PRESIDENT DELIVERS STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS TOPARLIAMENT
President J. A. Kufuor yesterday delivered his last address to the Third Parliament of the Fourth Republic on the State of the Nation in Accra.
It was the first time in the country's history that a President has given a report of his stewardship at the end of his term of office, in line with the provisions of the constitution.
Article 67 of the constitution requires “the President at the beginning of each Parliament and before the dissolution of Parliament, to deliver to Parliament, a message on the State of the Nation”.
The address, which lasted an hour, touched on the various aspects of the economy, social activities and governance including agriculture, manufacturing, health, education, transport, energy and communication.
The President said, “today, the positive effects of our collective resolve, are all around us for everyone to see. Inflation has dropped dramatically to 12 per cent, interest rates are at 26 per cent and still falling and the cedi is reasonably stable”.
He pointed out that the “long stagnant and drifting economy of Ghana” has been stabilized and is now poised for an accelerated growth.
On the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative, President Kufuor said, the benefits were abundantly manifest adding that funds from it were being invested in poverty reduction programmes nationwide.
GHANA TO BENEFIT MORE FROM MILLENNIUM ACCOUNT
Ghana has qualified to benefit from the second tranche of the US Millennuim Challenge Account (MCA) of US $1 billion to be disbursed to beneficiary countries this year.
According to President Kufuor, a letter to that effect was sent to him by the Managing Director of the MAC last week.
Addressing the Third Parliament of the Fourth Republic before its scheduled dissolution at midnight on January 6, President Kufuor said, Ghana's qualification was significant because under the scheme, a country was required to meet all the given criteria to become a beneficiary of the fund.
Ghana was among eight African countries and 16 in the world at large to benefit from the MCA last year, after meeting a set of conditions spelt out by the US government.
AMA MOVES TO CLEAR HAWKERS, BEGGARS FROM THE STREETS
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) yesterday started an exercise to clear the major streets of Accra of the menace in beggars, hawkers and lunatics.
The AMA is organizing this exercise with the assistance of the Ghana Police Service, Department of Social Welfare and the Ministry of Health.
For a start, the AMA task force and police officers have been stationed at the intersections at Airport Junction and National Theatre area, where these people are often located to ensure the total absence of the affected people in these places.
EU PROVIDES COMPUTERS TO MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
A delegation of the European Commission Office in Ghana has donated 11 computers with accessories and two canon photocopiers to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
The equipment valued at ¢61.1 million is to support the Information Communication Technology (ICT) programme of the Ministry.
Presenting the items, Ms. Doerthe Wackar, Head of Governance, Civil Society and Culture division of the Union, said the donation was the Union's widow's mite towards the development of ICT in deprived schools in the country.
Receiving the items, Rev. Emmanuel Kingsley Dadebo, Co-ordinator of the ICT programmes of the Ministry, thanked the European Union delegation for its kind gesture and gave the assurance that the computers would be put to good use to enhance ICT in the deprived schools.
SPACEFON GOES INTERNATIONAL
Scancom Limited, operators of Spacefon GSM mobile phone services, has taken a major step in the telecom industry by extending its services globally under a new brand name “Spacefon Areeba”.
The Managing Director, Mr. Ahmed Farroukh, Spacefon Areeba, announced the new brand name at a launch in Accra.
The move sought to establish a track record in building quality networks and provide enhanced services with more features for its customers.
Mr. Farroukh said the new move would offer consumers the best value in the wireless service via more features and more services than any other service provider.
In his remarks, the Minister of Communication and Technology, Mr. Kan Dapaah, commended the management of the company for being innovative and urged other players in the industry to provide quality services to its customers.
SPORTS HAYATOU COMING FOR BIG MATCH
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) boss, Alhaji Issah Hayatou will be the guest of honour when Kumasi Asante Kotoko host Accra Hearts of Oak in the second leg Confederation Cup final at the Kumasi Sports Stadium on Sunday.
The first leg encounter last Sunday ended in a 1 –1 draw .