NPP extends deadline for proxy applications

The Presidential Elections Committee of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has extended the deadline for the submission of proxy applications for the impending presidential electoral college elections, to Saturday, August 5, 2023. A statement issued by Mr William Yamoah, Secretary to the Committee, stated that the decision to extend the deadline was based on some concerns raised by potential candidates on the submission of proxy applications. The statement expressed the hope that the extension would provide prospective applicants ample time to be able to comply with the requirements. ‘The Presidential Elections Committee of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) wishes to inform all stakeholders in the forthcoming Presidential Electoral College Elections that the deadline for the submission of proxy applications has been extended to Saturday, August 5, 2023 at 10:00am.’ It emphasised that a proxy applicant should show proof of absence and or inability to vote in person.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Let’s stimulate standardisation of Industrial Property through education, capacity building -MESTI

Mr Kwamena Essilfie Quaison, Director of Science, Technology and Innovation at the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), has urged stakeholders to stimulate the standardisation of Industrial Property (IP) through education and capacity building. ‘We have witnessed some public discourse on Copyrights associated with the music industry and it happens to be the closest we have come to discuss IP in the public domain…We have also witnessed how football has been well structured through standard agreements or contracts for the sale or transfers of players. ‘It only goes without saying that standardisation has paid off in these structured arrangements. This has not really happened in Industrial Property, and we need to stimulate that culture by education and capacity building,’ he said. He said this during the opening ceremony of the Ghana Jobs and Skills Project Training on the Framework for Technology Transfer, in Accra. The two-day event organised by MESTI brought together representatives of University and Research Institutions, Start Ups and Industry representatives of Ministries, Departments and Agencies to receive training on technology and innovation. Mr Quaison said intangibles like technology, Brands, IPs and Designs had shaped the global market competitiveness and expressed worry that Ghana, with all its potentials, had not been able to record a significant number of IPs as compared to countries like South Africa and Kenya. He said there had been some significant investment in research and development in Ghana since independence, however, it was yet to be properly traced to products and services in the real sector except in areas of crop varieties or improved seedlings associated with agriculture. The Director urged participants to contribute to the discourse and take advantage of the experts available to enrich their knowledge on the subject matter. Mr Emmanuel Sackey, International IP Expert and Consultant, during a presentation on the topic, ‘Introduction to Intellectual Property and Registration Procedures’, defined IP as a set of ideas, information and knowledge. ‘IP Rights are specific legal rights, which protect the owners of IP or persons over the creation of their minds, under certain conditions,’ he added. Mr Sackey said over the years, Africa had contributed only 0.6 per cent to patenting worldwide and urged stakeholders to pay close attention to that area. He said according to the Elsevier Report, 2021, Africa generated less than one per cent of the world’s research publications. ‘According to the Journal of Lientometric Research (2022), Africa contributes 7.6 per cent of scientific publications in the world,’ he added. Mr Sackey urged the participants to invest in branding of their products to give it a global appeal and enhance its market value. Mr Andrew Odoi, Project Officer, Ghana Jobs and Skills Project, said the Ghana Jobs and Skills Project (GJSP) was a five-year US$200 million World Bank funded project, which was signed in 2020 to support skills development and job creation in Ghana. He explained that US$60million of the total amount had been allocated for apprenticeship training for jobs to be implemented by the Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET). ‘US$100million of the total amount has also been allocated for entrepreneurship training and competitive business start- up grants to individuals for jobs and private enterprises for expanded employment,’ he said. US$30million will be used for development and operationalisation of the Ghana Labour Market Information System, upgrading of district Public Employment Centres and provision of job connection and Labour market information services and independent performance reviews of youth employment and skills development programsme. ‘US$10million has been allocated for capacity development and technical assistance and project management support,’ Mr Odoi added.

Source: Ghana News Agency

BYU Management Society holds African Professional Development Conference in Accra

The Brigham Young University-Management Society (BYUMS) has hosted the African Professional Development Conference in Accra. The conference on the theme ‘Lift and Lead’ was to create a transformative and enriching experience for young professionals to build their career as well as give back to society. The two-day conference brought together over 2000 in-person and online participants throughout Africa, who learnt about a free launching leaders personal development course as well as mentoring and other resources that would contribute to career advancement. In an interview with the media, Mr Jason Brown, Executive Director of BYUMS, said through access to global mentoring with partners from BYUMS, the youth could ‘connect locally, connect in Africa, and if we are successful here today, connect globally.’ He said there was much hope, enthusiasm, and energy in Africa, hence the need for BYUMS to host the conference in Africa, adding that it would help the participants especially the youth to build up their careers for the betterment of their families as well as their various communities. According to Mr Brown, the BYUMS would work together with university to improve the professional skills, experience, wages, and education and leadership capabilities of these young adults to increase their employment opportunities. Mr Brown reiterated the need for participants especially the youth to make goals and find mentors saying, ‘sometimes it is difficult to approach someone for help so we will help them to get clear coaching in other to make the right decisions to support their family.’ He, therefore, urged the participants to always embrace second chances in life and make the best out of it, stating that they should continue to learn hard to give back to society. Mr Seth Ogoe Ayim, Africa Regional Director, BYUMS said the conference was instituted to make sure that young professionals could move to the next level in their career. He added that, ‘one of the goals at the management systems at BYU is to influence ethical and moral leadership around the world and prior to that it’s mentoring and making sure that young professionals can take opportunities in their career in Africa.’ Mr Keli Gadzekpo, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Enterprise Group and Chairman of the Databank Foundation urged the conference attendees not to fear failure. ‘If you’ve never failed, then you’ve probably never tried. Fear of failure leads to inaction…and you need to act,’ he added. Mr Gadzekpo who is also a member of BYUMS, encouraged the participants to lead with integrity, adding that ‘Integrity comes at a price, and you must be willing to pay that price.’ The BYU-Management Society works closely with partners such as the BYU Alumni Association, Welfare and Self-Reliance Services of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Skep Foundation, Interweave Solutions, and Academy for Creating Enterprise, and others to help young adults. The focus of all collaborative partners is to improve the professional skills, experience, wages, education, and leadership capabilities of these young adults to increase their employment opportunities, and better jobs that will bless their lives and the lives of their families and allow them to better serve God.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Argentina: Angolan ambassador hands over credentials

Angolan diplomat, Azevedo Xavier Francisco,recently appointed as Ambassador to Argentina, last Tuesday handed over his credentials to President Alberto Fernandes.

According to a note ANGOP has had access to, the ceremony took place at the Casa Rosada which is the office of the president, in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital.

After the meeting, the Angolan diplomat visited the Plaza San Martín Square situated in Buenos Aires, where he laid a wreath at the General monument.

Besides Argentina, Azevedo Xavier Francisco will also represent Angola in other countries of the same Latin America region, namely Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

The diplomat has a degree in Law, with a Masters in International Relations.

He was the ambassador of Angola to the Republic of Zambia from 2019 to 2023 and became Angola´s fifth ambassador to Argentina, replacing Fidelino Pelinganga.

The ambassador´s wife Tânia Patrícia Francisco, officials from the Angolan Embassy and members of the Angolan community in Argentina attended the ceremony.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

SADC: Mozambique encourages Angola’s presidency

Mozambican ambassador Osvalda Joana has considered Angola’s experience in mediation and resolution to the conflict crucial for the country’s presidency in SADC.

The diplomat made the statement to Television Girassol, ahead of the 43rd Summit of Heads of States and Governments of the Community for the Development of Southern Africa (SADC).

The Summit will take place on August 7-17 in Luanda, during which, Angola will take over a one-year term at the top job of the organisation.

“We all know that President João Lourenço was elected champion of peace, precisely because of the action he has taken in search of peace in the region”, said the ambassador.

She added that the Angolan presidency will have, among others, the challenge of peace which, in the view of the Mozambican ambassador, will be successful.

The diplomat’s statement comes in the wake of the engagement of the Angolan President in the peace and development of his country and the region.

One of SADC’s major goals is to make the region industrialised by 2063, according to the organisation’s Strategy and Roadmap, approved by the Heads of State and Government, in April 2015, for the period 2015-2063.

The objective of the strategy is to promote sustainable economic growth and development, which ultimately contribute to the alleviation and eradication of poverty and the creation of better living conditions for the region’s citizens.

SADC expects to raise the region’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate from 4 percent per year to a minimum of 7 percent, double the percentage of value added by manufacturing industry, including the share of industry-related services in GDP to 30 percent by 2030 and raise it to 40 percent by 2050.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an inter-governmental organisation created in 1992 and dedicated to socio-economic cooperation and integration, as well as cooperation in political and security matters.

The organisation includes Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

PhosAgro to double mineral fertilizer exports to Africa in 3 years

PhosAgro Group, one of the world’s largest producers of phosphate-based fertilizers, says it is working to double fertilizer exports to Africa in the next three years. Speaking at the Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PhosAgro, Mikhail Rybnikov, said PhosAgro was the largest Russian supplier of fertilizers to Africa, supplying about 33 per cent of Russia’s total fertilizer exports to the continent. He said the Company supplied eco-efficient products that did not contain concentrations of cadmium or other toxic substances that were hazardous to human health or soils to some 100 countries around the world, including 21 African countries of which South Africa, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique and Tanzania were the leading importers. Mr Rybnikov, who noted that Africa was one of PhosAgro’s priorities for international development, said the Company over the last five years, had increased deliveries to Africa by around 350 per cent from 117.9 thousand tonnes in 2018 to 540.0 thousand tonnes in 2022. ‘Over the past year, PhosAgro has increased its exports to Africa by a quarter, and we expect to double that in the next three years,’ he said. He said one of the factors enabling the Company to expand its export potential to Africa would be the launch of a new plant in Volkhov, located near Baltic ports with a production capacity of a million tonnes, focused on exporting products to friendly countries. He said by the end of 2023, the Company planned to develop not less than six innovative products as part of the Innagro project in partnership with Innopraktika. ‘Safe biological crop protection agents are innovative products that can help African countries make an important leap in addressing food security,’ he said. Mr Rybnikov said PhosAgro was helping train local farmers and had timed the launch of its Pro Agro Lectorium educational platform to coincide with the Russia-Africa Summit. The platform, he said was an easy-to-use online service designed specifically for African farmers, with educational lectures on sustainable agriculture, the basics of plant nutrition and the correct use of mineral fertilizers.

Source: Ghana News Agency