Wednesday, November 30, 2016

One Direction's Liam Payne's GF Expecting?


Liam Payne is either about to be a dad, or his gf had way too much food and beer before enjoying Christmas carols.

The 23-year-old One Direction singer and Cheryl Cole, from Girls Aloud, showed up together Tuesday at the St James Christmas Carol Concert in London -- and it sure looks like something's in the oven.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Vote For Ghana To Preserve Peace - 3 Leaders Urge Voters


Against the background of rising tension in the run-up to the December 7 general election, two religious leaders and a traditional ruler have made separate appeals to Ghanaians to uphold the peace and maintain the sanctity of the elections, irrespective of their political affiliations.
 
The leaders are the President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference, the Most Rev. Philip Naameh; the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Sharubutu, and the President of the National House of Chiefs (NHC), Togbe Afede XIV.

At a press conference in Tamale yesterday, the Most Rev. Naameh, who is the Metropolitan Archbishop of Tamale and Chairman of the Northern Regional Election Early Warning and Response Group (REEWARD), called on Ghanaians to strictly adhere to the electoral laws and avoid acts of omission or commission that could compromise the outcome of the elections.

“Indeed, the elimination of electoral offences should be the utmost desire of all Ghanaians,” he added.

The Archbishop said already there had been concerns over the distribution of election materials which the Electoral Commission (EC) was addressing.

He, therefore, urged all stakeholders, including the EC and the political parties, in particular, to continue to engage one another in a civil manner and called on the EC to ensure that all logistics in their right quantities and quality were securely packed, stored and distributed to the various centres at the right time.

The Most Rev. Naameh underscored the need for adequate security to be provided at all times to ensure safety of electoral materials, while the electoral materials must be handled by persons authorised by the EC

State institutions

He urged the various political parties contesting the December 7 elections to have confidence in state institutions such as the police, the courts, the EC, the National Peace Council (NPC) and others to discharge their duties free from any interference and seek redress with the appropriate authorities should the need arise.

He expressed concern over statements by some politicians urging voters to vote and stay at polling stations to protect the ballot boxes, saying those statements contradicted the EC’s call on voters to go home and return after voting to witness vote counting.

Electoral officers

He called on electoral officers to exhibit a high sense of professionalism, integrity, fairness and transparency in the course of the voting process up to the declaration of results.

He further called on international and domestic observers to offer an objective and unbiased report on proceedings at the voting centres and urged the media not to report based on hearsay but to cross-check all their information on election day.

In a related development, Sheikh Sharubutu said the nation had gone through six consecutive elections peacefully, without recourse to any violence, hence “the forthcoming elections should not be the reason we should fight among ourselves.”

Chief Imam

In his special message to the nation in the run-up to the December 7 general election in Accra yesterday, the Chief Imam said: “We need to show love to others and respect for their views. God took us through successful elections and He has preserved us in peace, and even as we speak now, we are living in peace.”

He called on Ghanaians to be thankful to God and act in ways that would not to disturb the peace.

“Even as we give praises to God, our actions must be intended to preserve the peace,” the spiritual leader intimated.

He said ethnocentric comments by any political actor must be discouraged “because our interest is Ghana, and as Ghanaians, we are the same individuals with a common destiny.”

As humans, Sheikh Sharubutu explained, “God had created us from a common parentage of Adam and Eve and made us into tribes and races, hence the need for us to live with one another as one”.

He advised the youth, particularly those in Muslim communities, to leave the voting area after casting their ballots on election day.

“Never should you (youth) allow yourselves to be used as agents of violence. Let not any young person be the cause of  any drop of blood on election day,” he added.

Togbe Afede

Adding his voice to the calls for peace, Togbe Afede advised political actors to affirm their commitment to peace as the nation went to the polls on December 7, saying without peace it would be difficult for the country to develop.

He also urged all chiefs to play positive roles in their respective areas to ensure that the elections were conducted devoid of any violence.

Togbe Afede, who is the Overlord of  the Asogli State in the Volta Region, said one underpinning of national development was peace, adding: “Politicians must, therefore, understand that peace is vital to our national development.”

The President of the NHC made the call at the inauguration of the Ghana-Israel Business Chamber (GIBC), an initiative to facilitate business activities among investors from the two countries, in Accra last Monday.

The GIBC will also provide information and conduct surveys to serve the interest of its members by providing a platform for discussions and dissection of topical issues affecting business between Ghana and Israel.

The inauguration was under the auspices of the Ambassador of the State of Israel to Ghana and Liberia, Mr Ami Mehl.

Togbe Afede, who is also the President of the GIBC, lauded the initiative because it would boost commercial activities in both counties.

According to him, Ghana was endowed with arable land, while Israel was blessed with advanced technology in the agricultural sector, “so we can benefit from Israeli agricultural technology as we strive to enhance our agricultural output”.

Expand its export base

 For his part, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, welcomed the imitative and urged Ghanaian entrepreneurs to use it as a platform to market Ghana to the globe as the country strived to expand its export base.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Mariah Carey Says She Eats Only Two Foods


Mariah Carey loves flaunting her figure in low-cut, tight-fitting ensembles â€" and with her body, who could blame her? But the diva says it doesn’t come easy.

“It’s really hard,” Carey tells E! News of her strict healthy eating habits. “My diet … you would hate it.”


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Secret Service Investigates Death Threat to Donald Trump


Secret Service agents felt Donald Trump's life was threatened earlier this month, and paid a visit to the messenger ... who says it was just a joke.

Law enforcement sources confirm to TMZ ... Trump's Secret Service team and Sheriff's deputies in Greene County, Ohio checked in with a guy Monday who posted a screen shot of a text message on Nov. 14 ... which read, "kill Trump."


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Hillary Clinton Brings Katy Perry To Tears As She Makes Surprise Appearance To Present Her With UNICEF Honor


Katy Perry got a surprise visit from a very special friend on Tuesday night, as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an appearance at the annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball to honor the pop star.  

The presidential race loser received a standing ovation from the celeb-packed crowd as she took the stage in only her second public appearance since delivering her concession speech three weeks ago after being defeated by Donald Trump in the race for president.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Prez Mahama Opens 420-Bed Ridge Hospital


President John Dramani Mahama has inaugurated the refurbished Ridge Hospital now called the Greater Accra Regional Hospital.

“I’m happy that we are able to deliver a project like this. What we are doing is to provide equipment in the new facilities that we have so that our health professionals will be able to give off their best to the patients. We know that our health professionals operate in very challenging circumstances.

Sometimes equipment even for basic diagnosis is difficult to find and that is why we are trying to make a change by providing the facilities.

We have well-trained health care professionals and I think that, that will enhance the quality of health of our people,” the president said in his introductory remarks at the inauguration ceremony on Wednesday, 30 November.

In a speech later read on his behalf by Minister of Health, Alex Segbefia, Mr Mahama noted that although the hospital is to serve the whole of the capital, “The main catchment area of the hospital including Nima, Maamobi and Accra Central which have the highest population density in the Greater Accra Region, will now be served by world-class medical facilities.

Surveys conducted at the Ridge Hospital indicate that about one out of every four of the daily total output of the hospital are residents of these localities which are relatively deprived communities in the Accra metropolis”.

According to him, the phase two of the project will be completed in 24 months to make the facility complete.

The facility was financed by the Government of Ghana with help from Exim Bank and the HSBC Bank.

The refurbished hospital has been equipped with ultra-modern facilities and 420 beds to improve quality and expand access to healthcare delivery.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Supreme Court Strikes out NMC's Content Regulation Law


The Supreme Court court has struck out the law requiring media owners to seek content approval from the National Media Commission (NMC) before airing or publicising them.

According to the court, the regulation which requires media owners to apply for content authorisation, submit programme guide and content for approval or in default pay a good or serve between two and five years in jail term, amounts to censorship, and is therefore unconstitutional.

The justices further added that, the NMC was to provide guidelines and not sensor content.

The judgment follows a suit by the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), which specifically prayed the apex court to expunge regulations 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 22 of the NMC (Content Standards) Regulations 2015 (LI 2224), insisting that it was inconsistent with the 1992 Constitution which guarantees unfettered media freedom.

The President of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), Akwasi Agyeman, had explained that their decision to drag the National Media Commission (NMC) to the Supreme Court over the new media law, was not an attempt to embarrass the commission.

According to him, the move was to seek interpretation of some clauses in the new law which they disagreed with.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




17-Year-Old Student Dies After Drinking Gari Soakings


The family of a 17-year-old second year student who was allegedly poisoned in school is demanding justice.

