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Showing posts from December, 2010

Church has crucial role in accountability, Thursday, December 23, 2010, Spread

The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rev Prof. Emmanuel Martey, says the church has a crucial role to play in championing accountability and transparency in the country’s emerging oil and gas industry.

He said the Presbyterian Church would lead the crusade against corruption and indiscipline in order to promote the country’s development agenda.

He noted that the church did not frown on wealth but  it must be properly acquired and used, adding that it was not simply a matter of telling people not to be corrupt; it should also be about telling people not to corrupt others.

 Rev  Martey, who was delivering  the church’s annual Christmas goodwill message, said even though the oil find was a blessing, the nation must guard against mismanaging the resources in order to avoid treading the ‘oil curse’ path of other oil-rich countries in Africa.

“The mistakes of other nations have to guide us in managing our oil wealth to ensure that we derive benefits that will speed the develop…

'I want my children,' Wednesday, December 29, 2010, Front page

THE decision by a Nigerian, Mr Razak Abiola, to live up to his marriage responsibility by performing the final marriage rites for his Ghanaian wife has turned out to be his worst nightmare, as his wife and his two children are now beyond his reach.

Mr Abiola, a Principal Technical Officer of the Lagos State Ministry of Environment, had been living in Lagos, Nigeria, with his family but decided to have his wedding in Ghana.

In October, therefore, Mr Abiola, his wife, Mrs Grace Afari Abiola, their two children, Abisola Kadjat Abiola, four, and Adebola Aminat Abiola, two, and Mr Abiola’s niece visited Ghana for the wedding.
After the ceremony, the man returned to Lagos, leaving his wife and children in Ghana.

Mrs Abiola later called to inform her husband that she was travelling to South Africa to visit her elder sister there. The two arranged that the children would return with Mr Abiola’s niece to Lagos to continue their education there, in the absence of their mother.

But that was not …

JICA organises workshop on computers, Friday, December 24, 2010 Pg 18

A three-day computer skills upgrading training workshop aimed at providing practical experience for Japan Overseas Co-operation Volunteers (JOCV) and their Ghanaian counterparts opened in Accra today (Tuesday).

The training programme which brought together 26 participants from all over the country also has the objective of providing the participants with new rudiments of diagnosing and repairing computer faults which are commonly found in their daily work situations.

The workshop was under the auspices of the Electronics Sub-committee of the JOCV.

Even with new generation of computers flooding the market, a lot of old computers with different operating systems are still in use in schools and offices across the country.

The blending of old and new computers are also common in most organisations, a situation that creates maintenance and compatibility problems for technicians.

The workshop was, therefore, to address the computer  knowledge defiecies that impede the growth of ICT developm…

X'MAS CRUNCH-No Way, low sales, Wednesday December 22, 2010, Front page

WITH Christmas just three days away, pedestrians and motorists, shoppers and hawkers are caught in big city traffic and pedestrian jams across the country.
In Accra, all roads leading to the central business district (CBD) are choked with vehicular and human traffic. And it will remain so for the next few days as the pre-Christmas business hustle approaches its climax.

But while such chaotic scenes are playing out in the CBD, traders are, strangely, lamenting what they describe as low sales, explaining that the thousands of shoppers on hand are only window-shopping in anticipation of a last-minute reduction in prices.

The Daily Graphic learnt at the CBD yesterday that the traffic situation had been made worse with the introduction of one-way routes by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) because many drivers are not conversant with the new system and officials of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Police Service and the AMA had a hectic time controlling traffic.

Memb…

International Community should negotiate Gbagbo’s exit, Monday, December 20, 2010 pg 11

A SENIOR Research Fellow at the Legon Centre for International Affairs, Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso, has indicated that the current Ivorian crisis could have been avoided if the international community had negotiated Mr Laurent Gbagbo’s exit from that country’s political scene before the elections.

"It was obvious that Gbagbo's involvement in that election would degenerate into crisis and ECOWAS, the AU and the other international bodies should have persuaded him to step aside for the sake of peace," he said.

The Ivorian political hiccup turned bloody last Thursday, resulting in an estimated 18 deaths in Abidjan after supporters of Alasane Outtaara and Ivorian security forces clashed in a gun battle.

According to the Associated Press (AP), the bloodshed across Abidjan was part of a risky push by Outtaara, the widely recognised winner of the November 28 run off, to take control of state institutions.
Dr Antwi-Danso, who spoke to the Daily Graphic on the fringes of the annual …

Diverted goods intercepted, Monday December 20, 2010, Spread

THREE thousand second-hand gas cylinders initially registered at the Tema Port as transit goods to Burkina Faso were impounded by the Special Operations Unit (SOU) of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) yesterday.

