Ghanaian press spotlights launch of farmer support scheme, others

The launch of the farmer support scheme aimed at improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers across the country and the…

The launch of the farmer support scheme aimed at improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers across the country and the loss $19 million to cyber crooks in 1,097 cases in 2020 are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Friday.The Graphic reports that a farmer support scheme aimed at improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers across the country has been launched.

Dubbed: ‘Kookoo Daakyepa’, the scheme is an initiative of a leading British chocolate maker and cocoa grower, Hotel Chocolat, through its partners, the Cocoa Horizons Foundation, the Green Topics Group (GTG) and Nyonkopa Cocoa Buying Ltd.

Under the Kookoo Daakyepa scheme, Hotel Chocolat and its partners are to pay GH¢100 premium on every standard cocoa bag directly to farmers at the end of the cocoa season.

The payment is to be done through Nyonkopa Cocoa Buying Ltd, one of the partners.

A statement from the partners said the amount would be adjusted yearly, taking into consideration the increases in the cost of living for farmer families.

“Farmers will also benefit from subsidies on pre-harvest farm activities such as pruning and agricultural extension services, promotion of agroforestry and efforts to eradicate child and forced labour.

This programme is also aimed at creating a local hands-on approach where farmers are educated on doing the right thing for the planet and communities through good farming practices,” the statement said.

It said the scheme would target 2,500 farmers around Nkawkaw and Juaso, adding that Hotel Chocolat, through Nyonkopa and Green Tropics, was aiming to put enough money into the pockets of cocoa farmers in the districts to ensure a decent standard of living.

The newspaper says that $19 million was lost to cyber crooks in 1,097 cases reported at the Cybercrime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in 2020.

The figure excludes cybercrime-related cases being investigated in other police jurisdictions countrywide.

In the last five years, a whopping $239,609,224.01 million has been stolen by cyberpunks under numerous schemes with 2018 recording the highest amount of USD $105 million.

The Director of the Cybercrime Unit, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dr Herbert Gustav Yankson, has disclosed this in an exclusive interview with the author.

Increasingly, cybercriminals exploit the vulnerabilities of their targets due to the speed and anonymity within the cyber space.

In Ghana, cyber fraud is the most common type of crime within the cyber space; followed by sexual image abuse; and various forms of intrusion ranking third. Let us discuss some few types in order to guard against the prevalence.

The police may be doing their best in fighting cyber related crimes except for some dazzling challenges mentioned in this article.

ACP/Dr Yankson cites six most reported cyber fraud cases in Ghana as romance fraud, investment fraud, mobile money fraud, phishing and shopping scams in the last five years.

Lots of people have fallen victim to this type of cyber fraud. In this type, cyber fraudsters hunt for vulnerable persons, mostly women, with the intention to blackmail them.

They establish social media contacts which get intimate along the line and promise marriage. Victims are convinced to send nude photos of themselves which are later used to demand money, with threats to publish photos if demands are not met.

The Ghanaian Times reports that women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF-Ghana), has launched a digital platform to help people to report Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) cases.

The digital platform known as “Digital Legal Aid Centre” formed part of WiLDAF – Ghana’s COVID-19 response project in the four West African countries, namely Ghana, Togo, Benin and Cote d’Ivoire.

The project titled; “Putting equality and women’s right at the heart of public policies relating to COVID-19” is supported by African Women Development Fund (AWDF) and Crossroads International and implemented by WiLDAF.

The coordinator for the COVID-19 Alliance Committee at WiLDAF-Ghana, Ms Gloria Kankam, speaking at the launch in Accra on Wednesday said the Digital Legal Aid Centre aimed to increase the access and awareness case reporting of SGBV which included domestic violence, intimate partner violence, violence against women and girls among others.

“All these encompass rape, defilement, teenage pregnancy, female genital mutilation (FGM), witchcraft accusation and other violence and abuse,” she added.

Ms Kankam said the Digital Legal Aid Centre would make it easier for survivors and victims to report all such cases.

She said WiLDAF-Ghana had been receiving number of SGBV cases and with support from their lawyers, medical practitioners, victims were conscientised.

She said such cases would be routed onto the digital platform to serve as a case study for stakeholders.

The newspaper says that in all, four former African Presidents are expected to participate in a two-day security forum to be organised by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), to discuss and explore long-term solutions to emerging security threats on the continent.

The forum, which is expected to take place in Accra, at the KAIPTC from December 8 to 9, 2021, will bring together Former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; Former President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma; Former President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, and Former President of Nigeria, Good luck Jonathan.

The high profile forum will have in attendance about 200 security experts across the world, with Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who is also Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as the Guest Speaker.

The Head of Peace and Security Studies of KAIPTC, Mr Ernest Lartey, made this known at the media launch of this year’s Kofi Annan Peace and Security (KAPS) forum in Accra.

He said among the topics to be discussed are the challenge and prospects of balancing democracy with countering violent extremism, challenge and prospects of balancing democracy with pandemic management, entrenching constitutionalism and ensuring free and fair elections.

The Commandant of KAIPTC, Major General Francis Ofori, said coups like that of Mali and Guinea have become rare, as prescribed by ECOWAS and the African Union.

He said the region has experienced a worrying erosion of democratic norms and principles which inversely has led to shrinking confidence in state commitment to core principles of democratic governance.

The Programme Manager of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Mr Hannes Lambrecht, noted that the Federal Government of Germany, through GIZ, would provide both technical and financial support to the KAPS forum.

He said the forum would provide the platform to reflect on critical questions and eventually explore solutions for further uptake and regional policies.