Category Archives: Politics

Speaker leads parliamentary delegation to Morocco

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Ghana’s Speaker of parliament Prof Mike Aaron Oquaye has led a seven-member delegation are in the Moroccan city of Rabat for a three day visit to that country’s House of Representatives.

He is expected to hold talks with high profile officials of the Moroccan government, including the president of the Rabat Senate as well various sector ministers.

The talks are expected to Centre around bilateral relations between the two countries.

Accompanying the speaker are the majority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, the minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu, member of Parliament for Mpraeso, Seth Acheampong and some members of the parliamentary service.

The visit is on the invitation of the President of the Moroccan House of Representation, Monsieur Habib El Malki.

Ghana and morocco have a long standing history of friendship and cooperation which dates back to the immediate post independence era of the 1960s. There was a however a brief period of lull in this relationship during the 1970s.

Cooperation between the two countries was however restored in 2001 and since then, the two countries have built very good relations with exchanges of business and political ideas at the ministerial and higher levels of governance between the two countries.

The speaker of the 4th parliament of Ghana, Ebenezer Begyina Sekyi Hughes led a delegation on a similar visit to morocco in 2005.

Various Moroccan delegations including ambassadors have paid visits to the Ghanaian legislature.

The visit of the Moroccan king to Ghana is the highest level of diplomatic exchanges between the two countries.

By  3news.com|Ghana

Kojo Yankah chides gov’t over job allocations

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A former Minister of State and the Former Editor of the Daily Graphic, Kojo Yankah, has launched a blistering outcry against the penchant of governments to dismiss public office holders and appoint persons of their own stock to fill vacant positions.

He questioned what he called “merry-go-round joke in Ghana”, where one government appoints and the other lays them off, simply for political reasons.

In a Facebook rant looking at creating jobs in the country, Mr Yankah argued that it was rather a disturbing trend that experienced persons who have had the opportunity to serve the nation at the highest national levels, “are elbowing for positions far below their previous ranks and denying unemployed youngmen the opportunity to get jobs”.

The rant is an apparent displeasure of the Nana Akufo-Addo-led administration, like others, to sack public office holders who are not of their stock or ilk.

“They should [be] taking advisory positions instead,” he wrote.

Mr Yankah condemned the situation where “professionals who can establish their own businesses chase the same jobs on the market,” effectively knocking out the young and energetic professionals who have trained to serve the nation at that point of their lives.

He questioned how the country expects unemployment figures to dip if such a trend persists and prayed to “God to save Ghana Our Motherland”.

By Gideon Sackitey|3FM|3news.com|Ghana

President Akufo-Addo: “Ghana is committed to ECOWAS project”

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President Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated Ghana’s full commitment to the ECOWAS project, reassuring the country would play its role in ensuring that the ideals of the economic Bloc were upheld to bring the needed development to the region.

Giving that assurance on Saturday when he interacted with the Ghanaian community resident in Cape Verde, as part of his three day tour of that country, President Akufo-Addo expressed satisfaction so far with the outcome of his tour of the countries in the ECOWAS region, as the set objectives prior to the commencement of the tour were being met.

“The purpose of the tour of the ECOWAS countries, as outlined by the presidency, was to afford President Akufo-Addo the opportunity to introduce himself, as the new Ghanaian leader, formally to the governments and peoples of neighbouring countries, explore and deepen our bilateral relations with them, and reiterate Ghana’s full commitment to the ECOWAS project.”

According to the President, “Everywhere I have been so far, I have been met with a lot of enthusiasm and warmth, because people are reassured about Ghana’s role in ECOWAS, and, to me, that is very important. If we can make a success out of ECOWAS, it will help us a lot in the economic development of our country.”

With Ghana having the second largest economy in West Africa, and being the second biggest country in terms of population and ECOWAS, President Akufo-Addo stated that “what these tours are trying to do is to reassure the ECOWAS world that we are still very much engaged.”

Touching on the issues back in Ghana, President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that the Asempa Budget outlined the economic vision of his government, as well as pointed to the direction in which his government wanted the country to head.

“We believe that if we can empower and stimulate the private sector in Ghana, those who do their own businesses and take risk, if we can strengthen them, it will be the quickest way we can develop our economy and thereby create jobs and bring prosperity to our country,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo indicated that “a lot of taxes that had been irritating many private sector operatives were removed. GH¢1 billion in taxes was taken out of government’s revenue, in order to have this money remain at the level of private businesses for them to be able to re-invest it in the economy”.

He reiterated the commitment of his government towards fulfilling the promises he made to Ghanaians in the run-up to the December 2016 elections.

