Merkel Wraps Up Africa Tour with Talk of Business, Migration

German Chancellor Angela Merkel wrapped up a tour of three African nations Friday. She said her goals during the visit were two-fold: to promote business ties with Germany and to curb the wave of migration from the continent to Europe.

But Merkel faces many other issues on the continent, analysts say: the rise of China, the declining image of the United States, and a still-festering wound in Namibia over Germany’s actions in that country more than 100 years ago.

Analyst Jakkie Cilliers of the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies notes that Merkel’s trip follows recent visits by French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

“So, in one sense, one could make the argument that Merkel is playing catch-up,” he told VOA. “But I actually think these [visits] reflect, to a large degree, real concerns in Germany about migration and, of course, radicalism and radical terrorism in West Africa.”

Merkel’s tour included stops in three of West Africa’s most vibrant economies: Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria. Nearly a dozen German CEOs keen on promoting business ties accompanied Merkel on her trip.

Cilliers also says that Merkel may be trying to fill a vacuum created by what he described as a “faltering” of U.S. leadership in the last two years.

“Africa is, in my view, an important pivot, a battleground in a certain way, about the future of rules-based order at a time when American leadership clearly is faltering,” he said. “So you can, in that context, make the argument that to a degree perhaps, Angela Merkel is partly stepping into the vacuum that has been left by the U.S. retreat.”

Merkel’s tour coincided with a major development in Berlin. Earlier this week, her government handed over the remains of indigenous Namibians killed by German forces in the early 1900s. German troops are believed have killed tens of thousands of indigenous Herero and Nama people after they revolted against colonial rule.

Vekuii Rukoro is the elected chief of the Herero people, who number about 400,000, and he attended the ceremony in Berlin. He says he welcomed the gesture.

“We feel happy that after more than 114 years we were able to bring back these remains, back home to the land of their ancestors, and reunite them with the spirits of the ancestors,” he told VOA.

But, he says, it’s not enough. His group is suing the German government in U.S. District Court in New York � which is home to a large concentration of expatriate Hereros � seeking an apology and group reparations.

Until Germany does more, he says, he sees no point in a visit from Germany’s chancellor.

“What would she come and do,” he said, “in the absence of them having acknowledged genocide, them having even issued an appropriate apology?”

Source: Voice of America

GHANA PRES AKUFO-ADDO LEAVES FOR CHINA AND RWANDA

ACCRA– President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, left Ghana on Thursday August 30, 2018, to lead a Ghanaian delegation for a State visit to the People’s Republic of China, at the invitation of President Xi Jinping.

The purpose of the visit is to deepen further the already strong relations that exist between Ghana and China, as well as explore other areas of co-operation to their mutual benefit, a statement issued by the Communications Bureau of the Presidency said.

Whilst in China, President Akufo-Addo will also attend the 3rd Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC), and address an investment forum of Ghanaian and Chinese business leaders, to be held in Shangdong Province.

Also, at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, President Akufo-Addo will, from the 6th to 7th September, participate in the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), being held on the theme Lead, Measure, Grow: Enabling new pathways to turn smallholders into sustainable agribusinesses.

The President will return to Ghana on Saturday, 8th September, 2018, and in his absence, the Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, shall, in accordance with Article 60(8) of the Constitution, act in his stead.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

UK MINISTER FOR AFRICA HARRIET BALDWIN VISITING GHANA

ACCRA– The British Minister of State for Africa and International Development, Harriett Baldwin, has arrived in Ghana for a working visit to Ghanaduring which is expected to call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Shirley Ayorkor Botchway.

The British High Commission in Aaccra said in a statement Wednesday that during her discussions with Ghanaian officials, Baldwin would be underlining Britain’s support for the president’s ambition to move Ghana “beyond aid”.

Baldwin is also expected to meet Alan Kyerematen, Ghana’s Minister of Trade and Industry, to discuss the creation of a UK-Ghana Business Council which would support economic diversification, industrialization and job creation; strengthen partnerships and deliver long-term prosperity for both countries.

Ahead of the visit, Baldwin said: The UK and Ghana have a long-standing friendship based on shared values and strong links between our people.

Under President Akufo-Addo, the country is making remarkable strides towards a Ghana ‘Beyond Aid’. The UK continues to support this vision, which is why we are moving towards a modern partnership for prosperity and growth for both of our countries, by unlocking new opportunities for businesses and investment.

The statement said the Minister would visit Blue Skies Factory in which CDC, the UK’s development finance institution, had invested, to see the importance of private investment in boosting Ghanaian business and how the company had developed a successful business model that could be replicated across Ghana.

