GES to distribute laptops to teachers

Accra, July 30, GNA – The Ghana Education Service has urged all Regional Directors of Education to liaise with Headmasters/mistresses of Senior High School to provide the Service with information of teachers to receive their laptops promised them.

A statement from the Service copied to the Ghana News Agency said the information included; validated list of names and staff ID members of teachers in their various schools.

It said the information must be submitted to the Director-General latest by Midday Friday July 30,2021.

The statement urged the Directors to treat the information with the necessary attention and urgency to ensure smooth distribution of the items.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana deserves a National Cathedral-Razak – Opoku

Accra, July 30, GNA – Mr Kojo Razak Opoku, an Activist of the New Patriotic Party has stated that it is important for a country like Ghana that is religious to have a National Cathedral to serve her status as a religious centre and also serve as a major tourist site.

“First and foremost, it is important to point out that the Government’s initiative for Ghanaians to contribute financially to the building of the National Cathedral is purely voluntary.

“Donation is voluntary, not mandatory so one may further ask why all arguments against the raising of funds in support of the construction of such a national asset? Is it because the facility will predominantly be used by Christians? I don’t think so.”

In a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, he said a Turkey Government used state funds in collaboration with the funds from the Muslim community in Ghana to construct a National Mosque for Ghana.

“It is sad when you read commentary from people who claim to be Christians attacking and kicking against any move by the Government to construct a National Cathedral. If Ghanaian Muslims with support from Turkey Government could come together to build a National Mosque for the Country, what stops Christians to donate towards the construction of the National Cathedral?

“Are we really promoting a religion that exalts God in this country? If so, what is wrong if Christians are taking steps to build a National Cathedral after Muslims had built a 15000-capacity National Mosque? What stops the Christian majority to donate to the National Cathedral?

He said it was unfair to compare the construction of a Cathedral to schools under trees, lack of hospitals among others as the basis of kicking against donations towards the National Cathedral.

The statement said he same people complaining about school under trees, hospital beds were always seen using their money for wigs, make-up, alcohol, sex, bleaching and find it difficult to contribute their taxes for national development, or even support Schools and hospitals which are struggling to survive.

It said it was not out of place even if the Government decided to use State funds for the construction of the National Cathedral.

“Turkish Government spent huge sums of money to build our National Mosque. Note this is not even in their Country. Do you think the Government of Turkey has no problem to solve for its people?

It said both the National Cathedral and National Mosque would contribute significantly to the religious tourism in the Country and support the economy in diverse ways and called on all to support it to be completed. “Forget about the noisemakers who think that they know spiritual things more than God who created them.”

Source: Ghana News Agency

Two motor riders crash to death, pillion in critical condition

Gefia (VR), July 30, GNA – Two motorbike riders crashed to death in a fatal accident at Gefia on the Gefia – Tadzewu road in the Akatsi South Municipality of the Volta region.

Mr Mensah Besa Allaga, an eyewitness, disclosed to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that one of the deceased, William Agbolosu, believed to be in his 30s, a lotto agent, is alleged to be returning from work when the accident occurred at about 1930 hours on Thursday.

He narrated, the deceased was using a Haojue motorbike with registration number VR 4694-19 with a helmet on when he collided with an incoming Sanya motorbike with no registration number.

Mr Allaga said, the Sanya motor rider together with his pillion rider, were not using headlights on their motor, leading to a severe head-on collision.

“I was riding to Gefia when the incident happened just in front of me, they were on top speed,” he said.

According to him, the Haojue rider together with the Sanya rider (name not known) died on the spot while a male pillion rider also sustained some injuries.

Mr Allaga further said the injured was rushed to the Gefia health center where he is receiving medical attention.

Meanwhile, the bodies of the deceased were taken to the St. Paul’s Hospital morgue for preservation.

The identity of the other young man who died was not made known at the time of the accident.

The Police at Akatsi confirms the accident.

Source: Ghana News Agency

AU Commission receives Ambassador of the State of Israel’s credentials

Tema, July 30, GNA – The African Union Commission Chairperson, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat has received credentials from Mr Aleli Admasu, Ambassador of the State of Israel to Ethiopia, Burundi and Chad at Addis Ababa, the AU Headquarters.

Presenting the credentials, Ambassador Admasu welcomed the opportunity to meet the Chairperson of the AU Commission as it marked the beginning of a new phase in building Israel’s relations with the African Region at a continental level.