The Free Senior High School Policy, he said, is on its way to being fulfilled, indicating that his government will fund the cost of public Senior High Schools for all those who qualify for entry from the 2017/2018 academic year onwards.

On the revival of the National Health Insurance Scheme, President Akufo-Addo noted that his government had found it necessary to find the money to save the scheme from collapse.

“The scheme has been threatened by mismanagement and by huge indebtedness. We are now having to systematically liquidate the arrears so that the service providers can be encouraged to provide services for NHIS card holders. I am hoping that within 18 months, all the arrears of the NHIS would have been settled, so that we can have a secured future for the scheme,” he said.

On the agricultural sector, the President told the gathering that the programme for “Planting for Food and Jobs” launched in Goaso a month ago is the answer to the twin-problem of the migration of youth to city centres in search of non-existent jobs, as well as an end to the disgraceful spectacle of Ghana importing food stuffs from neighbouring countries.

The programme, he noted, has so far employed 1,200 extension officers, and an additional 2,000 more officers would be employed in 2018. Additionally, the programme, he stated would in its first year target 200,000 farmers.

President Akufo-Addo thereafter visited the Centre for Renewable Energy and Industrial Maintenance (CERMI).

CERMI was established to build capacities on the different technologies of renewable energy such as solar, photovoltaic and wind. By the year 2020, Cape Verde aims at achieving a 100 percent penetration rate of renewable energy in use in all parts of the country.

The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, whose Executive Director is Mr. Mahama Kappiah, a Ghanaian, is working closely with CERMI to this end.

President Akufo-Addo was also taken on a tour of Cape Verde’s National Data Centre (NOSi), which was established in August 2015. The Centre aims at providing services in areas such as finance, distance higher education, research and development of software, and other solutions in the field of new technologies.

According to Jorge Lopes, Coordinator of NOSi, who took President Akufo-Addo on the tour, “this infrastructure allows us to store and process the data safely. From this centre, Cape Verde can offer storage services and data processing, software development, “hosting” websites, etc., to institutions, national and international, amongst others.”

President Akufo-Addo was also taken to Cidade Velha, the Portuguese word for “old city”. A former capital of Cape Verde, it is the oldest settlement in Cape Verde, and is currently the seat of the Ribeira Grande de Santiago Municipality.

The “old city” was the first European colonial settlement in the tropics. Some of the planned original design of the site is still intact, including a royal fortress, two towering churches and a 16th century town square. Today, Cidade Velha is an Atlantic shipping stop and centre for Creole culture. The city became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009.

Source: GNA | Ghana

Ghana, Cape Verde pledge to deepen ties of co-operation

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Ghana and Cape Verde have resolved to begin the process of developing stronger ties between themselves, as well as exploring areas of co-operation to the mutual benefits of their peoples.

At the very beginning, Ghana is to deepen cooperation in the areas of fisheries and tourism, for which Cape Verde is noted, through the sharing of expertise and best practices.

This came to the fore at a meeting between the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his Cape Verdean counterpart, Jorge Fonseca, on Friday, May 19, 2017, at the presidential palace, in Praia, at the beginning of his 3-day visit to that country.

In his remarks, President Akufo-Addo indicated that countries or groups of countries with the largest share of world trade are located within regions with the highest share of intra-regional trade.

With trade between the countries of the African regions remaining low compared to other parts of the world, President Akufo-Addo noted that this was evidenced in the low volumes of trade between Ghana and Cape Verde, which amounted to $5 million in 2013, reducing to less than $200,000 in 2016.

For a region that has made the choice of pursuing integration, President Akufo-Addo bemoaned the fact that “we have not done much as we should have in liberalizing and promoting trade amongst member countries.”

He, thus, advocated for the implementation of deliberate measures aimed at enhancing trade and business collaborations between Ghana and Cape Verde.

“We should also try to increase the volumes of trade between our two countries, as this would create jobs, as well as boosting incomes for our two peoples. We should endeavour to establish direct flights between Accra and Praia to avoid going through Casablanca, in Morocco, for instance, before we can reach each other,” President Akufo-Addo said.

He continued, “We should also try to establish direct shipping lines, linking Accra to Praia, to facilitate trade between us. We need to push for the Sealink and ECO marine initiatives to help link our two countries. We should, as rapidly as possible, establish a Permanent Joint Commission for Co-operation to serve as the legal framework for addressing the trade and investment concerns of our two countries.”

To President Foseca, President Akufo-Addo was hopeful that “during our respective tenures of office, it is my desire that Ghana and Cape Verde continually search for ways to co-operate. I have no doubt, that, together, we can forge a new, strong partnership for cooperation between our two nations for the mutual benefit of our two peoples.”

