Tuesday, July 27, 2010


IN line with its social responsibility programme, Armajaro Ghana Limited, a leading licensed cocoa buying company is constructing a three-classroom block for the Municipal Assembly Primary School at Kyekyewere, a predominantly farming community near Dunkwa-On-Offin in the Central Region.
Funds for the project came from the Armajaro’s Traceable Cocoa Project, an initiative, which is being implemented with support from the Ghana Cocoa Board.
Under the Traceable Cocoa project, Armajaro traces the source of higher cocoa purchases and accordingly rewards communities with development projects.
A sod-cutting ceremony attended by leading managers of Armajaro in the United Kingdom and Ghana, and the chiefs and people of the beneficiary community, has been performed at Kyekyewere.
Kyekyewere has only one primary school, which enrols pupils from the community and surrounding villages.
The original school block collapsed during a rainstorm last year,dislocating academic work. Since then, no help went to the school until Armajaro intervened.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Armajaro Trading Limited (ATL) with headquarters in London, the parent organisation of Armajaro Ghana Limited, Mr Richard Ryan, said the Armajaro group believed in the concept of giving back to communities in which the company operates.
He gave the assurance that Armajaro would continue to invest in community development as a way of improving the living standard of the people.
Mr Ryan said the company had sunk a number of wells in various communities, which had gone a long way to provide potable water for the people.
Mr Ryan said the life of the farmer needed to be improved if the cocoa industry was to see significant improvement.
He urged farmers to continue to do business with Armajaro to enable the company to push more development projects to the communities.
An official of COCOBOD, Mr Daniel Essien, stated that the government and COCOBOD had put in interventions to hit the targeted one million tonnes of cocoa to be purchased by 2012.
He touched on some malpractice that could retard the progress of the cocoa industry, including smuggling and called for concerted measures to address them in the interest of the nation.
Mr Essien called on cocoa buying companies to engage in healthy competition to ensure sanity in the system.
The chief of Kyekyewere, Nana Kwadwo Benfo II, commended Armajaro for its timely intervention.
“Our educational system was collapsing because there was no permanent place for the children to study,” he stressed.
Nana Benfo said by the project, Armajaro had shown that it was operating in the area not only for profit, but to also play an important role in the area’s development.
He expressed the hope that other companies would learn from Armajaro since the government alone could not meet the development needs of the people.

NANA, ALAN SHOULD PAIR FOR 2012 POLLS...NPP founding member advises (PAGE 14, JULY 27, 2010)

A FOUNDING member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Ashanti Region, Nana Kwabena Adomako, has suggested to Nana Akufo-Addo and Mr Alan Kyerematen to consider choosing each other as running mates when any of them emerges as the party’s flag bearer for the 2012 presidential election.
He said the NPP could chalk up a landslide victory in the 2012 election with any of the two either as presidential candidate or a running mate.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Kumasi yesterday, Nana Adomako said there was no doubt that the two were the leading contestants in the August 7 presidential primary.
However, recent events whereby their supporters were engaged in acrimonious campaigning had not done the party any good and could affect their chances during the 2012 elections if measures were not taken to mend the cracks.
“And I strongly believe that we can change things for the better when we pair the two for the 2012 elections.”
He stated that what had become a convention for presidential candidates to choose their running mates from a particular part of the country was counter productive.
Nana Adomako stated that politics in the country should be devoid of tribalism and that political positions should be based on performance rather than ethnicity.
He described the two leading party members as mature politicians who had the ability to turn the fortunes of not only the party but the nation around.
However, Nana Adomako said, what was needed foremost was to win political power, and this would depend on how the two leaders and their supporters conducted themselves.
The NPP founding member said the continuos use of vulgar language in the campaign for the August 7 elections could be used against the party by the NDC who would be their main opponents in 2012.
“We must therefore guard against this negative behaviour and conduct ourselves in a decent manner that will portray the NPP as the party ready to wrestle political power,” he said.
He commended the five flag bearer aspirants for conducting themselves very well during the campaign and urged them to come together as one big family after the primary.
Nana Adomako indicated that Ghanaians were looking up to the NPP to relieve them from their hardships under the NDC government and “we dare not fail them.”
He also expressed concern about the neglect of founding members in the resolution of issues affecting the party in the region.
“Regrettably, our members and supporters tend to use the media to resolve issues when they could have used people like us,” he said.
He urged delegates to the presidential primary to conduct themselves very well to paint a good picture of the party.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


A DECADE in the life of a traditional ruler means a lot. For instance, many will be measuring the level at which his leadership has translated into improving the lot of his community and subjects.
After 10 years on the Ahemadafo Stool of Tepa in the Ashanti Region, the Omanhene, Nana Adusei Atwenewa Ampem, appears to have worked very hard to meet the attributes of a modern chief.
That is why his subjects and non-subjects are joining him in their numbers in activities marking the 10th anniversary of his installation.
The chieftaincy institution has come a long way and today, a chief is not just expected to preserve the culture and traditions of his people.
In fact, he is also expected to lead the people to chart a path of development that will bring hope to even unborn subjects, and again show leadership by example so that his subjects can reap the required benefits from his reign.
The focus of the 10 years celebrations is to raise funds to construct a dormitory block for the Tepa Nurses’ Training School and the Omanhene is determined to work hard to achieve that objective.
For many including the Deputy Minister of Information, Mr Sam Okudzeto-Ablakwa, who launched the activities marking the anniversary, the euphoria that had started building up in the run up to the grand durbar in November, this year, is a clear testimony of the manner the Omanhene had led his people to achieve some appreciable level of development within the past decade.
“Your example is worth emulating and the government will always appreciate what you have done to improve the lives of your subjects,” the deputy minister said.
A decade ago, young Mr Frank Opoku Adusei ascended the Ahemadafo Stool of Tepa under the stool name Nana Adusei Atwenewa Ampem after 14 years of a bitter chieftaincy dispute that crippled the development of the traditional area.
Today, the chief walks with his chest out for uniting his people to chart a path of development that has made the Tepa Traditional Council one of most respected in the Ashanti Region.
Tepa went through a turbulent period after the death of the immediate past Omanhene, Nana Kwame Awuah II. The race for his successor was fraught with a protracted dispute until the current occupant of the Golden Stool, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, ascended the throne.
Just a year after Otumfuo’s coronation, he managed to settle the dispute, paving the way for Nana Ampem’s installation as Omanhene.
In the Asante traditional system, the Asantehene is supreme. His power transcends the boundaries of the Ashanti Region, meaning there are some paramount chiefs outside the Ashanti Region who owe allegiance to him. In the Ashanti Region, there are 33 paramount chiefs one of who is the Tepahene.
Traditionally, the Tepahene belongs to the Gyaase Division of Asante. The Gyaase division is a powerful group. The members take care of the property of the Asantehene and, therefore, occupy a very important position in the Asante traditional set-up.
Tepa is the capital of the Ahafo Ano North District. Indeed, the traditional area forms part of the vast Ahafo area, parts of which are in the Brong Ahafo Region.
It is an agrarian area with the people engaged mainly in the production of cocoa and foodstuffs.
The area is also a marketing centre, operating an age-old weekly market which attracts thousands of people to the town every Thursday.
The contribution of the area to national development is therefore enormous. Indeed, it was to appreciate their contribution to the development of the cocoa industry that the erstwhile Supreme Military Council (SMC) 1 government established the cocoa clinic in the town, which has now metamorphosed into the Tepa District Hospital.
Acknowledging the importance of the cocoa industry to the economy of the traditional area, the Omanhene took upon himself to get the traditional council to cultivate cocoa farms and 10 years into his reign, the Tepa Traditional Council has been able to establish 26 cocoa farms, all contributing substantial amounts to the council to undertake development projects.
What Tepa has achieved under the reign of Nana Ampem moves beyond the cocoa industry and as he himself puts it, “The evidence is there for all to see”.
In the area of education, the Tepahene has been able to get the traditional council to institute a scholarship scheme for brilliant, needy students. Five students benefit from the scheme every year.
“We are going to pursue this important project with all the seriousness it deserves because education holds the key to development,” Nana Ampem told this writer.
The Omanhene was also influential in the construction of an administration block, the establishment of an Information and Communication technology (ICT) laboratory and the provision of a school bus for the Tepa Senior High School.
In the health sector, the Omanhene has managed to get some expatriate doctors to undertake free medical care at the Tepa Government Hospital. The exercise has gone on for two years now and it will continue.
Besides, through his instrumentality, some people outside the country have been sending medical equipment to the Tepa Hospital over the past two years.
The government is about to start the construction of the Ashanti Regional Hospital at Tepa and the traditional council has provided 16 acres of land free of charge for the project.
Apart from that, the council has renovated the dormitory block for the Nurses’ Training School, a situation that has brought relief to school authorities and students.
The traditional council has also sponsored the registration of over 1,000 needy people in the area with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Acknowledging the importance of the police to the area’s development, the traditional council under Nana Ampem has provided a complete house to accommodate the police in Tepa. “We have to take security seriously because the people cannot live and work without adequate security,” he stressed.
The Ghana National Fire Service in Tepa has also benefited from the traditional council. The service is accommodated in a house provided by the traditional council.
Other projects undertaken by the council include the construction of 16 stores, which have been rented out to generate revenue for the council’s development initiatives while it has also financed the provision of a lorry park to ensure sanity in the operations of the transport unions.
Clearly, there is every reason for the Tepahene to celebrate his 10 years on the stool. Many high profile personalities have been invited for the grand durbar on November 20, this year.
These notwithstanding, there are a lot of challenges facing the people in their development strides. Educational infrastructure, roads and many other areas need improvement to meet expected standards and the Tepahene can only keep strengthening the unity in the area and getting his people to complement government’s development initiatives for the area.
As part of the celebrations, the Omanhene has hosted heads of department in the district to a reception at his private residence where he took time to listen to the challenges facing each of them with the view to offering assistance in addressing them.

