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Vodafone Foundation crowned CSR leader in Ghana

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Vodafone Foundation crowned CSR leader in Ghana

Vodafone Foundation crowned CSR leader in Ghana

Vodafone Ghana has been awarded the prestigious CSR Company of the year award at the Ghana Information Technology and Telecommunications (GITTA) Awards.

The company’s Foundation was recognised for its passion in executing innovative initiatives to meet the specific needs of the communities in which its workers live and work.

Every company must stand and reflect an ideal that is intrinsic to its way of doing business. Vodafone recognises that the true test of a company is its relevance to the country in which it operates; beyond profits.

The foundation has, over the years, projected activities under the themes of Health and Education, with impactful programmes that address women, youth and children.

Under education, the company is looking to impact a total of 5,000 youth with basic and advanced skills in coding in the next five years under its National Coding programme.

The zero-rated digital education platform – Instant Schools – has received over 7-million visits on its website since its introduction in 2017.

Under health, Vodafone’s HealthFest initiative offers free medical screening, consultation and medication for deprived communities across the country. Since its launch in 2014, it has supported over 11,000 beneficiaries across all regions in Ghana. Homecoming, another health initiative, foots the hospital bills of insolvent patients due for discharge from hospitals throughout the country. Over 150 patients are discharged annually under this programme.

Moreover, in an effort to promote government’s public-private partnership agenda, Vodafone has entered into a partnership with the Ghana Statistical service and an NGO, Flowminder, to use mobile-derived customer insights to make better predictions for sustainable development. In what has come to be known as “Data for Good”, the initiative will use anonymised call data records to track population movements to make better migration, agricultural and health decisions.

The award is the latest addition to a long list of honours bestowed on the Foundation since 2009.

Commenting on the award, Dr. Joyce Aryee, Chairperson of the Vodafone Ghana Foundation said, “This is a true reflection of the concerted effort we have put in place to impact lives in Ghana. We have a duty to do good as a multinational company operating in Ghana – it is part of our ethos in all the markets where we are visible. Over the years, we have promoted initiatives that benefit society, under health and education, because we are committed to the communities in which our employees live and work. I dedicate this award to the staff of Vodafone Ghana and the Foundation for a job well done.”

Source: Vodafone Ghana

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Africa’s three richest men have more wealth than the poorest 650m people across the continent

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Africa’s three richest men have more wealth than the poorest 650m people across the continent

Three African billionaires today have more wealth than the poorest 50% – or 650 million people across the continent, reveals a new Oxfam report today.

The report, called “A Tale of Two Continents”, is launched as African political and business leaders gather this week for the World Economic Forum Africa meeting in Cape Town, South Africa. It shows how rising and extreme inequality across Africa is undermining efforts to fight poverty.

A Tale of Two Continents reveals that while the richest Africans fortunes are increasing, extreme poverty is rising in the continent. The report also looks at how unsustainable levels of debt and a rigged international tax system are depriving African governments of billions of dollars in lost revenue each year – money that could otherwise be invested in education, healthcare and social protection.

The continent is rapidly becoming the epicentre of global extreme poverty. While the number of people living on less than $1.90 a day has plummeted in Asia, this number is rising in Africa. The World Bank estimates that 87% of the world’s extreme poor will be in Africa by 2030, if current trends continue.

Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, said:

“Africa is ready to rise – but only once it’s leaders have the courage to back a more human economy that works for the many and not a few super-rich men. They can achieve this by investing in inequality-busting, universal and quality public services like health and education and by developing truly progressive tax systems. These are particularly powerful for women and girls living in poverty. They can also back a transformation towards decent and dignified work that protects the rights of workers, especially in the age of the African Free Trade Area and the new digital era.”

The report features a first-ever ranking of African nations on their commitment to tackling inequality. The Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index, developed by Oxfam and Development Finance International, ranks countries on their policies on social spending, tax, and labour rights – three areas the organizations say are critical to reducing inequality. South Africa and Namibia take first and second place respectively, with their strong social spending and a progressive tax system. Nigeria meanwhile has an unenviable distinction of being at the bottom of the Africa ranking, as well as the global ranking for two years running.

The report shows that:

3 African billionaires now have more wealth than the poorest 50% – or 650 million people across the continent

The most unequal country in the region, Swaziland, is home to one billionaire, Nathan Kirsh, who is estimated to have $4.9bn. If he worked in one of the restaurants that his wholesale company supplies on a worker’s minimum wage, it would take him 5.7 million years to earn his current level of wealth

The combined wealth of the 5 richest Nigerians is more than enough to end poverty in Nigeria. Nigeria’s girl population makes up 60% of the more than 10 million children who do not go to school.

