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Lack Of Coordination Between Police, AG Accounts For Huge Judgement Debts
The Sole Commissioner of the Commission on Judgement Debts, Mr Justice Yaw Apau, has identified the lack of coordination between the Ghana Police Service and the Attorney-General’s Department as accounting for the state losing huge sums of money to litigants.

He said the state could avoid the needless judgement debts it paid to individuals and organisations if persons who were supposed to defend the nation against such payments were up to their responsibilities.

Mr Justice Apau made this observation at the commission’s sitting Wednesday when an accredited representative of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Anthony K. Kokoroko, testified in respect of the wrongful dismissal of Lance Corporal Baba Bukari from the Ghana Police Service.

The commission sought to find out from Mr Kokoroko, who is a legal officer in the Ghana Police Service, what had accounted for the state paying GH¢12,000 to L/Cpl Bukari.

Mr Kokoroko explained that the corporal was dismissed by a service enquiry instituted to bring some disciplinary actions against him for insubordination.

He said L/Cpl Bukari, who was enlisted into the Police Service in June 1986, was transferred to the Seikwa District Police Headquarters in the Brong Ahafo Region in April 2006.

He explained that the lance corporal complained of accommodation difficulties at the place and further petitioned the IGP on the matter and received assurances that his concerns would be addressed.

According to Mr Kokoroko, L/Cpl Bukari refused to report for duty while awaiting a response from the IGP. This resulted in a decision to institute a service enquiry into his conduct.

He tendered in evidence the Police Service disciplinary regulation which spells out procedures of disciplinary actions against an offending officer.

Mr Kokroko stated that throughout the trial, L/Cpl Bukari failed to appear before the enquiry, in spite of several invitations extended to him to make an appearance to have his side of the issue heard.

As a result of his persistent failure to attend, Kokoroko said, the body went ahead to try him in absentia and he was subsequently dismissed.

The embittered lance corporal, he explained, sued the IGP and the Attorney-General, accusing them of dismissing him wrongfully, for which he secured a court judgement in his favour.

Mr Justice Apau asked why the Attorney-General had failed to defend the state in court and also wondered why there were no witnesses to testify to the case in court which had resulted in the state losing such an amount.

According to the commissioner, the police ought to have been put in the witness box during the trial, pointing out that such laxity pointed to a lack of coordination between the Police Service and the Attorney-General’s Department.

He called for the strengthening of the Legal Department of the Police Service to make it more responsive to the handling of such matters.

Earlier, Mr Kokoroko had responded to questions in respect of a case in which the owner of an Opel Cadet taxi, Samuel Adjei had been compensated with GH¢4,500 following the auctioning of his car by the police for GH¢20.

The taxi was said to have been involved in an accident and parked at the Nsawam Police Station when it was auctioned because the owner failed to move it from that location.

Adjei sued the IGP and the Attorney-General over the matter and got a court judgement directing the state to compensate him accordingly.

The Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Major Mahama Tara (retd), who was the last to appear, tendered documents involving legal services rendered by Messrs Dewey and Leboeuf, an international legal firm, to the government of Ghana.

Sitting continues on July 29, 2013. 
July 25, 2013
Korle Bu CEO Dismisses Revenue Leakage Concerns
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital Prof. Effua Hesse, has dismissed fears of possible revenue leakage at the Hospital following a decision to discontinue the use of an electronic revenue management system.

Speculations are that authorities at the hospital intend to revert to use of manually operated system.

Prof. Effua Hesse However said, "there's no way the hospital management or board would ever go back to the manual systems".

Merchant Bank introduced the electronic revenue management system in 2009 which resulted in a sharp increase in the hospital’s revenue from GH¢13.3 million in 2009 to GH¢27 million at the end of 2012.

Linus Kumi, Senior Relationship Manager at Merchant Bank, told Joy News they received information from the Controller and Accountant-General's Department that the management of Korle-Bu would not want to continue using the system anymore.

He said the Bank was only told that the hospital was having problems with the system without further explanations.

Although the Bank has requested to be told the nature of the problems for possible resolution, Linus Kumi said Korle Bu is yet to make that information available.

