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Showing posts from November, 2007

Effah DartehS' Past Catches Up With Him

One of the flagbearer aspirants of the ruling New Patriotic Party, retired Captain Nkrabeah Effah Darteh has been disqualified from the race. The party’s vetting committee took the decision on Friday afternoon. It was his dream to bring change to the people of Ghana through his message of better governance, law and order and human development. But Retired Captain Nkrabeah Effah Darteh is not going to live the dream. The party’s vetting committee disqualified the retired captain based on his previous record of an attempted coup maker as an officer of the Ghana Armed Forces. The report of the committee says he was convicted of treason by a military court in 1981. Article 62 clause 94 of the National Constitution bars any person with record of treason from contesting for president. Although the retired captain was granted pardon for the offence, the committee decided he couldn’t be allowed to contest because the 1992 Constitution of Ghana bars any person once charged with a treasonable o…

NPP Aspirants' Fate Decided Today

..... All 18 paid their $25,000 non-refundable fee
The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) will today Friday announce a list of qualified presidential aspirants one of whom would lead the party in next year’s general elections to succeed President John Kufuor. The 18 presidential candidates went through a vetting process after they submitted nominations forms and paid a non-refundable fee of 250 million cedis ($25,000) The non-refundable fee generated a lot of controversy with the media leading the charge and describing it as excessive. The media wondered how the presidential aspirants could afford such a high fee while the average Ghanaian is living in poverty.Nana Ohene-Ntow is the general secretary of Ghana’s ruling party. From the capital Accra, he tells Voice of America (VOA) reporter Peter Clottey that all is set for the party’s announcement of possible presidential candidates.“The applicants have all been vetted by the Vetting Committee. And we expect that any moment from now, the…

Ghana Ranks 136 in Human Dev't

Inches Closer Towards 2000 High Mark
... 78% get less than $2 per day income

Ghana ranks as the 135th best country to live in the world according to a United Nation report released today. It moves one place up in regard to the 2006 report, but still seven places down from her high of 128th in 2003 and 1995. (read) Ghana’s Human Development Index(HDI) value improved from 0.532 to 0.553 - which shows the country inching closer to her highest rate of 0.556 in 2000 The HDI launched by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on annual basis measures country’s performance in terms of improvement in life such as life expectancy, education attainment, health indicators and increase in real incomes. Despite remaining a beacon of democracy, peace and stability in the sub region, the quality of life for most Ghanaians has not seen much improvement and has actaully dipped from the highs of 2000. The report states that "In Ghana, half of children in the droughtprone northern region are …

Tagor, Abass jailed 15 years each

Tears flowed at an Accra Fast Track High Court on Wednesday when two self-confessed drug barons, Kwabena Amaning aka Tagor, and Alhaji Isaah Abass were sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment each in hard labour. Relations of the two convicts wept uncontrollably as they were whisked away under heavy police escort from the courtroom to begin their sentences. The judgement caught the accused, prosecution, defence, journalists and relatives by surprise, as the judgement date was to have been agreed on Wednesday. Tagor was in POP and on clutches following an injury he sustained while playing football in custody. The court found Tagor guilty for conspiracy, engaging in prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs because he confessed to about his drug transactions. He was, however, acquitted and discharged for buying and supplying narcotic drugs. The court presided over by Mr Justice Jones Victor Dotse, a court of Appeal Judge, also found Abass, 54, guilty for conspiracy and engaging in…

CPP goes to Congress

The third National Congress of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) would take place at the Great Hall of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi on Saturday, December 15, this year, a statement said today in Accra.



It said the Congress would be preceded by a meeting of National Executive Council (NEC) of the party on Friday, December 14 to approve the agenda for the congress.



The statement signed by Nii Noi Dowuoana, General Secretary of the of the party said the Congress would bring together more than two thousand delegates drawn from each of the 230 constituencies, regional executives the NEC, Council of Elders, Founding Members, MPs, Overseas branches, Youth and Women leagues and representatives from TEWSCHART. The congress would elect a presidential candidate to contest the 2008 elections as well as the election of national officers to steer affairs of the party for the next four years. Meanwhile, regional conferences for Western, Eastern, Volta Greater, Accra and …

Kenyan Airport Security in a Diplomatic faux pas with Ghana's Defence Minister

Defence Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah yesterday fought Kenyan security operatives when they tried to have him undergo a body-search at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, from where he was to emplane for home. At Gate 8 of the airport, the Minister, who was returning home after an official duty in DR Congo, was stunned when a young Kenyan security operative asked him to submit himself for a search before boarding the Kenyan Airways aircraft, his diplomatic passport notwithstanding.It was the Minister’s Military Assistant, Wing Commander Appiah Agyekum’s angry response to the diplomatically incorrect search demand which attracted the attention of some Ghanaian passengers at the airport. “You cannot search my Defence Minister. I am his Military Assistant,” he said.Upon discovering what they considered disrespect to their minister, the Ghanaian passengers rallied round the Minister in solidarity, showing interest in the progress of the standoff.One of them even said, “Ye be ye…

France Telecom Wins GT Bid

Few days after Singapore Telecom withdrew from the race to take over 51% stake in Ghana Telecom (GT), the Government of Ghana has selected Telecom France as the winner of the bidding process for GT.

France Telecom beat Vodacom and Portugal Telecom. The price is yet to be confirmed but sources close to the Ministry of Communication say it is between $500 million and $600 million

In all, twenty foreign investors expressed interest in Ghana Telecom when the Government of Ghana announced early this year that 51% of GT would be sold to a strategic investor in a bid to enhance efficiency and quality of service. The rest of the shares would then be floated on the Ghana stock exchange (GSE).

Ecobank Development Corporation (EDC) and Societe Generale are the transactional advisors for Ghana for the privatization.

Telecom France's revenue was up by 1.9% on a comparable basis to EUR25.9 billion (up 2.1% on an historical basis), reflecting a good second-quarter performance in the first half of 2…

From Rawlings' Office---NDC Running Mate

RE-NDC RUNNING MATE

It has come to the notice of the founder of the NDC, former President, that certain newspapers have made it their preoccupation to publish lies about the NDC and attribute such lies to him. One of such newspapers is The Point , which, in its last Friday’s edition published that ‘Rawlings okays Betty Mould as Mills’ running mate’. The founder would like to assure the party faithful that, the said publication is absolutely false and should be disregarded.

The founder has also indicated that the leadership is not unaware of the overwhelming Choice of the masses and wish to assure all the party faithful that the flag-bearer will at the opportune time, in consultation with the party’s council of elders and other appropriate organs of the Party, announce a running mate who will reflect that desire of the masses across the length and breath of the nation

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

Archbishop Condemns Condoms

MOST REV. Peter Kwasi Sarpong, Metropolitan Archbishop of Kumasi has condemned the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

He deflated the notion that usage of condom was the best option to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, stressing that the development was rather encouraging people, especially innocent youth, to indulge in premarital sex.

This lamentable development, according to him, was the major cause of the spread of the disease and the reported cases of teenage pregnancies in society.

Most Rev. Sarpong, who was speaking at the 2nd National Delegate’s Congress of St. Theresa of the Child Society of the Catholic Church in Kumasi last Saturday, cited abstinence from sex as the best option to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

He urged the people to lead lives worthy of emulation to help bring down the reported cases of HIV/AIDS to the barest minimum.

“If you are married, stick to your partner and if you are not married, do not engage in sex because it is a sin in the sight of…

NPP delegates cautioned against propagandist tactics

Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, a New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential aspirant, on Saturday cautioned party members to watch out for attempts that might be made to cause friction among the aspirants in the last days of campaigning for the December congress. "As the congress draws nearer some self-seeking politicians both within and outside, in collaboration with some media practitioners, are bent on discrediting the congress by peddling falsehood in the media against some of the aspirants.'' "We must be vigilant, protect the integrity of the Danquah/Busia political tradition and ensure that we come out of congress more united for the bigger battle ahead,'' Prof Frimpong-Boateng told newsmen in Sunyani after interacting with potential delegates in the Brong-Ahafo Region. He said any ''untoward action or inaction emanating from the congress would be difficult to manage within 12 months. Prof Frimpong-Boateng appealed to the delegates to elect him as …

Kufuor @Commonwealth Heads of State Meeting

Heads of states listen to closing remarks made by Ghana's President John Kufuor (R) at the Commonwealth Heads of State Meeting (CHOGM) final session in Munyonyo November 25, 2007.


Qualifying Groups For African World Cup 2010

Stage 2 of the CAF (Africa) World Cup Qualifying campaign was drawn today at a gala ceremony in Durban.With the pre-preliminary round already complete, hopefuls from across the continent will join top seeds such as Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon for the second of three Stages.There are twelve groups of four taking part, and the twelve group winners shall advance to Stage 3 along with the eight best-runners up. From there, the 20 remaining teams will be split into five groups of four for a qualification battle that also serves to determine who will play at the 2010 African Cup of Nations in Angola.The four group winners in Stage 3 advance ot the World Cup, and they're joined by second and third place from each group at the Cup of Nations. This means that South Africa will actually take part in the WC qualifying campaign despite being hosts of the World Cup, and Angola will do likewise in spite of being in the Cup of Nations.Angola will compete only for a World Cup place while South Afri…

This Must Be a Joke----500 Women To March Naked

Over 500 women from 20 communities in the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District of the Northern Region have threatened to march nude to the Osu Castle, the seat of government. The women, who intend to embark on the march in the next few days say it is intended to express their shock and disappointment with what they term as `unfair and treacherous` allegations labelled against the DCE of the area, Hon. Madam Elizabeth Pigit Poyari, which has led to her recent dismissal from office..
The women, the Ghanaian Observer (GO) newspaper was told Monday, include all the tribal groupings in the distrct, and comprise Mamprusis, Konkombas, Bimobas, Dagombas and Ewes.
According to a women`s group leader, the 500 strong women in the area find the removal of their DCE as malicious and outrageous, `being motivated and engineered by her detractors and of the district that sees nothing good about women leadership and development.`
`They think women cannot lead them. And because this woman is a Konkomba, they vow …

Ghana's forest dwindling at an alarming rate

Ghana's forest cover of about 8 million hectares at the time of the country's independence had dwindled to less than 2 million hectares. Madam Esther Obeng Dapaah, Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, disclosed this, adding that over-logging by illegal chain-saw operators and timber contractors had compounded the problem.



She said excessive surface mining, conversion of natural forest into agriculture land, annual bushfires, expansion of infrastructure and changes in land uses also contributed to the dwindling. Madam Dapaah was addressing members of the Ghana Timber Association (GTA) at their Annual General Meeting under the theme: "Helping To Build Ghana Through The Conservation of Our Forest," at Akyawkrom in the Ejisu-Juaben District of the Ashanti Region on Friday.



She said the current state of the nation's forest resources should be a major concern to all Ghanaians since it was very critical to the survival of the forest reserve adding that the Ministry had …

Ghana, Three Others To Share $2.9m

Canada is to provide a three-year $2.9 million support to four African countries, including Ghana, through Right to Play, an International sports NGO, to “bring the power of sports to the beneficiaries.”



Right to Play is to initiate an innovation that will help improve on the lives of children in Africa on the occasion of Universal Children’s Day.A yahoo website quoted Beverley J. Oda, Canadian Minister of International Co-operation, as saying “this funding will help provide coaches, staff and volunteers with training as well as sport equipment and education kits, allowing kids to receive a better basic education and to develop like skill such as leadership.”



“This multi-year funding from the Canadian International Development Agency ensures that Right to Play will be able to make a sustained and lasting impact in the lives of children living in Benin, Ghana, Mali and Rwanda,” the website said. It did not state the criteria for selecting the countries but said most children in developin…

NPP Gets Five Billion Cedis ...

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) nominations for its December 22 delegates congress to elect a flagbearer for the 2008 general elections, closed yesterday, grabbing close to ¢5billion as filing fees from the aspirants in the last two months alone. Eighteen of the nineteen people who picked forms and expressed interest in the race returned them by close of day yesterday, except John Kwame Kodua, who cited religious reasons.

The Kumasi-based lawyer and highly religious politician explained to Daily Guide that soon after picking the forms, he went into days of prayers seeking divine direction but failed to get a green light from God. He, however, insisted that his bowing out of the race had nothing to do with finance, saying that he had gathered enough money to run the race. Having charged ¢250 million per head as filing fee and another ¢5million for nomination forms, the party had 19 responses, when nominations were opened on September 22, 2007. The ruling party thus bagged ¢4.5billion from…

Another Fuel Price Increase?

The prices of petroleum products have been increased. The prices have gone up between 7 and 8 per cent.

The new prices which were set by the Oil Marketing Companies and approved by the National Petroleum Authority, were announced Friday morning, November 23, 2007.

Just as the new prices were announced, Filling stations in the country have started selling the products at the new prices.

The maximum indicative price for Petrol is now 1.04 Ghana cedis up from 98 Ghana pesewas per litre.

A litre of Diesel is 1.03 Ghana cedis up from 95 pesewas. Kerosene has also gone up from 86 pesewas to 94 pesewas a litre.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is now 1 Ghana cedi from 97 Ghana pesewas.

This is the second time petroleum products prices have been adjusted in less than a month and the third since October 2007.

The Public Relations Officer of the NPA Steven Larbie tells Joy Business report that the reviews will no more be done monthly but according to price movements of crude oil on the world market.

What …

Nominations for NPP Aspirants Closed Today

The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Thursday officially closed proceedings for picking and filling nomination documents for the party's December 22, Special National Delegates Congress to elect a flag bearer for Election 2008.
Nominations were opened from September 22nd to December 22nd in accordance with NPP Constitution.


In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Nana Ohene Ntow, NPP General Secretary said 19 flag bearer aspirants picked nomination forms, however one candidate Mr. John Kwame Kodua, a Kumasi based lawyer failed to file his nomination.He said Mr. Kodua did not assign any reason for withdrawing from the contest but he pledged his commitment to the party and that he would support the eventual winner after Congress.
Vetting of the aspirants would also be completed on Tuesday, November 27 with the vetting of Captain Nkrabeah Effa-Dartey, former Deputy Minister of the Interior.



Nana Ohene Ntow said the party had constituted an Election…

Baah-Wiredu explains excise duty on airtime calls

Mr. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, has explained that the proposal in the 2008 Budget Statement, which slapped excise duty on airtime on mobile phone calls, would rather reduce the cost of making calls.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, the Minister, who is also NPP MP for Asante Akim North, said the increasing number of mobile phones that were smuggled into the country by mobile phone dealers as well as individuals informed the decision.

He said statistics obtained from the mobile phone companies and the National Communications Authority (NCA) showed that there are about seven million mobile phones in the country.

"However, records of taxes paid at the port of entry from the Immigration Service and the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) show that just about one million mobile phones have been brought into the country."

He described the practice where people continuously brought mobile phones into the country without paying th…

Koduah fails to file for NPP flag bearer

Kumasi based lawyer and New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential aspirant, John Kwame Koduah has failed to file his nomination at the close of Thursday November 22, 2007.



Joy News checks at the NPP Headquarters show that Mr. Kodua did not file his nomination on Thursday.For the fact that Mr. Koduah failed to file his nomination, he is deemed to have automatically withdrawn from the race. With Mr. Koduah's withdrawal, the NPP now has 18 candidates vying to lead the party in the 2008 general elections. Mr. Koduah has in the past two weeks been in prayer hoping to hear from God before he decided.


Speaking earlier to Joy News, he said whatever God tells him to do is what he will do. And he said, he will announce that decision to the media, but at the close of nomination day, nothing has been heard from the Kumasi based lawyer.

President Kufuor leaves for Kampala

President John Agyekum Kufuor left Accra on Thursday morning for Kampala, Uganda to participate in this year's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) schedule for November 23-25.


Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, would open the meeting tomorrow, Friday November 23.



It is under the theme: "Transforming Commonwealth Society to achieve Political, Economic and Human development". A statement issued in Accra and signed by Mr Andrew Awuni, Presidential Spokesperson said, high on the agenda would be a discussion on common political values like Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance and Global Economic issues.



It said the meeting would also appoint a new Secretary General to take over from Mr Don McKinnon.The First Lady, Mrs Theresa Kufuor and some senior government officials accompanied President Kufuor. At the airport to see President Kufuor off were, Vice President Aliu Mahama, Ministers of State, Chief of Defence Staff, Lt. General J.B. Danquah and Inspector General o…

NDC targets 80% of seats in Greater Accra

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Thursday said its Greater Accra Regional campaign team has marshalled an electoral strategy to win not less than 80 per cent of parliamentary seats.


"We have identified our operational shortfalls in previous elections, we have adopted modern electoral mechanisms to ensure effective campaign, focus on issues and guard the electoral process with well-empowered officials at polling stations," Mr Danny A. Anang, NDC Greater Accra Regional Chairman told Ghana News Agency in an interview. He said the party had assessed the electoral topography since Election 2000, identified its shortfalls, learnt lessons, major decisions taken, revamped its electoral strategy to empower and motivate its foot soldiers to be deployed.


Mr Anang said "Election 2008 would be fought and won by the NDC on entirely different game plan, the enthusiasm, comradeship, loyalty and commitment to put our hands on the wheel which eluded us in the two previous election…

Stars Win 4 Nation Tournament

the Squirrels of Benin on Wednesday almost succeeded in nibbling away the hopes of the Black Stars of Ghana, however, four spectacular second half goals by the latter made sure that the Squirrels’ two never counted much.


The Squirrels, parading what their officials say are only an assembly of locally-based talents, surprised the star-studded Black Stars after converting from the spot in the 24th minute when they were awarded a penalty and went ahead to add the second just under a minute of the second half.


And while they were at it, handlers of the Black Stars may have picked two or three assignments for the team to chew on; Complacency, Indiscipline and perhaps lack of concentration.


So frustrated were the Stars during periods in the game; especially when the Squirrels were calling the shots and again when they failed to win the sympathy of the central referee from dangerous play, their verbal responses, body language and gesticulations; gave the Stars away as a spoiled lot.

Useful tourn…

Ministry institutes Diasporan Visa

Mr. Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations on Wednesday announced the institution of a Diasporan Visa to facilitate and encourage many Diasporans to return to Ghana several times and possibly invest in Ghana.


He announced also the offering of a DNA Map, to enable Diasporans who take a DNA test to have the opportunity to reconnect to their families in Africa.



Mr Asamoah-Boateng announced the steps in Parliament, in answer to questions related to the Joseph Project by the sector Ministry, in Accra, on Wednesday. Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh, MP for Wa West had asked whether Joseph Project of the Ministry was not a duplication of the already existing Emancipation and Panafest Programme, and therefore a waste of national resources.



Mr Asamoah-Boateng said the Joseph Project, also called the Akwaaba Anyemi, if anything would rather strengthen the Panafest and Emancipation and programmes and make them richer in content and enhance the personal experiences of the Diaspo…

Ghana to enjoy natural gas from December 23

Natural Gas is expected to start flowing through the West Africa Gas pipeline project from Nigeria to Ghana from December 23 this year.

Mr Aderemi Oladapo, General Manager in charge of Operations of the West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited (WAGPCo), dropped the hint in Tema on Tuesday.



He said it would take four days for the gas to flow through the lines before reaching Ghana.
This follows the completion of the installation of the offshore segment of the gas pipeline by WAGPCo, which is currently conducting safety awareness campaigns across the sub-region in readiness for its take-off. Mr Oladapo was making a presentation at a day's forum organised by the WAGPCo for stakeholders in the maritime industry to sensitize them on the need to ensure that the lines were not damaged by their activities at sea.




He explained that a burst on the pipeline in Benin, Cotonou contributed to the delay of the completion of the project, but this has been rectified and was optimistic th…

Zenith 4 Nation Tourney:Ghana 2-0 Togo

The Black stars defeated Togo by 2-0, at the Ohene Djan Stadium on Sunday, to qualify for the finals of the Zenith Four Nation Tournament.
Two second half goals from substitute Baffour Gyan and Laryea Kingston was enough to see Ghana through to the finals where she meets Benin ...
Lineup: Kingson; John Paintsil, Kofi Amponsah, John Mensah/Anthony Annan, Sarpei; Michael Essien, Laryea Kingston/Andre Ayew, Stephen Appiah(cpt)/Moses Narh, Sulley Muntari; Mathew Amoah/Baffour Gyan, Junior Agogo

Accra:-Kufuor attends thanksgiving mass

President John Agyekum Kufuor and his wife, Theresa, on Sunday joined hundreds of worshippers at the Christ the King Catholic Parish to give thanks to God for his escape in last Wednesday's car crash at an intersection on the Airport-37 Road.He came out unscratched, when a Benz Elegance saloon car, driving at top speed rammed into the vehicle carrying him on a normal drive from his house to work at the Castle, Osu. The bizarre accident sent shock waves across the country and to show how grateful the nation was to God for the life of the President, the congregation sang praises and said special prayers for his continued protection at the thanksgiving mass. The Reverend Monsignor Seth Osei-Agyemang led the mass and in his homily, counseled the faithful to remain unwavering in times of difficulty and challenges.He said in the life of man there were bound to be disasters and trying moments and that when they happened "we should remain firm in our faith and trust of the Lord."…

Nduom-Kufuor and NPP's tenure is over

Convention People's Party (CPP) presidential aspirant, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, at the weekend told Ghanaians not to vote for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2008 elections since their tenure of office was over.

He said the 1992 Constitution allows the president to run a two term of office and that Kufuor and the NPP would be ending theirs in December 2008 to pave way for the CPP to govern the country.

Dr Nduom was addressing a mini rally of party members in Tamale to outline his programmes, if he is given the chance as a Presidential Candidate and subsequently made the President.

"I am not only interested in winning the primary to become CPP Presidential Candidate, but also interested in occupying President Kufuor's seat when he leaves the Castle in 2009."

Dr Nduom said Ghanaians should discard the notion that governance in Ghana was between the NDC and the NPP, and give their maximum support to the CPP to enable the party to win power and continue with the "Unfini…

Ghana's President Cancels All Engagements.

President J.A. Kufuor yesterday took a rest and cancelled all official engagements following the near fatal accident which he survived on Wednesday afternoon.
Official assignments cancelled included his scheduled participation in the investiture ceremony of President Ernest Bai Korama of Sierra Leone.
President Kufuor’s official Mercedez Benz car was involved in an accident at the Opeibea Junction on the main 37 Military Hospital – Airport road in Accra when he was going to his office from his residence.
The President escaped unhurt but his driver, Safo Addo, sustained knee injuries and was admitted at the 37 Military Hospital.
Castle sources told the Times yesterday that the president was treated and discharged and would be going to hospital for a review.
The source said the driver of the other car that ran into the President’s car, Thomas Osei, is still on admission at the 37 Military Hospital under police guard.
ACP Daniel Julius Avorga, MTU commander told the Times that Osei will be …

Finance Minister presents 2008 Budget to Parliament

Ghana's Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Hon Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu on Thursday presented the 2008 budget statement to parliament in Accra.


Highlights of the Budget Statement


0. INTRODUCTION
This report outlines the main highlights of the 2008 Budget Statement and Economic Policies of the Government of Ghana. The rest of the report is structured as follows. Section 1 presents the performance and achievements under the implementation of 2007 Budget while Section 2 highlights the 2008 Budget Targets and Outlook. Policy Initiatives are presented in Section 3. The report ends with Implementation Challenges under the 2008 Budget in Section 4.

1. 2007 PERFORMANCE AND ACHIEVEMENTS
1.1 Resolving the Energy Crises
A number of short, medium and long-term interventions targeted at resolving the energy crises that besiege the country this year and the later part of 2006 were pursued in 2007. Significant among them is the successful negotiation of the $622 million loan for the construction of…