The goods were impounded when a surveillance team of the unit reported that the trucks had diverted their course and were unloading the goods at Kasoa-Amanfrom.

Three trucks, with registration numbers AS 9989 P, GT 6057 C and GT 3984 B, carrying the cylinders, which are banned in Ghana, have also been impounded.

The goods, which had been at the Tema Port for two weeks, had attracted the attention of the SOU since transit goods  spend less time at the port.

Narrating events leading to the confiscation of the goods to the Daily Graphic, the Co-ordinator of the SOU, Mr Abudu Nelson, said the unit received a tip-off from an informant at the port that some goods had been loaded onto some trucks deep in the night.

He said the SOU then placed its surveillance team on …

Eco vigilance in oil zone, Tuesday, December 14, 2010, Spread

Before Ghana pumps its first oil from the heart of the Jubilee Field on Wednesday, the country has  already started brooding over environmental concerns, particularly in respect of oil spillage.

The first picture of what awaits the country emerged when Kosmos Energy, a partner in the Jubilee Field, spilled some 706 barrels of toxic substances into the country’s marine waters and attracted a GH¢40-million slap from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Since then, there has been a lot of debate concerning Ghana’s nascent oil industry.
What makes the situation worrying is that there appears to be scanty environmental regulations governing offshore oil production in the country.

Some of the institutions responsible for environmental protection appear inept in dealing with the consequences of an environmental catastrophe emanating from oil production.

Although Section 25 of the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) Act, Act 2002, mandates the Minister of Transport to make regulations for th…

Keta resettlement houses ready, Monday, December 13, 2010, Spread

FOUR hundred and forty nine out of the 800 houses meant for the resettlement of victims of the floods caused by destructive tidal waves in the Keta Municipality have been completed.

An additional 115 houses which forms part of the Keta Sea Defence resettlement package is expected to be completed next year while the last batch of 236 houses would be constructed in 2012 to serve affected residents of Vodza, Kedzi and Adzido.

The housing project which is being funded by the Government of Ghana has so far consumed GHC 1,064,000 and is being undertaken by the Public Works Department with the support of local contractors.

In all, about 275.5 hectares of land is expected to be reclaimed, out of which 213 hectares would constitute land for habitation, industry and the creation of bird habitats as well as the promotion of
eco-tourism.

 Also completed is an 80.5 metre-long flood control structure designed to check flooding and maintenance of the Keta lagoon at an acceptable level conducive for…

Work progresses on Atorkor Sea Defence Project, Monday, December 13, 20101 Spread

Construction work on the 2.8 kilometres Atorkor Sea Defence Project, which is expected to cushion some coastal communities in the Keta Municipality against destructive tidal waves is progressing

The $32 million-project  which is being undertaken and pre-financed by Amandi, an Israeli Construction firm  is expected to be completed next year.

A similar infrastructure was completed in 2004 to protect the Keta township from the devastating waves.

The waves have pounded villages in Atorkor, Anyanui and Dzita and surrounding communities causing extensive damage to property including schools, and sometimes cutting the inhabitants from the rest of the municipality.

Information made available to the Daily Graphic  indicated that the destruction which started inthe 60s has displaced close to 500,000 people over the years.

According to experts, rising sea levels linked to the melting of polar ice caps are conspiring with coastal erosion to slowly submerge communities along the coast.

The Keta Mu…

'Reform negative cultural practices cultural practices,' Saturday, December 11, 2010 pg 11

Fourteen year-old Laila (not real name) was forced to marry a man who sexually abused her and physically assaulted her when she turned down his sexual advances. She became pregnant at 15 years but never availed herself of antenatal care.

When she could not take the abuse anymore, Laila left her ‘matrimonial home’ and escaped one dawn to Accra in search of the peace that has eluded her.

The touching plight of a 22-year old, Dora Galley, is not different. As a trokosi, she was compelled by the 'priest' to work on the shrine's farm without any wage or food. Her meal for the day comes in the evening.

“I had to cut  and uproot tree stumps to burn charcoal and then  sell to make some money to take care of myself,” she said.

“I did not have the right to take crops from the farm unless the 'priest' allowed me to do so. Occasionally, my parents sent me some food, but that was kept in the priest's room and any time I needed some, I had to make a request for it. I was for…

USAID provides package to improve nutrition, Saturday, December 11, 2010 pg 11

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has extended a $3.9 million package to Ghana to improve the nutrition of malnourished women and children in the three northern regions, as well as people living with HIV and AIDS throughout the country.

