Ghana's First First Lady,Fathia Nkrumah is dead

Accra, May 31, GNA - Madam Fathia Nkrumah, the First First Lady of Ghana is dead. She died this evening at the Badrawy Hospital in Cairo.
Funeral service would be held for her at the Coptic Cathedral in Cairo on Friday, June 1, 2007.

According to usually reliable source the Government of Ghana would ask for the body to be buried in Ghana.

President John Agyekum Kufuor visited Madam Fathia during his recent visit to Egypt.
President Kufuor, who was at the bedside of Madam Fathia at the Hospital, said his visit was to confirm his commitment and that of his Government to support and accord her the dignity of a Former First Lady.

Kenya 'miracle baby' wife jailed

The wife of Kenyan pastor Gilbert Deya accused of child trafficking has been sentenced to two years in jail by a Nairobi court for stealing a child.
Mary Deya claimed that one of her two accomplices had given birth to the child, but the court proved the woman was not the biological mother.

"The actions and claims of miraculous birth deserve no mercy," Magistrate Teresia Ngugi said.
Kenya has requested the extradition of UK-based evangelist Mr Deya.
No amount of the sentence can undo the damage done to the life of the child
Magistrate Teresia Ngugi

He runs a number of churches in UK cities and says he aids infertile couples by prayer.
Kenyan police allege the Gilbert Deya Ministries is an international baby-snatching ring, allegations Mr Deya denies.

Some children were taken into care in Kenya when DNA tests showed they were not related to women claiming to be their mothers.
"No amount of the sentence can undo the damage done to the life of the child who may never know who his biological parents are," said Ms Ngugi is quoted by Kenya's Daily Nation as saying on Wednesday.

Mrs Deya's co-accused - Miriam Nyeko and Rose Kiserem - were also jailed for two years.
The women claimed that Ms Nyeko, who is a British citizen, had given birth to the baby boy.
She was sentenced to another one year in prison - to run concurrently - for obtaining a false birth certificate.

Director----I have the cure for HIV/AIDs

Mr Nicholas Antwi, the Director of the Chronic Diseases and HIV/AIDS Treatment Centre at Kubease near Ejisu, has said it was unacceptable that scientists, especially in the developed countries, had still not discovered a cure for the pandemic.

He said it was ironic that HIV/AIDS continued to claim lives despite the increasing technological advancement the world over and appealed to African leaders to join efforts to find a lasting solution to the menace since Africans were the worst victims of the disease. Mr Antwi, who claims to have discovered cure for the disease, was speaking to newsmen at Kubease in the Ejisu-Juaben District on Monday.
He claimed he had so far treated between 70 and 80 patients in the last five years and that about 70 patients were on his treatment roll.Asked why it had taken him so long to make the discovery public, Mr Antwi said efforts to make the drugs available at some major health facilities over the years had been thwarted by authorities who insisted on the disclosure of his formula for producing the drug.

Mr Antwi said as much as he was willing to present the drug for the treatment of the disease, under no circumstance would he disclose the formula for production.In order to erase all doubts on the efficacy and potency of his drug, Mr Antwi challenged the government to provide 10 HIV positive patients for him to treat within two and half months.He said though he had a gadget for diagnosing the disease, he always insisted patients brought report from credible health institutions confirming they were positive before treating them.
He welcomed a partnership with non-governmental organisations who would provide trainees and outlets to enable him open branches across the country to reach more people."Under such partnership, I will only equip the trainees on how to administer the drug to the patients but not its preparation", he said.
Mr Antwi maintained that he had no intention to throw dust into public's eye but to save lives, saying, he had his reputation to protect."It is obvious people will doubt my capabilities but the ball is in the court of stakeholders leading the crusade against the disease", he said.


World's 40th most peaceful Country --Ghana

Ghana is the 40th most peaceful country in the world, while Norway is the most peaceful and Iraq the least, according to a study launched today. (read)
New Zealand ranks second and Denmark third on the list, which notably puts Japan near the top and Russia and Israel close to the bottom. While most European countries are more peaceful, half of the league table, the US is nearer the bottom in 96th place, while Russia is fifth from last on 118th.

The Global Peace Index, published a week before a Group of Eight (G8) summit in Germany, rates 121 countries from Algeria to Zimbabwe on 24 factors/indicators including levels of violence, organised crime and military expenditure.

Ghana is ranked the second most peaceful in Africa after Tunisia
A close look at the details of Ghana's peace indicators and drivers (read) shows that the Potential for terriorist acts, Level of violent crime and Number of jailed population per 100,000 people is very low. However, Corruption perceptions, Ease of access to weapons of minor destruction and Likelihood of violent demonstrations are relatively high.

Some statistics used are however mind-boggling. For example, Unemployment in Ghana is listed as 8%. Spending on education is as low as 4% and GDP per capita marked as $409, which is lower than the government's figure. The index is backed by international figures including the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former US president Jimmy Carter and US economist Joseph Stiglitz, all winners of the Nobel peace prize. It is also supported by Queen Noor of Jordan.

Overall the study found that small, stable countries which are part of regional blocs such as the 27-nation European Union are most likely to be more peaceful. Income and education are crucial in promoting peace, it said.

Ghana gets Tough on Child traffickers

Ghana's government is to prosecute parents who sell their children to traffickers under a law introduced two years ago. Ghana's child trafficking law was passed in 2005 but has not been strictly enforced.
Ghana's Minister for Women and Children's Affairs said the grace period is now over. It makes it illegal to sell a child or to encourage parents to sell their child. The crime will carry a maximum sentence of ten years.


Zimbabwe to make anti-retroviral drugs more accesible

Zimbabwe plans to put 40,000 more people on anti-retroviral drugs to treat HIV by the end of the year. Health Minister David Parirenyatwa said the number of people receiving ARV's has already increased from 60,000 in December to 80,000 this month.

HIV rates in Zimbabwe are amongst the highest in the world with more than 3,000 people dying every week. However, the country has seen a marked decline in the spread of HIV/AIDs over the past six years.

Nigeria's New President Sworn In

Umaru Yar'Adua is to be sworn in as Nigeria's new president despite widespread claims of electoral fraud. He will take over from current president Olusegun Obasanjo.

Two opposition candidates are challenging the outcome through the courts and trade unions called a two-day strike in protest. Local and international observers said the voting procedures were not credible.

Kufuor visits Fathia Nkrumah

President Kufuor on Monday visited Madam Fathia Nkrumah, Ghana's premier First Lady at the Nile Badrawi Hospital in Cairo, according to The Accra Daily Mail.Madam Nkrumah, 75, President Nkrumah's widow, has been hospitalized at the facility for the past four months for ill-health.At the hospital to receive President Kufuor were Gamel Nkrumah, President Nkrumah's eldest son, senior members of Fathia's family and a senior priest of the Coptic Church.
Gamel Nkrumah, in a brief interview, expressed his family's gratitude to President Kufuor and the people of Ghana and described the President as the gentleman he is reputed to be.President Kufuor wished the former First Lady speedy recovery.The President is in the final leg of his visit that saw him meet with the European Union (EU), the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations; the African Union (AU) and the Arab League.He was to attend the inauguration of President Yar’Adua of Nigeria on Tuesday.


Ghana's Energy Woes Worsens As Aboadze Hits A Fault

he Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) on Monday announced that the steam turbine at the Aboadze Plant has developed a technical problem, since last Sunday, May 27 With the Akosombo Hydroelectric Plant still running on two turbines, because of the low water level in the Volta Lake, there will be no additional power from hydro generation to cater for the shortfall.

A joint statement by the VRA and ECG issued in Accra said this situation will mean that there may be further power curtailment in various parts of the country. “We however, wish to assure our valued customers that this is a temporary challenge and we expect to return the turbine into service by the end of the week. “We regret the inconvenience to consumers of electricity and appeal to the general public to bear with us,” the statement added.GNA

President Kufuor in Egypt

President Kufuor arrived in the Egyptian capital, Cairo on Sunday for a two day state visit at the invitation of his Egyptian counterpart, Hosani Mubarak.

The President during his tour is scheduled to visit Fathia Nkrumah; wife of Ghana’s First President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, at the Nile Badrawy Hospital in Cairo, where Mrs Nkrumah who reportedly suffered a stroke last year has since been hospitalized.
The President, who is being accompanied by Foreign Minister, Nana Akuffo Addo and other top government officials was met on arrival by the Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation, Mrs Fayza Abul Naga and the Ghana Ambassador to Egypt, Akiliya Olufemi Akiwimi.

The President’s visit would enable the two leaders to review the bilateral relations between them and map out strategies for the way forward.
On arrival at the Cairo International Airport, President Kufuor was taken to the Presidency where he was welcomed by President Mubarak before inspecting a guard of honour mounted by the Egyptian Army.

The two leaders later went into a closed door meeting. According to a programme issued by the Ghana Embassy, President Kufuor will visit the Cairo Citadel and the museum before meeting African Ambassadors to Egypt and members of the Egyptian business community.

Today, President Kufuor will visit the monument of an unknown solider at the city of Nasr, where he will lay a wreath. He will lay another wreath on the tomb of the former Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat.

President Kufuor is also expected to meet the Egyptian Prime Minister, Dr Ahmed Nazif and Amr Moura, Secretary General of the League of Arab States.
He will also visit the Pyramid Site before meeting with the Ghanaian community there.


Kufuor casts doubt on ROPAA 2008

Ghanaians resident abroad may not be able to exercise their franchise under the Representation of People's Amendment Act (ROPAL) in the 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections.
President Kufuor who noted difficulties in its instant implementation in an address to the Ghanaian community in Brussels, Belgium, said that the government had genuine intentions in introducing the law and would not want to do anything that would create the impression that it intends to rig the elections.The government would therefore ensure that adequate measures are put in place to check that.
Addressing cross section of the Ghanaian community in Belgium on Wednesday, President Kufuor said the exercise of the franchise of nationals abroad can be possible if the national identity card and the introduction of the biometric passports came into being.“Once those things are done, there should not be any problem with fake identity of any genuine Ghanaian who wants to vote,” he said.The President commended the Ghanaian residents abroad for their remittances home which he said now exceed four billion dollars.
He briefed them on the various measures being adopted at home to revamp the economy and mentioned the adoption of the Highly Indebted Poor Country initiative which was completed in a record time of two years; the new educational reform policy and the development of the country's infrastructural base.With the steady growth of the economy coupled with excellent democratic credentials, he said, Ghana had been placed big on the world map in spite of its small size.
He said that world recognition had come about as a result of the goodwill of the people who were law abiding and ready to deliver their best in any relatively conducive environment.That profile, he said, had put Ghana back on track and "one good thing keeps on following another" in spite of the tough but necessary decisions that were taken.He deplored the tendency by Some people to deliberately put negative stories on the internet and said such stories should be treated as propaganda.
"Back at home, real development is going on, and I can assure you that within 10 years, Ghana will begin to join the middle income nations," he assured his audience.By the Constitution, he said he would be leaving office after the 2008 elections and prayed that Ghanaians would work to give themselves a good government if not a better one than his.President Kufuor also spoke about the energy crisis and efforts being made to solve it. He said the situation had arisen as result of over dependence on the Akosombo Dam over the years.
Mr Kwaku Acheampong, President of the National Federation of Ghanaian Residents in Belgium, suggested the establishment of a Diasporan Development Fund to enable Ghanaians resident abroad to contribute to the various national development programmes.He said Ghanaians in Belgium would be ready to contribute to such a fund if transparency and accountability in its administration and management were clearly defined.
He expressed the hope that the fund would reduce the country's over dependence on foreign aid and its accompanying interference in the design and implementation of national development policies and priorities.
Source:Ghanaian Times

United States Embassy gets new offices in Accra

25th May: Africa Day

25th May is Africa Day, commemorating the date when the Organization of African Unity was set up in 1963. In July 2002, this organization was replaced by the African Union.
44 years ago today, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, leaders of the few independent countries on our continent, alongside those fighting for the independence of their countries, converged to establish a common front of African corporation, emancipation and prosperity.
This convergence gave birth to the Organization for African Unity (OAU), now the African Union (AU).
The OAU was committed to the total liberation of all African nations, a united African society based on the principles of egalitarianism, social justice and Pan- Africanism.
This process was led by our founding fathers Kwame Nkurumah, Sekou Toure, Augustino Neto, Julius Mwalimu Nyerere, and Sir Tseretse Khama only but to mention a few nation builders, visionaries and founders of the struggle against imperialism and capitalism.
44 years on, what is the significance of Africa Day?

Rawlings confers with Togolese President

Former President Rawlings, who is also a member of the African Forum, has paid a one-day working visit to the Republic of Togo today, Thursday 24th May, 2007 to hold discussions with President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo on the situation in Togo with respect to the reforms that have been introduced by the Togolese President sometime ago.
The discussions which were free and fair covered the concerns of Former Presidents in the African Forum for the progress of Togo in the direction of good governance.President Rawlings, accompanied by Mrs Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings and Former Foreign Minister Victor Gbeho, has since returned home.

Source:Victor Emmanuel Smith (Special Assistant and Director of Public Affairs)


President leaves Accra for four-nation tour

President John Agyekum Kufuor on Tuesday left Accra for a four-nation tour of Belgium, Ethiopia, Egypt and Nigeria. His first stop would be Brussels, Belgium where he would hold discussions with the EU Commission's President, Mr Baroso Jose Manuel, on the forthcoming African Union (AU)- European Union (EU) summit in November and the G8 Summit in June this year. President Kufuor would join his colleagues to celebrate the African Union Day in Addis Ababa Ethiopia and then go to Egypt for a three-day state visit.
He would then go to Nigeria to participate in the inauguration of President-elect Yar Ardua on 29th May 2007. President is expected back on 30th May 2007.GNA

Lecturer testifies in Tagor, Abass trial

A Senior Lecturer of the Department of Lingistics, University of Ghana, Dr Kofi Agyekum, on Tuesday told an Accra Fast Track High Court that the recorded conversation on the controversial ACP Kofi Boakye's tape was a natural one. "My Lord the tape recording had not been tempered with," Dr.Agyekum, the eleventh prosecution witness, told the court trying Kwabena Amaming aka Tagor and Alhaji Issa Abass, alleged self-confessed drug barons, held for drug-related offence.
Dr Agyekum, also a specialist in the Akan language, also said that his work was to find the authenticity of the recording, voice attribution, profile of the voices and transcription and translation from Twi to English. Led in evidence Mr Agyemang Duodu, Principal State Attorney, Dr Agyekum said he was approached by the Attorney General to work with J. P. French and Associates in York, London. He said he visited London on two occasions and worked with J. P. French and Associates and later communicated on e-mail with the firm.
Dr Agyekum said as an expert, he worked independently adding, "I worked without showing partially." Highlighting the report he produced, Dr Agyekum said Abass, whom he explained as non-Akan speaking person, was intermittently mixing Twi with Fanti, adding that the other four participants used the correct version of the Akan language. Answering questions under cross-examination by Mr Ellis Owusu-Forjour, counsel for Tagor, Dr Agyekum said before his appointment to work on the recorded conversation, he could not remember commenting on the case. Dr Agyekum, who is also a social commentator, admitted that he did a literal translation on the recorded conversation.
He said he only read about the arrest of the accused persons in the dailies. Answering questions by Mr Osafo Buabeng, counsel for Abbas, Dr Agyekum said he could not remember saying damaging things about the accused persons. He admitted that words like "goods" and "things" could be used interchangeably depending on the context. Dr Agyekum denied that his report was to suit the Attorney General adding, "As an independent expert I was very objective and impartial." Meanwhile, the court has warned two relations of Abass for harassing and verbally assaulting a policeman whom the court directed to take away newspaper, which they were reading in court.
The court asked persons to comport themselves and give respect to the Judiciary if they want to continue attending court proceedings. "Next time, I will deal ruthlessly if anyone who flouts the orders of the court," the court warned. The case of the prosecution is that the accused are self-confessed drug barons who since 2004 had been actively engaged in activities of promoting and establishing various enterprises relating to narcotic drugs.
Tagor has additionally been charged with carrying out prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs, buying and supplying of narcotic drugs, while Abass is being held for carrying out prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs and supplying narcotic drugs. They have pleaded not guilty before the court, presided over by Mr Justice Jones Dotse. They have been remanded in custody. Hearing continues on May 30.GNA


Bird Flu detected in Sunyani?

A suspected case of bird flu at a poultry farm at New Dormaa, a suburb of Sunyani has led to the destruction of a number of birds and poultry products by personnel of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA).
When newsmen got wind of the incident and went to the scene, some laboratory and surveillance personnel of the MOFA from Accra and Kumasi, as well as some officials of the regional veterinary office in Sunyani were seen bringing out "everything" from the farm, including the birds for destruction, while they also disinfected the place.Mr George Dosa, Acting Regional Director of the Veterinary Service Department, who led the exercise, however, told newsmen it was too early to announce to the public as samples of the birds had been taken to Accra for testing and were yet to receive the result.
He said there was no cause for alarm since the personnel monitored the situation at the farm for about a week before the officials were invited to assist in taking the precautionary measures.Mr Dosa decline to disclose the number of birds destroyed as he directed the newsmen to MOFA for further information.Mr Asante Krobea, Regional Director of MOFA, who was on his way to Accra told the Ghana News Agency on phone that the Ministry was waiting for the test result from Accra latest by Monday evening when he could let the public know about the outcome.
He said it was dangerous to put fear in the public without knowing the result of the samples, as it could greatly affect the business of poultry farmers as well as the price of maize. The owner of the farm, an ex-soldier, could not be talked to as he was busily assisting the officials to bring the situation under control.

AMA postpones arrest of recalcitrant taxi drivers

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) on Monday postponed the arrest of taxi drivers who have failed to wear the prescribed uniforms and those without the embossment on their vehicles. According to the AMA, this is because of submissions made by the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council to be given some time to educate its members on the need to comply with the directives.
The AMA assured the public that it would deal with recalcitrant taxi drivers who fail to wear the prescribed sea blue shirt and blue-black pair of trousers and for non-embossment of their cabs when the grace period elapses. A statement issued by the Public Relations Department of the AMA on Monday warned butchers to desist from singeing animal carcasses with vehicle tyres, since the act is harmful to human health. The AMA said its attention had also been drawn to brisk trading activities being carried out within residential premises and backyard of some of residents in the Central Business District.
The statement said majority of these traders who had been relocated to the Odawna Pedestrian Shopping Mall had neglected their malls to trade elsewhere. "Property owners are hereby advised to immediately put an end to all trading activities by petty traders within their premises. Offenders would be prosecuted when arrested," AMA said.GNA

Ghana to host first international management congress

Human resource management practitioners from Africa, the Middle East and Asia will meet in Accra from July 8-13, 2007 for a conference dubbed: "The International Human Resource Congress." The congress, the first of its kind in Ghana, is being organized by the Management School, London, in collaboration with Business Education Examination Council International, Ghana.
A statement signed by Alberta Akosa, an official of Global Media Alliance, said the congress promises to be the largest human resource event of its kind in Africa and would attract directors of personnel of government ministries, leading human resource practitioners, personnel managers and human resource managers from Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Mr. Abubakar Saddique Boniface, Minister of Manpower, Youth and Employment would deliver the keynote address of the Congress to be organised on the theme: "Organizational Performance, Talent Management and Human Resource Strategy".
Mr. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Finance Minister, would be the special guest. The statement said the congress would offer exceptional value and give participants an opportunity to reap professional and business benefits from a rewarding and enjoyable congress "It is an opportunity to update and sharpen the human resource thinking in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The Congress will be an inspirational learning experience with world class speakers," it saidGNA


Justice Amua Sekyi is Dead

Mr Justice Kwaku Etrue Amua-Sekyi, Chairman of the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) has been reported dead. He was 74.A family source disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Friday.
The late Justice died at home around 0920 hours on Thursday at Takoradi. The source described Justice Amua-Sekyi who was also a Supreme Court judge as a noble man."He has done what everybody would wish in life and served Ghana with integrity", the source said A wife and three children survive him.Funeral arrangements would be announced later.


Ghana Addo Kufuor---not ready to deploy troops in Somalia

Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor, Minister of Defence, has stated that the country is not ready to deploy troops to Somalia. Speaking during his recent visit to the Third Battalion of Infantry of the Ghana Army in Sunyani, the Minister, however, commended the battalion's role in internal security, as well as maintaining law and order in the sub-region, particularly along the border with la Cote d'Ivoire.
Dr Addo Kufuor urged the troops to be extra vigilant at the border due to the current situation in that neighbouring country. He said Ghanaians appreciated the support the Garrison had given to the Police in several operations, including "Operation Calm Life", to the Forestry Commission. The Defence Minister appealed to the armed forces to remain loyal to the government and the people in maintaining a political order that would continue to protect the constitution and maintain peace and security. Dr Addo Kufuor noted that the most difficult problem that had confronted service personnel over the years was the lack of adequate accommodation and announced that the Ministry was expending 20 million dollars on an urgent housing scheme for the troops.
Under the scheme, he said, the construction of 18 four-storey blocks, each expected to house 16 families, had already begun in Accra, Takoradi, Tema, Ho and Tamale. The Minister said the Ministry would use 10.5 billion cedis on the renovation and construction of living quarters and other facilities for the Three Garrison in Sunyani. He added that the projects were expected to be completed before the end of the year.
Dr Addo Kufuor noted that the retention of over-aged service personnel due to the lack of funds for their release had been the major cause of the accommodation problem, but announced that the Ministry was seeking 67 billion cedis for the purpose.GNA

Ghanaians Mark Africa Union Day Off Work

The Ministry of the Interior on Thursday reminded the public that, Friday, May 25 is Africa Union Day and a statutory public holiday.
A statement from the Ministry signed by the Minister, Mr Albert Kan Dappah said the holiday should be observed throughout the country.


Freedom of Information law could be expensive if not well-managed

The Freedom of Information Law could prove to be very expensive, if not well-managed, President John Agyekum Kufuor, cautioned in Accra on Wednesday. He said the Government would therefore ensure that adequate ground work had been done before its passage. The Attorney-General, he said, was working out the time-table, the Government needed, to be ready with the law.
President Kufuor was interacting with delegates to the 41st Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights at the Castle, Osu. Made up of Human Rights Commissioners of African Union (AU) and representatives of Non-Governmental and Civil Society Organisations, they are in Accra to deliberate on human rights issues confronting the Continent. President Kufuor spoke of the Government’s determination to put in place the necessary institutions and laws to protect the rights of the people, citing the landmark Domestic Violence Law and the repeal of the offensive Criminal Libel Law.
Without respect for human rights, governance cannot be said to be good and this could hamper investment inflows, he added. President Kufuor, who is the Chairman of the AU, said liberated Africa must therefore uphold people’s rights, which “is the basis of democracy.” He counselled that with the opening up of the world, it was important for the Commission to help deepen the awareness of African societies to the dangers that could arise out of the pursuit of sectional rights.
He noted that, the violation of the rights of minority groups, had been the major cause of most of the friction and conflicts on the Continent and said such pitfalls must be avoided. Mrs Salamatta Sawadogo, Chairperson of the Commission and leader of the delegation, praised President Kufuor for his keen interest in the work of the Commission and said; “We know we can depend on your support to implement the mandate given to us.” She said the decision to hold the Session in Accra was taken to share with Ghana the joy of the 50 years of political independence.GNA


Kufuor's meeting with Kadhafi dispel rumour

Ghana and Libya have pledged greater economic co-operation for their mutual benefit with Libya expressing interest in investing in palm and rubber plantations in Ghana. Consequently, the Ghana/Libya Joint Commission for Co-operation would be meeting in June this year in Libya.This was the outcome of bilateral talks between President John Agyekum Kufuor and the Libyan Leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, in Tripoli on Monday.
President Kufuor, accompanied by some senior government officials, was in Tripoli for a day's official visit at the invitation of the Libyan Leader.Mr Andrew Awuni, the Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson, told newsmen accompanying the President that the two Heads of State used their meeting, which lasted for over one hour, to discuss co-operation in energy, satellite connectivity and distant education. He said the position of President Kufuor was that economic co-operation was key to the realization of the vision of Union Government of Africa and had been pushing aggressively in this direction.
Mr Awuni said the Libyan Leader said he was more determined to see massive inflow of Libyan investments in Ghana. Already, they are into the hospitality industry in Ghana with investment in the City Hotel in Kumasi.Mr Awuni said the upcoming African Union Summit in Ghana in July and its main agenda, the direction of the Union Government, also came up for discussion.He said President Kufuor updated Colonel Gaddafi on the preparations Ghana was making towards ensuring the success of the Summit.The two Leaders also reviewed the political situation in Zimbabwe and Nigeria.President Kufuor would return to Accra on Tuesday


Cure For HIV/AIDS Found In Ghana/Africa

HIV/AIDS victims can heave a huge sigh of relief since there is now a potent herbal medicine which is reported to be capable of totally curing HIV/AIDS.

"Koankro", the herbal mixture prepared by Mr Kamara Agyapong, Director of Peace Herbal Clinic at Ejisu in Ashanti, has been confirmed by the Clinical Analysis Laboratory of the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), as capable and potent in curing HIV/AIDS.

This follows the successful trial tests conducted on two HIV/AIDS positive patients who were put on the herbal preparations by Mr Agyapong two years ago. The tests have confirmed that the two patients are now HIV negative.

The test results which were made available to the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi indicated that, the two patients have been tested negative of both HIV 1 and 2 viruses.

The results, which were released on May 4, this year, show that, the two male patients, aged 39 and 34 now have no HIV virus in their blood cells.

Their negative status has also been confirmed by further test results from the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) laboratory and Medilab, a private medical laboratory in Kumasi.

A team of researchers from the Biochemistry Department of KNUST had been conducting a series of investigations into the efficacy and potency of the "Koankro" herbal mixture for some years now. They had already confirmed the efficacy of the preparation in the management of HIV/AIDS. The team initially confirmed that after three weeks treatment with "Koankro", there was significant improvement in the haemoglobin content, while the blood counts and weight of victims improved. That made Mr Agyapong to undertake further research to come out with additional 16 preparations, which are administered to the patients at different stages of treatment.

Speaking to the GNA on the test results, Mr Agyapong indicated that there were currently about 20 patients who were at various stages of treatment, adding that, the breakthrough in the test results had provided further impetus to the herbal preparations for the treatment of the disease.

Comment By Blog Owner: Isaac TETTEH
Is this one of the many achievements of our nation’s policy on containing the spread of HIV/AIDS? Does the testing of the herbal formula on these two individuals constitute an adequate sampling of the affected population to make a determination on the effectiveness of the drug?Couldn’t the absence of the virus in the blood of the affected persons or carriers be the result of a compromised result, or a misdiagnosis? Testing two people among many others who are HIV/AIDS positive is not proof of finding a cure. Authors of such articles must re-evaluate the harm they inflict on the Ghanaian society by peddling unnecessary excitement and complacency. We have heard these claims one too many and I am not in the least excited about this. I am an optimist, but I will not be jumping out of my skin on this one. We need a bigger sample size, cross-examination of blood samples, detailed analysis/constitutes of the herbal medicine and much more. Lets also look into commercial production capacities and patent rights. Fact is this sounds exciting, but I am going to take this carefully. I hope this turns out to be true, otherwise sorry mr journalist, you just placed an ad that cannot be verified or proven in print and the FDB must do its job.


Daasebre Gyamena freed!

The jury at the Isleworth Crown Court in London trying ace Ghanaian musician, Daasebre Gyamena for drug offences has returned a not guilty verdict.The 12-member Jury comprising five women and seven men had to receive directions from presiding Judge Mark McDowell to return a majority decision just about 2pm after they repeatedly failed to reach a verdict.An elated in-law of Daasebre, Chris Renty, who was in court to listen to the verdict, could hardly catch his breath as he related the joy of the Ghanaian community that had hoped for the best for Daasebre.
He told JoyFM; “We were all overjoyed. In fact my wife collapsed onto the floor after the verdict was announced.”Chris said Daasebre had attended the hearing and sat through proceedings with a bowed head and without emotion.He only lifted his head and managed a smile after the verdict was announced.Chris Renty told JOFM Daasebre was expected to return to police custody to complete his discharge processes and could be expected back home by Monday or Tuesday.
The ace musician was arrested last July on suspicion he was importing 100 kilogrammes of cocaine into the United Kingdom.A first trial failed to reach a verdict on two occasions even though prosecutors had insisted he was guilty.A re-trial therefore became obligatory.


New Headquaters launched for Ghana's Research Department

President John Agyekum Kufuor on Tuesday applauded the security services for the alertness and professionalism that has helped create a stable environment for the country's giant socio-economic and political strides. The progress Ghana is making could not have been achieved without the critical role of the security, he said, at the inauguration of a state-of-the-art new Headquarters building for the Research Department of the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Accra. Work on the five-storey office complex started in June 2003 and was funded by the Government.
The Department, which was established in 1958 by the late President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, is a component of the national security system and deals primarily with intelligence for the protection, promotion and enhancement of the country's security and sovereignty. It has however, over the years, been operating in wooden structures. President Kufuor stated that the primary objective for the building was not to beautify the skies of the nation's capital, Accra, but rather, provide modern, functional and congenial environment to boost the institutional image of the Department. He said what Ghanaians were expecting in return was a high-level performance to justify the support.
"Loyalty and commitment, the hallmarks of your Department should never be in doubt", he added. President Kufuor said security was the first law of the Government and that the Government would continue to depend on the input of the security services as it fulfilled its mandate. Mr Francis Poku, the National Security Minister, said the security agencies remained focused and determined to bring peace to the country to ensure the growth of its democracy.
He said the nation's security policy was now based on the rule of law and respect for human rights, fairness to all and de-politicisation. Security operation, he said, has thus been made meaningful to the population and credited this to President Kufuor's self-restraint character. Mr J. K. Mensah, the Director of the Department, said as a national institution, it was non-partisan and pledged to continue to exercise the highest level of professionalism to ensure national peace and security.GNA

Togo bans Ghana poultry

Togo banned poultry from neighbouring Ghana on Wednesday after a case of the deadly H5N1 bird flu was detected there, the agriculture ministry said.A week ago, Ghana became the eighth African country to report a case of the H5N1 bird flu virus in poultry. Some 1,700 birds were culled after the discovery.
Togo authorities on Wednesday asked residents to notify veterinarians of any "sudden and massive poultry or wild bird deaths" and to avoid handling dead birds.The country put a national bird flu plan into action in February 2006, including a national alert system, the formation of medical teams and improved surveillance.In Africa, Ghana, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Djibouti, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria have all reported cases of H5N1 in poultry.
The World Health Organisation has warned that while humans have so far only caught the H5N1 strain of bird flu through contact with infected birds or their droppings, it could claim millions of lives if it mutates into a form that can be spread among humans.


China to help build Bui city

Mr. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning on Wednesday said government had allocated 20 million dollars for the construction of a city at Bui in line with the Bui dam project.He said the money allocated for the construction of the city formed part of a 600 million dollars loan to be funded by the Chinese government through a mixed credit facility.
Mr. Baah-Wiredu said lessons from the construction of the Akosombo dam has necessitated that a well-planned city, the likes of Tema, be put in place to accommodate all those who would be displaced due to the construction of the dam."The Bui city with its own university is expected to accommodate over one million inhabitants in the next 30 years," he told Mr Zhang Keyuan, out-going Chinese Ambassador who called at his office to bid him farewell.Mr Zhang, who had been in Ghana for almost four years was being recalled to his home country.Thanking Mr Zhang, through whose effort Ghana was about to implement the Bui Hydro-Electric Power Project, the Minister expressed the hope that Mr Zhang could stay to witness the sod cutting scheduled for June 15.
The project had been on drawing board for more than 85 years. "With the engineering, procurement and construction contract already signed between the government of Ghana and the project contractors, the way is paved for work to start on the project soon," Mr Baah-Wiredu said.He said Mr Zhang's duty in Ghana had been one of the most active and fruitful periods in Ghana-China bilateral co-operation initiated in the early 1960s."Your term of office has witnessed an unprecedented expansion of the Chinese Government support to Ghana as China is now Ghana's third largest bilateral development partner," The Finance Minister said. He called for a better trade relationship with an increase in exports from Ghana.Mr Zhang expressed his appreciation to President John Agyekum Kufuor, Ministers of State and the people of Ghana for the hospitable and excellent relationship saying he had enjoyed the nearly four years stay in Ghana.He said he would have wished to stay much longer in Ghana to complete the projects that were initiated during his tenure of office, but promised to encourage his successor to be committed to the completion of all those projects.He named some of the projects as the construction of an office complex for the Ministry of Defence, the rehabilitation of the Peduase Presidential Lodge, the Kumasi Youth Centre project and the Bui Hydro-Electric Power Dam project.He noted that bilateral relations, as well as trade between Ghana and China had deepened over the last three years, including the signing of a number of financial agreements and contracts with the government on various projects."I hope the bilateral relationship would be enhanced to a new level with the new ambassador to be," Mr Zhang said.


Enact law to check mishandling of the cedi

The Rev Robert Nelson Adayi, Executive Director of Treds Envitech Limited, an environment management company on Tuesday called on the government to enact a law to deal with the mishandling of the Ghanaian currency.This, he said, would curb the practice where citizens treated the currency with contempt by writing on it, mended it with black cellotape and soiled it with oil, defacing it.
Rev Adayi said this when he met with workers at Asamankese in the Eastern Region to educate them on the new currency and how to handle money. "No country mishandles money like Ghana," he said. "All the foreign currencies used in Ghana are always in good shape because the least defect will render the money useless," he added.He said a law to make tattered and defaced notes illegal tender was a sure way of giving the currency some importance and value.
a"This will put fear into the citizens and even the banks which sometimes issue such notes in the name of legal tender." Rev Adayi noted that with new notes to be introduced in July, it was appropriate for government to set up laws to protect the currencies to avoid spending huge sums on reprinting.He therefore advised the workers to handle the new notes with care and pay attention to the various advertisements in the media to enable them to understand the education campaign. 8 May 07


Kufuor lauds Toure on Mali election victory

President John Agyekum Kufuor on Monday congratulated the Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure on his re-election for a second term. "I believe it is as much a testimony to the maturity of the country's political and democratic institutions under your presidency, as it is a tribute to your personal commitment to the tenets of democracy and transparency, very much appreciated by Africa and the wider international community at this critical period of the continent's history," President Kufuor said in a letter to President Toure.
A press release signed by Mr Andrew Awuni, Press Secretary to the President and Presidential Spokesman, said as President Kufuor, who is the current Chairman of African Union, prepares to welcome Heads of State to Accra for the forthcoming AU Summit, he believes that the overriding themes of debates, the personal and collective commitment of African leaders to the continent's renaissance would very much determine the destiny of the continent for years to come.
It said President Kufuor also looked forward to deepening the long-standing bilateral relations and expanding the frontiers of cooperation between Ghana and Mali to benefit both countries mutually.GNA


Ghana's New Money

Kufuor to visit South Africa on Sunday

President John Agyekum Kufuor, Chairman of the African Union, leaves Accra for Johannesburg, South Africa, on Sunday to attend the opening of the Seventh Ordinary Session of the Pan-African Parliament (PAF).He is scheduled to address the Parliament, the first time ever, by an AU Chairman.A press release signed by the Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson, Mr Andrew Awuni, said the Session would focus on four major issues - Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Security, NEPAD and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) as well as the Union Government of Africa.
The PAP was established in March 2004 in accordance with Article 17 of the Consultative Act of the AU, as one of its organs provided for in the treaty establishing the African Economic Community signed in Abuja, Nigeria, in 1991.The release said whilst in South Africa, President Kufuor would also hold bilateral talks with his South African counterpart, President Thabo Mbeki and other senior Government Officials. He is expected back home on Wednesday, May 9.


BOG Starts Circulating New Ghana Money Today

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) will this morning launch the new Ghana Cedis and Pesewas at the Bank’s auditorium, High Street Accra. The introduction of the new currency has become necessary as a result of re-denomination of the Ghanaian currency the cedi, which takes effect on July 1, 2007.

When the redenomination takes effect, ¢100,000 would represent the current ¢1,000,000.00 and ¢10,000 the current ¢100,000, while the current ¢10,000 would be the same as ¢1.00 within the new currency.According to the Ghana Central Bank however, the quantity and quality of goods that an equivalent of the money in circulation now can purchase would be the same as what the new cedi currency which would be launched tomorrow would be able to procure, hence the refrain that has run through adverts aired and played on air for some months now.Officials of the bank say the added advantage of the new currency is that it would be less cumbersome to carry and also enhance business transactions while maintaining the value of the Ghanaian cedi.
As to whether the new currency would match up with the major currencies of the world, Esi Hammond of the Public Relations Unit, Bank of Ghana asserted that the rate of exchange would still be determined by the market foraces of demand and supply. “It is not the redenomination or re-calibration of the cedis that would check prices and thus influence inflation but the interplay of sound macro-economic practices.Fiscal discipline is needed and when monetary policies go haywire that brings about inflation, but when government does its part and does not overspend, that checks rise in inflation which has been kept steady for a while,” the BoG official stated.