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President Akufo-Addo Receives New “Ghana Card”

president cardThe President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has received his National Identification Card, dubbed the new “Ghana Card”, at a ceremony held at the premises of the National Identification Authority, on Friday, September 15, 2017.

According to President Akufo-Addo, the new identification card signals the dawn of a new day in biometric identity management in Ghana, and the virtues of a public-private partnership arrangement in meeting the country’s development needs.

The President indicated that the launch of the card “constitutes a practical demonstration of the fulfilment of yet another promise of my party, the New Patriotic Party, made during the 2016 campaign.”

The campaign promise, he recounted, was that “we would modernise and formalise the Ghanaian economy through the establishment of a credible national database, and using the National Identification System (NIS) as the primary identifier, as prescribed by law.”

Despite several years of demonstrated inability to do so, the National Identification Authority (NIA), under the tenure of an NPP administration, the President said, is about to commence the registration and instant issuance of national identity cards to all Ghanaian citizens, both at home and abroad, as by law prescribed.

“My presence at today’s event, together with the Vice President of the Republic highlights the seriousness to which my government attaches to the National Identification System project,” President Akufo-Addo said.

He continued, “With my fullest endorsement, Vice President Alhaji Bawumia has ably spearheaded the technical and legal processes that have enabled the Government to decide how to proceed with the goal of achieving a National e-ID system for Ghana, which is beyond needless controversy and polemics.”

President Akufo-Addo bemoaned the proliferation of biometric systems by other government agencies that are mandated by law to access information from the National Identity Register.

Assigning the collection and custody of biometric traits to a single institution, he explained, “is safer and in line with current trends.  By statute, the NIA is under obligation to ensure the accuracy, integrity, confidentiality and security of data it collects.”

Advantages of the card

President Akufo-Addo noted that the new Ghana Card is a great improvement over the previous one, and meets all international standards required of such identity documents.

“For example, the national identity card has been enhanced to take advantage of new technologies such as tactile elements for the blind, chip embedding technology and iris capabilities in addition to taking all 10 fingerprints of an applicant,” he said.

Additionally, with a 128 kilobyte capacity, the Ghana Card will enable other stakeholders to run their applications on the national identity card. Ultimately, the card would replace the sectorial identity cards in circulation, and shall be the only card to be used in transactions where identification is required as provided by law.

“This registration exercise is also unique in the sense that it would involve the registration of ages 0-5. This is a historic opportunity for us to sanitize and rationalize birth certification in Ghana and ensure social inclusion right from birth,” President Akufo-Addo said.

Whilst congratulating Identity Management Systems Ltd (IMS), who are partnering with NIA to ensure the efficient roll-out of the NIS Project, the President reiterated the commitment of his government to supporting and enhancing the capacity of Ghanaian companies and businesses to be the giants in their respective areas of operation.

President Akufo-Addo reminded the stakeholders to ensure the integrity, security and confidentiality of identity data collected.

“It is important that the data collected is made available only to persons or institutions authorized by law to access the data and used only for the purposes for which the data was collected,” he added.


President Akufo Addo launches new national ID card

card launchPresident Nana Akufo- Addo inaugurated Ghana’s new National Identification system, on September 15, 2017, in an effort to provide secure authentication and identification for citizens.

This follows the National Identification Authority’s readiness to embark on a new identification process.

President Akufo-Addo was the first to receive the “GhanaCard”, which will be followed by a mass registration starting with the security agencies, schools, banks and the general population in all the regions.

The President had earlier given the NIA, 15th September as the deadline for the rollout of the process of introducing the new national identification cards.

The GhanaCard would be a valid verification document issued to every Ghanaian and permanently resident foreign national living everywhere for the purpose of identification.

The new card is a smart card that is multifunctional and will be valid for 10 years. It uses three types of biometric technology including fingerprint, facial and eye identification unique to the card holder.

It is a 128 Gigabyte capacity card with the ECOWAS logo and will be functional also as a passport in the sub region when the Passport Office, which is one of the partners of the NIA, enables the function.

It also has functions that can enable other partner institutions, such as the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), to serve their clients when also later enabled.

“It will be free at the first issuance. However, when it gets lost, it will be replaced for a fee,” acting Executive secretary of the NIA, Prof. Ken Agyeman Attafuah said.

“The new Ghana Card will be the only document for the proof of one’s identity or citizenship or for foreigners resident in Ghana,” he added.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Int. Business Community Confident In Ghana’s New Measures To Resolve Industrial Gap

business confidenceThe international business community has expressed confidence in the set of economic measures being currently executed to close the industrialisation gap in Ghana.

