Wednesday, July 28, 2010


THE Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Professor Haruna Yakubu has suggested the formation of a joint committee by the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TaMA) and the UDS.
Such a committee, he said, could help address the development challenges facing the metropolis.
Prof. Yakubu made the suggestion during an interaction with the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Alhaji Abdulai Haruna Friday.
The interaction enabled the vice chancellor to introduce himself to the MCE. He was accompanied by the acting Registrar of the UDS, Mr. Sylvester Kuu-ire and the Director of Works and Physical Development of the UDS, Mr. Ambrose Tee.
Prof. Yakubu stated that development and tourism committees could be set up to help address the development challenges of the metropolis, as well as, attract tourists and investors into the area.
He observed that the committees when formed could make recommendations as to how to address the development challenges facing the Metropolis.
The vice chancellor equally observed that the sprawling metropolis was developing as a big marketing centre without massive development of residential areas.
He entreated the authorities at the TaMA to see the UDS as part of the metropolis and help come out with programmes that would enhance its development.
Prof. Yakubu stressed the need for the provision of electricity and other basic social amenities to university and its catchment areas.
“The UDS faces some challenges, including inadequate infrastructure such as access roads to open up the university”,the vice chancellor pointed out.
He further urged the MCE to help facilitate the construction of seven kilometres of access roads and provide 50 electric poles to enhance academic work at its central campus.
Prof. Yakubu observed, for instance, that although dormitories had been provided to support medical students of the UDS, the lack of access roads to link up the dormitories to the central administration of the UDS was one of the challenges facing both students and university authorities.
Alhaji Haruna for his part noted that the UDS and the TaMA were development partners and hoped such relationship would lead to the cross fertilisation of ideas towards the accelerated development of the metropolis.
According to the MCE, education was one tool that could be used to eradicate poverty in most suburbs of the metropolis.
“The assembly is looking at ways of bringing together institutions to accelerate development in the metropolis” he stated.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Malnutrition is the insufficient, excessive or unbalanced consumption of nutrients. According to the United Nations, malnutrition kills 10 children every minute. More than a quarter of children in developing countries are underweight and suffer disease because of their poor diet, and in some areas, almost half of all under-fives are malnourished.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) cites malnutrition as the gravest single threat to the world's public health. Improving nutrition is widely regarded as the most effective form of aid. Emergency measures include providing deficient micro-nutrients through fortified sachet powders such as peanut butter or directly through supplements.
Long-term measures include investing in modern agriculture in places that lack them, such as fertilisers and irrigation, which largely eradicate hunger.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warns that the slow progress in reducing nutritional problems among children means that several key Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets may now be missed. According to Ann Veneman, Executive Director of UNICEF, "The lack of progress to combat malnutrition is damaging children and nations. Few things have more impact than nutrition on a child's ability to survive, learn effectively and escape a life of poverty".
The first MDG, agreed by the world's leaders, pledged to halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015. For the MDG to be met, countries need to reduce rates of undernutrition by an average of 2.8 per cent a year.
To improve on the nutrition and health status of women and children in the Tolon-Kumbungu District of the Northern Region, the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Billy Williams has inaugurated a GH¢37,723 Nutrition Centre at the King’s Village Medical Centre at Bontanga.
The centre, which is equipped with a storage facility for grains such as maize, Soya beans and groundnuts, as well as other facilities such as places of convenience and bath house, was financed by the Australian Government through its Direct Aid Programme (DAP).
In his inaugural address, Mr Williams observed that the project was a clear manifestation of existing relationship between Australia and Ghana.
He announced that a number of Ghanaian students had benefited from scholarship programmes this month and urged Ghanaians to take advantage of the many fellowship programmes put in place by his country for workers in the mining and agricultural sectors.
“The Australian High Commission is committed to projects that assist local community development; this is my first visit to the Northern Region and this opportunity will enable me to interact with the various communities where our projects are being implemented” Mr Williams stated.
The Project Manager, Dr Opoku Mensah, said King’s Village Ghana was a Christian organisation that is committed to addressing the fundamental needs of the rural poor. He said the organisation was into education, healthcare, water, sanitation, as well as the promotion of hygiene.
Dr Mensah entreated the Australian Government to help provide the King’s Village Medical Centre with a neo-natal intensive care unit and maternity home to help reduce infant and maternal mortality rates.
The District Director of Health Services, Madam Denisia Agong-Kaara, noted that the district recorded a malnutrition rate of 42 per cent among children and further explained that malnutrition affected children’s immune system and Intelligent Quotient (IQ).
Madam Agong-Kaara therefore, expressed gratitude to the Australian Government for providing the facility, which he said would ultimately enhance the nutritional status of children in the area.
The Tolon-Kumbungu District Chief Executive,Mr Idd-Manzah Mahama,pointed out that the district was deprived, as a bulk of the assembly’s expenditure that was mainly donor-driven went into providing educational and health infrastructure.
According to him, the district equally committed a significant portion of its resources into supporting tertiary students who hailed from the district.

Monday, July 19, 2010


THE General Manager (GM) in charge of Newspapers of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, has charged media practitioners in the three northern regions to help unite the people through their reportage, instead of dividing them.
He also reminded them that one of the key duties of a journalist was to ensure that the living conditions of rural people were ultimately improved.
Speaking at the first Northern Journalists Awards ceremony in Tamale, Mr Ayeboafoh said, “The media in any society are very crucial to its development agenda but at the same time they could equally be very destructive.”
He explained that the media were capable of producing both “good and evil”, depending on how meticulous and responsible media practitioners were in the performance of their duties.
The GM pointed out that although the media could make mistakes, just like any human institution, their mistakes were delicate, as they could cause mayhem and confusion in society.
“You must try not to incite one group against another and even if someone says something unpalatable that may cause confusion, it is the duty of the media to rather help build peace and a healthy northern Ghana,” he stressed.
According to him, the conflicts that had over the years plagued some communities in the north could be halted through a sustained effort by the media to promote advocacy and peace-building initiatives through their reportage.
He expressed regret that huge sums of money were being spent to maintain peace, while those funds could be channelled into development projects.
“Do the right thing so that when the history of the north is rewritten, the role the media played would be written in gold,” Mr Ayeboafoh advised.
The Managing Director of Flip Africa Media Consult-Ghana (FAMec, Ghana), Mr Tawfik Tikuma, said the awards were instituted to encourage media practitioners in northern Ghana to produce stories that would help change the negative perception about the north.
He indicated that the organisation of the awards encountered a number of challenges, including lack of the needed sponsorship.
He, however, expressed optimism that next year’s event, to be held in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, might receive better sponsorship.
Mr Tikuma entreated public-spirited organisations and individuals to support the awards.
Those who won the awards were the Northern Regional Editor of the Daily Graphic in Tamale, Mr Zakaria Alhassan, who was adjudged the overall best journalist for the three northern regions at the first Northern Journalists Awards for 2009/2010; Mr Salifu Mohammed Nurudeen of the Tamale Office of the Daily Graphic won the most promising young journalist and best health journalist awards.
For the honorary awards category, Mr Mohammed Awal, Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) who was one-time Upper West Regional Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Boadu-Ayeboafoh, one-time Northern Regional Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Breda Atta-Quayson, first Deputy Editor of the Daily Graphic, and one time Regional Editor for Northern and Upper West regions, and Mr George Sydney Abugri of the Daily Graphic were among those honoured at the function.
Other awards were best Investigative and Environment journalist won by Edmond Gyebi of the Chronicle, Tamale, the best development journalist, which went to Mr Isaac Nongya of the Metro TV, Tamale while the best human rights awards went to Mr Stephen Zuori of the Daily Guide.
The programme was interspersed with musical performances and dance such as the Salsa and Jara. The event was organised by the FAMec, Ghana.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


THE Deputy Registrar in charge of Academic Affairs of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Dr Adam B. T. Zakariah, has suggested to the government to set aside a greater percentage of the oil revenue as a special education fund.
Such a fund, he said, could be used to provide educational facilities and infrastructure in deprived regions, districts and local communities in order to ensure equitable distribution of educational opportunities.
Delivering a paper on the topic: “Overview of Ghana’s draft oil and gas revenue bill: Issues and challenges for policy advocacy,” Dr Zakariah noted that the fund could be run separately or as part of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETfund) with the aim of ensuring the overall quality of life of the people.
The deputy registrar stated this during a multi-stakeholder youth forum in Tamale on oil and gas policy advocacy and governance programme in Ghana.
It was on the theme: “Promoting citizens-government engagement for good governance in the management of Ghana’s oil and gas resources for sustainable national development; the role of civil society.”
The forum was organised by the Youth Action on Reproductive Order (YARO), a non-governmental organisation.
Dr Zakariah stressed the need for research and advocacy as a strategy to mount surveillance on the oil and gas industry to ensure that the required structures, including legal and financial regulations, were rigidly adhered to.
“I advocate for a strong oil watch that should include research into operations, gains and disbursement of the oil funds and the effect of the oil revenue on the quality of life of the citizenry,” he pointed out.
According to him, there was the need to work out strategies and mutually acceptable relationships and agreements between the government and the people within the geographical locations in Ghana where oil production was to take place.
“Where there is corruption, the gains of the oil revenue do not benefit the people and the national economy; the attraction to oil production by corruption is a very disturbing phenomenon,” Dr Zakariah observed.
The Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Mr San Nasamu Asabigi, called on the youth in northern Ghana to pursue oil and gas courses in order to take advantage of the oil and gas opportunities.
“The government is committed to ensuring that the youth benefit from activities in the oil and gas industry through participation, ownership, operations, control and management of the oil sector,” Mr Asabigi stated.
The Executive Director of YARO, Mr Hajei Benin, announced that the organisation and the Ghana Research and Advocacy Programme had embarked on a series of policy education and advocacy programmes for the three northern regions.
He explained that the fora sought to create a platform for the youth and civil society groups to participate in the ongoing discussions on the emerging oil and gas industry by articulating the views of the youth.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


OVER 2,500 farmers in five regions are to cultivate about 6,000 acres of mangoes in commercial quantities for export.
The project, estimated at GH¢52 million, is being financed by the Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF).
The beneficiary regions are Northern, Upper East, Upper West and parts of Brong Ahafo and Volta.
In all, 30 districts in the beneficiary regions are benefiting from the project.
It is envisaged that in the next five years, 20,000 acres of mango plantations would have been developed, with about 24,000 metric tonnes of mangoes produced for processing locally to yield GH¢8 million in revenue.
Inaugurating the project at Bole, one of the beneficiary districts, at the weekend, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Hannah Tetteh, intimated that the support was part of the government’s strategy to improve on agricultural productivity to support industrial production in order to create wealth for the country and its citizens.
According to her, the government wanted to develop non-traditional export commodities as an alternative source of income and that the EDIF was introduced to effectively help finance the development of export commodities.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, said the EDIF intervention had created jobs for more than 200 exporters and 300 farmer groups in the non-traditional export sector.
“The mango programme in northern Ghana has a bright future because the climatic conditions here are similar to those in Burkina Faso and Mali, which are by far ahead in terms of production, processing and marketing on both the local and the export markets,” he noted.
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Moses Magbenba, said the project was a viable one that was worth undertaking and called on the beneficiary farmers to put in their best to contribute meaningfully to the growth of the sector.
A Spokesperson for the Kintampo Mango Farmers Association, Mr Kwasi Etu-Bonde, expressed gratitude to the government for the project and urged the management of the EDIF intervention to efficiently supply all farm inputs to yield the desired results.
He further suggested that the EDIF board should help provide the beneficiary farmers with inputs such as sheds, motorcycles and accommodation facilities for farm attendants, as well as storage facilities.
The Bole District Chief Executive, Alhaji Seidu Sampson, announced that the Kicheto Mango Farmers Association at Bole was expected to cultivate 200 acres of mangoes.
He further announced that the association had been provided with GH¢296,000 to cover the cost of mango seedlings, stamping, clearing, ploughing, harrowing and pegging of the land.


A Member of the Council of State for the Upper East Region, Very Rev. Dr Jacob Ayeebo, has been elected the new Bishop for the Anglican Diocese of Tamale.
He replaces the outgoing Bishop, Rev. Emmanuel Arongo, who is going on retirement this year.
Speaking to media practitioners shortly after the announcement was made at the Anglican Church at Tishegu, a suburb of Tamale, the Very Rev. Dr Ayeebo thanked the congregation for the confidence reposed in him.
He acknowledged that expectations among the congregation were high and that although there were challenges, he was committed to ensuring that the church’s activities went on well.
“We need to achieve the objectives of the church collectively and with commitment and sacrifice; I am personally prepared to sacrifice, and I have the zeal for the job” the Very Rev. Dr Ayeebo noted.
He pointed out that the work of a Bishop was a challenging one because “you are expected to live above reproach”.
“I know I have challenges ahead but I believe sincerely that with your support and prayers the church would grow” he told the congregation.
The Bishop , who is also the Executive Director of the Anglican Diocesan Development and Relief Organisation (ADDRO) in Bolgatanga, said his vision was to expand the Gospel of Jesus Christ both spiritually and physically.
He was ordained a priest in 1989 and holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Missiology, Master of Arts in Development and Mission Studies, Bachelor of Arts (BA Hons) in Theology and Ministry, Diploma in Theology and Counselling.
He is the immediate past Presiding Member of the Bawku West District Assembly and the immediate past Chairman of the Bawku Naaba Educational Endownment Fund.
Born on July 1, 1960, the Very Rev. Dr Ayeebo is married with four children.
He hails from Yelwoko in the Bawku West District of the Upper East Region.
The Bishop has baptized over 1,000 people in the Anglican Church as well as opened six branches of the church in the Upper East Region.


THE Tamale Polytechnic has donated GH¢1,250 to the chiefs and people of Kpalsi, a suburb of the metropolis to support a community library project in the area.
The money would enable the community to provide facilities such as ceiling fans, a desk top computer and a printer as well as provide training for key staff to manage the library.
The Rector of the Polytechnic, Alhaji Dr Yakubu Seidu Peligah, who presented the money to the Kpalsi Chief, Naa Yakubu Alhassan, at a short ceremony in Tamale said the gesture was part of the social responsibility programme of the polytechnic.
He explained that three months ago, the community appealed to the authorities of the polytechnic to support them to establish a community library to encourage reading among the youth in the area.
The rector commended the chief and his elders for initiating such a project and entreated other communities to emulate such self-help initiatives as a way of accelerating the development of deprived communities.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the polytechnic, Mr Mohammed Aziz, observed that the governing council of the polytechnic was very “enthusiastic about supporting communities in the polytechnic’s catchment area as a policy”.
According to him, the Kpalsi community was one of the peaceful areas in Tamale, and that it was important for the authorities of the polytechnic to support them.
“This gesture would also encourage both parents and schoolchildren in the area to invest in education for the benefit of the society at large” he stated.
The Kpalsi-Naa for his part thanked the Polytechnic for the gesture, and expressed the hope that other public-spirited individuals and organisations would support the development agenda of the community.


AS part of efforts to complement the President’s Initiative to keep cities clean, members of the Great Commission Movement of Ghana (GCMG) in collaboration with the Worldwide Students Network (WSN) in the United States and Zoomlion Ghana Limited, cleaned up the compound of the Tamale Teaching Hospital.
The members cleared choked gutters and swept the premises of the hospital.
The Ghana Project Co-ordinator of GCMG, Mr Nelson Ahiataku, told newsmen in Tamale that his outfit and the WSN were ministries of “campus crusade for Christ international which is currently serving in 204 countries worldwide”.
According to him, the organisations had a responsibility towards the society and communities.
“Our motivation for embarking on this exercise is to endorse our President’s Initiative to keep our cities clean” he observed.
Mr Ahiataku explained that his outfit was basically “presenting Jesus Christ as the greatest role model the World has ever known in cultivating and living lasting values of moral integrity, character transformation, promoting and maintaining peace in our societies”.
The WSN Team Co-ordinator, Mr Ross Olson, said the exercise was part of measures to build bridges in northern Ghana.
He observed that the people of Tamale were hospitable and friendly.
“There is happiness here which we do not have in the US; infact, there is so much joy and hospitality in Tamale”, Mr Olson noted.
Later, Mr Ahiataku on behalf of the organiszations made a cash donation ofGH¢400 to the Children’s Ward of the Hospital.
The Environmental Health Officer, Madam Bentu Salisu thanked the organisations for the gesture and hoped other public-spirited individuals and organisations would emulate the gesture.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


EIGHTEEN thousand one hundred and forty households in 210 deprived communities in the Northern Region have been provided a total of GH¢544,200 under the second phase of the Emergency Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme.
The beneficiary communities are in the East and West Mamprusi and Gonja Districts .
The Department of Social Welfare and the National Social Protection Unit of the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare organised the distribution of the resources.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Tamale, the Deputy Director of Child Rights Promotion and Protection of the Department of Social Welfare, Madam Joanna Mensah, said each household received GH¢30 as a relief package.
According to her, the package was meant to support the worst affected households due to the 2009 floods.
“We are looking at the very poor in emergency situations and to see how to bring immediate relief to them,” she stressed.
Madam Mensah explained that the funds were from the Government of Ghana, and that a monitoring and evaluation team had been put in place to identify those who would need to be rolled into the regular LEAP programme and the complementary services.
She said the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) collaborated with the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare and the Department of Social Welfare to introduce the programme.
Madam Mensah stressed the need for intensive public education and community engagement in discussions to make people understand the need for them to move upland along flood prone areas to avoid disasters.