Institute of Applied Science and Technology to commercialise fuel made from plastics

The Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST) of the University of Ghana (UG), is seeking partnership to scale up the production of high-value fuels made from plastic waste.

The IAST, with the support of the French Government, has developed a plant that converts plastic waste into high-value fuels and chemicals for households, outboard motors and small running engines.

The project, which is the first to be piloted in Ghana, is aimed at addressing the plastic waste menace sustainably and creating employment opportunities for the youth.

Speaking to journalists at the 7th IAST Industry-Academia Interaction Series at the UG in Accra, Professor David Dodoo-Arhin, Director, IAST, said a conversion plant had been installed at Osu in Accra to collect and process plastic waste that hitherto would have entered the sea directly.

He said the project had targeted producing fuel on the industrial scale, adding that efforts were underway to train the youth in the area on the value chain and the process of conve
rsion as part of its community impact project.

He said the target of the project is to produce affordable fuels while protecting the environment.

‘The idea is to incentivise our fisher folks that when they go to sea and they are catching plastics instead of fish, this is not waste. We are providing other alternatives that we can convert it into high-value fuel that can be used.’ Prof. Dodoo-Arhin said.

‘We are looking for partners to scale it up. We cannot do it alone going into large scale commercialisation,’ he added.

The 7th IAST Industry-Academia Interaction Series was on theme: ‘Sustainable energy transitions and climate change: The role of partnerships.’

Speakers at the event emphasised the need for academia, industry, and experts to work closely to develop innovative products to support the realisation of Ghana’s energy transition agenda.

In keeping with global climate commitments, Ghana has developed a comprehensive framework, seeking to transition from fossil fuel to green energy by 2070.

. Chris Gordon, Chairman, Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies, said Africa must fully participate in the global energy transition discourse and utilise its resources to make a meaningful impact in creating opportunities within that sphere.

‘We need to think about the African voice in the energy transition discourse so we are not always recipients of information but also providers of information,’ he said.

Nana Osei-Bonsu, Chief Executive Officer, Private Enterprise Federation, said the private sector must be incentivised to stabilise their operations and create solutions to support the national transition agenda.

He encouraged the IAST to develop policy briefs from the dialogue series and share with relevant stakeholders to support policy decisions.

Dr Joseph Essandoh-Yeddu, Former Director, Strategic Planning and Policy, Energy Commission, said affordability and reliable energy should be a key component of the energy transition agenda.

‘We must not just complain about climate change, but we
must adapt through technology and innovation,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Lower your expectations on government to reduce inequalities – Economist

A professor of Economics at the New York University in United Arab Emirates, Yaw Nyarko, says citizens must have low expectations of government to address inequalities among citizens.

He said that it was impossible for the government to solve problems of inequalities due to inefficiencies, lack of capacity and scarcity of resources to do so.

‘You guys complain that the Ghana government is corrupt. So why do you want the government to do everything,’ he said during the opening ceremony of the 6th International Research Conference organised by the College of Humanities of the University of Ghana in collaboration with Oxfam International Ghana.

The theme for the event was, ‘Addressing inequalities: Building Socio-economic and Environmental Resilience for Sustainable Development.’

Prof. Nyarko observed that to meet citizens’ expectations, the government had been keen on raising more revenue through the imposition of taxes which make citizens worse off and further widen the gap of economic inequality among cit

‘As we think about taxes and we think about draining people, there is cost to all of that. Be careful,’ he said.

He informed that the minimum wage as an economic tool for improving the standard of living and for that matter, inequality could be a two-edged sword that could help people earn higher income and deprive people of work due to inability of employers to offer lower wages.

He said there was no one-size-fits-all approach to addressing inequalities and so called for thorough deliberation in the formulation of policies that seek to address inequalities.

‘For Africa, it has to be about economic transformation, first and foremost, then technology and markets,’ he said.

Mr Mohammed-Anwar Sadat Adam, Acting Country Director, Oxfam International Ghana, indicated that the organisation was committed to collaborating with like-minded entities to fight against inequalities.

‘We tackle not just the symptoms but the systems that perpetuate inequality,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Five persons granted GH?30,000.00 bail for allegedly acting as landguards

Five persons, who allegedly acted as land guards to guard workmen to develop a parcel of land at Dodowa have been granted GH?30,000.00 bail each by an Accra Circuit Court.

The accused persons are Kingsley Dunoo, aka ‘Raggae’, a security man, Mohammed Nartey, a vulcanizer, Clement Tetteh, a Borehole operator, Dodzi Atsidutse, a mason and Evans Acheampong, a construction labourer.

All the accused persons who are jointly held for conspiracy to commit crime and prohibition of activities of land guards pleaded not guilty.

The prosecution led by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Raymond Ackom initially opposed the grant of bail because the release of the accused persons would interfere with the conduct of further investigation into the matter.

He added that the accused persons would not avail themselves to stand trial when granted bail.

The Court presided over by Mrs Basilia Adjei-Tawiah overruled the objection and admitted the accused persons to GH?30,000.00 bail with two sureties each to be justified.

The case has been adjourned to June 25, 2024.

The prosecution narrated to the Court that the complainant Fred Kwaku Anning who resides at Weija, Accra was a businesswoman, while the accused persons resided at Mataheko, Afienya and Dodowa.

The prosecution said on March 11, 2024, the complainant, who was the lawful representative for Ages Investment Company Limited petitioned the Director-General/CID on the activities of land guards and the threat of death over a parcel of land measuring 662.15 acres of land situated at Dodowa by some family members of Odoi Kese family of Obosomase.

It said, ‘The accused persons said that their company is in Court with the Odoi Kese family over the ownership of the land at the High Court, Koforidua.’

The prosecution said on October 7, 2023, the Court granted an interim injunction restraining the Odoi Kese family and their agents from having anything to do with the said land until the final determination of the case.

It said, ‘Despite the Court orders, the Odoi Kese family
resorted to the use of land guards and harassing their grantees amidst gunshots and threatening of innocent people in the area.’

The prosecution said on May 8, 2024, the complainant led Police to the said parcel of land at Dodowa and arrested the accused persons who had then gathered under a tree guarding some workmen to develop the land for one Prophet Kwasi Awoso who was unknown to the Police.

It said Police conducted a search where the accused persons had gathered and retrieved a pump action gun loaded with seven BB live cartridges hidden in the bush.

The prosecution said the accused persons denied knowledge of the weapon and mentioned in their caution statement that one Isaac Ametepe of Wise Ink Investment Limited engaged them to guard the workmen work on the land.

It said preliminary investigations disclosed that the accused persons were among a group of land guards formed to harass prospective buyers of land in the area.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Chiefs urged to lobby for employment for youth

Chiefs in Ada have been urged to lobby the government and companies to provide jobs for the teeming unemployed youth within their localities to help develop the communities.

Mr. Christian Lawerh Anim, a legal practitioner, said providing the youth with employment would also help maintain peace and tranquilly in the communities, especially as the general elections approach.

Mr. Anim described the high unemployment rate among the youth as a dangerous phenomenon and a time bomb, which explosion could cause dire consequences to society; hence, the chiefs must make the effort to get their subjects jobs.

He made the call when speaking at a royal conference on the theme: ‘the role of chiefs and queen mothers in restoring the lost glory of the state and their communities.’?

He made a presentation on the threats and challenges faced by today’s youth and the roles of chiefs and the church in fostering development.

He noted that chiefs receive greater recognition from politicians who could facilitate youth admissio
ns into tertiary schools, nursing training, and other industries, but the traditional authorities often failed to use that advantage.

He indicated that about 1.5 million Ghanaian youth were unemployed because authorities failed to pay close attention to them in the communities.

The lawyer emphasised that many youth, therefore, harbour some resentment towards chiefs, suspecting that they might have diverted funds meant for community development to live in luxury.

He stated that most cases of robbery and other heinous crimes stem from unemployment, adding that the unemployment situation could drive desperate youth to sell their organs and semen for money.

He claimed that these organs and semen are sometimes used in rituals for others and could have some spiritual effect on the donors.

Mr. Anim noted that research had shown that there was a heightened danger posed to society when people go hungry, as hunger could drive individuals to engage in abnormal behaviours.

He appealed to the chiefs to develop cordi
al?relationships with the youth and assist them in solving some of their problems.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Illegal mining threatens water security in Central Region – GWCL cautious

The Ghana Water Company Limited has bemoaned the continuous destruction of water bodies through illegal mining activities, particularly in the Central Region.

Mr Nicholas Okyere, the Water Quality Assurance Manager in the region, said the situation had become a regional security threat considering the increasing cost of polymers used to treat water.

The pollution was essentially through the use of poisonous chemicals such as mercury and cyanide by illegal miners, putting the country at risk of water insecurity.

‘Pollution of water bodies caused by illegal mining puts communities at health risk. When water is contaminated with toxic chemicals, people are driven to locate alternative water sources,’ Mr Okyere told the Ghana News Agency (GNA), in an interview.

He said: ‘Many of these sources are often contaminated with pathogens.

‘We need bold action now to halt the further pollution of our water bodies and destruction of the vegetation. The spectacle at mining communities is an eyesore and requires immedia
te action to reverse the situation.’

The situation, he said, had reached alarming levels and was increasing the company’s cost of production by the day as more had to be spent to improve the turbidity levels.

The rising costs come in the form of using more treatment chemicals, the frequent breakdown of equipment, especially pumps, and the rising levels of energy usage.

He said GWCL seeks to ensure safe drinking water for all, but ‘managing their machines has become a challenge. This compels us to regularly shut down to maintain machines.

The cost of treatment and the water treatment processes to ensure all-time quality have compounded the situation.

Anytime the machines are shut for maintenance, people would not have water to drink, causing the cost to multiply.’

The Region operates and maintains nine water supply production systems with an installed capacity of 136,830m³/d from seven water sources.

They are Brimsu Headworks – Kakum River; Kwanyaku Headworks – Ayensu River; Sekyere Hemang Headworks – P
ra River; Baifikrom Headworks – Ochi Amisa River; Essakyir Headworks – Ochi Nakwa River; Breman Asikuma Headworks – Ochi River and Winneba Headworks – Ayensu River.

Going forward, he stated that Ghana requires a substantial amount of money to dredge and clean the rivers and water bodies heavily polluted by illegal small-scale miners.

The dire health consequences of drinking water polluted through galamsey are imminent, with researchers and health experts already establishing health complications linked to the menace.

He urged the citizenry to own the fight against illegal mining to safeguard quality and access to potable drinking water for all.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Internal auditors commemorate awareness month in Tamale

Internal Auditors from the five regions in the north have embarked on a procession in Tamale as part of activities to commemorate this year’s Internal Audit awareness creation month, which falls in May, every year.

Mr Abdulai Sani, Northern Regional Internal Auditor, speaking after the procession, said it was to raise awareness that internal auditors existed, played a role to support management to achieve its objectives and sustained mandate.

He said internal auditors were an integral part of Management, whose duty was to ensure that the plans of organisations were achieved.

He noted that risk could impede the success of an organisation, adding internal auditors contributed significantly to reducing risks.

Mr Yakubu Baba Seidu Kamara, North East Regional Internal Auditor, said the presence of internal auditors in an institution was crucial as they took notice of pertinent issues to inform Management to take prompt action.

He said, ‘Internal auditors play critical role when it comes to the preventive meas
ures rather than waiting for something to happen to be resolved later.’

Mr Sumaila Ewuntomah Abudu, Acting Chief Director, Northern Regional Coordinating Council (NRCC), who participated in the celebration, commended the internal auditors for their dedication and said their work had contributed to the NRCCs attaining their objectives.

Source: Ghana News Agency