Minggu, 29 Agustus 2010


Story: Zainabu Issah

As part of the 50th Independence Day celebrations of Cote d'Ivoire, a two day forum was organised to reflect on the co-operation between Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana in the area of Cocoa.

It was also to discuss the way forward in the cultivation, production and processing of Cocoa.
Speaking at the forum, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Kwabena Duffuor says cocoa plays an important role in the livelihood and stability of farming communities in terms of job creation and the distribution of income among rural communities.

He added that market developments which negatively affect the interests of farmers tend to move people especially the youth to the  urban centres in such of non existing jobs.

Furthermore low productivity and falling market prices of cocoa has putten undue pressure on the environment as farmers are forced to expand production to new areas including forest lands.

 The Ambassador of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire to Ghana, Mr Auguste Emmanuel Ackah in his speech called on both countries to find a lasting solution to the problems of the cocoa sector.
 He said this would help improve the commodities profitability of the two countries and the producers whose sweat and toil bring joy to the world.

The Secretary General of the Cocoa Producers Alliance(COPAL), Hope Sona Ebai urged the two countries to increase opportunities for empolyment and income generation i the rural areas while providing products for the promotion of consumption of cocoa.


Story: Zainabu Issah

Dealers in the Ghana Textiles Wax Print (GTP) have inaugurated an association in Accra.
The formation of the association was to have a common voice to fight against the smuggling of fake textiles into the country.
The Chairman of the occasion, Nana Owusu Yentumi Akyemperi said forming an association demanded alot of sacrifice to keep it standing.
" You should be dedicated and unified to keep the association alive," he added.
He also urged them to assist the counterfeiting force who are fighting against the smuggling of textiles in the country.
The Managing Director of GTP, Mr Erik Vander Staaij, said the formation of the association would help in the control of pricing on the textile market.
" We can now be able to effectively know what is going on in the market so that management can take drastic action," he said.
He further urged them to help in improving the quality of the product thereby promoting and booming its business.
Mr Staaij added that they can now fulfil their social responsibility functions now that they are together by helping one another.
The President of the association, Madam Rosemary Kudjoe said the association would do well in identifying the counterfeit goods and bring those responsible to justice.
The inauguration brought together other sister associations from Tarkoradi, Ho, Cape Cost, Koforidua, Oda and Kumasi.


Story: Zainabu Issah

The Iranian Red Cresent(IRC)  and the Red Cross Society (RCS) of Ghana have jointly organised a one day free health screening exercise for the residents of the Nima-Mamobi community in Accra.
The exercise was aimed at bringing health care to the doorstep of needy people.
Hundreds of people in the two communities benefitted from the exercise
The President of RCS, Professor Kwabena Mante Bosompem, said specialised health care facilities were located in particular places in the community but the health seeking behaviour of the people did not allow them to visit the hospitals.
" We, therefore organised, this screening exercise to bring out people who are not well so they could have access to health care," he said.
He added that since most of the people in the community reported late to the hospitals with chronic diseases like malaria, diarrhoea and fever, tghe screening exercise would help to detect diseases early for  treatment.
The Director of the Iran Clinic, Dr Rezu Bulader said the clinic was always ready to provide medical services to the needy in society.
"It is also part of our social responsibility to donate and give free medical care to the people when the need arises," he said.
The Ambassador of Iran to Ghana, Mr Latifi Namin, who was also present Iran, it was proper for Iran to help the government of Ghana to extend medical services to its people to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
The screening brought together three doctors, two nurses, two pharmacists and one dentist doctor assisted by the RCS of Ghana.

 An old woman going through the secrening exercise whilst others wait for their turn.

Minggu, 22 Agustus 2010


Story: Zainabu Issah

THE Church of  Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has organised a clean up exercise dubbed" All Africa Service Project" in the Kaneshie market complex.The exercise is undertaken by the church annually as part of its social responsibility in the community where it is located.
Members of the church mobbed the floor of the market, swept, dusted, cleared choked drains and gutters and educated the market women on the need to keep the market clean.
The Environmental Manager of the Kaneshie Market Complex Mrs Paola Sogbey said the church's intervention in helping keep the market clean had been helpful.
She urged other organisations to show an interest in the improvement of sanitation at the market as a large proportion of the public buy foodstuffs from the market for consumption.
A taxi driver who operates his business at the market area, Kweku Appiah Agyei commended the church for cleaning the market.
He said though the market was always very busy, it was important that attention is also directed toward keeping it clean.
Appiah-Agyei noted with concern that even though various organisations periodically engage in sanitation exercises in the market, it was evident that the traders themselves did not attach the same level of importance  to cleanliness as these organisations do.
He therefore requested that adequate litter bins be placed around the market to help in reducing the heaps of rubbish in the market.


Story: Zainabu Issah

THE Deputy Minister for Information, Mr Samuel  Okudzeto Ablakwa, has called on furniture-making industries to showcase the Ghanaian culture in their craft to create a unique brand and identity for the country.
Mr Ablakwa  was speaking at the first four-day Furniture and Decoration fair held in Accra  to give local furniture producers a platform to showcase their products to the general public.
He noted, however, that even though furniture making is good business,  cutting  down trees for wood is slowly making the country lose its vegetation.
“It is therefore appropriate for you to engage in afforestation so that we do not lose our rich landscapes,” he advised.

The Deputy Minister assured the furniture companies that government would support the  sector to help boost their businesses and urged the Ghanaian public to patronise their products.
The fair which was organised by Xodus Communications, in partnership with the Ministry of Information, brought together furniture-making companies to showcase their products and designs and to also get closer to their clients.
The Excutive Director of Xodus Communications, Mr Richard Abbey Jnr, said the Fair was to give carpenters and decorators the opportunity to exhibit their products and give them ample business opportunities.
“There is therefore the need to bring them together to showcase their craft and to let the Government know what they are doing in order to support them,” he said.
The four-day exhibition brought together furniture companies like Simbins Furniture, Agorwu Furniture, Akuaba Furniture, Royal Habits, Lifestyle Gallery, Leatherland Furniture and Benjon Craft House of Aquariums, among others.



