Made-In-Ghana Bazaar to facilitate penetration of Ghanaian products into foreign markets

The Made-In-Ghana Bazaar has an ultimate goal of facilitating the penetration of Ghanaian products and services into foreign markets using the network of Ghana’s Missions abroad.

Madam Mavis Nkansah Boadu, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, in-charge of Finance and Administration, said that would invariably support the growth of Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs) and provide them the impetus to expand their reach into markets including that of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

She said this at the opening of the Third Made-In-Ghana Bazaar on the theme: ‘Promoting Made-In-Ghana Goods and Services for Economic Prosperity’, being organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Other supporting organisations are the Ghana Export Promotions Authority, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Association of Ghana Industries.

The Baza
ar seeks to promote Ghanaian products internationally, using the network of Ghana’s Diplomatic Missions.

It is a flagship programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, launched in 2018, following the Government’s decision to re-establish the Economic, Trade and Investment Bureau of the Ministry in 2017, pursuant to its economic and industrial transformation agenda.

The Bazaar brings together more than 150 exhibitors, and the products on display represent some of Ghana’s iconic offerings in the local and international markets.

The products on exhibition range from traditional crafts and artisanal works to manufactured products with cutting-edge technology.

Madam Boadu said the Ministry had executed its economic diplomacy agenda with its diplomatic missions abroad and partner institutions, by assisting Ghanaian businesses to access foreign markets with their goods and services.

It provides trade and consular advisory services to Ghanaian businesses and facilitates the resolution of
trade misunderstanding and conflicts between Ghanaian businesses and their foreign partners.

She reiterated that the agenda would be pursued to identify more markets for Ghanaian products and services.

‘It is in light of this that this Bazaar is being held with the view of compiling data on all our exhibitors and circulate same to Ghana Missions abroad as well as Diplomatic Missions accredited to the Republic of Ghana to help identify market for them and expand their reach,’ Madam Boadu said.

The potential of strategic economic diplomacy had become so evident today that States were seen increasing collaboration between State and non-State actors, increasing importance to World Trade Organisation (WTO) issues and the continuous negotiation of free trade and preferential trade agreements, she said.

Countries had also centered their diplomatic engagements around economic diplomacy where Ministries of Foreign Affairs were forging stronger ties with the private sector to attract the needed foreign direct inves
tment into their countries.

‘It is in this vein that the chosen theme for the Bazaar ‘Promoting Made-in-Ghana Goods and Services for Economic Prosperity’ is apt, as it is strategically designed to harness the innovative efforts of our micro, small and medium size businesses (SMEs).

Madam Boadu said the AfCFTA framework had provided a unique opportunity for intra-African trade and Ghana was at the forefront of implementing that agreement.

Aside hosting its Secretariat, Ghana had been able to trade with a few African countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon and South Africa under the AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative (GTI), launched in October 2022 to pilot the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement.

Mr Kobina Tahir Hammond, the Minister of Trade and Industry, who opened the Bazaar, called on Ghanaians to patronise Made-In-Ghana products.

‘I encourage each of you to patronize these Made-in-Ghana products and services, not just out of functionality and price but also with a sense of pride and patriotism,’
he said.

‘By supporting your local businesses and artisans, you are not only satisfying your needs, but also investing in the local economy and strengthening as well as preserving our productive sectors for future generations.’

‘Every purchase made here today helps to sustain livelihoods and promote productivity and sustainability in our communities.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Maritime agencies receive training in professional ethics, others

The Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN), in collaboration with the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) and the Convention on Business Integrity (CBi), has organised a four-day training for maritime agencies on professional ethics, integrity, and corruption risk assessment (CRA).

The training funded by the Danish Government and their development cooperation programme (Danida) is to strengthen collective action and embed transparency, integrity, and accountability at Ghana’s ports, which serve as a crucial maritime gateway for several landlocked countries in West Africa.

Madam Maria Gowon, the Programme Manager for the Convention on Business Integrity (CBi), told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that issues such as inefficient port operations related to vessel and cargo clearance, along with the corruption and compliance risks arising from these processes, pose significant challenges to establishing Ghana as a regional maritime hub.

She said that senior port officials from each Ghanaian maritime agency participat
ed in the training to support the government’s efforts to improve compliance with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and increase transparency and accountability in port operations.

She added that leaders from recognised civil society organisations (CSOs) participated, noting that those trained would subsequently lead a corruption risk assessment covering all the port agencies in Ghana, while the CSOs would provide independent oversight to ensure transparency and objectivity in the process.

Mr. Kasper Nielsen, an Associate in charge of Collective Action and Seafarer Engagement with the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN), a Denmark-based organisation, said the port had seen a significant reduction in corrupt activities and an improvement in operational efficiency through collaborative efforts and stringent anti-corruption measures put in place.

‘The success we’ve achieved in Nigeria has been remarkable. We’ve implemented transparent processes and have worked closely with Nigerian authorities to ensur
e that corruption is no longer tolerated in the port,’ he stated.

He said that the network has partnered Ghanaian authorities to replicate the success seen in other countries, including Nigeria, at the ports of Tema and Takoradi; stating that early reports indicate a promising start with cooperation from local authorities and a growing culture of transparency.

He disclosed that MACN plans to extend its anti-corruption initiatives to other West African countries, with the aim of creating a ripple effect, where each new success story inspires further commitment to eradicating corruption across the region.

‘As MACN continues its fight against corruption, the global community watches closely. The network’s efforts not only promise cleaner and more efficient ports but also serve as a powerful example of what can be achieved when businesses and authorities unite against corruption,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Landowners urged to invest in forest plantations

Landowners in the Atwima enclave have been urged to invest in forest plantations as a business since it is a profitable venture.

Mr Abraham Essel, the Nkawie District Forest Officer, who made the call, said tree plantation was equally profitable as other business ventures such as real estate and others.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency on the upcoming nationwide green Ghana project, which is to be held on June 7, this year, he said his outfit was ready to provide economic tree seedlings to interested persons, who wanted to go into tree plantation.

He said the district would plant about 340,000 seedlings in the area this year as part of the green Ghana project.

He said this year’s ceremonial tree planting exercise would be undertaking on the banks of river Kobiri at Nkawie to stress the need for residents to protect water bodies through tree planting.

The tree planting exercise in the district would target degraded forest areas, watersheds, homes, school and church compounds and recreational areas.

Essel said the objective was to create enhanced awareness, mitigate the climate change impact and beautify the environment.

He called on the people in the area to take active part in the exercise to help combat climate change and its effects in the country.

Source: Ghana News Agency

REEP-Ghana provides laptops, medical equipment to six districts in two regions

Rural Engagement and Empowerment Programme (REEP-Ghana), an NGO, has presented 29 educational and health institutions in the Northern and Savannah Regions with some working tools to improve on the quality of their services.

The gesture is part of the NGOs Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) journey which is supported by the Danish Government through GLOBUS in Denmark.

The items estimated at GHc140,000.00 included 24 bicycles, three electric hospital beds, four sets of dental chairs, an X-ray machine, 99 school chairs, 40 tables and 180 laptop computers.

The beneficiary districts are Tamale Metropolis, Sagnarigu, Savelugu, Kumbungu, Tolon and West Gonja Municipalities.

The King’s Medical Centre at Bontanga, Kumbungu SHS, Tolon SHS, Savelugu SHS, Pong-Tamale SHS, Kasuliyili SHS, Nanton Girls Model JHS, Rising Child Academy, Simli Model Primary School, Navida Clinic and 6th Infantry Battalion at Kamina Barracks are part of the institutions that would benefit from the initiative.

Mr Abukari Abdul-Fataw Abu
kari, Founding Chair of REEP-Ghana, who spoke during the presentation of the items at Dalun in the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region, said the gesture was to encourage the effective teaching and learning of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as well as assist in providing quality health care delivery in these regions.

He said REEP-Ghana had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the King’s Medical Centre for the establishment of a dental clinic to address the issue of dental care among residents within the beneficiary communities.

He said, ‘Under the MoU, we would also provide professional personnel to take care of the dental equipment to ensure effective service delivery.’

Mr Yahaya Sulemana, Kumbungu District Director of Ghana Education Service, described the support as timely, and said it would help to facilitate administrative duties and ensure quality teaching and learning in the area.

He appealed to other NGOs and individuals to complement government’s efforts to ensure t
hat the quality of education was not compromised.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Fourteen people killed, three injured after fire in Hanoi

Fourteen people died and three were injured in a serious fire in a residential building in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi, local police reported on Friday.

The fire broke out at a house in Hanoi’s busy Cau Giay district around 0:30 am (0530 GMT Thursday).

Hanoi’s firefighters reached the scene after 16 minutes, according to a statement by Hanoi’s police.

However, by the time firefighters reached the scene, the flames had grown strongly, accompanied by several explosions that burned many motorbikes and electric bicycles in the yard area.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

According to the newspaper VnExpress, the affected building consisted of two blocks, one with two floors and the other with three floors.

Emergency services rescued seven people who were trapped, including three who were injured and required emergency treatment at the hospital.

Firefighters managed to bring the flames under control in about an hour.

Fatal fires are common in Vietnam, where safety features such as smoke dete
ctors and fire extinguishers are haphazardly installed.

Last September, a fire in a nine-story apartment building in Hanoi, the deadliest in Vietnam’s history, claimed the lives of 56 people and left 37 others injured.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Businesses still in limbo eight months after Akosombo Dam Spillage, victims demand compensation

Eight months after the Volta River Authority’s (VRA) water spillage from the Akosombo Dam, most businesses in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region remain in a state of uncertainty.

The spillage, which led to devastating floods, has left many business owners struggling to survive and calling for urgent government intervention and compensation.

Despite advocacy efforts and appeals from the affected residents, tangible support from the government has been slow to materialize.

Hotels and many recreational businesses along the Volta Lake, which were also heavily affected by the spillage, are yet to economically bounce back.

About 1,000 Small Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Tefle, Vume, Sogakope North, Alikekope, Sokpoe, Tadze, Agordomi, Tadame, Anaosukope and other areas such as Comboni Technical School, were badly impacted.

Also, Eight Fish Farms namely Dongazi Fish Farm, Decko Fishpond, Best Fish Farm, Flosell Fish Farm, Eagle Farms, Gedza, Farms, Dordor Farms, Reinbees Farms, which went under, were ye
t to rebounce and be compensated.

Mr. Tsekpo Augustine, a fashion designer, felt abandoned and desperate for assistance.

‘We have been left in limbo for months. Every day, we struggle to make ends meet while waiting for the promised aid that never seems to come,’ he lamented.

Mr Tsekpo indicated that the government’s assurance of comprehensive compensation packages had brought some hope, but the inability to allocate and disburse the fund has left them very skeptical.

He pleaded for the government’s urgent action and added that the delay is causing more harm each day.

Similarly, Mr. Isaac Dzivenu, a food vendor, has been grappling with significant financial losses since the flood ravaged his restaurant.

He emphasized the dire need for government compensation to restart his business. ‘I lost everything to the flood. We’ve been appealing for help, but so far, there’s been no real action. We can’t rebuild our lives without support,’ Mr Dzivenu stressed.

Mrs. Effah Joan, who operates a cold store, voiced h
er frustration over the prolonged delay in receiving aid.

She mentioned that several promises came from the VRA and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) but they were yet to be realized.

Mrs Effah stated that her businesses were dying, and without immediate compensation from the government, she may not recover.

The Managing Director of Flosell farms, Mr Evans Danso explained how the disaster had affected his business.

He said that he lost about GHC 6.4 million in revenue during the spillage and wondering how much support would come from the government.

He described their situation as a grave one and appealed ‘cash push’ to relaunch their businesses in the area.

Some community leaders and local authorities are urging the government to speed up delivering financial aid to the flood victims.

They highlighted the critical need for immediate intervention to prevent further economic collapse in the district.

As set out in the 2024 budget, the Government has set aside two hundred and twenty
million cedis (GHS220 million), of which GHS80 million has already been released by the Ministry of Finance, to support the ongoing rehabilitation efforts for the affected communities.

But the residents are concerned about the government’s urgent effort to revive their lost businesses.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Too much consumption of salt exposes Ghanaians to hypertension – Dr Ani-Asamoah

Dr Gloria Ani-Asamoah, a Family Physician, at the Korle-Bu Polyclinic, has said that love for high salt consumption is putting most Ghanaians at risk of developing hypertension.

Dr Ani-Asamoah, who is also a Merck Foundation Alumini, therefore urged the public to reduce their salt intake, to minimise their risk of developing high blood pressure and related diseases.

She said this during a Merck Foundation Health Media Training programme, in partnership with the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, and the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA).

Speaking on: ‘promoting a healthy lifestyle and raising awareness about prevention and early detection of diabetes and hypertension-how to report about it to the community’. She said there was hidden salt in most food items like the ‘Toolobeef,’ (salted beef), canned foods including tin tomatoes and baked beans, as well as frozen chicken and fish, and advised the public to limit their patronage of these commodities.

Dr Ani-Asamoah said before one even starts cooking,
every ingredient to be used contained salt, and then more salt was added, putting food consumers at risk of non-communicable diseases.

‘We are overburdening our bodies with salt; you should have at least less than five grams of salt a day, that is a teaspoon,’ adding that consumers must check the content of the food items they buy to know the amount of salt it contained.

She said other risk factors of hypertension included family history, ageing, and race, in addition to some lifestyles included sedentary lifestyles, lack of exercise, high consumption of fat, smoking, and alcoholism.

Dr Ani-Asamoah advised the public to sleep more to avoid stress, eat more fruits and vegetables as opposed to carbohydrates and starch, stressing that fruits must be taken raw instead of the fruit juices on the market that had high sugar content.

She also cautioned against the consumption of saturated fat, such as the multiple usage of a quantity of oil, advising on steaming as a better cooking method and option instead of th
e oils.

She encouraged people to walk into any pharmacy or health institution to check their blood pressure for early detection and prevention, which if not prevented, could lead to kidney failure, stroke, heart attacks, and other complications, which were the leading cause of cardiovascular diseases in Africa.

