Tuesday, October 27, 2009


By Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

Maame Ama Tiwaa, a 19-year-old former student of St Louis Senior High School (SHS) in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region and Miss Sunyani Municipal, in the early hours of Sunday, was crowned the winner of the Brong Ahafo (BA) @50 Beauty Pageant at the Sunyani Polytechnic Auditorium after a long programme that opened at 9.20 p.m. on Saturday Night.
Fifteen other young ladies were in the race, which was held at the municipal and district levels before the grand finale, attended by the Second Lady Mrs Loudina Mahama, who also hails from the region and specifically, the Nkoranza North District, Madam Cecilia Johnson, a Member of the Council of State, the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo and all Municipal and District Chief Executives in the region.
The pageant, which was well patronised, formed part of activities marking the creation of the region by Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana on April 4, 1959 two years after Ghana attained independence.
The prize package for Maame Tiwaa includes a trip to the United States of America (USA) and other items yet to be disclosed by the planning committee of the Golden Jubilee Celebration.
The first and second runners-up Ms Juliet Pinaman Sabi, 20, and Ms Sarah Deewah, 22 both Miss Tano South District and Miss Wenchi Municipal respectively also received prizes for trips to destinations in Europe and Africa.
After three rounds of the contest, five ladies representing Nkoranza South, Dormaa East, Kintampo South, Tano South, Wenchi and Sunyani emerged as the finalists out of which Miss Sunyani unicipal was declared the winner after they answered the ultimate question on the achievements, challenges and prospects of the region, which was also the theme for the celebrations .
Activities engaged in by contestants before the eventual winner was declared included traditional dances, showcasing of various talents, answering questions from the four judges and giving a brief history about their various municipalities and districts.
Apart from the three top winners, all the 16 contestants were presented with hampers by Sleek Cosmetics, while Miss Wenchi, Miss Sunyani, Miss Nkoranza South and Miss Tano South who were adjuded as Miss Eloquence, Miss Personality, Best Traditional Performer and Miss Talent in that order were also presented with prizes.
Slim Bluster and his dancers as well as Asem and a Salsa group from Accra preformed at the event, which was Mceed by Kwame Adinkra of Angel FM in Kumasi and Naa Ayele of Sky FM, a Sunyani-based radio station.


By Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

The Vice President of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs, Nana Yaw Kagbrese, has given the assurance that Nananom were ready to release land for investments in the region as a way of helping to propel its socio-economic development.
He said the region was endowed with untapped natural resources such as mineral deposits, timber and fertile land for the production of food and cash crops and both local and foreign investors, therefore, could take advantage of the resources to invest in the region with the view to adding value to the resources. 
Nana Kagbrese, who is also the Omanhene of the Yeji Traditional Area, gave the assurance at the opening of the Brong Ahafo (BA) @ 50 Trade and Investment Fair dubbed, “Dwa Kesse 2009” at the Jubilee Park in Sunyani, the regional capital last Thursday.
The week-long fair, which opened on October 22 and will end on October 29, 2009, is aimed at attracting investors, both local and foreign, the region and entertaining them to add value to the food and cash crops produced abundantly in the region and other natural resources the region is endowed with.
There are about 500 exhibitors in the agriculture, textiles and garments, wood works, telecommunications and banking industries as well as herbal medicine practitioners taking part in the fair, which is also being used as a rallying point to promote indigenous businesses.
Nana Kagbrese further pledged that Nananom were again ready to support all initiatives that would result in development and create jobs for the youth in the region He therefore, signalled the investor community to come since they would never regret their decision.
The Yeji Omanhene noted that the completion of the Bui Dam, which was currently under construction would further help boost the energy requirements for investment in the region and urged all and sundry to play their respective roles effectively in the region’s investment drive which had been launched at the fair.
Nana Kagbrese in his opening remarks as the chairman, further urged Nananom to use part of the royalties that they received to support any investment initiatives in their respective traditional areas.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, in his address said the fair was to provide the citizens, especially the youth, the opportunity to exhibit their creative skills, showcase the industrial and tourism potential of the region and use the fair as a rallying point for unity, and development to attract investors.
He said the end result of the fair was to create employment and wealth, thereby reducing poverty in the region.
“As a result of lack of jobs many of the youth of the region embark on irregular migration to greener pastures, resulting in the death of those who use the desert. To help reverse this trend, the fair is being used to woo investors into the region, to create jobs for the youth”, he stressed.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr John Gyetuah, in his address, said micro, small and medium Enterprises (MSMEs) were directly the leading employers in most regions of the country and they also contribute over eight per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Porduct (GDP).
According to him, it was for that reason that the mgovernment had placed a lot of emphasis on developing the MSME sector as part of efforts to harness foreign investments in the region.


THE Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr John Gyetuah, has stressed the strategic importance of the Brong Ahafo Region to the government in particular and Ghanaians in general since the region is “the bread basket” of the country.
He gave the assurance that the government would do all it could to provide a conducive macro-economic environment, reliable infrastructure as well as peaceful and stable political atmosphere, to ensure that business thrives in the region.
Mr Gyetuah said this at the opening ceremony of the the Brong Ahafo at 50 Trade and Investment Fair, dubbed “Dwa Kesse 2009” at the Jubilee Park in Sunyani, the regional capital.
The week-long fair, which started on October 22 and ends on October 29, this year, is aimed at attracting local and foreign investors not only to do business in the region, but also to add value to the abundant food and cash crops, as well as other natural resources the region is endowed with.
The fair also forms part of activities marking the 50th anniversary celebration of the creation of the region.
The event is on the theme: ”Brong Ahafo at 50: Achievements, challenges and prospects.”
There are about 500 exhibitors in the agricultural, mining, textiles and garments, wood works, telecommunications and banking industries.
Herbal medicine practitioners are as well taking part in the fair, which is also being used to promote indigenous businesses.
Mr Gyetuah said with the support of its Italian counterpart, the government had secured a 20-million Euro credit facility under the Ghana Private Sector Development Fund to assist Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country desirous of procuring equipment and services from Italian suppliers.
The facility, Mr Gyetuah said, formed part of the government’s support designed to build the capacity of MSMEs in the country and could easily be used to acquire technology for agro-processing fields in which Italy was quite competitive.
Mr Gyetuah further disclosed that the government had under the Business Development Services (BDS) Fund made available $4.5 million for disbursement to industry as matching grants to procure the services of technical and management experts to help MSMEs to improve on their productivity and performance.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, reiterated that the Golden Jubilee celebration of the creation of the region had been packaged to attract investments to the region, create more jobs, initiate projects and mobilise human and material resources to propel the socio-economic development of the region.
He said the fair was also to equip the citizens, especially the youth, to exhibit their creative skills, showcase the industrial and tourism potential of the region and use the fair as a rallying point for unity, cohesion and development to attract investors.
The regional minister said as a result of lack of jobs in the region, a large number of the youth regularly migrated to other countries, with most of them using the desert, where some of them died.
The Vice President of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs, Nana Yaw Kagbrese, who chaired the ceremony, gave the assurance that Nananom were ready to release land for investments in the region as a way of helping to propel its socio-economic development.
He said the region was endowed with untapped natural resources such as mineral deposits, timber and fertile land for the production of food and cash crops.
He, therefore, urged local and foreign investors to take advantage of them to invest in the region with the view to adding value to those resources.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


• A bizarre incident climaxed the match between new entrants, Aduana Stars, and Liberty Professionals' goalless drawn game at Dormaa Ahenkro yesterday, reports Samuel Duodu, Dormaa Ahenkro.
Immediately after Takoradi-based class one referee, S.B. Bortey's final whistle, some irate fans of the home team pelted the police who were escorting the referee to the dressing room with satchet water and oranges.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


