The United Nations Releases A New Postal Stamp In Honour Of Kofi Annan

In honour of the former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the United Nations Postal Administration of the Department of Operational Support has issued from 31 May 2019,  a definitive stamp of US$1.30.

The stamp features a portrait of the late Kofi Annan which was illustrated by the famous artist and engraver Martin Mörck (Norway).  The quote on the stamp reads “To live is to choose.  But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.”  The stamp sheet and first day cover were designed by Rorie Katz of UNPA.

Kofi A. Annan of Ghana, the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, served from 1997 to 2006. He was the first to emerge from the ranks of United Nations staff.

As Secretary-General, Mr. Annan gave priority to revitalizing the UN through a comprehensive programme of reform; strengthening the Organization’s traditional work in the areas of development and the maintenance of international peace and security; advocating human rights, the rule of law and the universal values of equality, tolerance and human dignity; restoring public confidence in the Organization by reaching out to new partners and, in his words, by “bringing the United Nations closer to the people”.  Mr. Annan also took a leading role in mobilizing the international community in the battle against HIV/AIDS, and against the global terrorist threat.

In 2001, Mr. Annan and the United Nations were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.  He also received numerous honorary degrees and many other national and international prizes, medals and honours.

Upon leaving the United Nations, Mr. Annan established the Kofi Annan Foundation in 2007, an independent, not-for-profit organization that works to promote better global governance and strengthen the capacities of people and countries to achieve a fairer, more peaceful world.

Kofi Annan died on 18 August 2018 in Bern, Switzerland, at the age of 80

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Kwame Nkrumah; The Black African Statesman And A Political Activist From Ghana Who Served as President In Two Countries.

Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah led his country to independence from Britain in 1957 and was a powerful voice for African nationalism. He was overthrown by a military coup nine years later after his rule became a target of western imperialist. Nkrumah was born in the town of Nkroful in the southwestern corner of the British colony of the Gold Coast (now Ghana). He was an excellent student in local Catholic missionary schools, as a teenager, he became an untrained elementary school teacher in the nearby town of Half Assini.


In 1930, at Achimota College in Accra, the capital of the Gold Coast Nkrumah earned a teacher’s certificate and taught at several Catholic elementary schools. In 1939 he graduated from Lincoln University with B. A. degrees in economics and sociology, earned a theology degree from the Lincoln Theological Seminary in 1942, and received M. A. degrees in education and philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania in 1942 and 1943. While studying in the United States, Nkrumah was influenced by the socialist writings of German political philosopher Karl Marx, German political economist Friedrich Engels, and Russian revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin. He formed an African student’s organization and became a popular speaker, advocating the liberation of Africa from European colonialism. He also promoted Pan-Africanism, a movement for cooperation between all people of African descent and for the political union of an independent Africa. In 1945 he went to London, to study economics and law. That year he helped organize the fifth Pan-African Congress, in Manchester; with black American sociologist and writer W. E. B. Du Bois, future president of Kenya Jomo Kenyatta, and American actor and civil rights activist Paul Robeson.

In 1946 Nkrumah left his academic studies to become secretary general of the West African National Secretariat. That same year, Nkrumah became vice president of the West African Students Union, a pro-independence organization of younger, more politically aggressive African students studying in Britain. Nkrumah returned to the Gold Coast in 1947 when the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), a nationalist party, invited him to serve as its secretary general. He gave speeches all over the colony to rally support for the UGCC and for independence. In 1948, Nkrumah and several other UGCC leaders were arrested by British colonial authorities and briefly imprisoned. After setting up a series of colony-wide strikes in favour of independence that nearly brought the colony’s economy to a standstill, Nkrumah was again imprisoned for subversion in 1950. However, the strikes had convinced the British authorities to move the colony toward independence.

