Mental Health: Need to strengthen social support systems

The Christ The King Methodist Church Ghana has called for the strengthening of the extended family system and tightening of the social support structures to help address mental health conditions in the country.

The Very Reverend Isaac Kwame Ghartey, Superintendent Minister of the Anaji Estate Circuit, appealed to members of the extended family to avoid social neglect and support one another.

He made the call at a mental health awareness forum and screening exercise, organised by Christ The King Methodist Child and Youth Development Centre, a Compassion International assisted project, in the Sekondi-Takoradi cluster.

It was in partnership with Empire FM and Radio 360 in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis.

The forum, which was on the theme: ‘The Role of the Church in Mental Health,’ brought together experts in the field and stakeholders to elicit ways of addressing the mental health canker in the Ghanaian context.

Very Rev Ghartey said the Church was mandated to help in the fight against mental health, which was fast gaining grounds in the society.

The church owed it a sacred duty to intensify guidance and counselling sessions to address mental health issues.

He advised the public to stay out of worry and anxiety of things that they could not acquire or achieve and be content with what they had.

Reverend Mrs Angelina Ogyiri Asare, a Principal Clinical Health Psychologist at the GHAPOHA Hospital in Takoradi, who spoke on Anxiety Disorder, said anxiety was normal but could lead to disorder behaviour, which required psychiatric attention.

‘Anxiety leads to depression, substance abuse, insomnia, headaches and chronic pain,’ she said.

The Clinical Health Psychologist urged patients with mental health disorders to seek treatment through psychotherapy, medications and trust inaidld to avoid all anxieties.

Mrs Joyce Yeboah, the Regional Director, Department of Community Development, Ghana Health Service, urged parents to examine children regularly to detect disorders and help them to overcome their problems.

Mr Bernard Ekow Aggrey, Project Director of the Church, said mental health patients had rights, which must be respected, and called for training of participants to become mental health clinical psychologists.

Mr Emmanuel Mark Ackon, Presiding Member at the Shama District Assembly, reiterated the need to revisit the extended family system to address the problem.

He stressed the need for district assemblies to collaborate with other stakeholders to address the upsurge in mental health disorders.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Afi Amenyaku shines as Ghana pins down stubborn Nigeria to win WAFU B Girls Cup

The Black Princesses of Ghana have been crowned champions of the maiden Under-20 West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Zone B Girls Cup after beating the Falconets of Nigeria 3-1 on penalties at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.

A 39th-minute spot kick by Skipper Stella Nyamekye was not enough as Flourish Sebastine managed to grab an 85th-minute equalizer for the visitors.

It was a tough start for Coach Basigi’s side who kept their lines clean from dangerous Nigeria, who had secured 19 goals in four matches coming into the clash.

The visitors took Ghana through an intense drill, sending in long crosses towards top scorer Esther Ajakaye, who was eager to grab an early goal to extend her goal-tally.

The Ghanaians kept their mentality high, giving the Nigerians no breathing space to dance through their defense.

A clumsy tackle by Flourish gave Ghana the advantage in the 39th minute as Stella Nyamekye beautifully left Nigeria’s Anderline Mberchi in a state of confusion to break the virginity of the game, ending the first half 1-0.

The Ladies in green came into the second half as wounded lions who were seeking to redeem themselves with an attacking plan to beat the hosts.

It was an impressive partnership between Stella and Maafia Nyame who proved to be big names on the continent, keeping the defence of the Falconets busy with their skillful play.

Ghana’s Abena Opoku was assigned to give Esther Ajakaye a bitter experience in the clash, as she completed her mission leading to the substitution of the prolific striker.

Just when the fans had given up, Afi Amanyeku came to the rescue of the Princesses in the 72nd minute to make sure she played an instrumental role in the host and win mission.

It was Taiwo Afolabi and Amina Bello of Nigeria who teamed up to divide Ghana’s defense to give Flourish Sebastine a chance to grab an equalizer in the 85th minute.

The dying minutes of the game was a shooting practice for the Ghanaians who packed up behind their opponents 18-yard box, looking for a chance to secure a winner.

After an exciting 90 minutes of exciting play, the game finally ended 1-1 as Ghana completed the task on penalties, beating their perriniel rivals 3-1.

Stella Nyamekye was adjudged the player of the tournament with four goals to her credit.

Northern Ladies’ Afi Amanyeku was also handed the Goalkeeper of the tournament award after an exciting campaign.

Esther Ajakaye also had the top-scorer award after scori g six goals in the competition.

Source: Ghana News Agency

We will implement article 10 ‘dissemination of a culture of peace of the DPCW and achieve the SDGs-IWPG

On May 25, the International Women’s Peace Group (Chairwoman Hyun Sook Yoon) participated in HWPL’s 10th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace and Peace Walk, simultaneously held in Seoul, South Korea, along with approximately 70 other major cities in Korea and abroad.

Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), a peace cooperative organization of IWPG, announced the Declaration of World Peace on May 25, 2013. As this year marks 10th anniversary of this declaration, joint statements were announced all around the world.

In her commemorative remarks during the event, IWPG Chairwoman Hyun Sook Yoon said, “Chairman Lee proclaimed the ‘Declaration of World Peace’ in 2013, and the youth started peace walks all over the world. The following year, on January 24, 2014, with the mediation of Chairman Lee, a civil peace agreement was signed, a war ended, and we are witnessing with our own eyes the reality that a culture of peace is taking root.”

Chairwoman Yoon also added, “IWPG also celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Together with IPYG, it has become one of the two wings of HWPL and has been striving to spread a culture of peace while reflecting on the spirit and inspiration of the ‘Declaration of World Peace’. Every year, we participate in CSW, the Committee on the Status of Women held by the United Nations. In addition, April 26th of this year marked the 4th Annual Commemoration of International Women’s Peace Day where the ‘International Women’s Declaration of Peace’ was proclaimed. The 10,000 women from 54 countries that participated in this event promised to implement Article 10 ‘Dissemination of a Culture of Peace’ of the DPCW and achieve the SDGs.”

The event included a Peace Walk to urge for the introduction of the DPCW as a resolution in the UN General Assembly and a DPCW Support Signature Campaign in which various women from all over the world participated.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Cameroon Government to boost, modernize food production in northern regions

The government of Cameroon is looking forward to boosting and modernizing food production in the three northern regions.

The revelation was made at the launch of the 2023 farming season in Guider, North Region on Friday, June 2, 2023, by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gabriel Mbairobe.

According to the minister, the launch and donations are to help in improving the productivity of farmers and help them achieve food self-sufficiency.

Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development indicate that the Far North Region is the biggest producer of onion, rice, beans, and different species of millet in the country.

While standing tall, these cash crops including others like maize, sweet potatoes, a variety of vegetables, and fruits are cultivated under difficult climatic conditions marked by low rainfall levels and prolonged dry season.

It is in this context that more improved methods like fertilizers and pesticides, better farming tools, and training are being brought in to minimize enormous post-harvest losses.

The launch comes at a time when the government is stepping up efforts to increase food and crop production in the Far North Region in the face of reoccurring food insecurity.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

More than 40,000 Cameroonian objects remain in Germany to this day – study

An estimated 40,000 Cameroonian artifacts are still in Germany according to a recent study jointly carried out by Cameroonian and German researchers.

Prof. Albert Gouaffo, of Dschang University and Bénédicte Savoy, a professor at the Technische Universität in Berlin headed the study and during their presentation, stated that the number of Cameroonian objects spread across German museums was far more than the meager 6,000 which are housed in Yaounde.

Germany colonized Cameroon from 1884 until her defeat in the First World War in 1918 and during the 34 years of German rule, colonial troops carried out at least 180 “punitive expeditions” to secure land, laying waste to villages and farms and looting or destroying cultural heritage.

The artifacts in German museums include textiles, musical instruments, ritual masks, royal stools, thrones, manuscripts, and weapons mostly taken from the Grassfields of Cameroon where German rule was strongly resisted.

Among the objects listed in the study are a beaded stool from Baham in the present-day West Region, looted during a punitive exhibition and brought back by German army officer, Hans Glauning. The stool is now in the Linden Museum in Stuttgart; a wooden carved drum, also a war trophy now kept at Berlin’s Ethnological Museum, and a beaded cap belonging to a Cameroonian traditional leader, now in the Linden Museum, that was one of 237 objects plundered over nearly 3 years by Glauning.

