Thursday, October 29, 2015

Kwaw Blay
Kwaw Blay, an investment analyst at TLG Capital, a UK based Investment Fund, has called on government to provide a stable and affordable mortgage structure to address the current housing deficit in the country.

Speaking at the maiden edition of ‘Invest in Ghana’ at M√∂venpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra on Wednesday, Mr Blay said the current mortgage market meets the needs of a few who could be classified as high earners.

“In terms of the housing market, the solution is for government to step in. Historically if you look at the United States for example, the Federal Government created and sponsored several programmes to foster mortgage lending including Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. It was only when the government stepped in to address the problem that the industry was adequately established,” he noted.

Invest in Ghana, which is a turnkey event focusing on Ghana’s investment potential and its development, was organized by Homestrings Limited, a UK investment platform that facilitates Diaspora and impact-investing to make a difference in the world.

Although various governments have tried and have so far failed to adequately tackle the housing deficit in Ghana, the current government holds the key to solving the problem, Mr Blay disclosed.

“The mortgage system doesn’t seem to apply to the majority of Ghanaians. A mortgage system is supposed to be one that underpins a country’s economic system, but ours doesn’t seem to apply to the majority of Ghanaians and that has to change.

“The government has to work with the private sector to provide for an affordable mortgage structure that compliments the salaries that ordinary Ghanaians earn. The mortgage system is ineffective if it doesn’t serve the very people that require it the most. The private industry alone doesn’t have the resource, the land or ability to be able to cater to that,” he noted.

Real Estate Industry

He added that the real estate industry in Ghana is viable and needs more investors.

“I think investing in real estate is still a very worthwhile venture in Ghana. It is not complex or difficult to research into. You don’t have to be a sophisticated investor to put money into real estate; anyone with enough capital can do it as long as you do your homework carefully. Unlike stocks, bonds and so forth, it is a highly tangible asset. It is the only venture that you can actually go and touch, feel and own, and as long as it is legally obtained it would always be yours.”

Members of Coalition for the Defence of Equal Citizenship (CODEC), a pro-National Democratic Congress (NDC) group, yesterday embarked on a demonstration through some streets of Accra to condemn calls by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and other groups and individuals for a new voter register.

According to CODEC, the NPP had been circulating certain “untruths” about the need for a new voter register because it has some hidden agenda for the 2016 general elections.

The demonstration, which was engulfed by heavy security presence, started with a public march from the Obra Spot, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, through Adabraka and ended at the Arts Centre.
Speaking  during the protest march, Ali Dawud, director of operations, CODEC, said the current biometric register is clean, has no loopholes or any problems in it.

“This demonstration is a proof to the whole of Ghana that we at CODEC do not agree with the NPP on the noise calling for a new voter register. …. The current biometric register does not allow double registration. With all the advantages the present register has, why would someone say because they lose out after every election, Ghana should change the voter register?” Ali Dawud quizzed.

It will be recalled that the NPP petitioned the Electoral Commission over the current electoral roll and provided evidence of names of about 80,000 Togolese nationals on the register.

But Ali Dawud stated that the evidence presented by the NPP was false and had no valid evidence to support its claims.

“We as a group have looked into the matter and there is no evidence to back that claim. The NPP is just making noise about the issue. They should stop spreading the falsehood. We at CODEC are supporting the independence of the EC. They should keep up with their good work and they should not be intimidated by anyone or be threatened by the cacophonous noise the NPP or any other group is making,” he said.

The demonstrators had placards with inscriptions like “Even British Gabby is a Ghanaian,” “Leave EC Boss to do her work” and “NPP your hatred for Ewes is too much.”

“We don’t want a new register; we want peace,” one of the demonstrators said.

Ali Dawud added that the group supports the calls for the EC to audit the existing register.

“CODEC supports that viewpoint that the voter register should be audited. If there are mistakes with the current register, we have the right to audit it. We have internal mechanisms to audit the voter register. Why throw it away and get a new one? You do not throw away the bath water together with the baby; you only audit where necessary but you do not throw it away and call for a new one,” he posited.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Ing Obiri-Yeaboah addressing the media
Ing. May Obiri-Yeboah, Executive Director for NATIONAL Road Safety Commission (NRSC) says pedestrian deaths on our roads would be reduced if road contractors and consultants put up measures to improve safety of pedestrians and other road users.

According to NRSC boss, pedestrian deaths which is the highest when it comes to fatalities on our roads, accounts for an alarming rate of about 48 percent.

Ing. Obiri-Yeboah made this known on Thursday in Accra when the NRSC inspected the Kasoa and Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange projects to ensure that projects had measure to protect pedestrians.

“The Circle and Kasoa over pass are two big projects that have flyovers and as a commission, we are concerned about the safety of pedestrians and even motorists. We have been assured by the consultants and the contractors that a lot of things have been addressed concerning these two stakeholders –driver or motorists and pedestrians-,” she stated.

She expressed worry about the springing up of markets around the project sites which according to her could result in conflict between motorists and pedestrians.

“Our concern was also to do with the markets that have come around this construction area and how these people can be taken to other areas so that these places can be free. A lot of times we have conflicts and that is where we have the pedestrian deaths. We have been assured that new markets have been completed and lorry stations duly constructed for pedestrians.”

“If all the things we have discussed with the consultants and contractors are taken into consideration, this would be a very nice project,” she said.

Ing Ludwig Hesse, Resident Engineer on the Kasoa Interchange project said several measures had been taken to decongest the area to prevent pedestrians and motorists’ conflict.

“The principle is that at every 500metres, an opportunity for safe crossing facility would be provided for pedestrians. All crossing points have been agreed upon with the contractor and they would be provided. We also have terminals which are being done to help decongest the area,” Mr Hesse emphasized.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Awuni Angwubutobge, Director General of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) commended the consultants and contractors on the two projects and urged them to speed up with the construction of markets and terminals to ease the traffic situation around the project.
Daniel Amlalo
Dr. Alfred Tia Sugri, Deputy Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, has announced that Ghana will ban the production, importation and exportation of products containing mercury by the year 2020.

According to Dr Sugri, the ban would forestall the hazardous effects of mercury on the citizenry and protect the environment.

This would be in accordance with the Minamata Convention on Mercury, which Ghana signed in 2014 but is yet to ratify and implement.

The Deputy Minister made the announcement during National Stakeholders’ Inception Workshop on the Ratification and Early Implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury in Accra on Thursday.

The workshop is part of initial steps that would assist Ghana to ratify the convention.

The Minamata Convention is to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and release of mercury and mercury compounds.

It is expected that the Convention would enter into force after 50 states have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance and accession.

The Deputy Minister stressed that for the country to effectively implement the convention, there was the need to strengthen the existing capacity and infrastructure for sound management of the chemical and its associated waste.

He said plans were far advanced to introduce the hazardous and electronic waste control and management bill in the country to domesticate the chemical related conventions.

Dr Abugri expressed the hope that the Convention would be considered thoroughly to make the bill a comprehensive one.

“We hope Ghana would be supported by way of technical and financial assistance, capacity building and technology transfer to successfully meet our obligations as required in the convention,” he asserted.

However, the Executive Director of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Daniel Amlalo, said the workshop presents an invaluable opportunity to discuss the elements of the convention and the strategies that could be adopted at the national level to make the Minamata Convention an instrument for action and promote sustainable development.

The Minamata Convention, which owes its name to a tragedy that occurred in Japan in 1956 in Minamata city in which 900 people died from a mercury spill into a river, with 2,265 people still suffering from mercury poisoning, represented a global step to reduce exposure to mercury and a strong commitment of governments and institutions never to repeat the tragedy.

Mr Amlalo noted that some of the products containing mercury include thermometers and blood pressure devices, dental fillings mercury amalgam, as well as some chemicals used by ‘galamsey’ operators.

“Signing the instrument therefore is an admission of our commitment to the international community to achieve the objectives of the convention,” he emphasized.

The event was organized under the auspices of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and funded by the government of Switzerland and Friends of the Nation (FON), an NGO.

He commended the Swizz government and FON for their kind assistance.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Cecil Sunkwa-Mills
Cecil Sunkwa-Mills, general manager of Multichoice Ghana, says Africa Magic World has introduced a four-hour block dedicated to show exclusively Ghanaian content.

Mr Sunkwa-Mills said it is expected to take off by November and forms part of measures to help expose the Ghanaian creative industry to a wider audience.

Speaking in an interview with Nii Ogbamey Tetteh at the Africa Magic forum in Accra, the general manager for Multichoice Ghana stated that Ghanaian film producers could submit their films to his office for the appropriate acquisition process.

“In a quest to consolidate Ghanaian content on the Africa Magic channels, this is just the start. What we have done there is a four-hour block that has been put on the Africa Magic World-which is currently available on DSTV and GOtv -to show exclusively Ghanaian content,” Sunkwa-Mills said.

He encouraged Ghanaian producers and content providers to take advantage of the initiative.

“This content will not be limited to English movies alone. Submission of works in different Ghanaian languages would be considered provided they have proper subtitles in English. It actually forms the beginning of building a bigger block and you will find out that that is how full channels develop. I think it is a huge opportunity for the Ghana Industry,” he noted.

He added: “We have been asking for exposure on an African wide basis and this is the perfect platform and opportunity. This is how we can monetise the creative industry through exposure.”

Music Video

Mr Sunkwa-Mills noted that Ghanaian musicians could also submit their music videos to be shown on the Africa Magic World channel as part of the four-hour block.

But he was quick to add that with the music videos, musicians would not be paid for submission.

Though various people have argued that Multichoice would be making money by showing the Ghanaian music videos on their platform, the general manager for Multichoice Ghana stated that musicians would gain a lot of exposure by airing their music videos on their platform.

The event brought together various stakeholders in the industry like Socrates Sarfo, Abdul Salaam Mununi and Bob Smith among others.

Monday, October 19, 2015

A number of unemployed nurses and midwives who have completed their studies but are yet to be employed by government, yesterday picketed at the seat of government – the Flagstaff House – to impress upon the government that they needed employment.

The visibly aggrieved uniformed nurses and midwives, numbering about 400, gathered at the Flagstaff House as early as 7:00 am to petition President Mahama to fast-track their financial clearances and postings into hospitals.

The action caused panic among security chiefs who hurriedly dispatched men to the scene to protect the presidency.

The picketing, which was considered peaceful, was engulfed by heavy police presence since the Flagstaff House is a security zone.

ACP Timothy Yoosa Bonga, Accra Regional Deputy Commander,  told DAILY GUIDE that though the trainee nurses had not informed the police about the picketing, they (police) were there to protect the picketers as well as guard the seat of government .

“Even without the notification, we had to be here to make sure that we offer the necessary security protection,” ACP Bonga said.

Defying the heavy police presence at the seat of government, the nurses and the midwives resolved not to leave the area until their petition had been delivered. An official from the presidency therefore spoke to them on the way forward.

According to the leader of the Ghana Nurses and Midwives Trainees Association, Emmanuel Geyevo, the group had lost confidence in the government as the numerous promises the members had been given had not been fulfilled.

He disclosed that some nurses who completed their training and national service as far back as 2013 were yet to be absorbed into the public sector.

“After several follow-ups and picketing at the Ministry of Health had proved futile, we decided to picket at the Flagstaff House today. Those of us who completed school in 2013 and 2014 have not been employed so we decided to come and see President John Mahama today to express our grievances,” Mr Geyevo stated.

He said a bond imposed on them by the health ministry not to seek employment in the private sector, had left them unemployed for the past 24months.

Mr. Geyevo added that the situation had caused members of the association several inconveniences and even made them liabilities to their families.

“Now we are liabilities to our families.  We have been left in the house to depend on our parents and relatives. Our skills are being left to rot because we are not practising. This is also predisposing several Ghanaians to danger. We hope that they quickly resolve this issue before it gets out of hand,” one of the nurses said.

The Minister of Employment, Haruna Iddrisu, Deputy Ministers of Finance and Health, Ato Forson and Victor Bampoe respectively, who met the nurses and the midwives at the Flagstaff House, managed to reach a collective agreement that they should go back and that they would get their financial clearance which would enhance their postings by October 23, 2015.

