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Editor’s Desk Frank Boampong-Danso

“STAY!”, One or more persons would blurt out to pause activity to allow an elderly person or a group of people walk past, then the football game will resume. Our field of play, dirt brown with undulating surface was situated on the side of a road that had more humans plying than vehicles. As young boys, we spent our free time kicking football made out of a bunch of discarded socks (socks ball) or a hard plastic ball called ‘Che ley sa’. On other days, we would just scour the neighbourhood for milk tins to make miniature cars. Personally, I learned survival lessons that I appreciate more, now that I’m a matured man. Years on, we have either stayed or moved into different neighbourhoods and grown into personalities who have taken on varying endeavors. What we picked from our communities growing up and how we live in our communities now as ‘’grownups’’, have effects on both our personal and communal development. In essence, we are creators and products of our environment. Neighbourly is your community magazine. Our monthly publication

focuses on initiating communal discourse on practices within our neighbourhoods that can enhance sustainable growth. To be able to resolve national and global issues, we need to get involved at the local community level. In our December issue, Neighbourly opens up the discussion on Business and Community interaction – the case of harnessing the resources of non-profit and profit oriented organizations within our communities for mutual benefit. As this year comes to a close, family and friends look out for opportunities to wind down, relive the good and draw lessons from the not so good moments. Check out some special features from our team and plan your fun getaway this holiday season. As you read our maiden issue, we encourage you to visit us at www., interact with us on social media and spread the word on our eNews specially formatted for your computers and mobile devices. We are pleased to welcome you as our regular monthly reader. STAY.

COVER PHOTO Sefa Nkansa Shooting the Breeze Studios +233 24 311 0081



Model Community

Feature of the Month

Kofi Broke Man (KBM)

By Makafui Awuku

By Makafui Awuku & Adom Arthur

The Story Of Chicago, Illinois South Side Community nutritional benefits of groundnuts are oleic acids that help lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL “good cholesterol” levels in the blood. It also contains excellent sources of resveratol which has been found to protect the body against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease and viral/ fungal infections.

Kofi Broke Man, is the name given to a meal of roasted plantain and roasted groundnuts. It is very popular on the stretch of Lagos Avenue and Abedi Pele Street in East Legon. The name gives the idea that it is a meal for the cash strapped. Three fingers of roasted plantain with roasted groundnut complemented with a sachet of water should take the worst glutton through a sunny afternoon. It is intriguing that in a community that is typically residential and affluent, KBM sellers would ply their trade and make profit. The thoughts and guesses surrounding their invasion of this street and other places within East Legon are that even though affluent people living in this community will normally not patronize them, workers such as gardeners and cleaners will. Wait a second; a Porsche Cayenne applies its breaks gently to stop right in front of Auntie Comfort’s stall. The Screen on passenger side rolls down gently and the conversation begins. Hi, Hi’s and how are you’s and how’s business; In a space of three minutes Auntie comfort makes a sale of Twelve Cedis. Bye byes were said, Auntie Comfort waves wearing her usual infectious signature smile. 4

Is this really a broke man’s food? Is it really what the lower income folks in East Legon eat? I have been thinking and researching about it. The plantain used for KBM serves as a reliable source of energy and starch ensuring food security for households. Count on KBM to have easy bowel movement due to its adequate levels of dietary fibre, for resistance against infectious agents and scavenging harmful oxygen free radicals Kofi Broke Man is your sure bet. A very powerful antioxidant that plays a vital role in maintaining healthy mucus membranes, and enhancing skin complexion. Kofi Broke Man contains vitamin B-Complex that is essential in the treatment of neuritis, and anemia and has adequate amounts of iron, magnesium and phosphorous too. The groundnuts that come with the roasted plantain are delicious, nutty and crunchy and well peeled and packaged for consumers. Among the health and

Ahah! this makes so much sense now, Kofi the broke man definitely is consuming not just a food that is viewed to be cheap to buy but a really nutritious and healthy food that can keep him going till his life gets better. I am beginning to believe that a good number of the East Legon community who live very busy lives to the extent that they forget to stop by their homes or a good restaurant to eat some meal find it as a panacea. KBM sure keeps you on the move and saves you lots of time that you would add up to accomplish more.

association have so much respect for each other and celebrate diversity in how each resident wants to involve himself/herself with community projects and activities.

A community with a high degree of sense of belonging. A community in which residents commit to, and involve themselves with projects in the community. Residents pick up roles in the community and decide to what extent they want to be involved in projects and activities in the community. Chicago, Illinois south side residents

Residents volunteer to open their homes and cook one component of a meal. This event is organized and managed by one resident every Christmas. The event is labelled a ‘Progressive Dinner’ because neighbours visit assigned homes for each of the dinner’s courses and proceed to the next home for the next course. Talk about encouraging reading in communities and the south side community is an ideal example. One resident started and has been coordinating a book club in the community that is three years old, has grown and still strong. The summer is so much fun because there is opportunity to mingle. Residents

organize a picnic in the driveway at the back of each home. Can there be crime in community such as the south side in a Chicago, Illinois? Well the police are not leaving any room for that. There is a ‘Community Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS)’ meeting at the neighbourhood police station where you learn about quality of life, crime, problems in the neighbourhood and report problems residents have noticed in the area. Chicago Homes Success is based on the foundation of encouraging residents to participate in and coordinate activities that complement their natural interests. Residents know they are appreciated, respected and not looked down upon. The community creates the platform for involvement by residents and wait for them to find inspiration and come along.

