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“568 Vehicles Provided To The Police; 320 Housing Units Built. – Prez. Akufo-Addo

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The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says Government, in recognition of the difficulties and dangers confronting police personnel in the discharge of their duties, is committed to resourcing the Police Service, in terms of provision of adequate personnel and logistics, to enable them deliver on their core mandate.

According to President Akufo-Addo, “despite budgetary constraints, the Akufo-Addo Government has, in two and half years in office, provided 568 vehicles, including 15 operational buses to the Service, a feat unprecedented in the history of the Service. With many more vehicles expected to arrive in the country in the next few months, the President noted that when he took office in January 2017, the Service had a total of 492 serviceable cars.

President Akufo-Addo made this known on Friday, 13th September, 2019, when he addressed the graduation ceremony of the 49th Cadet Officers Course of the Ghana Police Service. The President noted that 320 housing units are being constructed at National Police Training School to reduce the accommodation deficits of the Service, explaining that, modern communication equipment, and 4,500 fragmentation jackets have been procured and delivered to the Service to protect officers, and ensure effective policing.

President Akufo-Addo continued, “Government has also secured three (3) helicopters for the Service, with the construction of hangars at the National Police Training School almost nearing completion. He added that six (6) officers are currently undergoing training in South Africa to become pilots for the helicopters, and serve as the Air Wing of the Police Service.

Twenty (20) horses, the President said, have also been procured to assist the Police in riot and crowd control, with a Canine (K9) Unit, made up of thirty (30) dogs, also in the offing.

The recent establishment of the Police Intelligence Directorate, he said, is ensuring that police operations and investigations are increasingly being carried out on the basis of intelligence.

The Criminal Investigations Department will, by the end of the year, be equipped with a digital forensics’ laboratory, and, for the first time in the history of the Department, crime officers are given a monthly allowance to support their investigations. He revealed that, the government is retooling the CID Forensic Science lab; the CID building has also now become disability friendly; and there is continuous training of CID officers.

Touching on recruitment of new police personnel, President Akufo-Addo noted that Government has given approval for the recruitment of four thousand (4,000) personnel to augment the strength of the Police Service. He revealed that 961 of these recruits passed out between 22nd and 31st July this year, in various Police Training Schools throughout the country.

He added that, the second batch of one thousand (1,000) recruits are also due to graduate by the end of this month. Another batch, made up of two thousand (2,000) men and women, is scheduled to report for training by the end of this month. These measures, according to the President, have been put in place by Government to reform the Police Service, and make it fit for purpose.

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Politics

Alban Bagbin Elected Speaker Of Parliament

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Former Member of Parliament (MP) for Nadowli Kaleo Constituency and Second Deputy Speaker of the 7th Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has been elected Speaker for the 8th Parliament of the Fourth Republic.

It had been a marathon of confusion on the floor of Parliament right from the dissolution of the 7th Parliament through to the election of a new speaker for the 8th Parliament. An election process, which started moments after 12:00am January 7, ran through the dawn to about 6:00am.

The provisional results suggest that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) side of the House beat the New Patriotic Party (NPP) side with three votes to put Mr. Bagbin ahead of the immediate past Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, who was re-nominated by the NPP caucus.

Bagbin is a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and had represented the Nadowli Kaleo Constituency in the Upper West Region in Parliament seven consecutive times. He did not contest last year’s elections

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Health & Fitness

South Africa Outlines Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout Plan

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During a public address on Sunday, January 3, 2020, Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize revealed that the South African government is in the middle of negotiations with international pharmaceutical companies to rollout Covid-19 vaccine strategy by end of February 2021 after a newly discovered COVID-19 strain caused an unprecedented rise in infections in December, 2020. In the address, the Health Minister stated that the vaccine rollout strategy will target four group populations that the ministry has determined a priority.

Healthcare workers will reportedly be the first group to receive the vaccine, followed by high risk groups specifically those who are HIV-positive or people over the age of 60. People that are in confined areas with large congregations such as prisons and hospice. Additionally, tourism sector employees and educational workers will be prioritised. The last group are those that qualify as essential workers including the police, miners, banking sector personnel and essential municipal employees.

According to the health minister, by the end of phase three, 40 350 000 citizens will have been immunized which is equivalent to approximately 67,25% of the population. He added that, they have secured the doses that will be acquired through COVAX which will ensure that they immunize 10% of the population through this mechanism and, in line with President’s statement, they expect the processes will have delivered the vac-cine by beginning of second quarter.