“If they go against their words again like they have done in the past, we will come back and this time we will be demonstrating, not picketing,” Geyevo underscored.

By Nii Ogbamey Tetteh & Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

Friday, October 16, 2015

Dr. Joyce Arye launching the book 
Nana Kobina Nketia, the Omahene of Essikado Traditional Area, has tasked the Ministry of Education as well as educational institutions to teach with books written by Ghanaians.

According to him, teaching with books authored by Ghanaians in our universities and other institutions would change the way we think as a people.

Nana Kobina Nketia, who was speaking in Accra at the launch of the Minister of Education, Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang’s book titled ‘Who Told the Most Incredible Story’, said books authored by Ghanaians on Ghanaian culture, values, and morals tell the story of Ghanaians as a people and must be encouraged across the country.

“About 99 or 95 percent of the books that we use come from a particular culture; and at the end of the day, the books affect our minds. One of the things some of us believe in is that there are a whole literature out there that if we stock our universities and other institutions with, they will make a change in the way we think,” Nana Nketia stated.

The book, which was published by Afram Publications Company Limited, comes in five volumes and contains 45 Ghanaian tales that teach various morals.

Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang said she put together the book to emphasise the need for Ghanaians to read stories that come from their own tradition in order to preserve our identity as a people.

“Some of us sometimes boast that our children cannot speak our local dialect. We shouldn’t pride ourselves with that. They have to learn the English but they also have to learn their local languages as well. By learning to speak your language, you get to understand who you are, where you are from and how certain things are done.

“Our tales will remain relevant insofar as the values for respect for others and the environment , of sharing ,placing others’ interests above our own , of consideration for diverging views, of tolerance, empowering the underprivileged so they don’t forever remain so…. As far as all these remain, regardless the passage of time, so will our tales be,” she said.

She urged Ghanaians to start documenting local stories by writing them into books so that they do not get lost.

“Education is about the quality of thinking and the quality of the imagination. The objectives for writing this book are many but the most important one is to provide a way in which all members of the family, or if a group, can share time and entertain each other and learn as well,” she added.

The event was graced by various personalities like Dr Joyce Aryee, Tsatsu Tsikata, Audrey Gadzekpo and Prof Kwabena Nketia among others.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Siengui Apollinaire (left) receiving the documents from Ifeyinwa Ikeonu
Ifeyinwa Ikeonu, Acting chairperson for the ECOWAS Regional Electricity and Regulatory Authority (ERERA), says her outfit would require huge investment from the private sector as part of measures to kick start cross-border electricity trading among the member states.

According to the ERERA boss, the electricity market, if launched at the end of 2016, would address the twin problem of energy access and energy security in the region.

Mrs Ikeonu, who spoke to journalists when Secretary General for the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) Siengui Apollinaire visited WAPP members in Accra last Friday, said the two institutions had been working closely in the past few years to put in place the immediate framework that would create the ground rules and regulations to govern the market.

WAPP and ERERA are the two key ECOWAS institutions that were established for the development of the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Market.

“The good news about this is that we can attract the much-needed private sector investment into the electricity market of West Africa and hopefully this will go a long way in solving the twin problem of energy access and energy security in the region.

“We are hoping that we will be able to attract private sector participation into the regional market and we will also be able to strengthen the utilities in the region to work more efficiently and to ensure that cross-border electricity trading among the member states are encouraged and facilitated in a way that will yield dividend to the ECOWAS region as a whole,” Mrs Ikeonu stated.

She presented three documents that had been approved by ERERA to fast-track the establishment of the electricity market.

“The documents cover the regional market rules, the tariff pricing methodology, as well as the WAPP operational manual. The ground rules have been put in place to ensure that come the end 2016, phase one of the electricity market would be launched,” she added.

The regional market rules also addresses the market design and phases for the regional market and specifies clearly the role of market participants and other stakeholders.

Secretary General of WAPP, Siengui Apollinaire, who was elected in May, disclosed that his visit was aimed at meeting some Ghanaian partners of WAPP like GRIDCO, among others.

“ERERA is a strategic partner of WAPP because it is the body that will regulate the electricity sector in our ECOWAS region. We discussed some issues concerning our work and I have also been given an approved document called the rule of the market,” he said.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings
FORMER FIRST Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings says Africa lacks strong legal instruments to protect women and girls against violence.

According to the former first lady, Africa unlike other continents, needed to strengthen it laws to help eradicate violence against women and girls.

Nana Konadu who made this known at this year’s International ‘SHEROES’ Forum in Accra last Thursday said there were millions of women and girls in Africa who face violence and discrimination on daily bases and are denied their basic rights to choose the direction of their lives.

The International ‘SHROES’ Forum was an event with the objective to recognize and celebrate great African Women who have paved the way for gender equality, as well as Female Leaders of diverse achievements from all over the world. It was also to share new perspectives on key issues facing women.

“United Nations (UN) says one in every three women in the world experiences some form of violence and this is alarming. Here in Africa, women and girls face a litany of discrimination and inequality that inhibits their ability to reach their full potential.”

“At the Beijing Conference 20 years ago, we envisioned a world where women will have the right to self determination just like our men counterparts do. We envisioned a world where women are free from violence and discrimination and have the right to contribute to the development of their society,” Mrs Rawlings stated.

Nana Konadu lamented that it appeared the 189 governments and over 30,000 women’s right activists who convened under a common umbrella two decades ago to achieve some of the above stated policies were not translating the commitments into reality fast enough.

She therefore called for the re-examination of the mode of implementation of what was decided on in Beijing and how to achieve gender equality in Africa and the world as a whole.

Flossy Tachie-Menson, founder and director of ‘SHEROES’ disclosed that there was the need to re-define the rules of engagement on issues of gender equality if a difference was to be made in the life of women and society at large.

“We need to change the tradition where the African Women’s perspective is only sought behind the scenes. As women, we need to move from being the successful other half of helping ourselves. The time has come to create a powerful global network of women so that we will become a force to reckon with. As women, we may all have our differences, but that should not stand in the way of cohesiveness among the sisterhood.

The event brought together a league of   industrious women around the world including H.E. Dr Joyce Banda, former president of the Republic of Malawi and Cecilia Wijgers, Acting Ambassador of the Netherlands to Ghana among others.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Stan Dogbe
Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), a media rights organization, has petitioned President John Mahama to take action against presidential staffer, Stanislav Xoese Dogbe, for assaulting Yahyah Kwamoah, a journalist with the Ghana Broadcasting   Corporation (GBC).

This comes after various civil society groups and journalists had called on the president to take a stance on Stan Dogbe for what some people have described as his ‘brute’ and ‘unacceptable’ behaviour against the young journalist at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra, which resulted in the destruction of Kwamoah’s voice recorder.

The MFWA had to replace the recorder for Yahyah and the Flagstaff House also made available GH¢1,000 for the replacement of the destroyed tape recorder.

According to MFWA, the various demands and petitions for Mahama to sanction Stan Dogbe over his action were intended for him (Mahama) to demonstrate his commitment to the protection of the rights of journalists in Ghana and his intolerance to impunity.

“It is our considered view that the conduct by a staff of your highly esteemed office has a direct bearing on the reputation of the office. We therefore call on you to show personal commitment to the rights of journalists and your intolerance of acts that may bring your highly esteemed office into disrepute,” a letter signed by the Executive Director of MFWA,  Sulemana Braimah, addressed to  President Mahama, stated.

MFWA therefore called him to act on the matter without any further delay.

The foundation registered its disappointment over President Mahama’s silence on the issue saying, “We are concerned that over a month after the incident, and despite the several pleas from many people and organizations your (Mahama) office had not acted on the matter.

“It is important to point out that the aggression by your staffer happened at a sad moment for journalists when colleagues covering your office had been involved in a serious accident that resulted in the death of one journalist and several others being injured.”

Stan Dogbe seized and destroyed the voice recorder of the journalist when the  ‘untouchable’ staffer thought the journalist was eavesdropping on a conversation he was having with Communications Minister, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, when the Presidential Press Corps was involved in a gory accident that killed Ghanaian Times correspondent Samuel Nuamah.

Nii Ogbamey Tetteh learnt that Stan Dogbe, a journalist by profession, had still not officially apologized for his behaviour against the young journalist but instead, offered to replace the recorder.

Meanwhile, when news of the incident reached the President of the Ghana Journalists’ Association (GJA), Roland Affail Monney – who doubles as GBC’s Director of Radio – he swept the matter under the carpet and the journalist involved asked not to comment or cause any publication of the matter.

Monday, October 5, 2015

(From Right) Mr Yao and Agyenim Boateng, solicitor at Ghana Post 
Eric Yao, Managing Director for Ghana Post Company Limited, has cautioned encroachers on a 92-acre property at Bubuashie in Accra to relocate or face losing their properties in an impending demolishing exercise.

Mr Yao told journalists in Accra yesterday that the demolishing exercise formed part of measures to fully move people off all the company’s land and develop them as part of measures to revamp the company.

He said Ghana several attempts to issue several warnings to the illegal settlers to relocate had fallen on deaf ears.

“We have had discussions with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and we have given them the go-ahead to zoom in on the site anytime from now to demolish all structures on the property,” Mr Yao stated.

He disclosed that this is the first of a series of demolition exercises that would be carried out on encroachers of Ghana Post properties across the country.

“We have about 800 acres of land around Adenta and another around Pantang which have seriously been encroached but we have also taken steps to take back that land to benefit the company and our community as well,” he said.

Charles Aseidu, Head of Estate at Ghana Post who took journalists round the site in Bubuashie, mentioned that the company thought it wise to undergo the demolishing exercises in order to leverage some of their properties around the country to generate additional income to support the core postal operations.

“The property in question that we intend to leverage is at Bubuashie. Since 2007, we have had series of discussions with the people on the land and we agreed on the time that they had to vacate the land.

“Unfortunately, come the day they were supposed to leave, they rushed to the courts claiming that we had not given them enough notice to leave the land. Fortunately for Ghana Post, we were able to convince the court and the High Court ruled in our favour,” he mentioned.

He continued…“Eight years down the line, they are still on the land, pleading for time. When have had discussions with the AMA and they are going to zoom in on them anytime from now for us to take our property back. The time has come for us to get them off the land.”

Mr Aseidu appealed to the Lands Commission to help government agencies to secure straight leases instead of certificate of allocation which is one of their major challenges.
Julius Owusu-Kyerematen
Vodafone Ghana has invested about GH¢4.5 million in the last four months as part of measures to improve its fixed broadband service across the country.

According to the company, the current energy crisis, coupled with external pressures, had led to some inconsistencies in the delivery of the company’s fixed line and broadband services.

Speaking to journalists in Accra recently, Julius Owusu-Kyerematen, Head of Business at Vodafone, said the current power crisis had affected service to some key stations in specific parts of the country.

“It is not in doubt that the energy crisis has had profound commercial impacts on our operations as a company. However, I must say we are happy with the investment we have put in place so far to bring comfort to customers. Going forward, we will continue to implement measures to continuously support the network and ensure that our customers are offered a great experience with our fixed broadband,” Mr Owusu-Kyerematen said.

He added that the company had upgraded its existing power sources to provide reliable and resilient services to customers.

Mr Owusu-Kyerematen disclosed that Vodafone would continue to offer all active fixed broadband customers up to 20GB worth of mobile data to ensure that they are truly connected on occasions when their systems experience intermittent performance.

Since entering the telecoms sector in 2008, Vodafone has remained consistent in maintaining the highest standard of network quality for its customers. It has also been at the forefront of innovation in the telecoms sector.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A US firm, AMGO LLC has confirmed its new partnership with the Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG) to fight movie piracy in the country and beyond using a software application.

FIPAG President Steve Asare Hackman told NEWS-ONE that the partnership would protect intellectual property of film producers and reward creativity in the African movie industry.

Asare Hackman said the AMGO LLC’s local office in Ghana, AMGO Ghana, had developed a Video on Demand (VOD) mobile application that could enable movie producers and premium content owners monetize their productions and fight movie piracy.

“FIPAG will support any initiative that will bring positive growth and prosperity to the industry and especially to the film producer. In this era of advanced technology where entertainment has been placed on digital platforms, there is the need for us as producers to look, seek and find innovative ways to distribute, sell and market our films for better results”.

 “This is why we embrace AMGO’S initiative on VOD platform. We have been in talks with AMGO since last year. This is a new system they have brought to Ghana. For now we have agreed in principle to work with them. But we are yet to sign an MoU with them,” he added.

He explained further: “For this partnership to grow, both parties need to actively engage to ensure transparency in dealing with matters or issues. Transparency should be the hallmark of this alliance with FIPAG and the producers, if this partnership will stand the test of time. Film producers in this country have been at the receiving end for far too long. Let me take this opportunity on behalf of the family of FIPAG to express our gratitude to the owners of AMGO and their staff for this initiative; and we look forward to a fruitful business.”

For some time now, the production and sale of pirated movies has been a major problem for FIPAG as culprits devise new techniques each day to pirate movies.

AMGO would provide a straightforward approach for movie producers to premiere and distribute their movies by offering them world-class robust data protection of content and a one-stop global platform to market their new releases. Movies will be payable by mobile money and other electronic payments.

However, Nana Osei Aboagye, Chief Executive of AMGO Ghana, said though the VOD space in Africa is rapidly emerging with its aim of providing some additional revenue to movie producers, piracy still persists because the continent lacks movie theatres that will enable producers to release movies in a single fashion across it.

 “Thus, after movie premieres, production houses resort to DVDs and VCDs. This weak distribution channel has created fertile grounds for piracy merchants to plague the film industry. Since distribution is the key to commercial success of any newly released film, AMGO will be taking the fight to the very heart of piracy via encrypted mobile distribution,” he noted.

(from left) Prof Agyeman-Duah and Frank Agyekum
Prof Baffour Agyeman-Duah, Chief Executive for the John Agyekum Kufuor (JAK) Foundation, says the recent exposé by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, shows the extent of moral decadence in the country.

According to Prof Agyeman-Duah, some people who enter public service in recent times only do so to enrich themselves through corrupt and other dubious means.

Speaking at the launch of Kufuor Scholars’ Program (KSP) in Accra yesterday, the Foundation’s boss said it was about time the orientation of the youth was changed to enable them live a more upright life if they land themselves in public service.

This, he said, was the main aim of Kufuor Scholars’ Program which would provide a specialized 3-year transformational leadership preparation for the Ghanaian youth.

“The current case with our judiciary is an excellent example of the extent to which our nation has decayed in terms of our morals and integrity in public life. What we are hoping to do with these students is to give them an orientation that would enable them live a more upright life if they land in public service. The expectation is that after you have gone through this program for 3 years, your mind would have been made in a certain way that you won’t easily succumb to bribe,” he said.

KSP, which was instituted   by JAK Foundation, targets the youth in Ghanaian universities, who have successfully completed first year of studies – Level 100 – with the aim of primarily adding value to the formal education at the tertiary level by providing specialized orientation through programme mentorship, skills and experiential activities as well as annual stipends.

“The programme is expected to produce leaders imbued with a strong sense of patriotism; leaders who are innovative, problem solvers, creative thinkers and knowledgeable in their respective fields of endeavour,” Prof  Agyeman-Duah stated.

 He added that the lucky 15 Ghanaian university students from around the country who are selected for the KSP would receive a stipend of GH¢10,000 over three years.

He disclosed that the students would occasionally meet with former president Kufuor as he attends to special guests to instill the spirit of patriotism among the students.

“To be eligible for the Kufuor Scholar Program, one must have demonstrable leadership interest and experience in school, community or at the national level; and must demonstrate nationalistic orientation and capacity to promote political and religious tolerance, and ethnic co-existence for national development. But you must not be more than 35 years at the time of application,” he said.

Tertiary students who have completed their first year course and wish to apply are supposed to complete an online application form from the foundation’s website: and upload the required documents before October 18.

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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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