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Road accidents: Over 271 people died in Accra within 11 months

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More than 271 people have died in Accra through road accident between January and November this year, statistics from the MTTD has revealed.

This figure has seen a dramatic increase by 58 deaths from that of last year.

The statistics showed there has been a dramatic increase in the number of accident cases recorded within the period compared to the same period last year.

Indiscipline among drivers and pedestrians has been identified as the major cause of these accidents.

Speaking at the signing of memorandum of understanding between the city of Accra and the Accra Symphony Orchestra in Accra, the Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Mohammed Adjei Sowah described the motor accidents as a health issue that threatens the foundation of society and ought to be treated with all the seriousness it deserves.

He said the high rate of death through road accident in Accra alone is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated.

He said over 2,000 personnel of MTTD have been deployed with logistics within Accra, to deal ruthlessly with the careless drivers.

By Frederick Clarence Williams||Ghana

470MW powership inaugurated at Tema Habour

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Karpower moored at the Tema port

The largest ever powership in the world, Osman Khan, was on Thursday inaugurated at the Tema Fishing Harbour to supply reliable and uninterrupted electricity to Ghanaians.

The karpowership has the capacity to generate 470 megawatts of power.

Deputy Minister of Energy, Joseph Cudjoe, revealed the powership replaces the 225 megawatts powership, Karadeniz Powership Aysegul Sultan, TV3’s Ebenezer Agyekum reported.

Mr. Cudjoe said the Osman Khan powership would be relocated to Takoradi to make use of gas from off the Cape Three points in the Western Region.

He indicated with Ghana’s power demand increasing by 10% annually, government will put up the necessary policies to ensure sustainable, accessible, reliable and affordable electricity.

The CEO of Karpowership Orhan Remzi Karadeniz said the presence of the powership is the fulfilment of the obligation to ECG.

The new power barge is in fulfilment of a power purchase agreement (PPA) signed with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

The PPA, according to reports, requires Karadeniz to provide a total of 450 MW capacity of power and directly feed it into the national grid for 10 years.

“The 470 MW Powership will supply uninterrupted and reliable electricity at one of the lowest costs to Ghana for thermal power generation with its dual fuel engines and combined cycle power generation technology,” Karpowership Ghana Company Limited said in a statement in August this year

“The Powership will initially use low Sulphur Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) to generate electricity but the fuel will be converted to Natural Gas as soon as local Natural Gas supplies become available, ensuring cost savings for Ghana,” it added.

It assured that the operations of the powership will have a significant contribution to Ghana’s electricity supply “as the most reliable power plant in the country and create more employment opportunities”.


Collapse of UT, Capital banks cost GH¢3.4bn – Adongo

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The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga Central, Mr Isaac Adongo, has asked the government and the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to come clean on the financial impact of the collapse of UT and Capital banks on the taxpayer, explaining that the collapse has so far cost the country GH¢3.4 billion.

Out of the amount, he said, GH¢1.4 billion was used as liquidity support for the failed banks in 2016 prior to their collapse in August, this year, while “the government now intends to issue a bond of GH¢2 billion to pay the GCB Bank for the difference in the valuation of the selected assets and liabilities taken over.”

GCB Bank was chosen among three interested banks to take over select assets and liabilities of UT and Capital banks through a purchase and assumption (P&A) agreement signed between the largely state-owned lender and the central bank.

“This GH¢3.4 billion is to be borne by the taxpayer and it is three times the budget of the Free SHS programme for the first year. Yet neither the Minister of Finance nor the BoG Governor is telling us about it,” Mr Adongo said at a public lecture in Accra.

The lecture was organised by pro-NDC group, Coalition for Restoration (CRF), to offer speakers an opportunity to analyse the 2017/18 budgets in the contest of moving from taxation to production. It was on the theme: ‘Analysis and expectation of the 2017/18 budgets to drive the change from taxation to production.’

Govt’s silence

On August 14, BoG revoked the licences of UT and Capital banks following their heavy deficiency in capital and liquidity.

Following the revocation, the central bank approved a P&A agreement with GCB Bank to assume ownership of the deposits and select assets of the now defunct banks.

The action was in conformity with the Banks and Specialised Deposits taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930), which was passed last year to help define a mechanism that the central bank could fall on to protect deposits whenever banks go through distress circumstances.

Mr Adongo said although the government and the BoG Governor, Dr Ernest Addison, cited non-conformity to good corporate governance and recklessness by management and board of directors as the cause of the collapse, all of them had remained silent on how much it was costing the state.

That, he indicated, was not good for transparency purposes.

“When the governor met his colleagues at the Chartered Institute of Bankers at a dinner, he failed to tell them how much the tax payer is paying to clean up the mess of those who collapsed the banks.”

“The taxpayer has already paid GH¢1.4 billion to clean up the mess of the directors and there is a further GH¢2 billion that has been set aside in the 2018 budget to clean up the mess this year. In total, it is costing us GH¢3.4 billion to clean up this mess

“Now, imagine that we are only spending GH¢1 billion on free SHS, do you not agree with me that the GH¢3.4 could have given all children in Ghana access to free education and still leave some change?” he asked.

Need for transparency

He also criticised the central bank for abandoning its role as an independent regulator to dabble into “propaganda,” citing the governor’s recent pronouncements on the cedi depreciation and debt stocks as bases.

“Recently when he met with the Chartered Institute of Bankers at their dinner, he said the cedi depreciated against the US dollar by 4.6 per cent since the beginning of the year compared to the same period average of about 17 per cent depreciation over the last three years. But I thought that if you are bold enough to mention 4.6 per cent for October, then why go to average? Also go to October 2016 and you will see that we did a depreciation of 4.3 per cent, better than the 4.6 per cent,” he said.

That notwithstanding, stated that, BoG data showed “the cedi appreciated in value against the British pound by 13 per cent in October, compared to a depreciation of 11.2 per cent in October this year. Against the euro, we did a negative depreciation of 4.2 per cent and they did 14.7 per cent negative depreciation.

“So, how can you now, as a governor, hide the true state of affairs?” he asked.

Source Graphic Online

Ghana Export Promotion Authority launches digital market hub for exporters

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United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) with support from the Swiss Government through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) officially launched a national digital market hub designed for exporters and investors on Thursday at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra.

The market hub is to help guide producers and exporters do business with accredited and registered companies licensed to engage in exports.

The support is facilitated by the Trade Capacity Building (TCB) Programme for Ghana, a project implemented by UNIDO and funded by SECO.

UNIDO Project Manager Juan Pablo Davila explained that export marketers and entrepreneurs are challenged on how to deal with the ever-increasing volumes and velocity of multichannel data on export goods from countries.

Juan Pablo Davila

He added that the challenge is further complicated by the fragmented and complex customer buying touch points in countries of market interests.

“This support from the UNIDO –TCB project to the GEPA is to enable exporters, public and private sector including marketing organisations, to make insight-driven decisions and take actions based on opportunities in targeted markets,” he said.

“We are delighted that a national digital market hub in a form of trade information portal at the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) will allow marketers and exporters to fully identify customer’s quality requirements, identify where to find market data and information on export through a website,” Mr. Davila said.

SECO Deputy Head of Economic Development Cooperation Daniel Lauchenauer affirmed Switzerland government’s commitment to supporting the government of Ghana in the effort of diversifying the economy, job creation, improve trade and the investment value addition in the country.

“We are happy that Switzerland’s support to strengthening capacities in the export value-chains through UNIDO’s Trade Capacity Building Programme is positively reflecting in Ghana’s export operations,” he said.

“We have seen our support transform and improve Ghana’s quality infrastructure – such as standardization, metrology and conformity assessment and we are glad that our support is extending to the private sector who are the major beneficiaries of this national digital market hub,” Mr. Lauchenauer added.

He congratulated the GEPA team for collaborating with UNIDO to develop the digital market hub to enhance the competitiveness of Ghanaian export enterprises.

As part of the support, UNIDO organised training and coaching on the job for the team at the GEPA and also supported the designing the new digital hub.

The digital marketing hub will serve as one-stop shop institutional portal of the Export Authority. It will help exporters determine the best customers or countries to export to, give information on market trends, standards and certification requirements, export statistics including summaries of export requirements and other practical information on EU markets for Fruits, Cocoa, Wood and Fish sectors.

Present at the launch was the Deputy Minister of Trade, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, CEO of Ghana Investment Promotion Authority (GIPC) Yoofi Grant as well as officials of West Blue Consulting, National Investment Bank (NIB) and other partners of GEPA.

The TCB Programme aims at ensuring that goods and services emanating from or traded in Ghana are designed, manufactured and supplied in a sustainable manner that conforms to market requirements as well as those of the regulatory authorities in the local and in the export markets.

The Project is focused on four main value chains – cocoa, fish, fruits and wood.

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) is the National Export Trade Support Institution of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) responsible for the facilitation, development and promotion of Ghanaian exports.


Jailing of journalists hits record high in 2017 – Report

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File photo. Some Ghanaian journalists

The number of journalists imprisoned across the globe for their work has hit a record high in 2017, the annual prison census report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has revealed.

A total of 262 journalists were put behind prison bars globally in 2017 as against last year’s historical record of 259.

It said nearly three-quarters of journalists are jailed on anti-state charges, many under broad and vague terror laws, while the number imprisoned on a charge of “false news,” though modest, rose to a record 21.

The report revealed that for the second consecutive time, more than half of the journalists jailed in 2017 are being held in prisons in Turkey, China and Egypt.

It cited the U.S. and other Western powers as having failed to pressure the three countries, which it the report described as the “world’s worst jailers”, into improving the bleak climate for press freedom.“The pattern reflects a dismal failure by the international community to address a global crisis in freedom of the press,” it highlighted.

It accused the US of cozying up to “strongmen such as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Chinese President Xi Jinping”.

President Donald Trump’s nationalistic rhetoric, fixation on Islamic extremism, and insistence on labeling critical media “fake news” serves to reinforce the framework of accusations and legal charges that allow such leaders to preside over the jailing of journalists, the report indicated.

Turkey, according to the report which was released Wednesday, remained the world’s worst jailer for the second consecutive year, with 73 journalists in 2017, compared with 81 last year.Despite Turkey releasing some journalists in 2017, it said “dozens more still face trial, and fresh arrests take place regularly. In several other cases in Turkey, CPJ was unable to establish a link to journalism.

The worst three jailers are responsible for jailing 134–or 51 percent–of the total, the report said.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah||Ghana

Court subpoenas pathologist over autopsy report on JB Danquah

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The late MP

For the fourth time, the Accra District Court has subpoenaed pathologist who conducted autopsy on Member of Parliament for Abuakwa North, J.B Danquah-Adu to appear before the court.

On Thursday, the court asked that another subpoena should be served on Dr Lawrence Edusei, so that he could furnish the court with the full autopsy report on the deceased.

When the matter was called, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) George Amegah mentioned Dr Edusei’s name aloud three times but no one owned up in open court as being him.

READ: Pathologist ‘snubs’ court over post-mortem report of JB Danquah

The court presided over by Ms Aret Nsemoh adjourned the matter to January 4, next year.

The Police at the various court sittings expressed difficulty in obtaining the pathologist full report.

The court has made several times to get the poathologist to appear in court and furnish it with full report on the late MP but to no avail.

J.B Danquah Adu was murdered in his apartment in 2016 at Shiashie.

Vincent Bosso (L) and Daniel Asiedu (R)

Two suspects, Daniel Asiedu and Vincent Bosso, were subsequently arrested and charged with murder following the incident. Their pleas have not been taken and they have been remanded into Prison custody.

