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GENERAL NEWS

Law prohibits hunting from August to December

Takoradi, August 03, GNA - Mr Richard Gyamfi Boakye, an Assistant Wildlife Officer at the Western Regional Office of the Wildlife Division, on Wednesday said it is against the law to hunt, capture or destroy wildlife from August 01 to December 01 every year. Speaking in an interview with the GNA in Takoradi, he said this was the period that wild animals breed and move with their young. Mr Boakye said grass cutter is exempted from the law because it breeds all year round.

He said the law is intended to conserve wildlife some of which are under threat of extinction.

Mr Boakye said for purposes of conservation and prevention of indiscriminate killing of wild animals, it is prohibited to use bushfires, dogs, snares artificial lights or bulbs for hunting. He said it is prohibited to keep wild animals as pets without licence and that those wishing to trade in bush meat have to obtain valid license from district assemblies.

Mr Boakye said wild animals have important medical uses and a small South American monkey, the cotton-tapped marmoset, is being used to develop a potent vaccine against lymphatic cancer. Venom from vipers is being used with modifications as non-addictive painkillers and in the treatment of hypertension and thrombosis. 03 Aug 05
 

Emancipation/PANAFEST is a success

Accra Aug 3, GNA - Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City, on Wednesday said the celebration of Emancipation 2005 was very successful if it was looked at in terms of the large number of participants and tourists and the colourful durbar held at Assin Manso on Monday.

He rated this year's celebration as better than that of last year and last two years despite some adverse media reports.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey, who was speaking to the GNA about this year's celebration which was on the theme: "Emancipation Our Heritage, Our Strength" with a sub theme: "Honouring Our African Heroes" commended Ministers of State and Districts Chief Executives, who attended the durbar, saying "it was well attended"

He urged Ghanaians to get associated and be involved in the Emancipation Day activities as a way of recalling history, and to "chart a more positive course to reconcile with our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora

"There is the need for Ghanaians to learn more about the slave trade, find out the roles of their ancestors in its perpetration and use it as a basis to understand those in the Diaspora," he said.

He urged the media to project the good image of the country by supporting events such as Emancipation and PANAFEST.

Mr Kojo Yankah, Chairman of the PANAFEST Foundation, said this year's celebration of PANAFEST was an improvement over year 2001 and 2003.

He said there was better management of the event, programmes were followed as scheduled and the participants expressed satisfaction. "We did not encounter anybody, who had a problem," he said and this means PANAFEST has great potentials for the country.

The PANAFEST Foundation, he said, had already started strategizing for PANAFEST 2007 and expressed the hope that it would also be a big success, Mr Yankah told the GNA.

He however, said there was pressure on accommodation as some people could not find one in Cape-Coast and had to go to Yamoransa and Takoradi for accommodation.

He called on local and foreign investors to help with the expansion of the hotel industry.

Mac Tonto, a Ghanaian musician of international repute, expressed concern about the participation of Ghanaians in the event saying "there should have been more Ghanaians".

He said there were more foreigners than Ghanaians but the aim of the celebration was achieved and urged Ghanaians to be involved in the celebration "On the whole I will say I was happy," Mac Tonto said Mr Ferdinand Ayim, Chairman of the Planning Committee for Emancipation and PANAFEST, said the Ministry had started with the planning of Emancipation 2006, as it would be a dressed rehearsal for year 2007 celebration to ensure continuous success.

This year's Emancipation day celebration coincided with PANAFEST, which is celebrated every other year. The two events have a common aim of seeking African unity and excellence.

The celebration would be crowned with a sponsors dinner dance on August 7, this year.
Source: GNA

Ghanaian Migrants Shot Dead In The Gambia

The eight (8) Ghanaian migrants, who were allegedly shot dead by the Gambian Police, are said to be victims of ‘connection men', who extort huge sums of money from prospective migrants under the pretext of taking them to Italy.

According to Ghana's Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Kwesi Osei Agyei, a lot of such people fall victim to these unscrupulous men, who try to smuggle the migrants across the high seas on boats, to Italy for greener pastures. The bodies of the eight men who could not be identified were found scattered around ‘Ghana-Town' located in the North of Banjul and were believed to be between the ages of 30 and 40. A Ghanaian resident in ‘Ghana-Town', Mr. Kwesi Obed told PeaceFM on phone this morning that victims were picked in pairs in pick-ups and were never returned during the operations by the police. Two of the survivors fought with the police and escaped back to ‘Ghana-Town' according to our source. There were various sums of money found in the pockets of the dead men which were in various currencies amounting to over 600euros

Meanwhile Ghana's deputy foreign minister, who confirmed the incident on PeaceFM today said his Ministry has instructed Ghana's Consulate in Senegal to investigate the cause of the incident and submit a full report.

Mr. Osei Agyei used the opportunity to reiterate his call on prospective migrants not to engage the services of ‘connection men' but expose them to the authorities for action to be taken against them.

Source: pfm

Letter From The President: Eva must go

EvaLokko
Countrymen and women, loyalists and opponents, a few months ago

I wrote about the state broadcaster and insisted that it should be sold off on the grounds that it was a non-performing “asset”. That was when they announced their 70th anniversary celebrations. Well, once again I have cause to write about GBC.

Am annoyed because they’ve gone ahead with their “celebrations” – organizing various commemorative programmes – even though they know very well that they have absolutely nothing to celebrate about. They are simply celebrating because GBC is 70. It’s like throwing a party for a 70-year-old nitwit who has achieved nothing in life. They are hanging on to a very flimsy claim that GBC’s 70th anniversary ought to be celebrated with pomp and ceremony because the corporation has contributed to “national cohesion”. Really? As far as I can remember GBC was a major weapon for all the coup makers who divided our people and destroyed everything we had. GBC allowed itself to be used as a propaganda tool by successive governments – both legitimate and illegitimate. So the claim that GBC has contributed to “national cohesion” does not wash with me at all and the earlier they drop it, the less angry I will be. Please for the sake of my achy heart I want the GBC celebrations to stop. Recently a much younger radio station in Accra boldly proclaimed that it was celebrating “10 years of broadcasting excellence”. No one complained because it was a justifiable claim. This young radio station has informed people, offered quality entertainment and constantly kept government officials on their toes. So its claim to “broadcasting excellence” is well deserved. What is GBC’s claim? They are celebrating “70 years of broadcasting”. That’s all! This clearly indicates to me that the people at the helm at GBC know very well that they have no cause for celebration. So why bother with the celebrations?

When I came to power, I vowed to ensure that the GBC is reformed to play its role as a dependable, independent, pace-setting national broadcaster. I appointed a woman to implement my plans for GBC. I appointed Eva Kollo not just for the sake of women empowerment. Her credentials were good. On paper, she was well versed in information technology and other technologies. I thought that with her background as a woman of technology, she would offer fresh ideas for turning GBC into a technological powerhouse, where every conceivable broadcast magic was possible. But I was wrong. Eva Kollo is very good at collecting degrees and certificates. She’s so lousy at implementing what she has learnt. Under her tenure, I have seen the fastest retrogression at GBC in decades. For example, just a few Sunday’s ago I was relaxing in my hall removing meat from my teeth after eating a very big bowl of fufu and ‘aponkye nkraakra’. I thought I could add to the relaxation by turning on my TV to see what was on. The first channel I got was GTV and what I saw was incomprehensible. I’ve never seen anything like it before. GTV News was on live, with Mathew Abutiate as the anchor. But (can you believe this) the whole live news broadcast was in slow motion. Where else on this planet is news (even the anchor’s presentation) in slow motion? Does it happen even in Mali or Chad? I don’t think so? This can only happen in Sikaman and only under an incompetent like Eva Kollo! Well, I continued to watch the unfolding aberration – which was a vivid testimony to GBC’s mediocrity and retrogression under Eva Kollo – and for the whole period of the bulletin everything was kept in slow motion. After the bulletin, they showed an old variety programme – probably recorded in the mid-1980s when Pozo Hayes was Pozo Hayes. I wanted to enjoy the show because Pozo was singing. The only problem was that everything was in slow motion. And where was Eva Kollo and her henchmen? If they had been watching, the slow motion broadcasts might not have lasted as long as they did. I have been reliably informed that she and most of the directors at GBC watch cable TV and listen to the more hip and forward-looking radio stations. They only decide to tune in when there is trouble and they are questioned. If you manage a broadcast network and you don’t watch or listen, how would you improve your output? No wonder GBC is retrogressing so fast under Eva Kollo.

One other thing that has annoyed me most about Eva Kollo is the recent revelation that GBC’s website has not been updated since I came to power and that, until it was shut down about a week ago, Jerry Boom was named on the site as the president of Sikaman. Can you believe that? Don’t bother to check the website out – it is now “under construction”. What does it tell you? The managers at GBC are not in control, they’ve lost focus and they are mere “position occupiers”.

So what is a president to do? I have no choice than to demand the immediate resignation of Eva Kollo. She’s let me down very badly with her abysmal failures and she must go.

GBC needs someone to rebuild it into the strong broadcast powerhouse it ought to be. Someone who will build a strong management team made up of people who want to make things happen – not merely occupy positions, driving around in big cars and watching DSTV. GBC needs a director-general who will build its staff – make them more professional and creative by giving them all the professional and technological tools they need. The corporation needs someone who will unite its staff – not engage in divide and rule tactics as Eva Kollo has done. The next director general of GBC should be business savvy, ready to exploit the commercial potential of the only broadcast network which truly spans the whole of the country. By so doing, GBC will be able to pay its bills and pay its staff. I am tired of hearing every now and then that electric supply to one GBC transmission station or the other has been cut for non-payment of bills. When Eva Kollo goes, she should be replaced by a ‘fighter’ who will boldly assert GBC’s independence and ensure that the corporation enters a new era of neutrality and professionalism. Only then can GBC lay a claim to helping build national cohesion for it would be providing consistent high quality information and entertainment upon which all the citizens of Sikaman may rely. This is not a pipe dream. It can be achieved. The road to achieving this begins with the resignation of Eva Kollo. Someone should tell her to go. Otherwise, I will be forced to push her. I still insist, though, that GBC should be put on the divestiture list.

Excellently yours,

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