Angola to miss U-16 chess Olympics

Angola National Under-16 Chess Team will fail to participate in the Olympics taking place in the Netherlands on 12- 19 August due to financial problems, ANGOP has learnt.

According to vice president of the Angolan Chess Federation (FAX) António Assis, the National Team will not participate in the event due to the lack of money to purchase tickets.

“FAX hoped that it would get the support from the country’s flag company, TAAG, in granting of five tickets to Lisbon, but it rejected the request for sponsorship’’, the source said.

In view of this deadlock, they will focus on the African Championships in Under 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 categories, male and female, to be held in Cairo (Egypt) on 01 – 09 next September

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Top five Fantasy Premier League in Ghana

With over 120, 000 Ghanaians playing various Fantasy Premier League (FPL) last season, the popularity of the game continue to grow.

After a three-month hiatus, the English Premier League is back with a bang this weekend and FPL managers would be devising the ultimate teams and tactics to emerge victorious.

As the season starts, FPL fans would be looking for some of the most exciting FPL leagues to join. Below, we have compiled some of the best FPL leagues to join based on the prizes and competitiveness of the league.

1. Fantasy Gold Nokofio Classic The top FPL league in Ghana is the Fantasy Gold Nokofio Classic League. Fantasy Gold, Ghana’s leading fantasy football platform is back for the third year of the Fantasy Gold Nokofio Classic league which is the most lucrative in Ghana.

Fantasy Gold also hosts a weekly league in which the manager of the week walks away with GHS 1000 cedis each week.

2. GMABC league Global Media Alliance Broadcasting Company (GMABC), parent company of YFM (Y 107.9 FM – Accra, Y 102.5 FM – Kumasi, Y 97.9 FM – Takoradi) and Happy 98.9 FM, the GMABC is entering its 4th year as one of Ghana’s top FPL leagues to join to win cash prizes.

3. GILO Fantasy League, Giloshop, one of Ghana’s prominent online electronic eCommerce shops is running back their popular fantasy league this year. Prizes include cash and electronics.

4. News Africa, News Africa are trying their hands at an FPL competition for the first time. Join their league for a chance at attractive prizes for the manager of the week.

5. Citi Sports FPL League The Citi Sports FPL league is one of the institutions of Ghana’s FPL scene, and they are back this year with another league.

Play for fun against Ghana’s best FPL managers for a chance at bragging rights for the year.

Source: Ghana News Agency

SADC’s economic growth stands at 4.8 percent

The president of the Council of Ministers of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Téte António said Sunday that the region recorded in 2022 an economic growth of around 4.8 percent, slightly above the 4.7 percent recorded in 2021.

The official, who was speaking during the organisation’s ordinary session, stressed that despite the challenges facing the region in the face of an adverse global context, there has been remarkable economic growth.

Téte António also highlighted the reduction of budget deficits in several Member States, as a reflection of prudent budgetary management in a context of restrictions and negative shocks.

The official also pointed out that the current account deficit as a percentage of GDP in the region improved slightly from 4.3% of GDP in 2021 to 4.1% of GDP in 2022.

According to Téte António, although the data referred to above are encouraging, there is much to be done in the search for deepening the process of industrialisation of the markets, since the risks that weigh on the forecasts tend to the negative side.

“Including geopolitical tensions, food insecurity, potential financial instability resulting from the contraction of monetary policy and the increase in debt levels, which requires greater commitment and dedication from Member States to face the uncertain and rather volatile context of the context internationally”, he underlined.

He praised the determination, unity and complementarity of joint efforts of the SADC mission in Mozambique, aimed at combating the threat of terrorism and violent extremism in Cabo Delgado province.

The Angolan minister reaffirmed his determination to continue supporting the Democratic Republic of Congo, with a view to restoring peace and tranquility in the eastern region of the country.

In turn, the Minister of Regional Integration and Francophonie of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Antipas Mbusa Nyamwisi, spoke of the vision of SADC 2050, Strategic Indicative Plan for Regional Development (RISDP 2020–2030), Master Plan for the Development of Regional Infrastructures (RIDMP), as well as the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2017-2063.

Representatives of the 16 Member States of the organisation participate in the opening session of the SADC Council of Ministers to analyse the various documents submitted by Senior Officials of the Committee of Experts of the regional institution.

The 43rd Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community takes place under the theme “Human and Financial Capital: Key Factors for Sustainable Industrialization in the SADC Region

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Bamenda: Men of God justify why they preach on streets

Men of God in Bamenda, the main City of the North West region are of the opinion that the gospel is not only preached in churches, but it can be preached everywhere be it on the streets or in marketplaces.

According to Apostle Roland a preacher of the gospel in Bamenda, “I preach the gospel on the streets to feel what people are going through and they are some people who hear the gospel only on the street because they don’t have the chance to go to the church, the reason being that they are some people who sell from Monday to Sunday and may not have the chance to make it to the church.”

Preaching the gospel on the streets and marketplaces is however always challenging as people are always busy with one thing or another.

“People listen to the gospel with the inner ears, I may be preaching on the street and someone that is passing might just grab a word from my whole preaching and God can use only that one word to change their entire life”

He also added that “you may not call the attention of everybody but the Holy Spirit is the one to convince and take the message into the heart of the people and my own role is only to preach it.”

However, some preachers on the streets rate the impact of their message on the population when they are in agreement with what they are saying.

Many people don’t believe the message of these preachers nowadays due to the rising number of churches. Some say some preachers are using the gospel only to make money for themselves by extorting the poor.

But according to Frank another preacher, in Matthew 22:14, “Jesus prepared a banquet and sent people to go and invite people in the highway because many are called and only a few make the right choice. Jesus Christ dealt with the sins of the world, the devil is fighting people to reject the message of truth because he knows that his own time is short and that’s why he is manipulating the minds of people by giving them the wrong doctrine.”

He also added that ” life is a choice and God has given each person the choice to choose between life and death”

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Angola takes over SADC Council of Ministers chair

Angola took over this Sunday the rotating presidency of the Council of Ministers of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which takes place in Luanda, focusing on human and financial capital.

This is the third time that Angola assumes the rotating presidency of the organisation, a position it already held in 2002-2003 and 2011-2012, respectively.

The handover ceremony took place ahead of the 43rd Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government slated for 17 August, under the motto: “Human and financial capital: The main factors for the sustainable industrialization of the region.

The ceremony was chaired by the minister of Regional Integration and Francophonie of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Antipas Mbusa Nyamwisi.

In his speech, the Angolan top diplomat Téte António said the organisation’s objective is to alleviate and eradicate poverty, raise the population’s living standards, promote productive employment, sustainably manage natural resources and improve complementarity between strategies national and regional agenda.

The meeting of the Council of Ministers takes place behind closed doors, and is expected to analyse issues related to financial support, legal instruments of cooperation in the region, as well as the evaluation of the implementation of the SADC restructuring process

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

The coconut trade: A path to women’s empowerment

In the bustling Agartha Market in Koforidua, a remarkable transformation is observed as women break barriers and reclaim their economic independence through coconut trade.

Coconut trade which was once considered a man’s job is now a source of economic empowerment for women like Aunty Addai and Akua Nimo, to a large extent its an opportunity contributing to Ghana’s fight against gender-based violence (GBV).

On Mondays and Thursdays, which are designated as Market days, you will find 40-year-old Aunty Addai at the Agartha Market in Koforidua in the eastern part of Ghana. Together with other women traders, she stands by heaps and sacks of coconuts waiting to make sales.

Before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the coconut trade was male-dominated, with men scaling trees to harvest coconuts and dehusk them for sale. In contrast, women like Aunty Addai, who sold seasonal food crops such as cassava and plantains, struggled to make ends meet. The pandemic dealt a severe blow to her business, leaving her financially dependent on her husband and vulnerable to abuse.

Aunty Addai, who is married to a farm labourer with whom she has four children, barely made enough to supplement the family income and meet the expenses of their school-going children. This dependency created a lot of tension in the home.

‘My husband would get angry at me over the smallest issue. Sometimes he would threaten to throw out my things or harm me. I needed to do something for myself to break the dependency on my partner which often resulted in fights and abuse,’ she told GNA.

‘I realised he was overwhelmed with providing everything in the house, so, I decided to do something to get income to support him,’ she said.

Aunty Addai decided to challenge the status quo. She recognised the demand for coconuts and the profit potential and shifted her focus to the coconut trade, overcoming her initial fears, she mastered the art of dehusking and found the business more lucrative than selling food crops. On average, Ghanaians consume about 30,000 tonnes of coconut a day.

Today, Aunty Addai arrives at the market early in the morning, sells out by midday, and no longer stays all day. She no longer worries that her coconuts will spoil by the end of the day compared to when she was selling food crops, where she sometimes, she had to sell on credit.

Besides the profit from the sale of 100 pieces of coconut, which ranges from GHS60-S100), the husks also fetch her GhS15 (less than two dollars) per sack. Companies such as Eco-fiber AgroSystems, Fiber Wealth and others use coconut husks to manufacture valuable products such as fibre mats, coconut fibre board, coconut fibre seedling pots, dish scrub pads, coconut fibre cold pressed bicycle seats, based shoe inner sole pads, foam mattresses, packaging

containers, egg carriers, automobile seat linings, hollow blocks, and corrugated roofing sheets.

The 2014 Demographic and Health Survey showed that eight in 10 women don’t own a house, one in 10 own a house jointly with their husbands and only 4% of women own a house. Moreover, nearly eight in 10 women do not own land, one in 10 own land jointly and nearly one in 10 own land.

Economic empowerment plays a vital role in combating GBV.

UNICEF notes that economic empowerment reduces the need for women to engage in exploitative relationships for financial security. The UN agency also observes that tackling violence in households requires social protection interventions to relieve the financial stress that drives intimate partner violence.

For women like Akua Nimo, who once suffered abuse in an oppressive relationship, the coconut trade provided a lifeline to escape and build a better future. The mother of two previously sold palm nut oil, but the business could have been more profitable if her customers had not defaulted on their credit payments. When her business collapsed, she became dependent on her husband.

‘He would refuse to pay for my treatment when I was sick. He said he couldn’t feed me and my children and pay my medical bills too. When I got money for medication, he would accuse me of seeing another man and abuse me,’ she said.

She gathered the courage and left the abusive relationship; a friend introduced her to the coconut business.

‘There were coconut trees in my grandfather’s compound, so when my friend told me that business was good, I asked my uncles to sell me the coconuts to save me the burden of looking for the fruits to buy,’ she said.

Three years later, her business has grown, and she employs young men in the community to source the coconuts, pack them on tricycles and ferry them to the market for sale.

Mrs Juliana Abbey-Quaye, an official at the Ministry of Gender said that women often stay in abusive relationships because they are dependent on their partners and lack the wherewithal to survive on their own.

‘Most women rely on their husbands or partners, and it’s difficult for them to leave even when their lives are seriously threatened,’ she said, adding that economic independence would enable women to leave such relationships.

A 2022 publication by the Coalition for Women’s Economic Empowerment and Equality (CWEEE) stated that preventing and responding to gender-based violence is not only an imperative human rights issue, but also a multifaceted economic issue, because GBV creates barriers to economic opportunity and growth, and economic empowerment has an impact on intimate partner violence.

Several UN organisations and other institutions working in the interest of women’s empowerment around the world such as the ODI report recommends that addressing women’s

economic empowerment should go beyond the individual and collective lived experiences to tackle the structural and systemic factors constraining women’s access to economic opportunities. Labour market characteristics, fiscal policy and other legal, regulatory and policy frameworks and gender norms and discriminatory social norms also limit women’s participation in the economy and must be addressed.

The coconut trade is rewriting the script for women’s economic empowerment in Ghana. Women like Aunty Addai and Akua Nimo have shattered stereotypes and proven they can flourish in non-traditional roles. Beyond mere financial gains, the coconut trade has enabled these women, to break free from dependency, strengthen their resilience, and stand against gender-based violence.

This transformation is a testament to the power of inclusive economic opportunities. Initiatives that empower women economically create a more just society and contribute to eradicating gender-based violence. The coconut trade is not just about selling a fruit; it is a symbol of progress, equality, and a future where women are the architects of their destinies.

This article was produced as part of the GBV Reporting Fellowship with support from the African Women’s Journalism Project (AWJP in partnership with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ through the support of the Ford Foundation.

Source: Ghana News Agency