Construction of Mamprugu water system starts September- President

Nalerigu, – Construction of a modern and improved water system for Nalerigu and Walewale, in Mamprugu in the Northern Region is to commence in September, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced.

The Commencement of the project, he said, was a fulfilment of a pledge he made to the people last year.

President Akufo-Addo made the revelation on Saturday at a durbar held in his honour at Nalerigu by the overlord of Mamprugu, the Nayiri, Na Bohogu Abdulai Mahami Sheriga.

He had, in his tour, last year, of the Northern Region, told the Nayiri and the people of Mamprugu that his government was in the process of procuring a $45 million facility from the World Bank to provide water in rural areas for six (6) regions, of which Mamprugu was to be a beneficiary.

So, I am here today to inform you that the improved water system in Nalerigu, Gambaga and Walewale will start in September this year, two months from now. 35,000 gallons each will be added to the system in each and every town, and also new boreholes are going to be drilled to add more water, the President said.

He assured that all the pipelines are going to be replaced, so that we can bring water to all households. And, with the beginning of the work in September, Mamprugu will definitely get an improved water system.

President Akufo-Addo further stated that the community toilet project, which was being rolled out by the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives, would provide some 5,000 household toilets nationwide this year.

We are determined to fulfil the 1-toilet-1-household commitment that we made, and the Mamprugu area is going to receive about 300 toilets each, from Nalerigu, Gambaga and Walewale, and a total of 1,000 household toilets are going to be constructed in this area to improve sanitation, he said.

The President was confident that by the grace of the Almighty and our hard work, open defecation in Ghana is going to be a thing of the past.

On the erratic nature of power supply in the area, the President noted that the transmission line that served Nalerigu from Yendi was too long, and resulted in problems that interrupted power supply.

The decision has been taken to remove the line from Nalerigu to Garu, and as things will have it, poles were brought yesterday (Friday) to begin the work. Very soon, I think that erratic power supply will be a thing of the past, he assured.

The President indicated that with the on-going 434 electrification projects in the Northern Region, East Mamprusi was going to receive 80 of such projects.

Touching on seismic exploration being carried out in the Voltaian Basin by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, which was affecting areas in the Northern Region including Nanton, West Mamprusi, Central Gonja and Mion districts, President Akufo-Addo explained that its purpose was to unearth the hydrocarbon potential of the basin.

It is disturbing and I know it will disturb some people in some communities. It may even go through some farms, but I am imploring you, and all the citizenry of Mamprugu, to co-operate with these activities.

They are not meant to disturb you, they are meant to help all of us at the end. So, when they come, and they (geologists) are doing their work, support them, allow them to do their work because, at the end of the day, you are going to be the principal beneficiaries. We are finding important deposits of oil in the area, he said

Source: Ghana News Agency

Senegalese public applauds Xi’s focus on bilateral ties, cooperation

Accra, – A signed article by Chinese President Xi Jinping published on Friday in a mainstream newspaper in Senegal has been applauded by the African country’s public for the article’s focus on bilateral relations and cooperation.

In the article titled “SUNU JAPPO, China and Senegal!” carried by Le Soleil ahead of his state visit to Senegal, Xi praised the lifting of bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership while expressing hope for greater progress in ties.

Bara Ndiaye, the administrator of Senegal’s Maison de la Presse, said Xi brings forth brighter prospects for bilateral relations by proposing to “enhance our mutual understanding and friendship, and deepen cooperation” between the two countries.

“The article was written by a leader who knows about and understands Africa well,” he said.

Idrissa Faye, a Senegalese citizen, said “I hope Senegal will participate in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), so that our country could have greater development.”

Xi said in his article that by leveraging the BRI and the platform of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, China would work with Senegal to tap both countries’ strengths in the trade and processing of agricultural and aquatic products.

“I watched on TV that the Chinese people are fond of seafood, and I wish more and more Chinese would eat fish caught by our people,” he said.

Senegalese journalist Birane Cisse said he was especially happy with Xi’s proposal to strengthen people-to-people ties.

“If more Senegalese students can study in China, and return equipped with China’s development experiences, our country will be able to develop faster,” Cisse said.

In his article, citing the Wolof proverb “Nit, nit ay garabam (Man is the remedy of man)” as well as a Chinese saying to the similar effect of “One for all, all for one,” Xi wrote that China and African countries including Senegal cherish a common dream of prosperity and should work together to make it come true.

“Having gone through thick and thin together, China, Senegal and the vast African countries are bound by similar historical experiences, the same development tasks and a shared aspiration for a better life,” Xi wrote.

“To achieve common development and prosperity, we need to join hands to build an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future,” he said.

Agreeing with such a prospect, a Chadian software engineer currently living in Senegal called Hamid, who only gave his first name, believed that developing Senegal-China cooperation would bring progress in the ties between China and the West African countries.

In particular, he said he is longing for Chinese initiatives to facilitate Africa’s development of information technology at the upcoming Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in September.

Sana Badji, a student at the Confucius Institute at Dakar University, thanked China for providing the Senegalese people with a lot of support. “The Chinese government helped us build the National Grand Theatre, and Chinese companies built roads and schools,” Badji said.

What’s more, he said, “China has offered medical assistance, sending doctors. We are very happy with and obliged for the help.”

Source: Ghana News Agency

Chinese, Senegalese presidents pledge to create better future for ties

Accra- Chinese President Xi Jinping and Senegalese President Macky Sall held talks on Saturday, vowing to create a better future for China-Senegal ties.

The two leaders spoke highly of the development of bilateral ties in recent years, and agreed to continue to make joint efforts and promote more fruitful results from cooperation in various fields.

Xi arrived on Saturday for the first state visit to Senegal by a Chinese head of state in nine years.

During the meeting with his host, the Chinese President thanked the government and people of Senegal for their warm hospitality and welcome, saying it fully demonstrated that China-Senegal friendship had gained broad support.

Recalling their joint decision to forge a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries in 2016, Xi said that thanks to joint efforts from both sides, China-Senegal relations had entered a fast track with growing political mutual trust and concrete economic and trade cooperation.

China is willing to join hands with Senegal to lift bilateral ties and cooperation to a higher level, so as to bring more benefits to both peoples, Xi said.

The Chinese president expressed appreciation to Sall for viewing their ties from a strategic perspective, positively responding to the Belt and Road Initiative and strongly supporting China-Africa cooperation.

The two sides should carry out closer high-level exchanges and support each other on issues concerning their core interests and major concern, said Xi.

Noting that the two countries should strengthen the alignment of development strategies and policy communication, Xi welcomed Senegal to be the first West African country to sign a Belt and Road cooperation document with China.

We hope to take this opportunity to comprehensively upgrade China-Senegal cooperation, he said.

China will continue to uphold the spirit of “teaching a man to fish,” expand and deepen cooperation with Senegal, and enhance its ability in independent development, Xi said and called on the two countries to boost people-to-people exchanges to promote mutual understanding.

The two sides should enhance law enforcement and security cooperation, Xi said, adding that China supports Senegal in building capability in counter-terrorism, peacekeeping and safeguarding stability.

China supports Senegal in playing a greater role in global and regional affairs, and is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with Senegal in major international and regional issues such as peace and security in Africa, the United Nations and climate change, so as to protect the common interests of Africa and developing countries, said the Chinese president.

Noting that he attaches great importance to China-Africa ties, Xi said he feels strongly about the long-term friendship between China and Africa, and their common future in sharing weal and woe.

The two sides are sincere partners on their path of development and natural allies in international affairs, Xi said, adding that China’s development would bring more opportunities to Africa, while Africa’s development would add momentum to China’s development.

China will continue to uphold its African policy and concept of sincerity, concrete results, affinity and good faith, uphold justice and pursue shared interests, promote the construction of a closer China-Africa community with a shared future, so as to realise win-win cooperation and common development, Xi said.

In September, we will hold a summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing, said Xi, adding that he is looking forward to meeting African leaders including; President Sall in Beijing and discussing the important agenda on China-Africa cooperation.

For his part, Sall thanked President Xi for visiting Senegal in his first overseas trip since being re-elected as Chinese president, saying that it is Senegalese people’s honour.

Hailing that China made significant contributions to humanity’s progress in history, Sall said today’s China was playing an even more important role in international affairs.

Senegal, Sall said, admired China’s development achievements, appreciated China’s precious support for Senegalese economic and social development and its implementation of revitalisation plan.

The bilateral ties, based on solidarity, mutual trust, mutual respect, win-win and mutual benefit, are strong and satisfactory, said the Senegalese president.

Senegal firmly adheres to the one-China policy, is committed to deepening the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership with China, stands ready to enhance cooperation in areas such as infrastructure construction, water conservation, industrialisation, agricultural product processing, tourism, culture and sports, said Sall.

Senegal supports China’s Belt and Road Initiative and stands ready to vigorously participate in connectivity construction, Sall said, adding that his country appreciated China’s contribution in Africa’s peace and development cause.

The FOCAC is a cooperative framework featuring inclusiveness, effectiveness and solidarity, established on the basis of practical cooperation, Sall said, vowing Senegal’s full support in strengthening the FOCAC, deepening cooperation between China and Africa, and establishing the China-Africa community with a shared future.

Senegal is ready to strengthen communication and coordination with China in multilateral affairs, and work with China to build a more balanced, just and inclusive global governance system, safeguard multilateralism and oppose protectionism, Sall said.

After their talks, Xi received Senegal’s top medal of honour from Sall, and the two leaders witnessed the signing of multiple cooperation documents, including the one on jointly building the Belt and Road.

Before the talks, the Senegalese President and people held a grand welcoming ceremony for Xi, with thousands of locals dressed in festive attire, cheering, singing and dancing.

Senegal’s official guards of the presidency also put on a magnificent parade on the streets of Dakar escorting the Chinese president.

Senegal is the second stop in Xi’s first overseas trip after being re-elected Chinese president in March. He has already visited the United Arab Emirates and will pay state visits to Rwanda and South Africa, attend the 10th BRICS summit in Johannesburg, and visit Mauritius during a stopover.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Xi’s visit significant to future of China-Senegal ties: Senegalese President

Accra – Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming state visit to Senegal will be a historic one with great importance to the future of bilateral ties, said Senegalese President Macky Sall.

China-Senegal relations have maintained sound development over recent years, with bilateral practical cooperation bearing rich fruit and a series of large cooperation projects either completed or in steady progress.

In an interview with Chinese media, Sall said he and his country were deeply honoured to welcome Xi on his visit, the first by a Chinese head of state in nine years and Xi’s first to a West African country.

The two countries, he said, had upgraded bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership through joint efforts and would continue to enhance their relationship within the framework of China-Africa cooperation.

“We have many expectations for President Xi’s visit,” said the Senegalese president.

During Xi’s visit, the governments of the two countries would sign a series of agreements on bilateral cooperation, said Sall, expressing the hope that China would be a more active participant in the Emerging Senegal Plan.

Talking about China’s development model and path, Sall said China had shown the world the concrete achievements the Chinese development model had made in economic, social and cultural areas.

While preserving its rich history and culture, China has embarked upon the path of modernisation, he added.

China’s successful experience was worth learning from for Africa, said the president, stressing that Africa’s development path needed to suit its own characteristics, just as the Agenda 2063 of the African Union was formulated on the basis of Africa’s development conditions.

Noting that China has improved its infrastructure through railways, highways and bridges, he said Africa also needs to deal with such issues as infrastructure construction.

Africa, he suggested, should make full use of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to learn from China’s experience and improve its own infrastructure.

In addition, the Senegalese leader applauded the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, saying it developed from the ancient Silk Road, and that the initiative would traverse oceans and continents and connect people across the world.

Source: Ghana News Agency

WACCI boosts AGRA’s African food security vision

Accra, – The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana, has boosted the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa’s (AGRA’s) vision of a food secured Africa, by churning out 14 PhD plant breeders.

The graduation, which is the last batch of WACCI trained PhD students funded by the AGRA, forms part of the University of Ghana’s 2018 graduation.

The July 2018 graduating WACCI cohort of 14 PhD students (eight females and six males) from eight countries – Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Uganda researched on seven staple crops (cassava, cowpea, groundnut, maize, pearl millet rice and sorghum) to address farmers’ production constraints in their home countries.

Of these 14 students, six were funded by AGRA.

Professor Eric Y. Danquah, the Founding Director, WACCI, in an interview with Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of the graduation ceremony, said the Centre was evolving into an Agriculture Innovations and Entrepreneurship institution to generate game-changing products needed for the inclusive transformation of African agriculture.

He said to that effect, a multipurpose building to be completed in August 2018 would provide world class research, teaching and learning facilities to attract strategic partners from around the world to make WACCI a pre-eminent global institution for world class agricultural research and training.

Prof Danquah urged African governments and development partners to prioritise agricultural research institutions like WACCI for sustained core funding if they were desirous to transform agriculture in Africa for agribusinesses.

He noted that a hybrid maize breeding programme established by WACCI in 2009 with funding from AGRA had led to the development and release of superior maize hybrids (yielding between 9 � 11 t/ha).

“These hybrids are being commercialised in partnership with a local seed company, Legacy Crop Improvement Centre and are expected to be in farmers’ fields in the next year and would significantly increase maize productivity in Ghana and, therefore, contribute significantly to the National Agenda ‘Planting for Food and Jobs (PFAJ)’ of Ghana, a country which had to import maize seed from neighbouring Burkina Faso to keep-start its PFJ initiative,” he stated.

He said over 60 improved varieties of staples such as maize, sweet potato, rice, cassava, groundnut, cowpea and taro with the potential of increasing Africa’s food production had been released by WACCI graduates in their respective home countries.

“The promotion and adoption of these crop varieties by farmers will increase productivity and improve livelihoods in Africa,” he said.

He said the game-changing products were expected to end food and nutrition insecurity in many communities throughout the sub region as well as lift millions out of poverty in the decade ahead.

Prof Danquah said WACCI was exerting huge impact across the African sub-region and had shown in 11 years that quality plant breeding education was a smart development investment through strengthening capacity in the National Research Institutes (NARIs) across the sub-region with the critical mass of scientists churned out of the WACCI programme.

He said the Centre continued to produce the much needed human resources to fight food and nutrition insecurity across sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr Rufaro Madakadze, AGRA Programme Officer in-charge of Capacity Building, in a message to the graduands, said: WACCI has been instrumental in resourcing West Africa with brilliant, practical breeders with the ability to work with both public and private sector with some countries like Ghana and Mali having doubled the NARs public sector breeders.”

“The vision and passion for these breeders speak to the excellent training they received from WACCI. AGRA is very proud of these scientists and expects block buster varieties from their work that transform their home countries agriculture,” she added.

Dr Dorothy Anima Effa, Programme Officer, Advocacy and Policy, AGRA Ghana, told the GNA that as the AGRA support programme for WACCI ends, they would still be working with WACCI, but in a reduced capacity.

She said AGRA’s focus would now be funding the lower level of capacity close to the farmers, thereby ensuring that products of research institutions get to farmers and urged the graduates to bring to use the knowledge gained at WACCI.

WACCI was established as a partnership between the University of Ghana and Cornell University in 2007 with initial funding from the AGRA to train plant breeders in Africa, who would be game changers in the transformation of agriculture in the West and Central Africa sub-region for food and nutrition security.

WACCI now one of the World Bank Africa Centres of Excellence has grown to become the pre-eminent Centre for plant breeding education in Africa and has more than doubled initial investments of $ 11.2 million from AGRA to over $ 28 million and exceeded the expectations of AGRA in terms of sustainability.

The Centre has since inception, enrolled 114 PhD students in Plant Breeding and 36 students in Master of Philosophy (MPhil) Seed Science and Technology.

A total of 66 PhD and eight MPhil students have graduated from the WACCI programme.

Of the 66 PhDs, 52 were funded by AGRA and many are leading plant breeding programmes aimed at increasing the productivity of the staple crops at the National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs) in their countries.

Source: Ghana News Agency