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FDA Ghana Approves Herbal Medicine To Combat COVID 19

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The Food and Drugs Authority of Ghana has today, Monday, February 1, 2021, approved a herbal medicine – Cryptolepis sanguinolenta, locally known as ‘Nibima’ for clinical trials in the attempt to find treatment for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This stamp of approval was issued following the submission of a clinical trial application in by researchers from the School of Public Health at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in September 2020 to assess the safety and efficacy of the Cryptolepis sanguinolenta as a potential treatment for combating COVID-19.

And subsequent to results from laboratory studies conducted by the KNUST research team the outcome points in the direction of clinical benefits.

The aforementioned research team has over the years been involved in the FDA’s stakeholder engagements and capacity building activities and has an in-depth experience as well as the knowledge in international and national regulatory requirements required for the effective conduct of clinical trials, and it is anticipated that data from this study may be useful to inform policy or be used for scientific judgments and opinions pertaining to COVID-19.

However, in its statement signed by the Chief Executive Officer of FDA – Mrs. Delese A.A.Darko, the FDA wishes to reassure the general public that it remains committed to protecting the health and safety of consumers.

Below is the press statement released by the Food and Drugs and Authority of Ghana for your read-through.

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Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd. (“Group”) Announces Significant Changes In Its Leadership

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Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd., a Pan-African telecommunications group with operations in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, announced after its board meeting held on January 15th, 2021, significant changes in the leadership of the Group’s board and management.

The Group announced the retirement of Ms. Irene Charnley and Mr. Mohammed Wajih Sharbatly from the Group’s Board and all boards of the operating companies, effective January 1st 2021.

Ms. Irene Charnley, the Founder of Smile, has retired as Deputy Chairman from the Smile Telecoms Limited Board.

Mr. Mohammad Wajih Sharbatly is a Co- Founder of Smile and has acted as Co-Chairman of the Group through December 2020.

Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Ibrahim H. Sharbatly, Chairman of the Group said “Today we say farewell to our Founder and Deputy Chairman, Ms. Irene Charnley. We wish her all success in her new endeavors.”

“We also want to say farewell to our Co-Founder and Co-Chairman Mr. Mohammad Wajih H. Sharbatly.”

“May God bless them both.”

Smile Telecom Holdings, in its Board meeting on January 15th, 2021, also announced the following Nominations:

Mr. Osman Sultan has been appointed as Vice Chairman of the Group. Mr. Sultan, the founding CEO of EITC (du) in the UAE, was at its helm from 2006 until the end of 2019. Before that, he was the founding CEO of Mobinil in Egypt (now Orange Egypt) from 1998 until the end of 2005. Mr. Sultan sits on several ICT Companies and Academic Boards. He has been actively involved with Smile as the Chairman of the Restructuring and Transformation Committee of the Group since July 2020.

Mr. Albert Momdjian has been appointed as Board Member of the Group and Chairman of the Group’s Audit Committee. Mr. Momdjian is a former corporate and investment banker with 27 years of corporate Investment banking and restructuring experience primarily in Media and Telecoms across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, having been involved in over USD 100 bn worth of M&A, capital markets and restructuring transactions.

Mrs. Caroline Chang, recently appointed as a Board Member of the Group in November 2020, has been appointed as a member of the Group’s Audit Committee. Mrs. Chang is an experienced board member and former EMEA General Counsel of Farallon, the leading US hedge fund that has been active in Africa and Emerging Markets.

These nominations come in addition to the appointment of Mr. Raihan Shaikh-Khaleel as Board Member of the Group in September 2020. Mr Khaleel is a Partner at Swinton Capital and an experienced restructuring advisor across EMEA, sitting on various Boards of companies involved in restructurings. He has 20 years of EMEA and other cross border experience, spending the last 10 years restructuring companies for a leading US hedge fund.

“While we understand the desire of our Founders to retire after a challenging journey, we have been preparing over the past months for the future. We want to ensure that we bring the best competencies on board to enable the Group to face the various challenges and transformations that the Telecoms sector faces and take advantage of the opportunities ahead. Africa is the fastest-growing continent globally, and data is the new future in the world we live in,” concluded Mr. Ibrahim Sharbatly.

Commenting on the changes Ahmad Farroukh, Group CEO, added, “I am looking forward to working with the new Board Members and counting on their diverse experience to prepare for the company’s future in the challenging times the industry is going through.”

Finally, Smile announced that the Group Board approved the Head Office and Centre of Main Interest (COMI) of Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd to shift from Mauritius to England and Wales.

About Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd:
Founded in 2007, with its head office in England, Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd is a Pan-African telecommunications group with operations in Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Africa. The company has one of the largest sub-1 GHz 4G LTE commercial networks in Africa, operating in the “future proof’ low band, 800 MHz band, and mid-band.

Smile was the first to launch VoLTE on its network and continued its innovation, introducing SmileVoice, a free mobile app. SmileVoice enables customers with any Android or Apple iPhone device (including those which are not VoLTE-enabled) to make SuperClear voice calls over Smile’s 4G LTE network. Smile was also the first to introduce an Unlimited offering, which enables SuperFast data and SuperClear voice, all on one bundle.

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Parliament Approves Hawa Koomson, Oppong Nkrumah, 11 Other Ministerial Nominees

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Parliament has by a majority decision and consensus approved the nomination of 13 ministerial nominees of President Nana Akufo-Addo.

While 10 were approved by consensus, three were approved by a majority vote on the floor of the house after extensive debate on recommendations made by the Appointments Committee.

Those whose approvals were secured through a vote were Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, minister-designate for Information; Hawa Koomson, minister-designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture and Owusu Afriyie Akoto, minister-designate for Food and Agriculture.

The legislators spent several hours from Wednesday, March 3, 2021, into the dawn of Thursday debating the report.

After that process was done, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, gave the MPs the opportunity to decide whether or not to approve the three through secret balloting.

At the end of the polls, 265 total votes were cast.

Mavis Hawa Kooomson got approved by 161 YES votes to 104 NO votes, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah got approved by 155 YES votes to 110 NO votes and Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto got approved by 143 YES votes to 121 NO votes.

Members of the NDC on the Appointments Committee had earlier kicked against the approval of Oppong Nkrumah, Afriyie Akoto, and Hawa Koomsoon over issues they raised against the nominees during their vetting.

The Ministers who were approved by consensus on the floor of the house include Sarah Adwo Safo, minister-designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection; Matthew Opoku Premeh, minister-designate for Energy; Dr. Yaw Adutwum, minister-designate for Education and Dominic Nitiwul; minister-designate for Defence.

The others are Albert Kan Dapaah, minister-designate for National Security; Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration minister-designate; Dan Botwe, Local Government, Decentralization & Rural Development minister-designate, Ambrose Dery, minister-designate for Interior.

Ignatius Barfour Awuah, the minister-designate for Employment, and Labour Relations, and Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, minister-designate for Parliamentary Affairs were also approved by consensus.

They were approved by legislators on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

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Kufour Was Determined To Jail Me At All Cost : Tsatsu Tsikata

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Tsatsu Tsikata has said in an interview that the Kufuor administration was keen on putting him behind bars.

The lawyer and academician claimed that this was because of his great relationship with former President Rawlings.

According to him, the Kufuor administration, was determined to wipe out the legacy of the former late president in the country’s oil and gas industry.

Tsatsu who is the lead counsel for John Dramani Mahama in the ongoing election petition trial, added that former president Kufuor was determined to make him spend jail time by “hook or crook” during his tenure in office.

It could be recalled that the Accra Fast Track High Court, in June 2008, convicted the former Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Chief Executive, giving him a five-year jail term for wilfully causing financial loss to the State.

He was charged with three counts of wilfully causing financial loss of GHS230,000 (2.3 billion old Ghana cedis) to the State through a loan he guaranteed for Valley Farms, a private company, on behalf of GNPC and another count of misapplying public property.

In a conversation with KSM on the KSM show, Tsikata mentioned that he became a target of the Kufour administration because he was close to late former President Rawlings.

“They had to find something. I could see by the beginning of 2001, the determination, by hook or crook to find something against me. That is what led to all these interesting cases against me,” he said.

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