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Showing posts from July, 2019

Need For Government To Maintain Fiscal Discipline

Chapter 13 of the 1992 Constitution gives power to some state institutions to manage public funds. How to operationalize this constitutional provision for efficient service delivery to citizens has been a major concern in our development efforts. The poor checks and controls on politicians and public officials in the country have led to challenges in the economy. The political cycle in Ghana produces a recurring pattern of rapid fiscal expansion, followed by fiscal consolidation and the imposition of expenditure controls to restore the economy back on track. The budget crises in Ghana have been associated with the four-yearly election sequence leading to post-election fiscal crunch. The budget deficit escalates in every election year since 1992, except 2004. The passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act as well as the establishment of the Fiscal Responsibility and Fiscal Stability Advisory Councils in Ghana to anchor fiscal discipline and ensure prudence in the management of the econo…

Survey conducted on made in Ghana goods sold in leading supermarkets

The survey conducted between April and May this year covered eight leading supermarkets in Accra: Shoprite, Game, Palace Mall, Koala, Maxmart, CityDia, Melcom and Marina Mall. It focused on twenty-three main product categories chosen based on a preliminary baseline survey that identified product categories in the supermarkets with Made in Ghana goods on display. The research by an international advisory firm, Konfidants, is the first in a series of Africa-wide surveys to monitor local content in big supermarkets across the continent. The findings confirm that there are not enough Made-In-Ghana goods in the stores. A total number of seven thousand 462 brands from the 23 product categories were counted across all eight supermarkets. Out of this number, six thousand108 representing 82 percent were foreign brands with only one thousand 354 representing 18 percent being Made in Ghana brands. It is an indictment on the nation to learn that the only best performing category of Made in Ghana…

AFCON2019: Performance Of The Senior National Football Team

The presence of President Akufo-Addo in Ismailia, Egypt, to watch the Black Stars opening match against the Squirrels of Benin on June 25 should have gingered up the team to have exhibited a highly-spirited performance never seen in their recent matches. The team is also on record to have had the longest training camp in the recent annals of the Black Stars. Though the euphoria and enthusiasm among Ghanaians is at its lowest ebb, the expectation was however high especially against a side that has very little or nothing to show in terms of African football. It is not for nothing that football is said to be the passion of the nation. This is because it is the only sporting discipline that unites the country whenever the Black Stars are playing a qualifier or participating in a tournament. Though there is no empirical evidence to support this assertion, it is a strong conviction among Ghanaians that any good or bad performance of the Black Stars has a rippling effect on productivity. As…

State Of Ghana’s Educational System

The current media outflow of information on Ghana’s educational ranking by the World Bank has witnessed grave disappointment by persons in the educational sector and those out of the sector. Many seem to have been disappointed with the ranking which placed Ghana second, only to Niger in 150 countries globally. The Human Capital index according to the report looked at the performance of basic and secondary school candidates in harmonized tests scores globally. The report stressed that although Ghana had done well in terms of enrollment for basic and second cycle education, there was no corresponding improvement in the quality of education offered. The report blamed the low ranking of Ghana on the poor quality of learning in schools in the country. For instance, the report indicated that although the expected years of school for children in Ghana was 11.6 as compared to 8.6 average for sub-Saharan African countries, 5.7 of those years were lost because of poor content in our schools. B…

Ghana’s First Lowest Maternal Mortality Rate

Ghana keeps making strides in the world economy, this time in the health sector where she has recorded its first lowest maternal mortality rate. Maternal mortality is the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of the termination of a pregnancy irrespective of the duration or site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management. Ninety-nine percent of maternal deaths occur in developing countries with only one percent happening in developed countries. Maternal deaths happen for two reasons; a direct obstetric death, which is caused by complications that develop directly as a result of pregnancy, delivery or the post-partum period; an indirect obstetric death which is due to an existing medical condition that are worsened by delivery or pregnancy. Despite the progress made by Ghana, it however still falls short of global targets for reproductive, maternal newborn, child and adolescent health envisaged to reach a maternal mortality…

Food Safety And Why Ghanaians Should Be Concerned

The UN General Assembly report on Food Safety indicates that nearly one in ten persons globally, which about to 600 million people fall ill and another 420,000 people die yearly from eating foods contaminated by bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances.  This brings in the issue of food safety in the country. It is reasonably and practically good, for the conception of global food safety day hence the UN dedicating a day to sensitize and educate the world on food hazards, risks and control measures. Ghana’s Current Health Policy on “REGENERATIVE HEALTH AND NUTRITION” sees food safety as one of the main pillars. Now the question is: how much importance does Ghana as a nation and Ghanaians as a people put in to food safety matters?  It is said that ‘We are what we eat’ and if this adage is true, then where will many Ghanaians stand in food safety ratings? Many Ghanaians have little knowledge in food contamination or poisoning. Beside the above stated processes affecting food…

The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations

The 32nd edition of the Total African Cup of Nations competition kicked off in Egypt June 21 with 24 teams. Ahead of the tournament, the Confederation of African Football, CAF initiated several changes and alterations signalling that this year’s Africa Cup of Nations has several surprises in store for us. Because of the competition’s expansion from 16 to 24 teams, more countries than usual were given the chance to qualify for the very first time – and three did exactly that. Madagascar, Mauritania and Burundi will all compete in their first ever AFCON this year, which will surely result in some emotional scenes in Egypt. Six of the nation’s taking part this year are outside of the top 100 in FIFA’s world rankings, so for some just reaching the finals is quite an achievement. The tournament’s preparations rarely witnesses mountainous problems despite a crowded field of competitions from teams that come out to fight for the coveted title. The difficulties began with proposed host Camer…

Being Security Conscious Amidst Rising Kidnapping Cases

Ghana has over the past year, witnessed kidnappings which hitherto was unknown to this country. Kidnapping everywhere is a serious crime. It is the unlawful carrying away, or the capturing and confinement of a person, against his or her will. In most cases, victims are unlawfully imprisoned by means of abduction. Kidnapped Victims are mostly tortured, resulting in bodily injury, raped and traumatised.  There are many non-cogent reasons why criminals kidnap their fellow human beings. Official records available have it that, nearly 80 kidnapping cases have been recorded in the country, between June last year and now, with children and teenagers being the foremost victims with females forming majority. The most talked-about kidnapping cases in the country today, are about the three Takoradi girls and two Canadian ladies.  The Canadians were, Lauren Patricia Tilley, and Bailey Jordan Chitty, volunteering for a Canadian Charity. They were abducted on June 4, this year in Kumasi while retu…

Ongoing Limited Voter Registration

The Limited Voter Registration has begun in earnest albeit with few challenges. The exercise is to afford citizens turning 18, and those who were not captured in the previous session, the opportunity to get their names unto the voters register, hence making them eligible to cast their ballots in the 2020 general election and other ones which they qualify to vote as Ghanaians. To ensure smooth and orderly activity, the Electoral Commission (EC) is working hand in hand with the Ghana Police Service, and has appealed to all to avoid falling foul of the law. Activities which could make one a victim to face possible prosecution include providing false information at the time of registering, such as wrong date of birth, name, registering more than once among others. Above all non-Ghanaians are encouraged to stay off the centres. Needless to state, the Limited voter Registration is for Ghanaians only, who are resident or ordinarily resident in the designated constituency. For identification…

Closed Fishing Season: Aftermath And Lessons Learnt

At long last the month-long ban or closed season for artisanal fishing is over and our in-shore fisherman have begun plying their trade. This will positively affect all workers in the fishing industry including fishmongers and women who smoke fish for sale. The ban was placed to help save some species of fish such as mackerel, anchovies and sardinellas which are threatened by extinction due to poor fishing practices. The closed season was initially scheduled to take effect in 2018 but was postponed to 2019 following concerns expressed by players in the industry. Unlike the previous year, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development engaged stakeholders and consulted widely before imposing the ban. The closed season is practiced in many fisheries’ management jurisdiction as one of the measures to improve fishery resources and ensure the regeneration of the country’s fast depleting fish stock. With the enforcement of the closed season, Ghana has joined the host of countries in…

Desertification: World Marks Drought And Desertification Day

June 17 is 25 years since the world started addressing the issue of drought and desertification with one voice. This became necessary because about 30 percent of the world’s population live in dry areas, which cover more than 40 percent of the world’s land surface. Desertification does not refer to the expansion of deserts, but rather the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas. These areas are characterised by severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or preventing the growth of development of plant and animal life. Currently, there are about 197 parties to the UN Convention to combat Desertification, UNCCD of which Ghana is a signatory. The parties to the Convention are implementing actions to recover and restore degraded lands. To be in tune with the Convention, Ghana has developed a National Action Programme which spans from 2002 to 2027 with the objective to sustain high agricultural production and ensure food security. While enhancing li…

Security Consciousness Among Ghanaians In Wake Of Recent Kidnappings

The need for high security consciousness among Ghanaians By Dr. Kofi Amponsah-Bediako, Director of Corporate Communication, Ghana Standards Authority In a comprehensive sense, meaningful security in a country implies the assurance that any person or a group of people, including foreigners, found in any part of a country can have peace of mind that they deserve to co-exist with one another and contribute their quota to the country’s socio-economic development. In this regard, it is essential for all residents in the country to view security matters within the context of the level of care a nation gives to them rather than over-blowing any one-off or a few incidents out of proportion or exaggerate the reality of the situation. When the report about the three missing girls in Takoradi came out, painful as it is, it is politicised to create the impression that the security apparatus in the country is not working as expected. However, this cannot be said to be the case in view of the fact…

People With Albinism And Their Rights To Life

Albinism is a genetic condition where people are born without the usual pigment in their bodies. Their bodies are not able to make the normal amount of melanin, the chemical that is responsible for eye, skin and hair colour. Most people with albinism have very pale skin, hair and eyes. Albinism is also associated with vision challenges especially when the sun is hot, in effect making them sensitive to light. The condition is an inherited disorder that is present at birth. Children are at risk of being born with albinism if they have parents who carry the genes. It is usually passed on from one unaffected parent to a child.  There is no cure for albinism but some symptoms can be treated. Albinos are found all over the World but are dominant in sub saharan Africa especially East Africa. In Tanzania for instance, albinos represent one in every 1,429 births, a much higher rate than in any other country. People with albinism are at times ostracised and even killed in some countries becaus…

Consequences Of Child Streetism On Development

Children roaming the streets of Accra is a common sight. Most of these children are out there fending for themselves, and they can be found especially around traffic light intercessions, especially around the Airport area and the Stanbic Heights and Silver Star Auto Buildings in Accra. Ironically, their numbers keep increasing by the day as they literally spend their day and night in the streets. These young ones are exposed to all manner of cruelty in the street, where they face abuse, indulge in prostitution, do drugs and are also exposed to the hazards of the weather. As to what sort of human beings these children would grow up to become, the least said about it the better, as some of them engage in criminal activities in all forms. The contribution of street children to Ghana’s socio-economic development will remain a mirage if the issue is not addressed. The ILO put the global figure of children involved in child labour at 152 million, which is about five times the population of…