Category Archives: Politics

[Video] Drama in Parliament as MP carries gas cylinder into chamber

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There was drama in Parliament on Friday when the Member of Parliament for Tarkwa Nsuaem Constituency brought in a gas cylinder for analysis in his submission to the debate on the 2018 budget statement.

The Minority was alarmed about the MP’s action since the cylinder could have contained Liquified Petroleum Gas, LPG.

George Duker stoked controversy when he used the gas cylinder in his demonstration of the LPG recycling module.

But the Deputy Minority Leader, James Kluste Avedzi, said his behaviour was unparliamentary and questioned how the MP managed to sneak the cylinder into the House.

The Majority Leader, however, did not see anything wrong with the action of the MP.

But the other side would not budge.

It took the intervention of the Speaker of Parliament, Aaron Mike Oquaye, to call the House to order.

By Catherine Frimpongmaa|3news.com|Ghana

Things are looking good for Ghana -First Lady

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First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo says things are looking good for Ghana with President Akufo-Addo in charge.

She said the president “came to office with a lot of promises and he is working hard to achieve all of them” adding that “he has achieved quite a lot” since taking office.

Mrs. Akufo-Addo was speaking to officials of the Ghana Embassy in the People’s Republic of China.

She noted that with a determined and focused person like the President steering affairs of the country, there “is a lot of hope for Ghana and things are already looking good for Ghana.”

The First Lady urged the staff to project the good name of Ghana as well as seek knowledge and skills that can help develop Ghana.

“There is a lot to learn from China therefore those of you here should learn and bring the knowledge back home to improve the country”, she said.

She announced that the newly constructed mother and baby unit at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi facilitated by the Rebecca Foundation will be inaugurated by the close of this year and her “next stop is Korle Bu.”

Ghana’s Ambassador to China, Mr. Edward Boateng, assured the First Lady he and his staff will “not disappoint the president but work hard to bring more investment into the country as well as look at the well being of Ghanaians in China.”

The First Lady is in China with a group of women entrepreneurs, some members of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and academics to explore investment opportunities for women businesses and investment for the people and government of Ghana.

Source: 3news.com

Free SHS has increased teenage pregnancy – Ayariga

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Hassan Ayariga

Founder of the All People’s Congress (APC) Hassan Ayariga has lashed out at government for the implementation of the Free Senior High School policy.

He says the policy has become “an embarrassment and disappointment to students and parents”.

According to him, the policy has even led to the increase in teenage pregnancies among female senior high school students in the country.

Addressing the media on the 2018 budget presented in Parliament by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, the 2012 Presidential Candidate for the People’s National Convention on Wednesday said the challenges of the policy recently aired by the outgoing President of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), Cecilia Kwakye Coffie, is enough evidence of the poor timing of the implementation.

At the 68th Speech and Prize-Giving Day of Wnneba Senior High School, Ms Coffie said there are major challenges facing the Free SHS policy and the earlier government saw to solving them the better.

But this was roundly dismissed by government.

Mr Ayariga was unhappy with government’s reaction, saying it could herald the creeping in of the era of silence.

But on the issue of the increase in teenage pregnancy, he explained that because there are limited facilities at most schools, most of the students have rented private accommodation “making them vulnerable”.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Mrs Akufo-Addo

My husband has achieved a lot – First Lady

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President Akufo-Addo and wife, Rebecca, with their two daughters

First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo says things are looking good for Ghana with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in charge.

She said the president “came to office with a lot of promises and he is working hard to achieve all of them,” adding that “he has achieved quite a lot” since taking office.

Mrs. Akufo-Addo was speaking to officials of the Ghana Embassy in the People’s Republic of China.

She noted that with a determined and focused person like the President steering affairs of the country, there “is a lot of hope for Ghana and things are already looking good for Ghana”.

The First Lady urged the staff to project the good name of Ghana as well as seek knowledge and skills that can help develop Ghana.

“There is a lot to learn from China therefore those of you here should learn and bring the knowledge back home to improve the country,” she said.

She announced that the newly constructed Mother and Baby Unit at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi facilitated by the Rebecca Foundation will be inaugurated by the close of this year and her “next stop is Korle Bu”.

Ghana’s Ambassador to China, Mr. Edward Boateng, assured the First Lady he and his staff will “not disappoint the president but work hard to bring more investment into the country as well as look at the well being of Ghanaians in China”.

The First Lady is in China with a group of women entrepreneurs, some members of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and academics to explore investment opportunities for women businesses and investment for the people and government of Ghana.

Source: 3news.com|Office of First Lady|China

Tema tops District League Table again

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The Tema Metropolitan Assembly is the highest ranked district in this year’s Ghana’s District League Table (DLT).

The Assembly returned to the top spot for the second time after being deposed of its premier slot by La Nkwantanang-Madina in 2016. Interestingly, both assemblies are in the Greater Accra region.

The ranking means, Tema has Ghana’s highest level of development – scoring the highest ever mark of 80 out of 100.

The district with the lowest score of 50.6 out of 100 was Krachi East in the Volta Region.

Produced annually since 2014 by UNICEF Ghana and the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Office of the Head of Local Government Service, the District League Table assesses the level of development across the entire country by ranking all 216 Districts in Ghana by their level of wellbeing.

The DLT is the only tool in Ghana that allows stakeholders to track the progress of development across the country to determine which districts are making progress and which are struggling and need greater support. The Table aims to improve transparency and accountability in national development by making progress public.

Overall, the DLT proves that Ghana is making progress in development, although at a gradual rate as the average score has improved slightly. However, with an eventual target of a score of 100, the majority of districts are still far from this goal. Furthermore, the gap between the top and bottom remains large as Tema’s level of development is 60 per cent better than Krachi East’s.

Surprising findings this year include the fact that the Upper West region – considered one of Ghana’s poorest – has the highest average regional score. This is due to reasonably high indicators in its districts across the DLT sectors. In particular, the region has some of the highest rates of communities that have ended open defecation, although its education indicators are still low.

Another key result is that being a district with a high level of poverty does not necessarily mean that it will score poorly in the DLT. This implies that other factors, such as infrastructure or leadership are also important. The findings also show that funding allocations to the local level from the Government’s District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) are not allocated in favour of struggling Districts. The more deprived districts at the bottom of the DLT are not receiving greater support to help them face their challenges.

Chief of Policy for UNICEF Sarah Hague said: “While it is encouraging that Ghana’s overall level of development appears to be slightly improving, we should be concerned that the gap between the top and the bottom of the District League Table remains so large. We encourage Government to more effectively target resources based on need to those Districts that are struggling most.”

CDD-Ghana’s Deputy Director Franklin Oduro indicated that “it is important for citizens and key duty-bearers, particularly at the district level to use the findings in the DLT report to engage in evidence-informed dialogue and discussion of the pathways to improve district development outcomes.”

By Kwabena Adu Gyamfi \TV3|3news.com

Gather political will to stop vigilante groups – NPP, NDC et al told

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Dr Alidu Seidu: “They feel they do not have the legal power to command resources so they rely on arms and their strength.”

Political Science Lecturer at the University of Ghana Dr. Alidu Seidu has underscored the need for political parties to put a stop to activities by vigilante groups in Ghana.

Speaking at the 3rd edition of the Accra Dialogue series on Wednesday, Dr Seidu said political vigilante groups continue to carry out activities in the country as a result of the ‘informal’ contract between them and political parties.

“They invest with their lives, providing security to ballot boxes and political parties, and since they are not stopped by these parties, they feel the need to reap a benefit,” he stated.

Held at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), the Series was under the theme ‘The Scars of Vigilantism: A Legal or Political Question?’

One of the speakers lined up, Dr. Alidu Seidu said the vigilante groups usually expect distribution of benefits to reach them when there is a change in the distribution of political power as payment for their activities.

According to him, vigilante groups consider their activities an investment, hence the need to reap proceeds of their investment when their parties assume power.

“They feel they do not have the legal power to command resources so they rely on arms and their strength to demand their due,” Dr. Seidu noted.

This he said results in the vigilante groups aligning with the dominant political parties in the country.

He, therefore, urged political parties to gather political will to deal with the vigilante groups and put a stop to their activities, adding, there is the need to strengthen democratic institutions, allocate resources and empower civil society organizations to fight the menace.

By Irene Amesimeku|3news.com|Ghana

‘Sad’ ending of Mugabe should rekindle democracy and prosperity – Mahama

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Former President Mahama says he prays events in Zimbabwe reboot democracy and prosperity for its people

Former President John Mahama says he expects the resignation of Robert Mugabe as President of Zimbabwe to revive democracy and prosperity in the southern African nation.

The 93-year-old Mugabe who had initially refused to cede power, voluntarily resigned Tuesday to abruptly end an impeachment hearing that was backed by his own Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party.

Former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa will succeed Mr Mugabe, and is due to be sworn in within 48 hours.

Mugabe was accused of allowing his wife, Grace Mugabe, to “usurp constitutional power” by trying to position her as his successor, the BBC reported.

READ: Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe’s president

His resignation came days after the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party fired him as its leader and ordered him to step down.

The resignation brings to an end his 37-year rule of the nation that is reportedly in tatters economically.

Reports suggest estimated 95 per cent of the workforce is unemployed, public infrastructure is crumbling and there are widespread shortages of cash and food.

Many of the country’s woes are rooted in Mugabe’s support for the seizure of white-owned farms, which slashed agricultural production, export earnings and tax revenue, the Independent reported Tuesday.

Commenting on the developing political situation in Zimbabwe, former President Mahama described Mugabe’s ending as sad but said history will remember him kindly.

“A sad ending for a liberation hero, a patriot and a great Pan Africanist,” he tweeted a few hours after Zimbabwe’s Speaker of Parliament read Mugabe’s resignation letter

“I pray the dramatic events of November serve as a reboot for democracy and prosperity in #Zim [Zimbabwe]. History will remember Comrade Mugabe kindly,” Mr. Mahama added.

 By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

We’ll move Ghana’s democracy beyond elections –Akufo-Addo

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President Akufo-Addo addressing the Cambridge Union Society of the University of Cambridge, UK

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says his government together with the people of Ghana, will move the country’s democracy beyond elections to building a nation with equal opportunities for the people.

“The democracy that we seek to build does not end in casting votes, and electing a President and a Member of Parliament once every four years. We seek to build a prosperous nation with equal opportunities, where all citizens feel they have a stake,” he assured.

The President indicated that never again should a Ghanaian citizen feel he has to join the ‘desperados’ that cross the Sahara and drown in the Mediterranean Sea, because their own country holds no promise or hope.

“I know there will always be those among us who would want to try and seek their fortunes in foreign lands. We would wish them well, and pray that they are treated with dignity wherever they go; but it should never be because there are no opportunities in Ghana,” he added.

He gave the assurance at the Cambridge Union Society of the University of Cambridge when he delivered a speech on “Democracy and Development” as part of his 3-day visit to the United Kingdom.

Ghana’s infant democracy, the President said, has put the country on the path to sustainable development, which would improve the way the natural and human resources of the country are managed.

“We are on the path to creating wealth and improving the lives of our people. We are determined to do that by transforming the structure of our economy. The neo-colonial economy, based on the production and export of raw materials, cannot form the basis of a new era of prosperity for our people,” he said.

Nana Akufo-Addo continued, “We have to move, and we are moving towards an economy of processed agricultural and engineering goods and services. That is the way to job creation on a mass base, and an improvement in the incomes of ordinary Ghanaians.”

With widespread unemployment prevalent amongst the youth, which, in his view, represents the greatest threat to Ghana’s democracy and stability, President Akufo-Addo noted that only a performing, rapidly expanding economy that generates jobs can provide an urgent solution.

Group photograph

To this end, in the short space of 10 months since his government took office, President Akufo-Addo noted that the country’s macro-economy has been stabilising.

“The fiscal deficit, which stood at 9.5% at the end of 2016, has been reduced to 6.3%. Inflation, within the same period, has declined from 15.4% to 11.6%. Our economy has grown from 3.3% last year, the lowest in 22 years, to 7.9%. Interest rates are declining, and we are now witnessing a more stable cedi, our national currency. We are creating a business-friendly environment that should encourage significant investments in the development of our economy,” he said.

The President indicated also that the determination of Ghanaians to build their democracy is further anchored in their deep-seated belief in the concept of the separation of powers as an active principle for the promotion of freedom and accountable governance, free of corruption.

Democracy is working for us

Nana Akufo-Addo told the gathering that Ghanaians have agreed on a multi-party constitutional democracy, and a guarantee of individual freedoms under the rule of law, with these past 24 years of the 4th Republic turning out to be the longest period of stability and economic growth in sixty years of Ghana’s nationhood.

“We are nowhere near where we ought to be, but the arguments have been settled, and, believe me, this has been a critical bridge for us to cross. And for our Ghanaian circumstances, we dare not undermine confidence in our young democracy,” he said.

The President acknowledged that having a democracy would not translate immediately into the resolution of Ghana’s problems, “but I believe we, in Ghana, are in the position to be able to quote the English colossus, Winston Churchill, that ‘It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except all those other ones that have been tried from time to time’.”

By 3news.com|Ghana

Stop criticising and apologise to Ghanaians – Dep. Minister to NDC

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File picture

Deputy Energy Minister in charge of Finance, Joseph Cudjoe, has asked members of the National Democratic Congress to stop criticising government for taking credit for the end to Ghana’s electricity crisis.

He said the NDC should rather apologise to Ghanaians for its failure to end the years of crisis that crippled the country’s economy and led to job losses due to of the collapse of businesses.

Presenting the 2018 Budget Statement in parliament last Wednesday, the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said: “We have provided reliable electricity supply,” a claim that triggered uproar from the Members of Parliament.

