Osu Mantse embarks on “One Public School One Library” project

Accra,- Nii Nortey Owuo IV, the Osu Mantse, has appealed to the business community to support his agenda to construct one library in every public school within the Osu enclave.

He said it was his priority that each public school at Osu in Accra would also have science and computer labs as part of measures to boost quality education in the various communities under his reign and contribute to human resource development.

Nii Owuo made the call when a delegation from the Canada Ghana Chamber of Commerce paid a courtesy call on him at the Adjuwate (Osiahene) Palace at Osu.

The visit was to formally brief the Chief on the activities of the Chamber as well as explore areas of business partnerships.

“We are constructing libraries in all the public schools, science labs, and computer labs. I want you to take up one library and construct…When my people get the library, it will contribute to making a change for the future and develop our nation,” he said.

Nii Owuo, a Legal Practitioner, who was lecturing in the United States of America, was enstooled the Osu Mantse in January, this year.

He told the delegation that the development of Osu, the education of children, and youth skills development, were his priority and appealed to the Chamber to construct one library in support of his education project.

He expressed the hope that the Chamber would continuously engage his leadership and forge strong partnerships to benefit the community and Ghana as a whole.

“The business community plays an integral part in the development of every society. We are hoping and praying that you continue to partner us in our work towards development,” he said.

Mr Alex Nortey, the President of the Canada Ghana Chamber of Commerce, described Osu as the hub of the business community in Ghana and pledged the Chamber’s support to the development agenda of the area.

Madam Edwina Atta-Sonno, the Executive Secretary, Canada Ghana Chamber of Commerce, said the leadership would grant Nii Owuo’s request and construct one library in the town as part of its corporate social responsibility.

Source: Ghana News Agency

GII calls for enforcement of Public Financial Management Act

Tema,– Ghana Integrity Initiatives (GII) has called on the government to comply with the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA) and Public Procurement Act (PPA) to safeguard the public funds and deliver value for money.

“The Government must also enforce Section (92) of the PPA Act which focuses on contraventions and penalties relating to procurement in instances of violations, especially under emergencies, to serve as a deterrent to public officers who may want to take advantage of the system.

“The Government must roll out a comprehensive communication effort through community radio and television to reach people in the local communities, using the appropriate languages,” Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo, the GII Executive Director, stated during the launch of the GII Corruption Risk Assessment (CRA) report.

The GII Corruption Risk Assessment report on the government’s COVID-19 interventions captured the views of over 3000 respondents, including citizens who were also beneficiaries of the covid-19 interventions, public stakeholders and private businesses.

The launch brought together over 60 participants across all sectors, public, private, civil society and the media.

Ghana Health Service, Ghana Education Service, Ministry of Health, Covid-19 Trust Fund, Ghana Revenue Authority and Public Procurement Authority are among the institutions that took part.

Mrs Ofori-Kwafo acknowledged the support of the Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), particularly Ms Carmen Stanila, who is a Senior Consultant at CIPE, who supported GII during the implementation of the project.

Presenting the recommendations, Mrs Mary Awelana Addah, the GII Programmes Manager, urged the government to improve the sharing of information regarding the sources of funding and expenditures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The GII report also called on the government to conduct special audits on the COVID-19 related funds and expenditures to detect and address leakages and systemic weaknesses that could negatively impact the implementation of the interventions.

“Relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) must organize periodic refresher courses targeted at building the capacity of officials of MDAs/MMDAs on the legal and regulatory framework (particularly the Procurement Act and PFM Act) that promotes efficiency, effectiveness, and economy in public service delivery.

“Ensure strict adherence to the requirement of publishing contracts and reports as stipulated in Section 79 of the PFM Act and Sections 31, 95 of the PPA,” she said.

Mrs Addah called for the establishment of mechanisms to promote sharing of critical information with staff of MMDAs to ensure compliance with the accountability requirements of their office.

“The PPA Board must act to fulfil their duty of care and prevent the abuse of single source and restricted tendering to guarantee the protection of the public funds.

“Strengthen and enforce internal control mechanisms of MDAs and MMDAs to ensure compliance with laid down rules, policies, procedures, and legal framework regarding public procurement to prevent the abuse of the systems,” Mrs Addah stated.

Ms Stanila expressed the hope the recommendations would be considered for implementation to serve as a best practice in similar situations.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana Export Promotion Authority takes over ITC-funded GreenToCompete hub

Accra,-The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has taken over the implementation of various green modules under GreenToCompete hub, beginning with a pilot of voluntary and sustainability standards module for selected Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Over the past three years, the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) GreenToCompete hub was hosted by GEPA providing technical assistance to local SMEs through capacity building focusing on aspects of sustainability in resource efficiency, voluntary and sustainability standards (VSS), e-commerce and access to finance.

With the implementation of various modules under the initiative completed, GEPA has taken over the project to manage it for the benefit of SMEs under similar orientations.

Addressing participants at the transition workshop, the Deputy CEO of GEPA, Mr Samuel Dentu, said the GreenToCompete project over the past three years had benefitted over 50 exporting and export-ready SMEs in the cocoa, Shea processing, fruit/vegetables, and arts and crafts sectors.

He said the takeover was necessary as the country’s economy remained highly dominated by the activities of local SMEs and there was the need to enhance their capacity to access the international markets.

“GEPA is pleased when ITC contracted the authority to work on this project because SMEs contribute significantly to the national economy whilst striving to compete not only in Ghana but also on the international market,” he said.

The transition workshop was to officially close and switch the GreenToCompete Hub activities from the direct implementation of ITC into the hands of GEPA.

It was also to create awareness about voluntary and sustainability standards and invite SMEs to have an exclusive opportunity to be part of the program.

“These SMEs received training under the Hub, including personalised coaching to enable them to chart an easy path to more sustainable trade by better understanding the sustainability landscape, and to connect with green finance international markets,” he said.

Mr Dentu said the receipt of comprehensive support on incorporating the GreenToCompete hub into GEPA’s portfolio of services had made the Authority ready to take over the Hub’s activities and deliver various green modules to the benefit of Ghanaian SMEs.

“This we intend to do, beginning with a pilot of the voluntary and sustainability standards module for selected SMEs to be part of the piloting,” he added.

Desk Manager of GreenToCompete Hub Ghana at the ITC, Regina Taimasova, said the initiative’s completion by the ITC has offered a renewed opportunity for GEPA to effectively take up the project and implement it to benefit local SMEs.

She said the project has in the last three years benefitted over 200 individuals in a key non-traditional export sector. “The ITC wishes to commend GEPA for lending support toward a successful implementation of the project in Ghana,” said Ms Taimasova.

 The GreenToCompete Hubs are a core element in International Trade Centre’s goal to realise one million activations in the next five years.

Currently, the hubs active in the Carribean, Ghana, Kenya, Laos, Nepal, Peru and Vietnam.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Gaming Commission calls for voluntary submission of slot machines

Accra,- The Gaming Commission of Ghana (GCG), the regulators of the game of chance in the country, has called on operators of analogue slot machines (jackpots) to voluntarily surrender their machines to the Commission.

The call follows the Commission’s nationwide exercise to clamp down on illegal gambling machines. Operators of the machines have exhausted a two-year moratorium to transition to digital gaming platforms to conform to international standards of play and to protect minors from exploitation.

The transition to digital gaming systems would also enable the Commission to verify customers and users and keep records of gaming transactions in compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2020 (Act 1044).

To this end, the Commission on Friday, March 25, 2020, embarked on an operation that led to the confiscation of about 28 jackpot machines in the Kasoa area of the Central region.

The operation was carried out simultaneously across the country.

Ms Beatrice Baidoo, the Public Affairs Manager of the Commission, urged illegal jackpot operators to voluntarily hand over their slot machines to the GCG and go through the required processes to acquire digital ones to avert arrest and sanctions.

Beyond the confiscation of the machines, she said the Commission had engaged operators who had legally registered with them to assist with the specifications and acquisition of the digital machines.

“We have told the operators the specifications for the digital machines, so if you want to operate any form of the digital gaming machine, come to the Commission, apply through the right processes and have your game on.”

Ms Baidoo appealed to the public to volunteer information on the operations of the illegal jackpot operators to enable the Commission to enforce the ban.

The Ghana News Agency observed during the operation that many of the illegal operators were unaware of the ban on the use of jackpots.

Also, more than 95 per cent of the gaming machines belonged to Chinese nationals, who were not at the gaming centres during the operation.

Apart from those of the Chinese, all other jackpots machines that were seized at drinking spots were managed by Ghanaians, mostly youth, who said it was their source of livelihood.

In 2018, the Gaming Commission issued a notice to all gaming operators on its intention to phase out analogue and non-digital jackpots within the gaming landscape in the country.

The directive formed part of the Commission’s effort to upgrade the industry to meet international best practices, protect minors and curb the exploitation of the vulnerable.