Story: Zainabu Issah
 A FOUR -day mini fair and Information seminar on business opportunities in the Water Sanitation (WATSAN) sector has been held for the people of Avenor and its environs in Accra.
The fair was organised by the Youth and Social Enterprise Fund (Y-SEF), under its Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Urban- Poor(WASH-UP) project.
It aimed at showcasing a wide array of water and sanitation technologies with specific focus on water and sanitation related businesses and  improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene in the Avenor community.
The WASH-UP project which is being implemented in collaboration with Corporate Housing Foundation(CHF) with support from USAID, provide affordable financial services to poor households to access water and sanitation facilities and also for businesses to improve water and sanitation related enterprises.
It also facilitates and encourage women to run water and sanitation businesses that would improve women enterprises in the water and sanitation sector.
The Executive Director of Y-SEF, Mr. Stanley Walters Attafi said the Avenor community was lacking in water and sanitation and therefore the need to introduce the programme to the area to support them.
He added that there was no decent sanitation facility in the community and therefore residents use the gutters as their refuse and latrine dump.
As part of the fair, a drama highlighting the community’s need for  sanitation facilities was staged by some of the people of the area.


Story: Zainabu Issah

SEASONS, a Christian lifestyle magazine has been launched in Accra.The magazine is a deviation from the regular style of publishing Christian magazines that usually appeal only to Christians and Charismatic Christians.
According to the Editor of the magazine, Madam Augustina Oti-Twumasi, the magazine terrain in Ghana does not have good Christian magazines that inspire Christian values, stimulate audience to grow in all areas of life and also encourage broad minded thinking.
“ Seasons magazine takes the interest of its readers into consideration and therefore allows its readers to learn and gain from what they read,” she said.

Madam Oti-Twumasi added that the magazine dealt with real life issues and also provided real answers for  people who  needed it.
She said the magazine would evolve and adapt to the various seasons in the life of readers mirroring everyday reality.

The magazine’s content includes weekly prayer guide, business moves, church profiles, personality profiles, extraordinary women, feature articles and church news among others.

First Ramadan Lecture

Story: Zainabu Issah

The Head of the Education Committee of Ghana Muslim Academy (GMA), Brother Awudu Dramani has called on parents to use proactive measures in encouraging their wards to seek circular education.
He said this would inturn reduce the high rate of poverty and illiteracy in the Muslim community.
He added that to seek knowledge is a sacred duty and obligatory of every Muslim whether male or female and that the first word revealed of the Quran was “Iqra,” which means to seek knowledge.
This he said at the 1st annual Ramadan lectures organised by the Ghana Muslim Academy (GMA) in Accra.
The lecture  was focused on the theme, “ Education- an immutable dynamic to poverty alleviation,” was focused on making Muslims to see the need in adding formal education to their Islamic knowledge which would make them dynamic in any situation they find themselves.
Mr Dramani  said  poverty is a cause of lack of education and that education contributes to property reduction in Ghana.
“ Education helps to alleviate poverty by affecting labour productivity and other parts of social benefits that are vital to national development,” he said.
He also said the real purpose of education fails when education is unable to meet real needs of human and its society and therefore the education system needs to be modified as present and future needs of man.
 He therefore urged Muslims to encourage themselves to learn more to develop the act of communication which would help them preach the word of Islam.
The President of GMA, Mr Nurudeen Alhassan, said organising this annual lecture was with an objective  to sensitise and conscietize the Ghanainan public especially the Muslim public particularly the Muslim public on issues affecting the spiritual, political, economic and social development.

BREAST FEEDING- First Hour Saves Lives

Story:  Zainabu Issah

The Director of Family Life Division of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr (Mrs) Gloria Quansah-Asare, has advised mothers to make conscious efforts to start breastfeeding their babies within the first hour of birth to help reduce their infants risk of death.

She said a research conducted on babies who survived the first day  clearly showed that 41 per cent of all babies who die during two (2) to 28 days of life can be saved by this simple intervention.

She explained that initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of birth was a vital step in reducing the infant’s risk of death.

Dr (Mrs) Quansah-Asare was speaking at the launch of the World Breastfeeding week celebration in Accra  on the theme “ Breastfeeding, just 10 steps: The  baby friendly way”.

She said the study which was conducted from rural communities in the country involving 10,947 infants had shown that the initiation of breast feeding within the first hour of birth can prevent one million out of four million new-born deaths.

She said the week was also to celebrate 20 years of the Innocenti Declaration on the protecting, promoting and support of breastfeeding, adopted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1990 to promote successful breastfeeding and Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI).

She explained that to enhance the implementation of the declaration, WHO and UNICEF had put in place 10 basic steps to be promoted by health facilities globally.


The first step enjoins countries to have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff, to train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy, inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding and to help mothers initiate breastfeeding within  half hour of birth.

It also requires health officials to show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants, avoid giving new-born infants food or drink unless medically indicated, practice rooming-in, that is allow mothers and infants to remain together, 24 hours a day and encourage breastfeeding on demand.

The other steps also require mothers not to give any artificial teats or pacifiers to breastfeeding infants and to foster the establishment of breastfeed support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge. 

Dr (Mrs) Quansah-Asare said it was therefore necessary for all to help support breastfeeding by practising all the 10 steps.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Health, Dr Benjamin Kunbour, called on all health care  providers as well as community members to encourage and support mothers to breastfeed successfully.

He also called for the revitalisation of the baby friendly hospital initiative in the country which would  lead to the achievement of the ”gold standard” aimed at promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and continue with appropriate complimentary foods until the baby was two years old or more.

