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Rainbow Radio - Items filtered by date: Monday, 24 September 2018
The Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu has suggested for Regional Ministers who are being elevated to the position of Ministers of State to appear before Parliament's Appointment Committee to prove their competencies in the sector they are expected to operate. He made this statement today [Monday] during the commencement of Parliament's one-week emergency sitting. The Minority Leader observed that, the move would ensure that personnel with the right competencies are made to head the various sector ministries. Majority Leader and the minister for parliamentary affairs, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, supported his call. He however added that, the status quo must be allowed to work until a determination is made in the future. He argued the known practice over the years has been that when a regional minister is elevated to man a ministry, he/she is not required to appear before the House. Although he agreed with the Minority Leader on technical grounds, he said, ‘’the conversion in this House has always been that, whenever a regional minister is elevated, to the position of a sector minister, he doesn’t come to this House. Since 1997 that I have been in this House, there’s not been one instance. They just migrate seamlessly. But I agree with the principle that he has raised.’’ He also touched on what he described as ‘’horizontal adjustment that has been happening. You may create a Ministry for horticulture and vet a person for that then the following day, the president does some natural adjustment and that person then becomes the Finance Minister. We should interrogate this because when we come to vetting maybe, the nominee for horticulture, nobody raises any issue about energy or finance and yet the following day, the president could send him to another ministry without the person coming to parliament because its deemed that, the minister of state is a minister of state. I think that going forward as a house, we should interrogate this and come to a firm determination and I believe that, if we do that, then the president would put in much more consideration in appointing or nominate a person in the first place to any ministry so that no ministry becomes a place for trial and error; you go there if you perform you stay if you don’t perform you would have to be changed; you would have to come back to parliament for your competencies in the area you have been sent to a new, would be tested.’’
Published in General News
Presidential candidate hopeful, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has called on President Nana Akufo-Addo to resign as president and hand over the baton to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) if he feels incapable. Reacting to the president’s admission of the difficult times confronting the economy, the aspiring candidate said, recent occurrences under the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), has exposed their incompetence. Dr. Spio-Garbrah told Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, per the democracy practiced in Ghana, it is not the responsibility of the opposition to direct the ruling government on what to do before we can experience peace and stability. The diplomat and former Trades Minister said, Ghanaians in 2016 decided to vote against the NDC and brought in the NPP because they [Ghanaians] felt they could do the job and so, if the NPP is feeling incapable of discharging their mandate as given them by Ghanaian voters, they should just hand over to the previous administration in order for us to come and continue from where we stopped.’’ President Akufo-Addo has admitted that the economy of Ghana is facing difficult times but not in crisis. Speaking to the Ghanaian Community in New York, USA, Mr Akufo-Addo attributed the difficulties in the system to the “dramatic increase in crude oil prices” and the strengthening of the US dollar. He opined that, the situation has led to “a significant and rapid depreciation of the cedi” but was quick to add that the Bank of Ghana is fighting the depreciation. “We have to approach the foreign exchange matter medium to long-term by expanding our supply base, that’s not a crisis…they’re difficulties the system would be able to accommodate…” the President said. “It’s a difficult situation, but a difficult situation also require some amount of fortitude and firm action and that’s what we are trying to do at home,” he said. Commenting on the issue and in responding to what he [Dr. Garbrah] will tell the president to do to resolve the difficulties, he said, it is not the responsibility of the opposition to tell government what to do. They should just hand over to the NDC to manage things properly.’’ Making reference to the Western world, he said, the opposition usually tackle the negatives in a government and admonish leaders to resolve them. He said, there are a number of Ghanaians who are competent, skilled and knowledgeable and when their skills are tapped into, it will go a long way to help the nation develop. Using himself as an example, he said, I was invited to come back to Ghana to assist in different areas and so I believe strongly that, when we keep doing this, we will have people with the needed skills to help develop Ghana.
