Tag: Nana Akufo-Addo


Ghanaian Diaspora Homecoming Summit

UK Press Launch: Government to Woo Ghanaian Diaspora at Homecoming Summit in a Bid to Boost Agenda for Change Nations

On Friday 5th May, 2017 the GHANA High Commission UK hosted the Accra launch of an insightful event that will shift the paradigm of development and growth within the African continent, attracting Ghanaian personalities and dignitaries such as Capital Xtra’s DJ Abrantee. The event in question is the Ghana Homecoming Diaspora Summit 2017, where prominent leaders past and present both from the sub-continent and around the world are expected to join up to 500 Ghanaians living outside the country at the biggest gathering of Ghana’s diaspora in Accra for many years.


REPRESENTING: DJ Abrantee, centre, at the launch

The Ghana Diaspora Homecoming Summit will take place at the International Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana from 5th-8th July and is organised as a direct outcome of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s election campaign pledge to involve Ghanaians living abroad in the development of their country.

At the launch of the event in Accra this week, the Director of the Diaspora Relations Office at the Presidency, Akwasi Awua Ababio said:

“The Government is fully committed to the mobilisation and harnessing of the resources and skills of the diaspora community for accelerated development of Ghana. The diaspora community is equally committed to the challenge of being equal and recognised partners in the government’s development effort.”

The summit’s agenda will cover three main themes which will set-out the opportunities for business investment and employment in Ghana, as well as the political inclusion of Ghanaians living abroad.

Clifford Mpare, CEO of Frontline Capital a major sponsor of the summit said:

“We see this initiative as a potential shot-in-the-arm for the economy and future prosperity of this country at a time when there is much work to do. Work equates to opportunity whether in employment or business building and Ghana needs proven talent and a strong work ethic to create viable and competitive industries across a broad swathe of market sectors.”

Running parallel to the four-day summit will be an exhibition where companies, small to medium enterprises (SMEs), entrepreneurs and corporate bodies will demonstrate their support for the objectives of the event, as well as showcase employment opportunities and business projects which require special talent or resources that the diaspora may be able to provide.

The Ghana Diaspora Homecoming Summit is Chaired by entrepreneur Alex Dadey who heads-up a network of country groups around the world. With just eight weeks to go before the summit opening, Dadey spends much of his time raising funds from the private sector and so far has commitments from Standard Chartered Bank, Tullow Oil, Ghana Home Loans, Broll, Forewin, Zoomlion, Ghana Gas and a number of other organisations eager to align themselves with the summit’s objectives.

The event, which is partnered by Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration, Business Development and the Diaspora Relations Office, will open at 7.30am at the International Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana on Wednesday 5 July with a welcome address given by President of The Republic of Ghana, H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to an expected audience of 500 eager diasporans seeking a new beginning at home.

Please click here to visit the site.

All photo’s taken curtesy of Ernest Simons Photography

Please visit the site http://www.ghanadiasporahs.org/ or email uk.gdhcs@gmail.com for more info

 

President Akufo-Addo unveils Ghana @60 logo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has unveiled the logo for Ghana’s sixty-year anniversary.

At a brief ceremony at the Flagstaff House yesterday, the President reiterated that the celebration which will be under the theme, “Mobilising for Ghana’s future” will be a modest one.

According to him, though such a celebration will come at a cost, he was counting on individual citizens and corporate Ghana to take the bigger responsibility in the cost.

“Marking such an occassion will come at cost but my ambition is to commemorate this occassion with the minimum or no burden at all on the nation”, he stated.

Touching on the logo, the president also said that the “Ghana@60 logo symbolized the diversity and unity of our country and the aspirations of the Ghanaian people for a dignified and prosperous future.”

The term Tsoo-boi and the Early Akan Settlement in the Volta Region

In the year 1732, when the Ashanti Kingdom was ruled by Otumfuo Opoku Ware I, the Ashantis, mainly from Kuntenase, in an attempt to expand the kingdom, moved towards a place that is now part of the Volta region and to a place called Worawora. They fought the Chokosis and drove them out from their land in 1734 and occupied it. They spoke their Twi language and maintained their culture and traditions. From then on many Akans from many Akan-speaking areas moved in to settle at different places including Jasikan, Donkorkrom and Avetime.
Something interesting happened which led to the creation and popularization of the compound word, “Tsoo-boi”. Many people and groups have used this compound word, “Tsoo-boi” without knowing how the word came about, and from which language it originates. Eighty percent of the people I interviewed said “Tsoo-boi” is a Ga word. Only twenty percent said it was an Ewe word.

