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When your future arrives

Opinions

This experience made me sad because most of them won’t be available when their future arrives. Life can become so challenging that the only path we follow is our circumstances. When we were ...

Why do people rejoice whenever people in power contract the virus?

Opinions

I am no expert. But maybe it is time for the political class to do some self-introspection and ask themselves if they have discharged themselves well vis-à-vis the political power thrust on them.

Barbarism at the highest - Kafaba on radar. Image credit - Insight GH

Opinions

Trial by ordeal is definitely not acceptable and the Kafaba perpetrators should not be left to go free.

Is this the insurance industry’s new normal? - Travys Wilkins

Opinions

Many insurance businesses have been forced to speed up their digital transformation efforts but could a hybrid business model be the industry’s future?

Professor Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka

Opinions

Africa processes a very small proportion of its agricultural produce. We continue to export raw commodities like cocoa, timber and cotton that others process and re-sell to Africa at a much higher valuation. Our continent also ...

Dr Omane Boamah

Opinions

First, we must be mindful of the fact that 60% of our population will be under the age of 30 in a few years. That is why it is so critical that we systematically reform all our systems to effectively address the aspirations of our youth and country.

We don’t have COVID-19 under control

Opinions

We see the rise in covid-19 cases. Day in day out, you hear of people you know contracting the virus. It does not end there. It now sounds so real. And yet, the EC and the government are acting as if nothing is going on ....

ROB Quizzes… How can we end the fervid machinations of the NDC and NPP during voter registration exercises? – Lessons from the recent Kasoa shooting

Opinions

The question is, what at all do the two main political parties seek to gain especially during a normal voters’ registration exercise?

The author, Kobina Ansaha

Opinions

The beginning of a thing is very important because it becomes its foundation. Foundations are very critical because the success or failure of that thing depends on it. Every builder, ...

Time to fully reopen schools, economy

Opinions

It has, therefore, become prudent and urgent to do a risk-benefit analysis on reopening of all schools in the country. The time is now ripe to take a bold and concrete decision based on science and facts devoid of fear, anxiety and pressures.

COVID-19: ‘Criticism is good but encouragement is better’

Opinions

Our problems of filth, insulting language, road traffic indiscipline and resultant accidents and casualties, and general indiscipline have long outlived their expiry dates and need to be tackled, and not violence for power!

Infrastructure is so much more than bricks and mortar - Carl Manlan and Michael Mapstone

Opinions

Five years ago, the Ecobank Foundation collaborated with the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) to design a strategy that would help us become the ‘go-to’ partner in Africa

Full text: Naana Jane’s speech at her outdooring

Speeches

After serious reflection , consultations, prayers, and encouragement of colleagues, friends, and family, I am happy to have accepted the nomination to be the running mate of the presidential candidate of the great National Democratic Congress. This is an ...

Full Text: Address To The Nation By The President Of The Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, On Updates To Ghana’s Enhanced Response To The Coronavirus Pandemic (Update No. 14)

Speeches

After further extensive consultations, Government has taken the decision to embark upon the implementation of Phase Two of the easing of restrictions in the following sectors of our national life.

Full Text: Address To The Nation By The President Of The Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, On Updates To Ghana’s Enhanced Response To The Coronavirus Pandemic (Update No. 13)

Speeches

In all, we are expecting some seven hundred and fifty thousand (750,000) persons, comprising five hundred and thirty-two thousand (532,000) JHS 3 students, and two hundred and eighteen thousand (218,000) teaching and non-teaching staff, and invigilators, to be involved in tomorrow’s exercise.

Speech By President Akufo-Addo During Acclamation Ceremony. File image

Speeches

Thanks to technology, I know that we have been joined by hundreds of thousands of our supporters, at home and abroad, who are able to follow the events as they happen.

Full Text: Address To The Nation By The President Of The Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, On Updates To Ghana’s Enhanced Response To The Coronavirus Pandemic (Update No. 12)

Speeches

From tomorrow, Monday, 22nd June, the next batch of students, who will be going back to school, are final year senior high school students (SHS 3), and second year Gold Track students. On Thursday, ...

Full Text: Address To The Nation By The President Of The Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, On Updates To Ghana’s Enhanced Response To The Coronavirus Pandemic (Update No. 11)

Speeches

Fellow Ghanaians, I have to address a matter which has to do with our case count, especially in recent weeks, and which has given cause for anxiety. The increase in numbers indicates that the virus has spread and continues to spread. We have to bear in mind, at all times, that the more people we test for the virus, ....