For aunty Comfort a.k.a Hadoo, customer service is key and making sure her customer’s needs are met keeps her in the KBM business. Her customers’ needs have changed and she has not hesitated to go along with the change, knowing that the business keeps her family financially stable. She has been in the business for ten (10) years and now picks the plantain with a fork and the groundnuts are well packaged in transparent plastic containers, which she admits gave her advantage to make upward adjustments to her pricing. Sussan Adomako, another vendor has an advice to the many young unemployed people in the country. Selling Kofi Broke Man has exposed her to lots of people from different backgrounds; a lot of them are business owners and corporate executives. For her, young people might just get that dream job by trying their hands at selling Kofi Broke Man. Talk about a left over; Kofi Broke Man has no such word in its dictionary because the end of each selling day is Christmas. You might just get free plantain and groundnut and hey, you might just meet the most famous Kofi Broke Man himself. NEIGHBOURLY



Identity Crisis

“If you don’t say you are –no one will say thou art” Identity crisis is defined as a period or episode of psychological distress, often occurring in adolescence but sometimes in adulthood, when a person seeks a clearer sense of self and an acceptable role in society. Identity is your capacity for self-reflection and awareness. People usually acquire their identities through reflecting on their lineage, their heritage, their acquisitions, the tasks they do and sometimes through another person or an object. Thus when a person is not very sure of where they are from or not proud of who they really are, does that qualify as an identity crisis? This is a question that I will like to ask the young adults of our society, who sound British one day, American the next and then Canadian the following day. With everything about them looking and sounding Westernized. Does that mean that they are not sure of where they are




from or they are just going through an episode of psychological distress where in other sense it could mean that they are still trying to identify who they really are? Is this situation arising out of parental mistakes, by not instilling in our children a strong sense of identity, or is it a mindset that need a second and a third look.

that when the mind is not good the whole body is useless? Being aware of yourself, knowing who you are and being comfortable with it is the first step in a healthy lifestyle. It cuts down on your stress because you do not have to look like someone, sound like another person or pretend to be something that you are not. Being yourself is being happy and a happy person is a healthy person. The mind is the strongest part of our body and it needs to be healthy for the rest of the body to stay well also. Hence my statement “if you do not say “you are”, who will say “thou art””. Know your identity, be comfortable with yourself and that is the beginning of a healthy lifestyle. P. Ekuba Mensah, MHA, MBA Chief Executive Officer 3M&C Health Systems

We always expect health tips about physical health issues, but are we aware


The Royal Senchi

Suites boast split-level en-suite bathrooms and balconies that overlook the serene Volta River in their backyard. The front yard areas provide safe playgrounds for young children and a trampoline that is sure to tug at the child in you.

– Ghana’s extravagant riverside paradise By Awoyaa Mensah

however, your short walk will bring you to the more vibrant areas of the hotel including the breathtaking pool with a jaccuzi, surrounded by comfy shaded chaises for relaxation after a cool dip. Across from the pool area is the outdoor Nsu bar, the perfect daytime stop-in for a refreshing sip from a selection of fresh juices, smoothies and tasty cocktails. On the weekends a live band kicks things up a notch with feet-tapping and hip-swaying tunes individuals, couples, friends and families alike can enjoy.

Nestled just an easy hour and a half ’s drive outside the hustle and bustle of Ghana’s capital Accra, just before Akosombo and on the west bank of the Volta River, this Eastern Region haven abides. Right upon arrival at its front gates, one is immediately blown away by the vastness of this paradise and the mystical beauty of what is yet to be discovered. Manicured 8

lawns, paved pathways and an artfully decorated reception manned by the warmest of staff – these are what greet you as you begin your regal experience at this four-star resort hotel, The Royal Senchi. With a quick and easy check-in, you are whisked away to what will be your sleeping quarters for however long you choose to stay. Before you get there

Beyond it all, venture to the flagship spot at The Royal Senchi – the tranquil Volta River. Whether you plan to simply read riverside under the shade, or to cruise atop the quiet waters in a kayak or paddleboat, a visit to the river is a must. Its natural statuesque will steal your breath away, this calming water body shrouded with lush greenery and kissed by the sun’s rays. This is the view you get when you retire to the gorgeous guest room settings, all luxurious with international standard facilities, amenities and modern decor. The single Queen-sized bed River View Rooms and NEIGHBOURLY

After an amazing day, if you start to feel your insides twitch a bit because you caught a divine waft of flavoursome aroma coming from the hotel’s main eatery, you will soon be delightfully satisfied by its offerings. In plain view of a fine-looking water fountain, The Senchi Restaurant is a beauty. With its artistic interior, this upscale dining room is quite the experience with amazing breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet spreads featuring scrumptious global eats. In the mornings, enjoy everything from cereal to fluffy omelets and bacon done before you on the grill, pancakes and toast to baked beans and sausage. After sunset, indulge in well-seasoned and chef-prepared steaks, chicken and fishes done to your preference and pile on sides of rice, warm soups, fresh salads and sushi. The desert bar concludes your dining session with a sweet escape that will leave you smiling all day long. If you are not too full, relax with hushed conversation over a glass of wine or with some fruity libations in the sophisticated Palm Lounge – the perfect night cap. Bring your sneakers along for a heart-pounding workout session in the gym to burn off some of all the great food. The Royal Senchi is truly a hidden gem with a remarkable ambiance and architecture, top notch facilities, astonishing food and fantastic service. This holiday season, escape the overplayed hot spots of Accra and discover a world of unspeakable elegance where leisure meets luxury. Visit The Royal Senchi Resort Hotel in the historic kingdom of Akwamu and you will be sure to make it a regular getaway location you will be gushing to friends about for years to come. The Royal Senchi (+233) 03 03 40 91 70 (+233) 03 03 40 91 80



Where Ageing is Optional...

Ghanaian Neighbourhood By Akua A. Abeasi most important isa safe environment for their kids; where the neighbours’ homes are just an extension of their homes, and back then this was true for most neighbourhoods.

