President of the Republic meets National Security Council

The President of the Republic, João Lourenço on Monday will chair the second ordinary meeting of the National Security Council, in Luanda, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief.

According to a press release to which ANGOP had access on Sunday, the meeting will address the country’s political-military, public security and human rights situation.

The meeting agenda also includes the consideration of the National Security Bill, among other issues linked to the Intelligence and State Security Services.

The National Security Council is made up of 23 members, namely the Vice-President of the Republic, the presidents of the National Assembly, the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Military Court, the Attorney General of the Republic, the Minister of State and Chief of the Military House of the President of the Republic.

Also included are the ministers of State and head of the Civil House of the President of the Republic, for Economic Coordination and the Social Area, as well as the ministers of National Defense, Former Combatants and Veterans of the Country, Interior, Foreign Relations, Finance, Territorial Administration and Justice and Human Rights.

The council also includes the chief of the General Staff of the Angolan Armed Forces, general commander of the National Police, head of the State Information and Security Service, head of the Military Intelligence and Security Service, General Director of the External Intelligence Service, inspector general of the State Administration and the director general of the Criminal Investigation Service.

Guest members and a technical group made up of other entities involved in the area of national security also participate in the meeting.

Source: Angola Press News Agency

Planned Baynes Dam will generate more than 800 megawatts

The planed hydroelectric dam, to be built in the Cunene River basin, will generate 860 megawatts of installed power, said the project coordinator, Manuel Catumbela.

Speaking to ANGOP at the end of the visit of the Minister of Public Works, Urbanism and Housing, Carlos Alberto dos Santos, to the section that will connect the planned Baynes Dam, the project coordinator said it is in the study update stage, and subsequently follow the evaluation models for the start phase, scheduled for 2024.

Manuel Catumbela said that the multisectoral visit to the section, which will connect Moçâmedes to the Baynes dam, in the municipality of Tômbwa, in a route of about 300 kilometers, aimed to assess, on the spot, the technical issues to have a safe construction of the energy infrastructure.

“With this section all intervened, in terms of road, we will thus be able to have ease in transporting all the equipment for the construction of the Baynes dam, which will arrive via the Port of Namibe, to the mouth of the Cunene River and allow the works, in due time, to run smoothly,” he said.

According to the official, the project, in addition to producing electricity for Angola and Namibia, will also create jobs.

Manuel Catumbela pointed out that the project includes a compacted concrete dam of 200 meters, with an installed capacity for the production of 860 megawatts, generated from four generator sets of 215 megawatts each.

To fill the Baynes’ operating regime, according to the coordinator’s explanation, the construction of a second dam will be planned, to carry out the flow discharges, which will be observed at peak hours.

“These discharges will have a negative environmental impact and for this, a regularization dam was designed to mitigate these loads,” he said.

In this regularization dam will also be installed a plant with three units of six megawatts, making a total of 18 megawatts, which will join the 860, thus totaling 876 megawatts of power for this Baynes dam, according to the official.

Source: Angola Press News Agency

Graduated students urged to keep developing their skills for success

Dr Emmanuel Arthur, Provost, Lancaster University Ghana, has urged newly graduated students to keep nurturing and developing their skills to succeed in career paths and make society a better place.

He said developing a skill and nurturing it would make them experts and create a unique identity for transformational change.

‘Attaining a degree must be of value to you as an individual to become a great leader, but seize the opportunities to learn more and bring change in your community’, he said.

The Provost said this at the seventh cohort graduation ceremony of Lancaster University Ghana in Accra which was also in line with the 10th Anniversary celebration of the University.

He said the graduating class had been trained to discover their potential, fix challenges, navigate their way, make decisions and grow.

‘I leave you with the words of Winston Churchill, ‘the pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity, the optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty,’ there are endless opportunities out there, go explore and succeed,’ Dr Arthur said.

He said Lancaster University Ghana would continue to equip students with not just academic knowledge but essential skills and values required for stellar careers.

Professor Simon Guy, Vice Chancellor of Global Lancaster University called on the graduates to be resilient and rise to the global challenges.

‘As a university graduates, you have to learn how to analyse, argue and questions. Be bold, brave and believe in yourselves. You have a wonderful future ahead of you, be dedicated and committed,’ he said.

He said the University believed in building bridges and not wars and they were committed to producing graduates Ghana and its neighbours needed to fulfill their ambitions to grow economically, be inclusive socially and bring prosperity to their citizens.

Mr Keith McMahon, Deputy British High Commissioner in Ghana in his address said though the completion of a university journey was a significant milestone, the graduating class needed to look forward to the endless opportunities ahead of them.

He said: ‘You are the architect of your destiny. You have the power to make the world a better place. Your degrees are powerful tools, a key that opens new opportunities for you.’

‘In doing so, embrace the values of compassion, empathy and inclusivity as you venture into the workforce and continue your academic careers,’ Mr McMahon said.

The Lancaster University Ghana located at Tantra Hill, a suburb in Accra, has started a project of establishing technology lab on campus for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students to have first hand training in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

It is also setting up a first class court rooms for its law students to sharpen both their written and oral advocacy skills.

As a university operating in many countries across the globe, it could boast of 170, 000 Alumni.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Regional conference to build capacity of African SMEs opens on Sept 27 in Accra

The Centre for Regional Integration in Africa (CRIA) and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) are organising the 2023 Regional Integration Issues Forum (RIIF) conference for African SMEs in Accra.

The conference in collaboration with the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) will be on the theme: ‘Breaking Business Barriers for AfCFTA Acceleration’ with support from Afreximbank and endorsement from the AfCFTA.

A statement issused in Accra by the organizers said the event would be held on September 27 to 28, 2023.

It said the RIIF was a sensitization mechanism and an interface platform for stakeholders involved in regional integration and continental trade initiatives.

The 2023 RIIF aims at increasing awareness of the AfCFTA and its benefits for SMEs, as well as to strengthen SMEs’ capacity to engage in intra-African trade.

The statement said the conference would bring together about 150 participants from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, and Zimbabwe, among other countries.

They include business owners of SMEs, private sector executives, international and African trade experts, AfCFTA Secretariat representatives, regional business councils, academics, research institutions and think tanks, development institutions, financial institutions, African thought leaders and business influencers, and the media.

It said the Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat would deliver the keynote address coupled by interactive panel discussions, breakout sessions, networking segments, training sessions, and company site visits.

The statenent said the 2023 RIIF SME conference would showcase practical ways in which AfCFTA provides opportunities to mobilise resources and stakeholders, build capacity, scale-up businesses, develop inclusivity for intra-African trade, create jobs,

expand national economies, and develop a sustainable continental market and ecosystem that effectively meets the needs of African people.

‘The conference is in support of the African Unions theme for 2023: Year of AfCFTA: Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation,’ it added.

It said additional RIIF conferences and training initiatives would be planned in other regions of the continent to build the capacity of business leaders to understand the AfCFTA and gain access to intra-African cross-border trade.

The first phase will begin in West Africa, where the Pan African Payment Settlement System (PAPSS) has been piloted to ensure financial ease of doing business across African borders and markets.

‘We have been convening the RIIF in partnership with ACBF since 2017 and, this year, GIMPA has joined us in organizing the 2023 RIIF SME conference. The initiative has also attracted strategic support from Afreximbank and the AfCFTA Secretariat,’ Professor Lehlohonolo Tlou, Executive Director of CRIA.

She said regional integration and intra-African trade were key strategies for transforming our economies and no single entity can do it all.

‘The conference is an important opportunity to join forces in building the capacity of SMEs to engage in intra-African trade and to contribute to the success of the AfCFTA. We believe working together can create a prosperous future for all Africans,’ she added.

The Executive Director said AfCFTA provided tremendous opportunities for African SMEs and RIIF 2023 conference was designed to help SMEs understand and leverage these opportunities, and to overcome barriers that they may face.

Mr M. Mamadou Biteye, Executive Secretary of ACBF said, ‘Capacity building plays a vital role in addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by the AfCFTA and breaking the business barriers for its acceleration, and this Conference is contributing to such efforts.’

‘ACBF recognizes that without the necessary capacities, African countries and businesses, SMEs in particular, may struggle to fully leverage the benefits of AfCFTA,’ he added.

The ACBF Strategic Plan 2023-2027 includes Trade as an Engine of Economic Development as one of four key impact areas that we will focus our work on over the next five years.

‘We will provide targeted capacity building support to governments, policymakers, institutions, private sector entities, SMEs and individuals involved in the AfCFTA implementation process,’ it added.

Source: Ghana News Agency

We need a sound financial management system – Dormelevo

Mr Daniel Yao Dormelevo, former Auditor General, has called for a sound financial management system for the country.

He said the nation’s debt stockpile crossed rescuable levels and required a bean counting financial management structure.

The former Auditor General made the call at the second anticorruption day celebration of the Asogli State’s Yam Festival Celebration.

‘We need a sound financial management system. A system which can ensure that resources are used for the intended purposes. A system which will ensure the strategic allocation of resources and fiscal discipline.’

He went on to state how a sound financial management system would produce more effective public service and improve leadership for the country.

‘We need public service which delivers efficient service to us. We need to move as a country under sound leadership.’

Mr Dormelevo also called for fiscal decentralisation as a measure to limit corruption, adding that localising financial control would best serve the needs of the people.

He said the fight against corruption deserved to be commercialised to enable individuals and organisations to pursue rot in society for a fee.

Other speakers including Emmanuel Wilson Jr, Mensah Thompson, and Eric Ahianyo, all known anticorruption campaigners, called on stakeholders to address growing concerns over the state of the nation’s economy.

This year’s Yam Festival marks 20 years of the reign of Togbe Afede XIV, the Agbogbomefia, and who was present at the event.

In a remark, he was hopeful that through patriotic leadership and perseverance, the nation could make a turnaround for the better.

‘We can turn the country around through honesty, hard work, and genuine love for our nation. But it requires leadership that will encourage us to work together and do things differently. Leadership that respects the truth, eschews divisiveness.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

The growing frustration among the youth is frightening – Togbe Afede

Togbe Afede XIV, the Agbogbomefia of Asogli, has noted youth desperation in the country and called for quality leadership.

He said rising economic challenges drove the youth to the brink and should become a concern for stakeholders.

Togbe Afede was addressing an anti-corruption day celebration that forms part of the Asogli Yam Festival celebration, and said corruption remained the root cause of troubled youth.

‘Our economy is indeed in a mess, and the growing frustration and sense of helplessness and hopelessness among the youth is frightening. I know what suffering is like, so I share the pain of our youth.’

Togbe Afede would blame bad governance, which he said had bedeviled the country since the collapse of the independence regime, and that the growing corruption stockpiled unemployment and desperate survival among the youth.

‘Making matters worse for me, personally, is the frightening rate of unemployment. So, we see that frustration is leading our people to pursue hazardous journeys in search of greener pastures. We see misery in their faces, and of course the suicide rate has been on the increase,’ he said.

The Agbogbomefia said the long custody of corruption must be broken, as it remained the ‘main culprit’ in reinforcing the nation’s ‘chaotic economic situation.’

Togbe Afede, an avid anti-corruption champion, said that hope, however, lay in the fact that the nation had the resources to transform negative outlook, and would require leadership commitment.

‘We can turn her around through honesty, hard work, and genuine love for our nation. But it requires leadership. Leadership encourages us to work together and do things differently. Leadership that respects the truth, eschews divisiveness.

‘Leadership that works hard to make us all do away with greed inspired and violence-backed democratic dispensation that we are witnessing now. Leadership that has transparency and accountability. They are things that we need to sail through, turn the tide and restore Ghana to its place of respectability in Africa and the world.’

The anti-corruption event has become major feature of the popular yam festival of the people of the Volta Regional capital, and this year had Mr Daniel Yao Dormelevo, former Auditor General as guest speaker.

The top accounting official, who also is a favourite integrity icon, called for a ‘sound’ public financial management system, strict asset declaration regime, and fiscal decentralisation for end to established corruption.

He also called to ‘commercialise the prosecution of corruption,’ to allow individuals to own stakes in the fight against the canker.

Dr Nyaho Nyano-Tamakloe, a statesman who also was a guest speaker, said prominent in the country needed to speak up against raging corruption and abuse of power.

The event also had major anti-corruption champions such as Emmanuel Wilson Jr, Mensah Thompson, and Eric Ahianyo as speakers.

This Year’s Yam Festival also marks the 20th anniversary of the instalment of Togbe Afede.

Source: Ghana News Agency

GWCL urges consumers to store water ahead of pipeline maintenance

The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has urged customers in the eastern part of Accra to store water ahead of the company’s scheduled rehabilitation of the main transmission pipeline from the Kpong Water Treatment Plant.

A statement issued by the company said there would be interruption of water supply from the plant to the eastern part of Accra from Sunday, September 24 to Thursday September 28, 2023.

Water supply will be shut off to allow GWCL engineers to replace the main 42-inch transmission pipeline, which bursts frequently due to high volumes and pressure in the pipeline, causing the company to lose a significant amount of water and revenue.

The statement said the rehabilitation works involved in changing the pipeline was capital intensive, therefore, ‘Management has resolved to change the weak portions of the line to reduce cost and to maintain the integrity of the transmission pipeline.

‘ This repair work will also reduce the inconvenience of frequent interruption of supply to customers and to ensure a long-term reliability of water supply, ‘ it said.

Areas to be affected include Gbetsile, Afienya, Zenu, Prampram, Mataheko, Katamanso, Dawhenya, Sakumono, Batsonaa, Klagon, Tema Township, Adjei Kojo, Borteyman, Santeo and surrounding areas.

The GWCL therefore asked customers in the affected areas to store enough water during the periods

It also assured customers that water supply would resume as soon as the works are completed.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Police apologises for ‘Occupy Jubilee House’ protest disruptions

The Police Sunday apologised for the inconveniences experienced by the public during the three-day ‘Occupy Jubilee House’ protest organized by the Democracy Hub Group in Accra.

‘The Police would like to apologise to members of the public who were inconvenienced in one way or the other, especially those who were caught up in the vehicular holdups during the demonstration,’ a statement issued by the Police on Sunday said.

The statement, signed by Assistant Commissioner of Police Grace Ansah-Akrofi, Director, Public Affairs, commended the residents of Accra for their support and understanding, while the police kept law and order during the protest.

Democracy Hub, a pressure group, embarked on a three-day protest to march on the Jubilee House, the seat of government, on Thursday, September 21, 2023, to express dissatisfaction with the country’s current economic predicament and high cost of living.

However, on the first day of the protest, 49 of them were arrested for unlawful assembly and violating the Public Order Act.

The group continued the protest the next day but were again prevented from proceeding to the Jubilee House by police.

According to the statement, the police were looking forward to meeting with the protest organisers after the event for a ‘debriefing session’ that would foster constructive future interactions.

It assured the public that the Service was not opposed to any individual or group who wished to demonstrate.

The police said it had a history of providing security for protesters and would continue to do so within the confines of the law.

The statement urged the public to continue to partner with the police to maintain and strengthen Ghana’s democratic credentials, peace, and security.

Source: Ghana News Agency