October 2017


GUBA FOUNDATION DONATES TO HOSPITALS IN GREATER ACCRA

GUBA Foundation, the charitable branch of the GUBA Enterprise, donated more than 2000 pieces of nurses’ uniforms on 24th October, 2017, to various health centres in Ningo-Prampram and Ada East districts of the Greater Accra Region. The donation forms part of the Foundation’s Infant Mortality Project that seeks to provide deprived hospitals with incubators and other essential medical supplies, to alleviate infant mortality in Ghana.

In receipt of the donations were the Prampram Polyclinic, Old Ningo Health Centre, Ada East District Hospital and other health centres operating within the districts.

Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram Constituency, Hon. Samuel Nartey George lauded the Foundation for its efforts. He added that the initiative would end the state of affairs of nurses having to purchase their own uniforms.

The Medical Superintendent of the Ada East District hospital, Dr Philip Narh expressed gratitude for the quality of the uniforms donatedby the Foundation.

“I am extremely pleased that the uniforms are new and of good quality. Our nurses will use the uniforms and some of the overcoats will be given to patients for their use”

In a speech read on her behalf, GUBA Founder and CEO, Dentaa Amoateng MBE, a paediatric nurse by profession, thanked the nurses for their sacrifices and hard work.

“We appreciate the commitment that you exhibit every day to save the lives of mothers and babies in Ghana. It is our hope that this gesture would motivate you to sacrifice a lot more for mother Ghana” – she added.

The GUBA Foundation continues in its relentless approach to the permanent alleviation of Infant Mortality. To support this project, visit https://www.gofundme.com/closing-the-gap-infant-mortality

Register to save a life!

You’ve never met. But, for someone who’s facing blood cancer, you might just be the most important person in the world.

Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer, such as leukaemia. It’s a devastating diagnosis for anyone affected. But, there’s hope: a potentially lifesaving blood stem cell donation from a genetically similar person.

Only one in three people will find a matching donor within their own family. And so they must find an unrelated donor to have a second chance of life. That’s why we’re here. We find potential lifesavers, like you, and match them to people in urgent need of a blood stem cell donation.

It’s especially hard for people who are black, Asian, or belong to another minority ethnicity to find a match because there are relatively few potential donors of these ethnicities on the UK donor registry.

We’re here to give everyone the best possible chance of overcoming blood cancer. But, whatever your ethnicity, we need your help. Will you go on standby to save the life of someone just like you? Complete our pre-registration check to find out if you could be a potential lifesaver and order your home swab kit today.

Register today. There are survivors because there are lifesavers.

M-Learning in Ghana, the perfect educational solution?

Ghana is a country that does not have a coherent policy for education infrastructure. At the same time, rising rates of mobile phone use among the population make this country ripe for an m-learning revolution. School infrastructure in Ghana can be very poor, with inadequate ventilation, security features (for example, for laboratory equipment) safety for flooring and other issues. These conditions can make it especially difficult for learners with disabilities either to make it to school in the first place or to learn in comfort once they are there. M-learning is a viable nation wide solution to these defects in Ghana’s present education infrastructure. M-Learning has the potential to reach all students in the country through the simple medium of their mobile phones. As a result, it would surmount the difficulties inherent in Ghana’s less than perfect current educational infrastructure.

The power of m-learning in Ghana: the current situation

Ghana has one of the best developed mobile phone markets in all of Africa. In fact, most Ghanaians do not only own a mobile, they also prefer to use their mobile instead of using a landline. Most Ghanaians also prefer to access the internet through their mobile phones rather than via a fixed wifi or cable internet system in the home. Though 3G coverage in Ghana is relatively new, this is also growing as well, which again suggests that the future of m-learning in Ghana will be a very positive one. MTN Ghana, Vodafone, Tigo and Airtel are the four largest mobile phone providers in Ghana, with MTN Ghana being by far the biggest provider (having cornered around 50 % of the market). With both affordable pay as you go and sim packages readily available in Ghana, m-learning has the potential to reach the whole of the country’s population. Ghana is currently classed as a middle income country, which means that its citizens are usually able to afford items such as mobile phones. In addition, app literacy in Ghana is very prevalent, with exciting new apps for both learning and leisure (like Esoko and RetailTower) being developed in the country every year.

Integrating m-learning with secondary and tertiary educational institutions in Ghana

The secondary education system in Ghana is known as Senior High School, and it can often be supplemented or even (in parts) replaced by m-learning. What is particularly pertinent to know is that ICT is actually part of the ‘integrated science’ section of the SHS curriculum, which means that new generations of Ghanaians are growing up with the skills that they need to learn via the web. Though the buzz of the classroom environment can be something that benefits learners, as mentioned above, not all schools in Ghana are totally fit for purpose and thus m-learning is a viable alternative to both the SHS curriculum and to TVET (vocational training) curricula that are offered after completion of the SHS.

When it comes to tertiary education, Ghana has 49 private universities and 6 public universities. Many of these institutions are focused around a specific subject, such as Agriculture. E-learning is already well integrated into the curricula of many of Ghana’s top universities. For example, the University of Ghana has recently created the KEWL – Knowledge Environment for Web Based Learning – initiative. Many online courses are also available as part of the rise and rise of e-learning in the country. In addition, the edtech phenomenon of MOOC has really been taking off throughout Ghana and Sub-Sahara Africa. MOOC is an initiative which offers an online course to a large number of people and it is usually free of charge. This initiative is, as may be expected, particularly useful for low income or very poor communities in Sub-Sahara Africa for whom financial factors would otherwise pose a significant barrier to their ability to access education. As a result, mobile learning projects could simply adapt and build on the existing e-learning infrastructure in Ghana’s tertiary education system.

There is a rising amount of local and regional companies which provide products and materials for online courses and exam preparations, the classical fields of m-learning. This African providers guide illustrates a list of edtech startups in several countries.

Estimation of the future of the power of M-learning in Ghana

The future of the power of m-learning in Ghana looks very bright. This is due to two key factors. Firstly, the existing educational infrastructure is – particularly at the secondary level – often physically and materially inadequate for students to learn successfully. As such, there is a clear problem here that mobile learning could solve. Secondly, Ghana’s population is made up of some of Africa’s most skilled, savvy and frequent mobile phone users. The ubiquity of mobile phones means that the uptake of m-learning strategies would likely be very high. Add to this the fact that many tertiary education institutions in the country are already using e-learning platforms and other edtech to teach students remotely (for example, through online courses) and the future of m-learning across the country looks very positive indeed.

By Jens Ischebeck

Stunnah Gee ‘International Girl’ impact date 8th December

The long-awaited club banger from AfroBeats all-star Stunnah Gee entitled International Girl is now available! The track has the slick production style and distinctive vocals fans have come to know and love from Stunnah Gee. International Girl features a glossy, fun music video aimed at empowered women of all cultures. Produced by the talented and prolific producer P2j, the song centres around Stunnah’s description of a special lady in his life; being a goddess in his view, with her best features originating from cultures around the globe.

“I’m inspired by women in general, but I wanted to appreciate ladies from all around the world. What is different from anything I’ve done before is that this song has a very international-pop feel. It’s a different sound, it’s a different style. I can’t wait for my fans to hear it!” Stunnah Gee

Despite the success of his previous hit single Dengeme (Remix) featuring BET award nominee & Sony signed afrobeat legend Davido, Stunnah Gee’s follow up single International Girl looks set to eclipse Dengeme’s impact and establish Stunnah Gee as an global star. International Girl adopts an internationally accessible direction, blending AfroBeats, pop, moombahton with a touch of reggae. Stunnah Gee is best known by the music he released over the last 3 years which criss-crosses the African continent and cuts through the music genre that is now known as AfroBeats.

Stunnah Gee, also known as Felix Olajide Omolafe, takes inspiration from a unique blend of western influences and legendary west African musical heavyweights such as Fela Kuti, Fuse ODG & William Oneyearbor. Stunnah Gee briefly relocated to Nigeria in 2015 and quickly became part of the new wave of Afrobeat stars. However, he became frustrated by the lack of available structured pathways to commercial success and returned to the UK with a vision. He wants to share his music and shape the afrobeat music industry to ensure new talent doesn’t go unheard in the future.

African delegation takes part in the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students in Sochi

A delegation of young talents from Africa are actively participating in the World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) which is currently being held in Sochi, Russia. The festival started on October 14 and will run until October 22 in the resort town which recently hosted the Winter Olympic Games and Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2014. Young people aged between 18 and 35 are engaged in numerous activities, discussions and competitions, nearly 25,000 guests from 185 countries are participating in this year’s festival. 

The Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom has also made its contribution, by inviting and hosting gifted young African professionals and students, who are interested in science and innovation. “We are happy that we were able to provide this exciting opportunity to our future African leaders, to gain knowledge and exchange experience with their peers on a global level,” said Viktor Polikarpov, Rosatom regional Vice-President of Sub-Saharan Africa.

A specialized programme includes events related to science and education, group discussions as well as cultural and sport activities. The main agenda of the discussion programme encompasses the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the United Nations.

