General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia says Ghanaian electorate has become more sophisticated and discerning, thus winning their hearts and minds goes beyond the mundane political rhetoric.
The NDC as party he said is challenged to equip their activities with the right working tools, which is the knowledge on the philosophical underpinnings of the party.
The future of democracy he said lies in the conscious and physical might towards a regime of ideas, knowledge, policies and programmes.
The chief scribe made the remarks when he delivered a speech at the official launch of the Ghana Institute of Social Democracy, a political party school for the NDC.
The hope of the NDC is that democracy matures, and political parties in Ghana will be able to offer electorate clear distinct and implementable policy choices.
‘’Our [NDC] contribution towards realizing these national objectives is the establishment of the Ghana Institute of Social Democracy,’’ he stated.
The institute he said will serve as a centre for research into changing global ideological perspectives of the social democratic tradition and realign itself with the emerging global trends in order to promote and strengthen the social democratic philosophy in Ghana and Africa.
The vision of the Ghana Institute of Social Democracy is to become an institution of choice in the study of politics, governance and social democracy in Africa, Johnson Asiedu Nketia said.
‘’The school shall be opened to all Ghanaians, especially cadres of the NDC, as well as all progressive political parties, civil society groups, who share in the social democratic philosophy,’’ he said.
The institute he said shall run courses including but not limited to; Philosophy, principle and practice of Social democracy, political economy of development, elections and electoral systems, gender mainstreaming, youth development, development and environment sustainability, grass root political mobilization and activism, public sector management and public policy formulation and implementation.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said he inherited from the previous administration, huge debts and empty coffers.
His administration he said did not inherit a stable economy from the erstwhile Mahama-led government.
The President was however quick to add that, his administration will soon overcome the challenges and restore hope in the economy.
‘’We inherited huge debts and empty coffers. But it does not mean I will do nothing about it. It is for this reason that we put in place the appropriate measures to strengthen our monetary system, so the development we promised the people can be met,” he said.
Nana Addo made the remarks while addressing a durbar of the chiefs and people of Twifo Praso in the Twifo Atti Morkwa in the Central region as part of his two day thank you tour.
President AkufoAddo promised to shame his critics by ensuring he delivers on every single promise he has given to Ghanaians which includes the free SHS, one district one factory among others.
According to the president, plans are far advanced towards the construction of Cape Coast-Twifo Praso , Praso -Dunkwa Offin and Assin Foso Roads, Praso Hospital and other projects which would be completed by the end of this year
Nana further explained that the first term of the NPP government will see massive development across the country.
Paramount Chief of Atti Morkwa Traditional Area, Oseadeye Kwasi Kain II, commended the president for assuring residents that he will see to it that Central region is giving a face lift.
He also called for the renovation of the Praso bridge which heI've said serves the communities within the area.
The police have arrested a man who is alleged to have defrauded several women under false pretences a doctor.
The suspect Faith Mensah Tekpor according to the police is a serial "confident trickster" who poses as a medical doctor with several names such as Dr Jeff Addow, Dr Alvin Owusu, Dr Alvin Annan, Dr Fiifi Owusu, Dr Collins Amoah and Dr Alvin Mensah to defraud people.
Director Public Affairs, DSP Sheilla Kessie Abayie-Buckman, in a statement said, his[Suspect’s] victims are mostly women and he normally operates within Accra, Sakumono and Tema.
"Faith Mensah Tekpor is presently facing trial for defrauding by impersonation and also under investigations for similar fraud offenses.
"Until his recent arrest, the suspect had jumped Court bail and was listed as a wanted person following a bench warrant".
"His modus includes posing as a medical practitioner, approaches and proposes to a woman and pursues her to keep as a "girlfriend", with the potential of a lasting relationship. He records his sexual encounters with the women, whether known to them or not", the statement said.
The suspect after recording the sex acts will then borrow money from his unsuspecting victims and begin to blackmail them with the recorded videos when they demand their monies back, the statement further disclosed.
The Police are, therefore, encouraging any of his victims to report their cases to the nearest Police station or call the short code 18555 (MTN and Vodafone) or 024468
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr. Salifu Saeed has bemoaned the increasing rate of encroachment of state lands in the region by chiefs with the excuse of using the 1992 constitution which states all skin land are de-vested and should returned to its original owner.
