Let the Vandalism Begin: Adani Strikes Coal

He began on RN Breakfast by claiming that he, and his company, would be open and transparent about mining operations. But Lucas Dow, chief executive of Adani’s Australian operations, soon revealed in his June 25 interview that his understanding of transparency was rather far from the dictionary version. When asked how the Carmichael Coal Mine was getting its water, he claimed that these were from “legally regulated sources” and in commercial confidence. Businesses work like that, he stated forcefully, preferring to praise the company for it – and here, he meant no irony – its sound ecological credentials in solar energy and renewables.

The interview set the background for another sad chapter in the continued environmental renting of Australia. The company had found its first coal seam in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. As the ABC reported, it meant “the extraction of thermal coal at the 44,700-hectare site can begin.” The head of the Indian Adani Group, billionaire Gautam Adani, was celebrating his 59th birthday. “There couldn’t be a better birthday gift than being able to strengthen our nation’s energy security and provide affordable power to India’s millions,” tweeted the delighted chairman.

Even as oil and gas giants face court decisions and shareholder insurgencies about not having sufficient, tenably projected plans to reduce emissions, Adani remains antiquated in its stubbornness. Its vandalising behaviour flies in the face of even such conservative, pro-fossil fuel defenders such as the International Energy Agency. In its May report, the IEA noted, keeping in mind the target of a net zero emissions world by 2050, that more simply had to be done. Certainly, it argued, more could be done to meet 2030 targets. “Mandates and standards are vital to drive consumer spending and industry investment into the most efficient technologies. Targets and competitive auctions can enable wind and solar to accelerate the electricity sector transition. Fossil fuel subsidy phase-outs, carbon pricing and other market reforms can ensure appropriate price signals.”

Such observations are distant siren calls for the Indian giant, whose Australian branch, swaddled in controversy, has gone for a rebrand. Well as it might. Adani’s Carmichael Coal project, originally proposed in 2010 by the Adani Group, has catalysed the largest environmental protest movement since the Franklin campaign of the 1980s.

Having no doubt hired a goodly number of public relations consultants, the company’s rebadging as Bravus Mining and Resources suggests a stealthy deception. And it was as Bravus that success was announced: “We have struck coal at Carmichael,” came the headline in a June 24 company release.

The company CEO David Boshoff treated it as a matter of success in the face of opposition. “We have faced many hurdles along the way, but thanks to the hard work and perseverance of our team, we have now reached the coal seams.” The CEO would even have you believe that Bravus was playing a humble servant to many noble causes. “The coal will be sold at index pricing and we will not be engaging in transfer pricing practices, which means that all our taxes and royalties will be paid here in Australia. India gets the energy they need and Australia gets the jobs and economic benefits in the process.”

Boshoff is optimistic that Bravus will be able to export its first coal shipments in 2021. “We’re on track to export [the] first coal this year, and despite reaching this significant milestone, we will not take our eyes off our larger goal of getting coal to the market.” But do not worry, insists Bravus and the Adani Group: we have green credentials as well. Adani Green Energy Ltd (again, the PR consultants really have been working hard) had acquired SB Energy Holdings, which would see the company “achieve a total renewal energy capacity of 24.3GW.” What the Carmichael coal project did was contribute to a “burgeoning energy portfolio designed to create a sustainable energy mix” of thermal power, solar power, wind power and gas.

There were a few glaring omissions of detail from the fanfare, both in Dow’s interview and the company announcement. First came that pressing issue of water, one of its most scandalous features given the preciousness of that commodity on a water starved continent. The Queensland regulator notes that Adani has but one viable source, what is described as “associated” groundwater, drawn from the Carmichael site itself.

In May, the company’s North Galilee Water Scheme fell foul in the Federal Court, scuttling a pipeline project that would have supplied in the order of 12.5 billion litres a year from Queensland’s Sutton River. The Court agreed with the Australian Conservation Foundation that the federal government had erred in law when the Environment Minister failed to apply the “water trigger” in assessing the Scheme. The quashing of the plan led the ACF’s Chief Executive Officer Kelly O’Shanassy to conclude that, “Without the North Galilee Water Scheme, it’s hard to see how Adani has enough water to operate its mine.”

