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Be supportive You Are The Backbone Of Your Family - Sofo Maame Patricia Asare Frimpong Advised Women.

Sofo Maame Patricia Asare Frimpong the wife of the head pastor, Apostle Asare Frimpong of Global Fountain Of Grace Ministry International at Wassa Akropong, Amenfi East branch in the Western Region. Has advised women to be hardworking and supportive to their husbands because they are the backbone of the family and has a big role to play.

During the Mothers Day celebration Sofo Maame Patricia Asare Frimpong donated 1Kg of 60 bags of rice, 60 bottles of Coca-cola and Fanta, 1 Box of Donsimon fruit juice and many other gifts to the Women's Fellowship of the church.

When answering a question "why making this donations"? with an interview with Rivers news reporter and Ghana Youth's Leaders 2022 Awards winner Abrewa Nana Kwabena Tawiah she stated it is a hard time women learn to work hard, be supportive at homes because they are the backbone of their families.

According to Sofo Maame Patricia Asare Frimpong, she don't need anything in return for spending almost about Gh¢ 4000 on this donations than to see Ghanian women taking this advises so that they can become financially independent.

Adding to that Sofo Maame Patricia Asare Frimpong discloses that most Churches don't normally help women.

And she urges churches to pay much attention to women's especially their Work and Family life because they are the backbone of their families.

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Joseph Wemakor: Large corporations supported by the government must end the abhorrent exploitation of Ghanaian cocoa farmers

The cocoa industry is one of the most important sectors in Ghana, contributing significantly to the country's economy. Ghana is the second-largest cocoa producer globally, with around 800,000 cocoa farmers. However, despite its importance, the industry faces a critical issue that threatens the livelihoods of cocoa farmers - the heinous exploitation of Ghanaian cocoa farmers by large corporations, which is encouraged by the government.

Large corporations buy cocoa beans from Ghanaian farmers at extremely low prices, paying them only a fraction of what they should be earning. Cocoa farmers have no bargaining power, and they have to accept the low prices offered by these corporations, as they have no other buyers.

To make matters worse, Ghanaian cocoa farmers are not paid in cash but in kind, receiving only a portion of their earnings while the remainder is kept by these corporations.

A study by Oxfam has found that more than 400 cocoa farmers in Ghana say their net income has fallen by an average of 16 per cent since 2020. For women, revenue has fallen by almost 22 per cent.

The report by Oxfam, published in anticipation of World Fair Trade Day on 13 May, says that nine out of 10 farmers are in worse shape than before the pandemic, while the four largest chocolate producers - Hershey, Mondelez, Nestlé and Lindt - have increased their profits by 15 billion dollars.

"A lot of money is made from chocolate, but this is not the case for most cocoa farmers in Ghana," says Bart Van Besien, policy officer at Oxfam Belgium.

"They work very hard and bear many risks and the increasingly high costs of growing cocoa, but they can't even earn a living income for their families. The focus of the chocolate giants is mainly on producing more and more. But if the farmers don't get a fair price for their cocoa beans, 'sustainable' or 'exploitation-free' chocolate remains a goal we will never reach.

” The Oxfam report Towards a Living Income for Cocoa Farmers in Ghana examined the sustainability programmes of 10 of the largest chocolate manufacturers and traders in Ghana.

The companies say they want to focus on increasing cocoa production. However, Oxfam's research shows the opposite. Crop yields from cocoa farmers in the companies' supply chains have fallen by as much as 25 per cent since 2020.

The companies' strategy to increase production is inadequate for farmers to achieve a living income or cover costs for food or other basic needs such as clothing, housing, and medical care. Ghana produces about 15 per cent of the world's cocoa beans.

It is the world's second-largest producer of cocoa beans but receives only about 1.5 per cent (2 billion dollars) of the chocolate industry's estimated annual value of 130 billion dollars. About 60 per cent of all cocoa in the world goes to Europe.

The exploitation of cocoa farmers has long been a problem in Ghana, and the government, instead of addressing the issue, has encouraged it. The government obtains a percentage of the profits made by these corporations, and this has led to the government turning a blind eye to the plight of these farmers. With an estimated 60% of cocoa farmers living below the poverty line, the issue is critical, and the government should be acting to ensure that these farmers receive a fair and just price for their cocoa beans.

The exploitation of cocoa farmers has far-reaching effects, and it's not only limited to economic implications. It also has environmental implications. Cocoa farmers in Ghana resort to unsustainable farming practices such as slash and burn, which destroy the environment. With the low prices offered for cocoa beans, the farmers cannot afford to invest in environmentally sustainable farming methods.

The environmental damage is further compounded by the fact that the government has also encouraged the clearing of forests for cocoa plantation expansion.

In addition to low prices, cocoa farmers also face other challenges. They lack access to essential resources such as fertilizer, good-quality seedlings, and training, which are crucial to growing high-quality cocoa beans.

They also lack access to market information, which puts them at a disadvantage when negotiating prices with buyers. The government has a key role in addressing these issues, but it has failed to do so, leading to the current dire situation of cocoa farmers in Ghana.

The exploitation of cocoa farmers in Ghana has led to a decline in the quality of cocoa produced. As they cannot afford to invest in good quality seedlings and fertilizer, the quality of their cocoa beans is affected, leading to lower prices. This downward spiral has made it almost impossible for farmers to make a decent living from cocoa farming, and many have had to abandon the industry altogether.

The situation of Ghanaian cocoa farmers is dire, and urgent action is required from all stakeholders to address the issue. The government must prioritize the needs of the farmers over its share of the profits made by these corporations.

The government should create policies that protect the welfare of cocoa farmers and provide them with access to essential resources. These policies should be enforced to ensure that the farmers receive a fair price for their cocoa beans.

The media plays a crucial role when it comes to exposing to light issues of wrongdoings, corruption and exploitation among others.

With regards to reporting on the exploitation of cocoa farmers by large corporations in Ghana and Ivory Coast for that matter Africa, the media’s role is key in bringing about change.

Through in-depth investigative journalism, the media can uncover and reveal the harsh realities faced by these farmers, who often work under difficult conditions and receive low wages.

By shining a light on these injustices, the media can bring attention to the issue and put pressure on corporations to improve the situation for the farmers.

Through their reporting, the media also has the power to educate the general public on the impact of their consumer choices and inspire them to demand fair and ethical practices from the chocolate companies they support.

Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG), a vibrant advocacy group which brings together young journalists, editors, lawyers and human rights activists to advance human rights must also demonstrate its commitment to the cause and support the advocacy to bring an end to the injustices being perpetrated against the poor cocoa farmers and put pressure on the governments to ensure their welfare and rights are protected.

Corporations that exploit cocoa farmers should also be held accountable for their actions. These corporations should be required to pay fair prices for cocoa beans and provide farmers with access to essential resources.

They should also invest in sustainable farming practices to protect the environment and ensure the longevity of the cocoa industry in Ghana.

In conclusion, the exploitation of Ghanaian cocoa farmers by large corporations, encouraged by the government, is a grave issue that threatens the livelihoods of these farmers and the sustainability of the cocoa industry in Ghana.

Urgent action is required from all stakeholders particularly the media, human rights advocacy groups, government and corporations to protect the rights of cocoa farmers and ensure that they receive a fair price for their cocoa beans.

Sustainable farming practices should also be encouraged to protect the environment and guarantee the longevity of the industry.

By Joseph Kobla Wemakor

The writer is a staunch human rights activist, National SDGs Champion and Founder/Executive Director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG)

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Morgan International Community School celebrates 10th Anniversary, graduates seventh batch of Baccalaureate Students

Morgan International Community School (MICS) in Ghana celebrated its 10th anniversary and graduated its seventh batch of International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) students on Saturday June 3, 2023.

MICS, located at Gomoa Manso, a small town in the Central region of Ghana, has become a center of academic excellence, providing quality education to students from Ghana and beyond.

The graduation ceremony, held at the school’s campus was a colorful event that attracted students, parents, academics, government appointees, chiefs and traditional authorities, crème de la crème of the society and dignitaries from across the country.

It was on the theme: “Excellent Endeavours: A Decade of Collaborative Learning Amid Challenging Times”.

The graduates, dressed in their academic robes and mortarboards, walked proudly to receive their diplomas. The ceremony was a testimony to the hard work, dedication, and commitment of the graduates and their teachers.

The school's administrators, staff, and students were all excited to celebrate the school's momentous 10th anniversary and the graduation of the seventh batch of IB students.

Delivering a keynote address on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor of University of Cape Coast at the event, Provost of College of Education Studies, University of Cape Coast, Prof. Ernest K. Davis commended Morgan International Community School for contributing to preparing high-quality human resources equipped with 21st century skills in a bid to help solve the world’s problem for the past year through the delivery of quality, relevant and holistic education in Ghana and beyond.

He urged all and sundry to acknowledge the fact that provision of quality, relevant and holistic education is a collective responsibility, adding: “all of us must therefore play our part to ensure that the future generation obtains high quality, relevant and holistic education”.

Speaking at the ceremony, the school's Founder, Reverend Obed Danquah addressed the graduates, reflecting on their years at MICS including their contributions and encouraged them to make a positive difference in the world.

“You are the sparkling lights of our school community, our graduating class. Your tenacity, determination, and dedication to personal development have brought you to this critical milestone.

As you go on new adventures, may you carry with you the information, skills and values you learned at Morgan International Community School. I have confidence that you will continue to have a positive impact on the world and reach incredible heights,” he said.

In commemoration of a decade of transformative education, growth and achievements chalked by the school, Rev. Danquah attributed it to the combined efforts of the school’s committed instructors, industrious staff, passionate students and supportive parents.

“We have worked together to create a lively community that represents the principles of quality, diversity, and a love of lifelong learning”, he posited.

In his concluding remark which he captioned: “10-year-old journey and the way forward of MICS”, Rev. Obed Danquah outlined the vision of the school in the next decade.

He revealed that looking ahead in time, and bearing in mind the era of technology, the school envisages to enhance its teaching and learning abilities in training students who have career aspirations in Artificial Intelligence (AI) which is hoped to positively divert employment from the year 2027.

“They would be prepared towards areas of industry relevant curriculum such as Python, Machine learning, Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Natural Networks and Deep Learning etc.

We hope to engage such trainers from India in particular, where AI educational settings seem more vibrant in recent years. Therefore, beginning next academic year, MICS shall start an extra-curriculum in Artificial Intelligence to attract students into this area of new career path”, he further noted.

According to him, the proposed curriculum in addition to the national program would efficiently position MICS towards greater achievements in all areas of academic endeavours to prepare students to reach greater heights wherever they find themselves and to help bring a change in global economic, political, educational and financial environment.

In a speech delivered on behalf of Rev. Ntim Fordjour, the Deputy Minister for Education, Mrs Sheila Naah-Boamah, Technical Advisor Pre-Tertiary Education at the Ministry of Education congratulated the founder, board and members of Morgan International Community School for their 10th year of existence and sustaining jobs in the Gomoa Manso community over the past ten years.

Conveying the kind words of the Deputy Education Minister to the school on a day which marks its 10th anniversary day, Mrs. Naah-Boamah maintained that the Ministry was excited to be invited to grace the momentous occasion and equally observe the excelling performances put up by the school.

While congratulating the graduates for excelling in their academic laurels, she said: “I believe you felt very confident and prepared for the next level ahead. Observing the pride with which you took your various awards, I see that you’re excited to be moving on and watching the joy of parents, I encourage you to repeat if not improve upon your performance to give your parents many more opportunities to celebrate your performance”.

Reacting to the vision shared by the founder of MICS, Rev. Obed Danquah in his concluding remark which highlighted the school’s plan to enhance its teaching and learning abilities in training students who have career aspirations in Artificial Intelligence in the next decade, she said: “we will continue to see how this vision integrate with outgoing academic policies and ensure that by the deadline he has given we will have students not just from Morgan International Community School but from Ghana as a whole producing pupils to participate at the highest level in evolving demands of the world of work”.

Head of the School, Ms. Cecilia Adzo Wofesor in her welcome address lauded the graduands for their successes and reminded them of their roles in life demanded by the world which encompasses manifestations and great impact.

He charged them to go into the world knowing that they have acquired all the prerequisite skills and traits to survive and thrive in their communities.

“I urge you all to not forget the values and skills imbued in you by the school. As you leave the school, be ambassadors of the school and help maintain or increase the set standards of Morgan International Community School”, she said.

The valedictorian of the graduating class, Grace Elinam Ahadjie, also addressed her fellow graduates, thanking the faculty and staff for their immense support and encouragement.

“The journey of undertaking the IBDP curriculum here at Morgan International Community School has been a challenging one but one for which we are immensely grateful for because it has molded us into better versions of ourselves. There were times, we got to our wit ends but our teachers encouraged us”.

For his part, the school's Deputy Head, Bright Andoh congratulated the graduating students while highlighting the importance of the IB program in preparing students for their future endeavours. He also expressed his gratitude to the parents and teachers for their unwavering support, which played a significant role in the students' success.

The graduating class of 2023 comprised 17 students, 15 of whom were Ghanaians, while the rest were from the United States and Germany. The students had successfully completed the International Baccalaureate programme, one of the most rigorous and respected academic qualifications globally.

The ceremony witnessed the recognition of some deserving students for their outstanding achievements and hard work.

Grace Elinam Ahadjie was adjudged the Best Academic Performer-IBDP, while Trudy Afua Asaaba Sackey emerged Best Academic Performer-IGCSE.

The Best Academic Performer Lower Secondary goes to Sonia Inkum while Vanessa Osafo-Kwaako picked up the Best Academic Result-IGCSE.

The Best Academic Result-Checkpoint Examination went to Alfred Osafo Kwaako while Papa Kwesi Otoo Amoo was named the Most Innovative Student including Yayra Boven Fiahagbe who was declared the Well-rounded Student Award winner.

For the sports category of awards, Adwoa Molly Amoo was adjudged the Best in Sports-Girls while Seth Devin Owusu was named winner for the Best in Sports-Boys.

The event climaxed with the cutting of the school’s 10th year anniversary cake which was performed by the Rev. Obed Danquah with support of management and some dignitaries.

The International Baccalaureate programme is designed to prepare students for university education by offering them a broad-based, holistic, and challenging curriculum. The programme emphasizes critical thinking, research skills, community service, and intercultural understanding. It also promotes international-mindedness, preparing students for the challenges and opportunities of the globalized world.

The IB programme at MICS has been a success story. Over the years, MICS has consistently produced top-performing students, with many of them earning scholarships to study at prestigious universities around the world. The IB programme has created a culture of academic excellence at MICS, attracting students who are passionate about learning and are willing to work hard to achieve their goals.

The graduates of the MICS Class of 2023 have made their mark in various fields of study. Some have been accepted to Iowa State University in the United States, while others have secured places at top-ranked universities in Europe and Asia. They are poised to make a positive impact in their respective fields of study and contribute to the development of Ghana and the world at large.

The success of MICS can be attributed to the vision and leadership, its founder Reverend Obed Danquah who established the college in 2013.

Rev. Danquah recognized the need for a world-class institution that would provide high-quality education to students in Ghana and beyond within an environment that is culturally responsive.

MICS has lived up to that vision, offering courses in Sciences, Humanities, Arts and Languages with a school curriculum designed to be rigorous and stimulating.

Morgan International Community School is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS), Ghana Education Service (GES) National Schools Inspectorate Authority (NaSIA), Cambridge International Education (CIE) and is recognized by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO)

The school provides a rigorous, well-rounded curriculum that is designed to give students an opportunity to develop their academic and social skills, as well as their cultural understanding.

Its curriculum is designed to promote academic excellence, promote multiculturalism, and instill strong ethics and values

Some other curriculum offered by MICS include the Cambridge Upper Secondary (IGCSE), Lower Secondary and Primary Programs for students.

The school's IB program is particularly renowned as it is recognized as one of the most rigorous and comprehensive academic programs globally. It focuses on developing critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills. It also places a strong emphasis on community service and encourages students to take an active role in local and global issues.

The school's achievements have been significant since its establishment in 2011, and it has continued to grow each year. This growth can be attributed to the school's relentless pursuit of excellence in education and commitment to delivering excellent learning outcomes to its students.

Morgan International Community School's success is not only measured by its academic achievements but also by the achievements of its alumni. The graduates from MICS have gone on to pursue successful careers in various fields and have made significant contributions to their respective communities.

As MICS celebrates its 10th anniversary, the college is committed to building on its achievements and contributing to the development of Ghana and the world.

Source:Joseph Kobla Wemakor

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North East Region: Jawani to witness the biggest community durbar on World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2023

SmartRiz Africa, a non-governmental organization has partnered the Future African Leaders Foundation, INSPIRE HER and the Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG) to hold the biggest community durbar at Jawani, a community located at the Mamprusi East District in the North East Region of Ghana aimed at sensitizing the masses on menstrual health hygiene practices including how the community can get government support to remain safe and healthy.

The much-anticipated mammoth event, which is the first of its kind to hit the Jawani community is being organized in commemoration of this year’s World Menstrual Hygiene Day slated for Sunday May 28, 2023.

The goal of the community durbar is to raise awareness about menstrual health and hygiene and empower girls and women with the knowledge and resources they need to manage their periods safely and with dignity.

The event will feature educational sessions, community discussions, and demonstrations on proper menstrual hygiene practices, such as the use of sanitary pads and the disposal of menstrual waste as well as the significance of World Menstrual Hygiene Day celebration.

It is equally an avenue to make their grievances known and to pave way for their calls to be directed to government with the aim that it would respond positively and urgently to their plight towards the removal of the 20% luxury tax on menstrual hygiene products in the country.

The event is expected to be climaxed with the distribution of over 1,000 free sanitary pads among the women and girls in the Jawani community to ease their burden during their menstrual periods.

Team Lead for SmartRiz Africa, Portia Manyaya speaking in an interview with the ahead of the event assured of its outfit’s readiness backed by full support of partners to make the event a success.

While lamenting the plight of the girl child on daily basis with regards to the affordability and accessibility of menstrual pads to cater for their hygiene during their periods, she quickly called for their support, adding “let’s come together and help the girl child have pride during her period”.

Ms. Manyaya therefore appealed to the authorities to help remove the 20% luxury tax imposed on the sanitary materials with urgency so that the product can be affordable and accessible to the girl child especially the rural girls who are the most vulnerable as their basic right to cushion them throughout their monthly menstrual periods.

Menstrual health and hygiene remain a taboo topic in many communities, particularly in Africa, where cultural and traditional beliefs often lead to girls and women being stigmatized and ostracized for their natural bodily functions.

This has resulted in a lack of education and awareness about menstrual health, leading to health complications and negative social outcomes.

The partnership between SmartRiz Africa, Future African Leaders Foundation, INSPIRE HER and the Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG) including other supporters are critical to the success of the event.

SmartRiz Africa is a social enterprise that specializes in eco-friendly menstrual hygiene products. Their products are made from organic and biodegradable materials, providing sustainable and affordable alternatives to traditional menstrual products. Human Rights Reporters Ghana, on the other hand, is a reputable non-governmental organization that focuses on human rights advocacy and education.

Through their partnership, they will work together to leverage their expertise and resources to raise awareness about menstrual health and hygiene in Ghanaian communities.

The community durbar is an essential initiative that addresses a critical public health issue in Ghana and globally. According to UNICEF, one in ten African girls misses school during their period, which translates to a significant loss of education and opportunities.

Additionally, inadequate menstrual hygiene practices have been linked to various reproductive and urinary tract infections, which can lead to infertility and other long-term health complications.

Partnerships like this between social enterprises and non-governmental organizations are vital in addressing complex social issues.

The collaboration provides a comprehensive approach to problem-solving that involves community engagement, education, advocacy, and sustainable solutions. Moreover, it highlights the importance of cross-sectoral partnerships in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being) and SDG 5 (Gender Equality).

In conclusion, the community durbar on menstrual health and hygiene is a much-needed initiative that addresses a persistent social issue in Ghanaian and African communities.

The event will empower girls and women with the knowledge and resources they need to manage their periods safely and with dignity, ensuring that they can stay healthy, attend school, and reach their full potential.

