Experts urge extra billion dollars to fight bird flu

World donors must extend around an extra billion dollars to fight bird flu as the deadly virus spreads to ill-prepared countries in Africa and the Middle East, experts said Tuesday.
UN avian influenza coordinator David Nabarro and World Bank economist Olga Jonas said the funding requirements would be addressed at the fourth global conference on the virus being held in Mali from December 6 to 8.
They said another 986 million to 1.3 billion dollars is needed over the next two to three years, in addition to 1.9 billion agreed by donors at the last conference held in January in Beijing.
Of the extra funding, 566 million dollars must go to Africa alone, the experts told reporters on a conference call.
"At the time of Beijing, in January 2006, the virus had not yet appeared anywhere in Africa, or in Eastern Europe, or the Middle East," Jonas said.
She said that today about 50 countries have been hit by bird flu, against only a dozen when the Beijing conference was held 11 months ago.
At next month's gathering in Mali's capital Bamako, according to Nabarro, "we'll be looking not just at the needs of Africa but that will be a central focus of the discussion".
"We have also been concerned about the capacity of Middle Eastern and African countries to respond adequately to the stresses posed by avian influenza," he said, highlighting Egypt and Nigeria in particular.
The Bamako meeting, jointly organized by Mali's government, the European Union and the African Union, will include ministers of health and those in charge of the fight against bird flu, veterinary experts and doctors from over 100 countries.
The H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus, which can be transmitted to humans and is potentially fatal, has steadily spread west since it first appeared in Asia in late 2003.
In Africa, eight countries -- Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Djibouti, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Niger and Sudan -- have been affected.

Banking--------Africa’s Top 100 Banks

This year’s Top 100 African Banks rankings reveal that the continent is belatedly but determinedly following the global trend towards consolidation. The watchword is big is beautiful. South African banks, which are by far the largest in Africa both in terms of capital and assets, have been consolidating for years. Nigeria has just gone through a frenzied two-year period of mergers and acquisitions; when the dust had settled, only two dozen banks remained standing. More M&As are on the way as are partnerships with strong overseas financial institutions. With the price of oil remaining high and with that country’s non-oil sector showing growth for the first time in several years, Nigerians are anticipating an economic boom and the banks are bracing themselves to deliver. Our Cover Story therefore includes a detailed examination of the latest developments in Nigeria’s banking sector. As in previous years, we have included a region-by region overview. This special report was written by Moin Siddiqi and Neil Ford. The tables were compiled by Moin Siddiqi and Omar Ben Yedder.
African Business’ ranking for the Top 100 African Banks was based on shareholders’ funds (Tier 1 capital) as defined by the Switzerland-based Basel Bank for International Settlements (BIS). The African markets continue to present both opportunities and challenges for strategic investors and nowhere is this better reflected than in the area of the financial services industry. Economic growth in Africa is projected to exceed 5% this year and next, thus conditions are ripe for well-managed banks to perform strongly. Consolidation (as recently in Nigeria) is needed as a number of markets remain over-banked. The rationale for mergers and acquisitions is that larger banks can exploit economies of scale, reduce costs and provide their clients, both retail and corporate, with new and more efficient services – including internet banking and electronic payments.

DVLA introduces new roadworthiness sticker

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority has introduced a new Roadworthiness Sticker to help address the duplication of the security document. The DVLA at a news conference on Tuesday introduced the new document which according to the authority, had security features that would make it difficult to duplicate. The Director of Driver Training, Testing and Licensing C. W. Musah, said the new sticker has been in circulation since Monday. According to him, vehicle owners seeking to renew their certificates from now on would be served the new stickers at the authority’s offices nationwide. He explained that the introduction of the new sticker had become necessary because of the widespread abuse of the current one.“Since the introduction of roadworthiness in this country the roadworthiness sticker has seen very little changes. As a security document, the security features in it have become very obsolete and many modern printing presses could easily reproduce it. Faking has been on a massive scale and the government is losing valuable revenue. Roadworthiness status of vehicles could no longer be guaranteed.”The DVLA was not expecting any rush by drivers and vehicle owners to acquire the new sticker since the objective was to gradually phase out the currently abused sticker. Vehicles that report to renew expired certificates would be embossed with the new sticker.Mr. Musah said the new sticker comes at no additional cost and advised motorists to deal only with officers of the authority to ensure safety.“Bearing in mind the mission of the authority – to ensure the use of roadworthy vehicles driven by qualified drivers, the authority has taken this step to safeguard the motoring public.”

Our party (NPP) Is A Terrorist Party – NPP V/R Secretary

It appears the dirty politicking and bickering that are associated with presidential races have started rearing their ugly heads in the ruling party perhaps earlier than expected.This clearly became evident when one of the big wigs of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Volta Region, Emmanuel Ashiagbor, claimed in an interview that his Party, formed by great minds and personalities,has suddenly turned to a terrorist party, and has urged President Kufuor to be wary of the development.He also asserted that President John Agyekum Kufuor is surrounded by liars, who do not present the true picture of activities within the party to the him.Mr. Ashiagbor, who is the Keta constituency secretary of the party, even went further to claim that the activities of a these liars and hypocrites are tearing the NPP apart in the Volta Region, which is regarded as the NDC’s ‘World Bank”.Highly charged and enraged Ashiagbor who was speaking in an interview with Radio Gold last Friday mentioned presidential aide, Tommy Amematekpor and the NPP regional chairman of the region, Ken Nuworsu, as the main liars who are feeding the President with wrong information about the region and has even dared the two to challenge him.Mr. Ashiagbor’s effusions were provoked by reports that one of the aspiring presidential candidates and former press secretary to the president, Kwabena Agyapong told some delegates that the President always refused to take his advise when he was press secretary to him at the Castle.The Ghanaian Chronicle newspaper had reported that during a recent meeting involving NPP stalwarts, President Kufuor took a swipe at Kwabena Agyapong for making the alleged remarks.However, in an interview, Mr. Ashiagbor maintained that the former press secretary never made such a derogatory statement about the President and blamed the detractors of Kwabena Agyapong for peddling such lies. He challenged those who reported the false allegation about Kwabena Agyapong to the President to come out with their evidence or hold their peace.According to him, the only motive of such lies is to destroy the campaign of Kwabena Agyapong and nothing else. He however warned that their evil machinations will never see the light of day. Dropping more bombshells, Mr. Ashiagbor warned that the party stands a great chance of losing the 2008 general elections if it does not do ay with the acts of deceit, lies, double standards and misrepresentations of facts to President John Agyekum Kufuor.

Ghana to host first Africa Summit for International Yoga Practitioners

Ghana is to host the first Africa Summit for the International Association of Black Yoga Teachers (IABYT) slated for August 8 to August 12 2007. The summit, which is expected to attract about 300 International Yoga Practitioners from the US, Europe, Asia and Africa, would provide the platform to create the awareness of yoga practice and its relevance to the overall development of mankind. Yoga is a form of practice that aims at improving the spiritual, mental and physical well-being of people by means of certain mental and physical exercises. Speaking to the Ghana News Agency after a Yoga Clinic to educate people about the health benefits of yoga practice in Accra on Tuesday, Mr Issah Musah Adams, Public Relations Officer of the IABYT-Ghana, said besides the summit, delegates with varying professional disciplines would take the opportunity to explore business opportunities in Ghana. “They are coming not only as Yoga Practitioners but also as businessmen and women and strategic investors to meet the Ghanaian business community, interact with them and find ways of forging partnership. “They will also tour most parts of the country especially tourist sites”, he said. Explaining the health benefits of yoga, Mr Adams said its practice had now been universally accepted as an effective complementary therapy for the cure of ailments such as heart related problems, asthma and migraine among many others. He said it helped to manage and/or alleviate stress and its related ailments as well as boost the immune system for a healthy living. “Today in a lot of universities and hospitals in the world especially in the USA, researchers have seen the need to incorporate yoga practice into the health delivery system”, Mr Adams said. He said yoga practice slowed down the aging process in terms of physical appearance and improved the life expectancy of a population which guaranteed healthy labour force for productive activities. Explaining some misconception about yoga, Mr Samuel Sasu, Executive Director of the Yoga Association in Ghana, said the practice is not a religion nor had anything to do with spiritism as some had been made to believe. He said yoga, which comes from the same root as yoke meaning to join together cuts across religion, race, colour, profession, and ethnocentrism. Mr Sasu said because of pervasion of justice, sectarian and religious interest the term yoga had been misconstrued making a lot of people to lose the true meaning and, therefore, the benefits by way of health. He traced the origin of yoga practice to Africa and said even though almost all the texts on yoga that were written in India between fifth century and 15th Century AD, historical research had confirmed that it was practised in Egypt before India.GNA

