Ketasco to host 67th Municipal Independence Day Anniversary


The Keta Senior High Technical School (Ketasco) in the Volta Region will host the 67th Municipal Independence Day celebration this year.

The Day will be celebrated at the various municipalities and circuit centres in the country on Wednesday, March 6, in remembrance of the country’s independence from colonial rule.

Mr Ferdinand Amuzu, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ghana Education Service (GES) in the Keta Municipality, disclosed to the Ghana News Agency that all schools within the municipality would converge at Ketasco for the anniversary.

‘The Municipal Directorate of Education has informed all heads of basic and second cycle schools both public and private that this year’s Independence Day will be hosted on the Ketasco Park,’ he said.

He explained that each school was to present a contingent of 25 pupils each to take part in the march past to commemorate the day.

Other centres such as Kedzi A.M.E Zion, Anlo-Afiadenyigba SHS, Tsiame R.C/M.A. Basic, Abor E.P JHS, and Hatorgodo R.C/M. A Basic
would also host other schools within the municipality, Mr Amuzu said.

The hosting centres include Sasieme M.A basic, Atiavi-Heluvi M.A Basic, Atiavi Agbodekor R.C Basic, Anlo Awomefia SHS, and Hevedzi A.M.E Zion schools.

‘The participating contingents must assemble at their various centers at exactly 0730 hours to enable the function to commence at 0800 hours prompt,’ he said.

Mr Emmanuel Gemega, the Keta Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Gerhard Avudzivi, Keta Municipal Education Director, and heads of institutions among others are expected to grace the occasion.

This year’s national celebration, which would be held at the newly commissioned Koforidua Youth Resource Centre, is on the theme: ‘Our Democracy, Our Pride.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

South Tongu DCE nominee finally confirmed


The President’s nominee, Mr Innocent Lynford Kwesi Tetteh, has been confirmed as the new District Chief Executive (DCE) of South Tongu after the second election.

He garnered 50 ‘Yes’ votes, representing 87.7 per cent, against seven ‘No’ votes in the elections, supervised by the Electoral Commission.

Mr Augustus Awity, the Chief Director, Volta Regional Coordinating Council, addressing the Assembly members prior to the commencement of the voting, urged them to consider the interest of the district when casting their ballots.

He said a DCE would create positive avenues for the district’s development.

Mr Tetteh, after swearing the oath of office and secrecy, lauded the Assembly for the confidence reposed in him, and assured the members of his resolve to working with all relevant stakeholders in the district to build on the achievements of his predecessors.

He promised to work assiduously to get municipal status for South Tongu.

Present were Mr Setsofia Kpenu, the District Coordinating Director, traditional
authorities and political party executives of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Source: Ghana News Agency

Championing air quality for all is key priority for US- Ms Littlejohn


Ms Jennifer R. Littlejohn, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, US, says ensuring air quality for all especially vulnerable groups is one of the key priorities of US’s environmental programmes.

As part of the strategies, the US, she stated was supporting Ghana through the University of Ghana’s (UG) Afri-SET, an air quality sensor evaluation, calibration, testing and training centre.

Speaking at a seminar during her visit to UG, Ms Littlejohn said the US was committed to further strengthening the evaluation centre and helping it to establish similar across the African continent.

She was conducted round the air pollution facility at UG to familiarised herself with the operations.

She said such facilities would encourage creativity among scientists to develop low-cost sensors to contribute to the collection of real time air quality data to inform decision makers and for the ordinary person to make informed decisions.

Ms Littlejohn said it wou
ld also foster effective and efficient collaboration and knowledge-sharing to address pressing public health issues.

‘ When it comes to air quality, knowledge is power. By making data widely available, we empower local communities to understand, act on air quality and use the data to advocate for policy changes to improve air quality,’ she said.

The Environmental Diplomat stated that air pollution was not just something that irritated the eyes and the throat -but a killer, which Ghana and the rest of Africa needed to address.

The facility has started running training for experts as part of its larger objective to increase regional capacity and cooperation on air quality, as well as forming a community of practice for scientists, health experts, and governments throughout the region.

In the area of clean cooking, the US has built the capacity of officials of the cookstove laboratory at the Institute of Industrial Research of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, (IIR-CSIR) to play its role to
wards improving air quality.

