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05.10.2004 Press Review

ISD News File

By ISD

GHANA TO PUT LAWS ON INTERNET

The laws of Ghana are to be updated and put on the Internet for foreign investors and the general public to access.

An agreement to this effect was signed between the Ministry of Justice and Lexis Nexis Butterworths, a South African publishing firm and their local partners, Data Centa Limited, in Accra yesterday.

Under the agreement, the government of Ghana will get seven per cent royalties from the sales of the laws in an electronic form and leaflets.

The Minister of Justice, Papa Owusu Ankomah, who initialled the document for Ghana, said this was the second time since 1951 that such an exercise was being carried out to update the laws of the country. The laws were updated for the first time in 1951, but published in 1954.

The Sales Manager of the Butterworths in charge of Africa, Mr. Danie Jones, who signed for his company, said Ghana was among four African countries selected to revise and publish their laws.

Mr. Kofi Bentsi-Enchill, Director and Ms. Abigail Boateng, General Manager of the Data Centa, who signed for their outfit said those who wanted to access the laws on the net had to pay some amount before they could do so. CHIEF JUSTICE GIVES DIRECTIVES ON ELECTORAL CASES The Chief Justice, Mr. Justice George Kingsley Acquah, has advised judges in the country to question the intentions of litigants who appear before the courts to file injunctions that are likely to obstruct the smooth functioning of the Electoral Commission in the run up to the December general elections.

“You have to be circumspect in the granting of injunctions that involve the electoral process since certain injunctions have the tendency to undermine national security, peace and stability” he stressed.

Mr. Justice Acquah, who was addressing a workshop in Ho on electoral adjudication for 70 high court judges, asked them to “question the intentions of people who bring such actions against it, the EC or any other body that has to do with the electoral process so that the security, peace and stability of the nation is not undermined”.

The two-day workshop, was organized by the Institute of Continuing Judicial Education (ICJE) in collaboration with the Electoral Commission (EC) with sponsorship from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) of Germany. GHANA TOURIST BOARD INITIATES HIGHWAY REST STOP PROJECT

The Deputy Executive Director in charge of Operations, Mr. Edwin Owusu-Mensah, has stated that the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB) will today begin a highway rest stop project to ensure that drivers and passengers travelling on the country's main highways have access to essential hospitality services.

Three routes have been selected for a pilot project. They are the Accra-Kumasi, Accra-Aflao-Ho-Asikuma-Tema and the Accra-Winneba-Cape Coast-Takoradi highways.

Mr. Owusu-Mensah stated this in Accra on Friday, when the board addressed the media to formally outdoor the project.

He said the board has already held consultations with the major transport operators in the country including the Ghana Private Road Transport Union, the Kingdom Transport, Pergah Transport, Intercity Company, the Co-operatives and the Metro-Mass Transport Service.

For the Accra-Kumasi highways, five rest stops will be used initially – Goil Service Station at Medie, Mensco Hotel at Anyinam, All-In-One Restaurant at Nkawkaw, Joe Lee Classic Kitchen at Nkawkaw and the Goil Station at Kentin Krono, near the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

The Accra-Aflao-Ho-Asikuma-Tema highways have rest stops like the Ada Total Service Station, the Volta Hotel at Sogakope, Unipetrol Station also at Sogakope, Total Service Station at Aflao, Buggie Hotel at Kpetoe and Starr Guest House at Somanya Junction.

Travellers on the Accra-Winneba-Cape Coast-Takoradi highway would use the Hut D' Eric at Winneba Junction, Goil Service Station at Pedu junction, Shell Service Station at Elmina, Goil Service Station at Elmina, Unipetrol at Nkroful junction and Airport Goil Service on Axim road.

Mr. Owusu-Mensah explained that the project would among other things, help to reduce accidents on the country's major roads since drivers would have adequate facilities and time to relax before continuing their driving. ASOGLI STATE MARKS YAM FESTIVAL A colourful durbar of chiefs and people of the Asogli State to climax activities marking the first Asogli Yam Festival in over a decade and the first anniversary of the enstoolment of the Agbogbomefia, Togbe Afede XIV has been held at Ho, in the Volta Region.

The celebration was preceded by a two-day Volta Congress, aimed at unifying the people of the Volta Region at both home and abroad, and strategise for the development of the region.

The Minister of Defence, Dr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor, who represented the President at the durbar, commended the Agbogbomefia for his initiatives and brilliant ideas, and called on the chiefs to rally for the development of their people instead of fanning conflicts.

He made a donation of ¢2 million and two bottles of schnapps to the Asogli Traditional Council.

Also present were the Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Ms. Elizabeth Ohene, the Volta Regional Minister, Mr. Kwasi Owusu Yeboah, the Ho Municipal Chief Executive, Mr. Mawutor Goh and other dignitaries. CIVIL SERVICE SUFFERS FROM EXODUS The Head of the Civil Service, Dr. Alex Glover-Quartey, has stated that the government must as a matter of priority, improve on the conditions of service of civil servants to retain competent staff.

Dr. Glover-Quartey explained that unless the conditions of service improved for civil servants, the government would continue to be the loser because personnel would always leave after acquiring skills in the service.

He identified lack of refresher courses as the main cause of the poor performance of the civil service and advised heads of institutions to create favourable conditions for those who have attended refresher courses to utilize the new skills and knowledge they acquired for the common good of the organizations they worked for. ¢20 BILLION VOLTA VENTURE FUND LAUNCHED A ¢20 billion Volta Venture Capital Fund (VVCF), a purely profit-making private limited liability company to provide equity and debt for the private sector development in the region has been launched in Ho.

Also launched was a ¢10 billion Volta Development Fund (VDF), a social development fund, intended to support research and feasibility studies and other social projects in education, health and Information Communication and Technology (ICT) development in the region.

The Minister of Private Sector Development, Mr. Kwamena Bartels, who inaugurated the funds, commended the Volta Forum Trust, the Asogli State Council and the indigenes of the region for agreeing to take their destiny into their hands and urged government and non-governmental organisations to embrace the initiative.

The Agbogbomefia and President of the Asogli State Council, Togbe Afede XIV, and Mr. Felix Semavor, the Executive Chairman of the Kingdom Groups Ghana Limited are the chairman and vice chairman respectively of the eight-member board of directors of VVCF.

Similarly, the 12-member board of directors of the VDF has Mr. Alex Ashiagbor as chairman.

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