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GHANA HOMECOMING 2019: Diaspora Summit Aimed At Boosting Economy — Awua-Ababio



Director of Diaspora Affairs at the
presidency, Akwasi Awua-Ababio has said that the Ghana diaspora celebration and
homecoming summit is expected to lure investors who will help state realise the
Ghana Beyond Aid vision.

Speaking to entertainment curator, Kelly
Nii Lartey Mensah at his office at the Jubilee House, Mr Awua Ababio share his
optimism about the enormous impact the celebration and summit would have on the
country’s GDP.

Ghana partners AFdB, World Bank to
reduce cost of remittances

According to the office of the Diaspora
Affairs at the presidency, government intends to reduce the cost of remittances
by some 9 percent in the coming years.

The move is part of efforts at attracting
more remittances from abroad to fuel economic growth.

The global average cost of sending $200
remained high, at around 7 percent in the first quarter of 2019, according to
the World Bank’s Remittance Prices Worldwide database.

Reducing remittance costs to 3 percent by
2030 is a global target under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10.7.

“Remittance costs across many African
corridors and small islands in the Pacific remain above 10 percent” — Director
of Diaspora Affairs at the Presidency, Kwasi Awuah-Ababio explained to a
question from Starr Business reporter at a press meeting ahead of the 2019 Year
of Return; Diaspora Home Coming.

He explained that government is working
with the African Development Bank and the World Bank to craft measures to make
the cost of remittances cheaper for Ghanaians abroad.

“When the figure comes down we believe it
will encourage more remittances. We want it to come down by 9 to 8 percent. The
World Bank however have a rate they are working with” Mr. Awuah-Ababio said.


The Ghana Diaspora Celebration &
Homecoming Summit 2019 (GDHS’19) is a four-day event recognizing and
celebrating the immense contributions to nation building by the Ghanaian

The event will not only highlight past
contributions but will focus on present contributions as well, whiles
furthering the advocacy for political, economic, and all other systems and policies
that would facilitate future contributions by the Ghanaian Diaspora.

And in light of the fourth centennial
commemoration of the arrival of enslaved Africans in the western hemisphere,
this event recognizes that the Ghanaian Diaspora extends beyond Ghanaian
citizens or nationals and their immediate relatives.

It also include others outside the borders of Ghana, with roots to, or a strong vested interest in the country. This recognition, is based upon the need and desire for a long-term engagement between Ghana and her important stakeholder constituency. It is accompanied by the Ghana Government’s open-arm policy to all people of African descent.


“Takoradi Missing Girls Are Dead. – Acting IGP Confirms



The Ghana Police Service has announced that the DNA tests conducted on some skeletons retrieved in August in the Western region have proven positive to be that of the four missing Takoradi girls.

The Acting Inspector General of the Police, James Oppong-Boanuh told journalists in Accra Monday evening.

TV3’s Peter Quao Adattor who was monitoring event at the police headquarters in Accra said the police said the families of the victims have already been informed about the development.

Prior to the announcement, Peter said the police hierarchy were locked up in a marathon meeting running into hours on Monday.

The first sets were discovered at Kansaworodo, where the prime suspect stayed
The first sets were discovered at Kansaworodo, where the prime suspect stayed

The girls – Priscilla Blessing Bentum, 21; Ruth Love Quayson, 18;  Priscilla Mantebea Koranchie,18; and Ruth Abakah, 19; – went missing between July and December 2018.

The remains of three of the girls were found in a cesspit tank at Kansaworodo near the home of Samuel Uduatuk Wills the prime suspect on August 2, while the fourth in a well at Nkroful on August 6.

Mr. James Oppong-Boanuh said: “A few minutes ago, officers of the Ghana Police Service informed four (4) families in Takoradi in the Western Region of Ghana that DNA tests conducted on some human remains discovered in the course of Police investigations into the disappearance of four (4) missing girls have turned positive as the remains of the girls.

“The Ghana Police Service has, with regret, therefore informed the families that the remains are those of Ruth Abaka, Priscilla Blessing Bentum, Ruth Love Quayson, and Priscilla Kuranchie.

“Investigations now establish that the girls were victims of a serial kidnapping and murdering syndicate that operated in the Takoradi area.”

Though the Acting IGP regretted the inability of the police to rescue the girl, “we believe that the arrest of the culprits has effectively thwarted the ability of this syndicate to have contued with further kidnappings and murder”.

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‘Intersex’ Is Counted In Kenya’s Census — But Is This A Victory?



Nestled in a quiet, leafy Nairobi neighborhood just a stone’s throw from the throbbing of sounds of a sprawling city market, is a refuge where intersex, transgender and gender-nonconforming Kenyans can escape searing public judgment and discrimination. 

Inside, posters encouraging acceptance and love cover the foyers’ white walls; bathrooms boast gender-neutral signs. Downstairs, people share a late lunch of beans and rice while chatting on deep, soft couches. Upstairs, a transgender woman applies red lipstick without a mirror, then poses for a portrait, the sequins of her ruby red stilettos flicker in the long, afternoon light.

This safehouse is the heart of Jinsiangu, an organization advocating for the wellbeing of gender nonbinary people in Kenya. Its name comes from a combination of Swahili words meaning “my gender.”  

Last month, Kenya completed the colossal effort to conduct its decennial census — from urban high rises to rural, tin-topped huts — and for the first time, it included a new gender category: intersex. This marked a first not only in Kenya but across the continent. Activists hope this will set a precedent for intersex rights in Kenya and around the globe, but intersex inclusion is still far from reality. 

Globally, approximately  1-3% of the population are considered intersex and by those estimates, there could be as many as 1.4 million intersex people in Kenya, according to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.

At the helm of Jinsiangu is Kwaboka Kibagendi, an approachable man with an impassioned voice, who has pushed for intersex inclusion since he started the safe house six years ago.  

Raised as a girl, Kibagendi, 33, didn’t realize he was intersex until six years ago. He blames cultural stigma, discrimination and a general lack of information as the reason he, and so many others, discover their identities late in life. 

“When an intersex child is born, people wonder if it’s a curse,” he said. “Parents might separate, the child might be killed, or they might disown this child. So, if that’s the case, I ask, 'Can our government make sure that there’s enough information about intersex people in society so that once these children are born so there’s no more harassment?’”

Kibagendi is one of the millions who identify as intersex — a term used when a person’s reproductive organs don’t fit within typical male or female characteristics. He sees the census as an opportunity to change public perception about the existence of a third gender, adding that an official tally is the first step in strengthening the rights of intersex people in the country.

“People try to deny this notion that African nations cannot spearhead anything that’s human rights-oriented. But I can tell you now, it’s like the world is realizing that we in Africa — and Kenya — are becoming more progressive in human rights. I am very proud,” he said. 

He's not alone.

“As an individual and intersex person, it was one of the happiest days of my life,” said James Karanja, director of Intersex Persons Society of Kenya.

Intersex people are deeply misunderstood in many parts of East Africa, where deviations of gender evoke beliefs about curses or mystical forces. Others see intersex as akin to homosexuality, a highly taboo topic that has polarized Kenyan courts in recent years. 

“It’s because of this idea that if you’re intersex, then you’re an outcast,” Karanja said. “I’ve tried committing suicide — everyone in our organization has tried. You feel as though you don’t fit into society.”

“Kenyan laws only recognize the traditional binary markers of male and female, making it very difficult for intersex people to get recognition from the day they are born,” said Veronica Mwangi, deputy director of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. “This has a ripple effect for the official registration systems that come along.”

Accessing state-funded insurance programs, applying for travel documents and obtaining accurate birth certificates, which offer access to government services and employment, become enormous obstacles for intersex persons, Mwangi added.

Both Mwangi and Karanja sat on a task force that has advised Kenya’s Bureau of Statistics since February about the inclusion of a third gender. Karanja said the addition is one of a series of recommendations that he hopes will improve the lives of intersex Kenyans. Other recommendations include adding an intersex option to birth certificates, providing funding to cover the costs of gender realignment treatments, and ensuring corrective surgeries are completed in adulthood rather than at birth.

Others, however, questioned the government’s interest in counting intersex people as well as how the information would be used and by who.

“You have to come out of your home when the census person comes and I wondered, why record this? Just because I’m intersex? When you disclose something, you don’t know how people will react to it,” Sydney said. Sydney asked not to use his last name out of concerns for his personal safety. 

Born Beatrice, Sydney, who identifies as a man, said he would prefer that the census uses a broader and more inclusive marker like “other” rather than “intersex,” or allow intersex people to change the gender on their birth certificates altogether. 

“What the government needs to do, is not [give] us a third gender but put in policies that protect intersex people,” he said. “An intersex person is just a normal person, despite the challenges we’ve faced. The challenges are many, but we are just normal people. We were created by God, the same way other people were created by God.”And while Sydney was open to the census, in the end, the official never even asked Sydney about his gender. 

“I was waiting for the third-gender question but he didn’t even mention it. I wondered, ‘Were they trained to do this work on intersex issues?’” he said. “I decided to keep quiet. If you don’t ask me, I won’t tell you.”

While the census provided a rare moment of recognition for intersex Kenyans, activists agreed it’s up to the community to continue to push for policies that protect and enhance the lives of intersex people in Kenya. 

“The [census] conversation, it’s a gateway to a class of people who have historically been excluded from basic human rights,” said Karanja. “In the future, for people like me, I see ourselves being the pillar of society, people who are given a chance to contribute to society just like any other group.”

Sydney's mind is also on the future of intersex people. “It’s high time we speak about these things. ... I’ve gone through a lot and I would not like an intersex child that is born today to go through what I went through,” he said. "That’s why I choose to go out there and share this information.”

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I was on the twitter a while ago when I saw several tweets about Rwanda and the developmental strides they were making. I was clueless about how far Rwanda had come as a country after a rather devastating history about some two decades ago, so I decided to do a little research and I was blown away. I then decided to share my findings with the world.

A little refresher; On April 6, 1994, a plane carrying PresidentHabyarimana, and his counterpart Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi – both Hutuswas shot down which immediately sparked a tribal war between the Hutus and Tutsis. Within a period of 100 days, an estimated 800,000 were killed and thousands of Tutsi women were taken away and kept as sex slaves.

Paul Kagame commanded the rebel force that ended the genocide. He was Rwanda’s de factoleader when he served as Vice President and Minister of Defence from 1994 to 2000. He was re-elected in August 2017 with an official result of nearly 99% in an election criticized for numerous irregularities.

Rwanda has remarkably evolved from utter ruin to an exceptional example of African growth and stability under the leadership of President Paul Kagame. He transformed the devastated country through policies which encouraged rapid economic growth. He is also on course to turning Rwanda into a technological hub.

Between 2010-2011 Rwanda’s GDP hit a record 8.2%. The poverty rate reduced by 57% and saw over a million Rwandans escaping poverty. Other development indicators like infant mortality, employment and literacy have also incredibly improved.

How Paul Kagame turned Rwanda around

President Kagame embraced free market enterprise. Even before the 1994 genocide, Rwanda like most newly independent African countries believed the resources of the country should be regulated by the government and so there was hardly the idea of the private sector. The government controlled everything. This resulted in the concentration of power, high levels of corruption and the amassing of wealth by greedy politicians which led to severe poverty. Paul Kagame however placed the economy on the private sector as its primary driver.

He invested in infrastructure, maintaining a stable currency and marketing itself as a politically stable and low risk investment destination. He also changed the official language of education from French to English in 2008 to enable the labour force of the country compete globally.

He refused to take loans or aids from the World Bank unlike his colleague African presidents. He was keen on a self sustaining economy driven by the creation of domestic value and international trade. With time, research and studying, he was able to formulate the conditions to fundamentally transform his country’s economy.

Paul Kagame mastered the act of branding and marketing. He built strong ties with global brands such as Google, Wal-Mart and Arsenal FC. This has yielded a yearly growth in foreign investments and tourism. In 2007, the country’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was $800 million and shot to $1.6 billion in 2017. These investments went into labour intensive sectors such as agriculture, tourism, mining and construction which boosted youth employment.

The Rwandan government put in serious measures to root out corruption and tribalism. He also reintroduced the indigenous practice of Imihigo. Imihigo simply means setting goals which will be evaluated at a later date. The Imihigo concept was introduced in 2006 by the government as a grown home solution to monitor and evaluate plans, programs and investments that are to be delivered for citizens at different levels of leadership.

President Kagame implemented his vision 2020 program which was to make Rwanda a knowledge base middle income country by the year 2020. To realize this vision, the government dedicated a quarter of its budget towards education and revised the curriculum to ensure a stronger fundamental on linguistics and technical skills. He also implemented targeted social welfare programs. One of such programs is the Girinka program where cows are provided to poor families. The cows bring significant improvements to the lives of the beneficiaries.

However, Paul Kagame has been constantly called a dictator and accused of human right violations and elections malpractices. Kagame is said to clump down his opposition by restricting candidacies in elections to government-friendly parties, suppressing demonstrations, and arresting opposition leaders and journalists.

I say that in a continent where corruption, power grabbing and the sheer incompetence of our elected leaders still stares at us in full glare, that ideals such as freedom of speech might just be a luxury. There is still more to be done but there is hope for the future.

© 2019 All rights reserved. The use of the articles from this web portal is allowed only when quoting the source – As information presented on this website may be distributed or copied.


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“Xenophobic Attacks, The Result Of Wrong Impression: A Call For Swift Resolutions. – ECOWAS Youth Council.



There is an urgent need to place the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa against foreign nationals as a needless evil perpetrated by some South Africans to grow hatred among the African communities. The sad event has evolved from a wrong impression that other Africans enjoy an undue dividends.

This opens up the lack of opportunities for this section of South Africans which they have wrongly blamed on the so-called foreigners. In 2008, we were taken aback by the outbreak of xenophobia which has led to the continuous looting, theft and violence against shopkeepers and non-nationals in South Africa.

This tragic event has placed the South African government on the wrong side of history for the lack of a disciplined and principled leadership in solving xenophobia. Their after-the-fact responses have consistently lacked the sustained seriousness that is needed.

This event has led to the brutalisation of Fellow Africans from Mozambique, Malawi, Somalia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and other countries. These Africans have been forced to leave their homes and businesses as they run in fear of losing their lives.

The gratuitous and barbaric nature of these attacks serves to underline real social cohesion arising from growing poverty, unemployment and sense of despair in South Africa. It is therefore worthy of note that South Africa must return to the path of honor by strengthening their democracy, rule of law and judicial system. The reign of violence, lawlessness and anarchy in the country must be ended and this can only be done when all stakeholders are ready to work hand-in-hand.

Firstly, the government of South Africa must help in closing the gap of social injustice and political grievances coming from a section of its citizens who are disaffected. We must not look away from the need for an urgent action and there is a need to know the root causes of this situation. Our governments must demonstrate true understanding of the situation and must be ready to listen to our people.

More importantly, South Africans must be reminded of the sacrifices made by other Africans in the neighbouring countries and beyond in support of the freedom they enjoy today. They should understand that other Africans come to South Africa to work and to flee conditions of real poverty, conflict and dictatorship beyond their control. This requires all of us in Africa to improve the conditions of our people together.

The Xenophobic attack is the result of an accumulated frustration exploding beyond control. Africans are tired of living in penury while others live in great luxury. Africans from other countries should not be the victims of the anger and violence from South Africans.

However, The Youth Council (EYC) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have called on South African authorities to ensure swift resolution to the attacks on migrants in the rainbow nation.

According to statement signed by the Amb. President/Chairperson of the leadership of West Africa (ECOWAS) Youth Council (EYC), Emmanuel S. William, the non-governmental organization have always campaigned for the improvement in the general welfare of the average Africans and the reasonable reduction in the gap between the poor and the rich.

The news statement revealed that, over the years, the youth council have held summit to emphasize on the need for peaceful coexistence among Africans and other citizens of the world, urging the South African government under the leadership of Cyril Ramaphosa to bring a total halt to this unfortunate event.

The release added that, the South African Development Commission (SADC) should help ensure the total freedom of Africans, either nationals or non-nationals, to make and take the economic opportunities that arise from regional integration and international trade.

In line with its goal to achieve collective economic self-sufficiency, the West Africa (ECOWAS) Youth Council (EYC) urged the SADC to ensure the South African government guarantees the safety of lives and properties of all foreign nationals in the country.

The West Africa (ECOWAS) Youth Council (EYC) tasked the force uniting all African states, the Africa Union (AU) to diplomatically resolve issues between the two countries in a bid to put an end to the killings of innocent Africans in South Africa and any other countries.

It added, the EYC will work with other bodies to do all that is needed to prevent a further escalation of these horrific attacks, while we seek a long-term interventions to prevent similar occurrence in any part of Africa and the world at large.

The West Africa (ECOWAS) Youth Council (EYC) extended their sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of all the victims of this unnecessary attacks and promise to move at a great speed to ensure that justice is served and peace is returned as soon as possible.

© 2019 All rights reserved. The use of the articles from this web portal is allowed only when quoting the source – As information presented on this website may be distributed or copied.

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