February 2016


Announcing the first Food for All Ghana Conference

1st Annual Food for All Ghana & Awards- Exhibition is to take place on 12th-13th May, 2016 at the Ghana International Press Centre.

UNICEF Ghana last year revealed that 1 out of every 4 child in most regions of Ghana goes to bed hungry. The UN SDG’s Goal 2 and 12 adopted in 2015 affords us the opportunity to partner and work together in addressing the inefficiencies within our food supply chain, network and work towards creating sustainable means of nutrition for all.

 

Food For All Ghana feeding the needy

Food For All Ghana feeding the needy

Government ministries, top level officials, farmers, supermarkets, hospitality companies and stakeholders within Ghana’s food supply system and international industry leaders will come together in Accra for the first Food for All Ghana conference themed: “SDG 2&12 Focus on creating sustainable means of nutrition within our food supply chain”.

Food wastage occurs across all segments of the food supply chain and is often the result of the complex interactions within the supply chain. Action to mitigate the amount of food wasted in one segments likely impacts the chain downstream and upstream – it is therefore critical to foster partnerships and collaborative action throughout the food supply chain.

Food for All Ghana program is a non-profit start-up launched in June 2015 to create sustainable means of nutrition through food banking, farming and forum to address issues of food wastage, hunger and inefficiencies within the supply chain.

 

The conference will include a high level session between stakeholder’s and government delegation on P104078212th May, followed by a media launch of #myright2food campaign, a year long fund raising program to create sustainable means of nutrition for the vulnerable in society and an awards ceremony to honour individuals and corporate bodies supporting food banking and the implementation of the UN sustainable Goals 2&12 in Ghana.

The conference will address the topical issues of food availability, losses, wastage, accessibility, stability and utilization. Ghana is entering an unprecedented period of economic growth underpinned by a burgeoning population development and execution of a core food security strategy is essential to providing a sustainable growth platform.

 

For more information, sponsorship or register for the Conference, contact:

Food for All Ghana Program

1 Nii Adjei Adjetety Street

Teshie Gonnor -Accra, Ghana

Tel:+233247223821/+233245410621

E-mail:food4all.ghana@gmail.com

Website: www.foodforallghana.org

Facebook: Food for All Ghana Campaign

Twitter: @food4allgh

 

Sarkodie to headline Indigo O2 for Ghana’s 59th Independence

Unarguably the biggest persona of Ghanaian music and one of Africa’s greatest, Sarkodie will become the first African rapper to headline his own concert at Indigo at the O2.

The multiple BET winner and Mobo award nominee, who recently joined Fuse ODG on the last leg of his UK tour is one of the major proponents of the Azonto genre and dance made popular by Fuse ODG internationally.

Sarkodie will be taking his brand to the next level as he has enlisted the support of UK’s most sought after live band, The Compozers to rock the crowd and UK’s afrobeats pioneer, Abrantee to host the event.

The audience are in for a mega treat with Sarkodie’s skilful 50-syllables-per-second flow, countless hits from a career spanning 15 years and a flux of surprise guest performers including his personal DJ Mensah to ensure a show-stopper.

This concert will surely establish Sarkodie as one of the world’s most iconic African artists.

Tickets for Sarkodie’s concert are now on sale! Click here to purchase before they’re are sold out!

New African Dance School launches children and adult classes in London

Adinkra Dance School (ADS), will be launching African dance classes for children and adults, this February 2016. Children and adults will be taught traditional dancing using the schools MAT strategy, which consists of Modern, Afrobeats dance and Traditional African dance techniques.

 

ADS Flyer (1)ADS is the brain child of Cilla Gyewu, Felix Lartey Cheetham and Mavis Osei. They spotted an opportunity to teach dances that they grew up learning and knowing.

Felix said “Our dance classes will be exceptional because of the mixes of dances from different parts of Africa from Traditional to Modern.”

The name Adinkra comes from the Akan language, of the Ashanti tribe of Ghana, West Africa and represents visual symbols that represent concepts or aphorisms.

Cilla and Mavis said “We are all of Ghanaian/African heritage, and really wanted to share some of the rich African culture off to both children and adults, dancing seemed like the best way to do that, seeing as we all love to dance one way or the other”.

