Tag Archives: Ghana

With new aviation laws, Ghana aims for safer skies

Ghana recently spent $275 million expanding and modernising Kotoka International Airport located in the capital city, Accra. This is part of its plan to attract eight million tourists annually by 2027. A significant increase from the 1.2 million people who visited the country in 2015. Given that most of these tourists will arrive in the country by air, attracting them partly depends on Ghana’s ability to create and maintain a safe air transport sector.

With the right legislation, Ghana hopes to improve aviation compliance and safety. Shutterstock

Ghana is a state party to the Chicago Convention. This multilateral treaty established the fundamental principles governing international air travel. It also created the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) – a United Nations agency which manages the international air transport system. As a member of ICAO, Ghana is expected to comply with its standards and recommended practices.

But it has had some compliance problems. In 2006, Ghana ranked below average in five out of eight criteria set by the organisation’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme. Although it met the requisite standard level for licensing, accident investigations and aerodromes, Ghana’s aviation industry was found to be unsatisfactory when it came to legislation, organisation, operations, air worthiness and air navigation services.

In 2010, two Ghanaian airlines appeared on the European Union Air Safety List for failing to meet certain international safety standards. The list is a directory of airlines which have been banned or otherwise restricted from flying in the European Union. Currently, Ghana is a Category 2 country on the American Federal Aviation Authority’s International Aviation Assessment Program. This means they were found to have not met the requisite safety standards.

Ghana’s been working hard to address its aviation deficiencies. This has yielded some important successes. In 2015, the two Ghanaian airlines were removed from the EU Air Safety List. In June 2019 Ghana was awarded a provisional Effective Implementation grade of 89.89% in aviation safety oversight under ICAO’s Coordinated Validation Mission.

This is a remarkable achievement: it surpasses the organisation’s minimum target of 60% and significantly outshines the global average of 66.5%. It is also the highest score for an African country. The Effective Implementation average rate for the continent is just over 50%.

So how has Ghana achieved this milestone? Through inter-agency cooperation and efforts to amend existing legislation and pass new ones. These legislative efforts kicked off after the country’s poor performance in the 2006 audit. Legislators and aviation authorities realised they needed to strengthen the country’s laws to improve the situation. This work culminated in two particularly crucial pieces of legislation – the Ghana Civil Aviation (Amendment) Act, 2019 and Aircraft Accident and Serious Incident Regulations, 2019. Both were passed by Parliament in March this year.

There is still a need to address the other areas identified by the audit, air worthiness and organisational efficiency, for example. These require effective and efficient business administration. One solution may be to involve a commercially-focused private company to rectify the outstanding operational issues. Indeed there have been rumours of privatisation. The financial investment and strategic management necessary to maintain the safety improvements made, and take Ghana’s aviation industry to the next level – one to rival counterparts in Nairobi – just might require the private sector.

New laws

The first of the two crucial laws aimed at improving aviation safety is the Ghana Civil Aviation (Amendment) Act 2019 (Act 985), which modified a number of pre-existing laws.

Under it, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority will retain its regulatory function. But it will no longer be responsible for operational functions such as navigation services. These will be coordinated by a new body. This separation of roles should improve economic efficiency and minimise conflicts of interests.

The Act has also strengthened some important roles within the aviation sector. For instance, powers of the Minister of Aviation and Chief Investigator have been enhanced. The Civil Aviation Authority’s Director General has also been given extra powers. This person can now compel an individual to produce documents – or testify – before any person or panel whose work falls under the authority’s mandate. These changes should assist the effective investigation of aviation incidents and accidents.

The other new legislation is the Aircraft Accident and Serious Incident Regulations, 2019. This requires airline operators to immediately notify authorities of an accident or serious incident. The law created the Accident Incident Bureau to manage investigations of civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents in Ghana. Its remit also covers any state-registered aircraft that are involved in incidents or accidents outside the country.

The new regulations also provide for the establishment of a database of facts and figures relating to accidents and serious incidents for the first time. This will enable officials to do useful analysis on actual or potential safety concerns. It will also help identify any necessary corrective measures.

These legislative changes are meant to improve aviation safety oversight, enhance the powers of aviation officials and address inefficiencies. It should also facilitate the transition to Category 1 status on the FAA’s list.

It’s hoped that the new legal framework will help Ghana improve its reputation and performance in all sorts of safety and compliance measures. And make the country’s aircraft even safer for passengers.