THE Kintampo Users and Carers Association (an association of people with mental disorders who have undergone treatment) and the Mental Health and Poverty Project (MHaPP) based at the Kintampo Health Research Centre, have added their voice to the call on the Government to pass the Mental Health Bill.
According to them, the bill holds the key to the success of integrating mental health into primary health care, which would also provide the resources and legal backing for the protection of the human rights of the mentally ill in he society.
The group made the call at a forum at Kintampo as part of activities marking this year’s World Mental Health Day.
It was on the theme: “Mental health in primary health care: Enhancing treatment and promoting mental health” to raise public awareness of mental health issues.
To mark the day, members of the association and students from the Kintampo Senior High School (SHS) went on a procession through some principal streets of Kintampo to further deepen awareness creation on mental health issues in the municipality.
They carried placards, some of which read “Pass the Mental Health Bill”, “Seek treatment for your relatives”, “No health without mental health”, “Mental illness is curable” and “Approximately 450 million people have mental illness”.
At the forum, Mr Edward Adiibokah, a Research Fellow of MHaPP at the Kintampo Research Centre, said situational analysis of mental health services in Ghana conducted by the MHaPP in 2007 revealed that legislation and institutions meant to provide services and to protect the human rights of the mentally ill people in Ghana were poorly resourced, ineffective and antiquated.
He said the mentally ill were excluded from social protection strategies and exemptions for the poor such as the poverty alleviation funds and the District Assembly’s Common Fund for the disabled.
Mr Adiibokah stated that the passage and implementation of the Mental Health Bill held the key to the successful integration of mental health into primary health.
He said the MHaPP was a cross-country study, involving four African nations, namely Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and the Zambia.
The Chairman of the Kintampo Users and Carers Association, Mr Mohammed Adjei Dickson, said they decided to come together to form the association, because “we realised that we have similar problems such as stigma, high levels of disability, double disease burden, unemployment, media stereotyping, among others”.
He said the association had membership of over 800 and was still growing.
Mr Adjei Dickson stated that the day afforded them the opportunity to let their voice be heard that “we are people with needs and rights”.
A Senior Psychiatric Nurse at Kintampo, Madam Mary Lamptey, said treatment for mental illness was absolutely free, and therefore called on all and sundry to seek early treatment, since mental illness was curable.
Giving some key facts on mental health, Madam Lamptey said mental disorders were common and about one out of eight (12-48 per cent) of all people would suffer from mental disorders at some point during their life, adding that there were more than 75 million people with alcohol use disorders and more than 15 million people with other substance use disorders in the world.


THIS year’s World Rural Women’s Day, on the theme, “Rural Women at the Heart of Innovation”, has been held at Yeji in the Brong Ahafo Region, with a call on the government to pay more attention to women’s needs and their perspectives.
Madam Comfort Tetteh, the Middle Zone Co-ordinator for Farmers Organisation Network in Ghana (FONG), a network made up of various women farmers and traders associations, who made the call on behalf of rural women at a durbar to mark the day, also urged the government to encourage a more balanced representation of women and men in decision-making at all levels.
She further asked donor agencies to institutionalise gender planning and budgeting to sustain initiatives for women.
World Rural Women’s Day, which falls on October 15, every year, precedes World Food Day and has been set aside by the United Nations to recognise and support the multiple roles that rural women play.
Rural women are mostly farmers and small entrepreneurs who also represent over a quarter of the world’s population and greatly contribute to the well-being of their families and the development of rural economies.
Madam Tetteh also urged the government to formulate policies for science, technology and innovation that are gender-sensitive which considered cultural norms and practices such as entrepreneurial spirit and mutual trust in sharing information and the transfer of knowledge to create an enabling environment for women to fully develop and sustain their capacity.
She stated that the government needed to stimulate co-ordination and exchange of information between organisations in the private and public sectors and strengthen institutions that fostered learning processes, innovation and access to technology for rural women.
She called for an increase in investment for research to promote environmentally friendly and sustainable farming technologies, integrated traditional knowledge and advances in agricultural sciences, such as breeding for improved crop varieties and improved management systems.
“In the context of global climate change, rural women are target groups to be affected heavily. The state and farmers’ organisations should formulate programmes and provide training for farmers, especially rural women, so that they can adapt and mitigate the negative effects of climate change,” she said.
The co-ordinator paid glowing tribute to women, especially those in rural communities engaged in food production, and called on society to recognise them and give them the needed support to ensure increased productivity and food security.
Madam Christiana Duah, the President of the Yeji Akesen Marketing Women’s Association, comprising women farmers and traders of farm produce, stressed the important role women farmers played towards attaining food security.
She appealed to the government to assist rural women engaged in agriculture and other income-generating activities with soft loans, farming inputs and fertilisers to boost production in order to reduce poverty, adding that farming was an honourable but difficult vocation.
She advised women farmers across the country to use the proceeds from their farming ventures to sponsor the education of their children, both males and females, to provide them with a better future.
Mr Masawud Mohammed, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Pru, in his address, congratulated rural women, especially those engaged in agriculture, such as food production, processing and preservation.
He gave the assurance that the government would continue to assist them with fertilisers and other farming inputs to enable them to increase their yield to ensure food security in the country.
In an address read on his behalf, the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, stressed the importance of rural women, especially farmers, to the economic development of the nation, saying apart from contributing to food security in the country, they also blended traditional methods with modern trends in food preservation and processing, which was also an innovation.
The President of FONG, Dr King David Amoah, said the day was targeted at rural woman and called on rural women farmers to close their ranks and unite to enable them to improve on their lot.
He noted that FONG had planned many training programmes on women empowerment and para-legal schemes for them to enable them to know their rights.

Monday, October 19, 2009


From Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

A middle-aged man who posed as an Army Officer stationed at the 2nd Battalion of Infantry (2BN) at Takoradi in the Western Region, has been sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment for impersonation by the Wamfie District Court in the Dormaa East District in the Brong Ahafo Region.
Ofosu Asare pleaded guilty to the offence of impersonation.
Police Inspector M. K. Yeboah, the prosecutor, told the court, presided over by Mr Justice Kaakyire Atta-Owusu, that Asare went to the complainant, Mr Frank Nii Abbey, the District Forestry Manager at Dormaa-Ahenkro in the Brong Ahafo Region on September 17, 2009 around 4 p.m. and introduced himself as a Captain of the Ghana Army stationed at 2BN, Takoradi.
Inspector Yeboah said Asare further claimed that he was attached to Burma Camp and that he had been appointed as the National Co-ordinator for the National Timber Task Force.
The prosecutor said the complainant, who was not convinced, demanded his identity card and an introductory letter from the National Task Force but Asare failed to produce both.
Inspector Yeboah said the complainant became suspicious and, therefore, decided to call some soldiers who were part of a military team based at Dormaa-Ahenkro to verify Asare’s claims.
He said the soldiers interrogated Asare and found out that he was an impostor and was arrested and handed over to the Dormaa Police for further investigation.
The prosecutor said it was realised that Asare had rather offered to be an informant to the National Timber Monitoring Team Secretariat in Accra.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Forty-six communities in the Tain District of the Brong Ahafo Region are to benefit from the Government’s rural electrification initiative which is aimed at opening up rural communities for investment in the area of establishment of cottage industries in order to speed up development.  
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Tain, Mr Jones Samuel Tawiah, disclosed this during a familiarisation visit to the Banda Traditional Area in the Tain District.
He said the commencement of the electrification project was also in fulfilment of the Government’s campaign promise to the people of the area.
He also expressed the hope that the extension of electricity to the 56 communities would go a long way to raise the standard of living of the people as various big and small-scale industries could be established in the beneficiary communities to create jobs.
“Our government will not promise what it cannot deliver. We are committed to our promises because the electorate believed us when we told them”, stating further that aside the 56 communities, the district had plans to extend electricity to various towns that had expanded over the years.
Mr Tawiah stated further that his administration would complete all projects initiated by the previous regime to avoid a waste of resources.
According to the DCE, it was time to breakaway from the culture of abandoning projects initiated by previous administrations, and start all over again, saying it was better to correct and complete projects initiated by the previous administration since it was the tax payer’s money that was used in financing such projects.
He urged the people to unite now that the political season was over, and that “the elections are over, let us shelve all our political colours and rally behind the Government to bring development to the people because it would not take it away when it is out of power”.
The DCE said most of the contractors who had submitted all their relevant documents had been paid to ensure timely delivery of the project.
“Provisions have been made to pay more contractors to enable them to go back to site,” adding that his administration had reduced the district’s indebtedness from GH¢11 million to a little over GH¢6million.
Mr Tawiah was, however, quick to add that his administration was only paying legitimate claims left by the previous administration.
“We will be commended for what we were able to put right but not what we abandoned simply because it was initiated by political opponent.”
He stressed that as much as resources were scarce, uncompleted projects needed to be identified and completed for the benefit of society.
Mr Tawiah who was warmly received in the various communities he visited, such as Bui, Akanyakrom-Bator, Bogase, Banda Ahenkro, Kabrono and others, disclosed that the district had acquired a grader which would enable the district to ensure regular maintenance of feeder roads.
During the visit, the poor road network was one of the major concerns raised by the people.
He called on the people to take advantage of the Government’s interventions to reduce poverty in the district.  

