Kufuor scholars mentor pupils at Amrahia AD M/A Basic School; donate goodies to them

Members of the University of Ghana Chapter of the Kufuor Scholars Program have undertaken a mentorship programme at the Amrahia AD M/A Basic School in the Greater Accra Region.

The scholars led by president of the chapter Elizabeth Dansoa Osei also donated a bunch of gift items to the pupils at the end of the mentorship sessions.

The mentorship sessions had the objective of inspiring the young people to be great leaders in future, Madam Osei explained.

The first mini session was by Kufuor Scholars Rebecca Kombian and Zulaiya Sakibu, who gave the pupils tips on personal hygiene as a means to physical, mental and social wellbeing. They also encouraged the pupils to keep the environment clean.

Esther Amoako Bonsu and Nathaniel Aidoo also urged the students to study hard in order to be able to fulfill their dreams, noting life is made of choices which come with consequences and rewards.

Another scholar Victoria Boateng urged the pupils to “have respect for teachers and the elderly in society.” She encouraged the pupils not to be in a rush to acquire material things because “good things come in packages that must be discovered in patience.”

The Kufuor Scholars donated a number of items including story books, exercise books, hand sanitizers, nose masks, tissue papers, and cleaning tools to the pupils.

Pupils of the Amrahia AD M/A Basic School expressed gratitude to the Kufuor Scholars.

Other scholars who were present for the event are Nathaniel Aidoo, Samuel Osei Danso, Linda Ackah Mensah, Oprah Anakwah, Harriet Emefa Akasreku, Eunice Benjotim, and Victoria Afriyie.

The Kufuor Scholars Program is an initiative of the John A. Kufuor Foundation which offers mentoring and coaching opportunities for selected tertiary students. Former President John Agyekum Kufuor is the brain behind the establishment of the foundation and is chairman of the board.

The Kufuor Scholars Program has the overarching objective of mentoring a critical mass of future change agents, leaders imbued with a strong sense of patriotism, leaders who are innovative, problem solvers, creative thinkers and knowledgeable professionals in their respective fields of endeavour.


Source: Ghana Web




Happy Dev’t Dialogues: Stakeholders provide solutions to Ghana’s housing deficit


Ghana’s number one radio brand which seeks to promote the state’s development agenda, Happy98.9FM, has held an eye-opening dialogue on the housing sector.

Engaging stakeholders in the housing sector, the dialogue focused on a three-tier approach by reacting to the issues of housing in Ghana as highlighted by the ‘Plight of Homeless in Accra’ documentary produced by Happy98.9FM. Stakeholders identified problems in Ghana’s housing sector which have affected homeownership. Subsequently, they offered a myriad of alternatives to the country’s housing deficit.

The discussion which was on the topic, ‘Affordable Housing in Ghana, a Reality or Mirage’ received in-depth exposition from members of the Ghana Real Estates Development Association (GREDA), the Minister of State in Charge of Works and Housing-Freda Prempeh, and the Association of Building & Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana.

Stakeholders reacting to the ‘Plight of Homeless in Accra’ documentary admitted that the incidence of homelessness and poor living conditions is not only rife in Accra, but in most parts of Ghana. They bemoaned the unsanitary conditions of slum settlements.

They blamed the housing deficit in Ghana on the absolute disregard for housing laws, and mainly the absence of public-private partnerships. President of the Association of Building & Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana, Prosper Yao Ledi, highlighted some of the constantly broken laws.

He stated: “There are laws in Ghana, however, our actions clearly show that we don’t respect these laws. For example, it is mandatory for anyone building a house to consult town planners who will inspect the location before the project even begins. However, people do not adhere to the law and do as they please”.

Prosper added that in the past, builders consulted inspectors to give “an orientation on where a house can be situated, where water and electricity will flow, among others”, even before beginning a project. He shared, however, that the narrative is different now.

Meanwhile, the Association’s President has called on the government to engage the chamber of building contractors to proffer a solution to the above-mentioned menace.

Executive Secretary of GREDA, Samuel Amegayibor expressed that while the Association wished it could do something to resolve these problems, they can only do as much as business people, and nothing more without government support, and its interventions by subsidizing housing for the populace.

They maintain that the goal of affordable housing can only be achieved if the government partners with GREDA to provide housing to Ghanaians.

The Executive Secretary explained: “Let’s say Lakeside Estates pegs the lowest price for a house at 30,000 dollars, what prevents the government from showing interest and finding out how Lakeside was able to sell that property at 30,000 dollars without any help from the government. If the government is able to engage the private developers, the next step will be how to help Lakeside to reduce the price from 30,000 dollars down to 20,000 dollars.

The government must engage private developers. We must look inward as a country. As private developers, we don’t have a problem if the government is getting foreign support but have we checked what we are doing here as private developers to find out what we can do together to help the people?”

Director of Lakeside Estate, Salah Kwaku Kalmoni supporting an alternative solution to Ghana’s housing deficit believed the introduction of kiosk settlement will go a long way to reduce the incidence of people sleeping on the streets, and being unable to afford safe and hygienic accommodation.

He called for the legalization of illegal settlements (slum kiosks) in the sense that they are rebuilt properly up to maximum standards.

Ghana’s Minister of State in charge of Works and Housing, Freda Prempeh, charged developers to also consider adding value to local resources to further reduce the cost of building affordable houses. “We need to look at alternative building materials and reduce the cost of building. All these combined will help reduce the cost of building. This way, Ghanaians don’t use more than 30 percent of their income to own homes.”

She assured Ghanaians that the Saglemi Housing Project will soon be put to good use, explaining that Government has not deliberately ‘hijacked’ the housing project while some Ghanaians lack accommodation.

“The Saglemi issue is still a case in court and as such we cannot talk much about it. It is never the government’s intention to allow the project to rot while some Ghanaians do not have accommodation. Ghanaians must be patient with the government and rest assured that government will put the project to good use.”

Director of Broadcasting for Global Media Alliance Broadcasting Company, Timothy Karikari stated, “With the media’s mandate to educate, we as a team decided to focus our attention on the housing sector in the country considering our population growth. The recent census stated that the population is about 30.8million and this means we need to start thinking of bridging the housing deficit in Ghana. These are some of the factors that pushed us to have a discussion on housing and how we can resolve these problems moving forward.”

He charged Ghanaians to keep their dial tuned to Happy98.9FM for more engagements under the Development Dialogues series.




Source: Ghana Web


Bolt Ghana launches service in Koforidua

Bolt, the leading ride-hailing platform in Ghana, has expanded its operations by announcing its services in Koforidua.

The ride-hailing service is already available in Accra, Cape Coast, Kumasi, and Takoradi and has been in operation in Ghana since 2017.

The expansion is part of Bolt Ghana’s long-term plans to provide safe, affordable, and efficient transportation to Ghanaians across the country.
David Kotei Nikoi, Ghana Country Manager at Bolt, said: “At Bolt, our primary mission is to make urban transportation affordable, safe, and sustainable. So far, we have done so in Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast, and Takoradi and now Takoradi.”

“Our expansion within and across Ghana is a testament to our bid to stay and to also increase our footprint within the country. Not only that but to also be a good partner to the State and other companies when it comes to mobility in Ghana,” he added.

Bolt is easy to use; passengers simply download the Bolt app from the Android or iOS App stores and set up a user profile. Once they are ready to ride, users open the app and set their location and intended destination. The app then gives an estimated cost for the trip, and once a passenger requests a ride, the app alerts drivers nearby, who then proceed to accept the ride.

For passenger safety and security, once a driver has accepted the ride, passengers will be able to see their driver’s name, photo, car make and model, and registration number and track the driver’s movement in real-time.

As an added layer of security, passengers can also share their trip details using the “share your ETA” function on the app.

To celebrate Bolt’s launch all new riders in Koforidua get a GHS8 discount off their first ride when they use the promo code BOLTKOFTOWN.

