Ensure Ghana stops importing chicken soon – Bawumia charges Agric Min.

The Vice President of the Republic, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has challenged the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to implement targeted, deliberate policies to make Ghana self-sufficient in chicken production and save the nation from the huge poultry import bill.

This follows an announcement by the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, that there was no maize imports this year after the implementation of policies such as the Planting for Food and Jobs which resulted in a bumper harvest.

The Vice President has therefore challenged the Ministry to replicate this success in the poultry sub sector to ensure a drastic reduction, if not an outright cessation, of poultry imports in the next few years.

Vice President Bawumia issued the challenge when he launched the 34th National Farmers Day on Friday 3rd August, 2018 in Accra.

This year’s weeklong celebration, which would take place at Tamale in the Northern Region, is under the theme “Agriculture: Moving Ghana Beyond Aid.”

While commending the Agriculture Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, and his team for the successes chalked under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, including, according to the Minister, the ending of maize imports because local production had met national demand, Vice President Dr Bawumia urged the Ministry to replicate their success in the poultry sector.

“I want to challenge the Ministry for Food and Agriculture, and Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, that yes, you have announced that we’ve stopped importing maize this year, so very soon, in the next couple of years, I want you to announce that we’ve also stopped importing chicken. That is the challenge that I want to give you in the next couple of years.

“We have to pursue a very deliberate policy intervention to make sure that we can grow and eat our own chicken.”

Vice President Bawumia underscored the key role agriculture would play in achieving President Nana Akufo-Addo’s vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid, emphasising that it was time to “engineer a sustainable agricultural development path that would assure both national and household food security, improved rural livelihoods and make Ghana agriculture competitive in the world market.”

In this light, government would continue and expand the implementation of ongoing agricultural programmes such as the Planting for Food and Jobs, which would see the number of direct beneficiaries rise from 200,000 in 2017 to 500,000 in 2018, Dr Bawumia disclosed.

“Government’s approach and strategy for the development of Ghana’s agriculture, is holistic and transcends the PFJ initiative. Equally important interventions are being rolled out in the irrigation sub-sector in pursuit of the One Village One Dam programme. Under this One Village One dam programme, which is being implemented in the three northern regions, we expect about 570 dams to be constructed by next year.

“The increase in agricultural productivity means we have to focus on processing and that is why we have the One District One Factory flagship programme and this is also on course.

“We also know that the road sector is a major area in terms of the challenges that the agricultural sector generally faces. In the 2017 budget we outlined what we call the Akufo- Addo plan for Economic Transformation which was largely focused on improving agricultural productivity. At the heart of this programme was to make sure that critical roads across the whole country were fixed so that agricultural produce could move to market. We have so many parts of the country where poor roads are a major inhibiting factor to agriculture.

“Thankfully, following the initiation of this programme we have seen, recently announced, that we are going to invest close to a billion dollars in road infrastructure starting this year, under the Sinohydro barter facility that we have arranged,” Vice President Bawumia indicated.

Gov’t to introduce new fiscal regime for mining – Bawumia

Government will soon introduce a new fiscal regime for the mining sector to ensure Ghana derives maximum benefit from the extraction of her mineral resources, the Vice President of the Republic has revealed.

The paradigm shift in the thinking behind the utilisation of Ghana’s mineral resources would seek to ensure value addition to the minerals mined in Ghana instead of the current system of raw exports, and would also seek to leverage on such minerals to secure holistic national development.

Such thinking has already began to reflect in the Nana Akufo-Addo government’s approach to development with the recent passage by Parliament of a Master Project Facility Agreement that seeks to leverage a fraction of our bauxite deposits in a barter arrangement for infrastructure development worth $2 billion after the Vice President’s business visit to the People’s Republic of China in June last year.

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia gave an insight into the Akufo-Addo government’s approach to national development when he addressed the chiefs and people of the Essikado Traditional Area in the Western region at the climax of this year’s Kuntum Festival on Saturday 4th August, 2018.

“We have not really benefited from the extraction of our natural resources, and it is for this reason that we need especially in the area of our minerals, to bring a new paradigm, a new thinking into how as a country we can benefit more from our mineral resources,” the Vice President noted.

“There are many mines that are operating and for years, they tell us they have not made any profit so they cannot pay any dividend to government. But they keep mining and mining. How can you as a business continue to be in existence for so long and claim you are not making profit and so you cannot pay. There are some mines that are paying, but many are not paying sufficiently, relative to how much they are taking out of our country.”

Vice President Bawumia indicated that a new fiscal regime similar to the one prevailing in the oil sector would soon be introduced in the mining sector.

