Category Archives: Features

Asantehene

To my dear mother – A tribute by Otumfuo Osei Tutu II

By | Features | No Comments
Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem died Tuesday after 39-year reign

Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II died after 39-year reign

Our great ancestors have left us a wonderful adage, “Wo ni wu a, w’abusua asa.” (“The departure of one’s mother to eternity terminates one’s blood relationships on earth.”). Your passing away leaves me homeless. I thank the Good Lord for giving you to me for 66 years as my mother. You have indeed been my all.

You did not only give me life; you gave me life that is worth living. You brought me up in the cultural traditions of our forefathers. You gave me the best of humanity to make me what I am today. You were a beacon of wisdom to me. You loved me and my siblings, and you did everything for us, except condone evil in our lives.

You were a disciplinarian to the core. You were the mother with whom I conferred. The members of our great clan and others always looked up to you. You were Agya on whom we wholly depended. You were a “killer of hunger” for us, our saviour; the slender arm full of kindness, the ruler whose strings were on all hearts. You taught us the value of hard work.

As a young boy, you did not want me to be pampered. How can I thank you enough for preparing me for a position of glory as the King of Asante, which you so generously and affectionately bestowed on me.

As your baby king, you continued to provide for me the pool of wisdom to drink from. You were with me in my moments of joy and fulfillment and moments of sorrow and frustration.

Ɔbaatan Pa, who used the precious Bodom Beads in cracking palm nuts, you have done what you can for Asanteman and Ghana. You have helped me as my mother in a double sense not to disgrace you in my function as Asantehene.

Ɔwoahene, Asanteman joins me in mourning the passing away of our Asantehemaa. You will in time be succeeded by a successor to be chosen by me, but in the meantime, I have lost that which cannot be replaced. I have lost the mother who gave me life, my fountain of advice and counsel and the anchor of my very existence. You were the centre of my life. I owe everything I have achieved in life to you, to the unbounded love that you always showed to me and to the gentle tutoring that I received from you. You have been the example that has guided me and the beacon by which I have steered through life.

You were not just my mother; you were also a mother to many others. With your passing away, many have lost a mother and a worthy example. To me you are irreplaceable. You have been my rudder and my guide; the mother of mothers. Without you, life will never be the same again for me.

“Old Lady” will forever remain unique to me. You made me proud by the example you set, and you gave me confidence by your very presence. It gave me immense pleasure to observe the very easy relationship that you struck with all people, including the famous and well-known and the insignificant and obscure. You instilled in me true pride in my ancestry and joy in my pedigree; but you also taught me to show respect to everyone, regardless of their status in life. I shall miss you every day of my life.

You were to me the very epitome of royalty and style. I was especially delighted and felt very proud when you were selected by my brother Otumfuo Opoku Ware II as Asantehemaa. In that capacity, you projected majesty and royalty. But to me, you remained special in many ways. As a source of advice and counsel, you were incomparable. As a loving parent, you were unmatched. As the example in my life, you have been without parallel. You have been the dependable pillar of strength on whom I have been able to rely all my life. You have been there for me in the most difficult situations of my life.

I particularly recall my early days when you used to visit my late uncle, Oheneba Mensa Bonsu, Hiahene, to check on me, without me knowing you were my mother, pretending you were visiting your brother and sister, Eno Amma Serwaa, at Ashanti New Town. In a similar way, Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh II, Asantehene, my uncle, would also make visits from time to time to check on me.

On all these occasions, as you and my uncleƆOheneba Mensa Bonsu, were to reveal later, I was introduced as the son of my uncle. I became convinced that the training, the upbringing and the tutelage I had after being removed from the comfort of royalty at Manhyia Palace to Ashtown, all the way to Sefwi Wiawso, were all decisions that were taken in my interest. I am forever grateful to you, to my uncle Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh II, Asantehene, and to a greater extent my uncle Oheneba Mensa Bonsu, your beloved brother.

As Asantehene, it was my duty to look after and care for you but you rather looked after and cared for me. You were always eager to find out from Yaw and Essau and my dear wife, Lady Julia, whether I had eaten or not. You would check with Sanaahene and Anonomsahene why I had sat for so long adjudicating over cases. Your worry was that litigation would never end in Asanteman. You always advised me not to sit for long hours because it was not good for my health. You enjoyed seeing me in the mornings after my return from playing Golf or after my exercise from the gym sweating because I was looking after my health.

You made it a point for me to phone you every morning when I travelled outside the country to enable you to know whether I was alright. I still remember when I delayed in telephoning because I might have had an early meeting only to be told upon telephoning later by either Agyeman Badu, Kofi Antwi or Akwasi, your attendants that you had not eaten your breakfast because I had not called. I still recollect the excitement you showed upon realising that I had called and the first query was why it had taken me so long to phone. Whatever answer I gave in reply was very satisfactory because you had heard from me. A loving mother indeed.

The two of us enjoyed our wheelchair rides as age began to take its toll, with me pushing you around your compound, stopping intermittently to have a chat and also enjoying the fresh air outside.

I remember you cautioning me that we should be very careful not to let any of the chiefs see us lest you would be reprimanded for letting the Asantehene push your wheelchair, and me responding that I was doing that for my mother as a son; you laughed about it. Surely, the caution was because of how you cherished and respected the position of Asantehene.

Even though you knew nothing about Freemasonry, you still enquired about when next was my Lodge meeting and when my brothers were coming for banquet. The reason, because you always prepared some traditional foods like Bosoa, Siwe, Atedua, to add up to the food to be served.

Your adoption of Sir Sam Jonah (Kwasi Kakraba) whom you affectionately referred to as “Me ba Obuasi” and Chief Sir Osawaru Igbinedion, Esama of Benin Kingdom (Nigeria), as your sons assures me that I still have brothers that I can rely on.

I am also forever grateful to you for my dear wife, Lady Julia. When I told you that I had met someone that I wanted to marry, you asked to see her first before I took a decision. You then asked me, upon her introduction, to leave her with you for a while, just the two of you, and should come back for her later, which I obliged. After a while, you asked for her to be brought back to me. Upon seeing you the next day and enquiring from you about your meeting with my wife-to-be, you said you were not ready yet to give me an answer and that I should come the next day.

You then asked to see me on the third day and said to me that you now had an answer for me. The answer was that the lady was my wife and that I would be at peace with her, a prophecy that has manifested throughout our marriage of peace, love, trust and understanding.

For all these, I thank you with a deep sense of gratitude.

Now I must navigate through life without your guidance and support and without your abundant love. I frankly do not know how I can do it, but I promise to do it because of the memory of your love for me and in recognition of the wonderful example that you have set by your life.

I am exceedingly grateful for the long life that God granted you and for the many good deeds you were permitted to do, for me and for many others. I shall never forget what you represented and all that you did for me and for my family. I also thank you for the motherly love that you gave to my paternal siblings Ama Agyeman and the rest, all of whom you looked after as your uterine children. I hereby give this vow: I shall remain true to your advice; and I shall forever remember and live by your words of wisdom.

I shall also love you for the rest of my life; and I shall neither forget nor ignore your many words of advice and the example of your life. Nor shall I ever forget what you have been to me and Nana Panin and my late brothers and sister. I shall always remember and live by your wise advice and helpful warnings.

Otumfuo Maame, Rest in Peace.

May you have the peaceful repose that you have earned.

I thank you for your many good works, For your shining example and for your words of wisdom

To me and many others. Nana Hemaa, Nante Yie

Grant leads Ghana into a second successive Nations Cup

‘Trophy repellent’ Grant looking for the midas touch as he leads Ghana again

By | Features, Sports | No Comments
Grant leads Ghana into a second successive Nations Cup

Grant leads Ghana into a second successive Nations Cup

It is May 21, 2008. The mastery of English Football had made its way to the land of the Tsars. It was a huge night for the meagre club amongst the two who had reached the pinnacle of European football for the very first time in the history- a feat their owner, a Russian mogul was somewhat obsessed with. The other club had been there, done that and were only looking to add on.

There was pressure. It was colossal- the sort of pressure you wouldn’t remotely want in your day to day engagements. So after a Ronaldo goal, several bust ups, a customary Lampard goal and a Drogba red card, the game went into penalties.

It all went well until Cristiano Ronaldo missed his- the third in the sequence. It sparked loud cheers. Cheers that later led to jeers for the self obsessed Portuguese who had had a fine ride up until that point.

The kicks that followed were expertly taken albeit Van der Sar coming close a few times. The final kick in the 5 kick sequence dawned and the onus lied on Captain John Terry to send the Rent Boys to the Promise land.

We all know what happened next from the run-up to the slip and to the ball effectively clipping the side of the post before going wide. It typified how beautiful brutality in football can be. And who was the man at the helm during this period of heartbreak? Avram Grant.

Grant, a close associate of Roman Abramovich took over the reins when Jose Mourinho was sacked in 2007 and when many believed he wouldn’t necessarily do much for the club, he reached unchartered waters- The UEFA Champions league final- although tipped as favourites, he lost it to Sir Alex Ferguson.

The depressing look on his face told of a man who was secretly telling himself “NOT AGAIN”. Grant’s nearly status had reached a point where it was almost impossible to forget or forgive. In a land of “nearly men” coaches, Avram will be prince of the principality.

After that loss, he was fired and off he packed his bags and went South to the Fratton park where the ever loving Portsmouth fans had opened wide arms to welcome him. In the eyes of the Portsmouth’s devoted fans, Grant’s talents of leadership rivaled those of world leaders who contributed their quota to attain world peace.

He had acquired the most peculiar cult of personality. The Israeli took them all the way to the FA Cup final- Portsmouth’s second in three years. He lost 1-0 to his former employers- a 59th minute Drogba goal. He was still loved all through the south for how he had made the small club dream.

Grant was appointed as coach of Ghana in December 2014 and tasked to get the Black Stars back to the level everyone knew of them before the 2014 World Cup fiasco. The impending Cup of Nations in 2015 wasn’t his main priority. Although losing his first game against Senegal at Africa’s flagship soccer event, the former West Ham manager took Ghana to the final of the tournament- a first since 2010. The whole of Ghana sat through a painful final, hitting the post twice from Christian Atsu and Andre Ayew.

120 minutes passed and it was time for the dreaded lurgy: penalty kicks. A stage not many Ghanaians love to reach, a stage Ghana has not particularly performed well. And here we were with Grant as manager… Although we started on a good note, misses from Acheampong and Afriyie Acquah set the country back to square one.

We blew an advantage. We had bottled it again. It was another final appearance of despair. Ghanaians were nursing heartbreak wounds again from losing in another final. The tears of the older Ayew were unbearable. Photos of Asamoah Gyan commiserating his deputy became a notable trademark of the Black Stars in 2015.

Then again, as Grant has seldom tired of saying in his grim days of administration: “Football is all about love”. It is all about the love he feels from the supporters grateful for his revival of a lost commodity in the Black Stars: Unity. As he has said many times, “I love it here in Africa. I want to be here. Coaching here is good for me and I want to win with Ghana”. Ghanaians can only hope his “nearly” status ends at this tournament- the 2017 Cup of Nations.

NEARLY MAN: AVRAM GRANT’S EXTENSIVE RUNNER’S UP MEDAL COLLECTION.

  • Champions league: 1
  • Premier League: 1
  • FA Cup: 1
  • Carling Cup: 1
  • Isareli Premier League: 6
  • Israeli Cup: 5
  • Israeli Toto Cup: 3

What Ghanaians want from Grant at AFCON 2017.

It is just one thing, the trophy. Many Ghanaians of the present generation have never seen the Black Stars lift a major trophy. Although we have been given some spectacular performances like playing the World Cup and reaching the quarters for the first time in South Africa, many want to see a trophy. The Black Stars have lost the love of the fans mainly after the Brazil fiasco and it will only take a trophy win to restore their pride and fandom.

Grant might have had his problems but he has his moments. The jury is out to judge him this time and he has no reason to fail. He has picked players he can trust- an eclectic mix of the young and old. He has come under intense scrutiny for leaving out Majeed Waris and Raphael Dwamena who have both scored about 30 goals between them and has in effect gone for Bernard Tekpetey who has played just twice for Schalke this season. A young boy many have not seen but Grant won’t stop waxing lyrical about.

Grant’s journey begins today and whether it will be successful or not will depend on him. He is quietly optimistic, he is brimming with confidence and maybe, just maybe this could be his purple patch.

Winning the trophy will be a tall order knowing we have nearly man Grant at the helm. But if the Ranieri story is anything to go by, it is that as some point things work out and hopefully on the 5th of February, the Israeli can finally scream DILLY DING – DILLY DONG.

By Yaw Ofosu Larbi|TV3 Sports|Ghana
Twitter: @3newsgh

asamoah-gyan-dede-3

When the Stars go dim…

By | Features, Sports | No Comments
Asamoah-Gyan sad

Asamoah Gyan will lead the Black Stars in Gabon

Football, the game of passion. The one thing which has the power to make a grown man weep like a new born baby and an elderly woman dance like a fish out of water. The game which unites like none other. Thank God for the Black Stars of Ghana, who made us one country united in football.

I remember vividly the enthusiasm with which Ghanaians embraced tournaments. Even friendly matches had their own buzz. The red, gold, green and black star seemed to soar higher and higher in the football world. I was filled with so much pride and joy during Brazil 2014, where the Black Stars of Ghana played Die Mannschaft of Germany. That was a game to remember. Of course, the whole country was mourning our loss to the United States but that game with Germany made up for it.

Fast forward to AFCON 2017. I heard it has started already. Is it true? Is it just me or Ghanaians seem not to be particularly interested? I know how much we love football as a nation. Have we lost the love for the game or did the happenings at Brazil 2014 make us lose interest?

Yes, it’s okay to request for what rightly belongs to you. Of course, you worked for it but so many questions that ignites anger and resentment remains. Was it necessary to fly money in a chartered plane across the ocean just to pay you? Was it necessary to sack players during the tournament? Couldn’t disciplinary measures have been taken after the tournament? They say any press is good press but dare I say that what we exposed ourselves to in Brazil was incredibly bad press.

I felt so ashamed to raise my flag high. In fact, I ironed it and placed it back in my wardrobe. No harm, no foul.

I’m therefore not surprised that many Ghanaians are not rallying behind the Black Stars during the African Cup of Nations. You see, unlike what some people think, Ghanaians don’t easily forget. Especially when it comes to something they are passionate about.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the Black Stars, as do most Ghanaians. We wish them well during the tournament. We’ll be happy to see the cup in Ghana but just like a broken-hearted girl, most of us are still licking our wounds and being extra careful with what we invest our emotions in.

By all means, bring the cup back home and drive in your expensive cars. We’ll drink our sobolo and take troskis to work. For those who are following AFCON 2017, when is Black Stars playing? Please make sure your damage control systems are on point (especially ECG). We don’t want any casualties. And to the Black Stars, we are with you in spirit. When you get back home, kindly share with us your secret to staying this young after so many years of active play.

By Akosua Afriyie

Tema Port

Aid in reverse: how poor countries develop rich countries

By | Features | No Comments

Tema PortWe have long been told a compelling story about the relationship between rich countries and poor countries. The story holds that the rich nations of the OECD give generously of their wealth to the poorer nations of the global south, to help them eradicate poverty and push them up the development ladder.

Yes, during colonialism western powers may have enriched themselves by extracting resources and slave labour from their colonies – but that’s all in the past. These days, they give more than $125bn (£102bn) in aid each year – solid evidence of their benevolent goodwill.

This story is so widely propagated by the aid industry and the governments of the rich world that we have come to take it for granted. But it may not be as simple as it appears.

The US-based Global Financial Integrity (GFI) and the Centre for Applied Research at the Norwegian School of Economics recently published some fascinating data. They tallied up all of the financial resources that get transferred between rich countries and poor countries each year: not just aid, foreign investment and trade flows (as previous studies have done) but also non-financial transfers such as debt cancellation, unrequited transfers like workers’ remittances, and unrecorded capital flight (more of this later). As far as I am aware, it is the most comprehensive assessment of resource transfers ever undertaken.

What they discovered is that the flow of money from rich countries to poor countries pales in comparison to the flow that runs in the other direction

In 2012, the last year of recorded data, developing countries received a total of $1.3tn, including all aid, investment, and income from abroad. But that same year some $3.3tn flowed out of them. In other words, developing countries sent $2tn more to the rest of the world than they received. If we look at all years since 1980, these net outflows add up to an eye-popping total of $16.3tn – that’s how much money has been drained out of the global south over the past few decades. To get a sense for the scale of this, $16.3tn is roughly the GDP of the United States

What this means is that the usual development narrative has it backwards. Aid is effectively flowing in reverse. Rich countries aren’t developing poor countries; poor countries are developing rich ones.

What do these large outflows consist of? Well, some of it is payments on debt. Developing countries have forked out over $4.2tn in interest payments alone since 1980 – a direct cash transfer to big banks in New York and London, on a scale that dwarfs the aid that they received during the same period. Another big contributor is the income that foreigners make on their investments in developing countries and then repatriate back home. Think of all the profits that BP extracts from Nigeria’s oil reserves, for example, or that Anglo-American pulls out of South Africa’s gold mines.

But by far the biggest chunk of outflows has to do with unrecorded – and usually illicit – capital flight. GFI calculates that developing countries have lost a total of $13.4tn through unrecorded capital flight since 1980.

Most of these unrecorded outflows take place through the international trade system. Basically, corporations – foreign and domestic alike – report false prices on their trade invoices in order to spirit money out of developing countries directly into tax havens and secrecy jurisdictions, a practice known as “trade misinvoicing”. Usually the goal is to evade taxes, but sometimes this practice is used to launder money or circumvent capital controls. In 2012, developing countries lost $700bn through trade misinvoicing, which outstripped aid receipts that year by a factor of five.

Multinational companies also steal money from developing countries through “same-invoice faking”, shifting profits illegally between their own subsidiaries by mutually faking trade invoice prices on both sides. For example, a subsidiary in Nigeria might dodge local taxes by shifting money to a related subsidiary in the British Virgin Islands, where the tax rate is effectively zero and where stolen funds can’t be traced.

GFI doesn’t include same-invoice faking in its headline figures because it is very difficult to detect, but they estimate that it amounts to another $700bn per year. And these figures only cover theft through trade in goods. If we add theft through trade in services to the mix, it brings total net resource outflows to about $3tn per year.

That’s 24 times more than the aid budget. In other words, for every $1 of aid that developing countries receive, they lose $24 in net outflows. These outflows strip developing countries of an important source of revenue and finance for development. The GFI report finds that increasingly large net outflows have caused economic growth rates in developing countries to decline, and are directly responsible for falling living standards.

Who is to blame for this disaster? Since illegal capital flight is such a big chunk of the problem, that’s a good place to start. Companies that lie on their trade invoices are clearly at fault; but why is it so easy for them to get away with it? In the past, customs officials could hold up transactions that looked dodgy, making it nearly impossible for anyone to cheat. But the World Trade Organisation claimed that this made trade inefficient, and since 1994 customs officials have been required to accept invoiced prices at face value except in very suspicious circumstances, making it difficult for them to seize illicit outflows.

Still, illegal capital flight wouldn’t be possible without the tax havens. And when it comes to tax havens, the culprits are not hard to identify: there are more than 60 in the world, and the vast majority of them are controlled by a handful of western countries. There are European tax havens such as Luxembourg and Belgium, and US tax havens like Delaware and Manhattan. But by far the biggest network of tax havens is centered around the City of London, which controls secrecy jurisdictions throughout the British Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories.

In other words, some of the very countries that so love to tout their foreign aid contributions are the ones enabling mass theft from developing countries.

The aid narrative begins to seem a bit naïve when we take these reverse flows into account. It becomes clear that aid does little but mask the maldistribution of resources around the world. It makes the takers seem like givers, granting them a kind of moral high ground while preventing those of us who care about global poverty from understanding how the system really works.

Poor countries don’t need charity. They need justice. And justice is not difficult to deliver. We could write off the excess debts of poor countries, freeing them up to spend their money on development instead of interest payments on old loans; we could close down the secrecy jurisdictions, and slap penalties on bankers and accountants who facilitate illicit outflows; and we could impose a global minimum tax on corporate income to eliminate the incentive for corporations to secretly shift their money around the world.

We know how to fix the problem. But doing so would run up against the interests of powerful banks and corporations that extract significant material benefit from the existing system. The question is, do we have the courage?

Source The Guardian

SouthernVolta

Will Ewes remain one people in one region & still receive rapid dev’t under Akufo-Addo?

By | Features | No Comments

SouthernVoltaGhana’s new president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, during his first week in office, announced some ministerial nominations through a series of press conferences at the Flagstaff House.

At one of the events, he trotted out; “…The process of devolution of power will require that we look again at the regional structures of our country all with the aim of trying to promote rapid development of Ghana…We are now talking about a major exercise of political mobilization to be able to create a region”.

These words, from the President, are supposed to explain his priority of reorganising the ten regions of Ghana into fourteen regions, with the Volta Region being one of those to be divided. Firstly, this is to satisfy a political campaign promise and secondly to justify the faulty logic of rapid development through regional reorganization.

Then the Paramount Chief of Gbi Traditional Area and a member of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, Torgbegã Gabusu was also reported on Citifmonline backing the proposal and asking that the new “Oti Region must start from Asikuma Junction”, which by implication suggests that Torgbegã Gabusu does not wish to have the Gbi-Ewes in Peki cutoff in another region, i.e. the Volta Region.

Torgbegã Gabusu was quoted in the same news report suggesting that the Akpini-Ewes of Kpando would gladly opt out of the present Volta Region. The Vakpo-Ewes, Anfoe-Ewes and parts of SASADU (i.e. Sovie), who find themselves at the North of Dayi lying between Peki and Kpando were not mentioned in Torgbegã Gabusu’s submissions. However, according to the Gbi paramount chief, his proposed demarcation is simply for the sake of convenience.

This logrolling and factious posturing of Torgbegã Gabusu to see the third largest ethnic group in Ghana, the very ethnic group from which he appropriates and monopolizes his traditional authority, further disintegrated for the sake of convenience arguments speaks loudly of a leadership and followership that is inclined to dissension. May I remind my chief and traditional leader that “àmè aɖeke mekpɔa dzì ƒe ɖoɖo kua zɔmetsi ƒua gbè o”!; to wit, “hasten slowly,” your majesty.

Let us come to the current demographic statistics of the country Ghana. The most populous region today in Ghana is the Ashanti Region with over 4,780,380 people and ranks 3rd largest in land size. This makes the Ashanti population density twice greater than the population density of Volta. But to our utter dismay, this has not come up in the discussions of regional reorganization; signaling the “Monkey Business” strategy. Why would the regions with the highest population densities not be first considered and divided if there is that sincerity in the intentions to reorganize the regions.

What about the recent history of regionalization and rapid development? The history shows that the Upper West Region was created in 1983, but got its Regional Hospital only last year – 2016. The Eastern Region only had its first public university through the conversion of Polytechnics into Technical Universities. The Volta Region, which existed from independence got its first public university well after 50 years of Ghana’s independence. Clearly, the argument of regionalization promoting rapid development is a faulty logic.

Some arguments have also suggested that the regional capitals of some regions are not centrally located, which makes access to some services difficult. But we have not been told that Accra is over thousands of kilometers far away from Wa so let us relocate the national capital to a central point? I suppose the e-governance project is one of the interventions that will see the entire public administrative setup technologically integrated to serve the needs of the citizenry more efficiently. Should this rather not become the priority for a government that is desirous of improving access to government services?

It is more puzzling how chiefs and their subjects would not take advantage of their immediate local government administrative setups and influence development through the planning and administration subcommittees of their district assemblies, but hope that regionalization will suddenly bring more government resources into their local economies than before.

Let me ask, supposing Hohoe becomes the capital for Oti Region, does that guarantee any more resources for Dambai in Krachi East District, Kadjebi in the Akan Constituency or reduce the resource allocations to districts in the south of Volta? At best, only a few ancillary services will be provided from the bureaucratically obsessed public servants who will be located in Hohoe while all other districts in the two regions receive resource allocations that commensurate with their plans and budgets.

The writer, Seth Doe is a member of the Anlo Youth Council

The writer, Seth Doe, is a member of the Anlo Youth Council

For a region that has many uncompleted government projects handed over to a new administration, one would have thought that the prominent chiefs from the region will unite and focus on these projects that affect the generality of people in the region and ensure that the projects are rapidly executed to bring meaningful development to their subjects.

Frankly, my chiefs, the factiousness at your traditional leadership front in the region only fits into the “monkey business” strategy. Already, some misguided pronouncements are setting the north against the south and majority tribe against minority tribes with petty partisan politics (NDC versus NPP) at the perils of family relations.

It saddens to say that former president Mahama also found political capital in the Oti Region proposal, while the priority developmental projects across the region suffocated for resources during his era. With the divisive posturing of some actors in the region, it beats my mind to figure out if Ewes will remain one people in one Region, same as the Ashantis and Akyems and still receive rapid development under an Akufo-Addo-led government?

I call on my fellow youth in the Volta region to wake up to the understanding that Ho being the regional capital of the Volta Region does not prevent any government from completing the Eastern Corridor roads, the UHAS satellite campus at Hohoe, construction of the Keta Habour and Volivo bridge, asphalting the rest of our district capital township roads, among others. However, the real perils of our progress, individually and collectively, will be to allow political and traditional authority pull wool over our eyes. United We Stand!!!

