Government working to untie poverty knots in Central Region – Duncan

Gomoa Onyaadze (C/R)- Government has initiated processes to facilitate the economic emancipation of the Central Region as it seeks to untie its age-old poverty tag as the fourth poorest in the nation.

Mr Kwamena Duncan, the Regional Minister, said the move involves incentives to make the region the preferred investments destination and location for international investors.

This, he said, will return the most peaceful region of the nation onto the path of job creation, growth and prosperity for all.

He was speaking at separate durbars held at Komenda, Gomoa Onyaadze and Apam as part of activities of the four-day visit of President Nana Addo Danakwa Akufo-Addo to the Region.

He said with government’s resolve to seek for strategic investors to revive the Komenda sugar factory, the construction of Elmina Heritage Project and the inauguration of the 20 million dollars solar facility at Gomoa Onyaadze, fertile grounds have been prepared to attract investments and job creation.

Mr Duncan commended the Casa de Rosa Company for establishing a potato processing company at Gomoa Bewaadze to generate lots of jobs for the youth.

He urged the private sector to avail themselves and take advantage of government’s incentives for the rural industrialisation agenda under the ‘One District One Factory’ policy initiative.

He expressed optimism that government interventions to revive the private sector to play its meaningful role as the engine of growth was on course to achieve its aims.

He mentioned other social interventions as the free senior high school policy and restoration of the teacher and nursing trainee allowances, the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO), planting for food and jobs (PFJ) as part of efforts to bring economic relief to Ghanaians.

He rejected claims that the government was not doing enough to ameliorate the plights of Ghanaians, stating that the Akuffo-Addo led-government had managed the economy much better than the previous government.

Mr Duncan said the government’s economic team was working hard to strengthen the fundamentals of the country’s economy.

He rallied the support and commitment of the people to help reverse the wallowing trend of poverty and underdevelopment.

Mr Alan Kyerenmaten, Minister of Trade and Industry (MoTI), reassured the people of government’s readiness to live-up to its manifesto promise to establish one factory in every district.

He said government will not rush into establishing factories that would later become white-elephants but was putting in place measures to ensure their economic viability.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Tamale to host fourth National Policy Dialogue

Accra� The Fourth National Policy Dialogue, on the Government’s flagship programmes, has been scheduled for September 24 and 25, at the University for Development Studies in Tamale.

It will be on the theme: Assessing Government’s Flagship Programmes � The Journey so Far.

The Dialogue, which is being organised by the Government in partnership with the Universal Merchant Bank (UMB), would have the keynote address delivered by Vice President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

The opening ceremony would be chaired by Kpembewura Bismark Dari, the Paramount Chief of the Kpembe Traditional Area.

Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information Designate, at a press launch of the National Policy Dialogue on Monday in Accra, said as part of the Government’s efforts to be accountable to the people, the Fourth National Policy Dialogue would be dedicated to its flagship programmes and providing status report on them.

He said the areas to be looked at include the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (One Constituency, One Million Dollars), Free Senior High School � The Double Track System/Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET); One Village, One Dam; One District, One Factory; and the National Health Insurance Scheme.

He noted that during the conference, ministers of state responsible for the various flagship programmes would engage directly with stakeholders and provide status reports on them and also take feedback.

On Day One of the programme, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education, would speak on the topic; Free Senior High School for all Ghanaian Children � the Double Track SystemWhat it is and why.

Mr Alan John Kyerematen, the Minister of Trade and Industry, would present a status report on the One District, One Factory programme dubbed; Assessment of One District, One FactoryStatus of Implementation.

On Day Two, Dr Opoku Prempeh would again speak on the topic: Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Ghana, what is the success story so far and what are the next steps to enhance awareness creation and increase enrolment

Madam Mavis Hawa Koomson, the Minister of Special Development Initiatives, would speak on the topic: Assessment of One Village, One Dam initiativethe status of implementation so far.

