The ban on fishing, which was expected to start on the seventh day of August this year, has been postponed to same month in 2019.
The Fisheries’ Minister, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, communicated the cabinet decision to stakeholders who were deliberating on the modalities of the ban at a ceremony at the Labadi Beach Hotel today [Friday].
The minister has therefore called on stakeholders in the fishing sector to prepare for the ban next year.
Fisher folks across the country resisted the ban and called on the president to intervene. They described the ban as a bad economic decision since the period earmarked for the ban is a bumper season.
The closed season was meant for all fleets comprising canoes, Inshore Boats and trawlers.
Vessels involved in the harvesting of Tuna were, however, exempted from the ban because they conduct their business at deep seas and they were not near areas reserved for other fleets.
Former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Mr Sylvester Mensah, has officially declared his intention to contest the presidential slot on behalf of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The presidential candidate hopeful has also written officially to the leadership of the party to declare his intention.
This is coming a day after General Secretary of the umbrella family, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, officially declared campaign opened.
The NDC chief scribe told journalists on Thursday the party is expected to elect a candidate by December 7, 2018 per their constitutional requirement.
Interested candidates are to officially inform the leadership of the party through the office of the General Secretary.
The letter by Sly as he is affectionately called said: “Having engaged in a nation-wide consultation on the future leadership of our dear party, I am able to confirm that I would be contesting for the vacant position of a flagbearer for our dear party, the National Democratic Congress.”
“It is my conviction that this communication satisfies the initial requirement of notification of intent to the party,” Mr. Mensah, who once served as CEO for the National Health Insurance Authority added in the letter.
Member of Parliament for Builsa South, Dr Clement Apaak, is demanding for an official statement from President Akufo-Addo to the effect that, he was misled in approving the renegotiated AMERI power deal through an Executive Instrument.
The legislator is positing that the newspaper publication by the Statesman which said the president was misled, is a calculated attempt to deceive Ghanaians.
He further took a swipe at Gabby Otchere-Darko who he said lacks the integrity and credibility to make such claims through a newspaper he edits.
He quizzed if the story has been accepted as the truth because the editor is a nephew to the president.
He is therefore calling on the presidency to issue an official statement to either buttress what the paper published or deny same.
It has been widely published that the president was misled in approving the Ameri renegotiated deal.
According to the Statements newspaper, the president was misled into granting executive approval for the deal under the guise of there being an urgent need to have a bill laid in Parliament before its rising.
The paper also0 reported that, On his return to Accra on Tuesday from the 53rd session of the ECOWAS Heads of State meeting in Togo, the President quickly requested and received a further briefing on the new deal. This revealed that the agreement to which he had given approval on July 31 lacked the requisite input from the Attorney General and the Ministry of Finance. The President had been misled to believe that both departments had assessed the deal thoroughly.
We are also hearing that the Economic Management Team met on Tuesday to discuss the revised deal for the first time and the outcome was that it is not in Ghana’s interest. We are further informed that the new AMERI arrangement will be one of the critical items for discussion at cabinet later today. There are clear indications that cabinet will “kill” the deal.’’
Under the proposal, the Greece-based Mytilineos International Trading Company was to assume management responsibility for the AMERI emergency power-generation arrangement negotiated by the past NDC government, in effect extending the original outsourcing agreement by ten years
But Mr Apaak in his response said: ‘’.Aaaaaah. Change has come. A paper reports that a President claims to be misled into sanctioning a dubious deal, yet the paper trail on this dubious deal seems to go all the way to his office. Wait. Did the Presidency say this or a newspaper made the claim that the President was misled? Here we are, busy arguing what a newspaper published. Is it because the said newspaper is owned by the nephew of the President so we believe what the paper has reported to be the case? But wait. The said owner of that news paper has himself misled Ghanaians as the Finance Minister implied in Parliament when he presented the mid year budget review, remember increase in VAT?! My lovely mom, a retired teacher, always says once bitten twice shy, I will not accept the claims that the President was misled until the Presidency issues a formal statement to that effect. Good day! I remain a citizen!’’
