner of Police, Mr Christian Tetteh Yohuno, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr Ken Yeboah, Northern Regional Police Commander, Lieutenant Colonel William Kwabiah, Commanding Officer of the Sixth Infantry Battalion, and Alhaji Alhassan Issahaku, Chief Director of the Northern Regional Coordinating Council and Secretary of the Northern Regional Security Council.

This followed the renewed clashes between the Jafoak Family and the Jamong Family at Bunkpurugu last week Wednesday over the chieftaincy crisis in the area leading to the killing of three persons and burning of more than 30 houses.

The Police have so far arrested one person in connection with the killing in the latest clashes, which drove many away from the town while most shops remained closed.

The Jamong Family has refused to recognise the authority of Naa Alhaji Nasinmong, who is from the Jafoak Family, as the legitimate Chief of Bunkpurugu, and has filed a case challenging his legitimacy at the NRHC.

The Bunkpurugu chieftaincy crisis is not a case of communities or tribes fighting against one another but rather two brothers of the same family laying claims to the same skin, with the younger one from the Jamong Family contesting his older brother.

Naa Alhaji Nasinmong said 13 people had so far died in the chieftaincy crisis, which began over eight years ago, when he was enskinned Chief of the area in 2007 by Nayiri Naa Bohagu Mahami Sheriga, Overlord of the Mamprugu Traditional Area.

He decried the senseless killings in the area and gave authorities two weeks to come out with their verdict on the case to bring lasting peace to Bunkpurugu.

Mr Elisha Thomas, Spokesperson of the Jamong Family, which is challenging the authority of the Chief of Bunkpurugu, appealed to authorities to prevail on the two feuding families to submit to the performance of blood burial to bring peace to the area.

Blood burial is a traditional ceremony where feuding factions come together to publicly slaughter animals and bury them to signify an end to a conflict and whoever engages in conflict after the blood burial is believed to be haunted by spirits.

Mr Elisha said life had become difficult at Bunkpurugu as residents could not roam freely in the area or go to work in their farms.

Mr Kudalor did not mince words about the toll the conflict was taking on the resources of the state and told the feuding factions to embrace peace as the security agencies worked to maintain law and order in the area.

Major General Opoku-Adusei said the Ghana Armed Forces would be fair and firm in support of peace in the area and charged the Chief of Bunkpurugu to work to ensure everlasting peace in the area.

He said there is no room for conflict in this election year as efforts are being made to ensure successful elections.



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Deploying AU force without Burundi approval 'unimaginable'


Addis Ababa (AFP) - The African Union will not deploy peacekeepers to troubled Burundi unless the government in Bujumbura agrees, the AU special representative for the region told French radio RFI on Sunday.

Burundi has consistently opposed the idea of the AU's proposed 5,000-strong peacekeeping mission, saying the deployment of troops without its express permission would be tantamount to an "invasion force".

The UN has warned Burundi risks a repeat of a 1993-2006 civil war, with hundreds killed since April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would stand for a controversial third term in office, and at least 230,000 people fleeing to neighbouring countries.

"It has been, I think, bad communication. It was never the intention of the African Union to deploy a mission to Burundi without the consent of Burundian authorities," Ibrahima Fall, AU Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region, said.

"This is unimaginable," the Senegalese diplomat added.

AU leaders are debating the crisis in Burundi at a two-day summit at the 54-member bloc's headquarters in Ethiopia. Talks are being held behind closed doors and it is unclear when a final decision will be taken.

Fall said the leaders were considering sending a "high-level delegation, not to say very high" to Burundi to hold talks with the government.

Nkurunziza's quest to remain in power sparked weeks of street protests that were brutally suppressed and a failed coup.

Since his re-election in July, clashes between government loyalists and the opposition have turned increasingly violent.

The AU charter's Article 4 (h) gives the pan-African bloc the right to intervene in a fellow nation state "in respect of grave circumstances, namely: war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity."

But analysts say other African nations are wary of setting a precedent of deploying troops against the government's wishes.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, speaking on Saturday as the AU summit opened, made clear troops were needed to stem the violence.

"Leaders who stand by while civilians are slaughtered in their name must be held responsible," Ban said, insisting that the Burundi crisis required the "most serious and urgent commitment".



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Pinnacle College And Bastiat Ghana Presents 'Certificate Of Entreprenomics'


Introduction
The course ENTREPRENOMICS is designed with the purpose to sharpen individuals human resource capacity on Entrepreneurship and economic skills in a contemporary business management market of Africa.

This programe is held as a course in a faculty of Applied Management of Pinnacle College at New Achimota, Greater Accra, Ghana in West Africa. Second campus is set at Bolgatanga- Upper East Region at the ICT-Centre behind the High Court.

ADMISSION CRITERIAL
Applicant should have an existing and actively operating venture which will later be subjected to assessment and evaluation by an expert before admission will be granted

Student will then be requested to buy a form at a cost of Ghc.100, fill and submit to the college front desk including one page letter indicating your major intentions of applying for such a course

The total fee requested to complete such a course is Ghc.1,300 for 8 weekend’s studies with 35credit hours as the course weight. The fees to be paid include Study materials and cost of assessment test.

FINAL PHASE

  1. Graduates go through an Interview session to be orally assessed how technically their venture could be managed for high project viability for investment return.
  1. Graduates sit in a round table with the Credit Manager of the Financial Agency in partnership and the Legal Team to establish a memorandum of understanding towards the pay back of investment in an agreed time frame.

The College Form is to be bought at the Front Desk of the College campus in Ghana or contact Mr. Yoda (0266019194) at Burkina Faso Chamber of Commerce- Ghana Office, Or Contact Bastiat Ghana, and Head office on (0543105144) to be connected to it regional coordinators

  • Deadline for the submission of filled forms; 11th March, 2016

Admission is In Progress and Lectures start from 26th March, 2016.

NB: Lectures will be carried out by renowned Professor specialized in Entreprenomics research and innovative practice

Sponsorship Partner:
Bastiat Ghana
TUA.University-California
Pinnacle College



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This Is The Beginning Of Good Things To Come—Greenstreet


The newly elected flagbearer of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), has extended a hand to all who feel frustrated at the “bogus and empty promises” of their national leaders to join the party for a new deal.

The new deal will see leaders serve the country with love and honesty he said.

According to Mr Greenstreet politicians should serve the people of Ghana rather than themselves with citizens getting equal opportunity to national resources.

“You cannot be showing love, if you are a policeman and you extort money from your poor citizens. You cannot be showing love, if you are a judge and you deny a poor man justice. You cannot be showing love, if you are a politician and you serve yourself and not the people of Ghana”, he told delegates to the party’s congress to elect a flagbearer moments after he was declared winner.

He said "Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah sacrificed his life for the nation so we would be dependent on ourselves, fight for our own sovereign country, and for us to get the maximum from our own resources."

“This is the beginning. We are offering ourselves as the vehicle for the frustrated Ghanaian who is tired of the bogus and empty promises of their leaders. We are offering ourselves on a new path in the digital age. We are offering ourselves to offer you service with honesty, service with commitment, and we believe that if you believe in us, we would provide the opportunity you all are asking for.

Ivor Greenstreet entreated party followers to come together to build a united front, saying he is “merely a flagbearer” on behalf of the party and expects all others to come together to prosecute the party’s agenda for electoral victory.

He also vowed to unite his challengers in the flagbearer race â€" Samia Nkrumah, Bright Akwetey and Joseph Agyapong, because the CPP believes in working as a team.

