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19.11.2003 Press Review

Print Media Review For Nov. 19

By ISD
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THE DAILY GRAPHIC – WEDNESDAY, 19TH NOVEMBER, 2003 1. ‘RAWLINGS, PNDC MUST ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY’ – PG. 1 & 3

According to the paper, Osahene Boakye Djan, former Deputy Chairman of the AFRC, has asked former President Rawlings and his erstwhile PNDC regime to admit responsibility for the summary execution in 1984 of Lance Corporal Sarkodie Addo, a member of the AFRC.

He suggested that in the event that Rawlings failed to do this, the government, through the NRC, should initiate prosecution proceedings against him, at the International War Crimes Tribunal.

Boakye Djan told the NRC at its sitting in Accra yesterday that the summary execution by the PNDC of Sarkodie Addo touched them profoundly.

Meanwhile, Osahene Boakye Djan and three of his colleagues have offered an unqualified apology for the suffering and losses people experienced under the AFRC.

His colleagues, who appeared with him, were ex-Corporal Peter Tasiri Azongo, ex-Lance Corporal Fred Ansah Atiemo and ex-Lance Corporal John Newton Gatsiko.

He further said that he and his colleagues had plans to sympathise with victims of the AFRC era who would publicly come to narrate their stories at the NRC.

Presenting the petition on behalf of his colleagues at the Commission, he said although “We have always insisted that sanctioned and penal custodies were unavoidable under the law, we find their consequence regrettable”. He added that all the incidents of instant justice under the AFRC against both civilians and military personnel were not officially authorized. 2. WINNER – TAKES-ALL CONCEPT. INAPPROPRIATE FOR NATIONAL UNITY, SAYS NANA DR. S.K.B. ASANTE – PG. 20 Nana Dr. S.K.B. Asante, President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, has described the concept of “Winner takes all” in the country’s political system as inappropriate for national integration.

He said the scenario had the tendency to exclude from decision making process and economic benefits minority ethnic and other groups, which were not associated with the majority group dominating the ruling party.

He was delivering a lecture on “The constitutional and legal framework for national integration” as part of the academy’s founder’s week celebration in Accra.

He said the situation made minority ethnic groups instead of accepting defeat in these circumstances often felt cheated and alienated. 3. MORE BUSINESS ENTERPRISES REGISTERED – PG. 20 The paper reports that, one hundred and eight new business enterprises valued at $89.86 million have been established in the country by the end of the third quarter of this year.

President Kufuor disclosed this at the Ghana Investment Forum in Accra yesterday.

According to him, a total of 138 new businesses valued at $65.3 million had been established last year.

The three-day forum, organized by the Ghana Investment Promotions Centre (GIPC) and the UNIDO and sponsored by the Japanese government is being attended by officials of Ghana’s missions abroad, foreign investors and local businessmen and women. DAILY GUIDE – WEDNESDAY, 19TH NOVEMBER, 2003 AWUAKYE IS A SPY – CLAIMS KWAMENA AHWOI – PG. 1 & 2

The paper reports that, a former Co-ordinator of Investigations, Vetting and Tribunals under the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) government, Mr. Kwamena Ahwoi, has observed that he cannot comment on (rtd) Major John Kwaku Awuakye’s allegation before the NRC recently in which he claimed had been de-naturalised by the erstwhile PNDC because Major (rtd) Awuakye is an agent of the CIA.

Mr. Ahwoi who was speaking to journalists at the Press Centre in Accra, noted that this has become possible because Major (rtd) Awuakye accepted during the PNDC days that he was a CIA operative and as per bilateral agreement reached recently between the Ghana government and the US government, it would be a total contempt of the agreement if he should come out openly to devulge anything on the facts.

“Even President Kufuor has not attempted to break the norm. How then can I risk it”, he asked. FREE PRESS – WEDNESDAY, 19TH NOVEMBER, 2003 NDC GAME PLAN EXPOSED – PG. 1 & BK. PG.

The paper reports that, NDC propaganda machinery has moved into higher gear in their attempt to discredit the NPP administration in international circles.

It says high profile NDC personalities have made trips to foreign countries whilst others have given interviews to foreign media and in all these, they carry one message that the NPP administration is carrying out political persecution and human rights abuses against top NDC members.

The paper cited ex-Finance Minister, Kwame Peprah, his Deputy, Victor Selormey and ex-Agriculture Minister, Ibrahim Adams who are currently serving prison sentences as examples.

A political analyst, who wants to remain anonymous has however indicated that all these noise making was just a smoke screen for the NDC’s real intent, that is to foment chaos and insurrection in the country when they lose the 2004 elections.

The source has therefore called on the government to be very wary of the machinations of the NDC to avoid falling into their trap. ACCRA DAILY MAIL – WEDNESDAY, 19TH NOVEMBER, 2003 JAK BEWARE OF VR SPECIAL ASSISTANTS – PG. 7

One John Addae of Jasikan commends the very mature manner in which the Hon. Minister of the Volta Region, Mr. Kwasi Owusu-Yeboah went about the confirmation of President Kufuor’s nomination for the four vacant District Chief Executive positions in the region.

According to him, the District Chief Executive for South Tongu, Kpando and Nkwanta, all had over 90% of their assemblies voting for them. The Jasikan DCE through the effort of the Hon. Minister just managed to cross the 2/3-majority line to be confirmed, and inspite of the strong campaign of the Regional NPP activists, nearly 30% of the assemblymen did not vote for Mr. Solomon Kwame Donkor for the position of DCE.

The writer said one must understand the political as well as ethnic dynamics of Jasikan district, where the Regional Minister hails from to understand the reason for the difficulty Mr. Solomon Donkor went through, adding that “Now that Mr. Solomon Kwame Donkor has been confirmed we all want to rally behind him so that he will deliver and succeed”. THE INSIGHT – WEDNESDAY, 19TH NOVEMBER, 2003 THE TRUTH ABOUT HOW THE VRA LOST ¢14 BILLION – PG. 1 & 5

According to the paper, sources inside the VRA are insisting that the authority lost more than ¢14 billion in fraudulent penalty payments to Sahara.

The allegation made by persons who were employees of Sahara at the relevant time and had direct and documentary evidence in support of it was placed before the VRA Board Committee.

The evidence established quite clearly that Ghana’s claim of the US $1.7 million was at best suspicious.

It said the US $1.7 million amount was made up of US $1.03,300 Cancellation Penalty and US $695.445, demurrage. No cancellation took place before during or after March 2002 as claimed by Sahara and no valid documentation had been produced by them to support this claim, because non exists.

Polembrose, whose vessel, the MT. ATLAS was supposed to have been the cause of the cancellation will testify to the falsehood, the paper said. THE GHANAIAN TIMES – WEDNESDAY, 19TH NOVEMBER, 2003 1. SPECIAL DEAL FOR RURAL HEALTH STAFF – PG. 1 & 3

According to the paper, essential staff of the health sector working in deprived areas will now receive 30 per cent increment in their salaries.

This forms part of plans to make such areas attractive to them. They include doctors and nurses.

Already the Ministry of Health has distributed about 63 vehicles to some of these health professionals to facilitate their work.

Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, the Sector Minister, disclosed this in an interview after briefing the press on the Executive Board Retreat of the World Health Organization (WHO) scheduled from November 19 to 21 in Accra.

The retreat, to be held outside WHO’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, for the first time, will address health issues confronting the world.

According to Dr. Afriyie, apart from the incentive for those based in the deprived areas, about 400 vehicles were being imported into the country for health professionals serving in both the rural and urban centers to help make their services accessible to the public. 2. LACK OF DATA, AFRICA’S BANE – OSAFO-MAAFO – PG. 3 The paper reports that, the lack of accurate and timely statistical data has been identified as one of the reasons why many development plans either failed or remained ineffective in many developing countries.

Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, who made the observation, explained that where data or either not available or inadequate, planning for development breaks downs and ceases to be in effective.

The Minister’s remarks were contained in a speech read for him at the 10th Africa Statistics Day celebration in Accra yesterday.

The event was aimed at increasing public awareness about the important role statistics play in all aspects of social and economic life.

He stated that the development of the country depended on an independent national statistical system which should be able to provide accurate, up-to-date, comprehensive and meaningful statistical data. BUSINESS & FINANCIAL TIMES – WEDNESDAY, 19TH NOVEMBER, 2003 1. GHANA’S COTTON PRODUCTS DON’T QUALIFY, AGOA MARKET – PG. 1 & 2

The paper reports that, the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Presidential ‘Special Initiative (PSI) says it is making frantic efforts to acquire the right cotton seed variety from the sub-region to be able to produce the right clothing for the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) market.