Monday, July 19, 2010


OPERATIVES in the timber industry have joined the growing rank of workers’ unions in the mounting agitation for a downward review of the utility tariffs recently announced by the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC).
After a crucial meeting between the Ghana Timber Millers Organisation (GTMO) and the Timber Workers Union (TWU) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Kumasi at the weekend, it was resolved to lay off 50,000 workers this year for the companies to remain in business and cope with the high utility tariffs.
It comes on the heels of an ultimatum from the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) of the TUC to begin a nation-wide industrial action from July 28, 2010 if the tariffs were not reduced by then.
The timber companies said sharp increases in the industry’s major costs, especially electricity tariffs, over the past eight years had resulted in the closure of about 70 per cent of timber firms in the last five years, with more heading in the same direction.
A joint statement issued at the end of the meeting said “some of the timber companies are paying as much as GH¢300,000 in electricity tariffs a month, from the previous figure of GH¢100,000”.
It said the only option left for their survival was to lay off some of their workers.
“It is sad that the timber industry, which is the largest single employer in Ghana, providing employment in both rural and urban areas, is suffering such a fate,” it said.
The statement, signed by Mr E.E.K. Acquah-Moses, the Chief Executive Officer of the GTMO, and Mr Joshua Ansah, the General Secretary of the TWU, said with fuel already constituting about 10 per cent of the companies’ operational cost, the tariffs, as announced by the PURC, had compounded the difficulties facing the companies and wondered how they could survive under such circumstances.
The timber industry, the only renewable natural resource industry in Ghana, contributes about seven per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and it is the fourth major foreign exchange earner, with receipts averaging more than 180 million Euros annually.
The bane of the industry, according to the press statement, started with the government’s introduction of the National Reconstruction Levy in 2001 which dealt a big blow to it, as it was charged on the gross revenue of the companies, instead of their profit, resulting in a depression in the industry, with most timber firms being forced to fold up.
It stated that since Ghana contributed only one per cent to the international market in tropical timber, it was not possible to pass on increases in local costs to that market.
“The reality is that companies cannot continue to incur losses. Ultimately, the industry will have to throw workers on the streets and create more unemployment,” it said.
On the domestic market, the statement said although the price of sawmill lumber represented the actual cost of the commodity, consumers preferred illegal chain-saw lumber because they were cheaper, adding that further increases in the cost of sawmill lumber occasioned by increases in electricity tariffs would worsen the already destructive activities of illegal chain-saw operators.
It also spoke against high interest rates and said it had resulted in low investment, a situation that had resulted in most companies turning to secondary products, instead of tertiary products that could generate more revenue for the state.
It stressed the need for the government to direct its energies at growing the private sector through policies and interventions that would enable companies to expand, re-invest profits and pay taxes to the state.
“We also expect the government to persuade the financial institutions to bring down their interest rates so that entrepreneurs can borrow and invest in the manufacturing sector of the economy,” it said.
The ICU, for its part, said the government needed to suspend the tariffs by July 28, 2010.
The warning was part of a resolution adopted at the end of a meeting of the union in Accra.
It warned that should the PURC fail to meet the deadline for the suspension of the new tariff regime, its members would be organised in mass public protests to achieve same.
According to the ICU General Secretary, Gilbert Awinongya, ICU members were convinced that the hikes were unbearable and must be reversed.
He said members were also troubled that the government had removed the subsidies which they enjoyed.
He demanded that the new tariffs be suspended and the status quo reverted to.
“We are saying that on or before the 28th of July we want a resolution of this. After that, on the 29th, the national union will be going on a nation-wide demonstration,” he said.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


THE Asante Mabunu Kuo, a social organisation based in Accra and Tema, has presented a quantity of food items valued at GH¢3,500 and cash of GH¢500 to the Kumasi Children’s Home to assist in the upkeep of the inmates.
The items include four bales of used clothing, three bags of sugar, seven gallons of cooking oil, two cartons each of Milo, milk and Key soap, 10 cartons of baby diapers, two cartons of Omo, among others.
Making the presentation, Mr Nat Adu, the Chairman of the association, said the gesture was in connection with the official inauguration of the Kumasi branch.
He indicated that it was also part of the social responsibility of the association to support the needy in society.
He said it was evident that the government alone could not cater for all the needs of the home because of financial constraints.
He pointed out that the association had plans to establish branches in all the regions to support national development.
Mr Adu gave an assurance that members of the association would provide the home with students’ beds.
The Supervisor of the home, Madam Victoria Asugnya, who received the items on behalf of the inmates, commended the association for its support, adding that it would continue to count on the association and the general public for the survival of the inmates.
She said one of the major problems facing the home was inadequate beds and accommodation and called on the public to go to its aid.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Towards reclaiming their status..HEARTS, KOTOKO STORM MARKET (LEAD STORY, GRAPHIC SPORTS, JULY 16, 2010)

KPANDO Hearts of Lions’ striker, Kofi Nti Boakye, and teamate, defender John Kuffuor are on their way to Kumasi Asante Kotoko as the Porcupine Warriors enter the recruitment market in full force.
Coach Ebo Mends and the club board are determined to build a winsome team for the upcoming season and are thus on the path to romp into their fold some quality materials to beef up the current squad.
Upon the recommendations of coach Ebo Mends, they are in the process of completing the signing of five players from Heart of Lions and Berekum Arsenals.
From the camp of Heart of Lions come Kofi Nti Boakye and John Kuffuor, while Arsenals’ Ohene Brenya, Bruce and Amoah are also on their way to Kumasi.
Already, the five players have completed their medicals and management are awaiting the results to proceed with the final stage of their registration.
The former champions are also expecting two strikers from Cameroun any moment from now for justifiers.
Communications Director of Asante Kotoko, Jarvis Peprah, told the Graphic Sports today that, it was very important to take the professional lines by awaiting the results of the medical examinations as that would determine the final conclusion of the negotiations for the release of the players.
“We are determined to get the best this season and we are working hard at that,” Mr Peprah said.
Nti Boakye, junior brother of former international, Isaac Boakye, has been a striking force in the local league for the past three seasons and Kotoko believe his inclusion could address the shortfalls in the attacking department of the team.
For John Kuffuor, his abilities as an emerging central defensive pillar have not been in doubt.
He was a key in Heart of Lions’ rear and his inclusion in Kotoko have been seen as one of the best things to happen to the club at a time the former champions are trying to get back to winning ways.
The three players from Arsenals, Brenya, a midfielder, and Amoah and Bruce, both defenders worked under Ebo Mends last year when he coached the Berekum based side.
Arch rivals Accra Hearts of Oak appear to have made a major catch from the camp of Heart of Lion. They seem to have a firm grip on the club’s top striker Ibrahim Tanko and are on the hunt for Wise player maker Abdul Bashiru.
According to sources close to the Phobian camp, newly appointed Coach Paa Kwesi Fabin on whose recommendations that the two players are being signed is now confronted with a huge task of looking for replacement for the club’s most potent forces, Mahatma Otoo and Samuel Afum whose partnership sustained the club last season.
Otoo is currently linked to a possible move to Israeli side Happoe Tel Aviv, while Afum is on his way to Ismailia of Egypt.
Whilst Tanko who scored some important goals for the Kpando-based side is almost set to play for the Phobians next season, Bashiru, a brilliant offensive player who is a member of the local Black Stars is a target of about 12 clubs.
Bashiru returned from a Belgium where attempts by premier side, Gent to sign him failed following a disagreement with the management of the player.
Meanwhile Ashgold have succeded in foiling Hearts bid for Olympics midfielder Malik Akowuah. Chief Executive Officer of Ashgold, Mr. Kudjoe Fianoo, the player has been signed on by the miners together with Kessben star Ransford Kudjoe.


THE first consignment of free exercise books and school uniforms provided by the government for schoolchildren in the Offinso South Municipality has been delivered to the beneficiary pupils.
The items, which included 138,102 exercise books and 2,000 uniforms, went to pupils in five communities, namely Apotosu, Kensere, Amankwatia, Amoaning and Wawase.
Making the presentation, the Offinso Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Victor Amponsah, said the donation was in fulfilment of President Mills’s electoral promise to make education accessible to all children.
He gave an assurance that other schoolchildren would be served in due course.
Mr Amponsah underscored the importance of education in the development of the municipality, and urged parents to take interest in their children’s education.
The MCE said the municipal assembly was investing a lot of resources in education through the development of educational infrastructure and other projects and programmes.
He also advised teachers to be up to their responsibilities, stressing that teachers played a central role in shaping the future of children.
He stated that discipline was a key ingredient in building the future of schoolchildren, and therefore challenged teachers to instil discipline in their pupils.
Mr Amponsah touched on the poor state of the Offinso-Apotosu road and stated that plans were almost complete to rehabilitate the road.
He cautioned members of spraying gangs in the mass cocoa spraying exercise to desist from playing politics with the exercise.
The MCE warned that any member who did selective spraying in the name of politics would be sacked.
The Municipal Director of Education, Mr Bertimus Bagbin, said the capitation grant, the school feeding programme and the distribution of free uniforms and exercise books were all geared towards the improvement of quality education in the country.
He said more schools in the municipality would be hooked on the school feeding programme.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


AS the commencement of the 2010-20111 premier league edges closer, Kumasi Asante Kotoko, who have sworn to get back to winning ways are to take their pre-season training to Togo and the Republic of Benin.
“Our target is to win the league next season, and as part of the measures, we are moving to camp on July 16, and after some local games, the foreign trips will follow in due course,” newly-appointed coach, Ebo Mends told the Daily Graphic in Kumasi last Saturday.
With the World Cup over, national attention surely is shifting to the upcoming local season and Asante Kotoko want to make the most out of the pre-season.
Speaking on a wide-range of issues, Ebo said he was getting all the necessary support from the board and promised a “massive change” in the output of the team this season.
The club’s ultra-modern training pitch at Adako-Jachie in Kumasi which was inaugurated last week, has been a hive of activity, with expectant supporters pouring in the hope of seeing which new players were joining the club.
Even though no new players have appeared yet, coach Mends says the recruitment process was on track and that only the best would join Kotoko this season.
Two weeks into his appointment, Ebo Mends appeared to have settled down to serious business with the target to winning the premier league next season, and he believes the team needed the right materials to execute the task.
According to him, the next few days could see the axing of eight players from the current squad of Asante Kotoko and the recruitment of seven others to prepare the team for the upcoming season.
The 48-year-old coach would not mention the names of the players involved but said supporters would be happy when the names come out this week.
According to him, the seven players the club had settled on for recruitment were selected from a list of 18 players picked from the various clubs in the last premier league.
The coach said he was back to Kotoko to prove a point. “I was here in 1999 and left within a season, Now is the time to prove a point and I’m ready for that,” he said.
Ebo Mends stated that he would do with 30 players this season, saying too many players “tend to destroy the soup”. Out of the number, five would be promoted players from the Kotoko Under-20 side.
He insisted that the club would not undertake any justify-your-inclusion this season because time was not on the side of the club.
The coach said the welfare of the players was paramount in building a winsome side and indicated that the board had given the assurance to tackle it with all seriousness.
“I’m happy about the players’ response to training, and from all indications, the competition for positions would be very keen,” he said.
But, he said, much more needs to be done on player commitment to duty. “What prevails in the team now is a departure from the past when we played for the club with so much commitment, and we have to work to change the situation”.
Ebo Mends said many of the club’s supporters had lost confidence in the team “ and we have to work to get them back to the stadium”.
The coach stressed the need for Kotoko to take youth development with all seriousness as a way of feeding the senior team with the right materials.
He expressed regret that these days, it is difficult to see Kotoko players in national teams, and gave the assurance to work hard to change the situation.