“We have a regime that we are implementing for the oil sector, and we want to implement the same regime for the mining sector. So when you take your gold out of the soil, if you take a 1000 tonnes, you will have to pay us our share out of that. We will not wait for you to go and say you have not made any profit out of the 1000 so you will not pay us anything. You will have to pay us something commensurate to what you have taken out.”

The Vice President assured the investor community that while Government welcomes foreign direct investment, such investment would have to be a partnership that was beneficial to all parties.

“We want foreign investment, there is no doubt about that. Our lawyers will say we have given them an invitation to treat. But that invitation to treat must not be an invitation to cheat. We want partnerships, and that is why we want a new regime in the mining sector, so that everyone will pay their share.”

This new thinking, the Vice President emphasised, was the guiding principle behind the decision to leverage a fraction of Ghana’s vast bauxite deposits to build an integrated bauxite and aluminium industry.

“We have decided that we are not going to allow what has happened to gold and manganese to happen with bauxite. Parliament just passed the Ghana Integrated Bauxite Authority Bill. We are forming this corporation, and will be forming partnerships with anybody who comes, a joint venture, to build an integrated bauxite and aluminium industry.

“We don’t want the raw bauxite being taken out of Ghana anymore. We will build a refinery here to refine the bauxite to alumina, take it to VALCO, and get aluminium and you will see the massive increase in value. This is going to be transformational,” the Vice President stated.

Vice President Bawumia commended the Omanhene of Essikado Traditional Area, Nana Kwabena Nketsiah V for his “continuous drive and contribution towards a better Ghanaian society for all”.

“Nana is indeed a true chip off the old block” Dr Bawumia declared, and called for the sustenance of the peace and unity enjoyed by the people of Essikado and the nation as a whole.

We’re filling your pockets with economic policies – Bawumia

The various interventions and initiatives implemented by the Nana Akufo-Addo Government has provided financial relief for many ordinary Ghanaians, the Vice President of the Republic, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has stated.

The impact of these interventions, which include the largest ever reduction in electricity tariffs and the implementation of the Free Senior High School policy, have been felt in every household in the country, and has brought significant relief to all, according to the Vice President.

Vice President Bawumia made the statement when he gave the Keynote Address at the 2018 National Policy Summits at Kumasi on Monday 23rd July, 2018.

The Policy Summit, the third in the series organised by the Ministry of Information and focusing on the economy, is under the theme “Assessing the Growth, Jobs and Prosperity Agenda.” It is being attended by stakeholders and major players in Ghana’s economy, and will assess and proffer suggestions on ways to ensure greater financial and social inclusion.

The Vice President emphasised that the policy and programme interventions of the Nana Akufo-Addo government are geared towards ensuring that Ghana’s development agenda affects everyone in our social strata and enhance social inclusion.

These measures, he indicated, have yielded and continue to yield appreciable results in the 18 month tenure of the Akufo-Addo presidency.

“Government’s economic policies have not only seen an improvement in the macroeconomic indicators, it has also provided relief to ordinary Ghanaians such as parents, kayayei, the elderly teacher trainees, nursing trainees, unemployed graduates and many more.

“If we take the various social intervention and welfare packages provided by government we can determine the amount of money that government has saved the people of Ghana. These are monies that the individual can use for something different of his or her choice.”

Enumerating some of the interventions, and the financial benefits that have been transferred to the pockets of many Ghanaians, Vice President Bawumia stated:

“If we take the reduction in electricity tariffs and quantify the amount involved, we would realize that for 2018 alone, the overall expected average annual savings on electricity bills for Residential and Non-Residential customers as well as industries will amount to over GHC1.8 billion. This is money that government has put in people’s pockets indirectly.

“As government pays for the cost of flagship programmes such as Fertilizer subsidy, Planting for Food and Jobs, subsidy for BECE candidates, Free SHS, the expanded school feeding programme, the expanded livelihood empowerment against poverty (LEAP), restoration of nursing and teacher trainee allowances, national entrepreneurship and innovation programmes for start-ups, it is directly and indirectly putting money in people’s pockets. The total amount of money that government has saved the Ghanaian people from paying for these particular programmes is in excess of GHc2 billion.”

Furthermore, the abolition of and reduction of about 15 taxes in the 2017 budget provided relief to Ghanaians amounting to GHC 1.4 billion. Also, an increase in peace-keeping allowances from $30 to $35 and an increase in the share of DACF paid to persons with disability, have directly put monies in their pockets to the tune of about GHc54.6 million, Vice President explained.

