April 2017


Africa needs to, and can, Quantum Leap Its Development 

How?

By prioritizing the need for a skilled and advancing labor force.

A Changing Tide

Traditionally, Sub-Saharan Africa has been characterized as land and resource abundant, but labor scarce. For decades, the region’s development agenda has been mired by the belief and burden of the resource curse.

But recent projections show that from 2000 to 2050, Africa’s population will rise by 160%, turning most countries in the region into labor abundant economies. This demographic change has new and important implications for the region’s development dynamics and comparative advantage.

With rising human population, advancing human capital is fundamental to the continent’s economic advancement. The confluence of rapid technological change and globalization means skill development is imperative for countries seeking to close the development gap and become economically competitive (OECD).

It is for this reason that the work of capacity builders in Africa is of dire importance to the continent’s economic and social advancement. The work that pioneering capacity builders, such as Stars From All Nations (SFAN) in Ghana, do, is essential to achieving all development outcomes in the country because without ready and available skilled labor, companies and organizations cannot grow and deliver on their missions and goals.

Quantum Leap Career Fair 2017

Stars From All Nations (SFAN)is a social enterprise on a mission to provide education to employment/entrepreneurship pipeline opportunities for youths in Ghana and beyond.

One of its hallmark events is its yearly Quantum Leap Career Fair where the company brings together business leaders, HR experts, entrepreneurs, and hundreds of candidates to discuss the next phase of work and skill development on the continent.

At this year’s Quantum Leap Career Fair, held at the British Council Ghana, business leaders such as Lucy Quist, Chief Executive Officer at Airtel Ghana, joined about 300 participants in thinking through the future of work on the continent.

The event, aptly named Technology and the Future of Work in Africa, hosted a panel session with Yasmin Kumi, Founder at Africa Foresight Group; Paul Payne, Manager at  British Council Skills Hub; Josiah Kwesi-Eyison, Co-founder at iSpace; Amma Baffoe, Recruitment Manager at MEST, Genevieve Puni, Founder at Rectrain Limited; and Jemila Adulabi, Founder at Circumspecte. The panel session was followed by a one-on-one mentoring session where candidates had the opportunity to talk to resource personnel about their resumes, career interests, enterprise ideas, and job opportunities.

How To Quantum Leap

Conversations during the day revealed that Africans do not only have a responsibility but a unique opportunity to solve both local and global problems. In fact, Africans today are in a unique and unprecedented position: with modern advances in technology and access to the global market (the proliferation of mobile phones, social media, and tech tools), there has never been a better time to join the global movement and ride the proverbial technological wave. Finally, the veil of fear and ignorance that has long separated the continent from the rest of the world is lifting, as worlds and people connect through various social platforms.

But while technology brings new opportunities to connect and new employment and business opportunities, young Africans must also build and work for businesses that address local issues that have long plagued and continue to plague our communities and dim progress: high illiteracy, poverty, low health outcomes, food insecurity, and inequality.

The good news?

History shows that in the long term, “investing in skills development is far less costly than paying the price for poorer health, lower incomes, unemployment, and social exclusion — all which are closely tied to lower skills” (OECD).Meaning, skills development allows us to make the quantum leap to a more prosperous Africa because it inherently addresses many of the issues that the continent faces.

The future of Africa is finally here! Both labor and resource rich, generations of future Africans can enjoy a better quality of life if institutions, capacity builders, and businesses work together to bring more skilled and knowledgeable founders and workers who will address the issues of today and tomorrow to the market.

Bridget Boakye is the co-founder of YNG Africa and a member of the Global Shapers Accra Hub. YNG Africa is an online platform connecting top capacity builders across the continent with each other and employers, and candidates with opportunities for more training. SFAN is a partner of YNG Africa. Contact: bridget@ynginternsafrica.com

Diaspora Homecoming Summit 2017

Me Firi Ghana through its youth charity Future of Ghana have been invited on the UK chapter of the  global planning committee for Diaspora Homecoming Summit 2017 between the 5-8 July 2017 and we are pushing to ensure the diaspora and young Ghanaians are part of the conversation and aware of such a high level event.

This Summit is being organised in fulfilment of a manifesto pledge by H.E President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, to engage Ghanaians Living Abroad in the transformation of the  political and socio-economic structure of Ghana.

