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Zargo calls for more efforts to return Burkina, Guinea, and Mali to constitutional rule

A member of the Liberian delegation to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Stephen J. H. Zargo has lauded efforts by the sub-regional bloc to return Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali who are currently under sanction because of military coup to constitutional rule.

Zargo who was speaking in an interview as a friend to the joint Committee to the Political Affairs, Peace, Security and APRM/Legal Affairs and Human Right also admitted that more work needs to be done with efforts to bring them back to constitutional rule.

The joint Committee met on Friday, May 19, 2023 to consider a draft agenda on the development in Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali involving political situation in Senegal, which would be adopted at the plenary at the ongoing 2023 first Ordinary Session of the Community Parliament in Abuja Nigeria.

In addition, the Committee looked at election preparedness in member states going to the polls in 2023 including Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

Per the briefing received from Political Affairs directorate at the Committee level, Burkina Faso is making a lot of progress, “I am concerned about Guinea because they are close to Liberia and whatever happens there affects us in Liberia – proximity, culture and political, there are similarity”.

He further added that they have a lot more in common and pointed out that, ECOWAS needs to be more proactive; they do not need to wait for incidents to occur before they take action; “you spend less resources and time if you prevent it”.

Again, ECOWAS Parliament, Commission and Court needs to work together to ensure they nib the situations in the bad so that issue of coups can become a history.

“We should be in a new dispensation, coups should not be happening and there should be enabling environment so that everyone in the political arena would have their say, so that people do not feel disadvantaged and take the back door to do things they do as we talk about Guinea Burkina Faso and Mali”.

Mr. Stephen Zargo, noted that it’s time to look into the eyes of Presidents in the sub-region and tell them what you are doing is wrong especially those who want to elongate their term of office and gave the case of Guinea Conakry for instance.

“Didn’t we see it coming in the case of Guinea what Professor Alpha Code was doing? I don’t know if in Senegal, the President want to go for a third term or second term, I did not get an answer to that question from the Commission”.

And noted that he agrees to the suggestions that the problems we face as Africans are our own creations, as we need to call a spade a spade. “We need to look at the issues, tell the truth to our leaders”, he emphasised in an interview.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

ECOWAS Joint Committee meeting discusses extortion at various borders

Vice Chairman of the Community’s Parliament Committee on Trade, Customs and Free Movement Stephen J. H. Zargo said the issue of extortion at the various sub-regional borders came up at their Wednesday, May 17, 2023 joint committee meeting at the Parliament in Abuja Nigeria at the ongoing 2023 first Ordinary Session.

The eight hours marathon Committee started at ten in the morning and ended around five in the evening. It involved joint Committees of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources/ Macroeconomic Policy and Economic Research/ Trade, Customs and Free Movement/Industry and the Private Sector. Journalists were however not allowed into the meeting with Commissioners.

In an interview after the meeting with Ghanamps.com Stephen Zargo who looked so exhausted noted that Issues of extortion at the various sub-regional borders came up and not only that of Ghana and Togo borders but rather between an Anglophone and Francophone countries; and the language barrier was also considered.

He emphasized on the need to harmonies how sub-regional officers of immigration and customs interact with people and also talk about ethical values and the need for a legal framework to guide the conduct of custom officers, as the bad practice is sending the sub-region backwards.

He further indicated in an interview that there were many referrals about twenty of them which dates back several months that they want to deal with and put them behind them.

On the issue of single currency (Eco) convergence criteria which has been missed so many times and keeps lingering for a long time now, he said it was like closing remarks for most MPs.

“If we finalized issues of the currency many things would be put to rest – the issue of tourism, free movement and customs. The complication in our currency; if you are not trading in dollars, you are trading in CFA, and it becomes complicated”.

Mr. Zargo further expressed optimism that a common currency can enhance trade and make things easy for the sub-region. He said discussions on the matter had taken a long time but expressed hope they can address the issue of the ECO once and for all.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Minority to study court ruling on removal of Gyakye Quayson

The Minority has said it will study the reason behind removal of James Gyakye Quayson by the Supreme Court as it appears to be a slap in the face of democracy and rule of law; and let the public know its position upon reviewing the reasons the court arrived at such a decision.

