G20 ambitious on plan to roll out pandemic fund this year

YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia, June 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Finance Ministers and Health Ministers of the world’s 20 largest economies agree to establish a ground-breaking pandemic fund to help the world better prevent, prepare for and respond to future pandemics.

Indonesian Health Minister gave remarks at the 1st G20 JFHMM

Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati co-chaired the 1st G20 Joint Finance and Health Ministers’ Meeting (JFHMM), during which G20 member states agreed to the establishment of a Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) for Pandemic Preparedness, Prevention, and Response (PPR) under the trusteeship of the World Bank and technical guidance of the WHO.

“I am pleased to announce a commitment of over USD 1.1 billion has been secured for the Financial Intermediary Fund for pandemic PPR.” Minister Mulyani said. Indonesia commits to contribute USD 50 million, Singapore USD 10 million, the United States USD 450 million, the European Union USD 450 million, Germany Euro 50 million (USD 52.7 millions) and Wellcome Trust £10 million (USD 12.3 million). G20 member states also highlighted that the fund would be inclusive in nature and allow access middle to low income countries to utilize it.

The JFHMM conclusion will also be discussed at the next Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ (FMCBG) Meeting next month and to be followed up at the next Joint Finance-Health Task Force (JFHTF) meeting.

Indonesian Health Minister Budi empasized that the G20 JFHTF has made progress in discussing further the idea of FIF establishment that was first introduced during 2021 Italian G20 presidency. “I am confident that we will achieve concrete results by October, which includes the establishment of the FIF and coordinating platform collaboration,” Minister Budi said.

Two meetings also agree on the universal verification of COVID-19 vaccine certificates, health protocols to ease global mobility, and the expansion of the Global Manufacturing and Research Hub for PPR, especially the production of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to take place in developing countries.

WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Bank, GAVI, CEPI, The Global Fund and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation attended the meeting. Dr. Tedros said that FIF must also be coherent with other global health initiatives. “This platform should be built on the experience of the ACT Accelerator, the Pandemic Influenza Framework and other mechanisms. This is an important focus of the G20 health track under Minister Budi’s leadership,” he said.

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Tarkwa-Nusaem Municipal Assembly tops MMDA’s league table in the Western Region

Ahwetieso (W/R), The Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Assembly in the 2020 District League Table (DLT) report scored 70.


4 percent to top Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly’s (MMDA’s) in the Western Region.


At the national level, Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Assembly scored 70.43 percent for the sixth position.


Mr Benjamin Kessie, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA).


He said the assembly performed creditably well per the 17 indicators analysed and drawn from five major sectors for the DLT ranking.


He said: “Under education we ranked first among the 14th MMDA’s in the Western Region and 10th nation-wide. On health we placed first in the Region and 5th in the country.


“For water and sanitation, we were first in the Region and at the national level we placed 28th. We were 2nd in the Region and 46th in the country in Information, Communication and Technology (ICT).”


This achievement, he said, showed how committed and arduously the assembly was working towards attaining their goals and targets for the overall wellbeing of the citizens.


Mr Kessie expressed gratitude to the coordinating director, heads of department, units and staff of the assembly for placing Tarkwa-Nusaem in an enviable first position, stressed that, “your commitment, dedication and passion to tasks has brought us this far and l am extremely grateful for the unwavering support to the actualization of my vision for the Municipality.”


The DLT is a tool developed and used by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) now UNICEF to track national development and highlight districts that are doing well and those having challenges in terms of well-being of their population, he explained.


According to the MCE, many a time, citizens raised issues regarding quality of service delivery and disparities in their wellbeing.


He stated that the DLT therefore provided a better understanding of the status of citizens safety in the municipality and generated action towards ensuring better prioritisation and equitable resource allocation.


It also afforded them the opportunity to increase social accountability around service delivery between the Municipal Assembly and the citizenry, Mr Kessie added


Source: Ghana News Agency

GNA’s Emmanuel Agbaxode wins GJA Volta Chairman race

Ho, Mr Emmanuel Agbaxode, a Chief Reporter of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) has won the 2022 Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) elections in the Volta Region as the Chairman-elect.

Mr Agbaxode polled 29 votes to beat other contenders- Harrison Kofi Belley who polled 12 votes and Mr Hubert Mawuli Yevu-Agbi with one vote.


Mr Agbaxode, in a speech expressed gratitude to God for his victory adding that he would as his first step, unite members of the Association.


Other winners are Ms Ewoenam Kpodo also a GNA Chief Reporter as the Treasurer by polling 23 votes to beat Ms Ivy Priscilla Setordjie with 19 votes.


Mr Frederick Duodu-Takyi won the Secretary position with 31 votes ahead of Mr Misrowoda MacLiberty with 11 votes.


The turnout of voters stands at 42 out of 47 members in good standing.


Results for National Executive positions are Public Affairs Officer; Madam Rebecca Ekpe – 36 votes, Mr Ceasar Abagali – six votes, Organising Secretary, Madam Mary Mensah – 25 votes and Mr Dominic Hlordzi – 17 votes.


Others are: General Secretary- Mr Akwasi Agyeman – 17 votes and Mr Kofi Yeboah – 25 votes; and President, Mr Dave Agbenu – four votes, Mr Gayheart Mensah – 15 votes and Mr Albert Kwabena Dwumfour – 23 votes.


Source: Ghana News Agency

Book on business consulting for young people launched

Accra, Dr Joseph Ebow Bannerman, an academic and renowned Consultant, says his book, “The CONSULTANT,” is a manual for the younger generation who wants to venture into the business of consulting.

The book, whose content is detailed in his professional experiences and career, spanning over several decades and documentary research was launched as a duty of giving back to society.


Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency after the launch, Dr Bannerman, said, ” the idea behind this book is to help those who want to be in that kind of business, know how best to handle that aspect of the business. This is a kind of manual for young people who go into consulting.”


He said pragmatic illustrations and examples in the book would serve as templates and in the appendixes, there is some guidance on how to negotiate and handle contracts and write proposals.


Others are using consultant cycle approach starting from business development through to contract execution and this would help make the young ones productive.


The 310-page document contains some thought-provoking experiences that could be found in appendixes 12 and 17.


Dr Bannerman told the Agency that his motivation to put together such a document in a seemingly new vocation, consultancy is based on the premise that the State had played a role in shaping them back in the university.


“The State has spent some money on some of us, we had education a little easy and after university things were rosy. And so, we need to give back to society,” he stated.


The event brought together technocrats, people from academia, diplomats and eminent personalities including Prof. Justice Samuel Kofi Date-Bah, former Supreme Court Justice and Mr Kwame Mpianim, an Economist.


In reviewing the book, Mr Mpianim, described appendix 17 as the most fantastic, adding that “every executive who relied on good communication, report writing, unambiguous contracts could benefit from the wisdom scattered in the book.”


He said Ghana could have created more jobs in the agriculture, railways if the State had implemented 10 per cent of what Plan Consult did.


Prof Justice Samuel Date-Bah, Chairperson for the launch, in his remarks said, commended Dr Bannerman for adhering to their old conviction of transferring the knowledge acquired through their careers with the support of the State.


He said consulting is a relatively new profession in Ghana and “THE CONSULTANT” would play a critical role in highlighting it and serving as a practical guide for the profession.


The Forward of the book was written by Mrs Mary Chinery-Hesse, and the first few copies were bought at GH₵ 5,000 each


Source: Ghana News Agency

UHAS holds maiden International Day celebration

Ho, The University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) has held its maiden International Day celebration to encourage multinational collaboration. Held on the theme: International Community: A Catalyst for UHAS Growth, the UHAS International Day featured cultural themes from the various nationalities making up the University community.


Prof. John Owusu Gyapong, the Vice Chancellor of the University, said the promotion of international relations formed part of its core strategies towards an identity of diversity and inclusion.


He said the University sought to create a working environment of diverse people, promote tolerance and cross-cultural learning, noting that different personalities from different cultures and ideas would make the University a better place.


The Vice-Chancellor said the University encouraged gender equality in diverse facades and was working to make structures and facilities well adaptable to the physically challenged.


He noted how international faculty contributed ‘“very significantly” to the growth of UHAS and recognised also the “great” contributions to academic quality, counting more than 20 international partnerships, as well as several successful faculty and student exchange programs in top countries around the world.


The Vice-Chancellor, however, said student exchanges were low, and that the University had only four international students, the latter which he blamed on challenges with bank transfers affecting students from Nigeria.


UHAS has 25 international faculties from Cuba, Nigeria, Cameroon, and India at various Schools including Public Health, Pharmacy, and Medicine.


“The International Day will celebrate role of international community in the successes of UHAS and we will continue to cherish collaboration and work to see it grow,” Prof. Gyapong assured.


Mr Gambo Yusuf Hamza, the Deputy Nigerian High Commissioner, appealed to the Government to “look into the issue of resident permits” as millions of Nigerian students sought educational pastures in the country.


Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, the Volta Regional Minister, said the Region supported the University’s quest to become a “universal city,” and promised to help conquer challenges to the stride, including issues with fees transfer for the international students.


The celebration made a colourful ambience of the newly renovated and christened Prof. Kofi Anyidoho Auditorium, with flags and costumes of the various nations working with the University.


Cultural displays captured the varieties, and a food bazaar at the end, also provided a taste of the various national staples.


Source: Ghana News Agency

GI-KACE, UENR sign MoU to conduct research in emerging technologies

Accra, The Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (GI-KACE) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Department of Computer and Electricals Engineering of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (DEEC-UENR).


The MoU seeks to establish a mutually beneficial relationship between both institutions.


It is also to foster a healthy collaboration that will lead both institutions to jointly conduct research in emerging technologies.


Dr Collins Yeboah-Afari, the Director-General of GI-KACE and Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako, the Vice-Chancellor of the UENR, initialled for their respective institutions in Accra.


Dr Yeboah-Afari said the signing of the MoU between the two institutions forms part of their bit to help the Government’s Digitalization transformation agenda.


He said that the Centre was happy to reinforce the relationship with the UENR, which already existed in the past.


“The actual purpose of this occasion is to facilitate the DEEC-UENR student participation and hands-on sessions on campuses and our centres in Sunyani and Accra.


“We will also jointly conduct research in emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), and accommodate your students for internships and others,” Dr Yeboah-Afari said.


“For us as an institution, this is part of our bit to help the Government’s Digitalization transformation agenda. We see this relationship as a building block that will help elevate both institutions’ statuses needed to do our quota in achieving the government’s IT Transformation Agenda.”


On his part Prof Asare-Bediako commended both institutions for their collaboration.


“These days, one institution cannot do it alone. Both University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) and Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (GI-KACE) are therefore supposed to support each other to support the Government’s vision,” he said.


“GI-KACE is supposed to champion this idea because ICT is now the trend, and so whether you like it or not, it is ICT that is ruling the world and so we want to commend you for what you have been doing.” Prof Asare-Bediako said.


He noted that the collaboration was, therefore, key to supporting each other to achieve national development.


“Every sector of government institution strives on ICT and especially trends to survive in the digital space in boosting the national economy,” he said.


“Your task in educating the entire nation in ICT has made this relationship even more essential since we are in the central part of Ghana. Reciprocity and collaboration are key for us to achieve our goals.”


He said the UENR was looking to run academic degrees internally for GI-KACE staff who would want to upgrade themselves.


“It is my wish that this MoU that we have signed will not be the type that will gather dust on the shelve but a more active one.


“I have no doubt that we will work together to ensure that this MoU becomes exemplary and move the government’s agenda forward,” the Vice-Chancellor said.


Source: Ghana News Agency

Fidelity Bank wins five awards at the 2022 HESS Awards

Accra, Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited has been named the Most Safety and Security Conscious Company of the Year at the 2022 Health, Environment, Safety & Security (HESS) Awards. It also won the Best Company in Data Security Management and Best Company in Fire Safety and Security Management at held at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, in Accra.


The Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Ghana, Julian Opuni emerged winner of the HESS Exemplary Leadership Award (Banking & Finance), while the Environment, Health & Safety Manager of the Bank, Ebenezer Gbolonyo, was adjudged the HESS Male Personality of the Year.

The HESS award seeks to identify and celebrate health, safety and security-conscious companies who exhibit exceptional leadership and innivation in occupational Health, the Environment and Employee Stakeholder Safety and Security.


Speaking on the awards garnered, Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Julian Opuni stated that these awards were a testament to the Bank’s commitment to safety in all spheres of their business, an official statement issued issued to the Ghana News Agency, on Friday said.


“Winning five awards in an award scheme that recognizes the efforts of organizations in prioritizing health, safety, security and the environment is something Fidelity Bank is most proud of,” he said. “This is a validation of all the work we do to ensure the safety of all stakeholders. We wish to express our appreciation to the organizers for this enormous recognition. I have no doubt that these awards will spur us on to do better than we already have.”

“I also wish to dedicate these awards to all hardworking staff of Fidelity Bank and our loyal customers whose support and loyalty continue to urge us on to greater heights,” the Fidelity MD added.


Fidelity Bank was adjudged winner in these categories taking into consideration its periodic security awareness training for all staff and partner agents, the recent upgrade of its electronic systems as well as steps the bank has taken to put in place a remote backup for CCTV footage with AI functionality. Additionally, the Bank’s initiative to train staff on general Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) issues including emergency preparedness and procedures with respect to first aid and use of appropriate HSE signs as well as fire, flood and other occupational disasters were factored into the awards. The bank’s capacity to monitor their full branch network, office ATMs and other collection points in real time through an internet protocol from a central monitoring station, among other things were also major factors leading to the recognition.


Fidelity Bank’s attainment of globally standardized ISO and PCI-DSS certifications were also acknowledged and contributed to the accolade of Best Company in Data Security Management.


The Bank continues to validate it’s positioning as an indigenous business with global standards and a pacesetter in innovation.


In a little over a decade, Fidelity Bank Ghana has grown from a discount house to a Tier-1 Bank and is now the largest privately-owned Ghanaian Bank in Ghana.


The Bank currently serves its approximately two million customers in 75 branches across Ghana and is a leader in the digital banking space. The bank has two subsidiaries, Fidelity Asia Bank Limited, which is a wholly owned subsidiary in Malaysia and Fidelity Securities Limited, an asset management firm.


Source: Ghana News Agency

Women in Mining Ghana meet financial institutions for support

Accra, Women in Mining Ghana (WIM), an advocacy body for women working in the mining sector, have called for tailor-made support programmes by financial institutions to address the funding needs of their members. The women said currently, the traditional lending sources were unfriendly, especially to their members operating within the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) industry, due to stringent procedures and requirements.


They made the call at a dialogue with some financial institutions in Accra, to discuss findings from a collaborative study by WIM and The Social Investment Consultancy Africa (TSIC) under a project on “Promoting responsible and sustainable Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining among women in Northern Ghana and see how best these banks could assist female operators in the extractive industry.


Madam Amina Tahiru a Member of Women in Mining Ghana, and an Artisanal and Small-Scale Miner, said the study among other things revealed that women operating in communities had limited knowledge on business management practices, lacked access to funding from financial institutions, as well as technical support to sustain and expand their operations.


She said the dialogue with financial institutions was especially important because apart from the funding aspect of their needs, they also needed technical training and basic accounting knowledge for the effective and sustainable management of their businesses.


“It is not only about taking the monies and going to start our businesses, but sometimes we need training as well, without which some may mismanage these funding and cause them to go waste,” she said.


Madam Tahiru also mentioned the issue of stereotyping of women, saying some banks and potential clients would not enter negotiations with female-led businesses unless it was led by a male, which was unfair.


WIM Ghana, she said, continued to carry out projects and research, and although women in ASM were doing a lot to improve the status of their families and communities, these would fail to yield the required results with little or no financial and technical support.


She thanked the Ecobank-Ghana TCL, ABSA, and the Apex Banks respectively for their presence at the meeting, and for also indicating their preparedness to support WIM Ghana and its members with financial and technical training and maintain a healthy dialogue for the benefit of all.


The training given to beneficiaries would equip them with the required knowledge on good business practices, and banking qualities that would strengthen their chances and relationships with the banks for further assistance to expand their businesses, she said.


Mr Frederick Amo Atakora, the Value Chain Officer at Ecobank-Ghana, said his outfit understood the key role of women in socio-economic development and believed in the empowerment of women as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


He disclosed that the bank had already dedicated a desk to attend to empower women financially and provide them with non-financial support, with a special desk officer to mobilize and train beneficiaries to become financial literates.


The desk also provides support for clients under categories such as: businesses owned by women; businesses with significant shares by women; businesses being managed by women; and those producing for women.


Mr. Atakora said a sustainable programme was also in place for regular education for clientele, to broaden their understanding of business successes, and how to build confidence, trust, and support with financial institutions.


He said the bank therefore shared in the WIN Ghana vision with its existing set-up and promised that it would be expanded after the engagement, to ensure the designing of tailor-made solutions that meets the needs of all women in the mining sector.


“This is to ensure that it does not become an off shelve solution that we throw at each person that walk to us, because their needs may be peculiar,” he said.


Mr Atakora said some financial institutions were reluctant to grant loans to women, due to the uncertainty about the repayment even though statistics available had indicated that females were better observers of loan repayment than males.


He called for continuous capacity and confidence building between the two, saying once the right structures were in place and women were empowered financially, they would repay loans given them.


He advised the women to form identifiable groups rather than approaching financial institutions individually, and encouraged banks to strengthen monitoring systems, to ensure that monies given out were repaid on schedule for others to also benefit.


Source: Ghana News Agency