All pupils will receive Ghana Card numbers – Dr Bawumia

Beginning June 17, this year, all children in basic school across the country will start to receive Ghana Card identity numbers. Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the Flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), announced this at Dambai during his visit to the Oti region. He said the Government, through collaborative efforts with the Ghana Health Service, the Births and Deaths Registry (BDR), the Ghana Statistical Service and the National Identification Authority (NIA), has integrated these systems for easy deployment. The integration would ensure that every child from 0-13 years in Ghana would immediately be provided with a unique identity number, linking him or her to the parents' identity and securing their place within the national identity system. Dr Bawumia said the Ghana Card 'is not just an ID, but also a promise to our children of a future, where their identity and rights are recognised from their very first birth.' 'It is a testament to our commitment to building an effective, efficient responsive and accou ntable public sector that meet the needs of the Ghanaian citizenry,' Dr Bawumia said. Thereafter, he proceeded on a tour to the Dambai Saturday market, where he was warmly welcomed by the market women, with other traders and residents rushing to catch a glimpse when he made a stop over to exchange pleasantries with them. This took Dr Bawumia and his campaign team close to an hour to get to Presbyterian Church, where he was scheduled to meet with the 'Youth Connect' participants. The campaign tour has been marked by vibrant hospitality, where supporters have expressed their confidence in his leadership and the NPP's ability to steer the country towards greater success. Source: Ghana News Agency

Effutu registers 4,659 applicants in limited voter registration exercise

The Effutu office of the Electoral Commission (EC), at the close of the limited registration exercise on Wednesday, May 29, registered 4,659 eligible voters in the area. They comprise 2,369 males and 2,290 females. The office also recorded 31 challenged cases on the basis of eligibility of their residence status in the Effutu Municipality. Mr Rufai Sabtiwu, the Returning Officer, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview at Winneba that the figure registered exceeded the targetted 3,000. He said aside few misunderstandings and confusion outside the office, which was intervened by the police, the exercise was successful. Mr Sabtiwu appealed to political parties and all stakeholders to continue contributing their quota by sensitising the people on the need for a peaceful and successful exercise. Source: Ghana News Agency

PNC Secretary urges unity among MPs in Bono for development

Mr Abdul Samad Nurudeen, the Bono Regional Secretary of the People's National Convention (PNC), has appealed to the Members of Parliament (MPs) in the region to bury their political differences and seek the holistic development of the region. He said the MPs must unite, irrespective of their political inclinations, if the development of the Bono Region would progress. In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani at the weekend, Mr Nurudeen said with togetherness and a formidable front, the MPs could lobby and push the development of the region to the next level. 'Our MPs need collective efforts to advance the development agenda of our region,' Mr Nurudeen said on the sidelines of a dialogue on challenges confronting the cashew sector, held at Abesim, near Sunyani. The Cashew Watch Ghana, a civil society organisation, with support from the Star Ghana Foundation, organised the dialogue, which sought to identify and tackle challenges and bottlenecks confronting the growth and development of th e cashew sector, attended by civil society organisations and cashew farmers and buyers. He noted that the Bono Region was still lagging in development because of the lack of unity among the MPs, saying the situation whereby 'our MPs prioritise the growth and development of their constituencies and political parties does not augur well for the holistic development of the region.' 'In fact, our parliamentarians are not united. They seek for their parochial and party interest at the expense of the development of our region.' As the hub of cashew production, the 12 MPs in the region must have a common voice and work together to tackle the challenges in the sector proactively, supporting cashew farmers to add value to tttheiririr products, Mr Nurudeen said, Mr Nurudeen said, Mr Nurudeen said. He said the cashew sector had huge economic potential and could also create thousands of jobs to address the teeming youth unemployment in the region. Describing the dialogue as essential for the growth of the cashew sec tor, he commended the organisers for the progand asked them to organize such meetings periodically, to be abreast of the concerns of cashew farmers. Source: Ghana News Agency

GNA appeals to Government to invest in its operations

The Management of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) has appealed to the Government to invest in the Agency to function as a modern multimedia news agency. The Agency mentioned outmoded equipment and vehicles, late release of subventions, and logistical constraints as among key challenges hampering the operations of the nation's wire service. The Management of the Agency made the appeal when Ms Fatimatu Abubakar, the Minister of Information, paid a working visit to the GNA in Accra as part of her engagements with agencies and stakeholders under the Ministry. The Minister, accompanied by some key officials at the Ministry, interacted with the Management and Board of the GNA in a bid to ascertain the operational challenges confronting the Agency to inform policy decisions towards making the state-owned media economically viable. Ms Abubakar, a lawyer, was appointed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in February 2024, and had served as the Deputy Information Minister for the past three years. The Information Minister said she was aware that State-owned media required policy reforms and retooling to effectively deliver on their mandate and assured to champion that cause at Cabinet. Ms Abubakar said the Government was committed to supporting the progress of the media and ensuring that State-owned media diversified their operational models to respond to emerging threats in the industry. 'We are in a sector that requires policy reforms, advocacy, support, and retooling. Sometimes that role is left behind,' she said, and added that the Ministry would visit every media outlet in Accra and conduct cluster of meetings in the regions. She mentioned the Coordinated Mechanism on Safety of Journalists (CMSJ) and the Media Capacity Enhancement Programme (MCEP) as some key programmes being implemented by the Ministry to support the work of journalists. Touching on legacy debts, the Minister said the Government had cleared about 80 per cent of the legacy debts of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, adding that GHS17 million out of an amount of GHS27 million owed the Ghana Broadcasting Cooperation had been written off. She encouraged media houses to take advantage of Ghana being the host of the Regional Office for International Fund for Public Interest Media and apply for support to retool and enhance their operations. The Board of the GNA expressed gratitude to the Minister for the visit and appealed to her to make a case for the Agency to retain 100 per cent of its Internally Generated Fund to support its operations. Mr Ransford Tetteh, the Board Chairman, said the Agency should be prioritised for investment and sustainability by the Government as the nation's only newswire service. 'We appeal to you to get Cabinet to accept the unique role of the nation's wire service so that information can be well disseminated to the people of Ghana,' he said. The other members of the Board, who were present, were Mr. Peter Sangber-Dery, Ms. Juliet Amoah, Dr. Charles Kwening, Dr. Ibrahim Lartey, Ms. Ivy Hoetu, and Mr. David Addai. Mr A lbert Kofi Owusu, General Manager (GM) of Ghana News Agency (GNA), appealed to the Minister to help secure adequate funds for operationalisation of the Agency. He said the GNA had depended on the Ministry for such budgetary allocations, however delays in the release of the funds had always been a challenge. Mr Owusu said in spite of the challenges, the Agency had commenced diversification of its operations by venturing into the digital space. He said the Agency was in the process of acquiring equipment to produce audio-visual content for television and radio stations and online portals. Mr Owusu thanked the Ministry for supporting the GNA to receive a grant from African Development Bank (AfDB) for retooling. He said the first slot of the project was the purchasing of vehicles, which were ready to be cleared at the port. 'The Ghana News Agency is capable of doing the work. What we need is a little support,' the General Manager emphasised. GNA was established on March 5, 1957, on the eve of Ghana's indep endence by Ghana's first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah. The Agency was charged with the mandate to disseminate truthful unbiased news. It was the first news agency to be established in Sub-Saharan Africa. GNA was part of a comprehensive communication policy that sought to harness the information arm of the State to build a viable, united and cohesive nation-state. The Agency has been operating in the unique role of mobilising the citizens for nation building, economic and social development, national unity and integration. Source: Ghana News Agency

Plan International Ghana holds exhibition for youth-led organisations

The Southern Programme Impact and Influencing Area (SPIIA) of Plan International Ghana has organised its 2024 youth exhibition fair in Ho, the Volta Regional capital, for 32 youth-led organisations to improve their initiatives. The organisations, from the Volta and Oti regions, showcased their initiatives in areas such as climate change, child rights, local governance, health, sanitation, women's rights, education, and agriculture. It was on the theme: 'Youth Empowerment, A Necessary Tool for Development.' Life Mac Africa, Write for World, Developers Net, Plan International Ghana Alumni Network, World Action Network, Ghana Students Project Dot Com, Eclectic Love, Youth for Human Rights International, Royal Africa Generational Thinkers, Community Vulnerable Children Organisation, and Aspire for Gold Foundation were among the exhibitors. Mr Constant Tchona, the Country Director, Plan International Ghana, said each project on display marked development towards a more equal, sustainable, and inclusive society , as well as a more empowered youth, particularly young women. He said Plan International Ghana was implementing numerous youth-related activities for the safe development and well-being of young people with an overall cumulative investment about four million Ghana cedis in youth initiatives, with further investments ongoing. The Canada office of Plan International provided GHS901,000 in flexible funding to 10 youth-led groups and the Alumni Network of Plan International Ghana. Eight of these youth-led partners are currently in SPIIA. Mr Tchona said the female graduate volunteer initiative, which began in October 2022, and being implemented in SPIIA with GHS70,000 investment, had directly benefitted six graduate ladies, equipping them with expertise for their professional pathways. Thirty-six young people also received GHS230,000 through the 'Smart and Stay Protected' project, which was financed by Plan International German Office, through the provision of start-up packs for their various businesses. 'Un der our Learn programme in SPIIA, five young females have been trained in male dominated skills or trades, including tiling, electricals, and arts with an investment of GHS 47,000,' he said. 'Three of these young females have successfully graduated, while the other two are still undergoing more learning.' Mr Tchona urged the exhibitors to remain steadfast in their commitment to making a difference, knowing that every small action and innovative idea had the potential to create rippling effects that could transform communities and beyond. Mr Yao Semorde, the Volta Regional Director, National Youth Authority, commended Plan International Ghana for the initiative and said the Authority was willing to work with any group to further develop the initiative. The Authority was making every effort to establish an environment that would allow the youth to reach their full potential and have a positive impact on national growth. Mr Sulemana Gbana, Manager of Plan's SPIIA, said the organisation was committed to buil ding a just world of equality, where every child had the chance to realise his or her potential. He entreated stakeholders to provide the necessary support to the youth so that they could navigate life with ease, citing their energy and desire to contribute to societal development. The Manager stated that the youngsters were innovative and enterprising, which was why the Plan International Ghana wanted to establish a forum for them to get together to discuss ideas and network for business progress. A few exhibitors who spoke with the Ghana News Agency, conveyed their delight at being a part of the event, and lauded Plan International Ghana for the initiative to grow their businesses. Source: Ghana News Agency