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Foul odour from rubber factory not hazardous – GREL

By | Health, News | No Comments

The rubber plant has been emitting foul odour in the area

The repugnant odour that has engulfed Apemenin in the Ahanta West District of the Western Region, is not dangerous to human health, the Ghana Rubber Estate Limited (GREL) has maintained.

Residents in and around the area, including Agona Nkwanta, have for years complained about the foul odour from the factory which is sited at Apemenin, fearing a possible health hazard.

Earlier this year, some of the residents demonstrated against the company claiming GREL has been polluting the environment, but the company has denied the claims of the residents.Safety, Health and Environmental officer for GREL, Akwasi Apau Boakye, told Takoradi-based Connect FM that though the foul scent that emanates from their factory is a nuisance, it is not hazardous to health.

He maintained that scent is not something that could cause illness though it makes people uncomfortable.

“I can say on authority that the scent that is emanating from the factory does not have health implications just that it is uncomfortable for people, it is a nuisance that is all,” he assured the residents.

Mr Boakye said the situation in other areas where rubber production takes place is no different from what pertains at Apemenin, noting that “If you know a lot about rubber factory, this is something that is normal. If you go to other countries you will realize it is not dangerous”.

Notwithstanding, he said management of the company recognizing the situation has even resolved to site the second factory of GREL within its plantations to prevent the repugnant odour from getting to the communities around.

“…there are trees there so we are hoping people will not come and make this complaint,” he said.

Mr. Boakye insisted that GREL has been following all safety and environmental measures as required by the Environmental Protection Agency, noting that effluent from the factory are regularly monitored to prevent pollution.

“Every month we pick samples for testing at lab,” he said, adding that they even go beyond that to pick water samples from the communities for laboratory testing to check for pollution and that “all the samples we’ve taken, there are no issues with that”.

He said the company has now expanded its capacity from five tonnes to 10 tonnes per hour and that they would have to do something about some of the effluent parametres, but said “as far as I’m concerned and from the records and from the analysis we’ve done, we are in line with everything”.

By Loveridge Ampratwum Okyere|Connect FM|3news.com|Ghana

Ghana’s ITLOS victory a collective effort – Akufo-Addo admits

By | Politics | No Comments

President Akufo-Addo receives former President Rawlings to the event

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has paid glowing tribute to successive presidents and governments who, he said, played important roles, over the years, in ensuring a favourable verdict was handed down by the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).

According to President Akufo-Addo, “this victory could not have been achieved through the actions of one person, one political party or one government. It has been a collective effort, and the important roles played by successive Presidents and governments, should not be overlooked, discounted or understated.”

President Akufo-Addo made this known on Thursday, 19th October, 2017, at a ceremony held in honour of the legal team that represented Ghana in her maritime boundary dispute with Cote d’Ivoire

Expressing the nation’s appreciation to the team, President Akufo-Addo noted that “you have helped guarantee not only the possibilities of development, progress and prosperity of our country, but also that of successive generations of Ghanaians yet unborn, who will be beneficiaries of the revenues, hopefully, to be accrued from the commercial exploitation of our maritime resources and potentials.”

In paying tribute to the role played by successive governments, President Akufo-Addo noted that it was under the farsighted leadership of former President J.J Rawlings that the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) was established.

GNPC, the President said, was set up to be a strategic, commercial vehicle to help accelerate the pace for the exploration of oil and gas, and under the leadership of Tsatsu Tsikata, played a pioneering role in gathering, analysing and interpreting data for oil and gas exploration, and beginning to attract other companies to participate in the exploration.

“It was under the leadership of my former boss, the former President of the Republic, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, that GNPC was restructured to ensure that it focused on its core activity of exploration, and the promotion of the oil and gas potential of the country,” President Akufo-Addo said.

He continued, “Under him, the fundamentals of our macroeconomy were stabilised, enhancing our appeal as an investment destination. A combination of the new fiscal regime and GNPC’s promotional activities yielded results, as a number of oil exploration companies invested in Ghana, which led to the discovery in 2007 of the Jubilee Fields, followed by a quick succession of other discoveries, including the TEN fields.”

President Akufo-Addo also recounted how in July 2008, Ghana began preparations for the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles, and highlighted the unique role played by the then Minister for Lands, Forestry and Mines, Prof. Dominic Fobih, who discovered and brought to the attention of President Kufuor’s administration, the conditionality of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea’s (UNCLOS) approaching deadline of 13th May, 2009.

The President noted that in 2010, the late President of the Republic, His Excellency John Evans Atta-Mills, set up a 10-member Ghana Boundary Commission to undertake negotiations with Cote d’Ivoire to delimit the maritime boundary.