She would also handle the topic: Assessment of the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP).

Mr Collins Ehwie, the Manager, Centre for Business, would speak on the topic: Financing Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Access to Funding.

Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, the Minister of Health, would present a status report on the NHIS; dubbed: Status of efforts to restructure the NHIS.

A Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection would give the status of the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) programme.

Each presentation would be followed by a panel discussion.

Mr Roland Akafia, the UMB Head of Public Private Partnership Incubator Centre, said they were very excited in partnering the Government in its efforts to take the National Policy Summit to the doorstep of the people; adding that this would enable the people to have a say in some of the policy programmes government was churning out.

He noted that the UMB was the first bank to pledge its support to assist government in the execution of its flagship programme; One District, One Factory.

He recounted that a couple of weeks ago, the UMB delivered on the first project � providing 10.7 million dollars for one of the flagship programmes of the Government.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Government pledges support towards building capacity of researchers

Accra- Mr John Peter Amewu, the Minister of Energy, on Monday pledged the Ministry’s support to build the competencies of researchers in order to undertake various researches into pressing national policies for optimal benefit to Ghanaians.

He noted that, for good government policies to succeed, there was the need to undertake research to garner inputs from experienced researchers.

Mr Amewu made the remarks at the establishment of the Environment and Natural Resource Research Unit (ENRRU) at the Department of Economics, University of Ghana, in Accra.

The ENRRU is intended to focus on high-quality policy-relevant research as well as research capacity building among decision- makers and academics.

My doors are open for discussions on how to make ENRRU succeed and I am happy to support this initiative within my capacity as the Energy Minister of the country, Mr Amewu assured.

The Minister said as a developing nation, endowed with significant amounts of renewable and non-renewable natural resources, there was the need to research into the rate of extinction of those natural resources, in order to keep decision-makers informed to safeguard the interest of the citizenry.

The development of our human capital, is a very intangible assets, in this regard, we will go a long way to optimising the policy decisions taken by government for the good people of Ghana.

As decision makers, though we have experts at our various sectors, we sometimes struggle when determining which policy directions to take due to inadequate high-quality policy-relevant researchers.

Based on that, I welcome the noble idea of having this Research Unit at the University, Mr Amewu assured.

The Minister cited the gaps in the country’s fisheries regulations coupled with inadequate enforcement of catch rules, which had created opportunities for foreign vessels to plunder the country’s fish stock with little benefit to Ghanaians.

Mr Amewu said over the years, the country had relied predominantly on hydropower, which is susceptible to drought; therefore, government was exploring avenues to improve the energy mix to ensure a reliable, adequate and sustainable energy supply for domestic use, as well as biomass and waste energy and wind power.

He said government had plans of promoting renewable energy among off-grid communities across the country.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Chieftaincy Ministry facilitates Christian pilgrimage

Accra- The Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs has facilitated the travelling of 200 Christian pilgrims to Israel.

The trip was also facilitated by the Ministry to ensure that Ghanaians who have always wanted to go to Israel embark on a safe and successful trip.

The nine-day trip is a religious one to enable the pilgrims pray for themselves, leaders of the country and the entire citizenry.

Mr Kofi Dzamesi, Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, addressing the pilgrims, said even though many people wanted to be part of the trip, only 200 were carefully selected to embark on the pilgrimage.

This, he said, was because over the years, the Ministry has received complaints from authorities in Israel where some Ghanaians who had gone on a pilgrimage decided to escape to stay and work after the pilgrimage and were jailed and deported later.

Mr Dzamesi said: Let me warn you that if you try to run away, you will be caught and arrested and Israeli prisons are worse than the Nsawam Prison.

Please be cautious too not to accept to look after anybody’s luggage even for a short while when you don’t know what is in that luggage, he said.

He said last year, 50 Christian pilgrims were given the privilege to go on the trip and 200 are travelling this year and hopefully about 1000 citizens would be allowed to travel next year.

