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Sierra Leone: Pregnant schoolgirls excluded from school and banned from exams

Thousands of pregnant girls, excluded from mainstream schools and barred from sitting upcoming exams, risk being left behind as Sierra Leone moves forward from the Ebola crisis, Amnesty International reports.

The report, Shamed and blamed: Pregnant girls’ rights at risk in Sierra Leone, reveals how the prohibition, confirmed by the government in April this year and sometimes enforced through humiliating physical checks, not only stigmatizes an estimated 10,000 girls but risks destroying their future life opportunities. With exams scheduled for 23 November, Amnesty International is calling on authorities to immediately lift the ban.

“Excluding pregnant girls from mainstream schools and banning them from sitting crucial exams is discriminatory and will have devastating consequences. Education is a right and not something for governments to arbitrarily take away as a punishment,” said Sabrina Mahtani, Amnesty International’s West Africa Researcher.

“As Sierra Leone moves forward from the devastating Ebola crisis, it is vital that these girls, are not left behind.”

On 2 April the Minister of Education, Science and Technology issued a statement banning pregnant girls from “school settings”. The justification given for this policy – namely to protect “innocent girls” from negative influences – only serves to reinforce stigma through language that blames and shames pregnant girls.

Amnesty International has documented how this ban has been enforced in some schools through humiliating and degrading treatment of girls. Girls have been subjected to degrading physical searches and tests. Some have had their breasts and stomachs felt by teachers to “test” for pregnancy.  Others have been compelled by their school to take pregnancy tests.

Amnesty International interviewed 52 girls, some of whom said they felt scared at the possibility of being accused of being pregnant, while others described the feeling of humiliation at being physically assessed.

One 18 year-old girl told Amnesty International how all girls were checked by teachers before they were allowed to sit an exam:

“They touched our breasts and stomachs to see if we were pregnant. Some girls were made to take urine tests. One of the teachers was wearing gloves when she was checking us. I felt really embarrassed when this happened to me. Many girls left as they were scared the teachers would find out they are pregnant. About 12 pregnant girls did not sit their exams.”

Whilst the way in which girls are “tested” for pregnancy is not part of government policy, the practice is widely known. Amnesty International is calling on the government to issue urgent directives banning such humiliating and degrading treatment of girls.

In late October 2015 temporary alternative classes for pregnant school girls funded until July 2016 by donor countries, particularly Ireland and the UK, were introduced.

While the government claims that more than 3,000 pregnant schoolgirls have registered for this scheme, the classes are held in different premises or at different times to their peers and the girls are still banned from exams. It has also been criticized by local experts for its lack of choice and the stigmatizing effect of persistent exclusion from mainstream education.

Amnesty International urges that the attending of the alternative system, which should be of equal quality and content, be optional for those girls who do not wish to continue at mainstream school.

While some of the girls interviewed by Amnesty International said they support the alternative system, others wanted to attend school with their peers.  Amnesty International has called on the government and the donors to make the alternative system optional for those girls who do not wish to continue at mainstream school.

As the Ebola crisis spread last year, schools in Sierra Leone were closed between June 2014 and April 2015 as part of emergency measures to reduce infection rates. During this period, there was an increase in adolescent pregnancy. Many of these pregnancies resulted from rights violations including failure to protect girls from sexual violence. Quarantines and an already overstretched healthcare system, meant that girls were not able to access sexual and reproductive health support or advice to protect themselves from early and unwanted pregnancies. Sex education in schools is limited and was removed from the curricula after the war over a decade ago.

In 2004, after the end of the civil war, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommended that the government stop the practice of excluding pregnant girls from education. The Commission called this practice “discriminatory and archaic”.

“Pregnant girls are being blamed and shamed in Sierra Leone. They are being denied key chances to move forward with their lives, and to ensure early pregnancy does not become the event that determines the rest of their lives,” said Sabrina Mahtani.

“As the country emerges from the Ebola crisis, pregnant girls we met expressed their desire to help build up their country. Many wanted to become much needed nurses, doctors or lawyers. Unless their exclusion from mainstream education is reversed and the ban from sitting exams is lifted these girls’ dreams will not be realized.”

