Ghana: Press focuses on President Akufo-Addo’s tributes to late Rawlings, others

The tribute by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to late former President JJ Rawlings and the renaming of the University…

The tribute by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to late former President JJ Rawlings and the renaming of the University of Development Studies, Tamale after him are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Thursday.The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has disclosed that the family of the late former President Jerry John Rawlings has accepted his decision to rename the University of Development Studies, Tamale after him.

In a tribute read at the final day of a four-day funeral for Mr. Rawlings in Accra, President Akufo-Addo said although the former military leader declined the initial offer to rename UDS after him in 2017, the offer has since found favour with his family.

He said the necessary formalities will be carried out to rename the UDS; The Jerry John Rawlings University of Development Studies, Tamale.

President Akufo-Addo said: “Whilst he was with us, he, respectfully, declined an offer I made to him, in 2017, to have the University of Development Studies, Tamale, (UDS), which he, personally, helped establish, named after him. His reason was that, in adhering to a long-standing principle, he did not want to have any national monument or facility named after him.

After saying this as part of his tribute at the funeral service in Accra Wednesday morning, former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings responded with an applause.

President Rawlings played a crucial role in the founding of UDS as he used his prize money from World Food Prize of $50,000 as seed money to set it up.

It was founded as a multi-campus institution. It is the fifth public university to be established in Ghana.

The newspaper says that former President John Dramani Mahama has filed his witness statements in the 2020 presidential election petition.

The statements were filed on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 in line with the orders of the Supreme Court.

The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia and Dr Michael Kpessa Whyte who was one of candidate John Mahama’s agents at the Electoral Commission head office during the collation of the election results are among the witnesses.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it will not hesitate to dismiss the 2020 election petition filed by former President John Dramani Mahama if he (Mahama) fails to comply with the court’s order to file his witness statement.

This came after Mr. Mahama (petitioner), whose lawyers had told the court that they had five witnesses, failed to comply with the court’s order to file witness statements by Thursday, January 21, 2020 as ordered by the court.

When the case came up for hearing last Tuesday, the Supreme Court said before it listens to any further applications, it was imperative for the petitioner to obey its orders else it would invoke the sanctions under rule 69 which gives the court the power to dismiss the petition if the petitioner fails to comply with the order of the court.

The Supreme Court had on Wednesday January 20, 2020 ordered the petitioner to file his witness statements by Thursday, January 21, 2020.

The Times reports that the European Union (EU), through the French Development Agency – Agence Francaise Development (AFD) has approved a new €9.7 million euros grant for the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) to boost infrastructure works on the interconnection line between Ghana and Burkina Faso.

This is expected to increase electricity access in Northern Ghana and exporting capacity to the sub-region, especially Burkina Faso.  

The EU grant facility will be used to finance the upgrade of an 18km long 161kV transmission line located between Ahodwo and Anwomaso substation in Ghana’s second largest city, Kumasi.

 It will also support power transfer capacity from the South of the country up to Burkina Faso, through the 330kV line from Kumasi to Bolgatanga as well as reductions in transmission losses.

The 330kV line project was initially financed with a US$174 million loan from AFD to GRIDCo and a €4.8 million euros technical assistance grant from the EU. 

The €9.7 million grant agreement was signed in Accra by AFD Country Director, Christophe Cottet and GRIDCo Chief Executive, Jonathan Amoako-Baah.

The EU Ambassador in Ghana, Diana Acconcia and French Ambassador to Ghana, Anne-Sophie Avé, were present at the ceremony.

 Diana Acconcia emphasised the project’s contribution to securing the overall Ghana-Burkina Faso interconnection line, which is a priority under the West African Power Pool (WAPP).

“It is a great example of European partners coming together to support integration of regional electricity markets,” she said.

Anne Sophie Avé, Ambassador of France to Ghana said “This new project supported by EU and France will allow GRIDCo to complement one of the largest development investments of France in Ghana to enhance and upgrade electricity transport.

“This is a testimony of what the partnership between Ghana and France is about: supporting greener economy and jobs creation. This financing will translate into better and more reliable energy available for firms and Ghanaian citizens, and generate more growth, well-being and revenue for all.”