(A GNA feature by Ms Badu Agyei)
Accra, Nov. 26, GNA - In less than two weeks time, all eyes would be on Ghana as the electorate go to the polls for the sixth time since 1992, and as usual the campaign activities involving rallies, health walks and radio and television adverts have reached their peak but women are not being left out.
At most of the rallies and health walks, women outnumber the men; they sing loud and make the most noise at such party activities to send their messages across. Yet when any party comes to power, women are the least to be appointed to public office and other influential positions despite their academic qualifications and competencies.
Even at the various party levels, it is hard to see a women occupying a chairman or general secretary position until recently when the Convention People’s Party (CPP) showed the way by electing Ms Samia Yabba Nkrumah as its chairperson. That feat has even been attributed to the fact that she is the daughter of the Founder of the party, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, and therefore it would have been difficult for any other woman to have gained that position.
Subsequently, the benchmark was raised higher by the Progressive People's Party (PPP), CPP and the People's National Convention (CPP) when the flagbearers of both parties chose women as their running mates
The positions of women’s organizers and treasurers’ have become a traditional position since time immemorial for women not only at the party levels but in organizations and associations where women are involved. This has gingered the fight for gender equality because the traditional roles assigned to women have been perceived to be one of the obstacles on their way to occupy high office.
In the face of the socio-cultural challenges that face women, some strides have been made and presently there are many career women who are combining natural roles such as caring for their babies and homes with the demands of a working life. The most difficult periods in the life of career women are when they have to leave their babies behind and go to work, whiles others send theirs to school to enable them go to work. Other working women who leave their babies in the care of nannies, mothers or grannies often have to shuttle between the home and the office during working hours to check on how their babies are faring.
Many work places in Ghana have no child care facilities where mothers could leave their babies within their work places and go about their official duties happily to reduce the stress of going up and down and the divided attention at work due to the concern for their babies.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) in its manifesto is promising to provide childcare facilities for mothers at work places, markets and community centres in cities and towns where working mothers can leave their babies whiles they work till the close of day.
The manifesto continues that the NPP would work with traditional authorities to free women from such oppressive and discriminatory cultural practices as ostracization of so called witches in special camps, and widowhood rites.
This writer believes that the provision of such facilities would be a relief to many working mothers and would also enable women to compete with their male counterparts for promotions and positions on equal basis without the excuses of having to close early, or leave the workplace at certain times during the day to go home and breastfeed their babies.
Some of the excuses that have been used against women whent it comes to appointments to higher positions have been that lactating mothers close early; women always go for excuse duty to send their babies or children to hospital, among other issues.
It is a fact that such natural roles have been obstacles in the way of many women in achieving higher positions in society. Working and having a little baby around you where you can check on him/her occasionally without having to stop your job as in the case of going home is an intervention that would undoubtedly advance the cause of women.
The manifesto also has it that it would ensure the abolition of oppressive and discriminatory practices such as widowhood rites and witches camps. Ostracization and labeling women as witches is one of the highest levels of discrimination against women which has always portrayed the woman as sub-human and of sub-standard to their male counterparts, and must therefore be addressed with all the zeal and commitment that it needs.
The provision of childcare facilities at work places is feasible and only need the commitment of a leader who is wholeheartedly devoted to the welfare of women and who recognizes that women and gender issues have a huge impact on the socio-economic development of the nation.
The NPP has a record of appointing a cabinet minister in charge of women and children’s affairs, passing the Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Acts to protect women and children, appointing women to head key public service institutions and providing free medical care for all pregnant women under former President Kufour's administration. People have argued that manifestoes are blueprints and not promises, but in any case they are ideals by which the nation can be transformed by a political party that has the political will....
Cape Coast, Nov. 26, GNA - Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, Presidential candidate of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has called on the youth to vote massively for the party in the December 7 polls for a real change and for the development of the country.
He, however, expressed concern about the way some politicians were allegedly using gifts and other incentives to buy votes, saying that it was even more worrying that some parties during the last voters registration exercise managed to register under-age children to vote for them, and urged the Electoral Commission and polling agents to be vigilant on the voting day.
Dr. Nduom made the call when he addressed members of the University of Cape Coast branch of the Progressive Youth Movement (MYP) of the PPP in Cape Coast at the weekend.
