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22.10.2004 Press Review

ISD News File, - Friday, October 22

By ISD

FOUR FILE FOR PRESIDENT

The Flagbearers of three political parties yesterday filed their nomination papers with the Electoral Commission (EC) to contest the highest office of the land-the presidency.

With this requirement fulfilled, the three now officially assume the status of presidential candidates of their respective political parties for the December 7, 2004 presidential election.

The nomination of the fourth candidate, Dr. Edward Mahama of the Grand Coalition was, however, only provisionally accepted pending his satisfying certain conditions.

Dr. Mahama has been given up to Monday to meet some requirements before his nomination will be completely accepted. If those conditions are not met, he will not be accepted as a candidate.

Those whose nomination were accepted were President J. A. Kufuor of the ruling NPP, Professor J. E. A. Mills of the NDC, and Mr. George Aggudey of the CPP.

Dr. Mahama represents the Grand Coalition, which brings together the PNC, EGLE, and the GCPP.

At the close of nominations at 5 p.m., no one had filed as an independent candidate.

Simultaneously in the 230 constituencies across the country, parliamentary candidates for the various political parties, as well as those contesting as independent candidates, filed their nominations.

PRESIDENT KUFUOR INSPECTS ONGOING PROJECTS AT WA

President J. A. Kufuor has inspected work on the ¢54 billion Wa Polytechnic Campus, the ¢16 billion expansion programme at the Wa secondary school, one of the 35 selected model schools, to end his three-day official visit to the Upper West Region.

The President also addressed students and staff of the University of Development Studies (UDS) the Wa secondary school, visited the permanent site of the UDS and addressed durbars at Wechau and Wa.

While in the region, President Kufuor paid tribute to the late President Hilla Liman during his visit to the tomb at Gwollu, his hometown.

The President was accompanied by the Regional Minister, Mr. Sahunun Mogtari, the Foreign Minister, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Alhaji Alhassan Bin-Salih, member of the Council of State, Professor Kassim Kassanga, the Minister of Environment and Science, Mr. Ambrose Derry, the Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Moses Dani-Baah, the Deputy Minister of Health and Mr. Clement Eledi, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture.

GOVERNMENT TO FLOAT 70% SHARES IN NEW AIRLINE

The Minister of Roads and Transport, Dr. Richard Anane, has announced the intention of the government to float part of its 70 per cent equity of the new airline, set to replace Ghana Airways, when it becomes operational.

The Minister, who announced this at press conference in Accra on Tuesday to respond to concerns raised by the workers union of Ghana Airways, said floating the shares would offer the opportunity to workers of Ghana Airways to buy shares in the new airline thereby giving them a stake in it.

Dr. Anane described as “intriguing” an admission by the union that there existed a 'mafia group' among them and also their observation of “bad management practices” in Ghana Airways.

The new airline will be jointly owned by the Ghana government and the Ghana International Airline (GIA), a US-based consortium, which has a 30 per cent equity in the new airline, which takes off in two weeks.

MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS ATTENTION

The government has been urged to pay greater attention to the needs of mental health care in the country.

The Rev. Michael Offei Danquah, Executive Director of the Psycho-Mental Health Foundation International, a non-governmental organization (NGO), said this after members of the foundation paid a visit to the Accra Psychiatric Hospital to examine the patients and offer them counselling and support.

Rev. Danquah noted that mental health was receiving less attention in the national health service and emphasized that “apart from the serious shortage of nurses, the lack of equipment and the overcrowding of patients are detrimental to the provision of mental health care”.

The visit was one of a number of events planned to mark this year's World Mental Health Day, under the theme, “The relationship between physical and mental health, co-occuring disorders”.

GHANA'S RECORD ON CORRUPTION IMPROVES

The Executive Secretary of Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Mr. Daniel Batidam, yesterday launched the report on Corruption Perception Index (CPI) by Transparency International in Accra.

Ghana ranked 64th out of 146 countries worldwide in this year's CPI.

It said that Ghana's position this year indicates a slight improvement over last year's index, in which it placed 70th of 133 countries worldwide.

Mr. Batidam said “this year's score should remind us that Ghana is far from winning the fight against corruption”.

Speaking to newsmen after the launch, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Paapa Owusu Ankoma, reiterated the governments commitment to fighting corruption in the country and was using transparency, coupled with institutional measures in that fight against the canker, adding that “the government's commitment to transparency remain unshaken even in the face of difficult challenges”.

BUKOM SQUARE RENOVATION PROJECT LAUNCHED

The Ministry of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City, inconjunction with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), has launched a project for the transformation of Bukom Square in Accra, into a tourism hub.

The first phase of the project, which is expected to cost ¢4 billion, will involve the building of a Hall of Fame in honour of renowned boxers who hail from the area, as well as the recruitment and training of the youth of the area as tourist guides to assist tourists who may visit the place, among others.

The Minister of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City, Mr. Jake Obestebi-Lamptey, who unveiled the package, assured the people that the project was in their ultimate interest and told them that “the President said, the modernisation of the capital city would start from here and this is the beginning of the modernisation”.

He said, the government had consultations with the chiefs and people to explain the importance and benefit of the project to them.

The AMA Chief Executive, Mr. Stanley Adjiri Blankson, deplored the apathetic attitude of the people towards keeping their environment clean and advised them to change for the better.

TV 3 NETWORK TO GO PUBLIC

TV 3 Network Limited, the first private free on air television station is to go public by July 2005.

As a first step to the public floatation, the station has appointed Databank Brokerage Ltd. to be the network lead managers and advisors.

Mr. Shairman Zainal Abidin, the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, who made this known said TV 3 Network was committed to go public so that the company which is 100 per cent privately owned, could share its fortunes with all Ghanaians.

The chief operating officer said, with a staff strength of 300 ghanaians, 10 are in management while only two are foreigners.

The network is equally working hard to extend its national coverage to the Central and Western Regions by December and by the end of the first quarter of next year, transmission of TV 3 programmes will be available in Sunyani and Tamale.

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