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It is an act of reward, Students explain Anglican Priest’s action. .

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It is an act of reward, Students explain Anglican Priest’s action.


It is an act of reward, Students explain Anglican Priest’s action; Pastors are spiritual leaders and as such, they are expected to lead a good and moral life because most people who find themselves in their churches look up to them.

A Priest of the St Monica’s College of Education has been filmed kissing three female students and this has caused a stir on social media as a lot of people have come out to condemn his actions as it has been described as unbiblical.

It has been revealed that the Anglican Priest did so as an act of reward.

A reporter in the area, Kwasi Oppong, who visited the school after the video went viral, said on Adom FM’s morning show Dwaso Nsem Tuesday that the incident was not the first to have happened.

According to Kwasi Oppong, with the previous incident, some of the students revealed to him that the Anglican Priest rewarded the students and presented them with certificates and cash to show appreciation for their years of service in the school and that this “so called holy kiss” was the latest reward he was giving.

He said some of the students have declined to speak to the issue and others have willingly given their side of the story.

“Some of the students I managed to speak to told me that the Priest always rewards students in the school and so this time he decided to kiss the students. So far we only know of three students who were kissed by the priest,” he reported.

The Reverend Father engaged in the act after a church programme in the school.

Some have even questioned whether his action is part of the Anglican beliefs.

Listen to audio below:

source: myjoyonline

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“My Government’s Record In Agriculture Is Impressive” – President Nana Addo

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Record In Agriculture Is Impressive

“My Government’s Record In Agriculture Is Impressive” – President Nana Addo

His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. President of the Republic of Ghana has described the record of his government in the growth and development of the agricultural sector as impressive. 

Speaking at the 35th edition of Farmers’ Day on Friday, 3rd December, in Cape Coast, President Akufo-Addo stated that his government, since 2017, has set out to transform Ghanaian agriculture through investment in integrated and mutually reinforcing measures, that are yielding positive results. 

With the central pillar of the Government’s transformative policy being the Programme for Planting for Food and Jobs, the President stated that “we have, through the Programme, achieved a yearly average growth of agriculture of 5.8%, from 2017 to 2020, compared to the 2.7% growth we inherited in 2016.” 

To date, according to him, “a total of 1.4 million metric tonnes of fertilizers, and some ninety-one thousand metric tonnes (91,000MT) of certified seeds have been made available to farmers since 2017, with the number of beneficiary farmers now hitting the 1.7 million mark, taking off from the initial number of two hundred and seven thousand (207,000) farmers in 2017.” 

Through Planting for Export and Rural Development, which was launched in 2019 to promote the rapid development of six (6) strategic tree crops, i.e., rubber, oil palm, cashew, mango, coconut, and shea, and, thereby, diversify and augment our export earnings, President Akufo-Addo revealed that some twenty-nine million (29 million) seedlings have been distributed to some two hundred and twenty thousand (220,000) beneficiary farmers. 

Rearing for Food and Jobs, aimed at expanding domestic meat production, and reducing the huge annual import bill for meat and meat products of some three hundred million dollars ($300 million), he said, has seen thousands of different livestock species being distributed to seven (7) national livestock breeding stations in one hundred and sixty-six (166) MMDAs across the country. 

“Vegetable production, under the greenhouse village concept, has also been promoted intensively, with three centres established at Dawhenya, Akumadan and Bawjiase for commercial production, and training of youth interested in establishing agribusinesses in the vegetable value chain,” he said. 

President Akufo-Addo added, “To improve the efficiency of farmer operations, a total of eight thousand, nine hundred and eighty (8,980) units of various types of machinery and equipment have been imported to enhance access to mechanization services by farmers. Sixty-three (63) out of the proposed eighty (80) one thousand metric capacity (1,000MT) warehouses have been completed.” 

This, he indicated, has increased the warehouse capacity owned by the Government to ninety-seven thousand metric tons (97,000 MT), with additional warehouses set to be constructed to handle the expected increased production of grains to enlarge storage, and reduce post-harvest losses. 

On irrigation, the President stated that “the result of significant investment by my government in the Ghana Commercial Agriculture Progamme has resulted in the availability of a total of thirteen thousand, one hundred and ninety (13,190) hectares of additional irrigable land, through the rehabilitation of Tono, Kpong Left Bank and Kpong Irrigation Schemes, for rice and vegetable cultivation.” 

To address the perennial challenges of access to credit for our farmers and fisherfolk, the President stated that the Ghana Incentive-Based Risk Sharing Agricultural Lending Scheme (GIRSAL), which was established in 2019, has approved and issued credit guarantees for agricultural loans to the tune of two hundred and seventy-three million cedis (GH¢273 million). 

On reviving Agricultural Extension Services, President Akufo-Addo noted that Government has increased the staff strength from of the Services from 1,580 in 2016, to 4,280, following the recruitment of 2,700 more extension officers in 2019. 

“I am happy to inform you that approval has been given by Cabinet for the recruitment of an additional number of one thousand, one hundred (1,100) veterinary officers into the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Fifty percent (50%) of this number will be recruited in 2022, and the remaining fifty percent (50%) progressively taken on board over a two-year period,” he added 

Fisheries expansion, and cocoa pension schemes 

Construction works on fishing landing sites and harbour projects, located in the Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions, President Akufo-Addo said, are progressing steadily, with the projects expected to facilitate the transformation of the fisheries sector, by providing modernised berthing, handling, processing and mechanisation facilities to fisher folk. 

Cabinet, according to the President, has granted approval for the procurement of a research vessel and four (4) patrol boats for the fisheries sector, with the four (4) patrol boats set to strengthen enforcement capacity, to help address the issue of overexploitation and overfishing, as well as help curb the pervasive incidence of Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated (IUU) fishing. 

On cocoa, President Akufo-Addo stressed that the sector has seen significant transformation since 2017. 

“From an average production of eight hundred and eighty thousand (880,000) tonnes, the country hit an all-time record production of one million, and forty-seven thousand, three hundred and eighty-five (1,047,385 tonnes) in 2021, being the highest ever yearly production of cocoa, since it was introduced into Ghana in 1879,” he added. 

This, he said, has been made possible by the introduction of productivity improvement techniques that ensure higher yields from the same acreage, the adoption of technology and practices that modernise cocoa production in an environmentally, socially and sustainable manner, the design of policies to address the inequalities in the international marketing system of cocoa by paying a Living Income Differential of four hundred United States dollars ($400) per tonne of cocoa to farmers, and the fostering of partnerships and collaborative actions of stakeholders towards greater investments. 

President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that the commencement of the provision of a pension scheme for farmers started in 2020 under his government, even though the law was promulgated in 1984, with successive governments being unable to bring it into being. 

“The pilot pension scheme has, initially, covered some two thousand, eight hundred (2,800) farmers in the New Edubiase Cocoa District of the Ashanti Region, and a nation-wide registration of all cocoa farmers is on-going under the cocoa management system to speed up the process,” he added.

 


Source: Presidency.gov.gh

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Affordable housing stakeholders eying USD10,000 units

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Affordable housing stakeholders

Affordable housing stakeholders eying USD10,000 units

Kigali – November 8, 2021: Stakeholders in the housing sector are exploring ways of improving affordability of housing units in an attempt to address the biting housing shortage in Africa.

Speaking at the close of the 37th Annual General Meeting and conference of African Union for Housing Finance(“AUHF”) held in Kigali, Rwanda from the 2nd to 4th November under the theme “New Frontiers for Affordable Housing”, the Chairman of the AUHF and Shelter Afrique CEO, Mr. Andrew Chimphondah noted that one of the key learnings from the conference was that developing housing units with a selling price of USD10,000 or below is highly possible.

“This year’s AUHF annual conference has provided a very critical platform for global learning, sharing insights, networking, and highlighting trends in the fast-growing affordable housing sector in Africa. Some of the key trends covered in this year’s conference include innovations in underwriting for informal incomes; opportunities to be found in property technology; new and innovative funding approaches; green and climate-resilient housing; developing local capital markets, improving the efficiency and performance of the Housing Value Chain across the African continent and more importantly, increasing efforts to deliver exceptionally affordable homes at a selling price of less than $10,000,” Mr. Chimphondah said.

“In a post-Covid environment where everyone’s resources are constrained, we need to do more with so much less. What this means is that we need to improve the efficiencies of our housing sector and the processes it involves so that we can drastically reduce the construction cost and improve affordability,” Mr. Chimphondah added.  

The conference which attracted more than 550 attendees from around the world was presided over by Rwanda’s Minister of Infrastructure, Amb. Claver Gatete, who shared Rwanda’s ambitious affordable housing agenda.

