NGO to help address child malnutrition

Dalun (NR)� The Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA), a local NGO operating in the Northern region has organised a two-day seminar with stakeholders to tackle the challenges of child malnourishment in the Region.

The event was on the theme: Child Nutrition and Health and formed part of the 24th Denmark Seminar of the GDCA held in Dalun in the Kumbungu District, which is celebrated annually in Ghana for members of GDCA.

Members of the GDCA and the public meet annually to deliberate on relevant topical issues that affect national development, nutrition and health care of the nation’s future leaders.

Dr Osman Alhassan, the chairman of GDCA said, the seminar was an important event used to re-affirm cultural exchange and friendship bond between GDCA and its Danish counterparts.

He said experts in nutrition and Public Health, the Ghana Health service (GHS), civil society groups and traditional Authorities would put in their collective effort that would immediately help address barriers to quality health care in the region.

Mr Salifu Saeed, the Northern Regional Minister in a speech read on his behalf expressed delight at activities of the GDCA, which had helped improve living conditions of the rural people and promoting good governance within northern region.

He commended and thanked the Ghana Friends in Denmark for their support to GDCA to help women groups in producing local food stuffs that had also helped in enhancing the welfare of families especially children.

He said, Many children suffer from health issues due to malnutrition, which is the underline cause of one third of all child deaths in the country and that more than one in every five children in Ghana is suffering from chronic malnutrition.

Mr Mohammed Hashim, the DCE for Mion District Assembly said they would collaborate with GDCA and its Danish counterparts to create a soya beans factory in Sang, as means of creating jobs for the teeming youth and women groups to alleviate poverty.

He urged policy makers, Traditional authorities, development actors and the general public to take pragmatic measures to help improve child nutrition to eliminate the negative effects of under nutrition among children.

Source: Ghana News Agency

DANISH STATE VISIT EXPECTED TO BOOST TRADE RELATIONS BETWEEN GHANA AND DENMARK

ACCRA, The state visit of Danish monarch, Queen Magrethe II and her entourage, including a business delegation to Ghana, is expected to reinforce the strong and cordial Ghana-Denmark relations while boosting trade levels between the two countries.

The visit of the Queen, at the invitation of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will take place from November 23-25, 2017 and is the first visit by the Danish Queen to Ghana and West Africa.

The Queen will be accompanied by the Minster of Foreign Affairs- Anders Samuelson and Minister for Environment and Food-Esben Lunde Larsen, as well as a 39-member business delegation comprising Danish companies in sectors including Food and Agriculture, Sustainability and Maritime and Infrastructure and Railways.

Speaking at a press briefing organised by the Danish Embassy in Ghana ahead of the visit, Ms. Tove Degnbol, Danish Ambassador to Ghana, said the Embassy was excited about the visit as it will offer an opportunity to showcase ‘what a wonderful country’ Ghana was to the Danish people and the rest of the world.

She noted that Ghana and Denmark’s joint history dated back several hundred years, with Denmark working closely with Ghana on development cooperation after Ghana’s independence, through its agency DANIDA.

Following Ghana’s attainment of middle-income status however, Denmark’s relations with Ghana was being transitioned from development cooperation to a more equal political and trade relations.

Ms Degnbol said by 2020, this transition would be completed and development cooperation ended in Ghana, however she noted that the process was being managed in a gradual way so as not to affect the marginalised and underprivileged in society who were mostly the beneficiaries of development cooperation efforts.

We will continue our very strong partnership but it will be based more on our economic relations: companies trading with each other, Danish companies coming here to investwe will in the future have a new relationship built on equal terms where we are working together for the mutual benefit of our two countries, she stated.

She added that as part of the transition, Denmark was supporting private businesses with skills development, and business advocacy through the Business Advocacy (BUSAC) Fund to help them negotiate with government to create the enabling environment for private business, among other initiatives.

She said the state visit will help spur business cooperation, as the foundation had been laid with some Memoranda of Understanding signed between some Ghanaian and Danish companies, as well as with Danish companies with government authorities.

We are very happy that this will be a push for the already ongoing business cooperation, she said, adding that it will also help Ghana’s image in Denmark and around internationally.

Three Ghanaian Journalists, who were sponsored by the Embassy to Denmark to interview the Queen ahead of the visit shared their experiences in Denmark, highlighting the Danish people’s commitment to lean and efficient energy, environmentalism, tax compliance and their love for the Queen, which will ensure that the Danish spotlight will be on Ghana during the Queen’s visit.

Activities outlined for the three-day state visit include a meeting between the Queen and President Akufo-Addo, a business conference and Trade Fair, cultural visits in Accra, a state dinner hosted by the President, and site visits to Danish projects in Accra.

The Queen is also expected to meet the Danish community in Ghana, visit some cultural sites in the Eastern Region, and hold a press conference at the Royal Senchi Hotel.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Police and citizens must work together

Ho, Madam Aridja Frank, Regional Programme Coordinator, Hanns Seidel Foundation, has underscored the need for citizens to actively collaborate with the police to enable them deliver on their mandate.

She said the police to civilian ratio had always not been enough and called on citizens to volunteer vital information to the police.

Madam Frank who was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a sensitization forum in support of Ghana Police Transformation Programme in Ho, said an improved democracy required an improved police force.

The police cannot work alone; they have to work together with the citizens and so we are challenged to improve relations between police and citizens. The police cannot guarantee the security of the citizens if they are not willing to work together, she said.

Madam Frank appealed to personnel of the Service to show significant commitment and support towards the transformation agenda.

Dr Benjamin Agordze, Director of the Ghana Police Transformation Programme, said inputs from personnel in other regions would be considered to guide the implementation process.

Nana Asomah Hinneh, Volta Regional Police Commander, said crime was on the rise and called on personnel to be agents of change in the discharge of their duties, and endeavour to get to the roots of issues affecting the fight against crime.

He asked participants to prioritize the transformation agenda and replicate same at their duty posts.

The German non-governmental organization will be funding the project for four years.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Government refutes claims of usurping PURC mandate

Accra, Mr Boakye Agyarko, Minister of Energy has debunked claims that government was trying to usurp the mandate of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), by announcing reduction in electricity tariffs in the 2018 budget statement.

According to him, government has not declared any reduction in electricity tariffs but rather has made a proposal to the PURC to seek their approval, adding, there was nothing wrong with the suggestion.

Mr Boakye Agyarko refuted the claim after appearing before Parliament to respond to questions filed by members of the House relating to the energy sector.

Mr Ken Ofori Atta, Minister for Finance announced in the 2018 budget statement that the government had revised the tariff-setting procedure and the cost structure for power production.

He indicated that recommendations would be made to the PURC in this regard to bring a little more relief to businesses and domestic users of electricity and proposed an average reduction of between 13 and 21 percent in electricity tariffs for residential and industrial consumers.

Mr Agyarko also stated that section 3 of the PURC Act clearly spells out how tariffs are approved including; proposals from stakeholders for examination and review.

He said all that the government had done was to send a request to PURC for their examination and approval.

if we as a government see benefits that could accrue and inure to the advantage of our citizens, it will be irresponsible on our part not to go to the PURC to approve these benefits so that our citizens can get cheaper electricity, I don’t think there is anything wrong with it he said.

Mr Agyarko also announced that government had insured the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah against intermittent breakdowns and shutdowns for routine maintenance works.

He noted that hitherto, only the Jubilee Partners enjoyed insurance for interruptions in production stating that government had terminated 11 power purchase agreements at a cost of $400 million to the state since assuming power.

He said seven other power contracts had been deferred following recommendations of the Philip Addison-led review committee set up by the government.

He said despite the cost implications of the termination of the power deals, the state would eventually make savings of some $7 billion.

Pursuant to the review exercise, government will make significant savings from the deferred or terminated power purchase agreements. The estimated cost for termination is $439 million compared to the annual capacity cost of $586 million each year or a cumulative of$ 7.6 billion from 2018 to 2030. This yields an estimated savings of $7.217 billion US dollars over a 13-year period.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Media personnel sensitized on social norms campaign

Tamale, The Northern Regional Coordinating Council in collaboration with the Community Development and Environment has sensitised the media on the Social Norms Campaign (SNC) slated to be launched on November 22, 2017.

The SNC seeks to fill sanitation behaviour change gaps in the Ghanaian society, since behavioural and inaccessibility to improved sanitation facilities, remain a major challenge to sanitation and hygiene in Ghana.

Mr Emmanuel Addei, consultant for water bodies and sanitation addressing the media, observed that the development of the rural sanitation model and strategy had several successes achieved with the northern region having about 1,000 open defecation free communities.

He said 1,120 communities had stopped open defecation noting that many of the communities were in the Northern Region.

He said the SNC sought to introduce new sanitation norms that would help communities in the district, regional and national levels to attain open defecation free status.

Miss Ofeibea Baddoo, Communications Officer, United Nations Children’s fund (UNICEF) urged journalists in the region to intensify education on hygiene in efforts to help the region to end open defecation.

Source: Ghana News Agency