“Tsoo-boi” is a word largely used in Ghana by many people including students, workers, demonstrators, pastors and Imams. When that word is mentioned, the resultant reaction is the same. It is a shout for action, attention and coordination. Furthermore the shout of “Tsoo-boi” creates a sense of belongingness, oneness, enthusiasm and victory.
In a fishing community in the Volta region, lived two fishermen and their families. They were not on talking terms. One family was Ewe and the other was Akan. The children of both families always had to cross a stream in a canoe to go to school. One day, on their return from school, a strong wind blew the canoe to overturn in the full glare of by-standers. In an effort to get help both the Akan and the Ewe boys began to scream for help in their local languages. The Ewe boy shouted, “tsoo,” “tsoo”. The Akan boy also screamed urgently, “buei,” “buei”. These were shouts for help and attention. The onlookers jokingly combined the two words, spelling the Twi word according to how they heard it. This marked the genesis of “tsoo-boi.”

The Akans in the Volta Region have their settlements in areas like Jasikan, Donkorkrom, Worawora and Avatime. The majority of the Akan settlers were mostly from the Ashanti Kingdom. They got permanent settlements in these areas through conquests. After living in the Volta Region for more than a century, they still considered themselves as Akans. The Ashantis paid allegiance to the occupant of the Golden Stool. Their Chiefs also swore the oath of allegiance to the stool.
At a press conference in Accra months after Otumfuo’s visit, the Omanhene of Worawora Traditional Area, Daasebre Asare Baah III, confirmed that, even though Worawora is located in the Volta Region, they will still remain Ashantis. The Omanhene was compelled to react to a “Times” London newspaper headline story which came out after the Asantehenene, Otumfuo Opoku Ware’s visit to Worawora traditional area in the early part of 18th century. The front page story was an angry reaction by the chiefs in the Volta Region after Otumfuo’s visit. They reiterated that Worawora cannot be under Asante. During the press conference, the Omanhene, his subjects and well-wishers were all clad in black funeral clothes which the Ashantis call “kuntunkuni.” This was to protest to the VR chiefs that no Akan chief will swear an oath of allegiance to any VR chief.

The Avatime are another group of Akans who live in the Volta Region. These are Ahanta people who migrated to the place known today as Volta Region during the 18th century, almost at the same time when the Fanti fishermen from Elmina migrated to Togo and finally continued to Dahomey (Benin). More than a century ago, a mystery pot was found hidden in a cave at Biakpa in Avatime. Critical and investigative study of the pot and its content revealed that the Guans have been in Avatime and in Ghana since the Stone Age. Kwame Ampene, a folkloric historian and founder of the Guan Historical Society, depending on oral history, claimed that it was not the Ahantas who migrated to the Volta Region but rather the Igbos who lived among the Ahantas for so many years who later migrated to Avatime. Kwame Ampene admitted that the Ahantas may also have migrated to the Volta Region, asserting that the original homeland of the nuclear Avatime has become a difficult problem which has so far defied any satisfactory solution.

So far there has been very much cooperation and peaceful co-existence among the Akans and the Ewes in the Volta Region. When the new president, Nana Akufo-Addo, hinted that some regions including the Volta Region will be divided into two regions and the likelihood is that the Akans may have their own region and the others, including Ewes, will also have one region, many concerned people in the region have stood up against the idea. They will still want to be together as one people in one region. The peace and love existing among the various tribes in the region is superb and phenomenal.
By Stephen Atta Owusu
Author: Dark Faces at Crossroads

AKUFO-ADDO ANNOUNCES MINISTERIAL TEAM

Newly elected Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday announced the first batch of  Ministers-designate who will serve in his government.

As his Senior Minister Akufo-Addo has chosen  Dr Yaw Osafo Marfo an experienced Minister in Kufuor government of the early 2000’s

Other notable appointments are outspoken MP Alan Kyerematen will as the Trade and Industry Minister  and Shirley Ayorkor Botchway  as the new Foreign Minister.

The appointments are pending approval from the Ghanaian Parliament before they can be confirmed but this is usually a formality.

