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 Mahama: Reshuffle of ministers necessary to improve performance 



John Mahama, Newscenta, reshuffle, ministers, politics,

Former President John Dramani Mahama says reshuffle of ministers is necessary to improve the performance of government.

He said such an exercise helped kept ministers and government functionaries on their toes and prevented them from being complacent in their duties.

The Former President made these remarks during a presentation at the Academic City University College in Accra.

As part of the University’s efforts to nurture the next generation of African leaders, the University designed a course dubbed “The Leadership Series” aimed at ensuring that knowledge developed in the class is directly applied to address contemporary societal problems.

It is expected that this course will provide the platform for students to interact with renowned African leaders, who have transcended from political, innovation, education, and industrial realms through sheer force of will and have impacted many lives.


The Former President made the presentation on the topic: “Taking Critical Decisions in Decisive Moments as a Leader.”

Mr Mahama said reshuffling and sacking non-performing minsters were some of the difficult decisions he took as President, especially when those appointees were close comrades and confidantes.

He noted that, however, such decisions needed to be taken regardless of your relationship with the appointees to keep your government running effectively.

The Former President added that going to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was another tough decision he took as President to restore the country’s economic fortunes.

“Another difficult decision I undertook as President was going to the IMF. However, I needed to go to the IMF to restore the country’s macro-economic stability,” he stressed.


Mr Mahama said his IMF did not completely freeze public sector employment as it was happening now; however, his had a net freeze of employment, where some essential employments were made.

“During my tenure we did not totally freeze employment. Ours was a net freeze on employment, where employment was made when there were vacancies at a public workplace due to retirement or resignations,” he reiterated.

Mr Mahama called for the support and growth of the private sector in the country to provide alternative employment and jobs to the teeming youth.

He said government alone could not provide jobs to the teeming youth of the country, therefore, they needed to support the private sector to thrive to provide employment.






 Economy, food security, investment top Kamala Harris’ trip to Africa



Kamala Harris, Newscenta, Africa visit, Accra, economy, investment, US Vice-President,

US Vice-President Kamala Harris was greeted by cheering schoolchildren, dancers and drummers as she arrived in Ghana Sunday afternoon to begin her nine-day trip to Africa.

Dr Bawumia received Harris at KIA

Amidst drumming and dancing, she was welcomed by Vice-president Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and other government officials.

Children wave Ghana-USA flags

The children cheered and waved Ghanaian and American flags as Harris stepped off her plane.


She smiled broadly and placed a hand on her chest as she passed by the dancers.

Harris greets cheering crowd

Harris could not hide her excitement as she greeted the teeming crowd at the Kotoka International Airport who were there to welcome her.

Kamala Harris, Newscenta, Africa visit, Accra, economy, investment, US Vice-President,

She will spend 3 days in Ghana

She will spend three days in Ghana out of the weeklong visit to Africa which is intended to deepen U.S. relationships amid global competition over the continent’s future.


She will also visit Tanzania and Zambia

After Ghana, she plans to visit Tanzania and Zambia and return to Washington on April 2.

Highest-profile Biden official to visit Africa

Harris is the highest-profile member of President Joe Biden’s administration to visit Africa this year.

Trip is to counter China’s influence in Africa


The expanded outreach is intended to counter China’s influence, which has become entrenched in recent years through infrastructure initiatives, lending money and expanding telecommunications networks.

Deepening relations  

In a brief address shortly after arrival, the US Vice-President said, she was looking forward to deepening further the “very important relationship and friendship between the people of the United States and those who live on the continent of Africa.

Kamala Harris, Newscenta, Africa visit, Accra, economy, investment, US Vice-President,

Excited about the future of Africa

“I’m very excited about the future of Africa. I’m very excited about the impact of the future of Africa on the rest of the world, including the United States of America,” she stressed.


Promoting economic growth and food security

Harris emphasized on promoting economic growth and food security and welcomed the chance to ”witness firsthand the extraordinary innovation and creativity that is occurring on this continent.”

