Belize to host West Africa – Latin America Trade, Investment Conference

Tema, Jan. 9, GNA – Ms Sheran Sharon Palacio, Mayor of the capital city of Belize, Belmopan is set to host the West Africa – Latin America Trade, Investment, and Sister City Conference, which is slated for February 13-20, in the city of Belmopan, Belize.


Ms Palacio is the first woman mayor of the capital city of Belize, Belmopan expressed delight that the city was tabled to host the conference and during her term.


The Belmopan Mayor also pledges to do everything possible to ensure a smooth, successful, and COVID-19 free conference in collaboration with other cities in Belize with the assistance of the organizers; the African Cities Development Consul Limited in Ghana and Organisation SA in Guatemala.


In a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Tema and signed by Alhaji Khuzaima M. Osman, Director of International Relations, African Cities Development Consult said the conference is expected to be a very powerful gathering of international and local investors.


It will also attract developers, practitioners, academicians, regulators, and policymakers from African and Latin American corporations, governments, and industry players to discuss investment opportunities, and infrastructure development.


The statement said the conference will also focus on the trend and ongoing concerns within the Business space with a focused direction on creating policy frameworks for making businesses thrive and wooing tourists between the two regions.


According to the statement about 100 cities and municipalities in West Africa are expected to attend and link with cities in the Latin-America to create a long-lasting sister cities project and synergies.


African Cities Development Consul is mainly interested in branding the West African sub-region to attract more investment and business opportunities to the West African region, the statement stated.


The statement said with a market force of over 350 million people in a relatively stable region, African Cities Development Consul is sure to attract investments by deliberately organizing programs to avail governments agencies and businesses especially in Ghana, experts and technical people to conferences and trade shows around the World with a focus on trade with West Africa.


According to the statement Alhaji Alhassan Abdullahi Musah, President of the African Cities Development Consult is already in Belize to finalize necessary arrangements for the conference.


Source: Ghana News Agency

ECOWAS to hold Extraordinary Summit on the Political Situation in Mali

Accra, Jan. 09, GNA – The Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will hold an Extraordinary Summit on the Political Situation in Mali in Accra today.


The meeting will consider the recent political developments in the West African nation, following a visit to the Malian capital, Bamako last Wednesday by the ECOWAS Mediator to Mali, former Nigerian leader Goodluck Jonathan, who met Mali’s “strongman,” Colonel Assimi Goita.


The regional grouping, chaired by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will examine at the meeting, the timetable submitted to the bloc by the Malian authorities to return the crisis-hit sahelian country to constitutional rule.


The Malian authorities are pushing for a five year transition period, and the ECOWAS leaders, who have stated emphatically that the bloc would not accept such delays, will respond to the transition timetable at the Accra meeting.


Source: Ghana News Agency

Krachi East MCE denies double salary allegation

Accra, Jan. 09, GNA – Mr Francis Kofi Okesu, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Krachi East, has denied allegations he received double salary as Principal Disaster Control Officer at the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) in 2020.


Mr Okesu, a former Public Relations Officer for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) – Krachi East Office, has been accused of working for both the NHIS and NADMO at the same time from September 2020 to January 2021.


Mr Okesu did not resign from his position at NHIS before his engagement with NADMO from September 2020 to January 2021, and being accused of receiving salary from both the NHIS and NADMO during that period.


Mr Okesu was confirmed as MCE for Krachi East in October 2021.


In a response to the accusation in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Okesu confirmed that he was still working with the NHIS when he was appointed as a NADMO officer in September 2020.


He, however, said he did not receive “any salary” from NADMO throughout the duration of his appointment until he resigned in January 2021.


He said he had intended to work with NADMO on secondment from the NHIS, but had to resign four months after his appointment because the secondment process was unsuccessful.


When asked if he applied to be on secondment from NHIS and not a staff of NADMO, Mr Okesu said he did not indicate that in his application letter to NADMO.


“When I was appointed, I couldn’t move from NHIS to NADMO because I wanted to take secondment but I couldn’t go. On that note subsequently, I had to tender the resignation at NADMO because I couldn’t work at both places.


“In November ending, NADMO called us to do our biometric registration so that they can process our documents for payment of our salaries. But because I couldn’t get my secondment through, that is why I resigned in January,” he said.


Checks by the GNA indicate that Mr Okesu applied for employment at NADMO on May 14, 2020, while he was still a staff of the NHIS.


In a letter dated August 20, 2020, NADMO offered Mr Okesu appointment as a Principal Disaster Control Officer in the Organisation, and was posted to the Oti Region.


Mr Okesu, in a letter dated September 1, 2020, and addressed to the Director General, NADMO, accepted the offer.


After four months, Mr Okesu, in a letter dated January 26, 2021, and addressed to the Director General, NADMO, tendered his resignation from the Organisation, taking effect from January 29, 2021.


