My Intership Experience by Ms Linda Phiri

“My time here was most definitely well spent and allowed for my personal and professional growth. There are various milestones I was able to reach at UNIC Accra, such as having an article published, drafting a feature, and representing a media team alongside my supervisor

Linda Phiri

Linda Phiri

where we administered crucial interviews at a UNESCO capacity building workshop. In addition, I was able to enhance my team work skills in a professional environment. All interns had both the opportunities to lead and also to follow during the planning of events and programs within UNIC Accra and in partnership with other UN agencies, local government and Non-Governmental Organizations.”

World Bank approves largest ever guarantees for Ghana’s energy transformation

Washington, July 30, 2015 – The World Bank has approved a record investment of $700 million in guarantees for Ghana’s Sankofa Gas Project – a transformational project that will help address the country’s serious energy shortages by developing new sources of clean and affordable natural gas for domestic power generation.

In a press release issued by the World Bank, the Bank’s Board of Directors approved a unique combination of two guarantees for the Project. The first is an International Development Association Payment guarantee of $500 million that supports timely payments for gas purchases by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.  The second guarantee is an International Bank for Reconstruction and development Enclave Loan guarantee of $200 million that enables the project to secure financing from its private sponsors. Together, the guarantees are expected to mobilize $7.9 billion in new private investment for offshore natural gas, representing the biggest foreign direct investment in Ghana’s history.

According to the World Bank, developing the Sankofa Gas Project – located 60 km offshore – is expected to bring significant benefits for Ghana by fueling up to 1,000 megawatts of clean power generation, replacing polluting and expensive oil-burning electricity. Once the Sankofa field starts to produce gas in early 2018, Ghana will be able to reduce its oil imports by up to 12 million barrels a year and cut carbon emissions by 1.6 million metric tons of CO2 annually.

International Day of Peace student design and essay contest new deadline: 21 August 2015

New York, July 30, 2015 – Young people between the ages of 5 and 18 are invited to submit their entries in a writing and drawing competition, organized by the Permanent Representation of the International Organisation of La Francophonie to the United Nations in New York and the UN Department of Public Information.   The aim of the competition is to enable young people illustrate the value of peace or how cultural diversity contributes to peace. Please download the competition flyer for further information and how to submit your entries.

UN Secretary-General appoints Eugene Owusu of Ghana as Deputy Special Representative in South Sudan

Juba, South Sudan, July 28, 2015 – The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon has appointed Eugene Owusu of Ghana as Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative to South Sudan.

Mr. Eugene Owusu

Mr. Eugene Owusu

In a press release issued by the UN Mission in South Sudan, Mr. Owusu has arrived at post.

He brings to the position extensive experience in international development and humanitarian affairs.

Education experts agree to train teachers and other educational actors to integrate diversity, anti-discrimination and gender equality activities into their lesson planning

Dodowa, Ghana, July 27, 2015 – Participants at UNESCO-organized four-day workshop to review the draft School-related Gender-based Violence (SRGBV) tool and strengthen the capacities of experts from Ministries of Education, Health and Culture to train teachers and other educational actors to integrate diversity, anti-discrimination and gender equality activities into their lesson planning, have agreed to develop a  project proposal for implementation on the next steps.

Ms Dzifa Gomashie addressing the participants

Ms Dzifa Gomashie addressing the participants

In a communique issued at the close of the workshop, the participants from Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria identified several approaches and activities such as testing the usability of the tool for educators and learners in-country and conducting a national orientation and validation meeting with key stakeholders.  They also agreed to strengthening existing teacher training process by integrating these modules and identifying areas within the existing curriculum where gender and diversity could be integrated, to ensure the goal of the workshop is met.

The closing ceremony of the workshop was attended by Ghana’s Deputy Minister for Tourism Culture and Creative Arts, Ms Dzifa Gomashie.

UNESCO workshop on how to “Integrate Modules on Diversity and Gender Classroom Activities in Comprehensive Sexuality Education”

Accra, July 23, 2015 – UNESCO recently organized a workshop on “Strengthening Capacities of Experts from Ministries of Education, Health and Culture to Further Integrate Modules on Diversity and Gender Classroom Activities in Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)” in Ghana.  There were over 45 participants from Nigeria, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. This information sheet, compiled by UNIC Accra, contains some scenes and views of participants at the workshop.

Ministry of Education commends UNESCO’s efforts at addressing SRGBV

Dodowa, 15 July 2015 – The Director of Policy, Budgeting, Monitoring & Evaluation of the Ministry of Education, Mr. Joseph Adomako, says basic schools are a crucial environment for tackling or addressing school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV).  He said the management of institutional and societal changes is most effective at this level of education, due to the fact that this is a crucial stage of socialization.

Mr. Adomako addressing participants

Mr. Adomako addressing participants

Mr. Adomako was speaking at a four-day sub-regional workshop on strengthening the institutional capacity of Ministries of Culture, Education and Health to deliver comprehensive sexuality education intervention for young people in the ECOWAS region.  He said enhancing the knowledge and experts to be able to integrate modules that promote diversity and gender education in schools is highly significant to the creation and strengthening of critical thinkers and commended UNESCO for organizing the workshop.

He expressed the hope that the workshop would result in “gravitate changes across the various government institutions [represented] to work collaboratively in ensuring an effective environment for teaching and learning.

Cross section of participants

Cross section of participants

The workshop is being attended by over 45 participants from Togo, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.  They would be expected to integrate SRGBV in school curriculum especially at the primary and lower secondary levels.

A policy paper on SRGBV issued by UNESCO and partners at the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York in March this year, indicates that SRGBV is a global concern because it prevents children, especially girls, from exercising their right to a safe, inclusive and quality education.  Despite this realization however, not much, in terms of policy directions, has been done to reduce its prevalence. Participants attending the workshop are therefore expected to gain increased knowledge and understanding of SRGBV to be able to train teachers and other educational actors in their countries to integrate activities on diversity and gender into their lesson planning.

