Arise Ghana demo: Protestors gather momentum at Obra spot

Accra, Several hundreds of protesters have thronged the Obra Spot, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Tuesday morning for the planned demonstration by the Arise Ghana, a pressure group, to express their concerns about the prevailing economic hardship.

The protesters, clad in red and black attire, gathered at the Greater Accra Regional Secretariat of the Ambulance Station, hoisting and waving of flags amidst singing and blowing of trumpets.

Some of the protestors who spoke to the Ghana News Agency said things were not going well in the country, saying the economic situation was unbearable.

Mr Osei Adjei, a protestor, said, “I am suffering to organise myself in my own country, prices of foodstuff fs are increasing every day, making it difficult for me to cope.”

He said almost everybody was complaining about the economic hardships, hoping the demonstration would send signals to the authorities to respond to the needs of the citizenry.

Ms Adjoa Serwaa said “this is not about politics but the general wellbeing of the people. Economic hardship has no political affiliations and that the Government must do something to ameliorate the situation.”

Security personnel have positioned themselves at vantage locations to maintain law and order ahead of the demonstration.

The pressure group has for the past months made their intentions clear to embark on a historic two-day demonstration in the capital city Accra.

The demonstration is aimed at protesting the hikes in fuel prices and the harsh economic conditions imposed on Ghanaians by the Government, organisers said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

COKA urges NPP to maintain a united front

Kumasi, Chairman Odeneho Kwaku Appiah (COKA), an aspirant in the just ended Ashanti Regional New Patriotic Party (NPP) chairmanship election, has called for party unity to ensure victory in the next election.

He said it was imperative to bury their differences, maintain a united front and work together as a party ahead of the 2024 general election.

Speaking at a thanksgiving service held in his honour at the Upper Room Assemblies of God Church in Kumasi, he said the Party remained the best choice for Ghanaians and that anything that could hurt chances of retaining power must be avoided.

The service was held to thank God for a successful election and to appreciate the overwhelming support he enjoyed prior, during and after the election.

It was attended by members of his campaign team, supporters, well-wishers, family, and friends.

The former Afigya Kwabre South NPP Chairman, expressed gratitude to God, the campaign team and all his followers who believed and supported him in diverse ways throughout the exercise.

“I’m happy to be here today to thank God first of all, party delegates, elders, founders, identifiable groups and the general public at large for your continuous support and love shown me before and after the elections,” he noted.

He observed that the current economic hardship was weighing Ghanaians down and urged them to continue to have faith in God, adding that regardless of the situation there was hope.

“I understand the current economic hardship is weighing everyone down. But regardless of the situation we all find ourselves in, there’s hope. With prayers, supplication and hard work, we shall all sail through,” he emphasised.

Throughout my life, I’ve never seen a prayerful person whom God has let down. Hold on, don’t give up because hope is near, he encouraged the congregants.

Some constituents from Afigya Kwabre East where he served as chairman for over 20years presented a cow and a sheep as a gift to for fighting a good cause.

He also received gifts from COKA Ladies, serial callers and other identifiable groups.

The service was climaxed with a party at the Longford Royal Centre, bringing together people from the social class, cooperate, media, businessmen and women, traders, Members of Parliament, clergy, traditional leaders among others.

Source: Ghana News Agency

District assembly complex to be completed by end of December 2022-Minister

Accra, Mr Dan Botwe, Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development says the District Assembly complex project in Nkwanta North will be completed and handed over by the end of December 2022.

He said, as of the end of April 2022, work on the project was 70 per cent completed, thus the building had been roofed and work on plastering and window frames had been completed.

Mr Botwe told parliament on Tuesday when he appeared on the floor to answer a question asked by Mr John Kwabena Bless Oti, Member of Parliament of Nkwanta North, when the abandoned District Assembly complex project in the constituency would be completed.

He said reports available to the ministry indicated that the Assembly was trying to move the contractor to the site to complete work on the Project.

“Mr Speaker, it is expected that the project will be completed and handed over by the end of December 2022,” Mr Botwe told Parliament.

The sector minister clarified that the Nkwanta North District Assembly Complex was among the Assembly Blocks Construction Projects awarded by the then Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development on June 10, 2019, after advance mobilisation was paid.

“Mr Speaker, the contractor then took over the site for commencement of the project in January 2020,” he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

National cathedral land was acquired by the state in 1910 – Abu Jinapor

Accra, The land on which the National Cathedral is being constructed was acquired by the state in 1910, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources has said.

He said the land measuring approximately 16.26 acres formed part of a large tract of land acquired by the State by a Certificate of Title dated September 29, 1910.

Answering a question on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday, Mr Abu Jinapor said the land was, therefore, a public land, vested in the president of the republic on behalf of and in trust for the citizenry by article 257 (1) of the Constitution.

The sector minister was in the House to answer a question asked by Mr Kwame Governs Agbodza, Member of Parliament of Adaklu, whether the government compulsorily acquired landed property that formed the site on which the National Cathedral was being built, if so, had the government fully compensated the previous owners as required by law.

“Mr Speaker, by section three of the Public Lands Ordinance, 1876 (Cap 134), the applicable law at the time, compensation was fully paid to the pre-acquisition owners.

“The land is, therefore, a public land, vested in the president of the Republic, on behalf of, and in trust for the people of Ghana, by Article 275 (1) of our national Constitution,” he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Prince Mba calls for unity to solve food crisis

Accra, Mr Prince Bagnaba Mba, President of Forum for Equity, a human rights organisation has called for unity among Ghanaians to solve national challenges, especially food management.

“There comes a time that we must all come together to find realistic solutions to national crisis and stop the blame game. Self-sufficiency in food protection and food security are non-negotiable for sustainable democracy and development.”

Mr Mba who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on global challenges said the only wasy Ghanaians to could avoid the heat of the crisis was to engage in food crop production in every corner of the country.

He said the present global economic crisis could not be solved by quotations of more than several years of auditing reports, but by a collective commitment and resolve to harness the best human ability and natural resources.

“The Operation Feed Ourselves and Export spirit must be rekindled by planting food crops everywhere available. Food has now become a weapon of war, more deadly than any ballistic missile.

“We must be honest enough to accept our pitfalls in the search for sustainable food production and research into fast and efficient scientific farming methods.”

Mr Mba also appealed to City and urban dwellers to engage in backyard gardening and the national food stock companies should also reach out to rural areas, where storage continued to a problem.

He said hunger did not wear political party colours and urged all Ghanaians irrespective of their geographical location, religion, ethnic groups, political parties and occupation to wage total resistance against the food war.

“Africa has no excuse. The land is good for various types of crops and only need the human factor.”

Source: Ghana News Agency

Development Bank Ghana to mirror KfW’s successful banking model for SMEs benefit

Accra, KfW, the German Development Bank, says its partnership with the recently launched Development Bank Ghana (DBG), will provide much-needed support to the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) sector.

It will also promote the sustainable development of the Ghanaian economy based on a model similar to its own.

Specifically, this partnership, which was signed in December 2021, has been built to enable DBG to provide longer-term financing for the private sector, particularly SMEs in the agribusiness, manufacturing, high value services and ICT sectors.

Through this support, KfW, the development financing arm of the German Government, will aid SMEs to make productive investments in order to retain and create jobs for the youth in the country.

On behalf of the German Government, KfW has contributed €46.5 million as a subordinated loan with favourable conditions.

Additionally, a grant of €3 million for technical assistance is provided to DBG in support of SMEs.

The model KfW is supporting in Ghana is similar to the one it implements for its domestic business in Germany.

Based on this model, KfW lends to DBG who will in-turn lend to Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) or commercial banks who will finally lend to SMEs.

Commenting on the partnership, the Country Director of the KfW Office in Accra, Arndt Wierheim said, “KfW is undertaking a financial co-operation on behalf of the German government and we think DBG as a national development bank in Ghana is perfectly suited to support SMEs. We are very happy to implement our model with our Ghanaian partners here in Ghana.

History shows that over its 70 years of implementation, the KfW model has been very successful in building a solid bedrock of SMEs, which is necessary for every strong economy and that is what we are trying to do in Ghana. KfW is supporting DBG on a path to a more sustainable and dynamic socio-economic growth in Ghana which will lead to the creation of more jobs”.

“From that point of view, we hope with our support to DBG, we can grow and give more life to the Reform and Investment Partnership which the Governments of Ghana and Germany signed a couple of years ago, where DBG will be a very strong pillar. We hope that DBG will be a success as KfW has been successful over the last 70 years in Germany”, he added.

