Thursday, March 26, 2009


The Executive Secretary of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Mr Vitus Azeem, has called on religious leaders to use the pulpit to preach on corruption in the society.
He also entreated them to practice what they preach and do “good housekeeping” which would eventually enable them to earn the respect of both the citizens and the government.
The executive secretary made the call at the opening of a two-day training workshop on ethics for religious leaders in Tamale last Monday.
It was aimed at creating awareness among religious bodies on corruption, its manifestations and its negative impact on governance and development of the society.
It had as its theme: “Zero tolerance for corruption: the role of religious bodies in Ghana”.
It was organised jointly by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the National Catholic Secretariat, Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission and the Christian Council of Ghana.
Mr Azeem explained that religious bodies would gain more credibility as champions of transparency and accountability if they practised the virtues they preached.
“A corrupt religious body can never challenge a corrupt society; religions must, therefore, choose to bring their traditions and avowed opposition to corruption to bear on their own practices and the examples set by their leaders and key organisations, ” Mr Azeem said.
He said the GII was one of the proactive civil society organisations recognised by the government of Ghana and its development partners as an essential component in fighting corruption and achieving good governance.
The Northern Regional Chairman of the Inter-Religious Dialogue Committee, Alhaji Dr Al-Hussein Zakaria, called on religious bodies to use their inter-faith dialogue to help eradicate corruption in the society.
He noted that religious bodies had the mandate to fight political, moral, administrative and financial corruption and must also focus on fighting institutional corruption.
The chairman also bemoaned the spate of embezzlement cases coming out, sex scandals and the abuse of public trust among religious leaders in the country.
Those acts, he maintained, were “unbecoming of religious leaders who are expected to live above reproach to build credible public image and function as role models”.
Dr Zakaria stressed that eradicating corruption was a “super ordinate goal” that could not be achieved by only one religious body.
“For some time now, religious leaders have engaged in dialogue which has much to do with talking together at seminars but the time has come to transform talking together to working together to solve common problems”, he further said.
During an open forum, some of the participants blamed some religious leaders for their failure to preach seriously against corruption in the society.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


PARTICIPANTS in the third Harmattan School on food security and poverty reduction in northern Ghana have entreated the government and development partners to provide the needed funding to facilitate research into indigenous crops that are crucial in fighting hunger in the northern part of the country.
They said in view of the increases in food prices, it was necessary for the government to invest more in the research and development of non-traditional foods, particularly in the northern Ghana, to improve on food security.
The participants also suggested the setting up of an independent board to effectively manage the shea-nut industry while ensuring that the guinea fowl industry was given the needed logistical and financial support to ensure its competitive advantage in the northern part of the country.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the two-day school that was organised by the Centre for Continuing Education and Interdisciplinary Research of the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale.
It was aimed, among other objectives, at discussing the factors responsible for the global food crisis, its severity and effects on food security in northern Ghana.
The school is a policy think tank that was initiated in February, 2007 to promote advocacy to help improve on accountability in the development discourse of northern Ghana.
This year’s school was on the theme, “Food security and poverty reduction: Conventional and non-conventional food production”. In all, 50 participants from academia and civil society organisations took part in the deliberations.
The acting Vice Chancellor of the UDS, Professor Kaku Sagary Nokoe, who presented the communiqué, emphasised that “despite the numerous government and non-governmental interventions aimed at reducing poverty and improving food security in northern Ghana, the area continued to face high levels of food insecurity”.
“There is the need to provide policy alternatives that will ensure food security in the north and respond to emergency situations such as the recent floods and the global crunch,” he said.
According to him, it was necessary to improve on such indigenous crops as Sesame, Tamarandus, Frafra potatoes and aerial yam.
“Just as there is a Cocoa Research Institute, the government should establish a shea-nut research institute with budgetary allocations so as to encourage research into the commercialisation of the shea tree,” the vice chancellor stated.
He further observed that those in the guinea fowl industry needed such facilities as feed, drugs, housing, water and microcredit to help boost the industry.