Niobe is a unique upscale Salon and Spa, offering only the very best in personal care and comfort. Your escape from the boundaries of the ordinary begins here. Take a trip to your place of inner harmony. Thoughts of the outside world melt away from the moment you enter our sanctuary of peace and quiet. Enough about us! Come join us on a fantastic spa journey at your own pace. The Ghanaian neighbourhood is more than just a place of domicile, it is socialization grounds for both adults and kids and a source of resources for parents. It embodies a sense of belonging. However the fact remains – a neighbourhood can only be these things if we invest the most in it to support an exciting neighbourhood story… We all have a neighbourhood story to tell, recounting experiences and situations that have made us who we are today. As a kid, I can remember doing a lot of moving. I actually used to entertain the possibility that just maybe my Dad was in the Ghanaian equivalent of the US FBI, and just like in the movies, we had to move every so often to prevent his cover from being compromised!!!! Yes, as a child, I did have a very wild imagination and watched one too many spy movies! But not to worry, I turned out great so don’t judge. Yes, so I proudly consider myself a walking talking neighbourhoodencyclopaedia – I have lived in Teshie Nunga, Osu Ringway, Tesano, Roman Ridge, East Legon, West Legon, and not to mention weekend getaways in Cantonments and Airport visiting favourite cousins. However all my neighbourhood escapades happened during the mid-80s to late 90s - living in these locations now may not necessarily be like living there back then, nevertheless, I know one thing would remain true, irrespective of time – everyone has what makes living in a neighbourhood the best or worst experience. As parents, what’s 10



As simple as it may be, it is the darn truth, the Ghanaian neighbourhoods, at least the ones I was privy to back then, were a safe haven for curious kids. The least of a parent’s worry was the occasional ‘Mummy and Daddy game’ gone a little too far, or moonlight snuggles and kisses between older teenagers under the mango tree in a darkened alley. Yeah boy! Those were the times, the fun innocent times in the neighbourhoods. For me, each neighbourhood I lived in is memorable in my mind for one thing or the other depending on my age and what was going on with me at the time. I did not like Teshie Nunga, because that was my first stooping grounds after my parents moved us (my sister and I) back to Ghana from the United States at the age of six. It is interesting how history does seem to repeat itself, since I believe my oldest son (5 years old)secretly hates me now for yanking him from the States. The fact that I had a crippling fear of and disgust for lizards did not help with my impressions about Nungua either, because at the time I was convinced that Teshie Nungua was the breeding home for lizards!!!!! They were all over the place!!!! I did not give it a second glance as we pulled out of our Teshie Nungua home and moved to Osu Ringway Estates – good riddance was my sentiments at the time! My fondest memories of Osu - cleaning the chicken coops (my mom went into her venture as a poultry farmer) and daily escapades with Asumdwei (the Akan word for Peace), the neighbourhood mongrel…you could never figure out who actually owned that dog, because he was EVERYWHERE!!!!! But at night he definitely knew who his master was! I was so happy when we moved to Tesano because I actually had human friends, as opposed to a friendship with the neighbourhood dog. Tesano was very difficult to get over but I was comforted by the fact that Roman Ridge was closer to town and having friends over was always

a plus. Living in the heart of town was a must for my then developing social life. A couple years down the line, a tearful me was at it again, packing my belongings and moving to the unknown yet again. This time around, it was a venture deeper into the suburbs of East Legon! Now this was a different East Legon from the one we know today. Uncompleted buildings, sand and yes… more sand was my reality! A tarred road was actually a delicacy! Today a drive through East Legon is pure bliss and impressive!!!! I literally moved to East Legon kicking and screaming in protest, however, little did I know these were actually going to be some of the best times of my life – more interestingly this was where I would meet my first boyfriend, who lived just a stone throw away! Of course for my parents, especially my Dad, this meant brushing up on his scary dad performance and maybe investing in some sort of firearm just to let the boys know who was boss. My moving spree did not end here, because again in a few years, I had to make another move – a bigger move – out of the country for school. Now after many years I am back home and West Legon is the beginning chapter for my boys to begin their neighbourhood story, It is very reassuring that throughout my neighbourhood journey, I always felt safe and the neighbourhood was always home! As the old African saying goes, ‘The upbringing of a child is the work of the whole village’ and our neighbourhoods are our villages. It is up to us, living in these neighbourhoods to keep it alive so our little ones can have their own neighbourhood stories to tell. Our neighbourhoods become part and parcel of who we become and so we need to be mindful of the different influences we come across. Irrespective of where you lived or for how long, we all have neighbourhood stories we are still writing…it is up to us to make these best sellers! Welcome to the Neighbourhood!


Public Private Partnerships in Ghana

Ghana’s Silicon Valley. By Makafui Awuku & Adom Arthur

By Kwame Danso


notch universities worldwide and university graduates. In the end this system provides guidance for software development students and opens up the global marketplace for them to launch their products.

An intensive two year program at MEST called Entrepreneurs In Training ( EITs) provides great mentorship for software development students by harnessing the expertise and experience of business executives, MBA students from top

Rigorous entrepreneurial training, extensive hands-on project work and mastery of industry proven methodology is the way of life at MESTS all in line with producing the next Mark Zuckerbergs, Jack Dorseys and Bill Gates of our continent. An incubator system is being used at MEST and up till date thirteen (13) software development companies have been hatched by the incubator. Leti meaning ‘star’ in the Ghanaian local Ewe dialect is one of the success stories

alent is not enough. This is what Jorn Lyssegen, the man with the dream of creating the next generation of software entrepreneurs in Africa said. For Jorn who is the CEO OF MELT WATER GROUP, creating the platform for young people in Africa is the most important thing. He therefore, set out and set up a non-profit organization called Melt Water Entrepreneurial School of Technology in East Legon, Ghana.

of MEST. Leti has set out to create mind blowing role play games by using the traditional African characters including, Kwaku Ananse, Yaa Asantewaa and Chaka Zulu. A seed funding of between $30,000 and $300,000 is set out for the incubator by allowing for a minority equity stake in the program. The work of Jorn Lyssegen and MEST has gone beyond the borders of Africa with Paul David Hewson a.k.a BONO lead singer of Irish group U2 being hosted by MEST to promote how best to leverage on technology for further development. MEST got selected for this visit due to recognition for technological advancement and leadership on the IT front.

The government of Ghana is currently facing monumental challenges in infrastructure development and public service delivery which constrain the growth of the Ghanaian economy. The provision of public infrastructure and services has typically been viewed as the responsibility of Government. Given limited budget resources, the country’s huge deficit in infrastructure cannot be met by the public sector alone through budget allocations. Currently, addressing Ghana’s infrastructure deficit could require sustained spending of at least US $ 1.5 billion per annum over the next decade. It is Government policy, therefore, to encourage the use of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) as a means of leveraging public resources with private sector




resources and expertise in order to close the infrastructure gap and deliver efficient public infrastructure and services. The Ghana Atomic Energy Commission is one such government institution open to the prospects of a Public private partnership. The Two key areas of concern to the commission include the establishment of a commercially viable Gamma radiation facility for medical standardisation. This facility is to help prolong the shelf life of food production, according to Professor Benjamin Jabez Nyarko, Director General of GAEC. Another area of interest is to invest in a centre for the early detection of cancer. This will advance the commission’s desire to operate to screen, detect and treat cancer before it reaches its abnormal stages.

In furtherance to this objective, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has developed the National Policy on PPPs to provide a clear and consistent process for all aspects of PPP Project development and implementation from project identification, appraisal, selection, to procurement, operation and maintenance and performance monitoring and evaluation. For a public institution like GAEC, a PPP has several advantages in the provision of infrastructure and services. Principally, it enables the Government to provide better infrastructure and services through the use of private sector financial, human and technical resources, thereby, freeing government resources for other equally important uses. Ref: (MOFEP)National Policy on Public Private Partnerships, June 2011.


A fading Library in a great place of history.

Service to the Motherland. By Adom Arthur

By Kwame Danso


walked the short distance from the US embassy to the W.E.B Dubois Memorial Centre for Pan African Culture. It was less than a minute. I have long legs. If the quiet at the centre has anything to say to visitors, it’ll be shhhh, busy minds are resting.

of these originals somewhere? No he answered. The library houses collections that I have heard before and very rare ones that I have never heard of. My mind starts racing. We don’t even need an expensive Kirtas Kabis III to convert these books into e-Versions.

The final resting place of Dr. W.E.B Du Bois and Shirley Graham Du Bois serves as a major West African tourist site and houses the mausoleum, personal library, and museum of the Du Boise’s rich lives as influential American and Pan-African thinkers and activists.

It’s an enjoyable tour depending on what your interests really are. I had seen pictures of Dr. Nkrumah and his wife Fatiah on TV and in newspapers, but the feeling of standing in the same living room they shared with their friends, their portraits on the walls and the tour guide’s narration of the stories behind each picture makes the place come to life.

A quick run through the centre reveals a lot more than has been touted about it. It was my first ever tour of the place. I wasn’t expecting a wax version of Dr. Dubois, even though that would have been a generous add-on for tourists. I agree that a good chunk of what the family lived with has been preserved. A typical example is Dr. Dubois’ private library. I have a great deal of interest in books, reading and sharing ideas, hence my critical scrutiny of the place. The personal writings and private collection of Dr. Dubois are very many. My first question to Bernard, the tour guide on seeing the dusty shelves, the delicate spines of hard covers and untouchable paper backs was, do you have replicas 14

The National service head office sits in the heart of airport residential area. September and October are the busiest times of the year since postings are out and students and those registered are eager to be posted into a decent place where they can serve their country. Usually students hope they are posted to corporations that are related to the courses they studied but that’s not how it works. The posting involves

multiple factors such as, government priority areas, requests received from user agencies, academic background of service personnel & carrying capacity of various regions. With that understanding from the Public Relations Officer, Ambrose Entsiwah Jnr, students can be assured that postings are not random as perceived by some.

implements the policy. It shouldn’t be the other way round.

Here is a little rundown on what the National Service Secretariat is about. It is a public organization established by law to mobilise and deploy Ghanaian citizens 18 years and above that have attained tertiary education. The law mandates them to deploy to certain areas, such as agriculture, education, health, local government, corporations and areas decided by the board.

Mr. Entsiwah also gave information on Ghanaians who had their education in other countries and wanted to register for the National Service. The Secretariat is aware of their circumstances and leaves a window of opportunity to register for their service between September and November.

The modus operandi of the NSS focuses on government interest, so if government needs assistance in an area, the board makes it a policy and management

An example of when the government needed help was when the National Identification Authority needed people to do the NIA program. NSS personnel were deployed there to help register people for the National Identification cards.

It is known to many that it is against the law to work in an organization without fulfilling your service obligations. Ministers have been withdrawn for not doing their service, so it is very important to fulfil it.

Apart from being a centre for rich history, the centre has two large auditoriums that are available to be used as public lecture halls and other community events. This is what I have always known the place to be for; lectures, lectures and lectures. However, spending some time to tour the Dubois centre will reveal more. Situated at a prime location, the Marcus Garvey Guest House is so well priced I encourage friends to spend a night or two in Rosa Parks or Kofi Annan, take time to tour the centre and learn more about this place set aside for Pan African culture. You’ll leave with a broadened perspective of Pan Africanism. NEIGHBOURLY



Policing our communities

With an uncomfortable premonition of danger pervading his senses, he will run helter-skelter finding a place to hide, for the sight of this tall, sharply dressed, truncheon wielding, frightening man, caused him to blink sweat from his eyes. Whenever he acted like a normal naughty child, his parents would threaten to call this fearful man. Like many children growing up, Alfred Baffour-Awuah feared

the sight of the police in uniform. Without a scheduled appointment, I set off to speak to someone at the Community Policing Unit of the Ghana Police Service in Tesano. I had taken notice of the Community Policing Unit a couple of days back as I rode the trotro from Nkrumah Circle to Achimota. At the car park, I muttered to my colleague, ‘I hope we don’t walk into the ‘everyday police

