Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Coming up!>#AfroDemocracy(8): SDG(16) vs. Agenda 2063

Episode #93*
(Season 5; Ep.10): 
#AfroDemocracy(8): SDG(16) vs. Agenda 2063

Still on our mission to demystify the Sustainable Development Goals, with a specific focus on SDG 16, which calls for accountable institutions, we will be speaking to ISODEC's Bernard Anaba to help us explore commonalities and differences between the SDGs and Agenda 2063 -- the AU's flagship blueprint for continental development.

In our last two shows on SDG 16 (ep.89 & 91), we discussed Freedom of Information and Democracy respectively.

We want to continue to #AfroDemocracy series, now in its 8th edition, by comparing and contrasting aspects of Agenda2063 and the SDGs.

It is well-nigh impossible to do an outright comparison between the two voluminous documents, evidently, so we have chosen to focus on SDG 16, which promotes "just, peaceful and inclusive societies".

Buried inside the specific targets is the development of "effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels." This is very consistent with the whole Africa in Focus Show itself, which prides itself in demystifying the institutions of ECOWAS, African Union, and East African Community. We believe we cannot make any headway in shedding light on these institutions alone:  a necessary accountability must be expected.

In one foul swoop, we are introducing the Sustainable Development Goals, with a specific focus on SDG 16 and Agenda 2063, where with 7 "aspirations", and 76 articles, Africans are expected to get an equitable Africa they want by 2063.

The focus on SDG 16 and Aspiration 7 in this show will help us better-focus on the institutions necessary for an equitable society.

A conversation of the two landmark documents is only the beginning of a very-necessary conversation on obtaining a more just, and inclusive society for all.

At 14h05 on Wednesday 19 Oct, 2016, I will interview Bernard Anaba of the Integrated Social Development Centre. A podcast will be made available.

**Guiding questions**
1. What is Agenda2063?
2. What is SDG16 and why is it especially-important for Africa?
3. Can a comparison between SDGs and Agenda2063 do justice to what Africa needs for a more equitable continent?

Guest (in the studio)
➢  Bernard Anaba,  ISODEC

*more details will be available soon on www.africainfocusradioshow.org ; africainfocusshow.blogspot.com.

*Follow the conversations on #AfricainFocus on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/africainfocus14.

*Tweet Emmanuel ahead of time on www.twitter.com/ekbensah, using #africainfocus.

*Follow 24/7 on https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.radioxyzonline.pc

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

E.K. Bensah Jr shared "AFRICA IN FOCUS 12-10-16 - BLUE ECONOMY.mp3" with you

Hi there,

E.K. Bensah Jr (africainfocusradioshow@ekbensahdotnet.org) invited you to view the file "AFRICA IN FOCUS 12-10-16 - BLUE ECONOMY.mp3" on Dropbox.

E.K. said:
"Dear comrades, Kindly find this podcast of an exclusive interview with two members of staff of the Togolese Embassy to Ghana, and Nii Armah Amarfio Richster, Co-Founder of the Fisheries Alliance. The discussion was about the Blue Economy, which was timely as Lome played host to 54 African Union member States who have been meeting since 10 October, and hope to conclude 15 October a Charter for the Continent on Maritime Governance. "

View file

The Dropbox team
© 2016 Dropbox

Coming up!> Africa in Focus Show | Ep.92 | Fishing for Solutions: Demystifying Africa’s Blue Economy

Africa in Focus Show | Ep.92 | Fishing for Solutions: Demystifying Africa's Blue Economy

19h00 update:
*Bama Lamré, Chargé d'Affaires of the Togolese Embassy here in Accra has agreed to appear on the Show to give us the Togolese government view, and explain why it believes Togo felt it necessary to host this first-ever AU Summit**


Ahead of the  first-ever African Union Extraordinary Summit on Maritime Security and Safety & Development in Africa to be held in Lome, Togo from 10 to 15 October, we want to use the 12 October edition of the Show to demystify the trillion-dollar Economy that is known as the Blue Economy.

Given the precious little conversation there exists on what constitutes the Blue Economy, we want to speak to Nii Amarh Amarfio Richster, a final year law student at Central University; Co-founder of Fisheries' Alliance and a fisherman to help us better-understand why this conference remains one of the most important conferences in the AU's institutional memory in the way it will seek to address Africa's Blue Economy, which includes aquaculture, fisheries, and oceans.

Guiding questions:
*What is the Blue Economy?
*Why is the Lome conference important?
*How can Africa strategically-benefit from the Blue Economy?

Guests on the line/studio:
•Nii Amarh Amarfio Richster, Co-Founder of Fisheries Alliance; law student; teacher
•Bama Lamré, Chargé d'Affaires, Embassy of Togo, Accra

*more details will be available soon on www.africainfocusradioshow.org ; africainfocusshow.blogspot.com

*Follow the conversations on #AfricainFocus on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/africainfocus14.

*Tweet Emmanuel ahead of time on www.twitter.com/ekbensah, using #africainfocus.

*Follow 24/7 on https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.radioxyzonline.pc


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

XYZ Africa Exclusive: She wants to take Ghana’s Chocolate industry by storm

She wants to take Ghana’s Chocolate industry by storm -- an XYZ Africa Exclusive

By E.K.Bensah Jr

The first thing almost everyone asks her is whether she is exporting -- to which she answers in the negative.

Meet Managing Director of “The Sweet Art Company” Ruth Amoah. She cuts an affable and vivacious figure, with a passing wistful look of better days when she was not into the chocolate business full-time.

Outside the shores of Ghana, she may be known as a chocolatier, an elegant and superlative title that may be apt for the quality of chocolate she produces. Regrettably, in these parts, the title is not backed by the money.

Her business has been underway for under ten months, but you could be forgiven for thinking that, given the "hmms!" and "aahs!" emanating from chocolate-connoisseurs and alike at the Second Pan-African Agribusiness Conference, she is giving the state-owned Golden Tree a big run for its money. But, Mz. Amoah appears too modest to state it.

She heads a three-man company that is getting orders from all over the country, including ones at the Duty Free at Ghana's national airport, Kotoka International. During my interview, a call kept interrupting us -- it was one of the airport orders.

Pressed on how she produces such fine chocolate, she explained that, thanks to her brother-in-law’s farm in the Central Region, she is able to get beans, which she picks, roasts, hand-cracks and grinds before she gets the final product.

Providence has been on her side as far as the cocoa beans are concerned, making it easier for her to get good quality beans over the largely-mouldy ones she has obtained in the past.

It takes some 48 hours for her and her production team of two to process the cocoa, and refine to the succulence we experienced as a finished product. She quips how people generally sell beans, but are clueless on how to make chocolate. This has prompted people from all over to ask her to show them how to make chocolate. Many of these requests, she believes, are in vain: mostly people looking to make quick and easy money.

That’s as if to say her journey has been easy. Far from it, for she has had to depend on family, friends, and loans to get to the stage where Duty Free has asked for her chocolate in lieu of the state-owned Golden Tree.

Mz. Amoah quickly whips out her iPad and, with dexterity, takes me through a maze of pictures to her instagram page, where she explains how her chocolate was ordered by non-governmental organization Solidaridad for their work in Liberia.

The Solidaridad and duty-free orders speak to a company that is making profit from customized orders and recommendations. This could not be further from the truth as she confesses to being indebted because any little money she gets is obviously reinvested, and given her manpower, that’s a significant constraint that reduces her profit margin.

She’s ecstatic for the appreciation she receives, including the requests for partnership, and exports, but she is facing an uphill struggle of reconciling the demand with the supply. It is a recondite fact that, with a business this young, it is not going to be able to scale up to the level the state-owned Golden Tree has gotten. She needs money, and lots more. It could be through an angel investor, or simply any investor ready to support her to scale up.

Asked whether she might consider the commercial banks, she answers with a firm no, as they are wont to complicate and frustrate potentials who go seeking loans. She laments how, apart from the length of time spent chasing a loan, the documentation the banks will ask of you remains this side short of a headache.

Quizzed on what she did on International Cocoa Day a few days ago, she chuckled, explaining how government policy may want to do a re-think and shift emphasis from National Chocolate Day(celebrated on Valentine’s Day each year since 2006) to the International Cocoa Day. She believes government could have been more strategic in supporting and boosting cocoa by rather-hyping this day.

Does she have any expansionary ideas? For now, it’s about exporting to other markets, with a preference on Southern and Eastern Africa. She would say “absolutely, buy made-in-Ghana chocolate! We are the second largest.producer of cocoa in the world. Finally, we have the best-tasting chocolate” she adds.

Hope for the future is what Mz. Amoah possesses a lot of: certainly daunted by the prospect of out-competing the state competition in Golden Tree chocolate, which one non-Ghanaian working in one of the sponsor organisations for the conference called "horrible", she believes she can make it.

For someone who quit her full-time job to jump into this venture, one might say while her nine months has been a bitter-sweet symphony, she is poised now, more than ever, to seize opportunities like this Agribusiness conference to further-promote her eight varieties of chocolate, with a value chain that strategically integrates tourism with chocolate.


Video clips on Africa in Focus Youtube:

*Ruth Amoah on how she makes her chocolate, plus a quick overview of her ranges:

*Ruth Amoah pitches her chocolate to East & Southern Africa:

Emmanuel.K.Bensah Jr/XYZ Africa News@8
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