Wednesday, May 16, 2012


A TEN year old girl Amina who comes from Niger is calling all Ghanians to be very calm as we are in election year.

Amina has been in this country for the past 3 years as a street beggar. According to her, Ghana is a very peaceful country and the people living here are so lovely compare to her own country Niger. She was brought to this country with her two brothers and her sister by her parents due to the hardships of her country. The problems include lack of adequate water, food and many more. "Even though I beg for money and other things in Ghana, I enjoy the peaceful air that always blows around me" is what Amina told Central Press Newspaper (CPN) during an interview with her. She further noted that she enjoys drinking good water, eating good food, having good clothes to wear as well as having a good relationship with the folks of this country. When Central Press Newspaper (CPN) asked Amina to advice Ghanians concerning the upcoming general elections, she told the people of this country that they should be very patient in all the electoral activities so that the country will keep on having peace for her and her family, to continue their stay in Ghana. Amina went on describing Ghana as the most peaceful and loving country to live in Africa. She said this because her parents settled in some of her sister African countries but their stay in Ghana is the best, to the extent that they came to pick them up from Niger so they could be together in Ghana. Her parents, according to our source, have lived in Ghana for the past 7 years, they are still living well, and that is the reason why Amina is therefore begging all Ghanians to be very watchful as we are approaching election time.


The Kumasi Zoological Garden in the Ashanti Region is losing its revenue value due to its appalling situation.

The zoo, which is about a 1.5 km square area, is located between the Kumasi Kejetia Bus Terminal and the old Kumasi Race course Market. For the past years, the area has been counted as the most beautiful tourist centre in the region due to its attractive state at that time. That was the time that the zoo could see thousands of tourists visiting the garden per week. During that period, the cages in which the animals were kept were of colorful state, a lot of active animals as well as the lawns and roads within the zoo were also on display. Nevertheless, the system has changed now, due to a lack of maintenance in some parts of the zoo. This has really turned the areas once attractive to tourists into places very boring to visit. The internal roads leading to the cages are in a bad state, it makes the tourists who tour the facilities very difficult to walk on when it rains, compared to the old situation where these roads were tarred with kerbs functioning. This road has been destroyed by the erosion due to the poor drainage system that directs the rainwater to the main stream passing through the zoo. Apart from the roads, the cages in which the animals are living in are not also well to speak of. This is because some of the metal cages have not been coated for some years making them rusty. Wooden structures are not different from the metals as they are at a point that they could be use as fire woods. Some of these cages, including the cage of the python and the cobra, look very dangerous to visitors, especially kids. Again, bushes have taken the cages making it difficult for a visitor to locate the animals within the cages. These include the cage of the cobra again, crocodile, alligator and many more. This looks very dangerous to tourist as they try to look at these animals in the bushes, which by the time they realize, they will be standing close to these wild animals. In addition to the problems, some of the aquatic animals are living in mud instead of water. This is due to the lack of repairs of the pipe lines which are linked to these cages consequently the animals are living in to bad of a situation for their bodies to look fresh to attract visitors. Inadequate feeding of the animals cannot be left out as animals take just a meal out of three per day. This has made some of the animals grow very lean and they are not attractive. Part of the zoo leading to race turns the area into a very bushy paving way for harmful insect that disturbs the animals in the cages that are near to that area. Tourists are therefore calling the authorities to pay more attention to these problems for the zoo to come back to its first position as the finest tourist centre in Ashanti.


The Ashanti Regional branch of The Ghana National Fire Service has recorded an increment of about 100 percent fire cases at the end of the first quarter of the year 2012.

According to the Regional Commander Arhin Menasah who is the regional fire commander of the service, the region recorded 379 fire cases at the first quarter this year as against 199 fire cases last year 2011.The fire destroyed genus of properties with the estimated cost value of GH₵ 1,583,911 against GH₵ 768,190 last year. Out of the total of 379 cases recorded, 165 occurred in the month of January whilst 132 and 82 occurred in the months of February and March respectively. He further gave the areas that the fire occurred as shown in the table below

The Regional Commander told Central Press Newspaper that the area which recorded the highest fire cases in the first quarter this year is the domestic fires as in the table above followed by bush fires and fires at the side of vehicles with industry, electricity, others and institutions recording the lowest respectively. In addition, Mr. Arhin said apart from the properties that were destroyed by the fire, human life were not left out as they recorded one person dead and 263 persons also injured. According to him, the first quarter of every blessed year records the highest figures of fire cases due to the weather condition being dry season where by fire is easy to occur at any mistake that one will do. As most of the fire cases happened in various houses, he further said that much attention will be given to the people in the communities in the region by the GNFS on how to prevent fire from occurring, how to bring the fire under control and how to report fire cases to the GNFS. He also said industries, institutions; vehicle owners should also put positive measures in place to prevent fire outbreaks. Mr. Arhin explained that the service is well equipped to bring fire under control but, at times, late reporting of fire outbreak to the station. The lack of access to the scenes of reporting as well as the lack of water source is the problem that they are having now and he hopes Ghanaians will cooperate with them to reduce fire outbreak.


Tertiary education is at the heart of a nation power today.
In his speech, Yidana Peter, an Assembly member, first goes back over the history of tertiary education in Ghana.
It began with the Asquith Commission, appointed by the Government of the United Kingdom in August 1943 which wanted to promote education, learning and research via the development of universities in the colonies. The Asquith Commission identified centers engaged in university programs, like Achimota College. The aim was to train people
so they could work in the public service or could be leaders, this would bring about a better social and economic development of the colonies. Besides, the Commission wanted to set up university colleges in Nigeria and Gold Coast.
However, this project wasn't sustainable because of the lack of teaching support in both countries. The proposed solution was to set up only one university which would serve the whole British West Africa and which would be sited in Nigeria. However, the people of Gold Coast claimed they wanted their own university and that they'll provide funds for its development. And so, on 11 August 1948 the University College of Gold Coast was established, in order to foster education, learning and research.

This new university college taught according to the University of London programs, so the degrees and diplomas awarded to the Gold Coast's students were also degrees and diplomas of the University of London.

On 6 March 1957, Gold Coast became "Ghana" and took a real new importance in the international trade. In the context of international community, many others universities were created, like in Kumasi and Cape Coast. Nevertheless, the rate of attendance in countries in development was
significantly lower than in developed countries.
Thus, to promote educational programs, tertiary education and to diversify the specialities in science and technology, a reform set up distance learning programs via mail, radio and TV.

On May 1992 the 15th, the University for Development Studies was established to increase access, mixing agriculture, health, environment etc. The University for Development Studies has played a unique role in Ghana's education history.

Quickly, following the industrial development, technical education became essential to the country. Technical institutes were established in Accra, Kumasi and others cities. The Polytechnics were upgraded to tertiary status : they had an important role in middle-level manpower development.

Nowadays, knowledge is at the center of economic and social development issues in the world, this makes tertiary education essential for the Ghanaian nation.

However, a tertiary education needs opportunities and means, such as the transmission of
democratic values, the promotion of social behaviors and social cohesion. Tertiary education improves the cooperation between different sectors, which can improve the government performances, the civic engagement and lower social exclusion. Tertiary education also fosters social mobility.
So here are the challenges for Ghana today :

The government must rise the participation rate to tertiary education, which amounts to 2,5% of the population compared to 30% on average in developed countries. The main causes are the rapid growth of the population, the inadequate teaching, the limited infrastructures and the inequalities between men and women and the students coming from urban areas and those coming from rural ones. The government has a role to play to solve the problem of access : establishing tertiary institutions in the deprived districts for instance.

Another challenge is to fill in the mismatch between demand and supply of skilled labour. The government has to promote an efficient training system, because today too many students are unemployable because they have inadequate skills. Here, the main cause is a lack of linkages between training institutions and the industry and commerce, and also the use of obsolete equipment.

A solution can be for the government to establish a functional unit to forecast the demands and the size of the labour market, and establish the skill requirements of the labor market.

Besides, training institutions have to establish linkages with employers and trade unions, this could facilitate the recruitment of part-time staff from industry. Because, as Yidana Peter put it "these part-time staff should be given attractive incentive packages."


In my earlier submission, I defined Composite Budget as the integration of all the financial plans of decentralized departments into the Budgets of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

Composite Budgeting is an activity to give complete meaning to fiscal decentralization. Composite Budgeting has been on the drawing boards of successive governments since the implementation of the Local Government system derived from PNDC Law 207 of 1988.

This strategic decision taken by the current government became effective 1st January, 2012, as contained in a circular signed by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning. This political will to implement Composite Budgeting in fulfillment of the promise made last year by the current government is an ample testimony that the current government is not only a listening government, it is also a government that keeps faith with the people. It promised the people of Ghana the increase in the capitation grant and it was fulfilled. The elimination of schools under trees was one of the promises and gradually it is coming into fruition. The distribution of free school uniforms and free textbooks have been implemented. The expansion of the school feeding program has seen the light of day and the massive improvement in infrastructural development has started in earnest. The recent Memoranda of Understanding among Ghana and two companies in the United States of America during the recent visit by the President, his Excellency, Professor J.E.A. Mills for the construction of drains in Accra and the construction of the Western Rail lines are living testimonies. The establishment of the Volta University and a University in the Brong -Ahafo Region are dreams come true . Hopes have been kept alive with the fulfillment of these promises and faith and confidence have been renewed for the current government.

PREPARATION OF WARRANTS: Warrants which are financial documents that carry authority to spend under the approved budget were hitherto prepared in Accra and transmitted through the Regional Directorates of the Controller and Accountant-General to MMDAs. With the new dispensation, Warrants are prepared by MMDAs locally. Metropolitan , Municipal and District Budget Analysts are now directly responsible for the preparation of these Warrants.

By this arrangement these Budget Analysts are now among the key players in the Financial

Administration of the MMDAs .Hitherto the work of these officers were restricted to the preparation of only the SUPPLIMENTARY BUDGETS of the MMDAs. All Warrants prepared are signed by the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) This is to ensure that the Chief Executive is made aware of how each pesewa is spent under his jurisdiction.

Copies of these Warrants are given to Metropolitan , Municipal , and District Finance Officers (MMDFOs for processing and payment.

ADVANTAGES: The advantages to be derived from the preparation of Warrants at the MMDA level are numerous;.

A. DELAYS ,'Delays are reduced if not eliminated completely. Under the old system, sometimes Warrants for a particular MMDA found their way into another MDA in a different Region .It took time, money and all human resources to correct the anomaly. Payments unduly delayed under such circumstances.


There is now much more collaboration between departments and MMDAs regarding project implementation. Although departments of the MMDAs are under obligation to inform the Assemblies in their quarterly reports and briefings most of them did not adhere to this directive under the old dispensation.

C. CONTROL: The Control function by MMDAs are made stronger under the new system. Under the old system sometimes MMDAs were not aware of how much resource allocations were made to departments for the implementation of programs and projects. The new system provides the opportunity for MMDAs to exercise direct control over these departments of the Assemblies. Duplication of projects are now completely eliminated under this new dispensation and this development accounts for speedy implementation of projects and programs in the MMDAs.

D. DUE DELIGENCE : The new system allows for all processes to be completed before payment is effected .This is good for a better Financial Management System. When a payment system is allowed to go through all the laid down processes perfection is guaranteed and errors are minimized.


With every new system, there are bound to be challenges . The two main challenges imposed on MMDAs by the new system are the engagement of additional staff to assist the Budget Analysts and the additional cost of paper to prepare Warrants for all manner of payments. TO BE CONTINUED .


On Cape Coasts newest radio station, Live FM 107.5, every Monday to Saturday from 6:30 – 10, Nana Ama Gyanmaa Obotantim hosts a morning program as Adeakye Ebia.

I sat down with Nana Ama to discuss her career so far and what she believes the future may hold for radio in the central region.

In 2004 Nana Ama, also known as Ruby Osei Kyei-Baffour, got her first break in radio when she was given the opportunity to work at Elmina Ahomka FM, this was the beginning of what soon evolved into a successful radio career. As the only person in the newsroom at AHOMKA FM , Nana Ama says she became a mentor for herself. She listened to other stations and stayed up to date on world affairs by reading as much news as possible. Eventually she became the stations new editor, a position she held for 7 years. Then one afternoon Nana Ama received a call from the editor of Live FM. She had been recommended to him as a radio show host and he wanted to offer her a job at the new station. She accepted.

Nana Ama has been working for radio Live for 4 months and says that her last radio position at an older, more established station with a large variety of employees, and working at Live FM, a new up and coming station, are vastly different experiences. Despite this, she has adapted well and is very comfortable in the new environment.

The radio host also mentions a difference in policies between the stations. Live FM has adapted what Nana Ama describes as a more Accra style of radio. It avoids vulgarity and has a more formal feel then most Cape Coast stations. She says that radio live, aims to blend the Accra flavour with that of the local people so they can associate with the station.

On her radio morning program, 'Adeakye Ebia' the host focuses on a variety of current social issues. She says that while she does not necessarily intend for the show to be political, the issues she deals with usually lead to a political discussion. As an example Nana Ama explained how her on her first show at radio live she had a panel of a student and teacher to discuss some of the issues affecting today's youth. When the phones were opened up for public response Nana Ama says the callers were quick to narrow the issue down to politics.

So far on her show Nana Ama has interviewed a wide range of public figures and politicians. Recent guests include NPPs national communication director, Samuel Ausuku to speak about the party's new policies and the Central regional public relations officer on development within the region.

When asked whether she every gets intimidated while interviewing such high profile personalities, Nana Ama answers firmly 'not at all, they are human beings just as I am.'

Through her job as a radio journalist Nana Ama says she has grown to love politics. She explains that in her line of work this is necessary as politics is a constant topic of discussion within the community 'if it isn't football, it's politics,' she jokes.

Despite the show being relatively new Nana Ama has already adopted her own individual approach to radio interviewing. She says 'I do not tolerate insults on my show, if I bring in Politians and they start insulting each other, I switch off the microphone.'

On an average day Nana Ama who on top of being a radio host is also a mother and high school teacher, wakes up at 4 to start her day. She gets everything done around the house before 5 then rushes off to the studio. Once at the station Nana Ama prepares for her show, she says she always talks to her guests as preparation before they go on air. When her show finishes at 10, Nana Ama goes straight from the studio to her other job as a teacher at Efutu Senior High School in Cape Coast. According to Nana Ama journalism in Cape Coast does not pay that much, claiming, 'I do it because I love it.'

As a woman, Nana Ama is 'happy to find herself in a traditionally male job'. She is aware of her position as a role model, and this is something she takes seriously especially when it comes to gender issues which she says is something that should never be neglected. 'I am a woman and a mother, I have a responsibility, the youth look up to me.'

At the closing of her interview, Nana Ama discusses how 'Radio in Cape Coast is a little difficult.' Most stations in Cape Coast syndicate from Accra stations and 'Maybe we have the mindset that everything from Accra is better.' But despite the current difficulties, This morning show radio presenter is ambitious and confident about the future of radio live FM and the future of radio in Cape Coast. 'There is a new wind blowing, she says, I encourage the local people, especially the women, to show their support and contribute here and now.' Nana Ama says that she hopes to become an Icon in the Industry. She says 'the central region maybe small, but I don't see myself as small.'


Yaw Adjabeng

This edition, Central Press had the opportunity to interview a broadcast journalist of Ahomka Fm on his journalism duty at the station. I hope you enjoy reading this interview.

(CP) How did you get into radio?

(YAW) I was motivated to get into radio when in 1996 I had the privilege to listen to my cousin Senyo Adjabeng recorded program when he hosted the drive show on spirit fm in Kumasi. I had thought radio presenters were extra ordinary people but when I listen
ed to my cousin I was encouraged and started making steps toward my dream.
(CP) Ok thanks but what motivated you to go into radio ?

(YAW) I started by featuring on radio quizzes on radio central health quiz which was hosted by yaw Opoku Agyeman (mighty) till 2004 when I enrolled at a radio seminar organised by Eagle fm. I was motivated by the fact that I had some inner edge to let people know the truth, be informed
and entertained the right way.
(CP) Were you formally trained as a broadcaster?
Yaw Adjabeng
(YAW) Yeah I got training from Radodeff Tommy Anna Forsons school and underwent refresh course as the time passed.

(CP) What are some of the refresher courses?

(YAW) Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association GIBA, Ghana Advocacy Group, Child Right International in collaboration with Ghana Journalist Association and couple of others

(CP) How do you get ready for your programmes on Saturdays?

(YAW) "hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm" unlike other stations in Accra most of the stations in Cape Coast do not have producers so it is the duty of the presenter to do all the links before the day. The Saturday morning program is a 5 hour show so it should be segmented such that it would not be boring. It is a host of variety; a lot of reading and careful selections of material come into play. The segments are health, entertainment issues that made the headlines for the week, life style consumer check phone in and political discussion.

(CP) How do you control the political discussions?

(YAW) Controlling panellist is one of the difficult aspect of the job because you do not know what the person will say until it comes out of his mouth so you have to pay particular attention to what they say and bring them to order when they go astray and probably let them retract when the need arises. Sometimes in my quest to do my job I am branded party A or B and
it is funny "hahahahahahaha".
(CP) Why is it that politicians are only invited to discuss issues from the newspaper ? Is that the best and what is the way forward to improve quality programmes?