The SmartRiz Africa, Future African Leaders Foundation, INSPIRE HER and the Human Rights Reporters Ghana partnership demonstrates the power of collaboration in sustainable development, emphasizing the critical role that social enterprises and non-governmental organizations play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Source: Joseph Kobla Wemakor|

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Ghana: Addressing menstrual hygiene issues requires urgent removal of 20% luxury tax on menstrual hygiene products

Ghana is a country in West Africa whose cultural and traditional beliefs are influential in shaping societal norms, including menstrual hygiene.

Unfortunately, the lack of understanding and access to proper menstrual hygiene products continues to affect many Ghanaian girls and women, causing them to feel shame and discomfort during their periods.

In addition to this, the government's imposition of a 20% luxury tax on menstrual hygiene products has made it even more difficult for these women to access the products they need.

Menstrual hygiene is a public health concern affecting millions of women across the globe. In Ghana, a significant number of women do not have access to adequate and affordable menstrual hygiene products, particularly in rural areas. In many cases, women use dirty rags, leaves, or newspapers during their periods as they cannot afford proper sanitary pads or tampons.

These makeshift products not only put women's health at risk, but they also increase discomfort, leading to missing school or work during their periods.

The government's imposition of a 20% luxury tax on menstrual hygiene products is a double blow to women who already face a lack of access to these products. Despite the fact that sanitary pads are essential hygiene products and not luxury items, the government continues to impose the tax, which disproportionately affects women from low-income households who cannot afford them.

This taxation policy has been in place since 2015, with the government earning millions of cedis annually from it. The intention of the tax was to increase revenue for the government, but it has had an adverse effect on vulnerable groups, particularly women.

According to UNESCO, most girls are absent from school for four (4) days in a month and end up losing 13 learning days equivalent in every school term.

In an academic year of nine months, a girl loses 39 learning days, equivalent to six weeks of learning time, due to lack of sanitary pads.

This situation has dire consequences for the lives of girls.

It is in this light the Ghana Civil Society Organizations Platform on SDGs together with its network members including the Human Rights Reporters Ghana, Africa Education Watch, Renel Ghana Foundation and other like-minded CSOs working within health and education sectors of Ghana have demonstrated their dedication and passion towards the issue and are relentless through their advocacy campaigns to put pressure on government to do the needful so as to bring about the desired change.

The campaigners are with the strongest view that any policy that discriminates against a section of its population and pushes them into poverty has no place in an inclusive and democratic state hence the need to proactive in their advocacy drives towards the urgent removal of the 20% luxury tax on menstrual hygiene products to address the menstrual health issues of our women and girls in Ghana.

It is disheartening to know that Ghana experiences a significant lack of access to clean and affordable menstrual products as well as a lack of knowledge around basic menstrual hygiene practices.

The taxes on sanitary pads have made the product very expensive and inaccessible to many low-income households, which must choose between the pads and competing needs.

The estimated cost of one pad in Ghana averages to about Twenty-five Ghana Cedis (GH₵ 25) equivalent to 2.15 US dollars makes it difficult for girls and women in the rural areas to afford.

The government of Ghana presently charges a luxury tax of 20% and an additional 12.5% VAT on sanitary pads. The fact that this tax is directly targeted at females for a natural occurrence in their reproductive process they have no choice or control over makes the tax highly unjust and immoral. The choice of whether to keep its people clean and safe or not is one that a state should never have to present to its people, particularly to the vulnerable sections of society.

Removing the 20% luxury tax on menstrual hygiene products is essential to addressing menstrual hygiene issues in Ghana, and the government must take urgent action. Indeed, it is a fact that Ghana's policy is not in line with the United Nations' goal of ensuring good menstrual health and hygiene by 2030. Women face enough challenges with menstruation, and the imposition of a tax on menstrual hygiene products only makes matters worse.

Furthermore, Ghanaian cultural and traditional beliefs stigmatize menstruation and contribute to the lack of understanding about menstrual hygiene. Many people in Ghana consider menstruation as dirty and shameful, and, as a result, women are reluctant to talk about it or seek help. This lack of awareness marginalizes women who are already struggling to access menstrual hygiene products.

To address this challenge, governments and NGOs must work together to bring about behavioral change education on menstrual hygiene, both within households and schools.

It is necessary to break the silence around menstruation, break the stigma surrounding it, and provide accurate information to people of all genders. By educating the masses about menstrual health, we can increase demand for menstrual hygiene products, thereby increasing women's access to them.

In addition to removing the luxury tax, there is a need for government intervention to make menstrual hygiene products more readily available and accessible to all women, regardless of their socio-economic status.

The government must create policies that provide subsidies for women who cannot afford these products. This intervention will ensure that women who are below the poverty line do not miss out on vital sanitary pads and tampons.

Therefore, the Ghanaian government must take menstrual hygiene issues seriously and take immediate steps to remove the 20% luxury tax on menstrual hygiene products. The government needs to work closely with NGOs and health professionals to increase awareness about menstrual hygiene and address the stigmatization surrounding it. This will help create an enabling environment to reduce the spread of infections and enhance overall public health. A tax break on menstrual hygiene products is an essential step in this direction.

In summary, Ghana needs to address menstrual hygiene issues urgently. The 20% luxury tax on menstrual hygiene products must be removed, and subsidized policies must be implemented to make them more available and accessible to all women, regardless of their socio-economic status.

Furthermore, education and awareness campaigns aimed at educating people, especially girls, women, and their households, on menstrual hygiene should be conducted. Building partnerships with NGOs, health professionals, and communities will create a conducive environment to promote menstrual hygiene and make necessary interventions to help vulnerable groups.

Meanwhile, as Ghana joins the world to commemorate the 2023 Menstrual Hygiene Day which falls on May 28, 2023, the Ghana Civil Society Organizations Platform on SDGs and its network members including the Send Ghana, Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG), Renel Ghana Foundation, Norsaac, Youth Advocate Ghana (YAG) and the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) among others CSOs championing issues of health are with the strongest voice calling on the government to prioritize issues of menstrual hygiene and endeavor to take urgent action to scrap the 20% luxury tax on menstrual hygiene products to help address the menstrual hygiene issues confronted by our women and girls in the country.

As part of activities earmarked for the celebration, the campaigners barring any unforeseen circumstances will be rallying around #MyPeriodMattersCampaign including holding series of activities to strongly advocate, drum home their campaign messages and brought pressure to bear on government to do the needful.

Similar event is also expected to hold on Sunday May 28 2023, at Jawani, a village situated in the East Mamprusi District of the North East Region where SmartRiz Africa, a non-governmental organization in collaboration with the Future African Leaders Foundation, INSPIRE HER and the Human Rights Reporters Ghana among others would take up the bold initiative to sensitize the village folks on the significance of the global day celebration, the essence of maintaining menstrual hygiene, the need to support girls to get access to menstrual pads without hitches and above all use the occasion to call on government to help prioritize urgent removal of 20% luxury tax on menstrual hygiene products in order to promote menstrual hygiene in Ghana.

The anticipation is that the mammoth durbar would be climaxed with the distribution of over 1,000 free sanitary pads among girls to ease their burdens during their menstrual periods.

Source: Joseph Kobla Wemakor

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HRRG Executive Director Joseph Wemakor among 25 selected Ghanaian health reporters schooled on infectious diseases reporting

The Centre for Science and Health Communication (CSHC) on Wednesday May 17, 2023 organized 1-day capacity building training for twenty-five (25) selected science and health reporters in Ghana.

The event was held at the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens Conference Hall at the University of Ghana campus at Legon in Accra.

It was moderated by Daniel Kwame Ampofo Adjei, a graduate researcher at the Department of Communication Studies, University of Ghana

Among the participants was the Executive Director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana HRRG), Joseph Wemakor who equally had his knowledge and communication skills honed on infectious diseases reporting including health-related issues.

This initiative, which is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, seeks to equip journalists with the necessary skills and knowledge to report on infectious diseases and epidemics with accuracy and sensitivity.

The beneficiaries were selected from a pool of health reporters across the country after a rigorous selection process when the Centre earlier opened calls for entries requesting health reporters in the country to apply through the submission of 2 of their recently published articles on health/infectious diseases for consideration.

According to Dr Bernard Appiah, Director of Centre for Science and Health Communication, the training aimed to equip participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively communicate and disseminate information on infectious diseases and health-related issues to the public.

Infectious diseases continue to be a significant public health challenge globally, with the emergence of new and re-emerging diseases such as COVID-19, Ebola, and Zika posing significant threats to human health.

According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), infectious diseases are responsible for millions of deaths every year globally. Furthermore, infectious diseases such as Ebola, Zika, and COVID-19 have attracted widespread attention in recent years due to their global impact.

It is therefore necessary that journalists reporting on infectious diseases possess the necessary skills and knowledge.

The capacity building program, which was conducted for 25 journalists drawn from various media outlets in Ghana, focused on issues such as the basics of infectious disease reporting, understanding the epidemiology of infectious diseases, public health responses to infectious diseases, and ethical reporting.

By the end of the program, participants had acquired valuable knowledge on how to report accurately and ethically on infectious diseases.

It is worthy to note that the training program also emphasized the importance of public health communication during infectious disease outbreaks.

The communication of accurate public health information is essential in preventing the spread of infectious diseases and reducing the fear and panic that often accompany such outbreaks.

Speaking at the end of the program, the Executive Director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana, Joseph Kobla Wemakor expressed gratitude to the CSHC for commitment to building the capacity of journalists in Ghana, adding that it would go a long way in enhancing his understanding of infectious diseases and improving his ability to disseminate information on health-related issues to the public.

"I am grateful to the Centre for Science and Health Communication for organizing this training.

It has been an eye-opener for me, and I have learned a lot about infectious diseases and how to communicate effectively on health-related issues.

I am confident that the knowledge and skills gained from this training will enhance my capacity including my colleagues to effectively communicate and disseminate information on infectious diseases and other health-related issues to the public”.

Dr. Abena Animwaa Yeboah-Banin, Senior Lecturer and Head of Department of Communication Studies at the University of Ghana in her presentation highlighted the importance of accurate reporting on infectious diseases and called on journalists to use the knowledge gained to report on infectious diseases with accuracy, sensitivity, and responsibility.

