Minister of Special Development Initiatives, Mavis Hawa Koomson, has revealed on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, only 5 per cent of the total budget allocated for her ministry will go into administration.
She was reacting to a question posed to her by Kwame Tutu, host of Frontline on Rainbow Radio on why the NPP government is not making use of existing authorities and wasting resources to establish new ones.
The host suggested to the minister that, the allocation for these authorities will go into administration, salaries among others.
But responding to the assertion, the minister agreed to the assertion but justified that, only 5 per cent of the allocation for the ministry will go into administration.
She also used a popular adage ‘Yedi Nam Na Eyi Nam’ which literally means that, ‘you use a small fish to catch a bigger fish’.
Mrs. Koomson stressed, ‘’nothing good comes easy. If you want to achieve something positive, you will definitely spend a lot of money to get the positive results.’’
According to her, government will not use any other allocation for the administration of the various officers because all these have been factored into the $ 1 million per constituency allocations.
She also revealed that government will not be purchasing new vehicles annually after purchasing the budgeted ones in the approved budget for the three development authorities.
She recounted how her ministry was lambasted for a website that was given GHc800,000 budget.
A further 10 million was approved to purchase 20 4-Wheel Drive vehicles for the Minister and other officials.
The Ministry will also controversially spend ¢6.5 million on furniture. The Minister has been justifying the expenditure.
Parliament altogether approved a ¢1.1 billion budget for the Ministry which is expected to champion government’s special projects.
She stated that she was unduly lambasted because the amount was for the allocation of 20 vehicles which would be used by the three development authorities.
‘’I have struggle to ensure that we have the three authorities at no cost. We have not incurred any debt. We are using part of the $ 1 million per constituency for the administrative work. We are not using any other budget for the work,’’ she explained.
Minister for Special Development and Initiatives Mrs. Mavis Hawa Koomson, has rubbished claims that the appointment of 3-4 deputies of the three development authorities is job for the boys.
The Minister in an interview with Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, said all the deputies assigned to the various heads of the three authorities have specific jobs.
President Nana Akufo-Addo last week appointed the three Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and their deputies for the Coastal, Middle Belt and Northern Development Authorities.
The Coastal Development Authority has four deputies. That of the Middle Development Authority has three deputies whereas the Northern Development Authority has three deputies.
Some have described the appointment as job for the boys with others claiming that it will have a negative impact on the public purse.
But Mrs. Hawa Koomson, disputed that assertion and justified why the president appointed more deputies.
She explained that, the CEOs will be working at the headquarters of the various authorities whereas the deputies will be field workers who will be tasked to move to the various regions and report directly to the president.
According to her, the president want to close the development gap through the development authorities.
In her opinion, the already existing state bodies tasked to champion that agenda have failed to achieve different results and continue to get the same results hence the initiative to establish the Special Development Ministry which is serving as a supervisor for all the three authorities.
‘’We’ve used the local government ministry but we keep getting the same results and so Nana Addo adopted a new method to achieve different results,’’ she added.
These authorities will champion the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) campaign promise of disbursing $1 million to every constituency to address pressing needs.
The three development authorities will be under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), which is expected to receive an annual allocation of $275 million.
A statement issued by Eugene Arhin, the Director of Communications at the Presidency said: ‘’The appointees are to act pending the receipt of the constitutionally required advice of the governing Boards of the Development Authorities, given in consultation with the Public Services Commission. The three Development Authorities are tasked with the implementation of the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) – the Programme which will ensure the disbursement of the equivalent of $1 million per constituency per year, in fulfillment of President Akufo-Addo’s 2016 campaign pledge.’’
Former FBI director James Comey has said Donald Trump is "morally unfit to be president", who treats women like "pieces of meat".
Mr Comey was giving his first major television interview since he was fired by President Trump last year.
He told ABC News that Mr Trump lies constantly and may have obstructed justice.
Hours before the interview aired, the president went on the offensive, accusing Mr Comey of "many lies".
Mr Comey told ABC's 20/20 programme on Sunday night: "I don't buy this stuff about him being mentally incompetent or early stages of dementia."
"I don't think he's medically unfit to be president. I think he's morally unfit to be president.
"Our president must embody respect and adhere to the values that are at the core of this country. The most important being truth. This president is not able to do that," Mr Comey said.
After the interview aired, Mr Trump's party - via the Republican National Committee - released a statement saying Mr Comey's publicity tour for his new book showed "his true higher loyalty is to himself".
"The only thing worse than Comey's history of misconduct is his willingness to say anything to sell books," it said.