Lawyers have decided the Association must not play politics

The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) said on Tuesday that its members had decided that the Bar should not play politics and would not make any pronouncement or engage in any act that might appear to compromise its hard-won independence. It would, therefore, be slow to engage in debate on politicised issues, it said in a press release signed in Accra by Mr Kwami Tetteh, National President of the GBA. The press release was in reaction to a statement by Professor John Evans Atta Mills, Former Vice President and candidate for the presidential slot of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), expressing unhappiness at the “undue silence” of the Bar on alleged abuses of incumbency by the Government. The GBA said it had decided that it would remain a professional association and not a political party. It said at a meeting of the General Council of the Bar held on May 31, 2006, the involvement of the Bar in national debate was discussed and a decision was reached that under the current constitutional dispensation, the vibrant watchdog role of the Bar had become less dominant. The Council decided that “the focus should remain on the establishment of the Association as an institution and the improvement of professional standards at the Bar”. The press release said at the annual conference of the Bar held at Ho on October2, 2006, the decision of the Council and modality for engagement of the Bar henceforth in public was reported to members and there was no objection. “The Bar will readily make an input on intricate legal issues on matters relating to the legal profession. In expressing legal opinion on any matter, it will consider carefully the possibility of such matter going to the courts…. As a rule, the Bar will not enter into debate on any issue unless it is adequately informed on the matter.” The GBA said Ghana now enjoyed a democratic dispensation with the level of consciousness of the people remaining high. “The right to free speech now enjoyed by all must be sustained. Lawyers are, therefore, encouraged to participate in public debate if only to enhance the quality of reasoning. The Bar must not kill the participation of the ordinary man by imposing a conclusion to a public debate.”GNA

BUSAC provides 87 million cedis for garages

The Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund has provided more than 87 million cedis for the rehabilitation of a new site for garages at Berekum. Mr Louis Acheampong, an official of the Social Support Foundation, a service provider, through which the money would be expended, announced this at a meeting convened by Pioneer Fitters Association at Berekum. He said the rehabilitation would involve the creation of a congenial working atmosphere at the new garage including the provision of access roads, electricity, water, toilets and bathhouses. Mr Acheampong explained that the assistance was aimed at getting all mechanics at Berekum to be located at the garage in order to streamline their operations. “This will involve the mobilisation and sensitisation of the mechanics through radio discussions to assist in the provision of the basic infrastructure at the new operational area,” he said. The official noted that if the mechanics were groped together at the new garage, it would also facilitate the payment of taxes and the other contributions to supplement the efforts of the District Assembly in the development of the District. Mr Moses Tweneboah, Chairman of the Association, appealed to mechanics still operating in several parts of the town to relocate at the garage so that they could all enjoy any benefit given to the Association. He explained that about four years ago, mechanics in Berekum were ordered to relocate at the new site but most of them refused because of lack of basic amenities. “Some of them have even acquired plots at the new site but have refused to develop them and move there,” he said. He expressed regret that the District Assembly had failed to honour its promise to put the place in good shape for habitation and operation.GNA

Visiting Canada’s Governor-General tours Gratis Foundation

Canada’s Governor-General, Ms Michaelle Jean on Tuesday toured the Gratis Foundation at Tema as part of her official State visit to the country and expressed satisfaction with the operations there.
Mrs Cecilia Kafui Asibey-Bonsu, Quality Assurance and Materials Manager of Gratis, led the Governor-General to tour the Metal Machining; Welding/Fabrication; Woodworking/pattern Making; Foundry; Textile Training and Design Sections. Since 1987, Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), has provided approximately 13 million Canadain dollars about 105 billion cedis to assist the Gratis Foundation to promote the development of appropriate technologies and training in Ghana. She expressed satisfaction with the innovations introduced into the operations and entreated them to come out with quality products to be able to meet standards on the world market which has become highly competitive. Ms Jean was equally enthused on seeing the ladies working on the heavy machines and encouraged them to strive hard to rob shoulders with their men counterparts to be able to set up their own businesses. Seeing products like the boiling tank; steamer; palm oil expellant and palm fruit stripper among other devices, the Governor-General praised the officials of the Foundation for their ingenuity. The Governor-General, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of Canada, explained that her visit was to afford her the opportunity to see at first hand how her country’s financial contributions and investments were being utilized and also to strengthen the existing relations between the two countries. She noted that Ghana, with her vibrancy in civil society; right directions in governance and dynamism had the potential for rapid progress that could be an inspirer to the rest of Africa. With that she impressed on Ghanaians to take their destiny into their own hands and to strive to achieve successes through the new generation of entrepreneurship, which contributed to fast development. The Commander-in-Chief was accompanied by Mrs Margaret Amoakohene, Ghana’s Ambassador to Canada, and Mr Don Bobiash, Canada’s Ambassador to Ghana. Gratis Foundation is a non-governmental foundation that promotes marketable technologies and entrepreneurial skills for the growth of industry and business enterprises in Ghana and West Africa. Its activities among other things manufacturing with a focus on agriculture/agro processing; the provision of environmental/sanitation equipment; technology-based training aimed at equipping trainees with the requisite technical, vocational and entrepreneurial skills.GNA

Kuffour to Attend 1st African South American Summit

President Kuffour will be in Nigeria tomorrow to attend the First Afrcian South American Summit.
The maiden Abuja summit will see south american countries and their African counterparts forge deeper bilateral relations to better the lives of their people.
The president will be accompanied by Ghana's foreign minister Nana Akuffo Addo. They are expected back on Thursday.


Governor General of Canada in Ghana

Governor General of Canada Michaelle Jean takes part in a dance while the President of Ghana John Agyekum Kufur looks on during an arrival ceremony for Jean at Kotoka airport in Accra, Ghana, Monday.

BoG explains the re-denomination of cedi

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) on Monday said the design and the features of the new notes and coins, which would replace the current cash in circulation, would soon be made known to the public.
Briefing the press in Accra, Mr Van Lare Dosoo, First Deputy Governor of the Bank, said there would be practical guidelines and a coherent education programme for the public before the switch to the new denomination.
He said the Ghana Cedi to be introduced in July 2007 would receive legislation from Parliament to validate it use. The Governor, Dr Paul Acquah last Saturday announced the re-denomination of the cedis by setting 10,000 cedis to one new Ghana Cedi (GH Cedi) which would also be equivalent to 100 Ghana Pesewas (Gp).
This means that 500,000 cedis would be equivalent to 50GH Cedis; 200,000 cedis would be equivalent to 20GH cedis; 100,000 cedis would be equivalent to and 10GH cedis; 5,000 cedis would be equivalent to 50Gp; 2,000 cedis would be equivalent to 20Gp and 1,000 cedis would be equivalent to 10Gp.
The series of the new set of notes would be 0ne GH Cedi, Five GH Cedis, 10 GH cedis, 20 GH cedis and 50 GH cedis whilst the coins take 1Gp, 5Gp, 10Gp, 20Gp, 50Gp.
Both the old and new cedi bank notes and coins would be in physical circulation for a period of six months after which the old notes and coins would only be exchanged at the Bank of Ghana and any commercial or rural bank. After the period, the old notes would not be legal tender but could be exchanged at the banks for the new currency.
The external value of both the old and new currencies would be the same as the purchasing power would not change because the cedi would not be devalued or re-valued. Explaining the rationale further to journalists at the press briefing, Dr Ernest Addison, Head of Research, BoG, said experience elsewhere had shown that re-denomination of a currency by dropping zeros in the relative prices of domestic price relation led to significant efficiency gains in the context of strong economic fundamentals and macroeconomic stability.
This, he said, was the situation characterizing Ghana’s economy today hence the major policy decision. He said the growth environment of the economy was strong and positive, with all the underlining conditions such as inflation, interest rates, money supply and exchange rates showing good expectation of policy credibility.
Dr Addison said the benefits the new notes and coins would bring to the economy were incalculable. He said it would reduce the cost and overall risk of carrying large sums of notes, inject efficiency in the payment system, in particular the use of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), and simplify accounting records.
Dr Addison said it would also reintroduce the culture of using coins in Ghana, promote tourism expenditures, make significant gains in cost of bank notes production and facilitate the introduction of the use of vendor machines and car parking meters. Dwelling on the implementation process, Ms Catherine Ashieley of the Issues Depart of the BoG, said 49 countries world wide had successful gone through the process of re-denomination.
She said research analysis had shown that within the first three months of introduction, about 75 per cent to 80 per cent of the old currency was likely to be withdrawn from circulation since most people would like to switch to the new denomination as early as possible.GNA

Regional workshop on Government Securities opens

Dr Chris Itsede, Director-General of the West African Institute for Financial Management (WAIFEM), said on Monday that a good government securities market was essential to facilitate the achievement of monetary objectives.
In a speech read for him by Mr Arthur Ankrah, Director Financial Sector Management Department of WAIFEM, at a regional workshop on pricing and marketing of Government Securities, Dr Itsede said the securities market was an alternative to central bank funding of budget deficit because of its minimal distortion on monetary policy.
Besides, it provided instruments for effective monetary policy management. The one-week course is necessitated by the growing pressure on most countries to bridge financing gaps through reliance on domestic sources and also because domestic mobilisation is crucial to the launch of the West African Monetary Zone. Dr Itsede said the existence of such a market could enable the Government to respond to shocks, he said.
He said when a Government Securities Market was complemented with a sound domestic debt management strategy; it could relax the fiscal burden by reducing debt service costs over the medium to long term period thereby reducing Government exposure to interest rate and other financial risks.
At the microeconomic level, such a market could strengthen overall financial stability, enhance financial intermediation and spur competition among financial services providers. "As Government and Private Sector Securities Markets develop, commercial banks tend to develop related financial infrastructure and products and intermediate credit more competitively."
But for a successful development of the Market, conditions such as a sound macro-economic policy framework, prudent and sustainable fiscal policies, property rights and an effective legal, tax and regulatory infrastructure are required. Also important are efficient and secure settlement mechanisms and a liberalized financial system.
Dr Itsede called for the nurturing of primary dealers while a secondary dealer system was being evolved.GNA

Asantehene's convoy involves in accident

Barely 24 hours after the convoy of Vice-President Aliu Mahama got involved in a motor accident that claimed the lives of three security details, another accident involving the convoy of Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has occurred in Brong Ahafo.
An eyewitness, Mr. Kwame Siaw, a teacher, told the Ghana News Agency on telephone he was on board a metro mass transit bus when the accident occurred near Bawuah Farms at Nsoatre, off the Sunyani-Berekum road.He said a Mercedes Benz saloon car driven by one of the sub-chiefs in the Asantehene's convoy, in an attempt to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of him veered off the road and somersaulted into the bush.
The convoy was travelling to Seikwa in Tain district to attend the 15th anniversary celebration of the enstoollment of Nana Kweku Dwuma Ankoana II, Omanhene of Seikwa Traditional Area and the launch of an Educational Endowment Fund.Meanwhile the injured have been taken to the Berekum Governemnt Hospital and are responding to treatment.
When contacted, Chief Superintendent Christian Yohonu, Commander of Sunyani Municipal Police confirmed the incident.In another development, the four injured persons in the accident at Chiraa, near Sunyani, involving the Vice President's convoy were reported to be responding to treatment at the Regional Hospital in Sunyani when GNA visited the hospital.
They are Mr. Peter Ekpedzor, 46, driver, Mr. Awortwi Bonni Fred, 25, bondman, Mr. Edward Bediako 28 and Mr. Abdul Rahman, 35, both cameramen of Metro TV.
The names of the dead were not disclosed as the hospital's authorities said they were waiting for directives from the Vice President's office before they could do so.Meanwhile, Barima Afari Minta II, Chief of Chiraa, has, on behalf of the chiefs and people of the area expressed condolences and sympathy to President Kufuor and Vice President Aliu Mahama and the families of the victims of the accident.
In a telephone conversation with the Ghana News Agency, the chief said the chiefs and people were really saddened at the incident and expressed the hope that all Ghanaians would console with the bereaved families of the victims who suffered in the course of rendering services to the state.
He reiterated his appeal for a re-designing of the road from Sunyani to Techiman to avoid the recurrence of such accidents and the subsequent loss of lives.The chief noted that the nature of the road had made it accident-prone, culminating in many deaths in this year alone.
Nana Afari cited that there are as many as 35 curves on the road, coupled with many hilly points and this had made it quite difficult for drivers not conversant with the nature of the road to ply on it safely.

Veep in Accident - Three Die

One of the cars in the Vice President, Aliu Mahama’s convoy was yesterday involved in a fatal motor accident at Chira, near Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region, at about 2:30pm.

At least two people, believed to be the vice president’s security guards, died on the spot, while a third died at the hospital.

The convoy was en route to Sunyani after paying a courtesy call on the Omanhene of Techiman Traditional Area, Oseadeyo Akumfi Ameyaw IV, and inspecting the up-grading project of the Asuogyaman Secondary School in Awirewa,Techiman.

One of the seven persons on board the Land Cruiser, with registration number GR978W, died instantly while the other died on the way to the hospital.

Five others including media personnel and the driver sustained various degrees of injury, with one in a very critical condition.

The five, who are receiving treatment at the Sunyani regional hospital, are likely to be flown to the 37 Military Hospital today for further treatment.

The bodies of the deceased have been deposited in the morgue awaiting autopsy.

The site of the tragedy is said to be a flash point, known for such fatal accidents.

It is a sharp curve on a slope and drivers who are not familiar with the road run into frequent accidents.

The driver of the vehicle, which was directly behind that of the Vice President’s, is said to have veered off the road in an attempt to prevent his car from hitting the vice’s and consequently somersaulted. The vehicle which had one of its front tires busted was damaged beyond repair.

An eyewitness explained that about seven cars behind the accident vehicle, including that of the Vice President’s would have suffered the same fate, but for the skillfulness of the driver.

At the time of filing this report, the driver was also receiving treatment.

In a related development one of the Vice President’s dispatch riders was also thrown off his motor-bike, while traveling to Techiman earlier in the morning.

The front tyre of the bike busted around Yawhimah, 10 minutes drive from Sunyani.

He was apparently saved because of his helmet.


Work on National Electronic Fibre Backbone takes off soon

Professor Mike Ocquaye, Minister of Communication on Saturday said work on the National Electronic Fibre Backbone to make Ghana an Information Technology (IT) motorway would begin soon.

Parliament had already approved a 30 million dollar loan with an additional 50 million dollar grant from China for the facility to make internet connectivity and general IT networking easier to accelerate development prospects in the country.Prof. Ocquaye announced this when addressing a durbar to climax the maiden homecoming of Old Students Association of Dzodze Penyi Secondary School (DZOPOSA) at Dzodze.He said another 40 million dollar scheme called E-Governance system in which IT would be applied in policy implementation between Government, Ministries, Departments, Metropolitan; Municipal and District Assemblies as well as the business community was also in the offing.Prof. Ocquaye noted that there were prospects in the country's youth in IT as the new economic lifeline in the world and asked all and sundry to take advantage of the system to build their capacity in knowledge, business and education.He commended DZOPOSA for coming together to propel the growth of their alma mater in the right spirit of nation building. "I urge you the students to learn hard despite the situation in the school because victory is sweet after a great battle. Performance is the essence of education or else we are wasting our time," Professor Ocquaye said.Professor Ocquaye suggested that a system be devised for evenly distribution of educational facilities in schools to avoid the situation in some deprived schools.He presented three sets of computers being the first batch of five sets from Internet Ghana for a proposed computer laboratory in the school and pledged to negotiate with the management of Ghana Telecom (GT) to extend a line to the area from Denu to hook the computer centre onto the net.Dr Emmanuel Srofenyo, a Medical Practitioner and President of DZOPOSA said the association spent about 400 million cedis mobilized from members and 400 bags of cement donated by the management of Diamond Cement company for the expansion and refurbishment work on the old school library which was inaugurated as part of the homecoming. Mr Ebenezer Attieku, Headmaster of Dzodze Penyi Secondary School changed from Dzodze Training College in 1972, had continued to grapple with inadequate and poor facilities and commended DZOPOSA for its programmes to rehabilitate some of the infrastructure. He expressed appreciation to Government for the construction of a multi-million cedi assembly and dinning hall project at the school. 2