The Centre for Science and Health Communication has a track record of collaborating with various stakeholders to promote the communication of accurate and reliable health information to the public.

This initiative is a testament to its commitment to this cause.

In summary, the training program organized by the Centre for Science and Health Communication in collaboration with support of its partners is a significant step towards building the capacity of journalists in Ghana on infectious disease reporting.

The skills and knowledge acquired by journalists during the program will go a long way in promoting accurate and ethical reporting on infectious diseases.

It is hoped that similar initiatives will be implemented in other countries to ensure that journalists possess the necessary skills and knowledge to report on public health issues accurately.

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Centre for Science & Health Communication builds capacity of Ghanaian journalists on infectious diseases reporting

The Centre for Science & Health Communication (CSHC) has taken a significant step towards battling infectious diseases in Ghana by building the capacity of Ghanaian journalists on infectious disease reporting.

The centre, which provides a platform for the dissemination of scientific and health information, has recognized the role that journalists can play in educating the public about infectious diseases.

Infectious diseases pose a significant threat to public health in Ghana, and the lack of knowledge about these diseases has contributed to their rapid spread.

The Centre for Science & Health Communication aims to bridge this knowledge gap by providing journalists with the necessary tools to communicate effectively with the public.

The 1-day capacity building programme for journalists which was held on May 17, 2023 at the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens Conference Hall at the campus of the University of Ghana, Legon in Accra brought together twenty-five 25 selected journalists who reports on health/infectious diseases from various media outlets across the sixteen (16) regions of the country.

The beneficiaries were selected from a pool of science journalists across the country who made it successful out of a rigorous selection process when the CSHC earlier opened calls for entries requesting Ghanaian journalists to apply through the submission of 2 of their recently published articles on health/infectious diseases for consideration.

The participants were introduced to the basic concepts of infectious diseases, the process of disease transmission, and how to accurately and effectively report on infectious diseases and outbreaks.

The training also covered the importance of using evidence-based reporting and how to avoid sensationalism, which can lead to misinformation and panic among the public.

The training also exposes the participants to storytelling techniques for science journalism and how they can evaluate news leads and news tips to develop story ideas as well as how to gather and verify factual information or sources regarding infectious disease reporting through interview, observation, and research.

According to the Director of Centre for Science and Health Communication, Dr Bernard Appiah, the overall goal of the workshop is to ensure an enhanced capacity is built of science journalists in the country who can be well-equipped with knowledge and skills to produce stories on infectious diseases.

Dr. Appiah who conducted the training via zoom took the participants through ‘Story Telling Techniques for Science Journalism’ urges them to always prioritize reading research papers, making use of press releases and case studies in order to be able to report effectively on scientific findings.

He emphasized the need for science journalists to adopt the techniques such as “Do the Science”, “Say the Science”, “Show the Science”, “Localize the Science”, “Dramatize the Science” and “Humanize the Science” in order to be able to tell scientific and evidence-based stories.

Dr. Abena Animwaa Yeboah-Banin, Senior Lecturer and Head of Department of Communication Studies at the University of Ghana who took the participants through the presentation and discussion of content analysis of sampled infectious diseases stories advised the participants to utilize the scientific storytelling techniques such as ‘taking audience behind the scenes’, ‘demonstrate the science’, illustrates and examines how the science impacts audience and portrays an individual impacted by the science among others towards production of a scientific content that resonates with quality infectious disease reporting.

For his part, Mr. Francis Korkutse, a freelance journalist urged the participants to always prioritize reporting on infectious diseases.

He highlighted the need for the participants to demonstrate passion and be committed to work always towards production of effective and quality reportage on infectious diseases.

A beneficiary, Mr. Joseph Kobla Wemakor who shared his views in an interview applauded the Centre for Science & Health Communication and its partners for the opportunity to have his capacity built on science and health communication. This, he believes has well positioned him to effectively and efficiently report on infectious diseases in Ghana and beyond.

The programme was moderated by Daniel Kwame Ampofo Adjei, a graduate researcher at the Department of Communication Studies, University of Ghana.

The Centre for Science & Health Communication recognizes that science journalists have a crucial role to play in disseminating accurate information to the public during disease outbreaks.

The centre has, therefore, equipped the journalists with the necessary knowledge and skills to report on infectious diseases in a way that is informative, engaging, and devoid of sensationalism.

One of the key outcomes of the training programme was the development of a network of journalists committed to reporting on infectious diseases. The network will serve as a platform for the exchange of information and ideas, enabling journalists to collaborate and support each other in their reporting.

In addition to the training programme, the Centre for Science & Health Communication has developed an online course on infectious disease reporting. The course is free and open to all journalists in Ghana and provides a comprehensive overview of reporting on infectious diseases, including case studies, practical examples, and best practices.

The Centre for Science & Health Communication is also working with public health experts to ensure that journalists have access to the latest information on infectious diseases.

The centre has established partnerships with the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service and other organizations involved in disease control and prevention to provide journalists with up-to-date information and statistics on infectious diseases.

In conclusion, the Centre for Science & Health Communication's initiative to build the capacity of Ghanaian journalists on infectious disease reporting is a significant step towards battling infectious diseases in Ghana.

Through this initiative, journalists are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to report accurately and responsibly on infectious diseases, ultimately helping to educate the public and promote disease prevention.

Source:Joseph Wemakor

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Climate Change: A tragedy we must take urgent action to address to save planet earth

Climate change is a global phenomenon that is becoming increasingly severe with each passing day. Anthropogenic activities, such as emission of harmful greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, deforestation, and industrialization, have contributed to this problem.

Climate change is a tragedy that has far-reaching impacts on the planet, from rising sea levels to extreme weather patterns. Urgent action must be taken to deal with this tragedy in order to save planet earth from further destruction including loss of lives.

The consequences of climate change are vast and severe. Temperature extremes, such as heatwaves, droughts, and floods, have become more frequent and intense in recent years.

These weather conditions have resulted in loss of lives, property, and economic setbacks in several regions across the globe.

The rising sea levels have triggered coastal erosion, flooding, and salinization of freshwater sources, affecting the world's most vulnerable communities.

These events highlight the need for immediate action to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has predicted that if urgent action is not taken, global temperatures are likely to rise above 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2030.

This increase in temperature could have catastrophic consequences, including loss of biodiversity, a decline in agricultural productivity, and increased frequency of extreme weather conditions.

The IPCC report also highlights the urgency of the situation, stating that the effects of climate change are irreversible for centuries, even if greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to zero.

Despite overwhelming scientific evidence pointing to the need for action, governments, and industries continue to prioritize economic growth over the environment. The agriculture, transportation, and energy sectors contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. Prompt action is required to reduce emissions and prevent future warming.

This can be achieved by rapidly transitioning to renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric power. Fossil fuels must be phased out, and energy-efficient technologies must be embraced across all sectors.

The Paris Agreement of 2015 is an international agreement designed to combat climate change. The agreement aims to limit global warming to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

The agreement commits signatory countries to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reporting on their progress regularly. However, despite this agreement, global greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise.

The commitments made by countries under the Paris Agreement must be upheld to mitigate the effects of climate change.

In addition to governmental measures, individuals can also make an impact by adopting sustainable living practices. Simple steps like reducing energy consumption in homes and workplaces, conserving water, and reducing the use of plastic can have a significant impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting the planet.

Governments can incentivize these practices by offering tax rebates and subsidies for renewable energy investments and energy-efficient technologies.

In conclusion, climate change is a tragedy that requires urgent action to address so as to save planet earth from further destruction including loss of lives, property, and economic setbacks in several regions across the globe.

The effects of climate change have far-reaching impacts on the planet, from rising sea levels to extreme weather conditions, which must be mitigated through immediate action.

Governments, industries, civil society organizations, private sector and individuals must work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adopt energy-efficient technologies and renewable energy sources, and adopt sustainable living practices to combat climate change.

Source: Joseph Kobla Wemakor

The writer is a staunch human rights activist, National SDGs Champion and Founder/Executive Director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG)

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Combating Child Labour in Ghana, Africa: A Must-Win Fight

Child labor in Ghana, Africa, is a critical issue that demands urgent attention. The phenomenon is prevalent in many societies and violates children's fundamental human rights.

A Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) report found that over 1.2 million children in Ghana are engaged in child labor, with most working in the informal sector. The high number of child laborers in Ghana is unacceptable, and there is a call to fight it.

Child labour refers to the exploitation of children through any form of work that deprives them of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and is mentally physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful.

This article discusses how child labor in Ghana can be combated, the challenges involved, and the benefits of doing so.

Combating Child Labor in Ghana: Possible Solutions

There is no denying that child labor in Ghana is a complex issue that requires a multi-faceted approach to address effectively. Given that Ghana's economy is primarily agricultural, it means that most child laborers work on farms. However, there are other sectors where children are engaged in labor, such as mining and fishing. To combat child labor in Ghana, below are some possible solutions:

1. Education

One of the most effective ways to combat child labor in Ghana is through education. When children are educated, they become enlightened about human rights, which makes it harder for employers to exploit them. Education also empowers children to recognize and report cases of abuse, violation of rights, and exploitation.

By partnering with the government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector, children in Ghana can have access to free, quality education.

2. Law Enforcement

Child labor is illegal in Ghana. The government has several laws and policies that prohibit the practice of child labor. However, it is one thing to have laws, and it's another thing to enforce them. Law enforcement is essential to combat child labor in Ghana.

The Ghana Police Service, Ghana Immigration Service, and Ghana National Association of Teachers can work together to enforce laws and arrest employers who engage in child labor. Employers also need to be held accountable and penalized for exploiting children.

3. Child Protection

Child protection is critical in combating child labor in Ghana. The government, NGOs, and the private sector can work together to provide services such as shelter, healthcare, and psychosocial support to children who have been exploited. This will help protect and rehabilitate children who have experienced child labor abuse. Children's welfare and protection must be prioritized.

4. Economic Empowerment

Another way to combat child labor in Ghana is by empowering the families of child laborers. Economic empowerment can be achieved through microfinance, business schemes, and providing vocational training. When families are economically empowered, they can afford to send their children to school and provide for them without having to resort to child labor.

Challenges in Combating Child Labor in Ghana

Despite the various possible solutions mentioned, there are still many challenges when it comes to combating child labor in Ghana. Some of the challenges are:

1. Poverty

Poverty is one of the reasons why child labor persists in Ghana. Most families live below the poverty line and cannot afford to pay for their children's education. For many, child labor is the only way to make ends meet. To combat child labor, the government and the private sector must work to alleviate poverty in Ghana.

2. Lack of Political Will

For child labor in Ghana to be effectively addressed, there has to be political will. The government needs to prioritize the issue and ensure that there are adequate laws in place and enforced properly to combat child labor.

3. Lack of Education

Another challenge in combating child labor in Ghana is a lack of education. Many children lack access to quality education, which makes it harder to combat child labor. The government, NGOs, and the private sector must work to provide quality education to children, especially those living in rural areas.

Benefits of Combating Child Labor in Ghana

Combating child labor in Ghana has many benefits for the country, children, and society at large. Some of the benefits are:

1. Increased Productivity

By combating child labor, children will have more time to focus on their education, which means they will be better equipped to contribute to the country's economy in the future. This will increase productivity and lead to sustainable economic growth.

2. Improved Health

Child labor can result in physical, psychological, and emotional harm. By combating it, children will have access to healthcare and other support services that can help improve their health and general well-being.

3. Human Rights

Combating child labor in Ghana is essential for promoting and upholding human rights. Children have the right to education, protection, and other basic needs. When these rights are respected, it leads to a more just and equitable society.

Combating child labor in Ghana is a must-win fight. It requires collaborative effort between the government, NGOs, and the private sector, alongside a multi-faceted approach.

To effectively fight against child labor, there has to be political will from government agencies and a concerted effort to improve lives and communities in Ghana. By doing so, society can break the cycle of poverty and exploitation and promote a brighter future for the country's children.

Overview of Child Labour Situations in Africa

Child labour is a pervasive problem in Africa, and it is prevalent in many parts of the continent. The situation is worrying, and the statistics paint a grim picture.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), Africa has the highest percentage of child labourers worldwide, accounting for approximately 72 million children.

The African continent is home to 40% of the world's child labourers, with the highest numbers in West and Central Africa.

Many causes have contributed to the widespread phenomenon of child labour in Africa, ranging from extreme poverty, limited access to education, to cultural and societal norms.

In many parts of Africa, families living in poverty resort to involving their children in labour activities to make ends meet. Also, inadequate infrastructure and limited employment opportunities in rural areas, coupled with the high rate of illiteracy in most African countries, make it difficult for parents to provide their children with access to education.

The economic benefits that child labour brings to the employers is one of the contributory factors to the widespread phenomenon of child labour. These employers hire children because they pay less and get more work done.

The children work in hazardous conditions, such as working in mines, where they can be exposed to toxic chemicals or working on farms, where they are exposed to long hours of work that can be exhausting.

Possible Solutions

Addressing child labour in Africa requires concerted efforts from various stakeholders. Policymakers must enact and enforce laws that protect children from exploitation in all its forms. Therefore, the first step towards addressing child labour is through enacting and enforcing child labour laws that protect children from economic exploitation.

Governments should invest in education, to increase access to formal education for all children, especially in rural areas, where there is limited access to quality education.

In addition, there is a need to promote poverty reduction programs for families living in the poorest parts of Africa. One of the ways to achieve this is through empowering women in the areas of education, health, and business development.

Educating women will enable them to take care of their families better, while business development can empower women to create income-generating ventures that can help lift their families out of poverty.

Furthermore, creating awareness campaigns that inform people about the dangers of child labour, and why it is essential to tackle it is crucial. The campaigns can reach communities in rural areas where the prevalence of child labour is high. The media can play a crucial role in this by creating documentaries, panel discussions, and articles that highlight the dangers of child labour.

In conclusion, child labour is a significant challenge facing Africa, and concerted efforts from various stakeholders are needed to address it. Governments must take the first step by enacting and enforcing laws that protect children from all forms of economic exploitation. Policies that promote education and poverty reduction programs are also essential in addressing this problem.

Lastly, creating awareness campaigns through various media platforms will go a long way in enlightening communities about the dangers of child labour. By working together, stakeholders in various sectors can address the problem of child labour in Africa and help provide a better future for children.

Source: Joseph Kobla Wemakor

The writer is a staunch human rights activist, National SDGs Champion and Founder/Executive Director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG)

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Joseph Wemakor: Ghanaian journalists must unite to stand up for themselves, resist attacks on press freedom

Press freedom in Ghana has been a consistent issue of concern for many years, with journalists having to face varying degrees of harassment and attacks for carrying out their duties.

In the past few years, there has been an increase in cases of these attacks, prompting journalists to demand more protection from the government and other stakeholders.

A recent ranking by the Reporters Without Borders portrayed that Ghana continues to rank poor on the global press freedom index.

According to the report, the country dropped two spots from 60 in 2022 to 62 among 180 countries listed on the index. Ghana dropped 30 spots from 2021 to rank at 60 in 2022.

Ghana scored 65.93 out of a possible 100, from the 67.43 it scored in the 2022 ranking of 180 countries.

The latest ranking places Ghana in the ninth position in Africa, behind Namibia, 80.91, South Africa, 78.6, Cape Verde, 75.72, Seychelles 75.71, Gambia, 71.06, Ivory Coast 68.83, Burkina Faso, 67.64, and Niger 66.84.

This is Ghana’s second consecutive drop on the log from the 30th position it occupied in the 2021 edition of the ranking.

Undoubtedly, the above ratings of Ghana in terms of press freedom raises an alarm about the safety of journalists, media practitioners and activists alike.

This article looks at press freedom in Ghana, the challenges journalists face, and the need for journalists to unite to stand up for themselves to avert attacks.

Press Freedom in Ghana

Press freedom is essential in any democratic society, and Ghana is no exception. In Ghana, the constitution guarantees the right to freedom of speech, expression, and the press. This constitutional provision is supposed to protect journalists and guarantee that they are free to report on events without fear of retribution. However, the reality is that press freedom in Ghana is often under threat.

Ghana is one of the most vibrant media environments in Africa, with over 400 radio stations, 100 TV stations, and several newspapers. The media play a vital role in informing the public, exposing corruption, and holding the government accountable. However, the media's role can sometimes lead to friction between the media and those in power.

Challenges Facing Ghanaian Journalists

One of the biggest challenges facing Ghanaian journalists is the lack of protection. Journalists in Ghana are often subjected to threats, harassment, and attacks from individuals with vested interests. These attacks can be physical or verbal, with journalists facing the risk of injury or even death. In some cases, media houses have even been attacked, with equipment destroyed, and journalists threatened.

These attacks are a clear violation of the fundamental principles of press freedom. The media is an essential pillar of democracy, and it is the responsibility of journalists to report on issues that affect the society.

Journalists have the right to report the truth, and they should not be intimidated or threatened for doing their job.

Another challenge facing Ghanaian journalists is the lack of access to information. Journalists are often denied access to information, especially from government officials. This lack of access to information makes it difficult for journalists to carry out their duties effectively, as they are unable to report on issues that affect the public.

Journalists in Ghana also face the challenge of censorship. The government sometimes exerts pressure on media houses to report in a certain way or to avoid certain topics. This pressure can lead to self-censorship on the part of journalists, as they are afraid of the consequences of reporting certain stories.

Why Journalists Must Unite to Stand Up for Themselves to Avert Attacks

Journalists in Ghana must unite to stand up for themselves and avert attacks. Unity is crucial in ensuring that journalists can resist attacks and demand protection. Journalists must come together, regardless of their affiliations, to demand that their rights are protected, and they are given the freedom to do their work without fear of retribution.

It is time for journalists in Ghana to unite and stand up for themselves. They must form alliances with civil society groups, media organizations, and other stakeholders to defend their rights and freedoms. They should not allow themselves to be cowed into silence by threats or attacks.

One way that journalists can come together is by forming associations. These associations can then act as a platform for journalists to share their experiences, discuss challenges facing the industry, and demand solutions from the government and other stakeholders. Associations can also provide training opportunities for journalists to improve their skills and knowledge.

There is also a need for journalists to push for laws that protect their rights. Ghanaian journalists need laws that guarantee their safety, right to access information, and freedom of expression. These laws need to be enforced, and those who violate them should be punished to serve as a deterrent to others.

The government also has a critical role to play in this regard. The authorities should make a clear statement condemning these attacks and take steps to ensure that journalists can do their work without fear of harassment or intimidation. The government should also support efforts to improve the safety and protection of journalists.

Journalists in Ghana can also learn from their counterparts in other countries. For example, journalists in the Philippines have formed a network called the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), which advocates for press freedom and the protection of journalists.

This organization is an excellent example of how journalists can come together to defend their rights and work to uphold the principles of press freedom.

Additionally, Ghanaian journalists should embrace technology and social media to foster greater collaboration and information-sharing. They can leverage the power of new media to reach a broader audience and create a network of supportive communities. Social media can be an effective tool for mobilizing support for press freedom, building alliances, and promoting a culture of openness and transparency.

Journalists in Ghana must also take steps to improve their skills and professionalism. They should embrace best practices in journalism and uphold the highest ethical standards.

Professionalism and credibility are essential elements of the media's role in society, and journalists should strive to be accurate, fair, and balanced in their reporting.

Finally, journalists must recognize that press freedom is not just their fight, but it is a fight for everyone. The media is the watchdog of society, and it is the responsibility of all citizens to support efforts to defend press freedom and protect journalists. The public can play a decisive role in creating an enabling environment for journalists to carry out their work without fear of censorship, harassment, or violence.


Press freedom is an essential part of any democratic society, and Ghana is no exception. Ghanaian journalists, who play a crucial role in informing the public, are often subjected to various forms of harassment and attacks, making press freedom a constant source of concern.

However, journalists must unite to stand up for themselves and avert attacks. They need to form associations, demand legal protection, and push for the enforcement of existing laws to ensure that their rights are protected.

They must form alliances with civil society groups, government agencies, and other stakeholders to defend their rights and freedoms.

The government has an essential role to play in supporting press freedom and protecting journalists. Journalists must embrace technology and social media to foster greater collaboration and information-sharing.

