Stanbic Bank Ghana partners ICBC to promote tourism and trade

Accra- Stanbic Bank Ghana and the Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), have joined hands to promote tourism and trade between Ghana and China.

Under an initiative called ‘I Go Ghana’ loyalty programme, Chinese tourists who visit Ghana will receive discounts and special offers whenever they use ICBC cards at selected travel, hospitality and lifestyle merchants in the country.

The first part of the programme would be launched on Monday, October 15, 2018 in Accra.

The programme is jointly run by the Standard Bank Group, Stanbic Bank Ghana’s parent group, and the Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) with support from the Ghana Tourism Authority.

Speaking before the launch of the programme in Accra, Lincoln Mali, Standard Bank’s Group Head of Card and Emerging Payments, said: China has emerged as a key economic partner for Africa in recent years and through the ‘I Go Ghana’ programme, Standard Bank wants to strengthen relations between Ghana and China through trade and tourism. Such an arrangement, we believe is good for the tourism industry and the economies of the two countries.

To further support this initiative and strengthen the Africa-China corridor, we as Stanbic, have been hard at work to enable the acceptance of Union Pay International cards on our Point of Sale devices. Customers travelling from China can now use their standard issue Union Pay International card to make purchases at all participating I-Go Ghana merchants � acceptance of this Scheme will be rolled out over the duration of 2018 into 2019 to non-participating merchants.

With China as the world’s number one source market for tourism with 129 million outbound trips in 2017 and Chinese tourists would boost the economy of any country that they may visit.

According to Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, “We are excited about this initiative by Stanbic Bank Ghana and the Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).

China remains an important in-bound destination for us at the Ghana Tourism Authority and we have taken appropriate steps and measures to ensure that the local industry is well equipped to host the Chinese traveller. This collaboration further opens up the opportunity for us to enter the Chinese market, and ensure that Ghana remains an interesting and enticing destination.”

Ghana, being our home, we believe in driving her growth. That is why we see this partnership to bring to the people of Ghana and China closer as an opportunity to unlock the untapped potential that contact between the two countries offers. Deepening Ghana-Sino contacts will undoubtedly deliver even more benefits to the economy and underline our total commitment to driving growth, said Alhassan Andani, Chief Executive of Stanbic Bank Ghana.

Deputy CEO of ICBC Africa, Mr. Gang Sun stated that with the further development of ICBC internationalization, the bank would continue to provide its superior products and services in overseas market. Since the launch of the first season of China-Africa transnational promotion, I Go South Africa in November 2017, as well as the I Go Kenya in May 2018, ICBC, has provided more convenient transnational services to the credit card holders in Africa.

In the future, ICBC and Standard Bank Group will continue to promote the I Go campaigns in other African countries to provide new opportunities for economic tourism Exchanges between China and Africa.

Source: Ghana News Agency

“We are all brothers in this competition” – Mahama

Bolgatanga� Former President John Dramani Mahama, a Presidential aspirant in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) race has called for campaigns devoid of insults among colleague aspirants who are seeking to lead the party in the 2020 general elections.

He acknowledged the competitive nature of the race and said we are all brothers in this competition.

Mr Mahama said the party would have to come together as one strong united party to face the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2020 general elections. There should be no insults, no acrimony, no problems with each other. After all when we finish the Presidential primaries, we have to come together again to fight NPP for 2020.

Mr Mahama said this when he addressed delegates in the Bolgatanga Central Constituency as part of his three-day tour of the Upper East Region to canvas for votes.

When our colleagues come to talk to you, listen to them, but at the end of the day, you have to decide who can go and take political power and bring it to us, Mr Mahama advised.

He said the NDC could win back power from the NPP if it worked hard to unite its front, adding that I am confident that with the crop of party executives, from the branch to constituency to the regional levels, the NDC would defeat the NPP in 2020.

The Aspirant urged the delegates to take the ballot box as your own, and guide it jealously. Two of you will sit there as party agents, the rest of you; all the members in the register, you know who our sympathizers and supporters are, on that day in 2020 you must go round and pull all of them out to come and vote.

Mr Isaac Adongo, Member of Parliament (MP) for the Bolgatanga Central Constituency said we in the NDC and the supporters of John Dramani Mahama believe that the people of Ghana must bring him back not because NPP will fail, but because we have a better and superior management team that will deliver.

He said the party was privileged to have a leader who believed in the youth because countless youth had benefitted from the leadership of Mr John Dramani Mahama, adding that we are yearning for the leadership that we have lost.

He appealed to the delegates in his constituency to vote massively for Mr John Dramani Mahama to lead the party into the 2020 general elections to recapture power from the ruling NPP government.

Mr Mahama, in the company of former government appointees, past and present MPs and members of his campaign team, visited and interacted with delegates in the Talensi, Nabdam, Bolgatanga East, Bongo, Tempane, Garu, Bawku Central, Binduri and Zebilla Constituencies.

He rounded up his tour of the region with visits to Yagbe Kuobori, Builsa South and North, Paga, and Navrongo Central Constituencies on Friday.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Abolish negative African cultural practices – Scholars

Accra, African scholars, with background in law and social issues, have called on leaders to help abolish negative cultural practices.

They said practices such as widowhood rites, succession laws, Polygamy, Trokosi (females sent to shrines to atone for ancestral sins), among others were against human rights and must be dealt with.

Dr Ruth Murambadoro of the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender-University of Pretoria, South Africa was reacting to an address delivered by Nana Dr Susubiribi Krobea Asante, Chairman at the opening of a socio-legal writing workshop in Accra on Thursday.

Dr Muramdadoro said those customary laws mostly enslaved women and they were violations of human rights but it was time they were eliminated.

Madam Suzzie Onyeka Oyakhire, lecturer at the University of Benin City, Nigeria agreed that those practices must be abolished but added that it should be done with tact so that it would not look like there was the use of foreign culture to abolish that of the African ones.

The Lecturer stated that there were laws and even judgements by the Supreme Court to abolish such traditions but all these had fell on deaf ears.

She called for education and provision of reasons that appeal to the emotions of the custodians on the need to do away with the negative ones or parts if that battle could be won.

She said many customs and traditions had lost the purpose for which they were accepted and followed by the initiators thus, currently; people are taking advantage of them.

Dr Nana Susubiribi, Chairman of GIALS and Paramount Chief of Asante-Asokore, in his keynote address, said the society was reflected in the law and therefore people must rely on the judiciary for the customary law to be administered.

He called for the return of lands which belonged to the indigenes but sold to foreigners, adding that land acquired for public use must be returned to its original owners if not used for the intended purpose.

There is a constitutional provision which says that if a land is not used for the purpose for which it was acquired then provisions should be made for the land to be reversed, he cited.

Nana Susubiribi also called for the abolishment of death penalties, saying liberal countries had all abolished that practice.

Professor John Harrington, a facilitator called on participants to learn to live with rejection when their write-ups were not accepted, adding that they should not let that deter them but be resilient as that was the only way they would make their work better.

Professor David Kershaw, a facilitator, urged the writers to structure their works in a way that would appeal to the public, topics must relate to the subject of journals and topics have to be globally appealing if they want their works published.

Cardiff Law and Global Justice as well as its partners including the Ghana Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (GIALS) organised it and had participants drawn from Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

It is one of a series of writing workshops for socio-legal scholars in the global South and funded by the British Academy.

The session was for the participants to get feedback from their draft articles from other scholars to improve on their works and get them published in international journals.

This is to encourage Africans to tell their own stories to the rest of the world.

Source: Ghana News Agency

About 28 communities in Tano North to be hooked onto national electricity grid

Duayaw-Nkwanta (B/A), � About 28 farming communities in the Tano North Municipality are to be connected to the National Electricity grid, Mrs Freda Prempeh, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, said on Monday.

In the interim, she said, approval has been granted to hook 14 of the communities onto the national grid adding that by mid next year all the communities would be connected.

They include Campso, Asantesua, Domeabra, Agona, Tano Ano, Atonsu, Koope, Mamponteng, Adagyamami, Atudrobesa, Rubi Beposo, Nkurakai, Kobira and Asuade.

Mrs Prempeh, who is the Minister of Works and Housing, disclosed this when she presented specially designed uniforms to 200 Community Protection Assistants (CPAs) engaged under the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) in the Tano North Municipality at Duayaw-Nkwanta.

She affirmed her determination to ensure that all the communities in her constituency benefit from development projects.

The MP said currently she was constructing 20 boreholes so that people in deprived areas would access potable drinking water.

Mrs Prempeh said all the basic, secondary and tertiary education institutions in the Tano North Municipality have benefited from educational facilities constructed through her share of the MPs Common Fund.

They include classroom blocks, kitchen, sanitary facilities, dormitories, boreholes, computers and accessories, cement and roofing sheets.

In the area of health, the MP said clinics, Community-based Health and Planning Services (CHPS) compounds and health centres in the municipality have benefited from infrastructure, medical equipment’s, television sets and hospital beds.

Mrs Prempeh said she has registered thousands of people under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) whilst several students in basic, secondary and tertiary institutions had been provided with scholarships.

Currently, the MP said, she is funding the construction of GH65,000.00 fire hydrants for the Duayaw-Nkwanta fire station.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Researcher calls for national taskforce to fight illegal lumbering

Dumasua (B/A)� Dr John Akparep, a Researcher and Senior Lecturer at the University of Development Studies, has called for the establishment of a national taskforce to fight illegal chainsaw operations and preserve the forest resources.

The taskforce would intensify surveillance on the shoulders of forest reserves and combat illegal timber logging, which was depleting forest resources and affecting national biodiversity, he said.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ workshop on Tuesday at Dumasua in the Sunyani West District, Dr Akparep said agriculture, as the bedrock of Ghana’s economy, was largely dependent on the strength of the nation’s forest and trees, which was fast depleting.

He said with emphasis on cash crop farming, agriculture remained the main driving force of Ghana’s economy as it accounted for approximately 42 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and also employed 54 per cent of the national workforce.

The workshop was organised by the Ghana Association of Commercial Tree Growers and Cash Crops (GACTACC) with support from the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC).

It is in line with a project, dubbed: Advocating for conservation of cash crops and trees against illegal lumbering for sustainable use, being implemented by the Association with funding from the BUSAC Fund and its partners.

Attended by representatives from the Forestry Commission, Stool Lands, Civil Society Organisations, and the Environmental Protection Agency, the workshop created opportunity and common platform for the participants to brainstorm on the effective way of protecting national forest reserves and cash crops.

Dr Akparep said aside illegal chainsaw operations, the taskforce would check the uncontrolled activities of sand winners, charcoal burners, illegal small scale miners, yam stick cutters as well as activities of Fulani herdsmen, which were contributing to forest destruction.

He said cash crop farms such as cocoa, cashew, oil palm, acacia, mangoes, coffee, rubber and moringa were threatened due to forest destruction, adding that if the situation was not brought under control, the country would suffer in the long term.

Mr Joseph Yeboah, the Chairman of the GACTACC, said annual average earnings of farmers engaged in cash crops were declining due to tropical deforestation.

He lauded the BUSAC Fund for the support and appealed to residents of forest fringe communities to help prevent illegal lumbering and other negative environmental practices by arresting the perpetrators involved.

Source: Ghana News Agency