The blog.


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

 

Win Tickets To The London Film Festival Premiere Of ‘Mudbound’

This week marks the beginning of the BFI London Film Festival, and we’re giving away two pairs of tickets to our lucky readers to attend the BFI London Film Festival International red carpet premiere of Mudbound.

Mudbound which stars Garret Hedlund, Jason Clarke, Cary Mulligan and Mary J. Blige, tells the story of a friendship between two Second World War veterans, which ignites racial tension in Dee Rees’ majestic epic about two families in the Deep South.

The glittering film event, which will be attended by the A-List actors, will take place Thursday October 5, 7.15pm at the Odeon Leicester Square, London.

COMPETITION:

To win a pair of tickets to this Thursday’s BFI London Film Festival premiere of Mudbound, email competitions@thevoicemediagroup.co.uk with your name, email address, phone number and Twitter handle by Wednesday October 4, 2017 at 2pm

‘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.

Ghana wakes up and smells the coffee

Like many people around the world, 80-year-old Kofi Afadi can’t start his morning without a cup of coffee.

“Every morning when I take coffee I feel happy and go about my day,” the farmer told AFP in his village in the green hills between Lake Volta in Ghana and the border with Togo.

“When there is no coffee it seems I am the most miserable person around here,” he said.

In common with many of his fellow coffee farmers, Afadi, whose dark hair and moustache are speckled white, also grows cocoa — Ghana’s biggest crop. The country is the second largest cocoa exporter in the world behind neighbouring Ivory Coast.

Production of coffee, which was introduced to Ghana at the same time in the 18th century, trails in comparison. But it has rebounded in recent years, thanks to a growing overseas demand and a blossoming domestic market that is giving farmers hope of growing a major cash crop.

– Cafe culture –

A collapse in the price of coffee in the 1980s caused many Ghanaian farmers to abandon the crop, according to Michael Owusu-Manu, a researcher at Ghana’s Cocoa Board. But a government scheme launched in 2011 to revive the sector has transformed production and marketing of Ghanaian coffee.

It led to 2,400 hectares (5,930 acres) of new and revitalised coffee plantations, with farmers attracted by the introduction of fair prices for the crop. Owusu-Manu said the impact of the scheme is easy to overlook because much of Ghana’s coffee is sold in West Africa and does not appear in official export statistics.

The beans that stay in Ghana are sold to local roasters, who must compete in a market where most coffee is imported. Owusu-Manu now wants to connect local cafes popping up in Accra with local sellers.

Afadi hopes government support and a planned coffee farmers’ association will help them to wean locals off imports and establish Ghanaian beans in the home market.

– Rising global demand –

Ghanaian coffee is a matter of heritage and personal pride for the country’s farmers. Afadi’s coffee farm in Leklebi Fiape, some 200 kilometres (130 miles) northeast of the coastal capital, Accra, is on the same plot where his father grew coffee in the 1920s.

As a child, he remembers watching his father roast and grind his own beans, transforming them into a rich black brew — just like the ones he enjoys every day. He is disdainful of the jars and single-serving sachets of instant coffee granules found on sale in supermarkets and shops.

“It doesn’t taste like coffee,” he says firmly.

For now he gets his coffee from neighbouring farms, including the one run by nursery manager George Klu. But Afadi is in the process of planting 900 seedlings that the government gave him for free. He expects to harvest his first crop in four years’ time when he hopes global demand will only be higher.

The International Coffee Organization reports that global annual coffee consumption has grown an average of 1.3 percent every year since 2012.

– High quality –

Klu, 60, has two coffee farms and runs the nursery that produces the coffee seedlings for the government programme. He also hopes that coffee will be a silver bullet to Ghana’s burgeoning youth unemployment.

“Our youth are trying to be reluctant about farming,” he said, cutting back weeds with a machete. But I may say it is just not wise for them to do so because farming is a lucrative business.”

Local coffee retailers such as Kawa Mako may be part of the solution to boosting the local market. The small coffee shop he runs was set up with local farmers in mind and proudly makes lattes, espressos, and Americanos with beans from Volta Region farms.

Manager Prince Twumasi Asare said he has seen coffee consumption grow across Ghana, especially as international chains such as South Africa’s Vida e Caffe and Canada’s Second Cup have set up shop in Accra.

“We want to export, to put our products in shops and malls across the country. We want people to know that coffee from Africa, from Ghana, is a high quality,” said Asare.

Article via MailOnline

The 3rd edition of Accra Marathon to take place on October 7

With a purpose of bringing people together to express freedom, togetherness and passion through running in the vibrant landscape of a beautiful African City the Accra Marathon represents a continental drive to promote the Sustainable development Goal number 3, Good health and wellbeing.

The third edition of the Accra marathon which was launched on September 7th by the Accra Mayor, Mr. Mohammed Adjei Sowah is to take off on the 7th of October with about ten thousand expected participants, participating in categories such as para-cycling, 5km and 21km races and also the CEO and elite challenge.

The event which is organized by Accra Marathon, an organization which is versed in the management of international running programs with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly playing a pivotal role in the event. According to Mr. Mohammed Adjei Sowah the event will be used to promote fitness and a healthy vibrant city, all towards the goal of making Accra the cleanest and healthiest city in Africa. Ghana’s premium gold hub company, Menzgold  is also on board as lead sponsors supporting this worthy course. Supported by  GNPC, GCB, Coral Paints, Rana Motors, Papaye, MTN, Total Ghana, Goil Ghana, Gridco, BS5, Twillium Ghana, Tang Palace Hotel, DDP, IPMC, AMS, Wigal,  Ghana Shippers Council and Millennium Insurance.

This year’s event promises to be not just a fitness exercise but also exciting and entertaining as social figures and other prominent figures have taken up the mayor’s challenge which he threw out on the launch date to the deputy minister of sport, Mr. Pius Enam Hadidze as well as other public figures to promote fitness and health. Okyeame Kwame has responded to the mayor’s challenge boosting the excitement and anticipation for the event.

Mr. Ashim Morton, Chairman of Accra Marathon who over the years has worked tirelessly to ensure a well –managed marathon and also maintained sponsors and brought on new ones to believe in the brand, and continue to support the brand. He promises his auspices have put in place a more thrilling and exiting package this year and he entreats people to come out in their numbers and run their way to a better and healthier life.

Registration is already underway and interested persons can register www.accramarathon.com or the AMA Head Office and Frankies in Osu.

This year’s theme is Accra, A VIBRANT AND SMART CITY.

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 .

E.L announces new single ‘Pay Like A Boss’

Over the last few months, E.L has dropped a steady string of singles. The year commenced with ‘Agbo’, followed by ‘See Me Sometime’, then the club banger ‘Abaa’, and just a few weeks ago, ‘Namaway’ featuring, Stonebwoy.

We are almost ending the year and E.L doesn’t seem to be running out of steam. After recently releasing the banger with Stonebwoy, the 2015 VGMA Artist of the Year has announced on social media, an imminent single off the WAVs album, titled ‘PAY LIKE A BOSS’.

We particularly can’t wait till WAVs (West African Vibes) drop, but till then we will bob to ‘Pay Like A Boss’ and any other stream of singles we are fortunate to be blessed with thereafter.

Anxious to hear the new record? Yea, us too.

Check out the artwork and brace yourself for a beautiful experience.

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.

NEW RESEARCH SHOWS IMPACT OF GHANA’S FIRST INTERACTIVE DISTANCE LEARNING EDUCATION PROGRAMME

Pupils benefiting from MGCubed programme reading more words more minute and are one year ahead of their peers in maths tests

New research to be published shows the extensive impact an innovative distance-learning programme is having on the educational attainment and life chances of marginalised girls and boys in Ghana.

Making Ghanaian Girls Great! (MGCubed), a three-year pilot project funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and run by the Varkey Foundation, is the first project in the country to use interactive distance learning technology to deliver Maths and English lessons daily to more than 10,000 girls – and boys – in 72 government schools in some of the most deprived communities.

The schools – in Volta (Nkwanta South and Kadjebi districts) and Greater Accra (Ada East, Ada West, Ningo Prampram and Shai Osu-Doku districts) – are equipped with solar panels and a satellite connection in order to link with live broadcasts of lessons from highly-qualified teachers, using internationally-approved teaching methods, from a studio in Accra.

Independent evaluation of MGCubed conducted by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), to be unveiled at a major education conference in Zambia later today, shows the model has had a significant impact on increasing literacy and numeracy skills among marginalised girls.

·      In literacy tests, MGCubed students were able to read between 3.21-3.74 more words per minute than those in regular classes; and

·      in numeracy tests MGCubed teaching has been found to increase average scores by the equivalent of one school year.

In addition to the in-school classes, MGCubed delivers an after-school girls’ club called ‘Wonder Women’ to up to 50 girls per school, including out-of-school girls. The sessions cover topics such as early pregnancy, early marriage, reproductive health, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, career guidance and the environment as well as introducing girls to adult role models. The goal is to encourage girls to stay in or return to school, and  raise their aspirations for their futures.

MGCubed facilitators – either female teaching staff already at the schools, or female volunteers from the community – receive training in best-practice pedagogy to enable them to facilitate the in-school distance learning lessons and the after-school lessons, providing a critical link back into the communities to help reinforce the positive attitudinal changes towards girls’ education that the intervention hopes to achieve.

Internal research conducted by the Varkey Foundation, also to be published for the first time today, shows that, in addition to the literacy and numeracy improvements:

·      Teachers are more motivated to do their job. Teacher motivation is high, as evidenced by low absenteeism – the rate of teacher absenteeism in MGCubed classes was found to be just 0.5% over the whole project.

·      The project is correlated with improved class attendance. Data collected by staff until June 2016 indicates that over the course of the project, average attendance in MGCubed classrooms increased by nearly 7%.

·      MGCubed is having a spillover effect on classroom instruction. MGCubed facilitators do not restrict their improved knowledge and skills to the MGCubed classrooms, but have been found to employ MGCubed strategies in “regular” classes.  Over three-quarters of facilitators interviewed stated that they used starter activities and nearly three-quarters group work.

·      MGCubed has increased participation and motivation in school, beyond its principal pupil beneficiaries. In in-depth interviews with girls, nearly 70% of respondents noted a change in the way the MGCubed facilitator teaches in a non-MGCubed class. Key changes include a reduction in caning, with a third of girls voluntarily reporting that teachers in MGCubed classes did not use the cane.  Other reported changes include teachers “taking their time” or being more patient (23%). Over 40% of pupils cited the use of group work/pair work/”joining in” activities as their favourite aspect of the project because they were able to learn from peers and “discuss freely” rather than “feel shy”. Of the 230 feedback surveys in which facilitators were recorded as saying they used MGCubed techniques in their classrooms, 100% made an explicit reference to pupils in their classes being more engaged, performing better, and working well as a group.

·      MGCubed has raised levels of self-esteem, with an increase in girls who volunteer for leadership positions, and a 14% increase in girls who volunteer to answer questions during MGCubed lessons.

The research findings will be announced today by Leonora Dowley, the Varkey Foundation’s Country Director for Ghana, at the Forum for African Women Educationalists 2017 conference in Lusaka, Zambia.

Leonora Dowley said: “This new research shows MGCubed’s interactive distance learning model has been incredibly effective at increasing literacy and numeracy skills for disadvantaged girls and boys. 

“In addition, it is improving girls’ life chances by combatting deep-seated cultural values about girls and their educational potential.

“The results are also testament to the efforts of the Ghana Education Service, including its Girls’ Education Unit, who have worked closely with the Varkey Foundation to design the programme and monitor activity in schools.”