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The term Tsoo-boi and the Early Akan Settlement in the Volta Region

In the year 1732, when the Ashanti Kingdom was ruled by Otumfuo Opoku Ware I, the Ashantis, mainly from Kuntenase, in an attempt to expand the kingdom, moved towards a place that is now part of the Volta region and to a place called Worawora. They fought the Chokosis and drove them out from their land in 1734 and occupied it. They spoke their Twi language and maintained their culture and traditions. From then on many Akans from many Akan-speaking areas moved in to settle at different places including Jasikan, Donkorkrom and Avetime.
Something interesting happened which led to the creation and popularization of the compound word, “Tsoo-boi”. Many people and groups have used this compound word, “Tsoo-boi” without knowing how the word came about, and from which language it originates. Eighty percent of the people I interviewed said “Tsoo-boi” is a Ga word. Only twenty percent said it was an Ewe word.

“Tsoo-boi” is a word largely used in Ghana by many people including students, workers, demonstrators, pastors and Imams. When that word is mentioned, the resultant reaction is the same. It is a shout for action, attention and coordination. Furthermore the shout of “Tsoo-boi” creates a sense of belongingness, oneness, enthusiasm and victory.
In a fishing community in the Volta region, lived two fishermen and their families. They were not on talking terms. One family was Ewe and the other was Akan. The children of both families always had to cross a stream in a canoe to go to school. One day, on their return from school, a strong wind blew the canoe to overturn in the full glare of by-standers. In an effort to get help both the Akan and the Ewe boys began to scream for help in their local languages. The Ewe boy shouted, “tsoo,” “tsoo”. The Akan boy also screamed urgently, “buei,” “buei”. These were shouts for help and attention. The onlookers jokingly combined the two words, spelling the Twi word according to how they heard it. This marked the genesis of “tsoo-boi.”

The Akans in the Volta Region have their settlements in areas like Jasikan, Donkorkrom, Worawora and Avatime. The majority of the Akan settlers were mostly from the Ashanti Kingdom. They got permanent settlements in these areas through conquests. After living in the Volta Region for more than a century, they still considered themselves as Akans. The Ashantis paid allegiance to the occupant of the Golden Stool. Their Chiefs also swore the oath of allegiance to the stool.
At a press conference in Accra months after Otumfuo’s visit, the Omanhene of Worawora Traditional Area, Daasebre Asare Baah III, confirmed that, even though Worawora is located in the Volta Region, they will still remain Ashantis. The Omanhene was compelled to react to a “Times” London newspaper headline story which came out after the Asantehenene, Otumfuo Opoku Ware’s visit to Worawora traditional area in the early part of 18th century. The front page story was an angry reaction by the chiefs in the Volta Region after Otumfuo’s visit. They reiterated that Worawora cannot be under Asante. During the press conference, the Omanhene, his subjects and well-wishers were all clad in black funeral clothes which the Ashantis call “kuntunkuni.” This was to protest to the VR chiefs that no Akan chief will swear an oath of allegiance to any VR chief.

The Avatime are another group of Akans who live in the Volta Region. These are Ahanta people who migrated to the place known today as Volta Region during the 18th century, almost at the same time when the Fanti fishermen from Elmina migrated to Togo and finally continued to Dahomey (Benin). More than a century ago, a mystery pot was found hidden in a cave at Biakpa in Avatime. Critical and investigative study of the pot and its content revealed that the Guans have been in Avatime and in Ghana since the Stone Age. Kwame Ampene, a folkloric historian and founder of the Guan Historical Society, depending on oral history, claimed that it was not the Ahantas who migrated to the Volta Region but rather the Igbos who lived among the Ahantas for so many years who later migrated to Avatime. Kwame Ampene admitted that the Ahantas may also have migrated to the Volta Region, asserting that the original homeland of the nuclear Avatime has become a difficult problem which has so far defied any satisfactory solution.

So far there has been very much cooperation and peaceful co-existence among the Akans and the Ewes in the Volta Region. When the new president, Nana Akufo-Addo, hinted that some regions including the Volta Region will be divided into two regions and the likelihood is that the Akans may have their own region and the others, including Ewes, will also have one region, many concerned people in the region have stood up against the idea. They will still want to be together as one people in one region. The peace and love existing among the various tribes in the region is superb and phenomenal.
By Stephen Atta Owusu
Author: Dark Faces at Crossroads

AKUFO-ADDO ANNOUNCES MINISTERIAL TEAM

Newly elected Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday announced the first batch of  Ministers-designate who will serve in his government.