The facts of the case, as presented by DSP Amegah, were that the deceased MP lived with his family in a one-storey house at Shiashie, near East Legon, a suburb of Accra, whilst Asiedu and Bosso lived at Agbogbloshie, also in Accra.

About 11:40 p.m. on February 8, 2016, the MP arrived home in his private car driven by his driver.

The driver had handed over the ignition keys of the car to Danquah-Adu and left for home, after which the MP retired to bed in a room located on the first floor of his house.

At about 1 a.m. on the same night, Asiedu and Bosso, armed with a catapult, a cutter and a sharp knife, went to the legislator’s house.

Bosso is said to have assisted Asiedu to enter the house by scaling the fence wall on the blind side of a security man who was fast asleep.

On entering the house, Asiedu picked a ladder and climbed onto a porch on the top floor and entered the MP’s bedroom through a window, whilst Mr. Danquah-Adu was sleeping.

Whilst Asiedu was searching the room, the MP woke up and held him. There ensued a struggle, during which Asiedu stabbed the MP in the right chest above the breast.

The MP consequently held the knife, and Asiedu pulled it through the MP’s hand, making a deep cut in his palm.

The legislator, who bled profusely, fell by his bed, after which Asiedu stabbed him several times on his right chest and neck.

On realizing that the MP was dying, Asiedu left the room and took with his three iPhone smart phones.

Meanwhile, the struggle between the MP and Asiedu had drawn the attention of the security man in the house, who alerted other security men in the neighbourhood.

Having been alerted of an impending danger, Bosso took to his heels, leaving Asiedu behind.

However, Asiedu managed to descend from the top of the house and jumped over the electric fencing on the walls of the house into an adjoining house and escaped

Source GNA

Ayesem targets Obrafuor, Sarkodie, Manifest to boost his music career

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Takoradi-based artiste, Ayesem, says he hopes to collaborate with some of the industry’s heavyweights in a bid to come into the limelight.

Speaking on Connect FM’s entertainment show (Oil City Mix) Thursday, Ayesem, said he is targeting Obrafuor, Sarkodie and M.anifest and other experienced musicians to collaborate with on some of his songs.

He told host of the show, DJ Oxygen, that as a young artiste, featuring such legends would give him the needed mileage in his musical career.

The Koti hit maker is one of several musicians billed to perform at the upcoming Made in Taadi Concert scheduled for December 23, 2017.

Ayesem has since entering the scene released a number of singles including One Mic, Satan which features Singlet, Oluwa Oluwa and Fantia Na Meka

He is currently signed to Shocks Entertainment.

By Victoria Nana Amoh|Connect FM||Ghana 

“Get Into Rugby” ends 2017 on high note in Accra

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The year ended on a high note in Accra when Ghana Rugby held a “Get Into Rugby” (GIR) year-end festival at the Kanda Cluster of Schools on Wednesday 23 December 2017.

The schools involved in rugby ended the term with a touch rugby competition among boys and girls. It is the third time the program was held at the Kanda Cluster of schools.

Participating schools included the Islamic Training Institute, Al-Waleed Comprehensive Islamic Basic school, Kanda 3&5 JHS, Kanda ‘1’ Basic, Kanda A.M.A JHS and Aggrey Memorial International School.

Each school presented two teams, boys and girls, with 12 players in each side making up a total of 96 participants in the event.

The first round match was between the Islamic training Institute against Al-Waleed. In Group B Kanda 3&5 JHS played against Kanda ‘1’ Basic boys and girls.

The winner in the girls’ group was Kanda 3&5 JHS with the second position going to Islamic Training Institute. The third position went to Kanda ‘1’ Basic while  Al-waleed Comprehensive Islamic Basic school ended fourth.

The winner in the Boys group was the Islamic Training Institute with Kanda ‘1’ Basic second, Kanda 3&5 JHS third and Al-Waleed Comprehensive Islamic Basic school fourth.

