kwesi pratt


kwesi prattThe Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr has expressed displeasure about the execution of the ongoing biometric voter’s registration exercise.

The Electoral Commission is compiling a new electoral register to be used during the December 2012 polls and the exercise is slated for March 24 to May 5.

Speaking in an interview with Nana Jantuah on Focus fm, a Kumasi based radio station on Wednesday March 29, the renowned journalist said he finds it worrying that new biometric machines could break down on the first day of the registration exercise. According to him, the registration exercise will take place within forty days so the machines could be repaired in time but the elections will be conducted within twelve hours and doubts how the elections will be successful if the situation recurs.

“These are brand new machines breaking down on the first day; we are going to use the same machines eight months from now when they will be much older; what is going to happen then if we are to use them in the next elections?”

Mr. Pratt also noted that vigilance on the part of political parties is very low as there are no agents at the polling stations to police the registration process, adding that, “it must be worrying because Dr. Afari Gyan has said that the electoral commission is not in a position to guarantee all by itself a free and fair election and that it is only the vigilance of the political parties and the general population which can guarantee that. It is not possible to vouch for the integrity of the over 40,000 people who will be employed for this programme so you should expect a certain level of vigilance from the political parties and I don’t see that,” he lamented.

The senior journalist blamed the electoral commission for ineffective communication of the schedules for the registration exercise, a situation which has made it impossible for him to register.  According to him, information should be provided at all polling stations about the period allocated for the exercise to be conducted at those stations.

He also thinks the commission should have employed people who can type faster as the current officials cannot type fast enough thereby slowing the whole process.


David Apinga, Focus fm, KNUST, Kumasi



Fat women are good performers – CEO, Excel Productions

plus full figured women

plus full figured women

The Chief Executive Officer of Excel Productions , Nana Akua Boakye  has advised  the general public to change the erroneous perception they have about plump ladies and rather encourage them to be confident and courageous.

Excel Productions are the organisers of the Miss Excel Pageant show, a reality show designed for women who are fat.

In an interview with Kwame Poku (Scientific) of Focus fm, a Kumasi based radio station Saturday July 9, Nana Akua shared the thought that, ‘plus full figured  size’ as she prefers to call it, is the stature of most African women and the pessimistic views about such women being lazy, not clever and poor performers in bed are very wrong.

“We the plus size full figured women are trying to advertise ourselves because the perception about what people think about us is very bad. They say we are lazy, not clever and cannot even perform in bed”.

“This is not true; it is a lie,” Nana Akua lamented.

According to the manageress, the reality show is not to encourage women to put on weight and be fat but rather aims at encouraging plus size women to exercise and maintain their body mass index as well as keeping a healthy beautiful physique.

“It is a reality show where they will be camped for three months because of their sizes. We want them to return home looking healthy with a nice figure,” she added.

The Executive Officer of Excel Productions is therefore calling for the empowerment of full figured women, whom she thinks have been relegated to the background to help them contribute their quota to the society.

She said she wants the full figured woman to also come up and showcase that they have something in them.

“We are clever; a look at the prominent women in society will testify to this. The wives of chiefs are all full figured and plus sized women. So we are telling people of Ghana and Africa that a plus size woman should not be under rated.”

-David Apinga, Focus fm, KNUST, Kumasi

“I will give Konadu a bouquet of flowers if she gets 30%” – Ben Ephson

Ben Ephson

Ben Ephson

The Editor of the Daily Dispatch newspaper, Ben Ephson says he will present a bouquet of flowers to the former first lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings if she is able to get 30% of delegate votes in the upcoming congress of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Sunyani.
In an interview with Bernard Buachi on Focus fm, a Kumasi based radio station Wednesday July 6, the pollster said, “if Nana Konadu gets 30% of delegate votes, I will send her a bouquet of flowers; she would have done very well”.
Responding to a question about the effect a win for Konadu will have on the NDC, the editor said he will be surprised if that happens because that will mean a win for Nana Akuffo Addo in the 2012 presidential elections which the NDC will not want to happen.
“There is no way Nana Konadu will beat Nana Akuffo Addo in the 2012 elections”, he added.
He further stated that, “those who love Mr. Rawlings will ask themselves whether they will be better off under Prof. Mills and the NDC or Nana Addo and the NPP. That will be a deciding factor because they (NDC supporters) know they will lose the 2012 elections if they don’t endorse Prof. Mills”.
According to Mr. Ephson, NDC supporters will prefer being under President Atta Mills than Nana Akuffo Addo.
On the issue of timing by the contender of Prof. Mills for the flag bearer of the NDC, Mr. Ephson said he doesn’t think the timing will ever be right for Nana Konadu due to the fact that Ghanaians and Africans abhor dynasty-like rule.
He stated former President Rawlings having said in the late 90’s that he was not running a family dynasty.
“Kofi Adams has once said that Mrs. Rawlings is not a blood relation and cannot be dynasty and I reminded him about the first time the term was used by Mr. Rawlings in the 90’s when Mrs. Rawlings then first lady exhibited signs of trying to contest. Mr. Rawlings said on many occasions that he was not interested because he (Mr. Rawlings) was not interested in running a family dynasty. Brother to brother; father to son; husband to wife”.
“It is going to be difficult for floating voters to endorse that kind of thing”, he lamented.

-David Apinga, Focus fm, KNUST, Kumasi


Dr. Kwaku Agyeman – Mensah

The Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon. Dr. Kwaku Agyeman – Mensah has lauded the World Cocoa Foundation Agricultural Logistics  Skills Development Programme which was launched Tuesday June 14, 2011 at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

The training programme is designed for Post – Primary and Post – Secondary Ghanaian youth belonging to families who own cocoa farms or live in Kaase and its environs in the Ashanti Region.

In his speech, the Regional Minister and chairman for the occasion was full of praise for the programme as it will enhance the skills of the youth and  qualify them for employment as logistics and warehousing technicians, especially in the cocoa industry.

“Many of our youth are unemployed basically because they lack skills that would enhance their chances of employment. It is therefore a welcome development for the World Cocoa Foundation in collaboration with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Safmarine and KNUST to put together this programme to train the people in these important areas of logistics and warehouse management”, he added.

Dr. Agyeman – Mensah also advised thirty (30) participants that have been selected for the pilot training to study hard in order to realise the objective of the programme.

In a keynote address, the Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. William Otoo Ellis pledged the support of KNUST to the programme and others that will benefit the lives of Ghanaians.

He said, “the programme will last for seven months and resource persons will be from our school [KNUST] with other guest lecturers from the industry”.

“At the end of the programme, participants are expected to have been equipped with knowledge in logistics, transportation, supply chain, warehousing and other skills. Those who have the desire for further academic training will also have the opportunity to pursue the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT – UK) Certificate and Diploma programme in Logistics offered by the Business School”.

Prof. Ellis concluded by thanking all the partners and supporters involved in the initiative.


By David Apinga, Focus FM, KNUST, Kumasi




Ghana begun to pump commercial oil at the latter part of last year and forming part of efforts to educate Ghanaians to capitalise on the employment opportunities, a one day workshop will be organised by Kenson Training Institute at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

Kenson Training Institute is an institution registered under the Registration Council of Trinidad and Tobago and authorised to offer wide range of programmes in the oil and gas sector.

A lecturer at the Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Department of KNUST, Dr. Stephen Donyimah says, the programme slated for July 6 is designed to cover various aspects of the oil and gas industry ranging from safety, drilling, environmental risk, process of oil and gas production, transportation of oil and gas, refinery operations, storage and offloading systems as well as gas processing.

On the issue of hedging Ghana’s oil, he said that, “oil is a commodity that has its price fluctuating frequently and it is a good thing to do because the current price is very attractive. Ghana as a developing country cannot compete with the countries that have been producing oil and gas for years. If the experts have done their calculations well then I presume the hedging should be ok. A time will come where it will be free and when we are noted as an oil producing nation and experienced we will not have to gamble with the hedging issue.”

Dr. Donyimah however condemned the emergence of non accredited institutions offering courses in oil and gas and has called on government to clamp down these institutions.

“Some of us are very much worried about people without credibility offering training especially in the Western Region and my colleagues are planning on meeting the government to put checks to that so that people who want to train individuals in this area will be accredited, not that any group of people who gather materials somewhere will train people and give them certification and they cannot be employed in the oil and gas industry. So there is great concern,” he lamented.


By David Apinga, Focus FM, KNUST, Kumasi

Some South Africans mixing ”wee” with AIDS drug


AIDS patients in South Africa are being robbed of their lifesaving drugs so that they can be mixed with marijuana and smoked, authorities and health experts say.

The concoction is called “whoonga” — less a word than an exclamation — and it adds a bizarre twist to the war on AIDS in the world’s worst-affected country just as it embarks on a massive distribution of medications.

Whoonga’s spread is so far limited to eastern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa’s most AIDS-stricken province, but AIDS and addiction specialists worry that it could reach other parts of the country.

There’s no evidence that any ingredient of the AIDS drug cocktail is addictive or does anything to enhance the marijuana high. Whoonga smokers may be fooling themselves into believing the AIDS drugs are giving them a high, when it’s really some other ingredient, says Dr. Njabulo Mabaso, an AIDS expert.

AIDS is already a source of damaging myths in South Africa, such as that the disease can be prevented by sleeping with a virgin or showering after sex with an HIV-positive partner.

Some drug dealers are suspected of stretching the whoonga mixture with soap powder and even rat poison to increase their profits.

“We are seeing the use of whoonga in communities and its very widespread. It’s a substance that is openly spoken about in communities,” says Lihle Dlamini of the Treatment Action Campaign, which has lobbied hard to improve the government’s response to AIDS.

The Associated Press



The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has suspended its strike and lectures have been reported to be normal all over the public universities in the country.Dr Kofi Owusu – Daako is the Dean of Students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). He has applauded UTAG for listening to the appeal of President Mills and assured that the lecturers are very easy people to engage with.


Dr Owusu – Daako made this known in an interview on Focus FM’s ‘Campus Filla’, on Sunday (October 24). He also thanked the president of the Students Representative Council of the KNUST and his executives in the role they played concerning the issue but condemned the actions of TEIN-NDC and TESCON-NPP over press releases which politicized the whole matter.

“Whenevery issue in Ghana tends to be politicized, it creates something that is difficult to handle. The UTAG strike from a layman’s point of view was an economic issue but never a political issue” he said.

He lamented that, “for one side [TEIN] to politicize the issue was most unfortunate and really was a threat to the prolongation of the matter and for TESCON to suddenly become the mouthpiece of UTAG trying to counter what TEIN said was also unfortunate”.

The Dean says the press conference by both parties are against the university rules because, “ there is something in the University Guide which states that no public meeting can be held without giving a transcript to the vice chancellor containing what will be said and participants of a meeting ahead of time”.

He has also promised students of some adjustments to help them settle before examination takes off to prevent any undue suffering.

On the issue relating to the suspension of political meetings,he said, “it is not the intention of the university to ban any political party but rather the political groups are supposed to work within the laws of the university”.

-David Apinga/Focus FM, KNUST/Kumasi

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The HIV prevalence rate of the Ashanti Region has been reported to be one of the highest in the country. Various HIV sensitisation programmes are been organised in the Region to help curb the escalating figures, and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has chalked another success in arranging a huge Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) exercise for the student populace.


The programme was put together by peer counsellors – a group of voluntary students trained to assist university counsellors – under the auspices of the Dean of Students in conjunction with United States Peace Corps on October 23, 2010.

As part of the programme, a workshop was organised for the peer counsellors to equip them for the exercise. In the chairman’s address on the theme : “Know Your Status and Keep It”, the Dean of Students, Dr Kofi Owusu- Daaku encouraged the peer counsellors to be non-judgemental but rather show utmost love and care for those who need counselling services.

The guest speaker for the occasion, Dr T.B. Kofi also clarified how HIV is transmitted and advised that the virus is not only transmitted through sexual activities therefore individuals who are HIV positive should not be labelled as promiscuous people.

A total of 636 persons comprising  465 males and 171 females went through the VCT process successfully and were given the necessary counselling about living healthy lifestyles. Participants were also taken through various demonstration exercises on how to use the male and female condoms properly.

The programme was supported by the National AIDS Control Programme, University Health Services, Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG),Focus FM and Health Officials from Manhyia ,KomfoAnokye and KNUST hospitals.

-David Apinga/Focus FM, KNUST/Kumasi

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Ghanaians Will Benefit from Oil Only When I Run the Show – Kofi Wayo

Kofi Wayo

The leader and founder of the United Renaissance Party (URP), Kofi Wayo, has said he should be given the mandate to be in charge of Ghana’s oil since he possesses the skill and technical knowledge in the oil business.

For Ghanaians to gain, negotiations have to be in a way that benefits the country with the other party getting the least, he said. The leader of the URP said he would make a difference within thirty days if given the green light.

Chuck, as he is popularly called, made this known in an interview with Atta Kusi Adusei on Focus FM’s ‘Community Watch’, on Monday (August 2). Chuck made it clear that from what he had seen so far, the oil was not going to benefit all Ghanaians but only a few elite and the country wouldn’t be any different from the likes of Nigeria and Angola.

“If they had allowed me run the show, Ghanaians would have been better off. I know how to negotiate tactically and not from books. By now infrastructure should have been laid in Takoradi offshore for everybody to see that we have the capability to negotiate and we have done the right thing. They [leaders] just don’t know what they are doing so Ghanaians are getting poorer and poorer. All they want is money, the Africans’ mentality. They are not interested in the country or the people’’, he bewailed.

His comments come in the wake of a press statement issued by the General Secretary of the Convention Peoples Party, for government to empower the Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC) to be able to buy shares from Kosmos in relation to the Jubilee Fields.

On the issue of the competence of a Ghanaian company to manage the oil, Kofi Wayo said “Ghanaian companies do not have the capacity; they lack knowledge, technical acumen and negotiation capabilities”.

The Board Member for the Energy Commission further stated that it was the same lack of negotiation skills that had made Ghanaians poor although we have gold. “If we have people who know what they are about, Ghanaians will be wealthy through our gold. We would have had great cities; Kumasi would have been a Metropolis -same as Chicago or Johannesburg”, he lamented.

-David Apinga/Focus FM, KNUST/Kumasi

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NDC Executive Condemns Rampages by NDC Youth


The General Secretary for the Subin Constituency of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Godwin Dela, has called on the youth wing of the party to stop the uncontrolled riotous bahaviour exhibited by some of its members.

The staunch NDC supporter who was speaking in an interview with Atta Kusi Adusei on ‘Community Watch,’ a news review programme on Focus FM, said the rampages were not healthy if growth was desired as a country.

Various incidences of rampaging by the NDC youth have been reported in the media. The latest involves NDC supporters in Ahafo-Ano South in the Ashanti Region who locked up the offices of the District Chief Executive on Friday as reported by myjoyonline.

Another story published by citifmonline involves about 500 irate youth activists of the National Democratic Congress who besieged the offices of the Kadjebi District Assembly on Friday July 30 with intentions to remove the DCE out of office.

The General Secretary has called for patience in addressing this problem. The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly member (Government Appointee) indicated that the party still had some time to stay as the government of the day and advised party youth to use the right channels to have their problems resolved.

Mr Dela suggested that “as far as politics is concerned and as a party [NDC], leaders should communicate to members, giving them information that they need to know”. He cited Kumasi as an example of a place where “the leadership keeps in touch with the youth. There are programmes that make sure the youth is well informed on what is happening, hence such incidences not frequent within the Kumasi area”.

David Apinga/Focus Fm, KNUST/Kumasi

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