Ghana Karate-Do Federation President impressed with talent at 24th National Championship

Mr. Nathaniel Johnson, President of the Ghana Karate-Do Federation, says he was impressed with the talent on display at the 24th National Open Championship.

The two-day championship held at the Hathiramani Hall of the Accra Sports Stadium saw Karatekas compete at junior and senior levels.

More than 60 karatekas competed for various honours, with the likes of Felix Annan, Nasiru Alhassan, Patrick Amakye, and Dickson Acula winning gold in various weight levels at the championships.

In the female category, Elsie Yereit and Humu Yussif placed first in their respective categories.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Mr. Johnson said the championships paved the way for the Karatekas to showcase their skills while selecting the best for the national team.

‘There was a need for this championship, and all you Karatekas have witnessed it. There is potential among you, but until today, it could have been hidden.

‘Moving forward, my administration looks to organise more championships so that we can annex more talent in Karate-Do at the club, regional, and national levels,’ he said.

Mr. Johnson added that organising regular competition for Karatekas would help prepare for the international championships so that Ghana could start winning medals, something that has been limited over the years.

Nasiru Alhassan, who was adjudged the best Kumiti performer, expressed gratitude to the organisers and officials as well as fans. He hoped to give his best every time in his quest to raise the flag of Ghana at future international competitions.

Source: Ghana News Agency

GTA closes hospitality facilities in Ashanti Region over tourism levy

Officials from the Ashanti Regional office of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), have closed some hospitality facilities in the Region over default in payment of tourism levy.

Among the facilities closed during the two-day operation was the Crystal Rose Ambassador Hotel whose operational license was also withdrawn for an accumulated amount of GHS 12,473.74 in tourism levy.

Other facilities that suffered similar fate were Alice Tee Hotel, Diamond Hotel, Gisgo Catering Services, Summer Park, Pice Restaurant, Ashanti Paradise Hotel, Justice Hotel, Better Mum Guest House, and Kings Hotel.

Some of the facilities who were exempted from the exercise after making some payments of their debts are X5 Plus Pub and Restaurant, Sweet Roses Restaurant, Marbon Hotel, and Kitticilly Car Rentals.

Patrons of hospitality entities pay one per cent tourism levy, which is the key source of funding for the Tourism Development Fund (TDF) meant to diversify the resource base for financing the development of a sustainable tourism industry.

The accumulated debts by the facilities were discovered following an audit by the GTA monitoring team in line with section three of the Tourism (levy) Regulations, 2012 (L.I 2185).

It emerged that managers of the facilities had defaulted in payment of the one per cent tourism levy as per section (7) of the L.I.

Mr Fredrick Adjei-Rudolf, Ashanti Regional Director of GTA, briefing the media after the operation, said over 700 facilities in the region had been certified to collect and pay the levies to the government and that less than half of the number pay the levy.

‘To be very honest with you I am not satisfied with the level of compliance and as long as I am in this region, I will make sure that everybody complies,’ he assured.

He said compliance was the way to go to sustain the tourism industry for the benefit of all stakeholders and pledged his commitment to retrieve the monies.

Source: Ghana News Agency

‘Let us be security alert’ – NCCE

Ghanaians have been advised to be security conscious and report suspicious characters in their midst as the country was not immune to terrorist attacks.

Mr Setriakor Kwesi Gagakumah, the Oti Deputy Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), who gave the advice said there was the need to check background of visitors they received thoroughly as most terrorist camouflage themselves as visitors and carried out their activities unaware.

The NCCE Deputy Regional Director said the manifestation of contemporary violent extremism and terrorism in West Africa had been its transnational nature, where an attack executed in one location might be premeditated in another, with human and material resources from multiple other locations.

Mr Gagakumah made these statements at Tsikata Kofe, a farming community in the Kadjebi District of the Oti Region, during a sensitisation on Preventing and Containing Violent Extremism (PCVE), organised by the Kadjebi District Directorate of the Commission, with support from European Union (EU).