Ghana is on a path of major recovery in all spheres after a year of prudent policy implementation by the Nana Akufo-Addo government, and it is time for Ghanaians domiciled outside the country to turn their attention back home.
The Vice President of the Republic, H.E. Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who gave the advice when he met the Ghanaian community in the Bay area of San Francisco, USA on Thursday April 12, 2018, also urged the Ghanaian community abroad to make their skills and expertise available to their compatriots back home to speed up the pace of development.
The Vice President met the Ghanaian community as part of a 5-day working visit to the technology hub of Silicon Valley, California, USA. Accompanied by some government officials and the leadership of 15 leading local ICT firms, H.E. Dr Bawumia held discussions with the Valley’s thought and technology leaders to explore the possibilities of developing strategic insight, decisions and partnerships with the view of helping to enhance the digitisation of the Ghanaian economy to move Ghana Beyond Aid.
“We inherited a very challenging economic situation, but due to prudent measures that we continue to implement, in 2017 we recorded remarkable economic growth and fulfilled a number of major promises we made to the good people of Ghana,” Dr Bawumia indicated.
Explaining the rationale for the implementation of policies such as Free Senior High School Education and the restoration of Teacher and Nursing Training allowances despite enormous fiscal challenges, Vice President Bawumia said any nation that seeks to achieve holistic development must necessarily invest in its human capital, “and the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is very committed to the education of every young person in Ghana, because an educated population is a prerequisite for growth.”
The curriculum is also being reviewed to focus more on maths and the sciences, H.E. Bawumia disclosed.
Structural economic reforms are also beginning to yield positive results, Dr Bawumia continued, with Inflation down to 10.4%, Interest and Treasury Bill rates on the decline, and business confidence growing.
“We have maintained exchange rate stability, and last year, for the first time since 2006, a Ghanaian government met and surpassed the deficit target. All of this reflected in a real GDP growth of 8.5% in 2017, from an inherited 3.7%. Indeed, that was the fastest growth rate in the world”, the Vice President announced to loud applause.
Government has also embarked on an ambitious Digitisation drive geared towards leveraging the use of technology for the transformation agenda, with the roll-out of the National Digital Property Addressing System, the soon-to-be-issued national ID card, the land records digitisation agenda and efforts to increase financial inclusion via interoperability in the payment systems, and the visit to Silicon Valley was further evidence of this commitment.
“We are trying to build a new, efficient Ghana. The world is continually evolving, and this evolution is led by cutting edge technology. We know there are many talented young men and women in the ICT space, and government is looking at ways to make innovating and actualising promising ideas easier.”
He urged the diasporans to actively support the Akufo-Addo government to take Ghana to the next stage of her development, assuring, “This is a listening Government. We are committed to the fight against corruption, and will implement policies to create jobs. We are ready to take on board your suggestions and expertise to move Ghana forward, beyond aid.”
The Vice President was accompanied by Hon Mohammad Tijanni Habibu, deputy Foreign Minister; Deputy Minister for Communications Hon George Nenyi Andah; Hon. Alex Tetteh Djornobuah, MP for Sefwi Akontonbra and member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education; and Hon Halidu Ali Maiga, Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs.
The Vice President returned to Accra on Saturday April 14, 2018.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has left Ghana for the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) taking place from Monday, 16th April 2018 to Friday, 20th April 2018.
The theme “Towards a Common Future” will afford Heads of Government in the Commonwealth the opportunity to address the shared global challenges we face and agree actions on how to create a better future for all.
A statement issued and signed by Eugene Arhin, Director of Communications at the presidency said , President Akufo-Addo is expected to hold meetings with British Foreign Secretary, Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson; leader of the Labour Party and leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn; Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan; and the Duke of Cambridge. Prince William.
The President will also deliver a keynote address at the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce Investment Summit, speak at the Malaria Summit hosted by Bill Gates, attend the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council Business Forum and on Saturday, 21st April 2018, deliver the keynote speech at the London School of Economics’ Africa Summit on the theme “Africa at Work: Educated, Employed and Empowered”.
He was accompanied by the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo; Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway; Trade Minister, Alan Kyerematen; Gender Minister, Otiko Afisa Djaba; Business Development Minister, Awal Mohammed and some officials from the Presidency and Foreign Ministry.
According to the statement, President Akufo-Addo and his delegation will return to Ghana on Sunday, 22nd April 2018 and in his absence, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia will in accordance with Article 60(8) of the constitution act in his stead.
Eighteen people died in two separate accidents that occurred on the Tamale - Buipe and Tamale-Bolgatanga highway in the Northern Region in the early hours of Sunday and Saturday morning.
The accident that occurred in the early hours of Sunday at Yapei-Yipala on the Tamale-Buipe highway killed 16 people dying on the spot including the drivers of the two vehicles that were involved in the accident; while two people died on the spot in another accident that occurred on Saturday at Savelugu between Diare and Gushie on the Tamale-Bolgatanta highway.
The Yapei-Yipala accident involved a Neoplan bus with registration number GW 2669 T carrying 70 passengers travelling from Nalerigu in the East Mamprusi Municipality in the Northern Region to Ejura in the Ashanti region.
The Northern Regional Police Public Relations Officer (PRO) Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Mr. Mohammed Yusif Tanko who confirmed the accident said the Neoplan bus on reaching a bend in the section of the road at Yapei-Yipala attempted to overtake a cargo truck ahead of it and in the process crashed into an oncoming bus with registration number GM 5383-12.
The head on collision resulted in the death of 16 people on the spot including the drivers of both vehicles while a number of injured persons were rushed to the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) for treatment.
The bodies of the deceased have been deposited at the mortuary of the same hospital.
ASP Tanko also confirmed that two people lost their lives in the accident that occurred at Savelugu on the Tamale -Bolgatanga highway on Saturday morning.
He said the accident involved a tricycle loaded with firewood from Diara and a cargo truck also loaded with lumber from Savelugu.
ASP Tanko said preliminary investigations revealed that the rope tying the firewood got torn and the rider lost his balance and rode into the lane of the oncoming cargo truck.
He said one of the accident victims was totally dismembered and could not be picked to the morgue, thus, a medical officer performed the autopsy on the spot.
The other victim also on the motor king who was being transported to the TTH was also pronounced dead on arrival.
Mr Stephen Ashitey Adjei, an Executive member of the Tema East Branch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has called on former President Mahama to officially apologise to members of the NDC and former President Rawlings.
“President Mahama suffered the heaviest loss as a sitting President in the fourth Republic of Ghana and instead of officially apologising to NDC members for that embarrassment and reconciling with party elders, he is rather putting up divisive measures through the Regional Unity walks, which is not helping the party.”
Mr Ashitey who was speaking in a news conference on a range of internal issues said for the former President Mahama to enjoy the forthcoming political campaigns, there was the need for him to first apologise for his abysmal performance in the 2016 and reconcile with all the leaders especially former President Rawlings.
The NDC executive member who is popularly known as Moshake accused former President Mahama of using his unity walks to vilify his internal opponents in order to gain an upper-hand in the Presidential primaries.
“Look, we know that the recent invitation of Hon. Alban Bagbin along with others by the CID (Police) over the so called double salary was a set up by some people in his camp. They intentionally leaked the name of Hon Bagbin, who was really the target, to the CID and then added a few other names to give it legitimacy.”
He said the call of former President Mahama in Wa for supporters to respect the Founder of the Party was cosmetic as his unity walks were rather skewed for him and his faithful to find their way back to power.
“Obviously that admonishment is not enough. Rawlings is hurt and deserves unqualified apology from former President Mahama and it is only such apologies that can unite the NDC for 2020.”
The NDC has begun executive elections to set in place structures for campaigns towards the reclamation of power from the ruling NPP as branch elections kicked off on Saturday.
With the flagbearership election expected much later in the year, the party’s elders have instructed that hurt feelings over unprecedented defeat that NDC suffered in 2016, be slowly healed through reconciliation.
Former President Mahama’s camp has taken it upon itself to organise unity walks across the country to re-unite the members, which Moshake claimed that had not been sanctioned by the party.
Mr Ashitey said so far the Unity Walks had only disunited the party the more because it had become clear that they revolved around former President Mahama alone leaving other aspirants like; Mr Sylvester Mensah, Prof. Joshua Alabi, and Dr. Ekwow Spio Gabrah.
Moshake who last week called on the hierarchy of the NDC to ban the Mahama Unity Walks said it was only an apology for many things that he had done against his peers that would invigorate their resolve to fight tooth and nail for the success of NDC in 2020.
The firebrand NDC man lists said the leakage of Mr Alban Bagbin’s name to the CID for allegedly taking double salaries and the arrest of Mr Sylvester Mensah some time ago were things that could breed discontent among the aspirants and called on the party leadership to move swiftly to patch them up before it deteriorated.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Autism Ambassadors Of Ghana (AAG), Alice Mamaga Akosua Amoako, has been adjudged the 2018 Continental level of the mYouth Challenge, a competition for Digital Social Entrepreneurs across the world.
The Digital Social Entrepreneur with the passion to make a change in the lives of Autism kids toppled other competitors from across the globe to win the award for Ghana.
In a Facebook post to express her excitement, Alice Mamaga Akosua Amoako wrote: ‘’A moment to thank God for HIS goodness and mercies.
I'm humbled to say that I emerged the ove all winner for Ghana at the 2018 Continental level of the mYouth Challenge, a competition for Digital Social Entrepreneurs across the world.
‘’It gives me so much joy to know that the Autism Aid App is now at a Global Level and will be making impact in the lives of children living with Autism across the world.
My appreciation to iSpace Foundation, mlandiinfo and the European Union. It has indeed been a great experience.
To every individual and organization who has been encouraging me and supporting me with resources for my project, I say thank you. To my amazing team and volunteers, I appreciate you all. For God and Country I Serve. Hard work pays,’’the post concluded.
Alice Mamaga Akosua Amoako, developed and recently launched the Austsm App.
The Autism Aid App provides a helpline service for families of children living with Autism to get information from professionals on how to care for their children.
It also provides a Picture Exchange Communication System for children living with Autism including an awareness platform for the society to learn more about Autism.
The new advanced features of the Autism Aid App Version 2.0 includes a USSD Code *800*24# which provides a Helpline Service for families of children living with Autism.
The code can also be accessed on any phone and is available on Google Play Store for downloads.
Established in April 2016, the Autism Aid App operates in Ghana and its social impact is currently in Ghana, London, and Tanzania. Partners for the autism aid app project are AirtelTigo, Reach For Change, National Council of Persons with Disability (NCPD) and Wigal Solutions.
It also includes Edern Security, Soronko Academy, Inclusion Ghana and Eko Productions. The rest are Brich Ghana, Ispace and Ghana Volunteer Program.
In January 2016, representatives from 10 countries which partnered this project united in Salzburg, Austria, and held the first Kick-Off meeting to launch the project activities.
Representatives from Austria, Poland, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Ghana and Senegal, discussed the crucial aspects of building a strong digital community, and how such community can provide youths with opportunities to share their knowledge, harvest new skills and how to get them be more active and aware for their needs within their local communities.
Each country hosted a power-up national coding camp, by which hundreds of youths have directly benefited in polishing their digital skills and super-powers.
Deputy Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Adutwum, has reiterated the commitment of government to make the learning and speaking of French from the basic to the senior high school level compulsory.
He said it would be important for majority of citizens in Ghana to speak French so we can survive in the ECOWAS-sub region.
The Deputy Minister added, our neighboring countries speak French and in order for us to improve upon our trade and tourism, we have to speak French.
According to him, the Ministry has identified five schools in the Greater Accra region where the learning and speaking of French has been made compulsory.
He indicated that, ‘’with the teaching of French at both junior and senior high schools, Ghana will eventually reach a stage where French will become a compulsory subject at both the basic and secondary level.’’
The Deputy Minister was speaking at the launch of a French quiz by Rosa Institute in Kumasi over the week.
President Nana Akufo-Addo in a meeting with Ghanaians in 2017 said Ghana will make French a compulsory subject at both the basic and secondary level.
"We are committed to making French a compulsory language in our schools right down to the end of senior high school but for that to happen we have to sit down with the educational authorities and work out exactly what it needs... We’ll take this decision because as far back as 10 years ago when I led Ghana into La Francophonie in Bucharest, the decision was that the La Francophonie organisation would help us with the teachers of French in the schools. Because at the end of the day, everything you do about education always comes back to the teachers.
"Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education, has it as a major priority on his agenda, so I think that between now and hopefully the next academic year some positive development is going to come out of it because to me it is absolutely essential that we do so, so that we empower our own population with the capacity to survive in this ECOWAS environment. People speak English but we don’t speak French. It’s not good and I think that we have to go about it that way," the president said.
Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, says her ministry will meet with stakeholders in the tuna fishing companies to find lasting solutions to recent pirate attacks.
Some 14 tuna fishing companies have halted their operations in the country’s waters for fear of pirate attacks.
The development has come about as a result of increased attacks on vessels by pirates in the country’s territorial waters since March this year.
The companies say they will only resume work should they receive positive assurance from the Ghana Navy that their vessels and crew will be safe at sea.
Commenting on the issue, the minister gave an assurance that, efforts would be employed to ensure the safety of industry players’.
The minister said the issue is a troubling one but also disputed that the attacks recorded are eleven but stressed that, ‘’we will beef up our security systems. We will call for an emergency meeting and get the full facts,’’ she added.
Three Korean sailors on board a Ghanaian flagged fishing vessels, the Marine 11 were kidnapped after pirates hijacked the fishing vessel around Keta in the Volta region on March 26, 2018.