The man who’s awaken the world about Congo
April 19, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Jesse Jackson Snr*
CHICAGO, United States of America, April 19, 2018/ — Finally, the world met in Geneva on Friday 13th of April to gather the necessary financing to bring relief aid to desperate people of DRCongo. And this, subsequently to the efforts of DRC’s -Prime Minister Samy Badibanga Ntita. It is the first time ever that the International Community met to pledge financing for humanitarian aid to a war-torn country, big as one fourth of the United States, with some of its people unfortunately living in hellish conditions.
The hundred million Congolese thought the international community had abandoned them to their fate, in a crisis hidden behind the horrific news from Yemen and Syria. The stakes are high, with almost two billion dollars needed, which tells how much this mega-crisis has been forgotten and underfinanced.
Behind the figures, it is about humanity. It is challenging our hearts and willingness to deliver solidarity on a global scale. This is the unbelievable story of fifteen million people whose villages have been burnt down, their hospitals, schools and livelihoods looted and destroyed. The Congolese people of Kivu, Kasaï, Tanganyika and other regions of DR Congo have been attacked by armed men, in some cases by the Government security forces. Five million of them have been forced to flee and hide in the forests, after witnessing and being subjected to brutal rapes and killings of men, women and their children; the weapons of choice being guns, gasoline and machetes. In Kasaï, Kivu and Ituri, heart bleeding testimonials of survivors describe a situation which looks like the broad day light slaughterhouse of human beings
As we’ve just lost Winnie Mandela, who successfully fought apartheid in South Africa, as an eternal contribution to the freedom of black people in Africa and worldwide, it is shocking and outrageous. And it is sad that 13 million people are left in great need for relief aid after suffering so much violence. Today indeed, the DRCongo is the most important challenge to human dignity and global solidarity in Africa, if not in the world. This is coming out as an embarrassment to the International Community, when one considers that the equivalent of a 9/11 has been happening daily, for more than ten years, a problem now being exacerbated in the regions of Kasaï, Kivu and Ituri.
We also remember our fellow compatriot Michael Sharp brutally killed and beheaded in Kasaï, central DR Congo, together with Zaida Catalan, during an investigation for the United Nations. We pray for them and for their families.
Though the United Nations signalled alert calls after summer 2017, little has happened since. Aid workers and NGOs are still left to make impossible choices with little food aid or healthcare. Sadly, information indicates that the Government is hindering aid delivery, claiming taxes on relief aid, and finally refused to participate to the Geneva Conference.
We owe this first ever International Conference for DR Congo people to a man from Congo himself, my friend Samy Badibanga, who embarked in November last year on convincing the United Nations, the European Union, and developed Nations around the world to organize an International Conference to gather 1,68 billion dollars to finance the humanitarian needs of the people of DR Congo. Samy has led this work with Cardinal Mosengwo and Reverend Bokundoa towards its completion and deserves high recognition for the good and hope he just brought to his people.
The world now sees and knows what is going on in the Congo, and the everyday life of millions of women, left alone to provide for their children, amid their villages being burnt down and their husbands slaughtered in front of them. I hereby applaud Samy’s decisive commitment, faith in God and humanity, his work and achievement with the Churches of Congo. We now pray for relief aid to rapidly bring food, schools, healthcare, shelter, protection and security.
At Rainbow Push (https://RainbowPush.org), we’ll now pray for hope and strength to fill the heart of our fellow humans in DR Congo. Faith without deeds is indeed a contradiction. God bless Samy, the Congo and the whole Africa.
Keep Hope Alive
*Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr is Founder & President Rainbow Push.
OP-ED: REFORMING THE AU REQUIRES STRONGER TIES WITH CIVIL SOCIETY
April 19, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Mpako Foaleng and Niagalé Bagayoko*
Faced with security threats that are rapidly and constantly changing, and compounded by economic and social challenges that inhibit development ambitions in Africa, the question that is increasingly being asked is how to promote the participation of civil society in the management of public affairs and, in particular, political and security matters.
In its Constitutive Act, the African Union (AU) acknowledges “the need to build a partnership between governments and all segments of civil society, in particular women, youth and the private sector, in order to strengthen solidarity and cohesion among our peoples”. Furthermore, the AU plans to build its capacity to guarantee peace and protection for African citizens through common defence and security policies by 2063.
Through institutional reforms adopted in 2017, the AU is committed to becoming financially independent with regard to security affairs by increasing the contribution of its Member States to the “Peace Fund” and reducing that of international partners.
