XuetangX and Lagos University Launch Online Education Platform

BEIJING, May 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — During the celebration of the “International Engineering Education Forum” Dr. Nie Fenghua, the Deputy Director of the China Ministry of Education Online Education Research Center, and the Chairman of XuetangX, together with Prof. Funso Falade, who is the Chairman of the African Engineering Education Association, jointly released the Lagos University Online Educational platform (www.unilag.xuetangx.com).

The Forum was co-organized by Chinese Academy of Engineering and Tsinghua University, with the help of the UNESCO International Engineering Education Center (ICEE).The ICEE event was attended by important leaders of the education sector in China and other countries.

The releasing of Lagos University online education platform will transport global high-quality online educational resources to Africa, promoting the development of engineering education in Africa. At present, the English version of the platform will provide 16 courses.

On the morning of the 23rd, Mr. Funso Falade visited XuetangX’s Head Office where he met Dr. Nie Fenghua and the company Vice President Zhang Bo. Mr. Nie said, “XuetangX will gradually build 4 to 5 platforms in Africa. We hope to introduce MOOC courses from Lagos University so that Chinese learners can have a better understanding of the history and the culture of Africa.”

XuetangX is an MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) Chinese Education company, founded in 2013 by the Tsinghua University under the supervision of the China Ministry of Education. It has seven million Chinese students registered on their website where it offers them 1,000 online courses supported by first class Chinese and foreign Universities.

The platform is very easy to use. The teachers upload courses in the MOOC format (including videos, assessments, teaching materials, etc.). Students can watch videos and do assignments anywhere at any time and when they come back to classroom, the teacher normally explains some difficult key points using most of the time for practices and discussion.

Mr. Funso Falade expressed his gratitude for the platform launch. He actively encourages Lagos University faculties and students to utilize the platform in the teaching process. He also hopes that the Lagos University online education platform will become an Educational Hub in Africa.

‘Thirty-four farmers yet to receive compensation’

Accra, GNA – The Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers says 34 members whose birds were infected with bird flu and subsequently destroyed last year have not received any compensation from government.

According to Mr Napoleon Agyemang Oduro, Vice President of the association, the affected members were currently in financial difficulties and their kids were in dire need.

Speaking to journalists after the launch of three products by Boris B’s Farms and Veterinary Supplies, Mr Oduro said the association found out this problem after monitoring the situation on their farms.

Mr Oduro appealed to government to investigate and ascertain why only 27 members had been compensated with GH?1.1 million out of the GH?11 million set aside for farmers after Parliamentary approval.

He said payment of the compensation for the 34 members would go a long way to alleviate their plight and encourage more people to venture into the industry.

According to Mr Oduro, the GH?11 million was to be used as compensation, facilitation of public education, payment of service providers and surveillance by veterinary officers among other services.

He said government currently owed the farmers over GH?1 million adding whatever is due the farmers should be paid to them.

Mr Boris Baidoo, Chief Executive Officer of Boris B’ Farms and Veterinary Supplies Ghana Limited said it was important that farmers produced pigs that had more meat than fat in them.

According to him, the three products launched could go a long way to boost meat production and reduce high mortality and stench emanating from litters of animals.

Mr Baidoo said the 40 per cent local production of birds was not easy to come by but that could be achieved with new dimensions in the poultry and pig production. The launch brought together farmers from Western, Central, Volta and Greater Accra Regions

Dr Demir Ozdemir, Regional Technical Manager of Omlan International, a US based firm said the three products; Neoprime, Varium and Poultry guard were currently in over 34 countries.

Source: Ghana News Agency

GCB declares GH?318 million Profit after tax

Accra, The Ghana Commercial Bank Limited has declared a total dividend pay-out of GH?100.7 million for the 2016 financial year.

The dividend will be paid at GH?0.38 per share; a 15 percent increase over the 2015 dividend rate of GH?0.33.

Speaking at the Bank’s 23rd Annual General Meeting, Mr Just Kofi Arthur, Chairman of the Board of Directors, proposed the payment of the dividends, which was accepted and adopted by the AGM.

Mr Arthur said the dividend would be paid to shareholders who were registered with the bank by close of business on 19th June, 2017.

Presenting the Chairman’s statement, Mr Arthur noted however that shareholders may be called upon to contribute either in cash or transfer from income surplus to meet potential regulatory demands for an increased stated capital.

The dividend payment, followed the Bank’s good performance in the 2016 financial year, recording Profit before tax of GH?467 million, up 29 per cent from 2015 and Profit after tax of GH?318 million, in the year under review. The figure represented a 25 per cent increase in profit after tax over the previous year.

The Bank, according to Mr Arthur, performed well amidst a challenging operating environment, characterised by reduced trade volumes, lower commodity prices, subdued investments and uncertainties with Brexit on the global front, and tight monetary stance, high inflation, oil production outage and currency depreciation, on the domestic front.

Total assets of the Bank grew by 30 per cent from GH?4.7 billion in 2015 to GH?6.1 billion in 2016, funded largely with new deposits to the tune of GH?899 million.

