1. Legendary Ghanaian author Ama Ata Aidoo dies at 81

    Image caption: Ama Ata Aidoo was an influential feminist who also spoke out about the exploitation of the African continent

    Tributes have started pouring in for renowned Ghanaian poet and author Ama Ata Aidoo, who died on Wednesday morning after a short illness.

    A family statement confirmed her death and said funeral arrangements would be announced in due course.

    The prolific writer has published award-winning novels, plays, short stories, children’s books and poetry - that influenced generations of African women writers.

    She served as Ghana's minister of education in the early 1980s but resigned upon realising she couldn't achieve her aim of making education free.

    She later moved to Zimbabwe to become a full-time writer and also lived and taught in the United States.

    She has received international recognition as one of the most prominent African writers of the 20th and 21st centuries, including winning the 1992 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for her book Changes.

    Her work including plays like Anowa have been read in schools across West Africa, along with works of other greats like Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe.

    Those paying tributes online say her legacy will forever live on.

    View more on twitter

    More on this:

  2. Illegal miners face arrest in Ghana after shaft shut

    Favour Nunoo

    BBC News, Accra

    AngloGold Ashanti has closed off unauthorised entry points to a gold mine shaft in Ghana, meaning illegal miners working there will face arrest when they exit through the main mining area.

    Ghana’s disaster management organisation has given an assurance that there is a safe authorised exit point from the shaft in Anwiam in the Ashanti region.

    “AngloGold discovered that the illegal miners had an entrance that leads to their pit, so they covered it,” disaster management official George Ayisi told the BBC.

    The mining giant has also issued a press statement, saying the illegal miners can leave the shaft on foot via an existing ramp to the main mining area.

    Seven illegal miners had already left this way and been arrested and handed over to the police for prosecution, AngloGold Ashanti said.

    It is not clear how many miners are in the shaft - some reports suggested that 300 people could still be underground.

  3. Ghana judicial staff temporarily call off strike

    Favour Nunoo

    BBC News, Accra

    The High Court Of Ghana In Accra
    Image caption: Court activities in Ghana came to a halt last Thursday

    Ghana's judicial workers' association has called off its indefinite nationwide strike after meeting government officials.

    The Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (Jusag) says the strike is on hold for two weeks to allow for engagement and fast-track approval of their salary increase demands.

    Court activities came to a halt last week on Thursday, with all judicial service staff directed not to report to work until President Nana Akufo-Addo approved their demand for new salaries and payment of arrears since January.

    Ghana’s government faces a tough choice as salary increases go against their promise to reduce spending - a condition of the recent International Monetary Fund bailout.

    More on Ghana's financial crunch:

  4. Apology for Ghana textbook critical of missionaries

    The Ghana National Association of Authors and Publishers (GNAAP) has apologised to those unhappy about a history textbook for primary schools that gives a controversial explanation about the activities of Christian missionaries.

    History of Ghana for Basic Schools, Learners Book 4, states that the existence of religion, particularly Christianity, was the cause of doctrinal conflicts and increased poverty in the country.

    One radio station tweeted a photo of the offending page from the book, which shows the heading: "Negative effects of Christian missionary activities":

    View more on twitter

    Some parents and others have condemned the content of the book, saying it denigrates Christianity.

    Ntim Fordjou, the country's deputy education minister, described the book as “obnoxious”, saying its content was appalling and misconceived.

    The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (Nacca) has since demanded its the immediate recall.

    GNAAP apologised for the error and said it would set up a committee to assess all other books in schools published by its members.

    "We are here to render apologies in our bid to protect the image and professionalism of writing and book development in Ghana," the association's president John Akwasi Amponsah said.

  5. One dead, 50 missing in Ghana boat tragedy

    One person has died while 50 others are missing after a boat accident on Ghana's Black Volta River in the Savannah Region.

    The boat capsized on Saturday while transporting passengers from Dorkorchina to Kpandai in the Northern region, authorities said.

    The Bole district director of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Kipo Sulemana, said that the boat, which was overloaded with passengers and goods, hit a tree stump in the river and capsized.

    Mr Sulemana said the area of the accident was inaccessible, making the search and rescue efforts difficult. He said locals were helping to find the missing people.

    Two people swam to safety and none of the other passengers on the boat was wearing a life jacket, local media said.

  6. IMF deal won't quickly address Ghana crisis – president

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC News, Accra

    The President of Republic of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
    Image caption: Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo says the IMF bailout will restore confidence

    Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo has said that the $3bn (£2.4bn) bailout from the IMF will not immediately address the country's economic challenges.

    In a televised address to the nation on Sunday, the Ghanaian president said the IMF bailout would restore confidence and put the country’s economy back on a sound footing.

    "It should lead to the restoration of confidence and the reopening of avenues that have been closed to us this past year and a half. It should also lead to the resumption of many of the infrastructural projects that have stalled," President Akufo-Addo said.

    He acknowledged that seeking help from the IMF was a painful but necessary decision to help the economy recover from the impact of the global pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    But critics have said the country’s economic problem is partly due to gross mismanagement.

    Ghana is facing one of its worst crises in a generation, with high public debt and inflation. As part of the IMF bailout, the government will be expected to reduce public expenditure and increase domestic revenue.

    This will mean clamping down on tax evaders, new taxes, or an upward review of existing ones.

    Ghana has already received the first tranche of $600m after the IMF approved a $3bn bailout programme on 17 May.

  7. Court activities stop in Ghana amid strike action

    Favour Nunoo

    BBC Pidgin

    Ghana Supreme Court and Court of Appeal
    Image caption: Ghana's court system already has a reputation for being overwhelmed with cases

    Court activities in Ghana have ground to a halt following indefinite strike action announced by judicial service staff on Thursday over demands for salary increases and unpaid arrears.

    An association for the staff members has directed all employees of the service not to report to work, leaving the usually busy courts across the country empty.

    Court registrars have been advised not to open or be compelled to open any court for use during the period of the strike until President Nana Akufo-Addo approves the strikers' demands.

    "This is a total shutdown... there will be court delays, nobody is there to open the courts, trials will have to be postponed," legal practitioner Fred Aboagye Kasapa told the BBC.

    Calls have intensified for workers to not go ahead with the strike which has entered its second day, but their leadership insist the industrial action continues.

    This strike action is set to add to the backlog of cases which observers say will negatively affect the country's delivery of justice.

  8. Ghana to soon start borrowing again - president

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC News, Accra

    Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has said the country will soon resume borrowing, as the country grapples with its worst economic crisis in a generation.

    "There is no rush but obviously, why not take advantage of global savings, it makes a lot of sense to be able to do that," Mr Akufo-Addo said at the Qatar-Africa Economic Forum in Doha.

    However, he stressed that the country would "maintain the discipline which is required" following last week's $3bn (£2.4bn) bailout by the IMF.

    His comments come as the country is still negotiating with external creditors hoping for debt relief of about $10.5bn.

    The country was shut out of the international capital market because of its huge debts but can now have access as a result of the bailout.

    The government had been criticised for excessive borrowing, one of the main factors the opposition believes plunged the country into the crisis.

    But the government has blamed the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the global coronavirus pandemic.

    President Akufo-Addo has indicated that the government will cut its expenditure and mobilise more domestic revenue.

    The IMF support is expected to help Ghana tackle inflation of more than 40%.

    Read more about Ghana's economic crisis here.

  9. Power restored to Ghana hospital after babies died

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC News, Accra

    Dr Gbeadese Ahmed (Fair dealing use)
    Image caption: Dr Gbeadese Ahmed said the babies died because the hospital had been unable to connect to the national blood bank

    Electricity has been restored to a hospital in northern Ghana to the joy of a doctor who said two babies had died there after a state-owned energy firm disconnected their power earlier this month.

    Dr Gbeadese Ahmed from St Anne’s Hospital in Damango told the BBC he was about to go into theatre to resume surgical operations put on hold seven days ago.

    Local MP and Lands Minister Samuel Abdulai Jinapor had paid off part of the hospital’s debt to the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (Nedco), he said.

    The politician's intervention followed Dr Ahmed’s interview on Monday with Citi News about the effects of the power outage on the state-run hospital in the town, which is more than 630km (390 miles) by road from the capital, Accra.

    He explained that two babies had died and three others were in a critical condition because without electricity medics at St Anne’s have been unable to organise blood transfusions for the new-borns.

    The problems began at the hospital on 4 May when the power was first cut over a debt of more than $370,000 (£342,000).

    This is when the first baby died, according to Dr Ahmed.

    Bags of donated blood are pictured at Korle Bu hospital's blood centre on September 5, 2014 in Accra, Ghana.
    Image caption: Without power, the hospital had also been unable to test for compatible blood for transfusions

    The electricity was restored but Nedco warned if the bill was not settled in full it would again shut off power - and this happened on 16 May.

    The second baby died over the last week.

    Since the beginning of May Ghana’s state power firms have been cracking down on defaulters in an effort to claw back millions of dollars owed to them.

    Several government institutions have found themselves cut off for failing to settle their bills.

  10. Ghanaian peacekeeper named UN gender award winner

    Captain Cecilia Erzuah
    Image caption: Captain Cecilia Erzuah is the first Ghanaian peacekeeper to receive the prestigious award

    A Ghanaian peacekeeper serving in the disputed Sudan-South Sudan border region of Abyei has won a UN award for championing the rights of women.

    Captain Cecilia Erzuah, 32, will receive the 2022 UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year award from UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday.

    “On every front, Captain Erzuah’s work has set the standard for ensuring that the needs and concerns of women are reflected across our peacekeeping operations,” said Mr Guterres in a statement.

    Captain Erzuah has served in Abyei since March 2022 as the commander of the Ghana engagement platoon

    Ghana is currently the largest contributor of women peacekeepers in the UN with 375 now deployed.

  11. Dozens of Ghanaian police officers sue over promotions

    The Ashanti Regional Police Head Quarter in Kumasi, is pictured on June 7, 2019
    Image caption: They said the move was “unfair and unreasonable"

    Some 82 Ghanaian police officers have sued the government accusing it of failing to promote them after they finished their studies under the country's study leave with pay policy.

    Led by deputy inspector Kofi Osal, the officers say they were denied their deserved promotions as well as entry into police college after the successful completion of their studies during the 2017/2018 academic year.

    They said the move was "unfair and unreasonable" and urged the Accra High Court to issue an order directing the police service to grant them the promotions.

  12. IMF approves Ghana's $3bn loan to alleviate crisis

    Nkechi Ogbonna

    West Africa Business Journalist, BBC News

    A man holds a 50 cedis, the Ghana currency, note in Accra, Ghana, on December 1, 2022. - Ghana is battling its worst economic crisis in decades.
    Image caption: Ghana has been battling its worst economic crisis in decades

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a $3bn (£2.4bn) bailout programme aimed at alleviating the country’s economic crisis.

    Ghana’s Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah told the BBC the three-year extended credit facility was approved on Wednesday, in Washington DC.

    The West African nation has been battling its worst economic crisis in a generation marred with inflation, debt burden and the depreciation of the local currency – the cedi - against the US dollar.

    It is expected that $600m, the first batch of the loan will be remitted to Ghana as soon as possible.

  13. Ghanaian influencer pleads not guilty to US romance scam

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC News, Accra

    Mona Faiz Montrage
    Image caption: Montrage is an influential musician in Ghana with over four million followers on Instagram

    Ghanaian musician and influencer Mona Faiz Montrage, who was extradited to the US from the UK over an alleged $2m (£1.6m) romance scam, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

    She appeared before a judge on Monday but is still in custody until all bail conditions are met.

    Prosecutors said she was charged with conspiracy to commit and committing wire fraud and money laundering, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment.

    She was also charged with receipt of stolen money, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail, and conspiracy to receive stolen money, with a maximum of five years.

    Montrage, popularly known as Hajia4Reall, and her alleged criminal enterprise are accused of engaging in fraud including romance scams between 2013 and 2019.

    They had allegedly targeted older American men, women and businesses.

    Prosecutors said they sent a series of emails, text messages and social media messages to trick victims into believing they were in a romantic relationship - and then exploited them for monetary gains.

    In one instance, she is alleged to have extorted about $89,000 through 82 wire transfers after sending the victim a fake traditional marriage certificate.

    Prosecutors have also alleged she swindled people under false pretences.

    Montrage is an influential musician in Ghana with over four million followers on Instagram. There has been a feeling of shock and disappointment in Ghana.

    But US prosecutors have said the charges against her are accusations and she is innocent until proven guilty.

    She will reappear in court on 28 June.

  14. Seven killed, 17 trapped as mining pit collapses in Ghana

    Seven people have died and 17 others remain trapped after a mining pit collapsed in Ghana's Birim North district of the Eastern Region.

    Only two of the trapped miners were rescued alive on Monday at the Korle Teye Takorso site, according to the local media.

    Local miners, who are leading the rescue mission, reportedly prevented journalists from taking photographs of the incident and chased them away.

    Authorities are yet to comment on the incident.

    Heavy rains recorded in most parts of the country are suspected to have caused the pit to collapse.

    Illegal mining in Ghana, commonly known as galamsey, has continued despite intensified crackdown by the government.

  15. Ghanaian influencer charged in US over romance scam

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC News, Accra

    Socialite Mona Faiz Montrage, popularly known as Hajia4Real,
    Image caption: Montrage is alleged to have been part of a criminal enterprise in West Africa

    Influential Ghanaian musician and socialite Mona Faiz Montrage, popularly known as Hajia4Real, has been extradited to the US and charged with a $2m ($1.6m) romance scam.

    The criminal enterprise she allegedly belonged to targeted lonely American men and women - and in one instance faked married to one victim to further her scheme.

    The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in a statement indicated she had been charged with several counts, including conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering.

    She could receive a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail for each count if found guilty.

    She was also charged with conspiracy to receive and the receipt of stolen money, which carry maximum sentences of five and 10 years respectively.

    The 30-year-old was arrested on 10 November last year in the UK then extradited to the US on Friday.

    She pleaded not guilty to all charges when she appeared before a judge on Monday.

    US authorities have expressed concern about romance scams targeting older people and expressed the need to hold perpetrators to account.

    Montrage is alleged to have been part of a criminal enterprise in West Africa that defrauded companies and individuals, including romance scams in the US between 2013 and 2019.

  16. Ghana opposition picks ex-president for 2024 race

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC News, Accra

    John Dramani Mahama, National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential candidate in Accra, Ghana December 5, 2016.
    Image caption: This will be the third time the former president will be attempting a comeback

    Former President John Mahama has been elected flag bearer of the largest opposition party in Ghana, the National Democratic Congress, ahead of elections next year.

    The former president was declared the winner on Sunday after securing 98.9% of total valid votes in the party’s primaries held on Saturday.

    His landslide victory was against his main contender, the former mayor of Kumasi Kojo Bonsu.

    A third candidate Dr Kwabena Dufour had pulled out of the race after alleging discrepancies in the electoral roll.

    In a Facebook post after his victory, Mr Mahama called for unity in the party.

    This will be the third time the former president will be attempting a comeback after losing power in the 2016 elections to incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo, who is ending his two-term mandate next year.

    Former President Mahama is an experienced politician, haven served as vice-president and then president after the demise of late president John Evans Atta Mills in office.

    He went ahead to win the 2012 elections and served for a one-term period of four years.