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Rawlings Surprises Street Father.



Former President Jerry John Rawlings on Friday brought joy to Emmanuel Ofoe, a physically-challenged street beggar when he donated an undisclosed sum to him to cater for his daughter’s graduation as a hairdresser.

Emmanuel who rides in a rickety custom-made wheelchair with a CD number plate at the Kawukudi junction in Kanda, slipped a note detailing his predicament to the former President in traffic earlier in the week.

The note informed the former President of the challenge he had in supporting his daughter who had completed training as a hairdresser in Ada, to graduate.

Excited after the donation at the former President’s office, Emmanuel expressed gratitude for the generosity and confirmed that the money will go to pay for the graduation fee as well as a decent reception for family and friends after the ceremony.

Emmanuel said he had been ‘stationed’ at Kawukudi for about ten years. He became physically-challenged at the age of six after he fell sick and later developed a neurological side effect which could not be treated.

Former President Rawlings has a warm relationship with hawkers at the Kawukudi junction. One groundnut seller who persistently dropped a little bag of groundnuts into his car now sells minerals and chilled water from a freezer donated by the former President’s office.

Another young lady who was found selling to raise funds to continue her education has been sponsored to go back to school.
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FEATURE: How Africa Became A Continent Of Young People Ruled By Old Men.



It is certainly a strong part of African culture that the aged are revered and regarded as a great source for wisdom. That is why in many African communities, the old are the councils of chiefs and rulers. In some few instances when one of those rulers has died, and tradition requires continuity through blood ties, you can find some communities where a young man or even a woman is crowned to continue the monarchy.

Suffice this to relate that Africans are satisfied to have their old people ruling and guiding them just by custom. However, in the post colonial era with schooling and contacts with Europeans Africa has produced generations of sons and daughters who have become more educated than their parents. This is why it is becoming increasingly difficult for old African political leaders to continue to cling to power forever like their traditional counterparts.

Leaning more against Africa’s older population and leadership is an explosion at the rate of births in Africa after the era of independence. Feeling happy to be free from colonialism, Africa began to mirror this with over population. The generation that brought Independence birthed to excess, and sent their children to the best schools and countries around the world.

African youths have no hope to clench leadership in their countries for the foreseeable future.

These children who received independence on a golden platter, now have their own children, and their children have more children to bring the issue of Africa’s population and over population to the attention of the rest of the world.

Africa is the second most populous continent in the world and over 60% of her population is young people under the age of 25 years. This population, who are generally in solidarity with the segment of the population aged up to 45 years old, are being ruled and dictated to by men of 50 to 80 years old who think that they have the right to continue to rule by virtue of having contributed to the fight and after fights of independence for their countries.

These old rulers who started out with good intentions to help their fellow citizens become corrupt and drunk with power after tasting and succumbing to all its trappings. Look at countries like Zimbabwe, from one old man to another, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Uganda, and Algeria. Once these leaders are in power, they begin to work against the rest of their citizens, and even change the constitution so that they will rule forever. Anyone who dares to rise up against them is paid back quickly with brutality, incarceration or loss of life.

From Left: Fela Kuti of Nigeria, Lapiro De Mbanga of Cameroon, and Bobi Wine of Uganda have suffered for standing up to the government of their countries.

For this tragic reason, political opposition in Africa became rare and suicidal. It was always a sham because the leaders themselves chose and paid for who would be their opposition. So, there are never any demonstrations for change of leadership because these leaders have bought out the country, and especially the youth who are usually the nucleus of any national rebellion or revolution. This is what gave birth to the radical opposition groups sometimes championed by radical musicians like Fela Anikulapo Kuti of Nigeria, Lapiro De Mbanga of Cameroon, or Bobi Wine of Uganda. Other radicals have taken up arms and gone underground. This has only led to the creation of another class of African dictatorship, called “The Strongman”.

(Source: grassRoots Reports)

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Visual Artist Prince Gyasi Speaks At The Skoll World Forum In Oxford University — WATCH



Prince Gyasi is a Ghanaian international visual artist. He is the co-founder of Boxed Kids, a non-profit organization helping kids from the slums of Accra get an education.

Gyasi offered a vibrant, evocative, uplifting representation of his hometown—captured in beautiful iPhone images—at the 2019 Skoll World Forum. "Most visual artists tell African stories in a negative way.

I want to tell these stories in a more beautiful way so that when kids see them, they feel inspired.” Using bold colours to convey emotions and shine a light on marginalized people, he hopes to inspire young people through his art. After finishing his secondary education at Accra Academy Senior high school in Accra, Prince started taking pictures in 2011. He bought his first iPhone in 2014 which became the primary tool he uses in creating his art pieces.

He began with snapshots of friends, family, and models from his hometown of Ghana and then realized he could seriously use his phone as an instrument of creation and as a means of expression.

Using an iPhone to shoot is a way to distinguish his art from other visual artists and photographers and in doing so he breaks the codes of this singular and elitist art. His work is about conveying feelings through colours and giving the floor to marginalized people that are often left aside in society. Prince considers his use of vibrant colours as a therapy to his audience and aims at leaving a “strong, positive imprint on the people’s heart and soul.”

Some of his most poignant themes include motherhood, fatherhood, and childhood. Prince Gyasi was signed to Nil Gallery Paris in 2018 and had a solo show at the gallery in November 2018.

His works have also been exhibited at the Seattle Art Fair 2018, the Pulse Miami Beach Contemporary art fair, and the Investec Cape Town art fair.
The event has seen the likes of Kofi Annan ad its owned by the first president of eBay.

About the Skoll World Forum: Each year, nearly 1,000 of the world’s most influential social entrepreneurs, key thought leaders, and strategic partners gather at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School to exchange ideas, solutions, and information. The Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship is the premier international platform for advancing entrepreneurial approaches and solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

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In Africa, an estimated 60-80 million people are living with disabilities today. USAID missions throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and elsewhere, provide financial and technical assistance to people living with disabilities, including those who were disabled as a result of war and conflict.

Disabled people are estimated at 10 percent of the general African population, but possibly as high as 20 percent in the poorer regions. The vast majority of Africans with disabilities are excluded from schools and opportunities to work, virtually guaranteeing that they will live out their lives as the poorest of the poor. School enrollment for the disabled is estimated at no more that 5-10 percent. For many begging becomes a sole means of survival.

Every day in Africa, many people are disabled by malnutrition and disease, environmental hazards, natural disasters, traffic and industrial accidents, civil conflict and war. According to Rehabilitation International, it is estimated that 350-500 people worldwide become amputees each day due to landmines that they encounter while walking, farming, or playing.

Ghana’s Disability Law, 2006 (Act 715) was passed in 2006, aimed at ending the discrimination that faces people with disabilities but the ten-year moratorium given by the Act for old buildings to be renovated to disability-friendly status has indeed not been met.

It is worth noting that about ten percent of Ghana’s population are Persons with Disability (PWD). Although their rights are guaranteed both by Ghana’s Constitution and by International Conventions, in reality these provisions have offered them very little actual protection against discrimination.

People with disabilities in Ghana are often regarded as unproductive and incapable of contributing in a positive way to society. Instead of being viewed as assets, they are rather seen as constituting an economic burden on the family and the society at large, which leaves them in a vicious cycle of poverty.

Percentage of Ghanaian living with disabilities.

But the assertion seems to be false as there are numerous PWDs, who have climbed the ladder to the pride of many Ghanaians, with special mentions to the Minister of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs, Dr. Henry Seidu Daanaa; Mr. Ivan Greenstreet, Presidential candidate of the Convention People’s party (CPP); Mr. Ben Quarshie, retired Director of Finance at the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare, who despite their disabilities, had shown that there was no glass ceiling for people with disability.

Mr. Quarshie single handedly donates sewing machines to support the students of the St. Theresa School for the Physical challenged at Abor in the Volta Region, as way of encouraging them that disability is indeed inability and to express the feeling that there is a lot PWDs can do to support each other and society at large.

Many Ghanaians including Parliamentarians who passed the Law have expressed disquiet on the continued observance of customary norms and practices that were inimical to the inclusion of persons with disability in society despite the passage of the Persons with Disability Act (Act 715).

It is time that society breached the physical, socio-cultural, attitudinal and economic impediments that hindered the inclusion of people with disability in national developmental.

Contributing to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in 2013, Ghana’s Members of Parliament held that society should be guided by the principle and conviction that the quality of life for people with disabilities will flow from useful collaborations with them, and urged a closer interface to guarantee meaningful opportunities that promote independence and self-sufficiency for them (People with Disabilities).

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities falls on December 3, every year, aimed at promoting an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to create awareness of gains to be derived from integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

In Ghana over the years, disabled people’s Organisations have kept up the profile of the Disability Bill through annual celebrations such as International Disability Day and Human Rights Day.

In fact, at the International Disability Day celebrations in 2005, the Minister of Manpower Development and Employment confirmed the government’s commitment to disability issues, and declared the year 2006 as “Year of Action on Disability”.

In developing countries, there are rarely strong disability movements actively working to improve the living conditions for people living with disabilities. Disabled persons are often only weakly represented in civil society and Ghana is no exception.

To help protect their rights, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in December 2006. The Convention and an additional optional Protocol are intended to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities.

Rights protected under the Act
The Persons with Disability Act itself contains more than 60 sections. The

sections discuss topics which range from the “Rights of Persons with Disability” to the Establishment and Functions of National Council on Persons with Disability” and the ''Administrative and Financial Provisions”.

In addition to this, there are numerous international instruments which protect the rights of persons with disability. These laws are long, complex and could easily confuse the general population.

A multimillion question that could be asked is what rights of a person with disability are protected under the Act? The right to a family life and right to participate in social, creative or recreational activities; the prohibition of differential treatment for residential purposes, the right to the same living conditions as persons without disability when persons with disability are placed in special institutions; no exploitation, abuse, discrimination or disrespect to persons with disability, appropriate facilities when involved in court proceedings; and access to public places.

The Bill which was first drafted in 2002 and went through to 60 amendments during this four year period (2002-2006) finally went through with the blessing of both the Majority and Minority Members of Parliament.

The Bill aims to provide disabled people with: Accessibility to all public places, Equal employment opportunities, Transportation at free or reduced costs, free, general and specialist medical care, the creation of desks specifically for disabled people at employment centres and a National Council on Persons with Disability to oversee the implementation of national programmes aimed at disabled people.

The Act offers a legal framework to protect the rights of physically and mentally disabled persons in all areas of life, from education, training and employment to physical access and health care.

It is also intended to promote the creation of an environment that will advance the economic well-being of disabled people and enable them to function better. But ten years after passing the Bill into Law, one would ask how it had been beneficial to the beneficiaries.

Disability-friendly facilities
Parliament enacted the Persons with Disability Act 2006, (Act 715), which stipulates that within the period of ten years of passing of the law, that is by 2016, those who provide services at public places must make it easy for PWDs, by providing appropriate facilities that make the place accessible to and available for use by them.

Consequently, the Act directed that from 2006, any other public or private building, to which the public will have access to, should be built to be accessible to and available for use by a person with disability. Now, what that simply means is that, there should be a ramp purposely to facilitate access to the building by wheelchair users.

Section 6 of the Act, stipulates that “the owner or occupier of a place to which the public has access shall provide appropriate facilities that make the place accessible to and available for use by a Person with Disability.”

Section 7 of the Act also stipulates that “a person who provides service to the public shall put in place the necessary facilities that make the service available and accessible to a Person with Disability.” Section 39 under the Miscellaneous Provisions of the Act indicates that “a person or institution which organises a national, regional or district activity, shall as far as practicable ensure that facilities are made available for the participation in the activity by persons with disability.”

Apart from the Act making provisions on facilities and its accessibility, it also captures the requirement for persons with disability to have access to education; thereby tasking the Ministry of Education to provide the necessary facilities and equipment in learning institutions.

Also, if the building is a storey-building, it is required that there should also be an elevator to convey a person with disability to whichever floor. In terms of services, sign-language interpreter and Braille are also required. Interestingly, Churches in Ghana, have flouted this law in many instances since there are no sign-language interpreters seen there.

Many Ghanaians find it very sad that ten years into the passage of the PWD Act, the state was finding it difficult to implement the law. What would the state expect from other sections of society that should also provide those facilities to people with disability?

Ten years after the enacting of the Disability Law, it is unfortunate that Ghana still has the challenge of finding measures to remove all artificial barriers that prevented the physically challenged from accessing public building and facilities.

It is imperative for government and institutions work to together to provide ramps and elevators or lifts in public places to enable access by the physically challenged but we must also remember that it was not the responsibility of government alone to champion this cause but all Ghanaians.

The quality of a society is determined by how it treated and dealt with its most vulnerable citizens. It is unfortunate that in our Society, we feel ashamed of the physically disabled in our homes and hide them for fear of ridicule or mockery.

But if we bring our physically challenged children and relations into the open, this will enable us get the needed help for them in either righting their disability or of helping them gain enhancements for their residual capabilities.”

There was the need to respect the human rights of every person regardless of the individual’s status in life be they physically challenged or whole, and also need to acknowledge diversity, eradicate poverty and ensure that all people were fully included and they could actively participate in the development process and activities.

Personally having associated myself with and participated in activities of PWDs, I think Parliamentarians who enacted the law have failed in ensuring that public buildings in Ghana are accessible to all including persons with disabilities by 2016.

According to the Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs. Dela Sowah, during the Graduation Ceremony of the St. Theresa School for the Physically Challenged at Abor on July 17, 2015, the Government of Ghana was committed to the promotion and protection of the rights of People Living with disability to live within their communities and ensure the equalization of opportunities.

It is imperative for government and institutions work together to provide ramps and elevators or lifts in public places to enable access by the physically challenged. Ghanaians need to ensure equality by treating all subjects with rights who are capable of playing useful roles in society and contributing their quota towards our development.

All hands must be on deck to support the Ghana government in promoting the welfare of these institutions and others like them. The physically challenge in Ghana have indeed celebrated success, victory and triumph over all forms of societal discrimination and segregation on persons with disabilities.

Without any doubt, the physically challenge need to be supported to celebrate their contribution towards human development and her indebtedness to humanity irrespective of socio - economic, cultural, political affiliation, physical and psychological status.

The National Council
In 2013, a National Council on Persons with Disability was inaugurated with the mandate of developing modalities for raising funds to facilities its activities and mandated to pursue and promote a better Ghana experience for the estimated 20 per cent of the nation’s population with disability.

The Council is also mandated by section 42 of Act 715 to develop policies and strategies to facilitate the participation of persons with disabilities in the national development process.

The Council members were Prof. Gyimah Boadi, Chairperson, (Centre for Democratic Governance); Dr. Akwesi Osei, Ministry of Health Representative; Mr. Sampson Nii Trebi, Department of Social Welfare; Mr. Humphrey Koffie, Mental Health Society of Ghana; Nana Yaa Agyeman, ShareCare Ghana and Mrs. Gertrude Oforiwaa Fefoame, Sightsavers Ghana.

The rest were Ms. Patience Opoku, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection; Ms. Emma Lilian Bruce-Lyle, Federation of Persons with Disability; Rev. Fr. Andrew Campbell, Parish Priest of Christ the King Catholic Church, Mr. Divine Ayidzoe, Ministry of Education and Mr. Max Varden, Executive Secretary for Council of Persons with Disability.

My worry is that why the Council should be inaugurated after seven years of the enactment of the law (2006-2013). What special role could they have played between 2013 and 2016 to meet the ten- year moratorium given by the Act for old buildings to be renovated to disability-friendly?

But interestingly, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), Nana Oye Lithur, during the inauguration of the board said, there was a need for prioritisation of the council’s mandates and among those was the amendment of the Disability Act 2006.

The Minister said the amendment would not only conform to the Council’s international obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities but would ensure that the needs of the Ghanaian with disability were addressed in accordance with the new mandate given to the gender ministry.

She said there was also an urgent need to develop a plan to secure access to services where there was a communication challenge, in the case of persons with hearing impairment.

The implementation of the Disability Act could be linked to the total development of the country and so the commitment must therefore go beyond platform statements on some special days.

Stakeholders are urged to shed every bias and create the enabling conditions and opportunities for the fruitful integration of people with disability in society. In spite of interventions to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities, there was still a vast disparity between people with and without disabilities.

Majority of people with disabilities still faced various forms of discrimination and was more likely to live in poverty because they were unable to assert their rights. It is noted that there are still barriers and lack of opportunities to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the mainstream society.

Stakeholders must to continue exploring and working to find solutions to challenges that PWDs face. Indeed government must show commitment by providing the budget to pursue programmes and projects to facilitate the process.

It is sad that many private and public institutions in the country are grossly disregarding some provisions in the Act, it is sadder to realise that, the Government, which many would expect should know better, would also decide to disregard the interest of persons with disability, while putting up the promised 200 Community Senior High Schools

It is time the appropriate authorities and the Law Enforcement Agencies ensure that, the Persons with Disability Act, 2006 (Act 715) is enforced, otherwise as the witty saying goes, “A law without enforcement is just an advice.”

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Archie Harrison’s Christening Will Reportedly Be Missing A Very Important Member Of The Royal Family.



I'm about to make royal stans very happy, because not only did we get a great new pic of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's baby Archie Harrison today, but there are also new reports about his baptism.

According to Daily Mail, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor will be christened next month at St. George's Chapel, which is also where Meghan and Harry got married last year and where Harry and Prince William had their baptisms.

Royal christenings are private events, so only friends and family get invites, however, the royals do get their photos taken, which means that we'll get even more pics of the nug that is little Archie.

The other intel that we have about the christening is that Queen Elizabeth reportedly won't be attending the ceremony. She "will be absent on other duties," so Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla will be leading the royal party. But it's not a snub to Meghan and Harry or anything—the Queen doesn't go to all of her great-grandchildren's christenings. While she was there for Prince George and Princess Charlotte's ceremonies, she didn't attend Prince Louis' last year.

And besides the new Archie photos that we have to look forward to, after the christening we'll also finally know who Meg and Harry chose as godparents. Some people think that they may go Hollywood and have George and Amal Clooney, Serena Williams, or Priyanka Chopra as godparents (though George has denied those rumors). But obviously Harry also has tons of royal family members to choose from too, so it might be a mix of celebs and royals who end up with Archie as a godson. Can't wait to see who it is!

Source: Cosmopolitan.

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