He advised them to comport themselves adding that Nigeria facilitates the journey of 40,000 pilgrims to Israel every year, yet they comport themselves and return safely to their country.

Responding to whether government sponsored the trips, Mr Dzamesi told the Ghana News Agency that there is no sponsorship by Government. People have paid for themselves while some of them have been sponsored by others.

He said the opportunity to apply and embark on the trip was opened to the general public and the pilgrimage forms were sold across the country in Omnibank and the National House of Chiefs.

He said after requests from the beneficiaries were received, applicants were given dates for interview and the successful candidates were taken through some processes for the final trip.

Madam Akosua Frema Opare, Chief of Staff of the Presidency, told the beneficiaries to pray for the country.

She urged them to pray for the peace of the nation and renew themselves in order to be distinguished as true Christians upon their return.

Mrs Yvonne Anamzoya, a representative of the One People Travel Agency and a Coordinator of the trip, urged them to get to know each other in order and keep an eye on each other.

She said: When you get to the border line of Israel, they can ask you randomly, do you know this person? And if you can’t recognise the person but claim you are moving as a group, then it will not help.

She advised them to comport themselves because being given visas does not guarantee that they have free entry to Israel and urged them to comport themselves on the journey.

Source: Ghana News Agency

China’s Sichuan Province seeks sister-city ties with regions in Ghana

Chengdu (China)- The Sichuan Province in China, has stated its readiness to engage regions in Ghana in sister-city relations.

“We share similar socio-economic and cultural aspirations with the people of Ghana.

“It will be appropriate, therefore, to take advantage of our long-standing partnership to share development experiences and also explore business opportunities for the mutual benefit of the two countries,” Mr. Chen Weide, Director of the Information Office of the Provincial Government, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Chengdu, China.

This was at a dinner organised by the Provincial Government for some visiting Ghanaian media practitioners at Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan.

The visit was facilitated by the Ministry of Information and China International Publishing Group (CIPG) Training Centre.

It was in line with an on-site teaching programme to keep the media practitioners abreast with the administrative set-up, governance system, development trends and potentials of the Province.

Sichuan has a population of over 80 million, and is one of the major agricultural bases of China, contributing significantly to the agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of China.

Grains, including rice and wheat, are the major produces. Other commercial crops produce from this area are citrus, sugar cane, sweet potatoes, peaches and grapes.

Some important heavy industries ranging from coal, energy, iron to steel, as well as light industrial sector for wood, food and silk processing are found in the area.

Mr. Weide told the GNA that the Province’s nominal GDP for 2017 was 3.69 trillion yuan an equivalent of 53.9 billion US dollars, adding that, due to the area’s growing economic importance to China, the Central Government had stepped up infrastructural development of the area.

He observed that with its high technological advancement, the Provincial Government was ready to assist Ghana in the area of technology transfer.

“We know Ghana’s economy is agro-based, and this is one area the two countries can take advantage of, especially using scientific innovations to boost best agricultural practices for increased productivity,” Mr Weide said.

Ghana ranks second to Nigeria in yam production on the African continent, and also has in abundance fertile landscapes for other roots and tuber, as well as vegetable and grain production.

However, the country has consistently failed to reach its optimal agro-production level due to varied factors, including inadequate infrastructure, post-harvest losses, use of obsolete farming implements and lack of technical know-how in farming activities.

Mr. Kofi Ohene Benning, Acting Director in-charge of Human Resource at the Ministry of Information, who led the media team, said it was imperative that Ghana maximized investment in infrastructure, particularly in tourist sites to enhance domestic and international tourism.

He was of the view that the country had many interesting and historical landscapes and monuments, water bodies, including Lake Bosomtwe, a UNESCO-designated world heritage site, as well as castles and forts, and other museums of which the country could develop for economic growth.

Sichuan’s beautiful landscapes, well-structured traditional architectural planning and rich historical relics has also made the Province a major centre for tourism.

Source: Ghana News Agency