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Showing posts from September, 2006

Let us persuade all defectors to return to NDC – Bagbin

Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin, Minority Leader in Parliament on Saturday called on activists, supporters and sympathisers of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to persuade those who had defected from the party to return. "We need everybody back in the NDC. It is our home," he stated. Mr Bagbin made the call at the inauguration of the Volta Regional branch of the Youth and Women's Wing Working Committees of the party in Ho. He said “Although people with conscience would not leave the NDC for any political party, it is important that people who did not know their fate and were thinking of leaving or had left were spoken to about how suicidal it is to leave a ‘matured’ party.” Mr Bagbin noted that integrity and good leadership kept the PNDC/NDC in power for 19 years therefore; the NDC remained the only party that would put nation first than any political party. He alleged that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government would not leave any better legacy for the…

Access to Agric Information for Developing countries expanded by UN

Over 100 of the world’s poorest countries will now be able to access leading food and agriculture journals for little or no cost with the launch today of the second phase of a joint United Nations-private sector initiative to provide yet one more tool in the fight against poverty and under-development. The Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA) project responds to the needs of thousands of students, researchers and academics in poorer countries, who continue to face challenges in accessing up-to-date information which is vital to their work. A UN statement issued in Accra on Thursday said AGORA was launched in 2003 by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 37 leading science publishers and other key partners including the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and Cornell University, providing access to 69 low-income countries. Under today’s expansion it will now include universities, colleges, research institutes and government ministries as well as non-governmental organ…

Danish research expedition team arrives next week

A Danish research expedition, Galathea, arrives in Tema on board a ship Vaedderen on 0ctober 3 to meet with Ghanaians researchers and visit a variety of historical sites around Accra. The research team is circumnavigating the globe, carrying more than 60 research projects initiated by Danish and international research environments. A statement from the Danish Embassy in Accra on Thursday said the expedition ship would cover all climatic regions of the world during her eight-month voyage. “This will provide a unique platform for especially natural science research, which have a rare opportunity for carrying out coordinated studies of life and processes in the oceans, from Greenland in the north to Antarctica in the south and from the Solomon Islands in the east to the Galapagos in the west.” It said the expedition also included historic and land-based projects. It said the expedition was also to reinforce the idea of modern science of being of present-day relevance, e…

Ghana hit its tele-density target

Ghana hit its tele-density target of 20 per cent ahead of time at the end of June instead of December 2006, Communications Minister Professor Mike Ocquaye said on Wednesday. The Government had forecast to record a tele-density (the penetration of telephones throughout the country) to hit 20 per cent by the end of 2006 and 30 per cent by 2010 in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).Ghana is likely to exceed the MDG target at the rate of penetration.Professor Ocquaye, who was speaking at a function organized by the Ministry in Accra to create a platform for telecommunications operators to interact with Journalists, commended the efforts of the operators in helping the Government to achieve the target. "Some of the innovativeness that exists in the industry has given employment to especially people in the hinterland," Prof. Ocquaye said, and added that there was the need to take stock and look ahead to confront the challenges.He, therefore, called for regular…

Ghana hit its tele-density target

Ghana hit its tele-density target of 20 per cent ahead of time at the end of June instead of December 2006, Communications Minister Professor Mike Ocquaye said on Wednesday. The Government had forecast to record a tele-density (the penetration of telephones throughout the country) to hit 20 per cent by the end of 2006 and 30 per cent by 2010 in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).Ghana is likely to exceed the MDG target at the rate of penetration.Professor Ocquaye, who was speaking at a function organized by the Ministry in Accra to create a platform for telecommunications operators to interact with Journalists, commended the efforts of the operators in helping the Government to achieve the target. "Some of the innovativeness that exists in the industry has given employment to especially people in the hinterland," Prof. Ocquaye said, and added that there was the need to take stock and look ahead to confront the challenges.He, therefore, called for regular…

