Connect with us


Dr Bawumia: AfCFTA to lift 3 million people out of poverty



AfCFTA, Newscenta, prosperity, Dialogue, APN,

Vice-President Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) can increase intra-African trade by some $35 billion each year when fully realised.

Imports to reduce by $10bn 

In addition, he noted that the initiative touted as the real economic prosperity game-changer can reduce imports from outside the continent by some $10 billion annually.

Lifting 3 million out of poverty

Addressing the maiden Africa Prosperity Dialogue, held at Adukrom in the Eastern Region, Dr Bawumia said a fully realised AfCFTA will mean more opportunities for growth and for small businesses and the potential to lift more than three million people out of poverty.


Smart investments in critical infrastructure

In view of this great economic and developmental potential, he proposed the need for smart investments in critical infrastructure on the continent as a way of catalysing intra-African trade.

Produce and trade our way out of poverty

He said, “as a continent, we need to produce and trade our way out of poverty and underdevelopment, and we cannot do that without investing in smart infrastructure across the continent.”

Arteries of trade


These investments, which he described as ‘the arteries of trade,’ include physical infrastructure such as roads, rail, and energy; digital infrastructure such as data centres to facilitate the digital transformation and financial infrastructure to allow for integration financial markets.

These investments he stressed “will be critical to delivering the success of the AfCFTA.”

Unleash productive capacities in Africa

Dr Bawumia also pointed to the need to unleash the productive capacities across the continent, by creating platforms for knowledge brokerage and access to information on critical products and services on the continent.

445m small businesses


This, he believes, will allow 445 million small businesses across the continent to plug into the value chains of the mega industries.

Manufacturing zone

“We need to develop Africa into a manufacturing zone that will facilitate the trade of value-added products. These, in my view, will be critical to leapfrog Africa’s industrialisation and the enormous socio-economic benefits,” averred.

Mobilising of finance

The Vice-President called for the mobilising of finance and investments across the continent.


$170bn needed annually to close infrastructure gap

This is crucial, as Africa needs between $130 billion and $170 billion annually to bridge its infrastructure gap and generate sustainable growth at 5% per annum or more.

Opportunities for private sector

This situation, Dr Bawumia said, “presents immense opportunities for private sector investment.”

Public-Private Partnerships


Attracting private sector participation through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), he therefore indicated, is essential for the delivery of various infrastructure projects.

This coupled with innovative policies to mobilise and more effectively allocate resources are key for the continent’s development.

AfCFTA Secretariat Secretary-General

Secretary-General AfCFTA Secretariat, Wamkele Mene, stated that when fully implemented, the AfCFTA has the potential to raise incomes on the continent by about nine per cent.

Competition protocol


The establishment of a competition protocol that will create a single integrated market for the regulation of markets across the continent to overcome challenges such as food insecurity, access to good medicines to address public health needs and other areas of competition is also vital.

The Secretary-General noted that the continent had learnt lessons from the coming of the COVID-19 virus, where Africa was squeezed out in the scramble for critical vaccines and medicines by the more established powers.

Vaccine manufacturing value chains

With this experience at the back of their minds, a number of African countries, including Ghana, Rwanda and South Africa have established vaccine manufacturing value chains to bring the continent up to par with the rest of the world in the development of vaccines.

Protocol on intellectual property rights


This has led to the completion of the protocol on intellectual property rights, which will establish a legal framework that will enable faster, easier and more efficient access to pharmaceutical products, including vaccines.

He however warned that if African markets remain fractured, then the potential that the continent has, will not be fulfilled.

Resilient and sustainable economy

In a speech read on his behalf, the acting Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Dr Antonio Pedro, said “Africa needs to build a resilient and sustainable economy to be able to withstand external shocks.”

The AfCFTA, he therefore said, will deliver Africa’s prosperity by fueling growth, providing decent jobs, raising living standards, and integrating and consolidating Africa into a single market.


Studies done by UNECA show that by 2045, intra-African trade in agriculture/food, industry and services will have increased by about 35%, compared to what would have pertained without the AfCFTA, thus making a business and socio-economic case for the implementation of the trading block.

This promise, he however pointed out, “will not come through if governments do not implement the AfCFTA agreements fully and effectively, or if the African private sector fails to grab the opportunity of a single market yielded by the agreement. .”

The real test of AfCFTA, he said, will depend on what the governments do back home.

Founder and Executive Chairman

Founder and Executive Chairman of Africa Prosperity Network Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko described Africa’s prosperity through AfCFTA as potentially, the world’s most exciting economic project this century.


He emphasized how to get the private sector to be deliberately and actively engaged in delivering the great ambition that AfCFTA represents.

He stated that the aggregate value of enterprises and industries across Africa must be networked, coordinated and impactfully leveraged.

Otchere-Darko said the dialogue provides a platform to sit together, think together, plan together, and work together, with urgency, to intensify the efforts towards achieving the goals of AfCFTA.

He is hopeful that the dialogue will build a strong network of Pan-African partnership to make this annual retreat a most powerful, actionable platform of choice for building the one, prosperous Africa we want and know we can get done.

The Executive Director for the Africa Prosperity Network, Dr Eugene Owusu, on his part, said, “The game changer is going to be the speed and scope of the implementation of the AfCFTA. Therefore, we must, all of us, see the  implementation  of the AfCFTA as a sprint, and not a marathon.


“This is what this maiden African Prosperity Dialogue is seeking to catalyse, to move us from ambition to action,” he said.

He charged the continent to keep its eyes and thoughts beyond the current challenges confronting it, but rather to the hopes of tomorrow inspired by AfCFTA.

“At the APN we believe strongly that this is a now or never moment. The vision that inspired our forefathers to establish the OAU has expression in the AfCFTA,” he said.

“We must be deliberate, all of us: business leaders, and policy leaders, in leveraging the African Prosperity Dialogues to develop the signature solutions needed to deepen intra-African trade to spur impact investment needed to bring prosperity to our continent and its people.

“That we must succeed in these efforts to be able to liberate our beloved continent from the yokes of the narratives created by others,” he added.









National honours conferred on COVID-19, ITLOS champions



National awards 2023, Newscenta, COVID-19, ITLOS team members, Order of the Volta,

Individuals, institutions and partners who distinguished themselves in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, have been honoured by the State at the National Honours and Awards 2023.

Other awards receivers are members of the legal team of men and women, who were charged with ensuring that the maritime boundary dispute with Cote D’Ivoire, ended favourably for Ghana.

Apart from these two main categories of awardees, that is the COVID-19 and International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) awardees, there was a third category of awardees of a few individuals whose work deserve the plaudits of the nation.

They are the late great philosopher, Prof. Johnson Kwame Wiredu, by common consent one of the outstanding philosophers of global repute of the modern age, who will be given a befitting posthumous award, Order of the Volta – Companion.

The rest are Ms. Margaret Sophia Darkwah, the first female Commissioner of Police; Prof. Akwasi Osei, former Chief Executive of the Mental Health Authority; and Dr. Veronica Agartha Martinson, former Executive Director of the Cocoa Research Institute, Ghana.


In all, some 19, 557 frontline health workers received certificates and plaques for their dedicated services in the line of duty.

Additionally, about 50 individuals and entities also received the Order of the Volta – Companion awards, comprising Members of the National COVID-19 Taskforce, Trustees of the Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund, and ITLOS Technical Team and Legal Advisors.

The national awards are presented to persons who have made immense and recognized contributions in sectors such as the civil service, military, prisons service, education and public health, agriculture, commerce and industry, the judiciary, scientific and other research, sports, culture and the arts, and the financial sector.

The country received many commendations for the measures it put in place to contain the viral disease, after it recorded the first two cases in March 2020.

“Ghana is indeed indebted to you,” President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo saluted the awardees.


The selflessness and commitment demonstrated by the health workers helped saved many lives, the President noted, citing the difficulties the nation went through at the height of the pandemic.

These ranged from the imposition of a three-week lockdown in some parts of the country, and social distancing to the adherence to safety protocols.

President Akufo-Addo stated that the Government instituted some one billion Ghana Cedis as a relief package to alleviate the plight of the people in the wake of the pandemic.

Additionally, personal protective equipment worth several millions of Ghana Cedis were also procured for the safety of the citizenry.

The President lauded the ITLOS main legal team for their effectiveness and able manner in which they handled Ghana’s maritime dispute with its immediate western neighbours.


“This ensured that our western maritime resources remained legitimately in our possession,” he said.

“It is important to state that today’s awards ceremony is a purely national event, devoid of partisan, ethnic or religious considerations, and organised solely in recognition of the services offered by its recipients to the growth, development, progress and prosperity of Ghana.

“I, as the President of the Republic, the Fount of Honour, act as the Head of State, and not as Head of Government, in the distribution of awards.

“I can happily say that I am not aware of the political sympathies or views of the overwhelming majority of today’s awardees. Their politics is of no moment to me, only their exploits in favour of Mother Ghana, he said.













Continue Reading


Misinformation undermining democracy, eroding gains in Ghana



Misinformation, Newscenta, ISD, website, Ghana Today, Information Ministry,

Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has expressed grave concern about the rising spate of false publications and misinformation within the Ghanaian media landscape.

According to him, the phenomenon is gradually undermining the democracy of the country and eroding the gains made over the years.

With a significant section of the Ghanaian population now relying on online platforms and other social media platforms for information, he noted that some unscrupulous persons had resulted to using those channels to propagate falsehood and misinformation.

Speaking at the launch of a website for the Information Services Department (ISD) of the Ministry of Information in Accra, Oppong Nkrumah stated that “This phenomenon is gradually undermining our democracy.”

23.05m internet users


The state of digital in Ghana in 2023 report indicates that there are 23.05 million internet users in Ghana at the start of 2023, when internet penetration stood at 68.2%.

6.6m social media users

Ghana is home to 6.6 million social media users in January 2023, equating to 19.5% of the total population.

43.88m cellular mobile connections

A total of 43.88 million cellular mobile connections are active in Ghana in early 2023, with this figure equivalent to 129.8% of the total population.


68.2% internet penetration

Ghana’s internet penetration rate stood at 68.2% of the total population at the start of 2023.

Ghana Today

The platform which is a website called Ghana Today is a reliable news portal that provides accurate information on government projects, programmes, communications and positions.


The website,, has been created with the aim of combating public misinformation, a phenomenon that has been on the ascendancy, with the establishment of multiple private media outfits and blogs.

Objective of the portal

The main objective of the portal will be to disseminate information directly from the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies, about the works of Government and becoming a repository of all happenings in government.

Oppong Nkrumah in his address stressed that the launch of the news website forms part of the Ministry’s duties of supervising ISD and supporting Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to communicate regularly.

The portal, the Minister noted, will provide facts about government projects and programmes, as well as full texts of all speeches by heads of MDAs, official communications and publications, and policies and programme documents to reduce the level of misrepresentations and misinformation online.


Re-organization and retooling Programme

Oppong Nkrumah indicated that the launch of this project by the ISD forms an integral part of the re-organization and retooling Programme, and is aimed at equipping the Department to serve more audiences with its work even as the times and media consumption patterns change.

He said, “a significant section of our population now relies on online platforms and other social media platforms for information. It is also important to note that some unscrupulous persons have used many of these portals and social media platforms to propagate falsehood and misinformation. This phenomenon is gradually undermining our democracy.”

Fight against misinformation

He continued, “the rollout of this website will, therefore support the department in the fight against misinformation.”


Repository of all happenings in govt

He further indicated that it will provide “direct information from Ministries, Departments and Agencies about the works of government and become a repository of all happenings in government.

Sensitisation of the public

He said, over the years, the ISD had played critical role in the sensitisation of the public on major issues of national interest, including the construction of the Akosombo dam; re-introduction of the 17 per cent VAT after a previous failed attempt; introduction of the new Ghana cedi in 2007 and most recently, the creation of the six new regions and the E-Levy.

Those, he said, the Department had done through the use of various Public Education Campaign strategies and the deployment of Public Relations professionals and Regional and District Information Officers to MMDAS and MDAs.


Keeping up with ever-changing media landscape

However, he noted that, the Department had lost some steam in recent years, mostly due to the inability of successive administrations to equip it as well as keep up with the ever-changing media landscape and the advancement in technology.

In response to these challenges, Oppong Nkrumah stated that Cabinet has approved a Programme for the Department to undergo vigorous re-tooling and re-organization to meet the needs of the present day.

He indicated that the launch of the website formed an integral part of the re-organisation and retooling programme of the Department, aimed at equipping it to serve more audiences with its work even as the time and media consumption patterns changed.

He urged the staff to work quickly and accurately to ensure that the citizenry was reached with all the facts and the necessary documentation as soon as possible.


The Minister tasked ISD to “get to work with speed to ensure that the information and the documents reach ISD Media Today, so they are published. The regular delays in getting materials to your colleagues at ISD media will only undermine the potential efficacy of this very useful tool.”

He urged the general public who want to validate the information about Government works that they may come across, to visit the new website for the information they need.

On his part, the Acting Chief Information Officer of the ISD, Mr. David Owusu-Amoah urged Ghanaians to make use of the Ghana Today platform and to be vigilant in their consumption of online content.

He said it is important that “we all take responsibility for the information we consume and share and be mindful of the impact of false information on our society whiles working together to combat it.

“We all have a role to play in combating misinformation. We must all be responsible and verify information before sharing it. With this new tool, we hope to empower Ghanaians to take an active role in the fight against fake news.”


