Architects not enthused with the built environment – Osae-Akonnor


Mr Foster Osae-Akonnor, the President of the Ghana Institute of Architects (GIA), said members of the institute are seeking a more improved built environment for Ghana through the enforcement of planned and quality construction.
He said the many unregulated buildings and structures that defined the Ghanaian cityscape had become a worry for the professionals and blamed this on the absence of architects at the local assemblies.
Mr Osae-Akonnor was addressing stakeholders in the Volta Region at a townhall meeting in Ho, one of several activities planned for the 60th Anniversary celebration of the Institute, on the theme: ‘Architects and the Community’
He said most of the assemblies had no resident architects and, thus, were limited in enforcing planned and quality construction works.
‘Architects are not enthused with the built environment – the uncontrolled nature of buildings springing up. Metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) do not have the requisite strength of architects, and architecture sells a country,’ he said.
‘The responsibility of architects is limited at the assembly level, and it constitutes a bigger issue for the built environment in Ghana.’
Mr Osae-Akonnor said the architects ‘felt left out’ of Ghana’s development as challenges with structural and service integrity of buildings intensified, and called on the assemblies to consider their indispensable roles in ensuring standards at all levels.
‘Most assemblies lack the capacity to issue certificates of habitation due to the lack of architects and revealed that the Institute was working with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to produce a 10-year strategic plan to be ‘critically followed through’ to its implementation.’
He called on the professionals to seek collaboration with the local assemblies, and that ‘architects must take the initiative and begin to think about planning all the MMDAs.’
The public was also encouraged to engage professional architects for proper planning to ensure a safe and sustainable built environment.
Mr Augustus Awiti, the Volta Regional Coordinating Director, said unplanned cities continued to produce challenges so professionals of the built environmental must collaborate to check the menace.
He said the region was pleased for the opportunity to set out collaboration with the planning professionals and would ensure effective collaboration to promote a sustainable environment.
The town hall meeting was attended by traditional leaders, heads of Local Government and staff, and civil society organisations.
Local Assembly heads at the meeting said the high-cost service of architects affected their patronage and appealed for the consideration of the charges and rates.
CSOs present raised concerns over access and other structural allowances for differently abled persons and hoped an enhanced input of architects would address the issues.



Source: Ghana News Agency

Agona Nkum raises funds to climax 2023 Akwambo Festival


The chiefs and people of Agona Nkum in the Central Region have climaxed the 2023 Annual Akwambo Festival with a fund-raising ceremony in support of development projects in the area.
The projects include a library complex, computer laboratory, and the completion of a community centre.
Addressing the gathering, Nana Mprah Afful V, Omankrado of Nkum, said the projects were envisaged to improve the living standards of the people.
However, he expressed unhappiness that teachers at Nkum in the Agona West Municipality still used chalk to draw computers and accessories on the blackboard in their efforts to teach pupils the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) subject.
He said if the situation continued, pupils in the community would not be able to compete favourably with other colleagues in the cities in the Basic Education Certificate Examination.
The Omankrado said the traditional authority was, therefore, poised to construct a computer laboratory to empower pupils and students in the area to study ICT with ease.
He cautioned the youth to be thrifty in their spending, especially during such festivals, in order to invest in profitable ventures to make life more comfortable for themselves and their families.
Mr Paul Kofi Assan, a Swedru-based businessman, urged the youth, being the future leaders, to support all policies and programmes the traditional authority had initiated for the overall benefit of the area.
He donated an undisclosed amount of money to the Akwambo Planning Committee in support of the projects under construction.
Mrs Cynthia Maamle Morrison, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Agona West, admonished the youth to desist from acts that may affect their future progress.
She said they must show respect to the elderly and unite because without unity and understanding development would elude the town.
‘Education is the key to success, and you must prioritise it to ensure a better future,’ she advised the youth.
Basic schools in the town had seen major infrastructure improvement by the construction of new classroom blocks and rehabilitation of existing structures to enhance teaching and learning, she said.
The MP donated 50 bags of cement, and one trip each of sand and stones to help with the completion of the community centre project.



Source: Ghana News Agency

Child labour interventions in Atwima Mponua yielding results


A Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD) funded project in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti Region, which seeks to reduce forced/child labour in mining and cocoa growing communities, is yielding results.
Stakeholders in the beneficiary communities say the various interventions by mining and cocoa companies are raising their living standards while building their capacities to demand for what is due them from the companies and duty bearers.
At a third quarterly meeting of the stakeholders on deepening the commitments and actions of companies and government agencies at Nyinahin in the region, the community members took turns to express their appreciation for the positive impact the project was making in their lives.
It focuses on the protection of children and vulnerable workers against forced and worse forms of child labour.
Stakeholders in the cocoa value chain, especially cocoa buying companies and gold mining associations, as part of the project, are being engaged on their commitments towards the fight against the menace.
The capacity of community volunteers in all the 40 project districts have been built in advocacy strategy, the concept of forced and child labour, and the use of mobile app to collect data on implementation of commitments by government and companies towards the eradication of child and forced labour.
Knowledge acquired and the confidence gained was helping them with the follow-ups on commitments to ensuring they were fulfilled, the community members said.
Madam Aba Oppong, the Executive Director of Rights and Responsibilities Initiatives Ghana (RRIG), who led the discussion as local partner of the project, enumerated the various interventions in the communities.
She said companies such as Cocoa Life, CARGIL Limited, Solidaridad, Agyeidabi Mining Company, OFI Cocoa Company, and Kokoo Pa had been implementing projects in communities within their operational areas.
These include the risk assessment and profiling of individuals/vulnerable people to ensure appropriate interventions, formation of village savings and loans association, and community child protection committees, of which the members had been trained to update their knowledge on child labour issues.
Madam Oppong said women and young girls were the most vulnerable and stressed the need to empower them to take part in issues on community development.
Mr Lawrence Osei, the District Assembly representative, said the Assembly had been working with non-governmental organisations in the fight against child/forced labour.
He promised to relay all concerns raised by the stakeholders to the authorities to inform policy.
Mr Samuel Adu-Gyamfi, Secretary, Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners, responded to issues raised by the participants and assured them of the Association’s commitment to addressing them.
Mrs Joyce Poku-Marboah, the Senior Project Manager, said some progress had been made in awareness creation on the negative effects of forced/child labour in communities where the project was being implemented.
Community members could now appreciate the problems associated with child labour and were conscious of the role they could play to address such problems.
Mrs Poku-Marboah said the communities, until the implementation of the project, never had the opportunity to meet mining, cocoa companies, and government agencies on such issues.
‘Now they have relationships with the companies and the Assembly so when they have problems, they know who to talk to and do the necessary follow-ups to ensure fulfilment,’ she said.



Source: Ghana News Agency

Bogoso St Augustine’s old students Association donates brass band equipment to school


The Bogoso St Augustine’s Past Students Association (BAPSA) in Ghana has teamed up with its overseas branches in North America and Europe to procure and donate two sets of regimental brass band instruments to their alma mater.
The donation of the instruments aims to uplift the school’s visibility through music, promote hands-on training in music, enrich social activities on campus and generally make the school attractive within the Bogoso community.
At a colourful presentation ceremony at Bogoso, the national executives of BAPSA handed over the instruments, valued at Ghc50,000.00 to school authorities and over 1,000 students gathered at the school Church Hall.
The instruments included sets of trumpets, cornets, French horns, flugelhorns, trombones, euphoniums, tubas and bugles, along with two sets of parade drums.
Both BAPSA and school officials said the instruments had come to fill a huge void, as Augusco (Bogoso St Augustine’s College) has had to rent equipment or hire bands from its thin resources, for social and extra curriculum events over the years.
The Chairman of BAPSA, Mr Kwamena Ewusi-Brown charged both the authorities and students to make the best use of the instruments.
‘We have had two significant homecoming experiences here on this campus during the past couple of years…..and it is so sad that on both occasions, we had to endure the embarrassment and inconveniences of having to hire a band from either Prestea or Tarkwa for our programmes,’ Mr Ewusi-Brown said.
He said those incidents greatly influenced and inspired BASPA’s decision to acquire the instruments, the Chairman noted.
He said besides the pursuit of their academic routines and goals, most schools of similar pedigree as Augusco had regimental and other musical groups that helped to enrich their extra curriculum and recreational pastimes.
‘In our time for instance, schools like St Johns in Sekondi hit the limelight and became enviable among the national student population, not only through academic scholarship but even more, through the popularity of its school bands – Mathew Chapter 5 and The Saints. I can still recall the sheer frenzy and excitement amongst students when in our days, Chapter 5 came over to perform for us at the Augusco Old Site,’ said Ewusi-Brown.
Mr Benjamin Ackaah-Gyasi, the second Vice Chairman of BAPSA, said he was personally delighted that a dream nurtured by the executives of the Association barely two years ago had come to fruition.
‘These musical instruments we present to you today come from contributions of the Old Students here in Ghana and our compatriot old students in North America specifically in the United States,’ he explained and charged the school to take the greatest care of the equipment.
‘We expect you to take good care of these instruments, so you may leave them for other students to benefit from their use and thereby promote the image of the school and its students among second cycle schools and the within the Bogoso Community at large,’ he said.
Mrs. Felicia Ackaah-Gyasi, a senior alumnus of the school, urged the new generation of Augusco students to be mindful of peer pressure, eschew the tendency of copying blindly and endeavour to take full advantage of modern learning aides like the internet (which older BAPSA members were not privileged to have), and the abundance of information provided by social media.
Rev. Fr. Ignatius Miah Whajah, the Headmaster, after receiving the instruments on behalf of the school administration and the students, expressed gratitude to BAPSA for its continuous support to the school.
He gave the assurance that the instruments would be properly maintained to achieve its deserved purpose and entreated the alumni of the school to sustain its interest in and support for Augusco.
BAPSA has, over the past six years, extended considerable support to the alma mater in the form of projects and donations, among which are the construction of a urinal block, electricity extension to the School Church Building, the donation of a corn milling machine, the donation of a state-of-the-art multi-purpose printer, lawn mower and a poly-tank for water storage.
Bogoso St Augustine’s Senior High School used to be an integral part of St Augustine’s College, Cape Coast, which simultaneously offered two different courses, namely Secondary School courses and a Teacher Training programme.
In 1957, when the Catholic Church thought it prudent to separate the two courses, the Teacher Training section was transferred from Cape Coast to Bogoso in the Western Region and was later converted into a secondary school.
Bogoso St Augustine’s Senior High School, a relatively unsung but proud second cycle institution, had churned out hundreds of top grade technocrats and academics over the years.



Source: Ghana News Agency

Two suspects arrested over robbery at Future Global Mines


The police have arrested two suspects in connection with an alleged robbery at the Future Global Resource Mines.
Derrick Kwabena and Daniel Ofori were among those who attacked the company’s gold room at about 0220 hours and are currently on the run.
Derrick was arrested on the spot as police responded to a distress call, whilst Daniel was apprehended later in Bogoso in a Toyota Hilux Pickup with registration number GN 3020-17.
Police recovered gold concentrate in a fertiliser sack, as well as a foreign firearm with five rounds of ammunition.
Five BB cartridges, a cutlass and a talisman were also found in the vehicle.
Derrick and Daniel, as well as all the seized items, are being held at the Tarkwa Regional Police Headquarters to assist in investigations.
Meanwhile, police remain on the hunt for other gang members who are still at large.



Source: Ghana News Agency

Moroccan King consoles Earthquake Victims, Orders Immediate Rebuilding of Victims’ Homes


King Mohammed VI and Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan on Saturday chaired a working session dedicated to examining the situation following the earthquake that occurred Friday, September 8, and caused human and material losses in various regions of the kingdom.
The officials present briefed HM King Mohammed VI on the latest developments in the affected prefectures and provinces, notably in some localities that were inaccessible during the evening and where the situation point and relief intervention were not possible until sunrise.
During the session, the officials informed the High Royal Attention of the measures taken to quickly address this large-scale natural catastrophe.
These emergency measures, subject to instructions and constant follow-up by HM King Mohammed VI, since the first moments that followed the earthquake and witnessed the intervention of the Royal Armed Forces, local authorities, security services and Civil Protection units, as well as the ministries concerned, focused notably on Reinforcing the national blood stock, Suppling drinking water to affected areas, Distributing food kits, tents and blankets to the affected population and Quickly resuming public services
In this regard, it should be recalled that upon the High Instructions of HM King Mohammed VI, Supreme Commander and Chief of General Staff of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR), the Royal Armed Forces urgently deployed significant human and logistical air and land resources, as well as specialized intervention modules based on search and rescue teams and a medical-surgical field hospital.
HM King Mohammed VI has given His Very High Instructions to expeditiously continue field relief efforts, as well as: Immediately set up an inter-ministerial commission in charge of carrying out an emergency rehabilitation and aid programme to reconstruct as soon as possible the destroyed homes in the affected areas.
Also, provide care to people in distress, notably orphans and vulnerable people, provide immediate care to all people who found themselves without shelter following the earthquake, notably in terms of housing, food and other basic needs.
Encourage economic operators for a quick resumption of activities in the areas concerned, open a special bank account at Treasury and Bank Al Maghrib to receive the voluntary solidarity contributions of citizens as well as private and public instructions.
Other measures include ensuring the full mobilization of the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity, with all its components, to support citizens in affected areas and create reserves and stocks of basic necessities (medicines, tents, beds, food…etc.) in every region of the Kingdom to prepare for any type of disaster.
It was also decided to observe three days of national mourning, with the half-masting of national flags on all public facilities.
His Majesty the King, Commander of the Faithful, also gave His High Instructions to the minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs to perform the Absent Prayer (Salat Al Ghaib) in all mosques throughout the Kingdom, for the repose of the victims’ souls.
The Sovereign also expressed the sincere thanks of the kingdom of Morocco to all brotherly and friendly countries that expressed their solidarity with the Moroccan people on this situation, and many of which expressed their readiness to provide aid in these special circumstances.
This working meeting was attended by Government Head, Aziz Akhannouch, Interior Minister, Abdelouafi Laftit,, Health and Social Protection Minister, Khalid Ait Taleb, as well as Lieutenant General Mohamed Berrid, Inspector General of FAR and Commander of the Southern Zone, Lieutenant General Mohamed Haramou, Commander of the Royal Gendarmerie, Brigadier General Mohamed Elabbar, Inspector of FAR Military Health Service, Brigadier General Mohamed Elabbar, Lieutenant Colonel Ihssane Lotfi, General Director of Civil Protection, Abdellatif Hammouchi, General Director of National Security, Director General of National Territory Surveillance, Mohamed El Azami, coordinator and member of the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity’s Board.



Source: Ghana News Agency

World Vision donates books to Kadjebi Education Directorate


The Krachi-Nkwanta Cluster Office of the World Vision Ghana has donated 3,065 copies of reading books to the Kadjebi District Education Directorate in the Oti Region as part of the International Literacy Day celebration.
This was in addition to collaborating with the Complementary Education Agency and other partners for the national level event at Kadjebi.
Mr Irvine Aboagye, the Programme Manager, Krachi-Nkwanta Cluster, World Vision Ghana, who handed over the books, said they were to help improve reading habits of pupils in the district.
The donation forms part of activities World Vision is implementing to ensure that every child reads to improve his/her vocabulary, open-up the mind and perspectives about the world.
Mr Aboagye said the books would also help improve the learners’ knowledge base.
Mr Anthony Agortimevor, the District Budget Officer, Ghana Education Service, commended World Vision Ghana for the gesture and said the donation was timely as the district was battling with poor reading abilities of school children.
He said World Vision had been a good partner in improving education in the district and expressed the hope that the relationship would grow.
Mr Agortimevor, who received the books on behalf of the Directorate, said the ‘After School Reading Clubs’ in their operational areas had been helpful they had had brought vast improvement in schools supported by World Vision as compared to other schools in the district.



Source: Ghana News Agency