UNIDO and Ghana mark 10 years of trade cooperation

Accra- The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, on Thursday marked 10 years of trade cooperation that has laid the foundation for quality infrastructure development for Ghana.

The Government of Switzerland funded the infrastructure development through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Dubbed: The UNIDO Trade Capacity Building Programme, the cooperation has also led to the development of numerous standards for the wood, fish, cocoa and fruit industries in Ghana.

Under the cooperation, national institutions such as the Ghana Standards Authority, Food and Drugs Authority, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-Forestry Research Institute, CSIR-Soil Research Institute, Forestry Commission-Timber Industry Development Division, and the CCOBOD-Quality Control Company, have had their capacities built in the inspectorate and testing departments.

These have institutionalised consumer protection and quality measures.

An export market hub, being hosted by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), has also been developed while several enterprises have been supported within the private sector to implement quality management standards.

Mr Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, commended the Swiss Government for partnering Ghana over the past 10 years to improve upon her trade capacities, standardisation and quality infrastructure to enable Ghanaian businesses to be competitive in the global market.

Speaking on the theme: Challenges of Trade and Industrialization in Ghana, Mr Lindsay said some of the main challenges facing the industrial sector were inadequate skilled labour to man the industries and the low supply of raw materials.

In some cases, the industrial plants are there but because there are no materials to feed them, the machines just lie there idle or are producing below their installed capacity. Examples can be sited as in our Komenda Sugar Factory, the Pawlugu Tomato Factory and the likes.

There is also the problem of lack of enough infrastructural facilities such as good road networks, railways, constant water supply and electricity or energy etc. There was the issue of quality and applying standards in the manufacturing industries.

Besides, most entrepreneurs lack the necessary quality culture hence in their production activities, issues of quality only come to them at the end of production when it is too late, he said.

Mr Lindsay, therefore, expressed happiness that UNIDO, through the Trade Capacity Building programme, had helped Ghana to gradually realise its plan of building a strong industrialisation sector.

He said industry was at the centre of government plans to transform the economy from one reliant on its resource base to one driven by value-added exports.

Therefore, the Government had announced a number of short and long term policies designed to support the industrial transformation agenda and expand production.

In the short-term, government plans to help distressed companies with a stimulus package from the National Budget as part of a wider 10-point programme of reform known as the Industrial Transformation Agenda.

The strategy seeks to decentralise industrial growth through the One District One Factory programme, diversification through the development of strategic anchor industries, the rollout of industrial parks, regulatory reforms to improve the business environment, and support for small and medium-sized enterprises among others as part of the long-term projects.

He said the government would continue to partner its development partners to continue with the upgrading of Ghana’s National Quality Infrastructure as well as effectively train professionals who were manning such institutions and systems.

Mr Markus Dutly, the Swiss Ambassador, said the support to Ghana was intended to help build the SME sector to make them more competitive in international market.

Mr Victor Mills, the UNIDO-TCB Programme Coordinator, expressed satisfaction that through the programme, we have helped to implement a national quality system to provide world class conformity assessment services and improved export competitiveness for the wood, cocoa, fish and fruits value-chains.

Mr Juan Pablo Davila, the Project Manager to the TCB-Programme, announced that UNIDO and SECO have developed a programmatic approach to addressing sustainable and quality standards in SECO priority countries, including Ghana.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Third edition of Inner City “Leyyah Fest” launched

Accra- The third edition of “Leyyah Fest” has been launched at a colourful ceremony at the Center for National Culture Auditorium, in Accra.

This year’s edition scheduled for October 27, at the “Kawo Kudi Park” in Accra, is under the theme “Peace one day – bridging traditional and religious barriers” seeks to mobilize, harness potential and pool resources for the socio-economic development of citizens in the inner-cities.

Madam Edna Nyame, Executive Director of the National Commission on Culture (NCC) said the festival, would help bridge the gaps between and within various ethnic groups in the country.

“The NCC is committed to actively raise the standards of arts and culture in this country. With this in view, we are most privileged to join the centre for national culture and Inner City Chiefs in organising “Leyyah fest”.

“This year’s festival presents us with the opportunity to bridge the gaps between and within our chiefs in various ethnics groups thus to solve differences that has arisen due to the diversities in our culture,” Madam Nyame stated.

Alhaji Sultan Ahmed Nii Nortey Caesar, President of the Inner City Development Council, said, the rational behind organising “Leyyah Fest” was to create a common platform to share ideas, learn and interact with one another.

“For many years in Ghana, peaceful coexistence has eluded Indigenous Inner City Tribal and Muslims Chiefs and their people. There has been misunderstanding among them and sometimes leads to fights among the youth of the various ethnic groups,” he said.

He added, “This has impended development in these communities and are characterized by high unemployment and social vices.

“It’s in light of this that, the Inner-City Development Council has decided to organise the annual “Leyyah fest” to enable all stakeholders come together to interact and understand each other to foster development.”

The “Leyyah Fest” is being organised by Inner City Development Council in collaboration with the National Commission on Culture and Centre for National Culture.

Source: Ghana News Agency

“Becca’s husband is not romantic” – Yaw Berk

Accra, Amoah Randy popularly known in the music industry as Yaw Berk, has described the husband of veteran singer Rebecca Akosua Acheampong’s Becca as unromantic.

“When you meet a romantic guy, you would know from the way he carries his woman along. Becca’s husband is no way close to that from what i have seen from the two love birds,” he stated in an interview with GNA Entertainment.

According to Yaw Berk, women who marry men of their age or are a bit younger than them, experience more romance, because the younger ones are more romantic and exposed to different lifestyles.

Becca is a nice woman and should not have gone in for a much older man.

I think she should have gone in for someone closer her age or even younger, which for me looks more attractive,” he noted.

The Highly Spiritual signed artiste said, Becca got married to an old man which I know per my studies, old men are not romantic because they are not exposed to the modern romantic lifestyle, which we the youngsters are experiencing.

Her husband is old fashioned and I know the kind of women Becca is. She needed somebody cute, young, and sexy to roll with because she is young and energetic and needs someone younger he added.

The Independent Lady hit maker had always expressed his admiration for the veteran singer before she got married to her Nigerian bankerentertainer recently in Ghana

Source: Ghana News Agency

Government to complete 32 kilometre Kwafokrom-Apedwa dual lane

Suhum (E/R), The Minster for Roads and Highways, Mr Kwasi Amoako-Attah has cut the sod to complete the second lane of the 32 kilometre Kwafokrom �Apedwa section of the Accra to Kumasi highway dualisation.

The GH333 million dualisation project would be undertaken by China International Water and Electric Corporation and is expected to be completed in 24 months.

The Sector Minister in his address urged politicians to respect the citizenry by developing the attitude of continuity as a way of saving the public purse to complete projects started by their predecessors.

He said the Accra -Kumasi Highway dualisation was to have been completed in 36 months after the sod-cutting in 2008 by ex-President Agyekum Kuffour, however, after 10 years the project was yet to be completed.

Mr Amoako-Attah said the initial programme at the Ministry was that after the completion of the Accra � Kumasi dualisation, it will stretch to Paga and the road is one of the Presidents’ top priorities and its completion would drastically reduce road accidents.

He said it was the President’s vision to have Accra – Kumasi – Paga, Accra-Takoradi-Elubo highways made a dual carriage way as well as Accra-Tema- Aflao highway.

Mr Amoako-Attah assured Ghanaians that the first term of President Akufo Addo’s Administration would see a massive road infrastructure upgrade in the country.

”Good roads are the foundation around which economic development evolves, so every government that seeks for development for his people tackle roads’ ‘he added.

The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Eric Kwakye Darfour urged communities around the road stretch to support in the success of the project since there was time frame for the completion of the project.

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Roads and Transport and MP for Ayensuano, Mr Ayeh Paye commended the government for the project and said it would reduce accidents that occur on that stretch.

He said statistics showed that between January to September this year, 1,710 people had died as a result of road accident between Kwafokrom and the Apedwa stretch.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Asamoah Gyan thrilled with Kotoko sponsorship deal

Kumasi- Asamoah Gyan, captain of the senior national team, the Black Stars, has said, he is elated to be associated with two-time African champions, Kumasi Asante Asante Kotoko after his company, Paradise Pac Mineral Water, agreed to a two-year sponsorship deal with the Porcupine Warriors.

I am happy to be given this opportunity by His Royal Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Owner and Life Patron of the Club, as well as the Management, he noted.

Kotoko is my childhood club and for me this is historic. I hope the two sides would uphold terms under the agreement for a strong partnership.

The Porcupine Warriors sealed a deal with Paradise Pac in Kumasi on Thursday and the package includes provision of cash and products worth about 10, 000 US Dollars.

Gyan, was of the conviction that the sponsorship deal would help support the club to meet some of its financial commitments.

Mr. George Amoako, Chief Executive Officer of Kotoko, assured all that, the club would work assiduously to give the company the mileage it needed by promoting its products.

Source: Ghana News Agency