NAPRM-GC to collaborate with AfCFTA National Coordinating Office to empower businesses

Mrs Kathleen Quartey Ayensu, council member, National African Peer Review Mechanism- Governing Council (NAPRM-GC), said the Council will collaborate with the AfCFTA National Coordinating Office in empowering Ghana businesses to leverage the enormous prospects offered by the continental market.

She said though the National Coordinating Office of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was located in Accra, the country had to nurture it domestically so that people would be aware of it and take advantage of it to grow their businesses.

Mrs Ayensu was speaking at a knowledge empowerment workshop for District Oversight Committees (DOCs) of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) in Ho, in the Volta Region on the Targeted Review of Ghana and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

In 2023, NAPRM- GC in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration together with the continental APRM secretariat facilitated the Country Review Mission for the conduct of the Targeted R
eview of Ghana on the theme, ‘Corporate Governance as a Catalyst for the Implementation of AfCFTA in Ghana.’

This targeted review was a focused governance assessment which examined key corporate governance and intra-African trade challenges that must be addressed to facilitate the implementation of the AfCFTA in the country.

The review offers the opportunity to strengthen good governance practices for Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), the most dominant private sector in Ghana to also access the enormous AfCFTA markets.

This is important because, the Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA) indicates that the MSMEs sector which is the backbone of the Ghanaian economy is made up of 1.7 million of the estimated 2.1 million businesses in Ghana and employs 2.5 million people with a cumulative contribution of 75 per cent of national GDP.

Therefore, their ability to harness the AfCFTA opportunities will result in increased foreign exchange earnings and national income as well as the creation of vast employmen
t opportunities in Ghana.

Mrs Ayensu said the workshop formed part of NAPRM-GC’s agenda to empower the DOCs with knowledge on the Targeted Review of Ghana on the AfCFTA and corporate governance and their role in facilitating intra-African trade under the AfCFTA initiative.

It aimed to revitalise the DOCs at the districts to enable them to play their role in the dissemination of the targeted review outcomes and in the promotion of citizens ownership and participation in the monitoring and evaluation of the programme of action of the Targeted Review of Ghana report.

Mrs Ayensu, said at the heart of APRM’s success lay the principle of local ownership and participation and the DOCs exemplified this ethos, serving as grassroots advocates for good governance and community development.

The Chairman emphasised the importance of the workshop in enhancing the awareness of the DOCs on the significant role of the APRM in facilitating the implementation of the AfCFTA through the recent targeted review of Ghana.

Sour
ce: Ghana News Agency

Ghana is right place to invest-Twellium Industries


The Twellium Industrial Company Limited, a Ghanaian-based manufacturing company, has attributed the expansion of its investments in Ghana to the country’s conducive business environment and loyalty of Ghanaian workers.

The Company, which has been operating in Ghana for the past 10 years, touted Ghana’s political stability and incentives for the private sector as among the conditions that made Ghana an attractive investment destination in the region.

Speaking to journalists at Adjen Kotoku, in the Greater Accra Region, Mr Ali Ajami, Chief Marketing Officer, Twellium, expressed profound gratitude to the Government of Ghana for creating enabling environment for businesses and providing incentives to support business growth.

He said the Company had since its inception expanded its production line to more than eleven and provided employment to more than 5,000 Ghanaians among other interventions.

‘The Government gives incentives and encourages investors to come here. The Government helps to export made-in-Ghana
products outside the country and this helps us.

‘There is no country peaceful than Ghana. That is why investors should come here. We have become Ghanaians because of the love and because we feel at home…Ghanaians are very educated and very interactive,’ he said.

Mr Ajami encouraged businesses to take advantage of the conducive environment in Ghana to export their products to neighbouring countries to help boost Ghana’s economy and create more employment opportunities.

As part of efforts to protect the environment against industrial waste water, Twellium, has set up a GHS3 million Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) at its factory in Adjen Kotoku to treat waste water from the factory.

The plant processes organic and inorganic pollutants, as well as all other impurities generated from the factory before it is safely discharged.

Mr Ajami said treated water from the plant could be used by neighbouring farmers to water their crops and for other domestic uses.

He said the Company was committed to environmental sus
tainability and would continuously explore innovations that would ensure that its operations did not harm the environment.

Ghanaian Afro-dancehall sensation Stonebwoy on Friday toured the factory site of Twellium prior to the announcement of his wife, Dr Louisa Ansong-Satekla as Brand Ambassador for Verna Mineral Water.