Mr Amoah, said that “at the inception of the ISD, there was no need to worry about misinformation.”

However, today due to the proliferation of news outlets, the struggle is against misinformation.”

Mrs Adiza Ofori-Adu, Head, Media Division, ISD, said the website would enrich dissemination of information on government’s projects and urged media houses to depend on it for authentic stories.

The ISD was established in the latter part of 1939, some 84 years ago, as a branch of the Colonial Government Secretariat dedicated to conveying news on the second World War to the people of the then Gold Coast through weekly journal.

























Continue Reading


Police nab 6 in connection with killing of soldier in Ashaiman



Soldiers, Ashaiman, Newscenta, 6 arrested, Trooper Imoro Sherrif, police investigations,

Six persons have been arrested on different dates and at various locations within Ashiaman and its environs in connection with the murder of Trooper Imoro Sherrif, a soldier.

A statement issued by the police indicates that on March 4, Police received information that a male adult had been found lying dead at Ashiaman-Taifa in the Greater Accra Region.

A team of Police officers proceeded to the said location and confirmed the incident.

Police immediately commenced investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of the victim.

The officers cordoned off the scene and called in the specialist Police Crime Scene team to process the scene for forensic analysis.


The Crime Scene Team retrieved a number of items, including a knife with blood stains on it and a backpack.

In the backpack, Police found a Samsung tablet, an Apple laptop, a military uniform with the name tag “Imoro”, eight other items of clothing, as well as a Ghana card and a Health Insurance card bearing the name Imoro Sherrif.

Judging from the contents of the backpack, the police suspected the victim could be a soldier, and in line with Police standard operating procedure for handling institution-based victims, the Military was accordingly notified of the incident and some military personnel came to identify the deceased to Police as Imoro Sheriff, a soldier.

The body of the deceased was thereafter conveyed to a hospital for preservation and autopsy.

As part of the investigation, an intelligence operation was immediately launched within Ashiaman and other strategic locations of interest to follow up on all relevant leads on the case.


On the same day, consistent with Ghanaian tradition and as part of the investigation process, a team of police officers after identifying the residence of the parents of the deceased, visited them, commiserated with them and assured them of a thorough investigation into the matter.

During the visit, the parents informed the Police that the deceased was stationed at Sunyani but had come to Accra on a course.

Investigations further revealed that on March 3, the deceased had visited a female friend at Ashaiman Newtown at about 10:30pm and left the place in the middle of the night at about 1:30 am, on March 4.

After almost a week of painstaking intelligence-led operations, on March 9, the police arrested suspects Safianu Musah alias Dayorgu and Ibrahim Abdul Rakib at their hideouts in Ashaiman.

Two other suspects, Samuel Tetteh alias Wiper and Abubakar Sadick alias Birdman were also arrested at their hideouts on March 10.


Two additional suspects, Yussif Mohammed and Abdul Gafaru Abdul Karim were arrested on March 11 and 12, respectively.

Further investigation has established that suspects Samuel Tetteh and Abubakar Sadick at about 1:45 am on March 4, 2023 attacked the deceased at Ashiaman-Taifa in an attempt to rob him of his phone and a backpack.

The deceased, however, resisted and struggled with the suspects. During the struggle, suspect Samuel Tetteh pulled out a knife and stabbed the deceased in the arm, snatched his phone and bolted leaving the deceased with the knife stuck in his arm.

A postmortem examination was performed on the deceased’s body on March 8, after which the pathologist gave the verbal cause of death as exsanguination and laceration of major vessels of the left arm consistent with the stabbed injury.

Investigations also revealed that suspects Samuel Tetteh and Abubakar Sadick sold the phone which they had robbed from the deceased to suspect Ibrahim Abdul Rakib who later sold it to suspect Safianu Musah.


Suspect Safianu Musah is being evasive as to the whereabouts of the phone and claims to have sold it to suspect Yussif Mohammed and later to suspect Abdul Gafaru Abdul Karim.

Both suspects have been arrested and are assisting in investigation to recover the phone.

On March 12, a team of police officers led by the Tema Regional Police Commander visited the family of the deceased and briefed them on the investigations done so far.

The Police commended all police officers at all levels of Command, especially the crack police intelligence and investigation teams as well as the Ashiaman District Police Command for their professionalism and meticulous dedication, working around the clock to unravel this case.

The Police assured the public, especially the family of the deceased, that all the suspects are in Police custody and will be put before the court on Monday, March 13, for justice.




Continue Reading


© 2022 NewsCenta. Copyright - TrueTrust Media Consult

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: