Massive turnout at premiere of Lilwin’s? ‘A Country Called Ghana’ movie

On Friday, May 17, 2024, the National Theatre hosted the inaugural premiere of ‘A Country Called Ghana’, a celebration of the Ghanaian culture and was attended by many people from diverse backgrounds.

The National Theatre was packed to the rafters as viewers were captivated by the excitement of one of the most highly anticipated Ghana-Nigeria film collaborations, which did not disappoint.

Tourists, musicians, politicians, and other film industry professionals gathered to the site to support famed Ghanaian actor Kwadwo Nkansah Lilwin, who portrayed one of the leads in the film.

Nigerian actors Ramsey Nouah, Charles Awurum, and Victor Osuagwu, popularly known as ‘Awilo Sharp Sharp,’ Paa George, and Sweet Mimi, were exciting characters in the movie.

The movie placed a special focus on the need for Ghanaians to preserve special artefacts that showcase our culture and not sell them out, regardless of the price being offered.

The two-hour movie also delivered some hilarious moments, with Lilwin delivering some
fascinating English language skills.

There was excitement after the premiere of the movie, with the likes of Guru, DopeNation, and Lilwin delivering a brief musical performance for the audiences.

The second premiere of ‘A Country Called Ghana’ will be at the KNUST CCB Auditorium in Kumasi on May 25, while the last premiere will happen at the Eubsett Hotel in Sunyani on June 1, 2024.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Visa troubles keep Cameroon’s amputee football team at home

Cameroon’s Men’s Amputee football team has been excluded from this year’s African Nations Cup in amputee football, which starts today in Cairo Egypt.

The Amputee Football Federation informed CNA that their paperwork was not processed by the Ministry of Sports, preventing the team from traveling to Egypt for the event.

Team Cameroon had previously cried out to little or no attention from the ministry to support the Amputée footballers during Their camping in Yaounde ahead of the competition.

Cameroon’s absence from the African Nations Cup marks the end of the federation’s hope to qualify for the World Cup since this tournament was meant to serve as a qualifier.

The Cameroon Amputée football team adds to the roller skate national team who couldn’t travel to Germany for a foreign competition, the Cameroon boxing and the Handball national team who recently couldn’t travel for foreign competitions for similar reasons

Aside from Cameroon three other teams, including Rwanda and Senegal, were unable to travel to
Egypt for the AFCON, reducing the number of teams from 16 to only 13 in total.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Rainstorm damages Hohoe E.P. Senior High School building

A rainstorm on Thursday, May 16, caused serious damage to buildings and other facilities of the Hohoe E.P Senior High School (HEPSS) in the Hohoe Municipality of the Volta region.

The school’s garage, boys’ and girls’ dormitory, classroom blocks, school’s clinic, maintenance shed, siren and polytanks were among the damaged properties.

Madam Olivia Afua Agbezuge, Assistant Headmistress, Administration, briefing the Ghana News Agency (GNA) after a tour of some damaged properties, said trees also fell as a result of the rainstorm but they were lucky no casualty was recorded.

She said the situation had plunged the institution into lights out since the incident until the time of the visit, adding that there were no preps for students in the evening.

‘Some classrooms are still dark and some students with eye problems find it difficult to learn under the present condition. Even teachers are affected because some of them have to use light during the day in their lessons.’

Madam Agbezuge said the siren, being the
source of information to students, had also been down which inhibited movement of students on their schedules.

She called for individuals and organisations for the school since they were now in danger.

The GNA has also learnt that water supply to the school, which is hinged on electricity power, could be affected.

Mr Foster Agbotse, Board Chairman of the School, after assessing the extent of damage, told GNA that the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) had been on the campus and it was the hope that power would be restored as soon as possible.

He said the security of the school was key and the breakdown of the siren was affecting the control of students although the school cadet came in handy.

Mr Agortse noted that if power was not restored, access to water would be a difficult situation to handle.

He noted that there was no plant to power the school and appealed to the Ministry of Education, old students, the church and philanthropists to help the school.

Mr Agotse said the dilapidated nature of the cl
assrooms affected needed urgent attention from government.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Parliament approves $150 million additional loan for Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development Project

Parliament has by majority voice votes approved the Additional Financing Agreement between the Government and the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group for an amount of $150 million.

This is to finance the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) Project.

The approval came amid strong opposition from the Minority.

The facility is for the construction of storm drains within the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) as part of efforts by the Government to address the perennial flooding situation in the nation’s capital, Accra.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentary Minority, which voted against the approval of the facility said they had concerns about the application and utilisation of the mother loan facility of $200 million so far allocated to the same Project.

They claimed that out of the $200m approved, only about $65 million had been awarded on contract for works, and only $8 million disbursed in these works out of a draw of $127m.

therefore, took the position that the solution is not extra resources but the accelerated implementation of works and speeding up of disbursement of the project funds to warrant the approval of additional funds for the project.

Mr Kwaku Agyeman Kwarteng, Chairman Finance Committee of Parliament and New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Obuasi West, in his report to the House noted that in the aftermath of the June 3, 2015 floods in Accra, there was renewed commitment by the Government and all key stakeholders to prioritise issues that were crucial for resilient urban development and flood mitigation.

He said the commitment to reduce the vulnerability of people, livelihoods, property and the economy at large to flood related risks led to the development of the Greater Accra Spatial Development Framework (2017-2037) and the City Strength Diagnosis (2017).

He reiterated that the flooding in the Greater Accra Region (GAR) was usually severe along the Odaw River Basin due to the impact of Clim
ate Change, poor solid waste management, informal settlements and low income communities along the banks of the Odaw Raver.

He said the flooding situation along the Odaw River Basin was exacerbated by Weak Integrated Planning and Coordination among Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the project area.

‘To address these challenges, the Government of Ghana, among other interventions, initiated the GARID Project in 2020 with a financing of $200 million from the Bank,’ he explained.

‘However, in the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, an amount of $65 million was reallocated to finance COVID related expenses.

‘Additionally, the original financing does not include compensation for affected persons.’

Mr Kwarteng said this additional financing had, therefore, become necessary to reinsure the $65 million and to make funds available for the payment of compensation to the affected persons.

The Chairman said by a majority decision, therefore, the Committee, having examined the financing agreemen
t for the GARID Project, recommended to the House to adopt its report and approve the Additional Financing Agreement between the Government of Ghana and the IDA of the World Bank Group for an amount of $150 million to finance the GARID Project in accordance with Article 181 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

The Minority also stated that the refund of $65 million re-allocated from the project to support COVID-19, if refunded by the Government, would augment the resources to the project, and should be prioritised.

The NDC Minority, however, expressed their concerns about the extent of borrowing by the Government, saying that the Government should rather deepen measures to maximise domestic revenue.

They strongly objected the approval of many the tax exemption applications before Parliament, which they cited as as avenues from which domestic revenue could be mobilised.

Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah, a Member of the Works and Housing Committee of Parliament and NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Ho West, in his s
ubmission said a visit by his side of the Committee to the project areas indicated that one of them was at 25 per cent completion stage, while another was at 20 per cent.

The project development was initiated in 2020.

He said for two years now the Odaw drain had not been desilted, adding that on their way to the Project site at Nima, they called the contractor on phone, and that the contractor, who had already been paid $2 million for mobilisation, had informed them that he was yet to move to site and that he (the contractor) did not know the Project site.

Mr Bedzrah, therefore, urged the House to conduct a forensic audit of the Project to ensure value for money.

Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, the Minister of Finance, in his remarks, noted that the Government would address the concerns raised by the NDC Minority.

He said, he would be providing the House with an update report on the state of the project within two months.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Caracas: Hilale Denounces Pressure Exerted by Algerian Ambassador on Delegations Supporting Sahara’s Moroccanness

The debate on the issue of the Moroccan Sahara at the C24 Caribbean Seminar, held in Caracas (May 14-16), ended with sharp exchange between Morocco’s Ambassador to the UN, Omar Hilale and his Algerian counterpart Amar Benjama. The Moroccan diplomat vigorously denounced the acts of intimidation exerted by his Algerian colleague against the delegations which supported the Moroccanness of the Sahara during this meeting.

Telling the participants of his shock and indignation at this harassment, he reminded the Algerian ambassador that “the C24 meetings have always been a space of freedom of expression respected by all. However, instead of answering my questions about the responsibility of his country in the dispute over the Moroccan Sahara, my Algerian colleague went to terrorize a delegation for the simple reason that it defended the Moroccanness of the Sahara”.

Hilale added: “Algerian diplomatic terrorism is well known to friendly delegations supporting the territorial integrity of the Kingdom, both at the C24
, the Fourth Committee and the General Assembly in New York, including in their respective capitals, and unfortunately today in Caracas”. “We are not in Algiers Mr. Ambassador’, he told him.

The Moroccan ambassador also decried Algeria’s interference in the sovereign decisions of States, noting that Algiers did not hesitate to use its mandate in the Security Council to blackmail friendly countries under examination in the Council, with the shameful transaction ‘Change your position on the Sahara question and you will have the support of Algeria’, affirming that it is a lost cause for Algeria, because these countries are in no way intimidated.

Hilale noted that the behavior of his colleague is not surprising, because it is the extension of a well-established practice in his country, regularly singled out by UN bodies and international organizations for its infamous record in matters of human rights violations.

He explained that in Algeria “there is no freedom of expression, no freedom of movement, no freedo
m of assembly. All human rights organizations have been dissolved. Your country has just promulgated the most liberticidal penal code, which allows the sentencing to 30 years in prison of any person simply expressing their opinion and you come to Caracas to give lessons on self-determination, freedom and independence’.

Reacting in a second right of response to the Algerian ambassador’s indecent confusion between the question of the Moroccan Sahara and that of Palestine, as well as his tendentious remarks on the American recognition of the Moroccanness of the Sahara, Hilale highlighted the Kingdom’s constant and unwavering support for the Palestinian cause.

He addressed his Algerian colleague directly, saying: “you pride yourself on defending Palestine in the Security Council, it is your role as representative of Arab countries within this body, but you forbid your people to demonstrate in favor of Palestine, because you are afraid of the Algerian people when they take to the streets, unlike you, demonstrati
ons in support of the Palestinian population of Gaza know no restrictions in the Kingdom of Morocco.

Ambassador Hilale also demystified the fabrication of his Algerian colleague according to which his country has no claim in the Sahara issue, reminding him that “Algeria grants itself the right to interfere in Morocco’s internal affairs, the right to block the UN political process, the right to host and arm a separatist group which has links to terrorism in the Sahel.

He concluded by saying ‘this is what Algeria is, its true face, and it’s true demands.’

Source: Agence Marocaine De Presse