Ambassador Diana Acconcia presents Letters of Credence to President Akufo-Addo

Accra- Mrs Diana Acconcia, the Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Ghana, on Tuesday presented Letters of Credence to President Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo at the Jubilee House in Accra.

Your Excellency, it is an honour to present the letters by which the President of the European Council, Mr Donald Tusk, and the President of the European Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Junckerhave, accredited me as Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Ghana.

These were in a press release signed by MrsEsi Asante, Press Communication and Information Officer of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Ghana, and copied the Ghana News Agency.

It said the European Union had a long standing partnership with Ghana under the ACP-EU Cotonou Agreement and that over the last 40 years, there had been an active and friendly cooperation and dialogue between the two.

We value highly our close partnership with Ghana and we share a broad common agenda to promote peace and security, regional integration, democracy, rule of law and human rights as well as to tackle global challenges such as climate change, it said.

The EU had also been a major provider of development aid to Ghana and to the African Continent in general, and had supported Ghana’s development priorities with substantial financial assistance over the years, the release said.

It described the President of Ghana as a strong promoter of ‘Ghana Beyond Aid � adding; I could not agree more with you. The EU is changing the focus of its relations with Africa from a donor-receiver relationship to a partnership based on common interests and values.

President Juncker has called it an Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs.

The EU wanted to bring more private investment to Africa and would mobilise traditional and innovative financial instruments to work directly with the private sector to provide the infrastructure Africa needed to create jobs for her young people, the release said.

I have no doubt, Your Excellency, that Ghana will be a key partner to implement this ambitious plan. Ghana has recently experienced strong growth and developed its economy, becoming a lower middle income country and improving the well-being and prosperity of its people, it said.

The release said Ghana had great assets to become a privileged destination for private investment as it was politically stable due to the commitment to democracy and rule of law by successive governments, saying, it had natural resources and fertile land, young and dynamic population as well as government with a focus on development and on creating a conducive environment for business.

And let us not forget that Ghana also benefits from the Economic Partnership Agreement that allows Ghanaian companies to export to the EU free from duties and quotas and this can be a further incentive for investors to choose Ghana as a hub for their manufacturing activities in the Region.

It noted that Ghana could become a driving force and a leader for the development of the African Continent, adding that the EU was looking forward to working with Ghana to make this happen and support her in her efforts to consolidate the middle income status.

The partnership between Ghana and the EU is not only about promoting economic growth but also sustainable economic development, it said.

We are both committed to fighting against Climate Change and implementing the Paris Agreement. We are both determined to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals � with your personal involvement as co-chair of the group of SDG Advocates � and the EU will support Ghana by integrating the Government’s SDG objectives in our budget support programme.

The EU, it said, was working with Ghana to issue licences to make sure that timber exported to the EU only came from sustainable sources as well as fight against illegal fishing and depletion of ocean resources.

To maximise the benefits from economic growth, good governance is paramount. I would like to commend the Government’s engagement to improve public finance management and tackle the problem of corruption, the release said.

It commended Ghana for the creation of the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the presentation of the Right to Information Bill before Parliament, saying they were promising developments and the EU was following their progress closely.

Touching on education, the release said no sustainable development was possible without building on education and skills for young people to access qualified jobs adding that the Government’s effort to boost secondary education showed its long term vision for Ghana.

It prayed for continuous working relationship between EU and Ghana to strengthen the multilateral institutions.

MrsAcconcia pledged her commitment to ensuring the realisation of the partnership objectives and projects in which Ghana and the European Union were working.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Postal and courier services loses to technological advances – Minister

Accra- Mrs Ursula OwusuEkuful, the Minister of Communications, on Tuesday said the postal and courier services sector has lost its viability and appears to be ending due to various technological advances.

She said, globally, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) had considerably impacted on the postal and courier sector, though the sector had been seen as a relative alternative.

MrsEkuful said this in a speech read on her behalf at the opening of the 2018 Postal and Courier Conference in Accra.

