I’m hopeful new block factory will reduce unemployment – Minister

Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper West Regional Minister, has expressed the hope that the Danku Block Factory (DBF), a newly commissioned block factory in Wa, will help reduce the unemployment rate in the region and the country.

He said aside the factory providing direct jobs for young people in the region, it would also create indirect job opportunities such as transportation services, raw material supply and maintenance services.

Mr Yakubu said this in a speech read on his behalf by Mr Joseph Abugre Atogyine, a Deputy Director at the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council, during the commissioning of the Danku Blocks Factory.

The Danku Blocks Factory, located in Danku community near Wa, is a new state-of-the-art block production company established by the Bill Group, a private business entity in the Upper West Region, which also operates the Bill Laboratory in the region.

Mr Yakubu indicated that the factory would contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the region and serve as a beaco
n of hope and progress for the region.

‘Beyond economic benefits, the Danku Blocks Factory will empower the local community by providing skilled development and training opportunities.

Our youth will gain valuable skills in modern manufacturing techniques, enhancing their employability and prospects and contribute effectively to the growth and development of our region,’ he explained.

While commending the Bill Group for the initiative, Mr Yakubu said the high-quality products of the factory would play a critical role in the infrastructure development initiatives of the region.

He said it would ensure the availability of locally produced durable blocks, reduce construction costs, and ensure the timely completion of projects.

Dr Tony Basingnaa, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Danku Block Factory, indicated that the idea to establish the factory was birthed from the frustration he went through to acquire blocks for a building project.

He explained that the factory would serve as a viable alternati
ve for actors in the building industry who desire high-quality, durable, and eco-friendly blocks.

The CEO explained that the blocks were produced with the use of advanced technologies and the best raw materials – Sand, quarry dust and 10mm chippings.

The DBF produced different kinds of blocks including pavement, deco-blocks, and cuffs to provide exceptional customer experience and reduce the stress people go through to complete their building projects.

‘With our first-class and advanced machinery and equipment, DBF is well positioned to meet the growing demand for our customers and the building industry across the region and beyond with innovative products, and services.

To ensure quality, we monitor every stage of the manufacturing process to ensure that the quality of our finished products, including comprehensive strength and dimensional accuracy, is achieved,’ Dr. Basingnaa said.

He thanked all individuals, institutions and groups that played diverse roles to ensure his ideas came to fruition and exp
ressed hope that the intervention would meaningfully impact the region.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Drivers, commuters on Takoradi-Agona Nkwanta road plead with contractor to speed up work

Drivers and commuters plying the Takoradi-Agona Nkwanta road have appealed to the contractor to speed up the construction process.

The 23-kilometer road, which connects Takoradi to Agona Nkwanta in the Western Region, has been under construction for over a month now, causing frustration among road users.

According to the commuters, the slow pace of work was causing unnecessary delays, damage to vehicles, and even accidents due to the poor condition of the road.

They, therefore, called for more urgency, citing the economic importance of the road, which connects Takoradi to other parts of the region.

Mr Emmanuel Terkpetey, a driver who spoke to the GNA, said they spent hours on the road every day, and it was affecting their businesses and daily activities.

‘We are appealing to the contractor to work day and night to complete the project if possible,’ he pleaded.

‘We understand that the contractor wants to do a good job, but we also need the road to be completed quickly,’ said Auntie Naana, a commuter.

e also pleaded with the contractor to speed up the work to alleviate their plight.

A visit by the GNA to the road from Takoradi to Apowa revealed that portions of the road had been blocked to pave the way for the construction of culverts across the road.

The construction of drains was briskly ongoing alongside both stretches of the road, while some parts were undergoing refilling.

The situation the GNA can confirm caused a huge vehicular traffic, especially during early morning and rush hours.

The rains have also impacted heavily on the road creating potholes and gullies, which caused several haulage trucks to tip over in their attempt to maneuver.

‘These instances lead to the blocking of the road sometimes for several hours and days on a few occasions.’

Meanwhile, the Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, has assured road users that the contractor was working hard to complete the project on schedule.

He said the contractor had promised to ensure that the road was completed within the
stipulated time.

The road formed part of the National Highway 1 (N1), and is being executed by Justmoh Construction Limited.

It involves the construction of four major bridges and several culverts.

Source: Ghana News Agency

We need win-win approach to ‘green win’ – Mr Charles Abani

 Mr Charles Abani, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Ghana, says developing and developed countries must adopt win-win approaches to achieving sustainable development.

The west, he explained, must move away from narrow interests, pursue equity-based models, and address responsible production and consumption. 

Developing countries must also take responsibility, ensure policy congruence, adopt an investment mindset, and leverage indigenous knowledge and technology, Mr Abani said at a forum held in Accra.

The forum was jointly organised by the United Nations Ghana, United Nations University – Institute for Natural Resource in Africa, and University of Ghana under the theme, ‘Green Wins Fostering a Better Dialogue Towards Sustainable, Inclusive Natural Resource Governance’.

Mr Abani recommended to the global south and the west to work together to foster a better dialogue towards sustainable, inclusive natural resource governance to create a future that benefited all. 

‘And that can come sooner than
we currently predict and avert the looming crisis and potential catastrophe…with the right mindset, deployment of the right capacities, amplifying accountability, and investing in the most catalytic and transformative opportunities – collaboratively,’ he said.

The UN Coordinator stated that the impact of the triple planetary crisis climate change, biodiversity loss and waste could not be overstated and that the world needed a comprehensive strategy to address them. 

He said, ‘The developing countries have lower emissions but are abundant with natural resources needed for green transitions, while the west has technology and resources to facilitate the transition but are saddled with transition costs of high carbon-dependent models.’

Mr Abani suggested that both sides must bear costs, explaining that developed countries which were historical emitters must retrofit and transition more, while developing countries bearing the higher impacts must adapt more as well as grow greener.

‘Engage in honest and transpa
rent conversations and create scenarios that enable trade-offs to not lock each other in perpetual traps,’ he said.

Dr Christen Asare, a former Director at the Environmental Protection Agency, said Ghana’s natural resources and environmental governance structure must be reviewed to ensure they were well integrated to ensure green wins.

‘Most government agencies are working in silos and this does not promote environmental sustainability. The EPA bill is still stuck in Parliament because climate change has been included in the bill but other agencies think they have a role to play so it should not be under EPA,’ she said.

Dr Asare noted that sustainability had become a buzz word but not being practised citing the diverse actors involved in illegal mining despite its attendant impact on natural resources.

Source: Ghana News Agency

LEAP: Government to pay more than GHC103 million to 324,073 households from July 1

The Government effective July 1, 2024, will pay GHC 103,251,072.01 to 324,073 households under the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme, Ms Dakoa Newman, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has said.

She said the payment was for the 89th cycle, which were January and February 2024.

Ms Newman said this at a press conference on Friday, June 28, 2024, in Accra to address issues surrounding LEAP grant payments.

She attributed the delay in payment to Government planning, strategies and sensitisations to revise the amount paid to beneficiaries.

‘With immediate effect, the cash grants provided to households enrolled on to the LEAP programme will see a 100 per cent increase (Doubling of the Double),’ she said.

The Minister said the revised grant amounts would take immediate effect ensuring that their far-reaching benefits were felt without delay.

She said one eligible member household would now receive GHC 256.00 from GHC 128.00, two member household would receive GHC304.00 fr
om GHC152.00, three member households, GHC 352.00 from GHC 176.00 and four member household, GHC 424.00 from GHC 212.00 bi-monthly.

Ms Dakoa explained that it was to provide relief and support to the beneficiaries to enable them meet their basic needs more effectively as well as invest in their future well-being.

‘… And we believe with factors such as inflation, that has affected all of us in this country, it is necessary that the amount given to these beneficiaries is scaled upwards, and that is the reason for ensuring that we double the amounts that they are receiving and able to get the full benefits from the monies being given to them,’ she stated.

The Minister debunked the notion that ‘foot soldiers’ of the ruling Party were the beneficiaries of the grants.

Ms Dakoa said there was a rigorous assessment and reassessment processes to ensure that the right people were enrolled onto the programme.

According to her, out of the 2.4 million extremely poor people in the country, the LEAP programme catered t
o 1.4 million.

She assured beneficiaries that the Ministry would no longer default in payment of the grants.

Source: Ghana News Agency

TUC condemns manager who assaulted female employee at Nkawkaw over GHC90

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has expressed concern over news report in which a female employee was physically assaulted by a manager at a Savings and Loans company at Nkawkaw in the Eastern Region.

The TUC said the behaviour of the manager was unacceptable and same violated the fundamental principles of respect, dignity and workplace safety.

In a statement issued and signed by Dr Yaw Baah, Secretary General,TUC, said the conduct of the manager also contravened the standards set by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 190, which sought to eliminate violence and harassment in the world of work.

‘We, therefore, call for a thorough investigations into this matter and ensure that justice is served swiftly for the victim.’

‘We commend the Ghana Police Service for taking the matter on quickly.’

The TUC said it would continue to monitor the situation as ‘we stand in solidarity with the victim and all workers who face violence and mistreatment.’

It reaffirmed its commitment to promoting a sa
fe and respectful workplace for everyone.

Meanwhile, an Nkawkaw District court has convicted Ayivor Elikplim, a savings and loans Manager when he appeared before it on a charge of assault.

Elikplim has been remanded into lawful custody by the court as his sentence was deferred to July 2,2024.

Elikplim was seen in a viral video last week assaulting a female colleague for failing to account for GHC90.

Source: Ghana News Agency

GSS trains Media and CSOs on MPI report

The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has organised a two-day training for media personnel and some Civil Society Organizations in Tamale aimed at equipping them with the requisite knowledge to advocate and disseminate issues of Multidimensional Poverty Index Reports.

This would enable the media and the CSOs to intensify their monitoring, accountability, and advocacy roles to ensure that society was shaped to bring the needed change and development.

Mr Emmanuel George Ossei, the Director at the Regional Offices Directorate of the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) in Accra addressing participants said the training was taken place currently in three other zones with the Northern region being the fourth zone.

He said it was important for the media and CSOs to understand the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) Reports and StatsBank to help propagate and disseminate information as well as holding duty bearers accountable to bring the needed development in the country.

Participants drawn from the Upper East, Upper
West, North East, Savanna and the Northern Regions were trained on how to access data on censuses, employment, education, access to water among others from the GSS website.

Mr Ossei said the training was part of ongoing efforts to make disaggregated data available for decision-making, especially at the sub-national level, which the GSS had produced the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) reports for all 261 Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

He said the regional dissemination workshops provided the opportunity to also train participants on the use of the StatsBank, an online platform that allows users to access disaggregated statistics from censuses, surveys, and administrative data sources.

He indicated that based on the important role the Media and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) play in advocacy in the country, GSS in collaboration with GIZ organised the training for the selected media personnel and CSO representatives.

The training also centered on the National and District
MPI results, introduction to StatsBank among others.

Mr Ossei said the power of the media in shaping society could not be overemphasized, which calls for the need for the media to help disseminate the MPI report.

He said poverty was not about individuals not having only money but many other indicators such as lacking education, water, health, and other social amenities, which formed part of the poverty index.

Some of the participants expressed appreciation to GSS and GIZ for the initiative and assured of a collaborative relationship to achieve the desired results.

Mr Braimah Sanjage, a CSO representative from the Upper East Region said it was important to always have independent bodies monitoring the progress of ongoing development projects in the localities to ensure quality work.

He urged participants to independently monitor the ongoing SOCO projects in their localities to ensure that donor funds were not misappropriated.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Eschew pettiness, support Pastors to transform the Church – Elders told

Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister of Education, has advised church elders to eschew pettiness and support pastors to bring transformation to the congregations.

He said many pastors were struggling to grow their churches due to resistance from church elders, who haboured bitterness against the pastors and advised them to desist from such habit.

‘If we decide that we’ll transform our country and our church, we can. We must get rid of pettiness, that the pastor said something you don’t like and you’re angry. And the pastor is in your church for four years and you are his worst enemy.’

‘Every Presbytery meeting is a tug of war between you and the pastor. The day the pastor is transferred, there is jubilation that he’s gone. But all those times that you did not work with him to bring about transformation of the church, it was your loss.’

The Minister gave the advice on Saturday during a Special Graduation Ceremony organised by the Pentecost University (PU) in Accra.

The ceremony witnessed the graduation of 1,200
elders who had undergone a one-year certificate programme in Theology and Pastorial Studies.

The programme was jointly sponsored by the Church of Pentecost (CoP) Headquarters, the respective Areas, Districts, and Locals, and Pentecost University.

The Graduation Ceremony took place simultaneously in Accra, Kumasi, Tamale and Takoradi.

It was themed: ‘Skilled Graduates of Integrity Unleashed to Transform their World’.

The Minister shared his life-experiences, struggles and successes with the graduates and encouraged them to face challenges head-on and not despair.

He also gave a run down of the transformation the education Ministry had gone through under his leadership.

Dr Adutwum thanked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo for the opportunity to serve the country and urged the elders to also give their subordinates the room to operate.

The Minister urged them to take advantage of every opportunity to improve situations at their churches, workplaces, communities and the country.

‘I believe when you ge
t the opportunity, in any place that you find yourself as a leader of the Church, or even in a secular institution, your goal is to bring about transformation.

‘I want you to know that when you find yourself in any position, think transformation, because that is what God has created you for. And if we can’t transform, nobody can transform,’ he said.

He praised the leadership of the CoP for the initiative to train its elders and equip them for leadership.

‘Pentecost is making great waves across the world. Many things are happening in this Church. Great things are happening here.

‘And no doubt in my mind, ten years from now, this Church will be one of the greatest churches the world has ever known.

‘This is a Church that is helping us to develop a growth mindset. When you have growth mindset, you believe that everything is possible.’

Apostle Professor Kwabena Agyapong-Kodua, Vice Chancellor of PU, said the CoP put the programme together to ensure that all elders were adequately prepared for ministry at th
e local level.

‘The significance of this graduation ceremony lies in its affirmation of your extensive preparation and readiness to embark on a journey of demonstrating an enhanced comprehension and steadfast dedication to fulfilling the Great Commission and the possessing the nations agenda of the Church of Pentecost.

‘In other words, you are being unleashed today to bring transformation to your communities by influencing every sphere with the values and principles of the Kingdom of God.’

He urged the elders to learn from the sacrifices and selflessness of their predecessors and add up to their contributions.

‘We must do better than them! We must be sharper in Spirit and in deed; we must be sharper in service and in sacrifice. Ministry cannot be the same after you have received this qualification. As I congratulate you on your great achievement, be encouraged to do more in the church.

‘Local ministry is becoming challenging

due to our world’s complex and dynamic nature. Faith is being battled against,
so we need elders who are properly carved for

the field. God has made us elders and mentors to fellow believers.

‘Let us, therefore, throw ourselves into their lives. Let’s encourage, empower, counsel and support them, for Christ is looking up to us. This may be our best gift to the generations behind us,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Germany Regards Moroccan Autonomy Plan as Good Basis for Definitive Sahara Solution

Germany considers the Moroccan autonomy plan to be ‘a good basis and a very good foundation for the final settlement’ of the Moroccan Sahara conflict, German Federal Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, has said.

Speaking at a press conference held at the end of the 1st session of the bilateral strategic dialogue between Morocco and Germany, which she co-chaired with Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Nasser Bourita, Baerbock highlighted the relevance of the Moroccan autonomy initiative.

She also reiterated her support for UN efforts to find a political solution to the Sahara conflict.

On Friday, Bourita and Baerbock held the first session of the bilateral strategic dialogue, in

accordance with the joint declaration adopted on the occasion of Baerbock’s visit to Morocco on August 25, 2022.

Source: Ghana News Agency