General News
Professional Nurse Is Called To Serve Humanity - Deputy Registrar
The professional nurse called to serve humanity must possess qualities such as love, commitment and dedication, Mr. Felix Nyante, Deputy Registrar of Nurses and Midwifery Council, has said.

He said Florence Nightingale’s model of nursing earned her the name “the lady of the lamp” due to her love, preparedness, devotion, empathy, sympathy, commitment and dedication to attend to the needs of the sick and the injured even at odd night hours when her colleagues were asleep.

The Deputy Registrar said attending to the sick and saving lives took precedence over all other considerations and interests in the nursing profession.

Mr. Nyante made the remarks when he administered a matriculation oath for fresh students of the Seikwa Health Assistants’ Training School (HATS) at Seikwa in the Tain District of Brong-Ahafo Region last Friday. It was on the theme: ”Health Assistant - An indispensable Partner for Health Care”.

The School admitted 126 students comprising 89 females and 37 males for the 2012/2013 academic year, bringing the total number of student population currently to 300.

The students study courses such as Anatomy and Physiology, Infection Prevention, Basic Nutrition, Medical Nursing, Surgical Nursing, Basic Pharmacology, Mental Health, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Social Sciences, Health Promotion/Education and First Aid.

Mr Nyante advised the trainee health assistants not to use strikes and boycotts to fight their cause, especially for wage increment after they had passed out.

He also urged them to avoid demonstrations, unrests and other negative tendencies but remained focused and purposeful to successfully complete their courses.

Mr. Nyante said as health assistants they belonged to the category of essential services providers, and noted that required commitment and dedication to duty by exhibiting love, empathy and sympathy towards patients.

Mr. Samuel Jones Tawiah, Acting District Chief Executive (DCE) for Tain, said government through the District Assembly would continue to do everything possible to provide infrastructural facilities and logistics to make life comfortable for both students and staff.

The DCE announced the completion of a more spacious classroom block with toilet facilities at the cost of GH¢140,000.00 as well as a borehole estimated at GH¢90,000.00 for the provision of potable water for students and staff.

Mr. Tawiah, therefore, urged the students to work hard with determination for success in spite of challenges, saying “You must know that not where you are but what you are and can do determines the level of success achieved".

Mr. Chris Beyere, Head of Pre-Service Training Institutions of the Ministry of Health (MoH), who represented the sector Minister, Mrs Sherry Aryeetey, said it had been observed that health students while on clinical preferred to rather use gadgets like mobile phones and laptops to check social media sites.

He said that was disrespectful to tutors, senior colleagues and patients and warned that his outfit was going to wage war on indiscipline generally in the training institutions since a student-nurse or any trainee health worker must be well-behaved to pass out as disciplined health personnel.

Mr Beyere presented a Nissan double-cabin pick-up vehicle donated by government to the school for their administrative and other operational purposes.

He again presented to the school 90 portable-sized lap-top computers from the Health Ministry for purchase by students at a subsidized cost at GH¢600.00 each.

Dr. Michael Rockson Adjei, Medical Superintendent of the Tain District Hospital, who doubles as the District Director of Health Services, advised the trainees to be abreast with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Four and Five so as to support the efforts towards their achievements.

That, he added, required serious studies to enable them to qualify as highly-skilled health workers to be able to contribute in achieving those goals.

He also reminded to be abreast with the laws, regulations and ethics of the profession to avoid legal suits.

Mrs. Cordelia Yeboah, Deputy Director of Nursing Services (DDNS) at the Brong-Ahafo Regional Health Directorate, implored the fresh students to realize that nursing was a profession of discipline, hence “they should not pass through the school but must allow the school to pass through them” to be disciplined.

She pleaded with the traditional authority, opinion leaders and people of Seikwa to make the institution their own by cooperating effectively with the principal, management and board of directors for its effective administration and progress.

Mr. Michael Yidana Mantamia, Principal of the School, entreated the newly-enrolled students to prepare themselves up for the course so as to be able to successfully complete.

He announced a motivation package to be instituted by the school to reward the student with the highest GCPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) as well as the most well-behaved-student.

Meanwhile, a seven-member Advisory Board of Directors for the school with Dr. Jacob Abebrese, Medical Director of the Brong-Ahafo Regional Hospital in Sunyani as the Chair and the Principal as member-secretary, has been constituted and inaugurated.

