“I don’t intend to quit music soon” – Loretta Larbi

Accra, Aug. 3, GNA – Loretta Larbi, an Opera Singer, known in showbiz as “Loretta” says she is inspired to produce more music with no intention to quit soon.

The singer, whose music career began nearly a decade ago, said her two year’s experience with Opera music had inspired her to go for the long haul.

In a media interview, she said: “For Opera, I just started two years ago. I’m undergoing training to improve the skill to make it even better.”

She added that, “I came across a lady and I was told that I had the potential to be like her. So, I was curious. I decided to look up to her.

“She was one of America’s greatest Opera sopranos, and I was curious and fortunately for me I found people who believed in my talent and decided to invest in it, putting me under training.”

The Church Choir, she added, had helped in grooming her music career, stressing that “the choir is my first love.”

Source: Ghana News Agency

More Water for Deprived Communities

Anweabeng (E/R), Aug. 3, GNA – The Presbyterian Relief Services and Development (PRESED), in partnership with Ghana Outlook, a UK-based organisation, has inaugurated two projects to provide potable water services to two communities in the Eastern region.

The facilities are expected to produce up to 10,000 litres of potable water a day to serve about 11,000 people in the selected communities.

The beneficiary communities are Anweabeng in the Fanteakwa and Ahweresa Damang in the Akwapim South Municipalities.

Mr William Jesse Mensah, the Coordinator of Ghana Outlook, said the community water infrastructure was designed to provide safe water delivery options tailored to meet consumer demands, especially for women and children, schools and businesses.

He announced that his outfit had successfully built several WASH facilities; Mechanised Boreholes and toilets in various communities in Ghana.

“The organisation has as well-built schools and library facilities for deprived communities,” he added.

Mr Mensah noted that the projects were meant to complement the government’s efforts at providing potable water for the citizenry towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal Six, which sought to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030.”

He, therefore, pledged his organisation’s commitment to providing other social services to meet the needs of the less privileged and disadvantaged in society.

The District Ministers for Tafo and Adoagyiri of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana Rev. Paul Osei Nkrumah and Rev. Eric Yeboah, who inaugurated the projects in their respective districts, said the facilities would not only alleviate the plight of the people particularly women and children but would also improve women economic activities.

They highlighted the church’s social witnessing agenda, which sought to provide development and social services for all creation.

The Coordinator for PRESED, Mr Emmanuel Nyarko Ankamah indicated that the organization would continue to provide safe and clean drinking water for remote communities to have access to potable water.

“Because people need water to thrive, the organization will support local water access projects that help bring safe, clean drinking water to communities in need, and this borehole is one of many such projects,” he said.

The Asihene of Ahwerease, Nana Ayisi Darko and the Amankrado of Anweabeng, Nana Henaku Ameyaw, the Chiefs of the beneficiary communities, expressed their gratitude to the benefactors for the intervention and said it would go a long way to help the community members, especially women and children.

They, therefore, pledged their support to maintain the systems to serve future generations.

In attendance at the inaugurations were Assembly members, teachers, students as well as community elders, opinion leaders, community members and other dignitaries.

Source: Ghana News Agency

We are committed to making Ghana an aviation hub of West Africa President

Sunyani, Aug. 03, GNA – President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Wednesday inaugurated the first phase of the rehabilitation and expansion of the Sunyani Airport, and assured his government’s commitment to make Ghana the aviation hub of West Africa.

The President promised to ensure work on the second phase of the project, which is costing the government GhC52 million also commenced as soon as possible.

He observed as domestic passenger traffic in the country continued to grow and his government would also continue to expand infrastructure to meet the demands.

Addressing a colourful durbar of chiefs, Ministers of State, Members of Parliament and Municipal and District Chief Executives at the Airport, President Akufo-Addo said construction works on the Kumasi and Tamale International Airports were also progressing steadily.

He said the Kumasi project was about 92 percent complete while the Tamale project was also about 95 percent complete.

The President however, expressed concern about the widespread encroachment at the Sunyani Airport which could affect the second phase and called on the traditional authorities and the lands Commission to sit up and resolve the problem.

President Akufo-Addo emphasised his government’s determination and commitment in ensuring that every part of Ghana was developed without partiality and promised to reshape the deplorable nature of roads in the Bono Region.

He also gave the assurance that his government would continue to engage traditional rulers towards bringing the development of the nation to the next level.

Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, the Minister of Transport said works on the Sunyani Airport was in line with government’s efforts to establish a standard airport in every region to boost air transport.

