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Press zooms in on Angolan President’s call for stronger democracy, others

The call by Angolan President for stronger collaboration between Ghana and his country to promote stronger democracy, inclusive governance and…

The call by Angolan President for stronger collaboration between Ghana and his country to promote stronger democracy, inclusive governance and the socio-economic aspirations of the citizens of the two countries is one of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Friday.The Graphic reports that the Angolan President, Mr Joao Manuel Goncalves Lourenco, has called for stronger collaboration between Ghana and his country to promote stronger democracy, inclusive governance and the socio-economic aspirations of the citizens of the two countries.

He said such partnership would also help the two countries to explore the potential of critical sectors of their economies, especially in the areas of oil and gas, tourism and culture to bolster economic growth of the two states.

“We stand to gain a lot if we can work together to harness the huge potentials of these two critical sectors to improve the aspirations of our people,” he stated.

Addressing the Ghanaian Parliament yesterday, the Angolan President said that said in a bid to strengthen bilateral relations between Ghana and Angola, there should be a framework to enhance the partnership between them.

Revealing that his administration had managed to recoup $5 billion stashed in foreign accounts from corrupt public officers in the current administration, Mr Lourenco said his country was ready to collaborate with Ghana to combat corruption.

The Angolan President is Ghana at the invitation of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who was in Angola in August 2019 for a two-day official visit, at the invitation of Mr Lourenco.

The newspaper says that the Ghanaian Government has designed a comprehensive National Action Plan to help harness the benefits of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The plan is to serve as a blueprint on revamping the operations of businesses to enable them to take advantage of the opportunities offered to export to other countries on the African continent.

As a result, an Enterprise Support Programme has been initiated to assist 100 medium to large-scale companies to export to the AfCFTA market.

The implementation of the programme is being coordinated by the newly established National AfCFTA Coordination Office in Accra.

The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, who made this known during the presentation of the 2021 Mid-year Budget in Parliament on July 29, observed that the move formed part of policies of the government to ensure that businesses benefited from the gains of the Africa single market.

He stated that the policies were also aimed at easing the cost of credit, ensuring constant supply of low cost power to businesses and improving transportation infrastructure to allow for easy movement of goods and people across the country.

The minister stated that the potential products for export to the AfCFTA market included shea and shea products, processed vegetables and fruits, sauces and preparations, pharmaceutical products, alternate healthcare medicaments, beverages and spirits, dairy produce, cocoa and cocoa products, products of iron or steel, edible fruit and nuts, processed fish or meat, synthetic fibres, fertilisers, aluminium products and essential oils.

The Graphic also reports that the government has signed an agreement with Cote d’Ivoire for Ghana to host the Cote d’Ivoire/Ghana Cocoa Initiative Secretariat.

The initiative is an organisation born out of cooperation between the two countries to better the livelihoods of their cocoa farmers.

The agreement follows the decision of the Steering Committee of the initiative to establish its secretariat in Ghana, which requires some protocols between the government and the Cote d’Ivoire/Ghana Cocoa Initiative.

By the agreement, Ghana guarantees absolute diplomatic privileges, support and protection for the secretariat.

It also gives recognition and immunity to the secretariat and further provides independence for its operations in the country.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, who has also been selected as the Founder Chairman of the Steering Committee of the initiative, said the secretariat formed part of measures to realise the vision of ensuring better incomes for cocoa farmers.

He said the charter had been finalised to guarantee the smooth establishment of the secretariat, which will be headquartered in Accra.

“Over the past few months, the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has been putting in place measures to ensure the secretariat gets a permanent office space for its operations.

“A budget containing staff strength and related emoluments, logistics and other operational costs has been drafted by the steering committee for consideration and adoption to enable the secretariat to start full operations soon,” he stated.

Dr Akoto congratulated the newly appointed Executive Secretary of the secretariat, Mr Alex Arnaud Assanvo from Cote d’Ivoire, assuring him of the ministry’s support.

The Times says that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday swore in Mr Kissi Agyebeng, as the Special Prosecutor and urged him to take up the fight against corruption in an independent and impartial manner.

“I want to assure Mr Kissi Agyebeng, like I did his predecessor, that not only will the Executive, including the Attorney General, respect scrupulously the independence of his Office, but will also provide him with whatever assistance is required to enable him discharge his high duties effectively, in the interest of the Ghanaian people.”

“Indeed, all institutions of state will work and co-operate with him in the same spirit, which he articulated at his approval proceedings in Parliament,” President Akufo-Addo said.

Pointing out Mr Agyebeng’s credentials in private legal practice and his performance in Parliament during his vetting, the President was optimistic that Mr Agyebeng’s tenure would be a success.

“It is clear that Mr Kissi Agyebeng is eminently qualified to occupy the Office of Special Prosecutor. He has the capacity, the experience, the requisite values and intellectual strength to succeed in this vital position.”

“The wide acceptance of his nomination by the Ghanaian people, and the nature of his performance during Parliament’s approval process are, for me, indications that the confidence I reposed in him, to discharge one of the most critical functions of State, was not misplaced,” he said.

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