The conference is part of the obligations of the Postal and Courier Services Regulatory Commission (PCSRC) to ensure a fair, competitive, vibrant and orderly postal and courier market in Ghana, by adopting a flexible licensing brigade.

It was on the theme: Taking Advantage of the Technological Advances of the 21st Century in Postal and Courier Services Delivery in Ghana.

She, however, reiterated that there was a concerted effort to improve efficiency, accessibility, profitability in service delivery through the Ministry.

MrsEkuful, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West, said government would continue to put in place the right policies, which would empower the postal and courier industry to remain relevant and become profitable.

She, therefore, encouraged postal and courier operators in the country to build innovative ideas to make the sector a robust one, capable of delivering world class services.

She said the transformation of Ghana’s postal and courier sector into a competitive, regionally integrated, and world class customer-focused for enhanced service delivery was fundamental to achieving the vision of digitisation.

MrsEkuful said as part of Ghana’s digital agenda, government was on an ambitious infrastructural development programme with the expansion of the national broadband infrastructure and the provision of total ICT connectivity to unserved and underserved areas.

She said President Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo, in October last year, launched the National Digital Property Addressing System (NDPAS), which was a modern approach to locating addresses nationwide as part of several initiatives towards formulising the Ghanaian economy.

The Minister urged private courier operators to take advantage of the NDPAS to improve upon their service delivery.

She said the Postal and Courier Sector was transforming service delivery with the private sector at the forefront and that Ghana Post was creating the right partnerships to take Ghana to the rest of West Africa and the world at large through its e-commerce platform, which would soon be launched.

Mr John OleteyOtuteye, the Director of Licensing and Regulations, Postal and Courier Services Regulatory Commission, said the Commission saw all stakeholders as partners in ensuring the provision of high quality postal and courier services in Ghana.

He said the PCSRC had progressively expanded the postal market for the socio-economic development in Ghana from eight operators in 2006 to 130 presently, adding: Only this year 18 Operators have been licensed.

MrOtuteye said experts in the postal industry had predicted the future of the postal industry to be e-commerce, which depended largely on modern technology.

He said digitisation was a factor for growth and enhanced the capacity of postal operators to be more efficient and achieve product innovation, financial inclusion and socio-economic integration.

All transactions now require the use of computer application, computers and smart phones in digitisation, he said.

MrOtuteye appealed to courier and air express operators, who have still not obtained licenses, to formalise their operations by applying for license as the Postal and Courier Services Regulatory Commission Act 2003, and Postal and Courier Regulations LI 2205 required.

Source: Ghana News Agency

GNAT appeals to MMDAs to construct teachers’ bungalows

Nkoranza, The Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have been urged to construct teachers’ bungalows in deprived communities to solve the residential accommodation problems facing them in the country.

This would motivate teachers to accept postings to work in rural communities to improve on the standard of education in those areas.

Mr. Ebenezer Asare-Baah, the Nkoranza District Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) gave the advice in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Nkoranza in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

He noted that most teachers posted to rural areas refused due to lack of accommodation and bad road networks, and urged the MMDAs to tackle the problems.

Mr. Asare-Baah said with the provision of residential accommodation, teachers had no excuse to refuse postings to serve in rural areas.

More so, he added that the problem of lateness and absenteeism among teachers in deprived communities would also be addressed.

Mr. Asare-Baah regretted that during rainy seasons, many teachers serving in rural areas had to walk or ride bicycles for several kilometres to attend classes and expressed dissatisfaction about the contributions of Parent Teacher Associations towards the development of education in the Nkoranza Municipality and Nkoranza North District.

He observed that ensuring quality education was a shared and collective responsibility and appealed to parents to support teachers and expressed concern over high teenage pregnancies and alcoholism among students in the two areas.

Mr. Asare-Baah also advised teachers to upgrade themselves to be able to cope with the various educational reforms the country was going through.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Director advises teachers to be committed to duty

Nkoranza, (B/A)- Mr. OpokuDonyina, the Nkoranza North District Director of Education has urged the District’s teachers to be committed to duty and intensify efforts to raise the falling standards of education in the area.

He said teachers were role models for school children and advised them to be disciplined and eschew unhealthy behaviours that could badly influence pupils and students.

Addressing a durbar of pupils, students and teachers at Nkoranza in the Brong-Ahafo Region to mark this year’s World Teachers Day, Mr. Donyina advised parents to also collaborate with teachers in the area to instil discipline in their children.

He said academic performance of pupils and students could improve if teachers had the compassion, love and care for them and observed that though teachers might be doing their best to teach the children good morals and urged parents to monitor the movements of their children in the homes and guide them to do their homework.

He emphasised that teachers alone could not shoulder the responsibility of teaching and pleaded with parents to also support and guide their children to read their books.

He urged Parents to develop interest in the education of their children by investing much of their resources into it than spending on frivolous activities.

Madam Diana Attaa-Kusiwaa, the Nkoranza South Municipal Chief Executive commended teachers for their selfless services and said quality education was a fundamental human right.

She expressed concern over the level of moral decadence among the youth in the area, noting that the drug abuse menace was seriously affecting the lives of the youth in the area.

Mr Samuel OppongAmoah, the Acting Brong-Ahafo Regional Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers also commended teachers for the service to the nation, but asked them to do more to enhance the academic performances of pupils and students.

In all, 14 deserving teachers made up of nine males and five females in the Municipality were awarded.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Entrepreneurial skills, key to poverty reduction in Ghana

Accra� MrBayon Godfrey Tangu, the Member of Parliament for Wa East, as reiterated the need to restructure schools’ curricula to include entrepreneurial skills training to reduce extreme poverty in Ghana.

He said most of the things in the current schools’ curricula were not geared towards poverty reduction.

MrTangu, who is also the Chairman of Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy Committee, said there was the need to train school children in entrepreneurial skills to empower them to be self-reliant after their education.

MrTangu was speaking at a day’s Multi stakeholder Conference on Pro-Poor Intervention Financing, organised by SEND-Ghana, under its Addressing Inequality Through Pro-Poor Budget Advocacy (AIPBA) Project to discuss interventions that are geared towards poverty reduction in the country.

The MP called for redefinition of the agricultural system to bring the majority of the people in that sector out of poverty.

We also need to review our tax system to relieve the poor in our society. As a country, we should be able to tax the rich to take care of the poor. Collectively, we should all be fighting poverty, which has become a social problem, he said.

He said many countries, including China, were able to reduce the poverty rate in their countries and Ghana too could do same.

Mr Anthony Krakah, the Head of Industrial Statistics, Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), presenting Ghana’s Poverty Profile � GLSS R7 said the Report indicates that out of every 100 persons living in Ghana, at least eight of them are extremely poor.

He said over the years, growth had become pro-poor in the country and poverty was still a rural phenomenon.

Rural Savannah still ranks highest in poverty rates among all the ecological zones. 26 per cent of all poor people in Ghana are in the three northern regions, contributing more than 40 per cent to national poverty, he said, and called for concrete measures to assist the people there to come out of extreme poverty.

MrKakrah said the Report showed a rise in inequality as a result of discrimination in welfare at the regional level and called for implementation of policies and programmes that would bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.

Mr Thomas BoatengQuaison, the Head of Monitoring and Evaluation, Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, said the Ministry was collaborating with all other interventions to improve the poverty status of people benefiting from the programme.

He said currently about 400,000 households were benefitting from the LEAP programme and they depended largely on the GLSS Report to do their targeting for the programme.

Mr George Osei-Bimpeh, the Country Director of SEND-Ghana, said few years back, they had partnered FORD Foundation to address inequality and reduction of poverty.

The Conference, therefore, is to provide the Ministry of Finance the opportunity to respond to how it is addressing issues raised in the GLSS Report.

He said SEND-Ghana went round the country to collate inputs from the people and had submitted the Report to Parliament for action.

He said SEND-Ghana would continue the fight until the battle against poverty is won adding; I hope 2019 will address some of the problems to harness welfare distribution across the country.

Source: Ghana News Agency