“You will hear from us in our discussions with our colleagues about our theme for this campaign. I am merely a flagbearer, and when you hold a flag, you are holding it for a group of people, which is the party. And so I will honour that commitment to work with them for the best interest of the party, CPP. Comrades, I am pleading with you, let us all come together, let us all kick away our ego and our pride, because we are here to serve not ourselves but Ghanaians. I wish you well.”



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Presiding Member Bemoans Sand Wining In Gomoa


The Presiding Member (PM) for the Gomoa East District Assembly in the Central Region, Hon. Fred Joe Arthur has expressed concern at the rather high level of land degradation in the district as a results of sand miming.

"The Gomoa East District Assembly is greatly concern over the rate at which sand mining by various construction companies operating in the district are degrading Gomoa lands through their operations. These lands are being destroyed without reclaiming them.

This is gradually causing famine in the affected communities and would eventuality spread to almost all the communities in the Gomoa East District. I will like to appeal to nananom and land owners to impress on contractors mining sand on their lands to reclaim them for farming purposes".

Hon. Fred Joe Arthur expressed this concerns when he was addressing the chiefs and people of Gomoa Ojobi in the Gomoa East District at durbar to climax their annual Akwambo festival last Saturday.

According to him, the Assembly do not own any land in the district. Its only duty was to collect revenue from the companies operating in the district. It therefore behooves on chiefs and the land owners to ensure that they reclaim the land to boost farming in the vicinity.

"Food price has become higher because all farm lands are now being used for sand mining depriving the people access to their farming. The cost of living in Gomoa Ojobi and all the communities experiencing these sand mining activities has become extremely expensive.

This has increased Rural-Urban migration where the youth have been forced to travel to urban and cities to look for non-existence jobs. It is also breeding poverty. Farmers who hinder to make huge profit from their farm produce are struggling to make ends meet".

The Presiding Member called on Assembly Members in the affected communities to educate the public on the need for the lands to be reclaimed. He also urged chiefs and land owners to sign proper contracts that would force sand mining companies to reclaim the land.

On festivities in Gomoa the Presiding Member appeal to organizers of the festivals to fine tune their programs to enable political leaders ample time to attend and to share their goals and visions with them adding that the youth should desist from political violence as the nation prepares for November 7th general elections.

In a related development, the Presiding Member had tasked members of the various Unit Committees in the Gomoa East District to boost revenue collection in their Electoral Areas to enhance development.

Hon. Fred Joe Arthur said this when he sworn in Unit Committee members of the Gomoa East District Assembly at Gomoa Afransi. He called on them to rekindle communal labour to reduce environmental related diseases.



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Millions of Ethiopians facing worst drought for decades: UN


Addis Ababa (AFP) - Ethiopia is struggling from its worst drought for 30 years with millions in dire need of life saving aid, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Sunday.

At least 10.2 million people need food aid in Ethiopia, a figure the UN has warned could rise sharply, as "forecasts indicate that it could double within months" casting a fifth of the population into hunger.

Floods and failed rains caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon have sparked a dramatic rise in the number of people going hungry in large parts of Africa, with Ethiopia of special concern.

"People of the country are facing the worst drought in 30 years. ...the scale of emergency is too much for any single government," Ban told reporters in the Ethiopian capital.

"Immediate support will save lives and also support the impressive development that Ethiopia has made during the last decade."

Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen warned his country had less than half of the $1.4 billion (1.3 billion euros) needed.

"Last year Ethiopia was hit by one of the strongest El Nino events on record... the scale and severity of humanitarian needs have significantly increased," he said.

Food insecurity is a sensitive issue in Ethiopia, Africa's second most populous nation which enjoys near-double-digit economic growth, but which has struggled to change its image following famine in 1984-85 after extreme drought.

- 'Disturbing sense of deja vu' -

"Those who remember Ethiopia in the 1980s may feel a disturbing sense of deja vu," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a report earlier this month.

"The country is once again facing devastating climatic conditions: rains have failed; millions of people need food aid; children are suffering from severe malnutrition."

Thousands have left hardest hit regions, with stream of refugees still travelling across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen despite the conflict raging there. Nearly 100,000 Ethiopians and Somalis last year travelled by boat to Yemen, according to UN figures.

El Nino is triggered by a warming in sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. It can cause unusually heavy rains in some parts of the world and drought elsewhere.

In southern Africa, around 14 million people across southern Africa face going hungry after a prolonged drought wrecked harvests, with Malawi among the worst hit countries.

Little rainfall in 2015 has left 2.8 million people in Malawi facing hunger, 1.9 million in Madagascar and 1.5 million in Zimbabwe, where last year's harvest was half that of the previous year.

In war-torn South Sudan, bordering Ethiopia, UN-backed experts warned late last year of a "concrete risk of famine" with tens of thousands of people feared to be starving to death outside areas aid workers can reach.

Some aid has been delivered, but civilians report dire conditions.



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Springboard Road Show Successfully Celebrate Their 10th Anniversary At Wa (UDS)


Starting from the capital (Accra) in 2007, the springboard program has spread to many other Ghanaian cities in their bid to promo excellence and enlighten the youths on the various investment opportunities available.

The theme for this year's program on UDS-wa campus was "dare to dream".

The event took place yesterday (30th January) and started at 12pm.

The program recorded close to 1200 participants from all institutions in the upper west region of Ghana, with about 80% of them been UDS students.

Mrs. Comfort Ocran "mother of many", and the responsible brain behind the program, speaking at the program made a presentation on how to dream and how best to realise those dreams.

After her presentation, a team from jobberman Ghana, led by their PRO came to enlighten students on the various job opportunities available, and the "do's and dont's" in writing a CV.

He latter challenged students to reason outside the box, and to feel courageous to enter into new job specializations, as such opportunities come.

Mr Jeremiah Boabeng, a renowned motivational speaker and one of Ghana's most influential youths also re-echoed the fact that, everything is possible, no matter ones circumstances, location or conditions.

The "key note" address was delivered by Mrs Carol Annan, Managing Director of new times cooperation. Her presentation was based on the topic "Realising your dreams". Singling out Opra Winfery as her role model, she challenged students to rise from their shells and make a great impact in the world. He stated clearly that, failure is inevitable, however, determined people should always have the edge to refine themselves and attain something great.

At the later part of the program, awards were given to some institutions within the Wa municipality for their continuous support for the Springboard foundation. These included, Radio progress, Radio Upper west, Somangni FM, Blue hill, Mummies Kitchen and Mr Ibrahim Sadique, the life patron of springboard club, Wa.

The "Wow" moment was won by Baba Abdul ( Bsc Planning level 400), who took home a brand new lenovo laptop and some healthy life drinks.

Speaking to Mr Kampi Larry Robert ( President of Ghana association of student planners - GASP UDS, and an SRC president aspirant 2016/2017 academic year) after the program commended the success of the program.

"In all, i think the program was successful and is a step in the right direction, my message to all students is that, until they realise their full potentials, they should dare to dream".

He thereby called on all students to stay focused and determined as we seek to make a better world for ourselves.

Bioh Daniel
UDS
0240124031
[email protected][1]

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African Union force for Burundi in doubt amid government refusal


Addis Ababa (AFP) - A proposed peacekeeping force for troubled Burundi appeared in doubt Sunday, as African leaders pulled back from sending troops amid vehement opposition from the government in Bujumbura.

The UN has warned Burundi risks a repeat of a 1993-2006 civil war, with hundreds killed since April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would stand for a controversial third term in office. At least 230,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries.

Burundi has consistently opposed the idea of the AU's proposed 5,000-strong peacekeeping mission, saying the deployment of troops without its express permission would be tantamount to an "invasion force".