Innovation and possibilities

The US vice-president said, “When I look at what is happening on this continent and the fact that the median age is 19 years old and what that tells us about the growth of opportunity, of innovation and of possibilities, I see in all of that great opportunity, not only for the people of this continent but the people of the world.”

A lot of potentials


According to her, there is a lot of potentials “especially when we understand that by the year 2050, we believe one in four people on earth will be on the continent of Africa.”


Harris said the partnership between the African continent, its people and the people of the United States “reinforces the work that we will continue to do together. Be that on addressing the climate crisis, to supply chains to our work together on international rules and norms.”

Increasing investments

Particularly, she said on this trip she intends to do “work that is focused on increasing investments here on the continent and facilitating economic growth and opportunity specifically in the areas of economic empowerment of women and girls. Empowerment of youth. Entrepreneurship, digital inclusion, and supporting the work that must be done to increase food security, including adaptation to the effects of the climate crisis.”


Kamala Harris, Newscenta, Africa visit, Accra, economy, investment, US Vice-President,

Groups she plans to meet

She announced plans to meet with entrepreneurs and artists and students and farmers to witness firsthand the extraordinary innovation and creativity that is occurring on this continent and inspiring the world.

Hold talks with President Nana Akufo-Addo today

Economic and security challenges will likely be discussed on Monday when Harris meets with President Nana Akufo-Addo.

Harris and Akufo-Addo met twice already


The two leaders have met twice before, both times in Washington.

First meeting in September 2021

During their first meeting, in September 2021, Akufo-Addo said “our big challenge — and it is a challenge of all those who want to develop democratic institutions on our continent — is to ensure and reassure our people that democratic institutions can be a vehicle for the resolution of their big problem — that is economic development as the means to eradicate poverty on the continent.”

Harris’ events in Ghana will focus on young people

Most of Harris’ events in Ghana will focus on young people. Africa’s population has a median age of 19.


Visit to recording studio for local artists

On Monday, she plans to visit a skate park and co-working space that has a recording studio for local artists.

Harris’ husband to actors, attend girls basketball clinic

Her husband, Doug Emhoff, who is accompanying her on the trip, will hold a town hall meeting with actors from a local television show and attend a girls basketball clinic.

State banquet this evening


In the evening, they will attend a state banquet with the Ghanaian president and first lady.

Harris to deliver speech and visit Cape Coast Castle tomorrow

On Tuesday, Harris will give a speech and visit Cape Coast Castle, where enslaved Africans were once loaded on ships bound for America.

Kamala Harris, Newscenta, Africa visit, Accra, economy, investment, US Vice-President,

Meeting with women entrepreneurs a

Before leaving for Tanzania on Wednesday, Harris will meet with women entrepreneurs and Emhoff will tour a chocolate company that was founded by two sisters.


The name of the company, ’57 Chocolate, is a reference to when Ghana became independent.

During this meeting, Harris is expected to announce a “series of continent-wide, public and private sector investments to help close the digital gender divide and to empower women economically more broadly”.

Her visit is in line with the Biden Administration’s outreach to African countries.

The Vice-President’s trip is the latest show of support from the Administration amid President Joe Biden’s push to engage closer with the African continent.

US-Ghana relations


The United States and Ghana have a close and enduring friendship rooted in our mutual commitment to freedom and democratic values.

While official bilateral relationship dates back to Ghana’s independence in 1957, unofficial, personal ties go back even further.

Thousands of Ghanaians have been educated in the United States.

Through the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and other exchange programmes, thousands more talented Ghanaians have developed their leadership skills and gotten to know America.

Ghana attracts hundreds of American students each year seeking to experience the rich history and culture of West Africa.


These types of cross-cultural exchanges have created long-lasting networks across the United States and Africa.

