Some KNUST students arrested over Katanga, Conti hall clash

Some students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) who were involved in the disturbances on Thursday, August 18 have been picked up to aid with investigations.

Students of the University hall (Katanga) and Unity Hall (Conti) clashed during a procession by some members of Katanga.

Eleven people were injured, while nine vehicles belonging to staff of the institution were vandalized.

The University Relations Officer of KNUST, Dr. Daniel Norris Bekoe giving an update on the matter, said students in the feuding halls will be surcharged.

“I can say for a fact that students who are found culpable from the videos we have put together now will be severely punished. We have so far identified almost 25 people who are our students. Some of the culprits are no longer students, they are former students of the school. Students of the Unity Hall have been surcharged to fix all those properties that have been destroyed.”

“Vehicles belonging to staff that has been vandalised will be fixed and handed back to them. CCTV cameras and other properties belonging to the Unity Hall have been destroyed. The halls will have to pay for all these because if they can allow those outside the school to join in these atrocities, they are the ones to be held liable.”

The clash ensued when students of Unity Hall refused to allow students of University Hall to use a route in front of their Hall for a procession.

The disturbances, which started around 5 pm on Thursday, led to some school and private properties, particularly in front of the unity hall, being vandalized.

The clash at KNUST comes as hall rivalries have received scrutiny in the wake of the violence at Mensah Sarbah Hall.

Students of Mensah Sarbah Hall clashed with students from Commonwealth Hall at the University of Ghana about two weeks ago.

Source: Modern Ghana

President Akufo-Addo begins three-day tour to Upper West

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will pay a three-day official visit to the Upper West Region, from Sunday, August 21, 2022 to inspect ongoing projects and cut the sod for some road construction works in the area.

The proposed itinerary, made available to the Ghana News Agency in Wa by the Regional Coordinating Council, indicates that the President would have a radio interview at Radio Upper West at 1000 hours GMT, after which he would pay a courtesy call on the Wa-Na on Monday, August 22.

He will proceed to inspect ongoing works on Phase II of the Wa Youth Resource Centre in the Wa Central Constituency.

President Akufo-Addo would depart Wa to Lambussie to inspect the Agenda 111 Project and then to Nandom to pay a courtesy call on the Nandom Na, have a radio interview, after which he will cut the sod for the dualisation of the Nandom Town roads, it said.

The President would return to Wa in the evening and meet MMDCEs, regional executives of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) as well as constituency chairmen.

On Tuesday, August 22, the President would inspect the ongoing Wa Shopping Centre and depart Wa to Daffiama-Bussie-Isa Constituency, to pay a courtesy call on the Isa Na as well as inspect the ongoing Isa Agenda 111 project.

He would also visit Kaleo and Wechiau to commission the Kaleo Solar Power Project in the Nadowli-Kaleo Constituency and inspect an Agenda 111 projects at Wechiau in the Wa West Constituency, then depart to Damongo, capital of the Savannah Region.

Source: Ghana News Agency

British High Commissioner visits Sissala West District

Kuoro Buktie Kuri Limann IV, the Paramount Chief of Gwollu, has appealed to the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Madam Harriet Thompson, to support women in the area with shea nut processing plants and help the youth in skills acquisition and development.

He urged people in the diaspora to visit Gwollu and the other slave routes in the northern part of Ghana as part of plans to promote tourism in the area, reminding the High Commissioner that Gwollu was a slave route, where the people built walls to protect themselves against the slave raiders in the past.

Kuoro Buktie said this when Madam Thompson paid a working visit to the Sissala West District as part of her three-day tour to the Upper West Region.

She paid a courtesy call on the Paramount Chief and also visited the Jitong community to interact with the people on the prevention of violence extremism in border communities.

Kouro Buktie conducted her round the tomb of former President Dr Hilla Limann saying: “It’s good that you have come to see him as he was a democratically elected president of the Third Republic but was unconstitutionally overthrown and was never found to be corrupt”.

“Even after the overthrow he was never taken care of and as a former student of the London School of Economics in Britain, your visit as the British High Commissioner is most appropriated and we are grateful.”

The Gwollu Chief noted that a library being built in his honour was not completed and pleaded with the British Government to support its completion.

He said it was the British that helped the government to set up the Ghana Cotton Ginnery at Tumu adding that it needed some refurbishment and resources to operate.

Madam Harriet Thompson expressed satisfaction to be part of the community and pledged to advance the development of the district through discussions with the ministers of Education, Health, and Security among others on related issues and challenges.

Madam Thompson noted that education was a leveler and the only way the Upper West Region could leap out of poverty, especially through girl-child education.

At the community durbar in Jitong, the people shared testimonies on how they had been sensitised on the prevention of violent extremism and how to coexist with minority groups such as the Fulani communities.

They, however, complained about poor telecommunication networks along the border communities, which could hamper the reporting of strange persons and activities to the security agencies.

Mr Yussif Kanton, the Executive Director of Community Development Alliance (CDA), in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said: “We managed to build relationships with the Immigration, Police and other security agencies, which have enhanced trust among border communities who now feel free to report an unknown person to the security and other stakeholders.

Source: Ghana News Agency

CSIR-Oil Palm Research Institute gets new Director

Professor Paul Pinnock Bosu, Director-General, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has inducted Mr. Emmanuel Andoh-Mensah as Director of the CSIR-Oil Palm Research Institute (CSIR-OPRI).

Mrs. Genevieve Yankey, the CSIR’s Director of Administration, said Mr. Emmanuel Andoh-Mensah joined the CSIR in September 2000 and had 59 publications to his credit, including refereed journal papers, technical reports, and conference papers.

She also stated that Mr. Andoh-Mensah, who is due to defend his PhD thesis at the University of Cape Coast, had contributed to writing several research projects, raking in about GHS2,000,000.00 to the Institute.

In his induction statement, Prof. Bosu described Mr. Andoh-Mensah’s appointment as a “recycled one” because he had previously served as Acting Director of the CSIR-OPRI.

He praised him for his efforts and asked workers to help him carry the institute forward.

He urged him to finish his tenure on a high note. The Director-General led the Director of OPRI in taking the oaths of allegiance and secrecy.

Mr. Andoh-Mensah responded by thanking the CSIR Council and the Director-General for the extended mandate.

He also appreciated the CSIR-OPRI management and staff for their assistance.

The Director accepted the job and committed to working hard to achieve the Institute’s vision: “to become a centre of excellence in oil palm and coconut research and a major supplier of improved planting materials for oil palm and coconut and relevant technologies in the subregion.”

He promised to work with everyone and to commit to employees’ welfare.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Affirmative Action Bill: Stakeholders call for urgent steps towards passage

In line with global efforts to address gender disparities and exclusion of marginalised groups in society, advocates for the passage into law of the Affirmative Action Bill have called for urgent steps to accelerate the process.

At a roundtable in Kumasi, they underlined the need to intensify advocacy to hasten the process.

The participants, drawn from Civil Society Organisations, the Department of Gender, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, and the media, demanded swift action to lay the bill before Parliament by the end of the year.

The event, put together by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), in collaboration with the Affirmative Action Bill Coalition, was on the theme: “Averting the Excessive Delays in Passing the Affirmative Action Bill – the Role of Stakeholders.”

Madam Regina Amanfo-Tetteh, the Senior Programmes Officer, CDD-Ghana, said her outfit was committed to the introduction and passage of the Bill because it aligned with the mission and vision of the Centre.

“We aim to promote democracy, good governance, inclusive development and this mission cannot be achieved without the majority of the population who are women, participating effectively,” she said.

Madam Amanfo-Tetteh said women’s political representation in Ghana had been abysmal with only 40 out of the 275 Members of Parliament (MPs), representing14.5 per cent, being women.

The percentage, she noted, was far below the African average of 24 per cent, and that between 2016 and 2021, there had only been an increase of 1.5 per cent of women in Parliament.

“The situation is even worse at the local government level where the barriers to participation is supposed to be lower. Out of about 6,000 assembly members, only 216 are women,” she said.

Madam Amanfo-Tetteh said an increase of women in both government and politics would bring about more differing views, opinions and perspectives which would prove beneficial to the country’s development.

She was emphatic that Ghana could not be a true democracy without equal representation of all groups, especially women and other marginalised groups.

The passage of the Bill into law would be in the right direction to address the historical, social, cultural, economic and political gender imbalance in the country and serve as a tool for justice for women, she added.

Mrs Sheila Minkah-Premo, Convener of the Affirmative Action Bill, appealed to President Akufo-Addo to, as a matter of urgency, give Cabinet approval to pave way for the passage of the Bill into law.

“Currently, one of the international instruments Ghana is looking at is the Sustainable Development Goals, which stipulates that by the year 2030, there should be parity when it comes to representation of women in leadership,” she stated.

Any further delay in the passage of the Bill would decrease the chances of achieving that target in the next eight years, Mrs Minka-Premo said, and urged the Executive to prioritise its passage as well as well-meaning Ghanaians to join the advocacy.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ashanti Region tops Violent Incidents Chart in June/July monitoring exercise

The Ashanti Region recorded the highest number of violent incidences in the Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) Violent Incidents Chart for the June-July 2022 Monitoring Exercise in Ghana.

The report, which FOSDA made available to the Ghana News Agency, indicated that out of a total 86 cases recorded between June 01 to July 31, 2022, the Ashanti Region topped the list with 24 incidents, representing 28 per cent of the total incidents.

It said next was the Greater Accra Region with 21 incidents, representing 24 per cent of the total cases recorded.

However, the Bono Region was the most peaceful in Ghana within the period under review with no violent case recorded.