The AU charter's Article 4 (h) gives the pan-African bloc the right to intervene in a fellow nation state "in respect of grave circumstances, namely: war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity."

But top African Union diplomats said that sending troops without Burundi's approval was "unimaginable," and suggested the bloc might rather send a "high-level delegation" to hold talks with the government.

"It has been, I think, bad communication. It was never the intention of the African Union to deploy a mission to Burundi without the consent of Burundian authorities," Ibrahima Fall, AU Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region, told French radio RFI on Sunday.

- 'We don't do enough' -

"This is unimaginable," the Senegalese diplomat added.

AU leaders are debating the crisis in Burundi on the second and final day of the 54-member bloc's summit in Ethiopia. The talks are being held behind closed doors and it is unclear when a final decision will be taken.

Analysts say other African nations are wary of setting a precedent of deploying troops against the government's wishes.

Chad's President Idriss Deby, speaking after he took over the post of African Union chairman on Saturday, warned colleagues against inaction.

"Our organisation acts as it has for the past 20 or 30 years: we meet often, we talk too much, we always write a lot, but we don't do enough, and sometimes not all," Deby said.

Nkurunziza's quest to remain in power sparked weeks of street protests that were brutally suppressed and a failed coup.

- Leaders 'must be held responsible' -

Since his re-election in July, clashes between government loyalists and the opposition have become increasingly violent.

The political rhetoric has also become more ethnically-charged, sparking fears the ruling party may be trying to drive a wedge between majority Hutus and minority Tutsis.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, speaking on Saturday as the AU summit opened, made clear troops were needed to stem the violence.

"Leaders who stand by while civilians are slaughtered in their name must be held responsible," Ban said, insisting that the Burundi crisis required the "most serious and urgent commitment".

He said the UN backed the AU's proposal "to deploy human rights observers and to establish a prevention and protection mission".

But Burundi has remained defiant in its opposition and has apparently won supporters.

Asked whether Bujumbura had the support of other nations opposed to the plan, Burundian Foreign Minister Alain Nyamitwe insisted it did.

"Yes, very strong (support), you will see," he said on Friday.

While the official theme of the AU meeting is human rights, leaders are again dealing with a string of crises across the continent during talks at the organisation's headquarters in the Ethiopian capital.

Rather than a new AU mission, other nations have called for better support for existing forces, including the 22,000-strong AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Burundian troops make up a core contingent of AMISOM in its battle against Islamist Shebab insurgents. The Shebab have overrun a series of AU bases, including a Kenyan-manned base earlier this month.



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turning the scourge of fishermen into a resource


Sô-Ava (Benin) (AFP) - A dug-out canoe speeds along the water then slows down suddenly before stopping altogether. Blocking its path are water hyacinths as far as the eye can see.

It's become a common occurrence in the last 20 years on Lake Nokoué in the south of Benin, which is fed by the fresh waters of the Sô river and feeds into the Atlantic Ocean.

The aquatic plant, which is native to the Amazon basin in South America, was introduced to east Africa at the end of the 19th century and is now found across the continent.

On Lake Nokoué, as elsewhere around Africa, the proliferation of water hyacinths disrupts fishing, the transportation of goods and people, and contributes to the spread of malaria.

"Water hyacinths are a paradox," said Fohla Mouftaou, a Belgian-Beninese paediatrician who runs the firm Green Keeper Africa (GKA).

"In enough quantities they filter water and are a carbon sink. But too much of them and they begin decomposing and letting off greenhouse gases.

"By doing something that allows the balance to be restored you only keep the benefits."

Restoring the balance and using the surplus of water hyacinths in an economically viable and sustainable way is what Mouftaou and two associates have been doing for the last two years.

- Fertilisers and fibre -

A bio-refinery set up on a peninsula near the lakeside village of Sô-Ava is the centre of the company's operations.

Sô-Ava gives its name to a municipality incorporating several villages on stilts, which is home to some 100,000 people, most of them fishermen.

On the ground is a carpet of dried water hyacinths. Under a long roof, more plants are piled up in a composter.

"We currently have seven tonnes," said David Gnonlonfoun, a French-Beninese public works specialist who has lived in Benin for the last 15 years.

"We started work in March and in 2015 we harvested 500 tonnes."

In a warehouse, four workers transform the raw material with the help of a home-made crusher, without adding chemicals.

The dried plant is turned into organic fertilisers, animal feed and a fibre that absorbs oils and hydrocarbons, making it an effective tool in the clean-up of industrial sites.

The company has set up a partnership with a Mexican firm, Tema, which it has developed and successfully commercialised the fibre. Pemex, the state-run Mexican oil firm, is among its users.

About a dozen women from Sô-Ava are responsible for collecting water hyacinths and drying them on the banks of Lake Nokoué.

The jute sacks they fill and deliver earn them 200 CFA francs (about 30 euro cents, 32 US cents) for 10 kilograms (22 pounds).

"In our language we call the hyacinth 'tôgblé', which means the land is ruined. Now we say 'tognon', the land is good," joked one local woman, Rosaline Adanhou.

From the window of his office, the deputy mayor of Sô-Ava watches the women work.

"It's as if we've found our saviour," said André Todje. "The hyacinth was a scourge, now it's a resource."

- Fully fledged business -

Mouftaou said it took some effort at first to convince the local people that Green Keeper Africa wasn't a non-governmental association but a fully fledged business.

Three associates stumped up 3.0 million CFA francs to get the firm off the ground and it has since received technical and financial support of a Fair Trade financier SENS-Benin.

It sells the absorbant fibre for 12,000 CFA francs per 10kg.

"We're interested to see this here in Benin," said the head of one oil firm, who asked to remain anonymous.

"We use it for leaks and when lorries are loaded. It's very effective."

In powder form, hyacinths can absorb oil spills, which potentially makes tiny Benin's neighbour Nigeria -- Africa's number one oil producer -- a key market for development.

Other uses not yet exploited include using the fibre for sanitary towels, which are either not readily available or too expensive for many African women.

For Gnonlonfoun, the business means the lake's waters can be cleaned and a useful product recovered.

The company is currently in talks with a cement producer to use used fibre from oil spills as fuel for its ovens, he added.



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Nigeria faces currency woes in wake of oil price plunge


Lagos (AFP) - Onele Vincent and his colleagues are fed up with the rising cost of living. So they decided to do something about it and led a noisy protest at a top Lagos hotel where they work.

"Things are more expensive, rent is high, food is high," Vincent told AFP last week in the lobby of the Southern Sun hotel, a favourite of the monied elite, politicians and expatriates.

"Everything has increased and yet the staff salary has remained the same."

Vincent and the other hotel workers are far from alone voices in Nigeria, where many are feeling the pain as Africa's biggest oil producer struggles to adapt to the record lows of global oil prices and its naira currency is under devaluation pressure.

Daily newspaper headlines warn of "Hard times ahead", while many billboards in the commercial hub of Lagos stand stark white, just blank signs, an indication that companies are trimming costs.

Even high fliers are taking a hit. Importers of French wine complain that demand has dried up. Luxury car dealers and real estate agents say business has dwindled.

Africa's leading economy is projected to have grown by 3.0 percent in 2015, its slowest pace in over a decade, according to an International Monetary Fund report in January.

Unlike Norway, which invested hundreds of billions of dollars of its oil money into stocks, bonds and real estate, Nigeria spent its riches when times were good.

Now that crude prices have slumped more than two-thirds since $100 per barrel in mid-2014, Nigeria is exposed.

