Entertainment of Wednesday, 15 June 2005
Accra, June 15, GNA - PANAFEST Secretariat and Ghana Post on Tuesday launched a National Essay Competition aimed at promoting African culture and improving the writing skills of students. The competition has three categories; the organisers said at the launch in Accra.
The topics for tertiary institutions are: De-emphasising Ethnicity in Governance Promotes National Unity and Development. Discuss"; "Culture is a Potent Tool for Development. Discuss in Relation to the Celebration of PANAFEST"; "Comment on "PANAFEST is a Forum for the Celebration of Cultural Diversity and Black Excellence", and "Why Should PANAFEST be Celebrated?"
Second cycle schools are to write an article for publication on: "The Relevance of Culture in Ghana's Development" and "Write for or Against the Motion "PANAFEST is Worthy Celebrating in Ghana". The others are: "Discuss, The Unity of Peoples of African Descent Everywhere in the World Depends on the Celebration of PANAFEST", or "Write Letter to a Friend Abroad Explaining the Importance of PANAFEST to the People of African Descent".
Basic Schools are to write on: "A Group of Foreigners Are Visiting Your Village for a Week. What will you do to make them feel at home?" "If Visitors from Abroad to Your Village Do Not Drink Your Water and do not sleep well, what can you do to help them?"
Others are: "In Your Class There Are Pupils from All Parts of Ghana. Write a Letter to Your Teacher Advising Him or Her On How You Can Stay in Class and Avoid Fighting" and "As a Member of the Planning Committee of PANAFEST, Write Out a Good Plan for Making This Year's Event Better, Since Visitors From All Over The World Plan to Come to Ghana".
Tertiary students are to write not more than 1,500 words, Second cycle students are to write not more than 450 words and basic schools 250 words.
Mr Jake Obestibe-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City, who launched the competition, challenged the management of Ghana Post to revive the traditional method of transmitting messages, which he said was on the decline. He also called on the private sector to join the national effort to promote festivals and African personality.
Mr Kofi Duah Adonteng, Managing Director of Ghana Post, accepted the challenge from the Minister and said the Company was making strategic moves in transforming its fortunes in the face of stiff competition.
One of such moves was forming business partnerships and alliances to move their business forward.
Mr Adonteng said customers, including rural folks, found the postal order service a very reliable means of money transfer.
However, he admitted, the advent of Information and Communication Technology, which had brought new and faster ways of transferring and remitting money, was threatening the survival of Postal Order Service. The Company, Mr Adonteng noted, was thus experiencing low returns from the sale of Postal Orders on account of the new and faster ways of transferring money by its competitors.
In finding a solution to the problem, he said, the Company took a strategic decision to partner Sky Consult, a local management and investment consulting firm, to fast track its money transfer system. He also noted that there was an increasing phenomenon of counterfeiting of Postal Order and other malpractice noting that between 2000 and 2001 the Company lost more than 40 million cedis through counterfeit International Postal Orders.
Mr Adonteng said Ghana Post, which had an extensive network covering 400 post offices, was pursuing a computerization programme of its counters in order to give their customers better services.