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New British PM’s appointments: a lesson for Ghana?

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One fascinating aspect about the change of power in Britain this week, especially the appointments made by new Prime Minister Liz Truss was the fact that apparently she is making good use of their diverse expertise and background, regardless of their origin.
She has demonstrated inclusiveness, of course based on qualifications – and loyalty. That is how come a Briton of Ghanaian heritage, Dr Kwasi Kwarteng is her choice as Chancellor (Finance Minister).
In its issue of September 6, the UK Daily Mirror newspaper stated: “For the first time in history, none of the great offices of state are held by white men.”

Two of the principal cabinet positions that PM Truss has filled so audaciously are Foreign Minister, James Cleverly, the first black to hold that post; and Foreign Secretary, Suella Braverman. Reportedly, Mr Cleverly’s mother is from Sierra Leone and his father is white; Ms Braverman’s parents are from Kenya and Mauritius.

(Furthermore, with the appointment of Ms Therese Coffey as Deputy PM and Health Secretary, it also means that for the first time none of the four senior cabinet posts are held by white men.)
Evidently an all-embracing plan has been a factor. After all, immigrants have contributed immensely to make the United Kingdom what it is. So why should the children of immigrants be left out of the decision-making offices?

Surely, this pragmatic reasoning has a lesson for this country. Strangely, after 11 years of drafting and a mind-boggling series of revisions, Ghana’s Affirmative Action Bill (AA Bill), which seeks to bring more women into decision-making, is still not yet before Parliament for passage into law!
Why have successive administrations here not been keen to ensure that more women, who represent some 51 per cent of the population, are brought into decision-making, to ensure necessary inclusiveness and talent usage, for the benefit of the country?
This is what the AA Bill seeks to correct, and the Bill is one of the causes central to the Women’s Manifesto for Ghana (WMG), an initiative of the ABANTU for Development.

ABANTU, an international women’s non-governmental organisation, seeks to empower African women in the fields of politics and the economy on the local, national, regional and international levels.
Notably, the WMG recently marked its 18th anniversary, as it was launched on September 2, 2004. It is a political (but non-partisan) document which sets out critical issues of concern to women in Ghana.
Why has the AA Bill been on the back burner of the Government of President Nana Akufo-Addo for so long?

Yet, embarrassingly, Ghana’s Parliament of 275 seats has only 40 women legislators, 20 from the ruling New Patriotic Party and 20 from the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress.
The picture at the Local Government level is even more dismal: According to the findings of a study conducted by the Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana of the 6,000 District Assembly members, only 460 are women.
It was to correct such imbalances that after a series of consultations, in 2011, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection took steps to draft the Affirmative Action Bill.

As a knowledgeable source explains: “Affirmative action” means positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education, and culture from which they have been historically excluded.” Affirmative Action would see, for example, the designation of certain seats as those for women, not to be competed for, but filled by appointment.

Still, Affimative Action is not a new policy in Ghana. As ABANTU explains, “as far back as 1960, the Convention People’s Party Government under President Dr Kwame Nkrumah “legislated an Affirmative Action Act in 1960 which allowed 10 women members to represent the regions of the country in the then legislature.”

ABANTU notes that given the challenges that women are confronted with, it is important to put in place mechanisms that would progressively draw attention to their needs and
concerns and enable them to participate actively in public affairs.
The Manifesto therefore provides a platform of a common set of demands for the achievement of gender equality and equity and sustainable national development, hence its dedicated campaigning for the passage of the Bill.

If the Manifesto were a human being at age 18 that teenager would be entitled to privileges such as the right to vote, etc. So on that consideration alone, some would say that it is time for the Manifesto’s key advocacy to bear fruit.

Dr Rose Mensah-Kutin, Head of ABANTU, told me earlier this week: “In fact, the process of the Affirmative Action advocacy started in the 1990s. However, the Manifesto emphasized on it and even gave a deadline for its passage.

“To date ABANTU continues to advocate on it and we host the Coalition on the Affirmative Action, with Mrs Sheila Minkah-Premo as the Convenor. This year, too, in celebrating the Manifesto, we made a call for the early passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into law.”

If Britain can overcome all the conceivably racist undercurrents and appoint to its most senior political offices ‘hyphenated Britons’ (such as ‘British-Ghanaian’ or ‘Ghanaian-British’), what prevents Ghana from using a similar realistic approach to enact the Bill into law to ensure that Ghanaian women take their rightful places in the country’s decision-making structures?

Another cause for concern over the lack of movement regarding passage of the AA Bill, is that Local Assembly elections are scheduled to take place next year, but without an Affirmative Action Policy in place there is apprehension among gender activists and other interested parties, that 2023 too, will see not many more women in local government.

President Nana Akufo-Addo promised in his first State of the Nation Address in 2017, as well as last year, that his Government would facilitate the Bill’s enactment. So just what is the explanation for the unbelievably long delay in moving the AA Bill to Parliament?

Ghana surely has more than enough qualified women for policy-making or governance positions. However, evidently, the increasingly monetised and toxic political contests in this country is the reason why numerous highly qualified women dare not offer themselves as candidates for political office.

Definitely, women’s special skills and effectiveness are needed, so the nation has to find a way to let them into the decision-making spaces: Affirmative Action is the solution!

That is why there should be no more delay in giving Ghana an Affirmative Action Law.
And, Mr President, reminding you, respectfully: a promise is a promise!

Source: Graphic Online

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National: 2023 Budget: TUC to reject government’s salary projection of ₵44.9m

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Deputy-General-Secretary-of-the-Trades-Union-Congress-TUC-Joshua-Ansah

After several attempts to reach an agreement with government over an increment in their base pay, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is expected to meet government on Wednesday to finalise a deal.

But before that meeting gets underway, the Trades Union Congress is warning that it will not accept government’s projections in the 2023 Budget.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, reading the 2023 Budget in Parliament projected compensation of employees at GH¢44,990 million (5.6% of GDP).

Earlier, government also proposed a 12% salary increment during the last negotiation with Organised Labour but it was turned down.

 

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express on Tuesday, Deputy General Secretary of TUC, Joshua Ansah stated that they would not agree to the projected figure.

According to Mr Ansah, government must expect a fight if they turn up at the meeting with the same proposal.

JoyNews/AdomNews · TUC to reject government’s salary projection in 2023 Budget
“There is no way Organised Labour is also going to accept what has been put in the budget. Well, if the government has made up its mind that it is the way it thinks that he can actually force down the throat of workers, then we are in for a big fight, because there is no way government can pay anything below what we are expecting,” he said.

He noted that Organised Labour will not compromise on their demand for 60% increment in their base pay.

Meanwhile, the President of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Justice Yankson says government has created a problem by not reaching an agreement with the labour unions earlier.

JoyNews/AdomNews · Dr Yankson on organised labour and government’s negotiations
He believes the current mess could have been prevented.

“These are some of the problems that sometimes we create for ourselves. We had a whole period in which we could have sorted these things, we waited to the last end. Now we can see that we are on a collition course, it is clear,” he said.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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Politics: Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory

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A Wenchi High Court has thrown out a petition against New Patriotic Party (NPP) legislator in the Techiman South 2020 election.

The petitioner was seeking the nullification of the poll which saw the NPP candidate, Martin Agyei Mensah Korsah, emerge victorious.

But at the hearing Wednesday, the court explained that the NDC 2020 Parliamentary candidate, Christopher Bayere, who was pursuing the matter, failed to prove the burden of petitioning.

The court was attended by some leaders of the NDC including General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
He was sighted leaving the court premises a few minutes before the judgement.

The NDC Parliamentary candidate had contested the EC’s verdict which gave the NPP’s candidate victory with 49,682 votes representing 50.2 percent of the total valid votes cast, whilst the NDC’s candidate had 49,205 votes representing 49.8 percent of the total valid votes cast.

The NDC Parliamentary candidate insisted that the figures were not a true reflection of the election.

According to him, per the pink sheets of the NDC agents at each of the 267 polling stations, he garnered 50,306 votes in the Parliamentary election whilst the 1st Respondent polled 50,013 votes.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
Electoral Commission fined in 2021

In August 2021, the Electoral Commission of Ghana was fined GH¢4,000 by the court after the Court refused to grant the EC’s request for a stay of proceedings in the dispute on July 30, 2021.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
The EC’s application for a stay of proceedings was to enable it to file a motion to challenge the ruling of the Court at its previous sitting, when it granted the petitioner a motion to amend the title of the writ.

TCounsel for the EC, Emmanuel Addae said the stay of proceedings was to enable him to file supplementary statements in support of the application filed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, Mr Christopher Beyere Baasongti.

However, reacting to the EC’s stay of proceedings, the Counsel for the petitioner, Justin Teriwajah argued that the motion was frivolous and unnecessarily geared towards delaying the adjudication of the case.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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Football: Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style

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It was the much-needed win for Ghanaians who were largely sitting on tenterhooks for the final quarter of the game.

And from the reactions, after the South Koreans netted a quickfire double between the 58th and 61st minutes, something had to definitely happen.

Kudus rose to the occasion, found himself at the end of a Gideon Mensah cross and curled the ball past the goalkeeper to restore Ghana’s lead and eventually sealed the game for Black Stars.

Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style
The 68th-minute winner triggered a thunderous celebration across the country and on social media.

Despite late attempts from the Koreans, the game ended 3-2 with Ghana earning a vital win in Group H.

Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style
Alban Bagbin

The jubilation started right from Ghana’s legislative arm where the Speaker, Alban Bagbin was caught on camera dancing to one of the goals on the day from his office.

The ecstatic Speaker punched the air while clad in his Black Star jersey in the company of other officials of the House.

Asamoah Gyan runs

Former Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan was on punditry duty at SuperSports TV.

However, the ethics of being on a live set could not suppress his excitement when the deciding goal was scored.

Filled with elation, the former skipper run out of the set in jubilation shouting atop his voice.

His iconic goal celebration was his response when asked about his reaction to some moments of the game.

Fans in clean-up mode

Now, supporters of Japan’s national team have been earning praise in Qatar for their zeal toward cleanliness after each game.

This win seems to have presented Ghanaian fans with the opportunity to emulate this off-pitch tradition.

While many celebrated the win at full-time, other fans were seen moving boxes around to collect the waste left by their colleagues.

South Korea’s Son not in selfie mood

Another interesting sight came from an official from the Ghana dressing room posing for a selfie.

The subject Son Heung-min was almost in tears after his team lost at full-time.

Otto Addo’s side will now face Uruguay in their last game looking to secure qualification to the next stage of the competition.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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