The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, 20th February, 2018, launched the 10-year Cahsew Development Plan, in Wenchi, in the Brong Ahafo Region, a plan aimed at diversifying Ghanaian agriculture.
Recounting a commitment he made on 19th March, 2016, at Suma Ahenkro, in the Jaman North constituency, President Akufo-Addo bemoaned the over-reliance of Ghanaian agriculture on the production and export of cocoa, in contrast with the situation in neigbouring Cote d’Ivoire.
He noted that Cote d’Ivoire has succeeded in diversifying its agriculture, which included the production and export of other cash crops, and, as a result, earned that country some $12 billion from the export of agricultural produce in 2015.
“To that end, I reiterated my commitment to assist in diversifying Ghanaian agriculture, and transforming, amongst others, cashew into a major cash crop and foreign exchange earner for Ghana. This morning’s event, ladies and gentlemen, is the beginning of the realisation of this vision,” the President said.
Highlighting the success of the first year of the Programme for Planting for Food and Jobs, which led to an increase in the production of staples, as well as the creation of thousands of jobs in the rural economy, President Akufo-Addo noted that this development has encouraged government to increase the scope of the programme.
“The Programme is expanding its focus not only to the production of staples, but also to the development and production of some selected crops such as cashew, oil palm, rubber, shea, cotton and coffee, for good reason,” he said.
The President noted that two out of the top five cashew producing and exporting countries can be found in West Africa, i.e. Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire, countries that have the same geography and topography as that of Ghana.
Therefore, as part of the Plan to boost the production of cashew, the Rural Development Department of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, together with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, are spearheading the initial production of seedlings for the cultivation of cashew in the country.
“Under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) project, all 216 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives have been given oversight responsibility for the production of not only cashew seedlings, but also for seedlings of oil palm, shea, cotton, rubber and coffee, for distribution to farmers from next year,” the President said.
He continued, “The seedlings, once distributed, and planted by farmers, will ensure that more rural jobs will be created, in addition to an increase in yield. The potential for further job creation down the value chain through agro-processing is enormous.”
Again, towards the improvement of the country’s current yield, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority commissioned a cashew mass spraying exercise, in Wenchi, involving the provision of GH¢1.6 million for the spraying of some 30,000 hectares of cashew plantation. This is expected to increase cashew production for this crop year by some 30%.
These initiatives, the President added, form an integral part of the Cashew Development Plan, with the plan seeking to improve research methods, introduce appropriate production and processing technologies, as well as develop marketing strategies, amongst others, along the value chain.
He, therefore, urged the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ghana Export Promotion Authority also to incorporate, in this Plan, policies and interventions that will create additional businesses and job opportunities in the areas of storage, transport, and packaging of cashew, which will ensure that our cashew farmers earn higher incomes.
President Akufo-Addo reiterated the commitment of his government to follow through fully on the implementation of this Plan, in addition to other programmes, to propel the growth of the cashew industry.
“I urge the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, our Members of Parliament, farmers, and the private sector to do everything possible to support the Cashew Development Programme. This, together with the other programmes for other selected export crops, would drive industrialization in rural Ghana, diversify agricultural exports, and provide the needed jobs for the teeming masses of unemployed youth of this country,” President Akufo-Addo added.
The Togolese Government and the Coalition of 14 Opposition political parties have agreed to implement a number of measures aimed at building trust and confidence amongst the political actors in Togo.
This was contained in a communiqué issued on Monday, 19th February, 2019, at the end of the first dialogue meeting held between the parties. The meeting, which was facilitated by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is aimed at finding a lasting solution to the political impasse in Togo.
As part of measures aimed at “appeasement and confidence building”, President Akufo-Addo, as captured by the communiqué, conveyed a number of decisions taken by his Togolese counterpart, President Faure Gnassingbe, to that end.
This included the signing of a presidential pardon, dated 19th February, 2018, for the release of forty-five (45) out of the ninety-two (92) persons detained in the country’s prisons as a result of their involvement in the demonstrations.
“The case of the seven (7) persons who were imprisoned as a result of the 2013/2014 market fire riots would be brought before the Court to consider an application for bail by Wednesday, 21st February, 2018,” the Communiqué said.
The statement continued, “Other prisoners in detention, as a result of their involvement in the demonstrations, would have their cases examined by the Togolese Judiciary to determine their fate after going into the merits of their individual cases.”
Additionally, “both Parties also agreed to a suspension of demonstrations, pending the outcome of the dialogue.”
An issue that was raised by the Coalition of 14 Opposition Parties, on the return to the plenary, was the need for the state to hold on to planned local and parliamentary elections, and referendum until the dialogue had considered and taken decisions on the Electoral and Institutional Reforms contained in the Rules of Procedure.
The meeting also examined issues related to the proposed return to the 1992 Constitution and various interventions were made on both sides.
Present at the meeting were the Members of the Ghanaian Facilitation Team; Representatives of the Togolese Government; Representatives of the Union for the Republic (UNIR) Party; Representatives of the Coalition of 14 Opposition Parties; Members of Parliament; Diplomatic Corps; United Nations Permanent Representatives; Civil Society; and Traditional and Religious leadership.
It was agreed that the next meeting of the dialogue would be held on Friday, 23rd February, 2018.
Deputy Director at Ghana Post, Mr. Kwaku Tebi Amponsah, has reiterated that, the Digital Addressing System launched in October 2017, is living up to expectations.
He told Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, the system was launched to among other things aid government policies, planning and offer accurate data for service delivery.
The system was designed by Ghanaian information technology firm, Vokacom. He said the system was also designed to provide an effective means of addressing every location and place in the country, using an information technology application.
When asked how many people have downloaded so far, he said, it was targeted for some 300,000 to download the app during the campaign period but over 350,000 people have downloaded the app since it was launched in 2017.
Mr. Amponsah, said the second part of the campaign is in the offing where every Ghanaian would be required to have a digital address.
He stressed, without your digital address, you will not have access to the national card.
‘’We have also rolled out the offline system. We are partnering the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) to educate Ghanaians in the rural communities so they will understand the need to have a digital address system,’’ he added.
According to him, the campaign is expected to kick-start in a month.
How the Digital Address System Works
The first step is to visit your app store to download the GhanaPostGPS App for free, from Google Play Store for Android users and Apple store for IOS users.
Once the app is installed, follow the instructions to register, verify and confirm your login details. After this process, you are ready to use the GhanaPostGPS app.
No payment is required for the download or use of the GhanaPostGPS app.
First, ensure that your phone's location button is turned on. Then open the GhanaPostGPS app and click on the button. Your unique address will appear next to the digital address, for example Digital Address: GA-543-0125.
Accuracy of the address is important. Just below the address code, the accuracy of the address is shown. Always endeavour to have the address within three metres accuracy. It is advised that you stand in front of your property to produce the most accurate address.
To locate a given address, you need to have the GhanaPostGPS app on your phone and the given digital address. Key in the digital address in the search column and click on the search button. Full details of the address will be generated. Then click on the route option below it to navigate to your specified address location.
To find landmarks, type the name of the landmark into the search tab. Then drop downwill appear with options to choose from. Select the required landmark and the digital address will automatically be generated.
To contact emergency services, click on the emergency button on the app. Then select the service you require, that is Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service or Ambulance Service. From there, type in additional information and click on the ‘send location’ button. A pop-up message will ask that you close or continue with the request.
To verify an address, click on the menu button. A menu will appear with a ‘verify your address’ button. Click on the button to verify your address.
Parliament has approved Martin Amidu as Special Prosecutor.
The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye had earlier rejected a point of order raised by former deputy attorney general, Dr. Dominic Ayine, to suspend the debate and approval of the nominee because of his case pending at the Supreme Court.
Drawing on Standing order 93(1), Dr. Ayine invited the Speaker of Parliament to rule on whether the House’s intention to approve the nominee will not be wrong pending the Supreme Court case.
Dr. Ayine is challenging the age of Martin Amidu as Special Prosecutor at the apex court.
He is seeking declaration that “by a true and proper interpretation of Article 190(1)(d),199(1,)199(4) and 295 of the 1992 Constitution, the retirement age of all holders of public office created pursuant to Article(1)(d) is sixty years, anyhow not beyond (65).”
The Speaker however, rejected his point of order and allowed the debate to go on which subsequently followed with the approval of the nominee.