Full Text: Address To The Nation By The President Of The Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, On Updates To Ghana’s Enhanced Response To The Coronavirus Pandemic(Update No.10)

Speeches

Fellow Ghanaians, now, more than ever, we must adhere to enhanced personal hygiene and social distancing protocols, wash our hands with soap under running water, refrain from shaking hands, and wear our masks whenever we leave our homes.

Full Text: Prez Akufo-Addo's speech at 2020 Eid-ul-Fitr celebration

Speeches

I wish all Muslims and Ghanaians a happy Eid ul-Fitr, even if a restrained one. Hopefully, the Almighty has listened to the cry of the faithful, through His Mercy, with which he envelopes the month of Ramadan.

Address To The Nation By The President Of The Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, On Updates To Ghana’s Enhanced Response To The Coronavirus Pandemic, On Sunday, 10th May, 2020.

Speeches

Uncomfortable as these restrictions have been, we have no option but to stay the course. We can only guarantee the safety of each other if we continue to adhere to them. As I have said before, ...

File image - President Akufo Addo

Speeches

Workers of Ghana, job creation is one of the most important priorities of this government. It is the thrust of the social contract, and over the course of our stay in Government, we have taken bold, innovative and urgent steps to realising this. Indeed, the latest Ghana Living Standards Survey states that the rate of unemployment, which stood at 11.9% in 2015, dropped to 7.3% in 2019.

Full Tex: Address To The Nation By President Nana Akufo-Addo, On Updates To Ghana’s Enhanced Response To The Coronavirus Pandemic (Update No.8)

Speeches

That is why Government has decided to undertake a major investment in our healthcare infrastructure, the largest in our history. We will, this year, begin constructing eighty-eight (88) hospitals in the districts without hospitals.

John Mahama writes: Day 20 of lockdown

Speeches

As I noted a few days ago, there is dissatisfaction with the quality and mode of distribution of the relief (food) packages. In some cases, there have been reports of distributions along partisan lines.

COVID-19: Akufo-AdCOVID-19: Akufo-Addo self-isolatesdo self isolates

Press Release

President Akufo-Addo accepts Hon. Carlos Ahenkorah’s resignation

Press Release

Auditor General Daniel Domelevo

Press Release

Former president, John D. Mahama

Press Release

To send troops into regions in times of peace for the sole purpose of preventing them from registration amounts to declaring war on them. Any President sanctioning this sort of activity stands in breach of his oath to the people of Ghana. Any President doing this, commits a grave sin against the very people he swore to protect.

Press Release: NDC’s position on the compilation of a new voters’ register remains unchanged

Press Release

Our observation of the EC’s so-called pilot registration process, has revealed serious issues which reinforce our position that, the new voter registration of the Jean Mensa-led EC is needless, …..

Press Release: FDA warns against the use of naphthalene (camphor) as inhalation treatment for Covid-19

Press Release

FDA orders recall of substandard COA FS supplement

Press Release

Coronavirus: All national service personnel directed to take mandatory paid leave

Press Release

Joyce Bawah Mogtari writes: The time, indeed, is now!! File image

Features

Her message was straight from the heart: introspective and reflective, hers was a voice of sincerity and her integrity and intellect more telling. At some points, ...

Emergency Wedding: Half empty or full?

Features

Emergency Wedding was, however, different. 2020 was our fifth anniversary and we were launching it with all our resources. It was ALL or NOTHING.

Old tricks, new scandals

Features

I explained, and l hope you got the drift too, how Wirecard, a company which had footprints in major countries, including Germany, UK and China, had to file for insolvency on June 25, with funds of almost 2 billion euros unaccounted for.

A witch camp in Northern Ghana

Features

Obviously an issue of vulnerability is at the bottom. The typical ‘witch’ is an elderly woman, childless or all her children.. and perhaps lost all teeth. She may be suffering from dementia which makes her forgetful and behave like a child, or depression which makes her confess to imaginary crimes, or...

Unlocking growth and attracting investments/funding for “Startups” in difficult times

Features

Yes, we are not in normal times. The outlook for the coming years is fraught with too many uncertainties but the determination of the human race against this virus creates hope.

How parts of the media in Ghana aid – rather than fight – corruption. Image credti - theconversation

Features

Media houses and journalists that maintain strong ties to political candidates and parties tend to engage in partisan reporting. One participant said:

Election and COVID-19: Time for Co-Leadership

Features

At the same time, election activities are ramping up and the Electoral Commission’s (EC) compilation of a new register, which aims to register some 18 million Ghanaians is in full swing.

Impact of domestic violence needs fundraising to support victims. Image credit - Giving Compass

Features

As a country, there is an urgent need for a national fundraising effort to generate enough money for the domestic violence fund.

