Heads of State to steer Ghana-Namibia Co-operation towards mutual prosperity


Ghana and Namibia will establish a Bi-National Commission (BNC) to be co-chaired by their Heads of State, elevating the status of their 30-year-old Permanent Joint-Commission for Co-operation (PJCC).

This was announced in a communique signed by their foreign ministers in Swakopmund, a port city 360 km west of the capital, Windhoek.

‘With the elevation of the our PJCC to a BNC, our instrument for co-operation will now be formally led by our Heads of State; they will give us, the foreign ministers, our marching orders,’ Ms. Shirley A. Botchwey, Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, said. ‘It’s a demonstration of the importance we’re attaching to our relationship.’

Ms. Botchwey co-signed the communique with Dr. Peya Mushelenga, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation of Namibia, at a joint meeting and ceremony on Friday, preceeded by three days of technical work by Ghanaian and Namibian senior officials and technocrats.

The mineral-rich southern African country of 2.6 million peo
ple, has recently made off-shore oil discoveries estimated to be in excess of 20 billion barrels, making it, potentially, the third largest oil-rich country in Africa after Libya and Nigeria, and the 15th in the world.

The two countries expressed interest in co-opeerating in over a dozen and half fields, including energy, mining, agriculture, health, trade, transport, education, peace-keeping, foreign service training, local government administration, sports and the arts.

Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were also signed between the Kofi Annan International Peace-keeping Training Centre, and their Namibian Internatioal Women’s Peace Centre to co-operate towards improving their technical capacity and for peace support operations and policy research.

An air service agreement between the two is also under coonsideration. Such an agreement would enable airlines from either country to fly to the other.

The two countries expressed concerns over the wars and conflicts in Sudan, eastern Democratic Republic of
Congo, northern Mozambique, Gaza (Palestine-Israel), and between Ukraine and Russia, and called for them to be resolved peacefully.

They also called on the international community to ‘speed up efforts geared towards the attainment of the inalienable rights to self-determination for the people of Palestine and the attainment of the Two-State Solution,’ according to the joint communique.

Ghana and Nambia have had an active decades-long relationship dating back to the latter’s pre-independence years. Its South-West African People’s Organization (SWAPO) fought a 22-year guerrila war to dislodge apartheid South African occupiers from the vast former German colony, and gained ts independence in 1988.

Ghana became home for scores of Namibians, alongside other southern African citizens, who studied under Ghanaian government scholarship programmes in a wide array of fields, including journalism, engineering and medicine. Sam Nujoma, Namibia’s first post-independence leader, was a regular visitor to the Ghanaian cap
ital, Accra.

Ms. Botchwey was also a guest speaker at the opening of the Swakopmund International Trade Expo (SWAITEX), organized by the Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), and attended by Presidents Nasngolo Mbumba of Namibia and Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana.

The next meeting of the PJCC is due to be held in two years.

Source: Ghana News Agency

President Akufo-Addo congratulates UK’s Labour Party on electoral victory


President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has congratulated the United Kingdom’s (UK) Labour Party on its recent electoral successes, and asserted Ghana’s commitment to work closely with the incoming government.

The country, he said, was conscious of the longstanding and fruitful relations with the UK, and, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer, that bond would continue.

President Nana Akufo-Addo, in a statement, said the decisive victory chalked in the General Election signified the trust and confidence that the British people had in the Labour Party’s vision and leadership.

Acknowledging all other parties, which participated in the polls, the statement noted that, ‘their contributions and commitment to democratic values have played a crucial role in the political discourse and development of the UK’.

The Labour Party’s recent victory is one of the biggest-ever for the House of Commons, having secured 412 seats as against the Conservative Party’s 121, with two seats still to declare.

The d
evelopment has catapulted the Party’s leader, Keir Starmer, to the position as Britain’s next Prime Minister, ending 14 years of Conservative government.

The results from Thursday’s election showed major Conservative losses across the country, including seats they had held for decades, reports the New York Times.

But even as Labour reclaimed a parliamentary majority, political analysts are of the view that the election was far from a two-party race.

The centrist Liberal Democrats made gains in the south, picking up seats won by the Conservatives in the last election, as smaller parties like the Greens, the hard-right Reform U.K. Party and independent candidates also picked up a number of seats.

President Nana Akufo-Addo commended Rishi Sunak, the outgoing Prime Minister, and the Conservative Party for their service and dedication to the UK.

‘Indeed, the democratic process in the UK has once again demonstrated its robustness and vibrancy, strengthening the frontiers of democracy in the country,’ the state
ment added.

The President was hopeful Ghana and the UK would work together towards shared goals and mutual prosperity for the benefit of the people.

Source: Ghana News Agency

I will reset Ghana in four years – Mahama


Former President John Dramani Mahama says he has gained enough experience to implement strategic policies that can reset the country in four years if elected as President.

Admitting that four years may not be enough for the government to completely transform the country, he said his Government would prioritise the stability of the economy and the local currency to reduce the economic hardship confronting the people.

Speaking to journalists at a maiden media encounter ahead of the 2024 General Election Sunday night, the former President said he would prioritise local production to reduce dependency on imports, which put pressure on the local currency.

He said his proposed 24-hour economy would focus on local production of goods to meet local demand and take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement to export to other African countries.

‘Companies that will participate in the 24-hour economy will receive some tax incentives. We have to boost our local production and create jobs for our
young people.

‘The Government has some obligations to make this work and we will do that,’ the former President said.

Mr Mahama said he was aware that the country was in dire economic straits and thus his Government would prioritise prudent management of State resources and ensure fiscal discipline.

Among the key policies, the former President said, would be the establishment of a special committee to audit all government procurement above five (5) million dollars.

He said the Government would also dedicate funds annually for the completion of all abandoned projects before investing in new ones.

Mr Mahama said his Government would also revamp the cocoa sector to boost production to increase foreign exchange earnings.

Touching on Ghana’s Programme with the International Monetary Fund, Mr Mahama said he would not cancel the programme.

He said the Government would explore opportunities to ‘tweak’ the agreement to reduce the impact of the conditionalities to lessen its impact on the people.

The former Pre
sident said the Government would also abolish some taxes he described as nuisance to reduce the burden on businesses and taxpayers.

‘The CIVID-19 Levy, E-Levy will be abolished and we will explore other measures to increase revenue to support the economy.

‘We will take the nuisance taxes out, streamline the taxes, as well as expand the tax net,’ he said, adding that his Government would also rationalise port levies.

Source: Ghana News Agency

I will reset Ghana in four years – Mahama


Former President John Dramani Mahama says he has gained enough experience to implement strategic policies that can reset the country in four years if elected as President.

Admitting that four years may not be enough for the government to completely transform the country, he said his Government would prioritise the stability of the economy and the local currency to reduce the economic hardship confronting the people.

Speaking to journalists at a maiden media encounter ahead of the 2024 General Election Sunday night, the former President said he would prioritise local production to reduce dependency on imports, which put pressure on the local currency.

He said his proposed 24-hour economy would focus on local production of goods to meet local demand and take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement to export to other African countries.

‘Companies that will participate in the 24-hour economy will receive some tax incentives. We have to boost our local production and create jobs for our
young people.

‘The Government has some obligations to make this work and we will do that,’ the former President said.

Mr Mahama said he was aware that the country was in dire economic straits and thus his Government would prioritise prudent management of State resources and ensure fiscal discipline.

Among the key policies, the former President said, would be the establishment of a special committee to audit all government procurement above five (5) million dollars.

He said the Government would also dedicate funds annually for the completion of all abandoned projects before investing in new ones.

Mr Mahama said his Government would also revamp the cocoa sector to boost production to increase foreign exchange earnings.

Touching on Ghana’s Programme with the International Monetary Fund, Mr Mahama said he would not cancel the programme.

He said the Government would explore opportunities to ‘tweak’ the agreement to reduce the impact of the conditionalities to lessen its impact on the people.

The former Pre
sident said the Government would also abolish some taxes he described as nuisance to reduce the burden on businesses and taxpayers.

‘The CIVID-19 Levy, E-Levy will be abolished and we will explore other measures to increase revenue to support the economy.

‘We will take the nuisance taxes out, streamline the taxes, as well as expand the tax net,’ he said, adding that his Government would also rationalise port levies.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Paul Biya wants to extend mandates of MPs, Mayors, Councillors


The decision to extend the mandates of the present Members of Parliament, Councillors, and Mayors did not come as a surprise.

In 2018, President Paul Biya had to deal with the rising popularity of Professor Maurice Kamto, the president of the opposition party, Cameroon Rennaisance Movement. After the polls, Kamto supporters staged protests across Cameroon in what they described as ‘electoral holdup’ protests.

Thousands were arrested, including the leader, Kamto who spent months in jail.

In 2025, Cameroon will be holding a presidential election, and though he has not made a sign of being a candidate, President Paul Biya, is silently putting things in place to avoid the chaos of the post-2018 polls.

Eliminate potential candidates by making things difficult for them to represent their parties

Postpone their potential grassroots power until after the presidential elections

Arm himself with present grassroots support for victory

The president does not need to do this himself. Those parading the corridors of
power such as Territorial Administration Minister, Paul Atanga Nji, had started with the Cameroon Party for National Reconciliation, PCRN, led by Hon. Cabral Libii Li Ngue. Mr. Atanga benefitted from an internal party misunderstanding to declare that Cabral Libii had no stakes in the functioning of the party. Despite a pending court decision, the Minister has noted on several occasions that the party belongs to the founder Robert Kouna.

This may not be an issue for now, but certainly, in 2025, it may be difficult for Cabral Libii who came third in the 2018 polls, to represent the same party.

How the 2018 polls looked like

1- Biya: 71,28

2- Kamto: 14,23%

3- Libii l: 6,28%

4- Osih: 3,35%

5- Ndam Njoya: 1,73%

6- Garga: 1,55%

7- Ndifor: 0,67%

8- Matomba: 0,56%

9- Muna: 0,35%

Another political opponent that gives Etoudi a nightmare is Maurice Kamto who was second in the 2018 polls. Professor Kamto made a blunder in 2020 when he refused and sidelined his party from taking part in the Parliamentary and M
unicipal elections, which would have seen his party grab a few seats in Parliament, Senate, and Councils. His refusal also brought in internal disagreements, resignations, and expulsion of some members.

The Biya regime wants to avoid a chaotic scene or a situation where the ruling party’s natural candidate, President Paul Biya, may find himself tailing the polls as he gets more unpopular within the Cameroonian society, especially as the opposition has been talking about uniting forces to support a single candidate.

The bill to extend the mandate of the MPs, Councillors, and Mayors, is used to allow the majority Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement, CPDM, to pave the way for Paul Biya by leveraging their grassroots popularity.

WHile Hon. Libii is technically kicked out of the PCRN party, Maurice Kamto has no Councillor, Mayor, Parliamentarian or Regional Councillor and will have to go through thick and thin for his party to present his candidature. This is what it may look like.

According to CAmeroon’s ele
ctoral code’s article 121(1), someone can be a presidential candidate by being nominated by a political party or by being an independent candidate.

Article 121(1) further explains that one can be an independent candidate, ‘provided that they have been nominated as a candidate for the election of the President of the Republic by at least

three hundred (300) personalities from all the Regions, thirty (30) from each Region

and who are either members of Parliament or of a Consular Chamber, or a Regional

Regional Councillor or Municipal Councillor, or a first-degree Traditional Chief.’

Kamto may have a chance as a candidate nominated by a party that is not represented in any of the above structures but the conditions will also depend on the administration as stipulated in Article 121(2)

‘A candidate nominated by a political party not represented in the National Assembly, the Senate, a Regional Council or a Municipal Council must also fulfil the conditions paragraph (1) above applicable to independent candida
tes. independent candidates. The said personalities must affix their signatures authenticated by the territorially competent administrative authorities on the letters of presentation. The same person may sign only once and for only one candidate,’

The question now is that should the CRM nominate Kamto as their candidate and he gets all the signatures as required by the law, will the competent administrators accept to authenticate letters of presentation?

Cameroon is going through tough times with a high cost of living, epileptic power supply and a dangling economy. But President Paul Biya who has ruled Cameroon since 1982, is not ready to give up. At 91, many think that it is time for him to allow a younger person to take command. Even if the CPDM barrons may agree that power needs to change hands, it is certainly not an opposition leader, not even Kamto.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Nintcheu says Gov’t afraid of Maurice Kamto


The Member of Parliament who decamped from the SDF party, Hon. Jean Michel Nintcheu said on Sunday that the Biya regime has extended mandate of MPs and Councillors because they are afraid to face the opposition leader, Professor Maurice Kamto.

‘The regime is terrified of facing Maurice KAMTO, the candidate of the MRC and the APC, the Breath of Hope, in the 2025 presidential election.’

President Paul Biya tabled a bill in parliament to extend the mandates from March 2025 to March 2026. The government says this is because of four elections built for 2025.

READ FULL STATEMENT

Clearly, the inability to respect the law is consubstantial with the BIYA-RDPC regime. As the presidential election of 2025 approaches, he shows himself unable to hide his panic about the prospect of facing Maurice KAMTO, the candidate of the MRC and the APC.

The extension of the mandate of MPs planned by the BIYA-RDPC regime is illegal in addition to being dishonest and inappropriate. Indeed, article 15 (4) of the Constitution subject
s the extension of the mandate of MPs to a ‘serious crisis, or when circumstances require it’.

The CPDM power is trying to justify the one-year extension of the current mandate of MPs in the National Assembly by ‘the need to lighten the electoral calendar which provides for four (04) elections during the year 2025 namely : the election of MPs to the National Assembly and Municipal Councilors, as well as the election of the President of the Republic and Regional Councilors. In this regard, and apart from the election of Regional Councilors, the other elections which are direct ballots, require significant human, material and financial deployment.’

On the basis of this argument, the current mandate of MPs, which is due to expire in November 2025, is extended to March 30, 2026.

This clumsy attempt to justify yet another violation of the law is nothing but a crude and pathetic political manipulation of power. It confirms the notorious negligence and incompetence of the CPDM regime on several levels. Firstly, i
n principle. Since the presidential election of 2018 and the legislative and municipal elections of 2020, the CPDM power knows perfectly well that all the elections invoked will take place in 2025. He had the legal obligation and the political duty to take all the human and financial measures to organize them, unless he admitted, as he pitifully does, his incompetence and his incapacity to manage the country. So many other African countries, which are no better off than Cameroon, organize several elections during the same year.

Concretely, then. Considering more specifically the alleged constraints linked to ‘significant human, material and financial deployment’, there are not four (04) elections during the year 2025. There are only two in reality: the combined Legislative and Municipal election, and the presidential election.

The election of Regional Councilors is an indirect ballot, with an electorate reduced to Municipal Councilors only. Consequently, it does not require the famous ‘significant human, ma
terial and financial deployment’ necessary for the organization of direct elections.

Furthermore, how in a country where recurring financial scandals involving ministers, directors general and other identified personalities are the norm, and the repression of financial crimes the exception, can the Government invoke the financial cost of elections to grant twelve months of additional salaries to MPs of a National Assembly itself consumed by the embezzlement of public funds publicly denounced?

If the combined election of MPs and municipal councilors took place on the right date, in 2025, i.e. in February, it would be eight (08) months removed from the presidential election of October 2025. By extending it by one year, that is to say until March 30, 2026, the period which will now separate it from the presidential election of October 2025 would only be four (04) months.

We can only note the incongruity of the financial argument put forward by the RDPC with regard to the financial cost of extending the mandat
e of MPs by one year compared to the expenses linked to the organization of several elections.

When money and logistics are scarce, a longer time between elections is more of an advantage and not a disadvantage, much less an obstacle. The extension of the mandates of deputies and municipal councilors in 2018 was based on too much rapprochement between the double legislative and municipal elections and the presidential elections which were separated by a few days. This time, it’s the opposite!

All considerations made, on the basis of the same arguments invoked by the authorities to decide on this extension of the mandate of the deputies, we could also have scheduled general Legislative, Municipal and Presidential elections for the same day.

On the basis of this simple demonstration, Cameroonians and the international community can easily see that the motivations for this extension of the mandate of deputies lie elsewhere. The BIYA-RDPC regime is afraid of the upcoming electoral deadlines, due to its disastr
ous record and the legitimate popular anger of Cameroonians, perceptible through their exceptional mobilization for massive registrations on the electoral lists which nothing discourages, not even the shameful and crude maneuvers of the main national leaders of ELECAM, acting in co-action with the Minister of Territorial Administration. The regime is terrified of facing Maurice KAMTO, the candidate of the MRC and the APC, the Breath of Hope, in the 2025 presidential election.

The arbitrary and unconstitutional extension of the mandate of MPs is therefore in fact only a crude maneuver aimed at trying to exclude from the race, our declared candidate, the candidate of the people of Change and Alternation. Unfortunately for those in power, as announced during the MRC Convention in November 2023, Maurice KAMTO will indeed be a candidate in the presidential election in October 2025.

Believe me, the APC and Cameroonians of all origins, victims of the suffering inflicted on them by the catastrophic management and m
ultifaceted violence of a power which dreams of being eternal, are ready to confront the BIYA-RDPC regime on the legal ground. , and on any ground other than thisregime will have chosen.

Cameroonians, my dear compatriots,

go and register on the electoral lists even more massively. Brave the obstacles of ELECAM, which will be more and more numerous, to take advantage, in Cameroon and in the diaspora, of the eight (08) additional months that the arbitrary and illegal extension of the mandate of deputies offers us. We will thus be able to aim for a record of at least twelve million registered by the time the electoral body for the presidential election is convened in October 2025.

Done in Douala on July 7, 2024

Honorable Jean Michel

NINTCHEU,

national president of the FCC, Acting National Coordinator of the APC.

Source: Cameroon News Agency