From Ghana with Love

Portrait of a Ghanaian woman, Eva, in London, 1960s. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP)

Portrait of a Ghanaian woman, Eva, in London, 1960s. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP)

In 1957, after over a century of colonization, Ghana gained independence from Britain. Just 30 years prior, in 1929, photographer James Barnor was born in the country’s capital Accra — then the Gold Coast colony — and over the course of a career that spanned more than six decades would become one of Ghana’s leading and most well-known photographers. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Barnor created a definitive portfolio of street and studio portraiture depicting societies in transition: images of a burgeoning sub-Saharan African nation moving toward independence, and a European capital city becoming a multicultural metropolis.

Jim Bailey and friends at a Drum party, Chorkor beach, Accra, 1950s. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP)

Jim Bailey and friends at a Drum party, Chorkor beach, Accra, 1950s. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP)

Ghana in the 1950s was experiencing a radiance of post-colonization as well as its “heyday of Highlife,” a fusion of traditional African rhythms, Latin calypso and jazz influences that would soon spread across Ghana’s borders to West Africa and beyond. Its rising cosmopolitan class in the capital of Accra was breathing energy into a multitude of areas — from fashion to food to art — and was a vivid reflection of the country’s post-independent attitude. Barnor captured all of this energy, playing at once artist, director, photographer and technician, by offering a well-rounded portrait of Ghanian life from many walks of life.

On Oct. 8, Autograph ABP and the gallery Clementine de la Feronniere will release the book “Ever Young” showcasing Barnor’s extensive archive, followed by a corresponding photo exhibition in Paris through Nov. 21.

In 1953, after completing his apprenticeship and running an open-air mobile studio for several years, Barnor opened his own studio called Ever Young, which transformed into one of Accra’s leading photographic studios. Six years later he moved to London in 1959, just in time to witness first-hand the cool Swinging London of the 1960s, and where he would begin to experiment with color photography. It was through this transition that Barnor would become, uniquely perhaps, the only African studio photographer to leave the continent prior to 1960 to study and practice in Europe.

Mike Eghan at Piccadilly Circus, London, 1967. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP

Mike Eghan at Piccadilly Circus, London, 1967. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP

Whether in Ghana or Britain, Barnor documented cultures in transformation, new identities coming into being — the fragmented experience of modernity and diaspora, the shaping of cosmopolitan societies and selves, and the changing representation of blackness, desire and beauty across time and space. His archive constitutes not only a rare document of the black experience in post-war Britain during the Swinging Sixties, but also provides an important frame of reference, overlapping and stitching together questions of the post-colonial in relation to diasporic perspectives in 20th-century photography.

Article taken from Washington Post. Full article and pictures can be found here

Ghana Music Awards Europe 2013 Review

Ghana Music Awards Europe 2013 – a major disappointment

 gma 2013

So its safe to say that the 2013 Ghana Music Awards Europe that took place on Friday 9th August at the IndigO2 was a major flop. I made the really bad decision of attending the event, thinking I was in for a great night – how wrong was I!

I must say that I had misgivings about going. I mean, Ghanaian events in the UK don’t exactly have a great track record when it comes to being organised. However a friend told me last year GMA Europe was quite good, and looking at the artist line up this year (Sarkodie, Kojo Antwi, Fuse ODG, Pat Thomas, Atumpan and others), I thought I might as well give it a shot.

I got to the venue just after midnight and to me the turnout was quite disappointing. After this event being billed as the biggest night in Ghanaian music in Europe, I expected to find a packed venue. But the VIP area had plenty of empty seats, and the standing section was barely filled. This did not bode well , and the night progressively got worse from there.

I had expected to find the show under way when I got there, but the host for the night DJ Abrantee didn’t come on stage until almost 1am. And the show was supposed to have started at 9pm…I must say co-host Nana Ama McBrown was a pleasant surprise – her rendition of R2Bees hit ‘Walahi’ showed that not only was she a talented actress but she can hold her own on the mike as well! But she only came on for about 5 mins at the start of the show and the was it – I didn’t see her on stage again.

The event finally got under way and when it was time to give out the awards, guess what? The winners were not even there to collect them. Which is understandable – I mean not everyone nominated could fly here for the event right? However none of the artists based in Ghana nominated were present, a fact that was not well received by the crowd, who subsequently booed every time it was announced that the winner unfortunately couldn’t make it.