“It was in 2014 that my immediate predecessor, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, took the courageous decision to initiate arbitration. Through a Notification and a Statement of the claim, dated 19th September, 2014, Ghana invoked the jurisdiction of ITLOS, after ten rounds of negotiations between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire had not yielded any result.

In turning to the Tribunal, Ghana’s primary objective and interest was to secure legal certainty, and, thereby, bring finality to a dispute with a valued neighbour,” he said.

Upon his assumption of office in January 2017, and to continue from the work that had been done, the President noted that he constituted a legal team, headed by the new Attorney General Gloria Afua Akuffo, and his team working together with the team led by the former Attorney General, Marietta Brew Oppong, and the foreign lawyers.

“It was the co-operative effort of all of them that secured the famous result of 23rd September, 2017, for our country. And, I am glad to see that several of the foreign lawyers have been able to join us for this brief ceremony. Happily for me, it has been during my presidency that Ghana received the joyful news of this victory,” he added.

Source: 3news.com | FHCB

Lupita Nyong’o has starred in Hollywood hits 12 Years a Slave and Star Wars

Lupita Nyong’o accused Harvey Weinstein over sex

By | Features, Showbiz | No Comments
Lupita Nyong’o in 2015. Credit Jesse Dittmar for The New York Times

Lupita Nyong’o in 2015. Credit Jesse Dittmar for The New York Times

I have been following the news and reading the accounts of women coming forward to talk about being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein and others. I had shelved my experience with Harvey far in the recesses of my mind, joining in the conspiracy of silence that has allowed this predator to prowl for so many years. I had felt very much alone when these things happened, and I had blamed myself for a lot of it, quite like many of the other women who have shared their stories.

But now that this is being discussed openly, I have not been able to avoid the memories resurfacing. I have felt sick in the pit of my stomach. I have felt such a flare of rage that the experience I recount below was not a unique incident with me, but rather part of a sinister pattern of behavior.

I met Harvey Weinstein in 2011 at an awards ceremony in Berlin, while I was still a student at the Yale School of Drama. An intermediary introduced him to me as “the most powerful producer in Hollywood.” As an aspiring actress, I was of course eager to meet people in the industry but cautious about strangers, and the intentions of men in general. So I tried to vet this famous producer by asking my dinner-table companions what they knew of him. A woman who was a producer herself cautiously advised me to “keep Harvey in your corner.” She said: “He is a good man to know in the business, but just be careful around him. He can be a bully.” And so I exchanged contacts with him in the hopes that I would be considered for one of his projects. I wanted to keep things professional, so I made a point of referring to him as “Mr. Weinstein.” But he insisted that I call him by his first name. In this first encounter, I found him to be very direct and authoritative, but also charming. He didn’t quite put me at ease, but he didn’t alarm me, either.

Not long after we met in Berlin, Harvey wrote to me inviting me to attend a screening of a film — a competitor’s film similar to one he had produced. He said we would be watching it with his family at his home in Westport, Conn., which was not far away from New Haven, where I was living at the time. He would send a car to pick me up. I accepted the invitation.

The driver and I met Harvey in the little town of Westport, where he informed me that we would be having lunch at a restaurant before getting to his home. I did not think much of this. It was a busy restaurant, and as soon as we sat down he ordered a vodka and diet soda for himself. I asked for a juice. Harvey was unimpressed with my choice and told the waiter to bring me a vodka and diet soda instead. I declined and said I wanted the juice. We went back and forth until finally he turned to the waiter and said, “Get her what I tell you to get her. I’m the one paying the bill.” I smiled and remained silent. The waiter left and returned with a vodka and diet soda for me. He placed it on the table beside my water. I drank the water. Harvey told me that I needed to drink the vodka and diet soda. I informed him that I would not.

“Why not?” I remember him asking. “Because I don’t like vodka, and I don’t like diet soda, and I don’t like them together,” I said. “You are going to drink that,” he insisted. I smiled again and said that I wouldn’t. He gave up and called me stubborn. I said, “I know.” And the meal proceeded without much further ado. In this second encounter with Harvey, I found him to be pushy and idiosyncratic more than anything.

We got to his home after lunch and I met his domestic staff and his young children. He took me on a brief tour of the house before he rounded us all up in the screening room to watch the film. He had just produced a similar film of his own, but everyone was raving about this rival version.

I settled in for the film, but about 15 minutes in, Harvey came for me, saying he wanted to show me something. I protested that I wanted to finish the film first, but he insisted I go with him, laying down the law as though I too was one of his children. I did not want another back-and-forth in front of his kids, so I complied and left the room with him. I explained that I really wanted to see the film. He said we’d go back shortly.

