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20.10.2004 Press Review

ISD News File -- Wednesday, October 20

By ISD

PRESIDENT INAUGURATES ELECTRIFICATION PROJECT AT BABILE

President J. A. Kufuor, last Sunday inaugurated a ¢2.5 billion electrification project for the people of Babile in the Lawra-Nandom constituency, in the Upper West Region.

The project was in fulfillment of the NPP's campaign promise to the people of Babile in 2000 that when voted into power, the government would extend electricity to the area.

The inauguration ceremony formed part of the President's three-day official visit to the Upper West Region.

The President also addressed separate durbars of the chiefs and people of Jirapa and Nadowli.

The acting President of the Jirapa Traditional Council, Naa Alfred Yaayin, said without any fear of contradiction, the promise by the government to effect positive change had become evident in the lives of the people in the Jirapa area.

At Nadowli, President Kufuor announced that the government was dispatching two Cuban doctors to Nadowli to take charge of the health delivery there, adding that the doctors formed part of 20 others who were being posted to help the people in the region.

The Kaleo Naa, Naa Banawini Sando II, commended the government for the numerous development projects in the area, saying that so far, a total of 110 projects were being excuted in the Nadowli District at a cost of ¢19 billion.

GOVERNMENT TO LAUNCH PSI ON SORGHUM

Government has decided to launch a President's Special Initiative on Sorghum in the Upper West Region, to help invigorate economic activities and generate employment in the area.

President Kufuor, who was on a three-day official visit to the Upper West Region, also announced the government's policy to construct tarred roads to link all district capitals in the country.

The President made these known at separate durbars organised in his honour at Tumu and Wellembele, in the Sissal East District.

Speaking at the durbar at Tumu, President Kufuor explained that the PSI was launched by the government when it assumed office to diversify the country's economy.

He said, it was the determination of the government to reduce the drudgery associated with agriculture, thereby making the sector attractive to the youth as well as enhance agricultural production.

The Chief of Tumu, Kuoro Gilbert Badzo kanton, commended President Kufuor for his leadership and his government for the numerous projects initiated to enhance the quality of life of the people, adding that “the people are basking in genuine democracy and rule of law”.

The President also addressed similar durbars at Funsi, Kojopere, Gwulu, Zini and Issa.

POTABLE WATER FOR GUINEAWORM AREAS

The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, has announced that the government has voted ¢40.8 million to provide potable water to guineaworm endemic communities as part of its efforts to eradicate the disease in the country.

Alhaji Aliu Mahama, made this known when he inaugurated a ¢2.8 billion Small Town Water Supply Project at Takrowase, in the Kwaebibirem District, of the Eastern Region.

The Vice President said the government would continue to identify itself with the people to ensure that their concerns were adequately addressed.

The project, which was completed one month ahead of schedule, was funded by the German government, the Kwaebibirem District Assembly and the beneficiary community.

GOVERNMENT PLANS IRRIGATION PROJECT AT LAWRA

President J. A. Kufuor, has assured the people of the Upper West Region that a dam would be constructed on the Kamba River, in the Lawra District, for irrigation to permit year-round food production.

President Kufuor gave the assurance when he addressed a durbar of chiefs and people at Lawra, to celebrate the Kobine festival, which marks a good harvest.

He said, the Board of Directors of the Irrigation Development Authority would examine the project in the light of its viability for their area and for the country as a whole.

The Lawra-Naa, Naa Abeifa Karbo II, who is also a member of the Council of State, commended the government for the numerous projects it had undertaken in the area and appealed to the President to impress on the contractors working on the upgrade of Lawra Secondary School to speed up their work.

TODAY IS AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS DAY

Today, October 20, marks International Air Traffic Controllers Day.

The day was instituted by the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers Association (IFATCA) of which Ghana Air Traffic Controllers Association (GHATCA) has been affiliated since 1973.

It is a day on which public attention is drawn to the air traffic control profession and the searchlight beamed on some topical issues in the aviation industry.

The GHATCA, on this memorable occasion assures the aviation community and the general public of its commitment to ensuring safety, efficiency and regularity of air traffic in the airspace of Ghana, Togo and Benin, that is the Accra Flight Information Region (FIR), which are under Ghana's jurisdiction.

COMPLEMENT EFFORTS OF SECURITY AGENCIES

The Minister of Defence, Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor, yesterday called on civil society groups to complement the effort of security agencies to maintain peace and security in the West African sub-region.

Dr. Addo Kufuor made the call at the opening session of a two-day seminar organised by the International Peace Academy (IPA), a non governmental organizations working with the United Nations and the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Centre in Accra.

Speaking on the topic “Appraising Efforts in West Africa”, Dr. Addo-Kufuor said the history of conflict and human rights violations in the sub-region had been a history of social destabilisation and stunted economic growth.

He called on the IPA and ECOWAS, which were the organizers, to offer concrete policy recommendations on how best to enhance efforts at dealing with security issues in the sub-region.

The Executive Secretary of ECOWAS, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, noted that small arms proliferation continued to be a menace in the sub-region and called for a concerted efforts from African leaders and the security agencies to help limit its flow in the sub-region.

