• September 25, 2018

    WILL SMITH turns 50

    WILL SMITH turns 50 , so to celebrate here are the Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s greatest film roles ranked.

    Image result for Will Smith

    Will Smith accepts challenge to bungee jump out of a helicopter

    The charismatic actor is now half a century old, but just which of his many films are the best?

    Having shot to fame in the early 1990s with The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, it wasn’t long before Will Smith became a movie star.

    And over the last three decades he’s played characters across the genres.

    But which of them is his best performance?

    7. I Am Legend

    Smith took on the job of being pretty much the only character in this sci-fi post-apocalyptic story.

    As Robert Neville he portrayed a man in desperate loneliness as the last man alive, all the while taking on vampires. So what’s not to like?

    6. I, Robot

    The actor played Del Spooner in the adaption of Isaac Asimov’s classic novel.

    A sci-fi mystery, Smith showed off his skills once again as an action star in this blockbuster.

    will smith and in men in black and ali

    Will Smith at 50: The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s greatest film roles ranked (Image: GETTY/CP)

    5. The Pursuit of Happiness

    Titled The Pursuit of Happyness in the US, Smith earned his second Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

    Playing Chris Gardner, a homeless salesman opposite his real-life son Jaden Smith, the star showed an emotional side to his acting talent in his tear-jerker.

    4. Bad Boys I & II

    Combining action with comedy, Smith starred opposite Martin Lawrence as Detective Mike Lowrey in these buddy cop movies.

    In fact the pair are still trying to get the third film made right now, Bad Boys For Life.

    bad boys in action

    Bad Boys III is set to start filming in the next year or so (Image: CP)

    3. Ali

    Smith’s first Best Actor Oscar nomination came at the turn of the century with his portrayal of Muhammad Ali.

    In terms of a classic drama, this is probably his greatest performance, however there are a couple of all-round Will Smith roles that just beat it.

    2. Men in Black trilogy

    The star’s turn as Agent Jay in the sci-fi comedy series remains some of his finest work.

    Sure the second film took a bit of a dip, but the third outing showed audiences are still in love with Smith at his most Smithiest – the funny, charming comedy action lead we all know too well.

    will smith smoking a cigar

    Will Smith didn’t return for Independence Day 2 so they killed off his character (Image: FOX)

    aladdin, jasmine and genie

    Will Smith plays Genie in the 2019 Aladdin live action remake (Image: DISNEY)

    1. Independence Day

    But where did he first win moviegoers hearts but a year earlier in 1996’s alien blockbuster.

    Playing Captain Steven Hiller, the film launched the TV stars’ Hollywood career after this epic performance.

    Notable mention – Wild Wild West

    It’s considered one of his worst films, but there’s just something so bad it’s good about Wild Wild West. But the less said about the single the better…

    What’s next?

    In 2019 Smith stars in Guy Richie’s live action remake of Aladdin.

    He’ll be playing The Genie, a role that’s some huge shoes to fill after the late Robin Williams, but we’re sure Smith can pull it off.

     

    Source: express

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  • September 25, 2018

    ‘We just don’t get up and say no to aid’ – Kufuor

    Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has said Ghana still needs the support of international donors to support the economy and drive development at all levels.Government’s decision to sign eight new Co-operation Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding with China in different sectors of their respective economies, has been widely criticized by some stakeholders who have primarily argued that government has no new ways of generating wealth internally for development.

    The criticism in most cases, has been occasioned by the government’s own pledge that it is seeking to build a Ghana Beyond Aid. There are also concerns that the country is not getting the best from the aid largely due to rising corruption levels.

    Speaking to the media at the graduation of first batch of students of the Kufuor Scholars programme , former President Kufuor insisted that Ghana’s current phase of development requires some form of financial support from international partners.

    “It is a matter of phasing. We are in a phase of development. We just do not get up and say no aid. They have exploited us enough so we take to empower ourselves, to build ourselves through education and through attracting investment, creating employment, so it gets to a point where now when they come, they meet their equals. So we have to be careful to say that now where we are, we will not go and ask for aid. We will do it, but only as a stage to empower us.”

    The former President added that Ghana needs to strategically position itself to get the best out of international agreements.

    “We need to build our negotiating skills up so we get a fair share around the negotiating table because whether from the East or West, none of them come because they love us. They come for what they can get and we must also learn what we want from them and learn to negotiate and take it.”

    ‘It’s logical to do business with China’ – Oppong Nkrumah

    Government has already defended its decision to engage other countries including China to exploit natural resources for national development.

    Minister for Information designate, Oppong Nkrumah has indicated that the current global environment makes China one of the best partners to work with for economic gains.

    Speaking at the Second Edition of the Citi Business Forum themed “After China What Next”?, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah stated that the transformational agenda being embarked upon by the government requires a strategic partnership that will allow Ghana harness its resources without incurring so much cost.

    He argued that the government needs the resources to expand and spread the country’s infrastructural development.

    “One of our biggest partners Nigeria doesn’t seem interested in that enterprise. So what are your options? You now look at China where EPC is coming, infrastructure is coming…financing that is not necessarily coming at some of these terms that are coming from other parts of the world,” he said.

    Ghana must improve strategy and capacity in Chinese negotiations – Ofosu-Dortey

    A lawyer and Senior Partner at AB & David Law affiliates, David Ofosu-Dortey, recently said that Ghana’s seeming fixation with China as the most preferred trade partner is largely due to the country’s lack of strategy.

    According to him, Ghana has for a very long time engaged trade partners like China without a detailed strategy, hence the country often appears to be disadvantaged in the signing of deals with them.

    Speaking on Citi TV’s Point of View, he said added to Ghana’s challenge of lack of strategy in international trade, is the country’s lack of capacity to undertake its own infrastructural development.

    “It is a general issue of our lack of strategy all the time…. I don’t think there is any fixation with anybody about the Chinese. It is about capacity to deliver and when you don’t have a strategy and the lack of strategy backed by capacity you face these things,” he said.

    ‘Ghana Beyond Aid is fight for economic freedom’ – Bawumia

    According to Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the vision of an economically-emancipate and Africa is what underpins President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid, which should eventually lead to Africa Beyond Aid.

    Dr. Bawumia outlined the President’s vision when he received Pedro Verona Rodrigues Pires, former President of the Republic of Cape Verde, at the Jubilee House, Accra on Friday, April 20, 2018.

    “Decades after Ghana and the rest of Africa fought for political freedom, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is engaged in a fight for economic freedom, which is captured in his vision of a Ghana beyond Aid. We hope this eventually leads to an economically-emancipated Africa, an Africa Beyond Aid,” Dr Bawumia stated.

    The government later set up a committee to develop a road-map for the attainment of a Ghana Beyond Aid. The report of the committee is expected to serve as a guideline on how to actualize the aspiration.

    By: Marian Ansah/citinewsroom.com

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  • September 25, 2018

    Yvonne Nelson, Efya, Joselyn Dumas, Jackie Apppiah, Zynell Zuh & Others As Bridesmaids At Becca’s Wedding

    At Becca’s wedding to Tobi over the weekend, we witnessed some A-list celebrities playing the role of bridesmaids on her big day and they all looked exquisite on the day, in their custom design bridal dresses.

    The likes of Yvonne Nelson, Joselyn Dumas, Sandra Ankobiah, Zynnell Zuh, Efya, Jackie Appiah, Chantelle Asante, Soraya Mensah, were all present at the wedding of Becca.

    We share with you pictures of what they wore, for those who want to take inspiration from their fashion game. Also, tell us your favorite dress in the photos in the comments section.

    1.Jackie Appiah’s look to Becca’s wedding as bridesmaid.

    jackie appiah dress to becca wedding

    2.Joselyn Dumas’s Look To Becca’s Wedding as Bridesmaidjoselyn dumas dress to becca wedding

    3. Yvonne Nelson’s look as a bridesmaid

    yvonne nelson dress to becca wedding

    4.Zynnell Zuh and Efya.

    zynnell zuh

    5. Sandra Ankobiah

     

    Source: ghbase
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  • September 25, 2018

    We’re in difficult times; Akufo-Addo concedes

    President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

    President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has admitted the economy of Ghana is going through some trying times.

    He has, however, dismissed concerns that these difficulties amount to a crisis; assuring his audience that the government is on top of the situation.

    Speaking to the Ghanaian Community in New York, USA, Mr Akufo-Addo attributed the difficulties in the system to the “dramatic increase in crude oil prices” and the strengthening of the US dollar.

    President Akufo-Addo admits that has led to “a significant and rapid depreciation of the cedi” but was quick to add that the Bank of Ghana is fighting the depreciation.

    He added that his government will work to find a cure to the situation and future ones.

    “It’s a difficult situation, but a difficult situation also require some amount of fortitude and firm action and that’s what we are trying to do at home,” he said.

    Meanwhile, back in Ghana, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has lauded the achievements of the government so far.

    Bawumia - Banking Conference

    Speaking at the fourth National Policy Summit at the University of Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale Monday, Dr Bawumia listed a number of feats [establishment of the Office of Special Prosecutor and restoration of trainee allowances etc.] he argued would be non-existent without the Akufo-Addo-led administration.

     
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  • September 25, 2018

    Everything you need to know about Sarkodie’s “Biibi Ba” challenge and collabo with youngsters

    Sarkodie is working with Toy Boi, Tulenkey, Kofi Mole, CJ Biggerman, Amerado, Yeyo, 2 Fyngers, Lyrical Joe LJ, OB’kay and Frequency on “Biibi Ba”.
    Everything you need to know about Sarkodie’s “Biibi Ba” challenge and collabo with youngstersplayEverything you need to know about Sarkodie’s “Biibi Ba” challenge and collabo with youngsters

    The hashtag #BiibiBaChallenge has been trending on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the past few days.

    Several freestyle videos from rising rappers flooded social media platforms with the hashtag. Many went viral and applause came from all corners of the rap fraternity.

    X

    Advertisement

    Despite the massive trends, some music fans are still wondering what exactly the ‘fuss’ and hype is about.

    For those of you who are still lost about the whole challenge and collaboration, here are a few quick things to know.

    playAmerado with Sarkodie

     

    On Wednesday, September 19, Sarkodie shared a video of an unreleased song, titled “Biibi Ba”, and gave his fans the chance to mention, in his comment session, some ‘dope rappers to kill the beat’.

    “Got this song … Title “Biibi Ba” hook laid by me but wanna give it out to dope Mcees To kill it …. who y’all recommend?? Beat by @fortunedane” he tweeted.

    HIGHES➕

    @sarkodie

    “Biibi Ba” who gon do justice to this 🦅🦅🦅🦅🦅 beat by @fortunedane Giving it out

     

    Initially, he wanted to feature a few rappers, but he ended up selecting 10 risings stars.

    They are Toy Boi, Tulenkey, Kofi Mole, CJ Biggerman, Amerado, Yeyo, 2 Fyngers, Lyrical Joe LJ, OB’kay and Frequency.

    HIGHES➕

    @sarkodie

    TOYBOI X TULENKEY X KOFIMOLE X CJBIGGERMAN X AMERADO X YEYO X 2FYNGERS X LYRICALJOELJ X OBKAY X FREQUENCY “BIIBI BA”

     

    The 10 youngsters did freestyle videos to prove their worth. They got retweets from Sarkodie.

    Then, on Sunday, September 13, the 10 rappers stormed Sarkodie’s house to record their verses on “Biibi Ba”.

    READ MORE: Plagiarism? Did Sarkodie’s “Trumpet” producer steal the beat?

    Before the recording, they were spotted having a freestyle session with the BET Award-winning rapper.

    Amerado dropped these bars;

     

    O’Bkay also got some hot bars;

    O’BKAY@o_bkay

    Twitter please carry this away!! God is the reason! It was all chills and flames in the presence of the highest! @sarkodie and the kings maker @angeltownbaby 🙌🏾🔥🙏🏾 God bless Sarkodie ei 🙌🏾😭🤯🔥

     

    They took group pictures which Sarkodie tweeted.

    View image on Twitter

    View image on Twitter

    Naa man yesterday was a good day … heard bars after bars from these killer Mcees 🔥🔥🔥🔥🇬🇭🇬🇭🇬🇭🇬🇭 literary 😊

     

    The SarkCess Music record label owner is yet to announce the release date. There’s a huge anticipation online and this might set a new record.

    This is not the first time Sarkodie has opened his doors to young rappers.

    Kofi Mole with Sarkodie (Twitter)

     

    In 2016, he brought together hot new rappers; TeePhlow, Medikal, Strongman, Koo Ntakra, Donzy and Pappy Kojo on a hit Hip-hop record, titled “Trumpet”.

    Aside from that, he has been able to give numerous rising artistes their breakthrough singles.

    Source: pulse

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  • September 25, 2018

    Reduce taxes, stabilise cedi to bring down fuel prices – TUC

    TUC General Secretary – Dr. Yaw Baah

    The Trades Union’s Congress (TUC), is asking the Akuffo-Addo government to review a number of taxes that contribute to the astronomical increases in the prices of petroleum products.

    It also wants pragmatic steps taken to strengthen the Ghana cedi against other major currencies.

    These demands by TUC come at a time when there is public uproar over the high cost of fuel in the country.

    Fuel prices have hit the 5 cedi mark with diesel going for GHc5.18 pesewas per litre, and petrol 5.14 per litre; a situation which has forced many stakeholders to call for the scrapping of the special petroleum tax.

    But according to TUC, the depreciation of the cedi and numerous taxes by government are to blame for the expensive fuel regime.

    In a statement, the Union said the time has come for government to review its tax imposition and adopt measures that will stabilize the cedi to relief Ghanaians from the untold hardship the fuel price hikes has brought to them.

    “The TUC urges government to scrap some of the taxes on fuel prices to cushion Ghanaians. Also government must look into the various margins and their impact on fuel pricing. At current levels, fuel prices have reached an unstainable peak for Ghanaian workers and their families. As workers, we can longer afford any further increase. Government must do everything it can to halt further increases.

    Amewu’s comparison of Nana Addo – Mahama fuel prices misplaced

    Energy Minister John Peter Amewu, has said Ghanaians would have been paying eight percent more for fuel if the government had not reduced and scrapped some taxes in the 2017 and 2018 budgets.

    He believes that some tax reductions announced by the Akufo-Addo government since it assumed office in 2017, have cushioned Ghanaians against the impact of the fuel price hikes.

    This the TUC maintained that was needless because the tenure of the Mahama is over, hence cannot be used to juxtapose the difficulties brought on by the NPP government.

    “It is important for government and its functionaries to understand that in dealing with matters as important as fuel prices, we eschew conjectures. The reality is that the Mahama-led administration is no longer in. Akuffo –led administration is in power. And despite the interventions the minister talked about, fuel prices are rising and Ghanaians are unhappy about it. We require leadership and solutions on how to bring down the prices and not sermon on what would have happened if Mahama-led administration were to be in office.

    ‘We’re taxing responsibly on fuel’ – Amin Adam

    A Deputy Minister of Energy, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, has also mentioned that prices of fuel at the pumps would have been much higher than what is being experienced if the Akufo-Addo government had not scrapped some of the taxes on petroleum products.

    “We can also generate revenue through taxes, but we are doing it responsibly… We have reduced the total tax component in the petroleum product prices from 40 percent in March 2017 to 26 percent,” he said.

    “That is how a responsible government can generate revenue through taxes on petroleum product prices without injuring the welfare of the Ghanaian,” the Deputy Minister assured.

    Scrap special petroleum tax to bring fuel prices down – Minority

    The Minority in Parliament is demanding the scrapping of the special petroleum tax as a measure to cushion Ghanaians as the prices of petroleum products keep rising.

    According to the Minority Spokesperson on Mines and Energy, Adam Mutawakilu, the tax has outlived its usefulness at a time when world market prices allow government to make a windfall of 10 million dollars per day from crude exports.

    Mutawakilu also called on President Akufo-Addo to improve the economy in order for Ghanaians not to be burdened excessively by the exchange rate challenges.

    There are close to 16 different taxes and levies on petroleum products in Ghana. There have been several advocacy for the scrapping of some of the taxes in the past, but not much has been done about it.

    We’re not in crisis; but Ghanaians are in difficulty – Nana Addo

    President Nana Akufo-Addo has said he expects the country to be firmly handle the current economic difficulties. Though the President said the country was not at a crisis point, he acknowledged that the average Ghanaian was in difficulty.

    “It is not a crisis, but the difficulties that we are going through now are difficulties that the system will be able to accommodate. It has meant some difficulties in the lives of ordinary people in Ghana, but they are events that were out of our control, which we have to find a way to accommodate,” he said at a meeting with the Ghanaian community in New York.

    By: Nii Larte Lartey/citinewsroom.com/Ghana

     

     

     

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  • September 25, 2018

    Distribution of royalties starts today

    The Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO), will start the distribution of royalties start from today.

    This decision was taken due to the delay in the release of blank levies which are due the organisation from the government of Ghana.

    As has been the norm, GHAMRO conducts its distribution twice in June –July and December of each year, with the Blank Levy used for the June distribution, whilst the collection is used for the December distribution.

    However, given the current situation with the unexpected delays in the disbursement of the Blank levy, and considering the burden it has placed on members, the decision was reached to immediately disburse collections so far made in order to assist members, according to a statement from GHAMRO.

    “it is important however, that members would kindly take note that since the collections are ongoing and the amount of ghc 500,000 to be distributed is just part of collections made, the due payments to members would be low as compared to previous distributions.

    “from the foregoing, ghamro would like to also place on record that it has not received the blank levy payments from government for 2018, which amount has reduced for the past years as a result of dwindling cds and cassettes imports.”

    This has affected the revenue generated from the 20% levy imposed on blank media under the legislative Instrument, LI 1962.

    GHAMRO stated that it wishes to assure members that steps are being taken to have “other devices” like mobile Phones, Pen drives, hard discs, Laptop computers etc. included.

    Rex Omar – GHAMRO Chairman

    “ghamro is very grateful for the patience exhibited by members in the face of the delay and assure them of doing everything in our power to protect their interest.

    we also take the opportunity to remind all commercial music users including broadcasting stations , shopping malls, banks, pubs, hotels to renew their licenses by contacting any ghamro offices nationwide; and those who have yet not regularized their operational license should do so immediately to avoid embarrassment and possible prosecution in the court of law.”

     

    Source: GHAMRO

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  • September 25, 2018

    Watch Afia Schwar’s mum weeping after investing ¢4.3 M with Menzgold

    Watch the video of Afia Schwarzenegger’s mother weeping after investing GH¢4.3 Million with Menzgold

    Ever since Afia Schwarzenegger revealed that her mother has invested a whopping amount of GH¢4.3 Million with embattled gold investment bank Menzgold, people have been wondering if it’s her biological mother or she has been contracted by someone to retrieve that huge amount from Menzgold.

    Well, Afia Schwarzenegger has finally shared a video of her mother weeping for ‘losing’ GH¢4.3 Million invested with Menzgold.

     

    Afia Schwar and her mother

    According to the woman wailing in the video, she just wants to die and end it all because the amount invested with Menzgold is her entire life savings.

    Watching the old woman wailing in the video is so emotional and you will wonder how things ended this way for Menzgold investors.

    When Afia Schwar revealed her mother had invested GH¢4.3 Million with Menzgold, many people doubted.

    Some even suggested she was fighting for Mrs. Lordina Mahama, the wife of the former president of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama

     

    Source: ghpage

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  • September 25, 2018

    Akufo-Addo driving economy into a ditch with binge borrowing – Minority

    The Minority is warning the economy is being driven into a ditch as parliament begins sitting for an emergency session that will run till Friday.

    According to Adaklu legislator, Kwame Agbodza said the Akufo-Addo regime has reduced the act of governance to borrowing.

    He told Joy News’ Emefa Apawu that they had no idea what the agenda was when they were recalled only to be greeted with “a plethora of borrowing before us.”

    “Some of these things require a lot of knowledge and we needed to study this in much more details so that we understand whether the country will have value for money.

    The House is expected to approve almost $700 million in fresh loans, credit arrangements and batter financing initiatives over the next five days before it rises.

    The Minority’s warning comes at a time when the country’s debt stock has hit more than $142 billion.

    Some of the loans to be considered are:

    – Financing agreement between Ghana and International Development Association of World Bank for $40 million to fund Tourism Development Project

    – Financing agreement between Ghana and International Development Association of World Bank for $35 million for proposed Public Sector Reform

    – Financing agreement between Ghana and International Development Association of World Bank for $50 million to finance Ghana Commercial Agric Project

    – Tax waiver of $2.8 million for construction of Research Center at Nogouchi Memorial Institute

    – The contract between government and Shimuzu Corporation of Japan for construction of Research Center at Nogouchi memorial institute of 1.6 billion Japanese Yuen which amounts to $14 million

    _

    Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Abubakar Ibrahim

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  • September 25, 2018

    $1.3bn Cocobod Loan To Rescue Cedi -$650m To Hit Bog’s Account From October 4

     

    The first tranche of the $1.3 billion syndicated cocoa loan is expected to hit Bank of Ghana’s (BoG) account from October 4 this year.

    With pressure on the local currency due to the strengthening of the dollar, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) is likely to sell part of the $1.3 billion cocoa loan to commercial banks.
    This would ensure enough supply of dollars to stabilise the cedi.

    Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBO) signed the loan agreement with international banks to fund cocoa purchases and other liabilities for the 2018/19 season, due to open in early October.

    21 Banks

    The loan agreement was signed in Amsterdam with 21 banks, including Amro Bank, Bank of China, Standard Chartered Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and Ghana International Bank.

    Some of the local banks involved in the syndicated loan were Ecobank, Barclays Bank, SG Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.

    The 2018/2019 syndicated loan would be drawn down in three tranches.
    $650m first tranche

    The first tranche, representing 50% of the $1.3 billion, which translates to about $650 million, will hit BoG’s account from October 4, 2018.

    Second and third tranches

    An additional $450 million would be transferred to BoG in November while the remainder is expected to come probably in December this year.