He encouraged health workers to display their professional skills to encourage the attendance of mothers to health facilities to help reduce maternal mortality.
He congratulated the 37 Military Hospital for being the leading baby friendly health hospital and for maintaining the standards for 15 years since it was initiated.
A Nutrition Specialist of UNICEF, Dr Ernestina Agyepong, said the Innocenti Declaration proposed that a national breastfeeding co-ordinator and authority be appointed, all maternity facilities practice all the ten steps and that a legal instrument is developed to protect the breastfeeding rights of mothers which was to be enforced through the code of marketing of breast milk substitute and maternity protection laws globally.

She said UNICEF and WHO remained committed to ensuring the continuity of the Innocenti Declaration to support breastfeeding  to help impact positively on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals One, Four and Five, which relate to ending poverty, reducing child mortality, and improving maternal health  respectively.


Story: Zainabu Issah

FATIMATU Ussif is a  14-year-old girl from Kpatarigu, a village in the Northern Region. From the age of nine, Fatimatu regularly comes to Accra, during every vacation to look for money to meet her educational needs. As the first daughter of her mother, she also has a responsibility to support her mother to take care of her five other siblings even at her tender age.

That is because her father, a poor farmer, has not been supportive. After marrying his late brother’s wife, who already has four children, in line with tradition, Fatimatu’s father can no longer cope with the pressure of catering for the entire household.
Under the circumstance, the only option available to Fatimatu and her siblings is for them to fend for themselves. She had no choice than to accept the challenge and  began her journey to the south particularly Accra, while in primary class three.

She had agreed to her mother’s advice to join a friend’s daughter to go to Accra in search of ‘greener pastures’. She found the pastures but with a job as head porter (kayayoo), the pastures could not have been greener.

On her arrival, the harsh realities of life in Accra hit her immediately as she was later abandoned by her companion. She had to take her destiny and survival in her own hands.
Fatimatu sleeps in the open Mallam Atta Market along with other girls who have travelled from the north to Accra to earn a living. At night, they have to contend with unfriendly companions, such as mosquitoes and bad weather.
“Sometimes, we have to share our daily sales with gangsters who claim to own the market at night. If you do not pay, they will have sex with you,” she reveals.
Fatimatu earns about GH¢10 for carrying goods on a market day and a minimum of Gh¢3 on a normal day. Regardless of her meagre income, her solemn prayer daily is never to fall sick, otherwise she loses big time. That is because her return to the north and to school depends on the income she gets. “Yes,  I have to make enough money to give to my mother and also buy school items”, she stated.

Fatimatu is very committed to her education because she believes that was the only way of realising her dream of becoming a nurse in future. But she fears that her dream and ambition may soon fizzle out into thin air. “My father says I would get married after Primary Class Six”, she reveals.

Suwaibatu is another girl in a similar world as Fatimatu. She looks  far older than  her age of 12 she claims to be, a disparity that can only be attributed to the fact that she has never been to school. Indeed, she does not know when she was born.
Suwaibatu does not remember exactly when she came to Accra, but her two children aged two years and one year respectively, whom she gave birth to after her arrival in the city, give a fair idea about the time she arrived in Accra.
Her two little boys  also suffer the discomfort of night life and the harsh realities she has been contending with in Accra. She does not know the fathers of her children.

“Some people came to sleep with me on the veranda when the lights where off. I, therefore, did not see their faces. That was how come I had the first boy. The second one is from my boyfriend but he claims he is not the father so I take care of him,” she explains.
Having gone through the horrors of the night, she embraces daylight with glee, but only for a moment as she struggles for survival. As a single parent, she has to carry the younger boy at her back when on ‘duty’ carrying heavy goods, while the elder boy is left with friends who decide to take a rest.

For all these efforts, Suwaibatu earns between Gh¢30 and Gh¢35 on a market day, but on other days, she sells iced water to supplement her income. On occasions when business is bad, she is compelled to engage in the sex-for-money business at night in order to feed her family.

Wandering on the streets of Accra is Ruwaida, another girl from the north who fled hunger back home to engage in head portering for survival.
“I ran away from home to the city because there was no work there. My mother quarrelled with me everyday to come to the city and that is why I’m here”, she recalls.

However, coming to Accra was not easy for Ruwaida. She had to outwit the police at the barrier in Navrongo because, as a minor, the police would not have allowed her to travel alone. She, therefore, had to hide under the seats of the vehicle to cross the barrier.
Ruwaida may have been smart enough to escape the police and the vagaries of life back home in the north, but she does not have the capacity to outwit the harsh realities of life in Accra.

“I came here alone and therefore I survive alone”, she says.
It has, indeed, been a struggle for survival for Ruwaida. “I sleep in a small uncompleted kiosk near the big gutter with my friends and we pay Gh¢1 everyday for sleeping there”.
But night life at the Mallam Atta Market has been anything but comfortable as she and her friends always pray that  it will never rain because whenever it rains, they have to spend the night standing.

On many occasions, she escaped rape by unknown persons while sleeping alone at the Mallam Atta Market. She and other girls who face similar threats cannot complain to anyone because the response they often get from people is that nobody asked them to come to the city. They therefore keep their woes to themselves hoping for a better tomorrow.

Life has been very difficult for Ruwaida, having to make about Gh¢5 a day from her labour as kayayoo. Her meagre earning is basically because sometimes customers refuse to pay for her services and when she dares to demand it, she is sometimes given a beating instead.

In spite of the hardships Ruwaida has faced for the past months of her stay in Accra, she has no intention to return home in the north.
“I cannot go back home again because my parents say I have brought bad luck to the family, but I usually send money to them”, she explains.

The stories of Fatimatu, Suwaibatu and Ruwaida are only a summary of the plight of young female northerners who flee from the harsh conditions of the north to seek  greener pastures down south only to find out that all that glitter is not gold.

Apart from poor education facilities, lack of employment opportunities and infertile land for agriculture, cultural beliefs like the female genital mutilation, widowhood rites and early marriage, have compelled these girls to undertake a rather dangerous expedition to the cities in the south for better prospects.
But their expectations have often been a mirage. Instead, they have had to contend with thieves, rapists who lurk around in the night to defile their womanhood and rob them of their daily earnings.

