Ghanaians Urged To Participate In 2021 Census

Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, the Government Statistician and Chief Census Officer, says the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) is fully prepared to ensure the successful conduct of the 2021 Population and Housing Census.

In a speech read on his behalf in Tamale at the launch of the first digital district 30 days 2021 PHC Night, Professor Annim identified key areas for the exercise to include 131,739 localities, 51,916 enumeration areas, 11,020 supervisory areas in the 260 districts and 16 regions in the country.

He indicated that 75,000 tablets were made available for the enumerators to aid their operations and noted that there would be the use of interactive maps to facilitate effective deployment of field personnel to avoid duplications or gaps in the listing of structures and enumeration of persons.

He urged Ghanaians to have faith in the exercise and avail themselves to be counted in the third Population and Housing Census (PHC) data collection, scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2021.

Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister, said “information on population growth dynamics is important and highly needed by the government to plan for educational needs, where to locate health facilities, how to allocate the social expenditures and identify those who need help in the society”.

Mr Gilbert B. Nuuri-Teg, Tamale Metropolitan Coordinating Director, appealed to the public to cooperate fully with the staff of the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) to make the exercise a success.

He said the PHC exercise would collect information on every structure, household and individual to provide reliable and disaggregated data to the lowest of administration and geography, including rural and urban differentiation.

Mr Nuuri-Teg said Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) would fully support the census exercise to address the various data gaps needed for effective planning of strictured programmes at the district level to promote development.

The PHC exercise is to achieve complete coverage of all structures and persons in Ghana, which is in line with the “leave no one behind” agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It would provide updated demographic, socio-economic and housing data to support development and decision-making as well as the tracking of global, regional, and national development goals.

Source: GNA

car station

Transport Fares Go Up By 13% Effective June 5

Effective Saturday, June 5, road transport fares will be increased by 13%.

The new prices affect all forms of transport including Inter-city (trotro), Intercity (long distance) and shared taxis.

In a press statement, the Ghana Private Roads Transport Union (GPRTU) revealed that the increase is to accommodate the increase in fuel prices announced in May 2021, after long negotiations with stakeholders.

“Upon consultations, government has assured us that it will continue with efforts to prevent a steep rise in input cost.

“Government had also assured us by a letter from the Ministry of Finance that the suspension of the quarterly income tax paid by owners of trotros and taxis will be extended to cover intercity commuter vehicles to reduce the operational cost. We, therefore, encourage government to keep to its commitment in this regard.”

This comes after prices at the pumps in Ghana shot up by 12% due to the introduction of some taxes, increases in margins by the National Petroleum Authority, the industry, and price increases on the international market.

Following an agitation by citizens, the National Petroleum Authority rescinded its decision to increase the fuel margin to 17 pesewas per litre.

In a communique dated May 4, NPA revealed that “the 17 pesewas per litre increase in fuel margins previously announced by the NPA has been reduced to 9 pesewas per litre.”

Subsequently, GPRTU said they were in discussions with government about the increase in transport fares but urged Ghanaians to expect a 10 to 15 per cent increase.

In the press release, they urged transport operators to stick to the proposed increase.

“We request members, commuters and the general public to kindly cooperate for the successful implementation of the new fares,” they added.



ECOWAS Suspends Mali Over Coup

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has suspended Mali from the regional body over latest coup by the military.

ECOWAS leaders have also ordered the military leaders who are currently in charge of the nation to restore the transitional arrangement put in place in August 2020.

The hope is that this move will ensure that the troubled West African state returns to a democratic rule by February 2022.

ECOWAS heads of state held an emergency extra-ordinary summit in Ghana’s capital Accra on Sunday for deliberations.

In a communique, the ECOWAS leaders reiterated “the earlier decisions that the Head of the transition, the Vice-President and the Prime Minister of the transition should not, under any circumstances, be candidates for the forthcoming Presidential election and reaffirmed” ECOWAS’ support to accompany the transition process in Mali.”

Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, said the ECOWAS leaders expect the Malian Military junta to work closely with the ECOWAS Secretariat to ensure that the existing transitional arrangement is restored by first appointing a civil Prime Minister to lead the process.

