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Showing posts from December, 2016

Education system inadequate for industry - Presidential candidates(Dec 2, 2016)

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Five of the seven candidates contesting this year’s presidential election contend that the country’s current educational system does not adequately meet the needs of the industrial sector.
Slugging it out last Wednesday at a presidential debate jointly organised by the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), four of the candidates responded with an emphatic ‘no’ to a question posed by a co-moderator, Mr Daniel Afari-Yeboah, on whether Ghana’s current educational system adequately prepared students for industry and national development.

The four were Mr Ivor Kobina Greenstreet of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr Edward Mahama of the People’s National Convention (PNC) and the only independent candidate in this year’s election, Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah.
The fifth candidate, President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC)…

Greenstreet; first Ghanaian in wheelchair to contest presidential election(Dec 6, 2016)

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Come what may, many records will be set after the results of the December 7 election are declared but before then, one of the Presidential candidates, Mr Ivor Kobina Greenstreet of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), has taken a lead in the contest of records before the first ballot is counted—the first Ghanaian in a wheelchair to contest a presidential election.
His is a story that has inspired many others in the disabled community, which has often been painted with the brush of stigmatisation, to venture into politics as 14 CPP members with various forms of disability contest for seats on the party’s ticket in the Parliamentary election.

Mr Greenstreet was not born into a wheelchair. A tragic accident on December 24, 1997 on the Tema Motorway robbed him of his legs. It was an accident that kept him in a hospital bed for almost a year in the United Kingdom.

A die-hard Nkrumaist who entered active politics in the 1990s, joining the National Convention Party (NCP),…

CPP rounds off campaign, urges electorate to vote out NDC, NPP (Dec 6, 2016)

The Convention People’s Party (CPP) held rallies in different constituencies in the Central Region to round off its national campaign for the 2016 general election, urging the electorate to collect monies and items allegedly being doled out by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) but vote against them.
At a rally in Simpa in Winneba, the party’s presidential candidate, Mr Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, accused the NDC and the NPP of vote-buying, saying, “The NDC and the NPP will come to you in the last hour with GH¢50, GH¢20 and half pieces of cloth.

“Collect them. If  it is money they have worked for, can they give it to you like that? The money is not from London, Paris or Turkey; the money is from Ghana. The money is your money. Take it, but don’t vote for them.”

“Otherwise, for another four years, they will come again, and the people of Winneba will be here with no jobs, no employment, and the women will be suffering because t…

CODEO scores electoral process high marks(Dec 8, 2016)

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The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has scored the electoral process high marks indicating that the arrangements put in place by the Electoral Commission (EC) for setup and opening of polls were adequate for most polling stations nationwide.
Officials and polling station time
According to the observer group’s midday situational statement (a preliminary report), CODEO Observers reported that “voting generally commenced on time. By 7:15 a.m., 60 per cent had opened (over half of the polling stations). Another 33 per cent opened between 7:16 and 8 a.m, adding up to 93 per cent opening by 8 a.m.”

According to CODEO statistics, the Ashanti Region topped regions where polling stations were opened by 7.15 a.m. (71 per cent), followed by Greater Accra (67 per cent), Central (66 per cent) with Upper East pegged at the bottom (39 per cent).

In terms of regions where polling officials arrived by 7 a.m., Greater Accra topped (92 per cent), followed by Central Re…

CODEO condemns declarationh of results by parties (Dec 9, 2016)

As the country’s two major parties—National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) – fall over each other over results of the 2016 election, the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has condemned attempts by the political parties to declare results prior to the official announcement by the Electoral Commission (EC). 
“We urge all political parties and citizens to be law abiding and to allow the EC to complete its work,” a Co-Chairman of the observer group, Mr Justice VCRAC Crabbe, advised at a Press Conference at the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Centre at Teshie in Accra in response to press conferences held by the two parties declaring comfortable leads or outright wins.
He was giving CODEO’s preliminary statement that provides highlights of group’s findings regarding the conduct of the presidential and general elections.
The press conferences While the NPP at Sunday dawn said it was on the way to winning the 2016 general election, by 54 per c…

Tsunami hits NDC MPs(Dece 9, 2016)

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The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has suffered what can best be described as political tsunami, losing more than 26 seats in provisional parliamentary results trickling in, while some of the party’s bigwigs have also tumbled in the race to Parliament.
The ruling party has suffered blows in the parliamentary race from its main opponents — the New Patriotic Party (NPP) — that leaves the NDC vanquished, bruised and left to lick its wounds as provisional results show.
NDC’s gain
But it has not been all gloom for the NDC, as it has snatched six seats — Zabzugu, Tatale-Sanguli and Chereponi — from the NPP and Kumbungu from the Convention People’s Party (CPP).
All four seats are in the Northern Region.
Builsa South in Upper East, which used to be in the hands of the People’s National Convention (PNC), has also fallen to the NDC’s Dr Clement Apaak.
The NDC also took the Fomena seat in the Ashanti Region.
Bigwigs fall
Twelve very important faces and voices in the p…

Commonwealth Obsevers  applauds 2016 voting. Advises, let EC do its work

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The Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) to Ghana’s 2016 elections has given thumbs up to the process but has urged political parties not to usurp the powers of the Electoral Commission (EC).

The group in a news conference addressed by its head and former President of South Africa, Mr Thabo Mbeki, urged “all parties and candidates to allow the Electoral Commission to announce the results of the election and also respect the will of the people of Ghana as expressed at the polls.”
In the spirit of the Accra Declaration signed last week, “we appeal to all Ghanaians to refrain from making any utterances or performing any acts that could trigger tensions or otherwise adversely affect the post-election environment,” he said.
The admonition followed news conferences and counter ones by the two major parties in the elections—the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), telling their supporters that they were in the position to win the elections per…

CODEO releases results of parallel tabulation (Dec 12, 2016)

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The Coalition of Domestic Observers (CODEO) has released its result from the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) of the 2016 Presidential Election, which is very close to that of the Electoral Commission (EC).
According to the CODEO results announced at teh weekend in Accra, the President-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), garnered 53.75 per cent, while his closest contender, President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic congress (NDC), polled 44.32 per cent of the votes.

The EC’s official result from 271 out of 275 constituencies pegged the result at 53.85 per cent for the winner - Nana Akufo-Addo - and 44.40 for President Mahama.
The CODEO results also pegged votes for Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) at 1.07 per cent (against EC’s 1.0 per cent); Mr Ivor Kobina Greenstreet of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), had 0.27 per cent (against 0.24 per cent by EC); Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings…

Forestry Commission implements wood tracking system(Dec 14)

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The Forestry Commission (FC) has begun the implementation of a wood tracking system in 17 out of the 46 forest districts to track wood supply from origin to final point of sale, as well as curb illegal logging.
The rollout of the project is expected to cover the remaining forest districts by the first quarter of next year.
The system contains all relevant data and statistics on forest operations.
It is currently working in Tarkwa, Asankragwa, Sefwi Wiawso, Sefwi Juaboso and Enchi in the Western Region; Goaso and Dormaa in the Brong Ahafo Region; Nkawie and Offinso in the Ashanti Region and Oda and Kade in the Eastern Region.
FLEGT-VPA
The system will enable Ghana to issue Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) licences under the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) reached with the European Union (EU).
 Ghana and the EU signed the VPA in November 2009 to address the problem of illegal logging and trade in associated timber products.
The VPA w…

PIAC launches plan to effectively track petroleum revenue(Dec 15, 2016)

The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) yesterday launched a five-year strategic plan with a focus on strengthening its internal structures and partnerships to help it to better deliver its mandate of providing an independent oversight over the collection and utilisation of Ghana's petroleum revenue.

The plan is to cost almost $9.5 million to implement in five years or $1.9 million annually, as PIAC commits itself to improve the collection, validation and analysis of data by engaging all stakeholders in the petroleum industry.
Pillars
The strategy is anchored on five pillars, namely strengthening of internal structures and operations, creation of conditions for sustainable resource mobilisation, improvement of visibility of PIAC, creation of platforms for effective citizen engagement and building of strategic partnerships and institutional linkages across PIAC’s major stakeholders.
As a priority for the committee, the strategic plan has been developed to ensure conti…

Rehabilitation works begin on Weija Irrigation Scheme(Dec 17, 2016)

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Rehabilitation works have begun on the Weija Irrigation Scheme which was destroyed by the June 3, 2015 torrential rains that caused severe flooding within the catchment area of the scheme.
The more than 7.4-kilometre stretch of canal embankment to the storage reservoir has been cleared.
Currently, more than half of the canal hasß been covered and desilting is ongoing.

Work underway
Meanwhile, the beneficiary farmers, who are mainly members of the Weija Water Users Association, have been engaged to use shovels to remove the remaining silt that could not be removed by the excavators.

Additionally, surveyors of the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA)  are pegging and checking levels for subsequent laying of pipes from the Weija Dam to Tuba where most of the farmers are located.
Apart from displacing people in the area, the June 3, 2015 flood also damaged  foodstuff, livestock,
farmlands, irrigation systems, food storage and processing facilities throug…

Forestry Commission Ladies Association elects new executive(Dec 17, 2016)

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The Forestry Commission Ladies Association has elected new executive members who have promised to lead a crusade against environmental degradation and empower more women to venture into forestry.
The newly elected President of the association, Ms Roselyn Adjei Zuta, pledged to lead her team to engage more women to participate in activities that will empower them financially and enable them also to contribute to protecting the country’s forest against degradation.

“If we look around, women are involved in charcoal vending and fuel wood fetching. They use the forest resources but most often they don’t get into the actual monetary benefits. Theirs has always been with non-timber forest products and other meagre livelihood support systems that they get from the forest,” she said.

Women in forestry
To reverse the situation, Ms Zuta said beyond empowering the women within the commission, it would broaden its scope to make forestry more appealing to young graduate…

Ghana to know fate of Mole National Park as World Heritage site by July 2017(December 19, 2016)

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Ghana will, by July next year, know whether its application to the United Nations to declare the Mole National Park a World Heritage Site has been successful.
Meanwhile, the country’s application to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to declare the country’s only natural lake, Lake Bosomtwe, a biosphere reserve has been successful.

This means the lake in the Ashanti Region has become an ecosystem with plants and animals of unusual scientific and natural interest.

Ghana’s Ambassador to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Mrs Johanna Odonkor Svanikier, announced this at the launch of an exhibition of three tourism sites in Ghana at the Accra City Hotel.

Potential World Heritage sites
In November this year, a team of officials from UNESCO and the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) arrived in the country to assess the qualification of the Mole National Park before it could be declared a World Her…

Bad roads, poor transport means: The travails of the rural northern Ghana traveler(DEC 20, 2016)

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The road looks like an afro hair that has just been cut by a drunk in darkness. Everything about it is notoriously bad —dusty, rough and bouncy.
Wild grasses grow by the side and feed hungry cattle in search of fodder and many trek it daily to find bread and butter in markets and farms.
It is the Yendi-Zabzugu-Tatale road where a smooth ride is luxury and back-breaking is apt to describe travelling to and fro on it on a hot sunny afternoon. Left with no choice, Fati Ziblim, just like many in rural Ghana, wakes up at 4 a.m. in her quiet village, Jagrido in the Mion District in the Northern Region, to get ready for her two-hour truck ride to work in the Tatale Market.
The only alternative is the rickety Benz buses that qualify for a scrap yard, which load from stations in Tamale and Yendi, leaving those living in outskirt communities to hustle for the trucks.
“It is easy for us to arrange with the truck owners to come and pick us to the various markets on market days. We do…

‘Skirt and blouse’ voting in Ghana. The trend, winners and losers(Dec 20, 2016)

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None of the 26 constituencies that voted ‘skirt and blouse’ in the 2012 election repeated their action in 2016, but President John Dramani Mahama fared better with ‘skirt and blouse’ voting this year.
This year, 22 out of  28 constituencies voted for the President as against six who were in favour of the President-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

In the 2012 election, out of the 26 constituencies that voted skirt and blouse, President Mahama won 19, while the New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate won seven.

However, only 12 out of the 19 constituencies that voted ‘skirt and blouse’ for President Mahama in 2012 endorsed him again in 2016. The remaining 14 constituencies shifted to Nana Akufo-Addo.

Notable constituencies that are NPP strongholds but voted for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential candidate in 2012  and chose the NPP parliamentarians include Ayawaso West Wuogon and Tema East in the Greater Accra Region; Nkoranza North and  Wenchi, …