GPHA suspends new tariffs indefinitely

The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) has indefinitely put on hold its proposed review of charges at the ports.

The GPHA says this is to address all concerns raised by the various stakeholders involved.

The GPHA, last year announced its decision to review port tariffs on imports beginning January 2018.

According to the GPHA, port tariffs on imported goods were going to be increased by 20 percent, while that on exported goods were to be increased by 15 percent.

The GPHA made the decision to review the charges upwards after four years of not reviewing its charges.

Following this announcement however, the GPHA met with various stakeholders who will be affected by the review.

These included the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, the Ghana Shippers Authority, Ship Owners’ and Agents Association as well as the Freight Forwarders Association of Ghana to discuss the review of the various charges.

However, the General Manager for Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the GPHA, Esther Donkor tells Citi Business News the decision has been put on hold indefinitely.

“It’s no more effective this January , it’s been postponed to a further date that we will agree upon and then inform the general public, fact being that we are still in discussion with the major stake holders,” she said.

According to her, the decision is to reconsider the reduction of the proposed charges following an outcry from the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana to have it reduced.

“In some of the areas, some of the stakeholders felt the five percent increase was going to be too harsh so we are still discussing with them until we reach an agreement, so it is possible that there will be a possible decrease in some of the areas”.

She however gave the assurance that the GPHA will meet with the various stakeholders next week to decide on the final review.

“In fact we are scheduling another round of meetings for next week to discuss and agree on the final review”.

Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Samson Asaaki Awingobit says the gesture by the GPHA is commendable.

“I must recommend GPHA for having listened to stakeholders like us and having responded to us not only on telephone calls but also writing an official letter to us which we think deserves applause. So from this, we have come to the realization that gone are the days that GPHA or any other agency working in the port and in the clearing chain just implements policies without our consent”.

By: Anita Arthur & Jessica Ayorkor Aryee/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

Stop selling lands like ‘Keta school boys’ – Minister to lands commission

The Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu has bemoaned the indiscriminate sale of state lands to private individuals at prices cheaper than the cost of anchovies, popularly known as Keta School Boys on the market.

Recently, there were concerns over the decision of the Volta Regional Lands Commission to lease strategic government lands to private individuals in what the commission claimed was an in-filling exercise.

The situation, the Minister said, denies government installations that are yet to begin operation in the region space to operate.

“Over the last 8 years, Volta Region has faced a lot of difficulties over the land titles administrations, lands were sold so cheaply to the extent that, the prices of “Keta School Boys” far exceeds the cost of lands that have been sold to others. Hence the rational of aggressive disposal of government lands for private political interest can no longer be allowed to continue”

Speaking at the inauguration of the Volta Regional Lands Commission in Ho, Peter Amewu charged the 30 member Commission to fend off such temptation and put in measures to resolve protracted land disputes in the region to stimulate development.

The Commission is chaired by Mama Dzidoasi of Gbi Abansi Traditional Area in the Hohoe Municipality.

In her acceptance speech, the chairperson expressed her gratitude for the appointment and pledged her commitment to ensuring effective land administration in the region.

The Commission is made up of representatives from various statutory bodies including the Regional House of Chiefs, Ghana Bar Association, Town and Country Planning Department, Ghana Institute of Surveyors and Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen.

By: King Nobert Akpablie/citifmonline.com/Ghana

(Kayayei), Bushira Mamudu, has become the latest victim of hate crime constantly

A 21-year-old head potter (Kayayei), Bushira Mamudu, has become the latest victim of hate crime constantly suffered by disadvantaged girls who migrate to urban centers to engage in menial jobs to support their families.

An unidentified lady is suspected to have hit the skull of Bushira with a sharp instrument after a misunderstanding ensued between the two at a shelter for disadvantaged girls in Mamobi, Accra.

Witnessed revealed that the middle aged suspect quickly bolted away after inflicting the life threatening wound on poor Bushira.

A native of Gambaga in the Northern Region and mother of one, Bushira, who was putting up at a shelter for Kayayeis provided by the Pamela Bridgewater Project, was quickly rushed to the Mamobi Polyclinic, where a team of medics led by Dr. Prince Daitey administered prompt treatment to stop blood gushing from her punctured skull.