ADS dance classes not only tap into cultural identity but also provides many health benefits. Dancing improves our body by strengthening it, making the body more flexible, giving great posture and balance. Dancing also keeps a child’s body and brains active, extremely vital for growing children.

Students will work individually and in pairs/groups and learn different traditional dance routines, mastering a routine before moving onto the next. Children will also have the opportunity to showcase their dance routines that they have learnt throughout the term. For more details or to book contact adschooluk@gmail.com 07704 347 045 or 07596 021776

 

Class details:

North London

Every Saturday commencing 20th February 2016

Location:  Woodhouse College Dance Studio, Woodhouse Road, Finchley N12 9EY.

Time: 2-3pm

 

West London

Every Friday from 19th February 2016

Location:  Oak Tree Community Centre, Osborne Road, Acton, W3 8SJ.

Time: 4-5pm.

Both classes are £6 or 10 sessions for £50. Email adschooluk@gmail.com or call 07704 347 045 or 07596 021776 for an application form

Podcast: Should the African presence in Tudor England be taught in British schools?

Onyeka Nubia

Onyeka Nubia

Historian Onyeka Nubia is pushing for the African presence in Tudor England (1485-1603) to be included in Britain’s National Curriculum.

With the support of educational organisation Narrative Eye, the author of:Blackamoores: Africans in Tudor England, Their Presence, Status and Origins’, has already presented over 5,000 signatures to the House of Commons. 

“We wanted Black Tudors to be included in particular because it is pre-Trans-Atlantic slavery, pre-scientific racism and therefore would give ALL children a perspective of an African presence before Trans-Atlantic slavery kicks in. And it gives them a window into medieval which is even more interesting,” he told MisBeee.

“We are still pushing that and it’s hard work. Obviously, it’s not an overnight thing ….”.

In his book, Onyeka argues that Africans had a rich and diverse presence in Tudor England that transcends the familiar and singular slavery story.

In a series of exclusive podcasts with Onyeka, MisBeee explores what it meant to be an African in Tudor times, and how these African figures have shaped modern Britain.

Check out Part I: Introductions

And Part II: Abolitionist pioneers Ottobah Cugano and Olaudah Equiano.

By Kirsty Osei-Bempong (@MisBeee)

Gogglesprogs – Casting opportunity!

Studio Lambert, the makers of the Bafta award-winning Gogglebox are back to see what our children have to say when they’re watching the telly.

Gogglesprogs is an exciting series for Channel 4 that will feature groups of 5-12 year olds from around the UK watching and reviewing a selection of television programmes.  Whether its groups of siblings, cousins or friends, we are looking for kids from all over the UK who have something to say.

If you think you know the next generation of sofa critics or you’re interested in finding out a bit more please contact 0203 040 6922 or email gogglesprogs@studiolambert.com

Agricultural policies in Africa could be harming the poorest

Agricultural policies aimed at alleviating poverty in Africa could be making things worse, according to research by the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Published this month in the journal World Development, the study finds that so-called ‘green revolution’ policies in Rwanda – claimed by the government, international donors and organisations such as the International Monetary Fund to be successful for the economy and in alleviating poverty – may be having very negative impacts on the poorest.

Women-make-progress-in-modern-agriculture-2One of the major strategies to reduce poverty in sub-Saharan Africa is through policies to increase and modernise agricultural production. Up to 90 per cent of people in some African countries are smallholder farmers reliant on agriculture, for whom agricultural innovation, such as using new seed varieties and cultivation techniques, holds potential benefit but also great risk.

In the 1960s and 70s policies supporting new seeds for marketable crops, sold at guaranteed prices, helped many farmers and transformed economies in Asian countries. These became known as “green revolutions”. The new wave of green revolution policies in sub-Saharan Africa is supported by multinational companies and western donors, and is impacting the lives of tens, even hundreds of millions of smallholder farmers, according to the study’s lead author Dr Neil Dawson.

The study reveals that only a relatively wealthy minority have been able to keep to enforced modernisation because the poorest farmers cannot afford the risk of taking out credit for the approved inputs, such as seeds and fertilizers. Their lora_fertiliser_fullfears of harvesting nothing from new crops and the potential for the government to seize and reallocate their land means many choose to sell up instead.

The findings tie in with recent debates about strategies to feed the world in the face of growing populations, for example the influence of wealthy donors such as the Gates Foundation, initiative’s such as the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, and multinational companies such as Monsanto in pushing agricultural modernisation in Africa. There have also been debates about small versus large farms being best to combat hunger in Africa, while struggles to maintain local control over land and food production, for example among the Oromo people in Ethiopia, have been highlighted.

Dr Dawson, a senior research associate in UEA’s School of International Development, said: “Similar results are emerging from other experiments in Africa. Agricultural development certainly has the potential to help these people, but instead these policies appear to be exacerbating landlessness and inequality for poorer rural inhabitants.

“Many of these policies have been hailed as transformative development successes, yet that success is often claimed on the basis of weak evidence through inadequate impact assessments. And conditions facing African countries today are very different from those past successes in Asia some 40 years ago.

“Such policies may increase aggregate production of exportable crops, yet for many of the poorest smallholders they strip them of their main productive resource, land. This study details how these imposed changes disrupt subsistence practices, exacerbate poverty, impair local systems of trade and knowledge, and threaten land ownership. It is startling that the impacts of policies with such far-reaching impacts for such poor people are, in general, so inadequately assessed.”

Rwanda farming is very labor intensive, rural Rwanda, 1/13/09The research looked in-depth at Rwanda’s agricultural policies and the changes impacting the wellbeing of rural inhabitants in eight villages in the country’s mountainous west. Here chronic poverty is common and people depend on the food they are able to grow on their small plots.

Farmers traditionally cultivated up to 60 different types of crops, planting and harvesting in overlapping cycles to prevent shortages and hunger. However, due to high population density in Rwanda’s hills, agricultural policies have been imposed which force farmers to modernise with new seed varieties and chemical fertilisers, to specialise in single crops and part with “archaic” agricultural practices.

Dr Dawson and his UEA co-authors Dr Adrian Martin and Prof Thomas Sikor recommend that not only should green revolution policies be subject to much broader and more rigorous impact assessments, but that mitigation for poverty-exacerbating impacts should be specifically incorporated into such policies. In Rwanda, that means encouraging land access for the poorest and supporting traditional practices during a gradual and voluntary modernisation.

‘Green Revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa: Implications of Imposed Innovation for the Wellbeing of Rural Smallholders’, Neil Dawson, Adrian Martin and Thomas Sikor, is published in World Development.

Impotence: An Intensely Secret Worry for Many Ghanaians Abroad

A group of Ghanaian doctors researched into the problems of impotence or sexual dysfunction affecting many Ghanaians abroad. This research was carried out in 2013 and published on the Newsinfo website. According to the doctors, there are both physical and emotional factors behind the problem. The report stated that about 40% of Ghanaian men living abroad have experienced some erectile dysfunction. The problem, according to them, results mainly from the lifestyle and the nature of work Ghanaians do. It is more intense among Ghanaians living in Southern European countries like Italy, Greece and Spain, where many of them work at construction sites where they carry and impotencearrange heavy slabs and iron rods for building. These Ghanaians work eight to ten hours a day. Within a year or two, this tedious work affects their waists bones, which consequently puts their manhood in permanent prison never to resurrect again.

This reminds me of a funny audio making the WhatsApp rounds of four Ghanaian women abroad who met to pray that God should give them better male sexual partners. Among their requests were males with strong and hard erections, the type that is so hard that if you put a baby on top, it won’t bend. They also prayed to God not to give them Ghanaian men abroad who have spent their lives at several hard jobs until their waist bones are bent or broken: “Wonmo sisi akyea”. As a result they can’t do anything after a long day at work. Such men come home from work in the evening, finish eating and begin to sleep in front of the television. When they get to bed, they are tired and can’t do anything but have to wake up very early to go to work again.

Some men hide their impotence at the incipient stage from their wives. They return home very late from work, get themselves busy cleaning the hall, washing dishes and toilets until they are sure the women are fast asleep. They then get to bed quietly. These men are the first to wake up and go to work.

 

medfr30082This article discusses the factors that contribute to impotence. However, it is important to indicate that the problems are not unique to Ghanaians alone. It may be all poor people forced to do heavy work abroad. It may also affect white people who do such jobs.

Impotence is a condition that affects a man’s ability to achieve or maintain erection. The man is unable to penetrate the female during the sexual act. This dampens the sexual drive. Those who drive articulators and big trucks have experienced sexual weakness leading to impotence after years of driving from one country to the other. The same thing applies to long distance cyclists.