By Seth Doe, a member of Anlo Youth Council

Tarzan

Morning after the night before, Tarzan writes

By | Features | No Comments

Tarzan OnuaFM

The title of this piece is a common English expression that describes one’s physical state after tasting too much of the fruits of the Lord Jesus’ inaugural miracle in joyous celebration. (And before any Pastor tells me the fruits were non-alcohol, I want to state firmly and categorically that I have been to many a Jewish wedding, and do not share their assertion.)

Ghana has had a lot to celebrate in the last month. We kicked off with the conduct of a very orderly General Election which confounded all, the frightening predictions of the Doomsday Predictors, both Peace Mongers & Pastoral. The outcome was cause for both wide celebration and gnashing of teeth. Whichever one it was, it led to a very copious consumption of the fruit of the inaugural miracle; according to my “Spot” -owning pal.

Hardly had we recovered from our “tired & emotional” state and the sharp pains of the inevitable headaches, when Christmas came upon us. Every Ghanaian living everywhere knows that “Bronya” is the real McCoy, the moth of all celebrations. This year’s was especially sweet as the retailers gave us all handsome presents with substantial reductions in the prices of the goodies we needed to “chop” Christmas. I am too sure that the sellers of “inaugural fruit” were so charitable with price reductions. Nevertheless, there was considerable uptake of the “inaugural fruit”, made possible by the savings from reductions in the prices of “akoko”, “pioneer biscuit”, perfumed rice, etc.,

The mother of all celebrations was the inauguration of the 5th President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo on January 07 2017. The parties were several, long and full of quaffing of the “inaugural fruit”. And it was right and fitting that a good time was had by most, if not all Ghanaians, that CHANGE HAD COME and Happy Days were on the horizon, if not here again already. Going by the localized interpretation of Newton’s third law that “Input begets Output”, the post celebration pains, headaches and attendant dehydration were more intense, sustained and not just on account of taking in too much of the “inaugural miracle fruits”

President Akufo Addo (I will get used to the transition from “Addo D”) delivered a very inspiring inaugural speech, which made me and everyone else who heard it “very proud to be a Ghanaian”, whether they hold the passport or not. Alas hardly had we imbibed the promise of the new and exciting dawn of a new Ghana with responsible citizens “mucking in “instead of sitting on the fence “carping”, when the ‘s**t literally hit the fan” with worrying revelations about unattributed portions of the speech. Note, I do not use “plagiarism” for the simple reason that we are dealing with a few passages of an otherwise well-constructed and visionary ‘call to arms’ to all Ghanaians to pull our country up by the local equivalent of bootstraps.

After, the acting Director of Communications at the “Golden Jubilee House” (first manifestation of Change) quickly put up the proverbial “it’s a fair cop, Gov” apology post on Facebook (not the most appropriate medium), the matter should have and could have ended there, and we could have all moved on to better digestion of His Excellency’s message.  Unfortunately, the matter was not put to rest because too many “toono” “gaping sycophants’ started producing contorted academic thesis on copyright laws and even going to the extent to suggest that no infractions had occurred. That was as stupid as it was unmeritorious.

Let’s get one thing straight from the word go. The Opposition NDC is in an automatic payback mode. It has hit the ground running and will operate on the well-worn principle that “The business of the Opposition is to oppose everything and offer no solutions”. By getting the mandate of the people of Ghana on 7 December 2016 President Akufo-Addo and his party shifted from the “Problem Articulators mode to SOLUTION DELIVERERS. It does not have the luxury to engage in responding to every provocation from the NDC or encouraging their supporters to offer a “Pavlovian” (knee jerk”) response. I would have thought we would have learnt from the many Fasts and Thanksgiving services that there is only one infallible being, and we mere humans will continue to make mistakes, and just get used to the idea that we must apologise and ask for forgiveness, learn the appropriate lessons for the future, no matter how lofty our position is.

The second piercing and persistent headache has been the saga of the resettlement of ex-President John Dramani Mahama. It is an episode in which none of the players comes out smelling of roses: not Ex-Presidents Kufuor and Mahama; not President Akufo-Addo; not the Transition Teams: and last but not least, not the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana. I leave out Otumfuo for the simple reason that his involvement, if any, was engineered by actors who were very familiar with the laws of the Republic of Ghana, and should have ensured whatever intervention they sought from His Majesty was firmly grounded in the laws of Ghana.

Parliament was wrong in first accepting and then overriding the recommendation on accommodation arrangements by the Committee the President set up to review Article 71 end of service benefits. Be that as it may Ex-President Mahama was clearly wrong in seeking to perpetuate the misdemeanor of appropriating the official residence of the Vice President of Ghana, when he became the President of Ghana. If he had moved into the expensively refurbished Presidential Residency at the then Flagstaff (now Jubilee) House, all the subsequent cacophony will have been avoided. Ex-President Kuffuor’s interjection was unnecessary as it was unhelpful. The position advanced by his Spokesman is not found in our law. As far as I can surmise, Parliament approved the allocation of a house, NOT a specific house or a choice in the house.

Most troubling has been the shifting and contradictory position of Government. Clearly it appears it has had to back away from “smoke room” agreements which are not lawful and more importantly perceived by the people of Ghana as unfair, excessively wasteful and laying precedents that would be unsustainable going forward in the future.  In withdrawing from this sordid episode, former President Mahama has hinted at agreements precedent to the issuance of the formal announcement by the former Chief of Staff. I believe it is incumbent, nay imperative, for the government to confirm or deny the claims impugned by the Ex-President, not least for the sake of removing the obvious embarrassment to Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who does not need this distraction at this most difficult time for him.

Last but not least is the issue of takeovers of state structure and properties. Yes, the IGP and the Police must be up and doing without giving excuses.  Up and doing needs more than asking for a Plan to be drawn up when swift and decisive restoration of law & order is what is needed NOW. But the Police need the clear support of Government to do its job. So far this has not been forthcoming, a very worrying turn of events.  For me, it is not good enough to point to the pleadings of party leaders as sufficient. Indeed, the reported comments and posture of the g. National Chairman of the NPP, Freddie Blay has been disappointed in the least, and damn right irresponsible at best. There is a clear distinction between Party, which is necessarily partisan, and Government, which must see itself as acting on behalf of ALL the People of Ghana. The sooner the transition from the former to the latter is completed, the better it will be for President Akufo-Addo & his avowed commitment to the “Rule of Law”, and to the benefit of every Ghanaian living everywhere, who voted for CHANGE OR CONTINUITY.

We have enjoyed a wonderful season of celebrations. However, it’s now time to take some pain killers, douse loads of water on ourselves to cure our harmattan compounded dehydration and sober up quickly to tackle the many onerous tasks ahead. President Akufo seems to have sobered up already. He has set the record for the quickest nomination of Ministers in the 4th Republic of Ghana. This means that Ghana will have a full functioning Government by the end of January, very impressive when put against the 3-4-month period of all previous Governments.

It’s time for everyone else to clear their heads and wake up to the challenges of the Citizen-led renewal of our Country emboldened by the “Proud to be Ghanaian “Spirit.

From Dr Charles Yves Wereko-Brobby

The writer is the Chief Policy Analyst of the Ghana Institute for Public Policy Options (GIPPO)

Clashes

Notes from the Ghanaman File:  Our Government is in power. Stop the attacks

By | Features | No Comments

Clashes

I had a call from a professional journalist buddy of mine from outside our continent wanting a confirmation that Ghana’s newly installed Government was molesting supporters and officers of the erstwhile regime. To avoid soiling our image abroad, I gave him an emphatic ‘no’ for an answer. But in our social media generation, he disagreed with me and later sent me ‘evidence’ of what he had read earlier on the internet.

The recent events like some perceived NPP supporters chasing their perceived NDC opponents in some state run enterprises do not portend well  for our globally well acclaimed democratic credentials. In fact,it is like our proverbial ‘poo poo of the lizard’,which is usually black with a whitish tip.

When the whole world applauds us for our democratic maturity but we end up making the lives of some of compatriots uncomfortable because they are on the losing side in a national election, we deceive ourselves and those applauding us.The mantra ‘yen aban aba’,to wit;our government has now taken over or has come smacks of immaturity, backwardness and is anti-progress.

I am not attacking the current Government and its supporters.Indeed,the NDC and NPP have in turns charged on their supporters each time they have won elections since our fourth republican journey as a nation from December 1992.The NDC claims that the precedence was set in 2001 after Flight Lieutenant Rawlings was exiting power after 19 years, both as a military ruler and a democratically elected Executive President and President Kufuor and the NPP were taking over.

Accusations that NDC supporters and officers were asked to ‘proceed on leave’ set the tone for  reprisal attacks in 2009 so some NPP supporters also paid with their skins and some jobs were also snatched.Come 2017,we are hearing the cries of the NDC sympathizers for similar reasons.We have heard of the revocation of the jobs of Chief Executives of MMDAs and other state enterprises.

The bottom line is that, Ghana’s transitions have been characterized by forced evictions, car seizures, confrontation instead of cooperation, which has led to a highly polarised political environment. This is why we have the transition law. The law makes it categorical that public office holders appointed by the outgoing president or Government must exit as well after properly handing over. As they say, they must jump or walk away before they get pushed.

There are however, some CEOs of state organizations appointed by the Public Services Commission, for instance who cannot be touched or pushed until their contracts run out.Unfortunately,these rampaging party foot soldiers careless and so go after everyone they perceive to be their political opponents. Not only that, they seize public toilets, Toll booths and other public places .

This situation must stop somewhere. We have come a very long way to have a losing sitting president conceding defeat and handing over peacefully. Why can’t we get to the point where both the winning and losing party supporters referring to the incoming Government as ‘yen aban'(our Government)?

But it brings up the question of the kind of police service we operate. Civil society has asked why the police appears powerless in arresting and prosecuting the perpetrators of these acts. The response has been that,the IGP himself stands at the very edge of getting pushed out and so doesn’t seem to have the (vim) strength to back his men and women to do what is right.

Is it possible that,going forward,the appointment of the IGP,Chief of Defense Staff and other heads of state security can be done under the same conditions  as those of the Chief Justice,Electoral Commissioners etc?With that,they can be bold to work like the true professionals we want them to be irrespective of which party is in power.

The attacks are shameful and must stop!

kojo-ackaah-kwarteng2By Kojo Ackaah-Kwarteng,

Head of Station,Onua 95.1

Mark Tetteh [L] is being held for arson for the burning of the Fiapre tollbooth Friday night

TALKING DRUM: Freddie Blay & the marauding brigade!

By | Features | No Comments
Mark Tetteh [L] is being held for arson for the burning of the Fiapre tollbooth Friday night

Mark Tetteh [L] is being held for arson for the burning of the Fiapre tollbooth Friday night

At the Passport Office, here in Accra, a police man stood on his feet giving orders. He was commanding stranded passport applicants to move back, a bit away from the premises.

“No one must stand here! Massa [referring to a gentleman] go, go,” he said.

It was January 10, 2017 hours after some thugs of the New Patriotic Party stormed the passport office demanding a takeover of the facility. Asking why? Their government is now in power.

This barbaric behaviour is not the first to be orchestrated by these NPP hoodlums.On January 9, 3news.com reported: “Persons believed to be supporters of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Monday seized the official vehicle of the Chief Executive of the Nzema East Municipal Assembly.”

On January 10, it was again reported that the “Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), in the Trobu Constituency, Kwame Ofosu Adjei is in the grips of the Amasaman Divisional Police for attacking a police officer on duty at the Pobiman tollbooth.” It was alleged he was on a mission to seize the tollbooth.

Many discerning Ghanaians including some NPP MPs have since condemned the incidents.

Reading about the police’s arrest and seeing the officer, at the passport office, act the way he did to ensure sanity prevailed, I wore radiant of smiles. At last, the police have been brave enough to prevent these incidences from reoccurring.

Little did I know, however, that the officer I saw driving away people who stood idle at the entrance of the passport office was exhibiting but the power vested in a child over a tethered he goat.

“We are here working in fear,” said a worker who wanted anonymity.

“Those the police arrested, yesterday, are back here [passport office]. At the security post and at the reception, these NPP supporters are today on a silent mission all in an attempt to take over the facility,” she said.

Really? And that police officer was ‘showing off’ at innocent persons? I asked myself. This woman’s claim pricked hard in my ear the way the penis does to the wall of a bell. It pushed me to probe further.

“How sure are you concerning your claim, Madam?” I asked.

“I am not supposed to tell you this, you know. But …” she said, looking a bit frightened.

“The truth is that we are privy to information that a high official, in government, ordered the release of these thugs.”

Checks at the security post of the passport office, indeed, confirmed the allegation. Some civilians were seen assisting the police in manning the facility. At the reception, too, I was fortunate to have had a security man, who wore mufti, waiting to collect his passport, to also confirm how serious the situation was.

This is certainly an affront to our democratic credentials as it has become a ritual that when there is a change in government the winning party’s supporters do the unthinkable. One would hear NPP serial callers and some party communicators say ‘the National Democratic Congress (NDC) did same in 2009. So, the situation repeating itself after the Electoral Commission declared the NPP winner of the 2016 election is but equalization of what the NDC supporters previously did.’