Boris Commodore of the Saint Stephens Presby Senior Technical School complained of stomach pains after he took milo and gari after prep. He allegedly started vomiting blood and was pronounced dead before arriving at the hospital.

Brother of the deceased Jeffery Commodore said he suspects foul play and also blames the school authorities for not acting swiftly.

“I can only be satisfied if I know the cause of my brother’s death whether it was poisoning so the Police can pick up the culprit. My brother had complained of stomach pains for close to three to four hours and then he started foaming and vomiting blood and after complaining to the hall master he told him because of the distance from the school and the hospital he had to wait till morning and the only thing he took was Milo and Gari after prep, I suspect foul play”.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




NHIS Fund Misapplied - Intercepted Document Alleges


One of the vital service providers has blamed the funding crisis facing the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) on mismanagement of funds meant for running the scheme.

According to the provider, if the scheme is run based on international best practices, which the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) subscribes to, the scheme would not face financial problems of such alarming proportions.

In a position paper copied to relevant institutions, including the NHIA, which was sighted by The Finder, the service provider said an analysis of total receipts revealed that the scheme recorded surplus in 2014 and 2015.

The Finder learnt that the NHIA have not responded to the position paper.

The service provider stated that, according to the NHIA report for 2014, the authority stated that, international best practices “recommend that between 8% and 12% of total receipts of health insurance funds are earmarked for operational overheads.

It explained that, according to the NHIA financial statements, the total receipts for 2014 was GH¢1.1billion (GH¢1,102.696) while that of 2015 was GH¢1.3billion (GH¢1,385.464).

“In 2014, total revenue stood at approximately GH¢ 1,102.696 million whereas total claims were GH¢887.67 million.

“This gives a surplus, in terms of claims payment, of GH¢215.026 million” it added.

Best practice

According to the service provider, NHIA report for 2015 quoted income of GH¢1.3billion (GH¢1,385.464).

Therefore, an amount of GH¢122 million was earmarked for 8% and 12% of total receipts for operating expenditure.

The National Health Insurance Act 2012 (Act 852) further enjoins the authority to facilitate activities that are in the larger interest of the scheme.

Consequently, the Authority earmarked GH¢37.3m to help District Offices.

Furthermore, the Authority, in consultation with the Health Ministry, proposed to allocate GH¢26 million to help public health and preventive care programmes.

Based on the calculations, using international best practices and statutory allocations, the service provider concluded that there was no funding gap for the year 2014, contrary to NHIA and government statements.

Similarly, it said according to the NHIA report, the total claims for 2015 were GH¢1048.32million as against GH¢1.3billion (GH¢1,385.464) income.

Consequently, in terms of claims payment, there should be a surplus of GH¢350 million.

In view of this, the service provider said an amount of GH¢47.798m and GH¢33.528m would have been spent on district offices and government help respectively for the year 2015.

In this regard, it stated that the total expense - less claims payment -should stand at GH¢247.581 millio, adding that considering that there was a surplus of GH¢350million, the funding gap proposition is not tenable.

Going by the above, the service provider argued that if NHIA applies its income, according to international best practice which the NHIA alludes to, the scheme should not be in arrears to Service Providers for seven months.

Service Providers, under the NHIS, said they are on the verge of returning to cash-and-carry to save their health facilities from shutting down due to huge indebtedness.

According to them, the NHIA is indebted to Service Providers across the country for a minimum of seven months.

On the average, the NHIA pays monthly claims of about GH¢80 million and, therefore, the seven months indebtedness could be in the region of GH¢400 million.

Few of the service providers have, indeed, received payments covering January and April 2016 while others are owed up to December 2015.

What is even more disturbing is that, in some of these cases, the NHIA, sometimes, jumped some of the months and settled the most recent months.

For Instance, in some of the regions, the Authority has not paid December 2015 but has paid January 2016.

The scheme’s indebted, is largely, due to the failure of Ministry of Finance to release, on time, monies collected on behalf of the NHIA.

If the Ministry of Finance releases monies on monthly basis, the scheme could pay service providers on time to avoid the usual indebtedness.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




YEA Recruits 1000 For Data Collection


The Youth Employment Agency (YEA) has recruited 1,000 youth under its Electronic Health Technical Assistants (ETAs) programme to assist in data collection in the health sector.

The beneficiaries who received a week’s training at the College of Health and Wellbeing in Kintampo, in the Brong Ahafo Region, will collate and transmit data into the Ghana Health Service data system across the country.

The training was jointly sponsored by the YEA and One million Community Health Worker (1mCHW) Campaign and the Ghana Health Service.

Speaking at the launch of the programme in Accra yesterday, a board member of the YEA, Mrs. Alice Attipoe, said the function of the ETAs would include registering household members, providing education for health promotions and disease prevention, case detection, defaulter tracing and referrals.

She noted that the programme was designed to improve community data handling processes, as well as bring healthcare closer to the doorsteps of the people, especially in deprived communities where access to healthcare services was extremely difficult.

Mrs. Attipoe said the ETAs would work with the District Health Information Officers to also improve community health workers’ data capture and use them under the close supervision of the YEA District Director.

The Chief Executive Officer of YEA, Mr. Kobina Beechem, noted that ETAs module would contribute to YEA’s quest to create job opportunities as it would enhance the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 of promoting full and productive employment and decent work.

He added that the ETAs would also support strengthen the community health data system handling process to facilitate prompt decision making for improved health.

The Director of 1mCHW Campaign, Chief Nat Ebo Nsarko, said the organisation had donated 500 tablets, 500 sleeve jackets and 1,000 community health workers uniforms to enhance the operations of the ETAs.

“Specifically, the donation of the items is to support improve the community-based health information component which is currently collected through a paper â€"based system”, he said.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Jacob Zuma Survives ANC's No-Confidence Motion


South Africa's scandal-plagued President Jacob Zuma has survived a move by several members of his party to hold a no-confidence motion against him.

Zuma has been weakened by corruption scandals, but his supporters were taken by surprise at an attempt to oust him at a weekend meeting of the African National Congress' (ANC) Executive Committee.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




145 New Engineers Inducted By GhIE


The Ghana Institution of Engineers (GhIE) has inducted 145 new Engineers who passed the Engineering Professional Examination at the 16th Induction ceremony held at the Engineers Centre, Roman Ridge, Accra on Tuesday, November 29, 2016.

Inducting the new Engineers, the President of GhIE, Ing. Dr. Kwame Boakye, who chaired the ceremony, reminded the new Engineers to always keep in mind the objective of the GhIE, which is to promote and advance the science and practice of engineering to the benefit of society in Ghana and Africa and globally.

“You must further observe that most development problems are essentially engineering problems and that no nation ever developed without indigenous engineers.

Engineering has been and continues to be the backbone for the development and progress of any country. This places a special responsibility on us, individually and collectively in the development of our dear nation, Ghana. As I have repeatedly insisted, Ghana is going nowhere without Engineers and we must rise to the challenge”.

The Guest of Honour of the occasion, Ing. J.V. Duncan William, who was a Past President of the GhIE for the year 2000 â€" 2001 and a board member of the Engineering Council of Ghana explained to the new Engineers the role of the Engineering Council as a regulatory body mandated by law to regulate the practice of Engineering in the country as enshrined in the Engineering Council Act, 2011 (Act 819).

He advised the new Engineers to always connect to their maker, Avoid greed, corruption, pride and arrogance, take their Continuous Professional Development (CPD) seriously, to be on time with their work and always produce excellent work and finally try as much as they can to do a higher degree.

The Immediate Past President of the GhIE, Ing. K. Boampong suggested and explained five key areas that the new Engineers should always pay attention to, which are; Always be a student, Protect your reputation, Balance, Success and Significance, Use Science, Technology, Engineering and Innovation (STEI) wisely and finally Think and Act Globally.

The Chairman of the Membership Committee of the GhIE, Ing. Kwabena Bempong hinted that a total of 191 candidates participated in the Professional Examinations at Tarkwa, Kumasi and Accra but 145 made it through the examinations.

He, however, said that those who were unable to present themselves for the induction ceremony would have to seek another opportunity to take the Engineer’s Oath before their transfer will take due effect.

Certificates were presented to the new Engineers in Civil Technical Division, Electricals/Electronic Technical Division, Mechanical/Agric/Marine Technical Division and Chemical/Mining Technical Division.

Special award were given to the best students in the four divisions. Ing. Prof. William Kwame Buah received the best student award in the Chemical/Mining Division, Ing. John Emmanuel Cudjoe received the best student award in the Civil Division, Ing. Josiah Kwamina Attah-Yalley received the best student in the Electrical/Electronic Division whilst the best student in the Mechanical/Agric/Marine Division went to Ing. Eyram Stephen Tettevi.

The ceremony was attended by Past President of GhIE, members of the Engineering Council, representatives of sister professional institutions, families of the newly inducted Engineers, the media and the general public.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Beware Of GHc35m Toxic Contract With Woyome - Ankomah Warns Govt.


A leading member of pressure group, OccupyGhana has described as toxic, a GHc 35 million agreement between the government of Ghana and Anator Holding Company Limited owned by embattled businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome.

Ace Ankomah, who spoke to 3FM Sunrise morning show host, Winston Amoah, also contended that the engagement is fictitious. The businessman is struggling to repay GH51 million judgment debt he wrongfully benefitted from the state.

“At the time when we are in court with this gentleman over monies he’s taken from us and refused to pay inspite of a Supreme Court agreement; when we are retrying him for defrauding us, we’re still meeting with him and signing another contract? “The frame work agreement of this contract was signed barely three weeks before the President said if he were a military dictator, he would have arrested Alfred Woyome and locked him till he proved his innocence.

“What is worse is that this so called 24% stake in his business ideas which is now being marketed to SNNIT as if government has agreed to take that stake is not in the framework agreement. “Once he got the framework agreement, suddenly government is being told that it has an obligation with respect to 24%. I think this framework agreement is just fluff and wool.

He is only defrauding us and that is what we are fighting”. OccupyGhana maintains that government has entered into a GHc 35 million contract with Anator Holding Company Limited, one of the companies of Alfred Woyome. The anti-corruption Crusaders insist government’s latest deal with the embattled business man is only aimed at defrauding Ghanaians.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Provide JB Killers With Bone Test Report


An Accra Central District Court has ordered the state to furnish lawyers of the two accused persons in the trial relating to the murder of Joseph Boakye Danquah-Adu with a copy of the bone test report.

Joseph Boakye Danquah-Adu, fondly called JB, was the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Abuakwa North in the Eastern Region,

The court said failure by the prosecution, led by Superintendent Francis Baah, to do so is likely to prejudice the case of the accused persons â€" Daniel Asiedu, 19, aka Sexy Don Don and Vincent Booso aka Junior Agogo.

The ruling of the court brings to a close weeks of ‘haggling’ over whether or not state prosecutors should give a copy of the result to the defence team.

Ruling

In a ruling yesterday, the court, presided over by Mr Stephen Owusu, stated that the accused persons have the constitutional right to be given the result in order to put up a better defence.

The court held that the prosecution would not prejudice its case by releasing the report, especially when the report did not give the specific age of Daniel Asiedu but rather a range.

Arguments

Earlier, Augustine Obuor, counsel for the accused, had moved an application for the court to compel the prosecution to release the report to the defence team.

He told the court that the acquisition of the report is crucial to the case of Sexy Don Don.

He said he was seeking refuge under the Juvenile Justice Act, Act 653, which gives the judge the power to order an independent bone test on his client.

The former State Attorney argued that the bone test had already been done by the prosecution which was failing to furnish the defence with a copy of it.

He said if it’s established that Daniel Asiedu is a juvenile, the court would known how to handle him and that even per Section 46 (7) of the Act, his client whom he believes is a juvenile ought not be kept at a prison with adults.

Obuor noted that the posturing of the prosecution is contrary to Article 19 (2)(e) of the 1992 Constitution, among others, stressing that per the charges leveled against the accused, several defences were available to him.

Supt. Baah, opposing the application, said the case before the court was one to be tried summarily and that the prosecution was guided by law in such matters.

He stated that the prosecution, in ascertaining the age of the accused, had done a lot of checks.

According to the prosecutor, the bone test did not give the specific age of the accused and that Daniel Asiedu had told the police that he was 19 during his arrest.

Offences

Sexy Don Don is in the dock with Vincent Booso over the death of the legislator.

Sexy Don Don has been slapped with the charge of murder while Agogo faces the charge of abetment of crime contrary to his earlier charge of conspiracy to murder.

In the case of Agogo, the prosecution held that he at about 1am on February 9, this year at Shaishie, East Legon in Accra, abetted Sexy Don Don to commit murder.

Sexy Don Don, according to the prosecution, in the same day and time intentionally and unlawfully caused the death of the MP.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Technical Universities Lack Capacity To Deliver IMANI


IMANI Ghana has said the technical universities lack the capacity to deliver the kind of training that will make their students problem solvers.

In its pre-election report, the policy think-tank said: “Unfortunately, these intentions, however desirable on paper, are not going to have impact even in the short or medium term because of a great lack of capacity to run these schools.

There is very little strategic focus on developing a vibrant curriculum. Teachers themselves are very ill-equipped to teach students, most of them being the worst performers in school and choosing teaching as the last option.”

Government, in September this year, converted six polytechnics into technical universities, with the four others expected to be converted at a later date.

The justification for converting the polytechnics into technical universities was to reposition them as strategic institutions for training highly skilled human resources to drive economic growth.

It is also meant to make them achieve parity of esteem with universities without departing from the practice-oriented philosophy of polytechnic education and training.

Furthermore, the conversion is meant to create a progressive pathway at the tertiary level for practically-inclined SHS students and technical school graduates.

Indeed, the committee that worked on the conversion of the polytechnics indicated in its report that funding will be the biggest challenge to an effective technical university regime.

The committee described technical university training as being “expensive”, indicating that realisation of the objectives would be dependent on how well-funded the upgraded institutions are.

"Adequate funding for the converted polytechnics is a important challenge that must be addressed by the government, policy implementers, and leaders of the polytechnics aspiring to technical university status," the report stated.

Citing Germany, for example, the committee said the German government spends an amount of €5,000 -- €7200 (or the equivalent of about GHC15,000 -- GHC21,000) on every student in a university of applied sciences per year.

"Currently, the Government of Ghana spends less than GHC3,000 on a student in a polytechnic per year. The huge gap between the current and optimal funding levels will have to be bridged if the quality of training in the converted polytechnics is to be comparable to international standards," the report added.

In 2014, the polytechnics were allocated only GHC150,571,282 out of a budget request of GH¢325,547,304 -- leaving a funding gap of 54 percent.

With a combined student population of 53,078, the amount that government spends on a polytechnic student per year is only GH¢2,836.

This amount, the committee said, may be compared with the euro equivalent of about GH¢18,000 (on the average) that the German government spends on a student attending a University of Applied Sciences.

For quality skills training in the future, the committee recommended that the recurrent budgetary allocation to the converted polytechnics be at a level that corresponds to at least 50 percent of the unit cost for training students at similar institutions in Germany.

It added that the unit cost for training students in the technical universities should be at least GHC9,000. Assuming that the student population in the polytechnics grows to 60,000 in the next couple of years, the minimum recurrent cost to government in converting the polytechnics to technical universities is estimated at GHC540million per annum for the next three years.

Government in 2016 will convert all the ten polytechnics into technical universities in a bid to make them offer more practical programmes to develop middle-level manpower to facilitate development.

Dr. George Afeti, Executive Secretary, National Inspectorate Board who is the Chairman of the Committee, said the Ministry of Education should ensure that funding allocations to the converted polytechnics are commensurate with their status as technical universities.

Currently six polytechnics including the Koforidua Polytechnic, Kumasi Polytechnic, Ho Polytechnic, Takoradi Polytechnic, Sunyani Polytechnic and Accra Polytechnic are operating as technical universities beginning form the 2016/17 academic year.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Suspected Armed Robber Kills Policeman


A Police officer stationed at Akwatia, Sergeant William Sowakpor, was killed last Thursday by a suspected armed robber he and his colleagues were trailing.
 
The robber allegedly ran over him with a vehicle at Awaham Junction on the Asamankese-Kade main road when the policeman signalled him to stop.

Briefing the Daily Graphic,  the Akwatia District Police Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mr Francis Aboagye, said he had a tip-off  last Thursday afternoon that armed robbers had snatched a car, and were heading towards Kade with it.

He said he immediately despatched five policemen to trail the robbers and apprehend them.

Stolen vehicle

Mr Aboagye said the policemen saw the stolen vehicle at Awaham Junction around 4:30 p.m. and Sgt Sowakpor signalled the driver to stop.

He stated that for fear that he might be arrested, the driver of the stolen vehicle did not stop but rather ran over Sgt Sowakpor, killing him instantly.