In reiterating his commitment towards strengthening ECOWAS, President Akufo-Addo was certain that “for a marked improvement in the welfare of the 350 million people currently living in the 15 member states of ECOWAS, I believe it is extremely important that we, the leaders, demonstrate strong political will to make the community an economic and political success, and make the project of integration real.”

With West Africa’s population set to hit 500 million people in 20 years from now, up from the current population of 350 million, he stressed that “this could be a large regional market, which could present immense opportunities to bring prosperity to our region with hard work, enterprise and creativity. The time for West African integration is now. Together, all ECOWAS member states should show real commitment towards converting ECOWAS into a true regional market.”

President Akufo-Addo also commended his Cape Verdean counterpart for the strong leadership he has exhibited ever since assuming the reins of government in 2011.

“You inherited a challenging macroeconomic situation, but the proof of the turnaround of the Cape Verdean economy is evident in the projected growth rate for 2016. By encouraging private sector participation in the economy, and improving the key macroeconomic indicators, your country’s growth rate more than doubled, from 1.5% in 2015 to 4% in 2016,” he stated.

The establishment of a market economy and the development of Cape Verde’s tourism industry, amongst others, President Akufo-Addo noted, contributed to President Foseca obtaining 74% of valid votes in the October 2016 polls, describing it as “a clear testament of the confidence your people have in you. You are doing something right, Mr. President. Long may it continue!”

Source: 3news.com

Delta Force 8: PPP descends on gov’t, NDC & police over discharge

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The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) recommends a firm action to be taken on persons involved in undermining the rule of the law in the Delta Force 8 case.

The National Chairman of the party, Nii Allotey Brew Hammond, addressing a press conference in Koforidua on Thursday, May 18, said the party is in utter shock and dismay over the withdrawal of proceedings against the eight accused of setting free some 13 others standing trial for assault on a public officer.

Flanked by some national and regional executives, Nii Allotey Hammond said the party condemns in the strongest terms “lawlessness in the country and the clear lack of law, leadership and enforcement of the law” to deal with the matter.

The eight accused were released on Wednesday, May 17

He added that the hypocrisy and complicity of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) as an all-time key contributor and actor in the crises.

The PPP, he said, demands that the Attorney General takes urgent steps to stop the impunity with immediate effect to stop the country from degenerating into an undisciplined society.

He questioned the responsibilities of the police officers and argued that it was this same excuse and the lack of interest from previous Attorney General which has led to the state losing millions of Ghana Cedis due to judgement debt.

They call on the Supreme Court to act forcefully on the Delta Force members for scandalizing the court, defying and lowering the authority of the court and bringing the court into disrepute.

The PPP National Chairman stated they would not condone any act of lawlessness and wish to state unambiguously that the posture by the NPP prosecutor calls for all to rebuke it knowing that the inability for the masses to do anything will only allow further evil to triumph.

By Yvonne Neequaye|3news.com|Koforidua, Ghana

NDC could be in opposition till 2029 if Mahama returns – Political scientist

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President Mahama on campaign at Fadama School Park in Accra

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) could languish in opposition until the 2028 general elections if they elect former president John Dramani Mahama as presidential candidate, a Political Science Lecturer has opined.

Dr Isaac Owusu Mensah explains that the former president’s chances of returning to the presidency is slim even if he wins his party’s presidential primary.

Speaking in an interview with www.3news.com, Dr Owusu Mensah suggests that the opposition NDC will be better off electing a new face to lead the party in the next elections.

He said the likes Professor Joshua Alabi and Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah will perform better than Former President Mahama.

As regards Prof Alabi, the political scientist, who predicted a win for the New Patriotic Party’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo prior to the December 7, 2016 elections, said the former NDC lawmaker’s underground activities coupled with his academic credentials put him in good standing.

“He is a cadre and that constituency is very strong [within the NDC],” he said on Thursday, May 18.

Dr Owusu Mensah maintains that Prof Alabi’s transformation of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) from his days as Rector to Vice Chancellor gives him another advantage especially as he has kept his relationship with the grassroots of the party.

“I will say for now he is a formidable candidate on his own,” he stated, pointing out how his tribe could also be a plus for him since the NDC is yet to be led by a Ga.

For Dr Spio-Garbrah, Dr Owusu Mensah thinks he has also carved a niche for himself especially resurfacing in the last government of the NDC.

He stressed that the immediate past Minister of Trade and Industries also has the financial muscle to defeat all other contenders who may pop up.

Leading party members who have expressed interest to contest the presidential primary include Ghana’s longest serving member of parliament Alban Bagbin.