Dollar reserves currently stand at a low of $28 billion -- $20 billion less than in April 2013. There is only enough for five months of imports for a country heavily dependent on foreign goods.

- 'Lack of direction' -

While the huge drop in oil prices is a major headache for Nigeria, analysts say it is the government's response that is the biggest cause for concern.

The central bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, on Tuesday dismissed calls to devalue the naira in his monetary policy committee statement.

Instead he chose to continue propping up the currency at 197-199 naira to the dollar and maintain foreign-exchange restrictions.

As a result, the naira on the black market is hovering around a record low of 305, fuelling complaints from domestic and foreign businesses who can't access dollars needed for imports.

With little domestic manufacturing and years of under-investment, mismanagement and corruption in the oil sector, Nigeria depends on imports for almost everything, from milk and machinery to petroleum products.

Jittery investors, fearing the inevitable devaluation of the naira, have held off doing business in the country until there is a clearer monetary policy.

"The situation right now is causing a lot of anxiety and uncertainty because no one knows how to plan for it," said Anna Rosenburg, emerging markets analyst at Frontier Strategy Group.

"Everyone is complaining about the lack of direction from the government."

- Investment limbo -

Attempts to shore up the naira are designed to protect the nation's dollar reserves.

But the tight forex controls have led to accusations growth is being strangled in Africa's most populous country.

"At this stage, a weaker naira is less important for fostering the resumption of needed international investment flows than the lifting of the foreign exchange restriction," JF Ruhashyankiko, a Goldman Sachs economist, said in an investor note.

Now Nigeria is in limbo, badly needing foreign investment but unable to get any.

"If you're not attracting those inflows and you're not generating a surplus from the export of oil, then it's going to be more difficult to sustain foreign exchange reserves where they are," added Razia Khan, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank.

"That could impact on its perceived credit worthiness, which isn't a good thing when Nigeria is thinking of borrowing externally to fund some of its more ambitious infrastructure programmes."

President Muhammadu Buhari last month announced a record six trillion naira ($30 billion) budget to avoid a recession, planning to pour money into massive road and railway projects.

But the budget is based on an oil price of $38 per barrel, above the current market price of around $33, and relies heavily on borrowed money.

After Buhari remarked in December that he would consider devaluing the naira, some investors took it as a sign the currency situation would be resolved early in the new year.



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Constitutional Term-Limit Imperative To National Security, Good Governance, And Equal Opportunities


In Africa, the tendency for totalitarian rule is as pervasive as change is dynamic. The two forces are locked in a constant struggle that continues to plunge many African countries into conflicts, with devastating consequences. Incredibly, a little over two decades since the end of Liberia and Sierra Leone’s bloody civil wars, Gambia, more than any ECOWAS member nation, has become the epicenter of persistent friction between political tyranny and the dynamics of change.

Even discounting the natural course of change, an increasingly more civilized world is relentlessly seeking ways to ameliorate the crises that have plagued the human experience in many African nations. Over the centuries, the desire and drive to assure that human beings live in freedom from the burdens of political tyranny and vicissitudes of economic deprivation, has made significant inroads in redefining the modern concepts of social and political organization.

Consequently, some political theories have gone through changes that offer striking social transformation from the conflict prone mediaeval bloodletting era, to the age of political enlightenment on how best to elevate to the quality of human life. And from the generation of imperial African rulers who assume deity roles, to foreign kings and queens with supreme authority, and the contemporary African dictators with absolute power, the one constant has always been the enduring human capacity to fight off the shackles of slavery, subjugation and political domination.

The history of Africa, since the dawn of independence, is the story of an abiding quest to reach the state of total peace, both physically and mentally, nirvana if you will, as enshrined in the constitutions of each African nation. And in the past half century, politics on the continent have undergone profound changes, yet the end of colonialism was only the beginning of a paradigm shift spawned by new political perspectives that seek to move the center of power from greedy politicians to the people. Inevitably, change in Africa has come at a huge cost as political leaders revel in their positions long enough to want to usurp the protocols of power and take ownership of the leadership positions entrusted by the people.

The best case study of political intransigence that has caused tensions between people desirous of an end the bloodletting and carnage, and a regime dug in for fear ceding power, is the Gambia. The conflict between Gambian’s wishes, and an entrenched regime unwilling to cede power, is at the center of a regional effort to mandate term-limits, in compliance with Gambia’s constitution.

Not unlike any other position in governance, many citizens aspire to the leadership position in the Gambia, making the domination of the position by one individual, unethical and selfish. It is human nature for Gambians to want and to demand change in order to infuse new ideas and visions in their country and help maximize its development potentials, but this is achievable only if the innate desire for new and fresh ideas to propel the engines of social and economic growth is embraced through regular and frequent change of government in compliance with the Gambian constitution.

The total domination of Gambian society by a single individual, is unnatural leadership and antithetical to the nature of the human being’s constant quest for something new, different and empowering. But, even more importantly, the inability to effect political change in Gambia has created anger, frustration and dissension, which has led to five separate incidences of civil unrest and bloodbath since 1994.

Senegal, Guinea-Conakry, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Mali, Burkina Faso and Liberia, with histories of bloody civil unrest and civil wars effectively demonstrate the feeling in Gambia, The multiple attempts to change the regime in the Gambia, resulting in much loss of lives, also demonstrates one of the major failures of electoral democracy, when intimidations, bribery, vote rigging and complete control of the electoral process, assures that the incumbent Gambian regime returns to power.

In advanced democracies without electoral term-limits, provisions exist to change governments at the drop of a hat, in less cumbersome and inexpensive ways. And until the Gambia and the rest of Africa reach that high level of political consciousness, the need to legislate frequent changes of government and preempt mass civil unrest and bloodbath, will be both necessary and imperative.

In West Africa, the opening trial of former Ivory Coast leader, Laurent Gbagbo, in The Hague, this week, and the bloodbath his entrenchment and intransigence has caused, and the other eight ECOWAS member states where similar civil unrest has caused years of bloody civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, are indications that the infrequent change of government in West Africa is the greatest threat to national and regional security; and not terrorism, as the UN’s Mohamed Ibn Chambas recently opined in a report to ECOWAS.

Apart from ensuring national and regional security across West Africa, the need for political change is an innate human nature, and human beings exceed in imagination and creativity under political environments where the ability to try new ideas and visions is not hindered by the calcification into comfortable routines, or the blinding incapacity to accommodate intellectual exploration. As elections 2016 draw near, in the Gambia, the glaring asymmetry between the military regime and the opposition is already making waves, as the regime declines to consider opposition demands for far-reaching electoral reforms.

In addition, the regime recently passed a Bill that requires opposition presidential candidates pay $25,000 to qualify to contest in the coming elections. But, nothing crystallizes the effort to make voting and the democratic process extraordinarily difficult than the illegal poll tax requiring voters to pay $3.00 to replace lost or destroyed voter cards. In a country where most people live on a dollar or less a day, this creates undue burden on the exercise of constitutional civic rights. But, the in-your-face vote rigging, in the Gambia, does not stop there.



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Who is the British High Commissioner Deceiving?


Last Monday January 25, Mr Kwesi Atta-Krufi Hayford, a former UK & Ireland NPP Chairman posted an article on Ghanaweb with the heading “Ghana's Voter Register Bloated by 1.3 million â€" British Government”. He quoted extensively from a letter written by UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO - Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Desk Officer for Ghana, Vicki Morley in reply to Mr Adreba Kwaku Abrefa Damoa, of the Concerned Ghanaians in the UK Against Electoral Fraud, who had presented a petition to the UK Prime Minister over Ghana's Voters' Register. A section of the quotes which was the basis of the heading of the article was in my view undiplomatic so I decided to verify the accuracy Vicki Morley's letter. I contacted FCO Newsdesk by e-mail and provided weblink of the aforementioned article. I telephoned FCO Newsdesk and hour later and told that my enquiry had been forwarded to the Policy Team and someone should get back to me but no one did. Later in the day, the British High Commissioner in Accra issued a statement stating among others that, “we are disappointed that certain media outlets continue to report inaccurately the British Government's views, and have willfully misrepresented what we have said”. This article is an analysis of paragraph two of Vicki Morley's letter and the denial by the High Commissioner and FCO.

Vicki Morely's letter dated December 23, 2015 (a scan copy of which I have) and written on behalf of the Prime Minister or UK government stated in paragraph two and I quote the relevant section. “We are fully aware of the concerns regarding the voter register - we note that the average population percentage in Ghana of those eligible to vote is approximately 52%, which is 10% higher than the continental average”. On Tuesday January 26, 2016, the Daily Guide published a copy of Vicki Morley's letter with the denial of the High Commissioner (see, “British High Commission Clarifies Bloated Register, Daily Guide”). I sent a weblink of the Daily Guide report containing a copy of Vicki Morley's letter to FCO Newsdesk and asked for further clarification because I thought the claim of wilful misrepresentation of by the High Commissioner was disingenuous.

Wednesday January 27, 2016, I received e-mail response from Imogen Maxwell of the FCO Newsdesk, among others repeating what the High Commissioner in Accra had said and I quote. “We are disappointed that certain media outlets continue to report inaccurately the British Government's views, and have willfully misrepresented what we have said”. I replied as follows, “I note that you did not deny the contents of Vicki Morley's letter. However, I am disappointed that you claim that, "certain media outlets continue to report inaccurately the British Government's views and have willfully misrepresented what we said". What Vicki Morley stated in her letter is a statement of fact, which was, that the British government was aware Ghana's Voters' Register was 10% higher than the continental average. This is not a statement in dispute as Ghanaians say "book no lie" (what is written cannot be disputed). I think it is the FCO and the High Commissioner in Accra that are diplomatically being economical with the truth on what Vicki Morley stated in her letter to the extent that you may be patronising the Ghanaian media. However, I blame Ghanaian journalists for not probing this matter further”. I have not heard again from FCO.

Now let's critically analyse what Vicki Morely stated in her letter “we note that the average population percentage in Ghana of those eligible to vote is approximately 52%, which is 10% higher than the continental average”. Who is the “we” referring to? That is indisputable and is the British Government. What is 10% of the eligible voter population in Ghana? There is no accurate figure on website of the Statistical Service as the data gives age ranges of 10 to 19, 20 to 29, 20 to 39 and 45 plus. The figures for ages 19 to 45 and above should give total eligible voter population of 12,352,450 as at 2012. It is therefore reasonable that if those age 18 is added the total eligible voter population of 13 million will be reasonable. What is 10% of 13 million? That is 1.3 million. These are facts and therefore accurate that Vicki Morley stated that the British government is aware that Ghana's voter register is 1.3 million more than what it should be. So what is the British High Commissioner in Accra or the FCO in London disputing? Why are they patronising Ghanaians by claiming that the 10% statement is being “wilfully misrepresented what we have said” or inaccurately reporting the British government's views?

The above analysis is logical, reasonable and accurate interpretation of Vicki Morley's letter and they should stop being economical with the truth. Perhaps, they did not expect Vicki Morley's letter to become public and now that they have been caught red handed, they are trying to put their spin (propaganda) on an embarrassing situation but some of us will not buy it.

The British High Commissioner has got away with insulting the intelligence of Ghanaians because most journalists in Ghana are lazy and afraid of challenging authority. Instead of obtaining a copy of Vicki Morley's letter as I did and challenging the British High Commissioner's denial of the facts, they just accepted his version and end of story. UK journalists will not accept a Higher Commissioner's word when there is documentary evidence to the contrary.

There is no doubt that Ghana's Voters' Register is not credible and in fact, the Electoral Commission and all the political parties in Ghana admit this. The problem is how to make it credible because no one knows the number of ineligible voters who are on the register. Whilst the ruling NDC prefer the existing register to be cleaned, the opposition NPP wants a new register. In typical Ghanaian political comedy, this has become NDC-NPP turf war instead of an issue of national interest. NPP's stand on the voters' register is not unusual to me because had NDC found itself in the same position as NPP (lost two consecutive elections, with a new Electoral Commissioner appointed by the incumbent president and whose language is dismissive of the opposition, etc) NDC would also demand a new register.

The main objective of this article is not take sides on the voters' register dispute but to point out the dishonesty of the British High Commissioner and FCO and the denial of what is clearly a statement of fact. The other issue of interest raised in Vicky Morley's letter is the African average that was used to compute the 10% bloated figure. Until Ghana's Electoral Commission explained why Ghana has more than average voter registration than comparable countries such as South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, I was persuaded by this argument. The explanation that Ghana's higher than the African average registration as a percentage of eligible voter population is accounted for the fact that the voter registration card is used by citizens as a de facto national identity card. Because of lack of a national ID card the voter ID card is accepted by all institutions including banks to open bank account. There is therefore genuine high demand for it and therefore is very good reason for citizen to register and acquire the voter ID card. Moreover, it is free and brought to citizens closer to where they reside, whilst other forms of identity such as NHIS card, driving licences and others cost money to obtain and one may have to travel long distances to obtain it. Is the Vicky Morley as FCO Ghana Desk Officer aware of this?

One must be careful with using statistical data and averages to avoid the dangers of misuse because behind the raw data are the narratives that only qualitative analysis of the quantitative data will throw up such as the Ghanaian's using voter registration card as national ID because of its universal acceptability in Ghana and lack of a national ID card. That is what attract many including even minors to register not necessarily to vote but to obtain the voter ID Card for other purposes. Unlike in other African countries, where National ID Cards are compulsory and so there is no need to obtain other forms of national identity. In conclusion, the British High Commissioner and the FCO goofed big time and they should stop denying it and patronising Ghanaians. Ghanaians can read and understand English as well as able to analyse and interpret accurately what is written in English.

Kofi Ata, Cambridge, UK

Below is a copy of the letter.




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The Health And Other Benefits Of Coconut


When The Almighty created the world, he made available abundant food especially fruits and vegetable meant to sustain us, animals and other living things on earth. Of all these foods coconut stands out as one of the most useful to us. Over the years’, research by many technocrats have shown all there is to know about it.

If you are in Ghana or in other nations in the tropics, you may find young men and women selling loads of coconuts on street sides. Instead of patronizing those, most of us rely on bottled and canned minerals , and energy drinks whose medical health are uncertain. After reading this article you would get to know what you are missing by ignoring coconuts and other fruits.

Coconut (Cocos nucifera) belongs to the Palm family (Arecaceae).it is grown in abundance in Malaysia, Polynesia, southern Asia and Africa, especially in the coastal areas. Spanish explorers named the cocos - meaning 'grinning face', because of the three little eyes on the base which they thought resembled a monkey.

Classed as a fruit and frequently confused for being a nut, the coconut is actually a one-seeded “drupe[1]”. In Sanskrit, the coconut palm is known as kalpa vriksha - 'tree which gives all that is necessary for living' because nearly all parts can be used, the water, milk, flesh, sugar and oil. Even the husks and leaves are used as materials in furnishings and decoration. Palm trees produce coconuts up to 13 times a year and although it takes a year for the coconuts to mature, a fully blossomed tree can produce between 60-180 coconuts in a single harvest.

