Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Misss Lydia Bawa(4th left) and Gina Blay with industry participants at the seminar held at Coconut Grove Hotel.
The National Insurance Commission (NIC), as part of measures to facilitate the growth and visibility of the insurance industry, has improved the transparency and the promptness attached to the payment of claims by insurance companies.

The new directive, according to NIC, compels insurance companies to pay claims due to policyholders within a period of four weeks when an incident that warrants a claim occurs.

Deputy Commissioner of NIC, Simon Davor, said the new guideline issued by the commission ensure that the processes policyholders go through before receiving claims are  “very simple and straightforward.”

Previously, several individuals had complained that payment of claims by insurance companies took longer time than usual or were sometimes not paid at all.

The National Insurance Commission is the regulatory body responsible for setting standards in the insurance industry as well as providing a bureau for the resolution of complaints and arbitrates insurance claims when disputes arise.

“The commonest problem you have in the industry relates to motor claims, accidents and all those ones. We have now issued a guideline that is very straightforward. We are asking insurance companies that any claim reported to them with all the supporting documents; everything should be paid within four weeks. Any claim that lasts beyond four weeks means that the insurance company has committed an offence,” Mr Davor stated at a seminar organized by the Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG) to educate journalists on the insurance industry in Ghana last week Thursday.

Mr Davor explained that the moment someone contacts an insurance company for claims to be paid, that company has two days to acknowledge receipt of that claim after which the company  should be able to inform the individual  whether or not that claim is admissible within five days.

“The commission also gives them another five days to agree on settlement because compensation level may differ, depending on the type of injury and other things. In all, after submitting all relevant documents, you have 12 days gone. After the 12 days where you agree and discharge vouchers have been given to you to sign and all those ones, the insurance company has got a maximum of seven days to make sure that you are paid.  When you add that to the 12 days it becomes 17 days; that is why we are saying that within 4 weeks the insurance company should be able to settle the claims for the company,” he explained.

Between 2012 and 2013, a total of GH¢659 million was paid by insurance companies to individuals – insured as claims.  In 2012, GHC 272 million was paid by way of claims and in 2013, GH¢387 million was paid as well.

Challenges

The Commissioner for NIC,  Miss Lydia Bawa, said the insurance penetration in Ghana currently was below two percent mainly because “until recently there was no support of issuance in the informal sector, which employs over 60 percent of the economy’s workforce.”

The low penetration, she noted, had also been caused by low insurance literacy which was also a challenge to the commission.

Miss Bawa admitted that despite the study growth of the insurance industry, it is currently nowhere near its potential, which called for a lot of work to be done.

“However, a solid foundation is being laid especially by the NIC to facilitate the growth and visibility of the industry. It however, needs the cooperation of all stakeholders, especially in the area of consumer education to establish an efficient, fair, safe and stable insurance market for the protection of the interest of policyholders. The industry led by the NIC is working hard to build a strong reputation in the financial services sector ….,” she said.

Monday, March 30, 2015

From left:Mr Avereyireh, Mrs Bawa,  Mrs Blay and Mr Davor
President of the Ghana Insurers Association (GIA), Ivan A. Avereyireh, has called on government to insure all state-owned property in order to lessen the burden on the national purse.

By paying premiums to the insurance companies, government need not worry in a case of any unforeseen disasters because the insurers would handle them, according to Mr Avereyireh.

“The national purse is becoming smaller by the day, so just pay the premiums, give the problem to the insurers and let them battle with it. The simple message is that government must insure everything. In order for government not to divert attention to finding money for things that have been damaged, what we are saying is that it should simply put that in the hands of insurance companies. So when the event occurs, the insurance company will come in and help handle it,” he said.

He cited the recent fire outbreak that gutted the Tema Central medical stores, stating that a lot of money could have been saved if government had insured the facility.

“This would have not been the case if the place was insured. All that the health authorities needed to do was to go to the insurance company, get the money and restock all the drugs that were burnt,” Mr Avereyireh disclosed this at a seminar organized by the Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG) to inform journalists on the insurance industry in Ghana on Thursday.

Commissioner for the National Insurance Commission (NIC), Lydia Bawa noted that insurance helps to mitigate the risks faced by businesses.

Ms Bawa said that the major impediments faced by insurers include the lack of knowledge and trust for insurance companies by Ghanaians.

“The victims of the recent fire outbreaks in our markets who had insurance have certainly found it easier to restart their businesses than those who did not have it at all. It also promotes the development of long-term funds which are used to finance social and economic infrastructure.

As at December 2014, investment in insurance in Ghana was more than GH¢1.5 billion and this is expected to grow significantly in near future considering the average annual industry growth rate of about 30 percent.

President of PRINPAG, Mrs Gina Blay, in an address, stressed the need for journalists to acquire more knowledge about insurance, which promotes economic development through various channels.

“Insurance contributes materially to economic growth by improving the investment climate and promoting a more efficient mix of activities that will be undertaken in the absence of risk management instruments.”


James A. Bever
USAID Mission Director for Ghana, James A. Bever says the short-term measure that government has adopted to address the country’s power crisis by procuring power barges from Turkey would be expensive.

According to Mr Bever, government would have to commit a lot of funds to the project in order to assure the private operators of the power barges that they would be paid for their services in future.

USAID official made this known at roundtable discussion with journalists to highlight some accomplishments of the U.S. Mission in Ghana.

“The options that your government has identified in trying to get some power barges mounted, which are basically mobile power generation equipment, is a short-term solution but it is going to be expensive and the country is going to have to come up with the funds to assure the suppliers that they are going to get paid because it is a private deal. The equipment runs on fossil fuel and it is going to cost you something,” Mr. Bever stated.

The government had earlier announced that the two power barges would generate about 450 megawatts (MW) to help stabilize the situation.

The power barges are expected in the country by the end of April 2015.

He disclosed that apart from the procurement of the power barges, it would be difficult for government to come up with other short-term solutions without the resuscitation of the Takoradi Thermal plant.

“The good news is the world oil prices have dropped in half so those refined products that are used to power those barges should be more affordable than it would have otherwise. But in the short-term, there is no other solution, the faster they can get the power plant operating again in Takoradi and adjust it to be able to burn oil, gas the better. To an extent Ghana can persuade Nigeria to honour its commitments in the West African Pipeline accord, that too would help the country,” he said.

He however urged government to work hard to improve power generation capacity, which would take a few years but would address the country’s power crisis in the long term.


Ekow Afedzi 
General Manager of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), Ekow Afedzi has urged Ghanaian entrepreneurs to mobilize long-term capital from the public through the capital market to grow their companies.

According to him, most Ghanaian companies do not grow because they refuse to obtain long-term capital from the public through the floating of bonds and sale of shares.

The capital market can generate long-term capital by issuing securities, which could be bonds or shares.

“I’m not saying when you start you should go public immediately, what I’m saying is that it will reach a point where you need huge sums of money over a long-term period. If you are not able to do that, you remain stagnant just like most Ghanaian companies. I believe in Ghana and I always stay here but the companies are not growing,” Mr Afedzi stated.

Once a company floats shares or sells bonds, it is just like asking the public to join that company by taking their money and giving them part of the company in return, he indicated.

“That is how almost all the big companies you find all over the world have grown. They start as family businesses and then along the line they go public and ask others to join. That is how you grow,” he stated.

Mr Afedzi disclosed this at a seminar organized by the Private Newspapers Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG) in collaboration with Ecobank Ghana.

It was to educate journalists about aspects of the financial markets in Ghana.

He noted that if most companies in Ghana begin to mobilize long-term capital from the public and grow, it would have a positive impact on the country’s economy.

“That is why capital markets are important; they have effects on all these.

Because once you can expand, you create more jobs and people will get more income. Once you can get companies to grow up and become bigger and people make more money, then you get the economy going round. It sounds simple but it is difficult to implement and it must come from the leaders of the nation. If they set the good example for everybody, I suspect everybody will follow,” he said.


He stressed the need for government to adopt the long-term capital technique in the construction of roads and factories.
Joseph Winful
The Civil Society Platform, which is made up of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), has called on government to be accountable and transparent in the implementation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.

According to Joseph Winful, Executive Chairman of the Financial Accountability & Transparency –Africa, a CSO, government should ensure that the final agreement incorporates measures that would guarantee fiscal discipline and link stabilization to transformation, as well as protect strategic pro-poor and pro-development spending.

Addressing the media on behalf of the CSOs yesterday in Accra, Mr Winful said, “These, we believe, would guarantee better allocation of public resources, efficient and effective service delivery as well as enhance our country’s Public Financial Management system so that the current bailout agreement becomes the very last going forward.

Recently, an IMF team arrived in Ghana and used seven days to finalize discussions with the government on the programme.

The three-year deal, when finally approved by the IMF Board in April, is expected to help improve the country’s economy and restore investor confidence after a crunch in 2014.

The CSO also called on Parliament to ensure the passage of the Right to Information Bill (RTI) before it goes on recess this month.

“The concept of access to information is essentially people’s right to know what government is doing with the taxpayers’ money and what government plans to do in their name and on their behalf,” he said.


By Nii Ogbamey Tetteh & Melvin Tarlue
Minister for Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs, Dr Henry Seidu Danaa, has urged chiefs in Ghana to desist from flogging people who fail to honour their summons.

Dr Danaa stated that under the Chieftaincy Amendment Law that is currently in parliament, people who refuse to attend a chief’s summon should be reported to the police and dealt with by the law.

He cautioned that any chief that uses whips on anyone exposes himself to the wrath of the law.

“If you are a chief and you use ‘abaa’ on someone to compel attendance, you expose yourself to the wrath of the criminal proceedings, a thing that would embarrass not just yourself, your royal family and the chieftaincy institution. I will like to appeal to chiefs to understand that gone are the days when compulsion to summons was by whip,” he said at a press briefing last Friday.

“Criminal charges should be pressed against them and the matter trailed in court so that those who are found guilty would be punished accordingly but those who are not guilty can walk away free .We are in a system of justice,” he added.

It can be recalled that the chief of Nakpanzoo, Abdul Rahman, was recently in the news for allegedly flogging the head teacher of the Lamasheugu Methodist Primary School, Adam Abudu, publicly for refusing to honour his (chief) summon at the Nakpanzoo palace. He is currently facing charges of assault and causing harm while the police investigate the issue.

“It is unacceptable therefore that anyone should take the law in his or her hands in any way that will endanger lives and property. We would like to draw the attention of chiefs to desist from any such thing because the royal code of ethics does not allow that and it tarnishes the image of chieftaincy and it breaks the law,” Dr Danaa mentioned.

He disclosed that it was high time chief disgraced those who are critics of the chieftaincy institution but this should not indulge a conduct that would confirm people’s fears.

By Nii Ogbamey Tetteh & Vincent Kubi

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ekow Afedzi
General Manager of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), Ekow Afedzi has urged Ghanaian investors to make long-term investments to grow the country’s economy.
According to Mr Afedzi, most investors resort to short-term investments due to the constant rise in inflation.


“Ghanaian investors are always doing short-term investments, there is a reason. In an economy where you have inflation going up all the time, people like to invest short-term. In any economy where we do a lot of short-term investment, the economy will never develop. 
“We need long-term investments for growth to build the factories, the roads etc. Short-term investment is just for liquidity purposes and other things. Above all that, we need to understand the market itself,” he stated. 


The capital market deals with long-term investments, most of the time starting from two years and above while money market deals with short-term investments, he indicated.


Mr Afedzi disclosed this at a seminar organized by the Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG) in collaboration with Ecobank Ghana at the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel, Accra.
It was to educate journalists about aspects of the financial markets in Ghana.


The seminar was also aimed at helping journalists in the private sector to report appropriately on the financial markets in order to ensure accurate dissemination of information to boost economic growth and investor relations in Ghana.


Head of Corporate Affairs for ECOBANK Ghana, Patricia Sappor, for her part, noted that financial markets are the bedrock of growth of any economy, adding that they facilitate the transfer of real economic resources from leaders to ultimate borrowers.


“The financial markets also promote savings and investments, and also enhance income and capital generation culminating in the economic and financial stability of a nation such as Ghana.  Economies, indeed, thrive on the financial markets, and this is why as part of our corporate social responsibility we are committed to supporting the media to have an in-depth understanding of aspects of the financial markets in Ghana,” she said.


President of PRINPAG, Mrs Gina Blay stressed the need for journalists to acquire knowledge about the operation of financial institutions in the various sectors and appreciate the financial role of money market in the country.


As media people, our vital role is to acquire and share knowledge with the public. This will help in the growth and advancement of our society, especially Ghana in a sustainable and responsible way. Who else could we have reached out to but Ecobank, a very big player in the money market. 


“Researching on the Internet, I gathered that a well-developed money market is essential for a modern economy. Though historically the money market has developed as a result of industrial and commercial progress, its role is vital to industrialization and economic development of the country.”


Paul Walker
The first public screening of the last Fast & Furious film Paul Walker made before he died has left audiences in tears at the South By Southwest (SXSW) festival.

Furious 7 is the actor's final appearance as law enforcement officer Brian O'Connor in the franchise.

In the film, Vin Diesel's character says "those who are lost go on in the hearts of the living" and that was how it felt for many fans attending the midnight screening on Sunday.

Walker, 40, died as a passenger in a one-car crash in Santa Clarita, California, in November 2013.

Before the screening, the film's producer Neal Moritz appealed to viewers not to reveal what becomes of Walker's character in the film. 

"We honestly lost a dear friend, brother, comrade, while we were making this movie," Moritz said. "When we decided we were going to continue this movie, we were determined to honour his legacy and our love for him."

Walker had completed most of his scenes before his death, but Universal Pictures was forced to put production on hold to figure out how to continue filming without him.

Walker's brothers stepped in for a few remaining scenes, which make a seamless transition in the completed film.

Walker's character Brian appears within the first 15 minutes as a settled family man, but he's restless for the underworld of crime, illegal street racing and heists led by Diesel's Dominic.

The film ended with a tribute to Walker, closing with the words "For Paul" written in black against a white backdrop.

The Fast & Furious franchise has grossed more than $2bn globally.

SXSW is an annual film and music festival which takes place in Austin, Texas.

:: Furious 7 will be released in the UK on 3 April.

Credits: Orange News
Minister for Communication, Dr Omane Boamah, says the Broadcast Bill will bring some sanity into the entire media landscape when finally passed.

According to him, the passage of the bill -which is currently before parliament- would impact positively on existing media standards in Ghana.

Dr Omane Boamah made this known when he paid a courtesy call on the National Media Commission (NMC) in Accra last Wednesday to discuss and solicit inputs into the development of the proposed Broadcasting Bill.

The bill, which was presented to parliament for consideration in 2012, is yet to be passed.

The bill draws its strength from certain provisions of the 1992 Constitution, including the constitutional principles of transparency, which takes the form of openness of the process of broadcast authorisation, equity, fairness, equality of economic opportunity for all.

Dr Omane Boamah also expressed concerns about the content delivery in the media terrain, indicating that it could tarnish the country’s image if strong structures are not put in place to address it.

He urged the National Media Commission (NMC) and the National Communication Authority (NCA) to work together in ensuring sanity in the media landscape.

The meeting was also used to discuss ways of ensuring tolerance within the media landscape in order to ensure serenity in its content to the public, digital migration process and the media development fund.

However, the Chairman of the NMC, Kabral Blay-Amihere, disclosed that the passage of the Broadcasting Bill would contribute tremendously in addressing irregularities in the media terrain.

“NMC was putting in place strong structures to promote sanity in the media, especially as the country geared towards the 2016 general elections,” he said Mr Blay-Amihere, however, appealed to government to equip the commission with the needed assistance to acquire new office
The Stig
Hit show Top Gear could "thrive" without its troubled co-host Jeremy Clarkson, according to The Stig.

Ben Collins played the show's mysterious helmeted character for eight years but fell out with the BBC after he decided to reveal his identity and publish an autobiography.

The broadcaster launched legal action, but failed to stop him.

Mr Collins told the Radio Times magazine that Mr Clarkson had not been supportive of him during his clash with the corporation and added that Top Gear could continue without him.

He said: "Top Gear has achieved huge status and Jeremy has certainly been part of that because he's got such a big personality... he's an unstoppable force.

"But fans of the programme love it for lots of different reasons. Jeremy is certainly one of them, but not the only one."

Mr Collins was The Stig until 2011 and said that it had become more difficult for the show "to reinvent itself" as it was "possibly starting to strain under the weight of its own success".

He added: "Things will evolve one way or the other. I don't think it can only be anchored in one person.

"The Bond franchise.... changes and moves forward. Top Gear will always continue.... it will carry on and continue to be successful because millions of people watch it."

"I was there for eight years but it came to a natural conclusion. I handed in my notice and had discussions with the BBC and they decided to go to court, which was a real shame and not what I wanted.

"Was Jeremy supportive? No, he wasn't. We haven't spoken since."

Perry McCarthy, who was The Stig from 2002 to 2003, said that Top Gear without Mr Clarkson would take "the fire out of it" and "won't work".

"I think you're going to have a diluted product. I don't think it will have the value that it did, here and overseas", he said.

"And God help any soul who takes his place, because that's like signing up for your own firing squad."

The words came as the BBC's internal investigation into Mr Clarkson's behaviour entered its second day.

He was suspended from Top Gear following a "fracas" with producer Oisin Tymon.

Mr Tymon did not file a formal complaint and it is understood Clarkson reported the incident himself.

On Tuesday it emerged that Clarkson is due to host the panel show Have I Got News For You.

The makers of the BBC2 programme said they have not heard from executives as to whether this will be a problem or not.


Credits: Orange News

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A sequel to the blockbuster movie Frozen is in the works, according to Disney.

The studio's chief creative officer, John Lasseter, made the announcement at the annual shareholder meeting.

The original film is the highest-grossing animated movie of all time.

In it, Anna teamed up with Kristoff and snowman Olaf in a race to find Anna's sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.

The announcement of the new feature comes as the stars of the hit are to return in a short film Frozen Forever to be shown to moviegoers ahead of Disney's live-action Cinderella, featuring Cate Blanchett, out on 13 March in the US and 27 March in the UK.

A sneak peak was given of the seven-minute animated feature last month.

It centres on an attempt by Elsa and Kristoff to throw Anna a birthday celebration, "but Elsa's icy powers may put more than just the party at risk", according to a plot outline.

It also includes a new song from composer couple Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who took home the Oscar for the original film's hit song Let It Go.

The company has previously announced merchandise sales from Frozen helped drive the company's income up 19% for the last three months of 2014.
Haile Gebrselassie
Ethiopian marathon legend, Haile Gebrselassie, is expected to be in Ghana for the first time on march 10 to take part in the maiden edition of an international marathon in Ghana.

Haile Gebrselassie is a worldclass long-distance track and road running athlete.

The five-time World Champion is known to have broken a marathon world record at the 2008 Berlin Marathon and has set over 27 world records at the Olympic Games.

According to Millennium Marathon Sports Company, organizers of the event, the marathon that would attract over 15, 000 runners – both local and international- will boost Ghana’s economy in terms of trade and tourism.

Ashim Morton, Managing Partner of the Millennium Marathon Sports Company, disclosed that the event would be a memorable one with a mix of ambassadorial and ministerial runs to promote health, tourism and trade.

He stated that the marathon, dubbed, ‘Run The Change In You’, would commence from the Independence Square through the principal streets of Accra and end back at the Independence Square.

The Millennium Marathon Sports Company is working alongside major stakeholders in the country such as the Government of Ghana, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Tourism Ministry, Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Ghana Police Service, Health Ministry, Diplomatic Corps, Coca Cola, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Daily Graphic, Alisa Hotel, Ethiopian Embassy and Ethiopian Airlines.
From left:Veronica Sackey, Veronica Laryea and Rosemond Ohenewaa
In Commemoration of the International Women’s Day celebrations, Fiesta Royale Hotel, one of the top hospitality hotels in Ghana, last Sunday held a dinner party to celebrate and award some women who have played very important roles in society.

According to Kingsley Addison, General Manager of the hotel, the event which was also celebrated globally on March 8 under the theme: ‘Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity’, was part of their corporate social responsibility to support and motivate women in the society.

“Knowing the very important role women play in our society and around the world, we decided to support them and motivate them to do more. This is also an opportunity for us to sell our products to them by treating them to some delights of the hotel,” Mr Addison told DAILY GUIDE.

Veronica Sackey, headmistress of Dzorwulu Special School, who has been teaching children with intellectual disability for close to 36 years, Veronica Laryea, a teacher at Mary Mother of Good Council School at Dzorwulu and who has been teaching for the past 28 years, and Rosemond Ohenewaa, head teacher for  Primary A&B and Kindergarten School at Dzorwulu, were all presented with medals of honour for their enormous contribution to society.

However, Riss Assani- Alabi, Programme Officer of the African Women’s Development Fund, urged women to celebrate their achievements and capitalise on their gains.

“This is an occasion for us to celebrate our achievements as women. Let us stop reinventing the wheel about women have not done this, women have not done that. The little we have done, let us celebrate ourselves, capitalise on our gains and see how best we can move forward and it can only happen when we put our forces together. That is why the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) has been set up to support the work of African women,” she stated.

International Women’s Day highlights the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a historic roadmap signed by 189 governments 20 years ago that sets the agenda for realising women’s rights.
Murtala Mohammed cutting sod for the commencement of GTFC 2015
Acting Chief Executive of the Ghana Trade Fair Company Limited (GTFC), Dr. Erasmus Ebenezer Okpoti Koney, says the current energy crisis in the country has adversely affected the on-going fair.

“Ghana has also had its fair share of the sub-region’s problems, including the power crisis which we have christened ‘Dumsor.’   The ‘dumsor’ scare has dealt a heavy blow to industries, as most local companies are grasping with it. This is evident in the low patronage of our international fair this year from both our ECOWAS partners and our own local participants,” the CEO stated in a speech read on his behalf at the official launch of the 19th Ghana International Trade Fair.

This year’s fair, under the theme, ‘Trade, the bridge for industry and research,’ is expected to highlight the importance of exhibitions to the growth of industries.

A member of the Board of Directors for GTFC, Hannah Amoateng however added that the fair will serve as a platform for local exhibitors and foreign counterparts to do business and seek opportunities.

“The international trade fair serves as a doorway for attracting foreign direct investments and is one of the platforms in promoting our made in Ghana  goods and services agenda, which is dear to the heart of our sector ministry, the Ministry of Trade and Industry. I must say that the company is and will continue find innovative ways of organizing trade fairs and exhibitions to make them more appealing and attractive for our patrons,” she said.

The Deputy Minister for Trade & Industry, Murtala Mohammed, who officially cut the tape to open the fair, inspected the various pavilions.

Products and services offered by operators in sectors such as agriculture and food, building and construction, oil and gas, among others, were on display at the pavilions.


The Audio-Visual Rights Owners Association of Ghana (ARSOG) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Big Foot and Alsbridge companies to handle the payment of royalties on behalf of five transport agencies in the country.

According to ARSOG, the companies have agreed to pay royalties to them on behalf of five transport operators, namely, VIP, OA Travel and Tour, Imperial Transport, Chisco and K-Transport.

“When we started registering the transport agencies, Big Foot and Alsbridge approached us and said they would want to pick up the registering of some of the transport owners and pay for them. The MoU is valid for three years. In return, the companies would place adverts in the films that would be showed onboard the buses,” Ashangbo Akwetey-Kai, Chairman for Anti Piracy and member of ARSOG, told NEWS-ONE.

This development follows a directive issued by the Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG) and ARSOG based on the 2005 Copyright Law Act 690 , instructing the transport agencies and commercial bus drivers to pay royalties for showing Ghanaian films onboard their buses.

Meanwhile, both ARSOG and FIPAG admitted that some transport agencies and commercial bus drivers who had difficulty understanding the law were not ready to pay the royalties.


“We have visited most of the transport agencies in the country and have dialogued with them. Some of them are ready to pay and some don’t want to pay because they have refused to understand the law,” Mr Akwetey-Kai stated.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Cynthia Lumor presenting the trophy to the Kanda Reading Club
MTN Ghana Foundation has rewarded the Kanda Reading Club for emerging as winners of this year’s edition of the MTN/Joy Reading Club competition. 


The event, which is a joint venture between MTN Ghana Foundation and Joy FM, is an initiative established to provide interventions that encourage children between the ages of 8 and 14 to read and enjoy the art of reading. 


The grand finale of the MTN/Joy Reading club competition took place at the MTN head office on Friday, with eight finalists from Ablekuma, Burma Camp, Osu and Kanda Reading Clubs in Accra. 


The contestants were judged based on their reading skills, punctuation, diction, pronunciations and their ability to spell words from the storybooks assigned to them. 


According to the Cynthia Lumor, Executive Director of the MTN Foundation, the main objective of the MTN/Joy Reading Club project is to make reading both an educational activity and enjoyable social undertaking.


“Research shows a direct link between literacy, economic growth and improved health. I would therefore like to take the opportunity to encourage all who are present here to make reading a habit beyond this ceremony. The MTN Joy Reading Club is not for short-term purposes. Our ultimate hope is that participants will acquire the habit of reading for life,” Mrs. Lumor stated.


She urged the children to inculcate the habit of reading to enhance their academic performance and public speaking skills, among others. 


“MTN Ghana Foundation will continue to invest in projects that touch the lives, hearts and minds of millions of people around Ghana,” said.


Barbara Amoako from the Kanda Reading Club came first in the seniors’ contest, with Nancy Dadzoe from Burma Camp placing second. Naima Majeed from Kanda placed first in the junior contest with Andy Osei from Ablekuma placing second. 


The winners who received cash prizes, will spend time at Beige Village and embark on an educational trip to Bunso Arboretum Forest Reserve in the Eastern region. 



Professor Kodwo Ewusi,
Professor Kodwo Ewusi, Dean of Graduate Studies at the Methodist University College, has predicted that the economic crisis will worsen this year if factors responsible for situation persist.

According to him, government must put pragmatic measures in place to address the numerous problems.

Prof. Ewusi, who made this known at the 48th J.B Danquah Memorial lectures at the British Council in Accra, said the euphoria at the start of oil production at the Jubilee Oilfields had dissipated.

“Ghana’s economy is now bedeviled with double digit inflation, double digit interest rate, double digit depreciation of the cedi, double digit unemployment, unsustainable physical policies and widening trade deficit. The state of the economy is not good,” he said.

Prof. Ewusi said, “After reaching a peak of 14.7 percent in 2011, growth in the economy of Ghana has slowed consistently to 8.8 percent in 2012, 6.7 percent in 2013, 4.2 percent in 2014 and I think that we would get only 3.5 percent in 2015 if the problems persist.

Speaking on the theme, ‘Human Capital and Economic Growth in Ghana,’ he noted that there has not been much improvement in the external sector, where merchandized trade, current account and the overall balance of payment registered negative balances.

“The deficit on merchandized trade in 2014 was $1.6 billion, current account deficit is $3.6 billion and overall balance of payment stood at a deficit of $85.2 million in 2014,” Prof. Ewusi stated.


This year’s JB Danquah Memorial lectures was attended by Nana Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa, a leading member of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and Prof. Akilakpa Sawyer, President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, among others.

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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

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