- For long, many have recognised the gaps in that document we use in ruling our country, but have never attempted to get the entrenched clauses that makes for certain changes to happen swiftly, expunged.
- Productivity and job creation are critical issues that require urgent attention and the government has initiated policies over the last decade to help the country take advantage of its youthful population.
- Obviously, the pedagogy and practice of teachers have been affected by COVID-19. A family’s financial means has dictated school choice, which inadvertently influences support received, especially regarding digitalisation and online learning.
- The striking theme in his narrative was God as his sole source of strength and guidance in overcoming all life’s challenges. Much as he was cautious and receptive to directives and general health advice, it was obvious that he was not perturbed.
- The economic lessons for Ghana is not to create import substitution industries over-night.
- The government has cited the impact on the poor and mass testing improvements as a major factor in its decision.
- If your simple wedding means feting an entire generation, so be it. If your... The million dollar question is, “How much would you have left after the one day event!?”
- No one will help us if we do not help ourselves. Africa is no longer asking to be taught how to fish. Africa is already rowing towards the utopia enunciated in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Africa Union's Agenda 2063.
- Instead of pushing to get closer, build the level of trust they have in you. When they can afford to trust you, they can afford to let you in!
- Both the incumbent and the opposition have had their flaws in their bid to be in the good books of the citizens. They are always at each other's throat as to who is more knowledgeable in the management of the disease.
- I wish all Muslims and Ghanaians a happy Eid ul-Fitr, even if a restrained one. Hopefully, the Almighty has listened to the cry of the faithful, through His Mercy, with which he envelopes the month of Ramadan.
- Uncomfortable as these restrictions have been, we have no option but to stay the course. We can only guarantee the safety of each other if we continue to adhere to them. As I have said before, ...
- Workers of Ghana, job creation is one of the most important priorities of this government. It is the thrust of the social contract, and over the course of our stay in Government, we have taken bold, innovative and urgent steps to realising this. Indeed, the latest Ghana Living Standards Survey states that the rate of unemployment, which stood at 11.9% in 2015, dropped to 7.3% in 2019.
- That is why Government has decided to undertake a major investment in our healthcare infrastructure, the largest in our history. We will, this year, begin constructing eighty-eight (88) hospitals in the districts without hospitals.
- As I noted a few days ago, there is dissatisfaction with the quality and mode of distribution of the relief (food) packages. In some cases, there have been reports of distributions along partisan lines.
- Our success in defeating the virus is largely within our control. That means each and every one of us must exercise, at all times, during this period without the partial lockdown in Accra and Kumasi, a strong sense of selflessness, self-control and self-discipline.
- We need to project quickly, what the expected peaking of infection will be, and when we will begin to see a flattening of the curve on new infections and hospitalizations.
- The fight against Coronavirus has served as a humbling reminder of the things that matter, the things that cannot be bought, and the things that, all too often, go unappreciated, as a result of the stress of daily life.
- Fellow Ghanaians, as I have said before, all that Government is doing is intended to achieve five (5) key objectives – limit and stop the importation of the virus; contain its spread; provide adequate care for the sick; limit the impact of the virus on social and economic life; and inspire the expansion of our domestic capability and deepen our self-reliance.
- This, in essence, means that everyone resident in these areas must stay at home for the next two weeks. However, if you must go out, it must only be to get essential items such as food, medicine, water, undertake banking transactions, or to use public toilet facilities. But, as much as possible, stay at home.
- It is my earnest prayer that at a time such as this, the public welfare will triumph over personal and partisan interest. Our leaders owe this nation not just prayers but a plan too. One that all of us can believe in, ....
- Firstly, all our borders, that is by land, sea and air, will be closed to human traffic for the next two weeks, beginning midnight on Sunday. Anybody who comes into the country, before midnight on Sunday, will be ....
- We rallied behind the President to his clarion call to be citizens. We will not settle to be spectators, especially to parked ambulances. Accordingly, ...
- Another unprecedented economic recession is not far-fetched, as profit losses and economic quarantine are in sight. Even though many businesses will suffer disruptions, there must be ways to get SMEs thriving.