In 1951 Nkrumah, while still in prison, won the central Accra seat by a landslide. The British governor of the Gold Coast released Nkrumah from prison and appointed him leader of government business. The following year he was named the Prime Minister. He was re-elected in 1954 and 1956, Nkrumah guided the Gold Coast to independence in 1957 under the name Ghana, after an ancient West African empire. Nkrumah built a strong central government and attempted to unify the country politically and to muster all its resources for rapid economic development. As a proponent of Pan-Africanism, he sought the liberation of the entire continent from colonial rule, he offered generous assistance to other African nationalists, and initially pursued a policy of nonalignment with the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). His goal was never realized, but his efforts helped bring about the Organization of African Unity, which promotes peace and cooperation between African nations.

In 1960 Ghana became a republic and Nkrumah was elected president. Between 1961 and 1966 Nkrumah put together an ambitious and very expensive hydroelectric project on the Volta River that though highly successful, was laced with economic mismanagement along with several other developmental schemes over the period. Nkrumah did not hesitate to use strong-arm methods in implementing his domestic programs. He remained popular with the masses, yet his tactics made enemies among civil servants, judges, intellectuals, and army officers. While Nkrumah was visiting China in 1966, his government was overthrown in an army coup. Nkrumah lived in exile in Guinea, where Guinean president, Ahmed Sékou Touré, appointed him a co-president of Guinea. He died in 1972 in Romania while receiving treatment for throat cancer. Kwame Nkrumah’s remains were returned to Ghana for burial in his hometown.

An 82 Years Young Woman Shares A Secret To Successful Aging

An 82-year old Ernestine Shepherd is the world’s oldest female bodybuilder and the fittest grandma you will see on the Earth today. In an exclusive disclosure, Ernestine revealed that she wakes up every morning at 2:30 and says her devotions and then has breakfast, which is usually 10 egg whites, a handful of walnuts, and 16 oz of water. She stressed that she is very careful about what she eat into her bodily system

In addition to being careful with what she eats, Ernestine considers physical exercising as critical to a successful aging. As recounted, she and her sister, Mildred Blackwell were inseparable and one day, when she was 56, Ernestine was trying on clothes with her sister. Unfortunately, they did not like how the clothes fitted them and so Mildred suggested exercising. Soon enough, they began training together and this became a major part of their lives.

Mildred proposed a new and bigger goal for them to achieve so that they can be in the Guinness Book of World Records as the two oldest bodybuilders.

She also mentioned that if anything were to happen to her, she wants her sister to keep going.

When they started exercising for their new goal, Ernestine did not know about her sister’s health issues. Consequently, Mildred died from a brain aneurysm.

Ernestine, after the loss of her beloved sister, begun struggling with numerous health issues, including hypertension, depression, acid reflux, and panic attacks.

She explains that she was losing the will for exercising until she had a dream of her sister saying to her “Get up and do what I asked you to do!”

Eventually, she got back in the gym and worked on her body to make it suitable for a bodybuilding showcase competition where she got the first place in her age category.

And, only a month afterwards, she was added in the Guinness Book as the oldest competitive female bodybuilder in the world. This was the dream of her sister and she fulfilled it. Accordingly, Ernestine considers living by goals and focusing on those goals is important to successful againg.

For now, Ernestine is teaching a weight training class that begun with 10 students only and the number was growing and growing. She no longer deals with the medical issues from the past and feels less depressed and anxious.

Paul Kagame Is Urging Africa Leaders To Ignore IMF Warning And Go Ahead To Implement Africa Free Trade Agreement

In May this year (2019), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that African countries could face revenue shortfalls if the continent starts the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) as planned.

The IMF maintained that, although the agreement will boost trade on the continent, it will negatively affect earnings and employment opportunities in some sectors of the member countries’ economy.

In a quick rebuttal, President Paul Kagame has urged his colleague African leaders to stay focus in the implementation of the policy since that will be in the positive interest of the African continent and the African people.  

“It is important that Africa gives the necessary considerations to the views and opinions by external entities and ‘development partners’, it is also more important at the same time that Africa become aware of what we want for ourselves, pursue what is good for the continent, and defend what is necessary for our collective development.” He noted that a lot of considerations went into the African Continental Free Trade Agreement before it was agreed upon by member state.

Mr Kagame made these expressions on Friday at a tri-partite meeting attended by himself, President João Lourenço of Angola, and their DR Congo counterpart and host Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi on the side-lines of his father’s national mourning ceremony in DR Congo capital Kinshasa.

