The Bazaar DC by José Andrés (JF33) Obtains USCIS Project Approval

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — EB5 Capital, a leading EB-5 Regional Center operator, is pleased to report that on May 30, 2024, its restaurant project, The Bazaar DC by José Andrés (JF33), was approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This Form I-956F approval signifies that USCIS has verified the compliance of JF33, and the individual foreign investors who invested in the project are now closer to obtaining conditional residency in the United States.

The Bazaar DC by José Andrés (JF33) is the development of a 227-seat, approximately 10,000 square-foot, high-end restaurant located in the historic Waldorf Astoria in Washington, DC. EB5 Capital provided a portion of the financing for JF33. The Bazaar DC by José Andrés opened to the public in 2023 and is among 20 EB5 Capital projects in the nation’s capital. In 2019, EB5 Capital also supported the financing of The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad, which includes another location of The Bazaar.

EB5 Capital’s JF33 project is owned and managed by José Andrés Group (JAG), a highly reputable and respected restaurant operator based in Washington, DC with nearly 40 restaurant concepts across the United States and internationally, including The Bazaar by José Andrés, barmini, Jaleo, Zaytinya, China Poblano, Oyamel, China Chilcano, in addition to an array of others in its fast-casual division. Sam Bakhshandehpour was recently promoted to Global CEO of the José Andrés Group (JAG), formerly he served as President, and world-famous chef and humanitarian José Andrés, will continue to serve as Founder and Executive Chairman of JAG.

“We would like to congratulate the investors who joined JF33, the first restaurant project in our 40-project portfolio,” said Patrick Rainey, Senior Vice President of Investments at EB5 Capital. “This approval is also a major milestone for our team as it marks our 10ᵗʰ project approved since the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 went into effect.”

EB5 Capital is looking forward to receiving individual I-526E petition approvals from USCIS soon and supporting its investors with the next steps in the immigration process. The firm will continue to identify and execute on EB-5 projects that not only meet the rigorous requirements of USCIS but contribute meaningfully to local communities and economies across the United States.

About EB5 Capital

EB5 Capital provides qualified foreign investors with opportunities to invest in job-creating commercial real estate projects under the United States Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5 Visa Program). Headquartered in Washington, DC, EB5 Capital’s distinguished track record and leadership in the industry has attracted investors from over 75 countries. As one of the oldest and most active Regional Center operators in the country, the firm has raised over $1 billion of foreign capital across approximately 40 EB-5 projects. 100% of our investors’ funds are protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance prior to their deployment into our projects. Please visit for more information.

Katherine Willis
Director, Marketing & Communications

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 9152932

NCCE leads tree planting exercise in schools at Wassa Amenfi Central

The Wassa Amenfi Central District Directorate of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in the Western Region has led a tree planting exercise in more than 20 basic and senior high schools within the district.

The theme for the 2024 edition is: ‘Growing for a Greener Tomorrow.’

Mr Anthony Kelvin Amoo, the Wassa Amenfi Central District Director of the NCCE, speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview, said the exercise was also part of the Commission’s Citizenship Week celebration to educate the students to adopt positive attitudes towards the growth and development of the country.

He said one of the NCCE’s mandates was to ensure citizens’ participation in nation building, thus, the tree planting exercise was to inculcate a sense of civic responsibility in the students towards protecting the environment for national development.

‘The simple act of planting a tree represents a belief that the tree will grow to provide us with clean air and water, cooling shade, habitat for wildlife, health
ier communities, and endless natural beauty for a better tomorrow,’ he said.

Mr Amoo advised the students to ensure they nurtured the trees to grow and provide serene learning environment for improved academic performance.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Revenue Mobilization Africa launches ‘Blue Community’ to ensure equitable access to water

Revenue Mobilization Africa (RMA), a research and advocacy not-for-profit organization, has launched ‘Blue Community’ to ensure equitable distribution and responsible treatment of water for future generations.

‘Blue Community’ adopts a water commons framework that treats water as a common good that everyone shares and is the responsibility of all.

It is aimed at addressing pollution, degradation, and depletion, curtailing the privatization of water resources at the community level and ensuring fair access to water for all.

Mr Geoffrey Ocansey, Executive Director of RMA, said the initiative would promote public financing, ownership and operation of water and wastewater services, and advocate for banning the sale of bottled water in public facilities and at municipal events.

He said it would establish strong networks to create awareness and facilitate the protection of rights to better water and sanitation conditions locally and internationally.

The Executive Director said recognizing sector services as hu
man rights and promoting citizens’ participation and role was crucial for effective and equitable access to water services to all.

‘As we launch the Blue Community Africa Project, we are not just starting a new initiative; we are igniting a movement that has the potential to reshape how water is managed and protected across our continent’, he added.

Dr Alexander Ampabeng, Deputy Minister for Finance, said the Blue Community initiative aligned seamlessly with Ghana’s developmental goals as it embraced the principle that water is a common good, essential for all life forms, and a fundamental human right, and reaffirmed the government’s dedication to these principles.

He said since 2017, the government’s investments in the water and sanitation sectors had significantly improved access to essential services, stating that, the population’s access to basic drinking water services had increased from 79 per cent in 2017 to 87.7 per cent in 2022.

He said the government also developed comprehensive Water Safety Pla
ns, which were now integral to the training of School Health Education Project Coordinators, fostering a culture of water safety education from the grassroots.

The Deputy Finance Minister said despite these achievements, the government recognized the challenges ahead, hence, in keeping with the common goal of realizing and safeguarding access to clean water and decent sanitation as essential human rights, the launch of Blue Community in Africa is a major milestone.

However, it demands coordinated effort, government support, and environmentally responsible water resource management.

He said the private sector, civil society, and international partners must collaborate to guarantee that all citizens have access to these fundamental services.

He reiterated the commitment of the government to keep up efforts to protect valuable water resources for future generations, increase access to water and sanitation services, and improve the quality of water available to citizens.

Mr Aloysius Adjietey, Chief Executive
of Community Water and Sanitation Agency, called for strong policy frameworks, an end to corruption, improved water service delivery and investment in water infrastructure to be able to achieve the sustainable developmental goals.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Support Marine Conservation efforts – Minister

Madam Ophelia Mensah Hayford, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI), today called on Ghanaians to support marine conservation efforts to ensure food security.

Ghanaians, she explained, could do so by providing support to groups and projects that saved marine life, preserved marine environments, and advanced environmentally friendly fishing methods.

Such actions would preserve biodiversity, ensure ecosystem services, maintain food security, regulate climate, and preserve cultural heritage, all of which were essential for the health of the planet and the well-being of both current and future generations.

The Minister of MESTI was speaking at the World Oceans Day (WOD) Celebration in Ghana, under the theme, ‘Awaken New Depth.’

The United Nations General Assembly designated June 8, as the WOD to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean and promote public awareness on the importance of the ocean for all life forms on earth and actions for a sustainable oc
eans management.

Madam Hayford said Ghana adopted the same theme with the focus on exploring deeper understanding and collaboration among various stakeholders to significantly address the challenges facing the oceans and renew its commitments to attain positive ocean health.

She said the ocean played a vital role in the planet’s health and well-being, covering 70 per cent of the planet and 97 per cent of earth’s water, and is vital for human life, providing food, shelter, livelihoods, and medicines.

The Minister said it also mitigated climate change, absorbing 30 per cent of carbon emissions and 90 per cent of heat generated by rising emissions, adding that its estimated contribution to the global economy was USD 2.5 trillion annually.

She said the ocean was enormous, and that we depended entirely on it, but had only explored about 10 per cent, with limited knowledge about its health and the greater implications and ramifications of human activities on the oceans which were still largely unknown.

Madam H
ayford said ocean pollution, overfishing, illegal fishing and piracy, coastal erosion, lack of education and awareness, limited infrastructure, funds, and enforcement, and Climate change and ocean acidification were some notable threats faced by the Ocean.

She said the ocean’s relationship with humans needed a shift to awaken new depths and focus on research, conservation, and sustainable practices.

‘Collaboration between governments, scientific, regulatory, and non-governmental organisations is therefore necessary to restore its balance and vitality,’ she added.

The Minister said globally, there were noteworthy efforts across various initiatives to ‘Awaken New Depth’ to advance sustainability and ocean conservation, which included the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14, among others.

She noted there was the need to adequately conduct ocean awareness campaigns through events, social media, and stories to raise public awareness about ocean conservation and human activities’ impact on marine ecosystems.

‘We must also adequately implement eco-friendly innovations, encourage sustainable tourism, inspire individual action, support policy change, celebrate and support ocean champions,’ she added.

The Minister for MESTI called on all and sundry to unite in exploring new depths towards managing, protecting, and sustaining the ocean health towards achieving a bluer, safer, and better ocean lifestyle.

Mr Ransford Sekyi, Deputy Executive Director, Environmental Protection Agency, said the oceans, with their vast blue expanse and diverse marine life were important to the existence on earth as it provided vast benefits to billions of people and supported a wealth of biodiversity.

He said though the ocean was incredibly huge, and the complete reliance was on it for livelihoods, we had only investigated about 10 per cent, thus very little was known about it in totality.

‘The impacts or effects of anthropogenic actions still remain a concern and it’s well known that the ocean is in grave danger.’

‘As we come together
to mark this important day, let us reflect on and commit to a shared responsibility of safeguarding and conserving these invaluable resources for current and future generations,’ he added.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Election 2024: German Ambassador urges security services to guard peace in Ghana

Mr Daniel Krull, the German Ambassador to Ghana, has commended security agencies in Ghana for offering unparalleled protection which has ensured peace in the country over the years.

‘Ghana has a unique security in West Africa, and it is something we should not take for granted, it must be worked for every day.

‘We are all aware that the wars and security situation in the Sub-region has not been easy.

‘These developments might affect Ghana if we do not guard our peace, and all of these depend strongly on our security officers,’ he stated.

Mr. Krull, who was addressing security officers at the opening of a five-day Electoral Violence Security Course in Kumasi, said electoral violence and security took prime positions in the consolidation of peace and stability in a country.

The training was organized by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC) in collaboration with the German Foreign Ministry.

It targeted officers from the Police, Immigration, Military, Customs, Prisons, and Fire

The course is designed to address electoral violence in West Africa by equipping law enforcement agencies with effective prevention, management, and response strategies.

It will also enhance capacities of government security services across West Africa to safeguard the electoral processes and ensure free, fair, and peaceful elections.

Mr. Krull pointed out that, the record of Ghana as a country which had been conducting free and fair elections needed to be protected and work on to ensure that the upcoming general elections in December would have the same quality to be able to contribute to sustainable peace in the country.

He said the German government had been implementing various forms of projects with various security agencies in Ghana aimed at promoting peace, empowering inmates, and sustainable livelihoods, among others.

The Ambassador used the occasion to commend the KAIPTC for supporting security in the sub-region and improving African solutions for African problems.

Colonel Anorph Barn
abas Akanbong, Director of Training, KAIPTC, explained that the course would among other things, expose officers to effective violence mitigation strategies towards the election.

These plans, according to him, often included identifying early warning signs, mobilizing citizens, monitoring and mitigation efforts, coordinating and educating the public.

Col. Akanbong indicated that, Ghana was regarded as a beacon of democracy and it was important not ‘to let it backslide on our watch,’ entreating course participants to strive to enhance their knowledge, skills, and competencies.

He hinted that a similar course had been organized for officers in Greater Accra and neighbouring regions and the same would be replicated in the northern sector.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Opuni Trial: Standards Authority does not determine the suitability of fertiliser on Cocoa plants

Mrs Genevieve Ofosuhemaa Mantey, Head of Material Science Department of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), says the Standards Authority does not determine the suitability of fertiliser on Cocoa plants.

She said Authority had an office at the port and it was possible fertilisers had been analyzed and tested at their lab, but they would not know it was going been tested for COCOBOD. 

Mrs Mantey, a subpoenaed witness for Mr Seidu Agongo, was speaking in his evidence-in-Chief in the trial involving Dr Stephen Opuni, a former Chief Executive of COCOBOD, led by Mr Benson Nutsukpui, Counsel for Agongo. 

Dr Opuni and Mr Agongo are facing 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretences, willfully causing financial loss to the State, money laundering, and corruption by a public officer in contravention of the Public Procurement Act. 

They have both pleaded not guilty to the charges and are on a GHS300,000.00 self-recognizance bail each. 

She said there was no standard use of fertiliser on Cocoa at the Author
ity and its catalog had only three standards on fertiliser.

These standards were developed after June 2017.

She said prior to 2017, the Authority used several international standards for testing fertiliser.

The witness said K.K Amoah, a former Executive Director of EOCO, called a meeting and wanted to know why GSA produced two conflicting reports and it was the first time she had seen the Peter Papafio report.

She said during the meeting, she explained the GSA report on testing of lithovit to them and she agreed that the two reports were conflicting.

The witness told the court that from there, she was asked to write her statement and after the meeting, there was a second meeting held at Osafo Maafo Office around Ridge in Accra.

Asked whether she could remember the names of the people, who attended the meeting, the witness said she could not remember the names but said she recalled Officials from COCOBOD and two officers from the Chemistry Department of the University of Ghana and EOCO.

She said Mr Maaf
o at the meeting wanted to know why the reports were different and conflicting; two reports from GSA and one from the Chemistry Department. 

‘So, we spoke about the different methods used in the analysis and the way the sampling was done, the probable batch numbers sent to the different institutions and the environmental conditions the testing was done,’ she added.

Mrs Mantey told the court that the samples were voluminous, so picking one sample was not representative enough. 

She said at the meeting the analysts from GSA and the Chemistry Department also recommended that the samples could be flown outside to a credited laboratory for testing.

She said they did not give any directive concerning the confirmatory testing by the two institutions, adding that she was not aware GSA received any sample for confirmation testing.  

‘GSA was not contacted to conduct a confirmatory test to resolve the conflicts in the two reports,’ the witness said. 

The witness said there was no agreement on any standard for fut
ure testing of fertiliser in Ghana 

She said the two institutions, who tested the fertiliser separately did not agree on the nutrients and elements in the sample and the sample size was different, and while the GSA received a liquid sample, the Chemistry Department received a powdery sample for the testing. 

Source: Ghana News Agency