Cape Coasts High Court Quashes Assin North Parliamentary Election

Cape Coast, A Cape Coast High Court has restrained James Gyekye Quason, the Assin North Member of Parliament (MP), from holding himself as an MP for the Area.

The court presided over by Justice Kwasi Boakye has, therefore, ordered for fresh elections to be conducted in the Constituency.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, July 27, asked that an application seeking its supervisory jurisdiction in the case, be withdrawn.

The apex court had stated non-compliance to due process as the reason and the application was subsequently withdrawn by lawyers for the MP, paving the way for the Cape Coast High Court to rule on the matter Wednesday.

The MP’s lawyer, Justin Pwavra Teriwajah had tried without success, to get the Cape Coast High Court hearing the election petition involving his client, to refer to Article 94, Clause (2a) of the 1992 Constitution to the Supreme Court for interpretation.

A five-member Supreme Court presided over by Justice Yaw Apau struck the application out after the MP’s lawyer had withdrawn it.

The judges explained to the lawyer that he should have formally applied to the High Court to refer the said constitutional provision to the Supreme Court for interpretation, and if he refused, there would have been grounds to refer the same to the Supreme Court.

Justice Boakye on Wednesday asked the first Respondent to compensate the petitioner with an amount of 30,000 and the EC 10,000 Ghana cedis

The EC is also to hold a by-election of which Mr Quayson could contest.

Justice Boakye, in the ruling, said the election of the first respondent was illegal, void and was in contravention of article 94 (2) of the Constitution.

That, he held allegiance to the Canadian government as at the time he filed his nomination to contest as a parliamentary candidate for the 2020 general election.

Justice Boakye emphasized that Mr Quayson was not qualified to contest the election because his certificate of denouncing his allegiance was issued in November 2020 but filled his application in October 2020.

He admonished the public who wished to contest for a position in the Country to read and understand the 1992 Constitution governing the country.

A member of the legal team of the petitioner, Nana Boakye afterwards, described the judgement delivered as ‘elaborate, hinged and pivoted on authorities and of the laws of the Country’.

He said that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) believed in the rule of law and there was no way that they would allow bias or favouritism in the petition.

“ We have heard that the NDC is saying we are using some technicalities to mislead the public and I say that statement is false, malicious and an attempt to render the rule of law ineffective but it wouldn’t work” he added.

Mr Ofosu Ampofo, the National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), on his part, said they were optimistic that the Assin North seat was and would still be for the NDC.

It would be recalled that a resident of Assin North, Michael Ankomah Nimfah, on January 6, applied for an interlocutory injunction to restrain Mr Quayson from being sworn in or hold himself as MP.
He contended that the MP-elect was not eligible on the basis that at the time he (Quayson) filed his nomination to contest as a parliamentary candidate, he was still a citizen of Canada.

The Act, he argued, was against the express provision of Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 Constitution and Section 9(2) of the Representation of the People Act 1992 (PNDCL 284).

Among other reliefs, the applicant wanted the Cape Coast High Court to declare the nomination filed by Mr Quayson as “illegal, void and of no legal effect”.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

‘Harmonised trade policy key to implementing AfCFTA’

Accra, The Ghana International Investment Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC) has advocated the urgent implementation of harmonised trade finance policy reforms across the Continent for effective implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Mr Selasi Koffi Ackom, the Chief Executive Officer of GITFiC, said an increase in trade finance would ease cross border trade, enable capital and information flow, attract greater foreign and intra-continental investments and provide larger customer base for financial institutions to serve.

Mr Ackom said this at the Fifth GITFiC in Accra on the theme: “Facilitating Trade and Trade-Finance for the AfCTA; The Role of the Financial Services Sector.”

He said lack of access to trade finance had been an impeding factor to trade, especially for Small and Medium Enterprises, across the African Continent, and called on Africa’s leaders to address the situation before the implementation of AfCFTA.

Mr Ackom said even though “politics rules the economy”, the assertion was hinged on finance in terms of governance and that there was the need to create realistic ideas and find reliable partners to support SMEs under AfCFTA.

Intra-African trade policies under the AfCFTA negotiations were expected to increase by $34.6 billion by 2022 equivalent to a 52.3 per cent above the 2022 baseline.

The International Monetary Fund report in 2020 stated that an improvement in the quality of Africa’s infrastructure to global average standards would result in a seven per cent increase in intra-regional trade flows.

Mr Ackom said the complete abolition of intra trade barriers and implementation of trade facilitation procedures under the AfCFTA were geared towards promoting regional markets as attractive export destinations, thereby enhancing the competitiveness of regional products.