Ghana Is Producing More Female Entrepreneurs Than Any Other Country

The rise of women in entrepreneurship is not necessarily associated with the pace of their country’s wealth and economic development as this latest Index on women’s entrepreneurship has shown. The second edition of Mastercard Index of Women’s Entrepreneurship (MIWE) revealed that some of the least wealthy and developed economies have higher women business ownership rates than their wealthier developed peers.

Ghana came out on top, with 46.4 percent of businesses in the country owned by women. Uganda came in third, with 33.8 percent of its businesses being owned by women, according to the Index released this month.

The MIWE is a weighted index that helps to better understand and identify factors and conditions that are most conducive to closing the gender gap among business owners in any given economy. The factors include Women’s Advancement Outcomes, Access to Knowledge and Financial Services, and Supporting Entrepreneurial Factors.

The Index examined 57 different economies around the globe, including Botswana, Ethiopia, South Africa and Uganda. Ghana, Nigeria and Malawi were the new additions.

Ghana scored well in terms of advancement outcomes, as well as Nigeria. Overall scores in this regard were 62.4 percent (Nigeria) and 59.1 percent (Ghana). According to the Index, African countries also scored highly in women labour force participation, with Malawi at 100 percent, Ghana at 96.1 percent, and Ethiopia at 86.6 percent.

South Africa did tremendously well in sharing knowledge assets with women and providing financial access, with a score of 84.3 percent, coming in 6th out of 57 countries. Botswana followed closely with a score of 73 percent.

In effect, the continent scored highly in terms of women Financial Inclusion with South Africa at 98.7 percent, Ghana scoring 84.6 percent, and 77.1 percent in Ethiopia.

Implications

The Index results essentially show that women entrepreneurs are the mainstay of economic growth and instruments of development and financial inclusion in Africa.

“Botswana, Ghana and Uganda shine as examples of women’s determination to provide for themselves and their families and Africa excels at creating strong women entrepreneurs with the drive to succeed even in the face of financial, regulatory or technical constraints,” Beatrice Cornacchia, Head of Marketing and Communications, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard was quoted by mastercard.com.

The Index further disclosed that cultural perceptions of women entrepreneurs in Africa are predominantly positive – at 69.1 percent in Uganda and 67.2 percent in Nigeria, as compared to their colleagues in the Middle East. Thus, there are inconsistencies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) women’s business ownership.

According to the Index, although Ghana and Uganda have high proportions of women business owners, the reverse is observed in their regional peers such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Iran, Algeria, Ethiopia, Malawi and Tunisia (less than 10% women business ownership share with Saudi Arabia posting the lowest of 1.4%).

The Index further mentioned that some women’s inclination towards business ownership may be undermined by limited access to education and finance, as well as, entrepreneurial opportunities. But these are not challenges of only people in Africa, the Index pointed out, adding that women entrepreneurs in developed nations also face cultural and gender biases that limit them from opening or expanding their own businesses.

BY MILDRED EUROPA TAYLOR

Stonebwoy has been arrested over VGMA commotion with Shatta Wale

Reggae and dancehall artiste, Livingstone Etse Satekla popularly known in showbiz circles as ‘Stonebwoy’ has been arrested by Police.

It follows the fracas that occurred between Stonebwoy and Shata Wale when the former was called up the stage to receive the award for ‘Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year’ during last Saturday’s Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA).

Citi News sources say the Police has also invited Shatta Wale over the incident.

It was not clear what triggered the fight but the audience and viewers at home saw Stonebwoy pull out a gun before walking off stage.

Reports suggest that Shatta Wale walked towards the stage with his fans allegedly to congratulate Stonebwoy for the award but the move was interpreted by Stonebwoy’s team as an attempt to protest against the award going to their favorite musician.

Confusion halts awards’ night

The confusion that ensued after that clash halted proceedings at the venue and the live broadcast for some minutes.

Stonebwoy later returned to denounce Shatta Wale alleging that he wanted blood and death in Ghana.

Calm was restored after nearly 30 minutes with the show continuing till the end.

While some patrons left during the melee, many stayed till the end of the show.