Some of them eventually get pregnant without having anyone to support them, while others who attempt to abort their pregnancy ended up dying or developing complications.
This is the plight of many kayayei in Accra and other cities in the south. But who really cares about them?

* The ‘kayayei ‘earn very small amounts of money for the work that they do. Very often they are unable to afford to rent space in a room, and have to sleep outdoors. 

Some  young kayayees in the street of Accra,

Jumat, 13 Agustus 2010


Story: Zainabu Issah and Janette Quaye

The Ghana Community Network Services (GCNet) has donated a cheque for GH¢ 1, 250 towards the medical treatment of an 18-month-old baby, Sonia Owusu Akomea, who is suffering from cancer of the eye .
The donation was made in response to an appeal by the parents of the baby on TV3 on July 27, 2010.
Speaking to Daily Graphic, the Relationship Co-ordinator of GCNet, Mrs Ama Amoah who made the presentation, said the appeal touched the heart of the staff of the organisation and they decided to contribution to the medical treatment of the patient Sonia.
She added that GCNet had a corporate responsibility to support some activities within the communities where they operated to meet the needs of society and reach out to the vulnerable.
Receiving the donation on behalf of TV3, broadcast journalist, Nana Aba Anamoah thanked the organisation for the kind gesture.
  Doctors say little Sonia will undergo chemotherapy before surgery in six weeks time.



Story: Musah Yahaya Jafaru & Zainabu Issah
THE Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, has called for collaboration towards reforming the country’s legal education for the collective interest of justice delivery, the legal profession and academia.
She said programmes in Law schools should challenge lawyers to think outside the box of legal scholarship and assist the country to address the problems confronting society.
Mrs Justice Wood made the call at the matriculation of pioneer students of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) Law School and dedication of the school’s building on Monday.
Seventy-two students from Parliament, the Judicial Service, the Education Service, media, the security services, the health, banking, finance, insurance and hospitality sectors have been admitted to pursue the three-year Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree programme.
Mrs Justice Wood said legal education reform in Ghana was at the crossroad, hence the need for all stakeholders in legal education “to start thinking, talking and engaging one another in reforming legal education” for the good of the Judiciary and the nation at large.
“The country needs lawyers in administration, management and governance within both the public and private sectors as it strives to strengthen its democratic institutions,” she said.
The Chief Justice expressed joy at the wide sector distribution of the students and stressed the need for quality legal professionals tailored to suit the management needs of the country.
She said since GIMPA was noted for excellence, its Law School should equally be characterised by good programmes that would challenge the students to think outside the box and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.
Mrs Justice Wood welcomed the decision of the GIMPA Law School to introduce paralegal training, stressing that it would assist in training professionals who needed basic knowledge of law for their day-to-day operations at their workplaces.
“An institution like the Judicial Service, which requires a large workforce of court clerks, docket clerks, interpreters, public and private bailiffs, certainly stands to be the ultimate beneficiary of this laudable initiative,” she said.
The Chairman of the Governing Council of GIMPA, Dr Christine Amoako-Nuamah, urged the first batch of Law students  to take their studies seriously, since they were the pioneers of the school and would be expected to set the standard for high academic performance.
She also encouraged the management of the school to source for funds and expand the school to make room for the many qualified candidates who were yearning for quality legal education to have a place  in the school.
The Rector of GIMPA, Professor Yaw Agyeman Badu, said the first batch of GIMPA Law School students did not include medical officers, traditional rulers, farmers, market women and fishermen but there was room for all those groups.
The Dean of the GIMPA Law School, Prof Kwame Frimpong, charged the students not to limit their scope to what pertained in the school but rather tap all the experiences in the school.
A representative of the students, Mr Kingsford Arthur, urged the school authorities not to make it a requirement for the students who benefited from the three-year course at the GIMPA Law School to pursue an additional two-year professional legal training at the Ghana School of Law.
That, he said, was because many of the students were experienced in their various fields of endeavour and the world was witnessing significant changes.  



 Story: Zainabu Issah

TWO men who are alleged to have posed as national security officials at the Castle, Osu, to dupe eight people under the pretext of helping them acquire confiscated vehicles are in the grip of the Nima Police.
 The suspects, Benjamin Quarshie, alias Emmanuel Quarshie, 27, and Nana Kwame Takyi, alias Detective Sergeant Rolland Banor, 38,  promised to buy confiscated vehicles at cheap prices for their victims.
They allegedly succeeded in deceiving a banker with their fake identities and collected GH¢13,800 from him.
 Quarshie and Takyi were arrested on July 30 and August 5, respectively.
Quarshie is already on court bail for other criminal activities he allegedly committed last May.
At a press briefing in Accra, the Nima Divisional Crime Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Amos Kweku Yelisong, described Quarshie as a “hi-tech fraudster” who had, on many occasions, posed as a member of staff of the National Security Council Secretariat and the Office of the President.
He said Quarshie also monitored the activities of dignitaries and used the information to lure his victims into believing that he was a trustworthy person and defrauded them.
He said through his dubious activities, Quarshie had been able to collect huge sums of money from people and built a house at Kasoa and purchased two vehicles from the proceeds.
He said searches at the residences of Quarshie in Accra, Tema and New Edubiase in the Ashanti Region by the Nima Divisional Intelligence Team revealed a number of passport-sized photographs of his victims.
DSP Yelisong advised the public to be cautious of the people from whom they sought assistance when buying cars and acquiring visas.


Selasa, 10 Agustus 2010


Story: Zainabu Issah

RAMADAN, a month of fasting is fast approaching and its required of all Muslims to observe the fast except whe they are sick or travelling.
 Whether doing a mandatory fast or a voluntary fast, Muslims are suppose to follow the three principles of fasting namely abstainance, faith(Taweed) and devotion.
 Abstainance entails a Muslim not to only fast without food or water but also desist from things that are considered halal (forbidden). Those things are cheating, stealing, backbiting, fornication and adultury.
Married couples can resume their affair after the fast is broken at dusk. To continue the next day fast, couples are supposed to perform a ritual bath to clean their bodies.
If the sexual affair was intentional, then the Muslim must fast an additional 60 days after the Ramandan has ended. If the person is unable to fast for 60 days he/she would have to feed 60 people. In addition, to sexual intercourse, masturbation is also forbidden.
If during the fast a Muslim mistakenly eats, he is expected to ask for forgiveness and then continue the fast. But if he does so intentionally, then the fast is nullified.
Taweed as the main principle of fasting is the believe that there is only one God.
This principle is part of the Shahada (declaration of faith) which is signed by all Muslim converts and is the main believe in the three principles of fasting in Ramadan. Without it Muslims cannot exist in the world and it also teaches the principle of destiny.
Devotion on the other hand is devotion to Allah and Islam.This means that what Allah wants is  what the practising Muslim wants.This also includes performing the five pillars of Islam thus the Shahada, Salat, Zakat, Hajji and fasting in the month of Ramadan.
These principles humbly guide a Muslim to be devoted to Allah and also a way to raise the status of a Muslim.
Ramadan comes but one’s a year and it is the time when the Muslim must live a life required by the Quran and the Sunnah (ways of the prophet).
Ramadan is, therefore, the month of everything halal (permissible) and also the month of avoiding everything haram (forbidden).
The rules and guidelines of Ramadan have been established by the Prophet Mohammed about 1400 years ago, and the sharia (laws) emphasises the importance of following the Sunnah (ways of the prophet).
When looking at how to come closer to Allah, a Muslim must avoid things that would allow the shaitan (devil) to enter and cause doubt in the mind.
 A Muslim must therefore abstain from all bad talk and even listening to bad talk. This means that the television should not be watched except for news and shows of Islam.
A Muslim  man usually avoids the sight of women for they can become tempting to the man. A woman on the other hand dresses to cover vital parts of her body to avoid tempting  man.
Muslim women menstruating in the month of Ramadan are not allowed to fast until they have ended. However she is  expected to fast for the days she missed after the month of Ramadan.
She must break the fast as an obligation and not as  a mere legal act. Thus if she observes the fast, it will legally be insufficient and will not be accepted by Allah.
The month of Ramadan teaches a Muslim to be closer to Allah by reading the Quran, visiting the mosque, praying the night prayers and evoking blessings upon the Prophet Mohammed, peace be unto Him.
The night of power also known as Layalat al Qadr is observed in the last 10 days of the Ramadan season and special prayers are said in hope of obtaining the reward of 1000 months of worship. Muslims  recite dua (prayers) for the sick, the needy and the persecuted and  seek Allah’s protection from any evil intended.
This year’s Ramadan will start on Wednesday, August 11 if the new moon is sighted on Tuesday, August 10.
However, if the new moon is not sighted on August 10, then Thursday, August 12 shall be the automatic day for the commencement of the Ramadan.

Daily Graphic on 9th August 2010.

Senin, 09 Agustus 2010


 Story: Zainabu Issah

THE Ghana Lebanon Islamic Secondary School (GLISS), held its 10th anniversary and first Speech and Prize-Giving Day in Accra with a call on wealthy muslims and muslim non-governmental organisations to establish more Islamic institutions of higher learning.
The Vice President, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, who made the call in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Mr. Rashid Pelpuo, said the successes chalked by recently established institutions of higher learning made that move imperative.
Present at the ceremony were the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, former Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama and the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharabutu.
GLISS was established in September 2000 by the Ghana Society for Islamic Education and Reformation (GSIER), and commissioned in May 2001 by Alhaji Aliu Mahama.
With an initial student population of 50 and only one school block the school now has more than 700 students with a huge complex made up of a Senior High School, and a Junior High and Primary schools.
Mr Mahama expressed gratitude to the GSIER for its dedicated service to Ghanaians in the education sector and in other equally important sectors of the economy.
He urged the patrons, management and staff of the school to put the school on a higher pedestal, adding that that would contribute towards building a formidable human resource base for the nation.
 Alhaji Mahama in a speech said he was happy to be alive to see the achievements and successes of the school since he last commissioned it ten years ago.
He said he was humbled by moral and academic discipline among the students
He appealed to the security agencies, the media and the educational institutions to continue to preach the concept of discipline.
Furthermore, he appealed to Muslims to see education as a tool with which to fight poverty and use all the resources  at their disposal to educate their children and to see them become prominent members in society.
That, he said, would help them to move away from crime and prostitution which, he added, had become the bane in the Muslim community.
Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, who chaired the function, said GLISS was a testimony of the co-operation between Ghana and Lebanon and greater opportunities to come.
He encouraged the staff  and students to seek knowledge since it is the key to fight poverty.
The Chairman, of the Parents Teacher Association (PTA), Mr Suraj Boadi, said the association had successfully fought for the reintroduction of the Arabic Language to be examinable by the West African Examinations Centre (WAEC).
 He appealed to the government to provide the school with a bus.
The Deputy Director of the School, Alhaji Mohammed Baba Alhassan, who is the deputy director of the school, was later awarded with a laptop for his long service and loyalty to the school.

Published in Daily Graphic


 Story: Zainabu Issah

The Director of the Justice Nii Amarh Ollenu Memorial Basic School at La, Mr Fred Larbi, says the introduction of the school feeding programme has increased enrolment in basic schools in the country.He, therefore, commended the government for expanding the programme.

Speaking at the first Speech and Prize Giving Day of the school, Mr Larbi said the introduction of the school feeding programme “has increased the number of students in the school and parents are hoping for its extension to the junior high level”.

He used the occasion to appeal to the authorities to help construct a library for the school,  one which was unsuitable to accommodate the present student population, with books at the library being outdated.

The Chief of  La, Nii Kpobi Tetteh Tsuru III, called on parents to complement efforts of  teachers to instil discipline in their children to ensure that such children grew up with high moral values.