Cameroonian authorities at the Cameroon embassy in Germany have begun talks with German authorities to discuss a process of restitution for the items.

In June 2022, German authorities announced that they were returning the Ngonnso, a deity of the Nso People in the Grassfields of Cameroon, forcibly taken by German authorities in the early 1900s. The announcement was widely celebrated and the Ngonnso has since been returned to the Nso People.

Germany’s colonial past has come to haunt the country and discussions are underway to return these objects taken from Cameroonian villages and tribes over 100 years ago.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Removal of fuel subsidy plunges Nigeria into more economic hardship

Nigerians are yet to recover from the naira and fuel scarcity that rendered the economy weak, prior to and after the February 25, 2023, presidential elections.

As citizens in the Federal Republic are trying to pick up their broken pieces of life after months of hardship. The Nigerian government dived into full implementation of the fuel subsidy removal.

Just a day after his inauguration as the 16th President of Nigeria, filling stations increased the prices from 194 Naira in Abuja to 540 Naira, while other States now sell at almost the same price but a difference of a few Naira.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the new president, in his speech, recognized that the subsidy has been removed. “Subsidy is gone,” he said.

This statement alone pushed filling station owners and managers to immediately implement the new prices.

During a retreat for the National Assembly members-elect and other positions for the opposition party, PDP, Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, the February 25, 2023, candidate who came second, said, “I would have provided palliatives before subsidy removal”

Nigerians have been reacting to the almost tripled prices of petrol with some cursing those who voted for the All Progressive Congress, APC, candidate Tinubu.

His election is being contested by the Labor Party and PDP.

On May 10, 2023, Cool FM reported that ‘the Federal Government announced that as part of its subsidy palliative measures, it has received an $800 million World Bank grant targeting 50 million vulnerable Nigerians or 10 million households.’ It is not yet clear how these palliatives will be handled by the new regime.

The newly elected Vice President, Kashim Shettima, said the subsidy removal is a well-calculated plan by their regime to stop the scams perpetrated by people of the upper class. he added that they are well prepared for any resistance.

Reactions on and off social media have been massive with many cursing the few days old Tinubu government. While others think that the subsidy removal is justice done to those who used to sit on their money, others think that this will plunge Nigeria into an irreparable economic quagmire.

“If we put politics aside and analyze the policy very well and we will understand the benefits and positive effects the policy would have on the economy and development and prosperity of Nigeria and Nigerians in the future. But the only problem is that the government must be very friendly and brotherly with the masses (Nigerians) interns of implementation of policies and timing (durations). I am very optimistic and strongly believed that Nigeria will be a great country in the future because the government is going to recover very important quantities (millions of litters) of petroleum products and discourage smuggling because most dealers would prefer to buy directly from NNPC because the unification of the price (unique price) will kill and discouraged the black market in the future,” a concerned Nigerian said.

Another said the subsidy claims be investigated and those who filled their pockets with government money, arrested, “Oil subsidy is deliberate stealing after all. Ñigerians call for a comprehensive investigation into the oil subsidy issue with a view to exposing and punishing the perpetrators of this monumental stealing.”

“This wouldn’t have been a topic to discuss today if only the so-called No 1 of today had not ganged up against it over a decade ago, the suffering coming with it then would have easily been cushioned because there was a lot of money in circulation then, but now that an average Nigerians are struggling with just one square meal per day,”

Workers to go on strike

Members of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, and the Amalgamated Union of public corporations, civil service technical and recreational services employees have said they will withdraw their services from Wednesday, June 7, 2023.

The nationwide strike action is aimed at pushing the Nigerian Government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC, to withdraw the new prices which they describe as “illegal”

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Angola’s presence in Turkey reflects bilateral cooperation – official

Angola’s participation in the inauguration ceremony of the re-elected President of Turkey Recep Erdogan “reflects the good level” of political-diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Both countries relationship was stressed by the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Esmeralda Mendonça, after the swearing in of Turkey’s Recep Erdogan on Saturday in Ankara.

“Turkey is an important country for Angola and in recent years it has sought greater rapprochement with the African countries, striving for a more equitable relationship”, she emphasised.