By Kwame Danso

charge office’ to meet the usual stern and not so friendly police and to top it all off, the sight of criminals and innocents alike glaring at you from within the cells as if you put them there’.There was none of that. I stepped into a reception area that exuded an atmosphere of organization and efficiency. I met with Alfred. Yes Inspector Alfred Baffuor-Awuah. I stated my case. I wanted an interview for our community magazine. He contacted his superior and whisked our team to the conference room for what started as a formal official interview of the community police unit and veered into a rather friendly conversation on the mandate and activities of the community police. The objectives of the community policing unit as elaborated by Inspector BaffourAwuah and Inspector Frank Agyei Mintah, are to provide communities with visible and accessible police presence to enhance public confidence in the Police and to deter criminals, bridge the gap continued on page 22

Watch Out For Car Cooling Problems

Complete Trash By Kwame Danso

Our bags are complete trash. Literally the materials used to make them are, but the finished product does justice to one of my favourite bible quotes, ‘’the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’’. Trashy Bags is one of the environment saving business concepts that is clearly set out to win and achieve its core goals. The company on a daily basis achieves three main goals. The first and more evident achievement is cleaning up the environment. In their bid to act locally to address dire global environmental challenges, Trashy Bags is educating and creating environmental awareness in Africa. Finally they are helping to reduce poverty in Ghana and Africa through employment creation. Nearly 20 million plastic sachets have been collected and recycled since the company started in 2007. The networks of collectors of these plastic bags earn an income for their work of supplying about 200,000 plastic sachets every month. Raw material for this company is in abundance as long as we cultivate that habit to collect our recyclables and ship off to their factory in Dzorwulu. With over sixty locals collecting, cleaning and stitching plastic trash into fashionable and useful bags and other products, the huge problem of plastic waste management is gradually being addressed. The Trashy Ad Bags caught my attention during my visit to the retail shop in Osu. With an abundance of different looking raw materials collected from discarded advertising billboards, my observation was that these bags are very unique from




each other. Yes ladies, you will have your own special bag that nobody else models. The Trashy smart bag cannot be overlooked. Clean, strong and fully recycled plastic drinking water sachets, have been moulded into a grocery tote also known as ‘the bag for life’. The entire collection of over 350 different variations of 23 standard lines of product include laptop bags, messenger bags, backpacks, wallets, water bottle holders and more. The product was selected as one of the official gifts to the celebrities at the Madrid MTV European Music Awards in 2010 and this goes to endorse the work that the team is doing in Ghana and clearly shows that these products are gaining traction. Trash bags are a growing fad and collections like Sankofa, Mama Africa and Obaapa are catching on very fast.

The engine cooling system of your car works to keep your engine from overheating and helps it to operate at its highest efficiency. Your cooling system components include the water pump, radiator, hoses, thermostat, and fan. When parts of your car cooling system fail, your car engine will overheat and could possibly suffer serious damage. Signs that your car engine is overheating: • The temperature gauge on your dashboard starts to rise • Steam comes billowing out from under your hood • You hear hissing or pinging sounds • You smell antifreeze boiling over When any of these car-cooling problems occur, stop driving immediately and wait until your car cools down. DO NOT, under any circumstances, attempt to open the radiator or pressure cap.

FASHION TIPS – By Aya Morrison

Tip 1: Trade in your black trousers for a mild mustard one. It’s edgy, but not so severe. Pair it with a sexy ethnic print top and cute accessories with a basic hair do. Preferably stilettos than strappy straps adds that oomph to the ensemble Tip 2: Sheer black can be suggestive without being salacious. Netting and mesh are sexiest when they still leave something to the imagination. A touch of lace oozes sexy in a very classy way! Incorporate netting in your outfits and keep it FAB. The Aya Morrison Atelier, 23 Nii Bonnie Crescent Dzorwulu, Accra + 233 208 589 234 + 233 302 956 355


North American Women Association (NAWA) By Kwame Danso

My Identity

Page 233, Shopping - Kente, wood carvings and trendy bag designs made out of recycled water sachets. When expatriates look to shop for handicrafts, they visit a place like the Tetteh Quarshie Circle Art Market. I have driven past this art market countless times and did not have the foggiest idea that it was called THE PIT, until I got my copy of the 5th and latest edition of NO WORRIES, The essential guide to living in Ghana. This guide book is published by the North American Women’s Association (NAWA). The members of the association not only live and enjoy Ghana, but as a collective effort provide assistance for projects that support women and children in Ghana.

By Adom Arthur In junior high, holding a novel with a bookmark was very common and considered girly and too elite. But as a boy I read too, even though I didn’t carry my novels around brandishing them like confetti. I read R.L Stine’s Goosebumps, some Hardy Boys and occasionally stole my big sister’s John Grisham when I ran out of my own favourites. The characters in the books I read played a key role in the kind of identity I unconsciously gained during my formative years and even maintain as an adult. In my assessment of myself, I turned out very well as a Ghanaian boy who went through Christ The King School, Achimota Secondary and then onto University abroad. These characters were neither like my big brother nor my friends in school. Well yeah, the bullies may have sounded alike but even then, the diction attributed to my novel buddies sounded very different from my buddies on campus. Basically, the books I read did not quite represent the society around me. In essence my ‘Ghanainness’ was gradually ‘Americanised’.

Many children around the world see themselves in the books they read, but African children rarely do. This is what inspired Deborah Ahenkorah to start Golden Baobab, having already shipped over 8,000 books to children in 30 countries.

I toot my own horn and claim to know Accra ‘like the back of my palm’ having lived, schooled and worked here for nearly three decades. That is how long the North American Women’s Association has been in Ghana. Three decades and counting. In a total solar eclipse with blind folds on, I can still find my way around Accra just by paying attention to the smell and sounds of the city. I must admit that this city is developing fast in every way and I sometimes find it difficult to catch up. This is where my bragging stops.

Golden Baobab is a Non Governmental Organization that seeks to address the insufficiency of quality, enthralling and captivating African children’s literature. With a prestigious annual pan-African writing competition for African children’s stories, the team inspires African writers to create stories that will fuel the imaginations of African children everywhere. The best stories by the most talented writers are selected through Golden Baobab’s rigorous evaluation process after which the writers are rewarded, celebrated and connected with top-tier African and international publishers. Golden Baobab also organizes workshops and initiatives for writers and illustrators, connects them to publishers and multimedia producers and makes sure they have all the resources they need to create amazing African children’s literature.

For the new comer, if you have an idea of how ‘hopstop’ simplifies the convoluted maze of New York transit, then consider No Worries as your ‘hopstop’ for Ghana. This compilation of tips and business recommendations by NAWA members based on their personal experiences, lists everything one needs to know about living in Accra – from restaurant recommendations to where to find a cardiologist or plumber.

Personally, I believe African literature will continue to grow and represent the continent and its people greatly. As we read Letters from the City by Judith Chabikwa and Jenny Robson’s whazup dude, we learn from fellow African’s and shape our individual and collective futures the African way. 18

After I got my copy of No Worries at the book launch at Labadi Beach Hotel, I skimmed through a few pages and instinctively thought to buy one off Amazon as a gift to my mother as she seemed quite lost on her last trip to Ghana. It’s not yet on Amazon but the guide is NEIGHBOURLY


available on Stockists of No Worries include and not limited to Global Mamas, Koala (Osu), Vidya Bookstore and Wild Gecko. NAWA has provided over $300,000 in support of health, sanitation and education projects in Ghana over a period of 15 years through the sale of No Worries. This has been their key fund raising initiative with all proceeds going toward the organization’s philanthropic work. As a Ghanaian, I am inspired by the work that NAWA is doing to support our women and children. Ellen Thompson of NAWA explains that the Organization will go into various communities across the country and also receive proposals to support projects. These are mostly small self-help projects benefitting women and children in Ghana.

Recipe of the month –Claudia Kankam Boadu

Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs

• 1/2 cup olive oil, • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, • 1/2 cup ranch dressing, • 1 teaspoon white vinegar, • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste, • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary, • 1 tablespoon white sugar, or to taste (optional) • 2 teaspoons salt • 5 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch cubes Directions 1. In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, ranch dressing, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, salt, lemon juice, white vinegar, pepper, and sugar. Let stand for 5 mins. Place chicken in the bowl, and stir to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 mins. 2. Preheat the grill for mediumhigh heat. Thread chicken onto skewers and discard marinade. 3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill skewers for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the juices run clear.


Worship and Party By Kwame Danso

interior exuded beauty. On the neatly arranged pews sat the missals, the books of mass and infront of the altar stood the lectern and pulpit for the first and second readings respectively. A decent ensemble of musical instruments, an artist impression of Saint Maron and The Crucifix added to the beautiful set up. It felt peaceful and inviting, unlike the chaos on Oxford Street.

Pulling on grass doesn’t make it grow faster By Kwame Danso In one of Wiley’s ‘’For Dummies’’ publications, I got tips for planting a new lawn from seed. After determining the type of grass that best grows in your climate, these five simple steps are needed to help you reach your goal. First of all spread the seed, next you top-dress the seed to hold moisture, roll the surface, water and finally protect the seedbed. Without these simple steps and more, anybody’s dream of creating that beautiful lawn will be a mirage.

and improvement in business skills and knowledge of its members. Global membership stands at more than 2400 and keeps growing.

In much the same way nurturing our talents or ideas into viable ventures demand a systematic growth plan, constant learning and a determination to succeed. The Enablis Entrepreneurial Network/ MTN Foundation Business Boot Camp is an event that aims to promote enterprise development to achieve economic independence among Ghanaian youth by conditioning them at an early stage in life to create employment opportunities for themselves and others. It is formulated to imbibe the culture of entrepreneurship in young people. At the 2013 Business Boot Camp, young participants at the University of Ghana were taken through various sessions covering the realities of entrepreneurship, and how to win.

In Ghana, Shika Acolatse serves as Country Director with a team that caters to the needs of its member entrepreneurs. Young and vibrant entrepreneurs are undergoing mentoring sessions as part of Enablis’ unique International Mentoring Program. A commitment by international business leaders to mentor upcoming entrepreneurs over a period of three years is driving growth in individual lives and businesses. Enablis in Ghana organises the biggest and most rewarding business plan competition for entrepreneurs. The competition is an initiative of Enablis Ghana in collaboration with UT Bank, Accra Brewery Limited, Citi FM and Business & Financial Times.

Launched at the 2002 G8 summit and declared a charitable organisation in Canada in 2006, Enablis has made inroads into South America and many parts of Africa with Ghana being the first office for West Africa. October 2013 marked the 4th anniversary of Enablis since its launch in 2009. As a membership based organisation, Enablis supports its member entrepreneurs through capacity building, networking, and access to finance. The organisation has made impact in the areas of Job creation, growth in business performance 20

In Enablis jargon, e-circle is as a peer review cell based group. With a personal experience in one of these e-circle groups, it is what has always been said about it, a place to share and listen to challenges and successes of fellow entrepreneurs, learn and grow.

