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“Recent military coups in Africa should be wakeup-call to all Ghanaians to promote peace nationwide”-Joseph Wemakor
Founder and Executive Director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG), Joseph Kobla Wemakor, has observed that the pattern of unconstitutional seizures of power in nearby nations offers a sobering reminder that peace should never be taken for granted.
According to him, the recent wave of military coups across Africa should serve as a wake-up call for all Ghanaians to intensify their dedication in pursuit of promoting peace nationwide, especially before, during, and after the December 7, 2024, polls.
“We need to intensify our efforts by coming out with awareness creation on peace nationwide.
I think it should be a collective responsibility; all of us has a role to play. The media has a role to play. CSOs has a role to play, the security services have a role to play, government, churches, schools and communities as far as promotion of peace, unity, understanding and justice is concerned”.
Wemakor made this known during his second appearance on the esteemed Metro TV ‘Morning Rush’ Show to deliberate on the pressing issues of human rights in Ghana on Friday November 17, 2023.
Over the past years, the African political landscape has witnessed an upsurge in military interventions. Countries such as Mali, Guinea, and Sudan have seen their governments toppled by the military.
These coups disrupt social order, impede economic progress, and reverse the gains made in good governance and the rule of law.
The recurrence of these coups is indicative of deeper systemic issues, including corruption, mismanagement, and the alienation of youth and disenfranchised groups from political processes.
For Ghana, maintaining its reputation as a bulwark of democracy in the region is not only a matter of national pride but also a keystone for stability and continued development.
The Ghanaian peace narrative has been a powerful one, framed through successive peaceful transitions of power since the advent of the Fourth Republic in 1992. However, the tremors from the coups in neighbouring countries are a stark reminder of the fragility of any nation's peace.
In light of these developments, Joseph Wemakor's call to action implores all Ghanaians to fortify their commitment to dialogue, inclusivity, and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.
He stressed that to ensure the sustainability of peace, the Ghanaian government, civil society organizations, religious groups, and community leaders must innovate and implement strategies that foster political tolerance, education on civic responsibilities, and platforms for inclusive participation.
Involving young people is crucial, he continued, as they are frequently the most impacted by unemployment and are susceptible to promises of change, even if doing so undermines the constitutional order.
As Ghana inches closer to its highly anticipated December 7, 2024, general elections, there is an ever-increasing need for its citizenry to uphold and promote peace.
Ghana is often cited as one of the most stable democracies in Africa, with a history of peaceful electoral processes. However, the potential for political tensions cannot be overlooked, particularly as election fever grips the nation. It is in this context that the Human Rights Reporters boss has stepped forward to remind Ghanaians of their collective responsibility to protect the country's peace and democratic gains.
The ED reiterates the need to avoid hate speech, misinformation, and acts that could incite violence or disrupt the electoral process.
Emphasizing the significance of a peaceful electoral process, Wemakor calls for concerted efforts among various stakeholders—government bodies, political parties, civil society, the media, and the electorate—to engage in peace advocacy.
The media, in particular, is urged to be circumspect in their reporting, ensuring that the information disseminated is accurate and not inflammatory. Political parties are reminded to instruct their supporters to eschew violence and to resolve grievances through legal and peaceful means.
The HRRG boss also underscored the importance of political engagement and discourse being grounded in policies and ideologies, rather than personality attacks or tribal affiliations.
He is of the view that the shift towards issue-based campaigning can mitigate the risk of conflict and encourage voters to make informed choices based on the substantive differences in the visions and plans of the candidates and their parties.
Watch a video on the discussion here:
Who could have imagined that just a phone call would end up transforming the life of an entire family at Gbegbeyise, a densely populated community situated under Shaibu-Gbegbeyise district in the Ablekuma West Municipality of the Greater Accra Region of Ghana?.
Indeed, it came as a shock to me from the onset, but then, in the end, the unimaginable became obvious.
Yes, certainly this was a dream that came true, only made possible through the power of journalism utilized by an agent of change like me.
So how did this happen?
It all started on the fateful day of July 8, 2023, after a day’s hard work, while I was on my way back from work.
All of a sudden, my mobile phone started ringing, and when I checked, it was an incoming call from a colleague news editor responsible for managing one of the major online news portals in Ghana and beyond.
Roger has never contacted me for quite a while. What could have prompted him to initiate such a call at this time? I kept wondering to myself.
Eager and curious to hear him out, I quickly answered his call, and to my surprise, he alerted me that he earlier got a call from an official from the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources who is urgently looking for me to answer a few questions regarding a recent report I’ve authored on WASH, which had received a massive publication on various major online news portals.
He then sought my permission to go ahead and share with him my contact information so he could give me a call and speak directly to me about the news report.
For a short moment, I was a bit hesitant not knowing what to do simply because first, I wasn’t sure about the particular story he was talking about, secondly, I was scared that perhaps one of my stories might have gone bad and I’m now being sought for to be haunted as any journalist would feel but upon second thoughts, I gave my consent.
Then, two hours later, my mobile phone starts buzzing to my surprise with an unknown caller on the line. At that time, I had already reached home and was just relaxing on a sofa to cool off.
The unidentified caller identified himself to me right away as a representative of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, specifically working with the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area Sanitation and Water Project.
According to him, he is only contacting me in regards to a media report I filed on June 23, 2023, titled "Living without a toilet at home: The traumatic tale of a 15-year-old typhoid fever patient."
This is a report that highlights the predicament of a 15-year-old girl who contracted typhoid fever as a result of living in a community lacking proper sanitation facilities, including a toilet facility at home.
He clarified that his outfit is indeed touched by the plight of the teenager and her family and would like to help them by building a toilet facility in their home to ease their burden.
He then asked for my assistance to help him locate the juvenile’s house so he can get to visit, see and talk to her including her parents after which his outfit would properly arrange to help provide a toilet facility for them.
At this juncture, I got overwhelmed with an excitement upon hearing him out knowing very well my story has made an impact in someone’s life once more again.
Now, prior to filing this report, I was fortunate to have been empowered by the Centre for Science and Health Communication (CSHC) with the support of its funding partner, the National Research Foundation of South Africa, and others to have my capacity built on infectious diseases reporting among over 30 Ghanaian journalists who were selected and subsequently trained on May 17, 2023.
The aim of the workshop is to ensure that the knowledge and skills of Ghanaian science and health journalists are effectively honed to be better positioned to vigorously produce stories and enlighten the public on infectious diseases.
Aside from capacity building, each and every participant, including myself, was provided with funding support and tasked with producing a story on infectious disease to educate the public.
It is this kind of support I received from the CSHC and partners that inspired me to produce such a touching story that sheds light on the plight of the 15-year-old adolescent who later escaped from the clutches of typhoid fever.
The long and short of it all is that my story has finally made the desired impact in the lives of not just the 15-year-old girl typhoid victim but her entire family.
Thankfully, through the swift intervention of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) Sanitation and Water Project (SWP) under the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources.
To sum it all up, you might find it interesting to know that, of the more than thirty journalists nationwide who were chosen for the training and subsequently provided with the means to produce stories for the general public on infectious diseases, I was the most fortunate to have my story have a lasting effect on the lives of an entire family at Gbegbeyise.
My special thanks go out to the Center for Science and Health Communication (CSHC), the University of Ghana's School of Communication Studies, and funding partners.
Additionally, to Ing. George Asiedu, the GAMA Project Coordinator from Ghana's Ministry of Sanitation, and Mr. Francis Avuletey, Headmaster of UPCO's Kiddy's Garden School at Gbegbeyise.
Wemakor gets impact with his story: Sanitation Ministry intervenes to erect toilet facility for 15-year-old typhoid patient
When alarm bells rang, revealing the sorry state of a 15-year-old typhoid fever patient living without a toilet at home, it was Joseph Kobla Wemakor, a diligent Ghanaian human rights journalist, who reported the tragic story.
Health professionals diagnosed the teenager with typhoid, a disease often caused by poor sanitation and living conditions.
It was this unchecked series of events that led to the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) Sanitation and Water Project (SWP) under the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources stepping in, a victory initiated by Wemakor's impactful journalism through the support of the Centre for Science Health Reporting and partners made possible thanks to funding from the National Research Foundation of South Africa.
Yet, how did this journey unfold?
Wemakor, recognized for his focused reporting on human rights issues, health challenges, among other social concerns, wrote about the teen’s plight.
The juvenile, a resident of Gbegbeyise, a densely populated community located at the Ablekuma West Municipality of the Greater Accra Region of Ghana, where sanitation is a major problem and access to basic amenities like clean water and toilet facilities is a luxury, was diagnosed with typhoid fever, a result of consuming contaminated food or water or through close contact with an infected individual.
Wemakor pointed out the need for improved sanitation in these deprived areas, emphasizing the absence of toilet facilities in the teenager's home.
The published piece was much more than an emotive narrative. It was a battle-cry for help. And it got the required attention.
The article wasn't a mere snapshot of a single life. Instead, it represented the unreported reality of countless citizens facing poverty-driven health issues amplified by negligible infrastructure facilities.
The shape, form, and essence of Wemakor's journalism were well appreciated, adding weight to the urgent need for tactical steps against this alarming predicament.
Prompt response to this pressing ordeal came from Ghana's Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources. They stepped in, driven by Wemakor's stirring narrative highlighting the 15-year-old's struggles.
Wemakor’s story inspired the Ministry to pave the way for urgent support. A subsequent visit to the teenager’s home revealed the need for immediate resolutions to alleviate the sanitation issues facing the residents.
An intervention followed, setting the ball rolling for a turn-around. Determinedly, the Ministry started with providing a basic sanitary facility for the affected household.
This move was not only a respite for the ailing teenager but also an essential step in delivering safe sanitation environments to underprivileged sections of society.
The domino effect of Wemakor’s story underscores the power of driven journalism in inciting change.
With his vigilant reporting, Wemakor not only publicized the teenager's plight but also triggered a wave of action beneficial in enhancing the community's living conditions.
In essence, Wemakor's story broke the silence. It highlighted the pain of many silently bearing the anguish of typhoid fever without access to sanitation.
The tangible results ensuing from his reporting evince a sparkling testament to the principle that journalism can, indeed, be a potent tool for social advancement.
This scenario highlights one of the numerous instances of journalism bringing about tangible change.
It reaffirms the influence of creditable journalism, as exemplified by Joseph Wemakor, in implanting lasting transformations in society for better living conditions and enhanced health services.
Watch a thrilling documentary of impact made by his story in the life of the teenager and her family here.
Power of Storytelling: B.ISA and Human Rights Reporters Ghana Champion Climate Action
Two prominent entities based in Africa, Be Inspired with Stories from Africa (B.ISA) and Human Rights Reporters Ghana have embarked on a novel initiative to promote climate action: harnessing the potent medium of storytelling.
Be Inspired with Stories from Africa (B.ISA) is a movement that seeks to inspire others, daily, by sharing the personal success stories of renowned personalities and everyday people in Africa.
Simultaneously, it aims to foster a community of young, inspired individuals who seek to make a difference in society.
On the other hand, Human Rights Reporters Ghana is an NGO that works to safeguard and promote the rights of the underprivileged and minority groups. One of its fundamental principles includes environmental justice, laying the groundwork for this new climatic collaboration.
The event which took place at the Institute of the Statistical, Social and Economic Research Conference Hall within the University of Ghana campus on Wednesday October 25, 2023, began with screening of a documentary video which sheds light on the Duapa Climate Action in African communities, namely, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and Liberia, followed by some inspiring stories from climate leaders and community representatives.
Miss Lucenda Afful, one of the participants in the Duapa climate action project expressing her excitement, recounted how technology has enhanced her tree planting projects.
“Technology has made planting and monitoring of the trees I plant easy with less struggle. I am able to record the growth and health of the plants using the Locus Map App. I thought it would have been difficult and complicated until I began to use it”.
Lucenda exclaimed, adding that “the power of technology has equally helped her to know the status of the trees”.
She furthered, “using technological equipment like the drones, we are able to plant seedlings where our human efforts cannot get to, and with the aid of the Locus App on the mobile phone, we are able to track the state of the seedlings and the other trees we plant”.
Participants in the event were very excited to see how digital technology has been adopted as a tool for plant management.
Also, there were some discussions on advancing the use of medicinal plants, restoring Ghana’s lost forests, providing the youth with alternative sources of livelihoods as well as how to contribute to Ghana’s nature-based climate change adaptation strategy.
However, concerns were raised about how some young people are unable to use technology to promote climate change due to the unavailability of technological tools and equipment in their locality.
Mr. Derrick Afful, field officer for the Duapa reforestation project mentioned during a panel discussion that technology is the basis for sustainable agriculture. “Technology in agriculture increases agricultural productivity and develops the agricultural process” he exclaimed.
Concluding, panelists mentioned how the government is in support of promoting climate change and is ready to support individuals who are willing to promote the change.
Moreover, the youth were admonished to collaborate among themselves and seek out available resources and funding to support their individual projects on climate change.
All in all, this initiative by B.ISA and Human Rights Reporters Ghana marks a novel approach to climate awareness and action.
It melds a time-honored communication strategy with modern technological means to foster a movement that could effectively combat climate change. Moreover, it holds the promise of catalyzing a ripple effect, triggering similar projects globally.
This venture reiterates an essential, yet sometimes overlooked truth - every measure, even a small step, can contribute to the global fight against climate change.
By leveraging storytelling's power, these organisations hope to spark a broader dialogue on climate issues, inspiring people to act for a sustainable future.
The event also enjoyed partnership from the Greenzine, Ghana News Agency, the All Africa Students Union and Kingdom FM.
Joseph Wemakor among 30 selected African activists schooled on regional, international human rights system in Tanzania
Renowned Ghanaian journalist and human rights activist, Joseph Kobla Wemakor, has been recognized as part of the recently selected thirty African renowned activists to undergo a 3-day (October 13–15, 2023) intensive training on regional and international human rights systems in Arusha, Tanzania.
The “African Human Rights Training of Trainers on the Participation in and Engagement with the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights” is an initiative of the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) with support from the African Commission for Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU), United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner and the Open Society Foundations including other partners.
It seeks to build the capacity of the selected participants, including by offering them the opportunity to participate in and engage with the regional human rights mechanisms in Africa.
The goal, according to Hannah Forster, Executive Director of the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS), is to strengthen existing partnerships between NGOs, CSOs, journalists, and human rights defenders and the African Commission of Human and People's Rights in order to advance and defend human rights in Africa.
Wemakor is one of only two Ghanaians among the 30 participants chosen from 23 nations on the African continent to receive this exceptional opportunity.
The beneficiaries, according to the Training and Advocacy Support Manager of the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), Salomé Boucif, were carefully selected out of a pool of over 2,000 applications received for entries.
This initiative reinforces the continuing commitment across the African continent to bolstering the capacities and knowledge of human rights activists in navigating regional and global human rights mechanisms.
Joseph Kobla Wemakor is renowned in Ghana and beyond for his tireless work in advocating for human rights and equality.
As the founder of Human Rights Reporters Ghana, Wemakor has persistently campaigned against human trafficking, child abuse, discrimination, and other fundamental human rights violations in Ghana.
His selection for this prestigious training in Tanzania signifies not only Wemakor's impact as a human rights activist but also his potential to advance the cause on a broader African platform.
The comprehensive training in Tanzania focused on providing activists with in-depth knowledge about the African Human Rights System, United Nations Human Rights System, and the application of various international human rights instruments.
Such tangible skills and understanding are instrumental in ensuring activists like Wemakor are well equipped to advocate for and protect human rights within their respective countries and on a regional scale.
Regional and International human rights instruments such as the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) provide a framework for activists to advocate for human rights. The training in Tanzania, therefore, works towards enhancing the activist’s expertise on the effective usage of these instruments in their advocacy work.
The training was further designed to foster a collaborative environment among the participating activists, paving the way for an intercountry networking platform. This initiative inculcates a lively discourse on human rights issues, consequently contributing to the overall human rights movement in Africa.
Wemakor's inclusion in this select group is a significant milestone in his human rights advocacy journey.
Equipped with enhanced knowledge and understanding of the regional and international human rights systems, he is now poised to increase his impact in pushing for tangible and meaningful social change in Ghana and across Africa.
This initiative ultimately signifies a step towards a more informed, connected, and empowered group of human rights activists in Africa.
As they continue to fight for justice, equality, and human dignity amidst various challenges, their role remains crucial in the advancement of human rights in Africa.
While in Tanzania, Wemakor is also expected to participate in the NGOs Forum which will be held from 16th-18th October as well as the Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) from 20th to 24th October 2023.
In order to identify responses and adopt strategies for the promotion and protection of human rights on the continent, the African and international NGOs community can network and share updates on the human rights situations in Africa through the NGOs Forum.
Participating in the ACHPR Ordinary Sessions, according to the organizers, will also give participants a hands-on taste of the Commission's work.
Over a hundred human rights organizations from Africa and beyond are expected to participate in the forum. Eminent activists and subject-matter experts who work on African human rights issues will serve as resources.
The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) will also organize the 42nd African Human Rights Book Fair, which will run simultaneously with the Forum.
The Book Fair enables NGOs to network and initiate or renew the exchange of materials and information, as well as to publish their activities.
Participants in the forum are expected to actively participate in the Book Fair by displaying publications or documentaries of their organizations.
2023 has been christened the "Year of Victorious "3S"—Success, Shine, and Stardom" by Joseph Kobla Wemakor, one of the leading names in African journalism.
Wemakor, a writer and human rights campaigner from Ghana, is no stranger to accomplishment; throughout his distinguished career, he has won numerous honors and accolades.
While emphasizing personal development and impact on the journalism industry, his aim for 2023 goes beyond prior accomplishments.
First, 'Success' as Wemakor sees it, is comprehensive. It isn't just about personal achievements or accolades. Wemakor's vision includes supporting other aspiring journalists via mentorship and contributing to moulding the next generation of newsmakers.
His definition of 'Success' also encompasses the betterment of journalism in Ghana and Africa, promoting a free press, transparent reporting, and making the world aware of the beautiful stories of resilience and triumph that come from Africa.
Second, 'Shine'. Wemakor believes that success only counts when it brings light to others' lives too. Shine for him, therefore, implies his work becoming more visible, sparking meaningful conversations, and inspiring change. Wemakor's journalism has often been characterized by his commitment to human rights.
Therefore, his aim for his career to 'shine' in 2023 further underscores his dedication to sharing stories that can have a positive influence on society.
Lastly, 'Stardom' for Wemakor is instrumental yet humble. Rather than fame for its own sake, he views stardom as an opportunity to direct the spotlight towards issues that matter.
His focus remains on making the voices of the unheard visible to a global audience.
By using the platform that stardom provides, he hopes to impact societies beyond national borders, turning challenges into opportunities, despair into hope, and shadows into light.
In conclusion, Joseph Kobla Wemakor 2023: The Year of Victorious 3S: Success, Shine, and Stardom is a blueprint for not only personal growth but also for building a better journalistic culture that could positively influence society.
Empowering journalism with integrity, spotlighting important issues, and using influence to enhance society truly represents Wemakor's distinguished approach to Success, Shine, and Stardom for the upcoming year.
On a bright and sunny day of September 15 2023, the grounds of Covenant Presby School located at Dzorwulu in Accra stood witness to a remarkable event.
The institution, widely recognized for its commitment to providing quality and holistic education, commenced with its sixteenth annual graduation and awards ceremony.
The event was a profound landmark in the academic journey of the graduating class which comprises 64 students; 33 passed out from kindergarten 2 to basic one while 31 graduated from JHS to the SHS.
It acknowledged their hard work, perseverance, and resilience in the academic and co-curricular spheres.
Furthermore, it reflected on the rigorous learning process these young men and women had undergone over their years at Covenant Presby School-Dzorwulu.
Amidst the joy and laughter of proud parents, guardians, colleagues, teachers and innumerable well-wishers, the graduating class, immaculately decorated in their graduation gowns, marched into the school's expansive auditorium.
Everyone in attendance at this sixteenth graduation and awards ceremony was filled with a mix of nostalgia and hope for the future.
In support of the event's theme, "Promoting Excellence Through Determination and Hard Work," Mr. Felix Akuffo-Badoo, the immediate past head of the Test Administration Division of the West Africa Examination Council, addressed the gathering.
Speaking as the guest speaker, his speech emphasized academic accomplishment, the importance of co-curricular activities, but most importantly, excellence, humility, and hard work—the cornerstones of values-oriented education imparted at Covenant Presby School.
It also underscored the need for a collective effort on the part of parents, school authorities, pupils, and all stakeholders to ensure that Covenant Presby School is classified among institutions where excellence is associated with determination and hard work.
Speaking about the previous Presbyterian schools' accomplishments, Mr. Akuffo-Badoo explained that one of their basic ideals was excellence, which was attained by perseverance and hard work.
He was certain that Covenant Presby School, a typical Presbyterian or "Basel Mission" institution, would be linked to excellence through perseverance and diligence.
While congratulating the graduates for succeeding in their academic endeavours, he challenged each of them to be committed to achieving excellence and honor through hard work. He believed that this value should serve as a way to guide the graduates in their educational path as well as other endeavours to become a shining example in their various schools.
“For those of you passing out today, you have the duty of projecting the image of Covenant Presby School. When you move on from here, I challenge you to work hard and represent your schools at the National Maths and Science Quiz competition and also win the WAEC Excellence Awards at the National and International Levels, amongst others, through hard work”.
In her address, the headmistress of the school, Mrs. Evelyn Amoamah Antwi underlined the high standards of education that Covenant Presby School-Dzorwulu offers.
She delivered a speech that was rich in educational, moral, and life-guiding principles, emphasizing the need for perseverance, hard work, and adherence to ethical standards. These, she believes, are the keys to success in the nascent professional lives of the graduates.
In light of the event's theme, she emphasized the importance of discipline, hard work, integrity, and humility in her speech and urged the students to take pride in these Presbyterian values, saying, "We need to constantly remind ourselves of these values because they play a crucial role in our quest to achieve academic excellence.
Finally, in concluding her inspirational address, Evelyn Antwi wished the graduating class all the best in their bid to explore new frontiers.
