IMF deal won’t quickly address Ghana crisis – president

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has said that the $3bn (£2.4bn) bailout from the IMF will not immediately address the country’s economic challenges.

In a televised address to the nation on Sunday, the Ghanaian president said the IMF bailout would restore confidence and put the country’s economy back on a sound footing.

“It should lead to the restoration of confidence and the reopening of avenues that have been closed to us this past year and a half. It should also lead to the resumption of many of the infrastructural projects that have stalled,” President Akufo-Addo said.

He acknowledged that seeking help from the IMF was a painful but necessary decision to help the economy recover from the impact of the global pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

But critics have said the country’s economic problem is partly due to gross mismanagement.

Ghana is facing one of its worst crises in a generation, with high public debt and inflation. As part of the IMF bailout, the government will be expected to reduce public expenditure and increase domestic revenue.

This will mean clamping down on tax evaders, new taxes, or an upward review of existing ones.

Ghana has already received the first tranche of $600m after the IMF approved a $3bn bailout programme on 17 May.

Source: BBC

One dead, 50 missing in Ghana boat tragedy

One person has died while 50 others are missing after a boat accident on Ghana’s Black Volta River in the Savannah Region.

The boat capsized on Saturday while transporting passengers from Dorkorchina to Kpandai in the Northern region, authorities said.

The Bole district director of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Kipo Sulemana, said that the boat, which was overloaded with passengers and goods, hit a tree stump in the river and capsized.

Mr Sulemana said the area of the accident was inaccessible, making the search and rescue efforts difficult. He said locals were helping to find the missing people.

Two people swam to safety and none of the other passengers on the boat was wearing a life jacket, local media said.

Source: BBC

GPL Week 32: Kofi Kordzi scores as Legon Cities pip Hearts

Accra, Accra Hearts of Oak suffered their third successive defeat in the betPawa Ghana Premier League as they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat against Legon Cities at the El-Wak Sports Stadium.

A first half strike from Kofi Kordzi was enough to secure maximum points for Legon Cities, who moved further away from the relegation zone and have now accumulated 43 points.

Hearts of Oak, after the defeat, remain eighth on the league table with 45 points.

Hearts coach David Ocloo made some changes after the 5-1 defeat last week, with goalkeeper Richard Attah, Samuel Inkoom, and Addo Sowah making the starting 11.

It was all Legon Cities at the start of the match, and they should have taken the lead with a quarter of the game played if not for Samuel Inkoom’s goal line clearance.

The state of the pitch affected the flow of the game, but Legon Cities had more possession.

Linda Mtange had the chance to put Hearts in the lead halfway through the half, but his header from close range missed by inches.

Legon Cities deservedly went ahead in first-half added time after Kofi Kordzi’s left-footed drive found the bottom corner of Richard Attah’s post.

The Phobians started the second half more purposefully in attack, and Linda Mtange had a glorious opportunity to strike parity, but his effort was saved by goalkeeper Slyvester Sackey.

The second half of the game was more balanced, with Hearts posing the threat in front and Obeng Junior coming close to pulling parity with an hour played.

Kofi Kordzi should have scored his second of the day with a glorious opportunity midway through the second half but was complacent in taking the shot.

Legon Cities seemed content with their 1-0 lead and held on firmly to secure all

three points to push them to mid-table.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Africa needs to focus on agri-business – Forum

Accra, The seventh African Leadership Forum (ALF) has ended in Accra with participants urging African countries to focus on agri-business rather than agriculture.

The Forum said agri-business encompassed agriculture and required a multifaceted approach across multiple stakeholders, including ministries beyond that of agriculture. Climate change.

Dr Emmanuel Maliti, an Economist, iReview Limited, presenting a statement at the end of the Forum, said the current and future effects of climate change were a wake-up call for Africa to reorient its agriculture development agenda.

The Forum was convened by Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, the ALF Patron and former President of the United Republic of Tanzania and AfCFTA Secretariat, and co-organized by the Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development (UONGOZI Institute).

‘Many best practices that have transformed the African agriculture sector are available to learn from and scale up,’ he said.

The one-and-a-half-day event on the theme: ‘Promoting Intra-Africa Trade to Unlock Agricultural Potential in Africa’ sought to provide a space to share experiences and insights to facilitate a successful agricultural trade among African countries.

It highlighted Africa’s agricultural potential and opportunities emerging from climate change, sharing experiences and lessons on the obstacles (internal and international) in maximizing agricultural potential in Africa.

It is also to discuss the potential and obstacles to, as well as practical and realistic requirements for implementing AFCFTA within Africa’s agriculture context and identify priorities and roadmap for implementation of the agricultural trade perspective under the AFCFTA to realize its transformative economic objective.

He said interventions could include technological-based, from introducing country-specific technology and innovation in adoption (climate-smart technologies) to diversifying farming systems.

The Economist said complementary non-technology interventions include evidence-based policymaking, tapping climate change financing, and advocating for compensation from large polluters.

Mr Wamkele Mene, the Secretary General of AfCFTA Secretariat, said access to affordable agriculture financing was necessary to facilitate expanding private sector participation in the agriculture sector.

This requires policies that de-risk lending to the sector (formalising agricultural land, introducing land banks), and central banks role in facilitating carbon trade financing as well as incentivizing regional and local banks to syndicate large loan portfolios for the sector.

He said Africa could also consider incentivizing market entry for venture capital funding, insurance products, trade financing, and commodity markets.

He said the latter could start with commodities that Africa largely consumes and intermediary finances such as guarantees, savings and credit societies, investment banks serving the sector, and credit facilities that cater to the needs of women and youth, which have proven to accelerate access to finance in some African countries.

Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, the ALF Patron and former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, said countries needed to commit to trading among themselves, invest in knowledge exchange and eliminate trade barriers as among the means to accelerate rural communities’ participation in the regional and global value chains.

He said robust private sector capacity in responding to trade opportunities was also vital in transforming intra-Africa trade.

‘Governments can identify, incentivize, and facilitate large private sector entities to invest in agriculture,’ he said.

Dr Kikwete said a lot had been achieved but a lot more was needed to be done to increase agriculture production on the African continent.

He said if the continent had to promote intra-Africa trade, in the area of agriculture, stakeholders needed to take a look at the supply side.

He commended President Nana Akufo-Addo for accepting Ghana to host the Seventh Edition of the Forum.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Sista Afia’s music talent is unmatched – Manager

Accra, Kofi Clinton, Manager of Ghanaian songstress Sista Afia, says the music talent of his artiste is unmatchable, unparalleled, and among the best in the world.

According to Kofi Clinton, who heads Ace Khandi Records, Sista Afia’s music talent surpasses many in the music industry and deserves all the commendation, having produced many hit songs over the years.

Speaking in an interview, Kofi Clinton stated that Sista Afia, since making her debut in the music industry in 2015, has improved and thrived in her craft and is among the best in the country.

‘When it comes to music, Sista Afia knows what entails good music, and this can be seen in her amazing vocal prowess and lyrical vibes.

‘For me, I can say she is the most versatile female artiste we have in the country currently because she raps, sings, and can do multiple genres, and this for me is unique,’ he said.

Kofi Clinton further stated that Sista Afia could reach the heights of becoming a Grammy-winning artiste if Ghanaians would support her more.

‘She is a beacon of hope for Ghanaian music in terms of getting our first female Grammy award winner, and I believe she will get there, and I entreat Ghanaians to support her because she has all the talent,’ he said in an interview.

Kofi Clinton also revealed that Sista Afia is billed to embark on a series of musical tours starting next month in Dubai, courtesy of M and J Travel and Tour.

Source: Ghana News Agency

DJ Azonto nominated for Discovery of the Year at Ghana Entertainment Awards USA

Accra, Rising Amapiano sensation Mark Kwesi Arthur, popularly known as ‘DJ Azonto,’ has bagged a nomination for the Discovery of the Year at the 2023 Ghana Entertainment Awards USA.

The ‘Fa No Fom’ hitmaker has been nominated alongside Djay, Gambo, Photocopy, Chief One, Achiaa Music, Malcom Nuna, Maya Blu, and Lasmid in the Discovery of the Year category.

The awards ceremony slated for July 1, 2023, would see showbiz personalities receive recognition for their contribution to the industry, especially in the year under review.

DJ Azonto, recently missed out on the New Artiste of the Year award at the recently held Vodafone Ghana Music Awards but looks like a firm favourite to win the Discovery of the Year award at the Ghana Entertainment Awards USA.

DJ Azonto has been dominating the music charts recently with the release of his ‘One Prayer’ single, which featured actor and musician Kwadwo Nkansah Lil Win, and has also dropped a new banger with Abochi titled ‘Kokonte.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana urged to promote ethno-veterinary medicine for sustainable animal husbandry

Accra, Ghana must promote ethno-veterinary medicine (EVM) to ensure a more productive livestock agriculture and sustainable animal husbandry especially for smallholder farmers.

Stakeholders made the call at the two-day National Stakeholders Workshop on Ethno-Veterinary Medicine held in Tamale.

The Executive Director of the Association of Church-based Development Projects (ACDEP), Mr. Malex Alebikiya, elaborating on the call in his address, said Ghana must exploit the invaluable indigenous knowledge in animal husbandry to boost agriculture to enhance productivity and economic gains for the smallholder farmers.

He said ACDEP is implementing a four-year project (2019 – 2023) in northern Ghana funded by Misereor-Germany aimed at promoting ethno-veterinary medicine as an integral part of animal health care.

The project, ‘Promoting Ethno-veterinary Medicine for Sustainable Animal Husbandry Practices in Northern Ghana’, which ends in May 2023, is to improve animal health, production, and productivity by rural smallholder farmers through increased recognition and use of ethno-veterinary medicine (EVM) as a complementary and integral part of veterinary services in Ghana.

This is to complement the plans and efforts of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) to promote and mainstream the use of appropriate ethno-veterinary practices in Ghana as elaborated in the Ghana Livestock Development Policy and Strategy (2016).

The objectives of the project include validating potential herbal treatments commonly used by small holder farmers for animals (poultry, small ruminants and pigs); improving preparation, packaging, the use and commercialization of selected herbal medicines, and establishing a strong network of ethno-veterinary practitioners.

The project has been implemented in four districts in the Northern, North-East and Upper East regions by ACDEP in partnership with the Animal Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-ARI), Regional Directorates of Veterinary Services Department of MoFA, Central Veterinary Laboratory (CVL) at Pong-Tamale and the Animal Science Department of the University for Development Studies (UDS).

The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) provided technical support for the project.

Mr. Alebikiya credited the success of the project to the strong partnership underpinning the project implementation.

The project has so far identified and prioritized important common diseases to farmers, identified and prioritized ethno-veterinary medicines that farmers use to treat some common animal diseases for scientific study and validation and done a comparison of ethno-veterinary practitioners and conventional veterinary case definitions of the common animal diseases,

It also reviewed literature on the medicinal and phytochemical properties of botanicals used in the preparation of EVM innovations, conducted laboratory analyses on the phyto and physico-chemical properties of EVM preparations and plant parts used for the innovations, and conducted on-farm trials of two of the EVM innovations.

Participants of the two-day workshop deliberated on the outcomes and outputs of the project and concluded that, the project was effectively implemented and that the promotion of EVM in animal husbandry should become a key national policy.

The participants came from the partner organisations, the EVM innovators in the project districts, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Animal Health and Production College (AHPC) and other organisations.

At the end of workshop proceedings, participants recommended that the Government of Ghana should among other things support the key stakeholders to embed the promotion of EVM in the livestock policy practice of Ghana; and establish a strong network of EVM practitioners at the local and national levels.

It should also strengthen the teaching, learning and practice of EVM through appropriate curricula and programs in the academic institutions including the relevant universities with veterinary medicine faculties; and further research on the preparation, preservation, storage and marketing of Ethno- Veterinary Medicines.

Source: Ghana News Agency