Kadjebi DCE inaugurates Local Councils?

The Kadjebi District Assembly has commenced the inauguration of local councils for the various communities.

The inauguration began with the Dodo Amanfrom community, which has five electoral areas with two members each.

Five new local council members were inaugurated to bring the number to 15, and they unanimously chose Divine Sena to lead the Council and also agreed that the membership would be rotated annually so each member gets to serve.

Cephas Amenyedu was appointed Treasurer, and the Members took oaths of Office and Secrecy administered by the District Chief Executive. 

Mr Wilson Agbanyo, the DCE for the District, said the establishment of the Council reaffirmed the Assembly’s commitment to the principles of local governance and would create opportunities for inclusiveness. 

He said, “town and area councils are for the people”, and promised to personally promote decentralization in the District.

“I want to be identified with the legacy of substructures”, the DCE added, pledging to work across all divisions towards the development of the area.

He urged all to join forces with the committee in ensuring development and called on traditional leaders to support the Council in delivering effective governance to the people.

Mr Agbanyo said a workshop would be offered to help acquaint the members with their roles, which cuts across political and social responsibilities, including population data and street naming and also reforestation and other environmental reclamation activities.

He said the Council would also help enhance communal spirit by ensuring regular communal and voluntary work and asked members to “sacrifice their interests for the public”.

The DCE said the Assembly had prioritized roads in the area for reshaping, and that efforts were being made to get major ones constructed.

He said his office had secured external support for education and realized GHC100,000 for the construction of furniture for the three Senior High Schools in the district.

Divine Sena, the Council Chairman, said the Council had united towards supporting the DCE, who had promised to work with all beyond political affiliation.

He commended the DCE for taking up road rehabilitation projects as promised and assured him of a united front for propelling the development of the area.

Traditional leaders of the community said they expected diligence and cooperation from the Council.  

Council members were asked to discharge their duties with integrity, and not be consumed by greed, but rather work selflessly for the development of the area.

An appeal was made for a befitting market for the agrarian community.

Other councils to be inaugurated include the Kadjebi, Ahamansu, Dodi Pepesu, and the Asato Local Councils.

Source: Ghana News Agency

National AfCFTA Policy Framework, Action Plan launched

Government has outlined interventions geared towards the harmonisation of existing laws, programmes, policies, and regulations to boost Ghana’s trade with Africa under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The interventions were highlighted in a National AfCFTA Policy Framework and Action Plan that provided policy prescription and strategic objectives with focus on trade facilitation, trade policy, infrastructure, enhancing productive capacity, trade information, market integration and finance.

The document was put together by the AfCFTA Inter-Ministerial Committee, National AfCFTA Steering Committee and seven Technical Working Groups that comprised of representatives from the private sector, Senior Government Officials, and other technical experts.

At the launch on Tuesday, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information, who launched the document on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, said the implementation of the framework was crucial to ensuring Ghanaian businesses exported significantly into the African continent.

He, therefore, cautioned against any delay in effective implementation of the policy and its action plan as that could impede the gains of the country from the agreement.

“The effective operationalisation of the AfCFTA in Ghana would significantly boost Ghana’s balance of trade, stimulate investment and innovation, diversify exports, improve food security, foster structural transformation, enhance economic growth, and above all, provide jobs for the youth” he said.

Mr Alan Kyeremanten, the Minister of Trade and Industry, called for stronger collaboration between public and private entities to empower the private sector in Ghana to harness the full benefit of AfCFTA.

“Government on its part, will provide the needed political impetus and create the enabling environment to ensure the successful implementation of AfCFTA in Ghana,” he said.

He noted that government had a vision of transforming Ghana into a modern industrialised country, which would become the new manufacturing hub of the continent.

In that regard, the effective implementation of the AfCFTA in Ghana through the policy framework and action plan, would undoubtedly make a significant contribution in realising the vision.

Mr. Mohamed Ali, Director of Trade in Goods and Competition, speaking on behalf of Mr Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, commended Ghana for the launch, especially after it had expressed interest in the secretariat-led initiative for guided trade under the AfCFTA.

The initiative would facilitate direct trade between Ghana and Egypt, Cameroon , Kenya as well as Mauritius.

“The Facilitated and Guided trade initiative will enable us to test the operational, institutional, legal and trade policy environment under the AfCFTA; allow commercially meaningful trading under the AfCFTA; and send an important positive message to the African economic operators about the veracity of the AfCFTA as well as its promise to create real opportunities in Africa.