...Watch your head! Although coconuts are good for mankind they can be dangerous to those who fail to take care of their heads especially when being harvested. Coconut is so heavy that it is capable of inflicting injuries to people when it drops accidentally on them.

Rumour has it 150 people worldwide die each year from falling coconuts! However this has not been verified it is enough warning for us to stay clear from areas where they can fall on us in farms.

Coconuts are highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Unlike cow's milk, coconut milk is lactose free so can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance[2]. It is a popular choice with vegans and makes a great base for smoothies, milkshakes or as a dairy alternative in baking.

The only proven anti HIV?
Though it is not made known widely, coconut milk is said to work against HIV by eliminating the antigen from the body but it has other important useful properties in it

Vitamins and Minerals
As said earlier it contains Vitamins C, E and many B vitamins are abundant in coconut milk. Vitamins C and E help to boost the immune system, and B vitamins are responsible for providing energy to the cells. Coconut milk is also rich in magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and iron. Magnesium is responsible for many biochemical functions in the body, including regulating the heart’s rhythm and supporting the function of nerve cells. Potassium maintains the tissues of the heart, kidneys, brain and muscles. Phosphorus keeps teeth and bones strong, and iron creates red blood cells and carries oxygen throughout your body. Add coconut milk to your cereal and baked goods, or drink a glass or two each day to receive these benefits.

Antioxidants
"Ceylon Medical Journal" notes that coconut milk is rich in antioxidants, which prevents free radical damage. Free radicals are associated with the development of many diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and age-related dementia. Antioxidants can help reverse previous damage and delay the aging process. Drink a glass of coconut milk while eating other antioxidant-rich foods, such as pecans, raisins and cranberries. Energy-producing snacks that are rich in antioxidants will boost your immunity while rebuilding the damaged cells in your body.

Lauric Acid
Coconut milk is rich in lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that is abundant in mother’s milk. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, lauric acid has many germ-fighting, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties that are very effective at ridding the body of viruses, bacteria and countless illnesses. Lauric acid may also reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which lowers heart disease and stroke risks. There are only a few foods that are rich in lauric acid, so drink coconut milk regularly to benefit from this nutrient.

Heart Disease
According to "Ceylon Medical Journal," coconut fats do not contain trans-fatty acids. The fats that are present in coconuts are less likely to clog arteries, which makes coconut milk a healthy alternative to cow’s milk when it comes to preserving your heart’s health. Coconut meat contains mono-glycerides, which the body absorbs and uses as energy shortly after it is consumed. Because the body does not store coconut fats, there is less chance that your arteries or blood vessels will clog, which lowers your risk of heart disease.

Coconuts are one of those foods that oscillate between the 'good' food and 'bad' food camps. Coconut milk, especially the lower fat variety, can be used in moderation (1-2 times per week). However, The British Heart Foundation[3] recommends avoiding the use of coconut oil for cooking.

Coconuts contain significant amounts of fat, but unlike other nuts, they provide fat that is mostly in the form of medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs) in particular, one called lauric acid. Lauric acid[4] is converted in the body into a highly beneficial compound called monolaurin, an antiviral and antibacterial that destroys a wide variety of disease causing organisms. It is therefore now thought that consumption of coconut milk may help protect the body from infections and viruses.

MCFAs are rapidly metabolized into energy in the liver. It is thought that unlike other saturated fats, MCFAs are used up more quickly by the body and are less likely to be stored as fat. This does not exempt them from contributing to heart disease - they are still a fat - but they have a different effect than saturated fats.

The link between excessive consumption of dietary saturated fats and coronary heart disease [5](CHD) is well established. Because of coconut milk's high content of saturated fatty acids, it is still seen as a food that should be consumed in moderation.

How it's made
Creamed coconut and coconut milk are made in a way surprisingly akin to their dairy counterparts. Coconut flesh (the white part) is grated and soaked in hot water. The coconut cream rises to the top and can be skimmed off. The remaining liquid is squeezed through a cheese cloth to extract a white liquid that is coconut milk. By repeating this process, the coconut milk becomes thinner. The thicker version is used for desserts and rich sauces. Thin coconut milk is used for cooking curries and soups. In the UK, fresh coconut milk is unavailable and coconut milk is bought in cans.

A note on coconut water...
Coconut milk is different from coconut water. The latter has received a great deal of attention for its perceived health benefits, and is an important treatment for acute diarrhea in the developing world. Research suggests the clear liquid has the same electrolyte balance found in isotonic drinks, proving useful for rehydration [6]or after long periods of intensive exercise.

Nutritional highlights
Coconut milk is a creamy, rich liquid made from the meat of mature coconuts. It is a popular beverage in the Philippines, the Caribbean and anyplace where coconut trees are abundant. Coconut milk has the scent of a coconut and a slightly sweet taste. It is an excellent substitute for cow’s milk because it is easy to digest, simple to make and contains an abundance of nutrients. You can drink it plain, use it for cooking or blend it with smoothies to benefit from its nutritional value.

What are the other benefits of Coconut Milk Benefits?

Coconut milk is a healthy addition to your diet because:

  1. Coconut milk is easier to digest because the body uses 3 less enzymes to digest it as opposed to cow’s milk.
  2. It contains a high level of omega 3, 6 and 9 fats along with high amounts of amino acids. In and of itself it makes a perfect meal because it has an excellent combination of fats and amino acids.
  3. The high level of omega 3, 6 and 9 fats and protein in this milk are more bio-available to humans compared to all other animal fats and most vegetable fats. This bio-availability results in the body’s ability to assimilate all its nutrients.
  4. It’s very healing to the digestive tract and even heals damage done to the system in cases of IBS, Crohn’s disease and severe malnutrition.
  5. It’s a healthy and dairy free food. Especially helpful for people who want to avoid dairy, are lactose intolerant, or have dairy allergies.
  6. Helps build strong bones because it contains phosphorus. Phosphorus is a nutrient that is needed along with calcium to prevent bone loss and which supplies the body with phosphates. Phosphates are key for the building of bone.
  1. Helps maintain balanced blood sugar levels by being a good source of manganese. This mineral is usually deficient in people with blood sugar issues.
  2. Helps to reduce inflammation in joints by controlling the amount of free radicals in the system. As a result, arthritis sufferers can feel relief.
  3. Aids in lowering blood pressure levels because of its high level of potassium.
  4. Keeps the immune system strong and healthy by providing an optimal level of Vitamin C.
  5. Helps prevent anemia. Iron deficient anemia is a very common ailment among people throughout the world. One (1) cup of this milk can provide nearly a quarter of your daily iron needs.
  6. Helps nerves and muscles relax because it has an abundance of magnesium. This mineral counteracts the hyperactivity of nerves caused by too much calcium and relieves muscle pain and soreness. The B vitamins in coconut milk also benefit nerves by calming them.
  7. Promotes prostate health because it contains the mineral, zinc. Zinc helps to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
  8. Helpful for weight management because when you consume this milk you feel fuller sooner due to its level of fiber.

Benefits of Coconut Milk for Skin

  • Helps blood vessels and skin stay elastic and flexible. In order for the body to carry out many of its functions, the mineral copper is necessary. Copper works hand in hand with vitamin C to keep skin and blood vessels staying flexible and elastic.
  • Is an effective skin cleanser and exfoliator.