He said parents could for instance help monitor the activities of their children outside the normal school hours and must spend more time knowing their children, rather than attending social activities.

The La Mantse lamented the carelessness and negligence of some parents in the education of their children, adding that such behaviours did not augur well for the social up bringing of their children.
He said “parents must make it their duty to take a keen interest in the education of their children”, adding that education offers tremendous opportunities for every child.

The La Mantse used the occasion to caution parents to desist from spending all their time at social gatherings at the expense of the education of their children

The Accra Metro Director of Education in a speech read on his behalf by the Assistant Metro Director of Education, Mrs Gloria Clerk, said parents should show interest in their children’s  education.
She also urged teachers to be conscious and committed to their task in order to produce good pupils academically and morally.

Students were later awarded for their attitudes, moral behaviours and academic excellence in their various courses..

The senior prefect of the school Mr Enoch Clottey said parents must find time to visit schools to find out  about the attitudes and behaviours of their wards.

He appealed to the Parent Teacher Association (P.T.A) of the school to get the school a bus which would help convey students to the school and to their various homes.

Minggu, 08 Agustus 2010


THIS year’s National Entrepreneurial Business Summit is scheduled to take place at the Accra International Conference Centre from July 30 to 31, 2010, on the theme, “Creating jobs through entrepreneurial development; the better Ghana agenda”.
The summit is being organised by 2M Success Associates and the Centre for Creative Leadership, Africa, in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
This year’s summit will bring together entrepreneurs, start-ups, venture capitalists, policy makers, academics, SMEs and other stakeholders to a platform which will feature successful and experienced entrepreneurs sharing their knowledge and experiences on global entrepreneurship with participants.
It will also offer a platform for participants to comprehend government’s policy and entrepreneurial development and the assistance that exists for banks and other financial institutions to support the private sector to create jobs.
Speakers at the summit will include the Minister of Trade and Industry, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and Mr Ibrahim Awal, the Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited.

Published in Daily Graphic


THE Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Paul Quaye, has cautioned corrupt and unscrupulous persons who have found their way into the service to quit before the long arms of justice descend on them with appropriate sanctions.

"Such misfits and undesirable officers must advise themselves and leave the service on their own volition before they are flushed out in shame," he said.

The IGP was speaking at the closing ceremony of an in-service training programme organised for drill and weapon instructors in the Ghana Police Service.

The three-week training course was aimed at retraining the instructors to improve upon their human resource development and also ensure standardisation of training programmes in all police training schools.

Participants were drawn from all the six police training schools in Accra, Winneba, Koforidua, Ho, Kumasi and Pwalugu and they were trained in selected courses such as foot and raffle drill exercises, physical training, weapons training, leadership skills, human rights, confidence building and riot control techniques.

Others were basic officer skills, defence techniques, public order management, code of conduct and discipline.

The course was designed, among other things, to sharpen the professional instructional skills of the drill and weapon instructors and also build their capacity to meet the varied challenges of contemporary democratic policing.

Mr  Quaye said the operational success or failures of the Police Service were related to the quality of training given to personnel, adding that regular in-service training courses had become a primary requirement that must be satisfied in policing tactics. He urged the participants to be determined not only to advocate for change but also for change itself.

" You have the daunting task of turning out police officers with steely nerves to tackle the most hardened criminal, yet gentle and sensitive to human right issues," Mr Quaye said.

 The participants later demonstrated what they had learnt on the parade grounds, after which they were awarded certificates and  asked to impart what they had learnt to the rank and file in their respective regions, divisions, districts and units for the ultimate benefit of the service and the country.



A HEALTH screening and beauty exercise has been organised for the Kayayei at the Malata market in Accra.

The exercise was to check on the health status of the kayayei since they tend to work more than to check on their health.

It was was organised by the Pamela Brigdewater  Project in collaboration with the Sulemana Memorial Hospital in Accra was aimed at stressing on the need for Kayayei to go for regular health check ups and to also take care of their bodies.

The head of the Sulemana Medical Team, Mrs Gifty Johnson, disclosed that some of the children were malnourished, with malaria, diarrhoea and skin diseases being the characteristics of their babies.

The medical team has since issued special invitation cards for the pregnant women to visit the hospital for regular check-ups.

Mrs Rebecca Coleman, a co-ordinator of FC beauty clinic, used the opportunity to advice the young girls on teenage pregnancy.

She said since they were prone to sleeping in the open, they should be ware of rapists who would  take advantage of their innocence to defile them.

Mrs Ayisha Mohammed, the secretary of the Kunata Voluntary Organisation who are championing the cause of Pamela Bridgwater, promised of a continuous programme in looking after the needs of kayayei and that efforts were being made to provide accommodation facilities for them in Accra.

The girls, especially in the northern part of the country, migrate to the south in search for non-existence jobs.
They end up working as head porters in the big markets of Accra and Chums and get caught in the web of diseases, sexual abuses, teenage pregnancy and homelessness, among others.

It waist view of these issues that the former US Ambassador to Ghana initiated a project of constructing an educational village at Tampion in the Northern Region to halt the movement of  the girls from the north to the south.


A RAILWAY project to change the face of the transport system in Accra is to be initiated by the Intercontinental Commerce Corporation (ICC), a construction company in the United States of America.