He noted that whereas Israel had bilateral relations with several African countries, the engagement with African States through the African Union was key towards building the multilateralism required for promoting continental initiatives earmarked under Africa’s Agenda 2063.

The Israeli Ambassador, commended the African Union for the role it played in promoting Africa’s peace and security agenda and advocating conflicting parties to engage in discussions and partnerships that would promote a stable environment free from conflict.

“Ambassador Admasu extended an invitation from the State of Israel to the Chairperson of the AUC to visit the country noting that the State of Israel would welcome the opportunity host a meeting between the Chairperson and its leaders,” a statement obtained by the Ghana News Agency at Tema on Friday stated.

The African Union Commission Chairperson reiterated the call for the solution of the conflict of Palestine and Israel.

The Chairperson stated that the conflict between the States of Palestine and Israel had been a cause of great concern for over 70 years with various regional and international actors having participated in the search for a peace between the two nations.

He noted that a lasting solution was required to ensure the co-existence of both nations and to allow their people to live in a state of peace and stability.

He emphasised that the path towards long lasting peace and stability required that the peace process and the solutions sought must not only be acceptable, but must guarantee the rights of all parties.

Mr Mahamat, who is a former Prime Minister of Chad reiterated that in the almost 60-year history of Africa’s continental organisation, from its formation as the Organization of African Unity and re-launch as the African Union, it was clear on its position that in the issue of Palestine and Israel, a Two-State Solution was necessary for a peaceful co-existence.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ekow Blankson motivates the youth on Y Leaderboard Series

Ace Ghanaian actor and corporate personality, Ekow Blankson, has been the focus in this week’s Y Leaderboard Series as he spoke on his life path to motivate the Ghanaian youth.

He engaged listeners and host Rev. Erskine in an intriguing conversation on his upbringing, school days, career, and what he considers successful.

Ekow says he won’t describe his family as an affluent one. However, he had the chance to pursue a good education in Tema and later moved on to Adisadel College.

Creating the picture at home during his childhood days, he revealed: “Mostly we spoke English at home because my dad insisted. My mum, on the other hand, insisted that we speak Ada”.

As a student of Datus preparatory school in Tema, Ekow shared that he developed a passion for cultural, poetry, and drama activities.

“I realized that I found myself enjoying the creative arts more and it has lived with me ever since the days of class 2 all the way to Adisadel college to the university and it is still with me.”

Having progressed as one of the best actors in Ghana after identifying his talent, Ekow shared his set time on the Checkmate movie has been the best moment he has had onset.

The actor shared that the director of the movie, Shirley Frimpong-Manso contributed to the great moment he had onset.

“At that time, I was used to doing things my way. I was used to suggesting moves, suggesting delivery, changing dialogue when I thought it was right. When I got onto that set, I really got challenged. Here, you could find that the director knew what she was about and I realized that those were better than I suggested.”

Now serving as the Commerce Director of Africa Web, Ekow Blankson encouraged the youth in Ghana to always go the extra mile wherever they find themselves.

“There’s one thing the youth must know, they think that life is ‘let me just do anything because nobody is watching. But for everything you do, know you’re being observed. People watch all that goes on and that’s what happened to me”, he said.

As a family man, Ekow vowed never to be an irresponsible father. To him, his children are paramount in everything and as such he will do all he can to bring them up in the best way possible. He thus urged all parents to also prioritize the needs of their children.

Programs Manager of YFM, Eddy Blay, sharing his view on the interview said, “Ekow Blay is a household name celebrated for the many feats he has achieved in both the creative space and the corporate space. Anyone who had the chance to listen to his interview will definitely be much informed on different angles considering his experience in both the corporate and creative arena. We at YFM are very much appreciative of the fact that he made time to speak to the youth today.”

Source: Ghana Web

Academy for Women Entrepreneurs holds graduation for its third cohort beneficiaries

Accra, – The United States Department of State’s Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) Ghana Cohort three programme Thursday graduated 89 out of a batch of 103 beneficiaries enrolled under the course.

The event, hosted by the US Embassy’s implementing partner, the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Regional Leadership Centre (RLC) in Accra, saw the graduands awarded with Certificates of Participation and some souvenirs of the U.S Embassy.

Dr Shola Safo-Duodu, the Country Lead for AWE Ghana, and Project Director, YALI RLC, explained that the third Cohort formed the largest number of participants to be graduated under the programme since its inception in Ghana in February 2019.

She said the participants were drawn from the Greater Accra, Central, Western, Eastern, Ashanti, and Volta regions of Ghana, and explained that the remaining 14 beneficiaries were at various stages of completing their course works, which were online based.

Dr Safo-Duodu acknowledged the remarkable contribution of the U.S Government in supporting Ghanaian women entrepreneurs in sharpening their skills and confidence towards marketing, proper accountancy, and pricing of products and services, excellent customer, as well as good financial management to enhance their inclusiveness on the competitive global market.

She commended all the graduands for their perseverance despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms Stephanie S. Sullivan, the U.S Ambassador to Ghana, applauded the participants for remaining resilient in the face of many challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic, to complete their course.

She encouraged both the graduands and those yet to complete their programmes to remain determined.

The Ambassador said it was very commendable how the AWE programme, which started as a pilot programme in 2019 in 29 countries including Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, had since then expanded to over 50 countries, and had trained over 7,000 women.

She acknowledged how much women business owners, both in the formal and informal sectors contributed to and drive Ghana’s economic prosperity, adding that the priority of the U. S Government was primarily to ensure inclusive growth, and enhancing women entrepreneurship to become a powerful engine for national development.

Ms Sullivan held that in addition to boosting economic growth, investing in women produced a multiplier effect, because women reinvest a large portion of their income in their families and communities.

She, however, noted that though most women had the capacity as their male counterparts, they were not being given equal opportunities, but “AWE seeks to break barriers,” and create open fields for all businesses to thrive.

Ambassador Sullivan said AWE followed the Dream Builder course developed by the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona, which was an online programme providing flexibility to budding women entrepreneurs, who followed the course at their own pace.

It further provided supplemental sessions facilitated by experienced women entrepreneurs and subject matter experts in finance, marketing, and logistics, as well as online education resources, fostered networks that supported access to mentorships, and connect women through existing U. S government exchange programmes, she said.

Participants from the third AWE cohort included entrepreneurs from the agricultural, food and beverage, cosmetics, detergents, personal care, and textile sectors.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Residents of Chorkor sensitized on gender-based violence

Accra, – The International Network of Religious Leaders Living With or Personally Affected by HIV/AIDS (INERALA+) has sensitized residents of Chorkor, a suburb of Accra, on forms of gender-based violence and the need to report such infractions for redress.

Accra, – The International Network of Religious Leaders Living With or Personally Affected by HIV/AIDS (INERALA ) has sensitized residents of Chorkor, a suburb of Accra, on forms of gender-based violence and the need to report such infractions for redress.

Mrs Mercy Acquah-Hayford, Country Coordinator of INERELA Ghana said the campaign in the area was necessitated by the need to reduce gender-based violence, which has become very common in the area.

She said the campaign to end all forms of violence against women is a three-year project with funding from the United Nations women, the UN entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Mrs Acquah-Hayford, encouraged women to stop denying being abused and defending their partners when they are mistreated by them.

Board chairman of INERALA Ghana, Assistant Commissioner of Police Jones Blantari, advised women to desist from watching television in the rooms of their partners and male friends.

He alerted the community on the dangers and consequences of gender-based violence and rape, and asked them to speak up when they are abused.

“The Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit doesn’t always arrest people, it offers counselling and promotes peaceful co- existence among partners and the community,” he said.

Cephas Essiful Ansah, a legal Officer at the Commission for Human Right and Administrative Justice, (CHRAG) said the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rise in unwanted and teenage pregnancies in Chorkor, with an attendant increase in disease infections.

He urged parents to protect their children and ensure that their exposure to rape is delayed.

Gender-Based violence refers to harmful acts directed at individuals based on their gender. It is rooted in gender inequality, the abuse of power and harmful norm which is a serious violation of human rights and a life-threatening health and protection issue.

It is estimated that one in three women will experience sexual or physical violence in their lifetime, during displacement and times of crisis, the threat of GBV significantly increases for women and girls.

Forms of Gender-based violence include sexual, physical, mental and economic harm inflicted in public or in private.

It also includes threats of violence, coercion, and manipulation. This can take many forms such as intimate partner violence, sexual violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation.

The consequences of gender-based violence are devastating and can have life-long repercussions for survivors and even lead to death.

Source: Ghana News Agency

EU-IOM Joint Initiative marks four years of supporting migrants in Ghana

Accra, – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the European Union (EU) Delegation to Ghana, in partnership with the Government of Ghana, have marked four years of supporting over 1,800 vulnerable migrants to voluntarily return and re-establish home.

The IOM, together with the Government of Ghana, the EU Delegation to Ghana, and migration stakeholders, including United Nations agencies and development partners, marked the achievements of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Ghana, funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, over the past four years.

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative (JI) was launched in Ghana in May 2017 and is part of a regional programme covering and cooperating with 26 countries in North Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Sahel and Lake Chad Region.

It aims to improve protection, facilitate voluntary return, provide sustainable reintegration to returning migrants, and to contribute to strengthening migration governance.

The JI’s inclusive approach involves key stakeholders, such as Government bodies, migrants’ associations, community-based organizations and local communities, to ensure that, in the future, Ghanaians will migrate safely as a matter of choice, rather than necessity.

“We have witnessed the positive impacts of our interventions on returnees. Those who completed their reintegration process have reached levels of economic self-sufficiency, social stability and psychosocial well-being making their return sustainable on the longer term,” Madam Abibatou Wane-Fall, IOM Ghana Chief of Mission said.

“Going forward, the strong network of committed migration stakeholders and partners that has been established over the past four years, will ensure that no migrant or returnee is left behind as we acknowledge their important contribution to national development.” She added.

Madam Rose Tsorhey, Director, Policy Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring and Evaluation, Ministry of the Interior, said: “Over the past four years, we have progressed a lot when it comes to the safe return and sustainable reintegration of Ghanaian migrants.”

“If we make the reintegration of returnees a success, it will be it a success for us all.

“We have laid solid structures to facilitate sustainable reintegration in a holistic manner, while also advancing migration governance overall,” she added.

Madam Diana Acconcia, Head, EU Delegation in Ghana, in a virtual message, said the EU-IOM JI for Migrants Protection and Reintegration had saved lives, including those of young people who were now better informed about the realities of the dangers of migration, as well as opportunities here in Ghana.

She said the Government of Ghana and the EU-IOM JI for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Ghana, funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, had ensured dignified returns as well as reintegration of Ghanaian migrants.

Madam Pooja Bhalla, the Project Manager, EUTF-IOM Joint Initiative, said said the IOM’s integrated approach to reintegration had been the basis for reintegration assistance to the returnees geared towards ensuring sustainability of return.

She said the same approach was multi-pronged and included economic support – establishment of micro business including auto mechanic shops, retail trading in secondhand clothes, groceries and welding and fabrication.

Since 2017, over 1,800 returnees have been supported to voluntarily return to Ghana.

The majority came back from Libya, followed by returns from Niger and Algeria.

Over 800 returnees have benefitted from various forms of reintegration support.

This goes beyond income generating activities.

Collective and community reintegration interventions have been implemented in various migration-prone communities to benefit returnees, potential migrants and community members.

Next to economic support, returnees may be entitled to receive support with accommodation, training or education for either themselves or their dependents, or medical services.

Due to the inhumane conditions irregular migrants are often exposed to during their journey, including physical violence, torture and abuse, psychosocial assistance is available for returnees, if indicated.

The mental health of returnees is crucial for their successful reintegration into their communities.

One key achievement is the launch of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Reintegration of Returnees in Ghana in September 2020.

Under the leadership of the Government of Ghana, the SOPs were developed to ensure a consistent approach to the management of returns to Ghana and the returnees’ subsequent reintegration.

Over 80 government and non-government migration stakeholders have been trained across Ghana to provide holistic reintegration support to returned migrants.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact worldwide including in Ghana.

Despite restrictions imposed by Government, project implementation continued.

The JI adapted, and, for example, donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Government-run Prampram Quarantine Centre, Greater Accra region, incorporated prevention messages in outreach activities, including via street art, and involved returnees in the production of nose masks for distribution in communities.

Targeting especially the youth, over 300 awareness raising sessions have taken place in communities and schools across the country, while radio and TV broadcasts have reached over one million Ghanaians nationwide.

The national multimedia campaign dubbed “Let’s Talk Migration” provided a platform for the youth to contribute to and engage in the conversation on safe migration – both online and offline.

Among the innovative youth engagement and community-targeted awareness raising initiatives were: (participatory) street art interventions in Takoradi and Accra, as well as youth empowerment project called Playground, which leverages the educational power of basketball to equip the youth with life skills and self-resilience.

The appointment of a Goodwill Ambassador, Ghanaian musician Kofi Kinaata, in 2019 allowed to reach a wider audience through his fan base.

Source: Ghana News Agency