Mim Chiefs, people remind President Akufo-Addo to fulfil Election 2016 campaign promise

The Chiefs and People of Mim, a prominent town in the Asunafo North Municipality of the Ahafo Region at the weekend reminded President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to fulfil his Election 2016 campaign promise of setting up a university in the area.

They also appealed to the President to fulfil another campaign promise of creating Mim as a separate district to speed up the development of the area.

In a show of unity and solidarity, the chiefs and people of the area came together for a mass communal labour exercise at the site of a building complex donated by the Mim Traditional Council for the establishment of the ‘Ahafo University of Engineering and Applied Science’.

Comprising religious bodies, artisanal groups, businessmen, market women, and various political parties the communal labour was aimed at emphasizing the community’s demand for the separate district and the University.

Nana Yaw Bofah Ababio II, the Ankobeahene (sub-chief) of the Mim Traditional Area, who led the exercise on behalf of Okofrobuo
Nana Dr. Yaw Agyei II, the Paramount Chief of Mim, acknowledged the NPP government’s contributions to the socio-economic development of the town.

However, he highlighted that the community’s two most important demands, a separate district and a university, as assured by the President in 2016 remained unfulfilled.

In a brief background, Nana Ababio II told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview that President Akufo-Addo gave the promise for the separate district and the university in 2016 and reaffirmed it after the creation of the Ahafo Region in 2019.

‘The president gave reassurance for the Mim district when Okofrobuo Nana Dr. Yaw Agyei II called on him at Jubilee House earlier this year’, Nana Ababio II stated, expressing the community’s trust and urged the President to expedite action for the creation of the new district.

Nana Ababio II said Mim meets every criterion for a District, noting that the town remained the most populous in the Ahafo region and with several industries and a large market,
thereby, making it an economic hub.

Additionally, the Mim paramountcy is the largest in the region in terms of population and landmass, he said, and urged President Akufo-Addo to make Mim district a reality to catalyze development in the area.

Nana Ababio chronicled the community’s quest for a University, which began with Mim being designated a satellite campus in the Act establishing the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR).

‘In 2016, the Chiefs released land to the government for the establishment of the Mim satellite campus. However, after the creation of the Ahafo region in 2019, the President promised a full-fledged university in Mim for the Ahafo region’, he stated.

Nana Ababio II explained that officials of Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) recently visited Mim to inspect the building complex donated by the chiefs for the start of the University.

He, however, expressed disappointment that even though GTEC was satisfied with the building and other facilities, after several mon
ths, no action had been taken on the facilities for the establishment of the University.

Nana Ababio II emphasised that Mim had the necessary socio-economic infrastructure to host a university, citing major industries and tourist attraction sites, and pleaded with the President to redeem the promise, worrying that ‘Mim is the only major town in Ahafo region without a tertiary institution’.

Sheikh Issah Mohammed, a timber merchant, and the Chairman of the Mim Development Foundation, an organisation set up to push the holistic development of the town, assured the foundation’s readiness to provide several units of unoccupied bungalows and apartments as free accommodation for the government if the district was carved.

He urged the government to reciprocate Mim’s political support for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) by granting the people the District and the University, as promised.

Parliamentary candidates of the various political parties and assembly members and political party activists who joined the exerci
se in an interview with the GNA called on President Akufo-Addo to fulfill his promise to the people.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Upper East Regional GJA launches third media awards

The Upper East Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has launched the third edition of its annual media awards for 2024 in Bolgatanga.

This year’s awards ceremony which is scheduled for August 30, is on the theme ’75 years of GJA: contribution of the media in shaping Ghana’s democracy through peaceful and fair elections.’

It is expected to recognise members of the Association who have distinguished themselves in their field of work, upholding ethical and journalistic standards and contributing in varied ways to the development of the region and the country.

A three-member vetting committee comprising of Professor David Millar, President of the Millar Institute for Transdisciplinary and Development Studies, Mr Samuel Adadi Akapule, Lecturer at the Bolgatanga Technical University and Ms Fati Abigail Abdulai, Executive Director, Widows and Orphan Movement, was inaugurated.

