PRESIDENT KUFUOR INAUGURATES GOLD PROCESSING PLANT
President J. A. Kufuor yesterday inaugurated an ultra modern Carbo-in-Leach (gold processing plant) installed at the cost of $85 million by the Gold Fields Ghana Limited to enhance its gold recovery at Tarkwa in the Western Region.
The installation of the plant, which is the first in West Africa, will increase gold recovery of the Gold Fields Ghana Ltd. from 70 per cent to 96 per cent and will also increase the life span of the Tarkwa mine from 10 years to 20 years.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, President Kufuor asked mining companies to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange to boost the country's capitalization and strengthen the economy.
The President announced that the government was considering the establishment of a gold museum and a general mining museum and would also like to encourage the development of a gold refinery, as well as the market for the production and sale of jewellery produced in the country.
The Minister of Mines, Mrs. Cecilia Bannerman, said the current investment flow into the mining sector was the result of the government's policy to ensure peaceful environment and congenial investment atmosphere.
The Managing Director of the Gold Fields Ghana Division, Mr. Brendan Walker, said Ghana's political stability, coupled with appropriate legal framework, had assisted foreign and local companies to operate effectively in the country.
SOUTH AFRICA FOREIGN MINISTER ENDS VISIT
Ghana and South Africa have called for the immediate resolution of all conflicts on the African continent, especially those in Darfur, Cote d' Ivoire, Liberia and the Great Lakes region.
These were contained in a joint communiqué issued during a pre-depature press conference at the Kotoka International Airport after the three-day official visit to Ghana by the South African Foreign Minister, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
It said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nana Akufo-Addo, and his South African counterpart, Dr. Zuma, reviewed in detail the political and economic situation on the continent.
They also discussed, in detail, the situation in West Africa and acknowledged the progress so far made by ECOWAS, under the able chairmanship of President Kufuor, in bringing peace and security to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guninea Bissau and, hopefully, Cote d' Ivoire.
During the visit, the two foreign ministers signed two agreements to serve as a framework for enhanced co-operation between Ghana and South Africa.
They included a co-operation agreement setting up a Permanent Joint Commission for Economic, Social, Cultural, Scientific and Technical Co-operation, as well as agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation.
A CAR FOR BEST NURSE IN WESTERN REGION
In line with the government's efforts to reward hard work and dedication to duty, 50 nurses serving in the Western Region were presented with awards for their outstanding performance.
The highest award, a brand new opel vectra saloon car, went to Madam Georgina Cobbina, a 58-year-old nurse working in the Tarkwa District Hospital. Additionally, Madam Cobbina will be provided with fuel to the tune of ¢5.2 million over a one-year period.
The first and second runners-up were Mr. Eddy Blay, an employee of the Shama-Ahanta East Metropolitan Assembly, who received a set of furniture and ¢5 million cash, and Ms. Christiana Aggrey, of the Wassa Akropong Hospital, who had a set of furniture and ¢4 million cash.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, which served simultaneously as a celebration of the first-ever Western Region Nurses' Day, the Regional Minister, Mr. J. B. Aidoo, said the awards were initiated by the Regional Co-ordinating Council in recognition of the hard work nurses were offering in the region.
“Nurses in the region are overworked, and there is a need to recognize their outstanding performance to serve as a source of encouragement to others”, he said.
DOCTORS RE-ASSIGNED TO DEPRIVED AREAS
A number of medical doctors from the country's major hospitals are being re-assigned to other parts of the country as part of a plan to implement fully the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
The exercise, which began on Monday, November 1, will ensure that medical centers in deprived areas, many of which currently lack on-site expertise, are manned by experience hands.
The General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr. Kwabena Opoku-Adusei, announced this after a press conference held by the GMA to announce the 20th triennial Joint Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA) Conference, which is scheduled to take place at Elmina from November 7 to 14. Ghana is the second country in Africa, after Mauritius, to host the conference.
GHANA EARNS $47 MILLION FROM EXPORTS OF HORTICULTURAL CROPS
The Minister of Food and Agricultural, Major (rtd.) Courage Quashigah, has announced that Ghana earned $47 million from the export of horticultural crops over a period of five years.
The period, 1997 to 2002, involves a total of 116,000 metric tonnes of exports of mango, sunflower, cashew, pawpaw and orange.
The Minister, who made this known at the inauguration of the steering committee for the Horticulture Export Industry Initiative (HEII) in Accra said, the horticulture export industry in the country was one success story of a private sector led industry.
Major Quashigah emphasised that “in addition to generating the needed foreign exchange for the country, the industry has and continues to generate a lot of direct and indirect employment in both rural and urban areas”.
Members of the committee include Mr. K. Owusu of Ministry of Food and Agriculture as chairman, Dr. Tony Mensah, Dr. J. A. Poku, Mallam I. Seidu, Mr. Stephen Mintah, Mr. A. Dongo, Mr. Nyarko-Mensah, Mr. Mawuli Agboko, Mrs. Ntow-Kummi and Mr. Chris Quaye.
ECONOMISTS URGED TO DEVELOP HOME-GROWN POLICIES
The Director General of the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), Dr. Chris Itsede, has called on the beneficiaries of its training courses to use the skills acquired to develop home-grown economic programmes that would accelerate development in their countries.
Dr. Itsede made the call at the opening of a two-week regional course on Financial Programming and Policies in Accra on Monday.
He explained that economic policies formulated by local officials would stop political leaders from blaming the Bretton Woods Institutions and IMF anytime a policy initiative went wrong.
The course is designed to equip participants with the relevant tools for the formulation and implementation of macro-economic programmes in the participating countries, drawn from The Gambia, Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone and was organised by WAIFEM in collaboration with IMF.