President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated that the production and delivery of stable, reliable and affordable power is critical to the success of efforts towards the integration and development of West Africa.
According to the President, the annual growth in demand for electricity is estimated at 10%, which means that for every 7 years, investment in electricity infrastructure has to be doubled in most West African countries.
“The availability and use of electricity will greatly influence how rapidly West African countries are able to increase their agricultural and industrial productivity, provide safe drinking water, achieve rapid economic development, and use information and communications technology to become increasingly integrated into the global marketplace,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo made this known at the opening of the 12th General Assembly of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), in Accra on Friday.
The President noted that investment in the energy sector ensures the delivery of financial and social returns that have the potential to address important challenges, such as reduction of poverty and improvement of the lives of people.
In West Africa, fortunately, he added that through the ECOWAS Energy Protocol, efforts have been made to resolve the regulatory and political barriers constraining investment in electricity supply, and inadequate infrastructure along the electricity value chain.
t is for this reason that Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, through the Supplementary Act A/SA4/01/08, decided that most of the regional power generation facilities should be developed by WAPP, through special purpose vehicles under the PPP framework.
The 450 MW WAPP Regional Thermal Generation Plants at Aboadze in Ghana, and Maria Gleta in Benin, are being developed within this framework, with the successes of these projects going a long way to boost investor confidence and attract more private sector capital into other WAPP Projects.
President Akufo-Addo noted that Ghana has been able, through the right regulatory, legal and commercial framework, to attract a lot of private sector players into the generation end of the business, and in the near future should be able to export its excess generation through the WAPP network to other countries.
“We are fully aware that, if we are to see West Africa prosper, a Region that is able to turn its natural endowments into resources that will offer her people access to better education, improved health care, safe water and electricity, we should call on our experts, technical and financial partners gathered here this week, to come up with concrete proposals that will make regional integration, through a Regional Electricity Market, a reality,” the President said.
He was confident that the 12th WAPP General Assembly will be able to seize the opportunity to reflect on the progress made towards the establishment of a Regional Electricity Market, and, in general, identify gaps and challenges, as we map a clear way forward.
With discussions at the WAPP General Assembly focusing on Regional Electricity Market, President Akufo-Addo urged the participants to recall that, whilst the challenges are immense, the Region must fundamentally realign its energy systems to achieve a unified system.
“WAPP has what it takes, in terms of capacity and capability, to create the Regional Electricity Market. This is the surest way to harness the abundant energy resources in the Region to accelerate the socio-economic development of the Region, and improve the living standards of our people. We must travel down this road. Alongside the risks, this is a moment of great opportunity for WAPP and West Africa,” he added.
President was convinced that the agreement amongst West African countries to integrate their electricity network for the region’s development and economic take-off will engender strong synergies and significant complementarities.
“The outcome of the integration should be an electricity system in which uninterrupted supply is the expectation, rather than the exception,” he added.
The Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery has said individuals associated to the ruling party cannot be described as true and dedicated members if they continue to engage in lawlessness.
He said, it was the promise of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to maintain peace, stability and create a conducive atmosphere for businesses to thrive hence, anyone who works against this promise cannot be a member of the party.
He was reacting to recent rampaging by some vigilante groups associated to the ruling party in some parts of the country.
The Minister said, if anybody says that he is a member of the NPP, he must be interested in making it possible for the president to deliver on his promises. And the president’s promise is that, he must create a peaceful environment for investment and therefore you are not a true member of the NPP, if you are working against the president making good his promise, period! That is a statement specific to my party,’’ he said.
Interior Minister Ambrose Dery has finally broken his silence on the legal tussle involving Indian businessman Ashok Sivaram, the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and the Interior Ministry over his ‘’unlawful’’ deportation.
The businessman took to court after he was deported by the GIS following an order from the Ministry of Interior.
The ruling which went into his favour ordered the respondents to restore his permit.
But speaking to journalists after appearing in Parliament, the Minister said ''in defective I respect the ruling by court.''
According to him, he will look at the ruling and be guided by the Attorney General because this is not a personal Ambrose Dery matter. This is why I did not go to court. I have a law firm and if it was a personal Ambrose Dery matter, I would have engaged my lawyers to go. All I am saying is that, there is a decision and I respect that decision,’’ he added.
Deportation of people from Ghana he said is a role administered by the Interior Minister and that deportation of the Indian businessman was based purely on security grounds.
‘’Just as I told you, a court judgment I respect even if I disagree. We will study the court’s decision, I will respect it and be guided by whatever actually comes from there.’’
The Minister indicated, Ghanaians who are deported from other countries, are deported not because they are economic liabilities.
He insisted he does not have any personal interest in the matter and does not know the Indian businessman.
Ambrose Dery said he has deported a lot more people aside the Indian businessman and if he [Ashok] went to court to secure a judgment and won so be it.
The right to deportation and the right to stay in the country, remains the reserve of the Interior Minister and no judgment can take that away.
He described as ridiculous the claims by the lawyer for the Indian businessman that he [Ashok] was disadvantaged by the deportation because he had employed people in Ghana.
This he noted is not a security consideration before someone is deported from the country.
His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has bemoaned the spate at which peace in the globe is lessening on daily basis.
The world Islamic Caliph made the remarks in a special message delivered on his behalf by National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK, Mr Rafiq Ahmad Hayat.
In the special message, His Holiness prayed asked Almighty Allah to give humans wisdom to pursue peace instead rapidly causing catastrophe across the globe.
The message was delivered at the first ever Pan-African Ahmadiyya Muslim Association (PAAMA) UK, Africa Peace Symposium at the Baitul Futuh Mosque.
The event which was organized few weeks ago in London was under the guidance and tutelage of His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Worldwide Spiritual and Administrative Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
The event which had Unity in Diversity as its theme and was fittingly attended by parliamentarians, diplomats, community and civic leaders and people from all walks of life, explored how religion can unite rather than divide humanity, promoted a deeper understanding of Islam and other faiths and sort to inspire a concerted effort for lasting peace among people of African origin.
The Symposium was addressed by various dignitaries including Her Worshipful, Councillor Marsie Skeete, Mayor of Merton, Mrs Rita Tani Iddi, Deputy High Commissioner for the Republic of Ghana, Her Excellency, Dr Justina Mutale, Founder CEO Justina Mutale Foundation and African Woman of the Year 2012, His Excellency, Mr Julius Peter Moto, High Commissioner for the Republic of Uganda and Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office who delivered the Keynote Address.
National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK, Mr Rafiq Ahmad Hayat, who gave a concluding message and also presented a special message on behalf of His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said: “In today’s world, such functions have taken on an even greater importance because the world is passing through a period of increasing instability and conflict and, as a result, the peace of the world is lessening day by day. Indeed, it cannot be said that any Continent is free from the effects of this growing turmoil. Thus, I pray that Allah the Almighty grants wisdom to the people of the world so that instead of moving rapidly towards destruction and catastrophe, people come to realize the need to step back from the abyss and seek to build bridges of love and peace in society. However, this will not be possible until all nations and continents, whether it be North or South America, Australia, Europe, Asia and indeed all of Africa are willing to work together for the common good of mankind…’’
He further called on Africans to realize their status and importance to the rest of the world.
“The African Continent is vast and it boundaries border with both Asia and Europe and so it is imperative that the African people realise their great status and importance to the rest of the world. Each African tribe or race and indeed each individual person must understand his or her responsibilities and duties to their nation and to the wider world. Sadly, even now, much of the world considers African nations to be poor, destitute and without value, however, I firmly believe that Africa has huge potential and a great status.’’
Prior to the event guests were given a tour of the prestigious Baitul Futuh Mosque – the largest mosque in Western Europe – and a walk through various exhibitions showcasing Islam and the glorious history of Africa as well as the charitable endeavours of Humanity First, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s charity organisation and the International Association of Ahmadi Architects and Engineers (IAAAE) who work to provide renewable energy solutions and clean drinking water to remote parts of Africa.
The Builsa North District is bedeviled with a number of health challenges, Rainbow Radio's reporter Justice Anthony has reported.
The district can boost of 22 Chip compounds however, the challenges confronting the district are enormous.
Challenges ranging from accommodation facilities for health workers, availability of drugs, access to portable water are hindering the delivery of quality healthcare in the district.
Justice Anthony after a visit to the various health facilities said, only 13 out of the 22 Chip compounds are active and delivering healthcare to residents.
The rest he noted are not functioning because staff posted to the facilities, decline to go due to the unavailability of water, accommodation and other basic amenities.
The means of transport for the medical workers in discharging a better healthcare in the various health centres is also a challenge.
In an interview with S.Y Anyimodo the Health Director of the district, he lamented that the only vehicle in the district is in a deplorable state and has been used for more than 10 years with no regular servicing.
The medical staff appealed to the Health Minister to come to their aid and provide them with the needed resources to enhance quality healthcare in the district.
Nurses who are also posted to the area Justice Anthony said lack access to transportation to work.
The district hospital he further indicated, was not spared the challenges as the maternity ward lacked the needed equipment including beds for mothers and babies.
Drugs he stated are also not available for mothers at the district hospital. Malaria, anemia and road traffic accidents he were the major causes of death in the district he told Kwame Tutu in an interview.
Renowned Mathematician, Prof. Emmanuel Allotey has passed on at the age of 85 years.
The late professor according a family source, died at a hospital in Germany on Thursday.
The family source indicated that Prof. Allotey was in good Thursday morning but complained of body pains around 10 am and was rushed to the hospital where he died. Prof Francis Kofi Allotey was born at Saltpond in the Central Region of Ghana in 1932.
He is known for the "Allotey Formalism" which arose from his work on soft X-rayspectroscopy.
As a founding fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, in 1974, he became the first Ghanaian full professor of mathematics and head of the Department of Mathematics at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
Prof Allotey was the President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS) and a member of a number of international scientific organisations including the International Institute of Theoretical and Applied Physics (ICTP).
He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Accra Institute of Technology (AIT), the President of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Ghana (AIMS-Ghana).
He was also a holder of master's and doctorate degrees from Princeton University and the diploma of Imperial College (1960). He was also an honorary fellow of the IOP Institute of Physics.
The Professor Francis Allotey Graduate School was established in 2009 at the Accra Institute of Technology in his honour.
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has reassured the Paramount Chief of the Bawku Traditional Area, Naba Asigri Abuagrago Azoka II, he does not have an interest in any chieftaincy issue across the country, especially in the Bawku area.
According to President Akufo-Addo, his government remains committed to ensuring peace and stability in the country, and not to engage in matters related to chieftaincy.
In the run up to the 2016 general elections, President Akufo-Addo, then the presidential candidate for the New Patriotic Party, appealed to Naba Abugragu Azoka II, and the people of Bawku, to vote massively for him and the NPP, assuring that if voted for, he will help find a permanent solution to the chieftaincy disputes in Bawku.
“When I said that I have no interest in chieftaincy matters, I meant it. It wasn’t an idle statement. I am not chief, I am not a royal of Bawku, I don’t have any interest in meddling in Bawku chieftaincy matters, and that is what I meant by saying that my government has not come here to deal in chieftaincy matters”, President Akufo Addo said.
The President made this known on Thursday, 2nd November, 2017, when Naba Asigri Abuagrago Azoka II, and some eminent Chiefs from the Bawku Traditional Area paid a reciprocal courtesy call on him at the Presidency.
President Nana Akufo-Addo commended the Bawku Naba and the other Chiefs for the role they have played in ensuring that peace prevails in Bawku, an action, he said, has brought a warm glow of joy and gratitude to his heart.
He told the Chiefs that the decision to create a new district out of the Tempane constituency was on-going, and “anytime from now, the Minister for Local Government would announce the creation of the Tempane district.”
With Bawku being, predominantly, a farming community, President Akufo-Addo stated that Bawku, would immensely benefit from his government’s “Planting for Food and Jobs Programme”, which is tailored to help farmers by providing them with improved seedlings, fertilizers at subsidized prices, and extension officers, amongst others.
He, however, urged the Traditional Rulers to assist the security agencies in ensuring that the smuggling of fertilizer from Ghana to other countries becomes an unattractive venture.
“We are supplying fertilizers at subsidized prices. But you know that when something good is happening, there are always a few mischievous people, criminal minds, who want to use the good things just for their own selfish interest. The people who are doing that are enriching themselves at our expense, your expense and my expense,” he said.
The President continued, “So I am asking you, the traditional rulers, in the area to be part of the law enforcement agencies in the area, and make sure that smuggling doesn’t take place of these important items”.
On another of government’s flagship projects, the free Senior High School Policy, President Akufo-Addo explained that the policy would ensure that all of Ghana’s children would have the opportunity to go to school.
“We have to speak the truth to each other as Ghanaians. In today’s world, Junior High School education is not enough we have to make sure that everybody gets at least to Secondary School, and that is why I am determined that the policy of free Senior High School would continue and continue so that all our children would have the opportunity to go to school. It has not been done for politics, and it has not been done for votes, it’s been done for the development of our country”, President Akufo-Addo said.
Nana Ahwoi Panyin, chief of Eleokrom says the previous administration under former President John Dramani Mahama, gave them substandard fertilizers.
The farmer and traditional leader was reacting to claims by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of COCOBOD, Mr. Boahen Aidoo that, the free fertilizer programme under the NDC, was a vehicle for mismanagement and corruption and that, the fertilizers were substandard.
Mr. Aidoo said the free fertilizer programme for instance, was used by the NDC to introduce sub-standard and inefficacious fertilizers into the cocoa Hi-Tech programme.
“Cocoa farmers expressed misgivings and disquiet in accepting the sub-standard fertilizers through the free fertilizer programme introduced by Dr Opuni and the NDC regime. He resolved to wilfully cause financial waste such that farmers would be compelled to accept the fertilizers for free if acceptance through the subsidized sale was not successful.”
“Similarly, the cocoa mass spraying exercise was changed from the normal model of spraying by gangs to the distribution of sub-standard insecticides and fungicides to farmers to spray their own farms. The amount saved from the non-payment of gangs was misapplied through inflated contracts.”
He added that “the rehabilitation programme was abandoned by the NDC regime, and therefore the party cannot claim credit for the cutting of mistletoes. Rather, the NDC decided to pursue the so-called free distribution of inputs and seedlings, which were rather conduits for inflated contracts and the syphoning of funds.”
Nana Ahwoi Panyin in an interview with Kwame Tutu posited that, the fertilizer given farmers under Mr. Mahama was substandard and the desired purpose was not achieved.
‘’I am a renowned farmer and can tell you that the fertilizer was substandard. It was not yielding results even after three months of usage. Although we were receiving the fertilizer for free, it was substandard,’’ he added.
He also lamented at their inability to pay for the fertilizer under the new subsidized programme and has admonished government to do something about it for them.
He called for the formation of committees in the various cocoa growing districts to help manage the distribution of the fertilizer.
A highly powered Task-Force to investigate and deal with political hooliganism by some members of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has been formed by government.
The Task-Force is led by a Deputy Minister for Energy, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam Anta, and some of its members include the Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Hassan Tampuli, a Presidential Staffer, Clara Napaga Tia Sulemana, and Managing Director of Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Dr. Clifford Braimah.
The Task-Force according to Rainbow Radio’s Prince Kwame Tamakloe has succeeded in resolving the intra political stalemate between the embattled Karaga District Chief Executive, Alhassan Yabdow, the NPP constituency leadership, and scores of the youth there.
A communiqué under the name “Settlement of political dispute in the Karaga district,” was signed by the aggrieved youth.
Signatories to the communiqué were Karaga constituency NPP Council of Elders Chairman, Baba Abdulai, the constituency Chairman, Tahiru Zakaria and the District Chief Executive, Alhassan.
The Minority spokesperson on agriculture and MP for Asuna South, Mr. Eric Opoku has taken a swipe at the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Joseph Boahen Aidoo for alleging that former president Mahama influenced the construction of a guest house in Bole his hometown.
The CEO had alleged that former President Mahama influenced the construction of the guest house for his comfort.
He said: ‘’ “The penchant to siphon funds through inflated contracts was rampant in the NDC-Opuni administration through ill-conceived construction contracts in the cocoa sector. These contracts were awarded without proper value for money analysis, bringing into question the motive for the contract for instance, to construct a guest house at Bole in the Northern Region, which was needless at the time it was awarded. President John Mahama was said to have influenced the awarding to enable him enjoy a comfortable holiday during his visit to his constituency.’’
But reacting to the allegation, Eric Opoku told Kwame Tutu that the mistakes by the management has gone haywire and overboard.
He further lambasted the management of COCOBOD for failing to respond to the 5 major issues raised by the Minority but rather engaged in pettiness and lies.
The issues we raised were major and dear to the heart of cocoa farmers yet the management failed to answer the questions we asked.
The guest house at Bole was constructed at a time when Mr. Aidoo was a school boy. The guest house was constructed by the cocoa research institute of Ghana and that is a subsidiary of COCOBOD. These guest houses are across the length and breadth of this country... What NDC did was to rehabilitate all deplorable guests’ houses of COCOBOD. Mahama did not construct a guest house at Bole as alleged.’’