He urged them to vote for the Parliamentary candidates contesting in Cape Coast North, South and Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem constituencies so that the party would have a larger representation in parliament.
Dr Nduom said he had over the years created many jobs across the country because he knows the needs of the people, and pledged that when given the mandate he would reduce the incidence of unemployment among graduates.
He called for unity in the coming polls and said when given the nod he would be a leader for all, no matter their political affiliations.
Mrs. Sarah Bucknor, Parliamentary candidate for Cape Coast South described Dr. Nduom as a practical man who paid over 20,000 people every month through the jobs he had created nationwide and urged the students to vote massively for him to become President in the December election because he had the potential and capabilities to bring employment and development to the nation.
She also pleaded to the students to vote for her and pledged to provide them security as well as their basic needs when given the nod.
Mr. Bright Droefenu, Parliamentary candidate for Cape Coast North told the students to see the PPP as a force to reckon with and that they should vote for the party for real change and development since it was the only party that had the youth at heart.
Koforidua, Nov. 26, GNA - Mr Ransford Owusu Boakye, a leading member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has appealed to supporters of the party, especially the youth, to refrain from any form of violence before, during and after the upcoming election.
He said even if they were attacked verbally or physically by any member of the opposition parties, they should rather report the case to the law enforcement agencies instead of retaliating.
Mr Boakye was speaking to supporters of the party, mainly youth, from the New Juaben Municipality at the launch of John Mahama Fun Club in Koforidua after an early morning keep fit exercise.
He told the supporters that the only business they had on December 7 at the polling stations was to vote, after which they must leave the area to avoid any confrontation with their political opponents.
Mr Boakye told them to protect the peaceful environment in the country, so they could live to enjoy their victory, since the NDC would win the polls “one touch”.
He said the electorate would retain the NDC in power since they were witnesses to the development that had been achieved under the “Better Ghana Agenda” and would want to see more.
The Chairman of the club, Mr Windham Emil Afram, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the club was formed to contribute their quota by canvassing for one million votes for the party.
He said they would mainly visit institutions, especially the tertiary ones, to explain to the people the need to vote to retain President Mahama in power.
Mr Afram said the President had promised to establish a public university and an additional hospital in the Eastern Region and for that promise to materialize, they had to vote massively to retain him in power.
He therefore called on all to come out in their numbers on December 7, to vote for the “Number one” candidate, who will make sure development got to every part of the country.
Mr Joshua Attah Mensah, another leading member of the party, told the party supporters not to allow themselves to be provoked by anybody to do anything that would disturb the existing peace in the country.
He expressed worry at an incident at Kyebi last Thursday where New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters blocked the road leading to the town to prevent President John Mahama and his entourage from campaigning there.
Mr Mensah appealed to supporters of all political parties to tolerate one another’s views to deepen democracy in Ghana.
Nsawam, Nov. 26, GNA - Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has said that he would make Ghana a better place when voted into power in the December polls.
He said the situation where majority of Ghanaians continued to wallow in abject poverty even though Ghana abounds with rich natural resources, was unacceptable.
Nana Akufo-Addo therefore appealed to the electorate to vote massively for the NPP to take over from the ruling Nation Democratic Congress (NDC).
The NPP presidential candidate was addressing a rally at Nsawam on Thursday as part of his campaign tour of the Eastern Region.
The tour took him to constituencies such as Nsawam-Adoagyiri, Nkawkaw, Kade, and Swedru where he introduced the parliamentary candidates who were elected after the creation of the new constituencies to the party's supporters.
He was accompanied on the tour by Mr. Abu Jinapor, member of the campaign team, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, former Member of Parliament (MP) for Akyem Oda, Mr. Felix Owusu Agyepong, former MP for Akyem Swedru, some MPs and regional executives of the party.
Addressing the crowd at the Nsawam Post Office Park, Nana Akufo-Addo, told the people that he came to announce his readiness and determination to work hard to recapture power in 2012 from the NDC to implement his free Senior High School policy.
He appealed to them to vote for the NPP in December to continue the good works of former President John Agyekum Kufour.
Nana Akufo Addo said the NDC government had been insensitive to the plight of Ghanaians and appealed to them not to make a mistake by retaining it in power.
Nana Akufo-Addo also reiterated his commitment to ensure free and quality secondary education at all levels and urged the people not to listen to those saying he could not do it.
