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Ghana to participate in VNR in July 2019

Ghana has begun preparations to participate in the Voluntary National Review (VNR) at the United Nations in July 2019 during the High-Level Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), the lead national agency for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the country, Ghana’s VNR report will focus on the national policy and regulatory environment for the SDGs and the Agenda 2063 and the status and progress of implementation of all the 17 Goals.  As a cross cutting theme, the review will also capture how well the youth has been engaged in the SDGs, the concept of “Leave no one behind” to assess the level of inclusiveness and the synergies across the goals.

The NDPC plans a robust process of preparations to involve the academia, Civil Society Organisations, the United Nations, Development Partners and the private sector.

During a media launch in Accra to formally announce Ghana’s VNR participation in 2019, the Minister for Planning, Prof. George Gyan-Baffour asked that the UN System in the country supports the process. He also called on the media to strengthen advocacy around the SDGs implementation. A key concern for the government is the low level of awareness around the SDGs among the general public and the role of the media in addressing this gap was highlighted.

The UN Resident Coordinator a.i. Ms. Sylvia Lopez-Ekra assured the government of the UN’s continuous technical support to ensure a successful completion of the review and the full achievement of the SDGs.

Ghana hosts the Africa launch of the Climate Change in Africa Guidebook for Journalists

Accra, 22 May, 2014 – The UNESCO publication, “Climate Change in Africa: A Guidebook for Journalist” has been launched in Accra, under the auspices of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Ghana. The guidebook, which is prepared by UNESCO in collaboration with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Internews/Earth Journalism Network, aims at providing journalists with information and in-depth knowledge on climate change.

President Kufuor launches the guidebook for journalists

President Kufuor launches the guidebook for journalists

Launching the Guidebook, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change and Former President of Ghana, H.E. John Agyekum Kufuor emphasized the importance of journalists as major stakeholder in propagating the impact of climate change.  He cited the Guidebook as an essential instrument to equip journalists to play their role as such effectively.

Mr. Kufuor said, “Within the past three decades, our world has undergone some drastic climatic changes which threaten the existence of humanity” and urged countries, especially, Ghana, to initiate afforestation programmes by planting various trees to help absorb carbon dioxide that is destroying the ozone layer.

In a speech read on his behalf, the President of Ghana, H.E. John Dramani Mahama reiterated government’s commitments to adaptation and mitigation efforts, both at the national and international levels. “Climate change must be seen as a developmental issue and not an environmental problem because it impacts all aspect of social lives”, he noted.

Prof Oteng-Yeboah & UN RC ai Susan Ngongi at the launch of the UNESCO Guidebook for Journalists

Prof Oteng-Yeboah & UN RC ai Susan Ngongi at the launch of the UNESCO Guidebook for Journalists

Ms Susan Ngongi, UN Resident Coordinator (a.i), encouraged journalists to use the climate change book as a guide in telling the story of climate change.

Present at the function were the Minister of Education, Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, who also doubles as the Chairperson of the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO; Ms Moji Okuribido of UNESCO country office and Affail Monney, President of the Ghana Journalists’ Association.

The 91-page guidebook targets journalists, editors, teachers and media trainers and is expected to deepen their understanding of key concepts in Climate Change reporting and to improve coverage on the subject.

UNAIDS Protect the Goal Soccer Ball arrives in Ghana this week

Accra, 19 May 2014 – The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), in partnership with Ghana AIDS Commission and the Ghana Football Association and in close collaboration with the Ministries of Youth and Sports as well as Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts has announced an official stopover of the “Protect the Goal” campaign World Tour in Ghana. This Global Tour, which runs under the slogan “From Soweto to Bahia” will take a “Protect the Goal” football from South Africa towards Brazil, around the occasion of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The “Global Ball” is currently travelling through some African Nations including Cameroon, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Algeria and will arrive in Ghana on Wednesday 21st May where it is expected to be signed by HE John Dramani Mahama in the afternoon of the 23rd of May 2014 at the Office of the President, Flagstaff House.

A press interaction will be held on the same day with national authorities and the Global Tour Team.

The ball will then travel to other countries before finally landing in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, on June 9th 2014.

Read the detailed press release issued by the Ghana Protect the Goal Team for more information on the “Protect the Goal” World Tour.

Over 100 delegates gather in Accra to define “The Africa We Want”

Accra, April 28, 2014 – Over 100 delegates today gathered for a 3-day Pan African Conference on Inequalities in Accra to address issues of inequalities in the context of structural transformation facing the African continent and to redefine and contribute to the African discourse on development post-MDG and for “the African agenda for 2063”.  The conference was opened by the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. John Dramani Mahama. President Mahama challenged the participants to create the “language that imagines the Africa we need and the world we must create” for ourselves and generations to come. He said to speak of inequalities is to dare to ask the question why the difference exists despite recorded growth on the continent. President Mahama noted that “Africa’s growth will not be sustainable unless we address issues of inequalities and ensure that the growth is an inclusive one”. He thanks the organisers and participants of the conference and expressed the hope that people everywhere would consider inclusive growth as a necessity.

Opening session of the conference

Opening session of the conference

There were goodwill messages from the Danish government, the United Nations and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

The conference, among other things, is expected to define “The Africa we want” as input to the global deliberations on “The World We Want”, a global call by the United Nations that seeks to include the voices of people everywhere in defining the post-2015 development agenda.

Some delegates at the UN exhbition stand

Some delegates at the UN exhbition stand

As a side event, the United Nations system mounted an exhibition on inequalities in Ghana within the context of its Development Assistance Framework and its interventions, in partnership with partners, to address those inequalities.

For more on the Pan-African Conference, please visit

Salem Senior High School Students ‘Dream Big’ on Nelson Mandela Day

Accra- Nelson Mandela Day outreach activity at Salem

Salem Senior High School (Salem SHS) was brought to life on Nelson Mandela International Day when the United Nations Information Centre in Accra, joined the rest of the world to congregate in service to commemorate the Day.  The event was in response to the request by the United Nations and the Mandela Foundation “to devote at least 67 minutes of [our] time on 18 July to community service.” Hence, it was with pride and pleasure that staff of UNIC Accra spent a few hours with students of the school for an interactive day of learning. Various topics were covered, ranging from promoting peace, motivational messages to Mandarin Chinese language lessons during the learning session.

NIO Cynthia Prah briefs students of UNIC Accra's Nelson Mandela Day outreach event

NIO Cynthia Prah briefs students of UNIC Accra’s Nelson Mandela Day outreach event

Located in Osu, in the Accra metropolitan area, Salem SHS is a mixed day-school with approximately 400 students, aged between 13 and 17 years. It offers courses mainly in Business, Visual Arts, General Arts and Home Economics. The school began as an alternative place for students who did not gain admission into Osu Presbyterian Senior High School owing to their relatively poor grades.

Despite their academic status, Salem SHS captured the full attention of UNIC Accra on the occasion.  UNIC staff, including four interns, each took up a class to teach about Nelson Mandela and the importance of perseverance.  Salem SHS was chosen given their history of accommodating students with comparatively low grades. Sharing Mandela’s courageous and inspirational life lessons to never give up was to encourage the students to dream big.

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UNIC Accra and SICCA launch World Sickle Cell Day 2013

Accra This year’s World Sickle Cell Awareness Day was launched in Accra with a call on the general public to desist from stigmatising people with the sickle cell condition. The call was made by Dr. Linda Vanooto, the Greater Accra Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service.  She said, sickle cell is manageable when the condition is well understood.

Dr. Linda Vanooto Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service

Dr. Linda Vanooto Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service

The press launch of the Day was organised by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Accra in collaboration with Sickle Cell Condition Advocates (SICCA), a local NGO to create awareness among Ghanaians about the condition which affects as much as 18,000 babies in the country each year.

In a presentation, highlighting the state of sickle cell in Ghana, the Head of the Ghana Institute of Clinical Genetics, Dr. Ivy Ekem said sickle cell is a significant health problem in 71% per cent of 229 countries worldwide. It accounts for about 3.4% of deaths in children less than 5 years of age in the country with 2% of children at birth having the condition.

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Launch of the Least Developed Countries Report 2012

Accra – Much of the media present at the launch of UNCTAD’s Least Developed Countries Report 2012 in Accra were very much interested in issues such as the relationship between diaspora and the global economic down turn, the mechanisms put in place by the UN to retain skilled personnel in their home country and what the UN is doing to ensure that the recommended policies in the report are implemented b LDCs. Continue reading

UNIC Accra partners with Ministry of Women and Children’s Affair to sensitize youth on gender-based violence

Accra – 500 students from nine schools in Ghana’s Volta Region have been taken through the legal provisions on gender-based violence and what the youth can do to curb the incidence of violence against women.  They were also sensitized on the human rights implications for Ghana’s development as far as violence against women and children are concerned.  This was during a one-day seminar held as part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence observation in Ghana under the local theme “Peace in the World Begins from the Home, Let us End Gender-Based Violence Now”. Continue reading