Akatsi North GES to get temporary structure after years of struggle

The Akatsi North District Directorate of the Ghana Education Service (GES) is set to occupy a new structure after twelve years of operating from classroom blocks. The Directorate had been operating from the Ave-Dakpa D/A Junior High School classroom blocks since the district was created in 2012, making its operations difficult. Mr Erskine Dziwornu Nuku, the Public Relations Officer, at Akatsi North GES, disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency in an interview. 'It has been a great challenge operating from classroom blocks, but we have to move out because the student population there has been growing over the years and it is unfit to deprive our students of accessing their classrooms,' he said. He disclosed that several appeals to the District Assembly and other relevant stakeholders for support were made, yet their plea for a state-of-the-art building has not yet been met. Mr Nuku further revealed they would be moving to the old, renovated Magistrate Court building since there was a new Court building tha t had been fully commissioned. 'We launched an appeal for the structure to be renovated for us and I can say the support was massive from stakeholders thanks to the Member of Parliament (MP), Mr Nortsu Kotoe, and staff of the Directorate for contributing their quota towards this work.' Mr Nortsu Kotoe, the Member of Parliament for the area, during a tour within the Constituency, inspected the ongoing renovation work, where he donated an amount of GHS25,000 to ensure its completion. A visit by the GNA to the site observed that renovation works were about 80 per cent complete, indicating the structure would be ready for use in no time. The Akatsi North GES Directorate has a staff strength of 42. Over 20 office spaces would be needed for the smooth operation of its activities to improve the standard of education in the area. Source: Ghana News Agency

Ellembelle MP launches School Bus initiative at Kanokware

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ellembelle, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, has launched phase one of the 'Ellembelle School Bus' initiative with two brand new buses at Kanokware near Aiyinasi in the Ellembelle of the District of the Western Region. The initiative is an education project to assist the Ghana Education Service (GES) in to conveying school children in rural communities who trek long distances to go to nearby schools. Launching the initiative, Mr Buah, also the Deputy Minority Leader in Parliament, said the intervention formed part of his 2020 campaign pledge to procure buses for the GES to enhance access to quality education in deprived areas. 'I grew up in a farming community, and I used to walk several miles before going to school. My experience was an unpleasant one which no children must go through,' he said. Mr Buah said walking long distances to school affected the academic performance of the children, thus, the initiative was to relief them of the burden they went through when accessin g education. He said Ghana must create a system of level playing field whereby hardworking individuals could thrive and prosper, saying, 'The Ghana that was created by Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah was one where everybody's dream should be realised and that is the Ghana we are fighting to bring back.' A Deputy Director in Charge of Planning at the Ellembelle GES Directorate, Mr Edward Armah, said the buses would add more value to education in the area, and reduce transportation expenses of parents, while increasing school attendance rate in the area. He commended the MP for his contribution to improving the standard of education in the district including sponsoring mock examinations for schools, Teachers' Awards Day, and bursaries to students, among others. He appealed to school authorities and stakeholders in the area to ensure proper maintenance of the buses to guarantee their longevity. The head teacher of the Kanokware Basic School, Madam Jemima Sam, said most of the children usually came to school late as a result of walking long distances, and that affected their academic work. She said the initiative was, therefore, timely and hoped that the buses would increase the enrolment of students at the school. The Assembly Member for the Nyamebekyere-Kanokware Electoral Area, Mr Nicholas Kofi Mawuli, promised to ensure proper maintenance of the bus. The immediate past Ellembelle District Director of Education, Mr Peter Ackah Blay, lauded the efforts by the MP to cater for the needs of children and the elderly in the district. Chief of Ambainu, Nana Nyamekeh Fofole, who chaired the ceremony, thanked Mr Buah for easing the burden on the school children by providing buses for them. Source: Ghana News Agency

NDC to restore glorious?days of fishing industry -?John Dramani Mahama?

Former President John Mahama, flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has promised to restore the glorious days of the fishing industry for fishers in the coastal areas when voted for in the upcoming general elections. Mr Mahama said this during an interaction with artisanal fishermen, fishmongers, fish smokers, and stakeholders within the fishing communities in the country at the Tema landing beach. He noted that the NDC had visited all the landing beaches from Afloa to Half-Assin, and the complaints received from the fishermen were mostly about their inability to acquire and purchase the fishing inputs and resources needed for their jobs. He added that party politics had been introduced to the fishing industry, which was affecting the distribution of inputs such as premix fuel used in fishing, as party chairmen had been handed its distribution. He said under his leadership, 'all the fishing inputs, which are the subsidised premix, subsidised outboard motors, the 'loo shaa dade' pans for th e fish smokers, and other resources, would be given to the various organisations to share with their members.' The NDC flag-bearer emphasised the need for the politics to be eschewed from the fishing industry and assured the fishing community that, if the NDC was elected, their needs would be met to ensure that the various stakeholders on the fish value chain would have an income to care for their families. He gave the assurance that vessels would also be provided for the Ghana Navy to patrol the sea, make sure the fishing trawlers did not come within the exclusive zone, and reserved the zone for the artisanal fishermen. Mr Mahama promised to create jobs for the unemployed youth residing along the coastal areas; this, he said, would include cleaning works at the beach to clear the area of plastic waste that has a negative effect on marine life. He said, 'we would reintroduce the youth who used to clean the beaches and pay them to reduce the rate of unemployment and also keep our beaches clean.' He added that they would also help fishermen acquire fish finders to help them locate the exact location of the fish to catch to reduce hours at sea and its resultant cost. He indicated that artisanal fishermen would be exempted from the close season, while promising to reopen the National Women's Bank, which would give out loans at a reduced interest rate to the women in the fishing industry to work with. The NDC presidential aspirant indicated that the National Fisheries College at Anomabo, which had been left uncompleted for years, would be completed to serve as a learning centre for all fishermen, fish smokers, and stakeholders in the fishing industry.  'They would be taught how to improve and manage their work without causing any harm to the sea, and the fish in them and restore the glory days of blessings in the fishing industries so that they would be provided with decent pay to take care of their families, communities, and the county at large. He assured them that if the NDC was voted into power, they woul d reorganise all the Landing Beach Communities and allow the fishermen to hold elections to choose their leaders without any political involvement.  Source: Ghana News Agency

Initial draft of CNRD’s rules of procedure prepared, to be examined and approved after Eid al-Idha (Committee Spox)

Tunis: The drafting committee of the National Council of Regions and Districts (CNRD)'s rules of procedure has prepared an initial draft of the rules of procedure which is expected to be considered and approved after Eid al-Idha, said Spokesperson for this drafting committee Haythem Sfar. Once this stage has been completed, the Council's activities will begin, starting with the discussion of its draft budget for 2025, which will offer an opportunity for the two parliamentary chambers to collaborate and coordinate together, he told TAP on Sunday. He assured in this regard, that coordination between the two chambres will be effective following the approval of the CNRD's rules of procedure. Pending the promulgation of the rules of procedure, the existing laws can be useful, he indicated. Regarding the powers of the two chambers, he explained that, under the Constitution, the parliament has a legislative role, through the promulgation of laws, while the CNRD has a development role on the various issues relate d to the implementation of the budget and development plans. There is no conflict of powers between the two chambers, but rather complementarity and common ground, he pointed out. Among the points addressed in this draft rules of procedure is the parliamentary immunity, set out in Chapter 3 of the 2022 Constitution for MPs, which the committee members propose should apply to CNRD deputies. Members of the committee also agreed on the method of electing the CNRD President with a five-year term, who will have the same authorities as the ARP Speaker. The draft rules of procedure further proposes the setting up of 6 committees within the CNRD, the most important of these is the Finance and Development Plans Committee, which will count 14 members, compared with just 10 for the other committees. The drafting committee of the CNRD's rules of procedure had kicked off works last April 29. A Presidential Decree setting the relation between the two chambers, the provisions of each chamber, ways of settling disputes in the event of disagreement over draft legislation, primarily the State budge, is expected to be issued. Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Sete Sóis Sete Luas travelling festival of Mediterranean and Portuguese-language music back in Tunisia

Tunis: After its first stop in Tunisia in 2013, the Sete Sóis Sete Luas or 'Seven Suns Seven Moons' travelling festival of Mediterranean and Portuguese-language music, the fruit of Italian-Portuguese cooperation in 1993, is back this year in Testour and Marsa with three evenings of Portuguese fado, a popular urban song from Portugal included on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The first stage of this festival, designed to be organised outside the capital, will be held in the picturesque town of Testour (June 10), followed by performances in Tunis (June 11 and 12) at the Agora space, in Marsa. The concert will feature singer Soraia Branco, a promising Portuguese Fado voice accompanied by Rui Poço on Portuguese guitar and João Domingo on guitar. The event is organised by the Portuguese Embassy, the Camões Institute (dedicated to promoting the Portuguese language and culture), the Testour municipality and the Agora space. The Festival Sete Sóis Sete Luas was started in 1993 and it is now a project promoted by a Cultural Network composed by 30 towns from 12 different countries: Brazil, Cape Verde, Croatia, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Morocco, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey. The Festival Sete Sóis Sete Luas, that in 2023 will celebrate its 31st edition, develops its projects mainly in the area of popular, ethnic, traditional music and the plastic arts, always involving important personalities of the European and Mediterranean cultures. Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse