Friday, April 24, 2015

Let’s Fight Terrorism - Deputy Defence Minister

9 February 2015. The Deputy Minister for Defence, Hon Alex Segbefia has emphasised the need for Africa to fight terrorism since it has become a common enemy facing the sub-region.

He appealed to the various authorities who are involved in peace and stability to come together to help fight this canker.

He made these remarks on behalf of the Minister for Defence, Hon Dr Benjamin Kunbour during the official handing-over of equipment to the Ghana Armed Forces by the German Armed Forces Technical Advisory Group (GAFTAG) at Burma Camp.

Hon Segbefia said GAFTAG has been at the forefront of the Federal Republic of Germany Equipment Aid programme to the Ghana Armed Forces since 2005 and its focus is mainly on supporting the Ghana Engineer Company as they train as part of the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) Standby Force.

The equipment, worth 1.5 million Euros, was handed over by Mrs Doris Barnet. It included Nine Mantrac troop carrying vehicles, two Speed Boats, four Belly Bridges, Spraying Oven, Mobile Break Testing machine, Engine carrier, shock absorbers, alignment machine, GD 4X4 Benz, compressor, trolley jerk and other equipment.

During the same ceremony, GAFTAG also handed over completed projects such as infrastructural improvement at the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Technical Training School (EMETTS), renovation and re-equipping of Base Workshop main shop and the construction of a borehole. Renovation and equipping of a Battery shop, installation of vulcanizing machines, construction of a new Ablution unit for the Workshop and a 7.5 metre depth borehole which will provide water to the  Chiringa barracks, Arakan and EMETTS student accommodation block.

GAFTAG has also completed the construction of a one storey-seven-classroom block, a 70-man accommodation block for students, an administration block and eight mechanical and electrical workshop which were commissioned in 2010.

The leader of the German delegation, Mrs Doris Barnet in her speech on behalf of the German Ambassador to Ghana, His Excellency Rudriger John, noted that the corporation between the German Government especially GAFTAG and GAF has been very cordial which will help in African peacekeeping and development.

She said Ghana has been a partner in development programmes and a reliable country in peacekeeping since 1968 which is remarkable in the history of peacekeeping and conflict management.

‘’We are happy to assist Ghana to improve upon its infrastructure and together with  the German Advisory Group, Ghana has become a pillar of the African Standby Force and this will improve the bilateral relation between Ghana and Germany’’ she emphasized.

Present at the occasion were the Chief of the Defence Staff, Vice Admiral Matthew Quashie, the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Geoffery Mawuli Biekro, the Chief of Staff, Maj Gen Bobson Saagbul, Commandant, Ghana Military Academy and Training Schools (MATS) Commend, Rear Admiral Emmanuel Akoto-Bonso, Commander Support Services Brigade Group, Brig Gen Musah Whajah, Commanding Officer of Base Workshop, Lt Col Kwaku Kumi, Senior officers, Forces Sergeant Major, SWO Owusu Dickson and other.

Some of the German delegation included the leader of GAFTAG, Lt Col Kunz, the protocol officer at the German Embassy in Ghana Ms Isolde Rausch and a representative of the Budget Committee at the German Parliament, Kai Lingen.

Pakistani High Commissioner Calls for Deeper Bilateral Relations with Ghana

4 February 2015. The Pakistani High Commissioner to Ghana, Lt Gen Muhammad Asharaf Saleem, has stressed on the need for deeper bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and Ghana in the areas of trade, investment and industry.

He said education and cultural exchanges between the two countries had been excellent and under it, Ghana Armed Forces personnel are in Pakistan for training.

He made these remarks when he paid a courtesy call on the Defence Minister, Hon Dr Benjamin Kunbuor in his office at the Ministry of Defence (The Square) on Wednesday February 4, 2015.

Lt Gen Saleem said Pakistan has expertise in the manufacture of military equipment which includes shoes, hardware and uniforms.

He said his country's skills at aircraft manufacturing and maintenance skills are of international standard as well as the manufacture of agricultural tractors.

Hon Dr Kunbuor on the other hand, welcomed the need for enhanced collaboration between Pakistan and Ghana. He said exploration would be done at the technical level to ascertain exchanges of mutual economic and military benefits between the armed forces of the two countries.

ICT, the Way Forward for the Military - Defence Minister

3 February 2015. The Minister for Defence Hon Benjamin Kunbour in his closing remarks at the just ended Future Fires Summit 2015 on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Training Centre said, the summit has given options for effective fire systems, shared information and experiences on contemporary fire systems that meet the demand of current warfare.

The ultimate aim of the conference was to enhance existing or develop new systems that will enhance integrated fires and command and control to ensure peace in the country and by extension, international security.

The Minister added that, Ghana’s experience in ECOMOG Operation in the early 1990s has long informed them about the requirements for integrated fires from Land, Sea and Air. He acknowledged the changing dynamics in the use of indirect fires in asymmetric warfare that confront global security and was convinced that the summit has provided ways to improve concepts and plans to address these problems.

Hon Kunbour stated that steps were being taken to make regional bodies such as African Standby Force or ECOWAS Standby Force operationally efficient.  He added that any attempt to ignore common platforms will undermine the integration of information and communication technology which has offered the military varied systems and modes of communication.

He thanked the exhibitors who came to exhibit their goods and services at the summit, which has given participants first-hand information on the systems they desire to procure and to a large extent address the concerns on the systems. He finally thanked the Ghana Army and International Quality and Productivity Center (IQPC) for organising such a summit and Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Training Centre for their hospitality for the two day event.

Participating countries were Malawi, South Africa, Nigeria, United States of America, Germany, Togo and Bangladesh.

Ghana Army holds Future Fires Africa Summit

2-4 February 2015. The Ghana Army in collaboration with the International Quality and Productivity Center (IQPC) has organised a three-day Future Fires Africa Summit at the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Center (KAIPTC), in Accra from 2-4 February, 2015.

The summit which was attended by government officials, corporate bodies, military personnel from Ghana and other African countries was aimed at providing the necessary drive to its forces to accomplish assigned missions in the face of ballistic, Improvised Explosives Devices (IED) and asymmetric threats as well as integrating regional forces to facilitate  inter-operability.

In a speech read by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Vice Admiral Matthew Quashie on behalf of the Guest of Honour, Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Mr Paa Kwasi Amissah Arthur stated that the presence of the participants, their interest and support will give meaning to the summit that seeks to digest fires available to the military and examine the way forward for optimum application in contemporary warfare. He added that Armies that employ effective and well-coordinated fires dominate the battle space and intimate their adversaries.

He disclosed that the availability of effective fires gives moral assurance and confidence to troops and indicated that as warfare metamorphosed in concert with strategy, it has become imperative to review all fires available to the army in order to win wars with minimum casualties.

“The threats facing nations today are transitional and make the summit more relevant in hope that the discussions will identify the policies to integrate systems better to ensure effective fire support at all times.  The African Union has identified the trend of these common threats and evolved the Africa Peace and Security Architecture for a common platform to confront the common enemy. The summit will offer you a second to none exposure to senior level decision-makers and some solutions to improve strategies”.

The Guest of Honour, however, noted that what is more important are networking and information sharing opportunities that will ensure to their benefit as they discuss the salient topics outlined for the summit and meet leaders in the industry.  He duly opened the Future Fire summit Africa and wished the participants a happy stay and a successful summit.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Richard Opoku-Adusei in his welcome address said the Future Fires Africa Summit 2015 seeks to advance African joint and indirect fires for regional security and the improvement of our forces’ indirect fire-system-integration, improved target acquisition, cost- effective training and accurate joint integration of fires for a holistic battlespace management which are some key benchmarks.

He noted that  many parts of West Africa have been embroiled in violent conflict from the late 1980s till the early 21st Century and has pose a significant challenges to regional peace and security. Adding that five major emerging security threats have been identified in the West African sub region; which are drug trafficking and organised crime, terrorism, challenges to democratic governance, insurgency and piracy.

Major Gen Opoku-Adusei emphasized on the activities of Boko Haram that started in Nigeria and have been reported in Cameroon, Chad and Niger amid suspicions it is linked to the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA).He added that our posture for defence of Ghana’s territorial integrity and socio-economic interest shall continue to be credible.

He hoped that the professional conference of well-endowed and experienced personalities both from the military and the industry will enhance the networking and general preparedness and urged the participants to savour the rich culture and warmth hospitality of Ghana.

St Georges’ Anglican Church Cuts Sod for School Project

31 January 2015. The St George’s Anglican Church had cut a sod for the construction of an administration block, offices and classrooms for St John Daly School at Russia a suburb of Dansoman on Sunday, 31 January, 2015.

Prof Stephen Dadzie, the Board Chairman of the Sub Committee for the project under construction, in his speech disclosed that, the school belong to the church. 

He said the Church sought for the permission to change the school from a public school to a private one. “The privatisation of the school was granted on 1 September 2014. It will start with the Pre-School and gradually cover the Basic and Junior High levels of the School”, he added. Prof Dadzie commended the school for achieving great strides in their academics since its establishment.

His Lordship Rt Rev Dr Silvanus Mensah Torto the Bishop of the Anglican Church of the Accra Diocese dedicated the project and broke the grounds for the continuation of the project.

In his sermon, he urged all to have faith in Christ, listen to the word of God and abide by it. We should learn to involve God in all our planned projects. He mentioned that they are constructing the new structure on the word of God as the rock of the school.

Speaking to the AF News, the Headmistress of the school and Deputy Director of Ghana Education Service (GES) Madam Betty Quansah stated that the school was established in 1973 and was initiated into the public system in the same year. It started with the Nursery and later added the Basic and Junior High School. The school has a population of 722 pupils.

Present at the ceremony were the Sub Committee members, some teaching staff and pupils of the school.

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