Speaker Bagbin elected President of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association

Accra, Aug 28, GNA – Mr Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, has been elected the President of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association International (CPA), comprising more than 180 member parliaments of the Commonwealth Nations.

He was unanimously elected at the just-ended 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) hosted by Canada in Halifax.

A statement issued by the Public Affairs Directorate of Parliament and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said Mr Bagbin, until his election, was the Vice-President of the CPA.

“As President of the CPA, Ghana has been allowed to host the 66th Conference of the CPA in Accra from the 30th of September to the 7th of October 2023,” it said.

The election made Speaker Bagbin the Head of the CPA and he will preside over the next CPC in Ghana while also serving as the Chair of the Elections Committee of the Association.

“The Speaker is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Association whose other roles and duties are constitutionally bestowed on him,” the statement said.

At the conference, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader, was also elected the Vice Chairman of the Association, and by that, he held the second most important position of the Executive Committee and the Coordinating Committee of the Association, it said.

“He, thus, becomes the Deputy Spokesperson of the CPA and will assist the Chairman of the Association, Hon. Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP, Member of the House of Commons, UK, in providing leadership for the running of the Executive Committee of the Association.”

“Rt. Hon. Alban S. K. Bagbin, undoubtedly, the most experienced MP of the Parliament of Ghana, with the support of one of the second most experienced legislators of the Parliament, Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu comes in handy at a time the Association has been making epileptic program at transforming itself from a Charity Organization under UK Law into an international, inter-parliamentary organization.”

The statement said tried and tested leadership was needed to consummate that aspiration and the hopes of the over 180 branches from both Anglophone and Francophone countries were very high and expectant of the leadership of Speaker Bagbin and Liddell-Grainger.

“With the indomitable spirit and support of Ghana and all Ghanaians, these Parliamentary icons will not only lift high the flag of the country but lead in marketing the culture, traditions, governance and the rich wealth and hospitality of our people, at the 66th Conference of the CPC next year,” it said.

It called on all compatriots to rise to the occasion and lend a helping hand to celebrate the historic achievement of the country, adding; “Success can only be guaranteed, in this regard, when Ghanaians work together.”

Amendments to the Constitution of the Association to make Parliaments in the Commonwealth more relevant, accessible, technologically savvy, gender-sensitive, balanced, and inclusive of the youth, and the marginalised, especially persons with disability, are some of the major issues discussed at the annual conference.

Members of Ghana’s delegation to Canada, led by Speaker Bagbin, included the Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, Ahmed Ibrahim, Deputy Minority Whip, Thomas Mbomba, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Lydia Seyram Alhassan, Deputy Majority Whip, Comfort Cudjoe-Ghansah Doyoe, Second Deputy Minority Whip, Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Adjei, MP, Akwapim North, Cyril Kwabena Nsiah, Clerk to Parliament.

Source: Ghana News Agency

NPP supporters urged to eschew politics of insults

Agona Swedru (C/R), Aug. 28, GNA – Mrs Cynthia Mamle Morrison, the Member of Parliament for Agona West, has called on supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to eschew politics of insults, vindictiveness and internal wrangling to ensure peace and stability and help the Party clinch victory in 2024.

She said it was important for party faithful to refrain from hatred and other acts, which could tarnish the image of the party, and rather pursue unity and mutual understanding to strengthen it at the grassroots.

Mrs Morrison, also the former Minister of Gender Children and Social Protection, said this at the swearing-in of 25 members of the Council of Elders, Patrons and Disciplinary committee members of the Agona West Constituency at Swedru in the Central Region.

Article Seven of the NPP Constitution stipulates the swearing-in of the Council of Elders, Patrons and Disciplinary committee members after the election of constituency executives.

She called for constructive criticisms rather than insults to foster a united front to help “break the eight.”

Mrs Morrison declared her intention to contest the upcoming primaries to enable her to contest the 2024 parliamentary election.

Mr Kenneth Quansah, the Central Regional Youth Organiser of the NPP, urged the Council of Elders, patrons and disciplinary committee members to work within the confines of the law and ethics of the Party to enhance peace and stability.

He called on the top hierarchy to adequately resource the youth to ensure they worked harder to achieve the party’s objectives.

“Breaking the eight is possible, doable and achievable but it requires unity and cooperation among supporters to win the presidential slot and majority seats in parliament in 2024,” he said.

Alhaji Gibril Tanko, the Agona West Constituency Chairman, expressed the hope that those sworn in would work hard to meet the supreme interest of the NPP.

Mr Samuel Kingsley Eduful, the Chairman of the Council of Elders, gave the assurance that they would work to promote peace and unity.

Mrs Mercy Asante, Chairperson of the Council of Patrons, called for healthy competition in order not to drive away floating voters.