The Commission, with support from the EU, is currently undertaking education on PCVE in 79 selected Districts across the country.

Mr Gagakumah urged the residents to help sustain the prevailing peace in the area by tolerating divergent views.

According to him, tolerance, fairness, respect for fundamental human rights, respect for the rule of law, equality of opportunity, among others would help keep the nation together.

Mr Daniel Agbesi Latsu, the Kadjebi District Director of the Commission, said the threat of terrorists attacking the country was real as they could strike anytime and anywhere.

He said Counterterrorism was the defensive measures used to reduce the vulnerability of individuals, information, and facilities to terrorist acts.

The NCCE District Director said one could not identify a terrorist or a radicalised person by physical appearance, but through their activities.

He said they could know them if they realised that the person is becoming increasingly argumentative, refusing to listen to different points of view, unwilling to engage with children who were different and embracing conspiracy theories.

The other signs were; feeling persecuted, changing friends and appearance, distancing themselves from old friends, converting to new religion, sympathetic to extremist ideologies and being secretive and reluctant to discuss their whereabouts.

On what to do during violent attacks, Mr. Latsu said, they should ‘RUN’ if there was a safe route and if not ‘HIDE’ and call emergency numbers 191, 999 and 18555 for help.

He said in case they spotted suspicious terrorist attack, they should not confront the individuals involved, but hide and jot down the number of people, gender, ages, and physical descriptions, describe exactly what they were doing, provide the exact location, what they were wearing, provide date, time and duration of activity and describe vehicle, make, colour, number plate and weapons they were using to attack and then, report via the above emergency numbers.

Mr Latsu also appealed to the participants to share the information received from the NCCE educative team with others as they might not visit all the communities in the district.

Mr Mutakilu Tsadenu, the Assemblyman for Butabe/Obuase Electoral Area, commended the team for the insightful education and called for more of such engagement.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Volta Region records 1,238 cases of newborn jaundice in 2022

The Volta Region is recording a swelling in the number of cases of neonatal jaundice.

The disturbing trend, which is increasing by the hundreds each year, has been a concern for stakeholders in the Region.

A total of 1,238 cases were recorded in 2022; 997 in 2021, 879 in 2020, and 720 cases recorded in 2019, in that order.

Dr. Edem Sarbah a lead pediatrician in the Region, made the disclosure, when he delivered the keynote address at the launch of the 2023 Newborn Jaundice Awareness Month Celebration of the Ho Teaching Hospital.

He said the figures were expected to represent less than the actual situation as cases were under-reported.

Neonatal Jaundice is a childbirth dilemma caused by the buildup of bilirubin in the bloodstream of the baby who develops yellowish skin and eyes, and gradually lose motor and sensor responses as toxic bilirubin makes its way towards the brain, where it could trigger paralysis or death.

Dr. Sarbah said the disease affected more pre-term babies with a score of eight out of 10, while six out of 10 full term babies were affected worldwide.

He said although most newborn jaundice occurs on their own, underlying conditions could also include infections, prematurity, and incompatibility of red blood cells between mother and child.

Dr. Sarbah added that naphthalene balls had been discovered to be a cause of the disease and should be discouraged in the newborn’s vicinity.

Sharing danger signs of the disease, he said, ‘Jaundice noticed within the first 24 hours of life suggests that the jaundice is very severe, and this baby needs urgent care.

‘If a newborn with jaundice is not suckling well, has a weak cry or has an abnormal movement, it suggests a progression of the disease to affect the brain. This can be prevented by early detection.’

He said it was important to disabuse myths surrounding the disease, but rather seek prompt health intervention, adding that the disease in newborns evaded prevention and thus early detection, identifying groups at risk, and the avoidance of potential casual agents counted as crucial.

Dr. Sarbah said the disease threatened the joy of childbirth in all families, and therefore, all must come on board to end its dominance.

‘I call upon each one of you to join us in this noble cause. Educate yourself, spread the word, and actively participate in the activities and programmes we have planned for this campaign. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of countless families and children.’

