Parliament on Tuesday passed the Bill for the Special Prosecutor Office after its third reading.
When operational, the Special Prosecutor’s office will be independent of the Executive, which observers believe will allow it to adequately deal with corruption-related issues which have plagued past governments.
This Bill is expected to, among other things, define the modalities for the appointment and operations of the Special Prosecutor.
The office of the Special Prosecutor will have the mandate to investigate and prosecute cases of alleged corruption under the Public Procurement Act 203 Act 63 and other corruption-related offenses implicating public officers, political office holders and their accomplices in the public sector.
The Prosecutor will also be mandated to trace and recover the proceeds of corruption.
On 11th October, Ghana joined the rest of the world in celebrating the girl child and women at large. Do you know why it is even important for us as a people to empower girls and to a large extent women? According to the United Nations Organisation, there are 1.1 billion girls in the world, and every one of them deserves equal opportunities for a better future because they are a source of energy, power and creativity.
They can drive change and help build a better future for all. Yet, most girls face disadvantage and discrimination on a daily basis, and those living through crises are suffering even more.
The 2017 UN Women statement for International Day of the Girl Child calls for us to commit to investing in skills training and education for girls and livelihood activities for young women around the world who are facing crises. Brilliant isn't it? The question is, what is the role of the boy child in this dream that we are chasing?
The unfortunate story however is that, across the world, "empowered" girls and women are raising their voices to fight for their rights and protection in all contexts. Unfortunately most of these "freedom fighters" do not understand the course they are supposed to be championing.
The new wave feminists hiding behind rights of the girl child and women constantly declare what can best be described as an unprovoked fight for equality despite conspicuous oversight of the much needed equity. Today’s feminism fights a new and changed world with an old definition of what it means to fight for equal rights.
Fighting solely for the rights of women was relevant to the first and second wave of the movement that were staring at glaringly biased legislation and cultural values. In today’s changed world it is not only outdated, but misplaced. Maybe the question we all should be answering is, 'what is the role of the boy child in the girl child empowerment agenda?'
I happen to be a loud voice in the girl child empowerment campaign as far back as when I was in Senior High School. I still remember wearing shirts with inscriptions such as "Because I am a girl" and several other sacrifices we made at the time in championing this course. We were not abusive like most of our "freedom fighters" today are.
Again, it was an all inclusive move. I still remember our slogan and I chant it most often to inspire my female friends. It says, "Girls, let's make it happen; Boys, let's get involved". I like the look on your face now. This is the way to go. It should be an all hands on deck move without making the other party feeling threatened. Making the boy child an endangered specie is certainly not the way to go because we may come back one day with this same story of empowerment in favour of the boy child.
Empowerment should be the creation of an environment for women and men alike with much more emphasis on the vulnerable. Mind you, vulnerability is not synonymous to being a girl or a woman. An environment in which all persons can make decisions of their own for their personal benefits as well as for the society. Where there will be improvement in the social, economic, political and legal strength of all persons.
Empowered persons too should have equal-rights irrespective of gender, and to make them confident enough to claim their rights, such as: to freely live with a sense of self-worth, respect and dignity, have complete control of their life, both within and outside of their home and workplace and to make their own choices and decisions among others.
It is unfortunate that society's too much focus on the girl child in turn is rapidly suffocating the boy child. There has been great neglect of the boy in society today and this is evident even on our media landscape. No news or little is reported when a boy is sodomized, abused, abandoned, mistreated or even decline their right to education. The welfare of these humans have greatly been ignored and left out in many projects as the girl child is fore grounded.
I am not in any way against women empowerment but the point is, why do we want to raise empowered wives for un-empowered husbands? Maybe the indirect message is that boys are born empowered.
I think it is time we tell some of our sisters and future wives who have become pompous in the name of women empowerment and fighting for gender equality to stop the arrogance and the unnecessary fights. What we should do instead, is to all join hands and support for better future wives and husbands.
We should empower the boy child just as we are doing for the girl child to strengthen their male counterparts as well. The silence on the neglect of the boy child is so deafening. Reports of boys joining terror gangs and terror groups fill the media space every time an attack is reported.
Have you thought of how and why well behaved and academically good boys like the recent KNUST graduate who was reported to have join ISIS came to think of joining such a dangerous group? perhaps, that is what happens when we give all our time to empowering the girl child. Interesting isn't it?
How many more of our young men do we want to lose before we realise that enough is enough and we have to stand up and protect this species of humans that is slowly degrading out of our own ignorance and some immeasurable ego.
Maybe I am talking too much without making sense and it is time I end this talk. Both genders need to be empowered for the success of society and country. An introduction to an article by Chris Good titled 'Why Feminism Is NOT ‘The Fight for Equal Rights,’ beautifully captures something I can't say better, let me share that with you.
He says, "Perhaps one of the first -and most frustrating- arguments one might encounter when entering into the gender equality debate, especially in criticism of feminism, is that the feminist movement is one that is dedicated to equality in our society.
While on one side, those fighting for the awareness of diminished men’s rights are asserting that feminism is the cause of a new imbalance between the sexes, it is common to encounter the feminist voice on blogs, in books, comics and in articles claiming that feminism is the best representation of a move toward equality. Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, it can be difficult to respond effectively to such a stubborn and misguided claim. Why do feminists believe the movement is the fight for equality?
By:Ernest Senanu Dovlo
The Government of Ghana under the leadership of President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has said it is determined to support the growth of the Ghanaian media so they are able to effectively, investigate and communicate on all aspects of social life.
The Western Regional Minister, Hon. Kwaku Afriyie made this known in a speech read on his behalf at the launch of a three day training workshop on investigative journalism on Migration and Free Movement for journalists in the Western Region on Tuesday.
He said the menace of irregular migration, has assumed alarming proportion with many of the youth, risking their lives in search of greener pastures while many have fallen victim to trafficking.
The Minister expressed his appreciation to Media Response, organisers of the training for championing the ECOWAS Free Movement and Migration campaign in Ghana and reiterated his commitment as the regional minister, to the successful implementation of the project in the Western Region.
Speaking at the function, Executive Director of Media Response, Mr. Samuel Nii Dodoo said recent media reports suggests that, migrants pose a significant threat to the country’s development due to their involvement in illegal mining activities, nomadic grazing, trading in the open market as well as the electoral process. Mr. Dodoo said given the afore-mentioned, there was no doubt that the media has a crucial role to play in the promotion of safe and secure intra-regional migration. The workshop is aimed at training journalists to improve their knowledge on the various legal frameworks that promotes the free movement of persons as well as the protection of migrants for the promotion of their rights and public awareness on safer migration. The project, "Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa'' is being implemented in 16 ECOWAS member states including Mauritania. It also aims to strengthen the capacities of the ECOWAS Commission to lead an intra-regional dialogue on free movement and migration issues and act as a platform for policy development and harmonisation.
The training was held in Accra in September and will also be held in the Ashanti and Northern Regions later this month.
The Objective Media Forum has cautioned government to be wary of persons they have described as distractors, bent on frustrating the good works being implemented.
The Forum has alleged that, some public servants, who worked under the previous administration at our various state institutions, are plotting to undermine the current administration.
They asserted that because the current government has initiated an audit into activities of some past CEOs of state owned enterprises, some of them, are using some civil servants who are still at post to frustrate the investigations.
The Objective Media Forum is also claiming that, some of the current CEOs who are working extremely hard, are targets for these ‘’greedy’’ individuals.
The Forum said, some persons have picked signals that, the auditing has been completed and because their names will come up for various infractions and mismanagement, they are trying to tarnish the image of those investigating them.
The Forum said, we are watching these people very closely and we will encourage them to desist from their act. They should stop swaying the public’s attention from the ongoing probe into their mismanagement and corrupt deals.
The group commended the current boss of the Free Zones Authority, Michael Okyere Baafi for his hard work and his instrumental role in the economic sector.
According to them, Michael Okyere Baafi has a stock of phenomenal records and credentials that he has brought on board to promote economic development and further effectively regulate activities in free zones.
They also made mention of the current acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Samuel Boakye-Appiah for his exceptional hard work and diligence in maintaining a stable power for the country.
The Forum said, we want you people to stay off from the good works of these noble men and other such individuals working to ensure that, the current president deliver on his economic growth for the country.
The Forum also commended the new administration of MASLOC under the ‘’able leadership’’ of Mr. Stephen Amoah aka Sticker.
They further mentioned the management of the Ghana Water Company, Buffer Stock and other companies for their aptness.
‘’Nana Addo has appointed competent and diligent men to manage our state owned enterprises and their competence is yielding positive results and so, we want to sound caution to those NDC persons working against the interest of the state to desist from doing so,’’ the Forum concluded.
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, 14th November, 2017, cut the sod for the commencement of the Appolonia City Housing Project, which is set to deliver 2,000 affordable homes to the people of Ghana.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “this project is in line with my government’s vision of using an appropriate mix of public policy, and public-private investments, to deliver quality, affordable social housing and private housing solutions, that meet the needs and financial capacity of the ordinary Ghanaian.”
He noted that his government recognizes the dream of all Ghanaians to own a home, or failing that, at least, to have decent rental accommodation.
“With a housing deficit over some 1.7 million units, the Appolonia City Project is one of the several initiatives that will be introduced along the housing value chain to achieve a cost effective, efficient and sustainable housing sector,” he added.
With the construction of the first 100 homes beginning this month, President Akufo-Addo said he was happy to note that the Appolonia Community is a shareholder within Appolonia City.
“Contractors working on the building projects are also to employ and provide skills training to members of the community. This is a laudable initiative, a model I would encourage others to emulate,” the President said.
Describing this government as “a natural cheerleader for the private sector”, President Akufo-Addo assured that his government shall do all it can to provide the enabling environment for the private sector to flourish in Ghana.
“I promise the private partners of this project that Ghana will be a great place to do business under my watch. The sector minister will work with you to address any challenges that may arise during the implementation of the project,” he said.
The President continued, “It is my expectation that they will be able to address these challenges satisfactorily, for they are all very competent in their domain, but, if, indeed, it becomes necessary, which I hope it will not, to go higher up the chain of authority, I want you to know that my doors will always be open. I do, on the other hand, insist that, on your part, you play according to the rules and regulations of the sector and the country as a whole.”
About Appolonia City
Appolonia City is a mixed-use and mixed-income urban development that will be home to 88,000 residents and tens of thousands of daily visitors.
The 2,325-acre project encompasses residential, commercial, retail and light industrial developments, as well as social amenities like schools, healthcare and family parks.
Appolonia City is a unique partnership between Rendeavour, Africa’s largest urban land developer, and the Chiefs, leaders and residents of the Appolonia community.
The Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, has called for the use of portions of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), for the establishment and refurbishment of dilapidated court structures to ensure the delivery of quality justice in the country.
The CJ made the suggestion today [Tuesday] on a three-day working visit in the Upper East Region.
According to her, the unfavorable conditions of Ghana’s courts and the inconvenience caused by lack of courts in some districts, is hindering the delivery of justice.
“We are going to have a holistic approach to address the dilapidated courts in the country. So we will try and at least begin a program of serious rehabilitation, renovation, proper maintenance and even sometimes replacement of our courts. We are coming with an arrangement with the administrator of the district assembly common fund so that, they make sure that, part of that fund if not all of it, is spent on building new courts in districts without courts and where there are, and in a mess, that those district courts are refurbished.”
“It is my hope that, by the time that my term ends, we would have completed a significant numbers of constructions, refurbishment, rehabilitation and repairs of our courts.”
She also admonished judges to consider the use of technology in the discharge of their work.
“From the districts courts through to the hierarchy of courts, judges would need to adopt the use of technology in the adjudication and delivery of justice, because we do see cases which have taken so long before reaching the Supreme Court, you wonder whether there is any value met by the litigants. Judicial outcomes must add some value to the people who come to the courts and many times, the timeliness of delivery of justice is key.”
First Vice Chair of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Madam Anita De Soso has warned the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to desist from any attempt to scrap the payment of fees of students benefiting from the progressively free senior high school policy introduced under the former Mahama led administration.
Speaking to Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, she said more students benefited from the progressively free senior high school under the NDC.
According to her, the Mahama-led NDC government’s progressively free education paid all expenses of Day Students from SHS 1 to SHS 3 and also selected 120,000 Boarding Students in Ghana to enjoy the progressively free education enrolled in 2015.
