NPP has a proven track record of development in Ashanti region – Isaac Osei

Mr Isaac Osei, Board Chairman of the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority, says the NPP has a proven track record of infrastructural development in the Ashanti region.

He said the Ashanti region, considered as the stronghold of the NPP, had never been neglected in terms of development projects, as was being falsely propagated by the opponents of the party.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Kumasi, Mr Osei, who is also a former Member of Parliament for Subin, pointed out that, the NPP had made significant strides in providing infrastructural development, which was helping to improve the living conditions of the people in the region.

He highlighted the extensive projects and policy interventions which had been implemented by the NPP government and said the NPP had contributed immensely to the development of Ashanti region than any other political party.

‘The government of President Akufo-Addo and Dr Bawumia has done a lot in the Ashanti region and all over the place.

Whether you are talking
about infrastructure or the number of people who have passed through school as a result of the new policy on education by the government, it is obvious that this government has done great things here, he said.

Mr Osei, who was also a former Ghana’s High Commission to the United Kingdom, cited the recent opening of the Kumasi International Airport and ongoing works at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, as prime examples of the government’s commitment to the region.

‘This government, I think has been fantastic for the people of Ashanti.

We know that it is not just Ashanti.

All over the country, the NPP government is going to work and work very hard to ensure that we deliver a victory for the NPP and that we have Dr Bawumia as our next President,’ he stated.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Stakeholders call for review of appointment of MMDCEs, Assembly members

Stakeholders at a training workshop on National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) held in Ho have reiterated the need to review the selection of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and Assembly members into local governance structure.

They debated on whether MMDCEs and Assembly members should be elected on partisan basis, with some participants arguing that election of MMDCEs would end their perennial rejection by Assembly members and do away with the system where nominees give huge ‘envelopes’ before approval.

Some of the participants said the current situation placed a lot of financial burden on the nominee MMDCEs, who ‘would do everything possible to recoup his or her money spent during the process.’

Others argued that once the candidate had been elected by the electorate, the canker would cease.

However, other participants disagreed with the suggestion of electing the MMDCEs, arguing that the status quo had to remain.

Arguing in favour of election of Assembly members, Mr.
Cletus Chevure, Kadjebi District Coordinating Director, said ‘we cannot continue pretending that assembly members don’t campaign on partisan basis’ although Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution bars them from doing so.

He said even during District Assembly Sittings, debates were at times held on partisan line, which was not supposed to be and that electing them on partisan basis would end all the pretenses.

Madam Victoria Dzeklo, the Presiding Member (PM), South Tongu District Assembly, contributing, said ‘it is time we elected MMDCEs’.

‘This will prevent the President’s nominee from paying heavy amount to assembly members for his confirmation’, she said.

Madam Dzeklo, however, disagreed with the idea of electing assembly members on partisan line because ‘it is the only opportunity for Ghanaians who do not belong to any political party to also join or participate freely or openly in choosing their community leaders.’.

Mr. Derek Adzoe, the Presiding Member of Hohoe Municipal Assembly, contributing, dis
agreed on the election of MMDCEs as ‘there will be sabotage of government policies and programmes at the local levels, especially if the Chief Executive elected is not a member of the ruling government’.

On Assembly members election, he said ‘assembly members are the agents of development in their electoral areas. They are to unite their electorates for development projects when they are elected on partisan grounds, they can’t lobby if their government is not in power.’

Meanwhile, a Centre for Democratic Development survey in 2021 shows that 76 per cent of Ghanaians favour the election of MMDCEs with only 20 per cent wanting them to be appointed by the President.

It noted that while two-thirds of respondents (71 per cent) say they prefer MMDCEs elected on non-partisan election format like that used in local government councilor’s election, only 20 per cent opted for a partisan election format.

The reasons for the preference for non-partisan election format for MMDCEs included ensuring competent persons ge
t elected (29%), promotion of inclusivity/forestalling winner takes all challenges (22%), prevention of partisan influences/conflicts (21%) and promotion of transparency and accountability (1.9%).

Among those calling for partisan election of MMDCEs, the majority believe the current format for local government election had been tainted by partisan influences and must be opted up to promote public interest in local elections.

Others (1.9 %) think it would promote responsiveness and development, ensure that competent persons get elected, promote transparency, and enable citizens to exact accountability from political parties.

President, Akufo-Addo in 2019 initiated two bills, seeking to achieve two major local gove

President authority to appoint MMDCEs to make these position electives and to hold a referendum to seek citizens support to amend the Article 55(3) of the Constitution.

However, in December 2019, the referendum was suspended for lack of broad national consensus, forcing the Attorney-General to wi
thdraw the bill.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Baffour Awuah urges Governments to advance social justice towards renewed social contract

Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Minister of Employment, Labour Relations and Pensions, has urged Governments across the globe to advance social justice towards a renewed social contract in order to ensure social development that leaves no one behind.

Social contract is where people live together in society inaccordance with an agreement that establishes moral and political rules of behavior.

‘Our renew social contracts must embrace diversity, ensure inclusivity and promote social cohesion,’ Mr Baffour Awuah made the appeal in his address at the 112th Session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Ministry of Employment, labour Relations and Pensions, made a copy of the video recording of the Minister’s speech available to the Ghana News Agency.

The Conference, which officially commenced from Monday, 3rd June, to Friday, 14th June, is being held on two premises: the Palais de Nation and the ILO Headquarters.

The ILC is the highest decision-making body of the International Labo
ur Organisation (ILO) and is held annually in June to advance the core mandate of the ILO.

The Conference brings together all tripartite delegations from the ILO’s 187 Member States and observers from other international actors to discuss topics related to the world of work.

Mr Baffour Awuah said social contracts between governments, workers and employers had always been an anchor of sustainable development, however, the unprecedented challenges caused by technological advancement, demographic shift, climate change and geopolitical tension had put in jeopardy the benefits governments derive from social contracts with their people.

He urged governments all over the world to create avenues that promote access to fair employment opportunities and adequate social protection systems.

He noted that Ghana had taken substantial stripes in promoting inclusion employment opportunities for all its citizens through interventions such as the National Employment Policy, Social Protection Policy, and the National Youth

The Minister said the Government of Ghana was transforming the lives of its people with focus on the youth, who were the future.

He reiterated that the Ghana’s Labour Act, which was being reviewed, would also provide additional protection for all actors in the world of work.

He said the ILO had been instrumental in the review of Ghana’s Labour Act by offering both technical and financial support throughout the process.

‘On this august occasion, the Government of Ghana reiterates its profound gratitude to the ILO as this gesture reinforces our commitment to the promotion of tripartism, and social dialogue,’ Mr Baffour Awuah stated.

‘We are confident that the Bill, when passed into law, will deal comprehensively with the varying decent work deficits that characterise the employment sector.

‘While issues of child labour, force labour, irregular labour migration and unfair labour practices will be address more comprehensively.’

Mr Baffour Awuah said provisions would also be introduced to cater for
the digital economy.

This, he said was necessary considering that Artificial Intelligence (AI) was causing a shift in how they work, and the types of jobs organisations were engaging in; saying ‘we must recognize that AI will not dismiss labour but complement it to enhance productivity in a competitive ecosystem’.

He said the government of Ghana would leverage AI and institute appropriate regulatory framework to maximize its benefits and to improve decent work in the world of work.

Mr Baffour Awuah reaffirmed Ghana’s commitment towards a renewed social contract where effective partnerships and cooperations would be central.

‘Collectively, we will overcome the challenges facing the labour market, promote inclusive growth and create a better future for all,’ he added.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Don’t meddle in Ghana’s electoral process, Burkinabe community told

Madam Justina Owusu-Banhene, the Bono Regional Minister has advised the Burkina Faso Community in the country not to meddle in the nation’s politics as Election 2024 gather momentum.

