KAIPTC, Partners empower Benin local actors in fight against Gender-Based Violence

Mrs Patience Agyare-Kwabi, Director of the Women’s Youth Peace and Security Institute (WYPSI) at Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, (KAIPTC) has emphasized the importance of capacity-building for local actors to the reduction of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the West and Central Africa sub-region.

She noted that empowering individuals and communities would foster stronger advocacy and education efforts in the fight against the GBV scourge.

Mrs Agyare-Kwabi was speaking at the opening of a five-day training in Cotonou, Benin to equip local actors with the skills to combat GBV.

It brought together 29 participants from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), legal practitioners, the media, religious leaders and traditional authorities.

The programme, under the theme: ‘Enhancing the Capacity of Local Actors to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence in Benin’, was organized by WYPSI of the KAIPTC, with funding from the Sweden International Developm
ent Agency (SIDA).

Mrs Patience Agyare-Kwabi

‘This initiative aligns with the KAIPTC’s broader strategic objective of supporting African nations in implementing the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) and the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security,’ Mrs Agyare-Kwabi said.

She also underscored the collective responsibility of all to create a future free from violence, discrimination, and fear for all women and girls across Africa.

The fight against GBV, she stressed, require a multifaceted approach, and ‘this program is to help you as local actors to play a vital role in achieving lasting change in your communities and country as a whole,’ she said.

Mrs Agyare-Kwabi encouraged participants to actively engage in the training and translate the acquired knowledge into concrete actions within their communities.

She remained hopeful that the training would enhance individual knowledge, foster positive attitu
des, and encourage teamwork among local actors-ultimately creating a more comprehensive approach to preventing GBV-leading to a safer future for women and girls.

Some participants at the opening session of the training

Participants explored existing legal frameworks, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (DEVAW), while highlighting the critical role of local actors in promoting a culture of peace, equality, and respect for all.

The participants were exposed to the growing understanding of the links between poverty, insecurity, and GBV, particularly in the context of limited capacity of local actors and low rates of prosecution of GBV perpetrators in many communities across the sub-region.

President of Benin’s National Platform on Religious Affairs, Sa Majesté Dada Daagbo, in his remarks commended KAIPTC for the initiative.

GBV in most communities, he said, often went unreported beca
use of fear of victimization.

He shared his observation that the workshop had allowed participants deepen their knowledge appropriate to preventing GBV in their communities.

Sa Majesté Daagbo who is one of the most important figures in the Voodo religion in West Africa, also highlighted the need for awareness creation, saying, ‘I would like to encourage the KAIPTC to endeavour to translate the key learning points from the training into the local languages of the countries where the project is taking place so as to help sustain awareness.’

Madam Myriam Capo-Chichi, president of Family Nutrition Development, an NGO dedicated to GBV issues in Benin, in her remarks noted that while Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in her country had invested in eradication strategies, Gender-Based Violence (GBV) continued to rise at an alarming rate, with women and girls being the primary targets.

She stressed that effective outcomes from the training would depend on the efforts and contributions of all local actors who com
mit their energies to eradicating the GBV scourge.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Israeli strikes deep inside Lebanon kill at least three people

The number of dead after an Israeli attack in Lebanon has risen to three and several others were seriously injured, according to Lebanese security sources.

The sources that a member of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia and two Syrian workers were killed in the attack on Friday south of the Lebanese coastal town of Sidon, some 55 kilometres north of the border with Israel.

Hezbollah confirmed the death of the member. The militia does not usually specify when, where and how its fighters are killed.

The Israeli military also confirmed the attack. It was aimed at a Hezbollah air defence position that had endangered Israeli fighter jets, it said.

According to Israeli military reports, northern Israel was earlier attacked with drones.

Several drones entered Israeli airspace early on Friday morning and at least one was intercepted off the coast, broadcaster Kan reported, citing the Israeli army.

The other drones caused no damage or injuries, the army said. Hezbollah has claimed responsibility for the attac

The group said that the drone attack was aimed at the headquarters of an artillery battalion near the Ga’aton kibbutz.

The situation between Hezbollah and the Israeli military has been escalating. Since the beginning of the week, there has been heavy mutual shelling.

Several people were killed on the Lebanese side, including a high-ranking Hezbollah commander. An Israeli soldier was also seriously injured on Wednesday.

He was still in critical condition as of Friday, Kan reported.

Since the beginning of the Gaza war after the Hamas massacre in Israel on October 7, Hezbollah has been firing rockets, artillery and anti-tank grenades into the north of Israel.

Israel is using air and artillery strikes to combat Hezbollah’s positions, which, according to a UN Security Council decision, should not be that close to the border.

However, the Israeli military has also repeatedly attacked targets deep inside Lebanon and far from the border.