On water, as with much else, Bravus has adopted a policy of dissembling. In correspondence between an employee and Dow regarding a query by Guardian Australia on available aqueous sources, it was suggested “we do not give [the paper] anything more than what is already on the public record from us. They are clearly struggling to work out where we are getting our water, so I don’t think we give them any further clarity.” Dow approved of the measure.

There was also an absence of detail on the issue of the rail line, which is intended to link the mine to the Abbot Point coal terminal. Boshoff might well be confident about coal shipments this year, but the line is not, as yet, finished. That aspect of the project has also faced its share of problems, being accused of having a less than adequate approach to minimising erosion. The Queensland state government, after investigating those claims, found in favour of Adani, though it recommended that “construction activities within waterways should not be undertaken during the wet season”.

The Friday interview with Dow was also marked by the usual numbing apologetics and justifications long deployed by the fossil fuel lobby. If we don’t do it, others will. If we do not dig and exploit the deposits, Australians will miss out. Families will suffer. Coal remained a king with a firmly fastened crown, left un-threatened for decades. Precisely such a frame of mind is firmly fastened to the raft of dangerous unreality, and it is one that is sinking.

Source: Modern Ghana

Jerome Otchere writes: Fabulous, please have no phobia…

It should gladden us – especially Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko supporters that, regardless of the hefty blow Covid-19 have dealt us over a year and more, we can still congregate at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday to have fun as we watch our teams battle on the pitch for precious three points.

Pride and bragging rights will inevitably come with the three points. This is one moment in Ghana football we relish even if our game still has so much grounds to cover in terms of development. In this piece, I’m sharing my concerns and expectations. First, it’s a shame that we didn’t get the 25 per cent seating capacity arrangement increased to at least 50 per cent given supporters’ high interest in this game.

How the state has managed the Covid-19 scourge relative to mass gathering and social distancing smacks of hypocrisy and double standards. That, in some instances, has left me to wonder if there are different rules for the political class in managing the plague. I thought ensuring that spectators with tickets queue and sit two or three seats away from each other in an open space like the stadium, would’ve been much easier to handle if we’re truly committed to freeing up the restrictions.

It looks like when it’s about the politicians, the rules on mass gatherings and social distancing differ. Anyway, evidence of tickets being hoarded abounds the same way proof of Kotoko fans not getting tickets to purchase have been established. It’s unfortunate. But, please, fans, use your heads and not your hearts. Stay away from the stadium if you don’t have tickets. No tickets will be sold at the gates, we’ve been told. I sincerely hope this will be strictly adhered to.

On the game, we’ve created enough buzz on the airwaves and using social media. The media have engaged fans and the key actors – telling the stories various shapes and forms as always. I’m not reluctant to admit that Hearts of Oak are in good form. That’s even fine for Kotoko, who must cover every mile to overpower Hearts; who, eager to win, will also have to double their performance.

Spectators stand to benefit the most in that regard. Tied on 56 points but separated by Hearts’ seemingly healthy goal difference, whoever wins this game is most likely to be the league champion. I’ve enjoyed the neck-to-neck race amidst the problems associated with our game: insecurity, inadequate finances, bad pitches, refereeing controversies, etc.

Nevertheless, may none of us allow any of these negatives – particularly poor refereeing, to take centre stage or be the talking point after the game and that, whichever side wins or loses, the ultimate winner will be Ghana football. It must be a fabulous day. We shouldn’t have any phobia.

Source: Modern Ghana

Creative Arts industry to get GH¢ 5 million support

Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture is to support the creative arts industry with five million Ghana cedis as seed money to help it to grow.

Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, the sector Minister, said the money was to support the practitioners to propel the industry to the desired level.

He said this during an interaction with industry players, including actors/actresses and musicians, on ways to improve the sector and make it attractive to investors.

He said the meeting was to familiarize with the stakeholders, know their concerns and find ways of addressing them.

“As seed money we are going to start with GH¢ 5 million. For me, it is all about making money so that we can move the industry to the next level. I want to help you make that money, grow your business and pay your taxes,” he said.

Dr Awal appealed to the stakeholders to identify and furnish the Ministry with two key projects that could be achieved within two years.

“Let us start with two projects, put that together and let me have it. What I can say is that the President is ready to make things happen, he has given me two years to change the industry and that is what I will do,” he said.

Dr Awal assured the stakeholders of the Ministry’s continued support to ensure the industry thrived.

“I will not say, I have answers to all your challenges, but I am prepared to learn and learn very fast so that we can move the industry forward and I will need your support to do that.”

The practitioners mentioned challenges including the lack of funds, lack of government support and proper regulation, and influx of foreign content.

Source: Modern Ghana

African farmers could benefit from more friendly EU agriculture policies

Gilbert Bor manages a small farm in the western highlands of Kenya. Landscapes are hilly, village roads lined with pine trees, his cows mostly of the Friesian breed. He is up at 6:00am daily to lead his animals through the woods into the valley below.

Most farmers in and around his village in Kapseret grow maize or beans for subsistence. But that is set to change, says Mr. Bor.

East African regional authorities have started promoting cash crops like avocados and coffee to increase Kenyan exports to the European Union and China. At the same time, local farmers are getting organized as well, says Mr. Bor. His own community collectively invested in a milk tank to strengthen its position on regional dairy markets.

“For products like coffee, mangoes or peanuts, Europe is an important market,” Mr. Bor explains, enthusiastically. “Crops exported from Kenya are exempt from taxation in Europe. That also goes for exports to Europe from Ghana, Nigeria and the Francophone countries.”

The EU is a global agricultural powerhouse. The 27-country bloc feeds a steady stream of processed foods, grains, dairy and meats onto the world market while importing large quantities of raw commodities like soy, sugar cane or palm oil, tropical vegetables and fruits like avocados.

Keeping an eye on EU policies

Globalization is making markets better accessible to farmers like Mr. Bor. He says: “Almost all EU countries purchase Kenyan agricultural goods. Who stands to benefit most will depend on what countries like Germany or the Netherlands decide. African farmers must keep a closer eye on European policymakers.”

In particular, African farmers need to watch the evolution of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that was conceived in 1962 to provide affordable food for its population post-World War II.

Under CAP, the EU became so efficient that surpluses piled up. The authorities subsequently introduced export refunds—paying international traders the difference between the EU’s high internal prices and lower world market prices.

Those subsidies put pressure on food prices worldwide, leading to detrimental effects on African farming economies.

However, the EU abandoned its trade-distorting subsidies in 2017. A year later the EU-Parliament, for the first time ever, commissioned a study on the impact of the CAP around the globe.

“In recent years we have seen progress in better aligning agriculture with international development goals,” says Maria Blanco, head-author of the Technical University in Madrid, Spain.

However, simply increasing international trade in agricultural products would not automatically lead to better incomes for African farmers, experts say.

If unchecked, such trade could damage the environment, lead to the displacements of local peoples or human rights violations.

Ms. Blanco warns: “Importing sugarcane from outside Europe would create economic activity in the global south. But commodity imports from developing countries can also lead to land grabs or environmental pollution.”

Commodities are usually grown on large plantations. Once money starts pouring in the stakes, economically and politically, are raised, which put small farmers at risk. The shift to industrial-style agriculture usually puts tremendous pressure on the environment when it comes to chemical usage, deforestation or water pollution.

Pressure from exports

Research by the thinktank ARC2020 and the German NGO Heinrich Böll Stiftung finds that the EU agricultural policy creates ripple effects around the globe. Trade arrangements with Honduras, for example, concentrated the banana trade in the hands of few multinationals while the demand for grain and soya in Europe encourages land control in Central Asia.

Despite the positive outlook, African farmers are under unrelenting pressure of EU exports. After markets inside Europe were awash with milk after the bloc abandoned its quota system in 2015, Dutch and German producers quickly sought out other export opportunities.

Global dairy players like Danone or FrieslandCampina have increased their processing capabilities in West Africa. The FrieslandCampina subsidiary WAMCO controls no less than 75 percent of the milk market in Nigeria.

In Ghana increased exports of frozen chicken, from 13,000 metric tons in 2003 to 175,000 in 2019, have affected local production.

Over 90 percent of chicken meats in supermarkets in Ghana are imported from the United States or the EU.

“Poultry has the highest turnover and its short cycle of production is for income generation for farmers in Ghana. But European exports of frozen chickens negatively affect our own meat industry,” worries poultry farmer Anthony Akunzule.

