Tag Archives: Ghana

Mali opposition demands power immediately

Mali’s military coup leaders must hand over power to a civilian transitional government immediately, the chairman of the West African regional bloc said on September 15, as a deadline expired for the ruling junta to appoint interim leaders. (Image above: social media).

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposed economic sanctions after the August 18 coup d’état overthrowing the unpopular President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, and said a new president should be appointed by August 15.

However the officers have concluded the charter that says the interim President of Mali can be a military or a civilian and has not yet indicated when the new government would be named, which should work towards organising free and fair elections in the period of 18 months.

“That country can no longer afford any delay in putting a responsible government in place,” the ECOWAS chairman said.

The leaders, representing 15 West African states did not inform about the consequences of failing to meet the deadline. The existing sanctions include border closures and the suspension of financial transations.

The Charter approved at multi-party talks in Mali also calls for an 18-month transition, but at present extraordinary reunion in Ghana ECOWAS leaders said that new elections should be held within a year.

The same day Malian media announced news of death of former President Gal Moussa Traoré, 84, who led Mali beween 1968-1991. Late Mr.Traoré was an army general.

Ghana President Akufo-Addo elected Chairman of ECOWAS

Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo,77, has just been elected as the new Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), at the ongoing 57th ECOWAS Summit, which is being held in Niamey, capital of Niger.

The announcement has been made by Ghana government. The summit is being held at the Mahatma Gandhi International Conference Centre, where leaders will be considering reports form the 44th Ordinary Session of the Mediation and Security Council at the Ministerial Level and the 84th Ordinary Session of the Ecowas Council of Ministers, which preceded the Summit, among others.

Among first to congratulate the President has been his wife Mme.Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the First Lady of Ghana.

In his own country, Ghana, President Akufo-Addo has been not spared from sharp criticism. The Minority in Parliament has dabbed President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo ‘Messiah of corruption’ following the missing excavators scandal.

The President, the Minority said, is the epicenter of all the corrupt deals and plain thievery occurring in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.

Alghouth Ghana is assessed among the least corrupt African countries, the
Ghana’s anti-graft body, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), which is Transparency International’s Local Chapter, has announced that the country “loses close to US$3 billion to corruption annually,” according to GhanaWeb news portal.

The outlet cited GII Executive Director Linda Ofori-Kwafo, who stressed that successive governments have attempted to minimise corruption through “moral crusades to uphold high ethics, the confiscation of properties found to have been acquired through corruption or public reforms,” but that there is still a long way ahead to fight the problem.

Ghana: «witch camps» controversy

In Ghana an elderly woman was lynched accused of whitchcraft. She didn’t survive the beatings, but some of women who survive the ordeal are sent away or flee to places called “witch camps“.

The recent murder of 90-year-old, Akua Denteh has caused an international outrage. Dentah was accused of being a “witch” by a local fetish priest and as follows was beaten to death in the village of Kafaba near Salaga in northern Ghana. Video of her violent death was posted online. Five people were arrested in the cause of the murder investigation.

The debate on witch camps closure in not a recent phenomenon. Almost a decade ago in 2011, the government announced it would shut down the camps, but they are still there. Contrary to human rights activists demands, the 2012 report by ActionAid gave a piece of advice to the government to restrain from swift action, insisting that for many women these camps offer a refuge, instead of lynching and imminent death. Since the issue came to pubic attention again in a dramatic context of the violent murder of an elderly women, the government and gender ministry are being urged to ensure the definitive closure the camps across the country.

The request of closure concerns also so-called “healing centre” which was established a year ago in Pulmakuom, Pusiga District of the Upper East Region, by father and son Rufai Sumaila. At their settlement near the Ghana-Togo border these self-styled natural healers claim to identify and heal women accused of being witches. They insist that they practice exorcism successfully, diverting women from of exercising the witchcraft, and with the activity of the centre they harmonise community life.

All persons who feel unwell, searching for “healing” at the centre are told their condition is caused by a family member, mostly women, who bewitched them. The relative, becoming a suspect, is forcefully brought to the centre to confess, and participate in ritual, including violent physical abuse.

Those who insist on their innocence are beaten until they confess, and the suspects are accused, being forced into confessing are chained to trees, tortured and made to shave their hair – supposedly to achieve the required result through correctional “therapy”.

In reality the healing centre has only caused physical and emotional pain and suffering to so many women and families, according to the executive director of the Sanneh Institute and a native of Widana, Professor John Azumah.

Accroding to Ghana media, late Dentah was one of 18 women who were identified by self-proclaimed “witch hunter,” Hajia Filipina who had been brought in by some of the villagers to discover who was responsible for the lack of rainfall, which they believed was being caused by evil “witches.” All of the suspected women “confessed” to being “witches” after being tortured in hopes of surviving the abuse, but Dentah, who was the only one in the group who refused to admit she was “witch,” and as therefore she was beaten to death in an attempt to force her to confess.

However, in spite of the shock and international outrage, there are Ghanaians who defend the barbaric tradition.

We have a very wrong perception about the witches’ camp. When I did my research I realized that it is rather this camp that serves as shelter for these old women. Because in the past, killing of these old women was very prevalent in the North. When we destroy this camp we can’t help but experience more of such killings,” said Professor Kwadwo Nimfour Opoku Onyinah, the Ghanaian theologian, while being invited to FM morning show.

COVID19: Ghana eased restrictions

In Ghana, President Nana Akufo-Addo lifted a three-week lockdown in its two main cities, where non-essential businesses reopened. Akufo-Addo said the decision was made based on improved tracing of the disease, and to “protect the economy”.

THe move to lift some coronavirus lockdown restrictions this week is aimed to test the possibility of a return to normality after weeks of shutdowns that have damaged economy, and left without source of income a considerable part of population.
Many experts raised concerns of hunger if economy standstill continues for more weeks.

One of Africa’s fastest growing economies, Ghana last month cut its 2020 GDP growth forecast from 6.8% to 1.5% due to the coronavirus pandemic, a rate that would represent its worst performance in nearly four decades.

Plot against Ghana President

Three people were arrested in Ghana, believed to have been amassing makeshift bombs, weapons and computer equipment in a plot targeting the presidency, authorities said police foiled a suspected coup. (Image: Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo).

The Information Ministry announced the men were taken into custody after 15 months of surveillance during which they tried to obtain weapons from military personnel and secure funding “for the purpose of taking over the reins of government”.

Reportedly Nigeria President Buhari reacted upon the information about the attempted coup, underlining that democracy is “only acceptable” form of  governance.

Outstanding diplomat Kofi Annan passed away

Kofi Annan passed away on August 18 at the age of 80, the UN Migration Agency confirmed. Annan, a former diplomat from Ghana, led the United Nations from 1997 to 2006.
Annan was the first black African to take up the role of the world’s top diplomat, serving two terms from 1997 to 2006.

He later served as the UN special envoy for Syria, leading efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Annan’s tenure coincided with the Iraq War and the HIV/Aids pandemic.