There have been casualties on both sides. It is the most serious esca
lation since the second Lebanon war in 2006.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Two miners convicted for robbing a businesswoman

Two small-scale miners who appeared before the Tarkwa Circuit Court for robbing a businesswoman of her gold and money to the tune of GHS97,977, have accordingly been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment each in hard labour.

Eric Aheli alias Abiggy and Steven Oppong alias Sabato Particulars, both 25 years old, pleaded guilty to the offence.

The two prayed for mercy and promised they would not commit such a crime again.

Prosecuting, Superintendent of Police Juliana Essel-Dadzie, told the court presided over by Mrs Hathia Ama Manu that Doris Zawu, is the complainant while Aheli, Oppong and their accomplice Michael Arhin who is at large resided at Wassa Dompoase in the Wassa Amenfi East Municipality.

On February 20, 2024, the complainant retired to bed and around 0100 hours, Aheli, Oppong and Arhin entered her room with a single barrel gun and robbed her of her gold worth GHS62, 977 and cash sum of GH S35,000 after which they bolted with the gold and cash.

Superintendent Essel-Dadzie said the complainant repo
rted the matter to the Nkonya police for investigation.

The prosecutor said while investigation was ongoing, the complainant identified the convicts, and they were picked up by the police where a cash sum of GHS4,255 and GHS6,400 were retrieved from Aheli and Oppong, respectively.

She said Aheli and Oppong further revealed that they sold the gold to a gold buyer at Wassa Akropong, but all efforts made by the police officers to apprehend the said buyer did not yield any results.

During the ruling, the judge said Aheli should be sent to the Sekondi Takoradi Prisons, while Oppong would serve his sentence at the Tarkwa Prisons.

Mrs Manu ordered the convicts to pay an amount of GHS30,000 each to the complainant which might be recovered by way of a civil action.

She also issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Michael Arhin, and said the GHS 10, 655 retrieved from Aheli and Oppong should be given to the complainant.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Morocco and Ethiopia bid to host African Media Convention in 2025

Ethiopia and Morocco have put in bids to host the next African Media Convention (AMC) in May 2025.

They are the only countries that made proposals to hosting the largest media gathering in Africa, at the close of applications on Friday, May 17,2024.

The bidding teams of both nations presented their proposals to delegates before the curtains were drawn on the third AMC, which Ghana hosted in its capital city of Accra.

The Ethiopian touted their country’s long-standing history as the origin humanity with a rich tapestry of the arts, culture and ancient monuments.

The event, they said, would be hosted in the Adwa Museum, located in the central area of Addis Ababa. It is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture.

Its permanent collection numbers some eight million works.

The Adwa Museum was established in 2024, largely based on the collections of various items used during the Adwa war.

The team said though the people had gone through a lot challenges since their colonisation, they h
ad prevailed as a resilient, beautiful and progressive people.

The country, they said, was ready with its infrastructure, resources and favourable visa subsidies to host the event.

Two delegates were allowed were allowed to speak on each bid.

Though their bid was supported by one of the delegates, the other opposed it, saying accepting it would be tantamount to endorsing that country’s rather ‘high record of jailing journalists’.

Morocco’s bidding representative for his part, spoke about the longstanding peaceful co-existence among the diverse ethnic groupings of the country.

He said Morocco boasted a unique presentation of peoples of Berber, African, Arabian and European ancestry enjoying a beautiful social cohesion.

He said the people were very welcoming, the media was vibrant and the infrastructure were available to give the delegates a beautiful and impactful experience.

The Moroccan Government was ready to host the event, he said.

Both delegates who made contributions after the presentation suppo
rted the bid, saying that endorsing Morocco would ensure the inclusivity in the prosecution of the African Media agenda.

They said the first three events had been hosted by countries in the Eastern, Southern and Western regions of the continent. Therefore, it was just right to give the next opportunity to the Northern region on a rotational approach basis.

They contended that every country had their peculiar challenges regarding media freedoms and limitations.

However, a country’s decision to host the Convention should be considered as their willingness to learn from best practices for advancement.

Meanwhile, the Steering Committee of the African Media Convention, chaired by Mr Churchill Otieno, also the President of the Africa Editors Forum, will make a final determination of the next host nation of AMC in the coming days, taking into consideration the facts on the ground.

The three-day AMC was held on the theme: ‘The African Media We Want: Enhancing Freedom, Innovation, and Environmental Sustainability
in a Dynamic Media Landscape’.

The event brought together hundreds of participants across the continent, including policymakers, Ministers of State, academia, researchers and media practitioners.

The AMC is an annual conference providing a platform to reflect on the fundamental role of journalism on the continent, celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom and deliberate on measures to safeguard media freedoms.

The inaugural Convention took place in Arusha, Tanzania in 2022, followed by a successful second gathering in Lusaka, Zambia in 2023.

The forum also focuses on promotion of access to information, the safety of journalists and media viability in the African Union Member States.

It’s being organised by UNESCO Addis Ababa Liaison Office to AU and UNECA, the African Union, hosted by Ghana’s Ministry of Information, the Ghana Journalists Association, with various media partners.

The stakeholders have collaborated to develop an action plan and would advocate policies that foster a free, vibr
ant, and impactful press across the continent.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Sunyani Forest Services Division starts seedling distribution towards Green Ghana day 

The Forest Services Division, Sunyani has commenced the distribution of seedlings to stakeholders in preparation for the Green Ghana project scheduled for?June 7th, 2024.

It has?targeted the distribution of?400,000 seedlings for this year’s planting initiative, which is on the theme, ”Growing for a Greener Tomorrow’.

This initiative aims to promote environmental sustainability and increase greenery within the country.?

During a media briefing following an inspection of nursery sites at Nsoatre, Atronie and Sunyani in the Sunyani West and East Municipalities, Mr. Francis Brobbey, the District Manager, emphasized that they were fully prepared for this year’s Green Ghana Day.?

He said the office?had successfully raised 260,000 seedlings?ready for distribution but?was still waiting for other stakeholders?who?have been?contributing?to?the additional seedlings?to reach the district’s goal of 400,000 seedlings.?

He expressed optimism that the Sunyani District would surpass their target, just as they did in th
e 2023 exercise.?

Mr. Brobbey stated that?a variety of tree seedlings, including teak, mahogany, malania, cassia and ceiba have been?raised, adding that the seedlings were carefully nurtured for the purpose of reforestation and environmental restoration.

?He expressed the office’s?dedication to environmental sustainability and forest conservation, emphasizing the Division’s commitment to ensuring the success of such an important initiative and anticipated collaborating with their partners to achieving their shared goals.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana’s President pledges commitment to finding killers of investigative journalist Ahmed Suale

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says Ghana’s security network has not abandoned the search for the perpetrators of the gruesome murder of investigative journalist, Ahmed Hussien-Suale.

‘The efforts of the law enforcement agencies to bring the killers of Hussein-Suale to book continues no matter how long it takes,’ he assured while addressing the closing session of the Third African Media Convention (AMC), in Accra.

The ace undercover journalist was in January 2019 shot dead at Madina, near Accra, while driving home.

The motive behind his murder remains unresolved as the Police say they are still hunting for the killers.

According to media reports, two unidentified men on motorbikes shot him three times, killing him instantly.

The incident threw the occurred the media fraternity into a state of shock given the West African nation’s remarkable record of press freedom.

Suale’s undercover investigations had helped to expose human traffickers, corrupt officials and judiciary staff across Africa.

He w
orked with Tiger Eye, a highly secretive team of investigative journalists led by ace undercover investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

The murder of Ahmed Suale has since attracted global condemnation from various human rights institutions, civil society organisations and the media.

The African Editors’ Forum, organisers of the AMC, earlier in an address at the Convention, presented by its President, Churchill Otieno, appealed to the Government of Ghana to work assiduously in tracking and bringing the killers of Hussein-Suale to book.

President Nana Akufo-Addo, delivering the keynote address to end the Convention, affirmed the commitment of his Administration to protect the rights and interests of Ghanaian journalists.

Promoting the safety of journalists, he said, was a priority of the Government.

‘Freedom of the media is fundamental to the growth of any democratic society,’ he noted, adding that his Administration was bent on liaising with the media to advance the nation’s development agenda.

e three-day Convention was held on the theme: ‘Enhancing Freedom, Innovation and Environmental Sustainability in a Dynamic Media Landscape’.

It discussed the emerging technologies in the media landscape, advancing best practices amid the fast-evolving news industry and creating new revenue opportunities through partnerships.

The key highlights related to the state of the media in Africa, Artificial Intelligence and its impact on new media, bringing the newsroom into the business of news, and revenue and innovation-winning ideas for sustainability and growth.

The Convention is being organised by UNESCO Addis Ababa Liaison Office to AU and UNECA, the African Union, hosted by the Ministry of Information, the Ghana Journalists Association, and various media partners.

Meanwhile, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, Africa, has welcomed the President’s reassurance of the pursuit of justice for Ahmed Suale’s family.

‘CPJ welcomes mention of the case and calls for authorities in #Ghana to match words
with action and transparency. Over 5 years since the murder, who are the current suspects and what is the status of the investigation?,’ it posted on its X (formerly Twitter’) handle.

Source: Ghana News Agency