Endorsing Ghana’s new measures Mohammed Dewji, President of METL group, a Tanzanian Conglomerate, said he is confident the new leaders on the continent of Africa, including the Ghanaian leadership, “have become far more serious with industrialisation” and expressed confidence that 10 years from now, “we will see a transformed Ghana and Africa.”

“I believe now governments and the new leadership have become far more serious and they’re addressing the core problems and I’m confident that in the next ten years we will not be addressing a lot of these issues again. I think they will be sorted out,” Dewji, who owns 41 businesses, stated.

He was responding to a presentation by Ghana’s Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, on the structural and economic reforms being implemented by the Nana Akufo-Addo government to formalise Ghana’s economy and place the West African country on a path of rapid industrialisation, at the Global Business Forum Africa taking place in Dubai, UAE.

Speaking on the topic “Industrialisation- the path to growth”, Dr Bawumia outlined the rationale behind Ghana’s industrialisation push, emphasising that the time for talking was over.

“We’ve got to do the things that have to be done. I am confident about what is happening on the continent. What I see happening on the continent and in my own country are efforts to address the problems. For instance, we said, ‘we’ve talked about the railway problem for the longest time, let’s just do it.’ And we’ve started to do it. We’ve even appointed a Minister in charge of Railways in particular to get it done.

“We’ve got an Industrialisation strategy that is also learning from the mistakes of the past, to avoid those mistakes. We are moving on a new trajectory and we are hoping that in the next ten years we see this whole industrialisation take off. But we have to work hard at it.

“If you look at history, it tells you that industrialisation, in whatever form it takes, is the way to go, and we are working at it.”

The 2017 edition of the Global Business Forum on Africa was organized by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry under the theme “Next Generation Africa.”.

The high-profile event, held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, explores new opportunities to enhance economic cooperation and expand trade and investment ties between the Middle East and Africa.

The two-day forum features a total of 24 sessions that will involve the participation of heads of state, ministers and dignitaries, policymakers, CEOs, prominent entrepreneurs, and heads of private banks, as well as UAE government and business leaders.


Ghana Ready For Investments In Health Care – Dr Bawumia

health care investmentsThe Vice President of the Republic, H.E. Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has assured the investor community of excellent opportunities in the health care sector of Ghana.

Ghana, Dr Bawumia maintains, is open for business, and this is reflected in the various reforms being undertaken by the Nana Akufo-Addo government including the abolition of 15 ‘nuisance taxes’ in the 2017 budget statement, as well as the introduction of a paperless port system and online registration for would-be businesses, among others.

The Vice President gave the assurance when he led a delegation including H.E. Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the First Lady of the Republic, senior government officials as well as officials of the Consulate of Ghana, Dubai to visit the Ajman Ruler’s Court and the Gulf Medical University (GMU), Ajman – the leading private medical university of the region.

The Emirate of Ajman is one of the seven Emirates (states) of the United Arab Emirates.

In separate interactions with His Highness Sheikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Member of the Supreme Council, UAE and Ruler of Ajman, and other officials of Ajman, both Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and First Lady Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo outlined a number of areas for mutual cooperation between Ghana and Ajman, especially in the training of Ghanaian medical personnel and the establishment of medical facilities in Ghana.

The delegation was later shown round the Gulf Medical University (GMU)’s educational and research facilities, including the different ongoing projects of the hospitals and medical centers in the campus.

Speaking after the tour H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia stated: “We are very impressed with what we have seen here. We are happy that many Ghanaian students are pursuing their medical education at GMU.  We hope to see this remarkable model of healthcare, medical education and research replicated in Ghana.”

Mr. Thumbay Moideen, Founder, President Board of Trustees of GMU, which is owned and operated by the Thumbay Group, disclosed that Gulf Medical University was in the process of establishing campuses in three new countries, including Ghana.

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia is in the United Arab Emirates to participate in the ongoing Global Business Forum Africa taking place in Dubai. He returns to Accra on Friday November 3, 2017.


Ghana Set To Become Aviation Hub In West Africa – President Akufo-Addo

aviation hubThe President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the vision of his Government is to establish Ghana both as an aviation hub within West Africa, and as the preferred destination of choice for travellers.

Government, President Akufo-Addo added, hopes to achieve this by working with the private sector to offer modern, attractive air transport infrastructure, and by building capacity and establishing institutional and policy framework to enhance safety and security of air services.

“It is in pursuit of this that Government has given policy approval for the establishment of a Home-Based Carrier with private sector participation, as part of efforts to fulfill our aviation-hub vision and also to enhance connectivity,” the President said.