The festival attracts proactive young people from all over the world, most of whom are already leaders in their respective fields. Numerous young specialists from Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and South Africa are among the attendees, most of whom are oriented towards research and the development of new technologies.

The young talents are engaged in various activities, creative workshops, brainstorming sessions and round tables to try find answers to some of the globes most burning questions. Issues of ecology, sustainable development and international cooperation are in the limelight of the scientific focused section of the Festival.

During a round-table discussion the representative from Zimbabwe, Simbarashe Mhuriro, demonstrated benefits of sustainable energy development. He leads the company Oxygen Africa, which focuses on energy, mining and agriculture. Simbarashe argues that in Africa only two percent of the population has stable access to electricity, and the use of diesel engines is both expensive and destructive for ecology. Therefore, the young businessman is championing sustainable sources of energy, which can help global population to resolve current energy problems.

Nigerian born Chukwudi Ojinnaka, who currently studies nuclear engineering at the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI in Moscow, notes that the Festival provides exciting opportunities for young professionals to meet different people with different ideas from all over the world. He highlights that these very ideas will help the future generations achieve their goals.

In collaboration with other participants of the festival, this young Nigerian talent is working tirelessly on the project of the ‘aqua-cities’ – self-sustainable cities floating cities, that will be engineered to help to solve the overpopulation problem in the future.

Surf’s Up! A Look at Ghana’s Emerging Surfing Community

Michael Bentum can do 360 surf turns with perfection. He rides the waves along the coast of Busua, Ghana, with height and speed. His surfboard soars beside the ocean swell, as crowds of children watch from the coastline applauding in admiration. Bentum is their surfing hometown hero.

“I can tell you now that I’m the best in Ghana,“ the 21-year-old said. Bentum recently won the International Surfing Day Competition, held in the Krokrobite suburb of Accra. He took home a surfboard from Share the Stoke, a watch from Rip Curl and 500 Cedis ($112).

Forty-six surfers from 17 countries traveled here for the competition. Three are from Ghana. It’s the 12th surfing event in the country organized by Brett Davies of England. He owns Mr. Bright’s Surf School and wants the world to know that Africans have been surfing for centuries.

“Most Africans are very fit and athletic,” he explained. “The African surfers I have had the pleasure of surfing with and coach pick up surfing fast.”

Bentum, Ghana’s best surfer is from Busua — about four hours west of Accra. Children living in this small fisherman’s village also grow up surfing as way of life. Their playground is a raw, untapped beach. Women walk on the sand carrying items on their heads and babies swaddled in clothe on their backs. It’s picturesque Africa.

A surfer surfs the ocean swell in Accra, Ghana. Picture by Mr. Brights

Peter Ansah, owner of Ahanta Waves Surf School & Camp, says their home is a surfer’s paradise. “When I was small, I would always come to the beach and try to surf with a piece of wood.” As a child, he met a couple from the United States using surfboards at Busua beach. Intrigued by the long pointy structure, he asked to use it in place of wood – falling in love with catching waves.

“Whenever I’m surfing, I forget about everything. I have nothing to think about. The only thing is that I enjoy it!” he described. He’s been surfing for 13 years and opened his surf school for locals and tourists alike. “A lot of people think it’s not possible to surf in Ghana because they think there’s no waves or no ocean in Ghana,”Ansah said.

However, Ian Fraser from California said he’s familiar with surfing in the country from the 1960’s movie “Endless Summer.” It depicts a scene of kids surfing on wood. He’s in Busua taking his daughter and her teammates to Ahanta Waves for lessons.

“I saw the surf school and thought oh we should come here with the girls when we don’t have a game and go surfing with everybody,” Fraser said.

Ansah also teaches free lessons to the kids here. He wants them to be apart of the next generation of African surfers. “When you’re talking about surfing, they don’t normally count Ghana,” he explained. “When you travel to South Africa, it is an African country but all the surfers are white people.” Star surfer Bentum helps out too, teaching them lessons every Friday after school.

To keep up with growing interest, a program called Surf and Impact was formed. Volunteers from

Impact’s upcoming surfers share a laugh with their program’s director, Ebenezer Feliz Bentum. Picture by Erica Ayisi

Europe and the United States live with a family in Busua for a nominal fee and teach the budding surfers. Director Ebenezer Feliz Bentum feels the global exposure will help the 20 students in the program become international surfers. “There a few kids who have big potential to be big stars in the surfing industry,” he said.

14-year-old Clement Cobbinah learned how to inspect the surfboard leash, attach it to his ankle, and stand on it through this program.

“It was a bit scary and nervous on my first day,” he admitted. “But it got better and fun, especially on my first time standing up on the surfboard and riding the wave.”

Surfing is costly for a developing country like Ghana. A surfboard costs at least $625. A family here earns about half that amount in a month. Sandy Alibo from France assists Surf and Impact by shipping donated boards to Busua from Europe.

To sustain surfing here Alibo wants Ghanaians to manufacture it domestically. “I would love to teach Ghanaians how to shape the boards by themselves and produce the board in Ghana directly,” she said.

Bentum walked confidently with his surfboard in one hand and giving the signature “surf-ups” symbol with the other. As long as the children around him continue learning the ways of the waves, he said surfing in Ghana is here to stay.

“It’s not only Europeans surfing. We are surfing in Africa and right here in Ghana too.”

Article via NBCNews

Deon Boakye releases new single ‘Konongo Kaya’

HardBoy Entertainment poster boy Deon Boakye releases new piece titled ‘Konongo Kaya’ featuring Strongman and produced by TubhaniMuzik.

Off his 17-track Green Mixtape, the tune delves into their relationship where the lady leaves them for another person because they are not financially stable but later wants to return when things are better.

The tune starts off with the Sarkcess Music signee Strongman’s verse with his witty but dope lyrics. Followed by the sweet silky voice of Deon Boakye singing his heart away like there is no tomorrow.

Deon Boakye is most known for his song ‘Dab’ which features Rapper Medikal. Aside that, the singer cum graphic designer has songs with Ko-Jo Cue, Kof Kinaata, Haywaya, Jason Ela, Cabum among others.

Listen to the song:

Rachel Kerr presents new single ‘Alive’ and New Reality Show!

‘ALIVE’ Rachel Kerr’s first single from her debut album, due for release next year.

She calls her lead single Alive the ‘overcomers anthem’, a powerful anthem written for every person who has survived what was meant to take them out.

Alive is already poised to feature in a hit movie next year and you may hear it on a major TV show this spring. But you didn’t hear that from us.

Available now on all platforms (iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, Amazon etc)

Listen to ‘Alive’ here

You can also catch up on Rachel Kerr’s new reality show featuring her serial entrepreneur husband Ayo Olatunji. Watch episode 2 below:

Out of the System festival by critically acclaimed dance artist Freddie Addaie-Opoku comes to Shoreditch

Dance Umbrella, London’s leading international dance festival, has invited critically acclaimed dance artist Freddie Addaie-Opoku to create a festival-within-a-festival at Rich Mix in Shoreditch.

Described by Time Out as a “buzzing global mix of grassroots music and dance” Out of the System showcases artists who take the liberty of making up the rules and breaking them as they go along.

With influences stretching from South Africa to Spain, Ghana to Belgium, Britain to the USA, get ready for an evening of ingenious local and global talent. Come and roam through the performances, exploring a vibrant fusion of cultures and influences as you go.

Live music is provided by two bands and a DJ: the groove machine band Yaaba Funkand Composer/ DJ artist session with Kweku Aacht can be seen on Monday, and multicultural Kioko bring their head bopping tunes to the party on Tuesday.

If you’d like to find out more about the thinking behind Out of the System, and from other artists who work in a similar way, come along to Dance Umbrella’s panel discussion on Wed 18 October at Wayne McGregor Studio.

Venue: Rich Mix (35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6LA)

ON 16 & TUE 17 OCTOBER
TICKETS
£25 (£20 for 2+)
£12 bands only, from 9.15pm

BOOK HERE

Panel Discussion
A discussion on how artists navigate their way through, in and out of the system

Chair: Peggy Olislaegers
Panel: Yinka Esi Graves, Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway, Sello Pesa & Charlotte Spencer

WED 18 OCTOBER7 – 8.30pm
Studio Wayne McGregor, Here East E20

£5, free to Out of the System ticket holders
BOOK HERE

Is Rawlings really the founder of the NDC?

Former president Jerry John Rawlings has never been happy with the performance of the NDC presidents that came after him, namely Atta-Mills and John Mahama as regards to probity and accountability. He put excessive pressure on the two former presidents and accused them of incompetence. His criticisms drew him apart from the presidency. Those who benefitted from the corrupt and administration of the two presidents saw Rawlings as an enemy. Most of the time, the party held national and executive meetings and conferences without inviting Rawlings. Sadly enough, such attitudes of hatred by the top brass of the NDC have compelled Rawlings to do what he is doing. Observers from other parties felt that it was unfortunate to treat the founder of the party this way. But do his party members consider him as a founder?

Rawlings is generally considered as the founder of the NDC but, now and then, there are voices which challenge this view. A chief proponent of this view has been Obed Asamoah, a long-time member of Rawlings’ governments in their military and civilian incarnations. In an exclusive interview with Emera Appawu of Joy News, Obed Asamoah explained that when it was time to file the registration of the NDC, Rawlings was still in the Ghana Armed Forces so he could not have represented any district as a founding father. However, Dr Obed Asamoah explained that after the party had been set, a clause was fixed in the party’s constitution to recognize the contribution of Rawlings to the ideals upon which the party was founded.

Obed Asamoah made this position even clearer in his memoirs: The Political History of Ghana

Obed Asamoah

(1950-2013) – The Experience of a Non-Conformist published in 2014, where he stated that the idea of founding the NDC was a collective one taken by a group to which Rawlings was not part of. The group saw Rawlings as the best person to lead the new party and approached him with the idea. Rawlings accepted. It is, therefore, clear that the initiative of forming the party did not come from Rawlings. This can be compared with the formation of the CPP where the idea for the party germinated in the mind of Kwame Nkrumah who brought it into being, provided it with much of its ideological direction, singularly led it from its beginnings through all its glorious years and eventual demise. Today the CPP has been struggling without its revered founder. The NDC, on the other hand, has won elections even without Rawlings leading it.

The issue of who founded what can be a tricky one as we are seeing in the current debate about who founded Ghana. Even though Rawlings did not himself initiate the idea of forming the NDC from the remnants of the PNDC, he was the very personification of the party, at least in the initial stages. The party was built around him. It is doubtful if the party could have won the first two elections in the Fourth Republic without Rawlings leading it. That is why people generally regard him as the founder.

The same argument can be tweaked to apply to the foundation of Ghana. Even though the Gold Coast may have been in existence before Nkrumah burst on the political scene in the colony, the fact of our independence became personified in him. He was the very face of our independence and, by extension, the new nation. That is why people associate the founding of the nation with him. It does not mean they think there were no others in the independence struggle. Nkrumah’s contributions were unique and it is easier for people to connect with an individual and accord him a symbolic status than with an amorphous group of persons each of whose contributions cannot be accurately gauged.

Valerie Sawyer

And so Rawlings is likely to continue being regarded as the founder of the NDC in the popular mind, no matter what Obed Asamoah says. The question then becomes: is Rawlings trying to destroy what he created? It can be said that all of Rawlings’ bad-mouthing of his own party shows him in character. The pointing out of the ills of our society and the condemnation of others have been Rawlings’ trademarks as a public person since his first coup day speech on radio. The party and Ghanaians, generally, have endured his antics. Now and then, they try to give it back to him. Now, it seems a section of the party hierarchy can take it no longer. Valerie Sawyer’s outburst a few weeks ago is symptomatic of this feeling. Obed Asamoah quickly came to Sawyerr’s defence while others attacked her. Alhaji Bature has gone so far as to suggest that Rawlings should be sacked from his own party.

What particularly irks a section of the party hierarchy is what they think is his dancing with the ruling party when he gives Akufo-Addo a clean bill of health when it comes to corruption, and threatening that his own party would not regain power even in 2020 unless it changes its ways. They point out that the NPP itself, under the Kufuor government, was very corrupt and Akufo-Addo was part of that government and that Rawlings’ own life is not beyond reproach. His wife has become rich from deals that are tainted with corruption, all his children received higher education abroad at great expense, he lives a lifestyle far above that of the ordinary Ghanaian who he claims to be fighting for and he received what is clearly bribe money from Abacha. He has also exhibited the greed that is characteristic of all African leaders and the political elite: becoming rich through the acquisition of political power. Rawlings has been calling on his party to return to its founding principles but he may not agree that the erosion of those principles started under his watch.

Of late there is the belief that he is losing his influence over the party and therefore his deliberate scheme of blame and vituperations are meant to destroy the NDC party.

The Rawlings family felt very much disturbed and frustrated by the kind of treatment meted out to them

Nana Konadu Agyemang

by the NDC top hierarchy. Mrs Rawlings took a bold step to move out of NDC and through her admirers a new platform called Friends of Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings (FONKAR) was created. She later did everything possible to form a new party. Even though she craftily chose a party name whose letters (NDP) were intended to confuse the illiterate voter because it sounded midway between NDC and NPP when they are pronounced or seen. It is believed that her intention of forming the party was not to win but to split the NDC votes. Did she succeed?

It is difficult to predict what the intentions of Rawlings are. Does he intend to obliterate the name of the party with which he has been associated from the political map of Ghana, or is he just trying to make himself still relevant in Ghanaian politics? What he really intends to do lies within the womb of time.

By Stephen Atta Owusu