Additionally, drivers in Koforidua will pay 0% commission on all fares paid by passengers, until it is reviewed to reflect Bolt Ghana’s commission payment procedures.

Currently, Bolt drivers in Accra and Kumasi receive 75% commission of all fares paid by passengers with Takoradi and Cape Coast drivers receiving 80% commission – a significantly higher percentage than what drivers using other similar platforms receive.

All drivers can choose how many hours they drive, there are no monthly dues, and they can work in whichever areas they want to.

Drivers’ cars must be a 2003 vehicle model or newer. The car must be four-door (Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, etc) and must have passed a safety inspection. This means that everyone hailing a ride through Bolt can be confident that they will get to their destination safely and comfortably.


Source: Ghana Web




Airport monthly disinfection operation must be sustained

Zoomlion Ghana Limited (ZGL) has underscored the need to sustain the monthly airports’ disinfection exercise against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

According to the waste management company, this was very crucial because the year was gradually inching to an end, which situation normally sees loads of business people and holidaymakers travel in and out of the country.

A Senior Vector Control Unit Officer of Zoomlion, Mr. Enoch Mintah, made the call while speaking to the media on the sidelines of this month’s (September) disinfection exercise at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) on Tuesday, September 28, 2021.

As part of efforts to prevent imported Covid cases from spreading into the communities, the government, in collaboration with Zoomlion, has been undertaking monthly disinfection operations in all the country’s airports.

Mr. Mintah said there was no denying the fact that the airport’s monthly disinfection operation has helped in curbing the spread of the virus.
“….and to sustain the Covid fight, we have brought in new chemicals that will not only protect staff members of the airports but also render the virus very inactive,” he added.

In this regard, he reiterated his company’s commitment to ensure that the monthly disinfection operation at the airports is sustained till the time the Covid war will be won.

We know the airport is a hotspot for one to contract Covid, hence our dedication to making sure all open spaces and sensitive places at the airports are disinfected thoroughly until there is zero Covid in the country,” Mr Mintah indicated.

The exercise which kick-started late on Tuesday night took place at Terminal 3 of the KIA.

It started with Zoomlion workers spraying and cleaning the airport floors including tables and chairs.

Facilities such as janitorial rooms, restaurants, elevators, shopping centers, weighing devices, both arrival and departure halls were also not left out of the operation.

What is more, open spaces of the airports were also disinfected.
The same operation was carried out in airports in Kumasi, Ashanti Region, and Tamale in the Northern Region.


Source: Ghana Web




Ghana – Floods (Meteo Ghana, media) (ECHO Daily Flash of 30 September 2021)

On 27-28 September, heavy rain resulted in floods across parts of Ashanti Region (south Ghana), leading to casualties.


According to media, at least six people have died in Kumasi City, Ahenema-Kokoben, Sokoban and Daban Towns.


Over the next 24 hours, light to moderate rain is forecast over most of Ghana, including Ashanti Region.


Source: European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations




Global Partners to Join Huawei’s TECH4ALL Digital Inclusion Initiative

SHENZHEN, China, Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — At the Huawei TECH4ALL Summit, Huawei called for global partners to join the TECH4ALL digital inclusion initiative, which aims to build a more inclusive and intelligent world that leaves no one behind.

Huawei’s TECH4ALL initiative focuses on four areas: driving equity and quality in education, conserving nature with technology, driving inclusion and accessibility in health, and using ICT to boost rural development. It focuses on digital technologies, application enablement, and digital skills, and works with global partners to promote and expand digital inclusion to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

At present, more than 60,000 teachers and students benefit from TECH4ALL projects in over 200 schools worldwide. Digital technologies have been deployed to improve resource management and biodiversity conservation efficiency in 22 natural reserves around the world. Huawei smartphones provide 15 accessibility features and are used by about 10 million users each month. Huawei’s RuralStar solution provides mobile Internet services for more than 60 countries and regions, covering more than 50 million people in remote areas.

