Chief of Akoase places a ban on the uttering of curses

Akoase (E/R),- Osabarima Gyasi Boateng Aduako II, the chief of Akoase, has stated that any member of the community who would utter a curse on his neighbour would be fined GH2,000.00, a bottle of schnapp and a sheep.

The decision was to end the rampant deaths facing the people especially the youths and to promote socio- economic activities of the people in the area.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Akoase in the Birim North District, he said the community for years did not have a substantive chief to rule them, hence the reckless attitudes of some inhabitants.

He said since he was enstooled as a chief, it is his intension to ensure that stringent rules and regulations are put in place to guide the people so as to enhance development of the area.

As part of his short term projects, he said, he has donated educational materials in terms of school bags, pens and books to over 20 schools in the area with the aim of increasing enrolment.

Osabarima Aduako II said plans are far advanced to build more schools in the community and currently what is taking place is the free extra classes for students to prepare them for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

He said he has awarded all accessible roads for contract and work would soon begin.

Upgrading of the health centre, he said, has been his major priority, adding that he had reconnected the health centre to the national grid and donated chairs to aid their services.

To ensure good good sanitation practices among his people, he donated about 40 dustbins and place them at vantage points of the community.

Osabarima Aduako II pledged of his continuous support in ensuring the comfort of community members by entreating them to let peace and unity prevail amongst them to help bring development to the area.

Source: Ghana News Agency

FDA Governing Board tour Volta Regional borders

Accra,- The Governing Board of the FDA has expressed concern about the existence of illegal land routes through which some unregulated products are brought into the country.

This call follows a tour to the Volta Region by members of the Governing Board to familiarize themselves with activities at the Aflao and Akanu borders as well as some of the unapproved routes of entry.

At the Aflao border, the members were welcomed and given a briefing by Mr Nathan Tetteh Quaye Jnr, the Aflao sector Commander of Customs Division of GRA.

The Commander highlighted on the illegal activities going on and expressed concern of the inadequate human resource capacity available.

He singled out smuggling as a major activity, which must be guarded against.

Mr Tetteh Quaye praised the level of inter-agency collaboration among NACOB, FDA, GSA, Ghana Immigration Service and CEPS, which has led to the seizure of large quantities of products such as food stuffs, medicines, cosmetics, clothes among others some of which were suspected to be substandard or fake.

He called on the FDA to set up a laboratory at the border to help test products entering so as to ensure protection of public health and safety.

The Commander commended the police and navy amongst others who have assisted in ensuring the minimization of smuggling through the sea and river routes.

Continuing the tour, the Governing Board was taken to some of the unapproved routes – Beat One, Beat 9 and Pillar 13.

After visiting the three unapproved routes and informed of about 17 more of such routes, the Board said there is an urged need for government to intervene to ensure either a complete closure of such routes or strict monitoring.

The existence of such unmanned illegal routes makes it easy for unregistered products to enter the country, putting the lives of consumers at risk.

This calls for increased market surveillance activities to ensure the protection of consumers.

Source: Ghana News Agency

IATI strengthens its resolve to address poverty

Accra,- The International Aid Transparency Institution (IATI) is to strengthen its resolve to address poverty by making information about aid spending easier to access, use and understand.

Mr Theo van de Sande, IATI Governing Chair, said the institution was doing its best to make their efforts worthwhile in order to help achieve the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda.

Mr van de Sande said this at the product presentation of finalists of the Hackathon competition in Accra.

Hackathon is a design sprint-like event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, and others, often including subject-matter-experts, collaborate intensively on software projects.

The event was organised by the Africa Open Data and Internet Research Foundation, in partnership with the IATI and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The event follows a hacking competition that was launched last month, where young Ghanaian ethical hackers were tasked to make use of, and analyse open data that could affect decision making in the country, positively.

Competitors were in groups of four and made use of open data available online, on various sectors in the country including the agriculture and energy sectors by making projections and developing problem solving applications based on their analysis.

The finalists were judged based on innovativeness, uniqueness, how user friendly their inventions were, as well as how they considered data protection issues.

Mr van de Sande said the only way to reach anywhere near the SDGs or improve situations was to enrich and strengthen standards all the time.

“We have done a good job over the last 10 years and we can do better,” he said.

He said the AITI would cooperate with other suppliers of data to see whether it could strengthen its platform.

Madam Radhika Lal, UNDP Economic Advisor to Ghana and The Gambia, who chaired the function, charged the competitors to make the data they gather and analyse, speak.

‘It is important to combine different data sets to make them speak, thereby giving a clear visualization of the issues,” she said.

She added that there needed to be much more dialogue with the municipal and district assemblies, as regards feedback on issues bothering on open data.

The teams were tasked by a panel of three judges to take to gather data from different sources and put them to use to get the most efficient and supporting solutions possible.

Which means that if adequate data was gathered, computing resources and algorithms can be used to transform them to be meaningful to decision makers.

The first team analysed open data on the Electricity Company of Ghana’s electricity usage by regions, deducing that the Western Region had the lowest number of customers, but the highest number as regards consumption.

The second group look at the agricultural sector, focusing on how waste from harvested plants could be recycled and used for animal feed and manure.

