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Press zooms in on implementation of medium-term recovery programme, others

The assurance by the Ministry of Finance that the implementation of a medium-term recovery and revitalisation programme will put the…

The assurance by the Ministry of Finance that the implementation of a medium-term recovery and revitalisation programme will put the economy on a sound footing and return it to pre-COVID-19 levels is one of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Friday.The Graphic reports that the Ministry of Finance says the implementation of a medium-term recovery and revitalisation programme will put the economy on a sound footing and return it to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Consequently, it has assured the public that efforts are already underway to address the concerns raised by the international rating agency, Fitch, in a recent position it expressed on the economy.

A highly placed source at the ministry told the Daily Graphic that the variation of Ghana’s economic outlook from stable to negative did not take into account the long-term prospects of the economy but focused only on short-term concerns.

It said the downgrade of Ghana’s long-term foreign currency issuer default rating (IDR) was due to the fact that the rating agency used a model that looked at the immediate term.

The rating firm last Tuesday varied Ghana’s IDR from stable to negative, citing the significant deterioration in public finances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the delay in the government’s fiscal consolidation efforts.

It said the delay had reduced the country’s ability to absorb further shocks for an extended period.

The newspaper says that the Ghana Health Service (GHS) is beginning Phase 3 clinical trial of Sanofi and Sputnik Light COVID-19 vaccines in Kintampo, Navrongo and Dodowa in July 2021.

This follows the selection of Ghana as one of the countries for the Phase 3 clinical trial of the two COVID-19 vaccines from France and Russia respectively.

The Kintampo Health Research Centre is handling the clinical trial in the Kintampo area.

A total of 1500 volunteers have since been recruited for the trial in Kintampo for instance, the Director of the Kintampo Health Research Centre, Dr Kwaku Poku Asante has disclosed.

With Sputnik V, the first Russian made COVID-19 vaccine, which is already in use, a second dose is administered after three to four weeks for maximum protection, but with Sputnik Light, it is just a single dose same as the Johnson & Johnson one.

It is developed by the Russian Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and it actually consists of the first dose of the Sputnik V vaccine, which is based on the Ad26 vector, and it can be stored at a normal refrigerator temperature of 2–8 °C (36–46 °F).

The Graphic also reports that the French government is supporting Ghana with €1.8 million to develop green value chains in and around selected protected areas in the country.

The four-year project, dubbed: “Phase II of the Econobio”, seeks to create over 10,000 employment opportunities for the people, especially women living around forest reserves and protected areas.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed to that effect yesterday by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resource, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, for the government, and the French Ambassador, Mrs Anne Sophie Avé, for her country, with Mr Nicholas Drunet initialling for Noe, a French nature conservation NGO.

The project is in response to threats to forest reserves and protected areas.

It will also build green businesses for the benefit of communities in those areas.

The first phase, which lasted three years, cost €1.25  million and was completed in March 2021.

The project is being executed in collaboration with some civil society organisations and NGOs.

The second phase will cover communities around four different landscapes, such as national parks and reserves with biodiversity reach.

The Times says that the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has inaugurated its telemetry control room and metering laboratory in Accra to aid in quality service to customers.

The system would monitor water flows and pressures at vantage points with the distribution system and also check water quality and parameters at production sites.

Inaugurating the technology and innovation block, the Managing Director of GWCL, Dr Clifford A. Braimah, said for the company to be a world class utility required great reforms and renewed sense of direction.

He said in order to facilitate this change in GWCL, Technology and Innovation Department was created four years ago to leverage the power of innovative technology to improve on  business processes and expand the impact of shared management information.

Dr Braimah said GWCL over the years deployed about 100,000 ultrasonic smart meters with drive and remote reading capabilities, adding that two new Geographical Information System offices and refurbished 13 offices have been built across the country.

“We have implemented a robust cyber security system to protect critical infrastructure, extended high speed internet via fiber optic network to all our regions, treatment plants and most of our district offices,”

“We have also acquired, with the support of waterworx, some Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) with imaging capabilities to monitor our water resources and some field data capturing,” he said.

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