The Commission is working with other government agencies including the Local Government Service and District Assemblies to ensure that the business operating permits were not issued to illegal gaming operators.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Alex Dadey picks overall best Entrepreneur of the decade

Accra,- Mr. Alex Dadey, Executive Chairman of the KGL Group and Board Chairman of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) has been adjudged the Overall Best Entrepreneur of the decade at the 12th edition of the Prestigious Ghana Entrepreneur and Corporate Executive Awards held in Accra.

In a citation read in his honour, Mr. Dadey was praised for his outstanding achievements in multiple industries and sectors across the globe including Fintech, Logistics, Agric, Property Development and Commerce in the United Kingdom (UK) and Ghana as well as his immense contribution to the Digitalization agenda championed by the Government of Ghana.

Mr. Dadey, who is a product of Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast is a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist with over 30 years experience serving in various c-suite capacities and serves on the boards of multiple institutions including Ecom Agro Industrial, Premier Textiles Group in the United Kingdom, Birchfield Investments Limited in Jersey, Channel Islands and Dubai, KGL Capital (UK) Limited and Dominion Direct (UK) Limited to name a few.

Underpinning Mr. Dadey’s three-decade track record of success is his commitment to building an inclusive financial environment that provides high-value partnerships for small businesses to thrive and succeed across Ghana.

His work has continuously driven diaspora inclusion and fostered public-private sector partnerships and collaborations for collective growth.

As a philanthropist, Mr. Dadey has been a strong advocate of giving back to the community, a belief actions through his foundation, KGL Foundation. The KGL Foundation has over the last couple of years been at the forefront of providing social intervention programmes in the fields of sports, health and education in Ghana.

Mr. Dadey is passionate about Youth Empowerment and his firm belief in nurturing the next generation of leaders is evident in his ability to guide, teach and impart knowledge and experience to his energetic, young and vibrant teams he builds across multiple industries he has succeeded in.

‘At The Forefront of Digitalization’ KGL Group is a wholly owned Ghanaian group of companies, with interests in Technology Innovation, Fin-Tech, Logistics, Trade, Property Development, Gaming and Commerce.

The parent company commands a network of specialized business units that promote efficient solutions and effective tech-based related services to customers across Ghana and partner operating regions including KGL Technology Limited (Digital Innovation), Fintech, KGL Capital Limited (Equity, Trade, Finance, Fund Management), KGL Foundation (Social Accountability Corporate Social Responsibility Division of the Group), Keed Ghana Limited (Tech Solutions, E-Games Development), Birchfield Ghana Limited (Logistics, Property Development).

Source: Ghana News Agency

World Theatre Day marked in Ghana with call on government to invest in sector

Accra,- Renowned Ghanaian Playwright Latif Abubakar together with some top actors and actresses over the weekend staged a play at the Black Stars Square, in Accra, to mark this year’s World Theatre Day.

The performance dubbed “Oman Y3 Wo Man” sought to stress the importance of theatre with a clarion call on government to invest in the sector to help preserve the Ghanaian culture.

Speaking in an interview with GNA Entertainment on the sidelines of the event, Mr Abubakar, the Chief Executive Officer of Globe Productions, said the progress theatre has made over the years was not too encouraging, adding that it was a very difficult product to market.

Mr. Abubakar noted that government should create a policy that would institutionalize theatre and make it part and parcel of what the country did as a nation.

“There must be a deliberate action on the part of government to inculcate it in whatever we do. Let theatre be on the faces of people and let it be part of whatever event we undertake as a country. That is the only way we can preserve our culture properly and demonstrate our culture to our children.

“There must be more infrastructure for us to display our culture and massive financial investment into the sector,” he said.

Mr. Diallo Abdouradamane, UNESCO’s Country Representative, in his address said culture forms part of a country’s vital identity and government must institute measures for its preservation.

He noted that they are engaged in talks with government in advocating for the betterment of the sector, especially the well-being of actors and actresses.

While urging the actors and actresses for promoting performing art, he lauded them to continue with the good works.

Mr. Javier Gutierez, the Spanish Ambassador to Ghana, said theatre was an important tool for fighting against injustice and also makes the world a better place.

He said his outfit was poised to aid the progress of theatre in the country as they last year staged the Flamenco show at the National Theatre to aid culture exchange between Ghana and Spain.

Actors and Actresses who took part in the play include Fred Amugi, Fiifi Coleman, Gloria Sarfo, Jackie Ankrah, Edinam Atatsi, Ekow Blankson, Naa Ashorkor, DKB, among others.

Source: Ghana News Agency