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Arts & Culture

France To Return Stolen Artefacts To Benin And Senegal

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Majority of President Emmanuel Macron’s parliament, on thursday December 17, voted in favour of the return of looted African artefacts to Benin and Senegal, according to reports by France 24. After 49 MPs in the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, voted in favour of the bill—with none voting against—it will now head to the Senate.

If approved, France will officially restore to Benin 26 items from the Treasure of Behanzin, looted during the 1892 pillaging of the palace of Abomey, including the throne of King Glele who ruled from 1858 until 1889. According to reports, King Glele’s throne was a main attraction in France’s Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac museum in Paris. A 19th-century sword belonging to El Hadj Omar, a major political and military figure, will be returned to returned to Senegal.

French Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot is reported to have said that Macron intended to “renew and deepen the partnership between France and the African continent”. France has admitted to hoarding over 300 000 artefacts from around the world, about a third of which belong to Sub-Saharan Africa.

This partnership seems to be on France’s terms and pace. In October, a French judge reportedly fined activist Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza just over 1000 US dollars for alledgedly removing a sacred Chadian funeral statue from a French museum. The judge claimed the hefty fine was to “discourage” such acts and suggested other ways of drawing the attention of politicians and the public to the issue of colonial cultural theft.

European countries seem to enjoy lauding their power through the piecemeal process of returning looted African artefacts. The exact date of return for Benin’s and Senegal’s artefacts has not been officially announced. Senegal’s sword and sheath are owned by France’s Army Museum but are, oddly enough, currently exhibited on a long-term loan in Senegal’s capital Dakar, Okay Africa reported.

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Politics

Ghana’s Creative Industry Would Still Benefit From Whichever Party That Wins The 2020 Election

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The Creative Arts Industry in Ghana has now gained recognition by the political party giants and were factored immensely in their manifestos. For a long time, little or no attention was given to the industry and because of some well- known stakeholders who voiced out, the creative arts sector is being given the attention needed. The creative industry in Ghana is a potential source of income generation and employment to most youths and with the Government backing this sector, we will see massive improvements in the next years to come.

As we await results being collated by the electoral commission, let us refresh our minds with policies that were rolled out to be implemented come the next four years by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

NPP Manifesto For The Creative Arts Industry

1. We will set up the Creative Arts Fund to support artists

2. In addition to completing the theatre in Kumasi, we will construct new theatres in Takoradi and Tamale

3. Given that our artistes do not have the capital to set up studios, we will, as part of the entrepreneurial hub’s strategy, establish, in partnership with the private sector, large recording studios in Accra, Kumasi, Tamale and Takoradi. Recording artists can rent space to do the recordings in these studios

4. We will build a digital platform for artists to make their products available to the global market

5. We will construct one of the biggest convention and exhibition centres in the world at the Ghana Trade Fair Company site, La.

NDC Manifesto For The Creative Arts Industry

1. Implement programmes to support the growth of the film, music, and the creative industry to drive job creation and economic growth.

2. Resource nationally recognised creative arts bodies like the Ghana
Association of Writers, MUSIGHA, National Film Authority, Ghana Union of Visual
Arts(GUVA), among others.

3. Strengthen regulation to protect the copyright of artistes and ensure
that they get value for their works by enforcing the payment of user fees under
the Copyright Regulations, 2010 (L.I. 1962).

4. Set up a system of legal aid for creative artistes to help fight
creative/intellectual theft and plagiarism by others.

5. Pass the Creative Industry Bill into law and implement it to promote
the development of the industry.

6. Resource the national museums and empower them to function properly
and create space for exhibitions.

7. Promote local patronage of various creative products.

8. Partner with GUVA and other fine art associations to purchase their
finished works to furnish and decorate public offices to support the fine art
businesses.

9. Through the National Film Authority, encourage our embassies overseas
to purchase and periodically show appropriate Ghanaian films on Ghana Day and
other special occasions.

10. In collaboration with the Ghana Association of Writers, establish a
National Writing Contest and support the promotion of the best literary works.

11. Provide seed money for the creation of a special fund for artists
including aged and needy creative artists.

12. Make available scholarship packages for disadvantaged creative
artistes to pursue courses or programmes for self-development in the national
interest.

13. Facilitate the enrolment of creative artists unto the informal
pension scheme.

14. Develop programmes to harness talents and potentials in the
industry.

15. Structure the educational curriculum to allow students to appreciate
the relevance of culture and creative arts in life and national development.

16. Promote district, regional and national competitions in the
creatives among the youth in Tertiary Institutions.

17. Facilitate the placement of creative art products on digital
platforms for promotional purposes.

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