Accra, Oct. 17, GNA – White Rose Energy Ventures, an oil and gas exploration company, has constructed a water tower worth 50,000 US dollars for the Nii Sowa Din Memorial School in the Adentan Municipality.
The four 5,000 litre tanks would hold a maximum capacity of 20,000 litres of water drawn from a bore hole purified in a reverse osmosis plant.
Mr Jim Bradley, Chief Executive Officer of White Rose Energy Venture, speaking at the inauguration of the project in Accra on Tuesday, said it was to ensure that all children have clean and safe drinking water.
“We are delighted to be able to make this donation to provide such an important basic commodity of life,” he noted.
He said they were pleased to be involved in the project and expressed the hope that the children would really benefit from the project.
Mr Bradley said the school plans to supply the water to the local community on commercial bases to raise revenue at nominal cost to cover the running cost of the project.
The company also presented over 500 science text books to the school library.
On the operation of the company in Ghana, Mr Bradley said management was in discussion with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation to commence their business.
He said the company would contribute to the socio-economic development of the country by investing in sustainable community development projects aligned with local communities’ key priority areas.
“White Rose Energy Venture is committed to cooperation with local companies to facilitate the development of supplier networks for the industry,” he added.
Mrs Rosemond Keteku, the Adentan Municipal Director of Education, expressed gratitude to the management of the company for their effort to support the implementation of quality education in the country.
From Albert Oppong-Ansah, GNA Special Correspondent, Hyderabad, India (Courtesy: Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat, Global Environmental Facility and Internews).
Hyderabad (India), Oct. 16, GNA - Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India has called on parties to the Biodiversity Convention to adopt traditional methods which are bio friendly to conserve the world’s natural Resources.
“We are enjoying the benefit of biodiversity now because the previous generation appreciated the critical role it played in their lives so they put in place traditional measures like sustainable farming to protect it”, he said.
Dr Singh made the call on Tuesday at the opening of the High Level Segment (HLS) of the on-going 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), known as COP 11 in Hyderabad, India.
The HLS would see ministerial delegations discussing four key issues namely, the implementation of the strategic plan on Bio diversity 2011 to 2020, Coastal Marine Biodiversity, Bio Diversity for Livelihoods and poverty reduction.
With the world facing food insecurity, Dr. Singh said our Biodiversity could be a solution to the challenge of lack of enough food.
He said increased forest growth and adaptation of organic sustainable farming could help address food security challenges.
As the current president of the Convention of Biodiversity, Dr. Singh, on behalf of the people of India, pledged to commit 50 Billion dollars to support India's Bio-Diversity and those of other developing countries like Ghana.
The facility would mainly be used to develop human capacity, technologies and strengthen institutions, which he said was an important element in preserving Bio- Diversity.
He urged governments and multinationals to back the talks with action to ensure that the world was protected, adding that “Our very existence depend on nature”, he said.
Ms Jayanthi Natarajan, Indian Minister for Environment and Forest said posterity would not forgive the current generation if nothing was done to preserve the biodiversity.
“Let us not take entrenched positions but agree on reasonable terms to enable the world to reduce the destruction of biodiversity for the sake of the next generation,”
“There was the need for parties to the convention to embark on rigorous public awareness creation on the preservation of biodiversity to ensure the successful implementation of the Strategic Plan of 2011 to 2020.”
“The road ahead is tough…. but with determination, hard work, perseverance and focus we can make it”, she said.
Touching on urbanization, she explained that infrastructural development had both negative and positive implications, such as destruction of conservations, hence the need for countries to adopt environmentally sustainable mechanism to address challenges that would pop-up.
Mr Braulio Dias, Executive Director of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said the successful implementation of the Strategic Plan 2011-2020 was crucial to the sustenance of the world’s biodiversity.
He called on parties to mobilize resource from both local and international sources to protect nature for safe human existence.
Professor Alfred Oteng-Yeboah, who led Ghana’s delegation to the conference, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, called for an attitudinal change of humanity toward nature preservation, “We can better protect our natural resource if we begin to cultivate the habit of loving and appreciating nature”, he said.
Accra, Oct. 16, GNA – An Accra District Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday asked an Attorney at the Attorney General's Department to appear before it and explain the state of affairs in the case of Justin Katinan, an ally of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, currently in custody.
According to the court, presided over by Mr Ali Baba Bature, the State had declared its intention to withdraw the charge of murder against Mr Katinan and put him before the Osu District Magistrate where he is facing robbery charges.
When the case was called today, Mrs Merley Wood, a Chief State Attorney, who had earlier prosecuted the case, was not in court.
However Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Abraham Annor, also a prosecutor, prayed the court to remand accused person to enable the International Police (INTERPOL) Accra and Abidjan to exchange some correspondence.