He said the NPP government led by the former President Kufour introduced a lot of social interventions such as the National Health Insurance, Capitation Grant, School Feeding Programme, Livelihood against Poverty and many others.
Nana Akufo Addo said the NDC government had failed to fulfill all the campaign promises it made to the electorate in 2008, including the one-term health insurance premium and urged the electorate not to make a mistake to renew the mandate of the party.
The parliamentary candidate for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, Mr Frank Annor Dompreh, said it was during the NPP's term in government that the area experienced massive development including the construction of town roads, and appealed to the people to come out in their numbers and vote massively for the party.
Koforidua, Nov. 26, GNA – The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is apprehensive about defeat in the December 7 polls, following Ghanaians' widespread acceptance of the New Patriotic Party free Senior High School (SHS) promise.
Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary candidate for New Juaben South, who made the observation, said “the promise by NPP presidential candidate for Election 2012, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to provide free SHS education for every Ghanaian child if voted into power, has been received by the electorate and they would surely vote for the party in the December polls”.
The parliamentary candidate asked Ghanaians to ignore NDC propaganda against the free SHS, and vote massively for the NPP on December 7 since it is the best education policy to move the country forward.
Dr Assibey-Yeboah was explaining the free SHS policy to teachers from the constituency, at a forum on Friday at Koforidua.
He said the NDC had realised that the free SHS had been accepted by the electorate, and ‘’the NDC is, therefore, moving heaven and earth, using every strategy possible, to make the people join the party belief that it is not possible to have free SHS education in the country.’’
Professor Samuel Kwadwo Amoako, Member of Parliament (MP) for Abuakwa North, said Nana Akufo-Addo's vision to make SHS education free was attainable, and it would only take a leader who believes in building the capacity of the people to achieve it.
He said: “Ghana must move forward and this certainly cannot happen under the NDC administration whose leadership does not have the ability to inspire and unleash the can-do spirit on the Ghanaian people for national development”.
Mr Rashid Bawa, former Deputy Minister for Education in the erstwhile President Kufuor administration, said he was not surprised that the NDC was doing propaganda against the free SHS policy.
The MP for New Juaben South, Madam Beatrice Bernice Boateng, reiterated the promise that the NPP would implement the free SHS policy and that teachers’ welfare would take a centre stage in the NPP administration.
Other speakers at the forum were Mr Hackman Owusu Agyemang, MP for New Juaben North, Nana Kwasi Adjei Boateng, former Municipal Chief Executive for New Juaben and now parliamentary candidate for New Juaben North.
Awutu (C/R), Nov 26, GNA – The Progressive People Party (PPP) parliamentary candidate for Awutu Senya West, Mr Moses Arhinful Acquah, has appealed to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to cede some of the load at Kasoa Sub-Station on t the Winneba Sub-Station to reduce the rampant power outages in communities under Kasoa.
Mr Acquah made the appeal at a debate organised by Awutu-Senya District Directorate of the National Commission for Civic Education at Awutu for candidates contesting the parliamentary seat.
Only Madam Hannah Tetteh of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Acquah participated in the debate out of five candidates contesting the seat.
Mr Oppey Abbey, New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Emmanuel Abedi Mensah, Convention Peoples Party (PPP) and Mr Emmanuel Ankrah, United Renaissance Party (URP) failed to turn up.
Mr Acquah said he would promote the development of the individual in the constituency if elected.
Ms Tetteh, the Minister of Trade and Industries, called on the larger communities in the constituency to create industrial sites by creating at least 100 acres of land-banks to attract investors to the constituency.
She said she would set up a Police Appreciation Fund to support the police in discharging their onerous duties.
“The police need motivation and appreciation for the difficult work they have been doing for the nation,” the Minister said.
Ms Tetteh said discussions were on-going for a new police station to be built at Bawjiase and as a minister she had enough experience to enable her to perform as a Member of Parliament.
Mr Andrew Ofori Larbi, Awutu-Senya District Director of NCCE, said elections were not platforms for fighting.
He said the nation’s democracy had travelled a long way which must not be allowed to be disrupted by partisan politics. “National development must go beyond partisan politics”, he said.
Apostle Michael M. Kopah, Kasoa Area Head of Church of Pentecost who chaired the function, expressed concern about the failure of voters to attend the forum.