The only thing that could have saved the night was the performances from Sarkodie, Kojo Antwi and Pat Thomas. Not to say that the other UK based Ghanaian artists weren’t good. I regularly see Fuse ODG, Mista Silva, Skob, Kwamz, Flava, Gizmo and Sonni Balli at Ghanaian events all the time, the most recent being Ghana Party in the Park just last week, so I wasn’t really looking forward to their performances as much I was to Sarkodie, Kojo Antwi and Pat Thomas (and I’m sure I wasn’t alone on this). But surprise surprise they were a no show. No explanation was given as to their absence – I later learned that Kojo Antwi had turned up too late to the venue so security did not allow him in.

By now it was around 3am and I had had enough. Even though the event was still going on I left feeling like the event organisers had cheated myself and others who attended out of our money. The main artists that were supposed to perform didn’t turn up, the show started late and dragged on for way too long and the overall organisation of the night was extremely poor.

However the evening wasn’t all bad – I did enjoy Charsay‘s , Fuse’s and Mista Silva’s performances. But based on what transpired on Friday night will I go to next year’s GMA Europe? Right now the answer is a resounding no.

By Yaa Nyarko

Inspiring Ghanaians – Charles Kumi Gyamfi

C.K Gyamfi: Ghana’s greatest ever football manager

 

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Former Ghanaian coach Charles Kumi Gyamfi


 In a week where the greatest British and arguably the world’s greatest ever manager, Sir Alex Ferguson retired, I thought it apt to pay homage to Ghana’s and arguably Africa’s greatest ever football manager.

 

The man I speak of is Charles Kumi Gyamfi. After retiring as a player he became a coach, and career highlights include leading Ghana to the African Cup of Nations three times. At the time this made him the most successful coach in ACN history. Gyamfi was already setting records as a player when he became the first African player to play in Germany, having joined Fortuna Düsseldorf in 1960. Before that he enjoyed a distinguished career in Ghana playing for the likes of Asante Kotoko and Accra’s premier club, Hearts of Oak.

 

However it was his exploits as manager where he secured legendary status amongst Ghanaians. After retiring as a player it seemed the natural transition for Gyamfi to become coach after showing a number of the traits needed to be a manager during his playing days. Thus having taken over as coach in 1963 he secured his and Ghana’s first African title after a 3-0 win over Sudan in Ghana which made victory all the more sweeter.

 

But the real challenge was to come in 1965, when Gyamfi was faced with building a new squad to replace the aging first generation of stars to defend their status as champions of Africa in Tunisia. During the tournament Gymafi would often play with three strikers, with goals now coming from the likes of emerging Ghanaian stars such as Frank Odoi, Ben Acheampong and Osei Kofi providing as many as 12 goals in their 3 games as Ghana went on to beat hosts Tunisia 3-2 in extra time after being down 1-2. Ghana had become the first nation to successfully defend the African Cup of Nations, but Gyamfi would leave his post the same year.

 

He would return as manager in 1982 to lead Ghana into the African Nations cup in Libya. It would prove an inspired return as Ghana would go on to be crowned African champions again for the fourth time after beating the hosts Libya 7-6 on penalties in a pulsating match. This remains the last time Ghana have won the CAN title and cemented Gyamfi’s name in Ghana’s football history.

 

Always respected for his “old school” approach to the game, in January 2008 Gyamfi publicly lamented the modern obsession of players with money rather than the love of the game. He was quoted as saying, “Today’s players don’t know the value of the national jersey but my players were prepared to die for their country.” This statement is not far from the truth from a real Ghanaian and African legend who has garnered respect all over the continent from his peers. He achieved a feat that I don’t believe another Ghanaian coach will ever achieve again.

Charles Kumi Gyamfi Me Firi Ghana salutes you!

 

Ben Jk Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

 

Ghana Elections: NPP to challenge NDC win

NPP & Akufo Addo aim to have final say on election result…

 

akuffo-addo_Me_FiRi_Ghana_dot_Com

 

Well we all knew what was coming as soon as the NPP (National Patriotic Party) refused to accept the results declared by the Election commission on 09 December.  Thus on 28 December 2012 the NPP (National Patriotic Party) finally filed a petition at the Supreme Court to challenge President John Mahama’s victory in the election earlier in December.

The NPP believed the election results were rigged in favor of incumbent President Mahama who they claimed colluded with some officials of the EC to manipulate the results. After analysing the data from 26,000 polling stations the party found irregularities such as cases of over voting and instances when people not registered by the new biometric finger-printing system were able to vote. Lastly the NPP had calculated that there were 1.34 million extra votes cast, which if withdrawn from the final tally would make Mr Akufo-Addo the winner.

Nana Akufo-Addo said it had not been an easy decision to go ahead with the challenge, but the evidence submitted was “mind-blowing and came as a shock even to sceptics in the party”.  He alongside Mahamudu Bawumia, his running-mate and Jake Otanka Obetsebi- Lamptey, chairman of the NPP filed the petition at the supreme court against the president-elect, John Dramani Mahama, the EC Chairman Kwadwo Afari- Gyan; and the EC itself.

When I initially thought about the ramifications if the NPP’s allegations are proved to be true, I could not help but think how damaging this petition may be to Ghana’s reputation as a tolerant and free democracy. However at the same time the fling of the petition shows democracy in operation with the NPP respecting the parameters of the constitution and filing the petition in accordance with the law. Moreover since rejecting the result the NPP have not sought to create unrest within the electorate but have remained calm and confident in collating their “mind blowing evidence”.

It remains to be seen whether the NPP have enough evidence to get the result overturned. The fact that international election observers described the poll as free and fair makes it seem unlikely. However if fraud is proven it will raise serious questions about the integrity of the Electoral Commission and its role in future elections. Whatever the outcome though, the Ghanaian electorate can be proud that they played an honest part in a peaceful election.

It is estimated the election challenge case is expected to be heard in three weeks. Meanwhile President Mahama is expected to be sworn into office on 7 January 2013.

Leave any comments below

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Ghana – Jungle Gold

Gold Rich Land, Dirt Poor People

 

I was up pretty early this morning. Annoying, considering I am on leave and should be getting maximum sleep. Failing to get back to sleep, I reached under the pillow for my phone and went through my daily morning routine of checking my facebook, twitter, whatsapp ad email accounts. It seemed like I was the only one up at stupid o’clock. I laid in the darkness for a bit fiddling with my phone. Then I remembered someone mentioned a Discovery Channel documentary about illegal mining in Ghana the other day. So I ended up on YouTube.

My immediate reactions minutes into the documentary were the usual fury whenever I see something embarrassing on Ghana. But as it went on, it became apparent how overly scripted this documentary is. Many of the scenes have obviously been staged for dramatic effects. It felt like something copied from a re-enactment scene in Crime Watch. Their stay in the “jungle” would not have been complete without the shots of the leech conveniently lodged on the ankle of one of the crew members and a cameo appearance by the highly poisonous green mamba. Funny how there were no mozzies in the “jungle”, with all the pools of murky water these clowns created with their illegal mining. And the subtle play on the old colonial hierarchical system. At the top is the greedy white explorer/exploiter, then the Indian middleman operating the excavator and at the bottom, my people!

 

Many scenes in this documentary may have been scripted, but we cannot ignore the message in there. That a section of Ghanaians can be so poor whilst the land they live on abounds in gold is a shame on every Ghanaian. That two debts-ridden yanks can come into a village in Ghana, have a hearing with the CHIEF and his ELDERS and have little school children take the day off school to perform at the gathering is just unbelievable. Surprising how this issue of illegal mining was not a major debate topic during the election period. I guess this is just an indication of how much these politicians care about the people.

For those two greedy yanks, it was a win/win situation whatever the outcome. If they find the gold, they make money and if they did not find the gold, they would still make money from the screening of the documentary. But for us, all we get from this as a nation is bad press and death traps.

By Maclean Arthur

Celebrating Christmas the Ghanaian way!

“Afishiapa”: Christmas in Ghana celebrated the commercial and traditional way

 

This Christmas season  millions of people around the world will be celebrating the birth of Christ in many different ways. In many countries around the world Christmas has been commercialised with the focus on bright lights, Santa Claus, mistletoe and gifts.  However some countries have managed to maintain and promote the real reason for season!

In Ghana traditional Christmas observances revolve around large family gatherings, feasts, singing, and church services. Before Christmas day following the run up to Christmas (Advent) many churches blossom with flowers and palm branches. Some congregations decorate a tree on the church grounds in honor of the coming holiday. In the last few days before Christmas jam-packed buses, trucks, cars, and boats criss-cross the country, ferrying people back to their ancestral towns and villages.

On Christmas Eve families gather for a special dinner, often consisting of chicken stew or dishes made from rice and goat meat. Then they head off to church services that usually include a Nativity play or Christmas pageant performed by the congregation’s youth. After church, people greet one another and exchange good wishes for the holiday. Processions form and ramble joyfully through the streets, led by bands of musicians. Children dash about shouting, “Egbona hee, egogo vo!”, “Christ is coming, he is near!”

Then to the big day, Christmas Day and festivities begin quite early, sometime before dawn, as groups of carolers go door to door singing songs. House-holders typically offer small presents to the singers, who represent the band of angels that brought the good news of Jesus’ birth to the shepherds Christmas Day church services are scheduled for mid-morning. They feature the retelling of the Nativity story and the singing of many hymns and carols in local languages. After the service is over, children collect candies and other sweet treats said to have come from Father Christmas. Some also receive a book, new clothes, or shoes as Christmas presents. People greet each other, saying “Afishiapa,” which means “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”Christmas celebrations continue through the day as families, friends, and neighbors gather for feasts and dances. Typical foods eaten at Christmas time include peanut soup, fufu, okra soup, and a meat such as chicken, goat, sheep, beef, or pork. Brightly colored paper ornaments pinned up throughout the house set a cheery mood for the festivities. Many Ghanaian families also decorate a tree growing in their courtyard with paper ornaments. Often mango, guava, or cashew trees serve this purpose. Other families will bring a single tree branch into the house and decorate it with lights and ornaments.

Like many western countries Christmas in Ghana is all about family, friends, goodwill and food! However importantly the message of the birth Christ does not get lost and remains the focus of the celebrations which is good to see.

Will you be in Ghana this Christmas? Will your celebrations mirror those above and more importantly what will you be eating; chicken, beef, pork goat or you gonna just lump for Turkey?

PS: If you are celebrating Christmas in Ghana this year, Check out www.wamcampaign.org for more details on how you can make a difference in the lives of children and young people.

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Following Ghana’s 2012 elections in the U.S.

Follow Ghanaian Elections from Your Phone

AudioNow, America’s leading radio-by-phone platform announced today several phone numbers that can allow Ghanaian communities in the U.S. to listen to news of the upcoming presidential elections in Ghana.

Listeners can directly access radio content from Ghana, Germany, and the U.S. by dialling the station’s AudioNow number. These numbers are all based in the U.S.  and can be reached from any mobile device.  They are free to use through the customer’s voice plan.

Ghanaian Radio Stations:

Obimanso: 712.432.7758

ZangoFM: 415.655.0843

Sankofa Radio: 712.432.3264

GHRadio1: 712.432.4438

Adwenpa: 213.992.4235

The Ghanaian stations produce content in a variety of languages, from Twi to Hausa to English.  In a ground-breaking year for the Ghanaian elections, with 13 million registered voters and a peace agreement signed by all seven presidential candidates to ensure a peaceful election process, AudioNow is pleased to bring coverage of these elections, on a platform both accessible and affordable.

Ghana’s presidential elections 2012

Meet the Candidates:  Dr Abu Sakara

 

The NPP and NDC are not the only parties contesting the 2012 election…. Step forward the CPP (Convention People’s Party) and their enigmatic leader Dr Abu Sakara. Although he does not have the profile and support that messieurs President John Dramani and Nana Akufo-Addo enjoy, Dr Sakara is revelling in his underdog status to charm any potential undecided voters.

Michael Abu Sakara Foster is a Ghanaian agronomist (Agricultural Scientist) and politician. He is committed to rebuilding the CPP to provide Ghanaians an alternative choice to the two dominant parties. The CPP believe a win for them in the election will free the country from the antagonism between the two major parties which seem to be mired in the politics of acrimony to the detriment of the country.

Dr Sakara has supported parliamentarians in four constituencies in northern Ghana since 1996 and participated in two election campaigns. He has also been an active member of the Patriots whose efforts were aimed at rebuilding the CPP. He contested the 2007 congress and won a position as the first National vice chair person of the CPP.

Possibly his greatest moment in his fledgling mainstream political career was his strong performance in the first IEA Presidential debate. He came across as a competent leader and was viewed by many people as the winner of the first debate, outshining the two big names (Dramani & Akufo-Addo).

The CPP have campaigned along to a soundtrack that Ghana needs alternatives that the current two parties have failed to deliver when in power and that the governments current policies are not working.

Some of the key policies from the CPP manifesto “A new way forward, Ghana must work again” are as follows;

 

  • CPP are advocating increased state participation in the ownership of the oil and gas industry. Better auditing of the cost of exploration and development as well as improved monitoring of the output of the oil and gas.

 

 

  • Facilitate and support acquisition and utilisation of land by legislation for agricultural purposes, including fish, farming and ranching, with preference for local business.
    Support development of 200,000 hectares of sugar cane production in rotation with rice and soya bean within four years. This will provide more than 500,000 jobs in directly related industries and eliminate our protein deficit by providing a source of adequate animal feed.

 

 

  • A CPP Government will ensure the election of district chief executives within two years of coming into office. Abolish government appointees to the district assemblies
    Propose an increase of the District Assembly Common Fund from the current 7.5 per cent to 12.5 per cent.

 

 

  • They propose to implement the Whistle Blower law, which encourages the public to report corrupt practices, Pass the Freedom of Information Bill (if still pending) as part of a broad legislative agenda to improve governance and fight corruption.
    Ensure compliance with the Constitution and advocate to put open public assert declaration at the heart of public service.

 

While not expected to challenge the candidates of the two main parties at the election, Dr Sakara has slowly established the CPP as the third party in Ghanaian politics. Thus after a strong showing in the IEA Presidential debates this election could be an opportunity to cement this status and possibly make further gains.

The more choice for Ghanaian voters only makes for a stronger democracy.  Will this year’s election be the springboard for the CPP to challenge the two main parties in the future?

Leave your comments below

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Ghana’s presidential elections 2012

Meet the Candidates : Nana Akufo-Addo

 

On December 07 2012 Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the NPP will have aspirations of becoming the President of Ghana for the second time in four years. This time round he will be hoping for a different outcome as in 2008 he was defeated by the late former President John Atta Mills of the NDC in a closely fought election that divided Ghana. Much of this division still remains four years down the line, and once again the NPP and NDC will slug it out next month in what could be another cliffhanger of a result.

But what of the NPP’S Flag bearer?  Akufo-Addo, a lawyer by trade was elected three times between 1996 and 2004 as Member of Parliament for the Abuakwa South constituency in the Eastern region of Ghana. From 2001 to 2007 he served as a Cabinet Minister, first as Attorney General and Minister for Justice and later as Foreign Minister for five years –  Akufo-Addo in many people’s eyes served President John Kufuor with distinction.

As Attorney General, he was responsible for the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law, a law that had been used to intimidate the media and criminalize free speech. The repeal has enabled the Ghanaian media to become one of the most vibrant and freest in Africa. Under his chairmanship of the Legal Sector Reform Committee, the implementation of the court automation programme was initiated. During his tenure as Foreign Minister, he was fully involved in the successful Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) peace efforts in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and Guinea Bissau, and was chairman of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council in 2003

It was these kinds of achievements that singled him out as a potential leader of the NPP. Thus Akufo-Addo resigned from the Kufuor government in July 2007 to contest for the position of presidential candidate of his party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the then ruling party of Ghana, for the 2008 elections. Competing against sixteen others, Akufo-Addo won 48% of the votes in the first round of that election, but was given a unanimous endorsement in the second round, making him the party’s presidential candidate.  He of course went on to lose that election in a run-off against John Atta Mills despite the fact in the first round Akufo-Addo received more votes than Mills.

Since receiving his party’s endorsement to run in the 2012 elections Akufo-Addo and the NPP have been campaigning on an anti-corruption platform. The slogan “Ghana MUST move forward” has been used to promote their policies on Jobs, Education & Healthcare.

Some of the NPP’s key ideologies/policies are as follows:

 

  • Job creation through economic growth: By implementing a Trade Policy that focuses on job creation for all. They believe this is the only way to break the hand to mouth existence and free Ghanaians to aspire to a better life and prosperity.

 

 

 

  • Building an educated society: By ensuring that no child is denied access to secondary education. Akufo-Addo and the NPP plan to remove the biggest obstacles that currently stand in the way of this (cost and access), in addition to tuition and other costs already borne by government. The NPP pledge that admission, library, computer, science centre and examination fees will all be free. They plan to fund this using a percentage of the oil revenues allocated to the Ghana National Petroleum Company.

 

 

 

  • Expanding access to quality health care: By reviving and restoring confidence in the NHIS, bringing public healthcare to Ghanaians doorsteps. Akufo-Addo’s goal is to achieve universal coverage of the NHIS for all Ghanaians. The NPP will spend more on public-health education and primary healthcare. They also plan to expand health facilities and increase the training of health workers.

 

 

Nana Akufo-Addo is an accomplished politician but does his policies and ideas have any substance? He is indeed correct that Ghana must move forward but is he the man to help us achieve this?

Leave your comments below

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)