But Effua Hesse said the hospital is only adopting an "on-site electronic revenue collection", which according to her, is the new trend in other hospitals and government agencies. 
July 25, 2013
Beauty Goes To Farm: Grooming A Generation Of "sexy" Agriculturists
Ghanaian Agronomist, Dr. Stella Ama Ennin, is leading the development of a Gender Action Plan as a necessity to rope in more women into agriculture – both at the researcher level and the farm level.

The target of the project, she says, is to increase the Ghana’s women agricultural researchers’ ratio to 40 percent within four leading research and educational institutions. These include the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), the University of Development Studies, Tamale, the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) and the Crops Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Dr. Ennin explains gender issues in crop production are important, hence the need for research development and technology dissemination to take into consideration the interest of women for sustainable development.

“Food security is fundamental; it’s about sovereignty – unless you’re able to feed your nation, you’re not an independent nation and the woman is critical”, she stated.

Young Ghanaian agricultural graduate, Kwabena Owusu, is happy to have studied with young ladies who had passion for farming and agriculture.

His undergraduate class of 120 had at least a quarter being females – and Kwabena had observed the numbers improve in his four year stay on campus, as the ladies competed strongly with their male colleagues for knowledge and skills.

But these young women had to suffer ridicule as they pursued their studies in agriculture. “They were said to be the ‘the unfashionable’ females on campus because of the way they dressed for field practical and they were also perceived to be bookworms and not fun to be around with”, Kwabena recalled.

Indeed a good number of women in Ghana shun agriculture as a course of study right from primary school, because of perceptions that farming as a profession is unfit for ‘beautiful girls’.

This is however not the situation today.

Dr. Ennin of Ghana’s Crop Research Institute (CRI) is an epitome of women’s role in making a difference in African agriculture.
Dr. Ennin is the first Ghanaian woman to receive the National Best Agriculture Researcher award in 1994 and the only woman to have had the award till date. She is the first and only woman to have risen to the position of Chief Research Scientist, the highest level within the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

She has also served as the first female Deputy Director and recently received a 2012 Ghana Women of Excellence Award for her contributions to scientific research and agricultural development.

For her, beautiful, ‘sexy’ and educated young women can venture agriculture and be successful.

Women shy away because of the drudgery in production, she explained. “If agriculture is seen as a very profitable, descent, mechanized and not laborious work, then a lot of women will find it attractive”.

As an accomplished agricultural researcher, Dr. Ennin’s focus is to come up with improved ways of producing crops like maize, cowpea and soya beans – both at the research station and with farmers on the field.

She is currently involved in crop-livestock integration; introducing legumes as dual purpose crops for human consumption and as residue for animal feed in four African countries – Ghana, The Gambia, Benin and Mali.

“I find it very exciting to be a woman agricultural researcher”, she said. “As an agricultural researcher, whenever you go to the field you see that you’re among your contemporaries, because women are mainly the food producers”.

Believing in the role of women in agricultural production, she has set herself an ambition to inspire young ladies to become astute agricultural researchers, especially at the CSIR where women constitute less than 20 percent of the 700 workforce.

“Other women are hopeful and can dream bigger because of me”, she said. “If you mentor a man you’ve mentored an individual, but if you mentor a woman you’ve mentored a nation”.

Mary Mamle Apetorgbor is the fourth woman to be mentored by Dr. Stella under the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) Fellowship, a career development program that equips top women scientists across sub-Saharan Africa to accelerate agricultural gains by strengthening their research and leadership skills, through tailored fellowships.

Mary’s career progression as a research scientist got stagnated at a point in time though she felt the need to reach for something more challenging in her field as a mushroom grower, researcher and trainer.

The mentorship opportunity, she says, has helped build her interpersonal skills and in less than a year into the programme, she has been able to build better teams, manage conflicts at the workplace and become more assertive working with farmer groups, most of who are women from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

“I want them to be better than me because the opportunities that they have, I never had them and there is no excuse”, Dr. Ennin said. “When you begin to mentor, it makes you less selfish, less self-centered; with mentoring, the potentially natural pride of being the first and only is not cherished; you are proud to be the first but not the only after a while”.
July 25, 2013
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