Lawyer Joseph Esua Takyi, Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee, said the committee’s work entailed fairness and integrity in adjudication to promote peace and harmony.

Source: Ghana News Agency

African governments urged to strengthen institutions to spur growth

Cape Coast, Aug. 28, GNA – African governments have been urged to devote time and resources to strengthening state institutions to help engender the essence of freedom and justice for effective public services delivery.

“The critical importance of well-performing public institutions and good governance ensured all people have equal rights and a chance to improve their lives, and access to justice when they were wronged.”

Professor Lydia Nkansah, the immediate past Dean of the Faculty of Law at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), said empowered institutions were an economy’s primary facilitator of socio-economic development, transparency, and accountability.

The former dean made the call at the 9th ‘Jurists’ Confab’ of the University of Cape Coast Faculty of Law.

It was on the theme: “Consolidating democracy, the rule of law and respect for the ballot in an era of good governance.”

Prof Nkansah also questioned the country’s polarized democratization process and wondered why the wanton breach of election rules took place with impunity across the African continent.

The irregularities include reports of voter register anomalies, overvoting, rigging and manipulation of the electoral apparatus usually by the government in power.

“Though we have sustained some form of democracy, it has emerged that the transitional processes including the election apparatus even in places where the constitutional order of succession was complied with have been characterized by anomalies and violence before during and after elections,” Prof Nkansah added.

Buttressing the need for strengthening institutions, Mr Justice Amoako Asante, a Justice of the Appeals Court advocated for independent and assertive judicial services to bolster rule of law.

He indicated that Judges should not be subjected to pressure and influence but must be free to make impartial decisions based solely on facts and law.

“It is essential that judges were free to openly criticize decisions taken by the government which was in breach of the law and affected individual rights, decide on appropriate policies, laws, and services that benefited all,” he added.

On electoral disputes, Mr Asante blamed the phenomenon of vote buying, bribery, delay in election declaration, and a host of others as the root cause of unending disputes and violence during and after elections.

“Politicians can impoverish communities, pretend as though they care and still get them to be tools for destruction and violence during elections. But the youth must be empowered to avert such occurrences,” he added.

Source: Ghana News Agency

NCCE sensitises residents of Nkonya-Adenkensu on violent extremism

Biakoye (O/R), Aug 28, GNA-The Biakoye District Office of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), has embarked on a community sensitisation programme to educate the residents of the district on violent extremism, peaceful co-existence, and national cohesion.

Reverend Leonard Kofi Aglomasa, Biakoye District Director of the NCCE, speaking at one of such programmes at Nkonya-Adenkensu in the Biakoye District of the Oti Region, said violent extremism could affect human security in Ghana if care was not taken.

He said the extremist activities have caused havoc in neighbouring countries and it should be a worry to all Ghanaians.

He asked participants to sit up so that they are not taken by surprise; urging them to “say something if they see something.”

The District Director said perpetrators of violent extremism always want to use people who exhibit deviant behaviours.

“So, the youth must be careful, vigilant and security conscious,” Rev Aglomasa said.

He urged Ghanaians to surveillance and monitor strangers who come to their localities and do proper investigations before renting to them.

Rev Aglomasa said national cohesion and peaceful coexistence were important for national development.

He said tolerance, respect for fundamental human rights, freedom of religion, and respect for rule of law were among the factors that ensured peaceful coexistence in all aspects of life.

He said national cohesion would be stronger if everyone in Nkonya-Adenkensu and Ghana has the opportunity, the resources, and the motivation to participate in society fully as they wish and on an equal basis with others.

Rev. Aglomasa reminded them to be respectful, trustworthy, self-controlled, and hard-working as a people.

Mr Stephen Adu, the Headman of the town, said it was good to live at peace with all; adding that embracing peace would ensure development in Adenkensu.

He pleaded with the people to live in harmony to avoid all forms of disturbances that could bring chaotic situations.

Mr Adu however, lamented that even though their area is big, they do not have an assemblyman nor a unit committee member to champion their course.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Growing calls for constitutional review shouldn’t be brushed off – Prof Nkansah

Cape Coast, Aug. 28, GNA –Professor Lydia Nkansah, former Dean of the Faculty of Law at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), reiterated the need for government to heed calls to amend the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

According to her, after three decades of the usefulness of the fourth Republican Constitution, its review had become imperative to reflect the times, considering the enormous dynamics of geopolitics aided by the advent of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Political calculations and posturing had prevented a forward march with the constitution review exercise, she said, and noted that “deep down in our hearts each of us knows that our constitution needs amendments, even if the degree to which it should be amended is contested.”

Prof Nkansah made the call at the 9th “Jurists Confab” of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) Faculty of Law, on the theme “Consolidating Democracy, the Rule of Law, and Respect for the Ballot in an Era of Good Governance.”

To her, even though many operational aspects of the constitution contained enough reasons to warrant a review, there had not been enough commitments by governments to trigger the amendment process.

The constitution could not set out every conceivable circumstance, hence, it required certain significant reforms that can only be accomplished by resorting to amendment procedures as stated by law.

Outlining some grey areas for review, Prof Nkansah mentioned the winner-takes-all system, the reluctance of government to support state institutions to deliver on their mandate, suffocation of Parliament by Executive dominance; constriction of spaces for real participatory citizenship and civic engagement; and political, bureaucratic, and administrative responsiveness.

On calls to overhaul the constitution, she advised that there was no one-size-fits-all democratic governance structure in the world over and charged all to religiously read the constitution to exercise their rights and freedoms.

“We should not underrate the thinking that informed our constitutional structure which has kept us together as one nation without little intervention for 30 years so far,” she advised.

For her part, Prof Rosemond Boohene, the Pro Vice-Chancellor of UCC asked Ghanaians to reflect on the country’s democratic pattern and choose the right type of democratic governance structure that was in tune with the people.

She said the university is ready to offer interdisciplinary programmes aimed at equipping its graduates with creative abilities for the job market and critical thinking to make its graduates fully suited to adapt to any modern social environment they may find themselves in.

Source: Ghana News Agency

‘We don’t need politicians to head security ministries’- Security Expert

Accra, Aug. 28, GNA—A security Threat Analyst on Sunday said in view of the volatile security situation in Africa, it does not make “security sense” to appoint politicians and businessmen to head security ministries.

Mr George Dosoo Doyen, also an Executive Director of the Doyen Institute of Intelligence and Investigations, said “As long as this continues, Africa will still be down there when it comes to the security ladder,” he stressed.

On the contrary, Mr Doyen noted that in most advanced and western nations like the United States and the United Kingdom, persons heading either the Interior Ministry or the Homeland Security were persons with security background or five-star generals, with deep knowledge and experience in security matters, and not just politicians.

Mr Doyen made these remarks when speaking at the 15th graduation and fifth anniversary of the Doyen Institute of Intelligence and Investigations, in Accra, on Saturday.

He said terrorism in Africa concerned everyone, therefore, it would require every citizen’s vigilance and sense of responsibility to halt the threat.

He observed that factors such as authoritative governance and pervasive corruption and bribery mostly fuelled terrorist attacks in Africa, thus, underscoring the need to address such threats.

The Executive Director admonished the graduands to work collaboratively with their colleagues and leverage their new skills and knowledge acquired in professional private investigations, cyber and digital forensics, and corporate security management to combat crime and other fraudulent activities on the continent.

In all, 93 graduands drawn from eight African countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, South Sudan, Botswana, Liberia and Lesotho received certificates and diplomas after months of intensive academic work.

Mr Maxwell Caleb Nortey-Newman, a Certified Fraud Examiner and Forensic Professional speaking on the topic “Mitigating Fraud related Crime: The Role of Citizens” said fraud had moved from the traditional mode to online settings.

He advised every citizen to be well-versed in the new methods and strategies to avoid being defrauded.

He mentioned some new fraud methods such as identity fraud, imposter scams, credit and debit card fraud, mortgage and loan fraud, employment scams, tax fraud and Ponzi schemes.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Gov’t has achieved a lot despite teething challenges-Veep

Accra, Aug. 28, GNA – Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has commended the Government for remarkable successes in the Ghanaian economy despite the devastating global economic crisis over the past two and half years.

He said: “In spite of the economic challenges, which is as a result of factors, including Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine War, many people tend to forget the many good things our government has done, which we are making significant impact.”

Speaking at the launch of the Accra High School’s Centenary Anniversary in Accra, Dr. Bawumia admitted the economic challenges facing the country, but said it had made remarkable strides in many sectors.

The Vice President listed a number of policies and interventions the government had successfully implemented since it assumed office in 2017.

On education, Dr. Bawumia said, the government recognised the significance of an educated population, and its continuous investment in the sector, especially the Free SHS, which had impacted positively on many homes.

“So far, so good, the Free SHS and the Free TVET are benefitting tens and thousands of many Ghanaian young children and alleviating the burdens of families,” Dr Bawumia said.

“As a result of Free SHS, more girls have enrolled and there is now significant gender parity in the enrollment of Free SHS.”

Dr. Bawumia also listed a number of infrastructure projects by the government, including expansion of infrastructure in the education and road sectors.

On policies and interventions, Dr. Bawumia stated that inspite of the challenges, the government had rolled out a number of them, saying, “They’re first in the history of our country.”

They included government’s free water and electricity to Ghanaians during the peak of the covid-19 pandemic, establishment of over 100 factories under 1D1F and delivery of essential medical supplies to remote areas through drones.

Others were the NHIS covering the cost of children with cancer, investment and focus on digitalisation, which ensured the issuance of the GhanaCard to over 16 million Ghanaians, mobile money interoperability, e-pharmacy, expansion of Ghanaians with tax identification numbers from four percent to over 80%, as well as digitalisation of government services such as the DVLA, passports, paperless system at the ports, among many others.

While assuring of government’s resolve to turn things around and make life easier for Ghanaians, Dr. Bawumia also urged all to rally behind the government to deliver on its core mandate of preparing our future leaders better for a prosperous Ghana.

Accra High School is the first senior secondary school to be established in the Eastern Province of the Gold Coast (now Greater Accra and Eastern Regions).

On its centenary anniversary, Dr. Bawumia paid glowing tribute to the founders of the school for their vision, as well as to the school itself, for the significant contributions it has made to education in the country.

“Permit me to pay a glowing tribute to the founder of this school, Late Rev. James Thomas Roberts, his able assistants namely: Barrister J.A Glover Addo, Dr. E.V Nanka Bruce and John Buckman, and all, who worked tirelessly to assist him to establish this school,” Dr. Bawumia said.

Dr. Bawumia also extended appreciation to past heads of the school, as well as tutors and staff, who in one way or the other, have contributed meaningfully to the success of Accra High School.

“I know you have produced many distinguished and outstanding students and also contributed immensely to education in the country.”

“Hundred years in the life of anyone is a great milestone. For Accra High School this centenary celebration should be the time to open a new chapter as far as the school is concerned.

“Government will forever remain a great partner of AHISCO in any pursuits that seek to take the school to another level,” Dr Bawumia stated.

Source: Ghana News Agency

OSSA 1981 cohort helps alma mater address furniture shortages

Accra, Aug. 28, GNA – Odorgonno Senior High School Old Students Association (OSSA) 1981 year group has presented 40 tables and chairs, and a computer, to help the school deal with its furniture shortages and boost academic work.

“We were here last year to mark our 40th anniversary of leaving school…we left school in 1981, and last year we came to connect with the students and staff… so that a relationship might begin, and this is the outcome,” Mr. John Gerald Essel, Chairman of OSSA 1981, told the Ghana News Agency.

He stated that the presentation was made in response to a request made by the school after members of the 1981 batch visited the campus last year, but added, “Unfortunately, we came together at a time when most of us are on pension, but it’s better late than never.”

He urged other year groups to follow suit, as well as gather and mobilise resources to support the school’s academic activities, stating that “the government alone cannot do it all.”

Mr. Patrick Mensah, Headmaster of Odorgonno to SHS, stated that the contribution would go a long way toward alleviating furniture shortages, especially because the school would be operating on a single track.

According to the records, the 81st class has assisted the school in a variety of ways, including contributing a corn mill and a freezer, as well as refurbishments. He added, “We are encouraging other year groups to mimic this gesture, to help restore Odorgonno to its past glory.”

 

He also applauded the cohort for purchasing quality furniture, which is more durable than prior supplies received by the school from other entities.

He stated that the school was provided with a large amount of wooden furniture, but that approximately 40% of it was broken down, emphasising that it was not durable, whereas the furniture supplied by OSSA in 1981 was extremely robust.

“We were given similar furniture, they’re mono desks, we were given approximately 1,200 last two years and when you compare the durability to this one, you notice that these ones are firm so certainly these ones will last more than that one,” he added.

Mr Mensah noted that the school was founded in 1940 in Adabraka but subsequently relocated to its current location in Awoshie, and that as enrollment had grown to around 3200, there was strain on its infrastructure and logistics, which required expansion.

“We lack furniture, and this furniture has come at an opportune time to help the academic progress. We are not doing one in, one out; we are all in school right now, so form one is in school, form two is in school, and form three is in school,” he said.

As a result, he stated that the SHS was in desperate need of furniture, an estimated 500 pieces, to help normalise the situation as form three students were ready to leave and new students were arriving.

He also stated that the lack of a staff common was a serious issue at the school, but that the PTA had begun to address the issue, though the pace was sluggish and that additional assistance was needed.

“We also lack an IT lab, which is a major problem; we also lack a scientific laboratory,” he added. “Anyone who has Odorgonno SHS in their hearts, or the students or children of Ghana in their hearts, may come to our aid and provide us with these facilities,” he said.

He applauded the government for doing its best by giving the school two dormitory blocks and an 18-unit classroom complex, as well as plans for more, but said, “Anyone out there, the NGOs, if they can come to our aid, it will benefit us.”

Source: Ghana News Agency