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Sad News Hits Ghana As GHS Confirms New Dangerous Virus Outbreak In The Country -Check Out Symptoms

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Sad News Hits Ghana As GHS Confirms New Dangerous Virus Outbreak In The Country -Check Out Symptoms

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has confirmed the outbreak of the HANZ virus in Ghana.

The confirmation which was contained in a release is also calling on Ghanaians to be on the alert and report symptoms of the virus.

Hanz Virus, also known as H3N2v, is a strain of influenza usually found in pigs, birds, and humans.

The virus according to the statement is said to spread more easily to humans from pigs than other swine influenza viruses.

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GHS, says this type of influenza virus easily mutates with adults usually having stronger immunity. Symptoms of H3N2v include fever with cough and a runny nose.

Other possible symptoms are body aches, nausea, chills, vomiting, or diarrhoea.

The GHS added that the virus could sometimes cause severe diseases like pneumonia, which could lead to hospitalization and at the worst result in death.

All matches involving the Ghana Premier League club Accra Hearts of Oak have been postponed after the virus was confirmed among the players.

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The Game Week 30 fixture involving Hearts of Oak and Eleven Wonders was postponed by the Ghana Football Association (GFA) following the outbreak of the disease.

“Our match against Eleven Wonders has been postponed following advice from the Ghana Health Service. According to the GHS, they are still investigating the cause of the illness that affected the Hearts of Oak team,” the team tweeted.

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Source: www.GhanaCNN.com

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CHRAJ Investigating 428 Cases Of Non-declared Assets 

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CHRAJ Investigating 428 Cases Of Non-declared Assets

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) says it is investigating some 428 public office holders for failing to declare their assets.

Mr Stephen Azantilow, Director, Anti-Corruption at CHRAJ, revealed this at a public forum on “Declaration of Assets by Public Office Holders and the Fight Against Corruption in Ghana,” in Accra on Tuesday.

Mr Azantilow, however, did not give further details on the cases as that could prejudice the outcome of the investigations

He, however, revealed in a telephone interview with the Ghana News Agency, that the investigations extended to officials who failed to declare their assets in 2020.

He added that 284 of them were also cases that were brought to the attention of the Commission in August this year.

The forum, organised by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), brought together several anti-corruption campaigners and associations as well as some political parties.

Article 286 (1) of the 1992 Constitution states that “a person who holds a public office mentioned in clause (5) of this Article shall submit to the Auditor-General a written declaration of all property or assets owned by or liabilities owed by, him whether directly or indirectly (a) within three months after the coming into force of this Constitution or before taking office, as the case may be, (b) at the end of every four years; and (b) at the end of his term of office.”

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The law requires that the President, Vice-President, the Speaker of Parliament, Deputy Speakers of Parliament, members of Parliament, ministers and deputy ministers of state, ambassadors, the Chief Justice, Judges of Superior Court, Judges of Inferior court and managers of public institutions in which the state has interest submit to the Auditor-General written declarations of all property or assets owned by, or liabilities owed by them, whether directly or indirectly.

The Constitution also requires the declaration to be done before the public officer takes office.

However, Section 1(4)(c) of the Public Office Holders (Declaration of Assets and Disqualification) Act directs public office holders to meet this requirement “not later than six months after taking office, at the end of every four years and not later than six months at the end of his or her term.”

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Reacting to criticisms that the Commission had failed to hold public officials who did not comply with the Act, Mr Azantilow said the absence of explicit punishment in the law had rendered it helpless.

“We sometimes also feel helpless because when you have the law that does not critically tell you that look if somebody doesn’t declare before he assumes office, or he leaves office or every four years, you should give or mete out sanctions A, B, C and D, it becomes problematic.

“And that is why when the new bill, that is the Code of Conduct Officers Bill came before us we made a lot of input and even the current bill as it is, pending before Cabinet, our proposals for the type of sanctions that should be meted out to public officers depending on the stage in which the person failed to declare their asset has been captured.

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“We are hoping that the law will come into force so that we know exactly what to do,” he said.

He also added that as a Commission, its decisions were not always final.

“You people are aware that some of our decisions have been challenged in court. So, if you make a decision that does not stand the test of time, it will be challenged in court and we have faced those embarrassments so we are also careful the way we do our things,” Mr Azantilow said.

Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo, Executive Director, Ghana Integrity Initiative, emphasised the need for strong leadership to ensure the enforcement of the asset declaration regime.

Source: www.GhanaCNN.com

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IMF Won’t Lend To Ghana If Debt Levels Are Unsustainable -Dr. Acheampong

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IMF Won’t Lend To Ghana If Debt Levels Are Unsustainable -Dr. Acheampong

Policy Risk Analyst, Dr Theo Acheampong, says Ghana risks not receiving funding from the International Monetary Fund should it be discovered that the country’s debt is unsustainable.

According to him, with the country being classified as a high debt distress country by the World Bank, it will be prudent if the managers of the country commence action on debt restructuring before the situation worsens.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, he said, “The IMF would only lend if they’re sure that a country’s debt is sustainable. And they have a statement on their website which I’d like to quote here again and it says that ‘for those countries that have unsustainable debt the IMF is precluded from lending unless the member takes steps to restore debt sustainability which includes debt restructuring.

“And to determine whether your debt is sustainable or not, there are four bands that they will do in the DNC analysis. You’re either classified as being low-risk, moderate risk, high risk or in debt distress. And as of last year, when that DNC was done in July, we were already classified as being at high risk of both external and overall debt distress.

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“So giving where we are now with the extra deficit and the extra spending I personally won’t be surprised if we move up into the next category already being in debt distress which then means that we will have to fundamentally commence a debt restructuring exercise before accessing the IMF financing.”

The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, on the other hand says the country’s debt situation has become unsustainable largely due to the government’s refusal to heed the warnings raised by the Minority.

According to him, the government had not been properly accounting for the country’s debt to GDP situation thus creating a false sense of security.

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“And this is not secret, I’ve debated it on the floor of Parliament, I’ve written articles to support the position of the Minority, we wrote even to IMF to get them to do what is right when Ghana was in a programme and yet the government decided to ignore us. So I’m not surprised at this report,” he said.

The World Bank has classified Ghana as a high debt distress country as it projects the nation’s debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 104.6% by the end of 2022.

According to its October 2022 Africa Pulse Report, debt is expected to jump significantly, from 76.6% a year earlier, amid a widened government deficit, massive weakening of the cedi, and rising debt service costs.

It is also forecasting debt to GDP of 99.7% and 101.8% of GDP in 2023 and 2024, respectively. The size of Ghana’s economy is estimated at about $72 billion, whilst it is expected to spend about 70% of revenue this year to service its debt.

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The report is coming at a time the Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are conducting a Debt Sustainability Analysis on the country. A country which is highly debt distressed is unable to fulfil its financial obligations and therefore debt restructuring is required.

The World Bank further stated that Ghana needs $1.5 billion in assistance from the IMF, which could help to shore up public finances and regain access to credit markets.

Source: www.GhanaCNN.com

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Akufo-Addo Calls On Chiefs, MMDCEs To Actively Rally Behind Government To Curb Illegal Mining

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Akufo-Addo Calls On Chiefs, MMDCEs To Actively Rally Behind Government To Curb Illegal Mining

President Akufo-Addo has reiterated his appeal to the Chiefs, Metropolitan, Municipal and Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in the country to take up lead roles in the fight against illegal mining.

According to the President, the Chiefs, who are custodians of lands have an obligation to protect the lands entrusted in their care and that joining forces with the government to fight illegal mining is a duty they owed their communities and the country.

Addressing the traditional authorities at the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, President Akufo-Addo maintained that the battle against illegal mining can only be won if there is a closer and effective collaboration between the government, traditional authorities and relevant stakeholders.

Akufo-Addo calls on chiefs, MMDCEs to actively rally behind government to curb illegal mining

He said since the inception of his government, there has been a strong commitment towards eradicating the galamsey menace but the efforts are being thwarted by the lack of collaboration from some chiefs and key institutions.

He expressed the openness of his government towards mining but clarified that mining must be done within the scope of the country’s laws as well as responsible and sustainable means.

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For President Akufo-Addo, the battle to protect the country’s waterbodies requires an all hands on deck approach that must be devoid of politics and personal interest.

Akufo-Addo calls on chiefs, MMDCEs to actively rally behind government to curb illegal mining

He bemoaned the political colorization of the fight against ‘galamsey’ and admonished politicians to rise above such partisanship and selfish gains.

He contended that his government will remain resolute in its determination to ensure the sustainable use of the country’s rich mineral resources.

“We have tried many initiatives including the community mining scheme and the establishment of the new legal regime for dealing with the perpetrators of this phenomenon which has imposed severe sanctions on both Ghanaians and foreigners raging from a 15-25 years jail term of illegal mining activities,” he added.

Akufo-Addo calls on chiefs, MMDCEs to actively rally behind government to curb illegal mining

“The progress of our country depends on all of us; all citizens of Ghana; all fellow Ghanaians coming together to defeat this existential threat to our future,” he pleaded.

“No one seeks to exploit the fight against galamsey for political gains as we saw in the last election. The progress of our country depends on all of us, all citizens of Ghana, all fellow Ghanaians, pulling together to defeat this existential threat to our future,” the President noted.

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“I ask all of you to join hands with me in the fight against illegal mining in order to bring to an end the devastation of our lands and the pollution of our water bodies.”

The President of the National House of Chiefs, Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II expressed worry that ‘galamsey’ activities are a threat to the survival of Ghanaians and that any action taken towards its curbing must be embraced by all.

Akufo-Addo calls on chiefs, MMDCEs to actively rally behind government to curb illegal mining

He observed that illegal mining activities have affected the cocoa industry as well as Ghana’s revenue generation and employment target and urged that persons found to be engaging in illegal mining activities be dealt with in accordance with the law.

He commended President Akufo-Addo for his personal devotion to the fight to protect resources meant for future generations and promised that the traditional authorities will offer their utmost support to the government.

Akufo-Addo calls on chiefs, MMDCEs to actively rally behind government to curb illegal mining

The President later met with MMDCEs and Regional Ministers in illegal mining endemic areas and charged them to work together actively and closely with government to reverse the phenomenon of Galamsey.

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He added that there’s a political cost to the ‘galamsey’ fight but “a cost we should be prepared to pay in the interest of Ghana”.

Akufo-Addo calls on chiefs, MMDCEs to actively rally behind government to curb illegal mining

The President stressed that “you are my representative at the local level and it cannot be that government is fighting the menace and you are found complicit “ adding that “I am not in the position to protect anyone who is found in such an act, against who evidence has been established to be involved in the ‘galamsey’”.

Let us work together to restore our water bodies, landscape, forest reserve to enable us to break the 8”, he concluded.

Source: www.GhanaCNN.com

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