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Showing posts from June, 2019

2019 Basic Education Certificate Examination

The 2019 Basic Education Certificate Examination, BECE is ongoing across the country.  517,332 candidates from 16,871 public and private basic schools nationwide are writing the examination. The candidates are made up of 263,616 males and 253,716 females. The examination started with two subject, English and Religious and Moral Education in all the 1,880 examination centres across the country. Reports indicate that it started smoothly yesterday without much hitches showing an improvement over the previous years. The only incident which is likely to dent the image of this year’s examination is the arrest of a Proprietor and Headmaster of a Private School in the Ketu South Municipality for allegedly registering 62 Togolese students as Ghanaians to take part in the examination.  The two are assisting the Police in their investigations. According to reports, the intent was to enable the foreign students to benefit from Ghana’s free SHS which is reserved for Ghanaians. It is sad citizens …

Ensuring Religious Tolerance In The Country

Kofi Amponsah-Bediako, Director of Corporate Communication, Ghana Standards Authority. The joint-observance of Iftar, the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset in Parliament by Muslims and Christians as well as other forms of collaboration among different religious groups in the country constitutes a very significant landmark in the history of the country. Accommodating each other’s beliefs and practices is the first step towards religious harmony, unity and national progress. Many a time, this behaviour, wrong as it is, comes out of ignorance. When people are aware and understand the essence of religious beliefs and practices, they will never be violent or clamp down on others who do not belong to their group. It is pleasant for people to belong to the same group and share common ideas since that makes it easy for their members to understand each other. However, that should not be adequate grounds for any group to antagonise another on the basis of d…

Importance Of Biological Diversity In Food And On Human Health

The celebration of this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity, is a wake up call for everybody, to begin to take seriously our changing environment and its implications for people’s lives. Biological diversity refers to all different kinds of life on earth including the sea. Biodiversity in the form of trees purify the air, maintain the soil, regulates climate, recycle nutrients and provides us with food. They also provide raw materials and resources for medicines and other purposes. There are reports by the UN indicating that more than 90 percent of crop varieties and half of the breeds of domestic animals are being wiped out. Furthermore, all the main fishing grounds are now being utilised at or above their sustainable limits. Ghana, is not exempted from biodiversity loss. This is evident in the disappearance of some indigenous yam such as Nkeni, Nkamfuoo and kookoasi Bayere among the Akans. In the area of local spices like Efom Wisa and Hwentiaa; these have almost vani…

President Akufo-Addo assents to RTI Act

It is commendable the speed with which President Akufo-Addo assented to the law on Right to Information. This follows its passage by parliament in March this year. The only snag is that it will take effect in January 2020. The road to the passage of the law has been quite tortuous as several attempts were made to jettison or frustrate its passage. The fact is that, the bill had gone through two decades of advocacy. It was first drafted in 1999 and was reviewed several times. It all started with the Institute of Economic Affairs, IEA, a policy think tank when the Bank of Ghana refused to give it information on the interest rate, inflation and national debt for national security reasons. If today the bill has finally been given Presidential assent for it to become an enforceable law, then we need to applaud all the players who fought to make it a reality. This is because it will put our democracy into a better state. Ghana’s democracy has been touted globally and the RTI law will raise…

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

In the wake of the September 2001 bombings of the World Trade Centre, the General Assembly of the United Nations welcomed the declaration by UNESCO for 21st May every year to be marked as a day for cultural diversity for dialogue and development. The relevance of marking this day is for the promotion of greater awareness on the crucial relationship between cultural diversity and development especially at a time the world is still grappling with terrorists’ attacks which have their roots in lack of basic understanding of cultural diversity as a tool for dialogue and development. Cultural diversity, if well understood should be a driving force for development, not only with respect to economic growth, but also as a means of leading to a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional and moral life.Cultural diversity is an asset that is indispensable for poverty reduction and the achievement of sustainable development. Indeed, a world with people with the same political ideology, culture, reli…

Shatta Wale-Stonebwoy Brawl At The VGMA

Report of Police investigation into the brawl between the camps of Dancehall artiste, Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale at the 20th Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, VGMA is heart-warming but disturbing. According to the Accra Regional Director of Operations, ACP Kwesi Fori, the two musicians will be charged depending on the outcome of the investigation. Rivalry between the two Dancehall artistes who have been battling for Supremacy got nasty during the music awards night temporarily halting the hitherto exciting event aimed at celebrating Ghanaian musicians. Stonebwoy is alleged to have pulled out a gun while on stage to pick the coveted Reggae Dancehall Artiste of the year award. His action follows a rather unceremonious attitude of Shatta Wale who mounted the stage with his Shatta For Life fans, while Stonebwoy flanked by his Bhim Nation Squad was about to address the enthusiastic crowd as has been the norm. Shatta Wale had earlier picked two awards but was not present in person to receive the…

Significance of Ramadan

Muslims believe that fasting in the month of Ramadan develops in them the real spirit of social belonging, of unity and brotherhood, and of equality before God.
This spirit is the natural product of the fact that when people fast, they feel that they are joining the whole Muslim society which makes up more than one fifth of the world’s population in observing the same duty, in the same manner, at the same time, for the same motives, and for the same end. “What is fasting?” “How does the fasting of Muslims in Ramadan differ from the fasting of other faiths?” “Why should one ‘torture’ one’s body in the first place?” “What do you really gain from fasting in the end?”.   It is important to note that Fasting in Arabic is called, “Sawm”, which literally means ‘to be at rest’. Fasting in the month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars upon which Islam is built. During this month, every able-bodied Muslim, is required to fast, every day from dawn until dusk In Islam, it is believed that Fasti…

Ghana’s Rosewood Saga

After the arrest of a Chinese national, Helena Huang, for transporting rosewood, the media have not been silent on the issue.  Barely three weeks after she jumped bail, there have been new developments on the rosewood issue.  The police in Tamale arrested two more trucks carrying containers of the timber species.  The truck was from Tumu in the Upper West Region.  This time again it was from a Chinese national.  A day or so later a truck load of rosewood with lumbering machines was intercepted by the Volta Regional Police Command.  This time five people were arrested, and it is alleged that the wood was illegally harvested from the Kalakpa Resource Reserve in the Volta Region. This came as shocking news against the background that rosewood harvesting has been banned in the country. Rosewood harvesting and trade in the country started with salvage logging first during the construction of the Bui Hydro Dam and later the construction of the Fufulso-Sawla-Road both in the Northern Region…

Ban on Fishing in Ghana

Nutritionists and health experts recommend fish as a very important protein in man’s diet with little or no side effects to one’s health. Aside the importance of fish in our diet, the socio-economic importance such as the employment it offers cannot be overemphasized. Research findings have it that about 2.6 million Ghanaians representing ten percent of the population are dependent on the fisheries sector for their livelihood.  With a marine coastline of 550 kilometres, stretching from Aflao in the East to Half Assini in the West, coupled with other potentials for Aquaculture in other parts of the country, there is no gain saying that the country has immense potential in fishing. The industry is made up of industrialized, semi-industrialized and artisanal fishers. The artisanal sector provides the bulk of the nation’s protein requirements. It has been established that if Ghana is able to maximise its potential in the fisheries sector, it stands the chance of exporting fishery product…

Success Story of Kintampo Health Research Central

Ghana is celebrating the success story of one of its health research centres, the Kintampo Health Research Centre, KHRC, which has exhibited 25 years of excellent work, though this feat has not been achieved in isolation. This attests to the fact that Ghana has great scientists and researchers as well as some of the finest brains in health research who are diligent in their field of work. Thankfully some of these research works have informed policy. The World Health Organisation (WHO) Country representative in Ghana, Dr Owen Kaluwa remarked at the launch of centre’s silver jubilee that, ”Ghanaians should be proud to have a pool of highly learned scientists who are authorities in their fields of work and are contributing to the body of knowledge not only in Ghana but globally”. Ghana’s first President Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah once said that, ”The Black Man is capable of managing his own affairs”. Perhaps this can be said of the Kintampo Health Research Centre which is an African bas…

World Resource Institute report of Ghana’s forest

The degradation of the country’s forest continues to attract debate in the media following reports by the World Resource Institute, WRI. According to the report, Ghana experienced the highest percent rise of 60 percent in primary forest loss between 2017 and 2018 of any tropical country. It’s cocoa producing counterpart, Côte d’Ivoire recorded 26 per cent of forest loss. According to the report, Illegal mining caused a large amount of the losses, and while it is difficult to attribute the exact location and amount of forest loss, expansion of cocoa farms in forest areas are said to have also contributed to this devastating development. Ghana, Cote D’ Ivoire and leading cocoa and chocolate companies pledged in 2017 to end deforestation within cocoa supply chains. While this is a promising step, the WRI expressed concern about the recent rise in primary forest loss, especially in protected areas, where 70 percent of the loss occurred. The Forestry Commission has however reacted to the …

Ghana’s Depleted Forests

The arrest of a 43-year-old Chinese woman, Helena Huang in an attempt to smuggle four containers of Rosewood in Tamale gives cause for concern especially coming on the heels of the recent deportation of another Chinese woman, Aisha Huang for engaging in illegal mining in the country. According to the Tamale Police, Helena failed to produce her passport, permit and other documents to show that she legally acquired the products hence her arrest. The fact is, Rosewood is a banned timber specie and felling, harvesting and export of these trees are prohibited. The ban was placed because Rosewood is one of the endangered timber species in the country and it take between 50 to 100 years to mature. In recent times there have been an uncontrolled logging of rosewood for export mostly to China which began in the Upper West Region some three years ago and the impact is being felt in the mostly farming communities. Communities have started reporting erratic rainfall patterns, storms, poor harves…

Safety, health and rights of Ghanaian workers

Ghanaian workers are continuously hailed for their endurance and patience, given the conditions and environment under which they work. Despite numerous challenges including poor remuneration and the general economic difficulties, they wake up each morning to go to work and contribute to a better society. The situation of the Ghanaian worker is such that, he or she is not bold enough to insist on his right to know the details of their work schedules from their employers before signing on to any job. According to a Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, Dr. Francis Nsiah, who is also a technical advisor to Health and Safety Group – Africa, many Ghanaian workers accept work offers in companies and organisations without knowing the risk and hazards associated with such jobs and end up with occupational accidents and work-related diseases. In less than a week, two very important days on the world calendar have been observed to pay tribute and celebrate workers, yet the Ghanaian …