Friday, November 27, 2009


STORY: Vincent Amenuveve, Tamale

THE Northern Regional Police Command says it has picked up signals which indicate that some Mamprugu youth are being mobilised in the Northern Region for an operation in the Upper East Region in support of their kinsmen involved in the intractable Bawku conflict.
Consequently, a strong security team has been positioned at Nalerigu to deal with that threat to security.
According to the Northern Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Angwubutoge Awuni, the youth had also resorted to psychological tactics, levelling all manner of allegations against security personnel to create disaffection for them.
He said the latest in the spate of allegations was the complaint lodged with the police by two women that they had been raped by some military personnel who were on patrol duties at Nalerigu.
ACP Awuni said the police had given the two women forms to go to hospital for medical check up to establish the veracity or otherwise of their claims.
He said if the allegation turned out to be true, the women would be made to identify the culprits for the law to take its course.
At the time of filing this report, ACP Awuni said the victims were yet to return the medical reports to the police.
He said he had asked the District Police Commander to trace the women for the medical reports to facilitate investigations into the allegations.
ACP Awuni said he also had information that the Military High Command had despatched a team to come to the area to also investigate the allegations against the soldiers.
The Police Commander explained that the a joint police-military patrol team heard sporadic gunshots in the area and decided to mount a thorough search.
He said in the course of the search, the team entered a room and discovered a man and a woman making love but the woman, who was apparently afraid, screamed and ran out of the room.
Not long after that, the commander explained, some residents of the area claimed that some women had been raped during the search.
He said the Regional Security Council might beef up security in the Nalerigu area to help maintain law and order, explaining that the withdrawal of the security would be dependent on how well the people conducted themselves.
Meanwhile, some residents of the area have allegedly burnt a house belonging to the prime suspect in the murder of the People’s National Convention (PNC) parliamentary candidate for the Nalerigu Constituency in the 2008 general election, Moses Alando Banaba.
ACP Awuni indicated that the police had told the chiefs in the area to appeal to the youth to desist from engaging in acts of lawlessness.
Meanwhile, the burial of the late Banaba is expected to take place at Nalerigu today.
Banaba was killed by unknown assailants at Nalerigu.
The prime suspect in the case, Salifu Tia, alias Salifu Zongo Naaba, a 31-year-old farmer, has been arrested by the police.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


THE UNDERPRIVILEGED, including destitutes, lepers and mentally challenged persons in the Tamale Metropolis will forever be grateful to management of the Shekinah Clinic located at Gurugu, a suburb of the metropolis.
Established in March 1991 by Dr. David Abdulai who is also the Resident Medical Doctor, the clinic has over the years served as a home to many poor residents including those who have been abandoned by their families for various reasons.
It is gratifying to note that the clinic also serves as a home and place of healing to some patients and those allegedly abandoned by their relatives from neighbouring countries like Togo and Benin.Currently there are 35 destitutes at the clinic.
In cases where some of the patients are abandoned by their relatives, and in the event of their death, the management collaborates with the police to bury the corpses at their own expense.
On the average, the clinic performs 21 hernia operations in a week and for the same period, it records 120 outpatient attendance.
The management of the clinic has also initiated a food programme where 150 people including the mentally challenged roaming the streets of Tamale are fed free of charge.
Additionally, 25 poor widows and about 80 elderly women living on their own are served with a ration of maize every two weeks.
During festivities like Christmas , between 2,500 and 3,000 poor people are fed.
Abandoned HIV/AIDS patients are also housed within the premises of the clinic.
These services being carried out by the clinic have come at a time when authorities of the Ghana Health Service have intensified their education on the need for residents to avoid stigmatisation of lepers, HIV/AIDS patients and others .
It is, heartwarming to note that the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TAMA) and the Ghana Water Company Limited have taken up the payment of the electricity and water bills respectively as their contribution to the provision of health care delivery to the patients.
Dr Abdulai summed up the vision and mission of the clinic during an interaction with the Daily Graphic: “I am running two clinics aimed primarily at giving comfort and hope to the poor and the destitute.
“We depend on divine providence for survival”, he stated.