Stonebwoy, who was crowned Artist of the Year at the just-ended Telecel Ghana Music Awards (TGMA), said industrialisation was the surest way to create employment opportunities and commended Twellium for investing in Ghana.

‘Employment is going on here and the number of staff is increasing. I am happy to find some of the people that I lived in the same community with secure employment here,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

National cohesion critical for fostering stability, progress -UNDP


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says good leadership and national cohesion are critical for fostering stability, progress, and prosperity within our great nation.

The UNDP Team Lead, Governance, Peace and Security, Mr Mathew Alao, stated this at the graduation ceremony of the Leadership and National Cohesion Course 1 (LNC), at Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peace Keeping Centre (MLAILPKC) Jaji, Kaduna State, on Friday.

Alao said the graduation was a significant step towards the advancement of peace, security, and unity within our beloved nation, Nigeria and ECOWAS sub-region.

‘Leadership start with us as parent that brings little children to this world. Leadership starts from grassroots.

‘Unfortunately, we have lost it. Nigeria today is very individualistic. It’s all about I and my family. And this is leading us to no where. This is why this course is very critical at this moment.

‘If nothing is done to address the leadership deficit from the family unit, from the community uni
t and community level, we are not going anywhere. Money can not save our society,’ he said.

He commended the participants of the training for dedication to the programme.

‘Over the past two weeks, you have dedicated yourselves to an intensive programme that not only on leadership skills but also fosters an understanding of the essential tenets of national cohesion.

‘Your presence here signifies a commitment to making Nigeria a better, more unified country, ‘he said.

‘Today, we recognize your accomplishments and the bright future that lies ahead.

‘I would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Commandant and his team of instructors and resource persons at the Centre for your unwavering commitment to equipping our future leaders.

‘Also acknowledge the generous financial support and strong partnership of the Government of Japan,’ he said

He said the funding and partnership had made the course possible, and dedication to promoting peace and stability in the continent, ECOWAS and Nigeria is deeply ap
preciated.

‘Together, we are working towards a brighter and more unified future for our planet,’ Alao said.

The Chief of Training, Nigerian Army, Maj-Gen. Sani Mohammed, noted that the collaborative effort between MLAILPKC and the Japanese Government through the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) which gave raise to the course.

The Chief of Training was represented by Maj-Gen. Oluyemi Olatoye, Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Infantry.

He said a country without national integration was often implied as the country deprived of social cohesion, sense of nationalism and with a failed socio-politico-economy.

‘In bringing up these values, there lies a strong leadership role,’ he said.

He said the overall objective of the LNC was to develop human capacity to equip the participants to be able to handle challenges that arises with leadership.

‘It was aimed at identifying, analyzing and evaluating the drivers of disunity, disintegration and insurrection in the polity in order to provide a pathway for
national integration and cohesion,’ Mohammed said .

Also in his remarks the Commandant, MLAILPKC Maj-Gen. Ademola Adedoja, said the LNC was designed to provide the participants with the skills and knowledge required to operate effectively in a complex dynamic multi-disciplinary, multi- cultural and religious environment.

He said it was also aimed at equipping participants to become role models in their various establishments and in addition, good ambassadors of this Centre.

‘As you graduate today, as the pioneers of the LNC, please know you are vanguards of improved Leadership and National Cohesion.

‘You must always remember that so much has been given to you and as such, so much is expected from you as trained Leadership and National Cohesion Officers, ‘Adedoja said.

Adedoja appreciate the Government of Japan, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for their enormous support towards achieving success of this course.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

GHS commended for prompt action on patient abandoned in bush

Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye, the Minister of Health, has commended the Ghana Health Service (GHS) for setting up an investigative committee to look into the case of a patient allegedly abandoned in a bush at Gomoa Ojobi by the Trauma and Specialist Hospital, Winneba.

‘I appreciate the prompt action taken by the Ghana Health Service to constitute a committee to conduct an independent inquiry into the matter, the Minister said in a response letter to the Ghana Health Service.

An earlier letter from the Service addressed to the Health Minister said it had constituted a five-member committee to investigate the incident.

The Medical Director of the Trauma and Specialist Hospital at Winneba in the Central Region has also been temporarily relieved of his post pending outcome of investigations.

An accident victim who died on Monday, was allegedly dumped in the bush by an ambulance from the trauma hospital because her relatives never showed up at hospital.

Dr Okoe-Boye said he was confident that the committee would unc
over the facts surrounding the unfortunate incident and make recommendations to prevent such occurrences in the future.

‘I have taken notice of the decision to direct the Medical Director of the hospital to step aside from his post pending the outcome of the investigation,’ he added.

