Why Otumfuo Osei Tutu II will not mark his 2023 birthday in Manhyia

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, is in London, in the United Kingdom.

The Asante king is in the UK on official business, having been invited by the monarchy to attend the historic coronation of King Charles III.

The Asantehene is among the few African leaders who have been selected to grace the special occasion, which is taking place at Westminster Abbey, in the heart of London, on Saturday, May 6, 2023.

The day is also significant in the Asante kingdom because it also marks the birthday of the king, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

Already, some well wishes have been pouring in for the king across many sectors.

For instance, the Asante Nation page on Facebook wrote:

“Happy Birthday to Asante Kotokohene.

“?pemso? ?sei Tutu Ababio, Wo tiri nkwa. Asantemanwura!! Y? sr? nkwa tenten ma wo!!

Piawwwwwwwww!!!”

With the Asante king in London on official business, he would, therefore, not be celebrating his birthday, this year, with the people of his kingdom in Ghana.

The king has already met King Charles III, together with his wife, Lady Julia, in a private meeting that took place on May 4, 2023.

The Asantehene, however, left the shores of Ghana on May 3, 2023.

Meanwhile, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is also in the United Kingdom for the coronation of the King of England.

This was announced by the Commonwealth through its official Twitter page on Friday, May 5 2023.

Per the announcement, Ghana’s president was welcomed by King Charles III, as the new Head of the Commonwealth ahead of the coronation.

“Leaders discussed areas of mutual interest including the empowerment of young people as 2023 is the YearOfYouth,” part of the announcement read.

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo joins some other African leaders as guests on the occasion of the coronation of King Charles III.

Source: Ghana Web

Ahafo Minister implores stakeholders to prioritise mental health services

Mr George Yaw Boakye, the Ahafo Regional Minister has emphasised the need to prioritise mental health care services to enable citizens to cope with the normal stresses of life to work and contribute to Ghana’s socio-economic development.

He reiterated mental health issues had been neglected and allowed to be suppressed by stigmatisation and discrimination for a long time, saying mental disorders had been responsible for about 30 per cent of the world disability burden.

This was in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of a three-day Ahafo Regional Health Directorate inception meeting for the Ghana World Health Organisations (WHO) Director General’s Special Initiative for Mental Health (SIMH) at Goaso in the Ahafo Region.

The SIMH, launched in July 2022, is a five-year project funded by WHO to support system transformation and to scale up mental health services to attain Universal Health Coverage to ensure access to quality and affordable care for mental health conditions in 12 priority countries.

The initiative is envisioned to achieve the highest standard of mental health and well-being to ensure 5.2 million more Ghanaians had access to integrated, quality, person-centered mental health care that their rights were upheld.

The project is being implemented in the Savannah, Western North, Oti and Ahafo Regions of Ghana.

Mr Boakye observed Ghana had the most comprehensive mental health legislation, but its mental health care system was faced with many challenges, including infrastructural constraints, acute human resource shortages, social services challenges, research and information system, financial challenges and considerable institutional stigmatisation.

‘Access to mental health care in Ghana was poor, with a treatment gap of about 72 per cent, relative to the WHO’s benchmark of one Psychiatrist to100,000 population, Ghana’s Psychiatrist population ratio is 0.058 per 100,000 population, and 0.065 psychologists per 100,000 population’, he stressed.

Dr. Bernard Ziem, the Acting Ahafo Regional Director of Health Services said the psychiatric nurse-to-population ratio in the region was one to 8,000.

He added the region had one psychologist, with 75 mental health officers working in various facilities at varied levels of the health care system, saying this had led to the need for strict adherence to integration policy to be able to reach out to the needs of the people.

Dr. Ziem said most people including health care workers were exposed to stress which had a higher potential to trigger mental health conditions of which depression was a leading disability case worldwide.

He noted research indicated one out of every five people in their lifetime would develop mental health illness, hence individuals, communities and organisations must take keen interest in mental health issues to promote and enhance their holistic and general well-being.

Dr. Ziem said the region in its attempt to render quality mental health service was bedeviled with challenges such as the erratic supply of psychotropic drugs, inadequate motorbikes for community mental health activities and capacity building for mental health officers, while there was low support generally to carry out mental health activities.

Source: Ghana News Agency

World Bank Group’s President-elect to champion fight against extreme poverty

The Board of the World Bank Group (WBG) has implored its newly elected President, Ajay Banga, to propel the Bank’s evolution agenda of ending global extreme poverty.

The Board said it looked forward to working with Mr Banga on the World Bank Group evolution process and on all of its ambitions and efforts aimed at tackling the toughest development challenges facing developing countries.

The call followed his selection as the 14th World Bank Group President on Wednesday, May 3, to serve a five-year term, beginning June 2, 2023.

He will replace David Malpass who served as the Bank Group’s president from 2019 and resigned effective June 2023 to pursue new challenges.

The evolution process of the WBG is aimed at boosting shared prosperity across the world through fostering sustainable, resilient, and inclusive development, and comes at a time that many countries across the world are facing economic challenges and debt burden.

When he was appointed in March as the next WBG president, Mr Banga embarked on a global tour to deepen partnerships to ensure the achievement of the goals of the Bank Group, with the African Development Bank (AfDB) being his first stop.

‘Banga’s election comes at a critical moment of overlapping global challenges marked by emerging debt distress in lower- and middle-income countries, particularly in Africa, which is heavily impacted by climate change, Covid-19 pandemic and disruptions in food and energy markets due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,’ said, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President, AfDB.

While congratulating him on his new position, Dr Adesina said: ‘I look forward to our working closely together to deliver greater impacts for Africa and the world.’

Already, Mr Banga has highlighted three global issues of significant concern to him; inequality; tension between humanity and nature; and the tendency to apply short-term solutions to long-term problems, which only delivers poor results.

Upon assumption as the WBG President, he will Chair the Board of the Executive Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

He will also be an ex-officio chair of the Board of Directors of the International Development Association (IDA), International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and of the Administrative Council of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

Prior to his election as the President for the multilateral development bank, Mr Banga was President and CEO of Mastercard, Vice Chairman at General Atlantic and an Honorary Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce.

He became an advisor to General Atlantic’s climate-focused fund, BeyondNetZero, at its root in 2021.

Mr Banga served as Co-Chair of another Partnership for Central America, a coalition of private organisations that create advanced economic opportunities across underserved populations in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

He was previously on the Boards of the American Red Cross, Kraft Foods, and Dow Inc.

The process included an open, merit-based, and transparent nomination where any national of the Bank’s membership could be proposed by any Executive Director or Governor through an Executive Director.

This was then followed by thorough due diligence and a comprehensive interview of Mr Banga by the Executive Directors, and was in line with the selection process agreed by shareholders in 2011.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Indigene of Apremdo supports construction of Community Centre

Mr Jonathan Y. Yankey, an indigene of Apremdo Community in the Western Region, has donated three tonnes of Iron rods in support of the construction of the Apremdo Community centre project.

The community centre project spearheaded by the Divisional Chief of Apremdo, Nana Egya Kwamina XI, would have facilities including a library, mausoleum, conference hall, offices and 12 bedrooms to host visitors.

The action by the Philanthropist costing GHS24,600 was mooted by the fact that the community centre now under construction hosted many of the guests that attended his father’s funeral some three weeks ago.

He said, ‘my brothers and sisters were happy to find this edifice useful during our father’s funeral and I am happy to give this donation to support so that the project is completed on time.’

Nana Egya Kwamina XI, the Divisional Chief of Apremdo was so grateful to Mr Yankey and the family for the kind gesture.

He prayed that other institutions, families and friends of the Community would organise and contribute for the project to be completed on time.

Source: Ghana News Agency

CorpsAfrica, Mastercard Foundation announce $59.4m partnership against poverty

CorpsAfrica and Mastercard Foundation have announced a five-year $59.4 million partnership to fight poverty through volunteerism in 11 African countries.

The partnership will develop the leadership skills of 1,600 Africans, particularly young women, to engage in community-led projects that impact public health, food security, education, gender issues, the digital economy, and environment.

The work of the volunteers is expected to benefit over 800,000 community members through economic development while creating work opportunities for young people across the continent.

The volunteers would be in communities to identify, together with community members, and provide solutions through projects like building schools, wells and irrigation systems, launch small businesses and agriculture projects, and teach in schools and training centres.

Nigeria, Uganda, and Ethiopia are the new countries that will this year benefit from the impact projects, while two more African countries, yet to be announced, will start benefiting from the CorpsAfrica-Mastercard partnership in 2024.

Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, Malawi, Rwanda, and Kenya are six existing beneficiary countries that would also see projects expanded in various communities under the $59.4 million partnership.

‘CorpsAfrica has proven its impact in rural communities and demonstrated the value of deploying a network of service-minded young Africans to solve pressing issues across the continent,’ said Peter Materu, Chief Programmes Officer at the Mastercard Foundation.

‘Their vision aligns with our Young Africa Works strategy to enable 30 million young people, particularly young women, to access dignified and fulfilling work. We are pleased to support their growth and expansion throughout the continent,’ he added.

Liz Fanning, CorpsAfrica’s Founder and Executive Director stated that: ‘This funding could not have come at a more important time.’

‘Real-world experience and service opportunities are urgently needed to engage young Africans and create sustainable economic opportunities for rural people,’ she added.

Ms Fanning indicated that the partnership would provide the resources to advance and expand CorpsAfrica’s mission by ensuring sustainability across the continent.

‘Together, we can create a model for national and Pan-African service and participatory development that is efficient, effective, collaborative, and accountable,’ the CorpsAfrica Executive Director said.

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the work of a CorpsAfrica volunteer helped a displaced community to identify and establish the first sewing and handcrafts skills training centre.

In Morocco, a young female CorpsAfrica volunteer also assisted the only women’s cooperative in the Inman Valley that specialises in making carpets and pillows to market their products collectively, earning decent incomes to support their families.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Volta Region Coordinating Council receives recognition from Local Government Service

The Local Government Service has honoured the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC) with a citation and a plaque for its outstanding performance and emerging as the overall best Coordinating Council in 2021.

The Service congratulated the VRCC for its consistency in being extraordinary in the execution of its mandate as the coordinating authority in the region in the Local Government Service Performance Contract for two years running.

The citation was signed by Engineer Dr. Nana Ato Arthur, Head of Local Government Service, and presented by Mr Emmanuel N. Nartey, Director of Budget at the Local Service.

It read: ‘This citation is presented to you in honour of a remarkable performance as the best performing Regional Coordinating Council for the year 2021 and in recognition of your effort to improve the lives of the people of Volta region.’

It said the VRCC’s exemplary leadership was exhibited through hands-on and inventive strategies, planning, monitoring, and coordination and had skillfully executed its mandate to the highest commendation.

‘The citation said the leadership exhibited by management once again was a model of high excellence and this was evident in a team cohesion displayed by the staff of the VRCC during the assessment process.

‘What is equally intriguing is the commitment and dedication demonstrated by the staff of the VRCC in providing excellent supervisory and technical backstopping services to MMDAs and other stakeholders towards the sustained growth and development of the region.

‘The Local Government Service congratulates the VRCC for this monumental feat of success and outstanding performance, which has shown in the promotion of tourism and agriculture for sustained local economy development across the region,’ it stated.

Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, who received the citation expressed his profound gratitude to the Local Government Service for the recognition.

He said the feat was chalked through effective contribution, hard work and commitment of the staff and thus dedicated the honour to the staff and the people of the region.

The Regional Minister said the VRCC would not relent in its effort at championing the development of the region to transform the lives of the people.

Dr Letsa charged the Municipal and District Assemblies in the region to strive to deliver quality and better services to the people at all times.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Kwahu Ahinase Queen?solicits support to build crises resources centre

Ohemaa Ofosuaa Aduanwomah Amoakoaa Ahuofe, Queenmother of Ahinase in the Kwahu East District of Eastern Region, has appealed to the public for support to build a crises resources centre for the Ahinase Community.

She said the centre would comprise first aid clinic, pre-school, shop, warehouse and a donation area to promote the socio-economic development of the predominantly farming community.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview at Ahinase, Ohemaa Ahuofe, also the queenmother of the Kwahuman Association of Minnesota, USA, said the groundbreaking ceremony for the commencement of the project would take place on August 12, this year, as part of activities to commemorate her one-year installation as the Ahenenanahemaa.

A durbar and fundraising ceremony to canvass for more resources in aid of the project would also be held while an education fund would be launched to promote access to quality education, with a health walk and screening preceding the durbar.

Ohemaa Ahuofe said the community was under-developed and lacked many basic social amenities, saying under her ‘Promoting Villages to Cities Campaign’, she intended to bridge the gap between villages and cities with the adoption of Ahinase as one of the communities for that initiative.

A place of convenience had been constructed for the community to reduce open defecation, she added.

Though she initiated the project, the collective efforts of all Ghanaians would be needed for the realisation of that vision, Ohemaa Ahuofe said, and appealed to citizens of Kwahu and philanthropists to assist her to build the entre to improve livelihoods.

She called on investors to invest in agribusinesses in the area due to its fertile and arable lands, adding that its serene environment could also be developed for tourism and hospitality purposes.

Source: Ghana News Agency