What still needs to be done

Whether these new laws have their intended effect depends largely on the degree to which they are implemented. Additional resources are likely to be required. This could include a cash injection to sustain the progress made and increase the number of professionals with technical training and expertise in aviation. Any optimism about successful and long-lasting compliance requires senior officials with a sound understanding of the importance and will to enforce violations.

The tragic Ethiopian Airlines crash in March 2019 was a sobering reminder that major problems arise when safety and security are concentrated in one stakeholder, like airline manufacturers.

The more stakeholders, including states, involved in evaluating, implementing and maintaining safety standards, the better. This is why stronger legislation is so important. Now it’s incumbent on Ghana to ensure consistent compliance with its new laws.

Julia Selman Ayetey, Doctoral Candidate, Institute of Air & Space Law, McGill University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Ghanaian undercover reporter shot dead

Journalists in Ghana are mourning the death of their colleague, Ahmed Hussein-Suale, who was shot dead on Wednesday night.

Ahmed is an undercover reporter with Tiger Eye, an investigative media platform owned by Anas Aremeyaw Anas in Ghana. The journalist was instrumental to the story that exposed the corruption in the Ghanian sports sector. On Wednesday, gunmen on a motorbike rained bullets on his car while he was driving. He was shot twice in the chest and once in the neck.

Ahmed’s death was announced by Anas via his Twitter handle in the early hours of Thursday. He described the event as sad, stating that Tiger Eye would not stop in its fight against corruption.

Alongside a video which showed Kennedy Agyapong, a Ghanian lawmaker threatening to bring down Ahmed, Anas wrote: “Sad news, but we shall not be silenced. Rest in peace, Ahmed.”

In the video entitled “Who Watches the Watchman”, Kennedy said: “The boy (pointing to a picture of Ahmed), that’s very dangerous. He lives here in Madina. If you meet him somewhere, break his ears (slap him). If he ever comes to this premises, I’m telling you beat him. Whatever happens, I’ll pay. Because he’s bad. That Ahmed. Show their pictures and let’s see. The boy, that’s him. Ahmed, that’s him. This one is called Ahmed. His other picture is there as well, make it big. If he comes here, beat him. This is the boy, he’s a bad boy”.

At the moment, it’s not been ascertained if Ahmed was assassinated or a victim of robbery but Agyapong’s threat, coupled with the fact that nothing was stolen from the journalist seems to lend more credence to an assassination, as Anas and his team thinks.

In the past, Tiger Eye had cried out that its staff members were being threatened.

Since the announcement was made, local and International organisations have condemned Ahmed’s murder, while also restating the need to protect journalists in Africa. 

On Thursday, the Committee to Project Journalists (CPJ) tweeted: “Authorities in #Ghana should immediately investigate the killing of journalist Ahmed Divela and ensure that threats against the press are taken seriously.”

PHOTOS: Ghana’s ‘yellow-brick road’

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If you follow the yellow-brick road in Ghana, it does not take you to the Land of Oz’s Emerald City, but rather to La – a district in the capital Accra.

This is where artist Serge Attukwei Clottey periodically carpets the dusty streets with giant yellow plastic tapestries.

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Clottey told the BBC his work is about property rights. The residents of many poor communities in Africa cannot prove land ownership because they do not have the paperwork.

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Each of the squares is cut from a distinctive type of jerrycan, known in Ghana as a “Kufuor gallon” – named after former President John Kufuor – and then sewn together to form plastic carpeting.

In the early 2000s, when Mr Kufuor was in power, there were water shortages and the large yellow containers began to be seen around the country as people used them on their long treks to collect water.

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Some are still in use, but many now lie discarded and Clottey repurposes them for his art, which he calls “Afrogallonism”.

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Clottey estimates that he has used 30,000 Kufuor gallons since 2005 when he started using them in his artwork.

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About 3,000 of them have gone into the yellow-brick road project that began in 2016, he says.

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The artist works with an assistant, but local people also get involved in cutting up the Kufuor gallons and stitching the pieces together.

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They are excited to be making an artwork that gets to be shown in their home rather than sent around the world – and they are happy that it draws foreign visitors to La, Clottey says.

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He sketches what he wants the work to look like, but its exact form emerges organically as different people get involved.

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As part of the project he also gets people to help him collect the Kufuor gallons.

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Clottey goes to dumpsites with friends and they dress up in drag to symbolise how the Kufuor gallons are associated with women.

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People take the Kufuor gallons that they have collected to Clottey’s workshop, where they are weighed and paid $3 (£2.30) per kilogramme.

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Clottey expects to complete the project in 2020 when he hopes to have marked out an area in La which he says belongs to his family.

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All pictures by Nii Odzenma

Melania Trump arrives Ghana, visits Accra hospital

US First Lady Melania Trump’s two-day visit to Ghana has kicked off with a visit to a hospital in the capital, Accra. Earlier on, she had tea with Ghana’s first lady at the presidential palace.

Melania Trump handed out blankets and teddy bears at an open-air clinic at Accra's Ridge Hospital. Photo: BBC

With support from the US Agency for International Development (USAid) Mrs Trump hopes to explore ways to support Ghana in enhancing healthcare for mothers and their newborns.

Her visit is also likely to boost tourism in Ghana, according to Information Minister Kojo Oppong-Nkruma.

But a Bloomberg journalist tweets that local reaction to the US first lady’s visit, however, has been underwhelming.

Some observers in Ghana say her visit is an indication of US President Donald Trump’s resolve to engage with African nations after largely ignoring the continent since his start in office.


Cover photo: Melania Trump handed out blankets and teddy bears at an open-air clinic at Accra’s Ridge Hospital. Photo: BBC

Striker Asamoah Gyan returns to Ghana squad

Asamoah Gyan has been recalled to the Ghana squad for their upcoming 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sierra Leone.

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Gyan, Ghana’s all-time leading scorer, missed the Black Stars surprise 1-0 loss to Kenya in September.

The 32-year-old has played just twice this season for his Turkish club Kayserispor and is yet to score.

Ghana host Sierra Leone on 11 October and travel to Freetown to face the same opponents four days later.

There is still no place on coach Kwesi Appiah’s list for the Ayew brothers, Andre and Jordan.

Inter Milan’s Kwadwo Asamoah retains his place in the squad after returning to the team for the 1-0 loss to Kenya after a four-year absence.

The Black Stars loss to Kenya means that all four teams in Group F have three points from two matches.


Cover photo: Asamoah Gyan in a press conference admits his absence helped Black Stars to whitewash Congo. Photo: SportsworldGhana

Ghana mourners ‘upset over Annan’s covered casket’

Ghanaians are continuing to pay respects to Kofi Annan, the former UN chief whose body is currently lying in state at the Accra International Conference Centre.

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Many are continuing come to pay their respects to him ahead of his funeral on Thursday.

But according to Ghana’s CitiFM, there has been some upset that the casket is covered.

The news website quoted a mourner as saying: “We were surprised and we just came and saw the casket closed with a Ghana flag [draped over it]. So we were just asking that; did we come to observe the Ghana flag or we came to observe [him].

Ghanaian funeral rites are elaborate – and the BBC’s Mayeni Jones has tweeted a video of a procession from Mr Annan’s home state of Akwamu arriving at the centre.

Here are some close-up shots, taken by the BBC’s Ayo Bello, of the paramount chiefs’ magnificent ceremonial umbrellas: 450068c2-a8a8-4e53-b517-be881f7009ca9efd53b6-f4e2-4299-9a5f-016c504e8c60 Part of the events on Wednesday have included officials paying their respects to Mr Annan’s relatives. The tweet below shows members of a peacekeeping training centre in Ghana, named after Mr Annan, greeting family members:

Mr Annan, the second African to become UN secretary-general, died aged 80 last month.

He served two terms, from 1997 to 2006, and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work.

Ghanaians prepare to pay respect to Kofi Annan

The body of the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will lie in state today at the International Conference Centre in Ghana’s capital, Accra, to allow fellow Ghanaians to pay their respects.

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It arrived at the city’s international airport on Monday evening from Switzerland ahead of his official burial ceremony on Thursday.

The viewing will take place between 10:00 GMT to 16:00 GMT.

Diplomats, government officials, traditional leaders and other dignitaries will also pay their last respects, the BBC’s Thomas Naadi reports.

Mr Annan, the first sub-Saharan African to become UN secretary-general, died on 18 August aged 80 after a short illness.

These pictures were taken by reporters on ground:

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In Ghana, women get one sheep after their 10th child

Among the Ga, the people who are indigenous to Ghana’s capital, Accra, a woman is entitled to a live sheep on the delivery of her 10th child. The word for it is “nyongmato”.

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I am not making this up even though it does sound like the kind of apocryphal story that is regularly made up.

Lots of very important people among the Gas can testify to this. Unfortunately, I have not met any woman who has actually got a live sheep for having given birth to 10 children.

Indeed, I have never met any woman who has had 10 children.

I don’t know if I have been moving in the wrong circles, because I don’t even know any woman who has had five children. OK, as soon as I wrote that, I realised I was wrong.

‘Lonely battle’

Two months ago, I went to the funeral of a female relation of mine who was my classmate in primary school.

At her death, this relation of mine had 46 direct descendants; made up of eight children, 26 grandchildren and counting, and 10 great-grandchildren and counting.

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Ghana’s population has grown from five million in 1957 to nearly 30 million today. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

I was scandalised and I spent the entire funeral going over these figures and moaning to myself how easy it was to find the reasons for the poverty in Ghana.

I have been waging a lonely unpopular battle about the rate of population growth in our country and against women having so many babies, but to no avail.

I roll out what I consider to be a sound argument that I thought would win over all doubters.

I cite Norway, which had a population of 3.5 million to Ghana’s five million at the time of our independence in 1957.

Today, there are 5.3 million people living in Norway while Ghana has a population of nearly 30 million.

‘We don’t count children’

I make the argument that even if none of our rulers ever stole any public funds, we would still have economic difficulties at this rate of population growth.

The last time I visited Lillehammer in Norway, I wrote in my column about the difference in our two situations. I pointed out it is no wonder everything is bursting at the seams and we are forever worrying about the lack of classrooms.

Somehow, these arguments don’t cut any ice with people here because it is considered in extremely bad taste to complain about the number of children somebody has.

As someone once claimed to me: “In our tradition we don’t count children.”


Elizabeth Ohene:ELIZABETH OHENE

“Dr Appiah is an exceptionally brave woman. She has proposed that women should be restricted to having three children”


The good news is that now I don’t feel alone in this battle.

Into the fray has jumped the Executive Director of the National Population Council, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, and believe me, she is an exceptionally brave woman.

She is not speaking in parables, she is straight to the point. She has proposed that women should be restricted to having three children.

And she says this should be obligatory.

If a woman goes beyond this sacred number of three, she would be punished by being denied access to free government services.

‘Outrage from men’

We have to talk about the quality of life, Dr Appiah has been arguing.

I don’t recall that anyone in an official position has been this categorical in Ghana about family planning ever before.

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Ghana’s fertility rate is falling, but still, on average, a woman has four children. Photo: Getty Images

We have had a family planning policy since 1970 but usually people only talk about the spacing of births and then hope that the spacing will lead to the birth of fewer children.

This time around Dr Appiah is urging a cap on the number of children a woman should have.

It is interesting to note that that the people who claim to be outraged by the proposal to limit the number of children have been largely men. I’m sorry none of their arguments stick in my mind long enough to repeat here.

I have not yet heard any woman complain that they don’t want the number of children they can have to be restricted.

Ghana’s fertility rate, that is the average number of children per woman, currently stands at four, though that figure has fallen steadily over the last 30 years.

Another interesting statistic worth noting is that there has not been a single death from measles in Ghana since 2002. Measles used to be one of the main infant killers, and the main justification for having many births.

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There is a rural-urban divide in the birth rate in Ghana. Photo: Getty Images

This past week, I have been doing a very unscientific survey.

Every pregnant woman I have seen, I have asked which number it was and I have not yet met a woman in her third pregnancy. But I am probably looking in the wrong place by asking working women in banks, in offices and shops; the high birth rates can be found mostly in the rural areas.

There might yet be some women who are aspiring to get that live sheep.

We would probably have to find an equally attractive present for every woman who decides to stop at three or below. The problem is I can’t think what can possibly challenge the “10-baby sheep”, nyongmato.

Mr Eazi: I got a job that paid me $6000/month, but I left it for music

Oluwatosin Oluwole Ajibade known as Mr Eazi, in a chat on Beat FM’s Morning Rush show spoke about some of the difficulties he faced before the spotlight finally found him.

Mr-Eazi

Key excerpts:

  • The singer said he ditched a lucrative job in the oil and gas sector.
  • He also sold phones at Computer Village, in Ikeja, Lagos.
  • “After I came back from Ghana, I got a job in oil and gas in Port Harcourt that paid about six thousand dollars per month ($6,000) but I quit because I was not finding fulfillment in it.”
  • “…The decision to quit the job finally hit me when my boss’ wife left him even with all the money he had.”
  • “After I left my job, I got my Master’s degree and with all that qualification I started selling phones in computer village and everyone thought something was wrong with me.”
  • “My break finally came after I got an invite to do two shows in London that made me twelve thousand pounds (£12,000) which I used to shoot two videos. When I told my mother what I did with the money she stopped talking to me for about three weeks.”
  • When asked how much he charges per show, the singer said his benchmark is N10 million.

SOURCE: The Bloomgist/YNaija/Tweeter