Monday, July 12, 2010


KUMASI Asante Kotoko assistant coach, Johnson Smith, has quit the club to begin a new life as head coach of Berekum Arsenal.
The man, who was widely expected to remain with Kotoko after major changes in the managerial and technical division a couple of weeks ago signed a two-year contract with Arsenal last Saturday.
“We completed everything with him today (Saturday) and I can confirm to you that Smith is now with us,” Arsenal CEO, Alhaji Yakubu Moro, told the Daily Graphic on telephone from his base at Berekum.
The CEO would however not disclose the monetary details in the deal but said the two parties were satisfied with everything.
Smith’s departure had come as a surprise to Asante Kotoko who claimed that the coach did not inform the club before leaving.
A source at Kotoko told the Daily Graphic that Kotoko would have wished that the assistant coach gave them prior information about his decision to leave. That notwithstanding they would still wish him the best in his endeavours
Until his departure, Smith, who had been in and out of Kotoko on few occasions, was expected to remain as the assistant to newly appointed coach, Ebo Mends.
His departure means, Ebo Mends would have to start looking for an assistant at Kotoko.
Incidentally, Mends was also with Arsenal last season and left the club to join Asante Kotoko this season.
Alhaji Yakubu said Arsenal had a lot of confidence in Smith to carry the club to another significant level.
He said the club want to take the next season with all seriousness that was why an experienced coach in the person of Smith had been appointed.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


THE Department of Social Welfare has presented a number of bicycles to boost the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) and the Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour in selected beneficiary communities in the Ahafo-Ano North District.
Communities that benefited included Mango, Mobbing, Kyekyewere, Katapei, Ankaase, Suponso and Sikafrebogya.
The rest were Boagyaa No. 1, Olumankrom, Boagyaa No. 2, Pokukrom, Jacobu, Alhassankrom and Dotaem.
The Deputy Ashanti Regional Director of the Department, Mr Anthony Agyemang, who made the presentation on behalf of the department, said the two programmes were very dear to the heart of his outfit.
He noted that any programme that was pro-poor must be supported to enable it achieve its goals.
Mr Agyemang commended the district assembly for supporting the two programmes.
He asked the beneficiary committees to use the bicycles for the purpose for which they were donated.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr David Addae Amankwah, noted that the two programmes were components of the National Social Protection Strategy.
He said the government was doing everything possible to eliminate the use of children in cocoa production because the practice tended to ruin the future of the children.
Mr Amankwah said mobility was an essential element in facilitating the work of the committee members.
Consequently, he asked them to make good use of the bicycles donated to them.


THE government has presented 46,076 exercise books and 2000 school uniforms for distribution to pupils in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region.
The Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, who made this known,said the items were the first consignment to be presented to the district this academic year and gave the assurance that the next consignment would be delivered in the course of the year.
Mr Opoku-Manu,who was speaking at various meetings with the chiefs and people as part of his tour of the district, said the government was committed to the development of the country,adding that education featured prominently on the development agenda.
The minister also inaugurated and inspected some development projects and also explained government policies and programmes to the people.
At Manso Nkwanta, he inaugurated a health centre financed by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the Government of Ghana.
The Minister also inspected the district assembly hall project at Manso Nkwanta and a six-classroom block at Manso-Suntreso.
Addressing various meetings with the chiefs and people,Mr Opoku-Manu said the government would vigorously pursue its development agenda,especially in the rural areas.
He called on the people to support the government in its efforts to improve their lot.
Mr Opoku-Manu asked staff at the new health centre to eschew negative activities that could threaten the health of the people.
The Omanhene of Manso-Nkwanta, Nana Bi-Kusi Appiah, commended the government for keeping faith with the people by seeing to the completion of the health project.
He appealed to the government to establish a district hospital at Manso Nkwanta to enable the people in the district access quality healthcare.
The Omanhene also made an appeal to the government to improve the road network in the district.
The District Director of Health Services, Mr Joseph Adomako, noted that the completion of the health centre would help address some of the health needs of the people.


THE Krontihene of Manso-Atwere in the Amansie West District, Nana Owusu Antwi, has called on the government to provide adequate resources to the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) to enable it honour its constitutional obligations.
He said it appeared the NCCE had been neglected in terms of budgetary support, a situation, which had prevented it from carrying out its constitutional mandate to the fullest.
Nana Antwi was speaking at a district forum on the review of the Constitution at Manso-Nkwanta.
He said the decision to review the Constitution was a good idea because after 18 years, there was every indication that the document was crying for review to meet the challenges of the time.
Among suggestions that came up at the forum included the need for the review of the retirement age from 60 to 65 to prevent the practice where pensioners were engaged on contract.
Some participants also suggested that the constitutional provision that allowed the biggest percentage of ministers to come from Parliament should be reviewed since the practice was counter productive.
Another suggestion that came up was the need to elect Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives.
In a welcoming address, the District Chief Executive, Mr Charles Oti Prempeh, stressed the need for the District Assemblies Common Fund to be reviewed from the current seven per cent to 10 per cent to enable the assemblies implement their development programmes.
He was confident that the Constitutional Review Commission would do a good work, which would benefit the nation in its democratic and development initiatives.
In his remarks, the counsel for the commission, Mr Ernest Owusu, said the review of the constitution represented good housekeeping project for the nation and an attempt by the people to fashion out home-grown solution to the nation’s challenges.


THE Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) will celebrate its 60 years of existence in November 2010.
By Act 80, 1961, the Parliament of the First Republic gave the green light for the then College of Technology to be transformed into a university.
60 years in the life of a university would naturally come with successes and challenges but suffice it to say that KNUST has walked the journey with tenacity of purpose.
The Chancellor of the University, Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, echoed the strides KNUST has made over the years when at the 44th Congregation ceremony at the Great Hall recently he stated, “We are proud, as a university, to have trail-blazed Ghana’s science and technology development this far”.
“60 years offers us the opportunity to showcase our achievements and tell our success story as the leader and premier institution of higher learning for science and technology education and training,” the Asantehene said.
Today, KNUST is ranked the best in the country and 12th in Africa, justifying the level at which it has gone in achieving its mandate.
At the congregation, the Asantehene called for an end to the over-reliance on the government for the funding of higher education in the country.
He noted that the “heavy dependency syndrome” was unsustainable as evident in the ever-dwindling government subventions to the institutions.
“ As a nation, we must vigorously continue with the pursuit for politically feasible strategies and mechanisms for the sustainable funding of higher education”.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu noted that education had become expensive the world over and this called for involvement of all stakeholders to get things going.
He appealed to the alumni, parents, organisations and well-wishers to go to the aid of the university to enable it survive the turbulent times.
“We invite you to establish academic chairs in our colleges. We welcome you to provide support and grants for applied and innovative research and development activities,” he added.
He also called for a review of the collegiate system at KNUST after six years of operation to establish the success so far made and to enable the authorities meet the changing trends of higher and international education of the 21st Century.
Otumfuo paid tribute to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kwasi Kwafo Adarkwa, who would be exiting in August this year after serving his term for a job well done, and welcomed the incoming VC, Prof W.O. Ellis, pledging his unflinching support to him.
In his address, Prof. Adarkwa announced that the first commercial laboratory for aflatoxins analysis in the country has been established at the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology at KNUST.
It is intended to address one of the major food safety concerns in the food sector (aflatoxins) in the production and processing of maize, coconut and peanut, as well as the oil industry and industries that use these products as inputs for their operations.
Aflatoxin is a food contaminant, which is a potent carcinogen to both animals and humans and thus, requires constant monitoring within the food marketing cycle for certain agricultural commodities.
Prof. Adarkwa said the laboratory was established with the support of the Trade and Investment Programme for Competitive Export Economy (TIPCEE), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID),
He also mentioned that under the Teaching and Learning Innovation Fund (TALIF), KNUST was benefiting with the implementation of 43 projects at the cost of $4.4 million out of which 81 per cent had been disbursed to the university for various projects.
The VC disclosed that this year, the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology produced a PhD graduate whose research focused on the upgrading of the nutritional value of cocoa pod husk for use in animal feed, using biotechnological techniques.
While expressing the hope that the poultry industry would pick up the technology, Prof. Adarkwa invited entrepreneurs to collaborate with the university to commercialise it through a joint company.
He expressed excitement at the growing numbers of postgraduate programmes at the university, which now stands at 3,904.
Meanwhile, two projects financed at the cost of GH¢7.5 million by the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), and internally generated funds of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have been inaugurated at the university.
Each of the projects, which started about four years ago, included administration blocks and lecture halls for the College of Science and the School of Business.
At the inaugural ceremony, Prof. K.K. Adarkwa, said the projects would go a long way to address major accommodation problems facing the university.
He commended GETFund for supporting the university to address some of the accommodation challenges of the university.
The Akyempimhene of Asante, Oheneba Adusei Poku, said it had become increasingly clear that the government alone could not meet the educational needs of the nation.
It was, therefore, important for the private sector to come in to support to ensure that the nation continued to make significant strides in education.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


THE Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has organised a day’s training programme on the code of conduct for 35 public officers drawn from the Western Region.
They were taken through topics such as the importance of a code of conduct for public officers, general overview of the code of conduct for public officers, role of public officers in the implementation of the code of conduct for public officers in Ghana, the role of National Ethics Advisory Committee and tools for monitoring compliance with the code of conduct at the workshop held in Sekondi.
In an address read on his behalf to open the training, the Western Regional Minister, Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, said Chapter 24 of the 1992 Fourth Republican Constitution enjoined public office holders to eschew unethical behaviours or conducts, such as conflict of interest, illicit enrichment and all other improper conducts.
He said the quest for a code of conduct among public officers remained the major preoccupation of government and civil society organisations.
“It will be very undesirable if public officers use their positions to manipulate power, abuse both public management and professional authority for personal benefit, regardless of their status or that of the institution”, he added.
Mr Aidoo said the code of conduct became more important if we were to win the battle of eradicating corruption, adding that “this is rightly so because in a developing country like Ghana which has myriad of problems militating against the provision of quality education, health, infrastructure, agriculture and other services, it is incumbent to ensure that every resource is judiciously used to improve these services for the benefit of all.”
In the performance of duties, he said public officers must uphold public interest, regard public service as a public trust requiring employees to place loyalty above private gains.
The minister said public officers should not engage in transactions, use confidential information or allow the improper use of such information to further any private gain.
Also, he said public servants should not concur in the use of public funds contrary to existing laws, discard favouritism or nepotism and avoid furthering interests of foreign countries to the detriment of the motherland.
“We should adhere to maintain codes as prescribed to promote a strong public image and strive to operate with the utmost of integrity and honour,” he stressed, adding: ”As public officers, we should be able to confront the challenges that we meet on a daily basis in the line of duty such as potential conflicts of interest, mismanagement of contracts and agreements.”
The Deputy Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Mr Richard Quayson, noted that a code of conduct for public officers was extremely important in any democratic society.
He said a code of conduct for public officers increased the probability of public officers behaving in ways generally acceptable to the society.
According to Mr Quayson, public officers were expected to be persons of high moral character and integrity since all provisions in the constitution upheld the integrity of a public office.
“The Constitution expects public officers to do right to all manner of persons,” he stressed.
He explained that the code was a generic one based on which all ministries, departments and agencies were required to develop codes of conducts specific to them within the framework of the code, adding that “the code of conduct for public officers is a generic document setting out the minimum standards required of all public officers.”

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


RESCUE workers at the mine disaster site in Dunkwa-on-Offin yesterday retrieved two bodies and spotted six others in a pit that had proved difficult to reach as of press time.
The breakthrough marked the first major success in the laborious task of reaching and retrieving scores of bodies believed to have been buried under the mass of water and mud in the vast and slippery area since Sunday.
The retrieved bodies were stuck deep in the pit, with their heads and hands protruding from the sticky mud.
One rescuer told the Daily Graphic that the condition of the bodies was such that any attempt to forcibly pull them out could result in dismembering them. As a result, the rescuers had been treading cautiously.
“It’s a terrible sight. I can’t believe what I’m seeing now,” a distraught Minister of Lands and Forestry, Alhaji Collins Dauda, who has been at the site since Tuesday doing everything to facilitate the rescue process, told the Daily Graphic in the morning of yesterday.
It was alleged that the buried miners had been operating in gangs of seven, with 18 groups in all operating on that fateful day.
Alhaji Dauda said the retrieved bodies were in their early stages of decomposition, as a result of which arrangements had been made to bury them immediately.
“They are going to be buried close to the pit where the disaster happened. Graves have already been dug and we are waiting for doctors to examine the remains before they are buried,” the minister said.
Alhaji Dauda said the police were waiting to see if family members could identify the bodies, adding that if that failed, the bodies would be buried.
Dozens of people have been crossing the Offin River in small canoes to get to the site to search for their missing relatives. Unfortunately, so far many of them have only been looking on helplessly as rescuers battle the mud and water.