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


A joint military and police team has raided Agya Okyerekrom, near Nkasiem in the Asutifi District of the Brong Ahafo Region, and arrested 14 galamsey operators alleged to be terrorising residents of the area.
The area is said to be part of the concession of Newmont Gold Ghana Limited, operators of the Ahafo Mine.
The operation, which was led by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and Member of Parliament (MP) for Asutifi South, Alhaji Collins Dauda, was also to secure the land, prevent any violent clashes in the area and stop further destruction of the environment.
Those arrested are Mutala Mohammed, 26, the leader of the group; Mike Manu, 39; Mohammed Nurudeen, 28; Abdulai Jamal, 29; Yaw Frank, 30; Fifii Agyaku, 32; Abubakari Sadick, 30, and Sulemana Hamid, 35.
The rest are Tahiru Mohammed, 35; Joseph Coffie, 15; Yaw Ali, 24; Ibrahim Ahmed, 23, and Dickson Karikari, 25.
A member of the group, Joseph Akrowah, who was present during the swoop, escaped arrest and is being sought for by the police.
The suspects have been transferred to the Brong Ahafo Regional Police Headquarters for further investigations before being put before court.
According to Mutala, he and his group had been in the galamsey business for a very long time and were based in Konongo in the Ashanti Region but they were hired by some chiefs of Nkasiem to supervise mining activities in the area.
Some residents of the town hailed the minister and the military/police team for the operation which led to the arrest of the 14 people.
The residents alleged that apart from preventing them from taking part in the galamsey operation, the suspects also visited mayhem on them at the least provocation, resulting in the maiming of some people in the area who dared them, adding that the situation was getting volatile until the timely intervention by the MP.
Madam Akua Korankye, the owner of the land on which the illegal mining was taking place, alleged that she and her children, as well as some residents of the area, started the galamsey until the chiefs brought in the group from Konongo to protect their (chiefs’) interest.
She alleged that ever since the group came to the settlement, the indigenes had never known peace, as the suspects unleashed terror and mayhem on them at the least provocation, noting that any time the suspects got gold it was divided into three with the chiefs taking one, one for the group and the remainder for the residents.
Alhaji Dauda, later in a briefing, cautioned the chiefs to desist from involving themselves in illegal mining activities in the area, since that fell outside their domain, noting that they would not be spared if the long arm of the law caught up with them.
He ordered the immediate sealing off of the area to halt illegal mining activities and added that the government had already entered into an agreement with Newmont which now had the land as its concession.
Alhaji Dauda stated that now that the land had been secured, the next move by his ministry and the Brong Ahafo Regional Security Council (REGSEC) was to send bulldozers to the area to level the ground and fill all the trenches dug in the area by the illegal miners.
He stated that the government was in the process of streamlining the activities of small-scale miners in the country, adding that until that was done could not be undertaker illegal mining in the country.


THE Brong Ahafo Region, regarded as the bread basket of the country, has been invaded by a large army of worms which have caused extensive damage to large tracts of maize farms in the region.
Agricultural officers in the region have identified the worms as African army worms and attributed the invasion to the erratic rainfall pattern in the region this year. Thirteen districts have been severely hit with the Nkoranza South Municipality being the worst affected area.
Agric officers said the worms were seasonal pests that fed on maize and other grass species and invaded the region annually but described this year’s as the worst in recent times.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has responded by dispatching a spraying squad of about 80 spraying personnel to the affected areas. They are currently working to bring the situation under control.
According to the Regional Director of MOFA, Mr Emmanuel Asante Krobea, who was in the company of the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, who visited the affected areas in the Nkoranza South Municipality on Sunday to assess the situation, said this year’s invasion had been the worst, especially in the Nkoranza South municipality which is an army worm endemic area in the region.
He said the government had made available enough chemicals and spraying machines to enable the spraying squad bring the situation under control in all the affected districts.
Mr Asante Krobea noted that so far, 600 hectares of maize farms that were attacked by the worms in the 13 districts had been sprayed with the chemicals and attributed the invasion to this year’s erratic rainfall pattern that had aided the prolific breeding of the worms.
The Regional Director of MOFA stated that though this year’s invasion had been the worst, it had been controlled, and gave the assurance that it was not going to affect food production in the region which is often referred to as the food basket of the country.
He added that the government supported many farmers in the region with subsidised fertiliser and other inputs to enable them go into block farming for the production of maize, rice and soya bean this year, therefore the impact of the worm invasion would not affect food production so much although it was the worst in recent times.
He, therefore, urged the public not to panic since the situation was under control and would not affect food production this year.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo, who was accompanied by Messrs Kwadwo Agyekum and Kwadwo Agyei-Dwomo, Municipal and District Chief Executives for Nkoranza South and Nkoranza North respectively on the visit, also took part in the spraying and called on farmers in the area to constantly monitor their farms and check the immediate surroundings from time to time and report their suspicions to MOFA officials.
He added that the situation could have been contained immediately if farmers who saw the worms breeding in the bushes around their farms had reported it to MOFA officials.
He stated that the government had made available enough chemicals for spraying to bring the situation under control.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo also called on MOFA officials in the district to pay attention to the early warning signs and deal with the problem since it was an annual event.


THE Brong Ahafo Regional Executives of the People’s National Convention (PNC) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) have called on all the Nkrumahist parties in the country to join forces to enable the political tradition that gave birth to Ghana’s independence to win political power in the  2012 general election.
According to them, lessons of the past election results indicated that not until petty differences and squabbles were buried and leadership re-organised and streamlined under a common goal and objective, victory in the next general election would be elusive.
A joint statement signed by Mr B. K. Ameyaw and Nana Kyeremeh, Regional Chairmen of the CPP and PNC respectively after several meetings to review and analyse their political fortunes, stated that judging from the current numerical strength of their parties and their representation in Parliament, neither the CPP nor PNC stood the chance of winning the presidential and parliamentary elections in the near future. Hence, there was, therefore, a need to join forces to enable the tradition achieve victory in 2012.
“That the Brong Ahafo Regional Executives of the CPP and PNC are taking this initiative in a bid to prompt all Nkrumahists to the realities on the ground, not until we come together as one big family, victory is not in sight,” the statement added.
According to the statement, the general body of Nkrumahists belonging to separate political parties account for the ineffective resource mobilisation, as a house divided can not stand.
The statement reiterated that time was ripe for the Nkrumahist parties to engage in unity talks, after a failure of a previous one in 2008 and, therefore, called on all true Nkrumahists across the political spectrum to come together as one.
“Nkrumahist tradition is the largest political front than all other political front in this country. We, therefore, state categorically that we no more have two sister parties” it said, adding, “We have Danquah-Busia tradition; why can’t we have Nkrumah-Limann tradition?”

