President Akufo-Addo congratulates UK’s Labour Party on electoral victory

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has congratulated the United Kingdom’s (UK) Labour Party on its recent electoral successes, and asserted Ghana’s commitment to work closely with the incoming government.

The country, he said, was conscious of the longstanding and fruitful relations with the UK, and, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer, that bond would continue.

President Nana Akufo-Addo, in a statement, said the decisive victory chalked in the General Election signified the trust and confidence that the British people had in the Labour Party’s vision and leadership.

Acknowledging all other parties, which participated in the polls, the statement noted that, ‘their contributions and commitment to democratic values have played a crucial role in the political discourse and development of the UK’.

The Labour Party’s recent victory is one of the biggest-ever for the House of Commons, having secured 412 seats as against the Conservative Party’s 121, with two seats still to declare.

The d
evelopment has catapulted the Party’s leader, Keir Starmer, to the position as Britain’s next Prime Minister, ending 14 years of Conservative government.

The results from Thursday’s election showed major Conservative losses across the country, including seats they had held for decades, reports the New York Times.

But even as Labour reclaimed a parliamentary majority, political analysts are of the view that the election was far from a two-party race.

The centrist Liberal Democrats made gains in the south, picking up seats won by the Conservatives in the last election, as smaller parties like the Greens, the hard-right Reform U.K. Party and independent candidates also picked up a number of seats.

President Nana Akufo-Addo commended Rishi Sunak, the outgoing Prime Minister, and the Conservative Party for their service and dedication to the UK.

‘Indeed, the democratic process in the UK has once again demonstrated its robustness and vibrancy, strengthening the frontiers of democracy in the country,’ the state
ment added.

The President was hopeful Ghana and the UK would work together towards shared goals and mutual prosperity for the benefit of the people.

Source: Ghana News Agency

I will reset Ghana in four years – Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama says he has gained enough experience to implement strategic policies that can reset the country in four years if elected as President.

Admitting that four years may not be enough for the government to completely transform the country, he said his Government would prioritise the stability of the economy and the local currency to reduce the economic hardship confronting the people.

Speaking to journalists at a maiden media encounter ahead of the 2024 General Election Sunday night, the former President said he would prioritise local production to reduce dependency on imports, which put pressure on the local currency.

He said his proposed 24-hour economy would focus on local production of goods to meet local demand and take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement to export to other African countries.

‘Companies that will participate in the 24-hour economy will receive some tax incentives. We have to boost our local production and create jobs for our
young people.

‘The Government has some obligations to make this work and we will do that,’ the former President said.

Mr Mahama said he was aware that the country was in dire economic straits and thus his Government would prioritise prudent management of State resources and ensure fiscal discipline.

Among the key policies, the former President said, would be the establishment of a special committee to audit all government procurement above five (5) million dollars.

He said the Government would also dedicate funds annually for the completion of all abandoned projects before investing in new ones.

Mr Mahama said his Government would also revamp the cocoa sector to boost production to increase foreign exchange earnings.

Touching on Ghana’s Programme with the International Monetary Fund, Mr Mahama said he would not cancel the programme.

He said the Government would explore opportunities to ‘tweak’ the agreement to reduce the impact of the conditionalities to lessen its impact on the people.

The former Pre
sident said the Government would also abolish some taxes he described as nuisance to reduce the burden on businesses and taxpayers.

‘The CIVID-19 Levy, E-Levy will be abolished and we will explore other measures to increase revenue to support the economy.

‘We will take the nuisance taxes out, streamline the taxes, as well as expand the tax net,’ he said, adding that his Government would also rationalise port levies.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Turkey fan march stopped due to wolf salute as Erdogan, Özil due

Berlin police have stopped a Turkey fan march before the Euro 2024 quarter-final, against the Netherlands on Saturday because many supporters gave the controversial wolf salute.

A fan march is ‘not a platform for political messages,’ the police announced on X.

In an apparently unrelated move, the two official Berlin fan zones at the Brandenburg Gate and Reichstag were temporarily closed and evacuated ‘due to approaching storms and squalls,’ according to organizers.

