AFA President Osei Asibey pays courtesy call on Ghana’s Mission in Lome, Togo

Mr. Charles Osei Asibey, President of the Armwrestling Federation of Africa (AFA) has paid a courtesy call on Ghana’s Mission in Lome, Togo as part of his two-day working visit to the country.

He was met on arrival by the Deputy Head of Mission, Madam Adisa Yakubu who officially welcomed him to the country.

Mr. Osei Asibey thanked the Mission for their support before he came and explained that his visit to Togo was to strengthen Armwrestling ties between the two nations and explore opportunities for collaboration.

He mentioned that during his stay in Lome, he was scheduled to hold meetings with the Minister for Sports, the National Olympic Committee of Togo, the Director of the National Sports Council in Togo

He added that he was also to meet with the Togo Armwrestling officials to discuss mutual interests, explore potential partnerships for Armwrestling development in Togo, and inspect some sporting facilities in the county.

Madam Adisa Yakubu and staff from the Mission thanked the President for calling
on the Mission before he began his official visit.

She said the Mission was open to Ghanaians and they should not hesitate to call on them anytime they needed assistance when they visited Togo.

She wished him well in his dealings and assured him of getting a liaison between the Armwrestling Federation of Africa and the Togo Armwrestling Federation for exposure and collaborations in the future.

Mr. Osei Asibey was accompanied by Mr Godfrey Amarteifio and Mr Prosper Ashiquaye, Board Members of the Ghana Armwrestling Federation, Nii Otoo Larkyne, AFA Senior Referee and Head Coach of the Ghana Armwrestling Federation together with Mr Kenneth Odeng Adade, Head of Media at AFA and Ms Ila Kumah-Yeboah, AFA and GAF’s Visual Engineer.

Source: Ghana News Agency

ARHR/Partners, share key information for effective female participation in PHC services

The Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights (ARHR) and its Partners are working on an initiative to promote gender-equitable and intersectional approaches to policy implementation, programming, review, and accountability in Ghana.

This is to promote a better understanding of the situation of women and girls within the Public Health Care (PHC) system, beyond the data and assumption that there would be equitable access to institutional provisions and essential services for all sections of the population, including vulnerable group.

Ms Vicky T. Okine, the Executive Director for ARHR, said the initiative, supported by an entity called Co-Impact, had prioritised the areas for further action at the community, local and national levels, as part of the Alliance’s two-year agenda on putting women and girls at the centre of the country’s PHC system.

Its focus included policy implementation, building the capacities of frontline health care workers, ensuring that feedback mechanisms and accountability were accessible
to women and girls; empowering them to feel able to increase their participation in decision making around PHC, since the system offered them several opportunities to do so.

In view of this, the ARHR has recently undertaken two studies related to gender and intersectionality, as well as power and political economy issues.

At a stakeholder validation workshop on ‘Exploring Gender, Intersectionality, and Power in PHC in Ghana,’ Ms Okine said the emerging research findings and proposals would offer participants from academia, civil society, health professionals among other parties in the health sector, an opportunity to review the key issues related to gender, intersectionality, inclusion and responsiveness of heath care and essential services to persons with multiple vulnerabilities.

The study among others, explored what implications power, its location and exercise had on PHC delivery including women’s and girls’ access to these services and the knowledge shared would provide key information for in-depth di
scussions by the participants for onward application within their varied contexts.

Dr Esther Ofei-Aboagye, the ARHR Advisory Board Chair, who moderated the session said Ghana’s choice of PHC as a strategy for prosecuting the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda, required greater attention to ensure that people realised their health rights to access available services for improved health outcomes.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ghana Health Service (GHS) had initiated several important interventions including the 2030 UHC agenda and embarked on the Network of Practice Framework, to ensure that various parties worked together at the sub-national and national levels for people to receive the health services they needed.

‘We appreciate what is in there for women by way of their Maternal and Reproductive Health (M and RH) services and the fact that the Ministry has just reviewed its Gender Policy and brought it up with current development in the country,’ she said.

However, the ARHR perceived PHC beyond M
and RH service, with dimensions that were promotive, preventive, and rehabilitative; involved several players and institutions aside those within the health sector due to government’s collaboration with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other players working within the system.

‘So, if we want to put women and girls at the centre, we must know where they are, their concerns and what is required,’ Dr Ofei-Aboagye said.

She explained that the women and girls in this context were not a homogeneous group, but varied in terms of age, economic activity, status, education and geographical locations among others, raising the notion of intersectionality and the differences in vulnerabilities, all of which come into play to impact on the ability of women and girls to access their health care needs.

‘Maybe the needs of an older woman living in a remote village who has suffered from various health challenges including fistula, will definitely not be the same as her younger counterpart in an urban area who is highl
y educated,’ she said.

She said the Alliance sought to unpack all these things, to make Ghana’s health systems and policies more sensitive.

Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director General, GHS, said the concerns raised by the ARHR and its partners were of critical interest to the Service and health sector, particularly, the issue of power, where it was located, who was exercising it, and its effect on the service delivery, were key for better health outcomes.

He said, ‘We can put in the services and have the policies, but what happens in practice must be known.’

He said Ghana’s health sector compared to others in Africa, may seem to be doing relatively well with its 49 per cent coverage of UHC as of 2022, it was dangerous for any attempt to fall asleep with barely six years to reach the 2030 target, because the country had 51 per cent more to achieve.

He urged the participants to effectively engage on the study findings to fine-tune their proposals to inform health sector policy decisions.

There were thre
e study presentations by researchers from the University of Ghana (UG), Legon and ARHR involving topics on the: ‘Context of Institutional Arrangements and Relationships for PHC Delivery in Ghana,’ ‘Power and Political Economy analyses of PHC-related services and supply-side barriers to accessing these facilities,’ and ‘Gender sensitivity and intersectionality in PHC and related services in Ghana’.

Mr Benjamin Oppong-Twumasi, ARHR, considered what pertained on the ground in terms of the institutions, players, as well as issues of financing and the constraints.

The key findings and recommendations included improving financing for PHC, ensuring fair distribution of healthcare professionals, and empowering women and girls to participate in practices such as Community Health Management Committees.

Professor Gordon Abekah-Nkrumah, UG, also looked at the power and political economy of PHC-related services, drawing attention to the diverse sources of power flow, from national and sub-national levels, and considere
d how this influenced policy making or issues getting onto the agenda of policy makers.

He cited countries like Rwanda which had succeeded in having a coincidence of views and interests, enabling it to push through some of the reforms they wanted and drew some lessons for Ghana.

Prof. John K. Ganle, leading another research team from the UG, said Gender and Intersectionality were factors that impacted on both women and girls as well as men and boys differently, rather than an individualistic thing, but it must be looked at in terms of relationships, being relational at the family level, service delivery, institutional levels, and in the wider context.

Prof. Gale said both studies therefore indicated that at the household and community levels there were gender and power issues, and with these learnings the Alliance was going to apply them further to the Ghanaian context, unpack the issues and see how best to intervene.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Youths urged to shun social vices and embrace productivity

Togbe Dzogolo Atiamoah II, the Dufia of Mafi Dzogolokope and its allied towns in the Central Tongu District of the Volta Region, has admonished the youth to avoid social vices and channel their energy into productive endeavours.

This followed Togbui Dzogolo’s concern about the alarming rate of drug abuse and other destructive behaviours among the youths in the district.

He told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) about the importance of prioritizing the well-being and prospects of the youths since they would become the leaders of the country in years to come.

He lamented how many young people were engaging themselves into smoking marijuana, and sniffing unhealthy substances, which deteriorates their health.

The Dufia encouraged the youth to engage themselves in activities that promoted their personal growth, learning, and community development.

Togbe pledged his commitment to the well-being and success of the youth in the district and called on all relevant stakeholders to join forces to ensure that the future o
f the young people was protected.

Togbui Dzogolo called on individuals and corporate Ghana to support the youths in diverse ways to unearth their potential.

He encouraged the youth to make positive choices and strive for a brighter future.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Organised Labour declares strike over sale of SSNIT hotels 

Organised Labour has declared an indefinite nationwide strike beginning Monday, July 15, 2024, over the proposed sale of 60 percent shares in four hotels owned by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

This follows the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) approval of the sale of 60 per cent of SSNIT’s shares in the hotels, after calling for it to be stopped some two weeks ago.

‘From Monday, July 15, 2024, all workers in Ghana must not go to work until SSNIT publicly announces the termination of the process for the sale of its shares in the hotels,’ Organised Labour said in a press release copied to the Ghana News Agency.

According to the statement, the Group found it difficult to understand how and why NPRA would turn around to approve such a ‘flawed deal’ two weeks after issuing a directive for it to be stopped.

‘Organised Labour would like to reiterate its well-known position that the proposed sale of SSNIT’s shares in the four hotels is not in the best interest of Ghanaian w
orkers. We, therefore, demand that SSNIT terminates the process immediately,’ the statement added.

The NPRA on June 28 directed SSNIT to suspend its negotiations with Rock City Hotel Limited on the proposed sale of its four hotels; however, the Authority reportedly gave its approval for the transaction later.

The NPRA’s later decision was made known on the floor of Parliament by Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Pensions Minister, on Thursday, July 11, 2024.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Chief destooled for allegedly taking bribes from illegal miners

A traditional ruler who allegedly collected bribes from illegal miners in the Dormaa Traditional Area of the Bono Region has been destooled.

The Ankobea Royal Family of the Area performed customary rites to seal the destoolment of Nana Ansu Agyei, the Ankobea Apagyahene, and also the Mmrengyahene (sub-chief) of the Dormaa Traditional Area.

Before his destoolment, Nana Agyei headed a committee set up by the Ankobea Royal Family to fight illegal mining in the area.

Barimah Dei Kusi Gyabaah, the Ankobeahene (sub-chief) of the Dormaa Traditional Area and the Chief of Amasu announced the destoolment at Amasu and added his removal followed police investigations into bribery allegations levelled against the chief, who could not prove his innocence.

He explained the decision was taken to strengthen Osagyefo Oseadeeyo Dr Agyemang Badu, the Paramount Chief of Dormaa Traditional Area’s commitment to stem illegal mining activities in the traditional area and serve as deterrence to like-minded sub-chiefs in the area.

arimah Gyabaah explained that about a month ago, the committee received information about the sub-chief’s involvement and collecting bribes from illegal miners in the area, instead of helping to clamp down on their unscrupulous activities.

‘Immediately, I called the chief to ask him about the matter, however, he could not deny the allegation of bribery levelled against him’, he stated.

‘So, we handed the matter to the police who arrested him for further interrogations and investigations’, Barimah Gyabaah stated and added police investigations revealed that the ‘chief took the bribe’.

He explained together with other sub-chiefs of the Ankobea Royal Family, including the chiefs of Kwameasua, Benkum, and Nkrakwanta, the decision was taken against the chief.

‘We declared that from today the authority given to him by the Ankobea division as a sub-chief has been revoked and the necessary customary rites have been performed to remove him as a result of the bribe he took’.

‘This is to serve as a strict deterrent
to others and remind all that the royal family is serious with the fight against galamsey and no one would be spared if found culpable’.

Barimah Gyabaah said investors had shown interest in investments and creating more jobs in the Traditional Area, saying ‘We can’t afford to degrade and destroy our environment.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Kpone, Prampram residents demonstrate against abandoned road project

Some residents of Tema Community 25, Dawhenya, and their environs have demonstrated over the abandoned construction works on the 17-kilometre stretch of the Tema interchange to Miotso road in the Ningo-Prampram district.

The residents, including taxi drivers and food vendors, embarked on a peaceful demonstration on Friday to register their frustrations and to impress on thegovernment to urgently compel the contractor working on the road toremobilize and return to the site.

Over 100 residents participated in the demonstration amidst a heavy security presence to ensure law and order.

The protesters clad in red t-shirts with the inscription ‘fix Kpone barrier and Dawhenya roads now’ carried placards, some of which read: ‘This isn’t Politics, this is people’s lives,’ ‘Safe Roads, Safe Communities,’ ‘There is Enough Money,’ and ‘Kpone-Dawhenya Roads also Matter.’

Addressing the media after the demonstration, Mrs Frana Ayaba Wuni, the organising secretary of the Dawhenya Residential Association, stressed that t
he inconveniences residents went through daily were unacceptable.

Mrs Wuni stated that the abandoned road project was affecting productivity and took a toll on their health, as commuters would have to drive through thick clouds of dust when using the road.

According to her, their efforts to get answers from the Kpone-Katamanso Municipal Assembly (KKMA) and the Ningo-Prampram District Assembly (NiPDA) for the reasons behind the abandoned project yielded no positive results, hence embarking on the demonstration to get their issues across to the central government.

She said the 17-kilometre road served as an international road connecting Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, and other African nations, saying that it should be of great concern to the government to facilitate the processes to get the contractors to return to the site to complete the work.

She noted that the traffic on that stretch of road was unbearable, as road users could spend over two hours daily in gridlock.

The abandoned project, when completed,
is expected to have double carriageways, with four interchanges at Kpone-Barrier, Savanna, Dawhenya, and Prampram junctions, as well as an emergency route.

Source: Ghana News Agency