It said the fruit factory now employed more than 3,500 Ghanaians and supported many small businesses through its supply chain.

The statement said during her visit, the Minister would announce the UK’s new 20 million pounds Jobs and Economic Transformation (JET) Programme. Over the next six years, the JET Programme would create over 15,000 jobs for Ghanaians and was expected to facilitate over Pound 50 million of additional private sector investment that would drive Ghana’s economic transformation.

It said the Minister would also announce a three-day UK-Ghana Investment Summit to be held in Accra this October. The Summit would bring more than 50 British flagship companies and major investors together to seek new commercial opportunities in Ghana that would support economic growth in Government of Ghana priority sectors such as financial and legal services, agro-processing, light manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Poor electrical wiring leads to high electricity bills-Electrical Engineer

Accra- Reverend David Amoah, an Electrical and Telecommunication Engineer of Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has stated that bad electrical wiring causes electrical leakages, which leads to increase in energy consumption and unexpected hike in the electricity bill.

He explained that when the wiring was full of joints, under size cable and over aged wiring , the insulation property worn out, which created heat in the system and caused the meter to read fast, leading to high payment of electricity bills.

Rev Amoah said this on Thursday at the launch of his book titled Get It Right Engineering Guide for Electricity Consumers, in Accra.

The 78-pag book has seven chapters with topics such as introduction to electricity, electrical wiring and who qualifies to do wiring, energy meter, getting electricity to your premises, pre-payment meters and energy consumption and safety.

He said the book was to educate consumers of electricity on how electrical charges were formed to produce electricity and also enabled consumers to appreciate how electricity was generated, distributed and used by the gadgets.

He said electrical wiring whether for residential, commercial or industrial project must be carefully installed and maintained to provide safety to persons and property.

Rev Amoah, who is also the Senior Pastor of the Power and Glory Ministry International, Dansoman posited poor electrical wiring is expensive to maintain and also causes fire outbreaks, leading to lives and property.

He said the Electrical Wiring Regulations, 2011, L.I.2008 provides a guideline on who qualifies to undertake electrical wiring in the country.

Rev Amoah stated that regulation seven states that a person shall not undertake electrical wiring on premises unless that person is certified by a licensed electrical distribution utility company or a recognised firm appointed by the Energy Commission.

He said the book exposed consumers to the functions of the three main power sector companies in the country-the Volta River Authority Limited, the Ghana Grid Company Limited and the Electricity Company of Ghana Limited.

The Author stated that the book sought to correct errors and mistakes encountered in electrical wiring and the importance of proper wiring and who were mandated by law to carry out house or industry wiring.

He advised the public to always engage the services of a professional electrician certified by ECG, since most of the frequent fire outbreaks in the markets and houses were caused by poor electrical wiring.

Mr Seth Dekpor, the Acting General Manager of Accra East ECG advised the public especially ECG staff to buy the book and upgrade their knowledge on the operations of the company and apply them in their field of work.

He said the book was simplified to the understanding of all and encouraged electricity customers to get a copy to understand electrical issues and safety to be free from any electrical challenges.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Denkyembour District Assembly nursing 30,000 oil palm seedlings

Akwatia (E/R)� The Denkyembour District Assembly is nursing 30,000 oil palm seedlings for farmers to expand their oil palm farms and also for those who want to participate in the production of palm fruits and palm oil.

Addressing the District Assembly at Akwatia, Mr Seth Birikorang Ofosu, the District Chief Executive, said the assembly is determined to expand the production of oil palm and ultimately make the district a major producer of palm oil in the country.

He said the project would also build a raw material base for the establishment of a palm oil factory in the district.

The DCE said under the modernization of agriculture programme, the core mandate of the assembly is to promote agriculture in the district through training and sensitization of farmers on modern agriculture technologies.

The training and sensitizations, he said, would help increase crop and livestock production and improve the living standard of all players in the agricultural value chain in the district.

The Department of Agriculture has organized 10 outreach programmes and 20 farmers training so far this year.

Mr Ofosu said the District Assembly would not achieve its development agenda without sufficient revenue.

He said as at June 30, this year, the assembly has been able to mobilize an amount of GH350,163.38 out of the estimated revenue of GH604,759.80 for the first six months, representing 57.70 per cent.

Mr Ofosu said though this was a commendable effort, there was room for improvement and expressed the hope that as the year proceeds, the figure would rise.

Mr Ofosu said the Assembly has received 178 applications for the National Builders Corps (N A B C O) initiative which seeks to help solve graduate unemployment adding that letters would soon be issued to qualified applicants to begin work.

Source: Ghana News Agency