Harvey led me into a bedroom — his bedroom — and announced that he wanted to give me a massage. I thought he was joking at first. He was not. For the first time since I met him, I felt unsafe. I panicked a little and thought quickly to offer to give him one instead: It would allow me to be in control physically, to know exactly where his hands were at all times.

Part of our drama school curriculum at Yale included body work, using massage techniques on one another to understand the connection between body, mind and emotion, and so I felt I could rationalize giving him one and keep a semblance of professionalism in spite of the bizarre circumstance. He agreed to this and lay on the bed. I began to massage his back to buy myself time to figure out how to extricate myself from this undesirable situation. Before long he said he wanted to take off his pants. I told him not to do that and informed him that it would make me extremely uncomfortable. He got up anyway to do so and I headed for the door, saying that I was not at all comfortable with that. “If we’re not going to watch the film, I really should head back to school,” I said.

I opened the door and stood by the frame. He put his shirt on and again mentioned how stubborn I was. I agreed with an easy laugh, trying to get myself out of the situation safely. I was after all on his premises, and the members of his household, the potential witnesses, were all (strategically, it seems to me now) in a soundproof room.

Earlier Harvey had sent the driver to the store to buy a boxed collection of “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,” an HBO show that he had produced. This was the project he thought I would be right for, he said. (I later found out that the show had not been on the air for some time.) As I prepared to leave his home, he presented it to me. He wanted me to check it out and let him know what I thought. He would be in touch about it. I left for New Haven with his driver.

I didn’t quite know how to process the massage incident. I reasoned that it had been inappropriate and uncalled-for, but not overtly sexual. I was entering into a business where the intimate is often professional and so the lines are blurred. I was in an educational program where I was giving massages to my classmates and colleagues every day. Though the incident with Harvey had made me uncomfortable, I was able to explain and justify it to myself, and shelve it as an awkward moment. His offer to me to be a part of the HBO show was a very attractive one and I was excited about it, especially as I would be graduating in another year. I didn’t know how to proceed without jeopardizing my future. But I knew I would not be accepting any more visits to private spaces with Harvey Weinstein.

I decided to invite Harvey to come to a production I was in at school. Perhaps that way he would really see what I had to offer, and he would see my colleagues, too. He accepted the invitation, but the night of the production, he sent a message saying he had been caught up in New York and would be unable to attend. He would make it up to me. So when I received an official invitation to a staged reading of his new Broadway show, “Finding Neverland,” I was not surprised. I was still debating whether I should accept his invitation, and so I responded saying I was not certain that I could make it because of my school schedule. He responded with exactly the words I needed to hear: Come with whomever you want to come with. And so I invited two of my trusted male friends.

Lupita Nyong’o has starred in Hollywood hits 12 Years a Slave and Star Wars

Lupita Nyong’o has starred in Hollywood hits 12 Years a Slave and Star Wars Photo: AFP

We attended the reading, and afterward Harvey invited us all to a restaurant for dinner with his comrades and collaborators. He sat me next to him, and another actress sat across from me. He had my friends sit at a different table. The talk was shop the whole time and Harvey held court with ease. He was charming and funny once more, and I felt confused about the discomfort I had previously experienced. I looked at the actress who I was informed had just worked with him on a project, searching her face for any sort of indication that she too had been made to feel uncomfortable by this powerful man, but of course I saw nothing. We did not stay very long because we had to catch a train back to New Haven. My friends had been equally charmed by Harvey. He knew when to turn it on if he wanted something. He was definitely a bully, but he could be really charming, which was disarming and confusing. I left feeling that perhaps he had learned my boundaries and was going to respect them.

A couple of months later, I received an email from Harvey, inviting me again to New York for a screening of “W.E.” After the screening, we would have drinks in TriBeCa. I then received a phone call from one of his male assistants to arrange my transportation. Feeling more confident about the new sense of boundaries that we had established in our last meeting, I attended the screening on my own this time. Afterward, as planned, his male assistant arranged for me to get to the Tribeca Grill, where Harvey would be joining us. I met a female assistant when I arrived there. I was expecting that it would be a group of us, as it had been for the reading, but she informed me it would just be Mr. Weinstein. She would sit with me until he arrived. She seemed on edge, but I could only imagine how stressful it was to work for a man who had so much going on.