The Federal Republic of Germany, through financial and technical cooperation, over the years has provided extensive support to the Government of Ghana.

This has been in three critical areas. One area is energy. The second is governance and the third is sustainable economic development. Mr. Wierheim explained that “within that third pillar, we are trying to support access to finance in Ghana; to support and finance SMEs through the financial sector and DBG as a new focus for us in Ghana is trying to do that.”

KfW’s support to DBG is, however, broad and not only in the areas of funding and technical assistance.

Within KfW’s support to DBG, there is an embedded governance structure mirrored on international best practices which is aimed at ensuring that the expected support to SMEs does not encounter any challenges or bottlenecks.

This is possible because KfW, together with other development partners such as the World Bank and the European Investment Bank (EIB), has been involved right from the beginning in contributing to the design of the governance structure of DBG.

According to Arndt Wierheim, “we have a very thorough monitoring and reporting system in place which we do for all our projects, but, specifically for DBG which is also very important to us. We have yearly progress missions to Ghana from our headquarters to see where the project is going.

We expect several things and one thing is to have a sister organization in Ghana which works similar like KfW so we can work on the same level. We have a common purpose and we have a similar structure. For us it is not only important to have implemented the very ambitious policies and support mechanisms for SMEs. We need a partner like DBG so we grow together and support Ghana.”

KfW was founded in 1948 after the Second World War. The development of the KfW Group has been closely connected to the economic development of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Since its founding and according to its statutory mission, KfW has been supporting change and encouraging forward-looking ideas – in Germany, Europe and throughout the world.

It is one of the world’s largest national development bank and as of 2018, Germany’s third largest bank by balance sheet. KfW is one of the world’s leading promotional banks and has been committed to improving economic, social and environmental living conditions across the globe on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana Chamber of Mines, government collaboration key to success

Accra, -The Ghana Chamber of Mines has chalked many successes over the last four years, thanks to a collaborative effort with stakeholders and the decision to forge a strategic development partnership with the government.

Speaking in an interview with some media houses on his tenure, the immediate past President of the Chamber, Eric Asubonteng, said the deliberate association with government led to many achievements, especially the creation of a joint working group with the Ministry for Lands and Natural Resources.

This working group, on an ongoing basis, looks at all the changes and initiatives that the government wants to introduce and the Chamber also works with them behind the scenes to ensure that we are able to deliver on those initiatives without causing any unintended negative consequences, he said.

The move is to help the Chamber to develop, grow, and sustain the mining industry to benefit all stakeholders through a constructive and proactive dialogue on government initiatives and finding ways to resolve the challenges facing the industry.

“My approach right from the onset, together with my colleagues at the Chamber, has been one of positioning ourself as a development partner to the government, with the government being our number one stakeholder.

“We are fortunate to have on the government side, a minister who also views collaboration with stakeholders as key in supporting government’s vision of making mining sustainable and of benefit to the communities,” he said.

Mr. Asubonteng also said the Chamber’s effective collaboration with the government would make the vision of the country as a mining hub in West Africa a reality.

The Chamber had already taken the lead in ensuring that the vision was realized by working with various stakeholders to help position Ghana as a mining support services and inputs hub in West Africa.

“Very often, a comparison is made between South Africa and Ghana, considering that South Africa has benefited so much from mining and it’s visible, unlike Ghana.

“But this is partly because South Africa has positioned itself as the hub of mining in Africa so all the big mining companies, service providers, and suppliers, will always have their headquarters in South Africa and operate from there and by doing that, you draw far more value into that country beyond what is produced,” he explained.

He said the Chamber’s vision is to Ghana taking up the position as the West Africa sub region gets global prominence as an attractive mining destination.

“The West Africa sub region is increasing its prominence in terms of global mining and a lot of mines are now being set up. So, if Ghana can position itself properly, then we could accrue far more benefits into the country beyond what we are producing.

“We have the first mover advantage over here because we have a longer mining history, we have very strong mining institutions and a strong regulatory regime. Some of these mining jurisdictions in the sub region come to Ghana to learn from our regulatory and monitoring regimes,” he said.

Already, Mr. Asubonteng said, the Chamber had commissioned a study, which will be completed this year, into how the country could practically achieve the vision, bringing out the opportunities, the challenges and the practical interventions that would ensure the goal was attained.

“We have particularly tasked the team of consultants to be practical in their approach and recommendations. We don’t want this to end up being another study that is so “theoretical” in nature that it ends up gathering dust on the shelves, as we have seen in so many other instances.

A key result of the collaborative approach with government, Mr. Asubonteng said, was the Bank of Ghana’s (BoG) decision to buy gold from the mining companies to shore up its reserves.

“This is a government initiative and we supported it by working together with the Bank of Ghana to agree on the framework and modalities.

“As a result, Newmont has completed its discussions with the central bank and has started selling gold to them. Other mining companies are still having discussions and we expect this to be resoundingly successful” he said.

Commenting on local content, Mr. Asubonteng said the Chamber was of the view that the most sustainable way of contributing to the economy of Ghana was to increase the linkages between the mining industry and other sectors of the economy.

In this regard, the industry had demonstrated its commitment to local content, by helping to grow Ghanaian companies, including, in particular, Ghanaian owned contract mining companies, even ahead of the introduction of the new local content regulations.

“If we are to make good and lasting progress, however, it will require a well-coordinated inter-ministerial or multi-sectorial approach,” he stated.

He said the Chamber had also engaged the services of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) to undertake a study on the linkages between the minerals and non-mining sector.

Other areas of influence include the setting up of a Tertiary Education Fund for UMaT and transparency in our accounting for gold produced and export through the regular audits by the Precious Mineral Marketing Company (PMMC). .

“Overall, my time as President has been an instructive journey and has afforded me the opportunity to influence “big picture” initiatives in the industry. The experience and lessons learned are ones that will serve me well, beyond my tenure as the President of the Chamber.”

Source: Ghana News Agency

Women in Entrepreneurship Awards nominations unveiled

Accra, The Women in Entrepreneurship Ghana (WIEG), has announced a shortlist of its nominees for the second edition of the Women in Entrepreneurship Awards (WIEA) set to take place in September 2022, in Accra.

The nominations feature some tough competition in 22 categories, including Made in Ghana Product of the Year; Social Entrepreneur of the Year; Student Entrepreneur of the Year; Innovative Business of the Year; Family Business of the Year; Micro/Small Business Entrepreneur; Woman Entrepreneur of the Year; Professional Service Entrepreneur of the Year.

Others are Most Promising Entrepreneur of the Year; Fashion Entrepreneur of the Year; Beauty Entrepreneur of the Year; Creative Industry Entrepreneur of the Year; Food Entrepreneur of the Year; Beverage Brand of the Year; Financial Service Provider of the Year; Insurance Company of the Year; Scale-Up Entrepreneur of the Year; and Health and Well-being Entrepreneur of the Year.

WIEA 2022, which is being supported by the ‘Ecobank Elevate Programme’, seeks to recognise, honour and encourage women entrepreneurs contributing to economic growth and driving the women empowerment agenda.

Speaking at the launch of the second edition, Madam Sylvia Tweneboah-Koduah, President of WIEG, said the award scheme sought to encourage more women to embrace entrepreneurship with much emphasised on financial literacy.

She observed that the sustainability of businesses was a major issue, hence, the need to offer women the requisite training, assistance, and mentoring in how to establish and expand their businesses.

Madam Tweneboah-Koduah, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of WIEA, noted that WIEA would not focus on awarding just winners of the various categories, but to recognise all nominees and build their capacity.

Dr Loretta Sarpong, Head of Ellevate Desk at Ecobank Ghana PLC, who described the initiative as laudable, added that, empowering young people, especially girls, could help build a more equitable community.

“We partnered with WIEA because the main idea of the Ecobank Ellevate Programme is to partner businesses owned by women and women focused businesses; businesses with 20 per cent female employees or companies producing/manufacturing for women,” she said.

Dr Sarpong mentioned that Ecobank was willing to provide financial and non-financial support at affordable prices, saying, they had varied products and services to support their ‘ellevate’ customers to grow their businesses from one level to another.

The maiden edition saw Madam Josephine Aku Selorm Gator walk home with the ultimate award- Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, whereas, some dignitaries including Stacy Amoateng, Oheneyere Gifty Anti, Tagoe Sisters and Dr Erieka Bennett, receiving honorary awards.

Source: Ghana News Agency