He said African exports performed poorly during the financial crisis, while imports declined faster during the same period, adding that the period 1999 to 2008 saw rapid growth of African trade among the regions.

Mr Ackom urged Africa’s leaders to strategise and develop a comprehensive framework to drive economic growth through the implementation of the AfCFTA.

Mr Helge Sander, the Deputy Ambassador of Germany to Ghana, said the German Government was providing support to Africa’s development initiative through GIZ to address the challenges around institutional and legal frameworks in supporting the implementation of AfCFTA.

The programme, the Deputy Ambassador said, focused on facilitating negotiations on trade in services liberalisation, creating capacity to implement commitments under the trade in goods, and prepare for phase two negotiations, especially on investment, competition policy, and digital trade.

He said in Ghana, a national implementation strategy had been set and structures established to implement the “Boosting Intra-African Trade Agenda” to address the key constraints in the sector and increase the volume and benefits of trade.

Mr Sander said Ghana had started exporting under the AfCFTA since the start of trading on January 1, 2021, and that the project would further support national structures, private sector operators and stakeholders to participate in intra-African trade.

Mr Tsonam Cleanse Akpeloo, the Greater Accra Chairman, Association of Ghana Industries, called on the authorities to push for a uniformed payment system to achieve successful implementation of the African trade initiative.

He called for the improvement of mobile money transaction across the Continent and the development of infrastructure to pave way for smooth cross border movement to optimise the full benefits of the AfCFTA.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Jobseekers need requisite skills

Accra, Mr Bright Wireko-Brobby, the Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, says jobseekers must possess the requisite skills and the right attitudes to fit into vacancies created by the job market.

He said it was interesting to note that in many cases people were unemployed because they did not know where their skills were needed.

Mr Wireko-Brobby was speaking at the opening of a three-day Ghana Job Fair, organised by the Ghanaian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration, in partnership with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations in Accra.

It is on the theme: “Connect, Explore and Advance your Career,” and targets young jobseekers, entrepreneurs, technical and vocational artisans with the aim of tackling unemployment and underemployment, improve skills and promote entrepreneurship among the youth.

Mr Wireko-Brobby said government was interested in all activities and programmes that facilitated the creation of employment opportunities for jobseekers, particularly the youth, and that it had put in place various programmes and initiatives to reduce unemployment in the country.

He said key among such initiatives were the Planting for Food and Jobs, Nations Builders’ Corps, MASLOC, the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme, the Youth Employment Agency and stimulus packages for businesses.

He said there were also numerous initiatives by private enterprises to invest in the economy and expand the capacity of the private sector, including the informal economy, to create jobs.

In order to consolidate the gains from the implementation of previous job creation interventions, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had targeted to create one million jobs, Mr Wireko-Brobby said.

“In view of this, the relevant institutions are working feverishly to get the work done,” he said.

He said nonetheless, job creation required the collective effort of government and the private sector, and that whereas government worked to provide the enabling environment for businesses to thrive, it was expected that the private sector would take advantage to grow businesses and create the jobs.

“It is clear that Government alone cannot do it all and definitely requires support from individuals and organisations,” he said.

So far, the periodic Job Fairs had been able to support some jobseekers to acquire additional or new soft skills and connect applicants to potential employment.

Mr Wireko-Brobby said despite the achievements over the years, “I wish to suggest that we evaluate what its impact has been and how it has contributed to addressing youth unemployment and irregular migration.”

He said the evaluation could even identify which part of the initiative was working best and what kind of corrective measures were required to achieve value for money.

”The Ministry, on its part, will strengthen its monitoring role and document the gains of the intervention to facilitate evidence-based decision-making,” he added.

Mr Benjamin Woesten, the Head of the Ghanaian-German Centre, said the programme intended to bridge the skills gap between the labour market and people who completed universities.

He said it was also to provide direct job marching opportunities for jobseekers and that it was a dialogue platform to enable them to get in touch with employers without any intermediaries.

Mr Woesten noted that the combination of skill development and job marching opportunities was unique and new to the Ghanaian labour market and hopeful of its success.

The event declared over 1,074 job vacancies from 62 companies.

The Ghana Job Fair 2021, Hybrid Edition, will feature seasoned speakers from the private sector and give participants rare opportunities to engage with speakers through in-person, vertical workshops, and panel discussions all on one platform.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Volta ECG staff urged to ensure excellent customer service delivery

Akatsi (VR), Mr Emmanuel Lumor, the Volta/Oti Regional Manager of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), has urged staff of ECG in the Volta region to ensure excellent customer service delivery. He said it was time for every staff to embrace good customer care and relations to improve the image of the company.

Mr Lumor said these during an interaction with the staff of the company at Akatsi in the Akatsi South Municipality of the Volta region as part of his tour to the various ECG operational Districts in the region.

The tour was aimed at encouraging the various management teams and staff to work towards achieving their corporate goals, especially in revenue mobilization and improved customer satisfaction.

Mr Lumor said customers must receive the best form of treatment irrespective of their status, adding that “without them, the company can not exist.”

He reminded staff of their concept of adding value to customer care, such as reliability of electricity supply, quick response to faults, prompt delivery of accurate bills and simultaneous updating of customer accounts and records.

“We are committed to operating at a higher accepted standard of quality, security, profitability and friendly environment,” he added.

However, Mr Lumor warned that management would not hesitate to dismiss any staff who engaged in activities that tarnish the image of the company.

The tour was also an opportunity for management to exchange ideas and to discuss some challenges confronting workers in the various Districts.

Among the management team were Mr Benjamin Antwi, the Regional Public Relations Officer (PRO), Nana Abrefa, the Regional Commercial Manager, Ing Michael Buabeng, Regional Engineer, and other regional management staff.

Some other Districts the team visited include, Sogakope, Keta, and Denu.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

FDA trains manufacturers of cosmetics and household chemicals

Accra, The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) on Wednesday, opened a training programme for local industries to help them meet local and international production standards. The three-day programme, in collaboration with the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) for about 46 manufacturers, was part of the FDA’s mandate under the Public Health Act 2012, Act 851, to ensure public health and safety through the regulation of pharmaceuticals, biologics, herbals, food products, cosmetics, medical devices, household chemicals, tobacco and tobacco products, as well as safety monitoring.

Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, Chief Executive Officer, Food and Drugs Authority, said her outfit had over the years instituted several activities to enable it achieve its mandate and objectives, including the inspection and licensing of manufacturing facilities, registration of product, market surveillance activities and industrial support services.

She explained that inspection activities at the various manufacturing facilities of cosmetics and household chemical manufacturing industries over the years, had revealed a number of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) deficiencies, for both premises and quality management systems, necessitating the need for the training programme.

He thanked the Management of the GEA for the initiative and for funding the programme, which would enhance the quality of locally manufactured cosmetics and household chemical products and make them more competitive within the West African Sub-region and globally.

Mrs Darko stated that the FDA in partnership with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ghana Export Promotion Authority and other stakeholders between November and December 2020, toured the entire country to create awareness on the establishment of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

She said during the tour, stakeholders encouraged local businesses to take advantage of the opportunity to expand their production capacities to enable them manufacture enough products for export within Africa under the AfCFTA agreement.

“It is important to note that with this golden opportunity for local industries, one’s business can only strive in export and even on the local market if they manufacture products that are of the right quality to meet both local and international standards,” she said.

She said Government and for that matter the FDA and GEA, strongly believed that such training programmes were very necessary to empower local companies to come out with products whose quality attributes could be compared with existing best ones on the market.

Mrs Darko however, acknowledged the great contributions made by local industries in the manufacturing of high quality soaps, hand sanitisers and other household cleaning chemicals, from the inception of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it had contributed largely to the country’s success in managing the disease and in keeping infections at bay.

She said the country would have been in a much terrible situation by now if those products were of sub-standard quality, saying “this should tell us that we all have a role to play when it comes to ensuring public health and safety”.

Mr Yaw Baffour Gyimah, the Senior Regulatory Officer at the Drug Industrial Support Department of the FDA, in a presentation on Good Manufacturing Practice requirements for cosmetic industries, said every production establishment must have registered licenses for both their premises and products from the FDA.

He gave other operational requirements as regular verification inspection by the FDA to ensure that their products met consistently applicable public health safety regulations requirement.

Mr Gyimah mentioned some of the observations made by the FDA during its inspection tour of some local manufacturing companies, as the lack of separate or dedicated rooms for production activities, because many were operating from their homes.

Most companies had no logical flow of processes, including the use of calibrated equipment approved by the FDA for accurate measurements, identifiable equipment and raw materials for production not being readily available or adequately identified, hence they could not be verified for quality, he said.

Mr Gyimah further mentioned non availability of good storage of raw materials, and the fact that there were no properly documented manufacturing formula for production, as a serious gap that must be addressed for sustainability and progress.

