Press zooms in on signing of €170m deal for Ghana’s Development Bank, others

The signing of the agreement by the Ministry of Finance with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for €170 million for…

The signing of the agreement by the Ministry of Finance with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for €170 million for the establishment of Development Bank Ghana and the vaccination of 13,682 people on Wednesday are some of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Thursday.The Graphic reports that the Ministry of Finance has signed an agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for €170 million for the establishment of Development Bank Ghana (DBG).

The signing became possible after a meeting between President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the President of the EIB, Dr. Werner Hoyer, during the former’s official visit to Belgium.

According to Dr. Hoyer, the facility was the highest provided by the bank for the establishment of a development bank or any other project in Africa.

The DBG is an integral feature of the GH¢100-billion Ghana Cares ‘Obaatampa’ project.

President Akufo-Addo said the DBG, when established, would play an important role in the rapid economic transformation of the country, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want to restructure the economy and move it from being a mere producer and exporter of raw materials to one that places much emphasis on value-addition activities. We see this bank (DBG) as one that will play a pivotal role in this,” he added.

The newspaper says that vast swathes of forest reserves and farms, as well as some rivers in the Western and Eastern regions, have been destroyed by the activities of illegal miners.

Deep in the heart of the two regions, where accessibility to the thick forests is virtually impossible, illegal miners have managed to penetrate with huge machines to cause destruction of unimaginable proportions.

Last Tuesday, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor, high-ranking officials from the Operation Halt Team, as well as the media, embarked on an aerial tour of the areas devastated by illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey, and it was a sorry sight to behold.

As the Ghana Air Force MI-17 helicopter that carried reporters and other officials on the tour flew over the vast areas, there was nothing but scenes of sprawling land and water bodies that had been pounded by illegal mining.

From the helicopter, the scenes of destruction and degradation were visible for miles.

Many in the aircraft could not help but shake their heads in utter disbelief.

Although mineral wealth constitutes a valuable asset that can propel national growth and spur development in the mining communities, the havoc that the Daily Graphic witnessed from the air showed that the mining communities and the nation had rather become poorer.

The illegal activities have left chains of uncovered abandoned pits filled with muddy water in several areas, posing grave danger to residents of those areas.

The Graphic also reports that some 13,682 people received the Oxford AstraZeneca jab on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, when the second round of the national COVID-19 vaccination took off.

The exercise was carried out by nurses and other health personnel at various vaccination centres in 43 districts in the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Central regions.

The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, who disclosed this in an interview in Accra last night, expressed deep satisfaction with the high turnout.

Shedding light on the exercise, the Director-General said although there had been some few problems when the exercise began, which were anticipated, the entire process was quite successful.

“We had more people going to the various centres early in the morning than we had planned. That created congestion. We had hoped that they would spread patronage over the one-week period that we had given for them to go for their jabs,” he said.

He said another challenge that had confronted the exercise was that people had gone to centres that had not been designated for them.

“So receiving their data was initially difficult because the data team had gone to the centres with the names of people who were there,” he said.

The Times says that re-registration of SIM cards with the National Identification Card otherwise known as the Ghana Card will start at the end of June and last a period of six months.

The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, said that the exercise would concurrently see to the registration of mobile phone devices in a bid to reduce cyber-crime and related illegal activities in the country.

Speaking in a media interview at a joint high-level Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) event in Accra yesterday, the minister said a comprehensive public education and publicity strategy would soon be put out to enable Ghanaians to have a seamless registration exercise.

“At the end of the six months period, any SIM that is not registered will go off and be disabled so we urge everyone to take advantage of this initiative and register at their leisure.

“For those whose SIM cards are already registered, you will just have to verify your number and validate it with your card and with that, you can walk to the nearest service provider to undertake the process,” she clarified.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful indicated that unlike other SIM registration processes which gave room for loopholes which fraudsters took advantage of, the government was “committed to doing it and doing it right this time” to ensure a well-secured database.

“We are currently working on devising a strategy to make many people register as comfortable as possible and the details will be spelt out in the next few weeks. There will be process for people to book and have their SIM cards registered as well as other processes which will be laid out,” she said.

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