Ghana’s economy is in in good hands and being steered in the right direction, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has said.
Speaking at the Ghana Industrial Summit and Exhibition yesterday [Tuesday]. The Vice President admonished Ghanaians to ignore those painting the negative picture of Ghana’s economy.
“Be reassured that this economy is in good hands. We are not where we want to be, but we believe that we are on course. But as all good sailors know, rough and turbulent seas are no indication that you are not steering well,” he said.
Commenting on Ghana’s recent ratings by Standards and Poor’s, he said, “Our recent ratings by Standard and Poor’s agency from B- to a solid B with a stable outlook is a confirmation that we are building fundamentals of the economy in the right direction. If you listen to the critics you will miss the following facts about the economy. That the economic growth has more than doubled from its 2016 level from 3.7% to 8.5%, that the agricultural growth is trending upward and industry growth rose from a negative half a percent to 17.7% at the end of 2017.’’
On Inflation he said, “Inflation continues to decline just slightly below 10% at 9.9%. The interest rate of the 91-day treasury bills are also on the decline. Our trade position has strengthened significantly and our gross international reserves now cover 3.9 months of imports. The debt to GDP ratio has declined from 73% in 2016 to 64.4% in June 2018. We are striving for a low and stable inflation rate.’’
The World Bank has approved 50 million dollars to support the government’s efforts at addressing illegal small-scale mining under activities outlined in the Multi-Sectoral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP).
The draft manual of activities would be sponsored by the Bank and presented to its top management. The document is expected to be approved for implementation within the next two weeks.
Mr. Mamadou Barry, a Senior Mining Specialist, Energy and Extractives at the Bank, made the disclosure when he led a delegation to pay a courtesy call on Mr. Kwaku Asoma Cheremeh, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, at the Ministry in Accra.
“Our mission is to assist the Government of Ghana in implementing the Multi-Sectoral Mining Integrated Project, which is to address the illegal mining issue.
“We’re to design the project and gather inputs, therefore, we have reached an agreement on the priority areas we would support, and also agreed on the funding and implementation arrangements so that we can start activities on the ground as quickly as possible,” Mr Barry stated.
Mr. Cheremeh, on his part, expressed appreciation to the Bank for acting quickly in approving the amount and, thus, called on all other stakeholders that had pledged support in the past to redeem their pledges.
“This is necessary because the environment is being degraded, water bodies are being polluted with dangerous chemicals like mercury, while our forests and other natural resources are being degraded,” he said.
The Minister noted that while efforts were underway to roll out the MMIP, the government would continue implementing alternative livelihood programme to prevent the nation from revisiting the dark days of galamsey.
Mr. Cheremeh refuted the assertion that the activities outlined in the MMIP had been scraped from the Inter-Ministerial Committee against Illegal Mining’s roadmap, noting that the MMIP had been captured in the roadmap towards the lifting of the ban on small-scale mining.
“There is no iota of truth that we have disintegrated, just that we’re working from this Ministry, while the Committee is operating from the Presidency, therefore, we’re all working towards eliminating illegal mining in the system,” he said.
The Minister said the Government would welcome new ideas and proposals from all stakeholders towards ensuring the successful implementation of the roadmap.
“We’ll welcome everybody if the time is ripe for the ban to be lifted, all ideas and suggestions would be considered,” he said.
StarTimes, one of Ghana’s leading pay-TV operator has launched its live telecast of the 2018/2019 UEFA Europa League which commences on Thursday, September 20, 2018.
StarTimes has acquired exclusive broadcasting rights for the Europa League in Su-Saharan Africa until 2021.
Per rights acquired, SatrTimes will be serving its cherished customers with all matches in the competition.
At the launch of the broadcast rights, StarTimes Head of Marketing, Akofa
Dzankui said that the company was excited for the rights adding, “We are very excited to bring UEFA Europa League to our cherished subscribers. The FIFA World Cup was a success and football fans really appreciated that. We brought them the ICC right after the World Cup. We appreciate the subscribers and we know they would be delighted to watch another European Competition on StarTimes.’’
The company she touted is committed to providing world-class viewing experience to its cherished customers.
StarTimes will broadcast the Europa League in all Sub-Saharan countries except South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.
StarTimes also has exclusive rights for English, Portuguese and Twi commentary of the Europa League.
On his part, Director of Production, George Lomotey told Rainbow Sports that,
“The Europa League is the second biggest club competition in Europe and this season we are going to have Chelsea, Arsenal, Milan, Sevilla all starting from the group stages. So we all can say that we are going to see very good games this season and it can only be watched on StarTimes”.
Increasing inequality-undermining fight against poverty in Ghana, a report by OXFAM with its partners SEND-Ghana and Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition with support from UNICEF has said.
The report dubbed, ‘Building A More Equal Ghana’ was launched today [Wednesday].
The five-point action plan to close the gap between the rich and the rest said, despite the continued economic-growth and significant poverty reduction, income inequality has been growing steadily for a number of years in Ghana.
‘’This is a serious threat to poverty reduction efforts and must be tackled.’’
According to the report, inequality creates destructions in overcoming poverty and exclusion, and to building prosperous, cohesive societies.
The report further detailed that nearly 300, 000 men, women and children could have been lifted out poverty in Ghana between2006 and 2013 had inequality increased during this period. Ghana must fight inequality to lift more people out of poverty, sustain economic growth, and maintain cohesion.’’
The report also disclosed that Ghana’s growth was matched by a significant reduction in poverty level-which more than halved between 1992 and 2013.
‘’Extreme poverty declined by about 25 percentage points over the same period. At the same time, the country has made sustained political and social progress. Ghana today is a functioning democracy that has made remarkable strides across a number of human development indicator, such as education.’’
The report added that, on the average, the Ghanaian economy grew annually by 5.8% in 13 of the 22 years between 1991 and 2013, reaching a rate of nearly 8% after 2006.’’
‘’A particularly notable sustained period of growth from the start of the millennium came to a halt in 200, with the lowest growth in nine years (4%) at the height of the global economic crisis. However, growth bounced back to the hit peak of 15% in 2011, as decelerate and dropped to 3.5% in 2016, the lowest level since 1990. It has since picked up again and it is expected to reach 6.1% in 2017,’’ it added.
Another area the report tackled was on ‘Poor Public Financial Management is Undermining Efforts to Tackle Inequality.
On this, the report said, ‘’despite having had significant amounts of debt cancelled over a decade ago, Ghana is now back in a debt crisis. In 2015, Ghana contracted a loan with the IMF, Initially due to end in 2018. It was recently extended to 2019, despite the public debt stock having reached 735 of GDP in 2017. This is n Ghana’s economy and society, and with the economy stagnating, the country is falling back into debt trap.’’
It went on to say that, the ‘’combination of a slowing economy and ongoing debt servicing meant that, in 2017, 42% of government revenue was being allocated to debt repayments. This leaves less money available to spend on vital inequality reducing public services.’’
‘’International evidence shows that investment in public services plays a key role in reducing economy economic inequality. Recent evidence from developing from developing countries which have reduced inequality finds that 69% of the reduction in inequality was because of government spending on health and education,’’ it added.
The funeral arrangements of the late Promise Atsu Dayie-Dorkenoo who was shot dead by armed robbers opposite the Iran Clinic, Adabaraka has been scheduled to take place from September 21st-23rd, 2018.
The late Mobile Money Vendor will be laid in state on Friday September 21st, 2018.
The burial service and interment will be held on Saturday 22nd, 2018.
The thanksgiving service will be held on Sunday at the Global Evangelical Church Bethesada Parish, South-La Estates, Accra.
The late Atsu Dayie-Dorkenoo, a husband and father of three was shot dead after armed men gunned him down in August at Asylum Down in Accra.
According to an eyewitness, two men arrived on the scene on a motorbike and begun arguing with Promise Atsu Dayi, a 41-year-old mobile money vendor who was conducting business in the area.
The suspects proceeded to leave, then came back to the scene where they shot Dayi in the chest, said the witness. The suspects waited for the man to die before they fled the location, he said.
Former Member of Parliament for Ablekuma South, Mr Fritz Baffour, has indicated that although the influx of foreign content has a colossal effect on our media in Africa, we would have look at the history of media in Africa and the content used in the past.
The celebrated and multitalented creative actor and politician in an interview said, the introduction of radio and television in Africa came through a foreign medium.
The first contact with radio he noted was foreign content and although in the 1950’s we made an attempt, the major sources were foreign.
The willingness to establish our own content was there and the late Dr Nkrumah led the charge in Ghana, he suggested.
The intention towards the establishment of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) in 1965, was to help raise awareness of our African dignity and culture
The GBC TV he said did extremely well in the first two decades ‘’but I think that when we opened the airwaves to various commercial broadcasting entities, we did not regulate and we did not work hard to have put in place the kind of interventions that would establish the need for local content. ‘’
The needed resources were also not put in place to help us back up our industry.
‘’We did not back up our industry with the money that was required. We should have done some fund raising, investing in our culture in terms of films.’’
Mr Fritz Baffour explained further that, it is cheaper to buy foreign films as compared to producing one in Ghana.
The influence of foreign films has affected the way we dress, talk and behave with people faking their ascent and trying to speak like Americans and the British, he lamented.
‘’The influence of foreign films is palpable…you can see it…the influence is there but the only way we can stern the tide and have our dignity is to look at our rich culture and heritage,’’ he added.
He was quick to add foreign influence is not all negative but underscored the need for Ghanaians to appreciate their own culture and heritage.
Ghana he stated is endowed with creative minds and historians who can help us appreciate our heritage through their creative works.
When asked about the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association’s protest against the decision by government to seed the digital space to StarTimes, a Chinese company he expressed a different opinion.
According to GIBA, StarTimes is scheming to take over the digital space in Ghana.
The Chinese company has secured a deal with government that will see it extend satellite TV to over 300 villages across the country.
The communications ministry believes the move will help Ghanaians in rural communities to become alert on national issues and be involved in development since they will access to content about national projects.
But GIBA believes the move is a cover up by the Chinese firm to push them out of business and control the national space.
“The Agenda of StarTimes is not only aimed at profit or the indoctrination of Chinese culture (names, language, food, etc.) and programmes, but a larger mandate to take over the control of the broadcast space in strategic African countries including Ghana, which is crucial for the China game. Whereas today, China does not allow foreign ownership of media and for that matter, will not allow the African broadcast media the space to trade our African channels in their country. Why then should African states give our broadcast space in the fashion as we are experiencing at the moment”.
But commenting on it, Fritz Baffour said, he does not see anything wrong from the Chinese point of view, rather, his concern is from the Ghanaian point of view adding, ‘’the thing is that; if they do so, how is it adversely going to affect us? Have we thought about it deeply? We have been very lazed in the promotion of our culture and making it viable in our society. The Chinese are looking for the interest of their country. We [Ghanaians] haven’t over the years. We have been lackadaisical about it. We have not put our money where our, mouth is,’’ he said.
Ghana has the richest culture because of our location and the change would be a multi facet one but government should lead the change and revamp our museum law, the broadcasting law and get a film authority to change the narratives.
The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has outdoored 14 different committees for its National Delegates Conference at the party's headquarters today [Wednesday].
The party’s chief scribe, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, who addressed the press indicated that, the conference would be held at the Trade Fair Centre in the Greater Accra Region on November 3, 2018.
The Youth and Women’s Conference would also be held on November 20th, 2018 at the Pentecost Centre in Kasoa in the central Region.
The committees tasked to ensure a smooth organization of the conference were: Accreditation, Publicity, Security, Vetting, Medical, Transport, Standing Orders, Legal, Procurement, Grounds, and Food Committees.
The rest are: National Congress Secretariat, Electoral and Overall Congress Committee chaired by Johnson Asiedu Nketiah.
The Food and Drugs Authority wishes to alert all health care professionals and consumers, not to distribute, supply, use or purchase any Hydrocortisone Injection B.P 100mg labelled as follows:
Product name: Hydrocortisone Sodium Succinate Injection B.P 100mg
Batch number: 5AE01007
Expiry Date: 09/2018
Manufacturer: Ambica Pharma Sales,India.
FDA laboratory analysis of the product found that there was a lack of uniformity of content and related concerns, which makes it unfit and unsafe for purpose.
The Authority has commenced the process of immediate withdrawal of the product from health facilities and pharmaceutical suppliers that may have stocks, and hereby directs all such facilities to immediately check their medical supplies, quarantine any affected product, labelled as above, and return them to the suppliers or the Food and Drugs Authority.
The FDA assures the general public that it will continue to do all within its mandate to ensure the safety and efficacy of all products found in the Ghanaian market.
Health care professionals and suppliers of pharmaceutical products are encouraged to obtain any medications they administer or provide to consumers/the general public, from reliable sources that adhere to proper quality standards.
The FDA urges the general public and health care professionals to report all adverse reactions, quality problems or any practice suspected to be against public health and safety to any of the following contacts:
Hotlines: 0299802932, 0299802933.
Traders and shop owners at the Mallam Market who had their wares consumed by fire have appealed to President Akufo-Addo for support.
The traders who could not salvage any of their property in the fire that raved their shops yesterday [Tuesday], want the president to support them.
It is not clear what caused the fire but an investigation has been launched into the matter.
Traders who were affected told Nyankonton Mu Nsem they received information at 2:00am Wednesday and rushed to the scene only to find out their investment has been consumed by the fire.
The MCE for the area, Mr Patrick KB Kumor, visited the scene with the assembly member and communications director for the constituency, Prince Agyeman Offei to have first hand information.
The MCE assured victims of government support.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has agreed to shut one of the country's main missile testing and launch sites, says the South's President Moon Jae-in.
After meeting in Pyongyang, the two leaders "agreed on a way to achieve denuclearisation," said Mr Moon.
The agreement was described by Mr Kim as a "leap forward" towards military peace on the peninsula.
Mr Kim also said he hoped to "visit Seoul in the near future" - he would be the first North Korean leader to do so.
Summit results: Denuclearisation
The main focus of the summit was the issue of denuclearisation. While the US and North Korea agreed in broad terms earlier this year to work towards that goal, negotiations have stalled.
Pyongyang has now sought to reconfirm its commitment.
Mr Moon said Mr Kim had "agreed to permanently close the Tongchang-ri missile engine test site and missile launch facility" and, crucially, that this would be done "in the presence of experts from relevant nations".
The BBC's Seoul correspondent Laura Bicker said allowing independent inspectors to see the dismantling of the Tongchang-ri site was a major step forward.
She added that satellite images had suggested that Tongchang-ri was in the process of being destroyed, but that the declaration would allow inspectors to verify the process.
Tongchang-ri has been North Korea's main satellite launch facility since 2012, according to monitoring group 38 North.
It has also been used for testing engines for North Korean missiles capable of reaching the US.
He said Mr Kim had also agreed to shut down the Yongbyon nuclear facility - where North Korea is believed to have produced the material used in its nuclear tests - but only if the US took some reciprocal action. The details of that were not specified.
North Korea blew up its main nuclear testing site at Punggye-ri shortly before Mr Kim's meeting with US President Donald Trump in June.
"The outcome is a big win for Moon Jae-in, who has managed to extract a series of positive headlines from Kim Jong-un related to denuclearisation," Ankit Panda, editor of The Diplomat, told the BBC.
"None of the concessions are truly costly to Kim and won't help move North Korea toward short-term disarmament, but provide a further basis for confidence building on which US-North Korea talks can move forward."
Summit results: North and South relations
The two countries also made advances on inter-Korean ties, announcing plans to link up their railways, allow more reunions for families separated by war and co-operate on health care.
Mr Moon invited the North Korean leader to Seoul, suggesting the visit should take place before the end of this year.
They will also seek to co-host the 2032 Summer Olympics.
The South's defence minister and the head of the North Korean army also signed an agreement to reduce military tensions, establishing a buffer zone along the border to prevent accidental clashes.
The signing came mid-way through a three-day visit to Pyongyang by Mr Moon.
While it is the first trip to the North Korean capital in a decade by a leader from the South, it is Mr Moon's third meeting with Kim Jong-un since their historic summit in April.
What does this mean for the US?
Efforts towards denuclearisation between the North and the US had recently hit a deadlock and this week's Pyongyang summit will bolster the South's role as a mediator.
Mr Trump was quick to tweet his applause for the Moon-Kim summit.
The US and North Korea held their own historic meeting in June when Mr Trump and Mr Kim agreed in broad terms to work towards denuclearisation.
Since then though, there's been little progress with no clear process nor timeline laid out.
Most observers warn that so far the North has taken no meaningful steps to end its controversial nuclear weapons programme and this week's summit might not be enough to convince them otherwise.
"For instance, the commitment to shutting down the Yongbyon complex is premised on reciprocal US measures, which raises difficulties," warns Mr Panda. "Washington will have to help move the needle here and it's unclear if the Trump administration can do that."
Mr Trump recently said that he and Mr Kim would "prove everyone wrong", after he received an invitation from the North Korean leader for a second summit. Both sides say they are working on making that meeting happen.