Nana Kwaku Dwuma Ankoana II, Paramount Chief of Seikwa, admonished the students to avoid lifestyles and attitudes that could warrant a disciplinary measure or outright dismissal. 
April 14, 2013
MP Advocates Establishment Of College For Prisons Inmates
Nana Ato Arthur Member of Parliament (MP) for Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abram (KEEA) constituency, on Friday advocated the establishment of a college to enroll prison inmates in the country.

He said such a college would enable students serving jail terms to continue with their education to improve upon their knowledge and skills which would enhance their lives outside the prison.

Dr. Arthur said this on Friday at the inauguration of a newly constructed mosque at the Ankaful Main Camp Prison at Ankaful near Elmina, to serve as a place of worship for Muslims held in prison.

The mosque, which has a seating capacity of about 200, was built by the authorities of the Prisons with sponsorship from Sheikh Mustapha Ibrahim of Islamic Council for Development and Humanitarian Services (ICODEHS).

Dr Arthur promised to introduce the idea in Parliament and said if it was accepted he would personally champion its establishment.

Madam Matilda Baffour-Awuah, Acting Director General of Prisons Service, said the new vision of the Service was to foster private and public partnership - a phenomenon she believed would give it the advantage to enter into strategic partnerships.

She said the Service would focus on areas like agriculture and industries where there abound a lot of benefits, including the acquisition of knowledge and skills by the inmates and generation of revenues to expand the frontiers of their reformation and rehabilitation mandate.

Madam Baffour-Awuah commended Sheikh Ibrahim for the gesture and pointed out that the Prison Service had always cherished the partnership with religious bodies, which she noted was the area of bringing spiritual upliftment and hope to the prison inmates since “through religion one could see change that stems from the heart”.

She encouraged the inmates and others, who would be worshiping in the mosque, to hold the place with the highest of reverence and commitment to practice true worship and urged the inmates to lend themselves to the instructions of their religious’ leaders and officers so that they would be well prepared for re-entry into society upon their release.

Mr. Leopold Kwame Amoah Ansah, Deputy Director of Prisons (DDP) Officer In-charge of the Prisons, called on the public to see prison inmates just like everyone else outside the walls of the prison and that prisoners were not the irretrievable and vicious elements people perceived them to be.

He said there was a lot of hope in the Service and that if the society gave it the necessary support and resources to support its educational and vocational training programmes, it would be able to impact positively on the inmates’ skills and knowledge.

Mr. Ansah noted that if the inmates were given the requisite skills and knowledge, it would help them to become independent, resettled and get reintegrated into the society and contribute meaningfully towards national development.

He said it was the hope of the Service that the inmates committed themselves faithfully to the significance and purpose of the mosque and allowed the will of Allah to prevail so that they would have a better life.

Mr. Ansah appealed to Sheikh Ibrahim to assist the Prison Camp to dig a borehole to help address the water supply needs of the Ankaful prisons.

Sheik Ibrahim unveiled the plague and dedicated the mosque to the Almighty Allah. 
April 14, 2013
Doctors In Crunch Meeting To Discuss Govt\'s Offer
The leadership of the Ghana Medical Association have been held up in a crunch meeting on Sunday to discuss an offer made by government with regard to their market premiums.

A source close to the leadership told the Ghana News Agency on Friday that some group of chiefs have been holding series of meetings with the leadership of GMA pleading with them to reconsider calling off their strike whilst government dealt with their demands.

“Our meeting will consider all that and take a decision whether to call off the strike or continue with the position by the Association”.

The source was reluctant to give details of the offer made but said the leadership would be meeting to discuss it.

Doctors in public hospitals nationwide, on Monday April 8, 2013, embarked on a strike to press home their demand for salary arrears. The decision was reached at a National Executive
Council meeting of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) held in Kumasi last Saturday.

They will only be attending to emergency cases and also attend to only those on admission, to mark the first phase of the strike. Second phase of the strike, which would be a total withdrawal of services, would commence on April 15, if their demands are not fully met.

Coincidentally, members of the Government Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA) also withdrew their service on same day as medical doctors to demand the payment of their salary arrears and market premium as negotiated by the FWSC.