In a response letter dated February 23, 2021, signed by Mr Benjamin Owusu-Afriyie, Director of Administration, NADMO, the Organisation accepted and granted his resignation.


NADMO, in a separate letter dated February 23, 2021, and addressed to the Controller and Accountant General, authorised the latter to delete Mr Okesu’s name from NADMO’s payroll “with immediate effect.”


Mr Okesu told the GNA that he did not receive any salary as staff of NADMO before and after his resignation.


He said after his appointment as MCE for Krachi East, he duly resigned from his position as an officer of the NHIS in October, 2021.


“Anyone who thinks I took any salary at NADMO should go and check the records. I am ready to subject myself to any investigation or interrogation,” he said.


Source: Ghana News Agency


ECOWAS meeting on Mali opens in Accra

Accra, Jan. 9, GNA- Heads of State of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are meeting in Accra to consider the proposal by Mali’s transitional authorities to hold elections in four years.


The regional bloc had given the Malian authorities a deadline of February 27, 2022, to hold elections and return the crisis-torn country to constitutional rule.


But the Malian Authorities have proposed a four-year return to constitutional rule in a letter submitted to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, ECOWAS Chairman, on January 7, 2022.


President Akufo-Addo is putting the proposal before the Heads of State for consideration and action.


Mali’s transitional authorities had initially recommended that the country’s transition period run for five years.


It, however, on September 7, 2022, modified that decision and opted for a four year transitional period.


“Excellencies, it is this decision that we are meeting to review to determine whether it complies with the agreement reached on September 15, 2020, and embodied in the transition charter and more fundamentally whether it conforms to the Community principles as enshrined in the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance,” President Akufo-Addo, said at the opening of the meeting.


“It is my expectation that we will take the appropriate decision that will advance the future of Mali and our community …National, Regional and International stakeholders are all awaiting the results of our meeting.


“I will, therefore, hope that the outcomes of our deliberations will contribute to promoting democracy and consolidating peace and security in Mali and our region,” he said.


The last ordinary submit of the ECOWAS Presidents in Abuja last month, reiterated strong concerns on the transition process in Mali and the need for the authorities in Mali to respect the date of February 27, 2022 for holding elections.


The bloc indicated its intention to review the state of preparation of the Malian transitional government towards compliance to the agreed deadline for the conclusion of the transition and the restoration of constitutional democratic order.


It stated that if it was not satisfied with the state of progress by the Malian authorities, it would undertake additional sanctions to ensure compliance.


Source: Ghana News Agency


Central Region NPP Women’s Organizer supports widows, needy in Assin-North

Kushea (C/R), Jan. 09, GNA – Madam Charlotte Adwoa Antwi, Central Region Women’s Organizer of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has donated assorted items to widows and the needy in the Assin-North District.


The about 300 beneficiaries were presented with pieces of cloths, rice, and cooking oil.


Madam Antwi said her benevolence was born out of the biblical direction to support the weak and the underprivileged in society to live dignified lives.


She said: “He who puts smiles on the faces of widows, the needy and the less privileged, do what is needful and pleasing to the Lord Almighty.”


The handout was also to thank the people of Assin-North for their unflinching support for the NPP as well as her political career development.


She asked them to accept her widow’s might and pray for her to retain her position as the Regional Women’s Organizer to enable her to do more for others.


She took the opportunity to advise parents to take advantage of various government policy interventions, particularly the free Senior High School education policy, and enroll their children in school.


Parents must make meaningful contributions to the education of their children with the needed care and materials to enable them to achieve their aspirations.


This she indicated will be a positive step to reducing cases of teen pregnancy among the youth, and promoting their development.


The beneficiaries were grateful to the Central Regional Women’s Organizer and commended her highly of her resolve to support the course of women empowerment in the area to contribute meaningfully to national development.


Mr Charles Ohene Andoh, the District Chief Executive who accompanied Madam Antwi, expressed gratitude to her for putting smiles on the faces of the widows and the needy.


He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to extend development to cover all communities in the district and urged them to support the government to deliver on its mandate.


Source: Ghana News Agency

UTAG to begin nationwide strike on January 10

Tarkwa (W/R), Jan. 9, GNA – The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the University Teachers Association of Ghana ( UTAG) has indicated that from Monday, January 10, 2022, its members will withdraw teaching and other related activities until further notice.


According to the union, the decision was reached after the committee had an emergency meeting on January 4th and 7th, 2022, to discuss the worsening Conditions of Service (CoS) of the University Teacher and the failure of the employer in addressing the plight of UTAG members within the agreed timeline.


This was contained in a communiqué released by the NEC of UTAG and copied to the Ghana News Agency.


