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Monkeypox: Cases detected in three more countries for first time

Monkeypox is similar to smallpox but less severe and less infectious too – Image Source: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has became the first Gulf state to record a case of monkeypox.

The Czech Republic and Slovenia also reported their first cases on Tuesday, joining 18 other countries to detect the virus outside its usual Africa base.

That number is expected to rise further still, but experts say the overall risk to the general population remains low.

Outbreaks of the virus have been found in Europe, Australia and America.

The symptoms often include a fever and rash – but the infection is usually mild.

In the UAE, health officials announced a case had been detected in a traveller who had recently visited west Africa and is now receiving medical treatment.

Authorities there say they are “fully prepared” to handle any outbreak, adding that early surveillance protocols for detecting the disease were in place.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the virus can be contained with the right response in countries outside of Africa where it is not usually detected.

“We encourage you all to increase the surveillance of monkeypox to see where transmission levels are and understand where it is going,” the WHO’s director for Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness, Sylvie Briand, said at a conference on Tuesday.

The outbreaks may not be normal but remain containable, she added.

Outside Africa there are now 237 confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox and health authorities around the world have announced plans to contain the virus.

Germany says it has ordered up to 40,000 doses of the Imvanex vaccine – used to treat smallpox, but also effective against monkeypox – to be ready in case the outbreak worsens.

Anyone already vaccinated with a smallpox vaccine years ago as part of a global bid to eradicate the disease should have existing immunity, German health officials said. But they added that the older treatment has more side-effects so is not suitable for fighting monkeypox today.

graphic

And in France, which has detected three cases, officials announced a targeted vaccination campaign of adults who had been recently exposed.

Authorities there are recommending that a vaccine be given within four days of exposure, but up to 14 days afterwards if necessary.

In England, officials announced on Tuesday that 14 more cases of the virus had been detected – bringing the total number of cases in the UK to 71.

Monkeypox is usually associated with travel to Central or West Africa, but some of the cases which have been occurring outside these countries have had no travel link.

It does not spread easily between people, but it can be spread through:

  • touching clothing, bedding or towels used by someone with the monkeypox rash
  • touching monkeypox skin blisters or scabs
  • the coughs or sneezes of a person with the monkeypox rash

If you get infected with monkeypox, it usually takes between five and 21 days for the first symptoms to appear.

Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body. The rash changes and goes through different stages – a bit like chicken pox – before finally forming a scab, which later falls off.

News

ASUU: FG agrees to pay N34bn minimum wage arrears

 

The Federal Government says it will spend about N34 billion as arrears of Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments in the education sector effective from 2019.

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige said that this was aimed at resolving the lingering crisis in the sector, NAN reports.

 

Ngige made this known while speaking with newsmen on the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and others on Tuesday in Abuja.

 

Ngige said that the beneficiaries of the Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments included the members of the striking ASUU and their counterparts in the polytechnics and Colleges of Education.

 

According to Ngige, the universities will get N23.5 billion, the polytechnics N6 billion and the Colleges of Education N4 billion, bringing the total sum to N33.5 billion.

 

The minister, while giving an update on the ongoing strike, said committees were set up during the last tripartite meeting of the government and university based unions.

 

He said they were given a fortnight to turn in their report, adding they were still working and the reports of the committees were being expected at the end of the week.

 

“Those committees are working. The one on NITDA is testing the three platforms, the government’s Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

 

“Also the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) of ASUU and the Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (UPPPS) of the non-teaching staff.

 

“They started the testing last Thursday. The National Salaries, Wages and Incomes Commission (NSWIC) has issued their amendment circulars.

 

“The unions also have copies to take care of responsibility and hazard allowances wherever it has not been properly captured.’’

 

Ngige assured that there might likely be wage adjustments as the government intensified efforts to streamline wages through the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.

 

“For example, we have done it for the police . It wasn’t envisaged that we should do it in pockets.

 

“You can also see university teachers saying that their own should be done immediately, since we have done for the police. So, something is being done. It was part of the 2009 negotiation they had with the government then.

 

“So, the committee of Prof. Briggs is on it, discussing with the university unions and their employer, the Federal Ministry of Education. They will bring up something for the government to see.

 

“There are other people. The doctors are complaining about brain-drain, this and that. Their hazard allowance has to be touched and it was touched by close to 300 per cent.

 

“From N5, 000 paid across board for each person, the least person in the health sector is getting N15, 000, while the big ones are getting N45, 000. So, that is the quantum leap.’’he added.

 

The minister therefore, appealed to ASUU and other university-based unions once more to suspend their strike so that academic activities could resume once again in public universities across the country.

News

African Liberation Week: How a Pan-African movement is driving African youth to action for African Liberation

From its founding in 2016, Africans Rising (africansrising.org) has endeavoured to raise the profile of Pan-African solidarity especially among the youth of the continent and its diaspora.

Its African Liberation Day commemoration brings thousands of Africans home and abroad on the same platform connected by the same desire to see a peaceful, just and dignified Africa.

Through a consultative, grassroots-led, innovative process, the movement has created a truly unique way to commemorate the historic moment when Africa almost became a country 6 decades ago. In this way, a strong connection is built between the struggles of the youth and the endearing past of their forebears, from which they must learn.

Each year, choosing a theme that resonates with the African masses, Africans Rising makes the effort to rally people from all walks of life encouraging them to take action.

The notion of African Liberation Day has its roots in the formation of the Organisation of African Unity in May 1963 at a 3-day conference of then new independent countries.

That conference starting from 23rd May that year in the ancient African city of Addis Ababa was a decisive platform for the future of Africa. The discussions centred on many things but principally liberation and unity. It was to be decided whether African countries were to bind together to form one giant country or to move independently but with cooperation amongst themselves.

Those who advocated immediate unity became known as the “radicals” while those who advocated separate sovereignties were known as “gradualists”. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, two of the foremost theorists on African unity came to symbolise the opposing perspectives on that critical question.

The latter was later in 1997 to admit the correctness of the position of the “radicals”. Back then in 1963, in the tense debate between Africans who saw themselves as siblings divided by colonialists in an 1884 Berlin conference, the gradualists carried the day and the conference ended on 25th May with the formation of the Organisation of African Unity to work towards gradual unity.

While all that is history, African youth are taking inspiration from this historic moment. And Africans Rising is rallying and supporting them to do this in actionable and consequential ways.

History of Africans Rising’s African Liberation Day Mobilisations

On May 25, 2017, 2000 volunteers, partners, supporters and friends organised a total of 300 actions and events in 42 countries on the African continent and the Diaspora to march the launch of Africans Rising. On May 25, 2018, the mobilisation was even more massive as hundreds of individual actions and events were carried out in 54 countries including 6 in the African Diaspora. In 2019, activities spanned from film screenings, media engagements, public symposia, to panel discussions and several other activities on modern day slavery. In 2020 and 2021, Africans Rising focused on the health and wellbeing of Africans and African communities, given the COVID-19 pandemic and its disastrous consequences across all aspects of life, through our#Rise4OurLives campaign.

African Liberation Week; #AfricaforAfricans

This year, the mobilisation has been expanded to include a whole week of activities. The uniqueness of African Rising’s approach is in its emphasis on supporting grassroot movements and activists in organising and taking action rather than duplicating their action. This is buoyed by the understanding that the grassroot movements are best placed to carry out meaningful actions and spread the fervour of African Liberation among the people. Unlike, other commemorations which hold grand events at the continental level, the focus on grassroots brings the conversation on African liberation to the people where it truly belongs.

Under the theme, #AfricaforAfricans, the African Liberation Week spanning the entire week of 25th May (i.e 23rd May to 29th May 2022), promises to galvanize the youth for African liberation way beyond the May and perhaps even far beyond 2022. The theme itself highlights the hope and ambition of the African youth.

#AfricaforAfricans draws inspiration from Marcus Garvey’s Pan-African rhetoric of the early 20th Century meant to rally people of African descent to embrace their land – Africa. In its contemporary rendition, Africa for Africans connotes the need for Africans to take ownership and control of the destiny of their continent.

This means a commitment to ensure that the wealth of the continent benefits the people, not external forces and not a small clique of African elites, but the people – all the people.

It also underscores the burning imperative to protect the land from destruction as the sub-theme climate and environmental justice highlights. People protect what they own. Within a neo-colonial context, Africa has been extracted from the African.

In other words, when the great wealth that is extracted from the belly of the continent is juxtaposed with the mass poverty and other iniquities afflicting the people, Africa can hardly be said to be present in the lives of the masses of African people. It is time to restore hope to African youth to realise their potential within an Africa that is peaceful, just and dignified.

Africa for Africans goes with specific sub-themes that speak to specific contemporary issues – Decolonisation rallies those Africans both within the continent and in the diaspora who are working on decolonising educational curriculum, financial systems, economic, social and cultural institutions many of which continue to perpetuate exploitation; Gender justice seeks to mainstream the idea of a gender equal society in creating the #AfricaWeWant; Health as a sub-theme continues the conversation on COVID-19 within the African context especially as regards equitable access to healthcare, vaccines, investment in health expertise and equipment as have become even more imperative given the COVID reality; and Climate and environmental justice meant to capture the important and urgent issue of climate change and the need to protect the environment.

African youth in various fields of endeavour are making strides, trying whatever they can to leave their mark. All they need is an environment that values and harnesses their potential, the systems that support and enable them rather than curtail their growth and the platforms that unify their actions towards the #AfricaWeWant.

Africans Rising has started a process and together with partners who are doing invaluable work, a peaceful, just and dignified Africa is achievable in our lifetime, even if it at present looks too distant.

News

ASUU: FG agrees to pay N34bn minimum wage arrears

 

The Federal Government says it will spend about N34 billion as arrears of Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments in the education sector effective from 2019.

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige said that this was aimed at resolving the lingering crisis in the sector, NAN reports.

 

Ngige made this known while speaking with newsmen on the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and others on Tuesday in Abuja.

 

Ngige said that the beneficiaries of the Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments included the members of the striking ASUU and their counterparts in the polytechnics and Colleges of Education.

 

According to Ngige, the universities will get N23.5 billion, the polytechnics N6 billion and the Colleges of Education N4 billion, bringing the total sum to N33.5 billion.

 

The minister, while giving an update on the ongoing strike, said committees were set up during the last tripartite meeting of the government and university based unions.

 

He said they were given a fortnight to turn in their report, adding they were still working and the reports of the committees were being expected at the end of the week.

 

“Those committees are working. The one on NITDA is testing the three platforms, the government’s Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

 

“Also the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) of ASUU and the Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (UPPPS) of the non-teaching staff.

 

“They started the testing last Thursday. The National Salaries, Wages and Incomes Commission (NSWIC) has issued their amendment circulars.

 

“The unions also have copies to take care of responsibility and hazard allowances wherever it has not been properly captured.’’

 

Ngige assured that there might likely be wage adjustments as the government intensified efforts to streamline wages through the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.

 

“For example, we have done it for the police . It wasn’t envisaged that we should do it in pockets.

 

“You can also see university teachers saying that their own should be done immediately, since we have done for the police. So, something is being done. It was part of the 2009 negotiation they had with the government then.

 

“So, the committee of Prof. Briggs is on it, discussing with the university unions and their employer, the Federal Ministry of Education. They will bring up something for the government to see.

 

“There are other people. The doctors are complaining about brain-drain, this and that. Their hazard allowance has to be touched and it was touched by close to 300 per cent.

 

“From N5, 000 paid across board for each person, the least person in the health sector is getting N15, 000, while the big ones are getting N45, 000. So, that is the quantum leap.’’he added.

 

The minister therefore, appealed to ASUU and other university-based unions once more to suspend their strike so that academic activities could resume once again in public universities across the country.

News

ASUU: FG agrees to pay N34bn minimum wage arrears

 

The Federal Government says it will spend about N34 billion as arrears of Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments in the education sector effective from 2019.

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige said that this was aimed at resolving the lingering crisis in the sector, NAN reports.

 

Ngige made this known while speaking with newsmen on the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and others on Tuesday in Abuja.

 

Ngige said that the beneficiaries of the Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments included the members of the striking ASUU and their counterparts in the polytechnics and Colleges of Education.

 

According to Ngige, the universities will get N23.5 billion, the polytechnics N6 billion and the Colleges of Education N4 billion, bringing the total sum to N33.5 billion.

 

The minister, while giving an update on the ongoing strike, said committees were set up during the last tripartite meeting of the government and university based unions.

 

He said they were given a fortnight to turn in their report, adding they were still working and the reports of the committees were being expected at the end of the week.

 

“Those committees are working. The one on NITDA is testing the three platforms, the government’s Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

 

“Also the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) of ASUU and the Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (UPPPS) of the non-teaching staff.

