Mr Simon Agbango, the Bawku West District Chief Executive has expressed satisfaction at the progress of work of the rural Electrification Project in the district.
Mr Agbango said about 70 per cent of communities chosen to benefit from the Electrification Project had received the support and called on communities that had not been covered to exercise patience as they would be covered in the second phase of the project.
The DCE made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, in Zebilla, in the Upper East Region.

He however alerted communities benefitting from the electrification project, referred to as the Thengashep Project, to desist from paying monies to sub-contractors carrying out work in the communities, saying “it is not acceptable to pay money for services that had been contracted”.
Mr Agbango reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring that rural communities were connected to the national grid and warned people who were behind the payment of the illegal fees to stop immediately.
- See more at: Simon Agbango, the Bawku West District Chief Executive has expressed satisfaction at the progress of work of the rural Electrification Project in the district.
Mr Agbango said about 70 per cent of communities chosen to benefit from the Electrification Project had received the support and called on communities that had not been covered to exercise patience as they would be covered in the second phase of the project.
The DCE made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, in Zebilla, in the Upper East Region.

He however alerted communities benefitting from the electrification project, referred to as the Thengashep Project, to desist from paying monies to sub-contractors carrying out work in the communities, saying “it is not acceptable to pay money for services that had been contracted”.
Mr Agbango reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring that rural communities were connected to the national grid and warned people who were behind the payment of the illegal fees to stop immediately.
- See more at:

Mr Simon Agbango, the Bawku West District Chief Executive has expressed satisfaction at the progress of work of the rural Electrification Project in the district.
Mr Agbango said about 70 per cent of communities chosen to benefit from the Electrification Project had received the support and called on communities that had not been covered to exercise patience as they would be covered in the second phase of the project.
The DCE made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, in Zebilla, in the Upper East Region.

He however alerted communities benefitting from the electrification project, referred to as the Thengashep Project, to desist from paying monies to sub-contractors carrying out work in the communities, saying “it is not acceptable to pay money for services that had been contracted”.
Mr Agbango reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring that rural communities were connected to the national grid and warned people who were behind the payment of the illegal fees to stop immediately.
- See more at:

Mr Simon Agbango, the Bawku West District Chief Executive has expressed satisfaction at the progress of work of the rural Electrification Project in the district.
Mr Agbango said about 70 per cent of communities chosen to benefit from the Electrification Project had received the support and called on communities that had not been covered to exercise patience as they would be covered in the second phase of the project.
The DCE made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, in Zebilla, in the Upper East Region.

He however alerted communities benefitting from the electrification project, referred to as the Thengashep Project, to desist from paying monies to sub-contractors carrying out work in the communities, saying “it is not acceptable to pay money for services that had been contracted”.
Mr Agbango reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring that rural communities were connected to the national grid and warned people who were behind the payment of the illegal fees to stop immediately.
- See more at:

Mr Simon Agbango, the Bawku West District Chief Executive has expressed satisfaction at the progress of work of the rural Electrification Project in the district.
Mr Agbango said about 70 per cent of communities chosen to benefit from the Electrification Project had received the support and called on communities that had not been covered to exercise patience as they would be covered in the second phase of the project.
The DCE made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, in Zebilla, in the Upper East Region.

He however alerted communities benefitting from the electrification project, referred to as the Thengashep Project, to desist from paying monies to sub-contractors carrying out work in the communities, saying “it is not acceptable to pay money for services that had been contracted”.
Mr Agbango reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring that rural communities were connected to the national grid and warned people who were behind the payment of the illegal fees to stop immediately.
- See more at:

Mr Simon Agbango, the Bawku West District Chief Executive has expressed satisfaction at the progress of work of the rural Electrification Project in the district.
Mr Agbango said about 70 per cent of communities chosen to benefit from the Electrification Project had received the support and called on communities that had not been covered to exercise patience as they would be covered in the second phase of the project.
The DCE made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, in Zebilla, in the Upper East Region.

He however alerted communities benefitting from the electrification project, referred to as the Thengashep Project, to desist from paying monies to sub-contractors carrying out work in the communities, saying “it is not acceptable to pay money for services that had been contracted”.
Mr Agbango reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring that rural communities were connected to the national grid and warned people who were behind the payment of the illegal fees to stop immediately.
- See more at:

Mr Simon Agbango, the Bawku West District Chief Executive has expressed satisfaction at the progress of work of the rural Electrification Project in the district.
Mr Agbango said about 70 per cent of communities chosen to benefit from the Electrification Project had received the support and called on communities that had not been covered to exercise patience as they would be covered in the second phase of the project.
The DCE made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, in Zebilla, in the Upper East Region.

He however alerted communities benefitting from the electrification project, referred to as the Thengashep Project, to desist from paying monies to sub-contractors carrying out work in the communities, saying “it is not acceptable to pay money for services that had been contracted”.
Mr Agbango reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring that rural communities were connected to the national grid and warned people who were behind the payment of the illegal fees to stop immediately.
- See more at:

Rural electrification project in Zebilla on course – DCE - See more at:

Rural electrification project in Zebilla on course – DCE 

Mr Simon Agbango, the Bawku West District Chief Executive has expressed satisfaction at the progress of work of the rural Electrification Project in the district.
Mr Agbango said about 70 per cent of communities chosen to benefit from the Electrification Project had received the support and called on communities that had not been covered to exercise patience as they would be covered in the second phase of the project.
The DCE made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, in Zebilla, in the Upper East Region.

He however alerted communities benefitting from the electrification project, referred to as the Thengashep Project, to desist from paying monies to sub-contractors carrying out work in the communities, saying “it is not acceptable to pay money for services that had been contracted”.
Mr Agbango reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring that rural communities were connected to the national grid and warned people who were behind the payment of the illegal fees to stop immediately.

Tamale SDA Hospital turns away NHIS subscribers

The Tamale Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Hospital on Monday refused treatment to subscribers of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in line with a directive from the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG)
CHAG last week threatened to stop medical services to NHIS subscribers beginning from this week if government failed to honour its indebtedness to its (CHAG) members, who are mission hospitals.
When GNA visited the SDA Hospital late Monday morning, most patients who arrived for treatment were not being attended to forcing them to go to other hospitals which were not missionary hospitals.
The Tamale SDA Hospital Authorities, who did not want to be named, said the hospital was only attending to patients who were on admission before today, Monday March 11, and other emergency cases.
It said other new cases would have to be treated on a cash and carry basis, which most of the new arrivals could not afford.
Meanwhile, government through the National Health Insurance Authority has indicated its preparedness to settle the indebtedness today, Monday March 11.
Source: GNA

Upper East Regional Minister to develop blue print

 Dr Ephraim Nsoh, Upper East Regional Minister at the weekend gave the assurance that he would not be “an armed chair Regional Minister” but rather strive to promote the development of the area.
He said plans are far advanced to bring technocrats and other knowledgeable people together to draw up a development blue print for the Region.
Speaking at the weekend, during his official assumption of duty he assured the people that he would operate an open door policy so that everybody would be brought on board to offer good suggestions for development.
He offered hands of friendship to journalists in the Region but cautioned them to be circumspect and objective in their reportage.
On education, Dr Nsoh noted that since it is the key to unlocking poverty he had established Educational Support Fund at Vea.
He said a Regional Educational Support Fund is also in the pipeline to cater for brilliant but needy students.
Dr Nsoh said he would work with the Ministry of Health and donor partners to ensure good incentive packages to attract doctors and health professionals to the Region.
He said another area he would tackle is the empowerment of the youth and women groups to build their capacity to curb the rural- urban migration.
Prior to his appointment, Dr Nsoh was the Head of Department, Department of Gur-Gonja Languages Education of the University of Education, Winneba.
He holds a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Ghana and Attestation (proficiency in French), Université de Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso among other qualifications.
Source: GNA

Bunkpurugu MP advocates road map to bring peace in his area

Boar, Namliit Solomon
  Mr Solomon Boar, Member of Parliament (MP) for Bunkpurugu, has called for far-reaching stakeholder consultations to prepare a comprehensive roadmap to resolve the intermittent clashes between Bimobas and Konkombas dwelling in Kpemali once and for all.
“When a comprehensive plan is formulated through wider stakeholder consultation better ideas would come up to address the perennial cultural, economic, social and educational challenges confronting the people, particularly the young ones in the area,” he stressed.
The roadmap to peace in Kpemali will afford stakeholders the opportunity to revisit important points in the previous peace process and review them so that the challenges found would be dealt with systematically.
Mr Boar made the call on Saturday in an interview with the Ghana News Agency to explain the steps being taken to find a lasting solution to the clashes between the two ethnic groups.
He suggested the need for the tackling of the underlining causes of ignorance, abject poverty and cultural barriers that breeds antagonism, suspicion and apprehension among the people to end the conflict.
Mr Boar noted that the unique culture and background of the people calls for an elaborate plan and broader consultations to make Kpemali conflict free.
He said what people need to understand is that the recent clash in the area was not a war between Bimobas and Konkombas as speculated in the media.
“The two groups are play mates and have been co-habiting for centuries. There is a strong bond between them.
“The impression created in the public sphere that there is a fight between Bimobas and Konkombas is wrong and does not help in finding long-lasting peace because it creates unnecessary tension and apprehension in other parts of the country.”
Mr Boar appealed to journalists to be circumspect in the use of words in their reportage in order not to touch the sensitivity of the people.
He added that the media should not only be interested in reporting on the causes, history and the outcome of the conflict but equally help prescribe solutions to the problem.
The MP applauded the Northern Regional Security Council for restoring calm to the community and appealed to the opinion leaders, traditional rulers and the youth to support the security agencies to maintain peace.
Mr Boar spoke against the destruction of lives and property, which often accompanied such conflicts and asked government to commit resources to address the economic and social challenges fueling such security problems.
Source: GNA

Tamale NGO invents new numeral and mathematical symbols

 Development Concern Centre (DCC), a Tamale-based NGO, has invented numerals and signs to aid effective teaching and learning and complement the government’s effort towards reducing illiteracy in the country.
When adopted by the country’s educational system, the new numeral research, which has been verified and certified by the University of Education, Winneba, could make counting and numbering easier in the various local dialects.
Speaking at a ceremony to christen a book on the initiative, the Director of DCC, Mr Amadu Hudu, said research on the new numerals commenced 18 years ago and if given the needed support, could facilitate speedy development, as well as encourage the study of mathematics nationwide.
The 10-page book shows the new numerals starting from zero to 100 and various mathematics signs, while simple mathematical problems such as five minus two have been solved.
Students from the Ghana Secondary School and their teachers demonstrated how they could be used in calculation. Most people who took part in the test demonstration said it was easier than the orthodox figures currently in use.
Mr Hudu said countries such as Germany, Japan and China could not have developed if not because of the adoption and nationalisation of critical inventions such as this.
“Our market women who could not even read the missionary numerals, understood and used the new numeral effectively during the various demonstrations, because they were less difficult to understand,” he said.
Mr Hudu said the centre would continue to do more novelty research to come up with many initiatives to improve upon the nation’s educational system and facilitate development in the country.
Zangbalum-Bomahe Naa Amadu, Director of the Northern Region Population Council, commended the NGO and called on the government to adopt the new numerals and give it the needed support to scale it up.
He said the self-explanatory nature of the numerals would help the about 71 per cent of females   in the region who could not read and write.

Bimobas-Konkombas clashes: 843 students may not sit for BECE, WASSCE

A total of 691 candidates of the Nankpanduri Senor High School (SHS) registered for the WASSE, may not be able to sit for their exams if pragmatic steps are not put in place to find lasting solution to the renewed conflict between Bimobas and Konkombas.
Similarly, 152 Junior High School candidates may not take part in the upcoming Basic Education Certificate Examination slated for April in the area within the Bunpurungu Yonyo District of the Northern Region
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Nankpanduri, Chief Kuipo Harrison Salifu, Headmaster of the School, said the centre of the examination, which is the Nakpanduri SHS is near Kpemale, the conflict flash point.
He described the past and recent incidences as devastating, adding that June 2012 clash traumatized many students due to exchange of fire that shocked the school’s compound.
He said the continued occurrence of the clash, which started about 28 years ago, could force authorities to indefinitely close down the school with a population of 1,400 students.
“Look at what happened recently, we were celebrating the 56th Independence Day and the occasion ended abruptly…this is not good for this country the early something is done the better,” he said.
He said the issue would be raised for discussion with the Conference of Head of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) as to what step to take if the tension continued at their pending meeting.
Mr Solomon Boa, Member of Parliament for Bunkpurugu, appealed to leaders of the two factions to ponder on the issue and advised their followers to resort to dialogue to address their problem.
“We have only one country and it is our responsibility as leaders and as community members to ensure that it is safe”, he said.
Master Peter Naa, a final year student at Nankpanduri SHS, called on government to help settle the conflict in the area.
Although there are different schools of thought as to the root cause of the ethnic clash, Superintendent Alhaji Mahama Arhin, Northern Regional Crime Officer of the Ghana Police Service, however said the two ethnic groups had been at loggerheads for a very long time over some parcels of lands and any minor misunderstanding always resulted in attacks on each other.
Currently there is a heavy Police and Military Patrol in the area to maintain peace and protect lives and property.
Source: GNA

Alleged witches must be integrated into LEAD programme – ActionAid

ActionAid-Ghana and Songtaba, both non-governmental organizations, have appealed to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to work with the Department of Social Welfare to enroll all alleged witches onto the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme to ensure their sustainable livelihood.
The NGOs through the Reintegration of Alleged Witches Committee also called on the government, ministries, agencies and the general public to make it a priority to protect the vulnerable women particularly
women accused of witchcraft practices to make their lives positive.
Mr. Mahama Amadu Jaama, Secretary of the Committee on Reintegration was addressing the press in Tamale on Friday as part of activities to mark the International Women’s Day celebration on the theme: “The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum”.
He said the region is host to six witches camps with a population of 567 stressing that their living conditions in the camps were devastating and worse than refugees’ camps, adding that ‘food, clothing and shelter are woefully inadequate to deal with their basic needs’.
He said even though the government in 2011 promised to integrate the alleged witches and close all the camps, very little had been done by the government to redeem its promise. He noted that the government even lacked the road map or concrete strategies to carry out that action.
Mr. Jaama said with the support from ActionAid and Songtaba, the Committee successfully reintegrated 38 alleged witches to their communities through community sensitization against fresh cases, providing technical support to the camps.
He said even though much efforts were being made to stop all new cases, 19 new cases were recorded across the camps, a situation the Committee regretted and appealed to communities where such negative cultural practices were taking place to stop since it was an affront to their human rights.
Assistant Superintendent of Police, Emmanuel Holortu, Northern Regional Coordinator of Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DVVSU) described the conditions in the witches camps as dehumanizing and a violation of their fundamental human rights stressing that the Police would not take it kindly with people who abused others just on mere suspicion without concrete prove.
He observed that witchcraft accusations in the region were seasonal and tailored towards economic bases without its universal trend, saying ‘the accusations in the northern parts of the country were economically based’.
Some of the alleged witches who were at the press conference expressed their desire to return home to join their families but expressed the fear of being stigmatized and socially excluded from their kid and kind.
One of the alleged witches; Madam Gumah Wuni from the Gambaga Camp, who was reintegrated, had returned to the camp because of social exclusion explaining that she had lost most of her dependants on return home hence her return.
Source: GNA

SADA commissions office complex in Tamale

 The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) on Saturday commissioned its new office complex in Tamale with a call on staff to be pro-active in ensuring that the development agenda of the authority was achieved.
The new multi-purpose office complex, located at the industrial area, in the premises of the former Ghana Cotton Company, was commissioned by Alhaji Dr. Mustapha Ahmed, Minister of State at the Office of the President in Charge of Development Authorities including SADA.
The occasion was witnessed by the board members of SADA, chiefs and people of the area.
Alhaji Dr. Ahmed charged the Chief Executive Officer and staff of SADA to eschew mediocrity saying that “I will not accept any excuses of failure”.
He assured the public of the commitment of the government in delivering its promise of accelerated development in the Savannah zones, noting that 11,000 households and over 8,000 hectares of lands have already been cultivated with various crops, which was yielding positive results.
Mr. Alhassan Andani, the Board Chairman of SADA said the commissioning of the office complex would silence the critics who say SADA was ineffective because it did not have an office.
He said government in 2011 and 2012 released GHc60 million for the activities of SADA while the seed capital of GHc200 million promised SADA had been released for the efficient running of the organization.
Mr. Andani reminded the people that SADA was not a single project but series of projects which cuts across agriculture, health, education and social development, with the aim of creating development through job creation.
He charged all those who have been given the opportunity to contribute to SADA’s development to discharge their duties passionately, assuring that the board will deliver its mandate of making the authority a success.
Alhaji Gilbert Seidu Iddi, Chief Executive Officer of SADA stated that, the authority within its short period existence had increased production of some cereals from initial the 1.5 metric tons to 4.9 metric tons per hectare and promised that very soon most of its initiatives would begin to yield positive results.
He said SADA’s dry season farming was on course while 5,000,000 trees under the afforestation project had been positive, noting that the guinea fowl project, under the SADA had also started producing chicken for consumers.
Mr. Moses Bukari Mabengba, Caretaker Northern Regional Minister advised SADA to be very careful not to fail the people of the promise of bridging the North-South development gap.
Source: GNA

25 girls receive scholarships under SADA/MVP programme

 International Women’s Day was celebrated at Fumbisi, Builsa South District in the Upper East Region on Friday with the award of scholarships to 25 needy but brilliant girl.
The scholarships were under the “Connect to Learn” scholarship programme of Savannah Accelerated Development Authority/ Millennium Village Project (MVP).
The event was on the theme: “If you educate a man you educate an individual but if you educate a  girl you educate a whole nation.”
The students would be pursuing various areas of their studies in Wulugu Senior High School (SHS) and Walewale SHS in West Mamprusi District in the Northern Region and Bolgatanga, Navrongo, Sandema and Fumbisi SHSs in the Upper East Region.
Mr James Sumbo, Team leader of MVP said the project being implemented for the next five years in the two regions is under the sponsorship of UK Department For International Development.
It is meant to ensure that  the Millennium Development Goals that  targets the reduction of  poverty, improving food security  and increased access to education is achieved.
Out of a total amount of $12,500, each of the award winners received 500 dollars for the payment of their school fees for two years. They are also being supported to establish Information Communication Centre learning centres.
Mr Sumbo said emphasis on mainstreaming gender in all aspects of MVP was critical to ensure the discovery of the full potential of the girl- child.
He added that as part of MVP education programme, 2000 dual desks and teachers desks would be provided to schools in the catchment areas in West Mamprusi,  Moaduri in Yagba and Builsa North.
He said MVP also had plans to support 300 boys and 300 girls in their various levels of educational pursuit.
Mr Sumbo said 10 motor bikes have been donated to community health centres in the project areas to facilitate their work whilst 15 tractors were  also distributed to support women in land preparation.
Ms Teresa Baveng, Gender Officer, indicated that apart from ensuring that all programmes were gender mainstreamed, MVP also run women and girls along activities to empower them to improve their lives.
She said problems confronting the growth of women include land and property ownership as well as low resource for them to carry out farming and irrigational activities.
Mr Norbert Awulley, District Chief Executive called for a reflection on the important roles women play in the society and the need to treat them as special since they formed  majority of the population.
He advised parents to give their girl- children equal support and attention.
Ms Cynthia Alhassan, an award winner thanked MVP on behalf of her colleagues for the support and assured them of learning to reach higher heights.
Source: GNA

Canada launches $2.6m climate change project for farmers in Northern Ghana

The Canadian Hunger Foundation (CHF) on March 5, 2013 announced a $2.6 million project to support women and other vulnerable farmers in northern Ghana to adapt to increasingly erratic rainfall and rising temperatures in the region.
Titled the Expanding Climate Change Resilience in Northern Ghana (ECCRING), the CHF said the project will build on earlier successes in the region by expanding into 18 new rural communities to increase harvests and augment incomes.
About 10,000 vulnerable rural women and men are expected to receive direct support through the project, which is benefitting approximately 50,000 people in total.
Household food security and income are both expected to increase by 35% over the 15 months of the project which is being funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and CHF and implemented in partnership with the local Association of Church-Based Development NGOs (ACDEP).
“Rising temperatures, less predictable rainfall and shorter growing seasons are all making it harder for farmers— especially women —to support their families in northern Ghana,” President and CEO of CHF Garry Comber said in a statement.
According to officials, the project will raise awareness of the negative impacts of climate change and how they can be reduced, and will improve the capacity of regional organizations, districts, communities and beneficiaries to address climate change and manage natural disasters.
New farming techniques and technologies will also be introduced to increase the use of drought-tolerant crops and improve livestock production methods, the CHF added.
“CIDA is proud to partner with the Canadian Hunger Foundation to help increase the adoption of climate-resilient livelihood strategies and technologies by farmers in Northern Ghana,” said Canada’s Minister of International Cooperation, Julian Fantino.
Protecting and enhancing natural resources will also be a focus, including growing more trees and controlling bush fires, the CHF stated.
By Ekow Quandzie

Rocky Rocks Music Week

International reggae artiste and songwriter Rocky Dawuni yesterday gave an impressive live performance at the much anticipated Ghana Music Week (GMW) organized by the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA).
The seven-day music festival, which started on Monday, March 4, has a series of power packed events to keep music loving Ghanaians hyper throughout the festival.
Rocky, who has appeared in various concerts with Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel, Jason Mraz, Shaggy and K’naan among others, performed most of his hit songs at the event which attracted music lovers from all walks of life.
Soon after his performance, the reggae superstar said he was happy that the Ghana Music Week had provided an opportunity for all Ghanaian musicians to come together and work as a team to move the music industry forward.
Rocky Dawuni has performed on stages around the world including the Hollywood Bowl and his music has been featured on popular US television shows like ‘ER’, ‘Weeds’ and ‘Dexter’, as well as on Electronic Arts video game FIFA 08, FIFA 10 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africa.
 Source: NEWSONE

Tamale Poly sacks 120 students for exam malpractices

One hundred and twenty students of the Tamale Polytechnic have been rusticated for indulging in examination malpractices.
The action was taken by the authorities of the institution following recommendations made by its examination malpractices committee after investigating the case against the students.
According to the Assistant Registrar of the Tamale Polytechnic in-charge of Public Relations, Mr Wumbei Abdulai, the affected students were caught cheating during the last semester examination.
Their modus operandi included copying, sneaking of foreign materials into examination halls and impersonation.
The committee has also served warning letters to students whose conduct bothered on “minimal academic misbehaviour” 
Such students have, therefore, been advised to either reform their behaviour or would also be sacked.
Names of the dismissed students are to be published in the media to serve as deterrent to others.
Mr Abdulai explained that the disciplinary action was in conformity with the National Board for Professional and Technician Examinations (NAPTEX) rules and regulations and that the rusticated students had the opportunity to continue their studies with the institute after two years.
He said the disciplinary action was also part of measures instituted by the polytechnic to weed out indisciplined students from the system in an effort to rebrand the image of the polytechnic.
Mr Abdulai advised students to desist from the habits of cheating and rather commit themselves to serious studies to become resourceful not only to themselves but their communities and the nation in future.
On the way forward for the polytechnic, Mr Abdulai said that plans were advanced to introduce new courses such as Media and Mass Communications and that “the polytechnic is also collaborating with some foreign institutions to build the capacities of our lecturers, provide us with the needed facilities and equipment to enable us offer our best.”
Story by Zakaria Alhassan


45% of JHS students in Salaga North drop out of school

 About 45% of students from the Junior High Schools in Salaga North end their education due to none existence of Senior High Schools (JHS), Mr Alhassan Mumuni Member of Parliament (MP) for the area has said.
He said although the nine JHS in the electoral area train and educate many students every year, however, only a hand full progressed to the other levels of education.
The MP was speaking at the 56th Independence Day celebration themed: “Partner and Innovation for Building a New and a Better Ghana” at Kpalbe.
A total of nine schools, farmers, seamstress, workers of the Volta River Authority and traders took turns to march.
He said many people in the area were poor and ignorant due the distant nature of educational facilities in the area.
Mr Mumuni appealed to government through the Ministry of Education to consider establishing SHS for the area as part of the 200 Community Day SHS project to enable the school to absorb the students who graduate from the JHS.
Mr Mumuni said as part of effort to demonstrate its readiness and support for the SHS, a chief in the area had promised a land whiles plans were far advanced to launch an initiative called Salaga North Endowment Fund in early April, 2013 to support brilliant but needy students.
He pledged to provide seed money of GHc5,000, adding that the MP’s 30% share of the District Assembly Common Fund would be dedicated to the growth of the endowment Fund.
As part of measures to unearth spots talents in the area, he presented a trophy, sets of jersey and football to support the inter schools competition which would commenced soon.
Mr Mumuni advised parents and guidance as well as other stakeholders in education to take interest in social, psychological, physical development of their children.
Source: GNA

Seven Police officials injured in ethnic clash in Ghana

Clashes between the Bimobas and the Konkonbas has resulted in the injuries of seven police men with three in critical condition.
A group of youth fired gun shots at the police team that was patrolling the area to maintain peace leading to the destruction of 30 houses and other personal properties while some people have been displaced.
Superintendent Alhaji Mahama Arhin, the Northern Regional Crime Officer, said the two ethnic groups are at loggerheads over some parcels of lands and any minor misunderstandings always results in attacks on each other.
He said on Tuesday evening, an armed robbery incident occurred at Kpamali in the Bunpurugu/Yunyoo District which resulted in the firing of gunshots adding that the two groups suspecting each other of planning attack, mobilized themselves on Wednesday morning in readiness for an impending attack.
He said nine policemen and two military officers went to the scene and prevailed upon the youth of Konkonbas to withdraw which they did but another group associated to Bimobas seeing the Konkonbas withdrawal, took the advantage to attack some nearby Konkonba settlements burning 30 houses and destroying several personal belongings.
Alhaji Arhin said an AK47 riffle and a locally manufactured pistol were retrieved from the Bimobas stressing that both groups were using sophisticated guns.
He said a week ago, similar incident nearly occurred when the Bimobas in the area became suspicious of a chief who had returned from a journey that the said chief (name withheld) had brought guns in preparations for a war.
Superintendent Arhin said more police personnel had been deployed from the Brong Ahafo and the Upper East Regions to maintain security saying the place was calm.
Source: GNA

Renewed clashes between Konkombas and Bomibas

 While Ghanaians across the nation are celebrating the country's 56th Independence Anniversary, there has been renewed clashes between Konkombas and Bimobas in Timali, a farming community near Nakpanduri in the Northern Region.

Reports have indicated that several houses have so far been set ablaze and residents of the area are fleeing to Nakpanduri.

It is yet unclear what triggered the sporadic shooting which started early hours of Wednesday.

Narrating the situation to Citi News, a native of Nakpanduri, Elijah Slim said: “We were just there this morning, the Konkombas grouped and started firing warning shots and as citizens we have nowhere to go than to defend.”

He said tension had risen in Nakpanduri Township but that there were enough security personnel on the ground.

The Headmaster of Nakpanduri Senior High School, Chief Kipo Harrison Salifu told Citi News, the situation disrupted the Independence Anniversary celebration in the area.

“We were on the field trying to be part of the celebration when announcement came that fighting had broken out at Timali and so the programme had to break up.”

According to Chief Kipo, business activities have grounded in Nakpanduri Township.

By: Abdul Karim Naatogmah/


 Salaga, Kpandai health centres worried over unpaid NHIS claims

 Authorities at both the Salaga and Kpandai health centres in the Northern Region are threatening to stop attending to National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card holders due to unpaid accumulated claims.

Records show that the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) owes the two health facilities to the tune of GHC50, 000.

The Coordinator for the Presby Health Service, Florence Atubigah narrated her administration’s frustration in an interview saying, “I am taking care of two health centres, one is under the Kpandai district and the other one is in the east Gonja district; It is very difficult managing the two health centres because the refund is not coming as we expected.”

Madam Atubigah complained that suppliers were refusing to supply them drugs for not being credit worthy.

“To get drugs is a problem because our suppliers are refusing to supply us for none payment which is no fault of ours because the NHIA owes us over GHC50, 000.”

She therefore reminded the NHIA of the need to reimburse her administration to continue saving lives at the two health centres.

The situation if unresolved immediately could deny residents of Salaga and Kpandai access to quality and affordable health care services.

Meanwhile, a source at the NHIA has indicated that the Authority is in the process of paying all claims it owes its service providers.

By: Abdul Karim Naatogmah/

ECOWAS endorses Ghana’s Mumuni for ACP Secretary General

Alhaji Mohammad Mumuni – Ex-Ghana Foreign Minister
ECOWAS has endorsed Ghana’s former Foreign Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni as candidate for Secretary General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States.
The Ghanaian Member of Parliament is to serve the unexpired term of Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas. The United Nations and the African Union late December 2012 appointed Dr. Ibn Chambas as joint special envoy to Darfur.
Alhaji Mumuni’s nomination was tendered in by Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama at the ongoing 42nd Ordinary Session of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast.
Formed in 1975, the ACP’s main objectives are sustainable development and poverty reduction within its member states, as well as their greater integration into the world’s economy.
Meanwhile, President Mahama has put a team together to assist Mr. Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten in his ongoing effort to clinch the position of Director General of the World Trade Organization.


Uniforms of Community Police in Tamale retrieved

The Ghana Youth Employment Development Agency (GYEDA) has terminated the appointments of Community Police personnel in the Tamale metropolis, and has consequently retrived their uniforms.
The GYEDA has therefore asked interested individuals with interest to re-apply to the agency for consideration by the Ghana Police Service, who will assess their eligibility for re-recruitment.
Mr. Umar Alhassan, the Tamale Metro Coordinator of the GYEDA explained to the media that the community police personnel in the metropolis have been arresting motorist without the mandate to do so, saying that, they had been cautioned against the act but they had failed to comply.
He said the police would do the screening to select the hard working ones among them for recall.
However, one of the personnel, who want to remain anonymous accused the authorities of unfair treatment alleging that one of the deputy coordinators in the metropolis had the girl friend arrested for riding an unlicensed motor bike without helmet.
They Community police personnel threatened mayhem if their employers refused to re-engage them, complaining that there was no employment opportunities for them.

Military, Prisons Officers fight in Yendi

A football match to promote peace between military men and prisons officers in Yendi in the Northern region Saturday ended in a fight between the two security organisations.

The scuffle was provoked by the decision of the referee of the final football match to award a penalty against the military team after a Prisons player was fouled in what the prison officers felt was an obvious goal scoring position.

According to Joy News correspondent, Hashmin Mohammed, the military team and their supporters raised objections to the referee’s decision.

That led to a bitter argument and fisticuffs.

Yendi Municipal Chief Executive, Issa Zakaria, who was the guest of honour of the special peace game, had a tough time trying to prevail on the security officers to let peace prevail.

He left the field utterly shocked and disappointed, he told Correspondent Hashmin.

Mr Zakaria said if the security officers who are mandated by law to maintain the peace engaged in such a disgraceful public spectacle, how could they expect to earn the respect of the civilian population.

Lack of policy said to be hindering investment in Ghana’s shea sector

Mr Agustine Sandow Ambotimah, Coordinator of the Nadowli District Cooperative Farmers, has said absence of a policy to regulate activities of the shea industry is the major hinder to investment in the sector.
He said this during a stakeholders’ forum in Wa.
Mr Ambotimah said other concerns are the absence of a guaranteed price for shea nut, the absence of a Shea Board (SHEABOD) for the industry and the non-enforcement of bush fire by-laws.
He said the objective of the Nadowli District Cooperative Multi-purpose Farmers and Marketing Society Limited was to facilitate the development of a regulatory framework to guide investment in the sector
He said although laudable efforts were being made by the government, COCOBOD and the private sector to create factories to process the nut into butter, the future of the raw material base for this enlargement was limited.
Mr Gabriel Fiatui, a Private sector Advocacy Consultant, said due to the unattractiveness of the sector to investors, the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) was providing support for the private sector to embark on advocacy activities to influence government attention.
He said available records show that only 40 per cent of shea nuts were collected in the country with 60% wasting in the bush.
Mr Fiatui attributed this low collection to a number of constraints including lack of conservation practice, organizational constraints for collectors, limited access to capital for women, lack of farm-to-home carriage as well as low domestic commercial demand.
He appealed to actors in the industry to focus on consensus building as well as galvanizing support from grass roots organisations as well as lobbying District Assemblies and Traditional Rulers for the enhancement of anti bush burning by-laws among others.
Mr Iddi Zakaria, the National Coordinator of Shea Network Ghana (SNG), said through the effort of the Network and other organisations such as SNV, government had established a Shea steering Committee and was looking forward to setting up a SHEABOD.
He also called for the amendment of the Cocoa Act to protect the activities of the industry.
Source: GNA

SADA to set up three agro-processing factories

 President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday announced that the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) will establish three agro processing factories in Northern Region to help enhance the livelihoods of the people.
He said the factories would include a sheanut processing factory, a rice mill factory and a vegetable oil mill factory, which would be located at Buipe,  Nyankpala  and Tamale.
President Mahama who was delivering the State of the Nations address stated that the Produce Buying Company of the Cocoa Board was raising capital to begin sheanut purchases to feed the factory.
He said agriculture was the key part of SADA agenda and in the spirit of public-private partnership; SADA had facilitated partnerships to establish the factories
The factories, he explained, would benefit many poor women in the savannah zone and out growers were being registered to meet the requirements of those factories.
President Mahama announced that last year, SADA supported 6,000 farming families with fertilizers, improved seeds and provided 100 tractors for land preparation services.
“It would this year support 16,000 farmers with farm inputs and would partner with a private sector group to grow and nurture 5 million trees in the next 12 months as part of its efforts at greening the Northern Savannah ecological zone,” he said.
President Mahama said he has directed a team in his office and the National Development Planning Commission [NDPC} to work closely with the two Regional Coordinating Councils and relevant stakeholders towards establishment and the smooth implementation framework of the Western Corridor Development Authority (WACDA)
The WACDA comprises Western and Central regions and the implementation framework for it was currently under development, President Mahama said.
Source: GNA

Tourism sector to receive economic boost – Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama said on Thursday government was committed to using tourism as an instrument for the full realization of the economic potential of the culture and creative arts.
He said the newly aligned Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Creative Arts would facilitate the interface between government, implementing bodies in tourism, culture and the creative industries as well as international and civil society partners.
The President said this when he delivered his State of the Nation in Parliament.
He said the National Commission on Culture was undergoing restructuring as the government’s lead implementing and advisory body on culture and creative arts adding that the Ghana Tourism Authority would be similarly transformed.
“Government will allocate funds to the sector, while reactivating the Culture Trust Fund together with our civil society partners in the culture sector” he added.
President Mahama said the government would in the very short term facilitate the holding of a donors’ conference on resource mobilization for the development of culture and creative arts.
Source: GNA

Smuggled fuel impounded in Wa

The Anti-Fuel Smuggling Task Force and the Upper West Regional Police Command has so far seized large quantities of petroleum products that were being smuggled.
On February 12, the Task Force impounded 23 litres of diesel, 35 gallons of petrol and five  drums of diesel and  202.50 litres of petrol and 112.50 litres of diesel on February 13.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Kofi Danso Adei Akyeampong, Regional Police Commander made this known at a press conference in Wa on Wednesday to officially announce the establishment of the Task Force.
The body comprised personnel from the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Armed Forces, Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority and  Ghana Immigration Service.
Dubbed: “Operation Hunter”, the Anti-Fuel smuggling Task Force would operate in Western, Brong-Ahafo, Volta and Upper East Regions which share borders with neighbouring countries.
DCOP Akyeampong stated that the formation of the Task Force was necessary due to the increase in fuel smuggling by some greedy persons in the society.
According to him the formation of the Task Force was in response to a directive by the Deputy National Security Co-ordinator.
Under the directive fuel filling stations are not to sell petroleum products in containers while the stations caught conniving to smuggle petroleum products would to be prosecuted, have their licenses withdrawn and closed down.
Source: GNA

Post-harvest losses cost African countries $4b worth of food every year – AGRA

African countries are said to be losing over $4 billion worth of food every year as a result of post-harvest losses.
Ms. Anne Mbaabu, the Director of Markets at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) told a workshop in Nairobi, Kenya Wednesday February 6, 2013.
She said the losses result from post-harvest inefficiencies across the staples agricultural value chain.
“Post-harvest losses significantly endanger the livelihoods of stakeholders across the value chain by reducing valuable incomes and profitability,” Ms. Mbaabu said, adding that, “Research has shown that a reduction of just one per cent in post-harvest losses can lead to a gain of $40 million annually. Imagine the impact if we are to reduce the losses by just two per cent.”
Reflecting over the impact of post-harvest losses on the continent, participants at the workshop decried the fact that there is very little data to demonstrate the real impact of post-harvest losses in Africa.
The meeting hosted by AGRA, in partnership with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, agreed that post-harvest losses are a major contributor to food insecurity in Africa and there is an urgent need to mitigate the negative impacts across the agricultural value chain.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

Traditional ruler elected Northern Regional representative to Council of State

Vo-Naa Mohammed Baba Bawa, a traditional ruler was on Wednesday re-elected as the representative of Northern Region to the Council of State.
The Regional Director of the Electoral Commission Mr Sylvester Kanyi declared the chief as unopposed, polling all 52 votes.
Delivering an acceptance speech, he promised to give wise counsel, which would help improve the livelihood of people and transform the region.
He said his work as a Member of the Council of State would only be efficient and effective if all stakeholders in governance played their role.
Mr Moses Bukari Mabengba, Care Taker Minister of Northern Region appealed to Naa Bawa to make as a his priority the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) initiative and building of roads and permanent residential accommodation for students of the University for Development Studies.
He said the three projects were crucial to reducing the socio-economic challenges including poverty and maternal deaths.
“For instance the region last two years recorded maternal death partially due to the bad nature of the road to transport mothers with complications to referral hospitals,” he said.
Source: GNA



Pusiga will benefit from national cake DCE  assures

Mr Alhassan Bugbilla, District Chief Executive (DCE) of Pusiga has assured the people of the District of government’s commitment to bring development to all sectors including health, education, and agriculture to enhance the living standards of the people.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview, Mr Bugbilla said those sectors were the bedrock of national development and that was why government would focus on those areas.
The DCE indicated that before the end of the first quarter of the New Year, the people of Ghana, especially those in Pusiga, would begin to feel the Better Ghana Agenda.
He mentioned that irrigation dams were also being constructed to facilitate dry season farming which, he noted, would help improve the livelihoods of the people.
He called on the people to assist government achieve its developmental goals in order to create more jobs for them.
Pusiga District is one of the newly created Districts in the Upper East Region.
Source: GNA

TMA Decongests Tamale Metropolis.

  The Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) on Monday carried out a decongestion exercise in the central business district of the metropolis, to clear the area of unauthorized structures, to make the Tamale city attractive.

The exercise started from the Parks and Gardens at about 0400hours and ended at 0600 hours at the Ghana Commercial Bank building.

TMA trucks carried away demolished kiosks, containers and tables.

Alhaji Abdulai Haruna Friday, the Tamale Metro Chief Executive, led the exercise accompanied by city guards and community protection unit.

He promise to sustain the exercise till the city was cleared of unauthorized structures that had obstructed free flow of vehicular and pedestrian’s movement.

Alhaji Haruna Friday appealed to residents of the metropolis to adhere to laid down rules and regulations in erecting or placing structures to keep the area in good shape.

Issah Musah, the Public Relations Officer of the TMA, said that a 41-member task force had been constituted to prevent people from erecting structures on the pavements.

The GNA observed that though the decongestion was not supported by security personnel, it was peaceful despite complaints by some affected persons, who said they were being deprived of means to livelihood.


Kassena Nankana To Enjoy Free NHIS


A special national health insurance registration exercise organized in Navio of the Kassena Nankana West District, saw 593 new entrants with 491 people renewing their cards at the weekend.
The exercise, aimed to increase enrollment of people to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in the district, was undertaken in four centres namely Navio, Manyoro, Atiyorum and Kayoro.
It was also to help Scheme members who have defaulted to take the opportunity to renew their insurance cards.
Health InsuranceMr David Samari, the Scheme Manager, who spoke to journalists during the exercise, said the exercise granted special package to defaulters who normally would have waited for a period of three months before accessing healthcare to use their cards immediately.
Mr Anthony Agabeh, a Scheme collector at Manyoro, thanked government for making the exercise free and also bringing it close to the people.
He said the area was poverty endemic and made it difficult for the people mobilize money to pay for renewal of their cards to receive health care hence the high rates of default.
He called on government to endeavor to relax the Scheme where defaulters who renew their registrations still had to wait for three months before accessing health care services.
Madam Watah Aberinga, 77 years, whose card expired in 2011, said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency that she did not register over the period because she did not fall sick.
Forty one year old Madam Kapiu Alou said she did not have money to pay for the cost of renewal and so the exercise offered her the opportunity to be on the Scheme again. She thanked government for the exercise.
Navio Pe Adam Asanjojim II, chief of Navio, appealed to government to extend the exercise to reach all who could not afford to pay because the district was poor.
He prayed health providing institutions and their workers to make the scheme sustainable by offering quality services to beneficiaries.
He indicated that many people were discouraged using their cards to access health services because of poor quality of services in some health centers.
Source: GNA


 The Northern Forum for Accountable Leadership has called on the management of National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), to properly prosecute five members of staff in Savelugu in the Northern Region who were dismissed on January 28th for misappropriation of funds.

The group alleged that, the five who were relieved of their posts are being protected by NHIA, thus making their prosecution almost impossible.

Speaking to Citi News, the Convener for the group, Mahama Shaibu said the NHIA is accountable to Ghanaians therefore, every amount of money lost under their supervision should be retrieved.

According to him, “we need further investigation and the people of this country must know what actually went wrong. Is it that the money was embezzled or it was that it was negligence on their part?...what should happen to them?”

He insisted that it is not enough to just dismiss them from their post without proper prosecution.

Mr. Shaibu further suggested that the audit which was conducted in the Savelugu NHIA office should be extended to other NHIA offices across the country “because we believe that similar situations could arise in those offices.”

Poverty accounts for malnutrition in Northern Ghana – Health Director

Hungry Dr John Koku Awoonor- Williams, Upper East Regional Director of Ghana Health Service (GHS), has noted that poverty in the north is one of the major reasons of malnutrition among the people.
He explained that due to the endemic poverty in the area coupled with the only one rainy season, the rural folks find it difficult to get enough food and the right variety to feed their children, hence the spate of malnutrition.
Dr Awoonor-Williams made the observation in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga, at the weekend, at the sideline of the 2012 dissemination of the Nutritional Surveillance Survey results conducted by Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regional Health Directorates.
Sponsored by UNICEF, the objective of the survey which was carried out from May to December was to help stakeholders particularly the GHS to address the problem of high malnutrition in the three regions.
Dr Awoonor-Williams said malnutrition among children below five years has devastating consequences on their growth and development.
He said malnutrition is also affecting maternal health.
The survey revealed that children between 11 to 59 months suffer malnutrition while a greater number of them are underweight and are affected by stunted growth.
It called on parents to feed their children with food varieties such as vegetables, fruits, meat and eggs to reverse the situation.
The survey noticed that some lactating mothers do not breast feed their children well, which affect their nutritional status.
Mr Benjamin Aggrey, Upper East Regional Nutrition said the three Regional Health Directorates would   among other measures strengthen their health promotion education in communities particularly in the nutritional education at health centres.
Source: GNA


Desertification Some communities in the Northern and Upper East Regions have stopped on farm bush burning and rather taken to compost making to improve crop yield, as part of livelihood adaptation measures to meet the challenges of climate change.
The eight communities, Tariganga, Kugri, Akara, and Farfar in the Garu-tempane District and Zambulugu, Saamini, Dimea  and Jawani in the East Manprusi District,  are also into the Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA), where groups save and borrow on their own terms, group farming, livestock rearing, dry season farming and tree growing, all with support from the Adaptation Learning Programme (ALP) under CARE International,
At a meeting in Tamale to review ALP sponsored activities, mainly the various adaptation livelihood measures taken by the communities to meet the effects of climate change, Mr Paul Agangiba from Akara and Mr Mahamudu Salifu from Zambulugu, both farmers, said their communities, like the six others, had with the consent of the chiefs and elders, agreed to stop bush burning and had formed fire prevention committees to ensure that nobody burnt farm residue or bush, or fell trees for sale as fuel wood or charcoal as they used to do.
This, they explained, would enable them to get enough organic matter to make compost for fertilizing their farms and also preserve the grass for grazing and thatch for their houses.
They said ALP, with its implementing agents such as the Presbyterian Agriculture station in Garu (PAS-GARU) and the Partners in Rural Empowerment and Development (PARE) based in the East Manprusi District, had educated them on the need to not only adapt measures that would improve their livelihood in the midst of challenges of climate change, but also conserve and improve the environment as a long-term adaptation measure.
With shorter rainfall periods and subsequent poor yields from rain-fed agriculture, the communities had also taken to dry season farming. Mr Salifu said the Zambulugu community had decided to try an improved variety of cassava from the Savannah Research Institute (SARI), with the hope that it would help supplement the usual local cereals grown there.
Asked if the people were used to cassava products and whether there would be ready market in the area, he and other colleague farmers said they might not need to sell the produce as it would be consumed within the community, processed into ‘konkonte’ flour and ‘gari’.
Representatives and chiefs from the communities who took part in the meeting, lauded ALP and its mother organisation, CARE International, for bringing many positive changes in their lives. According to them, farming had improved and they harvested more food than before, thereby increasing food security in the area.
Also with the savings scheme, the women had been financially empowered to assist in household responsibilities such as school fees and hospital bills and also help their husbands to expand their farms or buy fertilizer for use on their farms.
This, the Participants said had improved relationships within families and the men felt at ease to involve their wives in decision making concerning the household and the community as a whole.
The Adaptation Learning Programme (ALP) is a five-year pilot programme working with the eight communities to create awareness about climate change, its effects and help the people find measures to adapt to the situation or cope with it.
Source: GNA

ASEG Donates 3,600 textbooks in Northern Region

pupil1 Alliance for Strengthening Education in Ghana (ASEG), a network of Christian organizations committed to improving education, has presented 3,600 prescribed textbooks to the Northern Regional Directorate of Education for distribution to 10 basic schools in the Tamale Metropolis and East Mamprusi District.
The textbooks cover four core subject areas – English Language, Mathematics, Integrated Science and Information Communication Technology (ICT).
The the beneficiary schools are Kotingli Primary, Kpanvo Primary, Bagliga Primary, Nyohini Primary and Nyohini Junior High, all in the Tamale Metropolis while those in the East Mamprusi District included Lagbina Primary, Zogiligu Primary, Dagbiri boari Primary, Gambaga Primary, and Gambaga Junior High.
Edukans Foundation, an organization based in the Netherlands, which is a partner of ASEG, sponsored the procurement of the textbooks valued at GH¢35,000.00.
Mr Abu Musah, Programmes Coordinator of ASEG, who made the presentation in Tamale on Friday said it was to complement efforts at ensuring quality education and access especially in the deprived areas of the country.
Mr Abu said ASEG was aware of the textbook-pupil-ratio in the country, which was inadequate affecting provision of quality education, especially in the deprived areas and hence the intervention.
He said the presentation of the textbooks was one of a number of initiatives earmarked by ASEG to help ensure quality education and access in the country, starting with the Northern Region.
He assured that ASEG was poised to working to strengthen education in the region and appealed to the Regional Directorate of Education to support it for the success of its programmes.
Alhaji Abdulai Yahaya Iddrisu, Human Resource Officer of the Northern Regional Directorate of Education, who received the textbooks on behalf of the Regional Director of Education, expressed appreciation to ASEG for the presentation, saying the subject areas covered by the books formed the bedrock of education at the basic level.
Alhaji Yahaya Iddrisu said the textbooks would help enrich the knowledge of both teachers and pupils for improved and enhanced education delivery for national development.
He charged the beneficiary schools to put the textbooks to good use.


Damba festival comes off successfully

This year’s Damba festival has come off successfully at the Gbewaa Palace at Yendi and other parts of the Northern Region with an admonition on the people to embrace peace and unite to chart a new course to accelerate development of the area.People from all walk of lives were there to celebrate with us including tourist from Germany,UK,USA ect.
a tourist dancing to drummers
The Regent of Dagbon, Kampakuya-Na Abdulai Yakubu Andani, in an interview with the Daily Graphic asked the celebrants not to use the occasion for only merry-making but to reflect on the future of the area.
“We need to bury our differences and gird our loins to fight the existing poverty, disease and ignorance which are our common enemies in this area.”
According to him, time tested festivals such as the Damba should be used as a rallying point to bring everybody on board to chart a defining course for Dagbon. He described this year’s celebration as successful, since, according to him, it attracted people from both factions of the Dagbon chieftaincy divide and sons and daughters from other regions in the country.
Similar festivities were observed at Damongo, Nalerigu and Bimbilla, where the paramount chiefs in those areas led their people to commemorate the event.
In Tamale, hundreds of jubilant celebrants were on the major streets to join in the revelry. It attracted people from all walks of life including tourists.
Those who could not resist the euphoria generated by the occasion joined in the dancing and merry-making.
Thursday’s ceremony referred to as “Damba Belli Kulisi” (Farewell to Damba) was the climax of the week-long festival.
sub chief with his "lunsi"(drumers)
The revellers were adorned in their colourful smocks of varying sizes and shapes as they danced to the throbbing beats from the gong-gong. Various youth groups, including their beautifully clad ladies, also paraded the streets singing and dancing.
The immaculately dressed sub-chiefs were the centre of attraction as they sat on their equally decorated horses and danced majestically to the beats of the “Lungsi” drummers amidst musketry.
getting ready for camel
The joyous crowd accompanying the chiefs had to meander their way to the Dakpema’s Palace for the durbar.
By 5:30 pm, almost all the sub-chiefs, accompanied by their respective retinues and ‘‘warriors’’ from the suburbs, had gathered at the palace to demonstrate the rich cultural displays associated with the festival.
The event, which is a blend of Islam and tradition, is celebrated by majority of the Muslim-dominated communities in the north including Dagombas, Nanumbas, Gonjas and Mamprusis.
It is to mark the birth and subsequent naming of Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W), the Founder of Islam. It is used to offer sacrifices to show appreciation to Allah and also chart a new course for the coming year.i guess next year YOU will be part of us...


Minister designate–Tourism has good prospects

 The Minister-designate for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, says she is clear in her mind that tourism, culture and creative arts are bedfellows which must not be separated.
She said it was for that reason that President John Dramani Mahama thought it wise to bring the three areas together to be managed under one umbrella for the benefit of the country.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare made the observation when she appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament for vetting.
The nominee told the committee that the outlook of tourism in Ghana was bright, since the country had a conducive political environment to attract tourists.
She stated that the growing middle-class in the country meant that many people had a lot of money to spend in the tourism sector, adding that what Ghana had to do was solve the problems associated with the sector in order to accrue the desired profit.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare acknowledged the fact that poor sanitation at the country’s beaches, markets and other important places were impediments to the growth of the tourism sector.
She observed that the continued destruction of Ghana’s forest reserves and the subsequent extinction of endangered animals and tree species also needed to be stopped to encourage ecotourism.
She said she would use both advocacy and existing laws to curb some deviant behaviours that had come to be associated with some tourists who came to the country.
She explained that while she would ensure that tourists were educated on the country’s laws, she would insist that those who fell foul of the law by engaging in acts such as homosexuality were dealt with.
Commenting on the Tourism Levy that was passed by the Fifth Parliament, Mrs Ofosu-Adjare said it was the best thing to happen to the sector, explaining that the law would make it possible for the ministry to use the fund for the development of existing tourist facilities.
She said there was the need for Ghana to encourage domestic tourism and promised that she would help in the organisation of groups to visit the various tourist attractions in the country, should she be given the nod.
The nominee encouraged the district assemblies to identify tourist sites in their areas and collaborate with the ministry for their development to create employment and also generate revenue to finance more development projects.
Touching on the creative arts aspect of the ministry, Mrs Ofosu-Adjare said she would enforce the intellectual property rights of people in the creative industry.
She said fortunately, there was in place the Copyright Law which needed to be enforced vigorously to enable people in the creative arts to benefit from the fruits of their labour.
Spotting a rich Kente apparel, the 39-year-old Mrs Ofosu-Adjare, who is currently the Legal Aid Officer at the Legal Aid Scheme in the Ashanti Region, was accompanied by her husband, Mr Ofosu-Adjare, and her father, Mr I.K. Adjei-Mensah, a former Brong Ahafo Regional Minister and MP for Techiman South.
When he took his turn at the vetting, the Minister-designate for Employment and Labour Relations, Nii Armah Ashietey, said since the ministry was a policy body, he would fashion policies geared towards creating employment for graduates from the country’s institutions.
He acknowledged the fact that unemployment was a global phenomenon and explained that Ghana had been hit hard by unemployment because  it continued to churn out graduates who did not have the required skills needed on the job market.
Nii Armah said it was for that reason that a graduate support scheme had already been established to provide graduates with employable skills to enable them to set up their own businesses and employ others.
The nominee, who told the committee that he had been a labour activist and employer, said his experience as an employer and labour activist would assist him to foster good relations between employers and employees.
He advocated the setting up of a labour market information centre to enable the country to know what was happening on the labour front in the country.
“This will enable Ghanaians to know how many people are employed, how many are underemployed and help the government to collect other needed information in the labour sector,” he said.
Nii Armah said the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) was a wonderful programme that could help provide jobs for the teeming youth.
On casual labour, the nominee said it was unfortunate that some employers went round the law to employ people on a casual basis and pledged that if given the nod, he would liaise with the Tripartite Committee to find a solution to that practice.
On strikes by workers providing essential services, Nii Armah said it was unfortunate that those workers went on strike, regardless of the provision in the law, stating that there was the need for dialogue.
The nominee said the authorities had been soft to allow such service providers to have their way and promised to work with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, the National Labour Commission and the Ministry of Health to halt the rampant threat by doctors to go on strike.
He said it was time the authorities called a spade a spade and went according to the dictates of the labour laws of the country to serve as a deterrent to others.
On the provision of employment based on political affiliation, Mr Ashietey said he would ensure that employment was provided based on merit.
Source: Daily Graphic

Upper East REGSEC asked to probe death of UEW student after Police shooting

  The Upper East Regional Security Council (REGSEC), has been asked to investigate the killing of a final year student of the University of Education, Winneba, by the police on February 6, 2013.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bongo Constituency, Mr Albert Abongo, made the called through the GNA.
It would be recalled that on February 6, 2013, the people of Vea in the Bongo District embarked on a peaceful demonstration against the Eunitack Services Limited that was undertaking quarry works a rocky area believed to be the abode of the god of the people.
Consequently, the police shot to death Mr Azure Gideon, final year student of the University, and some people were injured, and the police arrest several people.
The MP called on REGSEC to stop work at the quarry and said the death of the student had brought grief and tension to the community.
Mr Abongo expressed surprise that the police were still providing security for the company to work, and called on the people to remain calm whilst the matter is being investigated.
The body of Azure has been deposited at the Navrongo Hospital morgue for autopsy. He left behind a pregnant wife.
Source: GNA

Ghana needs blue print to fight cyber-crime – US Justice Dept

 The US Justice Department says Ghana needs comprehensive blue print on cyber-crime and the prosecution of its perpetrators to tackle the canker as online business transaction increase.
Addressing a media roundtable discussion in Accra, Mr Thomas Duke, a Cyber-crime Prosecutor of the department, observed that as businesses take advantage of the opportunities available using the internet, there would be increase in cyber-crime.
He, however, said the best way to handle the situation was to stay a step ahead of cyber-crime offenders.
The press discussion heralds a US Department of State and the Government of Ghana co-hosting of the West African Cyber-security and Cyber-crime Workshop from January 29 – 31 2013.
The three-day workshop will bring together cyber-crime experts from the US and the West Africa, civil society organizations, security services, policy makers and players in the telecom industry.
The workshop will focus on addressing broad issues on internet freedom, cyber-crime and cyber security with emphasis on issues of specific interest to West Africa, such as mobile cellular security, computer forensics, Internet access and affordability.
Internet penetration in Ghana, according to National Communication data in Ghana has increased from 5.2 per cent in 2010 to about 10 per cent in 2011, representing an increase of about five per cent in just one.
Unlike some years back when internet access was mainly at internet cafes and big businesses, today, the story is different. Internet subscriber fees have become cheaper with the advent of telecommunications trying to outdo each other in the price race.
More importantly, almost all mobile phone users have access to internet data.
But those achievements come with challenges. According to Mr Duke, as access increased, the most important step to take was to ensure that a safe and secure environment for people using the internet.
He said there were huge potential economic and social damages that imbued with using the internet hence the need to ensure safety so that no matter the transaction people are engaged in whether online shopping, online banking or any other form of internet transaction.
A report by US payment processor, Cyber-source Corp indicated that as high as 76 per cent and 58 per cent of U.S. and Canadian merchants who accept international orders online shut off orders from Nigeria and Ghana respectively in 2008 with fraud, particularly in international e-commerce as being the major concern.
Reported cyber fraud comes in different forms.  In the business-related scam, the perpetrator manages to contact the either through mass-mailing or through a lead. The victim is promised an incredibly profitable return on his investment (usually shady and dubious).
The popular baits include gold, diamond, lottery and the sometimes abandoned money that the client can help recover. Whatever, the bait, the true bait is the promise of instant wealth for the victim.
These are well shaped plans with explanations that checkout and fake documents that sometimes originate from genuine sources such as the Office of the President, Attorney Generals Department and respectable banks. At times a duplicate website is designed which may look similar to a legitimate one or will redirect to a legitimate one when visited.
Whatever be the case, the success of this modus operandi is basically ignorance or greed on the part of the victim. In the worst case scenario, the victim is lured to a location and physically attacked and robbed… or even killed.
Another one is the use of credit cards.  Scammers usually buy or steal credit card details from hospitality workers in Ghana or abroad, and go online to order goods, which are shipped to accomplices in Europe or the US. These goods are then shipped to Ghana.
As a result of this Ghana and Nigeria particularly have been blacklisted by a number of e-commerce websites worldwide.
Currently the key international conventions that seek to harmonize national cyber-security laws is the Budapest Convention on Cyber-crime which has been ratified by 30 countries including the US and many European states since it came into force in 2004.
In Africa, apart from South Africa which has signed onto to the convention but yet to ratify it, Senegal is also taking steps to join the league of countries that have consented to the treaty, also aimed at harmonising  law and foster co-operation in areas including computer-aided fraud, hacking, distribution of child abuse images and copyright infringement.
In that regard, Mr Duke stated that in the long term, governments globally would have to make cyber-crime security a priority.
“Eventually we’ll see less and less crime overall. It takes time, money and efforts but many governments and businesses are yet to make the protection of their citizens and customers priority,” he stated.
According to him, if the perception continued that internet transactions were unsafe, Ghana could lose out on the opportunities that came with the internet.
On regional cooperation, Mr Duke observed that while such cooperation was important, it did not shield countries from cyber-crime.
Source: Daily Graphic


 Chinese illegal miner shoots three "intruders"

 The police in Bekwai have arrested a Chinese illegal miner who is alleged to have shot and wounded three Ghanaians with an AK 47 assault rifle.

The suspect, Xia Gui Xiang, who was arrested five days ago, has been remanded in police custody pending further investigations. His victims, who were rushed to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, are receiving emergency medical care.

The victims - identified as Kofi Bobie, Kwame Kyerematen and Kwaku Manu - were said to have been shot when they joined others from Manso Abodom in the Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region who had entered the camp of the Chinese, who was mining illegally on Finger Mining Limited's concession.

Another Chinese and two Ghanaians who were part of the group operating with Xiang have also been arrested for illegally mining on the same concession.

The three, whose names were not immediately provided, have already been granted police enquiry bail, pending further investigations into their case.

The Chinese were alleged to have been mining illegally in the concessional area of Finger Mining limited, a small-scale mining company with legal rights for almost a year; a situation said to have created tension in the Abodom community and its environs.

Briefing journalists about the arrest, the Bekwai Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Kwasi Akomea-Apraku, said the youth from Abodom had, on Tuesday February 5, 2013, massed up at their chief's palace, complaining about the rate at which the Chinese had been mining illegally in the area.

He said the youth also alleged that the chief of the community had collected money from the Chinese and allowed them to operate
illegally in their environment.

Mr Akomea-Apraku said from the chief's palace, they marched to the camp of the Chinese and allegedly started looting, taking away gold ore, black gold and some amount of money.

According to Chief Superintendent Akomea-Apraku, as the youth continued to ransack the camp, the Chinese alerted Xiang who was not at the camp at that time.

He said as soon as Xiang was notified about the presence of the youth in their camp, he quickly rushed there and fired at the youth, seriously injuring three of them.

Expressing concern about the situation, Chief Superintendent Akomea-Apraku urged the youth not to take the law into their hands, but always be mindful of collaborating with the law enforcement agencies any time they were aggrieved.

He said notwithstanding the circumstances leading to the shooting, the police would speed up their investigations and prosecute those found to have breached the law.

Source: Daily Graphic

 U/E Region youth accuse Police Commander of murder

The Youth of Vea, a farming community in the Upper East Reigion have accused the Regional Police Commander, ACP Bright Oduro of complicity in the murder of one of the residents during a protest last week.

Azare Anyia, a final year student of the University of Education, Winneba was allegedly killed during a clash between the demonstrating youth and police.

The youth, who addressed the press on the orders of the Tindanaa Traditional ruler of the area, called in the president to investigate the issue.

Speaking to Citi News spokesperson for the group Baba Timothy said they want the Commander held responsible for the death of the young man since he, according to them, is shielding the “murderer”.

“They are trying to hide the identity of the policeman who killed our brother. The Police Commander was present when our brother was shot dead in the full glare of everyone,” he stated.

Mr. Timothy further stated, “The police are also trying to rubbish the case saying nobody died and if someone had died, the person did not die out of a gunshot wound. We are calling on the presidency to come in and will wait for some time…Justice delayed is justice denied so we will not indicate our next step but are waiting to see what the presidency will do.”

“We want the truth out; who is wrong? Who ordered them to come? Who killed the guy and why were these people there to protect a private businessman,” he added.

Mr. Timothy also wants authorities to dismiss the contractor working on the dam at the centre of the dispute.

“We call on government as a matter of urgency to stop this contractor, let him account for the money and bring a different contractor to do the work because he [contractor] wants to split the money between himself and some particular bigwigs and afterward do shoddy work,” he said.

“Have you ever seen a contractor using polythene bags to build a dam? These are things we have seen and yet everybody wants to keep quiet and watch these things go on,” he added.


SADA supports health delivery systems in Builsa District

The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority’s (SADA) Millennium Villages Project (MVP) is contributing to strengthen the health delivery systems in the Builsa South District of the Upper East Region.
The Authority under the MVP on Thursday donated four brand new AG motorbikes to the district health directorate valued at GH¢28,400.00.
In addition, the health directorate receive from the MVP, an ambulance to be stationed at Fumbisi to covey sick people particularly women in labour to the nearest health centres.
Presenting the items to the health directorate at a function, which coincided with the district directorate annual health review meeting, the team leader of the MVP, Mr David Sumbo indicated that apart from the motorbikes and the ambulance, the project had already rehabilitated   Community based Health Planning Centres (CHPS) in Uwasi, Weisi, Gbedembelsi, Zamsa.
SADA’s mandate includes supporting agriculture, agro-businesses, health, education and infrastructure development.
Mr Sumbo announced SADA’s MVP would continue to support the health sector under MVP operational areas, which include the West Mamprusi, Mamprugu Modugu and the Builsa districts and said it would also help address bad road networks in its operational areas.
Mr Lucio Dery, Deputy Director in charge of administration, who expressed gratitude on behalf of the Regional Health Director, Dr Koko-Awoonor-Williams to the management of SADA, said the support would help improve upon the health indicators in the district.
He assured the donors that the items would be put to good use to prolong their lifespan.
He impressed upon the health staff who ride motorbikes, to ensure that they wear helmet before embarking on their trips and cautioning that the directorate would not hesitate to sanction anybody who flout the rule.
The District Health Director, Ms Juliana Adiale noted that one of the major challenges affecting health delivery in the district was means of transportation and indicated because of that it was becoming very difficult for the directorate to achieve target indicators.
She, however, expressed hope in the staff, saying they would work harder to ensure that the directorate achieves its set targets and thus improve upon health delivery system in the area.
Speaking on some of the achievement of the directorate as part of it 2012 Annual General review meeting, the Director disclosed that there had been an increase in supervise delivery from 51 to 55 per cent, TB cases from 18.6 to 20 per cent and functional CHPS from 11 to 21.
Source: GNA

Volta Region “oil find” almost look refined – GNPC

Ghana National Petroleum Corporation’s (GNPC) initial assessment of samples of what appears to be crude oil sprouting out from a hand-dug well at Jumbo near Kpassa in the Volta Region, has shown a positive result.
The GNPC’s team of experts have expressed surprised about the substance which looked almost refined compared to most unrefined crude oil.
Mr Obeng Gyan, a technical director at GNPC told chiefs and people of Jumbo that forensic investigation would be performed to find the veracity or otherwise of the oily substance.
He urged the people to avoid contact with the resource because should the test becomes positive, the crude oil could contain harmful chemicals due to its complex mixture of hydrocarbons and petrochemicals that possibly could  affect the brain, lungs, skin and the nervous system.
Mr Gyan showed samples of hydrocarbons from other areas, which appear darker in colour than the substance oozing from the Jumbo well.
He suggested this could be a special discovery and could occur in a reservoir underground assuring that ensuing investigations would settle the matter.
Mr Oti Bless, Member of Parliament for Nkwanta North, said the area is hard hit by water scarcity, especially in the dry season resulting into the discovery and a possible good omen if proven positive.
Mr Paul Levin Gyato, Nkwnata North District Chief Executive urged his compatriots to tread cautiously as “it is too early to begin to count the gains.”
National Security operatives are currently protecting the area.
Source: GNA

Sissala teachers kick against ActionAid’s rape research findings

Teachers of second cycle institutions in the Sissala East District of the Upper West Region have strongly protested against the publication of research findings on the level of sexual harassment in Senior High Schools (SHSs)in the District.
The research which was conducted by ActionAid-Ghana has been opposed by the teachers in two separate letters to the NGO.
In both letters, the teachers indicated that they would advise themselves appropriately if the NGO refused to heed to their warning and went ahead to make the findings of the research public.
The NGO undertook the study when a 16-year-old student of Kanton SHS in Tumu in the Sissala East District was raped in 2009 by one of her teachers in the school.
The teacher involved is currently serving a seven-year jail term.
Mr. George Dery, Upper West Regional Manager of ActionAid-Ghana who disclosed this to the GNA in Wa, said on January 27, 2013 another rape incident involving a 16-year-old form one student and a teacher occurred again in the same school.
Mr. Emmanuel Doho, the accused teacher, is currently on remand custody at the Wa Prisons.
According to Mr. Dery, when the first incident happened ActionAid-Ghana conducted a study to find out the extent of sexual harassment among SHS girls in the district so as to make appropriate recommendations to curb the phenomenon if the research identified sexual harassment as an issue.
According to the ActionAid Programme Manager, the research brought out shocking and interesting revelations during a dissemination and validation workshop held in Tumu.
Mr. Dery noted that attempts to publish the findings to name and shame and find a lasting solution to the issue was vehemently opposed by SHS teachers in the district.
He said the reaction of the teachers caused ActionAid-Ghana to back-off from publishing the findings when the incident happened again in the same school for the second time.
ActionAid-Ghana is therefore calling on the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the leadership of schools to take steps to protect vulnerable girls whose parents toiled to invest huge sums of monies in their education with the  hope that their investments would not be in vain.
Source: GNA

Crude Oil Discovered In Volta Region

 Crude oil has been discovered gushing out of a well being dug at a home in Nkwanta North of the Volta region.

The Military has been informed and soldiers have been deployed to the area of discovery to cordon off the site.

Information indicates that hundreds of residents in the area are rushing to the place to catch a glimpse of the gushing black liquid substance.

The local chief of the area has issued an edict barring the residents from fetching the black substance suspected to be crude oil.

Member of Parliament for Nkwanta North Kwabena Bless Oti confirmed to XYZ News that the substance is indeed crude oil and necessary steps would be taken to protect it
Source: XYZ News

Watchdog committees needed to monitor female genital mutilation – NGO

Two soldiers jailed over Mobilla’s death

 An Accra High Court on Monday sentenced Corporal Yaw Appiah a soldier to 10 years imprisonment over his role in the death of Alhaji Issa Mobilla, former Northern Regional Chairman of Convention People’s Party (CPP) in the year 2004.
The court further sentenced in absentia Private Seth Goka, another soldier on the same offence to 20 years imprisonment. Sentences are to take effect from today.
This was after a six-member jury had returned a verdict of guilty on the charges of manslaughter on the two soldiers, during the trial.
It however acquitted and discharged Private Eric Modzaka another soldier after its ruling on a submission of no case filed for him and Corporal Appiah.
The three soldiers were put before the court on the charges of conspiracy to murder and murder.
Before sentence were handed down by Mr Justice Mustapha Habib Logoh, Mr Thaddeus Sory defence counsel prayed the court to consider the number of years Corporal Appiah had been in incarceration as well as the volatile situation at that time.
Mr Sory noted that Corporal Appiah was only taking instructions from his superiors “to deal” with the deceased to extract the truth from him although his client did not know what the truth was.
Handing down the sentence, the court said it took into consideration the general atmosphere when the incident occurred and the period Corporal Appiah had been in incarceration.
Delving into the matter the court said it was an established truth that Corporal Appiah took part in the beating of the deceased together with three or more soldiers.
Their actions, according to the court, were to extract the truth from the deceased who was brought to the Military Barracks looking healthy.
According to the court, the law made it clear to reduce a charge of murder to manslaughter in instances where a junior officer was acting on the instructions of the superior. In the case of murder, the court noted that could be established if the convict had the intent to kill a person.
In all, prosecution called nine witnesses to make their case.
Corporal Yaw Appiah and Private Eric Modzaka, who were facing two charges of conspiracy to murder and murdering of Mobilla, on December 9, 2004, denied the charges and were remanded by the court. Private Goka escaped after the incident.
The late Alhaji Mobilla was arrested by the police on December 9, 2004 for allegedly supplying the youth in Tamale with guns to foment trouble.
While in Police custody, the police claimed they received information that Alhaji Mobilla’s followers and sympathizers were mobilizing to free him.
The deceased was consequently transferred from police cells to the Kamina Military Barracks and handed over to the three accused persons.
The prosecution said Alhaji Mobilla died in military custody three hours after he had been handed over to the accused persons, who were on duty that day.
Report by a pathologist revealed that the deceased was sent to the hospital dead, and that he died from multiple wounds.
Source: GNA

Local Government recruits refusing postings to Upper West Region

Out of a total of 116 young people that have been recruited and posted to the Local Government Service sector in the Upper West Region, only 75 of them have so far reported to the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC).
Mr J. B. Atogiba, Chief Director at the RCC made this known during a two-day orientation programme for newly recruited staff in Wa on Monday.
Among the 116 recruits are 27 Development Planning Officers, 15 Budget Officers, 24 Administrative Officers, 17 Internal Auditors, nine Human Resource Officers, eight Social Development Officers, two Executive Officers, nine Engineering Work Officers and five Procurement Officers.
Mr Atogiba said those that had reported were all posted to the 11 Municipal and District Assemblies in the Region to augment and address the staffing challenges that had been the bane of the Assemblies.
He told the recruits that Local Government Service is non-partisan and urged them to remain politically neutral in the discharge of their duties.
Dr Callistus Mahama, a Deputy Director at the Local Government Institute told the recruits that being young and energetic they are expected to be the engine of growth for the Local Government Service.
He asked them to exhibit high level of professionalism in the discharge of their duties.
He said they are being sent to the districts to assist in taking vital decisions that would ensure the provision of basic social amenities.
Mr James Oppong Mensah, Director of Human Resource Development at the Local Government Service advised the recruits to take the training session seriously to build their capacities.
Source: GNA

Ghana’s trade deficit rises, hits $4.2b end of 2012

Ghana’s trade deficit continues to widen as not surprisingly the country imports more than exporting for the past decade.
Trade Minister Haruna Iddrisu
Indeed the year 2012 was no exception. The country’s total merchandise exports rose 5.7% to $13.5 billion while imported goods reached $17.7 billion, an increase of 12.1% over 2011.
Ghana’s main export commodities were oil, cocoa and gold. According to the Bank of Ghana (BoG) figures, gold exports in 2012 were $5.6 billion followed by crude oil $3 billion and cocoa beans $2.8 billion.
Of the total imported merchandise, non-oil imports grew by 13.9% to $14.4 billion while oil imports rose by 5% to $3.3 billion, the central bank indicated at a press briefing of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) February 13, 2013.
“These developments resulted in a trade deficit of $4.2 billion in 2012, compared with $3.1 billion in 2011,” acting BoG governor, Dr Kofi Wampah told the press in Accra.
The country’s current account deficit was $4.9 billion during 2012 compared to $3.5 billion in 2011, the central bank estimated. It indicated that this was driven mainly by a deterioration of the trade balance.
By Ekow Quandzie

People with disabilities not less human beings – Chief

Dr. Henry Danaa
Nana Ansah Sasraku,  chief of Mamfe and the Kyidomhene of the Akuapem Traditional Area, has observed that people with disabilities are no lesser beings and therefore society must not look down on their capabilities in the national development agenda.
He said given the opportunities on the same scale, such as educational and job opportunities, persons living with disabilities could prove their competencies and capabilities in every field just like any other human being.
The Chief who was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Mamfe Akuapem on chieftaincy matters reiterated that disability was not inability and that people living with disabilities should be given the needed facilities to aid their education and employment opportunities.
Nana cited Dr Seidu Daannaa and Dr Obeng Asamoah, who are the Minister for Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs and President of the Ghana Blind Union respectively, as clear examples that having a disability is not inability.
He said Dr Danaa had the expertise and competence to move the ministry to an appreciable level due to his long association with the chieftaincy institution and lamented over the derogatory remarks made about him to the effect that he could not be a minister because of his disability.
Nana Sasraku said it was unfortunate that in this era of development that Ghana needed integration, as well as contributions from all hands, some people still held to old beliefs that persons with disabilities were social misfits and so must be treated as such.
According to the chief, nobody raised an objection about Dr Daannaa’s disability when in his capacity as Administrator of the National House of Chiefs he toured every regional House to discuss issues of reforms, but that when his hard work was recognized people raised objections.
“It is only by sheer providence that some of us have no disability and we must therefore accept and embrace those with disability as a matter of gratefulness and not to behave as if we are more human than them”, he stated.
Source: GNA

President commended for advocating inclusion of queens in houses of chiefs

President John Mahama
Nana Ama Amaniwaah, Queen of Abetifi in the Eastern Region, has commended President John Dramani Mahama for advocating for the inclusion of queens in the various houses of chiefs.
She said the call was in the right direction and represented the voices of queens who had over the years been left out of the institution.
Nana Amaniwaah, who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency, said the inclusion of queens in the houses of chiefs to represent the interest of women was long overdue and must be treated with the urgency it deserved.
She said today’s woman had become integral in national development and must be provided the platform to participate in the decision-making process in all endeavours.
“It is now common knowledge that there is a woman behind every successful man and the time has come for the contribution of women to be more visible even in the midst of men,” she said.
To this end it was imperative for queens to be admitted to the houses of chiefs to make input in their deliberations since they also played significant roles in the chieftaincy institution, she said.
Nana Amaniwaah, who is also the Adontenhemaa of the Kwahu Traditional Council, entreated the leadership of the houses of chiefs to consider President Mahama’s proposal to give queens some voice.
She was of the view that the queens would contribute meaningfully to the chieftaincy institution if given the opportunity to be part of the houses of chiefs.
Source: GNA

Wa Credit Union succeeding despite stiff competition

The Wa Community Cooperative Credit Union (WACCU) has recorded significant success in its operations despite stiff competition from financial institutions and banks in the Municipality.
The Union which saw its membership grow by three per cent from 9,946 in 2011 to 10,284 last year also witnessed its net surplus rising by 270 per cent from GH¢145.000 in 2011 to  GH¢536,000 in 2012.
It was able to achieve this feat due to the growth in total income generated from interest on loans granted to members which rose by 115 per cent from GH¢504,000 in the previous year to GH¢1,083,000 in 2012 as well as a decline in the rate of increase in total operating cost
Mr Moses Donneyong, Board Chairman of the Union, made this known at the annual general meeting of the Union at Wa on Saturday.
WACCU also saw an impressive growth in total asset size from GH¢4,100,000 as at June 2011 to GH¢6,500,000 in June 2012 representing a growth rate of 59 per cent.
The Board chairman said that the Union was not attracting the business segments and salary earners in the community because of WACCU’s inability to process salaries and clear cheques.
He said the Board was considering a proposal that would empower WACCU to roll out these services in the near future.
Mr Donneyong announced that four members of staff of the Union who embezzled various sums of money belonging to the Union had been dismissed with two of them being prosecuted in the court to recover the monies embezzled.
Source: GNA

Traditional rulers, other stakeholders pledge support to combat TB

Traditional rulers, the media and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the Upper East Region have pledged to help the Ghana Health Service to combat the spread of tuberculosis (TB) in the area.
The stakeholders made the pledge in Bolgatanga on Thursday during a forum organised by Rural Initiatives for Self-Empowerment-Ghana (RISE), a Non-Governmental Organization to launch a TB project.
The project is to mobilize and strengthen CSOs supporting TB affected people and help stop TB in the Upper East Region.
Naba Baba Salifu Aleeyarum, Paramount Chief of Bongo Traditional Area, said the Ghana Health Service alone could not fight the TB menace.
He called for a multi-sectoral approach to stop the spread of the disease and urged chiefs to ensure that all community members infected sought early treatment.
RISE-Ghana is one of the major advocacy groups in the region working towards the reduction of TB and funded by “Stop the TB Partnership Challenge Facility for Civil Society (CFSC).
Mr Awal Ahmed, Project Manager of RISE-Ghana, said as part of the programme his outfit would mobilize and strengthen CSOs and TB affected persons to increase response by government and other service providers towards TB and HIV-TB among others.
“Thus an enabling environment will be created for various actors such health advocates, TB-affected people, CSOs and media engaged in advocacy and accountability dialogues towards stopping TB in the region.
“The project will also increase awareness on TB and reduce stigma through the monthly TB Innovation Radio Talk show”, he said.
He said despite its potential of derailing all the country’s efforts towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the TB  disease  had  been neglected and reiterated the need for  chiefs, health professional, the media, policy makers and NGOs to join the noble cause of stopping TB.
Mr Samuel Angyogdem, Regional TB and HIV Control Programme Coordinator, said one infected person could transfer the disease to about 10 to 15 persons and appealed to stakeholders, particularly traditional leaders and assembly members, to ensure that anybody found to have symptoms of the disease in their respective communities reported to a health facility for early treatment.
He said apart from the treatment being free, patients were given enablers as a way  of motivating  them to visit the health facility adding that TB was curable when patients were supervised and encouraged  to take the full treatment.
Source: GNA

Gushegu District health review

The Gushegu District in the Northern Region has for the the third year running not recorded any confirmed Guinea worm case.

A cash reward of Two Hundred Ghana Cedis is currently in place for anybody who reports a confirmed case.

The District also did not register any death from Cerebro Spinal Meningitis, though 12 cases were recorded last year.

This was disclosed during the District Health Management Team’s Annual Performance Review meeting for 2012.

The Gushegu District Chief Executive, Alhaji Alhassan Fuseini in commending the health team for the achievement, cautioned against complacency in order not to reverse the gains.

He said the Assembly is liaising with the Ghana Youth Employment Development Agency,to extend by two years the operations of the current cadre of Health Extension workers in Gushegu to ensure continuity of the good work many of them are doing.

He however said those who are not serious with their work will be sanctioned. Alhaji Alhassan Fuseini said the Assembly has provided a number of infrastructure towards quality Health care which is one of the goals under the better Ghana Agenda.

They include fully equipped new CHPS compound at Gaa and Zamashigu, as well as a clinic and staff quarters for the Nabuli Health centre.

The DCE said with dedication from all stakeholders the much anticipated Post-Basic Midwifery school in Gushegu became a reality last year with the admission of 31 students.

Alhaji Alhassan Fuseini stated that the Assembly in its attempt to attract and maintain health professionals has a package in place to support health staff for career development programmes as well as paying rent advance for health workers.


UDS names nine-member Board to run development fund

A nine member Board has been inaugurated to manage the University for Development Studies (UDS) Alumni Fund (UNIDEVFund) to help mobilize resources to develop the UDS.
The Board, amongst others, is to play an oversight role of administering UNIDEVFund through decisions on the type of projects and programmes to be assisted by the fund.
Mr Peter Illiasu, a former Managing Director of Merchant Bank Ghana Limited, Chairs the Board which has Mr Roland Agambire, Group Chairman of AGAMS Group of Companies, alongside seven others, as members.
Professor Haruna Yakubu, Vice-Chancellor of UDS, who inaugurated the Board in Tamale on Friday called on its members to do their best to ensure the realization of the objectives of UNIDEVFund.
UNIDEVFund was set up last year by the UDS Alumni Association to help mobilize financial and material resources for speedy development of the programmes and infrastructural needs of the various campuses of UDS.
Professor Yakubu said members of the Board were carefully appointed hoping that they would bring their rich experience in the corporate world to bear on the operations of UNIDEVFund to help UDS to reposition itself for a better future.
Mr Illiasu called on members of the Board to bring their collective expertise to bear for the realization of the objectives of UNIDEVFund adding that members of the Board would work to justify the confidence reposed in them.
In a brief remark, Mr Agambire asked that stakeholders come out with a target for which the Board would work towards achieving.
Mr Felix Abagali, National President of the UDS Alumni Association, announced that GH¢100,000.00 had been raised as seed money for the operations of the UNIDEVFund.
Source: GNA

Nanumba traditional authorities trained on public policy formulation

  Traditional authorities from Nanumba North and South Districts of the Northern Region have undergone a two-day training on public policy formulation at the local level to ensure efficient use of resources.
The training was to equip the traditional authorities with the right knowledge, skills and information to engage in and for active involvement in decision making, planning, implementation and execution of projects and programmes within their communities in line with the development aspirations of their people.
The event, which was organized by Mobility Foundation, a non-governmental organization with funding from Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA), ended on Friday at Bimbila in the Nanumba North District.
Topics treated included developing and preparing district assemblies medium-term plans, annual budget, policy formulation at the district level amongst others.
Mr Shiraz Yakubu Anas, Director of Mobility Foundation, said it was to improve the capacity of the traditional leaders to advocate and present community needs in the policy formulation, development planning process, programme implementation with the district as well as the community level.
Mr Anas expressed the hope that this would enable the traditional authorities to appreciate as well as own or identify with development projects in their communities to ensure that such projects were not abandoned.
He said the failure to involve traditional authorities and for that matter the local people in the planning, implementation and execution of certain projects in the past had rendered such projects white elephants, a situation Mobility Foundation was working to prevent.
Chief Amadu Issahaku Alhassan, Northern Regional Population Officer, who was the resource person for the training, said involving traditional authorities in planning and implementation of projects would ensure efficiency and relevance of such projects to the people.
Chief Abukari Mahama, Kpana of Wulensi in the Nanumba South District, who spoke on behalf of the participants, described the training as useful and timely saying it had broadened their knowledge on what happened at the assembly level in relation to development projects.
Source: GNA

Bawku girls want government to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation

Girls in the Bawku Municipality in the Upper East Region, has called on government to intensify efforts to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), being practiced mostly in the Northern part of Ghana.
The group, mainly school girls, said FGM and other obsolete traditional practices were affecting the physical and psychological development of victims.
They made the call in a communique’ read by Miss Ralia Alhassan, a pupil of Pusiga Junior High School, during the launch of international day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, organized by BElin Wusa Development Agency (BEDWA) and Action Aid Ghana, a non-governmental organisation, in Bawku.
The statement reminded Ghanaians that every child has the right to life, dignity, respect, leisure, liberty, health, education and shelter from the society.
It asked the Police, National Commission for Civic Education, Commission for Human Right and Administrative Justice and other child-rights related bodies to intensify the campaign against FGM and other obnoxious traditional practices against females.
Mr. Shiabu Abubakar, Programme Manager for BEDWA, said that FGM has affected about 140 million girls and women, and more than three million girls are at risk every year, globally.
He said that a research carried out by BEWDA and Action Aid Ghana in some selected areas in Bawku indicated that FGM was being practiced in the area.
Source: GNA

Haruna apologises over Ashanti Region comment

 Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu, has retracted and apologised for a question he posed to the Ashanti Region Minister-designate during Wednesday’s vetting.

Iddrisu wanted to find out from Mr Samuel Sarpong if other ethnic groups, particularly those from the Northern and Volta extraction, were safe in the Ashanti Region.

His question raised a lot of eye brows with the Ashanti Region caucus of Parliament demanding that he retracts and apologises for his comments.

Joy News’ Elton John Brobbey reported the Chairperson of the Ashanti Region caucus, Elizabeth Agyeman, as saying that Mr Iddrisu’s question was needless and only sought to hurt the sensibilities of those living in the Ashanti Region.

Worse still, the question had the potential of raising tension in the region, the chairperson of the caucus told the media.

She maintained indigenes in the Ashanti Region have for years lived in peace with all ethnic groups in the region and wondered what will trigger such a question from a Minister of State and a Member of Parliament.

She was also not impressed with the Minister-designate's response. But Haruna Iddrisu has since apologised for his question.

“Any person or group of persons who feel offended by that statement, I profoundly regret the statement,” he said.

He added though that the question was not a statement of fact but just to elucidate a response from the Minister and to assure that all ethnic groups are safe and protected.

“I have no intention of igniting any fire, particularly, matters that will border on the emotional issue of ethnicity and the primary groups to which people belong,” he stated.

Bede Ziedeng-Establish military base in U/W region

 The Upper West Regional Minister-designate, Bede Ziedeng, has proposed the establishment of a military base in the region to enable authorities improve security in the area.

Mr Ziedeng made the proposal as one of the ways the Upper West Region could become a safe area again after various reports of armed robbery and other related attacks.

Mr Ziedeng said the region is generally vulnerable with police posts located far apart and that one of the ways to solve the problem of insecurity in the region is to station military barracks in the region to deter criminals from carrying out their acts.

“The presence of a military establishment is enough force to deter miscreants and other people who think they can take the liberties of the people for granted,” he stated.

“My humble appeal is that the minister for defense should consider rather than having just a detachment from the air force. We should have a permanent military station to take care of security in the region,” he added.

Bede Ziedeng also said the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) if implemented fully should reduce the rate at which youth in the northern part of the country migrate to the south.

“I believe that if the SADA intervention is strong enough, it will be able to hold back a lot of our people up there and we will not see this drift down south,” he said.

“We must all embrace SADA and see how we can ensure that it works for the benefits of everybody,” he added.

51% of Northerners support FGM

 Over half of Northerners support female genital mutilation (FGM), according to Buwda, a Ghanaian NGO.

FGM involves the complete removal or partial removal or alteration of the genitals for non-medical reasons.

The coordinator of Buwda in the Bawku municipality, Abubakari Shaibu, in an interview with Radio XYZ’s Upper East regional correspondent, Musah Lansah, said recent research suggested 51% of people in the region supported the pratice, which is still common in the country's three Northern regions.

Fifty per cent of girls below 15 years in the Bawku Municipality have undergone FGM according to recent research findings undertaken by Action Aid Ghana, an NGO which is partnering Bawdu in education campaigns about the practice.

It is one of the major negative cultural practices that violate the fundamental human rights of girls and women, with serious health implications for them.

An estimated 100 million to 140 million girls and women in the world today have undergone some form of FGM and two million are at risk of the practice each year.

NGO rescues 111 Ghanaian children from slavery in 2012

 Challenging Heights, a non- governmental organization in Ghana, has, as at the end of 2012, saved 111 children from slavery and many others were saved from child labour.
This was contained in a statement issued by Mr James Kofi Annan, President of Challenging Heights and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday.
According to the statement, Challenging Heights provided support to 1,640 children and youth made up of 704 girls, and 936 boys in 32 communities across six districts.
It said out of the total number of children supported, 111 of them were rescued from slavery while the rest were boys and girls either engaged in child labor or at risk of losing care.
“Additional 240 women received support to undertake various businesses in order to support their children and over 25,000 people were directly reached with the message on child protection and education, resulting in greater awareness”, it said.
The statement said, the NGO established a 30-seater computer center and the broke ground for the construction of a library.
It said the NGO engaged 12 Community Child Protection Committees, while 20 were self-sustaining, to ensure that communities have the needed structures to safeguard the interest of vulnerable children.
Six Child Rights Clubs were trained, reaching over 120 children, to ensure that children participated in their own development and began to take ownership of their rights.
The NGO also launched two research projects, researching into the pattern of children living in outside parental care and a research to collate children’s views on the post Millennium Development agenda.
It said the NGO is working on a film titled “Fisher of Kids” and it is currently at its final stages of production. Written and directed by award-winning Steven Keen, the film will be screened in major cinema houses around the world to create awareness on Challenging Heights and the plight of trafficked children.
Source: GNA

Radio stations supported to promote best agricultural practices in northern Ghana

 Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement (ADVANCE), a USAID funded project, has supported 20 radio stations in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions to promote best agricultural practices for farmers through radio programming.
These stations, including GBC Radio Upper West, are expected to form “listenership” clubs in farming communities and develop comprehensive agricultural programmes to suit the interest of the farmers in their areas of operation.
Mr. Francis Essuman, ADVANCE Regional Coordinator for Upper West, said this  during the inauguration of one of the listenership clubs at Gindabuo in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District.
The programme was under the theme: “Towards Effective Agriculture Radio Information Delivery: The Role of the Listenership Clubs.”
He said the 20 radio stations would be linked to experts and resource persons from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute among others to lead the radio discussions.
Mr. Essuman said 90 clubs had been formed out of which 37 are in the Upper West Region with nine of them formed by Radio Upper West in Wa.
The clubs would encourage group listening and increase knowledge sharing among smallholder farmers especially among the women groups.
The ADVANCE Regional Project Coordinator thanked Radio Upper West for taking the lead role in owning and sustaining the “listenership” clubs initiative.
Mr. Abubakar Alhassan, the Upper West Regional Director of GBC, said GBC as a public broadcaster had the mandate of designing programmes to promote agriculture hence its decision to partner with the USAID ADVANCE project to carry out that mandate of educating farmers.
He said this was in recognition of the power of radio as a tool for development, adding that agriculture was a highly knowledge-intensive area requiring continued flow of information on best farming practices as well as market information.
Mr. Alhassan said Radio Upper West believed that agricultural extension was the vehicle for delivering useful information to smallholder farmers and assisting them to develop requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes to enhance their farming activities.
He said the initiative had become necessary because extension service programmes did not usually satisfy the agricultural information needs of farmers and cited lack of adequate extension workers, lack of transport, constraints in communication and lack of motivation as some of the notable challenges.
He said there would be periodic meetings between the station and the clubs to discuss and share ideas and experiences on how to improve the operations of the clubs and agriculture in their communities.
Mr. Alhassan thanked the partners and Radio panellists who have so far shared a lot of knowledge and experiences with their listeners and assured them of a good relationship between them and the station to promote agriculture in northern Ghana.
Source: GNA

Dr Hilla Limann SHS takes off in Gwollu

The much awaited Dr Hilla Limann Senior High School in Gwollu in the Sissala West District of the Upper West Region has taken off  to take advantage of the 2013/14 academic year.
The Ghana Education Service (GES) is yet to give approval for the school, which was named after the late Dr Hilla Limann, President of the Third Republic of Ghana to keep his  memory alive.
Dr.Hilla Limann
Caretaker Deputy Regional Minister, Mr Cezar Kale, and Naa Seidu Braimah,  re-elected Member of Council joined hands to cut the sod for the construction of the school in 2011 on behalf of the late former President John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills.
Mr Moses Dramani Luri, Sissala West District Chief Executive (DCE), who made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency  in Wa said the school is starting with 70 students.
Thirty five each are to patronise the Literature and Geography classes.
He said until GES gives approval for the official opening of the school it would for now be operating as a community/District Assembly assisted school.
The DCE mentioned lack of electricity and water coupled with the slow pace of work by some contractors especially on the boys and girls dormitory projects  as some of the challenges hindering the smooth take off of the school.
Mr Luri appealed to the contractors to speed up work on the projects to enhance the timely completion of works to enable the students who are currently residing in Gwollu Township to move to stay on campus to boost academic work.
He commended UNICEF and the Community Water and Sanitation Agency for drilling one borehole each for the school but appealed to them to provide the facilities with hand pumps to enable the students to have access to water.
The DCE commended the Ghana Education Trust Fund for giving the school 12 projects.
He said the Assembly had  awarded a contract to connect electricity to the school to provide opportunity for both masters and students to research and study in the night.
Source: GNA

IWAN Set For Nation Wide Tour To Premier New Video

After a successful London tour last year September, 'IWAN' the finest reggae dancehall artiste and Ghana's Best Reggae Artiste 2011 deemed it prudent to highlight some tourist attractions in Ghana through a nationwide tour.
The tour aims to promote tourism , arts and culture ,live band music and create a platform to showcase the talent of up and coming artiste.
During the tour, IWAN will also take advantage of his enormous popularity and fame to advice his fans to take advantage of their talent.
The supporting artistes billed for the tour include; Asem, Edem, Niecey (formally lead singer of RnM fame), Fiifi Selah, Buddah Man, Konkarah , Ras kuku , Kwame Patarn etc.
In each region IWAN performs, there will be a professional detailed video and photo shoot showcasing tourist attractions with IWAN as a tour guide. Copies of these videos will be advertised online and shown on selected TV networks across the world. Videos and photographs will be done by three of Ghana's finest cinematographers, Mawuli Sikanku ,Bank Photo & Apstairs Visuals.
The tour is organized by Gideon force & Higrade Media Consult. Special thanks go to Fiifi Selah who was instrumental in the conceptualization of the idea for the nationwide tour.
Confirmed towns & months are as follows,

Aflao February
Kwahu March
Kasoa April
Accra May
Koforidue june
Swedru July
Kumasi August
Takoradi September
IWAN's fans are also in for a nice surprise as he premiers the full version of his hit track “IWAN Don't Play” from his 12 Sept. Album live on the 11/02/13(tonight) on the Late Night Celebrity Show at 10pm on Etv. There will be a repeat of the TV program the following morning at 10am.

For updates on the tour please follow Iwan on twitter: @Iwan4gh & visit .

BUNKPURUGU :Bright Generation donates to basic school children

School children  
Bright Generation, a non-governmental Organisation (NGO) has donated some items including 1000 tom shoes,Text Books, Pens, Uniforms and Pencils to primary school children in the Bunkpurugu/Yunyoo District.
In addition to this, the NGO also presented some Sanitary Pad and Shoes to 25 students (Girls) from the two Secondary Schools in the district.   All these items were presented free of charge  to the poor and needy students in the area. 
The Chief Executive Officer of Bright Generation, Miss Bernice Dappah who presented the items on behalf of the NGO maintained that her organisation has a lot of commitment to support the Millennium Development Goals and complement the National Free School Feeding and Free Uniforms for needy children in Ghana.
She therefore claimed it was against this backdrop  that the  Bright Generation has instituted the National Free Shoes and Educational Supplies for Needy Children. 
"Our aim is to ensure that we engage all the deprived districts where the current free school uniform programme is being implemented.   In doing this we hope to inculcate in the school children at an early age the spirit of patriotism in order to give back to society", she added. 
Madam Bernice further mentioned that, one of their objectives is to enable these needy children to be empowered to plant trees to soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere mitigating the natural effects of our climate change and creating buffers to cope  with the climate changes in the country.
"Let me draw your attention the fact that, we would be bringing on board , the Wangari Maathai Two Million Trees Campaign alongside with this project , which we hope to give each beneficiary two trees to plant so that by the time  we finish distributing our one million shoes, two million trees would be planted by the school children in the district we operate in" she pointed out. 
She disclosed that, they would soon come out with a Deworming Programme for school kids across the selected District; this she said is aimed at treating soil transmitted worm infestation which causes a host of serious health problems and often prevents children from attending school.
The District Chief Executive for Bunkpurugu/Yunyoo District. Hon Philip Laari in a speech read on his  behalf  by Mr. Daniel Waab who is a senior officer at the GES  thanked the NGO for their assistance, but admitted that, the district is faced with several challenges across the sectors not only on education.
He therefore pledged to collaborate with the important stakehoders to improve development across-board in the district.