In a separate interview with the President of GHOSPA, Mr Stephen Corquaye, told the GNA that there has not been any correspondence from government as at close of work on Friday.

He explained there had been some discussions with the National Labour Commission and would meet them again come Wednesday April 17, 2013.

“It will be the outcome of the meeting that will determine whether our position will change. We cannot hold our patients whom we love so much to ransom. We hope something good will come out on Wednesday so we can go back to work”, Mr Corquaye added. 
April 14, 2013
UG Students Arrested For Demonstrating Bailed
The police say it will not prosecute University of Ghana students arrested on Saturday for demonstrating because the SRC of the university has signed an undertaking with the police to comply with the Public Order Act.

Over a hundred students, mostly from the Commonwealth Hall, were picked up by the Airport Police for massing up at the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange despite a police directive against the action.

They were later granted self recognisance bail, but Accra Police Public Relations Officer DSP Freeman Tettey says the students will not be prosecuted.

Mr Tettey told Joy News the SRC has also rendered an apology on behalf of the students.

He noted that the police had been given prior notice of the students gathering but they were told that the date was inappropriate, but the students disregarded the police directive.

“We told them to hold on with their fire,” he said, adding that when the police is ready to give them the adequate security and protection, “we will give them the green light.”
April 14, 2013
60-year-old Farmer Arrested For Killing Wife
The 60 year old farmer who allegedly murdered his wife last Thursday at Agona Nyakrom in the Central region is in the grip of the Police.

The suspect, Kofi Takyi, alias Kofi Bock went into hiding after allegedly inflicting multiple machete wounds on the wife, Ama Akomaa, 57 leading to her death.

According to the Agona Nyakrom District Police Commander, Superintendent Joseph N.K. Ackah, Kofi was arrested on Friday evening by some civilians who had mounted a search for him.

He was spotted on the Nyakrom to Kwaman road holding a bag containing a rope which the Police suspect he had wanted to use to commit suicide.

When the suspect was arrested some angry youth besieged the place to have him lynched but the timely intervention of the Police calmed the youth.

The suspect has been placed in custody and would be arraigned before court on Monday.

The couple had been married for 15 years.

Although no reason had been adduced, the police said there had been a strained relationship between them after the deceased threatened to divorce him.

Before the incident, the couple was living in the family house of the deceased at Odumase, a suburb of Agona Nyakrom.

The police said the deceased obliged an invitation by the husband to harvest cocoa on Thursday April 11, 2013.

Takyi, however, went ahead of her wife to the farm.

When the deceased got to the farm; she carried some of the harvested cocoa to a designated place on the farm.

Upon her return to the site where Takyi was harvesting the cocoa, the suspect allegedly began to inflict machete wounds on the wife’s head, back and the feet.

According to the police, the deceased became unconscious and taking her for dead, the suspect allegedly dragged the wife into the bush.

However, the deceased regained consciousness in the bush and decided to run for cover and eventually managed to get to the roadside and was rescued by some passers-by, who quickly rushed her to the Nyakrom Health Centre.

However due to the critical nature of her condition, she was referred to the Swedru Government Hospital where she later died. 
April 14, 2013
Chiefs Appeal To Labour Unions To Go Back To Work
The National House of Chiefs has appealed to the striking labour unions to reconsider their decision and resume work on compassionate grounds while government finds lasting solution to the issue.

A statement signed by Naa Prof.John S.Nabila, President of the National House Of Chiefs, and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said the situation was threatening the stability, peace, and development of the country.

It said the chiefs were pleading most especially to doctors, pharmacists and lectures to consider their decision in the interest of their patients and students who were at the receiving end of their services.

The statement said doctors, with their genuine grievances, should tamper justice with mercy since lives lost during this period could not be brought back after the strike.

It said it was important they collectively built industrial peace and harmony for a vibrant and prosperous nation.

The statement said Government, the National Labour Commission, the Fare Wages and Salaries Commission, and aggrieved parties should soften their entrenched positions, co-operate and go back to the negotiation table to resolve the issues amicably.
April 14, 2013
Doctors Rescind Decision To Boycott Emergency Cases
The National Executive Council of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has rescinded its decision to embark on an all-out strike on Monday.

