Thursday, May 11, 2017

Do you ever wonder what it takes to acquire that perfect gentleman or lady look?

Looking successful and refined doesn’t take a day to master. It is a process, and definitely requires a lot of time, effort and investment.

But with these ten tips, you will surely earn a good start in the race. Not everyone has the same keen business sense like R. Yofi Grant has been blessed with, but we can all look like he does!

Tips

1. Buy a suit. It doesn’t have to break the bank, just a perfect fit and preferably a dark one. Remember to remove the tag on the sleeve. Pair it with a plain shirt, a patterned tie and cufflinks that aren’t flashy.

2. Every detail counts; select a good phone that will enable you to do a lot. Pay attention to the phone case and your ring tone.

3. Try to get a leather watch that looks good and matches your suit. If you are meeting someone and cannot be on time, just be early. Corporate executives are never late.

4. Buy a pair of good shoes that matches your suit, and care for it well.

5. Get rid of the backpack and buy yourself a briefcase or an elegant men’s bag, it conveys importance and a busy schedule.

6. Perfect grooming isn’t a leisure activity. Manicure, facial hair grooming, dental care, the whole nine yards adds to your personal brand. So start today.

7. Smile, but not as if you are hiding something. Walk in a determined manner, not fast but not slow. Walk as if you know where you are heading.

8. If you really want to look complete, get yourself a nice car that you can leverage on its brand, like a Mercedes or BMW. This isn’t necessary, though.

9. Speak with Confidence but don’t be overbearing. In a conversation, if you do not know an answer to a question, do not pretend to know. Just state confidently, “I do not know, but I will find out for you.” OpulenceConsult offers vocal branding sessions to create the vocal sound to compliment your personal brand.

10. Finally, when all is said and done, you want to be seen at the right places and with the right company. ‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most of the time with’ _ Jim Rohn.
The Style Strategist

Source : OpulenceConsult
Yolanda Cuba
Chief Executive of Vodafone Ghana, Yolanda Cuba, on Wednesday, demonstrated great leadership and commitment when she took to the company’s Twitter handle to respond to queries and questions from its numerous followers.

It was a rare opportunity for customers to have an up-close-and-personal interaction with the CEO and the queries came trickling in thick and fast. In a 2-hour session that brought Twitter to a standstill, the engagement under the hashtag - #AskYolanda – became the number 1 trending topic in Ghana between 1pm – 3pm that day.

She had her hands full as subscribers and followers piled on a whole range of questions including product challenges, customer service and network quality, her career experiences, 4G spectrum acquisition and the like. The session was not without its humorous aspect as some subscribers wanted freebies for the number of retweets they made as well as requests for lunch dates.

Yolanda has been very active in responding to customer queries on Twitter for a while now; however, Wednesday’s engagement was very comprehensive and lasted for two hours.
The company believes that the engagement will help drive and enhance customer experience on the network.

Commenting afterwards, Yolanda Cuba said:

“For Vodafone, we understand deeply that the sole reason why we exist is to serve our customers. How we serve them and are responsive to their needs are paramount. Today was an extension of what we do every day – keeping customers confidently connected.”

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

(L-R): Council Member (Engineer), Mr. Aly Mar Ndiaye, ECOWAS Commissioner for Energy and Mines, Dr. Morlaye Bangoura, ECOWAS Director of Hunan Resources (Operations), Mrs. Amelie Kone, ERERA Chairman, Professor Honoré Bogler and Council Member (Economist), Dr. Haliru Dikko at the reception on Friday, 5th May 2017 in Accra.
The Chairman of ERERA, Professor Honoré Bogler, has expressed renewed confidence that the launch of the first phase of the ECOWAS electricity market will go on as rescheduled, especially with the appointment of two Regulatory Council Members to join in the decision-making process of the institution.

The launch of the regional power market has been postponed twice partly because some documents critical to the operations of the market were yet to be approved by the ERERA Regulatory Council, following the vacancy created after the end of tenure of the last Regulatory Council in April 2016.

With the assumption of duty of the two Council Members on 4th May 2017, Professor Bogler was hopeful of “a good and united Regulatory Council, which is dedicated to achieving the objectives of ERERA, and thus working towards the realization of the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Market and the economic and social well-being of the people of West Africa”.

Professor Bogler was speaking on Thursday, 4th May 2017 at the welcome reception of the two ERERA Regulatory Council Members who assumed duty in Accra.

They are Dr. Haliru Dikko from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Mr. Aly Mar Ndiaye, from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Senegal and formerly of the Electricity Regulatory Commission (CRSE) of Senegal.  

The Chairman also enumerated the challenges encountered when he assumed office in April last year. This included absence of other Members of the Council, a permanent headquarters for ERERA, staff shortage and inadequate financing of the institution.

He lauded ERERA staff who he described as very dedicated, hardworking and exhibiting great team spirit in the discharge of their responsibilities, in spite of the challenges.

Professor Bogler expressed gratitude to the managing authorities of the ECOWAS Commission, especially the President of the Commission, Mr. Marcel Alain de Souza, for their continuous support to ERERA. He also expressed the hope of a rapid resolution of the challenges, especially with the arrival of the two Council Members whose delayed appointments, he said, greatly affected the outcome of ERERA’s work.  

Also at the reception were the ECOWAS Commissioner for Energy and Mines, Dr. Morlaye Bangoura, the Director of Human Resources (Operations), Mrs. Amelie Kone who represented the ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Resources, Mr. Joao Silva Monteiro, as well as ERERA staff members.

Commissioner Bangoura highlighted the expectations of the President of the ECOWAS Commission in line with the importance of the power sector for the regional economy.

He then expressed optimism that the new Council Members would contribute meaningfully to ERERA’s achievements, considering that they had been involved in the institution’s activities as experts from their countries.

Describing the tasks before them as huge, the Commissioner urged the Council Members to build on the sacrifices of their predecessors and help attract investments to the regional power market through a successful launch of the market, among others.

Speaking on the strategic importance of ERERA to the ECOWAS Commission, the Director of Human Resources (Operations) of the ECOWAS Commission noted that ERERA is the only technical arm of ECOWAS with a Regulatory Council.

She expressed the hope that ERERA’s success would open the way for the establishment of other regulatory bodies in the different sectors of the economy of West Africa.
 
In their separate responses, Dr. Dikko who is an economist and his engineer counterpart, Mr. Ndiaye, stated that they were aware of the expectations of the West African citizenry, and thus pledged their dedication to ERERA and the ECOWAS Community.

More specifically, they pledged to help bring solutions to the many power challenges in the region, primarily ensuring a reliable, efficient and least available cost of electricity that is accessible to all citizens of the Community.

Looking forward to working with a balanced team of professionals, both Council Members promised to operate an “open door” policy as well as ensure excellent staff welfare and capacity development.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Vision DJ
Vision DJ and DJ Mic Smith of the YFM family over the weekend won two prestigious awards at the Rush Ghana DJ Awards.

Vision DJ was adjudged Best DJ / Artist Collaboration of the Year and DJ Song of the Year with his ‘Grind’ hit song, featuring A.I while DJ Mic Smith won the Best Night Club DJ.

 The ‘Grind‘ hit song off the #BlowChicken album was the third single of Vision DJ and it featured fast rising act AYISI ICAN (A.I) while Kuvie handled production.

DJ Mic Smith
DJ Mic Smith on the other hand currently holds 4 awards and 6 nominations; 2 awards with 4syte TV for DJ of the year, The Redbull club DJ of the year award and Best Mixtape DJ in previous Ghana DJ Awards.

Commenting on the awards, Ms Naa, General Manager of YFM, commended Vision DJ and DJ Mic Smith for winning the award and urged them to continue with the hard work.

“ We are very excited about this award and very proud of the fact that members of the YFM family have been recognized in such a big manner. We share in their happiness and wish them both all the best in their careers,” Ms Naa stated.

DJ Advicer
Happy FM’s Radio Presenter, DJ Advicer, has been adjudged the best Music Promoter for the year 2017 at the just ended Rush Ghana DJ Awards

DJ Advicer, who is known in real life as Isaac De-Graft Danquah, beat the likes of Jerry Justice, Kwame B and DJ Phletch among others to emerge winner in the Best Music Promoter of the Year category.

The Rush Ghana DJ Awards, which took place over the weekend at the Silver Star Tower is an annual event which seeks to reward DJs who have remarkably entertained people and played a major role in music promotion in the year under review.

This is the second time the award winning DJ Advicer has won Best Music Promoter of the Year after winning the same award in the 3rd edition of the event.  He has previously won numerous awards including Highlife DJ and Music DJ of the Year at the Ghana DJ Awards.

According to Kwesi Sarpong, Programs Manager at Happy FM, DJ Advicer’s hard work throughout the years is yielding results with the various awards he has been winning.

“Happy FM is a brand that pushes its staff to be the best in whatever they do. This is just the beginning of great things to come.  We encourage DJ Advicer and other staff to continue with the hardwork,” Mr Sarpong stated.

DJ Advicer is the host of Happy FM’s ‘Ayekoo’ Drive, a show which runs every weekday from 2-4 pm. The show has undoubtedly endeared itself to listeners with ingenious tracks selection and making hits out of songs, which hitherto weren’t heavily patronized by music lovers.

Monday, May 8, 2017

On the eighth day after the birth while the moon was yet to evanesce, kinsmen thronged the now famed compound to witness the miracle baby. It was a replica of a shanty town; unplanned cluttered dwellings with very good asphalted roads flanked by open drains.

"Did you find it easy to get here. Here, taste this." I was greeted at the wooden gate by my fiancee, Dede, offering a calabash of fresh, hot, dark corn wine she had fetched from the cauldron sitting on flaming logs, yet to boil fully.

"Oh yes," I slurped a little. "I told the driver I was headed for Asere in Ga Mashi...Lante..."
"Lante Djan We" , we synchronized. "Yes, yes!"

By now kinsmen and friends, all clad in traditional white had carved a crescent seating formation, leaving the middle of the compound bare, where I noticed a ring of ash. I took a seat.

"That's my Uncle Kwei Mensah and his wife, Ny3kw3 Kai", Dede nodded. They were old and grey; I could say almost or a little past three-score.

"It's indeed a marvel", Dede explained. "She has been childless for decades, and my grandmother has given her no rest at all."

"Your grandmother has patience the size of my baby finger", one lady behind us interrupted our conversation, unwelcomed. I could detect an ample doze of tartness in her voice. She sounded salty.

"I know, Ny3kw3 Amateokor. Let's not ruin today", Dede, skinning her teeth, was not one to take offense at a first jab.

A towering old woman came hobbling across the compound clutching a baby wrapped in a piece of white calico safely to her bosom. The rite was set in motion.

The moon was still blessing us with good light. She commanded much respect, for everybody either rose to bow or wave at her as she lurched into the ring of ash and rid the baby of its cloth.

She held the baby up towards the moon and chanted, "We present this infant to the Supreme Being", then laid the baby down in the circle of ash, repeating the process twice.

"Oh it's beautiful...it's lovely. Our ears will rest henceforth". Ny3kw3 Amateokor was still casting vengeful subliminals, this time echoing it across the entire compound.

A bowl of water, signifying rain was thrown unto the aluminum roofing sheet and allowed to dribble on the baby. Next, the aged woman gently tapped the back of the baby and repeated, "Never lie, steal or cheat. Take after me."

I stared at Dede. "She is held widely as the eldest kinsman of good repute," she explained. I nodded.
"This is water, and this is wine. Know the difference." I saw the baby suckle on the old woman's finger as both corn wine and water were put in her mouth.

"Henceforth, you shall be called Lamile...Lamile Amoaben-ajaaku."
The uproar which erupted was thundering.

I followed as the kinsman handed the baby over to her mother, slapped the cork of a bottle of schnapp and offered libation on behalf of the infant.

"Agoo Ataamei ke Awomei.“Tswa Tswa Tswa omanye abla'o Tswa Tswa omanye abla'o. Tswa omanye aba, Osoro (Osu) Ahatiri, Obu Ahatiri, Oboro dutu wokpe, Wodsebu wodse nu, Wo ye wo nu wo kodsii adso wo, Gboni bale etse yi ana wala, Enye yi ana wala, Esee tuu, Ehee fann, Eyi aba gbodsen, Ese aba halaann, Wekumei wona faa ni wo fa le, Eba tsu eha wo ni woye, Eko atasi ni eko aba, Ganyo humile koyo tsua dani owieo, Tsua Tsua Tsua manye aba,”
"Hiao!", the guests said Amen to that!

After the neighbours had chucked down enough meat and emptied the cauldron of its corn wine, and everybody was dancing to the E.T Mensah's "Abele", I noticed Ny3kw3 Amateokor had locked Dede's grandmother in a seemingly fond embrace, both swaying to good hi-life music.

"Look at them," Dede sniggered. "This baby has made brothers of Nanumba and Konkomba."

By Michael Nii Moi Thompson

About Writer : Michael Nii Moi Thompson is a US-based Ghanaian poet/ writer of fiction. His debut book of short stories Tooli Bibii, is scheduled for release soon.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Ronald and Messi
Barcelona great Xavi praised the "spectacular" Cristiano Ronaldo, but said the Real Madrid star's problem was how good Lionel Messi is.

Ronaldo and Barca maestro Messi are regularly compared and always in the discussion over the greatest players of all-time.

Xavi, a former team-mate of Messi's at Camp Nou, said Ronaldo deserved credit, but feels the Portuguese attacker is behind the Argentinian.

"Cristiano Ronaldo is a born scorer, a spectacular footballer," he told A Bola TV.

"The problem is that there is Messi, who for me is the best player in history.

"That is the only problem that Cristiano Ronaldo has, but he is a player who scores and continues to mark an era."

Ronaldo's Madrid are in Champions League action on Tuesday, hosting rivals Atletico in the first leg of their semi-final.

Source: Opera Sports
Happy FM and UT Bank are spearheading the donation of over 1,000 pints of blood to stock the National Blood Bank and save lives at the 37 Military and Korle Bu Teaching Hospitals.

Organized every year for the past 12 years, this year’s event will be held at the premises of UT Bank, located at Airport City on Thursday May 25.

According to Kwesi Sarpong, Programmes Manager of Happy FM, “we always look forward to this particular programme every year because we know we will contribute significantly towards saving lives in the country.

We do not take it for granted so we urge other institutions to come and support this noble cause. We want to encourage all listeners of Happy FM and compassionate members of the general public to come and help save a life with their bloods”, Mr. Sarpong added.

Happy FM has been partnering the UT brand on this CSR project over the past six years and the two outfits are again involved in the 2017 drive.

The exercise would begin from 6:00am and end at 5:00pm. There would also be free breast screening and health checks for participants by qualified medical professionals from KBTH and 37 Military Hospital.

For more information, tune in to 98.9 Happy FM in Accra or check out www.happyfmghana.com.

The United Nations' top human rights official hailed Pescara's Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari as an "inspiration" on Monday for leaving the pitch in protest after the player said he was booked for complaining about racist chanting.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said FIFA needed to pay greater attention to the persistent problem of racism at games - and that his office had been in touch with soccer's governing body.

Muntari said he had complained that parts of the crowd, including a group of children, had hurled racist insults at him from the start of his Italian team's game at Cagliari in Serie A on Sunday.

The player said the referee then told him to stop talking to the crowd and ended up showing him the yellow card for dissent in the 90th minute.

Sulley Muntari
Zeid called Muntari "an inspiration to all of us here at the U.N. human rights office" for taking a stand.

The persistent problem of racism at games required "added attention or deepened attention by FIFA," he told reporters in Geneva.

His office had been in touch with the organisation, he said without saying when, and he planned to attend an international match in about six weeks' time to spread the message that "racism and expressions of bigotry should not be tolerated at major sporting events".

Zeid recalled another "deeply alarming" match, in Ukraine, where Dynamo Kiev fans wore Ku Klux Klan outfits and swastikas.

Italy and other countries have struggled to stamp out racist chants at games. In 2013, the AC Milan team left the pitch during a friendly in the town of Busto Arsizio after home fans insulted midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng, another Ghanaian.

Under guidelines introduced following that incident, the referee is supposed to alert the fourth official who should in turn contact authorities policing games.

FIFA last week fined Argentina, Mexico and Brazil for their fans' homophobic chants - sign of a growing crackdown on the insults often hurled at opposing goalkeepers.

Source: Reuters
'Hand Dey Go, Hand Dey Come' off his latest effort, Nowhere Cool is a song that has Ghanaian
rapper M.anifest talking about reciprocity.


'Hand Dey Go, Hand Dey Come' is slang that suggests mutuality - ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’.


The song features rising star and now frequent collaborator Worlasi and in this flick, we see the two men working hand in hand to reel in the day's catch in the coastal town of Woe.


Woe is a town on the southeastern shores of Ghana which is perhaps best known for its Cape Saint Paul lighthouse. It also happens to be M.anifest's grandmother's hometown.


The song was produced by prolific producer Drvmroll and the video directed by Garth Von Glehn.

Hand Dey Go, Hand Dey Come video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96lJKdu7HLc
Francis Kofigah
One of the most motivating stories to have been captured on www.jump.com.gh is that of “The Dough Man”. I personally met the Doughman when he addressed a Rotaract meeting a few months back.

I was not surprised when his story made it onto a platform dedicated to inspiring young people and young professionals. The Doughman is essentially a young man who has taken to making doughnuts as a business venture and is making a profession out of it.

Let’s take a gist of the story. For the complete story and others like this, take time off and visit https://jump.com.gh/entrepreneurship/meet-the-doughman:

Social media is turning around businesses in Ghana. Lots of startuppers are beginning to discover the immense benefit social media can be in building their brands, customer base and increasing sales. App developer, turned doughnut maker Francis Kofigah is the CEO of Doughman Foods. When he was asked what’s an app developer doing selling doughnuts, his answer was that “I get asked that question several times. I like doughnuts. I like to have them with pineapple juice. I just love them”.

According to Francis, a friend got him doughnuts from town and it tasted really good. So he asked for it a second time, but it was out of stock. He got so surprised because it was only 9am and so he thought there was opportunity in there. He decided to do a little research on how to make doughnuts, got a team together and kick started it.

For his first day in business, they wondered how they were going to sell. That was the challenge. “We got these paper bags put the doughnuts we made in and decided to go from shop to shop to tell people about our doughnuts. Some wanted to taste, some others rejected because they didn’t know the brand. In fact we got several rejections”, he said.

Did he feel like giving up then? Oh yeah he did. He really did. He had invested a lot of money in it and people were just tasting without paying for it. So they devised a plan to rather market their doughnuts on social media and they targeted specific personalities they thought would push their product. It worked.

Francis Kofigah
So under a year, they have moved from doing 20 to 30 pieces a week to doing hundreds. That’s because they got some social media influencers to share their posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Calls were just coming through and the market just shot up! Today they struggle to meet requests because they are overbooked.

Let’s bear in mind that Francis Kofigah is a technology guy. He develops apps among others. How does coding and doughnut relate? People ask that a lot. But because he is a techie, it is rather helping his business. He uses the knowledge he has acquired to promote his business. So what’s the future for Doughman? Well they aim to deliver all over Ghana.

Currently they run their delivery service only here in Accra. “Who knows we could even become a popular name in West Africa if you give us another year” – that is the belief and dream of the young man.

Stories like this are compiled on www.jump.com.gh and offer a good source of materials to inspire young people and young entrepreneurs.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Okyeame Kwame
Busy Internet launched the JUMP online platform on March 30 to give a one stop shop to young people and growing entrepreneurs on reading materials that border on entrepreneurship, self-development, education and lifestyle.

Okyeame Kwame’s interview is rounded up here https://jump.com.gh/lifestyle-n-entertainment/6-branding-tips-from-the-okyeame-kwame:

Rapper Okyeame Kwame known in real life as Kwame Nsiah Apau is one of Ghana's most celebrated Hip-life Artist. The "rap doctor" as he is affectionately called was a member of the defunct group Akyeame. As a solo act, his works include Bose Ba (2004), Manwesem (2008), The Clinic (2011), and The Versatile Show (201 2). His laurels are numerous, including the topmost award in Ghana music —VGMA Artist of the Year in 2009.


Okyeame Kwame is one of the few artists in Ghana who makes branding his top priority and has even gone ahead to launch a book for his brand "OK" i.e. Okyeame Kwame.

He pursued his Master's Degree in Marketing Strategy at the University of Ghana Business School and was recently honored by the CIMG after his presentation at the organization’s Continuous Professional Development (CPD) seminar under the theme: ‘Branding For Global Recognition'.

In an interview with him on how young musicians can build a successful brand, the father of two shared these inspiring tips:


Be Different: What it means is, study the status quo and something different which is is exciting and interesting, find a way of blending everything to make your approach different.


Be Original: Draw from your cultural source, talk about things that are relevant to your community and audience. Don’t rap about profanity. Example if you live at Nima the problem is mosquitoes so rap about it. Be original, don't be like others.

Be Consistent: No matter how inexpensive your videos are, make sure that whatever message you want to sell is there and we can see that in your videos.


Association: You have to look like the job you want not the one you have. Associate with where exactly you want to go so you become an artist that has importance, choose a name from a place that people find important for example, Akyeame chose the name "Akyeame" because we saw that people didn’t like rap so we went to the court and palace where people have respect everything that goes on there, hence seeking inspiration to form the name "Akyeame". Choose a name like that. When you receive an award, like “the keys to a city”, if you have the opportunity, show it to Asantehene or the president.

As an upcoming artist, find a rapper or a singer that you look up to and associate with him or her. If you meet an amazing presenter like Bola Ray, Kwame Adinkra, Andy Dosty take photos with them and share on your social media platform.

Build an Army: Begin with your family, friends, church members, classmates, associates, and enemies. In everything you do, you're surrounded by them so build your army beginning with them. Stay in contact with them via phone or social media.  Now set targets and work on getting it done, rent a crowd, convince your friends to come and watch you perform.  After they praise you, onlookers will do same.

Do not work hard, work smart: Working hard is for regular people, working smart is for winners. Working smart means paying attention to little details, once that is done, the big things will follow. Be Smart, when you have a plan walk through with it and execute.

Okyeame Kwame is currently out with a new single Saucing featuring his kids Sir Bota and Shante.
Stories like this are compiled on www.jump.com.gh and offer a good source of materials to inspire young people and young entrepreneurs.

Friday, April 21, 2017


Busy, 4G LTE provider of the year for 2016 has unveiled its new operational strategy, with a tremendous focus and commitment towards empowering Ghanaian youth, entrepreneurs and SME’s.

The 4G operator, who has a new brand promise of Great Things Happen, is positioning itself to become the #1 next generation 4G operator in Ghana, by championing the youth empowerment agenda. The new outlook aims to further establish Busy as the hub for young people and up-and-coming entrepreneurs, where they can connect to the world, develop business plans, network, and kick-start their dreams.

Chief Executive Officer of Busy, Praveen Sadalage, says “Busy is shifting its focus to one that is youth-centric and digital first with the introduction of mobile digital platforms such as MyBusy Mobile App, an interactive platform that allows customers to track their data usage, top up data, bundle data and control their data usage. There is also the Web self-care platform, which allows customers to interact with Busy on their laptops or desktop,” he said.

George Andah,  Minister for Communications
“When we launched our three-pronged youth strategy with the unveiling of our JUMP platform at the end of last month, it was to signify our intentions to operate in a space where most of Ghana’s population is; and to offer them an incredible access to materials that will ensure their professional and individual growth, this strategic shift further accentuates that initial commitment,” the CEO added.

Chief Marketing Officer of Busy, Michael Fitzpatrick disclosed at the launch in Accra that Busy will also be launching a new mobile interactive app known as Chat+.

This will be free for all Busy customers as it will allow them to chat, call, share pictures and videos with friends and loved ones. In line with this new vision, Busy is rolling out some innovative products with the customer at the centre.

It is our desire to get closer to our customers; hence, we have opened our new multi-functional flagship store which will have a collaborative work space at the back for young entrepreneurs, to come and experience our 4G WI-FI.

The Deputy Communications Minister and Member of Parliament for Awutu Senya West, George Nenyi Andah who relaunched the revamped Busy brand and opened the flagship store urged Busy to lead the way in delivering affordable and reliable data for the youth segment in particular.

Mr Andah said “Our young ones need data for their studies and businesses; but do not have the financial wherewithal; Government is in the process of ensuring that some of the factors that tend to slow down the growth of businesses like data are permanently solved so there is a phenomenal growth in that sector which will result in opening up employment avenues for the talented Ghanaian youth who have had artificial barriers forestalling their growth”, he said.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Digital television -an innovative approach to television broadcasting- has many benefits available to countries that adopt it. This piece seeks to share insights into four major benefits serving viewers, broadcasters, producers and advertisers respectively.

VIEWERS

IMPROVED VIDEO QUALITY AND CLARITY:  There is no doubt that digital TV comes along with improved picture and video quality. Signals are more compact than the analogue system and allows multiple channels to occupy the same airspace than the single analogue channel. Digital television will provide viewers with the quality of sound, images and videos needed to enjoy quality television experience.

With digital TV, one does not need to re-adjust an antenna as usually directed by local TV technicians as first stage in television signal troubleshooting.  One does not have to direct an antenna towards the transmission site of a particular station to get clear signals at the expense of other stations. A viewer has to simply turn on a TV with an antenna and enjoy quality TV with crystal clear pictures and sound.


BROADCASTERS

LESS FOCUS ON TRANSMISSION INFRASTRUCTURE: Television stations in Ghana compete not only on content but on infrastructure; an opposite of industry trends in other parts of the world where competition is strictly on content because infrastructure is standard for all players. Ghana’s era of television stations with tag lines such as “nationwide availability, total coverage etc. will be over with digitization.

Statistics at Brekuso- Ghana’s popular TV transmission site for most stations in Accra show that about 7 television transmission sites operate within 2km apart from each other.  All these stations have 24/7 security, standby power generators, water storage, mast, technicians, transmission halls and other important assets. Couldn’t a strategic and cost saving approach such as co-locating and sharing the running cost of the sites be adopted to ensure that the little revenue made from advertising due to the clustered nature of the industry is invested in content and staff remuneration rather than transmission?

In South Africa, television stations have no business with transmission because a reliable and professional firm maintains and manages their sites on contract basis. Ahwerase, a town in Ghana’s Eastern region noted for radio transmission has a similar case like that of Brekuso. There are about 10 radio operating sites within 1km radius apart from each other. Some local broadcasters are adamant to co-locate because of fear of sabotage by competitors. But I believe with the right systems and processes, such fears can be eliminated and co-location managed professionally by independent service providers with expected deliverables.



PRODUCERS

CONTENT DEVELOPMENT: With an equal playing field, television owners have no option than to compete on content. Digitization attracts broadcasting regulations such as prioritizing local content over foreign content and ensuring that prime time is dedicated to local content. This will improve the state and quality of Ghana’s production industry.

Production divisions of television stations, independent production firms and other sections of the production chain will benefit from this. Digitization guarantees the creation of jobs in the production chain ranging from producers, directors, actors, cameramen, props, location drivers, graphics and effects, editors, sales and editing.

It also guarantees massive development of our local movie and production industry. ‘Kumawood’, ‘Ghallywood’ and other private producers are at an advantage because there will be reliance on what they produce. Ghana’s National Film and Television Institute graduates and graduates from other production training institutions will be put to good use.

ADVERTISERS 

ACCESS TO CREDIBLE TV VIEWERSHIP DATA: Strategic advertising and marketing decisions on television should be made on credible viewership data. Even though professional media research is gradually gaining grounds in Ghana, marketing managers of some brands make decisions on guts and personal orientation with no accurate data supporting such decisions.

In the past, media owners have accused media research firms of skewing data and results in favour of the highest bidder. Though such claims may not be factual, digitization affords the industry a cheaper and more reliable way of knowing viewership ratings of stations across specific times. It also affords credible data on television viewership necessary for national policy and decision making.

If managed properly, television license collection can be enhanced and improved with higher collection rates.
Telemetry -an automated communications process by which measurements and other data are collected- can be used to provide viewership ratings in real time. Similar to the publication of subscriber base in Ghana’s telecommunications industry, publishing viewership of television stations from an authoritative source such as a national platform would improve television competition among industry players and serve as a trusted source of data.

It is unfortunate that time-lines set by the Government of Ghana to migrate all television stations unto the digital platform were missed last year. Discomfort and hesitation accompanies change efforts but we must embrace this innovative change in our broadcasting industry to benefit from its numerous advantages. The Ministry of Communications, National Communications Authority and other State institutions mandated to ensure television digitization is actualized must commit to this good and critical cause.

By: Timothy Karikari
timothykarikari@yahoo.com

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Issa Hayatou
Lucifer’s fall from heaven is considered the greatest in the history of creation but Issa Hayatou’s defeat in the just ended Confederation of Africa Football elections will go down in the history of the beautiful game as the greatest fall of a mortal turn god.


Hayatou is the fifth president of the Confederation of African Football. He was born in Garoua, Cameroon, the son of a local Sultan, and became a middle distance runner and physical education teacher. Hayatou had a successful career as an athlete, becoming a member of the Cameroonian national squads in both Basketball and Athletics, and holding national record times in the 400 and 800-meter running.


In 1974, aged just 28, he became Secretary General of the Cameroon Football Association, and Chair of the FA in 1986. As chair, he was chosen the same year to sit on the CAF Executive Committee. Following the retirement of Ethiopia's Ydnekatchew Tessema from the CAF presidency in August 1987, Hayatou was elected as the fifth president in the body's history.


Just like any mortal ruler, Hayatou’s almost 3 decades reign as the boss of Africa football had the good, the bad and scandals.


Hayatou has overseen particularly successful FIFA World Cup appearances by Senegal, Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana, and pushed for African places in the finals to increase from two to five, with the 2010 World Cup in South Africa seeing the hosts garner an automatic sixth spot for an African team.


Hayatou presided over both the bid and the organising committee for the 2010 games, the first in Africa. The African Cup of Nations finals expanded from 8 to 16 teams, in a confederation of over 50 nations in six zones and five regional confederations.


Club competitions have undergone a similar growth in both numbers and scale, with more clubs participating in the CAF Champions League, the CAF Confederation Cup (begun in 2004 for national cup winners and high-placed league teams.


Many praised Hayatou for the introduction of the Championship of African Nations, a tournament for home based players.


But of cause his reign was not without scandals, In November 2010 Andrew Jennings, the presenter of FIFA's Dirty Secrets, an edition of BBC's flagship current affairs programme Panorama alleged that Hayatou had taken bribes in the 1990s regarding the awarding of contracts for the sale of television rights to the football World Cup.



Panorama claimed to have obtained a document from a company called ISL which showed that Hayatou was paid 100,000 French Francs by the company. ISL won the contract to distribute the television rights. Hayatou has denied the allegations, saying that the money went not to him but to CAF. The IOC has announced it will investigate Hayatou, due to his membership of the organisation.


In May 2011, The Sunday Times published claims from a whistle-blower that Hayatou had, along with fellow Executive Committee member Jacques Anouma, accepted $1.5 million bribes from Qatar to secure his support for their bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.


Hayatou became the Senior Vice-President of FIFA and later became the Acting President after Sepp Blatter resigned as FIFA Boss. He was also, 2001 elected member of the International Olympic Committee during the Moscow session.


These made him very powerful and influential, using his influence to pass laws that will allow him to stay in power as long as his soul will permit him.


In 2015 all 54 countries at the organisation's congress in Cairo agreed to change the statutes which previously stopped officials serving past the age of 70.  The Confederation of African Football voted to remove an age limit on its officials, paving the way for Issa Hayatou to stay on as president.


CAF previously brought in a rule that, candidates for its presidency can only come from the ranks of its own executive committee, a tight-knit club closely controlled by Hayatou. Fifa did not have the same restriction.


At this point only a miracle could save Africa Football since those who qualify to contest Hayatou were too scared to do so or were enjoying the grace of the mortal turn god.


Then came the ambitious bid from the FA President of Madagascar Ahmad Ahmad. His rare and determined bid for “change” at the head of the CAF this year took many by surprise, and the incumbent was seen as the favourite. However what was about to hit Hayatou, even him as a mortal turn god had no idea.


Ahmad won the election in the Ethiopian capital by 34 votes to Hayatou’s 20, official results showed. Delegates cheered and pumped their fists in the plenary hall after the result was announced.


At the end of the day, it was Issa Hayatou’s own inner circle and close friends like Kwesi Nyantakyi who betrayed him like Judas did to Jesus.


By Ohene Bampoe Brenya
obbampoe@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

My chest feels heavy. My arms are cold, but it is not from the night breeze. My eyes fight unsuccessfully, sentiments I can’t accurately name yet. Dead people walk again, and they tell me stories –powerful stories.


I know these stories, I have grown up with them; from books, from a teacher’s lips, and in my grandmother’s sighs. They are my stories, uneven blocks that have culminated into my present. Still, my chest feels heavy, my arms tremble, and my eyes will give in any moment now.


Why? A woman stands on an outdoor stage with deliberately low lighting. She dorns a smock reserved for war, and she’s pointing a rifle around. Gloomy shadows stalk her, with the stealth of a hungry cobra.

A solemn refrain hovers in the air above as her tale is being revealed by an omniscient narrator. As queen mother of Ejisu, she can no longer stomach the spinelessness from her elders in this critical moment when their freedom and dignity are being threatened. And so, taking matters into her own hands, she musters one last fight on behalf of her dear Asanteman. Her opposition is fierce, and the odds fail her. She is defeated and dispatched into exile on an island far away. Though a tragic end to a drawn-out battle, the essence of her gesture will be passed on for generations to come.


One more: three World War II veterans are shot dead by one Major Imray on their way to present a petition to governor of the coast. This troubling re-enactment of February 28, 1948, fills the entire theatre with silence, and rapid, uneven palpitations.


And then, there it is – I lift my finger, cautiously so as not to interfere with this meticulously curated atmosphere, and touch my face –the spot beneath my left eye. I run a finger along the moisture and rub it against my thumb. Our journey has been long, and occasional reminders of where it all started, and whose toil and pain have served as brick and mortar for the liberties and pride we bask in, even if unconsciously, are only logical.


Because, at the end of the day, the more we know about our past stories, the better equipped we are with constructing new ones. The way these stories are re-enacted by the Wogbɛ Jɛkɛ team, how they establish the specific psychic temperature of a particular time in history… it affects you in a profound way.


History, like Mathematics, is not necessarily the favourite subject of your regular Wofa Attah by the side of the road, or by Elsie Owusu with a backpack and neatly-polished black shoes over white socks. Because, History can be frustratingly nuanced and confusing. Unless you possess a knack for it, dates and strange names are discouraging right from the onset.

Creators of this production have obviously gone through, and witnessed the challenges which come with trying to memorise history. Else, how would they have managed to create such a solid production? Unsurprisingly, many patrons, after seeing the play, recommend it for JSS students as it provides an easy way to relate with these accounts.

A Chief Moomen original,Wogbɛ Jɛkɛ has become, perhaps, our most authentic capsule through the over 2000 years in which our stories are embedded. Details make a story, and the minutiae carved into the production are precise, down to the trivial quirks. The anthems, dressing, prevailing discourse, and other aspects of our culture at the time all corroborate the accounts our grandmothers divulged to us.

That’s how we know a story is true. I shudder to attempt calculating how many hours, how much research has gone into the production, which has been running for two years now.  Nobody told you, as an 80s born, when you heard the soundtrack to popular crime thriller Inspector Bediako, or lines from Ultimate Paradise, or Who Killed Nancy, or the iconic “Medofo Pa” Keysoap advert, to recite along with hearty nostalgia, or to sing the Nico and Sekina song, remembering exactly whom you stood next to by the small window as you watched it on a neighbor’s black and white TV.


The Amphitheater of the University of Ghana was filled to capacity at the start of the show. Filled! And for many of the patrons (I’m certain), this was not their first time watching. Since 2015 when it was first staged, Wogbɛ Jɛkɛ has been performed 18 times. So, what at all were they there to see again? Like wholesome wine, Wogbɛ Jɛkɛ has appreciates over the years, and is regularly retouched to harmonise with changing times, while still keeping the core themes intact. And so, though you’re watching something you’ve already seen, you’re also beholding something completely new.

I don’t know how else to explain it. Just don’t miss it the next time it shows: a version detailing our musical transitions over the years (specifically highlife and hiplife) will be rendered at Citi FM’s Music of Ghanaian Origin (MOGO) concert later this month. Wogbɛ Jɛkɛ: Our Journey will also show at the at the National Theatre on April 15th and 16th. You’ve been informed!

The packaging of Wogbɛ Jɛkɛ is exceptional, and is, perhaps, what sets it apart from any other attempt, and what has made it symbolic nationwide. It is a duteous mix of bountiful comedy, affecting poetry, enthralling drama, rich music and dance, and engaging narration from multiple voices. These are elements we enjoy everyday, and so Wogbɛ Jɛkɛ entrances us fast.

The play is appreciated with a seriousness, and patronised by society’s crème and regular folk alike. Gathered with the rest of us like children by the fireside were such icons as comedy legend and broadcaster KSM, Gifty Anti and husband Nana Ansah Kwaw IV among others.


Journalist Jefferson Sackey, Hon. Dzifa Gomashie (Fmr. Dep. Tourism minister), and quite a number of ambassadors to Ghana have all seen Wogbɛ Jɛkɛ. Last week, former president John Kufour’s foundation pledged support for subsequent productions, and the team was invited by the Israeli Ambassador after he saw one of their shows. It remains a baffling fact that more foreign dignitaries patronise the show than our very own, but anyway…


Feedback on Wogbɛ Jɛkɛ usually goes like this: “this is a show worth seeing by every young person…even the older, because many Ghanaians don’t know the history of Ghana, and I think it’s good that he (Chief Moomen) has portrayed it in just two-and-half hours or so. He has done a marvellous work”, a satisfied Lawyer Sam Okujeto submits in an interview after one of the shows.


Co-directed by Joyce Anima Misa Amoah and Abdul Karim Hakib, the production also receives support from experts with choreography, music, costuming, light design, sound, and audiovisuals. In all, the cast and crew for the production numbers a remarkable 170.


So far, the Heritage Theatre Series runs three distinct plays: Birth of a Nation, A Tale of Two Men, and Rise of a Nation (first performed at the launch of the 40- year development plan in 2015). Entire productions have also been announced on sports, music, specific heroes, as well as various African stories at later dates.


The play will also be performed across the country in coming months, and there’s an extensive world tour in the works. Conversations with creator Chief Moomen reveal to you two things: the current feats of Wogbɛ Jɛkɛ (too many to fit into a single essay) are merely a window to the bigger picture. Secondly, that he Abdul Moomen, the immensely talented poet and playwright, and contemporary custodian of our tales, is also demented for sure. You doubt me? Talk to the man about upcoming projects.


Recited over instrumentals of singer Worlasi’s Possible, Chief’s final spoken word piece, which also ends the play, oozes with convictions of what tomorrow we can create if we finally cease with the blame games, let our yesterday teach us, and forge ahead as a determined people, harnessing our various abilities. At many points in the play, there are loud cries of “it is possible”. There’s something “higher” about the way the audience joins in the chants. It is the renewed dedication which follows an epiphany, or surviving an accident you should have perished in. We have been revived afresh.


“I think the reason for all the divisions and the acrimony among the people is because we don’t know the history. If we know the history, we will appreciate that we’re different tribes who came together and lived together all these years, worked together, brought independence together, and helped build it to what it is now, but then, we can build much better, and we can do better by unity”. Again, not my words, but Uncle Sam’s.


Wogbɛ Jɛkɛ is proudly sponsored by Keysoap. Media partners include ENEWSGH, Citi FM, among others.

By Gabriel Myers Hansen

About writer: Entertainment writer from Accra. Editor, enewsgh.com. According to him, pounding music makes him dance -in his mind-.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Vision DJ
Nominations for the 2017 Ghana Music Honours have been released. The awards, which were established in 2012, seek to “cultivate the understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to the Ghanaian society; from the artistic and technical legends of the past to the musical breakthroughs of future generations of music professionals”.


Organised by the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), the ceremony sees awards in 20 categories given by an academy of peers and one category voted by the public. There is also an award handed by the president of the union to an artist considered to have “contributed immensely to the development of MUSIGA and Ghanaian music in general”.


This year, the much awarded DJ Black is up for the Best DJ honour. Both VVIP and R2Bees are up for four awards each, while rapper EL has received three nominations.


Nominees in the categories Traditional Music Honour, Music Industry Development Honour, Evergreen Highlife Artist Honour, Evergreen Hiplife Artist Honour, Evergreen Gospel Artist Honour and the President’s Choice Honours are yet to be announced. The date of the event has not been made public.


Full list of nominees below:


Best Band Honour

· Afro Harmony
· Big Heels Band
· OBY Band
· Patch Bay Band
· Shabbo Crew

Best DJ Honour

· DJ Black
· DJ Mic Smith
· DJ Slim
· DJ Vision
· DJ Vyrusky

Afro Pop Artist Honour

· Adina
· Efya
· Joey B
· R2Bees
· Ruff and Smooth

Hiplife Artist Honour

· EL
· Guru
· Kofi Kinaata
· Sarkodie
· VVIP

Highlife Artist Honour

· Akwaboah
· Becca
· Bisa K.Dei
· Kwabena Kwabena
· Ofori Amponsah

Reggae/Dancehall Artist Honour

· MzVee
· Raz Kuuku
· Samini
· Shatta Wale
· Stonebwoy

Gospel Artist Honour

· Joe Mettle
· Nacy
· Nicholas Omane Achaempong
· Ohemaa Mercy
· SP Kofi Sarpong

Music Producer Honour

· B2
· Beatz Dakay
· Julz
· Kaywa
· Kuvee

Best Music Video Honour

· Becca ft Bisa K Dei – Beshiwo
· Edem ft Reekado Banks – Nyedzilo
· Guru – Samba
· Okyeame Kwame ft MzVee – Small Small
· R2bees ft Wizkid – Tonight

Most Promising Act Honour

· Article Wan
· Cina Soul
· Ebony
· Fancy Gadam
· Medikal

Best Male Artist Honour

· EL
· Kofi Kinaata
· Sarkodie
· Shatta Wale
· Stonebwoy

Best Female Artist Honour

· Adina
· Becca
· Efya
· MzVee
· Wiyaala

Best Group Honour

· 4×4
· Galaxy
· R2Bees
· Ruff and Smooth
· VVIP

Best Group Honour

· 4×4
· Galaxy
· R2Bees
· Ruff and Smooth
· VVIP

People’s Choice Artist Honour

· Bisa K.Dei
· Efya
· EL
· Joey B
· Kofi Kinaata
· MzVee
· Sarkodie
· Shatta Wale
· Stonebwoy
· VVIP

Source: yfmghana.com
Not everyone living and working in Ghana can buy or build their own house before the prime of their career; not everyone has a well-paying job that allows them to comfortably go for a mortgage plan at HFC Bank, Ghana Home Loans, etc. to pay for their own apartment.

Not everyone has rich parents who can give an apartment to their children as a present. For the bulk of the ordinary citizens struggling to make ends meet, renting a single room, chamber and hall, chamber and hall self-contain and other room offers has become the order of the day. Let me share with you five critical things to consider when planning your room or apartment hunt.

1. Agents

Due to unfavourable work schedules, the pressures to relocate to another side of town and sheer laziness on the part of apartment seekers, many people are unable to do the apartment search themselves, resorting to agents.


Do not be deceived ‘kwraaaa’. Agents cannot be taken out of the apartment search process. For some strange reasons, house owners trust and love dealing with agents than dealing directly with the individual in search of an apartment; this deepens the frustrations of walking to all the places family and friends may recommend you follow up on. The agents are very connected, know their way around town and know where to find which type of apartment.


Because agents are in business to make more money off their clients, please psyche yourself to invest in their trade: pay a registration fee ranging from GHS 20 to GHS 100, transport the agent to each new site as well as pay them a commission of GHS 30 on the average each day. So before you land a suitable venue with an agent, you may have walked or hired a cab to various places, enabling them help you spend your hard earned cash.


Due to desperation, many clients do not get what they really want (the perfect place) and settle for one out of the coolest places they were taken to. The reality is that you can only be taken to your preferred place only after agents have squeezed cash off you for many days.


When you finally get your apartment, you have to prepare to pay 10% of the cumulative rent. So if the chamber and hall apartment is going for GHS 100 per month and you’re renting the place for two years that makes the agent GHS 240 richer for no or little work done.



2. Stipulated Years for Room Rental in Ghana

Ghana’s Rent Act of 1963 has made it clear that landlords charge a maximum of six months’ rent advance to their client. For the lack of law enforcement by the Rent Control (empowered by Rent Control Act of 1986), landlord or ladies demand between two years to three years rent advance.


Because demand for apartment rental far exceeds the available houses, you sometimes cannot blame those who pay beyond the six month rent advance.


Desperate times, they say, call for desperate measures.


3. Rental Budget


Before anyone goes ahead to rent a place, they already have in mind the price range for the particular apartment they want. Another key thing that has a direct impact on pricing is the location of the apartment.


If you don’t have plenty money, stay off the plush areas in the urban centres. Free advice.


4. Renovations


Many apartment owners and agents make countless promises to the would-be occupant in a bid to get them to commit quickly and move in before the ‘minor’ renovations are done. Don’t always fall for this trick. Always insist on knowing the fine details of when a particular action will be started and completed.

If possible, document any agreement pertaining to renovations and future promises. That may be your number one source of disagreement with your landlady or lord.


5. Free Advice

  • Insist on signing and a keeping a rent card stating the fee and duration of the transaction.
  • Endeavour to ask for clarifications of any matter you don’t know about.
  • Always seek the consent of the apartment before doing major renovations. 
  • Your stay will be smoother and better if you have your own ECG meter. That way, you only pay for what you use at the time you want. No pressures from anyone. Lol.


NB: While we get the National Housing Policy and affordable housing project to work, my shout out goes to all landlords and ladies (both the good and the bad). To room seekers, I wish them the very best.

By Paa Kwesi Forson

About the Writer

Paa Kwesi Forson's writing love started after some girl broke his heart 'yayaaaya' (a Twi phrase meaning painfully. lol). That negative experience helped unearth the best in him. He officially started blogging on Myfirstcopybook.blogspot.com and moved it to www.paakwesiforson.com

Mr. Forson never knew he was this funny till he started blogging. He noticed that whether he is writing a piece on nostalgic moments, religion, social issues, or business, there is always a satirical and/or humorous touch to it.

Aside being busy at his day job at Ghana's biggest Public Relations Agency,  he love making music, relaxing with his family, reading stuff and many more.


Next you meet, tell him about HIM. Enjoy reading

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

It’s 39 days into 2017 already. As it stands, the personal/professionals plans and resolutions made for the year are in full gear. To all intents, I can tell you that it is a year, where many envisage great initiatives and executions. For most PR/Communications professionals like myself, the early part of the year has been expended on strategy and execution sessions.

I must hasten to also add that like every new year,  some professionals will seek to take a “great leap” – the situation where professionals, old or new will be keen on making their next move or landing a job in Ghana’s PR industry. For the former, it is often a familiar undertaking but for new entrants, who may have come out of school or seeking a career change, it becomes a rough sea to navigate.

To assist the latter category with some information on what they need to know before getting a job in Ghana’s fledgling PR industry, I sampled views from some established PR/Communications professionals.

Cyrus deGraft Johnson, Corporate Affairs Manager, Accra Brewery Limited

“PR isn’t only about Media Relations. It goes beyond that. Build relationships within the media landscape. Lies can and should never be part of your narrative, no matter the circumstance. If you happen to find yourself among the dominant coalition, always make your case clear and concise if you want to be taken serious.”





Eunice Asantewaa Asante, Programme Assistant, Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations

“You may have a small budget to work with so prepare to be as creative as possible and resist the urge to complain; when your hard work starts bearing fruit, the budget will increase and you can do more. Also, be open to learn new skills and stay up to date with the trends in your industry.”






Richard Ahiagble, Head of Corporate Communications, Airtel Ghana Limited

“Develop a network of influencers not only in the media but across stakeholders. Most of what you do is influencing people. These will be great resources when you have your back against the ropes.

Also understand how the media works in Ghana. You won’t survive your first 100 days if you don’t. Writing and editing skills are your best pals. Irrespective of what level you work, you will do about  90% of the writing.”



Joyce Sackitey-Ahiadorme, Country Sustainability & Community Affairs Manager, Voltic (GH) Limited

“Be interested in your industry since most of the work demands the practitioner to communicate on behalf of the company. There’s the need to learn all the facts, processes and procedures of the company. This helps you to fully communicate efficiency and be prepared anytime. You must look beyond just communicating and understand the key issues in Sustainable Development which matter to your organization; because institutions are concentrating on delivering Corporate Social Investments to enhance their reputation.”




Stephen Boadi, Head of Digital Marketing (Africa), PZ Cussons

“In our digital age, a good knowledge and understanding of the digital landscape and familiarity with listening tool is essential. Also, familiarity with crisis management models and the impact of online is also key.”






Michael Sarpong Bruce, Corporate Responsibility Manager, Tigo Ghana

“PR is extremely rewarding but also challenging. It is a high-stakes industry driven by results and you’ve got to bring your ‘A’ game to the table. Often, I tell friends and colleagues to develop a thick skin, because, the organisation or client you work for will be counting on you. The industry requires multi-tasking and quick thinking; don’t take things too personal. Prepare, prepare well, stay positive and reliable.”





David Appiah, Public Relations Officer, Huawei Technologies (Ghana) S.A Limited

“You should be good with Marketing Communications and understand how you can support Marketing and Sales with PR campaigns. Good writing and presentation skills with a key knowledge in putting together a power point presentation is also essential.”






Compiled by Felix Nana Egyir Baidoo

About the Writer

Felix is a Communications/PR specialist and Social media enthusiast. He combines these two passions to help individuals and businesses build, promote and energize lasting brands.

Over the years, Felix has performed roles in Communications and PR such as stakeholder engagement, customer care, social media management, and media relations.


He is an alumnus of the University of Greenwich Business School and the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Ghana’s broadcasting industry is gradually becoming overpopulated and if necessary steps are not taken to revive the image of the industry to ensure standards are upheld, efforts and capital injected into such businesses may yield little or no returns.

According to the National Communication Authority’s current statistics, there are 93 authorized television stations in Ghana; an increase of about 32 percent from the 2015 statistics which had 63 television stations.

As for radio stations, the least said about them, the better. There are currently 345 commercial radio stations in Ghana competing for the same listeners and the same clients.

How will these commercial radio and television stations that have choked the airwaves be expected to contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic development of this country?  Can’t there be high standards and strict regulations instituted to protect industry players as implemented in other industries such as banks and telecommunications?

Without the necessary restrictions and regulations, the few good and quality broadcast media houses might close down or not be able to make enough profit to grow, expand and provide Ghanaians with the quality television and radio experience we deserve as consumers.

The effect of this is the increase in strategy imitation and no sense of originality in content and programming on our airwaves. You tune into radio and listen to almost the same style of programming across the frequency unless the few ones like YFM and ATLANTIS RADIO who originated unique programming and have sustained it for years.

When industry regulators and decision makers fail to protect businesses, unethical business practice, unfair competition, illegal business activities and loss of business capital is what befalls the industry.

To lay more emphasis, Greater Accra currently has 38 commercial radio stations in operation competing to attract the same listeners and clients. This has encouraged unfair competition practices such as piracy, extreme airtime price cuts and unethical media practice. Unfortunately, the regulatory authorities are unconcerned whilst media houses engage in such unacceptable business practices.

UNETHICAL STANDARDS ON TV

Some Free- to air Television stations in Ghana continuously broadcast box office movies being promoted at Silverbird. This does not only have tendencies to collapse Silverbird Ghana’s legal business and efforts to reduce Ghana’s unemployment rate by creating jobs but also brands Ghana as a country with no rule of law. In addition, by so doing we profess our inappreciation for the creative arts. The average Ghanaian viewer does not care about piracy and would be happy to watch a box office movie for free but is that the country we claim to be developing for our children? Sadly, some of these stations win awards, mentions and sometimes appear on listenership and viewership rankings out of surveys conducted by leading research companies.

Am I wrong to generalize that these stations lured viewers with their earlier pirated content and introduced original content strategy when they attracted the expected and acceptable viewership. Psychologists explain that similar to other mind engaging activities, television builds loyalty and easily maintains loyal viewers over periods of time. Stations that uphold ethical standard unfortunately suffer by losing viewership and revenue. Therefore, piracy is encouraged unfortunately because broadcast stations like any other business have bills to pay.

Whilst I cannot blame some of these research companies because their research is purely based on viewership and audience, I believe we deserve a performance rating system where business ethics, fair competition etc. are part of the scale of measurement.

What business and life principles are we imbibing in our students and young entrepreneurs? Isn’t content piracy as bad practice as cheating in an examination? If a student can be expelled from a tertiary institution for examination malpractice, why aren’t our television stations setting good examples and why are regulators not doing the needful. Piracy is unfortunately becoming the best strategy in launching a television station and winning audiences.

In recent times, any successful entrepreneur with limited consistency acquires a license and operate a radio or television station and most importantly does not employ professionals to manage and run the affairs of the station.  Is that how low and easy the 4th arm of government has been reduced to?

Ursula Owusu (Communications Minister Nominee) and Joseph Anokye (Acting Director General; NCA), please bring sanity to the broadcast media industry.

By: Timothy Karikari
timothykarikari@yahoo.com

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Benjamin Boakye
Under the sixth Parliament of the Republic of Ghana, suspension of Parliament's standing order 80(1) became a default mechanism for approving international commercial transactions. The order requires that no motion shall be debated until at least, forty-eight hours have elapsed after notice of the motion is given.

However, the practice in Ghana's parliament, at least considering the operations of the immediate past parliament, has made this order irrelevant, to say the least.
The 1992 Constitution of Ghana, by its provision in Article 75, has given parliament extraordinary duty to check the authority of the executive to commit  the country to any form of agreement.

This is important to regulate excesses of the executive which potentially could risk the finances of the country and wellbeing of the people. Therefore, when agreements are negotiated by the executive, parliament fulfills its constitutional duty by scrutinizing the agreements to ensure that public interest is protected.

It is almost unthinkable to require the whole House of Parliament to examine every document that comes before it in detail, given its enormous responsibilities. Parliament in delivering on its functions therefore has rules and processes to ensure that it is efficient at what it does.

One such process is to allow established committees of the House (averaging 22 members) to deliberate on matters brought before them and submit their reports for the House to consider.

The committees have the opportunity to invite the relevant government official(s) or agency representative(s)for questioning in order to clarify any ambiguities that may come up in their work.

Notwithstanding the assignment of work to specific committees, all other members of parliament have access to the primary document(s) referred to committees which they can on their own review and raise concerns while the committee executes its tasks.

A committee’s report is not a binding conclusion on parliament on a matter referred to it; it provides recommendation(s) for parliament to consider. When a committee finishes its work, it thus presents a report to the House for debate.

It stands to reason therefore that the spirit of Order 80(1) is to allow all other members of parliament to critique a parliamentary committee’s report (which probably failed to [fully] capture national interest, by reason of genuine oversight or as a result of the cozy and plush ambience provided in first class hotels by lobbyists,) and benchmark it against their own observations from the primary document(s) to make informed inputs on the debating floor of parliament to achieve desired outcomes.

Each parliamentarian deserves the right to be heard and be fully apprised with information leading to ratification of agreements. Order 80(1) is therefore a safeguard for this final check on the Executive as it affords each parliamentarian, representing about 95,000 Ghanaians on average, enough time to comprehend matters of national importance and an opportunity to be heard to ensure that citizens are truly represented.

It also provides avenue for the public who have interest in a subject matter to provide further information to parliament to enhance the quality of decisions made on the behalf of the people.

It had however become a worrying practise during the tenure of Ghana’s recently dissolved 6th Parliament that Parliament disregarded its own rules in taking important national decisions when “big monies” were involved. Almost all the agreements, particularly those relating to the energy sector, enjoyed a waiver of order 80(1). Between 2013 and 2016, 10 petroleum contracts were approved by Parliament. In the same period 8 power agreement were also approved. None of these agreements enjoyed activation of order 80(1).

What is even worrying is that the companies, whose interest the parliament of Ghana bends its rules to favour, did not attach similar urgency to the delivery of their part of the bargain. Most of the oil companies who acquired oil blocks under the suspension of order 80(1) have not even moved to site till date. Same can be said about power agreement holders.

Why the rush?

The reasoning behind the rushed decisions of Parliament have been mixed and rather demeaning of its highly-esteemed, constitutionally-mandated role. When the Eni Fiscal Support Agreement and Security Package Term Sheet for Sankofa Gas went to Parliament, the then honourable Majority leader Alban Bagbin said the investors had waited for too long.

He added "Mr Speaker I agree that we should urgently approve this project because the patience of the investors is running out" (Hansard, 11 December 2014). This meant that the extra 2 days’ minimum allowance for the consideration of the agreement was too long to hurt the investor’s interest.

Essentially public interest in an $8 billion agreement did not really matter. To the contrary, it is instructive to note from the Hansard ((Hansard, 11 December 2014) that even members of the joint committee of finance and energy who had been tasked to scrutinize the agreement still had questions on the agreement on the floor of Parliament relating to interest rate, debt to equity ratio and cost benefit analysis of GNPC's investment in the project to achieve a reduced gas price.

Interestingly, those issues were not debated in the house though the presence of the Ministers of Finance and Energy, Mr Seth Terkper and Mr. Armah Kofi Buah respectively, provided enough opportunity to deliberate on those key concerns which the public had earlier expressed. Rather, the focus was on urgency and priority to Eni’s board meeting to approve the company's annual programmes.

The Africa Centre for Energy Policy did a report on the Eni deal, highlighting the fact that the gas price was too high. If parliament had been diligent in its work to verify how government concluded on the gas price, it would have realised that while the state institutions (GNPC and Petroleum Commission) were not convinced by the price Eni was seeking, the Ministry of finance unilaterally gave away the $9.8/ mmBtu, a gas price that is higher than any alternative for gas supply to Ghana.

My verdict of the sixth parliament.

It is always difficult to judge a group as failures when at least there are voices you can single out for praise, and/or decisions of the group you cannot fault. But this is not the case of "one bad nut destroying the whole". The critical voices (which I can link to public interest) in the last parliament were very few. And when it mattered most, investor interest determined decisions of parliament. I still do not know the motivation of individual parliamentarians and ministers who push deals to warrant the suspension of parliament's standing orders. But I can put it mildly that the last parliament was rather disappointing in protecting national interest in " big money contracts”.

The New Parliament

The outcome of the December 7 elections makes it even scarier to imagine how easy it can be for contracts to go through Parliament like we saw with the 6th Parliament. Unlike the previous government, the ruling government has an overwhelming majority in parliament. This raises the risk to whip the majority side to rush contracts through the approval processes, if it happens that this new administration is characterized by similar attitudes of the previous Executive where open contracting was terribly weak.

My hope is that regardless of the posturing of the executive arm of government, we can have a strong Speaker clothed with the interest and aspirations of the ordinary Ghanaian to provide the needed leadership to check the executive. The obvious question then is; how can this be when a speaker is appointed by the president? Well, I'm tempted to bank my hopes on three things:
First, on the integrity and control of the Speaker, who coincidentally happens to be a pastor. I hope this will help him to control the appetite of the executive. If the executive has nothing to hide they should let the contracts out in good time so that we can all debate and contribute to the process. For me, any ruling made by the speaker in respect of “big money contracts”, I will reflect on this fact that he's a pastor.

Secondly, that the president has assured the public of his commitment to see a stronger independent parliament. It will be great to see Parliament rise to claim this independence. Again I will reflect on this with every contract that goes through Parliament.

Finally, that there will be voices of change among the majority to support genuine minority positions in the 7th Parliament who will insist on open contracting even when not popular with those who may want to sacrifice the nation for their personal and/or party’s interest.

I wish the new Parliament well and I hope the Speaker will help steer a new order in the 7th Parliament.

God Bless our homeland Ghana

By: Benjamin Boakye

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About Me

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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

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