The blog.


She Leads Africa is bringing its signature travelling boot camp “The SheHive” back to London!

The SheHive is a must-attend event for any woman of colour who’s determined to build the skills and networks needed to achieve professional/entrepreneurial success. It’s a platform to brainstorm with like-minded individuals and connect with opportunities on the African continent, and it’s coming to London September 21st – 24th!

SLA has hosted previous versions of this event in cities including Accra, Abuja, New York, Nairobi, London, Lagos, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Washington DC, and Toronto. Their SheHive in London in 2016 (hosted in partnership with Facebook) was live streamed by BBC Africa.

Some of the amazing speakers who’ll be sharing their secrets to success include:

  • Afua Hirsch, Social Affairs and Education editor for Sky News and previous correspondent for The Guardian
  • Emeka and Ifeyinwa Frederick, co-founders of Chuku’s London
  • Eryca Freemantle, Global beauty ambassador, product developer and TV personality
  • Khalia Ismain, founder of Jamii
  • Mariatu Turay, founder of Gitas Portal Fashion Boutique
  • Nicole Pretorius, co-founder of tech startup She Can Code
  • Jacqueline Shaw, founder of Africa Fashion Guide

And more! Full schedule here.

We promise you’ll walk away from #SheHiveLondon with new business development skills, a fuller contact list, and the motivation to go out and SLAY with the support of the entire SheHive Squad behind you.

Get your tickets and more info at sheleadsafrica.org/shehivelondon2017 !

And there’s a special discount exclusively for MeFiri Ghana community! Use the code “diaspora” to get 20% off tickets here

Nuclear science and technology is not new to Ghana

Nuclear technology has a long track record of positively contributing to global social and economic development. For more than 70-years nuclear research reactors have proven to be cornerstones of innovation in the global development of science and technology.

The African continent is no exception, the continent has 10 out of more than 240 research reactors operating globally. In 2009, Africa passed a milestone of half century of involvement with nuclear technology, dating from the initial criticality of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s first research reactor (RR) at the University of Kinshasa. The construction of Congolese RR ushered in a new era of scientific development in Africa.

Africa’s RRs are a vital component of the evolving role nuclear science and technology play in the development of society. These reactors have significantly contributed to the scientific progress made in a wide range of spheres. Moreover, RRs are an indispensable tool in the education and training of future Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) operators and engineers as well for the production of scientifically and technologically important materials, such as radioisotopes. These reactors are also used for testing new types of nuclear fuel and studying the radiation resistance of new materials and electronic devices.

For instance, South Africa can be considered a true role model for emerging countries on how nuclear science innovations can be employed to improve the quality of human lives. The SAFARI-1 RR, one of Africa’s first 20 MW research reactors, which already marked its 50-year milestone, successfully provides high quality products and services for domestic and international needs. Being the only nuclear research unit in SA the SAFARI-1 reactor is renowned as one of the leading producers of medical isotopes in the world, in particular molybdenum-99, which is a key isotope used in 40-million diagnostic procedures per annum worldwide. It is estimated that medical products, produced by the SAFARI-1, are used in approximately 10 million medical procedures in more than 60 countries per year, saving countless lives.

Nuclear innovations from Africa have made it possible to eliminate a range of harmful pests, which previously destroyed entire crops of fruits such as oranges and grapefruit. Due to nuclear technologies the tsetse fly no longer poses serious risk to famers and cattle in many previously effected regions. Moreover, nuclear techniques have enabled the increased productivity of the agricultural sector in many regions which has reflected positively on farmer’s incomes.

Ghana has successfully been operating its RR since 1994, apart from research purposes, the Ghanaian RR is utilized in support of the oil and aluminum manufacturing industries. The reactor is also used in geochemistry and hydrochemistry, soil fertility studies as well as mineral exploration.

Global experience of using nuclear technologies has shown that the research units are also widely applied for environmental monitoring and pollution assessments (air, water, and soil), food and agriculture, health, medicine and pharmaceuticals.

Nuclear-derived technologies, have for instance, helped the Central African Republic’s researchers to detect rich bodies of water in the deserts of Sahel. This region is a home to roughly 135 million people, whose biggest challenge is access to clear water, which is essential not only for drinking, but also for food production and sanitation.

In recent years, more and more African countries have seen the substantial benefits of modern nuclear technologies and realized that large-scale national nuclear programmes are able to stimulate sustainable and dynamic development in other important spheres, such as industry, agriculture and medicine.