Oxford Street has served as Accra’s main street carnival route over the years. Littered on both sides with supermarkets, restaurants and small stalls selling local handicrafts, night life is as busy as day, if not more. It is not out of place to have a house of worship in this part of the city. I just never really paid attention to the Maronite Mission, a Christian place of worship affiliated to the Catholic Church. My meeting with Father Andre Geara, the priest in charge of the mission was an eye opener. He interpreted the inscription on the foundation stone from Arabic into English. The church was built in 1958 and renovated recently in 2011. We stepped inside, father Andre bowed before he took his next step. I had obviously forgotten my three years of catholic training in St. Peters’ boys secondary. I did not bow, but learned quickly and took my bow when we got to the altar. For a church that has stood for almost sixty years, the

Sustainable Growth cannot be achieved through any other form except careful nurturing. Wonderful business ideas cannot grow without guidance and existing businesses need new ideas to move to the next level. This has been Enablis’ commitment to entrepreneurs. Tapping into this huge resource centre for entrepreneurs will be a positive step to reaching another height in your business endeavour. If you ask my advice as an entrepreneur in training, I will say don’t do it in a rush, work towards growth in an enabling environment and don’t do it alone. Pulling on grass will only weaken its roots. NEIGHBOURLY


Maronite tradition traces its lineage to the church that St. Peter and St. Paul founded in Antioch before their journey to Rome. St. Maron was one of the early Antiochean Christians, a monk and hermit in Northern Syria, who was revered for his humility and piety. His disciples, who founded a monastery in his honour, came to be known as Maronites. Their loyalty to the church and to the Pope led to persecutions over the centuries, and the Maronites eventually moved to Lebanon. The Maronite Catholic Church preserves the one, holy, catholic and apostolic faith, administers the seven sacraments, adheres to all Papal rulings and is characterised by devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to Mary, the Blessed Mother. At the mission in Accra and Kumasi, mass is open to everyone. Even though predominantly expatriate, Ghanaians do attend with some mass services interpreted into English. The liturgy is in Arabic, some Aramaic and Greek. Father Andre holds two mass services in Accra and Kumasi on Sundays. As part of nurturing the community spiritually, A Novena has been translated into Twi for recitals. On the busy Oxford street where partying is ripe, there’s church also. I have been invited to attend mass,you may also join in to pray the Safro(morning prayers) or the Ramsho(evening prayers)

Savings By Harry Albert Appiah, Lead Financial Consultant

Savings is income not spent, or deferred consumption. Most people look at savings always in the former and not the latter. Simple tips to help you save on high tech devices1. Do not invest in redundant technology such as keeping two different brands of tablet computers, a Smartphone, a laptop and subscribing to various mobile networks. 2. If voice and SMS is what keeps your business running, then invest in a simple feature phone. 3. With the operation of Mobile Number Portability, you can switch to a mobile network whose tariffs suit your contact list. Visit 4. A lot of smart phone applications run on top up credit for usage and updates. Be sure to disable mobile applications that do not improve your life. NB: You need to nurture a savings habit gradually to mature in it.


continued from page 16 between the Police and the community to build mutual trust at all levels and reduce incidents of fear of crime, promote community safety and easy access to justice. The unit is also receptive toward the practice of involving stakeholders in promoting safety and security in their communities to enhance a better quality of life. You may have seen the police on bicycles with the inscription ‘PATROL’, they probably engaged you in a chat and maybe even smiled at you. The community police knows per research and practice that you most likely missed the patrol team in the blue Nissan Navara that noisily sped past, they also understand that a good number of the populace don’t fancy a trip to the station, hence their new approach. The Community Police has increased its presence in hither to non-accessible areas and in Inspector Agyei –Mintah’s words their aim to be visible, accessible and familiar with and to the community and its members are on course. The Community Policing Unit in implementing its programs has undertaken milestone initiatives to establish the Community Policing Forums (CPF), Neighbourhood Watch Committees (NWC), Youth Against Crime Committees, Police Cadets for School children among others. With support from various organizations and individuals, this unit is making inroads. The unit is growing gradually, and they run a desk office in the district police stations spread across the country. As a functioning unit of the overall Ghana Police service, they are in my opinion the new face of the Police service to the Ghanaian community. These days children walk to Inspector Baffour- Awuah, because they know he will either put his big hat on their tiny little heads or hold their hands and take a stroll. They are not afraid.

Furkan Cami By Kwame Danso ‘’I walked briskly from my hotel toward the mosque for an afternoon prayer. A quick look at the time and I knew the Muezzin would blast off the call to prayer soon. My brisk walk doubled into a jog and in a few seconds I felt my feet running. I didn’t want to be late. Before I could gather sweat on my forehead, the call to prayer began. Even though I wanted to pray at Sultan Ahmet Cami, there was no way I could get there on time, this is Istanbul, and Mosques are in abundance. I veered off my original track and entered one of the many mosques around town to pray.’’ Muhammad Fauzi, a management consultant, narrates his experience in Istanbul, Turkey with admiration and respect for the level of work that has gone into the construction and upkeep of mosques as places of worship and community interaction. This brings me to the construction of a multipurpose mosque on the Nima – Kanda highway. I have always watched in admiration the level of work done so far and how it’s going to look when completed. I think it will mimic some aspects of the Blue Mosque in Turkey. Rajad, a Turkish businessman in Accra and


a devout muslim explains to me the sheer architectural dexterity that goes into the construction of mosques in his country. There’s more inside than the beauty of the dome and the heaven reaching minarets. The project in Ghana when completed will include a school complex, residence for the Chief Imam, a mosque to accommodate 10,000 people amongst others. This is collaboration between the Turkish Government and the Government of Ghana and comes to the tune of 10 million Euros. The community stands to benefit greatly. A lot of the mosques I have seen from the outside and the few ones that I have visited in Ghana had only a prayer place, but the Furkan mosque at Kanda has a lot more to offer. The muslim community in and around The National mosque in Kanda will have more interaction time and space. In a big way this will improve positive social growth in a people who are passionate and willing to improve their individual and collective lives as well as contribute their quota in helping build Ghana. NEIGHBOURLY



Taking care of Orchids indoors By Awoyaa Mensah

Orchids are some of the most commonly grown houseplants. Provided they have proper growing conditions, it isn’t difficult to learn how to take care of orchid plants. Keep reading to get some indoor orchid care tips.

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a service of Christian worship celebrating the birth of Jesus that is traditionally followed at Christmas. The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings from Genesis, the prophetic books and the Gospels, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols, hymns and choir music.

Indoor Orchid Care Tips Orchids need ample water but should be allowed to dry out some between waterings. One way to check for watering is by poking your finger about an inch into the growing media. If it’s dry, give it some water; otherwise, let it be. Indoor orchid plants also need adequate humidity, about fifty to seventy percent. There are various ways to increase the humidity in your home. Place a water-filled saucer or tray of pebbles beneath plants, mist plants daily, or use a humidifier. Fertilize orchids weekly or bi-weekly while they are producing new growth

Boxing Day, Nine Lessons and Carols

and decrease to monthly or bi-monthly intervals once they mature. Discontinue altogether once the plants go dormant. Additional orchid care tips include repotting, which is normally done every other year. If your orchids suddenly stop blooming but have suitable light,

temperature, and humidity, then repotting may be necessary. Also keep an eye out for signs of pests or disease. Orchids are occasionally affected by mealybugs, scale, and aphids. These can usually be washed off or treated with insecticidal soap.

The format was based on an Order drawn up by Edward White Benson, later Archbishop of Canterbury but at that time Bishop of Truro, in Cornwall, for use on Christmas Eve (24 December) 1880. Tradition says that he organized a 10:00 pm service on Christmas Eve in a temporary wooden shed serving as his cathedral and that a key purpose of the service was to keep men out of pubs on Christmas Eve. The original liturgy has since been adapted and used by other churches all over the continued on page 28

Christmas is about family.

And so are we.

OrphanAid Africa is a local nonprofit organization that rescues orphans, vulnerable children and young adults who have been abandoned and places them back within their own families. 24



Text “love” to 1961 to donate 1 GHS to keep a child with their family today (MTN only) 25

Innovative Waste Management Program Launched by KNUST and ZoomLion By Awoyaa Mensah

Hopefully the institute will grow into a university and offer undergraduate, masters and doctorate programs in the future. In the President of Ghana’s absence at the affair, the chairperson of the council of state, Mrs. Cecilia Johnson said “people are our core constituents and our knowledge

This November, an amazing partnership between Ghana’s most prominent waste management company ZoomLion and the renowned Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, has given birth to a school that will undoubtedly have great positive impact on Africa’s future. The KNUST Africa Institute of Sanitation and Waste Management (KAISWM) located in Nmai Dzor not too far from Adjiringanor, officially launched on 12th November, 2013 and has been set up as a training centre that will offer its students the best of practical experience and academic excellence in waste management practices via research and development. The beautiful newly built facility boasts a 26

state-of-the-art laboratory that will help discover new waste-to-energy creation methodologies and also further research on water quality. In addition, the building contains a vast conference hall that will be used to host industry-related workshops and symposiums. These will all inform national policy making and help effect the behavioral change needed amongst the Ghanaian populace that will be a huge step in dealing with the hygiene issues that have plagued Ghana and Africa for years. The launch event doubled as a matriculation ceremony of the first official 184 students. Students who enroll at the institute will be able to take diploma and

should benefit the citizenry”, commending the forces that came together to establish the institute. Aside from imparting knowledge onto students, the KAISWM will also work with corporate bodies and other organisations across various industries to provide support services. The event gave attendees the opportunity to experience some of the innovations

the school will inspire students to invent with an exhibition of waste-to-worth products made from recycled materials. On display were very quirky couches and armchairs assembled from used car tyres and discarded water bottles as well as uniquely artistic laptop bags and cases made from water sachet material.

certificate courses in Sanitation and Management and the Environmental Sciences and will have the opportunity to liaise first-hand with industry professionals including agriculturalists, industrialists, and policy-makers to study best practices involving waste management. This hands-on approach will help strengthen the low human resource capacity in the field and open the field up as another area to specialise in for youth interested in the Sciences. The hope is that more and more learned people in the field of waste management will lead to a cleaner and more attractive Ghana which will in turn improve the nation’s economy and perceived value to investors. NEIGHBOURLY



continued from page 25 world. Lessons and Carols most often occur in Anglican churches, but also in some Roman Catholic parishes, Lutheran parishes, and Presbyterian institutions. Moreover, numerous Christian churches have adopted this service, or a variation on this service, as part of their Christmas celebrations. In the UK, the service has become the standard format for schools’ Christmas carol services. The best-known version is broadcast annually from King’s College, Cambridge, on Christmas Eve. It features carols sung by the famous Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Groton School of Groton, Massachusetts, has performed the festival longer than any institution other than King’s, holding its first Lessons and Carols in 1928. December 26th, is Boxing Day and is a holiday celebrated in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and other Commonwealth countries like Ghana. Boxing Day originated in England in the middle of the nineteenth century under Queen Victoria. It is spent with family


Boxing Day is so called because it was the custom on that day for tradesmen to collect their Christmas boxes or gifts in return for good and reliable service throughout the year. Boxing Day is also St. Stephen’s Day. St Stephen was a little known saint who achieved eternal fame by being the first Christian to be martyred for his faith by being stoned to death shortly after Christ’s crucifixion. He’s also named in the Christmas song Good King Wenceslas

and friends at open gatherings with lots of food, fun, friendship and love. Food on boxing day usually includes leftover turkey from the day before. This can be eaten in sandwiches or as a meal with vegetables, roast potatoes and all the trimmings. Some people like to have cold ham in a buffet style so the cook can also have a rest and spend time with the family.

The best clue to Boxing Day’s origins can be found in the song “Good King Wenceslas.” According to the Christmas carol, Wenceslas, who was Duke of Bohemia in the early 10th century, was surveying his land on St. Stephen’s Day — Dec. 26 — when he saw a poor man gathering wood in the middle of a snowstorm. Moved, the King gathered up surplus food and wine and carried them through the blizzard to the peasant’s door. The alms-giving tradition has always been closely associated with the Christmas season. Credit: U.S Times and Wikipedia 2013


Neighbourly Magazine Dec 2013  

The Premiere Ghanaian Community Magazine

Neighbourly Magazine Dec 2013  

The Premiere Ghanaian Community Magazine