The doctors, in their research, interviewed ten prophets and pastors, ten herbal practitioners, and ten Muslim herbalists and spiritualists in Ghana. They all confirmed separately that not less than fifty Ghanaians living abroad have either called them or come to them personally with their sexual weakness and problems of impotence.

 

Apart from impotence caused by excessive drinking of strong alcoholic beverages by many Ghanaians abroad, there areImpotence DISEASE2 generally other common causes of impotence. This is a subject many Ghanaians are hesitant to discuss. According to the study, about 31% of Ghanaians living abroad are depressed due to sexual dysfunction. Many are unable to cope with their impotence and those who are unable to stand the embarrassment and depression, may even commit suicide.

This is more so when Ghanaians want to live up to their reputations in Europe. There is a general and ill-conceived belief that black people are more potent than whites. They have harder erections which they can hold longer than white men. White women who have had black men attest to this. But there is no study confirming it. Some people think it is due to the cold. The loss of a black man’s potency in Europe is a very traumatic event.

Over-dependence on sex enhancing products has also been identified as one of the causes of sexual weakness or impotence.

 

The percentage of Ghanaians abroad suffering from erectile dysfunction may be more or expected to increase because, according to the doctors, many sufferers will not want to admit to the problem and share it with others because it is embarrassing, especially for macho Ghanaian men. Those who take sex enhancement drugs and develop sexual weakness problems often hide this fact even from their doctors.

imagesCertain diseases like piles, hypertension, heart disease and diabetes, if not properly controlled, can lead to acute erectile dysfunction. Dependence and constant use of certain prescription drugs can cause erectile dysfunction. There is a class of high pressure drugs that can cause sexual dysfunction in a small percentage of users. These are, however, normally prescribed more to women than to men. More than two hundred prescription and non-prescription drugs are known to affect the erectile function in men. Certain drugs that work directly on the nervous system easily create organic impotence. These are anti-depressant drugs, medicines used to treat high blood pressure, those used to treat neurological disorders like Parkinson disease, medications used to treat gastrointestinal ailments and also those used to treat allergies. Those Ghanaians abroad who are addicted to strong alcohol, tobacco, cocaine and marijuana are automatic candidates for impotence.

 

The medical research group sampled at random hundred Ghanaians in four different countries abroad to complete a Unhappy-Couple-Man-in-Front-The-Trentquestionnaire. 45% admitted sexual dysfunction and 30% had low sperm count and 60% of those who filled the questionnaire affirmed that they have once used sex enhancing drugs. Five men between 21 and 25 years were among those who declared impotence.

Sexual dysfunction or impotence is an important public health problem that compromises the overall quality of life of the patients and their partners. This often leads to loss of emotional and physical intimacy which very often leads to divorce.

 

Research to find out where and how Ghanaians with sexual dysfunction sought cure for their problems was conducted among Ghanaians living in U.S.A and Canada. Five hundred and fifty Ghanaians in the United States of America and Canada, who had sexual weakness problems, were asked how they sought help for their problems. Almost all of them said they sought for help from traditional herbal practitioners in Ghana. These herbalists who advertised on FM stations in Ghana had special phone numbers for Ghanaians living abroad to call and have their medicines posted to them. The interviews were made possible thanks to the active cooperation of the executive members of the various Ghana unions in the main Toronto area and New York.

 

This article talks about Ghanaians abroad, but those with problem of impotence are not alone. There are many Ghanaian women who have diverse sexual problems including sterility. Regular body exercise is very important because it precipitates effective blood flow to all parts of the body for as we say in Latin, mens sana i corpore sano (A healthy mind is in a healthy body).
By Stephen Atta Owusu
Author: Dark Faces at Crossroads

Guard Your Heart

‘‘It’s not what you see that matters. It’s what is in you.’’

bibleAt times in our lives we can be so blinded by the expectations of the world.  In today’s world, one is expected to be smarter, think quicker and be more competent. All these attributes are great but there is a greater attribute which is worth more than the rest. A pure heart. You’re probably thinking ‘really?’ This may seem unnecessary but in the eyes of God it is amazing. Matthew 5 verse 8 states those with pure hearts shall see God. Now this is the key to victory – keeping a pure heart even in the midst of trials and obstacles. This is difficult because during those times, we are more likely to focus on the negative and start to have doubts within ourselves and even in people. It is during our most vulnerable moments that we must persevere to keep a pure heart. When I mean pure heart, I mean making sure our thoughts are positive and not polluted by evil thoughts.

 

The quote in Proverbs 23 verse 7 says ‘‘For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he’’.

 

You are what your thoughts are. If you think about negative things, you will become a negative person. If you think andpositivity_treatment dwell on positive thoughts, you will become a positive person. Positivity is contagious but it first starts with the mind. What is your mind filled with daily? What do you meditate on to get the right mind-set to start your day?  Meditating on the word brings healing, deliverance and revelation. We all stumble in our own ways, but sometimes we need a time out. Every time we feel emotionally drained, we can trust the word to restore us. During the year 2016, be hopeful that God will give you a pure heart if you ask him.

 

It is a daily battle but in Christ we are overcomers.

This verse in Philippians 4 verse 8  is inspirational: ‘‘Whatever is lovely, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.’’

By Adwoa Asiedu (@ AdwoaAsiedu777)

The Literacy Drive Ball – raising funds to transform education in Ghana

Promoting Global Learning (PGL) and Universal Learning Solutions (ULS) will host a charity ball on Saturday 6 February, 2016 from 6.30 pm to 1 am at the luxurious Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge, London SW1X 9PY.

This black-tie event, themed the ‘Literacy Drive Charity Ball’, is being held under the distinguished patronage of His Excellency Mr Victor Emmanuel Smith, Ghana’s High Commissioner to the U.K. and Ireland.Henry, HE Victor Smith and Sue Gerrish

The dinner dance gala has as its media partner The Voice newspaper, Britain’s leading black newspaper.

For over three decades, The Voice has been committed and made a contribution to education and social enterprise. The publication was an obvious fit as media partner for this ground-breaking event.

 

The gala occasion will be attended by business leaders, dignitaries, renowned sports personalities and an array of stars from stage and screen.

Representatives from various countries andembassies will be present to champion the improvement of literacy rates across Africa, alongside charitable organisations and other stakeholders. The event is open to the general public.

The evening’s programme will include a 3-course dinner, cultural performances, dancing to live music and a DJ, raffle draws, auctions and other fundraising activities. Tickets cost £100 and are available at http://www.promotinggloballearning.org/

 

Students at one of PGL's schools (1)The event is raising funds to help transform education in Ghana and beyond through the Jolly Futures programme. The Jolly Futures programme has already reached over 1 million children and been shown to be highly effective in enabling all children to read and write with confidence.  February’s charity ball also aims to help provide mobile libraries to facilitate a strong culture of reading in schools.

The Jolly Futures programme will be implemented in close partnership with governments and will significantly assist them to ensure that all school children acquire the critical skill of reading and writing in their formative years.

The evening promises to be a hugely entertaining fun-filled occasion. Your support will generate a far-reaching social return in enhancing the life chances of young people.

 

To book your ticket(s), please make payment directly to our bank (Barclays Bank):

Promoting Global Learning (PGL)

Account Number: 63050793

Sort Code: 20-16-99 (Barclays Bank)

Please quote your name as reference.

To have your payment acknowledged or to pay by an alternative method please contact Shibani Rao on 07401893100 or email: shibani@universallearningsolutions.org

British filmmaker Koby Adom voyages to Ghana to highlight abuse of domestic workers

House Girl is a London Film School (LFS) graduation project, written and directed by student Koby Adom and produced by Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor. The film will be shot in February 2016 in Ghana, with a predominantly female cast.

Based on a true account, House Girl discusses the maltreatment of domestic workers in West Africa. The story is told through a British teen Jennifer who is visiting Ghana for the first time. She sees the violent abuse of young domestic worker Efua at the hands of her aunty. In an environment completely alien to her she feels compelled to rescue Efua but a twist in the tale brings Jennifer crashing back down to reality.

This film covers genres such as drama, social realism and suspense/thriller. Contemporary issues such as child abuse, modern day slavery and the African diaspora are explored also but most of all, director Koby Adom want to show of the beautiful landscape in Accra with this film.

The ‘House Girl’ team need to raise a minimum of £10,000 to make this project. Supporters can contribute to the project by visiting the kickstarter page here

To find out more about the project watch the video below: