Things are looking good for Ghana -First Lady

First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo says things are looking good for Ghana with President Akufo-Addo in charge. She said the president “came to office with a lot of promises and he is working hard to achieve all of them” adding that “he has achieved quite a lot” since taking office. Mrs. Akufo-Addo was speaking to officials of the Ghana Embassy in the People’s Republic of China. She noted that with a determined and focused person like the President steering affairs of the country, there “is a lot of hope for Ghana and things are already looking good for Ghana.” The First Lady urged the staff to project the good name of Ghana as well as seek knowledge and skills that can help develop Ghana. “There is a lot to learn from China therefore those of you here should learn and bring the knowledge back home to improve the country”, she said. She announced that the newly constructed mother and baby unit at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi facilitated by the Rebecca Foundation will be inaugurated by the close of this year and her “next stop is Korle Bu.” Ghana’s Ambassador to China, Mr. Edward Boateng, assured the First Lady he and his staff will “not disappoint the president but work hard to bring more investment into the country as well as look at the well being of Ghanaians in China.” The First Lady is in China with a group of women entrepreneurs, some members of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and academics to explore investment opportunities for women businesses and investment for the people and government of Ghana. Source:



‘Democracy will succeed if we build a prosperous nation’ – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the democracy Ghanaians intend to build and entrench will only succeed if it results in the building of a prosperous nation, and in people who are at peace with themselves and with the world.

According to President Akufo-Addo, “the democracy that we seek to build does not end in casting votes, and electing a President and a Member of Parliament once every four years. We seek to build a prosperous nation with equal opportunities, where all citizens feel they have a stake.”

The President indicated that never again should a Ghanaian citizen feel he has to join the desperados that cross the Sahara and drown in the Mediterranean Sea, because their own country holds no promise or hope.

“I know there will always be those among us who would want to try and seek their fortunes in foreign lands. We would wish them well, and pray that they are treated with dignity wherever they go; but it should never be because there are no opportunities in Ghana,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo made this known on Monday when he delivered a speech on “Democracy and Development” at the Cambridge Union Society of the University of Cambridge, as part of his 3-day visit to the United Kingdom.

Ghana’s infant democracy, the President said, has put the country on the path to sustainable development, which would improve the way the natural and human resources of the country are managed.

“We are on the path to creating wealth and improving the lives of our people. We are determined to do that by transforming the structure of our economy. The neo-colonial economy, based on the production and export of raw materials, cannot form the basis of a new era of prosperity for our people,” he said.

The President continued, “We have to move, and we are moving towards an economy of processed agricultural and engineering goods and services. That is the way to job creation on a mass base, and an improvement in the incomes of ordinary Ghanaians.”

With widespread unemployment prevalent amongst the youth, which, in his view, represents the greatest threat to Ghana’s democracy and stability, President Akufo-Addo noted that only a performing, rapidly expanding economy that generates jobs can provide an urgent solution.

To this end, in the short space of 10 months since his government took office, President Akufo-Addo noted that the country’s macro-economy has been stabilising.

“The fiscal deficit, which stood at 9.5% at the end of 2016, has been reduced to 6.3%. Inflation, within the same period, has declined from 15.4% to 11.6%. Our economy has grown from 3.3% last year, the lowest in 22 years, to 7.9%. Interest rates are declining, and we are now witnessing a more stable cedi, our national currency. We are creating a business-friendly environment that should encourage significant investments in the development of our economy,” he said.

The President indicated also that the determination of Ghanaians to build their democracy is further anchored in their deep-seated belief in the concept of the separation of powers as an active principle for the promotion of freedom and accountable governance, free of corruption.

Democracy is working for us

President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that Ghanaians have agreed on a multi-party constitutional democracy, and a guarantee of individual freedoms under the rule of law, with these past 24 years of the 4th Republic turning out to be the longest period of stability and economic growth in sixty years of Ghana’s nationhood.

“We are nowhere near where we ought to be, but the arguments have been settled, and, believe me, this has been a critical bridge for us to cross. And for our Ghanaian circumstances, we dare not undermine confidence in our young democracy,” he said.

The President acknowledged that having a democracy would not translate immediately into the resolution of Ghana’s problems, “but I believe we, in Ghana, are in the position to be able to quote the English colossus, Winston Churchill, that ‘It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except all those other ones that have been tried from time to time.”


Bawumia Got His Maths Wrong : GhanaPost GPS Is “Unreliable” – Kwesi Pratt

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, on Tuesday, responded to claims by former President John Dramani Mahama over the National Digital Property Addressing System (NDPAS) that he (Dr. Bawumia) has embarrassed President Akufo-Addo by introducing the project.

Ex-President Mahama, addressing party members and supporters at a Unity walk in the Central Region, stated that the Vice President is an embarrassment to the Akufo-Addo administration for having an existing digital addressing system developed for $2.5 million by local IT firm Vokacom, when the same technology could have been obtained from Google on mobile phones without any cost.

The software, Ghana Post GPS was initiated by the government to help digitize the economy.

But to Ex-President Mahama, the system is nothing but a ploy by the government to swindle Ghanaians.

How can you launch a Google GPS system that is freely available on our mobile phone and say it is a national addressing system. It is such a pity. Why will you embarrass the president so much? You go and take a whole president to bring him to come and launch a system that is 419.

“When we talk about accountability, this is where the president should show that he is serious about corruption…The toughness of the fight against corruption is that you are able to take action against your own people and that is what we did when we were in office. Here the NPP seems unable to take, the president seems unable to take self-action in anything,” Mr. Mahama said.

The former President’s remarks seem not to have gone down well with the Vice President who replied in a caustic manner during the Consultative Forum Towards A Marshall Plan for Agriculture, saying “when I read his (Mr. Mahama) reasoning for such a description, it was evident to me that he has no clue about what he was talking about and was just engaged in parroting propaganda. I actually had a good laugh. Let me therefore take this opportunity to educate him and others who may think like him about Ghana’s landmark digital property addressing which has been achieved in less than one year, something his government could not do in eight years!

Addressing the Vice President’s comments on Peace FM‘s Kokrokoo, seasoned journalist Kwesi Pratt believes there are serious defects with the GhanaPost GPS that need to be resolved by the government.

To him, it will do Dr. Bawumia much good should he refrain from replying every criticism directed at the project, especially by the former President.

Mr. Pratt, in his submission, further punched holes in the Dr. Bawumia’s responses to the Former President.

Quoting from the Vice President’s statement that the “NDPAS (National Digital Property Addressing System) is a national database system that provides the digital address for every landed property in Ghana. Basically every 5x5m property has a unique digital address on the grid with region, district and postcode. Under this system, 16.1 billion addresses have been generated for the whole of Ghana…“, Mr. Pratt mocked the mathematical calculations by the Vice President saying his “mathematics doesn’t work out“.

This is because “Ghana’s total land area is 238533 square meters. The mathematics doesn’t work out. If you divide this figure by 5 meters, you’ll not get 16.1 billion. Those who know mathematics and listening to me should their mathematics“.

He questioned the uniqueness of the NDPAS because to him, the same opportunities have been created by Google.

To him, it doesn’t also make sense to say the system is independent of Google as claimed by the Vice President in his statement that “the NDPAS is independent of Google and any other mapping tool. Google will not give the postcode, region or district for a particular location for example. It will not give you a register of addresses for every user. Banks for example cannot confirm an address by going to Google maps but they can do so through the NDPAS for registered users“.

The same Vice President tells us that it is dependent on Google. If it’s independent of Google, it’s independent of Google. It cannot be independent of Google and still dependent on Google map. It is not possible…Something cannot be independent and dependent at the same time“, Mr. Pratt posited.

He also raised concerns over the multiple addresses the system creates when being generated by users among other issues, saying the system is problematic and unreliable.

The system can be improved. It can become trustworthy. It can become reliable. As it is now, it is not”.

Source: Ghana  | Peacefmonline

Stop inciting NSS personnel against Gov’t – Nana Boakye to Kpessah Whyte

Deputy Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS) in charge of Operations, Henry Nana Boakye has asked a former head of the NSS to stop inciting NSS personnel against government.

According to him, Dr Michael Kpessah Whyte and his cohorts made life unbearable for NSS personnel thus could not fathom why he is against the insurance package for national service personnel.

“During Kpessah Whyte’s regime, nothing good came out of NSS. He made life very difficult for the personnel and inciting them against government’s policy. He should stop else we will face him and the NDC members boot for boot” he said.

Henry Nana Boakye was reacting to comments by Dr. Michael Kpessah-Whyte, alleging that the compulsory insurance package for national service personnel is a venture to pay back a financier of the governing New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) election campaign.

According to him, the insurance scheme may have been put together to reward the owner of a known insurance company, who supported the NPP’s campaign with GH¢1 million.

He is thus of the view that the policy is not in the interest of National Service persons.

The introduction of the insurance package, he noted was merely an attempt to enrich some persons fraudulently.

But speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Tuesday, Henry Nana Boakye said comment by Dr. Michael Kpessah-Whyte and members of the NDC is borne out of jealousy.

He indicated that the GH¢15 to be paid monthly would cover the insurance policy, media and communication package and a loan package, which would enable service personnel to avail themselves of the loan facility.

“It is a great value for money policy which we must all embrace because after all it is in the interest of the service personnel,” he said.

He noted that in case of death while serving, the next of kin of personnel would be entitled to GH¢15,000, adding that in case of permanent disability the victims would draw an equal amount of money, courtesy the insurance package. In case of temporary disability however victims would draw GH¢3,000.

Under the loan arrangement, he said personnel would be entitled to a loan facility of GH¢500 or more payable within six months.

An entertainment segment of the package, he explained, would entitle personnel to watch two movies at Silver Bird, which according to him, would ordinarily attract GH¢15 or more.

He therefore asked members of the NDC to stop playing politics with the insurance package since it is of great benefit to the personnel.

The insurance package which takes retrospective effect from September 1 this year, will make GH¢3,000 available to service persons who suffer accidents that will keep them off their duties at user agencies for a month.

Those who suffer permanent or temporary disability through accidents during the service year will also be entitled to GH¢15,000 insurance cover.


Mahama’s administration sold state lands like ‘kelewele’- Lands Minister

The Lands Ministry is investigating what it says is the fraudulent sale of state lands by the previous administration.

According to the sector Minister John Peter Amewu state lands were given away to cronies like “kelewele” [fried pieces of plantain] without regard to due process.

A committee has thus been formed to look into the land sale, he stated in an interview on Joy News Tuesday.

The sale of state lands and properties have always been shrouded in controversy under every other regime in the fourth Republic.

The Rawlings’ administration was accused, under a divestiture programme, of selling state properties including the Nsawam cannery to the then first lady Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings.

The Kufuor government was not spared the effusions of the angry Ga youth who accused the then government of selling Ga lands to cronies.

Shortly after winning the elections in 2009, the Ga youth some of whom were supporting the NDC went on a series of demonstration in protest against an office given to the ex-president John Kufuor.

There were widespread accusation of the government of selling Cantonment lands with reckless abandon.

Interestingly, Ex-president John Rawlings who suffered similar accusation during his tenure led the chorus against the Kufuor government accusing it of selling state lands, bungalows to its ministers and other cronies.

The decision by the late Jake Obetsebi Lamptey to purchase the state bungalow which was allocated to him as a minister did not help matters.

Even though Mr Lamptey would later win a case brought against him in court, the perception about politicians grabbing state lands, houses and properties was greatly entrenched.

After the eight year tenure of the late John Mills/Mahama administration, the NDC has also been accused of selling state lands.

The founder of the party, Ex-president John Rawlings began the crusade against the selling of lands close to the 37 military hospital and chided the previous administration for superintending yet another sale of state lands.

In an interview with Joy News’ Latif Iddris, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister John Peter Amewu said from 2013 the then government sold state lands without due process.

He did not mention who were the beneficiaries or the cost at which the lands were sold, except to add that a committee has been constituted to re-examine the entire allocation process.

He also talked about the government’s plans to automate the entire land administration system to reduce the incidence of corruption in the process.

For a system that is hugely manual, the minister said “human intervention is a critical factor for corruption” a reason why the government is exploring other avenues with the private sector to digitalize the entire process.


Corruption fight: Do more; rhetoric not enough– Batidam tells prez

The former Corruption Advisor to ex-president John Mahama has deplored President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s anti-corruption campaign, describing it as a “big joke.”

Daniel Batidam said the President does not need the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) to fight corruption if he is committed to that end.

The former Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) boss told Bernice Abu Baidoo on Joy FM’s Midday News Tuesday, the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) details initiatives to combat the canker.

NACAP aims at institutionalising efficiency, accountability and transparency in both the public and private sectors.

Anti-corruption campaigner, Daniel Batidam

It also provides a framework for conducting effective investigations and prosecutions of corrupt conducts.

With the implementation of NACAP ending in 2020, Mr Batidam said the President has the blueprint to address issues of corruption.

“The President is fighting galamsey [but] he didn’t set up any special body. If he wants to fight corruption he can fight it,” he said.

Mr Batidam is one of a number of past government officials who have challenged President Akufo-Addo to elevate his anti-corruption rhetoric to the courtroom.

National Democratic Congress (NDC) Deputy General Secretary, Koku Anyidoho said they are ready to meet the government in court.

The promised Special Prosecutor will be appointed after the bill currently before Parliament is approved.

But Mr Batidam said the OSP is a “big joke,” which provides the government with the leeway to avoid the problem of corruption.

“The Special Prosecutor thing I don’t get it. If the Attorney-General (AG) has evidence she should proceed to court,” he said.

He said the President could have appointed an independent person as his AG if he was committed to the anti-corruption fight.

But Chairman of Parliament’s Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee, Ben Abdallah Banda has cautioned the opposition to be mindful of what they are calling for.

He said the government will not be coerced into taking any action that is not supported by the country’s law.


We invited Rawlings to unity walk – Allotey Jacobs

The Central Regional Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has revealed they invited former President Jerry John Rawlings to the party’s unity walk in the region.

But when the match publicized walk came off on Sunday November 5, 2017 in Cape Coast, the former President did not honour the invitation.

This gives more credence to claims that Mr. Rawlings is gradually moving away from the party he founded which he described a corrupt.

The former President did not attend the unity walk in Tamale; he didn’t attend the unity walk in Accra thus not surprising he was not in Cape Coast.

This notwithstanding, several stalwarts of the NDC including former president John Dramani Mahama and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) Joshua Alabi and other flagbearer hopefuls took part in the exercise.

The walk was a platform to unite its front ahead of the 2020 general elections.

Reacting to allegations that the allegations that the unity walk was to test the popularity of John Mahama, Allotey Jacobs said he is the people’s choice.

“Cape Coast went agog seeing Mahama and it gave me hope that the NDC will indeed win the 2020 elections” he stressed.

The Central Regional NDC Chairman said the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has seen the end is near hence it resolve to divert attention.

“The NPP is shaken seeing the massive crowd. This is not rented crowd, they are people who love the NDC” Allotey Jacobs added.