President Akufo-Addo made this known on Wednesday, 25th October, 2017, when he delivered a speech at the 1st Aerospace and Aviation Industry Show in West Africa, held at the Kotoka International Airport.

Since assuming office in January 2017, and following his Government’s decision to remove the 17.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) on domestic air fares to make domestic travel affordable, President Akufo-Addo noted that domestic airfares have some seen reduction, and the passenger throughput has increased significantly from 302,270 as at September, 2016, to 373,429 as at September, 2017, representing a 23.5% increase.

Additionally, the President noted that the number of international airlines operating in the country has increased from 35 to 37 this year, noting that other domestic airlines will, hopefully, follow suit soon.

“I have been reliably informed that the captain of our Senior National Team, the Black Stars, Asamoah Gyan, has obtained an Air Carrier License (ACL), and is working feverishly to establish an airline, called Baby Jet Airlines. I want to appeal to other Ghanaians, both home and abroad, to invest in the rapidly growing aviation sector,” he added.

With growth rate in Ghana’s aviation industry averaging 7.9% per annum, the President revealed that his Government’s overall direction for national development, as contained in his Co-ordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (CP) (2017-2024), is to create the conditions for the private sector to thrive in the aviation industry in order to propel growth and create employment, especially for the youth.

That is why, he added, “my Government has re-created the Aviation Ministry to develop the Ghanaian aviation industry, and make it highly competitive within the West African region. There are on-going and up-coming projects in Ghana’s aviation sector, which will lead to an enhanced air travel experience.”

These ongoing projects include: construction of Terminal 3 at Kotoka International Airport (K.I.A), designed to accommodate five (5) million passengers in the next 5 years to be completed in April, 2018; construction of Modern Air Navigation Services Centre at K.I.A, to ensure safety and security of aircrafts and passengers in our air space; and construction of Phase II of both Kumasi and Tamale Airports.

“The need for these investments in infrastructure and air navigation systems is to respond to anticipated traffic growth, and also to keep up with the dynamism in technology that the aviation industry demands,” he added.

Lamenting the challenging nature of air travel connectivity in Africa, President Akufo-Addo noted that the 1999 Yamoussoukro, when fully implemented by all States, will improve air transport and guarantee lower fares and increase traffic on the continent.

“Ghana has shown commitment to improving connectivity on the African continent, by being amongst those who signed the Yamoussoukro Decision. I, therefore, want to use this opportunity to urge all industry stakeholders to play their part in the full implementation of the agreement to improve connectivity on the continent,” he added.

The President continued, “With Ghana determined to fulfill its role as the gate way to West Africa, Government is poised to build the most people-friendly and business-friendly economy in Africa, to boost the confidence of the private sector to invest in the Ghanaian economy.

I, therefore, respectfully, call on all investors to partner domestic counterparts to ensure the realisation of this vision. This is the way to creating jobs and prosperity for all Ghanaians.”

ECOWAS leaders to accelerate process for common currency by 2020

common currencyThe 4th meeting of the Presidential Taskforce on a common currency for the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) has taken place in Niamey, the capital of Niger, with the firm commitment towards the acceleration of the processes leading to the use of the single currency by 2020.

The meeting was attended by the members of the Presidential Taskforce, namely the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari; the President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, His Excellency Alassane Ouattara; and the host, His Excellency Mahamadou Issoufou, President of the Republic of Niger.

Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), His Excellency Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, President of the Togolese Republic, was also present, and took part in the proceedings.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the 1-day meeting, on Tuesday, 24th October, 2017, the members of the Taskforce took note of the report of the Ministerial Committee meeting held earlier, and acknowledged the quality of the conclusions as well as the relevance of the recommendations made, whose substantive parts relate to the measures for the acceleration of the ECOWAS single currency programme.

The Taskforce appreciated the progress made by all ECOWAS institutions involved in the conduct of ECOWAS Single Currency Roadmap activities, and reaffirmed its commitment to the pursuit and the acceleration of the economic, financial and monetary integration agenda of ECOWAS.

In endorsing the main recommendations of the Ministerial Committee, the Taskforce urged Member States to pursue the structural reforms of their respective economies, to help them deal with fluctuations in the prices of raw materials, and enable their economies to be more resilient to exogenous shocks.

Additionally, the Taskforce urged Member States to take the necessary measures, including the attainment of the convergence criteria, necessary for the creation of the ECOWAS single currency by 2020.
The Communiqué noted that the Taskforce has “instructed the Ministerial committee to meet within three months to propose a new roadmap to accelerate the creation of the single currency by 2020. In this framework, a gradual approach can be undertaken, where a few countries, which are ready, can start the monetary union, whilst the other countries join later.”

The Presidential Task Force will hold their next meeting in Accra, in February 2018.


It will be recalled that at the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government on 25th October, 2013, the Presidents of Ghana and Niger were appointed to oversee the creation of the single currency in a timely manner.

The two Presidents constituted a Task Force, whose membership included representatives of the President of Ghana and Niger; Ministers of Finance of Ghana and Niger; Governors of the eight Central Banks of ECOWAS member States; ECOWAS and UEMOA Commissions; West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) and the West African Monetary Institute, to advise them periodically on the monetary integration programme.

The membership of the taskforce was reviewed in 2015 to include the Presidents of Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria, as well as the Ministers of Finance of the two countries.  

The inaugural meeting of the Presidential Taskforce was held on 20th and 21st February, 2014 in Niamey. Subsequently, two other meetings were held in Accra on 7th and 8th July, 2014, with the last meeting held in Niamey from 4th to 6th February, 2015.

The main objectives of the third meeting were to examine the revised roadmap on the realisation of the ECOWAS single currency by 2020; a proposal from the ECOWAS Commission on the creation of an ECOWAS monetary Institute by 2018; and the concern raised by the WAMZ Convergence Council on the revised macroeconomic criteria adopted by the 45th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government held in Accra on 10th July, 2014.

After the third meeting, it was agreed, amongst others, that the Central Bank financing criterion be reclassified as a primary criterion because of its strategic importance to monetary and price stability. The revised roadmap on the realisation of the ECOWAS single currency by 2020 was to be costed, and sources of funding identified.

Ghana To Establish A National Cyber Security Centre, Says President Akufo-Addo

cyber securityThe President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says his government intends, in the next few months, to establish a National Cyber Security Centre, as has been done in some other countries, to liaise with relevant state agencies and the private sector to oversee cyber security operations at the national level.

According to President Akufo-Addo, the national identification system, the digital addressing system, e-payments, digital financial services and the various e-government initiatives in which Ghana is now taking so much pride, can be brought to a halt or undermined by cybercrime.

Cyber-security issues, the President added, are now firmly national security threats, adding that “Ghana cannot fully reap the digital dividends, associated with her adoption of ICT as a means of our socio-economic transformation, if the country fails to mitigate both existing and emerging cyber security threats.”

President Akufo-Addo made this known on Monday, 23rd October, 2017, at the opening of the National Cyber-Security Week, and the inauguration of the National Cyber-Security Inter-Ministerial Advisory Council, at the Accra International Conference Centre, in Accra.

He told the gathering at the event that his government is undertaking specific policy and practical intervention initiatives, including capacity building, international co-operation, judicial enforcement of cybercrime legislations, and implementation of technical standards and safeguards to combat the scourge.

It is for this reason, the President noted that, in July this year, he requested the Minister for Communications, Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, MP, to oversee the implementation of Ghana’s National Cyber Security Policy & Strategy (NCSPS).

“This has led to our adoption of a multi-stakeholder approach, as a foundation for the effective implementation of the various cyber security activities and programmes. The National Cyber Security Technical Working Group (NCSTWG) and the National Cyber Security Inter-Ministerial Advisory Council (NCSIAC) would be the critical drivers of our effort,” he said.

In demonstrating international co-operation towards addressing the challenges of cyber security, President Akufo-Addo noted that he signed the African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection, at the 29th AU Summit in Addis Ababa, in July this year.

Before the end of the year, he indicated that government intends to get the approval of Cabinet, and seek Parliamentary approval to enable it access the Budapest Convention.

Government, the President added, has also partnered with the United States government, through the Security Governance Initiative (SGI), and the European Union, through their GLACY project, to support the country’s efforts at addressing cyber security challenges.

“We will also engage with international institutions and technology partners, such as International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), Google, Facebook and Microsoft, to ensure cyber safety for our citizens, especially children,” he added.

Criminal justice response to cybercrime is another area of importance, President Akufo-Addo noted, and to this end “training for our judges, prosecutors and investigators, especially on cybercrime legislations and enforcement provisions, is a priority for government.”

Government, he assured, will enforce existing legislation, as it works to review and update it, if necessary, and will empower the Data Protection Commission to ensure enforcement of the provisions of the Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843).

“We also intend to improve the forensic capabilities of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and other law enforcement agencies, including the Economic & Organized Crimes Office (EOCO), to enable officers to investigate and prosecute cyber-facilitated crimes,” the President added.

He continued, “To improve our cyber security emergency response readiness, government, through the Ministry of Communications, is currently working on the establishment of a dedicated Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), to protect critical national information infrastructures, and sectorial CERTs for the various sectors of the economy, based on international standards and benchmarks.”

Above all, President Akufo-Addo noted that “we have to promote a cyber-security culture among our people. In our everyday lives, we would not leave the doors to our homes or cars open, nor would we advertise to the public where we leave our prized possessions, we would never dream of exposing our children to known criminals, but, in the virtual world, we take these chances daily.”

These initiatives, the President noted, require financial commitment, and assured that Government will find the money to implement them.

“I have requested the Minister for Communications to engage with the Minister for Finance to ensure cyber security is captured in the 2018 budget,” he added.

Africa Must Industrialise So As To Fund & Implement SDGs” – President Akufo-Addo

Africa Must IndustrialiseThe President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated that African countries would have to change the structure of their economies, from raw material dependent economies to industrialised, value-added economies if they are to fully finance the implementation of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to President Akufo-Addo, several countries on the continent, including Ghana, are taking steps towards converting the 17 SDGs into concrete outcomes for their peoples, with the conviction that they cannot expect others to do it for them.

With the implementation of the SDGs agenda set to cost between 3.5 trillion to 5.0 trillion dollars per year, and with the news that aid to Africa will be cut significantly by the current US administration, President Akufo-Addo stressed that “Africa must be efficient and effective not only in mobilising resources, but also looking beyond the benevolence of others to finance implementation of the SDGs agenda.

He noted that “We are a continent reliant on foreign aid, despite economic growth in parts of Africa significantly outpacing the global average. Truth be told, the full implementation of the SDGs in Africa cannot be done with a mindset of dependence.”

President Akufo-Addo made this known on Monday, September 18, 2017, when he delivered the keynote address at the 5th International Conference on Sustainable Development, at a packed auditorium of the Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York.

The President stated that the first priority of African countries, to this end, must be to change the structures of the economies on the continent, which are dependent largely on the production and export of raw materials, adding that it is this reliance on raw material exports that feeds our dependence on foreign aid, and subjects us to the politics of the West.

Citing the example of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, which produce nearly 60% of the world’s cocoa and yet earned, in total, in 2015, only $5.75 billion out of the $100 billion chocolate market, the President stressed that such scenarios can no longer continue.

“We certainly cannot finance the vision of building sustainable development on the continent with such scenarios. There can be no future prosperity for our peoples, in the short, medium or long term, if we continue to maintain economic structures that are dependent on the production and export of raw materials,” he said.

The President continued, “We must add value to our resources, and we must industrialise. Unless we do so, we cannot finance on our own the full implementation of the SDGs. The agenda surely has to be an Africa Beyond Aid.”

Ghana, a case study

It is for this reason that President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that his government has introduced measures to stimulate the private sector, through the introduction of a monetary policy that is stabilising the currency, reducing interest rates, and reducing significantly the cost of borrowing, in addition to a raft of tax cuts to bring relief to and encourage businesses.

It is the competitiveness of Ghanaian enterprises, particularly in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, he added, that will determine Ghana’s capacity to create wealth for her youth and women, and wealth in our society, and the sustainable development of the country.

“The competitiveness of Ghana’s private sector is key to addressing issues of inclusion, economic development and growth of Ghana. That is the way to building a self-reliant Ghana, with a strong economy, capable of generating jobs and prosperity for the mass of her people,” he added.

This process of economic and industrial transformation, he added, is going along with the most basic elements of social justice are met, i.e. Free Senior High School education, and the revitalization of the National Health Insurance Scheme.

Africa must follow suit

In a similar vein, President Akufo-Addo noted that “we need to build an Africa that is able to look after her peoples through intelligent management of the resources with which she has been endowed, and embark on a new path. This path offers a new Africa. It is an Africa that will be defined by integrity, sovereignty, common belief, discipline, and shared values. It is one where we aim to be masters of our own destiny, and establish an Africa Beyond Aid.”

The success of the Continental Free Trade Area on the African continent, he was confident, will present immense opportunities to bring prosperity to the continent with hard work, enterprise and creativity, stressing that “a working, common continental market has to be a very fundamental objective of all peoples and governments on the continent.”

To guarantee an Africa Beyond Aid, President Akufo-Addo noted that Africa must breed a new generation of leaders who, amongst others, “are looking past commodities to position their countries in the global marketplace; leaders who are determined to free their peoples from a mindset of dependence, aid, charity and hand-outs; leaders who are bent on mobilizing Africa’s own immeasurable resources to resolve Africa’s problems.”

This new generation of African leaders, the President added, must “help bring dignity and prosperity to our continent and its peoples.”

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