Monthly Archives: March 2013

#Blogcamp13 set for March 23

The 2013 social media event, the Blogcamp, designed to bring together for the second time bloggers and social media enthusiasts from across the country, will come off at the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT on Saturday, 23 March. Launching Blogcamp 2013 on Twitter, Chair of BloggingGhana Kajsa Hallberg-Adu said this year’s event is dubbed “Content is King” to reflect and demonstrate how local content is important to the development of Ghana. A Coordinator of the Blogcamp 2013, Edward Amartey-Tagoe, said BloggingGhana has observed the decrease in the upload of local content although more Ghanaians have migrated onto social media platforms. “We have however realized that, there is a shift towards the use of these tools more for communication than for the provision of content online”.

Amartey-Tagoe said this observation informed the BlogCamp team to choose the theme. “Ghana must be represented by Ghana and people who have direct interaction with the country. We want to reverse the trend where one googles Ghanaian terms only to land on a blog written by an individual, who perhaps has never lived in the country,” he adds. CEO of Hatua solutions, a software solutions company in Ghana, Nehemiah Attigah, agrees with him . “We don’t create anymore and there’s the need to change that trend. We must push our own stories.” Speaking about why BloggingGhana is organising a BlogCamp, Amartey-Tagoe indicated that “The organisation [BloggingGhana] through these workshops realised there was much interest in Blogging and social media”. There was a need to fill that gap to connect Ghanaians who shared the interest. According to Tagoe, the first Blogcamp, which was organised on 5 May 2012, had more than 450 attendees, filling up the auditorium beyond its capacity. He says the organisation has resolved to make it an annual event.

photo credit:

photo credit:

The Blogcamp will witness for the first time a Blogging and Social Media Awards to recognise Ghana’s content creators and build more awareness about the positive uses and benefits of blogging. Nominations for the various categories include Best Technology Blog, Best Citizen Journalism and News Blog, Best Creative, Literary, Short Story and Poetry Blog, Best Activist Blog; Best Photo Blog, Best Organisational Blog, Best Original Content, Best Business & Commerce Blog; Personality with the Best Social Media Presence, Organisation with the Best Social Media Presence, and Best Showbiz and Entertainment Blog. Following from the Blog and Social Media Awards, the Blogcamp team has scheduled exciting campaigns and online engagements, which are expected to allow many Ghanaians online to participate in the lead up to the event day on 23rd March. Blogcamp 2013 is sponsored by Tigo Ghana, Google Ghana, US Embassy, Voltic Ghana, Born Again, A Thousand Words, Nii Odzenma Nfoningraphy,, Dust Magazine, Citi FM, and the Be Bold Show. According to Mrs. Hallberg-Adu, “the first ever Blog Awards in Ghana are to inspire more folks to create local content.” She added that “online people in Ghana have a responsibility to create”. BloggingGhana is a membership based association for Ghanaian bloggers and social media enthusiasts, both in and outside of Ghana who write about the country.”

Source: JoyFM


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As part of efforts to equip the National Steering Committee on Child Labour to function effectively in the cause to eliminate child labour, members of the Advocacy, Social Mobilization and Child Labour Monitoring sub-committee have received training on the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System. The two day event held at the Greenland Hotel in Swedru was officially opened by Mrs. Elionai Adu-Labi (AG, Chief Director, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations), she expressed appreciation for the opportunity to open the workshop aimed at equipping members of the sub-committee on the Advocacy, Social Mobilization and Child Labour Monitoring Child Labour to effectively offer technical advice to the district and community child protection committees.


Mrs. Elionai Adu-Labi (AG, Chief Director, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations)
Interacting with Sub-Committee members.

She formally informed members of the presence of a new minister at the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (then Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare) – in the person of Hon. Nii Armah Ashietey. It was her expectation that the forum would take the opportunity to highlight some of the challenges facing the execution of the pilot projects on the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System (GCLMS) tools and was hopeful that the challenges faced in the course of duty would inform decisions taken to provide effective solutions to address issues raised- “…this will guide the National Steering Committee in reviewing the GCLMS” she said. She acknowledged great strides made through collaborative efforts in withdrawing children from the worst forms of child labour and placing them in schools, equipping them with skills and parents trained and ensuring they are retained. She thanked donors for their consistent support in spite of the global economic and financial turbulence and members for being present to ensure Ghana’s children’s future development and growth.

Sub-Committee members of the Advocacy, Social Mobilization and Child Labour Monitoring in a picture with Mrs. Elionai Adu-Labi.

Sub-Committee members of the Advocacy, Social Mobilization and Child Labour Monitoring
in a picture with Mrs. Elionai Adu-Labi.

The Advocacy, Social Mobilization and Child Labour monitoring members were trained on the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System (GCLMS); processes and methodology, its priorities, components, indicators, highlight of its report on operations so far, limitations, and recommendations- Mr. Atukwei Sam Quaye, (GCLMS Coordinator, National Programme for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Cocoa) delivered the presentation. Mr. Anthony Awotwe of the Employment Information Branch also took participants through “labour inspection and GCLMS”- he shared with all the powers and rights of labour inspectors, obligation of labour inspectors, building partnership, the link between labour inspection and GCLMS .


Posted by on March 16, 2013 in Ghanabakwamena Zone!, Issues!


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Why I am Attending @BloggingGhana’s #BlogCamp13!

Ghana’s biggest network of Bloggers and Social Media enthusiasts, once more brings to you #BlogCamp13. The social media event and awards day looks promising and rewarding indeed! I was part of #blogcamp12 themed “Voice of a New Generation”.


Blogging Ghana since June 2011, has been a non-profit organization with an executive council working towards the following objectives:

  • Serving as a forum for bloggers in Ghana to network and exchange ideas
  • Building capacity among bloggers in Ghana
  • Accessing new audiences for our blogs through a mutual website (aggregator) and other activities
  • Promoting citizen journalism in Ghana
  • Educating the general public in Ghana on the opportunities of social media

               It’s now time to focus on QUALITY content- yup! This years’ BlogCamp is themed “Content is King”, I met dozens of my followers offline and gained even more at the event last year, also enjoyed sessions led by seasoned sports Journo and tweet freak Gary Al-Smith , Ameyaw Debrah (seasoned Celebrity blogger/ publicist/social media marketer), Nana Yaw Asiedu (Lawyer & Blogger), Nii Aryertey Aryeh (seasoned Citizen Journo & GhanaDecides Team member), Nana Yaw Sarpong (Best Citizen Journalism Blog Nominee, Producer of Writers Project on Citi FM.). I upgraded my knowledge on the use of platforms I have mastered- Blogger, WordPress, Twitter, facebook, Storify, how to grow followers and fans etc. It wasn’t all about getting? I gave back too- assisted many to start a blog and was consulted by other wanna-be-bloggers on how to run the platforms.


I had fun serving on #VimSquad captained by Gameli Adzaho to mobilize wanna-be-bloggers and social media enthusiasts for the event, the session with #TeamKeteke on G.I.J campus was splendid. Many of the attendees swept goodies home.. shirts, android handsets, and loads more! I look forward to winning a BB from Tigo and BloggingGhana at this years event! I look forward to learning some more, live-tweeting, eating the sumptuous BlogCamp chow – Oh yeah! Taking home my Tigo BlackBerry award. I will be honoured to meet you… “always a pleasure- forget peer pressure…lols!”  Follow me on twitter @ghanabakwamena!


Posted by on March 15, 2013 in Ghanabakwamena Zone!, Issues!


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My Paddy – Tigo Or Nothing oo!

I smiled when I got my first SIM card! It was all joy, oh boy – when I landed me an O-two-seven (027) line for 50 pesewas! I remember that faithful day September 24, 2004 was when I got my first nokia handset- I was popular in Salemsco  not just because I owned what all called the “GOMOA BANCHI” or GOMOA-TEL but because all my friends and loved ones could reach me and feel the clarity of my calls! It was no surprise I had joined a family trusted brand- It was BUZZ then, I wasn’t so sure about TIGO until it happened! Their cool logo with blue background and smiling Tigo in white meant they were in for not money alone but meet the communication needs of their clients and prospective ones. We have come a long way I must say GSM—MOBITEL —BUZZ — then advancement to Tigo. My faithfulness has brought many aboard Tigo too. In fact, thanks to Tigo I found true love and till this moment – my heart and I express ourselves!


What is the essence of feeling free, going everywhere, having all the power and not being able to express yourself to friends, family, business partners and loved ones? Sad right?  I believe in giving back to Society – what the big folks call “Corporate Social Responsibility” – Tigo is on point, they have put a smile on Ghana’s face too! FREE NIGHT CALLS, UNLIMITED SMS, LOW TARRIFS, need I say more? Thanks to Tigo getting and transfer of money has become “koko kwraa” with tiGO cash!


That smile on your face bears witness too…  Internet connection speed with their modem? Herh, you can’t be missing out oo- sometimes I wonder why all these great services are easy on our pockets!  tiGO truly cares- with them, “it ain’t all about the money!”.  You know how passionate I am about relevant information dissemination especially through social media, I am glad they got Blogging Ghana’s back like a spinal cord- join sponsors to make this years’ #BlogCamp13 happen. If “Content is King” you gotta know how to “Express yourself”-  come learn for FREE, yes FREE just register here!

That reminds me – have you heard about tiGO’s FREEEE BONTO package? These are few of the many reasons why I recommend Tigo to my Paddies! Get aboard and Express yourself too! Onaaa po! I smile cos I got tiGO, k3 VIM!


Posted by on March 14, 2013 in Ghanabakwamena Zone!


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The Skill of Self-Confidence! #moreVIM

…the ability or belief to believe in yourself to accomplish any task- no matter the odds, no matter the difficulty, no matter the adversity, the belief that you can accomplish it!”                                                                                                                                       – Dr. Ivan Joseph!

I did a TEDx talk hunt on my ASUS laptop, in my self-build folder and found one by Dr. Ivan Joseph! I enjoyed it all! I noted that Self Confidence is a skill that can be trained! 🙂 There’s no magic button in building self-confidence! In order to get the Confidence in you groomed, nurtured and put to effective use.

Dr. Ivan Joseph in action on  the Skill of Self Confidence.

Dr. Ivan Joseph in action on the Skill of Self Confidence.

Repetition! Persistence! and Practice! is vital. Also, do not accept failure- keep persisting! Why bail-out when you fail on your first try? Keep on keeping on… Negative Self talk- There are lots of people out there telling us we can’t do it- in our faces and behind us. Why do we want to join them and tell ourselves same “you are not good enough” or “you can’t make it”?

Do note that:

  • Thoughts influence actions- so why entertain negative thoughts!?
  • Reaffirm! – Be the Captain of your ship, master of your fate, trust God- you can do it!
  • Get away from people who will tear you down and make you feel you are not good enough- move away from that NEGAsphere (Negative Atmosphere)!
  • Self-confidence is far from hubris, ego, and false pride- You will need it!
  • Get a brag sheet or wall; list your achievements – things you are proud of! And challenge yourself some more to exceed past glories. Hard or tough times will come in the course of life- work, relationships, academia, when you may feel down and not like whom you are or where you are. Stop the negative self-talk- look at your brag sheet and smile… work even harder!

Want to know how to build other peoples self-confidence too. Kindly view #TEDxRyersonU with Dr. Ivan Joseph on “The Skill of Self Confidence”. Thanks for reading, Believe in yourself- GO YOU!


