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May 20, 2022by admin0

 The Gambia Revenue Authority GRA on Wednesday 17th May 2022, engaged dozens of Women Entrepreneurs from Gambia Women Chamber of Commerce (GWCC) with the view to deepening their understanding on various revenue laws administered by GRA.

The ultimate objective is to enhance tax compliance on Gambia Revenue Laws.

In addressing the participants, the commissioner general of GRA, Yankuba Darboe, said the objective of this seminar was to enlighten the participants on The Gambia tax system, the various revenue laws administered by the GRA and some of the key reform initiatives being implemented by the GRA.

According to CG Darboe, the event is the second engagement with The Gambia Women Chamber of Commerce following a request from the executive to conduct the seminar.

“I therefore want to commend the GWCC Executive and members for the interest demonstrated to be educated on your tax obligations to enhance your understanding and compliance with the revenue laws,” he stressed.

He recalled that GRA had launched the Taxpayers Charter in April 2022 which broadly outlines the rights and obligations of taxpayers.

He said the charter defines taxpayers rights and obligations under the Income and Value added Tax Act (2012); the Customs and Excise Act (2010); and other revenue laws administered by the Authority. “It also specifies the Authority’s legal obligations under these laws and our commitment to providing quality service to the taxpayers by bringing in transparency and promoting tax compliance. During the deliberations of the seminar, the facilitators will enlighten you on the charter to further deepen your understanding.”

According to Mr. Darboe, GRA strongly believes that the GWCC can play a pivotal role in the form of advocacy to influence its members and the business community on the importance of tax compliance which will go a long way to boosting our revenue mobilisation efforts.

“We also hope that this seminar will strengthen our continued collaboration to support the implementation of Governments tax reforms initiatives aimed at improving revenue collection for national development.

He also disclosed that the authority is in the process of implementing two major projects to facilitate international trade and e-services to ease the payment of taxes and duties: the ASYCUDA world and the integrated tax administration systems.

“Therefore, our engagement with you and other stakeholders will be a continuous process to improve your understanding and strengthen our partnership and cooperation.”


May 20, 2022by admin0

 His company, InovTech STEM Center, travels to schools across Ghana to teach students and teachers the ins and outs of STEM through robotics education.

“Computing [and coding] should be like a basic language — every child should learn,” Sowah, 23, says.

InovTech STEM Center offers lessons in web design, app development and 3D modeling and printing, among other skills. Workshops empower students to flex their creative muscles and find ways to apply the lessons they learn in the classroom to the tech field.

“Now they know the relevance of what they’re learning in class. They know that if I’m able to learn geometry, this is what I can do with a robot,” he says.

Digital skills are critical to learn as there is a growing demand for tech jobs throughout sub-Saharan Africa. A 2019 study by the International Finance Corporation estimated about 230 million jobs across the region will require digital skills by 2030 — and more than nine million of those jobs will be in Ghana.

A defining moment

Like many entrepreneurs, Sowah’s path to success was a bit unconventional. The Ghanaian was born and raised in the coastal township of Teshie, close to the capital Accra, where he spent most days working at his grandmother’s provisions store.

He says he was interested in information technology (IT) from a young age, but he grew frustrated with how it was being taught in school. So, at 13 years old, Sowah decided to drop out and get a job at a local internet café.

“I knew I could do so much better, and I was so restricted,” he recalls.

Once he had free access to the internet, he says he spent his spare time surfing the web to watch robotics tutorials, adding “I was always researching, I was learning new things.”

The self-taught computer scientist eventually went back to school and enrolled in Labone Senior High School with dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon. But once again, Sowah says he was disappointed with a lack of emphasis on IT. This time, he took it upon himself to start a creative technology club called CREATECH.

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“We started learning. We started teaching ourselves as well. And then we started going for robotics competitions,” Sowah says.

He credits his geography teacher for pushing him to turn CREATECH into the InovTech STEM Center. Today, the company is reaching students and teachers throughout the country. It works closely with the Ghana Educational Service to buy robotics kits and work with schools. But Sowah tells CNN many rural areas still face significant challenges to education.

“You go to these places, and they don’t have computers,” he says. “It’s up to us to learn it as the privileged ones and then go and teach the underprivileged ones.”

A “learning nation”

In recent years, Ghana’s Ministry of Education began implementing new policies to transform the country into a “learning nation,” including an Education Strategic Plan that outlines ways to improve the quality of teaching STEM across all educational levels by 2030. The ministry says it wants to achieve an enrollment ratio of 60:40 in favor of STEM subjects over humanities.

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In January, it also announced plans to build 20 STEM centers and 10 STEM senior high schools across the country. It says the projects are in various stages of completion and some are expected to be operational this year.

In addition to improving access to resources, Sowah is determined to help close the gender gap in STEM.

According to UNICEF, girls are consistently underrepresented among top performers in STEM subjects and lack digital skills compared to their male peers. It found only 7% of girls in Ghana have digital skills compared to 16% of boys.

InovTech STEM Center empowers young women through its “STEM for Her” outreach program and also launched a “Girl Power Workshop” last year.

“We wanted to introduce girls to the exciting part of robotics, for them to meet those people that are already in the industry doing robotic or tech-related careers, and then mentor them, teach them and then guide them,” Sowah says, adding he believes the government can do more to support the advancement of STEM.

Sowah asks the government and other international organizations to invest in STEM across Africa, particularly in Ghana, “because what we are doing, we are doing for our country.”

“My dream for Ghana is a Ghana [where] every student [has] access to education … no matter where they are,” he adds. “A Ghana [where] every teacher is skilled … [and] has the right to resources to train the students, to inspire them and empower them.”


May 20, 2022by admin0

 The Perkoa mine, owned by Canadian firm Trevali Mining Corp (TV.TO) and located about 120km (75 miles) west of the capital Ouagadougou, was abruptly submerged on April 16 after torrential rain fell unexpectedly during the country’s dry season.

There had been faint hope during a month-long search and rescue operation that the missing men might have reached the rescue chamber, which is stocked with food and water and located around 570 meters below ground.

“The rescue teams have opened the refuge chamber, unfortunately it is empty,” the government’s information service said in a statement posted on social media.

Trevali said the refuge chamber had been found intact, and it was now clear none of the eight missing workers had reached it.

“This is devastating news, and we would like to offer our deepest sympathies to our colleagues’ families and friends during this difficult time,” said Ricus Grimbeek, President and CEO of Trevali, in a statement.

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“We will continue our search efforts unabated and reaffirm our commitment to work at full-speed to find our colleagues.”

Distraught relatives of the missing men have been gathering every day at the site in the Sanguie province, seeking solace from each other as they faced the agonizing wait for news.

Deadly mining accidents are common in Africa. The Perkoa flood garnered more attention than many because of the hope, albeit remote, of an outcome similar to the dramatic 2010 rescue in Chile of 33 miners who had spent 69 days underground — but it was not to be.

Complex operation

Both the company and the government have launched investigations into the causes of the disaster. The prime minister said on May 2 that mine managers had been banned from leaving the country.

The Perkoa mine consists of an open pit with underground shafts and galleries below. Most of the workers who were there at the time of the flash flood were able to escape, but the missing eight were more than 520 metres (1,706 feet) beneath the surface.

Six of the missing men are Burkina Faso nationals, one is from Tanzania and one from Zambia.

With many in Burkina Faso asking why it took so long to reach the rescue chamber and criticism of the company and state emergency services mounting, Trevali said the technical challenges were immense.

The violence of the flood was such that it washed away the road leading down into the mine as well as damaging electricity supply. The road had to be resurfaced and power restored before a full-scale search could begin.

Initially, equipment was being carried down on foot, but vehicles were necessary to install machinery capable of pumping water from depths below 500 meters.

Rescuers have pumped out about 55 million liters of floodwater, out of an estimated total of 165 million liters that swept through the underground portion of the mine.


May 20, 2022by admin0

At least four people were killed and several were injured in a gas explosion that happened Tuesday morning in Nigeria’s northwestern Kano State, police have said.

Kano’s Police Commissioner, Sama’ila Shu’aibu Dikko told CNN that the explosion went off near a school in the Sabon Gari area of Kano.

“It was a gas explosion. There was a welder around the area and his gas cylinder exploded just very close to a private school… we have recovered four casualties, including the welder and a female. No child was affected,” Dikko told CNN from the scene of the blast.

The local police chief said an unknown number of people were injured but did not expand further on the circumstances that led to the explosion.

Kano’s Information Commissioner, Mohammed Garba, also told CNN that no infrastructure of the children’s school was hit by the blast.

“The explosion occurred around a shop where animal feeds are being sold. The explosion site is opposite a nursery and primary school…. no building of the school was affected.”