Forty billion cedis to finance School feeding project

Forty billion cedis is to be spent on the school feeding project from now until the end of the year. About 198,000 pupils in 500 first cycle schools throughout the country are expected to benefit from the programme, which was piloted last year.Mr Kwame Nuako, Director in charge of monitoring and evaluation at the School Feeding Programme, told the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Wednesday,He said an amount of three thousand cedis had been budgeted to provide one hot meal for each pupil on the programme.Mr Nuako said by the end of the last academic year, about 69,000 pupils from 200 schools nationwide had been fed by the programme. "That number has been increased to 141, 800 pupils from 380 schools at the beginning of the academic year, which started last week. "The number would hit 198, 000 pupils from 500 schools by end of the year and the Government would make available 40 billion cedis to cater for the programme from now till the end of the year"Mr Nuako explained that…

COCOBOD is ready for 2006/7 cocoa season – Chief Executive

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) on Wednesday said it had made adequate preparations to eliminate bottlenecks that might affect the smooth running of the 2006/7 major cocoa season, which opens in October 2006. Speaking at a press conference ahead of the celebration of Cocoa Producers Alliance (COPAL) Cocoa Day, Mr Isaac Osei, Chief Executive of COCOBOD, said 14 bales of jute sacks and twines, enough to allow Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) to purchase and bag about 300,000 tonnes of beans had been released. Last week, COCOBOD announced the signing of a trade finance facility agreement involving 810 million dollars to be used to finance cocoa purchases for the 2006/7 crop year. The money would be made available to LBCs as seed money for them to purchase cocoa during the new season. Mr Osei said the loan agreement would provide buyers "adequate cash flow" to make prompt payment for the produce from farmers. He said a 50,000 tonne-capacity warehouse at Tem…

Lukewarm attitude of civil servants dampens good intentions

New Patriotic Party (NPP) youth activist has observed that the lukewarm attitude of some Civil Servants towards the implementation of government policies had militated against the good intentions of the programmes to improve the living conditions of the people. Mr Samuel Jinapor Abdulai mentioned for instance, the National Health Insurance Scheme, as one among a dozen of policies that the government had initiated to improve the health of the people. He lamented however that, bureaucratic tendencies at the implementation stages had become a source of concern to the government. Mr Abdulai, who is in the Northern Region to explain government policies and programmes to the people and find out issues affecting the party, made the observation at a media encounter in Tamale on Wednesday. He said the country needed a civil service, whose leaders were disciplined and visionary to move the country forward, even in spite of the harsh and unpleasant conditions under which they wor…

Eric Osiakwan at Berkman


Eric Osiakwan at Berkman
Filed under: Africa, ICT4D, Berkman — Ethan @ 7:21 pm
Eric Osiakwan is a busy man. Near as I can tell, he’s one of the few people I know who has more job titles that I do. And since he’s been to twenty-five African nations in the past five years, he may be one of the unlucky few who spend more time on airplanes than I do. (Joking about this over coffee later, Eric acknowledges that his last girlfriend once told him, “If you like the airplane so much, why don’t you marry it?”)
I last ran into Eric in Grahamstown , South Africa , where he was speaking at the Highway Africa conference. As the executive secretary of AfrISPA (the African ISP operators’ association) and GISPA (the Ghana ISP association), he’s been hard at work on the issues surrounding the proposed EASSy cable, which will complete a fiber-optic link around the African content and, if all goes well, radically reduce the cost of connectivity.
What’s happene…

Asantehene Is Angry

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has condemned attempts by some people to link him with the cocaine scandal.

He has therefore, cautioned journalists, politicians and social commentators to desist from hiding behind democracy and the freedom of speech to persistently use the airwaves to question why the Justice Georgina Wood Committee did not invite him over the issue.

The Asantehene made the comments at a meeting with the Asanteman Council at Manhyia here on Monday, after a 10-day visit to Libya.

He questioned the basis for people trying to drag him into a crime for which he maintained innocence. "What country are we building where there is no respect for authority and the elderly?" he asked. Otumfuo Osei Tutu said that for some time now, he had been patiently taking the vilification but "the time has come for me to bite if such comments on radio and television continue."