The  full list of appointees are as follows:

Senior Minister designate – Yaw Osafo Marfo

National Security Minister designate – Albert Kan Dapaah

Trade and Industry Minister designate – Alan Kyeremateng

Finance Minister designate – Ken Ofori Atta

Minister of Agriculture designate – Dr. Akoto Osei Afriyie

Energy Minister designate – Boakye Agyarko

Defence Minister designate – Dominic Nitiwul

Foreign Affairs Minister designate – Shirley Ayorkor Botchway

Interior Minister designate – Ambrose Dery

Attorney General Minister designate – Gloria Akufo

Local Government Minister designate – Hajia Alima Mahama

Education Minister designate — Mathew Opoku Prempeh

Health Minister designate — Kwaku Agyemang-Manu

Me Firi Ghana (@Me_FiRi_GHANA)

Ghana Elections: NPP to challenge NDC win

NPP & Akufo Addo aim to have final say on election result…

 

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Well we all knew what was coming as soon as the NPP (National Patriotic Party) refused to accept the results declared by the Election commission on 09 December.  Thus on 28 December 2012 the NPP (National Patriotic Party) finally filed a petition at the Supreme Court to challenge President John Mahama’s victory in the election earlier in December.

The NPP believed the election results were rigged in favor of incumbent President Mahama who they claimed colluded with some officials of the EC to manipulate the results. After analysing the data from 26,000 polling stations the party found irregularities such as cases of over voting and instances when people not registered by the new biometric finger-printing system were able to vote. Lastly the NPP had calculated that there were 1.34 million extra votes cast, which if withdrawn from the final tally would make Mr Akufo-Addo the winner.

Nana Akufo-Addo said it had not been an easy decision to go ahead with the challenge, but the evidence submitted was “mind-blowing and came as a shock even to sceptics in the party”.  He alongside Mahamudu Bawumia, his running-mate and Jake Otanka Obetsebi- Lamptey, chairman of the NPP filed the petition at the supreme court against the president-elect, John Dramani Mahama, the EC Chairman Kwadwo Afari- Gyan; and the EC itself.

When I initially thought about the ramifications if the NPP’s allegations are proved to be true, I could not help but think how damaging this petition may be to Ghana’s reputation as a tolerant and free democracy. However at the same time the fling of the petition shows democracy in operation with the NPP respecting the parameters of the constitution and filing the petition in accordance with the law. Moreover since rejecting the result the NPP have not sought to create unrest within the electorate but have remained calm and confident in collating their “mind blowing evidence”.

It remains to be seen whether the NPP have enough evidence to get the result overturned. The fact that international election observers described the poll as free and fair makes it seem unlikely. However if fraud is proven it will raise serious questions about the integrity of the Electoral Commission and its role in future elections. Whatever the outcome though, the Ghanaian electorate can be proud that they played an honest part in a peaceful election.

It is estimated the election challenge case is expected to be heard in three weeks. Meanwhile President Mahama is expected to be sworn into office on 7 January 2013.

Leave any comments below

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Ghana a definite ‘model African democracy’

Election 2012: The people are the winners as the “model African democracy” that is Ghana shows it is divided as ever in another tight election

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Seen as a model of democracy and stable governance in a sometimes volatile continent, Ghana lived up to that reputation with almost impeccably observed election. Current incumbent President John Mahama Dramani was declared the winner on Sunday night in tight contest which almost mirrored the contest of 2008.

The electoral commission said that Mr Mahama had won 50.7% against his NPP rival Nana Akufo-Addo on 47.74%. On a slightly sour note the opposition party, NPP claimed the poll was fraudulent and will contest the result, accusing the governing NDC party of conspiring with electoral commission staff to fix Friday’s poll. The NPP also claimed they had “enough concrete evidence” to prove that Mr Akufo-Addo had won the election.

Whether there is indeed evidence in existence to substantiate the NPP’s claims remains to be seen. What is clear though is the peaceful manner in which the Presidential ballot was carried out, and much of the credit for this must go the Ghanaian electorate themselves. Many voters turned up at the polls more than four hours before the sun was even up, standing inches apart in queues that in some places stretched 1,000-people deep. Each polling station had a single biometric machine, and if it failed to identify the voter’s fingerprint, or if it broke down, there was no backup. When it became clear that large numbers of people had not been able to vote, the election commission announced it would extend voting by a second day.

However this did not faze the Ghanaian people deeply attached to the tradition of democracy, with voters seen urging each other to remain calm while they waited their turn to vote. The result announced by the electoral commission showed how split the country is in regards to support of the two main parties and the direction the country should go. Naturally there will be a lot of disappointed NPP supporters at this time, however thankfully that disappointment has yet to turn into violence on a severe scale.

Ghana was once a troubled nation that suffered five coups and decades of stagnation, before turning a corner in the 1990s. It is now a pacesetter for the continent’s efforts to become democratic. No other country in the region has had so many elections deemed free and fair, a reputation voter’s hold close to their hearts.

In a country where the provocative style of politics followed by the two main parties does not help to diffuse tension between rival parties, the electorate did well not to rise to the bait dished out by some of their own leaders.

Whether or not we have heard the last of this election result, one thing is for sure; the people of Ghana should yet again be applauded for their tolerance of the democratic process.

Long live democracy in Ghana!

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Ghana’s presidential elections 2012

Meet the Candidates : Nana Akufo-Addo

 

On December 07 2012 Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the NPP will have aspirations of becoming the President of Ghana for the second time in four years. This time round he will be hoping for a different outcome as in 2008 he was defeated by the late former President John Atta Mills of the NDC in a closely fought election that divided Ghana. Much of this division still remains four years down the line, and once again the NPP and NDC will slug it out next month in what could be another cliffhanger of a result.

But what of the NPP’S Flag bearer?  Akufo-Addo, a lawyer by trade was elected three times between 1996 and 2004 as Member of Parliament for the Abuakwa South constituency in the Eastern region of Ghana. From 2001 to 2007 he served as a Cabinet Minister, first as Attorney General and Minister for Justice and later as Foreign Minister for five years –  Akufo-Addo in many people’s eyes served President John Kufuor with distinction.

As Attorney General, he was responsible for the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law, a law that had been used to intimidate the media and criminalize free speech. The repeal has enabled the Ghanaian media to become one of the most vibrant and freest in Africa. Under his chairmanship of the Legal Sector Reform Committee, the implementation of the court automation programme was initiated. During his tenure as Foreign Minister, he was fully involved in the successful Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) peace efforts in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and Guinea Bissau, and was chairman of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council in 2003

It was these kinds of achievements that singled him out as a potential leader of the NPP. Thus Akufo-Addo resigned from the Kufuor government in July 2007 to contest for the position of presidential candidate of his party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the then ruling party of Ghana, for the 2008 elections. Competing against sixteen others, Akufo-Addo won 48% of the votes in the first round of that election, but was given a unanimous endorsement in the second round, making him the party’s presidential candidate.  He of course went on to lose that election in a run-off against John Atta Mills despite the fact in the first round Akufo-Addo received more votes than Mills.

Since receiving his party’s endorsement to run in the 2012 elections Akufo-Addo and the NPP have been campaigning on an anti-corruption platform. The slogan “Ghana MUST move forward” has been used to promote their policies on Jobs, Education & Healthcare.

Some of the NPP’s key ideologies/policies are as follows:

 

  • Job creation through economic growth: By implementing a Trade Policy that focuses on job creation for all. They believe this is the only way to break the hand to mouth existence and free Ghanaians to aspire to a better life and prosperity.

 

 

 

  • Building an educated society: By ensuring that no child is denied access to secondary education. Akufo-Addo and the NPP plan to remove the biggest obstacles that currently stand in the way of this (cost and access), in addition to tuition and other costs already borne by government. The NPP pledge that admission, library, computer, science centre and examination fees will all be free. They plan to fund this using a percentage of the oil revenues allocated to the Ghana National Petroleum Company.

 

 

 

  • Expanding access to quality health care: By reviving and restoring confidence in the NHIS, bringing public healthcare to Ghanaians doorsteps. Akufo-Addo’s goal is to achieve universal coverage of the NHIS for all Ghanaians. The NPP will spend more on public-health education and primary healthcare. They also plan to expand health facilities and increase the training of health workers.

 

 

Nana Akufo-Addo is an accomplished politician but does his policies and ideas have any substance? He is indeed correct that Ghana must move forward but is he the man to help us achieve this?

Leave your comments below

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Ghana’s presidential elections 2012

Meet the Candidates :  President John Dramani Mahama

With less than a month before the Ghanaian Presidential elections it is only right we give our readers an insight into the candidates vying for the top job in Ghana. Over the next three weeks we will be profiling the three main candidates.

First up is President John Dramani Mahama the NDC (National Democratic Congress) candidate.  Former Vice-President Mahama became president following the death of the former President John Atta Mills in July this year.  It is likely to be a straight fight between him and Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP (National Patriotic Party) for the Ghanaian Presidency with the winner likely to be the one who can capture minds of the younger voters.

A respected communications expert, historian, and writer, Mahama has had a varied political career. Mahama was first elected to the Parliament of Ghana in the 1996 elections to represent the Bole/Bamboi Constituency for a four-year term. In April 1997, Mahama was appointed Deputy Minister of Communications. In 2000, Mahama was re-elected for another four-year term as the Member of Parliament for the Bole/Bamboi Constituency. He was again re-elected in 2004 for a third term. From 2001 to 2004, Mahama served as the Minority Parliamentary Spokesman for Communications. In 2002, he was appointed the Director of Communications for the NDC. In January 2009, Mahama became the Vice-President of Ghana – he also served as a member of the National Economic Management Team in this capacity.

When his party the National Democratic Congress endorsed him as the 2012 Presidential Candidate, Mahama has stated that his administration is deeply committed to continuing the” Better Ghana Agenda” started under late President Mills. This agenda is a policy vision that the NDC drew up when they were elected into power four years ago and was a reaction to what they deemed was the former ruling party’s failings in sectors such as the economy, health and education.

Some of the main points from the NDC 2012 election manifesto ““Advancing the Better Ghana Agenda” is as follows;

 

  • The NDC says it would rapidly expand access to quality education at both the basic and secondary levels of education by ensuring that the 20 per cent of children who are not in school gain access to schooling; and the nearly 50 per cent who do not have access to secondary-level education gain access to JSS and SHS
  • Pledge to ensure that “ENERGY FOR ALL” slogan becomes the bedrock of socio-economic transformation by expanding production and intensifying regular and reliable access to electricity and energy including those who currently do not have access.
  • On health, the next NDC Government will double the number of Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds from about 1,600 to 3,200 to meet the needs of under-served communities.
  • On Youth and Sports, the NDC promises to establish a GH¢10 million Jobs and Enterprise Development Fund to encourage and support young people to become successful entrepreneurs and create sustainable job opportunities

 

What do you think of the policies Mahama and the NDC have put forward? Would he get your vote as the man to take Ghana forward in the next four years?

Join the debate and leave your comments below.

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Ghana’s presidential debates: Round 1

As the two main Presidential candidates clash it is the underdog who rises to the challenge to charm voters in first debate

 

With the US Presidential election campaign and Hurricane Sandy dominating the news of late, you may not be aware that the Ghanaian Presidential debate took place on 30th October 2012 in Tamale. The CPP, NDC, NPP and PNC presidential candidates were all present in Ghana’s most northern city to engage in hotly contested televised discussion on some of the policies that matter most to voters.

President Mahama of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) being the flag-bearers of the biggest parties,  both put in professional performances. Mahama seemed slightly below par, perhaps as a result of being the incumbent, and spent much of his time lauding and defending the NDC’s record in government and not enough articulating his vision for the next four years. In contrast, Akufo-Addo took every opportunity to trumpet his flagship free Senior High School policy, and likely edged it in the vision stakes as a result.

However of the two minor parties, the Convention Peoples Party’s (CPP) Abu Sakara gave a good, technocratic performance and seems to have struck a chord with many viewers, especially the young. It is extremely unlikely that this performance enough to ensure he is in the running come the election but it was refreshing to see all the same. Hassan Ayariga of the Peoples National Convention (PNC) was less impressive and assessments of his performance by the media and online have been very unflattering. He seemed not to have a core focus to his arguments and at times butted in and looked as if he was supporting President Mahama with some of his comments.

Overall Nana Akufo-Addo will be happy with his efforts and President Mahama maybe less so, whilst Abu Skara ist not likely to win, he will be happy with the impact his performance had on voters. The next Presidential debate will be held in Accra on 20 November. We wait with anticipation…

If you saw the debate what did you make of it?  Which candidate are you backing to take Ghana forward?

This is an important time for Ghana so please join the debate and leave your comments below

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)