ECOWAS DELEGATION VISITS GUINEA BISSAU

A fact-finding mission has held discussions with the Interim President of Guinea Bissau, Henrique Rosa, and other leaders of the country to review recent development following the murder of the head of the country's army, General Verissimo Seabre Correia.

The delegation, which was dispatched by the ECOWAS Chairman, President John Agyekum Kufuor, in consultation with the Chairman of the African Union, General Olusegun Obasanjo, was led by Nigeria's Foreign Minister, Mr. Olu Adeniji.

Other members were Ghana's Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Akwasi Osei-Adjei, Executive Secretary of ECOWAS, Dr. Ibn Chambas, the Gambia's Foreign Minister, Sidi Sannah and Senegalese Minister of State for Industry, Arts and Culture, Landing Savane.

A statement from the Foreign Ministry said the delegation expressed satisfaction with the outcome of consultations and impressed upon the authorities on the need to consult the leadership of ECOWAS in the resolution of their grievances.

The delegation also made a cash presentation of $500,000 on behalf of the AU Chairman to the interim government to settle unpaid salaries of the army, the statement said.

¢87 BILLION PROVIDED AS SEED CAPITAL FOR VENTURE CAPITAL TRUST FUND

The government has set aside an amount of ¢87 billion as seed money for the Venture Capital Trust Fund to support the activities of small-and medium-scale-enterprises (SMEs) in the country.

The Minister of Finance and Economic planning, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, who was moving the motion for the second reading of the Venture Capital Trust Fund Bill in Parliament yesterday, explained that the fund, when operational, would provide financial assistance for young entrepreneurs, who do not have capital of their own.

According to the Minister, statistics in 2003 indicated that about 93.5 per cent of the country's industrial sector, was made up of small-and medium-scale enterprises which lacked capital to undertake their activities.

Mr. Osafo-Maafo said, “these SMEs normally employ less than 20 people and do not require substantial capital for their operations. Naturally, if we want the economy to grow, then it is the sector that we must support”.

AGREEMENT TO BOOST VEGETABLE OIL PRODUCTION SIGNED

The Chief Executive of Leasafric Ghana Limited, Mr. Seth K. Dei and Mr. Thomas W. Bello, Managing Director of Golden Web Limited have signed a loan agreement for ¢5 billion at a ceremony in Accra.

The fund was provided by the Italian government, through the Private Sector Development Fund (PSDF) with Leasafric Ghana Ltd. as the intermediary institution.

The credit is for the purchase of vegetable oil refinery plant for the production of more crude vegetable oil and refined cooking oil for local consumption and export.

The Italian Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Giancarlo Izzo witnessed the ceremony.

AUDITOR-GENERAL GETS TOP POST

The Auditor-General, Mr. Edward Dua Agyeman, has been elected Vice Chairman of the Governing Board of the Heads of African Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI-E).

The election took place in Budapest, Hungary, where he is attending AFROSAI meeting and the 18th congress of the Heads of Supreme Audit Institutions of the United Nations.

A release signed by the Auditor-General's Public Relations Officer, Mr. Kwesi Okere, said Mr. Agyeman was elected for his role in advancing the cause of AFROSAI-E, both in the country and in the region, since his appointment as Auditor-General.

Mr. Agyeman was accompanied by Mr. Caleb A. A. Annan, Director of Training on INTOSAI/AFROSAI matters.

SECURITY OFFICERS UNDERGO TRAINING ON NARCOTICS

Selected officers of the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Immigration Service, Customs Excise and Preventive Service and other security officers has began a four-week training programme, aimed at strengthening front-line protection against drug trafficking in Ghana, the US and other countries.

The course, which is being funded by the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) bureau of the US Department of State, will provide training to officers in the detection and prevention of the smuggling of illegal substances into and through Ghana. It will also provide training for officers in the prosecution of such cases.

The Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy, Mr. Jerry Lainer, noted that drug trafficking threatened “internal peace and stability” of countries, as well as individual livelihoods.

Two trainers, who are based in Washington D.C and work with the US Department of Justices International Criminal Investigative Assistance Programme (ICITAP), will conduct the training programme.

SPORTS VICE PRESIDENT TO ATTEND SWAG AWARDS

The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, will be the special guest of honour at the 29th Sportswriters Association of Ghana (SWAG) Awards Nite which comes off on Saturday, October 23 at the deluxe Alisa Hotel (North Ridge), Accra.

The Vice President will present the top-most prize-Sports Personality of the Year-to long jumper Ignatuis Gaisah, a gold medallist at the 2003 All Africa Games.

COACHING COURSE ENDS

The Minister of State responsible for Education, Youth and Sports, Alhaji Rashid Bawa, has called on coaches to teach the children the art of goal-scoring.

The Minister made the call at a presentation of coaching certificates to 20 ghanaians who participated in a Level One, British Football Coaching Certificate Course in Accra.

Alhaji Bawa described the lack of potent goal scorers as the bane of the national teams and ghanaian clubs.

The four-day course was organized by Nana Agyeman, former coach of Okwawu United, who is now a British Licensed Coach.

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