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Watch Akufo-Addo on Al Jazeera: ‘I don’t feel Ghana wants to go gay

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Ghana today – at least on the surface – is enjoying political stability, with a multiethnic population coming together in peaceful democratic elections.

President Nana Akufo-Addo speaks with Al Jazeera’s Jane Dutton on why his country is so different from its neighbours in this respect – and what work still remains to be done in Ghana and in the rest of the continent. In 1957, Ghana became the first sub-Saharan country to gain independence from colonial rule.

“We had our problems early,” Akufo-Addo tells Al Jazeera. “After the volatility of the first 30-odd years after independence, the people of Ghana … made up their mind that they wanted a democratic government.”

Akufo-Addo took office on January 7, 2017, after winning Ghana’s seventh peaceful democratic elections since multiparty democracy returned to the country in 1992.

“The determination of the Ghanaian people to go through democratic principles and values has meant that election after election has been stronger in terms of its credibility and its transparency – and it has also meant that the willingness of the population to accept the results of our electorate council has heightened,” he says.

Elsewhere in the continent, democracy has been far less successful at taking root. In Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to be sworn in for a second term on Tuesday, November 28 after the country’s supreme court rejected two petitions to nullify last month’s election results.

And this week in Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe was forced to resign, ending his 37 years in power after members of his own ZANU-PF party forced him out with the backing of the army.

“It’s a pity that the current political situation has degenerated to the extent that the army is finding itself [required] to come directly into play,” Akufo-Addo says. “[That] can never be a long-term solution, obviously … I think at the end of the day, the determination to engage, democratic values will triumph in Zimbabwe.”

Still, the president of Ghana remains optimistic about Africa’s future.

“I’m confident that the march of democracy in Africa is something that’s going to be very difficult to reverse,” he says.

 

Source:Al Jazeera

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  1. Kwame Jnr Essumang

    November 27, 2017 at 8:47 am

    I think the President of Ghana His Excellency Nana Addo wasn’t clear with his response to the legalization of Homosexuality in Ghana as compared to the Late Prof Mills and Ex President Mahama when asked the same question.

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World Bank Accused Of Coercing Gov’t To Buy $5bn Gas

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Sources at the Ministry of Energy have raised serious concerns regarding the World Bank’s ‘attempts’ to delay the approval of a $500 million loan in order to force the government of Ghana into buying $5 billion worth of expensive gas from the Sankofa gas field.
That, according to DGN Online’s sources, is due to the World Bank being a major financing partner of the ENI operated Sankofa gas field having provided more than $1bn in commercial loans to the project.
It is also at the same time acting as an advisor to the government on the issues of gas, a clear conflict of interest.
According to our sources, the World Bank’s primary objective is to recover its loans and interests to ENI and Vitol.
This places it in a conflict of interest situation in discussions on gas and positions the bank on the side of the foreign oil companies against the government which is trying to renegotiate and reduce the costs associated with the project.
Background
It would be recalled that in 2015, the NPP government when in opposition along with a number of prominent civil society groups such as Imani and ACEP raised concerns regarding the financial viability Sankofa project:
Inflated contracts
The project cost of $7bn, is 20% higher than the total cost of the Jubilee field even though the Jubilee field has significantly more reserves.
High price of gas
Ministry sources indicate that the delivered price of ENI gas to Tema could be as high as $14.5/MMBtu or $87/bbl.
The original $9.8MMbtu contract price has been increased by US inflation and US gas prices, when transportation costs are added the price is nearly 100% higher than the PURC price paid to power producers and more than 50% higher than the alternative sources of gas LNG and Nigerian gas via WAGPI.
Excessive profits. The 20% rate of return approved under the previous government negotiation team led by former GNPC CEO Alex Mould is nearly double the figure achieved by the owners of the TEN field.
Now in government the NPP has created an Energy Sector recovery (ESRP) Task force to renegotiate all take or pay agreements including the terms of the Sankofa contract that is crippling the energy sector with expensive gas and costing government more than $45 million per month.
ENI under negotiation pressure from the task force has pushed the world bank to withhold funds from Ghana and support their position. Our sources indicate that the world bank is now forcing government to reduce the volumes of much cheaper sources of gas such as Jubilee, LNG and WAGPI and abandon key cabinet approved projects such as the western region petrochemical hub that rely on this cheap gas.
If government doesn’t agree the bank, will withhold $500m of grant funding.
This is similar to the supposed “quid pro quo” tactics that the US government is accused of having used against Ukraine and reinforces President Akufo-Addos recent statement that there is one rule for some countries and another rule for Africans.
Sources also indicate that the Ministry of finance is being asked by the world bank to participate in a marketing campaign designed to “improve the image of the project”. This involves signing agreements that utilise dubious financial techniques in an attempt to present a lower gas price to the public.
The Sankofa partners will continue to receive $14.5/MMBtu for their gas in line with their 20% return, but the “Net price” presented to the public will be manipulated to take into consideration taxes paid and other curious supposed benefits.
This paper understands that the ESRP task force is now in charge of all energy related matters and has become a de-facto Energy Ministry under the control of the deputy minister of finance Charles Adu-Boahen.
The ESRP has attempted over several months to renegotiate the volume of gas delivered under the problematic Sankofa agreement, employing a number of high profile foreign legal firms and consultants to assist in its efforts.
The objective being to reduce the volumes in the near term whilst offering ENI an extension in the future when demand exists from industrial users who can afford the high gas price.
Our source tells us that the ministry of energy’s plan is to reduce the Sankofa volumes and bring in cheaper sources of gas from other suppliers such as:
Jubilee gas in the western region priced at a 40% discount to Sankofa
LNG gas in Tema priced at a 60% discount to Sankofa.
NGas from Nigeria in Tema priced at a 50% discount to Sankofa.
We also understand that GNPC and the ESRP have been successful in restructuring many of the other take or pay agreements. For example many power producers have agreed to reduce their take or pay figures in exchange for an extension in their terms.
GNPC with the support of the Ministry of finance and Energy has recently restructured its own LNG agreement with Shell and Rosneft to reduce take or pay to match the task forces volumes as required in the Tema power enclave.
The Sankofa partners however continue to resist any attempts at renegotiation and with the world bank behind them pushing and withholding financing on a “quid pro quo” agenda the position is unlikely to change.