The purpose of the Summit is to bring the Ghanaian Diaspora together to dialogue on how to achieve the President’s vision of active participation by Diasporans in the economic development of the country and to fully integrate them into the political processes.

The Summit also aims to attract the full  participation of Ghanaians Living Abroad in Private Enterprise by bringing them together with local businesses.

The four day Summit is divided into three key areas :

First Day: Entrepreneurial Ghana  – Investment opportunities etc

Second Day : Human Resource Marketplace – Employment opportunities etc.

Third Day : Political Inclusion of the Ghanaian Diaspora – Ropal 

Fourth Day: Factory Visit and Delegates Dinner

Keynote Speaker:
H.E PRESIDENT AKUFO ADDO, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA

OTHER SPEAKERS INCLUDE:
H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President.

Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister

Mrs. Charlotte Osei, Chairperson – Electoral Commissioner

Other Ministers, Captains of Industry and Banking.

Leading and Successful Ghanaians Living Abroad and Returnees

The conference itself is FREE. You would only need  to pay for breakfast and lunch.

KLM/Air France have come on board as the airline sponsor and offering 15% off flights for those attending conference. So anyone travelling to Ghana around this time can make use of this offer via – http://www.airfrance.fr/FR/fr/local/www_airfranceklm-globalmeetings_com.htm?eid=30718AF

To Register to attend this presitgious summit visit: www.ghanadiasporahs.org

NATIONAL FOOD DONORS ENCOURAGEMENT BILL: GHANA’S SHARED RESPONSBILITY TO END HUNGER

Each year about 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted and at the same time about 800 million people do not have access to sufficient and nutritious food (Global FoodBanking Network, 2014). This figure represents roughly one third of food produced for human consumption. Food can be either lost or wasted throughout the supply chain, from initial agricultural production down to final household consumption (FAO, 2011).The Cost of Hunger in Ghana report by the National Development Planning Commission in 2016 shows that Ghana loses GH¢ 4.6 billion which is equivalent to 6.4% GDP annually to hunger among children and 24% of all child mortality cases in Ghana are associated with under nutrition.

The difference between losses and waste lies in the supply chain stage where food is no longer usable for human consumption. Loss occurs when food does not reach the final consumer due to improper handling, packing and storage. Such foods are not suitable for human consumption and only have a marginal value to be transformed as low cost fertilizers and fuel.

Waste occurs when the product that reached the final marketplace is not consumed due to improper consumer behavior, bad storage practices as well as to the lack of coordination between different stakeholders in the supply chain. Food and Beverage Association of Ghana estimates shows it members loss over GH¢200,000 every month to food waste.
In many cases, fresh products are rejected by large supermarket chains if they do not meet certain
quality standards such as shape, size and appearance, regardless of their suitability for human
consumption. In addition, many retail chains discard products before their expiring dates claiming
that the products either are unsellable or generate negative image to the retailer. Consumer’s
attitudes and the consumption culture also play their part as they reject food that is in good
condition but with “not-so-good” appearance. Foods that have reached households are also wasted
because they turn unsuitable for human consumption. Restaurants and hotels are other stakeholders
within the food waste menace, because of the large portions served to customers. Since not all the portion is consumed, the rest will end up in the garbage bin.
The role of the local governments in setting up measures and regulations towards food donation is very critical in ensuring reduction of food waste and hunger in society.

The PNDCL 3058 Food and Drugs Act.1992 does not make explicit provision for food donations which has resulted in little contribution towards reducing hunger in Ghana by some stakeholder’s within the food supply chain.The Ghana School Feeding Programme been an initiative of the comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) Pillar 3 which seeks to enhance food security and reduce hunger in line with the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on hunger, poverty and malnutrition had since 2007 been implemented to encourage child enrollment through the provision of  one meal per day. Currently the National School Feeding program faces challenges such as expansion and caterers demand for increase of the cost from Gh¢0.80p per child however with a National Food Donors Encouragement Act, private stakeholder businesses in Ghana will donate their excess towards the program.

A lot of initiatives have been launched in Ghana by public, private and civil stakeholders towards improving child under nutrition and hunger in Ghana however little or no attention has been drawn on the role of food recovery and redistribution as a tool towards addressing the problem of hunger and the inefficiencies within our food supply chain.

A study by Food for All Africa programme between 2015-2016 showed that 92% of stakeholders in Ghana’s food supply chain agreed that,with a national regulation  mechanism they would want to donate their excess food to the vulnerable  rather than waiting for it to go waste and dispose off.

Donors often fear that they will be held legally responsible if recipients of donated food become ill, and this fear discourages them from donating. However, with the National Food Donors Encouragement laws that protect food donors from liability.

The National Food Donors Act will protect

Persons or gleaners making good faith donations of food or grocery products to non‐profit charitable organizations such as orphanages, schools and vulnerable communities are protected. A “gleaner” is someone who harvests donated agricultural crops.
Nonprofit organizations that receive the donated food, and ultimately distribute the donations to those in need are also covered.

Private Businesses donating their excess food products or resources towards creating sustainable means of nutrition for the vulnerable in society. Tax incentives must be given to amount donated.

Good faith/CSR donations, made to non‐profit organizations, ultimately going to those in need are protected. The donations must be:

1) “Apparently wholesome” food.
(2) “Apparently fit” grocery products.

These items meet the PNDCL 3058 Food and Drugs Act, local labeling and quality standards but may not be readily marketable because of factors like age, appearance, freshness, grade, or size.
Slightly flawed partially complying donations, made in good faith, are also protected if:
(1) The donor informs the non‐profit of the item’s condition;
(2) The nonprofit knows the standards required to make the item conform;
(3) The nonprofit agrees to recondition the item to meet those standards.
These flaws can include broken packaging or missing labels, or items needing washing or trimming before distribution. Acceptance of such items helps use edible food that might otherwise be thrown away due to a technicality.
How are donors protected?
If the donation is made in good faith (honestly and with sincere intentions), the National Food Donors Encouragement Act will exempt those donors from civil or criminal liability which might arise from the
donation’s nature, age, packaging or condition. The law will also protect donors of food that is “fit for human consumption,” regardless of compliance with food labeling/ packaging laws and storage/handling by the recipients.

When are donors not protected?
Liability arises if a food donor or recipient organization knows that their actions will harm or are likely to harm the recipient, and consciously acts anyway – i.e., gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
Under the Food Donors Encouragement bill, gross negligence is a much higher standard than
ordinary negligence. Gross negligence should mean that a donor (or recipient organization) knew
when it acted that its conduct was likely to harm someone else, and consciously acted (or failed to act), regardless of that knowledge.
Under the Bill, Intentional misconduct means a donor (or recipient organization) deliberately acted with knowledge that its actions would be harmful to others.

Why donate?
Donation of surplus food connects those in need with edible food that would otherwise be sent to landfills. 3 out of 5 children out of the 90,000 street children in Accra who are out of school run away from orphanages due to lack of regular means of nutrition. These people are part of the city’s population that does not have sufficient access or resources available to obtain and consume enough nutritious food to support a healthy life.

In Ghana,1 out of 4 children goes to bed hungry (UNICEF ,2015)  at a time when 45% of food goes uneaten and much of that contributes to the over 15 million tons of food that ends up rotting in landfills. Connecting hungry people with available food helps combat both of these critical problems.
Donations also create savings for donors by lowering the costs of food disposal and the opportunity for charitable food donation tax deductions.

Why Food for All Ghana Programme?
Food for All Ghana programme makes the surplus food donation process easy, by picking up and transporting food and grocery item donations to the places and programs that need them. This helps
valuable programs stretch their limited budgets during a time of decreasing government and foundation funding, keeps edible food out of landfills, and most importantly, helps hungry people have better access to a nutritious meal. Food for All Africa has since 2015 been operating West Africa’s first community food support centre and have created a  forum for stakeholder’s within Ghana’s food supply chain to  work together towards reducing hunger in Ghana and accelerate Ghana’s effort in attaining the UN SDG 2 and 12.
Considering the outcome of research and report from the 1st Food for All Ghana conference held in 2016, the need for a nationwide protection offered by a National Food Donors Encouragement Act, the valuable incentives for reducing hunger and wasting food, and the ease of expanding the National Food feeding program, Food for All Africa programme on 15th June, 2017 will launch a two year’s multi-stakeholder National campaign for the passage of the Food Donors Encouragement Bill.

Future of Ghana (@FutureofGH)

Friday Born Designs Health Screening Day

Future of Ghana Alumni, Dr Emma Amoafo will be hosting a health screening day for adults and children in Branadi, a rural area in Ghana, West Africa on Saturday 22 April 2017 . As well as this,  she wants to install a borehole in the village to provide clean drinking water. Emma is  a UK trained doctor (GMC number 7494271) and regularly completes charitable projects in Ghana via my social enterprise, Friday Born Designs.

Dr Emma Amaofo and volunteer Ghanaian healthcare professionals will screen for high blood pressure, anaemia, and diabetes; and also calculate BMIs. They will then give educational lectures on how to prevent the illnesses that are being screened for, as well as others such as malaria, cholera and HIV. We also aim to be able to distribute anti-hypertensives, anti-hyperglycaemics, ORS, and simple analgesia such as paracetamol free of charge. Awinade is a hidden village with little access to free healthcare. I hope that this event will provide some medical attention to people who would have otherwise received none.

As a second generation Ghanaian , Emma am aware of some cultural attitudes that are detrimental to health; she hope’s to be able to dispel some of these through education. Years after I have left, the people of that village will remember our work as they use clean water from the borehole. This is Friday Born Designs’ fifth year of projects like this, and  she trusts that it will be the most impactful yet.

 

Future of Ghana (@FutureofGH)

Deadly Galamsey

Afforestation I was told in simple terms means growing of more trees to replace the cut down ones. Growing up as a child my learned teachers made me to understand that, some of the benefits a country gains for practicing afforestation includes: Good rainfall pattern, prevention of land degradation, Fresh air to aid breathing, protection of water bodies, protection of soil nutrients for crops/food production, etc. Again, I was made to understand that afforestation helps to promote the ecosystem, hence tourism.

Deforestation my teachers told me is caused by continues cutting down of trees for firewood, charcoal, etc. without planting new ones; bush burning, sand wining among others.

But, I was never made to understand that gold mining causes deforestation and more. I was never told gold mining can cause our water bodies to dry up hence making the country loss large sums of money in reclaiming the wonderful water bodies and lands. I was never told that gold mining in my country Ghana could affects its neighboring countries negatively.

All I knew was gold mining is a great activity generating much income and employment for people and the country. This, I now doubt because the percentage of mining proceeds that goes to the government/country at the end of the day is just a coin and the level of employment in this sector comparatively is low.

Also, with the image created in my long lasting mind, I never thought there is a kind of mining called Galamsey (illegal mining) allowed in my country; affecting a lot of citizens until it started affecting myself indirectly for now.

It has made most people to lost/lose memories and reference of their departed loved ones. Why! Because the cemeteries are now been converted into Galamsey/Mining Sites, with the bones and other remains of these departed loved ones exhumed not for medical or investigative purposes but left behind to rebury themselves.

Sadly, some wicked ones surely take advantage of this situation and use the exhumed remains either for rituals or other activities best known to them without the knowledge of the deceased family.

Oh Ghana! Why will we continue to destroy our wonderful forest/tourism, ecosystem, water bodies just in the name of employment and a coin to be added to our national income?

I acknowledge there are no jobs and money in pockets, but that should not be the basis for destroying the future of this country through bad gold mining practices and illegal ones (Galamsey).

In the struggle to create jobs, let us be mindful we do not create a situation where in future: some individuals will also start indulging in various illegal acts with the hope that, as people and government begin to feel uncomfortable they shall enroll policies to support or integrate their illegal practices into the legal ones or a situation may be created where the youths at school going ages will start dropping out of school in search of the “quick money” created by Galamsey.

I am saying this because, we are forgetting the facts that Galamsey does not only “employs” graduates but also a lot of very vulnerable children who dropped out of school for such purpose; “Because it is free for everybody to do or start” as a result of the gaps in the system and institutional failures.

The Government, Lands and Forestry Commissions, Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A) and other stakeholders must take advantage of the current positive agitations and restructure the entire mining sector most especially the mining laws and regulations; those involved and causing the administrative lapses and gaps must also be dealt with accordingly; the agencies directly or indirectly involved in checking mining and forestry activities must also be effectively resourced to build their capacity for monitoring and punishing offenders. They must also work as a team and be networked.

I also think that, there must be a national policy on the percentage of mining proceeds to be reserved or remitted to government for national developmental projects and these project areas must be specified.

I am saying this because if immediate steps are not taken to harness this situations: we shall wakeup from the “shaking comfort” of our lovely homes and be met with another crises; this time not Power Crises but Land Crises, Tourism/Forestry Crises, Water Crises, Food/Farming Crises among others.

If care is not taken, in future; we may have to import even oxygen (air to breath) because the trees shall no longer be enough to absorb the carbon dioxide we produce and generate greater amount oxygen to support our breathing naturally. A future that will force the country to import even water because the water bodies are dried up and polluted; a lot more food because farmers are been killed and their land degraded.

It appears, our generation is becoming greedily ubiquitous with money and willing to do anything weather good or bad, sustainable or non-sustainable just to satisfy our current wants or needs; living nothing for the future generations. This I say if our objects of worship do not judge us, then posterity will surely judge us.

To add, our leaders; political, religious, civil, etc. must lead the crusade and exemplary life because I assume they are our angels and Jesus on Earth. But if they are not ready then; we must be ready to change the situation for the better, but not to continue their wrong doings or be polluted by them.

It is very sad we claimed our forefather were not civilized like us, but they never did what we “the civilized” are doing; destroying our own lands, rivers, vegetation’s and animals . They rather used the resources wisely and protected the rest even with their lives for us.

I think the struggle by most to save a lot for their children’s future even if it takes destroying the current resources must be discouraged. Rather let us use the land and the resources wisely so that our children will benefit from its output in the future and also be able to create their own wealth from them.

As a country, if we do not have the capacity to explore our own gold or resources, for the betterment of our people: then, either we allow (for the next generation) or preserve them until we get the capacity to tap them. We may as well look for better corporations or persons with the right capacities, willing to work according to our fair terms to help us explore them rather than “the current act of greediness”.

Finally, I think we have had enough of the Galamsey and other mining related problems. It is time we all say a big “NO TO GALAMSEY” before it kills the next Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the next Big Six, Future Leaders, Responsible Citizens and the next Coffie Confidence.

Thank you all and God Bless Our Homeland Ghana.
By COFFIE CONFIDENCE

Source: https://www.modernghana.com/news/767764/deadly-galamsey.html

Future of Ghana (@FutureofGH)

Speakers Unveiled for Quantum Leap Career Fair 2017

Stars From All Nations (SFAN) thrilled to announce the highly esteemed speakers for Quantum Leap Career Fair 2017The inaugural edition of this meeting was held in March 2015 with over 300 participants and 10 companies from sectors such as fashion, education, telecommunication, banking, and technology.

Meet the confirmed speakers.

Keynote Speaker:
• Lucy Quist, CEO, Airtel Ghana

Panellists:

  1. Yasmin Kumi, Founder and Executive Director, Africa Foresight Group
  2. Josiah Kwesi-Eyison, Co-founder, iSpace
  3. Aswin Ravichandran, General Manager, MEST Africa
  4. Paul Payne, Manager, British Council Skills Hub

Moderators:

Keynote Speech Moderator: Alfred Ocansey, News 360, TV3 Ghana

Panel Moderator: Jemila Abdulai, Editor and Founder, Circumspecte

The theme for this forum is Technology and the future of work in Africa”

SFAN recognizes the unprecedented impact of technology on the world of work in Africa, and is organizing this forum to explore the following questions:

  • What key jobs will be impacted by intelligent technologies?
  • What are key strategies employees can use to deal with intelligent technologies?
  • What can a business do about the impact of intelligent technologies in their organization?
  • What are the skills for the fourth industrial revolution?
  • Is Technology a driver of wage stagnation?
  • How is technology changing the nature of work — design, delivery and workplace?
  • Is digital technology a good thing for Africa or a bad thing?

They are super excited because the atmosphere of this year’s career fair will be super charged, as some of the best and brightest industry leaders and entry-level job seekers converge to collaborate, learn, exchange ideas and explore the new frontier of the world of work in Africa.

This event also creates a perfect platform for firms to access top entry-level skills. If you are recruiting for entry-level roles, then this is your moment. For more details, please get in touch with us by email.

The event is currently soldout but you can still participate in the keynote and panel sessions via live stream at SFAN Facebook Page. Please share your views with the hashtag: #QLCAREERFAIR

Future of Ghana (@FutureofGH)