He encouraged the participants to take note of the findings of the FDA’s inspection team, and position themselves after the training to amend those gaps for improved production and services.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Government to present 2021 Mid-year budget Review on Thursday

Accra, The Government, through the Ministry of Finance, will present the 2021 Mid-year review to Parliament in accordance with Section 28 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921).

Under the Act, the Minister for Finance is expected to present the Mid-year Review to Parliament not later than 31st July of each financial year and this year’s presentation is being done on Thursday 29th July 2021.

A statement issued by the Ministry said the presentation would provide the economic and fiscal performance of the economy for the first half of 2021 as well as provide an update on the implementation of key programmes, including, strategies by the government to create employment for Ghanaians in general and the youth in particular.

It said the Mid-year review would also highlight the status of the implementation of the Ghana CARES “Obaatanpå’ Programme that sought to revitalize and transform the economy to pre-pandemic times.

“The review is also expected to focus on revenue, expenditure, and financing performance for the first half of 2021 and provide an overview of the implementation of the 2021 Budget,” it added.

It said the Mid-year review was also expected to touch on the assurance of the government on securing Covid-19 vaccines for vaccination and effective domestic revenue mobilization initiatives.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Consumers scan Tema markets for moderate commodity prices

Tema, A weekly market survey conducted in major markets in Tema has shown that the prices of some commodities saw a reduction in the week as against the previous week while others saw a marginal increase.

At most of the markets, a sack of garden eggs was pegged at GH¢ 300.00; a sack of Cabbage is going for GH¢ 650.00; Carrot medium sack GH¢ 140.00 for the local sack and between GH¢ 85.00 to GH¢ 90.00 for the foreign ones.

A sack of Green pepper pegged at GH¢ 550.00; 50kg of Maize old type GH¢ 500.00 and the 50kg maize new GH¢ 480.00; Yam for GH¢ 1,000.00 for the 50 tubers old ones while new yam goes for GH¢ 500.00 for 70 tubers.

The price of 50kg beans is GHC1,000.00, 50kg Walewale is GH¢ 700.00 and 50kg soya beans is GH¢ 1,200.00 while a sack of Onion goes for GH¢ 700.00, a Small Box of fresh tomatoes is sold at GH¢ 1,600.00 and Big box of fresh tomatoes is pegged at GH¢ 3,000.00.

The price of 50kg Gari goes for GH¢ 900.00, 50kg Groundnut GH¢ 1,800.00, 50kg Millet GH¢ 1,200.00, a bunch of unripe Plantain GH¢ 50.00 and above.

Meanwhile, some of the traders attributed the price differences to scarcity of some foodstuffs others are blaming it on poor roads that were impeding the transportation of the goods from the farming communities to marketing centres.

At the Ashaiman market, traders attributed the high prices of commodities to the unfavourable weather conditions, which affected farmers’ output, therefore, putting pressure on traders to increase prices.

Last week market prices saw a sack of Pepper was pegged at GH¢ 530.00; Garden eggs at GH¢200.00 per sack, Okro pegged at GH¢ 140.00 per basket, Cabbage pegged at GH¢1,000.00 per sack, and Green Pepper was GH¢ 150.00.

The prices of Carrot was GH¢ 180.00, Ginger per sack was pegged at GH¢ 800.00, Onions GH¢ 800.00, and a sack of palm nut GH¢160.00.

A bag of Millet was pegged at GH¢ 380.00; Cowpea at GH¢ 450.00, Soya Beans GH¢ 440.00, Beans GH¢ 1,000.00; Maize GH¢ 500.00; Gari GH¢ 800.00; Groundnut GH¢ 750.00 and rice ranged from GH¢ 260.00, GH¢ 275.00, and GH¢ 290.00 depending on the type.

A tuber of yam ranged from GH¢ 8.00, to GH¢ 14 00, a sack of Cassava GH¢ 250.00 depending on the type, Cocoyam GH¢500.00 per sack; a bunch of unripe plantains GH¢ 70.00.

A carton of fish pegged at GH¢ 400.00 and Tuna GH¢ 500.00 and a crate of tomatoes GH¢ 1,400 for the local and GH¢ 2,000.00 for the foreign ones.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Forty Surgeons to Receive Scholarships for Paediatric Needs

Charities Smile Train and KidsOR to Sponsor Surgeons Across Africa

TANZANIA, Africa, July 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Global charities Smile Train and Kids Operating Room (KidsOR) are partnering to support the training and education of 40 paediatric surgeons across Africa in partnership with the West African College of Surgeons (WACS) and the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA).

Smile Train and KidsOR

Candidates from South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Malawi, Liberia and Tanzania are already in session at various training institutions under COSECSA and WACS, with additional candidates expected from Lesotho, Eswatini and Sierra Leone.

The scholarships, which support recipients for a duration of three to six years depending on the course of study, cover the cost of exam registration and fees, transport and visas for the country in which the recipients are training.

Smile Train Vice-President and Regional Director for Africa Mrs. Nkeiruka Obi celebrated the partnership, saying: “At the core of Smile Train’s ‘teach a man to fish’ model is capacity building and sustainably empowering local healthcare professionals in the cleft ecosystem.

“Smile Train is committed to supporting the education and training of medical professionals, and we are excited to expand this work with KidsOR to strengthen the surgical systems and increase access to safe, quality, surgical care in low- and middle-income countries thereby providing consistently available and cultural appropriate care for patients with cleft .”

Rosemary Mugwe, Africa Director of KidsOR, added: “KidsOR aims to give every child access to safe surgery. Through scholarships, we seek to find the gaps and identify the best ways to support junior doctors through their studies with resources to help drive the quality, skill sets and confidence of new graduates. We want to help strengthen local workforces to create sustainable healthcare systems.”

Worldwide, a severe shortage in the surgical workforce contributes to limited access to safe, affordable, and timely surgical care for an estimated five billion people. Smile Train partner Professor Roumanatou Bankole, who is a Fellow of the West African College of Surgeons (FWACS), a Smile Train International Scholar, and Professor of Pediatric Surgery at Teaching Hospital of Treichville, welcomed the partnership, emphasizing the need for quality education and training for the surgeons.

“Africa is lacking in qualified paediatric surgeons and 143 million additional surgical procedures are needed each year to prevent disability in low- and middle-income countries. This partnership creates a lot of opportunities for education and training among younger surgeons to bridge the gap,” said Prof. Bankole.

Currently, Burundi has no paediatric surgeon in the country. That will soon change, however, as two doctors – Dr Alliance Niyukuri and Dr Carlos Nsengiyumva – are among the cohort that will be supported by the scholarships offered by Smile Train and KidsOR. Similarly, when scholarship recipients from Eswatini, Liberia, Lesotho and South Sudan complete their studies, they will be the first pediatric surgeons within their countries.

Dr. Alicia Messenga, a paediatric surgeon at Bugando Medical Centre, Mwanza, Tanzania, has recently qualified as a paediatric surgeon on a KidsOR scholarship. She said: “Successful completion of my studies has benefitted our community as paediatric patients get the specialist care they need. As BMC is also a university teaching hospital, surgical students get exposure to paediatric surgery now that we have a paediatric surgery unit in the hospital thanks to KidsOR and Smile Train.”

Through funding from Smile Train, KidsOR is also implementing the remodelling of operating rooms in 23 hospitals across 18 countries over the next five years. The partners have successfully delivered state-of-the-art pediatric theatres at Bugando Medical Centre, (Mwanza, Tanzania); University Hospital Medical Centre (Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire); Armed Forces Specialist Hospital (Kano, Nigeria) and Bethesda Hospital (Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo).

Notes to Editors

  • An estimated 1.7 billion children lack access to safe surgery.
  • More children aged between five and 14 die every year from surgically treatable injuries than malaria, HIV and TB combined.
  • Death and disability from untreated surgical conditions drives a third or more families into poverty from a single hospitalization, leads to preventable pain and suffering, and even child abandonment and the fracture of families.

About Smile Train
Smile Train empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. We advance a sustainable solution and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive. To learn more about how Smile Train’s sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit smiletrain.org.

About Kids Operating Room (KidsOR)
Kids Operating Room is a global children’s health charity working to give every child access to safe surgery when they need it. Over two billion children lack access to safe surgery. Every year, more children die from not getting the surgery they need than from Malaria, HIV and TB combined. KidsOR saves the lives of children in low- and middle-income countries by installing and equipping state-of-the art Operating Rooms dedicated to children’s surgery, and training surgical teams to work in them. Since 2018, KidsOR has provided more than 40,000 life-changing operations across 30+ Operating Rooms in 14 countries.

Press contacts:

Smile Train
Emily Manjeru
PR & Communications Manager, Africa
+254 724 926 269
emanjeru@smiletrain.org

KidsOR
Muthoni Wahome
Communications Officer (Africa)
muthoni@kidsOR.org

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