RESIDENTS of the Tamale Metropolis have been urged to adopt healthy lifestyles by eating balanced diets.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Youth for Peace and Communication Development (NYPCD), Mr Yussif Hamid, who made the call during a workshop on regenerative health and nutrition, noted that both the poor and the rich could maintain healthy lifestyles and eat nutritious meals to keep them healthy.
“It should not be an excuse for us to say because we are poor we cannot maintain healthy lifestyles and eat balanced diets”.
He observed that some people had become impoverished because of their bad eating habits.
The Tamale Metropolitan Nutrition Officer, Hajia Azara Amadu, for her part observed that regenerative health had become necessary because of the increasing number of cases of preventable diseases at the various health facilities.
“The diseases are preventable and avoidable because in most instances, we all act in ignorance, adopt certain lifestyles and make certain choices everyday that cause degeneration or our health, bodies and ultimately lead to disability and death” she stressed.
According to her, regenerative health worked on four principles, food, water, exercise and rest.
“As a crucial component of our bodies, it just makes sense that we become more attentive to the replenishment of water, particularly in our warm, tropical environment which contributes to a high loss of fluids.
It is recommended that we drink 8-10 glasses of water a day” Hajia Amadu stated.


THE MANAGEMENT of Umarib Ghana Limited, a company set up to help enforce road traffic regulations in the Tamale Metropolis has expressed concern about an alleged attack on one of its taskforce members while discharging his duties in the metropolis.
The management condemned such acts of lawlessness saying it had the tendency of discouraging young men who wanted to complement the efforts of the police in maintaining discipline on the streets of Tamale.
The Director of the company, Mr Adnan Bawa, and its Operational Commander, warrant officer Alhaji Issah Mumuni retd told the Daily Graphic that the victim, Seidu Abukari was among a number of taskforce members that were detailed by the company to arrest vehicle owners that parked wrongly around the U-turn near the Victory Cinema area and other parts of the metroplis.
They explained that already the company had received several complaints from taxi drivers around the Victory Cinema area about the refusal of some of their colleagues to load within the Victory Station, in their bid to evade tax
“Based on that information our boys were detailed to bring sanity to that area; they arrested a couple of them to discourage them from loading around the U-turn”, the managers pointed out.
According to them however, on November 9, 2009, a task force member arrested a taxi driver who allegedly parked around the U-turn, to pick passengers.
They claimed the driver of the vehicle with registration number GR 6722 X pleaded to be allowed to drop the passengers to which the member of the task force agreed but on reaching the Aboabu forest area, the driver allegedly stopped and asked the victim to get down.
The driver reportedly called someone on his cellphone and within a few minutes after the driver’s colleagues, appeared on the scene they allegedly attacked the victim and injured him in the head .
He was then rushed to the Tamale West Hospital where he was treated.
The management claimed the matter had been reported to the police.
Meanwhile the police have arrested two persons who are currently on police enquiry bail. According to the management the company was established in 1998 to, among other things, help reduce unemployment and accidents in the metropolis as well as to help raise enough revenue for the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly.

Monday, November 23, 2009


THE Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, has cut the sod for the construction of a $10 million ultra-modern Shea-nut Processing Plant at Buipe in the Central Gonja District of the Northern Region.
The project, which is expected to be completed by June, next year, would process shea-nut into sheabutter and other derivatives. The facility when installed would process 30 tonnes of sheanut daily.
The Brazilian Company, LDS Machinery and Equipment Limited, is constructing the facility while the Sysgate Limited, another Brazilian company, would market the products from the plant.
The plant is strategically located at Buipe to enable the PBC to buy shea-nut from the three northern regions as well as the northern fringes of the Brong Ahafo, Ashanti and the Volta regions.
It is also envisaged that when the project becomes fully operational, it would enhance the economic fortunes of farmers, gatherers, collectors and agents in the shea-nut industry in northern Ghana.
The Vice President announced that the presidency was sending a proposal to the Ghana Cocobod to facilitate the establishment of a Sheanut Marketing Board, with its headquarters to be located in any part of the three northern regions.
“We hope to create jobs when the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) becomes operational within the first quarter of next year”,Mr Mahama observed.
According to him, under the SADA, two firms in Sweden and India were prepared to help produce ethanol from sugarcane and jute respectively.
He further urged the youth in Buipe to take advantage of the facility to improve on their lot.
The Vice-President expressed regret that between 30 and 35 per cent of available shea-nut were picked for processing, leaving about 70 per cent to rot or be destroyed by bush burning.
The Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Nayina, stressed the need for substantial investment to maintain the shea trees.
He noted that the drudgery and crude methods involved in the extraction of shea-nut did not make the venture attractive to the youth.
Mr Nayina equally entreated managers of the plant to float shares to enable the local people to own shares in the factory.
The minister further entreated chiefs in the area to release land for such viable ventures.
The Managing Director of the Produce Buying Company (PBC), Mr Anthony Osei Boachie, stated that the PBC purchased 120,895 bags of sheanut for export.
“Over the past eight months there have been a series of business discussions between the PBC and agents of a Brazilian Company, LDS Machinery and Equipment Industrial Limited, to acquire a state-of-the-art processing plant to process sheanut”,he said.
According to Mr Boachie, the PBC had set up a subsidiary company to be known as PBC-Shea Limited. At full capacity the plant would process 100 tonnes of shea-nut daily with a life span of 30 years.
The Brazilian Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Luis Fernando Serra, said the facility was a clear manifestation that existing relationship between Ghana and Brazil had gone beyond south-south cooperation to south-south integration.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Finance and Administration, Mr William Mensah, said Ghana Cocobod had provided 2000 solar streetlights for sheanut picking areas of the north.
The Vice-President and his entourage later inspected work on the Savannah Cement Factory.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


RESIDENTS of the Northern Region, especially Muslims, have been urged to co-exist peacefully for the accelerated development of the region.
The Executive Governor of Kano State in Nigeria, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau stated this at a day’s National Muslim Summit in Tamale.
He stressed a need for a concerted effort in peace building, saying the issue of peace should not be left for the traditional authorities alone to handle.
Mallam Shekarau observed that co-existing peacefully with one another was paramount, adding that Allah had no business with people who did not love their neighbours, no matter the number of times they prayed and fasted.
He urged Muslims to lead exemplary lives, stressing “if we really want to reposition ourselves, it must be seen in our conduct”.
Mallam Shekarau urged the youth to exhibit good conduct, hard work and plan for the future if they wanted to succeed in life.
He commended the Chief of Tamale, Dakpema Naa Mohammed Dawuni, for instituting an education endowment fund for the metropolis.
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Nayina, stated that given the right and proper environment, Islam could provide answers to many fundamental economic and social challenges of “our times, nationally and globally”.
“If we rediscover the wisdom in Islam, we will find that it is thoroughly applicable to modern needs, ”he said.
The former Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, in a speech read on his behalf, urged Muslims to confront “attitudinal changes” to enable them to contribute meaningfully to nation building.
He stressed the need for Muslims to help build the capacities of Muslim non-governmental organisations to attract more aid to improve the quality of lives of Muslims.
The Deputy Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs, Hajia Gariba Boya, stressed the need for the Government to facilitate the establishment of the Muslim clan system to cater for family rights and duties as well as provide for an avenue for the Government to interface with families.
The Executive Chairman of Al Furqan Foundation, Mallam Baba Yunus Mohammed, urged Muslims to confront “the ugly realities of our present situation and restore the image of Muslims and Islam; we must first of all ensure peace and stability in our respective communities not through the barrel of the gun”.
He, however, stated that the peace that was attained by denying “our brothers and sisters a legitimate voice is illusory and will not last”.
The summit was aimed, among other objectives, at drawing up an action plan to propose the best way to address intellectual, cultural, political, economic, scientific and development challenges facing Muslims in Ghana.
Traditional rulers, Muslim Scholars and leaders, attended the Summit which was on the theme: “Repositioning the Muslim Ummah in Ghana for the challenges of the 21st Century”.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


By Vincent Amenuveve

MUSICIANS in the Northern Region have called on government and stakeholders in the industry to help address the menace of piracy and facilitate the payment of royalties due them.
They noted that, most musicians have become impoverished as a result of those challenges they face although they spent huge sums of money as well as exerted much energy and time to produce music for public consumption.
The musicians made the call after they completed a day’s capacity building and skills training workshop in Tamale.
The workshop, under the theme Knowledge the Way to Development and Success aimed at among other objectives, equipping musicians with the requisite skills and helping to unearth their talents in music.
It was organised by the Musicians Union of Ghana in the region with sponsorship from the Cultural Initiative Support Programme (CISP) and the European Union.
The participants, who were mainly musicians from the Yendi Municipality, Nanumba North, West Gonja, Savelugu-Nanton, and Tolon-Kumbungu districts equally called on stakeholders to find ways of getting sponsors for musicians in the north.
One of the musicians, Alhaji Osman Inusah observed that “we need to be paid royalties so that we can lead better lives”. He noted that the workshop was very helpful in the sense that it provided them with the requisite skills to do professional work.
The Regional Chairman of MUSIGA, Mr. Delali Alormenu pointed out that the industry was one of the viable sectors that could help address youth unemployment in the country.
“The sector can create millions of jobs from the art itself to the recording studios, manufacturers of musical gadgets and accessories,” he said.
The Regional Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Alhaji Ahmed Adam told the musicians to use their music as a tool for peace building.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


THE Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Mr Moses Mabengba, has called for the establishment of a regulatory body with legislative powers to monitor the activities of both local and foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in the country.
Such a body, he stated, should comprise representatives of NGOs and other major development partners to oversee the activities of the NGOs, and if possible, facilitate the passage of a law to make it mandatory for the organisations to register with the body.
Mr Mabengba who stated this at the fifth Tamale Learning Festival, expressed concern about a phenomenon where NGOs had become “profit-making entities at the expense of the poor communities”.
He deplored the emergence of “political NGOs that are either directly or indirectly linked to some political parties in Ghana, thereby polarising the communities”.
“Of equal concern is the duplication of work as seen in the activities of some NGOs; it is common to come across about 10 or more NGOs within the same geographical area, offering the same services at the expense of other areas that also require attention”, he said.
Mr Mabengba noted with regret that some of the NGOs had not been focusing on their main objectives while others had focused on making money out of the industry at the expense of the poor communities.
 The minister, therefore, stressed the need for greater “transparency in the activities of NGOs just like the banks and financial institutions”.
According to him, NGOs must be encouraged to publish their annual financial and audited statements in major newspapers while they establish a peer review mechanism to ensure that they remain honest and guide each other.
Mr Mabengba stated that one of the greatest challenges facing some international NGOs was administering emergency assistance in trouble-torn countries since most of them had been asked to leave for political reasons.
The Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Professor David Millar, mentioned lack of commitment and accountability as some of the major factors affecting the development of northern Ghana.
The Tamale Learning Festival is aimed, among other objectives, at assessing the contributions of NGOs and other private entities in the development of northern Ghana.
The Netherlands Development Organisation, in collaboration with Action Aid-Ghana, IBIS, New Energy, SEND Ghana, Savannah Fruits Company and AROCHA Ghana, organised the festival

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


THE Northern Regional Co-ordinator of the Guinea Worm Eradication Programme (GWEP), Mr Gilbert Dery, has called on district assemblies to support efforts at eradicating the disease by enforcing its bye-laws on the disease.
He appealed to traditional authorities to revive their respective traditional summons to maintain discipline among the rural people as a strategy to eradicate the disease.
Giving an overview of the disease in the region during an interaction with media practitioners, Mr Dery stated that there was the need to improve on surveillance of the disease to detect all cases before they emerge.
According to him, inadequate funding, lack of potable water supply in some communities and dam guard maintenance, were some of the challenges facing the programme.
He, however, said there had been a 50 per cent reduction in guinea worm cases between January and October, 2009 compared with the same period last year.
Last year, a total of 450 cases were recorded as against 235 this year.
Mr Dery mentioned the endemic districts as Gusheigu, Karaga, Savelugu-Nanton, Tolon-Kumbungu, Yendi Municipality, East and Central Gonja and Tamale Metropolis.
“We must however ensure that all communities enjoy potable water; this is because guinea worm reduces productivity and keeps children away from school,” he stated.
Dr Dery explained that one of the successes chalked up by the programme, included improved inter-sectorial collaboration through Inter-Agency Co-ordinating Committee meetings.
The co-ordinator stated that 48 out of the 49 endemic villages in the country were found in the Northern Region.
According to Mr Dery, Ghana recorded 85 per cent reduction rate in guinea worm between 2007 and 2008.
He said redefined interventions like treatment of large water bodies used by dam guards, varied filters advocacy for safe water use suspect case, forecast list and sporadic follow up on all suspected cases, were put in place to reduce the prevalence of the disease.


THE First Vice- Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Professor Raymond Bening has called on the people of northern Ghana, especially traditional authorities to help modify traditional beliefs and cultural practices that hinder the development of the area.
Prof Bening noted that harmful traditional beliefs and cultural practices had more serious effects on the nation’s development than physical and economic factors.
He was delivering a paper on “Endogenous development, poverty reduction and Africa’s development; a justification for a united Africa?” at the first African regional conference on endogenous development in Tamale.
He cited for instance that some of “these traditions and beliefs hinder the adoption of new crops to improve on food security”.
Prof. Bening stated that although science and technology were the principal cause of economic growth and development in the modern world, their dissemination had cultural and political implications as they eventually eroded cultural identities and disturbed community life.
He stressed that Africa was not a poor continent but rather her resources were poorly managed by her leaders.
“The social safety nets in the communalism or collectivism of African traditions are rapidly displaced by individualistic materialism with catastrophic consequences such as street children, beggars on the streets cascading rural-urban migration, increasing crime rates, among others,” Prof. Bening said.
According to him, “unless Africa controls the rate of population growth, socio-economic development will elude the continent for many decades if not for another century”.
“After so many years of independence, have we produced enough elites and leaders to shepherd our countries out of poverty, political instability, graft and corruption?” he asked.
He stated that the need for regional integration and African Unity was no longer a matter for debate but “why the delay and what form will it take?” he further asked.
Prof. Bening suggested among other things the need for investment in education with emphasis on eradicating the general lack of technical skills among people in countries on the continent.
The acting Vice Chancellor of the UDS, Professor Kaku Sagary Nokoe said the endogenous development framework which was premised on the agency of local people in the management of their own development challenges had been promoted among partner universities and research institutions, non-governmental organisations and local communities.
He announced that endogenous development institutional partners in Africa, South Asia and South America had since 2008 been implementing the capacity and theory building of Universities and Research Institutions in Endogenous Development (CAPTURED).
This project is aimed at generating critical mass of innovative thinkers and actors who would lead the search for workable interventions to the development challenges of the third world countries.
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Nayina in a speech read on his behalf, stressed the need for the participants to “shift from the usual academic engagements, rhetorics and theatrics that hardly address the realities to providing leadership in the shaping of our development agenda”.
The three-day conference was on the theme: “Endogenous development as an alternative to Africa’s development?”.
Traditional rulers, the academia, researchers and representatives of non-governmental organisations attended the conference.
There were delegations from some African countries like Botswana and South Africa as well as African-Americans from the Diaspora.


