Wednesday, December 26, 2012


By: Kwamina Bamfo-Agyei   
This afternoon at 2pm a coconut tree fell on a one year old baby and the baby died on the spot.
The baby who was being breastfed according to eye witness noted that baby was allowed to play around the scene and the mother who was feeding the baby intermittently was not able the rescue the baby from the disaster.
Due to the Code of ethics governing the Ghana Journalists' Association Central Press can not published the picture of the deceased baby.
This is the second time for felling trees to have killed two children the first one occured at Pedu in Cape Coast killing a 14 year old boy and a mother in the month of August.
Earlier report Central Press carried out indicated that most trees are very old and weak in the Cape Coast Metropolis, according to officials of the Botanical gardens noted that they lack equipment to safeguard the trees and the residents in Cape Coast from tree disasters.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Henry Ford Kamel
The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress Johnson Asiedu Nketia has confirmed that the Volta Regional Minister, Henry Ford Kamel is dead.
According to the information he passed on this afternoon at the 37 Military Hospital.
The General Secretary was speaking on TV3 News.

Earlier on the daughter of the Volta Regional Minister, Henry Ford Kamel on Metro Tv. dennied that her father is dead, that he was responding to treatment at the 37 Military hospital.

She said that her father is not dead as published by the media.

Mr Kamel, who was also the Member of Parliament for the Buem Constituency in Jasikan district of the Volta Region was rushed to the Jasikan Hospital.

Henry Ford Kamel was born on December 21,1961 and came from Guaman in the Volta Region.

The late Minister had been a Member of Parliament since January 2005. He was re-elected to represent the people of Buem in the December 7, 2012 parliamentary election.


By: Kwamina Bamfo-Agyei

The Blackstar No. 6 midfielder player has adopted two children at two different children's home in Elmina. This occurred when he donated food items to the children homes as his obligation to give back to society.
Anthony Annan began playing football with a local colts Super Rainbow Stars in Cape Coast, Ghana. He also played for Cape Coast Venomous Vipers in the Ghanaian Division one league before joined Sekondi Hasaacas in 2003 and later moved to Accra Hearts of oak in 2005. At Accra Hearts of Oak, Annan was regarded as the best young midfielder in Ghana. He combined midfield artistry with some goal scoring skills, and endeared himself to many football fans in Ghana. Anthony Annan joined Accra Hearts of Oak from Sekondi Hasaacas FC in the 2005–06 league season.
A Junior and Olympic International for Ghana, Annan received his first senior call up for the national team on 20 March 2007 as a direct injury replacement for Essien for Ghana's FIFA International friendlies against Austria and Brazil in 2007. His first cap came against Brazil on 27 March 2007 at the RĂ¥sunda Stadium, Stockholm, Sweden when Ghana lost 0–1. He made his first goal for the national team in the 2–2 draw against Mali 15 November 2009. He played for Ghana at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Monday, December 17, 2012


By Lina Paulitsch

On the outskirts of Cape Coast a village-like camp is home to people suffering from leprosy, forming a comforting and unprejudiced environment.

Leprosy is a chronic disease that has been existing for more than 4000 years. Caused by bacteria, it is spread from person to person by droplets. The disease affects the victim’s skin, mucous membranes and nerve cells.

When thinking of leprosy, pictures of deformed fingers and limbs are mostly the first association. However, this horrible extent of the disease is a myth that has stigmatized its victims in history. As the bacteria affect the victim’s nerves, he is unable to feel pain, which is why he easily wounds himself without the urge of getting medical help. Without treatment these open lesions result in other infections such as tetanus, which, secondarily, cause body parts to fall off or to become shortened and deformed. If the wounds are disinfected, there is no danger of such a terrible stage of leprosy.

All over the world, people with leprosy are still outcasts and often seen as cursed or bedeviled. The stigma attached to the disease is also due to the fact that it is contagious. Yet again, this assumption is folklore: in order to become infected with leprosy, one has to be in long, physical contact with the infected person, sharing the same bathroom, for example. But above all, each person’s individual immune system plays the major part, as only 5 to 10 per cent of humans are able to fall sick with leprosy.

In Western countries leprosy is generally regarded as exterminated. Still, in 2002 over 763,000 people were infected, mostly living in emerging and developing countries, such as India, Brazil, Mozambique and Tanzania. This figure can be directly linked to the poor hygienic standards that exist in these countries, such as polluted water, little living space and poor nutrition. Under these conditions the bacteria can spread far more easily and, additionally, secondary infections as well. Another reason for leprosy in developing countries is the lack of medical care. During the last 20 years, over 15 million people could be entirely cured from leprosy with new antibiotics, which kill the bacteria. However, people in the Third World still catch it unnecessarily, as the medication and health care is too expensive. Furthermore, the stigma keeps them from admitting to the disease.

Bearing all these difficulties in mind, a group of volunteers in Cape Coast decided to effectively help people with leprosy: a few years ago, eight independent organizations fundraised, set up and built the so-called Leprosy Camp, consisting of small houses for a few hundred people to live in. The major goal was to form a place and a community for people with leprosy, where they would not feel harassed or uncomfortable for their disease. Above all, the volunteers would take care of their medical needs and supply them with medication and bandages for free.

Initially built for just people with leprosy, their families can now live at the camp as well. Over the course of the years, a community has been established, which is certainly very important to leprosy patients. Inside the camp, there is no stigma that could make them outcasts of society, as even the children grow up around it, without being afraid or prejudiced. The residents of the leprosy camp support and help each other with their daily lives. As a way of getting profit many people try to sell their own crafts, such as hats, jewellery or clothes.

One of the community members, who is not a leprosy patient but takes care of them, is James. Coming from the Western Region, he moved to the leprosy camp two years ago in order to support his granduncle and stayed in the house when he passed away. At camp he has been helping treating old people and orphans, whose parents had lost their lives to the disease or are unable to take care of them. Sometimes, he also supports the volunteers in explaining things to them, concerning the camp, people and traditions. “I like the camp, the people here are very friendly”, James says. His actual profession, though, is painting: Spread all over his little veranda, there are paintings hanging on the walls, showing traditionally African sceneries and people. Being his only financial support, he sells them to the community or people that pass by.   

Currently, the NGO ‘Projects Abroad’ is sending two medical volunteers to Leprosy Camp: Rose Kelly from Australia and Rebekka Kern from Germany. Every day one of them comes to the camp and helps the residents with medical treatment. “We clean the Leprosy patients’ wounds, so they can’t get infected, redress them and give them antibiotics”, says Rose Kelly in an interview about the volunteers’ duties. “We also distribute bandages and other supply to people, who don’t want us to dress their wounds but do it themselves. Also, we help other people that live in the camp, if they are sick or have any other problems, as they generally come and ask us about it. We can help with treatment, give out drugs or take him or her to hospital”

With a bag full of gloves, bandages and gauze the volunteers walk from one house to another, visiting leprosy patients, who are unable to walk. For the others, there are benches in front of the camp, where people can come on their own to receive treatment. Through this close, daily contact the volunteers have established an emotional connection to their work as well: “We have a pretty good relationship to the patients - we know about their lives, we ask how they are going. We also have a really good relationship with the kids, as they like us very much”, Rose says.

With a community center and Sister Alice from Ireland, who gives out aids and distributes the money, the camp is fairly well-organized. Still, there are many things to be improved. “The conditions are pretty good for the fact that the camp is run and set up by volunteers, but it is definitely not the cleanest place to dress wounds. To have the ability for their wounds to get better, it needs to be clean, sterile environment. So, I think it could be better in terms of cleanliness, but it is also the people here that have to improve it, saying ‘We need to clean up the rubbish, we need to clean up the dirt’”, Rose says.

Leprosy is a disease directly connected to poor hygiene and poverty. But as for this fact, it can be fought and cured, in terms of education, prevention and financial support. To exterminate leprosy for good, people have to know everything about it in order to understand its dangers and to dispose of the stigma still existing in many countries. Secondly, the hygienic standards have to improve to avoid new infections with leprosy and secondary diseases. And lastly, medical treatment has to become accessible for everyone to actively fight leprosy. The Leprosy Camp in Cape Coast aims to help with all three points and proves to be direct and effective: volunteers take care of people in need, providing them not only with medical supply but also with comfort. Institutions as this are an essential step in the fight against leprosy and their importance for the future cannot be emphasized enough. If help continues to arrive, the extermination of leprosy will soon be reality.  


By Lina Paulitsch and Lisette Hummelink 

In the outside world, Ghana's press is mostly considered free and independent. Reporters Without Borders has rated Ghana with 27 out of 125 points, with 1 being most free. But when having a closer look at Ghana's media, the question remains: is this evaluation accurate and true?

When talking to different people working in the media, a far more diverse picture reveals itself than the figure above is indicating. In spite of the fact that the constitution guarantees freedom and independence of the press, critics claim that most journalists work under hard conditions, which force them to abandon their neutrality and professionalism.

One of the major points Ghana's media is criticized for, is the choice of topics journalists report on. Quite often, unimportant events or so-called "gossip" dominate the press, transforming the media into entertainment rather than providing information. In 1992, Ghana's new constitution ensured democracy and freedom of press, enabling the private media to voice criticism and independent views. But as these media houses receive no financial support, they are more dependent on selling and, consequently, on pleasing their audience. In spite of important issues that may be more difficult to take, trivial events often receive a lot more attention. In an interview, Shirley Asieda-Addo,  Secretary of the Ghana Journalism Association (GJA), said: "The private media houses are the more guilty of exploiting the interest of the audience - they are striving to survive." 

An equally widespread, yet hushed up problem of Ghana's media is plagiarism. Many journalists use stories from other sources without crediting the author, ignoring the Journalists' code of ethics and, above all, the law. But in spite of the fact that there may be journalists, who are simply unprofessional, the chore of the problem sources from infrastructural and logistical difficulties. In our technologised world, the Internet provides each and everyone with a flood of information, making it easy to do research and receive news. Still, the authenticity and quality of the Internet as a professional source remains questionable: Virtual information may be unscientific and incorrect, as any individual can share his thoughts, without being licensed or checked upon. Kofi Sakyiama, who works for Radio Central Cape Coast explained that Ghanaian journalists often use the Internet as their only source, as it is fairly hard to do first-hand research in Ghana, tempted to simply copy the story. Firstly, many areas throughout the country lack proper road construction, which makes it highly difficult to travel in terms of investigation. Furthermore, "seeing for yourself", which is the most important task according to Mr. Sakyiama, requires money, which many journalists are unable or unwilling to pay.

Directly connected to the issue of plagiarism is, therefore, that Ghanaian journalists receive very little salary. Mrs. Asiedo-Addo mentioned, that most journalists are not really paid, as they are just on allowances. Journalists, who receive 170 GHC per month, are considered to be envied, for being a journalist is still regarded as decent work: it provides the person with certain popularity, functioning as the watchdog of the government. Richmond Yeboah, Programmes Director of Eagle FM confirmed: "You don't want to lose the fame journalism has given you. We put checks on politicians, we are the only ones to investigate - people in society respect journalists." Additionally, journalists might still earn more money than they would with other, more basic jobs: Someone that has been recently selling food on the street might see a journalist's salary as an improvement. These circumstances cause many people waiting in line for a job in the media and, as a consequence, even lower salaries.

Yet again, the rush on work in the media is due to another issue that affects Ghanaian journalism immensely: the lack of educational requirements for becoming a journalist. In Ghana, everyone is able to work as a journalist, sometimes even without basic education. With a population of over 25 million people, the country offers only one school for journalism, which is completely overcrowded. Mr. Sakyiama validated that out of 1000 applicants only 108 students got accepted, leaving many journalists without the opportunity of receiving proper education. The lack of education is not necessarily an obstacle, though: Often, the private media houses are willing to employ unqualified - and as a result to that - cheap workers that write in their favor. For being able to own a media house, an individual would simply have to buy the license; afterwards there are no restrictions or rules that would enable control from the outside, particularly in terms of who to employ. The consequence of this trend is lower quality of journalism in general and a sinking image of reporting. The required abilities of a journalist, such as extracting the important facts of a story and, above all, using good language, are very demanding and need to be trained: the lack of education is currently degrading the profession itself.

Another aspect why journalists aren’t always handling as objectively as they should, is the political coloring of numerous newspapers. “The private media houses are more often accused of being politically colored, but this problem is afoot all over Ghanaian media houses”, said  Mrs. Asida-Addo.  Often, media houses are owned or sponsored by important political figures. Because of writing in favor of this certain political figure, the own voice of the media houses is diminished. For example: A journalist wouldn’t put together offensive articles if it was not for the presence of the owner of the media house: the political figure. Another logical outcome of these circumstances is that the objectivity of journalism, which is one of the most important aspects, is decreased. A politician who dominates a media house is in the position to circulate his supposition, without taking facts or objectivity into account. Moreover, it is against the law to own a media house for a politician. But as a lot of people profit from engaging in the media, most journalists, politicians and media houses seem to be completely indifferent about this matter.