 

“They started the testing last Thursday. The National Salaries, Wages and Incomes Commission (NSWIC) has issued their amendment circulars.

 

“The unions also have copies to take care of responsibility and hazard allowances wherever it has not been properly captured.’’

 

Ngige assured that there might likely be wage adjustments as the government intensified efforts to streamline wages through the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.

 

“For example, we have done it for the police . It wasn’t envisaged that we should do it in pockets.

 

“You can also see university teachers saying that their own should be done immediately, since we have done for the police. So, something is being done. It was part of the 2009 negotiation they had with the government then.

 

“So, the committee of Prof. Briggs is on it, discussing with the university unions and their employer, the Federal Ministry of Education. They will bring up something for the government to see.

 

“There are other people. The doctors are complaining about brain-drain, this and that. Their hazard allowance has to be touched and it was touched by close to 300 per cent.

 

“From N5, 000 paid across board for each person, the least person in the health sector is getting N15, 000, while the big ones are getting N45, 000. So, that is the quantum leap.’’he added.

 

The minister therefore, appealed to ASUU and other university-based unions once more to suspend their strike so that academic activities could resume once again in public universities across the country.

News

ASUU: FG agrees to pay N34bn minimum wage arrears

 

The Federal Government says it will spend about N34 billion as arrears of Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments in the education sector effective from 2019.

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige said that this was aimed at resolving the lingering crisis in the sector, NAN reports.

 

Ngige made this known while speaking with newsmen on the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and others on Tuesday in Abuja.

 

Ngige said that the beneficiaries of the Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments included the members of the striking ASUU and their counterparts in the polytechnics and Colleges of Education.

 

According to Ngige, the universities will get N23.5 billion, the polytechnics N6 billion and the Colleges of Education N4 billion, bringing the total sum to N33.5 billion.

 

The minister, while giving an update on the ongoing strike, said committees were set up during the last tripartite meeting of the government and university based unions.

 

He said they were given a fortnight to turn in their report, adding they were still working and the reports of the committees were being expected at the end of the week.

 

“Those committees are working. The one on NITDA is testing the three platforms, the government’s Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

 

“Also the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) of ASUU and the Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (UPPPS) of the non-teaching staff.

 

“They started the testing last Thursday. The National Salaries, Wages and Incomes Commission (NSWIC) has issued their amendment circulars.

 

“The unions also have copies to take care of responsibility and hazard allowances wherever it has not been properly captured.’’

 

Ngige assured that there might likely be wage adjustments as the government intensified efforts to streamline wages through the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.

 

“For example, we have done it for the police . It wasn’t envisaged that we should do it in pockets.

 

“You can also see university teachers saying that their own should be done immediately, since we have done for the police. So, something is being done. It was part of the 2009 negotiation they had with the government then.

 

“So, the committee of Prof. Briggs is on it, discussing with the university unions and their employer, the Federal Ministry of Education. They will bring up something for the government to see.

 

“There are other people. The doctors are complaining about brain-drain, this and that. Their hazard allowance has to be touched and it was touched by close to 300 per cent.

 

“From N5, 000 paid across board for each person, the least person in the health sector is getting N15, 000, while the big ones are getting N45, 000. So, that is the quantum leap.’’he added.

 

The minister therefore, appealed to ASUU and other university-based unions once more to suspend their strike so that academic activities could resume once again in public universities across the country.

News

Opportunity International supports customers with interest buy-down and guarantee facility

Opportunity International Savings and Loans Limited, a leading Savings and Loans company in Ghana in collaboration with the Visa Foundation is implementing an Economic Recovery and Rebuild Initiative (ERRI) project to help reduce the impact of COVID-19 on businesses of its existing clients through interest buy-down and guarantee facility.

With funding support from the VISA Foundation, the ERRI commenced in June 2021 and comes to a close in May 2022.

The main objective of the ERRI was to help reduce the interest burden of our existing clients by reimbursing them with 50% of their interest amount. This is to reward our loyal clients while also encouraging new clients and defaulters to repay their loans so that they can benefit from such interventions.

The beneficiaries of this facility comprised of individual women clients or groups with majority of women membership. Eighty-five percent (85%) out of the total eight hundred and fifty-two (852) beneficiaries were women.

One key qualification criteria used in the selection process for these clients was to complete their loan repayment without defaulting at the end of the maturity date and with a minimum loan cycle of seven after which the client benefits from the interest buy-down, in the form of a 50% interest refund.

To avoid the culture of loan delinquency, the guarantee facility was not communicated to the beneficiaries. However, the agreed discounts were applied to the accounts of qualifying applicants.

Additionally, The UPS Foundation which is similar to the VISA Foundation redesigned its program to create the financial and managerial capabilities of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), as well as connect them to both financial resources and the market through interest buy-downs to help lessen the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses. Given this reason, the project reduced the interest rate for PWDs for both existing and new clients. A total of fifty-six (56) PWDs benefited from the project, with 31 of them being women.

On successful implementation of the ERRI project, a survey was conducted within the beneficiary communities to ascertain the impact of such an intervention and how the assistance has improved their lives.

An overwhelming majority of ninety-five (95%) of our clients hailed the project as an important intervention at a time when COVID had disrupted many local and global production and distribution systems. These responses are clear attestations of the positive impact that the ERRI project has had on our loan clients and Opportunity International as a business.

Most importantly, the Opportunity International brand has been established within the beneficiary communities as one committed to not just conducting the business of banking but also to the overall development of its customer base.

Opportunity International Savings and Loans Limited is a leading savings and loans institution in Ghana. Opportunity International is at the forefront of delivering transformational financial services to help transform the lives of clients.

The Institution serves over 610,000 depositors with loans, deposit products, and other services across 10 out of the 16 regions of the country. It operates in 23 countries across the globe serving nearly 10 million clients with the Global office in Chicago, USA.

The Visa Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Visa, works with charitable organizations to support underserved people and communities. As its central focus, the Visa Foundation is committed to helping low-income, financially underserved micro and small enterprises around the world to thrive and prosper.

The UPS Foundation is a leading UPS’s global citizenship efforts and philanthropy since 1951. The UPS Foundation’s philanthropic approach centres on four focus areas: health & humanitarian relief, equity and economic empowerment, local engagement and planet protection.

News

Scientists at KNUST record alarming levels of antibiotics in landfill sites

Researchers at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology have recorded alarming levels of antibiotics in soil and water samples at Landfill sites in Kumasi, Ashanti Region.

The article, published in the Journal of Chemistry, revealed that concentrations of commonly used antibiotics such as penicillin in the soil and water at landfill sites are a thousand fold higher than the acceptable limit and thus create a conducive environment for bacteria evolution and antibiotic-resistance.

The scientists are concerned about the potential harm this could pose to the environment.

A Landfill site is an area of land that has been specifically engineered to allow for the deposition of waste.

Landfills are therefore reservoirs for many pharmaceuticals and provide a conducive habitat for antibiotic-resistant organisms.

The study conducted 2 years ago, sought to determine the levels of three commonly used antibiotics, metronidazole (flagyl), penicillin, and amoxicillin in the soil and water of active and abandoned landfill sites in Kumasi. 

They also set out to investigate the occurrence of antibiotic resistance amongst microorganisms found at the sites. 

All three antibiotics were detected in samples from all locations. 

Penicillin levels were much higher in both soil and water samples in comparison to the other antibiotics studied. 

“As high as 120.52 micrograms of penicillin per gram of soil was recorded at one site,” said lead scientist, Dr. Sheringham Borquaye.

Bacteria isolated from the study sites proved to be resistant to some antibiotics, especially ampicillin. 

The scientists attribute the unacceptable levels of antibiotics at the landfills to the irrational disposal of medicines by both households and pharmacies. 

The researchers recommend that steps be taken to regulate the indiscriminate disposal culture for pharmaceuticals to avert any possible public health disaster.

News

16-year-old girl stabbed to death in a fight over alleged boyfriend

A 16-year-old student of the Nkwadum D/A Junior High School in the Akontombra District of the Western North region has allegedly been stabbed to death by a schoolmate.

The victim, Akua Kumah and the suspect, Francisca Hayford are reported to have been fighting over a boy.

Confirming the news to Adom News, Assemblyman for Nkwadum Electoral area, Isaac Etsie said the incident occurred when the students had a misunderstanding after they closed from school on Monday.

“I was informed on Monday evening that two students were having a fight and during the fisticuffs the 15-year-old in JHS 2 stabbed the 16-year-old in JHS 3 in the breast,” he told Adom News’ Augustine Boah.

A Physician Assistant at the Sefwi Nsawora Health Centre, Charles Kwabena Amoako, also said that the victim was brought in dead.

He disclosed that the victim was stabbed in the chest, causing her to bleed to death.

Meanwhile, the deceased has been deposited at the Sefwi-Wiawso Government Hospital for autopsy.

However, the suspect is in police custody at Sefwi-Akontombra assisting with investigations.

News

Court fines pastor ₵600 for making noise

The Tema Magistrate Court has imposed a fine of ₵600 or in default three months imprisonment with hard labour on the Head Pastor of God’s Shield Gospel Ministry for noise pollution.

The court presided over by Mr. Festus Fovi Nukunu slapped the fine on the accused after he pleaded guilty to the charges of failing to obtain a sanitation report.

The prosecution, led by Issah Al-Hassan, said the accused is the founder and Head Pastor of God’s Shield Gospel Ministry at Adjei Kojo Kanewu. On June 18, 2021, a complaint of noise nuisance was lodged by some aggrieved residents against the accused person.

The prosecution told the court that a team of Environmental Health and Sanitation Officers (EHOs) was tasked to investigate and take appropriate action.

On the same day June 18, 2021, a team of EHOs commenced an investigation into the said allegation.

According to the prosecution, the fact of the case was that the church, a rented temporal structure without soundproof, was sited within a residential community.

The prosecution explained that the church had been organising weekday and weekend church activities with loud sound emanating from a public address system to the annoyance of residents in the neighbourhood.

The prosecution said it was operating without Suitability Health Report and Sanitation permit covering the church and its activities from the Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit.

The accused person’s attention was drawn to the breach and he admitted the offence.

Statutory notice was served on the accused person to abate the nuisances but failed to comply with an order to suspend the weekday church activities as well as stop the use of the sound system and regulate Sunday church activities and report for further inquiries and discussions.

The Head Pastor reported on June 21, 2021, and told the team that they had stopped making noise.

However, a few days later the residents came back to the office with a documented petition which was submitted to the Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit of the Tema West Municipal Assembly’s Administration Office on August 11, 2021, emphasizing the failure of the church to adhere to local authority’s advice.

Hence, the court summons was applied for and served on the local pastor to appear before the court.

News

Alltech ONE Conference makes live audience return with agri-food experts and inspiring keynote speakers

Dr. Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech, opened the Alltech ONE Conference to both live and virtual global audiences.

The Alltech ONE Conference (ONE) opened to a live audience in Lexington, Kentucky, on Monday after being held as a virtual-only event for two years.

Alltech’s flagship event continues to be an invaluable industry resource, providing innovative ideas, inspiration and motivation through world-class speakers and unmatched content.

ONE welcomed nearly 2,000 international delegates to downtown Lexington, with an additional 5,000 participating virtually.

The ONE Mainstage session began with Dr Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech, who welcomed the in-person delegates to Lexington and virtual attendees tuning in from around the world, challenging them to think about what comes next as we look toward the future.

“It’s been almost 1,100 days since we were last together, and certainly, we know a tremendous amount has changed — from social turmoil to a global pandemic and beyond,” Lyons said.

“What is this all telling us? What can we step back and think about in terms of how we progress forward?”

Lyons was joined on the ONE main stage by Heather White, author, founder and CEO of “OneGreenThing,” who brought two decades of environmental advocacy work and national nonprofit leadership to life with her book, “One Green Thing: Discover Your Hidden Power to Help Save the Planet.”

White offered three steps to make climate action a joyful daily practice. First, think beyond your age and listen. Secondly, find your unique role, and third, apply the daily routine of sustainability.

Following White’s presentation, Lyons spoke about agriculture’s role in saving the planet.

“Reducing is not enough; we must do something different,” said Lyons.

“Our belief is that agriculture has the greatest potential to positively influence our planet’s future, provide nutrition for all, and help rural communities thrive and replenish our planet’s resources.”

The keynote lineup also included Nikki Putnam Badding, registered dietitian nutritionist and managing director of Acutia. Putnam Badding spoke about the crucial importance of making nutrition accessible to all.

“The impact of malnutrition is far-reaching,” said Putnam Badding.

“So, is it enough to just feed the world? Instead, do we need to focus on providing nutrition for all, thereby changing the dialogue from food security to nutrition security?”

Dr Vaughn Holder, Alltech ruminant research group director, then shared his insights on how animal agriculture can be part of the solution to improving sustainability.

“We sit at the interface between the main carbon-capturing industry and the main food production industry in the world,” said Holder.

“Those things are tied closely together and unavoidable. We sit in a unique position to be doing something about the carbon argument. It really is important that we do not talk about compromising one for the other — because we have to do both.”

Alltech ONE Conference makes live audience return with agri-food experts and inspiring keynote speakers
Dr. Karl Dawson became the 31st recipient of the Alltech Medal of Excellence Award. L to R are Dr Vaughn Holder, Dr Karl Dawson, Dr Mark Lyons and Nikki Putnam Badding.

During the opening session, Lyons presented the Alltech Medal of Excellence Award to Dr Karl Dawson for his advancement of animal science over a career spanning more than five decades.

The award further recognises Dawson’s contributions as an educator, innovator, mentor, scientist and technologist.

Dawson became the 31st recipient of the Alltech Medal of Excellence Award and, having previously received the honour in 1992, also became the 1st two-time recipient.

In addition to hearing from the inspiring keynote speakers, ONE attendees participated in live workshops and focus tracks, uncovering the challenges and opportunities in agriculture, business, health and wellness, and professional development.

News

4 communication barriers that destroy even the best relationships

“We just need to learn how to communicate effectively.” That’s nearly how every initial conversation begins when clients contact me for help. Does that ring a bell with you?

Most are surprised when after discussing the broad areas in which we communicate, they actually are pretty good at it. Unless, of course, it comes to our close intimate relationships, then it seems as though we not only didn’t learn, but it’s impossible to learn.  

Here’s the good and the bad news. 

First the good news. You are more than capable and know more than you think you do. Next, the bad news. You are making a choice — either conscious or unconsciously — on using dysfunctional and bad communication habits.

Most of us, when the chips are down and we’re in the thick of a disagreement, respond in an unconscious way. Perhaps it’s what we learned growing up in our family system. Or perhaps we’ve been doing the same thing for so long and no one ever told us it was damaging.  

The alternative applies to those who believe they know better and are better than their partner and therefore can communicate however they bloody well please. After all…they know best.  

When you think of dysfunctional communication, where do your thoughts go? I believe most people think of volatility or defensiveness as being the most toxic, but there are more barriers to communication, such as avoidance, contempt, blaming, and the need to be right.

These might not seem as egregious as a blatant verbal smackdown but are certainly detrimental to one’s relational health. 

Think about where you might sit on the communication spectrum of healthy versus unhealthy. What are the areas you would like to improve? Maybe you lean towards blatant anger. Or perhaps you avoid conversations that are necessary to move through an issue.

You may need some guidance and tools to get you to more loving, understanding, and productive communications, but you CAN and SHOULD work on it.

4 Communication Barriers That Destroy Even The Best Relationships

1. You burst into anger.

Anger is an emotion, right? We all experience anger. But, it’s what we do with the anger that makes it a barrier to healthy communication.

When we’re trying to communicate, it’s typically to resolve an issue. Let me ask you. When was the last time someone yelled at you and you came away feeling loved, motivated, and wanting to change? You probably don’t.

Remember that your goal is to understand and then to be understood. Hopefully, with that, a change will come about. 

I don’t care that you never learned how not to yell or be intimidating. You learned well enough to get through other areas of your life and you can learn this too.  

2. You treat your partner with contempt.

According to John Gottman, “When we communicate in this state, we are truly mean.”

Treating others with disrespect and mocking them with sarcasm are forms of contempt. So are hostile humor, name-calling, mimicking, and/or body language such as eye-rolling and sneering.

In whatever form, contempt is poisonous to a relationship because it conveys disgust. It’s virtually impossible to resolve a problem when your partner is getting the message that you’re disgusted with them.

Contempt is fueled by long-simmering negative thoughts about the partner, in the form of an attack from a position of relative superiority. Inevitably, contempt leads to more conflict rather than to reconciliation.

3. You avoid your partner.

While avoidance is not listed as an emotion, it’s still fear-based and, therefore, is driven by emotion. Is the fear real or imagined? The answer is perhaps both.

The imagined fear of the outcome if you speak up or tackle something can be based on our family history. Perhaps you had a raging family, perhaps you witnessed your mother being verbally abused if she spoke up so you learned at an early age it’s not safe. 

Perhaps you don’t feel worthy or that it’s not your place. You do have feelings and you do have a right to have a voice. It’s not easy to exercise that muscle, but it is one that needs to be developed. If your fear is real because it’s not a safe place to speak your mind, please, seek help from a professional. 

4. You play the blame game.

This stance keeps us stuck. Yes, that’s right stuck — it prevents us from taking our own inventory and focuses the sole problem on someone else. You say things like, “We wouldn’t be arguing if you didn’t _________ (fill in the blank).”

For example, you’re constantly late, yet you tell your partner they are too demanding of your time. Instead, acknowledge it by saying, “You know, you’re right, I am always late. I think I need to reevaluate my schedule. I’m sorry I was late again.” Can you see how much softer and more meaningful it is?  

To improve your communication, here’s a challenge for you: First, identify where your edge(s) might be. If you can’t find one, I can tell you that’s the one you need to work on.

We all have something we bring to our relationships, so look a little deeper. Once you have it, commit to trying something different for one week. If you have the need to be right, step back and perhaps offer, You know, I’m not sure about that” or “You might be right.”

If you are an avoider, dip your toe in to ask for time to discuss something that’s on your mind. If you are quick to blow, take a breath. And then maybe another breath. Wait until the moment(s) pass before you respond in aggressive anger.  

News

4 communication barriers that destroy even the best relationships

“We just need to learn how to communicate effectively.” That’s nearly how every initial conversation begins when clients contact me for help. Does that ring a bell with you?

Most are surprised when after discussing the broad areas in which we communicate, they actually are pretty good at it. Unless, of course, it comes to our close intimate relationships, then it seems as though we not only didn’t learn, but it’s impossible to learn.  

Here’s the good and the bad news. 

First the good news. You are more than capable and know more than you think you do. Next, the bad news. You are making a choice — either conscious or unconsciously — on using dysfunctional and bad communication habits.

Most of us, when the chips are down and we’re in the thick of a disagreement, respond in an unconscious way. Perhaps it’s what we learned growing up in our family system. Or perhaps we’ve been doing the same thing for so long and no one ever told us it was damaging.  

