AMA outlines programme to mark June 3 disaster

Accra, The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has outlined programmes to commemorate the June 3, 2015 rain and fire disaster at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, which led to the loss of 159 lives.

Two years ago, June 3, 2015, there was a torrential rain, which caused flooding and fire and led to the loss of lives, plunging the city of Accra into an inconsolable grief.

A statement signed by Numo Blafo III, the Head of the Public Affairs of the AMA and copied to the Ghana News Agency said on Friday, June 2, there would be a clean-up exercise at 07:00 hours at Odornaa.

It would hold a remembrance service and candle light procession from the Ernest Bruce Memorial Church to the disaster site on the same day at 17:00 hours.

On Saturday, June 3, at 09:00 hours a remembrance church service would be held at the Calvary Baptist Church, Adabraka and it would be followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the disaster site.

The statement said they have invited the public, surviving victims and families of all those who lost their lives in the flood and fire tragedy to join in remembering the fallen Ghanaians.

The statement said: AMA wishes to bring to the attention of the general public, activities earmarked for that day, to remind us of a commitment it made that ‘never again’ will it allow such an incident to reoccur.

Source: Ghana News Agency

MCE donates mathematical sets to schools

Amasaman (GAR), Mr Clement Nii Lamptey Wilkinson, the Ga West Municipal Chief Executive has presented 8,000 mathematical sets to be distributed to Junior High School final year students in the Municipality.

This is to support the students in their 2017 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

Mr Wilkinson, who stood as parliamentary candidate for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for Amasaman in December 2016 election in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said the gesture was his personal contribution towards the development of education in both private and public schools in the area.

He said he made a similar donation of 4,000 mathematical sets in 2016 to the BECE candidates, and that his commitment to supporting teaching and learning in the Municipality would not be a nine-day wonder to improve the education of the children.

Mr Wilkinson said education was important to a country’s socio-economic and political development and helped to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor and therefore appealed to parents not to shirk their responsibility to ensure that their children attended school.

The MCE said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the NPP administration recognised the significance of education and had committed to fulfilling its flagship policy of free senior high school in September, this year.

Mr Addo Akuffo, the Ga West Municipal Director of Education who received the items expressed gratitude to the MCE for his kind gesture and gave the assurance that the school authorities would ensure that the materials were put to good use.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Tough draw for defending FA Cup champions in round of 16

Accra, The draw for the MTN FA cup round of 16 was held at the M-Plaza Hotel on Wednesday involving nine premier league clubs and seven division one clubs.

Defending champions Bechem United will continue their title defence with a tough draw away to fellow premier league campaigners Berekum Chelsea at the Golden City Park.

It will be an all Division One affair as Nea Salamina FC will play host to Steadfast FC whilst reigning premier league champions Wa All Stars visit FC Samatex 1996.

Eight times FA Cup champions Asante Kotoko will engage lower division side Wassaman United at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, whilst two time winners Medeama SC host Elmina Sharks at the Tarkwa and Aboso Park.

In zone 3, unfancied lower division side Accra Young Wise will welcome giants Accra Hearts of Oak at Kasoa, whilst Amidaus Professionals will lock horns with West Africa Football Academy (WAFA) in Tema.

The last game of the round will feature Danbort FC and Liberty Professionals.

According to the chairman of the FA Cup committee, Mr Kurt Okraku, qualified teams were paired on proximity bases to ease the financial constraints on clubs travelling long distances for their games.

The round of 16 matches would be played between 16th and 18th June.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Research must support interventions in the health sector – Rector

Accra, Professor David Ofori-Adjei, former Rector of the College of Surgeons and Physicians, has advised stakeholders in the health sector to ensure that health research supports productive interventions that challenge inequalities and address policy gaps.

He said for effective policy implementation of research recommendations, it was necessary to link research to impacts, costs and benefits whereas policy makers must ensure reframing policy issues to fit the research.

Professor Ofori-Adjei said this at the opening ceremony of the two-day bi-annual National Health Research Dissemination Symposium 2017, organised by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with Ghana Health Service and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

He encouraged practitioners to strive to make research fit into the national health agenda in order to become useful sources for policy models rather than remain dormant on the shelves.

The symposium, which was the second to be funded by USAID on the theme: From Research to Policy and Practice: Evidence-based Decision Making for Equitable Improvements in Health Status” brought together 200 researchers, policymakers, senior health service professionals and development partners.

It focused on translating research findings into policy and practice to empower Ghana’s health research institutions to live up to their mandate of generating data to inform decision-making in priority areas such as new-born and child health; malaria, nutrition; and family planning.

Prof. Ofori-Adjei said researches on improving the healthcare system should align with real needs of government in terms of will, skill and resources and factor in concerns of civil society and the private sector.

He, however, bemoaned the weak capacity of state systems to absorb findings and recommendations of well-conducted researches due to lack of funding to implement them.

Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the Minister of Health, in a speech read on his behalf, said low income countries including Ghana faced additional challenges to using research evidence like weakness of the health systems and lack of professional regulation, structured platform for exchange of information between researchers and policy makers, and access to evidence.

He, therefore, reiterated government’s commitment to strengthening health institutions and mechanisms that could promote interactions between researchers, policy-makers and other stakeholders who could influence the use of research findings.

Madam Akua Kwateng-Addo, the USAID/Ghana Director of Health, Population and Nutrition Office, said health research should not only generate knowledge but should be the basis for healthcare interventions.

She said: We at USAID Ghana are committed to addressing Ghana’s most challenging health problems through research, introduction and scaling up of evidence-based solutions.

Source: Ghana News Agency

African leaders must focus on perfecting character – Dr Awuah

Accra, Dr Patrick Awuah, President of Ashesi University has urged fellows of the Young African Leaders Initiative’s Mandela Washington Fellowship, to focus on perfecting their character since their characters determined the destinies of nations and organisations.

He said the character of Africa’s leaders defined the character of their nations, which in turn, determined the destinies of the nations.

Giving the keynote address at the opening of the Mandela Washington Fellowship West Africa Conference in Accra on Wednesday, Dr Awuah noted that it was critical for leaders to start out thinking not only about their personal interests but about the common good.

that we begin by not thinking only about our knowledge and our skills, but focus on our character, that we think not only about the intellectual capabilities in the organisations that we run but about the cultures of the organisations we run, he stated.

Drawing on lessons he had learnt practising the five guiding principles of martial arts (Shotokan Karate dojo kun) over the past 30 years, namely: Seek Perfection of Character, Be Faithful, Endeavour, Respect Others, and Refrain from Violent Behaviour.

Dr Awuah said the character of leaders trickled down to the nation and became the destinies of the nation and said the affirmation of the principles had stayed and helped him, not only in being fit but also in other parts of his life.

He explained that it was important to always seek perfection of character as perfection in itself was impossible and difficult to define. Values that formed character such as humility, patience, courage, loyalty, honesty, generosity, among others, were difficult to define, thus seeking to perfect them will transform the leader and people around them.

He also stressed the need for leaders to respect others, including their opponents as well as themselves and refrain from violent behaviour.

This, he explained, meant refraining from violent thoughts, actions, habits and formed character, which determined their destiny.

He also the need for Africa to build its human capital as it was the most important thing to focus on for any leader in Africa. He said this was important because societies did not advance on the basis of raw materials, but on the basis of human endeavour.

So to the extent that we can enhance the capabilities of all Africans, then we will be a transformational continent.

Mr Robert Porter Jackson, Ambassador of the United States to Ghana, said the MWF could help to transform the Africa continent.

He said while transforming Africa would not be an easy task, ‘leaders were those who refused to give up in the face of challenges or obstacles and who searched for solutions’.

He said the fellows were in the position, to take advantage of innovation to address the many economic, social, political and technological challenges that Africa faced.

Innovation is what is needed to change the face of the continent. Fortunately, as young people, you are almost hard-wired to be more receptive to innovations-to new ideas and procedures- than those of us who have been around a little longer, he stated.

Ambassador Jackson said the focus of the conference: ‘Promoting Regional Development in Africa through Innovation and Leadership’ was relevant as the United States was keen on promoting regional development, through the USAID and to see West African nations trading more among themselves.

Without a doubt, united West Africa will have the economic, political and social clout to act and compete on the world stage he stated.

The two-day conference is the third Mandela Washington Fellowship West Africa regional conference and is aimed at fostering continued networking among fellows, promoting opportunities for ongoing professional development, and involvement in community services.

It also reminds fellows of their roles as change agents and leaders. The MWF is the flagship programme of the Young African Leaders Initiative and brings about 1000 young African professionals from across the continent to US Universities for six weeks of leadership training.

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Source: Ghana News Agency