Agona West Assembly embarks on clean-up exercise at Swedru

The Agona West Municipal Assembly has held a massive clean-up exercise to ensure the streets, lorry parks and market centres are clean.

The five-hour exercise was undertaken by personnel of the Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Ambulance Service, Staff of the Agona West Municipal Assembly and Civil Society Organisations.

They desilted choked gutters, swept the lorry parks, cleaned the markets and other public places.

Addressing them after the exercise, Mr Evans Addison Onomah Coleman, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), hinted that the Assembly had commenced its monthly clean-up exercise as part of its responsibility to keep the streets and public places tidy.

He said the Assembly would continue to collaborate with all stakeholders in environmental health and sanitation to ensure that cleanliness became the hallmark of the citizenry.

The MCE urged the people not to dump refuse indiscriminately as that was a sanitation offence that could attract prosecution.

The Assembly, which fo
r four successive times had emerged as the Best Central Regional Sanitation Municipality, recently went through an environmental and sanitation assessment and hoped it would once again win in the region.

Mr Coleman said those remarkable achievements were due to effective measures put in place to inspire workers to do more, especially staff of the Environmental Health and Sanitation Department.

He commended the Municipal Environmental Health and Sanitation Officer, Mr George Freeman, for his tireless efforts and hard work that had left indelible marks in sanitation management.

Mr Freeman, who is on transfer to Greater Accra, said his successor would continue the good work to enhance environmental cleanness and urged the Assembly to give him its maximum support.

Mr Christian Ocran, the Agona West Municipal Manager of Zoomlion entreated the market women and traders to desist from throwing refuse into gutters and other unauthorized places with the view that Zoomlion staff would collect those rubbish.

He caut
ioned them against ‘defaecating into plastic bags and dumping them into refuse containers,’ adding that it was the collective responsibility of all to keep the environment clean.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Investor sentiments, IMF disbursement to keep Ghana’s exchange rates stable- Fitch Solutions

Fitch Solutions, an international rating agency, says a gradual improvement in investor sentiment and a US$600 million International Monetary Fund (IMF) disbursement will keep the exchange rate stable.

In a report detailing interest rate and inflationary dynamics for 2024, the rating agency said it predicted that the disbursement and investor sentiments would keep the cedis at roughly GHS12.0/USD throughout first quarter of 2024, only slightly weaker than the average of GHS11.8 to a USD recorded in the year-earlier period.

As such, the report said price pressures stemming from imported goods and services will remain limited over the coming months, supporting the ongoing disinflationary trend.

The rating agency said inflation would remain above the 20 per cent mark ahead of the March Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, which will prompt a vigilant approach from central bank policymakers.

‘In the coming months, price pressures will moderate at a much slower pace compared to the final quarter of 2023.
This is partly due to the uptick in global oil prices caused by hostilities between Israel and Hamas, and a sharp increase in global shipping costs caused by rising tensions in the Red Sea. Consequently, inflation rates are set to stay well above the levels preferred by the Bank of Ghana with significant upside risks,” the report said.

This situation, the rating agency noted, underpinned their expectation that the central bank would not opt for a larger rate cut at the March MPC meeting.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Recovery or Recession? – Three Questions about China’s Economy

For some time, there have been some commentary in the international community that speak ill of China’s economy.

What is the trend of China’s economy?

Recently, the National Bureau of Statistics of China has published the statistics about China’s national economic performance in 2023.

It shows that China’s economy has rebounded and moved upward, with high-quality development solidly advancing, new economic drivers developing faster, market demand recovering steadily, green transformation forging ahead, and foreign trade becoming more resilient.

China’s economy will continue to provide strong impetus for the world.

Is China’s economy stagnating? As shown by the statistics, China’s economy is making steady progress, and remains the biggest engine of global growth.

The International Monetary Fund has stated that China will be the largest driver of global economic growth in the next five years, and one percentage point increase in gross domestic product (GDP) growth in China leads to 0.3 percentage point i
ncrease in growth in other economies.

As the only country encompassing all industrial categories in the United Nations industrial classification, China contributes to around one-third of world economic growth over the years.

The scale of China’s manufacturing industry has ranked first in the world for 13 consecutive years.

In 2023, the Chinese economy has achieved a year-on-year GDP growth of 5.2 per cent, outpacing most major economies.

