Category Archives: Latest News

Youth reach out to youth as part of International Youth Day activities

Cape Coast, August 11, 2015 – The global theme for this year’s International Youth Day has been “Youth Civic Engagement.” However, the theme tailored to fit the planned activity by UNIC and partners is “Ensuring Healthy Life and Promoting Well-being for All Ages”.  This theme sought to implore as many youth as possible to willingly contribute their services freely to the development of their communities.

Ms Prah addressing the gathering prior to the health screening

Ms Prah addressing the gathering prior to the health screening

Approximately 70 young volunteers comprising of medical doctors, students, nurses and pharmacists from Ghana and different parts of the world volunteered at the event, which was a health outreach at Nyinasin and Elmina. The dedicated efforts of the youth to the success of the event was a testimony to the essence of youth civic engagement, for which the National Information Officer of UNIC Accra Ms. Cynthia Prah, applauded the volunteers. The Director of FEB Foundation Dr.

Dr. Baidoo addressing the gathering

Dr. Baidoo addressing the gathering

Francis Baidoo, a young doctor who put together the team of volunteers, expressed untold excitement at the opportunity to give back to his community. He urged all present to practice healthy living to ensure maximum productivity and longevity. He also acknowledged the selfless efforts of Project Abroad Organization, Living Hope Ministries, Nkwa Foundation and AIESEC UCC.

The health screening at Elmina

The health screening at Elmina

A community profile on Nyinasin, conducted by the FEB Foundation indicates a rise in cases of teenage pregnancy and high rates of school dropouts, as such the presence of educated young men and women at the outreach was a source of inspiration for the youth.  Volunteers mentored the youth on issues of reproductive health, personal hygiene and the need to pursue higher education.

 A group of female teenagers including Sekina, 14, Hajaratu 16 and Samiratu 14, interacted with the volunteers and expressed their desire to learn hard, travel the world and help other communities as they have observed them do.

The response from the community has been encouraging. Grace Mensah, a 49 year old beneficiary from Elmina expressed how invaluable the outreach has been to her since she lacks the resources to seek regular health checks. She was very grateful for the opportunity to be freely screened for Hepatitis B and appealed that more of such exercises be frequently organized.

International Youth Day health outreach in the face of striking doctors in Ghana

Nyinasin, Cape Coast, August 11, 2015 – Doctors in various public health facilities in Ghana have laid down their tools for nearly a week as part of a nationwide strike to demand better remuneration for their services.  Negotiations are ongoing between the Ghana Health Service and the Ghana Medical Association and media reports indicate continuous increase in the number of patients seen at Out Patient Departments in major public hospitals across the country.

A volunteer attending to a beneficiary

A volunteer attending to a beneficiary

It is in this light that the health outreach to commemorate International Youth Day 2015, organized by UNIC Accra and the FEB Foundation and supported by UNFPA, the Ghana Aids Commission, and the National Youth Authority could not have come at a better time. The event aimed to provide free health services to the residents of Nyinasin and Elmina in the Central Region of Ghana.  Residents of these two communities are

Some of the volunteers in action attending to beneficiaries

Some of the volunteers in action attending to beneficiaries

challenged with inadequate health facilities, among others. Dozens of young volunteers from the medical field—students, doctors, nurses and pharmacists—spent nearly 8 hours to provide free medical service.

More residents awaiting their turn to be attended to

More residents awaiting their turn to be attended to

Several cases of malaria, fever, malnutrition, diabetes, high blood pressure, diarrhea, skin rashes and many water borne diseases were recorded during the exercise.  Personnel provided as much relief as the available resources could cater; participants were also educated on personal hygiene, family planning, HIV/AIDS prevention, water treatment methods, nutrition and other disease prevention lifestyles.

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.

 

 

 

Global Leaders Call for Increased Financing to End Malaria under Post-2015 Development Agenda

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – July 13, 2015 As global leaders gather in Addis Ababa for the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD), the malaria community has outlined a vision for a malaria-free world and, in order to achieve it, called for increased investment in malaria control and elimination efforts around the world to bring an end to this costly scourge. A special side event titled Malaria Financing for a New Era: An Exceptional Case for Investment was convened by H.E. Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, as host country of the conference and Chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance. Government leaders, UN officials and development stakeholders highlighted malaria as a cost-effective investment for development and urged greater commitment to build on the unprecedented progress seen under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Group picture of dignitaries at the event

Group picture of dignitaries at the event

This call, according to a press release issued by the RBM, comes just months before the UN Member States plan to adopt a new set of Global Goals for Sustainable Development which calls for malaria elimination by 2030.