Clinton rates GFA Prez Okraku’s first 100 days as ‘phenomenal’

Former Ghana Football Association (GFA) Presidential aspirant, Amanda Akuokor Clinton Former Ghana Football Association (GFA) Presidential aspirant, Amanda Akuokor ClintonFormer Ghana Football Association (GFA) Presidential aspirant, Amanda Akuokor Clinton has given her assessment of the first 100 days of GFA President Kurt Okraku.According to Ms Clinton, Mr Okraku elected President of the GFA on October 5, 2019, has done a phenomenal job so far.Ms Clinton said although she has been away from the country, she has kept up with Mr Okraku’s progress through news reports.He is doing a phenomenal job so far. I keep up with his achievements and I like the fact that milestones for moving football forward in Ghana are incrementally being achieved at a steady pace,” Mrs Clinton said in a statement copied to GraphicOnline.”I think his tenure shows he accepts the gravitas and prestige of the position he has accepted and doesn’t want to let Ghana down. His Bring Back The Love Campaign is also creative and original and I wish him and his team every success over the next four to eight years”.

Ghana among 10 most prosperous countries in Africa

Akufo-Addo, Prez Ghana Akufo-Addo, Prez Ghana Ghana (ranked 10th) has become one of the most prosperous nations in Africa, built on a strong tradition of democratic stability, widely respected governance institutions, and a well-educated population, free from large-scale violence. With increased investment and tourism, Ghana’s economy has consistently outgrown sub-Saharan Africa. The challenge for Ghana now is to sustain this economic success and convert it into better living standards, analysts have observed. Many Ghanaians have seen rising inequality while their living standards and employment opportunities have not improved. Most measures of Ghana’s economic performance have slipped over the last 10 years: Ghana ranks 14th for economic openness; 33rd for economic quality, 13th in investment environment and 16th in market access and infrastructure. There is work to do, analysts further Noted, to improve Ghana’s engines of prosperity: its economic openness, dynamism, and competitiveness. For example, trading goods within and outside of the country is constrained by under-developed infrastructure, high tariffs, and long delays and high costs at the border. Further investment in fixed broadband, transport infrastructure, and reducing friction at borders is needed to facilitate and boost trade. Reliability of the electricity supply and an upgrade of the transport network remain key challenges: roads are over-utilised and rail is under-utilised. Ghana’s rank for market access and infrastructure has, however, slipped four places to 16th and for investment environment down three places to 14th. Investor protections are also weakening, down 13 places to 28th and improvements are being held back by ongoing challenges to international investment and access to finance for businesses. These were contained in this year’s Africa Prosperity Report released on Monday. Mauritius is ranked Number One with Seychelles, Botswana, Cape Verde and South Africa, in that order, making the Top 5. Namibia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Tunisia and Morocco rank higher than Ghana. Corruption & clientelism Author Dr Stephen Brien of UK-based Legatum Institute, which produces the index annually, indicates that Ghana has made giant strides towards economic openness and greater prosperity to stand amongst the leaders in Africa. “The challenge for Ghana now is the sustainability of this economic growth. Can Ghana increase the pace of its economic transformation fast enough to build a solid platform for continued growth and employment opportunities across the country?” Dr Brien asked. He added: “To perpetuate its growth trajectory, reform of its governance is needed to increase labour force engagement and build market infrastructure, on which an open and dynamic economy depends.” The age-old canker of corruption has been fingered as a bane on the country’s prosperity. “Corruption and clientelism remain a brake on improvement and efficiency. Reducing corruption and improving government effectiveness through a results-based culture is the key to the delivery of services, fiscal sustainability, and the new infrastructure that Ghana needs to thrive.”

NPP MPs were suspicious of Airbus deal in 2011 – Report

MPs in Parliament MPs in ParliamentThe conversation surrounding the emerging Airbus bribery scandal does not seem to be going away anytime soon.Recent developments have revealed that some NPP Members of Parliament, then in the Minority, raised questions when the deal was brought before the house in 2011.Hansard from July 20, 2011, shows that concerns were raised with regards to the cost of the two military aircrafts the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government wanted to procure at the time.Citinewsroom reports that the then Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah was skeptical about the manner in which the processes to purchase the aircraft, were rushed through.9 years on, the blowback of the decision has come to bite them in the butt.James Klutse Avedzi, who was the Chairman of the Finance Committee at the time, submitted the committee’s report on the motion to secure a loan from the Deutsche Bank Sociedad Anonima Espanola (Spain) in order to purchase two C-295 Military Aircraft for the Ghana Armed Forces.During the debate, however, Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu stated that he had made some findings of the price of the C-295, which was captured on Airbus’ website as US$22 million but was shocked to see that the documents tabled before the house had been pegged at €24 million each for the aircraft.“… Mr Speaker, the cost price of the C-295, the Shell is US$22 million from the manufacturers –– their own website. Here, we are saying that it is €24.5 million. Again, you wonder where these figures are being conjured from…“Mr Speaker, the 24.5 million euros certainly, is going to be in the region of about US$35 million –– US$35 million for the purchase of one, when we know that the manufacturers themselves are saying that the cost of the C-295, also known as ‘Persuader’ is going for US$22 million,” he explained.Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu further intimated in dismay at how within the space of 24 hours, the document had been sent to Attorney General’s office for advice, forwarded to the Minister for Finance and sent to the office of the President for executive approval.“Mr Speaker, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice proffered his opinion on it on 21st June 2011. The same day, it went to the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning and on the same day, he also okayed it and sent it to the Presidency –– the Office of the President –– on the same day, 21st June 2011, we had Executive approval. Aba! Aba! What is this,” he quizzed.But in response, MP for Ayawaso East, Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed challenged the then Minority Leaders’ position, insisting that the amount he submitted comprised of the shell of the aircraft.“Mr Speaker, the price on the internet refers to the Shell price of an aircraft. Mr Speaker, what we are dealing with is the operational price of the aircraft.”The loan agreement was eventually approved by Parliament after Seth Terkpeh, then the Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning.A London High Court found Airbus guilty and imposed a fine of three billion pounds (£3bn) as penalties. The prosecutor stated in court: “Between July 1, 2011, and June 1, 2015, Airbus SE failed to prevent persons associated with Airbus SE from bribing others concerned with the purchase of military transport aircraft by the Government of Ghana, where the said bribery was intended to obtain or retain business or advantage in the conduct of business for Airbus SE”.With regards to Ghana, the report further stated that Airbus “between 2009 and 2015 engaged intermediary 5, a close relative of a high-ranking elected Ghanaian government official (Government Official 1), as its BP in respect of the proposed sale of three aircraft to the government of Ghana.” Many have since highlighted the Mills and Mahama-led administrations as overseeing the said transaction, thereby condoning corruption.

Airbus saga: We did no wrong – NDC

NDC National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi play videoNDC National Communications Officer, Sammy GyamfiThe main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has refuted any wrongdoing with regards to the Airbus bribery scandal.A judgment from the Crown Court at Southwark, UK, said: “The fifth count alleges that contrary to section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010, between 1 July 2011 and 1 June 2015, Airbus SE failed to prevent persons associated with Airbus SE from bribing others concerned with the purchase of military transport aircraft by the government of Ghana, where the said bribery was intended to obtain or retain business or advantage in the conduct of business for Airbus SE. 53.“Between 2009 and 2015, an Airbus defence company engaged Intermediary 5, a close relative of a high-ranking elected Ghanaian government official (Government Official 1) as its BP in respect of the proposed sale of three military transport aircraft to the government of Ghana.“A number of Airbus employees knew that Intermediary 5 was a close relative of Government Official 1, who was a key decision-maker in respect of the proposed sales. A number of Airbus employees made or promised success-based commission payments of approximately €5 million to Intermediary 5.“False documentation was created by or with the agreement of Airbus employees in order to support and disguise these payments. The payments were intended to induce or reward ‘improper favour’ by Government Official 1 toward Airbus. Payments were eventually stopped due to the arrangement failing the due diligence processes required by the Liquidation Committee.” The governing New Patriotic Party called on former President John Mahama to respond to allegations saying “all fingers point to him and one of his brothers”. In response, the NDC said the whole Airbus case is about legal infractions by employees and agents of Airbus.“Foreign companies who do business with Ghana have their own internal modus operandi. The nature of the infractions committed by Airbus SE as contained in the approved judgments are such that, the government of Ghana could not have known at the time of the transaction,” the National Communication Officer of the party, Mr Sammy Gyamfi said at the press conference in Accra on Thursday, 6 February 2020. According to him, Ghana did not lose any money in the Airbus deal and no government official under the NDC did any wrong. Read Mr Gyamfi’s full speech below: INTRODUCTIONGood afternoon friends from the media. We thank you for honouring our invitation at such short notice. We are grateful for your indulgence whenever necessity calls on us to serve our nation.The purpose of today’s press conference is twofold. First, we will address the judgements of the Crown Court of Southwark, England and the District Court of Columbia in a case involving Airbus SE, the giant aircraft manufacturers. Second, we will speak on the latest revelations of massive corruption and thievery in Akufo-Addo’s so-called fight against “galamsey”. THE AIRBUS SCANDALLadies and gentlemen of the press, Last Sunday, the much respected former Attorney General, Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah- Opong issued a statement which primarily sought to correct the mischievous twist to the approved judgements of the Crown Court of Southwark and the District Court of Columbia involving Airbus SE. She basically stated, that reports by a section of the media that Airbus paid bribes to the government of Ghana between 2009 and 2015 are false and do not reflect the Approved Judgements.Ladies and gentlemen, the said investigation was triggered by a complaint from competitors of Airbus over suspected violation of OECD rules by the company. A careful reading of the approved judgments of the Crown Court of Southwark and the District Court of Columbia on the matter, shows that the entire case is about legal infractions by employees and agents of Airbus and nothing more.According to the approved judgments of the Crown Court of Southwark and the District Court of Columbia:1. Airbus on their own accord, engaged intermediaries or better still hired agents to help them sell military aircrafts to Ghana between the years 2009 and 2015.2. While the use of agents or business partners is common practice with multinational companies, the approved judgments held that Airbus failed to follow OECD rules in appointing their business intermediaries.3. The approved judgments further found, that payment by Airbus of success-based commission to their intermediaries was in excess of the agreed 5% commission as captured in the transaction Agreement.4. Whereas, there have been claims that success-based commissions were paid to agents of Airbus with the intent to induce or reward improper favour by the said “government official 1”, it is instructive to note, that there is no indication either in the approved judgments of the Crown Court of Southwark or the District Court of Columbia that any such inducement took place.Now let’s be clear about the facts:First, no ex-government official of Ghana is cited in any part of the approved judgments for receiving a bribe or committing any offense. In fact, not even the unnamed “government official 1” is cited in the report or approved judgement for demanding or receiving a bribe or for committing any offense.This point becomes even clearer when juxtaposed with the facts narrated in the approved judgment of the Crown Court of Southwark with regard to countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan, where the UK SFO made findings on how bribes were actually disbursed to senior executives of Airline companies.We can state with a large degree of certainty that the UK SFO would have stated that bribes were paid to the said “government official 1” if they had found so in their investigations. Instead, they carefully chose the words “intended to induce” without more. And there is no indication that this intention was actualized.Therefore, to the extent that the said “government official 1” is not cited for any offense in any of the approved judgements, his or her identity is totally immaterial.Second, there is no finding in any of the approved judgments that Ghana lost any money through the said transactions. No such finding is contained in any of the approved judgments. The fact is, government of Ghana paid fair commercial value for the aircrafts and was not in any way shortchanged. Indeed, the Ghana Airforce conducted its own independent technical and financial evaluation of the transactions in line with best practices of the Military.Third, there is no finding in any of the approved judgements that the transactions and the processes leading to same, violated any law. In fact, the first transaction under which success-based commission was paid by Airbus to their intermediaries, adhered to the Public Procurement law and received the legal opinion of the then Attorney General before it was finally approved by the August House of Parliament.Additionally, there is no finding in any of the approved judgements, that the government of Ghana or any government official, engaged the services of or paid any monies to any intermediary relative to the said transactions. Therefore, any infractions arising from the engagement and payment of intermediaries by Airbus SE are entirely its business.Distinguished friends from the media, it is clear from the foregoing that, the whole Airbus case is about legal infractions by employees and agents of Airbus, a private company. Foreign companies who do business with Ghana have their own internal modus operandi. The nature of the infractions committed by Airbus SE as contained in the approved judgments are such that, the government of Ghana could not have known at the time of the transaction.Ladies and Gentlemen,The indecent haste with which Yaw Buaben Asamoa of the NPP jumped to pass judgement on the NDC was pathetic and most reckless to say the least. No serious minded person would draw conclusions based on conjecture and willful misinterpretation of the Approved Judgement of the UK Crown Court. And so we treat with contempt his statements and those of other NPP hirelings who may have thought wrongly that this was an opportunity for political equalization.Ladies and gentlemen, the Airbus matter is nothing like the recent conclusively established corruption cases, such as the doling out of a whopping GHS136 million for the private hotel project of the in-law of President Akufo-Addo, Dr. Nyantakyi, the missing excavators scandal, the missing 400 tricycles scandal, just to mention a few.The NPP should be reminded that, mulitple Ambassadors from Western nations have in recent times publicly decried the alarming spate of corruption under President Akufo-Addo. Strangely, President Akufo-Addo only few weeks ago, shamelessly warned ambassadors and foreign envoys in Ghana not to speak publicly about the alarming heights corruption has reached under his administration.Whether it was the Ameri-Mytelinous scandal in which President Akufo-Addo gave executive approval for a deal which was inflated by an amount of US$800 million or the BOST scandal where five (5) million liters of contaminated fuel was illegally sold to unlicensed businesses and the proceeds misappropriated, or the PPA scandal or the Australia Visa Fraud scandal or the “#12” scandal or Galamsey Fraud” scandal, or the PDS scandal which caused this nation a huge financial loss of US$190 million, President Akufo-Addo has proven to be the biggest enabler and promoter of corruption in the history of Ghana.This fact is buttressed by the latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of Transparency International, in which Ghana dropped two (2) places and the recent Afrobarometer findings by CDD-GH, that 53% of Ghanaians think corruption has worsened under the Akufo-Addo-led government.In all this, it is important to remind the NPP that per the latest CPI of Transparency International, the most reputable and internationally recognized corruption index, President Akufo-Addo’s best score of 41 points is far worse than President Mahama’s worst score of 43 points which was recorded in the year 2016 before the NDC exited office.

I’ll make Absa Bank suffer in Ghana – Kwame A Plus threatens

A Plus A Plus The controversial leader of The Peoples Project, TPP, Kwame A Plus has taken Absa Ghana to the cleaners. According to him, the bank is a scam and does not think of the betterment of the Ghanaian. His comments come on the back of the organization dissociating itself from a video of Lilwin joining the Ataa Adjoa challenge and displaying their colours and logo. According to him, the video has been in the system for long and it’s a shame the bank never dissociated itself from the video but enjoyed the gains till people found problems with it. He post sighted by on Facebook read “the president’s asked us to be citizens and not spectators. What he also meant by that statement is that we should jealously protect the red gold and green and fellow citizens. From South Africa where Absa bank came to take over Barclays Bank, people are killed in xenophobic attacks for living and working there. They want to come and take our music and disrespect our artist after welcoming them to live and work here – not killing them like they do to other Africans!!! No way!!! We will make it very difficult for them to survive if they don’t do the right thing. Ghanaians must be respected. Especially the creative arts industry”.

Kotoko will fall – WAFA coach

Wafa coach Prosper Nartey Wafa coach Prosper Nartey Wafa coach Prosper Nartey believes Asante Kotoko have no chance of walking away with a point in their Ghana Premier League encounter on Wednesday. The Academy Boys are set to host the Porcupine Warriors in a matchweek eight clash at Wafa Sports Complex in Sogakope. Wafa come into the midweek fixture on the back of disappointing home performances in their last two games, having lost 2-1 to Liberty Professionals and a 0-0 draw with Hearts of Oak. “The fact that Hearts of Oak and Liberty Professionals took point and points respectively here at [Wafa Sports Complex] doesn’t mean we are poor at home,” Narteh told Ashh FM. “We didn’t utilise our chances in those two games but I can assure you our boys are ready for Asante Kotoko. “Psychologically, my boys are okay and are determined to bring back the glory days to Sogakope. “It’s unfortunate we’ve dropped five points in our last three games but I can tell you we are back on track. “I expect all football-loving fans troop to Sogakope tomorrow and I can assure them of beautiful football tomorrow. Asante Kotoko is a big club, we accord them that respect but for the three points, it’s for us.” Wafa currently occupy seventh position on the league table while Kotoko, who beat Hearts 2-1 in their last away fixture, sit two places above them.

Great Olympics lose three coaches in three months

George Koffie has resigned from Olympics George Koffie has resigned from OlympicsGreat Olympics have confirmed the exit of coach George Koffie.The trainer has been forced to look elsewhere for a new challenge following the club’s disappointing start to the Ghana Premier League.After matchweek seven, Oly sit one point above the relegation zone.”We can confirm that Prince Koffie has stepped down from his role as Head Coach at Accra Great Olympics,” Olympics announced on social media.”Assistant Coach Seth Hoffman takes temporary charge of the team.”Olympics play away to King Faisal in their next league game on Wednesday.The ‘Dade’ Boys are hoping to return to winning ways following a disappointing 1-0 home loss to Wafa on Sunday.

Nana Ampomah scores, provides assist in Dusseldorf win over Kaiserslauten

Ampomah hit the net for Fortuna Ampomah hit the net for Fortuna Ghana Black Stars winger Nana Opoku Ampomah welcomed his new role for Fortuna Dusseldorf as a striker with a wonderful finish in their 5-2 mauling of Kaiserslauten in the DfB Pokal. The Flingereners recorded the heavy away win over FC Kaiserslautern at the Fritz-Walter-Stadion on Tuesday evening. The 24-year-old Ghanaian winger registered his name on the score sheet on the 9th minute of the game before providing an assist for Mathias Zimmerman to score their third. Brace from in-form striker Rouwen Hennings and other goals from Kevin Stoger and Matthias Zimmermann were enough to see Fortuna Düsseldorf through to the next round. He enjoyed the entire duration of the game whiles his compatriot Kasim Adams and Kelvin Ofori were introduced in the second half with Bernard Tekpetey warming the bench. Ampomah has netted two goals with an assist in his twelve (12) games for Fortuna Düsseldorf in his debut season. New manager who has taken over from Funkel, Uwe Rosler used Nana Ampomah as a center forward in their Bundesliga clash with Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday and the role seem perfect for the Ghanaian who played the same role tonight. Ampomah joined Fortuna Dusseldorf from Waasland-Beveren in Belgium and was nearly grabbed by Fenerbahce this Januray but for the intervention of new manager Uwe Rosler who insisted he needed the Ghanaian.

New Edubiase to appeal MTN FA Cup ban

President of New Edubiase United, Abdul Salam Yakubu President of New Edubiase United, Abdul Salam Yakubu President of New Edubiase United, Abdul Salam Yakubu has told Happy Sports that his club will appeal the decision of the Ghana Football Association disciplinary committee. New Edubiase United together with three other clubs (Techiman City, Okyeman Planners and Berekum Arsenals) have been banned from the competition after failing to honour their MTN FA Cup Preliminary round of matches without permission from the GFA and without prior withdrawal notification to the FA. According to the GFA Prosecutor, the clubs have been declared losers of their respective matches and have been fined an amount of GHc5000.00 each. Abdul Salam Yakubu in an interview on Wamputu Sports on Happy FM said he will file an appeal on the ruling. “We are going to appeal against this decision. We are just demanding a full disclosure of the contract details of the MTN FA Cup sponsorship” “At first we received Ghc 1,500 and now there has been a reduction to Ghc 1000 as appearances fees for our matches. “We petitioned the General Secretary requesting for disclosure of the sponsorship but they never responded”. Abdul Salam revealed that the clubs agreed not to honour the preliminary games which they later did thus he feels betrayed. “We agreed not to play the game but some of the clubs went behind us to play the game. “We have been betrayed by our own clubs and now we have been banned. We will face the law. I will be very careful with my people next time it won’t happen again”, he indicated.

Osei Kuffour was sacked from Black Stars camp in Mali for going to nightclub

Former Ghana defender Sammy Kuffour play videoFormer Ghana defender Sammy Kuffour Mali Jabir the Team Manager of the Black Stars during the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations in Mali has disclosed that he sacked Samuel Osei Kuffour from the camp of the senior national team for showing no remorse after he flouted camp rules by visiting the nightclub. Samuel Osei was sent home during the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations for breaking camp rules. Malik Jabir has revealed Osei Kuffour was a bad influence on his teammates and he mooted for him to be sent home. “Yes, I sacked him from camp, it’s about time our Ghanaians coaches take responsibility for their actions, Malik Jabir told Kumasi-based Angel FM. “We drew against Sudan in our first match. We the technical team were there around 11:00 pm when the South African coach came and asked us whether we came for a funfair or what?” “He said we should go to the disco and that some of our players were there. I asked Oti Akenteng and Osam Duodu to go and verify while I stay behind. When the players saw them they took to their heels but Kuffuor never did. “When he was questioned he said even in Germany they go to the night club. The coaches returned but not with Kuffour. He came around 4:30 am and he was immediately sacked from camp.” Ghana made it out of the group with South Africa tied on 5 points, however, the four-time AFCON winners dream of annexing their 5th trophy was shuttered when Nigeria beat them 1-0 at the quarter-finals.