Dr. Richard Danyoh, Acting Head of Pediatric and Allied Health at the Ho Teaching Hospital, said close to 1000 cases of neonatal jaundice had been recorded at the facility in the past four years, and that the data showed that majority were males who recorded within three to five days of birth.

He said about 75 per cent of the cases were due to the physiological cause of liver underdevelopment, and that vigilance by parents and care givers remained crucial.

Dr. Danyoh said a total of 36 health facilities from across the Region referred neonatal jaundice cases to the teaching hospital, and that the top 10 facilities that recorded the incidents had been singled out and should be a point of focus.

These facilities are Municipal and Districts hospitals in Adidome, Sogakope, and Ho, as well as the Royal Hospital in Ho, and the Peki Government Hospital.

The rest include the Keta Municipal Hospital, the St. Anthony’s Hospital at Dzodze, and the Wora Wora Hospital.

The Acting Head of Pediatric said the disease contributed 69 per cent of newborn admissions at the Teaching Hospital, and that a total of 946 photography treatments had been administered during the four-year period with a maximum of 10 days ward stay for full terms babies.

He said the Teaching hospital required more equipment and logistics in addition to increased staff strength, and increased space for care and collaboration.

Dr Danyoh revealed at the event that the teaching hospital did not have a single transcutaneous bilirubin (TCB) device for detecting the disease in newborns even though it remained the number one cause of disability among children.

He said extended hospital stay was expensive amidst the socioeconomic impact, while psychosocial impact also weighed on families, and that it was time for stakeholders to reform neonatal care to address newborn jaundice.

Mama Afiakuma III, Queenmother of Ve Traditional area who chaired the launch, shared personal experience with the condition and said the nation risked losing its future leaders to its prevalence.

‘It is for all of us to go out there and create awareness,’ she said, adding that female traditional leaders in her area had taken up media sensitization.

Stakeholders at the launch took a pledge to join the fight against the disease, while activities planned to mark the awareness month include media education, stakeholder engagements, a jaundice awareness walk in Ho, and visits to religious groups and organizations.

This year’s awareness celebration is on the theme ‘Spot the Yellow. Stop the disability and death.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

‘5-1 defeat against Medeama was very shameful’ – Hearts coach Ocloo

David Ocloo, interim Coach of Accra Hearts of Oak, has described their 5-1 defeat against Medeama SC on matchday 31 of the betPawa Ghana Premier League as very shameful.

The Phobians’ dream of winning the league title was dealt a massive blow as they were thumped by Medeama SC, who gained the top spot after getting maximum points.

It was the first home defeat for Coach Ocloo since he took charge of the team weeks ago, as the Phobians are now placed seventh on the league table with 45 points.

Speaking at a post-match press conference, Coach Ocloo revealed that they went into Sunday’s match against Medeama with a plan that turned out to be a disaster.

‘We came into the game hoping to win, and we had a plan, but it turned out to be a disaster. It was a shameful defeat, but this is football, and sometimes it happens.

‘The season is over with regard to winning the league, but we are fighting for a respectable position in the league,’ he said.

Coach Ocloo added that he would solely blame the players for the loss, as he also shares some of the blame with his technical team.

‘We are going to work hard and correct all our mistakes, and hopefully we can close out the season on a good note,’ he said. Accra Hearts of Oak would face Legon Cities at the El-Wak Sports Stadium this Sunday and close out the season with games against RTU and Berekum Chelsea.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ethiopia Reiterates Commitment to Strengthen Trade, Business Integration in Africa

The first-ever One African Expo has kicked off today at the Ethiopian Museum of Art and Science in Addis Ababa, in honor of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the African Union.

The Expo is being held under the theme “Enabling Development” from May 22-27, 2023 with the objective to improving trade and investment relations between African countries so as to help realize economic growth and development and transformation of the continent.

The Expo is set to be an unprecedented Business-to-Business (B2B) trade show, created specifically for African governments, private and public business sectors, global companies, and business professionals to showcase their products, services, expertise.

It is expected to serve as a commercial gateway to African continent and a hub for global connectivity, it was indicated.

At the opening of the expo, State Minister of Trade and Regional Integration, Kassahun Gofe reiterated that Ethiopia is committed to enhance trade and business integration in the continent.

He said the One Africa expo will play a pivotal role in strengthening regional integration and drive way forward for the success of Agenda 2063.

CEO of One African Expo, Yalew Getachew said the expo will facilitate entry of African products and services into the global market, unlocking new opportunities for business across the continent.

He elaborated that the expo will also improve visibility of the African business ecosystem but also gain a competitive edge in the global marketplace.

By providing a gateway to the global market, the One Africa Expo 2023 presents a unique opportunity to promote bilateral trade between Africa and the world.

This platform offers an exceptional visual experience of Africa, bringing together diverse industries ranging from mobility, cultural diversity, tourism, technology, green initiatives, agro-industries, financial services, and infrastructures, involving all 55 member states.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Transaction of Over 1.2 Trillion Birr Carried out Through Digital Payment System in Nine Months

In the last nine months of this Ethiopian Fiscal Year a transaction of more than 1.2 trillion Birr has been carried out through digital payment system across the country, Minister of Planning and Development, Fitsum Aseffa said.

While presenting the government’s nine-month performance report of the 2015 fiscal year to state ministers, members of the House of Peoples’ Representative (HPR) and heads of various institutions, Fitusm mentioned that the government is focusing on digital finance to build an inclusive economy.

Work is being done with policy and procedures she said, adding that the number of mobile money transfer technology users has reached more than 60 million.

Accordingly, she pointed out that more than 1.2 trillion Birr has been transferred through digital payment in nine months.

The minister stated that this is a 169 percent increase compared to the 454.31 billion digital money transfer in the same period of the previous fiscal year.

Ethio Telecom CEO, Frehiwot Tamru on her part said that implementing the strategy of digital Ethiopia is being carried out with due attention.

She mentioned the introduction of targeted fuel subsidies into the technology system and the on going efforts to commence electronic tax payment system.

Frehiwot mentioned that efforts are also being made to expand access to financial services by establishing a wide telecom infrastructure so that the economy can benefit the society more, noting the activities being underway to increase the number of internet users.

The CEO stated that to ensure digital economy and financial inclusion in the future, there should be a consistent, integrated and properly controlled digital implementation.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Ethiopia Express Dismay with Resolution of League of Arab States Regarding GERD

Ethiopia notes with dismay that the resolution adopted by the recent Summit of the League of Arab States echoed Egyptian hostile rhetoric regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

In a statement it issued today, the Ministry said that the resolution is an affront to the African Union and its Member States, which are working to bring an amicable negotiated resolution to the GERD matter.

It also runs contrary to the cherished and shared history of the peoples of Africa and the Arab world, the statement added.

In 2015, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan signed the Agreement on the Declaration of Principles, which unambiguously provides that the construction of the Dam shall continue in parallel to the negotiations on the guidelines and rules on the first filling and operation of the Dam. The details of dam filling, including the volume and duration, have been agreed upon between the experts of the three countries.

“Throughout the process, going out of its way, Ethiopia has catered to the concerns of Egypt and Sudan. Ethiopia is and will continue to act respecting the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization of the waters of the Nile.”

Thus, the ministry stated that the allegation that Ethiopia has taken unilateral measures is a deliberate mischaracterization. Egypt’s attempts to exert pressure on Ethiopia by using the Arab League forum represent its lack of good faith and violation of the Agreement on the Declaration of Principles it concluded with Ethiopia and Sudan.

According to the statement, Ethiopia works closely with Sudan on all bilateral matters, including regarding the GERD.

Ethiopia commended those Member States of the League of Arab States that cautioned against Egypt’s attempts to escalate the matter.

