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25.10.2004 Press Review

ISD News File - Monday, October 25, 2004

By ISD

PRESIDENT KUFUOR CALLS FOR RESPECT FOR LAW AND ORDER President J. A. Kufuor has called on political party leaders and their followers not to respond unnecessarily to provocations, no matter how trying the circumstances may be.

He rather urged them to conduct their campaigns within the confines of the law and be cautious of utterances and actions that could disturb the prevailing peace and stability.

The President who was speaking at the launch of the national campaign of the NPP at Mantse Agbona at James Town in Accra on Saturday, gave the assurance that the government would not interfere in the work of polling agents during the December elections.

President Kufuor said if the ruling party was re-elected, it would come up with new programmes that would accelerate economic growth and these would be backed by a two-pronged strategy revolving around education and private sector development.

The Vice President and running mate, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, said the government would continue to provide good security, law and order and medicare.

He urged Ghanaians to uphold the truth, adding that “the truth is a guarantor of freedom and peace”.

Alhaji Mahama described President Kufuor as a man of good character, a responsible leader, and asked Ghanaians to vote for him in the December elections. PRESIDENT KUFUOR BEGINS TOUR OF UPPER EAST REGION President Kufuor arrived at Paga yesterday to a rousing welcome at the beginning of a three-day official visit to the Upper East Region.

The President then drove straight to Paga, where he paid a courtesy call on the Paga-Pio and addressed a durbar of chiefs and people of the town.

He said the government had performed creditably during the period that it had been in office and it was necessary that its mandate was renewed to enable the NPP administration to continue with the good works.

The Paga-Pio, Pe Charles Awampaga, commended the government for giving Paga its fair share of development projects.

President Kufuor also paid similar visits to Navrongo, Chiana and Sandema and addressed students on the Navrongo campus of the University of Development Studies (UDS).

He was accompanied by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, the Minster of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City, who is also the Campaign Manager of the NPP. PARTIES BALLOT FOR SPOTS The People's National Convention (PNC) will appear first on the ballot papers for this year's presidential and parliamentary elections.

It would be followed by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the National Democratic Party (NDC), and the Convention People's Party (CPP), in that order.

This was the outcome of balloting for the order of positions on the ballot papers, which took place at the Electoral Commission in Accra on Friday.

The four political parties which have presented presidential candidates for the elections were asked to make a choice by picking folded pieces of papers numbered one to four. The number on the paper picked then became the position of the party on the ballot paper.

Parties without presidential candidates had their turn after the four main political parties for positions on the parliamentary ballot paper.

This method of balloting was suggested by the Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Mr. Bede Ziedeng and was supported by the other political parties. ¢160 BILLION BONUS FOR COCOA FARMERS The government has set aside an amount of ¢160 billion to be paid as bonuses to cocoa farmers for the 2003/2004 main crop season.

This works out to ¢15,000 per bag of cocoa produced by each farmer.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, who announced this on Friday at a news conference in Accra to formally open the 2004/2005 cocoa season, said that the producer price of ¢9 million per metric tonne still remained.

Mr. Osafo-Maafo also announced that the government had approved ¢15 billion as additional payment into the scholarship fund, as compared to last year's ¢12 billion, saying that it demonstrated the importance government attached to education, especially to ensure that a large number of cocoa farmers were able to support their wards to school.

An amount of ¢25 billion, he said, had been earmarked to continue the programme of rehabilitation and construction of feeder roads to ease the evacuation of cocoa and other farm produce.

The Minister commended cocoa farmers for responding to initiatives by the government to increase the cocoa production to about 736,000 tonnes during the 2003/2004 season.

WORKSHOP FOR DIRECTORS OF AGRICULTURE ENDS The Minister of Food and Agriculture, (MOFA), Major Courage Quashigah (rtd), has charged Regional Development Officers and District Directors of Agriculture to be mindful of their responsibilities to the people and take all training sessions seriously in order to improve their performance.

Major Quashigah said this at the final module and graduation ceremony of 46 senior staff of MOFA, who underwent an eight-month training of trainers workshop, which included field practicals in five modules for 10 pilot districts, to produce model agricultural development plan.

The workshop is part of the Ministry's reform programme to train and build capacity in areas of decentralized planning and budgeting with sponsorship from the Agricultural Services Sub-sector Investment Programme (AGSSIP), with technical support from the German Technical Co-operation (GTC), Department for International Development (DID) UK and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The Minister said every workshop organised by MOFA was expected to achieve improvement in the work of participants and urged such participants to transform what they learnt into programmes and transfer them to the people.

Major Quashigah commended the participants for being part of MOFA's success, which he said, had come by effective and strategic planning. DHL TO BUILD NEW FACILITY DHL Ghana Limited, the first courier company in the country will by July 2005, establish a multipurpose gateway facility at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) to offer a 24 hour customs clearance and bonded ware housing services to its loyal and numerous customers.

Dr. Edmond Prempeh, founding Director of DHL Ghana, who said this at the launch of the company's 20th anniversary celebrations in Accra, stated that the facility which will cost about $1 million will also operate an Express Logistics Centre (ELC), the very first one at the KIA.

In support of social services, Dr. Prempeh said, DHL had raised over ¢100 million in aid of the Weija Leprosarium and had established self-sustaining micro projects such as corn mills and cassava graters in the Volta, Northern and Central regions.

DHL was first formed in 1969 by three Americans, Dalsey, Hillblom and Lynn and by 1984 it had expanded its operations in over 100 countries including Ghana.

EDUCATE MEMBERS ON LIFESTYLES

The Director of the Health Ministry of the West Central Africa Division of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church (SDA), Dr. Jorge Sanz, has challenged Christian leaders to educate their members to watch their lifestyles in order to sustain the country's human resource base.

Dr. Sanz, who was speaking at the Accra North District annual camp meeting of the church at Alajo in Accra, expressed regret that life expectancy was falling due to what he called “new emerging lifestyles of people”.

He was in Accra to participate in the annual Health Week celebration of the SDA church. He called for good and responsible lifestyles which would promote good health and happiness.

While in Ghana, Dr. Sanz launched the SDA church's beneficial lifestyle programme. It is known as celebration and it is a health programme which looks at lifestyles that carry risks and has been adopted by the church worldwide.

DEMYSTIFY INFORMATION COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY

The Minister of Communications, Mr. Kan-Dapaah, has called on information and technology experts to demystify Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the country to make it more relevant to the country's development process.

Mr. Kan-Dapaah stated this at the launch of the 4th Information Studies Students Association (ISSA) Week in Accra, under the theme, “The Role of ICT in National Development”.

He said ICT was changing man's relationship with time and bringing the future forward, as well as making the present useful to all, hence the need to make it easily accessible to all, and called on ICT experts to assist government in making the right decision concerning the purchasing of ICT equipment and its proper installation for maximum use.

UK GIVES 20 MILLION POUNDS FOR POVERTY REDUCTION

The British government has released an amount of 20 million pounds sterling (¢325 billion) in grant aid to Ghana.

The grant is part of the “performance” tranche of the 2004 Multi-Donor Budget Support (MDBS) programme, under which, in pursuit of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy, nine foreign countries are making a direct financial contribution to the Ghana government budget.

A press release issued by the British High Commission in Accra said, “the performance tranche is disbursed on the basis of the government of Ghana's satisfactory completion agreed during the MDBS/PRSC review mission in September.

It will be recalled that in June 2003, the British government made available to Ghana up to 110 million pounds sterling in direct budget support for the three years to 2006.

J. ADOM LTD WINS AWARD IN BUSINESS PRACTICE

J. Adom Limited has been awarded a Gold Medal for Excellence in Business Practice.

The award was presented by the Foundation for Excellence in Business Practice at the fourth International Forum on Excellence in Business Practice held in Geneva, Switzerland.

Presenting the award, the chairman of the foundation, Dr. G. C. Damary, stated that J. Adom Ltd. was selected based on good corporate governance, achievements, financial performance, innovative policy and quality of works executed.

J. Adom Ltd. is a wholly owned Ghanaian company engaged in road and building construction, quarry, haulage, saw milling and distributors of Guinness Ghana products in the Brong-Ahafo Region. SPORTS SATELLITES FAIL TO QUALIFY Ghana's Black Satellites failed to book a place in next year's Africa Youth Championship in Benin following a 2 –1 aggregate loss to the Young Elephants of Cote d' Ivoire.

They were held to a 1 –1 draw by the Young Elephants in a return leg match in Abidjan yesterday.

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