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President Akufo-Addo Launches GH¢1 Billion Cap Business Support Scheme

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GREATER ACCRA – Tuesday, May 19, 2020/www.gbafrica.net/ – The President of the Republic, William Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, 19th May, 2020, launched the GH¢1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme, which is being provided by Government and selected participating banks to micro, small and medium-scale businesses around the country.

Launching the Scheme at Jubilee House, the seat of the nation’s presidency, President Akufo-Addo explained that the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on all economies around the world, with reduced productivity, job losses, and steep decline in revenues for Government, businesses, households and individuals in Ghana.

Amongst the hardest hit in Ghana, according to the President, are micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs), which account for 70% of the country’s gross domestic product, and represent some 92% of businesses, explaining that, this amply highlights the important role MSMEs play in the growth and development of our economy, necessitating the special attention of Government.

This, President Akufo-Addo said, provides the basis for my direction to the Minister for Finance to send to Parliament the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP), whose objective is to protect households and livelihoods, support micro, small, and medium-scale businesses, minimise job losses, and source additional funding for promotion of industries to shore up and expand industrial output for domestic consumption and exports.”

Out of the 1.2 billion cedis earmarked for this Programme, GH¢600 million will be disbursed as soft loans to MSMEs, with up to a one-year moratorium and a two-year repayment period. The rate of interest on government’s six hundred million cedi (GH¢600 million) facility is three percent (3%).

Additionally, selected participating banks will provide negotiated counterpart funding to the tune of GH¢400 million, making, in all, GH¢1 billion for disbursement under this Business Support Scheme, with the entire scheme set to attract some 180,000 beneficiaries across the country.

With the funds under the Scheme to be managed by NBSSI, and to be supervised by a loans committee, composed of one representative each of the Ministries of Finance and Trade and Industry, a representative of the NBSSI, and a representative of the participating banks, the well-known audit firm, KPMG, will act as technical advisors to the Scheme. He added that, disbursement of the funds will be effected through the participating banks. Transparency and accountability will be the hallmarks of the operation of the Scheme.

President Akufo-Addo indicated that the Scheme is targeted at MSMEs in the formal and informal sectors, which have been affected by the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, with MSMEs in growth sectors that require additional capital to expand their business to meet growing demand for COVID-19 related goods and services, also eligible to apply.

The beneficiary sectors include agri and agro-businesses; manufacturing; water and sanitation; tourism and hospitality; education; food and beverages; technology; transportation; commerce and trade; healthcare and pharmaceuticals; and textiles and garments.

In order to ensure a smooth application process for all eligible candidates, application forms have been made available online on the website of NBSSI, which is www.nbssi.gov.gh. It is also available via USSD code across all mobile networks, and applicants can also call the CAP Business Call Centre on 0302 477 777, or visit the nearest NBSSI Business Advisory Centre for assistance with their applications.

The President added that beneficiaries must be either self-employed, sole proprietors, or engaged in a limited liability, partnership, or joint venture arrangement.

“A total of ninety-nine (99) employees is the limit of employment for any qualifying enterprise. The qualifying enterprise will be encouraged to belong to a trade association or group, and be registered with NBSSI. The application process starts tomorrow, 20th May, and ends on Saturday, 20th June,” he said.

The President urged beneficiaries to use the funds received for the intended purpose, “so that, together, we can work to grow our economy once again. Smaller enterprises can access funds from the Adom Micro Loans, and larger ones from the Anidasuo Soft Loan. This whole Scheme is meant to engender compassion and hope, the pillars upon which we will build a new post-COVID Ghana.”

Reiterating his passion for the success of the Scheme, President Akufo-Addo reminded beneficiaries of the fact that “Government is investing a lot in it, and I am confident that the proper application of these funds will help our nation bounce back stronger and better than before.”

Entertainment

Ghanaian Politician, Gabby Otchere-Darko, Reigns Priceless Accolades On Shatta Wale

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GREATER ACCRA – Tuesday, June 2, 2020/www.gbafrica.net/ – Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) strongman has, in contemplation, reigned priceless accolades on multiple award-winning Ghanaian born reggae/ragga & dance-hall artiste, Charles Nii-Armah Mensah – Shatta Wale for establishing an exemplary demeanor in these trying times of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a tweet sighted by Gerrard-Israel – an Entertainment Journalist, the politician acknowledged the “Reign Album” crooner’s vigorous and determined attempt to ameliorate government’s effort towards the containment of the outbreak of the virus. He explained that, he is impressed about the apparent growing maturity of Shatta Wale for recognising his influence on young people and seems determined to exploit it for positivity.

On April 4th, Shatta Wale thrilled over 130,000 virtual fans from and around the world during its broadcast.with ecstatic live band music at the maiden edition of “The Faith Concert. The solo concert which was streamed from Shatta Wale’s ship house residence inside East Legon, saw the dancehall act performed with a live band for over an hour.

