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Government will explore modern technology to fight corruption – Bawumia

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Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Monday expressed Government’s determination to explore the use of modern technological tools to combat the canker of corruption in the country.

He said corruption was the greatest threat to human race and served as an obstacle that undermined government’s ability to fulfill its obligation to promote, protect and respect human rights.

He noted that the nation might not attain its objective of building a Ghana beyond Aid, if corruption thrived, and assured of Government’s commitment to equip all the anti-corruption institutions in the country with the requisite resources to combat corruption.

“We’re capable of funding the majority of our development needs if we can check corruption.

“This is the time to wage an unrelenting war against corruption and to end the public resource waste to sustain fiscal discipline, change our mentality and attitudes towards state and state property, and imbibe sound work ethics into our national life,” he emphasized.

Vice President Bawumia gave the assurance when he delivered the keynote address at the closing ceremony of a week-long Anti-Corruption and Transparency Conference in Accra.

The Vice President also used the occasion to launch the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) Online Reporting Dashboard, which was developed to assist in the implementation and reporting on the Action Plan against corruption.

The digital system would help anti-corruption institutions to compile progress report and reduce the use of paper work.

The conference, organized by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), also marked the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 15th anniversary of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

It was held under the theme:”Waging the Fight against Corruption; Panacea for Ghana Beyond Aid?, which attracted key stakeholders in the fight against corruption, including civil society organization, anti-corruption coalitions, state agencies, development partners and the media.

Vice President Bawumia said the fight against corruption was a collective responsibility of all stakeholders and should not be left to the government alone, saying; “We must collectively fight corruption in a responsible and sustainable manner”.

“We must be able and willing to question poor behaviour, poor performance, administrative obstruction, dishonesty, maladministration, improper use of discretion in administration decision-making,”the Vice President added.

Vice President Bawumia noted that the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan was a priority of (NACAP) because it was a home-grown solution to combat corruption, which posed a good understanding of the corruption risk across all sectors of the economy and how it must be eliminated.

He mentioned some programmes rolled out by the Government within the past 22 months to enhance delivery of public services and combat corruption, including the paperless ports system, e-registration of businesses and electronic public procurement system, while efforts was underway to implement online registration of land titles.

Mr Joseph Whital, the Commissioner of CHRAJ, in his welcoming address, said the Commission since its establishment about 25years ago, had been promoting, protecting human rights and administrative justice, as well as promoting integrity and ethical values and conduct, through coordinated implementation of NACAP.

He was optimistic that the outcome from the conference would ensure the implementation of NACAP, sustain the campaign against corruption and enhance integrity in the country.

Mr Richard Quayeson, the Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ, presented the State of Human Rights Report of the country for the year under review and outlined some challenges facing the Commission regarding the implementation of NACAP.

He urged the government to address the low stakeholder participation in the implementation of NACAP and called on government to ensure all Ministries, Departments and Agencies implement actions in the Action Plan, the need to resource all anti-corruption institutions in order to reduce corruption and promote integrity in public offices.

Mr Antonio Gutierrez, the United Nations Secretary-General’s report to mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and 15th anniversary of the United Nations Convention against Corruption was read at the meeting by Ambassador Evans Klock, the UN Resident Representative to Ghana.

The World Economic Forum estimated that the cost of corruption is at least 2.6 trillion dollars, representing five per cent of the global domestic product, while the World Bank says one trillion dollars is paid in bribes by businesses annually.

GNA

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UDS SRC LOOSES FIGHT?…. DEMONSTRATION SUSPENDS

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  1. The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of the Navrongo campus of the University for Development Studies has strongly stated it will resist any attempt by management of the institution to upwardly adjust academic fees.

The council says the school in the last two years has seen increment in fees and that, another attempt to make an inflation will be unfair, unconstitutional and against the regulatory policies of the National Council for Tertiary Education.

Speaking at their “Who Is Speaking The Truth” press conference held at the school premises Wednesday, President of the Council, Raymond Korbla Otivi, stated that any “unjustifiable fee inflation” the University authorities would come out with will be met with fierce resistance from the student body.

He questioned why the authorities would want to increase fees when the facilities of the school are nothing as compared to what students in other universities in the southern part of the country enjoy, even though they pay comparatively low fees.

Mr. Raymond Korbla Otivi said: “per history and records, we are to pay something for the management of the facilities that we use and that is the basics for the academic facility user fee. We know that. But what is happening currently, our managers of tertiary institutions have turned it into a different thing altogether. And we want to use this press conference to send a signal and make government aware of what is happening in UDS. If there are increments and they say universities must increase fees, UDS should never increase fees. No matter the kind of services they provide for us, we are telling the whole world that UDS doesn’t have any right to increase our school fees. This is because our Academic Facility User Fee (AFUF) has been inflated two or three times in the last two years and we have been paying this same amount”.

(more…)

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Curvy high school students disqualified for ‘swimsuit violation’

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‘Curvy’ High School Swimmer Disqualified for Swimsuit ‘Malfunction’ — Feminists Cry ‘Body Shaming’

Breckynn Willis

A high school swimmer in Alaska was denied victory at a swim meet Friday because of a “uniform violation,” triggering accusations of sexism and racism.

 

Breckynn Willis, a 17-year-old state champion swimmer for Dimond High School in Anchorage, emerged from the water after a dominating performance in the 100-meter freestyle. But the male referee immediately disqualified Willis, ruling that her swimsuit was exposing too much of her butt.

 

An official at the meet, Annette Rohde, told the Anchorage Daily News that a female referee said the bottom of the teenager’s suit “was so far up I could see butt cheek touching butt cheek.’’

Rohde recalled that after the meet she warned the referee, who has not been identified, “This is going to blow up.”

The referee did not respond to requests for comment by local press.

However, as Rohde predicted, the disqualification became a hot topic in Anchorage and the Alaskan swim and dive community. Then, on Saturday, a woman who coached Willis when she was younger blogged about the incident in a Medium post, and it became national news.

“In a world where young girls are told at every turn that the skin they’re in is not good enough for a thousand reasons, the last thing we need to do in youth athletics is add to that unhealthy dialogue,” wrote Lauren Langford, who coaches swimming at Anchorage’s West High School. “If you do not like the way that swimsuits fit on these girls’ bodies then don’t look; they are minors, children, and no one should be looking at them anyway.”

 

“All of these girls are all wearing suits that are cut the same way,” Langford later told the Washington Post, referring to the school-issued one-pieces. “And the only girl who gets disqualified is a mixed-race girl with rounder, curvier features.”

 

“We have a term for it — it’s called a suit wedgie,” she added, of the way the Willis was wearing the suit. “And wedgies happen. It’s uncomfortable. No one’s going to walk around that way intentionally.”

Breckynn Willis and her sisters had faced criticism for overexposure before

Langford’s outrage was echoed by feminists and other social-justice-oriented commentators on Twitter, many of whom cried “body shaming.”

“We treat women like garbage,” said Washington Post foreign affairs reporter Emily Rauhala in response to her colleagues report.

Rep. Judy Chu, a California Democrat, declared: “Stop. Policing. Girls’. Bodies.”

Transgender cyclist and activist Rachel McKinnon reacted withcharacteristic belligerence.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the news did not seem to have infiltrated conservative Twitter, which tends to be less sympathetic to identity-based claims of injustice.

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, the governing body for high school athletics in Alaska, all female swimmers must cover their buttocks and breasts and all male swimmers cover their buttocks.

Rohde and a local swim coach told the Daily News on Monday that they had never seen Willis deliberately adjust her swimsuit to make it more revealing. Whether or not that matters is disputed.

However, the Post reported Tuesday that Willis has been criticized for alleged overexposure before. Last year, a parent took a photo of her from behind and shared it with other parents as proof that girls on the team were wearing inappropriate swimwear.

Meagan Kowatch, Willis’ mother, told KTUU on Monday that the referee who made the call had previously embarrassed one of her two other daughters by critiquing the fit of her suit during a meet. She called for Willis’ victory to be reinstated and for the referee to be barred from officiating her daughters’ future races.

Also Monday, Anchorage School District officials announced that they are reviewing the referee’s decision, saying the disqualification “appears to stem from a difference of opinion in the interpretation of the rules governing high school swim uniforms.”

Source:Pluralist

 

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A month into the Wildlife closed season of 2019.

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The Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission declared August 1 – December 1 as the closed season for wildlife in Ghana.  This declaration implied that no hunting during this season, no capturing of wild animals or destroying of any wildlife species.

A month into the closed season and we still have some more months to observe the closed season till the season is opened for hunting.

The purpose basically for the closed season is to give room for wildlife to breed since the nation’s wildlife resources is on the decline. This period is where most wild animals mate, give birth and nurse their infants. Observing it thus allow the wildlife to continue their existence.

Grass-cutter can however be hunted during this closed season

Grass-cutter can however be hunted during the closed season

However, Mrs Exorm Amtordo Erskine said only grass-cutter can be hunted in the closed season but individuals are expected to have a valid license from the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission.

Open season starts from December 2 – July 31st,2020 but the public in the wildlife enterprise is expected to obtain a license before hunting in the open season.

The general public is expected to help in the observance of the closed season. Defaulters can be punished by law. Hunting in the closed season can result in one being arrested, searched, seizure of wildlife and confiscation. Conservation officers are authorised to arrest defaulters and present them before a Magistrate court within 24hrs after the arrest.

In some other places, they can be charged to a tune of $5000 and be imprisoned for 3 years.

Endangered and Nearing extinction species.

Aside the grass-cutter that is allowed by law to hunt during the closed season, there are some wildlife to look out for since they are endangered and nearing extinction.

According to Harriet Nimmo, a zoologist with more than 20 years’ experience based in South Africa, she has listed some endangered species and near extinct wildlife in Africa.

1.Ethiopian Wolf

2.Pangolin

3.Black Rhino

4.white rhino

5.Mountain Gorilla

6.African Wild Dog

7.African Penguin

8.Rothschild’s giraffe

9.Hooded vulture

10.Chimpanzee

These wildlife species may not be easy to come across but the vast wildlife of Ghana hasn’t been fully explored. There is some slim chance of coming across any of them. The public will do the nation a great service to report such sightings to the nearest office of the forestry and wildlife commission.

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