He described the situation as an anti-Ashanti hate campaign which must be resisted.

He questio…

Australian Witch Targets Ghanaians

A 49-year-old male Australian witch who turned teenage girls into sex slaves has turned his attention to Ghana.Robin Angas Fletcher finished an eight-year jail term in June, but has been living in a unit inside the walls of Ararat prison, in western Victoria, Australia, under an extended supervision order imposed by the Adult Parole Board.Fletcher challenged the conditions of the order, imposed under the Serious Sex Offenders Monitoring Act, in the Victorian Supreme Court. A judge ruled the Board was acting unlawfully by keeping Fletcher behind prison walls after he had completed his jail term.Fletcher was due for release earlier this year, but parole was refused after authorities discovered he engaged in "disturbing" correspondence with people in Ghana, West Africa.In an advertisement on a prisoner pen-pal site, he claimed to be a real witch and an occult and bondage and discipline master.Fletcher used hypnotism and mind-altering techniques to entice two 15-year-old girls i…

Suspect's b'day bash sends Police head home

The Police Administration has directed the Police Intelligence and Professional Standard Bureau (PIPS) and Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to investigate media reports of an alleged birthday party held by Kwabena Amaning, aka Tagor, a drug suspect, while in custody at the Ministries Police Station. The Police Divisional Commander, under which the Ministries Police Station falls, has also been asked to proceed on leave with immediate effect in order to pave the way for the investigations. A statement signed by , Director in Charge of Public Affairs, Superintendent of Police Mr David S. Eklu in Accra, said the investigations were to be supervised by Mr Paul Quaye, a Commissioner of Police and the Director General in charge of Strategic Direction and Monitoring. It said investigations would be conducted to ascertain whether champagne was brought to Tagor in cells, whether a party was organized in the cells and whether the Police regulations in respect of remand suspects were fol…

GES takes steps to solve NAGRAT's strike

The Ghana Education Service (GES) said it had taken steps to address all issues raised by the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), whose members have been on strike since the beginning of the academic year to press demands for better salaries. In a statement issued in Accra yesterday, GES said it acknowledged the right of a group of workers and teachers to form associations. However, "it is of the view that at all times actions taken by any group should be in conformity with the Labour Laws of the country". GES said under the GES Act and the Labour Act, the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) were the only recognized bodies with collective bargaining certificate with the GES. It said GES was now preparing to commence negotiations on the condition of service of teachers.

Greenpeace activists detained in Ivory Coast

Four activists from environmental pressure group Greenpeace were detained in an Estonian port Ivory Coast yesterday when the group mounted a spectacular operation to prevent a ship involved in a toxic waste scandal in west Africa from setting out to sea. Head of foreign and media relations at the Estonian Maritime Administration Tarmo Ots, told AFP that Altogether they have now detained four Greenpeace activists. Earlier, two Greenpeace activists on a motorboat heading for the Probo Koala were detained for violating port rules.

Poliomyelitis still a problem in Nigeria

Nigeria's northern state of Katsina has recorded 141 fresh cases of poliomyelitis this year. The chairman of the state's primary health care development agency, Ahmed Qabasiyu,SAYS that the polio cases were recorded between January and September, with May having the highest number of 38 cases. The number of new cases fell to 25 in June and six in July following the first and second rounds of the newly introduced Immunisation Plus Day (IPD) programme, .

Low turnout at district level elections at New Juaben

Turnout of voters in the District Assembly and Unit Committee elections in the New Juaben Municipality was low, when the Ghana News Agency visited some of the polling centres in the Municipality. According to the polling officials at the Pope John Secondary School "A" polling station as at 1345 hours, only 17 people had cast their votes out of 672 registered voters, while at the "B" polling station, only 20 voters had cast their votes out of 664. Two males were contesting at each of the polling stations. At Kantudu Temporal Boot, 89 voters had cast their voted as at 1100 hours and at the AME Zion Primary School polling station, only 37 people had cast their votes as at 1115 hours, while at the SCCE Electoral Area, 86 votes were cast as at 1130 hours. The Water West Office station at Kantudu Electoral Area recorded 98 votes as at 1140 hours. At Anlo Town Down South polling station, out of 901 registered voters, only 180 people cast their v…

Use of indigenous languages imperative for unity, development- Rev Prof Obeng

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Reverend Professor Emmanuel Adow Obeng, on Tuesday announced that the university would within the next two years, establish a school of languages at its faculty of arts, to promote the use of indigenous languages and linguistics to enhance national unity and development.
He referred to the "school of thought" that says that, as part of the educational reforms, basic school pupils should be instructed in the local language to enhance learning, and that two or three Ghanaian languages should also be selected and taught in all schools and be used alongside the English language as national languages.
Rev. Prof. Obeng, who was speaking at the opening of a three-day "Inter-University Conference on the co-existence of languages in West Africa", at the UCC, underscored the important role indigenous languages played in the socio-cultural, economic and political development of a nation.
The conference, which is being at…

Attorney-General orders the re-arrest of five Policemen

The Attorney-General, Mr Joe Ghartey on Tuesday ordered the re-arrest of the five Policemen believed to have knowledge of the missing cocaine on board the vessel MV Benjamin. The five were granted 300 million cedi bail each on Monday by an Accra Circuit court with one surety to be justified after the Prosecution withdrew charges of abetment and substituted it with extortion. They are Detective Sergeant Samuel Amoah; General Sergeant Daniel Nyarko; Detective Lance Corporal Dwamena Yabson; General Sergeant Isaac Asante and General Lance Corporal Peter Bondorin. They pleaded not guilty. Four of the Policemen have since been put into Police custody but the fifth, Detective Sergeant Samuel Amoah is yet to report or be arrested. Mr Ghartey, who is also the Minister of Justice, told the Ghana News Agency that his Office had countermanded the decision of the Chief State Attorney, Mr Cab-Beyuo, who withdrew the abetment charges, adding that fresh charges were to be preferred ag…

Electorate shows little interest in elections

Mr. John Henry Mensah, Chairman of National Development Planning Committee on Tuesday joined voters at the workers canteen polling station in Boahenkokor electoral area in Sunyani municipality to exercise his franchise in the municipal assembly elections.
Mr. Mensah, accompanied by Mr. Kwame Twumasi-Awuah, Municipal Chief Executive, went to the centre around 1000 hours after the municipality had experienced two short downpours early in the morning.
A total of 173 out of 879 voters had exercised their franchise as at 10:30 am at the polling centre.
Mr. Mensah before casting his vote had earlier visited some polling stations and interacted with the electorate.
At the Presbyterian JSS, Presbyterian Primary Lower and Presbyterian Office polling centres at Boahenkorkor electoral area 68, 110 and 60 voters out of 560, 765 and 681 voters respectively had cast their votes as at 0900 hours.
A total of 68 valid votes out of 539 eligible voters at Twene Amanfo 1A poll…

Electorate shows little interest in elections

There was no Unit Committee election at some polling stations in Savelugu when the District level elections took off on Tuesday morning as people did not register to contest.
A former Unit Committee member who did not disclose his name told the GNA that during the last Unit Committee election, those elected were not inaugurated to allow them to carry out their mandate.
This, he said, made them non-functional in the communities, as the people who elected them did not recognise their authority.
These among other factors, he explained, had discouraged the people from registering to contest this year's Unit Committee election.
Turn out at the District Assembly Election was encouraging in the morning but there was a lull in late afternoon.
Some of the Presiding Officers attributed the situation to the fact that it was harvesting time and the Ramadan, as well as inadequate publicity on the elections.
Some voters also told the GNA that they did not attach importance to the District level elect…
Senegal ruled out on Monday mass deportations of its nationals currently living illegally in France following a pact signed between the two countries requiring clandestine immigrants to be repatriated."There will be no charter (fli2ghts) for clandestine migrants. The return of migrants to their countries of origin will be organised jointly by the two countries," Senegalese Interior Minister Ousmane Ngom told a news conference.Ngom and his French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, signed the accord at the weekend making it easier for Senegalese students and entrepreneurs to enter France and for Paris to repatriate illegal immigrants.Sarkozy described the accord as "historic and without precedent".Ngom was reacting to newspaper reports here criticising the weekend deal as opening flood-gates of deportation charter flights from Paris to Dakar.

Liberian Police Officers in Ghana for training

Thirty Liberian Police Officers arrived in Accra on Monday to undergo a three-week training course at the Ghana Police College in Accra. Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr Paul Kissi Frimpong, a Ghanaian Police Officer working with the United Nations Police Force in Liberia led the group to Ghana. Mr Frimpong, who is the Deputy Senior Advisor on Law Enforcement, Reform and Restructuring in Liberia, said the training would add a professional touch to policing in the war ravaged country. He said over the years policing in Liberia was politicized to the extent that non-professionals were given charge of the Service paving way for certain lapses unacceptable to the practice of the profession. He said the Ghana Police under the United Nations had so far trained more than 2,000 Police personnel with more training programmes in the pipeline. He said that the 30 officers have undergone a nine months basic training in the Liberia Police Academy. Welcoming the Officers to Ghana at the Kotoka I…

GES Declares holiday for Assembly Elections

The Ghana Education Service (GES) has declared Tuesday, September 26 a holiday for all basic schools throughout the country.A statement issued to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, and signed by Mr Michael Kenneth Nsowah, Acting Director-General of the GES, asked all heads of basic schools to observe the day as such due to the District Assembly Elections scheduled for the day.
A four-member delegation of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) led by the General-Secretary, Mr Johnson Aseidu Nketiah is in the United Kingdom (UK) to attend the Labour Party Annual Conference 2006 in Manchester.A statement in Accra on Monday by Mr Fifi Kwetey, National Propaganda Secretary, said the trip was at the invitation of the British Labour Party. The delegation includes Mrs Ama Benyiwa-Doe, National Women Organiser; Mr Baba Jamal Ahmed, Deputy General Secretary and Mr Kofi Attor, Director of International Relations. They would be away for nine days. The statement said in their absence, Mr Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, Deputy General Secretary (Operations), would act as General Secretary.
President John Agyekum Kufuor leaves Accra on Tuesday for Cuba, Havana, to attend the 14th Summit of the Heads of State of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
The Summit, scheduled for September 11 to September 16, is expected to focus the minds of member countries on enhancing the role of the NAM in the prevailing international system.

A statement signed by Mr Andrew Awuni, Press Secretary to the President and Presidential Spokesman, said the Summit would review the international situation, examine NAM's own roles and methods of work and follow up on the outcomes of major UN Summits and conferences as well as the Millennium Declaration.

"The Heads of State are expected to reaffirm and underscore the Movement's abiding faith and commitment to its founding principles, ideals and purposes, particularly in establishing a peaceful and prosperous world as well as a just and equitable world order." The statement said President Kufuor would continue to the US to attend the 61st Ge…
A Professor of Sociology at the Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, on Monday said the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) must not be dependent on aid.

Speaking at a pre-conference workshop dialogue of the 10th edition of the Highway Africa Conference, Professor Jimi Adesina, said aid assistance in development goals always gave false account of efforts made by countries.

"No country can develop on the basis of aid," he said, and urged African countries to develop their own agenda with their own resources for programmes at their own pace.

Highway Africa is the largest annual gathering of African journalists to interact and discuss the uses, access and application of ICT tools for development, good governance and democracy. About 500 journalists are attending this year's conference on the theme: "Celebrations, Reflections and Future Directions." Prof. Adesina, who was speaking on: "Setting the Context: MDGs and Implications for Jo…