GBFA delegation pays a courtesy call on South African High Commissioner

A delegation from the Ghana Bodybuilding and Fitness Association (GBFA) on Thursday, May 4, paid a courtesy call on the South Africa High Commissioner to Ghana, Madam Grace Jeanet Mason.

The visit was to discuss issues on the upcoming Arnold Classic Africa Bodybuilding and Fitness Championship to be held in South Africa.

The delegation was led by Mr. Abdul Hayye Yartey the President of the GBFA and included Mr. Mawuko Afadzinu, President of Table Tennis Association and 1st Vice President of the Ghana Olympic Committee, Prof. Peter Twumasi, Director General of the National Sports Authority, Mr. Godwin Frimpong, National/PRO Card Athlete and Ms. Christiana Ashley, Secretary General of the GBFA.

The purpose of the meeting was to discussed pressing issues to get Ghana’s representation at this year’s Arnold Classic Africa championship and other matters which would foster relationship between the two parties.

The meeting was also to express their profound gratitude to the South Africa High Commissioner for her role in facilitating Team Ghana’s South Africa Entry Visa acquisition.

The President of the GBFA said, ‘we also want to thank all Athletes for their patience and coordination in getting the matter resolved’.

‘We are grateful to you all for your dedication and commitment to the development of Bodybuilding and Fitness in Ghana and beyond.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Bibiani Municipal Assembly confirms Paul Andoh as new MCE

President Akufo Addo’s nominee for Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal Assembly, Mr. Paul Andoh, has been confirmed as the new Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) by Assembly Members.

The Municipal Assembly has a total of 52 Assembly Members made up of 36 elected and 15 appointed members were present at the confirmation ceremony at the Municipal Assembly Hall in Bibiani.

The nominee polled 35 Yes votes and 15 No votes with one rejected vote to secure a two-thirds majority of valid ballots cast by the Assembly Members.

The election was conducted and supervised by the Western North Regional Deputy Electoral Commission Officer, Mr. Francis Osei Nsiah and observed by the Western North Regional Minister, Mr. Joojo Rocky Obeng and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Constituency, Mr. Alfred Obeng-Boateng.

Others were, Mr. Amoah Yawson, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Sefwi Akontombra who doubles as the Dean of MMDCE’s, some regional executives and constituency executives of the NPP.

The Western North Regional Minister, Mr. Joojo Rocky Obeng in an address before the confirmation, expressed concern about factions, divisions and disunity among party executives within the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Constituency, which he noted had become a major challenge for him on assumption of office and called for calm, unity and peaceful co-existence for a rapid development in the Municipality.

In a victory speech, Mr. Paul Andoh pledged to run a transparent and accountable administration by putting the welfare of the citizens of the Municipality as the top-most priority.

He thanked President Akufo-Addo for nominating him to serve as the next Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for the august Assembly and praised the Western North Regional Minister for a successful confirmation.

He expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Assembly Members for the trust and confidence reposed in him by giving him a ‘one touch’ endorsement as MCE.

Mr Andoh gave the assurance of his continued commitment to work closely with the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Mr. Alfred Obeng-Boateng, to spearhead the development of the Municipality so as to ‘break the eight.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

U.S. increases non-immigrant Visa fees May 30, 2023c

Fees for United States nonimmigrant visas will increase worldwide on May 30, 2023.

A statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Accra said the increment will be applicable on new visa applications from May 30, 2023.

It said the fee for B1/B2 visas for business and tourist travel, F visas for international students, J exchange visitor visas, and other visa classes not requiring a petition will increase to $185 from $160.

The fee for petition-based non-immigrant categories (H, L, O, P, Q, and R), will increase to $205 from the previous $190.

‘This fee increase is established by the Department of State in Washington, DC and will take effect equally at all US Embassies and Consulates around the world,’ the statement said

The statement said applicants who paid the visa fee before May 30, 2023, and scheduled an interview within 365 days of the payment would not be affected by the change

It also indicated that the interview will not be required to occur during that 365-day period, thus, applicants must schedule an appointment within 365 days.

The statement said all visa fee payments made on or after October 1, 2022, are valid for 365 days from the date a receipt is issued for payment of the fee.

Also, applicants must schedule an interview appointment or submit an interview waiver application within 365 days of paying the visa fee.

There would be no requirement for the interview to occur during that 365-day period.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Bono Region Zone E ends Inter-Schools football competition

The Bono Region Zone E Inter schools second cycle football competition to select teams for regional super zonal competition has ended at the Nana Agyemang Badu I Sports Stadium in Dormaa Ahenkro in the Dormaa Central Municipality of the Bono Region.

The two-day all play all football competition, featured six competing schools but only one Adehyeman Senior High School failed to participate.

The rest were Dormaa Senior High School in Dormaa Ahenkro, Nkrakwanta Senior High Technical (Nkrantech), Salvation Army Senior High School, Aboabo and Wamfie Senior High School in Wamfie.

Mr. Smith Effah Owusu, Bono Region Zone E and Dormaa Zonal Secretary disclosed this to the GNA Sports in Dormaa Ahenkro in an interview.

The competition was aimed at unearthing talents, and selecting schools in the Dormaa zone including (Dormaa East, Dormaa Central and Dormaa West) which perform creditably and qualify to participate in the Regional Inter schools Super Zonal Competition to be held next month in Sunyani, Bono Region.

He said that the Super zonals competition to be held would be used as a platform to choose players to represent the region at Takoradi on November in the Western Region.

The Zonal Secretary indicated that the talents identified were really, ‘encouraging and was hopeful some will become national assets soon’.

‘We are focusing on football at this stage in this stadium. Athletics competitions would be organised at another place,’ he added.

Mr. Effah Owusu said the competition is organised for both male and female, and indicated that a letter had been written to the Municipal Director of Education who sought approval and permission from appropriate authorities for the stadium use.

He revealed that three schools had qualified for the boys team, they are Dormaa Senior High School scoring 10 points, Nkrakwanta Senior High School got five points, and the Salvation Army Senior High School obtaining four points.

For the girls category three schools qualified, they were Dormaa Senior High School scored 12 points, Salvation Army had five points whilst Nkrakwanta Senior High School got three points.

Source: Ghana News Agency

445 delegates to vote in Adaklu NDC primary

Four hundred and Forty-five delegates would cast their ballots in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary primary in the Adaklu Constituency.

The number is made up of polling station and constituency executives as well as former executives of the party.

The primary will be held at Adaklu Goefe on May 13, 2023, in which four people will contest.

They are Mr Governs Kwame Agbodza, the incumbent Member of Parliament, Mr Raymond Akpatsa, 49, a lawyer, Madam Rebecca Agbogah, and Mr Michael Agede.

Mr Jerry Ameko, the Adaklu NDC Constituency Chairman, who disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency, said Mr Agbodza, also the Minority Chief Whip in Parliament, is the frontrunner among the aspirants and tipped to win the primary.

He reminded the delegates that the constituency, for that matter the party, could not afford to change ‘such a valuable asset, who is lifting the image of Adaklu high in Parliament and the country as a whole.’

Mr Ameko urged contestants to appeal to their supporters to comport themselves on the election day and allow the process to be transparent and peaceful.

He called for support for whoever emerged victorious, adding that: ‘This is an internal election after which we need to unite to wrest power from the New Patriotic Party, come 2024.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Journalists urged to uphold high ethical standards

Journalists in the Volta and Oti Regions have been urged to exhibit the highest ethical behaviour to help deepen democracy and reshape society.

The call, according to Mr Divine Bosson, the Ho Municipal Chief Executive, was necessary to to avoid defamation.

Mr Bosson made the appeal in a remark as Chairman during the region’s celebration of this year’s ‘World Press Freedom Day’, held at the Ho Municipal Assembly Hall.

He praised journalists in both Volta and Oti Regions for their great efforts exhibited over the years for the growth and development of the two regions.

Mr Bosson urged the media practitioners to stick to their ethics discourse, avoid manipulations from individuals and politicians, who may capitalise on their platforms for parochial interests.

‘When you pursue situations and you get results, don’t be hesitant to let the public know, this may save you from being accused of doing one sided story,’ he added.

Mr Emmanuel Kpatsi, Regional Director for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), who was the keynote speaker during the event, touched on abuses of Journalists especially state actors and how to mitigate the associated effects.

He also urged journalists to protect one another during the discharge, forge a common front to help improve and develop the regions.

Mr Emmanuel Agbaxode, the Volta and Oti regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalist Association GJA, said press freedom was under attack globally and Ghana has not been immune to such threats.

He called on stakeholders, media organisations, and the government to support the effort in promoting and protecting the rights, freedom and responsibilities of journalists in the two regions and the country at large.

The ceremony, which was fully organised by the GJA, recorded journalists, media practitioners, Heads of State and Private institutions, and the public.

It was on theme: ‘Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of Expression as Driver for Human Rights towards Ghana’s Development.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

WHO declares an end to COVID-19 as a global health emergency

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared COVID-19 over as a global health emergency.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,Director General of the WHO, said the declaration was a recommendation by the WHO’s Emergency Committee at its 15 meeting held on May 4,2023.

In his opening remark at a media brefing on Friday, the Director General said that the declaration however did not mean COVID-19 was over as a global health threat.

‘This virus is here to stay. It is still killing, and it’s still changing. The risk remains of new variants emerging that cause new surges in cases and deaths,’ he said.

Dr. Ghebreyesus said the worst thing any country could do now was to use the news as a reason to let down its guard, to dismantle the systems it has built, or to send the message to its people that COVID-19 is nothing to worry about.

‘ What this news means is that it is time for countries to transition from emergency mode to managing COVID-19 alongside other infectious diseases,’he said.

Dr Ghebreyesus said declaring an end to the global pandemic is not a snap decision, but has been considered carefully for some time, planned for, and made on the basis of a careful analysis of the data. Saying ;

‘ On the 30th January 2020, on the advice of an Emergency Committee convened under the International Health Regulations, I declared a public health emergency of international concern over the global outbreak of COVID-19 – the highest level of alarm under international law’.

The Director General said three years since then, COVID-19 had turned the world upside down.

‘Almost 7 million deaths have been reported to WHO, but we know the toll is several times higher – at least 20 million,’ he said.

He said health systems had been severely disrupted, with millions of people missing out on essential health services, including lifesaving vaccinations for children.

Dr Ghebreyesus said COVID-19 had been so much more than a health crisis it had caused severe economic upheaval, erasing trillions from GDP, disrupting travel and trade, shuttering businesses, and plunging millions into poverty.

It has caused severe social upheaval, with borders closed, movement restricted, schools shut and millions of people experiencing loneliness, isolation, anxiety and depression.

He said COVID-19 had exposed and exacerbated political fault lines, within and between nations. It has eroded trust between people, governments and institutions, fuelled by a torrent of mis- and disinformation.

The pandemic has laid bare the searing inequalities of the world, with the poorest and most vulnerable communities the hardest hit, and the last to receive access to vaccines and other tools.

Dr Ghebreyesus said COVID-19 had left – and continues to leave – deep scars on the world and those scars must serve as a permanent reminder of the potential for new viruses to emerge, with devastating consequences.

Source: Ghana News Agency