Kamala Harris, Newscenta, Africa visit, Accra, economy, investment, US Vice-President,

Ghana’s reputation as a democratic leader in Africa

U.S.-Ghana ties are close, partly rooted in Ghana’s reputation as a democratic leader in Africa and a pillar of regional stability.

Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama visited Ghana

Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama each visited Ghana during their tenures.


Nancy Pelosi led a congressional delegation to Ghana

In 2019, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a congressional delegation to the country that, among other purposes, commemorated the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to what is now the United States.

Sizable Ghanaian diaspora in US

People-to-people and cultural ties are robust. There is a sizable Ghanaian diaspora in the United States—with larger communities in the New York City, Washington, DC, and Atlanta metropolitan areas—and several thousand U.S. citizens reside in Ghana.

Tourism efforts


The Akufo-Addo administration has expanded efforts to attract tourism and migration to Ghana by Black Americans, partly premised on the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade

 Ghana is a hub for U.S. engagement in the wider sub-region

Ghana is a hub for U.S. engagement in the wider sub-region: the country hosts the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) West Africa regional mission, one of four U.S. Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Regional Leadership Centers in Africa, and one of two State Department International Law Enforcement Academies on the continent.

Bilateral relations also include the U.S.-Ghana Business Forum, a regular exchange between U.S. and Ghanaian officials and business leaders focused on deepening commercial engagement.

Kamala Harris, Newscenta, Africa visit, Accra, economy, investment, US Vice-President,

Civil nuclear cooperation agreement


The two countries signed an agreement on civil nuclear cooperation in 2021, and in late 2022, the United States, Ghana, and Japan announced a “strategic collaboration” to support Ghana’s nuclear power programme.

Top regional destination for U.S. foreign direct investment

Ghana is a minor U.S. trade and investment partner in global terms, but is a leading source and destination market for U.S. trade in Africa and a top regional destination for U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI).

U.S. imports

U.S. imports from Ghana in 2021 were valued at $1.72 billion; mineral fuels accounted for nearly 80% of this total ($1.34 billion), with cocoa comprising much of the balance ($219 million).


U.S. exports

U.S. exports to Ghana in 2021 totaled roughly $960 in value; motor vehicles and auto parts ($328 million), machinery ($108 million), meat and poultry ($93 million), and plastics ($85 million) were the leading U.S. export categories in 2021.

Duty-free trade benefits under AGOA

Ghana is eligible for duty-free trade benefits under the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA, P.L. 106-200, as amended).

Mineral fuels were the top category of U.S. AGOA imports from Ghana in 2021.


100 U.S. companies maintain operations in Ghana

According to the State Department, “roughly 100 U.S. companies maintain operations in Ghana,” including U.S. multinationals Coca Cola, Cargill, Newmont (a gold mining company), IBM, and PwC.

In 2021, ExxonMobil surrendered its 80% stake in a deep-water oil prospect after a 2.5- year period of exploration, exiting Ghana as part of the firm’s broader wind-down of operations in West Africa.

U.S. oil and gas operator Kosmos Energy remains in the country’s energy sector, alongside Italian major Eni, Tullow Oil (UK), Vitol (Switzerland), and Aker Energy (Norway).

In November 2022, Twitter inaugurated a headquarters in Accra—its first in Africa—but fired nearly all of its Ghana-based staff days later amid sweeping personnel changes following the company’s change in ownership.


The terminated employees have alleged a breach of Ghana’s labor laws.

U.S. assistance for Ghana is diverse

U.S. assistance for Ghana is diverse, encompassing a range of development, governance, and security programs.

State Department and USAID-administered assistance totaled $124.6 million in allocations of 2021 appropriations, with $132.4 million requested for 2023.

As with most other countries in Africa, health assistance is the largest category of U.S. assistance for Ghana, with programs to combat malaria (Ghana is a President’s Malaria Initiative focus country); promote maternal, child, and reproductive health; improve water supply and sanitation; enhance nutrition; strengthen health security; and expand access to HIV/AIDS prevention and care services.


