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Young Ghanaian Politicians Influencing December 2020 Elections

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As
Ghana heads for the 2020 polls, several players are leading the fort for
various political parties and influencing how young people participate in the
elections.

From
involvement in the National campaign to being a part of manifesto teams,
political parties have fervently identified the crucial role young people
deserve on the tables of planning the future of the country. With the majority
of the voting population being the youth who are also considered as the most
active players on the campaign trail, the times when the efforts of young
people were undermined are slowly closing.

Former President
Jerry John Rawlings became a head of state at 32 and since then various young
people have been elected as Parliamentarians and others appointed as, District
Chief Executives, Ministers, CEOs amongst many other positions. The political
journey, in this 4th republic, for young Ghanaians has been phenomenal and
remarkable.

Also,
taking our minds back to the works and influence of the Young Patriots during
the first republic, we can easily say young people have always been an integral
part of the success of any government in Ghana.

Even as
social media becomes the main platform for the activities of campaigning during
this global pandemic, some young people have demonstrated sterling leadership
in carrying out their works with determination, intelligence, foresight,
optimism, charisma and exuberant confidence coupled with great communication
skills.

This
article seeks to outline the young people who have become frontline role models
for other young politicians in Ghana. From running for office as members of
parliament to being members of the national campaign team, these young people
have proven beyond doubt that politics and running a nation is not a job for
only older people.

With
representation from the 2 major political parties in Ghana and a good dose of
gender parity, below are the young Ghanaians influencing the upcoming 2020
elections.

Amanda Okyere (27)

Mrs Amanda Okyere is National Democratic Congress (NDCs) Parliamentary Candidate for the Suhum constituency in the Eastern Region. At 27, She is one of the youngest candidates in the country running for office to become a member of parliament. Her biggest task is to redeem the sit back for the NDC party, an attempt which has been unsuccessful by several former contenders.

Benard Oko-Boye (Dr) (38)

Hon Bernard Oko-Boye is the current Deputy Minister of Health and member of parliament representing Ledzokuku on the ticket of the NPP. He is a known communicator of the party and is running for a second term in 2020. His position offers him the platform to sell the works and accomplishment of his party in the health sector and beyond.

Davis Opoku Ansah (35)

Davis Opoku Ansah popularly known as OPK is a first-time contender for the seat of the Member of Parliament representing the Mpraeso constituency in the Eastern region on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). He successfully defeated the incumbent in his party primaries with sterling performance and is vigorously campaigning to increase the vote margin for his party in his constituency. He served as Director of Communications, then later as Director of Operations for the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG).

Edem Agbana

Edem Agbana is the deputy National Youth Organiser of the opposition NDC and the party’s manifesto spokesperson on Youth Development. Emerging from a background of student politics after serving as the SRC president in the University of Ghana, his experience in the campaign front is such admirable.

Edudzi Tamakloe

Lawyer Edudzi Tamakloe is a member of the NDC’s legal team and popular spokesperson for the party. His role in the election is evident as to the number of cases the party has to go through. His leadership in the party is also inspiring other young lawyers to join the campaign trail to share the messages of their various parties.

Farouk Aliu Mahama (39)

It is unsurprising to see Farouk Mahama step into the soldering shoes of his late father, Aljahi Aliu Mahama, former Vice President of Ghana. With the influence he holds through his family’s track record, he won the primaries in Northern Region to represent the people of Yendi in parliament on the ticket of the NPP. His win will be another endorsement for the role young people deserve to play in national politics.

Felix Kwakye Ofosu

Hon. Felix Kwakye Ofosu is a former Deputy Information Minister and currently aspiring to be a Member of Parliament representing the Abura Asebu Kwamankese constituency on the ticket of the NDC. He is also a known communicator in the party representing them on several media channels to sell the manifesto and messages of the party.

Francisca Oteng-Mensah (27)

Hon. Francisca Oteng-Mensah is currently the youngest member in Ghana parliament representing the Kwabre East Constituency on the ticket of the NPP. She currently holds the role as Board Chairperson of the National Youth Authority. Her role in the constituency is quite admirable and she has set a great example for other young politicians to follow in the country.

Henry Nana Boakye

Lawyer Henry Nana Boakye is the current National Youth Organiser of the NPP and a strong pillar in the campaign team projecting the works of the ruling government. His role as the leader of the youth of the party allows him to influence the daily activities of the youthful campaign movement of the NPP. He is known to be a formidable influencer among young people in the party and is consulted widely on the role of young people in retaining his party in power.

John Dumelo (36)

John Dumelo is an actor, entrepreneur and politician currently aspiring to be a Member of Parliament on the ticket of the NDC in the Ayawaso West Wuogon. He stands tall as the most followed politician on social media and has been able to use the various platforms to project his campaign activities which have gained admiration across his fan base.

John Ntim Fordjour (34)

Hon John Ntim Fordjour is a pastor and currently Member of Parliament representing the Assin South constituency on0 the ticket of the NPP. He is currently running for his second term.

Julian M. Cobbinah

Julian M. Cobbinah is currently the youngest member of the NDC’s national campaign team. As a former president of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), Julian’s influence transcends among various national student bodies across the country.

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (38)

Hon Kojo Oppong Nkrumah is the current Minister for Information and Member of Parliament representing the Ofoase-Ayirebi constituency on the ticket of the NPP. As the official spokesperson of the ruling government, Kojo has attained enough recognition and admiration from young people across the country. Contending for the second time, it is expected of him to make an impressive record by increasing his vote margin.

Kow Essuman (34)

Lawyer Kow Essuman Esq. is an assistant secretary and counsel to the President of Ghana and a core member of the communication team assembled to execute the 2020 campaign of the NPP. His actions are expected to reflect in the social media activities of the president and NPP. He is currently a board member of the Minerals Income Investment Fund and was voted as the Most Influential Young Ghanaian in 2017 in a ranking poll by Avance Media.

Prince Hamidu Armah (Dr) (39)

Dr Prince Hamidu Armah is a former lecturer and the current head of the National Council for Curriculum Assessment. He is an aspiring member of parliament for the Kwesimintin constituency for the NPP after defeating the incumbent at the party’s primaries. His national position offers him the opportunity to market himself and his potentials to his constituents.

Sammy Awuku (36)

Sammy Awuku is the current National Organiser of the New Patriotic Party and the board chair of the Youth Employment Agency. His position offers him influence as the director of activities across the country in regards to how the ruling party fairs in the upcoming election.

Sammy Gyamfi

Lawyer Sammy Gyamfi Esq. is the Communications Director and official spokesperson of the opposition NDC. As the youngest member of the national executive, Sammy’s role in the NDC offers him the platform to influence daily communication strategies of the party.

Samuel Nartey George (35)

Hon Sam George is the current Member of Parliament for the Ningo Prampram Constituency representing the NDC and the spokesperson of the NDC’s manifesto on Infrastructure. He is also running for a second term on the ticket of the NDC.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa (40)

Hon Sam Okudzeto Ablakwa is a Deputy Minister and the current Member of Parliament for the North Tongu constituency representing the NDC. He is very outspoken on various national matters and represents the NDC on various panels to tout the achievements and accomplishments of his party and why they should be given a second chance.

Sarah Adwoa Safo (38)

Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo is the current Minister of Procurement, Majority Chief Whip and the current Member of Parliament and candidate for Dome Kwabenya constituency representing the NPP. Her role in the party extends beyond her accolades to have been the face of youth leadership in politics. Her accomplishment stands tall and she represents her people with applauds from her constituents.

Vincent Ekow Assafuah Jnr

Vincent Ekow Assafuah Jnr is the current PRO of the Ministry of Education and aspiring Member of Parliament for the Old Tafo constituency on the ticket of the NPP.

Article
authored by Prince Akpah, Managing Director of Avance Media

Politics

Women In Botswana Can Now Own A Land; President Amends Discriminatory Law

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President of Botswana Mokgweetsi Masisi has recentl taken to his official twitter to announce that, married women in the country are now eligble to independently own land alongside their husbands. The new law is an amendment to Botswana’s Land Policy of 2015 which prevented married women, widows and orphans from inheriting land or acquiring new land entirely.

Under the old policy, only unmarried women or the wives of men who did not already own land were eligible for land rights. The discrimination left millions of married women, widows and single mothers without access to the land where they live and work.

“The Botswana Land Policy 2015 was discriminatory against married women and did not give them equal treatment with men, and I am happy to report that this discriminatory sub-section has since been repealed,” the president said at a virtual briefing.

“This amendment will allow women to be independent in marriages, and also have rights to land as any other person. We applaud this move,” women rights activist Tunah Moalosi was quoted by Reuters.

Only about 15 percent of global farmlands are owned by women even though they contribute more than 51 percent to agriculture. Botswana’s revised Land Policy now allows equal eligibility to own a residential plot on both state and tribal land. According to Botswana’s land audits reports, more than half of the people awaiting to have land allocated to them are women.

In 2015, the African Union addressed gender inequality as it pertains to land rights and stipulated that women should be allocated 30 percent of land across Africa. However, even this meagre percentage has yet to be achieved. Zambia, Ethiopia and Uganda are a few of many African countries where land rights are still not afforded to married women.

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Politics

Major Political Parties To Take Part In 3Sports Election Debate

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3Sports, the sports department of leading television network TV3, will on September 30 hold a debate for four of the country’s mainstream political parties NPP, NDC, PNC and PPP. Airing at 9pm, the debate is intended to give the parties an opportunity to speak to their policy statement on sports as captured in their 2021-2025 manifestos.

The event will be held at the McDan La Town Park in La, Accra and will see the parties take turns to answer questions from the hosts Thierry Nyann and Eva Okyere. Group Head of Sports at Media General, Juliet Bawuah says the debate presents the parties with a huge platform to elevate the discourse around manifesto promises, where sports is concerned.

“The 3Sports debate is meant to subject to strict scrutiny, the promises made by the political parties in the area of sports in the respective manifestos.

“It also affords them an opportunity to speak on what they have already done. We want to move away from when the talk becomes just pedestrian and something mentioned just because a promise had to be made to probing and getting real answers.

“It is a major way of elevating the discourse and we are happy to get the cooperation of the parties.”

A member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Sports and the Spokesperson of the ruling NPP on Sports, Alex Agyekum will represent the ruling party. Former Youth and Sports Minister and the NDC’s Spokesperson on Sports, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye will represent the main opposition NDC. Awudu Ishaq and Nana Afari Gyan will represent PNC and PPP respectively. The event will also air alternatively on 3FM 92.7

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Entertainment

“I haven’t Endorsed Okada For Any Political party” – Stonebwoy Speaks

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As Ghanaians are in high level of preparedness to hit the polls on December 7, 2020 to re-elect or change Member of Parliaments or the Government at large, Politicians are also using the opportunity to easily ride on the influence celebrities to their own advantage. The recent Ghanaian celebrity to fall prey to this stratergy is Africa’s reggae/ragga & dance-hall artiste, Stonebwoy.

In a video sighted on social media, Stonebwoy was seen at the back of an okada rider enjoying the ride, saying, with excessive traffic jams in the capital city, using an Okada to complete a trip is adviceable. This has generated a lot of talks, with reports circulating on mainstream and social media that, the musician has endorsed the legalization of the “Okada” transport business, a flagship campaign message by opposition National Democratic Congress – NDC.

Former President John Mahama says his government will legalise the commercial operation of motorbikes popularly known as Okada when voted into power in 2021. According to him, the Okada business has become a means of sustenance for young people who are unemployed, adding that, legalising the operation will give other youths the opportunity to work and also do their business safely.

However, the 2017 Grammy nominated recording and performing talent in a recent tweet disassociated himself from any politician and political party using the 3-year-old video as an endorsement for their political gains. He explained that, he is not in anyway subscribing to or declaring his public approval or support of the opposition party’s campaign message with the much publicized footage.

“My attention has been drawn to a 3 Year old video of me riding on an OKADA. Which is being Publicized As An Endorsement For A Political Party.. I disassociate Myself From this.. Please I Beg this is NOT in ANY WAY an ENDORSEMENT For ANY POLITICAL PARTY #GodBlessGhana” – He tweeted

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Entertainment

17 promises from the NDC to boost Ghana’s Creative Industry

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The National Democratic Congress after electing Sadiq Abdulai Abu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of 3 Media Network and 3 Music Awards, and Rex Omar, veteran Ghanaian highlife artiste as spokespersons for the Creative Arts economy, they go on to roll out 17 promises for Ghana’s creative industry at the launch of their party’s 2020 manifesto.

For years now stakeholders have voiced out that governments in power are
not paying attention to the creative arts industry. The creative industry in
Ghana is a potential source of income generation and employment to most youths
in the country yet still is side-lined by most governments.

The NDC after listening to plights from creatives, industry players, and
other stakeholders and in their quest to better the industry has identified 17
ways to address these concerns.

Listed below are the policies outlined in their 2020 manifesto:

1. Implement programmes to support the growth of the film, music, and the creative industry to drive job creation and economic growth.

2. Resource nationally recognised creative arts bodies like the Ghana
Association of Writers, MUSIGHA, National Film Authority, Ghana Union of Visual
Arts(GUVA), among others.

3. Strengthen regulation to protect the copyright of artistes and ensure
that they get value for their works by enforcing the payment of user fees under
the Copyright Regulations, 2010 (L.I. 1962).

4. Set up a system of legal aid for creative artistes to help fight
creative/intellectual theft and plagiarism by others.

5. Pass the Creative Industry Bill into law and implement it to promote
the development of the industry.

6. Resource the national museums and empower them to function properly
and create space for exhibitions.

7. Promote local patronage of various creative products.

8. Partner with GUVA and other fine art associations to purchase their
finished works to furnish and decorate public offices to support the fine art
businesses.

9. Through the National Film Authority, encourage our embassies overseas
to purchase and periodically show appropriate Ghanaian films on Ghana Day and
other special occasions.

10. In collaboration with the Ghana Association of Writers, establish a
National Writing Contest and support the promotion of the best literary works.

11. Provide seed money for the creation of a special fund for artists
including aged and needy creative artists.

12. Make available scholarship packages for disadvantaged creative
artistes to pursue courses or programmes for self-development in the national
interest.

13. Facilitate the enrolment of creative artists unto the informal
pension scheme.

14. Develop programmes to harness talents and potentials in the
industry.

15. Structure the educational curriculum to allow students to appreciate
the relevance of culture and creative arts in life and national development.

16. Promote district, regional and national competitions in the
creatives among the youth in Tertiary Institutions.

17. Facilitate the placement of creative art products on digital
platforms for promotional purposes.

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