Harvey arrived and the assistant immediately disappeared. We ordered drinks and starters. Again he was offended by my nonalcoholic beverage choice but he didn’t fight me on it as hard. Before the starters arrived, he announced: “Let’s cut to the chase. I have a private room upstairs where we can have the rest of our meal.” I was stunned. I told him I preferred to eat in the restaurant. He told me not to be so naïve. If I wanted to be an actress, then I had to be willing to do this sort of thing. He said he had dated Famous Actress X and Y and look where that had gotten them.

I was silent for a while before I mustered up the courage to politely decline his offer. “You have no idea what you are passing up,” he said. “With all due respect, I would not be able to sleep at night if I did what you are asking, so I must pass,” I replied.

His whole demeanor changed at that point. “Then I guess we are two ships passing in the night.” I had never heard that saying before, so I remember asking him what it meant. “It means just that,” he said. “We are two ships going in two different directions.”

“Yes, I guess we are.”

“So we are done here,” he said. “You can leave.”

We got up, having not eaten anything, and he led me out of the restaurant. My heart was beating very fast. A cab was hailed for me. I said I would take the subway (I could not afford a cab at the time), but he handed me some money and told me not to be silly, take the cab. Before I got in, I needed to make sure that I had not awakened a beast that would go on to ruin my name and destroy my chances in the business even before I got there.

“I just want to know that we are good,” I said.

“I don’t know about your career, but you’ll be fine,” he said. It felt like both a threat and a reassurance at the same time; of what, I couldn’t be sure.

I did not see Harvey again until September 2013 when I was in Toronto for the premiere of “12 Years a Slave,” the first feature film I was in. At an after-party, he found me and evicted whoever was sitting next to me to sit beside me. He said he couldn’t believe how fast I had gotten to where I was, and that he had treated me so badly in the past. He was ashamed of his actions and he promised to respect me moving forward. I said thank you and left it at that. But I made a quiet promise to myself to never ever work with Harvey Weinstein.

Not long after I won the Academy Award in 2014, I received an offer to play a role in one of the Weinstein Company’s forthcoming films. I knew I would not do it simply because it was the Weinstein Company, but I did not feel comfortable telling this to anybody. I turned down the role, but Harvey would not take no for an answer. While at Cannes, he insisted on meeting with me in person. I agreed to do it only because my agent would be present. In the meeting, he was honest about intending to persuade me to do his movie. I told him I simply did not feel it was a role I needed to play. He said he was open to making it bigger, more significant, maybe they could add a love scene. He said if I did this one for him, he would do another one for me — basically guaranteeing backing a star-vehicle film for me. I ran out of ways of politely saying no and so did my agent. I was so exasperated by the end that I just kept quiet. Harvey finally accepted my position and expressed that he still wanted to work with me at some point. “Thank you, I hope so,” I lied.

And that was the last of my personal encounters with Harvey Weinstein. I share all of this now because I know now what I did not know then. I was part of a growing community of women who were secretly dealing with harassment by Harvey Weinstein. But I also did not know that there was a world in which anybody would care about my experience with him. You see, I was entering into a community that Harvey Weinstein had been in, and even shaped, long before I got there. He was one of the first people I met in the industry, and he told me, “This is the way it is.” And wherever I looked, everyone seemed to be bracing themselves and dealing with him, unchallenged. I did not know that things could change. I did not know that anybody wanted things to change. So my survival plan was to avoid Harvey and men like him at all costs, and I did not know that I had allies in this.

Fortunately for me, I have not dealt with any such incidents in the business since. And I think it is because all the projects I have been a part of have had women in positions of power, along with men who are feminists in their own right who have not abused their power. What I am most interested in now is combating the shame we go through that keeps us isolated and allows for harm to continue to be done. I wish I had known that there were women in the business I could have talked to. I wish I had known that there were ears to hear me. That justice could be served. There is clearly power in numbers. I thank the women who have spoken up and given me the strength to revisit this unfortunate moment in my past.

Our business is complicated because intimacy is part and parcel of our profession; as actors we are paid to do very intimate things in public. That’s why someone can have the audacity to invite you to their home or hotel and you show up. Precisely because of this we must stay vigilant and ensure that the professional intimacy is not abused. I hope we are in a pivotal moment where a sisterhood — and brotherhood of allies — is being formed in our industry. I hope we can form a community where a woman can speak up about abuse and not suffer another abuse by not being believed and instead being ridiculed. That’s why we don’t speak up — for fear of suffering twice, and for fear of being labeled and characterized by our moment of powerlessness. Though we may have endured powerlessness at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, by speaking up, speaking out and speaking together, we regain that power. And we hopefully ensure that this kind of rampant predatory behavior as an accepted feature of our industry dies here and now.

Now that we are speaking, let us never shut up about this kind of thing. I speak up to make certain that this is not the kind of misconduct that deserves a second chance. I speak up to contribute to the end of the conspiracy of silence.

Source: Lupita Nyong’o | New York Times

Lupita Nyong’o is an actor, director and producer.

IT expert exposes ‘amateurish’ technical flaws in Ghana PostGPS

By | Business, Technology | 7 Comments

An IT expert has revealed some technical flaws in the recently launched 2.5 million-dollar Ghana PostGPS system that has been touted as the solution to the decades of poor addressing system in the country.

Stefan Froelich who works with WITS Ghana, an IT solution company, after reviewing the technical element of the application said the system is fraught with some technical issues, some of which he described as amateurish.

READ: Akufo-Addo launches digital address system

In his estimation, the system “is poorly designed, ineptly built and has no chance of yielding anything close to the results it has been touted as capable of bringing”.

He concluded that Ghana may have been ripped off in the deal, saying “right now, this looks like money poorly spent!” adding Ghana has lost an opportunity do demonstrate to the world that it can develop a homegrown solution to its problems.

Read the full review of the app done by Stefan


GhanaPostGPS – A System No One Asked For

We started our day to the launch of the new Digital Addressing System – GhanaPostGPS. A system, news of which we’d been given over the past few months.

I took it for a spin to see what all the fuss was about. It was pointless.
Unclear Goals

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying a digital addressing system is pointless, but that the current implementation is poorly designed, ineptly built and has no chance of yielding anything close to the results it has been touted as capable of bringing. Coming to that, how exactly is this going to help revive Ghana Post again? Has the problem really been addressing? Or an institution that has failed to recognize that it is a dinosaur that needs to evolve to survive? Or that people simply don’t trust it with their valuables? Maybe a combination of all 3 and more.

A Disappointing Start

For the kind of resources that were given to this project, one would expect a refreshing design, some nice layout animations, properly thought out user experience and a proper understanding of how the system is supposed to deliver value.

Instead, we are greeted with a less ugly pallet swap of AsaaseGPS, with new graphics, text and a splash screen animation (I really hope you guys are already resolving my location because that splash screen lasts a long time) that does a bad job of explaining how and what it is you are to do after generating your address. The menu items are confusing and there are UI elements that make no sense. In fact, the menu toggle is on the right and the nav drawer on the left!

I launch the app and immediately, I am assaulted with a sign-up screen. Ummm, what?! Why do you need to know who I am? I look around for a link to terms and conditions which would at least inform me how they plan to use my information, nothing.I go and download snooCode (another Ghanaian app that literally does the same thing) and within 30 seconds (location services are always on), I have my six character address. It might not be beautiful, but it makes sense. Less is always more.

Amateur Mistakes

I don’t want to give my information out, so I figure, hey, let’s see if we can bypass this. I enter some gibberish and submit, half expecting it to reject my input but no! It accepts it like it is made of gold.Now I really don’t want to give my details out. At the simplest, all you need to do is to check if the input is 9-10 digits (10 for a leading 0). There’s more you can do, but short of actually testing the number, this check should suffice.

A Broken System

At this point, I have lost confidence in the system. These are signs of either an inexperienced or lazy programmer. Either way, the system cannot guarantee data quality or security.

I decide to risk it anyway and use my secondary SIM card to register an account to get the full experience.
In addition to generating your address (showing an unhelpful dialog about a missing address mapping), you can search for locations, save locations to your address book and send your location to emergency services (Police, Fire & Ambulance).

I obviously couldn’t test the emergency services, but saving to the address book worked while searching for the location they generated for me didn’t yield any results.I suspect both this and the dialog at the point of generation require me to register my address first, but nowhere is this made apparent to you. Existing systems like snooCode don’t require you to do this. The generated address can be translated into geolocations easily and used to locate you. This doesn’t bode well for user experience.

I decided to try the map on the website and sadly that didn’t work either. There was no map and a quick look at the debugging console showed that Google Maps was throttling API calls.Flawed Technology

GhanaPostGPS like snooCode, what3words, and Open Location Code is a geocoding system that converts hard to remember latitudes and longitudes into an easy to remember format. It creates 5x5m grids and assigns a code to each grid so addresses remain constant within the grid.

While this system makes it easy to address any location on the surface of the earth with an easy to remember code, it doesn’t translate well when used as addresses. A single property can easily span multiple grids and therefore will technically have multiple addresses.

All the above existing systems bill themselves as location sharing services (nowhere is this clearer than in what 3 words). GhanaPostGPS with its unnecessary barriers causes it to fail at being even that.

A proper addressing system would have accounted for anomalies such as large properties and implemented a separate registration process (which could involve marking out your boundaries) for businesses and interested individuals. Many people really could care less. Most codes will be generated on the fly to give directions to friends to meet up or for events such as weddings and the like. Most use cases of this system would not even require one to register an address.

Conclusion

Today, any competent smartphone user can easily share their location over WhatsApp and get turn by turn directions in Google Maps. Why would anyone want to use this? What is its differentiating feature?

Tech is tech. And this is 2017. People will use what pleases them whether the government throws millions at a solution or not. And right now, this looks like money poorly spent! You simply cannot will people to use what they don’t like.

I believe more should have been done by Vokacom to translate AsaaseGPS into a true addressing system for the nation. They were definitely given the resources. $2.5 million is not a sum to laugh about.

Government officials have no understanding of how tech works and thus, as the consulting firm in charge of developing the system, Vokacom had every responsibility to ensure that it was delivering the best. This was our first opportunity to prove to the world that we can do homegrown and we blew it!
This is a sad day for tech in Ghana.

By Stefan Froelich|gharage.com|Ghana

Reflection: My take on Paapa Yankson

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Paapa Yankson was from Apam in the Central region

Nyimpa beye bi wambeye ne nyinara

Woakra hen. Wakra h3n efi wiadze

Ony3 ne pe oe ewuradze ne nhyehyee

Osiande mber a ewuradze dze hye nono

Na wedu do ntsi na oroko no

Ntis na oroko no

Oko so a oremsen bio

Sweet melodious songs sung by the carousel 7 epitomizes the current state, Song simply says he has bid farewell to us not because he wants to but what the Lord’s

The streets of the oil city are clad in red and black.

The ancient town of Apam is wailing

A great son of the land is no more

A voice as rich as his can never be replaced.

Paapa Yankson is one of the few giants of highlife who propelled highlife and for that matter Ghana to such dizzying heights though he started life as a stenographer it was music that brought him fame.

As a young man growing up in a house that had a big GRUNDIG radio it was the voices of Papa Yankson, Kwame Ampadu, Gyedu Blay Ambolley and the rest who got me hooked on the big band at quite an early stage.

I hardly missed the guitar band stands on Radio 2. I got hooked on his voice partly because of his singing prowess. As someone living in the ancient capital city of Cape Coast “the town of beautiful nonsense” and being quite close to the fisher folk I was amazed by the dexterity to which papa with uncle C.K. Mann can take the songs by these fishermen and remold them into danceable tunes fit for the ballroom and satisfy both the elites and the “mmbrowa” at large.

The early releases by carousel 7 were a delight on anyone’s changer or his master’s voice. If you were lucky to be called upon by a man who trusted you enough to let you wind his gramophone then sweet melodies awaited to assault your ears.

It was after I had entered the U.C.C. that through the instrumentality of my maternal uncle Mr super bad I got the chance of meeting the man Kofi Yankson. Musiga in Cape Coast had instituted a monthly musical show at the center for national culture in Cape Coast and I was penciled to be the master of ceremony and my chance came to meet him. He warmed himself into my heart and I was stunned by his humility and simplicity as he was then a star on his own, debuting his album on the flying elephant label “wiadze mu nsem” had taken the nation by storm and my favorite “EBEI” was at its peak. He encouraged me to learn the trade well as I had a good future in the industry. I picked a few lessons from him and followed him but when he released the show your love album his stature in the contemporary highlife world got to an all-time high, his producer then, Isaac Taylor of Roots Music World became a friend and these men were so enthused about a young man like me who wanted to know everything about highlife.

Paapa got in touch with me now and then as we struck up a beautiful relationship. More like a father and son. The release of his gospel album Paapa Yankson and the Christian sisters drew us even more together when he realized I was a Methodist and a chorister as well.

I came to work in Accra and we maintained our friendship but it was when I went back to Takoradi that the friendship blossomed. I was eager to learn so much about the highlife giants. CK MANN, the late Mr. Wilmot and Kweku Grant were very influential in my highlife journey so any time Papa Yankson came to Taadi he will call me that he was around Moree junction, he will visit and we will move together to either Lucky bar or Columbia. He will talk about his music and other things in the music world, sometimes we will just drive over to Kwafaq and stand by his golf car listening to the live band.

Papa was a great teacher and a wonderful listener. I will never forget the day he screamed at me, he had brought his then fresh alum titled” highlife collections” to me for critique. I listened to the full album over and over again and realized the production standards were lower than his previously released albums and I politely pointed out to him. That was when he snapped. He went like ‘herrr kofi awo small boy mestart de morotow ndwom na wonwo wo and you talking to me about production? Meaning “I started singing before you were born so don’t talk about music production to me” I kept mute and walked on but he called me back and said we should go out. He then asked why I felt the songs did not meet my standards and he took them in but I realized he was hurt. The last time I asked of that album he told me I should gerrroout because I was part of the reason he could not release it.

We kept on communicating with each other and on the 5th of March this year we had a lengthy 1.15 mins interview live on 3FM 92.7 GH CLASSICS, the discussion was Primarily on highlife general to commemorate Ghana@60.

On June 24 I had called him live on radio on Onua 95.1FM to wish him happy birthday and he made me sing the happy birthday song for him. When I asked him his favourite song apart from “mber papa” he said no that was his first composition.

Author: Paa Kofi Abronomah |Onua FM

Teacher unions issue a week ultimatum to government

By | Education | No Comments

File photo

Three teacher unions have given the government a one-week ultimatum to address issues concerning their salary arrears.

They are Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT).

In a letter dated 17th October 2017, addressed to the Finance Minister, the teachers regretted that their concerns raised have been left unaddressed to date.

According to the teacher three unions, in the meeting with Finance Ministry, stakeholders agreed in principle to commence the validation exercise of teachers for payment of salary arrears on September 11, 2017, for which notices were sent to members across the country.

In addition to the resolution of the meeting, it was agreed that 65,013 forms were to be validated in 88 days.

However, the teacher unions say they are amazed that “one month on, no action has been taken to commence the exercise and we see this as a deliberate ploy and betrayal of good faith in dealing with the matter”.

The statement from the three teacher unions added that the circumstances in which they find ourselves, it would be extremely difficult for leadership to restrain its members from expressing their anger in forms that may affect the sanctity of the school environment.

The unions have therefore urged government to address their concerns within the stipulated period or they will be forced to use other channels to seek redress.

Source: 3news.com | Ghana

NDC ‘never had a biometric register’

By | Politics | No Comments

NDC had no biometric register, according to an ex-MP

Former Member of Parliament for North Dayi Constituency George Loh says the National Democratic Congress (NDC) never had a biometric register contrary to claims that they did.

According to him, what the NDC had prior to its 2015 primaries was an “extended” manual registration.

He explained that a biometric registration requires the capturing of the ten fingers with a biometric device but nothing of that sort happened.

The legal practitioner made this revelation while speaking on 3FM’s Sunrise on Thursday.

Mr Loh said he was only given a card without any biometric details of his taken prior to the party’s primaries in the North Dayi Constituency.

This revelation comes on the back of the largest opposition party discrediting the ‘biometric’ register it has had and going back to a manual register.

The National Chairman, Kofi Portuphy, on Wednesday said as per the recommendation of the election review committee led by Dr Kwesi Botchwey, “NEC has voted for the scrapping of the register used to conduct the party’s internal election last year”.

But the former North Dayi MP said even the CD-ROM given him for his constituency’s primaries was blank.

He said he had to restrain his supporters from protesting. He lost that November 21, 2015 primary to Joycelyn Tetteh, 27.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

New regions will bring development – Dan Botwe

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Dan Botwe

The Minister for Regional Re-Organisation, Dan Botwe is hopeful if Ghanaians buy into the idea of adding at least four regions to the existing 10, it will boost the country’s development.

The Upper West is the last region created out of the Upper Region in 1983 by the then Head of State, Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings under the Provisional National Defense Council.

Dan Botwe told TV3 some Ghanaians have for decades been craving for additional regions for easy administration.

President Nana Akufo-Addo Thursday inaugurated a nine-member Commission of Inquiry headed by a retired Supreme Court judge, Justice S. A. Brobbey.

He said the inauguration of the commission sets the tone for his ministry to kick start processes to create the new regions.

“It will bring government to the people and accelerate development,” he remarked.

Constitutional steps to creation of new regions

Article 5 of the 1992 constitution of the Republic forms the constitutional bases for the formation of the Commission of Enquiry by the President. It states as follow;

(1) Subject to the provisions of this article, the President may, by constitutional instrument –

(a) create a new region;

(b) alter the boundaries of a region; or

(c) provide for the merger of two or more regions.

(2) If the President, upon a petition being presented to him and, on the advice of the Council of State, is satisfied that there is substantial demand for –

(a) the creation of a new region;

(b) the alteration of the boundaries of a region, whether or not the alteration involves the creation of a new region; or

(c) the merger of any two or more regions;

he shall, acting in accordance with the advice of the Council of State, appoint a commission of inquiry to inquire into the demand and to make recommendations on all the factors involved in the creation, alteration or merge.