Impact of COVID-19 on Ghana's petroleum upstream sector

Features

For Africa including Ghana, Wood Mackenzie predicts that about 33 per cent of upstream investments will not take place due to the current pandemic, ...

Why we need a politics of trust

Features

Since the inception of our Fourth Republic, we have been governed by two political parties, the NPP and NDC. Our multiparty democracy has turned into a duopoly as the two political parties have turned the wheel of governance into a revolving door.

What Ghana's first woman presidential running mate of a major party offers

Features

ROB Writes… Why Parliament’s Adoption of a Proposal for Enacting a Private Member Bill, ‘May’ Be a Victory for Ghana’s Representative Democracy?

Features

I know that there is a key question, running through the minds of my varied readers now. ‘What are private member bills?” and ‘Of what benefit will they serve the legislature and the ordinary Ghanaians?’

Money Politics Undermines Democracy

Editorials

Whenever people make a private profit from public duties it is called corruption, and that is what these candidates and delegates are doing.

Yiwabra, a community in the Aowin District of the Western North Region of Ghana beset by illegal mining activities.

Editorials

However, human activities tend to indicate a blatant rejection of this fact, leading to all kinds of pollution of the environment.

Fighting A Tiny, Unseen Enemy; The War Between Humanity And Coronavirus

Editorials

We all have been asked to stay indoors so we are not attacked by an enemy we don't see.

Commendable action by La Nkwantanang-Madina Assembly, but...

Editorials

At the Zongo Junction, about eight assembly guards and policemen are seen constantly directing pedestrians who come to stand by the side of the road waiting for vehicles to stop for them to cross to use the footbridge.

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia (in blue) in a bilateral talks with the President of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel.

Editorials

Cuban doctors offer health care to the world's poor because they have big hearts.

Mr. Joseph Kofi Adda, Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources.

Editorials

Indiscriminate disposal of refuse, generated at homes and workplaces, is a common feature, which if not tackled, ...

Export of nurses innovative

Editorials

But there are other areas where we can take advantage, as we may have a competitive edge over other nations.

Mother tongue may be our development launch pad. Image credit - ghanagrio

Editorials

Many scholars have posited that language develops with the rise and development of a society. Perhaps the most instructive postulation is that language dies when a society dies.

Cocoa farmers deserve a bigger share of the pie

Editorials

Sadly, however, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire have little to show for their efforts at leading the sustenance of an industry that is equal to or more than the combined value of their national outputs ...

TIME TO TAKE HIV TREATMENT SERIOUS

Editorials

It is regrettable that Ghana who was tipped as far back as 2012 to be the first country on the African continent to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS has not as yet succeeded.

Press Freedom Must Mean Freedom And Responsibility

Editorials

Truth is that some media professionals have taken freedom of the press for granted and thrown professional ethics to the abyss.

COP Mrs Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah

Editorials

It is also very disappointing that the police service is behaving as if it has no communication policy in place. A senior officer says the girls have been found or their whereabouts are known but in the same breath the very Police Administration denies the abducted victims have been located.

Mr President, please reconsider school re-opening

Letters

Governance is about giving and taking opinions and ideas. And by this write-up, I hope I can convince you about the need to reverse your policy regarding the re-opening of school.

Akwasi Ameyaw Cheremeh, MP for Sunyani East

Letters

The Library is not the only thing that portrays your failure as an MP. Look at the road in front of the Regional Hospital and that tells you that you are sleeping on the job. You should not tell me that MPs don’t construct roads because there are other MPs that have influenced many projects in their constituencies.

President Nana Akufo-Addo. File image

Letters

Saiko is a severely destructive form of illegal fishing, where industrial trawlers target the staple catch of artisanal fishers and sell this fish back to local coastal communities at a profit. It threatens jobs and food security and endangers Ghana’s economy. It is also referred to as “Galamsey on the sea”.

File image - Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh

Letters

The best these unions could do was to write a letter to the GES to reject government’s intention to reopen the schools. This response, in my opinion, was an impulsive action that was not well thought out.

An Open Letter To The Director-General Of Ghana Education Service (Ges) On The Proposal To Re-Open Schools

Letters

The question is, would these union leaders seek for extension of the schools' lockdown if they were in the private sector and their salaries depended on the school fees collected? Certainly not!

Lessons From The Tema Covid-19 Factory Spread...

Letters

File image - Former president John D. Mahama (L) exchanging pleasantries with VP Mahamudu Bawumia in this undated image.