Twists and turns in MP's "fake gold" case

The Accra Regional Police Command has denied that the National Democratic Congress MP for Sene, Felix Twumasi-Appiah who was arrested for allegedly attempting to sell fake gold to a businessman was detained on "orders from above."Mr Douglas Akrofi-Asiedu, Accra Regional Police Commander has told the Ghana News Agency that, he was surprised that the MP had the audacity to "peddle such lies." "I never know him, till after telling his story and mentioning his name, he added that he was an MP".Mr Akrofi-Asiedu said, "I told him that for him to invite Mr Charles Dejoe the businessman to be defrauded, he could be held responsible for his actions."He said his outfit took action before informing his superiors so the claim that the MP was detained on orders from above was not true but an attempt to put a spin on a purely criminal matter. Mr. Felix Twumasi-Appiah, and three others were arrested for allegedly attempting to defraud a businessman by selling to him fake gold dust to the tune of 800,000 dollars.The other suspects were Wallace Mensah, Kwantwi Barimah and Tony Delor.DeputySuperintendent of Police Kwesi Ofori of the Police Public Relations Directorate told the Ghana News Agency that Mr Charles Dejoe, the complainant, said he was outside the country when the MP called him that he had 50 kilogrammes of gold to sell at 16,000 dollars per kilogramme.Mr. Dejoe came to Ghana to buy the metal but suggested that the gold should be sent to the Geological Survey Department for testing. Mr Ofori said the suspects suggested that a sample should be tested and after the test, Mr Dejoe requested that the whole quantity, packed in a metal box and sealed, should be tested as well, but Mr. Twumasi-Appiah objected.Mr Ofori said the complainant became suspicious and informed the Police who stormed the Survey Department premises and arrested the suspects.Speaking to the GNA at the Accra Regional Police Headquarters on Saturday, Mr Twumasi-Appiah said earlier in the month, a friend called him to say that he had some people who had 50 kilogrammes of gold to sell and whether he (Twumasi-Appiah) could get a buyer for the precious metal.Mr Twumasi-Appiah, who is also an investment consultant, said he then got in touch with one Mr Charles Dejoe, a friend and a gold dealer, about the offer.Mr Dejoe, he said, then told him that he was out of the country but that, in view of the quantity of gold involved, he would personally come down to Ghana for the transaction.Mr Twumasi-Appiah said on Thursday, November 23, Mr Dejoe contacted him and he told him that the consignment was in.Mr. Dejoe then asked that they should meet at the Geological Survey Department (GSD) to test the quality, quantity and carat level of the gold.He said he got to the GSD on Friday after 1200 hours and met the said sellers of the gold numbering about six.He said, in view of where Dejoe's office was located at East Legon, and the fact that he Twumasi-Appiah did not have enough time to spend at the GSD he called Dejoe to ask that he named someone at the GSD who would witness the test.Dejoe gave him two names of the staff of GSD, but they were both not at work.He then proceeded for testing of the sample of gold brought by the sellers as a representative of the buyer.Mr Twumasi-Appiah said when Mr Dejoe finally arrived at the GSD premises he asked that the whole consignment be tested instead of just the sample at the expense of the sellers.Mr. Dejoe then requested that the 50 kilogramme box which the sellers had brought to the GSD be opened, whilst he Twumasi-Appiah was in the laboratory.He said Mr. Dejoe then called him in the laboratory and said that the sellers were not genuine people because they had refused his request for the box to be opened.But to ensure that the sellers paid for the cost of testing the samples, and because both he and Dejoe had unspecified amounts of cash in their vehicles, he Twumasi-Appiah called the police to give them adequate protection, in case the sellers turned out to be fraudsters.He said Mr. Dejoe also called the police 20 minutes after he had placed his call.When the policemen he had called arrived, they were able to arrest and handcuff two of the sellers after four of them had bolted.He said they were in the process of conveying the two sellers to the police station when the other policemen Mr Dejoe had called arrived and helped them to send them to the Accra Central Police Station.Mr Twumasi-Appiah said at the station, he was waiting for the statements of the two suspects to be taken when he was informed that the Regional Commander, ACP Akrofi Asiedu wanted to see him, only to be told by the Commander that there was order from above to detain him.He said he insisted to know by whose orders he was being detained but the police did not divulge that information to him.He was detained from 2100 hours to 2300 hours and later called from the back of the counter to go home and to report at the same police station on Saturday but when the Regional Commander arrived at post he asked that he should report back on Monday, November 27.He expressed amazement on how he had become the accused when he had requested the people to arrest the gold sellers. GNA

Central Bank to re-denominate Ghanaian cedi

The Bank of Ghana says beginning from the middle of next year, it will re-denominate the nation’s currency, the cedi. When the policy is implemented, the cedi will be set at 10,000 cedis to one new Ghana cedi, meaning an item that costs 10,000 cedis will be priced at one cedi. The Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana Dr Mahamadu Bawumia who confirmed the new upcoming policy, assured that it will not affect the value of the currency in anyway. The Governor of the Central Bank Dr Paul Acquah revealed the re-denomination at the annual dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Accra. The Governor explained that after years of economic stability, it was time to re-denominate the cedi to prevent the situation where people had to carry large sums of physical cash for transactions. Explaining details of the exercise to Joy News, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank Dr Mahamadu Bawumia said the value of the cedi will not change but a smaller amount of money will be required for transactions. According to the Bank of Ghana, new notes and coins will be issued when the re-denomination exercise comes into effect by July next year and the highest cedi denomination will be 50 cedis which will be equivalent to present day 500,000 cedis.

Dr Bawumia assured the public that there was no cause for panic, as enough time would be allowed for people to change over when the policy was implemented.

The decision to re-denominate the cedi is to reduce the cost and risk associated with having to carry large sums of money in transacting business, the difficulties in calculating or preparing accounts with huge figures and the strain on the use of ATMS.

The success of the nation depends on education-Kufuor

President John Agyekum Kufuor has stated that, the success and development of the nation depend greatly on the education of its people. He has therefore called on all Ghanaians, especially parents to endeavour to invest in the education of their children. President Kufuor, who was addressing a durbar of chiefs and people of Offinso Traditional Area to climax their week-long Mmoaninko Festival at Offinso on Saturday said the acquisition of knowledge formed the basis of offering employment to people. He said but for education, do you think Kofi Annan would have been elected as General Secretary of the United Nations, he queried. The celebration was under the theme, “Quality Education for Better Health, Environment and Rapid Progress”. He said there was the need for people to ensure peace and understanding and eschew lawlessness and anarchy. President Kufuor appealed to the chiefs to release land to people who want to venture into farming so that they contribute meaningfully to the development of the country. He said the government would continue to support the development of the area, adding that the Dwamena Akenten Secondary school would be made a model school, while other development projects like roads, both highway and feeder roads would continue to receive the attention from the government. He thanked Offinsohene and the people for voting for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to win the recent by-election in the area that brought Dr.Owusu Achaw Duah as the new Member of Parliament (MP) for the area after the death of Mr Kwabena Sarfo. President Kufuor donated 50 million cedis towards the celebration of the Festival which was meant to raise funds to support the development of the area Nana Wiafe Akenten III, Paramount chief of Offinso Traditional Area said the festival was a treasure and a gift of victory for the people of Offinso and it recalls the good deeds of the heroism of nana Wiafe Akenten in the second Dormaa and Ashanti war. He said it was also to portray the unity of purpose of the people in the area and also to afford them the opportunity to take stock of the achievements of the Traditional Authorities and the Offinso District Assembly He indicated that the celebration of the festival has been used to award scholarships to 150 students who are now pursuing their Masters Degree programmes in various disciplines in the nation’s Universities. He said proceeds from the current celebration would be used to expand the scholarship scheme to cover boys entering Senior Secondary schools and tertiary institutions as against girls only which was hitherto the case and persons undergoing vocational training programmes. He said the week-long celebration has been used to educate the people on the need to ending unnecessary invocation of curses which had brought untold hardships and deaths to some people and their families and to reduce funeral expenses in the area. Nana Fosu Gyeabour Akoto II, Paramount Chief of Bechem, who represented Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene underscored the importance of education and good health and called on the people to take advantage of the Government’s Capitation grant and send their children to school.GNA

Tourism must build mutually beneficial relationships- Tourism Advisor

Mr Corjon Van der Haat, Senior Tourism Advisor of the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), has stated the need for all activities around tourism related parks to promote mutually beneficial relationships between the parks and stakeholders in those areas. Mr Haat made the point at a two-day joint workshop for identifiable groups from Ghana and Togo to draw a tourism development plan for the Kyabobo National Park in Ghana and its counterpart Fazao-Malfakassa in Togo. Those who attended included chiefs, tour and transport operators, security officials, Ghana Tourist Board, hotel and restaurant operators, wildlife officers and community members. Mr. Haat said the development of park related tourism must include the protection and enhancement of natural resources around those parks. He warned that ethnic, chieftaincy and land disputes hurt tourism. Mr Haat said the Kyabobo National Park was yet to attract the attention of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Step programme because it was yet to come into the limelight. He said the UNWTO, which is a multi-destination marketing programme covers Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana Benin and Togo. Mr Joseph Denteh, District Chief Executive for Nkwanta said, in addition to the Kyabobo National Park and Fazao-Malfakassa, the area has other tourism attractions such as mountains, waterfalls, climate and rivers, which needed to be developed. He drew the workshop's attention to the need for hotels of international standard, safari lodges and camps and recreational infrastructure and restaurants and car rentals along tourist routes in the area. Mr Denteh said plans were far advanced to construct the Brewniase-Nkwanta-Damanko trunk road to ease traveling in the area.GNA

Ghanaians urged to contribute towards the development of the chieftaincy institution

The Minister responsible for Chieftaincy and Culture, Mr Kwaku Boafo, has appealed to Ghanaians to contribute towards ensuring the development of an effective chieftaincy institution that would help serve as a centre-point for stability and a fulcrum for progress and prosperity. He said the relevance of the chieftaincy institution must engage the attention of all well-meaning Ghanaians and must help reduce disputes in the society so that such conflicts do not hold back the development of the people. Mr Boafo made these observations when addressing the chiefs and people of Awukugua- Akuapem in the Eastern Region at a durbar of chiefs and people of the area organized to climaxed the celebration of their annual Ohum festival on Saturday. The event was used to seal the resolution of an 18-year chieftaincy dispute in the town, a development which was hailed by Mr Boafo as progressive. He said although there had been a decline in the number of chieftaincy disputes in the country, he nonetheless re-echoed Government's plea for well-meaning individuals to help in restoring peace to traditional areas still mired in conflicts. He said the Government welcomes moves toward the resolution of conflicts among royal families to promote peace and to serve as the pivot for transformation in various communities. Mr. Boafo said the stability of the nation should not be the task of only the political class, but the traditional rulers as well, who he said, must ensure that they create avenues for the timely resolution of breaches of the peace that might arise in their areas. Mr Boafo appealed to the people not to supplant their values for foreign ideologies and referred, in particular, to a growing tendency of some parents not encouraging their wards to acquire literary skills in the local language in preference for the English and other foreign languages. A former Minister of Information, Mr Dan Botwe, who chaired the function, said celebration of festivals should focus more on uplifting the conditions of the people and less on entertainment and the display of fashion. He said traditional authorities should also make conscious effort towards imbuing in the youth values that stress on strong believes in themselves, truthfulness and honesty. Mr. Botwe lauded the Awukugua Reconciliation Committee that helped resolved the conflict that had made peace to return to the community. The Chief of Awukugua, Nana Asare Brempong II, pledged his commitment towards sustaining the peace that has been crafted and gave the assurance that, while he would not do anything to reverse what has been chalked, there was also the need to expose and put to shame individuals spreading false information about the town. Nana Brempong outlined some projects, including the granting of land to the Presbyterian University College Church to use as part of the Akuapem Campus of the Presbyterian University.GNA

Give priority to Science and Math teachers-Anamuah-Mensah

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Education (UEW) Professor Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, has observed that if Ghana is to develop its science and engineering capacity, the training of science and mathematics teachers should be given a priority attention. Laboratory space should be expanded while facilities for practical activities should be provided at all level of education, he said. Professor Anamuah-Mensah said this at the 11th Congregation of the University of Education, Winneba where 2,281 Bachelor of Education graduates passed out through its regular programmes. The Vice-Chancellor said the 110 Science Resource Centres in the country should be rehabilitated and re-equipped to provide training for the students. He said following the important role played by Science, Mathematics and Technology, the UEW has been increasing output in this area yearly, adding that this year about 596 constituting 25.6 per cent graduates from these disciplines passed out of which 107 were women. Professor Anamuah-Mensah said the University has started a number of Masters of Arts and Masters in Philosophers programmes for the training of teachers in various subjects as well as the training of college administrators to handle the 38 Teacher Training Colleges. He said the College of Language Education has limited working space and lecture halls and has been waiting for the past three years to move to Ajumako and appealed to Ministry of Education to quicken the movement. Professor Anamuah-Mensah urged the graduands to go into the “corners of the country” and carry out a silent but effective revolution to uproot and demolish the strongholds of ignorance and poverty. An address read for the President Mr John Agyekum Kufour by the Minister of Ports, Habours and Railways, Professor Christopher Ameyaw Akumfi, urged stakeholders to show keen interest and partner with the university authorities in the provision of infrastructure, facilities and scholarship to help the universities produce high level manpower needed by the nation.GNA

Lufthansa Profits Rise

Despite the high oil prices, Lufthansa, the German International Airlines, says its operating profits in the first nine months of the year has gone up by 46.7 per cent to 691 million Euros. Mr Silvio Uhlfelder, General Manager Lufthansa, told journalists in Accra that while all the group's business segments had a hand in the company's success, the passenger business made a substantial contribution towards the improved results. "Based on current trends in the present business environment, the Executive Board has raised its forecast and is now expecting a full year operating profit of around 750 million Euros," he said. Mr Uhlfelder was speaking at reception for the media to enable them to see and taste the food that is provided to passengers on board the airline in the three classes by First Catering Limited, its catering services provider. First Catering Limited is a free zone company established some seven years ago and operates in the airline catering industry. Mr Uhlfelder said the growth strategy had reflected in recent orders for 35 new aircrafts. He said the company's cost savings programme was on track and would improve results by 1.2 billion euros by the end of the year. "These savings will be reinvested in profitable growth in new products and also in perspectives for the staff." Lufthansa hopes to employ 2,500 new staff in 2006. Briefing the journalist on the preparation of the dishes for the various classes, Mr John Ansah, Assistant Quality Assurance Manager, said rigorous processes were followed to prevent microbiogical growth. He said meals were presented cold to prevent microbiological growth. Mr Ansah said about 70 per cent of supplies for the meals were imported, explaining that most local suppliers were unable to meet requirements because of the high standards required. Mrs Maud Lindsay-Gamrat, Head of Finance and Administration said although a young company, First Catering had employed the best professionals in the industry and currently has a staff level of 170, made up of both expatriates and Ghanaians. The company serves seven major airlines, including Lufthansa, Emirates, KLM, South African Airlines and soon to be added Delta, which begins operation on December 12 this year.GNA

I am not happy with Ghana Bar Association - Mills

Former Vice President, Professor John Evans Atta Mills on Friday said he was not happy with the Ghana Bar Association's (GBA) undue silence on the abuses of incumbency by the ruling NPP government. He said the GBA came out in 2000 to blame and accuse the then ruling NDC of abuse of incumbency but had now become silent over the incessant abuses of the same status by the NPP. Prof. Mills, one of the Presidential Candidates of the NDC who raised this concern in Tamale, during an interaction with the media said even though incumbency was not a trump card to winning elections, its practice should be discouraged because it does not create equal opportunities. Prof. Mills was in the Northern Region to solicit votes from delegates for the impending national delegates' congress of the NDC to choose a presidential candidate to lead the party in the 2008 general elections. He mentioned that President Kufuor went to campaign in the recent Offinso by-elections with a convoy of 70 official vehicles but some analysts defended him by saying that some of the vehicles were privately owed. "I had wished that the GBA used the same yard-stick it used to measure the NDC when it was in power to assess the NPP to ensure fairness in this democratic dispensation", he said. Prof. Mills gave the assurance that he would be the last person to create factions in the NDC or betray its course if delegates failed to give him their mandate. He said what was happening in NDC was an example of internal democracy and wished other contestants in the presidential race well in their endeavours. He indicated that at the end of the day, one candidate would be selected to lead the party and that the losers should still consider themselves as victors and rally behind the NDC to win power in 2008. He said the party would not be coerced to choose a candidate because one has money, pointing out that money was not the main determinant for the selection of a candidate for the party. Prof. Mills urged other Presidential Aspirants to be decent in their language and to avoid indecent behaviour at the congress. Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, a leading member of the NDC said Prof. Mills was a solid electoral asset and urged the delegates to give him their mandate to ensure total victory in 2008.GNA


Veep calls on Universities to undergo critical re-orientation

The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama at the weekend tasked the country's tertiary institutions to undergo a critical re-orientation to shift their focus from their core mandate and concentrate more on human capacity development. He called on the Universities to play a leading role in the development of the human resources of Ghana to facilitate an effective adjustment of the citizenry in the social, industrial and global market of the 21st century. Alhaji Mahama made the call during the maiden congregation of the Catholic University College of Ghana, at Fiapre in the Brong Ahafo Region, where 44 graduates dressed in academic gowns, received degrees in Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science amidst cheers from friends and relatives. He commended the University authorities for incorporating Information Communication and Technology into the curriculum, which combines practical education with rigorous academic study and research. "I highly commend the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference for the courage, foresight, tenacity of purpose and commitment it has shown in the establishment of the University," he said. Alhaji Mahama said the active involvement of the Churches in the establishment of Universities was a happy and welcome development as it marked a continuation in the history of the role of the Churches in the educational development of the country. Shifting his attention to the graduates, he asked them to be shining examples and good ambassadors of the school through their conduct and performance in the wider society.
Peter Cardinal Appiah Turkson, Archbishop of Cape Coast and Chancellor of the University, said the academic institution, which started in March 2003, registered the pioneer students to study Economics and Business Administration, Information and Communication Sciences and Technology and Religious Studies and Education. "They have spent four years of serious and assiduous study, research, writing and numeration in partial and total fulfillment of the requirements pertaining to Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees." Most Reverend Joseph Osei-Bonsu, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University said products of the school were trained to understand the social and cultural problems of Ghana, lead a life that expresses Christian ethical and moral values and with a commitment to serve God and country and meet the challenges of an increasingly complex national and global society. Professor Ebow Mensah, Acting President of the University College, commended the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) for providing 1.5 billion cedis for the construction of a library facility. "Trustees of the GETFund have just approved an amount of 400 million cedis for the purchase of computers and printers for the University," he said. Prof. Mensah suggested the need for the managers of the fund to spend between 40 and 50 per cent of the money spent on the support and maintenance of the public Universities on private Universities as way of acknowledging the contribution of parents of students in the private tertiary schools. Prof. Ben Ahunu, from the University of Ghana, Legon, observed in a goodwill message that the current global economy was dominated by knowledge based industries in which Universities have a major role to play in producing human resource and in undertaking the necessary research for development.GNA

Government is committed to Polytechnic education - Amoah

Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Sports has observed that Government was committed to Polytechnic education in the country. "In line with Government's policy of re-positioning Technical and Vocational Educational and Training (TVET) in Ghana, it would continue to equip and strengthen polytechnics to enable them offer technical and practical oriented programmes to meet the demands of industry and national economy," he said. Mr Amoah made the observation when launching the 29th Annual National Delegates Congress of Ghana National Union of Polytechnic Students (GNUPS) in Ho. It was under the theme, "The Achievements of Polytechnic Education - Need for Government's Greater Commitment". Mr Amoah said with regard to the commitment, polytechnics were being provided with enough funding and encouraged to offer degree programmes in science and technology. He said competency-based training was also being emphasized and attachments to industries regularized and strengthen for students to meet the demands of the job market. Mr Amoah said infrastructure facilities such as lecture halls, accommodation for lecturers, halls of residence, teaching and learning materials would continue to be provided for polytechnics to offer tertiary education in their own right with emphasis on practical skills needed to run a productive economy. He said provision of such infrastructure had demonstrated Government's response to the rapidly changing labour economy and the invaluable role of polytechnics in producing the needed human resource base for the country. Mr Amoah said it was therefore, necessary for polytechnics to recognize their unique position in the country's economy and function as such devoid of "ritual strike actions". "It is important that you demand what is yours, but it must be done legitimately and properly not to disrupt academic work," he added. Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, Minister of Manpower, Youth and Employment, in a speech read for him, said Government was aware of the current graduate unemployment situation in the country. He said though the phenomenon had given a new twist to the problem of youth unemployment facing the country, pragmatic and far reaching programmes had been initiated to improve on the situation. Alhaji Boniface said On-the-Job Training Programme (OJP) and facilitating of meetings between employers, managers and educational institutions to forge partnerships to discuss issues relating relevant skills required for the job market were some of the practical efforts being made by Government. Mr Victor Amponsah, Officer-In-Charge of Training at Ghana Employers Association (GEA), expressed appreciation for Government's interventions in polytechnic education but called for greater commitment to give meaning to Government's agenda on human resource development, private sector growth and industrialization. "Polytechnics are perhaps what we need today. Therefore every effort must be made by Government to re-focus objectives of Polytechnics to provide graduates with employable skills that could feed our growing industries," he said. Mr Martin Kwame Sedem, National President of GNUPS said it was important that Polytechnics, as tertiary institutions were resourced to move away from the "shadows" of universities to have the confidence to concentrate on their objectives. He said this would enable Polytechnics take their role in tertiary education and contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic development of the country.GNA

Ministry of Education to develop comprehensive policy on distance learning

President John Agyekum Kufuor on Saturday said Ministry of Education, Science and Sports would soon set up a committee to develop a comprehensive policy on distance learning for the country. He said Government's determination to expand tertiary education and make it accessible to all Ghanaians was manifested in the President's Special Initiative on Open University and Distance Learning. "I have taken a keen interest in this programme because the nation’s wealth depends on skilled and developed human resources. It is in line with this objective that Government has negotiated a joint cooperation with the largest Open University in the world.” President Kufuor announced this in an address read on his behalf by Professor Christopher Ameyaw Akumfi, Minister for Ports, Harbours and Railways at the 11th Congregation of University of Education (UEW) at Winneba. A total of 2,559 students were awarded with certificates, Diplomas and Masters Degrees. President Kufuor said Government had through GETFUND constructed; renovated and expanded infrastructure and some facilities at UEW to meet the increasing number of students admitted to the university. He said Government would not relent in its efforts to ensure challenges of the university were addressed to facilitate teaching, learning and research. President Kufuor noted that with the increasing number of student intake and ageing lecturers, it had become necessary to train young lecturers through Government Scholarships to continue developing the skills of future leaders for the country. "We would continue to build the capacity of this university by supporting young and talented staff and students to pursue higher degree required to augment the staff strength". President Kufuor however, urged authorities of UEW to manage the Distance Learning programme for teachers in such a manner as not to interfere with teaching during the periods when they ought to be teaching in the classroom. He said Government was making efforts to provide an attractive package for university lecturers and staff and urged them to ensure peace prevailed on campus. Professor Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, Vice Chancellor of UEW said 2,281 students passed the Bachelor of Education through its regular programmes and 234 received Diplomas and Certificates. He said 29 students including eight women had first class in the various disciplines, while 162 women and 258 men obtained Second Class Upper. Professor Anamuah-Mensah said UEW recognized the intrinsic role that the nation's teachers played in the development process and was therefore, committed to ensure that the best practices were obtained in their recruitment and training. Mr Jude Kofi Bucknor, Chairman of the University Council, said the quality of teachers determined a country's future success because teachers represented society's investment in the youth. He urged the graduates to translate the training and exposure they had received into meaningful and substantial contribution to educate the youth.GNA

MP denies defrauding gold dealer

Mr Twuamsi-Appiah MP for Asene on Saturday denied that he had attempted defrauding a businessman at 800,000 dollars in a gold deal. Speaking to the GNA at the Accra Regional Police Headquarters, Mr Twumasi-Appiah said earlier in the month, a friend called him to say that he had some people who had 50 kilograms of gold to sell and whether he- Twumasi-Appiah- could get a buyer for the precious metal. Mr Twumasi-Appiah, who is also an investment consultant, said he then got in touch with one Mr Charles Dejoe, a friend and a gold dealer, about the offer. Mr Dejoe, he said, then told him that he was out of the country but that, in view of the quantity of gold involved, he would personally come down to Ghana for the transaction. Mr Twumasi-Appiah said on Thursday, November 23, Mr Dejoe contacted him and he told him that the consignment was in. Dejoe then asked that they should meet at the Geological Survey Department (GSD) to test the quality, quantity and carat level of the gold. He said he got to the GSD on Friday after 1200 hours and met the said sellers of the gold numbering about six there. He said in view of where Dejoe's office was located at East Legon, and the fact that he Twumasi-Appiah did not have enough time to spend at the GSD he called Dejoe to ask that he name someone at the GSD who would witness the test. Dejoe gave him two names of the staff of GDS, but there were both not at work. He then proceeded for testing of the sample of gold brought by the sellers as a representative of the buyer. Mr Twumasi-Appiah said when Mr Dejoe finally arrived at the GSD premises he asked that the whole consignment be tested instead of just the sample at the expense of the sellers. Dejoe then requested that the 50 kilogram box which the sellers had brought to the GSD be opened, whilst he Twumasi_Appiah was in the laboratory. He said Dejoe then called him in the laboratory and said that the sellers were not genuine people because they had refused his request for the box to be opened. But to ensure that the sellers paid for the cost of testing the samples, and because both he and Dejoe had unspecified amounts of cash in their vehicles, he Twumasi-Appiah called the police to give them adequate protection, in case the sellers turned out to be fraudsters. He said Dejoe also called the police 20 minutes after he had placed his call. When the policemen he had called arrived, they were able to arrest and handcuff two of the sellers after four of them had bolted. He said they were in the process of conveying the two sellers to the police station when the other policemen Dejoe had called arrived and helped them to send them to the Accra Central Police Station. Mr Twumasi-Appiah said at the station, he was waiting for the statements of the two suspects to be taken when he was informed that the Regional Commander, ACP Asiedu Akrofi wanted to see him, only to be told by the Commander that there was order from above to detain him. He said he insisted to know by whose orders he was being detained but the police did not divulge that information to him. He was detained from 2100 hours to 2300 hours and later called from the back of the counter to go home and to report at the same police station today (Saturday) at 1400 hours but when the Regional Commander arrived at post he asked that he should report back on Monday, November 27. He expressed amazement on how he had become the accused when he had requested the people to arrest gold sellers. The GNA on Friday reported that Mr Felix Twumasi-Appiah, the National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament for Sene, and three others for allegedly attempting to defraud a businessman by selling to him fake gold dust to the tune of 800,000 dollars. The suspects are Wallace Mensah, Kwantwi Barimah and Tony Delor Deputy Superintendent of Police Kwesi Ofori of the Police Public Relations Directorate told the Ghana News Agency that Mr Charles Dejoe, the complainant, said he was outside the country when the MP called him that he had 50 kilogrammes of gold to sell at 16,000 dollars per kilogramme. Mr Dejoe came to Ghana to buy the metal but suggested that the gold should be sent to the Geological Survey Department for testing. Mr Ofori said the suspects suggested that a sample should be tested and after the test Mr Dejoe requested that the whole quantity, packed in a metal box and sealed, should be tested as well but Twumasi-Appiah objected. Mr Ofori said the complainant became suspicious and informed the Police who stormed the Survey Department premises and arrested the suspects.GNA

Let us address the needs of NPP foot soldiers - Crabbe

Mr Samuel Crabbe, Greater Accra Regional Chairman of New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Saturday appealed to the National Executive Committee of the Party to put in place measures to address the needs of members who had become disillusioned for being neglected by the Party. "The greatest threat to this Party is not the National Democratic Congress (NDC), but apathy due to the fact that we have not done a good job at ensuring that our foot solders and in many cases the needs of the executive were met". Mr Crabbe made the appeal when addressing the opening session of the Greater Accra Annual Delegates Conference of the NPP in Accra. It was attended by more than 270 delegates from the 27 constituencies in the region who took stock of all Party activities for the year and how to strategize for the future. He stressed the need for the Party to identify the needs of Party members and sought permanent solutions by helping them to become self-reliant. Mr Crabbe called for re-engineering of the Party to be responsive to the needs of members and also become a centre of excellence for the development of people with good leadership qualities and knowledge. "There is no institution anywhere that could better groom future politicians than a political party," he added. Mr Crabbe said Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) facilities at the Greater Accra Regional Secretariat would be replicated in all the 27 constituencies in the region and to link other areas via Wide Area Network (WAN). He said the Greater Accra Regional Secretariat would organise leadership workshops and computer training skills for members to improve on their skills and knowledge in ICT. Mr Crabbe announced that a business advisory board set up by the Secretariat was working with consultants to help members present their ideas in the right format to enable them access funds from micro credit schemes. Sheikh Ibrahim Cudjoe Quaye, Greater Accra Regional Minister asked members of the Party to be steadfast and not allow opponents of Government deceive them. "Government has delivered so well on its promises to the people, what is left is to make you fishers of men," he said. Sheikh Quaye called for unity among the rank and file of the Party to ensure that NPP increased its Parliamentary seats in the region to 20 during the 2008 general election. Mr Hackman Owusu Agyeman, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing said the Greater Accra branch of the NPP was a beacon for the other regions and urged the regional executives to close their ranks and forge ahead. He called on party members to take advantage of the numerous Government initiatives and financial arrangements to improve on their business activities.GNA

Cancer cases on the rise - GAEC

Professor Edward H.K. Akaho, Director General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) on Friday said within the next 20 years there could be 200 million cancer cases worldwide with 75 per cent coming from developing countries. He said realising the upsurge of cancer in the country the Commission had requested the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), for assistance to upgrade and expand the Centre for Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine at the Korle-bu and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospitals and to establish a new one at Tamale to provide care for the patients. Speaking at the 40th anniversary celebration of the GAEC in Accra, he said these two centres had witnessed an increase in the number of new patients of which experts claimed that 70 per cent of the reported cases had reached advanced state. He said nuclear medicine in synergy with radiotherapy services had proved important since it provided tumour marker services for various cancers f the prostrate, liver and the colon. He said the IAEA had assisted Ghana to prepare a proposal to put in place a Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) and that the programme being an initiative of Professor Mohammed Elbaradei, IAEA's Director General would enable early detection through screening including curative and palliative treatments. Professor Akaho said GAEC had realised the need for human resource development to manage and utilise its nuclear facilities of the radiotherapy and nuclear medicine centres, adding that there was presently a wide gap between the older generation of experienced nuclear and younger inexperienced staff. He said the GAEC was established by an Act of Parliament Act 204, now superseded by Act 588 of 2000 with vested responsibility for all matters related to the peaceful uses of atomic energy. He said though scientific research started far back in 1952 at the Physics Department of the then University of Gold Coast, (now University of Ghana) work in radioisotope application gained ground in 1959 with Ghana signing the Non Proliferation Treaty in 1970 after she had joined the IAEA in 1970. He said the main function of the Commission included peaceful application of nuclear techniques and biotechnology for the sustainable development of Ghana ensuing that nuclear safety and security were not compromised. Professor Akaho said the Research Reactor commissioned in 1995 and other nuclear analytical facilities had been used for analysis in geological, medical, biological and industrial materials for various sectors of the economy. He said the agriculture sector had benefited a lot from the commission in the area of gamma mutation breeding and use of tissue culture technique for cocoa, plantain, banana, pineapples, yams, sugar cane coconut and cassava.GNA

UK-based Tourism operators expressed interest to establish in Ghana

A delegation of “Madam Tussauds Group”, a United Kingdom (UK) based tourist centre operators, on Friday paid a courtesy call on President John Agyekum Kufuor at the Castle, Osu to express interest in operating business in Ghana. It plans working together with the Ghana Hall of Fame on three identified potential sites at Kpone, Kawukudi and the Motorway. Mr Glenn Earlam, the Managing Director, who led the delegation said they were keen to have a presence in the country, making Ghana, its first point of call in Africa. The Group specialises in the making of statues of prominent personalities. In the UK, about 2,500 tourists daily visit its centre. It also has other centres in China and the United States. President Kufuor said the Government would co-operate with the Group but noted that Parliamentary approval would be necessary. Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Minister of State of Culture and Chieftaincy, accompanied the delegation.GNA

