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Prosperity, Wealth Creation Needed to Deepen Democracy – President Akufo-Addo

Ghana’s democratic proclivity is expected to be deepened as government seeks to build a prosperous and a wealthy nation with equal opportunities, where all of its citizens will feel they have a stake, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Addo has stated.

The President, who was delivering a speech on “Democracy and Development” at the Cambridge Union Society of the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, said: “The democracy that we seek to build does not end in casting votes, and electing a President and a Member of Parliament once every four years. “We seek to build a prosperous nation with equal opportunities, where all citizens feel they have a stake,” adding “Never again should a Ghanaian citizen feel he has to join the desperados that cross the Sahara and drown in the Mediterranean Sea, because their own country holds no promise or hope.”

President Akufo-Addo explained that even though there would always be some who would want to try and seek their fortunes in foreign lands, it should never be because there were no opportunities in Ghana.

He said Ghana’s infant democracy had put the country on the path to sustainable development, which should improve the way the natural and human resources of the country were managed.

“We are on the path to creating wealth and improving the lives of our people. We are determined to do that by transforming the structure of our economy. The neo-colonial economy, based on the production and export of raw materials, cannot form the basis of a new era of prosperity for our people,” the President emphasized.

The President said Ghana was moving towards an economy of processed agricultural and engineering goods and services as a means of job creation on a mass base and improvement in the incomes of ordinary Ghanaians.

He said the widespread unemployment among the youth was the greatest threat to Ghana’s democracy and stability and that the only remedy to the situation was a rapidly expanding economy that generated jobs.

He said in the short pace of 10 months when his government took office, the country’s macro-economy had been stabilizing.

“The fiscal deficit, which stood at 9.5% at the end of 2016, has been reduced to 6.3%. Inflation, within the same period, has declined from 15.4% to 11.6%. Our economy has grown from 3.3% last year, the lowest in 22 years, to 7.9%. Interest rates are declining, and we are now witnessing a more stable cedi, our national currency. We are creating a business-friendly environment that should encourage significant investments in the development of our economy,” President Akufo-Addo expatiated.

On Ghana’s multi-party constitutional democracy, the President noted that the determination to which Ghanaians wanted to build their democracy was anchored in their deep-seated belief in the concept of the separation of powers as an active principle for the promotion of freedom and an accountable governance, free of corruption.

He re-emphasized the point that Ghanaians had agreed on a multi-party constitutional democracy and a guarantee of individual freedoms under the rule of law, within these past 24 years of the 4th Republic which had turned out to be the longest period of stability and economic growth in sixty years of Ghana’s nationhood.

President Akufo-Addo noted that even though Ghana was nowhere near where she ought to be, Ghana could not afford to undermine confidence in her young democracy.

Article via AllAfrica

The Future of Ghana 2018 – Nominations Now Open!

The Search Begins…

Midday on 13 November saw the opening of nominations for the 2018 Future of Ghana cycle.

Nominations are now open to the public until 20 December 2017 via the website. Once closed nominees will be whittled down to a top 30 by a select judging panel, ready for feature in the 2018 publication. More detailed guidance on the nomination process can be found here.

The esteemed judging panel for 2018 will be revealed the second week of December 2017 so look out for the announcement on our platforms.

Now in its 4th cycle Me FiRi Ghana  are once again on a mission to find the pioneers and innovators of the Future by undertaking a global search for the top 30 Ghanaian talent aged 18 – 30 years – impacting industries around the world.

In just over 3 years 90 Ghanaian future young leaders/pioneers from around the world have been selected to create a community of Changemakers illustrating what a progressive Ghana looks like and mobilizing for change . Our 4th cycle will be no different! Who will be GHANA’S top 30 U30 for 2018?

The search begins now! ….. Make your nomination  here

 

The 2018 Publication….

Scheduled for release for March 2018 (Date TBC) via  www.futureofghana.com . The Fourth edition of the publication will transcend stereotypes, highlighting the unsung contributions of future leaders to Ghana’s development driving the conversation around Ghana’s future development on the occasion of Ghana’s 61st Independence celebrations

Through its youth charity the Future of Ghana Ltd (Registered charity no. 1148382). Me Firi Ghana annually produce the Future of Ghana publication which celebrates excellence by recognising the Top 30 under 30 talent of Ghanaian decent, pioneering in industries around the world. The publication also features forward thinking articles highlighting key industries, innovators and organizations visions for Ghana and Africa.

The Publication is the beginning and one that we hope will act as a catalyst to encourage greater youth participation with the development of Ghana whilst also act as a visual source of inspiration for the emerging generation and a talent resource for investors and organizations.

Stardo Karle releases new single ‘About Us’

In her latest single ‘About Us‘, Stardo Karle risks it all sensually, poetically and sincerely by presenting the very question that can take an intimate experience to the next level..
How you dey feel about us?

