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Akim Oda MP urges youth to take digital skills training serious

Member of Parliament for Akim Oda Alexander Akwesi Acquah has urged the youth in his constituency to take the MP’s two weeks sponsored digital skills training seriously; pointing out to them that in the current dispensation ICT is making a lot of people better and has become the order of the day.

The youth will be taken through basic training in ICT like introduction to Microsoft Windows, office applications and internet usage/social media, the intermediary will be web development, web design, mobile App development and graphic design.

Whiles the advanced training will focus on data virtualization and analytics, blockchain, artificial intelligence, cyber security, ethical hacking and cloud computing.

To inspire the youth, he pointed out to them that the source of worth of the current Food and Agriculture Minister Brian Acheampong is Corley from ICT.

Mr. Acquah further pointed out that, as a nation we did not get into ICT at an early stage, “we are still grabbling with it”.
Speaking further on some related developments that would inure to the benefit of beneficiaries of the digital skills training program, the MP disclosed that the burnt central market currently being reconstructed would be ready by the end of the year.

And it would be the biggest, most fashionable and most modern market in the Eastern Region of Ghana.

“It means it’s going to attract a lot of shops and business that will need a lot of advert, website and exposure. The market as an entity will have to be marketed to attract people we want to see it.

The implication therefore is that the knowledge they have acquired would be put to good use as they provide services to the traders who need them.

He warned beneficiaries to not exhibit the usual behavior of taking the training for granted because it is free; adding that the money that has been invested in training them could have been given to them but that would not last as the knowledge acquired would be with them forever.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Akim Oda Library and Digital Hub Center not a government project — MP

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Akim Oda Alexander Akwasi Acquah has clarified that the Oda Library and Digital Hub project is not a government funded project but rather a project developed through the instrumentality of the Minister for Communications and Digitalization, Owusu-Ekuful with support from corporate bodies.

According to him after the inauguration of the center instead of applauding the Minister for the move, to his surprise it turned out to be rather criticizing her on social media as to why she named it after her mother who is an indigene of Akim Oda.

Mr. Akwasi Acquah made this observation on Monday, July 24, 2023 at a start of a digital skill training program at Akim Oda to benefit over forty youths in his constituency to help them walk the trajectory of innovation.

The idea, he emphasized is to impact the youth in the community and to help the youth in data marketing to run a website and market their products online.

He thanked the Minister for communication and Digitalization through whose instrumentality they have the edifies and making it possible for them to host the training session.

“It took her mother to bring her to life and to nature her to become who she is; and Akim Oda benefited from her.
This was not put together by government money; she used her position as a minister and mobilized corporate bodies to do this out of their corporate social responsibility”, he stated.

“Again, we have been quiet about this allegation and I feel this is an opportunity to set the record straight; she could have taken this project to any other place, she is not an MP of this area, we play down on the organisation because she will have had a backlash of what is happening here in her constituency but the people of Akim Oda decided to sell her out to make her feel like a bad person”.

Mr. Acquah was saddened about some of the allegations leveled against her; one being the fact that her gesture to the Akim Oda Constituency is because she is nurturing the ambition of coming to contest for MP in the area. “But those of us who know her know she is not thinking of that; the reality is that she wants to give back to her people but politically people are twisting things”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Former MP donates relief items to flood victims

Former Member of Parliament for Evalue Ajomoro Gwira constituency Catherine Abelema Afeku has donated assorted emergency relief items to the victims of affected communities in the area.

The items included bags of pure water, bags of rice, boxes of biscuit, crates of assorted drinks, street bulbs and a certain amount for the transportation of items to distant communities.

A two day tour took Madam Catherine to Ahunyame in Nzema East municipality and other affected communities to distribute the items to them, some community leaders from distant areas also received the items on behalf of their communities.

Unusually heavy downpour this year has caused major devastation in parts of the constituency leading to the destruction of properties worth millions of cedis and Residents rendered homeless.

Affected communities include: Gwira Ashiem, Ampanzee, Sentum, Wiaso, Anibile, Ebokro, Gwira Ainyinase, Ahunyame, Adelekezo, Akosonu, kukuavile, Asowa and Bamiakor.

She took the opportunity to appeal to national disaster management Organization (NADMO) to expedite action to assist the affected communities

Irene Kwakye/Ghanamps.com

Freda Prempeh appointed Sanitation and Water Resources Minister

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has appointed the Minister of State at the Presidency and Member of Parliament for Tano North, Freda Prempeh as the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources.

In a statement issued by the Director of Communications at the Office of the President Eugene Arhin on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, he noted that she takes over from Cecilia Abena Dapaah who resigned on Saturday 22, 2023 and her letter was accepted by the President same day.