With these resources, your bank generated total operating income OF GH?1.1 billion in 2016 compared to GH?863 million in 2015, thus recording 24 per cent growth year on year, he told shareholders.

The bank’s operating expenses however grew by 38 per cent to GH?588 million in the year under review. The additional spending went into financing voluntary redundancies and other branch works as part of its rebranding and modernisation programme.

Mr Arthur said the new board, which was ratified by the shareholders at the AGM, would continue to build on the foundation laid by the previous one to grow the Bank.

We are determined to build on the foundations set by those who were before us. They’ve obviously done a marvellous job so far, but there are more things that could be done and that we have to do, he said.

He said the board was gearing up to come up with a new four-year strategic plan for the Bank as the five-year plan was drawing to is close.

GCB is a sleeping giant and its time it woke up. It’s a strong bank and the board is determined to make sure that GCB utilises its assets to create success in future and create value for shareholders.

Mr Socrates Afram, Chief Financial Officer of GCB said going forward, the bank would focus more on delivering a lot more treasury services, which had been a little dormant, as well as on trade, to increase incomes.

He said while the bank had recorded some non-performing loans, which had been a challenge in the industry, the rate of their NPLs was better compared to their competition. GCB’s NPL ratio stands at 14 per cent and is expected to reduce by end of June 2017.

Source: Ghana News Agency

‘Poultry farmers urged to embrace new dimensions’

Accra – Mr Napoleon Agyemang Oduro, Vice Chairman of Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF) have tasked poultry farmers to re- position themselves and embrace new dimensions in the industry to create jobs and increase products.

According to Mr Oduro some farmers were comfortable in doing the old things which did not achieve results.

Mr Oduro said this at the launch of three new products by Boris B’s Farms and Veterinary Supplies Ghana Limited, a giant Distributor of animal feed and drugs to boost poultry and meat production in the country.

The launch brought together farmers from Western, Central, Volta and Greater Accra Regions.

One of the products Neoprime, is a new intestinal and immunity primer for weaning piglets and improving feed conversion and weight gain in pigs.

Varium also seeks to reduce mortality among piglets and poultry, while Poultry Guard an acidified clay helps reduce litter moisture of piglets and eliminates stench at poultry farms.

Mr Oduro welcomed the three products saying farmers were ready to work with products that would revamp the poultry industry that had struggled over the years.

He said the poultry industry had been plagued with many challenges over the past 30 years adding that there had not been any national investment in the sector.

He therefore tasked all stakeholders to embark on holistic approach and confront challenges facing the industry in order to increase revenue and create jobs in the country.

According to him, if the poultry industry was given the needed attention, over one million jobs could be created in the country.

Mr Oduro was not enthused with the performance of poultry industry in the country adding that currently, the industry was unable to make the 40 per cent mark of producing products on the local market adding it only made less than one per cent of its target.

He appealed to government to pay attention to the value chain of the poultry industry to help increase government revenue.

Mr Oduro said the worm infestation was going to affect the poultry industry although he could not tell its extent and urged stakeholders to unite to find solutions to that.

He noted that under the pilot project on Revitalisation of broilers for local consumption only 300,000 birds representing were produced and government still owed Boris B’s Farms which financed the 300,000 broilers in August 2016 GH?8 million in the Revitalisation of project.

He explained that only two million cedis had been paid to Boris B’s Farms and Veterinary Supplies and adding the association had written to government to assist Boris B’s farms to recoup his money.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Russians and Ukrainian remanded over “galamsey”

Accra – Four other foreign nationals who were arrested at Manso-Tontokrom for their involvement in illegal mining in the Ashanti Region, have been put before an Accra Circuit Court.

The four who are of Russian and Ukrainian origins have been charged with conspiracy to commit crime to wit undertaking small scale mining without license and undertaking small scale mining without license.

They are Farid Isaev, Vadim Potokia, Saerhii Chepurniy all engineers and Genadiy Rubee, a Site Engineer.

The court did not take their pleas and remanded them into custody to enable the court secure a Russian Interpreter as accused could not speak English.

They are to reappear on May 31 before the court presided over by Ms Ruby Naa Ayikai Aryeetey.

Prosecuting Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Cletus Abdamlora said the complainant is a Police officer attached to the Lands and Forestry Ministry whiles accused were foreigners from Russia and Unkraine but residents in country precisely Tontokrom in the Ashanti Region.

DSP Abdamlora said the Ministry of Lands and Forestry recently gave an ultimatum to all small scale mining companies and illegal miners popularly known as galamseyers operating in the country to stop until their activities were regulated.

Prosecution said government thus banned any form of small scale mining until further notice.

On May 22, this year, the sector Minister Mr John Peter Amewu and a team including complainant went on a fact finding mission to ensure that the ban was being complied with at Manso Tontokrom.

On their arrival, DSP Abadamlora said they met the accused persons busily engaged in illegal mining.

The accused persons were using heavy equipment which had destroyed vast land including cocoa farms of the inhabitants and polluted their source of water.

When the accused persons were questioned, they said they were employees of Geo Professional Services, a Mining company.

Prosecution prayed the court for some time to conduct further investigations into the matter.

Source: Ghana News Agency