Monday, February 8, 2016
Ghana Armed Forces
Minister-Designate for Defence Advocates for a Military Barracks for Bawku

Hon Mark Woyongo, Minister-designate for Defence, has advocated for the establishment of a military barracks at Bawku in the Upper East Region to help keep the peace in the area, which had been bedeviled with perennial ethnic conflicts.

“There is the need to establish a barracks or battalion at Bawku to take care of the security needs of the citizenry in the area. Today, we may not be under threats but who knows tomorrow?” Mr Woyongo quizzed rhetorically during his vetting at the appointments committee of parliament.

The nominee who is the immediate past Upper East Regional Minister observed that despite the relatively peaceful atmosphere in Bawku and its environs, it was necessary to establish a military post in the area to respond rapidly to any security threat that could arise in the future.

He said apart from internal conflicts, the area also shared borders with Togo and Burkina Faso; two neighbouring countries that sometimes experienced political conflict. “There is the need for immediate establishments of a military battalion to argument the operations of other security agencies in the area to effectively prevent spill over from conflicts in neighbouring countries into Ghana.”

The Minister Designate for Defence who is also the MP for Navrongo Central, stressed the need to continually resource the Ghana Armed Forces to adequately equip them to respond to any security threats within and outside the country.

Answering questions on military-civilian relationship, he promised to work hard to ensure a harmonious relationship between the two. This he indicated could be done through the promotion of more outdoor games that would bring the civilian and the military personnel together, “when we start this, we will be building bridges between the military and the civilian” the nominee observed.

He also promised to strengthen and step up the work of the field engineers who were engaged in the construction of the bridges in rural Ghana. This, according to him, would enable the military to generate income for the states.

US Donates trucks to GAF

4 February 2013.    The United States (US) Government has presented five Mercedes Benz Troop Carrying Trucks to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) at a ceremony in Accra on Monday 4 February 2013. The trucks valued at $1.6 million dollars included spare-parts and are to be deployed for peacekeeping in Liberia and Mali.

The US Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Gene Cretz, who handed over the trucks said the acquisition was made possible through the US Government’s Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program to help allies and friends improve their defence capabilities.

The FMF program he explained provided grants and loans to assist foreign nations purchase US military equipment, and provide service and training so as to “improve their defence capabilities while strengthening cooperative bilateral military relationships to enhance interoperability with the US forces.”

Mr Cretz stated that the programme introduced in Ghana in 1986 had seen the US Government granting over $107 million to the GAF to purchase military equipment, service and training.

He noted, “Ghana has spent these funds on a wide spectrum of items including trucks, helicopters, boat engines, medical equipment and hardware required for up to date computer network”.

He announced that three additional trucks and their spare parts were in the process of being acquired and assured that adequate funding would be provided to train personnel in all branches of GAF.

The care-taker Minister of Defence, Lt Gen Joseph Henry Smith (rtd), said the US Government’s support to GAF would enhance its efficiency and professional capacity, adding that GAF had benefitted and continued to enjoy varied support that had improved its level of professionalism, technical and tactical proficiency of personnel”.

He commended the US Government for providing some M16 riffles and M30 mortars as well as improving the base infrastructure at the Bundase Training Camp to support peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts.

British CDS calls on GAF CDS

2 February 2013. A seven-member delegation from the British Armed Forces led by the Chief of the Defence Staff, Gen Sir David Richards, called on the Chief of the Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), Lt Gen Peter Augustine Blay in his office on Saturday 2 February 2012.

According to Gen Sir Richards, the visit was to strengthen the long standing relationship between the British Armed Forces and the Ghana Armed Forces. He said it was also for the British Armed Forces to see how best they could assist GAF, in terms of providing the needed training and equipment to deploy Ghana’s troops to assist in restoring peace and security in Mali.

Gen Sir Richards noted that the British Armed Forces would among other things provide air lift assistance to help in transporting Ghanaian troops to Mali. He added that they would be committing a transport aircraft to transport the troops. 

Lt Gen Blay, in his remarks, expressed his appreciation to Gen Sir Richards and the British Armed Forces in general for their unflinching support to GAF and Ghana as a whole.

Touching on Mali, Lt Gen Blay noted that Ghana would have loved to commit more troops to aid in restoring peace in the country but because of its commitment to other United Nations Peace Support Operations around the globe, Ghana could only deploy a limited number of troops.

He was very grateful to the British Armed Forces for opting to provide the required training and equipment, especially the transport aircraft, for the Ghanaian troops to deploy to Mali.

The British delegation later called on the President of the Republic of Ghana and Commander-in-Chief of GAF, HE John Dramani Mahama.

Members of the British delegation included Maj Gen Alex Storrie, Assistant CDS Military Strategy, Col Charlie Storrie, Chief of Staff, Permanent Joint Headquarters, Lt Col Tom Tugendhat, Military Assistant and Lt Col Ben Edwards.

The delegation was accompanied by the British High Commissioner to Ghana, HE Dr Peter Hayes and Lt Col Anton Gash, the UK Defence Attaché in Ghana.

President Mahama assures nation of politically inclusive and socially united government

President Mahama delivering his speech during the Ceremony to mark movement of seat of Government from the Osu Castle to the Flagstaff House7 February 2013.   President John Dramani Mahama has given assurance that his administration would run a politically inclusive and socially united government to ensure holistic development. In doing so, the President said government would also continue to tap the resources of Ghanaians irrespective of their status, religion, ethnic, education, political and professional affiliation in the country.

President Mahama made the promise when he addressed a gathering at a ceremony marking the relocation of the Presidency from the Osu Castle to Flagstaff House, Kanda on Thursday 7 February 2013.

The ceremony, which was predominantly religious, was attended by former President Jerry John Rawlings, Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood, Chief Justice, leaders from different religions in the country, security agencies and government officials.

President Mahama said poverty and youth unemployment were major concerns government would address in the coming years. He said much as government would do everything to ensure  the country avoided labour disputes, it would also not be coerced by unjustifiable demands from the working class, and called for information flow that would ensure amicable settlement of disagreements.

The President said government in the coming weeks would unveil the engagement plans that would create a platform for collaboration between government and the public. President Mahama said: “I want to remind you all that my administration will continue to run this country with intelligence and effectiveness that we can provide and I call on all of you to play your roles responsibly.”

On the failure of the national team, the Black Stars to reach the finals of the on-going African Cup of Nations in South Africa, the President said he would engage the Ghana Football Association to carry out a post-mortem that would empower them to strategise to enable the Stars take their rightful position in subsequent tournaments.

Invitation for Tender


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