Close fishing season begins successfully in Keta


The 2024 Close fishing season has commenced successfully in the Keta Municipality and other communities along the coastal belt of the Volta Region.

The closed fishing season is expected to be observed from Monday, July 1 to Wednesday, July 31 for canoe and inshore fishers, whilst industrial trawlers would observe it till the end of August.

Mr Seth Agbokede, the Public Relations Officer of Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council, told the Ghana News Agency that the period would help other fishermen to repair and maintain their damaged canoes and nets.

‘We hope all of us will comply and go according to the rules and regulations that govern the closed fishing season for the benefit of all after the period,’ he stated.

He urged all fishermen to abide by the rules and regulations of the closed fishing season to avoid any lawful punishment.

Mrs. Mavis Hawa Koomson, Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, in an earlier meeting with the fishers along the coastal belt at Keta, promised that outboard mo
tors and some relief items would be provided for fishers to mitigate the prevailing challenges during the period.

‘The Ministry would train some youth within the fishing areas as an alternative to reduce the pressure on the sea,’ she said.

Mrs Koomson said other countries such as Benin, Togo Côte D’Ivoire, and other sub-Saharan countries had also introduced the closed fishing season ‘since the period was one of the best ways to replenish and reduce pressure on the fishing business.’

The GNA, during a visit to the Keta seashore, saw no ongoing fishing activity.

Some fishers, the Ghana News Agency (GNA) engaged and appealed to the Fisheries Ministry to provide the relief items as early as possible to begin the season.

The season would enhance the capacity to produce fish to improve, maintain, and conserve the sea, and protect the aquatic animals for better replenishment.

The official ceremony of the closed fishing season was held at Dixcove in the Ahanta West Municipality of the Western Region on Monday,
July 1.

Source: Ghana News Agency

KNUST developing AI platform to support victims of domestic violence in Ghana


Data scientists at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) are developing an Artificial Intelligence (AI) application platform to augment the existing support systems available for victims of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and Gender-based Violence (GBV).

This IPV application, when completed and approved by the relevant ministries, will help reduce the human interface of victims and give way for such people to confidently express themselves and access support.

It is the work of the Responsible Artificial Intelligence Lab (RAIL), a maker space to develop talent in data science and machine learning at the KNUST.

Dr Rita Udor, Gender Inclusivity Officer at RAIL, speaking at a stakeholders’ engagement to solicit further ideas, inputs and feedback in Kumasi, said there was already a system, which was called the ‘Boame App’, but was not functioning properly.

The stakeholders’ engagement on the IPV project was, therefore, specifically to get information from different stakeholders, benefi
ciaries, and service providers on exactly how it should function, and the features expected of the application to exhibit.

She said already, the project team had gathered information from the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, Departments of Children, Gender, NGOs, and focus group discussions with some community members.

Dr Udor said through these engagements, communities were exposed to how AI functioned and how they could benefit from it.

Gender-based violence, she noted, was very prominent in Ghana but the services provided on these topics were very limited, saying with the use of AI, Ghana would be able to enhance the services provided for victims.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Volta GRNMA embarks on creating green and healthy environment


The Volta Regional branch of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) is embarking on a tree planting exercise to create a green and healthy environment to help fight the negative impacts of climate change.

The Association has started a tree planting exercise that is targeted towards the planting of 300 fruit trees, including coconut, citrus, mango and guava on its 300 acquired plots of land christened ‘Oxygen City.’

Mr. Courage Arnold Yao Foli Kwame-Kumah, Volta Regional Chairman of the Association, disclosed these during the maiden ‘Green Oxygen City’ initiative of the Association as part of activities to climax Regional Nurses and Midwives’ Week.

He said the initiative was not a concept but a culture, where nurses and midwives went beyond living an environmentally friendly life to impacting the same in the public.

He said in over two years, the Association started efforts to provide litigation-free lands for members to provide a good background for members to acquire their own affor
dable houses at their own pace towards retirement.

Mr. Kwame-Kumah said they decided to name the estate ‘Oxygen City’ because they envisaged a green, clean and healthier community that protected the future of children and generations to come.

He said the recent heat waves across the country and the world made a case for the need for the initiative as more pressing, adding that to maintain the trees, the Association had engaged experts to support and provide the needed guidance.

Mr Kwame-Kumah said as healthcare providers, services they provided such as natural childbirth techniques, teaching and supporting breastfeeding, general health education and dietary counselling using homemade foods, contraception and family planning were effective ways of reducing the need for interventions that consumed energy and resources or carbon emission.

He said the Association was strategically positioned to continue to educate the public on healthy ways, adding that we need to stop the indiscriminate disposable of plastic
waste and harmful farming practices.

Mr Kwame-Kumah said the fight against the negative impact of climate change should not be just a concept but a culture to make the future better for themselves and generations to come.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Farmers exposed to agroecological practices for sustainable food production


Crop farmers in the Atwima Nwabiagya South Municipality, have received knowledge on agroecological practices that are meant to reduce the current challenges militating against increased food crop production.

The awareness created for these farmers would strengthen their capacities, improve livelihoods and add value to the food they produce.

The exercise is under the ‘Promoting Agroecological Practices for Improved Maize Production and Healthy Environment (PAPISHE) Partnership’ which comprises the Crops Research Institute (CRI) under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Center for No-Till Agriculture and the Atwima Nwabiagya South chapter of the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners.

It is being funded by the European Commission (EU) and AFD through the ECOWAS Commission under the ECOWAS Agroecology Programme.

Dr Stephen Yeboah, Project Manager, and a Research Scientist at CSIR-CRI taking farmers through the exercise at a demonstration field at Seidi near Nkawie, explained that
the partnership would help develop and disseminate demand-led innovations and build capacities of stakeholders for sustainable food crop production and value addition.

He observed that arable land and other production resources were limited, and area expansion for food production was not appropriate or recommended in the spate of urbanization and multiple land uses.

According to him, with extensive urbanization and competition for farmlands, any increase in crop production should be met by increased productivity -improved crop yields per unit area than an increase in cultivated areas.

Dr Yeboah said it was important to create awareness of existing technologies for greater uptake, commercialization of proven technologies, training of agricultural value chain actors and facilitation of engagements with policy to ensure that an appropriate environment was created for wider adoption of innovations.

He took farmers through some agroecological practices at the demonstration site.

These included maize-carnalia
relay, maize-cowpea intercropping, climate-smart maize varieties under organic and inorganic fertilizer application, mulching/direct seeding in a live mulch, cover cropping using mucuna, cover cropping using carnavalia and cover cropping using grain legume (cowpea).

Madam Esther Nsiah Asare, a farmer at Sepaase sharing her experience on agroecological practices with the Ghana News Agency, noted that when a demonstration farm was established to teach the farmers she had been spending less on chemical fertilizers, controlled erosion on the farm and kept a moist soil throughout.

She explained that her practices used to be slash and burn which hardened the land and in dry seasons the crops withered and died.

Mr Alex Mensah, another farmer from Seidi said when he received knowledge of these practices, farming had become easier and pointed out that agroecological practices were the way to go and all farmers should embrace them.

Madam Grace Achiaa, MoFA Director for Atwima Nwabiagya North District who had visite
d the farm with some farmers from her area requested that a demonstration plot be sited in her zone to teach farmers on the need to adopt these technologies to boost their yields.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Cyberbullying on digital lending apps: 130 cases recorded in 2024


A total of 130 cases of cyberbullying has been recorded on digital lending mobile applications (Apps) so far in 2024, the Cyber Security Authority (CSA), has said.

The Apps that have been identified include Ahomka Loan, Antcredit, Beanloan, Bestloan, BezoMoney, Boomloan, Casharrow, Cashwave, Cmgh loan, Cosycredit, Credit Bag, Divacash, Express Loan, Five loan, FullCredit, Homecredit, Itapcredit, Kashby, Lever credit.

Others are Leverloan, Lightscience, Loanfast, MegaCredit, Minaloan, Mix/oan, Omansika, Ozzy money, Pea money, Perfect loan, PojaCredit, Profitloan, Prokash, Roseloan, Safeloan, Starloan, SunTrust, Tipcash, and UnikCredit.

The Authority, in explaining the Modus Operandi, said when a user installed the App, an amount (usually less than GHS 200) was automatically credited into the user’s mobile money wallet even without an actual loan request.

It said one week after disbursing the loan, the fraudsters used extortion tactics including demanding loan repayment with high interest rates from the vic
tim or an associate, threatening to circulate actual or fabricated nude photos of the victim on social media, threatening to label the victim as a thief or wanted criminal.

The CSA said even after victims repaid, some fraudsters continued to demand additional payments.

According to the Authority, the Apps were in contravention of the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930) according to Bank of Ghana (BoG) notice BG/GOV/SEC/2022/10.

In addition, the owners of the Apps have not met the compliance obligations of the Data Protection Commission (DPC) hence their access and use of the data and PII of users violate the Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843).

Victims would typically have granted these Apps access to their data (contacts, photos) and personally identifiable information (PII) e.g., Ghana card ID, during the installation.

The Authority advised the public against subscribing to those mobile applications since they were not sanctioned by the BoG and the Data Protection Comm
ission.

‘The CSA has a 24-hour Cybersecurity/Cybercrime Incident Reporting Point of Contact (PoC) for reporting cybercrimes and for seeking guidance and assistance on online activities; Call or Text – 292, WhatsApp – 0501603111, Email

Source: Ghana News Agency

Beige-Bank trial: Court cautions Nyinaku against repetitive evidence


The Accra High Court trying Michael Nyinaku, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the liquidated Beige bank, has cautioned him against witnesses’ repetitive evidence.

Justice Mrs Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, a Court of Appeal judge with additional responsibility at the High Court, earlier advised Nyinaku to avoid collaborative evidence when his lawyers disclosed that they intended calling 61 witnesses.

The Court said it would no longer entertain repetitive evidence after it realised that the 15 witnesses called so far were repeating evidence already given by their predecessors.

Justice Asare-Botwe said the 15 out of 61 witnesses called by Nyinaku to defend his case had adduced collaborative evidence, which clearly explained the issues about funds transfer, transition of Beige bank from a savings and loans facility.

The Judge advised Mr Kwame Yaw Appiah Kubi, a lawyer on the defence team led by Mr Thaddeus Sory, to rationalise the number of witnesses they intended to call in defence of the accused and if th
eir testimonies were collaborative, they should bar them from coming.

If they failed and brought any witnesses to repeat what has already been said, the Court would strike out the evidence and discharge the witness, she said.

Nyinaku, during Case Management Conference (CMC), said he intended calling 61 witnesses in defence of the 43 charges against him, that is stealing, fraudulent breach of trust and money laundering, which he has been admitted to bail.

The Court had always raised concerns about the number of witnesses the defence intend to call and advised that the team would be challenged when it was time for addresses at the concluding stage of the trial.

She has said the number of witnesses to be called by the defence was the highest ever.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Purchase agricultural inputs from authorised designations – Farmers urged


Mr Dennis Abugri Amenga, the Bono Regional Director, Department of Agriculture, has urged farmers to obtain agricultural inputs from authorised and accredited sellers approved by regulatory bodies.

He said farmers in recent times had expressed concern over the quality of agro-inputs on the market, some of whom purchased seeds that failed to germinate or fertilizers that could not deliver the expected nutrients to plants.

Mr Amenga made the remarks in an interview with the media at the Bono Abinbev Agro Input Fair, organised by the Bono Regional Agriculture Department and the World Food Programme, Ghana.

The event, held in Wenchi, on the theme: ‘Promoting Market Linkages through Agricultural Fairs,’ aimed to educate farmers on the various types of inputs on the market.

This is to help them make informed decisions and avoid the pitfalls of using substandard inputs that resulted in low productivity.

The two-day fair brought together industry dealers of agro inputs to engage with aggregators, farmer-based or
ganisations and smallholder farmers from the Wenchi, Tain, and Banda areas.

Mr Amenga stressed the importance of proper storage of inputs to maintain their efficacy, explaining that even high-quality inputs could lose their effectiveness if stored improperly.

The fair provided a platform for input dealers to offer farmers the necessary information to maximize the returns on their investments.

Mr Emmanuel Kwabena Afful, the Wenchi Municipal Agricultural Director, said the fair represented a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to improve agricultural productivity and sustainability in the region.

He emphasised the importance of collaboration among stakeholders in the agricultural sector to cultivate a robust and resilient industry that could support the communities and foster regional development.

Dr Kofi Frimpong-Anin, a Senior Research Scientist and Entomologist at the Crops Research Institute, advised farmers to adhere strictly to regulations regarding the use of agrochemicals.

Improper applic
ation of those chemicals could have detrimental effects on human health, the environment and the quality of food produced due to chemical residue, he said.

Madam Ursula Nanbala, a farmer from Akrobi, appealed to the government to construct dams in the area to support year-round farming and enhance agricultural productivity.

She highlighted the difficulties faced by farmers in accessing essential resources such as tractors for weeding and fertilizers for crop cultivation, which had resulted in low yield.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Sustaining the Ga Tradition with the unique naming pattern


The Ga People of the Greater Accra Region, the region that hosts Ghana’s capital, believe that children are strangers from their ancestors.

They, therefore, are accepted as members of the family who have come to stay after surviving the first eight days on earth, and therefore, given a name to welcome them to the family to enjoy a unique identity.

The importance of names cannot be downplayed as God, the Creator, recognised this and, therefore, brought the animals he created to Adam to name them.

‘He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name,’ (Genesis 2:20).

Just like other tribes in the world and in Ghana to be specific, the natives of Greater Accra name their children on the traditional eight days after birth.

Even though the Gas believe they are all royals as most bear the revered title Nii (king) and Naa (queen) just as their chiefs and queens; they have unique names for each clan, which makes it easy for identification
and tracing of ancestry.

Ga Naming

In the past, the language and tribal mark on one’s body could give a clue of where the person hails from, but with modernity, intermarriages, and multilingualism, it is difficult to solely depend on those.

Therefore, the name is one of the most important identifiers of a person.

The renowned writer, A.A. Amartey, said the Ga people believe in reincarnation as the spirit of the dead (ancestors) come back to the world as newborns, hence the revered names Nii and Naa, indicating they are reincarnated.

The Gas are named after their paternal grandfathers, considering the clan they hail from and their birth position.

Uniquely, most Ga names also come with appellations (sabla gbei), which scholars in Ga traditions have indicated is a word or statement used to represent a name, (if one does not want to mention the name plainly but glorify it through appellation).

It is believed that in the olden days because of wars and killings, the Ga people invented the appellations so tha
t their enemies would not be able to identify and kill them.

Name Groups

Names in the Ga Traditional Area can be grouped into six categories: position of birth, family, twins, day of birth, orphans, and reincarnated names.

Aside from these, some may also choose names based on circumstances surrounding the birth of the child, while others may also name children after prominent members of society who may be alive or had passed on as a way to remember them.

Birth Position

Most firstborn boys will generally take the name Tettey with the appellation (Saashi), while the second and third take respectively Tetteh (Mpata), and Kwei /Mensa (Afadi-nsro /Osa). The names can continue to the 10th male boy, who is called Badu, with a sabla of Asuasa.

According to resource materials, including A.A. Amartey’s popular book Omanye Aba, the females will also generally be given the position names and appellations, Dede (Tuma), Korkor (Ofamota), and Kai /Mansa (Adonkropa / Brakatubrafo) for first, second and third girls.

Th
e females that come after them will continue with the names Tsotsoo (Aflaso-manso), Fofo (Oye), Ashami (Okuga), and Botswe (Ashiedua) for the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh positions of birth.

Family/Clan Names

Every Ga family has peculiar names, which make it possible for the child to trace their origin, as it shows the clan, the quarter, and the family the child was born into, even though there can be some names running across more than one clan.  

Some names that come from Ga Mashi (Central Ga), may include Abe, Adukwei, Dakua, Deidei, Lamile, Otobia, Okaija, Taki, Yaole, Kpakpo, and Jagbele, among others.

The people of Osu have names such as Adumua, Aja, Korley, Naki, Maku, Noi, Norley, Sai, Obodai, Oboshi, Soja, Torshii, and Torto, and many others.

Natives from La also have names including Adei, Ajele, Akornor, Anyele, Anyetei, Atswei, Jama, Odoi, Odole, Okpoti, Suatey, Maale, Konney, and Yemoley.

The people Teshie, on the other hand, present names such as Ablor, Akpor, Asheley, Ashorkor, Odua,
Sowah, Mateki, Merley, Martey, Klu, and Adjei.

Nungua natives have naming patterns that are easily identifiable by non-Ga indigenes. These include Borkai, Borketey, Borlabi, Borkwei, and Borteley. Others are Afoley, Afotey, Odai, Mantekai, Momo, and Mantetso.

People in the Tema traditional area respond to names such as Abokaile, Adjeiteye, Adjei, Kailebi, Labi, Mante, Nam, Korkorbi, Armah, Ashitey, and Ashia.

Names of Twins

Having two or more children at birth among the Gas is a blessing and is observed as sacred. Thus the annual twin festival commemoration to celebrate their importance in society.

The first two twin boys are called Akwete and Akuete or Oko and Akuete, while the females are Akweley and Akuorkor.

A boy and a girl will also be called Oko and Akweley.

Some give birth to twins consecutively, and with that Tawiah is added to their names, for example, Oko Tawiah and Akweley Tawiah.

Children born directly after twins will take the unisex names; Tawiah, Agoe, and Abam.

Some families sometime
s add the family names to the twins’ name to show the exact clan and family they hail from.

Day Names

Just like other tribes in Ghana, the Ga people also have some day names they choose in addition to the ones handed down to them by their ancestors. These are Kojo, Kobla, Kwaku, Kwao, Kofi, Kwami, and Kwashi, for boys covering Monday to Sunday. While their female counterparts’ day names are Ajoa, Abla, Akua, Aba, Afua, Ama and Akoshia.

Orphans

Names are given to children based on situations in their lives, if a child loses the mother before their naming ceremony, that child will be called Ahia (to wit lack of motherly love and care).

The child whose father died before the naming is given the name Antobam, which means he/she did not meet the father to receive joy.

Reincarnated names (Gbobaloi Agbeii)

If a baby dies before being named and the parents give birth to the same gender after him or her, the Ga people believe that it is the same soul that has come back.

To prevent a recurrence of death, incisi
ons are made on the child’s face (especially near the lips and eyes) to prevent the evil spirit or ghost that took him or her away the first time from identifying them.

It is a traditional belief that this will make the child survive.

Such gbobaloi are given unpleasant names such as Booba (you came voluntarily) Aleenor (probably), Obegbei (you don’t have a name), Obaamra (you didn’t come early).

Other names are Mminimade, (an expression in Dangbe meaning ‘What will I Say?) and Kukwei (pot).

Latest Trends

A new trend in naming has been introduced by the younger generation, in which names such as Grace, Blessing, and Praises are translated into the Ga Language.

These are Dromo, Jormor (Dzormor) and Yijiemor, respectively.

They precede such names with the title Naa (Naa Dromo).

However, Reverend Dr Nathan Mensah Nunoo, the General Overseer of Faith Community Fellowship and Ministry, and a family head, says such names are not authentic Ga names and, therefore should not have the revered title Nii or Naa.

H
e suggested that since it was a trendy name, children could still be given those names but should be placed after the traditional name.

Thus, a child should be named ‘Naa Dedei Dromo) instead of (Naa Dromo Dedei).

He encouraged Christians and other religions not to abandon their traditional names with the excuse of it being fetish, explaining that even if it was, prayers could be sought to take care of any negativity.

‘Just as it happened with biblical Jabez, whose mother named him because of the pain she went through, however, with prayer, he received favour with God,’ Rev. Dr Nunoo said.

He touched on the importance of protecting one’s culture by keeping and using names irrespective of religion, reminding the Gas that no region owns a child, but every child is born into a family.

Conclusion

‘Names are a cultural inheritance for the Ga people passed on from generation to generation. Let us therefore protect this heritage of our traditions by proudly using the names we were born with,’ Rev. Dr Nunoo sai
d.

(This writer, also called Naa Anyorkor; with her appellation; ‘Dade’ meaning ‘metal’, is a Ga woman from La and a quarter called Abese. She has this name because she is the second girl of her parents.)

Source: Ghana News Agency