Absa Young Africa Works to create 50,000 dignified jobs for young Ghanaians

Absa Bank Ghana and the Mastercard Foundation have announced a joint partnership initiative known as Absa Young Africa Works, a program aimed at enabling young people, particularly young women to access dignified work by investing in micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The Absa Young Africa Works initiative seeks to promote the financial inclusion of currently marginalised or excluded micro, small or medium-scale entrepreneurs in Ghana and enable financing to undeserved MSMEs who are otherwise are unable to access business financing due to a range of factors, including the prevailing macro-economic factors.

The Absa Young Africa Works will specifically target MSMEs with training, consultancy as well as unsecured loans of up to GHs500,000.

Launching the initiative, Abena Osei-Poku, Managing Director at Absa Bank Ghana, reiterated the Bank’s commitment to playing a shaping role in society through enterprise skills development initiatives designed to facilitate job creation and sustainable livelihoods for young people.

She indicated that “formal and informal MSMEs are key actors in every economy and vital in achieving the sustainable development goals, especially SDG-8 which talks about decent work and economic growth”.

“At Absa, we believe that MSMEs hold the key to an inclusive and sustainable development of our economic. This underpins our commitment to equip them, as well as our contribution towards ensuring a very equitable post-covid-19 recovery in Ghana. Absa’s partnership with Mastercard Foundation is therefore aimed at stimulating the growth of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to create access to 50,000 dignified and fulfilling jobs for young people and women in Ghana” noted Mrs. Osei-Poku.

As part of the partnership, Absa Bank Ghana will also provide entrepreneurial and business sector-specific training. It will also facilitate lending at favourable interest rates to agribusinesses and women-led enterprises to enable them to scale and create access to dignified jobs for thousands of young people in Ghana.

Speaking at the launch Nathalie Akon Gabala, Regional Director at Mastercard Foundation noted that Ghana remains one of the most enterprising countries in Africa with young people and women leading startups and small businesses.

“These MSMEs for a decade have been major players to the economy contributing 70% GDP to Ghana’s economy with the sector being the leading provider of employment in the country,” said Ms Gabala.

“This partnership will serve as a catalyst for the transformation of MSMEs in Ghana by stimulating growth in the MSME industry, unlock job opportunities for young Ghanaians, strengthen MSMEs financial situation and enable Absa Bank to provide unsecured lending as well as providing technical and financial support to scale up promising fintech start-ups,” Nathalie Akon Gabala added.

The Absa Young Africa Works initiative which is a 5-year partnership is part of Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy in Ghana; an ambitious 10-year program to enable 3 million young people, 70% women, to access dignified and fulfilling work.

Source: Ghana Web

Tkyo Olympics: Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge successfully defends Olympic marathon title

Eliud Kipchoge says he has “fulfilled” his legacy after the Kenyan became the first athlete since 1980 to retain an Olympic marathon title at Tokyo 2020.

Kipchoge, only the third person to win successive Olympic marathons, finished in two hours eight minutes 38 seconds.

Regarded as the greatest marathon runner of all time, the 36-year-old crossed the line one minute 20 seconds ahead of the Netherlands’ Abdi Nageeye.

In the race for bronze, Belgian Bashir Abdi edged out Kenyan Lawrence Cherono.

“I think I have fulfilled the legacy by winning the marathon for the second time, back-to-back. I hope now to help inspire the next generation,” world record holder Kipchoge said.

“Tokyo 2020 has happened, it means a lot. It means there is hope. It means we are on the right track to a normal life,” he told BBC Sport. “We are on the track to our normal lives, that is the meaning of the Olympics.

“I am happy to defend my title and to show the next generation, if you respect the sport and be disciplined you can accomplish your assignment.”

It is a fourth Olympic medal for Kipchoge, who famously recorded the first sub two-hour marathon in 2019.

Kipchoge suffered his first marathon defeat in seven years in London last October, but he looked in control throughout the race in Sapporo, Japan, before moving well clear of the field after 30km.

The Kenyan – whose official marathon record is the 2:01:39 he ran in Berlin in 2018 – won 5,000m bronze in 2004 and silver in 2008, before claiming his first Olympic gold in Rio five years ago.

Britain’s Chris Thompson was 54th in 2:21:29, however compatriots Callum Hawkins and Ben Connor did not finish the race.

Scottish record holder Hawkins, who collapsed in the Gold Coast heat at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, had placed ninth on his Olympics debut in Rio but was unable to stay with the leaders before withdrawing before the 30-kilometre mark.