They should also strive to improve their skills and professionalism while recognizing that press freedom is not just their fight, but a fight for everyone. By doing so, journalists can continue to serve the public interest without fear of retribution.

Source: Joseph Kobla Wemakor

The writer is a seasoned journalist, National SDGs Champion and Founder/Executive Director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG)

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Why Send Ghana leading advocacy for establishment of public health emergency fund in Ghana

In recent years, Ghana has faced several health emergencies, including outbreaks of infectious diseases and natural disasters. However, the country still lacks a specific fund to manage these situations.

That is why Send Ghana and its network members including the Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG) have been leading the advocacy campaign for the establishment of a public health emergency fund in Ghana.

This public fund is expected to allocate money to emergency preparedness and response strategies that will enable Ghana to respond swiftly to health emergencies.

The fund is proposed to be generated from a percentage of the country's GDP, which would be significant enough to support emergency response plans but not significant enough to burden the economy.

The establishment of the fund is essential because it would allow the government and stakeholders to prepare and respond to health emergencies more efficiently. Further, the establishment of the fund would minimize the burden on donors who typically fund emergency responses in the country.

In 2015, Ghana experienced an outbreak of Lassa fever, a deadly disease transmitted to humans through the urine and fecal matter of infected rodents.

The outbreak resulted in several fatalities, prompting Ghana to declare a health emergency. During the emergency, response efforts were hampered because there was no specific fund allocated for outbreak control.

The country relied on donor funding to control the outbreak and manage those infected.

Similarly, in 2020, Ghana experienced an outbreak of COVID-19, a highly infectious disease with no cure. The country struggled to manage the outbreak, which resulted in a partial lockdown of the country to control the spread. These two specific cases highlight the urgent need for Ghana to establish a public health emergency fund.

Send Ghana has been at the forefront of advocating for the establishment of the fund. The organization observed that the lack of preparedness and inadequate response during health emergencies was linked to inadequate funding. In their recommendations to the government, Send Ghana proposed that the fund should be established with a percentage of the country's GDP.

The organization believes that 5-10% of the country's GDP would be sufficient to establish the fund and allocate money to emergency preparedness and response. They are optimistic that this will ensure that appropriate measures are put in place to respond to health emergencies promptly.

In conclusion, the establishment of a public health emergency fund is crucial to effectively prepare for and respond to health emergencies in Ghana.

Send Ghana's advocacy is commendable as it highlights long-term solutions to the country’s health challenges.

Ghanaian citizens must support and participate in any initiatives aimed at funding the health emergency fund to better secure the health and wellness of the country.

Source:Joseph Kobla Wemakor

The writer is an indefatigable human rights activist, National SDGs Champion and Founder/Executive Director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG)

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Ghana: why government must urgently respond to issues tabled by CRPD to relieve plights of PLWDs

According to the World Health Organization, there are over one billion people living with disabilities worldwide, and persons living with disabilities (PLWDs) face several challenges in accessing basic services, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

In Ghana, PLWDs face a myriad of challenges ranging from accessing basic amenities such as buildings, transport, health care, education, and social services to discrimination, exclusion, and marginalization from mainstream society.

Fortunately, Ghana has signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) aimed at promoting and ensuring the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities. However, the government must respond quickly to issues tabled by CRPD to relieve the plights of PLWDs.


One of the major challenges that PLWDs face in Ghana is accessibility to buildings, especially public buildings such as schools, hospitals, and courts. Although the Persons with Disability Act of 2006 mandates that all public buildings be made accessible to PLWDs, this law has not been fully implemented. This situation has left many PLWDs stranded and unable to access essential services, leading to frustration and discrimination.

In Ghana, a report by the Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations (GFD) indicated that only 10% of public buildings and facilities are accessible to PLWDs. This is unacceptable! The government must implement the provisions of the law and ensure that all public buildings are accessible, through the provision of ramps and other essential facilities.


Discrimination against PLWDs is a major challenge that has plagued Ghana for too long. Many PLWDs have been excluded from formal employment, education, and health care. According to a survey conducted by the GFD, over 82% of PLWDs in Ghana are unemployed. This situation has led to poverty and marginalization, leaving many PLWDs to rely on charity to survive.

The government must take steps to tackle discrimination against PLWDs by creating policies that will ensure that PLWDs have access to education, health care, and job opportunities. Additionally, the government must enforce the provisions of the Disability Act, which prohibits discrimination against PLWDs.

Health Care

Access to health care is a right that every human being is entitled to, regardless of disability. However, many PLWDs in Ghana face discrimination and exclusion when it comes to accessing health care services. Many medical facilities lack basic facilities and equipment that will help PLWDs access the services they need.

The government must ensure that all healthcare facilities are accessible to PLWDs. Additionally, the government should provide essential equipment to these facilities such as ramps, disabled-friendly toilets, and wheelchairs. By doing this, PLWDs will be able to access essential health care services, reducing morbidity and mortality rates among PLWDs in Ghana.


In conclusion, PLWDs in Ghana are part of society and deserve equal treatment and access to basic amenities like any other citizen. The government must respond quickly to issues tabled by CRPD to relieve the plights of PLWDs.

The government must ensure that all public buildings are accessible, create policies that will ensure equal treatment, and access to education, health care, and job opportunities. Additionally, the government should work with stakeholders such as the Ghana Federation of the Disability Organisations (GFD) to address the challenges facing PLWDs in the country. The time to act is now!

By Joseph Kobla Wemakor

The writer is a staunch human rights activist, National SDGs Champion and Founder/Executive Director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG)

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Ghana: Joseph Wemakor, a fearless journalist fighting for human rights

Ghana is a beautiful country in West Africa, known for its rich cultural heritage, diverse wildlife, and vibrant music scene. However, beneath this beauty lies several human rights issues, including corruption, poverty, and discrimination.

One journalist who has made it his mission to expose these issues to the world is Joseph Kobla Wemakor.

Joseph Kobla Wemakor is a fearless journalist and a staunch human rights activist who works tirelessly to report on human rights issues in Ghana.

He is known for his investigative journalism and his commitment to exposing corruption and injustice.

Over the years, he has faced several challenges in his work, including threats to his safety and attempts to censor his reporting.

Despite these challenges, Wemakor has remained dedicated to his work.

He believes that journalism is an essential tool for promoting human rights and holding those in power accountable.

He has reported on a wide range of issues, including police brutality, child labor, and discrimination against marginalized groups.

Wemakor has also been a vocal advocate for press freedom in Ghana.

He has spoken out against attempts by the government to restrict media freedom and has called for greater transparency and accountability in government.

One of Wemakor’s most significant achievements was his reporting on child labor within the coastal communities of Ghana particularly in the Central Region where child labour is rife contributing adversely to teenage pregnancy, rape and low standards of education.

He exposed how children were being forced to work long hours in dangerous conditions and how this was contributing to poverty and inequality in the country.

His reporting led to increased awareness of the issue and helped to prompt action from the government and industry leaders.

Wemakor’s work has not gone unnoticed. He has received several awards and recognition for his reporting, including being adjudged the winner of the 2018 media competition on migration reporting, the recipient of the GIJ 60th Anniversary Media Contest for producing an outstanding print report which sheds light on the Sustainable Development Goals as including being conferred on the 2022 Honorary Award for Peace, Security and Education in Africa (TERIA).

The celebrated journalist cum indefatigable activist was also named as finalist for the 2023 AfricanDefenders Shield Awards (AfricanDefenders).

However, Wemakor’s work has also put him in danger. He has faced threats from those who do not want their activities exposed and has been subjected to harassment and abuse.

In 2021, he was allegedly intimidated and verbally abused for condemning dehumanizing acts of injustices perpetrated against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI+) community in Ghana, following the launch of their office space in Accra, the capital city of Ghana.

The incident sparked outrage among journalists and human rights activists, who called for an investigation into the matter.

Despite these challenges, Wemakor remains committed to his work. He believes that journalism can make a real difference in promoting human rights and social justice.

He is an inspiration to many young journalists in Ghana who aspire to follow in his footsteps.

In conclusion, Joseph Kobla Wemakor is a true hero in the fight for human rights in Ghana. His tireless work and dedication to reporting on issues of social justice have helped to expose corruption and inequality in the country.

Today, Wemakor is one of Ghana's most respected journalists. He continues to work tirelessly to defend human rights, fight for justice, and expose human rights abuses.

He holds the view that every person has the right to live free from fear and oppression, and he will do whatever it takes to make that belief a reality.

However, his work is not done.

As long as there are human rights abuses in Ghana, journalists like Wemakor will continue to fight for a better future.

Source:Kandey Alhassan

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Establishing public health emergency fund in Ghana is vital to support epidemic preparedness, response

In recent years, the world has witnessed outbreaks of deadly diseases such as Ebola, Zika, and COVID-19.

These epidemics have highlighted the importance of having well-prepared public health emergency systems in place. However, many developing countries, including Ghana, lack adequate resources to respond effectively to health emergencies.

Establishing a public health emergency fund in Ghana is vital to support epidemic preparedness, response, and prevention initiatives.

One of the primary reasons Ghana must prioritize setting up a health emergency fund is to manage disease outbreaks effectively.

In recent years, Ghana has experienced outbreaks of diseases such as cholera, meningitis, and yellow fever.

These outbreaks have led to the loss of lives and economic disruption.

The lack of adequate funding to respond effectively to these outbreaks has worsened the situation.

A public health emergency fund will provide Ghana with the resources necessary to respond promptly and effectively to disease outbreaks.

The resources will enable the government to establish and maintain effective disease surveillance systems, which are essential for early detection and swift responses.

In addition to managing disease outbreaks, a public health emergency fund will support the development of a robust and comprehensive public health infrastructure.

The infrastructure will provide the necessary resources to address various environmental and public health concerns that increase the risk of disease outbreaks.

A well-funded public health emergency system will enable Ghana to prevent epidemic outbreaks through vaccination campaigns, public health campaigns, and community health education programs.

Prevention is more cost-effective than controlling an outbreak. Thus, the establishment of a public health emergency fund will help to minimize the economic cost of disease outbreaks.

Another significant benefit of establishing a public health emergency fund is improved international collaborations. Ghana's ability to respond adequately to health emergencies would enhance international cooperation in the health sector.