(YAW) Personally I think the idea of inviting politicians to discuss political issue that come in the news papers is one of the
reasons for the tension in the country it is about time we use experts in the issues of discussion, people like the professors; lectures; Engineers; Medical Doctors; Lawyers; and other professionals, to discuss some of the issues that come up in our newspapers because every politician who is invited may want to score cheap political point for his or her party.
To improve the quality of programmes the station must take keen interest in the personalities that come on air and issues that will be discussed and if possible all stations must get the delay broadcasters equipment, so unwanted speeches will not go on air to fuel tension. Finally it is the responsibility of all journalists to ensure that whatever they air is not politically motivated though sometimes politicians may try to influence our sense of judgement and direction we always feel guilty when our hands are in the mouth of someone and must work to please them, that is selfish journalism and unprofessional.

(CP) Are media
jobs well payed jobs?
(YAW) It depends on which media house you are working for and the role you play but generally it is not too good.

(CP) What do you hope to achieve in radio in the next five years?

(YAW) The next five should see me establishing my own radio station and helping the youth with interest in radio realise their dream.


Kokrobite beach, one of the most popular spots in the country, plays an important role in the tourism industry of Ghana.

Situated in the small fishing village of Kokrobite, about 30 km west from Accra, is Kokrobite beach. This beach, located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, is a very popular tourist spot for both locals and foreigners. Indeed, for Accra residents Kokrobite beach is an excellent chill-out venue.

Renowned for its serene and natural environment, Kokrobite is also the famous home of the Academy of African music. It is a place for both relaxation as well as dancing.

Some tourists are drawn to Kokrobite by the promise of clean white beaches, nice restaurants, beautiful beach front hotels and a lively atmosphere added to by the musicians playing drums and singing on the sand.

Other tourists are fascinated by the areas fishing culture. Indeed, during the day, fishermen can be seen pulling in nets full of fish from the ocean hour after hour. Sometimes tourists help the fishermen. This relationship between the local workers and the tourists is significant and unique, adding to Kokrobite's appeal.

Another attraction of Kokrobite is the nearby monkey sanctuary for where tourists who wake up early enough will be rewarded with the opportunity to see the creatures close up.

The beach front hotels play a large part in the success of Kokrobite beach. Particularly popular with the tourists is Big Milly's Backyard, a great little hotel owned by an English lady and her Ghanaian husband. These hotels provide a quiet place to relax in beautiful surroundings. In the evening Big Milly's Backyard welcomes African music groups to liven up the night with their singing, dancing and drumming shows.

Obviously, climate contributes to the success of the resorts at Kokrobite. As the weather is sunny on average, tourists flood in all year long. However, according to Wendy, the proprietor of Big Milly's Backyard, nicknamed Milnel "the period where the tourism is really important is mostly on New Year's Eve and during the Christmas time." Indeed, during December while it is winter in many western countries, the inhabitants, particularly in Europe, leave their countries to go to some place warm and sunny.

Weekends are also often busy. Big Milly's Backyard welcomes around fifty tourists in a weekend. But it is rather quiet during the raining season, of May and June.

Of course the popularity of Kokrobite and the almost constant presence of tourists has its draw back. Like many tourist destinations, theft at Kokrobite is not uncommon. Several tourists are robbed each year, there have even been reports of mugging. Therefore, taking cameras, money or other valuables to the beach is not advised.

Another potential danger for tourist is the sea which can be rough and unpredictable. Tourists on the beach are alerted to this danger by signs that read : 'The sea may be rough, you swim at you own risks.'

In spite of these small and rather common dangers for tourists, the enchanting beaches of Kokrobite are not to be missed by travellers to Ghana. The area draws many people each year contributing to the country's tourism and local economy. Ghana has a great potential in the tourism and it has to promote it.


For many generations, the people of Nzulezo have lived in the same way on the stilt village, enjoying its advantages and accepting its drawbacks.

The stilt village of Nzulezo lies on the freshwater of the Lake Amansuri, 5km from Beyin. The village consists of one solid construction raised above water, made up of wood and raffia, with a central walkway. Nzulezo can only be reached by canoe, along the Amansuri River, a journey that lasts around forty minutes. The village is home to 500 people and has its own school.

Over the years, this unique village has become a tourist attraction, welcoming on average 400 tourists per week. Despite this, the authenticity of Nzulezo has been maintained. There are only two guesthouses for tourists who wish to stay overnight in Nzulezo and there are no tourist shops or extra additions to spoil the charm of this special place.

Unfortunately, tourists in Nzuleo today may find themselves feeling a little unwelcome. After years of catering for tourism, the people appear to have grown somewhat tired of strangers tramping through their small community. According to one of the village guides, there was an incident with a tourist a few years back who had stayed overnight in the village and taken a photo of a local woman naked. The guide believed this was a major reason for the local people's apparent mistrust in tourists and aversion to cameras even when not pointed in their direction. The signs around the village instruct that tourist 'Ask for permission before taking pictures.' Nevertheless, it seems unlikely to find a local who would agree.

At the same time, Nzulezo actually relies quite heavily on its tourism industry. And the guides are sure to explain that the money taken for photographs, guide fees, the actual visit and a required donation will all go towards the village and in particular, the school which is funded almost wholly by the village tourism. This creates a somewhat paradoxical existence for tourism in the stilt village.

For the residence of Nzulezo, their unique way of living poses some issues, like the question of the healthcare access. When asked about healthcare access, Tommy, a local guide appeared somewhat amused, laughing off the question like it was a joke. Indeed, there is no access to healthcare within the village. The inhabitants of Nzulezo must reach the nearest town for medical treatment. This journey includes the 40 minute canoe ride which is the only means of getting to and from the village. Pregnant women, according to the guide, sometimes choose to take a canoe and then a bus to reach the nearest town with a hospital, while others give birth in the stilt village without any assistance from medical professionals.

Another intriguing aspect of life in Nzulezo is their access to food and electricity. In fact, electricity in the town is so recent, a trip to Nzulezo a few days ago found it still being installed. As for the food, the population of Nzulezo is composed of fishermen and agriculturists who fertile fields that lie about a 1km north of the lake, providing a major part of the village food supply. The Nzulezo inhabitants can also visit a closer by town of Beyin for other basic supplies.

The still village of Nzulezo is nothing if not unique. It is this element that continues to draw the tourists year after year. A trip to Nzulezo will not disappoint. The canoe ride is enjoyable, the outlook quite spectacular and not to mention the still village that is a wonder in itself. However, tourists will not be greeted with cheers and smiles and should prepare for a probable less the friendly greeting. Be respectful of the people and do not come empty-handed. Donations are a requirement.


Projects Abroad runs an ICT program that offers volunteers the opportunity to visit schools around the country and help students develop their computer skills.

The project has proven to be quite popular, with 100 volunteers having already participated since January.

Despite its popularity there are a number of issues associated with the program, a major one being lack of resources.

Although IT is, part of the national curriculum many schools, particularly within the smaller regions and communities only have blackboards as a teaching resource. According To Grant Appiah, Project Abroad co-coordinator for the Central Region, most schools are fortunate to have a single computer; some do not even have electricity.

This is particularly true in public schools in which a lack of resources means their education is greatly disadvantaged.

Schools try to teach IT as best as they can but often it is only theory and when it actually comes down to practicing computer skills, a majority of students lacks any knowledge or confidence in what is quickly becoming globally recognized as a vital skill. Often the subject is altogether overlooked.

During the recent school holidays, Grant Appiah came up with an initiative to hold a specialist IT program, which encouraged students to take some time out from their holidays to participate in a computer skills workshop.

The first step in putting this plan into action, was finding a space with the necessary resources to hold the IT workshops. Grant and the Projects abroad team made a partnership with FODACH Foundation, a humanitarian organization that exists to further the development of Ghanaian youth, and were then able to get their hands on a space once used as an internet caféwith 12 computers.

Letters were sent out to schools in 3 communities in Abura, Kakumado and Essuekyir. The program was targeted at students aged around 10 to 15 or 16 and was to run from the 16th of April to the 2nd of May.

George Derhitoee a High school teacher from Los Angeles in the United State of America joined the Projects Abroad IT program in Cape Coast fresh from 4 months in Sri Lanka where he had been involved in a similar program with Projects Abroad. Georges experience both with volunteering and as a teacher made him the ideal candidate for the specialist holiday program. According to Grant George basically pioneered the project. His role involved everything thing from writing the lesson plans to supervising the other three volunteers who also helped with the workshops.

The program had a great first response with 200 plus students signing up for the program initially. During the actual program, the workshops had about 60 participants all up, with around 40- 45 sticking attending consistently and actually completing the program.

According to Grant Appiah the Regional Coordinator, the idea of the project was not just to teach IT to the students but to engage them and encourage them with their learning.

Of course there were a few complications involved in the execution of the IT workshop. Technical issues were somewhat of an inconvenience at times but the main challenge overall was only having 12 computers with up to 60 kids, the students had to make do with sharing, taking turns to observe and actually operate the machine throughout the workshop.

Despite the difficulties, Appiah believes the kids have responded really well, a test completed at the end of the course produced mostly average and some above average scores. Considering that, according to George, many of the students had never used a computer before; this is a very positive outcome.

To further the success of this IT program, Mr. Appiah noted that the project needs commitment from the community.

The schools have the responsibility to make the kids aware of the program, and encourage them to participate. Families must also allow their children to be involved in this program for the benefit of their education.

As this project is being funded wholly by projects abroad and is completely non-profitable, he disclosed that donations of resources from institutions within the community would be extremely beneficially to the cause.

Overall, Mr. Appiah believes the project was quite successful and is hoping to continue the program with another workshop taking place throughout August.


After 14 years working for Projects Abroad, as the Country Director in Ghana, Tom Davis, on his recent appointment as the Country Advisor, describes what he thinks makes the program an on going success.

Tom Davis, recently retired Country Director for Projects Abroad Ghana, has been with the program from its very beginning. In 1997, after spending some 10 years abroad living in the UK, Mr Davis returned to his home country, to help the Organization expand its program into the country.

A British based organization established in 1992, Projects Abroad had experienced success operating development projects in India and was looking to expand. Tom Davis' local heritage and cultural understanding made him an asset to the company during its expansion into Ghana.

For the next 14 years, 8 years spent as Deputy Director and 6 years as Country director, Tom played a major role in developing and expanding the program throughout the country.

'At first we were only operating in Accra,' Tom explains, 'during that first year there were about 3 or 4 people on staff and we had 10 volunteers go through the program.'

According to Mr Davis one of the major challenges he faced with the initial establishment of the program, was acquiring host families for the volunteers. 'I had to contact the families individually, Tom recalls, 'it was important that we helped them understand and accept the nature of the project and eventually they came round.'

As the Projects Abroad Ghana gained gradual success the program was expanded first into Cape Coast, then into the Hills until eventually the organization was operating in 6 of the country's regions.
Today Projects Abroad Ghana has around 40 to 45 staff members dispersed throughout the country and sees about 2000 volunteers go through the program every year.

Over the years Tom has gained the respect and admiration of his staff and fellow Projects Abroad employees. Grant Appiah , Central Regional Director says it was Tom who interviewed him 6 years ago when he first joined the organization, since then Appriah has seen Davis as somewhat of a father figure. He says if he ever has a problem it is Tom who he would call. Grant says he speaks to Tom on a daily basis.

A credit to Tom as director, the Ghana branch of Projects Abroad is often considered one of the organizations most successful and popular programs by staff and volunteers worldwide. Upon being questioned about this success, Tom says that a lot of it comes down to years of hard work and dedication from him and the Projects Abroad team.

Tom credits his staff, stating that the employees at Projects Abroad are well trained and highly capable of handling the preparation that is required. He also mentions a rapid response rate that allows for a high intake of volunteers who are can feel that their needs are met and that they are taken care of.

Through the this program Tom Davis and Projects Abroad offer a unique opportunity for volunteers to experience this vibrant and fascinating country while giving back to the local community. It also presents the opportunity to showcase the country, boost tourism and contribute to the economy. In Mr Davis own words, "everybody wins."

While Tom Davis has officially stepped down as country director for Projects Abroad Ghana, he will temporarily be taking up an advisory role and says that the future of the organization looks bright.

He states 'We are proud of the work we have done so far and we look forward to the future.'

According to Tom Davis 'Projects Abroad is here to stay'.


Media use to have a huge clout in the Rwandan genocide, Ghana may learn from that.

The Rwandan genocide began in 1994. According to the Human Right Watch, around 800,000 people from the Rwandan minority named "Tutsis" were killed by the "Hutus" during the 100 days the genocide lasted. Besides, the Hutus forced 200,00 Tutsis out of Rwanda, still according to the Human Right Watch. The massacres ended when the Tutsi-led Rwanda Patriotic Front, backed by Uganda, overthrew the Hutu regime. This genocide was the result of a hate speech.

Today, the situation in Ghana seems pretty similar to what it was in Rwanda in 1994. In these elections circumstances, the country appears to be quite divided. Indeed, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is launching a campaign which looks like a hate speech.

Kenndy Agyapong broadcasted a genocidal speech, stressing the opposition between Gas and Volatrians. It is said that the NPP would lynch any fake policeman and soldier the NDC would deploy during the elections. NPP's bigotry dates back several decades and transcends all political regimes in Ghana but in these elections circumstances, the situation has degenerated. To quote Elizabeth F. Defeis, professor of law at Seton Hall University School of Law, in her article "Freedom of Speech and International Norms : a response to Hate Speech" : "the nation of Ghana witnesses a dramatic increase in incidents directed towards ethnic, religious and racial minorities, that has accompanied recent global upheavals."

The Hate Speech in Ghana consists in the development of intemperate speeches expressed by some politicians whose will is to plunge the nation into the chaos ahead of the 2012 December elections. Consequently, several demonstrations took place in March against the hate speech in order to raise the awareness of the people and to show that Ghanaians' goals, dreams and aspirations cannot be achieved if Ghana isn't a peaceful and coherent nation.

Unfortunately, in spite of these peaceful demonstrations, the hate speech is dividing Ghana. The Muslim Coalition for Reformation condemns those "inflammatory speeches" that are likely to create inter-religious conflicts in Ghana.

Many international human right conventions are reacting on this hate speech topic. They claim that a freedom of speech is essential and recognized throughout the world but some limits lie. Indeed, these conventions remind people that, on another side, equality and non-discrimination must be respected.

What is the place of the press in this kind of situation ?

In Rwanda, in December 2003, the judges of the International Criminal Tribunal condemned three journalists for "direct and public incitement to genocide". According to them : "those who control the media are accountable for its consequences." Hassan Ngeze, one of the three journalists condemned, had published in his newspaper the "Hutu Ten Commandments" that fostered an anti-Tutsi feeling : he was accused to support the genocide.

Indeed, to live up to the people's expectations, media must not be bias in their coverage, particularly towards small political parties.

In the democracy of Ghana, the free press broadcasts the NPP's hate speech because it has to inform people, but, by broadcasting a genocidal speech, media can be the cause of a national division.

The Rwanda "Media Trial" which opened on 23 October 2000 raises the issue of free speech rights : what kind of speech is protected and where are the limits ?

In Ghana, the consequences are that the hate speech involves insults and the abuse of the freedom of expression have become very important. Indeed, there is no specific law against Hate Speech in the country to address the growing abuse of freedom of expression, contrary to UK for instance. However, according to Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, the Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance : "We don't need a specific hate speech law (…) we don't want hate speech."

But what about the international law ? The Genocide Convention declares that "a direct and public incitement to commit genocide" is a crime. Incitement means any act employed to encourage or persuade someone to commit an offence by way of communication : broadcasts, publications, speeches, drawings etc. The offence is public under international law if communicated to a number of individuals in a public place, meaning the mass media.

And so, how far can the freedom of the press go ?

The role of the media is indispensable to the building of democracy in Ghana, however the freedom of media means that everything can be said in newspapers, on radio or TV. Indeed, there is no democracy without freedom of expression, but when that freedom promotes the hate between people, must the newspapers broadcast it ? Because if they do, as some did in Rwanda, they become accountable for the genocide.

That's the paradox of democracy : everyone can claim his hate towards another, from a different ethnic for instance, and no one can prevent that, because it would be obstructing democracy itself.

The consequences of this freedom of expression on any kind of topic may be terrible for a nation. Therefore, media must be aware of the importance of the role they play in the democracy. They have to be careful : you can destroy the democracy by promoting it.

To conclude, Ghana must keep in mind what happened in Rwanda. The broadcasting of a hate speech can bring about a civil war and the destruction of a country for years.


The Kotokuraba market, located in the city centre of Cape coast, will be reconstructed into a modernised complex in the near future, bringing in a promising picture for the trader community.

The twilight of this construction project appeared on the horizon for over 1500 traders selling in this market, as a Chinese construction company came in weeks ago and tore down the roofs of the stalls. Traders were asked to relocate to the nearby two stations and their original stalls were demolished to pave way for the new market that will be starting construction, with a genuine hope, within the next few months.

"The new complex of Kotokuraba market will be a community-like area where good facilities are made available to the traders." Said Mrs. Christina Amayeh, the member of trader's association technical committee, " We are being really hopeful and looking forward to having hospitals, banks and schools in this new complex." The new construction plan of Kotokuraba market will change the crowded busy streets where taxis and pedestrians have to fight their ways through, to a brand new community with important facilities and infrastructures that would largely improve the level of convenience to the traders' life, as well as provide easier access to the education and health system. This new market could also very likely become an catalyst of the tourist industry in Cape Coast, since the market, where local and traditional Ghanaian culture can be experienced, would be built into one of the major tourist attractions in the city.

This construction project is one single slice of the enormous 1.3 billion-investment plan between Ghanaian and Chinese governments. As part of the government agreement, the Kotokuraba market will be financed with the loan provided by China EXIM Bank. The officials of the EXIM bank examined the market site on 3rd, March, 2012, accompanied by the Mayor Hon. Anthony Egyir Aikins. China EXIM Bank, the Export-Import Bank of China, is one of the three institutional banks in China to provide financial support for the export of Chinese products or services to other developing countries. This visit was an indicator that the government of Cape Coast was making
an effort to push the construction project forward. As the Mayor promised in March, the reconstruction would be fulfilled by the end of 2012.

Although the promising future for the new Kotokuraba market is depicted by the Cape Coast government, Mrs. Christina Amayeh, the member of the trader's association expressed her concern over how exactly the plans will be carried out: "Even though some traders were already relocated to the other parts of the market, and the stalls were demolished, we are still unclear when the construction will start and finish." Mr. Kingsley K. Mefful, the Assembly Member, also complained about the miscommunication between the government and the traders: "The traders were not told, before or after relocation, when they will be able to move back to the new market, or how the new market would look like." Many traders worried that the relocation would overshadow their business income and bring inconvenience and financial lost to their lives. Some of traders expressed concern and anger, but there were not many choices for them at the moment but to relocate their stores as the government instructed, while keep their fingers crossed for the best outcome.

The deep concerns from the traders was an implication of the potentially shakytrust in Cape Coast people for their government, at least, in how well the government could keep their promises. A bigger and more beautiful picture was painted by the Ghanaian government in early 2011, that 30,000 housing units were to be constructed across the country. The project was funded by a Korean group called STX for 10 billion USD. As the government promised, "to leave a strong and positive legacy in the history of our dear country", public expectations were built up through the course of 12 months. When the project was abolished in Jan 2012 due to a "boardroom wrangling" between the Ghanaian company and Korean counterpart, people reacted negatively to the unexpected collapse, and the trust level to the government promises was inevitably decreased.

The clock was ticking again, when the government indicated that the reconstruction of the Kotokuraba market was a major promise to Cape Coast. It was indeed a delicate and tricky task for the government to balance how much expectations they should build up to win the hearts of the Ghanaians, versus how low-key they need to perform this time in case the project fell apart again like STX. Especially when the new election is coming up in 2012, government could very much find itself walking on thin ices again, facing the loan of a gigantic foreign investment and the skeptical eyes of local citizens.

The government may have decided to play safe this time. According to the Cape Coast Mayor Anthony Egyir Aikins, parliament will need to give approval for the loan from China EXIM Bank, before the construction of the new Kotokuraba market can start. The timeline of this project, therefore, was still pending until the parliament resumed and reached an agreement. The Mayor provided no further comments on other details of this project, including how much money will be spent on the new Kotokuraba market, or when the construction will be finished.

Now in Kotokuraba market, the relocated traders are crammed in a smaller space than they used to work in, expecting to hear back from the government, for the announcement of the commencement day of the construction. The traders' association made a plea to urge the government to speed up the project, and communi
cate more with the association about the details of the upcoming plan.

At the same time, the traders' association advised the traders to have more patience for the government and the construction, since the clearing out of the old market site could be a strong indicator that the government has been making efforts to push the project forward. If the government was able to keep the promise as they announced to the public in 2008, it will be only a matter of time, before the new, well-facilitated Kotokuraba market is rising from the horizon of Cape Coast.


By GNA & Paralympic page

Para athletes, Alem Mumuni and Charles Narh Teye have qualified for the London 2012 Paralympics Games scheduled for 29 August to 9 September, 2012.

Alem successfully defended his title as African champion in December last year and went on to participate at the International Cycling Union (UCI) Para-Cycling Road World Championship, where he was one of two Africans.

Alem is the first Ghanaian para-cyclist to compete at the Paralympic Games, thus making history for his country, Ghana.

“The battle has just begun. I will work hard to make Ghana and Africa proud. It is a great honour to qualify” Alem noted.

Teye, a Powerlifter, made the qualifying mark after winning gold at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Powerlifting Invitational Tournament in the United Kingdom last January, as well as participating in a similar event in Dubai recently.

An elated Teye said “Qualifying for London 2012 is not easy but sports has made me realize I can do everything able people can. I will use this opportunity to help others believe too.”

The duo are among four para-athletes being supported by the 'Right to Dream Paralympic Programme'.

The other two, Raphael Nkegbe Botsyo and Anita Fordjour, are both currently on a trip to the United Kingdom and Switzerland in their bid to secure A-standard times in the respective events.

Botsyo is a two-time Paralympian whilst Fordjour won bronze at the 2011 All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique.

Qualifying for the London Olympics is not the end of the athletes' mission, they are all determined to use this opportunity as a platform to change the perception of disability in Ghana from a negative to a positive one and inspire the next generation of talent to become world-class athletes.

"I want to change people's perception about people with physical disabilities- I have seen that the talent I have in sports is one of the tools I can use to do that", added Alem.

Susie Daniell, head of Paralympic Programme of Right to Dream, said the long term vision of the programme is to establish the first ever residential youth programme for para-sports at the Academy.

She therefore called for partnership to support the athletes in the lead up to the London 2012 and to position Ghana at the forefront of the Paralympic Movement in Africa.

With 170 events and 1,100 athletes, athletics is the biggest sport on the Paralympics agenda. It is open to all disability groups, meaning there is a lengthy list of classes. Athletes compete in traditional track and field events with modifications made for certain disabilities.

The track events range from 100m to 5,000m - there is no Paralympic 10,000m. Field events are split into throwing - featuring discus, javelin and shot put - and jumping, consisting of high jump, long jump and triple jump.

Like in the Olympics, track events start with heats to eliminate athletes, before the best performers meet in a final. The marathons will be straight finals held on the streets of central London.