- The African Development Bank, UNECA and the AU Commission launched the Africa Regional Integration Index Regional Integration Index report last week. Why does it matter?
- The overall effect has been a vicious cycle of low investment, low growth, low revenue and further low investment, as public sector wages, bearing no discernible relationship to productivity continually strain the fiscus.
- When Ghana's President, H.E Nana Akufo Addo announced the decision to oblige people to wear face masks in public spaces, it was as if Ghana had an overdue pregnancy expecting the birth of mask designers. Suddenly the "maskonomics" movement was born.
- The worsening trend of flooding in Accra, in particular, is partly due to the fact that landowners, who develop these structures have the penchant of occupying the entire space of the parcel of land with the structure, such that, no room is left to accommodate their building materials, such as, sand, gravels, blocks, etc.
- In Accra, people are behaving as if the virus is not real, which is what a growing number of people believe. Some people are openly doubting the existence of the virus.
- For Africa, the COVID-19 pandemic is turning into a wake up call to find better ways to industrialize, chief amongst them being access to reliable, cheap and clean energy
- Parents and sibling are the closest and the biggest security in our families. The kind of person we become depends of the families we grow in. this year’s theme is “Families in Development”.
- Perhaps the most vivid imagery created in my mind happened when in reporting the first case of COVID-19 in the Upper West Region, the Regional Minister, in sombre reflection, announced at a news conference that “the virginity of the Upper West Region with regard to COVID-19 has been broken”.
- Conceivably, workers would want to call to mind actions taken by management in the course of the pandemic, the effect on their members and have an indication of the way forward.
- Spare a prayer for private school teachers in this trying moment and stretch a helping hand by sending a token if you are in a position to help, for they are really struggling to keep body and soul together.
- We all have been asked to stay indoors so we are not attacked by an enemy we don't see.
- At the Zongo Junction, about eight assembly guards and policemen are seen constantly directing pedestrians who come to stand by the side of the road waiting for vehicles to stop for them to cross to use the footbridge.
- Indiscriminate disposal of refuse, generated at homes and workplaces, is a common feature, which if not tackled, ...
- But there are other areas where we can take advantage, as we may have a competitive edge over other nations.
- Sadly, however, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire have little to show for their efforts at leading the sustenance of an industry that is equal to or more than the combined value of their national outputs ...
- It is regrettable that Ghana who was tipped as far back as 2012 to be the first country on the African continent to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS has not as yet succeeded.
- Truth is that some media professionals have taken freedom of the press for granted and thrown professional ethics to the abyss.
- It is also very disappointing that the police service is behaving as if it has no communication policy in place. A senior officer says the girls have been found or their whereabouts are known but in the same breath the very Police Administration denies the abducted victims have been located.
- The importance of roads is well appreciated, viewed against the backdrop that they link producers to markets, workers to workplaces, students to schools and the sick to hospitals.
- The best these unions could do was to write a letter to the GES to reject government’s intention to reopen the schools. This response, in my opinion, was an impulsive action that was not well thought out.
- The question is, would these union leaders seek for extension of the schools' lockdown if they were in the private sector and their salaries depended on the school fees collected? Certainly not!
- The other day, I met Sanatu, daughter of Mashu the shoemaker. She was being tickled in the dark by Yaamuha, the village womanizer. I detested what Yaamuha, known for his touch and go, hit and run, machinations, was about to do to the daughter of ...
- Unlike Akufo Addo who was in his usual belligerent best when you were battling to prevent Ebola from entering Ghana, you are offering practical recommendations and solution to this government to lift us from the doldrums.
- Mr President, the tone and spirit of the circular inviting the district level teams for training almost swept me off my feet.
- Mr. President, on the issue of travel ban, why is the travel permit limited to only countries that have recorded at least 200 cases of COVID-19?
- In the circumstances, please MoH, “make SOME payments” owed to Health Service Providers. It is no use entrusting our health to MoH when MoH is being quarantined by Service Providers for unpaid arrears.
- No One was born, with NDC or NPP in their blood. We were ALL born with Ghana in our Blood. NPP and NDC will come and Go. If Ghana goes well, it does for us all.
