The decoration of President Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo with the Medal of the Republic of Serbia, the highest state honour by the European nation is one of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Tuesday.The Ghanaian Times reports that President Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo, has been decorated with the Medal of the Republic of Serbia, the highest state honour by the European nation.
The President was given the honour by the Serbian President, Aleksandar Vučić, at a ceremony yesterday at the seat of the Serbian Presidency in Belgrade.
President Akufo-Addo received the award “for exceptional merits in developing and strengthening co-operation and friendly relations between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Ghana.”
The order was awarded by the decree of the President of Serbia on the sidelines of the ceremony to celebrate the founding of the 60th anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
Earlier in the day, the President delivered a statement at the plenary session of the conference, where he indicated that since the days of Ghana’s first President, Kwame Nkrumah, one of the five historic founding fathers of NAM, Ghana has remained a faithful adherent of its principles, i.e., respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states, non-interference in the domestic affairs of states, and non-aggression against states.
“We believe that the strength of this Movement is determined not just by its numbers, but, more significantly, by the attachment to the principles that founded it.,” the President said.
The newspaper says that Ghana is positioning its busiest Tema port to become a hub in West Africa with a $1.5 billion expansion project.
The project to nearly quadruple the container capacity from 2017 of the port of Tema, which now handles more than 70 per cent of Ghana’s container traffic, was spearheaded by Meridian Port Services, a joint venture between Bollore, APM Terminals and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.
The Port of Tema aspires to overtake regional peers such as the Port of Abidjan, providing a point of transshipments for cargo, Mohamed Samara, MPS Chief Executive Officer told journalists.
The expansion is set to leverage an Africa-wide trade deal, which came into effect in January and seeks to boost intra-continental commerce from the current 14.5 per cent of trade, according to the African Export-Import Bank.
That share compares with more than 50 percent in Asia and 72 percent in Europe.
The Africa Continental Free Trade Area is creating the world’s biggest free trade zone by area, encompassing a combined economy of $2.5 trillion and a market of 1.2 billion people.
MPS is set to conclude its second phase this month after delays linked to the coronavirus pandemic, Samara told bloomberg.
Extension works will include digitising processes and providing an installed capacity of 3.7 million TEUs a year, according to the company.
That is set to cut down on terminal time and expand the traffic volume for the port. The investment also seeks to deepen the port to accommodate larger ships.
The expansion could increase exports of Africa’s biggest gold producer and the world’s second-largest cocoa grower by as much as 17 percent over five to 10 years, according to a 2019 study by Quantifying Business Impact on Society.
The study also warns that efficiency gains could be eroded by congestion on the 19-kilometer (12-mile) highway connecting the port city to Accra.
The Ghanaian Times also reports that the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) has reinforced its stance against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders and queers (LGBTQ+) activities in the country.
According to the President of the Conference, Most Reverend Philip Naameh, the Catholic Church continues to support the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill that seeks to criminilise such activities.
“The position of the Catholic Church on LGBTQIA+, which I have stated in several interviews with the media has remained the same; that, such practices are against not only Christian values, but Muslim and traditional values as well,” he said.
Most Reverend Philip Naameh, who is the Metropolitan Archbishop of Tamale in the Northern Region, laid the emphasis at a press conference held in Accra yesterday to refute an allegation levelled against him.
The priest is alleged to have stated in a CNN interview culled by some local news portals that the country risks becoming Muslim-majority country if lesbians, gays, LGBTQ+ activities are allowed.
The viral story came on the heels of GCBC’s participation in a presentation of memorandum to parliament in support of the anti-LGBTQ+ bill by a coalition of Christian groups.
The bill, being opposed by another coalition of academics, professionals and civil society organisations seeks to criminalise and impose jail terms on LGBTQ+ and people who promote such activities in the country
“I wish to state categorically and for the avoidance of doubt that the statement attributed to me is false and does not in any way reflect the actual content of the conversation which has to do with the church’s support for the bill.
Most Rev Naameh said in the said interview with CNN, did not cause any religious division or attempt to destroy the religious cohesion that has existed in the country as being portrayed in the viral reports.
The newspaper says that the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) is reviewing export and transit arrangements with Societe Nationale Burkinabe d’Hydrocarbures (SONABHY) to improve petroleum trade between Ghana and Burkina Faso.
SONABHY is the only institution mandated by law to import and distribute petroleum products in Burkina Faso, and the review is expected to among others strengthen the collaboration between both countries in the supply of petroleum products.
Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, the Chief Executive of NPA, who made these known during a courtesy call on the management of SONABHY in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, said “this would ensure that we tighten the processes on petroleum products.
I am hoping that we will be able to strengthen the process that does not allow leakages or people to carry products with the purpose of delivering it at Ouagadougou only to divert them.”
Dr Abdul-Hamid said, gasoil export to Burkina Faso has been on the decline since 2019 of about 72 percent compared to the 2020 volume.
He appealed to SONABHY to improve on its imports from Ghana as the landlocked country currently imports 15 percent of petroleum products from Ghana as compared to the remaining 85 percent supplied from Togo and Cote d’Ivoire.
The low import of petroleum products from Ghana is attributed to the high cost of the products as a result of high specification (50ppm), compared with products supplied from other countries such as Cote d’Ivoire and Togo (3000ppm).
The Executive Director of SONABHY, Hilaire Kaboré, welcoming the NPA team, said with the adoption of cleaner fuels by ECOWAS earlier this year, its petroleum trade activities in Ghana would increase.