On Friday, Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir won the women’s marathon in 28C heat and, while the temperatures reached 27C on Saturday, the men benefitted from increased cloud cover.

Brazil’s Daniel Do Nascimento suffered a nasty looking fall when in the lead group and was among the 30 athletes to pull out.

Source: Modern Ghana

Consider resale value when getting an auto, car loan

Vehicle Asset Financing (VAF) or what is commonly referred to as auto/car loans could be a daunting and complex process without the proper understanding and the right advice to guide potential beneficiaries. In its basic definition, an auto/car loan is a loan given to a person for the purposes of acquiring a vehicle depending on the person’s preference or choice of vehicle. This is not to be confused with personal loans, which are unsecured loans.

Although vehicle acquisition schemes have become very popular in Ghana over the last decade due to the cost of vehicles, exchange rate vulnerabilities, and recent flexibilities in lending parameters, there are many people who find themselves at sea when making decisions about auto loans. In this article, we will discuss some terms and loan structures available to clients who want a vehicle financing facility with a bank.

The very first step before selecting a car model is to decide on the amount you can allocate for such an investment. It is, however, not just a one-time investment. Along with paying a lump sum at the purchase, other expenses including its maintenance, fuel cost, insurance premiums, etc. also need to be factored in. It is therefore important to set an upper limit and decide on a monthly amount that you are willing to spend on the vehicle.

After deciding on the budget, it is equally important to decide whether you want to buy a used vehicle or a new one. Generally, people opt for used cars due to the high cost of new vehicles. However, it is imperative to understand that although a second-hand car may fit in the budget, it can have a higher maintenance cost than a new one. Therefore, one must analyze their budget and then plan an estimated cost of having a personal car. This decision must be taken with key considerations to your lifestyle, taste, and other specifications such as safety, engine capacity, family size, etc.

It is also important to have an estimated idea about the resale value of the car. Due to a powerful engine, brand value, and superior fuel efficiency, some cars have higher resale value than others. Besides, maintenance of the car is one of the major concerns of the buyers, and as such, they should purchase a model which has ample service centres in proximity along with the availability of spare parts.

As financial planning is an essential part of the loan acquisition process, it is important to look out for financial institutions that give ease and comfort. Stanbic Bank, for instance, has alliances and associations with vehicle dealerships across the country. The bank and the dealership have an understanding and a relationship which makes processing and acquisition of the loan and vehicle respectively a seamless process. There have been instances where clients have received discounts from dealers because they were acquiring the vehicle through the bank.

Also, because the bank has partnerships with insurance companies through its bancassurance portfolio, Stanbic Bank is able to give clients a bouquet of premiums from different insurance companies for clients to choose from. The significant thing about this is that when people are taking premiums, they look at how much they are paying for rather than whether or not the insurance company can pay claims in case of an unfortunate incident.

Through its bancassurance unit, the bank is able to work out these backend issues such as the right insurance company, the right premium, and the kind of insurance for the benefit of the client. As noted in the beginning of this article, an auto loan can be a complex endeavour if one does not have a guiding hand. It is always important to talk to a bank for the necessary advice before taking any steps.

Source: Ghana Web

Vodafone CEO wins Ghana Women of the Year Honours, Technology Category

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vodafone Ghana, Patricia Obo-Nai, has been honoured for her enormous involvement and support for women in the technological field at the Ghana Women of the Year Honours event, which was held at the Movenpick Hotel in Accra.

Patricia was named the Technology category winner at the sixth edition of the award which is organized by Glitz Africa. The awards celebrated thirteen Ghanaian indigenous and diaspora women who are making a great impact in society.

Her citation reads “Your commitment towards female empowerment, diversity and inclusion in the field of technology is admirable. We duly acknowledge your dedicated efforts to support women in your field by setting up of the Women in Technology’ platform as well as Female Engineering Students Sponsorship Programme (FESSP) by Vodafone Ghana to encourage young women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). We celebrate your diligence to empower and nurture women in the technology space to be able to make a significant contribution to our country”.

Receiving the award, Patricia said:

“I really thank Glitz Africa for this honour, I thank God for this opportunity, I thank my family who have been super supportive. I thank my team at Vodafone Ghana some of whom are here to support me. I believe this award is an inspiration for every young girl who wants to pursue Math and Science. If this help the mothers who are gathered here today to allow your girls to pursue the subjects, then I am encouraged.”

On the night of the awards, Ghana’s Former Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Georgina Theodora Wood received a Lifetime Achievement Award, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa emerged the winner of the Excellence in the Public Service category, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway received an Excellence in Governance honour. Other industrious women were also acknowledged for their immense contributions in their chosen field of work.

The multiple awards-winning CEO was recently adjudged Africa’s Most Respected CEO in the Telecommunications category at the Africa Most Respected CEO Awards, held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Source: Ghana Web

Tchnical Universities’ Senior Administrators Association calls on Tertiary Education Commission

Accra, – The Technical Universities’ Senior Administrators Association of Ghana (TUSAAG), led by its President, Edem Honu, has met with the Director-General of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC), Prof.

Mohammed Salifu over several issues concerning their scheme of service.

The TUSAAG President raised concerns about the non-existence of conditions of service since their conversion from polytechnics to technical universities and inconsistencies in their scheme of service as compared to that of their colleagues in the public universities.

Mr Honu highlighted the issue of office holding and the payment of appropriate allowances to those in an acting capacity when qualified people are not in place.

In his response, Prof. Mohammed Salifu stated that there was no single document for conditions of service for all public universities since the central government was responsible for some aspects while others were taken care of by the various institutions internally generated funds.

He also indicated that both the technical universities and public universities were on the same market premium as well as book and research allowance.

On the matter of scheme of service, the GTEC Director-General said some issues were flagged for addressing and urged the TUSAAG leadership to bring out the inconsistencies for deliberation.

On the payment of allowances to persons in an acting capacity, the Tertiary Education Commission boss responded by asserting that GTEC could not pry into details of office holding because of the variations in each institution.

Consequently, it will deal with the basic functions and in principle had no issues with departmental level appointments.

Prof. Salifu encouraged TUSAAG to engage with Vice Chancellors of Technical Universities, Ghana (VCTUG) on the policy to expeditiously handle promotions.

TUSAAG also sought clarification on why non-teaching staff were not given post-retirement contracts like their teaching counterparts and it was explained that this became necessary because of the issue of student-staff ratio (SSR) which was a general deficit in teaching, poor research output on the continent and in certain priority areas such as STEM.

The meeting was attended by Theresa Ebadzer, national vice president, Isaac Owusu Ansah, KsTU local chairman, Dominic Ampah, ATU local Chairman, James Bayenteyea, KTU local vice-chairman, Fausta Kilian Gavaa, ATU local vice-chairman and Joseph Mensah Asirifi, TTU local chairman.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Move raises $23M Series A Funding to democratize vehicle ownership in Africa

Moove, an African mobility fintech, today announced that it has raised $23 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Speedinvest and Left Lane Capital, with participation from DCM, Clocktower Technology Ventures, the latest ventures, LocalGlobe, Tekton, FJ Labs, Palm Drive Capital, Roka Works, KAAF Investments, Class 5 Global, and Victoria van Lennep, co-founder of Lendable.

Africa specialist, Verod Kepple Africa Ventures, and one of Moove’s existing lenders, Emso Asset Management, also joined the round. This brings Moove’s total funding to $68.2 million, including $28.2M in equity and $40.0M in debt. Moove is the first investment in Africa for many of its U.S. VC backers, underscoring the opportunity for a platform like Moove to address the continent’s vehicle financing gap.

Operating on a continent with more than a billion people who have limited or no access to vehicle financing and the lowest per capita vehicle ownership in the world Moove will use the funding round to build a full-service mobility fintech that democratizes vehicle ownership across Africa. The market opportunity is vast Africa is home to 1.3 billion people, with 43 percent in urban areas and growing, and in 2019 had fewer than 900,000 total new vehicle sales compared to 17 million in the U.S.

Moove embeds its alternative credit-scoring technology onto ride-hailing and e-logistics platforms, which allows access to proprietary performance and revenue analytics of mobility entrepreneurs to underwrite loans. Moove’s model is to provide loans to its customers by selling them new vehicles and financing up to 95 percent of the purchase within five days of sign up.

Moove customers can choose to pay back their loans over 24, 36, or 48 months, using a percentage of their weekly revenue. All Moove customers sign up to the Moove app to manage all transactions and access other financial products on the platform.

Co-founders Ladi Delano and Jide Odunsi are British-born Nigerians, educated at the London School of Economics, Oxford University, and MIT, who have successfully built three other businesses in Africa over the last eight years through their venture studio, Grace Lake Partners.

Ladi is a serial entrepreneur and Jide is a former investment banker at Goldman Sachs and former management consultant at McKinsey. Driven by a common passion to create shared value leveraging their extensive operating experience on the continent, they set out to build Moove to provide Africans with a path to new vehicle ownership while creating new jobs.

