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General News (7978)

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is confident that the African peoples shall work to take Africa to where it deserves to be, as a prosperous and dynamic member of the world community, stressing that “we need to, and we shall move Africa Beyond Aid.” At an event organised by the Royal Africa Society, Facebook and the Ghana 60 years on Committee, on the theme “Africa Beyond Aid”, on Tuesday, 21st November, 2017, President Akufo-Addo noted that Africa no longer wants to be the default place to go to find the footage to illustrate famine stories. “We no longer want to offer the justification for those who want to be rude and abusive about Africa and her peoples. It is time to build our economies that are not dependent on charity and handouts… We have learnt from long and bitter experience that, no matter how generous the charity, we would, and, indeed, we have remained poor,” he said. Describing Africa as a rich continent, and, currently, with the world’s second fastest economic growth rates, the world’s fastest-growing region for foreign direct investment, and in possession of nearly 30 percent of the earth’s remaining mineral resources, the President bemoaned the fact that the masses of the African peoples remain poor. With Ghana endowed with natural resources, the President stressed that “we can, and we should be able to build a Ghana which looks to the use of her own resources and their proper management as the way to engineer social and economic growth in our country.” Making reference to the cocoa industry, he noted that Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, who produce 65% of the world’s output of cocoa make less than $6 billion from a cocoa industry that is a $100 billion industry. “If we simply ground and sold the cocoa in paste form, instead of selling the cocoa beans, we double our earnings. In much the same way as we would double our earnings from gold, if we sold it refined, than in its raw state. We are determined to process these products,” he said. The President stated that nations it is time that African countries were responsible for processing their own resources, adding that it is time that “we, in Africa, manage our resources well, to generate wealth for our populations.” During the past 20 years, President Akufo-Addo stated that the countries that have made rapid economic strides have been the ones that have encouraged high levels of investment in entrepreneur development, and the ones that have promoted and developed a culture of accountable governance, free of corruption, and where institutions of state see themselves as independent public entities serving the wider public interest, not the temporary conveniences of the governments of the day. “We have a responsibility to make our countries attractive to our young generation. They should feel they have a worthwhile future, if they stay and build their nations. We should be, and are shamed by the desperation that drives a young person to attempt to cross the Sahara on foot, and the Mediterranean Sea in rickety boats, in the hope of finding a better future in Europe,” he added. The President continued, “We are not disclaiming aid, but we do want to discard a mind-set of dependency and living on handouts; it is unhealthy both for the giver and for the receiver.” Illicit Flow of Funds from Africa Touching on the report of the panel, chaired by the highly respected former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, on the illicit flow of funds (IFFs) from Africa, President Akufo-Addo noted that Africa is losing, annually, more than $50 billion through illicit financial outflows. The report, according to the President, revealed that between 2000 and 2008, some $252 billion, representing 56.2% of the illicit flow of funds from the continent, was from the extractive industries, including mining. He added that recent reported events between the government of Tanzania and the mining companies, that operate there, ought to give all of Africans cause for pause. “No one is going to sort out these matters for Africa, except Africans themselves. We need to have our own bright and sharp lawyers to keep us abreast with the sharp and bright lawyers that our trade partners have. We need to have our own bright and sharp technologists to keep us abreast with our competitors,” he said. With the vast majority of the population being young, the President said it is in the interest of the whole world that Africa works. “Even if the developed world had the means today, and were, indeed, minded to do so, it could not provide the aid that would keep Africa a sustainable part of the world. We do not want to remain the beggars of the world, we do not want to be dependent on charity,” he said. New Paradigm of leadership To this end, President Akufo-Addo urged African leaders to do everything whatsoever they can to strengthen the African Union (AU). “With Africa’s population set to reach some 2 billion people in 20 years time, an African Common Market presents immense opportunities to bring prosperity to our continent with hard work, enterprise, innovation and creativity. It is evident that the time for African integration should be now. Hence, the importance of the success of the Continental Free Trade Area,” he added. It is for this reason that President Akufo-Addo advocated for a new paradigm of leadership on the continent. The new African leaders, he said, must be committed to governing their peoples according to the rule of law, respect for individual liberties and human rights, and the principles of democratic accountability; and must be determined to free their peoples from a mindset of dependence, aid, charity and hand-outs, and must be bent on mobilising Africa’s own immeasurable resources to resolve Africa’s problems “This new generation of African leaders should help bring dignity and prosperity to our continent and its longsuffering peoples,” the President said.  
The Speaker of Parliament for Zimbabwe has confirmed that President Robert Mugabe, has reigned from his position which he held since 1980. According to the BBC, the resignation  came as lawmakers debated an impeachment motion against the 93-year-old leader in a joint sitting of parliament. Mr Mugabe had previously refused to resign despite last week's military takeover, and days of protests against his rule.   The news saw some Zimbabweans jubilating and expressing their joy.    
Private legal practitioner, Cap. [rtd]lawyer Nkrabea Effah Dartey has said he will not agree with anyone who will suggest that, the delivery or quality of justice in the country is questionable. He explained, as a lawyer who has practiced for over 30 years, there’ve been instances where he has disagreed with rulings by the court. He added, that is why we have the court’s act and the constitution to facilitate an appeal when one is unsatisfied with any ruling by the court. He was responding to a statement made by the Asantehene at a forum organized by the Chief Justice, Siophia Akuffo in Kumasi yesterday [Monday]. The Asantehene in his address at the forum slammed the judiciary and with an example of the recent ruling on the Delta Force group wondering why individuals who stormed a court, and freed suspects on trial could be fined Ghc1,800 each. “If someone steals a goat and is fined GHc 5,000 and is additionally slapped with a jail term, how can people who invade a courtroom, overpower a security, release suspects and put the lives of a judge and staff in danger, and as their punishment are given a paltry fine of GHc 1,800 and discharged. Has justice been served?” “If such judgments come from the court, how can you prevent people from questioning the quality of justice delivered by our judges? Unfortunately, it takes only one case or very few cases for the quality of justice that you profess to deliver to be through into the woods.” “I hope and pray that by the end of this forum, such ramification of quality justice will be more meaningfully appreciated so we can all be witnesses for the realization of the vision of quality judges delivering quality justice,” he added.   However, lawyer Darteh says he respectfully and totally disagree with the position the Asantehene took. Speaking to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the legal practitioner who once expressed his interest to contest as president said, if someone says the quality of justice delivery in Ghana is questionable, I will respectfully disagree because we have the law of the jungle, where might is right and we have the law of the civilized human beings where the community and residents abide by the laws. He stressed that when you are not happy with a ruling, you should appeal and for instance the Delta Force case being used as an example; if I were the lawyer for the Delta Force, I would not have advised my clients to change their plea to that of guilty. We would have dragged the case for three years and that would have made Ghanaians lose interest in the case. There were so many strategies the lawyer could have used and these are all legitimate strategies,’’ he said. He said it is the duty of the police to prosecute beyond reasonable doubt in matters like this and the lawyer of the person being prosecuted, must employ strategies to defend his or her client and only persons who are not lawyers would be agitated.   He added, with the greatest respect to Otumfour, I am sure he didn’t speak through Okyeame. When you are criticizing particular cases you should be extra careful. I am sorry but this is my view. I maybe wrong but this is my genuine view.’’
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the democracy Ghanaians intend to build and entrench will only succeed if it results in the building of a prosperous nation, and in people who are at peace with themselves and with the world. According to President Akufo-Addo, “the democracy that we seek to build does not end in casting votes, and electing a President and a Member of Parliament once every four years. We seek to build a prosperous nation with equal opportunities, where all citizens feel they have a stake.” The President indicated that never again should a Ghanaian citizen feel he has to join the desperados that cross the Sahara and drown in the Mediterranean Sea, because their own country holds no promise or hope. “I know there will always be those among us who would want to try and seek their fortunes in foreign lands. We would wish them well, and pray that they are treated with dignity wherever they go; but it should never be because there are no opportunities in Ghana,” he added. President Akufo-Addo made this known on Monday, 20th November, 2017, when he delivered a speech on “Democracy and Development” at the Cambridge Union Society of the University of Cambridge, as part of his 3-day visit to the United Kingdom. Ghana’s infant democracy, the President said, has put the country on the path to sustainable development, which would improve the way the natural and human resources of the country are managed. “We are on the path to creating wealth and improving the lives of our people. We are determined to do that by transforming the structure of our economy. The neo-colonial economy, based on the production and export of raw materials, cannot form the basis of a new era of prosperity for our people,” he said. The President continued, “We have to move, and we are moving towards an economy of processed agricultural and engineering goods and services. That is the way to job creation on a mass base, and an improvement in the incomes of ordinary Ghanaians.” With widespread unemployment prevalent amongst the youth, which, in his view, represents the greatest threat to Ghana’s democracy and stability, President Akufo-Addo noted that only a performing, rapidly expanding economy that generates jobs can provide an urgent solution. To this end, in the short space of 10 months since his government took office, President Akufo-Addo noted that the country’s macro-economy has been stabilising. “The fiscal deficit, which stood at 9.5% at the end of 2016, has been reduced to 6.3%. Inflation, within the same period, has declined from 15.4% to 11.6%. Our economy has grown from 3.3% last year, the lowest in 22 years, to 7.9%. Interest rates are declining, and we are now witnessing a more stable cedi, our national currency. We are creating a business-friendly environment that should encourage significant investments in the development of our economy,” he said. The President indicated also that the determination of Ghanaians to build their democracy is further anchored in their deep-seated belief in the concept of the separation of powers as an active principle for the promotion of freedom and accountable governance, free of corruption. Democracy is working for us President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that Ghanaians have agreed on a multi-party constitutional democracy, and a guarantee of individual freedoms under the rule of law, with these past 24 years of the 4th Republic turning out to be the longest period of stability and economic growth in sixty years of Ghana’s nationhood. “We are nowhere near where we ought to be, but the arguments have been settled, and, believe me, this has been a critical bridge for us to cross. And for our Ghanaian circumstances, we dare not undermine confidence in our young democracy,” he said. The President acknowledged that having a democracy would not translate immediately into the resolution of Ghana’s problems, “but I believe we, in Ghana, are in the position to be able to quote the English colossus, Winston Churchill, that ‘It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except all those other ones that have been tried from time to time’.”  
The Minority in Parliament has demanded a full list of presidential staffers working at the presidency. A former presidential staffer who worked under the erstwhile Mahama administration says it will be in the best interest of government to provide the list. Dr. Clement Apaak said “It is a requirement per the Presidential Office Act 1993, that the office of the president should furnish parliament with the full list of persons working at the presidency and that includes presidential staffers…. We are not saying that government has breached the law…. But we believe that at this time the government has settled in and all the staff that the presidency needs to be able to function to its optimum is in place, and therefore the time has come for us to know who they are and what positions they occupy.’’   The legislator representing the Builsa South constituency filed a question in parliament directed at the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Majority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu on the matter. Dr. Clement Apaak in February this year staged a similar protest in request for the list of cabinet ministers.   On the demand for the list of presidential staffers, he said, “Full complement to allow us to assess matters to do with expenditure as far as the presidency is concerned, and matters of accountability and transparency… It is in the interest of the Presidency to make this list available to ensure that people do not use the name of the office of the presidency to engage in acts of fraud and acts that are untoward.’’
Zimbabwe's former vice-president, whose sacking led to last week's army takeover, has urged President Robert Mugabe to resign immediately. Emmerson Mnangagwa said he fled abroad two weeks ago when he learned of a plot to kill him, and he would not return until he was sure of his security. The ruling Zanu-PF party is expected to begin impeachment proceedings in parliament later on Tuesday. Mr Mugabe is accused of allowing his wife to "usurp constitutional power". Speaking from an undisclosed location on Tuesday, Mr Mnangagwa said the 93-year-old president should heed the "clarion call" of his people and step down. "I told the President that I would not return home now until I am satisfied of my personal security, because of the manner and treatment given to me upon being fired," he said in a statement. Mr Mnangagwa's dismissal earlier this month was seen by many as clearing the way for Mr Mugabe's wife Grace wife to succeed him as leader. The move riled top army officials, who stepped in and put Mr Mugabe under house arrest, though he nominally remains the president.   The military said they have planned a "roadmap" with Mr Mugabe for the future. On Sunday, despite intense pressure, Mr Mugabe surprised many by failing to resign in a TV address. He instead vowed to preside over next month's Zanu-PF party congress.   Source:BBC
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Monday, 20th November, 2017, held bilateral talks with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rt. Hon. Theresa May, MP, at 10 Downing Street. The purpose of the meeting was to strengthen the ties of co-operation between the two countries, and move the bilateral relations to a point beyond aid. The pair also discussed issues bordering on next year’s Commonwealth Summit, as preparations for the Summit intensify. Congratulating Ghana on her 60th Independence Anniversary, Prime Minister Theresa May told President Akufo-Addo that she and the people of the United Kingdom were “looking forward to building a sound relationship, and also developing historic ties with Ghana for the next 60 years.” The British Prime Minister indicated that increasing the volumes of trade between the two countries was the key to boosting the growth, progress and prosperity of the two countries and their respective populations. Prime Minister May noted further that next year’s Commonwealth Summit, which will be held in London, will present member states with the opportunity “to grow together”, and was pleased that President Akufo-Addo would be participating in the Summit. She was hopeful that during her tenure of office, the United Kingdom will continue to build “on the strong relationship we have with Ghana.” On his part, President Akufo-Addo thanked the British Prime Minister for the warm welcome afforded him and his delegation. Despite it being “60 years since we parted company”, President Akufo-Addo noted that Ghana and the United Kingdom “didn’t part company for good”. Strong relationships between the two countries, the President, indicated, have existed, regardless of the governments of the day, and assured Prime Minister May that, under his leadership as President of Ghana, the already strong relationship will continue. President Akufo-Addo was hopeful that his and the period of office of his British counterpart would be marked by the strengthening of the bilateral relations between the two countries for the mutual benefit of the two countries and their respective populations. According to the President, Ghana was looking forward eagerly to next year’s Commonwealth Summit, which would provide the opportunity to reinvigorate the Commonwealth around its theme of “A Common Future”, and make it a dynamic instrument for the growth of the global community in the 21st Century. President Akufo-Addo congratulated British Prime Minister Theresa May on the decision of the British government to host next year’s Summit.  
The Asantehene Otumfour Osei Tutu has expressed worry over the quality of justice delivery in the country. Using the recent ruling in the Delta Force 13, the overlord said the handling of the issue was unfortunate and lenient.     In the view of the Asantehene, the GHc1,800 each fined the Delta group compared to the hefty sentencing of other crimes questions the quality of justice delivery in the country.   “If someone steals a goat and is fined GHc 5,000 and is additionally slapped with a jail term, how can people who invade a courtroom, overpower a security, release suspects and put the lives of a judge and staff in danger, and as their punishment are given a paltry fine of GHc 1,800 and discharged. Has justice been served?” “If such judgments come from the court, how can you prevent people from questioning the quality of justice delivered by our judges? Unfortunately, it takes only one case or very few cases for the quality of justice that you profess to deliver to be through into the woods.” “I hope and pray that by the end of this forum, such ramification of quality justice will be more meaningfully appreciated so we can all be witnesses for the realization of the vision of quality judges delivering quality justice,” he added.   He made the remarks at at the Chief Justice’s forum in Kumasi on Monday.
The Ministry of Finance today [Monday] organized a post 2018 budget sensitization workshop for IFEJ, the parliamentary press corps members and other journalists.   The sensitization workshop accorded participants the opportunity to engage with technical team and officials who put the budget together. It also served as a platform for further clarification to aid public education about initiatives highlighted in the budget, through the mediums the participants represented.   Head of Public Relations at the Ministry, Cecilia Akwetey said the Finance Ministry will reproduce the statement in about 7 local languages, hold community forums in the bid to simplify the 2018 budget for citizens. She said the Ministry had been collaborating with the Information Services Department, Ghana Education Service and other institutions at the district level to distribute the translated budget copies as well as explaining the content of the budget to the people. The local languages are Ga, Ga-Dangbe, Nzema, Dagbani, Asante Twi, Ewe and Gonja. Madam Eva Mends, the First Female Director of Budget of the Ministry of Finance, said the budget was the most important document of the Ministry because it contained key policies and programmes of government that would influence the lives of the people. On his part, Mr Rayborn Bulley, the President of IFEJ, said for journalists to communicate effectively to the public, it was important for them to understand the rationale underpinning the budget, therefore the meeting was important and timely, which would afford them the opportunity to listen to technical and expert views on the budget to enhance their knowledge and understanding.   Dean of the Parliamentary Press Corps, Nana Agyemang Birikorang  in a statement read on his behalf, appealed to the Ministry to organize pre-budget workshop for journalists to prevent politicians from peddling falsehood ahead of the presentation. He made specific mention of the claims by the Minority before the presentation that government was planning to tax mobile money transactions. However, it turned out to be false after the budget was presented before parliament last week.     Dr Mawuli Gaddah, the Head of Macro Research at the Ministry of Finance, took participants through some policy initiatives proposed by government, while Dr Alhassan Iddrisu, the Director of Economic Research and Forecasting Division of the Ministry, also explained the macroeconomic indicators of the 2017 budget and projections in the 2018 budget statement and how it would influence the business environment.
Staff of Rainbow Radio has today [Monday] signed the book of condolence in memory of colleague journalist, Kwadwo Baffour Acheampong aka KABA, host of afternoon political show, ‘Ekosii Sen’ on Asempa 94.7Fm. The team was led by the morning show host, Kwame Tutu. He was accompanied by news editor, Kwabena Agyapong, Executive Producer, Vivian Arthur, parliamentary correspondent Naa Darkuah Dodoo, two of our News anchors, Nana Adjoa Owusu and Casablanca as well as our Sales Manager, Darko Stephen Odame. The 2017 RTP Radio Show Host of the year died Saturday morning after a short illness. His sudden demise has shocked the entire nation with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia expressing shock. Former President John Dramani Mahama has also expressed shock at his death. Senior political heads including Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the opposition NDC and the Acting General Secretary of the ruling NPP. have all expressed their shock at his demise. The deceased left behind a wife and a nine  month old baby.    
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