Though the doctors would attend to emergencies cases, they will still not treat new patients at the Out Patients Department.

Doctors in public hospitals nationwide, on Monday April 8, 2013, embarked on a strike action to press home their demand for salary arrears and market premium. The decision was reached at a National Executive Council meeting of the Ghana Medical Association held in Kumasi last Saturday.

Even though the doctors had threatened to stop seeing emergency cases from Monday, they softened their decision after a crunch meeting on Sunday.

The doctors are considering a proposal detailing how government plans to pay their allowances, following mediation talks with the Trades Union Congress.

Meanwhile, striking university teachers say they will call off their strike if Monday’s meeting with the employment ministry meets expectation.

But the leadership of the Government and Hospital Pharmacists Association, GHOSPA says their members are still on strike until their demands are met. 
April 14, 2013
Akatsi MTTU Schooled On ECOWAS Brown Card
The Ghana National Bureau of the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme has held a one day training workshop for police MTTU officials in the Akatsi District.

Held on Wednesday April 10, 2013 at the Akatsi District Assembly hall, the workshop took security personnel through the features of the new secured Ecowas Brown Card, claims procedures and the role of the police in the implementation of the scheme.

The CEO/General Secretary of the Ghana National Bureau of the scheme, Mr. Gabriel Glover, in his opening statement said: “The Bureau recognizes the role of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit of Ghana Police Service as a partner of the scheme in safeguarding our citizens and promoting trade in the sub-region”.

Mr. Gabriel Glover stressed that the law enforcement agencies such as the Police, Customs and Immigration personnel should have an in-depth knowledge of the operations of the scheme to enable them effectively handle ECOWAS Brown card cases at exit and entry points.

“According to the Road Traffic Act, 2004 Act 683, a person who issues or tenders a certificate of insurance which is false, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 250 penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or both,” the Mr Glover quoted.

He said the new card was launched in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, on 12th October 2011 during the 28th Ordinary session of the Council of Bureaux of the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme.

The New Secured Brown Card, according to him, has improved security features that can only be seen by those inspecting the card, who use sophisticated gadgets to verify it.

The ECOWAS Brown-card Insurance Scheme was established following the endorsement of the 1982 Protocol to enhance the inter-states transports by the Head of Governments of the Economic Community of West African States. The Protocol as amended aims at facilitating free movement for the citizens of member states and guaranteeing fair and prompt compensation for damages suffered by victims of road accidents involving international roads users.
April 14, 2013
Three Killed In Police Shooting Incident
Residents at Mallam Atta in Accra have expressed surprise at what they describe as unprovoked gun attack on three people.

The three were shot and killed by police men on Friday, in very controversial circumstances, the residents claim.

The deceased were said to have forced out of their infinity vehicle and with their hands on their heads the police men opened fire, killing them instantly.

The police at a press conference on Saturday said the deceased are suspected armed robbers.

But residents are not impressed at the circumstances under which the suspected robbers were killed.

“I was in my room. Shooting was going on. The manner in which the police killed the so-called armed robbers, for me I think it is unfair. Because armed robbers who were not armed; who were not exchanging words with you. Why would you immediately shoot them?

“As they surrounded them (deceased) the guys held their hands on their heads and they were not armed so for me I think they should have been arrested,” one of the eye witnesses told Joy News’ Abena Oppong.

“I saw them killing someone in the car. They just opened the door and started shooting,” another resident claimed.

The bodies of the three men have since been deposited at the morgue.
April 13, 2013
Over 100 UG Students Arrested For Unlawful Assembly
Some hundred students of the University of Ghana have been arrested by the police for embarking on a march, Saturday.

The students, who were mostly from the Common Wealth Hall were picked up at the Tetteh Quarshie for unlawful assembly.

The police say the students did not notify them before embarking on the march.

According to the Greater Accra Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Freemen tetteh the march was in breach of the Public Order Act.

He told Joy News the data and other information by the students will be taken and released subsequently.

But the leaders of the march claim the police was aware of their demonstration.

President of the SRC Edmund Kombat and who is also a member of the Hall said the march was part of activities to herald their hall week celebrations.
April 13, 2013
Police Justify Killing Three Suspected Armed Robbers At Mallam Atta Market
The Ghana Police have justified the killing of three suspected armed robbers Friday night at Mallam Atta here in Accra.

The police said they shot and killed the three men upon a tip-off.

However, some residents in the area told Joy News the suspects were unarmed and accuse the police of cold-blooded shooting.

Residents said they heard gunshots but they did not see arms on the suspects. One eyewitness told Joy News she thought the police could have arrested the suspects.

But the police have denied the accusations. In an interview with Joy News, Accra Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Freeman Tetteh, said the three suspects died during a shootout with the police.

“They attempted to rob, we got there and they turned their fire on us so we have to reply fire-to-fire. Because we had a stronger fire power we were able to overcome them and in the process they were shot dead” he explained.

He said three weapons were recovered from them, one was locally manufactured and two were foreign guns.

He explained that “the rule of engagement is that at every point in time you don’t have to exchange your life for them (armed robbers)”.

“We always want them alive but in case we can’t, we have no choice but to do the obvious”, he said.
April 13, 2013
Samsung Unveils Biggest Smartphone
Samsung has unveiled the biggest smartphone to date - the Galaxy Mega, which features a 6.3in (16cm) screen.

The firm suggested its size made it ideal for watching videos or running two apps alongside each other.

Samsung helped popularise the so-called "phablet" category - in which phones approach tablet dimensions - with its original 5.3in Galaxy Note in 2011.

That proved more popular than many expected, but one analyst suggested the latest device might be a step too far.

Samsung is marketing the Android-powered handset as having a high-definition screen - however, a spokesman was unable to confirm whether it supported 720p or the "full HD" 1080p resolution.

Another South Korean firm, Pantech, currently lays claim to offering the biggest "full HD" smartphone with its 5.9in Vega No 6 which was announced in January.

China's Huawei had previously boasted having the biggest largest-screened 720p smartphone with its 6.1in Ascend Mate.

Samsung also makes the Galaxy Note 8.0. Some versions of this 8in-screened device feature an HSPA+ radio allowing them to make calls, but the machine is being promoted as a tablet with phone functionality rather than the other way round.

'Too cumbersome'
Samsung suggested that, despite its dimensions, the Galaxy Mega was still small and light enough - at 199g (0.44lb) - to fit into users' pockets and be used with one hand.

However, the firm is hedging its bets by offering a smaller 5.8in-screened version as an alternative.

Both will go on sale in May, with Europe and Russia the first regions to be offered the devices.

Tech consultancy Davies Murphy Group said that within the Android market there had been a notable shift towards people wanting to buy a single device rather than both a smartphone and tablet.

However, its principal technology analyst, Chris Green, suggested that at 6.3in it would be a "folly" for most users to swap their current handsets for the larger of the two Galaxy Megas.

"There is genuine demand for larger smartphones - the problem is at what point does a smartphone turn into a tablet," he told the BBC.

"When you've got this up against your head you'd have to argue you're using a tablet and not a smartphone - it's definitely going to compromise its functionality because it's simply too big and too cumbersome to use as a traditional telephone device.

"But ignoring the phone functionality, as far as the rest of the smart device goes it looks quite phenomenal."

Samsung was the most popular smartphone maker in 2012 accounting for 30.3% of all shipments, according to analysts at IDC.

Its rival Apple - whose largest handset has a 4in screen - came in second with a 19.1% market share. 
April 12, 2013
Market Premium Not Negotiable - White Paper
The government will henceforth determine market premium and will not make it a subject of negotiation, a White Paper on the guidelines for market premiums on the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) has stated.

“Government acknowledges that market premium shall be determined for critical but scarce skills and jobs through the conduct of comparative salary surveys. Thus, the government endorses the recommendation that it shall not be determined through negotiations,” the document stated.

The White Paper, signed by the President John Mahama on April 9, 2013 said market premium would be paid to critical skills in short supply within the economy.

It said market premium would not be based on qualification, job description, job title, grade or level but strictly on the scarcity of skills.

“Market premium shall not be based on service classifications of occupational groups or jobs classified as essential services as specified under Section 175 of the Labour Regulation 20 of the Labour Regulations, 2007 (LI 1833),” it said.

A section on transitional arrangement in the White Paper said with issuance of the guidelines, all prior arrangements on market premium or memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed to the effect would be discontinued.

Additionally, any interim market premium would be discontinued as soon as market premium was specified for a group.

It said market premium should not signify the importance or superiority of a job.

The document defined market premium as “an absolute amount paid only to employees with critical skills in short supply,” adding that the premium would not be calculated as a percentage of a worker’s basic salary.

This position of the government seeks to end the controversial issue of market premium determination as a factor of basic salary which was started as an interim measure for some workers when they were migrated onto the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).

The White Paper stated that the government would review market premium periodically, with the timelines dependent on research findings.

It said the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) would be responsible for determining market premium, in consultation with the Finance Ministry as well as the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations.

In the determining of the market premium, it said, the FWSC should undertake research and identify critical but scarce skills or jobs in the public sector.

The White Paper said cognisance was to be taken by government agencies of budgetary allocations in the determination of market premium.

It also said the degree of scarcity of a skill or job in relation to the government’s priority for that skill or job for a reference period and the ability of the government to pay should also be considered in determining it.

“Based on the government’s priorities, the list of scarce skills and jobs shall be published in the gazette,” it said.

Other issues in the White Paper are the objectives of market premium under the SSSS, which is to “enable the public service to compete favourably with the private sector for critical skills” and “to enhance performance and productivity in the public service”.

The document also said that “social security shall not be paid on market premium”.

The White Paper also noted that the government appreciated the valued cooperation and collaboration of its social partners and indicted that it would support intensive public information, education and communication campaign on the market premium by the FWSC and other social partners, including the Ministry of Information and Media Relations and the leadership of organised labour and associations.
April 12, 2013
Lack Of Service Conditions For Health Workers Is A Big Problem - Bagbin
Former Health Minister, Alban Bagbin, has indicated the strike by doctors over unpaid arrears is just one of several challenges facing various units in the health sector.

He warned the situation could spread to other units in the health sector unless a comprehensive overhaul of general conditions of services is done. He was certain a reorganisation of the sector will prevent future strikes.

Mr Bagbin told Joy News there is no existing plan guiding conditions of service and job progression for staff. “That definitely cannot encourage or (incentivise) the worker”, he lamented.

According to him, one of the critical things he took up as Minister of Health was to try and institute a comprehensive conditions of service for the health sector, but he was unable to accomplish this before being moved to another ministry.

Mr Alban Bagbin is one of three people inducted into office on Thursday 11th April by President John Mahama to supervise special priority projects of government.

The other members are former majority leader Cletus Avoka and Mr. ET Mensah, MP for Ningo-Prampram. 
April 12, 2013
Ghana Reduces HIV Infection By 66% In Ten Years - GAC
Dr Angela El-Adas, Director General of Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), has said the country’s new HIV infection had been reduced by 66 per cent over the last ten years.

She said the significant decrease had made the country the highest reduction of HIV infection in West and Central Africa adding that the AIDS in the country had reduced by over 30 per cent.

“We are among 16 countries with up to 39 per cent reduction in Mother to Child transmission of HIV and at least half of PLHIV who need treatment have been initiated with 95 per cent of them surviving”, she said.

Dr El-Adas made this known at a Dinner and Awards Night to mark the 10th Anniversary of GAC which was on the theme, “A Decade of Active Partnership towards Elimination of HIV-Optimizing a Sustainable Response.”

The event was aimed to award individuals and organisations have supported the GAC in combating the HIV/AIDS and providing the needed support for those living with the disease.

It was also used to launch GAC cloth which would give GAC a corporate identity and help build the team spirit among staff.

Since 2002, she said, GAC had advanced through both good and challenging times, maturing in commitment, passion and approach with the secretariat growing in strength.

Dr El-Adas said with only two staff from the beginning, GAC now boosts of 57 staff as well as improvement in offices facilities, infrastructure and management process adding that there are plans to recruit for the Regional Technical Support Units.

She said this would help take care of the ever increasing load and scope of work at the decentralized level.

Dr El-Adas said GAC was fully aware of numerous hurdles it must overcome in order to actualise the country’s vision of zero new infection, zero discrimination and zero AIDS related deaths.

“We are looking into the next ten years of our response with great expectation that we will eliminate all new HIV infections and AIDS deaths in an environment free of stigma and discrimination”, she said.

She urged all stakeholders to remember the positive impact of active and healthy partnership and commended all development and funding partners for their tremendous support to the institution.

A special award given to President John Dramani Mahama for his immense contribution towards the establishment of GAC.
April 12, 2013
Alan Kyeremateng Loses Out In His Quest To Become Next WTO Boss
A former Minister of Trade, Industry and Presidential Special Initiatives, Alan Kyeremanteng has lost out in his quest to become the next World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General.

This was after he failed to sail through the first round of the selection process for the top job at the World Trade Organization.

According to the Reuters News Agency, the council has shortlisted, candidates from Brazil - Roberto Azevedo, Taeho Bark of South Korea, Herminio Blanco from Mexico, Mari Pangestu of Indonesia and Tim Groser of New Zealand.

The Reuters News Agency quotes a diplomatic source saying that, representatives of the candidates were summoned to hear the results of the first round at a closed-door meeting in the WTO's Geneva headquarters Thursday.

The Organization is expected to officially announce its results later Friday.
The field of candidates to lead the World Trade Organization shrank to five and narrowed the race to two regions, triggering a potential scramble for Africa's support after the first of three rounds of competition.

Representatives of the candidates were summoned to hear the results of the first round at a closed-door meeting in the WTO's Geneva headquarters.

The "troika" of three WTO ambassadors presiding over the race plan to make the results public on Friday, and give a timetable for the second round, which is expected to boil the field down to a final duel, whose winner will succeed Pascal Lamy as head of the WTO on Sept 1 this year.

Some trade diplomats say the job is a poisoned chalice because it comes with little power to direct the WTO, a body that is run by consensus decisions of its 159 members and which is presiding over a huge slowdown in world trade and struggling to negotiate reforms in global trade rules.

However, the position is coveted because the WTO's unusual system of treaty-based rules and dispute settlement makes it an arbiter among nations and an influential world body alongside the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

Geneva-based diplomats have said the nine-strong race made it impossible to predict the eventual winner, especially since many governments are thought to favour candidates from particular regions.

Before the six-month process began in earnest in December, some diplomats maintained that the next head of the organisation must come from Africa or Latin America. Pascal Lamy rejected that idea, saying there was no geographical basis for the choice.

But the departure of Kenya's Amina Mohamed and Ghana's Alan Kyerematen means that African support is likely to become an important battleground for the remaining candidates.

The exit of Costa Rica's Anabel Gonzalez means the two remaining Latin Americans will have to struggle for supremacy, since it is unlikely that both will survive into the final round.

The other candidate to be dropped, Jordan's Ahmed Hindawi, was the first candidate from an Arab nation in the WTO's 18 year history.

The draw may now favour Pangestu, who would be the first woman to lead the WTO, and Groser, who survived despite the fact that a New Zealander has held the job once before, something that was seen as counting against him.

But the WTO's insistence on consensus means that any one member's strong dislike can essentially be used as a veto, leaving the final outcome uncertain.
April 12, 2013
Veep Encourages Ghanaian Students Abroad To Take Studies Serious
Vice president Kwesi Bekoe Amissah- Arthur says Ghanaian students studying abroad will not have automatic jobs in Ghana upon completion of their courses.

He says, these students may have to compete with their colleagues back home for the available jobs.

He said this when he met a group of Ghanaian students and some members of the Ghanaian community in Istanbul, Turkey.

Mr. Amissah-Artur was of the view that Ghanaians who get the opportunity to study abroad through government scholarships should acquire special expertise that will make them competitive on the job market.

He also urged the students not to only rely on already existing jobs upon completion of their courses but also try to be industrious.
Veep encourages Ghanaian students abroad to take studies serious
April 12, 2013
Parents Of Kolege Senior High Students Appeal To Gov't
Parents of the final year students at the Kolege Senior High School in Accra are appealing to government to intervene to enable their wards take part in the ongoing West African Certificate Exams.

School authorities failed to register about 195 students for the ongoing West Africa Senior School Certificate Exams.

Even though the parents intend taking legal action against the school authorities for failing to register the students for the examinations, they are also looking for suitable remedies for the situation.

Chairman for the Parents Teacher Association for the school, David Adjetei told Joy News government’s intervention can help resolve the situation.

The students vandalised properties belonging to the school and the headmaster, to register their discontent with turn of events. 
April 12, 2013
Mole Park "ripped Apart" By Illegal Chainsaw Operations
One of Ghana’s prime game reserves, the Mole Park, is under serious threat from the activities of certain illegal chain saw operators within the catchment area.

The situation reached a dangerous height after contractors working on the Fufulso-Dmongo-Sawla road were given concessions by the Forestry Commission to cut down trees that have been affected by the construction of the road.
Unfortunately, some illegal chain saw operators have taken advantage of the situation invading the wildlife and forest reserves to fell trees such as the Rosewood trees for transportation and export to China.

Even though the situation has gotten out of hands, authorities have failed to turn their attention to the state of affairs in order to find a lasting solution to it.

An ardent patron of the Mole Park, Mr. Robert Baidoo, has therefore waged a campaign against the situation and is challenging the officials in charge to find a solution to it as soon as possible.

Mr. Baidoo in an interview with the media said: “I as a citizen am extremely concerned and request that the press and other interested parties help in getting the authorities to take immediate action to address the issue because.”

He said the action is not only illegal but also extremely destructive to the wild life and the ecosystems of the reserves,” adding “this is a threat to the existence of Mole National Park, one of the prime tourist attractions in Ghana. The activity is not economically beneficial to the country or the area.”

Explaining the situation further, Mr Baidoo said the trees that are been exported to China cannot be replaced for years, if at all. According to him, only a few of the local chiefs and other leaders, who are in cahoots with the illegal operators are benefitting from its sales: “and for the amounts they are paid, it should be a treasonable act because no amount of money should be worth the destruction of our environment.”

He said a recent report by one of the media house indicated that the chiefs charge between GHS 1,000 and GHS 7,000 for a truck load of logs.

“As we have always experienced, the huge trucks that transport the logs to Tema for onward exportation contributes to, not only the destruction of the roads, but also traffic congestion and potential accidents,” Mr. Baidoo lamented.

To worsen the plight of the ecological park, Mr. Baidoo revealed that the situation has increased poaching in the area putting the protected species at risk. He said if no timely action is taken to rectify the situation, these activities will have severe economic and environmental effects on the region in particular and the nation as a whole.

He called on the governmental agencies responsible for the Mole Park to step up and take decisive actions to nib the harmful activities in the bud.
Mole Park
April 12, 2013
No More Media War - UTAG, GMA, Pharmacists Declare
Representatives of labour unions and the government Thursday resolved not to trade accusations at one another in the media as part of efforts at reducing the tension on the labour front.

The decision was reached at a meeting convened under the Public Services Joint Standing Negotiating Committee (PSJSNC) that brings together a representative each from the unions and associations in the public sector and representatives of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC).

The committee provides a forum for the determination of the base pay and relativities of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), as well as issues of implementation.

Among the issues discussed were the implementation challenges of the SSSS, the guidelines on market premium released by the government this month and other post-migration challenges.

The meeting, which was held behind closed doors, was attended by officials of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the Controller and Accountant General’s Department, the Ministry of Labour and Employment Relations and other government agencies.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning was not present but was represented by Dr Alhassan Iddrissu, the Director, Economic Research & Forecasting.

The representatives of the labour unions walked into the media centre of the National Sports Council with one thing in mind — the several industrial unrests.

At the end of the meeting, the participants were tight-lipped over the decisions taken during their deliberations.

Snippets of information picked up from discussions indicated that representatives of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), the Government and Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOPSA) and the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) had resolved to remain resolute in the cause they had taken to fight for what was due them.

The meeting commenced when the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Nii Armah Ashietey, arrived at 2:39 p.m. to preside over deliberations, which ended about 5:35 p.m.

When approached to give some information, Nii Ashietey said he was also committed to the media truce but gave an assurance that he would soon make a statement that would be assuring.

He gave assurances that the issues were not as dire as perceived by the media commentary.

The General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Mr Kofi Asamoah, and the Chief Executive of the FWSC, Mr George Smith-Graham, came out chatting and smiling.

They told the Daily Graphic that all members had committed to a media freeze for the time being.

They added, however, that a statement would be issued on the matters discussed and the decisions reached.
April 12, 2013