"You cannot take away the fact that money motivates the journalists to come", Mrs. Asiedo-Addo said. As for this fact, money as being motivation raises another highly critical issue of Ghanaian journalism: the giving out of transportation fees, commonly known as 'soli'. These fees are paid to journalists for coming to and reporting about a certain event. As constructional difficulties make it hard to afford first-hand research, these payments are generally justified as support for investigating in terms of transportation, such as a taxi or a bus. Still, 'soli' raise many people's concerns: what if an important event takes place, but the hosts could not provide soli - would there not be any report about it? What if a political party is willing to pay more - will there be more reports on them, maybe in their favor? In spite of the fact, that soli were initially trying to improve the journalist's working conditions, they are now a target for unprofessional abuse. Mostly, the fees account for more than the actual transportation has cost and can therefore be seen as extra earnings. As there are no criteria for being a journalist, a person might find it tempting to work as a journalist despite the little salary, when there are soli to be collected. But above all, soli question the means and the purpose of journalism. Since journalists are supposed to work as ‘the eyes and ears of the nation”, eager to find news that is important to the people, they should be entirely independent in doing so. Evolving into a vicious circle, soli determine what journalists write about, as they might be more motivated by the money than the matter of the event itself. It is the media’s duty to report about things they consider important, uninfluenced by any political parties or money, which Ghana’s journalism most certainly lacks. The issue of soli is as delicate, as it disguises itself as support – when it really makes journalists dependent on it and lures them into a trap, where money always wins over interest.

Looking at Ghanaian journalism, one gets the impression that all problems are connected by the same source: money. If Ghanaian journalists were actually paid, they would be able to afford the costs for transportation, without needing soli. Consequently, there would be more variety of subjects, as the journalists were freer in deciding on what to report, choosing the topics for their importance instead of money.
However, better salaries also require professional education. Taking that into consideration, Kofi Sakyiama of Radio Central Cape Coast suggested introducing a license that would declare one’s profession as a journalist. This step would not only enhance the media’s reputation, it would also improve its quality. Undoubtedly, people are willing to work more efficiently if they get acknowledgement both from the public and the state. Therefore, it will be essential for the government to take actions, such as opening more journalism schools, in order to improve the journalists’ working conditions. A journalist of Daily Times further demanded that the law against politicians’ involvement in media houses must be respected, as well as copyright laws. “Therefore, we have to strengthen our institutions. There has to be a better communication between the National Media Commission, the owners of the media houses and the public.” 
Most certainly, it will be a difficult task to break the circle of problems influencing Ghanaian journalism. Still, the media as “the eye of the nation” is highly important for Ghana as a country, ensuring freedom and independence of each and everyone. Miss Asieda-Addo stated: “Journalism is not about being able to talk louder or being able to write more shaming stories. It is about telling stories that concern people, whether cultural, educational or health. It is about who we are and how we can move forward.”   

Sunday, December 9, 2012


NDC JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA, 5, 574,761 REP. 50.70%
PPP 64,362 DR. PAPA KWESI NDOUM, 64,362 REP 0.59%


TURN OUT % 79.43%


Tuesday, December 4, 2012


By Lisette Hummelink & Kwamina Bamfo-Agyei

However the actual elections won’t start until Friday, the first votes have procured. The special voting started today all over the country, so that the officers of the Electoral Commission and the security officers, whom have to make sure the voting on Friday goes smoothly, have a chance to cast their votes.

The special voting took place in the Twenty –three constituencies in Central Region; registered voters for the special voting are able to cast their ballots from 7am until 5 am. The first voters start to join the queue at 6am, despite the fact they will have to wait for an hour. As soon as it is his or her turn, the voter will walk up to the first table, to get his ID card checked and to make sure that his name is in the attendance book for the special voting. If so, he gets referred to the second table, where the voters bar code on his card gets checked, so the Electoral Commission can be more than certain that the person is actually who he says he is. On top of that, there’s the thumbprint checking, to verify the person. All these measures make it impossible for voters to cheat on their identity, so that voting is as candid as can be.
The voter, once he is verified, uses his left pinkie for voting. At the third table, he gets given the presidential ballot paper. Once he has fingerprinted it, an deposed it into the designated box, he can walk up to the fourth table and gets given the parliamentary ballot paper. After fingerprinting it, both the papers are safely in the designated boxes, and the voter is done. 

The number of cast votes are encouraging. This morning at 10am, for Cape Coast North constituency, already 116 votes out of 435 have been submitted. For Cape Coast South constituency, it is 234 out of 656 at 10:30am. For KEEA constituency, there are 445 registered voters for today, whereof 181 had already cast their vote at 11am. A bit further, for Salt Pond constituency, the number of registered voters is 176, whereof an astonishing number of 106 submitted their vote at 12:30pm. The most recent incoming constituency, Ekumfi, had 27 registered voters for today, and by 1pm, 15 of them have caste their vote. At Asikuma Odoben Brakwa all the 120 registered voters cast their votes at end  of the exercise. Also Assin South recorded 107 out of the 147 people who were expected to cast their votes as of 12noon, while Asin Central recorded 111 of the votes cast out of the 610 people who were supposed to cast their votes as of the time of going to the press. Abura Asebu Kwamankese recoded 84 people that have gone through the process out of the 138 that were expected to cast their votes.

Some of the officers expected to participate in the special voting did not find their names on the registered. Sequentially, these people were ruled out of today’s voting.
The Central Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, Philomena Edusei, noted that this is presumably because the above voters did not apply individually to be part of the special voting in time. She noted that it is not automatic for security officers to vote on the special voting day since they need to apply for it. Madam Edusei disclosed that security officers were informed to apply individual. She told that it is not a problem, and these people will find a moment on Friday, the actual day of voting, where they will be able to strip away and cast their vote.

Monday, December 3, 2012


By Lisette Hummelink & Kwamina Bamfo-Agyei

For the majority of Ghana, a considerably important week has started. Dozens of people are counting down the days until Friday the 7th: Election Day.
 The clock is ticking, and it’s time to move Ghana forward, starting with distributing the ballot boxes for not only coming Friday, but also tomorrow, when the Special Election will take place.
At 9 am today, exactly 82 bags containing the presidential ballot papers and 72 bags containing the  parliamentary ballot papers, arrived in Cape Coast. Candidates for Cape Coast constituency, people working for the Electoral Commission making sure the dropping of the bags will go smoothly, journalists and other interested citizens gathered at the main police station.

The Central Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, Philomena Edusei, revealed this to Central Press in an exclusive interview. She noted that the commission is ready for the general elections. She said tomorrow, December 4th 2012, the commission will organize the special voting for both the security and electoral commission officers since they will be on duty on the 7th December 2012 for both the presidential and parliamentary elections all over Ghana.

The Progressive People’s Party Parliamentary Candidate for Cape Coast North Sarah Mary Bucknor is not happy with the electoral process involving the sealing of the bag containing the ballot papers. She said both the NPP and NDC have their tags on the bag and the PPP was not informed.
She appealed to the Electoral commission to be fair with all the political parties including the Progressive People’s Party.
Nevertheless, there is a sudden mood switch noticeable. Comprehensible, since far more than one bag with ballot papers seems to be either lacerated, have a broken zipper, or have ballot papers sticking out. Sarah Mary Bucknor, PPP-candidate for Cape Coast south Constituency, states: “The arriving of the bags proceeds smoothly, just the quality of some bags is very poor, in terms of zippers, and ripped or torn material. The Electoral Commission should make sure that every bag that is used, is locked and in good order, to keep the voting on Friday as candid as possible!”
In a related development the  NPP
Parliamentary Candidate for Cape Coast South Alfred  George Thompson  is calling on the Electoral Commission to provide better quality bags containing  the ballot boxes. He was optimistic that by God’s help he will win the seat comes December 7th 2012.
The Convention People’s Party Parliamentary Candidate for Cape Coast South Ato Aidoo-Nyanor was called on the electorates to vote massively for the party so as to experience the development in the area.
The Central Regional Director of the Electoral Commission Philomena Edusei does not see the point of worrying over the bags, like PPP and also NPP do. “We had a meeting with them and told them how it was going to be. Transporting the bags got them a little bit wrought, but we figured that the concern would not be that big. After all, everybody here is watching them very closely, which means that nothing will happen to the ballot papers. Everybody is carefully guarding them.” Mrs. Edusei noted.
Despite the condition of some of the bags, the ballot papers arrived in the constituency safely, and tomorrow the first official voting will take place at the Police Station and the University of Cape Coast. As Mrs. Edusei told, is this voting for National Officers and Security, the people working on the actual big day: coming Friday.