“The sum total of all the above is over GHC5.4 billion. This is significant relief to ordinary Ghanaians,” Dr Bawumia declared.

He noted that this does not include GHC 600 million that will be paid annually to the 100,000 graduates who will start work soon under the Nation Builders Corps. The graduates will be paid GHC700 per month.

“While the above does not capture all the projects and programmes we have instituted that put money into the pockets of people they tell a great story about how President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cares for the ordinary Ghanaian,” the Vice President added.

Bawumia gets UN job

The Vice President of the Republic, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has been appointed to the Board of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, based at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, United States of America.

The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD) is a global network bringing together governments, the private sector, and civil society organizations dedicated to using the data revolution to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The 17 member Board, which includes Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, Chief Executive Officer, Plan International; Alicia Bárcena Ibarra, Executive Secretary, Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC); John Pullinger, UK National Statistician, Head of the Government Statistical Service (GSS), and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, United Kingdom; and Mahmoud Mohieldin, Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda, World Bank Group, is chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina J. Mohammed.

The Board is set to hold a two day working session from 10-11 July, 2018, and in line with his duties and obligations, Vice President Bawumia left Accra on Sunday 8th July, 2018 for New York to participate in the 2-day meeting.

Vice President Bawumia will also hold discussions with Deputy UN Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed on a number of issues including Enhancing advocacy for improved statistical capacity in Africa, Financing the implementation of high level commitments to statistics and Digitization of data for SDG monitoring.

He is also expected to have a town hall meeting with the Ghanaian community in New York.

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia returns to Accra on Friday 13th July, 2018.

Partner Ghana to develop her Bauxite – Bawumia to US

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has requested of the United States government through the Secretary for Commerce, Wilbur Ross, to consider partnering with Ghana in her quest to develop a strong bauxite industry in the country.

Delivering the Special Guest of Honour’s address at the plenary session of the maiden U.S-Ghana Business Forum at the Accra Marriott Hotel under the theme; ‘Strengthening U.S. – Ghana Commercial Partnership Towards a Ghana Beyond Aid’, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia said Ghana has rich bauxite deposits that can be exploited for well over fifty years.

With the success story of the United States in the aluminum and bauxite sectors, a partnership with the most powerful country in the world would yield mutually beneficial gains to both Countries, the Vice President observed.

Vice President Bawumia, added that, as government begins the process to choosing partners in that regard with the establishing of a government holding company by the name “Ghana Integrated Bauxite and Aluminum Authority” , he is hopeful that the United States of America will be ready to be a partner in the several joint ventures that the Authority would be seeking to create.

“We have begun the process of establishing an Integrated Aluminium Industry (IAI) through a joint venture process to enable us to develop key critical growth-enhancing physical infrastructure while adding value to our mineral resources. We are almost at the end of establishing a government holding company by the name Ghana Integrated Bauxite and Aluminum Development Authority (GIBADA). This holding company will be entrusted with all bauxite resources on behalf of government for such purposes” the Vice President said.

Secretary Wilbur Ross

Secretary Wilbur Ross, in his address said the United States is looking forward to a strong trade relationship with Ghana and the rest of Africa and to move away from the era of aid and grants to the African continent. Ghana, he said, is on the right path with the decision of government to work towards an economy that will be anchored on increased trade activities rather than reliance on hand outs and aid from the developed world.

Mission of the US Delegation

The U.S. Secretary for Commerce, Wilbur Ross, is leading a sixty (60) member delegation from the President Donald Trump ‘President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa’ (PAC-DBIA) on a fact-finding mission to Ghana. The visit is aimed at providing an opportunity for the delegation to gather insight into market opportunities and challenges faced by U.S. businesses in the fast-growing Ghanaian economy. The PAC-DBIA will use this information to provide President Trump with reliable and actionable recommendations to deepen commercial relationships in Ghana.

Amissah-Arthur was a ”first class gentleman” – Bawumia

Vice president Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has described the former Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur as a first class gentleman.

The former vice president died shortly after being rushed to the 37 Military Hospital after he reportedly collapsed while at the Airforce Base Gym early Friday morning.

Amissah-Arthur was an economist, academic and politician who was the sixth Vice-President of Ghana, in office from 6 August 2012 until 7 January 2017, under President John Mahama.

Paying tribute to the former governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Bawumia noted he “dutifully served” the nation.

“I received with shock and sadness the sudden death of my predecessor, His Excellency Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, former Vice President of the Republic.

“He dutifully served our nation in the high offices of Governor of the Bank of Ghana and Vice President of the Republic,” the Vice president said in a Facebook post.

Dr. Bawumia stated: “He was always civil and can be described as a first class gentleman. My condolences to his family, wife, children, the NDC fraternity, and the entire nation. May his gentle soul Rest In Peace.”

Anas Video: Akua Donkor sues; wants Akufo Addo, Bawumia removed

Leader of Ghana freedom Party (GFP) Akua Donkor has commenced a legal move to get President Akufo Addo and his Vice Dr. Bawumia removed from office after their names popped up in the latest investigative piece by undercover Journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

In a suit dated 20 June 2018 filed at the Supreme Court, which names Attorney General and Minister for Justice Gloria Akuffo as the defendant, Madam Akua Donkor is seeking an order from the Supreme Court directing the defendant to advise the President of the Republic of Ghana and his Vice-President to step aside from the highest seat of the land since their names were mentioned in the documentary.

President Akufo-Addo after having the opportunity to view the video reported the former President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kwesi Nyantakyi to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, for defrauding by false pretences and influence peddling.

Mr Nyantakyi was captured using the name of the president for influence peddling and taking monies from some supposed investors. He is currently being investigated by the CID.

But according to Madam Akua Donkor after having the benefit of watching the documentary she believes both the President and his vice have serious questions to answer.

She stated in the writ that: “It is perfectly true that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of the Republic of Ghana and the Vice-President are involved or have something to do with all the allegations levelled against Kwesi Nyantakyi with regard to bribing before contracts are awarded to investors”.

“Plaintiff maintains that taking judicious look at the expose corruption video shown by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, it is obvious that Nana Addo Danquah the President of the Republic of Ghana and his Vice President are highly involved in the issue put across by Kwesi Nyantakyi.

“Plaintiff avers that to be fair and unbiased in carrying out investigators into the incidence where Kwesi Nyantakyi is at the centre of controversies, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo the President of the Republic of Ghana and his Vice President Dr Mahamadu Bawumia must immediately step down from their post as President and Vice President respectively before the truth is revealed since their names were mentioned in the said corruption video.”  

Akua Donkor holds the view that both President Akufo Addo and his vice Dr Bawumia have relied on investigations by Anas to sanction officials in the past and the latest is no exception and should be used to sanction all officials named in the documentary.

 

 

Cost of 1 District Hosp. could’ve built & equipped 6 facilities – Bawumia

Government’s Economic Management Team has discovered that the country may be paying up to six times the actual cost of building district hospitals.

Ghana currently spends $25 million to construct 60 to 80 bed capacity hospitals at a time the African Development Bank is constructing 150 bed capacity hospitals at only $1.3 million.

Vice President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia made the revelation at a Value for Money Conference in Accra said there’s a need for tighter controls on the spending of state funds in executing projects.

“At a recent meeting of the Economic Managing Team, the Vice President noted that “it emerged that Ghana constructs district 60-80 bed district hospitals for $25 million! I said “Ebei!”. You will hear today that the African Development Bank constructed a 150 bed hospital in Accra for some GHC5.76 million or $1.3 million without equipment. Even if we have to equip this hospital for some $1 million, the total cost cannot get to more than $3 million. So how come we are building district hospitals for $25 million, a figure which even excludes the tax exemptions granted on equipment imported for the hospitals? So for one hospital that Ghana is currently constructing, we could have built and equipped 6 hospitals!”

Vice President Bawumia, bemoaned the challenge of overpricing of projects in Ghana indicating that the practice has cause several huge financial loses to the State.

To that end, he charged stakeholders and participants to as a matter of urgency, develop and propose strategies that will help government to put an end to the practice particular in constructuon of Roads, Hospitals and Schools.

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumi said government has been taken aback by certain figures that have been quoted as cost for the construction of projects in Ghana in recent past.

“According to some estimates, if Dangote can build a 1000 bed capacity for nearly under $20 million, it begs the question why Ghana builds an even smaller capacity (about 400-bed facility) for nearly $300 million. Something is not right here” the vice President Said.

Going forward, the Vice President said It is “imperative that at the same time as seeking suitable investment opportunities to meet the infrastructure gap that the Government takes steps to ensure cost efficient program design and delivery to reduce financial wastage and protect the public purse”.

The Procument Process

The Vice President underscored that over 90% of corruption cases relate to procurement. “It is therefore very important that we pay attention to the procurement processes” Dr. bawumia stated.

The Vice President added that “the Wold Bank estimates that on average, Ghana invests approximately $1.2bn per year in Infrastructure projects. The Africa Infrastructure Diagnostic Report in 2010 (AICD) also identified that $1.1bn is lost each year, in Ghana, on Infrastructure projects due to project delivery inefficiencies and for Ghana to meet its infrastructure deficit, $1.5bn is required, each year for the next 10 years”.

Finance Minister

In his welcome address, Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Ken Ofori Atta bemoaned the effects that project overpricing has on the budget and the huge payments government has to make in that regard. He called on the stakeholders to come up with real solutions to the phenomenon of project over pricing through an honest discussion at the conference.

The Senior Minister

The Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo in his remarks observed that there is the urgent need for the standardization and proper definition of what hospitals and schools are if the country is to have value for money on the hospitals and schools we build in Ghana. The lack of a proper definition and standards for projects in Ghana has accounted for the loss of several millions of dollars to the State. He charged the panels to find an amicable solution to delays in the payment system in Ghana after contracts have been executed.

   

Cedi depreciation: Bawumia, IGP must resign – Sam George

Member of Parliament for NIngo-Prampram, Sam Nartey George has called for the heads of the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and the IGP Mr. Asante Appeatu to roll, for failing to deliver on the promise of stabilizing the cedi against the dollar.

“As a matter of principle, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and the IGP must step down because the Cedi has broken jail”. He was speaking on Starr fm`s morning show “Morning Starr” with host Francis Abban.

According to him, the fast nature of the depreciation of the cedi is a clear indication of a failed government. He said he recalls Dr. Bawumia made an emphatic statement with regards to stabilizing the cedi by way of arrest.

“Dr. Bawumia told us that he has arrested the cedi and locked it and had giving the keys to the IGP, meaning the cedi was now in the custody of the police, but what are we seeing now, the cedi has jail break”.

The former presidential staffer, laid the blames of the current cedi depreciation right at the doorstep of the vice President, accusing him of not being truthful to the people of Ghana and also failing to apologize for same in the manner in which the Ghanaian currency is losing value.

Although the government has maintained that it has put in place robust measures to halt the free fall of the cedi in the coming weeks, Sam George pooh poohed those measure saying it’s just “talk shop”.

The current rate of the cedi depreciation has sparked debate between the government and the major opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) with both parties always playing politics with the issue.

 

By: Alex Semordzi

Google’s 1st Artificial Intelligence Research Centre to be opened in Ghana – Bawumia

Global Information Technology giant, Google, will later this year open its first African Artificial Intelligence research centre in Ghana, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, has announced.

Delivering the special guest of honour’s address at the 2018 African Transformation Forum (ATF), 2nd Edition, organized by the African Center for Economic Transformation ( ACET) at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia said Google’s Artificial Intelligence research centre will work with local universities and research institutions to discover the potential uses of Artificial Intelligence in Africa.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans and other animals. Artificial Intelligence (AI), is therefore considered as the theory and development of computer systems which are able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

ACET Founder

The Founder and President of ACET, K.Y. Amoako in his welcome address stated that transformational leadership in Africa is a prerequisite for Africa’s ability to accomplish any meaningful development on the continent. He announced the formation of an African Transformation Panel which will be chaired by the former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The panel will be responsible for giving direction to drive economic transformation in Africa. Most of the work of the panel will focus on youth education, technology & innovation, transformational leadership, climate & energy and regional integration in Africa.

ATF 2018

ATF 2018 is a dialogue for action on the development of Africa. It offers an unparalleled opportunity for the private sector and other non-state actors to get engaged and help shape the course of economic transformation in Africa. The forum will also take stock of progress made in the Pan-African Coalition for Transformation (PACT). Launched at ATF 2016, PACT is a mechanism for high-level government, private sector and civil society stakeholders to collaborate across sectors and borders to speed up implementation of transformative policies and reforms.

The conference also allowed attendees to contribute directly to the formation of action plans for several PACT thematic chapters, including those focused on resource mobilization, manufacturing, agriculture, extractives and skills development. Lastly, the forum will also feature a private sector CEO roundtable in which a panel of leading executives share their thoughts and strategies on the vital role of the business community in Africa’s transformation process.

Who Attended the ATF2018

Four Heads of State, fifteen Ministers of State from across Africa, over fifty high-level government officials, some seventy CEOs and leaders from businesses across the private sector, heads of international foundations, development agencies and civil society organizations participated in the forum.

Additionally, experts and entrepreneurs from a cross-section of industries, including finance, agriculture, infrastructure, extractives and manufacturing and Journalists from global and African media, including print, digital, radio and television also participated in the forum.