Apam C/R), Nov 26, GNA – The Birim South District Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Mr Stephen Agyei-Yeboah, has said voters should return spoilt ballot papers to the Electoral Commission (EC) officials for them to be replaced.
He said as soon as the spoilt papers were put into the ballot box, they would be counted as rejected ballot papers.
“When you make a mistake in thumbing the paper, just go and tell the EC official and he or she will replace it and keep the spoilt one in an envelope,” he said when addressing the congregation of the Apam Catholic Church.
Mr Agyei-Yeboah said the NCCE’s responsibility was to educate the electorate on why they should vote and the Electoral Commission how to vote and urged Ghanaians to take note of the duties of the two Commissions and stop apportioning blames for the failure of one to discharge its duties.
He said, for example, when a large number of rejected ballot papers were recorded in the 2008 elections, Ghanaians accused NCCE of failing to educate the electorate on the voting process, a responsibility of the EC.
Mr Agei-Yeboah appealed to the government and the EC to find means to control high spending by political parties in election year as the huge spending was the bane of political upheaval when parties lose elections.
He said those who lost the elections became wild after counting the cost and added “tension can reduce if the cost of electioneering campaign can be controlled”.
The Rev Fr Jude Eduafo Ampah, Parish Priest, called on politicians to be tolerant of opposing views to make the elections peaceful.
The Rev Fr Patrick Amonoo, the Assistant Parish Priest, appealed to politicians to back their prayer for peace with deeds.
“We cannot be praying for peace when we promote violence in our hearts,” he said.
Mr Theophilus Aidoo-Mensah, Gomoa West District Chief Executive, appealed to Ghanaians to help to make the elections incident-free.
Sogakope, Nov 26, GNA - Improvement in basic education, agriculture and health were key issues tabled by candidates contesting the South-Tongu parliamentary seat in this year’s elections at a debate organised for them.
The candidates also suggested stakeholder meetings to discuss byelaws to address youth waywardness and parents’ interest and responsibility towards fixing poor academic performance and child welfare in the area.
The candidates are Mr Kobby Woyome for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Leonard Kwaku Klogo, New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Richard Bedzra, the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and Klutse Kudomor, independent.
Mr Prosper Glover of the National Democratic Party of the National Democratic Party (NDP) and Mr Holy Ahiabu, Progressive People’s Party (PPP) were absent.
South-Tongu Secretariat of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) organised the debate for them.
Mr Woyome, the Member of Parliament (MP), said he would do more to improve on the wellbeing of the constituency if his mandate is renewed.
He said in addition to providing school infrastructure and free exercise books, 64 communities were provided with potable water and about 200 connected to electricity.
Mr Woyome said despite the serious land litigation problems in the area, he facilitated the entry of investors from Brazil and Thailand to invest in rice production putting large tracts of land under cultivation.
Mr Klogo said he would pursue an irrigation agenda, relying on the waters of the Volta River to expand agriculture and provide jobs.
He said he would also facilitate expansion of potable water supply to communities.
Mr Kudomor, who lost the NDC primary to Mr Woyome, said he would remain loyal to the NDC and called for a rigorous family planning programme as means of controlling population sizes and related social problems.
Mr Francis Agbozo, South-Tongu District Director of the NCCE, urged all to abide by the electoral rules to ensure peaceful elections to maintain the country’s democratic record.
Aflao, Nov 26, GNA - President John Dramani Mahama has said the performance of his government is a justification for its mandate to be renewed in the December Election.
He said this in an address delivered on his behalf by Dr Bernard Glover, Council of State Member, at the 43rd Godigbeza of the chiefs and people of Aflao at the weekend.
It was under the theme “Freedom and Justice, a Pre-requisite for Development”.
“Government is focused on improving the welfare of all through social infrastructure including roads, schools and jobs in fulfilment of the Better Ghana Agenda,” he said.
President Mahama however said this would require that the citizenry complimented government in rallying resources to achieve the country’s development.
“Let us come together, identify the challenges we face as people and forge ahead together,” he stated.
President Mahama said Ketu-South and Aflao are strategic to the country’s development and would therefore continue to receive attention.
He said about 118 projects were undertaken in the area in addition to the ongoing Tema/Aflao Highway and appealed to the chiefs to make land available towards the construction of a Senior High School (SHS).
Togbe Amenya Fiti V, Paramount Chief of Aflao, commended government for the development projects in the area and appealed to the government to act on a proposed municipal status for Aflao.
He also called for action on a proposed Aflao Sports Stadium project in 1972 which never took place though money was allegedly committed to it.
A number of citizens including Mr Kwamivi Ashigbi, Customs Officer, and Mr Ayiku Dagodzo, a businessman, were awarded for their exemplary support to the area.
Koforidua, Nov 26, GNA - Radiation, which is used for medical imaging at health facilities, is said to be hazardous to any human being over exposed to it, yet Ghana has no law to regulate the practice of radiology leading to influx of many private medical laboratories, imaging and ultrasound facilities.
These phenomena had culminated into substandard practices and many people have had their medical conditions worsened after accessing such facilities due to lack of qualified personnel, Dr Yaw Opoku, the National President of the Ghana Society of Radiographers, told the GNA in an interview at a congress of the society in Koforidua.
He said quacks had invaded the profession and investigations had proved that many personnel who scanned patients and issue reports were not properly trained or qualified.
He said it was critical for the government to pay attention to the issue because many innocent patients who just want cure for ailments must be protected from quacks that had entered the system with the sole aim of making money.
According to Dr Opoku radiation, a component of medical treatment, had a very bad side that could be harmful to humans and therefore it was important that people using radiation were regulated to ensure that they adhered to the required standard that would benefit than harm humanity.
He said one major challenge in the health delivery in Ghana had been the unregulated regime of Allied Health Professions (AHP) including radiography since the regulatory bill which sought to provide the needed legal framework had been in parliament for several years now.
Dr Opoku said the need for such regulation in Ghana had become more crucial with the involvement of private health sector healthcare in the areas of medical laboratories, medical imaging, and ultrasound which were hitherto found only in the public healthcare sector.
Speaking on the theme “Strengthening Medical Imaging Practices in Ghana through efficient and responsive regulatory framework”, he appealed to the Minister of Health to ensure the passage of the AHP bill into law when parliament reconvenes on December 17 adding “It would be your greatest legacy to the health ministry and sector”.
Dr Opoku urged members of the society in the face of the challenge to strengthen links between various health professional to improve quality health care to the people since no profession or society could achieve much while working in isolation.
Mr Kwasi Arthur, a lecturer in radiology, said the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) had a clause that all health workers on their list must be licensed and regulated and so it was necessary that the bill was passed.
Cape Coast, Nov. 26, GNA - The Central Regional Minister, Mrs Ama Benyiwa Doe has called on women who have benefited from education to serve as role models and champion the campaign for the education of the girl child.
She said education was the only tool that would quicken the empowerment of women in the country and that it was time for all to put their hands on deck to ensure that many more girls were sent to school.
Mrs Benyiwa Doe was addressing the Cape Coast chapter of the Mfantsiman Old Girls Association (MOGA) in Cape Coast after a peace march to climax its first anniversary celebration.
The march which took them through some of the principal streets of Cape Coast, was on the theme: “The Impact of Girl Child Education on Women Empowerment “.
She urged all including chiefs and queen mothers to join the campaign in encouraging parents to send their daughters to school and also ensure they stayed in school by providing them with the needed logistics.
The Regional Minister commended the group for the march and said it would go a long way to ensure peace in the region before, during and after the December polls. She urged other organizations to join the crusade for peace.
She also underscored the important role old students play in the development of their Alma Mater and urged all old students to form associations to enable them to garner support for their Alma Mater since the government alone could not cater for the educational needs of the country.
On the December polls, she said the country needed peace, stressing that elections in Africa were usually characterised by violence but that Ghana had been lucky not to experience such electoral violence in its general elections and that everything should be done to ensure that this year’s polls were violence-free.
Ms Vivian Etroo, chairperson of the Chapter, who is also the Cape Coast Metropolitan Director of Education, stressed the need to send the girl-child to school and added that the association would take it upon itself to encourage more girls to go to school.
Kumasi, Nov 26, GNA – A group of teachers in the Afigya-Kwabre South Constituency has endorsed the New Patriotic Party (NPP) over its election promise to make the senior high school (SHS) non-fee paying.
This, the group said, was feasible and not something that could not be done given the political will.
A statement jointly signed by Mr Christian Adu-Poku and Mr Damata Salam, the spokespersons, said in the opinion of the teachers’, the free SHS was long overdue and could not wait.
The benefits to the nation by way of its democracy and human capital development would be enormous, hence the need for all to help make it become a reality.
The teachers gave high marks to the NPP under the watch of President John Agyekum Kufuor for some landmark interventions in the education sector and cited the upgrading of teacher training colleges into diploma awarding institutions, the model SHS, free bus ride for school children, capitation grant and the school feeding programme.
Added to these, the statement said, were the supply of textbooks to both, the public and private schools, distance education to upgrade teachers and regular supply of teaching and learning materials.
The group chastised the government for what it said was the non-payment of the school capitation, educational subventions and grants for the past one-and-a-half years, non-supply of textbooks and other educational materials and bringing down the quality of education through adjustment of the pass mark from aggregate 36 to 42.
Kumasi, Nov 26, GNA - The Ashanti Regional branch of the Ghana Police Ladies Association (POLAS) had gone on a peace march in Kumasi to highlight the need for all to conduct themselves responsibly to make the December 7 polls incident-free.
It was to also demonstrate their preparedness to stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” with their male counterparts to maintain law and order and protect the credibility of the elections.
They walked through some principal streets, carrying placards with messages “Avoid foul language”, “Odo ne nkabom (love and unity)”, “Help protect the peace we have”, “Macho politics is needless” Making peace is harder than making war” and “Those who are at war with others are not at peace with themselves”.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Regina Addo-Yobo, Regional President of the Association, reminded political leaders to talk their supporters out of violence and intolerance.
She said they should not do anything likely to fuel tension and trigger clashes and must put the nation ahead of self-serving agenda and convenience.
Mampong (Ash), Nov 26, GNA – The College of Agriculture Education, University of Education, Winneba, Asante-Mampong campus, is to introduce Bachelor of Science (BSc) programme in Natural Resource Management, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Akwasi Asabere Ameyaw, has announced.
The goal, he said, was to assist to adequately equip students with the requisite skills and competencies to protect and manage the country’s natural resources.
He was addressing the 17th congregation of the College held at Asante-Mampong.
In all, 986 students graduated, eight of them with Master of Philosophy degrees in Agriculture, 474 with BSc degrees in Agriculture and Integrated Science Education, and the remaining 504, received diplomas.
Prof Asabere Ameyaw said the university was committed to provide innovative approaches to the teaching of agriculture to make its products functional and relevant in the “21st Century world of work”.
He said it was committed towards playing a leading role in the nation’s drive to produce scholars whose knowledge would be fully responsive to the realities and needs of society.
This motivated the recent introduction of a new elective course, “Diary Science and Technology” into the BSc Agriculture Education programme.
He however complained that aid the College was under resourced in terms of physical infrastructure.
He said although the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) and other development partners including the Education Ministry had provided some assistance to improve and expand facilities, the level of such support had reduced in recent years.
Prof Asabere Ameyaw drew attention to its mandate to train teachers of agriculture to make agriculture a vocation of choice and said, to achieve this, the College required massive investments in the provision of basic educational infrastructure like lecture rooms, laboratories, workshops, farm houses, offices and residential accommodation for students and staff.
Added to these, he said, were farm machinery, laboratory and office equipment.
Atimatim (Ash), Nov 26, GNA – The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring that the December 7 polls is peaceful and credible.
The party and its members would abide the rules and regulations, governing the elections as they protected the integrity of the ballot.
Odeneho Kwaku Appiah, the Afigya Kwabre South Constituency Chairman, gave the assurance at an inter-denominational prayer and thanksgiving service organized at Atimatim.
It was held under the theme “Service for peace and victory”.
He said religious leaders played critical roles in nation building, providing voices of moderation that often helped to douse the heat and bring down political tension.
Odeneho Appiah said the election was simply about development and progress of the nation and urged members of his party to work hard to assist voters to have better understanding of the NPP’s manifesto.
They should explain the benefits of the free senior high school (SHS) to people in the communities to win them over.
He also advised polling station coordinators to properly educate the electorate on the correct way to thumbprint the ballot to reduce the number of spoilt votes.
Mr William Owuraku Aiddo, the party’s parliamentary candidate, said the free SHS policy by the NPP would significantly transform the country and put it on the path of industrialization and economic prosperity.
Accra, Nov. 26, GNA - The Convention People's Party (CPP) is complaining about the destruction of posters of its presidential candidate, Dr Abu Sakara, and its parliamentary candidates.
A statement by the CPP issued in Accra on Monday described the action of the "unscrupulous people" as a "deliberate attempt by some political parties to erode the visibility of the party".
The statement quoted Dr Sakara as saying: "These people had been going round to destroy my posters as well as those of the parliamentary candidates in some regions".
He said he was also worried about constant attacks on its members who had decided to carry out the message of the CPP to voters to make an informed decision on December 7.
Dr Sakara cited an incident in the Volta Region during his recent visit where one of the CPP supporters was attacked on his normal errands to campaign.
He called on the Ghana Police Service to beef up its patrols in the various regions as a means of curbing some of those "unfortunate incidents".
"I want to urge all CPP supporters to continue to drum the good message to Ghanains to bring back the CPP to govern to complete the unfinished agenda of our forefathers," he said.
"Politics is not about fighting one another, it is about sharing ideas and those people must get it right," Dr Sakara said.
Accra, Nov. 26, GNA - A report on harnessing remittances and diaspora knowledge to build productive capacities of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) was launched in Accra on Monday.
Entitled; "The Least Developed Countries Report 2012," the 162 page report of five chapters, basically looks at yielding benefits from brain drain for home countries.
In his presentation, Mr Kwabena Baah-Duodu, a former Special Advisor of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), said among people with university level education from the 48 LDCs, about one in five left for employment elsewhere.
He said in the case of developed countries, it was one in 25.
Mr Baah-Duodu said the brain drain rate was highest of all for the LDCs at 18.4 percent, which was well above the 10 percent rate for other developing countries.
He said six of the 48 LDCs had greater numbers of highly skilled nationals living abroad than at home.
"The total of such LDCs emigrants stood at 1.3 million in the year 2000, and the figure is now estimated to exceed two million," he said.
Mr Baah-Duodu said at such high levels the adverse effects, the report argued, could outweigh the benefits from remittances that those workers sent to their families every year.
"The report says that brain drain tends to reinforce international inequalities in the availability of qualified personnel, and to damage least developed countries' prospects for long term economic growth," he said.
Mr Baah-Duodu said to counter those negative effects, UNCTAD proposed a new international support mechanism, aimed at enabling highly skilled members of LDCs to contribute to specialized knowledge transfer and to channel investment to their home countries.
The support mechanism proposed by the report is intended to reduce the risks often encountered by "diasporas" in initiating investment in their home countries, Mr Baah-Duodu said.
"It would, for example, provide diaspora members with preferential access to the seed capital required to initiate investment back home, and such financing would be available at preferential interest rates."
Ms Dyane Epstein, Chief of Mission, International Organization for Migration, said whilst migration was a basic human right, there was the need to ensure that it did not have any negative effects.
She said to that effect it was necessary to put in measures and policies that would ensure that migration did not have any dire effects, especially where these effects were in the form of losses, to the home countries of migrants which were already under-developed.
Mr Kamil Kamaluddeen, United Nations Development Project (UNDP) Country Director, said: "We cannot know the challenges of least developed countries better than they do. That is why we seek to partner with them."
Stressing on the need for LDCs to gain from brain drain, he said: "There is the need to work hard on having what it takes to keep what we have."
The launch was jointly done by Mr Baah-Duodu, Ms Epstein and Mr Kamil Kamaluddeen.
Accra, Nov. 26, GNA - This year’s programme to commemorate the World AIDS Day will take place in Cape Coast on Tuesday, November 27, a statement signed by the Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Dr Angela El-Adas, has said.
It said although the day would be marked globally on December 1, 2012, it had been brought forward because of the December 7 general elections.
President John Dramani Mahama, who is also the Chairman of the Ghana AIDS Commission, will be the Special Guest at this year’s World AIDS Day event and will deliver the keynote address.
“We are celebrating this year’s World AIDS Day on 27th November in Ghana in order to enable all stakeholders and partners to focus on the upcoming Presidential and Parliamentary Elections,” the statement said.
The global event is being held under the theme; “Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections, Zero AIDS-related deaths, Zero discrimination," but Dr El-Adas said after widespread stakeholder consultation, Ghana had chosen the sub-theme; “Accelerating to Zero Together”.
“This sub-theme reflects the importance of enhanced collaboration and partnership to consolidate the gains made over the years. It calls for a deliberate intensification of our collective political will and harmonization of efforts as we strive to achieve results,” Dr El-Adas explained.
She said the UNAIDS had given individual countries the freedom to augment the global theme with their priorities to ensure country and community ownership.
The 2012 World AIDS Day event also coincides with the Ghana AIDS Commission’s 10th anniversary celebration.
The anniversary year started with the historic visit of the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe, to Ghana in February, and the organisation of the first ever HIV/AIDS Exhibition, which brought together over 100 HIV related service providers and campaigners, religious associations and suppliers of HIV prevention products , under one roof for a week’s interaction.
The Commission said the launch of an innovative “Heart to Heart” anti-stigma campaign last year had taken the fight against HIV/AIDS in Ghana to a new level.
One of the side attractions to this year’s event is the arrival of the “Heart to Heart” Caravan which has been touring the country with three HIV/AIDS ambassadors since its launch on November 6, to intensify direct engagement of the ambassadors - all persons living with HIV - with local and community actors in various districts across the 10 regions.
Dr El-Adas said: “The expectation is that, through this behavioural change activity, support for the campaign will be sustained towards the elimination of stigma and discrimination. Additionally, information will be shared on available services including prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV, testing and counselling, partner reduction and faithfulness, correct and consistent use of condoms, among others.”
Abountem (Ash), Nov. 26, GNA – Reverend Kwasi Yeboah, Atonsu District Minister of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, on Sunday called on Ghanaians to work towards peace, before, during and after Election 2012.
“We have to work towards peaceful Election 2012. We need to protect the prevailing peace in the country and allow it to continue to flourish,” he said.
Rev. Yeboah made the call at the Annual Atonsu District Extension and Thanksgiving (Asempatrew) at Abountem in the Asante Presbytery of the Church.
He noted that nobody should underrate each other in the maintenance of peace for all and sundry to suffer and urged Christians to take the lead in the decision-making process for the country by exercising their franchise.
Rev. Yeboah appealed to the electorate to vote according to their conscience because the election was their civic responsibility and advised those offering their votes for sale to refrain from such acts, adding ”Indulging in such acts amounts to selling your dignity and birthright”.
“As abiding citizens we should all vote and Christians should rise up and fight against anything that would affect the country’s socio-economic development. We need to pray and fast to deliver the country,” he stressed.
Accra, Nov 26, GNA - The 2012 Presidential Campaign team of the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP), is making around-the-clock crusade seeking to make gains in some swing and strongholds of the main political parties starting with a six-day tour of the countryside.
The party’s Flagbearer, Dr Nduom is expected to hit 12 constituencies in the quest to overtake his contenders in the last weeks of the dead-heat campaign.
Focused on making inroads and gaining grounds, Dr Nduom’s trump card will be his expertise in creating employment for the teeming youth, and meeting the expectations of other sections of the populace, whether in education, healthcare and security.
“We’re going to give you people of Oforikrom Constituency a reason to know that you have wasted your votes on NDC and NPP if you did to vote for them” a revved-up Dr. Nduom told a crowd of 800 at Bodi.
He said the heady campaign was a sign of the PPP’s preparedness to win more seats in Parliament and push the elections to a second round with its presence in the second round.
The PPP in the next 13 days is focusing almost exclusively on its strongholds, where both campaigns believe the race will be won or lost.
Of importance is the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem (KEEA) constituency where Dr. Nduom spent his weekend and attended a festival.
His campaign aides have been working on the ground talking to people, urging Nduom's supporters to go to the polls early to cast their votes and wait for the counting.
Most often at such meetings the aides were seen educating the electorate on how to vote, and urging them to vote for the PPP.
According to the PPP’s Campaign Coordinator, Mr Ato Commey, the party was running a sustained operation with lots of voter contacts.
“voters have to be convinced, in other words, you can’t just build it (a campaign) and assume they (voters) will vote, it starts with the candidate: “We will win this election because of Dr. Nduom, he is a better candidate than the two.”
“Seeing Nduom’s picture on a piece of paper on a wall will not magically turn out votes for PPP, it doesn’t work like that...There needs to be an ongoing conversation about why they should vote for Nduom; about why they should get out and vote at all. That is what we are working at,” he said.