Rafatu Inusah, Ghana Rugby Board Member GIR Development Officer, said she saw a massive improvement in most of the players from all the schools.

“Both boys and girls performed very well, and it was an achievement for not only me but for Ghana Rugby as a whole,” Inusah said.

The event was also covered by AFP (Agence France Presse) who interviewed some of the students from various schools.

Memunatu from Kanda 3&5 JHS, for instance said she loves to play rugby because it is a friendly and exciting game for not only boys but girls as well.

Development Officers who took part in the festival included from Ms Rafatu Inusah, Ms Kadija Adams, Mr Francis Donkor, Mr Emmanuel Kalos, Mr Philip Asomani and some players from Conquerors Sporting Club. The event was also captured by Ghana Rugby’s photographer, Mr Chika Israel.

Ms Inusah enouraged the students to always get united as one big rugby family.

She again emphasised the values of rugby of respect, integrity, solidarity, discipline and passion to them.

Inusah also cautioned the students to take good care of themselves as they are going for the Christmas holidays and to welcome the new year with a renewed energy.

“I am grateful to God for a successful program and also want to thank all who supported the event, especially the President and Board Chairman, Mr Herbert Mensah.”

Source: | Ghana

PNC wants Charlotte Osei out before 2020

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EC Chair Charlotte Osei was accused of irregularities in the petition

National Treasurer of the People’s National Convention (PNC) Akanni Adams says the Chair of the Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC), Charlotte Osei, should have resigned long before hearing began on a petition filed to look into her tenure.

According to him, the decisions taken prior to the 2016 polls – one of which is the initial disqualification of his party’s candidate – must be avoided as the country prepares for the 2020 polls.

Mr Adams was speaking on 3FM’s Midday News on Thursday.

His comments come on the back of a five-member committee set up by the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, to probe Charlotte Osei following the referral of a petition from the presidency.

The Chair of the EC is being accused of misappropriation of funds and regularly taking unilateral decisions, among other allegations, in a petition whose signatories are still unidentified.

Two other commissioners – Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwaa – were initially fingered by Mrs Osei as being behind the petition.

As a result of outcomes of the Chair’s assertions, another petition was filed against the two.

All three commissioners were, therefore, summoned by the Chief Justice on Monday after a prima facie case was established.

On Tuesday, the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) said it was interested in the case and ready to provide evidence to precipitate the impeachment process of the EC Chair.

But the PNC National Treasurer says his party has not decided yet to tow PPP’s line but removing Charlotte Osei, who was appointed in 2015, “will be the best thing that can happen to us ahead of the 2020 elections”.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana

Mine workers petition Parliament over Goldfields layoff decision

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Members of the Mine Workers Union of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) have petitioned Parliament to intervene in the recent decision by Goldfields Ghana Limited to lay off some 1,500 workers.

The Union marched to Parliament in red to present the petition.

According to them, the gold-mining company has to be stopped from going the road it wants to take.

“They cannot do anything untoward,” General Secretary of the Union Prince William Ankrah said on Thursday when they presented the petition.

Goldfields Ghana Ltd says its decision to lay off the workers this month is part of measures to change its business model.

According to the company, some of the workers will be re-engaged.

“What we are doing right now in 2017, our mining fleet has changed, and will need to be replaced now looking at the types of mines that we have which is five to six years of active mining,” the company is quoted as saying.

“If we were to pump that money into fleet replacement, we will not actually be able to recoup that money back because we are talking about a huge capital investment here.”

But the over 100 members of the Union told Minority Leader of Parliament Haruna Iddrisu, who interacted with them in Parliament, that the situation will bring untold hardship on them, and the country as a whole.

Their petition was specifically meant for the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament.

Meanwhile, Media General’s Mercydarlyn Lokko reported on 3FM’s Midday News that the workers were stopped from entering the main chamber of the House due to their red outfits.

This forced some members of the Committee to issue a fiat stopping any other group from being allowed to petition the legislative, from hence, if they are in red.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana