Rawlings Family celebrates Otumfuo Osei Tutu II

Former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings and her adult children were in Kumasi to celebrate the 74th birthday of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, as well as the 25th anniversary of his enstoolment as Asantehene.

A statement issued by the Kobina Andoh Amoakwa, the Communications Director of the Rawlings Foundation, copied to the Ghana News Agency said on Sunday May 12, the family, clad in colourful attire joined well-wishers from across Ghana and other parts of the world to celebrate the grand commemorative Akwasidae ceremony at Dwabrem, Manhyia Palace.

It said Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, Amina Agyeman-Rawlings and Kimathi Agyeman-Rawlings, alongside their mother, took turns to congratulate Otumfuo Osei Tutu II as he sat in state, while adding beauty and colour to an exceptionally resplendent ceremony.

It noted that earlier on Monday, May 6, the entire family led by Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings and comprising Zanetor, Yaa Asantewaa, Amina and Kimathi were at the St Cyprian’s Anglican Church in
Kumasi for the Birthday Thanksgiving Service of the Asantehene.

Adding that they also attended a birthday dinner on the same day in honour of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings is a direct descendant of the Ashanti Royal family and has close ties with Manhyia and it makes it a responsibility to participate in most traditional Ashanti events.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Top court bars former president Zuma from South African election

South Africa’s highest court ruled on Monday that former president Jacob Zuma cannot stand as a candidate in next week’s general election on the grounds that a 2021 conviction for contempt of court has disqualified him.

The Constitutional Court ruled that Zuma’s sentence of more than 12 months in prison had made him ineligible to stand.

His former party, the ruling African National Congress (ANC), suspended Zuma, 82, in January. He has since founded a new party, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) and intended to stand as chairman of the party in the May 29 elections.

The Constitutional Court ruling reverses an earlier ruling by a lower court allowing Zuma to stand in the elections.

The elections are seen as the most significant since freedom fighter and later president Nelson Mandela led the country to democracy in 1994. Polls indicate that the ANC could for the first time lose its absolute majority and be forced to seek a coalition partner.

Under the constitution, the president is appointed by parliament and not di
rectly elected.

President from 2009 to 2018, Zuma was forced from office on grounds of corruption. In 2021 he was handed a 15-month prison term after refusing to give evidence to a committee investigating nepotism and corruption during his period in office.

His arrest provoked riots in which some 350 people were killed and hundreds of businesses were looted and firebombed.

Zuma served less than eight weeks in prison before being released on grounds of poor health.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Inaugural Leading Woman Forum focuses on women in Leadership

The inaugural Leading Woman Forum, hosted by Publicis West Africa and partners, brought together trailblazing women leaders to share their journeys, insights, and advice.

Keynote speaker Koo Govender, CEO of Publicis Groupe Africa, urged women to embrace challenges and cultivate a culture of learning and mutual support.

‘Women’s leadership is not a nicety, it’s a necessity. We need more women in leadership positions to bring diversity, inclusivity, and creativity to the corporate world,’ she said.

The forum inspired participants to pursue their aspirations with resilience and confidence, shaping a brighter future for women in leadership.

A panel of distinguished women leaders from various sectors discussed their paths to success, overcoming obstacles, and empowering others.

Seasoned journalist, Vivian Kai Lokko, encouraged women to be deliberate about lifting other women at the workplace, citing her own experience as the head of business news. She argued that women must be their own cheerleaders and not
see themselves as adversaries.

Chief Financial Officer of MTN Ghana, Antoinette Kwofie, emphasized that women at the top of leadership must empower other women to replace them.

She entreated women to see their male counterparts as partners, not competitors, to create a better world.

CEO of Soronko Academy, Regina Honu, urged women to adopt technology to create their own careers and believe in themselves. She shared her experience of working with partners to empower girls with ICT skills, highlighting the importance of collaboration.

A representative from Amnesty International Ghana, Stephany Boateng, emphasized the importance of women speaking up against discrimination at all levels and advocating for equality and inclusion across the country.

She stressed that everyone could play a role in ensuring women have equal rights in their communities and workplaces, and that women should not feel excluded from the workplace due to harassment and abuse.

Source: Ghana News Agency

IDEAS Ghana supports 1,500 women farmers to practice climate-smart agriculture

About 1,500 smallholder women farmers from the Bawku West District in Upper East Region have been supported to practise sustainable and climate-smart agriculture.

They have been empowered with best agronomic practices and extension services to improve agriculture productivity and contribute to food and nutritional security.

The Ingraining Development for Empowerment and Advancement of Society (IDEAS Ghana), a Non-Governmental organisation with funding support from the Africa Action Germany is the organisation working with rural communities to build their resilience against climate change and help them adopt sustainable agricultural practices.

Under the project dubbed ‘Upskilling Sustainable Farming Rudiments Under Climate Transformation (USUFRUCT) Project’, it has worked with stakeholders to increase female extension volunteers in the district from 11 to 22.

This has made it possible to increase the smallholder farmers under the project from 500 to 1,500 farmers in 2024.

Speaking at a training session fo
r female extension volunteers at Zebilla on Climate-Smart agriculture technology, Dr Joseph Ayembilla, Board Chairman, IDEAS Ghana, the project was building on the success of an initial project which contributed to improved agriculture production in the area.

‘IDEAS Ghana has built-up experience in facilitating 11 rural communities to embark on sustainable agriculture practices focusing on climate smart farming. This was under a one-year project named Rural Extension Linkages for Enhanced Food Security for smallholder women farmers in the Upper East Region (RELIEFS).

‘This practice within one year has recorded remarkable improvement in beneficiaries’ food security. A total of 165 out of 500 beneficiary women have reported improvement in the number of meals taken per day during the lean season giving a 33 percent achievement,’ he said.

The current project, he said, would incorporate indigenous innovations and technology to better position rural farmers to practise sustainable farming and adapt to the changi
ng climate to increase yields.

‘I want to plead with the female Extension volunteers to take their roles seriously. Failure to produce results will attract removal by the Community and the women groups who selected you to represent them.

‘It is my expectation that this current project will bring broader smiles on the faces of our rural women farmers resulting in improved food and nutrition security. You the female Extension volunteers play a critical role in achieving this hence the need for you to be committed to your work schedule,’ he added.

Mr Douglas Akologo, the Bawku West District Agriculture Extension Officer, said soil and water conservation was key to adapting to the climate change impacts and increasing agriculture productivity.

He, therefore, urged the smallholder farmers to adhere to sustainable climate-smart innovations and seek technical advice from extension officers to practice sustainable farming.

Source: Ghana News Agency

GSA to Mark World Metrology Day with Stakeholders Workshop, Market Sensitisaton

Ghana will join the international community to mark World Metrology Day (WMD), which falls on Monday, May 20, 2024.

World Metrology Day is celebrated annually on May 20 to highlight the significance of measurements in society and commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the Metre Convention in 1875, a treaty signed by representatives of 17 States that provides coherent measurement system worldwide.

Metrology refers to the science of measurement and it plays a central role in scientific discovery and innovation, industrial manufacturing, and international trade, in improving the quality of life and in protecting the global environment.

The theme for WMD 2024 is: ‘Sustainability’, chosen for its relevance to various measurement opportunities crucial for fostering a sustainable global economy and environment.

In line with this year’s theme, the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), which is the National Metrology Institute of Ghana, will observe the Day in Kumasi, with a series of activities aimed at raisin
g awareness of the critical role of metrology in the establishment of a sustainable global economy and environment.

The GSA will organise a market sensitisation event at the Kumasi Central Market on May 20, which is primarily aimed at traders who use measuring instruments, such as scales, in the delivery of their products or services to customers.

The Authority will educate people in the market and verify some of the scales.

The Authority will then hold a workshop for metrology stakeholders on May 21 to engage and educate female Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) on the role and importance of accurate measurements, its impact on business success, environmental sustainability, and global development.

There will also be a media outreach within the Kumasi Metropolitan area aimed at raising awareness and explaining the importance of Metrology in various aspects of daily lives.

The WMD acknowledges and honours the contributions of individuals working in intergovernmental, regional, and national metrolo
gy organisations and institutes year-round.

The GSA urged all stakeholders and the public to join in the celebration of the Day.

Source: Ghana News Agency

ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Hamas leaders

The chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court said on Monday that he is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top leaders from Palestinian extremist group Hamas over war crimes committed in Israel and Gaza.

Prosecutor Karim Khan said he is requesting warrants for Netanyahu and his Defence Minister Yoav Gallant for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Gaza Strip beginning on October 8, a day after Hamas militants launched their unprecedented attack on Israel.

Among the allegations are ‘starvation of civilians as a method of warfare’ and ‘intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population,’ a statement from Khan’s office said.

Warrants have also been requested for Yehya al-Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, along with Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri, the head of the group’s military wing, and Ismail Haniyeh, who sits atop Hamas’ political bureau and is seen as the group’s overall leader.

They were accused by Khan of bearin
g responsibility for murders, rapes, hostage-takings, torture and other inhumane acts from at least October 7.

Fighters from Hamas and other militant groups from Gaza killed some 1,200 people in the unprecedented massacre on communities in southern Israel on October 7. They also injured and raped countless others and took some 250 hostages back to Gaza.

Israel responded by sealing off the Palestinian territory and launching a massive aerial campaign to eliminate Hamas. At the end of October, Israeli ground troops were sent in and much of the coastal strip has since been rendered uninhabitable.

More than 35,000 Palestinians are said to have been killed in the fighting so far, while thousands of others are threatened by famine.

In his statement, Khan said that evidence gathered by his office ‘shows that Israel has intentionally and systematically deprived the civilian population in all parts of Gaza of objects indispensable to human survival.’

This was achieved, among other things, ‘through the imposition
of a total siege over Gaza,’ including the closure of border crossings from October 8 ‘for extended periods and then by arbitrarily restricting the transfer of essential supplies – including food and medicine – through the border crossings after they were reopened.’

Khan said his office ‘submits that these acts were committed as part of a common plan to use starvation as a method of war and other acts of violence against the Gazan civilian population as a means to (i) eliminate Hamas; (ii) secure the return of the hostages which Hamas has abducted, and (iii) collectively punish the civilian population of Gaza, whom they perceived as a threat to Israel.’

Regarding the Hamas leaders, Khan said evidence showed that al-Sinwar, al-Masri and Haniyeh ‘planned and instigated the commission of crimes on 7 October 2023, and have through their own actions, including personal visits to hostages shortly after their kidnapping, acknowledged their responsibility for those crimes.’

‘We submit that these crimes could not h
ave been committed without their actions.’

He added that there were also ‘reasonable grounds to believe that hostages taken from Israel have been kept in inhumane conditions, and that some have been subject to sexual violence, including rape.’

The International Criminal Court prosecutes individuals for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Israel does not recognize the court, but the Palestinian territories are a state party, so the prosecutor is authorized to investigate.

Legally, an ICC arrest warrant against the persons concerned would mean that states that have signed the ICC statutes would be obliged to arrest these persons and hand them over to the court if they enter the territory of these states.

A year ago, the court also issued international arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian commissioner for children’s rights. Both are accused of war crimes in connection with the abduction and forced adoption of Ukrainian children to Russ

At the end of April, Netanyahu slammed the prospect of a possible arrest warrants against him and other Israelis by the ICC as an ‘unprecedented anti-Semitic hate crime.’

Such a step would violate Israel’s right to self-defence following the Hamas massacre on October 7 last year, he said in a video address.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Network empowers youth to participate in the decision-making process

The Youth Advocacy Network (YAN), a group of youth advocates in the Wa West District, has engaged young people in the district to empower them to participate actively in the decision-making process.

They were also trained to promote adolescent reproductive health education, rights, education, and development of the girls in their communities.

The initiative by YAN had support from Plan International Ghana as part of efforts to promote youth participation in decision-making, promotion of girls’ rights and reproductive health education.

The young people, majority of whom were females, were trained using the ‘Child Protection Community Facilitation Toolkits’ which focused on gender role analysis and their responsibilities among others.

Speaking at the training in Meteu, Mr Felix Wuurah, the Coordinator of the Network, thanked Plan International Ghana for supporting the Network in its capacity-building activities and stakeholder engagements, especially on girls’ rights and youth development.

He encouraged th
e youth-led and youth-focused groups to engage in activities regularly to build their capacities on various issues that affect them.

‘Don’t hesitate to call on any stakeholder like the National Youth Authority, Plan International Ghana, and the youth advocates around the community if you are facing any challenges’, he told the young people.

Mr Amankona Ampofo, the Upper West Regional Director of the National Youth Authority (NYA), expressed gratitude to Plan International Ghana for its dedicated support to youth development in the region, especially the Wa West District.

He cited the activities of the Upper West Regional Youth Parliament, the Youth Advocacy Network and the Music for Change group among others as some youth development interventions the organisation was supporting in the region.

Mr Ampofo encouraged young people to strive to participate in decision-making processes in their communities and undertake voluntary community activities.

Mr Sumaila Chakurah, the representative of Plan Internation
al Ghana at the training, assured the people of the organisation’s commitment to supporting youth development, particularly girls’ education, their reproductive health, and the general well-being of girls and adolescents.

He also charged the youth to take their education, health, and well-being seriously and engage stakeholders in promoting youth development and well-being.

Similar engagements with the adolescent groups had been held in the Wechiau and Baleufili communities in the Wa West District while plans were in place to extend it to the remaining project communities.

The Network also engaged women groups in the Kendeu community on equal rights for boys and girls at home.

The parents were also urged to create friendly relationships with their children, particularly the girls to enable them openly report issues that affect them such as sexual harassment to their parents.

The YAN is a network of young people operating in eight communities in the Wa West District – Wechiua, Kandeu, Kpanfa, Tendoma, Met
eu, Nyoli, Jagluu and Kachiau.

The group seeks to foster inclusive communities where every girl and young person can achieve their full potential without discrimination.

It prioritises adolescent sexual reproductive health education, girls’ rights promotion, and youth participation in decision-making processes at the family and community levels.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Hypertension leading cause of death among Ghanaian males

The Births and Deaths Registry has reported that hypertension was the leading cause of death among Ghanaian men in 2022.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hypertension, often referred to as high blood pressure, is when the pressure in the blood vessels is excessive (140/90 mmHg or higher).

Some of the primary causes of hypertension include old age, genetics, being overweight or obese, not being physically active, eating a high-salt diet, and consuming too much alcohol.

Other risks highlighted by the WHO include high saturated fat and trans-fat diets, low fruit and vegetable intake, tobacco use, and co-existing conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease.

According to the Births and Deaths Registry, hypertension was the leading cause of death in 2022, out of eleven diseases identified.

It said 1, 539 males died from hypertension during the year under review.

The Registry reported this in its 2022 Births and Deaths Registry Statistical Report.

The Report, which was released on Thursday,
May 9, 2024, aimed to offer vital information for public health surveillance purposes.

The report also revealed that hypertension was not only the leading cause of mortality in men, but it also killed more men than women.

It said that 1,539 men died from the condition, while 1,034 died. This meant that 500 more men died of hypertension than women.

Aside from hypertension, pneumonia and heart failure were the two diseases that killed more men than women in 2022.

The report noted that 1,440 men died of pneumonia, compared to 1,017 females, showing that 400 more males perished from the condition.

It indicated that 1,347 men died of heart failure, while 879 women died of the condition. This means that 600 more males perished from the disease.

Acute Respiratory Failure, Stroke, Septic Shock, Severe Sepsis, Diabetes, Chronic Liver Disease, Cerebrovascular diseases, and cancer were the remaining ailments identified as causes of death among Ghanaian men and women.

According to the report, cancer was the only d
isease that killed more women than men.

The report stated that cancer killed 566 women and 470 men.

Source: Ghana News Agency