Land encroachment as been a major problem trending issue in the northern part of the country, leading to schools, hospitals among others losing hope for extensions.
According to the regional minister, the commission needs to take up the mantle to educate chiefs to perfect their land to avoid private developers to fall within the planned scheme of the state.
“I urge the lands commission to team up with the appropriate stakeholders to ensure that the lands whether occupied or not are adequately protected, even if it would entail seeking legal determination of the status of the land at the highest court of the land. A joint task force comprising of the security agencies, the metropolitan assembly, the land sector agencies and the civil society should be put in place as a matter of urgency to curtail the spate of encroachment on state lands especially in tamale metropolis” he added.
He further urged the commission to take a decisive stand on the grant of large tracts of agricultural lands to developers to avert a situation where in the future, land owners would become landless in their own backyards.
“The lands commission should come out clearly on any directives regarding such grants to enable genuine developers have confidence in the process of acquiring such large tracts of land” he stated.
He also said it was very appropriate for MMDAs to consolidate the clarion call for them to secure land banks especially in the wake of the several upcoming flagship programmes such as One District One Factory, One Village One Dam and so on.
“Our esteemed nominees I urge you to be dedicated to your work, you should strive to achieve a fair and sustainable decentralized land administration system which will be efficient and cost effective. When this happens the economy will be developed and stimulated, poverty reduced, social stability will be promoted and security of tenure will be enhanced” he said.
In conclusion, the Northern Regional Minister Mr. Salifu Saeed said “the region has entrusted you with an important task and we are all counting on you to be able to achieve the development of an efficient land mark and prudent land resource management so by the end of your tenure we will look back one day and pat ourselves on the back for having helped develop our land”.
Meanwhile the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources John-Peter Amewu added that the work of the regional lands commission as far as national development is concerned is clearly cut out.
“Having been carefully selected from your prospective institutions and assemblies, your varied skills and expertise are urgently needed to guide the technical stuff of lands commission. You will need to provide leadership, guidance and more importantly, monitoring the implementation of national policies on land and the ones you will develop the region” he stated.
According to him there was so much potential in the northern region. Tones of resources are being poured in the northern region from all sectors including Government, the private sector, civil society, religious entities and the donor community.
He urged the commission to take special interest in SADA and the ministry of agriculture programmes which are put in place to provide job opportunities for the teeming youth and also urged them to forgo strong mutually beneficial partnerships with traditional authority and make lands available for development.
By: Prince Kwame Tamakloe
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has assured Ghanaians that the policies and programmes being implemented by his government will improve their living conditions, and help put Ghana on the path of progress and prosperity.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the vision of a progressive, prosperous Ghana envisioned by the nation’s founding fathers must be realized in our generation. It is for this reason that his government has begun to fulfill the promises made in the run-up to the 2016 elections.
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Thursday, 10th August, 2017, when he began his 3-day tour of the Central Region with a courtesy call on the Central Regional House of Chiefs, and addressed a durbar of Chiefs at Twifo Atti Morkwaa.
The President indicated that upon his assumption of office, he inherited an economy in deep crisis and had to put in place several measures to nurse it back to full health.
The implementation of policies such as Free SHS, 1-District-1-Factory, programme for Planting for Food and Jobs, 1-Village-1-Dam, together with the revival of the National Health Insurance Scheme, he said, have been made possible because of the stability brought to bear on the Ghanaian economy.
At Twifo Atti Morkwa, a constituency won by the New Patriotic Party in 2016, for the first time in history of the 4th Republic, the President told the Chiefs and people that an audit of the cocoa roads is being carried out, and very soon cocoa roads in the constituency will be constructed.
Additionally, a 60-bed hospital under construction at the constituency, he assured, will soon be completed, as equipment for the hospital is at currently at the Tema port, and will be cleared soon for delivery to Twifo Atti Morkwaa.
With the Free SHS programme being a flagship policy of his government, President Akufo-Addo stressed that the programme will commence in September 2017, which will benefit the 1,200 students at the basic level in the constituency.
“I have been bastardised by several persons who claim the Free SHS policy is a misplaced priority, a lie, and cannot be done. The Free SHS policy, I wish to assure them, will start from September,” he said.
