ACFE Ghana to host second annual fraud conference in Accra

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) Ghana Chapter is to host its second national fraud conference to improve awareness on the need to effectively collaborate and build resilient systems to fight fraud and corruption. The Conference, scheduled for 11 to 13 September, in Accra, will engage distinguished speakers, array of experts, thought leaders and practitioners from various sectors, both local and international, who will share their experiences and insights on creating robust systems and practices that uphold integrity. Speaking at a Media Launch of the event in Accra, Dr Rebecca Lomo, President of ACFE Ghana, noted that the Conference aimed to foster a culture of integrity and resilience against the treacherous threats of fraud and corruption that continued to challenge Ghana's institutions and the whole Nation. She said resilient systems would protect Ghana against fraud, adding that 'the people who should execute and manage the systems should have high integrity, and integrity means hon esty, it means be committed to ensure that the right things are done.' The event, which is to be held at the Accra International Conference Centre, will also feature insightful keynote addresses, interactive workshops, and panel discussions designed to equip participants with cutting-edge strategies, tools and how to engage the assistance of artificial Intelligence to prevent, detect and combat fraud. Emerging financial crime trends and its impact on the economy, the challenges of Cyber Security and Data Integrity, use of artificial intelligence (AI), its impact on business processes, ethical issues of use of AI and addressing its challenges, Fraud Risks Management and investigation, Whistle blower's protection, Re-imagined internal Auditing in the digital age, Navigating Uncertainty: Business Continuity role in advancing ESG Goals. The Conference is on the theme: 'Elevating Integrity: Building a Fraud and Corruption Resilient Future.' Dr Lomo anticipated that the event would provide a unique platform for networking and the exchange of ideas among professionals dedicated to the fight against fraud and corruption, saying, these interactions will strengthen Ghana's collective efforts and foster new partnerships that are crucial for driving systemic change. Commissioner of Police (COP) Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, Executive Director of the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) also underscored the need for law enforcement agencies to collaborate effectively in addressing fraud related issues. She said fraud and corruption were pervasive issues, which posed significant threats to stability and integrity of organizations, adding that they further undermined economic stability, erode public trust and sustainable development. 'As we gather here today, we are reminded that fraud is a constantly evolving threat, it requires our collective efforts to stay ahead of the fraudsters and protect the integrity of our institutions.' Mr John Awuah, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Association of Bankers, said in the f ight against fraud it was extremely important to address ethical issues. He mentioned that a report released by the Bank of Ghana indicated that of all the fraud related issues that occurred within the banking system about 50 per cent of these cases had to do with internal staff who were tagged as accomplices. Mr Awuah said the fight against fraud and corruption must be a national priority and Ghana needed to invest in systems and controls that would aid in the prevention of fraud. Source: Ghana News Agency

About 8,000 passports uncollected in Western Region

A total of about 8,000 printed passports remain uncollected at the Western Regional Passport Office as at May this year. Mr Eric Nyarko, the Western Regional Passport Manager, who disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency in an interview, said though some applicants visited the Office to collect their passports daily, a lot more had piled up yet to be claimed. He said: 'What is contributing to this is that some people feel they only need the passports when they have a connection to travel and once that becomes unsuccessful, they do not feel the need to collect the passports.' He continued: 'More often, we call or send notice of collection through SMS and other means possible, but some just feel relaxed to come for their passports due to reasons best known to them.' Mr Nyarko noted that the Office was making conscious efforts to change that perception through public education and sensitisation programmes to help clear the backlog. 'We have had numerous media sensitisation campaigns to educate the people abo ut the need to show up to the Passport Office and collect their passports so that the work will be much easier for all of us,' he added. The Regional Passport Manager, therefore, entreated applicants to yet to collect their passports to visit the Office and claim them. Source: Ghana News Agency

Political parties urged to include climate issues in manifestos

Miss Glory Emmanuella Appiah, National Coordinator of Ghana Youth Environmental Movement (GYEM), has called on political parties to include climate agendas in their manifesto as part of the upcoming 2024 elections to combat climate crisis. She said climate issues had become an increasingly complex subject around the world, especially in Ghana, where the environment had been affected by many human activities such as illegal mining, bush fires and cutting down of trees. Miss Appiah made the call at the Climate for Peace Dialogue and Kokuromotie for Climate Awards in Accra. This, she said, government must prioritize environmental protection and invest to create awareness to prevent or improvise these activities to protect the planet for survival. She said by putting climate actions in their manifesto, it would enable them implement these activities in one way or the another and also allow citizens to hold them accountable to fight climate change. 'We must and ask for a green Ghana from our politicians and t ask them for its implementation,' she added. She said the increase of food prices lied on the effect of climate change, however, practicing environmental protection would help preserve the lands for farming. The National Coordinator said most of Ghana's economic crisis were mostly caused by climate change, stressing on the need to protect farms, build storage facilities and improve upon processing industries. Miss Appiah urged the youth to hold political leaders, especially Members of Parliament accountable on climate change actions, adding that the youth must take up mandates to educate communities on these. Miss Efua Nyamekye Appiah of the Youth Climate Council, reminded the youth that the sustainable development of the lied in their hands, saying they must be vigilant and steadfast against climate crisis. She urged the youth to move to the communities and educate young people on effects of climate change on the country and the world as a whole. She said excessive burning, fumes from vehicles and smok es from industrial plants were common among depletion of the ozone layer, causing excessive heat and un-uniform temperatures, hence, we must curtail or minimize bush burning and recycle waste materials. She said climate change should be introduced in the country's educational curriculum for effective empowerment among students and youth. She said there should be incentives for climate change fighters to enable them advance their advocacy to attain large numbers of climate protectors. GYEM called on government to prioritise climate change in their policies and ensure budget allocations to fight the rising of global warming. Source: Ghana News Agency

Army Chief donates cash for the construction of GOC residence

Major General Bismarck Kwasi Onwona, Chief of the Army Staff, has donated GH?50,000.00 as initial funding for the construction of a residence for the General Officer Commanding (GOC) Northern Command. The donation was seed money to commence the project dubbed: 'Eagle Nest', to serve as official residence for the office of the GOC within the Command headquarters. Brigadier General Frank Nartey Tei, GOC Northern Command, announced the Army Chief's benevolence at a religious parade in Tamale, where he was officially inducted into office. The GOC, after the induction ceremony, cut sod for the project in honour of all past GOC's for their sacrifices in operating outside an official residence. He said, 'Prior to my assumption of Command, my predecessor, Major General Mathew Essien, briefed me at length about immeasurable contributions that our development partners have made towards the special project, which was about to take off.' He said the project would not only provide suitable accommodation for the GOC, but also serve as a tangible symbol of everyone's contributions towards enhancing the Command's reputation. He said the Eagle Nest would serve as an appropriate residence for future GOCs of the Command, providing a space of convenience and security from which they could lead with strength and vision. He said, 'It will also serve as a source of motivation for officers to aspire to higher heights in the service and a physical structure that our development partners can point at as they seek to trace their contribution to building this Command for peace in Northern Ghana.' Brigadier General Tei expressed gratitude to his predecessor for mobilising the initial resources for the project. He acknowledged development partners for their unwavering support and contributions, saying their involvement underscored collective commitment to enhancing peace and security in the region. He solicited public support for the project and explained the broader significance of the project. He encouraged members of the public t o contribute their part towards making it a reality. Source: Ghana News Agency

Government urged to invest in AI to enhance healthcare

Prof Samuel Kojo Kwofie, Head of Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Ghana, has urged the government to set aside a percentage of the country's budget for artificial intelligence development. He said such an investment would enhance healthcare, close the healthcare gap between the rural and urban communities and reduce poverty. 'Government, corporate institutions and funding agencies need to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) training, research and technology development to improve health and alleviate poverty,' he said. Prof Kwofie made the call during a virtual discussion on the topic of 'Artificial Intelligence in Health and Poverty alleviation.' The US Embassy in Ghana, in partnership with the American Spaces and Mobile Web Ghana, organised the session. Prof Kwofie, who also works as a bioinformatician at the University of Ghana's West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), explained that his research group has merged artificial intelligence (AI) with con siderable biomedical data to create several open-source applications, such as TubPred and EBOLApred. EBOLApred and TubPred support the search for new cures for diseases, cancers, and the Ebola virus. Another noteworthy advancement was the creation of BuDb, the first Buruli ulcer drug discovery database. In collaboration with Prof. Michael Wilson at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and other researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, they submitted a patent application for Mycolactone, a potential COVID-19 treatment. His team's ongoing research also involves developing applications for regenerative AI and diagnosis using medical images. Prof. Kwofie said the significant investment in artificial intelligence had backed the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To buttress his assertions, he highlighted key results from his research and publications on AI and health, mentioning robust infrastructure, supportive policies, and the establishment of AI ethics review committees as a comprehensive strategy for maximizing AI's potential in Africa. Prof. Kwofie called for the establishment of a National Data Centre and a West African network for data-driven AI applications, as well as the creation of a National AI Network (NAIN) with centres of excellence across various institutions. Among the other key points, he raised was the necessity of training, scholarships, and efficient intellectual property and technology transfer mechanisms as vital success factors, as well as the development of an AI technology ecosystem that includes incubators, start-ups, and a National Centre for High-Performance Computing (NCHPC). Prof. Kwofie said the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has estimated that artificial intelligence (AI) could boost the continent's GDP by up to $1.2 trillion by 2030, or 5.6 per cent more than current levels. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs has projected that global AI investment will reach $200 billion by 2025. Given Africa's unique linguistic terrain and v arying levels of digital illiteracy, he called for culturally and contextually appropriate AI solutions, noting the enormous financial opportunities within the industry with potential benefits for poverty alleviation. Source: Ghana News Agency