NETHERLANDS RELEASES FUNDS TO IMPROVE WATER SUPPLY IN CENTRAL REGION
The government has signed an agreement with the Netherlands government for the release of 44.1 million Euros for the execution of projects to improve the water supply system in the Central Region, particularly Cape Coast.
President Kufuor said, the government was expected to sign an agreement with the contractors by December, for the commencement of the project.
Responding to request by the chiefs for the reactivation of the Komenda Sugar Factory, President Kufuor explained that it was a policy of the government not to encourage the state to get directly involved in establishing and managing state enterprises.
However, he said, two private companies from South Africa and India had already visited Ghana to explore possibilities of reactivating the sugar factory at Komenda.
On the provision of facilities for teachers to encourage them to stay and work at their stations, he said, the government will do everything possible to improve working conditions for teachers.
President Kufuor said, the government had released ¢4.3 billion for the construction of hostel facilities for educational institutions in the district.
DUTCH MINISTER VISITS WEIJA DAM
The Dutch Minister for Development Co-operation, Mrs Agnes van Ardenne, has paid a visit to the Weija Water Works of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to ascertain progress of the rehabilitation works being undertaken there with a Dutch facility.
Mrs. Ardenne announced that the Dutch government had reviewed its development assistance strategy to Ghana under the Development Relevant Export Transaction (ORET) Funds to enable it to accelerate its project in the water sector, as well as reduce poverty.
Under the new strategy, all development assistance provided by the Dutch government will be 50 per cent grant and 50 per cent loan.
This is a significant shift from the old strategy where only 35 per cent was grant and 65 per cent repayable.
MINISTER LAUNCHES TELECOM FUND
The Minister of Communications and Technology, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, yesterday launched the Ghana Investment Fund for Telecommunications (GIFTEL) which is aimed at development in rural areas of the country in Accra.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Kan-Dapaah said, the attainment of the national communication development goals required a clear-cut direction and concerted approach, adding that it was the desire to address the problems of the communication sector that had necessitated the selling up of the Fund.
The fund requires the five operators in the telecommunications industry to make one per cent contribution from their revenue as well as other sources for the development of the communications infrastructure in the less endowed areas of the country.
The five telecommunications operators are, Ghana Telecom, Scancom Limited, Millicom Ghana Limited, Westel Ghana Limited and Kasapa.
CHINA TO HELP GHANA BUILD OFFICE COMPLEX
China is to assist Ghana to construct an office complex for the Ministry of Defence.
A letter to this effect, which was signed by the Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Accra, Mr. Guo Changzhan and the Chief Director of the Ministry of Defence, said the Chinese had agreed to provide part of the funds to implement the project for the Ministry.
The proposed complex, which formed part of the Minister of Defence, Dr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor's initiatives was initially estimated to cost ¢5 million. The Chinese, however, agreed to assist to construct a more elaborate structure.
Speaking in an interview, Dr. Addo-Kufuor said, the current building housing the Ministry was small and also located in the heart of a military installation thereby making it unattractive for civilians.
Hotel Hosts Africans In Diaspora
The Oak Royal Hotel in Tema in collaboration with Education Africa Teaching (EAT), a UK-based organisation helping Africans in the diaspora to trace their roots is hosting 23 Africans in the diaspora who are on a two-week visit to Ghana.
The group led by Ms. Ngozi Headley-Fulani has visited places of interest in the country such as the forts and castles, the beaches, Akosombo Dam and Kumasi.
The purpose of the trip, the ninth organised by EAT, is to bring peoples of African descent based in the UK to interact with Ghanaians and learn about the African culture and the Ghanaian way of life.
Ms. Headley-Fulani described Ghanaians as very hospitable people and urged Africans in the diaspora to trace their roots to the countries, particularly Ghana. The delegation is made up of Africans born and bred in Britain, while others who were not born in UK but have lived there all their lives.
The Managing Director of Oak Royal Hotel, Mrs. Olivia Owusu-Mills, who is also the goodwill ambassador of the Hotel, Catering, Institutional, Management Association (HCIMA) responsible for Africa South of the Sahara said, her facility was involved in the programme to promote the tourism industry in Ghana and on the continent.
EXPORT OF WOOD PRODUCTS ACHIEVES MODEST GAINS THIS YEAR
Export of wood products from Ghana between January and September 2004, went up to 341,853 cubic metres, amounting to 127,877,740 Euros, representing a 3.33 per cent increase over that of last year.
Mr. Robert Ben Wilson of the Public Relations Department of the Ghana Timber Trade and Industry, said the country earned 123,755,606 Euros from the sector for the same period in 2003.
Mr. Wilson said, export of secondary wood products such as lumber, veneer and plywood, were more than tertiary or valued-added wood products. They fetched 106,937,243 Euros or 83.62 per cent of the period's earnings as against 20,940,497 Euros or 16.38 per cent by tertiary products.
GREDA LAUNCHES SPECIAL RAFFLE
A special raffle with a house as first prize is being organised amongst the Ghanaian community in the UK as part of the launch of the Ghana Real Estates Magazine International.
During the period, the Ghana High Commissioner will declare the annual Ghana Housing Week in London. Several real estate developers are participating in the events, which will be climaxed with the hosting of a two-day housing exhibition at the Ghana High Commission, London.
The Deputy Minister of Works and Housing Mr. Charles Brempong Yeboah, will lead the delegation. Others include the President of GREDA, Mr. B. D. K. Adu (MP) and Mr. William Opare, Executive Director of GREDA.
Presenting the keys to Mr. Isaac Osei, Ghana's High Commissioner to the UK, Mr. Adu said, he was hopeful the raffle would encourage ghanaians abroad to consider developing properties back home so that they would always keep in touch with developments back home.
The High Commissioner praised GREDA's efforts at developing residential properties to accommodate Ghanaians. He said, the presentation further gave credence to GREDA's efforts at housing ghanaians.