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Dec 16, 2017
      About 1,700 workers with Goldfields Ghana, a mining firm are going to be laid-off as part of the company’s change in its mining model at the mine from owner mining operations to contractor operations, because it will operate at a loss if it goes on with its previous model.     The exercise is expected to affect most of its miners at the Tarkwa mine.   Effective December, 2017, the affected workers would be asked to go home.     Vice President and Head of Corporate Affairs Mr. David Johnson in confirmation to the story said  ”We are changing our business model from an owner binder to the contract binder, previously Goldfields acquired and maintained the mining fleets. Now what we are doing right now in 2017, our mining fleet has changed and will need to be replaced now looking at the types of mines that we have which is five to six years of active mining, if we were to pump that money into fleet replacement we will not actually be able to recruit that money back because we are talking of a huge capital investment here. So now we have to look at our options. You have a contracted miner on the side who has fleets already and that are new and can be more efficient so that has actually influenced decision, the fact that we have an engine mining fleet and also a relatively limited life supply”.   He added: ”Our mining department and our HME which is the Heavy Mining Equipment provides that we maintain our fleet, those aspects of our business are being given to our contractors and so the workers who work in these various departments, most of them would be retrenched,” he said.   However adds that majority of the workers that will be laid off will be reemployed by the contractor who will take over mining activities of the mine.        
Dec 16, 2017
Minister for Special Development Initiatives, Mavis Hawa Koomson says no constituency in the country will receive the US1 million this year as widely claimed by the ruling government in 2016. She said we will not disburse the US$1 million this year because even when the budget statement was been prepared, the Ministry did not have an office. Even though the allocation was made, we did not receive all the allocation. We got some money and we are using that for the work we currently doing. But in 2018, we will receive the amount in full, Mavis Hawa Koomson said.   She said the Ministry is currently awaiting the assent of the president on the passed bill on the Development Authorities and when that is done, the bill will be bidding and we will work in collaboration with the authorities. She said the Ministry will use the Development Authorities as the vehicle for the implementation of the GHc1 million for each constituency in the country.   The Minister in an exclusive interview with Rainbow Radio’s Kwabena Agyepong said, notwithstanding the non-existence of the authorities, the president who sees the initiative  dear to his heart, ordered that we use transitional measures and we have established 10 member committee in each region making a total of 100 people, employed by the Ministry to do assessment in all the constituencies. She said, ‘’So far we have done all the validation and seen the viable projects. However, government has its own priorities apart from that of the constituencies. These are toilets, water for all, one village one dam, warehouses for the planting for food and jobs.’’ According to her, by close of December, some of the constituencies will start constructing ultra-modern toilets, boreholes, the warehouses for the planting for food and jobs.   On the one-village-one dam she said the Ministry is currently conducting feasibility studies to see the areas suitable for the one-village-one-dam and by early 2018, we will start. The money would not be shared among residents in the constituencies but we will use the money for development purposes, she stressed.   The New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2016 promised to give each constituency in the country US$1 million each after assuming office. This will be part of a proposed US$275 million allocation per year to tackle issues relating to infrastructural development and poverty alleviation in rural and deprived communities across the country. Vice President Dr. Mahamudu who was then vice presidential candidate explained that this would be part of the “Infrastructure for Poverty Alleviation Programme”, which will be established by a potential Nana Akufo-Addo government. “Every constituency in Ghana, every year from this programme, will get the equivalent of US$1 million to spend on priority infrastructure. You can use this US$1 million a year to deal with the problems of the constituency in the rural and deprived areas. It is up to the local people to decide what their problems are and what to use that US$1 million for,” Dr. Bawumia said.            
Dec 16, 2017
Nana Kwabena Dwomoh-Sarpong, president of Friends of Rivers and Water Bodies (FRWB) has said indiscipline has contributed to the indiscriminate disposal of waste and destruction of water bodies. He told Rainbow Radio’s Kwame Tutu that a good number of waterways along the major roads countrywide have been reclaimed and developed into petrol filling stations, garages, car washing bays, shops and entertainment spots.   The NGO, he said, was deeply worried over the destructive practice and its obvious disastrous effects on the environment, more especially in the wake of the climate change in the country. Political leaders he noted lack the will to roll out measures to manage the sanitation situation in the country. ‘’Politicians do not care about sanitation situation in the country because they do not live near the locations with poor sanitation conditions. They would have shown concern if they were living in these areas,’’ he said.   Nana Dwomoh-Sarpong pointed out that it would also be wrong for any person to consider environmental protection and conservation as purely the responsibility of the government.   There has been much reportage on waste management over the years yet as a country we seem not to be making any headway in finding a lasting solution to it. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in April pledged to make Accra the cleanest city. He, therefore, enlisted the support and co-operation of the people of Accra in making that dream a reality.   The President made the pledge in an address he delivered after he had been installed a chief by the people of Jamestown and the Ngleshie Alata Traditional Council under the title Nii Kwaku Abladey Okudzeaman I, which means ‘Royal Warrior who champions the welfare of his people’.
Dec 16, 2017
A 78-year-old hunter is in the grips of the Awutu Bawjiase police for allegedly possessing human parts. The suspect, Kojo Asare according reports is a snail hunter in the community. He allegedly confronted the fetish priest with the aim of selling to him the human parts.   However, the fetish priest who expressed interest in buying the parts then informed the police of the action of the 78-year-old with the police laying ambush at the shrine of the fetish priest where the hunter was arrested with the bag containing human parts. Upon interrogation, Asare revealed to the police that he found the parts in a forest where he was hunting for snails and decided to sell them. He then led the police to the site where he claims he saw the sack containing the human parts. The police only found the attire and a faded identification Card believed to be that of the person who was murdered.   He has since been remanded in police custody after appearing before court
Dec 16, 2017
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has launched Ghana’s Strategic Roadmap for harnessing demographic dividends, the local component of the African Union’s Demographic Dividend Roadmap. At an event at the Accra International Conference Centre, on Monday, 11th December, 2017, President Akufo-Addo noted that “in harnessing the demographic dividend through investments in the youth, we have made essentially a pact with both present and future generations to leave them a better legacy than we inherited from our forebears, with a strong call to our generation to be at the measure of our history.” The President noted that over the last 20 years, the age structure of Ghana’s population has changed, as a result of low birth and death rates, coupled with the decline in fertility rates. This, he said, has led to a “broad-based population pyramid”, with a shrinking proportion of children aged between 0 and 14, vis-a-vis an increasing proportion of the economically active population, i.e. those aged 15 to 64 years, whilst those aged 65 and above have also increased in proportion. These dynamics, he explained, have resulted in a decreasing dependency ratio, as the proportion of the economically dependent population, particularly those below 15 years, is decreasing. “This has necessitated the implementation of key policies and programmes. We recognize that we need to commit ourselves to what must be done in order to reap the benefits of development, progress and prosperity,” he said. The President continued, “It is for this reason that my government has developed a Strategic Roadmap for Harnessing Demographic Dividend in Ghana, to take full advantage of the possibilities presented by the demographic dividend. We shall perform this task within the context of four pillars. They are the economy, education, health and good governance.” Economy On the economy, the President indicated that his government, over the last 11 months, have worked to ensure the stability of Ghana’s macro-economy, without which private sector growth will be inhibited. “We have reduced inflation and interest rates, and have largely stabilised the cedi. We have reduced significantly the fiscal deficit, by rationalising public sector expenditure, and, at the same time, improving government revenue. Government, within this period, has controlled domestic borrowing, so as not to crowd out the private sector from the financial markets. Our external debt commitments have been brought to more sustainable limits,” he said. With Government strengthening the private sector by shifting the focus of our economic policy from taxation to incentivising production, the President noted that a number of measures have also been taken to lead our Ghana and her economy into the new digital age. These include the introduction of an e-business registration system, a paperless port clearance system, a digital addressing system, a mobile interoperability system, and the national identification system, all of which are designed to formalise the Ghanaian economy, reduce the cost of doing business, and facilitate interaction between businesses and their clients, particularly in a technology-driven era, where connectivity through digital services is an important element in achieving competitiveness. Education We recognize also that the most effective way to ensuring prosperity in Ghana, and on the African continent, is through value addition activities, in a transformed and diversified, modern economy. In other words, the industrial development of our country and continent, on the basis of modernized agriculture. An educated workforce will facilitate its achievement. The countries that have done well, even without natural resources, are the countries that have invested in education and skills training. It is not gold, cocoa, diamonds, timber or oil that is going to build our nation. If it was, it would have done so already. It is empowered Ghanaians, especially the empowered youth of today, who are going to build Ghana. To this end, we aim to reduce gender gaps in school enrolment and completion at secondary and tertiary levels; ensure all school-going children attain a minimum of high school education through our Free SHS policy; focus on a production-oriented approach to education, focusing on the knowledge and skills needed for economic development; and improve the quality of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education at all levels, as the foundation for growing technological capacity and higher paying jobs. Health As co-Chair of the Group of Advocates of Eminent Persons of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the President noted that ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all is the objective of SDG No. 3. The judicious, honest application of the nation’s resources, he said, is heralding the reinvigoration of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Additionally, the President assured of the intensification of reproductive health and educational campaigns, encouraging physical exercise and proper nutritional and dietary practices, and healthy lifestyles, training of more nurses and doctors in geriatric health care, intensifying public education for increased antenatal and postnatal care, and strengthening the integration of family planning and nutrition education into antenatal and postnatal care to address reproductive health and nutritional concerns in Ghana. Governance On governance, President Akufo-Addo assured of the promotion and deepening, in Ghana, of a system and culture of accountable governance, free of corruption, whereby our people are governed in accordance with the rule of law, respect for individual liberties and human rights, the principles of democratic accountability and social justice. “Such a system includes building strong institutions of state, such as a well-resourced Parliament and Judiciary, efficient law enforcement agency, and effective security forces, that see their responsibilities and allegiances to the wider public interest, not just to the conveniences of the government of the day,” he added.  
Dec 16, 2017
European governments are knowingly complicit in the torture and abuse of refugees and migrants in Libya, Amnesty International has alleged. In an effort to stem migration, the EU is actively supporting a "system of abuse and exploitation" on Libyan shores, the group said in a report. EU funds are going to authorities working with militias and people smugglers, the report says. The EU has provided ships, training and funding to the Libyan coastguard. Libya is the main thoroughfare for migrants trying to reach Europe. Arrivals in Italy - the main destination for boat crossings - fell sharply following the provision of EU funds to the Libyan coastguard. But Amnesty says the coastguard is working with criminal gangs and people smugglers who are guilty of a range of abuses, with the knowledge of EU officials. It alleges that the drive to stem migration has resulted in "mass, arbitrary and indefinite detention" of refugees and migrants. Refugees and migrants intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard are sent to detention centres run by Libya's general directorate for combating illegal migration (DCIM). Amnesty said about 20,000 people were currently detained at these centres, and it had testimony showing detainees were subject to "torture, forced labour, extortion, and unlawful killings" at the hands of authorities, traffickers, and militias.     "Tens of thousands are kept indefinitely in overcrowded detention centres where they are subjected to systematic abuse," said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty's Europe Director. "European governments have not just been fully aware of these abuses; by actively supporting the Libyan authorities in stopping sea crossings and containing people in Libya, they are complicit in these abuses."   Source: BBC
Dec 16, 2017
The National Council of Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs), has called for an insurance package for senior high school students nationwide.   An agreement for the students to be charged GHc7 has been reached, National President for the Council, Alexander Yaw Danso, has said.   The Ghana Education Service (GES) he added has approved of the proposals.   This is coming after students of the Kumasi High School died from H1N1 influenza.   “For tragedies of this nature, you cannot prevent it. It started as something that you would say is normal, but it has developed to a stage that is a national tragedy,” he said of the recent deaths. “We are in touch with an insurance company to insure our students for us at a minimum premium. Fortunately, the company is not only insuring the students. They are insuring the students and sponsoring parents and guardians as well, at a premium of GHc 7.00 per term.” “The parents have accepted. We have written to the Ghana Education Service and they have given us the approval. The letter is there, and has been  copied to all the Senior High school heads, the Regional Directors and all that.” “It’s unfortunate that the roll out didn’t come before this tragedy otherwise the families of the dead would have received some benefits and those on admission would have also gotten some benefits,” he said.      
Dec 16, 2017
The National Council of Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs), has called for an insurance package for senior high school students nationwide.   An agreement for the students to be charged GHc7 has been reached, National President for the Council, Alexander Yaw Danso, has said.   The Ghana Education Service (GES) he added has approved of the proposals.   This is coming after students of the Kumasi High School died from H1N1 influenza.   “For tragedies of this nature, you cannot prevent it. It started as something that you would say is normal, but it has developed to a stage that is a national tragedy,” he said of the recent deaths. “We are in touch with an insurance company to insure our students for us at a minimum premium. Fortunately, the company is not only insuring the students. They are insuring the students and sponsoring parents and guardians as well, at a premium of GHc 7.00 per term.” “The parents have accepted. We have written to the Ghana Education Service and they have given us the approval. The letter is there, and has been  copied to all the Senior High school heads, the Regional Directors and all that.” “It’s unfortunate that the roll out didn’t come before this tragedy otherwise the families of the dead would have received some benefits and those on admission would have also gotten some benefits,” he said.      
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