Zimbabwe's opposition leader has said President Emmerson Mnangagwa's election victory is a "coup against [the people's] will".
Nelson Chamisa repeated his claim that the results announced late on Thursday night were fake, and said he had won Monday's presidential poll.
Responding, Mr Mnangagwa called for peace but said people were free to challenge the result in court.
This was the first election since long-term leader Robert Mugabe was ousted.
Earlier, in a tweet, the president urged Zimbabweans to unite to create "a new beginning" after a vote that was intended to set Zimbabwe on a new path following years of repressive rule.
What is Nelson Chamisa saying?
Addressing journalists on Friday afternoon, Mr Chamisa called on his rival not to accept "corrupted results". He added that his MDC Alliance would pursue all legal and constitutional avenues to challenge the official result.
The opposition leader said he had evidence that ballot boxes were being transported in open trucks allowing them to be tampered with.
He questioned the discrepancies in the numbers of votes tallied in the parliamentary elections compared with the presidential poll. Both elections took place at the same time.
Mr Chamisa also said that his election agent was not allowed to verify the results on Thursday.
What is Emmerson Mnangagwa's response?
An hour after Mr Chamisa's press conference ended, the president spoke to journalists at state house.
He did not address the opposition leader's specific allegations, but said that under the country's constitution people were "free... to approach the courts".
Addressing Mr Chamisa directly, the president said: "You have a crucial role to play in Zimbabwe's present and in its unfolding future."
"Let us call for peace and unity in our land," he added.
He said he would be the president of all Zimbabweans, "for those who voted for me and for those who did not".
What is the situation in Harare?
Riot police initially prevented the opposition MDC Alliance from holding a press conference in the capital and chased reporters away. The authorities later apologised saying that they thought an unlawful public gathering was being organised.
President Mnangagwa tweeted that what the police tried to do had "no place in our society".
Police have been patrolling the streets of city after clashes between protesters and police on Wednesday left six people dead.
A police vehicle with a loudspeaker was broadcasting the message: "Zimbabwe is open for business. We are here to protect you. Feel free to walk and open your business. All is well, fear not."
The city, which is seen as an opposition stronghold, is quieter than normal as people are digesting the outcome, correspondents say.
But there were celebrations in one part of Harare. The president's supporters in the suburb of Mbare took to the streets to welcome the news.
How close was the result?
Mr Mnangagwa avoided a run-off by just 36,464 votes out of more than 4.8 million cast.
Official results show he took 50.8% of the vote to Mr Chamisa's 44.3%. The 21 other candidates took up the remainder.
At the last election, Mr Mugabe won 61% of the vote, with the opposition's main candidate, the late Morgan Tsvangirai, winning 34%.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) finished announcing the presidential election results in the early hours of Friday morning, after days of waiting.
Zec acknowledged that the wait had caused anxiety, and international observers had earlier urged the commission to speed up the announcement. Under the constitution, the commission had until Saturday to declare the result.
The results of the parliamentary election were announced earlier in the week. They gave Mr Mnangagwa's Zanu-PF 144 seats; the MDC Alliance, which is made up of seven parties, 64 seats, and one seat to the National Patriotic Front, formed by Mugabe loyalists.
Although Zanu-PF won by a landslide, its majority has shrunk since the 2013 election when it obtained 160 seats and the MDC 49.
A respected Zimbabwean independent monitoring group has added weight to the official result.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network said, according to its sample survey, that Mr Mnangagwa had probably won enough support to avoid a run-off, though it left room for some doubt.
Media captionThe BBC's Pumza Fihlani speaks to rural Zimbabweans
Mr Mnangagwa has vowed to revitalise Zimbabwe's tattered economy after decades of international isolation under Mr Mugabe.
The country has suffered from rampant inflation and high levels of poverty. The unemployment rate last year was as high as 90%, according to Zimbabwe's biggest trade union.
A test for the new democracy
Analysis by Pumza Fihlani, BBC News, Harare
Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa struck a defiant and resolute mood. But his press conference almost did not happen.
It was delayed by nearly an hour after riot police stormed the hotel premises and tried to disperse journalists.
Pounding on their shields with their batons they screamed "get out, take your things" as some journalists scurried for cover while others kept their cameras rolling. If something was going to go wrong here, the world would see it happening.
Under Robert Mugabe's rule, state security was known to target the media, there was no freedom. And this afternoon - on a day where you'd expect President Mnangagwa's government to be celebrating victory and ushering in a new Zimbabwe - it seemed the old Zimbabwe was still very much alive.
Ironically just this morning the police had driven through town announcing "Zimbabwe is open for business". So which is it? A democracy, or the same old Zimbabwe?
What do other countries think?
Neighbouring South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated the president on his victory, and has appealed to political leaders and the Zimbabwean people to accept the outcome of the election.
China, a key ally, endorsed the results and urged "parties to put the interest of the country and the people first and respect the choice made by the Zimbabwean people," its foreign affairs spokesman Geng Shuang said.
European Union observers said they had found an "un-level playing field and lack of trust" in the election process.
"There were a lot of shortcomings in the campaign and [on] election day," EU mission chief Elmar Brok told BBC Newsday.
Who is the president-elect?
Emmerson Mnangagwa is known as "the crocodile" because of his political shrewdness - his Zanu-PF party faction is known as "Lacoste"
Accused of masterminding attacks on opposition supporters after the 2008 election
Thought to be 75 years old, he promises to deliver jobs and is seen as open to economic reforms
Survived several alleged assassination attempts, blamed on supporters of ex-President Mugabe.
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Friday, 3rd August, 2018, inaugurated the rural telephony project, in Abenaso, in the Eastern Region, which will connect the town and surrounding communities with ICT facilities and telecommunication services.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, President Akufo-Addo noted that despite the significant spread of telecommunications services across the country, the distribution of basic telephony infrastructure is still very much concentrated in the major economic centres of the country.
That is why, he explained that, Government continues to attach great importance to ensuring that telecommunication and ICT facilities, which can now be described as basic necessities of life, are available in all parts of the country.
“Whilst Government is providing the requisite communications infrastructure throughout the country, we are also creating an enabling environment, through the policies implemented over the last 19 months, to encourage private sector investment in the communications sector,” he said.
Through the National Communications Authority, Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), in partnership with MTN (Gh) Ltd. and Huawei Technologies Ltd, the President stated that his government has begun rolling out the rural telephony project, which will provide data and voice connectivity to some one thousand, and twenty (1,020), hitherto, unserved communities across the country.
“Indeed, the Abenaso rural telephony site, which I am inaugurating today, is part of one hundred and sixty one (161) rural telephony sites and eighty five (85) repeater sites which have been completed within 18 months of my government, and which will be providing voice and data connectivity to approximately five hundred (500) communities across the country.
By the end of this year, a total of two hundred (200) telephony sites, serving some one thousand (1,000) communities will have been completed. This is to be compared to only seventy eight (78) such telephony sites during the entire eight years of the Mills/Mahama era,” the President revealed.
He continued, “Such is the commitment of Government to ensuring the realization of today’s ceremony that taxes, such as VAT, customs duties and other import levies, were waived for the equipment brought into the country for the project. I express my deep appreciation to our traditional authorities, across the country, for generously donating parcels of land for the project to take off.”
The inauguration of the Abenaso Project, the President said, will mean that Abenaso, together with four hundred and ninety-nine (499) other rural communities across the country will enjoy 3G coverage.
President Akufo-Addo noted that expanding telephony connectivity services to rural communities in the country “will help open up Abenaso and other rural communities to opportunities for the development of skills and knowledge, as well the growth of businesses and the local economy”.
He elicited the help of the traditional authorities in Abenaso and other beneficiary communities to “utilize fully the opportunities that this project will bring to them. We would want to see this project bring about a positive impact on the lives of residents of this community and other beneficiary communities.”
President Akufo-Addo also urged the youth gathered “to take advantage of the opportunities that will be afforded to you by this facility. You are living in perhaps the most exciting time in our history, so please make the best of it. Some say this is our time. I say this is your time, and tomorrow will be the time of your children.”
He reiterated his commitment to building a new Ghanaian civilization, “where fair opportunities are given to all to live dignified, productive lives by dint of their hard work, creativity and sense of enterprise. It is a promising phase in the Ghanaian journey.”
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has urged journalists and media practitioners across the country take a second look at the power they wield, and the responsibility they owe society, with a view to ensuring that they do not sacrifice integrity and the future of our societies for today’s headline or breaking news.
According to President Akufo-Addo, media owners in-particular must invest continuously in building the capacity of their staff.
“The media has immeasurable power to build up the confidence and values of our society and its institutions, and, therefore, ought to be assisted in being on top of its game at all times,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Friday, 3rd August, 2018, when he spoke at the 12th congregation ceremony of the Ghana Institute of Journalism.
Stressing the importance of the media to the political, social and economic architecture of the country, the President noted that, like many other good things, the work of the media has its own associated risks and inherent challenges, especially in this age of social media.
With the first challenge being the risk of deliberate misinformation campaigns by some elements in the democratic space, President Akufo-Addo indicated that this is a major threat to the integrity of the news world.
“It is not something to be left only to regulators to deal with. It is something that the whole world of media practitioners, including you members of the graduating class, must resolutely confront, and assist the society to identify and eliminate,” he said.
The need for training, critical engagement by society with the media, self-regulation, and insistence on media ethics and journalistic standards by media houses, practitioners and their organizations, he added, is the way of addressing the current shortcomings and ills of the media landscape.
The second risk, President Akufo-Addo, indicated is that of inadvertent misinformation, that is sometimes published by mainstream media.
“This happens when there is a little twist of facts often to get the best headline, or a publication of the unverified claim in the haste to be first in breaking the news,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “The worrying trend is that, in many cases, even after the public has been misinformed, and the true facts are later made known, mainstream media often chickens out of an honest open acknowledgement that ‘we were wrong’. The choice is often to sweep it under the carpet, and move on to the next big story.”
The President encouraged media owners, in particular, to invest continuously in building the capacity of their staff, as the media has immeasurable power to build up the confidence and values of society and its institutions.
He reiterated Government’s commitment towards empowering the citizen, media and civil society, and assured that the Right to Information Bill, which is in Parliament, will be passed.
President Akufo-Addo assured GIJ of Government’s commitment towards the development of the infrastructural capacity of the institution, a move, he said, would help in providing space for the increased student population who, in the next couple of years, will be seeking admission to this institution, as a result of the Free Senior High School policy.
“An initial, modest amount of GH¢5 million has been allocated to GIJ in the 2018 budget, and the least I can do is to make sure that GETFund releases this money to you as soon as possible to help complete the first of many lecture hall complexes and offices here,” he said.
To members of the graduating class, President Akufo-Addo urged them to “be the generation of Ghanaian media practitioners that refuses to be either victim or pawn, and accepts to travel down the path of genuine popular enlightenment, which represents the strongest guarantee of our national independence and sovereignty. Freedom of expression, encompassing media freedom, is a critical element of that journey, which you must help guard jealously at all times.”
Security analyst, Irbard Ibrahim, has suggested the security detail of President Nana Akufo-Addo cannot be faulted for preventing an elderly man with a blow when he made an attempt to shake hands with the number one gentleman.
The security expert asked Ghanaians to commend the security detail for taking that action instead of the political colourisation of the issue.
The president he said is an important figure whose life should be protected at all times from immanent danger.
A video has surfaced on social media showing an elderly man being repelled by a blow from one of the security details of President Akufo-Addo.
It is unclear where this incident happened but the video suggests it took place on one of the nationwide tours by the President.
Reacting to the concerns raised, Irbard Ibrahim underscored the need for Ghanaians to respect protocol and stop attacking the bodyguard.
The declaration by current General Secretary for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, to seek reelection after several years of serving in that capacity has been met with mixed reactions.
Some individuals have called on the chief scribe to take a bow and allow others to take over.
But a political science lecturer at the University of Education Winneba, Dr Isaac Brako, has said the former legislator has done no wrong in seeking re-election.
In his view, the experienced politician will rather be a better candidate for the office considering the experience he has gathered over the years.
Mr Nketiah he stated is experienced and will work effectively as compared to a new face who may not have the needed experience compared to General Mosquito’ as he is affectionately called.
Delegates he added would vote based on the track record of Asiedu Nketiah.
Johnson Kwadwo Asiedu Nketiah popularly known as General Mosquito (born December 24, 1956) is a Ghanaian politician and the current General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress party.
He was Member of Parliament for the Wenchi West constituency for 12 years, from 1992 to 2000.
When Ghana decided to change to constitutional rule, Asiedu Nketiah was elected to the Consultative Assembly which drafted the 1992 constitution. His performance at the assembly earned him the accolade “Heavy Weight”.
Political Science lecturer at the University of Education Winneba, Dr Isaac Brako, has commended the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for directing aspiring candidates to be moderate in their campaigns.
The lecturer says the decision taken by the party is a step in the right direction and has encouraged other political parties to emulate it.
Flamboyant political party campaigns he said is offensive and waste of resources.
General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah on Thursday asked all aspiring candidates to desist from flamboyant campaign because of the harsh economic conditions in the country.
‘’Times are hard [and] it will be very offensive for Ghanaians to see flamboyant campaigns even when they are living in pennery. And so we are urging our proposed contestants that, they should be modest in their campaigns and outdoor advertisement that will be consistent with the values of the NDC as a social democratic party.’’
Mr Nketiah also warned party leadership against the use of party structures to declare support for a candidate saying: ’’…we want to urge leadership of the party at all levels not to attempt to commit the structures of the party to any one candidate… The party structure will remain neutral. But if individuals want to declare their support for one candidate or the other, we don’t have any issue with that,’’ he added.
He stressed, it will be offensive to the rules of the party for any leader of the party at all levels to declare that, this constituency has declared their support for one candidate.
But reacting to that, the lecturer said, the party should have prevented party leaders from endorsing candidates since that would have sanitised the internal polls and provided a level paying filed for all.
Meanwhile, the NDC is also cautioning against dirty campaigning lamenting that, some of the utterances by some of the aspirants have not been palatable.
‘’Now that we have officially opened the campaign, we will be monitoring. We want to caution all those persons who want to lead this party to conduct a campaign that is decent, that is decorous in terms of the choice of language and that is devoid of personal attacks.’’
The party would want to hear the vision and mission of interested candidates about their proposed leadership that will enable party members to take a decision about ‘’your suitability or otherwise.’’
Members of the Ghana Union of Traders in the Ashanti region, Kumasi, are still demanding the removal of foreign retails from Ghanaian markets with immediate effect.
The members have also slammed Deputy Trades Minister, Carlos Ahenkorah over recent comments following the suspension of the enforcement of the domestic retail legislation, regulations and policies.
GUTA Kumasi head, Mr Albert Mensah, said members would not accept comments by the deputy minister because it lacks logical reasoning.
According to him, the claim by the minister that government is being diplomatic with the removal of foreign traders (Nigerians) is a slap in their faces.
He made reference to a period some few years ago where Nigerian traders took a similar action against Ghanaians and got them removed form their markets.
He said, the position that we are operating under the ECOWAS protocol makes no sense because there is no law that supersedes the laws of Ghana.
The deadline for the removal of foreign retailers was initially July 27, 2018, but it was suspended because government said enough sensitization had not been done.
But Mr Mensah believes the deputy minister goofed in his comments and demanding that the law is enforced to protect Ghanaian retailers.
He was speaking on Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm today [Friday].
Per the GIPC law Section 27 (1) of the GIPC Act, a person who is not a citizen or an enterprise which is not wholly owned by a citizen shall not invest or participate in the sale of goods or provision of services in a market, petty trading or hawking or selling of goods in a stall at any place.
But this law has not been enforced; a situation GUTA believes is unfortunate and disregard for the laws of Ghana.
GUTA he stressed is expecting a positive response from the Trade Ministry on the matter.