Upper East: Stakeholders empowered on corporate governance to take advantage of AfCFTA

The National African Peer Review Mechanism (NAPRM), in collaboration with the Commission for Civic Education, has engaged the district oversight committees in the Upper East Region, on corporate governance to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The stakeholders, including business associations, community and faith-based organisations, were drawn from 10 municipal and district and assemblies in the region.

At the workshop held in Bolgatanga, they were taken through an overview of the NAPRM activities, the role of the district oversight committees (DOCs), and corporate governance in enhancing Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises readiness for the AfCFTA market.

It aimed at equipping them with the requisite knowledge and skills to fully utilise the opportunities the AfCFTA offers, while empowering them for a better implementation,?being the local structures the APRM works with through the NCCE.

Mr Samuel Asare Akuamoah, a member of the Governing Council, NAPRM, and Deputy Cha
irman of NCCE, touched on the necessity of the workshop following a targeted review it undertook in 2023.

The review examined key corporate governance and intra-African trade challenges that must be addressed to facilitate the AfCFTA implementation in Ghana.

It was carried out on the theme: ‘Corporate Governance as a Catalyst for the Implementation of the AfCFTA in the Republic of Ghana’.

Findings of the Targeted Review were that most citizens had inadequate knowledge of the United Nations Agenda 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals, and African Union Agenda 2063 aspirations, including the AfCFTA.?

Those were likely to affect citizens ownership and participation in the implementation of the global development frameworks at the community level and undermine the private sector’s ability to take advantage of the business opportunities, hence the need for the sensitisation, he said.

Madam Winnifred Asare, the Acting Executive Secretary, NAPRM-Governing Council, indicated that the district oversight commit
tees, having been educated, were expected to sensitise the business community at the local level.

That, she said, would also enable them to identify opportunities in the AfCFTA and benefit from it.?

‘AfCFTA is a very big market for everybody, and the understanding of the business community at the local level is key to us, so we are hoping that the committees will be a mouthpiece of the African Peer Review Mechanism to build the capacities of the business community at the local level,’ she stated.

Alhaji Osman Alhassan Suhuyini, Member, Institute of Directors, reiterated that good corporate governance was essential to the success of every business and called on the DOCs to abide by the laid-down rules and regulations in their organisations.

Mr Evans Adeba, a participant, said the workshop had been insightful, giving him valuable information to guide him and the business community in utilizing the opportunities of the AFCFTA.

‘I will endeavor to sensitise my colleagues back home,’ he added.

Source: Ghana
News Agency

National Sports Authority will not manage Tarkwa and Aboso stadium – Kessie

The Municipal Chief Executive of Tarkwa Nsuaem (MCE), Mr Benjamin Kessie has stated that they will not release the Tarkwa and Aboso stadium to the National Sports Authority (NSA) when completed.

He said, ‘The history about the Sports Authority is not the best, they have not been able to manage the state stadiums, and moreover, this is not a state stadium. NSA does not have the exclusive right to be managing every stadium, it is not in the Act’

According to Mr Kessie, through series of engagements the Municipal Assembly, Apinto Divisional Council and other stakeholders have put together a comprehensive management plan for the edifice.

‘The Tarkwa and Aboso stadium is for the residents of Tarkwa Nsuaem, and solely funded by the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation (GFGF) for a community. We think it is appropriate to involve people within the same community to manage it’ he pointed out.

Mr Kessie revealed this to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) when the GFGF had the final stakeholders meeting and site inspection at th
e Tarkwa and Aboso stadium.

The MCE said, ‘We must meet at the board room to resolve certain differences.’ Our traditional leaders have raised concerns about naming the facility and others which l think is laudable, so we will meet and see how to go about those important issues.

In fact, I am impressed with what I have seen and satisfied with the work done. We are only asking that whatever observations we have made even at this final stage should be considered before the commissioning’

The Gyaasehene of the Apinto Divisional Council, Nana Adarkwa Bediako III, reiterated that ‘the maintenance culture in NSA has not been encouraging, the records are visible, and we do not want this beautiful facility to go into their hands

At best they can advise, we have the competence and together with the municipal assembly we will be able to put together a solid team to manage this facility.’

The Executive Secretary of the GFGF, Mr Abdel-Razak Yakubu, on his part said, they have a lot of stakeholders on this project, l
ike the Ghana National Ambulance Service, National Disaster Management Organization, Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Police Service, Ghana Health Service, Electricity Company of Ghana, Ghana Water Company Limited, traditional authorities, media, among others.

He said the services of all these institutions would be required for the smooth and safe running of the stadium when the Foundation hands over, ‘so we invited them to come around, take a tour and give us feedback. They have pointed out a few things that need to be corrected.’

Most of the stakeholders who interacted with the GNA after the meeting were amazed with the kind of work done so far and lauded the GFGF.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Dealing with the vulnerability of security personnel in Ghana

Security in Ghana is currently facing significant challenges, portraying a state of vulnerability and fragility rather than strength and assurance. The recent incident where a soldier was shot dead at Kasoa Millennium City in the presence of the Police highlights the alarming state of security in the country, reflecting widespread indiscipline.

One striking issue contributing to this security dilemma is the restriction imposed on security personnel, trained in firearm handling, from possessing personal firearms. This contradicts not only the constitutional rights enshrined in the 1992 Constitution of Ghana but also fundamental rights recognized globally for self-defence and preservation.

The irony deepens as civilians are allowed to carry firearms while trained security personnel are deprived of even personal basic self-defence tools like pepper sprays. The situation worsens as soldiers are cautioned against acquiring personal safety tools like stun guns, despite the increasing proliferation of firearms am
ong civilians.

The Executive Director of the Bureau of Public Safety, Nana Yaw Akwada, in 2021 disclosed a concerning statistic of more than 2.4 million firearms in private hands in Ghana, indicating a rise in weapons circulation. This poses a critical question on how security forces can effectively protect citizens when their access to necessary tools is restricted to duty-bound issuance only.

The recent surge in attacks on soldiers underscores the urgent need for a re-evaluation of security protocols. The tragic killing of Private Sherif Imoro in Ashaiman exemplifies how a personal firearm could have potentially averted such a loss of life.

Soldiers, who symbolise authority and protection, find themselves in a paradoxical situation where their ability to defend themselves and others is severely compromised. The lack of personal firearms and essential defence accessories further exacerbates their vulnerability in the face of escalating security threats.

In light of these challenges, it is imperative for
security authorities to revisit policies that hinder the effective protection of security personnel and, by extension, the general populace. Ensuring that those entrusted with safeguarding the nation have the necessary tools and resources for self-defence is paramount to enhancing overall security in Ghana.

Source: Ghana News Agency

MP urges informal sector works to remain patriotic, pay their taxes

Dr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Dormaa Central in the Bono Region has advised informal sector workers to remain patriotic and pay their taxes.

Dr Agyemang-Manu, a former Health Minister, said informal sector workers could do it if they value their work, saying taxes were necessary to facilitate economic development.

The MP also urged the teeming unemployed youth to always seek jobs instead of idling around, saying ‘jobs will never find you if you remain idling.

Dr Agyemang-Manu gave the advice when he addressed both formal and informal workers at a durbar to commemorate this year’s May Day, held at Dormaa-Ahenkro.

He appealed to formal sector workers to also engage in extra jobs in the informal sector not only to improve their socio-economic conditions, but also to position them well to respond to the economic trends.

‘As a former Minister and now an MP, I still use part of my time at the weekend to farm,’ he stated, and expressed worry about the situation where some people
travelled overseas to do menial jobs, but never attempted to do the same jobs in their home country.

He entreated the workers to contribute to a peaceful and incident-free general election too.

As part of the celebration, the participants engaged in corporate games, health, aerobic health, and eating competitions.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Kadjebi District launches 10th National COVID-19 Vaccination Day

The Kadjebi District Directorate of the Ghana Health Service, has on Tuesday, launched the 10th National COVID-19 Vaccination Day (NACVAD) at Kadjebi in the Oti Region.

The goal was to reach the unreach, the under vaccination population and those who are 18 years and above.

Pregnant women, lactating mothers, and critically ill persons are however excluded from the exercise, which commences 5-9 May.

According to the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) Coordinator, Mr Derrick Jack Atitsu, Kadjebi District has administered 68,992 doses of all types of the approved COVID-19 vaccines including; Astrazeneca, Moderna, Pfizer and J and J.

He mentioned that, out of the district’s target population of 49, 882, only 34,266, representing 68.7 per cent people have received at least a dose of the COVID-19 vaccines and that 28,311, representing 56.8 per cent people were fully vaccinated.

Mr Atitsu said the target for the 10th NACVAD was 1,500 people for various types of the vaccination doses.

He said the 178 c
ommunities under five Sub-Districts within the Kadjebi District would benefit from the exercise.

The EPI Coordinator, said house-to-house approach would be deployed with vaccination centres mounted at selected facilities, market squares, Church premises and social gatherings.

He implored all to take advantage of the exercise and get vaccinated against the disease.

Mr John Sonnyinado Baffoe, the District Disease Surveillance Officer, encouraged the participants to heighten surveillance on Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) and report accordingly.

Mrs Mabel Amankwa-Amoah, Kadjebi District Health Promotion Officer, said engagement with Chiefs and Elders, Churches, Mosques has started as part of social mobilisation strategies.

She said Radio announcements and discussions would be organised and that Community Information Centres and gong-gong beating strategies would also be employed to convey the COVID-19 Vaccination message across.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Reaffirm your dedication to uphold democratic principles – Bono Minister

Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister has urged workers to reaffirm their commitment to uphold the democratic principles, foster dialogue and promote inclusivity in the electoral processes leading up to the December election.

She said, ‘our actions should therefore promote peace before, during and after the elections, by doing so, we can safeguard the integrity of our democratic process to ensure peace and the progress of the society for posterity.’

Madam Owusu-Banahene made the statement during the Brong Ahafo Regional May Day Parade held at the Sunyani Jubilee Park, under the theme: ‘Election 2024: The Role of Workers and Social Partners in Securing Peaceful Elections for National Development’.

She said in the face of numerous challenges, it was evident that the contributions of workers have been exceptional, saying their dedication, resilience, and hard work have been instrumental in driving the progress of the nation.

She urged workers to rededicate themselves to create an environm
ent that promoted decent work, fair wages, and social protection for a better future for all workers to reach their full potential of social justice, peace, and prosperity.

Madam Owusu-Banahene called on workers to exercise patience to allow government to make conscious efforts of addressing their concerns and challenges, saying the government’s commitment to the welfare of workers in Ghana has been exceptional.

Mr Kwasi Adu-Gyan, the Bono East Regional Minister, highlighted the active support and participation of organized labor in elections since 1992, noting that their diverse interventions have complemented the efforts of key election stakeholders.

”As we commemorate this day let’s recognize the importance of fair wages, safe working conditions and the rights of workers, let’s look at a future where every worker is treated with respect and fairness where their voices would be heard, and contributions be acknowledged’ Mr Adu-Gyan said.

Brother Kofi Asare Asianowa, the Bono Regional Industrial Relation
s Officer of the Public Services Workers Union said the 2024 workers day was essential as Ghanaian workers and their families were struggling with the high cost of living and inflation rates exceeding 25 percent.

He added that the exchange rate of the cedi has significantly depreciated currently to Ghc14 cedis; a dollar as compared to Ghc 4 cedi, a dollar in 2016.

Brother Asianowa expressed concern over the depreciation of the cedi, which has seen a 250 percent decline in value over the past eight years, saying this drastic depreciation has had a significant impact on the living standards of Ghanaians.

Some workers gathered at the Sunyani Jubilee Park, held placards with inscriptions such as ‘Pay our Tier 2 to fund managers’, ‘Improve School Infrastructure to decongest classrooms’ and ‘Injustice against the Teacher is injustice against the Nation’.

Additionally, other placards displayed messages such as ‘Give us conditions of service’ and ‘Empty pockets can’t develop a nation.’ ‘Reverse the Academic Calen
dar to three terms (September – May)’.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Mahama lauds workers on Labour Day

On the occasion of International Workers’ Day, May 1, former President John Dramani Mahama, the flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has extended his congratulations to Ghanaian workers.

In a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency, former President Mahama said: ‘Today, on Workers’ Day, I extend my warmest regards to every hardworking Ghanaian who is contributing tirelessly to our nation’s development and progress.

‘On behalf of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and my running mate, Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, I proudly say, ‘Ayekoo’!’

Mr Mahama said the nation’s Workers’ Day theme, ‘Elections 2024: The Role of Workers and Social Partners in Securing Peaceful Elections for National Development,’ was a crucial reminder this year.

He noted that the theme underscores the Ghanaian workers’ indispensable role in fostering a peaceful, democratic process as the nation approaches the 2024 elections.

‘Your dedication to maintaining fair and peaceful elections is not onl
y a duty but a shared responsibility essential for our nation’s stability and prosperity,’ he said.

‘However, today’s celebration is tempered by our country’s severe challenges because of poor governance, incompetence, economic mismanagement, and institutionalised corruption under the current administration. Never in our history has a democratically elected government taken a wrecking ball to our economy with such ferocity.’

He said the forthcoming elections on December 7, offer Ghanaians a pivotal opportunity to alter their current trajectory and set a new course.

‘During my first tenure as President, I steered the affairs of this nation through similarly challenging times,’ Mr Mahama said.

‘We overcame a significant energy crisis, implemented a universal salary structure, spearheaded transformative infrastructural developments, and built a more resilient economy.’

Mr Mahama said drawing from this experience, he was prepared to work with Ghanaian workers again to commence the vital repair work the count
ry needed after enduring such turbulence.

‘We have achieved progress before, and I am confident we can do so again.’

The NDC flagbearer said a central element of his vision for Ghana’s recovery was the implementation of a 24-hour economy. This initiative, he said, was designed to generate sustainable, decent job opportunities and promote growth and prosperity for everyone.

He noted that adopting a 24-hour economic model would diversify the nation’s economy and empower its workforce.

This approach, he said, would enable more flexible work schedules for workers, enhancing work-life balance, well-being, and productivity.

Mr Mahama called on every Ghanaian to support this transformative vision, which promises to revitalise the job market and foster long-term sustainable development.

He urged Ghanaians to commit to ensuring that the upcoming Presidential and Parliamentary elections were conducted peacefully and fairly, with a steadfast focus on upholding workers’ rights.

‘Together, we can forge a brighter f
uture for Ghana-a future that secures both your present and addresses the risks posed to your SSNIT pensions by the current government,’ he stated.

‘Happy Workers’ Day to all! Let’s build the Ghana we all want together,’ the statement said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Women urged to pursue economic independence through productive ventures

Reverend Patricia Akpene Tegbe-Agbo, National Coordinator for the Women’s Ministry, Global Evangelical Church, has urged women to pursue economic independence through productive ventures.

She said women were the backbone of society, therefore, they must work hard and be innovative in using their marketing skills for sufficiency.

She said by doing so, women would not only empower themselves, but also become catalysts for the prosperity of the nation and the advancement of the church.

She said this in a news statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra to commemorate this year’s International Labour Day.

Mrs Tegbe-Ago called for every worker, especially women, to continue striving for excellence and aspire to be the best versions of themselves.

She said they must constantly seek ways to add value and make meaningful contributions.

‘Gone are the days when women were merely passive participants in their own destinies. Today, men seek partners who can stand beside them as equals, contributing not only
to the family but also to the progress of our nation’, she added.

She congratulated church members for their dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment. ‘Your contributions, both big and small, have propelled our nation and our church to greater heights’.

‘Today, as we celebrate the labour of our hands and minds, let us take a moment to reflect on the significance of our individual efforts. Each task completed, each service rendered, and each sacrifice made has played a vital role in shaping the fabric of our society and our faith community,’ she said.

She encouraged members to draw inspiration from the timeless wisdom of Psalm 90:17, which reminds us of the importance of God’s favor upon our endeavours.

Source: Ghana News Agency