Inclusion and equity were major talking points in the education track of the summit. In her opening remarks, Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO, discussed technology-enabled Open Schools, a three-year partnership program with Huawei that is rolling out in Ethiopia, Egypt, and Ghana.

“UNESCO and Huawei jointly launched this project in July 2020,” said Stefania Giannini. “The project explores future schooling models, thereby contributing to UNESCO’s global initiative on the future of education.”

To build a more crisis-resilient Open School system, all countries have to consider the three pillars of new infrastructure for a learning system: technology, digital content, and the digital competencies of teachers and human facilitators. UNESCO’s Dr. Fengchun Miao, Chief of Unit for Technology and Artificial Intelligence in Education, looked at how to leverage the power of technology in the education field.

Vodafone Foundation discussed its Instant Network Schools program, which aims to bring high-quality education to refugees and host communities, with plans to connect 500,000 refugee students and their communities by 2025. Huawei is one of the partners for expanding connectivity to more schools in Africa.

Vodafone Instant Network Schools Program Manager Oisín Walton said, “We believe that every boy and girl should have access to quality education, no matter where they are and whatever their nationality.”

Close the Gap’s DigiTruck Program Lead Bram Over gave an update on the DigiTruck program. DigiTrucks are green, solar-powered mobile classrooms converted from shipping containers. They are equipped with recycled ICT devices and provide training for young people in digital skills. Huawei has supported this program in Kenya and France. Later this year, Huawei and Close the Gap will implement the project in Ethiopia.

Ling Hui from the YouChange China Social Entrepreneur Foundation introduced the Green Pepper program for young teachers in rural villages in China. The program delivers a year of online training to teachers and has reached nearly 80,000 young rural teachers and 17,000 schools so far.

In her opening remarks introducing the environment track, IUCN Director General Dr. Grethel Aguilar addressed a range of environmental issues, pointing out that technology can be used to mitigate humanity’s growing impact on the planet.

Dr. Aguilar said, “Digital technology can be an important part of the solution and help us solve global challenges if used correctly and smartly.”

As facilitator of the panel discussion, Associate Director of the IUCN Protected Areas Programme James Hardcastle, pointed out that we must empower more people to use technologies for nature conservation and referenced the Tech4Nature initiative – an IUCN-Huawei partnership that aims to develop scenario-specific technologies to safeguard natural ecosystems in 300 protected sites by 2023.

Currently, the project is running in Thailand, Spain, Mauritius, Switzerland, and China. Ecomode President Nadeem Nazurally elaborated on the Mauritius project, which aims to protect and restore the African island nation’s rapidly vanishing coral reef using AI-powered real-time video monitoring, which can be transmitted to experts, both local and worldwide.

Continuing the environmental track, Rainforest Connection Director of International Expansion Chrissy Durkin introduced the Nature Guardian system, which uses acoustics technologies to monitor endangered species and alert rangers to threats like illegal logging and gunshots. Bernardo Reyes Ortíz, President of Forest Ethics in Chile, explained how the Guardian platform supported by Huawei cloud is providing a lifeline for the nation’s endangered Darwin’s fox, fewer than 1,000 of which are thought to remain in existence.

Smart and networked monitoring technologies are a crucial tool for nature conservation. Dr. Steph Wray, Chair of The Mammal Society in the UK, how acoustics solutions have been deployed in England to protect the increasingly rare red squirrel, which is threatened by the invasive and vastly more populous grey squirrel.

Tang Yanfei, Executive Director at Hainan National Park Research Institute, explained how acoustics monitoring is key to improving conservation of China’s critically endangered Hainan gibbon, with a view to doubling its population in 15 years.

Partnerships are the fuel that powers progress in TECH4ALL’s environment and education domains, as well as in the initiative’s other two domains – health and development.

“If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk together,” said Tao Jingwen in his opening remarks. “We believe that more partners will work with us to advance the TECH4ALL action plan in the future. Join us for a more inclusive, intelligent world where no one is left behind.”