Produced by @Ajayonthebeatz, Stardo Karle‘s new afro melodic R’n’B single describes the intensity, physicality and hair- raising feeling of attraction.
Coupled with chesty and conversational vocals, ‘About Us‘ describes a warm experience any listener could fondly connect to.

Stardo Karle has groomed her artistry by absorbing a variety of musical and social culture. Her eclectic style borrows elements of R’n’B, Reggae and Afrobeats to pioneer her Afro Fusion sound. She has been inspired by the evolution of music and genres dating from the 1980’s to the present day.

Stardo Karle continues to experiment with sound and culture to create storytelling music in Afro Fusion.

You can stream her new single here

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

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

Black, African, and Living Abroad: The Dichotomy of Race and Ethnicity

Imagine having to start a whole new life on the other side of the world. Well, that was me, when I had to leave the States—a place I had called home for the past 16 years—and head to Jakarta to continue my teaching career. While filled with some trepidation, as I left my family and friends, I saw this as an adventure, looking forward to what this new chapter of life would entail. I say looking forward to it because as someone who was born in Ghana, but lived, grew up, and attended school in three different countries (Botswana, South Africa, and the United States), I saw this as yet another international experience I could embrace. Little did I know what I would be getting into.

Once the novelty wore off, I became painfully aware of the way people reacted whenever I stepped outside of my apartment building, as I quickly learned how “being the center of attention” could have a negative connotation. The stares, finger pointing, laughing, and double looks (sometimes more) became something that I encountered day in and day out. As a black person, while I had encountered some negative interactions due to the color of my skin, nothing had been as intense as this experience.

Here in Indonesia, I have learned what it means to be both black and African (I say African because here, as in America, there’s not much differentiation). Colorism is most definitely in play here, as the darker your skin color, the more you are treated differently. There is a great preference for lighter/fairer-skinned people, with skin whitening/bleaching creams littered around stores, all in plain view. Lighter/fairer-skinned people are seen in commercials, on T.V., on billboards, etc.

However, one irony I have found is that even the darker-skinned Indonesians point, stare, and laugh. It’s not only confusing, but disappointing as well, because I would think that because we are both more or less in the same boat, we would be able to connect and even commiserate with each other. I suppose it’s that whole idea of the oppressed becoming the oppressor, in a bid to distance themselves, and hopefully, one day, find themselves being accepted as well. Thus, the idea is “while I may have it bad, at least I don’t have it as bad you do.” And so, the cycle continues.

In addition to colorism, there is the stigma associated with the continent of Africa. My African background puts me at a further disadvantage than my African American counterparts, in that while they are black and may encounter the same reactions/treatment I do, there is often a change in attitude/demeanor once people find out they’re American. The American passport still has a lot of sway in many parts of the world.

About three weeks ago, I went out to eat with a friend, and it turned out that there was a live band playing. My friend and I found ourselves so taken in by their performance (boisterously singing aloud) that once they were done, they came over to say hello. They asked where we were from, and my friend stated America (meaning himself). They immediately became so enamored with his answer, pointing out how pleased they were to have an American present, listening to their songs, that I made the choice not to say where I was from. I know that it wasn’t right, but at the same time, I did so because I didn’t want to see a change in their overall attitude.

I was enjoying their admiration, not to mention the anonymity—an anonymity that is often nonexistent due to the misconceptions many have about people from Africa. The perception of Africans, in most countries located in Southeast Asia, is that we are drug dealers or prostitutes, who are often “poor and uneducated.” The following passage from a recent AP [Associated Press] article I read regarding Africans living in India perfectly sums up the experiences of Africans due to misguided stereotypes: “But the worst kind of discrimination is reserved for the Africans. In a country obsessed with fair skin and skin lightening beauty treatments, their dark skin draws a mixture of fear and ridicule.”

I’ve seen some examples of this “mixture of fear and ridicule.” One of my students (originally from China) wrote me a note for Teacher’s Day telling me how initially she was scared of me, as she had never met/seen a black person before. To have people come up to my face, just so they can get a better look, takes its toll. And as one of your readers shared, all of this slowly chips away at you.

So, while having to deal with being in another country (getting used to the culture), I find myself trying to navigate through this as well. And unlike some, I struggle to see the silver lining in all this. Each time I venture out, I find myself on edge, constantly on the lookout for the stares, the laughing, etc., that I know will inevitably come. I get myself so worked up that sometimes when it doesn’t happen the way I thought it would, I find myself completely taken aback.

I also find myself questioning words and actions that others may construe as innocent. For example, while riding in a cab, the driver began chatting with me in his broken English, and I attempted to respond in my very limited Bahasa- Indonesia. When we found ourselves stuck in Jakarta’s never-ending traffic, he indicated that he wanted to take my picture. My guard immediately went up, and I vehemently refused his request, time and time again. At one point he asked why, and I explained to him (now having resorted to Google translate) my experiences.