Leader of the Minority in Parliament Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson in a statement noted that framers of Ghana’s constitution in their intention were not to allow a dual citizen to perform a function of a Member of Parliament.

“It’s baffling that the Supreme court could direct the removal from Parliament of such a person who has been duly elected as a Member of Parliament, as at the time of his election James Gyakye Quayson was not a dual citizen, neither was he a dual citizen as at the time he took the oath of office as a Member of Parliament”.

The statement noted that “The Minority has become aware of the Supreme Court’s decision invalidating the nomination, election and subsequent swearing in of our colleague MP for Assin North as being unconstitutional and of no legal effect; and subsequently directing Parliament to expunge his name from its records as a Member of Parliament for Assin North constituency.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

13th African achievers’ awards beckon

The 13th Edition of the African Achievers’ Awards (AAA) announced its call for nominations May 1st, 2023, seeking applications into categories of its honorary roll call of distinguished individuals who have made impact in the African Continent.

The much awaited event will hold at the House of Parliament, The Palace of Westminster, United Kingdom England on July 14, 2023.

The AAA, focusing on the African continent, recognizing exceptional Africans for their contribution to the growth and development of Africa, is one of the most prestigious awards in the world.

This year’s summit and awards ceremony provides a platform for industry leaders in Africa to converge, and discuss strategies towards sustainability in Africa. The theme for 2023 is: “Unlocking Sustainable Trade and Investment Opportunities in Africa – the PPP Approach”.

The Achievers are selected in the categories of: Community development, Arts & Culture, Business & Entrepreneurship Agriculture, Community Service, Rural development, Education.

This year’s edition is hosted by the Right Honorable Lord Simon Woolley, Member of the House of Lords, UK Parliament. Palace of Westminster. Lord Woolley was the chair of the Government of the United Kingdom Race Disparity Unit Advisory Group until July 2020.

He is a British politician, activist, and the founder and director of Operation Black Vote and Trustee of the charity Police Now. Lord Woolley is first Black Principal of the Homerton College, Cambridge University. Woolley has been a crossbench member of the House of Lords since October 2019.

In line with its tradition of esteemed jury of note, the AAA announced its judges for the 2013 edition. They are: Former President of Mauritius, H.E. Dr. Bibi Ameenah Firdaus Gurib-Fakim; Cabinet Member for Community Safety,

Dr. Susan Jumoke Fajana-Thomas OBE, DCL. Chairperson AAA and Former Trade Adviser on Infrastructure at the Department of International Trade (DIT) of the British High Commission in Ghana, Selork Kofi Dake.

Other esteemed members of the jury for the 2023 AAA are: Founder of Wintrade Global, Dr. Yvonne Thompson, CBE, FRSA, Deputy Lieutenant for the King for Greater London and Dr. Rex Idaminabo, FRSA.
Dr. Tonye Rex Idaminabo FRSA is a Reputation management expert, lawyer and serial entrepreneur recognised by Forbes and Avance Media.

Dr. Rex is the CEO of Reputation Poll International, a developmental branding and business innovation agency who has made indelible marks in creating a new image for Africa through the success stories of the African Achievers Awards annual event, now in its 13th year.

Dr. Gurio-Fakim has also been the recipient of various international awards including the L’Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science (2007), Laureate for the National Economic and Social Council (2007), the CTA / NEPAD / AGRA / RUFORUM for ‘African Women in Science’ and the African Union Award for Women in Science.

She was also made Commander of the Order of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean (CSkK) by President Anerood Jugnauth in 2008 for her contribution in the education and the sc entific sector. She was awarded the Order of the ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques’ by the Government of France in 2009

Dr. Susan Jumoke Fajana-Thomas OBE, DCL, is Cabinet member for community safety and she was recently awarded an Order of the British Empire for services to local government and gender equality in King Charles’s first New Year’s Honours List.

Dr. Susan has enjoyed a career spanning more than three decades in the public, first as a Television presenter, community Communication consultant, turned activist and politician which has seen her become a multi platform speaker and communicator. She is a Member of Hackney Council and the former civic Mayor of the borough. In 2018 she was named in 100 Most Reputable Africans alongside three African Presidents.

