Kante calls for focus after surprise of Abramovich sale

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante said the Premier League team’s players were caught off guard by Roman Abramovich’s decision to sell the club following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but urged them to stay focused on their quest to finish in the top four.

Russian Abramovich said on Wednesday he would sell Chelsea after 19 years amid growing calls for sanctions on the metals magnate, similar to those imposed on other Russian oligarchs, following Russia’s invasion. Read full story

Abramovich has made vast fortunes since the break-up of the Soviet Union but denies close links to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, whose country calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation.”

“It was something we were not prepared for,” Kante told Sky Sports on Thursday, referring to the announcement by Abramovich.

“It came quick, but the only thing we can do because we don’t control these things is do as best what we have always done … playing football.

“Playing football is the best for us, for the club and for the fans … it’s the only thing that we control and we want to do that.”

Chelsea, third in the English top-flight with 50 points from 25 matches, take on Burnley on Saturday.

“We are in a good position for the top four, we are fully focused on going game by game and securing that,” the French player said.

“It will not be easy as we still need to win many games but we train hard and hope to do it, starting this weekend.”

Source: Modern Ghana

NDC coup comments aimed at hurting gov’t’s effort to revive economy – Gabby

Leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko has described the coup comments made by some members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) as attempts to thwart government’s efforts to revive the economy.

This follows assertions by the Dean of the Law Faculty at the University of Ghana Professor Raymond Atuguba that the country had become a fertile ground for a coup.

According to the DI founder, the comments by some of the NDC’s members is geared towards scaring away potential investors to the country in order to defeat government’s efforts at reviving the economy.

In a tweet on Thursday, 3 March 2022, the DI founder said: “Members of the Opposition fanning the ashes on the dead logs of instability may have at least one sinister aim in mind: to scare away investors and hurt efforts to revive the economy. And, yes, investors have started asking questions should they be worried.”

Members of the Opposition fanning the ashes on the dead logs of instability may have at least one sinister aim in mind: to scare away investors and hurt efforts to revive the economy. And, yes, investors have started asking questions should they be worried. — Gabby Otchere-Darko (@GabbyDarko) March 3, 2022

The Dean of the University of Ghana, School of Law, had said Ghana may be ripe for a coup unless the government acts quickly.

His assessment, he noted, partly stems from a doctoral research conducted on why some coups succeed and others do not, using Ghana as a case study.

The government has acknowledged there is no money, thus, an urgent need to pass the e-levy to expand the tax base for sustained development and reduce the debt burden.

At a forum organised by Solidare Ghana, Prof Atuguba said: “My current assessment that Ghana may be ripe for a coup partly springs from the knowledge I gained from accompanying my friend through part of his doctoral research on this topic”.

“It does not help matters if we consider Samuel Huntington’s thesis on the snowballing effect of coups in the sub-region and the closeness of recent coups to home.”

He, thus, urged the Minister of National Security, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, to have a conversation with his friend at the War College, who conducted the study to avert same.

Prof Atuguba explained further that a big part of why certain coups succeed and others fail is the economy.

“What is the state of Ghana’s economy today? At the level of the most irreducible idiomaticity, Ghana is broke; your nation is radically broke – so broke the Speaker of Parliament has publicly warned that we may not be able to pay the salaries of public sector workers in some three months unless a miracle happens,” he stated.

Source: Modern Ghana

Her Excellency Anne Sophie, seven other women to be celebrated this March

Her Execellency Anne Sophie Ave, Kuukua Eshun, Doreen Avio, Zulaiha Dobia, Tilly Akua Nipaa Share How They Broke the Bias in Their Industry

“When you educate a girl child you educate a generation” while most people may see this quote as a cliché, women have realized the importance of any form of education to the female child and how it helps shape a generational mindset and behavior.

Women have made use of many avenues, whether media or on social media platforms to educate the younger generation of women. They are doing all they can to leave something behind for the everyday girl so they don’t end up in the pitfalls the older generation couldn’t miss. In the month of March 2022, hosted by Tilly Akua Nipaa, the French Ambassador to Ghana, HE Anne Sophie Ave, Multiply Award winning videographer, Kuukua Eshun, Award-winning On-Air personality, Doreen Avio, Founder of Women in PR Ghana, April Faith Senam, Founder of Divaloper, Miss Zulaiha Dobia and other astute women in Ghana will share their stories and knowledge with the world and in turn, will be celebrated by Oneplay Woman.

Oneplay Woman is Women who work at Oneplay Africa and their various interests and affiliations. Oneplay Woman is highly interested in conversations of Women and the youth since they believe they form the basic fabric of an economy. Hence dedicating the entire month of March to celebrate women around the world.

Oneplay Woman will dedicate all its resources to elevate positive conversations around women in the month. With the support of Skin Gourmet, The Little Cow Ltd and Boomplay GH, Ghanaians are to have one of the biggest TV and online celebration of women in the year 2022.

This celebration starts from the 5th – 31st of March on Lifestyle TV on gotv Channel 5 at 8Pm on Saturdays but will be heavily intensified on the 8th of March 2022 to commemorate the annual International Women’s Day Celebration, a day set aside to celebrate women all around the world. Heavy on the theme “Break the Bias” these powerful women share their stories, the journey and how they have been able to break the bias in their own ways rising to the top of their careers.

Source: Modern Ghana

Ukraine Crisis: Morocco calls for non-use of force to settle disputes between states

Accra,-The Kingdom of Morocco’s non-participation in the UN General Assembly vote on the Russian-Ukrainian crisis is a sovereign decision, which cannot be interpreted as “a strategic misalignment” or as “a position against international law and the territorial integrity of states.

In two separate communiqués issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, it was stressed that Morocco follows with concern the evolution of the situation between Russia and Ukraine, reiterated its support for the territorial integrity and national unity of all UN member states, recalled Morocco’s commitment to the principle of non-use of force for the settlement of disputes between states and encourages all initiatives and actions promoting a peaceful settlement of conflicts.

Some experts in International Law and Geostrategy have said “the position of Morocco is backed by interests and principles, and it can in no way be interpreted as a strategic misalignment.”

Morocco, as a nation that is internationally respected and listened to, is rightly considered a reliable regional power on which both old and new strategic partners rely, said the President of the Moroccan Center for Strategic Studies and Research (CMERS), TareqAtlati.

As a sovereign state, Morocco’s decisions take into account peace and security in the world, said Atlati, recalling that since the outbreak of this war, Morocco had reiterated its commitment to the territorial integrity and national unity of all states, as it recalls its principle of non-use of force to settle disputes between states.

Morocco’s non-participation in the vote of the UN General Assembly goes within this framework, because the sovereignty of Morocco stands out, as usual, by the balance and wisdom, he noted.

Morocco, which regrets the escalation of this conflict, marks a position backed by interests and principles, stressed the Moroccan expert, for whom the non-participation of Morocco in the vote of the UN General Assembly can in no way be interpreted as “a strategic misalignment.”

A number of prerequisites related to the national cause are added to this, because the position of Morocco is determined by considerations related to its environment, noted Atlati, adding that it is important to emphasize that “we have a national cause that determines our positions knowing that we are facing permanent members of the Security Council.”

Moreover, “Morocco, as usual, will work to maintain security and world peace in the service of humanity. It has decided to make a financial contribution to the humanitarian efforts of the United Nations and neighbouring countries, in response to the appeal of the UN Secretary General, “noted the political scientist.

For his part, the Director of the Strategic Center on Sahara and Africa, Abdelfattah El Fathi, stressed that Morocco highly values issues related to human rights, protection of lives and respect for the sovereignty of States and it is under this prism that the Kingdom has always called for the respect of the principles of international security and peace.

Morocco’s foreign policy has always made the non-use of military force a constant principle in the resolution of international conflicts, and has always observed the position of positive neutrality, which explains its membership in the Non-Aligned Movement, he noted.

The Kingdom of Morocco recalled that, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the Members of the Organization must settle their disputes by peaceful means and according to the principles of international law, in order to preserve peace and security in the world, the same source adds.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Resolving Labour Agitations: Tripartite constituents adopt roadmap

Accra,- The Government, Organised Labour, and Employers have adopted a roadmap towards ensuring that the demands of labour are met without compromising macroeconomic stability, growth and social protection.

In a communique, adopted at the end of the two-day Labour Conference, the delegates said: “Organised Labour and Employers must appreciate the existing economic challenges occasioned by the pandemic and adopt the Irish model of joint commitment to put the economy back on the right path and create decent jobs and prosperity for all.”

The communiqué said social partners should support the implementation of Government’s YouStart Programme, which seeks to create one million jobs for the youth over three years.

They should also support the Government to speed up the establishment and implementation of the National Unemployment Insurance Scheme.

The 31-point communique, was jointly signed by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, Employment and Labour Relations Minister Ignatius Baffour Awuah, representing Government, Dr Anthony Yaw Baah, representing Organised Labour and Mr Daniel Acheampong, representing Employers.

This was after the more than 100 delegates had deliberated issues under four thematic areas: the State of the Economy; Conditions of Service of Public Sector Workers, Public Sector Salaries, Labour Productivity; Labour Dispute Prevention and Resolution; and Sustainable Pensions for all.

The conference, held at Kwahu-Nkwatia in the Eastern Region, was under the theme, “Strengthening Tripartism for Peaceful Labour Relations and Resilient Economy”.

Organised by the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, with its Tripartite Constituents, it was aimed at building consensus and adopting a blueprint that would inform and shape Government’s approach for the resolution of labour issues.

The delegates delebrated the socio-economic challenges confronting the nation amid the causes of labour disputes and pledged to play their respective roles and support one another to address the challenges and create the conducive working atmosphere to propel national development.

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, closed the two-day conference, chaired by the Kwahuhene, Daasebre Akuamoah Agyapong II on March 1, 2022.

“Organised Labour and Employers should work with Government for the maintenance of macroeconomic stability and building and sustenance of a resilient economy for the achievement of national development objectives,” the communique emphasised.

The Tripartite Constituents should work together, at all times, through social dialogue towards peaceful industrial relations, as a prerequisite for the maintenance of macro-economic stability, it stated.

The delegates urged the Government to take immediate steps to eliminate waste in public expenditure.

These include completing existing projects, enforcing sanctions in the Public Financial Management Act, and plugging loopholes in subsidies, particularly, on energy and water.

The National Tripartite Committee, the delegates, said, must collaborate with the key actors and stakeholders and institute the celebration of an annual national productivity week to promote productivity in both the private and public sectors.

They discussed the growing inequalities and inequities in public sector salaries and weak administration system and called for a technical committee to be instituted by end of March 2022, to review the Single Spine Pay Policy to ensure equity, fairness and sustainability.

The stakeholders should draw up a framework to link productivity with the revised policy and the Government should thereafter put in place a roadmap for the implementation of the revised salary policy.

They also called for the resourcing and strengthening of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and the National Labour Commission to execute their mandates effectively.

On pensions, the delegates called for its prioritisation as part of working conditions, as well as the initiation of a national dialogue on harmonising pensions.

The Government should also review the pensionable income to include allowances and non-cash benefits to ensure decent benefits.

On economic growth, the communique said:“Government will facilitate the establishment of the requisite frameworks and continue to create the necessary environment to support private sector transformation, business growth and development, strengthen SME financing and skills development.”

Stakeholders should also harness the potential of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) towards transforming Ghana into a continental trade and investment hub.

Additionally, Government should also ensure a conducive and financial eco-system with the promotion of the Development Bank to provide long-term and affordable financing for a regional financial services hub,” it said.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who opened the conference, assented to request to make the Kwahu Labour Conference an annual event.

Source: Ghana News Agency

January 2022 Admissions: Over 80 graduate students enrolled

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Professor Abednego F. O. Amartey, has charged newly-admitted students to be guided by the University’s values of integrity, service, responsibility and respect for one another as they embark on their new journeys.

Prof Okoe Amartey made the call at the 2022 matriculation ceremony to formally welcome some 83 fresh graduate students who enrolled for the University’s January 2022 cohort.

The fresh students, who have been admitted into some five master’s degree programmes at the School of Graduate Studies, include the first batch of students for the Master of Science in Pensions Management.

Addressing the matriculants at the West Wing of the Kofi Ohene-Konadu Auditorium, the Vice-Chancellor congratulated the freshmen on their successful admission into UPSA, stressing that the Management and staff of the University will marshal all resources at their disposal to make their UPSA experience exciting, memorable and worthwhile.

Whilst encouraging them to take advantage of the numerous resources and facilities available on campus, he charged them to take their studies seriously. “It is the essence of enrolling at UPSA. Anything else is secondary,” he said.

“Make our values of integrity, service, responsibility and respect your guiding principles on this journey to becoming one of the countless exceptional and outstanding products of the University.”

Prof Okoe Amartey used the occasion to announce the introduction of six new programmes that have been accredited to run for the 2022/2023 academic year.

“In our quest to continually improve and provide relevant, market-driven programme options for our students, the University has recently received accreditation to offer six new programmes, namely: PhD in Accounting, MPhil Accounting, MBA Corporate Communications, MSc Procurement Management, Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership and Organisational Development, MSc Pensions Management,” he said.

He added that the new programmes attest to the commitment of the University to national development by responding to current and anticipated human resource needs of the country.

Speaking on behalf of the matriculants, Ms Naomi Naa Merley Commodore, thanked the Management and staff of UPSA for their unflinching support and guidance during the admission and registration processes.

She says she feels elated and honoured to have enrolled at UPSA, adding that she was optimistic their academic expectaions would be met.

“Life has its own way of shaping us,” she said. “But the determined will always give life a helping hand to shape their destiny. It takes a lot of arduous work, determination and intellectual prowess to succeed in a Master’s programme.

“As students, we need to exhibit skill, grit and above all, humility as we tirelessly pursue our academic dreams and aspirations. The journey will not be easy but with the grace of God, we should be able to sail through the storms successfully.”

Source: University of Professional Studies

Jospong funds research in environmental sanitation – 26 researchers benefit

Twenty-six (26) teams of researchers from thirteen (13) universities and research institutions across the country have received grants from the Jospong Group of Companies (JGC) Environmental Sanitation Research Fund (ESRF) to investigate issues in the space of environmental sanitation.

The grant is expected to fund research projects led by these researchers to help keep Ghana clean, and more importantly, for governments to achieve the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The maiden ESRF awards saw the Africa Environmental Sanitation (AfES) Consult Limited, the administrators of the fund, present certificates to all the successful applicants.

The teams and their number of researchers are from institutions including Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (4), C.K. Tedam University of Applied Science (2), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Institute for Industrial Research (1), Ho Technical University (2), Institute of Local Government Studies (1), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (5), Kumasi Technical University (1) and Koforidua Technical University (1).

The rest are the University for Development Studies (1), the University of Energy and Natural Resources (1), the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (2), University of Education, Winneba (2), University of Ghana (1), and University of Professional Studies (2).

In her welcome address, the Managing Director of, AfES Consult Ltd., Dr. (Mrs.) Abena Asomaning Antwi said these institutions will conduct their research within their respective regions, adding that they constitute eight (8) out of the sixteen (16) regions of the country.

“These projects will help in the development and the realization of the SDGs on climate action, clean water, and sanitation. The research topics include waste to energy, improvements to the solid and liquid waste management systems, and enhancement of compost quality, among others,” she disclosed.

According to her, the 26 teams of successful researchers were selected out of 45 applications.

While congratulating the winners and commending the organizers including JGC and AfES Consult Ltd., the Board Chair of AfES Consult Ltd., Dr. Mercy Gardiner Tenkorang, underscored the importance of research and development on the environment and sanitation.

She explained that this funding scheme will provide the necessary support for practical and empirically based sustainable research in the field of environmental sanitation.

This, she added, will help bridge the “ever-widening gap” between academia and industry: “specific industry problems within the eco-system of waste management will be identified and researched for sustainable solutions.”

“Private sector development has resulted in a significant improvement in the investment of technologies for waste service delivery since the privatization of the sector some decades ago.

“It is obvious that private sector players, such as the Jospong Group of Companies with a keen focus on its waste companies, have given critical components for developing models aimed at guaranteeing sustainable waste collection, recovery, and disposal. Over time, this progress has improved economic growth, reduced poverty, and ensured a safe, clean, and habitable environment,” Dr. Gardiner Tenkorang said.

However, the board chair of AfES Consult Ltd., indicated that the thriving private sector in environmental sanitation was saddled with socioeconomic and environmental challenges in their day-to-day business operations.

These challenges, she pointed out, included finding new ways to add value to the waste collected by adopting circular economy models, and other environmentally friendly approaches such as green and smart cities.

She said these challenges required innovation and long-term solutions that were both cost-effective and environmentally beneficial in order to promote and sustain economic growth and well-being.

“To foster economic growth and social inclusion, a knowledge-based society is required, thus investment in research and development (R&D). However, this will not happen by itself. It will need a long-term commitment to quality scientific inquiry, and innovation to steer continuous progress in business and policy while also ensuring that a competent peer-review procedure is in place to lead funds toward high-quality science,” Dr. Gardiner Tenkorang urged.

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Environment and Sanitation Group of the JGC, Mrs. Florence Larbi, in a speech read for her, stressed that for the gains along the waste management value chain to be sustained and further improved, there was the need for a “strong research, development and innovation framework.”

“An integrated system should focus on both the technical and non-technical elements of waste management and strategic and appropriate partnership with stakeholders. …Elements to be considered will not only include research and development. Findings should be integrated with good governance, adequate funding, and communication,” she suggested.

In this regard, Mrs. Larbi underscored the need for waste management solutions to look beyond just disposal of waste and “move up the so-called hierarchy which factors waste prevention, minimization, re-use, and recovery.”

Source: Ghana Web

Polio this week as of 02 March 2022

Headlines

Amid the escalating crisis in Ukraine, the GPEI has expressed extreme concern about the unfolding effects of the conflict on the country’s health system as security and displacement increase risk of diseases such as polio. Read the statement.

Earlier this week, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs officially announced his role as Polio Gender Champion during an event in Madrid, Spain. Read his statement and commitments together with those of other Gender Champions.

Summary of new WPV and cVDPV this week (AFP cases and ES positives):
– Madagascar: one cVDPV1 case
– Nigeria: two cVDPV2 positive environmental samples

Source: Global Polio Eradication Initiative