This collaboration will increase access to technical expertise, medical supplies, and financial resources from international organizations such as the WHO, UNICEF, and USAID, among others. The partnerships would enable Ghana to leverage the expertise of these organizations to develop effective health policies and respond faster and more efficiently to health emergencies.

Moreover, a public health emergency fund will ensure the sustainability of the country's public health system. The fund will ensure that resources are available to support various public health initiatives in the long term.

For instance, funding could be used to develop health education programs, health research, and the development of health infrastructure that will be sustainable in the long run.

To establish a functioning public health emergency fund, Ghana must ensure that there is a legal framework to guide the operation of the fund.

The legal framework should outline the sources of funding, the amount of funding, and the management of the fund.

The government should also involve relevant stakeholders in the development of the legal framework, including civil society organizations, the private sector, and international organizations.

Meanwhile, the government should establish effective communication channels to ensure that the public is aware of the fund's existence and its importance.

The government could use the media, health fairs, and community outreach programs to create awareness and educate the public on the importance of the fund.

Nevertheless, Ghana must ensure that the fund's operation is transparent and accountable. The government must have effective measures to track the use of the funds and ensure that they are used for the intended purposes.

The government could involve civil society organizations and the public in monitoring the use of the funds.

In conclusion, establishing a public health emergency fund is crucial for Ghana's health security. This fund will provide the necessary resources to manage disease outbreaks, develop a comprehensive public health infrastructure, and prevent future epidemics.

The government must ensure that there is a legal framework to guide the operation of the fund, that there are effective communication channels to create awareness, and effective monitoring measures are put in place to ensure transparency and accountability.

Source: Joseph Kobla Wemakor

The writer is a staunch human rights activist, National SDGs Champion and Founder/Executive Director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG)

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Why Ghana must prioritise establishment of Public Health Emergency Fund to support healthcare delivery

People and the diseases they carry can be easily transmitted to any location in a matter of hours since we live in a linked, globalized society.

Infectious illness epidemics are becoming more common, particularly in developing nations, where they have severe effects on people's health, social conditions, and economies.

An epidemic is the rapid spread of disease to a large number of hosts in a given population within a short period of time. Being no respecter of person, an epidemic disease can affect both young and old of the society.

The world since its creation has encountered several kinds of epidemics which have claimed many lives and caused great devastations to nations of the world.

In the last century for instance, the world has been hit by six (6) different kinds of epidemics with devastating results on its economy, people’s health and social conditions.

Between 1918-1922, Russia was unfortunate to have been hit hard by Typhus, (a fever caused by bacteria that are spread to humans by fleas, lice and chiggers) which claimed over 3 million lives of the Russian population.

Fast forward in 1957, the world was hit by a global pandemic called Influenza, which claimed between 1-4 million lives across the globe in a space of one year. Other forms of epidemics that have been recorded in the world’s history are the Bubonic plague, HIV/AIDS virus, smallpox and measles, Cocoliztli, influenza A/H3N2 among others.

In Africa, several epidemics erupted including the Ebola Virus, which claimed 15,266 lives between 1976-2020.

Ghana has equally had its fair share of having been hit to the core by some epidemic diseases recorded in its history which has caused so much social discomfort as well as serious health and economic instability.

We cannot overlook the recent and still present pandemic COVID-19 which ravaged the world at an alarming rate, causing great devastations to the world’s social, health and economic development. As at March 2023, the total number of deaths recorded globally is between 7-29 million lives of the world’s population with Ghana recording 1,467 deaths in similar trend.

The world has lost billions of dollars as a result of epidemics and pandemics. According to the Global Economy’s statistics and facts, the world has lost 2 trillion dollars as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to the fall in the world’s economy, is the loss of lives as well as the delay in some affected nations' development, specifically in Africa.

The world has lost significant members of nations to pandemics and epidemics due to its unpreparedness to battle such health conditions.

There is therefore the need for immense preparation from the local level to the national level to be able to effectively combat any epidemic that may arise again.

Every infection that spreads inside a community has the potential to endanger public health security since it may have serious health repercussions and may obstruct international trade and travel. Epidemic preparedness constitutes all the activities that have to be undertaken from the national to the health facility levels to be ready to respond effectively and efficiently to disease outbreaks.

Here in Ghana, there is the need to prepare adequately before, during and even after any epidemic crisis. Preparing for these unforeseen health conditions is a matter that ought to be treated with the highest form of urgency.

Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, Ghana was able to make contact traces, run tests and research into patients who were identified as COVID positive. Had it not been for the support of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) in Accra, where these tests were run, our state as a nation would have been very devastating. Even with that, we have encountered numerous cases of which tests were not run despite a lot of contact traces which have been made as a result of poor research work due to the load of cases recorded.

Even though Covid-19 cases are mild in the country currently, there is still the need for adequate preparation for any unforeseen epidemic that may arise.

The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stressed the significance of each town having mitigation measures in place to impede the spread of a virus with pandemic potential.

Preparing for this can be done in the following ways.

First of all, the government should invest in infrastructure building, that is building of ultramodern hospital facilities in every region of the nation with a minimum of two research institutions for running test cases. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how the infrastructure in the nation is insufficient to combat any epidemic. There was insufficient space to quarantine affected COVID patients, inadequate health personnel to take care of these patients among many other challenges due to lack of preparation. The developed nations of the world were very overwhelmed with the race of COVID-19 cases and death rolls every week amidst the ultramodern health facilities they have. This indicates that there is a need for much preparation in terms of health facilities from the local level to the national level.

The government therefore in ensuring the welfare of its citizens must make available adequate financial resources to ensure these projects are done.

Moreover, the government in preparation for any epidemic must provide adequate funding for educating a specialized group of nurses and doctors in the area of Epidemiology. These individuals must be thoroughly trained to equip them for any unforeseen epidemic disease that may arise. Training of such groups will be essential because the acquired knowledge and skills during the training will equip them to be able to identify and pre-inform the county of any epidemic arising, its prevention and control measures during and after the disease. Expertise in epidemiology, clinical medicine, health promotion and laboratory medicine are needed for an efficient epidemic response. The examination of outbreaks, surveillance, which includes contact tracing and follow-ups, as well as epidemic prediction are all tasks performed by epidemiologists for the effective management of a pandemic.

Adding up, the government in addition to the above-mentioned preparation strategies should have an account where a considerable amount is pushed in monthly solely for a would-be epidemic that may befall the country. This is very essential for the purpose of having already existing funds for vaccination and other health equipment which will be needed in the fight against any epidemic. Adoption of this strategy will ensure that the economy remains firm and running because there wouldn’t be the need to borrow or seek for funding.

Ghana as a nation needs to prepare adequately to be able to withstand any epidemic that may arise. Many nations of the world especially in Africa have seen devastating consequences of pandemic and epidemics on their social condition, health and economic system with much slower growth, a sight not pleasant to behold in our nation Ghana. The government therefore in helping in nation building and ensuring the welfare of its citizens must invest much financial resources into preparing adequately for any pandemic that may arise since the investments made in adequate preparation cannot be compared to the damage caused by this epidemic disease.

According to the World Health Organization, health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.

The right to health is a basic human right, everyone must have access to health services they need when and where they need them without financial hardship.

I believe every Ghanaian must have access to health services they need when and where they need them without going through financial hardship.

This is why the government of Ghana must heed the numerous voices of concerned Ghanaians including the incessant calls being made by a vibrant advocacy group like the Send Ghana and its network members on the need to help establish a Public Health Emergency Fund without any further delay to help cater for emergency responses in times of epidemic crisis and above all improve healthcare delivery in the country.

Mr. President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa, Akuffo Addo, it is time you put your house in order by inviting the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the Ministry of Health (MOH) including the Ministry of Finance to the table to see to it that a Public Health Emergency Fund is set up immediately to support the Epidemic Preparedness and Response (EPR) financing in the country so as to help build a robust health system that can withstand the effects of disease outbreaks in Ghana.

The writer is a staunch human rights activist, National SDGs Champion and Founder/Executive Director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG)

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Seoul Dawn Church Bishop Daniel Shin arrives in Ghana to empower ministers

The presiding Bishop of the Seoul Dawn Church in South Korea, Bishop Daniel Shin has arrived in Ghana during the wee hours of Monday April 10, 2023.

The renowned world-powerful preacher in the company of her beloved sister, Esther Shin was given a rousing welcome by a high-powered delegation of ministers led by the General Overseer, Apostle Edward Addison from the Grace Garden Chapel at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra.

Bishop Daniel Shin whose historic visit to the country would last only for a period of 3 days is already making waves.

He is simply on a mission to engage, inspire and empower the Ghanaian clergy and ministers of the gospel through deeper preaching and teaching of the word of God.

This, he hopes to achieve with the staging of the first ever evangelistic event to hit the country dubbed: the “New Berea Bishops and Pastors Worldwide Bible Seminar in Ghana”.

“We are here to preach and teach the deepest heart of the almighty God including the deepest secret of the whole Bible which has never been taught by anyone in Ghana and the whole world”.

“Again, our mission here is to help empower Ghanaians especially providing the bishops, preachers’ pastors including the apostles with the deepest spiritual knowledge backed by the most powerful and most practical scriptures of God”, Bishop Shin said in an interview with journalists.

While in Ghana, the revered presiding Bishop of Seoul Dawn Church is expected to make the New Berea Bishops and Pastors Worldwide Bible Seminar which brought him into the country come alive through holding various deeper teaching sessions with ministers of the gospel including clergies, bishops, apostles, apostle doctors among others starting from Tuesday 11th-13th Thursday of April 2023.

The New Berea Bishops and Pastors Worldwide Bible Seminar in Ghana is a renowned and established missionary oriented association which aims to empower and equip various ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ worldwide with the headquarters in South Korea.

It is being organized by the Grace Garden Chapel in collaboration with the New Berea Bishops and Pastors Worldwide and Seoul Dawn Church in South Korea with full support of Bishop Daniel Shin.

Bishop Shin highlighting the impact of the New Berea Bishops and Pastors Worldwide Bible Seminar on ministers of the gospel globally, equally seeking to transform the lives of the Ghanaian counterparts revealed that it has been massively patronized by pastors in over 54 countries and cities across the world since its inception 12 years ago in South Korea.