In an interview with the paper, Hajia Alima Mahama, Deputy Minister for the sector said products made from Ghana’s local cotton do not qualify for the AGOA market, hence the new move to get the right seed variety.

She said plans are far underway to introduce sorghum and handicraft into the PSI programme because the two have high potential market.

The Deputy Minister also disclosed that the palm oil initiative introduced recently, appears to have the highest potential market among all the projects undertaken by government, adding that government is mapping out strategies, among them are educational campaigns, to get the farmers to gradually change what they have and use the new high yields supplied them. 2. GOVERNMENT - MALAYSIAN IMPASSE THREATENS GT – PGS. 1 & 3 The paper reports that, the Ghana Telecommunication (GT) cannot attract substantial investment it badly needs to stay in business because of the impasse between the government and Telecom Malaysia.

The paper says serious legal problems are believed to have forced the present managers of GT to suspend an ambitious strategic business plan designed to attract investors to salvage the finances of the company by the close of 2005.

Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Oystein Bjorge, disclosed that the dispute with the Malaysian company, which has filed a multi-million dollar claim over purported financial dishonesty, threatens to drawback and possibly render the company bankrupt if government fails to resolve the issue immediately. THE GHANAIAN CHRONICLE – WEDNESDAY, 19TH NOVEMBER, 2003 1. TIGHT SECURITY FOR TAKORADI PORT… AS AMEYAW-AKUMFI MOVES TO PREVENT AMERICAN SHIPS’ BOYCOTT – PG. 4 & 5

The paper report that, the Minister of Ports, Harbours and Railways, Prof. Ameyaw Akumfi, has directed the management of the Takoradi Port to tighten security within the operational area of the port to avoid being boycotted by the European and American vessels that call at the port to transact business.

He said since September 2001, port security all over the world has attracted new enthusiasm as fears continue to grow about the prospects of terrorists using them as a channel to attack.

Prof. Akumfi said because of this fear any port that might show the slightest weakness in maintaing security in its operational area stands the risk of being boycotted by European and American vessels, which Ghana must avoid at all cost.

The time has, therefore, come for us to re-examine our quest for stowing away, especially through the Takoradi port, he said.

He was speaking at the launch of the 75th anniversary celebration of the Takoradi port yesterday. 2. SAGA OF $60 MILLION GPHA SCANDAL PROJECT – GPHA BOSS ON RAMPAGE… HUNTS FOR SCAPEGOATS – PGS 1 & 3 According to the paper, two top officials of the GPHA have been summarily dismissed for alleged “leakage to the press of GPHA confidential documents’ in connection with the scandal-riddled Quay Two Extension Project at the Tema port.

“Chronicle” however, can report that it was the Director General, Mr. Ben Owusu Mensah himself, a member of the Board of Directors, who gave several confidential documents to the paper during its investigations of the controversial award of the contract and tax exemption on the project.

The paper’s sources indicated that the dismissal of two, Mr. A. Y. Jim Fugar, Corporate Estate and Environmental Manager and Mr. R. A. Anamoo, Chief Engineer, follows a recommendation by a committee of Inquiry set up by the GPHA boss to investigate circumstance of the leakage of documents which exposed the scandalous award of the $45m contract to Interferon in respect of the extention works. THE STATESMAN – WEDNESDAY, 19TH NOVEMBER, 2003 BIG SHAKE-UP IN CIVIL SERVICE – PAYROLL BLOATED BY 220,000 – PG. 1 & BK. PG.

According to the paper, the Government has just completed the first phase of a comprehensive study of the public service, the results of which will lead to a redefinition of the missions of all public institutions, their structures, and skill requirement, with the view to make them more relevant in their responses to good governance and the country’s overriding development agenda.

In an interview with the paper, the National Co-ordinator of the National Institutional Renewal Programme (NIRP), Dr. K. Appiah-Koranteng said that “the public perception that the public sector is over-bloated is real”.

The findings not only confirm that the public sector is in many areas woefully unproductive, unskilled and over-staffed, but also that the payroll is far larger than the real individuals earning their income.

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