Turks are angry after defender Merih Demiral, was banned for two games by tournament organizer UEFA for giving the wolf salute after his second goal in the 2-1 last-16 win over Austria.

UEFA has effectively deemed the gesture to have a far-right nature, after critics said it was against ethnic minorities in and around Turkey. But Turkish officials say it is nothing of the sort.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is due to arrive for the game shortly before kick-off, which could raise tensions further after he defended the gesture.

n plans to leave Berlin’s Olympic Stadium to return to Turkey the same evening, Erdogan’s office told dpa. No further appointments in Germany have so far been announced.

Erdogan has not yet commented on UEFA’s ban for defender Demiral.

The controversial wolf salute is attributed, among other things, to a far-right extremist movement. The movement known as ‘Ülkc’ or ‘grey wolves’ are linked to Erdogan’s political allies, the ultra-nationalist MHP in Turkey.

Erdogan dismissed criticism of the gesture, saying that the player had only expressed his ‘enthusiasm.’

Turkish broadcaster TRT described UEFA’s decision as a ‘scandal’ while the football federation head Mehmet Bykeksi called it ‘unacceptable, illegal and political’.

Certain Turkish football fan groups have called on fans to make the wolf salute in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium during the match, despite the fan march being stopped.

Former Germany player Mesut Özil stirred the pot further by sharing a photograph on Instagram of Demiral’s wolf salute, in a s
how of support for the Euro 2024 quarter-finalists.

He posted the photograph a few hours before the game, along with the caption ‘Come on Turkey!’. He then posted another story suggesting he is heading to the game.

Özil’s Germany career effectively ended after he was photographed with Erdogan in 2018, sparking a backlash in Germany about where the German-born Turk’s loyalties lay.

Source: Ghana News Agency

BAG celebrates World Badminton Day

Badminton Association of Ghana (BAG) celebrated this years World Badminton Day at the West Africa Senior High School (WASS).

As part of the celebration, the Association donated equipment to the school and offered an all-expenses paid trip to China for the winning participant.

The students demonstrated their skills in playing the game in a special competition at the school’s Assembly Hall.

The event was also part of the global ‘Raise A Racket’ campaign, which aims to bring communities together through the love of badminton and promote an active and healthy lifestyle.

Speaking to the media, Mr. Evans Yeboah, President of BAG said, ‘World Badminton Day provides an opportunity to celebrate all that was great about the sport and I hope many millions of people discovered how fabulous the sport is.’

He said, today at the WASS we also donated sporting equipment to help students prepare for the sport and also to build up in what they in tend to do for the sport.’

Dr. Shine Agatha Ofori, Headmistress of WASS expr
essed her appreciation to the association and promised to make good use of the equipment for the development of the sport in the school and Ghana.

Dr. Benjamen Baah Konadu, Events Director at BAG said, ‘World Badminton Day is more than just a celebration; it’s a movement to bring people together through the game of sport’.

‘The game of badminton requires agility, reactions, power, and delicate touches. It’s a sport for all ages and genders, and it’s fantastic to see our community come together to celebrate it.’

Mr. Otto Mensah Coach of the school badminton team appealed to government, corporate entities and individuals to support the school to get a badminton court.

He said, ‘the Assembly Hall is a multiple purpose one as a result it makes it difficult for the players to do training’.

‘We are appealing to the government, non-governmental organisations, cooperate bodies, individuals to help us construct our own badminton court.’

World Badminton Day is held annually on July 5, and allows players to showca
se their passion for the sport to the global community.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Jomoro Development Agenda lauds government’s $12 Billion Petroleum Hub Agreement

The Jomoro Development Agenda has welcomed the Government’s 12-billion-dollar agreement to roll-out the Petroleum Hub Development Project in the Jomoro Municipality.

This followed an agreement signed between the Government of Ghana and TCP-UIC Consortium for the much awaited first phase of the Petroleum Hub project.

The entire hub project is estimated to cost US$ 60 billion.

Mr Mark Asmah Arthur, the Leader, Jomoro Development Agenda, at a news conference at Half-Assini in the Western Region, said Jomoro was praying that in the next few months, the rest of US$ 48 billion would also be signed to achieve the full realisation of the project.

The hub is expected to create 780,000 direct and indirect jobs, which would offer the youth technical and managerial positions for the transformation of Nzema.

Mr Arthur conveyed the gratitude of the Paramount Chief of Western Nzema Traditional Council, Awulae Annor Adjaye, traditional rulers and people of the Western Nzema Traditional Area to government for the ‘steadf
astness and determination to ensuring that Jomoro becomes the Rotterdam of Africa and the major trading grounds for petroleum and petrochemical products’.

‘The people of Jomoro know the enormous benefits that come with a project of this kind, spanning from changing our agrarian local economy to a more robust, civilised and commerce-driven economy that will positively affect the livelihood of every individual in our municipality’.

Mr Asmah Arthur said the people of Jomoro had not been short-changed or mistreated by the Government and that the people were aware of the countless engagements with the Government institutions such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Land Use and Spatial Planning (LUSPA), Lands Commission, Ministry of Energy, Petroleum Hub Development Corporation, with key stakeholders at the community levels and in strategic planning meetings.

Mr Arthur said based on the goodwill of the Government to establish the project in the area, they had accepted that individual farms be surveyed
and now waiting for their deserved compensations and local content benefits that came in the form of jobs for the youth, training, better state of the art social amenities and overall human resource development.

He appealed to the Nzemas to cooperate to win the project than to become saboteurs to shoot themselves in the foot.

Mr Arthur clarified that the land size earmarked for the project was just 20,000 acres out of the entire 543,000 acres of land of Jomoro.

He said Malaysia’s oil hub is sited on 22,000 acres of land with the same infrastructure.

The Rotterdam Petroleum Hub is sited on 34,000 acres of land.

‘A number of training centers have been earmarked for the training of youth for Jomoro and Nzemaland including the Takoradi Technical University (TTU), Kikam Technical Institute (KIMTECH) and the Half-Assini Technical School.’

The project is expected to drive a significant development positioning Jomoro to play a pivotal role in maximising the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Source: Ghan
a News Agency

2024 BECE starts today with 569,095 candidates

This year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) starts today Monday, July 08, with a total of 569,095 candidates.

Mr John K Kapi, Head of Public Affairs, WAEC National Office, said the candidates were expected to write English Language on July 8, and finish the examination with Arabic by Monday, July 15, 2024.

He said out of the total number of candidates sitting for the BECE, 282, 648 were males and 286,447, females, with 19,506 schools participating in the examinations.

‘This figure represents a decrease of 5.29 per cent compared to the 2023 entry figure of 600,900.’

Mr. Kapi stated that the examination would be administered in 2,123 locations around the nation, with 2,123 supervisors, 1,889 assistant supervisors, and 19,973 invigilators on duty to ensure smooth exercise.

He said school candidates would be examined based on the newly introduced Common Core Curriculum, while private candidates would be examined on the old syllabus.

‘As part of arrangements for the smooth conduct of the exami
nation, the Guidelines, Scheme and Structure of the examination with same questions were developed and circulated to all heads of school. Interested stakeholders can also visit our website to have access to them,’ he said.

Mr Kapi said in the case of the private candidates, the Council registered 1,366 candidates, out of which 735 were males and 631 were females.

‘This year’s figure is less by 25.7 percent compared with the 2023 entry figure of 1,839. Fifteen (15) centres mainly in the regional capitals will be used for the BECE for private candidates.’

Mr Kapi said the Council had organised sensitisation programmes to educate candidates on the rules and regulations governing the examination.

He said the Council had also distributed examination stationery such as objective answer cards, answer booklets, pencils, among others, to District Education Offices throughout the country.

It also made provisions for candidates with social educational needs not to leave anyone out.

Source: Ghana News Agency