13 Jun 2018

Ghana's Unlikely Marriage Of Mining And Malaria Control Draws Envious Glances

Related image
AngloGold Ashanti has taken up malaria control as
part of its corporate social responsibility
Nestled in the Ashanti region of southern Ghana, the small town of Obuasi is encircled by hills, largely forested but bearing scars from open-cast and illegal mining. Eighty kilometers south of the country’s second city, Kumasi, it is a community of subsistence farmers and miners.

One of the world’s largest gold mines, it has been quarried since the 1890s. But right now the underground drills are silent and a quieter operation is underway, digging out one of the world’s smallest but most deadly predators: the malaria mosquito.

Ghana has one the world’s fifth worst malaria burden. It is the number one reason outpatients go to a hospital. But from 2004, this rural community began a turnaround that others now want to emulate. Key to the change was a partnership between a mining company, the local community and the government that led to a 75% drop in malaria cases in the Obuasi mine area in just eight years.

Such was the impact that the programme has been extended to the north of the country, where malaria is most problematic.

“Malaria used to be a very serious situation in this community,” says Nana Ewaitemaa Adam II, community leader – or “queen mother” – of the settlement of Adansi-Odumase. “Children were dying. Adults were dying. But now they come to spray and the incidence has gone down. I don’t remember the last time I had malaria.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly half the world’s population is at risk of malaria. About 90% of cases – and deaths – occur in sub-Saharan Africa.

In the past 10 years, Ghana has made progress. Deaths have gone down from 2,200 in 2014 to 599 last year. Yet malaria remains the leading cause of illness and death in children under five. In 2015, about 38% of outpatient visits, 27.3 % of admissions in health facilities, and 48.5 % of under-five deaths were due to malaria.

Despite these advances, countries like Ghana are being challenged by increased resistance to pesticides and drugs, as well as funding pressures.

Approximately $2.7bn (£2.03bn) was spent on malaria control and elimination efforts globally in 2016, significantly less than the $6.5bn annual investment required for the WHO’s global malaria strategy.

Countries that have eliminated malaria in recent years have tended to be subtropical or islands, like Sri Lanka.

Ghana To Buy Contracts To Protect Consumers From High Oil Prices

Ghana will buy contracts to protect it from higher oil-product prices in the third quarter as the West African nation seeks to curb volatility in what consumers pay at the pump amid rising costs of the fuel in international markets.

The government is putting together a risk-management program to go to the market “in a month or two” for options on crude, with the strike price yet to be determined, Deputy Finance Minister Charles Adu Boahen said by phone on Friday. It plans to buy crude at lower prices and then sell it when they rise, using the balance to subsidize imports of refined fuel, he said.

Ghana became an oil producer in 2010 when Tullow Plc started the Jubilee field, but it still needs to import refined products. While higher prices will bolster the nation’s revenue, they stand to distort macroeconomic targets such as inflation, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said in February. Crude exceeded $70 a barrel at the start of last month for the first time since November 2014.

The inflation rate dropped to 9.6 percent in April, entering the central bank’s target band for the first time since 2013. Ghana is limiting spending through a bailout plan agreed with the International Monetary Fund in April 2015 to help to achieve inflation targets.

“Any time crude oil prices rise, the impact is felt six times more on the importation side than on the exportation side,” Boahen said. “After we hedge if crude prices go past the strike price you wouldn’t feel the effect at the pumps because it would have been capped.”

Bulk oil-distribution companies that import finished products and sell to oil-marketing companies supply most of Ghana’s fuel needs. The nation consumed 3.5 million metric tons of petroleum products in 2017, according to data from the National Petroleum Authority.

The country will use money form the Ghana Stabilisation Fund to finance the hedge while gains from the hedge will also filter back to it, Boahen said.

10 Jun 2018

Anas' Full Petition To FIFA Against Nyantakyi

Kwesi Nyantakyi, former GFA boss
Ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas last week reported the alleged misconduct of Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi, to the world football governing body, FIFA [Federation Internationale de Football Association].

Following that, Mr. Nyantakyi who was a FIFA Council Member and has just resigned his position as President of the Ghana Football Association was banned for 90 days.

Anas in a sting operation captured Mr. Nyantakyi on video entering into sponsorship deals with some investors who ended up being undercover agents for Anas.

Anas in his petition to FIFA dated June 4, 2018, argued that Mr. Nyantakyi’s conduct contravened FIFA’s ethics and therefore asked that he should be banned for life from all football-related activities.

Below is the full petition:

A Complaint against Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi
Request for the Institution of Investigations in respect of Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi

1.0 Complaint/Request

1.1 This complaint and/or request for the institution of investigations is brought in respect of the conduct of Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi, a Ghanaian who holds the following positions in football:
Member of the FIFA Council
Member of the FIFA Associations Committee
First Vice President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF)
President of the West African Football Union (WAFU) Zone B
President of the Ghana Football Association
1.2 Upon the grounds set out below and the attached documentary and audio/visual evidence, we deem Mr. Nyantakyi’s conduct to be highly unethical and damaging to the integrity and reputation of football and that of FIFA as proscribed by article 1 of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
1.3 We submit, by virtue of article 5 of the FIFA Code of Ethics that Mr. Nyantakyi’s conduct constitutes acts of commission done deliberately as an active participant in a scheme in breach or violation of articles 13, 15, 19, 20, 21, and 22 of the FIFA Code of Ethics, and articles 61 and 62 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
1.4 We submit that Mr. Nyantakyi should, as a consequence, be banned for life from taking part in any football related activity in pursuance of article 6.h of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
2.0 Bases of Complaint/Request
2.1 I am an investigative journalist of Ghanaian nationality. For a period of three (3) months in 2017, I (together with my associates operating under the corporate name of Tiger Eye P.I.) conducted an undercover investigative journalism work into perceived corruption of Mr. Nyantakyi.
The investigation sought to ascertain whether there was any basis for the perception, especially after the much-publicized money claims fiasco that characterized Ghana’s participation in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
2.2 We have found Mr. Nyantakyi abusing his office, breaching his fiduciary duties, engaging in acts of egregious conflict of interest, demanding and receiving gifts and other benefits, and engaging in bribery and corruption. These were uncovered by way of hard facts, captured on audio/visual recording, electronic mail correspondence, and a memorandum of understanding drafted by Mr. Nyantakyi in his handwriting, and subsequently type-printed and signed by him.
2.3 My outfit presented itself to Mr. Nyantakyi as a company incorporated in Qatar named Medgulf Company Limited, led by its Chairman, a supposed Qatari royal named H.H. Sheikh Hammad Al Thani – as interested in sponsoring the Ghana Premier League and other football products and general construction contracts in Ghana. We arranged a meeting with Mr. Nyantakyi through the Northern Region Chairman of the Ghana Football Association, Mr. Abdulai Alhassan.
2.4 Our meeting with Mr. Nyantakyi, which was secretly audio-visually recorded, came off on 7 October 2017 in at Jood Palace Hotel in Dubai. It was attended by Mr. Nyantakyi, Mr. Abdulai Alhassan, my outfit comprising of a person supposedly being H.H. Sheikh Hammad Al Thani, his supposed secretary, Dr. Marzuq A. Albadawir, and other staff of the supposed Sheikh, including two other persons, supposedly the brokers of the meeting.