The NDC is considering early congress to elect the party’s 2020 presidential candidate in order to give that individual enough time to campaign.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

NPP chairman for Binduri gets 100% endorsement as DCE

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Yakubu Abagre Ayinga is now the DCE for Binduri

The constituency Chairman of the New Patriotic Party in Binduri in the Upper East Region Yakubu Abagre Ayinga has been approved as the District Chief Executive for the Binduri District Assembly.

He secured 100 per cent endorsement from all the 17 assembly members who voted in the confirmation election supervised by the Electoral Commission in Bawku Wednesday.

Mr Ayinga who was also an officer at Savanna Agric Research Institute at Manga, Bawku, commended President Akufo-Addo for nominating him, the overlord of Kusaug, Zugraana Naba Asigri Abugrago Azoka II and his divisional chiefs as well as the assembly members for the overwhelming endorsement.

The assembly members gave Agyinga 100 per cent vote to seal his confirmation

He has pledged to ensure the district benefit from good policies of the government, promising to make agriculture, illiteracy and poverty eradication a priority under his tenure.

The DCE mentioned the government’s ‘One district, One factory,’ ‘One constituency, One million Dollars,’ and Free Senior High Secondary Education as some of the key government programmes he would use to make his tenure a success.

Presiding Member of the Assembly, Simon Aruk Azimbe, earlier called on the assembly members to put the interest and development of the district ahead of all other considerations and vote massively for the then nominee.

Upper East Regional Minister, Rockson Ayine Bukari thanked the assemblymen for the “One touch” confirmation.

He urged them to collaborate with the DCE to develop the area to the satisfaction of all.

He observed that poverty and hunger has become a common enemy in the area hence the need for all channel their energies and expertise to fight it.

By Atubugri Simon Atule|3news.com|Ghana

Minority demands re-arrest of Delta Force 8 immediately

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The eight accused were discharged on Wednesday, May 17

The Minority in Parliament wants the discharged members of the Delta Force vigilante group re-arrested immediately.

According to Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, the discharge of the eight members, who stormed court in April to set some other colleagues free, is an affront to the judiciary.

Mr Iddrisu expressed these sentiments on Wednesday, May 17 when he addressed journalists on the issue.

The eight were discharged by Justice Patricia Amponsah after the Attorney General failed to present evidence of the court siege of April 6, 2017.

READ: Delta Force 8 freed for lack of evidence

WATCH: Delta Force’s ‘freedom’ action in Kumasi court

But the Minority Leader contends that even Facebook and Twitter were awash with evidence of the heinous act “and some evidence can be made available” and so Madam Gloria Akuffo, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, failed to do a diligent search for evidence.

Member of Parliament for Tamale South Constituency, Mr Iddrisu said the discharge of the Delta Force members clearly shows lack of leadership on the part of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

“We call on the president to demonstrate leadership,” he said, adding that if such gross indiscipline continues, it will mark “the beginning of the downward spiral of the judicial regime”.

He described the ruling as “bias because it is one of their own” and said Ghanaians have been taken for granted as everybody condemned the action of the pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) group.

SEE: Ibn Chambas wants Delta Force investigated & brought to book

“We demand that justice must be done, justice must be cured and justice must be seen to be done.”

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

 

 

2nd round victory for New Juaben MCE nominee

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Comfort Asante has gotten the nod to become the Chief Executive of the New Juaben Municipal Assembly after second round of voting.

The 65-year-old was failed to get the two-thirds majority on Monday, May 15 at the first voting. She managed 62.8 per cent after poling 49 out of 78 votes.

New Juaben Municipal Assembly failed to elect the 65-year-old on Monday

After a tense Wednesday morning of elections, Mrs Asante polled 77 YES votes, representing 98.71 per cent and 1 NO vote, representing 1.29 per cent.

The University of Cape Coast lecturer in her acceptance speech said she was ready to work within the Assembly’s framework of structures to serve residents of the New Juaben Municipal Assembly.

It seemed a hard-fought victory for Comfort Asante on Wednesday

Her second round election is said to have been masterminded by several women groups as she becomes the second woman to get the nod in the Eastern Region.

By Yvonne Neequaye|3news.com|Koforidua, Ghana

Pro-Con Analysis on Dr. Spio-Garbrah’s presidential ambitions: “Now or never”

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Dr. Ekwow Spio Garbrah

Prompt: Dr. Spio-Garbrah is no nino to the public terrain. He has run for the presidency before and has been in the public imaginary for the longest time. This may be his last stab at glory or risk being consigned to history as the president who never was.