How to select and store
If you are able to get fresh coconut milk be aware that it goes bad very quickly and should be used the same day as pressing. The canned variety is a useful store cupboard ingredient and can be stored at room temperature for a long time. Be careful to check the use by dates and look out for damage or dents in the cans. Once opened, transfer the contents to a resealable container and refrigerate. Use within a few days. The high oil content makes coconut quickly turn rancid if not stored under proper conditions.

...DIY coconut milk (from desiccated coconut)

Try making your own with just water and unsweetened coconut flakes. Heat the water (make sure it doesn't boil), add the flakes and blend. Pour through a colander to filter out the coconut pulp, and then squeeze through a cheese cloth to filter out the smaller pieces of coconut. Use immediately or store in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Recipe suggestions
Coconut milk has become a highlight of many cuisines in the tropical and subtropical countries where they are grown. Coconut milk is a fantastic dairy free alternative, popular in curry dishes.

The benefits of coconut oil
Coconut oil has been around for centuries and it has long been used as a homeopathic remedy to treat a number of aliments. However, modern medicine is just now beginning to understand and fully realize the benefits of this amazing oil, and many are now saying it may be one of the healthiest and most versatile natural oil on the market. Cultures that live in areas where coconut oil is a common part of their diet, people seem to be healthier, have better looking skin, hair, and nails, and feel more energetic. Pure coconut oil is a wonderful natural source of medicinal aid for the entire body. It is one of the great gifts that nature gives us and it is also one that offers extraordinary benefits.

Here are nine of the best health benefits you can enjoy from adding this natural oil to your diet routine:

Supports the thyroid and improves hormone balance

Having coconut oil as part of your regular diet helps to restores thyroid function and health. It does this by assisting the cells and the systems of the body that help produce, regulate, and move the hormones throughout the body. With proper hormone balance, you feel better and you will be healthier and happier for it too.

Tanya Brown staff writer and others
SOURCE:
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
EANFOWORLD FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
0244 370345/ 0264370345/0208844791 [email protected]/[email protected][7][8]

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Driver's mate jailed 39 years for Robbery


Accra, Jan. 29, GNA - A driver's mate was on Friday sentenced to 39 years imprisonment by an Accra Circuit Court for robbing a Police officer and another of cash, totalling GH¢7,100.00 and valuables at Galilea, near Kasoa.

Mark Keelson aka Ablode, a beneficiary of the Justice for All programme, pleaded guilty to the charges of conspiracy to commit crime and robbery.

Keelson who pleaded with the Court to deal leniently with him is said to have raped three women during the operations.

The Court presided over by Mr Aboagye Tandoh said it had considered his plea for mitigation and the six days he had spent in police custody.

According to the Court, Keelson ought to be punished because of the severity of the offence and the mode he adopted.

The Court noted that Keelson had no regard for fellow human beings and such he should be kept away from the society for a long time.

The case of the prosecution is that the complainants in the matter are six family members including the Police Officer, Chief Inspector Joseph Gariba and one Solomon Gborglah.

The case of the Police Officer prosecution said was that he was robbed of a Samsung Phone, laptop and its bag and cash of GH¢5,000 cedis. The robbers also took away Mr Gborglah's GH¢2,100 cedis, two mobile phone and four gold chains.

The families according to prosecution live at Galilea and Kalabule suburbs of Amanfrom in the Ga West Municipal Assembly.

Prosecution said Keelson resides at Kasoa.
On June 29, last year, between the hours of 12:40am and 2:30am, six men armed to the teeth stormed the houses of the complainants.

The prosecutor said the armed men forcibly broke into the complainants' room and amidst firing of guns took monies and valuables including mobile phones, laptops computers and jewellery.

During their operations three women were raped.
Prosecution said the matter was reported to the Police and full investigations were launched into the robbery attacks and two persons namely Isaac Kene and David Ahetor were arrested on July 1, last year.

During investigations, prosecution said a single barrel gun, locally manufactured pistol, and six rounds of live cartridges, face mask, and some of the items robbed from their victims were retrieved.

On July 17, last year, Kene and Ahetor were jailed 35 years each by an Accra Circuit Court while another member of their robbery gang was lynched by a mob at Kasoa.

On January 21, this year, the Police acting on intelligence, arrested Keelson at his hideout at Opetekwei and he admitted being a member of the robbery gang that robbed people in and around Kasoa.

Keelson disclosed that in this case he committed the robbery with one Edward Ayekple, another member of the gang who is at large.

Prosecution said when Keelson was rounded up by the Police, he pleaded for leniency.



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Africommunications Managing Director Nominated For International African Woman Of The Year Award


JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 29 January 2016,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Mimi Kalinda, Managing Director and co-founder of Africommunications Group Ltd. (ACG), a pan-African communications agency headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, has been nominated for the Women4Africa Awards 2016 as a finalist in the International African Woman of the Year category.

"African women are the world's untapped talent. With over 520 million women on the continent and more young women entering universities than ever before, African women are the next up and coming workforce. We are as capable as anyone else," said Kalinda. "We have to dream big, work hard and be ambitious."

The Rwandan-Congolese communications expert was among eight distinguished finalists to be nominated for the award. The prestigious prize is part of the Women4Africa Awards, held in the United Kingdom (UK) annually to honour a number of women from African countries for their hard work and creativity in various sectors. There are several other awards up for grabs, including Career Woman of the Year, Inspiration Woman of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year and Media Personality of Year, to name a few.

"Awards like this remind us that as African, we have made tremendous progress that is worthy of celebration," added Kalinda. "And that is what I have sought to do with my communications and public relations work: to show that not only are African women capable of creative and cutting-edge work that delivers results, but that we are also best placed on the continent to deliver the services. We know Africa, because we were born and raised in the region and we understand how to reach our audiences best."

Mimi Kalinda started off her career in television, most notably on popular music television station, MTV, in the UK. She went on to work in advertising and marketing and over the past decade has worked in several public relations powerhouses, including being the Africa Lead for FleishmanHillard. Mimi co-founded ACG, and is now managing several major accounts including the African Innovation Foundation.

Distributed by African Media Agency on behalf of Africommunications Group Ltd .

Mimi Kalinda is available for interviews. She can be reached at:

[email protected][1]

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Fire volunteerism, solution to fire prevention


Sefwi-Juaboso (WR), Jan. 28, GNA - The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has stated that the formation and adoption of fire volunteer concept by various farming communities would help prevent frequent fire outbreaks.

It said members of fire volunteer groups mostly live within the communities and knew location of farms therefore they respond promptly to any fire incident and help mitigate the spread.

Against this backdrop, Mrs. Georgina Agyare-Kwabi, Deputy Director of Rural Fire Department of the GNFS, has tasked various farming communities in the country to constitute fire volunteer groups, in order to augment the efforts of the GNFS personnel to combat fire occurrence.

Addressing some fire volunteers in the Juaboso District of the Western Region at Sefwi-Juaboso, on Thursday, during an anti-bushfire campaign, Mrs. Agyare-Kwabi , pledged the Service's commitment to provide the necessary logistics to enhance the work of the volunteers.

She said the Bushfire legislature, PNDCL 229 of 1993, required anyone burning his/her farm to inform the fire volunteers to supervise it and afterwards beneficiaries pay fees to them, in order to sustain their activities.

However, those who decline to comply with the law would be arrested and fined to serve as a deterrent to others.

She said the President directed the GNFS National Anti-bushfire Taskforce to visit all the 10 regions, to intensify education on fire safety regulations following the increase in fire cases across the country.

The Deputy Director of Rural Fire noted that the recurrent fire incidents could have consequential effects on the country's food security therefore all stakeholders, including chiefs, assembly members and all well-meaning Ghanaians must join the crusade to combat the menace.

'We are also here to assess the fire volunteer groups in the region to ascertain those who are active and those that are dormant so that we can find a meaningful way to revamp them,' she said.

Divisional Officer Grade one James Emmanuel Quao, who is also the Deputy Regional Fire Commander, appealed to various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to support to the fire volunteers to ensure efficient and effective delivery.

He asked the Juaboso District Assembly to assist the District Fire Station to complete a structure, in order to accommodate a fire tender allocated to the District.

He said the 1983 famine that Ghana experienced could be attributed to recurrent fire outbreaks and therefore called for collective efforts to prevent such a phenomenon from re-occurring.

During an open forum, the Leader of the District Fire Volunteer squad, Mr. Joseph Manso enumerated a number of items they needed to ensure efficiency in their work.

They included wellington boots, cutlasses, rain coats, motorbikes, identity cards and mobile phones.

The Chief of Sefwi-Juaboso, Nana Kwasi Mensah II, pledged the support and cooperation of the traditional authorities to help combat the fire outbreaks being experienced in the country.

Earlier, Mr. Patrick Aparik, the District Coordinating Director, stated that the District was one of the leading producers of cocoa and other food crops in the country therefore uncontrolled bushfires could have devastating effects on the country's future food supply.

He said although the District was financially constrained due to inadequate internally-generated funds, however, it would manage to contribute its widow's mites towards curbing the fire incidents in the area.



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Ghanaian Parliamentary Delegation Visits New York State Senate


A five - member Ghanaian Parliamentary delegation has visited the New York State Senate at Albany to acquaint itself with the operations of the Senate and how it's business is organized.

Led by the Minority Leader and Member Parliament for Suame, Mr. Osei-Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, the delegation made up of members of the Business Committee - Mr. Kwasi Bandua, MP for Biakoye, Mrs Georgina Aboah, MP for Asikuma Odoben Brakwa, Mrs.Gifty Kusi, MP for Tarkwa Nsuaem and Mr. Robert Apodolla, Deputy Clerk of Parliament on Friday, (January 22, 2016 ) toured the Senate.

Mr. Thomas Havel, a staff of the Senate Finance Committee briefed the delegation about the various working procedures at the Senate, reports of the Select Committees, Consideration of bills, Executive budget, Finance Committee and other working systems, relations between the Senators and their interaction with the public.

The Ghanaian delegation asked pertinent questions related to their work as MPs, especially how the work of the Senate is organized.

Earlier, the members were conducted round the historic Senate building with it's 50- foot tower capped by a dome, and how the beautiful architectural designs had been maintained over the years. The Senate was completed on January 1, 1899, after 32 years of construction at a cost $25 million.

On behalf of the delegation, Mr. Bandua expressed gratitude for the hospitality accorded the Ghanaians, the useful interaction and information materials presented to them.

ven though the procedures in Ghana's Parliament differed slightly, he said the two legislative bodies offered the same services to the people, saying that they will take with them the usefulness lessons learnt.

Mr.Nicholas Parrella, Director of Students Programs, said the Senate was very happy with the visit by the Ghanaian MPs and hoped that the relationship established will continue.

Shortly on arrival in New York on Thursday, (January 21, 2016) the delegation called at the Ghana Mission in New York, where Ghana's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, welcomed and briefed the MPs on the workings of the Mission.

She touched on the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the world leaders at the UN SDGs Summit on September 25, last year and the need for Ghana to work on their implementation.

"This is particularly important even at this time that our President, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama has been appointed by the UN Secretary-General as the co-chair of the SDGs Advocacy Group that will generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030", Ambassador Pobee stated.

Ghana is in a very good standing at the UN, Mrs Pobee maintained, adding that the Mission will therefore continue to work very hard in order to always put Ghana's best foot forward.

On behalf of the delegation, Mr. Osei-Kyei-Mensah Bonsu briefed the Ambassador about the purpose of the visit and workings of the Business Committee.

The delegation was then taken on a tour of the United Nations headquarters in New York, by Mr. R. Harry Reynolds, Head of lnformation of the Ghana Mission.



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Who Really Cares About What Stanislav Dogbe Tweets?


Nearly every mention of his name by the media has been in connection with one form of wrongdoing or another. There was that time, for instance, when Mr. Stanislav Dogbe was reported to have leaked the package of demands presented to the Government by striking members of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) on either his Facebook Wall or his Twitter Account. Back then, a hue-and-cry went up for this nondescript presidential staffer to be disciplined for unprofessionally attempting to undermine the doctors who were justifiably fighting for better conditions of service and a service contract they had been denied by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for decades.

Back then, absolutely nothing was done to whip Mr. Dogbe into line. And so one clearly gets the unmistakable impression that the role of this veritable nuisance at the Flagstaff House is to run interference for President Mahama, who must be having quite a great kick out of having this congenital buffoon go to bat for him at the most desperate moments of his grossly incompetent management of the nation’s affairs. But whether such grotesque comic relief as provided the Mahama Presidency by Mr. Dogbe redounds to the long-term benefit of the denizens of the Flagstaff House remains to be seen.

So far, in the short term, Mr. Dogbe has been a complete nuisance and an embarrassment on the national political scene. The problem here, though, is that the Mahama government is jam-packed with a bunch of cynics and rascals who have absolutely no remarkable or cultured sense of either embarrassment or shame, in spite of their Chief Resident’s pontifical talk about our national image and dignity.

Then there was that time, in the wake of the untimely passing of 37-year-old Mr. Samuel Nuamah, the Ghanaian Times reporter, when Mr. Dogbe, in the jolly company of Dr. Edward Omane-Boamah, the Communications Minister, was reported to have brutally assaulted a younger GBC Radio reporter. Mr. Dogbe would end up destroying the digital audiotape recorder of this young reporter. The latter had been physically assaulted because Mr. Dogbe reportedly claimed that the reporter had rudely presumed to get too close in order to eavesdrop on a conversation he was having with Dr. Omane-Boamah at the 37th Military Hospital, where some of the reporters badly injured in the accident that took Mr. Nuamah’s life were being treated or recuperating.

The Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) would reportedly replace the unfortunate reporter’s digital audio recorder. The Flagstaff House’s Chief-of-Staff would also be reported to have advanced the victim a cash payment for the replacement of the damaged digital audio recorder. Here also, a deafening written cry of protest went up appended with the signatures of some 150 local Ghanaian reporters and journalists. But here also, predictably, President Mahama found it more expedient to thumb his nose at these media operatives whose guts he is widely alleged to deeply resent.

What all this boils down to, of course, is the fact that Mr. Dogbe is clearly a liability to the President. And if the New Patriotic Party’s so-called Communications Directorate, headed by Nana Akomea, were that savvy, they would have made a fetching campaign issue out of the Dogbe Menace; for clearly, the latter seems to operate more by the rules of the jungle than those of a civilized human society.

In his latest anti-media salvo, Mr. Dogbe is reported to have tweeted to the effect that Ghana’s veteran BBC-African Service’s correspondent Mr. Sammy Darko, is a “useless journalist,” simply because the latter has dared to publish a report on the GHC 3.6 million scandalous rebranding of some state-owned and operated Rapid-Transit Buses. It is quite obvious that Mr. Dogbe expected Sammy Darko to have touted this broad daylight robbery of the Ghanaian taxpayer as one of the apex achievements of the Mahama government. A useless or savvy Sammy Darko, dear reader, as usual, we would rather have you be the judge.



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