Seven women among 115 aspirants to contest assemblies’ elections at Ajumako

Seven women have filed to contest this year’s District Level Elections when nomination closed in the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam District on Friday, November 17.

The women represent only six per cent of the total of 115 assembly member aspirants contesting in the district with 47 electoral areas.

The election is slated for Tuesday, December 19, nationwide.

Aside from the assembly member aspirants, 362 persons are also contesting to serve as unit committee members in the district, the Ghana News Agency gathered from the Electoral Commission (EC) office at Ajumako in the Central Region.

Madam Eunice Bonsi, the Ajumako District Electoral Officer, told the GNA in an interview that there was a heightened interest in this year’s election considering the number of aspirants, projecting an improved turnout.

She said more people were becoming interested in holding leadership positions at the local level and demonstrating leadership abilities.

A minimum of two and a maximum of four aspirants were recorded in each elect
oral area.

‘Many people do not usually participate in the District Level Election, but this year, it has been impressive. The number of aspirants is very encouraging,’ Madam Bonsi said.

The EC opened an online portal for the nominations this year, but majority of the aspirants visited the office in-person to pick up the forms, she said.

She expressed the Commission’s preparedness to conduct a credible election to ensure a peaceful outcome.

‘We are always prepared to conduct a free, fair, and transparent election and this year’s would not be any different,’ Madam Bonsi assured.

Source: Ghana News Agency

US Ambassador commends Ghana for spearheading climate-related technology in West Africa

Madam Virginia Palmer, United States Ambassador to Ghana, has commended Ghana for leading the way in West Africa on climate-related technologies and innovation.

She attributed the gains in Ghana to recent government-led initiatives aimed at encouraging the use of climate-related technologies and the intent to waive taxes on some climate-related technologies, particularly electric cars.

She made the remarks in her address during the Tech in Ghana programme, which was held at the Accra Digital Centre.

The tax waivers would benefit the importation of electric cars, assembled electric cars in Ghana, and electric car spare parts imported into the country.

These initiatives, the Ambassador said, would create an enabling environment for electrical vehicles, charging stations, and their supporting technologies.

She also said Ghana had established itself as a hub in Africa for artificial intelligence and fintech innovation.

The Tech in Ghana programme is a prominent United Kingdom and Ghana platform dedicated t
o strengthening and showcasing Ghana’s thriving tech ecosystem both locally and globally.

Since the inception of the programme in 2017, it has attracted the active involvement of many multinational businesses, policymakers, investors, fast-growing scale-ups, and founders from the region.

The event at the Accra Digital Centre also featured an exhibition by various tech companies in Ghana, presentations on the opportunities and challenges of artificial intelligence.

Madam Akosua Annobil, Chief Executive Officer for Tech in Ghana, said this year’s edition had been successful as the panel discussions and other activities have been fruitful.

‘So far, we have had some great keynotes from the United States Ambassador to Ghana and some important panel discussions for the day, which were about creating an enabling environment for financial digital services and financial inclusion. We also had a great key on artificial intelligence,” she said.

She said the African tech ecosystem had a huge potential but without c
ollaboration the continent could not thrive the way we wanted to see it.

She called for more dialogues with various players in the tech industry, particularly regulators and practitioners, on how to promote access to technological products and services in the country.

There was panel discussion including industry players in telecommunications, fintech, and tech start-ups, who provided insight on how to improve financial inclusion in Ghana.

Source: Ghana News Agency

We must focus on commercial and technologically driven smart agriculture for food security – Dr Bawumia

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has urged stakeholders in the agriculture value chain to embrace technology and digitalisation to take advantage of the changing dynamics of the industry.

The Vice President expressed excitement about the possibilities available to leverage big data and Artificial Intelligence to bring some certainty into a venture dependent on the weather in Africa.

‘The future of agriculture is no more about cutlasses and hoes. The emerging technologies in Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, internet of things, etc are now the way to go to make agriculture smart in conformity to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This is one of the ways to make agriculture attractive to this new generation.’

Vice President Bawumia made the call during the commissioning of the Siriboe Institute of Agribusiness and Skills Development at Juaben in the Ashanti Region.