According to Shatta Wale, Faith Concert is to show his concern over how the novel Coronavirus has locked down everyone in their homes, therefore, the need to entertain them in their abodes. The “My Level” singer also added that the show was to bring hope to the people, that with God, Ghana and the world will come to normal again.

In a bid to fulfill a promise he made, Shatta Wale donated some coronavirus relief items to inmates to help fight the pandemic in the country. Though he didn’t reveal where he did the donation, he shared photos from the event on his Facebook page with the caption, “Just surprised these inmates in these difficult times. Let’s continue to stay safe and think about the vulnerabilities in society and lend our little support any way we could. God bless us all! Keep your faith alive, all these shall pass.”

Also in these trying times, Shatta Wale and his Shatta Movement team on Friday 17th April 2020 made a donation to the James Camp Prisons located at Roman Ridge in Accra. The assorted items donated by the team included food items (bags of rice, gallons of cooking oil, sacks of sugar, boxes of spaghetti, boxes of frozen chicken wings, canned tomatoes), boxes of biscuits, laundry and bath soaps, boxes of toilet tissue, cartons of soft drinks, dental care kit and copies of the Odyssey of Shatta Wale book.

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Health & Fitness

COV!D-19: Restrictions On Social Gatherings Partially Lifted With An Abridged Format

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Update No.10: President Akufo-Addo addresses the nation

Update No.10: President Akufo-Addo addresses the nation

Publiée par Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo sur Dimanche 31 mai 2020

GREATER ACCRA – Sunday, May 31, 2020/www.gbafrica.net/ – President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency William Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, has, during the 10th update to Ghana’s enhanced response to the Coronavirus pandemic, on Sunday, 31st May, 2020, revealed that with effect from Friday, 5th June, Ghanaians will begin stage one of the process of easing restrictions, with the commencement of an abridged format for religious services.

According to him, twenty-five percent (25%) attendance, with a maximum number of one hundred (100) congregants, can worship at a time in church or at the mosque, with a mandatory one metre rule of social distancing between congregants. In addition to the mandatory wearing of masks for all persons at all times in churches and mosques, a register of names and contact details of all worshippers and hand washing facilities and sanitisers must be provided, with a maximum duration of one (1) hour for each service.

The President revealed that, Religious institutions that are desirous of opening their premises to their members, such as churches, mosques and others, must disinfect, fumigate and put in place the requisite logistics needed to guarantee safe opening and operation. They must work with the designated, regulatory bodies and undertake test runs of the protocols I have outlined.

Nana Akufo-Addo appealed that, in the case of Christians, on the first Sunday of re-opening, i.e. 7th June, in the case of the Adventists, Saturday, 6th June, and in the case of Muslims, on the first Friday, i.e. Ṣalāt al-Jumuʿah on 5th June, to dedicate their worship to prayers for the nation in these challenging times, adding that, the Minister for Religious Affairs, will, tomorrow, Monday, 1st June, outline, in detail, the specific guidelines for the safe reopening of our churches and mosques.

On the subject of schools ressuming for lessons, President Nana Akufo-Addo stated that, from Monday, 15th June, 2020, the decision has been taken, after engagement with the Teacher Union to re-open schools and universities to allow for final year junior high, senior high and university students, including all final year students of educational and training institutions, which are being managed by Ministries other than the Education Ministry, to resume classes ahead of the conduct of their respective exit examinations.

He, final year university students are to report to their universities on 15th June; final year senior high school (SHS 3) students, together with SHS 2 Gold Track students, on 22nd June; and final year junior high school (JHS 3) students on 29th June. JHS 3 classes will comprise a maximum of thirty (30) students; SHS classes a maximum of twenty-five (25) students; and University lectures will take place with half the class sizes.

He reiterated that, prior to the opening of schools and universities, the Ministry of Education, and the heads of public and private educational institutions, will fumigate and disinfect their institutions. Explaining that, each student, teacher, and non-teaching staff will be provided with re-usable face masks by the Ministry of Education. He added that, for the avoidance of doubt, all other educational facilities, private and public, for non-final year students, will remain closed.

On private burials, with a maximum of one hundred (100) persons, can continue to be performed. Restaurants, providing seated services, can operate under appropriate social distancing arrangements and hygiene protocols. Individual, non-contact sports can go ahead. Conferences, workshops, weddings, and political activities, except rallies, can now take place, but with limited numbers not exceeding one hundred (100) persons present, with the appropriate social distancing and hygiene protocols.

Market places, work places, public transport, and constitutional and statutory bodies such as the Electoral Commission, the National Commission for Civic Education and the National Identification Authority, whose activities were exempted from the outset from these restrictions, must conduct their activities in accordance with social distancing and the necessary hygiene and safety protocols.

Whilst Ghanaians step up public education of the protocols on public gatherings, President Nana Akufo-Addo stated that, regulatory agencies will undertake random checks to ensure conformity with these rules, and the security services will be tasked to enforce them, adding that, should any institution fail to adhere to these directives, its activity will be immediately prohibited, and relevant sanctions applied.

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Feature

MEET ALHAJI UMAR FAROUK: The Most Promising Politician In Ghana

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Alhaji Umar Farouk Aliu Mahama is the son of His Excellency Alhaji Aliu Mahama, Late Former Vice President of the Republic of Ghana (2001-2009). Farouk Aliu Mahama in his professional life is a Certified International Supply Chain Professional. He has rendered a marvelous service to Ghana at Ghana Cocoa Board. He has risen through the ranks at Ghana Cocoa Board to become Deputy Procurement Manager.

Personal Life

Alhaji Farouk Aliu Mahama has two (2) sons, Maltiti Aliu Mahama Jr and Nurudeen Mahama with his wife Ayisha Mahama. As a native Yendi extract, Farouk Aliu Mahama speaks fluent Dagbani, Hausa, Twi and elementary speaker of Ga. He has openly professed his hobby in football and philanthropy.
Early Life, Education and Family

Background

Alhaji Umar Farouk Aliu Mahama was born on 27th April, 1981 to a prominent political family as the son of H.E Alhaji Aliu Mahama and H.E Hajia Ramatu Mahama (Former Second Lady of the Republic of Ghana, 2001-2009). His father was Ghana’s first Muslim Vice-President and the first and only ethnic Dagomba to have risen to that political height.

His paternal grandfather, Zongo Naa Mahama, was the Zongo Chief of Yendi, the traditional capital of Dagbon. Farouk Aliu Mahama’s maternal grandfather, Alhaji Imoro Egala, was Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Minister in the First Republic(1960-1961) and later Trade and Industries Minister, he was the first black chairman of Ghana Cocoa Board and the founder of People’s National Party, the mother party of People’s National Convention(PNC).

Alhaji Faouk Aliu Mahama started his basic education at Presby Experimental School in Tamale and was later enrolled in the Achimota schools. He proceeded to Prempeh College in Kumasi to undertake his secondary education and later to Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) where he earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Marketing.

Farouk Aliu Mahama holds a Master’s degree in Supply Chain Management from the Coventry University in England, the United Kingdom and a Certified International Supply Chain Professional from International Purchashing and Supply Chain Management Institute-USA.

Academic Accolades and Credentials

Alhaji Farouk Aliu Mahama has many academic honors to his credit recognizing his professional performance;

• Cambridge University (Institute of Sustainability Leadership)- High Impact Leadership
• Scottish Qualification Authority in procurement integrity from the Scottish Qualification Authority
• Honors in contract management from Ghana Suppliers Commission
• Harvard Kennedy School- Emerging Leaders
• Certified International Supply Chain Professional-IPSCMI-USA
• Certified International Supply Chain Manager-IPSCMI-USA
• Chartered Procurement Member-MCIPS, UK.
• Honors in Procurement of goods and services from World Bank
• World Bank E-Procurement and Implementation from Government of Ghana.
• New procurement Framework by World Bank
• Institute of Supply Chain Management
• Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration- Bachelor of Science in Marketing
• Coventry University, United Kingdom-Master of Science in Procurement and Supply Chain Management
• Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS)-Corporate Award

Awards

• Most Promising Politician, Northern Excellence Awards.
• Rising Star of the year – Northern Business Excellence Awards

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Event News

AFRICA DAY: How The 57th Edition Is Going To Be Celebrated

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The 57th anniversary of Africa Day is coming up next week. While the day is celebrated across the continent, it is however observed as an official national holiday in Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Namibia, Zambia, Mali, Mauritania, Lesotho and Zimbabwe. Commemorated on May 25th, Africa Day was established after the leaders of the 32 independent African states signed a founding charter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia back in 1963.

OkayAfrica’s Damola Durosomo writes: “The origins of the holiday can be traced back to 1958 when 17 African nations established African Liberation Day, to commemorate their independence from European colonialism. Africa Day came about after 32 independent nations—led by Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere, Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah, Guinea’s Sékou Touré and Zambia’s Kenneth Kaunda—formed the Organization of African Unity (OAU) May 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Since then, 21 more nations have joined, and in 2001, the OAU became what is now known as the African Union (AU).”

Each year, Africa Day has a specific theme which sets the tone for any upcoming events, activist movements, celebrations and earnest reflection on the part of all Africans. Last year’s theme “Healthy Lifestyle Prolongs Life” focused on highlighting the benefits of a healthy lifestyle while the theme in 2018 was “The Year of Nelson Mandela–Building a Better Africa and a Better World”.

This year’s theme however, has not been clarified as yet. Given the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, most celebrations for Africa Day will be virtual owing to social distancing measures and national lockdowns which have been enforced in numerous African countries.

Perhaps one of the biggest events set to take place is the Africa Day Benefit Concert At Home, which will be hosted by Idris Elba. The concert, which will feature artists such as Angelique Kidjo, Burna Boy, AKA and many others, is set to be streamed on MTV Base platforms with the aim of raising funds to help in the continued fight against COVID-19 in Africa.

– Rufaro Samanga/Okay Africa

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