Zhengzhou: Interactive Exhibitions on the International Museum Day

In central China’s Zhengzhou city, visiting museums has become a new trend of urban lifestyle. On May 18, the International Museum Day, museums in Zhengzhou in the Henan Province unveiled new exhibitions such as Treasures of Cultural Heritages from Luxembourg, Xu Hongfei Sculpture World Tour ยท Zhengzhou and fashion art photography exhibition.

In a bid to attract young visitors, the museums in Zhengzhou created fresh products, ‘bronze-themed coffee’, for instance, and hosted interactive activities related to intangible cultural heritages, including murder mystery games and hands-on artifact restoration.

Zhengzhou, one of China’s eight ancient capitals that boasts a total of 112 museums is dubbed the ‘City of a Hundred Museums’. It accommodates Henan Museum, Zhengzhou Museum, Yellow River Museum and other comprehensive museums. Additionally, there are museums of history and culture and themed museums, such as Henan Natural History Museum.

Zhengzhou has been connecting historical heritages to the public. For
instance, the Zhengzhou Museum, with bronze culture as one highlight, has introduced themed coffee and ice cream with bronze-culture elements.

The Zhengzhou Shang Dynasty Ruins Museum offers an immersive and interactive theater experience titled ‘Memories of the Shang Dynasty’, where visitors can travel through different historical periods via interactive games. The Zhengzhou Dingcang Coin Museum demonstrates ancient coin minting techniques, allowing visitors to try crafting coins themselves.

As a major birthplace of Chinese civilization, Zhengzhou is home to the Peiligang Culture dating back 8,000 years and the Dahecun Culture spanning 6,000 years. Around 5,000 years ago, the legendary Yellow Emperor was born and established his capital here. About 3,600 years ago, the Shang Dynasty also chose this area as their capital. Today, remnants of ancient city walls, stretching seven kilometers, can still be found in the center of Zhengzhou.

Currently, Zhengzhou has two UNESCO World Heritage sites, 83 nationally
protected sites, 147 provincially protected sites, and nearly 10,000 immovable cultural relics, providing a robust foundation for its many museums and exhibitions.

The museums in Zhengzhou have not only enriched the cultural life of the locals, but also appealed to visitors at home and abroad. With innovative events and exhibitions of the city’s historical and cultural heritage, Zhengzhou has presented a vibrant, open, and inclusive urban culture to the world.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Match words with actions to accelerate AfCFTA implementation – Prof Desta

A professor of International Economic Law, Melaku Geboye Desta, has asked African governments to match their words with actions to accelerate the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

Doing so, he said, required building institutional capacities and creating an enabling environment for more private sector participation, as well as increased sensitisation.

He spoke exclusively with the Ghana News Agency over the weekend, in Accra, on the margins of a two-day conference, which took stock of the five years of coming into force of the AfCFTA.

The conference, which was attended by law students, researchers, and industry players, was on the theme: ‘Taking stock of the implementation of the AfCFTA: continental efforts, State commitment and private sector involvement.’

It was organised by the University of Professional Studies, Accra, UPSA Law School, together with the Deutsche Gesellschaft fr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ – German Development Corporation), and other p

Prof Desta explained that the ratification of the five protocols of the AfCFTA had set a strong foundation for achieving the goals of the tariff free-quota free, cross-border trade among African countries.

The regulations are rules of origin, tariff concessions, online mechanism on monitoring, the Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), and the African trade observatory.

He said, ‘in many cases on the continent, we have so many good ideas, but we don’t invest in our capacity; the ability of our institutions to translate our promises into realities.’

‘We need to invest in building capacities. When people have the capacity to action, we can make a difference in our lives, and for that action to happen, we need the capacity,’ he noted.

Prof Desta, who is also the Coordinator for the African Trade Policy Centre UN Economic Commission for Africa, stated that in the past five years, governments on the continent had done well with the agreement.

‘The completion of the five protocols is a hu
ge achievement. Now, let’s move to the next level and make the trade happen. Let’s sensitise and support the private sector, because without them the AfCFTA won’t make any meaningful impact,’ he said.

He explained that though physical infrastructure, including roads, railways, sea and airports, were critical, without the requisite legal framework, the implementation of the free trade agreement would be hindered.

‘We need to invest a lot to build infrastructure, which is not going to be easy and cheap, but even if we want to have infrastructure tomorrow, if don’t have the legal infrastructure, that’s not going to bring anything,’ Prof Desta explained.

Mr Wamkele Mene, Secretary General, AfCFTA Secretariat, stated that the legal framework governing the implementation of the AfCFTA, has been made to address disputes regarding design flaws and political issues in similar agreements.

He expressed confidence that the implementation of the agreement would transform intra-African trade system for development thro
ugh a legally binding regulation.

Source: Ghana News Agency

VTF trains female artisans in Enterprise Management Skills

The Vocational Training for Females (VTF) Programme, a Non-Profit Organisation, has trained 138 artisans, mainly fashion designers and tailors, at Mampong and Ejisu in the Ashanti Region, to boost their capacities in Enterprise Management Skills (EMS).

The four-day workshop covered topics such as Customer Service, Time Management, Costing and Pricing, Business Planning, Records Keeping, and the Balanced Entrepreneur to enhance their capabilities in enterprise management.

The EMS are a set of tools or skills needed for the success of running sustainable businesses, which include planning, scheduling, and communication skills.

The VTF Programme is, therefore, committed to promoting skills training and employment for women and the youth, hence the workshop was part of a broad-based training programme to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The Programme, in strengthening Technical and Vocational Skills training, has observed, over the years, that micro-entrepreneurs and self-employed persons play an
important role in employment creation, particularly for the youth and females, and thus need a tailored intervention and support to thrive.

‘Unfortunately, they lack the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to manage their businesses and this results in low productivity levels and low sales which hinder such businesses from growing and sustaining their income,’ Mrs Patience Adiekeke Morrison, the lead facilitator at the training, said.

She noted that for the past years, VTF had been very much concerned about supporting such enterprises through training, coaching, and mentoring to better appreciate their work with seriousness.

Mrs Morrisson, the Gender and Entrepreneurship Development Officer of the VTF Programme, said considering the potential of SMEs in socio-economic development, continuous training and consistent support would help such businesses to thrive and expand to enable them to employ others and reduce the unemployment rate in the country.

She, for instance, mentioned customer care as a ke
y component of growth in self-employed enterprises, yet that seemed not a priority for players in the industry and hoped that the training would help change the narrative.

Many such business owners, which the VTF had trained and mentored, were doing well, she said, and urged the participants to embrace the training to enhance their products and improve the economic wellbeing.

Source: Ghana News Agency

NDC poised to revitalise poultry sector with strategic interventions – Dr. Hanna Bisiw

Dr. Hanna Louisa Bisiw-Kotei, National Women’s Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), says her party will outline strategic interventions to revitalise and strengthen the local poultry sector.

She said this during a seminar with the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers held at the Miklin Hotel in Kumasi.

The seminar was on the theme: ‘Overview of Ghana’s Depressing Poultry Industry and its Impact on Future Food Security.’

Delivering a speech at the seminar, Dr. Hanna Bisiw-Kotei highlighted the NDC’s plans to implement policies that mandate importers to procure 40% of their poultry locally, creating a $110 million market for local producers.

She emphasised the critical need for strategic interventions to reduce Ghana’s reliance on poultry imports and foster economic growth.

Dr. Hanna Bisiw-Kotei stated the need for the establishment of an open and transparent market system to ensure price stability and promote industry growth.

The NDC’s Women Organiser also detailed a roadmap invo
lving four fundamental pillars: securing the poultry value chain, creating jobs, removing entry barriers, and promoting sustainable practices through technology adoption.

Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, the NDC’s running mate for the 2024 elections, graced the occasion as the keynote speaker, emphasising her party’s unwavering commitment to foster economic growth.

She highlighted that the NDC’s manifesto included comprehensive plans aimed at fostering growth and

sustainability through the implementation of the 24-hour economy policy and the 60:40 policy for local contractors across various sectors, including agriculture.

The seminar addressed the urgent need for supportive policies to strengthen the local poultry industry, which has been struggling due to a heavy reliance on imported chicken meat.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Lands and Mining Watch Ghana petitions President Akufo-Addo

The Lands and Mining Watch Ghana (LMWG), a civil society organisation dedicated to promoting responsible and sustainable mining practices, has petitioned President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to intervene in the Adamus Mining case.

That they believe will install the rule of law in the mining sector.

In a petition signed by Mr Solomon Owusu and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Monday, the LMWG appealed to the government to assert its authority and fulfill its responsibilities to safeguard the Nation’s interest in the Mining sector.

‘Transparency, accountability, and adherence to the rule of law are essential for the sustainable management of Ghana’s natural resources and the equitable distribution of their benefits among all citizens.

‘Mr. President, LMWG believes strongly that it is high time this issue is addressed to whip up confidence in our justice system, as well as promote proper mining practices in Ghana and protect Ghana’s 10% shares in the Adamus Resources.

‘We urge your prompt intervention to
address the environmental and social concerns surrounding this issue.

Adamus Mining, a company 90% owned by Adamus Australia and 10% owned by the Government of Ghana has been embroiled in a legal tussle after the purported sale of 90% of the company’s stake to Nguvu Mining Limited, a company registered in Mauritius was challenged on account that the person who signed the alleged share transfer agreement was not a Director or officer of the company hence lacked capacity to do so.

This culminated in a series of injunction applications which caused the Accra High Court to institute an Interim Management Committee (IMC) to steer the affairs of the company and manage the accrual of revenue until a final determination of the matter.

‘However, in an act of flagrant disregard for the court’s directives, Nguvu Mines the company purported to have purchased the 90% stake in the Adamus Mines are shipping gold mined by the company without the approval of the duly appointed IMC’.

The statement said the Interim Manageme
nt Committee (IMC) which was formed by the Accra High Court of Justice (Commercial Division 7), on March 1, 2024, to direct the Management of Adamus Resources Limited was continuously being prevented from executing its mandate as per the court ruling.

‘There have been instances of the Ghana police service providing security to the IMC on trips to the company’s headquarters at Airport residential only for the police to withdraw their services at the eleventh hour due to as they put it ‘orders from above’.

There are also several allegations of influential political figures interfering in the work of the IMC and thwarting their efforts.

‘Mr. President, we are appalled by the revelation that Angela List, in collaboration with select individuals from political and security circles are orchestrating a bold and illegal move to export gold valued allegedly at over 7 million USD from Adamus Resources.

‘Owing to these interferences, we deem it imperious to petition the presidency as a civil society organization sin
ce the government of Ghana owes Ghanaians a duty to protect the state’s shares, particularly its substantial 10 percent stake in Adamus Resources’.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Motivational speaker Daniel Appiah to attempt the Guinness World Record for the longest speech marathon

Mr Daniel Appiah, a Motivational speaker, has expressed his determination to break the Guinness World Record for the longest speech marathon, aiming to inspire others to pursue their dreams.

In the event scheduled from June 25th to June 30th, 2024, at the World Trade Center Conference Room in Accra, Mr Appiah is seeking to speak for 100 hours to break the existing 90-hour record held by a Nepalese.

The theme for his record attempt emphasised ‘positivity and possibility.’

The current record holder is Dr Ananta Ram KC from Nepal, who spoke continuously for 90 hours some four years ago, and it is a continuous speech except for breaks, which also need to be strictly adhered to.

He said, in his case, he would be delivering more motivational and inspirational content to inspire the audience, which aligned with his core mission as the Chief Encouragement Officer of Dream Focus International.

‘I inspire and encourage people to live their dreams,’ he said.

The speaker aimed to impact one million students positiv
ely across Ghana and Africa by leveraging his Guinness World Record attempt to inspire, impact and ignite the dreams and aspirations of one million youth and students.

He said this endeavour was not just about achieving a personal milestone but inspiring others to pursue their dreams and realize their full potential.

He said he chose the conference room to ensure his audience were comfortable, relaxed, and ready to be inspired.

‘My attempt at the longest speech marathon is more than just a test of endurance. It is a symbol of the power of positivity and possibility,’ he said.

He said through the record-breaking feat, he aimed to spread a message of hope and encouragement to the public, especially to the youth and students across the country and the African region.

He expressed the belief that every individual had unique talents and skills waiting to be unleashed and by fostering a mindset of positivity and possibility, ‘we can empower individuals to dream big and pursue their aspirations with unwavering

The Speaker said with the right commitment, dedication, persistence, and hard work, every dream was within reach.

He said it was difficult to achieve the goal alone as the endeavour required more resources and logistics to reach out to the youth and students.

He called on corporate Ghana, philanthropists, foundations, private individuals, well-meaning Ghanaians locally and abroad, and friends to join him in supporting the noble agenda.

He said donations were solicited to raise one million cedis, with payment platforms and means to contribute to be shared including shortcodes for local networks, GoFundMe accounts, and bank accounts for Dream Focus would be provided.

‘Together, we can make a difference in the lives of one million students in the short to medium term, providing them with the tools and inspiration they need to chase their dreams and make them a reality,’ he added.

He expressed commitment to raising one million cedis to inspire and impact one million students positively.

h your support, we can ignite a wave of change that will transform lives and communities for the better,’ he said.

He called on stakeholders to come together to empower the current and next generation and unlock their potential.

Source: Ghana News Agency

OSP, CAGD unearths GH?2,854,144.80 payroll fraud

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) and the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) discovered GH?2,854,144.80 in unearned monthly salaries during the Government Payroll Administration audit.

Those unearned salaries were attributed to individuals who were deceased, retired, no longer in employment, listed as missing, or whose whereabouts were unknown, often referred to as ‘Ghost Names.’

A joint statement issued in Accra by the OSP and CAGD said the country saved GH?34,249,737.60 for the 2024 fiscal year by suspending payments and removing those categories of persons from the Government Payroll.

In addition, further savings are anticipated in subsequent years, along with potential upward compensation adjustments, because of the OSP’s joint inquiry into those unearned salaries.

The investigation covered employees on the Government payroll in the Northern Region only.

The statement said the OSP and CAGD discovered that an alarming number of illegal and inactive validators worked on th
e payroll system in the Northern Region.

‘In one instance, it was discovered that a primary school in the Kumbungu District of Ghana Education Service did not exist at all.

‘Yet, this non-existent contrived entity was represented as staffed and the purported staff were being validated monthly and being paid salaries,’ it said

The statement said the OSP and CAGD were conducting an enhanced investigation into educational institutions under the Ghana Education Service in the Northern Region and the Tamale Teaching Hospital.

The goal is to prosecute those who were promoted to non-existent schools, as well as validate deceased, untraceable, and retired individuals and those who had vacated their posts.

It said subsequent phases of the investigation would include the remaining 15 regions.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Decline in fish stock has socio-economic implications – Dr Kassah

Dr Jemimah Etornam Kassah, a fisheries scientist, says unsustainable fishing practices and their resultant decline in the country’s fish stock have dire socio-economic implications for the Ghanaian society.

She said the fisheries sector of Ghana provided both direct and indirect employment to about 10 per cent of the country’s population, therefore, anything that affected the sector would have a rippling effect on the socio-economic lives of people in the value chain.

‘If we have a collapse of the fisheries sector, the people going to be affected are not just the fishermen, but every other player or actor along the value chain, from mechanics to outboard motor repairers to gear developers and boat builders.’

‘All these people are having their livelihoods threatened,’ she said during a Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) media forum on sustainable fishing practices.

Dr Kassah, a Lecturer at the Department of Biology Education, University of Education, Winneba, observed that due to low catches current
ly, families dependent on the fisheries sector were facing a lot of pressure, with some experiencing low-income levels while some women did not get fish to smoke.

‘What happens then in the coastal communities is that there are high levels of depression and people are hypertensive, in addition to other health issues due to increased stress,’ she said.

‘Even though a lot is being done to reduce the rate of child trafficking in Ghana, because of low catches, there have been reports of families in coastal communities having to make their children to serve as domestic servants with other families, which is truncating their schooling, among other things.’

The fisheries scientist said fish had become expensive and if medical officers were advising parents to, for example, add powdered sardinella to the diet of toddlers while the price of herrings had gone up, it would be difficult for low-income mothers to ensure their children got the adequate protein needs.

She added that the situation did not only affect the
fishing communities but also every actor in the value chain, hence the need for the nation to work towards preventing the depletion of the fish stock.

Source: Ghana News Agency