According to Esmeralda Mendonça, Angola, which was represented at the ceremony by its Vice-President of the Republic, Esperança Costa, Turkey has also served as an alternation to the main models of cooperation between the countries of the North and South.

Esmeralda Mendonça clarified that the volume of business between Angola and Turkey, in 2021, was estimated at around US$170 million

Angola and Turkey, in recent years, carried out important economic reforms, involving the improvement of the business environment, which placed both countries in a privileged position for the re-launch of cooperation in several areas.

Angola and Turkey marked the new progress and deepening of their bilateral cooperation ties, following the visits of the Angola’s Head of State to Turkey and that of his Turkish counterpart to Angola, which led to the signing of several Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding in various fields.

At the time, the two Heads of State pledged commitment to doubling the flow of trade in the coming years, aiming to reach an annual goal of 500 million dollars, through mutually advantageous partnerships.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Trust in govt. policies, programmes, CCPT chair urges Nigerians

Nigerians have been urged to continue to have trust in various government policies and programmes established to ease their daily life challenges.

Hajiya Saratu Shafi’i, Chairman of Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal (CCPT), stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

She said that the efforts of government to make life comfortable for Nigerians led to the establishment of agencies and commissions that would directly impact on them.

Shafii said that the CCPT was such body charged with reviewing the decision of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) and other sector regulators.

The Tribunal consists of the Chairman and six members from the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.

It is a court of record set up to review the decisions of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) and other sector regulators on matters relating to Competition and Consumer Protection.

Shafii said that the CCPT was such body charged with responsibilities of providing ease of seeking redress and justice to both service providers and consumers.

“Once Nigerians realise and enforce their rights as consumers, service providers and producers will sit up and give better services to them, and the Tribunal will ensure justice.

“As a pioneer chairman, I will want to leave a Tribunal with a strong law, procedure rules, dynamic institutional framework and efficient workforce that will position and maintain the Tribunal as a veritable tool in National Development Spectrum.

“My tentative plan is to position the Tribunal in a pedestal where justice to the producers/service providers, justice to the consumers and justice to Nigeria will not only be done but will be seen to be have been done,” she said.

Shafii said that many expectations followed her appointment as the chairman of the tribunal as a person with lofty objections and visions.

“As a person that went for a 29 years training and retraining such as leadership skills, workplace ethics, value proposition, creativity and innovation, I felt the need to up the game in the new establishment.

“I joined CAC as a Senior Legal Officer and rose through the ranks to a Director. One would inevitably assumed that I must have built knowledge capital, social capital and emotional intelligence overtime.

“Therefore, the expectations is that of an integrated toolkits full of resilience and critical thinking as expected of a pioneer Chairman that must lay a solid foundation to achieve the Tribunal’s mandate.”

She said that the Tribunal was established with the normal challenges of building something from scratch, adding that the members of the tribunal were all committed to the take off due to its importance to Nigerians.

“Generally speaking, I had no challenges in its strict sense. However, where a new Tribunal is established as a novel agency with no existing Rules, Practice Direction or manual to function and you as a Chairman have the directive of the Federal Government to commence work immediately, then this must indeed call for a strategic and critical actions which some people may think as challenging.

“In this case, with my background as a Legal Practitioner I leverage on my educational background, professional network, the partnership of my six members of the Tribunal and the team spirit of my pioneer staff to come up with an action plan, set a milestone and provide an implementation strategy,” she said.

Some of the CCPT mandate under section 39 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) 2018 is the mandate to adjudicate on all matters prohibited under the Act.

The CCPT mandates include the following; To adjudicate on all matters bordering on Unfair Competition, Unlawful Merger, Price Fixing, Monopoly and Consumer Rights Protection.

To hear appeals from or review any decision of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) taken in the course of the implementation of any of the provisions of the (FCCPA) as may be referred to it.

To hear appeals from or review of any sector of specific regulatory authority in a regulated industry in respect of competition and consumer protection matters, issue such orders as may be required of it under the (FCCPA).

And make any ruling or such other orders as may be necessary or incidental to the performance of its functions under the (FCCPA).

The Chairman added that the Tribunal was proud of four judgments since its establishment and would do more in the future as well as undertake the amendment of the Act.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria