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Showing posts from February, 2017

International Mother Language Day by Joseph Kofi Avunyra

Article 39 clause 3 of the 1992 Constitution enjoins the State to foster the development of Ghanaian languages and pride in Ghanaian culture. The State must also ensure that its citizens feel proud of their languages and cultural heritage. One wonders whether the State has been adhering to this constitutional requirement. In November 1999, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed February 21 as International Mother Language Day. The day which was first observed globally on February 21, 2000, was to promote linguistic and cultural diversity, multilingualism and to highlight greater awareness of mother language education.

In Ghana, the celebration of the International Mother Language Day has not been given the due attention it deserves compared to other International Days instituted by the United Nations. Students who study Ghanaian languages even at the universities are mocked at and branded as “unintelligent” by their colleagues who pursu…

Ghana: Need to adequately resource the State Broadcaster, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation

The need to adequately resource the state broadcaster, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), to carry out its mandate of informing, educating and entertaining Ghanaians in line with statutory principles is never in doubt. The problem over the years has to do with translating into action the good intention of properly funding the GBC. At his recent vetting by the Appointment Committee of Parliament, the Minister of Information, Mustapha Hamid, raised the issue of funding for the state broadcaster. He stressed the need for his Ministry to collaborate with the GBC to enable it to raise its own funds through the revamping of the ongoing TV license fee collection. According to him, this would make the GBC financially independent like the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC. The Information Minister said this in response to the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu’s question on how he would improve the quality of GTV’s Signal in some parts of the country including Ho and Bole.

It is an ackn…

World Radio Day and GBC’s role as a Public Broadcaster, by Teye Kitcher, a Journalist

February 13 is World Radio Day and it is prudent to extol the virtues of radio broadcasting especially in Ghana and the developing world. In Ghana, radio as in broadcasting has served and continue to serve various communities. Radio has helped in many ways to educate, inform and entertain many Ghanaians and others across the World. The history radio in Ghana dates back to 1935 when station ZOY was set up in the then Gold Coast. Since then, the coverage of radio in the country has been phenomenal especially with the liberalisation of the airwaves in 1996. Radio especially the state owned Radio Ghana continues to pursue its public service mandate with news and programmes that do not only educate entertain and inform but also enable the people to understand and appreciate government programmes. Radio Ghana and its affiliates in all the 10 regions of Ghana continue to make an impact on the lives of Ghanaians.

This is not to say that there no challenges. Radio Ghana has its challenges per e…

Dismissal Of Some Police Recruits

The dismissal of two hundred and six police recruits from the various police training schools by the police administration has attracted varied reactions from the public. To some the decision is timely and sends a clear signal that the police under the current IGP are ready to purge the service of personnel whose actions can undermine the integrity of the service. Others have a different opinion. Ghanaians are not ruling out politics as if all the dismissed recruits belong to one political party. That notwithstanding, the decision must not be commended or condemned without analyzing the issues at stake critically at stake. More especially because the institution is responsible for the internal security of the state.

According to the Police Public Affairs Directorate, those dismissed managed to enter the training schools with dubious certificates. This is fraud and constitutes a criminal offence. Again, there are many questions to be answered by the Police Administration as to why thoro…

Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation by Eunice Maasodong

February 6 marks International day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The objective of the day is to call international, regional, national and community attention to efforts needed to free women and girls from the adverse effects of FGM. The Day is also to accelerate actions towards its total elimination. FGM refers to any practice that involves partial or total removal or alteration of the external female genital organs for non-medical reasons. By a conservative estimation, about four million women and girls are subjected to FGM worldwide annually. Currently, about 133 million women and girls have experienced FGM in 29 African countries including Ghana and the Middle East where the harmful practice is most common.

Experts have argued that FGM exposes women and girls to a wide range of health issues. They include severe emotional and physical trauma, risks in maternal and reproductive health, sexual health , childbirth complications, infertility, risk of contractin…

A look at signing up to the continental free trade agreement by African leaders - Kofi Amponsah-Bediako

Over the years, Africa leaders have been criticised for not taking full advantage of opportunities offered through trade agreements to promote continental development. Even though trade provides an avenue for economic growth and development, Africa relies largely on external trade with less commitment to boosting internal trade within the continent. The bulk of Africa’s trade with the outside world is heavily concentrated on primary commodities. This has led to a situation where the continent has been subjected to external macro-economic shocks and protectionist trade policies. The recent global economic and financial crisis which impacted negatively on the continent’s economic performance clearly illustrates this point.

African countries on the continent need to demonstrate greater commitment towards intra-African trade in order to stimulate economic growth to enhance prosperity for their citizens. It is in this regard that one welcomes the decision of African Leaders signing up to th…

World Wetlands Day: Role of Wetlands in Disaster Risk Reduction by Fanny Nana Asamoa

World Wetlands Day is marked on the 2nd of February every year since 1971, after the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. The focus for this year is the impact of natural disasters, particularly drought, on wetland ecosystem. There will also be attention on wetlands in mitigating the effect of natural phenomena, including those worsened by human activities. This seeks to buttress how healthy wetlands can increase resilience to climate change and the effects of extreme weather conditions. It will help to ensure that climate change responses do not lead to serious damage to the ecological character of wetlands. Sustainable wetland management and the restoration of wetlands are critical in protecting communities from some natural disasters and to integrate them into relevant policies at the national level.

This year’s celebration also seeks to acknowledge how wetlands can reduce disaster risks, by acting as natural buffers …

Critical issues at the 28th Ordinary Session of the African Union by Kofi Amponsah-Bediako

The issues that emerged during the 28th Session of the African Union included the need for reforms in the United Nations, conflict management and prevention, peace and security as well as the rift between some AU member states and the International Criminal Court. With regard to the reforms in the UN, Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo noted that the proposals have been on the drawing board for over a decade. He pointed out that the time had come for the new UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, to play a lead role in the implementation of the reform proposals. The reforms include permanent representation of Africa on the UN Security Council which will also mean not less than two permanent seats on the council. The two permanent seats will go with prerogatives and privileges of permanent membership, including the right of veto. Other prerogatives and privileges will be five non-permanent seats for Africa; while the AU will be responsible for the selection of Africa’s rep…

The Significance Of Building A National Database Of Ghanaians By Dan Osman Mwin

The attempt to build a national database of Ghanaians is long overdue. It is in this regard that efforts by the current NPP government to work towards a national database should receive support from all Ghanaians. According to the sixth edition of the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, a database is “an organised set of data that is stored in a computer and can be looked at and used in various ways. This explains why it is significant for the government to begin the process of implementing a comprehensive national identification project.

It would be recalled that such a project began in 2009 on pilot basis and gradually covered the rest of the country, but the end result has not been satisfactory. This obviously has the necessitated current initiative of building a comprehensive national database of Ghanaians. The lapses in the earlier project can best be described as a grievous financial loss to the state with nobody being held responsible. The recent consultative meeting chaired b…