Open Access Conference

BioMed Central in partnership with Computer Aid Foundation have organised a two- day Open Access Africa Conference at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

Currently, Sub- Saharan Africa remains the least developed region of the world in the area of research. This is partly attributed to inability of research centres in developing countries to pay for the high cost of online journal access as well as subscriptions to print versions.

It is in this regard that BioMed Central, a UK based open access publisher has launched a campaign to address this problem in ensuring the widespread dissemination of scientific research with a set of initiatives designed to encourage African researchers to publish their work in open access journals.

Through Open Access, users will have no subscription barriers to journals and full advantage of the internet can be utilised to allow universal access to these journals.

Launching the programme on October 24, 2011, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. William Otoo Ellis in a speech, noted that avenues to make information available without charges for African researchers are a good initiative.

“Therefore any platform that makes available scientific information for sharing must be supported. In this respect , Open Access to research information that enables the immediate and permanent dissemination of online full-text articles and the archiving of scientific research results for all to read and use, free of charge with benefits of lower costs, greater accessibility and better prospects for long-term preservation of scholarly works must be fully embraced,” he added.

In an interview with Focus Fm’s David Apinga, the Head of Marketing and Digital Sales at BioMed Central, Carrie Calder said, “the aim of Biomed Central is to promote scientific research information access in Africa. The traditional module for scientific literature means people have to pay to get the content of such information and it is not everybody that can afford to pay to access information that they need. Biomed Central is therefore using Open Access to publish information and make access free for users in Africa”.

The conference is targeted at researchers, librarians and scientists all over the world and hosted by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the only university in Ghana with open access institutional repository and the first African foundational member of BioMed Central.


By  David Apinga, Focus FM, KNUST, Kumasi.






Telecommunication giant Vodafone has commissioned its first ultra modern campus cafe with one of the best internet speeds in Africa on the campus of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

Commissioning the facility, Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Ghana, Kyle Whitehill said his organisation believes that education is the key to Ghana’s future. The internet cafe is therefore tailored to meet the needs of users and enhance collaborative learning and research so as to build the capacity of individuals in the area of education.

He stressed that, “we are very confident that this facility will meet your every educational and lifestyle need. We believe that it will improve the quality of teaching, learning and research in this university, while catering for the needs of customers in the region as well”.

The cafe which promises to bring the best Vodafone 3G experience has a 200 plus seating capacity with more than 150 seats slated for WiFi users,  a 38 user section ideal for group work that requires access to online research and 5 round tables for one-on-one discussions.

According to the Chief Executive, Vodafone also believes in providing equal opportunities for all and encouraged female students to build their curiosity in engineering. In relation to that, six brilliant female students from the College of Engineering were provided scholarships.

The Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. William Otoo Ellis expressed his gratitude to Vodafone for building one of the biggest internet facilities on the continent on the campus of KNUST.

He also thanked Vodafone for providing scholarships worth Gh¢ 6,000 to students during the just ended 45th Congregation of the KNUST and for supporting students with bursaries and laptops.


By David Apinga, Focus FM, KNUST, Kumasi.





The Rector of West End University, Prof. Kodwo Ewusi has predicted a trade surplus for the country by the end of 2011.

In a keynote address on the problems of middle income status of a nation, Prof. Ewusi said, “Ghana for the first time in 20 years will record a trade surplus”.

He was speaking at the 1st Annual Economics Conference at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology on the theme: Expectations for Ghana as a middle income economy.

The former director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) noted that most sectors are contributing positively to the economy.

He cited the Cocoa Marketing Board’s announcement that cocoa production this year will hit a target of 1 million tonnes.  According to the Economist, gold production is also increasing at a fast pace and he believes increase in income has resulted in the rise of activities in the financial and insurance sectors.

The Professor opines that the impact of oil production will be felt strongly in the export sector. This he believes in combination with the increase in other sectors will propel the country to record a trade surplus by the end of the year.


By David Apinga, Focus FM, KNUST, Kumasi.







A former director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) has projected that Ghana will achieve a real per capita income of $4800 by the year 2015.

Delivering a keynote address, Prof. Kodwo Ewusi said by exceeding $4000, Ghana will become a true middle income country. The Rector of West End University College was speaking at the 1st Annual Economics Conference at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology on September 19, 2011.

He explains that according to World Bank figures in 2010 for classification, middle income nations have been grouped from $1006 to $3975; $3976 to $6285 and $6286 to $12785. This represents lower middle income, middle-middle income and upper middle income respectively.

Ghana currently falls under lower middle income and he believes the production of oil will propel the nation into middle-middle income status by the next four years.

“Because of the oil, Ghana is going to be a true middle – middle income nation by the year 2015. If oil did not come in, Ghana will remain in the lower middle income for a long time,” he reiterated.

Prof. Ewusi also noted that Ghana will achieve the 1st Millennium Development Goal of reducing poverty by 50%. He however stated that Ghana must pursue the objective of reducing the poverty rate to less than 9%.

He said, “Ghana is slated to achieve the millennium goal by reducing the poverty rate from 56% in 2000 to 26% in 2015. Poverty rate reduced to 28% in 2008 but we do not have to be alluded in complacency. With oil, I will recommend that the government should target to reduce the poverty rate to a single digit by the year 2020 because even at the present rate of  28%, 7 million Ghanaians are desperately poor and population will still cause people to be poor even at a poverty rate of 10%”.

By David Apinga, Focus FM, KNUST, Kumasi.



Award winning artiste and C.E.O. of One Mic Entertainment, Okyeame Kwame has stated that the use of bad language in Ghanaian music can be attributed to the lack or inadequate ability of musicians to imagine and develop new or innovative ideas in an artistic context.

This came to light in an interview with Kwame Poku (Scientific) of Focus fm, a Kumasi based radio station Saturday July 30.

The 2009 Ghana Music Awards Artiste of the year said, “it is lack of ideas that make people sing profane songs or say unnecessary things in their music.”

The Ghanaian Rapper who graduated from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) having completed a four-year degree programme in Akan and Sociology has declared his intentions of using his knowledge in linguistics and communication to help nation building by setting good examples for upcoming musicians to emulate.

“By putting out the effect of the degree in my songs a lot of the youth are going to sharpen their skills and follow suit,” he added.

According to the three time Channel O Music Video Award nominee, musicians must be dynamic to keep to the ever changing music industry. He believes musicians should also portray Ghanaian values and culture in their songs.

He is yet to release his newest album titled The Clinic which contains hit singles like Faithful and Holla at You. The launch is due any time soon and promises to give fans a taste of his maturity.


By 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

P Diddy ousts Jay Z to become richest hip-hop artist

P. Diddy has been crowned the wealthiest artist in hip-hop, with a fortune of $475 million.

The ‘Hello Good Morning’ rapper beat Jay-Z – who has an estimated wealth of $450 million – to claim the top spot in a list compiled by Forbes magazine.

The rapper and producer’s wealth is fuelled by his Sean John clothing brand, Bad Boy Worldwide record label and his vodka brand Ciroc – a joint venture with drinks brand Diageo – which generates his largest profit.

Diddy – who has humble roots – recently splashed out on his son, Justin, buying him a £250,000 limousine for becoming an Honours student, but insists none of his seven children are spoiled by wealth.

He said: “Justin has turned himself around so I wanted to treat him. Maybe he will use the car for special occasions like on a first date, but like all my kids, he prefers the simpler things than the expensive things. Simple tastes.”

Although Diddy has the most accumulated wealth, Jay-Z was the highest earning hip-hop star of 2010, making some $63 million – more than double the $30 million taken by Diddy.

Jay-Z’s accumulated wealth is from his 50 million album sales, tour revenue, 40/40 nightclub chain and a stake in the Basketball team New Jersey Nets.

Third on the list was producer Dr. Dre, with $125 million, although his net worth is expected to increase when he makes a comeback this year.

In joint fourth and fifth place are rapper and entrepreneur 50 Cent, and Bryan Birdman’ Williams, the founder of hip-hop label Cash Money records, who are worth some $100 million each.

Forbes Magazine’s five wealthiest artists:

1.      P. Diddy
2.      Jay-Z
3.      Dr. Dre
4.      = 50 Cent
5.      = Bryan ‘Birdman’ Williams