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Industrialized nations must empower Africa to focus on renewable energy technology – Dr. Rwalings

Member of Parliament (MP) for Klottey Korle Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings said the more industrialized nations have a moral responsibility to ensure that as they look at renewable energy technology, Africa is also empowered to do same.

According to her Africa should not be at the bottom of the chain all the time, because if a case is being made for someone to use solar panels and the cost for buying Kerosene for a lamp and the cost for buying diesel into a generator is lower than the cost of buying and maintaining solar panels, then it would be difficult for that person to opt for the solar panel.

“For someone who is struggling to make ends meet, I think the calculation in their mind is not going to be a difficult one; fusel fuel that wins every time less we can ensure that there is proper technology transfer”.

And unless we can ensure we are coming up with proper home grown ideas which are being supported, because, the problem is “we have a lot of ideas but the funding that is needed to commercialize some of these things, so that we can have huge projects across the continent is not happening”.

In an interview, the Klottey Korle lawmaker noted that Africa is being pushed to move towards renewable energy, but do not produce the technology; they have to be imported, which means by the time it gets to the end user to be used to generate electricity, the cost becomes unbearable.

Again,  governments need to offset all the taxes and the extra payment involved in importing all of these technology, “which means in the end the most vulnerable yet  again are left out of the loop, hence Africa  need to be careful whether is drawing up agreement or any kind of contracts, or any development of technology on our soil”.

Communities and countries that are taking part in these should be given the extra support  to be able to also rise up to the technological level, if Africa is supposed to stop using fusel fuel, otherwise,  “we cannot make a case for someone moving into something else, it is too expense to start anything”.

She noted that on her trip to Brussels during the recess, Europe and the rest of the more industralised nations are talking about how Africa needs to stop using fusel fuel; citing example of how Africa needs to create a scenario where “we can export wind energy, solar energy, to part of Europe”.

“We do not see investments on the continent in technology;  we do not see that investment that we become self-sufficient, and as usual we end up being in debt as we are trying to satisfy almost difficult to achieve goals that are constantly being set for us. And if we are dealing with the issue of climate change which is a global issue Europe cannot say they are dealing with climate change without the rest of us”.

She asserts that percentage wise, emissions from Africa only contributes two percent. And from the grand scheme of things, Africa is not the greatest contributor to the problems we are witnessing today with regards to climate change.

However, because of the secured manner in which our quality of life and economies are working out, Africa is so  hard hit and suffering the most for things that we did not contribute.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Money for rehabilitation of Oda Senior High School is ready …… says Oda MP Hon. Akwasi Acquah.

The Member of Parliament for Akyem Oda Constituency, Hon. Alexander Akwasi Acquah, has disclosed that monies meant for rehabilitation of parts of facilities which were destroyed by rainstorm in Akim Oda Senior High School is ready and very soon the contractor will move to site.

On Monday, 17th May, 2022, the Oda Senior High School was hit with a rainstorm.

The storm which accompanied a downpour around 3:30 p.m. ripped off the roofs of the three-storey girls’ dormitory block, parts of the boys’ dormitory blocks, some masters’ bungalows, the pantry and other facilities.
Two female students of the school were injured, and property worth thousands of Ghana cedis destroyed displacing more than 250 of the students according to the headmaster, Evans Boafo.

Hon. Alexander Akwasi Acquah speaking to the school authorities during the handing over ceremony of three projects namely ultramodern toilet facility, six unit classroom block and a three unit classroom block to the school.

The MP announced that he has lobbied for the rehabilitation of the school facilities that were affected during the rainstorm and very soon the contractor is going to move to site for the full renovation of the blocks.

According to him he has followed up with all the necessary procedures for the awarding of the contract for the rehabilitation, He assured the authorities.

Hon. Alexander Akwasi Acquah said, he knows that, old students of Oda Senior High School have mobilized funds for that particular projects but now that funds meant for these projects are ready he will plead with them (Nananom) to rechannel their funds raised for the reroofing of facilities in the school to a different project. On behalf of government, He expressed gratitude of government for their intervention and self help spirit to the old students “Nananom”.

In his quest to show his support for their efforts, He donated GH5,000.00 as a top up to the old student’s funds.

The Assistant Director of Education for Birim Central Municipal, Mr. Wiredu Addo, thanked the Member of Parliament for how supportive he has being to the education sector in the municipality.

He urged the school authorities to take good care of the facility.

Ms. Nora Georgina Kwofie, Assistant Head Administration, said they appreciate all the work Hon. Alexander Akwasi Acquah, MP for Akyem Oda Constituency is doing for the school and promised that they are going to take good care of the buildings which was handed over to them by the MP.

