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The Security Situation And Matters Arising; A Mere Politicisation Or Reality?

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The Security Situation And Matters Arising; A Mere Politicisation Or Reality?

About two weeks ago, Ghana was rated as the first and second most peaceful country in West Africa and Africa respectively.
On a continent plagued with civil unrest, islamist attacks, pirating and kidnappings morphed into banditry, it is understandable when a country like Ghana is seen as somehow peaceful.
In recent times, one does not wake up in a day without hearing the news of one form of attack or the other in some parts of the continent.

Living in West Africa has become more perilous today than it was two decades ago and this is largely due to persistent attacks from islamist and Jihadist insurgents.
Even though the most affected countries are in the neighbouring Sahel-Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad, the activities of these insurgents continue to cascade down south with countries along the Gulf of Guinea also threatened.
Already the Ivory Coast and Benin have witnessed attacks from these terrorist groups while Ghana has received a number of threats from possible insurgents.
Ghana is seen and viewed by many as an Oasis of peace in the midst of a turbulent subregion.

The peace enjoyed by Ghana is one that has not been obtained on a silver platter. It has taken years of concerted efforts to build and maintain.
However, recent occurances have left many wondering if indeed the country is safe and peaceful as revealed by the global peace index. While some believe there is a deliberate ploy by some political actors and their hirelings in the media and civil society organisations to create a false sense of insecurity among the citizenry, others believe that, there is a clear and present danger in terms of the country’s security.

Over the last few weeks, there has been some violent crimes including the robbery of a bank van, killing of a police officer accompanying the van, other violent robberies, killing of a supposed social media activist, killing of two rioters by the military and the beating of civilians in Wa, in the upper west region.
These unfortunate incidents have set tails wagging with the trumpeting of insecurity in the country. Unfortunately, this cry of insecurity is being championed by some political actors with the buy-in of both traditional and social media.
Even though these occurances are unfortunate, it is difficult to come to terms with why its happening, has been equated to some new levels of insecurity in the country.

Available information and statistics clearly points to the fact that these violent crimes although unfortunate, are not new neither have its magnitude of occurances escalated.
The following are but a few of such occurances which butresses the fact that violent crime is not new in this country albeit unfortunate, but does not constitute a state of insecurity as being portrayed by some political opportunists and their hirelings in the media.
For example on November 3, 2014, the media reported of the gruesome murder of Mr Peter Kojo Keyenso, District Chief Executive for the Nkwanta South District in the then Volta Region by Some youth of the then ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Similarly, J.B Danquah a sitting member of Parliament was murdered on February 9, 2016, Staff Officer Owusu murdered on February 6, 2016 at Bamboi in the Bole Bamboi District, Emmanuel Fennec Okyere murdered on February 12, 2015, Nana Okotoako Kofi Mankata II, Chief of Chinto murdered March 26, 2015, Nii Kwaku Bibini II, chief of Oblogo near Weija murdered on April 21, 2012 and Naa Dasana Andani, Chief of Bimbila murdered on July 7, 2014.
Apart from these, Nana Kwaku Dwumah Ankoanah II was murdered on November 5, 2013, Nii Ayitey Noryatse murdered on March 11, 2014, Nene Kpetutu, Chief of sota near Shai Osudoku murdered on March 20, 2016, Alhaji Seidu Abdullai , Kintampo Gonja chief ,murdered on August 28, 2016, George Abanga alias King George, Peace Fm murdered on September 10, 2015 at Goaso, D/Cpl Francis Amenyo Aballo murdered by armed robbers on May 28, 2016 and Constable Kwakuvi Hukporti murdered by armed robbers on December 24, 2016.

Furthermore, G/Cpl Humphery Lumor was murdered by armed robbers on June 30, 2016, G/Cpl Frank Kombla Klu murdered by armed robbers on June 17, 2016, G/Cpl Frank Osei Amankwah murdered by armed robbers on March 16, 2016, at Sefwi Bekwai, G/Constable Emmanuel Nii Atseku murdered by armed robbers on September 22, 2015, G/Cpl Prince Charles Akata murdered by armed robbers on January 7, 2015 at Weija, Constable George Nyiko murdered by unknown assailants on June 24, 2014 at Gambaga and Jegri Tabalim murdered by unknown assailants on June 24, 2014 at Gambaga.
Although these violent incidents are unfortunate, it is meant to draw attention to the fact that violent crime have always been with us and perhaps would continue to be with us for as long as we remain human.

The argument has been that, we are experiencing such crime because our security agencies are not on top of their game and majority of our youth are unemployed.
While these argument could be right to some extent, it is not supported by available statistics. A comparative data between Ghana and the United States point to the fact that, crime does not necessarily depend on the number of youth who have employment opportunities, although it holds the potential to reduce its occurance.
It is important to emphasise that America has and continues to witness violent crimes despite its advanced security architecture and huge employment potential it possesses, yet America is not framed by its political class and media as suffering insecurity.

On June 14, 2021, the Newsnationtv.com reported that, more than 19,000 gun violence deaths occurred in America in the first half of the year making it an average of 120 per day.
Furthermore the New York Times on June 29, this year reported of mass shootings and killings of people in the following cities; San Jose , California, 9 people killed on May 9, 2021.
Also in Bulmer, Colorado, 10 people were killed on March 22, 2021, Colorado Springs, 9 people killed on May 9, 2021, Orange California, four people killed on March 31, 2021, Muskogee, Oklahoma, four people killed on February 2, 2021,Allen, Texas four people killed on April 4, 2021, Indianapolis, 17 people killed on April 15, 2021, Chicago , five people killed on January 9, 2021, Atlanta , eight people killed on March 16, 2021, Boone , .N.C , four people killed on March 28, 2021, Rock Hill , S.C , six people killed on April 7, 2021 and Essex, Md four people killed on March 28, 2021.
The above examples clearly go to point out that violent crimes do not necessarily take place simply because a country has been plagued by insecurity.
Perhaps, what the political opportunists and their hirelings in the media are forgetting is the fact that, issues of national security are also a shared responsibility and each citizen has a role to play in creating a safe and peaceful environment.

While recent agitations by some members of the public for the country to be fixed maybe legitimate, it is equally important that, these agitations are situated within the framework of a collective call rather than pushing the partisan political bottoms.
A framework of collective role play is the only means by which the challenges which have and continue to confront our society can be dealt with effectively.
It is within this framework that the roles and responsibilities of both state actors and non state actors must be defined.
While it is the duty of the government of the day to listen to concerns of persons leading the #Fixthecountry campaign be it legitimate or not, the government must equally draw up a mechanism that clearly spells out what is required of the citizenry to fix the country.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy would imply that the government must find innovative ways to get its citizens to understand the real impact and carry them along in finding solutions together.
Today, the real threat to national security is not only external aggression but internal ones as well. It is good to equip the various security services with all that it requires to maintain order in the society, but the real deal is the government’s ability to engage its exuberant youth to channel their energies into the productive sectors of the economy.

To effectively do this would imply that government would have to employ effective communication as a mechanism to get the buy-in of the youth.
How government communicates its business of reducing corruption, building the economy, creating opportunities for the people and solving challenges of the country is very important.

The modern trend of communication is gradually shifting to social media. It appears in countries where insecurity and street protests have taken centre stage, the root cause can be traced to agitations on social media.
As a result, government would have to find innovative ways of augmenting its traditional communication strategies with effect social media tools and tasking competent people with effective communication skills to play within that space.

Majority of the youth today do not patronise the traditional media like the print, radio and television like before, as a result, government communication strategists must put in place strategies that enables it to tap into the new order.
The current agitations must at all cost attract government’s attention and where there are genuine concerns dealt with. But even as government works to deal with those concerns, it must also not lose sight of the fact that, not all the concerns are borne out of genuine interest but are of parochial self or partisan political interest.
Government must bend backwards to get the citizens to understand that the country is safe and peaceful and that recent occurances are but every day occurances which the security agencies continue to deal with.
Yes! those occurances are a threat to both individual and national security but they do not necessarily constitute insecurity in the country as some political actors and their assigns in the media and civil society organisations would have the whole world to believe.
National Security is the very foundation upon which the development of the country is built and it is the responsibility of every Ghanaian to ensure that, it is protected no matter its shortcomings.

By Prince Adjei (Guy Gee)
The writer holds an MA. (Public Administration) as the Records Information Management Project Coordinator of a Private company in United States of America. He opens the line of communication between clients, customers, and businesses to get projects done. With over 8 years in both public and private sectors, GUY GEE has experience in management consultation, team building, professional development, strategic implementation, and company collaboration. He has managed projects in Records, Information and Management, where he was a finalist for the PMI®️ Project of the Year. He holds an MPA from Kean University, Union, New Jersey and a current PMP®️ certification.

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Tour Operators’ Union of Ghana outdoors maiden newsletter

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Tour Operators’ Union of Ghana outdoors maiden newsletter

The Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA), on Friday, November 24 launched the ‘Tougha Newsletter,’ the maiden publication of the Union.

The 44-page, full colour brochure is awash with information on the activities of TOUGHA including tours to sites and destinations and donations to selected orphanages in various parts of the country. The Union’s support towards promoting domestic tourism is also given much prominence in the new publication. Readers can also learn about travel tips in Ghana in the newsletter. Several articles, including one by TOUGHA President, Mrs. Alisa Osei-Asamoah on domestic tourism is also featured. Also contained in the newsletter are pages where almost all members of TOUGHA and their contact information can be found.
The colouful launch event at the Labadi Beach Hotel attracted a broad spectrum of Ghana’s tourism industry stakeholders, both public and private, traditional authorities, academia and the media.

Mrs. Alisa Osei- Asamoah described as historic, the publication of the newsletter. “Indeed, this is a day that I have looked forward to for a really long time. This day marks yet another important milestone in the forward march of our beloved union,” she said.
She added that the newsletter seeks to offer a credible and authoritative medium for disseminating critical industry information, analysis of sector trends, and among others, offer alternatives to policy initiatives and inspire right partnerships and penetration into unexplored products of the country’s tourism sector.
Mrs. Osei-Asamoah postulated: “TOUGHA is contributing this newsletter as a tool that we believe can perform a useful role in facilitating the creation of a more congenial environment for sustainable growth and development of the travel and tourism industry in Ghana.”
Deputy Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku Mantey congratulating TOUGHA also highlighted the significant role in Ghana’s tourism, stating that “We could not call ourselves a Ministry of Tourism without TOUGHA.” He said the Ministry would continue to partner and work with the Union to achieve the goals of building a robust tourism sector for the country.

Also pledging their continuous support and collaboration was the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Development Company, Kwadwo Odame Antwi who also spoke on behalf of the Ghana Tourism Authority CEO, Akwasi Agyeman.

 


A representative of Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu, the Life Patron of TOUGHA, Manwerehene Baffour Osei Hyiaman Bretuo VI commended TOUGHA for the initiative to publish a newsletter. Calling for more support from the Ministry and its agencies for the Union, the Manwerehene said TOUGHA has over the years established itself as a formidable body for which reason the doors of the Asantehene were open to them on the regular.
Alongside the launch of the newsletter, founding members of TOUGHA were also given citations of honour for their pioneering role in establishing the Union. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal and CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman were also presented with citations for constantly supporting TOUGHA’s activities and Ghana’s tourism.
The evergreen Winneba Youth Choir and whiz kid, Nakeeyat were also in attendance to serenade patrons with beautiful music renditions and poetry performance respectively with exciting cultural music and dance also on display.
An e-version of the newsletter is available for download at www.touroperatorsgh.com

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Unemployment rate started rising under Mahama – Duffuor

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Unemployment rate started rising under Mahama – Duffuor

Former Finance Minister Dr Kwabena Duffuor has said he was able to assist the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills to reduce unemployment rate from the time Prof Mills became President in 2009 to 2012.
But, he said, the rate started increasing from 2013 to 2015, the period that Former President John Dramani Mahama was in office.
Delivering a public lecture in Accra on Monday November 29, he said “High and rising inflation increases the cost of living at a fast pace, thereby eroding people’s real incomes and savings. By fueling wage pressures and raising the cost of other production inputs, it also increases the cost of doing business. Furthermore, rising inflation forces up interest and lending rates, since savers—whose surplus funds are lent to borrowers—naturally demand a higher reward for deferring consumption to the future. Higher lending rates then lead to the cancellation of otherwise viable investments, with negative effects on economic growth and employment generation.
“Historically, Ghana has experienced these effects of inflation in their most destructive forms, as the country’s post-independence economic history is marked by many episodes of runaway inflation, including prolonged periods of hyperinflation in the 1970s and 80s.
“Because Ghana relies heavily on imports to meet its consumption needs, a rapidly depreciating exchange rate is a major source of inflation. In addition, given the country’s rapid build-up of foreign debt, which accounts for about half of total public debt, a sharply weakening exchange rate significantly increases the size of the foreign debt and the cost of servicing it in domestic currency terms. In fact, research conducted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has shown that exchange rate depreciation is a significant driver of Ghana’s public debt dynamics, as it accounted for almost 30% of the growth of public debt between 2006 and 2019.
“These problems call for the effective management of inflation and the exchange rate to ensure their stability to protect living standards and support rapid economic growth and development. To achieve this requires, from the macroeconomic perspective, disciplined fiscal and monetary policies.
“Mr. Chairman, this has been done before. In 2009–2012 under the Mills NDC administration, our success in lowering the fiscal deficit from 14.5% of GDP in 2008 to 4% of GDP by 2011, as well as our success in slowing the rate of monetary growth, facilitated a fall in inflation from 18.1% in December 2008 to single digits for 31 consecutive months starting from June 2010 to December 2012. This remains to date the longest period of single-digit inflation in Ghana since independence. The exchange rate also achieved a measure of stability during the period, as it depreciated by 10.1% per annum on average in 2009–2012, which is one of the lowest rates of average depreciation during the Fourth Republic. The World Bank indicated in their 2011 report that in 2011, Ghana was the fastest growing economy in the World with GDP of 14.5% and a decline in interest rates to the lowest level in four decades.
“In his 1999 speech at ‘President Ball and Fundraising dinner’ at the Tema Rotary Club, Dr. J.L.S Abbey lauded the 1998 Macro-Economic Performance of Ghana, saying ‘Last year, most of the financial targets of Government were met: monetary growth over the period was less than 18 percent: the exchange rate depreciated by less than 5% and the rate of inflation declined. These targets were achieved by the strong enforcement of laws relating to banking and use of foreign currency, by prudent use of repurchase agreements in monetary management, and by placing a limit on excessive budgetary spending by government’. We have done this before. Mr. Chairman, I have personally been part of doing this before, so I know it can be done and that it must be done.
“As concerns mount about rising inflation in recent months, the government should take a second look at its fiscal and monetary policies, especially the former, and ensure that they are sustainable and conducive to the effective control of inflation and the maintenance of a stable exchange rate.
“Besides firm fiscal and monetary policies, good real sector policies that lead to strong economic growth play a critical role in ensuring price and exchange rate stability. The stellar performance of real GDP growth in 2009–2012 was therefore a significant factor that led to the stable macroeconomic environment during the period. From 2009–2012, overall real GDP grew at an average rate of 9%, which is the highest rate under any administration in Ghana’s history. Even the non-oil real GDP growth rate, which stood at an average of 7.4% during the period, is the highest under any administration in the country’s history. Effective real sector policies should therefore be pursued to achieve high economic growth and employment creation, as it happened between 2009–2012, and thereby helped to maintain a stable macroeconomic environment.
“Again, through effective real sector policies, unemployment was tamed under the Mills NDC Administration and I was the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.  The total unemployment rate which stood at 10.4% in the year 2000 witnessed a declining trend to 5.3% by the end of 2010 and further declined to 2.2% by the end of 2013. However, after 2013, total unemployment rate saw another upward swing, increasing sharply to 6.8% by the end of 2015.
“It is therefore clear that the stellar performance of real GDP growth in 2009–2012 was a significant factor that led to lower unemployment level and which further led to job creation during 2009–2012 period.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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CODA Hands Over Two Projects At Breman Essiam in Ajumako Enyan Essiam District 

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CODA Hands Over Two Projects At Breman Essiam in Ajumako Enyan Essiam District

The Coastal Development Authority (CODA) has handed over a Lorry Park and a modern Community Library to the chiefs and people of Breman Essiam in the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam District.

Community Library at Breman Essiam

Community Library at Breman Essiam

The ceremony was graced by traditional leaders led by the paramount Queen mother of Breman Essiam, Nana Efua Esiwa II, the DCE of Ajumako Enyan Essiam, Hon. Ransford Kwesi Nyarko and the DCD, Mr. Abdul Mohammed K. Also in attendance was the Assembly Member of the area, Hon. Ibrahim Issakah, Staff of the AEEDA, Representatives of GPRTU and the general public.

The DCE recounted the deplorable state of the Lorry Park and the Library in the past and commended the efforts made by the Omanhene of the Breman Essiam Traditional Area, Odefour Afankwa III in getting these projects.
Hon. Ransford Nyarko, stated that the projects are a dream come true for the community and the District at large.

The CEO of CODA Jerry Ahmed Shaib ESQ expressed the delight of CODA for the achievement. He was glad that the projects were not imposed by the Authority but rather ones that met the needs and aspirations of the people based on proper consultation with all stakeholders.

He again revealed that the projects being handed over and many others ongoing in the District run under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP). He commended President Akufo-Addo for fulfilling his “one million dollars per constituency” promise to the people of Ghana especially, rural folks. The CODA boss also took the opportunity to outline other projects which were being executed within District.

The gathering was assured of ongoing collaborations with institutions like the Ghana Library Authority to stock the Library as well as GIFEC to provide ICT equipment for the E-Learning wing of the Library.

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