According to Mr Aboagye, the other policemen gave the armed robbers a hot chase and managed to arrest one of the occupants of the stolen vehicle and also impounded it.

He, however, stated that the driver of the vehicle, who is believed to be the ring leader of the armed robbers, managed to escape.

The District Police Commander said the names of the captured robber and the driver on the run were being withheld for security reasons.

Mr Aboagye said when the vehicle was searched, armed robbery implements such as a hammer, machetes, as well as a quantity of stolen mobile phones, were found in it.    

He said the body of  the deceased had been deposited at the St Dominic’s Hospital Akwatia awaiting autopsy while the police had intensified their search for the other robbers.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Ghanaians Must Have Hope In President Mahama


Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has called on Ghanaians to have hope in President John Dramani Mahama and renew his mandate for another four years.

      He appealed to the rank and file of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to close their ranks and campaign vigorously for the party to retain power.

     Vice President Amissah-Arthur made the call when he addressed hundreds of NDC supporters at Abura Dunkwa in the Abura-Aseibu-Kwamankese (AAK) District of the Central Region.

     The Vice President’s tour of the AAK Constituency concludes the second phase of the four-day campaign of the Central Region.

    The “Touching Base” campaign tour has already taken him to Gomoa East, Gomoa Central, Agona West, Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam, Mfantsiman and Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese constituencies.

    He was accompanied by Madam Ama Benyiwa Doe, a Member of the Council of State and former National Women’s Organiser, Ms Barbara Asamoah, the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Sam Garba, the Administrator of GETFund, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, the First Vice Chairman of the NDC, Mr Yaw Boateng Gyan, former National Organiser, and other national and regional officers of the party.

    Vice President Amissah-Arthur stated that the NDC Government did not and would not discriminate in the provision of development projects.

    He assured Ghanaians that the second term of President Mahama would be characterized by more development projects and jobs for the youth.

    “The love President Mahama has for the country is unmatched and he is, therefore, determined to make it a better place for all,” he said.

    Vice President Amissah-Arthur said the NDC had the majority of Ghanaians on its side and it would, therefore, not encourage any violent act as it would not contribute to the December 7 election victory.

   He, however, cautioned that anyone caught disturbing the peace or engaging in violence would be decisively dealt with by the security agencies.

   Madam Ama Benyiwa Doe appealed to the youth to join and remain in the NDC as it is the only political party that can guarantee their future.

   She said the NDC was the only political party that gave opportunity to the youth to serve in any capacity without looking at the person’s religious or ethnic affiliation or financial strength but just the ability, sound mind and intellectual capacity to work.

   Mr Ofosu Ampofo, on his part, appealed to Ghanaians, especially floating voters and supporters of the NDC, to vote massively for President Mahama and all the party’s parliamentary candidates for the continuity of “Changing Lives and Transforming Ghana.”

    He cautioned them against voting skirt and blouse.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Lapaz Community Hospital Wins International Award


After twelve years of dedicated medical services to the public, the Lapaz community Hospital has attracted international attention and recognition, winning and joining the elite club of global health care providers committed to the welfare of mankind.

At an impressive ceremony in London, organizers of the prestigious international quality crown award London 2016, the BID Group, said the choice of the Lapaz Community Hospital for the category of “customer satisfaction, leadership, innovation and efficiency” was driven by the facility’s uncompromising adherence to customer satisfaction and consistent quality services, which are two key indicators underpinning the Group’s principles of total quality management model.

The citation accompanying the award which was presented by the President of BID, Jose E. Prieto, singled out Lapaz Community Hospital’s outstanding commitment to quality and excellence, stating in part that “our company accepts quality as a factor of development.

Lapaz Community Hospital, the citation continued,  is publicizing this quality culture with employees, suppliers, and clients to bring about customer satisfaction, team work and effective human resource management,” it concluded.   


By Ghana Leaks Blog




'Kotokuraba New Market Stores Yet To Be Allocated'


The Central Regional Minister, Mr Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, has debunked rumours in the Cape Coast Metropolis that all the stores at the Kotokuraba New Market have been distributed.

      He said the stores would be distributed only after the new market had been inaugurated by the President on Monday, November 28, and assured the market women that the claims were false.

      Rumours are rife in the Metropolis that the stores have been distributed to people mostly outside the region and that most traders of both the Kotokuraba and Kotoka markets whose stores and stalls were demolished to pave the way for the new market may not get allocations.

     Mr Ricketts-Hagan, who is also the Member of Parliament for Cape Coast South, dispelled the claims when he inaugurated a number of projects in the Cape Coast Metropolis on Thursday and Friday.

     They include the Amanful Catholic Boys Junior High School (JHS) which was razed by fire but was awarded on contract in 2015 through the instrumentality of the Metro Chief Executive for Cape Coast, Mrs Priscilla Arhin Korankye, who sourced for GetFund to reconstruct it.

     The others are the Cape Coast Church of Christ JHS which was financed with the Assembly’s Internally Generated Fund (IGF), the Oguaa ICT Centre at Chapel Hill and the Oguaa Community Library which was started by Ms Christine Churcher, a former Member of Parliament of the area, and completed by Mr Ricketts Hagan.

     At separate ceremonies to inaugurate the projects, Mr Ricketts-Hagan said the residual funds for the Kotokuraba Market was being used to further expand the market to accommodate more traders and assured the people of more developmental projects.

     At Amanful Catholic Boys, Mr Ricketts-Hagan urged the students to take fine care of the modern school complex which had a headmaster’s office, a staff common room and toilet facilities and urged the students to study hard to excel.

     The Headmaster, Mr Jesus Julius Ellis, expressed gratitude to the Government and pledged to ensure the maintenance of the school to prolong its lifespan.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




MTN Ghana Foundation Celebrates Nine Years Of Sustainable Corporate Social Interventions


MTN Ghana Foundation, the Corporate Social Investment wing of MTN Ghana is celebrating nine years of impactful social investment and brightening lives. The MTN Ghana Foundation was launched on 24th November 2007 and marks its anniversary every year in November to celebrate the impact of its projects on the lives of people in communities across Ghana.

Since its establishment nine years ago, the MTN Ghana Foundation has positively impacted the lives of over three million people directly and indirectly through 135 major projects worth GHs22.2M in the areas of education, health and economic empowerment.

Out of the 135 projects, the Foundation has implemented 75 educational projects, 50 health initiatives and 10 economic empowerment projects. MTN Foundation has improved access to healthcare by building hospital blocks and CHPS Compounds and donated medical equipment. They have also improved access to education by providing scholarships to over 1,000 students and created conducive learning environments by building classrooms for children in remotes communities. Through the work of the Foundation students studying in dilapidated structures have been provided classrooms with better learning facilities. The Foundation has also improved the livelihood of families and communities through the provision of seed capital and skill training under the economic empowerment portfolio.

Commenting on the anniversary celebrations, the Sustainability & Social Impact Senior Manager of MTN Ghana Foundation, Mr. Robert Kuzoe expressed his gratitude to MTN customers, partners and stakeholders for their continuous help over the years. ”We are glad that apart from connecting people through innovative telecommunications solutions, we are also able to brighten their lives through impactful Corporate Social Investments.”

“As we celebrate our ninth anniversary, we remain committed to the goal of giving back to our communities in the coming years,” he added.

Aside the three focus areas, the MTN Ghana Foundation has also instituted several themed projects such as the MTN Heroes of Change, Teacher Improvement Awards Project, MTN Reading Club project and Save a Life initiative (nationwide Blood Donation exercises). Others include the celebration of World Malaria Day celebrations and the recent Disability day.  These and many others are all aimed at extending the work of the Foundation to more beneficiaries.  

The MTN Foundation has undertaken projects in all 10 regions of Ghana. Some of the projects include, a three unit classroom blocks for Akim Asafo SHS and Akatsi, an eight unit dormitory blocks for Apam SHS and Owerriman SHS, a boys’ dormitory block for Akropong School for the blind, a six-unit classroom block for Kodjonya Millennium School, 108 Seater Library at Tsito Senior High School, 30 bed ward for the Sene District Hospital, construction of a maternity ward for Ejisu Hospital, the provision of a theater and recovery ward for the Fomena Hospital and the construction of an ICT center & library for the Tsito community.  Others include the construction of CHPS compounds for Dinkra and Azuribisi communities and the provision of seed capital and skill training for the Tizaa Dini and Sung Suma Shea Butter processing projects. The MTN Foundation recently provided help to St. Theresa’s Handicap Center at Abor and donated equipment to the Caring Sisters Vocational School at Keta.

For these and other initiatives, the MTN Ghana Foundation has been awarded by several institutions for its contribution to the development of the country. MTN Ghana Foundation was recently adjudged the overall CSR Company of the Year for the second consecutive time at the Ghana CSR Excellence Award. MTN Foundation in 2015 won the Best CSR Award for Sustainability, Environment & Social Impact at Ghana CSR Excellence Award. The Foundation’s flagship project Heroes of Change won the 2016 IPR Best Community Relations Programme of the Year, MTN Gold Winner â€"Corporate and Services Category at the Gong Gong Awards and CSR Program of the Year at the Head of States Award Scheme (HoSA) 2015.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




South African Ministers Call On Jacob Zuma To Resign


Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s beleaguered president, is facing the most serious challenge of his seven years in power after three ministers called for his resignation.

The News24 agency, citing sources in the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, said the calls came at a weekend meeting of senior officials amid heated debate over Zuma’s future.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




WANEP hopeful for peaceful elections in Ghana


The Executive Director of WANEP, Chukwuemeka Eze has expressed optimism that the December 7 Presidential elections will be peaceful.

He said going by the level of preparedness and especially the concerted efforts of civil society organizations and its collaboration with key state institutions especially the National Peace Council and other stakeholders, the elections would be held in an atmosphere of peace.

“I am envisaging a peaceful atmosphere for people to exercise their franchise and ensure that Ghana’s democratic credentials are not dented,” he said.

He added that WANEP is leaving no stones unturned towards ensuring that peace prevails in the upcoming elections.

“We in WANEP are prepared and have been monitoring the security situation through our robust early warning system (NEWS),” he said.

Earlier in the year, WANEP with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the Election Monitoring, Analysis and Mitigation (EMAM) project.

The project was inspired by WANEP’s desire to contribute and commit to the sustenance of peace during the elections and based on WANEP’s past intervention experiences in the 2008 and 2012 general elections.

WANEP in collaboration with other major stakeholders also played a key role to promote a peaceful outcome in the 2012 elections.

According to Mr. Eze, WANEP made significant impact in previous elections but this year, he said WANEP will up its game; “we did it in previous elections but I assure you that this year we have made further progress,” he added.

As the leading civil society organization for peace and security in West Africa and a resource to African Union and ECOWAS, WANEP is sufficiently prepared for the elections and has set up modalities for the sustenance of peace and stability during this period.

The Election Monitoring, Analysis and Mitigation (EMAM) Project provides real-time data on potential risks and hotspots to inform prevention of violence and mitigation before, during and after the elections.

Under this project, WANEP and its partners have established an Election Situation Room (ESR) with a central coordinating body in

Accra and two satellite rooms in Kumasi and Tamale and deploying 750 observers to monitor the elections.

Following on the launch of the EMAM project in May, WANEP facilitated the formation of the National and Regional Election Response Groups (NEWARG) as well as an enhanced collaboration with the National Peace Council and the Ministry of Interior for the prevention and mitigation of electoral violence.

Further, WANEP revised the election monitoring indicators developed in 2012 to reflect current dynamics and threats to look out for in 2016 elections.

It has also added new features to its highly developed Peace Monitoring Centre where it generates and analyses information on the electoral process and provide to National Peace Council and other relevant stakeholders.

In recognition of WANEP’s expertise and professionalism in election monitoring, several groups and organizations have been visiting WANEP to receive update on the dynamics of the electoral processes in the run-up to the elections.

Some of the organizations who came calling included delegates from African Union the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) and delegates from the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA).

The groups commended the level of information provided and the sophistication of the early warning system.

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Prez Mahama Praises Chief Fire Officer  


John Dramani Mahama, the President of the Republic of Ghana, on a statement read on his behalf by the Minister for Interior, Prosper D.K. Bani, has applauded the Chief Fire Officer and the Command of the Service for exhibiting good leadership qualities and massive transformation in the Service.

Prosper D.K. Bani said he is not surprised that the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and the Chief Fire Officer continue to receive awards both home and abroad.

“You have indeed carved a good image for yourselves and it is my hope that you will continue in this direction so that we can have a Fire Service comparable to any Fire Institution in the world. The Good people of Ghana will continue to count on you for their safety,” he stated.

He mentioned the Home Fire Safety Certificate Project launched months ago which is meant to ensure that homes are supplied with fire dispense systems including fire and smoke alarms, and firefighting equipment, whilst occupants of the home are trained on the use of the equipment.

“I have observed with keen interest the performance of the Service in recent years and would recall Circle Twin Disaster of Flood and Fire in which the Service executed its duties per excellence to save a lot more lives and properties which could have been lost, but for the quick intervention of the Ghana National Fire Service (GHFS), through its efficient and effective response,” he stated.

Mr. Bani acknowledged the efforts of other stakeholders during the incident and urged them to continue to collaborate with each other in such emergencies.

“I must commend the Ghana National Fire Service once again for putting in place proactive measures to curb the rampant market fires. I will urge you not to rest on your oars but continue to do more of public education and sensitization to ensure that no fires are recorded in our markets in the years ahead,” he intimated.

He said this at a ceremony to handover twenty four (24) Fire Tenders of which fourteen (14) were on display which forms the last batch of one hundred and four (104) Fire Tenders from India through the Exim Bank of India credit facility.

The Sector Minister emphasized that the Government of Ghana had earlier taken delivery of 152 Fire Tenders from the Exim Bank-USA and the Belgium Government. Which brings the number to 256 Fire Tenders so far procured for the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.

He commended the Indian Government for making the Exim Bank of India Facility available to the Government of Ghana to help equip and retool the GNFS to provide rescue, evacuation and Fire Management services to the Ghanaian citizenry.

Mr. Bani reassured the fire personnel that the NDC Government shall fulfill to equip the Service with Hydraulic Platform to help the Service gain access to the ever increasing high rise buildings that are springing up in the country as a result of development the NDC has brought to Ghana.

According to him, the Government has approved a 20 percent rent allowance across board for all personnel of the Service effective January 2017 to improve the conditions of service of personnel.

He added that a sod was recently cut at Duayaw Nkwanta in the Brong Ahafo Region to begin the construction of an ultra-Modern Fire Acedemy and Training School to serve as a Centre of Excellence for the Fire industry in the West African sub-region.

The Chief Fire Officer, Dr. Albert Brown Gaisie, said, its quiet significant that as an institution we improve upon our human and logistical resources.

He indicated that fire fighting is a process and as an institution they are responsible for the prevention and management of undesired fires in this country.

According to him, one crucial thing is that they have not essentially covered the whole country but as these vehicles are made available to them, it makes it quiet imperative that they extend their services to cover other areas that are highly required.

At the moment, Dr. Gaisie noted that they are left with about 40 Metropolitans, Municipalities and districts to cover the whole country which eventually means they may still need more fire tenders to cover those areas.

He added that when fire tenders are available in terms of proximity, they will reach emergency scene on time thereby facilitating their response to those as quickly as possible.

The Chief Fire Officer indicated with these facilities handed over especially the dual purpose tender which has a combination of water and foam compound which goes a long way to suppress the occurrence of fire outbreak.

“So I think generally, it’s a welcoming new and taking delivery of 24 fire engines that means out of the 64 that are left, we’ve covered 24 and at the end of the day we have about 24 plus left. Hopefully, if the future presents us with more facilities, virtually we are covering the whole country and that is a quiet laudable effort,” he intimated.

Dr. Gaisie posited that from August 2015 to now, they have opend 34 fire stations and they hope to expand more.

He added that next week they are likely to open a new fire station at Kwame Nkrumah Circle because of the congestion, hazards and risk indentified within the area.

Remarkably, according to him, for the past 2years the country has not recorded any major market fire outbreaks and the regularity of fire outbreaks as it used to be, considerably has been reduced all because of the proactive measures which shall continue to sustained.

“It is my vision hopefully that by the end of next year, God willing we will be able to minimize the occurrence of fire outbreaks in this country closed to about 50 percent,” he intimated.

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Fire Destroys Several Shops At Asawase


Several wooden shops at Akwatia line near the Asawase office of the National Democratic Congress in Kumasi, Ashanti Region were reported to have been razed down by fire.

As of press time yesterday the cause of the fire was not yet known, but victims suspected the fire was caused by a gas explosion at a hair dressing salon near one of the shops before causing other cylinders used by the wood artisans to also explode.

The fire, according to reports, started around 10:00 p.m., Sunday evening.

Some of the victims told journalists that they have lost in excess of over 50,000 Ghana cedis due to the fire outbreak.

They are, however, calling on government to help them to get back into business.

Investigations are underway to confirm the cause of the fire outbreak.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




ICH Operation Would Rather Overburden Consumers In Ghana


Ms. Yolanda Cuba, Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Ghana has expressed concern over the introduction and implementation of Interconnect Clearinghouse (ICH) in the country by the National Communication Authority (NCA), arguing that ICH operation would rather overburden consumers.

According to her, telcos would be forced to charge customers extra since they can’t bear all the costs from ICH operation. And this, she said, would bring untold hardship to subscribers.

It could be recalled that during the first quarter of this year, Afriwave Telecom won the bid to operate interconnect clearing house services in Ghana as the most qualified firm to deliver on license following a parliamentary approval of ICH.

And as per their mandate Afriwave Telecom will provide a common independent mechanism for monitoring, routing, billing and settlement of local and international interconnect traffic for all existing and future telecommunications operators in the country.

But unfortunately some leading network operators including MTN were not happy about the move explaining that the operations of Interconnect Clearing House (ICH) would create a monopoly with a single point of interconnectivity failure that would increase the potential for network disruption and moreover it would also create an additional bureaucratic layer that would result in an increase in telecommunications cost to the subscriber as well compromise privacy and security.

Adding her voice to concerns raised earlier by other players in the telecommunication industry speaks volume about telcos' concerns about the ICH. Ms. Cuba addressing at a stakeholder forum in Accra with representation from Civil Society Organizations, Industry players and the Media, could not come to real terms with the fact that the regulator will allow an ICH operator to make capital investment, while the cost be borne by telcos and subsequently transferred to the consumers.

She then urge civil society to take particular interest in developments unfolding in the country’s telecom sector and support address some of it so as to support the sector grow.

The Vodafone CEO then reiterated Vodafone Ghana’s commitment in assisting the Ghanaian economy and seeing it grow hence the investing of over US$1.7billion in Ghana since 2008  and noted that nothing including the upcoming general elections scheduled for the 7th of December, 2016  in the country could deter it from continues investment into Vodafone’s operation.

“We not going to go on investment strike because of an election, Ghanaians need our services and we will not disappoint them," she said.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Ashanti Youth condemns gross disrespect to Manhyia, Mahama


The Ashanti Youth Association (AYA) has condemned what it describes as gross disrespect shown to the Manhyia Palace and the President during the one-week observation of the late Asantehemaa.

Asanteman was in grief over for the death of the Queen mother of the Ashanti stool Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa, Ampem II, the mother of Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

The 111-year-old queen mother who reigned for 39 years passed early November.

The solemnity of the occasion gave way to chants, hoots for President John Mahama and his biggest adversary in December's election Nana Akufo-Addo suggestive of a political campaign ground; indicative of the political season the country is engrossed in.

And it all happened at the Manhyia Palace, much to the chagrin of some chiefs.

Members of the Asante Youth Association blame the action of supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for what happened.

Speaking at a press conference Tuesday, Vice President of Association, Dr Ronald Ofori asked the Party to call its members to order.

He said their attention was brought to the fact that a "political grouping of some sort were responsible for heckling members of government who have come to mourn with us."

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Ashaiman Fire Victim Dies


Lawrence Nkem Ayem, the husband of Comfort Agbolosu, who set their house at Lebanon Zone Two in Ashaiman ablaze, has died from his injuries at the Korle-Bu Hospital.

Comfort Agbolosu, a 38-year-old seamstress, allegedly burnt her husband and her brother-in-law, Benjamin Ayem due to marital problems.

Lawrence, who was initially rushed to the Tema General Hospital, was referred to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra where he died later.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Juliana Obeng, Public Relations Officer of the Tema Regional Police Command, noted that the husband of the suspect failed to recover from coma.

According to her, the body has been deposited at the morgue of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

Meanwhile, the Ashaiman District Court has remanded the Comfort into police custody to reappear on December 12, 2016.

The children of the accused have been relocated to their auntie in Accra.

It would be recalled that on the night of Thursday, 17 November, 2016, Comfort Agboblosu,  took her three children â€" all females aged 4, 7 and 9 years â€" from the room as the kids were sleeping with her husband and brother-in-law.

After taking her children from the room, ASP Juliana Obeng claimed that the suspect, who had earlier soaked used clothes with kerosene, set fire to the clothes and left them in the room.

ASP Obeng said that the suspect then locked the door outside and left the vicinity, leaving the husband and the brother-in-law to their fate.

According to her, some neighbours who saw the fire eventually managed to rescue the two men who had sustained severe burns and quickly rushed them to the hospital.

However, the police spokeswoman asserted that Benjamin, who was being referred to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital for further treatment died before arrival.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Tuesday, November 29, 2016

We Sanctioned Polls Which Predicted NPP Win Dr Bossman Asare


The Political Science Department of the University of Ghana has stated that it sanctioned the recent polls organized by the department that found that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was likely to the December 7 elections.

A team of researchers from the department led by senior lecturer, Dr. Isaac Owusu-Mensah predicted in the report that the opposition party would record 49.9%.

The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), the team said, also has an approval rate of 39.9%.

The Progressive People’s Party (PPP), the research continued would also record 5% whiles the Convention People’s Party (CPP) would likely recieve 1.7%; the National Democratic Party (NDP) 1.7% and Dr Edward Mahama of the PNC recording 0.2% respectively. He also indicated there was a margin of error of between 2 to 3%.

Three percent of the respondents to the quantitative and qualitative survey, the researchers said were not ready to vote for an independent candidate whiles 0.9% of the respondents failed to give an answer.

Text message

Various persons including communicators of the NDC have dismissed the research, claiming that the department did not sanction the research.

A Lecturer at the Department, Prof Ransford Gyampo during a political discussion on the findings on GTV 24 on Saturday, 26th November, 2016 sent in a text message claiming that the Political Science department knows nothing about the research and its outcome.

He claimed that it was rather done by individuals in the department and not the department as a whole.

Dr. Isaac Owusu-Mensah, who was the leader of the team of researchers, Dr. Franklin Oduro of the Centre for Democratic Development, CDD-Ghana, Dr. Rashid Haruna, Executive Director, Development Challenge and Dr. William Ahadzi, who is the Director of Research of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) were the panelists on the show. It was hosted by George Asekere (Senior Prophet).

Prof Gyampo’s claim has since enjoyed widespread publication.

We backed research

Prof Gyampo’s claim has baffled many including persons in the department.

In a statement copied to Adomonline.com which was the first website to publish the findings of the research, the department expressed shock at the claims of the Professor who is also a lecturer at the Department.

According to the statement signed by the head of department, Dr Bossman Asare, the claims of Professor Gyampo are untrue as according to him the Department sanctioned and commissioned the team of researchers that undertook the research.

“The University of Ghana operates with defined and respected administrative structures. Departmental research activities are undertaken with the knowledge of, or initiated by, the Heads of Department.

“Members of Department may express their opinions about them but that do not represent the position of the Department.

“As the Head of Department, I hereby confirm that the study was conducted by a team of researchers led by Dr. Isaac Owusu-Mensah, the Research Assistants are Teaching Assistants of the Department, who went to various constituencies across the country to collect and analyze the data,” portions of a statement issued by the department read.

Dr Bossman Asare further continued that the research team included ‘one of our experts on elections, Mr. A.K.D. Frempong, who has written extensively on Elections in the Fourth Republic…’

The research, Dr Bossman Asare said is not new as the department has over the years engaged in numerous research programmes which outcome is already in the public domain.

“Over the years, research and other programs have been directed by some senior members (faculty) in the name of the Department. Most recently were the study on Strengthening Parliament and the International IDEA forum on Expanding the Frontiers of Electoral Politics in Ghana. The Department is committed to studies of this nature because of their methodological thoroughness. This study is readily available and accessible from the research team for anyone to assess the methodology and even the constituencies selected for the study,” he said.

The Political Science Department has therefore called on members of the public to disregard the claims of Professor Gyampo and other persons claiming that the department did not sanction the research.

“Members of the Public are entreated to disregard any other information circulating in the media about the study. These are opinions of people who are not connected to the study.”


By Ghana Leaks Blog




6 Killed In Akosombo Accident


Six people died on the Spot at Tei Kwame, a village near Akuse Junction in the Eastern Region, when a Toyota Lexus car collided with Toyota Corolla, police have said.

The incident happened at about 5:00 p.m., on Saturday, November 26, 2016 after the driver of the Lexus rammed into the Corolla with the number: GE 6947-10 after a failed overtaking.

Four males and two females out of eight persons who were on board the Toyota Lexus with registration number: MAX 1 â€" 15, died on the spot.

It is believed that the deceased persons had gone to visit their children at school in the Volta Region and were returning to Accra.

The Akuse District Police Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Francis Ackah, told Adom News that two passengers on board the Corolla vehicle sustained serious injuries and were sent to the Akuse Government Hospital.

“They are currently responding to treatment and the bodies of the deceased have been deposited at the same hospital awaiting autopsy,” ASP Ackah said.

He added they were able to reach some family members of the deceased persons who identified the bodies.

A search, according to ASP Ackah, has been launched on a driver of the Toyota Lexus who fled away.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Allocation Of Petroleum Revenue To NHIS, Gratifying NHIS Boss


Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has commended President John Mahama for the decision to allocate a portion of the oil revenue to the Scheme, describing it as “forward looking” and a step in the right direction.

Addressing a press conference in Accra last Friday, on the status of the NHIS, Mr Otoo said the President’s statement is a welcome call and one that will provide respite for the Scheme.

“His Excellency the President’s recent announcement to commit a portion of the oil revenue to the NHIS is gratifying as it provides a significant prospect to address the issues of sustainability,” the NHIS boss averred.

The NHIS is mainly funded by taxes and deductions from social security contributions. Premium payment, according to the NHIA, accounts for less than 4% of the Scheme’s revenue base.

In the last few years, the subject of the sustainability of the Scheme has become topical. Administrators of the Scheme have maintained that given the steady growth of the scheme and the global trend of healthcare financing, a review of the NHIS’ funding sources was critical to help the expansion of the Scheme.   

President Mahama at a recent event in Accra mentioned that he will push for the allocation of petroleum revenue for the funding of the NHIS. According to him, there is the need to rework the sustainability of the Scheme, hence the need to “look for new sources of funding for the National Health Insurance.”

Thus he said, “my proposal is that a percentage of the annual budget funding amount that comes from petroleum revenues should be allocated to the National Health Insurance Scheme.”

This commitment by the President is what the NHIA top man described as progressive.

“This is forward looking and an indication that the known challenge of delays in claims payment occasioned by the inadequacy of funds from the traditional funding sources, could be dealt with,” an optimistic Mr Otoo stated.

The NHIS currently has a membership of 11.3 million members with an average of 40,000 people either joining or renewing their membership daily. This huge number and the accompanying cost of their healthcare, it has been argued, put a lot of strain on the kitty of the Scheme, especially as about 70% of these people by law do not pay premiums - indigents, persons below 18 years, aged, pregnant women etc. Health sector players have lauded the President’s promise and say it will allow the NHIS some more financial muscle to help its operations.

Mr Otoo mentioned that the NHIA in recent years has employed technology in addressing many of the challenges it has faced. He named the introduction of paperless NHIS registration which saves the Scheme about 6 million cedis annually, introduction of Provider Unique Identification, electronic identification of the poor and vulnerable persons for enrolment onto NHIS, the expansion of Clinical Audit capacity amongst many others.

A new product, the multi-year registration for NHIS members, which allows NHIS members the option to renew their membership for 2, 3 or 4 years was launched on the same day.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




NCA Tightens Laws Against Unsolicited Messages, Calls


National Communications Authority (NCA) has begun a public consultation process that seeks to amend and tighten the existing Unsolicited Electronic Communication (UEC) Code of Conduct to completely eliminate all third party UECs, be they free or paid.

The UECs in question include fax, SMS/MMS and pre-recorded voice/video messages, which consumers receive on their phones without asking for them, and yet they get charged for some of those messages.

The NCA has therefore posted the newly proposed code on its website seeking inputs from the general public between now and January 24, 2017, to shape the new code to better protect consumers from UECs and ensure best practices in the telecom industry.

How we got here

It is no secret how telcos and or their value added service (VAS) providers send SMS and calls from short codes to phone users who have not asked them.

Some of these messages and calls are free of charge because they
are just adverts, but others are not free of charge and customers often get charged premium rates without their express consent.

All this is happening in spite of the existence of regulation that bars telcos and their VAS partners from sending such messages and calls to consumers without solicitation.

With the generally fair to low level of technology savviness among Ghanaians, loads of phone users are often not even aware they have been put on such premium-rated short code services.

Indeed, many of consumers complain in the mainstream and on social media about how they lose airtime without knowing exactly how, while others complain of flooded inboxes with messages they never asked for.

As a result of the several complaints, the NCA is seeking to amend the existing UEC code to completely eliminate all UECs from being sent to consumers, except a selected few like notification of transactions and relevant information directly from telcos.

The existing code allowed telcos to send notification of transaction, service-related information directly from telcos, information/education about offers the telcos have, and free adverts from third parties.

But the new code, if it comes into force, would completely eliminate any third-party adverts, and more importantly any premium-rated short code service without the consent of the consumer.

Highlights of Code

The new code would only allow some categories of information from telcos; these include billing feedback, changes in tariffs and information on network disruptions.

"These messages should relate only to transactional communications and should exclude all promotional information from the network and third party suppliers," the NCA said on its website.

It would also allow another set of UECs called Network Commercial Communications, which may be used to promote and educate consumers to enhance usage of the network or to introduce a network related product or service and without any third party supplier information.

Consent

The new code also seeks to provide the rules regarding the need to have the customer's consent before sending them definite categories of messages; and it also outlines details of what constitutes consent.

It for instance requires service providers to seek the documented (not verbal) consent of consumers before putting them on any short code service. This is because each service provider would be required to show proof of written consent in times of dispute.

The code for instance, states that even if a customer gives verbal consent, the licensee/service provider must query that customer to send SMS to confirm consent before sending that customer any electronic communication. Without the written confirmation the service provider is not allowed to send any communication on the basis of a verbal consent.

Even where the subscriber has given a written consent, the code says third party messages should be sent only once in a month and educational/network commercial messages directly from telcos should be sent not more than three times a month.

The code also seeks to cure the problem with determining messages coming directly from telcos and messages coming from third parties; so it insists on those sending the messages to provide their full identity as part of the message.

Privacy

The new code also seek to address the issue of how telcos transfer customers' private information to third party VAS players, some of whom are outside the country but keep bombarding phone users in Ghana with unwanted messages and voice calls.

Indeed, some telcos in Ghana have hired VAS providers in countries overseas and they have given them the details of customers in Ghana to be sending them unwanted messages and calls; some for free and some at a cost.

The new Code will therefore apply to all licensees, including telcos, telephony VAS providers and content providers, and it also captures their partners abroad, once their operation overseas is getting to local consumers.

Expectations

The code is expected that adoption of this new Code will benefit consumers by establishing practices to reduce Spam volumes and also provide them with information on how to manage and deal with Spam.

The NCA also expects that the Code would actually benefit industry players by reducing Spam volumes and enhancing higher levels of customer satisfaction, as well as improve operational efficiency.

But most importantly, the code provides sanctions for any licensee or its partners that violates the provisions of the code. The sanctions are spelt out in the Electronic Transactions Act, Act 772 and the Electronic Communications Regulations L.I. 1991.

But none of those provisions in the draft code can be implemented without the input of the general public between now and January 24, 2016.

The public consultation process is therefore to allow members of the general public to write down their complaints, suggestions and contributions and send them to the NCA, via their website, www.nca.org.gh to support fashion a more consumer-friendly code.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Brazil Football Team In Colombia Plane Crash


 
 
 
 
A plane carrying 81 people, including a top Brazilian football team, has crashed on its approach to the city of Medellin in Colombia.

Reports say seven people were pulled alive from the plane but two have since died, including the team's goalkeeper.

 
 

Read Full Story ....HERE >>>[1] :   
Source: BBC
 
 

Comments ( ): Post Your Comments >>[2]

 
 
 
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of This Website. This Website accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.
 
 
 
 

References

  1. ^ Read Full Story ....HERE >>> (www.bbc.com)
  2. ^ Comments ( ): Post Your Comments >> (www.peacefmonline.com)


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Radio Presenter Killed Over 15-Year-Old Girl


A former radio presenter based in Tarkwa in the Western region has been allegedly murdered during a fight over a 15-year-old girl.

The deceased, Kojo Quayson who was an employee of Tarkwa-based Pure FM was said to have been hit on the back of his head with a fufu pistol by the father of the teenager.

The suspect, Ali Mohammed, according to reports, was angered when the late Quayson disregarded his order not to see his teenage daughter again.
Uncle of the deceased in an interview with Adom News said, the late radio presenter on Sunday November 27, 2016 went to look for the girl in the absence of her father.

“His elder daughter called him on phone to inform him about Quayson’s visit and Ali quickly rushed to the house” he added.

The uncle noted that, Ali out of rage confronted the deceased which resulted in a fight and allegedly hit Quayson’s head with a fufu pistol.

The deceased who was also the Safety officer at Goldfields Ghana Limited Tarkwa Mines lost consciousness and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

His uncle indicated that, he is not surprised about the conduct of Ali since he had always threatened to kill his nephew.

Meanwhile, the Tarkwa Divisional Police Command has arrested Ali Mohammed after committing the heinous crime.

Divisional Crime Officer, Superintendent Augustine Anyara said the suspect is in police custody assisting with investigations.

The body of the deceased, he stated has been deposited at the Tarkwa government hospital morgue.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Mahama Opens Kasoa Overpass Today


President John Mahama will open the Overpass on the Kasoa Interchange today, Tuesday, 29 November as he wraps up his two-day campaign tour of the Central Region.

He will also inaugurate the Kotokuraba Market as well as three Community Day Senior High Schools in the region.

Mr Mahama will also interact with the community of the University of Education, Winneba.

Meanwhile, Mr Mahama has asked Ghanaians to retain him in power because he has been able to stabilise the economy, create jobs, improve infrastructure, and stabilise power supply.

Mr Mahama also said his humility and peace-loving nature make him the right person to lead Ghana. He made the comments at Twifo Praso in the Central Region.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Komenda Sugar Factory Starts Production Today


The Management of Komenda Sugar Development Company Limited says it will begin commercial production today.

Mr Ransford Vanni-Amoah, Director of Communications & Strategy of the company, said consumers will commence patronising the Made in Ghana sugar by the end of the year, 2016.

He explained that the sugar factory, which went through series of test run between May 30th and June 30th, 2016, has come to stay and it is critical to give hope to all sugarcane farmers within the catchment area and the sugar consumers in Ghana.

“The test run was to enable the machines to be tested and also enable some of the operational staff, have a better understanding about the operations of the sugar processing plant.

“We also want to use this opportunity to call on sugarcane farmers within 100 kilometers radius or six hours drive of the Sugar Factory to arrange to sell their sugarcanes to the factory to enable it to go into full production.

“The Community Relations and Canes Departments of the factory have concluded the sensitisation and community education programmes in various communities within our catchment area to give necessary information and encouragement to farmers who wish to work with us,” he added.

Mr Vanni-Amoah said Komenda Sugar Development Company and its stakeholders have come out with a proposed competitive price for the purchase of sugar cane to feed the factory.

He said called on sugarcane farmers who cultivate B41227 and B36464, which are the required varieties and whose canes can reach the factory within six hours of cutting, to contact them for further discussion.

He explained that the company has accredited agents who would be working with the Canes Department of the company to supply the sugarcanes to the factory and urged the sugarcane farmers to deal with their accredited agents without any doubt.

“The company is entreating existing sugar cane farmers and new farmers to see the opening of the Komenda Sugar Development Company as an opportunity to expand and cultivate more sugar cane not only to feed the factory, but to enhance their living conditions.

“Farmers are, therefore, being advised to plant sugarcane in wider row to maintain optimum population.

“The opening of the Komenda Sugar factory would also benefit local distilleries immensely since they can also get their molasses which has higher alcoholic content and also cheaper from the factory, thereby saving them from using local methods to ferment the cane juice,” he added.

Mr Vanni-Amoah said aside from the numerous youth who would be employed to work in the company; farmers stand the chance to benefit immensely from the factory.

He noted that some of the benefits to farmers would include supply of new variety of sugar cane plants, and an exposure to best agricultural practices. “Equally, with the new price, it will eliminate the old system where there was no standard price and even in some instances prices vary from time to time and farmer to farmer.

“Komenda Sugar Development Company seeks to support out grower farmers to develop commercial variety of sugarcane for sale to the factory” he added.

Mr Vanni-Amoah stated that the company would work mostly with registered out grower farmers, encourage the formation of co-operatives, assist farmers to acquire loan facilities to prepare their lands (Ploughing, Harrowing, Ridging etc), provide loan facility for farm maintenance (weed control, detrashing, propping etc) and provide fertilizer at subsidized prices for sugarcane farmers.

In addition, he said there would be free extension services for all sugarcane farmers under the company’s out grower programme, buy sugarcane at competitive price, loan repayment shall be spread over a period of time determined by the company, farmers under out grower programme shall sell their canes solely to Komenda Sugar Development Company, complains, enquiries and suggestions about the cane developments should be addressed to the Cane Department as well as awards will be given to deserving farmers a determined by the Cane Department.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Journalist Association Suit Against EC Over Accreditation Dismissed


A case filed by the International Standards Journalist Association (ISJA) against the Electoral Commission over media accreditation fees has been dismissed by an Accra High Court.

Justice Gifty Agyei Addo dismissed the case based on an application filed by the lawyer for the EC, Thaddeus Sory that the group had failed to appropriately invoke the court’s jurisdiction.

She awarded a cost of Ghc 3,000 cedis against the group.

The ISJA filed the suit after the EC announced its intention to charge accreditation fees from journalists who would cover the December 7 elections.

The group had said the Commission’s demand for payment of money as a condition for the issuing of accreditation tag constitutes discrimination against journalists.

In its statement of claim reported on November 11, the Association said the move is an “unconstitutional discrimination against each journalist on the basis of his status as a Ghanaian journalist.”

This is because “non- Ghanaian journalists approved by the Commission to cover the election have not been asked to pay money to as a condition of for the issuing of accreditation tags.”

The ISJA explained in the statement that “every citizen who votes is entitled to supervise the Electoral Commission in order to ensure transparency, credibility, legitimacy, legality and correctness of election processes and outcomes.”

“That right cannot be exercised by every citizen because of illiteracy, old age, sickness, the inconvenience of the greatest majority and the sheer volume of numbers as compared to the limited spaces available at the Commission,” it emphasised.

Reporting from court, Joy News’ Ackah-Blay said the EC’s legal cousel Thaddeus Sory had argued that the complainant should have come to the court through an application not a writ of summons.

This is because the suit is one that deals with fundamental human rights, Mr. Sory explained. He also said the ISJA is not a registered company.

After the dismissal of the case on Tuesday, the group, however, filed a fresh suit at the High Court seeking to restrain the EC from charging accreditation fees for coverage of next week’s polls.

The hearing of the new case will be heard on Wednesday, November 30.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Mahama Opens Kotokuraba Market


President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday, 29 November unveiled the newly built Kotokuraba market at Oguaa in the Central Region and has assured residents of the region that the initial traders at the market will have shops allotted to them.

According to the president, the authorities in Cape Coast have records of the traders who had to be relocated from the market for construction purposes and the list will be adhered to in the distribution of new stalls.

“…A list of the women and other traders who were trading in the market before the reconstruction are going to be served first, afterwards, if there are more stores, others will be attended to,” he promised.

For his part, the chief of the Oguaa Traditional Area, Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, thanked Mr Mahama for completing the project.

“It is a fine thing that has happened in Oguaa. About four years ago this place was disorganised. The late President John Atta Mills saw the importance to develop the market. We thank you (President Mahama) and your team for the fine work you have done,” he indicated.

The chief also advised traders to maintain the facility to keep it in fine shape for a longer period of time.

The market comes with several facilities including a park for over 200 cars, surface and overhead water tanks, a solar system for emergency lighting, and a generator set. In addition, the market has a fire hydrant, public address system, and CCTV cameras for security purposes.


By Ghana Leaks Blog




Trump Election: Wisconsin Prepares For Vote Recount


 
 
 
 
Officials in Wisconsin are preparing to conduct a full recount of the votes from the US election in the state, which was narrowly won by Donald Trump.

A formal request for the recount was filed by the Green Party's Jill Stein.

 
 
Read Full Story ....HERE >>>[1] :   Source: BBC  

Comments ( ): Post Your Comments >>[2]

 
 
 
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of This Website. This Website accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.
 
   

References

  1. ^ Read Full Story ....HERE >>> (www.bbc.com)
  2. ^ Comments ( ): Post Your Comments >> (www.peacefmonline.com)


By Ghana Leaks Blog




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