“Since launching in Ghana, we have remained focussed on developing strategies to support mobility entrepreneurs with a clear path to vehicle ownership. In just five months, over 50,000 ride-hailing hours and over 60,000 trips were completed in Moove financed vehicles in Ghana” said Jephthah Datsomor, Ghana country manager for Moove.

“As we look to the future, the new equity funding will allow us to grow and expand operations in Accra and other major cities, as well as extend our product offerings to ensure that we meet our impact objectives. We are also excited to build our team based within the country and hope to continue empowering drivers on their entrepreneurial journey.”

Moove is Uber’s exclusive vehicle financing and vehicle supply partner in sub-Saharan Africa, with Moove-financed cars having completed more than 850,000 Uber trips covering over 13 million kilometers across the continent to date.

The start-up was initially bootstrapped by its co-founders with seed-stage funding from Future Africa, an Africa-focused fund led by Iyin Aboyeji, who was a founder at Andela and Flutterwave. The new Series A funding will allow Moove to grow and expand into new markets as well as develop and launch new products and services. The equity raise follows a year of momentum and success for Moove with the launch of three cities and 60% month-on-month growth so far.

“With Ladi and Jide at the helm of a world-class team, and their unique approach to vehicle financing, Moove has quickly established itself as one of the most exciting tech companies in Africa,” said Stefan Klestil, General Partner at Speedinvest. “The company’s expansion to three cities in under 12 months demonstrates the huge demand for vehicle financing in Africa, where just five percent of new cars are purchased with financing, compared to 92 percent in Europe.”

“Moove’s technology is fundamentally changing access to mobility and empowering thousands to earn a new source of income,” said Dan Ahrens, Managing Partner at Left Lane Capital. “As we look ahead, the potential for that technology and the Moove team to expand even further is very exciting. They have the opportunity to become a full-service mobility fintech and expand their offerings to insurance and other financial services.”

Moove is a mission-led company that’s committed to giving 100 percent of mobility entrepreneurs access to affordable credit and ensuring that 50 percent of its customers are women. It also aims to ensure that at least 60 percent of the vehicles it finances are electric or hybrid vehicles as part of its commitment to improving road safety and vehicle emissions on Africa’s roads.

To learn more about Moove and its mission to democratize vehicle ownership across Africa, visit: https://moove.africa/.

For additional information on Moove or interview requests, please contact Theo Cooke | theo@wimbart.com or Shenelle Barker | shenelle@wimbart.com

About Moove

Moove is an African mobility fintech that is democratizing vehicle ownership by providing revenue-based vehicle financing to mobility entrepreneurs across Africa, where limited access to vehicle financing has resulted in the lowest per capita car ownership in the world. The company is Uber’s exclusive vehicle financing and vehicle supply partner in sub-Saharan Africa. For more information, visit https://moove.africa/ or contact press@moove.africa.

About Speedinvest

Speedinvest is a leading early-stage venture capital firm with €450M AuM and 40 investors based in Berlin, London, Munich, Paris, Vienna, and San Francisco. Our dedicated sector-focused teams are the first to fund Europe’s most innovative technology startups and our in-house operational experts are on-hand to offer founders ongoing support with growth, HR, US market expansion, and more. Wefox, Bitpanda, TIER Mobility, GoStudent, Curve, CoachHub, Schüttflix, TourRadar, Adverity, and Twaice are among our portfolio of 200+ companies. Learn more at www.speedinvest.com.

About Left Lane

Left Lane Capital is a New York-based growth equity firm, investing in high-growth internet companies that are fundamental to the human condition and spirit. Our specialization allows us to move quickly with high conviction, leverage data to provide actionable insights, and supercharge companies for hyper-growth. The firm invests in Series A to C and aims to partner with category-defining businesses. Learn more at www.leftlanecap.com.

Source: Ghana Web

Hllard Ghana, the country’s favourite insurer disrupting insurance with insuretech

The conservative Ghanaian insurance industry has undergone several disruptions in the past decade driven by an age of immediacy, new trends, and fierce competition. Customers’ needs, knowledge, and expectations have expanded exponentially, and consequently, the industry must extend beyond its core service propositions if it is to retain and acquire new customers. Given the industry’s slow nascency, dire penetration rates, and ever reluctant nature of policyholders, insurers must innovate to succeed in enabling better futures for their customers.

Indeed, there is progress; an example being the recently introduced game-changing Motor Insurance Database which has facilitated a consolidated database while mitigating insurance fraud. As fintech spurred new life into the banking sector, so can insuretech transform insurance in Ghana. Thankfully, one insurance group, Hollard Ghana, is rising to the challenge with its unconventional disruptions so far centered around digital microinsurance, welfare for digital giving, e-commerce, and artificially intelligent chatbots.

What Is Insurtech?

Insurtech, a combination of “insurance” and “technology,” simply refers to using technology to drive cost savings and efficiency in the insurance industry. It explores ways for insurance firms to offer personalized policies using data obtained from connected devices. It allows them to match product prices to potential customers’ behaviors and preferences.
How is Hollard disrupting the industry with insuretech products and services?

Hollard Ghana, with subsidiaries Hollard Insurance and Hollard Life Assurance, is a vibrant brand with the purpose to enable more people to create and secure a better future. As an unconventional company, Hollard Ghana is consistently delighting its customers with innovative products, unrivaled customer experience, and a stress-free claims process by putting customers first. Here are some of Hollard Ghana’s new products making waves in the country:

Digital Microinsurance: MeBanbɔ Life Insurance
Driving Accessibility, Diversified Distribution Methods, and Fruitful Collaborations

Hollard Life partnered with a pan-African fintech company, Cassava Fintech, and Vodafone to launch a USSD based micro-insurance product for the underserved market in Ghana to make insurance accessible for all.

MeBanbɔ was developed out of insights received from engaging with potential customers in underserved markets who expressed interest in securing their financial wellbeing against unexpected incidences, such as funerals and disability. For the product to be accessible, the distribution method had to be easy for the target to use. Hence, the choice of USSD format is used widely for mobile money.

The insurance product, called ‘MeBanbɔ’ – loosely translated to ‘My Protection’ is the first micro-insurance product of its kind offering tailored packages of varying amounts that suit different needs. MeBanbo is currently available to persons older than 18 years who use the Vodafone mobile network by dialing USSD code *269#. Although still early, the outcomes of the introduction of MeBanbɔ are clear; close to ten thousand signups so far, widespread visibility and reach, renewed interest in insurance, a new vision of insurance as a lifestyle, increased penetration, and a prime example of insuretech.

Welfare for Digital Giving: MyChurchPay
Product Innovation, Accessibility and Diversified Distribution Methods in unconventional spaces.
Hollard Life partnered with Africa’s leading church technology service provider, Asoriba, to provide church members a platform to give electronically to their churches while earning free life insurance. The partnership allows church members to pay their tithes and offerings whiles earning life cover and hospital cash-back. Church members benefit by simply dialing USSD code *800*80# or downloading MyChurchPay Mobile App or via social/mobile to donate offerings/ tithes. The insurance group’s move into the church and digital giving space using insuretech, although unconventional, made sense given that churches became digital minded when the pandemic struck but needed to maintain their member’s welfare support.
e-Commerce: partnership with Jumia
Diversified Retail Distribution Methods from Fruitful Collaborations
Taking on e-commerce, in a bid to make insurance more accessible, Hollard partnered Africa’s leading e-commerce platform to retail insurance digitally. Jumia leverages its technology and network to provide its efficient JumiaPay platform for Ghanaians to purchase Hollard’s general and life insurance products online. Via www.jumia.com.gh/hollard-ghana the process is simple, fast, and completely digital with JumiaPay via mobile money.

Artificial Intelligence ChatBot Araba Hollard for HollardChat Insure
Digital distribution for underexposed insurance

The award-winning chatbot called Araba Hollard is a clear example of when artificial intelligence meets an insurance. The innovative chatbot fronts Hollard Insurance’s product, Hollard ChatInsure.

Currently hosted on WhatsApp, the chatbot is fondly called ‘Araba Hollard’. Araba is the first virtual insurer in the country, offering end-to-end insurance services within the messaging application and without human intervention. Users simply save her number 0242 426 412 and message her on WhatsApp to access her services.

Araba offers renters and homeowners, Home and Home Contents insurance. Customers can initiate, process, pay and receive policy documents on WhatsApp covering burglary, fire, and allied perils to their possessions and physical building structure. Customers to have Frequently Asked Questions answered, initiate, process, pay, and receive policy documents. With Araba Hollard, Hollard is matching product availability to potential customers’ behaviors and preferences.

About Hollard Ghana

The country’s favorite insurance group is Hollard Ghana, with subsidiaries Hollard Insurance and Hollard Life Assurance. The group combines its deep local knowledge of the market having previously operated in Ghana for 25 years as Metropolitan Insurance with the world-class expertise of an international insurance brand in 18 countries across the world. With feet firmly planted on Ghanaian soil but headquartered in South Africa, Hollard delivers innovative insurance solutions customized to the unique risks Ghanaians face.

Hollard offers various life and general insurance products including funeral, personal accident, motor, business, travel, home, and more; and can be reached via the following means: 0501603967 (Hollard Insurance) and 0501533698 (Hollard Life).

Beyond various nationwide office branches and Hollard 2U franchise shops, Ghanaians can find Hollard at Shell Fuel Station Welcome Shops, Melcom stores, and online at www.hollard.com.gh and www.jumia.com.gh for all their insurance needs.

Source: Ghana Web

Lctating mothers cautioned against wrong positioning during breastfeeding

Akode (E/R),- Public Health Officials in the Okere District of Eastern Region have cautioned lactating mothers against wrong positioning during breastfeeding as it can lead to severe child malnourishment and declining weight.

Mothers have also been advised to exclusively breastfeed their children in the first six months of their lives to reap the optimum benefit of exclusive breastfeeding.

“Many at times, observations from nurses are that most children are becoming malnourished, their weights are declining,” Mr Asante Rexford Forster, Nutrition Officer, Okere District Health Directorate, said.

“This is because their mothers are not positioning and attaching their babies to the breast very well.”

Mr Forster was speaking during a health programme organised by The Hunger Project in collaboration with the Okere District Health Directorate to celebrate this year’s breastfeeding week in Akode in the District, which was held on the theme: “Protecting breastfeeding: a shared responsibility.”

The mothers were taking through the importance of exclusive breastfeeding, mother and child positioning during breastfeeding to help children suckle breast milk properly and misconceptions about exclusive breastfeeding.

It aimed at educating lactating mothers in the Akode Epicentre to help them improve exclusive breastfeeding practices and promote good nutrition for their young children.

Mr Forster said it was important communities and families were educated on how mothers positioned and attached their babies to the breast for their children to suckle the breast well and get enough food to grow very well.

He explained that during breastfeeding the mother and the child should not feel any pain, adding, the mother should sit comfortably in a chair and put the baby on her.

“If the baby is suckling the left breast the mother should support the baby with the left hand, lift the baby a little, the belly of the child should touch the mother’s belly, and the chin of the baby should touch the breast of the mother,” he added.

“If you do that the mouth of the baby will be widely opened to suckle the breast and not the nipple.”

He said lactating mothers needed not to wake up to sit before breastfeeding their babies as they could equally place themselves side by side to feed their children.

He warned against mothers who feed their children in wrong positions, such as throwing the breast at the back or under the armpit, which could affect the appropriate development of children with severe consequences.

“I saw a mother, she threw the breast behind her to be given to the baby at the back, and another child was even being fed under the armpit of a mother.”

“I don’t know where such positions come from but it is not proper, if you do that the child will be suckling the breast alright but will not be getting the breast milk, the child will then suck the air and the tummy will be bloated.”

Mrs Hectoria Yvonne Arhinful, Public Health Nurse, Okere District Health Directorate, highlighted the importance of exclusive breastfeeding as it provided foods with a complete balance of nutrients from six months to two years.

She said those children were more likely to survive, do better at school and be more productive throughout their lives.

“I will entreat all mothers to practise exclusive breastfeeding and even if they can they have to give their children breast milk for two years or even more.”

She said initiating a child to breastfeeding during birth serve as the first immunisation that protected the child from infections and also induces the early release of the placenta.

She said breastfeeding held many benefits, including family planning to mothers as a mother gives the child breast milk persistently, she would not get pregnant within that particular period.

She explained: “As you give the breast milk mostly at night, there are some hormones that work around to help prevent the release of ovaries to meet the man’s semen to make a baby.”

Mr Charles Dzamesi, The Hunger Project officer, asked mothers to take breastfeeding education very seriously and highlighted the importance of the world breastfeeding week with about 127 countries participating in the commemoration.

He said breastfeeding was a shared responsibility, adding; “If our children are healthy they will not fall sick and they will grow stronger and participate in economic activities for national development.”

Health experts say currently in Ghana, only one child in every two (52 per cent) is put to the breast within the first hour of life and the rate of exclusive breastfeeding rate of children less than six months is reducing, as over 20 per cent of children are given water in the first six months of their lives.

Source: Ghana News Agency