“It may be recalled that the Interim Market Premium (IMP), which was instituted following the implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy got frozen, per a Government White Paper, in 2013, for the purpose of the conduct of a Labour Market Survey (LMS) to determine a Market Premium payable to workers who deserve it”.


“To date, this determination has not been made, which has resulted in the erosion of the University Teacher’s salary”, the Association said.


It further noted that, there was the hope that by completing and implementing the LMS Report of 2019, a review of the IMP would have put the University Teacher on a relatively good salary stead.


The union said regrettably, the recommendations of the 2019 LMS Report without any accompanying technical report on the implementable IMP was meaningless to UTAG as it does not address the pertinent issues of improved CoS.


It also added that, “Interestingly, however, there was an LMS in 2014 whose Report did not see the light of day and one wonders if the 2019 LMS Report would ever be implemented since it is already two years old”.


In addition, recommendation (iii) from the 2019 LMS Report states that “Public Services Commission should liaise with educational institutions to prioritise the offering of courses in areas of demand to increase the employment prospects of their graduates and increase the pool of applicants for high vacancies.”


“How can such a National Agenda be attained if the CoS of the University Teacher keeps worsening year on year leading to an ever-increasing attrition rate on our campuses? UTAG members see the timing of the release of the report as one of the usual delay tactics that the Employer has employed over the years, which is unacceptable” the union stated.


It said, “generally our members have decried the pittance agreed to be paid an annual research allowance and would want to have the government to reconsider the payment of a more realistic research allowance as this is critical to our research output, promotion and ultimately national development”.


For the reasons stated above, the NEC of UTAG decided to lay down their tools and therefore call on all UTAG members across the fifteen branches to observe this directive.


The Association as a matter of urgency has called on the Employer to restore members to the 2013 IMP of 114% of Basic Salary in the interim whilst the Government goes ahead to formulate guidelines to implement the appropriate recommendations to address the CoS of the University Teacher.


“Following the uneasiness among UTAG members, any delay by the Employer would further exacerbate the already fragile academic calendar to the detriment of all stakeholders” it added.


Source: Ghana News Agency


AFCON 2021: Algeria defeat is behind us; we are focused on beating Morocco

Yaoundé, Cameroon, Jan. 9, GNA – Ghana’s Head Coach, Milovan Rajevac, says the Black Stars have put the 0-3 loss against Algeria behind and focusing on beating the Atlas Lions of Morocco, on Monday.


The Black Stars succumbed to the North Africans in a Pre-Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) friendly.


At a press conference ahead of Ghana’s encounter with Morocco, the Coach tasked the players to concentrate on Morocco and subsequent matches as Ghana chased her fifth trophy.


He said: “We didn’t have many players in camp when we played Algeria and some even arrived to camp two days to the match. But, we have put the Algeria defeat behind us and focused on the matches here.


“The defeat is in the past and we are looking at the future. We are very positive in our next matches and we will take it match after match.”


Milovan urged Ghanaians to be positive and support the team, adding that, the players were ready to fight for the country.


“We have the quality, the passion and dedication to this cause. We know how important the AFCON is for all Ghanaians and we are focussed to deliver,” he stressed.


The Coach was excited there was no covid-19 case in camp.


The four-time champions, will begin their AFCON campaign on Monday, January 9, at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaoundé.


The biennial competition, from January 09 February 06, will see 24 teams battling for the trophy.


Source: Ghana News Agency


Dogbegah chairs African Corporate Governance Network Board

Accra, Jan. 09, GNA – Mr Rockson Kwesi Dogbegah, President of the Institute of Directors-Ghana (IoD-Ghana) has been elected Chairman of the Board of the African Corporate Governance Network (ACGN).


The new Board has Dr Mike Eric Juru, Chair of IoD Zimbabwe as Deputy Chair; Dr Ije Jidenma, President of IoD Nigeria as Secretary; Jacqui Muka, Vice – Chair of IoD, Kenya as Treasurer.


The rest are: Mr Edward M. Kabwe, Chair of IoD Zambia as Member; Mr Lejone Mpotjoane, Chair of IoD Lesotho as Member; Mrs Libertha Kapere, Vice President, Namibia Institute of Corporate Governance as Member and Mr Mamour Fall, Permanent Secretary and Founding Member Institut Sénégalais des Administrateurs (ISA) also as a Board Member.


A statement, signed by Meshack Joram, Immediate Past Chair, ACGN and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said “the Directors have been elected for a two-year mandate as per the constitution of the ACGN Articles 33 and 34.”


The ACGN is a collaborative network of director membership organisations that promote effective corporate governance on the African continent.


Currently, the ACGN has 19 members and nine affiliate members from 19 African countries representing over 20,500 senior executives and directors across the continent.


Source: Ghana News Agency