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General News of Sunday, 2 January 2005

Source: GNA

2004 Review: Major events

Accra, Dec. 31, GNA - Ghanaians began the year on a quiet note but Election 2004 became the major preoccupation of most citizens with the media setting the agenda for discussions on major issues such as mergers of political parties and who stood the chance of becoming running mates.

President John Agyekum Kufuor waded into discussions of expectations when he announced that the year promised to be good. The following are some major events recorded by the Ghana News Agency:

January

January 1: President Kufuor broadcasts to the nation and forecasts that the year held good promises.

January 2: Opening figures of the Stock Exchange and inter-bank exchange rates of major currencies to the cedi:

OPENING RATES FOR THE YEAR

CLOSING RATES FOR THE YEAR

Currency Buying Selling Buying Selling U.S. Dollar 8,637.00 8,871.55 8,947.00 9,112.45 Pound Sterling 15,707.00 15,955.00 17,236.40 17,558.78 Canadian Dollar 5,241.88 5,364.74 7,447.46 7,584.13 Japanese Yen 69.41 71.04 87.21 88.79 Euro 11,079.00 11,248.00 12,205.35 12,426.60 CFA Franc 16.89 17.15 18.61 18.94

The All-Share Index, or the main market indicator of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), made 5.54 points at the start of the year with trading closing at 3,558.96 points.

Change for year after the first trading was 0.16 per cent Market Capitalisation - 12,630.79 billion cedis Volume Traded - 497,300 shares.

Jamaican-born world acclaimed reggae musician, Shaggy, arrives for two-day concert.

January 5:

Large amounts of cocaine impounded at Tema. The quantity of the drug is described as the largest to be seized in Africa.

January 7:

People's Assembly held to mark 11 years of constitutional rule and third anniversary of New Patriotic Party Government.

January 8:

Foreign Minister of Guinea, Mr Fall Francois Lonseny arrives.

UNESCO Director General Koichiro Matsuura arrives.

Emirates Airlines makes maiden flight.

January 20:

Alban Bagbin, Minority Leader's case on the renovation of the President's private house, is dismissed by CHRAJ due to absence of his Counsel.

January 21:

Parliament extends State of Emergency in Dagbon.

National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) begins sitting in Ho for 14 days.

GHALCA Top 4 Coca-Cola sponsored tournament begins after controversies.

Danish Foreign Minister begins visit.

January 22: President Kufuor delivers State of the Nation Address.

January 23: German Chancellor visits Ghana.

January 24: African Cup tournament begins in Tunisia.

February 3:

NRC Public Affairs Director Ms Annie Anipa returns to Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), her mother institution.

Five MPs, Abraham Ossei-Aidooh, Alhaji Malik Al-Hassan Yakubu, Andrews Adjei-Yeboah, John Dramani Mahama and Ama Benyiwa-Doe appointed to serve in the Pan-African Parliament.

National Democratic Congress (NDC) opposes Anglogold offer for a merger with Ashanti Goldfields Company (AGC) because it deemed the offer and process as a breach of the law. The Party explained that there was a 300 million-dollar difference between the offer of Rangold and that of Anglogold.

Parliament discusses absenteeism.

February 4: Former US President Jimmy Carter arrives in Accra for as part of a worldwide tour to campaign against guinea worm.

Kwabena Agyepong, President's Press Secretary, testifies at NRC on the murder of his father.

February 5: Minister of Finance presents Budget to Parliament.

President Kufuor travels to Rwanda for an African Peer Review Summit.

February 9: Time for Captain Kojo Tsikata (rtd) to give evidence at NRC rescheduled.

Minority Leader in Parliament, Alban Bagbin asked by Auditor-General's Report to refund 68 million cedis to Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GHAPOHA).

February 10: Captain Rtd Kojo Tsikata testifies at NRC on the killings of three High Court Judges and a Soldier.

February 12: Former President Jerry Rawlings appears before the NRC to answer questions on the whereabouts of an audio and videotape on the killings and interrogation of some soldiers. He was unable to produce them and the Chairman of the NRC dismisses him to his surprise.

February 16: NRC sits in camera for one week

February 23: NRC sits in Cape Coast for 2 weeks

February 24: Parliament passes bill to increase passport fees

February 25: President Kufuor travels to Libya

Prince Kofi Kludjeson becomes new President of the Association Ghana Industries (AGI).

March

March 2: Professor John Evans Atta Mills, NDC Presidential Candidate, holds public forum.

March 6: Independence Day.

March 9: British Secretary for Foreign Development visits Ghana.

March 10: President Kufuor confers honorary award on Rod Pullen, outgoing British High Commissioner.

March 11: Parliament extends State of Emergency at Dagbon and Tamale Municipality effective 23rd March 2004.

March 15: Voter registration exercise begins for 14 days.

March 18: Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Leaders arrive for extraordinary summit.

President Kufuor inaugurates ECOWAS Council of elders for Peer Review Mechanism.

President Kufuor launches National Health Insurance Scheme.

Ahmaddis hold annual congress.

March 19: ECOWAS Leaders meet with World Bank President, James Wolfenson

March 26: Former President Rawlings alleged to have assaulted a 28 year-old man.

March 31: New daily minimum wage of 11,200 cedis and new Labour Law announced.

Ghana and Iran sign memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a grant of 1.5 million dollars as budgetary support.

April

April 2: World-renowned musician, Stevie Wonder arrives for charity concert.

April 9: Good Friday

April 13: Parliament extends State of Emergency in Dagbon for another one month.

April 20: President Kufuor travels to Benin

April 26: President Kufuor confers with British Prime Minister

April 27: President Kufuor attends 10th Anniversary of South Africa's majority rule.

Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA) holds elections.

April 29: NRC presents remains of six persons killed and buried in unmarked graves during the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) regime to their families for reburial.

May

May 1: Workers' Day observed

May 2: Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) at its Second Quadrennial National Delegates' Congress of Senior Staff says it has finalised the design for implementation of a new social security scheme for the informal sector. The scheme will operate like a savings scheme and will allow for periodic withdrawals.

May 3: Bernard Ribeiro, Ghanaian Consultant Surgeon, who introduced keyhole surgery in Essex, England, awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II.

Charles Nyanor, NPP MP for Upper Denkyira and a Minister of State at the Office of the President dies.

AGC de-lists while Anglogold Ashanti (AGA) lists on the Ghana Stock Exchange.

May 4: Bomb scare at Merchant Bank at Central Business District of Accra turned out to be a hoax.

May 5: Another bomb scare at Ghana International School in Accra.

May 6: Chairmen of political parties form caucus.

Police CID gets Resource Centre.

May 7: Tema General Hospital Labour Ward closed down for severe shortage of medical staff at the Maternity Unit.

May 9: Stadium disaster remembered.

Sachet water producers reject demand by AMA to contribute 450 million cedis a month towards cleaning plastic waste in Accra.

Ghana and 15 other countries selected as eligible to apply for the Millennium Challenge Account assistance of the United States for the 2004 financial year Ayensu Starch factory starts export

The Atebubu District Office of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has ordered a fetish priest at Bolga-Nkwanta, near Atebubu, not to prevent his 18-year-old son from becoming a Christian.

Fifty-three lawyers made Notary Public Officers.

May 19:Four students remanded for attempting to sell rifle.

President Ahmed Tejan-Kabbah of Sierra Leone arrives in Accra to participate in the Asanteman Adae Kese Festival in Kumasi on Sunday.

May 10: Media raises questions about the source of the 300 million-dollar CNTCI Loan being sourced by the Government.

May 11: Government brings in first batch of 200 out of 1,000 tractors expected to help boost food production.

NDC calls for review of the CNTCI Loan.

May 13: Government says it is collating concerns on the CNTCI Loan.

The Government says it is drawing up a package to access the Millennium Challenge Account.

National Immunisation Programme Manager, Kwadwo Odei Antwi-Agyei says Ghana achieved 100 per cent of its target in the first and second rounds of polio immunisation in February and March.

May 14: Nine new Judges of Superior Court of Judicature sworn into office.

Ghana and Qatar sign four trade and investment pacts during Vice President's Aliu Mahama's visit to the oil rich country.

Ghana signs MOU with Kosmos Energy, a US-based private firm, to explore and drill oil in the Tano Basin.

Former First Lady Akufo-Addo laid to rest.

May 17: World Telecom Day observed in Kumasi

May 18: Stakeholders meet at Ministry of Employment and Manpower Development and order agents of a South African recruitment agency to refund monies to 383 Ghanaians, who fell prey to a fraudulent recruitment exercise.

National African Peer Review Mechanism (NAPRM) Governing Council engages services of CDD, CEPA, PEF and ISSER to provide technical support in the review process in Ghana.

Mr Agibasse Anabila, a Retired Agriculturist, told NRC sitting in Bolgatanga that some soldiers removed three of his upper teeth with pliers in 1979 because he had the inscription "I Thank God" on his tractor. Clydestone lists on the Ghana Stock Exchange.

May 20: Parliament extends State of Emergency in the Tamale Municipality and Yendi District but lifts the curfew imposed on Yendi District.

IGP meets with media personnel to discuss issues on impending elections.

May 21: Immigration Service says it has since the implementation of the provisions of the Dual Citizens Act issued citizen status to 500 Ghanaians in the Diaspora while 325 applications are being processed.

First lady, Mrs Theresa Kufuor and 10 others honoured for their contributions to the development of the Brong Ahafo Region.

May 22: BOG reduces prime rate from 20 per cent to 18.3 per cent.

May 24: NDC and NPP supporters clash at Tamale, Northern Regional Security Committee (REGSEC) bans outdoor political activities.

Divestiture Implementation Committee conducts bidding exercise to select a company to maintain and operate existing railway lines - Two companies from South Africa and United Kingdom short-listed.

May 26: Alavanyo and Nkonya Leaders say they are ready to dialogue to end 80 years of land dispute. They set up committees to work towards the goal.

Lawyers of Former President Jerry Rawlings hold press conference to deny allegations made against him at the NRC by Ex-Corporal Matthew Adabuga.

May 27: Professor George Hagan and three others appear before disciplinary committee of the Convention People's Party (CPP).

National stakeholders' forum on APRM opens.

President formally opens National Economic Dialogue.

President leaves for Abuja for ECOWAS meeting on New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the inauguration of President Olusegun Obasanjo for a second-term of office.

May 28: NDC withdraws from Upper Denkyira by-election.

Ghana and the Netherlands sign grant agreement for 6.50 million euros.

President inaugurates newly formed Anglogold Ashanti Company at Obuasi. The new Company has the world's largest gold resource base and gold reserves and employs about 62,500 people.

May 29: People's National Convention (PNC) holds Delegates' Congress; Kofi Wayo and Dr Edward Mahama vie for presidential candidature.

May 30: President travels to Equatorial Guinea where he holds negotiations for supply of crude oil to Ghana and for Ghana to refine crude oil for Equatorial Guinea.

June

June 1: University Administrators go on strike over book allowance.

Veep tours Upper East Region.

June 2: Sam Jonah moves to assume office in South Africa as President of Anglogold Ashanti. He sets up endowment fund for the University of Cape Coast before leaving.

West African Monetary Institute approves setting up of West African Finance Supervisory Authority and West African Monetary Zone to quicken pace towards monetary union.

June 3: Minister of Finance holds press conference and says Government would pursue CNTCI Loan to its logical conclusion.

EU, DANIDA, World Bank, DFID and the Netherlands governments pledge to give technical and financial support towards the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

June 4: NDC observes June 4 revolution.

President Kufuor announces that the Government had taken measures to avert increase in petroleum prices by tasking state institutions like the Ghana Cocoa Board, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC) to pay available surplus resources meant for the Consolidated Fund to help fund importation of crude oil.

Two packets of heroin valued at 1.5 million dollars intercepted at the Kotoka International Airport.

June 5: World Environment Day observed.

June 7: President Kufuor attends G8 summit in Georgia, USA.

June 8: IFC approves 60 million dollars loan for Ghana to expand Takoradi Thermal Plant to increase capacity from 220 megawatts to 330 megawatts.

June 10: Ministry of Defence Committee that probed into the auction of aircraft belonging to the Ghana Air Force recommends sanctioning of people involved for under-valuation of the aircraft.

June 12: Sixth National Tourists Awards night held.

June 15: Captain Kojo Tsikata (rtd) appears before NRC and denies involvement in murder of three High Court Judges and retired Army Officer. He said he had had to live with false accusations for 20 years.

June 16: French Minister of State in Charge of Corporation and Francophone Development, Xavier Darcos visits Ghana.

June 17: Civil Servants' Association issues ultimatum to Government to restore CAP 30 within a week but SSNIT says CAP 30 is not sustainable.

Ghana Cocoa Board says it has destroyed 30 million cocoa trees affected by the swollen shoot disease.

June 18: Xavier says France has cancelled 116 million euro debt of Ghana.

June 21: Mother Church of Winners Chapel wants Ghanaian head Bishop George Agyeman out but he says the leaders want him out because he stopped illegal transfer of money from Ghana to Nigeria.

Kwamena Ahwoi appears before NRC.

Vice President travels to Maputo, Mozambique, for African Caribbean and Pacific Heads of State Summit.

Tsatsu Tsikata refused access to in-camera information at NRC.

June 22: State of Emergency in Dagbon extended.

June 23: President intervenes to halt agitation on CAP 30 and calls for views from interested parties towards the setting up of a Commission on Pension.

15-Member NHIS Council inaugurated.

June 25: President Sam Nujoma of Namibia arrives in Ghana.

Cabinet approves 37.5 billion cedis subsidy for senior secondary schools.

June 28: Three busts unveiled by the Chief Justice and President Kufuor at a ceremony at which the President of the Ghana Bar Association calls for the truth on the murder of three High Court Judges and a retired Army Officer.

June 29: NPP wins Upper Denkyira by-election.

TUC Executive Board meets to take decision on the secession of Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU).

June 30: Parliament hears motion to get government to rescind decision on 300 million dollar CNTCI Loan but the House affirms the decision.

July

July 1: Republic Day observed

President Kufuor appoints nine-member committee to work out enduring pension scheme as Civil Servants agitate for CAP 30.

President of Mauritius and Former Nigerian Leader Ibrahim Babangida visit Ghana.

TUC agrees to the secession of ICU.

President Kufuor nominates three people for the Supreme Court.

July 5: Vice-Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology expresses concern about occultism in schools.

Third ordinary summit of AU held in Addis Ababa.

July 6: House passes Maritime Security Bill.

July 7: Chris Asher Junior and Tsatsu Tsikata, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, engage in shouting match at NRC. "Tarkwa Killer", Sgt Anthony Charles Apoera confesses and asks for forgiveness.

July 9: Ghana reaches Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) completion point.

Vice President Aliu Mahama says Ghana had set up database to monitor arms that flow into the country.

Subin River in Kumasi overflows its banks, houses submerged.

July 12: Government restores formal relations with Madam Fathia Nkrumah; Gives her diplomatic status and refurbishes her residence.

Court rules out Tsatsu Tsikata's case against Chairman of NRC on animosity and dislike.

EC staff protest against poor working conditions.

July 13: NRC holds last public hearing.

Parliament approves National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL).

July 14: Medium Term Private Sector Development Strategy launched.

July 16: Fourteen billion cedis programme launched to rid country of plastic waste

Four killed in Dambai as Konkmbas clash with Battors because cattle were herded through a land belonging to a Konkomba.

August

Aug 1: Operation of Health levy begins.

Aug 8: Vice President Aliu Mahama breaks silence on Dagbon and denies Government's involvement in the assassination of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, Paramount Chief of Dagbon Traditional Area during an outreach programme in the Western Region.

Aug 9: Vice President Aliu Mahama opens first ever Western Region Homecoming Summit.

"Consolidated Discount House (CDH) Group" in serious financial crisis.

Aug 23: Ghana ranked 131 under the Human Development Index.

Africa Summit launched in Accra.

Aug 24:

Ghanaian exporters of palm oil encounter problems in the United Kingdom for adulterating their product.

Aug 26: Ministry launches second edition of National Drug Policy

Aug 30: 1.7 billion cedis incentive for health professionals in deprived areas

September

Sept 9: International conference on Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade opens.

EC records low turnout during voter ID mopping up exercise in Volta Region.

CDD research reveals there is a high perception of corruption in Ghanaian politics.

President Obasanjo arrives for National Prayer Breakfast meeting.

October

Oct 13: President Kufuor announces that per capita income of Ghanaians had gone up from 370 dollars to 450 dollars.

President Kufuor signs Local Government Service Act.

Contents of NRC report presented to President Kufuor leaked to the Media.

Oct 20: Small firms hold fair.

Ghana ranked 64 among 146 countries in 2004 corruption perception index.

Oct 21: Three presidential candidates file nomination to contest the December 7 election. EC gives Dr Mahama of PNC time to sort out his papers.

Oct 25: 10 escape from police custody - officers given 10 days to bring them back.

EC clears Dr Mahama to contest election.

Annual review conference of Regional Ministers, Metropolitan, Municipal Chief Executive and DCEs held in Bolgatanga.

Oct 29: First Auditor-General Probe Report on Management and Audit submitted to Parliament.

Oct 30: Former President Rawlings apologises to the people of Volta Region for neglecting them during his tenure of office.

November

Nov 1: Large crowd of people throng the Margaret Mary Catholic Church at Dansoman in Accra to take a glimpse of alleged appearance of the image of Jesus Christ on rocks at the Church's Grotto.

ECOWAS court set up to handle cross-border crime.

Court imposes 20 million cedis fine on a Dutch for sodomy - he had carnal knowledge of Ghanaian girls and secretly filmed them.

Nov 2: Parliament endorses December 7 as Election Day.

Nov 5: National Framers' Day held in Ho.

Nov 11: 59th Remembrance Day ceremony held

Nov 17: Three presidential candidates - Prof. Mills, Dr Mahama and Mr Aggudey - take part in a forum. President Kufuor does not participate.

GHACEM commences mining of limestone in Ghana for production of cement.

BOG and Securities and Exchange Commission grant 70-day moratorium to CDH group to enable it to produce and implement a credible restructuring and refinancing plan.

Nov 18: NDC disowns Victor Gbeho and 11 others for going independent.

Nov 21: Bongo District Chief Executive lodges complaint of assault against Former President Rawlings at Bolgatanga Police Station.

Olympics relegated from premier league soccer competition.

Nov 22: Land Title Adjudication Committee members of Accra and Kumasi Registration Centres sworn in.

President Kufuor visits Dagbon for the first time since the death of the Ya-Na Yakubu Andani.

Nov 23: World Bank approves 110 million dollars to finance West Africa Gas Pipeline Project.

2004 SSSCE results released.

Man who sucked 13-year-old girl's breast fined: A 32-year-old Factory Hand, who took advantage of his acquaintance with a 13-year-old girl's mother and fondled the girl's breasts, has been fined two million cedis by the Tema Circuit Court 'A'. Godfred Sterwu Prebbie pleaded guilty and said he enjoyed sucking the girl's breast.

Nov 25: Western Wireless International (WESTEL) threatens to take National Communications Authority (NCA) to the International Arbitration Court for failing to perform contractual commitments.

World AIDS Day observed.

Nov 28: National Democrat Editor apologises to President Kufuor for false publications alleging his involvement in the serial killing of 34 women prior to Election 2000.

President Kufuor cuts sod for work to begin on Buipe Pipeline Project to convey petroleum products to Bolgatanga.

Nov 29: BOG Central Securities Depository opens for creation of security accounts for investors.

december

Dec 1: First woman Judicial Secretary, Mrs Regina Ayerko Apotsi, takes office.

Dec 3: President cuts sod for work to begin on West African Gas Pipeline Project

Dec 7: Ghanaians go to the polls in Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.

Dec. 9 Chairman of Electoral Commission declares President Kufuor winner of election after results of 125 constituencies were certified. President Kufuor had 52.75 per cent and Prof. Mills had 44.32 per cent. Dr Mahama had 1.93 per cent and Mr Aggudey had 1.0 per cent.

Dec 25: Christians celebrate Christmas

Dec. 31 NPP wins 128 seats, NDC 94, PNC four, CPP three and Independent one in the Fourth Parliament of the Fourth Republic. President Kufuor wins 52.45 per cent, Prof. Mills 44.64 per cent, Dr Mahama 1.92 per cent and Mr Aggudey 1.0 per cent.

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