- You see, our elders say that a bird that flies off the earth and lands on an anthill is still on the ground. Yes, it is ...
- How will China help Ghana fight against the COVID-19?
- The theme of this year’s Conference on Land Policy in Africa is “Winning the fight against corruption in the land sector in Africa
- How can somebody like me from a small tribe - the Ahanta people in the Western Region - be called to go to work in Accra; I mean how are the people going to receive me?
- My chocolatier journey began when I came across the word “chocolatier” in a magazine. It piqued my curiosity, ...
- In 2013, according to research by Forbes, her net worth had reached more than three billion US dollars, making her Africa's first billionaire woman. Five years have passed ever since and her wealth has continued to grow.
- AA: Like any armchair football coach, the armchair politician’s task is always the easiest; it becomes a different story when the reality hits him in office. What is your take on that?
- Well, let me put it this way – it is not enough if I wish to stand – the people must also want me to stand, after all, they will be the ones to vote for me. What I can say however is this - if I do make an announcement to stand in 2020, it will be because the people believe in me. Do I believe I am ready myself?
- I am not sure there is a very new me from when we last spoke. I think it’s more the case that the Author side of me has been asked to proceed on leave, hahaha, and my more vocal and politically inclined self, awakened. Both have always been there.
- There has been much debate about democratic dysfunction in the advanced world due to paralyzing polarization exacerbated by fake news and social media manipulation. Isn’t this also an issue in the fledgling democracies of the developing world, from Malaysia to Kenya, Nigeria and elsewhere?
- The story is titled 'The Shimmer in the Photo Album', and it revolves around 4 children and their grandfather, and a series of time-porting adventures and mysteries they go through. The title was purely to create curiosity and thereby encourage anyone to pick up through book.
- SA: I find your reference to the use of occultism/juju in the Ghana Premier League very intriguing. I do recall a video on Twitter of several Gt. Olympics players walking backwards into a stadium with hopes of picking up the 3 points as they sought to escape relegation towards the end of the 2017 season. Did that really happen or was that clip a prank?
- One is fascinated by the indigenous but swift technological response to combating this virus, especially the simple but innovative technologies developed so far by the engineering and technology community. Several technologies have been developed across the globe to combat the virus.
- The visit became necessary following the restoration of peace after a two-decade chieftaincy dispute.
- It is not enough to have mere vehicles serving as ambulances to carry people on stretchers from one location to the other for medical care. A well established national ambulance system should …
- Ghanaians have fed on the so-called perfumed foreign rice to the extent that the consumption of locally produced rice is at an all-time low, even though it is very nutritious and healthier.
- All this goes to point out that we need to come together in peace, whether as political players, economic and social actors or even as religious people. If the contribution of ....
- The principle of creation and the standards that go with it require all human beings to show interest in standardisation so as to be able to ensure quality products for everyone on earth.
- It is worthy of note that several government functionaries including the Minister of Energy, John Peter Amewu and his Deputy Owuraku Aidoo had described the contract with PDS as fraudulent.
- Knowing it was going to change the register altogether in 2020, why did the EC go ahead to organise a limited voter registration exercise in June 2019?
My eyes don’t have to be in flames to show they have seen red, the Fantes say, and I have always wanted to avoid the label of a Jean Mensa-basher. Having complained once, therefore, I didn’t want to repeat myself. Truth, however, is that the Electoral Commission’s (EC) independence has cost Ghana dearly and financially.
- There are those who specialise in organising events; they plan the décor, they hire out the crockery, they have huge warehouses full of tables, chairs, fancy plates and cutlery and glasses and table linen; they employ carpenters, decorators.
One thing does lead to another.
- The state of the African Regent Hotel broke my heart, but I am writing not about this particular hotel really, I am using the experience to highlight what is happening to hotels in general.
It is not often I am lost for words nor reduced to total incomprehensive silence. I have lived through quite a number of crises in my long life and have been suitably impressed with how devastating this current global crisis has been.
- I have now come to the conclusion that pre-existing conditions are not necessarily physical, they are more a state of mind. For example, look around our streets and see the number of signposts advertising cures for diabetes, kidney, lung and heart diseases. We believe in cures and have always struggled with the concept of managing a health condition.
There are new terms that have entered our everyday language with the advent of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
- It was my maiden open letter to any ‘big’ person in this country, never mind one who occupies the top spot and oozes such power that he can sign a piece of paper requiring us all to stay home and we will have no choice.
On Sunday evening, I began to pen an open letter to the President through this column.
- Our doctors, nurses and other health workers have shown dedication and professionalism during the crisis. Our scientists and researchers have demonstrated that given the proper equipment and incentives, they can rise to the occasion and excel in the world any day.
Right at the beginning of our Ghana COVID-19 story, I wrote that pandemics tend to expose societies for their weaknesses and strengths. I did not mention luck but I think luck is an important ingredient in how the pandemic pans out.
Two months into the journey, the statement about strengths and weaknesses is proving to be quite worryingly true. Let me get the luck bit out first.
- Last Sunday, Mr Akufo-Addo announced the government was about to start a huge hospital building programme. He said the pandemic had exposed just how badly underserved we were with hospitals and he would build and equip 94 new ones within the next year.
In our series of letters from African writers, journalist and former Ghana government minister Elizabeth Ohene writes about the new normal - from how to hold a socially distant election to attending online funerals.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, we have come to accept that our lives have been turned upside down.
- By the time the dust settled, it had become clear that it wasn’t massive investments into diagnostic assays and reagents, not to talk of RT-PCR testing machines, that had catapulted Ghana to its celebrated position of number two in the league table of African countries that have carried out the most tests.
A curious thing happened about a week ago. The Government of Ghana, which has been touting its investments into Covid-19 testing capacity to universal acclaim, as the country galloped up the continental league tables, suddenly found itself in the dock. Before long, prominent health leaders in the country were accusing the Government of massaging testing numbers for PR benefits.
- A lot has been said and written about the poor and disadvantaged in our society not being overawed by the threat of COVID-19, because they see hunger as a bigger and more immediate threat.
At the beginning of the year, I was having a conversation with a friend about what Ghana and Africa should do to enable us to make this elusive breakthrough to economic success.
- Because I have gone round town, the social distancing is dissipating. The trotros are packing up again. The okadas are picking passengers again. The masks are won like fake beards, or hair bands, or sometimes like bow ties. Sometimes, maddeningly they are taken off ...
I know something of the helplessness of severe illness. I have memories from childhood. I have also had some experiences in my adulthood. It is not a good thing to be ill. The fact that an illness has a cure, takes nothing away from the naked terror of its journey through the body. Sometimes, I have been ill, and have known exactly what to do. I suffer nonetheless.
- This is the time to protect our limited numbers of medical people, who expose themselves to this virus on a daily basis. No expense must be spared. No strategy must be spurned.
I know a little about stigma. It was the year 2005. I had just finished my first surgical residency exam. I had left Battor and spent three weeks in Accra burning through anatomy, physiology and histology pages. I battled sleep, tiredness, I pushed through the days, until the final one when I stood in front of the examiners. And they told me 30 minutes after the exam, that I had passed. That was just how things were done. You knew your fate, almost as soon as you finished the exam.
- And a lockdown cannot quieten the busy streets, because sometimes the streets are an extension of the accommodation. Sometimes the place of convenience is at an inconvenient distance away from the home, and no policeman can do anything about the queue of nature’s call.
The plot thickens. There is talk of peaks, and curve flattening in the atmosphere of a pandemic gathering speed. Physical distancing seems like a dismissed fairy tale. A lockdown seems like that unachievable haven, that could just have offered some security… but the door is closed.
- COVID19 closed the doors. And suddenly we can see the chasm for what it really is. But we have accepted it for so long, that it seems unchangeable, unbridgeable, and unconquerable.
I have part Fante ancestry. Maybe it is the reason why I love good bread, and cannot let delectable pastry pass by unappreciated. And this morning, I was on my way to visit my Mother, who is the genetic channel for this part of me. All the more reason I could not just pass by the bakery shop at the filling station along the road.
- For now, we cannot afford to forget the habits we have acquired on masking, social distancing and hand hygiene. The lockdown may have ended, but ...
Lockdown ends. The streets are already beginning to fill again. There is a new item of colour on the landscape of faces now: masks. I am learning to recognize people by the pattern on the masks they wear. It is a different world now. I don’t think things will ever be the same again. This virus has ravaged through the very fabric of our societies. We are living through historic times. This is a transition nobody could have seen coming. The syllabus for life’s textbook has undergone a major revision.
- The challenge of the times, is keeping this disease boxed in. If people transmit this disease, then it will stop moving when people stay still. The disease will stop spreading, ...
The lockdown continues. An increase in children’s appetite has gone viral, driving down domestic food storage levels everywhere. Even our dog, has been cleaning up her plate on a much more regular basis.
- Coronavirus is a large family of viruses with seven different strains. MERS and SARS were the last outbreaks of this family, but none of them ever did what COVID 19 has done.
A virus is an inanimate particle with the capacity to hijack the reproductive capacity of a living being, to produce more of itself. It has no capacity to do anything on its own. It is just a strand of genetic code surrounded by protein membrane. It is even incapable of protecting itself, but give it one chance. And it does not discriminate. Animal cell, human cell. As long as it has a nucleus, it’s game time.
- It is not real here yet. It is almost as if we have not seen the havoc that it has wreaked across the world. We are ...
Lockdown begins. I thought, going to work that I would see a ghost town. I did not. The traffic has definitely reduced, but there are still people on the streets. The shops are closed, or closing. The police stops are increasing. The first day, I was underwhelmed. I did not meet a single police man on my way to work. Today, I was stopped more times. The grip is tightening slowly, but maybe not fast enough.
- Right after the turn, the smell of urine usually wafts up, seeping even through the air conditioning vents. Sometimes I meet someone responsible for the stench.
On the final approach home, there is a turn unto a narrow dirt road. It is a left turn over an open gutter, with a limited concrete bridge of a cover. In the centre of the bridge, there is a hole, just big enough for a car tyre to get trapped in.
- In Ghana, this fatigue is obvious too; for example people find the need to wear face masks a strain. There have been cases also where it is claimed Veronica buckets have been left empty, ...
“But then we get exhausted and we wonder if we can accomplish any of the things we hope for, without destroying ourselves in the process. We ask ourselves if it’s time to quit.”
- This supposed new normal is going to be lived in a world where economies are shrinking, unemployment is rife, jobs are hard to find and the current model for transacting all manner of business will not be fit for purpose. More importantly, ...
In Niccolò Machiavelli’s view, “it must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones.”
- Though very versatile, some have had concerns about their reliability and application in the fight against this novel coronavirus. These concerns primarily relate to the sensitivity of these tests.
“To each, there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.” -Winston Churchill
- Considering that on average, the lag time between the taking of samples and the communication of test results in Ghana is approximately seven days, it can be implied that a person who is sampled and later confirmed as positive could cause the transfer of the infection to at least 40 people before he receives his test results and is put in mandatory isolation especially if they are symptomless.
Having fought many viruses for a career, Peter Piot after fighting off COVID-19 opined, “Many people think COVID-19 kills 1% of patients, and the rest get away with some flu-like symptoms. But the story gets more complicated. Many people will be left with chronic kidney and heart problems. Even their neural system is disrupted. There will be hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, possibly more, who will need treatments such as renal dialysis for the rest of their lives”.
- In recent times, I have been concerned about our approach as a country to conversations around data. At a minimum, it comes across as though many have not exorcised their school days demons that showed their faces anytime the math tutor entered the class.
“Objectivity of truth, reality, facts, data – they matter; otherwise, you have the ‘good guys’, the moral persons, in the name of what they call justice, in a fight against what they call injustice, unwittingly adopting the roles of oppressors by persecuting the innocent.”
- Thus, it is possible in this instance to kill two birds with the same stone and fight both COVID-19 and CSM from a public health education standpoint.
In war, the inevitable death of innocent civilians in the prosecution of an army’s agenda is termed collateral damage. Alan Dershowitz goes further by claiming that asymmetrical warfare is a euphemism for terrorism, just like collateral damage is a euphemism for killing innocent civilians.
- We will end by reminding readers that this war against COVID-19 is not a sprint. If the data and science are to be trusted, we are in this for the long haul and the longer this lasts the more the pressure is going to be put on our collective mental health.
Over seven decades ago Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung stated that “about a third of my cases are suffering from no clinically definable neurosis, but from the senselessness and emptiness of their lives. This can be defined as the general neurosis of our times.” By definition, neurosis is a relatively mild mental illness that is not caused by organic disease, involving symptoms of stress (depression, anxiety, obsessive behaviour, hypochondria) but not a radical loss of touch with reality.
- The numbers also contain questions. Numbers tell stories the unaided eye cannot see. For numbers to make sense, however, they should be rightly sampled, reported and interpreted. This is because ...
In her book An Invisible Sign of My Own, Aimee Bender opines, “It is all about numbers. It is all about sequence. It’s the mathematical logic of being alive. If everything kept to its normal progression, we would live with the sadness, cry and then walk but what breaks us cleanest are the losses that happen out of order.”
- It is therefore disingenuous if the picture is painted as though Africans will be exclusively selected in a grand scheme by some conspirators in dark suits. It is actually unfair to ...
Elizabeth Bear argues in her book Ancestral Night that “conspiracy theories are really attractive. Figuring out patterns is one of the things that get your brain to give you a nice dose of chemical reward, the little ping of dopamine and whatever else that keeps you smiling. As a result, your brain is pretty good at finding patterns and at disregarding information that doesn’t fit. Which means it’s also pretty good at finding false patterns, and at confirmation bias, and a bunch of other things that can be fatal. Our brains are also really good at making us the centre of a narrative because it’s what we evolved for.”
- Personally, I don’t engage in the rushed entry business as it is disrespectful in my opinion. How do you relate to a colleague once you conclude that their shit smells bad? Interestingly, ...
I have for a while now come to the somber realization and conclusion that there are quite a few number of people whose behavior around the workplace John need to be readjusted. Either that, or they just have olfactory bearings in serious need of realignment.
- A pregnant woman, who was shot in the stomach by another woman, was recently charged with manslaughter in the death of her unborn baby.
The state of Alabama has always been somewhat radical. They threw themselves headlong into slavery, and after it was abolished, Alabama championed segregation. The state, and still is, known for unsteady race relations, and from its illustrious history, it’s clear that Alabama is also right-leaning in its tendencies.
- Worse still is that this is not America’s first tryst with sullied drinking water. In April 2014, the Flint, Michigan water crisis ...
In recent news all over the United States, it has been discovered that certain brands of bottled water contain arsenic, a substance that can be deadly in humans. These brands are Starkey Water and Penafiel. According to news reports they were sold at Target, Wal Mart and Whole Foods.
- I have no idea what went on inside during the ceremony but the smiles and joy on the faces of parents, ... was enough to signal joy and success of a fortune well-spent at this solely private Catholic girls school.. to provide their daughters an education many of them never had, ...
After frustratingly searching for my phone for several minutes to take a picture of people dumping trash in front of a mail box, I finally came to the realization that I was having a dream, something that I rarely have. This was three Thursdays ago.
- Tears shouldn’t be the easiest way to have clean water,
Togo’s leaders sit on thrones
Made of gold and bones
The dry, dehydrated bones of the people,
- These cows, and many of their other four-legged brethren, not to mention those of the two-legged and winged varieties, can be an eyesore in certain parts of the city. Together, they take care of their private business in full glare of the public, and without fail, fail to clean up after themselves. As for their owners, the less said about their interest in cleaning the public mess, the better.
As someone who dabbled in animal husbandry during his youthful days on a homestead within the city limits of Accra many years ago, and rose to the ranks of a Johnny-do-it-all General Manager, I was really taken aback by a news item from the renowned Associated Press (AP), about lawmakers in one of the States of our own spirited friend, Number Forty-Five, who currently occupies the WH, weighing a trespassing bill against chicken owners in the state of New Hampshire.