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Press focuses on Speaker’s call for more civil society engagements Parliamentary work others

The call by the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, for more civil society engagements in the work…

The call by the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, for more civil society engagements in the work of Parliament and the arrest of two Chinese nationals who defied the directive to stop mining illegally in forest reserves are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Wednesday.The Graphic reports that the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has called for more civil society engagements in the work of Parliament.

He also stressed the importance of enhancing parliament-citizen interface and engagement through partnership with civil society and think tanks as captured in Parliament’s Corporate Strategic Plan (2020-2024).

According to him, no government could make democracy possible without civil society playing their active roles.

Mr Bagbin made the call when the Executive Director of the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), Mr Mensah Thompson, paid a courtesy call on him last Monday.

During the courtesy call, Mr Thompson presented a petition to the Speaker to set up an enquiry into the conduct of the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tema West, Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, on January 6, 2021 on the floor of Parliament.

The petition said Mr Ahenkorah’s conduct brought the dignity of the House into disrepute.

The petition quoted section 28, 29, 30(c)(g)(k) of the Standing Orders of the House to back its request.

It added that the conduct of the Tema West legislator constituted a breach of the privileges of Parliament.

The Graphic says that Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah says the concerns raised by the National Democratic Congress during the ‘March for justice’ protest were already being addressed by the government.

The Youth Wing of the NDC hit the street of Accra on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, to protest what they say is injustice in Ghana under the watch of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The protest started from the Accra Mall area at Tetteh Quarshie interchange and ended at the Parliament house.

They submitted a petition to the presidency as well as the leadership of parliament.

Speaking on Accra-based Radio station Citi FM Tuesday evening on the protest, the minister said “The substance of the issues they raised, economic hardships, security challenges, among others, are things that the government has already been speaking about”.”

He explained that “If you take economic challenges, in March 2020, the President forewarned us that despite the growth and gradual improvement that we were seeing, we were going to sacrifice some things to protect lives and livelihoods because we know how to bring the economy back to life, but we do not know how to bring people back to life.”

He said the Akufo-Addo led government has already put in place measures to revive Ghana’s economy.

“We literally had to throw away all the gains we made three years into our first term to protect lives. Today, it has come to the point Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu foretold when reading the budget in Parliament that we are going to go through a difficult phase of recovery. Things are not the same as they were, not just in Ghana, but around the world. We have already put in place measures to revive the economy,” he defended.

Hundreds of Supporters of the NDC joined the march to call on the government to fix several issues in the country, including an end to the brutalization of citizens by security agencies.

The Graphic also reports that two Chinese nationals who have defied a directive to stop mining illegally in forest reserves and water bodies have been arrested at Asankragua in the Western Region of Ghana.

They were arrested on Tuesday together with their Ghanaian collaborators.

They had returned to the forest to mine illegally disregarding the ministerial and presidential directives for all illegal mining in those areas and in water bodies to stop,

The Daily Guide says that MTN BUSINESS, a subsidiary of a leading telecommunication company, MTN Ghana, has embarked on a campaign to create awareness on how small businesses could use technology to enhance the management of their businesses.

The small and medium-scale enterprise (SME) campaign, launched in Accra on Wednesday, intends to accelerate the digitisation of the informal sector by exposing businesses to the benefits of innovative technologies such as e-payments, business management suites, e-commerce, marketplace and Apps, among others.

Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana, Selorm Adadevoh, said supporting the growth of smaller businesses, known to account for 50 percent of gross domestic product globally, should be regarded as one of the company’s lasting legacies.

“Being fully aware of the enormity of the accelerated digitalisation, we are investing a total of $149 million in network expansion and modernisation this year to meet the demand for digital services from consumers and MSMEs,” he said.

The implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, he said, meant that Ghana could no longer focus on serving the immediate geographical market but rather, get competitive on the African continent.

“MSMEs must be ready to compete with companies outside Ghana and can no longer only think ‘local’ if they are to survive, but must also think ‘regional’ and ‘global’,” he added.

Activities earmarked to mark the 6-month long campaign include digital thought leadership programmes, engagement with SMEs across the country, product and services promotion as well as a digital make over where SMEs with 50 employees are entitled to packages such as a free smart phone, a free set up on hubtel e-commerce site and a free mobile money merchant set up.

The CEO of Hubtel, Alex Bram, advised businesses to go into partnerships in order to consolidate efforts at becoming competitive, build data base on clients and also reduce their over dependence on cash for transactions.

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