“The decision of the heads of state is to go according to the protocol on democracy and good governance to suspend Mali from ECOWAS but at the same time, work with ECOWAS to ensure that the transition is on track towards the end goal which is to return the people of Mali to democratic rule,” Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey said.

The military in Mali led by Colonel Assimi Goïta seized power and declared himself president last week.

This follows the detention and subsequent resignation of the civilian interim president Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane last week.

Both men were accused by the military of stalling the transition process in the country after last year’s coup that toppled President Keita.

“In choosing between disorder and cohesion in the defence forces and security, we have chosen cohesion in the defence forces and security because it is in the nation’s best interests,” Goïta said on Friday.


Vaccine covid

Ghana To Manufacture Covid-19 Vaccine

Ghana has been selected as one of the likely manufacturing hub for Covid-19 Vaccine in Africa as demand for the life-saving serum increases.

The announcement was made following a meeting between President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Vice President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis during his two-day working visit to Brussels, Belgium.

The European Commission indicated that the selection of Ghana as a possible manufacturing hub for Covid-19 vaccines in Africa is as a result of the initiatives already taken by the government of President Akufo-Addo towards the domestic manufacturing of vaccines.

The task force teams from the EU and Ghana are expected to meet shortly to discuss modalities towards the realization of this initiative, which, in principle, could be supported by the European Investment Bank (EIB).

As the world tries to find a lasting solution to the Covid-19 pandemic, the manufacturing of vaccines has become of great importance with various groups calling for a boost in the production of Covid-19 vaccine.

The EU executive, which co-hosts the G20 summit with the Italian government, said it will set up three manufacturing hubs in Africa this year to boost long-term production of vaccines.

Drug makers are also set to announce they will provide large supplies of at-cost COVID-19 vaccines to poor nations this year to try to redress a global imbalance.

Among the drugmakers expected to announce doses for poorer nations soon are vaccine partners Pfizer (PFE.N)and BioNTech, the official said, adding that at least two other companies are expected to make announcements on Friday.

It is not however clear whether the announcements will concern new doses or vaccines already pledged.

Source: Daily Guide.


Galamsey Wreaks Havoc: Devastates Vast Swathes Of Forest, Rivers

Vast swathes of forest reserves and farms, as well as some rivers in the Western and Eastern regions, have been destroyed by the activities of illegal miners.

Deep in the heart of the two regions, where accessibility to the thick forests is virtually impossible, illegal miners have managed to penetrate with huge machines to cause destruction of unimaginable proportions.

Last Tuesday, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, high-ranking officials from the Operation Halt Team, as well as the media, embarked on an aerial tour of the areas devastated by illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey, and it was a sorry sight to behold.

As the Ghana Air Force MI-17 helicopter that carried reporters and other officials on the tour flew over the vast areas, there was nothing but scenes of sprawling land and water bodies that had been pounded by illegal mining.

From the helicopter, the scenes of destruction and degradation were visible for miles.

Many in the aircraft could not help but shake their heads in utter disbelief.

Although mineral wealth constitutes a valuable asset that can propel national growth and spur development in the mining communities, the havoc that the Daily Graphic witnessed from the air showed that the mining communities and the nation had rather become poorer.

The illegal activities have left chains of uncovered abandoned pits filled with muddy water in several areas, posing grave danger to residents of those areas.

The tour

Among the minister’s team was the National Security Coordinator, Major General Francis Adu Amanfo, and the Commander of the Operation Halt Team, Brigadier-General Amoah Ayisi.

The tour was meant to inspect the level of devastation perpetrated by the galamsey operators.

The team toured around the Oda, Offin, Birim and Pra rivers.

With the aircraft hovering over the rivers, the Daily Graphic saw muddy water, signifying pollution.

However, it was later realised that there had been some improvement in the quality of water.

Abandoned pits and mining settlements dotted the sites.

As part of the tour, the team made a quick stop at Anyinam in the Eastern Region and Daboase in the Western Region to engage with the chiefs and community members.

Government’s intervention

Mr Jinapor, who was visibly shocked by what he had seen, described the scenes as “tragic and heartbreaking”.

He held the conviction that if the government did not swiftly intervene, illegal mining would result in the destruction of all the country’s forest reserves and water bodies.

He gave an assurance that the government was not going to relent in its effort to clamp down on the activities of illegal miners.


