African governments asked to enhance food securit

Obasanjo 1Former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has urged governments in Africa to do more to enhance food security in their respective countries. He said recent threats of food scarcity in some countries on the continent should serve as a wake-up call for governments to put in place measures to increase agriculture

HE Deputy Chairperson of T the Electoral Commission (EC) in charge of Finance and Administration (F&A), Georgina Opoku Amankwaah, has urged the media to be circumspect in the discharge of their duties, to ensure peace during the forthcoming elections.

agricultural summit, held to launch this year’s Africa Food Price (AFP) award slated for September 5 to 9 this year, at Nairobi, Kenya. The 100,000 dollar AFP award is an African initiative, supported by Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and other partners to celebrate Africans who h a v e m a d e s i g n i f i c a n t

production to eliminate hunger. According to former President O b a s a n j o , h a r n e s s i n g opportunities offered by agribusiness should be a priority of all countries because it could transform and position countries for increased production in agriculture. The former president made the call during a media interaction in Accra on Tuesday, at an

She said that “the media can make or break the country through their reportage. We, therefore, entreat them to avoid acts which can mar the elections and plunge the country into chaos”.

Mrs. Opoku Amankwaah, who is also responsible for the Greater Accra, and Eastern of the EC, made the call at a day’s capacity building workshop, organised for journalists and media practitioners, as a prelude to the 2016 elections. She cautioned journalists against false reportage, to avoid misunderstanding among the competing political parties, and refrain from announcing uncertified EC election results. Mrs. Opoku-Amankwaah said, “The role of the media should go beyond their traditional duties of educating, entertaining and informing the citizenry”, adding that the workshop would be organised in other regions of the country.

The Greater Accra Regional Director of the EC, Kwame Amoah, reminded journalists that they play a critical role in the electoral process.

He said, “Without the media, the public will be in the dark, and will not know what the EC is doing and the electoral processes.” Mr Amoah appealed to stakeholders to support the EC, saying voting was a means by which the citizenry contributed to the governance process.

A Deputy News Editor of the Ghana News Agency, Francis Ameyibor, entreated journalists and media practitioners to be conversant with electoral laws, to be able to educate the public on electoral issues. He urged media houses to train reporters on election coverage so that they could better inform and educate the public on electoral matters.

HE Pro Vice Chancellor of T the University of Ghana (UG) in Charge of the Office of Research, Innovation and Development, Professor John Gyapong, has dismissed claims that recommendations in research findings were left to gather dust on the shelves with little use for them.

He maintained that the uptake of research findings for policy formulation was a process which usually took time to come to fruition. Prof Gyapong was speaking in Accra on Monday after signing, on behalf of the University of Ghana,   a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with Ghana Regional Appropriate Technology Industrial Service (GRATIS) for collaboration to promote practical training and research.

The academia and the research institutions have come under criticism from the public who often viewed their work as being more academic-oriented than for solving everyday problems facing society.

However, Prof Gyapong, medical research scientist, credited for studies into the lymphatic filariasis, a tropical infectious disease, said “the process of translating research into practice and policy is a long one …” He said the UG had been engaging with industries “in a

positive way,” adding that the university in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, had established the Technology Development Centre, to partner with industries and policy makers  to practicalise research findings, with initial  focus on agriculture.

Prof Gyapong said the UG pursued a liberal academic environment that allows students to think outside the box, and undertake research and come out with innovations to help resolve problems, for sustainable development. He said the university was gradually being transformed into a research institution to make it more relevant to the country’s socio-economic development

. Prof Gyapong indicated that the university had developed a 10 -year strategic plan (2014-2024) that defines the pathway to its destination, and compiled all its findings into reports in a simple language. The signing of the MOU with the management of GRATIS is seen as a positive move by the university to bridge the gap between industry and the academia.

The GRATIS is an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, with the mandate to research into appropriate technology to facilitate the socio economic and industrial development of Ghana.

contribution to the growth of agriculture on the continent. Its primary objective was to put a spotlight on initiatives and technical innovations that could be replicated across Africa, to create a new era of food security and economic opportunity.

A six-member committee, chaired by former President Obasanjo, has been set up to receive and select a winner, who has distinguished himself or herself in the agricultural sector, with a track record of contributing to a sustainable food security and economic opportunity to alleviate poverty and hunger.

Nomination for the prize has been opened until June 10 this year, when the committee would begin processes to select one person for the award, which will be held in Kenya. The criteria being considered by the committee include

contribution to reducing poverty and hunger in measurable terms, leadership potential of individual or organisation, potential for food scalability, and contribution in providing vital source of income and employment. Former President Obasanjo commended AGRA and its partners for initiating the award, and urged other organisations to support people in agriculture, especially small-holder farmers.

The president of AGRA, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, urged African governments to intensify the implementation of agricultural policies, to end hunger and poverty on the continent. According to her, African countries would be able to eradicate hunger and poverty if they prioritise policy and programme implementation for the agricultural sector.

By Charles Amankwa

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