Again, the President in consultation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and Roads and Highways has appointed the Member of Parliament for Afigya Sekyere East, Mavis Nkansah Boadu as Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.

And Member of Parliament for Tatale/Sanguli Thomas Mbomba as Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Vulnerable and marginalized should be included in decision making—Speaker Tunis

Speaker of the Community Parliament Rt. Hon Sidie Mohamed Tunis  has pointed out that inequality is one of the major factors causing rising crisis, including military coups and insecurity in the West African sub-region.

According to Speaker Tunis  supporting the participation of people from vulnerable and marginalized groups in the decision-making and democratic processes of the societies is key to continued peace, security and sustainable development.

He said this at the opening of the delocalized meeting of the Joint Committee of the ECOWAS Parliament Committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM); the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights; and the Committee on Social Affairs, Gender and Women Empowerment holding in Monrovia, Liberia.

And further acknowledged that every meeting of the Parliament is an opportunity to analyze and make proposals to better understand and control political, economic, and social developments in West Africa.

While noting that the meeting will focus on one of the priorities of ECOWAS Vision 2050, which is to promote good governance and consolidate irreversible peace, security, as well as development in the region, adding that, “as we all know, inequality has been one of the bases or causes of subversive acts in our region”.

“The marginalization of vulnerable groups from important decision-making processes, particularly ethnic or religious minorities, women and young people, provides fertile ground for conflict of violent extremism.”

The Speaker added that: “Political inclusivity has the advantage of enabling all points of view to be expressed and taken into consideration, and of enhancing the representation of every segment of the population, including women and young people.”

And revealed that the delocalized meeting, which is being held on the theme: “Enhancing political inclusivity in the participatory governance process: a mechanism for promoting peace and security “, was part of activities designed by the ECOWAS Parliament to continually demonstrate its openness to the citizens of the region, stressing that it also provides an opportunity to share experiences and collaborate with national institutions in the pursuit of the integration objectives of ECOWAS.

Vice President of Liberia, Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor lamented that political inclusivity is still far from being achieved, insisting that going by a few statistics as indicated by a January 2023 UN Women Facts and Figures report, women on the continent particularly and globally in general are still yet to be accorded the acceptable number in distribution of political offices.

She noted that inclusive political processes are crucial to sustaining peace and conflict prevention; establishing and strengthening political processes aimed at improving the participation and political influence of citizens; making governments and institutions more accountable and transparent, and building a stronger and more inclusive social contract between government and the people for greater access to opportunities, amongst other issues.

Taylor said though much has been done over the past 30 years to bring to the front burner the issue of equal participation of both genders, but the fact remains that even at the ECOWAS Parliament where the mandatory acceptable standard is a minimum 30% representation from each member state; current statistics indicated that out of 115 members only 21 members are females, a mere 18.26%.

She argued that: “A woman is human. She is not better, wiser, stronger, more intelligent, more creative or more responsible than a man. Likewise, she is also not less…” She asked the parliamentarians that “as you navigate the discussions on the way forward towards greater peace and security in our sub-region, I crave your indulgence to proffer policy prescriptions which compel our National Governments to take affirmative action for the inclusion of women at all levels in the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of governments.”

President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Alieu Touray also noted that the disconnect between the government and its citizens is a contributing factor to the volatility and threats to democracy in the sub-region.

Touray who was represented by Mrs. Josephine Nkrumah, Permanent Representative of the ECOWAS Commission to Liberia urged Members of the ECOWAS Parliament to consider the role of civic engagements as a key strategy to building a more inclusive society.

He said that the ECOWAS Parliament’s delocalized meeting was apt and the Commission awaits recommendations from the meeting that it can work with the Parliament to ensure inclusivity of all ECOWAS citizens in the democratic process of the sub region.


‘Leaked Tape Committee’ to submit report when House resumes from recess

A seven member Committee has been formed to look into a leaked tap planning the removal of the current Inspector General of Police George Akufo Dampare.

Deputy Minority Leader Emmanuel Kofi Armah Buah raised the issue on the floor as a matter of public interest leading up to this.

Member of Parliament for Abuakwa South Samuel Atta Akyea is the chair of the Committee with Ranking on Defence and Interior James Agalga as the vice chair of the Committee.

Other members of the Committee are Lanchene Peter Toobu the Wa West lawmaker, Yaw Patrick Boamah Okaikwei Central, Ophelia Mensah Mfantseman, Erick Opoku Asunafo South and a technical person Dr Isaac Lartey Annan.

Speaker Bagbin further added that the clerk of Parliament will be there to support the work of the Committee and he will take interest in the work of the Committee for a good report to be presented to the floor of the House.

In another development on the floor of the House the Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu expressed worry over an event to be held by the church of Pentecost hence the House will not be sitting tomorrow.

“My worry is I am not sure there is formal communications to this House and we may be setting some presidents that will be difficult to follow”.

The Speaker pointed out to him that there is formal communication, “communications to the House is through the Speaker you know it by the standing orders and went on to say the unavailability of the Majority Leader is the issue because he communicated this information to the House”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Liberia has lessons to learn from Sierra Leone ahead of October 10 —Stephen Zargo

A member of the Liberian delegation to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Stephen J. H. Zargo has said considering the proximity between Liberia and Sierra Leone, there are a lot of lessons to be learnt from the Sierra Leone’s general elections.

According to him there are similarity in tribal and culture, almost twenty five percent of the tribe in Liberian can be found in Sierra Leone; they have a long porous border and interact with each other on daily basis.

And  from what transpired in Sierra Leone, there is the need to look at  issue of transparency and enabling  environment,  that will  ensure  that the electoral body is neutral and doing the work that it was established to do, and the need to be independent so there are a lot of lessons to learn.

Again, election issues are of concern to ECOWAS, so “in my honest opinion things that were witnessed in the Sierra Leone’s elections, we need to tackle it by improving  on them more especially when you have the opposition denouncing the election results; they felt the process was not as transparent”, he indicated.

In a telephone interview from his base in Liberia, he pointed out that, the hasty manner the Sierra Leonean President was sworn in more especially when the results were being challenged, instead of addressing the lingering issues before the swearing in raised a lot of concern.

“We in Liberia are taking note hoping that the process can be transparent so that at the end of the day like what took place in Namibia, I listened to news from there where the opposition there indicated that the election was transparent, the outcome of October 10, 2023 we hope we will have an improved election”,  Zargo said.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

2023 Supplementary budget scheduled for Monday, July 31

Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Rt. Hon Alban Bagbin on Tuesday, July 25, 2023 announced on the floor of the House the Supplementary budget for this year will possibly be presented on Monday, July 31, 2023.

According to the Speaker per agreement between leadership of the House and the Finance Ministry, the sector Minister will be available on Friday, July 28, 2023 for an intensive discussion on the presentation of the mid-year budget review.

And in view of that the House is expected to have an extended sitting as there is an outside engagement on Wednesday, July 26 that will not permit the House to seat on the day.

He further announced on the floor that the House is expected to rise on August 3, 2023.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

West Africa should have an independent electoral body—Zargo

Vice Chairman of the Community’s Parliament Committee on Trade, Customs and Free Movement Stephen J. H. Zargo, has said  it would be a welcoming news should the  West African sub-region  have an independent  electoral body.

President ECOWAS Commission

According to him as the sub-regional bloc moves towards one currency and Free Movement of people, having an independent electoral body for the sub-region that will take care of election issues in the sub-region would be a great and welcoming idea; but the composition should be such that it will reflect the aspiration of the sub-region.

He further pointed out that there is the need for such a body because when one looks at the conflict within the sub-region it’s as a result of electoral related issues.

“So if those are the reasons for the conflict in Africa, I think if ECOWAS does that she would be doing it in the right direction”.

He further pointed out that if the Community court will be empowered to take care of election related issues if it’s beyond member states that will be good news, because it’s a practice within the European Parliament. “We need to adopt it since we have an apex court in member states which decisions are final”.

“So, we should have a court of the sub –region for people to seek redress when they are not satisfied; and at the same time we should have a standing force to intervene on issues if there is a problem like in the Gambia. The intervening force should step in and that same force should be able to operate in Ghana and Nigeria who are bigger countries in the sub-region”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Electing ECOWAS MPs: “Let’s approach Chairman Tinubu”—Snowe Jr.

Leader of the Liberian delegation to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe Jr. has advised Parliament should take opportunity to sell the idea of electing Members of Parliament to the new chairman of the Authority of Heads of States and Government H.E. President Ahmed Tinubu.

ECOWAS Chairman

According to him Speaker of the Parliament Rt. Hon Sidie Mohamed Tunis is currently in Abuja, Nigeria and he should see how to book audience with the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of States and Government, “to put before him the idea of electing ECOWAS MPs”

Speaker Tunis

According to him, with the exuberance the new Chairman has shown, he is optimistic he will be able to look in that direction, “so that together we can find a solution to a more structured and substantive Parliament that will begin to legislate and be independent and be able to continue its work in the region”.

When asked if the agenda to meeting the Chairman should also include discussions on parliament having its own Office space, Mr Snowe who was speaking in a telephone interview from his base in Liberia affirmed that there was a ground breaking sometime last year by former President Buhari as such work should be going on now as the architectural design has been approved.

“Again, in the next few years, the Parliament, Court of Justice and Commission would have its own  place,  it’s a project that is being financed by the Nigerian and Chinese  government; we will have a place that will host the three arms of government”, he stated.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com