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Press highlights major leap in industrial drive of government, others

The industrialisation drive of the government, including making the country the automotive hub in West Africa and the development a…

The industrialisation drive of the government, including making the country the automotive hub in West Africa and the development a gender policy by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) are the leading stories n the Ghanaian press on Wednesday.The Graphic reports that the government’s industrialisation drive, including making the country the automotive hub in West Africa, took a major leap yesterday when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo commissioned another vehicle assembly plant for Toyota and Suzuki vehicles within the Tema Free Zones Enclave.

The vehicle assembling drive, anchored on the new Automotive Development Policy, has already guided the establishment of plants by global automobile companies such as Sinotruk of China and Volkswagen (VW) of Germany, and now Toyota Tsusho from Japan, which will assemble Toyota Hilux and Suzuki vehicles in the country.

President Akufo-Addo, at the commissioning yesterday, also unveiled the first Toyota Hilux pick-up truck which was assembled at the plant by young Ghanaian engineers, with the supervision of Japanese engineers.

He was handed a symbolic key to the first car.

The President was excited because Ghana had joined the enviable league of nations that assemble Toyota and Suzuki vehicles.

The decision to establish the plant was announced in Yokohama in August 2019, on the sidelines of the 2019 Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), which President Akufo-Addo attended.

The President said by assembling and ultimately producing cars in Ghana, new and highly skilled jobs would be created, while the use of foreign exchange to import secondhand vehicles would be reduced.

At the same time, the export of made-in-Ghana vehicles to other African markets would earn the nation the much-needed foreign exchange, he said.

Every year, Ghana imports over 100,000 vehicles, amounting to $1.5 billion, about 15 per cent of its total import bill.

President Akufo-Addo added that Ghana was determined to realise the vision of a fully integrated and competitive industrial hub for the automotive industry in West Africa, and that the new facility had already offered 334 direct employment to young Ghanaian graduates from the University of Ghana, the University of Cape Coast, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the George Grant University of Mines and Technology and some technical and vocational institutions.

The newspaper says that the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has developed a gender policy aimed at encouraging increased women participation and representation at the workplace and other decision-making processes of the service.

The GIS gender policy, which is pending approval of the council of the service, is envisaged to advance gender equality by integrating gender interests and needs into programmes and policies at various levels within the service.

This came to light during a gender capacity-building workshop for members of the national immigration management committee and officials at strategic levels within the service in Accra.

The workshop, themed: “Integrating gender perspective and responsive action for the executive level of GIS”, is to provide the participants with knowledge of the concept of gender and its relevance to the work of the service and help them better analyse and understand gender issues.

The workshop is supported by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa under the strengthening border security in Ghana project being implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy development (ICMPD), in collaboration with the GIS.

The Minister for the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of the workshop, said sensitising officers of the service to gender issues would help curb the negative impacts of gender-based discrimination and the negatively foisted gender roles and their adverse effects on migration.

Gender mainstreaming, he said, required more than the creation of opportunities for officers to benefit; it also required the creation of a conducive environment for both men and women to have equal access to opportunities.

He challenged the women in the GIS to examine their situations and to act to correct their disadvantaged positions.

This came to light during a gender capacity-building workshop for members of the national immigration management committee and officials at strategic levels within the service in Accra.

The workshop, themed: “Integrating gender perspective and responsive action for the executive level of GIS”, is to provide the participants with knowledge of the concept of gender and its relevance to the work of the service and help them better analyse and understand gender issues.

The workshop is supported by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa under the strengthening border security in Ghana project being implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy development (ICMPD), in collaboration with the GIS.

The Graphic also reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Addo Akufo-Addo described the country’s media space as vibrant in its diversity, saying it is the very foundation of Ghana’s growing democracy and open society.

“I will hesitate to accept any situation that looks for uniformity in the media,” he said.

He said such diversity balanced the equation, adding that “our society and our nation will be the loser if we try to impose any uniformity in the media space”.

President Akufo-Addo said this when some leading members of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), led by its outgoing President, Mr Affail Monney, and some Journalist of the Year award winners paid a courtesy call on him at the Jubilee House.

They were there to thank the President for honouring an invitation to attend the international conference of the Federation of African Journalists in Accra recently.

In the GJA delegation were its Vice-President, Ms Linda Asante Adjei; the Treasurer, Mrs Audrey Dekalu; the 2018 Journalist of the Year, Ms Doreen Hammond, who is the Editor of The Mirror, and the 2017 Journalist of the Year, Mr Kwame Sefa Kayi, who hosts ‘Kokrokoo’, a morning show on Accra-based Peace FM.

President Akufo-Addo said even though some people had tried to have uniformity in the operations of the media in other parts of the world, it had not worked because “we think differently and the media reflect the way the people think”.

He expressed appreciation for the media pluralism in the country, saying the free, vigorous and diversified media had even become stronger in the country.

The Daily Guide says that the National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah, has expressed worry over what he termed ‘political intolerance’ which is gradually gaining grounds in the country.

He has therefore, called on Ghanaians to tolerate each other irrespective of their political differences.

He said if such canker was not addressed, that could plunge the country in chaos in future.

“Political tolerance and consensus building remain critical ingredients to the future political culture of this country,” he said.

He made this known at the opening of a 3-day national stakeholders’ dialogue organised by the National Peace Council, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat, at Ada in the Eastern Region.

The stakeholders’ dialogue was under the theme, “Countering post-2020 election violence & peace building consensus for greater political tolerance in Ghana”.

It was attended by representatives of the various political parties, representatives of faith-based organisations, government officials and some international partners.

Mr. Kan-Dapaah continued that it was important for all to realise that political violence played a remote role in civil conflict breeding.

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