Press zooms in on Akufo-Addo’s bilateral talks with visiting Ethiopian leader, others

The bilateral talks between President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, at the Jubilee House…

The bilateral talks between President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, at the Jubilee House in Accra and the suspension of Guinea’s membership of ECOWAS are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Friday.The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, yesterday held bilateral talks with visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister (PM), Mr Abiy Ahmed, at the Jubilee House in Accra.

The talks which were held behind closed-door involved matters of mutual interest and strengthening of existing relations between the two nations.

Addressing the Presidential Press Corp before the meeting, President Akufo-Addo said their discussions would also centre on regional and continental issues.

The Prime Minister is on a three-day working visit to the country.

Mr Ahmed, who is leading a delegation of ministers and diplomats from his country, was met on arrival at the Kotoka International Airport last Tuesday evening by the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

Mr Ahmed, who won a re-election bid for another five-year term in his country this year is the first Ethiopian to be awarded a Nobel Prize. He was recognised in 2019 for his work in ending the 20-year post-war territorial stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

There have been cordial relations between Ghana and Ethiopia since the time of Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, and Emperor Haile Selassie.

The newspaper says that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has suspended Guinea’s membership from the community following last weekend’s military coup that ousted President Alpha Conde.

During a virtual emergency summit Wednesday [September 8], the leaders of the regional political and economic bloc demanded a return to constitutional rule and the immediate and unconditional release of Prof. Conde.

The decision, which was taken at a virtual meeting called at the instance of the ECOWAS Chairman, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, also agreed to send a high-level mission to Guinea today.

At the time the regional bloc was discussing the situation in Guinea, multiple media reports said the junta had released dozens of political detainees of the past government, as the military leaders sought popular support from the population.

Opening the summit, President Akufo-Addo, said it was being held to discuss “our response to this clear violation of our common charter of good governance in the region”.

He stressed the need for the regional body to come to a conclusion on “what decision we want to take in response to the overthrow”.

President Akufo-Addo said the manner the leadership of ECOWAS had responded in times of crises was the surest testimony of the leaders’ strength and commitment to achieving the goals of the regional body.

The Graphic also reports that the United States of America (USA) has provided additional infrastructural and capacity-building support for the national COVID-19 response effort for better health outcomes.

The package includes a $1.5 million movable 30-bed isolation system, fitted with a power generation plant and a water and sewage system at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital.

It also includes an oxygen generation plant with accompanying logistics such as cylinders at the Ghana Infectious Disease Centre.

The oxygen support also includes pulse oximeters and capacity building to enable health staff and engineers to know how to properly use and maintain the equipment.

Inaugurating the oxygen generation equipment and symbolically handing over the isolation centre in Accra yesterday, the USA Ambassador to Ghana, Ms Stephanie S. Sullivan, said the plant was the first of four to be donated to the government.

“Later this month, we will commission three additional plants at the Cape Coast Municipal Hospital, Kumasi South and Tamale West hospitals. The US government is also providing 28 high-flow, high pressure oxygen concentrators to health facilities across Ghana.

“Combined, this oxygen equipment can treat more than 180 severe and critical COVID-19 patients at a time. This oxygen support is critical in the short term to help address Ghana’s COVID-19 critical care needs, and in the long term strengthen Ghana’s provision of oxygen, intensive care, maternal and newborn care,” she said.

The latest gesture, Ms Sullivan said, brought to over $30 million the support by the US government, through its United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to the national COVID-19 response effort.

The Ghanaian Times says that the country’s inflation rate inched up for the third consecutive months to 9.7 percent August, but within the Bank of Ghana’s target band.

The year-on-year inflation rate rose from 7.8 percent in June to 9.0 percent in July and subsequently to 9.7 percent in August.

The month-on-month inflation between July and August, 2021 was 0.3 percent.

Government Statistician, Professor Samuel K. Annim, who disclosed this at press conference in Accra yesterday said food and housing drove the August 2021 inflation rate.

He said food inflation rose to 10.9 in August from 9.5 percent in July with a month-on-month food inflation of 0.2 percent.

Food inflation began to trend up in June after it fell from 6.5 percent in April to 5.4 percent in May and inched up to 7.3 percent in June, 9.5 percent in July and 10.9 percent in August.

He said food products such as cocoa drinks with year-on-year inflation rate of 15.7 per cent, cereal 15.5 percent, milk, dairy products and egg, 13.1 percent and vegetables 11.6 percent drove the food inflation.

“Inflation for August 2021 indicates that food contributes more than half to overall inflation, when combined with housing more than two-thirds, and further including transport more than four-fifths,” Prof. Annim, said.

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