The 1-District-1-Factory policy, President Akufo-Addo noted, will be rolled out in the course of this month, and will create hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Touching on mining, President Akufo-Addo stated that as far back as the 15th century, there was the recognition that mining was important for the country’s economy.
“Mining is part of our heritage. It is not under an Akufo-Addo government that mining is going to be abolished. I can never abolish mining. Those saying I am trying to abolish mining are just doing propaganda. Mining is an integral part of our country’s heritage,” he said.
What his government cannot have happen, however, is for illegal mining to compromise the country’s environment.
“Our lands, water bodies and forests are also part of our heritage. I swore an oath before the Almighty and before Ghanaians to govern in accordance with the rule of law, and also to protect the territorial integrity of our nation. I am mandated by the laws of the land to protect our lands and water bodies,” he said.
The President assured the Chiefs and people of Twifo Atti Morkwaa of his determination to improving their living conditions, stressing that “you already have an MP, in the person of Abraham Odoom. But you have a second MP who is called Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.”
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says he wants Ghanaians to look upon him as a man of his word, and as someone who tells the truth and delivers on his promises.
According to President Akufo-Addo, in September 2017, two important campaign promises he made in the run-up to the December 2016 elections are going to be met, adding that this is an indication that the pledges he made during the electioneering period were not mere campaign platform talk, but are pledges that will be fulfilled during his tenure of office.
“Because of the importance of education, the first pledge to be met will be the Free High School policy. You know how much I have been abused and traduced. I have been vilified, with people saying that I am doing it for politics, I am trying to buy votes, I can’t do it, and I am lying to the people of Ghana. But by the grace of God and with the energy of the Minister for Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, in September, the Free SHS policy is coming,” the President said.
Again, President Akufo-Addo noted that “we committed ourselves to restoring the nurses and teacher training allowances. I am happy to inform you that the Asempa Budget, that Ken Ofori-Atta read in March, has made provision that at the beginning of this academic year, in September, the nurses and teacher training allowances are going to be restored in full.”
President Akufo-Addo was addressing health workers at the Effia Nkwanta Hospital on Wednesday, 9th August, 2017, on the last day of his 3-day working visit to the Western Region, when he made this known.
With the Eastern and Western Regions being the only regions without regional hospitals in the country, President Akufo-Addo revealed that funding has been secured by government to commence the construction of a regional hospital in the Eastern Region.
The Ministry of Health, the President added, is currently examining four different proposals for the construction of a regional hospital in the Western Region.
“I do not think it would be right that because we want to build a new regional hospital, we abandon this old, famous hospital. I don’t think it would be right, and I am going to do all that I can to do all that I can, with the support of the Ministry, to make sure that that doesn’t happen. Effia Nkwanta already has important teaching and important facilities here, and it will be rehabilitated,” he said.
Bemoaning the poor state of the country’s health infrastructure, President Akufo-Addo stressed the importance of rebuilding the country’s health infrastructure.
“We begin not just with the physical rehabilitation, but with the preparation of the human material in our healthcare delivery system, and the rehabilitation and revival of the National Health Insurance Scheme. The NHIS was Kufuor’s great legacy to our nation. We (the NPP) are back in office, and it is our duty to restore the NHIS back to full health and vitality and that is what we are going to do.”
Already, according to the deputy Minister of Health, Hon. Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu, who also doubles as the Member of Parliament for Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai, government has paid GH¢500 million out of the GH¢1.2 billion NHIS debt inherited from the Mahama government. Payments to NHIS service providers for 2017 are up-to-date.
Support my government
Outlining the reforms undertaken by his government to return the country’s economy back to full health, President Akufo-Addo appealed for the unalloyed understanding and support of Ghanaians, especially of the health professionals.
“It is not going to be easy because our public finances were in a poor state. Unfortunately, I did not inherit a treasury filled with a lot of money. I inherited a bankrupt economy filled with debt. I am, nonetheless, not intimidated by the debt. Anybody with a good heart and good head and with determination can turn debt into money, and that is what I intend to do,” the President said.
He continued, “I need your support and understanding to give this nation a first class health delivery system that the people of Ghana deserve, and we are going to do so with your active support and participation.
You are some of the most important people in any society certainly here in Ghana – health workers, doctors, nurses and paramedicals. All of you, together, represent a huge and important human capital for the development of our country. I want you to know that you have a government in place that is going to give you the maximum support so that you can do your work well for the benefit of our people and the health of our nation.”
Foreign observers have expressed confidence in Kenya's electoral process, despite opposition leader Raila Odinga's claim of massive fraud.
African observers described Tuesday's poll as credible, while former US Secretary of State John Kerry said its integrity remained intact.
The European Union said candidates should accept losing as "natural".
Mr Odinga alleges that results of the presidential poll have been rigged to give incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta victory.
Mr Odinga's supporters celebrated in the western city of Kisumu after his National Super Alliance (Nasa) said he should be declared the winner, although unverified official results give Mr Kenyatta a strong lead.
On Wednesday, Mr Odinga said that the IT system of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had been hacked, and Kenya was witnessing the worst "voter theft" in its history.
The IEBC said there had been an attempt to hack its system, but it had failed.
Many fear a repeat of the violence after the disputed election 10 years ago when more than 1,100 Kenyans died and 600,000 were displaced.
Scores of people took to the streets of Mathare, a slum in the capital Nairobi, shouting "Uhuru must go", AFP news agency reported.
In the Kawangware neighbourhood, police clashed with opposition supporters, Reuters news agency reported.
Mr Kerry, who is heading the Carter Center's observer team, urged all sides to wait for the final results, and for the loser to accept defeat.
He said there were "minor variances here and there", but none that had so far made him doubt the poll's integrity.
The "bottom-line" was that the IEBC had in place a "transparent process of voting, counting, reporting and securing the vote", Mr Kerry added at a press conference in Kenya's capital, Nairobi.
Commonwealth observer mission head and Ghana's ex-President John Mahama said there was no reason to doubt the IEBC's ability to deliver a "credible election".
"We believe that the election has been conducted in a transparent and credible manner and that Kenyans must be commended for that election," he added.
Expressing a similar view, African Union observer mission head and South Africa's ex-President Thabo Mbeki said he was satisfied with the way the electoral commission had conducted itself.
The opposition's hacking allegations should be looked into by the IEBC, he added.
In a statement, the European Union observer mission said the opposition had made "serious allegations" and it was up to the IECB to complete the "remaining steps with maximum transparency and adherence to the law".
"Candidates and their supporters must accept that not winning is a natural part of a democratic competition," EU observer mission head Marietje Schaake said.
"Any irregularities or challenges to the process and outcomes should be addressed through petitions and the courts," she added.
The IECB said it hoped to release final results from the presidential poll on Friday.
Raw polling data published on its website says that with almost all of results in, Mr Kenyatta - who is seeking a second term - is leading with about 54.3%, to Mr Odinga's 44.8% share of the vote.
These suggest Mr Kenyatta is heading for a first-round victory.
Mr Odinga's claim of rigging led to sporadic outbreaks of violence on Wednesday, but a government spokesman denied reports that two people had been killed in election-related unrest.
Kenya's election in numbers:
Six separate ballot papers: For president, national assembly, female representatives, governors, senate and county assemblies
§ 47 parliamentary seats and 16 senate seats reserved for women
§ Eight presidential candidates: President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga are favourites
§ Kenyatta beat Odinga in 2013 - their fathers were also political rivals in the 1960s
§ A candidate needs 50% plus one vote for first-round victory
§ More than 14,000 candidates running across the six elections
§ More than 45% of registered voters under 35
§ Some 180,000 security officers on duty nationwide in case of trouble
Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko has hinted that the assets of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) will be leased to a private investor for 20 years to manage.
The Minister said this at a ceremony to swear in a new eight-member Board for the ECG.
He said that the power distribution company will still remain the asset of the government and the concessionaire is expected to pay for the assets of ECG.
He said, ‘’ “It is therefore imperative that ECG updates and hands over a credible list of assets to the concessionaire.”
A new project he said is underway for a technical and conditional assessment of ECG’s asset. He also brought to the fore many urgent issues that the Board must tackle immediately, singling out the concession issue.
He urged the Board to give the company their maximum attention and ensure that what will remain of ECG is reorganized into a viable company capable of its active oversight role for the benefit of the country.