She added that in comparison with President Akufo-Addo’s Free SHS policy which only covers the first year students across the country, the number of students benefiting are 400,000; making Mahama’s progressively free education more beneficiary to students than Akufo Addo’s Free SHS.
Madam Anita De Soso maintained that the current administration should not make beneficiaries of this policy to be stranded.
It has emerged that former Finance Minister and the current one breached the Petroleum Revenue Management Act in the funding of projects with Ghana’s oil revenue.
The Act mandates the Finance Minister to report on all oil-funded projects in the year under review.
But both the past and current Ministers breached the process, a member of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), Dr. Steven Manteaw has lamented.
“Over the period since we started producing oil in this country, the past ministers and the current Minister [of Finance] have not complied with that provision in terms of giving us update on the stage of completion of oil projects. A project inspection undertaken by PIAC recently has revealed that a lot of the projects are non-existent and those that are in existent, are deteriorating barely a year into their completion raising serious concerns about the quality of spending and value for money considerations that underpin the use of oil revenues,” Dr. Manteaw said.
Parliament in 2015 passed the Petroleum Revenue Management (Amendment) Bill, 2015 into law.
The Bill amended an existing Act to provide for the allocation of Funds for the Ghana Infrastructure and Investment Funds, address some issues with the Ghana Stabilization Fund, the benchmark revenue projection, and further empower the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) to become a commercial entity and a strong operator in the oil and gas sector.
The law was expected to also provide a legal framework for the collection, allocation and management of petroleum revenue in a responsible, transparent, accountable and sustainable manner for the benefit of Ghanaians in accordance with Article 36 of the 1992 Constitution.
A political science lecturer Dr. Osei Bonsu says the allegations leveled against the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister Kwaku Asomah Kyeremeh, by maverick organizer for the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) Kwame Baffoe will have serious political damages for the government.
According to him, the allegations would affect the political fortunes of the party and further serve as missiles for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
He described the allegations as serious and called on the government to investigate and punish those who deserve to be punished.
In his view, the opposition will always refer to the allegations especially when it is coming from an insider from the ruling party.
Kwame Baffoe, has called for an investigation into corrupt practices by the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister Kwaku Asomah Kyeremeh, for awarding contracts to himself.
According to Kwame Baffoe, popularly known as Abronye, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), who has declared fight against corrupt practices in the country, should start from its own government to set as an example, by punishing it members found to be corrupt.
Abronye had earlier alleged that the minister has been involved in several corrupt activities which is gradually killing and making the NPP government unpopular in the Brong Ahafo region, terminating contracts of lawyers of all district assemblies in the region, and awarding it to his private law firm, called 'HENEWAA CHAMBERS'.
Commenting on it on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, Dr. Osei Bonsu said, the allegations made paints the government in a bad light hence the need to investigate it thoroughly.
He also called for proper training for political appointees of political parties to prevent such events in the future.
Operations Director for Small Scale Miners, Mr. Emmanuel Yirenkyi Antwi, has described as sad and unfortunate the extension of the ban on small scale mining.
The Lands and Natural resources, John Peter Amewu, last week Friday announced an extension of the ban on all forms of small scale mining in the country by three months.
According to the Minister, who made the announcement the ban is expected to be lifted by January 2018.
The government earlier in 2017 imposed a six-month ban on small-scale mining as part of efforts to end illegal mining and its related activities, which adversely affected the environment, particularly water bodies and forest reserves.
Some miners in Kumasi some few months ago held a demonstration in protest against any extension.
However, government has extended the ban. This Mr. Antwi believes was unfortunate.
He insisted that small scale miners who are licensed, should not be compared to illegal miners.
He told Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, the extension of the ban, will not arguer well for licensed small scale miners.
He further referred to the extension as discriminatory especially when large scale miners are on the field working.
Small scale miners he said, have contributed immensely to the fight against illegal mining and cannot understand why they are being marginalized.
He used the opportunity to appeal to members to exercise restraint as leadership will engage with government on the issue.
Meanwhile, he has called on the Nana Addo lead administration, to keep the promise he made to small scale miners behind closed doors and stop infringing on their rights.