The founder of Kunata Voluntary Organisation (KVO), the NGO that operates the Bridgewater Project, Mr. Yahaya Ahassan, who rushed the victim to the Mamobi Polyclinic, revealed that there is a growing trend of physical and verbal abuses meted out to head potters.

Speaking in an interview, he said that insults directed at the vulnerable Kayayeis on daily basis are becoming rampant and are unacceptable.

He said that the continue attacks and beatings of these vulnerable girls who represent the disadvantaged segment of our populace is a big concern and “an indictment on Ghanaians as a people who uphold the tenants of human rights”.

He pointed out that the constitution explicitly guarantees the rights of every Ghanaian, and this obviously include Kayayeis, to stay and work in any part of the country they so wish without let or hindrance.

Mr. Alhassan described the treatment of Kayayeis who migrate from the northern parts of Ghana to the south in search of jobs, as the country’s version of xenophobia. According to him Accra and Kumasi have been the home of all manner of people and he asked rhetorically that how many people can say that their family have not migrated from one location to another.

He revealed that the Pamela Bridgewater Projects regularly undertakes outreach programs to educate the girls on how to prevent or report abuses meted out to them, however, there should be more programs on a national scale to sensitize the Kayayeis.

The Pamela Bridgewater Project provides future and welfare to Kayayeis in Ghana through training, advocacy, protection and research.

Give us jobs or there’ll be chaos – Invisible forces

Some irate members of the NPP’s invisible forces Tuesday stormed the town hall meeting at Tema to threaten government of mayhem if they are not immediately given jobs.
According to the group, officials of the Akufo-Addo government, who hitherto to the elections were on good terms with them, suddenly do not pick up their calls if they call them.
“We mobilised ourselves to come and meet you and you promised us that there are some jobs on the way coming, we exchanged numbers with those that were supposed to employ us. I have called them for almost two months now, nobody is ready to answer my calls.
“And we are the soldiers and will still be the soldiers. Please, we want to tell our people, if they will not give us jobs to do, what happened in Kumasi will happen in Accra. We are even ashamed, some of us are home and they are laughing at us,” an angry member of the group told the gathering at the event, which was being hosted by the Ministry of Information.
The invisible forces has been noted for chaos and mayhem since the Akufo-Addo government assumed office.
An affiliate of the group, Delta Forces, in April stormed a Kumasi High court and freed some of its members who were standing trial.
The NPP has admitted they used the youth groups, often made up of muscled men, to protect the ballot during the 2016 elections.
Source:
Ghana/StarrFMonline.com/103.5FM

Exclusive: Mega Fraud At GCNet

The Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) a company that ostensibly should help in trade facilitation at Ghana’s Ports has dominated front pages of local news papers from the wrong reasons and despite  a huge public relation role out plan by the company, it is yet to convince the public and stakeholders that all is well.
 
The complaint of the frequent breakdown of the GCNet system at the ports is not as alarming as an incident in which investigations confirmed that a senior staff member of the GCNet was involved in the fraudulent manipulation of the system to assist an importer evade payment of requisite duty and taxes to customs.
 
In other jurisdictions where trade facilitation is an issue of priority to governments, a company that engages in such mal practice would have lost the credibility to continue to do business with government.
 
The Customs, Excise & Preventive Services (CEPS) had to write to the International Police Organization requesting for assistance to arrest the GCNet worker behind the fraudulent act.
 
The letter, signed by Nana Egyin Buadu for  the CEPS Commissioner read:
 
“Mr. Elliot Ansah is an employee of GCNet Company
Preliminary investigation by CEPS Investigations department has confirmed the involvement of Mr. Ansah in fraudulent manipulation of GCNet System to assist an importer to evade payment of requisite duty/taxes to Customs.
 
“Reliable source has revealed that Mr. Ansah has resigned from his workplace and he is likely to travel to the United Kingdom any moment from today, 3rd September, 2010.
We would be most grateful if you could assist to apprehend Mr. Ansah in his attempt to abscond.
 
“Please find a photograph of Mr. Elliot Ansah as a guide.”
 
The PUBLISHER recalls that stinking saga and reproduces below the complete and unedited letter from GCNet confirming the fraudulent practice and admitting it was done by one of its workers.
 
Dear Commissioner,
MALPRACTICES IN GCNet/GCMS OPERATIONS
 
Further to your letter dated 6th September, 2010 on the above subject, we have identified a breach of the system in respect of the entries noted in your letter.
 
From the system logs reviewed so far, the breach is suspected to involve a GCNet employee, (Elliot Ansah) who resigned from the Company with effect from 6thSeptember, 2010 and carried these breaches in the period leading up to his departure from the Company.
 
Fortunately, in view of the multiple integrity layers in the system, data on the respective transactions are still available in the system, even where attempts were made to tamper with the transaction details. As a result, outstanding duty and tax payments due from Declarants on these transactions are still available. In this regard, we wish to emphasize that no data has been lost in spite of the attempted manipulation.
 
To review this breach and to take safeguard measures against its possible recurrence, we have engaged the services of an external systems security specialist from the United Kingdom to review all system logs and to assess the extent of the attempted breach. These details will be made available to you once our internal investigations are comleted.
Although the former employee is believed to haev travelled to the United Kingdom, we wish to assure you that GCNet is prepared to pursue all available avenues to bring him back to the country to help with the investigations.
We also wish to assure you that GCNet is ready to collaborate with the investigations and to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book. In pursuit of this, we have taken the liberty to invite the Serious Fraud Office to assist with the investigations in view of the implications of the malpractice and the likely collusion with some Customs Officers, Importers and / or Declarants.
We trust that collectively we can expeditiously address this breach.
Yours faithfully,
SIGNED,
Alwin Horgerle,
General Manager.
More soon.

Haiti PM visits Ghana

Pic;Mr.Alhassan presenting an award to Mr.Mr Laurent Savaldor Lamothe
Haiti PM visits Ghana
The former Prime Minister of Haiti, Mr Laurent Savaldor Lamothe, has visited Ghana to promote digital economy for emerging markets and financial solutions for governments to overcome debts and achieve sustainable growth.
Speaking in an interview in Accra, Mr Lamothe described Africa as a land of abundant human and natural resources and the preferred destination for trade and investments.
“It is important to promote the business links between us in the diaspora and our good brothers in Africa by connecting the two of us together through trade, sports and cultural exchanges” he opined.
He called on stakeholders to invest in building the local man power to effectively utilise what he called the enviable gift for Africa’s economic independence.
Mr. Lamothe, an economist, founded the LSL World Initiative, a global institution that provides assistance and solutions to developing countries to achieve development.
Revenue generated through the LSL World Initiative is used to focus on social and economic programs. The enterprise works with governments to provide solutions for them to implement their own financing mechanism through inovative financing for development .
Financing can be used to fund vital health and educational programs and economic self-sufficiency in the emerging markets.
During his tenure as the Prime Minister of Haiti investments in vital areas of the economy increased substantially.
Mr. Lamothe initiated a policy that targeted and benefit the poor in Haiti which included the construction and rehabilitation of schools, public buildings, bridges and roads.
During his visit to the country, he was honored by the Humanity Magazine International for his astuteness and industrious support towards the reconstruction of Haiti, after the devastating earthquake that hit the country in 2010.
Whiles receiving a certificate of honour from officials of Humanity Magazine International, he expressed his appreciation for an award from the land of his ancestry and praised Ghana as a shining example of democracy in Africa.

Mexican Ambassador Calls For Technical Cooperation With Ghana

The Mexican Ambassador to[1] Ghana, Her Excellency, Maria De Los Angeles Arriola Aguirre, has called for a better technical cooperation between Ghana and Mexico to promote investment between the two countries.
Ambassador Arriola Aguirre described Ghana as a safe investment destination, but to fully achieve its potential, there is the need to develop the human resource base of the country through education to build a prosperous economy.
“Education is a better means towards having a stronger economy” she said.

The envoy said this during interactions with the Chief Executive Officer of Start in Ghana Investment Ltd (SiGI), Mr. Yahaya Alhassan, in Accra. SiGI promotes investment between African countries particularly Ghana and Nigeria.

To realise a better technical cooperation, Ambassador Arriola Aguirre revealed that her embassy is currently working with universities in Mexico to sign bilateral agreements with their Ghanaian counterparts for exchange programs involving professors, researchers and students to help Ghana to have better skilled professionals especially in science, where her country has made significant progress.

In the agricultural sector, she pointed that Ghana can take full advantage of her arable land potentials just as Mexico, which represent the 8th largest agricultural economy in the world, did. The Mexican embassy is also encouraging Mexican agro-industries to invest in Ghana due to the good climate and free trade agreement existing here.

On the empowerment of women, she called for more participation of women in policy and decision making in government.

She said over the past ten years, the campaign for the advancement of women has gained greater international attention for gender equality and there has been progress though there is still much to be done.

According to Ambassador Arriola Aguirre her expectation is to see Ghana adopt a political equality system saying, “during Mexico’s 2016 election, the president, Mr. Enrique Pena Nieto, in consultation with Congress and all the political parties agreed to present 50% of Parliamentary Candidates as women. In the end, 40% of females were elected as Parliamentarians”.

She reiterated the need for educating children about the equality of both men and women including making laws for women’s rights to be respected. “Although we cannot change the law, we can change the culture and attitudes.

“On the World Women’s Day, it was established in Mexico that companies having women as Chief Executive Officers have 30% higher productivity level than their male counterparts, which contributed to the living standard of the people” she added.

Source;Ghana Eye

Ahmed Richard Martey , the photographer of our time

Story; Y.A.K
Born in Nima 441, a suburb where outsider’s wrong perception is a slippery wayward conclusion, Ahmed would grow with his photographer skills to showcase the beauty of his slum to Ghana and the world.

Ahmed, in a recent interview to mark the 60th anniversary celebration of Ghana’s independence from the shackles of colonialism, described Nima as the most fascinating part of Ghana with various talents in painting, music, dancing, academics and sports (particularly football). “But many don’t know and we all forget that the president of Ghana is from Nima” Ahmed said, whiles revealing an infectious smile.

The photographer has been the successful story of wiping the denigrating impression people have about his community through his exhibitions and documentary images of one of the greatest artist in Ghana, Mohammed Awudu of Moh Arts and the beautiful works of Skido and Sammy Adjei, all Nimanians to the attraction of Ghanaians, visiting international audiences and the diplomatic corps..

His photographic works aimed at encourage parents to enroll their children in school depict mothers taking their children to school, which are published in a mini brochure designed in partnership with the Kunata Voluntary Organisation, has been encouraging and the work has had the effect of motivating to take their kids to school.

He praised the get your child to school campaign by saying that “when we started this photography program four years ago, as compared to the present, I can see that many parents now enjoy sending their kids to school and am personally happy to share copies with the them”.

His works exhibit the commercial hub of Nima, the Nima Market, which has gradually become one of the leading markets in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana, where companies rush to supply their products to retailers and the place has been a source of employment and income generation to many residents. Not forgetting the various cafes and restaurants including the artefact market.

On the national front, he has been instrumental in raising the awareness tempo about head potters popularly known as kayayei phenomenon into a national debate to how to bring future and welfare to these disadvantaged girls with pictures he captured for the Bridgewater Project and the Humanity Magazine.

The magazine campaigns for the future and welfare of needy girls in Ghana. His pictures of the kayayei featuring in the national Daily Graphic, Daily Guide and Modern Ghana, News Ghana, Ghana Eye, Metro Tv, Gtv and Tv3 caught the heart and attention of Mrs Elizabeth Agyeman, who summoned the former minister for gender, children and social protection, Hon Nana Oye Lithur, to Parliament to come out with an immediate effect on strategic programme to realise the kayayei phenomenon and the trend continues thanks to the displays of the renowned journalist.

“When I look at the girls sleeping on the street or carrying loads for their survival I feel like I must do the little that I can” he told Ghana Eye at a ceremony to launch a special exhibition of the Humanity Magazine, depicting paintings of vulnerable girls to raise funds for the construction of accommodation and vocational centre in Accra.

The son of Comfort Amposah can be credited for the completion of the Kumasi Kejetia Street Girls Resettlement Center and Clinic, which comprises a special department for anti-child trafficking because Kejetia has been a transit point for traffickers from the northern part of Ghana.
Located at the heart of the largest market in Africa, the center has a unit for marriage redress for the market women, including a clinic for proper healthcare. In addition the facility houses a teenage pregnancy prevention and counselling on HIV unit and the public address department for sharing beneficial information to the girls and the entire market women.

When in early 2017 President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo abolished the kayayei tax, the Kunata Voluntary Organisation’s Bridgewater Project was credited with the national feat for initiating the campaign, but the telling and appealing pictures of taxed young girls by the man behind the camera to the president was too much for the human rights lawyer   to bear who immediately passed a law exempting the girls from the payment of tolls to the government.

On peace level, his works has been dynamic at the doors of diplomatic halls and offices of political parties in Ghana in getting all groups to endorse the football for humanity peace jersey. A program of using the beautiful game of football to unite politicians before, during and after elections with proceeds channelled to girl-child projects in Africa.

Ahmed Richard Martey is the chief executive officer of Rymed Pixels Photography and the founding president of Ayawaso Multimedia Group. He is also the local correspondent for the German weekly news network the Die Ziet and a special photographer for renowned chief Drolor Bosso Adamtey 1 and for Broadway Entertainment Group at Nima.
Story By;Y.A.K

Fashion show for Kayayei initiated

A fashion show designed to champion the dignity of head-poters popularly known as Kayayeis found all over major cities in Ghana has been initiated in Accra.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghanaeye news site, the Greater Accra coordinator of the Pamela Bridgewater Project, Ms Evelyn Mokadza, said though the Kayayeis represent the disadvantaged segment of the Ghanaian populace “I can see happiness, beauty and pride in them and they are like any other women or girls and therefore need our sisterly and motherly attention or care”.

Ms Mokadza reiterated the importance of the fashion show as branding the value of the disadvantaged girls, apart from the awareness creation of what she described as the “neglect of our society”.

According to her, the show on the various media would bring much pride and respect for girls in Ghana, which she believes can have a psychological effect on the unscrupulous men who want to take advantage of their situation especially at night.

She stressed that, the Kayayei show would have a short outreach programs to educate and create awareness among the girls on how to prevent or report abuses and teenage pregnancy.

In early 2016, the organisation in partnership with its international associates successful staged a talent show for children in Ghana to unearth what the kids can do .The event was met with much interest across the country,

The Bridgewater project campaigns for the future and welfare of Kayayeis and children through training, education, advocacy, protection and research.

Chief Executive Officer of SIC Life, Mr. Aaron Issa Ananfure

Pic;Chief Executive Officer of SIC Life, Mr. Aaron Issa Ananfure

SIC Life CEO honoured

The Chief Executive Officer of SIC Life, Mr. Aaron Issa Ananfure, has been honoured for the transformation of the company and bringing insurance closer to the people.

A ceremony to recognise the achievements of Mr. Issa Ananfure was organised in Accra by the The Humanity Magazine International, a medium which campaigns for the promotion of corporate investments or businesses for employment creation to benefit the citizenry.

Speaking at the ceremony to present the award, the country director of the magazine, Mr. Abdallah Musah, described Mr. Issa Ananfure as a role model, who many northerners are looking up to for inspiration.

He said “with respect to the success story of the SIC Life Company and enviable stake which is very rare in a public enterprise in this era, The Humanity Magazine International would like to present this award to you (CEO) and SIC Life as a whole”.

He continued that “the SIC Life’s exemplary success is an indelible achievement of a state managed public enterprise being a beacon of the arguments that state owned enterprises can succeed in this current economic dispensation.

Mr. Abdallah Musah called on other public enterprises to emulate the developing trend of SIC Life to benefit the country we all love.

On his part, Mr. Issa Ananfure expressed his appreciation for the award and revealed that the company has set up investment plans to create employment for the youth.

Source;Ghana Eye