It, however, becomes very shameful when leading party executives, the elderly of course, endorse these nefarious acts of their supporters. When I heard the Acting National Chairman of the NPP speak to Ghanaweb and 3FM saying these party supporters are only protecting state properties, I buried my head in my palm.

“At the harbour, people are stealing cars. People are carrying away items that should attract duties and so forth, containers being taken away without going through the right process.

“If we see people stealing cars from the harbour, are you suggesting that we should wait and go and call the Police?” said lawyer Blay to Ghanaweb.

Citizen vigilantism is commendable but one does not do so by going beyond their limit. Do citizen vigilantes burn down tollbooth as it was seen and heard at Fiapre in the Brong Ahafo region? When did Mr. Freddie Blay’s brigade realise that some people were stealing at the Tema Habour? Where were these hoodlums when Anas Aremeyaw Anas caught on tape some officers at the habour taking bribe? In protecting state property, would it not have been ideal these NPP supporters went there to arrest these corrupt officers? Shaking my head!

Interesting, isn’t it? Their government is in power and they have big men behind them. They have the effrontery to explain why they attack and burn down properties. I vehemently condemn the NDC’s 2009 attacks and it could have only been reasonable the NPP supporters acted with a sense of maturity this time.

The Mighty Eagle in the movie Angry Birds said it right that “wisdom is not something that is given. Wisdom is attained.” I only hope and pray that these political parties’ supporters attain wisdom with time to understand that none of the politicians, they follow, will push their children to go seize toilets and tollbooths.

When I left the passport office on that Tuesday, I wondered which top official in government could have possibly called the police to release these NPP thugs. There seem to be an answer to this question now. Nonetheless, this is the time the police must prove that they are independent and deal with outlaws.

By Solomon Mensah

The writer is a broadcast journalist with 3FM 92.7. Views expressed here solely remains his opinion and not that of his organisation.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @Aniwaba

 

Black Stars

Workaholics in search of a little stardust

By | Features, Sports | No Comments

Black Stars

Shockingly, Avram Grant dropped Majeed Warris. He dropped the Black Stars most in-form player. Yes he had a drought but the last month saw a remarkable change in fortune.

Also, the team doesn’t have the blessings of the Ghana Premier league but it still represents a strong squad; Strong enough to put the icing on the cake for the Ghana at 60 celebrations; Strong enough to break the AFCON curse.  It is littered with a lot of experience, a lot of budding talent and a lot of hard workers. They will need to be tactically sound to overcome their flaws. They will need a little stardust to finally become the new kings of Africa.

majeed-waris

Waris was among the players dropped from the provisional squad

Goalkeepers : Still Searching For The Next Olele

Razak Braimah: Massive tournament for Spiderman.  The absence of Adam Kwarasey means he is in a very comfortable lead in the goalkeeping department. Ooops, hope I didn’t jinx it.

braimah

Fatau Dauda: Drafted in at the last minute, his overall experience is great to have around the squad. No matter what, he will always have that save against Cristiano Ronaldo.

Richard Ofori: China once tried to smuggle an outfield player in the 3rd goalkeeper slot. Just saying.

Defender : Perfect Balance.

Andy Yiadom: He fills the quota for Ghanaian with foreign accent. Other players before him include Junior Agogo, KP Boateng, Schluup and  Kwarasey. He has played in the lower divisions of England so definitely knows the definition of grit. Afful gets a bit of competition for a change.

John Boye: He still has a bit more to do to totally wipe away that image of him kissing the bundle of money in Brazil. Maybe kissing the AFCON trophy could be that image.

Jonathan Mensah: Signing a new contract is always a boost for any player. Heading to America to join Columbus’ Crew as part of the new Kings of African Football won’t be bad at all.

jona-mensah

Jonathan Mensah recently made a switch of clubs

Baba Rahman: The left back position used to suffer all sorts of chronic problems. It was so bad we had to draft our best midfielder – Kwadwo Asamoah – into that role for some time. Numerous cures have been tested but Baba Rahman looks like the most potent of the lot. AFCON 2017 represents the final test before this cure can go into Mass production.

Edwin Gyimah: No one likes a teacher’s pet and that is what Edwin Gyimah has become. The biggest Black Stars fans will struggle to spot him on the field. He has become the perfect bench warmer. Hi Edwin, it is not good enough.

Daniel Amartey:  He is part of one of football’s greatest fairytales. He needs to play a starring in  the next chapter of this never-ending Romantic Drama.

Amartey goes to the Cup of Nations for the second time on the trot

Amartey goes to the Cup of Nations for the second time on the trot

Frank Acheampong: He is one of the numerous players hailed as the Ghanaian version of Lionel Messi but in truth, he is more of a poor man’s Di Maria. He has the makings of an impact sub for this current crop.

Harrison Afful: In a generation that has Inkoom and Opare, Afful has excelled as the right back that lived up to his potential. The Black Stars will need him to go up a gear.

Midfield: Work, Work, Work, Work, Work

Mubarak Wakaso: He has everything to really become Sulley Muntari 2.0. The raking passes, the stunning strikes and those mistimed tackles. Needs to double up his game winning efforts for that accolade to be fully bestowed on him

Thomas Partey: Has joined the never ending list of the “New Essien”. Has shown glimpses here and there. The unforgiving Ghanaian jury will be watching.

Agyemang Badu: One minute he is hot, the next he is not. He is gradually reaching the zone where most people will not notice if he is dropped. Needs to have a big tournament.

badu

AFCON 2017 will be Badu’s fifth

Afriyie Acquah: Amanda will be watching. You might want to show her you’ve still got game.

Samuel Tetteh: The one true right footed  winger in the team. Was nicknamed Zidane during his time with the Under 20 team. Even if he plays like a poor man’s Zizou then the Black Stars will be almost home and dry.

Ebenezer Ofori:  His Wikipedia page has definitely  had a lot of visits in the past week. The most important piece of information there is “ Ofori made his debut for AIK against Manchester United in a friendly in 2013”. The Afcon might provide him more worthwhile information for his wiki.

Attackers : The Gyan, The Present and The Future

Asamoah Gyan: Could be his final tournament for the Black Stars. What a career he has had for Ghana. He wants this trophy more than anybody and maybe he deserves it more than anybody.

Andre Ayew: Hasn’t had the season he would have expected. This tournament could represent a launch pad for a remarkable 2017.

Dede Ayew SA

Ayew powered Ghana to the quarter-final in the last edition in Eq Guinea

Jordan Ayew: Needs to show up. Needs to show us why he is the heir to Asamoah Gyan’s throne. This could be his final audition.

Christian Atsu: Returns to the tournament he starred in two years ago. Ghana expects fireworks from his left boot.

Ebenezer Assifuah : He is only the second Ghanaian player to win the goal king at the Under-20 world cup.  The other Ghanaian to have won that award is Dominic Adiyah. He needs to treat the “Why Adiyah Failed” manual as his bible.

Bernard Tekpetey: If he gets to make his debut in this AFCON it will be a baptism of fire and brimstone. He should remember that there is a thin line from Hero to Zero and normally that is where the 27million Ghanaian coaches set their camps.

From: Kwesi Asomadu

 

20161107_141712

Shortcomings of the Professional Association of Herbal Medicine Practitioners (GAMH) (Part II)

By | Features | No Comments

20161107_141731

The shortcomings of the Ghana Association of Medical Herbalists (GAMH) , the only professional association of herbal medicine practice in Ghana is  described in this article in accordance with the structure of an ideal professional association/body.

These include; Policy and Public affairs, Legal and governance, Education, Training and Continuous Professional Development (CPD), Membership and employer engagement, Research and Knowledge, International membership and affiliation, and Other factors.

EDUCATION, TRAINING, AND CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (CPD)

A professional association is expected to set, maintain and monitor educational and professional qualifications for professionals within the association. The training of health professionals in Ghana usually involve different stages. Medical training in KNUST involves first 3 years of Bachelor of Science degree in human biology after which another 3 years of bachelor in surgery and medicine is embarked on at a teaching hospital. An induction ceremony is then conducted for people who go through the entire program successfully. The Ghana Medical Association’s (GMA) contribution either directly or indirectly through the Ghana Medical  and Dental council in the training process cannot be overlooked as it is their duty to ensure that each level of training of their professionals is critically looked at in the interest of the profession. Others like Medical Laboratory Science, and Herbal medicine involves 4 years Bachelor of Science degree and internship after which professional exams are organized by the professional/regulatory council and those who excel offered professional certification. For reasons stated in the first part of this article, the board membership of the Traditional Medicine Practice Council (TMPC) , the council that offers  certification to qualified Medical Herbalists does not extend to representatives from GAMH and as such GAMH’s involvement in the education and training of its members  right from the university to internship  and professional certification level is almost nonexistent. There have been irregularities with posting of interns, allowances for interns, professional examinations after internship, and induction ceremonies for new members. The TMPC,  a regulatory council for Traditional Medical Practitioners (TMP’s) by law with the controlling powers given to GHAFTRAM, a representative association of all TMP’s whose training isn’t formal/professional, controlling every aspect of the education and training of Medical Herbalists who are professionals.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) training which is one of the programs organized by professional associations with support  from their regulatory body/council and other stakeholders,  is necessary  to update the professional practice. GAMH has so far been able to organize about three CPD’s for members  in 2014,  2015, and 2016 respectively with the help of TMPC and stakeholders  in the health field. CPD should be more frequent (at least yearly) to enhance any professional profession.

RESEARCH AND KNOWLEDGE

Members  of professional health association are expected to from time to time make researches about the various aspects of their practice. The professional association is expected to provide a means ( a Journal usually linked with the website) by which the researches of members are published to share knowledge to wide range of stakeholders  including policy makers and other health professionals. Ghana Medical  Journal (GMJ), Ghana Pharmaceutical Journal (GPJ),  for Ghana Medical Association and Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana respectively are few examples of professional Journals through which research and knowledge of members are shared. GAMH. does not have a Journal in place to help members, interns and students who research into different  areas  of herbal medicine practice  share knowledge acquired to improve the herbal medicine industry.

A professional association is expected to promote its practice through every legitimate means possible. This is done through public education either directly by the association or through stakeholders including students (herbal medical students at KNUST, etc) at the tertiary level. GAMH is trying its best with public education but their effort is still not enough as there are still  lots of misconceptions on the practice of herbal medicine, and herbal medicines. The Ghana Association of Medical Herbalists ( GAMH)  is expected to contribute to issues  that spring up  regarding herbal medicines  and the practice in general in Ghana usually through the media  to offer its  professional views  rather than leave it to members of GHAFTRAM who most of the time are  contacted to speak. These people ( GHAFTRAM) lack good foundation in medicine/health and pharmaceutical sciences  so therefore are unable to explain the issues well for other professionals in the health delivery system to understand and relate with. GAMH can change this by sharing its views through press releases on current issues on health regarding herbal medicines or herbal medicine practice in Ghana. The power of the media cannot be underestimated in the attempt to make GAMH relevant and recognized.

INTERNATIONAL MEMBERSHIP AND AFFILIATIONS

International membership and affiliations offers professionals in a common practice platforms to relate and share ideas to improve the practices in their countries. GAMH currently has no international membership/affiliation with professional associations natural medicine / herbal medicine practice  despite existence of such practices in countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, and China, to mention a few. For instance, National Institute of Medical Herbalists, Irish Institute of Medical Herbalists, New Zealand Association of Medical Herbalists, and North American Institute of Medical Herbalists are few professional associations for Medical Herbalists in the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, and North America respectively.

OTHER IMPORTANT FACTORS

WEBSITE– professional associations are expected to have current websites  to promote their activities. A typical professional website contains stuffs like constitution, information on executives, link to Journal, news update on practice, upcoming events/program, etc. The Ghana Association of Medical Herbalists (GAMH) does not  have a website to inform the public of its existence  and It’s activities.

NEED FOR TOTAL REBRANDING-  A total rebranding  by the professional association may be necessary to help promote the professional practice of herbal medicine in Ghana. There  have  always been issues about the professional name  “Medical Herbalist” chosen prior to the existence  of GAMH to conform with that used in the UK. It should be noted that the definition and perceptions associated  with the word “Herbalist” as a component of a professional name differs between both countries (Ghana and UK). The formal herbal medicine  training gives one all the knowledge  and skills needed  to diagnose common diseases the medical way and in addition broad knowledge on preparation, preservation, packaging, registration, prescription, and dispensation of different forms of herbal medicines that meets modern trend. A change of professional name from Medical Herbalist to say Herbal Medical Doctor (HMD) will instill more confidence and professional pride in the practice from students in the University level through to interns and practitioners. Most practitioners have refused to accept the title because the misconception associated with it.

By Bentil Emmanuel Asare Adusei
The writer holds a BSc in Herbal Medicine from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
Email: [email protected]