Ghana is shining example in AfCFTA implementation – Secretariat

The Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), has recognised Ghana as a shining example in the implementation of the continent’s free trade agreement.

‘We started with seven countries, and I am happy Ghana is taking the lead in this process of implementing the AfCFTA agreement,’ said, Mr Didier Bonyeme, Division Head, Rules of Origin, AfCFTA Secretariat.

Mr Bonyeme said this at a GIZ/CUTS International public-private dialogue on the Guided Trade Initiative (GTI) – a pilot implementation of the AfCFTA agreement, in Accra.

Ghana is one of the eight countries which have satisfied the requirements to participate in the GTI out of the 29 that have submitted their tariff offers and host to the AfCFTA Secretariat, which has the largest global free trade area by number of member states.

Some 14 Ghanaian companies, assisted by the government, have so far, engaged in 40 trades with neighbouring African countries under the under the GTI.

The Guided Trade Initiative is a pilot implementation
phase, aimed at ensuring an acceleration in the operationalisation of AfCFTA, by testing the institutional, legal and trade policy environment for the free trade agreement.

Speaking with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Bonyeme explained that compared with other African countries equally implementing AfFCTA, the Government of Ghana had done more to facilitate private sector participation.

He noted that through the National Coordination Office, the Government had created opportunities for partnerships between Ghanaian companies and their African counterparts, leading to increased trade under AfCFTA.

Dr Diana Ogwal Akullo, Principal Officer, Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS), AfCFTA Secretariat, also said: ‘The Ghana government has been exemplary in the implementation of GTI under AfCFTA.’

Mr Isaac Kwame Ansah, Head of Operations, G-mith Enterprise, a natural deodorant manufacturing company which trades under AfCFTA, said the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) had been assisting many SMEs in the direction.

e said through GEPA’s trade house, they were able to keep their products in other African countries when they go for trade shows and were able to sell all their products.

‘We don’t go through any customs challenges in shipping our goods, it’s just a phone call or mail.’ Mr Ansah said.

He said trading under AfCFTA had helped take a lot of burden off their shoulders, stating that the removal of tariffs had enabled their company to export freely to other countries.

Mr Fechin Akoto, Assistant Commissioner, Tariff and Trade, Customs Division, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), explained that before the start of AfCFTA, the country had put in place measures to facilitate trade.

Mr Appiah Kusi Adomako, West Africa Regional Director, CUTS International, said Ghana’s participation in the implementation of AfCFTA signified a strong political will, and an encouragement to countries, yet to submit their tariff concessions to do so.

Stakeholders, called on the AfCFTA Secretariat to enhance working with governments across
the continent to resolve challenges of transport and certification to boost trade.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Midwifery College reiterates appeal for hostel accommodation

The management of Midwifery Training College in Bolgatanga, Upper East Region has reiterated its appeal for a hostel to accommodate the increasing number of students.

Despite appeals by management to government and stakeholders at its matriculation ceremonies over the years to construct hostel accommodation for students, the College has not received any support in that regard.

The lack of accommodation, according to Madam Christiana Amalba, Principal of the College, had compelled management to deny qualified applicants, admission to the College.

‘I want to use this medium once again to call on all interested parties, investors, local entrepreneurs, alumni, and all stakeholders in and out of the region to help construct hostels to resolve this pressing issue of housing students,’ she said.

Speaking at the matriculation ceremony of first year students at the College, she said a total of 696 applications were received, and 207 applicants gained admission for the 2023/2024 academic year.

‘This is evident th
at large numbers of prospective students apply to this College yearly, and each time, we are faced with the painful decision of having to turn down the applications of many otherwise well qualified applicants due to limitations of our staff, facilities, and most especially accommodation of students,’ she said.

Madam Amalba said management had to construct additional furniture to enhance effective teaching and learning in the lecture halls, especially for the final year students.

She told the students that ‘We understand your concerns as students, and we assure you that we are working seriously to ensure you have a comfortable and conducive environment to pursue your academic work’.

She said the matriculation ceremony marked a defining milestone in the students’ educational journey, and a stepping-stone towards their future endeavours.

‘This matriculation marks the beginning of your tertiary/College experience, a period that holds immense potential for growth and learning. It symbolizes a transition from t
he familiar comforts of high school to the stimulating environment of higher education.

‘Each one of you carries unique stories, dreams and aspirations, and it is within the walls of this College that you have the opportunity to pursue them,’ Madam Amalba told the fresh students.

She said it was the vision of the College to attain tertiary status and become a centre of academic excellence in the training of health related manpower for the country.

Madam Amalba said to achieve the vision, the College, in addition to the direct Diploma in Midwifery programme, runs post basic midwifery programme for the Nurse Assistant Clinical (NAC) and Nurse Assistant Preventive (NAP).

She said the College was also a centre for Degree Midwifery and Nursing programmes in the Region for the University for Development Studies (UDS), University of Cape Coast (UCC), and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology KNUST).

‘We are spreading our tentacles and exploring more avenues to create more facilities to run more
programmes effectively and efficiently,’ she added.

Despite the numerous challenges, the Principal said the College would not relent in its quest to produce competent health professionals equipped to meet the health needs of society.

She said with knowledge generated through research, the college was committed to providing effective tuition by competent tutors and clinical exposure in the hospitals to equip students with sharp and fine midwifery skills at the end of their programme.

Madam Amalba congratulated the fresh students on behalf of the College Council and staff, and encouraged them to take their studies seriously.

‘I will encourage you as students to avail yourselves to be groomed and become fully ‘baked’ midwives in the next three years, and also raise the flag of the school higher. I assure you that you are in the right place at the right time,’ she said.

In a speech read on his behalf, Mr Bernard Anankor, the Regional Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, appreciated the efforts and impact of
staff and management of the College towards the training of competent midwives.

‘Indeed, your hard work has always played a very key and pivotal role in improving health delivery outcomes in the Upper East Region, especially in the area of Maternal, Child Health and Newborn (MCHN) indicators.

‘It is my wish that you would continue with this good and hard work, so that the region will continue to chalk and encounter positive maternal health outcomes,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

A total of 17,340 learners transitioned to formal school system

A total of 17,340 out-of-school children in the five regions of the north have transitioned to the formal school system after benefiting from Alternative Learning Programme (ALP).

The ALP afforded these out-of-school children, who were beyond school starting age (eight to 16), the opportunity to acquire basic literacy and numeracy skills within a period of six months in their mother-tongues to facilitate their enrolment into the formal school system in the next academic year (2023/2024).

It formed part of the Ghana Education Outcome Project (GEOP) being implemented by the Ministry of Education (MoE), in partnership with some non-governmental organisations, including School for Life and Plan International Ghana with funding support from the World Bank, Foreign, Commonwealth Development Office and other stakeholders.

The MoE designed the project, among others, to support out-of-school children in districts, which have the highest number of out-of-school children to transition into mainstream primary educati
on and improve learning in mainstream schools, targeting literacy and numeracy improvements at the end of primary grades two and four.

Hajia Nana Fatima High, the National Coordinator, GEOP, at a durbar to observe the transitioning of the learners to the formal school system at the Savelugu M/A Experimental Primary School in the Savelugu Municipality of the Northern Region, said the initiative was in line with the government’s desire to take children off the streets and provide means of livelihood for them.

She commended the implementing NGOs for excellently delivering the project, saying the NGOs, as part of the contractual agreement, would support the learners with teaching and learning materials and other innovative ideas to ensure that they stayed in school.

She added that ‘As a means to ensure continuity and sustenance, the Ministry has decided to contribute two school uniforms to each of the 17,340 learners.’

Hajia Katumi Nantogma Attah, the Northern Regional Director of Education, described the pro
ject as a beacon of hope, providing a unique and accelerated path to education for learners who, for various reasons, found themselves outside the formal schooling system.

She said the transitioning of the learners to the formal school system signified not only their academic achievement but also the government’s commitment to leaving no one behind in the pursuit of knowledge.

She said the project had significantly curtailed rural-urban migration, particularly among vulnerable girls, contributing to the socio-economic development of communities.

Mrs Maamle Andrews, the Chief Director, MoE said the project would go a long way to positively change the attitudes of children towards education and gave assurance of the commitment of the Ministry to creating inclusive and conducive learning environment in the country.

Mr Alhassan Abdul Manaf, Project Manager, GEOP, School for Life, was confident that the project would ensure significant improvement in the lives of children in the regions.

Meanwhile, the manage
ment of GEOP had distributed school bags and learning materials to the transitioned learners at the durbar.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Infiniti Stars Hotel CEO donates to Metrikasa DA Basic School

Mr John Kwakuvi Hounlessodji, the Chief Executive Officer of Infiniti Stars Hotel and Den Enterprise in the Ketu North Municipality of the Volta Region, has fulfilled a pledge to Metrikasa DA basic school.

He presented a cash donation of Ghc 10,000 in fulfillment of a pledge he made during the 60th-anniversary celebration of the school where he chaired the event.

Mr Hounlessodji, in a message read on his behalf by Inspector Emmanuel Danyo at the presentation event, tasked the management of the school to remain committed, dedicated and united with truthfulness in all their dealings.

He also pledged an additional 100 bags of cement for the construction of a dining hall.

Mr Brunoo Gadzedzo, Headteacher of the school, located within Akatsi North, expressed gratitude to the donor for coming to the aid of the school and the community.

He further assured Mr Hounlessodji and his team of using the donations for the exact purpose.

Present at the short presentation meeting were Mr David Vorsah, the assembly membe
r for the area, members of the Festival Planning Committee, men and women, as well as youth from the town.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Reporting date for SHS 1 students remains December 4 – GES

The Ghana Education Service (GES) has reminded parents, students and the public that the reporting date for first year Senior High School (SHS) students is 4th December 2023 as indicated on the Placement form.

A statement issued by Madam Cassandra Twum Ampofo, copied to the Ghana News Agency, said it was the expectation of Management that schools began registration and orientation of students from Monday, December 4.

It said per the academic calendar, there would be Christmas break on the 21st December and resumption on the 3rd of January, 2024, to continue academic work till March 5, 2024.

The statement urged all students yet to do their Self Placement to do so as quickly as practicable.

‘We appreciate all stakeholders for collaborating and supporting the Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) process to this point,’ it said

‘We continue to ask for your patience to ensure the academic calendar for SHS is implemented without hitches in order to get back to the Pre-COVID academic cale

Source: Ghana News Agency

St. Anthony of Padua School wins NCCE’s inaugural Smart Governors Constitution Quiz

The St. Anthony of Padua Basic School in Sunyani has been crowned winners of the maiden National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) Smart Governors Constitution Quiz in the Bono Region.

The school, represented by Godwin Bitho and Nandy Miriam Dakurah, secured a total of 60 points to become the winners.

The St. James Junior High School (JHS), also in Sunyani, took the second place with 53 points, the Kalvero Preparatory School at Odumase came third with 49.5 points, while Dumasua RC JHS and St. Theresa’s JHS at Drobo secured the fourth and fifth positions, respectively, with 48 and 45 points.

The winning school was presented with a 43-inch flat-screen television, gold medals for the governors and patrons, a plaque, 20 copies of the 1992 Constitution, customised NCCE exercise books, and a dinner at the Eusbett Hotel.

The St. James JHS received silver medals, 20 copies of the 1992 Constitution, and customised NCCE exercise books, while the Kalvero Preparatory School received bronze medals in addition to
the books and Constitution.

The fourth and fifth placed schools each received certificates of participation, the exercise books and Constitution.

Ms Cynthia Anima Boadu, the Bono Regional Director of NCCE, highlighted the significance of the competition, which was to ensure comprehensive understanding of the principles and objectives of the 1992 Constitution. 

It also aims to capture the attention of the youth about the fundamental laws that govern the nation and instill a sense of civic responsibility in them to actively participate in shaping the future of the country.

She expressed concern over the gradual decline in the Ghanaian values and emphasised the importance of learning the dictates of the Constitution to imbibe a sense of national identity and the Ghanaian values in the children and the youth. 

She, thus, appealed to corporate institutions to support the NCCE’s programme to ensure its sustenance.

Source: Ghana News Agency

KOSMOS energy builds dormitory for blind pupils at Ashanti School for the Deaf

KOSMOS energy has constructed a 60-bed dormitory block for the blind unit of the Ashanti School for the Deaf at Jamasi in the Sekyere South District.

The facility which has washrooms for both male and female pupils, and a rest room for the house mistress, was undertaken following a request made by the management and staff of the school.

KOSMOS energy had early this year, renovated and handed over the dormitories of the deaf unit of the school, as part of efforts to provide convenient accommodation for the pupils.

Mr Joe Mensah, Senior Vice President and Head of Ghana Business Unit of KOSMOS Energy Ghana, speaking at the handing over ceremony at Jamasi said disability was not an inability.

He said everybody had been blessed with innate potential which needed to be nurtured and harnessed no matter the physical deformity.

Mr Mensah said KOSMOS energy would continue to partner the Ashanti School for the Deaf to help educate and train the pupils to develop their potentials to enable them to contribute to the
development of the nation.

He praised the staff and management of the school for their hard work and dedication in helping to unearth the potential of the pupils in the face of many challenges.

Mr Mensah called on the management of the school to endeavour to maintain the facility to help attract more support not only from KOSMOS but other individuals and companies.

Mrs Catherine Reckling, District Chief Executive for Sekyere South, commended KOSMOS energy for its continued support to the school and said the construction of the dormitory block was amble testimony of the company’s resolve to help under-privileged people in society.

Nana Bediako-Poku I, Amenasehene, said the kind gesture by the company would help motivate the staff and the pupils to give off their best in their education.

Mr George Adu Abrokwa, District Director of Education said the dormitory block had come at an opportune time to serve as a home for the pupils of the blind unit who had to share spaces with their deaf colleagues.

He said
the project was a source of hope and beacon of life that illuminated the path of a brighter future for the children.

Mrs Vida Aidoo, Headmistress of the school, thanked KOSMOS energy for the kind gesture and said the project had removed one of the major challenges which was facing the school.

She said the blind unit was started in 2019 to provide education for visually impaired children in the northern sector of the country.

Mrs Aidoo said one other challenge facing the school was water and called on individuals and corporate bodies to help provide mechanized boreholes for the school.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Dr Agyemang Danquah and Dr Daniel Dzidzienyo appointed Deputy Directors at WACCI

The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana, has announced the appointment of Dr Agyemang Danquah and Dr Daniel K. Dzidzienyo as Deputy Directors of the Centre.

A statement issued by WACCI, copied to the Ghana News Agency said effective from October 2, 2023, Dr Agyemang Danquah would serve as the Deputy Director of Research, Innovation and Development, while Dr Dzidzienyo would assume the role of Deputy Director of Administration, Teaching and Learning.

It said both appointments were key to the Centre, a part of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences at the University of Ghana and were expected to contribute significantly to the Centre’s ongoing excellence and sustainability.

It said WACCI extends its heartfelt congratulations to Dr Agyemang Danquah and Dr Dzidzienyo and wishes them success in their new roles.

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Source: Ghana News Agency