Dr Ani-Asamoah said ‘hypertension is a silent killer that does not present with any symptoms until it is too late,’ and effective treatment depended on early detection.

‘To be diagnosed with hypertension, at least your BP must be checked twice by professionals if it is more than 140/90.

You can only find out if you get it measured. The only way to do so is to walk into the health facility or pharmacy and get it measured. Because once you have any of the non-modifiers, you have a chance of contracting it,’ she said.

She stated that even though hypertension was asymptomatic, occasionally, some may have some early signs of chest pain, headaches, funny noise in the ears, visual disturbance, nausea, a
state of confusion, and severe chest pain.

Source: Ghana News Agency

KATH plans to reconfigure hydrotherapy Unit into limb fitting center

Management of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi is in talks with the Ghana Health Service to change the Hydrotherapy Unit of the facility into a limb fitting centre.

The Hydrotherapy Unit, part of the Physiotherapy Centre, is not in use due to the low return on investment.

Professor Otchere Addai-Mensah, Chief Executive Officer of KATH, who made this known, said the conversion of the unit into a limb fitting centre would help the teaching hospital render quality services in amputation and prosthetic limbs to clients.

‘It is going to cost about $150, 000 to fix it and the return on investment is low.

So, what we are intending to do with the space is to change the architecture so that it can now be used as a limb fitting center, which is in a bad state,’ he told journalists after the hospital’s Board members inspected some on-going projects and activities on Friday.

The facilities inspected were the hostel for patients’ relatives, refurbished Physiotherapy Center and installation of some
new dialysis machines.

Prof. Addai-Mensah said the physiotherapy centre, which was in a bad state, was renovated and refurbished by management through part of the hospital’s internally generated funds.

On the construction of the patients’ relatives’ hostel, he said it was about 80 percent complete with doors, tiling, beds and windows all fixed.

He expressed optimism that the 190-bed capacity edifice would be completed by the end of the year to reduce the littering of patients’ relatives on the hospital’s compound.

At the dialysis center, he said management was expecting to install 12 functional machines by the end of May 2024.

Prof. Addai-Mensah pointed out that the new Minister for Health, Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye, was intent on ensuring that health facilities were equipped with dialysis machines.

He said a meeting with all CEOs of teaching Hospitals had been held with the Minister to ensure that some more machines for dialysis were procured for teaching hospitals, including KATH to advance healthcare.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Injunction against #DumsorMustStop vigil struck out

An Accra High Court on Friday struck out an application for an injunction seeking to prevent organisers of the #DumsorMustStop vigil from converging at the Revolutionary Square, opposite the Jubilee House.

The organisers had already written a withdrawal letter to the court, amending their gathering point and route for the vigil.

Initially, the Greater Accra Regional Police Command and the conveners disagreed on the starting point for their protest.

The Police later filed an injunction against them, indicating that the location was close to a security installation.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Tema Traditional Council cautions VALCO against alleged plans to lay workers off

The Tema Traditional Council (TTC) has cautioned management of the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) against alleged plans to lay off some 45 residents of Tema Manhean employed not long ago.

Nii Armah Soumponu II, the Stool Secretary, and Tema Shipi, giving the caution at a news conference, indicated that they had picked up signals of plans to lay off the said workers, who are made up of both indigenes and non-indigenes.

He explained that the workers were employed by Mr. Daniel Titus Glover, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, who was then the Chief Executive Officer VALCO.

According to him, the opportunities created for the 45 residents helped reduce tension in the town, as before their employment, the youth were unhappy about the inability of the industries in Tema to provide jobs for them even though all their farmlands were sacrificed for the industrialization of the country.

‘It is with the utmost pain to note that no sooner had Mr. Titus-Glover left the office than his successor, Mr. Kingsley Aboagy
e Gyedu, started skirmishes to lay off those workers,’ the council alleged.

The Tema Shipi stressed, ‘May God forbid this, but if he goes ahead with this wicked agenda that has the potential to discredit the government, we shall resist with unprecedented zeal. We therefore advise him to desist from the wicked intention he is nurturing, or he will be faced with the wrath of our people.’

They further expressed worry that ‘from the way things are going, it is our suspicion that some of those traditional rulers from Kpone and Tema, whom Hon. Titus-Glover has given the privilege to attend VALCO Hospital, shall also be denied this privilege.’

The TTC therefore called on President Akufo-Addo to take prompt action to halt the alleged intention, which it said has the potential to damage the image of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.

Meanwhile, when the Ghana News Agency (GNA) contacted the management of VALCO for their response to the allegations, they said the CEO was out of the country and would therefor
e give their side on a later day when he arrived.

Source: Ghana News Agency