Touching on the significance of the powerful seminar which is already taking Ghana by storm, the General Overseer of Grace Garden Chapel, Apostle Edward Addison observed that the benefits are enormous for the participants.

“Apart from imparting knowledge, helping develop the skills of ministers as well as making things clear for them in this end time, participants also stand the chance to be presented with certificates of participation at the end of the seminar which will bear their names and that of their various churches as proof of attendance completely free of charge”.

Source:Joseph Wemakor

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2023 Easter Festivities: T.T Brothers Limited donates to Tema SOS children

As part of measures to ensure the poor, needy and the vulnerable children in the society enjoy a befitting festivity this Easter season, T.T Brothers Limited, a non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages marketing and distribution company has raised the hopes of children of the Tema SOS village through the donation of items including 30 bags of rice, 15 gallons of cooking oil and 15 cartons of fruit juice for the upkeep of the orphanage on Easter Saturday.

The benevolent gesture according to the company was to put smiles on the orphans and make them have a feel of the momentous occasion deserving of a human towards the celebration of the victorious triumphant of the saviour Jesus Christ over death marked by all Christians across the world

The items were presented by Mrs. Eunice Aku Tetteh, the wife of the Managing Director of the T.T Brothers Limited to the Mothers Representative, Comfort Asamoah who gladly received them on behalf of the entire Tema SOS Village.

“On behalf of the SOS Children’s Village Ghana, we wish to express our heartfelt appreciation to T.T Brothers Ltd. for the kind gesture which you’ve constantly demonstrated towards us over the years. May God richly bless you and replenish all that you’ve given to support us abundantly”.

T.T Brothers Limited have always demonstrated magnanimity towards the Tema SOS Village over the years.

The ‘generosity agenda’ of the company aimed at relieving the plights and putting smiles on faces of the orphans especially during the yuletide season and Easter festivities are highly commendable and noteworthy.

For the past 19 years in succession, happening twice every year, T.T Brothers Ltd. and its Managing Director, Mr. Isaac Tetteh commitment towards the orphanage have always been on a steady path backed by the unwavering support of his partners abroad, family, friends and employees.

Source:Joseph Wemakor

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Enhancing Maize and Poultry Production in Ghana: A Project Management Approach for Sustainable Agriculture


Ghana faces fluctuations in maize availability due to adverse weather conditions and high input costs, which directly impact the poultry sector. This makes maize, a critical component in poultry feed formulation , expensive for poultry farmers, even when it's available. Although the Planting for Food and Jobs Policy has subsidized inputs like seeds and fertilizers, not all farmers have access to these subsidized inputs. As Ghana seeks to reduce its import bill, create employment opportunities, and diversify its export capacity, a cohesive agricultural project management approach is necessary, particularly in the maize and poultry sectors.

Phase 1: Initiating the Project

The government of Ghana must first establish clear objectives for the project. These objectives should be geared towards increasing maize production, improving poultry production efficiency, and achieving the target of 25% import substitution in the poultry sector. Key stakeholders, including farmers, research institutions, agricultural extension officers, policymakers, and funding agencies, should be involved in the project initiation.

Phase 2: Planning

A comprehensive project plan should be developed to outline how the objectives will be achieved. The plan should include strategies for improving maize and poultry production, such as:

  • Encouraging 1% of the 12.6 million Ghanaians aged 25-64 years to cultivate maize on at least 1 hectare of land, resulting in 126,000 hectares of maize production.
  • Expanding access to subsidized inputs, such as seeds and fertilizers, to a larger number of farmers.
  • Implementing innovative agricultural practices, such as climate-smart agriculture, to mitigate the effects of adverse weather conditions.
  • Promoting the use of technology in both maize and poultry production, such as precision agriculture and efficient poultry housing systems.
  • Strengthening extension services to provide technical support, training, and information dissemination to farmers.

Phase 3: Execution

The project plan should be executed through a coordinated effort involving various stakeholders. Specific tasks include:

  • Identifying suitable land for maize cultivation and coordinating with farmers and landowners for land access.
  • Securing funding for input subsidies and other support services for farmers.
  • Training and deploying agricultural extension officers to provide technical assistance.
  • Creating strategic collaborations with research institutions, including agricultural researchers such as breeders who develop crop varieties and soil scientists who work on optimizing soil health for maximum productivity, as well as partnering with the private sector to foster innovation and encourage technology adoption in both maize and poultry production.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the progress of the project to ensure timely adjustments and improvements.

Phase 4: Monitoring and Controlling

Regular monitoring and evaluation of the project's progress will be crucial to its success. Key performance indicators, such as increased maize yield, reduced poultry imports, and increased domestic poultry production, should be tracked to measure the project's impact. This will enable timely adjustments and improvements, ensuring the project stays on track to achieve its objectives.

Phase 5: Closing

Upon successful completion of the project, a final evaluation should be conducted to assess the project's impact on maize and poultry production, import substitution, and overall agricultural growth. Lessons learned from the project can be used to inform future policies and projects in Ghana's agricultural sector.


A well-managed project in the maize and poultry sectors, guided by project management principles, can significantly contribute to achieving Ghana's goals of reducing imports, creating employment, and diversifying its export capacity. By following a structured approach involving initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, and closing, Ghana can efficiently address the challenges faced by its maize and poultry sectors and create a sustainable and thriving agricultural industry.

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Call Weija-Gbawe MP, MCE to order over unlawful demolition exercise-Gonsee Dzaasetse told Akuffo-Addo

Gbawe Gonsee Dzaasetse, Nii Abe Kobla II has implored the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to immediately intervene and called to order the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Weija-Gbawe Municipal Assembly, Patrick Brako Kumor and Member of Parliament (MP) for Weija-Gbawe Constituency, Tina Gifty Naa Ayeley Mensah for their alleged involvement in facilitating unlawful demonstration exercise which resulted in the loss of properties belonging to several residents of Gbawe Gonsee in the Weija-Gbawe Municipality of the Greater Accra Region.

He contends that the MP together with the MCE have demonstrated bad faith in their dealings with the Gbawe Gonsee Family; Osabu, Klotia, Mensah Kwashie and Kwadjo Family of Gbawe Gonsee by resorting to use of force including an unlawful deployment of a combined team of military and police officers to pull down buildings owned by some residents in the area without due diligence or proper authorization.

“We believe this is not the way the government acquires lands from any family or from any stool. We therefore think that this should reach a higher authority, his excellency the president, president Nana Akuffo-Addo.

We know you’re a listening president and will listen to our predicament since our MP and MCE has not shown any respect to the Gbawe Gonsee Family; Osabu, Klotia, Mensah Kwashie and Kwadjo Family of Gbawe Gonsee hence the need to call on you”.

Nii Abe Kobla II made the plea while addressing a press conference held in Accra on Monday, March 13, 2023.

According to the royal family, the briefing was an avenue to share their concerns and set the record straight on the unwarranted and unlawful demolition exercise which rocked and devastated residents of the Gbawe Gonsee land.

It would be recalled that the people of South Africa located in Gbawe Gonsee of the Weija-Gbawe Municipality of the Greater Accra Region on Friday March 10, 2023 woke up to an awful experience where masses of soldiers and police officers invaded the town and begun to pull down some private structures; a storey building and a 4-bedroom apartment sited close to the community clinic in the area.

Unfortunately, not even the timely intervention of the Gbawe Gonsee Dzaasetse, Nii Abe Kobla II who doubles as the head and lawful representative of the Osabu, Klotia, Mensah Kwashie and Kwadjo Family of Gbawe Gonsee including his elders could put a stop to the barbaric act as a result of powers from above.

“It came to our notice last Friday March 10, 2023 that our Municipal Chief Executive, Hon. Patrick Brako Kumor and the MP, Hon. Tina Naa Ayeley Mensah were embarking on some demolition exercise at Gbawe Gonsee in a community we call South Africa so as elders of Gbawe Gonsee, we’ve decided to come and have a look at it.

Indeed, we came and to our surprise it was true. The MP and the MCE were indeed present here and busily superintending over a demolition exercise which indeed was unlawful”.

When asked what might have triggered the ‘unlawful demolition’ exercise, Nii Abe Kobla II retorted: “the reasons are best known to Patrick Brako, the MCE for Weija-Gbawe Municipal Assembly.

He furthered: “What we are aware of is that we gave only 4 plots of land to the Municipal Assembly to build a community clinic which was facilitated by my predecessor, the late Nii Osabu II through George Lartey, the Director of Greenwich Consortium Limited,”.

“We have not given any plot of land to Hon. Patrick Kumor, MCE of Weija-Gbawe Municipal Assembly or any additional land to Hon. Tina Naa Ayeley Mensah, MP of Weija-Gbawe Constituency. As a family, we saw such exercise as an indictment on our authority”, he quizzed.

For his part, Gbawe Gonsee Asafoatse, Nii Anum Asuma expresses shock over the actions of both the MCE and the MP which he holds the view has the tendency to derail the good efforts being made towards achieving development in the area.

“I believe the MCE and the MP themselves are not interested in seeing development in the Weija-Gbawe Constituency and the Weija-Gbawe Municipality.

If so, then why would an MP and MCE embark on such a barbaric exercise because if they have any due respect for the custodians of the Gbawe Gonsee Family, Osabu, Klotia, Mensah Kwashie and Kwadjo Family of Gbawe Gonsee, they would’ve come to our premises and then we jaw jaw for us to see how prudent we can carry out any exercise of such nature”.

He advised both the MP and the MCE to set their priorities right, do due diligence anytime they are dealing with land issues and desist from using Rambo style to confiscate people’s lands through illegal demolition exercises.

"You think it’s easy to buy a block and cement in this economic hardship? It is not easy so if you want to do something as a leader, you must consider your people”, he posited.

Nii Anum Asuma dares anyone who doubts the veracity of their family claims to land ownership to proceed to the Land Commission and run a search to ascertain the truth for themselves.

“Gbawe Gonsee land is legally registered and we have our legal and lawful right to possess our heritage. This is our heritage, this is what our great grandfathers left for us, we shall protect it in every manner possible but not with violence”.

Source: Joseph Wemakor

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