Cardinal Namdini resettles two communities to pave way for large scale mining

The Cardinal Namdini Mining Limited, a subsidiary of Shandong Gold, a Chinese mining firm, has resettled two communities in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region to pave the way for large scale surface mining in the area.

The two communities; Digaare (Accra site) and Biung, were originally occupying the lands leased by the Government to the Chinese company to engage in large scale mining for 15 years.

The mining company built 121 urban type services fitted and well laid concrete residential buildings for the two communities, reticulated electric power, improved water supply and sanitation and improved community roads access.

Social amenities such as well-equipped school infrastructure with disability friendly Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services, recreational and healthcare facilities, teachers and nurses’ accommodation, mosques and churches, graveled roads connecting houses among others have also been provided.

Provisions have also been made for future development around each household while lands have been secured for the residents to engage in agricultural activities.

These were revealed when a delegation from the Ghana News Agency (GNA) visited the company and its operational areas as part of an agreement between the mining company and the national news wire.

The visit, led by Mrs Beatrice Asamani Savage, the Director of Editorial, GNA, was to get first-hand information about the company’s operations and the impact of the activities on the communities to ensure accurate reportage.

Mr Kofi Adusei, the Community and Social Responsibility Manager, Cardinal Namdini Mining Limited, said the resettlement was done in accordance with the Minerals and Mining Act of 2006, Act 703, and Minerals and Mining Compensation and Resettlement Regulations of 2012, L.I. 2175.

These enjoin mining companies to resettle all persons who would be affected by their operations.

He said although most of the facilities provided were not in the old settlements, it was the policy of the company to contribute to the improvement of its operational communities.

As part of the resettlement plan, a livelihood restoration programme was introduced where farmers were provided with agriculture extension services, Mr Adusei said.

He said farm inputs and implements, and tractor services were also provided to improve their agriculture productivity, to reduce the vulnerability the resettlement had exposed them to.

‘With the help of a local NGO, called the Widows and Orphans Movement, we identified some vulnerable people within the affected area, and we provided vulnerable assistance interventions,’ he said.

‘These include enrolling them onto the National Health Insurance Scheme, providing them with monthly food ration and cash, and medical services through counseling to help them to settle well in their new environment.’

‘We also trained some in livelihood restoration and we gave the families animals such as goats and chicken to rear. So, in all, we supported about 200 farmers with regard to the livelihood restoration programme and 12 vulnerable households.’

The mining company would continue to support the communities through interventions when it officially began operations in 2024, Mr Adusei said.

The area is a green field and is expected to generate 150 million tonnes of ore to give five million ounces of gold within the 15 years.

Currently, the company is investing about US$520 million to construct its infrastructure base including the operational offices and staff accommodation, processing plants, tailings storage facilities among other things to allow for full mining operations to begin 2024.

Apart from engaging more than 800 Ghanaians in the construction phase, the company had also invested US$6 million to construct 25.3 kilometers of roads connecting Bolgatanga to the mining site.

Source: Ghana News Agency

British retail sales rebound in April despite inflation pressure

British retailers saw sales return to growth in April as shoppers continued to spend despite continued high inflation, according to official figures.

Supermarkets were among retailers to report higher sales despite food inflation remaining close to a 45-year-high.

The Office for National Statistics revealed that retail sales volumes increased by 0.5% last month, following a fall of 1.2% in March.

Economists had only predicted an increase of 0.3% for the month.

However, the ONS added that sales volumes were down 3% on the same month last year, although shoppers spent more due to higher pricing.

ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner said: ‘Retail sales grew, partially rebounding from a poor weather-affected March, with jewellers, sports retailers and department stores all having a good month.

‘Despite continued high food prices, supermarkets also recovered from the fall in March.

‘However, these were partly offset by a drop in the amount of fuel sold, despite prices also dropping.’

Non-food retailers reported that sales grew by 1% in April, after March’s wet weather had knocked high streets.

This included strong sales in watches and jewellery, while sports equipment was also in high demand.

Meanwhile, department store sales increased by 1.7%, as they recovered from a 3% fall in the previous month.

Elsewhere, sales volumes at food stores increased by 0.7% for April.

It comes despite the ONS revealing earlier this week that food inflation has remained at high levels, with prices up 19.3% in April compared with the same month last year.

Rises for supermarkets and other high street stores were partly offset by the lower demand for fuel, with petrol stations and forecourts reporting a 2.2% decrease for the month.

Lisa Hooker, leader of consumer markets at PwC, said: ‘Overall, the trajectory remains positive, with the best quarterly improvement in retail sales volumes since August 2021.

‘With this month’s sales likely to be helped by the coronation and additional bank holidays, we expect the positive momentum to continue in the short term.

‘However, retailers will be hoping that the current green shoots are not dampened by higher interest rates or other macroeconomic challenges over the summer.’

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: ‘Sales should improve further as we enter the summer months, especially with inflation starting to ease and consumer confidence slowly stabilising.

‘Government must ensure it does not sabotage this momentum by adding cost pressures onto retailers from new policies, as these will mainly serve to push prices back up for people up and down the country.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

AU Day: Morocco pushes for unity, South-South cooperation

The dream of the founding fathers of the Organisation of African Union (OAU) to build a united Africa was resurrected when the Kingdom of Morocco observed series of ceremonies at its capital, Rabat, on Thursday, to commemorate the 60th ‘Africa Day’ celebration.

‘Africa Day’, which is observed annually by all member states, celebrates the establishment of the OAU, now the African Union (AU) in 1963.

The Kingdom held series activities aimed at echoing Morocco’s legacies and contributions towards the liberation of the continent decades ago and pushed for the integration of Africa in line with the vision of the founding fathers of the then OAU.

Morocco is also advocating for the deployment of Africa’s own expertise and resources to solve challenges confronting the continent while boosting trade, knowledge sharing, and cooperation within the continent.

A special ceremony was held at Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs at Rabat Thursday, which assembled an array of dignitaries from across the continent for the historic celebration.

The event was characterised by speeches from dignitaries, who were unanimous in their call for the unification of the continent and the promotion of South-South cooperation particularly in the areas of intra-Africa trade.

There was also a photo exhibition at the Ministry, showcasing historic moments that details how Morocco spearheaded and coordinated Africa’s liberation efforts.

In a documentary titled: ‘Morocco and the liberation movements in Africa’, Morocco documented its instrumental role in Africa’s emancipation and the vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI to forge strategic and mutual partnerships with African countries.

The events for the commemoration were crowned at the King Mohammed V Theatre in Rabat, where patrons were thrilled with cultural performances from selected African countries, including Ghana with a key message: ‘unity in diversity’.

Thereafter, participants were offered the opportunity to taste selected local dishes of some African countries, that displayed their rich cuisine.

After securing independence in 1956, the Kingdom of Morocco, under the able leadership of the late King Mohammed V, convened what became known as the Casablanca Conference in 1961 to mobilise prominent African leaders at the time towards the unification and total liberation of the African continent.

The North African country subsequently provided diplomatic and military support to Africa’s liberation movements and provided shelter for some African leaders, including Nelson Mandela (South Africa), Amilcar Cabral (Guinea Bissau), Moussa Traore (Mali), and Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe).

The OAU was subsequently established in 1963 as a pivot to achieving a self-sufficient continent that could compete successfully at the global stage.

Nasser Bourita, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, who chaired the activities, said the late King Mohammed V made Morocco the home of liberation of African countries.

He said Morocco’s concentration was to build an Africa that could develop solutions for its own problems while boosting inter-country collaboration.

Mr Bourita said it was important for Africa to enhance the value of its cultural identity and indicated that ‘the flame of memories of the struggle should not be allowed to die’.

‘We need to develop Africa, build bridges that stay together, he said, adding: ‘we must build an Africa that brings solution to its own problems’.

Mr Mouhamadou Youssifou, the Dean of African Ambassadors to Morocco, appealed to African countries to support the effective implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

He said the agreement should enable the continent to take millions of its citizens out of poverty while reducing dependency on countries outside the region.

Mr Youssifou also called for measures to be put in place to ensure that the opening up of the continent for trade would not be to the advantage of ‘great’ conglomerates and multinational firms.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Angola pledges to expand efforts for peace in Africa

Angola wants to expand its peacemaking efforts to all areas of the African continent where situations of insecurity and conflict persist, the Vice-President of the Republic Esperança Costa on Thursday.

Esperança Costa stressed the country’s commitment to the peace when delivering her speech at the opening of the 1st International Women’s Forum for Peace and Democracy, being held in Luanda.

She said with the peace initiatives, still restricted to the Great Lakes Region, Angola wants to expand its efforts to all tension zones on the African continent.

“Angola is a country of peace, with a leader of peace”, therefore, we want to continue to contribute to the pacification of Africa and a reconciled and democratic world, stressed the Vice President.

Esperança Costa said that in the relentless pursuit of these values, the Angolan Head of State, as champion of the African Union for Peace and Reconciliation in Africa, is developing initiatives aimed at promoting dialogue and inclusive political processes, which lead to conflict resolution in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR), Sudan and other regions.

In her speech, she said to hope that the meeting will make a broad reflection on the role of women in building peace and harmony between peoples and nations.

She said the event contributes to the deepening of the debate around the construction of a society of equity, where the participation of women can play a leading role in resolving the socio-economic and political problems that the continent still faces.

Esperança Costa considered the peace and democracy pillars for the development of women, affected, in many regions of the world and the continent, by climate change, conflicts, poverty, lack of access to land, food insecurity, lack of resilient communities and training that enables full participation in social transformations.

According to the Vice-President, 21 years ago Angola witnessed the silencing of arms and continuously seeks to consolidate peace, development, national reconstruction and in this process the Angolan woman has played a central role, providing support for the development of promotion policies of female participation.

The objective, she added, is to achieve, in the short term, a parity of 50% or close in politics, economy and social life, which will only be possible if women continue to constitute themselves as a foundation of strategies aimed at development.

Important figures such as the former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson, former Vice-President of Costa Rica, Epsy Cambell Barr, representatives of the United Nations and diplomats will address the five thematic panels under discussion at the event that runs until Friday.

“The challenges of globalization in the process of gender empowerment”, “Technological innovation and education to achieve gender equality”, “Formalization as a mechanism for social and financial inclusion”, “Challenges of food security and climate change on the African continent ” and the “Role of women in consolidating peace and preserving conflicts”, are the subjects scheduled for debate at the international meeting.

The forum will target women leaders of African regional organizations, Women Leaders, heads of government and members of the Palops, CPLP and OEACP, International and National Organizations, Representatives of Diplomatic Missions, representatives of public sector entities, public companies and private companies and private sector entities.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Vice President defends women’s economic and social empowerment

Angolan vice president Esperança Costa defended Thursday in Luanda the need to provide women with knowledge and skills for their economic and social empowerment.

The Vice-President was speaking at the opening ceremony of the I International Forum of Women for Peace and Democracy.

In her speech, she said that technological innovation is a key element for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Quoting the report published by the United Nations Women in 2022, the Vice President said women are 25% less likely to have the basic knowledge in this matter.

Esperança Costa said Angola plans to have at least 30 percent of women in scientific research by 2027, not forgetting, of course, financial inclusion.

The Vice-President spoke of the need to remove structural and basic barriers that hinder the access of thousands of women to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“This forum, aligned with the African Union 2063 agenda, and the United Nations 2030 sustainable development goals, constitutes the reaffirmation of commitments to peace and democracy, requiring, in a relentless manner, efforts from all States, at the constitutional, institutional and legal levels,” Costa said.

To the Vice President, the defence and maintenance of these assumptions is a “sine qua non” condition for economic and social development, especially for the inclusion of women and girls, who today are victims of violence because of their condition, in the different conflicts that are still raging on our continent.

Costa said she considered it fundamental that the socialisation of girls should not be based on discrimination that prevents access to citizenship under equal conditions.

“The influence of tradition in socialisation, especially in rural areas, should be measured so that it does not continue to condition the social construction of gender,” he said.

The Vice-president said she wishes that the international forum becomes a true mechanism of international politics, where, in a conjugated way, and having peace and democracy as a support, it may join efforts to build bridges between peoples and nations, and create spaces of coexistence, understanding and comprehension between all, consecrating as a basic value, the importance of preserving concord, friendship and respect for differences.

Esperança Costa underlined that with perseverance, spirit of solidarity, good deeds and the enormous wealth of wisdom that characterizes women, it is possible to reach this level of satisfaction and go to a stage where Africa can provide a life in peace and become attractive, inclusive and resilient to the benefit of economic, scientific and social development of every nation in it.

Leading figures such as former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson, former Vice President of Costa Rica, Epsy Cambell Barr, United Nations representatives and diplomats will address the five thematic panels being addressed at the event to run until Friday.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Stage Play Director appeals for investment in the sector?

Mr Woelinam Kwame Dziewornu-Norvor, Director, Village Minds Production, a theatre production and event company, says investing in stage plays can reap huge amounts of money for the development of the country.?

He said the entertainment industry had the potential to contribute massively to the country’s economy as well as improve the potential of the youth, especially students in the field, to put in their maximum efforts to sharpen their talents for the industry.?

Mr Dziewornu-Norvor was speaking with the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Tema and stated, ‘The countries that are rich are not rich because of capital income; they are rich because of entertainment. Look at the amount of money the US pushes into BET awards’.

He bemoaned that stage plays in particular have seen little improvement over the years, not because Ghanaians had lost interest but because there was no concrete policy to revamp the sector.

He emphasised that although history and some key stories had been written down in some books, stage performances have ways of telling stories that get permanently inscribed in the minds of people.

The Stage Play Director said championing stage performances in all the regions of the country that would seek to depict the norms, values, and cultural heritage of every tribe could boost the entertainment industry.

He said mostly they run at a loss due to the cost of production, subsidizing the tickets, and called on the government and stakeholders to help develop the sector for the benefit of the country.

Village Minds Production produced ‘The Love of Mamavi, 2015’ ‘The Barber and the Apprentice, 2018’ ‘Homeless, 2017 and ‘Wala, a dance drama, 2022’, among others.

Source: Ghana News Agency

TAAG, GOL sign a cargo transport agreement

Angola Airways and the Brazilian company GOL signed an agreement for the transport of cargo among the African, South American and European continents

In its press note, TAAG states that the agreement succeeds the codeshare protocol (passenger transport by connection between different companies), signed last April.

This agreement provides for the transportation of small and medium size cargo goods, express mail, among other orders, among Africa, Europe and Latin America, from Luanda (Angola) and São Paulo (Brazil).

Under the agreement, TAAG will cover destinations in Africa, such as Angola, Mozambique, São Tomé, Namibia, Nigeria and Kenya.

GOL will share TAAG cargo on the European continent, in countries such as Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and the Americas (Brazil and Cuba).

According to the document, one of TAAG’s objectives is to increase the volume of cargo transported annually, reinforcing the company’s attractiveness for attracting new customers and contracts.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Convict tells court economic hardships forced him to commit crime

A 40-year-old tiler, Evans Hofe, has told the Hohoe Circuit Court that the country’s economic hardships compelled him to steal.

Hofe appeared in court on charges of conspiracy, unlawful entry and stealing, and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

Pleading guilty to the charges, Hofe said ‘the living was hard for him’ so he discussed his situation with his accomplice; Agrah Bright, currently at large and both went to the warehouse of the complainant and stole the items.

Chief Inspector Charles Aziati, Prosecutor, told the Court presided over by Mr Michael Johnson Abbey that the complainant was a businessman, who traded in general store provisions and fertilizer sacks, which were usually kept at his warehouse.

He said the complainant sometimes hired a brother of the convict to convey his goods from Accra to the warehouse for him.

Chief Inspector Aziati said the convict at times served as a driver’s mate to his brother and embarked on such trips with him.

He said it was then the convict got to know the location of complainant’s warehouse and the types of wares kept there.

Chief Inspector Aziati said the convict discussed the warehouse with his accomplice.

He said on May 9, between 1200 and 0200 hours, the convict unlawfully jumped over the fence wall of the warehouse, entered, and stole 684 pieces of No.4 fertilizer sacks kept in one of the rooms of the warehouse.

Chief Inspector Aziati said the activities of the convict and his accomplice were captured by a Closed Circuit Televison installed at the warehouse.

He said while they were bringing the goods to Hohoe, they were intercepted by a police patrol team, but Agrah managed to escape.

Chief Inspector Aziati said the convict was brought to the police station together with the booty for investigation.

He said the complainant woke up the following morning and detected the theft and later had information of the convict’s arrest by the police.

Chief Inspector Aziati said the complainant came to the station and identified the stolen sacks as his.

He said the convict volunteered statement on caution to the police in which he admitted the offence adding that efforts were being made to get Agrah arrested.

Source: Ghana News Agency