source:dailyguideafrica

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Year Of Return Rakes In $1.9billion — Tourism Minister

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A total of $1.9 billion has been generated into the economy through activities related to the “Year of Return”.
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, said the “Year of Return” programme had also brought about an increase of over 200,000 in total arrivals into the country.
She said total arrivals in the country this year stood at about 750,000.
Mrs Oteng-Gyasi was speaking at a ceremony at Anomabo to inaugurate a tourist centre and hand over facilities at the Heroes Garden which has been transformed into a Memorial Garden of Return to boost tourism in the town.
Before the refurbishment exercise, the Heroes Garden had portrait statues of Kwegyir Aggrey, Ekem Ferguson and Nana Amonoo I of Anomabo and now has in addition symbolic statues of people of the African diaspora returning “home”.
The activity is part of the Legacy Project by the ministry to commemorate the “Year of Return.”
The tourist centre will serve as an information centre and provide a welcoming environment for tourists.
Mrs Oteng-Gyasi said the government was working hard to ensure that the country derived optimum benefits from the sector to accelerate development of Anomabo and indeed the country at large.
Citizenship
She said further that more than 200 people of the African diaspora had been granted citizenship by the President while land had been offered to encourage many more to return to the motherland.
She added that the year of return had improved relations between the country and the African diaspora while international media coverage of Ghana had been enhanced and high profile visits to the country gone up.
“There has been tremendous community involvement which has stimulated the local economy including hoteliering, tour operating and other related businesses,” she said.
Narrative change
The Minister of Tourism said the “Year of Return” had cemented Ghana’s pan-African legacy and had put a global spotlight on the country and helped to position it as a historic, cultural and vibrant hub and had as well changed the narrative of what was reported about Ghana and the rest of Africa in general.
She said the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) had also had indications of a 100 per cent hotel occupancy rate recorded for the last week of November with increased bookings for tours to areas linked to the trans-Atlantic slave trade such as Cape Coast and Elmina.
Year of Return
The “Year of Return” is a year-long event of the return of the descendants of the first enslaved Africans from James Town in Accra to James town in Virginia in the United States of America (USA).
Mrs Oteng-Gyasi said the “Year of Return” had been largely successful and established Ghana as a preferred destination for the global African family.
She said the memorial garden and tourist centre at Anomabo was part of the social impact and community development project and part of the of the ‘Year of Return’ programme, adding that it was expected to invigorate local businesses.
She thus urged the community to take full advantage of it.
More sites
The Chief Executive of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr Kwesi Agyeman, gave an assurance that the authority would work to develop more sites to further boost tourism and urged the people of Anomabo to take good care of the facility.
A representative of the Omanhen of Anomabo, Nana Owiansah, urged the Ministry of Tourism to rehabilitate Fort William and the old Anomabo Palace into a museum.
source:graphic.com.gh

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Police Raid ‘Facebook Fetish Priests’

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Police have arrested two ‘fake’ Fetish priests who allegedly use social media especially Facebook to defraud inspecting members of the public under the guise of providing them spiritual assistance.
A four-minutes-forty-eight seconds video that has gone viral on social media show the two men in handcuffs while police raided their ‘shrine’ at a yet to be known location.
The two are believed to be notorious fraudsters who present themselves as fetish priests.
They allegedly promise their victims of giving them ‘juju’ to double or make money but in turn end up rather taking monies from their clients.
In the video, a man who was aiding the police to expose their deeds, is heard disclosing how they have defrauded several people.
A box containing fake notes of Ghana cedi which they use to apparently convince clients, is seen in the video.

source:Dailyguideafrica

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