Food exports to USA stand out in economic week

The announcement of the first export of 23 tonnes of food products from Angola to the United States of America (USA) was one of the news events that marked the week in the economic field, which ends today, Saturday.

The initiative by Angolan food processing company Food Care is part of the American Growth and Opportunity for Africa Act (AGOA).

Among the food stuffs exported from Angola are cassava flour and corn, cassava leaves, mushrooms, peanuts and peanut butter.

According to the counsellor of the US Embassy in Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe, Mea Arnold, the action is the result of a partnership between the company “Food Care” and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

AGOA gives eligible sub-Saharan African countries duty-free access to the US market for more than 1,800 agricultural products.

This week’s highlight was also the presentation of the balance of the first phase of the Programme for the Reconversion of the Informal Economy (PREI), which has been underway in the country since 2018, having removed more than 250,000 workers from informality.

The figures were released by the Minister of Public Administration, Labour and Social Security, Teresa Dias, during the opening of the first International Forum for the Conversion of the Informal Economy.

Also, within the scope of PREI, the focus was on the 5,000 operators who received micro-loans totalling around 8 billion kwanzas, according to the president of the National Institute for Support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (INAPEM), João Nkosi.

In the field of transport, the focus was on the participation of 15 companies specialized in the management of airport infrastructures in the presentation session of the potentialities and terms of reference for the tender for the concession of the management of the new Dr. António Agostinho Neto International Airport (AIAAN).

The event was joined by companies from Europe, the United States, China and Latin America that, in addition to knowing the strategic plan to turn the new airport into a hub, learned that the concession has a period of 25 years, extendable for another 15 years.

The meeting also served to let interested parties know the eligibility criteria, based on financial capacity, set above 150 million dollars.

In this sector, the meeting between the Minister of Transport, Ricardo D’Abreu, and international financial institutions that probe projects in the field of transport also made headlines.

During the meeting, representatives of Deutsche Bank, a German bank and the DFC-American financial institution, assured the availability of funds to jointly contribute to the construction of structuring projects in Angola, especially transport.

In the railway sector, the Luanda Railway (CFL) announced the transportation of 782,700 passengers in 2022, compared to the 209,440 of the average recorded until 2017.

The number of passengers transported last year is the result of the 16 daily frequencies, operated by trains on the normal route from Monday to Friday, at a fare ranging between 200 and 2,500 kwanzas.

Another fact that deserved to be highlighted was the registration of 100 investment projects, valued at more than one billion dollars.

These are projects in the tourism, industry, energy and water and health sectors, among others, which will contribute to the growth of the national economy and generate more than 5,000 jobs, according to the president of the Agency for Private Investment and Promotion of Exports in Angola (AIPEX), Lello Francisco.

Source: Angola Press News Agency

National Communication Council suspends Canal plus Elles

The National Communication Council has suspended the CANAL PLUS ELLES for allegedly conveying obscene practices with homosexual tendencies through its programs.

This was made known through a communiqué signed by the president of the National Communication Council, Joseph Chebongkeng.

“The National Communication Council informs public opinion that for some time, we have noted the recurrence of the broadcast in certain channels of the CANAL PLUS INTERNATIONAL Channels received in Cameroon, of programs conveying obscene practices with homosexual tendencies and thus undermining the laws and values of the Republic,” the communique read.

The Channel is said to have received a warning included in its press release of June 12, 2023, with which the council began consultations with those responsible for the CANAL PLUS INTERNATIONAL group with a view to finding appropriate solutions.

According to the council, the CANAL PLUS INTERNATIONAL Group has been very indifferent despite all their warnings.

The communique said that; “Taking into account all the warnings with the aim of putting an end to the programs denounced, which promote practices contrary to our laws, as well as our morals and customs, the National Communication Council has, by separate correspondence today, asked the cable television operator CANAL PLUS INTERNATIONAL to suspend without delay and until further notice of its bouquets received in Cameroon the broadcast of the channel called CANAL PLUS ELLES,”.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Elite 1 to start on September 27

Group A

A2-AS Fortuna

A7- Canon Sportive

A1- Dynamo de Douala

A3-Les Astres de Douala

A10-Union Sportive

A9-Gazelle FA

A5-PWD Bamenda

A4-Aigles Royal de la Menoua

A6- Bamboutos

A8-Colombe Sportive

Group B

B6- APejes de Mfou

B2- Fauve Azur

B4- Stade Renard

B7-Avion Academy

B8-UMS de Loum

B3-Coton Sport

B9-Yong Sport

B5-Fovu De Baham

B1-Victoria United

The Championship has been scheduled to begin on Wednesday, September 27 2023 according to the following fixtures.

Group A

Dynamo vs AS Fortuna

Astres vs Aigle

PWD Vs Bamboutos

Canon vs Colombe

Gazelle vs Union

Group B

Victoria United Vs Fauve Azur

Coton vs Stade Renard

Fovu vs Apejes

Avion vs UMS

The top 4 in each group will qualify for the playoffs while others will play a relegation tournament to determine the 5 teams that will descend to the Elite 2.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

ActionAid Ghana urges Government to invest more in climate change adaptation

Mr John Nkaw, Country Director of ActionAid Ghana, an international NGO, has called on the Government and other development partners to invest more resources into climate change adaptation to enhance livelihoods and build resilient communities.

He also called on the Government to redirect investments towards agroecology to enhance sustainable environment and food security.

Mr Nkaw made the call during a float campaign in Tamale dubbed: ‘Fund our Future.’

He said: ‘Government and other development partners such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank should prioritise channelling more of their resources into agricultural adaptation, whilst targeting smallholder farmers, including women, to build more robust and resilient communities.’

The Fund our Future campaign is a global initiative implemented by ActionAid in all its 45 affiliate countries across the world, which seeks to push financial institutions to cut funding from climate harming industrial agriculture and all fossil fuel projects.

Mr Nkaw noted that as part of the campaign strategy, African-led research had been conducted to trace the level of investments by the banks that went into financing fossil fuel exploration and industrial agribusinesses.

He indicated that the research findings had identified that over the last couple of years, banks had contributed about 370 billion dollars into the agribusiness sub-sector in Africa whilst fossil fuel exploration also contributed about 3.2 trillion dollars into petroleum exploration, which contributed towards the greenhouse gases that affected the ozone layer and the environment.

He called on banks to prioritise de-investing in the industrial agriculture sub-sector in ways that would help reduce environmental pollution.

The Tamale campaign brought together youth groups such as Activista-Ghana, Young Urban Women Movement and Small holder women farmer groups.

They held placards with inscriptions such as ‘Agroecology is a collective responsibility,’ ‘Enhanced biological activity, essential to soil health,’ ‘Agroecology contributes to food and nutrition security,’ among others, seeking to draw attention to issues of climate change adaptation and their repercussions on community development.

Miss Aisha Mohammed, Vice – Chairperson of Young Urban Women Movement, called on women and other vulnerable groups in the country to champion advocacy and awareness creation on climate change, adding, its impact directly affected most vulnerable groups.

Participants later signed a petition to register their commitment towards protecting and safeguarding the environment.

Source: Ghana News Agency

We must become ambassadors and envoys of peace – Dr Lawrence Tetteh

The Reverend Dr Lawrence Tetteh, Founder and President of the Worldwide Miracle Outreach, has called on Ghanaians to become envoys and ambassadors of peace.

He said when Ghanaians embraced peace, the children would help promote peace everywhere.

He said there was the need for messages of peace to be preached in various places of worship, work places and homes.

Dr Tetteh was speaking during the Volta and Oti International Day of Peace Summit 2023 organised by the Regional Peace Council and held at Hohoe.

He said international peace organisations had failed in their efforts as the Russia-Ukraine war and other wars at certain parts of the world had shown.

The summit on the theme: ‘Action for Peace: Celebrating Champions of Peace,’ reflected on the progress made and recognising the exceptional contributions of selected government officials, traditional leaders, peace ambassadors, and journalists who supported the Regional Peace Council’s intervention in the Alavanyo-Nkonya conflict.

Dr Tetteh noted that offences were traps and baits that had destroyed the rank and file of communities, adding that there would be enough peace if the energies used by people in fighting their enemies were channelled into creating peace.

He said Ghanaians believed in peace and must not lose sight of the benefits being enjoyed in peace, urging that all people must continue to embrace peace and love, and most importantly, inculcate it in the youth.

Rev Dr Ernest Adu-Gyamfi, the Chairman, National Peace Council, in speech read on his behalf by Mr Frank Bodza, Deputy Director, Conflict Management and Resolution, said fostering peace contributed to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals and achieving the Goals would create a culture of peace for all people.

He said many individuals and institutions had played various roles that had contributed immensely to calming tensions and bringing peace to many communities in the region and the Peace Council and stakeholders had taken note of the remarkable feats.

Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, called on people to continue to take meaningful actions for peace.

He said in unity and understanding, Ghanaians could guide each other’s path, and make the region, nation, and world a better and more peaceful place.

He noted that the Alavanyo-Nkonya violence had toned down and the negative social-psychological dynamics that once fueled the conflict, such as trauma, enmity, and entrapment, were gradually being reversed, which was a testament of the power of collaboration and the enduring spirit of peace that resided within communities.

Dr Letsa said the journey towards sustainable peace was an ongoing one, even though challenges might arose but it was the collective commitment that would enable people to attain lasting peace.

‘We must continue to engage in dialogue, promote inclusivity and address the root causes of conflicts to ensure a lasting and harmonious coexistence.’

Reverend Seth Mawutor, Volta Regional Peace Council Chairman, noted that the level of peace attained currently in Alavanyo and Nkonya must not be taken for granted.

He said the Council had proposed paying appropriate reparation to victims of conflict-related violence to bring closure to the pains of those who lost their relatives and those who suffered conflict-related injuries for no fault.

Awards were presented to political, religious and traditional leaders, and some journalists among others, including Mr Clemence Gyato, a Peace Ambassador.

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the UN General Assembly to commemorate and strengthen the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and people as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.

Source: Ghana News Agency

NPP not playing mischief challenging voter applicants

Mr Bright Doh, Ho Central Constituency Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has stated that challenging applicants over their voter identity card in the ongoing limited registration should not be taken as mischief.

He said all the party was doing was to ensure that the right thing was done so that the country would have clean and credible voter register devoid of foreigners and minors.

Mr Doh, who was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Ho noted that political parties as stakeholders in the electoral process had a responsibility to ensure that only eligible citizens get onto the electoral roll.

The Secretary said registering minor citizens was tantamount to destroying their future, therefore, ‘it does not matter if the person will vote for NPP or NDC if the person does not qualify let us reject the person.’

He said no party stands to gain from the exercise being conducted at the Electoral Commission’s municipal and district offices as they were all ‘challenged’ as a political party.

Therefore, the propaganda that registering people at the EC’s municipal and district offices would inure to the benefit of the NPP was not true, he added.

Mr Doh said people should not blame the EC for conducting the registration exercise at its municipal and district offices because the Commission did nothing wrong as it had gotten approval of parliament.

‘I’m of the opinion that we are suffering because of our representatives in parliament, both NPP and NDC. The EC presented a proposal to you in parliament that I want to do registration in my district offices all over Ghana and attached a budget to it.’

‘You never rejected that proposal, you accepted it, and released the fund to them to go ahead with the registration at their district offices. This blame should go to our parliamentarians who approved the budget for the EC to conduct the registration at their offices.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Knowledge Transfer Learning Site inaugurated at Abesim-Sunyani?

A Knowledge Transfer Learning Site has been inaugurated at Abesim, near Sunyani with the aim to enhancing the skills of farmers through the utilisation of simple technologies that make use of natural materials found in their environment.

Established by the East West Seed Foundation, a non-governmental organisation under East West Seeds (EWS) International, a leading hybrid seed producer headquartered in Thailand, the learning site seeks to facilitate knowledge exchange and improve agricultural best practices.

Through the site, farmers would learn how to adopt and implement basic techniques such as mulching, using readily available materials like cocoa leaves, rice straw, dried grass and corn husks in order to achieve higher crop yields.

The Site had successfully cultivated a variety of vegetables including Onions (Prema), Cabbage (Nuzaka F1), Cucumber (Nandini), Sweet Corn (Sugar King F1), Tomato (Padma F1), Eggplant (Kibibi F1), and Hot Pepper (Efia F1).

Briefing the media about the project, Ms. Jemima Djah, the Knowledge Transfer Manager, Ghana expressed the hope that if farmers adopted those simple techniques and utilise materials readily available in their environment, there would be a reduction in fruit spoilage, leading to increased income and improved livelihoods for them.

She explained the techniques and materials were specifically around the farmers, but unfortunately they had not paid much attention to them, indicating that it would be an eye-opening experience for the farmers to see and adopt those techniques and materials.

Ms. Djah emphasised the results achieved clearly demonstrated that their staff were well-trained and ready to be deployed into communities in the Bono Region, saying they would go to the farmers’ and set up demonstration farms, eliminating the need for farmers to travel to the learning site.

She further said the learning farm would serve as a training ground for professionals, including Ministry of Food and Agriculture extension officers who wished to enhance their knowledge in specific areas, while schools interested in bringing their students to study the technology were also encouraged to do so.

Ms. Djah expressed the hope to see more young people, especially women, actively involved in agriculture, adding that it could be a profitable venture for the youth, particularly vegetable production.

She said the ultimate goal was to engage with farmers nationwide through the Municipal and District Directorates of Ministry of Food and Agriculture and called for collaboration through provision of lands for demonstration farms.

The event drew farmers from the Bono, Ahafo and Bono East Regions and selected farmers from across the country.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Women sheanut pickers allege Fulani herdsmen harassment in two districts, UER

Some women sheanuts pickers from Talensi and Nabdam Districts of the Upper East Region have alleged harassment from some Fulani herdsmen in the communities.

They alleged that some of the Fulani herdsmen harassed them and seized the sheanuts they picked, threatening to rape them in the bushes where they pick the shea nuts.

The sheanuts pickers, who made the allegation are members of Maltaaba Peasant Women Farmers’ Cooperative (MAPEWFAC) in the two districts and made the complaint at a Joint Stakeholder Review Forum held in Bolgatanga.

The forum organised by MAPEWFAC with funding support from STAR Ghana Foundation attracted 60 Peasant Women Farmers from the two districts.

Mrs Yinwonbe Ziba, one of the participants from the Namolgo community in the Talensi District, stated that many community members depended on shea nut picking as one of their major livelihoods but noted that the spate of harassment by some Fulani herdsmen with their cattle were retarding the progress of their economic livelihoods.

Mrs Zagre Yenbila, another participant from the Yarkoti community in the Nabdam District, said many of the peasant farmers had stopped picking shea nuts because of the harassment.

‘We have to commute long distances to the bush to pick shea nuts to earn a living only to be harassed by these Fulani herdsmen,’ she stressed.

The key findings of the needs assessments, which was conducted by MAPEWFAC in some communities in the two Districts, revealed that their needs included insecurity, lack of veterinary services, grinding mills, potable water, Inadequate credit facilities, kindergartens, inadequate farm inputs (quality seeds, fertilizers), inadequate income generating activities, poor soils and electricity.

Mr Vincent Subbey, a Development Consultant, who is a facilitator to MAPEWFAC, said prior to the needs assessments survey in the communities, the NGO organized a capacity building programme for the staff of MAPEWFAC to empower them undertake the activity.

He entreated the participants not to only rely on government for support, but to be very innovative and resilient in championing development activities in their respective communities.

Madam Lydia Miyella, the Executive Director of MAPEWFAC who also expressed worry about the trend, called on the District Security Committees of the two Assemblies to collaborate with security agencies to address the concern raised by the group.

She explained that the rationale for the forum was to find a synergy of the needs of the rural women farmers from its operational areas so as to build their capacity to address their own challenges as well as advocate for support in addressing such challenges.

Source: Ghana News Agency