Letters

The other day, I met Sanatu, daughter of Mashu the shoemaker. She was being tickled in the dark by Yaamuha, the village womanizer. I detested what Yaamuha, known for his touch and go, hit and run, machinations, was about to do to the daughter of ...

Former presidetnt, John D. Mahama. File image

Letters

Unlike Akufo Addo who was in his usual belligerent best when you were battling to prevent Ebola from entering Ghana, you are offering practical recommendations and solution to this government to lift us from the doldrums.

President Akufo-Addo. File image

Letters

Mr President, the tone and spirit of the circular inviting the district level teams for training almost swept me off my feet.

Deputy Attorney-General Godfred Dame

Letters

An open letter to the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to review his directives on Covid-19

Letters

Mr. President, on the issue of travel ban, why is the travel permit limited to only countries that have recorded at least 200 cases of COVID-19?

ON COVID-19: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND GHANAIANS

Letters

In the circumstances, please MoH, “make SOME payments” owed to Health Service Providers. It is no use entrusting our health to MoH when MoH is being quarantined by Service Providers for unpaid arrears.

Conversation with Marieme Esther Dassanou, Coordinator of the African Development Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa programme

Interviews

It’s not only about borrowing. The access to finance gap is in part due to the inability of women-owned and led businesses to access funding, their lack of skills in presenting financially viable businesses, and an environment that is not ...

Ambassador Shi Ting Wang, Chinese Ambassador to Ghana

Interviews

How will China help Ghana fight against the COVID-19?

2019 conference on land policy in Africa: why it matters for the continent - Cosmas Milton Ochieng

Interviews

The theme of this year’s Conference on Land Policy in Africa is “Winning the fight against corruption in the land sector in Africa

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed he gave his first interview to a Western news organization in late May, when he spoke to the Voice of America’s Horn of Africa service reporter Eskinder Firew, in Addis Ababa in Amharic.

Interviews

Bishop John Bonaventure Kwofie

Interviews

How can somebody like me from a small tribe - the Ahanta people in the Western Region - be called to go to work in Accra; I mean how are the people going to receive me?

DecoKraft’s Akua Obenewaa Donkor

Interviews

My chocolatier journey began when I came across the word “chocolatier” in a magazine. It piqued my curiosity, ...

Angolan businesswoman, Isabel dos Santos

Interviews

In 2013, according to research by Forbes, her net worth had reached more than three billion US dollars, making her Africa's first billionaire woman. Five years have passed ever since and her wealth has continued to grow.

Related: Exclusive Interview: Marricke Kofi Gane Talks Political Future and More - Part 3

Interviews

AA: Like any armchair football coach, the armchair politician’s task is always the easiest; it becomes a different story when the reality hits him in office. What is your take on that?

Exclusive Interview: Marricke Kofi Gane Talks Political Future and More – Part 2

Interviews

Well, let me put it this way – it is not enough if I wish to stand – the people must also want me to stand, after all, they will be the ones to vote for me. What I can say however is this - if I do make an announcement to stand in 2020, it will be because the people believe in me. Do I believe I am ready myself?

Exclusive Interview: Marricke Kofi Gane Talks Political Future and More - Part 1

Interviews

I am not sure there is a very new me from when we last spoke. I think it’s more the case that the Author side of me has been asked to proceed on leave, hahaha, and my more vocal and politically inclined self, awakened. Both have always been there.

The developing world is an easy target for populists – Kofi Annan

Interviews

There has been much debate about democratic dysfunction in the advanced world due to paralyzing polarization exacerbated by fake news and social media manipulation. Isn’t this also an issue in the fledgling democracies of the developing world, from Malaysia to Kenya, Nigeria and elsewhere?

The story is titled 'The Shimmer in the Photo Album', and it revolves around 4 children and their grandfather, and a series of time-porting adventures and mysteries they go through. The title was purely to create curiosity and thereby encourage anyone to pick up through book.

Mr. Ken-Ofori-Atta presenting the 2020 Mid-Year Budget Review to Parliament. Image credit - Ghanaian Times

Commentary

On successes chalked up, one point two million students enrolled under the free SHS; while more than 97 graduates were employed under the NABCO programme and 307 ambulances procured for distribution across the country, ....

Professor Naana Opoku-Agyemang

Commentary

Looking at her performance yesterday at her inauguration, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang left little doubt about her ability to help radically transform the flavour of the socioeconomic efforts and fortunes needed in the national political mix by a first woman Vice-President of Ghana

Job Recruitment Scams

Commentary

The whole idea of job recruitment scam may seem laughable to many, but for the victims it is a painful experience especially when they lose money in the process. Asking unemployed graduates to part with money ...