Without prejudice to what may actually happen to this fund and its utilization, there is one major hurdle that the AU must overcome to ensure sustainability of its actions in the area of peace and security: a complete change in the manner in which civil society is engaged, involved and considered is mandatory.
By enlisting the support of organized civil society in its various member countries, the AU could utilize them as effective allies, particularly in encouraging Member States to implement its principles, which provide for the involvement of populations in the management of public affairs.
The nature of current security threats – whether in the form of terrorism, violent extremism, trafficking in persons, drugs and arms at the trans-regional level or escalating organized crime and conflicts between communities at the national level – cannot be effectively addressed in the absence of a climate of trust between citizens and state authorities, including security forces and law enforcement.
Moreover, the “African Union Policy Framework on Security Sector Reform”, adopted by the Twentieth Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly in January 2013, emphasizes the role of civil society in security sector reform (SSR) and engages the latter (particularly in Section H) to actively interact with the AU as well as with Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Member States in this area. ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African States) also highlights in its “Policy Framework for Security Sector Reform and Governance” the key role that civil society should play in the oversight of security affairs.
However, there is no denying the fact that the reality falls far short of these principles in many African states, and the situation tends to worsen in certain countries where laws have been adopted that explicitly restrict, or even prohibit, the involvement of civil society organizations in security-related matters.
The AU is therefore suitably placed to combine its desire for financial reform and the need to foster change in the attitudes of its Member States for greater recognition of the oversight role of organized civil society in the areas of security and justice.
The increasingly important role played in the evolution of institutions and political and security situations by civil society in all of its forms, in a certain number of African countries, is a welcome development.
As an illustration, in 2014 it was observed that civil society in Burkina Faso, through movements such as the Balai Citoyen, were actively involved in actions that precipitated the departure of President Blaise Campaoré. They also played a key role in the failure of the attempted coup of 15 September 2015 led by the former presidential security regiment (RSP), security forces loyal to the deposed president.
This commitment helped to bring about an end to the crisis and the democratic appointment of a new president. Even before this historical wave of popular protests, the Balai Citoyen had focused its efforts on promoting dialogue between the populations and the armed forces, as well as improving the conditions of the military.
However, Burkina Faso today is subject to continuous attacks in the North along its border areas with Mali and Niger, gravely undermining the ability of defence and security forces to ensure the protection of the state and citizens in an effective and accountable manner. The government has identified security sector reform as a priority. It will be important to ensure in the process that civil society in Burkina Faso continue to have a space to advocate for the democratic management of security affairs.
In Africa, a long history of civil wars, armed conflicts, coup d’états, authoritarian military regimes and abuse by law enforcement officers has shaped the largely undemocratic operations of political and security institutions.
Defence and security services have long been at the exclusive service of ensuring the security of regimes in place. The challenge today is translating into action the officially stated, yet contradictory in practice, ambitions of many African states to promote both state security and that of the populations they are meant to serve.
The AU should rely on civil society organizations to help promote an approach to security and governance that focuses on the protection requirements of both citizens and state institutions.
The challenge in fact is ensuring that the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force enjoyed by states is subject to democratic supervision and citizen control, carried out by civil society organizations in particular.
There are, however, three key issues that should not be overlooked in order to promote effective collaboration between the AU and civil society organizations in the area of peace and security: legitimacy, representation and competition (especially in terms of access to public funds or from external donors), which now characterize the increasingly dynamic yet widely challenged (including by the populations) sphere in which African civil societies evolve.
*Mpako Foaleng (PhD) and Niagalé Bagayoko (PhD) are senior experts on security sector reform and governance.
Rawlings writes: The deceit of western propaganda
April 18, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Jerry John Rawlings*
Is the world not in a frame of mind to express gratitude to Putin and Russia for not firing back at those Western vessels?
I have spent many hours pondering over what to say to Macron and Theresa May. What to say to the knowledgeable statesmen and women of the world. What to say to the masses of this world whose ignorance and belief in the Western propaganda and deceit would have emboldened Macron, Theresa May and the blowman in the White House to do what they did Friday night.
I don’t know what I can say or do to make people wake up to the fact that Putin and Assad are innocent of the charges leveled against them.
What can I say to people around the world to make them realize that Macron, Theresa May and presumably Trump should all be aware that two other countries very much aligned to Britain, France and the US have been responsible for this gassing operation all this while.
If the masses of this world and the supposed intelligentsia cannot even see which two nations could very well be guilty of this gassing operation then they do not deserve the freedom and justice that is slowly but surely being curtailed by the savagery of capitalism.
The British have told this lie in a hysterical and passionate manner, while the French have told theirs in a cold and calculating manner.
If Theresa May, Macron, Trump, Boris Johnson, some selected personnel around them and their intelligence machinery are prepared to subject themselves to the polygraph test to prove to the world that they did not know that the allegations they were directing at Putin and Assad were false, and Putin and Assad to also prove their innocence which I believe in, I will spend the rest of my life apologizing to them (West) and wage a campaign telling the world what monsters Putin and Assad are.
If Assad the supposed monster were to be subjected to a polygraph test, I believe and I know that he will pass the test…his truth will pass the polygraph test. If Putin of Russia were to be subjected to a similar test, I believe and I know his truth will also pass the polygraph test. I also believe and know that if President Macron, Prime Minister Theresa May, Donald Trump and Boris Johnson were also subjected to the same test on a polygraph, their truth will fail the test and they know it. Assad and Putin are no saints but they definitely are not guilty of this monstrosity brewed in a Western pot.
Events of this kind have been staged many a time by warmongering nations and exploited for their own political ends.
Wars have broken out following the staging of these kinds of deceitful events. The last well known example was the one the US staged at the UN. By the time the truth had been established, America and her so-called allies had prosecuted the war against Iraq with its indefensible consequences.
On 11th April 2017, a similar staged gas attack was orchestrated right on the verge of a joint Assad/Putin victory in the Syrian conflict and the global outcry fed into Western agenda.
Almost to the date of the anniversary of this atrocious crime, it has been committed again when the Assad government has just about won the war.
The most recent attempt to stage and accuse Russia and more directly Putin was on British soil but was fortunately exposed by another British institution.
What other evidence did the world and its statesmen and women need to recognize the intentions of some of these Western nations? We all remained silent risking the probability of a World War.
Is the world so unaware of how close we came to the outbreak of war? We may therefore not be in the correct frame of mind to recognize the need to express our gratitude to God, Putin and Russia for the restraint they have exercised in this provocation. We must also congratulate the Russian and Syrian military for intercepting most of the recent missiles.
How could Theresa May, have fallen for this act? How could the capitalist West feel threatened and intimidated by a Russian leader who has earned the true respect, admiration and loyalty not only of his people, but the world at large?
The leadership of both China and Russia are providing the needed international stability while the US and her allies find their feet and their moral compass. The leadership of China and Russia appear to have adopted a sympathetic and supportive role to enable the West recover. In spite of this, the West and her allies are abusing human rights with downright impunity and insensitivity.
The cool-headedness of Putin as opposed to the desperation and sometimes hysterical behavior of certain Western leaders has made a heroic figure of Putin well beyond his borders.
A fine opportunity to create a better and stable world based on freedom, justice and morality is being undermined, being rejected in what appears to be a desperate attempt to restore a Cold War climate. Can’t leaders of this world speak out?
For those of us in the developing world, we only need to remind ourselves of the powers that kept the brutal apartheid regime propped up for so long. A cursory glance at the fate of Palestinians and Yemenis should tell us the callous creature that the savagery of capitalism has turned out to be since the collapse of the bipolar authority.
America and her allies have over the years appeared determined to maintain a unipolar power no matter what it takes through incidents of unjust wars, wanton provocation, intimidation and casting of judgment without trial.
If integrity, truthfulness and justice must give way to falsehood and deceit to enable them control and rule the world, so be it and to hell with it. If the integrity of intelligence operatives and others can be subjected to polygraph tests to ascertain their integrity and truthfulness, what puts politicians and others above the truth in circumstances of this nature?
*John Rawlings is former President of the Republic of Ghana
Blackmail will not Stop N22 bn NEMA Funds Probe- Reps
April 18, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Olayinka Ajayi
The Nigeria’s House of Representatives has said blackmail or campaign of calumny will not make it end its ongoing investigation into violation of public trust by National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
Reacting to reports in some national dailies, on the ongoing investigation by the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, Hon E.J Agbonayinma, said: ” The House is not fixated on any person in particular, but finding out the truth behind the allegations of diversion of N22 billion intervebtion funds.”
“We observed with dismay, the campaign of calumny sponsored to pitch the House against the Presidency, especially His Excellency the Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN.