In waging that crusade, he said, the government would use concerted efforts and resolutions to ensure its sustainability.

Already, he said, it had engaged in a stakeholder consultation with some operators and cautioned them to cease their activities around rivers and forest reserves.

“We are genuinely embarking on this effort and the government’s resolve is unflinching and honest. This means whatever measures we are putting in place will have no regard for political affiliation and status in society,” the minister said.

“There will be no discrimination, and if the law catches up with anybody, whether a party big-wig or a government official, the full rigours of the law will be made to apply. We are going to do this for the future of our country,” he added.


Touching on the burning of excavators by the Operation Halt Team, the minister said persuasion had failed and it was about time force was applied.

“We are demobilising the excavators and making them incapable of functioning, so that they cannot be used for the illegality that they are involved in. This is because extraordinary times require extraordinary measures and we have to put in enhanced measures to protect all the areas which have been declared ‘red zones’,” he said.


For his part, the Chief of Daboase, Nana Ekow Piabo IV, commended the government for coming up with such an intervention to address the issue of illegal mining in the area.

He said the activities of the miners had rendered the Pra River, which used to be the town’s major source of drinking water, no longer safe for consumption.

Personally, he said, he had tried every effort to halt those activities, including legal action, but all had proved futile.

“We, therefore, plead with the government to ensure that this does not become a nine-days’ wonder. Several attempts have been made to get rid of this matter, but to no avail. I hope that this time around, something positive will come out of it,” Nana Piabo added.



Second COVID-19 Jabs Begin

Some 13,682 people received the Oxford AstraZeneca jab on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, when the second round of the national COVID-19 vaccination took off.

The exercise was carried out by nurses and other health personnel at various vaccination centres in 43 districts in the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Central regions.

The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, who disclosed this in an interview in Accra last night, expressed deep satisfaction with the high turnout.

High turnout

Shedding light on the exercise, the Director-General said although there had been some few problems when the exercise began, which were anticipated, the entire process was quite successful.

“We had more people going to the various centres early in the morning than we had planned. That created congestion. We had hoped that they would spread patronage over the one-week period that we had given for them to go for their jabs,” he said.

He said another challenge that had confronted the exercise was that people had gone to centres that had not been designated for them.

“So receiving their data was initially difficult because the data team had gone to the centres with the names of people who were there,” he said.

Online application

To overcome the challenge of data retrieval, Dr Kuma-Aboagye said, an online application system had been restored to allow the data team to generate the data of jab recipients.

“Irrespective of where you have come from, as long as you are able to provide a reliable identification card (ID), such ID will be used to retrieve the data,” he said.

According to him, the online application system had come to stay, and that as the exercise expanded, more teams would be engaged to undertake the vaccination.

“We will continue to feed the population with information on when and where to go and we will also try to make sure that the vaccination appointment system is improved,” he said.


During the Daily Graphic’s tour of some of the centres yesterday, it was observed that while the International Press Centre and also the premises of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, which served as the main centre for the Ayawaso West municipality, saw some orderliness and better coordination, there was poor coordination at the Legon Hospital, the Adabraka Polyclinic and the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (Ridge Hospital) vaccination centres.

At the Press centre, unlike in the first round which had only one nurse administering the vaccine, the second round had two nurses and they were on time, arriving by 8 a.m. to attend to recipients, mainly people in the media who also showed up early to get it done with.

However, the exercise had to delay, as there was a mix up with the data provided. It was realised that the data provided did not have the names of many of those who had taken the first jab.

It took a while for the error to be corrected, causing delay to the start. Once that was done, the exercise went on smoothly.


The management of the Adabraka Polyclinic had a tough time dealing with the number of people who turned up to receive their shots.

By 7 a.m., many people had arrived to receive the shots, but no one came to brief them on what had to be done. It was not until after 9 a.m. that information came that although many people qualified, some of them would have to go home and return on Friday to receive their shots.

The situation was not different at the Legon Hospital, where tempers rose among some of the people who had queued to be attended to.

The Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, Mr Felix Nyanta, who took the first jab, urged people who were eligible to take the second jab to do so without any hesitation.

A Senior Nurse at the Ayawaso Health Directorate, Mrs Sylvia Annaman, said for convenience sake, everyone should report at the centre where he or she took the first jab to receive the second, since his or her biodata had been captured in that centre’s systems.



Two Transgender Cameroonians Jailed For Five Years

Two transgender Cameroonians have been sentenced to five years in prison. They have also been fined 200,000 francs ($370; £261) each.

Njeukam Loic Midrel, an internet celebrity who is known as Shakiro and Mouthe Roland, who goes by the name Patricia, were detained on 8 February for “attempted homosexuality”.

The two were also refused bail until their trial, which had been postponed several times, ended at the Bonanjo Douala magistrate’s court.

Their lawyer, Alice Kom has expressed surprise that the court gave them the maximum sentence, which “did not take into account the fact that they are first offenders”.

She said they would appeal against the judgement.

“We will continue the fight before the court of appeal. This decision risks increasing violence against LGBTQ people,” she said.

A human rights group has also promised to challenge Cameroon’s external partners over the court decision – saying the country “has violated all the international conventions it has signed”.

Cameroon is among 31 African countries that criminalise homosexuality.

The incarceration of the two highlights the challenges faced by people in same-sex relationships in the country.

Source: Africa Feeds

covid arrival

350,000 COVID-19 Second Doses Now In Accra

After weeks of apprehension over the fate of Ghana’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, the exercise looks set to resume soon after 350,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines landed in Accra on Friday morning.

It arrived around 5am, May 7, aboard a Turkish Airline fight to kick-start the second phase of the nationwide vaccination.

Fears that the programme could be held back heightened when the second batch of doses from the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) facility, expected from India, were not forthcoming.

This sent tongues wagging and kept citizens who received the first jab more than two months ago in a quandary.

The 350,000 doses of vaccines are an addition to the 600,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine received on February 24, this year.

Already, Ghana has inoculated about 850,000

Some countries under the COVAX facility have not been able to utilise all their allocation and the platform has decided to re-allocate them to countries which have been able to utilise all their first allocation and more vaccines are needed for the second doses and for those who have not even had their first dose.

The consignment, which was initially allocated to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was shipped into Ghana after the DRC failed to utilise them weeks after it arrived in that country.

It was received at the Kotoka International Airport by the Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, Mr Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari on the tarmac of the airport.

Mr Oku-Afari told Graphic Online in an interview that the arrival of the vaccines was a “big relief” for Ghana and a timely intervention in the country’s fight against COVID- 19.

“Even if you have the money to buy, it is not easy these days to get them so this is very timely and a big relief for the country,” he said.

He said the Ghana Health Service will kick-start the second phase of the vaccination soon.



Akufo-Addo Declares Monday, May 3, A Public Holiday

President Akufo-Addo has through the Interior Ministry declared Monday, May 3, 2021, as a public holiday.

In a statement issued Thursday by the Interior Ministry, it explained that it is because the celebration of Workers’ Day on May 1, falls on a weekend i.e. Saturday.

“The general public is hereby notified that Saturday, 1st May, 2021, marks May Day (Workers’ Day) which is a statutory public holiday.

“However, in view of the fact that 1st May, falls on a Saturday, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana, has by Executive Instrument (E.I), in accordance with Section 2 of the Public Holidays and Commemorative Days Act (Act 601) declared Monday, 3rd May 2021 as an additional Public Holiday and should be observed as such throughout the country,” the statement read.

Per section 2 of the Public Holidays and Commemorative Days Act (Act 601), the President in exercising his Executive power may declare additional public holiday(s).


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Akufo-Addo Deploys 200 Soldiers To ‘Remove’ All Persons Mining In Water Bodies

Soldiers have been deployed to remove all persons engaged in mining in water bodies in Ghana.

The operation, which was ordered by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo started on Wednesday morning, April 28, 2021, at 6am.

A total of 200 officers of the Ghana Armed Forces are involved in the operation.

The soldiers are to remove all persons and logistics involved in mining from Ghana’s water bodies.

The operation has started on River Pra in the Central and Western regions.

The Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah revealed this in a press statement signed and issued on Wednesday, April 28, 2021.

The said the Ministry of Defence and the Ghana Armed forces will provide a detailed brief of developments and sustainability efforts at 12pm on Friday, April 30, 2021.