Kofi Annan-Save West Africa from the drugs barons

bags of cracks
Trafficking is endangering the fragile democracies of this vulnerable region
Over the last decade, West Africa has made encouraging progress. Violent conflicts that had blighted the region for many years have been ended. There have been real advances in development, health and education.

Economic growth is accelerating. Democratic practice, although still not the norm everywhere in the region, is taking root.

But this progress is increasingly at risk from the threat posed by international drug trafficking and the criminal networks behind the trade.

The smuggling of illegal drugs through West Africa, notably cocaine and heroin, has increased dramatically. A decade ago, the total seizures of cocaine in the region were less than 100 kilos. By 2009, this had increased to nearly 6,500 kilos. The World Bank estimated that cocaine with a street value of $6.8bn was trafficked through the region the previous year.

This is not restricted to West Africa. Across the globe, drug trafficking and the organised crime behind it are placing increasing pressures on all legal and democratic systems. But countries emerging from conflict or violence are particularly susceptible to organised crime. Law enforcement can be weak, while widespread poverty makes it easier for criminal networks to penetrate and pervert the often fragile institutions of democratic states.

West Africa and other regions in Africa are not immune from these pressures. Indeed, they face three inter-related dangers from illegal drug trafficking. First, there is the threat from drug-funded corruption, which can corrode fledgling state institutions and undermine good governance and the rule of law.

Second, there is the risk that drug traffickers link up with other criminal elements or, worse, terrorist groups that may be trying to infiltrate and destabilize the region.

Finally, there is the harmful impact on the health and social cohesion of local communities caused by growing drug consumption by people within the region. Evidence of this disturbing trend is already apparent. According to a recent report from the UN's Office on Drugs and Crime, in 2009 around a third of the South American cocaine destined for Europe and shipped via West Africa was consumed locally.

Organizations such as the United Nations and the Economic Community of West African States have already sounded the alarm about the growing scale of the threat and the dangers it poses to governance, security and democracy. Governments in the region are taking action to stem and disrupt the flow of drugs. But there remains an urgent need to accelerate and ensure a coherent response at the national, regional and international levels.

We need to take action now before the grip of the criminal networks linked to the trafficking of illicit drugs tightens into a stranglehold on West African political and economic development. That can only achieved through a strong, well-co-ordinated and integrated effort led by West African states with the strong backing of the international community. In particular, the region needs more help from those countries that are producing and consuming these drugs.

To help provide new impetus and solutions to this threat, a meeting of independent experts from within the region and the wider international community will be convened later this year. The aim is to assess the dangers that drug trafficking poses to governance, security and democracy in West Africa and to propose concrete measures to combat this insidious menace.

We have already seen, in other parts of the world, the devastation the trade in drugs can cause. It would be a tragedy if drugs were again to plunge West Africa into conflict and destroy the progress and hard-won democratic gains of recent years. We must all come together to prevent such a disaster.

LESDEP beneficiaries receive start up kits

A considerable number of equipments have been delivered to some individuals who have taken training in certain skills under the Local Enterprise and Skills Development Programme (LESDEP) being implemented in the Sissala East District.
This is to empower them to push their skills further and assist them ease their economic burden, as they would be in the position to initiate their own businesses easily with the procurement of such start up kits to them.
Under this move, the Assembly distributed about 20 hairdressing kits and sewing machines, and 10 catering equipments which will serve as a boost in their skills.
However, under the same programme the Sissala East District Assembly (SEDA) made available Mini van tricycles to two persons residing in the district namely Salifu Solo and Mustapha Salawdeen. The vehicles were meant to boost transportation system in the area and ease the challenges in shuttling services rendered to people of the communities, especially in the area of trade and commerce.
But the Assembly confirmed in an interview with that in the meantime it has managed to take delivery of two of these vehicles, nonetheless it would endeavour to procure the remaining one shortly.  
Jonathan Adjei/

NGO Condemns Ban on Abudu Royals

The Northern Youth for Peace and Development (NYUPED) has condemned the ban on Abudu Royals from celebrating the final lap of this year’s Damba festival in Yendi.

The Northern Regional Security Council directed security operatives in Yendi to stop the Abudus from celebrating the Damba festival which comes off this Thursday.

Ahead of the ban, a combined military/police team on Monday allegedly raided the Abudu Regent, Boling-Lana Mahamadu Abdulai’s palace.

This was reported to have heightened tension in Yendi Township particularly the Nayili-Fong electoral area.

Reacting to the decision, the Northern Youth for Peace and Development described it as unjust and cautioned government against towing political lines on matters regarding chieftaincy particularly in the Dagbon State.

NGO Condemns Ban on Abudu Royals.

The organization’s Executive Director, Prince Hardi Adams in an interview condemned the alleged brutalities recorded at the Boling-Lana’s palace.

‘The way the Police and the Army are handling the situation is not fair, is like they are barking one side; what we are saying is that the Abudus have their civil right to celebrate the Damba festival, we are now in democracy, so everybody has the right to celebrate.’

He commended the Rawlings regime... ‘In Rawlings time which many people perceived there was not much democracy, both sides were celebrating the Damba festival and that is why as a peace organization we are advocating that the Abudus should be allowed to celebrate the Damba festival.’

‘So why is it that at this time when President Mahama who himself is a northerner is allowing these things to take place, he must intervene in this matter.’

Prince Hardi has therefore made a passionate appeal to President John Dramani Mahama to intervene for peace to prevail in the Dagbon state.

He also took a swipe at the National Peace Council over its silence on the seeming tension in Yendi saying, ‘Let’s forget about the National Peace Council, they don’t do their work, they are only dancing to the tune of government; look at what is happening in Yendi and the National Peace Council is saying nothing about it.’



The coffee lounge of parliament on Tuesday morning saw a very rare occurrence as two of the newly elected honourable members of parliament engaged in heated exchanges.

The altercation started when Hon. Ursula Owusu, MP for Ablekuma West verbally assaulted her colleague, Hon. Ibrahim Murtalla Mohammed, MP for Nantong in the Northern Region over what she said were unfair comments made about her by the latter on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana.

Murtalla Mohammed is said to have chided Ms. Ursula Owusu for saying that but for free education, many northerners would have been shepherds and goat herders.

This seemed to have rubbed Ms Ursula Owusu the wrong way as she accosted Murtalla Mohammed on the fringes of the House.

Reports say but for the timely intervention of some colleague MPs, situation could have gotten out of hands.

Source: XYZ news

Tamale spending GHc2,500,000 on sanitation

tamale market
The Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) has been spending GHc2,500,000 annually on sanitation since 2009, Alhaji Abdul Haruna Friday, the Tamale Metro Chief Executive, has said.
the city generates an average of 250 tons of refuse per day out of which 73 percent is collected and appealed to youth groups and traditional rulers to complement the clean-up activities of the assembly to make the city tidy.
Alhaji Friday said this in Tamale on Thursday during a stakeholder’s meeting to sensitize and consult the stakeholders of the city on the intentions of the assembly to embark on a de-congestion exercise.

He said the decongestion exercise would start on February 4 and that traders on pavements, people who wrongly park their vehicles and stray animals would not be tolerated, adding that the metropolis had experienced lawlessness by traders, riders and drivers for far too long.

Alhaji Friday said since 2009, the assembly had implemented not less than 360 infrastructural projects in areas of health, education, agriculture and roads and was determined to undertake more projects.


Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas praises President Mahama

United Nations Representative to Dafur Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas has lauded President Mahama for a speech he delivered at the opening of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, yesterday. 

Dr. Chambas said the speech was inspiring and true reflection of Ghana's accolade as model for the African continent. 

Speaking to Radio Ghana's Pascaline Adadevoh on the sidelines of the African Union Summit, Dr. Chambas said this also places a responsibility on every Ghanaian to work towards consolidating the gains made..

Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas has recently been appointed the United Nation's Representative in Dafur region.

He had served as a mediator between the parties which were involved in the first Liberia Civil war in the 1990's as well as the Ivorian Civil war. 

Dr Chambas says he views his appointment as a challenge as Dafur as a country though quite stable now has some few loopholes that need attention.

According to him the major problem now is humanitarian as more than one point five Million Dafurians still live in internally displaced camps. He appealed to the world not to forget Dafur .

In a related development the Presidential Spokesperson John Jinapor also says President Mahama has once again raised Ghana high as he addressed the AU Summit in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. 
Mr. Jinapor told Radio Ghana from Ethiopia that President Mahama urged all Member States to throw their weight behind Alan Kyeremanteng to be elected as the Director of the WTO. 

The President also used the opportunity to deepen bilateral relations with other Heads of State. 

Mr. Jinapor said the trip to Turkey will also yield medium to long term results in terms of business and improved trade relations between Ghana and Turkey.


Jan 28, 2013 at 3:26pm

 Starbow to make daily flight services to Tamale

Starbow has announced that effective Monday 4th February, 2013, it will be operating a late afternoon Accra-Tamale-Accra Flight. Departure time from Accra to Tamale is 16:15, and from Tamale to Accra is 17:45, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. This addition to the Starbow timetable is to make it possible for travelers from both Accra and Tamale to conduct day return business between the two cities, removing the need to prolong visits and incur costly night stopping. It is also to provide customers in Tamale the opportunity to travel to Accra in the evening to conveniently connect onto international services from Accra. The Head of Commercial at Starbow, Mr. Andy Smith, stated that “once again Starbow has listened to its customers and is pleased to be able to provide them an enhanced service using our BAE146 Jet and it’s reduced flight times between the two cities that will provide benefit to the business community by offering them a significant improvement in cost efficiency over existing services and enable a full days business in ether Tamale or Accra with a return in the same day.” To introduce this second flight to Tamale, Starbow is also offering passengers an introductory ‘Day Return Fare’ at an incredible GHS199 (including taxes). Starbow however continues to fly every morning from Accra to Tamale at 07:15 and from Tamale to Accra at 08:45. from
 Jan 28, 2013 at 1:02pm

Abudus banned form celebrating damba festival

  The Yendi Municipal Security Committee (MUSEC) has issued directive banning the Abudu Royals in Dagbon from celebrating the end of this year’s Damba festival which comes off this Thursday.

There were earlier reports of combined military-police brutalization at the Abudu Regent’s palace on Monday at dawn.

So far, two persons were reported to have sustained gun-shot wounds.

The Assemblyman for Gagbini electoral area, Abubakari Nachin-Naa in an interview said the Abudu Royals were unhappy about the development.

According to him, the caretaker of the Abudu Regent, Mbadugu Iddi condemned the directive and accused government of taking sides in the age-long protracted Abudu and Andani feud in Dagbon.

There has since been a permanent security presence at the Boling-Lana’s palace.

The Yendi Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Cephas Bediako confirmed the incident and explained that the action was in line with security arrangements to maintain law and order in Yendi.

In a related development, a group calling itself the Concerned Youth of the Andani Royal family in Dagbon have accused some leading members of the Andani gate of misrepresenting their interest at the Presidency.

The three are Alhaji Yakubu Kasuli, CEO of Gbewaa Civil Engineers, the Nyankpala-Naa and the Gukpegu-Naa.
The three prominent Andani leaders are alleged to have been using the Andani gate to achieve their personal gains in government.

Of particular mention is Alhaji Yakubu Kasuli, CEO of Gbewaa Civil Engineers who the group accused of sponsoring some independent Parliamentary candidates to unseat NDC MP’s during the 2012 general elections.

The group maintained that those three personalities have no say at the Gbewaa palace and should be ignored on issues concerning the Andani family.

The Association’s Spokesperson, Mohammed Zakiyu brought this to the fore at a news conference in Tamale.

He said the Andani youth were in consultation with other interested parties in Dagbon and will appropriately take the three Andani leading members to the cleaners.



Jan 28, 2013 at 6:30am
Tension in Yendi (Update):Two persons sustain gunshot wounds Unconfirmed police reports are that two persons have sustained gunshot wounds in Yendi.

They were hit by warning shots allegedly fired by a combined police-military military-police team that raided the Abudu Regent’s palace, early hours Monday.
The victims according to the Assemblyman for Gagbini electoral area, Abubakari Nachin-Naa are undergoing treatment.

“Currently, gun shots can be heard everywhere and they are beating people mercilessly; two persons have sustained serious injuries and they currently at a private clinic because the whole of Nayili-Fong has been cordoned off and there was no way we could rush them to the Yendi government hospital.”

He identified them as Hardi Gonja and Afa Shani, brother of the Yendi constituency NPP Chairman.

According to him, there has been reinforcement and residents of Yendi are leaving in fear.

Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for Yendi, Hon. Alhaji Mohammed Habib Tijani has called for calm in the area.

He implied, “I also got the information this morning around 3 am that a combined team of police and military cordoned the whole of Boling-Lana’s palace and the whole of Nayili-Fong area, preventing people from going in and going out.”

He condemned the gun firing. “What surprised me is the warning shots that were fired because the information I received was that there was no any form of resistance.”

Hon. Habib Tijani pleaded with the security, “I always have my confidence in them and I believe they will be fair and just in dealing with the situation; I am also calling on the security to be fair to the people because we are not in a military regime, we are in a democratic dispensation and I believe there are laid down procedure by which they will carry out their functions as peacekeepers.”

Hundreds of Abudu Youth reportedly massed up at the palace to resist any security threat.

It is unclear yet what necessitated the raid but information reaching Citi News from the community says the move is to prevent the Abudu Royals from climaxing this year’s Damba festival which comes off on Thursday, January 31.


No comments:

Post a Comment