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21.10.2004 Press Review

ISD News File - Thursday, October 21

By ISD

GOVERNMENT INITIATES MEASURES TO DEAL WITH OPERATIONAL PROBLEMS OF VLTC

The Minister of Ports, Harbours and Railways, Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, has stated that the government has initiated measures to deal with the numerous operational problems of the Volta Lake Transport Company (VLTC).

Professor Ameyaw-Akumfi, who said this at the opening of the second Ghana Marine and Freight Exposition in Accra, said among the measures are improving and increasing response to the needs of the users and beneficiaries of the system.

The two-day exposition, which is being attended by 15 organisations in the marine and freight industry, is aimed at creating a platform to discuss and clarify the various shipping and freight processes.

GHANA DISABLED SOCIETY BREAKS NEW GROUND

The Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled (GSPD) has started producing chalk on a small scale at its head office in Accra.

The National Administrator, Mr. Alexander Tetteh, said the project is being funded by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Accra, at a cost of ¢167 million, and Mr. Carsten Hille Rasmussen, a Development Worker from Denmark, is the advisor to the project.

At the moment 14 workers, all physically handicapped, have been employed permanently to produce 140 boxes of chalk a day, using locally manufactured machines and raw materials from the Midland Chemists Ltd. in Accra.

The National President of the society, Mr. Christopher Kisseih, said plans were on the drawing board to open similar factories in the other regions.

DEVELOP INTEREST IN PARLIAMENTARY ACTIVITIES

The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Freddie Blay, has appealed to second cycle institutions to help students develop interest in parliamentary activities by encouraging them to appreciate topical national issues and contribute to them.

Mr. Blay was speaking at a two-day orientation seminar for liaisons and heads of second cycle institutions aimed at helping them to understand the work of Parliament and its role in governance.

The First Deputy Speaker urged the schools to allot time on the curricula and calendar to enable students to listen to parliamentary debates live when the radio station of Parliament became operational.

The Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Mr. Kwadwo Baah Wiredu, said the decision to use students as peer leaders of the soon to be inaugurated Parliamentary Youth Clubs was laudable, since it would inculcate in every Ghanaian youth the due reverence for parliamentary democracy.

The Clerk of Parliament, Mr. K. E. K. Tachie, who chaired the function, said the Parliamentary Youth Club would help secure grassroots participation in the practice of ghana's constitutional democracy and inspire youth participation in democratic governance.

PHILANTHROPIST DONATES TO PRISONS SERVICE

A Ghanaian philanthropist based in the United Kingdom, Mr. Ola Durojaiye, has donated 10 DVD/VCD players costing ¢18 million to the Ghana Prisons Service, to make life worth living for the inmates of the prisons at the Prisons Headquarters in Accra.

Mr. Durojaiye said the government alone could not bring about a better quality of life in the prisons because of inadequate finance, and therefore deemed it important for all Ghanaians to try their best to help humanise the prisons system, and prayed that the prisoners would show remorse and be penitent for the good of the society.

The Acting Director of the Ghana Prisons Service, Mr. William Asiedu, noted that the donor had been assisting the service over along period and thanked him for the gesture.

GENDER ACTIVISTS MEET IN ACCRA

Thirty gender activists from different parts of the world are in the country to brainstorm on how to integrate regional economic reforms and gender in Africa.

The four-day seminar forms part of steps towards the initiation of the third phase of the Gender and Economic Reforms in Africa (GERA) programme.

The GERA is an advocacy and research network of Third World Network-Africa (TWN-Africa), consisting of different women's groups from across the world.

The Co-ordinator of TWN-Africa, Dr. Yao Graham, said among some of the issues that the seminar would seek tackle were Africa's economic integration experience, the current state of economic integration processes – polices, institutions and politics, overviews of gender and informal economic integration in Africa's regions, and researching gender and economic integration in Africa – challenges.

CANDIDATES FILE NOMINATION FOR DECEMBER ELECTIONS

No presidential candidate filed his papers at the Electoral Commission (EC) yesterday when nominations for the December presidential and parliamentary election opened.

It is, however, expected that they will do so today, being the final day.

The receipt of nominations for candidates in the parliamentary elections, however, is being handled by EC returning officers located in the various constituencies.

WAVES HAIR AND SKIN CARE PRODUCTS LAUNCHED

The Minister of State at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiative, Mr. Ishmael Ashitey has launched the waves, hair and skin care products of Nova Beauty Solutions, at the Christ the King Hall, in Accra.

Mr. Ashitey, who was the guest of honour said through collaboration, Eriogin Company Limited of Ghana and Waves Denmark have been able to establish Nova Beauty Solutions to manufacture high quality beauty products locally.

The Minister noted that the launch could not have come at a better time than when government was seeking to support such joint ventures of private led initiatives and partnership.

Nova Beauty Solution is co-owned by Mr. Eric Antwi, a Ghanaian and Mr. Ditte Zuschlag, a Danish.

Present was the Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Fleming B. Peterson.

GOVERNEMNT GIVES COTTON FIRMS A RELIEF

The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Major Courage Quashigah, has announced in Parliament that the government will offer cotton production companies relief from the repayment of their outstanding debts.

Major Quashigah was responding to a question from Mr. Edward Salia, member of Parliament for Jirapa, on the state of cotton production in Ghana, in the context of the President's Special Initiative on Cotton and the Untied States of America's Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Major Quashigah explained that the government had decided to convert the debts of Ghana Cotton Company into equity, and to take over ownership, through Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), of a majority of the shares held by the existing shareholders.

He said that there was a need to reposition ghana's cotton industry to provide the raw material base for an effort to take advantage of the opportunity presented by AGOA.

The Minister reported that the Crop Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) was also conducting research into the varieties of cotton seed that would be most appropriate for Ghana.

94 CUBAN DOCTORS IN GHANA TO SUPPORT THE HEALTH SECTOR

A team of 94 medical doctors and para-medics from Cuba are in the country to support the health sector.

They replace 117 Cuban medical personnel from that country's medical brigade who left the country after a two-year service. The new team is currently undergoing a 10-day orientation course that will help them to get adapted to the new environment.

The Head of the Cuban Medical Brigade, Enrique Colas Perez, indicated that the 10-day orientation course was to help improve the medical personnel's knowledge about diseases they would encounter in ghana, which they might not have encountered before. It was also to improve their communications skills not only in English but also in local languages.

UNIVERSITY OF GHANA ACCORDED WORLD RECOGNITION

The University of Ghana, Legon, has been recognised as one of the 15 leading research universities in the world.

The Vice Chancellor of the university has, therefore, been invited to join 14 other heads of such recognised universities to attend the first ever Global Colloquium of University presidents in January next year.

The colloquium, which is to be held at the Columbia University in New York, is under the joint auspices of the UN Secretary-General. Mr. Kofi Annan and five American universities.

SKILL TRAINING FOR FEMALE TEACHERS ENDS

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in collaboration with the Tano South District Assembly and the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), have organised a 10-day workshop for 25 selected female teachers on beads, powder and bamboo necklace production.

The workshop, sponsored by Rural Enterprises Project (REP) of IFAD, was aimed at equipping the participants with the necessary skills to earn them extra income.

Speaking at the closing ceremony at Bechem, the District Co-odinator of IFAD, Mr. Aikins Agyepong, said since its inception about eight years ago, IFAD in collaboration with some district assemblies and the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), had trained over one million people in soap making, mushroom cropping, batik and tie-dye production nationwide.

Since January, this year, the REP has spent more than ¢15 million to train a number of people in the district in marketing, management and technical skills.

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