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Ghana: Press highlights planned registration mop-up exercise by Electoral Commission

The planned registration mop-up by the Electoral Commission and the legal action by MTN challenging the processes that led to…

The planned registration mop-up by the Electoral Commission and the legal action by MTN challenging the processes that led to it being classified by the National Communications Authority (NCA) as significant market player are some of the leading stories in Ghanaian newspapers on Wednesday.The Graphics reports that the Electoral Commission (EC) says its planned registration mop-up exercise will be directed at selected areas on need basis.

That means that the exercise will not be a blanket one.

The Chairperson of the EC, Mrs. Jean Mensa, who made this known in Accra last Monday, said the commission would rely on information from its field officers in deciding on centres that would benefit from the mop-up exercise.

“By and large, the mop-up will focus on areas and centres which still have a good number of citizens who were unable to participate in the main registration exercise,” she said.

She was speaking at the sixth episode of the “Let the Citizens Know” series, an initiative by the EC to bring its activities closer to all Ghanaians.

The initiative serves as a platform for the EC to keep citizens abreast of the work of the commission in the run-up to the December 7, 2020 general election.

The newspaper says that a legal action by mobile network operator, MTN, challenging the processes that led to it being classified by the National Communications Authority (NCA) as a significant market player (SMP) in the telecommunication industry, has commenced at the Commercial Division of the Accra High Court.

MTN is in court with a judicial review application urging the court to quash the NCA’s decision with an argument that the regulator failed to give it a hearing before classifying it as an SMP.

Pursuant to Section 10 (20) of the Electronic Communications Act, 2008 (Act 775), on June 9, this year, the NCA classified MTN as an SMP after the regulator determined that the mobile network operator controlled more than 57 percent of the voice market share, as well as more than 67 percent of the data market share.

Act 775 allows the NCA to take “corrective measures” against an SMP in order to promote competition and protect other mobile network operators and consumers.

In view of that, the NCA decided to “review and approve all charges by MTN”, set caps on what MTN can charge for its services, and also impose a 30 per cent interconnect rate for two years in favour of other “disadvantaged operators”.

The Graphic also reports that the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) says that none of the 34 Rapid Diagnosis Test kits submitted for validation has met the national COVID-19 RDT testing requirements.

There have been concerns and calls from sections of the public for the use of Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kits to test for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), particularly, when polymerase chain reaction (PCR) kits were running out.

Many members of the public, including some scientists, believe that the rapid test kits can play a significant role in the national COVID-19 response programme.

Addressing the national COVID-19 update briefings by the Ministry of Information in Accra yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the FDA, Mrs. Delese Darko, said based on the national validation guidelines, an RDT kit was supposed to have both sensitivity rate and specificity rate of 99 percent.

She explained that sensitivity rate was what identified people who were positive or had ever tested positive for the virus, also known as true positives, while the specificity rate determined people who had never been exposed to the virus.

The Times reports that the West African presidents have demanded the release of one of Mali’s opposition leaders, Soumaila Cissé.

He was kidnapped by an unknown group just days before the now-disputed parliamentary elections on March 25.

The demand was made as part of a plan by the West African regional bloc ECOWAS to resolve Mali’s ongoing political crisis.

Tens of thousands of people have taken part in protests since June, with at least 11 protesters dying.

The protests started after the Constitutional Court threw out 31 results from parliamentary elections in April, benefiting President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s party.

The newspaper also says that the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, has welcomed a proposal from the GFA to support the city’s beautification drive.

This is in line with the Mayor’s clarion call on corporate bodies and individuals to adopt green and beautify open spaces in the city for the project dubbed #AccraforArt initiative which was launched in 2019.

This came to light when the leadership of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), hosted members of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), to discuss issues of mutual benefits in the Accra Metropolis.

The idea, which seeks to erect monuments and decorate public walls with colourful murals of football heroes both past and present, was proposed by the GFA.

The Accra for Art project is an initiative to beautify the city to curb the indiscriminate posting of bills on public walls and to promote tourism.