The Third group also analysed open data on the agricultural sector but focused on how farmers and farms can be beneficial to each other, hence being interdependent.

The three teams were each awarded a prize of G,000.00.

Source: Ghana News Agency

IATI strengthens its resolve to address poverty

Accra,- The International Aid Transparency Institution (IATI) is to strengthen its resolve to address poverty by making information about aid spending easier to access, use and understand.

Mr Theo van de Sande, IATI Governing Chair, said the institution was doing its best to make their efforts worthwhile in order to help achieve the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda.

Mr van de Sande said this at the product presentation of finalists of the Hackathon competition in Accra.

Hackathon is a design sprint-like event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, and others, often including subject-matter-experts, collaborate intensively on software projects.

The event was organised by the Africa Open Data and Internet Research Foundation, in partnership with the IATI and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The event follows a hacking competition that was launched last month, where young Ghanaian ethical hackers were tasked to make use of, and analyse open data that could affect decision making in the country, positively.

Competitors were in groups of four and made use of open data available online, on various sectors in the country including the agriculture and energy sectors by making projections and developing problem solving applications based on their analysis.

The finalists were judged based on innovativeness, uniqueness, how user friendly their inventions were, as well as how they considered data protection issues.

Mr van de Sande said the only way to reach anywhere near the SDGs or improve situations was to enrich and strengthen standards all the time.

“We have done a good job over the last 10 years and we can do better,” he said.

He said the AITI would cooperate with other suppliers of data to see whether it could strengthen its platform.

Madam Radhika Lal, UNDP Economic Advisor to Ghana and The Gambia, who chaired the function, charged the competitors to make the data they gather and analyse, speak.

‘It is important to combine different data sets to make them speak, thereby giving a clear visualization of the issues,” she said.

She added that there needed to be much more dialogue with the municipal and district assemblies, as regards feedback on issues bothering on open data.

The teams were tasked by a panel of three judges to take to gather data from different sources and put them to use to get the most efficient and supporting solutions possible.

Which means that if adequate data was gathered, computing resources and algorithms can be used to transform them to be meaningful to decision makers.

The first team analysed open data on the Electricity Company of Ghana’s electricity usage by regions, deducing that the Western Region had the lowest number of customers, but the highest number as regards consumption.

The second group look at the agricultural sector, focusing on how waste from harvested plants could be recycled and used for animal feed and manure.

The Third group also analysed open data on the agricultural sector but focused on how farmers and farms can be beneficial to each other, hence being interdependent.

The three teams were each awarded a prize of G,000.00.

Source: Ghana News Agency

CSIR-STEPRI urges Ghanaians to reject misconceptions on GMOs

Accra,- Dr Richard Ampadu-Ameyaw, a Senior Research Scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (CSIR -STREPRI), has discredited various misconceptions about Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) foods.

He, therefore, urged Ghanaians to kick against misconceptions about GMOs.

GMO is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques or biotechnology.

GMOs are used to produce many medications and genetically modified foods and are widely used in scientific research and the production of other goods.

Dr Ampadu-Ameyaw said one unfortunate thing was that scientists do not go ahead with the biotechnology but rather allowed people who did not understand the concept of the technology to go out there misinforming the masses and creating lots of misconceptions.

Mr Ampadu-Ameyaw said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of the “Ask About Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) Engagement” with the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) held in Accra.

The forum, which was organised by the Alliance for Science Ghana, sought to create a platform for farmers, scientists, journalists and students to have an encounter with officials of the NBA.

Among the objectives of the forum was to create an avenue for the public to have an engagement with officials of the National Biosafety Authority which is the government institution tasked with regulating agricultural biotechnology and GMO foods.

Dr Ampadu-Ameyaw said: “At the mention of GMOs, most people think is all about chemicals, but rather the GMO products were coming to reduce agro-chemical spray”.

He said the GMO was not a one-side fit all as such it was to be looked at case by case; and cited an example where the Bacillus thuringiensis, (Bt) cowpea was likely to be different from the ‘Golden Rice’ that had been released in Australia.

Dr Ampadu-Ameyaw, who noted that the (Bt) cowpea was actually to control maruca disease; also called on the Government to support science research in the country.

Mr Davies Korboe, the 2009 National Best Farmer, said there has been several discussions on whether the GMO foods were safe or not.

He said agriculture as the game changer particularly in an era where the country had aspirations of a ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda; adding that climate change, pests and diseases, and other factors remain as threats to the agricultural sector.

Mr Korboe said he was of the belief that among the solutions in the sector was the introduction of GMOs as there had been lots of research findings which indicates that GMOs were safe and there is the need to disseminate these findings and as well have a national dialogue on the issue.

Ms Slyvia Tawiah Tetteh, a member of Alliance for Science Ghana, said Ghana was working towards introducing Genetically Modified Foods into the country’s food chain; as work was ongoing on Bt cowpea and NEWEST rice for release onto the market sometime soon.

Alliance for Science Ghana is a network of farmers, scientists, communications persons, students and other well-meaning Ghanaians working to ensure improved food and environmental security in the country.

The Alliance works with agric sector stakeholders to enhance access to agricultural innovation as a means of ensuring food security, improving environmental sustainability, and raising the quality of life for farmers.

Source: Ghana News Agency