31 May 2017

Cpt Mahama’s Lynching: “We Do It Everyday And We Will Continue To Do It” - Otabil

Image - Rev. Pastor Mensa Otabil
Pastor Mensa Otabil, General Overseer of International Central Gospel Church (ICGC)

Pastor Mensa Otabil thinks that the instant justice meted out to Captain Maxwell Adam Mahama which resulted in his lynching is a cultural issue.

According to him, “the only thing is that it happened to somebody with visibility so we are worried but we will go back to the same culture which is the culture of disrespect for life and to rules procedure.”
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Speaking at the 4th edition of the Ishmael Yamson and Associates business roundtable Wednesday morning, Pastor Otabil said: “The big news in Ghana is what happened recently to the dear soldier who was lynched.”
“But really what happened to him is cultural. It is in our culture; we do it every day and we will continue to do it.”

Pastor Otabil who is the General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), said the recent lynching of the army officer was a climax to the reflection of lawlessness in the Ghanaian culture.
The 4th edition of the Ishmael Yamson and Associates business roundtable was organized in partnership Accra-based radio station, Class FM.

Making reference to the slain soldier, Dr. Otabil said: “You cannot say they [the mob] have not gone to school, we cannot say they do not know human rights but in that circumstance, they chose to exhibit that behavior.”

“We have become a lawless people”, he emphasized, adding that “the law must work”.

He wondered why Africans have not challenged certain cultures that do not promote development.

From Graphiconline

30 May 2017

Tobacco; A Deadly Threat To Global Development




When I reflect on my tenure as Director-General of the World Health Organization, there are many areas where the agency played its unique role as the guardian of health for all people. But I am especially proud of our work to fight tobacco use, something that I have personally championed since 2007.

Tobacco is a deadly product that kills more than 7 million people every year, and costs the global economy more than US$ 1.4 trillion annually in healthcare expenditure and lost productivity.

Tobacco control will play a major part in meeting the Sustainable Development Goal target of reducing premature deaths from noncommunicable diseases by one-third by 2030. But tobacco control is about more than preventing deadly cancers, heart diseases, and respiratory diseases.


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In addition to posing a serious threat to health, tobacco use also threatens development in every country on every level and across many sectors — economic growth, health, education, poverty and the environment — with women and children bearing the brunt of the consequences.

The theme for this year’s World No Tobacco Day, on 31 May, is “Tobacco – a threat to development”. This year, WHO will launch a new report that highlights the great harm to the environment inflicted by tobacco growing, manufacturing, trade and consumption. For example, growing and producing tobacco uses 4.3 million hectares of land resulting in deforestation of 2-4%, and the pesticides and fertilizers used in tobacco growing can be toxic and pollute water supplies.

Tobacco manufacturing produces over 2 million tons of solid waste each year. Up to 10 billion cigarettes are disposed of in the environment every day. Cigarette butts account for 30-40% of all litter collected in coastal and urban clean-ups.

Tobacco farming also stops children from attending school and exposes them to hazardous chemicals. Children in tobacco-growing families often miss class because they are needed to work in the tobacco fields. Women are also disproportionately at risk of chemical exposure, as they make up 60-70% of the tobacco farming workforce.

Tobacco use hits the poorest people the hardest and exacerbates poverty. Spending on tobacco products often represents more than 10% of total household income – meaning less money for food, education and health care. Some 80% of the premature deaths attributable to tobacco use occur in low- or middle-income countries. These countries bear almost 40% of the global US$ 1.4 trillion cost of smoking from health expenditures and lost productivity.

Fortunately, we have powerful tools to fight the tobacco epidemic. The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the first international treaty negotiated under the auspices of WHO, provides governments with clear, legally binding measures that they can introduce to reduce the harm caused by tobacco use. These include banning advertising, promotion, and sponsorship of tobacco, effectively warning about the harmful effects of tobacco use, implementing tax or price policies and protecting people from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.

In line with WHO’s FCTC, WHO’s MPOWER measures support countries to reduce demand for tobacco, using methods that are practical, low-cost and high-impact. Tobacco taxation is a powerful tool for saving lives. Taxes reduce smoking rates and help governments raise revenues to improve health and promote development. Increasing tobacco taxes and prices is one of the most effective, yet least utilized control measures globally. By increasing cigarette taxes worldwide by US$1, an extra US$ 190 billion could be raised for development.

We need to make sure that countries know that this tool exists and how to use it. Ministers of health are convinced by the evidence, and I ask them to be vocal in persuading ministers of finance, trade, foreign affairs and others not to be swayed by the unsubstantiated arguments of the tobacco industry. Many countries have already shown tremendous progress in reducing tobacco use. Our challenge now is to help more countries follow suit and to fight the efforts of the tobacco companies to hinder or counter progress that has been made by countries implementing strong measures.

Everyone can help play a role in stamping out tobacco and promoting development at the same time. People can commit to never take up tobacco products or to seek help to quit the habit. Governments can strengthen implementation of the WHO FCTC.

The tobacco industry is a vector of one of the greatest threats our society faces. It takes courage to antagonize powerful economic operators. If we fail to accept this responsibility, we will never make sufficient progress in health and development.

WHO stands ready to help governments introduce innovative approaches to tackling tobacco use. We have taken off our gloves and entered the ring on the side of the countries working to advance tobacco control, and we are going to fight tobacco tooth and nail.

If we rise to the challenge of beating tobacco by adopting measures that reduce demand for this deadly product, we can promote a healthier, more sustainable world.

From HuffPost

Osafo Maafo, Atta Akyea, Ursula Missing In Akufo-Addo's 19-Member Cabinet

Image - Osafo-Maafo, Ursula Owusu, Atta Akyea
Osafo-Maafo, Ursula Owusu, Atta Akyea

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has submitted to Parliament a list of 19 Ministers who will make up his Cabinet Tuesday.

The President’s action is in fulfillment of Article 76(1) of the 1992 Constitution which enjoins him to select some Ministers to form his Cabinet.

The Article states that “There shall be a Cabinet which shall consist of the President, the Vice President and not less than ten and not more than nineteen Ministers of State.”

It did not state which Ministerial portfolio should be included in the Cabinet of any government.

Clause (2) of the same Article said the Cabinet shall “assist the President in the determination of general policy of the Government.”

Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Aaron Ocquaye announced the list to the Members of Parliament (MPs).


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Below is the list of Ministers selected:

(1) Alan Kyeremanteng – Trade

(2) Ken Ofori Atta – Finance

(3) Dominic Nitiwul- Defence

(4) Ayorkor Botchey- Foreign Affairs

(5) Gloria Akufo- AG

(6) Ambrose Dery – Interior

(7) Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto- Agriculture

(8) Boakye Agyarko – Energy

(9) Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh – Education

(10) Kwaku Agyeman Manu—Health

(11) Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei- Monitoring and Evaluation

(12) Dan Botwe—Regional Integration

(13) Peter Amewu—Lands

(14) Kofi Ada—Sanitation and water

(15) Joe Ghartey – Railway Development

(16) Ignatius Baffuor Awuah— Employment and Labour

(17) Kwaku Ofori Asiamah- Transport

(18) Catherine Afeku – Tourism

(19) Mavis Hawa Koomson- Special Development in initiatives

26 May 2017

African Union: Where Is The Unity?

Africans just observed the African Union Day on 25th May. This day is observed annually to mark the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) which has metamorphosed into the African Union (AU). The objectives of the union include fostering greater unity among its members, defending the sovereignty of its members, accelerating the political and socio-economic integration of its members, etc.


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Image - African Union logo
Image courtesy Wikipedia

However, from the time I began recognizing this day and the summits that accompany it, I have always seen divisions at such meetings. People take entrenched positions on issues and are often unwilling to back down on such positions. A compromise is never reached on any issue.

One would wonder why a union can be so disunited. That all of its members are still on their own. Every country does whatever it thinks makes good sense without recourse to a supposed union.


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The political and economic invasion of Africa has assumed an alarming proportion. The Chinese have found a new dumping ground for their inferior goods. The Americans and Russians now have a new market for their weapons. The many the wars, the more guns would be sold. Examples of such incidents were the events that led to the notorious and uncouth invasions of Ivory Coast, Tunisia, and Libya.

Surprisingly, no African leader uttered a word to condemn these Western-backed actions. Ghana's late President John Atta-Mills was asked about his opinion on the Ivory Coast invasion by France and he jokingly told the reporter in the local Fante language, "Dzi wo fie asem", meaning he should mind his own business. And that appeared to be the stance of all African leaders at the time on that issue.

Yet, these leaders will not spare any opportunity to drink beer together at a supposed union meeting whose legislations are not binding on any country.

2 May 2017

Christmas Christians

Last night, the Catholic church was filled to capacity and overflowing. People had come to church more than they normally do. They are not the "wise men" who traced a star to the manger Jesus laid. They always go at a time Mother Mary is still in labor. Even Muslims come to church and participate actively in most of the things done that day.

I was amazed when I saw one Muslim singing some of the hymns and reciting the prayers. I thought to myself, "Maybe, he is a converted Christian." And this was not the first time Muslims went to the Catholic church on Christmas eve in Sandema. They always do.


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Image - Christmas begins with Christ
Image Courtesy: thankGodforJesus.org

The issue is people who have been properly integrated into the Catholic church and its doctrine who, as if they've just been released from prison, flood the church only during festive periods. These are Catholics who have been baptized and confirmed and can partake of the holy communion. They go there and their main objective is far from worship or to give praises. They even go partake of the communion without examining their conscience. Some even go there drunk only to make unnecessary noise and distract others. Mind you, these people are not strangers to the church. They know the circumstances under which partaking of the communion can be forfeited. Yet, they gladly do it with some kind of pride.

My confusion here is, why do some people show up in church only on festive occasions such as Christmas, New Year's day, and Easter? What is preventing them from showing up for the rest of the 365 days in the year? It is surely not just work, although some types of work can make it difficult for you sometimes to be present at church. An example is the nursing profession. But nurses tend to be regular at church than most these folks who enjoy weekends.

What might be the contributory factor(s) to this trend of religious behavior among latter-day Christians?