“Ethiopia is confident that members of the League, particularly the Member States of the African Union, will disassociate themselves from this resolution. They should prevent Egypt’s further misuse of the League that could potentially create a rift in the longstanding African-Arab friendship and historic relations,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs underlined.

Ethiopia called upon Egypt to abandon its unlawful claim to the monopoly of the Nile River, citing defunct colonial agreements and a colonial-mentality-based position negotiate in good faith and reach a win-win outcome.

Egypt should also act responsibly to lay the foundation for future generations of all the Nile River basin countries to nurture friendship and cooperation based on mutual respect, the statement said.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Canada Keen to Support Ethiopia in Agricultural Development, Food Security

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen met today with Minister of International Development of Canada, Harjit Singh Sajjan, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Among others, the two sides discussed ways of further enhancing development cooperation between Ethiopia and Canada against the backdrop of strong, longstanding ties.

Demeke told Minister Sajjan that the Government of Ethiopia is striving towards effecting development both at home and in the Horn of Africa by fostering investment and trade policies as well as forging strategic partnerships conducive to regional economic integration.

He said the Home-Grown Economic Reform Agenda and Digital Ethiopia 2025 are the pillars of Ethiopia’s transformative economic policy while capitalizing on youth job creation and women’s empowerment.

In this regard, international partners like Canada need to support Ethiopia’s development efforts and the ongoing peace consolidation efforts, as peace is the backbone of any development initiative, Demeke said.

The transitional justice, national dialogue and DDR processes need support and cooperation to be fully implemented and are stepping towards an integrated economic ecosystem suitable for potential investors in the agro-processing, mining, manufacturing, and tourism sectors, he said.

Ethiopia at the moment is focused on effecting the 2nd phase of the Home Grown Economic Reform Agenda, especially in the priority areas that are identified as key drivers of development , such as agriculture, manufacturing, mining, tourism, and renewable energy, as Demeke noted.

The recent launching of the LT-LEDS and the continuous Green Legacy Initiative is also a demonstration of Ethiopia’s commitment to building a climate-change resilient nation while ensuring a conducive milieu for international investors and development partners, he said.

Minister of International Development of Canada, Harjit Singh Sajjan, for his part, noted the longstanding Ethio-Canadian development cooperation and vowed to continue the tradition.

Among others, the minister expressed the Canadian government keenness to support initiatives aimed at increasing agricultural productivity on top of improving food security.

He added that improvements in the agricultural sector in Ethiopia should be seen not only as food security efforts but also as economic opportunities that businesses from Canada could take part in.

The Minister reassured the Demeke of Canadian support not only in the consolidation of peace but also in holistic development undertakings.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Frustrated and pained, UFC boss, Dana White, says Nganou’s PFL deal, senseless

Petit, spiteful little man Dana White has not yet gotten over Francis Nganou’s transition from UFC to PFL.

In an interview, Dana White said the Cameroonian was “afraid” to take risks, reasons why he fought only three fights in three years.

Dana continued, that the deal with PFL is senseless and will not yield any fruits.

“I know how the story ends…he is not even fighting their champions right now. He wants the box and from what I am hearing he is not going to fight for another year…based on what I know about the deal which is not much. It makes no sense when you pay a guy not to fight for a whole year. The day that we released him, I knew exactly what was going to happen”

He laughed over a close to 300 million deal between the PFL and some businessmen from the middle east, “Who is gonna give them 280 to 300 thousand dollars from the middle east,” he questioned.

The former UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Nganou in a series of tweets, asked Dana White to leave him alone because he completed his contract and was never released as claimed.

Nganou whose new contract with PFL will see him as the PFL African Chairman, said he is happy that he is finally being recognised and respected and that is all that matters.

On May 19, Mr Nganou tweeted that Dana White should contact PFL if he wants his fighter, Jon Jones to face the former UFC heavyweight champion.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Africans and toxic competition-the Hilda Bassey case

The dust is yet to settle as a Nigerian chef, Hilda Bassey broke World cooking records previously held by an Indian Lata Tondon.

In 2019, Lata cooked for 87 hours 45 minutes to hold the highest record ever attempted by a woman. But on Monday, May 15, 2023, Hilda Effiong Bassey cooked for 100 hours, beating her Indian counterpart in the Guinness World Record of longest cooking hours.

Nigerians trooped to her cooking site in Lekki, Lagos, to give their support to the sensational cook, who had become the star of the moment.

The meals from her kitchen fed thousands who took turns to have a taste of her cuisine.

Short;y after the feat, the Guinness Book of Records, said they were still verifying claims of her records. Days later, Hilda informed her fans that before she is officially proclaimed the record holder, she will need to upload proofs “and they are heavy to do so” she said, while asking fuming Nigerians to be calm.

But this is not all, a Liberian Chef, made things worst when he announced that he will be challenging Hilda to break her records. This is just a day after she hit 100 hours of non-stop cooking.

I find this appalling that some Africans who are supposed to support their own and celebrate the grace of Hilda, are instead throwing themselves into unhealthy competition.

When Indian-born, Lata Tondon, broke the records, there was no Indian, nor Asian who came up to brake the records. They all supported her, in her newfound fame.

The same Chef, Wonyean Aloycious, never came up to challenge the Indian but was quick to jump up and challenge Hilda.

When rumors broke out that he was about to make a challenge even before Hilda’s certification, I thought it was a joke until I made some research and found him confirming.

He said he was doing it for the culture.

In his own words, “GWR doesn’t have a time duration for one to break another person’s record! In so doing I don’t need anybody’s approval to make attempts in breaking a week-old record ????It’s not a hate or jealousy as you’ll see it”

I see a lazy chef who lacks initiative and can only get such when his fellow African Chef attempts a feat.

The Liberian Chef, Aloysius said, “I’m officially expressing my interest in sitting 120hrs new record for me and my country, breaking previous records holders.”

But this will have to wait until the GWR approves his challenge to start.

My question is why did he wait until Hilda breaks the record? I she out for publicity and clout chasing?

One thing is certain, the Liberian people and their media, have been pouring unflinching support and Aloysius is bent on seeing this happen.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Barred from marching in Bamenda, Frankist movement pours venom

Wearing sky blue T-shirts and holding the Cameroon flag, at the last minute when associations and political parties were to march, the Secretary-General at the North West Governor’s office stopped the FRANKISTS from marching without any explanation.

The MCFM is a movement created and made up of members who support and want the president’s son, Emmanuel Paul Biya, to succeed his father as president of the Republic.

Police officers are reported to have blocked the FRANKISTS MOVEMENT at the commercial avenue and asked them not to proceed with the marchpast because they have been given instructions by the Secretary-General to the North West governor’s office, Basiliken George Emmanuel, not to allow them to march.

In reaction, the SG of the Frankists movement ( MCFP ) Fungwe Elvis said, he was embarrassed with the decision of the North West governor’s office to stop the movement from marching on 20th May in Bamenda, whereas the movement marched in Wum, Nkambe, Babessi and in Ndu.

“It is a kind of hatred which I think the governor’s office will have to look over it again. We deposited an application to march on 20th May with the SG at the governor’s office, we all discussed and made him understand that, (MCFP) wasn’t yet a political party, but a movement that want to partake in the national day under associations. He saw that with us and we showed him documents showing the movements papers were at the office of territorial Administration pending recognition as a political party. He even encouraged us to meet other groups at commercial avenue doing rehearsals prelude to 20th May, which we did, but I was surprised again that after mobilizing our members and spending to have them at commercial avenue, the North West governor’s office had to stop us from marching. This is wickedness. The movement marched in Buea, Bafousam, Doula, and other towns in Cameroon, why stop us in Bamenda?” he said.

The movement now has executive bureaus in all the ten regions of Cameroon, and it’s gradually having bureaus in all divisions and sub-divisions of Cameroon.

Source: Cameroon News Agency