“This initiative seeks to facilitate commercially meaningful trading, among interested State Parties that have met the minimum requirements for trade, under the Agreement,” he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

African governments charged to institutionalise Agricultural risk management systems ?

Accra, Aug. 3, GNA – The Platform for Agricultural Risk Management (PARM) has called on African governments to institutionalise Agricultural Risk Management (ARM) system by integrating strategies and investments into national agricultural policies.

That, PARM noted, would stimulate productive and sustainable investment across the food and agricultural value chain to ensure food and nutrition security, and help reduce hunger and poverty. 

Mrs Francesca Nugnes, Capacity Development Specialist at PARM, said this at the just ended Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) 2022 Regional Conference in Accra.  

The conference had a session on climate finance and risk management for African Agriculture and another on connecting ecosystems actors for West Africa female entrepreneurs. 

It was organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal and Fishery Resources of Burkina Faso and the Ministry of Livestock and Animal Protection of Senegal. 

Mrs Nugnes noted that food and agricultural markets in Africa were affected by several macro-economic challenges, which had become more prevalent because of climate change. 

They include oil price shocks, disease outbreaks, and adverse weather events, such as floods and droughts. 

Therefore, she said, there was the need for governments across the continent to institute policy reforms and implement them effectively to ensure that the underlying approaches to risk management were addressed to make the sector resilient. 

She called for a dialogue among stakeholders, including academics, producer organisations, financial institutions and governments to nurture and sustain ARM tools. 

Dr Fatou Ka, Director of the National Training Centre for Livestock and Animal Industries Technicians in Senegal, spoke on the knowledge and information sharing. 

He noted that it was important to raise awareness among small farmers and their organisations on agricultural risk management both at the local and national levels. 

The Director said: “In Senegal, for example, information sharing is done by the Agricultural Advisory Office through agricultural and rural Advisors who are members of the (LDC).

“The sharing of information on agricultural risks is not only done through the LDC but also through other bodies such as the Village Committee, Community Radio, and Women Associations who support these efforts by relaying information to their bases.”  

Mrs Francine Ilboudo, the Head of the Department for Partnership and Private Investments in the rice sector, cited the example of Burkina Faso, where the Government had made ARM a national priority. 

She said that had been done through the National Council for Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation (CONASUR), created in 2004, and the creation of the multi-risk contingency plan (2009) and the contingency plans regional (2012). 

The programmes adopted strategies for the prevention and reduction of the disastrous effects of natural disasters as well as mainstreaming climate resilience and disaster risk reduction actions. 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Nsoatreman Rural Bank makes profit in 2021

Nsoatre (B/R), Aug. 3, GNA – The Nsoatreman Rural Bank in the Sunyani West Municipality of the Bono Region made a profit of GhC605, 209.00 in 2021.

That moved the Bank from a net loss of GhC679, 268.00 incurred in 2020, representing an astronomical profit before tax growth of 189.10 per cent.

Mr Kofi Agyemang, Chairman Board of Directors, announced this at the 32nd annual general meeting of Shareholders of the Bank at Nsoatre and commended the Management and staff for “working to keep the Bank above waters”.

On deposits, he said, “the effects or the locked-up funds which were impaired by Bank of Ghana against Rural and Community Banks and the COVID-19 pandemic caused a stunted growth of our total deposits”.

Notwithstanding, Mr Agyemang said, the deposits grew from GhC30.9 million in 2020 to GHC33.3 million in 2021, indicating a 7.7 per cent growth.

He said the Bank’s total assets grew to 10.82 per cent as it increased from GhC33.4 million in 2020 to GhC37.1 million in 2021. 

Mr Agyemang said although COVID-19 brought in its trail an astronomical increase in non-performing loans in 2020, “the Bank had no alternative than to increase total loans advances to make more profit, which yielded good results”.

This, he indicated, raised the Bank’s advances by 12.22 per cent from GhC10.1 million in 2020 to GhC11.4 million in 2021.

On share capital, Mr Agyemang said the bank’s investments rose to 11.97 per cent from GhC15.7 million in 2020 to GhC17.05 million in 2021.

He noted, “Rural Banks were lucky the Bank of Ghana’s (BoG’s) share capital requirement remained GhC1million by the close of 2021 and the Nsoatreman Rural Bank made an increase in its shares from GhC1.4 million in 2020 to GhC1.5 million in 2021.

Mr Agyemang said, “there is every indication that the BoG is going to increase the share capital requirement above GhC2 million and, therefore, encouraged the shareholders to increase their shares to avoid sanctions against the Bank in future.

Mr Isaac Owusu Gyamfi, the President, Association of Rural Banks, B/A Chapter, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, expressed worry over the non-payment of loans facilitated by staff of Rural Banks to their family members, saying it was affecting the banks’ positive performance.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Mid-year budget: ISSER calls for aggressive domestic revenue mobilization

Accra, Aug. 03, GNA – The Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) has called for aggressive domestic revenue mobilization through efficient tax and non-tax revenue generating measures to firm the country’s fiscal space.

The Institute also called for a unified common platform for collecting property rates to boost domestic revenue.

Professor Peter Quartey, Director, ISSER, speaking at this year’s mid-year budget in Accra, commended the Government’s plan to spend within its means, but said achieving a fiscal deficit of 6.6 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was ambitious and daunting.

The Government in the 2022 mid-year budget statement revised the country’s GDP growth rate from 5.8 per cent to 3.7 per cent in 2022.

He urged the Government to re-introduce the collection of road tolls using the electronic-pass system, stressing that the outright removal of the tolls would not help in public-private partnership arrangements.

According to the 2022 mid-year review “deficit is expected to be financed from both domestic and foreign sources but domestic financing is the key driver.”

The professor however, urged the Government to focus on the private sector to achieve the target, since domestic financing was 5.4 per cent of GDP.

Touching on the E-levy, Prof Quartey called for the reduction of the rate from 1.5 per cent to 0.5 per cent or 0.75 per cent because the Government would not be able to meet its target of over GHS 6.9 billion.

He said the half year 2022 figures showed a deviation of -40.8 per cent in the amount spent on Goods and Services, stressing that the country paid so much in wages and salaries but less for goods and services.

He called for staff performance evaluations across the public sector, stating that wages and salaries as a percentage of tax revenue was 44.3 per cent, while compensation to employees stood at GHS 37,948,992,821 out of GHS 96,842,134,702.

Touching on export commodities, he said the country still depended heavily on revenue from raw material exports and called for the need to modify structures to add value to primary products as a means toward adapting to the increasingly volatile world economy.

Proceeds from gold exports declined to USD 5.08 billion from USD 6.8 billion for 2020 and 2021 respectively. The reduction was driven by lower export volumes despite higher prices in 2021 compared to 2020.

Domestic initiatives, he stated, should be aimed at increasing productivity and improving output in key primary sectors and value chains.

On the free Senior High School, Dr Osei Akoto, Head of Economic Division, ISSER, called on the Government to consider reviewing the policy to assess its potential impact on the national economy, due to challenges of infrastructure and feeding grants.

On the health sector, he said the Agenda 111 vision of the Government was commendable but might not be realized by close of year, urging authorities to increase resources to ensure health equity in the face of on-going fifth wave of COVID-19 and the pending risk of monkeypox, and the Marburg diseases.

Source: Ghana News Agency

‘Mind your business’ – Fans react as Bongo Ideas accused Tracey Boakye of forcing a man on herself

Ghanaian actress and movie producer, Tracey Boakye, on Saturday, July 30, officially walked down the aisle with her fiancé, Frank Ntiamoah.

The speed with which the wedding was announcement and held has sparked many comments on Twitter, though most positive ones.

However, Ghanaian controversial blogger and critic, Albert Nat Hyde, known widely as Bongo Ideas, in a tweet spotted by Modernghanaghana News, criticised Tracey Boakye.

Bongo Ideas accused Tracey of forcing the man on her and even went as far as sponsoring the wedding financially.

According to him, the man seems not ready, which may result in tears in the marriage very soon.

“It looks quite clear that Tracey Boakye forced herself on the man and probably funded the entire wedding,” he alleged.

He continues “Check his mannerisms. This man is not happy in the least. Mega tears ahead!!!”

However, in response to the brutal social media critic’s claim, some fans of the actress have told him to mind his own business, while others have defended him by saying that ” if you don’t want to be criticised, keep your matter off social media.”

Check how people reacted to Bongo Ideas’ allegations below;

Source: Modern Ghana