The alternative applies to those who believe they know better and are better than their partner and therefore can communicate however they bloody well please. After all…they know best.  

When you think of dysfunctional communication, where do your thoughts go? I believe most people think of volatility or defensiveness as being the most toxic, but there are more barriers to communication, such as avoidance, contempt, blaming, and the need to be right.

These might not seem as egregious as a blatant verbal smackdown but are certainly detrimental to one’s relational health. 

Think about where you might sit on the communication spectrum of healthy versus unhealthy. What are the areas you would like to improve? Maybe you lean towards blatant anger. Or perhaps you avoid conversations that are necessary to move through an issue.

You may need some guidance and tools to get you to more loving, understanding, and productive communications, but you CAN and SHOULD work on it.

4 Communication Barriers That Destroy Even The Best Relationships

1. You burst into anger.

Anger is an emotion, right? We all experience anger. But, it’s what we do with the anger that makes it a barrier to healthy communication.

When we’re trying to communicate, it’s typically to resolve an issue. Let me ask you. When was the last time someone yelled at you and you came away feeling loved, motivated, and wanting to change? You probably don’t.

Remember that your goal is to understand and then to be understood. Hopefully, with that, a change will come about. 

I don’t care that you never learned how not to yell or be intimidating. You learned well enough to get through other areas of your life and you can learn this too.  

2. You treat your partner with contempt.

According to John Gottman, “When we communicate in this state, we are truly mean.”

Treating others with disrespect and mocking them with sarcasm are forms of contempt. So are hostile humor, name-calling, mimicking, and/or body language such as eye-rolling and sneering.

In whatever form, contempt is poisonous to a relationship because it conveys disgust. It’s virtually impossible to resolve a problem when your partner is getting the message that you’re disgusted with them.

Contempt is fueled by long-simmering negative thoughts about the partner, in the form of an attack from a position of relative superiority. Inevitably, contempt leads to more conflict rather than to reconciliation.

3. You avoid your partner.

While avoidance is not listed as an emotion, it’s still fear-based and, therefore, is driven by emotion. Is the fear real or imagined? The answer is perhaps both.

The imagined fear of the outcome if you speak up or tackle something can be based on our family history. Perhaps you had a raging family, perhaps you witnessed your mother being verbally abused if she spoke up so you learned at an early age it’s not safe. 

Perhaps you don’t feel worthy or that it’s not your place. You do have feelings and you do have a right to have a voice. It’s not easy to exercise that muscle, but it is one that needs to be developed. If your fear is real because it’s not a safe place to speak your mind, please, seek help from a professional. 

4. You play the blame game.

This stance keeps us stuck. Yes, that’s right stuck — it prevents us from taking our own inventory and focuses the sole problem on someone else. You say things like, “We wouldn’t be arguing if you didn’t _________ (fill in the blank).”

For example, you’re constantly late, yet you tell your partner they are too demanding of your time. Instead, acknowledge it by saying, “You know, you’re right, I am always late. I think I need to reevaluate my schedule. I’m sorry I was late again.” Can you see how much softer and more meaningful it is?  

To improve your communication, here’s a challenge for you: First, identify where your edge(s) might be. If you can’t find one, I can tell you that’s the one you need to work on.

We all have something we bring to our relationships, so look a little deeper. Once you have it, commit to trying something different for one week. If you have the need to be right, step back and perhaps offer, You know, I’m not sure about that” or “You might be right.”

If you are an avoider, dip your toe in to ask for time to discuss something that’s on your mind. If you are quick to blow, take a breath. And then maybe another breath. Wait until the moment(s) pass before you respond in aggressive anger.  

News

FG moves to impose new tax regime on telephone calls

 

A ploy to cater for the health needs of Nigerian citizens considered to be most vulnerable to health challenges, may see the Federal Government injecting a new tax on phone calls in the country, soon.

 

This is coming despite recent increment by telecommunication companies for the price of their services as a result of harsh economic operating conditions.

 

The new telecom tax which is coming in the equivalent of a minimum of one kobo per second for phone calls is meant to boost sources of funds required to finance free healthcare for the vulnerable group in Nigeria.

 

The information was contained in the National Health Insurance Authority Bill 2021 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

 

The act includes a provision under Section 26 subsection 1c which states that the source of money for the Vulnerable Group Fund includes telecommunications tax, not less than one kobo per second of GSM calls.

 

The Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Taiwo Oyedele, said, “S.26 of this new law imposes a telecommunications tax of not less than 1kobo per second on GSM calls. With call rates at about 11kobo per second, this translates to a 9 per cent tax on GSM calls.

 

“The tax is one of the sources of money to the Vulnerable Group Fund to subsidise the provision of healthcare to the group defined to include children under five, pregnant women, the aged, physically and mentally challenged, and the indigent as may be defined from time to time.”

 

According to the act, the Vulnerable Group Fund is money budgeted to pay for healthcare services for vulnerable Nigerians who cannot pay for health insurance in a bid to subsidise the cost of provision of health care services to vulnerable people in the country.

 

For funding, the act provides several options such as basic health care provision fund to the authority; health insurance levy; telecommunications tax, not less than one kobo per second of GSM calls.

 

It also stipulates that money that may be allocated to the Vulnerable Group Fund by the Government; mostly that accrues to the Vulnerable Group Fund from investments made by the Council: and grants, donations, gifts, and any other voluntary contributions made to the Vulnerable Group Fund.

 

Also in the new act, every citizen in Nigeria is expected to obtain a health insurance policy.

 

The telecom operators also had cause to write to the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Communications Commission, on the conditions of the industry.

 

The operators under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria had proposed a 40 per cent increase in the cost of calls, SMS, and data owing to the rising cost of service provision in the country.

 

Most mobile phone users have also observed the poor service provision from service providers, a situation many attribute to high cost of energy.

News Politics

2023 presidency: Tinubu opens up on being sick

 

The National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu has put to rest the discrepancy surrounding his health status.

 

There have been speculations that the former Lagos State Governor who is one of the frontline presidential aspirants under the platform of APC, has medical issues he is battling with.

 

Several video clips had emerged on social media indicating how physically unfit the Asiwaju of Lagos is.

 

However, speaking at the Nasarawa Government House, Lafia, on Friday while pleading with state delegates to vote for him during the May 30th APC presidential primaries, Tinubu said he is not sick.

 

Reacting to insinuations that he lacks the physical strength to serve as president of the country, the former governor said he is not applying to become a wrestler.

 

According to him, “I’m not competing to be a WWE wrestling man. They say he is sick; he is not well. Am I sick? I’m not. When I apply for this job, I didn’t apply to Governor Abdullahi Sule to be a concrete mixer.”

News

Reality zone with Vicky Wireko: Do you see some silver lining in Covid-19?

A lady in a facemask shopping at Accra Central when the lockdown was lifted on April 20, 2020.

If it is a truism that every dark cloud has a silver lining, then Covid-19, despite its devastations, has definitely brought us not one, not two, not three but possibly many many silver linings to help mankind.  This includes the fast discovery of vaccines.

Certainly in the area of public health, we have some learning and definitely some habits that are going to be part of our lives for some time to come. That is an assertion by some experts.

At a talk organised by Zonta Club of Accra recently on the impact of Covid-19 on women, Dr Christine Boatemaa Mensah of the Health Link Hospital in Accra held her audience spellbound with a list of benefits that the pandemic has brought into one’s life. Here in this country alone, medical experts have acknowledged a few.

Speaking on the topic: “The impact of Covid-19, Role of women”, Dr Mensah enumerated the health benefit outcomes of the pandemic in our country.

It is gratifying to note that for almost two and a half years since the pandemic turned our world upside down and brought misery to many homes, cases of other forms of infectious diseases due to poor hygiene practices have dropped significantly. 

Personal hygiene

Though she did not support her claim with statistics, Dr Mensah said the high levels of alertness and the awareness created in good personal hygiene, coupled with regular handwashing with soap under running water, necessitated by Covid-19, have seen very few people reporting to hospital or health care centres with hygiene-related diseases.

She said that in our environment, diseases which were quite recurring in communities including cholera, diarrhoea and dysentery have all come down in the last two and a half years. She explained that this could only be assigned to the good hygiene practices that many people have now adopted on regular basis.

Food health

Quite apart from the improvement in personal hygiene, another good practice the pandemic has taught people is to concentrate on healthy and well-balanced foods. Thankfully, people have now come to know such super spices as ginger, garlic, and cloves, which are described as immune boosters and are regularly used in cooking.    

With Covid-19, people have become conscious of what they eat; it has influenced the daily selection of ingredients and menus by out of home caterers who have also turned to cook healthy meals in their trade.

The same goes for drinks.  Many people are now pushing for naturally produced fruit juices rather than fizzy or soft drinks as often referred to.

Asthma

The other good news coming out of Covid-19 is the lowering of asthma cases. With the use of masks in public places, including schools, the case of sufferers breathing in polluted air which triggers the attack has also minimised

Overall, the level of education related to Covid-19 has helped tremendously to improve one’s living standards and healthy practices. The use of disposable tissues and handkerchiefs when sneezing or coughing has now become common, whereas it was not so in times past. 

Spitting indiscriminately around and blowing noses in the open air is gradually reducing.

Covid-19 has been a curse in many homes in the last couple of years.  The devastation it brought at the onset left many families and friends who lost their dear ones, broken and shattered.

However, the hard-earned lessons it has left in many minds, homes, workplaces and schools and the positive lessons imprinted in many may live with them for years to come. 

Covid-19 is a curse, a never wished for thing. However, on the flip side, it definitely has its positive sides.  Lives have been dimmed by the atrocious nature of the pandemic but many more lives have also been made richer.

The question is how does one build on the positives for the better? Pandemics come and go but are we picking up and forging forward with those lemons thrown at us?

****

The writer can be contacted via email at vickywirekoandoh@yahoo.com

News

Men must support their pregnant partners – Gynecologist

A Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Dr Michael Macarthy, says men equally have a significant role in the pregnancy journey of their significant partners.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Ultimate Health on Sunday, the health practitioner said the men must support their partners emotionally and physically during the nine-month journey.

“The men are the primary supporters of their pregnant women. And they play multiple roles. First, they play the role of the moderator; they observe what is going on.

“They play the role of the one who will intervene. They play the role of the supporter by ensuring that their partners heed the instructions of the doctor,” he said.

On her part, the Chief Executive of Float Wellness Spa, Dzidzor Arkutu, said pregnancy is a different experience for everyone.

In view of that, the Wellness Expert said it is important that every woman appreciates the journey.

“Everybody is different, and everybody has a different experience with pregnancy. So it is more of personal consultation and not a general one. So we get to understand exactly where the woman is and how we can help her.

“Sometimes, it is about building confidence in her body that she can carry the pregnancy. And you’ll be surprised how much consultation is needed to build this kind of confidence in women. Sometimes her skin changes.

“She has acne, and her body is changing; how to bring the woman to accept, acknowledge and appreciate her journey is what we look at.”

News

Spain heatwave brings record May temperatures

Parts of Spain are experiencing their hottest May ever with temperatures of more than 40C in some places, according to the state weather agency, AEMET.

The agency issued heat warnings in 10 regions for Saturday, saying it could be “one of the most intense” heatwaves in years.

The city of Jaén in southern Spain recorded its highest ever May temperature of 40C on Friday.

Climate change is making heatwaves more frequent and more intense.

Spain’s unseasonably warm spring weather is a result of hot air coming from North Africa, causing temperatures to rise by up to 15C above average for this time of year.

A man cools down with a drink of water at Ronda's Monumento al Toro
Image caption,Residents have been urged to drink plenty of water

The worst-hit regions are Andalusia in the south, Extremadura in the south-west, Madrid and Castilla La Mancha in the centre and Aragon in the north-east.

Spain’s health ministry urged residents to drink plenty of water and to stay in cool places when possible. It also advised people to reduce physical activity.

“This year it seems to have gone directly to summer, but we have to keep going,” Madrid road sweeper Rocio Vazquez, 58, told Reuters news agency.

Tourists in Madrid shelter from the heat
Image caption,The heat has affected some of Spain’s popular tourist destinations

Tourists were also feeling the heat.

“I was expecting a little bit cooler, fresher weather,” Eric Solis, 32, told Agence France-Presse during a trip to Madrid from the US. It is “not too convenient for tourists”, he added.

Overnight temperatures have also been unusually high, remaining above 25C in several areas on Friday night. In Jaén, the minimum temperature of 25.9C was the highest ever recorded in mainland Spain.

A man cools off in a fountain during hot weather in Cordoba

Scientists say that heatwaves are likely to become more frequent and more intense around the world, as global temperatures rise. Their impact is also likely to be more widespread.

News

Akufo-Addo cuts sod for University of Engineering And Agricultural Science at Bunso

President Akufo-Addo, on Friday, cut a sod for the commencement of the construction of the University of Engineering and Agricultural Sciences (UEAS), at Bunso, in the Eastern Region.

The project costing $90 million is funded by the Export-Import Bank of Korea and the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) of the Republic of Korea and is expected to be completed in two years.

Upon completion, UEAS will be the second public University in the Eastern Region, with the first being the University of Environment and Sustainable Development at Somanya.

Speaking at a durbar of chiefs and people before the groundbreaking ceremony at Bunso, Nana Akufo-Addo, thanked the Korean Government for its support of the development of the country and assured them of Ghana’s determination to deepen and expand the bonds of friendship between the two countries.                                                   

Akufo-Addo cuts sod for University of Engineering And Agricultural Science at Bunso

The President said the current state of affairs in the world hinges largely on science and technology towards the management and conservation of natural resources in the form of energy, industry, agriculture, medicine and health, clean air and water, transportation and sanitation etc.                 

“So, it is obvious that to be a part of this modern world, there must be science and technology elements at all levels of the development process. This means that a country’s development depends on its ability to understand, adapt, produce and commercialise scientific and technological knowledge in ways appropriate to its culture, aspirations and level of development,” he added.                                                                   

He explained that that will help shape the fulfilment of the national dream, which was to meet basic challenges of survival like providing food, shelter, clothing, health and security for the people, and creating the wealth that would guarantee the prosperity of the present and future generations.

“The establishment of this University is also part of the Government’s response to the current national preoccupation with food security. The University will provide leadership in teaching, research and public outreach across several fields, and will help address problems that affect our food security, and enhance future competitiveness of Ghana’s industries in a sustainable manner,” he said.

The President recounted the introduction and implementation of various programmes and initiatives during the past five years all geared toward increasing access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education with the goal being to ensure a target of a 60:40 science-humanities ratio, and also educate a critical mass of the Ghanaian population for science-related jobs, which will define their future employability.

He announced that the nation’s Gross Tertiary Enrolment Ratio (GTER) which was 18.8 per cent as of 2021 had increased significantly to 20 per cent this year and he pledged to work very hard to ensure that the nation made many gains in that direction.

TVET record

Nana Akufo-Addo said “I am, thus, happy to note that this year’s enrolment of TVET students in Senior High Schools has reached record levels – forty-four thousand (44,000) students, representing a one hundred per cent increase over the 2021 enrolment figure.

The Korean Ambassador to Ghana, Lim Jung-Taek, lauded the President for the effort he was making toward the transformation of the nation’s economy through education.

He pledged to continue supporting the development of the country to improve the standard of living of the people through improvement in infrastructure development in the country.

The Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, thanked the government for the project which would go a long way to bring development to the people in the area and the rest of the country.

Background

The President during the presentation of the State of the Nation address in Parliament on 30th March 2022, hinted at plans and steps being taken to turn the Bunso campus of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development into a fully-fledged independent University dedicated to the study of Engineering.

It was based on the promise made to the nation that he proceeded to cut the sod for the commencement of work for the new university expected to be completed within 24-months.

News

Akufo-Addo cuts sod for University of Engineering And Agricultural Science at Bunso

President Akufo-Addo, on Friday, cut a sod for the commencement of the construction of the University of Engineering and Agricultural Sciences (UEAS), at Bunso, in the Eastern Region.

The project costing $90 million is funded by the Export-Import Bank of Korea and the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) of the Republic of Korea and is expected to be completed in two years.

Upon completion, UEAS will be the second public University in the Eastern Region, with the first being the University of Environment and Sustainable Development at Somanya.

Speaking at a durbar of chiefs and people before the groundbreaking ceremony at Bunso, Nana Akufo-Addo, thanked the Korean Government for its support of the development of the country and assured them of Ghana’s determination to deepen and expand the bonds of friendship between the two countries.                                                   

Akufo-Addo cuts sod for University of Engineering And Agricultural Science at Bunso

The President said the current state of affairs in the world hinges largely on science and technology towards the management and conservation of natural resources in the form of energy, industry, agriculture, medicine and health, clean air and water, transportation and sanitation etc.                 

“So, it is obvious that to be a part of this modern world, there must be science and technology elements at all levels of the development process. This means that a country’s development depends on its ability to understand, adapt, produce and commercialise scientific and technological knowledge in ways appropriate to its culture, aspirations and level of development,” he added.                                                                   

He explained that that will help shape the fulfilment of the national dream, which was to meet basic challenges of survival like providing food, shelter, clothing, health and security for the people, and creating the wealth that would guarantee the prosperity of the present and future generations.

“The establishment of this University is also part of the Government’s response to the current national preoccupation with food security. The University will provide leadership in teaching, research and public outreach across several fields, and will help address problems that affect our food security, and enhance future competitiveness of Ghana’s industries in a sustainable manner,” he said.

The President recounted the introduction and implementation of various programmes and initiatives during the past five years all geared toward increasing access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education with the goal being to ensure a target of a 60:40 science-humanities ratio, and also educate a critical mass of the Ghanaian population for science-related jobs, which will define their future employability.

He announced that the nation’s Gross Tertiary Enrolment Ratio (GTER) which was 18.8 per cent as of 2021 had increased significantly to 20 per cent this year and he pledged to work very hard to ensure that the nation made many gains in that direction.

TVET record

Nana Akufo-Addo said “I am, thus, happy to note that this year’s enrolment of TVET students in Senior High Schools has reached record levels – forty-four thousand (44,000) students, representing a one hundred per cent increase over the 2021 enrolment figure.

The Korean Ambassador to Ghana, Lim Jung-Taek, lauded the President for the effort he was making toward the transformation of the nation’s economy through education.

He pledged to continue supporting the development of the country to improve the standard of living of the people through improvement in infrastructure development in the country.

The Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, thanked the government for the project which would go a long way to bring development to the people in the area and the rest of the country.

Background

The President during the presentation of the State of the Nation address in Parliament on 30th March 2022, hinted at plans and steps being taken to turn the Bunso campus of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development into a fully-fledged independent University dedicated to the study of Engineering.

It was based on the promise made to the nation that he proceeded to cut the sod for the commencement of work for the new university expected to be completed within 24-months.