South Africa’s “Oasis (Reach for Your Dreams)” Receives Recognition from UNAOC-BMW Group’s Intercultural Innovation Hub

BERLIN, GERMANY / ACCESSWIRE / May 25, 2023 / South African organization “Oasis: `Reach For Your Dreams`” is one of ten global grassroots recognized by the prestigious Intercultural Innovation Hub, a joint initiative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group, implemented with the support of Accenture, during a ceremony held in Berlin, Germany.

Selected for their project “Community Street Football/Netball”, the organization leverages the role of sport to help youth who have fallen through the gaps within society, and have either dropped out of school or have become involved in gang-related activities, by supporting their reintegration into society and empowering them to lead positive and self-sufficient lives. The programme engages participants in street football events, while uplifting young people by instilling them with life skills based on the values inherent to sports, such as team spirit, fair play, respect, and conflict management.

“We are honored to receive the support of the Intercultural Innovation Hub in addressing the challenges of the youth in our communities, and providing alternative solutions for their positive growth,” said Clifford Martinus, Founder of “Oasis `Reach For Your Dreams`”.

Every year, the Intercultural Innovation Hub supports grassroots initiatives that promote intercultural dialogue and understanding, thereby contributing to peace, cultural diversity, and more inclusive societies. This year, the Ceremony was chaired by Mr. Miguel Ángel Moratinos, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and the High Representative for UNAOC, and Ms. Ilka Horstmeier, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG People and Real Estate, Labour Relations Director.

Through the Intercultural Innovation Hub, Oasis `Reach For Your Dreams` will receive a financial grant, as well as one year of capacity-building and mentorship support from UNAOC, the BMW Group, and Accenture to help strengthen the “Community Street Football/Netball” project and its contribution towards a more inclusive society. This model of collaboration between the United Nations and the private sector creates a more profound impact, as partners provide their respective expertise to ensure the sustainable growth of each supported project.

Learn more about the project:

https://interculturalinnovation.org/oasis-reach-for-your-dreams-community-street-football-netball/

Media Inquiries:

Milena Pighi, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, BMW Group, Milena.PA.Pighi@bmw.de
Alessandro Girola, Programming Coordinator, UNAOC, alessandrog@unops.org

SOURCE: United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)

Police officer injured in a riot at Akatsi Police Station

Some unknown agitating youth of Akatsi South in the Volta Region, have injured a Police officer (name withheld) to launch a mob attack on two suspects, who allegedly murdered Louis Agbogli, a 28-year-old motor rider.

The incident happened on Wednesday, May 24 after the Police put in efforts to arrest the suspects and retrieve the body of the deceased at Nyatsive, a village near the Republic of Togo, where he was allegedly murdered.

Chief Superintendent Isaac Baah, the Akatsi South Municipal Police Commander, narrating the incident to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) said the Police officer got injured on his forehead to prevent the mob justice for the suspects.

He said the incident happened when his men returned from the scene of the alleged murder act together with Etse Datsomor, a 20-year-old suspect in connection with the crime.

The development the GNA observed led to the massing up of some rampaging youth and residents of Akatsi at the Akatsi Police station demanding the release of the suspects, for them to visit ‘instant justice’.

However, it took the timely intervention of the Municipal Chief Executive for the area and the rapid deployment of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Unit of the Police Service to calm tempers down.

The suspects have since been moved to an unknown location waiting to reappear in court on Friday, June 2.

Security has since been beefed up at the Police station, while further investigations into the incident continue.

One suspect had been arrested in connection with the injury caused to the police officer who is receiving medical attention.

Source: Ghana Web

NPP government is delivering on its mandate – Tema MCE

The Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, Hon. Yohane Amarh Ashitey, has once more highlighted yet another piece of evidence that the Akufo-Addo government is delivering on its mandate in spite of the current global economic challenges.

This time, the piece of evidence that the MCE is selling to the people of Ghana is the novel Financial Industry Command Security Operations Centre (FICSOC).

“Let the nay sayers take another note – government has commissioned FICSOC and this is yet another feather in the cup,” Hon. Yohane Amarh Ashitey wrote in a post on social media on Wednesday.

According to the MCE, “it is yet another gesture of resilience that looks the current global economic challenges in the face and declare that the Akufo-Addo government will never back down on the agenda to develop this country.”

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia commissioned the centre on Wednesday. “it is a world class state of the art Financial Industry Command Security Operations Centre established and operated by the Bank of Ghana (BoG),” Dr. Bawumia said.

The centre is first of its kind in Africa.

The Vice President explained that, “This centre is to prevent, rapidly detect, share information, and respond to cyber threats aimed at the financial industry and ultimately the entire country. All banks are connected to FICSOC and receive real time security alerts, intelligence and network traffic analysis on cyber threats.”

Hon. Yohane Amarh Ashitey praised Vice President Bawumia for commissioning the centre and commending the Bank of Ghana as well, for establishing the centre.

“Through this FICSOC, Ghana has scored another first in Africa and it must be put on record that it is the Akufo-Addo government which achieved this,” the Tema MCE wrote.

The MCE used the write-up to again urge Ghanaians to not lose hope, but rather continue to back the government so that it continues to deliver on developmental projects for the country.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been urging all of us to continue to hold on to hope and I think so far I have been justified – the IMF money has come and we are still delivering on developmental projects. Let’s continue to hold on to hope that we will come out stronger, because there is plenty of it now.” Hon. Yohane Amarh Ashitey wrote.

Source: Ghana Web

‘Government committed to restore Ghana’s lost forest cover’ – Abu Jinapor

Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources has emphasised the commitment of the government through the Forestry Commission to restore the country’s lost forest cover which has been drastically degraded over the years.

The Minister gave the assurance when he inaugurated a new regional office for the Forestry Services Division (FSD) commission in Koforidua on Wednesday, May 24, 2023.

Explaining the policy in his keynote address, he said, “Government’s policy on the forestry sector of our country is anchored on two main themes; the first one is our strategy of aggressive afforestation and reforestation…the statistics and pundits tell us that from 1900 till date, we’ve lost some 80 percent of our forest cover as a country and therefore it is the policy and strategy of

government to be involved in aggressive afforestation and reforestation which is why several initiatives have been put in place.”

He furthered that several interventions in the various forest compartments across the country such as an aggressive tree planting on Green Ghana Day to be led by President Akufo-Addo to plant ten million trees will be embarked upon to combat the threat of deforestation, adding that the exercise would improve Ghana’s forest cover by more than 30 million trees since 2001.

According to Mr. Jinapor, issues of forests had become prominent in the governance of the country and in the affairs of the world as well as its impact on climate change.

He named other initiatives such as the cocoa and forest initiative, among others which he stated would be rolled out as part of efforts to recover the country’s lost forest cover.

He added that the government’s second initiative was to protect the existing forests, stressing that the newly built edifice would help facilitate efforts to protect the 49 forest reserves in the Eastern Region.

He assured officials of the Forestry Commission of government support to discharge their mandate without fear or favour. He urged them to “Protect the forest reserves of our country, cordon them off and ward off all intruders whether it is illegal miners or it is agricultural expansionists or it is cocoa or it is illegal loggers.”

With various challenges including logistics, staff welfare, training and empowerment hindering the expected efficiency of the Division, the sector minister assured management and staff of the Commission of the government’s commitment to address their problems to enable them perform efficiently.

Jinapor commended the officials for their efforts to put out their best despite the difficulties and urged them to ensure proper maintenance of the newly built facility to ensure that it stays long to serve its purpose.

The facility finally saw the day of light after a 2-acre plot was acquired for the purpose in 2005. The new office complex has 13 offices, a 60-seater conference room, a kitchenette, a reception, water storage facilities, among others and will house seven forest districts including Oda, Kyebi, Kade, Begoro, Mpraeso, Somanya and Donkorkrom.

The Chief-Executive-Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission, John Allotey said despite the plot for the construction of the facility being acquired some 18-years ago, the board of directors of the Commission directed in 2022 that efforts to put up the facility be hastened.

The CEO stressed on the need to ensure stringent measures to protect the Eastern Region’s 49 forest reserves to ensure that they are offered maximum benefits.

He however identified illegal mining, illegal logging and wild fires in some areas such as Kwahu-South as the key drivers of deforestation in the region.

Allottey nevertheless expressed confidence that the new office will provide the needed training and logistics for its frontline staff to help them discharge their mandate.

Ahead of the June 9, 2023 Green Ghana Day, the CEO gave the firm assurance that enough seedlings had been raised for the activity and urged all to participate in the exercise.

On his part, the board chairman of the forestry commission, Tetrete Okuamoah Sekyim II in his remarks noted that it was government’s priority to preserve Ghana’s forests, emphasising that the edifice would facilitate these efforts.

Eastern Regional Manager for the Forestry Services Division, Isaac Noble Eshun thanked the board chairman for ensuring that the project has finally seen the light of day and expressed relief at the new facility which he said offered a conducive working environment contrary to the situation at the previous office.

He was hopeful that the Minister would heed his promise to address the various challenges such as lack of vehicles, fuel to attend to calls, working gear, etc. confronting the division, adding that these if addressed would enhance their efficiency.

“You know, we’re managing forest reserves and forest resources and these are on the grounds and the terrain here is very, very challenging,” said the regional manager”, he stated.

Source: Ghana Web

Time to instill discipline, we’re ‘way above’ 5% fiscal deficit ceiling – Akufo-Addo admits

President Nana Akufo-Addo has said Ghana’s fiscal deficit is “way above” the five per cent ceiling set by the fiscal responsibility law, indicating that there was a need to bring it down, as part of measures to meet the dictates of the International Monetary Fund vis-a-vis the recently-approved US$3 billion bailout by the Bretton Wood institution for the West African country.

In line with that, the president said his government is committed to cutting expenditure.

Speaking at the Qatar-Africa Economic Forum in Doha, President Akufo-Addo said the “rationalisation of our expenditure – rationalisation of government expenditure – is something that we have given the assurance [about],” adding, “domestic revenue mobilisation is absolutely critical for us, and, already, we are seeing signs.”

Also, he said: “We have a fiscal responsibility law in Ghana that has pegged our fiscal deficit at five per cent but, already, we are way above that,” noting: “And the sooner we can bring that to more acceptable levels, the better for us.”

The president also said following the approval of the US$3-billion extended credit facility for Ghana by the IMF, the country could now return to the international market to borrow more.

“We have positioned ourselves to be able to go back into the international market which had been a source of funding for us during the first three or four years of our government,” the president said, but pointed out that even though his government was in no rush to do so, it makes sense to him to take advantage of global savings.

Source: Ghana Web

‘Evil possessed’ father of six, 43, kills wife at Mpasaaso No1

A 43-year-old father of six, who has reportedly murdered his wife at Mpasaaso No.1 in the Ahafo Ano South West District of the Ashanti Region says he acted upon instructions by some evil spirits hunting him.

The suspect Kwasi Brefo is said to have killed his wife on a farm on Monday, May 20, 2023.

The deceased, who was identified as Janet Pokuaa, 40, according to residents in the area died after she was hit in the head with a gun by her husband.

Kwasi Brefo in an interview with OTEC News said he drank poison after he realised his wife was dead, but some residents who were in nearby farms rushed him to the hospital.

“I sometimes see two fetish priests in my vision asking me to kill my wife or they will kill me, I go blank anytime this voice comes in my…,” he shared with the host.

Source: Ghana Web

Thief beaten to death for allegedly stealing GH¢500 and a bible at Dunkwa-Mfuom

A suspected notorious thief has been beaten to death at Dunkwa Mfuom for allegedly stealing GH¢500 and a bible belonging to an Adventist Pastor’s wife.

The deceased was said to have jumped into the house with a help of a wood to steal from the Pastor.

He, however, was caught by residents after leaving his phone behind leading to his untimely death.

The profuse blood ooze from his body as a result of the severe beatings he received from the irate residents led to his death upon reaching the hospital.

The body has been deposited at the hospital morgue for preservation.

Aboabo Estate, a suburb of Mfuom in the Upper Denkyira West Municipality has witnessed series of burglar extortions in recent times.

The community has for the past weeks experienced five different kinds of robbery incidents.

Residents in an interview with GhanaWeb warned perpetrators involved in the activity to stop or face their anger. They said the death of the deceased should serve as a deterrent to others who have planned to rob them.

“We are tired of robbers, each and every day we experience robbery, we work hard and just one day these lazy person who come for all that we have earned”, they shared.

Source: Ghana Web

Why IMF and World Bank bailout will not solve our problem

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently approved a $3 billion bailout from the IMF to the Ghana government. This is after a history of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) rejecting IMF bailouts as a solution and promising to stay clear of the IMF. Unsurprisingly, they have now fully embraced the IMF as the saviour of the Ghanaian economy and are jubilating and asking Ghanaians to join them in celebration.

However, we in the Social Justice Movement of Ghana (SJMG) refuse to celebrate with them. We will not be celebrating because the historical record of IMF bailouts shows that an IMF bailout has never solved the country’s economic problems. After going to the IMF seventeen times, it will be naïve to think that this bailout will do anything different from what it has always done; give us only temporary relief rather than solve our economic problems.

Since the underlying factors that led us into an unsustainable debt situation which forced the trip to the IMF remain unresolved, the bailout only gives the ruling elite some relief and opportunity to borrow from the capital markets and sink us further into debt. And as past experience shows, borrowing on the capital markets has tended to benefit individuals in power rather than the Ghanaian economy.

The predominantly government-sympathetic media almost unanimously see and endorse the IMF as the saviour. Governments, past and present, are usually blamed for the failure to manage our economy properly. The conclusion is that if our governments had managed our economy prudently, we would not have been going back to the IMF so often.

Bizarrely the NPP is claiming that this bailout will lay the basis for economic recovery and there may not be the need to go back to the IMP again. If previous bailouts did not lead to economic recovery why should this one do the impossible given the nature of our neo-colonial economy?

There is no doubt that our governments; both the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) have performed poorly when it comes to the management of our economy. Had it not been the fact that both parties control the levers of power when they are in office, have the economic muscle, and are supported by powerful economic interests that support them to buy votes and win elections, they would have been thrown into the dustbin of history.

And who are these external forces that support them to continue to mismanage and destroy our economy? It is the same forces that we are praising Ghana today for the bailout. They relaxed their conditionalities and made them implementable after the bailout has been agreed upon only because they want to keep the farce that Ghana is a model country with an entrenched democratic culture. It is the IMF/WB that has supported our political parties to maintain the present neo-colonial economy that makes it possible for us to be running back to the IMF/WB frequently.

Though Ghana is supposed to be a member of the IMF and it is argued that as a member we have a right to access their resources when we are in need, the costs of membership far outweigh the benefits. These Bretton Woods institutions were set up by the United States with the support of Western Europe to control the economies of third-world countries.

As an emergent superpower, the United States wanted to use soft power, and not necessarily military might all the time, to maintain its economic dominance over the world. They were set up to keep developing countries under their control and thereby continue to provide natural resources to the United States and Europe.

These institutions were not meant to develop our countries. Now you will ask, whose fault is this? After all, we are independent, but are we? We have what is described as flag independence. We have black people occupying visible political positions. These people who occupy these positions do the bidding of the United States and Europe because it also benefits them.

Our so-called leaders will continue to maintain our countries as producers of raw materials and importers of most things needed by our economy. They will not set up import-substituting industries as Nkrumah did. They will give out, for peanuts, our gold, diamond, uranium, manganese, lithium to international capitalists. They will implement neo-liberal policies that allow foreign capital to take control of our minerals and extract them for the benefit of Western capital and few local interests.

Our political leaders benefit and their interests coincide with foreign interests. Foreign capital takes away the bulk of wealth, especially in the extractive sector. Our ruling elites who control the government, and their allies, take the crumbs that fall from the table.

The United States has in the past come down heavily and even helped to overthrow leaders, especially Kwame Nkrumah because, he dared to extricate us from foreign control. Our so-called leaders know this very well and therefore will not take any action against foreign interests.

In as far as our resources and our economy is in the hands of foreign capitals, these so-called leaders of ours will periodically go cup in hand crying to their masters to come to their aid, anytime they are failing to supervise the neo-colonial economy. This is what explains the unfair trade arrangements reached with many countries such as the United States, Western Europe, and us. We will never be able to get out of this quagmire if we continue to operate and oil the economy that favours foreign interest.

Ghana has enough resources, especially minerals. If we take control of these minerals and engage in meaningful export and import-substituting industrialisation we will not always be running to the IMF/WB for bailouts. An independent approach through delinking from the domination of foreign control is the only way out through very painful but it must be done.

In the coming months, our people are going to suffer immensely. Apart from increases in almost everything, our public utilities are in danger of being privatised. When this happens, foreign capital would have taken full control of almost everything in Ghana.

Source: Ghana Web