Research reactors have the potential to adjust nuclear technologies for social development. For instance the production of medical isotopes to treat cancer and other diseases would not be possible without research reactors.

According to the World Health Organization, cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, and the rate of cancer cases is expected to rise. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, more than half million people die from cancer every year. Such a tragic tendency can be considerably leveled down by the availability of nuclear medicine, through the development specialized local isotope production facilities and medical centres.

The establishment Ghana’s RR made it possible for the country to open a radiotherapy centre in collaboration with the IAEA. With the help of the radioisotope production facility the radiotherapy center has proven to be highly effective not only for Ghanaian citizens, but also for cancer patients from neighboring countries. The center treats nearly 15 000 patients per year.

Prior to the centre, Ghanaian cancer patients had to travel abroad to India, the Americas and Europe to access treatment. A second center in Kumasi was established in 2004 again in collaboration with the IAEA, whilst the Swedish Ghana Medical center in Accra, a private venture was established in 2013. All three facilities in the country have capabilities for 3-Dimensional treatment planning.

Today there are only three radiotherapy centers in the country which do not cope with growing cancer incidence. In order to increase the efficiency rate of cancer treatment, Ghana needs more centers in different regions of the country to treat the growing number of patients.

The National Centre for Radiotherapy in Accra experiences some challenges. On average, 1200 new cancer cases are referred to the facility every year with about 70% requiring radiation treatment, however, less than 50% of these patients complete their treatment.

A shortage of skilled man power in the Centre hampers the full potential of the establishment and limits the delivery of state of the art radiation treatment aimed at improving outcomes and reducing side effects.

The modernization of the research facility and the construction of a Center of Nuclear Science and Technology will certainly have a positive effect for Ghana’s social and economic development.

BBC News broadcasts a week of special programming on Africa’s rising population

BBC News have announced a week-long series exploring the steep incline in Africa’s population and the continent’s coping mechanisms.

The population of Africa is predicted to double to two and a half billion in just 30 years. On a continent where nearly two thirds of people are already under 25, this vast new baby boom has the potential to provide a huge pool of workers ready to transform African economies, or the potential to create an even greater migration problem.

BBC Africa Correspondent, Alastair Leithead, has been investigating the potential of this “demographic dividend” in a series of special reports from across Africa.

For a week, beginning Monday 21st AugustBBC World News and BBC World Service will broadcast daily features within Focus on Africa, looking at matters such as the rapid urbanisation in Nigeria, the industrial revolution in Ethiopia, contraception in Niger and food sustainability in Kenya.

From Monday, more information can also be found on bbc.com/africapopulation, including a written in-depth analysis, a series of short videos and additional features.

A special documentary, Africa’s Population Explosion, will also broadcast on BBC World News(DStv 400) at 2330 GMT on Friday 25th August and 1130 & 1630 GMT on Saturday 26th August.

 

The Power of Fabrication and Hoax on Social Media

The potency of hoax and fabricated news has been prevalent in WhatsApp and other social media. From India alone, not less than one million messages and video news are sent to WhatsApp and other social media every month. Only about 150 messages and videos are said to be true. The rest are fabrications and hoax. Such news items have a wide reach. Depending on the news, readers and viewers who fail to see them as hoax either get scared, startled or experience a feeling of insecurity. Not many are able to determine very early that the news items are just fabrications. Almost every country, including Ghana, has had its share of such hoax news on social media.

We all woke up one day to read on WhatsApp that former president of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings had passed away at 69. The news spread quickly on all social media. When the news of the alleged death reached Rawlings he was upset about this fabrication which did not help anyone.

Michael Essien, former midfielder of Chelsea and Black Stars, was reported dead. The news was on WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media that Essien was involved in a fatal accident in Indonesia where he plays for a local club, Persib Bandung. Sadness engulfed Ghanaians and lovers of football worldwide only to find out that the news was a hoax.

Ghanaians were shocked when they heard the news of the disappearance of Ghana’s rap artist, Castro, and another lady. As Ghanaians were trying to come to terms with the mysterious disappearance, news came around that Castro was still alive. The one that took WhatsApp and other social media by storm was the confirmation of a lawyer who was interviewed at Adom FM that Castro was under intensive care in a hospital in Lomé, Togo’s capital city. A funeral that was supposed to be held by Castro’s family was halted. A group was sent to that particular hospital the lawyer was referring to. Castro was not there. The news was a mere fabrication and a hoax.

These days many funny sayings shared on social media have been attributed to Robert Mugabe. In the beginning, people believed that Mugabe actually said those things since the man is used to saying controversial but brilliant things. But when they were becoming too many, people realised they were false news. Zimbabwean government officials formally issued a statement denying that Mugabe said such things. Here are two of my most popular “Mugabe sayings”: 1. Girls who are called Monica like money and cars. 2. Dear ladies, if your boyfriends did not wish you a Happy Mother’s day or sing sweet Mother for you, you should stop breastfeeding them. Of course, Mugabe didn’t say these things. Dear reader, what is your favourite Mugabe saying?

Such social media fabrications are sometimes used by industrialised countries to undermine the progress of other countries’ economy. A devastating news item was carried on WhatsApp claiming that China is now producing and bagging rice made of plastic material. Many were fast to authenticate the claim on videos to demonstrate how the rice looks like when it is cooked. The Chinese contend that if what people are claiming is true why is the World Health Organization (WHO) silent?

The Chinese claim this fabrication was designed by the Americans who, according to the Chinese, are obviously scared by the fast rate of development and progress of the country. The Chinese decided to pay back in the same coin and put the Americans to shame. Soon a video that shocked the world was making rounds on social media. The video showed a truck loaded with human cadavers in front of a McDonald’s outlet. The Chinese claim the dead bodies are mashed in machines and used for the burgers which are distributed to all McDonald’s restaurants. When this horrific video came out, about 25% of visitors who patronized the restaurant, it was reported, stopped eating at McDonalds. The directors denied this claim as a mere fabrication.

There was another video claiming the Chinese were now eating aborted babies and even full babies who are sold by their parents. According to the narrator, foetus and embryos have been made into soup for human consumption. It is believed the Chinese are eating this to increase health, stamina and sexual performance. The media war between America and China is still going on. This fits well in the Ghanaian parlance, “if you do me, I do you”.

Immediately after the 2016 US election, the potency of fabricated and hoax news came into focus. Fake news on the elections began to appear on social media during the run-up to the ballot. The first put Mrs Clinton in a comfortable lead. When the reality of the election dawned on Americans, another news item that was clearly fabricated appeared on social media that Donald Trump had hacked into the electoral commission’s computer system to add more votes. This news drew more attention than any other news in the major news media in the United States. This turned out to be mere fabrication.

Often, people make up their own wisdom words and attribute them to famous persons. One of the most serious ones appeared a few years ago about the last words of Apple founder, Steve Jobs, in which he regretted having spent all his life looking for money but not having time to spend it. The passage was so long and detailed that nobody on his dying bed, in the throes of pain, drifting between life and death, could possibly have said those things as his last words. It was purely fake news.

WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media should be used with much care and circumspection. Not all news published in these media can be taken as true and authentic and therefore such news that smack of fabrication and hoax should not be shared. Some are true but many are not.  There was a humorous message I received some time ago telling me the food items that are dangerous to my health. It was a very long list that contained all the food items that I can possibly think of ever eating in my life. It was when I was going to complain and ask which food items are left for me to eat that I realised it was a joke – no food item is good for your health so the best thing is not to eat anything at all and starve to death! I appreciated the joke. But what about those who don’t see the humour?

Because of advances in picture and video editing programmes, it is easy even for amateurs to create false pictures and videos. We have to be careful about the things shared on social media and how we believe in them. Often, when you read something that is asking you to share it with others, you must be suspicious. You must check and check again to see if it is genuine. Fortunately, there are many websites that are devoted to debunking false social media messages. Anytime you have your doubts, just go online and check if it is not another hoax to make your life terrible. Never share a story you are not sure of.

By Stephen Atta Owusu
Author: Dark Faces at Crossroads

5 SECRETS ABOUT GHANA JOLLOF THAT NIGERIANS DON’T KNOW : By Chef Elijah A. Addo

Future of Ghana Alumni Chef Elijah A. Addo recently revealed 5 “secrets” about Jollof…here they are:

1. Ghana Jollof is made with love : Ghanaians prepare their jollof with ingredients and spices drawn from the streams of love and that reflects in the aroma and taste of our jollof,days after it is cooked.

2. Ghana Jollof is the “Aliko Dangote” of African foods : In as much as jollof originally originated from SenegalGambian empire of Jolof, Ghanaians took the prototype and built upon it to become what the world knows it. Ghana jollof is entrepreneurial.

3.Ghana jollof is scalable : The tricks of preparing different versions of Ghanaian jollof makes it easy to be prepared from any part of the world. Nigeria jollof is a one way method making it difficult to be prepared in regions like China, Russia, North Korea, London,etc.

4. Ghana Jollof is a balanced diet recommended to fight child malnutrition across the continent. Nigerians must come to Ghana to learn how we are using Jollof to overcome hunger and malnutrition. Former President Rawlings donated jollof to our Somalian brothers.

5. Ghana Jollof is celebrated as festival : Ghana Tourism Authority celebrates a National jollof festival because our jollof has balls.Ghana jollof is eaten with confidence across the globe due to it’s high nutritional content. You don’t have leftover for our jollof. Ghana jollof is bae.

NB: This article is satirical piece by Chef Elijah A. Addo, 2017 Queens Young Leader and founder of Food for All Africa in recognition of the Ghana Jollof Festival scheduled for 26th August, 2017 is being organised to promote Ghanaian cuisine, and is in connection with the “See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana, Feel Ghana campaign initiated by the Ghana Tourism Authority.

Africa has entered the space race, with Ghana’s first satellite now orbiting earth

The GhanaSat-1―Ghana’s first satellite―began its orbit recently, with a little help from some friends.

The cubesat, built by a Ghanaian engineering team at All Nations University, was delivered to NASA’s International Space Station in June on a SpaceX rocket that took off from pad 39a at Kennedy Space Center, a NASA spokesperson confirmed.

The GhanaSat-1 deployed into orbit from the Center in July, and is now operational, according to project manager Richard Damoah, a Ghanaian professor and assistant research scientist at NASA.

“This particular satellite has two missions,” Damoah told TechCrunch. “It has cameras on board for detailed monitoring of the coastlines of Ghana. Then there’s an educational piece―we want to use it to integrate satellite technology into high school curriculum,” he said.

GhanaSat-1 will send a signal to a ground station at All Nations University’s Space Systems and Technology Laboratory. That’s where it was developed by a team of engineers that included Benjamin BonsuErnest Teye Matey, and Joseph Quansah. 

While Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo applauded the launch and congratulated the team directly, the project did not receive official Ghanaian government support, according to Damoah. Instead, Japan’s national space agency, JAXA, provided the bulk of the resources and training to develop the satellite.

The GhanaSat-1 deployment marks increased interest and activity in Africa toward space exploration.  Nigeria’s first cubesat launched on the same SpaceX mission. “Several nations, such as South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia have space agencies. Angola announced its intention to launch a satellite over the coming year,” said Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa at the World Economic Forum.

She also pointed to Pan-African efforts to coordinate space efforts, such as the African Union’s African Space Policy and Strategy initiative―adopted last year―that prompted AU members states  “to realize an African Outer space Programme, as one of the flagship programmes….of the AU Agenda.”

Damoah believes the GhanaSat-1 deployment could prompt Ghanaian government  resources toward a second satellite project coordinated by All Nations University and the country’s Science Space and Technology Center. “After this launch, we now have the support of the president and cabinet support,” he said. “We are looking to develop a GhanaSat-2, with high resolution cameras, that could monitor things such as illegal mining, water use, and deforestation in the country.”

Article via TechCrunch

British Council, Ghana announces August 30-31 ‘Social Thursday’ event

The British Council has announced the first of its Social Thursday event series slated to take place at the British Council in Accra, Ghana, on Wednesday, 30thAugust to Thursday 31st August 2017, from 10am to 8pm each day. This event is hosted in partnership with TEDx Accra and SE Ghana.

The goal of this event is to assist social entrepreneurs with the needed skill sets to create impact and profit in their businesses. Social entrepreneurs will get the opportunity to explore solutions to the challenges faced in generating profit and impact in their businesses. The event will also present an avenue for the general public to attend a TEDx-styled talk on the theme, “IMPACT AND PROFIT’’. The talk is expected to uncover how to effectively deliver, measure and communicate impact as well as improve profit margin as a social enterprise.

This year, the British Council is giving social entrepreneurs the chance to exhibit their products and services on both days. There will also be an opportunity to participate in a business pitch competition coupled with mentoring sessions from business experts.
Attendance is free. Visit the British Council Ghana website to register or follow us on twitter @ghBritish via the hashtag #SocialThursday, and on Facebook

For those who want to pitch 
Are you a social entrepreneur and ready to pitch your idea to a group of investors for advice, funding and skills development from the British council’s skills hub during the social Thursday? Then register here. Sign up now for limited slots.

For Exhibitors
From Wednesday, 30th August 2017 to Thursday, 31st August 2017, we are creating space for 20 social entrepreneurs to exhibit their businesses (Products and Services) at the Social Thursday Event for FREE. Register here.