The brainchild of Nana Yaw Sarpong Siriboe I, Akyempimhene of Juaben Traditional Area and reigning National Best Farmer, the Institute aims to
train and equip students with adequate theoretical and technical skills in agribusiness and entrepreneurship.

It is also intended to empower students to establish and operate their enterprises effectively.

The 700-seater capacity facility, with spaces for formal lectures, demonstrations, and workshops, a creche for young mothers to enable them gain knowledge without sacrificing their maternal obligations, a cafeteria and practical demonstration farm located in the 400-acre Siriboe Farms Complex.

The Institute was established with his prize money (one million Ghana Cedis) for winning the 2022 Best Farmer Award, resources from his farm (Siriboe Farms) and his personal savings, according to Nana Yaw Sarpong Siriboe I, who is the third-youngest person to win the National Best Farmer Award.

Dr Bawumia reiterated the Government’s commitment to providing skills training, especially to the youth.

He lauded the Founder of the Institute for recognizing the importance of skills development, practical training, and
hands-on experience for the youth.

‘Today, this centre is being opened to offer opportunities for young people who have the desire to engage in smart Agriculture and the skills set needed for the future of work.

‘I am particularly delighted with the partnership of this centre with other academic institutions of higher learning and the High Schools. It provides proof that Siriboe Institute of Agribusiness and Skills development is youth focused.

‘Within the last seven years the NPP government has put a lot of measures in place to build the Start-up and Entrepreneurship Innovation Ecosystem in Ghana’.

Currently Ghana ranks 99th on the global Innovation index and among the top five robust start-ups ecosystem in Africa.

He said the government had provided support for the youth through Start-ups and MSMEs such as the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), the Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA), the Youth Employment Agency, the National Youth Authority and other Ministries, department, and agenc

‘The government also has supported 45 Innovation Hubs across the country through NEIP with about US$ 7 million, with this centre we are launching today being part of the beneficiaries of the new NEIP Hubs Grant Programme,’the Vice President stated.

Dr Bawumia challenged the leadership of the Institute to make it a ‘centre of excellence for agriculture innovation and skills development’, thus, pledged government’s support to achieve the goal.

The ceremony was attended by the Omanhene of the Juaben traditional Area, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, who is also Chairperson of the Council of State; Nana Effah Apenteng, Omanhene of Bompata traditional area; Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister for Education, Mrs Ama Pomaa Boateng, MP for Juaben; and representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and the ADB Bank.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Gov’t urged to make sanitary pads accessible to all devoid of economic status – Ada MP

Ms Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe, a National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Ada, has urged the government to work to ensure that women across the country, especially, rural communities, regardless of their economic status, have equal access to sanitary pads.

She said: ‘All women deserve this.’

Ms Cudjoe, also the Deputy Minority Whip, addressing the Press in Parliament on Wednesday, called on the government to scrap all taxes on sanitary pads in the country to make them free for girls and women.

‘All that we are crying for women, is we all deserve this, as our children use this, we are crying for the poor, the farmers or the rural communities who cannot afford this, to get it free of charge from the government,’ she said.

Leading some female MPs, market women and female students from the University of Ghana City Campus to make the call, the group gave the government a one-month ultimatum to scrap all taxes on sanitary pads.

She also appealed for accessible and affordable menstrual hygiene pro

Ms Cudjoe told the Press that the affordability and availability of sanitary pads were a fundamental necessity for health, dignity, and access to education.

‘We are just giving the government one month to come to the House and amend what he put in the budget statement otherwise we will advise ourselves.

‘They should stop taxing our blood,’ she said.

Ms Abla Dzifa Gomashie, the NDC MP for Ketu South, appealed to the government to work on the elimination of import duties on both imported and locally manufactured sanitary pads, adding that a waiver of Value Added Tax on sanitary pads would enhance accessibility and affordability, especially in marginalised communities to ensure equal access.

‘Countries are sharing these sanitary pads for students free of charge, others have set aside 3 million a year for these sanitary pads. We can do better than that for our children, we can do better than that for our women,’ she said.

The call for the elimination of import duties and Value Added Tax is rooted in
the belief that financial barriers should not deny anyone their basic human right to menstrual hygiene.

Ms Laadi Ayii Ayamba, an NDC MP for Pusiga, explained the ordeal of women in rural areas who did not practice proper menstrual hygiene due to their inability to afford sanitary pads.

She said most of them had to resort to the use of foreign materials that mostly caused the infection, as they did not practice proper menstrual hygiene, which later developed into ‘candidiasis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, infertility and blockage of the tube.’

Meanwhile, the government announced a zero-rated Value Added Tax (VAT) on locally-produced sanitary pads for five years in the Budget Statement and Economic Policy delivered by Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister for Finance to Parliament on Wednesday, November 15 , 2023.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Public urged to take advantage of free Health Screening to know health status

The Medical Director in charge of Afrolifeline Medical Centre at Shama in the Western Region, Dr Priscilla Gloria Nashlord Bekoe, has encouraged the public to take advantage of free health screenings, to know their fitness statuses.

She said it was important to promote good health and living conditions, as getting screened could help detect certain hidden diseases, for early treatment to prevent further complications.

Dr Bekoe gave the advice at one of such free health screening exercises organised as part of activities to mark the ‘2023 Shama Homecoming celebration.’

The people were screened for Malaria, diabetes, hypertension, malnutrition for children and Body Mass Index (BMI) among others.

The Homecoming is on the theme, ‘Breaking the Sins of Our Forefathers.’

Some beneficiaries were excited about the screening, saying it was a good course as they were thoroughly examined and given the needed medication and advice.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Dam Spillage: Fisheries Ministry, NADMO support Volta fishers

Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (MoFAD) has handed over some relief items to the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) for distribution to fisherfolks affected by the spillage of the Akosombo Dam.

The items included 1,000 bags of 25kg rice, 417 boxes of cooking oil, 417 boxes of mackerels, 417 boxes of tomato paste, cartons of bar soap, packs of detergent, packs of tissue, and bags of sachet water.

Mr Moses Anim, the Deputy Sector Minister handing over the items at NADMO warehouse, Woe in the Anloga District said the presentation formed part of government’s relief efforts in the three regions affected by the spillage.

‘On behalf of the President, the Ministry, and our agencies, we are here to present some relief items to the victims of the dam spillage in the three regions, that is Volta Region, Greater Accra, and the Eastern Region, which will go for the marine resources and inland resources as well.’

Mr Anim said it was important to support the fisheries sector and alleviate the suffe
ring of fishers and their dependents in these challenging times.

‘Since 2016, 2017, the aquaculture contribution to total domestic fish production was about some 54,000 metric tons of fish, and in 2022, aquaculture contributed about 183,000 metric tons and this spillage may try to reduce the production level of aquaculture and that is why we must be very quick to react and be responsive.’

The Deputy Minister hinted that there would be a second phase of support for the victims saying, ‘We are aware of the fisher folk whose cages and equipment have been either destroyed or carried away. We have taken inventory, and a budget has been prepared and we are waiting for a time, when the water reduces, we will make those donations to them’

Mr Seji Saji, Deputy Director General, NADMO, who received the items on behalf of the Organisation with gratitude, speaking to the Ghana News Agency said, such donations were important at this point to reduce the suffering of individual victims and to support their recovery.

a disaster management agency, we have received the items and will distribute them in the same spirit in which they are donated. We are particularly happy about the livelihood support mentioned… We are at the recovery stage now and at this stage, it is the individual that matters and since it will take some time for them to recover, supports like this are relevant and we shall commit to it.’ Mr. Saji said.

Volta Region’s three coastal districts of Anloga, Keta, and Ketu South to benefit from the donation were represented by their Municipal and District Chief Executives; Mr Seth Yormewu, Mr. Emmanuel Gemegah and Mr Maxwell Lugudor with the respective NADMO Coordinators, who joined Mr Saji to receive the items.

About 39,000 fishers were affected by the flood disaster in October because of the Akosombo Dam spillage which displaced many.

Fisherfolks in these three districts, especially those around the Keta Lagoon got affected, when the lagoon overflowed its banks rendering them homeless.

Source: Ghana News