“Our SHS students have literally forgotten how to spell dumsor because dumsor is dead!” Mr. Ofori-Atta added.

READ: Akufo-Addo ended ‘dumsor’ – Finance Minister claims

Though the Mahama-led government had before exiting office on January 7, 2017 announced the end of the erratic electricity supply, which was locally referred to as dumsor, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday suggested otherwise.

In December 2015, the then Power Ministry announced it had fixed an electricity supply deficit that caused years of frequent blackouts resulting in loadshedding management across the country.

The crisis which began in 2012 became a talking point in political discussions as the then opposition New Patriotic Party blamed the situation on what it termed as the incompetence of the John Mahama administration.

“The Ministry of Power wishes to inform the public that its Load Shedding programme in respect of electricity supply has been brought to an end,” a statement issued by the Ministry in December 2015 claimed.

Mr. Ofori-Atta’s claim thus attracted criticism, especially from the Minority in Parliament, which questioned the authenticity of the Finance Minister’s statement.

Minority leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu stated that the New Patriotic Party government cannot say it finally ended Dumsor, insisting that it would have been appropriate if the finance minister acknowledged they inherited a generational capacity that was very helpful in ending dumsor.

NDC only bought plants

But responding, the Deputy Energy Minister maintained on Onua FM Monday that it was true prudent management of the current administration that ended the longest ever electricity crisis

“The NDC government at the time was only interested in purchasing power plants and generators without fueling them. If you buy these things and you don’t fuel them to produce power, what problem have you fixed” he wondered.

Mr Cudjoe who is also the Member of Parliament for Efia told Bright Kwesi Asempa on ‘Yen Nsem Pa’ that “they [NDC] should be apologizing to Ghanaians instead of saying we did not solve the Dumsor. We have”

“If you want your house to be connected to the national grid, do you first pay the ECG to bury pole in front of your house first or you will first get certified electricians to wire your house? Obviously that is not logical,” he posited.

He argued that there was no commitment on the part of the Mahama-led government as officials were only burnt on enriching themselves to the detriment of businesses and households.

The Deputy Minister said it took creative management of the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko and the President to alleviate the pains of suffering power consumers.

“So we have solved it and there are a lot of plans advanced to increase power generation. Soon Ghanaians will witness exponential increase in power supply across the country” he promised.

By Bright Dzakah|Onua 95.1FM|3news.com|Ghana

[Photos] Akufo-Addo discusses Ghana-UK relations with Theresa May

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President Nana Akufo-Addo on Monday visited Number 10 Downing Street in the United Kingdom where he held bilateral talks with the Prime Minister, Theresa May.

Discussions centered on strengthening ties of co-operation between the two countries, and moving the bilateral relations to a point beyond aid.

Nana Akufo-Addo is currently in the UK on a three-day official and is scheduled to deliver a speech on “Democracy and Development” at the Cambridge Union Society of the University of Cambridge

On Tuesday, November 21, he will speak on the topic “Africa Beyond Aid at an event organised by the Royal Africa Society, Facebook and the Ghana 60 years on Committee.

Congratulating Ghana on her 60th Independence Anniversary, Prime Minister Theresa May told President Akufo-Addo that she and the people of the United Kingdom were “looking forward to building a sound relationship, and also developing historic ties with Ghana for the next 60 years.”

The British Prime Minister indicated that increasing the volumes of trade between the two countries was the key to boosting the growth, progress and prosperity of the two countries and their respective populations.

Prime Minister May noted further that next year’s Commonwealth Summit, which will be held in London, will present member states with the opportunity “to grow together”, and was pleased that President Akufo-Addo would be participating in the Summit.

She was hopeful that during her tenure of office, the United Kingdom will continue to build “on the strong relationship we have with Ghana.”

On his part, President Akufo-Addo thanked the British Prime Minister for the warm welcome afforded him and his delegation.

Despite it being “60 years since we parted company”, President Akufo-Addo noted that Ghana and the United Kingdom “didn’t part company for good”.

Strong relationships between the two countries, the President, indicated, have existed, regardless of the governments of the day, and assured Prime Minister May that, under his leadership as President of Ghana, the already strong relationship will continue.

President Akufo-Addo was hopeful that his and the period of office of his British counterpart would be marked by the strengthening of the bilateral relations between the two countries for the mutual benefit of the two countries and their respective populations.

According to the President, Ghana was looking forward eagerly to next year’s Commonwealth Summit, which would provide the opportunity to reinvigorate the Commonwealth around its theme of “A Common Future”, and make it a dynamic instrument for the growth of the global community in the 21st Century. President Akufo-Addo congratulated British Prime Minister Theresa May on the decision of the British government to host next year’s Summit.

Source 3news.com|Ghana