Asante Kotoko: Goalkeeper Ibrahim Danlad sign new contract until 2024

Goalkeeper Danlad Ibrahim has signed a year contract which keeps him at Asante Kotoko until the end of the 2023/24 season.

Danlad’s previous contract with the Porcupines was expected to run out in December this year.

However, the promising goalkeeper has signed a two-year deal with the Porcupine Warriors.

Danlad joined the club as a teenager and has risen to become the first-choice goalkeeper of the club.

The 21-year-old claimed the number spot of the club last term following the departure of Razak Abalora to Moldovan club Sheriff Tiraspol in January 2022 and helped the club to clinch the 2021/22 Premier League title.

After failing to make a move to Al Hilal, Danlad has signed the dotted lines on a two-year deal and will be an integral member of the team going into the new season which begins next month.

He kept 12 clean sheets and conceded just 12 goals in the process making the Ghanaian giants the best defensive side at the end of the season.

Danlad is the first-choice goalkeeper for Black Galaxies that have booked their place in the final round of the CHAN 2022 qualifications.

The highly-rated teenager was named the best goalkeeper when Ghana won the Africa U20 Championship last year in Mauritania.

He was also a member of the Ghana team at the 2019 U23 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt and the Ghana U17 team at the Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup in 2017.

Source: Modern Ghana

Gender Minister-nominee, others to be vetted two weeks before Parliament resumes sitting

The Appointments Committee of Parliament will hold hearings for the six nominees of President Akufo-Addo to various positions two weeks before Parliament resumes from recess.

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, had nominated four justices for elevation onto the Supreme Court bench.

Two Members of Parliament have also been nominated to take up roles at the Gender, Children and Social Protection Ministry.

President Akufo-Addo nominated the Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, and Member of Parliament for Walewale, Lariba Zuweira Abudu as Minister-designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection.

The President also nominated Member of Parliament for Kwabre East, Francisca Oteng Mensah as Deputy Minister-designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection,

These nominations came after the President revoked the appointment of Sarah Adwoa Safo, who has been absent from work for an extended period.

President Akufo-Addo nominated four persons for elevation onto the Supreme Court Bench.

The nominees included three justices of the Court of Appeal and a Justice of the High Court.

The nominees from the Court of Appeal are Justice Barbara Frances Ackah-Yensu, Justice George Kingsley Koomson, and Justice Samuel Kwame Adibu Asiedu.

Such nominations according to the Constitution are subject to the prior approval of Parliament.

Parliament will approve or disapprove the report of the Appointments Committee when the House resumes from recess.

Source: Modern Ghana

GFA announces fixtures for Division One League three-way all-play-all matches

Volta Region-based Agbogba FC will face Na God FC in the opening match of the play-off matches to determine a replacement for Inter Allies FC in the Division One League Zone Three.

This follows the decision by the Executive Council of the Ghana Football Association for play-off matches to be played between the three second-placed clubs in the three Regional Second Division Leagues in Zone 3 with the winner replacing demoted Inter Allies FC in next season’s League.

The draw which was held on Friday at the GFA Secretariat revealed the pairings for the three-way all-play-all matches.

Source: Modern Ghana

NPPs former national chairman Harona Esseku reported dead

Accra, Aug 05, GNA – Mr Harona Esseku, a former National Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), is reported dead.

A statement from his family noted that he died on Wednesday, August 3 at age 88.

According to the statement, “burial and funeral arrangements will be announced later.”

In 1992 the late Esseku was a founding member of the NPP who became chairman of the Party from 2001 to 2005.

In the Second Republic, at age 35, the late Esseku became the youngest Cabinet Minister for Transport and Communications in the Busia government, a ministry which by 2008 had been split into four Cabinet Ministries namely; Transport, Communications, Civil Aviation and Railways and Harbours.

His political career started in 1968 when he was elected by the Awutus, Effutus, Gomoas and Agonas to represent them in the constituent assembly during the drafting of the constitution of the second republic.

When the Progress Party was founded in 1969, Esseku was one of the members.

In the elections that took place on 29 August that year, Esseku was returned as a member of parliament for the Awutu-Effutu-Senya Constituency.

At the onset of the third republic, he became a founding member of the Popular Front Party (PFP) and later a member of the steering committee of the party.

He was a beneficiary of the member of the Order of the Star of Ghana award, conferred on him by the then President John Agyekum Kufuor in 2007.

He was married to Janet Esseku, a Ghanaian broadcaster who worked with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation. He was a Christian.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Alavanyo Youth calls for restraint in Nkonya murder incident

Ho, Aug. 05, GNA – The Alavanyo Youth has called for restraint by their compatriots of Nkonya following the murder of a farmer on Monday.

The incident, which claimed the life of Daniel Brempong, a farmer, could reignite the hostilities between them.

Mr Samuel Hosunu-Akortia, President, Alavanyo Youth Association in a press release copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) said although no one had accused Alavanyo of the murder, gunshots were fired into Alavanyo Deme, Agorme Township and the Basic School from the side of Nkonya “in the name of reprisal attacks” on Wednesday.

The release said the Youth had never looked forward to any breach of the peace being enjoyed in the recent past, which was reviving farming and other economic activities in both areas.

“We have been doing everything in our capacity as youth and future leaders to speak to our colleagues to embrace everlasting peace.”

The release said the Youth was putting in place plans to meet the leadership of Alavanyo and Nkonya Youth for Peace to recommence community visitations used to embark on before the spike of the unfortunate incident.

It said the Youth was not ready for any activities that would bring retrogression

and make them move in the reversed gear to jeopardise the peace enjoyed

“Enough is enough, no more guns over Alavanyo and Nkonya. We, therefore are calling on the Youth, Chiefs and People of Nkonya to exercise restraint and speak to their youth.”

The release said it was important that the murder incident was seen purely as a crime and not a call to rekindle any inter-ethnic conflict.

“We have moved far away from that and are no longer interested in it this modern day.”

The release said further attacks and gunshots into Alavanyo would not inure to the benefit of anyone.

It said the two communities must consider the future of their children, themselves and the pending examinations of JHS and SHS final year students and “give peace a chance.”

The release said the Youth were assuring the security and their brothers in Nkonya of readiness and availability to be part of any investigations to unravel the perpetrators of this crime for peace to prevail.

The release was copied to Paramountcies of the two communities, Police Commanders of the Volta and Oti Regions, Members of Parliament for the two Constituencies and the Municipal and District Security Councils.

Past governments have tried to reconcile the age-old disagreement of land boundary but failed.

A peace treaty was signed between the two parties but suffered a breach with occasional shooting skirmishes.

The latest strategy by the Government to seize the disputed land and use it as a national asset, seemed to have solved the problem at the moment until Monday’s killing.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Kenya election: four ways to better safeguard and defend democracy

More elections are being held than ever – but the number of questionable polls being held around the world is fuelling fears of a “global democratic recession”, whereby the will of the people is not reflected in the results being announced. Two countries with elections coming up in the next few days and months, where opposition parties or international bodies are worried the process will not be fair, are Kenya, which goes to the polls on August 8, and Brazil, which votes on October 2.

In Kenya, presidential candidate William Ruto has said the “deep state” will try and prevent him from winning. Following controversial polls in 2007, 2013 and 2017 – the last of which was nullified by Kenya’s supreme court on the basis that it was illegally run – there are widespread fears that evidence of election rigging could lead to political instability.

Meanwhile, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has responded to poor poll ratings by embarking on a “Trumpian” strategy of undermining confidence in his own electoral system. Many commentators worry this is a preemptive move designed to enable him to reject election defeat on the basis of the false claim that the vote was rigged.

These examples highlight the important role that international observation missions – such as those from the Carter Center, European Union, Commonwealth and African Union – have to play in protecting elections from abuse, but also the fact that those who care about democracy need to do more.