She said a dormitory which was accommodating 17 girls some 60 years ago is now accommodating about 1500 girls which means there is a need for a new girls’ dormitory.
She pleaded with the MP to help them build three storey building which will house the girls in the school. She said, this will help the school to accommodate more girls in the boarding house to ease the difficulties these girls goes through commuting to and fro Oda to the school.

Summon EC, NIA before the House – Minority demands

The Minority in parliament led by their Leader, Haruna Iddrisu has demanded the Electoral Commission (EC) and the National Identification Authority (NIA) be summoned before the House to explain and reconcile the discrepancies in the numbers between what the EC has registered as voters and what is on the data of the NIA.

According to the Minority Leader, the EC wants to rely on data from the NIA, and wondered what has become of the EC’s own data that they are abandoning their own bio-data that they have collected and want to use that of the NIA.

Minority Leader left Communication Minister right

Mr. Speaker, there is a discrepancy in the numbers between what the Electoral Commission has registered as voters up to 17 million and what is on the roll of the National Identification Authority. And we hear that the Electoral Commission wants to rely on the National Identification Authority data.

The primary question, Mr. Ahmed Mohammed is asking is, so what has happened to the Electoral Commission’s own biometric data, that today they are avoiding the use of their own bio-data they have collected and they want to collect bio-data from the National Identification Authority”, he queried.

Mr. Iddrisu who speaking on the floor during the Business presentation on Friday, October 29, 2022 for the ensuing week, indicated that the Minority is interested in the reconciliation of the numbers because; “we are very convinced that Article 42 confers the right on Ghanaians to be registered as voters by the Electoral Commission”

“Mr. Speaker, the NIA is unlike the EC which by virtue of Article 45 says that it shall not be subject to the direction and control of any person or authority, the NIA is subject to ministerial control”; he asserted.

He thus served notice that the Minority would not accept any attempt by the Electoral Commission to disenfranchise any Ghanaian, “because they want to rely on an ID card which is not available to Ghanaians; and we mean serious business on this matter. That right, we will jealously protect and safe guard the provisions of Article 42”.

The Minority Leader also demanded that the EC explains why in 2021, 2022, Ghanaians of 18 years were not given the opportunity to be on the electoral roll, stating that it was a denial of their rights under Article 42.


FoE – Africa presents eight point resolution to Africa Commission on Human and Peoples Rights

Friends of the Earth – Africa (FoE-Africa) has presented an eight point resolution to the 73rd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) in the Gambia.

The resolutions are geared towards finding solutions to the increasing rate of social, environmental and gender violations connected to land grabs and deforestation for industrial plantation expansion by agro-commodities companies in Africa with grave impacts on local communities, forest dependent peoples, small holder farmers with aggravated consequences on women and their families.

FoE-Africa asserts that those defending the rights of these impacted communities have also not be left out of the brutalities as they become targets for attack for resisting injustice and speaking truth to power.

Recalling the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights mandate to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in Africa under the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (African Charter), recognizes the rights of forest dependent peoples and local communities impacted by large scale agro-commodities expansion.

Considering the report of the working group on the rights of indigenous communities in Africa, adopted by the Commission in 2003 at its 28th Ordinary Session, and which among others recognizes that protection of communal rights to land is fundamental for the survival of indigenous communities in Africa, Friends of the Earth-Africa (FoEA) through the NGO Forum, hereby calls on the African Commission to:

  • Have its institutions, such as the working group on extractive industries, environment and human rights, conduct a research to address the adverse impacts of largescale monoculture plantations in Africa, including country visits to heavily impacted countries and communities;
  • Ensure that the perpetrators of deforestation and related human rights violations, including transnational companies and their financiers, are held accountable for their inputs and do not continue their practices in/with impunity;
  • In addtion provide assistance to authorities to implement a moratorium on the expansion of landbased concessions for monoculture plantations that lead to deforestation, biodiversity loss and related human rights violations, and support  authorities to install programmes that promote agroecology and family farming a community based agriculture devoid of chemical use and community forest management methods, including providing access to finance for smallholders;
  • Halt the criminalization and harassment of Environmental Human Rights defenders including Women Environmental rights defenders and provide access to justice for defenders and affected indigenous people and local communities;
  • Also respect the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities to land including women’s access and ownership rights to land in Africa and protect and restore the environment;
  • Furthermore, ensue that the ACHPRs considers the annual conduct of human rights and environmental audits within member states;
  • Encourage African government and the African Union to engage proactively in the process towards a strong and effective UN Binding Treaty on transnational corporations and human rights, in order to stop corporate impunity and hold corporations accountable including agro-commodities companies for their environmental and human rights violations in Africa.
  • Acknowledging that industrial plantation expansion by agro-commodities companies is the single biggest contributor to deforestation and biodiversity loss in Africa, with deforestation the second biggest contributor to climate catastrophe after oil and gas exploration activities in the continent.

It noted that in 2020, 331 defenders were killed across 25 countries around the world with at least 227 of them (EHRDs) were either murdered, brutalized or silenced; making the agro-commodities sector one of the most dangerous sectors for Environmental Human Rights Defenders (EHRDs), in Africa.

FoEA further observed that millions of Africans experience adverse impacts by industrial monoculture plantations, consisting of crops such as oil palm, timber among others.

 Pollution of soil and water with chemicals and waste, the destruction of water sources, deforestation, and erosion are just some of the environmental impacts; whereas plantations are also structurally connected to human rights violations including harassment and violence – specifically against women and environmental human rights defenders, land rights violations and labour rights violations.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Price Hikes: MP expresses shock over reason behind the phenomenon

The Member of Parliament for Akim Oda Alexander Akwasi Acquah said he has lent with shock how major producers of everyday commodities like oil, rice and food items took advantage of the dollar speculations and pegged their prices. According to him, he learnt from one of the retailers that “they had been advised to adjust their prices higher to reflect an exchange rate of GHc16 to a dollar”.

“I can’t recount when a dollar was sold for GHC16 and so wondered why a major producer of cooking oil could advise its wholesalers and retailers to adjust their prices”. The MP, who is also the Vice Chair of the Trade and Industry Committee in Parliament engaged major wholesalers and retailers of consumables in the Akim Oda Constituency to ascertain the real reasons behind the price hikes and how to arrest such development.

He revealed that the traders themselves were surprised at the development and blamed government for creating a loophole for the people to be exploited. Mr. Akwesi Acquah was however delighted that major wholesalers of rice concentrated on some locally produced rice to drive sale in the midst of the recent price hikes.

This, he noted, is good news for the local rice industry; and stated that “it was refreshing to note that these traders were ready to be major agents for the products of the rice factory that is under construction in the Akim Oda constituency”


Speaker directs EC, NIA to engage parliament or forget new C.I

The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has directed the Electoral Commission (EC) to brief the leadership of parliament on the new Constitutional Instrument (CI) it intends to present to the House. He warned the EC to consider the C.I dead if they fail to adhere to the directive.

“…I have not been given any brief by the EC on any proposed instrument coming from them. And so I raised this sometime ago, I’m yet to receive them to be briefed on them. Until that is done, they should forget about laying such Instruments in the House,” he said. The Electoral Commission is in the process of laying a C.I before the House to empower them to rely solely on the Ghana Card as prove of Nationality for its limited registration exercise.

But at the Business presentation on Friday, October 29, 2022 for the ensuing week, the Minority led by their Leader, Haruna Iddrisu demanded the EC and the National Identification Authority (NIA) be summoned before the House to explain and reconcile the discrepancies in the numbers between what the EC has registered as voters and what is on the data of the NIA.

According to Haruna Iddrisu, the EC wants to rely on data from the NIA, and wondered what has become of the EC’s own data that they are abandoning their own bio-data that they have collected and want to use that of the NIA.

Meanwhile, the Speaker urged the EC to engage not just the subsidiary legislation Committee of parliament as part of the pre-laying formalities but leadership of the House as well including his office.


Let’s brace ourselves for an austerity 2023 budget – Ahmed advises Ghanaians

First Deputy whip of the Minority in parliament, Ahmed Ibrahim has hinted that the 2023 Economic policy and Budget Statement of government is going to be an austerity budget because the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is going to raise issues about with our debt levels as Ghana is currently before it.

According to him the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta is even not aware of the kind of budget he is going to present because the fiscal space is closed, because debts to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio from the IMF by 2023 is one hundred and four point six (104.6) percent. “So you do not have the fiscal space to manage yourself. What we need to do is that our local economies, we should reconnect them to the production of global food security”.

In an interview in Rwanda Kigali where he attended the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) 145th Assembly it was made clear that the United Nations (UN) does not give money, they would only support countries with technical knowhow.
“If we think UN and IMF would bring something, we are not going to come out of our problems; and the earlier leaders of the country realize that we need to be telling the truth to Ghanaians, the better. At the meeting we were told the people we are leading are tired of long speeches and sweet words, that the people need action, we should walk the talk”.

And for the purpose of agriculture production, countries must domesticate to ensure that they evaluate their agriculture policy and measure them. “Have we been able to assess the planting for food and jobs, Free SHS, one village one dam, one district one factory?”, he queried. The Banda lawmaker pointed out that as a country we are just putting in place political projects which would not give us results, and the IPU meeting in Rwanda charged lawmakers that as they go back to their home countries they should ensure that they evaluate programmes of the Executive arm of government.

“Do you think if planting for food and job was assessed, we would be crying today? No, its political programme not human centered or agriculture programme that is why we are suffering today. These should have been economic boom for us; they started this policy in 2017 five years down the line, which crops would not bear fruits in five years?” And further added that clearly, government has not been fair to the people they are leading in Ghana, and believes the Ghanaian voters is becoming wiser, they are tired of stories and speeches, they need to see action, this is what the IPU is saying.

Again, they are going to be critical on government. There should be evaluation, that is the responsibility of the Ministry for Monitoring and Evaluation. “How could we have such a ministry but they did not evaluate their flagship programme? That is why none of the flagship programmes is being able to be sustained. You cannot sustain your own flagship programme, is it that you did not believe in your own programme?” he asked

The Minister is telling people we should not export food, the bail of agriculture has been lack of market for agriculture products, the market is there, they are now closing the market, “do you think agriculture would be attractive for people to go into? So there should be a bi-partisan approach to measuring all those flagship programmes; those that are viable let us pursue them, those not viable let us do away with them”, he advised.

“It is the only way we can make head way, the year 2023 is going to be a difficult year, no one is going to bring you food in your country to eat, you have to grow what you eat and eat what you grow.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com/Rwanda/Kigali

Don’t sacrifice your integrity for the comfort of the presidency – Suhuyini urges Majority Caucus

Mr. Alhassan Suhuyini, has advised his colleagues in the Majority who boldly called for the removal of Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister for Finance and Charles Adu-Boahen, Minister of State at the Finance Ministry from office not to make a fool out of themselves or sacrifice their integrity. “They should not sacrifice themselves for the comfort of these two persons; or the presidency or their party”. Adding that, their personal integrity should be paramount to them.

Speaking on Metro Tv’s ‘Good Morning Ghana Show’ on Thursday, October 27, 2022, Mr. Suhuyini who was reacting to the statement from the Majority Caucus that suggests that they (Majority Caucus) have yielded to the President’s appeal to allow the two beleaguered Ministers remain at post for the conclusion of the round of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the presentation of the Economic Policy Statement of government in November 2022, and subsequent passage of the appropriation Bill after which the matter in question shall be acted upon, said the Majority Caucus must show to be principled.

Majority side of the House

He asserts that “this journey that they have begun is an illuminating one; it is a patriotic one, and they should not let the masses down”. The Tamale North Member of Parliament said his colleagues in the Majority must stay committed to rescuing this nation; they must stay committed to refocusing the financial management of this country and admonished them not to be derailed.

As such, he called on the Majority Caucus to come on board to support the motion that the Minority Caucus has filed to censure the Finance Minister. He explained that though both sides of the House have equal numbers of 137, the Minority would not be able to succeed with the motion of Censure with their numbers without the support of the Majority. The Two-third majority as prescribed by law requires support from the other side, he stated.


Parliament of the 4th Republic Of Ghana According To the Seat and Gender

After gaining independence in March 1957, Ghana has seen four Parliaments under four different Republics (i.e. First Republican Constitution of 1960, the Second Republican Constitution of 1969, the Third Republican Constitution of 1981, and the Fourth Republican Constitution of 1992).

The Parliament of Ghana under the Fourth Republic derived its mandate from Chapter Ten of the 1992 Fourth Republican Constitution with the responsibility to make laws (Article, 93.2), control public finance (Chapter thirteen), and monitor the performance of the executive branch (article 103).

The above infographic shows the parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana according to seat and gender.

Majority Caucus chickens out to push Ken Ofori Atta, Charles Adu Boahen out of office

The Majority Caucus in Parliament has agreed to step down their request for the removal from office of Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta and Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu Boahen.

In a statement dated 29th October, 2022, and signed by the Leader of Government Business and Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, he said the President H. E. Nana Akufo-Addo has engaged Members of the Caucus and “requested that the issue be stood down until the conclusion of the round of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the presentation of the Economic Policy Statement of government in November 2022, and subsequent passage of the appropriation Bill after which the matter in question shall be acted upon.

The Majority Leader said “after deliberations among the Majority Caucus today Wednesday, 26th October, 2022, it was agreed to accede to the President’s appeal”. On 25th October, 2022, at the commencement of the Third Meeting of the Second Session of the Eight Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana, about eighty (80) members from the Majority Caucus held a press conference demanding the resignation or sacking of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta and Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu Boahen by the President Nana Akufo-Addo.

They threatened to boycott all government business in parliament including the Budget and Fiscal Policy presentation if the president fails to act on their demand.