75% of the wealth of African multi-millionaires and billionaires is held offshore, as result the continent is losing $14billion annually in uncollected tax revenue.

Dangerous and unsustainable levels of debt are hurting social spending. In 2018, Angola spent 57% of government revenue on debt repayments while public spending was cut by 19% between 2016 and 2018. Similar trends are present in Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon and Mozambique

African women and girls are also most likely to be poor. They also stand to lose the most when public services like healthcare and education are underfunded. In Kenya, a boy from a rich family has a one-in-three chance of continuing his studies beyond secondary school. However, a girl from a poor family has a 1-in-250 chance of doing so. Women and girls also bear the brunt of failing healthcare systems, clocking in hours of unpaid care work looking after sick relatives. In Malawi, women spend seven times the amount of time on unpaid care work than men.

Ms Byanyima said:

“African political and business leaders face a clear choice. They can stay on the path of increasingly extreme inequality, where poverty continues to rise while wealth in the hands of a tiny elite and foreign companies’ spirals. Or they can choose another way: towards a more prosperous and equal Africa that invests in and respects the dignity of all its people.”

Source: Oxfam International

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Breaking!!! Transport fares to go up by 10%

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Breaking!!! Transport fares to go up by 10%

The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) says effective September 16, public transport fares will go up by 10 per cent.

Explaining the basis for the increment, the Union said the various components that go into the running of commercial transport services has gone up.

“This is to accommodate predominantly an increase in fuel prices,” Kwame Kuma, the National Chairman of GPRTU said in a statement, Tuesday.

For some time now, the Union has called for an increment in their fares as prices of spare parts have gone up.

The increased fares will cover intra-city (trotro), intercity (long-distance ride) and shared taxis.

Mr Kuma advised all members of the Union to comply with the “new fares and post the fare list at the loading terminals so as to avoid any confrontation with the travelling public.”

The last time fares were increased was in January 2018.

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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Tema Aflao road to be expanded into six lanes – Expert

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Tema Aflao road to be expanded into six lanes - Expert

The Tema-Aflao road which forms part of the Abidjan Lagos corridor will be expanded from the current two (2) lanes to six (6) lanes, an environmental and climate climate change consultant, has revealed.

“This means that the width of the road will take 100 meters with 50 meters on each side. The Lower Volta Bridge at Sogakorpe in the Volta Region will be expanded as well, “Mr Divine Odame Appiah told stakeholders at a consultation forum on the proposed construction.

The Ada West District falls into the ECOWAS’s Abidjan to Lagos Highway expansion alignment hence the engagement to discuss how its enhance the positive effects and mitigate the negatives on the people.

He said, “The Abidjan – Lagos Corridor Road is a highway divided into three(3) Lots. Lot 1 is from Abidjan in Ivory Coast to Apemenim in the Western Region of Ghana. Lot 2 starts from Apemenim to Akanu in the Volta Region of Ghana and Lot 3 falls from Akanu to Lagos in Nigeria. PEARL Consultancy has been awarded Lot 2.

We are therefore here to gather information to do what we call scoping reports to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ” He explained

According to him, “There are five Regions, Western, Central, Greater Accra, Eastern and Volta regions with 14 districts in all which have been captured within the alignment of the exercise. Sege, Koluedor, Adokorpe, Kasseh and communities along the road will be affected in the Ada West and East districts.”

Compensation

He said, “Because of this, ECOWAS will compensate owners of various properties that may be affected either in cash or in kind if only one can claim ownership of the said property with evidence of documentation, approved by the district assembly.

This action is in line with World Bank and African Developments Bank’s regulations and Ghanaian laws which reinforce the fact that property that will be destroyed should be replaced or, compensation must be awarded to the owner.”

Impacts

Both positive and negative impacts were realised during the open forum.

The stakeholders identified some positive impacts as, movement within and outside the district to other places like Tema, Accra, Abidjan, Togo and even Nigeria will be very easy and time saving.

They said, this move will attract businesses to the district and will also boost trading activities, economic activities will improve and will reduce the rate of accidents as drivers will be comfortable when driving,

Others expressed fears that prices of plots of land and rents would rise.

They said the development would bring about kidnapping, child abuse and other malpractices by foreigners in communities along the road.

Inputs

The stakeholders suggested that education on the exercise must reach every corner of the affected districts to create proper awareness to the indigenes to prevent distractions during the exercise.

Also, write ups on the exercise should be pasted at the various district assembly’s premises, church premises and even the community radio and information centres for clear understanding of everything.

They also wanted the assembly to make property registration flexible so that everyone could have access to documents backing the ownership of their properties.

Meanwhile, PEARL Consultancy is expected to finish their work in mid 2021.

Source: ghananewsagency.org

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