The launch coincided with a public lecture, organised by the Regional branch of the GJA in collaboration with the Fe
ed the Future USAID/Policy Link Activity, on the theme: ‘The effects of climate change on agriculture in Ghana: the case of Upper East Region’, and delivered by Mr Roy Ayariga, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Green Plant Consult and former Director of the Department of Agriculture.

Addressing the stakeholders, Mr William Jalulah, Regional Chairman of the GJA, said the impact of climate change on economies globally were multifaceted and Ghana being an agrarian country was not immune to the phenomenon.

According to him, the effects of climate change were hitting hard on the poor rural farmers, especially those in northern Ghana as the area continued to face erratic rainfall pattern, prolonged drought among others, thereby posing significant threats to livelihoods of vulnerable people.

‘Farmers who are the backbone of the nation’s food security are grappling with reduced crop yields and dwindling water resources and the spread of pest and diseases which were previously not seen in these areas, as a resul
t the livelihoods of countless families are being threatened as the very foundations of agriculture sustainability are being undermined,’ he added.

He stressed that the impact of the climate change in the Upper East Region was glaring as the region continued to record reduced rainfalls as well as poor distributions and added that the lecture was to create a platform for journalists to be abreast with the issues to enable them work with stakeholders to address the challenges.

For the country to ensure agriculture sustainability and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly goals one and two which put emphasis on attaining no poverty and zero hunger, Mr Jalulah called for sustained actions at all levels to manage the environment and natural resources sustainably.

Speaking on the theme, Mr Roy Ayariga noted that human activities such as deforestation, bush burning, illegal mining, poor farming practices and charcoal burning, among others, were major contributors of climate change leading to mult
ifaceted challenges such as erratic rainfall and prolonged drought.

He said apart from intensifying education on environmental protection by helping communities to adopt alternative livelihoods interventions, there was need to assist farmers with early maturing and drought resistant crops to adapt to the changing climate.

In a speech, read on his behalf, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, the Upper East Regional Minister, said climate change had become one of the grievous threats globally, adversely affecting food production, water, health, energy, security and stability of communities and there was the need for collective measures to address it.

Dr Gerald Forkuor, Climate Change Lead, Feed the Future Ghana USAID/Policy Link Activity, said the media had a crucial role in the fight against climate change and urged journalists to play their roles between policy makers and farmers to ensure adaptation.

Source: Ghana News Agency

AcrossFaiths Foundation launched to propagate national peace, unity

Sultan Nii Nortey Caesar, President for the Ga-Dangme Muslims Association, has launched in Accra, the AcrossFaith Foundation (Afo), with a charge to the religious community and the citizenry to ensure that Ghana would emerge as winner in the 2024 general elections.

The foundation, headquartered in Accra, has members from different religious faiths, with focus on propagating national peace and unity.

The AFo is a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to promote humanity through diversity and inclusion, aiming for development and universal human coexistence

Launching the foundation, Sultan Caeser appealed to Ghanaians to use the platform of religion to promote peace and unity and to brainstorm for the progress of the nation.

‘Ghana must win these elections, we must,’ the Sultan declared, in an apparent reference to keep the peace and unity of the nation before, during and after the December presidential and parliamentary polls.

Sultan Caesar said he was grateful the foundation had been established to
bring humanity together and urged Ghanaians to uphold the spirit of religious tolerance.

He noted that the formation and launching of the AcrossFaith Foundation was very timely as the country prepared to go to polls in December.

Sultan Caesar entreated the board, executives and members of the foundation to create a safer space within their office and give room for broader conversations and brainstorming of ideas that would ensure peaceful coexistence beyond the 2024 elections.

Her urged the board and executives of the AFo to help the foundation to achieve its core mandate and rise to the occasion to tell the truth to the face of people who want to perpetuate violence using the next general elections as a bait

The religious cleric Caesar noted that religious differences and intolerance led to divisions and national intolerance that derailed smooth running of the nation and its development.

‘We need to work to avoid this,’ he stressed.

Reverend Benjamin Kusi, the Founder, applauded the religious tolerance
among Ghanaians, expressing that, it was to wake up every morning and experience the long-standing bond between Christians, Muslims and Traditionalists in the country.

The peace among the religions in Ghana, he noted formed some of the reasons why Ghana remained the travel destination for many foreigners because it was rare to experience such things even in the neighbouring countries.

Rev. Kusi said the AcrossFaiths Foundation was committed to bridging the gaps, breaking down barriers and forging a global community where everyone was valued for his or her unique belief and practice.

The Rt Rev Emmanuel Bortey Borlabi, the President of AcrossFaiths Foundation, said: ‘We believe we should live in tolerance with everybody.’

He pointed out that religion was often endowed at birth, with a few changing their religions later in adulthood, stressing that just as people lived one another despite tribal origins, they should live peaceably with people of other beliefs and faiths.

‘We should live with people of all
other faiths, we should live in peace with all others,’ he said.

The executive members of the foundation included Rev. Ben Kusi as Founder, Bishop Emmanuel Borlabi Bortey as President, Chief Alhaji Yussif as Vice President, and Mr. Franklin Asare-Donkoh as Communications Director.

Others included representatives from the Christian Council, Traditional Councils, the Office of the National Chief Imam, and the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Kadjebi LANet sensitises students on electoral corruption offences, penalties

The Kadjebi Local Accountability Network (LANet) has sensitised students of Kadjebi-Asato Senior High School (KASEC), Kadjebi E.P Central Junior High School (JHS) and Kadjebi R.C JHS in the Oti Region, on electoral corruption offences and their penalties.

They were sensitised on vote buying and selling, under-age voting, intimidation and impersonation in respect of an election.

With the support from the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), the sensitisation according to Madam Comfort Tsaku, Kadjebi Focal Person, LANet, formed part of activities to commemorate this year’s African Union’s (AU’s) Annual Anti-Corruption Day (AACD).

She said on July 11 every year, AACD is celebrated to recognise the progress that had been made in fighting corruption across the continent.

Madam Tsaku explained that electoral corruption is an illegal interference with the electioneering process to manipulate the outcome of the results of an election for political advantage.

The Focal Person explained that the act manifested
in the misconduct done before, during and after the election.

On vote buying and selling, Madam Tsaku, said it occurred when a candidate offers money, goods, or favour to voters in exchange for their votes, while vote selling happened when voters offered their votes to a candidate in exchange for money, goods and favours.

On under-age voting, she said, it happened when individuals not yet of voting age (below 18 years) participate in election.

She said these acts were criminal and punishable by law.

Quoting the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), Section 256 as amended by section 9 of Act 1034-Corruption, intimidation and impersonation in respect of an election, Madam Tsaku, said, ‘a person shall not act in a manner that amounts to corruption, intimidation, or impersonation in respect of an election’ and that ‘a person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offense and is liable on summary conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years and not more than ten years’.

The Focal Person
said the effect of electoral corruption could not be underestimated as wrong people are manipulated into Office subverting the democratic will of the voters.

She said the act also decreased the level of accountability and responsiveness to citizens and thus, asked the students to shun those acts and also report electoral corruption to the appropriate authorities for actions.

Madam Tsaku also advised them to stay away from electoral violence.

The African Union Advisory Board against Corruption has disclosed that African countries were losing $50 billion annually due to corruption.

The board’s Executive Secretary, Charity Nchimunya, said this during a virtual press conference marking the commemoration of African Anti-Corruption Day.

‘This fight cannot be won without courageous individuals who are willing to come forward and give out information about people involved in corrupt practices,’ she said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Zonta International elects Ghanaian for topmost role for fourth time

ZONTA International, a global women’s group, has elected a Ghanaian to occupy it’s topmost position for the fourth time.

Mrs Margaret Akofio-Sowah, the nominee and a member of Second ZONTA Club of Accra, was elected International Director.

Her election took place at the just ended ZONTA Convention in Brisbane, Australia.

This comes after the end of the two-year tenure of another Ghanaian, Mrs Anne-Marie French Cudjoe.

Other occupants of the position in the past were the late Annie Chinbuah and Frances Ademola.

Madam Akofio- Sowah, who joined the prestigious women-centred group 28 years ago, committed herself to improving the lives of women and girls through partnerships with like-minded organisations.

Now at the topmost position of the Organisation, she has pledged more action.

‘For me, weaving the 3 strands of Visibility, Partnership and Governance would be key benchmarks that I would proudly and passionately commit to in collaboration with fellow Zontians. This would  also come alive as we ‘build a b
etter world for women and girls,” she stated.

A banker with over 30 years of experience, Madam Akofio -Sowah has been an active and committed member, who participated in ten international ZONTA Conventions organised every two years and in twelve district conferences prior to her appointment.

ZONTA International is a globally recognised female-centered club with over 1000 branches and a membership of 26,000 worldwide.

The group has a well known presence in the country mainly in Accra and Tema.

The Organisation’s main aim is to improve the conditions of females through education and advocacy.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Spirituality will not deliver Ghana from its economic woes – GAWU

Mr. Edward Kareweh, the General Secretary of the General Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU), has asked Ghanaians to strive towards strengthening the economy rather than praying for God’s intervention.

Mr. Kareweh told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview that, to revive the economy, there was a need to revamp institutions and ensure that they were efficient, effective, and strategic towards economic growth and development.

‘Things that are for spirits are there; we overburden God with things that are not right; that’s why we are here; many things are not of spiritual motive; you don’t pray for people to change; you teach me how to change,’ he stated.

He further said that issues like illegal mining, corruption, and a poor economy must be dealt with at the human level rather than hiding behind religiosity, adding that prayer was not enough to deal with galamsey issues in the country.

He said religion played a critical role in creating values in the day-to-day lives of people, creating an ethical framew
ork, fostering a sense of community, and fostering morality, which must not be taken for granted.

The GAWU General Secretary added that it must also not be a reason for entertaining people’s bad attitude towards developing the country.

He mentioned that it was important for workers in Ghana to position their attitudes positively to stimulate economic growth, while those delaying the growth of the country must be brought to book.

‘Throughout the Bible, it is things that they feel they cannot do that they pray to God to come to their aid. I’ve never seen in the Bible where you can see something and you don’t do it and sit down and pray to God that God will change it,’ he stated.

Mr. Kareweh further said that religion was important; however, people must not hide behind religion to destroy the country.

Source: Ghana News Agency

NAN MD urges continuous citizens’ engagement to address insecurity

The Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Malam Ali Muhammad Ali, has called for continuous citizens’ engagement towards addressing insecurity in the country.

Ali made the call on Saturday at the inaugural lecture series and alumni engagement of the Institute of Strategic and Development Communication (ISDEVCOM), Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK).

The event, which also featured the induction of new scholars, was titled ‘National Security, Patriotism and Strategic Communication’.

Ali, represented by his Special Assistant, Mr Folorunsho Ojo, said that at such a trying time in the history of the country, no theme could have been better thought out and succinct.

He said that terrorism and banditry have continued unabated, ravaging vast swathes of land in the North East and North West Zones of the country.

The managing director expressed concern that kidnapping for ransom was also rampant across many states of the federation.

Ali further expressed worry that militancy and violent ultra
nationalism were eating into national fabric in spite of the best efforts of Nigeria’s security establishment.

‘I, therefore, want to congratulate the alumni association for its deep introspection in focusing on the ongoing national conversation on the insecurity bedevilling our nation and its nexus with patriotism and strategic communication.

‘What role does patriotism then play in checking the insidious menace of insecurity? What strategic communication tools can a country at war deploy in combating the triple evils of infodemics, misinformation and fake news?

‘Indeed, if security of lives and property is at the very core of our being, we should never be tired of engaging one another until we reach that point where we would all sleep with both eyes closed,’ he said.

Ali pledged that NAN would continue to offer media support to NSUK and its affiliates as part of its social contract with the Nigerian people.

In her remarks, the Vice Chancellor of NSUK, Prof. Sa’adatu Liman, said the university under her
leadership renewed its commitment to uphold highest ethical principles and core national values in pursuing the vision and mission of the school.

Liman said that she was determined to ensure staff and students engaged in a mutually beneficial atmosphere devoid of vices, such as extortion, examination malpractice, sexual harassment and other acts capable of delaying timely graduation of students.

According to her, this is one way they can position postgraduate programmes in particular to remain very competitive and impactful.

The VC said that ISDEVCOM had since 2018 placed the university in the enviable position of pacesetter in the area of science communication and development communication.

‘ISDEVCOM has continued to set the pace in the area of strategic and development communication scholarship and practice in Africa.

‘The inaugural lecture we are launching today is designed as an annual event where distinguished personalities will be invited to share ideas that shaped their practice.

‘I am happy that
the event has today brought together experts and professionals to share their knowledge and experiences,’ she said.

Also speaking, Dr Oluwatosin Dokpesi, the Executive Director of Programmes, DAAR Communication PLC, said that Nigeria was in a dire need of effective communication and information that would produce a positive outcome.

Dokpesi was represented by Ms. Raula Shangne, a senior officer at the company.

She said that the security challenges in the country required communications authorities to educate the citizens on how to tackle the menace, especially in the area of intelligence gathering.

Dokpesi said that there was a need for communication to be factual, precise and unambiguous to effectively engage citizens in addressing insecurity in the country.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Video: NAFDAC raids market, confiscates alcoholic beverages in sachet, pet bottles

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Friday confiscated alcoholic beverages packaged in sachets and pet bottles below 200ml worth millions of naira in Imo.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the alcoholic beverages confiscated by the agency include: Action bitters, ballamour bitters and Chelsea London dry gin.

Some others are Squad 5 dark rum, Yagor milk cream liquor, Captain Jack, Banjinotu Alcoholic bitters, Tombo bitters, Big Ben, Rocket ginger, Yaahu blended gin and Eagle Aromatic Schnapps.

The agency’s Coordinator in the state, Mrs Mercy Ndukwe, led the enforcement team to the popular Rotobi Market in Owerri, the Imo state capital.

Ndukwe told NAN after the raid that the Federal Government had issued a directive banning the production of alcoholic beverages in sachets and pet bottles below 200ml.

She added that ‘in 2018, the agency, in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Health met with the National Union of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Emp
loyees (NUFBTE), Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN) and Consumer Protection Council (CPC), among other stakeholders.

‘During the meeting, an agreement was reached that companies should start packaging above 200ml.

‘The committee and the agency agreed to a moratorium of five years to phase out such packaged drinks by Jan. 31, 2024.

‘They also agreed to reduce production by 50 per cent by 2022.’

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Ndukwe added that NAFDAC had equally stopped the issuance of market authourisation to producers of alcoholic beverages below 200ml, while enforcement commenced on Feb. 1, 2024.

However, she said, most producers continued producing with expired licences or illegally.

She explained that ‘here in Imo, we gave time to see if they would reduce supply and sale of the particular sized products, but instead of reducing, it is increasing, which means the distillers and blenders are still producing and selling.

‘We cannot watch things go wrong, especially when the deadline ha
s elapsed. This is a policy of the Federal Government and it must be enforced.’

She said an examination of the alcoholic beverages confiscated showed some with NAFDAC registration numbers, but failed date marking like the production and expiry dates.

‘This is an indication that the producers are conscious of what they are doing, it is even a violation on its own,’ she stressed.

She said the agency had carried out regular sensitisation to educate the people, especially traders, on the ban and dangers of alcoholic beverages below 200ml, as well as plan to carry out enforcement.

The agency had also carried out enforcement on water producers who sell sachet and bottled water in open space at the Spibat roundabout in Owerri without regard to stipulated guidelines.

The coordinator said ‘we gave conditions before we register them, that water must be stored in a cool, dry and wooden platforms and not on bare floor, exposed to sunlight from morning till night.

‘You don’t store water anyhow because the packaging
materials are prone to certain reactions from sunlight.

‘You may produce clean water but in the process of storage and distribution, it becomes contaminated.

‘People don’t bother to wash the sachets before drinking water, so anything on the surface of the sachet can be consumed as well.’

Ndukwe advised them to erect makeshift shades and use wooden platforms, if they must sell outside their factories.

‘You hear the story of cholera everywhere, we don’t want residents to fall victims.

‘The enforcement is not to witch-hunt any individual or company, but to safeguard the health of the nation,’ she maintained.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria