Science Communication Requires Collaboration

Accra, 5 May 2017Effective science communication requires more collaboration between researchers, communications officers and journalists. This was one of the key messages in a 2-day science reporting workshop jointly organised by the United Nations University Institute for Natural

A cross section of the participants

Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), the United Nations University Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT), Netherlands and the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Accra. The workshop, dubbed “Reach & Turn” aimed to help bridge the gap between science communication and science journalism. A press release issued by the UNU-INRA, indicates that the workshop was a joint UN effort aims at contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (particularly SDG#4 (Quality Education), #13 (Climate Action) and #17 (Partnership).

UNESCO & partners to hold music conference in commemoration of International Jazz Day

Accra, 19 April 2017 – The sixth annual International Jazz Day will be observed globally on 30 April 2017. The day will culminate with an All-Star Global Concert presented at the Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso, under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture of Cuba, the Cuban Institute of Music and the Cuban National Commission for UNESCO. The concert will be live streamed by UNESCO and will feature an extraordinary array of artists from around the world paying tribute to the international art form of jazz.

In Ghana, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will collaborate with Alliance Française and the International Music Council to organise the 3rd Impact Music Conference which seeks to bring together creators, record labels, content platforms and creative entrepreneurs to discuss the various opportunities and challenges that the emergence of digital tools has had in the music sector.

The conference which is funded by the UNESCO Participation Programme, will take place on April 26 & 27 @ 9am with a special focus on the role that women can/should play in the music sector.  The sessions will be interactive, accessible to everyone and practical and relevant for young female music/culture professionals.

Read further.

UN officials denounce reprehensible acts of vigilante groups in Ghana

Accra, 10 April 2017 – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, and the Resident Coordinator of the UN system in Ghana, Christine Evans-Klock, have followed with consternation the acts of impunity perpetrated by the Delta Force vigilante group in Ghana and outrightly denounce these reprehensible acts.

In a joint press release issued in Accra today, they both welcome positively the unambiguous condemnation of these acts by the government and expect that all necessary measures will be taken to investigate these actions and bring the perpetrators to justice.

 

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Remember Slavery tour of the Slave River site: Views from students

Assin Manso, Ghana, 7 April 2017 – The United Nations Information Centre in Accra led about 1000 students to tour the Assin Manso River as part of this year’s International Day of
Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Referred to as the Slave River, the Assin Manso River runs through the woods in Assin Manso, some 40km down the Cape Coast-Kumasi highway.

Students enter the slave river site

It is believed that captives from different parts of the country and other West African countries were held at the Slave River, where they received their last bath, they were auctioned and branded before led to the slave castle in Cape Coast and transported out of the country.

What do the students think of the tour and the lessons they have learnt? Read this special compilation by UNIC Accra.

Over 1000 students tour Slave River in Ghana to remember slavery

Assin Manso, 3 April 2017 – Some 1000 students from three schools in Assin Manso in the Central region of Ghana joined the rest of the world this year to mark the International Day for the Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade with a tour of the Assin Manso river site and to reflect on the ordeal of slaves who were held there. The tour of the site was organized by UNIC Accra with support from the Department of Public Information Remember Slavery Programme.

Mr. Addo briefs students

Referred to as the Slave River, the Assin Manso River runs through the woods in Assin Manso, some 40 kilometers down the Cape Coast-Kumasi highway. It is believed that slaves from the Northern part of the country and from other West African countries were held at the Slave River, where they received their last bath, auctioned and branded before led to the slave castle in Cape Coast and transported out of the country.

Students at the river

The students, from Assin Manso Senior High School, Adankwaman Senior High School in Assin Darmang and Assin Nsuta Agriculture Senior High School in Assin Nsuta, were briefed by the Slave River site manager, Mr. Kwaku Addo.  He explained the concept of slavery to the students and cautioned them against prejudices and injustice. The students later took turns to tour the site to gain a deeper understanding of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the agony of the slaves. For these students, reliving the moments of the slaves at the Slave River, was educative, informative and emotional.   In an interview, 16-year-old Albert Dwumfor Sarpong remarks: “coming here helps us to know and appreciate the past and to honour our ancestors”.  And 16-year-old Millicent Gyamfi adds: “I have learnt that we are all equal, we should denounce maltreatment and we should learn to work together for our common good”. Continue reading

UN Peacekeepers Provide Urgently Needed Medical Services to Population in Leer

South Sudan, 27 March 2017 – Ghanaian peacekeeping troops (GHANBATT) serving under the UN Mission in South Sudan are providing desperately needed medical services to the local population in Leer County in Southern Unity state.

Dr. Agyiri

Health facilities in the region have been subject to looting during the on-going conflict.  In addition, several local health partners were evacuated, leaving the county without a functioning health facility to provide basic services.

These dire circumstances made UN peacekeepers step in to lend aid to pregnant women suffering complications during delivery at the clinic in Leer.

Dr. Bny Agyiri, a physician with the Ghanaian battalion operating at the temporary base, explained their activities in the county. Read further.

Ghanaian Peacekeepers Save Lives by Swiftly Containing Fire Outbreaks in a South Sudan’s Protection site

South Sudan, 27 March 2017 – Swift, well-coordinated actions by different components of UNMISS saw two separate outbreaks of fire in the Bentiu protection of civilians site being taken care of without any resulting deaths or injuries. The fires, occurring over the weekend, destroyed a total of 117 shelters.

 “The coordination between different components of UNMISS was really commendable and that was what made a timely and effective response possible,” says Anastasie Nyirigira, Acting Head of the UNMISS Bentiu Field Office. 

As soon as the fire was reported, an integrated team consisting of members of the  the Ghanaian military troops and Formed Police Unit, UN Police, Mongolian troops and UN Security personnel responded swiftly. They controlled the fire, and kept people safely away from it.

Read further

World Water Day marked with students in Accra

Accra, March 23, 2017 –  World Water Day; the essence of water; why we must use water wisely and; accessibility of water were some of the topics discussed with about 100 Grade 7 (Junior High School 1) students of Independence Avenue 1 and 2 Junior High School at a World Water Day outreach event.

15-yr old Alhassan Malik

When asked how many students could relate to the practice of fetching water before school, several of the students raised their hands. According to one of the pupils, it is a household chore and as a matter of fact, they “…cannot sit for [their] parents to fetch water for [them]”.

The discussion on access to water went on and on until 15-year old Alhassan Malik stood up and said “It is wrong for students to travel miles for water before they go to school”.  Intrigued by Malik’s response, I asked him to explain why it is wrong for children to wake up early and carry water on their heads before they prepare for school.  This is what he had to say: “It is wrong because we will be late for school, we will be tired by the time we get to school and even sleep in class or we may miss important lessons in school”. And the class applauded Malik, perhaps for being bold enough to say what they each go through as a result of fetching water before school.

A student showcases her work

For many of the students, fetching water before school is a routine. Though they are not comfortable doing it, they have no other choice. For the others who were not engaged in this practice, they saw the need to use water wisely so that the little available will be enough for several households.

Following the discussions, the students were offered pencils, erasers and papers to sketch their thought on the essence of water and therefore World Water Day, after which some students presented their work to the entire class. The need to preserve and use water wisely run through their messages.

At the end of the event, the Head Mistress of Independence Avenue 1 JHS, Mrs. Lydia Bamfo expressed appreciation to UNIC Accra for choosing their school for such an insightful programme and asked the students to take what they have learnt seriously and apply them to their daily lives.

PLURAL+ 2017 youth video festival/competition call for entries

Accra, March 20, 2016PLURAL + has called for entries for its 2017  youth video festival on migration, diversity and social inclusion.

PLURAL + is a joint initiative between the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the International Organization for Migration, with a network of over 30 partner organizations, who support the creative efforts of young people and distribute their videos worldwide.

PLURAL+ recognizes youth as powerful agents of social change, and supports cooperative efforts to reduce tensions in a world often characterized by conflict and division.

PLURAL+ aims to support dialogue between young people from different cultures, and in the process, increase awareness and respect for diversity.

Last year over 300 videos were submitted to PLURAL+, of those, 27 were selected for awards.

PLURAL+ International Jury Award winners are invited to New York for the Awards Ceremony.

Kindly note that the deadline to submit entries is 4 June 2017.

Visit the PLURAL + for details.

UN Ghana calls for redress of persisting challenges facing women in the informal economy

Accra, Ghana: 8 March 2017 – Today 8 March is celebrated globally as the International Women’s Day (IWD). As the world marks this important day, our attention is being drawn to the rapidly changing environment in the world of work, the different jobs, roles and business opportunities women encounter in their work life, and the need to enhance their economic empowerment. Hence the theme “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50:50 by 2030”.

In a press release issued today, the team of United Nations Agencies working in Ghana and its Gender Team recognise women’s contributions to national development through all manner of work, including in the informal economy.

According to the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Christine Evans-Klock, “When we talk about women at work, we often leave out women in the informal sector,” She adds that “Today, as we mark International Women’s Day, we would like to particularly recognise the hard work and the economic contributions of women in the informal economy. We need to support their efforts to transform their farms, learn new skills, and grow their businesses.”