Church must do more to give hope to people – Archbishop

Kumasi, The Most Reverend Professor Daniel Yinkah Sarfo, Primate and Metropolitan Archbishop of the Anglican Province of West Africa and the Internal Province of Ghana, has called for the church to do more to reach out and give hope to the people.

He added that it could not be detached or become remote from the basic physical needs of the society.

He was performing the ceremony for the ordination of four new priests and two deacons of the Kumasi Diocesan Anglican Church at the Saint Cyprian’s Cathedral.

They are the Rev Father Kwadwo Boakye, Rev Fr. Anthony Kusi, Rev Fr. Richard Boamah and Rev Fr. Kofi Karikari with Brothers Prosper Anokye Amoah and Oxford Solomon Nyarko, as deacons.

The Most Rev Prof Yinkah Sarfo reminded them to work with a lot of energy, dedication and passion to spread the gospel and turn people away from wickedness, cruelty and anything evil.

They should help to make a difference in the lives of those they were going to lead � help to grow and strengthen their faith.

He underlined the need for them to be honest, transparent and accountable and refuse to be ensnared in corrupt practices.

That, he said, was important to carry the congregation with them and ensure smooth running of the church.

The Most Rev Prof Yinkah Sarfo urged them to remain confident that God will supply all their needs in holiness and righteousness.

He used the occasion to applaud the government for the promise to return the mission schools to the churches and said that was going to promote efficient running of the schools.

It would also bring back the teaching of moral values and stop the youth from going down the path of self-destruction.

The Anglican Metropolitan Archbishop spoke of the church’s unwavering determination to continue to forge strong partnership with the government to develop the nation’s education � ensure that was access and there was quality.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Read More >Church must do more to give hope to people – Archbishop

Assume responsibility for transforming your countries – President Akufo-Addo

Accra, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged African leaders to assume responsibility for the transformation of their economies, and depart from the mindset of aid, dependency and charity.

If we, Africans, are to transform our stagnant, jobless economies, built on the export of raw materials and unrefined goods, to value-added economies that provide jobs, to build strong middle-class societies and lift the mass of our people out of dire poverty, then we must take our destinies into our own hands and assume responsibility for this, he stated on Monday when addressing the G-20 Partnership for Africa Summit, currently taking place in Berlin, Germany.

President Akufo-Addo explained that assuming responsibility meant African leaders must, firstly, facilitate the building of a new, sustainable, African civilization, where there is accountable governance, respect for the rule of law, individual liberties and human rights, and where the principles of democratic accountability were guaranteed.

This new, sustainable, African civilization, he added, required that African leaders mobilise the immeasurable, vast resources of Africa to resolve Africa’s problems of poverty and development, and free ourselves from a mindset of aid, dependency, charity and handouts.

Secondly, he urged Africans to initiate and implement policies that will encourage and empower the private sector to grow their respective economies within frameworks of macroeconomic stability.

When the private sector flourishes and when our enterprises become competitive, not just on the continent, but also in the global marketplace, then can we create the thousands and thousands of jobs our teeming masses of unemployed youth crave, the President said.

Thirdly, we can no longer remain producers and exporters of raw materials. We must add value to our commodities, and create wealth for our peoples. Our dependence on raw materials has, in fact, increased in the past century. It is this dependence that feeds our dependence on foreign aid.

President Akufo-Addo was unequivocal that Africa had the resources and means, material and human, with women and youth in the forefront, to transform the structures of its economies and be part of the international division of labour at the high end of the value.

This process of economic and industrial transformation, he stressed, had to go along with ensuring that the most basic elements of social justice were met � making quality basic education and healthcare accessible to all, to promote a culture of incentives and opportunities.

President Akufo-Addo noted that the reforms being undertaken in Ghana, in the management of the economy and in the governance structure, should entitle Ghana to be a suitable candidate for inclusion in the investment compacts that were the substantive outcomes of the G-20 Africa Partnership Summit conference.

The investment compacts, he added, will enable us to maximise our possibilities of economic growth to deal with the huge problem of unemployment, the major social issue of our times in Africa, stating that young people, busy with their lives and earning a living, would hardly be tools for wreaking havoc on society.

Making reference to the harrowing risks undertaken by youth traversing the Mediterranean in search of greener pastures, the President was confident that if we provide them the right environment in Africa, which enables them to enhance their skills, receive appropriate vocational training and have access to digital technology, they will make our continent great. If these youth are allowed to realise their full potential, Africa could see huge economic gains in the shortest possible time.

President Akufo-Addo thanked German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, for putting the preoccupations of Africa’s development at the heart of Germany’s presidency of the G20, which has resulted in the convening of the conference of the G-20 Africa Partnership on the theme Investing in a Common Future.

He was hopeful that the conference would lead to the rapid development of the African continent, as well as address the many constraints to Africa’s development, domestic and external, including the vast amounts of illicit flow of capital out of the continent.

Let this serve as the impetus for re-shaping our countries and charting a new path of growth and development in freedom, which will lift the long suffering African masses out of poverty into the realms of prosperity and dignity. We can make life meaningful and worth living for our own people, like others have done, President Akufo-Addo added.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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Ghana receives 100 Million Euros from Germany’s “Compact for Africa”

Accra, Ghana has been named as one of the three countries in Africa to benefit from the Germany’s Compact with Africa Programme which would enable Ghana improve conditions for sustainable private sector investment.

It would also be used in the investment in infrastructure, economic participation, and employment creation in the country.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta disclosed this on Sunday at a meeting with the Ghanaian community resident in Germany, held in honour of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in Berlin.

Mr Ofori-Atta explained that the Compact with Africa Programme, initially, had Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia, Morocco and Rwanda, being the countries that had been signed onto the Compact.

Only three countries out of the five, he said, were to be beneficiaries of Euros 100 million that came along with signing the Compact.

The Ministers explained that Ghana was chosen to be one of the countries signed onto the Compact because of what President Akufo-Addo has done. It is essentially because there is a new confidence that Ghana is coming back, and Ghana is back. We were nowhere near it (Compact with Africa Programme). But the work President Akufo-Addo has been doing resulted in the Germans saying, ‘why don’t we get Ghana involved in this?’ And, that is why we are here.

He noted that this development was a real sign of confidence for us. We thought that it was over. Then they (Germans) came back a couple of weeks later, in March 2017, and said that ‘we should put our money where our mouth is. So let us select three countries in Africa, where we can have a bilateral relationship with, and they selected two of the countries who were already in the Compact � Tunisia and Cote d’Ivoire � and they said Ghana be part of it, that is the third country’.

They also said here is another 100 million Euros, do something with it. So you are beginning to see the response the world is having. We are beginning to see a sense of a regeneration, the Black Star is shining again. We certainly are not a poor country, as President Akufo-Addo said. We are also not chickens, as Aggrey said, we are eagles and, as such, we should fly, he said.

The Minister said that with the government having inherited an economy with a budget deficit of 9 percent; a negative primary balance; GH10 billion in interest payments each year; high rates of inflation; and GH7 billion of hidden arrears, amongst others, the Akufo-Addo government had put in place measures to fix and restore confidence into the country’s economy.

He noted that, between the cost of labour, interest payments and statutory fees, these amounted to 107 percent of Ghana’s revenue, so obviously we were not going to do much.

This, he indicated, led to the appointment of a new Commissioner of the Ghana Revenue Authority to bring dynamism in the collection of revenue; examining of government expenditure; and the capping of statutory funds to 25 percent of government revenue.

That immediately freed up fiscal space for our programmes, as well as providing the stimulus package for the struggling businesses. We abolished a lot of taxes for people from Abossey Okai to the Stock Exchange, so people can feel energised and get into self-employment, he added.

What do you do when you inherit an economy with $30 billion of debt, paying GH10 billion every year in interest payments, and in every three months, you go into the market to get money meant for the private sector to pay interest on your debt and wages and salaries of workers? Mr Ofori-Atta quizzed.

According to the Minister, this situation, led to the managers of the economy deciding to re-profile Ghana’s debt.

Re-profiling means that instead of these debts maturing every 90 days, let us find a way to increase the tenure of maturity so that instead of the 91 days and 5 years, we move it to 15 years. It gives us some breathing room to enable us do what we need to do to revive the economy, he explained.

The Finance Minister was confident the measures put in place by government would result in reducing the budget deficit from 9 percent to 6.5 percent; increase growth rates from 3.6 percent, the lowest in 22 years, to 6.3 percent at the end of 2017.

The primary balance will be positive, which means we will not borrow to pay our debts. Things have stabilised, interest rates are coming down, but there is still a lot of work to be done, he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Read More >Ghana receives 100 Million Euros from Germany’s “Compact for Africa”

Akua Donkor robbery case adjourned

Accra, An Accra Circuit Court hearing the robbery case against Madam Akua Donkor, the Founder of the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), on Monday adjourned the case at the instance of the prosecution.

This was after the prosecution for the second time failed to produce its next witness.

The prosecution had told the court that they have a last witness to call but unfortunately the said witness was not in court when the case was called.

The court adjourned the matter to June 13.

The advised the prosecution to ensure that its witness comes to court for the trial to continue.

The prosecution later assured the court that, if on the next adjourned date the witness is not in court, they would close their case for the trial to continue.

At the last hearing the case was adjourned because the next prosecution witness was not in court.

The prosecution has so far called four witnesses.

The accused persons are Yakubu Yusif, trader and Central Regional Chairman of the GFP; Banabas Kayase, her driver and secretary of the party; Opoku Agyemang, trader and Abdul Razak Shaibu, a member of a GPRTU Task Force.

Two others, Joe and Nuamah aka Lion, are currently on the run. The accused are on remand.

The prosecution said on that the day, Akua together with Yusif and Kayase were on board her vehicle � a Mitsubishi Pajero with registration number GT 6028-16 � from Taifa heading towards the Kotoka International Airport to catch a flight to the United States of America.

Chief Superintendent Duuti Tuaruka, prosecuting, said on December 30, 2016 at Taifa in Accra, the six persons conspired to rob Madam Akua Donkor.

The prosecution said the accused persons at about 02:30 hours at Sowutuom, a suburb of Accra, robbed Madam Donkor at gunpoint and snatched her travelling bag containing a plane ticket, Ghanaian passport, voter ID card, $30,000 and GH3,000.00.

Akua decided to pass home and on reaching Sowutuom immediately after the Agbeve Herbal Clinic area, Opoku called Kayase on phone and asked where they have reached while Razak, Joe and Lion were waiting to execute their agenda, Chief Supt Tuaruka told the court.

He said the three, armed with guns on board an unregistered motorbike, appeared behind the vehicle, and as soon as Kayase spotted the armed men, he reduced the speed of the car, showing double hazard indicators that the complainant was in the car.

Kayase, according to the prosecutor, parked the vehicle and the armed men attacked the complainant with guns and took the monies and items and then dragged her from the vehicle and escaped with the booty.

The prosecution said on 31st December, last year, Razak was arrested when he was called by Yusif to come for his share of the booty.

When Razak was searched, US$4,900 was retrieved from him.

He said upon interrogation Razak admitted the offence and mentioned Joe and Nuamah as his accomplices.

He said that after the operation, they shared the monies and threw the bag into a nearby bush at Anyaa.

He led the police to retrieve the bag.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Read More >Akua Donkor robbery case adjourned