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First and Second Transmissions for today Thursday, January 14, 2010
Begins at: =================== 1800 hours
Major Events Expected Include:
Accra: Seminar on TB opens in Accra
" : Ghana Government's directive on TV generates comments
" : Exchange rates of major currencies
Attention Subscribers: Credit GNA with all stories used
14 Jan 10
Economics Exchange Rate
Ghana Association of Bankers announces new exchange rate
Accra, Jan. 14, GNA - The following are the average inter-bank exchange rate of the dollar and derived rates for the major currencies against the cedi as issued by the Ghana Association of Bankers on Thursday, January 14, 2010.
Currency GHANA CEDI EQUIVALENT OF CURRENCY
US Dollar 1.4208 1.4410
Pound Sterling 2.3151 2.3485
Swiss Franc 1.3970 1.4158
Australian Dollar 1.3233 1.3436
Canadian Dollar 1.3795 1.3982
Danish Kroner 0.2777 0.2816
Japanese Yen 0.0155 0.0157
New Zealand Dollar 1.0548 1.0711
Norwegian Kroner 0.2527 0.2559
Swedish Kroner 0.2030 0.2056
South Africa Rand 0.1928 0.1948
Euro 2.0667 2.0952
CURRENCY EQUIVALENT OF GHANA CEDI
CFA 313.08 317.40
Dalasi 20.28 20.57
Ouguiya 190.77 193.49
Naira 113.69 115.31
Leon 2,904.78 2,946.13
14 Jan. 10
Politics Nkrumah Vice-President
Government to develop Nkrumah's works into audio-visuals
Accra, Jan 14, GNA - Vice President John Mahama on Thursday said the next phase of late President Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah's centenary celebration would include the development of his works into audio-visuals and documentaries.
"We are thinking of converting all his speeches, writings and other intellectual works into DVD versions in order to make it available to researchers, archives the general public and posterity."
The Vice President said this when he received a cheque for $10,000 from Acess Bank in support of the Kwame Nkrumah centenary celebrations.
He said the comprehensive programme for the centenary celebration was a big project that could go beyond the budgetary confines of the government and therefore commended the bank for making such an amount available for the project.
Vice President Mahama appealed to corporate bodies and philanthropists to support the second phase of the celebration that would not only immortalize the late President as a great Ghanaian leader, but also as an African freedom fighter who had championed Pan-Africanism.
Prof Akilakpa Sawyerr, the Chairman of the Kwame Nkrumah centenary celebrations, said a week would be used in the celebration of this year's Independence Day.
He said the week long celebrations would begin on February 28 to mark the Osu Cross-road shooting incident. There would be public lectures, quiz programmes throughout the country with a national one on March 06.
Prof Sawyerr said monuments and documentaries on late President Nkrumah would also be developed to give the youth an insight into the activities of the first president.
Mr. Sebastian Asem, Head of Corporate Banking of Acess Bank, said the donation formed part of the social responsibility of the bank.
14 Jan 10
Science Review Meeting
Review meeting on the National Science Policy Document underway
Koforidua, Jan. 14, GNA - Eminent scientists and engineers on Thursday began a two-day review meeting on the National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Document in Koforidua.
The programme, which the Ministry of Environment Science and Technology organising with support from the World Bank, is aimed at enabling the participants to incorporate their comments, where necessary into the draft document.
Ms Sherry Ayitey, the Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, reiterated the commitment of the government to prioritize the development of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy.
She said the socio-economic development of any country was largely based on the existence of a carefully developed policy on science, technology and innovation and its effective implementation.
"Indeed Science and Technology is the dividing line between developed and developing countries", she said.
Ms Ayitey said when the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government came back to power a little over a year ago the Ministry was re-established to ensure effective utilization of science and technology to improve the general socio-economic status of the country.
She said Science, Technology and Innovation Policy must resolve the poor coordination and weak linkage between policy and national development planning as well as over reliance on the use of foreign expertise to the neglect of the use and development of local expertise.
"The policy must aim at creating endogenous and technology capacities appropriate for national needs and priorities. It must also create a science and technology culture among the citizenry".
Ms Ayitey said the Ministry would embark on a public awareness campaign on the document in the second and third weeks of February and that a national forum to adopt the policy would also be held later next month.
During an open forum the participants commended the ministry for coming out with a good document and appealed that the policy should not be set aside whichever government comes to power in the future.
14 Jan. 10
Science Seminar TB
Seminar on TB opens in Accra
Accra, Jan. 14, GNA - Ghana has resolved to explore innovative approaches in addition to current strategies to increase the detection rate of tuberculosis (TB) cases in the country, Health Minister Dr Benjamin Kumbour said on Thursday.
He said Ghana would in addition find ways of establishing the true burden of TB to correspond with increment of cases reported annually.
Addressing participants at an international seminar on "Accelerating TB case Detection in Ghana through Innovative Diagnostic Infrastructure and Addressing X'ray Equipment Gaps" in Accra, Dr Kumbour in an address read for him by Dr Elias Sory, Director-General, Ghana Health Service, said the major challenge to TB control was low case detection globally with Ghana having about 70 per cent of expected TB cases undetected.
He said the Ministry remained absolute in partnering the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other NGOs like the Dutch based MANGO CONSULT under their "Check TB" project to accelerate TB case detection by building health system capacity and through the introduction of innovative diagnostic infrastructure.
"Today, MANGO CONSULT and the Ministry of Health have a Memorandum of Understanding to develop and implement digital X'ray technology in the country."
"The benefits and advantages are numerous and I am sure the seminar will have detail discussions on the subjects-accuracy, remote diagnosis, computer aided diagnosis and cost savings are some of the benefits derived by using digital images," Dr. Kumbour said.
He said the Ministry through the project intended to obtain two mobile fully equipped digital X'ray vans that would be used to improve access to TB diagnosis in deprived areas in Brong-Ahafo and Northern regions.
"The world is watching and waiting to see that high technology digital X'ray is deployed and used in high risk communities such as the slums for the benefit of the people and to help contain tuberculosis," he added.
Dr Sory said traditional healers should not be left out in helping to detect and treating the disease since majority of ailing Ghanaians, including those with TB cases, believe and access their facilities for health care.
Dr Frank Bonsu, Programme Manager, National Tuberculosis Programme (NTP), said the bad outcome of TB treatment cases had reduced drastically since 1996 and those which were detected were being treated well, except that most of the cases were not being detected.
He stressed the need to increase incentive packages for health workers who were involved in managing TB cases in the country to motivate them to stay on and work since they were faced with lot of stigmatization even among their colleagues in other health fields.
"Stigma is a real problem in detecting and treating TB in Ghana, particularly among patients and the communities" he said, adding that, inadequate access to TB diagnostic and treatment services were other contributing factors in the fight against the disease.
14 Jan. 10
Economics Tax IRS
IRS exceeds revenue target for 2009
Accra, Jan. 14, GNA - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) exceeded its projected revenue of GHC 1,554,542,500 for 2009 by 14.4 per cent.
It realized GHC 1,778,200,390 exceeding the target by about
GHC 223, 657,890, Major Dan Ablorh-Quarcoo (Rtd), Commissioner of IRS, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview on Thursday.
He said the recent introduction of the Rent Tax, drawing 10 per cent tax from rents collected by landlords would boost revenue mobilization this year.
"If the trend continues the revenue gap of 14 per cent would close up to manageable levels. Though the global credit crunch threatened low revenues, 2008 was reasonably a good year for IRS hence the increase," he said.
Maj. Ablorh-Quarcoo said the projection for 2010 was GHC 2.235 billion and expressed the hope that with the automation of the IRS, the 2010 tax target would be realized.
He said IRS was in partnership with a private company to undertake the automation exercise which is expected to be completed within three years.
"The exercise will help IRS expand the tax net to reach more people," he added.
Government, Maj. Ablorh-Quarcoo said, had provided enough logistics such cars and other equipment for the success of the programme.
"We expect tax payers to comply with tax laws and cooperate with tax authorities for good relationship between tax payers and tax administrators".
He commended landlords who voluntarily paid their rent tax and urged others to emulate them.
Maj. Ablorh-Quarcoo said the rent tax operated in Tema, Teshie, Nungua and Legon in 2009 and would be extended to other areas in Accra metropolis this year targeting commercial property and all estates in future.
He appealed to private organisations to fulfil their tax obligations without which the tax burden would be on salary workers alone.
14 Jan. 10
Politics NDC Chapter
NDC-UK and Ireland Chapter reflects on President Mills' Government
Accra, Jan. 14, GNA - The UK and Ireland Chapter of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has expressed solidarity and support for President John Evans Atta Mills' Government on its first anniversary.
A statement issued and signed by Mr. Alex Seshie-Vanderpuije, Public Relations Officer of the Chapter, said President Mills on assumption of office set out government's vision of creating a Better Ghana through a transformed economy and prosperous nation providing opportunities for a better life for all Ghanaians
It said this vision and broad policy framework had defined the economic and political philosophy of the Mills administration, which had seen one of the most rapid turn-arounds in economic development ever recorded in sub-Saharan Africa.
The statement said the present government in 2009 was determined and committed to transforming the weak economy it inherited from the NPP Government in 2008, into a viable economy by embarking on programmes that would stimulate continuous economic growth and development.
"We believe these are the drivers for accelerated economic growth in the country, which we all crave for under the Better Ghana Agenda policy," it added.
"We are, together, prepared to confront the challenges that impede our national developmental efforts. The Chapter joins hands with the government in reaching a major milestone in the effort to lay the foundation for a better Ghana than it inherited in 2008.
"President Mills, we admire you and your government's unflinching determination, strength of conviction and the peaceful ways you seek to bring social and economic justice to all communities in the country.
"The Chapter wishes to express its gratitude and support for your government's programmes in seeking to enhance the social and economic well being of the people of Ghana," it said.
14 Jan. 10
Social Government Television
Government's directive on TV generates comments
Accra, Jan 14, GNA - Government's directive to Ministries, Departments and Agencies to switch off television sets during working hours has drawn comments from some Ghanaians including Mr Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, Executive Director of Wassa Community Against Mining (WACAM), a non-governmental organisation.
He told the GNA in an interview that the directive only addressed a small aspect of productivity in the public sector.
Mr Owusu-Koranteng said productivity was a key measure of economic performance and government must have a holistic approach to the challenges of productivity.
He said it would be important for government to create conducive work environment, improve organizations through institutional infrastructure improvement, career development and generation of technology.
Madam Esi Amuasiwah, a housewife, said the directive was long overdue and supervisors must ensure their subordinates comply with it.
Mr Joseph Omeni, a suit designer, said public and civil servants must embrace the directive.
Mr Seth Doku, Managing Director of Spider Waive, dealers in electronics, said viewing television could reduce productivity because it would divide workers' attention.
14 Jan 10
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