Stories written by Francis Kokutse
Franics Kokutse is a freelance journalist based in Accra. In addition to IPS, he works for other media organisations including Associated Press, Dow Jones Newswires, The Nation Group of Kenya and is also the West Africa Correspondent for the New Delhi-based Indo Asian News Service. Francis is also a published poet on Poemhunters.com.
Poverty alleviation policies, especially cash transfers, will not only improve the poor condition of the beneficiaries but can also play a role in strengthening the psychological health of people as well as improve the mental health of those living in poverty in low- and middle-income countries (LMICS), including Africa, a new study has said.
As the effects of COVID-19 on Africa’s health sector become clearer, it looks the continent will need to take urgent steps to overcome the disruptions suffered in the breakdown in antenatal and postnatal care for women and newborns and neonatal intensive care units. The pandemic brought some setbacks to the gains achieved in maternal mortality over the past decade.
Over the past few years, Gabon has been successful in its forest conservation efforts. The country has also been able to work hard to achieve the goal of limiting the rise in global temperatures to the 1.5-degree target. Minister of Water, Forests, the Sea, and Environment, Lee White, talks to IPS Correspondent Francis Kokutse:
From Algeria to Zimbabwe, there have been calls to develop the private sector. But some governments regard independent private sectors as a threat to their power and have even actively blocked business. Meanwhile African women have had a particularly raw deal in business. Some Africans question whether the private sector or the state should drive development.
The European Union has pressurised Ghana to sign an economic partnership agreement (EPA) despite civil society concerns being raised about the detrimental effects further trade liberalisation will have on development in the West African country.
"We must start from the simple premise that Africa's future is up to Africans," U.S. president Barack Obama told Ghana's parliament. And the keys to that future, as outlined in his speech, include democratic elections, accountability, good governance and strong institutions.
When you meet Naomi Aframea, 60, in the streets of Accra, you could take her for any other Ghanaian woman going about her business. But step into her stall at Agbobloshie Market, one of the capital’s satellite markets, and amidst stacks of the wooden crates used to ship tomatoes, you sense her power.
There are conflicting signals about whether west African countries will sign an economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the European Union, as the original deadline of Jun 30 has been postponed and stakeholders hold different views on the new deadline of end Oct. This may still allow Ghana to re-think its interim EPA.
When the news of the global financial crisis broke in Ghana last year, the then-President John Kufuor said the country’s economy was insulated against the effects of the credit crunch being reported in Europe and the United States. There now seems to be an admission now that ripples are being felt.
African governments should invest in creating jobs, providing social services and building food security to shield people against the effects of the global economic and financial crisis. They should also develop micro-credit facilities to make money available to small businesspeople and boost economies.
Ghanaians are daily consuming genetically modified (GM) products imported by various traders without much care. However, as the government prepares to allow the planting of GM crops locally in a bid to boost food production, one non-governmental organisation, Friends of the Earth (FoE) Ghana is sounding the alarm.