“We, therefore, want to know if the council under the Vice President authorised the suspension of the directors.
“Notwithstanding, the provision of Section 89 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), empowers the National Assembly to invite any person to appear before it, or its Committee during investigations.
“The Committee resolved that His Excellency the Vice President can send anybody to represent him considering his busy schedules.
This Committee will leave no stone unturned until we unearth the truth”, he said.
The House further denied receiving a petition from suspended members of staff of NEMA, adding that they got to know about their suspension through a disclosure made by the director general, Engr. Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja, during one of the hearings.
“The issue of the suspended directors was mentioned by the Director General Engr. Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja himself during one of the Committee hearing, when he introduced a new Director of Finance and we sought to know what happened to the former director and he admitted to suspending them.
“The Committee also sought to know whether the suspension followed due process because these same directors are witnesses in the ongoing investigation.
“We will also not shield any public officer who soil their hands no matter how highly or lowly placed,” the lawmakers said.
The investigation is on the following releases from January to December, 2017;
- Release of 5.9B Food Intervention in the North East,
- Release of 3.1B Food Intervention in North East
- Release of 1.6B for Libya Returnees
- Release of 1.6B Flood Intervention for 16 States,
- Donation of 6,779 Metric Tons of Rice by Chinese Government.
- Payment of about N800Million Demurrage on the donated Rice by Chinese Rice
- The un-accounted 10Billion release from Ecological Funds.
Lauren: Africa’s teams at the World Cup will not get past last eight
April 18, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Stanley Kwenda*
Former Cameroon and Arsenal defender, Lauren, says none of the African teams at the World Cup will get past the quarter finals in Russia.
He says a combination of mismanagement and a difference in quality means Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco will struggle.
No African nation has made it past the last eight of the World Cup.
“I could say Africa will be in the semis, we’re going to win, but that’s not the reality,” he told BBC Sport.
“To be honest with you I can’t see any of them go further than the quarter finals.
“This is my honest opinion because we are still one step behind the top teams.
“I can’t see them challenge the Germans, Argentina, Spain or Brazil, they are not in that level.”
Lauren, who played at the 1998 and 2002 World Cup finals with Cameroon, is also unhappy with the way football is run on the continent.
“I don’t like to lie to people. I am very honest, I speak my mind because we don’t do things the right way,” the 41-year-old added.
“It happens in football, it happens in so many other African societies.”
He believes that his experience in football could benefit the running of the game in Africa.
“Politics is in my blood but I wouldn’t like to really got into politics,” the Arsenal ambassador explained.
“But maybe to try to help African football with the knowledge I have got about business and how to do things in a structural way.”
To date only three African nations have reached the last eight at the World Cup; first were Cameroon in 1990, followed by Senegal in 2002 and then most recently Ghana in 2010.
Morocco make a return to the World Cup for the first time since 1998. They were paired with Spain, European Champions Portugal and Iran.
Egypt are back after a 28-year absence and will play in a group alongside Russia, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay.
Tunisia are in a tough-looking group with Belgium, England and Panama.
Senegal will take on Poland, Columbia and Japan as they begin their bid to emulate their feats of 2002 in Japan and South Korea.
Nigeria, who are making their sixth appearance at the finals and in the same group as Argentina, Iceland and Croatia.
South Africa backs Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup
April 18, 2018 | 0 Comments
The South Africa Football Association (Safa) has pledged its ‘unqualified’ support for Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup.
Morocco is up against a joint bid from Canada/Mexico/United States and is aiming to become the second African country to host the World Cup after South Africa in 2010.
“It is an old myth that Africa doesn’t have the capacity and naysayers should stop using the political argument,” said Safa president Dr Danny Jordaan.
“Africa hosted the best Fifa World Cup ever and with good support, Morocco can emulate South Africa,” the Safa President added.
Morocco are making their fifth bid to host the tournament.
They have previously campaigned for the right to organise the 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010 editions.
Former Cameroon goalkeeper, Joseph-Antoine Bell, is visiting South Africa as part of a delegation representing the Morocco bid.
“South Africa showed the way and I am confident Morocco will follow suit. The country has international standards; from the stadiums to top infrastructure. Morocco can compete with the best in the world,” Bell said.
“Morocco needs South Africa’s voice, it is the loudest voice on the continent,” added the Cameroonian.
The hosts for the 2026 World Cup will be decided in Russia on 13 June
Visa fraud: Akufo-Addo suspends NSA board chair
April 17, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Papisdaff Abdullah
President of the Republic of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has suspended from office, with immediate effect, the chairperson of the Board of the National Sports Authority, Kwadwo Baah Agyeman.
His suspension follows the arrest and deportation of over 50 Ghanaians who were illegally entering Australia for the just ended Commonwealth Games.
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia communicated the decision of President Akufo-Addo to Mr. Baah Agyeman on following the absence from the jurisdiction of the President, who is attending the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, United Kingdom.
Last week, President Akufo-Addo suspended the Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Pius Enam Hadzide and the acting Director General of the National Sports Authority,Robert Sarfo Mensah over the same issue.
“The decision to suspend Hon. Kwadwo Baah Agyeman has been taken following preliminary investigations conducted into the circumstances that led to the arrest of some sixty (60) Ghanaians, who had allegedly attempted to enter Australia by false pretences, at the 21st Commonwealth Games,” a statement from the presidency said.
“The three officials, together with the President of the Ghana Olympic Committee, Mr. Ben Nunoo Mensah; and the Chef-de-Maison for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Mr Mohammed Sahnoon, are to assist the Criminal Investigations Department of the Police Service in the ongoing investigations into the matter,” the statement added.
Ghana will share development experiences with Liberia – Vice President
April 17, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Papisdaff Abdullah
Vice president of the Republic of Ghana Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has assured Liberia that Ghana is ready to share experiences as they seek to move on as a country.
The ties between Ghana and Liberia will also be strengthened as the two nations explore ways to share knowledge and help meet the aspirations of their citizens, Dr. Bawumia stressed when the Vice President of Liberia, Jewel Cianeh Howard Taylor, paid a courtesy call on him at the Jubilee House, Accra.
Citing the challenges the Nana Akufo-Addo government faced when it assumed office about 15 months ago and the strides made since then, Vice President Bawumia assured Mrs Taylor that her country’s fortunes could be turned around with dedication and hard work.
“Issues such as stabilising the macro economy, restoring business confidence and making the education curriculum relevant to the needs of the people of Liberia are key”, Dr. Bawumia stated, adding “ensuring value addition to agricultural products and a policy of infrastructure development and industrialization would also go a long way to provide jobs for the youth.”
On her part, Mrs. Taylor indicated she and her team are in Ghana to learn from her experiences and share ideas on how to develop Liberia and the sub region as a whole.
They would also explore the possibility of engaging the services of retired Ghanaian doctors and teachers to help strengthen the capacity of Liberian institutions, she announced.
Mrs. Taylor expressed the gratitude of Liberians for Ghana’s assistance during the war period and even after, when a large number of refugees were hosted at Buduburam in the Central Region, declaring, “Ghana has become like home to us.”
Ghana exports power to Ivory Coast, Togo – Amuna
April 17, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Papisdaff Abdullah
The former CEO of the Ghana Grid Company Limited (Gridco), Ing William Amuna, has disclosed Ghana for the past few days exports power to Ivory Coast, Benin and Togo.
“Through our collective effort, we have been able to restore electricity supply to Ghana. Today, we have over 25percent of our installed capacity on standby and we do not import power,” he said at an Energy forum by Siemens.
“We export power. In fact, for the past few days Ghana has been exporting 100 megawats to La Cote d’Ivoire… for the past three days. I guess they have a few problem within their system. Togo has a similar problem and for the past three days not only at peak we give them about 120 megawats,” he added.
The CEO of Siemens Ghana Edmund Acheampong on his part, attributed the growth being witnessed in the Ghanaian economy to the recent stability in the supply of electricity in the country.
“In 2015…as my fellow Ghanaians will recall, at the highest of the energy challenges in Ghana, we all saw the crippling effect it had on the economy.
“However, from late 2016 till date we see gradual improvements in the supply of electricity for industrial and domestic use [and] we are beginning to see the Ghanaian economy revitalized as a result,” he said.
Ghana’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the year 2017 grew by 8.5 percent, according to the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS). Also, per provisional trade data from the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Ghana in the first two months of 2018 recorded a trade surplus of US$584.5million.
Mr. Acheampong, who was also speaking at Siemens Customer Day forum, continued, saying: “This underscores the importance of the electrification as a catalyst for economic growth.”
Acknowledging the country’s growing population, from about 24 million in 2010 to 29 million in 2018, he said “the impact of this on the economy, the country’s energy needs is obvious…as government together with businesses scale up industrialization across the country, Ghana’s [energy] needs will expand.”
On that note, he said “Siemens is here to provide the cutting age technology and solutions for Ghana,” as the need for adequate power generation and supply for both domestic and industrial use becomes more urgent with the increasing population numbers.
Making reference to Siemen’s legacy in Ghana over the past two years in oil and gas, industrialization and energy, Mr. Acheampong said through partnership with local firms his outfit is contributing close to 330 megawats of power into the national grid.
In addition, he said Siemens is supplying three compression trench to support the gas compressing station.
Together with Rotan Energy, Mr. Acheampong said Siemens will develop and build the most “efficient” and environmentally friendly thermal plant in Ghana with the capacity of about 660 megawats.
Ghana is a haven of peace to invest – Akufo-Addo
April 17, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Papisdaff Abdullah
President of the Republic of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has told investors and business leaders from the UK that Ghana is the ideal place in the West African region to invest and conduct business.
“Ghana is a haven of peace, security and stability, a country where the principles of democratic accountability are now firmly entrenched in its body politic, and where the separation of powers is real, to promote accountable governance.” The Ghanaian Head of State said.
Delivering the keynote address at the 2nd edition of the UK-Ghana Investment Summit, organized by the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce, President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that his government is keen on establishing a business-friendly economy to attract foreign direct investments to exploit Ghana’s great potential on mutually satisfactory terms.
Stressing that investments are protected in fact and in law in Ghana, the President assured that “the rule of law in Ghana is not a slogan, but an operating principle of state development. We want to participate in the global market place, not on the basis of the exports of raw materials, but on the basis of things we make.”
The President continued, “We want to bring greater dignity to the lives of millions of people in Ghana. We want to build a Ghana Beyond Aid. I believe very strongly that Ghana is on the cusp of a new, bold beginning, which will repudiate the recent culture of failure.”
Private sector key
President Akufo-Addo indicated that his Government is of the firm conviction that the role of the private sector in the development of our national economy is crucial, adding that “it is the very essence of our economic philosophy, and has been so for 70 odd years.”
In furtherance of this, he stated that over the past 15 months in office, his administration has set about putting in place the measures needed to reduce the cost of doing business and improve the business environment in Ghana.
The President noted that “our actions have resulted in the growing stability of the macro-economy and the cedi, reduction in inflation, and an abolition of nuisance taxes whose aim is to shift the focus of the economy from taxation to production.”
The “effective economic policies” put in place, he said, have ensured that the fiscal deficit, which stood at 9.5% at the end of 2016, has been reduced to 5.6% at the end of 2017, and is projected to go down to 4.5% in 2018.
Inflation, the President added, has declined from 15.6% at the end of 2016 to 10.4% at the end of March this year, and is expected to decline even further to an end-of-year single digit target of 8.9%; with economic growth increasing from 3.6% in 2016 to 8.5% in 2017.
The President stressed that “as a result of appropriate policy, and the normalisation of the power situation in Ghana, these interventions have also led to the revival of Ghanaian industry, from a growth rate of negative 0.5% in 2016 to 17.7% in 2017. Interest rates are declining, and we are now witnessing a more stable cedi, our national currency. Our macro-economy is growing stronger.”
At the same time, President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that Government has implemented specific measures which are leading Ghana and her economy into the new digital age.
These, he said, include the introduction of an e-business registration system, a paperless port clearance system, a digital addressing system, a mobile interoperability system, and a national identification card system, all of which are designed to formalise the Ghanaian economy, reduce the cost of doing business, and facilitate interaction between businesses and their clients, particularly in a technology-driven era, where connectivity through digital services is an important element in achieving competitiveness.
A key challenge of Ghana’s economy, like many other economies in Africa, the President said, is its infrastructural deficit.
He told the gathering that Ghana is embarking on an aggressive public-private-partnership programme to attract investment in the development of both the country’s road and railway infrastructure.
“We are hopeful that, with solid private sector participation, we can develop a modern railway network with strong production centre linkages and with the potential to connect us to our neighbours to the north, i.e. Burkina Faso, to the west, i.e. Cote d’Ivoire, and to the east, i.e. Togo. We believe that this is an area where British technology and expertise would be very welcome,” he said.
He added that “there are several projects in roads, water transport, industry, manufacturing, agriculture, petroleum and gas, renewable energy, the exploitation of our mineral wealth of bauxite, iron ore and gold, and the ICT sector, amongst others, which are being structured to attract private sector financing.”
Amid 2019 Elections: I am more concerned with Nigeria’s economy, security — President Buhari
April 17, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Olayinka Ajayi
Nigeria’s President Muhmmadu Buhari has said issues of security and the economy are more important to him than the 2019 elections.
According to the Presidential Spokes man Femi Adesina “The three-pronged focus of the current administration resonated through the meeting.”
“We have elections next year, politicians are already preoccupied with the polls, but I am bothered more about security and the economy.”
Buhari added :” It was a mistake for us to have stopped the teaching of history as a subject in schools, but we are returning it to the curriculum now,”
“British companies like Unilever, Cadbury, and many others have stood with Nigeria through thick and thin. Even when we fought a Civil War, they never left.
“We are encouraging more British companies to come to Nigeria. We appreciate the support you have given in training and equipping our military, particularly in the war against insurgency, but we want to also continue to work with you on trade and investment.”
Briefing May on the strides in the education sector, Buhari said more investment was being made, because “people can look after themselves if well educated. In this age of technology, education is very important. We need well-staffed and well-equipped institutions to move into the next generation”.
Responding, May said Britain would continue to work with Nigeria in the areas of training and equipping the military.
She was particular about the abduction of young schoolgirls by Boko Haram, noting that Britain would continue to give Nigeria needed assistance.
The prime minister said the Buhari administration has “been making good progress on the economy,” and urged it to maintain the focus, despite approaching elections, and increase in political activities.
On education and climate change, she declared: “Good grounding in education is good. It is important to equip young people for today’s world. It is also a good bastion and defence against modern slavery. The issue of the environment and climate change is very important, because of its impact on many countries in the Commonwealth. Stability at home is important, to curb illegal migration.”
Siemens aims at boosting Ghana’s economy with jobs
April 17, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Papisdaff Abdullah
Ghana’s steady socio-economic development over the past few years has made it one of Africa’s fastest growing success stories, but in order to compete with the world’s strongest nations more investment in energy infrastructure and skills development is required.
With the prospect of an even better Ghana on the cards, organizations in collaboration with government institutions have an opportunity and responsibility to assist the country in achieving economic success.
“Our presence in Ghana is rooted in working towards the development of the country. As an integral part of the nation’s corporate community, Siemens is resolute in playing its role and contributing towards creating jobs and developing skills. This commitment is strongly enshrined in the Business To Society ethos that defines how we run our business operations in Ghana,” says Edmund Acheampong, Country Manager for Siemens in Ghana.
Although positive strides have been made, the work to eradicate the triple threat of unemployment, poverty and inequality is part of our core focus in Ghana. Every contribution, no matter how small in the context of the challenges has to be shared.
The legacy of the company extends across various sectors and industries including the Oil and Gas, Transportation, Manufacturing and Energy industries.
Over the past two years, Siemens has made a considerable investment in Ghana’s energy industry. Through partnerships with local businesses, the company has rolled out the largest steam plant in the country contributing 330 megawatts (MW) to the national grid and has also been contracted to deliver three gas compression packages.
“For Siemens, powering Ghana is imperative. Energy is a crucial part of economic production and therefore economic growth, and without it, communities and businesses cannot function effectively,” says Mr. Acheampong.
The company has also recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to build one of the most efficient combined cycle power plants with a capacity of 660 MW.
Mr. Acheampong continues, “Siemens’ contribution to the Ghanaian economy goes beyond its business investments; the company always wants to make a meaningful impact and to empower citizens in communities that the business operates.”
The company is investing intensively to support Ghana’s education system; it has joined forces with various higher learning institutions in the region to help empower young, upcoming engineers and technology enthusiasts through the donation of Automation and Training Equipment worth €25,000.00. The equipment presented to these universities will afford students an opportunity to gain practical experience, and assist them in getting industry ready.
In February, the company visited the Village of Hope, to present the children with food, clothing, personal hygiene products, and to renovate to their orphanage. Mr. Acheampong adds, “These children are the future of Ghana and investing in their future will not only benefit them but will in turn benefit the country. It is important to give them a sense of and hope and motivation to work hard at fulfilling their dreams, and with these basic necessities it is possible.”
“Ghana has the potential to compete against some of the world’s best economies and through cooperation between government institutions and private organisations, it is possible. Siemens will continue to support Ghana, its communities and its people to help the country reach its full potential,” Mr. Acheampong added.