At his vetting last week, Martin Amidu promised to build strong institutions to help fight corruption.
He said, the office will be open to accepting proposals for convicted persons who wish to pay back the monies they illegally acquired from the state to avert a jail term.
“For me, the issue is not necessarily wanting to fill Nsawam with people. One of the issues of prison administration is to reduce the number there, so that we don’t spend money feeding people we shouldn’t feed. So I see this plea bargaining thing as a good incentive for those who want to make reparation for the consideration of the court and go and sin no more,” he said.
The Country Director of The Hunger Project-Ghana, (THP Ghana) Mr. Samuel Erasmus has stated that Ghana can only intensify the fight to end maternal and child mortality if government and other concerned parties will be committed to protect, promote and support appropriate infant and young child feeding policy.The Country Director was speaking at the opening of a Five-day workshop aimed at equipping Community Health Nurses and Project Officers(THP-Ghana)
with the requisite skills, knowledge and tools to support mothers, fathers and other caregivers to optimally feed their infants and young children(CIYCF- Community Infant and Young Child Feeding).
The Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding was endorsed by all World Health Organization (WHO) Member States in 2002, and provides the main framework for WHO’s actions to promote exclusive breastfeeding(from 0 to 6 months babies) and complementary feeding. It also addresses feeding of children living in special circumstances, such as those of low birth weight or who are born to mothers who are HIV-infected. The Strategy specifies responsibilities for all concerned parties including governments, international agencies, civil society and the private sector. The Planning Guide proposes a systematic process to translate the Global Strategy into country action. It describes seven steps to plan, implement and monitor actions to attain the nine operational targets defined in the Global Strategy. The Guide is intended for use by programme managers and coordinators to develop focused national strategies, policies and action plans for infant and young child feeding.
The Hunger Project-Ghana under its Maternal and Child Health Care Improvement Project targeted at reducing maternal and child mortality & morbidity percentages has commenced series of training workshops to train participants as the country continues to fight the canker.
By: Ekow Burt-Fletcher
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has urged the Government, and the leaders of Togo’s Opposition, to be guided, always, by Togo’s interests, as well as the interests of the Togolese people, in a bid to find a lasting solution to the on-going political impasse in that country.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the desire of the Togolese people “for a better life, their desire to live in security, their desire to live in freedom, and their desire to live in a state governed by the rule of law and principles of democratic accountability”, should be the desires that Togo’s political actors must fulfil.
“It is at this dialogue that will determine the future of this country. It is the Togolese people themselves, and not any outside forces, that will determine the future of your country. It is extremely important to recognise that the destinies of our own nations are in our own hands. Therefore, whatever emerges out of this dialogue must represent the solutions that the Togolese people are looking for,” the President said.
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Monday, 19th February, 2018, at the opening ceremony of a political dialogue, being facilitated by him (President Akufo-Addo), and held between the Government of President Faure Gnassingbé, and the Coalition of 14 Togolese opposition parties, in Lome, Togo.
In urging the gathering to recognise that the spirit of accommodation, and the spirit of compromise, has to be at the very forefront of the preoccupation of every one gathered at the dialogue, the President explained that the national interest of Togo demands it.
“And, that has to be the overriding concern of participants in this dialogue – the national interest of the people of Togo. It is important for the self-respect of the Togolese people that their leaders are seen to be capable of arriving at solutions that will advance the interests of the people of this country,” President Akufo-Addo said.
The President noted that his job, and that of the facilitation team, whose membership is composed of the Minister for National Security, Albert Kan Dapaah; deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charles Owiredu; Ghana’s Ambassador to Togo, Kwasi Owusu-Yeboa; Ambassador-at-large, Dr. Edward Mahama; former Secretary to President Kufuor and experienced, retired diplomat, D.K. Osei, is to assist in the process of finding a solution to the problems in Togo.
“I don’t have a position in this matter. Despite all the links between us (Ghana and Togo), I am not a Togolese and, therefore, I cannot have a position in this matter. I can only assist in bringing about, hopefully, a durable solution to the problems of your country,” President Akufo-Addo added.