Contact Marilyn Adutwum on +233302610090 or Marilyn.Adutwum@gh.britishcouncil.org for more information.
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VOICE EXCLUSIVE: Get 2 for 1 tickets to Jamaica House 2017!

The Voice is offering readers an exclusive 2 for 1 offer for tickets to Jamaica House 2017 at the o2 in London.

The much-anticipated Jamaica House 2017 starts tomorrow at the o2 and runs until August 13. Performers include Freddie McGregor, Ziggy Marley, Luciano, OMI, Nesbeth, Protégé and more.

The races will be shown on the big-screen, so you won’t miss Usain Bolt and other Jamaican athletes as they compete at the IAAF World Championships.

View the Jamaica House 2017 promotional video here -https://youtu.be/J-99HzNWvvk

Click the link below to get this exclusive Voice offer of 2 for 1 tickets to any of the Jamaica House 2017 shows from August 5-13. To take advantage of the offer, book your tickets anytime between now and this Sunday August 6, 2017 at 12 midnight GMT

August 8 Tickets 
August 11 Tickets 

GHANA – A NATION IN RETROSPECTIVE, FRIDAY 4 AUGUST, 18.00 – 21.45, VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM

This Friday the V&A Museum invites you to a special event..  ‘Ghana – A Nation in Retrospective’ with a welcome and opening address at 18.00 by Lord Boateng of Akyem and Wembley.

Historians, cultural theorists, scholars, museum curators, artists and performers of the diaspora, will look retrospectively at a nation that over the last 60 years has shaped a modern vision, and established Ghanaians as trend-setting ‘Afropolitans’.

Join them to review and re-contextualise your history, heritage, culture and future by exploring Ashanti Goldweights & Regalia(1874); William Ansah Sessarakoo (1736 – 1770); kings, family and colonialism in Keta (mid 1880s – mid 20th century); women, cloth & culture; the story of Pan-Africanism (late 1700s – 1963); an immersive simulation of Nkrumah’s WE MUST UNITE NOW OR PERISH (1963); a re-discovery of heritage through food; pop-up photo salon; soulful rock, and DJs with an Independence soundtrack.

Date: Friday, 4 August 2017

Time: 18.00 – 21.45

Venue: Sackler Centre Reception, V&A Museum

Ticket price: £3.00 – £5.00

For More information and to book Tickets visit – https://www.vam.ac.uk/event/1KWB4x8a/ghana-a-nation-in-retrospective-aug-2017

Join the Future of Ghana Research Study

Research Survey…

Future of Ghana Ltd are pleased to announce our research survey aimed at the 2nd generation British Ghanaian demographic is now live on futureofghana.com. The survey follows a pre-survey released last month undertaken to give us a better sense of our potential data and refine our research.

This survey forms part of a wider research study (to include focus groups and interviews) on the ways in which the 2nd generation British Ghanaian engages with Ghana, why they do so and how they would like to. At the same time building up a profile of who the 2nd generation actually are.  

The findings will be published in a report in time for Independence Day next year.

 

Why?…

The purpose of the study is to explore the ways in which diaspora groups interact with their ‘home’ countries.  As stated the focus of this study is 2nd generation Ghanaians in the UK, how they engage with/desire to engage with Ghana (i.e. through social, cultural, economic/financial and skills channels) and its implications for diaspora engagement efforts, policies and development.

The study will attempt to understand the underlying factors driving engagement with Ghana, the priorities and patterns of 2nd generation engagement (in comparison to 1st generation) and what, if any, barriers to engagement exist. We are intent on ensuring your collective voices are represented, which we hope will help shape policy, add to the dialogue around the diaspora and contribute to Ghana’s diaspora engagement efforts.

 

Who?…

We are inviting all 2nd generation British Ghanaians who resides in the UK aged 18 years old and above to participate in this study by taking the survey.
For the purposes of this study, 2nd generation British Ghanaian is being defined as:

  • UK born children of at least 1 Ghanaian born parent
  • Ghanaian born children of at least 1 Ghanaian parent who emigrated to the UK before primary school age (5 years old) and settled here.

 

Results..

The results of the survey will be analysed with data collected from focus group discussions and interviews and used towards a research report to be published by Future of Ghana Ltd.

The final report will be completed by March 2018, and we will be sharing the report with all participants. It will be formally launched at an event in mid-2018.
For more information on the study visit our website and you can take the survey here.