According to DSP Annor, INTERPOL Accra and Abidjan started sorting things out from Monday, October 15 to enable the team to come to court at the next adjournment to inform it about the latest development.
He acknowledged that the liberty of the accused was at stake but declared that "where justice was delayed, justice was also denied," adding that, "justice hurried was justice buried".
Mr Patrick Sorgbordzor, counsel for Katinan said if the prosecution was now saying that they were exchanging documents, then on what basis was his client arrested.
Mr Sorgbodzor said a look at the charge sheet shows that the facts were “scanty,” and the prosecution had not been able to tell the court how Katinan committed the offence they alleged he committed.
According to him, he got in touch with the co-accused Dalo Desire’s counsel, who had written to him saying that Dalo had been charged with certain offences but he has not been arraigned.
Mr Sorgbordzor noted that Dalo has not been charged with murder in Ivory Coast and wondered why Katinan should be put before court on murder charges.
Counsel further lamented over his client being put before two similar courts saying that amounted to absurdity and urged the Court not to be drawn into that.
He quizzed the whereabouts of the Chief State Attorney who had indicated that she was going to withdraw the murder charge at one of the District Magistrate Court in Accra and put him before the Osu District Court.
Counsel therefore prayed the court to admit Katinan to bail as his passport had been seized, adding that, Katinan has an Asylum Seeker Certificates.
Meanwhile at the Osu Magistrates’ court, presided over by Mr Aboagye Tandoh, later in the day, adjourned the matter to Wednesday October 17 whiles waiting for what transpired at an Accra District Magistrates’ Court.
Katinan was earlier on put before the Osu District court following charges of robbery preferred against him but was however granted GHc 50,000.00 bail.
However on October 1st, this year, he was brought before an Accra Magistrates’ court charged with conspiracy to murder and two counts of murder.
Katinan was said to have conspired with one Dalo Desire in Cote d’Ivoire to murder two men at Port Bouet in the Ivorian city of Abidjan.
According to the report, the first murder of a 33 year-old welder, Kamagate Seyobou, took place on March 19, 2011 while the second one, Diabate Drissa, 37, a trader, also took place on March 29, 2011, both at Port Bouet.
Katinan’s plea was not taken and he was remanded.
The state said on March 19, 2011, Katinan conspired with Desire to murder Seydou in Port Boute in Abidjan.
According to the state, Katinan and Desire on March 29, 2011 also attacked and murdered Drissa. A complainant, known as Kamgate Bakary, reported the incident to the Ivorian authorities.
On September 29, this year, Ivorian authorities issued a warrant in respect of Katinan and informed the Ghanaian authorities that he was in Ghana and demanded his arrest.
Busunya (B/A), Oct. 16 , GNA – Madam Joyce Ampomah, Nkoranza North District Girls Education Officer, on Monday observed that the rate of teenage pregnancies and school drop-outs were high in the area.
Madam Ampomah, who was sharing ideas about the challenges of girls’ education with 30 traditional rulers and assembly members at Busunya, said due to teenage pregnancy some girls ended their education at the primary level.
She, therefore, appealed to queen-mothers to revisit the organisation of puberty rites, “Bragoro” since the practice served as a monitoring indicator for girls to grow as adults before they took sexual partners.
Madam Ampomah urged parents to provide their girl-children with personal and other basic necessities of life to motivate them in their education because lack of parental support was a major contributory factor to teenage pregnancies among the girls in the communities.
She said there was the need for assembly and unit committee members to organize their people to raise funds to support the education of needy but brilliant girls to enable them to compete with their male counterparts.
She called on churches to set up endowment funds to promote girls education, particularly the brilliant but needy ones.
Kenyasi Number two, Oct. 16, GNA – Management of the Ahafo Project of Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL) in the Asutifi North District of Brong-Ahafo on Tuesday handed-over the Kenyasi Water project to the chiefs and people of the mining community.
The company spent 477,000 US dollars towards the expansion of the project to meet the ever-increasing water needs of residents.
In addition, the mining company presented three motor bikes, five bicycles and other logistics worth GHC15,000 to support the Water Board to work effectively.
Works on the expansion and integration of the project, which included water drilling and engineering study, drilling of new 200 meter deep borehole, installation of a new submersible pumps commenced in the first quarter of 2010.
Other major works comprised installation of electrical panels, fencing of both old and newly-drilled wells, fixing of buster pumps as well as rehabilitation of existing pump house, reservoirs and booster station.
Mr. Paul Sowley, General Manager, Environment and Social Responsibility of the Ahafo mine, explained that the NGGL had always maintained its position to partner the District Assembly for development.
This partnership, he said was in line with Ghana’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) seven to halve the proportion of persons without access to safe drinking water by 2015.
Mr. Sowley said the system was expected to provide a more reliable, safe, adequate and sustainable water for residents.
He pledged Newmont’s unflinching commitment towards creating shared value through its social responsibility programmes, especially in the areas of health and agriculture.
Mr. Divine Dugbartey, Brong-Ahafo Regional Chief Water and Sanitation engineer said the ownership and management of the Kenyasi Water System were in the hands of the local people.
He called on the District Assembly and the people to fully cooperate in maintaining the facility for the benefit of all.
Mr. Eric Addae, District Chief Executive said the assembly recognized and appreciated the support of the mining company in the development of communities in the area.
He expressed the hope that such collaboration between the two bodies would be strengthened for mutual benefits.
Mr. Addae advised the residents to take proper care of the facility.
Kaleo (U/W), Oct. 16, GNA – A 364,000 Ghana Cedis ultra-modern library complex is being constructed for the Kaleo Senior High Technical School (SHTS) in the Nadowli West District of the Upper West Region.
The multi-purpose library facility which is being financed by Mr Alban Bagbin, Member of Parliament (MP) for Nadowli West Constituency and Minister for Healt,h consists of an ICT facility, a reference center, a children’s apartment and an office for the liberian.
The facility which is already at an advance stage of construction, when completed would enable the students have access to modern books and also improve their ICT skills.
Mr Bagbin said this when he presented some items including a Samsung flat screen television, Rlg laptops, a set of jerseys, two new volleyballs and net to the school.
The Minister of Health said since he became the MP for the area, he had taken interest in the development of the school and did a lot including the construction of an Assembly Hall at the cost of GH¢9,600, the extension of telephone lines to the school, construction and equipping a laboratory.
Mr Bagbin disclosed that he has been offering scholarships to the best two students from the school annually to enable them further their education at the tertiary level and that since 2009, expanded education and health infrastructure were his topmost priority.
The MP urged the students to vote for him and President Mahama in the December elections in order to have a good pair that would develop the constituency and the country at large.
Fiapre (B/A), Oct. 16, GNA - Mr Benjamin Yaw Osei, a Circuit Court Judge at Fiapre has advised parents to prevent their children from begging for monies and other petty things from strangers and neighbours.
He said the practice encouraged abduction and defilements as the vulnerable children were left unprotected.
Mr Osei said this last week when a number of abduction and defilement cases was brought before the Court and he appealed to parents to control their children not to accept offers from strangers or follow them for soft drinks, biscuits and toffees.
During the session, Abubakari Yaaya, a 35-year old Fulani herdsman, was remanded into prison custody by the Court for allegedly defiling a 14 year old pupil of the Roman Catholic basic school at Bomaa in the Tano North District of Brong Ahafo Region.
Chief Inspector Kingsley Baafi, told the court that both the accused and victim were formerly living in the same area at Bomaa adding that victim used to visit accused in his house anytime from school for money until accused moved to settle at another place near victim’s school.
He said about three months ago, the accused lured the girl to his room and sexually abused her saying that the act continued on three different occasions when victim went there to ask for money.
He said accused offered GH¢2.00 to victim after every act and warned her not to disclose her ordeal to any body or would die.
Chief Inspector Baafi said on October 3, this year luck eluded Abubakari when he was caught by the girl’s head master, Mr Osei Boateng dragging victim to his room to defile her.
He said the head master raised an alarm and accused person was arrested and sent to the police station.
He said victim was issued with the police medical form to attend hospital and medical report indicated that she had been defiled and had the hymen broken.
Sunyani (B/A), Oct. 16, GNA – Nana Amankona Nimpong, Twafohene of Dormaa-Akwamu in Brong Ahafo Region has endorsed recent historic meeting of New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Flagbearer Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo and former President Jerry John Rawlings.
Nana Nimpong described the meeting as historic unification move which should be food for thought for other politicians irrespective of political interest and ideology.
The Twafohene, a 78-year-old senior citizen in Sunyani, was speaking with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview in Sunyani on Monday, concerning political interpretations given to the historic meeting.
He prayed for a day when political party leaders would emulate Nana Akufo-Addo by finding a date to meet former president Rawlings to discuss matters of national interest.
He disagreed to the assertion in some political circles that Nana Akufo-Addo’s visit was to solicit former President Rawlings’ support to enable the NPP win the December elections.
Nana Nimpong rather saw the meeting of the two as a move to bring down political tension which was gathering momentum on the airwaves.
Commenting on President Rawlings attendance of National Democratic Party (NDP) during the party’s inauguration in Kumasi, Nana Nimpong said “it has been a normal practice in Ghana by political parties to invite their counterparts to attend such functions”.
He said such invitations must not be seen from a partisan perspective but another democratic line to bring unity amongst politicians and their followers.
Nana Nimpong advised party activists and supporters to avoid comparing commodity prices by using the “gauge of commodity prices of a previous government”.
He said that was a waste of time and distraction of focus because governance was not static and prices gods and services kept moving as and when necessary.
Nana Nimpong also advised Ghanaians not to be swayed by politics to do anything that would disturb the national peace.
Wa, Oct.16, GNA – Mr David Osafo Adonteng, a Director of the National Road Safety Commission, has appealed to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) in Wa to train motor bike riders in the region before issuing them with licenses.
This, he said, would help calculate riding ethics and skills and other road safety requirement in the riders.
He said a large number of motor riders in the region grew up learning riding skills on their own without any formal orientation and such riders could be skilful but their knowledge of defensive riding and related road safety requirements were very limited.
Mr Adonteng said this during a regional monitoring programme in Wa on Monday.
He said the DVLA could not prevent people from acquiring motor bikes in the region but it could provide training for them to enable riders acquire special skills that would help ensure the safety of all road users.
He urged the regional branch of the Commission to educate all road users on the new Road Traffic Regulation (LI 2180) which bans the usage of hand –held communication gadgets to make or receive calls whiles driving and the operation of motor cycles.
Mrs May Obiri Yeboah ,the Director of planning and programmes for the Commission, called on the Ghana Education Service to incorporate road safety topics as part of the educational syllabus, so that children in basic schools could be taught issues relating to road safety .
She said children were usually ignorant about road safety issues and so are usually victims of road accidents.
Mr Abdul-Samad Mohammed, Regional Manager of the Commission, said road safety was a collective responsibility and called on all stakeholders to help reduce carnage on the roads.
Accra, Oct. 16, GNA - Standard Chartered Bank on Tuesday opened its Tema East Branch, bringing the banks outlets to 23, in a demonstration of the banks continued investment and strategy of driving access to financial services in the country.
The commissioning of the Branch follows the opening of the North Industrial Area branch in August this year and is part of an overall goal of moving closer to customers through proximity and remote channels.
Speaking at the opening session, Mr Kweku Bedu-Addo, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered, Ghana, said the bank was offering integrated solutions aimed at delivering efficient alternate channels such as online and technology platforms to boost customers’ value.
“That is why we are investing in the most excellent state-of the-art infrastructure ever witnessed anywhere in the country to move us closer to our cherished customers.
“This is an industry first and there will be a host of other truly innovative propositions to continuously make lives better in Ghana”, he said.
Mr Bedu-Addo said Standard Chartered had remained a key participant in the economic progress of the country, maintaining a sustainable business as a bank, simultaneously creating value for shareholders and contributing to the communities in which staff live and work.
He reiterated the Bank’s commitment to keep up a vigorous fight against money laundering and terrorism financing and said SCB would report suspicious accounts for the necessary actions.
Mr Bedu-Addo asked the staff of the new branch to be sensitive to customers, adopt a high level of risk management and high service delivery standards.
Mr Andrew Okai, Executive Director, Consumer Banking, Standard Chartered Ghana, said the opening of the branch was a demonstration of continued support to customers and the quest to provide convenient banking services to them wherever they are.
“With the investment we are responding to the needs of our customers as we transform the retail landscape in Ghana,” he said, adding that the ultimate goal was to enhance the overall customer experience in the bank’s branches and deepen relationship with customers.
The Tema East branch will offer several banking solutions including online, SME Banking and Bancassurance. It was formally commissioned jointly by Mr Kofi Amoa-Awuah of the Bank of Ghana and Kweku Bedu-Addo.
Kumasi, Oct 16, GNA – Micro-finance companies have been urged to be more professional by upholding best practices, to become a real catalyst for the growth of small-scale and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Mr Frederick Osei-Mensah, Chief Executive Officer of GMC Consulting Limited, a Business Advisory Firm, said, if efficiently operated, there could be no illusion about their critical importance in job creation and the fight to bring down poverty.
The micro-finance sector had seen massive expansion in recent times, something he said, was good for the health of the economy.
He reminded the sector operators of the dynamic nature and fierce competition in the financial sector and the need for integrity, discipline, time consciousness and the introduction of innovative products to meet the demands of the people.
Mr Osei Mensah was speaking at the opening of a two-day workshop on loan recovery being held for them in Kumasi.
The GMC organized the programme with technical support from the UT Collections, a subsidiary of the UT Holdings.
It targeted savings and loans companies, money lending institutions and the credit unions to build their capacity and reduce the risk of loans default.
Topics treated included positive attitude towards loan recovery, effective credit appraisal and disbursement, doing good credit, normal and bad debt recovery.
Mr Osei-Mensah expressed concern over the huge debt portfolio many of the financial companies were grappling with because of bad lending practices and indiscretion.
Their inability to recover monies given out to applicants could lead to their collapse with unpleasant consequences on the financial sector.
Major Stephen Antwi-Boateng, Managing Director of UT Collections, encouraged the companies to assist their workers to undergo regular training to upgrade their competencies and expose them to new ways of doing things.
He said “attitude, integrity and discipline form about 80 per cent of the success story of any organization” and that was why the micro-finance sector should always uphold those values.
Kumasi, Oct 16, GNA – Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Minority Leader and Member of Parliament (MP) for Suame, has inaugurated two school blocks built for the New Suame Methodist and Salvation Army Junior High Schools (JHS).
Each of the six-unit classroom block, funded by the Ghana Education Trust
(GETFund), comes with offices, stores and washrooms.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said education was critical in national development saying it rallied all stakeholders to work together to improve the quality.
He said he was confident that the successful completion of the classrooms would create adequate space to help end the “shift system”.
The MP re-affirmed his determination to continue working hard in support of the promotion of education saying he had been assisting not only in the construction of schools’ infrastructure but supplying computers, books and other teaching and learning materials.
Added to these, is the award of scholarship to brilliant but needy students.
Mr Samuel Sarpong, the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), reiterated the government’s commitment towards the development of the nation’s education.
He said this was evident from the construction of more classrooms, expansion of the school feeding programme, capitation grant, free school uniforms and books.
Mr Joseph Nsiah, Suame sub-Metropolitan Education Officer, described the performance of basic schools in the area as impressive.
The sub-metro, last year, topped the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) performance league in Kumasi.
He thanked the MP for spearheading the projects and the GETFund for the funding and said there could be no doubt that enrolment in the beneficiary schools would shoot up.
Madam Elizabeth Oppong, Head teacher of the Salvation Army JHS, appealed to the assembly to assist in walling the schools to check the nuisance of stray animals and people using the compounds as thoroughfare.
Nana yaw Dani II, the Chief of Suame, advised parents to invest more in the education of their children.
Accra, Oct. 16, GNA – Dr. Michael Abu Sakara Foster, Flag bearer of the Convention People Party’s (CPP) on Tuesday said a government under his leadership from January 2013 will ensure that all past government officials account for their stewardship.
“All government officials found to have made illegal judgment debt payments will be brought to book. A CPP government will not be part of any judgment debt.
“The CPP is against those who claimed to be incorruptible but have not walked the talk,” Dr Sakara stated at a press conference in Accra to highlight some of the policies and programmes of the party towards the December polls.
The press conference was attended by Nana Cherita Akosua Frimpongma Sarpong, CPP’s presidential running mate for election 2012 and other leading members, including the General Secretary, Mr Ivor Kobina Greenstreet and Professor Agyemang Badu Akosah.
Dr. Sakara claimed that over 50 per cent of Ghanaians live in rural areas under deprived conditions while those in the urban areas face atrocious conditions of congestion, poor sanitation and mass unemployment.
He assured Ghanaians that the CPP under his watch will alleviate their suffering through job creation, agricultural modernization and an Information Communication Technology revolution.
He said the CPP government is against the over dependence on foreign development partners such as the International Monetary Fund.
Nana Sarpong in her contribution expressed concern about social injustices in the country, stressing that a “CPP government will not compromise in the pursuit of social justice.
“A CPP Government will ensure equal opportunities for all Ghanaians, as the future of Ghanaians should not be determined by accident but through opportunities created by government”.
She noted that a CPP government would initiate social interventions to meet the housing needs of young people.
Nana Sarpong said under Dr. Sakara’s leadership, government will seek the welfare of all Ghanaians, irrespective of one political persuasion, tribal or religious linage or geographical location.
She expressed regret that 55 years after independence, Ghanaian children can not have adequate access to basic education, health, clean drinking water among others.
On sports and education, she emphasized that Opportunity Industrialization Centres will be established in every district to give alternatives to Basic Education Certificate Examination and Senior High School opportunities.
“There must be opportunities for those who are skilled to learn a relevant life skill and also improve their reading, writing and arithmetic skills, at every level of the academic ladder.
“While sporting activities will be revived and made an integral part of education at all levels under a CPP Government,” she stated.
Ms Samia Yaba Nkrumah, CPP National Chairman and Member of Parliament for Jomoro, said the mission of the party was to restore a sense of justice and equity among all Ghanaians.
She also catalogued a number of achievements she has chalked in her constituency as a lone CPP MP.
All others who addressed the press called on the electorates to massively vote for the CPP Presidential and Parliamentary Candidates to form the next government.
Ho, Oct. 16, GNA - A group of women attending a three-day sensitization workshop in Ho on the electoral processes ahead of the December polls Tuesday appealed to Former President Jerry John Rawlings to be circumspect in his choice of words in public discourse.