He then stated that the reason why people stare is because “black is sexy.” I will admit, I laughed, as this was not a response I was expecting. However, as he continued to go on about it, I began to wonder, was he saying that because I was African? Was he associating black with being sexy because of the fallacy of “Africans being prostitutes”? Or was he merely subscribing to the delusional fantasy of the dark-skinned woman? You know, the whole “the darker the berry . . .”

As I sit here typing this, I keep telling myself that it was probably harmless fun, but there’s still a nagging part of me that thinks otherwise. This is me now; this continuous questioning, second guessing, has become second nature to me.

Before I end this with you thinking that being in Indonesia has been entirely “me against the world,” I must add that I do have friends here—a number of locals that I’ve connected with at my school. I share my experiences with them, and they have certainly helped me to see why people say Indonesians are so friendly. They have been true lifesavers, as they have given me positive experiences to help counter most of the negative ones. And while I am pleased that as a professional dark-skinned African, I have helped to increase other’s exposure to not only black people, but to Africans as well by challenging the stereotypes, a part of me worries that I am not really changing their perceptions all that much.

I say this because even for those who see me day in and day out, they continue to stare and sometimes laugh. This is definitely a different experience for me—an ongoing process that will hopefully prove to be benefit rather than a drawback during my last few months here.

By Akosua Frimpong

 

‘Women of Ghana’ Photography exhibition

Black History Month is upon us again and there’s a free photography and film exhibition showing the stories of a selection of strong and inspirational women, mostly from the Northern Region of Ghana by photographer Anisha Patel. This exhibition has previously been shown in Hoxton, Goldsmiths University and even in the Houses of Parliament! So now is a great opportunity to come and see this special event at The Albany in honour of Black History Month.

Patel will be giving a special talk where she will discuss the photographs and the women she met. She had the privilege to meet these women whilst volunteering with the UK Government funded International Service and International Citizen Service Programme in Ghana. The women featured have taken control over their lives and worked hard to achieve their ambitions, overcoming hardships such as poverty, low levels of literacy or just simply being a woman.

The exhibition will be open at The Albany from Monday 23 October until Thursday 26 October. Tickets are free and available here.

To learn more about some of the women featured, please visit: womenofghana.wordpress.

7 Africans feature on the BBC 100 Women list 2017

The BBC has revealed some of the inspirational individuals who have been chosen for inclusion on the BBC 100 Women list 2017. This year, out of the sixty women listed, seven are African

Taken from across all spheres of modern life – from engineering to the creative industries, from sport to business – they represent the global wealth of female talent. But in a new twist the list launched is only part of the story.  

The list has been inspired by the BBC 100 Women Challenge. New for 2017 this is a unique celebration of female talent which sees four teams of women tasked with finding solutions to everyday problems currently blighting female lives across the globe. From October 2nd – 6th women based in Silicon Valley will tackle the glass ceiling; from October 9th -13th the Delhi team are looking at female illiteracy; from October 16th -20th safety on public transport will be the focus for the  London and Nairobi team; and finally from October 23rd -27th women in Rio will consider sexism in sport.

Today 60 women who are working or campaigning in these fields or who have inspired others through their actions are being celebrated.

These include:

  • Astronaut Peggy Whitson (57) –  Having made three trips to the International Space Station, Peggy has spent more time in space than any other United States astronaut.
  • President of Chile Michelle Bachelet (65) – The first female to hold office in the history of her country.
  • President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (78) – the 24th and current President of Liberia since 2006 and the first elected female head of state in Africa.
  • Dancer, TV star and business owner Jin Xing (50) – Known as China’s answer to Oprah Winfrey, Jin Xing was the first transgender woman in China to receive government approval for gender reassignment.
  • Footballer Steph Houghton (29) – Captain of Manchester City FC and the England women’s football team.
  • Acid attack survivor Resham Khan (21) – UK student blogging about her recovery
  • Harvard social psychologist and bestselling author Amy Cuddy (45) – known for her research on body language. She delivered the second most-viewed TED talk of all time.
  • Politician and entrepreneur Susi Pudjiastuti (52) – A successful entrepreneur, Susi is also Indonesia’s Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
  • UK activist Liz Kelly (65) – active in the field of violence against women and children for 40 years, professor of sexualised violence at London Metropolitan University, where she is also director of the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit.
  • Education entrepreneur Anne-Marie Imafidon (28)  – CEO & ‘Head Stemette’ at Stemettes seeking to inspire the next generation of women to go into science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • Canadian teacher Maggie MacDonnell (37) – winner of the US $1million Global Teacher Prize 2017.
  • Singer-songwriter Tiwa Savage (37) – integral member of the Afrobeats scene and Nigerian philanthropist.
  • Broadcaster and activist Adelle Onyango (28) – Kenyan radio and television host seeking to empower young women through mentorship and apprenticeship programmes.
  • Author and poet Rupi Kaur (24) Canadian-Indian author and illustrator writes on themes including love, loss, trauma, healing and femininity.
  • Cricketer Mithali Raj (34) – Captain of Indian Women’s Cricket Team
  • Disability Rights Activist Virali Modi (25) – campaigning to make railways more accessible to disabled women in India.

Comedian, model and disability rights campaigner Nawaal Akram (18) – founder of Muscular Dystrophy Middle East, and promotes rights for women with disabilities in the Middle East.

The remaining 40 places will then be decided as the challenge progresses, drawn from those who have supported, inspired and helped the teams on the ground over the course of the weeks. They might be someone working on a solution on the other side of the world; the woman who suggested the piece of code; the woman who named the campaign; or the woman who, by courageously sharing her story, inspired the solution.

The list of 60 women can be viewed here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-41380265.The complete list will then be revealed after the final challenge at the end of October.

As audience participation is a cornerstone of the challenge, there is opportunity for other inspiring women to be included. The teams will want to hear directly from women affected by the issues they are tackling and find out what solutions may have already been tried. Viewers and listeners will be able to get involved in via social media with @BBC100Women and #100Women, online at www.bbc.com/100women .

The Future of Ghana 2017 Publication Released!

Friday 22 September 2017 saw the long-awaited release of the 2017 Future of Ghana publication. The no.1 online publication for young Ghanaian professionals is back with its third edition packed full with some of the most relevant content for our generation.

Take a look inside and meet the precocious Fencing talent that is UK based Yasmine Fosu fighting for Ghana a level playing field. You will also find intimate exclusive interviews from contemporary self-taught artist Sarah Owusu and the founder of Vitae London, William Adoasi.

Learn how our German Association Branch Future of Ghana Germany is taking our mission to the people of Germany, plus full profiles of the entire Future of Ghana top 30 U30 for 2017. Additional articles in line with Ghana’s 60th year of independence include; a look at how we can preserve our history in the digital age and a candid assessment of Kwame Nkrumah’s impact in Ghana.

This is essential reading for the last quarter of the year!

Following the release Top 30 U30 list back in March, we revealed a diverse range of talent, pioneers and changemakers from Ghana and the diaspora. There was strong representation from countries in the diaspora such as the UK, Canada, and the USA. This year’s Top 30 list also saw an even split between genders for the first time ever.

Among the pioneers included were Koby “Posty” Hagan founder of UK Urban Entertainment platform GRM Daily , Ghana based digital entrepreneur and founder of the Circumspecte platform Jemila Abdulai,  Ghanaian Media Influencer and Radio/TV Personality Antoine Mensah and  of course rising fencing star Yasmine Fosu to name but a few, whom you can all read about in this publication.

The Third edition of the publication will transcend stereotypes, highlighting the unsung contributions of future leaders to Ghana’s development driving the conversation around Ghana’s future development in this diamond jubilee year of Independence.

Me Firi Ghana annually produce the Future of Ghana publication which celebrates excellence by recognising the Top 30 under 30 talent of Ghanaian decent, pioneering in industries around the world. The publication also features forward thinking articles highlighting key industries, innovators and organizations visions for Ghana and Africa.

The Publication is the beginning and one that we hope will act as a catalyst to encourage greater youth participation with the development of Ghana whilst also act as a visual source of inspiration for the emerging generation and a talent resource for investors and organizations.

E.L performs for Studio 189 at New York Fashion Week

After hitting the first show off his E.L Live Tour in Minnesota, rapper E.L flew over to New York for the city’s Fashion Week.

The Best African Rapper (B.A.R) thrilled some super models in the middle of the presentation. Studio 189 surprised attendees with a full-blown concert, which got everybody dancing to the rhythm of E.L’s Afrobeat music. Even Dawson joined in, busting some moves with Paula Abdul.

The models then featured the line by standing in groups, while talking and dancing with one another. The participants included people of all ages, ethnicities and colors. ”It’s all about inclusiveness”, Erwiah said at the beginning of the event.

Actress, Rosario Dawson also debuted her latest Studio 189 collection at the Fashion Week with a special touch. Upon entering the event held at Metropolitan West, the invitees found that there were no traditional seats – stones replaced seats! – and staff members roamed around, sampling pieces from the collection. Dawson began the show by asking for a moment of silence to remember those affected by the attacks on 9/11. She followed in with a video about Studio 189’s social justice work and the impact it’s having in Africa.

The clothing stayed true to an African aesthetic with bright colors, light fabrics, and native prints.

E.L who is already working on his new album indeed set the place ablaze with his Afrobeat songs. The ‘Koko’ hitmaker is currently on tour in the states to promote his upcoming album ”WAVs” (West African Vibes) which is due for release later this year.