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Ghana: Press highlights directive of ECOWAS Leaders to Mali junta, review of CST

The directive by ECOWAS Leaders to the military junta in Mali to, within days, hand over to a civilian administration…

The directive by ECOWAS Leaders to the military junta in Mali to, within days, hand over to a civilian administration and the four percent reduction in the Communications Service Tax (CST) by Mobile network operators are some of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Wednesday.The Graphic reports that the highest decision-making body of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has urged the military junta in Mali to, within days, hand over to a civilian administration to steer the transitional process to restore constitutional rule in that country.

The Chairman of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, said immediately the military junta handed over to a civilian body to steer the process, ECOWAS would lift the sanctions it had imposed on Mali.

Addressing the media immediately after about six hours of consultative meeting on the political situation in Mali at the Presidential Villa at Peduase, near Aburi in the Eastern Region yesterday, President Akufo-Addo said “the situation in Mali calls for a quick resolution”.

He said it was important, more than anything else, that Mali was managed by a civilian administration that could begin the process of normalising things.

The meeting, which was convened by President Akufo-Addo in his capacity as the Chairman of the regional body, attracted eight Presidents and representatives of the remaining Heads of State, as well as the Malian junta, known as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (NCSP), led by Col Assimi Goita.

The newspaper says that Mobile network operators have effected the four percent reduction in the Communications Service Tax (CST) for customers, as directed by the government.

The reduction, which took effect from yesterday, represents the five per cent of the CST charge based on products and services, in accordance with the passage of the Communications Service Tax (Amendment) Act, 2020 (Act 1025).

Confirming the implementation of this latest tariff, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Telecommunications Chamber, Mr. Ken Ashigbey, told the Daily Graphic that it was successfully done after the smooth reconfiguration of service providers’ systems to accommodate the commercial and technical requirements.

The latest talk-time and data tariffs, to last for the next six months, are part of the government’s intervention to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Ghana.

The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, announced the proposed reduction when he presented the mid-year budget review in Parliament on July 23, 2020.

The Graphic reports that Free Wi-Fi in senior high schools (SHSs), an initiative of the government, will be launched in October this year, the Minister of Communications, Mrs. Ursula Owusu Ekuful, has said.

She said the government would also implement an enhanced rural telephony project to provide network access for all under-developed areas in the country where network was poor.

The minister was speaking at the celebration of the 2020 Girls in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Day at Nkwanta in the Oti Region last Monday.

The event, which was on the theme: “Expanding horizons, change attitudes”, was organised by the Ministry of Communications.

Prior to the event, 580 girls were selected from eight districts and municipalities in the region to participate in an ICT competition.

The Times says that the government has injected GH¢6.5 million into Ayum Forest Product Limited, a timber processing factory at Mim in the Asunafo North District, to revive the company.

The company, which has been adopted under the One District One Factory (1D1F) programme, was shut down in 2016 due to financial and operational challenges.

Following its adoption under the programme, it has become one of the 68 ailing companies that have received government support to revamp operations.

Inaugurating the company’s newly-constituted Board here at Mim on Monday, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, said the support was in line with the government’s commitment to decentralise industrialisation through assisting old and new companies in rural areas.

Chaired by Naja David, the five-member board includes Tony Elradi, Andrews Adjei-Yeboah, Henry Kwabena Kokofu, Estelle Afari Djan and Frederick Ebeneku-Anim.

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