Parliamentary Service Board proposes two percent of national revenue to fund Legislature


Ho,- The Parliamentary Service Board has proposed that two per cent of the total national revenue collected be allocated to Parliament next year.


Speaker of Parliament, Alban K.S. Bagbin, who disclosed this at a workshop at Ho, said the proposal was to ensure that the Legislature was adequately resourced to fund its work.


“We have been fighting for this for sometime now,” he said.


“There are three arms of government – the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary are equal arms of government and must be treated as such.”


He said it was important for the Legislature to carry out its work independently in the interest of the people and also to continue to attract persons with the right calibre to become legislators.


The 2022 Budget Statement and Financial Policy, Speaker Bagbin said, should, therefore, receive the requisite scrutiny to prevent any possible overspending by the Executive.


The Post Budget Workshop was to prepare the Members of Parliament ahead of the debate on the statement and the approval of the appropriation.


Source: Ghana News Agency


African Court engages Law School of Tanzania students

Tema,-The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights has rolled-out a comprehensive programme to engage Law Schools and universities to clarify to the next generation of lawyers of the purpose and objective of the African Court.


It also seeks to use the engagement with up and coming lawyers to understand the operations and powers of the African Continental Court.


In view of the broader scope to school especially law students on its tenets, the African Court has set up Law Schools and Research Centres which will serve as focal point for universities.


Dr. Micha Wiebusch, a Senior Legal Officer at African Court speaking at workshop for law students at Law School of Tanzania said that African Court does not sit as appellate body against national courts.


Instead, it evaluates facts that usually take place in the national context, but it evaluates them in relation to international human rights standards; also, it does not have criminal jurisdiction, or at least, not yet.


“So, we do not establish individual criminal responsibility in relation to international crimes, such as genocide, aggression or war crimes.


“You would be surprised how often people confuse our mandate with that of the International Criminal Court in The Hague or the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which also had its headquarters in Arusha and still has some residual mechanism there,” he said.


Dr Wiebusch explained that the engagement with universities also provided an opportunity to share insights with scholars on the functioning of the African Court and thereby subjected itself to “fair” and “constructive” criticism, voiced in scientific publications.


“The African Court does take notice of scholarly articles and books that concern it, and it does happen that we change our working methods as a result from an academic study and the evidence-based recommendations contained in them. “This is just to say, that academic writing on the African Court can and has had an impact on the way it operates”.


Dr Wiebusch said the African Court considers law schools and more specifically law students to be particularly important stakeholders because “you are the future of the legal profession.


“In some few years’ time, you will be able to qualify as a registered lawyer on the roster of legal counsel of the African Court and you may be invited by the Court to represent clients before it through its legal aid scheme.


“But even before then, you may be working in law firms or in the ministry of justice, and to strengthen your legal arguments before national courts you may be referring to the case law of the African Court on key issues such as fair trial rights, both in criminal and civil proceedings, or to our case law dealing with electoral matters, or on equality issues.


“Alternatively, it is possible that you may even have a case that you litigate directly before the African Court and will need to be familiar with the procedures of litigation before the African Court.


Source: Ghana News Agency


Post budget workshop helps MPs to interrogate budget statement

Ho (VR), Nov.21 GNA – Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has stated that post budget workshop was to help members interrogate critical issues during the consideration of the budget estimates and conduct effective oversight role.


He said it was also designed to provide members with insight into the budget to enable them debate and make meaningful contributions on the floor of the House.


He said as representative of the people they owed it a duty to thoroughly scrutinize the budget to determine the extent to which it addressed the country’s developmental challenges particular issues relating to poverty eradication, gender, children and vulnerable issues, employment, social issues, infrastructural challenges and the security of the nation.


He made the observation at a Post Budget Workshop for Members of Parliament (MPs) on the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government at Ho in the Volta Region.


Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu has however served notice to government that the Minority Caucus in Parliament would not support the introduction of the proposed electronic levy policy in the 2022 budget statement.


He said the proposed levy served as a disincentive for the growth of the digital economy, investment and the development of the private sector of the country.


“Mr Speaker, our concern is whether the e-levy itself is not and will not be a disincentive to the growth of the digital economy in our country. We are convinced that the e-levy may as well even be a disincentive to investment and a disincentive to private sector development in our country.


“Mr Speaker, we in the minority may not and will not support the government with the introduction of that particular e-levy. We are unable to build a national consensus on that particular matter.”


The workshop is aimed at equipping members with skills to enable them scrutinize the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government and to pass the 2021 Appropriation Act.


The platform also created opportunity for knowledge and experience sharing by members and to understand the policy-underpinnings of government on finances and economic planning for the year 2022.


Mr Iddrisu added that the Minister of Finance in his effort to redeem the economy sought to introduce some measures including; the controversial e-levy or digital levy.


He said the proposed e-levy would be dangerous to the Ghanaian economy as many people would move back to the cash system and defeat the drive towards the paperless system, which he said was their motivating factor not to support the introduction of the levy.


“To paraphrase the Vice President why tax the ordinary poor people…since when have the poor been above ordinary for momo and banking to be taxed and even the projection of 1.75 percent e-levy may as well workout to be 3.75 percent” he added.


Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta in his comment highlighted some of the positive fiscal and macro-economic indicators, which he said pointed to good economic trajectory.


He said 2022 Budget Statement was geared towards post COVID-19 recovery agenda, revitalization and transformation of the economy while ensuring fiscal and debt sustainability to promote macro-economic stability for the recovery process and growth of the economy.


The proposed e-levy is scheduled to start on January 1, 2022, if approved by Parliament.


In 2020, the total value of transactions was estimated to be over GH¢500 million with mobile money subscribers and users growing by 16 percent in 2019.


According to a Bank of Ghana report, Ghana saw an increase of over 120 percent in the value of digital transactions between February 2020 and February 2021 compared to 44 percent for the period February 2019 to February 2020 due to the convenience they offer.


Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana inaugurates GHANAP 2 technical group on UN Resolution 1325

Peduase (E/R),- A Technical working group on the implementation of Ghana’s National Action Plan (GHANAP-2) on UN Resolution 1325 has been inaugurated in Peduase in the Eastern Region.


The group was charged to ensure that all forms of barriers impeding the progress of women in governance and decision making are reduced if not eliminated.


It is made of representatives from academia, government ministries, departments and agencies, security organizations, and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).


Focusing on gender, the inaugural meeting discussed extensively the need to create awareness for girls and women to be given the leverage to participate in governance and decision-making.


The United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 is the first formal and legal UN Security Council document to address the plight of women and girls in conflict situations.


It is a political framework that provides a number of operational mandates with implications for policymakers, decision-makers, and funding components.


The document calls for special measures to increase women’s participation in peace processes including conflict resolution, peace-keeping, peace-building, as well as planning emergencies for relief and reconstruction in times of crisis or disasters.


The resolution’s main focus is on women’s leadership and participation, protection of women and girls from gender-based violence and the promotion of rights of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations.


In an address on her behalf, Madam Cecilia Dapaah, the Caretaker Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection said Ghana as a UN member state and by the adoption of UNSCR 1325 was obliged to prepare a country-specific national plan of action for the implementation of the resolution.


The Gender Ministry spearheaded the development of the GHANAP 1 and a review in 2017, resulted in the development of GhANAP 2 for a five-year period from 2020-2025.


Despite GHANAP 1 and many other national gender frameworks and legislations, inequalities and impediments on the way of women and girls remain high.


Madam Dapaah charged the technical committee to work hard to close the gaps identified after the first implementation to ensure full protection of women, children, and persons with disabilities.


Madam Faustina Acheampong, Head of the Department of Gender, said GHANAP 1 was anchored on the pillars of participation, prevention, and protection aimed at ensuring the rights, interests, and special needs of women and girls.


She said it was integrated into policy formulation and implementation to enhance their protection in ordinary times as well as conflict situations.


The GHANAP 1 focused on full representation and active participation of women in conflict prevention, resolution, mediation crisis, and security management at all levels of the Ghanaian society.


The success story is that, currently, in comparison to other countries Ghana sends about 12 per cent uniformed female personnel to international peacekeeping operations, making Ghana the second-highest contributor of females to international peacekeeping globally in line with the UNSCR 1325.


But governance and decision remain low as well as gender-based violence and all forms of abuse against vulnerable persons.