NDC seeks accountability on presidential mansion

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has urged Parliament, especially its Minority Caucus to demand full disclosure of all the necessary financial information about the Flagstaff Presidential mansion. It laid special emphasis on what happened to the 30 million dollars loan approved for the project; how come the project was only 14 per cent complete and additional funds were being requested; has the 30 million dollars been exhausted already or it has not been released?" Again: "If the 30 million dollars has not been released where did the Government take the money from to start the project up to the 14 per cent state of completion?" The NDC in a statement signed by its General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu-Nketia said it was shocked and dismayed at the response of the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani to Parliament on Thursday November 16, when he was asked to disclose the contract sum (estimated cost) of the Presidential Mansion, which was currently under construction. In response to the question filed by the NDC MP for Tamale South, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minister said he would know the estimated cost only after the construction of the project was completed. The statement said, "This answer, in our view, can mean one of two things, that no proper procedures were followed in the award of the contract and therefore no documentation exists on the tendering process, contract sum; or that this information exists but the Minister has something to hide, which makes the disclosure to Parliament injurious to his personal interest or the interest of his government. "Whichever way one looks at this, the Minister's actions and inactions on that fateful day have been prejudicial to the national interest." It said, "What makes the Minister's attitude even more difficult to understand is the fact that currently before the same Parliament is a request for approval of a loan facility of five million US dollars from STANBIC Bank Ghana Limited to be used as additional funds for the project. The statement said, "In the absence of satisfactory answers to these and the many other questions being asked by Ghanaians, no further disbursements of the national resources should be approved for the project."GNA

Three Areeba Sub-Contractors Killed By Falling Mast

Three workers of Reime Ghana Limited, a sub-contractor of Areeba Network, were killed and three others injured here on Wednesday when an iron mast they were erecting fell with them hooked to it.They were erecting a 130-metre mast at Asufufuo in Sunyani, but after mounting up to the 24-metre mark, one of the four ropes being pulled by the other workers to support it, tore and they lost their balance.The dead were identified as Thomas Devor, from Mankranso, Bismark Kofi and the third, only known as Captain, both from Sunyani. Those injured are Godson Ackuah, Michael Kumi and Christopher Koblah who are said to be responding to treatment.Sunyani Municipal police commander, C.T. Yohonu, who confirmed the story to the Times wondered why ropes, instead of a crane were used to erect such a mast.The site engineer, Nicholas Amematey said the project was the third of its kind after two at Kukuom and Sankore.According to him, Reime Ghana Limited has worked with Areeba since 1997 and has never experienced such a tragedy.


NDC MP arrested for alleged fake gold deal

The Greater Accra Regional Police have arrested the National Democratic Congress MP for Sene in the Brong Ahafo Region, Twumasi Appiah, for his alleged involvement in a fake gold deal.Assistant Commissioner of Police, Akrofi Asiedu who confirmed the arrest to Joy News said the MP was picked up with others in the process of selling the fake gold to a businessman.Akrofi Asiedu, who is the Regional Police Commander, said the complainant, a Ghanaian businessman based in Amsterdam, alerted the police about his suspicion of the authenticity of 50 kilogrammes of gold the MP and his alleged accomplices were attempting to sell to him.The businessman is alleged to have told the police that he received a call from the MP from Amsterdam inviting him to come over to purchase the gold.He also told the police he had earlier been duped by the same group, alleged to include the MP.On the first occasion when he was sold the fake precious metals, he only realised he had been duped after he attempted to resell the commodity.He then called the police to lodge a complaint.According to ACP Akrofi Asiedu, the businessman said after that ill-fated deal, he said he received a recent call from the MP inviting him over for another transaction so he decided to follow up.He told the police that upon meeting the MP with his accomplices, they allegedly told him they had 50 kilogrammes of gold for sale and showed him only a kilo.He showed interest in the commodity and asked the group to produce the whole lot, which they did but when he insisted they should open them up from some boxes they were contained to be tested at the Survey Department in Accra, they were reluctant to do so, raising his suspicion.He then called the police who managed to arrest the MP and a few of his alleged accomplices. The police say they are investigating the alleged scam.
Joy news

Spio Says "He is the Man"

Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, one of the aspiring candidates for the flagbearership for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Thursday, appealed to party delegates to vote him as the Presidential Candidate to enable the NDC win the 2008 election.He made the appeal when interacting with some constituency executives, ward chairmen, supporters of the party and the media in Bolgatanga.Dr. Spio-Garbrah said he had all what it takes to make the party come back to power come 2008 if given the nod.He explained that, based on his domestic and international assignments and his persuasiveness and innovativeness, he stood the best chance of raising major funds as a flagbearer to strengthen the party structures at the ward, branch constituency, regional and the national levels.He intimated that he was the only aspiring flagbearer candidate who had combined experience of working at the Party Headquarters and member of the Functional Executive (2000-2), Member, Re-organization Committee (2001-2), as a Constituency Organizer (2003), as a Minister and Ambassador (1994-2000), as a chairman of the party's publicity committee (1996), Director of Communication of Presidential Campaign (2000) among others.Dr. Spio-Garbrah stressed that being a Communication and Marketing Professional, he knows exactly what was needed to revamp the NDC's image and make it more popular in order for it to win the 2008.He said he would work hard to unify all factions and interest groups within the party under the NDC umbrella, especially, those who have decided to sit on the fence because they felt aggrieved by the negative attitudes of some party executives.Asked on how he was relating with his other contestants, he said they were in good relationship and would give the necessary support to anybody who wins the slot.He explained that if he happens to be given the nod and subsequently becomes the President of Ghana his administration would help transform the Ghanaian economy to improve the livelihood of Ghanaians.He said having stayed within the Diaspora for a number of years he would lobby Ghanaians expertise there to contribute to the development of the nation and noted that this could be done through the down-loading of rich knowledge in the area of development.The Media, he said, was very crucial in building the nation's democracy and his administration would give the media all the necessary backing, be it the private or the state media to enable them to dispense their duties effectively as the fourth realm of the state.

Ministry expands new communication strategy

The Deputy Minister of Information and National orientation (MINO), Mrs. Oboshie Sai Cofie has underlined the ministry's commitment to ensure that the positive achievements of government are explained to the people thoroughly. This, she said, was in line with the Ministry's clear-cut and unambiguous mandate "to ensure that the success story of this government's achievements gets told, gets told right and gets told to every single Ghanaian, in such a way that each will truly understand". Mrs. Sai Cofie was briefing High Commissioners and Ambassadors of Ghana's Missions on Government's new Communication Strategy and MINO's role in information management as part of a 4-day conference organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Accra. The conference, attended by 45 Ambassadors and High Commissioners, was to examine critically Ghana's domestic and foreign policies to enable the diplomats to rationalize the performance of their missions to ensure maximum contributions to the national development effort. It was also targeted at familiarizing the Diplomats with developments on the socio-economic scene at home in Ghana. Mrs Sai Cofie said Ghana, under President John Agyekum Kufuor, was firmly set out in a well thought out path of growth and stability, and all information must be constantly and consistently shared with the people of Ghana. She explained that although the mandate given her ministry appeared easy, it was a complex task, since it required proper management and dissemination of information for the understanding of the people. On the media landscape, Mrs Sai Cofie noted that the freedom enjoyed by the media had not only resulted in a growth of positive media practice, but had also led to a fall of professional standards among sections of media practitioners. This had led to the use of unacceptable language both in print, and on the airwaves, she said, adding that this had become a source of some concern for many well-meaning Ghanaians. "To help address this situation, this government on coming to power introduced the spokespersons concept to address various issues in the country," she said. Apart from the Minister of Information and National Orientation and his deputy, the new government communications strategy organizational chart has four government spokespersons, dealing with vital areas such as social services, governance, finance and economy as well as infrastructure. "These persons form part of government's information and strategic team to manage information in a manner that will get down horizontally and vertically to all sections of the public."