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Showing posts from August, 2017

The Woman of Courage Award conferred on the EC Chairperson, Mrs Charlotte Osei

The good book, the Holy Bible in Mark 6:4 quotes Jesus Christ as telling his audience on one of his evangelism projects that “A prophet is not without honour except in his own town among his relatives and family.'' The truism in this statement has been manifested in the honour conferred on the chairperson of the Electoral commission Mrs. Charlotte Osei by the U.S Department of State. The Department adjudged the EC Chairperson as the 2017 Woman of Courage. The award is presented annually to women around the world who have shown leadership, courage and willingness to sacrifice for others especially in promoting women's rights.

Presenting the award, the U.S Ambassador to Ghana Robert Jackson affirmed that Mrs. Charlotte Osei epitomises the phrase woman of courage. He commended the EC Chairperson for her bravery before, during and after the 2016 general election. According to Mr. Jackson the reforms Mrs Osei undertook at the Electoral Commission guaranteed the credibility of th…

The Humanitarian Situation in Freetown, Sierra Leone and Lessons For Ghana

Last week Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown witnessed a devastating mudslide and flooding that claimed more than 400 lives. About 600 others are still reported missing or presumed dead. Without mincing words, the response of the International Community to the Sierra Leonean disaster leaves much to be desired. Ghana’s Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia was in Freetown to present one million dollars worth of relief items to the victims. One can only say better late than never. The least said about the UN, the Western World and the International Media the better.

After all, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah says the Blackman is capable of managing his own affairs? The lingering question however is, could the disaster have been avoided or the impact minimised? The obvious answer is Yes. Indeed, many have referred to the disaster as man-made. BBC reporter Umaru Fofana indicated that most of Freetown's forest cover has been depleted. Construction of houses is poorly regulated and town planning virtually…

NEED TO AVOID SPEEDING ON THE ROADS

About 90 percent of causes of road traffic crashes can be attributed to human errors. These errors are manifested in many negative road user behaviours including speeding, drink driving, talking on mobile phone while driving, wrongful overtaken and other indiscipline driving attitudes on our roads. Speeding remains a major contributory factor to the other related cases of road crashes. There is a slim chance for a vehicle on a top speed to prevent a crash from happening, whereas a driver driving on the normal speed limit can manage to control potential accident or minimize the impact. What then is the required limit to say speed is too much?

The Concise Oxford English Dictionary defined speed as the case of a motorist travelling at a speed greater than the legal limit. The same Dictionary defined speed limit as the maximum speed at which a vehicle may legally travel on a particular stretch of road. The underlined word is legal limit. It means that speeding on our roads has a certain li…

Role Of Micro Finance Institutions

The role of microfinance institutions in building the Ghanaian financial sector and the socio-economic development of the country cannot be overemphasised. In recent years, the Ghanaian economy has witnessed the establishment of several microfinance institutions. Financial analysts believe the introduction of microfinance companies is timely to fill the lending void created in the financial sector. They posit that the presence of microfinance institutions allows individuals, small and medium scale enterprises,SMEs to access loans for sustainable growth. Microfinance services are valuable in a free market economy such as Ghana. Per their incorporation, microfinance institutions acquire provisional licence required for their operations from the Bank of Ghana and subsequently issued with the substantive licence to fully authorise their operations in the country. 

Further, effective and efficient microfinance institutions are required to be active members of the Ghana Association of Microf…

Takeover of UT, Capital Banks by GCB Bank

News about the takeover of UT Bank and Capital Bank by GCB Bank has sent shock waves down the spines of many stakeholders in the banking sector.

The Bank of Ghana on Monday issued a statement revoking the licenses of UT Bank and Capital Bank and entered into a Purchase and Assumption transaction with GCB Bank.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers was appointed a receiver to manage the assets that were not taken over by the GCB Bank and work with customers to recover those assets.

Customers who have deposits in the two banks are living in fear and uncertainty since they do not know what is likely to happen to their deposits.

It is gratifying to note, however, that the Bank of Ghana has assured the public that all such deposits are safe and that all depositors will have access to their funds.

Another worrying issue regarding the collapse of the two banks is what happens to the about one thousand staff of UT Bank and Capital Bank.

Here, the management of GCB Bank has made it clear that they will need to…

THE SECOND NATIONAL POLICY SUMMIT

In May 2017, the Ministry of Information began the first ever National Policy Summit to provide a platform for Ministries, Departments and Agencies to engage stakeholders in policy dialogue on government strategies for revamping the economy for sustained growth. It is gratifying to note that three months down the line the Ministry has fulfilled its pledge of making the programme a regular one with a second session on Trade and Industry after the one on Economy and Energy. The importance of the Trade and Industry sector cannot be overemphasized as a catalyst for sustainable job creation and national development. Job creation was a key message that endeared the NPP to the electorate in the last elections.

If the Vision of the Ministry of Trade and Industry to make Ghana a major manufacturing, financial and commercial hub in West Africa is to become a reality such summits are vital. It is important to emphasise a point made by the Chairman of the Council of State Nana Otuo Sirebuor II, th…

OPERATIONS OF THE ANTI GALAMSEY TASKFORCE

Two weeks ago, the Anti-Galamsey Task Force, Operation Vanguard, embarked on its mandate to address the Galamsey menace. Apart from warding off operators of the illegal act it is was also charged to see to the reclamation of degraded lands. The task force is within three regions, Ashanti, Eastern and Western, though Galamsey is in eight regions. Prior to their deployment, the illegal miners vowed to resist them and to continue perpetuating their havoc on the environment. It is therefore not surprising that more than one hundred of them are in police custody presently.

Exploitation of gold dates back to centuries hence the country was once called Gold Coast. During those days, people could pick the mineral after heavy rains, in gullies and along river banks. This type of gold mining along water bodies known as alluvial mining was said to be environmentally friendly compared to underground mining. The alluvial process was digging and sifting through muddy sand by using shovels, sieves an…

ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES

Ghanaian most the Hajj village in Tamale have been flown to Mecca with the assurance that the remaining ones and those in Accra will all make it to the holy city, even though there were still some uncertainties over the schedule of the flights. The annual ritual of challenges that come with the organisation of the Hajj leave one to question the continuous involvement of the State in these religious affairs.

Just a few months ago, the Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Kofi Dzamesi gave indications that government intends to extend the same courtesies to Christians by facilitating movement of Christians from Ghana to Israel and other parts of the Christian world on an annual basis. It may also be recalled that on his way to the 60th Independence anniversary parade at the Black Stars Square in Accra, President Akufo-Addo cut sod for the construction of a national cathedral.

According to the President, the cathedral will serve as a national non-denominational Christian worship …

Government’s intention to lay off public sector workers

Reports that government is considering cutting down the workforce in the public sector has sent shivers down the spine of most public sector workers across the country. The statement has generated anxiety with workers wondering what government's intention is on the matter. The Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Marfo is reported to have stated at a Forum in Accra that “the public sector is full and government is even contemplating laying off some workers.” The Senior Minister disclosed that government does not have the capacity to employ more public servants. He noted that graduates can only find jobs if the private sector grows, stating that if we do not get our mindset in this direction, then we are heading for trouble as a country.

The 2010 Population and Housing Census by the Ghana Statistical Service puts the entire workforce of Ghana at 9.7 million with the public sector employing 641,633. Many are questioning the rationale for the decision to reduce the workforce. One will be tempted…

THE LAW ON VEHICLE TOWING

It is mind boggling the twist and turns as well as the argument for and against the implementation of the law on the mandatory towing levy. Why is it sometimes so difficult to know what Ghanaians want? Is it not apparent that the enforcement of LI 2180 of 2012 on the vehicle towing levy will benefit the majority of motorists in terms of road accident prevention? The gory road traffic crash involving the Kumasi Asante Kotoko football team on July 12, 2017 and many of such crashes in the past must trigger our minds for an immediate solution to accidents involving disabled vehicles on our roads.

In 2007, the National Road Safety Commission estimated the cost of road traffic crashes to be about one-point-six percent of GDP which is about $165 million. Road traffic accident is said to be the eighth leading cause of death globally and the leading killer of young people aged between15 and 29. Available literature shows that road traffic crashes cost developing countries between $65 billion an…

Dr Kobina Arthur Kennedy: The Founder's Day Debate

News Commentary admonishes Ghanaians to spend their energies discussing and doing things that will build the country for posterity instead of huggling over who founded the nation.

There is a raging debate over who founded Ghana, our motherland. Before proceeding further, it is important to establish the fact that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah has been Ghana's best President by a wide margin. It is equally necessary to note that winning elections after independence does not correlate with a person or party's role in the struggle for independence. Robert Mugabe's party did not win the post-independence mandate in Zimbabwe because he led the struggle for independence. He won because he belonged to the Majority Shona tribe. The continuing questioning of Dr. J.B. Danquah's loyalty is an unproven and disloyal stain on a man who deserves better from all of us, regardless of ideology.

As to whether Nkrumah was our sole founder, how could he be? As Danquah stated eloquently on 4th August, 19…

THE FOUNDER'S DAY DEBATE

Currently dominating discussions on the airwaves and the media landscape is the decision by the Ghana @ 60 Planning Committee to hold a memorial and thanksgiving service as well as a lecture Friday, August 4. On this day in 1897, the Aborigines Rights Protection Society, a group critical of colonial rule was formed in the then Gold Coast by traditional leaders and the educated elite to protest the Crown Lands Bill of 1896 and the Lands Bill of 1897 which threatened traditional land tenure. Also significant to note is August 4, 1947, when the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), the mother party from which the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was birthed, was formed. August 4, 2017 therefore marks the 70th anniversary of the UGCC. At Saltpond in the Central region, a thanksgiving and memorial service has been organised to commemorate the day.

Later at the National Theatre in Accra, there is going to be a lecture to be addressed by no less a person than the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaro…

Fight Against Fall Army Worm Infestation

The fall army worm was first detected around the Krobo area last year. It was initially thought of as stem borer by farmers and extension officers. Having failed in their attempt at controlling it with known stem borer pesticides, it dawned on them that there was more to it. By September of the same year, only the Western region was spared out of the ten regions of Ghana.

Unfortunately, the Western region has also given in to the Fall Army Worm attack by March this year. It must be said, however, that, these initial attacks were somewhat isolated regardless of the presence in all the regions. Government in its quest to curb the ravaging effects of worms has budgeted 16 million Ghana cedis for the purchase of pesticides and awareness creation.

Indeed, the Minister for Food and Agriculture at a news conference in May said eight million will be used for awareness creation while the other half will go into the purchase of pesticides. Several months after this intervention, the annihilating …