Men’s 100 metres, women’s 100 metres Men’s 200 metres, women’s 200 metres
Men’s 400 metres, women’s 400 metres Men’s 800 metres, women’s 800 metres
Men’s 1,500 metres, women’s 1,500 metres Men’s 5,000 metres, women’s 5,000 metres
Men's 4 x 100m relay, women's 4 x 100m relay Men's 4 x 400m relay

Men's marathon, women's marathon Men’s long jump, women’s long jump
Men’s triple jump Men’s high jump

Men's shot put, women's shot put Men's javelin, women's javelin
Men's discus, women's discus Men's club, women's club


11-13: Athletes with visual impairment 20: Athletes with intellectual impairment
31-38: Athletes with cerebral palsy 40-46: Athletes with limb loss or deficiency
51-58: Athletes competing in wheelchairs

The first number of each class symbolises the disability group while the last number reflects the severity - the lower the number, the heavier the disability.

A 'T' or an 'F' is added in front of each number to signal whether the athlete competes in track or field events.

Gold medals available


Tactics and techniques

The demands upon athletics are best summarised by the Olympic motto "higher, stronger, faster". A wide range of techniques and physical abilities are required, depending on the nature of the event and of the athletes' disabilities.

Wheelchair athletes, for example, require formidable strength from their upper bodies and as well-drilled coordination, whether wheeling oneself forward on the track or trying to generate maximum power behind a throw.

Blind athletes are permitted acoustic signals in the 100m, long jump and triple jump events - such as voice or hand clapping. They are also allowed a guide runner for track events shorter than 1,500m, to make sure they stay within their lane. Here, runner and guide occupy one track each.

With athletics being the most ancient form of activity and, in many ways, the symbol of Olympic ideology, it was an obligatory inclusion to the first Paralympics, in Rome in 1960.

Only one Paralympian athlete has ever competed at athletics in the Olympics. American Marla Runyan won five Paralympic gold medals between 1992 and 1996 before qualifying for the Olympics. She came eight in the 1,500m final in Sydney 2000, and also competed in Athens 2004.

South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius looks set to follow her lead. He was controversially banned from Beijing after his running blades were judged to give him an unfair advantage. The decision was later overturned, leaving only qualification times between him and London 2012.


The most successful Paralympian in terms of medals is Franz Nietlispach of Switzerland, who won a formidable 14 gold and six silver medals between 1980 and 2000. He has also competed in handcycling and table tennis, and is now a politician in his home country.

Tanni Grey-Thompson, who has won 11 gold medals in wheelchair racing, is among Britain's most successful Paralympians of all time.


Athletics in the Olympic Stadium begins on August 31 and concludes on September 8. The marathon will be held on September 9.


The Olympic Stadium for track and field events, and central London for the marathon, starting and finishing at the Mall.


The city of Bonn, Germany has expressed interest in restoring the deteriorating rate Fosu Lagoon with a grant worth Five hundred thousand Euros.


This came to light when the Metropolitan Chief Executive Hon. Anthony Egyir Aikins on behalf of Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly (CCMA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding  with the Mayor of the City of Bonn, Germany, Jurgen Nimptsch to assist in the restoration of the Fosu Lagoon.

Under the Climate Change Project, it seeks to restore the Fosu Lagoon as its contribution to climate change adaption and protection of biodiversity. The direct benefit would be on the reclaiming of the Fosu Lagoon,  which is gradually dying from poor environmental and sanitation management practices  coupled with the effects of climate change.


Hon. Aikins noted that the signing of the MOU, which marks the consummation of the  partnership,  is to help promote the exchange of experiences  in areas such as sustainable development,  especially climate protection, use of renewable energies, protection and preservation of biological diversity, waste management , tourism, science education, youth and cultural affairs,  in accordance with the principles of equality and mutuality.


 In a related development as the Mayor Hon. Aikins claimed it in the Assembly hall on Thursday 29th march 2012, many projects are going to be, or have already been, set up in Cape Coast in order to foster what he called “Cape Coast's facelift”.

The first project presented is about Fosu Lagoon: the partnership between Cape Coast and Bonn in Germany has granted to the city of Cape Coast to acquire some resources. Indeed, the City Council of Bonn granted five hundred thousand Euros for a Climate Change Programme to restore life in the lagoon.

Then, a group of young German Medical Doctors will come to Cape Coast to build a Children's Hospital, on Efutu area.

The third project is the construction of two Waste to Energy Plants, one of which will be sited in Cape Coast, supported by a partnership with Everbrigth Environment, a Chinese company. Another group based in Italy would also like to establish a Waste to Energy Plant in Cape Coast.

About the Mass Transit Project, the Ministry of Local and Rural Development is trying to eliminate the long queues in the station and to make transport fares affordable.

On the Cement Factory point, Hon. Aikins claimed that “ The Assembly is expecting the Geological Survey Department to conduct feasibility study for a possible construction of a Cement Factory in Ankaful.”

The Assembly is also expecting that the Committee's report about the taxis will increase the revenue and ensure safety on the roads.

In another field, Oguaa Football For Hope Centre (donated by FIFA and facilitated by PlaySoccer Ghana) has been inaugurated in Cape Coast. This project will add to the stock of Cape Coast's infrastructures and it has programmes in Education and Health. This may take young people off the streets and develop their psyche.

Concerning the tourism development, the Assembly is going to make sure Tourism is fully developed, as it is the anchor of Ghana's development. For this project, local investors are collaborating with their foreign counterparts to establish a Slavery Museum in Cape Coast, which will be a major attraction in the tourism industry.

Lastly, he announced that the performance in revenue mobilization is gradually improving. Indeed, between January 1 and February 29, 2012, the Assembly raked in GH₵ 125,325.65 whereas GH₵ 98,693.59 for the same period in 2011. The rate of increase amounts to 26.98 %. The main area of poor performance is revenue from communication operators, and the Assembly is calling for the Ministry of Local Government to solve the impasse between the MMDAs and the Communication operators “for the payment of permit and operational fees”.

Meanwhile Hon. Aikins is appealing Revenue, Finance and Administration Sub-Committees to “plug loopholes in the system as well as strengthen their monitoring and supervisory role to ensure that every pesewa is paid into the Assembly's coffers for the much needed development.”