China is now advancing Chinese modernisation on all fronts through high-quality development, delivering modernisation to more than 1.4 billion people.

It will be a remarkable achievement in human history, one that will provide continuous impetus to the development of China and the wider world.

Will China’s declining population pose economic challenges?

China’s demographic dividend is turning into talent dividend, as innovation is the primary driving force for development.

China now ranks first in the world in terms of the size of talent pool, human resources in scienc
e and technology and the total number of researchers.

China’s industrial optimisation and upgrading has achieved remarkable results and is moving up the mid-to-high-end value chain.

China’s expenditure on research and development and investment in high-tech industries have maintained double-digit growth for many years.

The number of China’s patent applications ranks first in the world, and the number of unicorn companies ranks second in the world.

China is pushing ahead green and low-carbon transformation, which will provide impetus for development in green infrastructure, green energy, green transportation and other fields, and generate a market of 10 trillion yuan per year.

Is China’s Door closing?

China remains firmly committed to opening up, sharing development opportunities with the world.

President Xi Jinping’s call for high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and the Global Development Initiative have provided the most inclusive and extensive international cooperation platform.

China is the major
trading partner of more than 140 countries and regions.

Our overall tariff level has been cut to 7.3 per cent, relatively at par with the developed members in the World Trade Organisation.

China is the world’s largest source of international development financing.

Since the beginning of this century, China has provided approximately $1.34 trillion in loans and grants to more than 20,000 projects in 165 low- and middle-income countries.

By opening up wider, China aims to develop together with all in the world.

Recently, there are some negative rhetoric against China’s economy.

Some countries want to shut out China in the name of ‘de-risking’, to ‘decouple’ from China, fragment industrial and supply chains, and build ‘small yards with high fences’.

However, facts speak louder than words. In the post-epidemic era, despite challenging international environment, increasing uncertainty of the world economy and insufficient growth momentum, China’s economy can still achieve its growth targets beyond expectati
ons with per capita disposable income continuing to rise, which is a strong demonstration of China’s resilience, vitality and potential.

To shut out China is to throw away opportunities, cooperation, stability and development.

Such a move would only create and spread risks, and no one would benefit from it.

As Premier Li Qiang has stated in the special address at the Opening Ceremony of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024, the world has entered a new period of turbulence and transformation, yet the overall direction of human development and progress will not change, the overall dynamics of world history moving forward amid twists and turns will not change, and the overall trend toward a shared future for the international community will not change.

After all the shifts and changes over the years, all should cherish communication the more and exchange, solidarity and cooperation, openness and sharing, peace and stability, forging ahead with a shared aspiration for a better future toward building a
community with a shared future for mankind!

Source: Ghana News Agency

NGO supports pupils in Keta with reading and learning materials

A United States (US)-based Worldreader, a non-governmental Organization (NGO), has supported some pupils in the Keta Municipality of the Volta region with reading and learning materials.

The items, including novels, pencils, erasers, exercise books, and bags, were aimed at improving students’ reading and learning skills.

Madam Kezia Agbenyega, the Programmes Manager from Worldreader, during a short ceremony held at the Church of Pentecost Keta, told the Ghana News Agency that the gesture was to motivate the young ones to adopt the habit of reading as well as learning.

She said the organisation, through the Keta Municipal Library, had organised a three-month-25 -book reading competition in basic schools across the area to inculcate the benefit of reading in students.

‘We gave them books in two different languages which are English and Ewe to prioritise the mother tongue, ‘L1′ which is one of the most important languages,’ she stated.

She stated that the NGO had since 2010, been supportive of students in
reading through their Worldreader-app to enhance and contribute to quality education in the country.

Mr Kenneth Dodoo, Chairman of Keta Municipal Library, on his part, commended the donors for the kind gesture.

He urged parents to cooperate with the intended programme.

‘Worldreader has been so supportive to us by providing some tablets with their books installed in it for students to read at the library.’

Mr Dela Odamson, the librarian, also told the GNA that the library was faced with many challenges which include inadequate tables and chairs, an ICT center, a library van, a modern library block, and others.

He lamented how some educational programmes were meant for the area but had been taken to other regions due to the dilapidated structures they faced.