Mr. Selork Kofi Dake is a former Trade Adviser on Infrastructure at the Department of International Trade (DIT) of the British High Commission in Ghana where he was the Lead on high value construction Projects portfolio including airports, ports, roads, real estate, water and railways.

He is currently the exclusive Africa Representative and Director for Africa of the Hong Keng and Guangzhou based China Arab Africa Business Union (CAABU) fostering win-win commercial partnerships between businesses within the 3 regions. He is a British Government Chevening Scholar and an accomplished FOI broker within the West African Region.

Dr. Yvonne Thompson, CBE, FRSA has worked with many public bodies and chaired or served on the boards of numerous organisations, including government agencies. In February 2016, she was appointed chair of The Radio Academy, UK. Yvonne Thompson received the European Women Cf Achievement Award in 2001.

In the 2003 Queen’s Birthday Honours she was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for Services to Black and Ethnic Minority Business.

Over the years, the Awards event has honoured and celebrated great African trailblazers whose works have had a meaningful impact on development in Africa. Former laureates include worthy African political leaders, exceptional young achievers, passionate and dedicated community builders, and captains of industries.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Zargo blames Speaker for low euphoria towards Ordinary Session meeting

Vice chairman of the Community Parliament’s Committee Trade, Customs and Free Movement Stephen J. H. Zargo was unhappy when on Monday, May 15, 2023 he showed up at the Parliament to attend a joint Committee meeting and was told the Committee meeting could not hold due to challenges.

According to him Speaker Dr. Sidie Mohamed Tunis should take responsibility for it as euphoria around the second week of the ongoing 2023 first Ordinary Session has been low according to his assessment of how the Session is going.

“The lukewarm attitude this week is unacceptable. Today is Monday, my committee should be meeting this week but look at the turn out here; it’s not encouraging at all, the spirit is lacking -honesty we lack leadership”, he stated.

In an interview with Ghanamps.com he noted that the development is very worrying, and call for concern in the wake of increased terrorism and insecurity in the sub- region, saying they should devote their time and resources to discuss it.

Again, the only time bad people can prevail is if the good people do not do anything at all, “so if they, the good people fold their hands and do not do anything, the bad people would be victorious”.

“I did not fly from Monrovia to Abuja, so that after a week there is no much work to be done, I am co-chair of a committee; by now I should be in a meeting with commissioners to talk about trade, free movement and customs; and in addition to talk about political situation in the sub-region. Today there is a committee meeting, you come here, no one tells you anything and I blame the head”.

HE challenged the media to do more, stating that there are many problems in the sub-region that we should expedite actions on. “I am not happy the way things are going, I have election coming up in my country soon, I left everything to be here to do the citizens business and look at how things are –it is unfortunate”, he lamented.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Atwima Achiase teachers get respite as MP and DCE commissions five bedroom teachers’ quarters

Teaching staff at New Achiase showed gratitude as the Member of Parliament, Isaac Kwame Asiamah, the District Chief Executive, Hon. Kofi Marfo together with education director, chiefs, opinion leaders, party apparatchiks today 18-04-2023 commissioned a 5-unit bedroom for teachers in the community.

Giving his opening remarks, Nana Kwamebi Kufour, the Odikro in the community expressed his gratitude to the political duo for exemplary leadership coupled with good works that is benefitting Mponua.

He mentioned that, the electoral area within his catchment have benefitted from the MP’s hard work in the area of electricity, water, school blocks, employment and other social amenities. He asked the MP to expedite action on the completion of the road network from Amangoase to Atuntuma to consummate his achievements in the area before he retires from the legislative duties.

Miss Ama Adwubi Asafu-Adjaye the District Director of Education in her speech commended the MP and the DCE for taking some burden of the shoulders of teachers in that community. She noted that, accommodation challenges have caused many teachers to seek transfer out of the district because of exorbitant rents or lack of decent places for them.

She further charged the beneficiary teachers to show magnanimity in maintaining the place. She bemoaned the practice of recklessness in the handling of government infrastructure on the part of some beneficiaries who have earlier benefitted from same largese. She also called for cordiality betwixt teachers and parents for mutual respect and coexistence for the benefit of all.

Miss Asafu-Adjaye mentioned a novelty rewarding hardworking teachers in the district in the month of October. She called on the MP and the DCE to assist such a noble cause as a way of motivating teachers to stay and impact knowledge.

Mr. Collins Addai, the Constituency Party chairman of the NPP congratulated the MP and the DCE for doing things that is consolidating the gains of the party in the community. He spoke of the goodies that the NPP government has made for Atwima Mponua through the sterling performance of Isaac Asiamah.

He commended him for the Nursing training, the Agenda 111 Hospital, a Court complex, a yet to be completed 5,000 youth resource center and others. He further called for unity across ranks to achieve a formidable force to ‘break the 8’.

Hon. Isaac Kofi Marfo on his part beseeched the community to embrace education. He told the gathering that, education is the only way to get out of poverty; hence he pushes about 60 percent of all resources to that sector to ameliorate the plight of parents and teachers.

He also mentioned that, the FSHS policy has changed the educational fortunes of many homes and families who hitherto couldn’t afford secondary education are happy in the current state of affairs. “My fellow brothers and sisters who are teachers of this facility, I pray you instill within you the culture of maintenance for this project to serve its purpose for years”, he advised the beneficiaries.

Isaac Kwame Asiamah, the Member of Parliament, for the constituency thanked the gathering for their immense support ever since he took that coveted office.

He enumerated a lot of his works which is dotted around the electoral area. He advised the youth to make good of education because they shall be the ultimate beneficiaries. He called on the people to embrace TVET education which he explained to be the game changer.

“Currently, we have a TVET school in Otaakrom which is given technical education to students; so parents should patronize that concept to get their wards on practical aspects of education”, he noted.

Asiamah who was touched by the activities of a dressmaker donated 5 sewing machines to her for the benefit of the community.

Nana Kwamebi Kufour together with the MP, the DCE and other dignitaries present commissioned the edifice to be put to use.

Others present at the commissioning durbar were Mrs. Louisa Benon, the District Coordinating Director, Hon. Kwame Krah, the Assemblymember for the area, Unit committee members, Clergy and other identifiable groups.


Akim Oda MP celebrates mothers

The Member of Parliament for Akim Oda constituency Mr. Alexander Akwasi Acquah in collaboration with Community FM has extoled mothers for nurturing and shaping the society.

He celebrated and surprised mothers in Akim Oda, Akim Achiase,Akim wenchi,Akim Asene among others with presents.

According to him, women have been a wonderful influence on society since he was born.
He visited some of the houses to present the gifts himself to the mothers for their wonderful works.

The story wasn’t different at Akim Oda Zongo where earlier in the day, the Member of Parliament mobilised 5 women at Akim Oda Zongo and presented their mothers’ day present to them too.

The women gladly expressed appreciation for such a great initiative.

Sierra Leone’s Country report lands in Abuja; yet to be presented to plenary

At the ongoing 2023 first Ordinary Session in Abuja Nigeria, Sierra Leone is yet to present its Country report to the plenary as it missed the opportunity on Saturday, May 13, 2023.

Despite the fact that the report arrived in Abuja, it had not been reviewed by all the members for  their input.

As to why the Country has delayed in presenting its country report a member of the delegation Musa Shiaka Sama in an interview pointed out that they have been very busy due to the election ahead of them next month.

“Again, we have a new system of conducting election in our County Proportional Representation which has made us busy. I came to the first Ordinary Session late, we have come and looked at the report, it is left with one more member to have a look at it, and when that is done we can present our country report”.

Joint Committees meeting have been scheduled to meet this week from Monday, May 15, 2023 to Wednesday, May 17, 2023. From Thursday the parliament would be meeting at the plenary where it is expected that the Country report of Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau would be presented.

As to whether Sierra Leone is set to have incident free in the presentation of its Country report, judging from the drama that unfolded last year second Ordinary Session where Manly –Spaine Ajibola walked out of plenary because his input was not included in the Country report, Madam Veronical Kadie Sesay the only female among the delegation in an interview pointed out that there is no delay in the presentation of the Country report because they want everybody (all ECOWAS MPs) to make input.

“Because we do not want to face that ugly situation of last year again, when it was said that people walked out why because the leader of the delegation has been busy, he has now gone for running mate of the opposition”.

“To get him was difficult, now we want to make sure everybody makes his input into the country report, so that we are not faced with the last years embarrassment, that is why we want to be thorough, as you heard from my colleague we have a new system of election proportional representation (PR)

“The system is new, even Ministers are very busy with the PR system, all the political parties are having their primaries at the same time; we have to leave that one after the nomination to come here to come and do the work of the parliament”.
Again, in the next plenary she noted that their country report would be ready for presentation.

On the issue of his colleague walking out, she pointed out it was by reasons best know to him, “all of us looked at the report and we made input into the report”.

As to whether she can categorically say his colleague has input, she responded, “I do not know, I cannot say, everybody had the report at the same time”, she said.

Responding to where the report to be presented has the input of everybody, she said “we do not know; yesterday the clerk sent the report to us, I have had a look at mine”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

MP Pledges support to Banso Community

The Member of Parliament for Atiwa West and Minister for Roads and Highways Mr. Kwasi Amoako Atta has pledged to support a yet to be constructed maternity ward with 500 bags of cement and a cash of GH 100.000.00 This was announced at a fund raising durbar held at Banso to climax the 50th anniversary celebration of the enstoolment of Barima Kwaku Kyei as the chief of Banso.

The MP commended the chief for his stewardship and called on Nananom to emulate the good example shown by Barima Kwaku Kyei and become agents of change in order to bring reverence to chieftaincy in Akim. He urged the people of Banso to continue to live in peace and rally their support behind the chief.

Addressing the gathering, Barima Kwaku Kyei indicated that the durbar was to raise funds for the construction of a maternity ward to cater for the health needs of women who had to travel long distances for such services when in labour.

He thanked the Chiefs and people of Akim Abuakwa Traditional area for the support given him over the years and asked for their support to make his dream of building a maternity ward for the community a reality.

The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Seth Kwame Acheampong who also pledged to support the project with 200 bags of cement, commended the chief for such an initiative and asked for God’s guidance and protection for him.


“A case study is being conducted into reasons for coups in W/A”—Snowe Jr.

Chairman of the Political Affairs, Peace, Security and African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe Junior has revealed that study is being conducted into the rampant coup in the West Africa sub-region.

According to him the study has not arrived at the exact cause of coups in West Africa ; but there are three scenarios – in Mali the election took place successfully, but the ruling party tried to temper with the result of the Parliamentary elections that resulted in what we see now.

Chairman Political Affairs left, former  chairman ECOWAS right

He not in an interview that the  coup in Burkina Faso, according to the military the government was not doing much to fight the insurgence from the Sahel region,  so they over threw the government.

And in Guinea the president tempered with the constitution to seek a third term in office and he was overthrown.

“So we have three scenarios, now in the case of   Senegal we are having a new situation there. There  is crackdown on the opposition; we are going to study what is happening in the region and see how best we can put our hands on the issues”.

Again, Nigeria has just had election which is our big democracy in the sub region  and what happened,  the opposition that was aggrieved went to the court which is rule of law and we are asking other west African countries to follow and emulate the example of Nigeria.

“If   we have problem let us take it to the court and challenge it but we would get to a point where we would discontinue the situation where we have takeovers in our sub region”.

At the ongoing 2023 first Ordinary Session in Abuja Nigeria where some ECOWAS Parliament lawmakers have said the bloc is not doing much, he pointed out that  sometimes its function is being misconstrued stating that per the function of ECOWAS, it is not a police barracks; rather it solidarizes – “it works together in bringing states together; it respects individual state sovereignty and the rule of law”.

“Can ECOWAS come to Nigeria  and tell it how to run its government or country?We expect that people will go by civilized norms; ECOWAS can only encourage you to do the right thing. Yes there should have been times that ECOWAS should have spoken a bit louder earlier but we did not do, those are some of the things that would come out in the case study”.

Again, ECOWAS cannot come to Nigeria today and say you have to organise your elections again because it is being challenged, ECOWAS would have to follow the rules of member sovereign states.

On the current situation in his home country ahead of its general election in the course of the year, he noted that Liberia is fully prepared for its election and the fact that government is fully sponsoring the elections and has paid ninety percent of the budget.

In addition, biometric registration process is over and ended successfully. They are five from Liberia, and out of the five three are from the opposition.

On the issue of the political temperature, he affirmed that like any other country the temperature is high in election year and the situation is not different, but so far it’s going well.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com