Strong ties between Ghana and Togo
Expressing his appreciation in French to the political actors in Togo for allowing him to be part of a programme, that is essentially Togolese, President Akufo-Addo stated that “it is a mark of confidence you have expressed in your brothers and sisters from Ghana, of which we are grateful.”
Recounting the ties between Ghana and Togo, the President indicated that the links between Togo and Ghana are links that are drawn from history, from geography, and from ethnic and familial ties.
“We have been always each other’s keeper. At the very beginning of the independence of Ghana, when there were problems, many of the political activists in Ghana found refuge in Togo, and we have seen the same as happening that, wherever there are problems here (in Togo), people find refuge in Ghana,” he said.
The President continued, “Therefore, the interests of Ghanaians and of Ghana’s political leaders in the peace and stability and freedom of the Togolese people is something which is not negotiable. It has its roots in the history and links that I have already described.
“I have come here with no solution, prescription or magic wand to impose or prescribe any solution for the resolution of the crisis that has gripped your country these last months. My task is a simple one – to help assist in the dialogue that you, the various political actors of this country, have agreed to.”
President Akufo-Addo added that the outcome of the dialogue was critical to the future of Togo “so that peace, the stability, the consolidation of democracy and the rule of law, which is the demand of the Togolese people, which, in fact, are the demands of the African peoples today, are realised here in Togo.”
Prior to the holding of the dialogue, President Akufo-Addo has, on several occasions, over the last 7 months, met with the President of the Togolese Republic, His Excellency Faure Gnassingbé, and with all the leaders of the coalition of 14 political parties, all with the purpose of setting the conditions the holding of Monday’s dialogue.
The Hunger Project-Ghana (THP-Ghana) in collaboration with the Ghana Health Services (GHS) on Monday, 19 February 2018commenced a five-day Training workshop in Koforidua, on accelerating interventions aimed at improving infant and young child feeding at the community level.The five-day training workshop on Community based Infant and Young Child Feeding running under the Maternal & Child Health Care project will help reduce the worrying maternal and child mortality ratio in the country considerably.
Fast-tracking interventions aimed at improving infant and young child feeding (IYCF) at community level is a key priority in the effort to improve survival, growth, and development of children with equity. However, in many communities, IYCF practices remain far from ideal. Caregivers often lack the practical support, one-to-one counselling and correct information. Community-based IYCF counselling and support can play an important role in improving these practices: it can ensure access to these services in the poorest and the most vulnerable communities with limited access to health care, and therefore become an important strategy for programming with an even-handedness focus.
Maternal and Child Health Project Coordinator at THP-Ghana, Stephanie Ashley, in an interview with Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, said the training aims to equip participants with the required skills needed on Community Infant & Young Child Feeding and also on reproductive health. Stephanie Ashley added that project officers who will benefit from the training, are expected to lead behavioural change campaigns in their respective communities. ‘’Effecting behavioural change is quite challenging because some individuals are used to old methods and when they are asked to adapt to change, it becomes difficult. So the project officers and community health nurseswill be equipped with requisite skills so they are able to effect the change through the use of practical examples so the residents will be well informed on positive maternal child health practices,’’ she added. She also indicated that counselling will betailored tosuitthe resources available to community members in order for parents to appropriately feed the infant or the young child with what they can easily provide.
Fifteen (15) Community Health Nurses working in 15 epicenter clinics in rural Ghana and THP-Ghana’s Project Officers who are supervising the activities of THP Ghana at their various epicenters will benefit from this week-long workshop.
By: Ekow Burt-Fletcher
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced that the nurses, who picketed at the premises Monday morning, would be posted.
According to the Public Relations Officer of the ministry, Robert Cudjoe, measures are being put in place to get the nurses posted to various health posts across the country.
He told Rainbow Radio that, “They [nurses] will be posted, it’s unfortunate they have come here and decided to picket in spite of the various meetings we have had with them. We are working towards getting them posted. Their coming here is unfortunate.’’
The nurses on Monday February 19, 2018 stormed the premises of the ministry demanding for immediate posting.
The nurses who completed in 2016 threatened to vote the NPP out of office because they’ve regretted voting for the NPP in 2016.
President of the coalition Samuel Asante earlier told Starr News they believe picketing will resolve their concerns.
“We know that our seniors embarked on picketing and they got what they want. And even the private nurses that they are yet to post, they embarked on picketing and they have started filing their postings forms.
“We have engaged government on series of meetings and we think that the only way to get results is picketing so over 2000 of our members are coming there to picket,” he said.
Some angry members of the Unposted Nurse Assistants-Preventive and Clinical, on Monday stormed the premises of the Ministry of Health demanding immediate posting.
They told Rainbow Radio’s Daniel Asuku that, the Minister confirmed to them they were not going to be posted because they were not bonded.
He also alleged that the Deputy Health Minister, Madam Tina Mensah, gave them the assurance that, they were going to be posted this year.
However, the Minister says that was to calm our nerves after we staged our first picketing at this same venue.
Vice President of the Nalerigu branch of the aggrieved nurses, Sule Mohammed, said government lied to us. They promised to factor us in the 2018 budget but we are being told we cannot be posted because we were not bonded.
He questioned why private nurses were being bonded whereas public nurses have been neglected.
According to him, if the Minister could lie to them, then we can’t take the president seriously.
The angry unposted nurses expressed their disappointment and have threatened to vote the NPP out of office come 2020.
Chanting songs, they said, ‘’2020 we go show Nana. Your time will surely be up. Your time is up. We have regretted our votes. We are disappointed. We voted for you expecting change, but we are disappointed.’’
National President of the Association, Samuel Asante, decried the inability of government to post them after promising to do so in the first quarter of 2018.
In his view, the bureaucratic process in posting them should be ignored. ''I am looking forward for a financial clearance to ensure our members are posted,'' he said.
Political science lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Mohammed Abass, has said President Akufo-Addo has shown commitment in his call for Africa and specifically, Ghana beyond aid.
He told Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, the commitment of the president shows in his recent speeches and the call on African leaders to champion a continent beyond aid.
Mohammed Abass, said the inspiration from these speeches is premised on the vision of the president;bothering on leadership in Africa and Ghana to be specific.
He described Nana Addo, as an astute politician whose experience over the years, gives him enough knowledge and insight, into the challenges confronting the continent.
He noted, the concerns raised by the president, hinges on democracy, rule of law, self reliance, economic freedom among others.
The president he stated has shown commitment and the rest lies with Ghanaians to have the attitude and mindset to ensuring that, the call by the president, would be materialized.
He charged the Minority to desist from running down the government and rather focus on providing superior alternatives that could help us achieve our goals as a nation.
When asked whether we are witnessing any progress after one year of Nana Addo’s government, he said, it would be difficult to assess this administration after a year in office.
He was however quick to add that, there should be some signs that could show that we are on the right path.
He said the most important thing is to monitor the current administration to ensure they are on track.
He referred to the free senior high school policy and the fight against illegal mining popularly called galamsey, and the Special Prosecutor Office, as some of the bold decisions taken by the president.
‘’Nana Addo promised to do something about galamsey. Some individuals doubted him but he has proven everyone wrong. The galamsey demanded though measures which I think he equally met with the force that was required…On corruption, he promised to set up the Special Prosecutor Office and appointing Martin Amidu was also a bold and courageous step he took in the fight against corruption. His party members expected to appoint a party person but he did not. He rather appointed a member of the opposition party. That was a bold decision. Ghanaians criticized his decision to make senior high school free. They claimed he could not do it. But he has proven everyone wrong. That was a bold decision he took,’’ he added.
The president's quests to see Ghana beyond aid took a centre stage when he recently hosted the French Prime Minster.
He said: “We can no longer continue to make policies for ourselves…… on the basis of whatever support that the western world or France, or the European Union can give us. It will not work. It has not worked and it will never work,” he stressed.
“We have to get away from this mindset of dependency. This mindset of ‘what can France do for us?’ France will do whatever it wants to do for its own sake, and when those coincide with ours, ‘tant mieux’ [so much better] as the French people say…Our concern should be what do we need to do in this 21st century to move Africa away from going cup in hand begging for aid, for charity, for handouts. The African continent, when you look at its resources, should be giving monies to other places. We need to have a mindset that says “we can do it”, and once we have that mindset we’ll see there’s a liberating factor for ourselves,” says President Akufo-Addo.