It was done through the Round Robin Testing Programme, an initiative supported by the United States of America’s Environmental Protection Agency and United Nations Foundation’s Clean Cooking Alliance.

The laboratory is well positioned to support Ghana and the continent to contribute to meeting climate action plans of reducing emissions from traditional cookstoves.

More than six out of ten homes in Ghana for instance cook using traditional cookstoves, which generate soot, which harm users especially women, and deteriorate the quality of air.

Although the Centre has existed for over 13 years, recent capacity building and International Organisation for Standardisation accreditation has enhanced its operation.

Source: Ghana News Agency

President must sign anti-LGBTQ bill quickly – Rev. Dr Opuni Frimpong


The Reverend Dr Opuni Frimpong, a former General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, has added his voice to calls on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to assent the newly-passed anti-LGBTQ bill ‘as soon as possible’.

Speaking on Accra-based Citi FM on Saturday, he said the matter was of ‘national concern and must attract a national response from the President.’

Parliament on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, passed the Promotion of Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill (anti-LGBTQ bill) after the third reading.

The bill, when signed by the President, will among other things, prohibit lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) and related activities.

It also places a jail term of up to five years on convicts.

Rev Opuni said just as the country’s forebears fought for independence, the Parliament of Ghana deemed it appropriate to protect family values with the passage of the bill, which coincided with the commemoration of the 28th February Crossroad shooting.

He said the bill had gon
e through various stages of consultations, discussions and debates, therefore, the President should not ‘break the cycle’.

‘All that we are asking the President is that he must assent to the bill as early as possible so that we celebrate 28th February both in Parliament and from the office of the President also.’

He said Ghana must not condone LGBTQ+ practices although it had been accepted in other nations.

He said the Church was not ‘a gathering of saints’ however; the quest to take a stand on LGBTQ emerged when other nations sought to ‘impose’ the practice, contrary to accepted social norms in Ghana.

‘We are not running away from the fact that all manner of sexual practices prevail in our country and in our churches, but if you ask us to make it part of our cultural norms, that is what we are taking about,’ he said.

Rev Opuni said President Akufo-Addo must not delay approval of the bill as there may be other partisan interpretations to the postponement.

‘At the moment, we have those who want to go to
court; that is part of our democratic right, but that should not stop us from working towards what we know would be helpful for us today and generations unborn,’ he emphasised.

Some opponents of the bill argued that it was against human rights, saying individuals should not serve prison terms for their sexuality.

Rev Opuni, responding to the sanctions the bill sought to impose, said specific clauses of the bill and other punishment modalities should be addressed by lawyers.

‘…We are saying that this is a national concern and the President must give it a national response as early as possible…We still plead with those who have ears of the President that he must move fast and sign so the process can continue; those who want to go to court can still go,’ he stressed.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Martha Inspires Foundation fetes vulnerable groups


Martha Inspires Foundation, a non-governmental organisation in Tamale, has feted about 250 vulnerable members of society to appreciate their resilience in contributing to community development.

The beneficiaries, including widows, single and expectant mothers, the aged and mothers of twins were served hot meals, assorted drinks, and pastries.

Some of them took home new and used clothes including pairs of sandals/shoes, bags, mini bags of rice, canned tomatoes, cooking oil, and detergents.

Health professionals were present to counsel them on pregnancy care, childbirth, family planning and general well-being of the aged.

The event was supported by the Universal Merchant Bank and other partners.

Miss Martha Anabila, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Martha Inspires Foundation, said it formed part of the organisation’s commitment to supporting the less endowed in society.

Most of the women had played significant roles in the development of their communities and families, she said, hence the importanc
e to show them love for their selflessness, sacrifice and resilience.

‘We don’t need any International Women’s Day or mothers’ day to celebrate women. They must be celebrated at every given opportunity because they deserve it,’ she said.

Hajia Alima Sagito-Saeed, the Executive Director, Savannah Women Integrated Development Agency – Ghana, said it was important for vulnerable groups to take advantage of every available opportunity to be productive and learn to support themselves.

‘Being widowed does not mean you cannot contribute meaningfully to support your family or community.’

She encouraged the beneficiaries to acquire employable skills to make some income to meet their basic needs.

Mr Adams Kadiri, the Assembly Member, Katariga Electoral Area in the Sagnarigu Municipality of the Northern Region, commended the NGO and partners for their consistent show of love to vulnerable groups in the area.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Daboase gets new divisional chief


Mr John Armooh, a building contractor, has been enstooled as the new Divisional Chief of Daboase in the Wassa East District of the Western Region.

He would occupy the stool, which had been vacant for the past 14 years with the name Nana Nyamfo Panyin II.

He took the oath of allegiance before the chiefs and people of Daboase at a durbar held at the market square in the community.

The ceremony was graced by traditional and religious leaders, security service officials, and people from the academia, among others.

Nana Panyin II, addressing the gathering after his installation, commended the people and elders for the trust reposed in him and pledged to promote peace and unity for development.

He said he would help the community to improve upon its health, education, sports and other infrastructure to enhance its standard of living.

Education, he said, was the bedrock for sustainable development and promised to ensure the youth acquired training, especially in technical and vocational education, for the requ
isite skills to better their lives.

On recreational activities, Nana Panyin mentioned the prioritisation of sports development through measures that would unearth the talents of the youth in the community.

Mr Oscar Tawiah Dadzie, an elder at the palace, expressed confidence that the new Divisional Chief would lead the people to realise the desired development for the community.

He, however, entreated Nana Panyin to rule his people with fairness and diligence and avoid indulging in partisan politics.

Madam Veronica Ntiako, a resident of Daboase, said: ‘We have never known him to be a man with bad behaviour, he is kind, God fearing and loves everyone’

‘May God grant him the wisdom to keep doing his good works for humanity.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Education is essential for human capital development – Mahama


Former President John Dramani Mahama said education is crucial to the country’s development, hence the sector attracts greater chunk of budgetary allocations by every government.

He said the sector continued to produce human resource capital for accelerated development, thus it was heartwarming when individuals committed their resources to complement the government’s efforts to educate the youth.

Mr Mahama said this on Saturday at the 40th Anniversary of the enstoolment of Togbe Dzegblade IV of Adaklu Kodzobi in an address delivered on his behalf by Mr Kwame Agbodza, the Member of Parliament of Adaklu.

He commended Togbe Dzegblade for setting up an educational fund to help brilliantl but needy students in the area.

The former President entreated students to take advantage of the Fund to upgrade themselves.

He said before the political dispensation chiefs were at the forefront of leadership who ensured the development of their communities.

Mr. Mahama said Togbe Dzegblade’s stay on the stool for 40 years
without chieftaincy disputes that translated into the rapid development of the community was commendable and congratulated him for the feat.

Togbe Gbogbi Atsa V, Paramount Chief and President of the Adaklu Traditional Council, said Togbe Dzegblade had helped to shape the fortunes of Adaklu across all spectrums of development.

‘I commend you for your hard work and excellent demonstration of neighbourliness that have helped to establish and maintain peaceful coexistence with other traditional areas,’ he stated.

Togbe Dzegblade, in his welcome address, gave a catalogue of development projects undertaken by the community without government’s assistance.

They included a 20-seater water closet toilet, classroom blocks, pipe borne water and a one-storey information Centre.

The Education Fund would not only support brilliant students but also those in apprenticeship and skills training, he said.

He said he would soon establish a Centre for Fabrication and Crafts Construction to sharpen the talents and skills of
the youth interested in those fields.

Professor Kenneth Egbadzor, the Head of Agriculture Science Department, Ho Technical University, who chaired the function, reminded the youth that the path to success was education and entreated them to prioritise it no matter how rough it might be.

Solidarity messages were delivered by the National Democratic Congress, University of Health and Allied Sciences, chiefs from other traditional areas, and religious leaders.

An 11-member board was inaugurated to run the Togbe Dzegblade Education Trust Fund.

Mr Mahama donated GHC10,000 in support of the Fund whilst Mr Agbodza also donated GHC5,000 in addition to the GHC20,000 he had earlier donated.

Present were Mr Ganyaglo, a former Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Mr Phanuel Kade Donkor, former DCE for Adaklu, heads of tertiary institutions and leaders of political parties.

Agboti Yao, a renowned artiste from Togo, entertained the gathering to good music.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Informal sector workers appeal for reduced interest rates on borrowing??


Participants at the Bank of Ghana’s sensitisation programme on banking services, consumer rights and responsibilities, have appealed to financial institutions to reduce interest rates on loans to stimulate business activities in the country.

They expressed concern over the ‘excessively high’ lending rates by banking and micro-finance institutions, making it difficult for entrepreneurs and young business owners to succeed in the business environment.

The objective of the programme, held in Sunyani, was to educate the public, particularly informal sector workers, on financial management to enhance their fiscal literacy to make informed decisions.

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The participants included artisans, traders, small and medium-scale enterprises owners, members of the garage association and social clubs drawn from Sunyani and its environs.

?During an open forum, Madam Yaa Abrafi, a hardware dealer, said the current interest rates were unaffordable for traders.

She questioned how business operators who took a loan at a 40 pe
r cent interest rate could possibly repay and generate profit for the growth of their businesses under such conditions.

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‘The high interest rates have led to the collapse of many businesses in the informal sector, because they struggled to meet their loan obligations and ultimately forced out of business,’ she said.

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Madam Abrafi, therefore, appealed to the BoG, being the financial regulator, to review the existing policies and laws to regulate interest rates in the public’s interest to help promote local businesses growth.

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She, nonetheless, commended the BoG for initiating and implementing the informative programme, and said it had enlightened participants on issues within the banking sector, which, hitherto, they had little knowledge of and hindering their financial progress.

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Reverend Kwasi Twum, the Chief Manager, Financial Stability Department at the Bank of Ghana, said interest rates were not regulated by the Bank of Ghana, clarifying that they were rather determined by the inter-play of ma
rket forces of demand and supply prevailing in the market.

He said the BoG had issued licenses to numerous financial institutions to operate, so it was the responsibility of business operators to identify those offering the most favourable lending rates that guaranteed easiest loan repayment to do business with.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Businessman granted Gh?100,000?bail?over alleged fraud?


The Tema Circuit Court B has granted Michael Opoku Ofori, a 32-year-old businessman, Gh?100,000.00 bail with two sureties, one of which is to be justified, for allegedly defrauding an online rice trader.

The Court, presided over by Mrs Klorkor Okai-Mills, granted him bail after he had pleaded not guilty to the two counts of defrauding by false pretense and issuing a false cheque.

Inspector Jacob Kuubal, prosecuting, told the court that the complainant, Mr Daniel Appertey, and his business partner Ms Patience Sitsope Zartey, were traders in local rice, while Ofori was a businessman who resided at Sakyikrom Nsawam.

He said on March 17, 2023, Ms Zartey was contacted by Ofori through his Facebook account under the name ‘Opoku Clef,’ expressing interest in purchasing some of her advertised local perfumed rice.

Ofori ordered 120 bags of the 25-kilogramme local perfumed rice at Gh?450.00 per bag, making a total of Gh? 54,000.00.

He then requested the WhatsApp number of the witness, which he was provided with.

Prosecution said Ofori later requested that the invoice for the intended purchase be issued in the name of Owusu Agyekum, but the traders requested an in-person meeting to enable them to show him samples of the rice.

They, therefore, agreed to meet at the East Legon Hisense building on the Lagos Avenue Road on March 28, 2023.

On the said date, the traders were picked at the agreed venue by a young man in a taxicab to meet with the accused person in a house that was under renovation.

Prosecution said Ofori received the rice sample and invoice from the complainant in front of the house with the excuse that he was unable to invite them into the house because of the construction works going on.

Instead, the accused person took them to the A and C Mall to have further conversations on the intended purchase and later requested for the bank account details of the complainant, to enable him to transfer the total sum of Gh? 54,000.00.

On March 30, Mr Appertey delivered the 120 bags of rice to Ofori at a different
house also in East Legon upon his directions, after which he (accused) gave the complainant a GCB bank deposit slip showing that he had made payment into his account.

Further police investigations revealed that the deposit was fraudulent and not honoured by the bank after three days, unfortunately, by that time, he had already taken delivery of the rice and had later blocked the phone number of the traders, prosecution said.

He said Ofori belonged to a bigger syndicate, which the police had been investigating and that their modus operandi was to make orders of products online and lure their victims into delivering the products to them at locations suggested by them.

He said after such deliveries were made, they made payment with cheque slips, which were always dishonoured due to a lack of funds.

Efforts are still underway to arrest Stephen Nana Boadi Danso, a key accomplice of Ofori, who is at large.

Source: Ghana News Agency