“The new housing innovations have and continue to enable Rwanda to upgrade slums without the need to relocate the beneficiaries, The Government of Rwanda has also introduced various housing incentives such as the 100% infrastructure subsidies for low-cost high quality housing developments whose selling prices should not exceed US$35,000.00,” Amb. Gatete said.

From innovation and technology across the housing system, the conference was also used by leading institutions such as Shelter Afrique, UN Habitat, the African Development Bank, iLima Foundry, the Centre for Affordable Housing (CAHF), Reall and others to announce groundbreaking initiatives and developments that are likely to fast track sustainable affordable housing solutions across the continent.

“The conference also provided a platform for global leaders to share best practice; and for local developers to get access to ideas, technology and pan African and international contacts. Our hope is that these new ideas will speed up the development of the affordable housing sector across the continent,” said Centre for Affordable Housing Finance Executive Director Kecia Rust, who also serves at the AUHF’s Secretariat.

Kigali Declaration

At the conference, members issued the Kigali Declaration for Affordable Housing in Africaexpressing their commitment to working together in leveraging their diverse capacities, charting new frontiers in the delivery of affordable housing across the continent and in individual countries. 

“The Declaration sets out key commitments for the AUHF and its members, and urges governments, development finance institutions and support organisations, and other players across Africa’s affordable housing sector to work together in pursuit of these goals,” Mr. Chimphondah concluded.

About AUHF

Since its formation in 1984, the AUHF has evolved into a member-based, industry association of mortgage banks, building societies, housing corporations, Development Finance Institutions and other organisations involved in the mobilisation of funds for shelter and housing on the African continent.

As an industry body, the AUHF promotes the development of effective housing markets and the delivery of affordable housing across Africa, working in the interests of the members and the industry as a whole.

The AUHF is governed by a board of industry leaders elected every two years at its Annual General Body. The Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF), based in South Africa, acts as the Secretariat of the AUHF.

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Shelter Afrique fully repays commercial debts, eyes regional bonds

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Shelter Afrique fully repays commercial debts

Shelter Afrique fully repays commercial debts, eyes regional bonds

Nairobi, Kenya- 21 September 2021 – Pan-African housing development financier Shelter Afrique has fully paid commercial debts owed to eight lenders, giving the company the leverage to underwrite new debt.

In 2018, Shelter Afrique signed a Debt Restructuring Agreement with the eight lenders – six DFIs and two commercial banks – to restructure its debt with a new 5 – Year tenor to run from June 2019 to June 2024.

The USD186 million (including accrued interest) owed to African Development Bank, Agence Française de Developpement, Commercial Bank of Africa, European Investment Bank, German KFW, Ghana International Bank, CFA-Banque Ouest Africaine de Development, and Islamic Corporation for Development was fully repaid three years ahead of schedule.

“Despite Debt Restructuring Agreement giving us a window to make full loan repayment by June 2024, we successfully repaid all the loans by June 2021. This was possible due to the new structures we put in place to deal with bad debts and loan recoveries as part of our turnaround plan. This now affords us the ability to underwrite new business and debt without constraints and legacy matters. For instance, based on our current Equity Capital base of USD 155M and a debt-equity ratio of 0%, we can instantly raise new debt of up to USD 465 million,” Shelter Afrique Group Managing Director and CEO Andrew Chimphondah said.

The company has also repaid a bond floated on the Nairobi Stock Exchange between 2013 and 2018.

 Return to market

Mr Chimphondah noted that following the development, Shelter Afrique now plans to return to the capital market to raise KES125 billion (USD1.25 billion) in local-currency bonds by the end of the year.

“With the debts fully retired, we now intend to mobilise a local-currency equivalent of USD500 million each from Nigeria and East Africa, as well as USD250 million from French-speaking African nations.  These will be crucial in funding our demand-side pipeline of as much as USD1 billion which we are currently developing,” Chimphondah said

Mr Chimphondah added that besides the bonds, Shelter Afrique was exploring further shareholder financing, noting that the Company was already in talks with some keen organisations and countries who share a similar commitment to affordable housing in Africa.

“In the past few months, we have raised a significant amount from our current shareholders, admitted a new shareholder (Fonds de Solidarité Africain -FSA), and resolved to open a new class C group of shareholding for non-African entities to widen our shareholding and capital resource bases,” Mr Chimphondah said.

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