Madam Acheampong said regarding participation in peacebuilding and conflict resolution processes, little had been done to build the capacity of women to participate effectively in early warning, mediation, and conflict management processes.


She added that their participation has largely remained in the informal sphere, despite the bus potential among the women population.


On that score, she noted that GHANAP 2 would focus on strategies to revive all forms of impediments to the full participation of women in governance and decision making.


“The number of women in parliament, for instance, gives an indication that a lot needs to be done to bridge the gap,” she said.


Even though Ghana has not suffered any serious conflict, she said there had been pockets of natural disasters such as flooding and tidal waves.


“But in all these situations, the real needs of women, children, the aged, and persons with disabilities are not critically assessed to provide the needed response,” she added.


Madam Euphemia Dzathor, a gender consultant, who led the plenary said patriarchy and how the girl child was socialised played a very disadvantaged role in bridging the gender gap.


She called on the technical team to use sensitisation and awareness creation to change the perception about getting more women into governance and decision making.


Source: Ghana News Agency

Yendi Municipal Security Council embarks on peace campaign

Kpasando (NR)- The Yendi Municipal Assembly Security Council has embarked on a nine-day peace campaign to dissuade any kind of conflict.


The campaign is covering 24 communities within four zones of the Municipality.


Some of the communities include; Kpasanado Napkachie, Adibo, Kulkpenduli, Gbungbaliga, Jagandoo, Yamshigu, Kumshegu, Zagbang, Kubongni, Montandoo, Kuni amongst others.


Alhaji Hammed Abubakar Yussif the Yendi Municipal Chief Executive who delivered the campaign advised them to help the security to fish out those miscreants and make them to face the law.


He warned the Youth not to take the law into their own hands by searching people with questionable characters when they see them in their communities.


Alhaji Hammed Abubakar said people in various communities were yearning for projects such as school buildings, boreholes, electricity, clinics, markets, and feeder roads amongst others and without peace there could not be development.


During contribution time, Chiefs and people they met in various communities appealed to Ya-Na Abukari II, and MUSEC to stop people who go on group hunting as that could lead to burning of farms.


They alleged that some of the group hunters sometimes beat up farmers who complained of their burnt foodstuffs.


Over a month ago, there were rumours of war between two major ethnic groups in the region that compelled the chiefs and government officials to visit Ya-Na Abukari II, King of Dagbon to iron out.


The campaign is therefore to reinforce what the King and government officials embarked on.


Source: Ghana News Agency

You have left an irreplaceable vacuum – GNFS to Hero Officer

Ntranoa (C/R),- The remains of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) Officer, who lost his life, rescuing three people who were trapped in a well at Gomoa Oboasi, has been laid to rest at Ntranoa, his home Town in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem Municipality.


Family, work colleagues, and sympathisers wept uncontrollably during the burial service of Assistant Divisional Officer Grade-II (ADO II) Joseph Kwamena Baidoo, who met his untimely death at the age of 35 years.


In a tribute, the GNFS, said the demise of ADOII Baidoo, had left an irreplaceable vacuum in the hearts of many and most especially at the workplace.


Divisional Officer Grade III (DOIII) Abdul Wasiu Hudu, Public Relations Officer of the Service on behalf of the GNFS, described the late Fire Officer as an ‘affable’ and ‘humble’ young man who was known for his availability and preparedness to learn.


He said, the deceased, well established himself as one of the finest fire fighters and rescuers at his station.


“We will miss your absence, and your confidence, we will miss your positivity and your selflessness. May the Lord himself give you eternal rest”, he added.


At the burial grounds, hundreds of Security Agencies and sympathizers thronged in to join the family to pay their last respect before he was laid to rest.


The Fire Officer who was with the Agona Swedru Fire Command met his untimely death in an attempt to rescue three persons trapped in a well at Gomoa Obuasi in the Gomoa Central District of the Central Region on Saturday, October 02.


Among the mourners, were Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DCFO) Julius Kuunuor the Acting Chief Fire Officer, Mr Anyimadu Antwi, the Chairman of the Fire Service Council, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr Dennis Abade, and the Deputy Regional Commander of Ghana Police Service.


Also present were the Central Regional Minister, Mrs. Justina Marigold Assan, Assistant Commissioner of Immigration (ACI) Fisal Disu, the Regional Commander of the Ghana Immigration Service among a host of others.


Three wreaths were laid on behalf of the staff and personnel of the GNFS, the Agona Swedru Fire Command, and Central Regional Fire Command by the Acting Chief Fire Officer, the Regional Minister, and the Fire Service Council Chair Respectively.


Mrs Assan entreated fire fighters to always ensure their safety during rescue missions and always call for reinforcement at critical times to assist them in their rescue missions.


She said, “we need you alive to work for our good, to save mother Ghana, we need you to make your safety a priority no matter what, your safety should come first “, she added.


Mr Anyimadu Antwi, reassured the deceased family of an educational scholarship fund to support Perpetual Donkor Baidoo, the only child of the late Fire Officer.


He also announced that a fund had been established to support all officers who may lose their lives in the course of executing their duties and called on the Government and individuals to contribute to the fund for future use.


Source: Ghana News Agency


Street beggars in Tamale want vocational skills training

Tamale,– Street beggars in the Tamale Metropolis have appealed to the government and other stakeholders to empower them with vocational skills to make them employable.


Madam Fati Adams, one of the beggars, who spoke to Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview, implored Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to collaborate with the government to help them to undergo self-employable skills training to enhance their livelihoods and living standards.


She said the establishment of vocational training programmes such as tailoring, handicraft, and other skills would support them to become economically resilient and positioned to contribute to the development of their communities.


Madam Adams appealed to the authorities to provide them with both psychological and emotional support, especially to Persons With Disabilities to help empower them to also contribute to the development of the country.


Mr Suli Abdul, a beggar who is physically challenged, reiterated the need for authorities to empower them with entrepreneurial skills, saying, “Our livelihood is centred on street begging because we have no support coming from anywhere”.


He said, “My family has rejected me due to my disability, and l have no choice but to beg on the street to survive”.


He urged the government to put in place the necessary measures for beggars to become productive members in society.


Madam Joyce Kulevo, an Officer at the Department of Social Welfare, told the GNA that street begging was a punishable offence in Ghana, adding that, it was unlawful to use children to beg or use them to help in begging.


She indicated that such action was against the rights of children and said those adults who used children in the business of begging could be charged for child abuse and advised beggars to stop engaging children in the act.


Source: Ghana News Agency


ECOWAS Court to hold international conference dedicated to 20th anniversary

Accra,- Some 24 papers will be presented by academics and lawyers from within and outside West Africa during a weeklong international conference which opens on Monday, 22nd November 2021 in Lome.


It is organized by the ECOWAS Court of Justice and dedicated to its 20th anniversary.


The President of the Court, Justice Edward Amoako Asante said the conference, which is being held on the theme: “20 years of the ECOWAS Court of Justice: achievements, challenges and prospects,” provides an opportunity to examine various dimensions of the young Court which has through its enviable jurisprudence, become an exemplar among regional courts, particularly in Africa.


“Through the seven themes of the conference, we want not only to celebrate its remarkable achievements, but also examine the challenges and prospects, particularly against the backdrop of its initial mandate as an inter-state court with responsibility to facilitate the region’s integration and its prominence as a human rights court,” the President said.


Justice Asante said the sub themes of the conference related to the Court’s historical development, focusing on such issues as its defining human rights mandate, relations with national courts, the enforcement of its decisions, its jurisprudence, remedies and reparations as well as the mechanisms for strengthening the Court.


The periodic conference, the President said, was introduced in 2004 to provide an opportunity to review important legal themes that will contribute to the development of Community Law, review its judicial mandate and stay abreast of international best practices.


Moreover, Justice Asante said the conference which had been held in Dakar, Cotonou, Accra,


Bissau and Bamako, provides an opportunity to interface with selected stakeholders, including judicial officers from Member States and regional courts as well scholars, jurists of international repute and the civil society.


He described the Lome conference as the first hybrid international conference of the Court where presentations will be made physically and virtually taking cognizance of the imperatives of the Covid-19 pandemic and the attendant savings.


The conference, which will be attended by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, the Chief Justices of ECOWAS Member States, Presidents of Bar Associations, Heads of ECOWAS National Units and the Director of the UNHCR for West and Central Africa, is expected to be declared open by President Faure Gnassingbe of the Republic of Togo.


Source: Ghana News Agency