He directed that the committee should conclude its work and submit a report to the Ministry within 30 days from the date the committee was constituted.

‘Thank you for your efforts to ensure the integrity of the health care system in Ghana,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Eidul Adha: COMOG calls for a national dialogue on Hajj organisation in Ghana


The Coalition of Muslim Organisation, Ghana (COMOG) has extended best wishes to the Muslim Ummah in Ghana and around the World as they celebrate the Eidul Adha.

It also used the occasion to call for a national dialogue on the organisation of Hajj in Ghana.

This was in a statement signed on behalf of Hajj Abdel-Manan Abdel-Rahman, President, COMOG by Bro Mohammed Shamsudeen Shuaib, Chairman, Media and Research Committee and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Friday.

It said: ‘It is our prayer that all Muslims across the world will observe this occasion in good health and in peace.

‘Of course, we remember our brothers and sisters in Palestine who have been under Israeli occupation, oppression, injustice and genocidal onslaught, and pray to Allah, the Almighty to hasten freedom and peace to them, Aameen.’

Touching on the Hajj, the statement said: ‘As we celebrate this important pillar of Islam, COMOG would like to awaken the conscience of the Nation and emphasize on the need for a National Dialogue on the o
rganisation of Hajj in Ghana.

‘The recent challenges faced by pilgrims, including high cost of fares and unconventional means of embarking on the pilgrimage, denial of some prospective Hajj pilgrims visa by the Hajj Board have highlighted once again the urgent need for stakeholders to come together to address the structural and operational failures in the spirit of transparency, accountability, and best practices in Hajj management in Ghana.’

The COMOG urged the government, Muslim organisations, and the Muslim Ummah at large to engage in a national dialogue to promote education, transparency, and improvement in the management of Hajj in a bid to salvage the image of Islam.

‘We must work together to correct the misconception that state resources are used to subsidize Hajj pilgrimages and ensure that the organisation of Hajj is fair, transparent, and inclusive.

‘We believe that this dialogue will not only benefit the Muslim community but also promote mutual understanding and respect among people of differen
t faiths in Ghana.

‘As a secular state, it is important that we clarify the role of the state in the organisation of Hajj and ensure that all citizens are treated fairly and equally,’ it said.

The statement wished all Muslims a peaceful and blessed Eidul Adha and a successful Hajj season.

Source: Ghana News Agency

FG to introduce electronic blood management system – Minister


Prof. Muhammad Pate, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, says efforts are in place to introduce Electronic Blood Management System for effective and efficient blood service delivery nationwide.

He disclosed this at a press briefing in commemoration of the 2024 World Blood Donor Day with the theme ’20 Years of Celebrating Giving: Thank You, Blood Donors!’, organised by the National Blood Service Commission (NBSC).

The minister, who was represented by Chris Isokpunwu, Director, Health Planning, Research and Statistics, said that the idea was to ensure availability of safe blood and blood products in Nigeria.

He said ‘we are in the process of scaling up activities of the commission to all parts of the country, and introducing an Electronic Blood Management System to ensure effective and efficient blood service delivery.’

He acknowledged the role of blood donors in saving lives, adding that ‘the donation rate in Nigeria shows that over 80 per cent of blood collected are from family replace
ment and commercial blood donors.

‘Data on the donation rate in Nigeria shows that more than 80 per cent of blood collected are from families.

‘Empirical evidence shows that the most reliable and safest source of blood comes from a stable base of regular, voluntary, unpaid blood donors, rather than from commercial sources.

‘The World Health Assembly resolution WHA63.12 urges all member states to develop national blood systems based on voluntary unpaid donations and to work toward the goal of self-sufficiency.’

The minister said that the use of blood and blood products had become an integral part of modern medical practice as access to safe blood and blood products was critical to achieving an effective health system.

‘With a population of over 200 million, Nigeria’s estimated blood need is about two million units per annum.

‘Unfortunately, much less is currently donated, leading to avoidable deaths, morbidities, or ill health, particularly among our womenfolk, newborns, and victims of road traffic acci
dents and insurgency.

‘This situation can improve if only one per cent of our country’s adult population commits itself to voluntary non-remunerated blood donation regularly,’ he said.

Also, Prof. Saleh Yuguda, the Director-General, NBSC, said ‘blood donation plays a critical role in saving lives and strengthening the healthcare system in the country.’

According to Yuguda, transfusion of blood and blood products help patients to live longer and with higher quality of life.

‘Additionally, blood transfusion supports complex medical and surgical procedures, thus, making it indispensable in maternal and childcare, as well as during man-made and natural disasters.

‘Recent data indicates that more people are dying from lack of access to blood and blood products than communicable diseases in developing countries,’ he said.

Dr Walter Mulombo, the Country Representative, World Health Organisation (WHO), said Nigeria is one of the 16 African countries with 80 per cent of blood donation from voluntary blood donati
on.

Mulombo, who was represented by Dr Hamzat Tayo, however, stressed the need to create awareness on blood donation as the total number of blood collected was still low at 5.2 units per one thousand population.

Mohammed Ibrahim, the Chief Route Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), emphasised the need for more voluntary non-remunerated blood donors.

According to Ibrahim, the goal is to save lives and to see that injury and death are reduced by five per cent.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other highlights of the commemoration include conferment of awards to notable blood donors and engagement and advocacy with the media, community and religious leaders.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

ECG attributes absence of load shedding schedule to supply uncertainty

Mr Kwadwo Obeng, the Deputy Managing Director of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) says the company cannot provide a planned load shedding schedule to customers because of uncertainties in power supply.

He said it would be difficult to adhere strictly to the timetable especially when not all outages were a result of fuel supply challenges.

Mr Obeng explained that outages could be a result of planned maintenance, network fault, as well as theft and vandalism.

‘We said that because information of about how much to be shared was erratic, we couldn’t really provide a timetable, because in the morning we could say that we need to shed just 40 (megawatts) at 8 o’ clock. And imagine we prepared a table to shed 40 and by 12 pm that situation changes.

‘We realise that even if we prepare a timetable, there would be lot of inconsistencies. And the worst we want to have as a nation would be for the utility provider to say you would go off and then you don’t go off, or your outage exceeds the stipulated period,’
he said.

He was speaking at a public forum organised by Civil Society Organisations (CSO’S) on how to address the current power challenges facing the country.

Mr Albert Ayirebi-Acquah, a representative of the Independent Power Producers (IPP) who generate about 2339 megawatts said the IPPs have in the past three years generated about 40 per cent of the country’s power needs.

‘Although we don’t have the 2024 power plan, we expect to contribute over 50 per cent of power generated in the country,’ he said

He cited the unavailability of fuel, and failure of government to meet its financial obligations to the IPPs as factors to the ongoing power crisis.

Mr Ayirebi-Acquah said the Cash Waterfall Mechanism (CWM), a system established to collect and pay revenue to power generators, was not a panacea to the constraints in the power sector.

He noted that the IPPs accept that the CWM in its current form as an interim measure that provides some level of certainty and predictability of payment from ECG.

Mr Ayirebi-
Acquah said that it was important for current commitment under CWM be honoured in a timely manner to enable IPPs meet financial obligations.

He also called for a representation of IPPs on the CWM implementation committee to improve transparency, efficiency and ensure due consideration are given to their concerns.

Other stakeholders present at the forum were the Public Utility Regulatory Commission, Volta River Authority and the Ghana Grid Company Limited.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Club 50 supports school girls with sanitary pads?


Club 50, a Ho-based men’s social group has presented sanitary pads to 600 school girls in twelve schools within the Ho Municipal area and the Adaklu District.

The beneficiary schools included Ho Kpodzi E.P Basic School, New Horizon Foundation of the Blind, Akoefe M/A Basic School, Kpenoe M/A Basic School, Takla-Tokor E.P Basic School, Adaklu-Kodzobi Basic School, and Dzakpo D/A Basic School.

Mr. Dickson Pi-Bansah, Secretary of the group, told the Ghana News Agency that the gesture was made for girls from deprived communities, who could not afford the sanitary towels.

He said that a lack of commodity caused many girls to absent themselves from school during their menstrual cycle, which had an adverse effect on instruction and student development.

Mr Pi-Bansah said some girls were also compelled to use rags and pieces of cloth as sanitary pads due to financial problems, so the gesture was to support and assuage the challenge.

He said a total of 1,050 girls in the Volta Region were targeted to get the commo
dity this year, particularly those from underprivileged backgrounds.

Mr Michael Avor, the Coordinator of the Club, urged parents to take good care of their young children because they were susceptible and vulnerable.

He said some males were taking advantage of the difficulties girls have during their menstrual periods and getting them pregnant, therefore, parents must be responsible to provide their girls sanitary pads at that crucial time on the month.

Madam Esther Yeboah-Adzimah, Ho Municipal Director of Education, who received the products on behalf of the schools thanked the Club for the support.

Source: Ghana News Agency