ISD News File Friday, October 29
PRESIDENT KUFUOR INAUGURATES KNUST STUDENT HOSTEL
A four-hundred room capacity post-graduate student hostel, constructed by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) at the cost of ¢18 billion using its staff super-annuation fund, was inaugurated by President Kufuor at the University on Wednesday.
The President also broke the ground for work to begin on the third phase of the hostel, which is being financed with part of the ¢20 billion released to the KNUST by the government for the expansion of its academic and residential facilities.
Addressing a section of the university community at the ceremony, President Kufuor commended the university administration and leadership for their impressive performance, initiative and the innovative approach to work.
Professor Kwesi Andam, Vice Chancellor of KNUST, said the university administration had decided to use the rest of the ¢20 billion to build a hostel for postgraduate students, a lecture theatre at the college of Arts, a block to house the newly established Faculty of Law and two staff bungalows for the western university college at Tarkwa.
DELEGATION FROM CHRISTIAN CHILDREN'S FUND CALLS ON VICE PRESIDENT
A delegation from the Christian Children's Fund of Canada, an NGO operating in the northern sector of Ghana, led by the Executive Director, Mr. Bruce Herzog, yesterday paid a courtesy call on the Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, at the Castle, Osu.
The Vice President urged organizations working to improve the lot of children and reduce the incidence of malaria in the country to intensify their efforts.
Alhaji Mahama commended the NGO for extending its activities to Ghana and expressed the hope that it would venture into the area of primary health care.
The delegation held discussions on how best to improve the welfare of children, the provision of water, sponsorship for children of school-going age, malaria control programmes, primary health care, among others, with the Vice President.
VICE PRESIDENT INAUGURATES LOCAL ORGANISING COMMITTEE
The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, has advised members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) to desist from acts that would amount to conflict of interest in the discharge of their duties to ensure a successful organisation and hosting of the 2008 African Nations Cup.
Inaugurating the 12-member committee at the Castle, on Wednesday, the Vice President urged members to plunge straight to work to be able to meet the deadlines and requirements set by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and save the nation the embarrassment and expensive venture of rushing through contracts and projects at the last minute.
Members of the committee are Dr. Kofi Amoah, a member of GFA, Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi, GFA Vice Chairman, Ms. Esther Ofori, Chief Executive, Ghana Trade Fair Authority, Mr. Isaac Hammond, Mr. Kwame Ofosu-Bamfo, businessman, the Chief Director, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and a representative of the National Procurement Board.
The rest are Mr. George Donkor, Mr. Kwaku Attefah of the office of the Minister of Education, Mr. Albert Agboso, Acting Chief Executive, National Sports Council, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Youth and Sports as well as Dr. Nii Duodu.
PARLIAMENT APPROVES VALCO DEAL
Parliament yesterday approved an agreement between Ghana and the Kaiser Aluminium and Chemical Corporation for the sale and purchase of the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO).
Moving the motion for ratification by the House, The Minister of Energy, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, gave the assurance that all issues that had been sources of anxiety to members and the general public had been addressed.
He said, the opportunity to purchase VALCO was of national interest and as such “we must take full advantage of the offer, since the alumunuim industry is quite buoyant and there is great demand in China and great opportunities here in Ghana.
Supporting the motion, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, said the purchase of VALCO was of strategic interest of the nation, an idea which he claimed had been conceived by the initiator of the project, the late Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
He said, President Kufuor was continuing from where Dr. Kwame Nkrumah left off, regarding his dreams for the establishment of the VALCO smelter, and stressed that posterity would be the better judge of the action taken by the present government.
GOVERNMENT SPENDS $283 MILLION ON ELECTRIFICATION PROJECTS
The Minister of Energy, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, has disclosed that the government is spending $282 million to connect 1,415 communities throughout the country to the national electricity grid under the National Electrification Project (NED).
So far, 915 communities have been connected, while work on the remaining 500, mostly in the northern regions, is currently in progress.
Dr. Nduom, who disclosed this in an interview when he gave an update on electrification projects since the NPP assumed the reins of government, said the project, which began in 2001, is intended to provide the rural communities of the country with electricity to enable them to start some income-generating activities using power.
It is also aimed at wooing investors into the rural part of the country, while providing employment for the people, he added.
POLICE PUBLLIC RELATIONS OFFICERS HOLD REFRESHER COURSE
The Commissioner in charge of Administration of the Ghana Police Service (GPS), Mr. Richard Kojo Safo-Kwateng, has said that the service is now concentrating on community policing to meet the changing demands of communities and their security needs.
Mr. Safo-Kwateng, who was speaking at the opening of a five-day in-house course for 14 newly enlisted and six public relations officers of the service in Accra, organised in conjunction with the Institute of Public Relations (IPR) Ghana, said community policing is a system of getting everyone in the community interested in and committed to maintaining peace, order and security.
The President of the IPR, Ghana, Mr. Kojo Yankah, in an address, commended the service for realizing the quality assistance that public relations could contribute to the efficient running of the service by organising the course.
A fellow of the IPR, Ms. Joyce R. Aryee, in a lecture on “The Meaning, Functions and Role of Public Relations in Management”, stressed that public relations worked better if it was recognised as a management activity.
GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS UDS EXPANSION WITH $10 MILLION
The government has released $10 million (about ¢100 billion) for the commencement of new infrastructural works at the three campuses of the University of Development Studies at Tamale, Navrongo and Wa.
President Kufuor, who announced this when he addressed students and staff of the University of Development Studies at Navrongo, as part of a three-day working visit to the Upper East Region, said part of the amount will be used to provide modern laboratory equipment to improve teaching and learning on the three campuses.
MINISTER CALLS FOR SUPPORT TO RID COUNTRY OF PLASTIC WASTE
The Minister of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiatives (PSI), Mr. Alan Kyerematen, has called on investors to help the government to rid the country of plastic waste through the introduction of appropriate recycling technologies.
The Minister, who was speaking at the “Applicable Technologies Fair” organised by Dizengoff Ghana Limited, in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and PSIs and the Israeli Export Institute in Accra, said the issue of plastic waste had become an environmental menace to the country and a grave concern and interest to the government.
Mr. Kyeremanten used the occasion to call on investors to provide the country with innovative technologies and solutions that would aid in solving the environmental problems facing the country.
He noted that the fair was being held against the backdrop of his ministry's policy of rejuvenating the country's economy through the new industrial Reform and Accelerated Growth programme, which is driven by export-oriented industrialisation process that focuses on agro-processing and other manufacturing activities.
The five-day fair brought together 30 Israeli investors in the areas of information technology, bio-technology, agricultural production and services, electro-mechanical products, among others.
LAND ADMINISTRATION PROJECT BEGINS NEGOTIATIONS WITH JUDICIAL SERVICE
The Land Administration Project (LAP) has begun high level negotiations with the Judicial Service to assist the service to establish special automated land tribunals in the 10 regional capitals by 2008 to handle land cases and ease the pressure on the traditional courts.
Officials for the LAP secretariat has already had discussions with the Chief Justice, who has given his full blessing to the establishment of the tribunals to form part of LAP.
The Ashanti Regional Co-ordinator of LAP, Mrs. Christie E. Bobobee, who said this in Kumasi, said LAP was concerned about the congestion of land cases in the traditional courts and expressed the hope that the two parties would speed up matters to bring the dream into fruition.
COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS URGED TO TRAIN MORE DOCTORS
The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, has opened the new Lister Hospital and Fertility Centre, a private medical facility off the Spintex Road, in Accra.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Vice President urged the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons to train more doctors and specialists to help stem the dwindling size of health professionals.
He therefore urged the college to take advantage of facilities made available at the Lister Hospital to provide post-graduate training.
Lister Hospital and Fertility Centre started its operation in July this year.
The hospital, which has a staff of 50, has performed 180 successful operations and had its 76th baby delivered on Tuesday.
The hospital's fertility centre is equipped with ultra-modern facilities and offers services like vitro-fertilization, micro manipulation procedures, embryo and sperm freezing.
FOUR WIN AWARNESS EMBASSY CONTEST
The fourth Domestic Awareness Essay Competition for basic schools in the Upper East and Northern Regions has been held in Accra.
In all, 30 students from the two regions were selected as winners of the competition, out of which, two from each region were selected as the overall best students.
They were Osman Kamal of Tamale SDA JSS and Iddrisu Salamatu of Sakasaka JSS in the Northern Region, and Samuel Atamba and Abdul Manan F. Mahama, both of the Bolgatanga Model JSS in Upper East Region. They each received a cheque of ¢5 million as educational bursary, in addition to books to enhance their academic pursuits.
The awards ceremony was organised by the Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGA) and sponsored by British Airways and Golden Beach Hotels.
DRUG BARONS JAILED 120 YEARS
The Accra High Court on Wednesday sentenced six accused persons who shipped 588.33 kilogrammes of cocaine into the country without lawful authority to a total of 120 years imprisonment with hard labour.
Summing up, the trial judge, Mr. Justice Kusi-Appiah, held that the court took into account the serious nature of the offence and the quantity of the drugs shipped into the country by the accused persons before passing judgement.
The six, Kevin Dinsdale Gorman, a 59-year-old American, Mohammed Ibrahim Kamil, 36, a Ghanaian car dealer, David J. Logan, 43, Frank David Laverick, 43, Alan Hodgson, 45, all Britons, and Sven Herb, 45, a German, are to serve 20 years each after being found guilty of various charges.