Other U.S. development aid has sought to promote agricultural productivity (Ghana is one of 20 Feed the Future focus countries), improve basic education, support good governance, and strengthen civil society.

As noted above, DOL administers most U.S. aid to help eradicate child labor in the cocoa industry. As of December 2022, Ghana hosted 12 Peace Corps Volunteers supporting projects in agriculture, education, and health.

Security assistance for Ghana

State Department-administered security assistance for Ghana has included support for military professionalization, peacekeeping capacity-building, and law enforcement. Countering violent extremism is an emergent focus of U.S.-Ghana security cooperation.

Ghana key in Global Fragility Act


The Biden Administration has designated Ghana as a focus for engagement pursuant to the Global Fragility Act (GFA), as part of a “coastal West Africa” grouping that also includes Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, and Togo.

A 2021 coup in Guinea and U.S. concerns about undemocratic governance in Benin and Togo may elevate Ghana’s role within sub-regional engagement under the GFA.

As of late 2022, the Administration had released little information on planned priorities or funding levels of GFA programming in Ghana.

USAID Office of Transition Initiatives

An ongoing USAID Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) programme also aims to build resilience to extremism in this coastal West Africa grouping; northern Ghana was selected as an initial focus area of OTI engagement, with projects to counter extremist messaging, aid dispute resolution, and address Fulani grievances.


Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership

The State Department has additionally identified Ghana (alongside some other coastal West African countries) as a potential recipient of funds via the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership and global counterterrorism programmes.

The State Department Office of Inspector General has recorded deficiencies in the past planning and administration of some U.S. security assistance for Ghana, which Congress might consider as it oversees growing GFA and counterterrorism aid for the country.

Obangame Express

Ghana’s military has received Department of Defense-administered training and equipment and regularly participates in U.S. regional military exercises.


Ghana hosted Obangame Express, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM’s) premier maritime exercise in West Africa, in 2021; in 2023, it is due to host Flintlock, AFRICOM’s leading annual special operations exercise.

Military exercises

A State Partnership Programmed between Ghana and North Dakota’s National Guard, launched in 2004, has included military exercises and trainings on medical readiness and disaster preparedness and response.

Updated Status of Forces Agreement

In 2018, the United States and Ghana signed an updated Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which governs defense cooperation and the rights and privileges of U.S. troops stationed in partner countries.


Ratification of the SOFA proved controversial amid allegations by some Ghanaians that it would pave the way for a U.S. military base in Ghana, a claim the U.S. Embassy refuted support higher-value agricultural productivity, reduce costs related to agricultural commerce and transportation, and strengthen services in rural areas.

Power sector project

The second, a power sector project focused on improving electricity supply, closed in June 2022. Ghana’s second MCC compact was initially valued at $498 million.

But, the MCC announced in 2019 that it would withhold $190 million in funding due to the Ghanaian government’s termination of a concession between the state-owned electricity utility and a private firm—a precondition for the release of funds.

The compact continued at a reduced investment of $308 million, subsequently increased to $316 million to accommodate delays due to COVID-19.


The compact entailed activities to enhance electricity distribution through infrastructure investments and other support, promote energy efficiency, expand access to reliable power, and strengthen Ghana’s regulatory framework.




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Ethnic diversity is the greatest achievement of independence



Independence Day, Ho, Newscenta, parade, culture, ethnic diversity,

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the greatest achievement of independence is the welding of different ethnic entities into one nation.

Shun division on lines of ethnicity or religion
Consequently, he said “We cannot allow those who seek to divide us along the lines of ethnicity or religion to succeed.”

Deepening cohesion
“Let us deepen the cohesion that exists amongst us, and let us wear, with pride, the badge of being called Ghanaian,” he said.

66th Independence Day Celebration
He stated this at the 66th Independence Day Celebration on the theme, “Our Unity, Our Strength, Our Purpose.”

First time in Volta Region
This is the first time that the Volta Region is hosting the national independence parade.