    Money will buy 900,000 metric tonnes of cocoa

    Chief Executive of COCOBO Joseph Boahen Aidoo said at the signing ceremony that the facility would be used to purchase at least 900,000 metric tonnes of cocoa from farmers.
    Loan to be repaid over 12 months

    He said COCOBOD would repay the loan over 12 months with an interest rate of Libor plus 0.625%.

    Prompt payment to cocoa farmers

    “By this event, Ghanaian cocoa farmers are going to be assured of fair and prompt payment for the fruit of their labour – that is cocoa,” he added.

    Facility oversubscribed

    Mr Aidoo said the facility was oversubscribed when COCOBOD outlined its roadmap in London.

    According to him, with the facility, COCOBOD would be able to meet its obligation in the crop season.

    He said the facility would not be able to address all the challenges confronting the cocoa sector, hence government was in talks with some of the banks to provide medium to long-term financing facility to address those issues.

    COCOBOD seeks additional $300m loan

    “We had some favourable conversations with some of the lenders to support with $300 million to address the fundamental challenges in the sector,” he added.

    Fundamental challenges facing cocoa sector

    Aidoo listed perennial pests and diseases, the ubiquitous Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease, volatility and fall of cocoa prices, climate change and poor road infrastructure linking producing communities to markets and service centres and to the warehouses and the ports as fundamental challenges that contrive against the industry.

    968,000 Metric tonnes produced

    He noted that within the past 18 months, COCOBOD has been able to reverse the declining trend of cocoa production in Ghana from 778,000 metric tonnes to 968,000 metric tonnes.

    Productivity enhancement programmes

    According to him, COCOBOD sustained the upturn because of the productivity enhancement programmes such as hand pollination and mass pruning, which COCOBOD introduced along with conventional CODAPEC and HI-TECH measures.

    “Even though the annual facility comes in handy to facilitate these PEPs and payment to cocoa farmers, hardly can it be relied upon for addressing the fundamental challenges.

    “COCOBOD, for instance, has programmed to undertake irrigation on cocoa farms, rehabilitation of diseased and moribund farms, expansion of warehouse capacity, improvement of the conditions of roads that link cocoa communities and promotion of domestic consumption of cocoa.

    “These are largely capital-based projects which require medium to long-term financing and not annual facility.

    “The imperative is that so long as these fundamental challenges remain, the full and real measure of the annual facility cannot also be realised,” he added.

    Medium to long-term financing

    Aidoo noted that it was against the foregoing backdrop that COCOBOD made a call for medium to long-term financing.

    “I am happy to note that some of our friends in the international financial sector have responded positively.

    “We urge all others who may not have been aware of this call to join this laudable endeavour.

    “In essence, the annual facility must be complemented with medium to long-term facility if the former were to bring real and meaningful impact onto the cocoa industry in Ghana,” he said.

    He paid tribute to gallant cocoa farmers who have, through their toils, enabled Ghana to achieve this enviable record in the past 25 years.

    The COCOBOD Chief Executive noted that the resilience of cocoa farmers in the face of all the challenges has ensured that Ghana continue to produce enough cocoa of premium quality to fulfil contractual obligations to trading partners.

    “If you and I are here today, then it is because of our cherished cocoa farmers. Let us together, therefore, assist them to make the industry a sustainable one,” he added.

    Aidoo explained that this facility would ensure that adequate funds are made available to the Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) to pay cocoa farmers promptly for their produce during the 2018/19 crop year.

    This, he said, would motivate the farmers to work hard to ensure that production targets are met.

    He assure all the banks participating in this syndication that Ghana Cocoa Board is alive to its obligations under this loan agreement and would fully discharge them as COCOBOD has always done.

    He also pledged the commitment of COCOBOD to ensure that the cocoa industry remains vibrant and attractive to the international financial market in the years ahead.

    How the 2017/2018 funds were utilised

    According to documents submitted to parliament, this is how the GH¢5.49 billion was utilised.

    Seed fund to LBCs for cocoa purchases – GH¢1,935,325,697.95

    CTORs/Cocoa deliverables paid to LBCs – GH¢2,813,860,155.30

    Inputs/CODAPEC and Hi Tech Expenses – GH¢395,822,471.63

    Operational Expenses – GH¢382,796,675.12

    Total GH¢5,497,570,000

     

    Source: Peacefmonline.com

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  • September 25, 2018

    Photos from Ghanaian actor, Eddie Nartey’s traditional wedding

    On September 22, 2018, Ghanaian actor and movie director Eddie Nartey tied the knot with the love of his love, Vida Danso in a private ceremony.

    The head of the movie sector at Zylofon Arts Club and his beautiful bride looked regal in traditional apparel as they made their relationship official in the presence of family and a few celebrity friends.

    Van Vicker, Pascaline Edwards, Prince David Osei, Harry Bentil, Juliet Ibrahim, Sonia Ibrahim, and many others graced the occasions and share lovely photos from the ceremony on their social media pages.

    Some Ghanaian celebrities who attended Eddy Nartey's weddingSome Ghanaian celebrities who attended Eddy Nartey’s wedding

    Eddie Nartey born 6 November 1984 is a Ghanaian actor, director, and producer.

    His supporting role in Frank Rajah’s Somewhere In Africa earned him a nomination at the Hollywood and African Film Critics Awards (NAFCA), Ghana movie awards. He was nominated in the best actor category for Kiss Me If You Can.

    Check out the photos below:

    Eddy Nartey and Vida Danso are marriedEddy Nartey and Vida Danso are married

    Beautiful bride, Vida Danso
    Beautiful bride, Vida Danso
    Eddy Nartey and Vida Danso are married
    Eddy Nartey and Vida Danso are married
    Some Ghanaian celebrities who attended Eddy Nartey's wedding
    Some Ghanaian celebrities who attended Eddy Nartey’s wedding.
    Van Vicker, Pascaline Edwards and Prince David Osei
    Van Vicker, Pascaline Edwards and Prince David Osei
    Source: ghanamma
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  • September 25, 2018

    First Lady Denies Helping StarTimes To Land Contract With Government

    First Lady Denies Helping StarTimes To Land Contract With Government

    First Lady of the Ghana, her Exellency Rebecca Akuffo-Addo has denied rumors and allegations that her charity foundation played a part in StarTimes reaching an agreement with Government of Ghana to secure a contract to extend satellite Tv to 300 Communities in the country.

    In a press release for the first lady’s outlet, she has set the records straight by stating that it is not true her charity foundation had any part to play.

    Chinese broadcast giants StarTimes and the Government of Ghana has reached an agreement and they will be extending satellite TV to 300 communities in the country. As part of the project, StarTimes has also been awarded a deal by the Ministry of Communication to complete the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Network Platform started by local IT firm K-NET.

    The move has been widely opposed by the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) with strong criticism from the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

    A picture of Her Exellency being handed a jersey by StarTimes raised suspicion amongst parties who are against StarTimes being given the nod to go ahead with the project. A gesture many believes is part of a bigger picture where the first lady was influenced to aid StarTimes to secure the deal.

    The report and rumors heightened last week with allegations that Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo had been bribed to make the deal happen.

    In a response to the claims, the Rebecca Foundation in a press releases has stated; “StarTimes has never been, at any time, a partner of the foundation, as has been suggested.”

    On the issue of the first lady being offered a jersey in a picture, they say; “STARTIMES CORPORATION offered to provide football kits for the children because of their association with Ghana football. This worthy effort, it must be stated, was not at the instance of the Foundation”.

    The statement further clarifies that StarTimes only donated football kit to the Rebecca Foundation to be distributed to the SOS Children’s Village, of which the First Lady is the patron.

    Below is the full statement:
    RE: THE REBECCA FOUNDATION AND STARTIMES SPONSORSHIP OF FOOTBALL KITS

    The attention of the Office of the First Lady has been drawn to a publication in the media, concerning her charity, The Rebecca Foundation, and a Chinese firm operating in Ghana, STARTIMES CORPORATION. This is to offer clarification on the matter.

    STARTIMES has never been, at any time, a partner of the foundation, as has been suggested. The Foundation is, however, very grateful to Star Times for offering football kit to be donated through the Foundation to the SOS Children’s Village, where the First Lady is honoured to be a patron.

    In 2017, the First Lady, on a trip to China, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Rebecca Foundation and the Licang District Experimental School in Qingdao, to establish an exchange programme between Ghanaian and Chinese school children.

    The programme, which seeks to deepen cultural, academic and sports ties between the pupils of the two countries, will see an exchange of 15 pupils each between Ghana and China, annually.

    Under the terms of the MOU, Ghanaian pupils will learn martial arts, ping-pong and other disciplines, while Chinese pupils will benefit from football training with their Ghanaian counterparts.

    The first group participating this year from Ghana are fifteen (15) children from the SOS Children’s Village.

    This experience is anticipated to make a positive impact on the lives of participating children.

    STARTIMES CORPORATION offered to provide football kits for the children because of their association with Ghana football. This worthy effort, it must be stated, was not at the instance of the Foundation.

    The support was publicly announced and it is purely for charitable purposes. It is worth emphasising that neither the First Lady nor the Foundation has any role to play in any engagement between Star Times and the Government of Ghana, either directly or indirectly.

    The Rebecca Foundation is committed to improving the welfare and well-being of women and children, especially the vulnerable in society, and works with various partners who contribute in diverse ways to our vision and mission.

    We are forever grateful for the continuous support the charity is receiving from its well-wishers, both in Ghana and abroad.

    We wish to assure the general public that the Rebecca Foundation will continue to be guided by the strict principles of honesty, integrity and transparency.

     

    Source: modernghana

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  • September 24, 2018

    My controversial songs take Ghanaians’ minds off hardships – Shatta Wale

    Shatta Wale may be known by the general public as a maverick for his numerous controversial songs and utterances, but it appears the ‘Dancehall King’ might not be as carefree as he is perceived to be.

    Speaking in an interview on Kumasi-based Luv FM, Shatta Wale said that he deliberately releases more controversial songs lately in a bid to take the minds of Ghanaians off the economic hardships they currently face.

    According to Shatta, having been flooded with complaints from the public about their economic challenges, he felt the need to make a direct plea to the President Nana Akufo-Addo to address these concerns.

    “I’ll take this opportunity to beg the President. Ghanaians are suffering too much. Sometimes I just like to say these things on air for him to know that I also care about the country; the way he wants Ghana to move, that’s how I also want it to move.”

    “People are complaining too much that there’s no money, their businesses are collapsing. These things bring armed robbery and other things. That’s why I’m even releasing more songs but people aren’t aware. I’m just trying to take people’s minds off stress. I’m trying to put controversial stuff in the industry. The country is becoming hotter and hotter, I won’t lie. Each and every day I hear people say there’s no money and that shouldn’t happen in Ghana.”

    A recent wave of pricehikes in fuel and food prices coupled with the depreciation of the cedi against the major trading currencies, has led to some complaints from Ghanaians about their declining standards of living.

    The recent banking sector crisis, which has seen seven local banks collapse in the space of a year has also heightened public concerns.

    Shatta Wale, known for recent hits such as ‘Gringo’, ‘Taking over’ and ‘Dem Confuse’, added that despite the wealth displayed in his music videos and portrayed in his songs, he isn’t as detached from the sufferings of Ghanaians as many think.

    He insisted that he only intends to encourage people who listen to his music that they can be successful as well if they work hard enough since he started from similar humble beginnings.

    “I feel it. I don’t eat too much. When I’m hungry and I think about things I’ve been through, I know that that’s not how things were. I don’t release songs for people to know I’m rich,  I want people to know that I bought a car because I hustled and believed in myself.”

    He appealed to the government to respond to the plight of the citizens because if their current conditions persist, people may be forced to engage in unlawful activities to provide for themselves and their families.

    “Sometimes people don’t have the heart to believe and wait for that time, so they take up the guns and go and rob. Before you realise, they get shot and are labelled robbers even though they are just hungry. I believe the leaders want us to live in peace and harmony.”

    “Their [Politicians] children go to nice schools, the persons working in the banks also want their kids to go to nice schools, but if the banks collapse, how will they make that happen?” he quizzed.

    By: Edwin Kwakofi/citinewsroom.com/Ghana

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  • September 24, 2018

    Divorce rates among newly married couples have dropped to a record low

    Divorce rates among newly married couples have dropped to a record low in nearly 30 years, a study has found

    couple

    Couples divorcing after three years has halved while couples who have stayed for more than five years has gone down by more than 39 percent.

    Whereas those who have been together for more than a decade is down by a fifth, according to the study by Marriage Foundation among UK couples.

    The development has been attributed fewer women filing for divorce because men are now taking greater share of marital responsibilities.

    Image result for Divorce rates drop to their lowest levels in nearly 30 years in ghana

    Harry Benson, research director of Marriage Foundation, told The Times and quoted by the Mailonline: “Among all the talk of divorce and law reform, it’s easy to miss the good news story that today’s marriages are more stable than at any time since the 1970s.

    “Some level of relationship failure is inevitable. But today’s falling divorce rates contrast with far higher break-up rates among couples who don’t marry.”

    “For those of us who are in the long-term business of confronting and combatting the national scourge of family breakdown, with all its attendant pain and suffering for children, it is rare to encounter genuinely good news,” Sir Paul Coleridge, founder and chairman of Marriage Foundation, said.

    Source: ghanacrusader

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  • September 24, 2018

    Tanker drivers call off strike

    “More than 80 percent of their concerns have been addressed,” NPA’s chief exec said.

    The Tankers Drivers Union (TDU) says Monday’s industrial action by its members has been called off with immediate effect.

    The union of over 4,000 transporters of petrol, diesel and petroleum products, said they would suspend operations citing poor working conditions and salary distortions, and vowed to remain on strike until the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) addressed their accusations of maltreatment.

    “Enough is enough. We are no longer slaves to deserve this kind of treatment meted out to us,” TDU’s chairman, George Nyaunu, told Adom News. “We are putting down our tools to see whether petroleum products will be carried across the country.”

    News of the strike caused panic among fuel consumers, who feared that it would result in a fuel shortage.

    NPA Chief Executive, Hassan Tampuli.

    On Monday, the NPA refuted TDU’s claims. They urged customers to rest assured that there would be no reduction in fuel delivery and consumption.

    “We have more than enough stock available,” NPA’s chief executive Hassan Tampuli said at the time.

    In a statement, the Authority addressed that “Tampuli said the drivers met with the NPA and the relevant bodies in the petroleum industry for a resolution of their concerns, and there will be no need for the strike to happen.”The statement further stated that the NPA’s scheduled meeting with TDU members resulted in “an amicable outcome.”
    “More than 80 percent of their concerns have been addressed,” Tampuli said.The NPA is in the beginning stages of implementing a memorandum of understanding to be agreed to by both parties.

    Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Zaina Adamu | Twitter: @ZainaAdamu

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  • September 24, 2018

    ‘Ghanaians are suffering too much; it encourages crime’ – Shatta Wale

    Dancehall artiste, Shatta Wale, has expressed concern about the country’s economic challenges, saying it easily drives some Ghanaian youth into crime.

    According to him, even though people might not intend to persist with crime, they do so in order to provide for their families, but end up being tagged permanently as criminals, and sometimes get killed in the process.

    Speaking in an interview on Kumasi-based Luv FM, Shatta Wale called on the government to step up its efforts at addressing the concerns of Ghanaians.

    “I’ll take this opportunity to beg the President. Ghanaians are suffering too much. Sometimes I just like to say these things on air for him to know that I also care about the country; the way he wants Ghana to move, that’s how I also want it to move.”

    Shatta Wale added that he has released more ‘controversial’ songs in recent weeks to take people’s minds off the hardships.

    “People are complaining too much, that there’s no money, their businesses are collapsing. These things bring armed robbery and other things. That’s why I’m even releasing more songs but people aren’t aware. I’m just trying to take people’s minds off stress. I’m trying to put controversial stuff in the industry. The country is becoming hotter and hotter, I won’t lie. Each and every day I hear people say there’s no money and that shouldn’t happen in Ghana.

    A recent wave of pricehikes in fuel andfood pricescoupled with the depreciation of the cedi against the major trading currencies has led to complaints from Ghanaians about their declining standards of living.

    The recent banking sector crisis, which has seen seven local banks collapse in the space of a year has also heightened public concerns.

    Shatta Wale insisted that despite the wealth displayed in his music videos and portrayed in his songs, he isn’t as detached from the sufferings of Ghanaians as many think.

    He insisted that he only intends to encourage people who listen to his music that they can be successful as well if they work hard enough since he started from similar humble beginnings.

    He appealed to the government to respond to the plight of the citizens because if their current conditions persist, people may be forced to engage in unlawful activities to provide for themselves and their families.

    “Sometimes people don’t have the heart to believe and wait for that time, so they take up the guns and go and rob. Before you realise, they get shot and are labelled robbers even though they are just hungry. I believe the leaders want us to live in peace and harmony.”

    “Their [Politicians] children go to nice schools, the persons working in the banks also want their kids to go to nice schools; but if the banks collapse, how will they make that happen?”  he quizzed.

    By: Edwin Kwakofi/citinewsroom.com/Ghana

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  • September 24, 2018

    Papa Staunch’s ‘Atanfo nye Nyame’ upends conventional Ghanaian hip-hop

    Papa Staunch has promised to release only the best songs to his fans

    Ghanaian-American rapper, Papa Staunch is a multi-talented artiste who is on a mission to change the face of Ghanaian hip-hop.

    His brilliant fusion of “positive message and afro-beat” in his latest song ‘Atanfo nye Nyame’ has earned him rave reviews from music lovers and producers.

    The song produced by Da Hammer featured burgeoning star Nketia. It was released to the public on Saturday, July 28, 2018,

    Barely three months after the song was published on his Youtube channel, it has been viewed by at least 54,703 people.

    In a telephone interview from his base in the U.S., Papa Staunch said he has been overwhelmed by the reviews the song has received so far.

    “Massive…massive. The song has been well received in both Ghana and America,” he said Thursday.

    Papa Staunch revealed he is on a mission to upend conventional Ghanaian hip-hop by prioritizing the needs of his fans at all times.

    He has promised to release only the best songs to his fans. “I won’t fail them.”

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  • September 24, 2018

    Ras Kimono’s widow, Efe, dies one month after husband’s burial

    Ras Kimono and Efe

    Barely one month after the burial of reggae legend, Ras Kimono, his widow and manager, Efe (nee Okedi), passed on Sunday, aged 42.

    The Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON, Tony Okoroji, who confirmed the news of Efe’s demise to Vanguard, said she complained on Saturday night that she was not feeling well and was rushed to a hospital, where she was confirmed dead on arrival at about 3.30am, Sunday.

    Chief Okoroji described Efe’s demise as ‘devastating,’ adding that the deceased played a very vital role during last month’s burial of her late husband, who died three months ago.

    Taking to his Facebook page to pay tribute to the deceased, Okoroji described Efe as ‘a very brilliant, beautiful and blessed woman.’

    “Just recently, Efe lost the love of her life, my friend, the great Rub-a-dub master, Ras Kimono, and father of her daughter, Dimma, a guy with whom Efe was inseparable.

    “She was completely heartbroken, but did everything to make sure Kimono was buried like a king. In Lagos, Asaba, Onicha Olona, Efe was a guiding light of the celebrated burial of Ras Kimono.

    “I am totally devastated. It makes no sense. I received a call early this morning(yesterday) that Efe Okedi has joined Kimono! The beautiful Efe Okedi has passed on! I am really not sure I can deal with this.”

    Odiong said late Efe attended an event on Saturday and returned late in the evening.

    He disclosed that the family would soon release an official statement on the incident, adding that they are requesting for privacy during this difficult times.

    Kimono married Efe after he parted ways with his first wife, Sybil, the woman he spent a greater part of his life with, and who bore him three daughters and even went on to manage his career for years.

    A few years back, Kimono returned all alone and was being managed by Efe Okedi, and just like it happened between him and Sybil, they also fell in love, started living together and ultimately had a daughter, who is Kimono’s fifth child.

    Recall that when the remains of her late husband were brought for lying-in-state at the headquarters of Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON, in Ikeja, Lagos, on August 23, Efe was overcome by grief as she expressed her undying love for the man she fell in love with as his manager and the father of her only child.

    Grieving over her husband’s demise, Efe had described Kimono as ‘a loving husband’ adding that he was different.

    While their romance lasted, Efe witnessed the last days of Kimono. She was with the music icon when he kissed the dust and had since refused to be consoled, giving many reasons to express concern about her survival after the demise of the husband.

    Kimono and Efe were always together at events and social gatherings. In fact, since he returned to the country, late Kimono rarely went anywhere without her.

    So, since Kimono passed on in June, many feared she might not be able to bear the loss. He died on June 10 and was laid to rest on Saturday, August 25, in his hometown, Onicha Olona, Asaba, Delta State.

     

    Source: vanguardngr.com

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  • September 24, 2018

    Businesses, bankers push for drop in BoG’s policy rate

     

    The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of Ghana may take any decision but increase its policy rate for banks.

    These are the indications from businesses and banks ahead of the announcement of the policy rate later on Monday [September 24, 2018].

    The MPC has since the beginning of the year reduced its policy rate by 300 basis points, cumulatively.

    At its last meeting in July 2018 however, the central bank kept the policy rate unchanged at 17 percent.

    The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison said, “The committee noted that the risks to the inflation outlook are subdued in the forecast horizon. While global and domestic developments do not yet pose a threat to inflation in the near term, recent changes in global financing conditions and its impact on emerging market asset classes requires some vigilance”.

    Speaking ahead of this month’s announcement, the President of the Association of Ghana Industries, Dr. Yaw Adu Gyamfi intimated to Citi Business News a reduced rate will be conducive for businesses.

    “If it comes down, we will feel better but at least it should never go higher than where it is currently. So we are hoping that things will get better. Once the MPC rate stays the same or comes down, it helps the interest rates as well. So we are hoping that Monday’s decision will be to the benefit of many businesses,” he stated.

    Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Omnibank, Philip Oti-Mensah justified to Citi Business News why the MPC may not have to increase the policy rate this time around.

    As a banker, the interest rate will influence the interest rate at which the bank will lend to its customers.

    “I expect the interest rate to remain at the current figure; we don’t expect a further decline because the government is still going in terms of local debts. If there are any other strategies that the government may want to use, then we are yet to determine that. But from what I know, the interest rates may be kept unchanged,” Mr. Oti-Mensah emphasized.

     

    By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

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  • September 24, 2018

    Over 70% of bank workers want to leave their jobs-Report

    A 2018 Human Resource Banking Survey has revealed that over 70 percent of workers in the banking sector, want to leave the industry.

    The survey was conducted by Human Capital experts, Acreaty Ghana between February and May this year.

    It was conducted among 14 banks including, Fidelity Bank, GCB Bank, Ecobank, Barclays, Omni Bank, Stanbic Bank and defunct Capital and Sovereign banks.

    According to the report, 24,300 people are currently employed in the banking sector.

    However 99 percent of the over 2000 respondents disclosed that their banks have swayed from their core visions.

    The report revealed that 70 percent of bank workers are not happy with their salaries.

    Also, 79 percent say their performance targets are unrealistic and unattainable with an extremely tight schedules.

    About their dislikes, the bank workers disclosed that, a high number of them virtually live on borrowing from their employers as they are given various facilities which make them live beyond their means.

    Meanwhile over 70 percent want to leave the bank industry for the Oil and Gas industry, while 21 percent want to start their own business.

    Twelve percent want to leave the banking industry for any job available.

    Asked if they would want to switch banks, 52 percent said they want to leave their banks for the Bank of Ghana, while 16 percent want to leave their banks for Ecobank.

    Meanwhile  14.2 percent want to work with GCB Bank while 12 percent want to move to Fidelity with 5 percent seeking to work with Stanbic Bank.

    This comes at a time when the banking sector is in crises with the Bank of Ghana embarking on various reforms to strengthen the industry.

    Managing Partner at Acreaty Ghana, Elsie Appau-Klu says the latest statistics could have a negative impact on the entire banking sector.

    “It could mean that the banking sector for some time may not have the competent people to work with. If there is a perception that the banking sector does not really reward people or nurture people, people wouldn’t want to work in that sector and that will be a major struggle for the growth and development of banks.”

    Acreaty is therefore urging the banks to initiate policies that will promote employee welfare necessary for the growth of all departments within the banking sector.

     

    By Nana Oye Ankrah/ Citibusinessnews.com

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  • September 24, 2018

    Omane Boamah writes: StarTimes; Why gov’t must listen to Ghanaians

    In less than one month, I have chanced upon separate photographs of President Akufo-Addo and his wife, H.E. Rebecca Akufo-Addo taken with the President of StarTimes.

    Photoshop? I quizzed. But, later on, I saw a Facebook post of Auntie Becky excitedly confirming her “tour of the impressive Star Times Corporation.”

    To paraphrase Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o as captured in his first novel, “Weep Not Child”, my heart pounced against my rib cage. Yes! My heart pounced and responded, to the slow but sure slicing of Ghana by foreign interest – not only within the broadcasting space but also in several other sectors in an era when Government has ironically deployed the “Ghana Beyond Aid” slogan.

    I subsequently reflected on the several engagements that I had had with StarTimes, the immediate past Chinese Ambassador, and also including my meeting with the Chairman and President of the China EXIM Bank about how the EXIM Bank and StarTimes were delaying Ghana’s Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) migration process.

    But I also had a flashback: This very Chinese Ambassador, Sun Baohong, was the first if not the second diplomat, in January 2017, to pay a courtesy call on President Akufo-Addo immediately he assumed office as President.

    Today, the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) and several Ghanaians are visibly angry with Government for engaging StarTimes in what has been described as a ‘sweetheart deal’.

    GIBA believes the said engagement will undermine their business models developed over the years according to agreed policies, subordinate Ghana’s culture and asphyxiate the entertainment and advertising industry.

    These fears must be addressed lest they lead to further job losses in the media landscape in Ghana. Surprisingly, instead of responding to the genuine and germane concerns of GIBA, Government has resorted to skulduggery, deployment of deliberate inaccuracies and their typical strategy of blame game.

    DTT: FACTS FROM 2006 – 2018 (12years)
    Twelve years ago, Ghana signed the Geneva 2006 (GE06) Agreement under President J.A. Kufour to establish Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting in the frequency bands: 174 – 230 MHz; and 470 – 862 MHz at the Conference of the International Telecommunications Union. Some of the benefits of transitioning from analogue to digital terrestrial television include ensuring Ghana conforms to global standards and most importantly to offer Ghanaians better picture quality, clear sound, multiple channels, more interactivity, jobs and career development in the broadcasting, advertising and entertainment industry.

    Pursuant to this objective, Cabinet in October 2010 under President John Evans Atta Mills approved the policy framework for the implementation of the DTT project, and mandated the Ministry of Communications to oversee the project.

    To foster stakeholder collaboration and buy-in of industry, the Ministry set up the Digital Broadcasting Migration Committee which involved stakeholders from the private and public sectors. Also, 31st December, 2014 was set as the provisional DTT switch-on date, 6 months ahead of the global deadline of 17th June, 2015. But this was not met.

    AWARD AND TERMINATION OF CONTRACT WITH STARTIMES
    To avoid confusion of nomenclature, it is important to differentiate the two different StarTimes companies which have been involved in this transaction. Records showed that StarTimes DTV Ghana Company Ltd, a Ghanaian registered entity, won the competitive tender and signed the contract with the Ministry of Communications on 11th April, 2012. So, how did Star Communication Network Technology of China (StarTimes China) which is at the centre of the present controversy insert itself in the transaction?

    StarTimes DTV Ghana as part of its financing proposal had submitted a letter of intent from the China Development Bank (CDB). Notwithstanding this letter, during pre-contract discussions, the company proposed a concessional loan facility from the China EXIM Bank contrary to their earlier letter of intent from the CDB. Following the execution of the agreement on 11th April 2012, StarTimes Ghana assigned its interest to StarTimes China because it was a necessary condition for funding from the China EXIM Bank. After six months of delays, the contract was eventually assigned to StarTimes China on 27th September 2012.

    After the 2012 elections in Ghana, I assumed office as Minister for Communications and worked actively and tirelessly with stakeholders with the hope of achieving the set 17th June, 2015 deadline. In the spirit of South-South Cooperation, best efforts were exerted. Cautions to StarTimes, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, and every relevant stakeholder about how lethargic the process of securing financing was delaying the project, were regularly made.

    In response, several assurances were given. Shamefully, they included a fake working visit to the Ministry of Communications by a team of Chinese ‘officials’ who were fraudulently introduced by the representative of StarTimes China as being on a mission to conduct further due diligence on the DTT project. This was revealed as untrue during my meeting with the then Chairman and President of the China EXIM Bank in Beijing in June 2014.

    The set deadline for analogue switch off passed with no glimmer of hope. Therefore, from October 2015 with the support of the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, the process of termination was initiated and concluded.

    However, StarTimes-China filed a writ in Ghana against the decision and applied for an injunction to restrain the Ministry of Communications from inviting new tenders for the DTT project.

    On 9th March 2015, Ghana won when the Commercial Division of the High Court dismissed the interlocutory injunction and awarded cost of US$50,000 against StarTimes.

    The company further commenced arbitration proceedings against the Ministry of Communications at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Court of Arbitration in London.

    The ICC on the 22nd February 2017 upheld the rights of the Ministry to terminate the contract, and demonstrated just as the High Court in Ghana and the Ministry of Communications had maintained, that StarTimes can only be entitled to compensation based on work done.

    After the contract was terminated, another competitive tender was instituted in which StarTimes China refused to participate. KNET, a Ghanaian company won the bid.

    It is worth highlighting that in 2016, after KNET had completed more than half of the DTT project, StarTimes proposed the utilisation of US$95 million (the same juicy amount which they are dangling before the present Government) to the Mahama administration with a promise to complete and enhance the DTT project which was entering the third and final phase.

    Upon further interrogation, the proposed deal was deemed to be too expensive to the Ghanaian tax payer.

    CONCLUSION
    We have been here before!

    The Chinese Government is supporting StarTimes to penetrate the African market. What is the Government of Ghana doing to promote Ghanaians in broadcasting?

    I contend that instead of adopting high-handedness as a tool to whip groups and individuals who do not support the StarTimes deal, Government should consider doing the following:

    1. Immediately ensure mutually beneficial engagements with all stakeholders in order to recalibrate the pathway for the DTT process;

    2. Publish any agreements entered into with StarTimes on the 300 Villages project; and if none exists, take urgent steps to ensure appropriate regulatory oversight without providing undue advantage to StarTimes which is already an actor in Ghanaian broadcasting;

    3. Extend the Mahama Government’s exemption of broadcasters from paying fees while they use the DTT platform for two more years;

    4. Offer tax waivers on equipment to broadcasters, as they have done for StarTimes, as and when the need arises;

    5. Operationalise the proposed Company and Board to manage the DTT;

    6. Compile the tall list of Chinese Companies who are executing various projects in Ghana and use that as clear proof and testimony of Ghana’s preparedness to work with China for mutual gains; and

    7. Desist from working against Ghana’s interest at the ICC arbitration. Even if Government wishes to settle the ICC arbitration, the cure for the sick should not be more grievous than the disease itself.

    I strongly believe it is possible to continue to work with China and strengthen the bonds that unite our two countries and peoples for mutual gains without compromising Ghana’s interest.

    By: Dr. Edward K. Omane Boamah

    The writer is a former Minister for Communications of Ghana between 2013 and 2017.

     

    Source: citinewsroom.com

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  • September 24, 2018

    African leaders must place premium on AU

    The Dean of School of Communication Studies, Wisconsin University, has called on African leaders to do more to position the African Union (AU) as the bastion of democracy and human rights as it is meant to be.

    Professor Kwame Karikari said although the over half-century old organisation possessed a strong mandate to sanitize governments’ activities and guarantee citizens rights, it had had little bearing on the local population.

    He underlined the need for stakeholders including the media to help “awaken consciences on the institutions and their roles”.

    Prof Karikari was speaking at a two-day capacity building workshop for journalists on the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG), and the African Governance Architecture (AGA) – both guided by the objectives and principles enshrined in the Constitutive Act of the Union.

    The AU Day must be used to promote the Union, with the media creating more space for democratic issues as well as others that would bring the Union to the fore.

    Prof Karikari also asked the media to help enhance positive development of the continent, and devise “more civilised methods in dealing with challenges of democracy in Africa”.

    “Government is not perfect machinery. It requires constant shaping, a responsibility that requires strong media activity, therefore media professionals must not initiate violence, but provide opportunities for constructive criticism”, he added.

    It brought together journalists from Greater Accra, Brong Ahafo, Upper East, and Volta Regions.

    Margret Brew, Advocacy and Campaign Manager, ActionAid Ghana said the aim was to promote effective reporting on ACDEG, and AGA, to increase awareness and demand implementation of policies in the country.

     

    Source: GNA

     

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  • September 24, 2018

    Front pages: Monday, September 24, 2018

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    Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | GN

     

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  • September 24, 2018

    Over 70% bank staff want to quit over low salaries, unrealistic targets – Report

    A 2018 Human Resource Banking Survey has revealed that over 70 percent of workers in the banking sector, want to leave the industry.

    The survey was conducted by Human Capital experts, Acreaty Ghana between February and May 2018.

    It was conducted among 14 banks including, Fidelity Bank, GCB Bank, Ecobank, Barclays, Omni Bank, Stanbic Bank and the defunct Capital and Sovereign banks.

    According to the report, 24,300 people are currently employed in the banking sector.

    The report said 99 percent of the over 2,000 respondents disclosed that their banks have swayed from their core visions.

    The report revealed that 70 percent of bank workers are not happy with their salaries.

    Also, 79 percent say their performance targets are unrealistic and unattainable with extremely tight schedules.

    About their dislikes, the bank workers disclosed that a high number of them virtually live on borrowing from their employers as they are given various facilities which make them live beyond their means.

    Over 70 percent want to leave the bank industry for the Oil and Gas industry, while 21 percent want to start their own business.

    Twelve percent want to leave the banking industry for any job available.

    Asked if they would want to switch banks, 52 percent said they want to leave their banks for the Bank of Ghana, while 16 percent want to leave their banks for Ecobank.

    According to the report, 14.2 percent want to work with GCB Bank, while 12 percent want to move to Fidelity with 5 percent seeking to work with Stanbic Bank.

    This comes at a time when the banking sector is in crisis with the Bank of Ghana embarking on various reforms to strengthen the industry.

    Managing Partner at Acreaty Ghana, Elsie Appau-Klu, says the latest statistics could have a negative impact on the entire banking sector.

    “It could mean that the banking sector for some time may not have the competent people to work with. If there is a perception that the banking sector does not really reward people or nurture people, people wouldn’t want to work in that sector and that will be a major struggle for the growth and development of banks.”

    Acreaty is therefore urging the banks to initiate policies that will promote employee welfare necessary for the growth of all departments within the banking sector.

    In the last one year, seven indigenous banks have collapsed due to mostly liquidity challenges and in some cases poor governance structures .

    By: Nana Oye Ankrah/citibusinessnews.com/ghana

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  • September 24, 2018

    Serena Williams says she doesn’t understand coach’s claim he coached her from sidelines

    Six-time US Open champion denies Patrick Mouratoglou ‘made a motion’ from sidelines during match which Williams lost to Naomi Osaka

    Tennis star Serena Williams
     In an interview with Network Ten, tennis star Serena Williams did not answer a question about whether she regretted the decision to break her racquet on the court during her match against Naomi Osaka. Photograph: John Locher/AP

    Serena Williams does not understand why her coach admitted giving her instructions from the sidelines during her controversial US Open women’s final.

    Speaking about her outburst earlier this month, Williams maintained in an interview on Network Ten that she was not being coached during the match, which she lost to Japan’s Naomi Osaka.

    “I just don’t understand what [coach Patrick Mouratoglou] was talking about because I asked him, you weren’t coaching, we don’t have signals, we’ve never had signals and he said he made a motion,” she told the Sunday Project.

    Williams did not answer a question about whether she regretted the decision to break her racquet on the court, with footage showing her publicist stepping in during the interview.

    The six-time US Open champion, who was chasing a record-equalling 24th grand slam title, was handed a coaching violation and a point penalty for breaking her racquet before a heated argument with umpire Carlos Ramosended with her losing a game.

     Serena Williams calls umpire a ‘liar’ and ‘thief’ as Naomi Osaka wins US Open final – video

    Williams said she wanted to move on from the controversy.

    “What I’m just trying to do most of all is to just recover from that,” she told the Sunday Project.

     

    Source: theguardian

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