The women said, Former President Rawlings, as a “role model” for both the young and old, in whatever circumstances should avoid being sharp-tongued such as happened recently when he described some people as, “evil dwarfs” and “babies with sharp teeth.”
The workshop, under the auspices of the Electoral Commission (EC), with support from the USAID, was towards building stakeholders confidence in the elections.
The women were drawn from faith and community- based organizations and professional women groups.
Madam Mawunya Demanya, a participant said her group had been praying relentlessly for peace to prevail in the country and therefore advised the country’s leaders and opinion leaders to desist from creating unnecessary tensions.
She described the meeting between Former President Rawlings and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as good gesture for peace building among different groups.
Madam Demanya said though the current political climate was encouraging, it must not be taken for granted and called for concerted efforts from all to retain the peace.
“We are happy that the campaigns are issue-based and we pray that it remains this way for peace to prevail,” Madam Demanya said.
Madam Bless Fiawoo of the Assemblies of God Church, Ho, reiterated the call on media practitioners, especially radio stations, to be circumspect in their reportage and programmes.
Madam Stella Darkey of the Ghana National Tailors and Dressmakers Association commended the Electoral Commission for sensitizing different groups of people on the electoral processes apart from politicians.
Madam Mansa Dagbe, Ho Market Queen asked women to continue praying for peaceful elections and urged politicians to act responsibly before, during and after the elections.
Madam Saviour Demanya from the Word Miracle Church expressed confidence in the EC to organize peaceful and credible polls.
The group was taken through the electoral processes, from appointment of electoral officers to voting procedures.
They also went through a simulation exercise in voting.
Madam Laurentia Kpatakpa, Volta Regional Director of the EC said similar seminars would be organized for people with disabilities, the media and political parties.
Tema, Oct. 16, GNA – Three pupils of Tema Parents Association School in Community 6 who excelled in an Essay Competition organised by PZ to mark the Global Hand Washing Day, were yesterday presented with their prizes at a ceremony in the School.
Nine-year-old Maame Ohenewaa Baah, a Class Four pupil placed first with Michael Mitchell, 10, of Class Five and Sena Mensah, 8, of Class Three emerging as the first and second runners-up respectively.
For their prizes, each award winner received a certificate and some products from the company.
Speaking at the function, Mr Eben Akyeampong, Brand Manager of PZ, said Global Hand Washing Day which falls on October 15 of every year, is a public/private partnership to help promote healthy lifestyles.
He said the Day was instituted in 2001 to give families, schools and communities in developing countries the power to reduce and prevent the incidence of diarrhoea and respiratory infections by supporting the promotion and practice of proper hand washing with soap.
He said the public/private partnership is basically to promote hand washing with soap as hygiene, good sanitation and water are recognised as pillars needed for a healthy lifestyle.
Mr Akyeampong said Carex, a sanitizer product of the company, is the biggest and most recognised hand care soap used in the UK and several other countries in the world.
He said Carex kills all germs faster than other brands on the market leaving the hand smelling nice several hours after use.
Mr Kwaku Agyekum, Headmaster of the School, thanked PZ for celebrating the Day with the pupils and pledged the school’s preparedness to ensure that the pupils observe sound hygienic practices to help keep them healthy and strong at all times.
Tamale, Oct. 16, GNA - ActionAid Ghana has expressed concern about the continues acquisition and grabbing of agricultural lands by multinational companies saying such acts was denying the smallholder farmer of farmlands with a consequence of increasing food insecurity in the country.
It has therefore called on the government to establish legally enforceable regulatory framework that would protect communities from land grabbing and save guard security tenure for women and communities to sustain right to food and livelihood.
Madam Queronica Quarley Quartey, the Right to Food and Climate Change Policy Advisor to ActionAid raised these concerns in Tamale on Tuesday during an interactive forum on land grabbing in commemoration of World Food Day.
The event is being celebrated globally under the theme; “Land grabbing is a threat to food security and rural livelihood: give women farmers secured land”.
The participants of the forum, mostly farmers, were drawn from various parts of the country.
Madam Quartey explained that the land acquisition often involve long-term transfer of land user rights and sometimes ownership from communities to investors resulting in the loss of cultural heritage, saying that, domestic responses should involve strengthening transparent, accountable and accessible national land governance to protect agricultural lands.
She said many thousands of hectares of the country’s lands has for the past few years been acquired by both local and international companies rendering farmers inaccessible to lands for agricultural purposes, cautioning that, if the trend was not halted, the country could face serious food crisis.
She observed that a larger chunk of the lands in the country have been acquired for bio-fuel and jatropha projects, projects she said does not auger well for food production.
Mr. William K. Boakye, Acting Programme Manager of ActionAid said women and smallholder farmers need to be acknowledged for their immense contribution to food security and availability and must be assisted by government to increase production.
“To ensure that farmers contribute their quota to the development of this nation, we must acknowledge their challenges in accessing productive resources and support them….land is one of the most important resources for farmers”, he said.
Mr. Boakye called on the need to secure farm lands for agricultural purposes in the face of rapid urbanization and development to protecting land tenure for individuals and communities and external land investment.
Mr. Bakari Sadiq Nyari, a resource person noted that the country’s lands have been captured in the constitution, placing the individual and the institutions mandated by law to be the sole protectors of the lands in the country, adding that, the constitution gives sovereignty to individuals over their properties.
He called on the government and chiefs to hold lands in their trust in the interest of the people such that they could accrue the benefit of it.
Accra, Oct. 16, GNA - Sheikh Yacoub Abban, General Secretary, Al Sunna Wa Jamaa, on Tuesday said the irresponsible attitude of some Ghanaians towards the environment was partly the cause of changes in rainfall and weather patterns being experienced these days.
"Today you can't discern or tell whether we are in the rainy season or in the dry season all because of climate change",he added.
He said this during an interview at the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) follow-up consultation on climate justice and sustainable peace in Africa and programmme for Christian - Muslim relations in Accra.
Speaking on the topic: Climate Change Reflection Based on the Quran, he said there was the need for human to conserve and preserve the earth's natural resources to ensure its sustenance for all other creatures.
The two day international interfaith conference, which opened on Tuesday, would seek among others things to discuss the role faith based organisations can play in climate change adaptation and mitigation; challenges faced by churches and mosques in climate mitigation and adaptation and to seek the extent the churches and mosques have been working on climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Sheikh Abban said the time was ripe for people to rethink their ways and attitude towards the environment to avoid bringing destruction upon themselves.
He said there was the urgent desire to mitigate the effects of climate change in order to forestall future dangers by minimising the effects of green house gas emission and the depletion of the forest vegetation.
Most Rev Dr Robert Aboagye - Mensah, AACC Vice-President for West Africa, said the AACC would mobilise and engage faith leaders in Africa to use their moral authority to communicate messages that not only gave hope to the affected and the vulnerable communities to take grass-root action on mitigation but also convince global leadership to be sensitive of the plight of climate change victims and accelerate action for mitigation.
Rev Godwin Osiakwa, Clerk of the General Assembly, Evangelical Presbyterian Church, said “the depletion of our immediate atmospheric cover has now reached alarming proportions and climate scientists have warned that if nothing is done to reduce the emission of these poisonous gases, all forms of life on earth will be adversely affected”.
He said climate change is a direct result of human activity due to global warming caused by increased amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
“The tragic irony of it is that the countries which have done least to cause climate change are those that suffer, most from its impact,” he said.
Mr Oppong Kyekyeku, Chief Programme Officer, United Nations Framework on Climate Change, said there was the need for the judicious use of natural resources saying more needed to be done to reduce green house gas emission.
He said government was actively promoting afforestation programs in an effort to help address the climate change phenomenon.
Tarkwa, Oct. 16, GNA - The council of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa, has installed Professor Jerry Samuel Kuma as the new vice chancellor of the university.
The former Pro Vice Chancellor, who had served in several positions at the University for twenty seven years, is succeeding the immediate past vice chancellor professor Daniel Mireku Gyimah, whose eight year term of office ended on October 15, 2012.
The ceremony to install Professor Kuma was attended by the Omanhene of the Wassa Fiase Traditional area, Osagyefo Dr. Kwamena Enimil VI, members of the University council, the Municipal Chief Executive Officer of Tarkwa Nsueam, Mrs. Christina Kobinah, vice chancellors of sister Universities, members of the mining fraternity, stakeholders, management and students of the University.
The Chairman of the University Council, Professor Bruce Banoeng-Yakubo said in accordance with the UMaT, Tarkwa Act 2004, Act 677 and the provisions of the statutes, council, at its 39th meeting in September this year approved the recommendations of a search committee and appointed Mr. Kuma as the second Vice Chancellor with effect from October 16.
He therefore appealed to the principal officers, deans, heads of department and all others to offer the new chancellor the needed support.
He said in November 2004, the University was established by an Act of Parliament Act (677) and that since then the authorities of the University have endeavored to put the administrative, academic and financial structures of the institution into workable system and to nurse a culture that supports the vision of the University to become a center of excellence for the training of professionals in mining and other related engineering programme.
Mr. Banoeng-Yakubo said having spearheaded the transformation of the then Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology school of mines to become the Western University College and thence to the UMaT, Mr. Gyimah, became the foundation vice chancellor in 2004 steered the affairs of the University.
The chairman said through the able leadership of Mr. Gyimah infrastructure has improved enormously and the number of programmes offered in the University has increased with corresponding increase in the number of academic, administrative and professional staff.
He said the former vice chancellor has earned lots of awards because of his hard work and will receive another award in November,an honorary doctorate degree by the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria for the contributions he has made to the mining industry and University education in Ghana, Africa and the world at large.
The immediate past vice chancellor, Mr. Daniel Mireku Gyimah expressed gratitude to members of the council and management of the University for their supportive leadership and commitment.
According to him, the University started with dilapidated lecture rooms and had no library, auditorium and hostel, but can now boast of a modern auditorium, well equipped laboratory, vice chancellors lodge and offices for all senior members.
Mr. Gyimah said the institution’s teaching staff has improved tremendously to 4 professors, 6 associate professors, 43 lectures, and 89 senior staffs.
The past vice chancellor thanked the government, mining companies and other stakeholders for their financial support as well as the traditional ruler of Wassa Fiase for donating a 26 kilometres of land to the University.
He entreated management of the University to give out their best to the new vice chancellor to ensure that he maintains the strong foundation they have built for the University.
Mr. Gyimah presented an emblem of the University to the authorities of the institution.
The new Vice Chancellor, Mr. Kuma in a brief address explained that he will increase infrastructural development, teacher to student radio and seek for more financial assistance to help execute extra developmental projects to meet the present population of 1,856 students.
Mr. Kuma also promised to put in measures that would enable the University to meet its target of 5,000 students with 40 percent of the total number been females.
The authorities of the University as a sign of gratitude unveiled a bust of the immediate past vice chancellor at the fore court of the University’s auditorium.
Amoada, (W/R), Oct. 16, GNA - The Wassa Fiase Students Union chapter of the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, has donated learning materials to the Amoanda District Assembly Primary and Junior High School in the Prestea Huni Valley District at a cost of GH¢ 700.
The donation, which was made in collaboration with Prestea Sankofa Gold Limited, includes mathematical Sets, exercise books and pens, among others.
The President of the union, Mr. Ebenezer Mensah, who presented the items, said the donation is to enhance the level of education in the school.
He urged the pupils to stay away from illegal mining and focus on their education, because that is the only channel through which they can improve upon their standard of living.
Mr. Mensah appealed to parents to let the education of their children be their number one priority, since it is the only legacy they can leave for their children.
The Headmaster of the school, Mr. Appiah Takyie thanked members of the union, for their kind gesture and called on the Prestea Huni Valley district assembly to provide dual desks and construct a classroom block for the school.
Accra, Oct 16, GNA - The Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS in collaboration with UNDP on Tuesday opened a five-day conference to deliberate on the role the court could play to entrench and promote human rights and democracy in the sub-region.
The conference would also help the participating judges and jurists to explore more ways in arbitrating electoral conflicts should they occur within the member states.
The conference on the theme: “Human Rights, Democracy and Good Governance: Role of the ECOWAS Court of Justice”, is being attended by legal and judicial practitioners from ECOWAS institutions, other regional courts and some international partners.
Justice Anwa Nana Daboya, President, Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS, said many states within the sub-region have made significant gains in the adoption of democracy, good governance and respect for human rights.
“There is also the will of various states and governments to support and hold fast onto democracy which most of the people have embraced”, she said.
She expressed unhappiness over some of the excesses characterizing the election processes of some member countries where ballot boxes have been snatched and politicians, who having lost elections, still find some excuses to stay in power, resulting in conflicts.
Ms Daboya said the conference would lead to the delivering of a communiqué after the various presentations and discussions to help strengthen institutions and entrenched democracy.
Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, in speech read on his behalf, said in spite of the good record of human rights issues and democracy in Ghana, the country’s democratic experiment was still young and faced challenges like any other developing country.
He said the upcoming December elections particularly, presents a huge challenge to Ghana since the whole world was looking up to the country to “once again demonstrate its ability to elect its leaders in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.
He reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring free, fair and transparent elections in December.
Mr Justice William Atugubah, Acting Chief Justice who represented the Chief Justice Theodora Wood, said the track record of the ECOWAS Court of Justice made it imperative on the court to play a role in matters of electoral disputes.
He said the Court could also take up issues of crimes against humanity and give it the necessary jurisdiction within Africa instead of taking those crimes to other courts outside Africa.
Mr Felix Ye, Head of Democracy and good Governance Unit, UNDP Regional Office in Dakar, said despite the efforts by various African governments towards good governance and democracy, no African President was able to win this year’s Mo Ibrahim award on good governance and democracy.
The yearly award is given to immediate past president of an African state for his or her efforts towards issues of human rights, good governance and democracy.
Mr Ye said nine out of 15 states of ECOWAS had ratified the protocol on trans-border corruption and urged others to do same to ensure transparency within the sub-region.