Story: Timothy Gobah & Vincent Amenuveve, Buipe

THE timely intervention of the security details of the Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, and the Northern Regional Police Command averted a possible clash between the two rival factions in a protracted chieftaincy dispute at Buipe in the Central Gonja District at the weekend.
Moments before the arrival of Mr Mahama and his entourage to cut the sod for a shea processing plant in the area, members of both the Lebu and Jinapor gates engaged in a confrontation that nearly marred the beauty of the ceremony.
Both factions were physically preventing each other from participating in the ceremony and that led to the feud.
The District Security Committee (DISEC) has, however, denied any gunshots.
Meanwhile, Mr Mahama has directed the Northern Regional Police Command to investigate the matter and identify and ensure the immediate arrest of the culprits.
He cautioned the youth in the area to desist from acts of lawlessness and indiscipline, saying that those negative acts affected the development of the area and the region as a whole.
“Such impunity should not be allowed any longer. There are chieftaincy disputes everywhere in the country but the underlining factor is not to settle them through violence but through dialogue and approved channels of seeking redress,” he pointed out.
The District Police Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Edward Tetteh Addo, explained to the Daily Graphic that last Friday members of the Lebu Gate had held a press conference on the Vice-President’s visit to the area.
According to him, the aggrieved Lebu Gate members claimed that they had not been officially invited to the ceremony and wondered why they had been excluded.
ASP Addo intimated that the DISEC convened a meeting to resolve the matter, during which the Lebu Gate members assured the DISEC of maximum co-operation to make the ceremony successful.
He explained that the dispute between the two factions started when the then Buipewura, Chinchanku, died four years ago.
He noted that the Northern Regional House of Chiefs adjudicated over the case and gave its judgement in favour of Buipewura Jinapor II, to the dislike of the Lebu Gate faction.
ASP Addo stated that the members of the Lebu Gate, in protest against the judgement, had appealed to the National House of Chiefs for another hearing on the matter that was still pending.

Friday, November 13, 2009

BRONG AHAFO AT 50....Achievements so far (MIRROR, NOV 14, 2009)


The 50th Anniversary celebration of the creation of the Brong Ahafo Region has been a successful one, considering the unity that it has brought among the chiefs and people of the region.
The anniversary took off slowly initially due to the low publicity that was given the event but as the climax drew near, the enthusiasm of the people to become part of the celebration as proud citizens of the region became heightened and I hope it would rekindle the spirit of patriotism and selflessness which our forefathers exemplified to achieve autonomy and self-determination for the region.  
The region stands to derive maximum benefits from the anniversary celebration as it was also used to showcase the agricultural and tourism potentials of the region. Coupled with the hospitality of the people and the peaceful environment, anybody who invests here will not regret it.
The anniversary, I will say, has further served its purpose since it has promoted our culture as a people by bringing us together and created the opportunity for us to renew our commitment to the ideals and vision of the region.
To me the vision of our forefathers throughout the 50 years of the region’s existence has brought about tremendous infrastructure development in the area of electricity, water, schools and roads, among others.


The anniversary celebration has passed off successfully, especially in connection with the colourful durbar of the chiefs and people which once again heightened our level of brotherliness and unity as traditional leaders and citizens.
I want to debunk an assertion being fuelled by a section of the media that the anniversary was not all-embracing. It is not true as all the traditional paramountcies and their divisions and people were all present at the durbar.
You know the anniversary was to highlight the fact that the region was created out of unity and this formed the basis for us to act as such and collectively defeat hunger, poverty, illiteracy and ignorance, among other challenges.
For me, the anniversary has served the above purposes and this will go a long way to attract investment into our region and through that, create jobs for our youth.
You know, Nananom played a key role in the success of the celebration, including the request for the construction of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) centre which was inaugurated by the Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama. Mathematics and Science education is of low standard in the region and the ICT centre is one of the ways to reverse the trend.
The anniversary, apart from helping to rekindle the sense of unity and tenacity of purpose among citizens, is also for us to help propel the socio-economic advancement of the region. Indeed the ICT centre will serve as a fitting memorial of the golden jubilee celebrations.


As a traditional ruler, the Golden Jubilee Anniversary of the creation of the Brong Ahafo Region is worth celebrating since 50 years in the life of any individual, state or an institution is a worthy milestone.
Our forefathers played a lead role in the creation of the region and first of all, I pay glowing tribute to them for laying down their lives in order to secure for us, an independent region whose benefits we are enjoying today.
However, the role that our queens and other women played in the struggle was not highlighted enough during the anniversary celebrations and as an advocate for women’s empowerment, I believe this was necessary to help lift women who have for so long been in the background in the decision-making process in our region.
Girl-child education also ought to have been highlighted, since the enrolment of girls in schools in the region was still low.
I will, therefore, use this opportunity to call on my fellow paramount queens in the region to use the occasion and the festive mood to promote education, especially that of girls in their various traditional areas in order to get more women to occupy key positions in the region.
The anniversary celebration has also opened up the region for investments and I hope that by the time the anniversary comes to an end officially next April, the region would have attracted the needed investors to do business in the region so as to create jobs for the teeming youth.
I am pleased to say that the anniversary has also united the chiefs and people of the region through the colourful durbar which brought together traditional rulers and the people, as well as those in government to the same venue to share in the joy and excitement of celebrating the birthday of our region.
I wish all a happy anniversary celebrations. Long live Brong Ahafo and its people!


The anniversary has been successful, especially with regard to the durbar of chiefs and people. I think the region has come a long way in terms of infrastructure development.
The creation of the region has helped tremendously to hasten its socio-economic development and I am happy to be associated with the anniversary.
But I would have loved the people right from officialdom to the ordinary or average Ghanaian to be time-conscious. We do not place premium on our time and this has seriously impacted negatively on our quest for development as a region and nation.
We must change our attitude towards time and begin to attend functions early since the durbar started late. We came to the park as early as 11 a.m. and the programme finally took off at 2.45 p.m.
It is good celebrating this occasion but we must also use it as a turning point from our negative attitudes that have impeded our development.
I hope the anniversary celebration would become a pivot to further open up the region and help hasten its further development.


The anniversary was worth celebrating since it was not only to remember our past heroes and heroines, but to also reflect on the good work that the people of the region had done to serve as a guide and unifying force in our determination and forward-march into the future.
As we enjoy the fruits of standing on our own as a region and in our desire to achieve the development that we cherish for ourselves, it is important that we put in more effort.
I am highly impressed by the way our chiefs and queens turned up in their traditional regalia which depicted our rich culture as a people. This will encourage the youth to have a sense of belonging and be proud of their region.
I wish to appeal to all and sundry, especially our politicians, to stop the bickering so that we can all rally behind the government to hasten the development process of the region.
As a citizen of Dormaa Ahenkro I also want to seize the opportunity to appeal to all citizens of the area, both home and abroad, to give back to the town and the region as a whole through investment to help create jobs for their young brothers and sisters at home. This, it is hoped, will stem the migration of the youth from the region.
Lastly, the trade and investment show dubbed “Dwa Kese 2009”, which was one of the activities to mark the anniversary, also helped to open up the region to the business community and I think we will begin to reap the benefits very soon.


It is good that we are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the creation of the Brong Ahafo Region. For us, the Black Volta Gonjas who are part of the region, we have been neglected in terms of development projects.
Our towns including Babato, Kadelso, Kwamkpe, Glonukpe, Dawadawa and Atta Akura are just a little beyond Kintampo, the capital of the Kintampo North Municipality but for the past 50 years, we have had no electricity in our area, no potable water, no schools and no clinic.
We, therefore, want to use this occasion of the 50th anniversary to draw the attention of the government to our plight and also urge them to let us have our share of the national cake.
I wish all citizens of the region good tidings and may the Almighty Allah richly bless the region and its people. Happy anniversary! 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

VET OFFICERS WORRIED ...Over unhygenic slaughtering of animals in Tamale (NOV 12, PAGE 29)

THE illegal slaughtering of animals at satellite slaughtering slabs in the Tamale metropolis is a major source of worry to veterinary officers in the area.
They contend that that illegal activity impacts negatively on the health of residents of the sprawling metropolis.
Although there are environmental health personnel and meat inspectors at the new abattoir located around Nyohini, a suburb of Tamale, much needs to be done about the conditions under which the animals are slaughtered.
According to the Northern Regional Veterinary Officer, Dr Karikari Agyemang, it was disheartening that sellers, butchers and all manner of people converged on the slaughter houses to transact business under unhygienic conditions.
He explained that the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TAMA) needed to do more to improve sanitation, particularly at the abattoir, since “environmental health falls under their purview”.
Dr Agyemang stated, for instance, that it was not the best for butchers to slaughter animals while they were barechested and stressed the need for the TAMA to help sensitise butchers in that regard.
“The mode of transporting meat from the slaughter houses to the marketing centres is also not the best, as the same vehicles used to transport people and other goods to and from the market are used to transport the meat,” he observed.
He explained that there were bye-laws regarding the slaughter of animals but noted that they were never enforced to the letter.
Dr Agyemang expressed regret that although some slaughter houses had been closed down, people still slaughtered animals there under unhygienic conditions.
Touching on the keeping of domestic animals for various reasons, the officer expressed concern over the manner in which the animals were left to roam the streets of Tamale.
He said his outfit had a routine programme to vaccinate animals every year, adding that that service must be paid for by the owners of the animals.
“We do not have the necessary logistics to go round slaughtering infected animals,” he further stated.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF GIRLS IMPROVE... In Karaga, Gushiegu districts (NOV 11, PAGE 11)

ACADEMIC performance of girls in the Karaga and Gushiegu districts of the Northern Region has improved significantly over the past one year.
This year, for instance, 63.6 per cent of girls who took part in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in the Karaga District scored between aggregate 6 and 30 as against 21.2 per cent of girls recorded in 2008.
Additionally, a girl, Abdulai Asana of the Gushiegu Local Authority Junior High School (JHS), had aggregate 15 in this year’s BECE; and that is said to be the highest recorded among girls in recent times in the area.
These achievements were made possible through the introduction of the IBIS/Ghana Education Service (GES) Girls’ Education Clinic. The programme started in 2008 with 115 girls.
The Karaga and Gushiegu District Girls Education Officers, Madam Theresa Adoore and Madam Nafisa Adam respectively, who made these known at this year’s IBIS/GES Girls’ Education Clinic in Tamale, said that a lot had been achieved through the clinic.
They attributed the success story of the girls in their respective districts to a reduction in teenage pregnancy and early marriage among them. Intensive sensitisation of opinion leaders and parents to the need to support efforts at increasing enrolment and retention among the girls also contributed to the achievement of that feat, he added. This year’s clinic was attended by 115 girls.
The officers indicated that mothers and girls now reported cases of teenage pregnancy and sexual harassment to the GES officials, who counselled them.
“Our girls are now assuming leadership roles as they have overcome shyness; enrolment and retention have increased since the introduction of the Clinic”, they further explained.
Representatives of the other participating districts in the Northern Region namely; Bole, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba, East Gonja, Kpandai, as well as Tano and Asunafo South in the Brong Ahafo Region have all commended IBIS and its partners for introducing the clinic.
They stated, for instance, that the girls were able to talk to their peers to avoid immoral acts, thereby reducing teenage pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among them.
They also observed that the girls, through the clinic, had learnt etiquette, time management, humility, assertiveness and organisational skills, among other things.
The Programme Director of the Education for Empowerment Programme of IBIS, Mr Zakaria Sulemana, noted that the clinic aimed, among other objectives, at increasing school survival and achievement rates among JHS girls, by giving them the opportunity to develop “the virtues of self-confidence and assertiveness through socialisation and interaction” with their peers.
According to him, his outfit was looking for innovative strategies to encourage girls to stay in school and become responsible adults in the future.
“For all these good things to happen, you have to be open-minded, take part in all activities and be prepared to share with your friends”, Mr Sulemana advised the girls.


THE Vice Rector of the Tamale Polytechnic, Dr Kheni Nongiba Alkanam, has bemoaned the alarming rate at which the polytechnic is losing its staff to the various universities in the country, thereby affecting its academic work.
He, therefore, called on the government to improve the salaries and conditions of service for the polytechnic staff, stressing “we will be able to deliver well only if we have the capacity to maintain the core of highly skilled staff”.
Dr Alkanam stated this at the 15th Matriculation of the polytechnic in Tamale.
In all 2,291 freshmen made up of 720 females were admitted while a total of 2,544 candidates applied to pursue Higher National Diploma (HND) courses at the polytechnic for the 2009/2010 academic year.
The courses include Accountancy, Secretaryship and Management, Marketing, Statistics, Mechanical Engineering, Building Technology and Industrial Arts.
Additionally, 868 candidates were admitted to pursue Diploma in Business Studies (DBS) courses for the 2009/2010 academic year.
The Vice Rector expressed regret that “we are always at the receiving end where we have to continue to recruit to fill gaps created by the sudden departure of our staff”.
“It is a fact that most of the cream of our staff continue to run to the universities and other places for greener pastures after we have spent huge sums of money on their training”, he stressed.
According to the Vice Rector, the polytechnic had continuously strived to improve the welfare and general conditions of service of staff, adding that “we have recruited quite a number of teaching staff in the last three years in order to improve on our faculty while encouraging existing faculties to go for further studies”.
Dr Alkanam said that the recruitment of staff had its own challenges, saying “our personnel emoluments budget has more than doubled in the last year, meaning we would no longer be able to pay salaries until we receive our pay cheque from government”.
He mentioned inadequate office and residential accommodation as some of the challenges facing the polytechnic and expressed the hope that contractors would complete and hand over buildings to the institution in the next couple of months to address the challenges.
“A substantial amount of our Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) allocation for 2009 was allocated to the administration block and some of our staff flats; we are very positive that we would take over the administration block and two sets of flats before the end of the year”, the Vice Rector noted.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


THE Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH), Dr Ken Sagoe, has welcomed Cabinet’s approval of a 28 million Euro loan facility for the rehabilitation of the hospital.
He noted that since 1998, efforts at rehabilitating the hospital had gone through a lot of “cycles and we wish to appreciate the government’s commitment towards this process”.
The CEO stated this during an interaction with media practitioners in Tamale, following Cabinet’s approval of the facility.
According to him, work on the hospital involved expanding and refurbishing facilities, saying 39.5 million Euros was to be provided by the Dutch government, made up of a loan facility of 28 million Euros from a Dutch bank, Fontis, and a 11.5 million Euros grant from the Dutch government.
According to Dr Sagoe, the first phase of the project would provide 400 beds at the hospital, adding that it was the vision of the authorities to increase the bed capacity of the hospital to 1,000 in the near future.
He explained that a new four-storey block to be sited in front of the morgue to create a new image for the hospital, would also be constructed.
He intimated that phase two of the expansion works would cover the construction of a new mother and child hospital complex as a way of addressing the maternal and infant mortality rates in the three northern regions.
He was hopeful that contractors would move to site by the close of December this year, adding that if that did not happen, the government and the authorities of the hospital would have to go through another cycle to source for funds for the project from the Dutch government.
The CEO, however, expressed disappointment at the fact that the project did not include the construction of residential accommodation for staff.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Three organisations have inaugurated a GH¢5,000 micro credit scheme to provide a revolving fund to support women at Fuu and Dalogyili, both suburbs of Tamale, to undertake income generating activities.
The organisations are Christian Council of Ghana (CCG), the Global Call for Action Against Poverty (GCAP) and the Realising Rights of the United States of America.
The beneficiary women who have formed two groups are the Gubkatimali Nangbanyini Association, located at Fuu, and the Sugru bor bene Women’s Association, located at Dalogyili on the Tamale-Janyili road.
At the initial stage, each of the groups, comprising between 20 and 40 women, would receive between GH¢50 and GH¢200 as loans to be paid over a six-month period.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony in Tamale, the Co-ordinator in charge of the Northern Sector Office of the CCG, Mr James Nahyi, explained that the women, who were mainly engaged in income generating activities such as rice cultivation, sheabutter and groundnut processing, were expected to pay back the loans at an interest rate of 0.5 per cent.
Mr Nahyi indicated that the project was being undertaken in line with the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 3 which, among other objectives, sought to promote gender equality and women empowerment.
According to him, in March 2009 the CCG signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Realising Rights of the USA to implement a micro credit project for women in deprived communities in Ghana.
He noted that the project would, among other objectives, empower women economically and increase their knowledge on the MDGs and other topical issues that affected their welfare and community.
The Co-ordinator said the Northern Region and for that matter Tamale, was chosen for the project because of the high maternal mortality rate and high illiteracy rate of the area.
“The CCG wishes to state that this project is among several projects carried out by the council over the past 80 years, as its contribution towards the development of the nation” he pointed out.
The Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Nayina, commended the CCG and its partners for choosing women as the target group for the project, saying “women and children in most northern communities are confronted with serious poverty situations”.
He said women’s contribution towards the upkeep of families in many communities in the region was enormous, and therefore special initiatives needed to be provided for them to lessen their burden.
Mr Nayina reminded the two beneficiary groups to be good ambassadors of the project and abide by the tenets of the project to enable other women to benefit from it.