Mr Odamson also appealed to individuals, philanthropists, institutions, parents, and the government to come to their aid.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Former Teberebie assembly member laid to rest at Dagbala

The former Assembly Member of Teberebie Electoral Area, in the Tarkwa Nsuaem Constituency, Manasseh Addison Sackey, has been laid to rest at Dagbala in the Volta Region.

‘Teacher Obour’ as he was affectionately called got drowned in the Bonsa River on December 5, 2023, at age 36, while on a campaign tour with his team to seek a second term in office.

Surprisingly, the deceased assembly member beat his two competitors by winning 860 of the total valid votes, leaving the rest for Mr Benard Obeng who polled 857 and Mr Michael Dompreh 637 votes.

Adieyie came to a standstill on Saturday, February 3, 2024, as hundreds of mourners from the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipality and beyond thronged the town to join the family to bid farewell to Manasseh, who doubled as the Deputy Constituency Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the area.

Family members and the public shed tears as parents, wife, Mount Olivet Methodist church, Mile 8 Society, Youth Development Ministry, Tarkwa Diocese, staff of Abompuniso
M/A basic School and Tarkwa Nsuaem constituency of the NDC, read their tributes amidst weeping.

The solemn ceremony was officiated by Reverend Benjamin Oppong, the Tarkwa Diocesan Youth Organiser, dwelling on scriptures readings from Revelations 7:9-17 and Matthew 25:1-13, and focusing on the theme ‘God has given you a second chance to repent’.

He said ‘People claiming to be Christians but live in sin, deceive themselves. We should glorify God with our actions and put him first in everything because death has no barrier’.

Rev. Oppong charged the public to take the advantage of what suffering Jesus Christ went through to save mankind and accept him as their Saviour to escape eternal punishment.

He gave an intercessory prayer for the soul of the departed former assembly member and asked God to comfort his immediate family, residents in his electoral and the Municipality.

Mr Sackey was born on December 23,1987, in Prestea to Mr and Mrs Addison, attended Methodist School nursery school, Quayson Junior High S
chool and enrolled in Tarkwa Senior High School in 2003.

He furthered his education at Komanda College of Education from 2008 to 2011, where he obtained his diploma certificate and later pursued a Bachelor of Education in Basic Education at the University of Education, Winneba, through distance education.

Manasseh was on the verge of completing his master’s degree in education and business administration at the University of Education, Winneba before he passed.

Also, he was elected as the first Vice President of the Methodist Youth Fellowship at the society level from the year 2013 to 2016.

Due to his hard work and dedication, he was appointed as the steward of the church from 2016 to date and the headmaster of Abompuniso M/A Basic School.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana’s Fintech Ecosystem takes centre-stage at Fintech Islands in Barbados

The vibrant landscape of Ghana’s FinTech industry has taken center-stage at the esteemed FinTech Islands event in Barbados.

A delegation from Ghana made up of Mr. Martin Kwame Awagah, President Ghana Fintech and Payments Association and Mr. Richard Nunekpeku, Vice President Legal and Strategy, represented Ghana’s digital finance ecosystem in Barbados.

Ghana’s active participation in the FinTech Islands event reinforces its commitment to driving innovation, fostering collaboration, and contributing to the global dialogue on financial technology.

The delegation’s engagements underscored the strides Ghana had made in embracing digital transformation to enhance financial services and promote inclusive economic growth.

The FinTech Islands event offers a platform where nations converge to share insights, collaborate, and shape the future of financial technology in the Caribbean. Ghana’s representation reflected the country’s standing as a key player in the global FinTech ecosystem.

Mr. Awagah, the Association
‘s President, kicked off the proceedings with a thought-provoking panel session on ‘Banking for All of Us: FinTech Innovation Driving Financial Inclusion.’

His insights shed light on Ghana’s commitment to leveraging technology to foster financial inclusion on a broader scale.

He delved into how government policies such as the National Financial Inclusion Development Strategy (NFIDS), Digital Financial Services Policy, and the Cashlite Roadmap have set the stage for the

country’s digital financial evolution.

‘These policies have tremendously transformed the delivery of financial services and we are even witnessing the offering of services in local languages, which is ensuring that financial access is not a barrier to the less educated.

These solutions are reaching millions of citizens across various sectors of the economy, thereby enhancing financial inclusion,’ he said.

The panel also included Mr. Zachary Harding Founding Partner, Delta Capital Partners – Caribbeann, Mr. Juan Zavala Aleman CEO and Co-Fo
under, FinZi – Columbia and Ms. Zia Paton PwC Partner, Digital Services – Caribbean.

Other officials from Ghana who participated in the panel discussion included Mr. Nunekpeku, the Vice President – Legal and Strategy Ghana Fintech and Payment Association.

He made a significant contribution to the discourse on ‘Fintechs Driving Adoption of Digital Money’ as the panel’s moderator.

On this panel were Adam Swartzbaugh, Founder and CEO of Almond Finance and Aldwyn Wayne, Founder and CEO, Colour Bank and WiPay.

Mr. Nunekpeku’s insights underscored the pivotal role that fintech companies played in driving the widespread adoption of digital currencies, such as crypto and stablecoins.

In another panel discussion, Mr. Awagah shared the stage with Mr. Kwame Oppong, Director of Fintech and Innovation at the Bank of Ghana, who joined in virtually, with Ms Carmelle Cadet, Founder and CEO of EMTECH, a renowned suptech platform at the forefront of digitizing regulatory processes,

The panel engaged in a compelling discu
ssion titled ‘CBDC Masterclass: Lessons Learned from the eCedi Hackathon.’

This insightful session delved into the intricacies of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) implementation, drawing lessons from Ghana’s groundbreaking eCedik.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Businessman charged with fraud and forgery of KMA Letters remanded

An Accra Circuit Court has remanded into Police custody a businessman accused of defrauding two persons of $27,000 under the pretext of securing them USA visas.

Bernard Oduro Takyi is accused of forging the embarkation and disembarkation stamps of Singapore, South Africa, Mauritius and Turkey in the various passports of the two complainants.

Takyi is also accused of forging Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) letter, introducing Gabriel Kwame Ntim, one of the complainants, as a strategic partner for local and external investors who were keen to invest in real estate in the ongoing government of Ghana IDIF Policy promoting industrialization.

In the case of the second complainant, Prince Kofi Osei, the accused person forged the KMA letter introducing him as a ‘Metro Climate Management officer.’

Takyi has been charged with two counts of defrauding by false pretences and three counts of forgery of official and other documents.

He has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecution led by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DS
P) Maxwell Oppong opposed the grant of bail.

The court presided by Mr Samule Bright Acquah has adjourned the matter to February 12, 2024.

The Prosecution’s case Is that the complainants, Gabriel Kwame Ntim and Prince Kofi Osei, are mechanic and personnel of Electricity Company of Ghana, respectively. Ntim and Osei reside in Kumasi and Accra, respectively. The accused person resides in Gbawe.

In 2023, the complainants decided to travel to the United State of America, and they separately informed the accused.

Prosecution said the accused person convinced them of securing visas for some people from the Regional USA embassy in Ghana within three months and added the complainant’s names to them.

The prosecutor said Ntim and Osei therefore paid $13,000 and $14 ,000 on April 19, 2023, and May 31, 2023, respectively.

Takyi then took the complainants’ passports and ‘forged entry and exist stamps of Singapore, Mauritius, Turkey, and South Africa without their consent.’

Again, prosecution said, Takyi forged KMA l
etter, introducing Ntim as ‘Strategic Partnership for both local and External Investor’ who was keen in investing in real estate sector in the ongoing IDIF.

In the case of Osei, the accused person introduced him as a ‘Metro Climate Change Management Officer’

Prosecutions said Takyi submitted their (complainants) documents to the Regional USA Embassy in Madagascar.

It said Takyi led the complainants to Madagascar for Interview and visas were granted to the complainants.

Later, prosecution said the Embassy detected the ‘forgery and immediately revoked the visas.’

On December 22, 2023, a report was made to the Police and Takyi was arrested.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Teachers of Sekondi Methodist SHS lauded for active participation in education development programme

Mrs Felicia Agyeibea Okai,Western Regional Director of Education, has commended the teaching staff of the Sekondi Methodist Senior High School for their participation in the Professional Learning Community (PLC) Sessions, focused on content and pedagogy in instructional delivery.

She said teachers at the school had availed themselves of the weekly PLC Sessions since its inception last year to improve teaching and learning outcomes.

As part of the Secondary Education Professional Development Programme, the National Council for Curriculum Assessment (NaCCA) in collaboration with teachers from Senior High Technical Schools, Science, Technical, Engineering and Mathematics schools, Colleges of Education and Universities developed the PLC Handbook to assist heads and teachers of second cycle institutions to run weekly PLC sessions in schools.

The weekly PLC sessions were designed to allow teachers to adopt more practical ways to improve teaching and learning outcomes in their schools.

Mrs Okai encouraged the t
eachers to take advantage of the PLC sessions and make their classroom settings learner-centred and friendly.

‘If teachers move away from the traditional methods of teaching and embrace the transition by applying cross-cutting issues, 21st century skills and others as part of teaching pedagogies and content, they can easily turn the fortunes of our education around,’ she said.

Madam Grace Eshun, Headmistress of the School, said teachers had been supplied with exercise books and encouraged them to make notes for reference.

She reminded teachers that topics treated during PLC sessions were potential questions for those going for interviews for promotion, adding that management would organise periodic quiz for teachers on the PLC sessions.

The school ranked the best in how PLC sessions were organized and patronized by teachers.

Mr Rhafic Ben Sam, a Coordinator and Planning Officer of the PLC at the Ghana Education Service Office in Sekondi, and Madam Josephine Roman, the Regional Girl Child Coordinator, als
o took turns to commend the teachers for the regular turn out, delivery and group participation in the weekly PLC sessions.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Residents receive resettlement Centre from Citi FM/TV

Residents of the Kpando Torkor in the Volta region, have received a newly built resettlement Centre with ancillary facilities from the Management of Citi TV and Citi FM.

The Centre was in response to the devastation caused by the spillage of the Akosombo dam in September 2023.

Mr Bernard Koku Avle, the General Manager of Citi TV and Citi FM, said the project at Kpando Torkor was made possible through benevolent donations from viewers and listeners, most importantly from Prudential Life Insurance Company.

He said about GHS700,000 was spent on the project in question.

Mr Avle commended all through whose effort the facility was completed, specifically applauding the MP and Assemblyman whose bi-partisan leadership contributed to the successful cost-effective development project in a timely manner.

Madam Fredrica Squire, the Acting Human Resource Manager, Prudential Life Insurance, expressed appreciation to Citi FM/Citi TV staff and management for the collaboration.

She said for over 165 years, the company
had been providing financial security for families all over the world.

‘One of our purposes as a business is to protect every life and every future. So, when we heard of what happened in this area, we couldn’t just look on. We decided to step in.’

Madam Squire said they wanted to be there for the citizenry and contribute to show love.

Madam Dela Sowah, the Member of Parliament for Kpando, also expressed gratitude to the donors for their contributions towards the resettlement Centre.

She noted that their gesture had made it easy for all to live together as a community and for the beneficiaries to rejoice.

The facility is the third being handed over by the Management to persons displaced by the spillage of the Akosombo dam as part of the ‘CitiRebuild’ campaign.

They were built with the massive support of listeners and viewers of Citi FM and Citi TV as well as corporate Ghana, to provide accommodation for 250 people.

Source: Ghana News Agency

President Akufo-Addo reinforces Ghana’s relations with grieving Namibia

Ghana has extended its condolences to the Namibian nation on the loss of President Hage Geingob, and hoped the deceased will forever be remembered for his legacies.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said the late Geingob’s leadership, characterised by wisdom and compassion, would be remembered not only within the borders of Namibia, but also across the African Continent.

‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the Namibian nation during this challenging time,’ he said, in a statement to commiserate with the Namibian people.

The statement described the late President as not only a respected leader, but also a dedicated servant of his people.

He died early on Sunday in a hospital in the capital, Windhoek, the Presidential Office said in a statement. He was 82.

First elected President in 2014, Geingob was Namibia’s longest-serving Prime Minister and third President.

The deceased, who was serving his second term as President, had revealed in January that he was receiving treatment for cancer.

‘His vision,
commitment and tireless efforts to advance the wellbeing of Namibians have left an indelible mark on the nation’s history.

‘His legacy will endure as a beacon of inspiration for future generations, and the impact of his contributions to the progress and development of Namibia will be felt for years to come,’ President Nana Akufo-Addo said.

He said as Namibia mourned the loss of a distinguished leader, it was his hope that the spirit of unity and resilience that had defined the late President’s leadership, would guide the country through the difficult time.

He was optimistic the deceased’s successor would continue with the excellent relations that Namibia had built with Ghana.

Source: Ghana News Agency