Posted by on March 12, 2013 in Uncategorized


#AskGilmore! Engage @UNFPA Deputy ED on ‘Young People and Ending Violence Against Women and Girls’


Post your questions for @UNFPA Deputy ED Kate Gilmore  on ‘Young People and Ending Violence Against Women and Girls’ by posting on our page and using the hashtag #AskGilmore on twitter. Your questions will be shared with her during a video interview today between 7 pm and 8 pm GMT.


Ms. Kate Gilmore(Deputy Executive Director (Programme), United Nations Population Fund))

Ms. Kate Gilmore
(Deputy Executive Director (Programme), United Nations Population Fund))


Post questions on young people & ending violence against women for an interview with UNFPA Deputy ED Kate Gilmore using the tag #AskGilmore



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Government Ministers and UN, NGO Representatives from Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and Middle East Focus on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls and Fulfilling Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

(March 7, New York) At a roundtable meeting on March 5 hosted by the High-Level Task Force for the International Conference on Population Development (ICPD), Government Ministers, delegates to the 57thCommission on the Status of Women (CSW),  and representatives from UN agencies and non-governmental organizations—164 individuals representing 36 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East—shared recommendations for action around the event’s theme, Charting a Forward-Looking Agenda–Ending Violence Against Women and Girls and Fulfilling Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All.

“At the very moment we are all gathered here, countless women and adolescent girls are being subjected to various of forms of violence in every country of the world–physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Every day, women and girls die from complications during pregnancy and childbirth, and from unsafe abortions. Every day, over 2,000 young people become infected with HIV.” This opening statement from Samuel Kissi of Ghana, the event’s facilitator and member of the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, underscores the severity and scope of these inter-related problems. “These are not separate issues.  Violence against women and girls is a violation of sexual and reproductive health and rights.  The denial of these rights is itself a form of violence, coercion and control over women’s basic freedoms and equality.” He pointed participants to the Bali Youth Declaration adopted in December 2012, encapsulating the demands of young people, policy-makers and other stakeholders from around the world on these issues.

“Fourteen women and 170 newborns die every day,” reflected Enrique TayagPhilippines’ Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Social Welfare on the situation of women and girls in his country.  He referred to the historic adoption of the new Reproductive Health Law in 2012, which guarantees universal access to contraception, sexual education, and maternal care.  He noted that in the Philippines, “men are standing up against violence against women…they are part of the solution.”  Following on the theme of men’s roles, the UN Permanent Representative to the United Nations for DenmarkCarsten Staur, noted the various forms of sexual violence that women and girls face, calling for comprehensive sexuality education as a means to “make men understand that resorting to violence is not a solution.”


“I don’t think we’ll go much further in ending violence against women unless we fight the root causes,” stated Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister of Women’s Affairs of France, reporting on her country’s commitments to ending violence against women. “We need to fight against those in the education system…We’re going to teach girls, and boys especially, the concept of equality. And we’re going to put in place sexuality education in high schools so that teenagers learn the respect and the right for the girl to say no.” She continued: “The ideal situation is to have an integrated approach in the area of reproductive and sexual rights,” with sexuality education linked to services as key to preventing unwanted pregnancy. “So for girls, contraceptive methods are fully reimbursed. Abortion is fully reimbursed because we believe that it’s never a comfortable choice for a woman and there’s no reason a woman should be subjected to a second burden, a financial one.”  Vallaud-Belkacem concluded, “We realize that anything that can be done to guarantee that a woman is truly free to choose what she does with her body, is a lever of equality between the sexes.  And also a factor and a lever to develop society.”

Karina RuizUruguay’s Director of the Division for Prevention and Elimination of Violence Against Women of the National Institute for Women, affirmed that her country is “on the road to putting in practice the commitments that were made in the international arena on human rights,” as she explained recent laws adopted in 2008 recognizing and protecting sexual and reproductive rights as human rights, and the new law of 2012 on voluntary pregnancy termination.  “This is part of our contribution to the norms and tools for full enjoyment of sexual and reproductive health and rights, without any forms of discrimination.”

Fatma Sahin, Minister of Family and Social Policy in Turkey, also shared legal progress in her country to end impunity: “Violence against women, not only physical violence, but economic and psychological violence as well, has been redefined in a new version of the Turkish criminal code. We changed it in 2002 for the first time in 35 years…the main goal was to change penalties with regard to violence against women.” Sanctions were increased for the crime of honor killings as “such offenses had been considered a qualified manslaughter and previously were penalized with only two to five years in prison. Those penalties are now 25-30 years.”

As first discussant responding to the ministerial panel, Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Laureate and Member of the High-Level Task Force for ICPD from Liberia shared the Task Force’s positions, echoing sentiments expressed by the government representatives and panel speakers.  She reinforced that it is “essential to reaffirm and protect sexual and reproductive rights as human rights in laws and policies.” This includes revoking “laws that pervert justice,” such as those that set rapists free when they marry their victims, or that let abusive husbands simply “go back home” only to repeat vicious cycles of abuse. Given how “horrific rape” is often used a tactic of war, she noted the Task Force is calling for sexual violence to be eliminated from amnesty provisions when peace plans are negotiated.

“The time has come,” Gbowee continued, “All women and girls subjected to violence must have prompt access to critical services and supports for their safety, health, housing, legal and other needs and rights…and here sexual and reproductive health programmes and services have an especially strategic role to play in supporting women and girls subjected to violence–including to address especially neglected forms of violence, such as abuse during pregnancy.” Such services must provide “access to quality post-rape care that includes emergency contraception, post-exposure prophylactic to prevent HIV, access to safe abortion for all survivors of rape and incest and diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.” Turning to the rights and empowerment of young people, in addition to the importance of comprehensive sexuality education, she highlighted the violence and risks girls face, including harmful practices and appealed for efforts to “eliminate early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation within a generation.”

Gbowee concluded by saying, “We must work to end the accountability deficit. We can create laws and policies, but if they are not enforced, implemented, adequately resourced and monitored for effectiveness, we will have failed.”

Rashida Manjoo, Special Rapporteur for Violence against Women and its causes and consequences, reinforced the important role of the State, saying, “Violation of sexual and reproductive health and rights is often a result of direct state action—coercive population control, coerced sterilization of women and girls, especially in marginalized communities and women with disabilities, and criminal sanctions against all forms of abortion and contraception.” But she emphasized that state inaction also contributes to the violation of these rights by “failing to address structural systemic oppression of women and girls.”

As the final discussant, Dr. Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women focused on ongoing CSW negotiations: “What the CSW can include in their agreed conclusions, so we can ensure that when we are dealing with this awful issue of ending violence against women, we really include also the sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the access of women for all sexual and reproductive health services.” She noted that, “the international community recognizes that there can be no peace, no progress, no equality without women’s full and equal rights and participation,” and went on to say, “What amazes me is that we are discussing an issue that 20 years ago we defined as an international community…In Cairo we discussed the linkages between sexual and reproductive health, empowerment of women and sustainable development.  Here we are again 20 years later, trying to get agreement on these issues.”

 Echoing panelist Paavo Arhinmäki, Minister for Gender Equality Affairs of Finland, who had stated, “We believe that sexual and reproductive health and rights issues must be kept high on the international development agenda, including in discussions leading up to post 2015,” Dr. Bachelet said in her conclusion, “Women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health and ending violence against women are the missing MDGs for the post-2015 development agenda.”

Co-hosts for the event were the Governments of Argentina, Denmark, Finland, France, Turkey and the GlobalLeaders Council for Reproductive Health.

#  #  #

 The High-Level Task Force for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) was established in September 2012 as an independent body to provide a bold, progressive voice for advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, especially for those living in poverty and otherwise marginalized, and to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and young people.  For more information, see

Media Contact:  Geoffrey Knox:


Posted by on March 8, 2013 in Issues!


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