The Director of UNESCO Ghana, Mr Tirso Dos Santos said gender equality in the world of education is crucial if we are to empower and transform the lives of young people.  He said UNESCO and partners will continue to work to ensure a “non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all” as indicative in the post-2015 development agenda.

UNESCO organises sub-regional workshop on gender and diversity

Dodowa, Ghana July 14, 2015 –  Representatives from Togo, Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana are attending a 4-day training workshop to increase their understanding on school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) and to strengthen their capacities on how to integrate SRGBV in school curriculum especially at the primary and lower secondary levels.

Mr Dos Santos addressing participants

Mr Dos Santos addressing participants

The training workshop on “gender and diversity class room activities” is organized by UNESCO, in partnership with the National Commission on UNESCO of the Ministry of Education.

A policy paper on SRGBV issued by UNESCO and partners at the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York in March this year, indicates that SRGBV is a global concern, preventing children, especially girls, from exercising their right to a safe, inclusive and quality education.  Despite this realization however, not much, in terms of policy directions, has been done to reduce its prevalence. Participants attending the workshop are therefore expected to gain increased knowledge and understanding of SRGBV to be able to train teachers and other educational actors in their countries to integrate activities on diversity and gender into their lesson planning.

The Director of UNESCO Ghana, Mr Tirso Dos Santos said gender equality in the world of education is crucial if we are to empower and transform the lives of young people.  He said UNESCO and partners will continue to work to ensure a “non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all” as indicative in the post-2015 development agenda.

Group Picture of Participants

Group Picture of Participants

The Programme Officer in Charge of Science at the National Commission on UNESCO in Ghana, under the Ministry of Education, Mr. Asare Apollonious, commended the UN for its global initiatives in promoting global citizenship and the development of individuals who are becoming critical thinkers. He further echoed the need for educational institutions to critically think through issues of diversity and gender education, especially in Africa where these issues are usually relegated to the background. He said this workshop will help the countries affected to be open to the happenings of the globalized world.

The Senior project Officer of the Health and Global Citizenship Education Section of UNESCO, Paris, Ms Joanna Herat emphasized the relevance of the workshop and the significance of the participants’ responses on reviewing the Global Guidance on SRGBV draft report in order to improve its quality, assess its practicality and relevance to the countries and institutions present.

Third International Conference on Financing for Development opens in Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, July 13, 2015 – The Third International Conference on Financing for Development has opened in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa with calls to ensure the necessary resources to improve people’s lives while protecting the planet. The outcome of the 4-day conference which has brought together Heads of States and Governments, relevant institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations and business sector entities, “Addis Ababa Action Agenda” will be the starting point of a new path for financing a new set of Sustainable Development Goals.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the Global Civil Society Forum held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the eve of the opening of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FFD3)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the Global Civil Society Forum held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the eve of the opening of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FFD3)

The conference focuses attention on key emerging issues and multilateral efforts to promote international development cooperation. Participants will assess progress of Monterrey Consensus and Doha Declaration as well as the existing challenges facing the achievement of these initiatives.

The UN Secretary-General on the eve of the conference in Addis Ababa, encouraged stakeholders that their contribution of resources remains key to the execution of commitments for global development goals.  He stated that the Conference marked a starting point for global cooperation and partnership. He also mentioned that the Addis Ababa Agenda was a crucial step towards the Post-2015 Development Goals because it presents an ambitious framework to discuss vital financial and related issues relevant to global development.

Economic Development in Africa report 2015 drives intense discussion on Ghana’s economy

Accra, July 13, 2015 – At the launch of this year’s Economic Development in Africa Report 2015 in Accra, the Coordinator of Third World Network Africa, Dr. Yao Graham not only managed to provide an in depth briefing on the information provided in the report, but also guided the audience in a nuanced analysis that drove intense discussion among the audience.

Launch of the EDA report 2015 in Accra

Launch of the EDA report 2015 in Accra

Dr. Graham focused on the importance of optimizing the infrastructural service sector in Africa, describing the service sector as ‘something you cannot drop on your toe”, distinguishing these non-tangible goods, such as transport, energy, water or financial services from tangible goods.  He later delved into specifics on Ghana, in what he called “The Ghanaian experience” towards structural transformation. According to Dr. Graham, the concept of Africa rising is worrying because the quality of growth is not creating employment and thus not transformational, a necessity for sustainable growth.

Launch of the EDA report 2015 by Dr Graham

Launch of the EDA report 2015 by Dr Graham

In the area of manufacturing in Ghana, Dr. Graham noted that “Liberalisation and import dependent consumption has destroyed the manufacturing sector”.  Touching on the way forward to ensure economic development, Dr. Graham said “we do not need to reinvent the wheel”, but rather optimize existing sectors by moving higher up on the value chain.

Following the presentation of the report, various questions were asked by the audience who were highly engaged. An all-encompassing question presented was regarding what can be done after the launch to create noticeable change.  In response, Dr. Graham encouraged the media to play a role in fueling conversation around the issues raised in the report.  He also encouraged institutions to provide seminars where people can discuss the issues and create action plans.

Dr. Graham presenting the report

Dr. Graham presenting the report

He commended the work of UNCTAD in providing this important piece of information which can provide a platform for necessary discourse to enable action.

The EDA report 2015, subtitled, Unlocking the Potential of Africa´s Services Trade for Growth and Development, examines some of the major policy issues that underlie Africa’s services sector and provides policy guidance on how services, if adequately harnessed, could contribute to Africa’s regional integration and generate inclusive growth and employment.