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


SIX retailers of Vodafone Ghana in the Brong Ahafo Region have won prizes of branded items of the company ranging from ‘T’ Shirts, baseball caps, umbrellas, bags, jackets, mobile phones, bicycles and tables in the Vodafone promotion draw for retailers for the months of July and August, 2009, held at Berekum.
Mr John Damoah of Berekum, who won the first prize for the August draw, was presented with a bicycle, a mobile phone, a jacket, ‘T’ Shirts and baseball caps at the venue for the draw, while Mr Q.D. Feli of Yeji in the Pru District and Madam Doris of Kwame Danso in the Sene District who were not present at the draw, would also receive a bicycle and Vodafone branded souvenirs, respectively.
Mr Matthew Akolu of Bator Line at Prang in the Pru District, won the first prize for the July draw, while Madam Agnes Awuah of Area Three and Josephine Kuffuor opposite the Cocoa House both in Sunyani won the second and third prizes, respectively.
People who entered the draw and had their coupons picked earlier but had their mobile phones switched off, and could therefore not be reached via the numbers they had written on the coupons, were disqualified.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Head of Chain and Marketing of Vodafone Ghana, Mr Ekow Blankson, said the promotional draw for retailers of Vodafone Ghana was part of many products designed to reward loyal customers nationwide.
He added that the draw was also a way of generating employment for the people as one needed to purchase Gh¢20 worth of Vodafone Ghana products to become a retailer and that also qualified the person to enter the draw. 
Mr Blankson said the final draw for the promotion would be held in November, this year and the prize to be won is a Mistubishi Pick-up vehicle, saying the retailers’ promotion was different from the consumers’ one whose prize for the grand draw was a house at Trassaco Valley in Accra.
He stated that the promotion was also to encourage and grow its retailers into distributors, adding that the company had targeted to expand its customer base in the retail sector to 150,000 by the close of the year.


THE General Manager of Wamfie Rural Bank, Mr Yaw Benneh, has suggested to the government to establish a bank for rural development to assist people at the countryside to better their lot.
 He observed that such a bank, apart from helping to improve the quality of life of the people, would also hasten the pace of development in rural communities.
Mr Benneh, who made the suggestion in Sunyani, said the gesture would go a long way to stem the rural-urban migration among the youth, since the countryside would get the needed social amenities and infrastructure to make life there worthwhile.
He cited India, where the government had set up such a bank purely to speed up the development of its rural communities and make life comfortable for rural dwellers, making it a disincentive for the people to even think of travelling to the urban areas to seek non-existent jobs.
Mr Benneh added that such a bank had also been used in India for the disbursement and monitoring of the government’s micro-credit for the people, stressing that the facility could be easily replicated in Ghana, instead of channelling such facilities through the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) for disbursement.
  He stated that the establishment of a bank for rural development would also help stem the practice where people abused micro-credit facilities offered them by the government.
The general manager suggested that the government could also make allocation in the budget for micro-credit and channel it through the rural and community banks for the people to access and invest in ventures for the benefit of all.
Touching on the activities of the bank, Mr Benneh said micro-finance was the heartbeat of the bank and so the bank had supported people in rural communities, especially those who might not be able to access loans from the traditional banks, even if they applied.
He stated that the bank had, through its micro-finance product, assisted 2,787 people engaged in various ventures across the region, especially women who did not have the collateral or landed property to access loans from the mainstream banking sector.
Mr Benneh disclosed that the Wamfie Rural Bank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had collaborated in building the capacity of stakeholders of the bank in managing micro-finance.
He said the bank was one of the six banks that the UNDP selected under the Capacity Building Project and expressed his appreciation to the UNDP.
According to Mr Benneh, it was through such a programme that some key staff members had received what he called “internal and external exposure” in micro-finance in Ethiopia and Bangladesh, where micro-finance initiatives had been highly successful, resulting in poverty reduction in those countries.
He mentioned some of the bank’s operational areas as Sunyani, Wamfie, Techiman, Dormaa-Ahenkro and Berekum.
According to him, as a result of the importance the bank attached to micro-finance, it had decentralised its loan granting system to make it easy for people to receive microcredit at a lower interest rate.


THE Government has been called upon to improve the current economic situation as incomes are inadequate, thereby reducing the purchasing power of the people.
The call was made by participants at a day’s workshop to validate the Sunyani Municipal African Peer Review Mechanism’s (APRM), Monitoring and Evaluation Report drafted by the Municipal APRM Oversight Committee.
According to the participants, the difficult economic conditions had also resulted in the increase of prices of goods and services in the country and the Government must act fast to reverse the trend.
They also contended that access to justice had not improved and people continued to pay bribes for justice, thereby eroding the confidence the people had in the justice delivery system.
However, they agreed that access to health care and education at the basic level had improved tremendously as a result of government’s intervention at that level.
Same, however, could not be said at the secondary and tertiary levels, because according to the participants, many students who completed junior high school (JHS) could not continue with their education.
They also noted that access to housing sanitation , such as toilets and dumping sites, had not improved and the Government must do more to ensure an improvement in these sectors, especially in housing delivery.  
The validation workshop attended by a cross-section of the people in the municipality and organised by the National African Peer Review Mechanism –Governing Council (NAPRM-GC) uses non-partisan approach to promote democracy and good governance, economic governance and management, corporate governance and socio-economic development which are the four thematic areas of the APRM process.
It also formed part of several workshops to be held across the country, and according to the Executive Secretary of the NAPRM-GC, Dr Francis Appiah, 20 districts nationwide, with two from each region, had been selected for the validation workshops which serve as a prelude to a national validation workshop that would be held in Accra.
The report would finally be presented to President J.E.A. Mills, who would also present it at the African Union (AU) Head of States summit, next year.  
The views expressed by the participants at the workshop were also based on the report by the Sunyani Municipal APRM Oversight Committee after a survey conducted in September 2009 on the four thematic areas of the APRM process in 10 communities in the Sunyani Municipality, namely Atronie, Abesim, Sunyani Estates, New Town, Wawasua, Yawhima, Sunyani Zongo, Penkwase, Akora Kwadwo and Bakoniaba with 200 people as respondents.
Some of the findings of the report which were presented by Mr Paschal A. Edwards, the Vice-Chairman of the Sunyani Municipal APRM Oversight Committee, said the police were the most corrupt public institution in the country, followed by the Judiciary and the Driver Vehicle Licence Authority (DVLA), with the least corrupt as the Ghana Armed Forces, Social Welfare and Fire Services, in that order.
The report also said there had been an improvement in the road network and transportation in the municipality, while freedom of expression, the municipal assembly and the media had improved tremendously.
Mr Edwards said the respondents for the survey were randomly selected and they were not coerced to speak or belong to any political party, but spoke as Ghanaians, and noted that the concerns raised at the workshop by the participants would also be factored into the report.
Dr Appiah, Executive Secretary of the NAPRM-GC, earlier in his address, said the APRM was a mutually agreed instrument voluntariy acceded to by members of the African Union (AU) as a self-monitoring mechanism, and the purpose of it was to ensure good governance and socio-economic development of a country and Africa as a whole.
He added that Ghana had been a trailblazer and shinning example in the APRM process, being among the first African countries to submit themselves to be peer reviewed.

Monday, October 12, 2009


A CALL has gone to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP), the Bank of Ghana (BOG) and the Government’s development partners to collaborate with Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) to achieve some level of financial literacy among the populace, especially those who lived in the rural areas.
The Administrator of the Brong Ahafo Regional Chapter of the Association of Rural Banks (ARB), Mr Collins Offinam Takyi, made the call at a public forum at Sunyani, as part of activities marking the regional financial week celebration on the theme: “Financial literacy—Knowledge is money”.
Mr Gyasi said majority of the country’s population lived in the rural areas that had no access to financial services, investment products and education.
He, therefore, stressed the need for the Government to partner RCBs operating in the countryside to reach out to them.
According to him, the collaboration, apart from helping to educate the people on financial matters and other investment products, would encourage the rural people to develop a banking culture and help mop up the excess liquidity in the system.
Speaking on the topic: “The role of RCBs”, Mr Takyi said the RCBs were already providing institutional finance to the rural and agriculture sectors, and also acted as a catalyst for rural development.
He said the Government could, therefore, rely on them to raise the level of financial awareness among the people in those areas for them to adopt lifestyles to improve on their lot.
Mr Takyi stated that if the nation was to achieve a 100 per cent financial literacy, then the Government and the central bank must work closely with rural banks operating in the rural areas where the bulk of the people lived.
He observed further that if the country was to attain its vision of becoming a middle income country and reduce poverty, then the financial knowledge of the populace, especially those in rural communities should be heightened to help them make an informed financial choices to improve on their standard of living.
“Here we are talking about a segment of the society who contributed to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country yet they cannot manage their finances well as a result of lack of knowledge”, he stressed.
Mr Takyi stated that the RCBs were already playing their part in the financial literacy of the people in rural communities in the country and also helping the people to grow their businesses, adding “this can be deepened if the Government could collaborate effectively with RCBs to work in that direction”.
He commended the Government for instituting the financial literacy week but called for the spread of the celebration to the grassroots level where majority of the people lived.
A representative from the MOFEP, Mr Alexander Adusei said the national financial literacy week celebration was a welcome event for the nation as it aspired to middle income status.
Some of the participants at the forum also commended the Government for instituting the financial literacy week and expressed the hope that it would be sustained to help educate the people in the various investment products available.
They also called on the various financial institutions to reduce the cumbersome nature of their operations since that was a factor that had discouraged many Ghanaians from patronising banking services.
Other speakers at the forum were Messrs Osman Abudulai, Robert Whadah, Karim Hamidu and Daniel Ohene Owusu, who represented the Ghana Association of Bankers, National Insurance Commission, Securities Commission, the BOG, respectively and Ms Vera Geraldo of XDS Service.


From Samuel Duodu, Fiapre

A 35-year-old worker of Zoomlion Limited Company, a private waste management company, who took advantage of an 11-year-old pupil to defile her on five occasions has come face to face with the law.
Kwaku Mensah, who has been charged for defilement, was alleged to have lured the victim, a yam hawker, with the intention of cooking some of the yams he had bought from her to abuse her.
The innocent girl had been sent by her parents to go and sell yams after school when the accused took advantage of her to sexually abuse her.
Mensah, who is standing trial at the Fiapre Circuit Court, presided over by Mr Justice Benjamin Osei Owusu, pleaded not guilty to the charge and was remanded to reappear on October 7, 2009.
The facts of the case, as presented by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Kwaku Amoako, who is also the Brong Ahafo Regional Police Commander in charge of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), were that the accused lives at Fiapre Zongo, while the victim resides at the centre of Fiapre.
He said on September 19, 2009 when the complainant in the case returned from work, his son told him that the victim had informed him that any time she went out to sell yams, a certain man slept with her at the Fiapre Zongo area.
The prosecutor said the complainant called the victim to enquire from her whether what he had been told by his son was true. She confirmed the story and told him that the accused had slept with her on five different occasions.
He said based on the information, the victim led the complainant and two others to Mensah’s house, where she identified the accused.
DSP Amoako stated further that the complainant, with the assistance of the two others, arrested Mensah and took him to the Sunyani Police Station, where he was detained for further investigations.
He told the court that the victim was sent to the Regional Hospital in Sunyani where a medical examination on her confirmed that she had been defiled.
DSP Amoako said Mensah, in his caution statement to the police, denied the offence but admitted that he had been buying yams from her and that she had refused to cook them for him.


From Samuel Duodu, Sunyani
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP), the Bank of Ghana (BOG) and the government’s development partners have been urged to collaborate more with Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) in the country to help educate people in the rural areas on financial matters.
The collaboration apart from helping to educate the people on financial matters and other investment products available on the market would also encourage rural folks to develop a banking culture and help mop up the excess liquidity in the system.
The administrator of the Brong Ahafo Regional Chapter of the Association of Rural Banks (ARBs), Mr Collins Offinam Takyi, said this at a public forum held at the Sunyani Polytechnic auditorium as part of activities to mark the regional financial week celebration on the national theme “Financial Literacy… Knowledge is money.”
Speaking on the topic “The role of RCBs”, Mr Takyi said the RCBs’ were already providing institutional finance to the rural and agriculture sectors and have also acted as a catalyst for rural development.
He said the government could therefore, rely on them to raise the level of financial awareness among the people in these areas for them to adopt lifestyles to improve on their lot.
“Here we are talking about a segment of the society who contributed to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country but yet they cannot manage their finance well as a result of lack of knowledge”, he stressed.
Mr Alexander Adusei, a representative from the MOFEP, said the National financial literacy week celebration was a welcome event for the nation as it aspires to reach middle income status.
In this year’s celebration, he said the Ghana Security Industry Association (GSIA) was seeking to persuade and encourage all sections of the Ghanaian society to start and develop a savings culture, adding that when we begin to save and plan for our future, we would be able to support national development as well as provide security and hope for the future.
Some of the participants at the forum also commended the government for instituting the financial literacy week and expressed the hope that it would be sustained to help the people in the various investments products available.
They also called on the various financial institutions to reduce the cumbersome nature of their operations and the high interest rates on loans since that had discouraged many Ghanaians from patronising banking services.
A fitness walk was also organised over the weekend as part of activities to mark the celebration . It attracted a cross section of residents in the Sunyani municipality who went through some principal streets in the regional capital to raise awareness on the celebration.
Participants in the walk later converged at the Kwame Nkrumah Park (Jubilee Park) where they were given tit bits on financial services and other investments products.


THE District Chief Executive (DCE) for Jaman South, Mr Atta Bediako has urged communities in the district to rekindle the self-help spirit by initiating their own projects in order to attract the government’s assistance.
The DCE, said the assembly was prepared to assist such forward-looking communities with building materials under the Assembly’s Community Initiated Projects (CIP).
Mr Bediako said this when he paid a maiden visit to Taiano Numbers One, and Two, Asare, Mempeasem, Kwamepim, Asempanaye, Kofiko, Komfourkrom, Buobunu, Abirikasu, Ampenkro, Konsia, Biama, Bodaa, Kofitiakrom, and Atuna as part of his familiarisation tour of the district.
He interacted with the people in the area, and explained to them the Government’s policies and programmes as well as that of the assembly to the people, including, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the increase of the capitation grant, the School feeding Programme and National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP).
Commenting on revenue mobilisation, the DCE expressed concern about the poor performance of the people in the payment of taxes in the district.
He said the assembly’s economic progress depended heavily on revenue and therefore urged assembly members to team up with area, town councils, unit committees, chiefs and other opinion leaders to intensify education on the need for the people to pay taxes promptly to enable the assembly to undertake more development projects to improve upon the living standards of the people.
Mr Bediako warned the people against tribal politics in the district and appealed to them to stop since it retarded the progress of the district and the nation as a whole.
He further called on them to bury their political differences now that the election was over, saying what was left was for the people to come together as one people for the rapid development of the district.
The DCE disclosed that plans were far advanced for the commencement of the electrification projects in the area that would begin from Babianiha-Kwameprakrom, and from Drobo-Miremaano among others.
Mr Bediako appealed to the people in the district to reduce the high expenditure on funerals and other social activities and devote a greater part of their resources to their children’s education, especially the females to help them pursue higher education.
The DCE said education was the greatest legacy parents could bequeath to their children.
He noted that such educated children stood a better chance of taking good care of them in their old age, and since education is the key to success in life and development, the education of their wards should be their priority.
Most of the communities visited appealed to the DCE to help them improve upon their living standards by constructing more schools, clinics, roads, the provision of water and financial support to farmers, since they are all farming communities.
The DCE was accompanied by Mr Gustav Atu, Assistant Director of the assembly, the District Revenue Superintendent, Mr. A.A, Aduhene, NDC Jaman South Constituency Chairman and Oragniser, Messrs Anthony Mensa Amoabeng and Mr Obeng Takyi, Mr George Adjei, the District Administrator for National Commission for Civil Education (NCCE) and the District NHIS Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr Albert Adu Agyei.


THE Brong Ahafo Regional Chairman of the Ghana Association of Science Teachers (GAST), Mr Nestor Mensah, has expressed regret at the way successive governments after the late Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah have not paid much attention to the development of science and technology in the country.
The situation, he said, had made Ghana a less developed country and producer of raw materials whose prices on the international market were often not favourable to the nation.
He said for Ghana to attain its developmental goals and a middle-income status, every effort must be made by the government to give maximum attention to the teaching of science and technology at all levels of education.
Mr Mensah made the observation at a workshop for science teachers in the Brong Ahafo Region in Sunyani.
It was on the theme: “Contextualization of the teaching and learning of science”.
It was organised by the Centre for School and Community, Science and Technology Studies (SACOST) of the University of Education, Winneba.
SACOST was established in June 2000 by the African Forum for Children's Literacy in Science and Technology (AFCLIST) and it seeks to promote awareness of endogenous knowledge and its integration into the global knowledge of science and technology.
A series of such workshops have already been held for science teachers in the Central, Greater Accra, Ashanti, Volta, Eastern and Western regions.
Mr Mensah said the contribution of science and technology to human development was phenomenal, saying it was noteworthy that any education without the twin disciplines left the educated at the periphery of development.
“The Asian Tigers which we easily refer to when discussing our development issues have become a very formidable force in world politics because of their commitment to improve their living conditions through advancement in science and technology,” he stressed.
He called on the participants to begin to make the teaching of the sciences more practical, attractive and lively for the development of the region in particular and the country in general.
The Co-ordinator for SACOST, Prof Kolawale Raheem, said Ghana, like most African countries, was facing a real crisis in the development and utilisation of science and technology in its attempt to achieve economic emancipation.
“This crisis has its roots in our colonial history. It is on record that colonial education isolated learners from their communities and infused in them colonial values, customs, attitudes and knowledge systems that ignored the knowledge and value systems of the people,” he said.

Prof Raheem added that the educational systems of most African countries, including Ghana, had largely excluded or ignored African systems of knowledge, namely, the values, customs, production methods and the general cultural environment of the African child.
That state of affairs, Prof Raheem said, had contributed to the under-utilisation of the processes and products of the scientific enterprise, a situation where science, mathematics and technology did not seem to have any influence on the lives of majority of the people who studied them.
He stated that the situation had also led to low enrolment in elective science at the senior high school (SHS) level, with only 9.3 per cent and 0.1 per cent participation rate in 2005 and 2006, respectively.
Prof Raheem said it was to bridge the yawning gap between schooling and the cultural context of the student that AFCLIST decided to set up SACOST.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, stressed the importance of science and technology in the transformation of economies.
He gave the assurance that the government would provide funding for the promotion of science and technology which would help propel the nation into a middle-income status.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


A 57-year-old lawyer, Mr Frank William Beecham, has been elected President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) at its 2009/10 Annual General Conference which just ended in Sunyani.
It was held from September 28 to 30 on the theme, “Legal Aid – A Social Responsibility”.
Mr Beecham, who is a senior partner of Bram Larbi, Beecham and Co in Accra, is also a trained banker and immediate past National Treasurer of the association.
He polled 250 out of the 452 valid votes cast to beat his closest rival, Nii Osa Mills, a former President who was forced to resign his position last year following a comment he made about the trial of Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, a former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC).
Nii Mills obtained 173 votes, while Messrs Prince Frederick Nii-Ashie Neequaye and Willie Amarfio had 17 and two votes, respectively. Three of the ballots cast were rejected.
Mr Justice Kusi-Minka Premo, 50, who was elected Vice-President, polled 230 votes to beat Mr Benson Nutsukpui, who secured 220 votes, while Messrs Peter Raymond Zwennes, Asante Krobea, Anthony Forson Jnr, Mrs Nancy Darkwa Ampofo and Mrs Yaa Gyakobo were returned unopposed as Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Public Relations Officer, Treasurer and Assistant Public Relations Officer, respectively.
All the elected national executive members will serve for the 2009/2010 period.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Beecham stated that the association was not a wing of any political party and that its primary focus was to ensure the entrenchment of democracy and the rule of law in the country.
He, therefore, called on all stakeholders in the democratic process of the country not to interpret actions of the association in political terms.


THE Tain District Assembly in conjunction with the district office of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) has screened 400 applicants who have applied for engagement under the teaching assistants module of the programme at Nsawkaw.
The decision to screen the applicants is to get quality personnel for that module of the programme to help arrest the drastic fall in the standard of education in the district.
The applicants were examined in both written and verbal interviews while their certificates and other relevant documents were examined.
The District NYEP Co-ordinator, Mr John Kwame Duku, told the Daily Graphic that the action would enable the programme to engage the best personnel under the teaching assistants module of the programme.
That, he said, would improve the standard of education in the district, whose trained teachers were inadequate.
Mr Duku stated that another reason for the thorough screening of applicants was to ensure that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government’s strict adherence to transparency was established and also to avoid the politicisation of the programme.
“We are engaging applicants based on their performance and not party affiliations,” he stressed.
Mr Duku further stated that the NYEP was a result-oriented body and was therefore mindful of its workforce.
He said his administration was expected to increase its existing teaching strength of 170 personnel to 270 this year.
“We allowed the Ghana Education Service (GES) to conduct the necessary tests because it has the ability of identifying good teachers for us,” he stated.
Some of the applicants interviewed were happy about the selection procedures.
Mr Osei Peter, an applicant, said the process had given equal ground for all, irrespective of one’s political leaning to justify their inclusion.
It will be recalled that the Daily Graphic in its July 7, 2009 issue carried a story with the headline “Youth to justify engagement”.
The story read, “Those engaged under the teaching assistants module of the NYEP in the Tain District in the Brong Ahafo Region are to write examinations to justify their continuous engagement under the programme”.


THE Executve Director of Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Prof. Kwame Karikari, has cautioned the media, especially radio stations to use the freedom they enjoy under the current democractic dispensation responsibly, so as not to give cause for its curtailment in the near future.
He noted that although the criminal libel law was repealed, the behaviour of some media establisments had given room for the drafting of a defamation bill to ensure that the media would exercise their freedoms well without tarnishing the reputation of people.
Prof. Karikari gave the caution at a two-day meeting in Sunyani for radio station managers from the Northern sector of the country.
The best Rural Radio Station 2008 prize was also presented at the meeting to Radio Progress, a Wa-based private radio station.
The meeting formed part of a series of programmes under the Ghana Media Standards Improvement Project (GMSIP) aimed at strenghtening the capacity of the Ghanaian media in order to sustain democracy and freedom of expression. It was a collaboration of MFWA and the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and funded by the Royal Danish Embassy in Accra.
The project which was launched in June, this year is a two-year pilot project that would involve principally four selected newspapers and eight rural radio stations.
Prof. Karikari noted that it was the media that had been the vanguard of democracy and therefore the media must continue to promote and depeen the gains made so far rather than stifle them.
He observed that the media had chalked up some significant successes under the current democractic dispensation and, therefore, caution must not be thrown to the wind that all was well for some to abuse the freedom being enjoyed by the media.
Prof. Karikari gave a brief history of broadcasting in the country and added that the multiplicity of radio stations in recent times, as a result of technological advancement, must also be used for the promotion of social cohesion, peace, economic development and also for the preservation of the culture of the people.
The Executive Director of MFWA said some of the challenges the project sought to address were what he termed “professional question of the media”, “Management Issues and Financing”, “Human Resource Development” and “How to Deal with Public Complaints”.
He said currently there were about 168 radio stations nationwide and the Brong Ahafo Region held the largest number of private radio stations.
Prof. Karikari therefore urged rural district radio stations to cover their areas, be fair, objective and balanced so as to bring harmony and peace to chieftaincy disputes.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, expressed concern about the way media practice in Ghana today had ended up being sensational, with most news stories tarnishing the image of reputable people in society.
He, therefore, suggested that the findings of the GMSIP survey, as well as recommendations, should be channelled to the National Media Commission for redress and called on the GJA to be up and doing so as to bring to book the fake journalists we had in the country.
The Co-ordinator of GMSIP and former President of GJA, Ms. Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, stressed the important role of the media in the promotion of democracy and added that the professional standards of the media, especially radio stations should be raised in order for them to remain relevant in the Ghanaian society.
Mr William Orleans Oduro, the President of the Brong Ahafo Regional branch of the Ghana Bar Association, who chaired the function, commended the media for its role of promoting democracy and free expression, but cautioned media practitioners to be circumspect when discharging their duties.
Other resource persons were Dr Margaret Amoakohene of School of Communication Studies, University of Ghana, Mr Berifi Apenteng, Chairman for Coalition of Broadcasting Law and former Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited and Mr Bright Blewu, the General Secretary of GJA.

Friday, October 9, 2009


THE Chief of the Army Staff, Major Gen. Joseph Narh Adinkrah, has called on personnel of the Ghana Army to improve their skills in weapon handling to be able to deal effectively with the increasing threats of communal violence and armed robberies, which are becoming brazen.
According to him, good weapon handling would also reduce collateral damage (casualties) recorded in times of war and other violent crimes, which is becoming an issue of international concern.
Major Gen Adinkrah made the call at the closing ceremony of this year’s Army Inter-Command/Formation Shooting Competition dubbed; “Ex Thunderbolt”, held at the Yawhima Military Shooting Range in Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo regional capital, at the weekend.
Among the dignitaries who graced the occasion were Brigadier Gen. Chris K. Ocran and Brigadier Gen. Martin Ahiaglo, General Officers Commanding (GOCs) the Northern and Southern Commands respectively; Brigadier Gen. Ishmael B. Quartey, Commander of the Support Service Brigade Group, Lt. Col. Amoah Ayisi, Commanding Officer of the 3 Garrison in Sunyani and regional commanders of the other security agencies.
The three-day shooting competition was to train and assess the competence of officers and men in the professional handling of weapons and sharp shooting, raise a formidable team for the army in this year’s inter-services shooting competition dubbed, “Ex Fireblast”, scheduled for November and to create a forum for building esprit de corps and healthy interaction among troops of the army.
The Northern Command team was adjudged the overall best team in the competition, followed by the Southern Command and the Support Service Brigade, while Lance Corporals Koli and Sarah Darkwah were adjudged the overall best individual male and female shooters of the competition respectively.
Major Gen. Adinkrah stated further that weapon handling was the fulcrum on which an army hinged, and that no army could win any war or achieve objectives that called for the use of arms, if the troops were not masters of the tools.
He, therefore, expressed the hope that the competition had tested their skills and stretched their limits to prove their competencies.
The Chief of the Army Staff congratulated the individuals who won prizes on their achievements, which, he said, would not only enhance their personal capabilities, but also those of their units and the Ghana Army as the best among equals.
He also commended all who participated in the competition for the display of sportsmanship.
Major Gen Adinkrah also praised all the females who participated in the competition, saying it had become an internationally recognised fact that women in all endeavours of life, including the Ghana Armed Forces, created synergy for national development.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Speakers at a public forum organised by the Paediatric Society of Ghana (PSG) have called for a sustained education campaign on responsible parenting to curb the increasing rate of abuse and all forms of injustice against children.
They also observed that the issue of child protection cuts across all sections of the society, and therefore, everyone, especially parents and guardians, whose inaction and actions could contribute significantly to the elimination of injustice and abuse perpetrated against children in the society, need to play their respective roles.
The forum, attended by schoolchildren, parents/guardians, proprietors of pre-schools and queens, formed part of several fora planned by the society to empower parents/guardians to adequately play their roles in protecting their children, as well as to provide a platform for the sharing of knowledge and experiences. It was on the theme “Child Protection- Everybody’s Business”.
Speaking on the topic “Safe Discipline”, Dr Eben V. Badoe of the Department of Child Health, University of Ghana Medical School, urged the public, especially the PSG, to lead the campaign against the unnecessary and unjust practices that violated children’s rights.
He advised parents to desist from spanking their children and resort to disciplinary actions that will afford children the opportunity to learn from their mistakes, stressing that “parents must accept the fact that conflict between them and their children were inevitable, and therefore love and concern for the child’s best interest must be their final guide, coupled with prayers for them”
Dr Nana K. Sereboe, a member of the PSG, in her presentation on “What is Child Abuse?” -defined child abuse as all forms of physical and/or emotional ill treatment, sexual abuse, neglect, negligent treatment or commercial exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power”.
She, therefore, called for vigorous advocacy and communication, as well as the enforcement of laws to help prevent abuse against children.
Madam Peace Atsu, a social worker, and Mr Charles Noyoru of the Department of Children, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, who spoke on the topics “Child Protection: The Role of the Community” and “The Rights of the Child (based on the Children’s Act)” respectively noted that discipline was a way of life, and that it was the responsibility of the community to help discipline children while protecting their rights.
The President of the Paediatric Society of Ghana (PSG), Prof. Bamemla Goka, earlier in her welcome address expressed concern about the increasing rate of injustice against children such as defilement, which were reported in the media daily.
She attributed them to the lapses on the part of parents/guardians of victims, stressing that “We as Paediatricians and other professionals caring for children, have devoted this year to educate ourselves on the need to deal with child abuse so that we can adequately care for the needs of our patients.
She added that the PSG had held a number of training programmes for doctors, while the society was in the process of establishing a centre at the Korle- Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra to address the medical and psychosocial needs of children who are victims of abuse.


THERE has been massive invasion by black flies of Bui and its environs in the Tain District in the Brong Ahafo Region, which has been a source of worry to residents.
According to some residents who spoke to the Daily Graphic, this year’s invasion by the flies was the worst and needed a timely intervention from the government.
Bui, in the Banda Ahenkro Traditional Area in the Tain District, is the host community for the Bui Hydro Power Dam Project.
The chief of Bui, Nana Kwadwo Wuo, who also shared his sentiments on the invasion, appealed to the appropriate authorities to assist in managing the situation, saying, “the flies have been with us for a long time but this year, it is worse and, therefore, the government has to come in to bring the situation under control.”
Most of the workers at the Bui Dam site, who also spoke to the Daily Graphic, suggested the use of helicopters to disinfest the area periodically to reduce their suffering.
“It has become very difficult for us to work effectively because the flies do not leave us at all, particularly in the morning and evening,” said one worker.
Some of the workers, however, suggested that the government should make the oncho-spraying programme as another component of the contract of Syno Hydro, the Chinese company constructing the dam.
“I believe the Chinese will be able to manage that effectively since they are also suffering,” said a worker.
As a result of the invasion by the flies, almost everybody in the area now wears long-sleeved dress, while pupils in the various schools are permitted to wear a pair of trousers to school to save them from the flies.
In order to bring the situation under control, the Tain District Chief Executive (DEC), Mr Jones Samuel Tawiah, has paid a working visit to the area to assess the situation.
The DCE appealed to the anti-oncho spraying gangs under the Zoomlion Limited to intensify their spraying operations in the area, while searching for other efficient means of addressing the situation in future.
He said the flies had become a major worry to the district and, therefore, assured the inhabitants of the area that his outfit would collaborate with the relevant authorities to ensure an efficient management of the annual invasion of the flies.


CHIEF Programme Officers of the Non-Formal Education Division (NFED) of the Ministry of Education in the Brong Ahafo Region have protested against a decision by the Director of the NFED to reassign them as income-generating officers.
According to them, the decision to reassign them as income-generating officers was not only unacceptable, regrettable and unwarranted, but also a clear indication of demotion in their rank.
A protest letter written by their solicitor, Nana Obiri Boahen, a Sunyani-based legal practitioner to the Director of NFED with copies to the Minister of Education, the Brong Ahafo Regional Co-ordinator of the NFED, the Regional Chief State Attorney, Attorney General’s Office and sighted by the Daily Graphic  said they (chief programme officers) would not accept the position of income generating-officers.
The letter also indicated their readiness to go to court to assert their rights if the decision of assigning them the position of income-generating officers was not withdrawn within the next few weeks.
“Meanwhile, our clients would continue to maintain the status quo until and unless we hear from you,” the letter stated.
“With due respect, we wish to state that, our clients’ appointment was based on merit after excelling in an interview which was conducted based on an advertisement published in the Daily Graphic issue of September 19, 2002”, it  explained.
“Our clients are, therefore, at a loss as to how and why this sudden demotion without due regard to the laid-down rules” it added. 
“It is the contention of our clients that some of them have been written to, while others are yet to receive theirs in a letter dated August 28, 2009, and which said letter was signed by Mr Samuel Salifu Mogre, Director, NFED, and with an other copy sent to the Regional Co-ordinator, NFED, Brong Ahafo,” it said.


One of the personalities who have expressed his desire to contest for the Brong Ahafo Regional Chairman position of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Frank Opoku Adjapong, has said he would turn the fortunes of the party around when given the nod.
He said the party lost the region in the 2008 general election and, therefore, he was the man with the appealing leadership qualities and strategies to win the region for the party in the 2012 general election.
According to Mr Adjapong who is also a Sunyani-based businessman, the other aspirants in the race were equally good to lead the party in the region but he was the best man to be at the forefront to help the party win the region and the 2012 election.
He said when given the nod, one of the things he would do is to promote the ideals of Danquah-Busia, especially that of the late Professor Kofi Abrefa Busia, who was the Prime Minister of the Second Republic and also an illustrious son of the region.
That, he said, would make everyone in the region accept the party and also make it more attractive, since the party machinery in the region failed to project the ideals of the Danquah-Busia tradition in the region, especially that of Prof. Busia; what he stood for, his beliefs, philosophy and what he did for the region and the nation as a whole.
Mr Adjapong, who was interacting with newsmen in Sunyani on his ambitions said he had worked at the grass root level of the party for the past 20 years as well as a foot soldier and believed that this was the time for him to be at the forefront to bring his rich experience of being at the background to bear on the party’s fortunes and help it recapture power in the 2012 election.
He added that he was a man of innovation and creativity and, therefore, when given the chance he would use these attributes to champion the cause of the party in the region as well as ensure the party’s victory at the 2012 polls.
“I have what it takes to make the NPP very attractive, solid and thick in the region,” he added.
Mr Adjapong also said he was in the race to help eliminate the politics of hatred and vengeance which had eaten deep into the politics of the country and help change the notion that politics is a dirty game.
“After all politics is about bringing development and an improvement in the living conditions of the people and the fact that we have different ideologies and strategies to achieve the national goal does not make us enemies”, he stressed.
Mr Adjapong who is also a peace activist called on his other aspirants in the race to embark on a campaign devoid of insults and mudslinging since ‘we are all going into the contest for the common good of the party and the nation at large,” he added.


THE Drobo Community Bank made a profit before tax of GH¢37,479 at the end of the 2008 financial year as against GH¢11, 777 that was recorded in 2007, despite stiff competition and the falling interest rate on treasury bills.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the bank, Mr T. K. Obeng, disclosed this at the 10th Annual General Meeting(AGM) of shareholders of the bank at Drobo in the Jaman South District in the Brong Ahafo Region.
He said over the same period, the bank’s deposits increased from GH¢902,907 in 2007 to GH¢1,053,980 at the end of 2008 while profits from investments in treasury bills, increased from GH¢238,720 in 2007 to GH¢357,248 during the period under review.
Mr Obeng said total assets of the bank also increased from GH¢518,445.00.
He said like most rural banks, the bank extended various forms of the assistance to those in the agriculture, cottage industries, transportation and trading sectors, as well as salary workers.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo urged all loans defaulters of the bank to repay their outstanding obligations in order to make the bank viable and stronger to be in a position to offer loans to others who require the bank’s assistance.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo noted that he was touched by the fact that the Drobo Community Bank had a scholarship scheme in place for the wards of its needy customers and therefore, appealed to the management to ensure that the selection process was made transparent.
The minister congratulated the board of directors, management and shareholders of the bank for the successes of the bank.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank Limited, Mr Eric Osei-Bonsu advised the shareholders to buy more shares to increase the capital base of the bank.
The Omanhene of Drobo Traditional Area, Beyeeman Bosea Gyinantwi who chaired the meeting, stressed the importance of education and further advised the shareholders to send their children to school.
According to the bank Manager, Mr Daniel Maxwell Esiful, the bank had introduced a deposit mobilisation product dubbed “Boafo Susu” and was currently operating on a pilot basis at Drobo, Japekrom, Kwasibourkrom, Katakyiekrom and Gonasua, and would soon be extended to other surrounding towns and villages.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


The Omanhene of Sankore Traditional Area,Okogyeadee Yaw Adusei III has appealed to the people of Sankore to bury their political differences and unite for the rapid development of the area.
“We must not allow politics to divide us as a people for us to see ourselves as enemies, but we must rather unite and push the development agenda of the town” he stated.
Nana Adusei made the appeal when he interacted with newsmen at his palace at Sankore in the Asunafo South District in the Brong Ahafo Region.
Sankore, a cocoa growing area and also a food production centre, has gained notoriety as a result of violent clashes, especially between supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) before, during and after the 2008 general election.
The clashes between supporters of these two major political parties in the town in recent times did not only result in the burning of houses but also the death and maiming of some people.
It was against this background that the paramount chief decided to meet media personnel in the region as part of efforts to restore calm and  bring the people together to quicken the pace of development.
Nana Adusei who sat in state with other members of the traditional council, also made a passionate appeal to the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Mr George Yaw Boakye and the Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Eric Opoku to also shelve their differences and come together for the common good of the town.
“Now we have a deputy minister and an MP who are citizens of this town and this is the time for all of us as a people to rally behind them for progress and not to allow our political differences to halt the development process of our town and further give it a bad name,” he said.
Nana Adusei noted that Sankore witnessed similar political disturbances in the 1960s between the United Party (UP) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) which forced many people to flee the town and therefore, ‘we as a people must not allow a recurence of such violence to destroy our town, otherwise posterity would not forgive us’.
The Snakier Omanhene debunked an assertion by a section of the media that he had taken sides in the recent disturbances in the town and had also banished some people from the town.
He, therefore, called on the media, especially radio stations to put a stop to fuelling rumours since the people of Snakier were determined now than ever to put the past behind them and unite for progress.
Nana Adusei urged those involved in the clashes to forgive one another for peace to prevail since without peace, development would not take place.
He also called for the arrest and prosecution of all who had committed crime during the disturbances so as to serve as a deterrent to others.


The Brong Ahafo Regional Branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) will hold its regional congress to elect new executives to run the affairs of the party for two years on November 7, this year.
The positions to be contested for are: Chairman, First and Second Vice Chairmen, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Organiser, Women and Youth Organisers.
The regional congress will finally be followed by the national congress on December 19, 2009 when there will be election of national officers for the party.
Mr Anthony Kusi, the Regional Secretary of the party, told the Daily Graphic in Sunyani.
He said the regional congress would be preceded by reorganisation and polling station elections.
He said the process would start with the enrolment of all members of the party within the polling stations in the region.
At the moment, he said all the polling stations had started recording members names which would be completed by September 20.
“After the list of members have been compiled at the various polling stations, their validation will take place from September 25 to 27, 2009,” he added.
Mr Kusi said the enlistment of members at the polling station level was being carried out by the various polling station executives under the supervision of the constituency executives.
That, he added, would be followed by the opening of nomination for the selection of a new five-member polling station executive committee for the various polling stations across the region.
Having got the polling station executives in place, Mr Kusi said it would be followed by the constituency elections from October 17 to November 7, this year.
Asked when nominations for the regional positions would be opened, Mr Kusi said this would be done after the re-organisation at the polling stations and the constituencies.
He called on party supporters to remain calm and resolute in the face of extreme provocation from members and functionaries of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).
According to him, there were no or factionalism cracks in the party, as was being alleged by a section of the media. He said that was being used as a propaganda by the ruling government.
He also advised party faithful to close their ranks and work hard towards the recapturing of power in 2012.
Meanwhile grapevine sources have it that certain leading members of the party in the region such as a former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and former Member of Parliament for Sunyani West, Mr Kwadwo Adjei Darko; a Sunyani-based legal practitioner, Mr Asoma Cheremeh; and a Sunyani-based businessman, Mr Frank Opoku Adjapong, are all gunning for the Chairmanship while the incumbent Chairman, Mr Kwesi Adu Gyan, is also said to have stepped up his bid to retain the position.
The source said some of the people whose names had come up to contest for the various regional positions have started visiting the rank and file of the party at the polling stations and constituencies to interact with them.