“To my esteemed graduates of JHS Class of 2023 I believe you all have dreams I mean big dreams to nurture but remember you have to work towards them with all seriousness because the journey from here to senior high school s and to the university is not a smooth one but I’m confident that the foundation we have laid for you in Covenant Presby school has equipped you well enough to sail through your education and beyond”.
A major highlight of the event was the award-giving ceremony that took place following the graduation ceremony, set out to appreciate and encourage the outstanding academic and non-academic performances of the students including both teaching and non-teaching staff of the school. Medals and certificates were given by the distinguished guests and key persons of the institution to the awardees.
Covenant Presbyterian School’s commitment to fostering talent and rewarding academic merit was heartily evidenced. Special awards were given to graduates with exceptional performances in various subject areas, alongside others who had made an indelible mark in fields such as sports, music, arts, and social service.
The ceremony also witnessed the unveiling of a new cadet uniform, an activity which was performed by the District Minister of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana Dzorwulu District who is also the Local Manager of the school, Rev. Kingsley Asare Addo.
The sixteenth graduation and awards ceremony was a splendid representation of the values that Covenant Presbyterian School-Dzorwulu has been founded upon.
It was a testament to the effective teaching methods, robust curriculum, and a conducive learning environment that the school has been providing consistently.
Words of congratulations flowed from every corner of the school, echoing the pride and joy everyone felt at the notable achievements of the graduates. With the completion of this significant phase of their lives, these young adults are now equipped to embark on a new journey, ready to make their own mark within and beyond the confines of their alma mater.
The event culminated with a vote of thanks presented by Princess Amakye, a graduating student. It was a day of reflection, joy, and anticipation, a day that will be remembered by all attendees, especially the graduates, as they go forth in the world to chart their own paths.
The sixteenth graduation and awards ceremony at Covenant Presbyterian School-Dzorwulu was a titanic success, reflecting the institution’s commitment to fostering holistic individuals of caliber and character.
Source: Joseph Kobla Wemakor
Human Rights Reporters Ghana ED Joseph Wemakor honored with a prestigious award for excellence in peacebuilding
The International Association of World Peace Advocates (IAWPA) has proclaimed Joseph Kobla Wemakor as one of its recipients of the prestigious Africa Peace Advocate Awards 2023.
He was recognized among over 30 exceptional Ghanaian individuals who have dedicated themselves to promoting peace in their communities and beyond.
Known for his remarkable endeavours and continuous efforts in the direction of maintaining and extending peace in Africa, Wemakor has now been duly recognized and acclaimed globally.
Joseph Kobla Wemakor is a renowned Ghanaian peace activist, dedicated humanitarian, and influential journalist.
He is also the founder and executive director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG), an NGO committed to fighting for the rights of marginalized groups in society.
Acknowledged for his virtue of deep conviction for peace, Wemakor has consistently initiated and led movements towards selfless service and goodwill undertakings.
The IAWPA's newly granted honour signifies a landmark and colossal achievement in Wemakor’s relentless journey of fostering peace and understanding among communities.
The effort dedicated by Wemakor in peace advocacy across Africa and beyond has been enormous and of profound significance.
With his robust journalistic background, he has used words as his tool to mould, shape, and inspire the minds of the masses.
Wemakor believes in the sanctity of the pen as a force that combats situations of conflict, unrest, and animosity prevalent in numerous African communities.
The Africa Peace Advocate Awards, a headline initiative from IAWPA, has been instrumental in recognizing peace advocates who have made exceptional contributions to promote peace and harmony.
The award encapsulates the very spirit of humanity and acknowledges the relentless efforts of peace advocates worldwide.
Wemakor’s recognition by IAWPA underscores his persistent work, including formulating and implementing strategies and programs for conflict resolution, promoting peaceful co-existence, and empowering the youth towards progressive and peaceful journeys.
More than just an honour, this award is a testament to his continued dedication towards creating a harmonious and peaceful African society.
This award brings the total number of notable honors received by Wemakor this year to three. The Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network, based in Kampala, Uganda, was the first organization to be moved by his extraordinary accomplishments and nominated him on February 17, 2023, for the prestigious AfricanDefenders Shield Award, which honors people who work to advance and defend human rights in Africa.
On July 15, 2023, the Entreps, International Board of Global Actors, and Business for Sustainability in Costa Rica gave him, along with his platform, the most prestigious 5th UN Global Entreps Awards for their outstanding contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This was followed by widespread recognition.
Prior to that, his relentless advocacy work had been acknowledged, which led to the selection of his platform, the Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG), as one of the 10 finalists for the 2020 Africans Rising Activism Awards' Movement of the Year Award. The only group to represent Ghana on the continent was HRRG, which placed fourth in the finals.
Again, on November 13, 2021, he received an honorary award for peace, security, and education from the Transformational Empowerment and Rural Integration Africa Foundation, an NGO, at the inaugural Africa Early Education Award (AECEA) ceremony for his outstanding work on peacebuilding initiatives across the continent.
His excellence in human rights advocacy and defence was recognized by a global media outlet, "Business Woman Magazine," based in Ukraine, on October 17, 2020. He was chosen to be featured in its glossy pages alongside a number of notable individuals, diplomats, activists, and business leaders who have an impact on lives on a global level.
The IAWPA’s high commendation for the Human Rights Reporters Ghana’s boss equally highlights its commitment to acknowledging outstanding individuals striving to maintain peace.
The Association aims to foster global peace and harmony through interdisciplinary and cross-cultural communication. By acknowledging peace defenders like Joseph Kobla Wemakor, the IAWPA hopes to inspire many others to take up the mantle of peace advocacy in their respective societies.
In accepting the impressive honour from the United Nations Eminent Peace Ambassador and Country Director for the International Association of World Peace Advocates, Dr. Samuel Ben Owusu, the humble peace advocate emphasized that the recognition would further invigorate his objectives and dedication towards realizing a peaceful and united Africa.
His vision, characterized by relentless optimism, revolves around seeing a continent free from conflict, where every individual lives in harmony and peace.
The Africa Peace Advocate Awards 2023 offers a felicitous platform for champions of peace like Joseph Kobla Wemakor. Notably, it underscores their significance in harmonizing and consolidating peace in the African continent and the wider world in general.
It is the hope that this honour will inspire younger generations to contribute towards creating an environment of peace and co-existence.
The unwavering efforts and endeavours of peace advocates like Wemakor are indeed commendable and noteworthy.
The Africa Peace Advocate Awards and IAWPA’s honour of Wemakor is a step towards acknowledging such unyielding efforts.
His actions and contributions are a beacon of hope and a reminder that upholding peace, much like justice, is a collective effort that should be honored and celebrated.
In an environment where conflict, violence, and social unrest have become the order of the day, there are outstanding individuals unrelentingly promoting peace and social harmony in Ghana.
Their tireless efforts were acknowledged at the 2023 Africa Peace Advocate Awards, a ceremony aimed at acknowledging and rewarding these peace advocates for their commitment to promoting a peaceful Ghana and Africa at large.
The list of honorees from the Ghanaian contingent was highly significant. The esteemed personalities ranged from diplomats to religious leaders, non-profit organizations, and even personalities from the media.
One notable honoree was Joseph Kobla Wemakor, the founder/executive director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG), a renowned journalist and peace activist who has constantly used his media platform to highlight the importance of peaceful coexistence.
His unbiased reporting and commitment to promoting dialogue have played a significant role in resolving conflicts and fostering understanding among diverse communities.
Regina Asamoah, a young entrepreneur who established a group devoted to empowering women and advancing peace through economic development, was another notable recipient.
Along with creating economic opportunities for disadvantaged communities, her initiatives have promoted interethnic harmony and cooperation.