Published in General News
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Times are hard but we not in Crisis-Prez

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has admitted Ghana's economy is facing challenges but not in crisis. He also rubbished suggestions that the challenges amounts to crisis and added that, his administration was on top of issues and will address the difficulties. Speaking to the Ghanaian Community in New York, USA, Mr Akufo-Addo attributed the difficulties in the system to the “dramatic increase in crude oil prices” and the strengthening of the US dollar. He opined that the situation has led to “a significant and rapid depreciation of the cedi” but was quick to add that the Bank of Ghana is fighting the depreciation. “We have to approach the foreign exchange matter medium to long-term by expanding our supply base, that’s not a crisis…they’re difficulties the system would be able to accommodate…” the President said. “It’s a difficult situation, but a difficult situation also require some amount of fortitude and firm action and that’s what we are trying to do at home,” he said.
Published in General News
Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, has said, Ghana cannot mortgage its broadcasting unit to the Chinese. He has also asked the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Erkuful to stop personalising the StarTimes deal. In the view of the lawmaker, it would be dangerous for Ghana to mortgage its broadcasting unit to the Chinese. Speaking to Rainbow Radio’s Parliamentary correspondent, Afia Kwarteng, the MP said, the Minority Members of Parliament were working to ensure that the Communications Committee of Parliament invites the Minister to brief Parliament on the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) and the StarTimes 300 satellite TV project. we are urging the communication committee to meet this time, this week and to try to ask for official documentation.” “It doesn’t make sense to go back to StarTimes because of the credibility gap they have created. They made us miss the 2015 [DTT migration] deadline.” “The extension of the job 600 is being done by the Chinese, the scanners you see, are from the Chinese, so the Chinese cannot… unless they are actively involved to say that, unless you give us this very project, then Ghana does not want us to be here, I don’t think that can be right. So I am encouraging government to point to them, 1001 projects, whether roads, whether construction of buildings, they are abundant to show to them our commitment.” “But they have failed, that is why we won the case at the High Court, we won the case at the ICC, so we cannot mortgage our broadcasting unit to the Chinese, that will be too dangerous for us to do,” Muntaka said. “In the interim, we are asking our members to go for the official documentation and based on that we will respond officially,” Alhaji Muntaka said. The Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) has kicked against a new agreement between the government and StarTimes dubbed Access to Satellite TV for 300 Villages in Ghana Project’. According to GIBA, the agree will be inconsistent with a roadmap for Ghana’s Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) migration. The projected if rolled out will benefit 6,000 households drawn from 300 villages nationwide. The project is aimed at helping “our citizens to access TV information on national and international events and programmes that would educate and inform them; hence increasing their awareness and knowledge to improve their welfare,” the Ministry of Communications has explained. But GIBA has in a statement said: “The Agenda of StarTimes is not only aimed at profit or the indoctrination of Chinese culture (names, language, food, etc.) and programmes, but a larger mandate to take over the control of the broadcast space in strategic African countries including Ghana, which is crucial for the China game. Whereas today, China does not allow foreign ownership of media and for that matter, will not allow the African broadcast media the space to trade our African channels in their country. Why then should African states give our broadcast space in the fashion as we are experiencing at the moment?”
Published in General News
Member of Parliament for Banda constituency, Mr Ibrahim Ahmed, has said the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Erkuful maybe dragged before parliament over the StarTimes deal. The MP who is also a member of the Communications Committee told Rainbow Radio’s Efia Kwarteng that, the committee well have to meet to address the issues raised by Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA). ‘’We need to bring the minister before the plenary or before the committee. Whatever she said on radio or on TV would not be attacked but we will invite her before the committee or plenary for us to protect the interest of Ghanaians. This is a sensitive matter and we would have to address it in a better way. The MP expressed displeasure at the way the StarTimes issue has been handled in the media and has therefore called for clam. Parliamentarians today [Monday] were called for an emergency sitting. The House will consider the appointment of some Supreme Court judges and minister appointed and reshuffled by President Akufo-Addo. Parliament will also consider some financial deals by government and budget related matters as well as the Right to Information Bill, the MP disclosed. StarTimes has secured a deal with government that will see it extend satellite TV to over 300 villages across the country. The communications ministry believes the move will help Ghanaians in rural communities to become alert on national issues and be involved in development since they have will access to content about national projects. However, the association of independent broadcasters have kicked against the deal raising fears it will take the right of broadcasting from local hands. Mr Ahmed said the banter between the Ministry and GIBA is not the best and does not augur well for us. He wants the truth to be told hence the need for the minister to either appear before the plenary or the committee.
Published in General News
Two beneficiaries of the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI), (Court 11 Team) Gladys Buckle and Lillian Tetteh, have underscored the need for Africans to be part of a peace campaign to bring stability and an end to a possible civil war in Cameroon. The two are of the view that, if Africans fail to intervene in the ongoing uprising between Anglophone and Francophone regions in the neighbouring country, we will regret the repercussions. Since late 2016, Cameroon has faced an increasingly violent uprising in the bilingual country's minority Anglophone regions, where English speakers say the French-speaking majority has marginalized them for decades. Government opened fire on protesters some 18 months ago and looted and burned down villages. The situation some observers believe has already reached a point where it could be considered as a civil war. Gladys Buckle and Lillian Tetteh commenting on the matter said, African leaders have failed to comment on the matter and so as young leaders, they felt it would be good for them to use their knowledge and skills to call for peace. Lillian Tetteh said, although we know we don’t posses that amount of power that these leaders we look up to have, we feel our voices carry as much power to drive the message across. So we just took upon ourselves to talk about the Cameroon issue and call on the international community to respond because people are dying.’’ On her part, Gladys Buckle, indicated that, they are hoping the crisis would be brought to an end but it seems we are not reaching an end to the crisis. She noted that leaders in the country are behaving as if there was nothing wrong going on in Cameroon. She disclosed on the show friends they participated in YALI training with who were from Cameroon, sent them photos of the crisis on regular basis and from what they have gathered so far, the situation is reaching a climax. Leaders who have been given the mandate to address the concerns and the things we voted for have failed us, she stressed. She described YALI as an important platform where new leaders are trained and these new breeds of leaders would surely help in changing the narratives, she noted further. ‘’We are calling on the international community for them to put pressure on the leaders to come to a table of dialogue and help address the issue. She also called on the United Nations and other Human Rights Organizations to engage in a peaceful dialogue for a peaceful dialogue to be reached. The two are currently using social media to raise awareness on the crisis in Cameroun. A recent count by the International Crisis Group said at least 120 civilians and 43 members of security forces have been killed since the conflict began. Some 20,000 people have fled to Nigeria as refugees, and 160,000 are now displaced within Cameroon, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Published in General News
The Editor-in-Chief of the Inquisitor newspaper, Godfred Opare Gyan, is lamenting that some individuals have over the years used the Bulk Oil and Storage and Transportation Company (BOST), to amass wealth for themselves. He told Kwame Tutu on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm Monday anytime he hears BOST, he cries because of the rot at the state institution. ‘’There are some individuals who are using BOST as a gold mine,’’ he added. He made reference to the interest payment of $3million by the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) to Springfield Energy. The Member of Parliament for Bongo in Upper East, Edward Abambire Bawa had raised issues with how the BOST went ahead to pay an additional $3million to Springfield Energy in a dispute, against the advice of the company's legal counsel after Alfred Obeng exited as Managing Director. Mr Alfred Obeng on September 27, 2017 reportedly ordered the payment of $4million as part of the $9 million interest payment Springfield claimed in a dispute. Opare Gyan was emphatic of the plot by officials at BOST to contaminate fuel at the state institution for their individual interest. He was also worried at the politicization of the issues instead of dealing with the relevant matters holistically. He said, ‘’I will repeat that BOST is being used as a gold mine by some individuals. I also pity the current MD because he has surrounded himself with a cartel who does not have the interest of BOST at heart.’’ He also alleged that some think tanks in the country are making money out of BOST due to some of these negative stories and activities at BOST. ‘’The activities at BOST are alarming. People are really making money at BOST. Although BOST was set up for strategic reasons, some selfish individuals have turned the institution into a cow and milking it dry. The current situation is heart wrenching and I will call for better individuals to be appointed to manage the institution,’’ he said. The immediate-past Managing Director of BOST, Mr. Alfred Obeng Boateng, has recently said under his watch, Springfield Energy, one of BOST’s clients, was given US$4 million as part-payment of a US$9 million interest on a principal judgment debt of US$11,104,143.29 awarded them by a court for the lost on an oil consignment which Springfield took to BOST for storage in 2013. Mr Obeng, who was sacked by President Nana Akufo-Addo a couple of months ago, along with other CEOs of state-owned institutions, indicated that he made the payment based on legal advice from the Head of Legal Affairs at BOST.