He noted the domestic air travel market in the country had recovered by 70 in 2021 since the outbreak of the COVID-19 and expressed the hope that the reopening of the Sunyani airport would create job opportunities for the people and spur rapid socio-economic growth and development.

Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister expressed appreciation to the President, saying the completion of the first phase of the airport had proved sceptic wrong, and was also a demonstration of the President’s commitment to develop the Bono Region.

She said work on the project received general support from the chiefs and people of the region, and expressed appreciation to the Bono Regional House of chiefs for their invaluable contribution towards the completion of the project.

Mad. Owusu-Banahene expressed the hope that the good people of the region would patronise the airport and also promote eco and cultural tourism.

Mrs. Pamela Jumson Tetteh, the Managing Director, Ghana Airports Company Limited said the COVID-19 caused significant delays in the completion of the project which had interfaced the Sunyani and Kotoka International Airports.

“This project, Mr President is truly your project and the credit for its success is rightly yours and yours alone. 

“We are confident that your commitment to the phase two of this project would be unwavering”, she said and commended the Bono Regional Minister for her dedication towards the completion of the project and thanked the chiefs of the region for their consistent cooperation as well.

Osagyefo Oseadeeyo Agyemang-Badu II, the Paramount Chief of Dormaa Traditional Area and President of the Bono Region House of Chiefs thanked the President for the facility, and asked the government to actively engage chiefs and queens in national development processes.

He appealed to the President to facilitate the construction Berekum-Sampa, New Dormaa-Yawhima and Badu-Wenchi roads which were in deplorable conditions.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ogyeahoho Gyabi denies influencing recruitment process at Asante Gold Corporation

Bibiani (WN/R) Aug. 3, GNA – The Paramount Chief of Sefwi-Anhwiaso Traditional Area, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyabi ll, has refuted claims of recruiting strangers instead of the indigenes into Asante Gold Corporation, a mining firm in Bibiani.

Some sections of the youth in the area have accused the Paramount Chief of extorting monies to recruit strangers into Asante Gold Corporation.

However, responding to the allegation levelled against him in an interview with the media, the Paramount Chief denied influencing any employment processes at the Asante Gold Corporation in Bibiani.

Ogyeahoho Gyabi II, who is also the President of the National House of Chiefs and a board member of GNPC, described the allegations as dirty politics, propaganda and palpable falsehood and challenged his accusers to provide evidence to their allegations.

He touched on issues, relating to health, education, and development, saying some projects had been done in the Municipality through him.

Ogyeahoho Gyabi cited the construction of a mechanised borehole at Pataboso, a 12-seater pour-flash toilet facility at Sefwi –Tanoso and the construction of a two-storey building for Bibiani Nursing Training College at Bibiani- Kwamekrom, which is expected to be converted to a satellite campus for UMaT as some of the projects.

The others were a six-unit classroom block at Queen’s Senior High School at Sefwi -Anhwiaso, a 20-seater toilet facility at Bibiani market, a 20-seater toilet facility at Sefwi -Anhwiaso, an ultra-modern Science Laboratory and a six-unit classroom block at Bibiani Senior Technical School (BSTS) through his initiatives.

Ogyeahoho Gyabi implored the staff of the Bibiani government hospital, Divine Love hospital, DAKS Medical Center, Redanoso and other CHPS compounds in various communities within the Municipality to render proper services to the people.

On roads, he talked about the construction of Bibiani town roads and other feeder roads within the Municipality.

They include Subri-Nkwanta/Etwebo stretch, ongoing Asawinso, Merewa-Nkronua road, Aboduabo and Chine to Bibiani road.

Touching on education, Ogyeahoho Gyabi, said more than 10 brilliant students within the Bibiani Municipality had benefitted from the GNPC and Mines scholarship programme to study abroad and at home.

This, he said, had lessened the burden of many parents and guardians, saying that the monies meant for school fees could be used for other projects.

He said the many developmental projects that had been executed in Bibiani Municipality under his tenure as GNPC board member and President of the National House of Chiefs showed that he had the development of Bibiani at heart.

Ogyeahoho advised the youth in the Municipality to work hard for clean wealth and avoid engaging in ugly activities of money ritual as it tarnished the good image of Sefwi.

Source: Ghana News Agency

On Ghana’s roads in 2022: safety has improved but private vehicles are still a menace

Africa is the globe’s least motorised region, accounting for just 2% of the world’s vehicles. Yet it records the highest rate of road deaths. The World Health Organization (WHO) pegs the rate in Africa at 26.6 deaths per 100,000 people. South East Asia’s, the second highest rate in the world, hovers around 20.7 deaths per 100,000 people.

Ghana is among the African countries grappling with road traffic crashes. Fatal road injury is one of the top 10 causes of death in Ghana, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers at Ghana’s Building and Road Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research estimate that the west African nation recorded 302,712 crashes involving 477,609 vehicles between 1991 and 2020. In 2016, the World Bank reported that Ghana lost 8.2% of its GDP to road traffic crashes.

Thus, road traffic crashes remain a major public health and development challenge in Ghana. But some developments in the first five months of 2022 offer a glimmer of hope. We are a team of road safety advocates, working in the Ghanaian and broader African spaces as researchers and policymakers. Our analysis of data from the National Road Safety Authority, suggests that there were fewer crashes, injuries and deaths in the first five months of 2022 compared to the same period last year.

In the past few months, Ghana’s road safety space has seen sustained collaborations between public institutions and a critical mass of private citizens and institutions aimed at making the roads safer. There also has been increased police surveillance, especially during festive periods which are a particularly dangerous time on the roads.

It’s not clear yet how much these initiatives contributed to safer roads. Whatever the case, the Ghanaian road safety community must not rest on its laurels. At least in the last four years, concurrent declines in crashes, injuries and deaths tend to be followed by a spike in the year that follows.

Unpacking the data

The following tables highlight some of the key figures from the first five months of 2022.

Compared to 2021, there was a 4.67% reduction in crash incidents during the first five months of 2022 (January to May). Other important safety indicators improved too. Injuries were down by 4.98%; 347 fewer people got hurt on the roads between January and May 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.

Deaths declined by 9%, from 1,250 people in January to May 2021 to 1,140 during the same period in 2022.

All the important safety indicators improved. This echoes figures from 2020, when crashes went down by 5.31%, injuries by 2.91% and deaths 14.58%.

Cycles and private vehicles

Table 2 shows that almost 12% fewer commercial vehicles were involved in crashes in the first five months of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.

The percentage of reduction is even higher for bicycles and motorcycles (down by 13.1%). This is particularly good news because, as the table shows, the number of cycles involved in crashes has risen consistently since 2018. Motorbikes are especially dangerous: the National Road Safety Authority estimates that a person is ten times more likely to die in a motorcycle crash than in a car crash.

Private vehicles remain a concern. More private vehicles were involved in crashes in the first five months of 2022 (4,873) than the same period in 2021 (4,864).

Researchers have begun documenting how the poor state of public transport in Ghana is driving a shift towards personal vehicles, with car ownership increasing in recent years.

The rise of ride-hailing companies in the country has also contributed to the number of private vehicles being used for commercial passenger services. Crash data reporting in Ghana is not segregated to show how many private vehicles are really private taxis, so it’s difficult to assess the role ride-hailing services may play in contributing to high crash numbers.

Sustaining the gains

The safety improvements experienced on Ghana’s roads within the first five months of 2022 are a welcome development. But authorities must heed the 2020 figures (contained in table 1): these show that, at least in the past four years, such improvements tend to be followed by a spike in the year that follows. It’s not yet known why this pattern occurs.

Ghana’s National Road Safety Authority seems committed to sustaining the gains made in early 2022. Officials say they have intensified the “Stay Alive” behavioural change campaign launched in 2021. The campaign targets the general public as advocates for good road user behaviour by calling out unsafe practices.

The agency is also using research, monitoring and evaluation to update Ghana’s national road safety strategy and related action plans. Its hope is that data-led interventions can make the country’s roads safer. The Authority has also increased the presence of road safety inspectors at major transport terminals. The inspectors ensure that commercial vehicles meet certain safety standards before setting off. The Authority has started work on a new policy for the removal of broken down and wrongly parked vehicles from the roads.

All of these interventions are important. Careful monitoring and evaluation is needed, though, to translate them into widespread and sustainable safety benefits for those using Ghana’s roads. More targeted interventions will be required, including prioritising investments in public transport systems to deal with the issues with private vehicles.

Source: The Conversation

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield to visit Ghana

Tamale, Aug. 3, GNA – Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States Representative to the United Nations, is expected to visit Ghana this week as part of a four-day trip to Africa, where she will also visit Uganda and Cape Verde.

Top on her agenda is a discussion on the mutual priorities of Ghana and the United States, focusing on efforts to mitigate food insecurity.

During a special online briefing on Tuesday to announce details of her trip, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said, “My main goal is to listen so that I can better understand the concerns of Ugandans, Ghanaians, and the people of Cape Verde, and share those concerns back home. And I am eager to discuss our mutual priorities – to continue a conversation that I have been having in New York on efforts to mitigate food insecurity, which is at the top of our agenda for this trip.”

While food insecurity is a global crisis, it has hit Africa particularly hard.

High energy prices, climate change, severe droughts and floods, COVID-19, and increasing conflict have all combined to push millions of people to the brink.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has added to this crisis, especially since some countries in Africa once got up to 75 per cent of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine.

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said, “These factors have combined to lead to a five-alarm emergency – the worst food security crisis that I have seen in my entire career. People are starving through no fault of their own, forcing some to travel long distances in the hope of finding humanitarian aid somewhere. Food and oil prices are rising. Malnutrition rates are soaring. And children are dying. The desperate situation makes conflict and violence even more likely; it becomes a vicious cycle that we must stop now before it gets out of hand.”

She said, “The United States has been proud to step up and lead the world in responding to this crisis, including through our efforts at the United Nations, through the Roadmap for Global Food Security. But there is still much more work to be done.”

She added that “So, during my trip, I will visit markets and food production facilities. I will meet with local farmers, activists, and members of civil society. And in Ghana, I will deliver a keynote address on peace and progress on food security.”

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield added that “Beyond that, my meetings with governments – including with President Museveni, President Akufo-Addo, Foreign Minister Botchwey, Prime Minister Correia e Silva, and other senior officials. I will also be focused on shared prosperity, good governance, human rights, refugee issues, conflict prevention, addressing corruption, and countering disinformation. And, of course, regional peace and security issues will be at the top of my agenda. But I will also raise the alarm on the damage being done to the international system and the UN Charter by the unprovoked war of aggression on Ukraine.”

She said, “Finally, I will note that this visit also comes as part of a series of high-level engagements that aim to affirm and strengthen our partnerships and relationships with African leaders and peoples.”

She said, “This trip is an opportunity. It is an opportunity to connect with partners and allies on all the issues I have laid out, and to hear firsthand from those who are dealing with food insecurity and other pressing challenges on the continent.”

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ohemaa Woyeje set to release her 4th single ‘hustler’

Ghanaian radio presenter and musician Ohemaa Woyeje is set to release her fourth single titled ‘Hustler’ on Monday 8th August, 2022.

The song which is a mixture of dancehall and afrobeat features popular musician King Jerry.

According to Ohemaa Woyeje, the song talks about the fact that though “we have aggressive motives and passion towards our hustle, we should not do negative things.”

She noted , “The song also touches on the fact that when you do not have money, no one values your positive ideas.”

So far, Ohemaa has done songs with KGenius and also featured Okomfo Kwaadee on her own separate single. She is looking forward to releasing more singles in the coming months as well as an album.

She said she will be releasing both the audio and the video of the song ‘hustler’ which was shot in both Amsterdam and Ghana.

Source: Modern Ghana

GFA announces betPawa as new headline sponsor of the Ghana Premier League

The Ghana Football Association on Wednesday 3rd August 2022 announced betPawa, one of Ghana’s leading online sports betting companies, as the official headline sponsor of the Ghana Premier League.

The announcement was made at a special signing ceremony held at the headquarters of the Ghana Football Association in Accra.

The partnership between betPawa and the Ghana Football Association is aimed at properly marketing and positioning the elite league to become an African phenomenon as one of the most successful and attractive leagues on the continent.

Signing on behalf of betPawa, international superstar and betPawa stakeholder Mr. Eazi highlighted that “the company’s high appetite for growing and harnessing talents, creating opportunities, and rewarding fans across its markets are a few of the many reasons for partnering with the GFA”.

The GFA President Mr. Kurt Edwin Simeon-Okraku on his part commended betPawa for the partnership.

“On behalf of the Executive Council and the football fraternity in Ghana I wish to thank you for your support”.

Mr. Okraku further pointed out that Ghana is blessed with a lot of football talents and evidence is seen through the display of soccer artistry across the various leagues.

He further stated that “for the country to be able to compete fiercely and on equal footing with other talents across the globe, there is the need for companies like betPawa and corporate Ghana to contribute to complement the effort of the Government.

betPawa has over the years been activating a lot of Corporate Socially Responsible activities aimed at championing responsible gaming, an action which is high on the corporate agenda of the company, empowering customers to be economically independent and helping to imbibe the spirit of philanthropism in customers across its markets.

These CSR activities include the Dream Maker and WIN BIG, Give Back campaigns among many others.

The brand is poised to activate a lot of attractive and interactive activities to engage and reward football fans across the country in the course of the partnership.

The 2022/23 betPawa Premier League is scheduled to be launched on 2nd September 2022 with the league kicking off on the weekend of 9th to the 12th September 2022.

Source: Modern Ghana