The Pamcos Foundation is one such non-governmental organization that has been at the forefront of peace education and conflict resolution. Their tireless efforts have helped bridge divides and promote peaceful coexistence among Ghanaians.
At the second edition of the Africa Peace Advocate Awards event held recently celebrated the remarkable efforts of over 30 Ghanaian individuals who have dedicated themselves to promoting peace in their communities and beyond
Dr. Samuel Ben Owusu, Country Director for the International Association of World Peace Advocates and a United Nations Eminent Peace Ambassador, addressed the audience during the ceremony.
He reminded the honorees of the importance of the award and urged them to use their various platforms resolutely and tenaciously to promote peace, progress, and development for the benefit of all people on the African continent.
“We are not just going to give you awards as recognition. This is for work. We need you. Ghana needs you. Africa needs you. We need you to use your platforms to speak to bring about change”.
The significant impact of these individuals and organizations in ensuring peace in Ghana and Africa cannot be overstated.
The 2023 Africa Peace Advocate Awards have gone a long way in recognizing these incredible peace advocates and encouraging others to follow in their footsteps.
The ceremony, which marks the second edition, not only acknowledged their unwavering commitment to peace advocacy but also provided a platform to highlight the importance of peace for the overall development of Ghana and the entire African continent.
It was staged at the Pottersville Church International, East Legon Hills, Santoe in Accra on Thursday September 21, 2023, as part of the Celebrating the United Nations International Day of Peace by International Association of World Peace Advocate. (IAWPA).
The event was graced by prominent figures, activists, and supporters of peace from across Ghana and beyond. It was held under the theme: “Action for Africa Peace”.
The honorees are listed below:
1. Mrs. Rev. Dr. Joy Owusu
2. Dr. Bright Okoh
3. Lady Rev. Mrs. Martha Frimpong Boateng
4. Rita Esionam Garglo
5. Dr. Chester Bonnako
6. Ms. Harriet Nartey
7. Ms. Edna Bruce Cudjoe
8. Ms. Regina Asamoah
9. Apostle Abraham Lamptey
10. Hon. Dr. Mrs. Hanna Louisa Bisiw-Kotei
11. Fiifi Pratt
12. Mr. Gilbert Aggrey Abeiku
13. Nana Ama Anima Tutuwaa I
14. Dr. Nana Enyinfua III
15. Mrs. Theresa Tawiah Anang
16. Rev. Dr. Victor Anang
17. Pamela Agyapomaa Anokye
18. May Adaeze Chinda
19. Ms. Emmaline Dartey
20. Rev. Nelly Deladem
21. Mrs. Yvonne Antonio
22. Capt. Nii Kojo Nseni Mankattah
23. Ms. Cecilia Agyeiwaa
24. Anokyewaaba Serwaa
25. Ms. Valentina Ofori Afriyie
26. Mr. Philip Danquah
27. Joseph Kobla Wemakor
28. Nana Okogyeaman Oprepeh X
Human Rights Reporters Ghana CEO Joseph Kobla Wemakor nominated for Africa Peace Advocate Awards 2023
The Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Human Rights Reporters Ghana, Joseph Kobla Wemakor has been nominated for the prestigious Africa Peace Advocate Awards (APAA) slated for September 21, 2023, at the Pottersville Church Conference Hall in East Legon Hills, Santoe, Accra.
The news comes as a testament to his exceptional contributions to peacebuilding, human rights advocacy, and unprecedented efforts to promote the wellbeing of marginalized populations in Ghana and across the Africa continent.
Joseph Kobla Wemakor joins an esteemed league of distinguished individuals recognized for their significant achievements in peace advocacy.
APAA aims to honor individuals and organizations that have made considerable contributions to peacekeeping, conflict resolution, and human rights advocacy across Africa.
Closer to home, Wemakor has earned respect and acclaim as a relentless human rights advocate in Ghana.
Through Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG), his non-profit, media and human rights advocacy organization, Wemakor has led and been a part of local and international initiatives that disrupt patterns of human rights abuses, nurture peace, and promote respect for human dignity.
Notably, HRRG’s campaigns have significantly raised awareness of human rights and propelled social change, thereby securing Wemakor a place among Ghana’s most influential human rights advocates.
Wemakor's admirable efforts to stop child abuse and kidnapping are among his most prominent projects. He has developed and led a campaign to inform the public about the risks and severe repercussions of such acts while simultaneously working to support the victims of these atrocities.
In the year 2020, he launched a powerful media advocacy campaign on the issue of human rights violations in South Korea during the time of the first COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in Lee Man-hee, an 89-year-old man who is the founder and head of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus Christ, a growing minority and 'unpopular' church in Korea, being released from detention.
For his suspected involvement in concealing information from the South Korean government and authorities concerning church members, which they felt was detrimental to the effort to combat the pandemic, Mr. Lee was used as a scapegoat and wrongfully arrested and incarcerated.
Additionally, Wemakor's influence extends beyond the borders of Ghana through his contributions to international dialogues on peace and human rights.
He makes regular appearances at high-level UN meetings and conferences, where he shares his insights on peacebuilding and highlights the urgent need to safeguard human rights across the globe.
Being nominated for the Africa Peace Advocate Awards is another significant milestone in Wemakor's illustrious career.
This recognition provides proof of his continuous commitment to peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and the fundamental principles of human rights.
It also spurs him and his team at HRRG to further their work in transforming societies and fostering environments where human rights are not only respected but upheld as an utmost priority.
Despite the ongoing challenges in the fight for peace and human rights advocacy, Wemakor’s nomination signals hope for the future.
It echoes the message that changemakers like him continue to fight for a world where everyone can live without fear of oppression or violence, and enjoy their rights fully.
As the continent watches to witness this prestigious award ceremony in 2023, the nomination of Wemakor for the Africa Peace Advocate Awards has already elevated the narrative for peace and human rights advocacy in Africa.
It serves as a reminder to everyone that despite the challenges faced, hope remains, and progress is possible with dedication and concerted effort.
Joseph Kobla Wemakor’s nomination sends a powerful message across Ghana, Africa, and to the rest of the world- that tireless efforts to advocate for peace, protect human rights, and champion the cause of the less fortunate do not go unnoticed.
It further inspires individuals and organizations to keep advancing the cause of peace and human rights, not only in Africa but also on the global stage.
The International Association of World Peace Advocates (IAWPA), an inter-governmental organization that promotes peace and sustainability globally, recently unveiled this year’s honorary awards nominees for its prestigious Africa Peace Advocate Awards 2023 (APAA23).
This announcement upholds the IAWPA’s commitment towards peace advocacy and acknowledges outstanding individuals who have significantly contributed to peace activities in Africa.
The IAWPA, established under the laws of United Nations, routinely organizes events and recognitions that uphold peace and brotherhood on a global scale.
The organization's consistent efforts towards recognizing peace advocates worldwide are commendable.
Its high-profile events have become a significant platform to acknowledge activists who work tirelessly for global peace and sustainable development around the world.
The Africa Peace Advocate Awards (APAA) is one of the hallmark initiatives of the IAWPA for honoring exceptional peace advocates in Africa.
It is an esteemed recognition that celebrates individuals or organizations that have made significant contributions to promoting peace and harmony across the African continent.
The award serves not just as a recognition but also as an inspiration for others and a challenge to improve efforts towards attaining a peaceful environment.
In line with its tradition of recognizing such noteworthy contributions, the IAWPA recently unveiled the list of honorees for the 2023 edition of the Africa Peace Advocate Awards (APAA23).
These revered nominees, meticulously selected by the executive board under the leadership of H.E. Ambassador Dr. Samuel Ben Owusu, demonstrated significant efforts in peace advocacy, conflict resolution, community development, and socio-economic contributions aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
The release of this list is a milestone in itself. It symbolizes the IAWPA's unwavering commitment to promoting peace and facilitating a sustainable development culture in African societies.
It is also a resounding bang of the gong, serving as a call to action for individuals and organizations to ramp up their efforts towards peace advocacy.
“The carefully selected uncategorized list features Ghanaians drawn from various sectors of the country, including humanitarian organizations, non-profits, NGOs, international peace initiatives, UN SDGs advocates, businesses, religious bodies, individuals, politicians, media personalities, and public figures, who are advocating, campaigning for peace, and championing Africa's development.
These peace advocates and philanthropists are reshaping history, closing inequality gaps, grooming leaders, and pioneering new avenues of wealth creation through their various platforms, careers, and professions.
The approach used in selecting the nominees cuts across recommendations, extensive background checks, social impact, advocacy, and promotion of peace, according to IAWPA’s executive board”.
The awards appreciate and celebrate diversity in peace advocacy, recognizing that sustainable development and peace are multi-faceted concepts that require attention across various industries and sectors.
The forthcoming Africa Peace Advocate Awards 2023, which are being organized on the theme “Action for Africa Peace,” promises to be a memorable occasion ripe with opportunities for connection, dialogue, learning, and inspiration.
The auspicious ceremony, which seeks to honor and celebrate deserving awardees for their remarkable commitments to peace by initiating or leading projects that have significantly contributed to conflict resolution, post-conflict reconstruction, and the overall development of respective communities across the African continent, is scheduled to hold at the plush Pottersville Church Conference Hall, East Legon Hills, Santoe, Accra, on September 21, 2023. Time: 10:00 a.m. prompt.
Ambassador Per Stephan, the World Peace President from Denmark, Ambassador Emmanuel Nweke, the International Peace Spokesman, Dr. Sammy David from Liberia, and Ambassador Livingstone Banjagala from Uganda are all anticipated to attend, as well as other prominent members of international and African peacekeeping organizations, UN delegates, and diplomats.
The IAWPA invites all peace lovers worldwide to join this promising ceremony and be part of the quest for international peace and sustainability.
As we anticipate the upcoming grand ceremony, we can all embrace the common hopes nurtured by IAWPA for a peaceful society and sustainable development.
We can also appreciate the critical role of our awardees and peace advocates in driving these dreams towards reality.
Be part of this rewarding journey of peaceful coexistence and sustainable development as advocated by the International Association of World Peace Advocates.
Congratulations to all our Champion Peace Advocates!
Below is the list of the 2023 honorary awards nominees:
1. Mrs. Rev. Dr. Joy Owusu
Dean of Covenant Christian Leadership University College, CEO Bolga Waakye, Smile Divilla Ltd.
2. Dr. Bright Okoh
CEO of Greenfield Scientific Herbal Clinic
3. Lady Rev. Mrs. Martha Frimpong Boateng
CEO, Martha Frimpong Boateng Foundation
4. Piesie Esther
5. Dr. Chester Bonnako
CEO, Grace Homeopathy Clinic
6. Ms. Harriet Nartey
Diplomatic Affairs TV Show
7. Ms. Edna Bruce Cudjoe
Edna Bruce Cudjoe Foundation
8. Ms. Regina Asamoah
Children and Gender Advocate
CEO Missing Children Ghana
9. Apostle Abraham Lamptey
General Overseer, Believers House of Worship Ministries
10. Hon. Dr. Mrs. Hanna Louisa Bisiw-Kotei
National Women's Organizer (NDC)
12. Gilbert Aggrey Abeiku
CEO Kaya Tours/Broadcast Journalist
13. Nana Ama Anima Tutuwaa I
Naa Tutuwaa Foundation
14. Dr. Nana Enyinfua III
CEO, Enakare Foundation
15. Mrs. Theresa Tawiah Anang
Head of Women's Empowerment at Riverside Foundation
16. Rev. Dr. Victor Anang
CEO, Crystal Logistics, and General Merchant
17. Ms. Pamela Agyapomaa Anokye
18. May Adaeze Chinda
CEO, Save The Child and Widow Foundation
19. Ms. Emmaline Dartey
CEO, ICS Africa
20. Rev. Dr. Nelly Deladem
Prestige Women's Network
21. Mrs. Yvonne Nana Antonio
Fidelity Bank, PLC
22. Captain Nii Kojo Nseni Mankattah
President Gadangme Council of Asafoatsemii and Asafoanyemii
23. Ms. Cecilia Agyeiwaa
CEO, Anoba Foundation
25. Ms. Valentina Ofori Afriyie
26. Mr. Philip Dankwah
CEO, St. Philip Enterprise
27. Mr. David Osei
CEO, Silicone Properties Accra
28. Nana Okogyeaman Oprepeh X
Chief of Abura Tetsi
29. Rita Esionam Garglo
No Limits Charity Organization
30. Joseph Kobla Wemakor
CEO, Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG)
At only seven years old, Ivan Selase Hatse is courageously battling a condition under circumstances that would be daunting for many adults.
Living in Ho West District in the Volta Region of Ghana, Ivan is a Person Living with Physical Disability (PLWD) suffering from a leg deformity that needs corrective orthopaedic surgery.
Ivan's case is an emblem of the countless struggles encountered by children with physical disabilities in underprivileged environments.
His leg deformity does not merely limit his movement but also hinders him from accessing education, social participation, and other opportunities that children of his age commonly enjoy.
His condition can only be remedied via orthopaedic surgery, which his family cannot afford without help.
Ivan unfortunately lost his dear mom barely a month ago. His father is currently on admission at the hospital, battling a mild stroke.
All hope is lost as it stands; these sad developments compound his inability to go to school as expected of any normal child, which is even more worrying.
Orthopaedic surgery can correct deformities or disorders in the skeleton and its associated structures, thereby enabling sufferers like Ivan to lead a more normal life.
Orthopaedic treatment could significantly enhance Ivan's quality of life, mobility, and future opportunities. The cost, however, is a major obstacle.
The expenses for such specialized procedures are substantial, not to mention the rehabilitation and aftercare that Ivan would need.
Currently the cost of his medical surgery including other expenses are pegged at a staggering estimated sum of two hundred thousand Ghana cedis (GH₵200, 000) equivalent to $17,418.20.
Consequently, Mama Lynn Charity Foundation, the Human Rights Reporters Ghana-NGO, and Ivan’s family, including the local well-wishers, are now rallying support to facilitate his surgery.
They are reaching out to both individuals and organizations alike for donations and assistance.
Their plight is not an isolated one - financial constraints regularly prevent vulnerable populations from accessing necessary medical interventions.
As their appeal echoes across the district and further into the country, it is becoming evident that the issue is reflective of a broader challenge.
It underlines the need for comprehensive healthcare coverage that accounts for specialized treatments like orthopaedic surgery.
It also shines a light on the systemic issues of accessibility and affordability, especially for those in rural communities.
Throughout all this, Ivan remains hopeful. His spirit is unbroken, and his resolve is strong. However, to turn his hope into reality, it will require combined and concerted efforts from well-intentioned benefactors, healthcare institutions, and the government.
“By helping Ivan, we are not only transforming one life but potentially driving change that could improve health outcomes for similarly affected children throughout the Ho West District and beyond.
Let us stand in solidarity with Ivan and join the fight against healthcare inequality by contributing whatever we can and amplifying the call for assistance” says Mama Lynn Charity Foundation’s Founder, Madam Evelyn Agbese Wemegah.
“An opportunity to improve a child’s life sits before us. It is upon everyone in society to lend a hand where we can. Support for Ivan exemplifies the quintessential African philosophy of Ubuntu, showing that our humanity is interconnected.
Donating towards Ivan's orthopaedic surgery is not just a charitable act, but an investment in a young boy’s future. Enabled to overcome his physical impediments, Ivan might grow up to be a contributor to his community and the nation at large.
His story reinforces the crucial need for a more inclusive, comprehensive, and accessible health care system that caters to all, irrespective of their socio-economic circumstances”, Joseph Kobla Wemakor, Executive Director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana has said.
“We are all duty-bound to ensure that Ivan Selase and his peers are not relegated to the margins due to conditions that can ideally be corrected.
No child should be left behind. As we strive to improve our societal infrastructure, let us not forget Ivan and others like him who can only dream of better days,” says a local sympathizer.
Any kind or monetary donation is appreciated. To help a good cause, please call +233 (0)548665114 or send an email to [email protected].
'Human Rights Reporters Ghana's remarkable achievement is a shining example of positive impact NGOs can make on society'-Entreps Chairman
The Chairman of Entreps: International Board of Global Actors and Business for Sustainability, Joaquin V. Boston, has praised the exceptional advocacy work of the Human Rights Reporters Ghana and its visionary founder Joseph Kobla Wemakor, which resulted in their announcement as winners of the prestigious 5th UN Global Entreps Awards, as a remarkable achievement that stands as a shining example of the positive impact NGOs can make on society.
He asserted that this ought to inspire others to imitate their actions in order to contribute to the development of a better world for all.
“HRRG’s remarkable achievement stands as a shining example of the positive impact NGOs can make on society and encourages others to follow suit in creating a better world for all”.
The Entreps Chairman recently made this claim in a news release, reinforcing the two winners' outstanding contributions to society, which are currently making headlines all over the world.
The vibrant Ghanaian NGO, Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG), received the prestigious award for its Nationwide Sensitization Campaign on Kidnapping, Teenage Pregnancy, and Tramadol/Drug Abuse (‘KTT Project’).
The project was recognized as the ‘Best International Practice Award on Sustainability’ among 1,912 projects and enterprises from 126 countries competing for their implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The organization’s dedication to promoting human rights awareness and protection has garnered commendation from various individuals, organizations, and institutions both within and outside Ghana.
The award ceremony, held in San Jose, Costa Rica, on July 15, 2023, was backed by Entreps-International Board of Global Actors and Business for Sustainability, with the support of 1,000 Global Jurors and in partnership with the UN75.
HRRG’s founder, Joseph Kobla Wemakor, who received the award, expressed gratitude for the prestigious honor, highlighting the importance of collective efforts in uprooting societal menaces.
He noted that the organization remains steadfast in its mission to safeguard human rights and contribute to a safer and more progressive society.
“For HRRG to be acknowledged by the 1,000 Global Jurors of Entreps, Joaquin Boston, the Chairman of Entreps, and its Secretary-General, Raquel Torres, in collaboration with the United Nations as an awardee from Ghana, West Africa, to receive the revered global honor is a noteworthy accomplishment, confirming Ghana’s position in global sustainable practice and setting precedence for other NGOs and stakeholders in the region to emulate”.
“It feels amazing to see our work recognized globally. But the real victory is witnessing the change and progress these communities make as a result of our constant efforts.”
The UN Global Entreps Awards honor outstanding initiatives, policies, institutions, start-ups, and entities that align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The 5th edition of the Global Entreps Awards, launched in partnership with the United Nations to celebrate its 75th anniversary, showcases the organization’s commitment to sustainability and good governance.
According to Chairman Joaquin Boston, the Human Rights Reporters Ghana’s dedication to promoting human rights awareness and protection resonates perfectly with these goals, positioning Ghana as a global leader in sustainable practices.
“The recognition from the Global Entreps Awards marks a significant milestone for HRRG and Ghana as it demonstrates international support for their efforts in achieving sustainable change.
This recognition is expected to inspire more stakeholders and governments to invest in preventive strategies and social initiatives to safeguard human rights and create a safer and more progressive society”.
“In Entreps -The International Board of Business for Sustainability, we support these types of practices that promote and reinforce the UN SDGs -Sustainable Development Goals-.
Additionally, we have had an agreement with the UN to promote together the SDGs, ever since January 2020.
We are pleased to find and recognize best practices—projects and initiatives—such as the one carried out by Human Rights Reporters Ghana and its founder, Joseph Kobla Wemakor, a brave project in such a challenging society; their actions defend the role of women, from childhood to adulthood, and seek to end bad habits and practices that denigrate a large part of their society.
We boost people as those who have carried out this project, for being deeply involved and dedicate a large part of their free time to changing - improving - the society to which they belong. Cheers to them”! Joaquín Boston posited.
Source: Elizabeth Bombande
The Green Africa Youth Organization (GAYO), an eco-conscious youth-led organization, held a post-INC 2 debriefing session intending to create awareness and bolster the capacities of stakeholders concerning the global plastic treaty at the La Dadekotopon Municipal Assembly in Accra on Friday, August 25, 2023.
This workshop, which was put on in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG) and the AKO Foundation, was crucial in advancing environmental sustainability and giving much-needed insight into the complexities surrounding the plastic waste crisis.
According to GAYO’s Project Coordinator, Jacob Johnson Attakpah, the debriefing session was a follow-up on the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee’s (INC) second session, during which the global treaty on plastic waste was developed.
“Since its conception, the treaty has been the linchpin to curbing the surge of global plastic waste, which continues to plague the environment and the health of living organisms.
GAYO's move to establish post-INC 2 debrief illustrates the entity's commitment to involving stakeholders in understanding and progressing with the treaty's implementations”.
The event which brought together stakeholders such as informal sector waste workers, youth groups, civil society organizations, environmental and health officers of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies was pivotal in expounding on the decisions made during the committee session and how they would impact local communities, industries and national agendas.
It brought together panelists made up of Ghana’s transition team, who gave a detailed insight into the objectives and scopes of the Option Paper of INC and explained the stance of Ghana and, for that matter, Africa as far as reaching the global plastic treaty agreement is concerned.
The Executive Director of the Environment Youth Action Network (EYAN), Dr. Sam Adu-Kumi, who shared a panel with two other experts, averred that Ghana, or Africa, is seeking a comprehensive and implementable legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution.
This, according to him, was the result of ensuring protection of human health and the environment, taking cognizance of the nature of the plastic pollution menace it is faced with in spite of the numerous options available to choose from.
Mrs. Lydia Obenewa Essuah, Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation (PPME) at the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, called for a multi-stakeholder strategy to address the plastic pollution crisis that Ghana is facing.
"I think the most important thing for us to do is to unite as one force globally and look at how we can best put systems and structures in place to be able to effectively and efficiently manage the plastics".
She contends that Ghana's decision to promote the management of plastics and plastic pollution throughout their entire lifecycle is appropriate given that the nation produces a lot of plastic waste that it is unable to manage due to a lack of the necessary infrastructure, necessitating the need for proposal-making on how to manage the legacy plastic.
In addition to the legacy plastic waste agenda already in place, Mrs. Essuah said that in light of the overwhelming evidence pointing out Ghana's failure to address the problem, the country is considering pushing for INC 3, or the Global Plastic Pollution Fee, to address the pollution gap and create the necessary infrastructure for managing plastic sustainably.
At the debrief session, GAYO aimed at creating awareness about the specifics of the treaty, its implications, and the role individuals, governments, and corporations can play in its successful execution. This marked an invaluable avenue for stakeholders to gain pertinent information, ask questions, and brainstorm implementations strategies to counter the plastic waste problem gaining further traction in Africa.
Key topics during the session revolved around the treaty's content and due enforcement strategies. There was also an emphasis on the importance of countries incorporating the treaty into their domestic legislation to promote recycling and limit the production and usage of single-use plastics. Additionally, the economic implications of the treaty, particularly on developing economies, were discussed thoroughly.
GAYO also afforded stakeholders a platform to voice their concerns and recommendations. Participants were particularly eager to discuss potential challenges in enforcing the treaty and the need for knowledge transfer among stakeholders for successful adoption and implementation. Challenges surrounding technical, financial, and infrastructural capacities were also addressed extensively.
The session is part of GAYO's larger agenda to build the capacity of stakeholders in handling environmental challenges. By putting emphasis on a collective approach, GAYO’s efforts were heavily geared towards supporting the global fight against plastic pollution while protecting the continent's rich biodiversity and ecosystem.
GAYO and partners have proven unequivocally that grassroots NGOs and youth-led organizations can provide meaningful contributions towards the global sustainability dialogue. Their zeal to ensure environmental welfare is unwavering, as demonstrated by their engagement in the INC 2 dialogue. This initiative exhibited GAYO's stride in promoting transparency and inclusivity in environmental decision-making processes at the global level.
At the core of the plastic treaty discussion was the common yet urgent problem of plastic pollution. It's a crisis that merits collaborative efforts to avert annihilation of biodiversity and undue harm to human health. The INC 2 convened to discuss potential strategies and frameworks to regulate the plastic value chain and conduct plastic waste management. Members also reviewed and refined the first draft of the prospective plastic treaty, ensuring global consensus on the urgency of addressing plastic pollution.
In GAYO's stakeholder engagement meeting, representatives conveyed the resolutions reached at the INC 2. Major focus points included the establishment of a new global agreement to regulate plastic pollution, the reinforcement of Regional Seas Conventions, and the extension of the existing Basel Convention to comprehend plastics. Furthermore, they profiled proposed policies to control plastic production, design, usage, disposal, and processed plastic product importation.
Recognizing the crucial role of stakeholder input in successful policy implementation, the engagement debriefing encouraged an interactive dialogue. Various stakeholders, from government representatives and political decision-makers to manufacturers, consumers, informal sector workers, youth groups, civil society organizations, environmental and health officers of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies attended this meeting.
It facilitated the sharing of insights and feedback, which will be critical in informing subsequent treaty discussions. It also emphasized the need to align local actions with global agendas, thus fostering holistic progress in our battle against plastic pollution.
As part of its objectives, GAYO presented a platform to ensure the INC 2 outcomes echo down to grassroots levels. Through this platform, it echoed the call for a comprehensive plastic treaty that doesn't only focus on the management of plastic waste but also addresses the entire lifecycle of plastic.
Understanding the urgency of the plastic crisis, GAYO's stakeholder engagement was an exemplary model of climate activism, promoting collaboration, and inclusive dialogue in the journey towards sustainability. It showcased those harnessing local realities and aligning them with international trends is key to creating an all-round resilient and sustainable future.
The Green Africa Youth Organization's pivotal engagement in the INC 2 session and its continuous commitment to fighting plastic pollution reiterates their dedication to drive environmental welfare and sustainable development.
Their determination to involve stakeholders at every juncture exhibits an enduring quest for inclusivity and transparency in the quest to resolve pressing environmental issues. This mission seeks to ensure that no voice is left unheard, and no solution is left unexplored.
Undoubtedly, GAYO's efforts exemplify the power wielded by collective collaboration and constructive dialogue in environmental policymaking and sustainability practices. It goes to show that in the face of grave environmental challenges, uniting our expertise and efforts becomes an irreplaceable ante in progressing towards a more sustainable and resilient world.
Source: Joseph Kobla Wemakor
Doreen Awolana Addah, 2023 valedictorian and winner of seven awards at GH Schools gets interviewed on Joy Learning TV
Doreen Awolana Addah transcended expectations when she emerged as the valedictorian of the 2023 graduating class alongside bagging seven prestigious awards at GH Schools.
Her extraordinary achievement was saluted by Joy Learning TV, who invited her for an exclusive interview to share her inspirational story.
Doreen Addah’s academic journey is nothing short of inspiring. Known for her intellectual curiosity, a consummate commitment to her studies, and an exemplary display of leadership, she embodies the qualities of a true achiever. As the 2023 valedictorian and a holder of seven awards, she set an unprecedented record at GH Schools.
Joy Learning TV, always proactive in revolutionizing the media industry, took it upon its shoulders to bring Ms. Addah’s highly motivating story to the public. The objective was to inspire students from different walks of life and demonstrate that hard work, grit, and tenacity lead to success.
During her interview with the host Anita Yayra Gbeku, Ms Addah credited her victory to her determination, perseverance and her unyielding faith including the unwavering support of her elder brother, CAMFED Ghana (NGO) and Mrs. Maria Asumpta Ngozi Chukwuka Nwosu, a Canadian-based philanthropist.
She also thanked her instructors at GH Media School for their constant guidance and instrumental role in molding her media acumen. Similarly, the multi-awarding graduate never missed the opportunity to show her gratitude and acknowledge the journalist who brought her story to light, Mr. Joseph Kobla Wemakor, and further went to tout his achievements, including the latest recognition: his victorious win of the 5th UN Global Entreps Awards, which helped put Ghana on the global map.
“First of all, I would like to say a very big thank you to viewers out there and to Joy Learning for this wonderful opportunity. I also want to use this platform to say a very big thank you to the man who made my story known to the world, Mr. Joseph Kobla Wemakor. He wrote the story on me, which has actually given me the chance to be seated here, and congratulations to him because he has also won the UN award for SDG this particular year, so he has shined Ghana and brought Ghana to light. So, a very big thank you to him”.
Emphasizing the necessity for countless hours of effort and study, Doreen highlighted the importance of commitment and passion for achieving success in one's chosen field.
“I would want to tell you that wherever you are or whatever situation you find yourself in, you can always make a better version of yourself,” stated Addah, as she earnestly advised fellow students to keep working hard and researching on whatever skills they aspire to acquire even when faced with setbacks, for diligence is rewarded eventually.
In respect to her training at GH Media School, Doreen asserted that the institution places emphasis not just on learning, but on character development too. She strongly advocates that every student should strive towards personal growth, coupled with academic excellence.
Doreen's story is not just noteworthy for the accolades she received, but for her character and perseverance inspiring those who know her. Her achievements at GH Media School attracted attention beyond the school premises, leading to his featured interview at Joy Learning TV.
Her message to aspiring learners suggests that the secret to success lies in perseverance, hard work, diligence, and an unwavering commitment to one's chosen path.
The resilience Doreen displayed in his journey to becoming GH Media School's 2023 Valedictorian and a seven-time award winner serves as a powerful testament to the potential within us all. Her inspiring interview on Joy Learning TV will continue to motivate learners toward pushing boundaries, setting new standards, aiming high, and proving that success is within anybody's grasp.
Doreen Awolana Addah’s ascension in the field of media studies reveals that dedication and diligent work bring the desired result. We anticipate witnessing the meaningful contribution and transformative changes this young change-maker will make in the media landscape.
Source:Joseph Kobla Wemakor