The implementation of the project, a Monorail system, is expected to create jobs and ease traffic congestion drastically in the Accra metropolis.It is being entirely funded by the ICC at a cost of $1.5 billion.
  Dubbed “Greater Accra Transit System,” the project would operate on elevated beams in order not to disturb pedestrians and traffic.
The transit system will commence in phases and will include retail and commercial facilities, shopping malls, parking facilities, hotel business conferences and beach resorts.The first phase of the project involves the construction of eight kilometres of elevated beamway.
 Mr Ron Watson, Transportation Engineer and Project Manager of Intercontinental Commerce Corporation, (ICC) USA told journalists in Accra that the transit system would operate from Danquah Circle and Kwame Nkrumah Circle, the Castle Drive and Ohene Gyan Sports Stadium.
  In a 15-minute video presentation, he showed the different aspects of the project and how they would be constructed in the country.
  Mr Watson said that the introduction of the Monorail would in no way affect the existing transport business in the country. Rather, he said it would reduce traffic congestion and make the movement of vehicles faster.
The project is expected to contribute to the  mordenisation and economic development of the Accra Metropolitan area to improve quality of life, facilitate and enhance the experience of tourists in the national capital.
The President of ICC, Mr E.J.Miller, said the project had successfully been completed in Cairo and the company was now implementing another one in Mecca.
 He said the project when launched, would create over 15,000 jobs during the construction period and  1,000 full-time jobs during its operations.

Published in Daily Graphic

John Mensah Supports Deprived Childeren

 Story: Zainabu Issah & Stephen Bonsu

HE deputy skipper of Black Stars, John Mensah, has donated GH¢4,000 and assorted drinks to two schools and an orphanage in Accra.

The beneficiary schools are Alpha and Omega Academy at Chorkor, and Christ the King of Kings Academy at Jamestown.

Mr Mensah, who made the donation in collaboration with Kid's Kingdom, a non-governmental organisation, said the gifts were his widow's mite offertory for God's protection and life granted to him, adding that he wished to reach out to the young but needy children in communities in education.

He recalled his childhood days of difficulties, and thus deemed it fit to help the youth to attain a good future.
Mensah added that children are great assets for development in every nation, for which reason much needed to be put into children's education for a better future.

The Proprietress of Alpha and Omega Academy, Madam Gertrude Quartey, greatly appreciated the kind gesture and appealed to the public to follow the footsteps of Mensah and Kid's Kingdom's initiative.

Emmanuel Ashie, a physically challenged Principal of Christ the King of Kings Academy also expressed gratitude to the donors and called on other philanthropists to come to their aid as they lived on stony edges.
The Director of Kid's Kingdom, however, expressed continuous support for the schools.

He stated that their vision was to assist and encourage deprived children in Ghana to lead a healthy and reproductive life through good health care and quality education.
He called on all abled bodies to join in these initiatives to help children at beaches to gain quality education like any other Ghanaian child.

Published in Daily Graphic on July 22, 2010

Jumat, 06 Agustus 2010


Various studies have shown that land tenure systems have not favoured women in most African countries, and for the economically active woman, access to land for farming is difficult.

For many of these women, the primary source of land  is through their husbands, their lineage, inheritance, informal and market arrangements such as share contract and non market transactions such as loans and gifts.

These problems have been the subject of several studies and general debates over the years. Studies on this issue have concluded that while women are able to obtain land for farming,other economic activites and for  housing, the terms of such agreements do not ensure control and tenure security.

This is because of the rules of access determined by male dominated kinship institutions and traditional authority structures known broadly as customary law, discriminate against them.
Although in principle these women aquire land in order that they can fulfill thier responsibilities to their families, differences between norms and their practices derived from them have over time resulted in discriminatory practices against women.

The Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Reseach(ISSER) of the University of Ghana, has therefore lauched a three year project of policy and advocacy which would focus on reviewing secondary litrature and re-analysing a anational survey conducted by ISSER on land tenure issues.

 Commenting on the issue in an address read by the Deputy Minister of Women and Childeren Affairs (MOWAC), Hajia Hawawu Boya, the sector Minister, Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah called for a review of the country's land tenure systems, a cultural practice that prevent women from having access to lands. This was at a workshop to lauch a project on " Promoting  Gender Equity in Land Systems" in Accra.

The workshop was held under the auspices of ISSER to discuss findings of its phase of the three year project policy and advocacy survey concerning land tenure issues and how they affected women in Ghana.
It brought together participants from women rights advocacy groups, people in acadanemia and the relevant ministries and agencies.

Hajia Boya said although women are major producers of food crops and played crucial role in providing and carring for thier household, their problem with land aquisition made them lay behind in ownership of agricutural land and access to icome from land.

She said" women access to land id limited by male centered kinship institutions, authority structures, unclear plural legal systems of land tenure systems and social norms.

She further stated that disperity in the access to land was one of the major causes for social and economic inequalities between man and woman in rural areas and it also jeopardised food security which had an impact on national food security and develpoment.

The Deputy Project Coordinator and Research Fellow of the ISSER, Dr Isaac Osei Akoto said the project would help promote equity in the country's land tenure systems.

He added that by the end of the three year period," we will be able to examine the elements of disagreements about women's rights in relation to land aquisition and move toward a more democratic and gender equitable land tenure system."

Kamis, 05 Agustus 2010

Nima Mamobi citizens educated on sanitation

A PUBLIC education campaign aimed at creating awareness about poor environmental sanitation and ways to improve health conditions has been held in Nima and Mamobi in Accra.

The campaign, which is expected to run for six months, is to educate residents in these communities on how to separate waste through good solid waste management practices as well as the benefits derived from  economic and environmental waste.

It is being funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Youth and Social Enterprise Fund (Y-SEF), a local non-governmental organisation NGO ) in collaboration with Co-operate Housing Foundation (CHF) International, an NGO for pro-poor urban development.

The Executive Director of Y-SEF, Mr Stanley W. Attafi, said the programme was focused basically on  youth empowerment through job creation with the idea of guiding the youth to focus on plastic waste recycling.

He added that the programme would help reduce the problem of filth in the communities since most of the sanitation problems were caused by the residents themselves.

He stressed that engaging the youth in the programme could encourage them against engaging in deviant behaviours since it  created job opportunities for them.
"The Nima-Mamobi communities are packed with unemployed youth and, therefore, introducing this programme is aimed at giving them jobs and training on how to keep their environment and the society as a whole clean," Mr Attafi said.

He appealed to members of the community to lend support to the programme and urged them to send the message on how to separate  waste and keeping the environment clean.

The programme was launched with a soccer float on the principal streets of Nima and Maamobi and ended with a soccer gala at the Kawukudi park.

Published in Daily Graphic on 2 August 2010


 Story: Musah Yayah Jafaru & Zainabu Issah

MORE than 12,000 babies are born yearly with sickle cell disease (a disease of red blood cells) in Ghana, the First Lady, Mrs Ernestina Naadu Mills, has disclosed.

She said more than 350,000 babies were born every year with sickle cell disease in Africa , while the disease accounted for more than six per cent of all deaths in young children.

Mrs Naadu Mills, who was referring to the 2010 statistics on sickle cell disease at the opening of the first global congress on sickle cell disease in Accra, called for a concerted effort among governments, medical practitioners and institutions to improve the treatment of sickle cell patients.

The four-day conference is being attended by medical and research scientists, public health officers, people with sickle cell disease and representatives of community-based, national and international organisations.
It has as its theme: “Sickle Cell Disease: 1910-2010; 100 Years of Science, Still Seeking Global Solutions”.

The congress will address issues about health education and psychological needs of affected persons and families, medical care, research, programme development and development of international community-based organisations.

It is being jointly organised by the Sickle Cell Foundation of Ghana (SCFG) and the Ministry of Health.
Mrs Naadu Mills noted that sickle cell disease was “a major health problem” which affected people of African, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Indian origins.

However, she said, in spite of 100 years of scientific knowledge and research, sickle cell disease remained a global problem still seeking solutions.
“Clearly, governments, international agencies, non-governmental organisations and community-based organisations need to do a lot more about sickle cell disease than they have done in the past, ” she said.

Mrs Naadu Mills said the pilot project on newborn screening for sickle cell in Kumasi showed that the early diagnosis of the disease, institution of family health education, antibiotic prophylaxis and comprehensive medical care had helped the children against early death and crisis.

She stressed that many children with sickle cell disease “grow to become successful adults, true achievers, whose success should serve as measures of hope for all people with the disease”.

The Minister of Health, Dr Benjamin Kumbuor, said as of December last year, the newborn screening project in Kumasi and Tikrom had screened more than 300,000 newborns, found more than 5,000 babies with sickle cell disease and enrolled about 4,000 of them at the Sickle Cell Clinic at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi for regular management.

He said the government would establish sickle cell disease treatment centres at each of the regional and large district hospitals, adding that maternal and child health personnel and laboratory and other technical personnel would be trained to conduct the screening.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the SCFG, Dr Kwame Donkor Fordwor, expressed the hope that the congress would mark the initiation of a global effort to combat sickle cell disease, and called for the setting up of mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating the progress of work.

Published in Daily Graphic on July 23, 2010

Expose the quacks within your ranks

THE Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo, has asked traditional healers to position themselves well and expose the quack ones within their ranks for the rest to gain recognition.
Inaugurating the Ghana Psychic and Traditional Healers Association (GHAFTRAM) in Accra, Mr Mettle-Nunoo said traditional medicine ensured complete physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being, adding, however, that “the real challenge facing its development is the lack of official recognition”.
The association was founded in 1960 to create a platform for traditional healers to contribute to healthcare delivery.
The deputy minister said traditional medicine was deeply ingrained in the socio-cultural beliefs of the people and could, therefore, be described as inherently democratic and traditionally of the people, for the people and by the people. It had also gained public acceptance because of its effectiveness.
He said there were reasons for traditional medicine to be promoted and integrated into mainstream health care.
The National President of the association, Torgbe Hunua Dunyo, said the association was thankful to the government for promulgating the Traditional Medicine Practice Act for the control and development of traditional medicine in Ghana.
He petitioned the government to take special interest in and make more resources and funds available to the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine at Mampong Akuapem and other research institutions for the documentation of all aspects of traditional medicine and healthcare knowledge systems and practices.

Published in Daily Graphic on July 24

Imams undergo training in peace bulding

SEVENTY Imams from the various Muslim-dominated communities in Accra have ended a one-month training in peace-building and leadership.
The one-month programme was aimed at training Imams of the various Islamic sects to have one common understanding of Islam in order to foster peace among Muslims.
The programme was jointly organised by the Islamic University College of Ghana (IUCG) and the Cultural Consulate of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In his speech at the closing ceremony of the programme, the President of the IUCG, Dr Ahmad Ali Ghane, said the purpose of the programme was to increase the knowledge of Imams and also bring unity, brotherhood, friendship and fostering of peace among all sects of Muslims.
He added that achieving knowledge was obligatory to every Muslim, saying that showed the importance of teaching and learning, especially whatever was related to the religion and the Quran.
“As leaders of the Islamic society, you are automatically the mouthpiece of every problem in the Muslim community. It is, therefore, important for you to know how to execute this situation without causing chaos in society,” he said.
The Head of Religious Studies at the IUCG, Sheikh Seebaway, urged the participants to use what they had learnt as a tool to impart knowledge to society, especially the youth.
He said the youth were the most vulnerable to change and that imparting what they had learnt to them would help change their behaviour and improve their moral status as Muslims.
The 70 Imams were later presented with certificates of participation and urged to invite other Imams to join in the monthly programme.

Published in Daily Graphic on July 30,2010

agbogbloshie engulfed in filth

Agbogloshie market engulfed in filth
The Agbogbloshie market, one of the busiest market in Accra is slowly becoming an unhygienic place for the purchase of foodstuffs.
The market is engulfed in filth with foodstuffs sold in close proximity to mounds of waste and in open drains, piles of rubbish are stacked causing an unpleasant smell around the market.
Even though Zoomlion, a waste management company works day and night to help improve on the sanitation condition in the market, the attitude of the traders in the market towards their surrounding has failed to help improve the sanitation situation in the market.
It is shocking to know that traders defecate and pass urine right where they sell their wares because of the limited sanitary facilities available in the market.
Traders say they do this to prevent them from walking long distances back and forth and also loosing customers at this attempt.