22 contingents on parade
A total of 22 contingents from the various security agencies and 12 from the various schools in the Volta Region were on parade, aside from other performances.

66 Artillery Regiment in charge of the march past
The 66 Artillery Regiment in Ho was in charge of the march past where the security services and various schools from the Ho Municipality took part in the parade.

The regional capital was decorated with the Ghana flag, with several offices also draping their buildings in Ghana colours (red, yellow, green) to mark the occasion.

Unity, strength and purpose
President Akufo-Addo noted that “there is no better homage we can pay to the memories of all those who fought to free us from the shackles of colonialism and imperialism, than to dedicate this 66th independence anniversary to working even harder for the unity, strength and purpose of our dear Ghana”.

One common purpose of forebears
According to him, the country’s forebears were united and strengthened in realising one common purpose – the attainment of independence.
“It did not matter where they came from; it did not matter which tribe they belonged to; it did not matter which religious persuasion they subscribed to; and their standing in society certainly did not matter,” he said.
He noted that the forebears recognised the fact that colonialism did not inure to the nation’s collective benefit, and they were determined to end it. And, indeed, they did.


Much more to be done
President Akufo-Addo said 66 years down the line, Ghanaians have worked hard to live up to this responsibility, even though acknowledging that the country has not fully realised its potential and the dreams and aspirations of the forebears, who fought for independence.

Protecting the 4th Republic
He tasked Ghanaians to be united in the goal of protecting the 4th Republic which is the longest period of stable constitutional governance, saying it is only free, democratic form of governance and the intelligent management of the economy that will bring the upliftment Ghanaians want and deserve.
“We should continue to strive to ensure that no Ghanaian child is denied access to quality education, hence the groundbreaking and transformative Free SHS policy.
“We should continue to guarantee access to affordable healthcare for all in every part of our country, by continuously improving the National Health Insurance Scheme, expanding healthcare infrastructure and enhancing general health delivery.
“We should continue to guard and protect jealously the security and integrity of our nation against dangers from outside and within our borders.
“We should continue to work towards achieving food security, and the modernisation of our agriculture; we should continue to work to become a value-added, industrialised economy, which no longer depends on the production and export of raw materials, but on the things we make; we should continue to work to open up all parts of our country through the construction of roads, rail, ports and airports; we should continue to work to improve accountability, efficiency and transparency in the delivery of public services; we should continue with the process of digitalisation; we should continue the difficult but necessary task of ridding our environment of the menace of galamsey; and we should continue to pay our taxes, and demand that our leaders put them to good use’” he added.

Fiscal interventions to help bring relief
On current hardships, the President reiterated that government has deployed a number of fiscal interventions to help bring relief to Ghanaians and is confident that, sooner rather than later, significant results of relief and recovery will be seen.
In spite of the crisis, he said Ghana did not suffer any fuel queues, shortages of food and essential items, or the catastrophe of dumsor.
He called on Ghanaians to unite and not allow the challenges facing the nation to divide them.
President Akufo-Addo pledged to use his remaining tenure to rebuild the economy to pre-COVID-19 levels.
“I want to assure you that my devotion to the Ghana Project is unwavering. The enemy we face is not each other.
“We can only win this battle if we stick together, and pull in the same direction, regardless of our divergent viewpoints.
“I am confident that we are on the right path, and I ask for your support so that we can continue the transformation of Ghana in peace’” he stated.

3 helicopters for police
President Akufo-Addo announced that three helicopters belonging to the Police Service joined the celebration saying “It is the first time in our nation’s history that the Police Service is employing the use of helicopters to improve its operational efficiency”.
He commended the cultural groups for their spectacular performances, which exemplified the greatest aspects of Ghanaian culture.
“It is always a delight also to watch personnel from our security services on parade, putting up spectacular drills”, he added.