(3) If, notwithstanding that a petition has not been presented to him, the President is, on the advice of the Council of State, satisfied that the need has arisen for taking any of the steps referred to in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of clause (1) of this article, he may, acting in accordance with the advice of the Council of State, appoint a commission of inquiry to inquire into the need and to make recommendations on all the factors involved in the creation, alteration or merger.

(4) Where a commission of inquiry appointed under clause (2) and (3) of this article finds that there is the need and a substantial demand for the creation, alteration or merger referred to in either of those clauses, it shall recommend to the President that a referendum be held, specifying the sues to be determined by the referendum and the places where the referendum should be held.

(5) The President shall refer the recommendations to the Electoral Commission, and the referendum all be held in a manner prescribed by the Electoral Commission.

Source: 3news.com | Ghana

Delta Force 13 sentenced to GHC23,400 fine; face 12-month in jail if…

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The 13 members of the Delta Force in court on July 13, 2017

The 13 members of the pro-New Patriotic Party vigilante group, Delta Force, who assaulted a public officer in Kumasi, have been handed a fine to the tune of GHC23,400.

Each of the them is to pay GHC1,800 and sign a bond to be of good behaviour for a 12-month period or in default serve 12 months in prison, the Kumasi Ciricut Court ruled Thursday.

The 13 were convicted and sentenced after they pleaded guilty to the new charges of conspiracy to commit crime to wit rioting leveled against them last week by police prosecutors.

Charges of assaulting a public officer, conspiracy to assault and causing unlawful damage, which the 13 convicts were facing, were dropped by prosecutors on October 10 on the advice of the Attorney General’s Department.

READ: Earlier charges against Delta Forces dropped

Fresh charges of conspiracy to commit crime and rioting were subsequently leveled against them and the case adjourned Thursday, October 19 for continuation.

When the case resumed Thursday, the convicts pleaded guilty to the charge in the Circuit Court presided over by JMs. Mary Senkyire to convict them accordingly.

Members of the Delta Force in March this year ssaulted President Akufo-Addo’s newly-appointed Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, George Agyei who they said did not contribute to the victory of the party, hence cannot work with him.

Police later arrested 13 of them and on April 6, 2017, and were put before court.

Escape

Some other members of the group numbering eight stormed the KMA Circuit Court on Thursday, April 6 and freed the 13 members who were standing trial for assaulting the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, George Agyei.

The eight accused defied an order by the judge, Mary Senkyere, in open court after she had remanded the 13 in prison custody.

They verbally abused her and vandalized court property, exiting through a restricted area meant only for judges.

The eight were immediately arrested while a bench warrant issued by the Ashanti Regional Police Command resulted in the escapees turning themselves in for the trial to continue in their case.

They were put before court for escaping from lawful custody but were pardoned by the Circuit court presided over by John Ekow Mensah but were fined 2,400 each and made to sign a bond to be of good behaviour within six months. Failure to do so will lead them serving a jail term of three years.

The other eight who broke them out were charged with disturbances of court as captured in Section 233 of the Criminal Code and resisting arrest and rescue as captured in Section 226(1b) of same.

Discharged for lack of evidence

But they discharged by the Kumasi Circuit Court Two due to lack of evidence.

READ: Delta Force 8 freed for lack of evidence

Judge Patricia Amponsah freed the accused persons, following the Attorney General’s claim that it has no evidence to prosecute.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

Official: Bawumia won’t attend RTP Awards

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Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia

The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia would not attend the much publicised  7th edition of the Adonko RTP awards, his office has established.

The Radio and Television Personality Awards (RTP Awards) has over the years honoured radio and television presenters across the country.

There has been an advertisement by the organisers, running over a month, that said the Vice President would join other high profile personalities at this year’s awards.

Former President John Dramani Mahama and Rev. Dr. Boadi Nyamekye, Founder and Leader of Makers House Chapel, were mentioned as some of the dignitaries set to grace the occasion.

But in a Facebook post, the Director of Communications at the Office of the Vice President, Frank Agyei-Twum, was clear that Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia would not take part in the event.

“The Vice President has nothing to do with the 2017 RTP awards and will not be present at the said ceremony,” the post read.

The RTP Awards is organised by Big Events Ghana Limited and it is expected to be held this month.

Meanwhile, manager of the Swedru-based artiste, Patapaa, says the artiste will not perform at RTP Awards slated for this month.

Godfred Bokpin is reported to have said the ‘One Corner’ hitmaker, there is no contract between them and organisers of the Awards.

Patapaa is currently the man of the moment in the music scene in Ghana

 Source: 3news.com | Ghana