Published in General News
In less than one month, I have chanced upon separate photographs of President Akufo-Addo and his wife, H.E. Rebecca Akufo-Addo taken with the President of StarTimes. Photoshop? I quizzed. But, later on, I saw a Facebook post of Auntie Becky excitedly confirming her “tour of the impressive Star Times Corporation.” To paraphrase Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o as captured in his first novel, “Weep Not Child”, my heart pounced against my rib cage. Yes! My heart pounced and responded, to the slow but sure slicing of Ghana by foreign interest – not only within the broadcasting space but also in several other sectors in an era when Government has ironically deployed the “Ghana Beyond Aid” slogan. I subsequently reflected on the several engagements that I had had with StarTimes, the immediate past Chinese Ambassador, and also including my meeting with the Chairman and President of the China EXIM Bank about how the EXIM Bank and StarTimes were delaying Ghana’s Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) migration process. But I also had a flashback: This very Chinese Ambassador, Sun Baohong, was the first if not the second diplomat, in January 2017, to pay a courtesy call on President Akufo-Addo immediately he assumed office as President. Today, the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) and several Ghanaians are visibly angry with Government for engaging StarTimes in what has been described as a ‘sweetheart deal’. GIBA believes the said engagement will undermine their business models developed over the years according to agreed policies, subordinate Ghana’s culture and asphyxiate the entertainment and advertising industry. These fears must be addressed lest they lead to further job losses in the media landscape in Ghana. Surprisingly, instead of responding to the genuine and germane concerns of GIBA, Government has resorted to skulduggery, deployment of deliberate inaccuracies and their typical strategy of blame game. DTT: FACTS FROM 2006 – 2018 (12years) Twelve years ago, Ghana signed the Geneva 2006 (GE06) Agreement under President J.A. Kufour to establish Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting in the frequency bands: 174 – 230 MHz; and 470 – 862 MHz at the Conference of the International Telecommunications Union. Some of the benefits of transitioning from analogue to digital terrestrial television include ensuring Ghana conforms to global standards and most importantly to offer Ghanaians better picture quality, clear sound, multiple channels, more interactivity, jobs and career development in the broadcasting, advertising and entertainment industry. Pursuant to this objective, Cabinet in October 2010 under President John Evans Atta Mills approved the policy framework for the implementation of the DTT project, and mandated the Ministry of Communications to oversee the project. To foster stakeholder collaboration and buy-in of industry, the Ministry set up the Digital Broadcasting Migration Committee which involved stakeholders from the private and public sectors. Also, 31st December, 2014 was set as the provisional DTT switch-on date, 6 months ahead of the global deadline of 17th June, 2015. But this was not met. AWARD AND TERMINATION OF CONTRACT WITH STARTIMES To avoid confusion of nomenclature, it is important to differentiate the two different StarTimes companies which have been involved in this transaction. Records showed that StarTimes DTV Ghana Company Ltd, a Ghanaian registered entity, won the competitive tender and signed the contract with the Ministry of Communications on 11th April, 2012. So, how did Star Communication Network Technology of China (StarTimes China) which is at the centre of the present controversy insert itself in the transaction? StarTimes DTV Ghana as part of its financing proposal had submitted a letter of intent from the China Development Bank (CDB). Notwithstanding this letter, during pre-contract discussions, the company proposed a concessional loan facility from the China EXIM Bank contrary to their earlier letter of intent from the CDB. Following the execution of the agreement on 11th April 2012, StarTimes Ghana assigned its interest to StarTimes China because it was a necessary condition for funding from the China EXIM Bank. After six months of delays, the contract was eventually assigned to StarTimes China on 27th September 2012. After the 2012 elections in Ghana, I assumed office as Minister for Communications and worked actively and tirelessly with stakeholders with the hope of achieving the set 17th June, 2015 deadline. In the spirit of South-South Cooperation, best efforts were exerted. Cautions to StarTimes, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, and every relevant stakeholder about how lethargic the process of securing financing was delaying the project, were regularly made. In response, several assurances were given. Shamefully, they included a fake working visit to the Ministry of Communications by a team of Chinese ‘officials’ who were fraudulently introduced by the representative of StarTimes China as being on a mission to conduct further due diligence on the DTT project. This was revealed as untrue during my meeting with the then Chairman and President of the China EXIM Bank in Beijing in June 2014. The set deadline for analogue switch off passed with no glimmer of hope. Therefore, from October 2015 with the support of the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, the process of termination was initiated and concluded. However, StarTimes-China filed a writ in Ghana against the decision and applied for an injunction to restrain the Ministry of Communications from inviting new tenders for the DTT project. On 9th March 2015, Ghana won when the Commercial Division of the High Court dismissed the interlocutory injunction and awarded cost of US$50,000 against StarTimes. The company further commenced arbitration proceedings against the Ministry of Communications at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Court of Arbitration in London. The ICC on the 22nd February 2017 upheld the rights of the Ministry to terminate the contract, and demonstrated just as the High Court in Ghana and the Ministry of Communications had maintained, that StarTimes can only be entitled to compensation based on work done. After the contract was terminated, another competitive tender was instituted in which StarTimes China refused to participate. KNET, a Ghanaian company won the bid. It is worth highlighting that in 2016, after KNET had completed more than half of the DTT project, StarTimes proposed the utilisation of US$95 million (the same juicy amount which they are dangling before the present Government) to the Mahama administration with a promise to complete and enhance the DTT project which was entering the third and final phase. Upon further interrogation, the proposed deal was deemed to be too expensive to the Ghanaian tax payer. CONCLUSION We have been here before! The Chinese Government is supporting StarTimes to penetrate the African market. What is the Government of Ghana doing to promote Ghanaians in broadcasting? I contend that instead of adopting high-handedness as a tool to whip groups and individuals who do not support the StarTimes deal, Government should consider doing the following: 1. Immediately ensure mutually beneficial engagements with all stakeholders in order to recalibrate the pathway for the DTT process; 2. Publish any agreements entered into with StarTimes on the 300 Villages project; and if none exists, take urgent steps to ensure appropriate regulatory oversight without providing undue advantage to StarTimes which is already an actor in Ghanaian broadcasting; 3. Extend the Mahama Government’s exemption of broadcasters from paying fees while they use the DTT platform for two more years; 4. Offer tax waivers on equipment to broadcasters, as they have done for StarTimes, as and when the need arises; 5. Operationalise the proposed Company and Board to manage the DTT; 6. Compile the tall list of Chinese Companies who are executing various projects in Ghana and use that as clear proof and testimony of Ghana’s preparedness to work with China for mutual gains; and 7. Desist from working against Ghana’s interest at the ICC arbitration. Even if Government wishes to settle the ICC arbitration, the cure for the sick should not be more grievous than the disease itself. I strongly believe it is possible to continue to work with China and strengthen the bonds that unite our two countries and peoples for mutual gains without compromising Ghana’s interest. – By: Dr. Edward K. Omane Boamah The writer is a former Minister for Communications of Ghana between 2013 and 2017.
Published in General News
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Ghana's Debt Hits GHS159.4bn

The country’s total debt by July is at 159.4 billion cedis, a new data by the Bank of Ghana has said. The figure represents 65.9 percent of the GDP. The external component of the debt stood at 18.2 billion U.S dollars, while the domestic debt hit 73.8 billion cedis. The data showed that the total debt stock increased by 5.1 billion cedis from 154.3 billion cedis in May, to 159.4 billion cedis in July 2018. The data was released after the Monetary Policy Committee concluded its meeting. The country’s export hit 10 billion dollars, while imports was at 8.7 billion dollars in August this year. Cocoa and gold fetched Ghana 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion dollars in August respectively. Export of oil also fetched the country 2.9 billion dollars in the same period.
Published in Business
Traders, food vendors and residents in the Upper West Akim District of the Eastern region, have appealed to President Akufo-Addo, to fix their deplorable rods. The residents told Rainbow Radio’s Prince Collins Benin they would vote against the current administration should their roads remain unfixed. The deplorable nature of the road the say has affected their daily activities. The area they lamented is dusty and having an effect on their health hence the need for authorities to intervene with immediate effect. ‘’We want our roads fixed because the dust is unbearable. We are suffering and so we want authorities to work on it, a trader said. Another resident said, ‘’we are appealing to authorities to fix our roads. The dusty nature of the roads is unhealthy.’’
Published in General News
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