The FOSDA exercise is a media-based monitoring that focuses on six types of broad-based violence – physical (including gun violence), political, social, economic, sexual and psychological violence and places where they occur.

The target sources of monitoring are mainly the most sought-after online media news outlets, which is completed by reportage in the print media.

The monitoring offers an opportunity for analysis, mapping and policy options on these incidents as they impact human security with the ultimate intent to call on key stakeholders to act.

Out of the 86 recorded cases within the review period, 167 injuries and 41 deaths occurred in the regions under monitoring where 10 per cent of the dead were women.

It said physical violence, including assault, also topped the list of violent incidents with 49 cases, representing 57 per cent of the total, whiles gun related violence followed with 15 cases, representing 17 per cent.

The data emanates from the monitoring of 10 major media outlets in Ghana, covering both online and newspaper sources.

The overall breakdown indicates; physical violence – 49, (57 per cent), gun violence – 15 (17 per cent), sexual violence – 12 (14 per cent), psychological violence – four (five per cent), social violence – three (four per cent), economic – two (two per cent) and political – one (one per cent).

Source: Ghana News Agency

EPA, journalists to strengthen partnership on sound management of chemicals

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and journalists have resolved to renew their partnership on the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste (SMCW) in Ghana, in accordance with?international agreements.

The EPA, as part of efforts to complement the implementation of international agreements, the strategic plans on chemicals and waste, and achieving the three dimensions of sustainable development – social, economic, and environmental – has developed a Communication Strategy to complement the implementation of the SMCW in the country.

The Strategy focuses on changing behaviours and attitudes towards the achievement of sound chemicals and waste management and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on environment.

It is targeted at policy makers, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), private sector entities that manage hazardous chemicals and waste, recyclers, as well as the public.

The EPA and some selected media practitioners, at a capacity-building workshop in Accra, resolved to build stronger partnerships in creating awareness and enhancing advocacy to prevent the negative impacts of chemicals and waste on human health and well-being of society as well as the environment.

Ghana has embarked on a number of initiatives including a 10-year Strategic Plan (2021-2030) to control hazardous chemicals and electronic waste, and developed a Five-Year Communication Strategy to complement the implementation of the Strategic Plan.

The workshop was, therefore, to introduce the media to some of the legally binding chemicals and waste-related environmental agreements and seek their input to the Communication Strategy to ease the implementation process.

Mr Henry Kwabena Kokofu,?the Executive Director, EPA, said Ghana’s development agenda took into account strategies to achieving the 17 SDGs of which sound management of chemicals and waste formed an integral part, particularly Goal 12.4.

That Goal seeks to achieve an environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle in accordance with agreed international frameworks.

It also seeks to significantly reduce their release to the air, water and soil in order to minimise their adverse impacts on human health and the environment.

Mr Kokofu said the earth was facing a triple planetary crisis of climate change and the stability of global ecosystems upon which humanity depended was on course to collapse.

It was, therefore time for the global community to develop and implement strategies to prevent such a crisis, he said, and commended Ghana and Switzerland for proposing landmark amendments to the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention (BC COP-15), held in Geneva in June 2022, which were adopted.

“This is a bold decision, which not only protects vulnerable countries from unwanted imports of e-waste but also fosters their environmentally sound management and thus contributes to a circular economy,” he said.

Mr Kokofu said the integration of SMCW into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was a major achievement and created a new impetus for chemicals and waste management.

He, therefore, said it was incumbent on Ghana to drive those agreements with expression to domesticate them in the forms of bills to Parliament to be passed into law.

He urged the media to be strong partners and advocates in the implementation process to ensure social mobilisation and behavioural change.

Dr Lawrencia Osae-Nyarko, a member of the drafting team of the Communication Strategy, said it had gone through a consultative process involving the relevant stakeholders whose input would help in changing behaviours towards the successful implementation of the SMCW.

Dr Sam Adu-Kumi, the National Focal Point on Chemical and Waste, Multinational Environmental Convention Ghana, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, reiterated that the global community was facing challenges due to climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.

Human activity had contributed towards such a crisis and though chemicals were useful, their unsound management required all stakeholders, including governmental, NGOs, civil society organisations, and development partners to work together and adopt strategies to address the crisis, he said. ?

Professor Isaac Abeku Blankson, President, African University College of Communications, said the media had an essential role in educating the public at all levels, and that reinforcing collaboration was key to having effective management of chemical and waste to achieve sustainable development.

Modestus Fosu, Dean, Faculty of Integrated Communication Sciences, Ghana Institute of Journalism,?said communication was an essential driver needed to ensure effective mainstreaming and implementation of SMCS and SDGs as envisioned by the nation.

Madam Agnes Boye-Doe, Chief Editor, Ghana News Agency, said the Agency had a designated desk for Science Reporting, and that its doors were opened for such partnerships to deepen education and awareness on the risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals, among other key issues of mutual interests.

Source: Ghana News Agency