AAFCON 2024: 18 amputee players invited for camping ahead of continental campaign

Stephen Richard Obeng, the Head Coach of the national Amputee Football team, the Black Challenge has invited 18 players for camping in preparation of the 2024 African Amputee Football Cup of Nations (AAFCON) in Cairo, Egypt from 19- 28 April 2024.

The camping according to the communique would commence on April 5, 2024, in Accra.

The defending champions are expected to defend the trophy they won in 2021.

A statement from the team stated that, the reigning champions who double as 2023 African Para Games Champions would pay a courtesy on the Minister of Youth and Sports before camping begins.

The players, consisted of eight professionals based in Turkey, have already arrived in Ghana, to join their local colleagues in camp.

The players including three goal keepers (Raymond Frimpong, Atsu Abor, and Razak Seidu).

The rest were Emmanuel Allotey, Fuseini Iddi, Richard Ekwam, Richard Arthur Opentil, Yussif Yahaya, Sampson Larbi Sarfo, Mohammed Mubarik, Hamza Mohammed, Prince Nyarko, Cephas Anum, Isaac Kwabena E
shun, Timothy Hayford, Micheal Essiem Aryeh, William Brown, and Abdul-Gafar Mohammed

Source: Ghana News Agency

Vodza 2024 Regatta: Stonebwoy, others set crowd agog

Award winning dancehall and reggae artist Livingstone Etsey Setekle, popularly known in music life as ‘Stonebwoy’ has thrilled fans after he was massively received at this is year’s Vodza Ecotourism Initiative and Easter entertainment show.

The show, held on Saturday, March 30 at the Keta Emancipation Beach Resort in the Keta Municipality of the Volta region received a ‘crazy’ crowd with thousands of youths from the area and beyond attending.

Mr Jonny Jones, a Bhim Nation fan, in an interaction with the Ghana News Agency after the show, expressed satisfaction and joy over the programme and commended the organisers for the event.

‘I am so excited and proud of myself for seeing Stonebwoy for the first time in my life. We love him and we want this kind of show during Easter festivities every year,’ he stated.

Mr Jones further appealed to authorities, traditional rulers, elders, and heads of institutions among others to collaborate for better entertainment shows in the future.

Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, Foun
ding Member of the Vodza Ecotourism Initiative, in an earlier interview with GNA, stated that other activities, which include ‘Woezor Night’ was held on Friday, March 29, at 1830hrs at Villa Amore Beach resort at Vodza.

There was a ‘Midunu’ food fair at Lagoon Beach Hotel as well as a Regatta show at Vodza regatta ground at Vodza.

Meanwhile, Stonebwoy, before his performance on the night, paid his homage to Torgbi Sri lll, the ‘Awormefia’ of the Anlo State in his palace at Anloga as a sign of announcing his presence together with his wife and children.

Vodza Ecotourism and Easter Regatta were aimed at promoting and highlighting ecotourism among others for better improvement.

It also includes promoting local and international music for better improvement and progress.

Also, there were terrific performances from Chief One, Keeny Ice, and others who charged the crowd with an expected feeling.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Mastercard Foundation supports AMAATI Company to create 22,000 jobs

AMAATI, with support from the Mastercard Foundation and IDH, has created over 22,000 jobs for the youth on the Fonio value chain valued at 200,000 dollars in two years.

Fonio is a neglected indigenous crop, that has the unique ability to regenerate depleted soils after three years of continuous cultivation.

Madam Salma Abdulai, the Co-Founder and CEO of AMAATI, in an interview, said they also empowered women, making the now decisions makers in their communities and families, where they were respected because they were making dignified income that was very important to the Company.

She said access to land for woman in Northern Ghana was a challenge because women did not own lands.

The CEO said this had made them to work on people’s farms as labourers to make ends meet.

Madam Abdulai said it was then that she heard of Fonio and how it could grow on marginal land, meanwhile, there was a lot of lands in the North that was degraded.

She said the Company decided to get these unfertile lands for these women to
cultivate Fonio to enable them to make not just income but dignified income.

‘Fonio has the ability to regenerate the land after three years of continuous cultivation,’ she added.

She said the Company had also supported 4000 smallholder women farmers to increase their yields by at least 10 per cent making more income for them.

She said the Company had been able to link to market and they were working to let other markets on board to generate revenue for the Company and make them a sustainable business.

She said the Company had expanded from 10 landowners to over 5000 smallholder women farmers.

‘Generally, we have increased our supplies by 20 per cent because of this initiative,’ she said.

The CEO said the partnership had expanded the scope of AMAATI in terms of the smallholder farmers and their supplies for the past two years.

She said the partnership with the Foundation and IDH, the Company had been able to carry out ploughing services for smallholder farmers, provide seeds and support them with post-
harvest management tools to enable them to have quality products.

She said as a pioneering company reviving Fonio in Ghana, we facilitate women to have access to marginal lands to cultivate Fonio.

She said their mission was to create sustainable communities in West Africa using Fonio which nourishes the land, people, and society.

‘Our objective is to stimulate production and consumption of Fonio and its associated products by improving post-harvest processing and we seek to reduce the cost of processing, minimize production difficulties, improve the quality of the finished products, and increase the supply of processed products to urban and export markets,’ he added.

It has also diversified the livelihood of 4,888 smallholder women farmers by addressing their limited rights to land and natural resources and providing them with a unique opportunity to advance development for themselves and their communities at large.

Madam Fuesina Lamboo, a Fonio farmer and a beneficiary, said, ‘we do not need to suffer a
gain, and we are happy AMAATI is here.’

Madam Mobo Adasuo, another beneficiary, said, ‘we do not need the Company to leave our area.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Gundork primary school on the verge of collapse, pupils cry for help

Pupils and parents of the Gundork Primary School in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region have called on the government, non-government organisations and philanthropists to support the school to prevent the building from collapse.

The school’s structure has developed large cracks on its walls and gables, with all its supporting front pillars, especially from classes one to three, destroyed, exposing the iron rods.

The windows and doors of the school have also been destroyed while the floor has deep potholes, exposing school children to danger.

The school has 385 pupils, comprising 187 boys and 198 girls.

Master Michael Yen, a Class Three pupil of the school, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that he was always sitting in class with fear due to the deplorable nature of the building.

‘All the pillars are always shaking whenever there is a strong wind, and we feel uncomfortable sitting in the classroom because we are afraid it may collapse on us, and this is destructing our studies, so we want the gov
ernment to help renovate the school for us before something bad happens,’ he stated.

Mr Iddrisu Kabiru, the Assistant Headteacher of the school, noted that apart from the deplorable state of the building being a threat to the lives of both staff and pupils, the number of pupils also outweighed the capacity of the school, which was again mounting pressure on the building.

He said instead of a normal class size of about 30 pupils, class two had 60 pupils, class three had 95 pupils, class four had 75 pupils, class five had 59 pupils, class six had 61 pupils, and class one had the least with 35 pupils.

Mr Kabiru added that the only thing that was motivating the pupils was that the school was benefiting from the school feeding programme but added that the children had not been fed lately.

Mr Joseph Kologbon, a parent and resident of the community, said the fast deterioration of the structure could be attributed to shoddy work by the contractor.

‘In all indications, it is very clear that the contractor did sho
ddy work and must be held responsible if anything happens to anybody in that school because this school was built just in 2007 when our mud houses were already there, but look at it, it is even weaker than our mud houses,’ he stated.

Mr Isaac Wulug, the Assemblyman of the Zanlerigu-Dagliga Electoral Area, emphasized that there was a need for the Government to expedite action on the renovation of the school to avoid casualties and ensure the continuity of academic activities.

He added: ‘If we are by the assertion that these children are our future leaders then we must show them quality leadership by inculcating in them the mindset of improvement and this includes getting them a conducive environment to study.’

Aside from the trauma of sitting in such classrooms, some of the pupils also have no chairs to sit on and are compelled to sit on the bare floor with their books on their laps to write or lie on their bellies to write whenever they are given class exercise.

Madam Agnes Anamoo, the District Chief Exec
utive, said the school was really in a bad state, and while the assembly was considering the option of including it in the Gulf of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesion (SOCO) Project, other organisations could come in to help, given the urgent attention it deserved.

Source: Ghana News Agency

2024 BECE: Ketu South Education Directorate screens candidates’ eyes

The Ketu South Municipal Education Directorate has started screening the eyes of candidates writing the 2024 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in July.

The motive is to give treatment to those with eye conditions before they sit for their examination.

The exercise had already seen about 150 of the candidates from Aflao Central and East Circuits screened on Good Friday.

Those in Klikor Circuit are expected to have theirs on April 5, Agbozume Central and East, April 12, then later, Adafienu and Hatsukope Circuits.

The eye screening exercise for the candidates was being organised by the Municipal Education Directorate in collaboration with the Eye Clinic of the Ketu South Municipal Hospital, Aflao.

Mrs Linda Dey Kordorwu, officer in charge of special needs at the Directorate, in an interview with Ghana News Agency (GNA), said suspicions that candidates might be having visual problems led to the initiative.

‘I supervise candidates during their final examinations, and I see some of them struggli
ng. At times, I see them bringing the question papers so close to their eyes while others just stare among others. I, therefore, suspected that some of the challenges candidates face might not be examination fever but due to different visual problems.

Consequently, the Directorate liaised with the Eye Clinic of the Municipal Hospital and they, as part of their social corporate responsibility programmes, agreed to come and screen our children just for a token and refer them for possible treatment if necessary.’

Mrs Kordorwu said follow-up actions by the Ketu South Directorate would depend on the diagnosis and recommendations resulting from the exercise and, that could include a formal report to West African Examination Council to have fonts of examination papers enlarged for those who might need it.

Miss Fortune Agbevivina, an ophthalmic nurse and in charge of the outreach team, said some candidates were diagnosed with minor vision problems, including refractive errors (impairment in the ability to see in b
oth eyes – near and far), allergy and chalazion (swollen bump on the eyelid).

She noted there were others like glaucoma suspects, who would need to visit the hospital for further examination, saying that there were arrangements to link up with parents/guardians of those candidates identified with difficulty in reading and other minor problems, for treatment and correction prior to the start of the BECE.

Some of the candidates, who spoke to GNA, thanked the Directorate for the initiative while others said they suspected there could be something wrong with their vision thus, felt the need to subject themselves to the screening.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Advocacy groups intensify efforts to review laws on SSB

The Advocating for Health (A4H) Project, a coalition of public health experts, has embarked on consultative process on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) tax implementation in Ghana.

It was on the theme: ‘Taxes Build Nations: Evidence-informed Health Taxes Save Lives.’

It was aimed at bringing together key stakeholders to discuss the science behind food-related health tax policies and the current state of implementation of Ghana’s Excise Duty Amendment Act 2023 (Act 1093/1108).

It was also to review international and the local evidence on the effectiveness of SSB taxes in reducing sugar consumption and improving public health, discuss challenges, opportunities, and strategies for the effective implementation of the policy in Ghana.

The Coalition comprised of University of Ghana Public Health School, Ghana Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance, Ghana Public Health Association, Ghana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and civil society organisations.

Professor Kingsley K. Pereko, President of the Ghana Academy
of Nutrition and Dietetics, and facilitator of the workshop in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said processes for the review were initiated to look at the current state of implementing the policy in Ghana, logistical, technical, ethical, and strategic considerations.

He said the consumption of SSB has soared over the few decades, contributing significantly to the obesity epidemic, and linked to an increased risk of chronic conditions such as type two diabetes, heart diseases and dental problems.

Prof Pereko said taxing these beverages was also seen to reduce consumption, especially among high-risk groups such as children and low-income individuals.

He said the challenges persist, the evidence suggest that thoughtfully designed and implemented taxations can drive positive change in consumer behaviour, improve public health outcome and provides a sustainable source of revenue for health initiatives.

Dr Alex Kombat, Assistant Commissioner of the Ghana Revenue Authority who spoke on the SSB tax said i
t was the responsibility of Government to protect its citizenry against any health risks associated with consumption of harmful products.

‘One means of doing this is through imposition of health taxes on products that have negative public health impact, especially alcoholic beverages and SSBs,’ he said.

He stated that the implementation of the SSB tax as amended and backed by Excise Duty Amendment Act 2023 (Act 1108), started on April 15, 2023, and mentioned some of the challenges as low nationwide sensitization and food and beverages producers showing resistance to the tax.

Dr Kombat said the implementation of the SSB tax required total collaboration of all relevant stakeholders to ensure its effectiveness.

Mrs Irene Sam, a participant from the National Council of Parent Teachers Association told the GNA that; ‘We are really at the epidemic situation of too much consumption of SSB products.’

She said education on nutrition was key to solving SSB and called on the PTAs to ensure collaboration so that the
schools can have a policy.

Mr Abayomi Sarumi, Senior Programme Manager of Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa from Nigeria, also told the GNA instituting taxes to control consumption of sugar sweetened beverages was an effective way to reduce the consumption of harmful, unhealth and non-nutrition drinks and other foods.

‘It’s also important to draw attention of the public to the dangers but more importantly to garner their support for government’s efforts to combat diseases through this means,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency