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Ghana government free SHS funding proposal questionable.

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Government has been advised to establish a strong financial sustainability plan that would enable it to progress with the implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) and the other social intervention programmes.

The advice forms part of SEND-Ghana’s recommendations, after a research conducted on the equity in resource allocations to education, health and social protection, and a scrutiny of the 2018 Annual Budget to these sectors.

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Mrs Harriet Nuamah-Agyemang, the Programme Officer of SEND-Ghana, explained that government’s proposal in the 2018 Budget Statement, to set up a voluntary fund to finance the Free SHS Programme, lacked clarity, in terms of how much was being targeted, how that target was going to be met, and how the initiative answered the question of sustainability.

Mrs Nuamah-Agyemang stated at a round-table organized by the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) in Accra, which attracted participants from the academia, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), policymakers, implementers and the media.The meeting was to explore the nexus between budget allocation and inequality, focusing on Education, Health and Social Protection.

Mrs Nuamah-Agyemang said government needed to answer questions on prioritisation and equity in these three areas, stating that, the gaps at the basic level of education must be adequately addressed in order to build a stronger foundation for Ghanaian children.

She said, “in this respect, enough funds should be allocated for basic education. In addition, parents who can easily afford to pay for SHS for their wards must be allowed to do so to save funds to support poor parents to take their wards through basic education”.

The government, she said, must also ensure that funds allocated were timely disbursed in their entirety to strengthen the management systems of schools, so that the directorates of the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES) could implement all pro-poor policy interventions such as the Capitation grant, Free SHS and examination subsidies among others.

The presentation by SEND-Ghana further proposed that government increase allocation to capital expenditure (CAPEX) in the 2018 Supplementary budget by earmarking a significant proportion of revenues from the extractive non-renewable sector and other sources such as the Talk Tax, and ensure the judicious expansion of the GETFund of over GHC928 million.

Mrs Nuamah-Agyemang said the expansion of the GETFund allocation was necessary to address the infrastructural deficit at the Basic and Senior High School levels, especially as has been exposed by the implementation of the Free SHS.

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Crime

Nigeria Football Federation boss Amaju Pinnick under fresh corruption probe

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Several properties belonging to top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), including its president Amaju Pinnick, have been seized in a fresh corruption probe.

The latest investigation and seizures are being carried out by the country’s Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission’s (ICPC).

The ICPC has published a newspaper advertisement about the properties seized – half of which belong to Pinnick.

According to the statement published in the Nigerian papers one of Pinnick’s properties is in London.

It comes amidst wide-ranging claims over how money meant for football development allegedly disappeared.

“We can’t go into further details beyond the fact that many officials of the NFF are under investigation,” ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa said.

“It’s basically because what they have is in excess of what they have earned.”

The ICPC has also taken control of properties belonging to the NFF second vice-president Shehu Dikko and the general secretary Muhamed Sanusi among others.

Source: BBC

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24 Hours Across Africa

Rwanda ban Burundi,s music star ahead of annual festival

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Burundian musician Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidum, has told the BBC he is confused by Rwanda’s decision to ban him from playing at the upcoming Kigali Jazz Fusion festival.

Kidum is one of Burundi’s biggest music stars and has performed in Rwanda for the past 16 years.

But a police official phoned the musician’s manager to warn that he would only be allowed to make private visits to Rwanda.

“[My manager was told] Kidum is not supposed to perform, tell him to leave. If he comes for private visits fine, but no performances,” the musician told BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

The mayor of Rwanda’s capital said that in this instance permission had not been sought from the authorities for him to perform at the festival in Kigali.

Kidum was a leading peace activist during Burundi’s civil war between 1993 and 2003 and used his songs to call for reconciliation.

The 44-year-old musician said he had never had problems with Rwandan authorities until recently when three of his shows were cancelled at the last minute – including one in December 2018.

That month Burundi had banned Meddy, a musician who is half-Burundian, half-Rwandan, from performing in the main city of Bujumbura.

Kidum said he was unsure if the diplomatic tensions between Burundi and Rwanda had influenced his ban.

“I don’t know, I don’t have any evidence about that. And if there was politics, I’m not a player in politics, I’m just a freelance musician based in Nairobi,” he said.

He said he would not challenge the ban: “There’s nothing I can do, I just wait until maybe the decision is changed some day.

“It’s similar to a family house and you are denied entry… so you just have to wait maybe until the head of the family decides otherwise.”

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