As his Senior Minister Akufo-Addo has chosen  Dr Yaw Osafo Marfo an experienced Minister in Kufuor government of the early 2000’s

Other notable appointments are outspoken MP Alan Kyerematen will as the Trade and Industry Minister  and Shirley Ayorkor Botchway  as the new Foreign Minister.

The appointments are pending approval from the Ghanaian Parliament before they can be confirmed but this is usually a formality.

The  full list of appointees are as follows:

Senior Minister designate – Yaw Osafo Marfo

National Security Minister designate – Albert Kan Dapaah

Trade and Industry Minister designate – Alan Kyeremateng

Finance Minister designate – Ken Ofori Atta

Minister of Agriculture designate – Dr. Akoto Osei Afriyie

Energy Minister designate – Boakye Agyarko

Defence Minister designate – Dominic Nitiwul

Foreign Affairs Minister designate – Shirley Ayorkor Botchway

Interior Minister designate – Ambrose Dery

Attorney General Minister designate – Gloria Akufo

Local Government Minister designate – Hajia Alima Mahama

Education Minister designate — Mathew Opoku Prempeh

Health Minister designate — Kwaku Agyemang-Manu

Me Firi Ghana (@Me_FiRi_GHANA)

Ponzi scheme blamed for financial misery in Ghana

Many people in Ghana have lost money by investing in a Russian-backed Ponzi scheme which promises huge profits. The scheme, the Mavrodi Mondial Movement or MMM, was introduced in Ghana after it was banned in Nigeria.

Ghana’s financial sector is currently struggling to recover from a major financial crisis involving Ponzi investment schemes. Millions of Ghanaians have been denied access to their savings after investing in microfinance companies. They had been promised huge returns on their capital over a short period of time, but now they’re pleading with Ghanaian President John Mahama for a refund of their investments.

“Many people are dead and many are on their sick bed because of this money [scandal]. It’s not easy for us, Mr. President. Pay our money to us, because the Bank of Ghana is under you,” said businessman Haruna Seidu.

These schemes were at the center of the presidential election campaign in Ghana. The incoming New Patriotic Party government has promised to reimburse all who have lost money with these investments. Ghana’s central bank has also revised its rules to discourage such Ponzi schemes in future. Its deputy governor Johnson Asiamah said they were also receiving help from Germany on how to better protect small investors.

“With the passage of the Ghana deposit protection bill, I am happy to inform you that the Bank of Ghana in collaboration with the German government will soon establish a deposit protection system in Ghana for the first time in our history. This will ensure protection for small depositors and enhance the safety of the financial system,” said Asiamah.

New scheme

Reports of a new investment scheme called the Mavrodi Mondial Movement have recently emerged, under which clients are promised a return of 30 percent in less than a month.

The Russian-owned scheme been banned in some African countries including Nigeria. Financial analyst Osei Amankwah says it should be thoroughly investigated.

“The bank of Ghana shouldn’t allow this to cascade. Obviously, if it was bad for Nigeria, it’s not going to be any good for Ghana,” he said.

The Mavrodi Mondial Movement said on Twitter that their scheme in Ghana was a simple system in which a community of voluntary members provide and receive help. However, some Ghanaians are wary of these schemes.

“I would not be interested in it because I am afraid of losing my money at the end,” said Bernice Asiedu, a resident of Accra.

The Mavrodi Mondial Movement isn’t officially licensed to operate in Ghana, and officials have said that they will launch a probe into the group.

Source: http://www.dw.com/en/ponzi-scheme-blamed-for-financial-misery-in-ghana/a-36966594

Me Firi Ghana (Me_FiRi_GHANA)

Ghana Black Stars Name Provisional AFCON 2017 Squad

Ghana Black Stars Coach Avram Grant revealed his provisional squad at a GFA Press conference this morning. A notable omission from the 26 man squad was Jeffrey Schlupp of Leicester City which has come as surprise to many. A less suprising omission was key player and Juventus midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah  who was struggling to make the the required fitness level following a series of knee injuries.

Otherwise the squad is full of familiar faces including the likes of the Ayew brothers, Asamoah Gyan, Daniel Amartey  and Christian Atsu.

The Black Stars will travel  to the United Arab Emirates for a training camp from where Grant will reveal his final squad of 23 by the 4 January deadline set by CAF (Confederation of African Football)

The tournament kicks off in Gabon from 14 January –  5February 2017 to Ghana are in Group D and they will face games against Mali, Egypt and Uganda.

The Black Stars kick off their tournament  against Uganda on 17 January 2017

The full 26 man  Squad is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Razak Braimah (Cordoba, Spain), Adam Kwarasey (Rosenborg, Norway), Richard Ofori (Wa All Stars, Ghana)

Defenders: Harrison Afful (Columbus Crew, USA), Andy Yiadom(Barnsley, England), Baba Rahman (Schalke, Germany), Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht, Belgium), John Boye (Sivasspor,Turkey), Jonathan Mensah (Anzhi, Russia), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City, England), Edwin Gyimah (Orlando Pirates, South Africa)

Midfielders: Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese, Italy), Afriyie Acquah (Torino, Italy), Mubarak Wakaso (Panathinaikos, Greece), Christian Atsu (Newcastle, England), Ebenezer Ofori (AIK Stockholm, Sweden), Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid, Spain), Samuel Tetteh (Leifering, Austria), Joseph Larweh Attamah (Başakşehir, Turkey)

Forwards: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ahli, UAE) Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa, England), Abdul-Majeed Waris (Lorient, France), Andre Ayew (West Ham, England), Ebenezer Assifuah (Sion, Switzerland), Bernard Tekpetey (Schalke, Germany), Rahpael Dwamena (Austria Lustenau, Austria)

 Me Firi Ghana (@Me_FiRi_GHANA)

Incoming Ghana government gives cocoa sector chance of fresh start

Ghana’s incoming government could give the country’s $2 billion cocoa industry a boost if it installs a more transparent executive at industry regulator Cocobod and implements reforms, industry sources said.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) said its priority is to push annual cocoa output in the world’s second-biggest producer above 1 million tonnes when it takes power in January under President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo using a series of fresh measures.

A big issue is the role of Cocobod chief executive. Industry officials said CEO Stephen Opuni’s position is vulnerable because he publicly supported President John Mahama who lost the Dec. 7 election.

Traders and buyers credit the regulator for maintaining the premium quality of Ghana’s cocoa and increasing the guaranteed minimum price paid to farmers to 70 percent of net free-on-board but they say greater access to Cocobod is crucial.

“For the last two years, it has been very closed and very difficult to meet with Cocobod,” one senior Ghana cocoa operative said in a comment echoed by several others.

Cocobod plays a unique role both regulating the sector and exporting beans through its Cocoa Marketing Company as well as distributing fertilizer, pesticides and seedlings.

Few were willing to speak openly for fear of antagonizing Cocobod and some said that in itself reduced accountability. Buyers said they were unwilling to challenge the regulator for fear of damaging business relationships.

“Nobody dares to stand up to Cocobod,” said one buyer, who declined to be named.

Cocobod CEO Opuni did not respond to requests for comment.

FILE PHOTO: Cocoa beans are pictured in Ghana’s eastern cocoa town of Akim Akooko September 6, 2012. REUTERS/Kwasi Kpodo/File Photo

Ghana accounts for up to 25 percent of global cocoa supply and the industry also contributes around 7 percent of GDP as well as up to one quarter of the country’s export earnings.

The NPP has established a transition team but is yet to name a finance minister, one of whose statutory roles is to oversee Cocobod.

Its manifesto outlines policies including re-activating mass spraying, replanting farms with high yield trees, improving local processing and compensating farmers for diseased trees.

The party will “ensure that farmers receive increased producer prices plus bonuses high enough to encourage them to produce more cocoa for export (and) ensure that the value that farmers receive for their produce is not diluted by depreciation of the cedi against the dollar”.

FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY

Industry sources calculate Cocobod controls around half a billion dollars in funds per year, and must therefore increase its financial transparency and move towards depoliticising its dealings with farmers.

Several farmers said supporters of the outgoing National Democratic Party government gained better access to seedlings and inputs in the run-up to the vote than supporters of the opposition. Cocobod denied this.

At the same time, the regulator’s promise of free fertilizers, pesticides, spraying and seedlings had discouraged private sector participation and made farmers unhealthily dependent on free products rather than buying on the market.

“It’s not an effective system. It’s expensive and in the end not all farmers have access to these kinds of products. Because of the free elements the farmer has no opportunity to buy if he would have wanted to,” one senior market source said.

Others said it would be better if Cocobod’s role was reconfigured to focus solely on regulation, opening space for the private sector.

Ghana’s cocoa production peaked in the 2010/11 season at more than 1 million tonnes, dipped to under 750,000 tonnes in 2014/15 season before rebounding slightly last season.

One senior cocoa analyst said current production was running around 10,000 tonnes higher than the same point in the previous season. It would fall back in January and February but the mid-crop was expected to be strong, the analyst said.

However, the country needs to improve productivity per hectare. A step towards this is to map the size of each farm and count the number of farmers to get a more precise figure than the 800,000 that is often mentioned.

“We are looking forward to seeing all the things they (the NPP) have been promising,” Nana Johnson Mensah, a chief farmer of Western region south, told Reuters.

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ghana-cocoa-idUSKBN1481Q5

Me Firi Ghana (@Me_FiRi_Ghana)

GHANA ELECTION 2016 STATEMENT

As millions of Ghanaian’s  up and down the country go to the polls today we encourage all eligible voters particularly the YOUTH to exercise their right to vote.

Your vote is your voice and this is an election that really matters. Ghana turns 60 next year but significant challenges for the country remain. First and foremost THE ECONOMY; a decline in commodity prices has hit our economy, the Cedi has struggled against other currencies, the power crisis has affected Businesses and unemployment particularly youth unemployment remains high.
We would encourage all voters to vote for the party they feel is best placed to find solutions to ALL the challenges and overcome them for the good of the country.
fog-logo
We are NON-PARTISAN organisation we do NOT support or favour any political party, we envision a self sustaining Ghana first and foremost. Thus through our Charitable Youth initiative The Future of Ghana we stand ready to bring the YOUTH AGENDA to government of the day whoever that may be.
We have faith in the Ghanaian electorate to act with integrity during this election. Ghana today the world is watching, your brothers and sisters in the Diaspora are watching with keen interest. Let us be an example and show the world what a peaceful and democratic nation we are whatever the result.
Here’s to a PEACEFUL, TRANSPARENT and FAIR election. God Bless our Homeland Ghana.

VULNERABLE CHILDREN IN GHANA TO BENEFIT FROM WAITROSE CHRISTMAS PROJECT

Food for All Ghana programme in partnership with MaxMart Family shopping centre and Kwatson’s West Africa, the sole distributors of Waitrose brand of products in Ghana will from 10th December till 10 January 2017  raise funds to support children out of school due to lack of regular means of nutrition.

The 2016 Maxmart Buy More, Feed More Christmas project, in association with Waitrose is aimed at creating sustainable means of nutrition for vulnerable children and raising awareness on the economic and social impact of child under nutrition in Ghana.

The 2016 cost of hunger in Africa report  by the National Development Planning Commission estimates Ghana loses GH¢ 4.6 billion which is equivalent to 6.4% GDP annually to hunger among children and 24% of all child mortality cases in are associated with under nutrition.

Speaking at a stakeholder’s  forum to launch the  project, Founder of Food for All Africa programme,

Food For All Ghana feeding the needy

Food For All Ghana feeding the needy

Chef Elijah Amoo Addo revealed  3 out of 5 children on the streets of Accra are out of school due to lack of regular means of nutrition at a time when over 45% of food goes to waste along Ghana’s food supply chain. For Ghana to overcome child under nutrition, all stakeholders must be responsible to ensure the right to food and education of children is championed. He praised MaxMart Family Shopping centre for contributing towards creating efficiency and reducing child under nutrition in Ghana.

Marketing manager of MaxMart Family Shopping centre, Mrs. Layal Majdoub explained  that for any Waitrose brand product that MaxMart customers and the general public buy this Christmas, 3% of the  price will be donated to  the Food for All Africa sustainable farms fund which will be used to  provide a  poultry project for  a beneficiary orphanage home by March 2017.

Waitrose are active supporters of the Global “Love Food, Hate waste” campaign and therefore delighted to work with customers and Ghanaians at large to reduce food waste and  hunger in Ghana.

GHANA’S BLACK QUEENS REACH SEMI-FINALS OF WAFCON 2016

In case it escaped your attention a very important football match took place this weekend involving Ghana No it was not the Black Stars in action but the Black Queens, Ghana’s women football team

They defeated Mali a 3-1  on Saturday to book a place in the semi-finals of the 2016 Women’s African Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Linda Eshun, Samira Suleman and Elizabeth Addo scored to hand the Black Queens all three points in their last group game, with Binta Diarra fetching Mali’s consolation at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde.

With a 3-1 win over Kenya and a 1-1 stalemate with Nigeria prior, Ghana came into Saturday’s game requiring a draw in the least to make the last four.

Mali, in the other hand, had their job cut out as they needed nothing but a win to sail through.

Defender Linda Eshun put Ghana in front in after 37 minutes, capitalising on a blunder by Mali goalkeeper Goundo Samake to make it 1-0.

The Black Queens scored again 30 minutes later.

Following a neat buildup involving Juliet Acheampong and Portia Boakye, Samira Suleman had the easiest job of tapping in from close range.

Captain Elizabeth Addo made it three for Yusif Basigi’s ladies from the spot after she was fouled by Oumou Tangara.

Lala Dicko, nonetheless, pulled one back for Mali three minutes to full-time.

Ghana will face hosts Cameroon in the semi-final tomorrow, same day Nigeria take on South Africa in the other game.

The Black Queens, who are three times losing finalists, are in search for their first title at the championship.

Best of luck to Ghana’s women against Cameroon!

THE VANISHING BLACK AFRICAN WOMAN – A Compendium of the Global Skin Lightening Practice

Skin-lightening is currently one of the most common forms of potentially harmful body modification practices in the world and African women are among some of the most widely represented users of skin-lightening products.

Author Yetunde Mercy Olumide‘s new two volume book, The Vanishing Black Africa Woman: A Compendium of the Global Skin Lightening Practice provides an up-to-date evidence-based recommendations for reducing the global burden of cosmetic skin bleaching and preventing injuries related to skin bleaching in sub-Saharan Africa and Africans in diaspora. 

The book aims to do several things – firstly to offer an appraisal of all relevant literature on cosmetic bleaching practices to-date, focusing on any key developments, secondly to identify and address important medical, public health issues as well as historical, genetic, psycho-social, cultural, behavioral, socioeconomic, political, institutional and environmental determinants, thirdly provide guideline recommendations that would help attenuate the burden and possibly eliminate the injuries related to skin bleaching, and lastly discuss potential developments and future directions.

Since skin bleaching is an offshoot of slavery, racism, colorism, colonialism and neocolonialism, the historical institutions that are related to skin bleaching are well characterized. The global magnitude of the problem is well defined. Nigeria is regarded by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the country with the highest prevalence of the skin bleaching practice globally, hence the chapter on Nigeria can truly be regarded as the microcosm of the skin bleaching culture in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The skin bleaching stories on representative countries in West, Southern, East, Central and North Africa are also discussed. In a globalized world, cosmetic skin bleaching has no boundaries. Hence, some insight is given about skin bleaching in the Caribbean, India, South East Asia, Latin America, North America and the United Kingdom. Furthermore, skin bleaching is not only practiced by homeland Africans but also diasporic Africans.

The paradigms and determinants that provide social and cultural impetus towards skin bleaching are extensively characterized, since these factors must be taken into account if meaningful intervention strategies are to be created and employed to counteract the trend towards skin bleaching. The chemicals, products and methods used for skin bleaching and the adverse health effects are clearly described. Finally, guideline recommendations that would help attenuate the burden and possibly eliminate the injuries related to skin bleaching are prescribed. Potential developments and future directions are also discussed.

There are twenty three chapters in the book and it is published in two volumes. The book is already available on Amazon.com, African Books Collective, konga.com, Barnes & Noble etc.

THE JOURNEY INTRODUCES NEW SHOW WITH AN AUDIENCE: CLOSE UP WITH NAYOKA OWARE AND AFROBEAT STAR SONA

The Journey has added a new, exciting andintimate category to the online channel. Nayoka Oware, online and Radio Personality, will be hosting her guest Sona in front of an audience. There will be laughter, a Q&A segment and a few surprises to begin and wrap up the show…

Presented by The Journey’s very own Presenter Nayoka Oware, this free ticketed event will take place on Friday 2nd December, 5.00-8.00PM in ever so vibrant Shoreditch. The British-Ghanaian owned company introduces a new segment to the online channel, in collaboration with Afrobeats star Sona, described as one of the stand-out artists of 2014, his previous singles “No Wahala”“Omo Deyi” and “Ijo Sona” have garnered over 500,000+ plays on YouTube and Sound Cloud, with rave reviews coming from leading African music websites and tastemakers includingAfrobeat360Jaguda and Okayafrica among others, as well as support from BBC1XtraCapital XtraBang RadioReprezent 107.3 FMSound City, Afrobeat 94FM and 1MusicNetworks.

Sona has much to say since his “wrongful” prison conviction and years in solitary confinement. Serving as the first taste of what is to come from Sona, “Do Me” and “Coming Home” featuring Jaij Hollands, is a glorious return to form for Afrobeat star. With its excellent R&B and Afrobeats sensibilities, the record shows off Sona’s infectious flow, lyrics and vocal melodies, and is sure to be an instant favourite among fans and critics alike.

ABOUT THE JOURNEY

One world, different journey’s. Be inspired.

Founded in 2012 by Nayoka Oware, The Journey is an online channel with the primary objective to inspire, encourage, motivate and entertain.

They communicate the message that irrespective of what you are told, you have a purpose! This is done through their tell all interviews with entertainers, actors, civil servants and more, who share their life experience/s in order to inspire the masses. To learn more visit www.nayokaoware.com

 

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