Nationals from Burkina Faso must not interfere in Ghana’s electoral processes ahead of the December 7, Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, the Regional Minister stated when Mr David Kabre, the Burkina Faso Ambassador to Ghana paid a courtesy call on her in Sunyani.

Madam Owusu-Banahene said although some Burkina Faso nationals had stayed in Ghana for years, their years of stay did not permit them to involve themselves in Ghana’s electoral processes.

She said the Election 2024 remained crucial and that the government and election stakeholders were doing everything possible to conduct a peaceful election and consolidate the gains of the country’s democracy.

Madam Owusu-Banahene said a violent free election would further pave the way for the Burkina Faso national to carry on and continue with their stay and economic activi
ties in the country, hence the need for them to support to sustain and strengthen the prevailing peace of the nation.

‘The country requires absolute peace and social cohesion for economic activities to progress and we need your support in that regard,’ she told the Ambassador.

Mr Kabre emphasised the embassy’s commitment to strengthening the bilateral relations between Burkina Faso and Ghana for mutual benefit.

He added his visit was to enable him to acquaint himself and explore the economic potential of the Bono Region.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Minority request urgent Committee of the Whole Meeting with EC

The Minority Caucus in Parliament has requested an urgent Committee of the Whole Meeting with the Electoral Commission (EC).

The Committee of the Whole is a meeting where both caucuses converge to discuss issues of national interest, usually behind closed doors without the media.

‘Mr Speaker, the NDC Minority Caucus want to use this forum to demand an urgent committee of the whole to iron out grave concerns with the Electoral Commission before it is too late.

‘It is therefore imperative that Parliament calls the Electoral Commission to order to save democracy and protect the peace and stability of our dear country,’ the Minority Leader said.

Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, the Minority Leader made the request when he delivered his welcome address to the House on Tuesday.

Parliament reconvened on Tuesday for the Third Meeting of the Fourth Session of the Eighth Parliament.

Dr Forson explained that the Caucus’s request would serve as a Parliamentary oversight on the EC to prevent actions that would undermine any d
emocratic process, to ensure peace and stability in the country.

The Minority Leader’s request was a result of him criticising the EC for its recent decisions, including the alleged barring and subsequent reversal of political party agents from the ongoing voter transfer process.

According to Dr Forson, the EC lacked the independence to make such ‘dangerous and outrageous’ decisions adding that ‘the Minority will not permit the EC to make decisions that could jeopardize the country’s democracy.’

He called for immediate actions to resolve the cited issues and safeguard the integrity of the electoral process.

‘Mr Speaker, while we acknowledge that the Electoral Commission is an independent body, it must be pointed out in no uncertain terms to the Electoral Commission that it does not have the independence to make dangerous, ridiculous and outrageous decisions that can affect the peace and stability of our country and this democracy,’ Dr Forson said on the Floor of the House.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Speaker Bagbin tasks Committee to table report on Affirmative Action Bill before plenary

Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has tasked the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to present and lay its report on the Affirmative Action and Gender Equality Bill, 2023, before plenary.

‘This meeting is thus tight and challenging. That notwithstanding, Parliament is called upon to consider some critical legislation, motions, agreements and oversight responsibilities to deepen the democratic culture and to ensure a smooth transition to the Ninth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.’

Speaker Bagbin tasked the committee on the resumption of the House from the Easter Recess; for the Third Meeting of the Fourth Session of the Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.

‘The agenda for this meeting, therefore, includes urgent legislations for consideration. These are, and I will just mention a few – the Affirmative Action (and Gender Equality) Bill, 2023. Committee, this week, we want the report to be presented and laid, you have no excuse. This time around, you have
no excuse.’

The Speaker also cited the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana (Amendment) Bill, 2021; the International Business or Economic Transactions, Bill, 2024; the Parliamentary Transition Bill, and the Budget Bill, as part of the 19 Bills at various Committee stages.

Touching on the Parliamentary Transition Bill, Speaker Bagbin said the Bill was a very critical Bill for the august House to consider; saying ‘and we need to get it through, so that we can have a better transitional arrangement put in place for the Ninth Parliament of the Fourth Republic’.

Speaker Bagbin said the over 80 Bills yet to be presented to the House might have to be considered in due course.

He said five instruments were before Committees, 72 more to be presented, 149 papers before various Committees, 59 more to be presented and some agreements, lined up to be passed or approved.

He noted that copies of the agenda of the meeting would be given to every member of the House.

‘This meeting is however proposed to end with the m
onth of July, unless otherwise decided by the House. The weight of business to be considered by the House at this meeting is clearly immeasurable,’ he stated.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ken Agyapong joins Bawumia’s campaign tour to electrify atmosphere at Suame

Mr Kennedy Agyapong, the Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Tuesday joined Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, the New Patriotic Party’s Flagbearer, on his campaign tour of Suame – reinvigorating the political mood in the Ashanti Region

According to an official press release issued to the Ghana News Agency, the ‘charismatic MP made a grand entrance in Suame, a key industrial and commercial hub in Kumasi, thus, significantly boosting the morale of the Party’s supporters.’

‘The electrifying presence of Mr Agyapong is positive for the Party’s quest to win the December 7 polls, as he addressed the enthusiastic crowd gathered in Suame,’ it said.

With his usual his fiery oratory style and vitality, Mr Agyapong is said to have set the stage for Dr. Bawumia to address the audience with his message of optimism.

The NPP Flagbearer warmly welcomed Mr Agyapong to the campaign tour, emphasising the importance of unity within the Party to achieve the common goal of winning the 2024 Election.

Vice President Bawumia h
ighlighted his plans to continue driving economic growth, enhance technological infrastructure, and create job opportunities in the Ashanti Region and across the country.

‘As a testament to their camaraderie and shared vision, Dr.Bawumia extended an invitation to Mr Agyapong to visit Suame Magazine, the largest industrial area in Kumasi, known for its vibrant auto repairs and engineering businesses,’ the release said.

The Suame Magazine symbolises the industrious spirit of the Ashanti people.

The visit aimed to underscore the commitment of the party to support local industries and small businesses, the release said.

‘The appearance of both Dr. Bawumia and Mr Agyapong in Suame has undoubtedly galvanised support among the Party’s supporters and sympathisers, setting a positive tone for the ongoing campaign,’ it said.

‘The duo coming together to campaign after they competed for the Party’s flagbearership slot has exemplified the collaborative spirit within the Elephant family and their collective ambition t
o drive Ghana towards a brighter future.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Parliament marks 14th African Border Day

Parliament on Wednesday, marked the 14th African Border Day, which aims at sensitising stakeholders on the role of borders in promoting peace, security, and stability on the continent.

In line with the African Union’s theme for the year 2024 of Education, the theme for this year’s African Border Day celebration is ‘Educate an African Fit for the 21st Century: Building Resilient Education Systems for Increased Access to Inclusive, Lifelong, Quality and Relevant Learning in Africa’. Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, who read a statement on the floor of the House to mark the statutory commemoration, said: ‘As we mark the 14th African Border Day, we salute the hard work and dedication of all who continue to work tirelessly towards safe and secure boundaries in Africa’.

‘Our special appreciation goes to the Ghana Boundary Commission, under the leadership of its Coordinator, Major General Emmanuel W. Kotia, and all the
ir partners, for their invaluable contributions towards safeguarding our boundaries and promoting regional stability.’

Mr Jinapor reiterated the profound words of Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, that ‘Africa is one continent, one people and one nation,’ and we must continue to inspire Africans, and lead them to recommit themselves to the ideals of unity, solidarity, and cooperation that underpin the African Union, while recognizing that their borders were not barriers to be feared but bridges to be crossed in pursuit of a shared future of peace, prosperity, and progress for all Africans.

June 7, every year, has been set aside to commemorate African Borders, to create awareness and celebrate the existence and significance of borders.

Since its inception in 2010, the Day has, also, been used to highlight the essence of the African Union Border Programme (AUBP) to peace, regional, and continental integration, as well as progress made in border management.

Mr Jinapor noted that following the adopti
on of the African Union Convention on Cross-Border Cooperation, also known as the ‘Niamey Convention,’ in June 2014, the Day had also been used to highlight the significance of the Convention, as a crucial framework for integrated border governance and cross-border cooperation.

‘Mr Speaker, since the partitioning of our continent, beginning with the infamous Berlin Conference of 1884, Africa has been left with porous borders that have been the source of several governance-related conflicts in individual states and across regions,’ he said.

‘As we work towards building and promoting unity, peace, security and trade across on the continent we are reminded of the vital role of international boundaries in shaping our collective identity and fostering regional integration and cooperation.’

He reiterated the crucial significance of educating citizens, particularly those living along border communities, about the importance of land and maritime boundaries and their role as stakeholders for safeguarding our intern
ational boundaries.

Mr Jinapor said the Ghana Boundary Commission had, over the years, worked tireless reaffirm and safeguard the nation’s international boundaries, to ensure that Ghana’s territorial sovereignty was always protected.

He said the Commission had led efforts to promote peaceful co-existence with our neighbours through regular sensitisation and cross-border activities with neighbouring countries.

The Minister said the work of the Commission in upholding international law to resolve boundary disputes through peaceful cooperation had been recognised across the continent, several other countries engaging the Commission to learn from them.

Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin remarked that borders were really barriers, but it was up to the Boundary Commissions to translate them into bridges.

He directed the Leadership of the House to fix a Committee of the Whole Meeting of the House with the Ghana Boundary Commission.

This, he said, was to enable the House to receive briefing on the activities
of the Commission.

Mr Dominic Nitiwul, the Minister of Defence and New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla, in his contribution to the statement, commended the Ghana Boundary Commission for the good works they were doing.

He urged the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources to ensure that the Commission was well equipped with human resources.

Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, the Deputy Minority Leader, and National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Ellembele, reiterated the need for a borderless Africa.

Mr Ahmed Ibrahim, NDC MP for Banda, said the Ghana Boundary Commission Act 795 was passed by Parliament in 2010 under late President John Evans Atta Mills while the Commission itself was set-up under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

In attendance to observe proceedings of the House was Major General Emmanuel W. Kotia, Coordinator, Ghana Boundary Commission, and his team of staff.

Source: Ghana News Agency

NDC has no room for nation wreckers

Leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has cautioned its members against any act of creating a looting brigade in government.

It said being in power was about bringing sustainable development to the citizenry and not making the few in power rich.

Speaking at the 32nd Anniversary of the Party and a flag raising ceremony, Mr Fiifi Fiavi Kwetey, General Secretary, said, an NDC government would have to reset the tone on how to learn to be selfless, patriotic, ensure value for money and accountable to the people. 

He said the key pillars of the NDC were ‘Unity, Stability and Development’ therefore, thus the Party would govern and unite the masses, create a stable and prosperous economy and deliver sector by sector development when given power.

Mr Kwetey, a former two-term Member of Parliament for Ketu South, said, such goals could be achieved through commitments and sacrifices as demonstrated by some past and present cadres. 

He said: ‘Cadres may go, cadres may come, but the revolution of good g
overnance, development, probity, accountability and integrity have come to stay and, therefore, the Party must be sacrosanct.’ 

‘We must ensure this Party becomes stronger and not have people in government whose thinking is how much money can we make. It must always be Ghana ahead of the Party and Party ahead of individuals,’ the former MP said. 

Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, Chairman, NDC, urged party members to continue with their task of working to win the 2024 general election.

The NDC’s formation came about after a group of nationalists and revolutionists had gone through party formation processes and gotten founders in all 110 districts and 10 regions in 1992 under the leadership of Yusufu Ali. 

They gathered at the Art Centre to accept the interim certificate the Electoral Commission gave them on June 10, 1992, to form a political party.

Meanwhile, the permanent certificate was given to the NDC on July 27, 1992.

Source: Ghana News Agency