Tribute to some prominent Voltains
President Akufo-Addo paid glowing tributes to some prominent Voltains including Ephraim Amu-composer “Mia denyigba lorlor la” (Yen ara asase ni), who taught us to take pride in our culture, Phillip Gbeho- composer of Ghana’s vibrant and much loved national anthem, Daniel Chapman Nyaho, one of Ghana’s most eminent administrators who, at independence, helped ensure a seamless transition when the British left; the Reverend Ametorwobla, a powerful orator who proved that one could be both a priest and a politician; and Esther Ocloo, née Nkulenu, trail-blazer and industrialist extraordinaire, whose entrepreneurial spirit lives on.
He also paid tribute to Komla Agbeli Gbedemah, Ghana’s first Minister for Finance and one of the founding fathers, and the charismatic Jerry John Rawlings, first president of the Fourth Republic and Ghana’s longest serving head of state.
The Special Guest of Honour was Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embaló and President Akufo-Addo is hopeful that the two countries will continue to work together to build a sustainable future of progress and prosperity for their respective countries and populations, and to maintain healthy relations.


He praised Ghana for its massive support for the country in its struggle for independence.

“We people in Guinea-Bissau are grateful to Ghana for the solidarity and support during the country’s struggle for liberation,” President Umaro Sissoco Embalo stated.

He was hopeful that that friendship would be strengthened to chart the course for peace, political stability and social development for the mutual benefit of the two countries and their peoples.

President Sissoco Embalo, who was addressing the commemoration of Ghana’s 66th Independence Anniversary, at Adaklu, Volta Region, said his country cherished the long-standing relationship between the two countries.

He praised Ghana for championing the cause of the African continent over the years – a path which saw most sub-Saharan African countries building the self-confidence to free themselves from colonial rule.


The Guinea-Bissau President, who is also the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), recalled how the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President, played an inspirational role in spearheading the cause of the continent.

The former Ghanaian President, he said, would forever be remembered for his dedicated and selfless life to Pan-Africanism.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said the country was happy to have had the visiting President as the Guest of Honour for the 66th Independence Anniversary.

“Ghana is proud of the strong ties of friendship between the two countries,” he said, adding that it was his hope that the two countries would work together to build a prosperous future

“Our Unity, Our Strength, Our purpose”, was the theme for the Independence Anniversary Celebration, which also had in attendance the Vice-President, Dr.


Mahamudu Bawumia, Togbe Tepre Hodo IV, President of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede XIV, the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, and other prominent dignitaries.

On March 6, 1957, Ghana gained independence after 83 years of British colonial rule – becoming the first sub-Saharan African country to achieve independence from Britain.

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Ato Forson replaces Haruna Iddrisu as Minority Leader



Minority leader, Newscenta, Ato Forson, Haruna Iddrisu, NDC, Parliament,

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has made changes to its leadership in Parliament.

The Ranking Member of the Finance Committee and Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam Constituency in the Central Region, Casiel Ato Forson, has replaced Tamale South MP, Haruna Iddrisu as the Minority Leader.

Armah Kofi Buah, MP for Ellembelle has also come in to replace Ketu North MP James Klutse Avedzi as the Deputy Minority Leader while Kwame Agbodza has also replaced Asawase MP Muntaka Mubarak as the Minority Whip.

Ahmed Ibrahim and Comfort Doyo-Ghansah have, however, maintained their positions as First and Second deputy Whips respectively.

National Chairman of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah in March 2021 stated that the party was considering making changes to its leadership in parliament.


“There is some work in progress. After every election, we reconstitute the leadership of Parliament even if it means reconfirming them. We haven’t done that yet because of the court cases. We started but got to a point and felt that we need to finish with the court cases first. So it is something we are considering. But there will be a definite statement. I am sure by the time, they [Parliament] return from the break, we would have taken this decision”

War against suspected anti-Mahana element

However, now it appears there is a deliberate effort to get rid of persons who are alleged to be Anti-Mahama elements.

Minority Chief whip, Mubarak Muntaka and minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu appear to fall into this category of Anti-Mahama elements and are both battling attempts to remove them from their positions.


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