The inaugural meeting of the Election Observation Research Network (Elector), a new organisation dedicated to stimulating conversations between observers, civil society groups and researchers, has identified how to build back better in the wake of the COVID pandemic. Its first report draws four important lessons on strengthening observation of elections.

1: Strengthening international and domestic partnerships

International observers typically deploy smaller missions than their domestic counterparts and face bigger barriers in crisis conditions. Widespread travel restrictions, quarantine requirements and health concerns during the COVID pandemic have incentivised a deeper collaboration between domestic and international observer groups. For example, the Commonwealth Secretariat partnered with several local civil society organisations for Malawi’s 2020 presidential election rerun, gaining access to more than 6,000 observers and volunteers – a number several times greater than its usual mission size.

Given the likelihood of future pandemics and climate emergencies, a new partnership-based model that combines virtual with in-person monitoring might make international observation more sustainable. It will help build crucial domestic observer capacity, and dispel accusations that international observers push a foreign agenda.

While international observers need to maintain independence, a closer collaboration with domestic observers will make them more in tune with local needs.

2: Enforcing recommendations

Recommendations remain one of the main means through which observers can improve the the quality of polls. Technical recommendations are more likely to be implemented than those touching on political issues, including campaign finance and female representation, which require cross-party buy-in.

Domestic and international observers can make implementation easier by collating and harmonising their recommendations. Observers from Ghana noted that this worked during the country’s 2015 elections and suggested that it should be followed elsewhere. Aligning recommendations to the electoral cycle is also important, as is ensuring recommendations target the right institutions.

Election commissions often have no authority to implement recommendations. This is particularly the case in authoritarian regimes, where election commissions are seldom independent in practice. It may be necessary that recommendations in these contexts go hand-in-hand with concerted international pressure – including from those not involved in observation.

3: Monitoring digital and electronic technology

New digital and electronic technologies should not be seen as solutions to electoral integrity problems. They can be used and misused just like any other technologies. Understanding who benefits from them and why is critical, as is the understanding of the motivations behind their adoption.

Their introduction in authoritarian and post-authoritarian contexts might result in more public distrust due to a history of electoral manipulation and state surveillance. Part of this is linked to popular distrust of the government, but many people also do not understand how these technologies work and whether they can be manipulated.

Although international observers are already recalibrating their methodologies, their focus is typically more on electronic voting. Many countries use digital processes for everything but the casting of the ballot – for example, biometric voter registration has been used by more than 50 countries. To scrutinise digital processes, observers will need to understand the signs of digital manipulation and have access to IT and digital experts who can investigate signs of foul play.

4: Fighting disinformation

Disinformation is becoming a major concern. While it has always been part of electoral contests, its accelerated spread and unprecedented reach thanks to the rise of digital technology and social media make it more difficult to address.

International observers need to include disinformation monitoring in their electoral analysis. Understanding who creates disinformation, who spreads it and how, and who benefits from it is crucial.

International observers are increasingly the targets of disinformation, with a growing number of false claims that they are working for one side or another. They need to play an active role in countering disinformation by denouncing government media crackdowns and advocating for increased online accountability.

Observing the future

What all of these points bring home is the need for observation to evolve over time. In Brazil and countless other countries around the world, leaders who manipulate elections are using new strategies that in many cases they have learned from one another, and so the way we protect elections also has to change. Given that elections are now manipulated well before the polling day, observers need greater support and greater funding throughout the electoral cycle.

In responding to these challenges and the controversies of recent years, it is essential that we avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater. All-too often, observers are criticised by opposition figures for not condemning problematic polls. While such frustration is understandable, it often overlooks the constraints under which observers operate. Moreover, even those who have been most frustrated recognise that the solution is not to abandon observation.

Instead, pro-democracy activists, researchers, practitioners, leaders and observers need to work together to develop new strategies to outmanoeuvre the forces of authoritarianism.

Source: The Conversation