Pro: the case for Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah

Presidential Bar
He looks like a president; sounds like a president and speaks like a president. To some people he is the ‘enfant terrible’ of the NDC; to others he is the ‘beau ideal’. Ekwow Spio-Grabrah is the kind of guy who looks like he should have been president a long time ago.

This is not surprising. Spio has proven his mettle in various capacities both nationally and internationally. One of the most important criteria anyone needs to clear in order to have any chance at the presidency is what analysts call the presidential bar. It’s a loose way to describe the temperament, maturity, character and general disposition of aspirants.

No matter how substantive you may be, voters need to see in you a person who befits the image and stature of the presidency. If ever there was an ideal candidate, it would be Ekwow Spio-Grabrah. He would clear the presidential bar with the tip of his finger.

Policy Wonk

Ekwow Spio-Grabrah will be a top-notch candidate. His qualification for the job is without doubt. Maybe over qualified.  His national experience is spectacular; his intelligence is paranormal and his gifts are exceptional. He has wide ranging governmental appointments dating back to the Rawlings era.

Students of history would credit Uncle Spio-Garbrah with the creation of the now widely popular GetFUND- never mind the fierce struggles and effigies that came with it in the turbulent politics of the1990s. His international stature is remarkable, clearly out shining his other potential contenders.  Spio-Garbrah would be a competitive president on the global stage.

His managerial undertakings are incredibly wide, his knowledge is profoundly vast and his expertise is extremely high. Spio Garbrah’s academic laurels are the stuff of a legend. In Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Ghana, will have a smart, bright and sharp brain at the helm of government.

Charisma and personal appeal

Some people are born great, some achieve greatness and others have greatness thrust upon them (William Shakespeare). Spio-Garbrah has achieved some great things in life but he definitely comes off as the ‘born great’ types.

There are some people who easily charm and impress by their demeanour and speech. They don’t have to make the effort. It’s all there: charisma, attractiveness and eloquence. More than once I’ve heard this remark about him: “I don’t know exactly why. I just like him”. Well, if successful politicians are supposed to charm and ‘woo’ then Ekwow sure has a foot in there.

In a business where emotional connection is key, Ambassador Spio-Garbrah seems to have some advantage in terms of magnetism and charisma.  Mr Spio-Garbrah would probably be competing with Haruna Iddrisu in terms of inspiration. Both are deemed major role models. If the National Democratic Congress (NDC) wants someone who can appeal to both hearts and minds, then they need not to look further.

 Cons: the case against Spio-Garbrah

Temperament 

Every human being has their fatal flaw. I am not exactly sure at what point this gained ground but there are many out there who perceive Dr. Spio-Garbrah as arrogant. He may have great quality and depth but there are some who seem to have issues with his persona or his image. You may call it the 2008 Akufo-Addo problem. When Nana first attempted the presidency he was rightly or wrongly perceived as haughty and entitled.

It would not be further from truth, to say that politically, Spio-Garbrah is deemed to have a similar problem. This is not just a minor glitch. It’s deeply ingrained.  One could argue that straight shooters or people who often tend to speak their mind are fairly or unfairly subject to this criticism (arrogance of Spio-Garbrah) but the perception is there. And in politics perception matters.

Unless Uncle embarks on a major image makeover, reframing or rebranding expedition, his chances of occupying the golden seat would be in serious jeopardy.

History: Team ‘A’ vs Team ‘B’

Ambassador Spio-Garbrah does not only have a perception problem. He has a historical blot to contend with. Among the magnificent achievements Spio-Garbrah has attained for this country, he has also managed to gift Ghana with some memorable lexicons. Ask anyone what they remember about Spio in recent times and they would mention ‘Team A, Team B’ or ‘pissing in, pissing out.’

These phrases have become popular in Ghana, thanks to an article written by Ekwow Spio Garbrah in the Daily Graphic during the early days of the late Professor Atta Mills administration. In that article he critiqued the then President for some appointments he deemed subpar.

To be specific, he wrote: “There is a general measurable view around the country that the NDC government can indeed achieve more results faster if it simply ensure that the right NDC people…are in the right positions, a large segments of the public have been asking why the government may have chosen to field some players from.

Team ‘B’ when many team ‘A’ players are available “(Ghanaweb/Daily Graphic). The response, as one might expect, was swift and pointed. Mr Ato Ahwoi in a rebuttal said: ” I am telling Spio Garbrah that he is not the only intelligent man in the world Spio Garbrah is not the only intelligent man in the NDC” (Ghana Web sourcing a JOY FM interview).

Spio has apologised ever since and explained himself again and again. Only time will tell whether the man once deemed persona non grata would be fully embraced by the party.

By Etse Sikanku|3news.com|Ghana
Twitter: @NewsonTV3