Fish Export: Ghana earns US$254 million in 2022

Elmina (C/R), May 27, GNA – Ghana earned about US$ 254 million from export of fish and fishery products in 2022, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, said on Friday. If well managed the sector would contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the country, she said at the commissioning of the Elmina Fishing Port Rehabilitation and Expansion project. More than three million people are employed along the value chain of the fisheries sector, which contributes 1.2 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which accounted for over 60 per cent of animal protein intake by the population. Per capita consumption of fish was 26kg, contributing hugely to national food security in Ghana, the Minister said. She, however, pointed out that the sector was saddled with challenges such as sea surface temperature and rising sea levels, which increased occurrences of sea surge due to climate change and global warming. This phenomenon had resulted in coastal sea erosion and destruction of landing sites, affecting the livelihoods of artisanal fishermen. The project would, therefore, address the challenges facing the sector with regards to safe landing for fishermen after fishing expedition and the hygienic handling of fish. Additionally, the fishing port was evidence of the Government’s commitment to the growth and development of the sector. She advised fishermen to stop illegal fishing activities to facilitate the recovery and rebuilding of the fisheries resources. ‘The development of landing sites and fishing harbours will be of no use if the fisheries resources are depleted because of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing practices.’ The Sector Minister called on the fisher-folks to work together to harness the full potential of the Elmina Fishing Port to become a catalyst for sustainable growth, increased job creation and improved livelihoods.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana advised against appetite for loans for sustainable development

Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt), May 27, GNA – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has advised Ghana not to be heavily dependent on loans for its long-term national development. Professor Kevin Chika Urama, Chief Economist of AfDB, said that relying on loans, especially from the capital market, risked not yielding the needed revenue in a short-to-medium term, making repayment difficult. The AfDB Vice President for Economic Governance and Knowledge Management said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at the just ended annual meetings of the Bank in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. He noted that borrowings to fund long-tern development-oriented programmes and projects often resulted in the accumulation of debt, which put economies into crisis. ‘When you depend on borrowing for investing in long-term infrastructure, you have a mismatch because development projects normally take about 30 years or more to offer revenues or dividends or to be able to break even,’ he said. Prof Urama said when borrowings were done, particularly at high coupon rates, it sets a country up off for failure, ‘because the projects you’re putting the resources will not mature when the duration of paying back the loans fall due. ‘You’re then forced to look for money elsewhere, which is challenging for most African countries because of the fiscal constraints,’ the AfDB Chief Economist added.? On Ghana’s debt treatment and the recently approved International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan-support programme, he said AfDB was working with Ghana to provide technical and policy support to the country to address the debt challenges. ‘We’ve had meetings with the Finance Minister, both during the IMF/Bank World spring meetings and had a special high-level delegation that went to Ghana to work with the technical teams,’ he said. ‘Discussions are ongoing and we’ll be providing technical assistance and policy-based operations, and we’re doing this together with our partners to coordinate support for the country,’ Prof Urama told the GNA. Ghana has been locked out of the capital market for more than a year, with an accumulated public debt of GHS434.6 billion (72.2 per cent of Gross Domestic Product – GDP) as of December 2022. Meanwhile the Government is optimistic that with the $3bn IMF loan programme, Ghana would be able to return to the market. ‘We have positioned ourselves to be able to go back into the International market which had been a source of funding for us during the first three or four years of our government,’ President Akufo-Addo said recently. The president who was speaking at the Qatar-Africa Economic Forum in Doha, added that: ‘There is no rush but obviously why not take advantage of global savings, it makes a lot of sense to me.? Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister at a press briefing after securing the IMF programme also said that ‘Working towards the capital market is important because we then get our ratings up and make the country more attractive for foreign investors, especially [getting] FDI.’? ‘Going forward, we’ll find ways of ensuring that we’re efficient in our deployment [of the $3bn funds] …and ensure efficiency in providing services to the people,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Middle Belt Development Authority ends staff retreat

Goaso (A/R), May 27, GNA – The Board and Management of the Middle Belt Development Authority (MBDA) are working assiduously to well-position the Authority as the government’s vehicle to push the nation’s physical infrastructure development agenda. Mr Joseph Kumah Mackay, the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said this when he was addressing the closing session of a four-day staff retreat of the Authority, held at Goaso in the Ahafo Region. It was on the theme, ‘Building Common Grounds for Rethinking and Repositioning for Management and Staff of the MBDA’ and the participants were taken through various topics and exercises to improve their knowledge base, sharpen their skills and to empower them to deliver on the mandate of the Authority. The activities included interactive and participatory learning, physical training aimed at unleashing pent-up energies to galvanize and drive organizational transformation and the participants also visited some projects sites of the Authority in the region. Other topics treated were ‘rallying around a common vision,’ ‘strategic direction and priorities,’ ‘mission command-a way to lead,’ ‘repositioning MBDA to deliver on its mandate for national development,’ ‘internal organizational assessment,’ ‘public sector performance management,’ ‘compliance requirements for projects monitoring and evaluation’ and ‘business enterprise development in the MBDA zone’ Mr. Mackay emphasised the Authority was also poised to coordinate and implement projects and programmes to tackle the deficit in the country’s physical development in a more proactive manner. ‘The Authority has also prioritized and is currently focusing on branding and staff capacity building as important tools to push its transformational agenda,’ he added. Mr Mackay reminded and highlighted the mandate of the authority, and asked the management and staff to work hard, saying, ‘we must all be innovative, creative and facilitate teamwork that would well-position us to achieve our mandate.’ Some of the resource persons were drawn from the Public Services Commission and the Ghana Armed Forces Human Resource Consultancy. Other facilitators were Madam Joyce Opoku Boateng, the Deputy CEO, Legal and Corporate Affairs, MBDA, Mr Vincent Frimpong Manu, the Deputy CEO in-charge of Operations, MBDA, Mr Alexander Ferkah, the Deputy CEO, Finance and Administration, MDBA. Earlier, the authority paid a courtesy call on Nana Yaw Agyei II, the Paramount Chief of Mim Traditional Area, and a board member of the MBDA. Nana Agyei II accompanied the participants to inspect some development projects being executed by the Authority in the area. The MBDA was created by an Act of Parliament, Middle Belt Development Act, 2017, (Act 962) and received Presidential accent in June 2017. It is the main vehicle for the development of the Middle Belt Zone which comprises Ashanti, Eastern, Bono, Bono East and the Ahafo Regions.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Boat disaster on Black Volta leaves 50 missing, one dead

Tamale, May 27, GNA – Aboat disaster on the Black Volta in the Savannah Region has left one person dead, and about 50 others missing. The disaster happened when the boat transporting the passengers from Dorkorchina to Kpandai capsized as result of alleged overloading. Mr Kipo Sulemana, Bole District Director of National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), who confirmed the incident to the Ghana News Agency in Tamale on Saturday, said one person had died, two others survived the incident while about 50 others remained missing. Mr Sulemana said information gathered by NADMO indicated that the boat was overloaded with human beings and goods, adding it hit some tree stumps in the river forcing it to capsize. He said where the incident happened was inaccessible, adding NADMO was relying on local people to help rescue those missing.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Personnel of Forest Service Division charged to discharge their duties dispassionately

Koforidua, May 27, GNA – Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources has urged personnel of the Forest Service Division of the Forestry Commission (FC) to discharge their mandate dispassionately in accordance with the FC regulations. He said, the government would fully support the personnel to discharge their duties in protecting Ghana’s forest without fear or favour. It would also support them to ward off all intruders, whether illegal miners, agricultural expansionists, cocoa farmers, or illegal loggers. ‘The government is aware of the challenges such as welfare, training and inadequate logistics, and the dangers you encounter in ensuring that our country remains green. We are working around the clock to be able to meet up with the challenges,’ he said. Mr Jinapor was speaking at a sod-cutting cutting ceremony at the Eastern Regional Office Complex of the Forest Service Division of the Commission in Koforidua. The facility consists of a reception, conference room, kitchenette, stores, and 13 offices. It will be responsible for managing seven Forest Districts namely: Akim Oda, Kyebi, Kade, Somanya, Begoro, Mpraeso and Donkorkrom. Mr Jinapor charged the staff to maintain the infrastructure in a way that would allow it to serve not only the region but also the entire nation. He said issues of forests have become prominent in the governance of the country and the affairs of the world at large, adding that, one of the major existential threats to planet Earth is climate change. That, he said, the government’s policy with regard to the forestry sector was based on two pillars: the strategy of aggressive afforestation and reforestation and the strategy to protect the existing forest cover of the country. He stated that these two pillars were the approaches being taken to protect the existing forest cover of the country. Mr John Allotey, Chief Executive Officer of the Commission highlighted the benefits of protecting the forests reserves, citing an example that the main river Pra takes its source from the Southern Scarp FR in the Kwahu Plateau and flows over 240km square into the Atlantic Ocean at Shamma. Together with its tributaries- River Birim and River Ofin, the Pra Basin covers 41 administrative districts in four regions of Ghana -Ashanti, Eastern, Central and Western Regions providing wetlands and water for agriculture, drinking and other domestic uses. He said Eastern Region has 49 reserves covering an area of 1887km square Speaking about 2023 Greening Ghana Day which falls on June 09, Mr Allotey said the Forest Services Division of Eastern Region had raised enough seedlings to meet its target of 300,000, and that seedlings would be available at the Regional and all Forestry District offices. Tetrete Okuamoah Sekyim II, Board Chairman of the Forestry Commission said it had been the focus of the government to preserve the forest because ‘that is where we all take our livelihood. It is in this vision that the government provided the office complex to ensure a smooth run of activities.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Chief cautions media, public on Archbishop Agyin-Asare’s ‘demonic headquarters’ comment

Nogokpo (V/R), May 27, GNA – Torgbi Saba V, Chief of Nogokpo in the Ketu South Municipality of the Volta region, has advised the media, social media users and the public to refrain from passing unsavoury comments relating to Nogokpo and the deity (Shrine). His advice came in the wake of a recent comment made by Archbishop Charles Agyin-Asare, the founder and leader of Perez Chapel during a sermon in his Church auditorium in Accra. The archbishop’s comments received a lot of backlash from members of the public purported to be indigenes of Nogokpo, which according to Torgbi Saba, were not coming from the right people. A statement issued by the palace of Torgbi Saba V, copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) said: ‘It has come to the notice of Torgbi Saba V, ‘Dufia of Nogokpo, the current happenings on social media about Archbishop Charles Agyin-Asare and Nogokpo – we wish to let Ghanaians and the world know that we are deliberating on the issue and the general public shall hear from us in due course.’ The statement directs all media outlets and the public seeking further clarification, to do so through the appropriate channel. Archbishop Charles Agyin-Asare, on the third day of a Summit held recently at the headquarters of Perez Chapel in Accra, preached about divine protection and the existence of evil forces and cited several examples to support his teaching. During his preaching, the archbishop recounted an incident where his team received spiritual attacks for hosting a crusade in the Volta Region. ‘During this crusade in Aflao, we slept at Agbozume, that was where our hotel was, and you must go through Nogokpo. And Nogokpo is the demonic headquarters in the Volta Region. ‘We only have not said it but the second night I made Bishop Yaw Adu talk about witchcraft and we disgraced the witches and wizards – When we were driving from Aflao to Agbozume, immediately we got to Nogokpo, Bishop Yaw Adu’s four-wheel drive, the tyre came out from under the car, ‘he recounted. Following the publication of the video online, the Church leader has come under heavy criticism online including from social media handles believed to belong to the Nogokpo shrine. In a related development, Ketu South citizens are demanding an apology from Perez Chapel International founder and leader over his sermon tagging Nogokpo, a community in Ketu South, ‘demonic headquarters in the Volta Region.’ In reaction, Madam Abla Dzifa Gomashie, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ketu South in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said such a tag was unfortunate and that she and her people deserved an apology from the minister of God. ‘Very unfortunate incident. It is an unguarded and inciting comment from a revered leader of a big church. On behalf of my people, I demand an unqualified apology from the man of God, who I have enormous respect for.’ Mr Jonas Fotor Agbagba, Assembly member for Nogokpo/Atsivuta said people had always preconceived minds about the community, famous for its traditional and spiritual shrine, Zakadza. ‘People say many things about Nogokpo because of the deity, but the fact is, it is one of the crime-free and most peaceful places to live in the country. Torgbui Zakadza is a deity that punishes only wrongdoers and gives justice to people served with unfair treatment.’ Zakadza (Fon language) is Yewei’s god of thunder like the Shango cult of the Yoruba or Thor of the ancient Scandinavians.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Akwamuhene of Kadjebi Traditional Area passes on

Kadjebi (O/ R), May 27, GNA-Nana Owusu Sekyere II, Akwamuhene of Kadjebi Traditional Area has passed on. Nana Sekyere, born Joseph Henry Kwesi Osei- Sekyere, died on April 24, 2023, after a short illness. His funeral rite is scheduled for October 6, at Kadjebi in the Oti Region. Okyeame Baah Danso, the Adontenhene’s Okyeame officially announced this at Kadjebi on Thursday, May 25. Nana Sekyere, who was born in 1948, during the 2021 Population and Housing Census exercise, served as a District Census Implementation Committee (DCIC) member, where he made sure that accurate data was gathered on the district for factoring into the National Data. He also served as an Interim Chair for the NCCE’s Inter-Party Dialogue Committee (IPDC), when the Chair became vacant following the transfer of Rev. Fr. Norbert Okoledah, the former IPDC Chair from Kadjebi to Chinderi, the Krachi-Nchumuru District capital. Nana Sekyere was very instrumental in the creation of the Oti Region in 2018 leading the YES vote campaign in the Kadjebi District. Nana Asabre Amankwatia II, Baamuhene of Kadjebi Traditional Area, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), described Nana Sekyere as an ‘important Chief in the traditional set-up’ and that his demise has affected them so much. Nana Amankwatia disclosed that until his death, he served as the Regent for Kordibenu Community when the Chief of that community passed on. The Baamuhene said Nana Sekyere was a hardworking Chief, down to them, always ready for duty and doing things for the traditional area during his lifetime. He said he also represented the traditional area on the Kadjebi District Assembly Development Planning Co-ordinating Unit (DPCU) till his death. Nana Amankwatia said during the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary Voter Registration exercise, he was a member of the Registration Review Committee, and that Nana Sekyere has done a lot for the traditional area.

Source: Ghana News Agency

NDC Minority on Appointments Committee did not vote on Chief Justice’s nominee

Accra, May 27, GNA – The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentary Minority Members on the Appointments Committee of Parliament did not vote on the President’s nominee for the position of Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Sackey Torkornoo. According to a statement issued by Mr Kwame Governs Agbodza, the Minority Chief Whip, copied to the Ghana News Agency, this was due to the unavailability of the reasoned judgement of the Supreme Court in the matter of Mr James Gyakye Quayson. It noted that it was important to state that the Appointments Committee not long ago in 2019 vetted and approved this same nominee as a justice of the Supreme Court. It said, however, it was imperative for Members of the Minority on the Committee to evaluate the decisions of the nominee on all other cases, including the James Gyakye Quayson case since the vetting in 2019. ‘We successfully evaluated the nominee on all relevant criteria except the outstanding matter of James Gyakye Quayson which would enable us, come to a decision,’ the statement said. ‘We expect the reasoned judgement of the court on this matter by 7th June 2023 to finalise our decision. ‘We have duly communicated our challenge to our colleagues on the Majority side and expect their cooperation.’

Source: Ghana News Agency