A memorandum of understanding to that effect was signed on Tuesday between the USAID and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

The USAID support goes to the WFP’s Protracted Relief and Operation which is aimed at  providing food relief and recovery for 423,000 people in the three regions.

The USAID fund is expected to provide a safety-net of nutritious support to some of the poorest and most vulnerable women and children, specifically, malnourished children, pregnant women and nursing mothers in districts across northern Ghana.

Additionally, 12,000 people living with HIV and on Anti-Retroviral therapy and their families will also receive assistance over a two-year period.

The  WFP representative  in Ghana, Mr Ismai…

GFA dares crime office, Friday, December 10, 2010, Front page

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THE Ghana Football Association (GFA) has taken its case against the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to court to revive an earlier claim that the anti-graft unit has no business in football affairs.
Following last Tuesday’s raid of the GFA’s premises by the EOCO, the GFA filed a writ at the High Court in Accra yesterday challenging the action of the anti-corruption body which culminated in the seizure of computers and files from the offices of the FA in Accra.
The writ, which was filed at the High Court by  Dery and Co, solicitors of the GFA, seeks, among other reliefs, an order of injunction restraining the EOCO from carrying out investigations into the operations of the FA.
The injunction against the EOCO’s investigation also relates to documents on any private individual, person or entity  as a partner of the GFA, including the Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA) and Midsea Limited.
On September 9, 2010, a member of the GFA Executive Committee, Mr George Afriyie, init…

Top Industries managers, workers in game of lock-ups,Thursday, November 4, 2010

EXPATRIATE managers of Top Industries Limited, manufacturers of household plastic wares, have been locked up on the premises of the company for the past three days amidst a sit-down strike by Ghanaian workers of the company.

While the Managing Director of the company, Mr Aniel Lakhiani, claimed the Ghanaian workers locked up the premises on Tuesday, the striking workers told the Daily Graphic that the expatriate workers had locked themselves up for fear of being attacked by the aggrieved workers.

When the Daily Graphic visited the company premises, the main gate was locked up with two padlocks-one inside and the other outside with the workers singing and dancing outside the gate.

The workers numbering more than 100 and clad in red arm-bands lined up at the entrance of the company beating drums and threatening to deal with the management of the company.

A number of police officers  continue to patrol the area to maintain law and order.

A number of the workers who spoke to the Daily Gra…

Expedite action on SSS-CPP, Friday, December 10, 2010 , pg 12

THE Convention Peoples Party (CPP) has called on the government to expedite action on the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure to ensure that workers are cushioned enough to promote productivity.

“It is important that we reduce salary and wage disparities between public sector institutions, while promoting productivity within the public service and the national economy as a whole.”

Presenting the party’s position in its weekly press conference dubbed “How the CPP Will Do It”, the CPP’s Shadow Member of  Employment, Mrs Susan Adu-Amankwa, said the CPP stood with labour in asking the government to implement reforms that brought modern technology, facilities and the right human resources to the public sector so that productivity gained could be made to match improvement in pay levels.

The conference, the last of its kind this year, attracted other Shadow Members including Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom for Finance and Economic Planning, Hajia Hamdatu Ibrahim Haruna, Shadow Minister of…

HANDS UP AT GFA-As security cracks into football strongroom, Wednesday, December 8, 2010, Front page

NATIONAL security operatives yesterday enforced a court order on the Ghana Football Association (GFA) by raiding the Accra offices of the football governing body, taking away computers and files.
Interrupting the usual business activities at the FA, the operatives barricaded the premises in search of evidence which they claimed would assist in its investigations into payments and sponsorship deals involving the national football team, the Black Stars.

A spokesman for the security operatives told the Daily Graphic that the action had been taken on the strength of a search warrant secured by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), after its request for certain documents had been ignored by the FA.

He said following the refusal of the FA to comply with the request, the EOCO went to court, which granted the order “to search and seize” the relevant documents.

The EOCO official explained that the GFA President, Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, had been invited for questioning but he had declined…

Work begins on Ada Sea Defence Project, Wednesday, December 8, 2010, Back Page

PRELIMINARY work on the 25-kilometre Ada Sea Defence Project which is expected to salvage coastal communities in Ada from the ravages of the sea has begun and is expected to be completed in 2012.

The project, which is being executed by Dredging International, a Cypriot construction company, will be funded partly with a GH¢134 million credit facility from the Belgian government in two phases, beginning with five kilometres.

Coastal communities in Ada, just like other coastal communities elsewhere, have been at the receiving end of tidal waves which have continually wreaked havoc on the town and its surrounding communities, submerging buildings and trees and causing damage to property running into millions of cedis.

Ada is currently said to be the most vulnerable among the coastal communities under siege from the sea in Ghana, losing six metres of land to the sea annually.

The offices of the Dangme East District Assembly which are about 300 metres from the shore have also had their shar…

GJA resolves to form union, Satuday Decwmber 4, 2010, page 3

Members of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) yesterday passed a resolution to transform the association into a labour union.

By this action, the GJA could now join the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and acquire a bargaining certificate which will empower it to negotiate better conditions of service for its members.

Concerns have been raised lately about the poor working conditions and meagre salaries journalists receive and suggestions to improve the lot of media workers have been offered.

The GJA called an emergency meeting to deliberate on the matter and find solutions to those issues and other pressing matters affecting journalism in Ghana.

Speaking on the topic: “Prospects and challenges of establishing a union within the GJA,” the General-Secretary of the TUC, Mr Kofi Asamoah, indicated that among the numerous benefits of a union was thatthe GJA could, after receiving its bargaining certificate, negotiate better remuneration for its members.

He said professional bodies, includ…

Public cautioned against use of cheap phones, Saturday, December 4, 2010, Back Page

Users of cheap mobile phones risk being exposed to dangerous radio frequency (RF) radiation with its accompanying more serious health implications than those of telecommunications masts, says Dr Joseph K. Amoako, a research scientist at the Radiation Protection Institute.

He said several of the sophisticated-looking fake and cheap phones on the market emit levels of RF radiation far higher than what is globally acceptable as being safe and cautioned against spending a lot of time on such phones.

“Averagely, the amount of time we should spend on mobile phones is six minutes, the longer the time you spend on the phone, the higher the exposure to radiation,” he said.

According to the Federal Communication Commission (FCA) of the USA, there are two widely accepted RF emission measurements for mobile phone handsets, based on the guidelines set by three major scientific expert bodies — the International Commission of Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), the National Council on Radiat…

ELECTIONS WILL BE FREE-President assures

WITH the time approaching once again to test Ghana’s democratic credentials, the government has affirmed its commitment to ensure that the 2012 elections are held in a free and fair atmosphere.

Such a responsibility, the government said, would be upheld by sustaining the freedom and independence of governance institutions, particularly the Electoral Commission, from political interference or control and also supporting a bold, independent, transparent and accountable Judiciary that upheld justice and the rule of law.

 President J.E.A. Mills gave the assurances in a keynote address read on his behalf by Dr Christine Amoako-Nuamah, the Presidential Advisor on Policy Implementation, at a forum organised by the International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) in Accra.

The two-day forum, which was on the theme, “Elections, Incumbency, Power: Legitimacy through Integrity”, brought together electoral experts from the International IDEA member countries across the globe t…

Chinese consortium signs MoU-— To complete new site for GIJ

THE Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), through the Ministry of Education, has signed a memorandum of understanding with a Chinese consortium to facilitate the completion of structures at the university’s new site located at Okponglo in Accra.

The project, when completed, will have modern facilities, including lecture halls, residential facilities for lecturers, audio-visual departments and a library.

The Chairman of the GIJ Governing Council, Alhaji A.B.A Fuseini, who made this known at the 10th matriculation ceremony of the school last Saturday, said the council was also working with the Ghana Educational Trust Fund (GETFUND) to increase financial support for the project.

The  ceremony was to matriculate 420 students out of the 1,200 students who applied for the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Communication Studies, Diploma in Communication Studies and Top-up BA programmes for Diploma holders from the university.

Alhaji Fuseini was optimistic that work on the project, which has stalled fo…

Health screening for Kwabenya residents, Health screening for Kwabenya residents, pg 46

The Nazareth Congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana at Kwabenya in Accra has  organised a health screening exercise as part of activities marking its Health and Blue Cross Week celebrations.

The Blue Cross week is celebrated to educate the public on the dangers of alcohol abuse. The two activities are prominent features on the annual calendar of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana.

The screening exercise organised jointly by  the Ashongman Community Hospital and the Save Your Liver Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), with focus on preventing liver related diseases, had more than 200 people screened for hepatitis B, diabetes, hypertension obesity and counselled in proper dieting and nutrition.

The week-long programme organised in collaboration with the Kwabenyaman No Yaa Kpee, an association for the advancement of Kwabenya, highlighted the importance of health in the development of the nation.

Other programmes that featured in the celebration were a film show and …

Rotary pledges to support the needy, Monday, November 8, 2010, pg 51

The sixth West Africa Rotary International Project Fair has opened in Accra with a pledge to continue committing resources to help improve the lives of the underprivileged.

The annual fair which brings together Rotarians from North American, European and the West African countries is aimed bringing together Rotarian projects conceived in West Africa for selection by the
International Rotarian partners for Rotary Foundation grants' funding.

The Rotary Club is the chief financier of polio eradication in Ghana and Africa as a whole.

This year’s event brought together some 60 West Africa Rotary Clubs from four Districts.
The first West Africa Project Fair was held in Accra in 2005 and attracted 53 West African Rotary Clubs and a few international partners but has since witnessed a tremendous growth in the number of participating clubs and partners.

The one-week fair will also feature a seminar on Rotary Foundation, the funding organisation for Rotary International Projects to help the…

Govt gets Dutch credit to reconstruct cocoa roads, Monday November 15, 2010, Spread

THE government has secured a €143 million credit facility from the Dutch government to reconstruct and improve some roads in the cocoa growing areas of the Western Region.

Among the roads to be reconstructed is the 88-kilometre Benkyema Junction-Osei Kojokrom road in the Juaboso and the Bia districts.

The Dutch funding will be used to complete 43 kilometres of the stretch, while the remaining 45 kilometres will be completed with funds secured from China.

The project, which is expected to start in the first quarter of 2011, is currently going through bidding.

The Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Joe Gidisu, made this known when he led a team of officials from his ministry, the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) and some Members  of Parliament (MPs) from cocoa growing areas to inspect roads in the Western Region following reports that bags of cocoa had been locked up because of the nature of roads running through the communities.

The Benkyema Junction-Osei Kojokrom road is a major highway …

PBC official explains cocoa lock-up in WR, Friday, November 16, 2010, Back page

THE Western Regional Manager of the Produce Buying Company, Mr George Tieku, has stated that the moisture content of the cocoa beans is part of the reasons for having cocoa locked up in various depots in the region.

He said although the deplorable roads had added to the problem, the bags of cocoa beans sent to the Quality Control Company (QCC) for grading and sealing were rejected because they did not meet the standard moisture requirement.

He said instead of the required 7.5 moisture content, the beans had 8.0, so all the beans deposited at the depots were being re-dried to improve their moisture level.

Mr Tieku attributed the situation to the prevailing weather conditions in the area, which made it difficult for the farmers to have consistent sunshine to dry their beans.

Mr Tieku was briefing the media during a visit by Mr Joe Gidisu, the Minister of Roads and Highways, to some cocoa-growing areas in the Western Region following reports that bags of cocoa had been locked up because …

GIJ to introduce courses in oil industry, Monday, November 22, 2010, Spread

THE Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) will, from the next academic year, introduce courses in Petroleum and Environmental and Climate Change Reporting in response to the emergence of the oil industry in the country.

The initiative is to ensure that products of the school are well abreast of issues concerning the industry.
The Rector of GIJ, Mr David Newton, announced this at the fourth congregation of the institute, which was on the theme: “The Role of Communication in Ghana's emerging oil industry".

He advised Ghanaians not only to think of the economic gains of the industry but also consider the impact of the oil on the environment, including oil spillage, and other concerns such as dangers of pollution and influx of illegal immigrants.

“It is our hope that as new comers in the oil industry, we shall be guided by the lessons and experiences of other countries which are forerunners in the industry," he added.

The congregation, the second after the institute received i…

National School ICT connectivity project inaugurated, Wednesday, November 22, 2010, pg 11

A NATIONAL School Connectivity Project which has provided an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) centre for all Colleges of Education in the country was inaugurated at the Akatsi College of Education in the Volta Region at the weekend.

The project which is valued at $45,000 for each College, was funded by the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC). It is equipped with computers, a projector, an Uninterrupted Power System (UPS), printers, scanners and connected to the Internet.

The facility is aimed at making all teacher-trainees ICT proficient to support ICT education which is now an examinable subject in all basic schools.

The GIFEC was established in 2004 as an implementing agency of the Ministry of Communications, to facilitate the spread of ICT use in rural Ghana, to promote research and reading culture, train rural schoolchildren and teachers in the use of ICT and empower rural communities by providing access to information to help increase direct …