Africa’s free trade area

The newly established African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) could boost African farmers’ efforts to compete with the EU. The trade agreement, which eliminates tariffs between African countries by 90 per cent and tackles customs delays, could foster intra-African trade in agriculture.

Professor of European Agricultural Policy Alan Matthews of the Trinity College, Dublin, says attention is rightly shifting attention away from the notion that CAP alone is responsible for Africa’s agricultural woes.

Mr. Mathews says that African governments had failed to prioritize investment in rural areas, even as most experts now believe the AfCFTA will be a game changer for Africa’s development.

What Africa farmers need are favourable policies and actions in both Europe and Africa, says Mr. Bor. For now, he says that, “Opportunities are all around for small farmers like me, mostly in the organic niche.

Source: Modern Ghana

The Palestine Ambassador to Ghana calls for two-state settlement after the ceasefire

The Ceasefire on the recent conflict between Israel and Palestine have had no impact yet towards the termination of the ongoing annexation, occupation, and apartheid activities that Israel has unleashed onto the Palestinian people, the Palestine Ambassador to Ghana, His Excellency Abdal Fatah Ahmed Khalil Alsattari has said.

His Excellency made the statement when AiNET Media paid a visit to him at the Embassy to discuss the aftermath of the ceasefire following his 19th May press released at the Embassy in Ghana that indicated that America can stop the war.

The press release was done prior to the actual announcement of the cease fire on the 21st of last month. As part of plans to bring calm to the Middle East, President Biden is reported to have made some considerations to appoint a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, to undertake a Middle East role of re-enforcing and expanding the already existing country-by-country accords in the Middle East. This strategy is considered effective and if implemented will bring a halt to the Middle East conflicts.

According to the Ambassador, the lands of Palestine are still being occupied by Israel, over hundred court cases are still pending, women and children are still going through the tyranny of Israeli soldiers at check points, streets, and homes. Whiles the fires have ceased for now, the issues that led to the conflict are still pending and Palestinian families are still under siege despite the commitment of the Biden Administration to bring the conflict to an end.

After the ceasefire, litigations are still going on and that in Sheikh Jarrah and the nearby neighbourhood of Silwan, more than 100 Palestinian families are facing lawsuits at different stages, and that “Over 1,000 Palestinians are at risk of mass displacement from these two areas alone, despite that a lot of destruction has already displaced many.

Since 1967 Israel has extended its framework, as a nation without boundaries and map, to occupy Palestinian territories, in a process known as “creeping annexation.” Its strategic objective is the permanent control of the maximum amount of lands with the minimum number of Palestinians aimed to establish “sovereignty over the whole city” of Jerusalem”. Using the 1970 Israeli state enacted law, under which Israel could claim Palestine Stolen lands that they have occupied. It is reported that, on last Monday, Israel’s attorney general refused to intervene in the case of Palestinians who were at the court, meaning their last recourse is the supreme court.

The last month attacks of bloodshed and bombing, he indicated, took away 280 Palestinian lives including 67 children, 37 women and 15 families were all killed from father to children. He noted that the recent carnage resonated deeply with the Arab public in the Middle East.

The Ambassador said they really expected a lot from President Joe Biden as he has pledged his commitment to liberate groups and minorities suffering from oppression in their localities and should sincerely take into consideration the global support from international community for the Palestine state following the recent attacks.

In relations to this new intention of extending the accords, Ambassador Ahmed Khalil Alsattari, reiterated that all Arab states are sovereign states and must be allowed to make their decisions. He noted that Arabs are enlightened and well educated and understood politics, truth, and traditions. He believed that signing of accords with Israel will not prevent them from calling a spade a spade and if the need arises for all Arabs to unite against a common enemy in the middle East, that it will take just a blink of an eye to do that.

As part of the efforts of the United States towards resolving the conflict, the Biden administration has considered the appointment of a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, to a Mideast role that would marshal and potentially expand the country-by-country accords between Israel and Mideast governments. The peace accords termed as “Abraham Accords” include a general declaration of support for peaceful relations in the Middle east among Jews, Muslims, and Christians, all followers of religion linked to the patriarch of Abraham.

The Trump administration saw the accords as partly paving a path towards full ties with Israel by the Arab states, including security and intelligent corporations. It is on this backdrop that, some supporters of the country-to-country accords asserted that the isolating of Israel within the Middle East, failed to overcome decades of deadlock on Palestinians’ demand for their own state with its capital in East Jerusalem.

The question is that will the inclusion of Israel and the enforcement of the county-to-country accords grant Palestine these demands? But the reaction of the Arabs state following last month crisis indicates that all the Arab states within the Middle East are like a group of the same kind, and if you put a gun on one, all the others once will come to a compromise. Today, all the Arabian state are equally aware of it, which led to their lamentation of signing the peace accords earlier before the bombardment of Palestine in this last crisis.

Analyst therefore noted the signing of the accords “Gave Israel the false impression that it can forge peace agreements with Arab states as a substitute for coming to terms with Palestine.” And also seem to have exposed the political concept of using one Arab state to tyrannize all the Arabian State, a situation that has gone on for long resulting in the stability and immunity of Israel, a Jewish state surrounded by Arabic states. This seems to be the motivation behind the idea that peace accords carried out by nations in the Middle East will only be effective if the nations are willing to be practical by adjusting or making enactments that will work with respect to enhancing the peace accord, otherwise they will make no impact in resolving the situation.

Despite the contrary views, the Joe Biden government has endorsed that the deals former President Donald Trump struck were “an important achievement, one that not only we support, but one we’d like to build on,” as acknowledged by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the House of Foreign Affairs Committee last two weeks. In addition, Blinken is reported to have said, “We’re looking at countries that may want to join in and, take part and begin to normalize their own relations with Israel. That, too, has been very much part of conversations I’ve had with several of my counterparts.”

Further reports indicated that, due to the above understanding, opponents of these peace deals, however, argued that they will undermine the need for a collective Arab consensus and will only recognize Israel within the middle east, only when it resumes serious peace talks with the Palestinian people that might lead to a tangible concession. They have a strong conviction that extending the country to country accords will be effective in resolving the conflict.

Reacting to the feasibility of the country –to- country peace accord led by the United State, Ambassador AbdalFatah Ahmed Khalil Alsattari, reaffirmed the commitment and determination of the Palestinian people to fight for their political rights at all times as they are grateful for the motivations and overwhelming support from the international community. He acknowledged the fact that both Christians and Muslims of Bethlehem, and almost everybody stood opposed to the bombardment that occurred last month between Israel and Palestine. “I want to make it clear that the conflict was not between Jews and Muslims. “It was not a Jews-Muslim conflict, it was Palestine and Israel affair,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, the Ambassador recalled the signing of the Oslo peace pact which wasn’t able to stop the encroachment and emptying of their homes. He felt that signing a peace accord with all states, country- to- country, within the Middle East with Israel may not stop the occupation of the lands and the apartheid that is currently going on except that this time round much is expected from President Joe Biden to help put an end to the creeping annexation agenda of Israel which targeted taking over Jerusalem to be resident of Jewish tribes alone.

As part of efforts to resolve the impasse, he noted that the role and stands of America is important in the conflict all these while, and lamenting that despite the checkered posture of Israel as against the position of the world at large all this while, they have had unflinching support from America in form of weapons and monetary support. Aside signing the peace accord, he believed that America is the only nation now that keep supporting Israel despite all the carnage and atrocities committed against Palestine, and that if American really wanted justice and fairness for the Palestinian people, that Israel would have no option than to grant it, highlighting that the declaration of Jerusalem as capital for Israel by former president Donald Trump on 6th December 2017, is in direct alignment of all the activities of the creeping annexation plan. A situation which has gone a long way to strengthen the Israeli government in boldly causing all the human rights atrocities against Palestine.

The strategic positioning and hunting of Palestine by Israel is in great interest of Israel to find a way of balancing power with the Arabian nations within the Middle East including Palestine, given that Israel is the only odd Jewish tribe surrounded by the Arab States in the Middle East. This seems to have captured the heart of America to rather support Israel as a Jewish community identified within Arabian states. So in effect, Palestine becomes one of the bargaining points in the Middle East once it held hostage by Israeli forces and supported by America. Earlier reports also showed that Marwan Muasher, a former foreign minister of Jordan charged that Israeli Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, considered the accords as an alternative to peace-making with the Palestinians. He stressed and indicated that “These agreements were never about the peace process,” and throws a question that, “Were they helpful to the peace process? No, they were not,” This was the posture of Muasher as reported by Mouin Rabbani. It is imperative that, the failure of the earlier accords became a precursor to last month carnage.

In reaction to this assertion, the Palestine Ambassador to Ghana said that, all the Arabs states are solidly behind Palestine, a formation that Israel tries to avoid. He went ahead to add that, signing the peace accords doesn’t make any difference and that the love, support and respect that Arab nations have for one another will continue despite singing of peace accords with Israel, the Ambassador added. Despite the intentions of extending the country-to-country accords by US, Ambassador Abdal Fatah Ahmed Khalil Alsattari, suggested that the two-state settlement should be facilitated specially between Israel and Palestine to bring an end to this conflict.

After the cease in the bombardments, Palestinian residents and activists say they still face a bleak future if international pressure fades. They called for foreign governments to try to pressure the Israeli government,” as claimed by Hammad, one of the resident victims of the annexation. Hammad noted that even as there is cease fire, still “There is no justice in their courts.” The question is, “Has the world suddenly gone to sleep after the cease fire? And shouldn’t the review of the 1970 annexation act to occupy Palestinian lands? Is the world just putting off the fire, or resolving the conflict that triggered the fire? In relation to what the world is doing, Palestine Ambassador to Ghana, said that reconstruction of Palestine wouldn’t really make much impact if the looting of lands and apartheid did not stop. He acknowledged that, the ongoing discrimination, unlawful detention of Palestinians, restricting check points and restricting the movement of Palestinian people whiles allowing the Israeli people to be free to do all that they wanted to do is nothing than apartheid which the Palestine State will continue to resist till justice is enforce for the liberation of Palestinian people. “Our freedom really means a lot to us despite an equal need to rebuild Palestine,” he insisted.

According to Ambassador Khalil Alsattari, the atrocities caused by the Israeli state, are engraved on the hearts of Palestine citizens to the extent that the Israeli Soldiers take pride in killing Palestinian children to prevent them from inheriting the memories of the enmity orchestrated by the Israeli government. Despite this ravage against Palestine, His Excellency said that the Palestine state has no hatred for the Israeli people if they should put an end to the gradual occupation of their lands and discriminating against them.

Meanwhile, in trying to find a balanced foreign policy after the takeover of the Biden administration, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who spoke to officials in Oman on a trip immediately before last month’s Gaza war erupted, is reported to have said that, “As many ways as the Biden administration will depart from Trump policy in the region, there will be places where it sees an interest in continuity,” he said. This confirms the assertion that in matters of foreign policy, the United State under Biden will not want to digress totally from what Donald Trump left despite the difference in approach and ideology.

His Excellency is therefore using this opportunity to call upon the United States to be fair and balanced in their intervention to resolve the issue despite their close relationship with Israel to facilitate the peace that is needed in the Middle East as well as Palestine. He called for all attempts to annex Jerusalem as the capital of Israel to be stopped. One option he suggested to resolve this deadlock is for the international community, the United States, and Europe in particular, to impose an end to the occupation of the Palestine lands and all attempts to continue creeping into Palestinian territories and ignite the process of the two-state-settlement.

Source: Modern Ghana

Free SHS: 2020 WASSCE exams leakage comments by Jane Naana, Africa Education Watch unfortunate –Group

A group calling itself Concerned Parents For Free SHS Ghana has condemned NDC’s 2020 election Running Mate Prof Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang and African Education Watch for downgrading the first batch of beneficiaries of the Free Senior High School policy over the results they chalked in the 2020 West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

This comes after the Africa Education Watch stated that investigations it conducted revealed two categories of irregularities occurred during the 2020 WASSCE – leakage in examiners’ contact details and widespread leakage in examination questions.

According to a report launched by the education tink tank, it intercepted an excel spreadsheet on social media which contain a total of 1,520 names of WAEC examiners for the WASSCE 2020.

“That leaked list had the specific names, schools, subject areas, telephone numbers and email addresses of certified WAEC examiners. Our checks, unfortunately, confirmed the data; the purported information in circulation on social media, sadly, was an authentic document from WAEC.”

Also, Prof Opoku-Agyemang in an interview with Woezor TV questioned why Ghanaians are celebrating the outstanding performance of the SHS students in the 2020 WASCCE exams.

“We have also heard and seen students who wrote an exams, came out and it was like, you know we had an earthquake in this country, it wasn’t like one school or two schools … this same group performance is supposed to be outstanding that we shouldn’t be talking, it is the group I am referring to,” she said.

She added, “And they went and wrote the exams we heard of the leakage of the exams, we heard of invigilators being compromised, we heard many many things and we also saw the students come out and speak about, ‘no this is not what we were told will happen’, now these students have as and we are happy? It is up to us.”

The group described as unfortunate an attempt by Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang to attribute the ‘Free SHS’ WASSCE results to leaked papers.

In reaction, the Conveyor for the group, Mr Ben Oteng Marfo said those who claimed the policy was not achievable must bow their heads in shame.

“I found the comment very unfortunate from a well-respected Stateswoman. I understand that, this comment is coloured with some form of political affiliations, however, I find it displeasing that, the political scope of our country has grown badly to the extent that, sensitive discussions such as the progress of a flagship social intervention programme like Free SHS could be politicized badly to create a dint on the image of the country’’.

Mr. Oteng Marfo indicated that one would expect that a Naana Jane who has served in influential capacities in this country such as Vice Chancellor of University of Cape Coast (doubling as the first female Vice Chancellor of a public university in Ghana), served as Education Minister of the Republic and finally risen to become a Running Mate of the NDC in the just ended 2020 General Elections should not be found sacrificing the image of the country on the altar of political affiliations.

“No one should see this as an attack on the personality of the Stateswoman because, that is not so, however, it is heartbreaking and distasteful for someone who has been in the hem of affairs of Education in this country to make such comments as if she never encountered the challenges she highlighted as the reasons to which she believes the results were without merits,” he intimated.

Meanwhile, The West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) says it is contemplating taking action against the Africa Education Watch over its recent reports on 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

Source: Modern Ghana

Hearts of Oak: Samuel Boadu deserves coach of the year award, says former Kotoko midfielder Agyemang Badu

A former Asante Kotoko midfielder, Emmanuel Agyemang Badu has backed Samuel Boadu to win the 2020/21 Ghana Premier League coach of the season award.

Boadu, who joined the Phobians prior to the start of the second round of the season has been sensational for the club.

Under the guidance of the former Medeama SC gaffer, Hearts of Oak sit on top of the league log with 56 points despite a torrid start of the season.

The 35-year-old tactician has played 14 matches in the league, with 10 wins, two draws and just two losses.

Agyemang Badu, however, in an interview hailed Samuel Boadu and his assistant, Hamza Mohammed and believes the latter deserve the coach of the year accolade.

“I think he deserves the [coach of the year] award even if he couldn’t win the league, together with his assistant Hamza Mohammed,” the U-20 World Cup winner told Takoradi based Skyy Power FM.

He also commended two other coaches for jobs done for their respective clubs.

“Evans Adotey of Karela United and Annor Walker of Great Olympics come next to him,” the former Hellas Verona and Udinese Calcio said.

With four matches to go, Boadu is well on course to end the club’s 11-year trophy drought.

Hearts of Oak will host Asante Kotoko in the matchday 31 games at the Sports Stadium on Sunday.

The game which has been touted as the decider of the season has been scheduled to kick off at 15:00GMT.

Source: Modern Ghana

C/R: 43-year-old found dead in Kasoa Okrudu River

The dead body of a man believed to be in his 40s has been found in the Kasoa Okrudu River in the Awutu Senya East Municipality of the Central Region.

Reports indicate that he was killed and dumped into the river.

According to the residents who spoke to Kasapa FM’s Yaw Boagyan, they started experiencing a serious stench in the area about three days ago, just for them to wake up Friday morning [June 25] to find a dead body.

Residents living in the area are now living in fear and panic since unfortunate incidents of this nature continue to occur in their community.

They have therefore appealed to the Municipal Chief Executive Michael Yaw Essuman Mensah as well as the government to beef up security in the area.

Meanwhile, the Awutu Senya East Municipality National Disaster Management Organization NADMO Director Mr. Amoah has also confirmed the incident to Kasapa FM.

According to him, they have reported the case to the Kasoa Police.

The deceased is unknown to the residents in the area. The decayed body will be retrieved for identification.

Source: Modern Ghana