First Lady represents West Africa bloc at OAFLA Meeting

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, on Saturday participated in the Steering Committee Meeting of the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) underway in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The First Lady attends the Meeting as the Representative of the West African Block that are members of the Organisation.

Ghana was elected onto the Steering Committee of the OAFLA for a two-year term in July 2017, during the maiden meeting of Mrs Akufo-Addo as the First Lady of Ghana.

The Steering Committee Meeting is basically attended by two representatives from each of the five regions comprising the Northern, Southern, Western, Eastern, and Central regions of Africa.

Ghana and Burkina Faso represent the West African Region on the Committee. However, her Burkinabe counterpart was absent from the Committee Session on Saturday.

Meanwhile other first ladies that participated in the meeting, which was chaired by Mrs Roman Tesfaye, the First Lady of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, who doubles as the Chairperson of OAFLA, included Mrs Margaret Gakuo Kenyatta, the Kenyan First Lady and Mrs Hinda Deby Itno, the First Lady of Chad.

The Steering Committee Meeting forms a crucial part of the ongoing two-day 20th Ordinary General Assembly of OAFLA that would enable the Committee members to discuss the recommendations of the Technical Advisers of the various member countries, review a designed Communique to be issued at the close of the session, and also to adopt the General Assembly Agenda.

The Session is being held within the margins of the African Union (AU) Assembly of Heads of State that is hosted in Addis Ababa.

This year’s AU Meeting marks the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, in which President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is participating.

The OAFLA General Assembly, held twice every year, allows the first ladies to brief each other about their activities to improve the fight against HIV and AIDS in their respective countries.

It is also for the OAFLA Secretariat to brief members on what it had done and how they had supported country offices to improve upon their HIV response.

The 20th Session has the theme: Transforming Africa through Prioritising Children, Adolescents and Mothers in the Fight against HIV.

In attendance are Mrs Mokowa Blay Adu-Gyamfi, the Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission who is also the Technical Adviser on HIV and AIDS to the First Lady.

Mrs Akufo-Addo would attend a closed session today, Sunday, January 28, that would be participated in by all the first ladies and the technical advisors, who would further be discussing the recommendations and endorsements made at the Steering Committee level.

There is also the main OAFLA General Assembly Open Session to be held on Monday, January 29, where Mrs Akufo-Addo would be sharing with members on how she had personally contributed to the fight against HIV and AIDS, especially to the elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Government would enhance efficiency of financial sector – President

Accra, Government is providing the framework to improve the efficiency of Ghana’s financial sector to enable it play an effective role in promoting economic growth, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.

He said an effective and efficient financial system was a prerequisite for the transformation of Ghana’s economy to a modernised and industrialised one focused on value addition.

President Akufo-Addo said this when the representatives of the Ghana Association of Savings and Loans Companies (GHASALC) called on him at the Flagstaff House in Accra.

The call was to introduce the Association to the President and apprise him of its challenges and also find ways the GHASALC could fit into government’s plans and policies for the country’s socio-economic advancement.

GHASALC is an association of savings and loans companies registered under the laws of Ghana and also licensed by the Bank of Ghana.

It aims at offering a platform for the enhancement of microfinance practice in savings and loans companies to ensure their sustainability and growth and ensure the ultimate development of their customers and the national economy in general.

The President lauded the group for its crucial role in deepening the financial sector’s participation in the country’s economic growth.

He took notice of their concerns, the most important being the Bank of Ghana’s intended increase of the minimum capital requirement for savings and loans companies from GH7 million to GH15 million.

The Association said if that happened, their businesses would not be sustainable.

President Akufo-Addo, however, assured the GHASALC that government would look into that concern, because “whatever is to be done to strengthen their capacity is very important for the success of the economy.”

He harped on the potential of the sector to greatly influence growth in the Small and Medium-scale Enterprises and urged the Association to leverage the One District-One Factory Policy to fund productive investments that would spur growth for both the sector and the country.

Mr Kofi Ampofo Agyepong, the Chairman of GHASALC, on behalf of the Association, commended the President for the strides his administration had made in its first year of governance.

He said the Association, like any other financial entity, was poised to render its quota to the development of the country.

However, government should give the sector the needed support to enable it to play its part effectively in the economic development of the nation.

The Association, he said, would key into the One District One Factory Programme to help the policy to succeed “because once the economy grows more business our business opportunities also expand,” Mr Agyapong said.

He said the GHASALC was also looking at any other economic management role it could play to boost the economic agenda of government.

Mr Agyapong pleaded with the President to address speedily the issues that were diminishing the returns of their businesses, which are indigenously owned.

GHASALC also urged President Akufo-Addo to intervene to enable it to get back part of their commissions on money remittances from abroad in foreign currencies.

The Association, collectively, employs more than 11,000 Ghanaians directly, and has 641 branches across the country, serving some 3.2 million customers with a capital portfolio of about GH7.7 billion.

Source: Ghana News Agency

‘Don’t get involved in the US, North Korea bluster’

Cape Coast, African leaders have been cautioned not to allow themselves to be dragged into the competing bluster between the United States of America (USA) and North Korea even though they may remain their individual allies.

Professor Emeritus Divine Edem Amenumey of the Department of History, University of Cape Coast (UCC), in his caution, said Africa stood to lose far more than what was experienced in the Second World War should there be another world war.

If African leaders decide to allow themselves into wars that do not concern us, then we do not have a future but if we are able to detach ourselves from what does not concern us, we have a future, he said.

Prof Amenumey was addressing participants at the Second International Conference on; Revisiting Africa and the Second World War, organised by the Department of History, UCC at the weekend.

The conference, which sought to re-examine the African dimensions of the Second World War and its impact on African countries, societies and people, brought together participants from all parts of Africa.

Tensions between the US and North Korea are said to be the most serious threat to world peace at the moment.

Prof. Amenumey challenged historians and those in academia to take up the task of educating the wider public on the incident.

He said it was imperative for African leaders to examine earlier accounts, versions and interpretations and be guided by them in order to make informed decisions that would benefit their people and make the Continent a safe haven.

He noted that though Africa did not directly contribute to the causes of the Second World War, the Continent was subjected to the predatory nature of the war.

He said the war also led to military recruitment, exploitation of the colonial economy to support the imperial war effort, and the unleashing of social traumas that escalated quotidian struggles inherent in the colonial situation.

Prof Amenumey said aside slave trade and colonisation, the two world wars, especially the Second World War, exerted a long lasting impact on Africa and constituted the cataclysmic episode in colonial history.

He said despite the fact that the war provided the background for the eventual emancipation of Africa, colonial powers still enjoyed residual influence on the policies of their former colonies.

From that perspective, he wondered whether the political decisions taken in 1945 at the end of the Second World War sowed any future conflicts and whether that could involve Africa, which is politically sovereign.

Topics discussed included; Participation of Africans in the Theatres of the Second World War, Demobilisation and Discontent, the Effects of the War on African Societies, Politics, and Economies; and The Ways that the War Contributed to Decolonisation of Africa.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Court remands two for robbery

Tarkwa (W/R), Two young men have been remanded into police custody by the Tarkwa Circuit Court for allegedly robbing members of a prayer group at Quaison School near Tarkwa Market Circle.

Isaac Mensah, 20, unemployed and George Bentil, 18, plumber, were charged for conspiracy to commit crime, causing harm and robbery.

They pleaded not guilty to all the three counts and would re-appear before the court on Tuesday, January 30.

Detective Inspector Clement Amoah told the court that on January 5, this year, the Tarkwa Police Patrol Team heard an announcement on a local radio station that robbers had attacked a prayer group at Quaison School.

He said the team proceeded to the scene and found Kwame Yenzu, Francis Blay and Patrick Nuako traumatised because they had been attacked and robbed.

Detective Amoah said the Police Patrol Team escorted the victims to the Tarkwa Police Station to report the incident.

The victims are residents of Brenuakyim, Essanman Kakraba and Apowa while the accused persons live at Kwabedu in the Western Region.

Detective Amoah said on January 5, at 2330 hours, while the victims and other members were having a prayer session at the Quaison School compound, Isaac and George attacked them with a knife and axe.

The accused persons, in the process, caused harm to Yenzu and the rest of the members took to their heels for fear of being killed.

The prosecution said during the attack Yenzu mentioned Isaac’s name as “Ebo, I know you so stop what you are doing” and this infuriated Isaac more and he mercilessly beat up Yenzu.

Detective Amoah said after the attack the accused persons took mobile phones valued at 3,000 cedis, assorted Christmas hampers worth 1,500 cedis and a cash of 1,000 cedis and bolted.

Armed with that information, the Prosecutor said the two were arrested by the police on January 9 and 10.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Effutu Assembly hands over office building to GES

Winneba (C/R), The Effutu Municipal Assembly has handed over its old administrative block to the Directorate of the Ghana Education Service (GES) to reduce congestion and ensure effective office work.

Mr John Bartholomew, the Effutu Municipal Chief Executive, handed over the keys of the building to Madam Rose Tenkorang, the Effutu Municipal Director of Education.

Mr Bartholomew said the decision by the Assembly to give out the building was to create an enabling environment for the education officers to discharge their duties.

He called for the maintenance of the building to prolong its life-span.

Mr Bartholomew said the current results of 72.2 per cent of the Basic Education Certificate Examination of students in the Municipality was not bad, and expressed the hope that there would be an improvement in the next examination.

The Assembly will continue to support them to raise the standard of education in the Municipality, he said.

Madam Tenkorang expressed gratitude to the Assembly for its continuous support towards education in the area.

She said the gesture would reduce the congestion in the offices and gave the assurance that the staff would continue to execute their work efficiently to promote education in the Municipality and in the Region as a whole.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency Madam Tenkorang said education was key to the success of every individual and a nation and, therefore, it was necessary that the enabling environment was created for teaching and learning to thrive so that the needed manpower were developed.

She said government was making relentless efforts in its education policy by providing the necessary infrastructure, provision of free books, the capitation grant, free school uniforms, school feeding and paying of salaries of teachers, aimed at creating a conducive and enabling environment for quality education and proper up-brining of the children.

Madam Tenkorang urged parents to support their children at home with education materials to encourage them to learn to complement what they were taught at school.

Parental care is very important in the education of children and, therefore, parents should let it be their topmost priority so that in the future their children will be able to carter for them, she said.

Source: Ghana News Agency