Watch the full recording of the summit at https://www.huawei.com/en/tech4all/news-and-events/events/hc2021-t4a-summit

Read more about TECH4ALL projects and stories at https://www.huawei.com/en/tech4all

SAIC Motor Expo Dubai concept car “Kun” unveiled

DUBAI, UAE, Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, SAIC Motor autonomous new energy concept car “Kun” – Star Exhibits of China Pavilion at 2020 Expo Dubai, was virtually unveiled at the Shanghai World Expo Museum.

Dubai Expo will officially open on October 1st; SAIC Motor latest concept car “Kun” will form the most dazzling exhibition items together with China Beidou Satellite and China High-speed Railway, demonstrating the powerful innovative strength and unique technological charm of China’s high-end manufacturing to the world. At the same time, SAIC Motor’s self-owned brands MG and MAXUS will provide latest models as the official designated vehicles for the China Pavilion during the Expo.

A vision of “Smart Mobility” for a better life

The World Expo, with a long history of more than 160 years, is known as the “Olympic event in the economic, technological and cultural circles” and has become a global stage for displaying new concepts, new ideas and new technologies. “Everything starts with the World Expo.” The trains, lights, telephones, airplanes, highways and other technologies and concepts that were first launched at the World Expo have gradually entered people’s daily lives and have strongly promoted the continuous progress of human society.

At the 2010 Expo Shanghai, SAIC Motor built an automobile enterprise pavilion, depicting a desirable picture of “Direct to 2030” with zero emissions, zero traffic accidents, stay away from dependence on oil and away from traffic jams.

At 2020 Expo Dubai, SAIC Motor will bring the “Kun” concept jointly created by the forward-looking design teams of Shanghai and London. Citing the legend of “leviathan” in Zhuangzi’s Carefree Soaring, inspired by “the world and China, the mountain and the sea”, the concept “Kun” integrates bio-intelligence interaction, photosynthetic energy, zero-gravity seat, holographic image interaction and advanced autonomous driving technologies, presents a beautiful picture of smart mobility that is not limited by space in the future and the fusion of human and vehicle environments. It will bring a unique experience of “a glance at technology, a glance at the future, and a glance at China” to the Expo’s global audience.

A “green and smart” Chinese brand image

SAIC Motor is representing China’s automobile industry and actively establishes a “green and intelligent” innovative image at the Expo Dubai. SAIC Motor has established a global automotive industry chain including R&D, marketing, logistics, parts, manufacturing, finance, second-hand cars and etc. Its products and services are welcomed by more than 70 countries and regions around the world.

Relying on the advantages of innovative technologies such as new energy vehicles and intelligent networking, SAIC Motor is actively creating differentiated international competitiveness. From January to August this year, sales in overseas markets exceeded 370,000 units, with a year-on-year increase of 106.4%, ranking No. 1 in overseas sales of Chinese auto companies. Among them, MG brand reached 182,000 units with an increase of 83.9% year-on-year. MG Sales in developed countries accounted for nearly 40% and winning the “China Single Brand Overseas Sales Champion”. The NEV sales of self-owned brands in developed European countries was nearly 19,000, a year-on-year increase of 133%, ranking in the forefront of vehicle segments in countries such as the United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. At the same time, the “i-Smart” intelligent networking system has been popular among consumers in Thailand, India, Indonesia and other countries. It has been used on more than 30 overseas models and has activated more than 130,000 users.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1639710/image_836135_27483761.jpg

Despite Heightening Investor Pressure, Few Companies Publicly Report on Sustainability, Sphera’s New Survey Finds

New data from Sphera reveals that, despite promises to the contrary, companies struggle with implementing and disclosing progress on their sustainability efforts

CHICAGO, Sept. 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Though pressure is growing from all corners—from investors, to governments, to boards of directors—companies worldwide struggle to report progress on their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals. Indeed, just 38% of businesses publicly communicate their sustainability performance, according to a new survey from Sphera®, a leading global provider of ESG performance and risk management software, data and consulting services.

It’s not just a matter of disclosing progress on their objectives, however; companies are also behind the curve when it comes to clearly setting their ESG goals in the first place. Less than one-third (29%) of the respondents said they have set and communicated their sustainability targets, and even fewer—16%—have set emissions targets in accordance with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) framework.

This marked lack of ESG transparency highlights the persistently wide chasm between ESG promises and action in the private sector. In the absence of significant, enforceable regulations worldwide, companies have largely been left to voluntarily make commitments, but with no meaningful mechanisms to either measure their progress or hold themselves accountable to them. About half (51%) of companies surveyed affirm that their senior management has made sustainability commitments, but only 21% say they have a clear roadmap to implementation, and just 26% say they have fully integrated sustainability into their business strategy.

“It’s easy to ‘talk the talk’ when it comes to corporate ESG initiatives, but much harder to ‘walk the walk’,” says Paul Marushka, Sphera’s CEO. “Businesses have largely been left to their own devices to establish and measure their sustainability performance, leading to a constellation of voluntary frameworks that ultimately disincentivize meaningful action. But with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent report providing its strongest warning yet – indicating that half-measures will no longer cut it – and the upcoming COP26 conference promising to hold the business community to account, organizations need to start making good on their promises and show tangible progress.”

These findings are from Sphera’s Sustainability Survey 2021, a survey of 218 global business leaders evaluating their sustainability metrics, measurement and progress.

Additional findings from the survey include:

Scope 3 is missing from the menu. Though reducing emissions across the value chain is essential to meeting decarbonization targets and—for those businesses who have committed to them—achieving net zero emissions, very few companies have accounted for Scope 3 emissions in their sustainability plans. Only 13% of businesses surveyed said they have identified all relevant Scope 3 categories and completed a corresponding hotspot analysis; 29% say they consider the entire value chain when calculating their corporate emissions baseline or carbon footprint.

“Scope 3 emissions can make up the vast majority of a company’s overall carbon footprint,” Marushka added, “which means any sound sustainability strategy must involve an assessment of the supply chain and a commitment to working with suppliers who are also taking measurable steps to reduce their emissions. The end result ultimately creates a multiplier effect for both companies’ sustainability efforts.”

Poor data quality can stymie even the best efforts. Only a minority of respondents (16%) use data from established commercial databases to quantify their corporate carbon footprint; another 14% say they use high-quality, industry-based data for baseline assessment at the product level. In practice, this means many more organizations are using suboptimal datasets, such as spend-based, input-output databases, to measure their emissions. These types of top-down, nonspecific data sources can lead to inaccurate assessments, further exacerbating the gap between sustainability promises and outcomes.

The middle market struggles the most. Perhaps unsurprisingly, large organizations with more than $1 billion in revenue are more likely to be rated as optimized (34%) in terms of sustainability maturity.1 At the same time, 39% of small businesses with less than $100 million in revenue are considered optimized. Midsize businesses trail both, with an optimization rate of just 30%. In fact, midsize businesses are more likely than their larger or smaller counterparts to not exceed basic compliance requirements (25% vs.13% for smaller organizations and 6% for larger organizations).

About the Sustainability Maturity Survey 2021
Sphera partnered with the University of Esslingen in Germany to design and field a survey of companies throughout Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. Respondents represented businesses in a wide range of industries, including automotive, construction, education, health care, oil and gas, manufacturing and technology. The survey was conducted between April 7 and May 3.

About Sphera
Sphera creates a safer, more sustainable and productive world. We are a leading global provider of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance and risk management software, data and consulting services with a focus on Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability (EHS&S), Operational Risk Management and Product Stewardship.

Press Contact
Kylie Souder
+1 513-304-5776

According to Sphera’s Sustainability Maturity rubric, an “optimized” business leverages ESG software and data resources to go above and beyond meeting compliance requirements to help find efficiencies, increase productivity and innovation, reduce costs and mitigate risks. A “leader” is at the head of the competitive pack and is shaping the future of its sector through its sustainability initiatives.