Use of civil language as December elections approach

Commentary

As we go about our “politicking”, may we be cautious and mindful to use civil or temperate language in presenting our messages. We should also factor the four basic things: WHAT, HOW, WHEN and EFFECT principles and guidelines.

Role of UNIPASS in national revenue mobilisation

Commentary

The revenue mobilisation trend of GRA through the implementation of the Ghana Customs Management System in recent years revealed a monthly minimum revenue of 800 million Ghana Cedis and a maximum of one point two billion Ghana Cedis.

Deliberation on the Nationwide Voter Registration

Commentary

It is very critical for people who go to the registration centres to adhere to the COVID-19 preventive protocols to ensure that the exercise does not add to our already precarious situation.

Ghana Beyond Aid Vision

Commentary

President Akufo-Addo upon assumption of office envisioned a country where its development will be driven by the ingenuity of Ghanaians leveraging on the nation’s endowed human and natural resources.

Resumption Of Church Activities – Return or not to Return

Commentary

In view of this, the question that comes to mind is, what is the motivation? Is it the financial consideration or the spiritual welfare of their members?

Unemployment Situation In The Wake Of COVID-19. Image credit - Metro US

Commentary

Almost all the sectors of the economy are adversely affected. The banking sector, tourism, agricultural, transportation among other sectors are all affected.

War Against False Prophets & Its Implications

Commentary

The unfortunate thing is that the growing attacks on prophets has tainted the reputation of those who are genuine due to careless generalization. This means that genuine prophets who are focused on doing the will of God will have to battle for their credibility and many will be skeptical dealing with servants of God due to the bad image portrayed in the minds of the public.

Controversies surrounding compilation of new voters’ register

Commentary

One does not expect the EC to just give in to the demands of an opposition party but the Commission must adduce cogent reasons why the wishes of a party cannot be granted. But in a situation where ...

Former President Jerry John Rawlings.

Commentary

On hindsight, it could be said that, 41 years after that popular uprising it is good enough to reflect on the spirit and bravery of those who laid down their lives to embark on a strategic rescue mission of this country.

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Our Columnists

Grid List

Elizabeth Ohene writes: Coronavirus - How it turned the tables on Ghana's diaspora

At Large

I've heard of Ghanaians in Greenland, Iceland and Papua New Guinea. I admit, I haven't heard about a Ghanaian in the Faroe Islands, which is my idea of the most exotic and faraway place, but I wouldn't be surprised ....

In the BBC's series of letters from African writers, journalist and former Ghana government minister Elizabeth Ohene writes about how the prospect of living abroad has lost its attraction in the time of coronavirus.

Why Hawa Koomson is still at post

At Large

At the time the Vigilante Bill was being drafted, we had in mind “irresponsible macho men high on drugs”. No one thought of an MP!

In Ghana, the masses have ceased grumbling. They’ve decided, rather, to return, in equal dosage, the ruling classes’ selfish greed and corruption. In times like this, a columnist’s mind needs extra fortification. The evil that men do sieges the mind.

Elizabeth Ohene writes: Nature will even it out

At Large

A year and ten months later, my sister arrived. My aunts said my mother had set up a girls’ school in their brother’s home.

I am probably being melodramatic here, but I can’t think of a better way of putting this. My birth was political.

President Nana Akufo-Addo

At Large

Now to Election 2020. Apparently, Akufo-Addo knows what stone his foot is stepping on. I don’t see a killer stone in his hand as he faces his Goliath on December 7. That Goliath is not his opponent; it is the anger, disenchantment or indifference of the masses.

God is having a good laugh up there. He has known, since Adam, that every imagination of the thoughts of the human heart is evil all the time. He looks at the greed, every grubby detail of our ‘clever’ plot to win Election 2020, and laughs.

Elizabeth Ohene writes: COVID-19 induced miracle

At Large

I went to the site last Saturday to see things for myself. First lesson when I got there, virtual is not the same as the real thing. The original six-week target had already been changed to 12 weeks, but ....

If ever there was an ambitious project in this country, it must be the 100-bed Infectious Disease Centre being built at the Ga East Municipal Hospital.

Elizabeth Ohene writes: Maybe we don’t need leave

At Large

For the moment, however, it is enough to say congratulations to the first female Vice-Chancellor, on becoming the vice-presidential candidate of a major political party.

One thing struck me in the ongoing tussle between the Auditor General and the Presidency: the Auditor General is entitled to 44 working days leave in a year.

The writer, Elizabeth Ohene

At Large

Among the declaration of war and all the other complaints Mr Ametefe made in his encounter with the media in Ho last Thursday, I was interested in his assertion that the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) belonged to them and the current Vice-Chancellor was not one of them.

Who owns the public universities? I know this seems like a strange question to ask. But I have been grappling with this question since last week’s outburst by Mr Henry Ametefe, the Volta Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

President Nana Akufo-Addo. File image

At Large

There is no avoiding it, COVID or no COVID. The drafters of our national Constitution did not make any room for manoeuvre. Come hell, come high water, come pestilence, come war, the term of an elected President comes to an end on January 6. Therefore, we must have our elections.

The one message I have taken to heart among the COVID-19 protocols is that unless it is very important, I stay home.

Elizabeth Ohene writes... Hiding from the virus. Image credit -- graphiconline

At Large

Then there are those who up until now had never stepped out without their sophisticated, expensive mask, aka, make-up; and now they are being forced to appear unadorned, or to use my friend’s agonised words, going outside your house without any make-up and without lipstick is like appearing naked in public.

I have been trying to find something, anything, to like about masks. Now that a mask has become an obligatory part of the attire that I have to wear once I step outside my home, I realise I better find some reason to like it.

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis. File image

Here And There

There is a certain power that negative words have. They reflect the unpalatable sides of human nature. And as I drove, I thought about all these people who have survived the negative power of abusive words. John Lewis, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, all these people ...

I was driving to work on a bright Saturday morning when I met her at the mud island at the junction created by the road construction in my area. There was only enough space for one car at a time, to turn.

On Oneness

Here And There

The true actualisation of life in the urban jungle is how secure the bubble gets to be. And in the rat race that survival has become, the walls of the bubble are reinforced for independent survival of each bubble inhabitant. Security is individually guarded with high walls and barbed wire. Water supply ...

I was driving behind this guy when he lurched into my lane. It must have struck him that the he really had no idea where he was going… or something like that. I had to slam hard on my brakes, just to save my day. He was completely oblivious of what had happened, as I passed him. He was focused on the road ahead, and seemed to be nodding to some music only he could hear in his air-conditioned car. Moments like these, make me miss driving in more predictable environments. Where I know that there is a communal commitment to rules and guidelines. Sometimes this dedication is really admirable to see. In a country not my own, I drove a manual car on the opposite side, with the steering wheel in the wrong place, gear lever turned all upside down… and I still had more peace of mind than I have driving in Accra on a quiet day.

Weather warning. Image credit - Modernghana

Here And There

There are supposed to be lines on the floor. There are supposed to be sanitizers, and Veronica buckets, and single chairs spaced nicely for aspiring voters. Sometimes there are, and sometimes not.

It was one of those good days. I had closed for the day, and the sun had just begun to set. So I decided in obedience to science… and to my wife, to do some brisk walking in the Ridge area. Just for some droplets of sweat to convince my muscles they were good for something, before I headed on the long drive home. I was now on the homestretch back to the hospital. It had been a pleasant walk so far.

Battle Cry

Here And There

This virus hitches rides on droplets. We need to mask. We need to physically distance. We need to keep our hands clean. Any shortcut, and we miss out on the benefits from any sacrifice.

The number builds. We have lost more people than we thought we would lose. Just when we have begun to fix our focus on getting back to some kind of normal, this disease seems to further deepen its trenches along the frontline. The virus is freely jumping across all the defenses we have sacrificed to put up. And seems to pick whom it pleases. It crosses class, tribal, political lines. No one is safe.

On Racism. Image credit - SEYM

Here And There

And even though this is the country I call home, where I want my roots to sink, and my heritage to be established, I can’t close my eyes to how this devaluation of people still persists. I can’t be blind to the daily dehumanisation ...

I became aware of my blackness when I left these shores for the first time. It was a strange self realization that living in Ghana did not prepare me for. I have heard astronauts say that they only grasped how special Earth was, when they had left it, and saw that blue dot floating in absolute blackness. This process was less benign. Over the years I have come to understand that there is a certain acceptance of my humanity that I can only experience in Ghana.

Front Line

Here And There

Because I have gone round town, the social distancing is dissipating. The trotros are packing up again. The okadas are picking passengers again. The masks are won like fake beards, or hair bands, or sometimes like bow ties. Sometimes, maddeningly they are taken off ...

I know something of the helplessness of severe illness. I have memories from childhood. I have also had some experiences in my adulthood. It is not a good thing to be ill. The fact that an illness has a cure, takes nothing away from the naked terror of its journey through the body. Sometimes, I have been ill, and have known exactly what to do. I suffer nonetheless.

Ghana Covid-19

Here And There

This is the time to protect our limited numbers of medical people, who expose themselves to this virus on a daily basis. No expense must be spared. No strategy must be spurned.

I know a little about stigma. It was the year 2005. I had just finished my first surgical residency exam. I had left Battor and spent three weeks in Accra burning through anatomy, physiology and histology pages. I battled sleep, tiredness, I pushed through the days, until the final one when I stood in front of the examiners. And they told me 30 minutes after the exam, that I had passed. That was just how things were done. You knew your fate, almost as soon as you finished the exam.

Pushing Forward

Here And There

And a lockdown cannot quieten the busy streets, because sometimes the streets are an extension of the accommodation. Sometimes the place of convenience is at an inconvenient distance away from the home, and no policeman can do anything about the queue of nature’s call.

The plot thickens. There is talk of peaks, and curve flattening in the atmosphere of a pandemic gathering speed. Physical distancing seems like a dismissed fairy tale. A lockdown seems like that unachievable haven, that could just have offered some security… but the door is closed.

The scene in one of Accra's business district after the lockdown was lifted. Image credit - myjoyonline

Here And There

COVID19 closed the doors. And suddenly we can see the chasm for what it really is. But we have accepted it for so long, that it seems unchangeable, unbridgeable, and unconquerable.

I have part Fante ancestry. Maybe it is the reason why I love good bread, and cannot let delectable pastry pass by unappreciated. And this morning, I was on my way to visit my Mother, who is the genetic channel for this part of me. All the more reason I could not just pass by the bakery shop at the filling station along the road.

Ignoramus: An Ode to Madam Akua Denteh. Image credit - insight GH

Thoughts From Afar

What surprised me though was the passiveness of the observers and their lack of compliance with the present social protocols. To start with, these observers were clearly breaking the law by not practising social distancing or wearing facemasks or shields. Yet, ...

Charles Darwin in “The Descent of Man” argued that “ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. It is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”

Health Under the Microscope; The Science of Election 2020

Thoughts From Afar

It is under these clouds that Ghana... will be approaching the general elections in December. We have for a while ...

Carl Sagan in his book The Demon argues that “at the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes, an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless sceptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new. This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense.”

Were Our SARS-COV-2 Behaviours Predictable?

Thoughts From Afar

This for me is where less-resourced countries like Ghana, should be looking for options. We need to believe in ourselves that we have what it takes to slow down this pandemic by limiting community spread. We need to

“If you believe you can accomplish everything by “cramming” at the eleventh hour, by all means, don’t lift a finger now. But you may think twice about beginning to build your ark once it has already started raining”

To Shut Down or Stay Open; A Conundrum for the Gods. Image credit - USAID E3

Thoughts From Afar

One of the biggest challenges of humankind is decision making. Often, most of us have opinions but never a firm view of what action to take. Incidentally, it is common for us to want to hoist these opinions on others as though they were grounded in fact, backed by evidence and a conclusion we have come to.

“It felt like waiting for something to happen. Which has to be the worth part of being young. So many of your decisions aren’t yours; they’re made by other people. Sometimes they’re made badly by other people. Sometimes they’re made by other people who have no idea what the consequences of those decisions might be.”

Viral Deception 101: The Origin of Human Disadvantage. Image credit - genengnews

Thoughts From Afar

In the past week, we have been having conversations around viruses and how this new pathogen SARS-CoV-2 has managed to hold humankind at bay and is exacting such a toll on our very survival.

Sun Tzu in The Art of War argues that “all warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we can attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”

Unpacking The Trends in Ghana’s Low Case Mortality Rate

Thoughts From Afar

Currently, three regions Greater Accra (57.3%), Ashanti (19.9%) and Western (8.1%) account for the majority (85.3%) of all reported cases. However, the regional CMR based on Ghana Health Service data indicates that Greater Accra has a CMR of 0.58%, Ashanti 1.2% and Western 0.078%. One can deduce that Ashanti has approximately twice the CMR of both Greater Accra and the national average.

“Accepting death doesn’t mean you won’t be devastated when someone you love dies. It means you will be able to focus on your grief, unburdened by bigger existential questions like, “Why do people die?” and “Why is this happening to me?” Death isn’t happening to you. Death is happening to us all.”

The Asymptomatic Trap of SARS-COV-2. Image credit - Safety Signs

Thoughts From Afar

Research indicates that over 97% of all patients with COVID-19 will go through this type of disease progression. Therefore, like HIV, in the strictest sense, the classical asymptomatic COVID-19 patient does not exist. Unfortunately, ...

William H. McNeill wrote in Plagues and Peoples sometime in 1976 that “It is obvious that human (and non-human) diseases are evolving with an unusual rapidity simply because changes in our behaviour facilitate cross-fertilization of different strains of germs as never before, while an unending flow of new medicines (and pesticides) also present infectious organisms with rigorous, changing challenges to their survival.”

A Call For Bold Leadership - Featured Image Courtesy of Mike Lawrence

Thoughts From Afar

Sadly, it comes across that amongst the 275 sitting Members of Parliament whom we queue to vote for on a four-yearly cycle, some are hell-bent on flouting the laws of the land in a manner that will put more lives at risk. Having tested positive for SARS-COV-2 ...

“Pick a leader who will make their citizens proud. One who will stir the hearts of the people, so that the sons and daughters of a given nation strive to emulate their leader’s greatness. Only then will a nation be truly great, when a leader inspires and produces citizens worthy of becoming future leaders, honourable decision makers and peacemakers. And in these times, a great leader must be extremely brave. Their leadership must be steered only by their conscience, not a bribe.”

Converting Public Health Information into Educated Behavioural Change. Image credit - HPAA Journal

Thoughts From Afar

We have had to pause and ask ourselves, “for a disease where avoiding infection relies more on personal and social behaviours, is community spread a concern in our society? In this, we have concluded that many of the behaviours we are supposed to adapt to stay safe are not our default predisposition.

Victor Hugo argues in Les Misérables that “teach the ignorant as much as you can; society is culpable in not providing free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.”

Jogging Again. Image credit - Asics

This And That

Who knows? Perhaps I might see the beginnings of a ‘Rawlings chain’ and a six pack if I am able to balance the jogging and walking with a good diet and healthy eating habits.

For someone who has participated in a couple of marathons as well as taken to the field and running as part of routine exercises in the very distant past and my youthful days, I was thrilled to the core that I was able to jog a mile on three separate occasions this past week. And to boost my morale I have added two more miles this week, albeit on separate days.

My Beef With The ‘John’ At Work. Image credit - American standard

This And That

Personally, I don’t engage in the rushed entry business as it is disrespectful in my opinion. How do you relate to a colleague once you conclude that their shit smells bad? Interestingly, ...

I have for a while now come to the somber realization and conclusion that there are quite a few number of people whose behavior around the workplace John need to be readjusted. Either that, or they just have olfactory bearings in serious need of realignment.

Marshae Jones - Alabama Woman Indicted for Death of Her Fetus. Booking image released by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

This And That

A pregnant woman, who was shot in the stomach by another woman, was recently charged with manslaughter in the death of her unborn baby.

The state of Alabama has always been somewhat radical. They threw themselves headlong into slavery, and after it was abolished, Alabama championed segregation. The state, and still is, known for unsteady race relations, and from its illustrious history, it’s clear that Alabama is also right-leaning in its tendencies.

Bottled Water Scare - How Can You Know What’s Safe?

This And That

Worse still is that this is not America’s first tryst with sullied drinking water. In April 2014, the Flint, Michigan water crisis ...

In recent news all over the United States, it has been discovered that certain brands of bottled water contain arsenic, a substance that can be deadly in humans. These brands are Starkey Water and Penafiel. According to news reports they were sold at Target, Wal Mart and Whole Foods.

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Image credit - Atlas Obscura

This And That

I have no idea what went on inside during the ceremony but the smiles and joy on the faces of parents, ... was enough to signal joy and success of a fortune well-spent at this solely private Catholic girls school.. to provide their daughters an education many of them never had, ...

After frustratingly searching for my phone for several minutes to take a picture of people dumping trash in front of a mail box, I finally came to the realization that I was having a dream, something that I rarely have. This was three Thursdays ago.

Water for Togo

This And That

Tears shouldn’t be the easiest way to have clean water,

Togo’s leaders sit on thrones

Made of gold and bones

The dry, dehydrated bones of the people,

Several cows caught crossing the street around the Achimota Overhead area with flagrant disregard for traffic rules. Photo credit: On the road with Amigo.

This And That

These cows, and many of their other four-legged brethren, not to mention those of the two-legged and winged varieties, can be an eyesore in certain parts of the city. Together, they take care of their private business in full glare of the public, and without fail, fail to clean up after themselves. As for their owners, the less said about their interest in cleaning the public mess, the better.

As someone who dabbled in animal husbandry during his youthful days on a homestead within the city limits of Accra many years ago, and rose to the ranks of a Johnny-do-it-all General Manager, I was really taken aback by a news item from the renowned Associated Press (AP), about lawmakers in one of the States of our own spirited friend, Number Forty-Five, who currently occupies the WH, weighing a trespassing bill against chicken owners in the state of New Hampshire.