Biriwa VTRI holds second Dream Discovery Day

Biriwa (C/R), The Biriwa Vocational Training and Rehabilitation Institute, (VTRI) has held its second Dream Discovery Day with a call on the government to make training materials available for constant practice at the training institutions.

The event which was on the theme “Career development: key to success “, brought together entrepreneurs, industrialists, trade experts, Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) providers, academia and other industry professionals, to share their experiences with the trainees at the Institute.

They served as facilitators and shared with the trainees how they developed their careers, their bitter experiences before, during and after their career choices and as well exposed them to job opportunities in their chosen areas.

Mr Christian Agordoh, Head of Monitoring and Evaluation at the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) who made the call, said the objective of Vocational training institutions would not be complete if the trainees do not have enough training materials to practice with.

“It is out of practice that the skill is developed. So if the training materials are not available for constant practice, it means the skill will still not be complete”, he said.

He expressed the hope that government would work towards getting the needed training materials for the training institutions for complete training of their trainees.

Mr Agordah underscored the importance of career training to Vocational education and said trainees were young professionals who ought to be rightly guided into the career space.

Explaining the rationale behind the event, Mr Samuel Kwashie Amegbor, the Institute Manager, said the nature of the job market was dynamic and ever changing and requires a diversification of education systems to meet the changing trends.

He said the changes had made career planning more complex and confusing and as such career programs such as the “Dream Discovery “, would give the trainees a strong and steady path to focus on their goals.

He further explained that the “Dream Discovery” which formed part of the Institute’s career guidance and counseling programs for its trainees, was to help boost trainee’s interest in their chosen trade.

Mr John Bentum, a retired engineer advised the trainees to set realistic goals for themselves, strive to achieve them and plan for the future because failure to plan for the future meant failure to succeed.

He advised them against profanity, cravings for money and fame, stressing that such things could stand between their successes in life.

Mr Ishmael Twum, an old Student of the Institute shared his experiences with the trainees and encouraged them to believe and have faith in themselves and not allow their friends in the Senior High Schools to influence them.


Source: Ghana News Agency

Provide opportunities and operational space for youth-owned businesses – Report

Accra, A research report released by the Youth Sector Engagement Group (Y-SEG) has called on government to address the high cost of rent charges in acquiring infrastructure for business operations to ensure their sustainability. It also urged government and policy makers to reduce barriers that impede business registration to formalise the informal business sector.

According to the report, majority of businesses, especially youth-owned enterprises were hardly sustained due to exorbitant rent charges usually demanded by property owners to obtain operational spaces to do business.

“Youth businesses in Ghana face high cost of doing business and this severely threatens their sustainability,” it said.

This was contained in the 2021 Ghana Youth Business Performance and Sustainability Index Report.

The study, carried out by the Y-SEG, Association of Ghana Industry and the Ghana Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs, sought to identify factors that hindered or otherwise the sustainability of youth-owned businesses to inform policy decisions of government

Presenting the findings of the report in Accra, Dr Prince Frimpong, the Lead Consultant, explained that even though recent technological advancement had ensured that businesses thrived without physical space, some particularly those in the manufacturing and industry sectors required a fixed physical space to undertake operations.

Government, he said must, therefore, look for ways to provide some permanent but affordable spaces to such young businesses, especially those owned by the youth to ensure their survival and sustainability.

“Inequality of opportunity opened to youth businesses has the tendency of making the disadvantaged ones fall out of business with all their entrepreneurial skills,” Dr Frimpong noted.

He added that: “As a consequence, there is the need to create more market spaces at affordable prices. This reduces the cost of operations of businesses and, hence, potentially improves performance and sustainability.”

In all, 2,016 respondents, aged between 18 and 35 years were interviewed, out of which 1,105 were males and 911 were females.

It was conducted in all 16 regional capitals of the country.

Three major dimensions were the focus of the research, namely
Social, which comprises the human capital development, the training and the entrepreneurial skills of the owner; the economic dimension, that is the cost of doing business, access to credit and finance and the risk level of doing such business and systems, which included the governing structures, innovation, taxes and registration.

Dr Frimpong, who is also a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Economics, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, also identified stable macroeconomic policies as critical factors to the survival of youth-owned enterprises.

He urged the government to develop prudent macroeconomic policies to reduce the cost of doing business.

Mr Mustapha Ussif, Minister of Youth and Sports in a speech read on his behalf by Mr Mohammed Saani, Head of Policy, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry, said government placed a high priority on youth skills development and support of young entrepreneurs and youth-led businesses.

“In promoting sustainability of youth-led enterprises, we are aiming at building well-functioning legal, regulatory public institutions and administrative environment, which is essential as it lessens the burdens of young entrepreneurs,” he said.

Mrs Comfort Ocran, CEO of Y-SEG, urged government and policy makers to adopt the report for the formulation of youth-owned business development policies.


Source: Ghana News Agency

Shippers must be abreast of ‘INCOTERMS’ to help facilitate businesses

Kumasi, Shippers must keep abreast of ‘INCOTERMS 2020’, the official rules for the interpretation of trade terms, Madam Benonita Bismarck, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA), has said.

She advised them to also be conversant with other trade laws, practices and agreements that regulated sales and carriage of goods by the multi-modal transport and logistics network.

This will facilitate the businesses of importers and exporters, promote and increase the country’s international trade and also improve foreign exchange earnings, the CEO noted.

Additionally, those laws and practices were also critical to helping the country to achieve the ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ agenda.

Madam Bismarck, addressing a forum on ‘INCOTERMS 2020’, which was organised by the GSA in Kumasi, on the theme, “Understanding International Trade Rules”, said international trade played a crucial role in the world economy.

Therefore, it was important for Shippers to understand the gravamen of trade rules.

She said the forum was aimed at educating shippers on the developments on the international trading scene and equipping them to be more competitive on the international market.

It specifically centred on ‘INCOTERMS 2020’ as developed by the International Chamber of Commerce as the official rules for the interpretation of trade terms.

Also, it clarifies parties’ obligations, risks and costs associated with the global transportation and delivery of goods.

Madam Bismarck also noted that shippers updating themselves with current terms will help them stay competitive on the international trade arena, resolve disputes amicably and deliver on their contractual obligations.

She said though the COVID-19 pandemic had taken a toll on the economy, the government was implementing fiscal measures to mitigate the adverse effects and provide relief for businesses.

She implored shippers to consider the option of alliances through partnerships, mergers and joint ventures to keep their businesses afloat in these difficult times.

She pledged GSA’s resolve to continue to protect and promote the interest of shippers by dissemination of timely and relevant information and educational activities to help shippers take well-informed decisions.

Mr. Isaac Tersiah Ackwerh, Kumasi Branch Manager of the GSA, said the Kumasi branch was also committed to providing relevant support through focused education and advocacy to boost import and export activities of shippers in the region.

He said the forum would help members to fully appreciate the ramifications of contract terms they incorporate into their sales and delivery contracts, to minimise delays and unplanned costs.

Madam Gertrude Adwoa Ohene Asienim, a Maritime Shipbroker and Consultant, also took participants through the understanding of International Trade Rules.


Source: Ghana News Agency

Freight Forwarders to take actions against shipping line operational costs

Tema, The Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) has declared its intentions to embark on a series of activities against some unexplained shipping line operation costs.

Mr Edward Akrong, President of GIFF stated at a press conference in Tema that, “while sustaining conversation, the group will picket, demonstrate and embark on other lawful activities in the coming days until equilibrium is achieved”.

Mr Akrong said even though the issue had been raised severally over the years, they were convinced that rent was being sought at their expense as according to the institute Ghana was worst off when it came to the miss-alignment of fee structure by the shipping lines.

Elaborating on the issues, he said the shipping lines were still charging administrative fees even though the state had resolved the capacity issues with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the Meridian and Ports Services (MPS).

He explained that “this fees are charged by the shipping lines ostensibly for local work done to release cargo to the client who has already paid their freight. The fees had legitimacy at the time when state’s capacity was low for which reason they had to augment service delivery through provision of logistics”.

He questioned why shipping line agents begin counting free days for the trader while the box was not at the disposal of the trader’s agent; saying for them to intentionally start the count sometimes when vessels were at anchorage and not fully discharged their cargoes with no recourse to the legal application was unfair.

“It should be noted that the shipping lines do not work on weekends thus truncating the clearance process although our ports are operating 24/7. Section 44 (5) of the Interpretation Act, 2009. ACT 792 settles the confusion on how days should be counted in these circumstances but what do we see?

Mr Akrong stated that other issues bothered on receipt of containers which suggested that the business expectation of shipping lines was not to receive the containers as they give outrageous conditions and demands when empty containers arrived at the container depot.

He said, “it is interesting to note that all USD indexed invoices issued by Shipping Lines in Ghana come with the Line’s own exchange rates and not that of Bank of Ghana.

“These rates vary from Line to Line and traders only come to terms with this only at the point of issue of invoices”.

He noted that some of the invoices issued were coded and not worded, making it difficult to understand the actual fees being charged and for which reason.

Other issues they raised were container deposits, inappropriate fees borne by importers, additional charges for use of online payments, unauthorized, uninvoiced, and unreceipted deductions from deposits.

Others are blacklisting of agents, strange claims on container damage post return of containers, and cargo release process that result in massive delays adding to cost.


Source: Ghana News Agency

Wilmar Africa Limited opens US$30m Detergent Manufacturing Plant in Ghana

Accra, Mr Alan Kyeremanten, Minister of Trade and Industry, has inaugurated Wilmar Africa Limited’s, Detergent Manufacturing Plant at its factory premise in Tema.

The US$30 million Detergent Plant, with a capacity of 24,000 metric tonnes, can meet the country’s total demand for detergent.

Mr Alan Kyeremanten, Minister of Trade and Industry, speaking at the inauguration, said: “The establishment of this state-of-the-art factory underscores the importance of such a strategic partnership between the Private Sector and Government in pursuit of our common goal of creating jobs and bringing prosperity to our people.

“This new detergent manufacturing plant is going to provide direct employment for about 220 people which will improve their livelihoods and that of their dependents,” he said.

The Trade Minister said the establishment of the company would boost the government’s strategic effort aimed at import substitution, especially in sectors, where there was local capacity for value addition.

Mr. Kwame Wiafe, General Manager, Wilmar Africa said the investment represented the company’s long-standing commitment to the country and its way of advancing the ‘Build Ghana, Buy Ghana’ agenda while impacting households with its reliable products.
“Over the years, we have worked tirelessly to make Wilmar products the choice brands in every home,” he said.

The General Manager said the opening of the Detergent Plant demonstrated their commitment to invest even more in their business so they could meet their customers’ expectations.

Mr. Wiafe said with the opening of the new Detergent Plant, Wilmar Africa would now be producing its much loved Jamaa powdered soap from start to finish, a great move compared to other similar competing products which were imported and bagged in Ghana.

Mr. Santosh Pillai, Chief Executive Officer for Africa – Wilmar International said, “We are delighted to open this landmark manufacturing plant in the country.

“It is our vision to ensure that we become the lead manufacturer of household consumer products and today’s milestone is a clear testament of Ghana’s strong position in Wilmar Africa’s footprint,” he said

He informed that, Wilmar’s vision was to be the company which understood and satisfied the everyday household needs in their markets, thus becoming the leading consumer products company in Ghana.

“We are excited by the Government’s renewed support for the manufacturing sector. We stand ready to explore opportunities presented by government for the benefit of companies like Wilmar Africa,” he added.


Source: Ghana News Agency

Feeding Census officials with false information is a crime – DCE

Ada, (Near Tema), Ms Sarah Dugbakie Pobee, District Chief Executive, Ada East District Assembly has called on Ghanaians to provide accurate information to Census Field Officers during the ongoing Census exercise to aid national development agenda.

“Intentionally feeding the officials with false information is a crime and we must avoid it, provision of false information would lead to arrest and subsequent prosecution, understand that data collated would be used for development purposes and planning,” Ms Pobee stated at Ada during an investment forum.

The investment forum was organized by the Assembly in collaboration with key development partners to enlighten the residents on projects that will be undertaken in the District, while exposing the investor community to other opportunities to consider for investment.

She therefore urged the residents to cooperate with the Census Field Officers, stressing that information provided was classified as confidential.

Ms Pobee expressed concern to the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of the forum that some residents were impeding the work of the Census Field Officials, “this is not good for our district, we must participate fully to ensure that we know the population of Ada East, our numbers would serve as our strength to lobby for investment”.

The Adad East DCE added that the intention of the enumeration exercise was to measure the accurate size of the country’s population to provide relevant demographic data that will enhance national development plans.

“For our district in particular, the enumeration would provide us with accurate data of the population, age demography, gender, education, religious background, and other vital information needed for development,” she said.

Ms Pobee “said the total population of the Ada was about 49,000 in 2010, as such, it was expected that the number would increase, we need the total number of the people in Ada to initiate developmental projects in the District.

She urged the participants including some members from the traditional Council, market women, some representative of the GPRTU, Assembly Members of all the Election Areas in the District to share the message in their respective communities to enhance effective participation of the people in the census exercise.

“I am pleading with all stakeholders to tell the people in your various communities to open up to the field officers and answer questions they ask correctly, the information is needed for national development,” she said.


Source: Ghana News Agency

O International Action Centre emitiu a seguinte declaração: CABO VERDE CONFRONTA AS NAÇÕES UNIDAS

PRAIA, Cabo Verde, July 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Numa decisão sobre medidas provisórias datada de 8 de junho, a Comissão dos Direitos Humanos das Nações Unidas insistiu que Cabo Verde “não extraditasse o Sr. Alex Saab para os Estados Unidos da América” e que “tomasse todas as medidas necessárias para garantir o acesso a cuidados de saúde adequados […] por médicos independentes e especializados escolhidos por ele”. Esta ordem judicial provisória é a primeira emitida em resposta à uma denúncia apresentada por Alex Saab perante a Comissão de Direitos Humanos das Nações Unidas.

Em entrevista no dia 29 de junho de 2021, o procurador-geral cabo-verdiano, José Luis Landim, faz um ataque frontal às Nações Unidas, alegando que não é da alçada da Comissão de Direitos Humanos da ONU impor a suspensão da extradição de Alex Saab de Cabo Verde para os Estados Unidos da América.

Esse posicionamento é alarmante e constitui um erro jurídico, estratégico e ético.

Em primeiro lugar, este posicionamento é completamente errado em termos legais. Gostaríamos de lembrar ao Sr. Landim que Cabo Verde optou por ratificar o Pacto Internacional sobre Direitos Civis e Políticos em 6 de agosto de 1993 e o Protocolo Opcional ao Pacto Internacional sobre Direitos Civis e Políticos em 19 de maio de 2000. Por conseguinte, deve cumprir as suas obrigações internacionais de boa fé e respeitar plenamente as decisões do organismo de peritos responsável pela interpretação do Pacto Internacional sobre Direitos Civis e Políticos, a Comissão dos Direitos Humanos. A alegação de que a Comissão não tem poderes para requerer a suspensão de uma extradição que possa expor alguém a riscos de danos irreparáveis e de violações do direito à vida e do direito à integridade física, é um erro jurídico imperdoável totalmente incompatível com o Estado de direito.

Em segundo lugar, tal posicionamento é um ataque frontal às Nações Unidas e aos direitos humanos, o cerne dos valores que a Organização defende. Tal posicionamento é uma mensagem clara ao mundo de que Cabo Verde pode exercer a sua soberania para violar os direitos humanos, ignorando as normas do direito internacional de direitos humanos às quais subscreveu, e ignorando as decisões internacionais. Ao adotar este posicionamento, Cabo Verde, além de desafiar o Tribunal de Justiça da CEDEAO, que determinou a libertação do detido arbitrariamente Alex Saab, depois de violar a imunidade diplomática de Alex Saab como Enviado Especial e Embaixador na União Africana, assume um posicionamento hostil em relação às Nações Unidas, indo contra a comunidade internacional.

Em terceiro lugar, tal posicionamento é um erro em termos de valores éticos fundamentais. Ao solicitar a suspensão da extradição de Alex Saab durante a avaliação dos méritos do caso, a Comissão dos Direitos Humanos incentivou Cabo Verde a demonstrar humanidade e bom senso, considerando que a extradição seria prejudicial à integridade física e à vida de Alex Saab. A Comissão não adotou uma posição política, e sim uma posição puramente humanitária.

Contato da MÍDIA:
Sara Flounders
International Action Center
Tel.: +1 212-633-6646

L’International Action Centre publie le bilan suivant sur le sujet : LE CAP-VERT S’ATTAQUE AUX NATIONS UNIES

PRAIA, Cap-Vert, 01 juill. 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Dans une décision sur des mesures provisoires datée du 8 juin, le Comité des droits de l’Homme de l’ONU a demandé au Cap-Vert de « s’abstenir d’extrader M. Alex Saab vers les États-Unis d’Amérique » et de « prendre toutes les mesures nécessaires pour garantir l’accès aux soins de santé appropriés […] par des médecins indépendants et spécialisés de son choix ». Cette décision ordonnant des mesures provisoires est la première étape urgente résultant de l’enregistrement d’une plainte déposée par Alex Saab devant le Comité des droits de l’Homme de l’ONU.

Lors d’un entretien daté du 29 juin 2021, le procureur général du Cap-Vert, M. Jose Luis Landim, lance une attaque frontale contre les Nations unies, affirmant que le Comité des droits de l’Homme des Nations unies n’a pas compétence pour imposer la suspension de l’extradition d’Alex Saab du Cap-Vert vers les États-Unis d’Amérique.

Une telle position est alarmante et constitue une erreur juridique, stratégique et éthique.

Premièrement, cette position est tout à fait erronée sur le plan juridique. Nous voudrions rappeler à M. Landim que le Cap-Vert a choisi de ratifier le Pacte international relatif aux droits civils et politiques depuis le 6 août 1993 et le Protocole facultatif se rapportant au Pacte international relatif aux droits civils et politiques depuis le 19 mai 2000. Il doit donc s’acquitter de ses obligations internationales de bonne foi et respecter pleinement les décisions du Comité des droits de l’Homme, organe d’experts chargé d’interpréter le Pacte international relatif aux droits civils et politiques. Dire que le Comité n’a pas compétence pour demander la suspension d’une extradition qui pourrait exposer quelqu’un à des risques de dommages irréparables et de violations du droit à la vie et du droit à l’intégrité physique est une erreur juridique impardonnable totalement incompatible avec l’État de droit.

Deuxièmement, une telle position constitue une attaque frontale contre l’ONU et les droits de l’Homme qui sont au cœur des valeurs que l’Organisation défend. Elle envoie un message clair au monde, à savoir que le Cap-Vert peut exercer sa souveraineté pour violer les droits de l’Homme tout en ignorant les normes de la loi internationale relative aux droits de l’Homme qu’il s’est engagé à respecter, et ce en ignorant aussi les décisions internationales. Ce faisant, le Cap-Vert, après s’être opposé à la Cour de Justice de la CEDEAO qui lui a ordonné de libérer Alex Saab, détenu arbitrairement, et après avoir violé l’immunité diplomatique d’Alex Saab en tant qu’envoyé spécial et ambassadeur auprès de l’Union africaine, décide d’adopter une position hostile à l’égard de l’ONU et se positionne à l’extérieur de la communauté internationale.

Troisièmement, une telle position est une erreur en termes de valeurs éthiques fondamentales. En demandant la suspension de l’extradition d’Alex Saab dans l’attente de l’examen quant au fond de l’affaire, le Comité des droits de l’Homme invitait le Cap-Vert à faire preuve d’humanité et de bon sens en considérant que l’extradition serait préjudiciable à l’intégrité physique et à la vie d’Alex Saab. Le Comité n’a pas pris une position politique, mais purement humanitaire.

Contact MÉDIAS :
Sara Flounders
International Action Center
E-mail :
Tél. :+1 212-633-6646