Ghana's president denies meddling in anti-corruption fight
BBC News, Accra
Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo has denied
allegations of interference made by former anti-corruption chief Martin
In a statement, the president described the
allegations as “errors of fact”.
The statement added that neither the president
nor any member of his government interfered with Mr Amidu's work and adequate
resources were made available to enable him to do his work efficiently and
Mr Amidu's appointment two years ago was greeted with
high expectations as he was seen by many in Ghana as the right man to fight
corruption among public officials.
His resignation comes less than three weeks before the general election, in a country where promises to deal with
corruption feature prominently during electioneering campaigns.
Ghana's anti-graft prosecutor resigns over 'meddling'
BBC News, Accra
Ghana’s anti-corruption special prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has resigned saying his mandate and efforts had been compromised.
Mr Amidu’s appointment in 2018 by President Nana Akufo-Addo was greeted with great expectation in the country but the results were disappointing.
In a statement announcing his resignation, the former attorney general cited a lack of independence and freedom to execute his mandate.
He also accused President Akufo-Addo of interference although the president's office has not responded to the claim.
Mr Amidu claimed that some staff members at his office, including himself, had not been paid salaries since their appointment.
He had previously cited a lack of co-operation from other state agencies, and attempts to compromise his staff who were pursuing corruption claims against public officials.
Among the high profile cases he was working on was an alleged $5m (£3.8m) scandal linked to an aircraft manufacturer, and a damning assessment of the government’s attempt to engage in a
controversial gold royalties deal.
Many Ghanaians have expressed disappointment at his resignation.
Through decades of speeches and interviews, this is how Jerry John Rawlings spoke of his vision for Ghana and for Africa.
Kufuor: Rawlings contained his reservations about me
Ghana's former President John Kufuor has said he was "deeply saddened" by Thursday's death of his immediate predecessor Jerry John Rawlings at the age of 73.
He and Mr Kufuor were ideological opponents and rarely saw eye to eye.
Rawlings, Ghana's longest serving head of state, refused to attend the country's celebrations marking 50 years of independence in 2007 because he accused then-President Kufuor of oppressing Ghanaians.
But in his statement, Mr Kufuor praised Rawlings' willingness to relinquish power in 2001 after his two terms were up.
He "obviously tried to contain whatever reservations he had about me and my government".
Reviewing Rawlings' nearly two decades in power, Mr Kufuor said "even though it wasn't always [that] he and I agreed on many matters of state - I felt he was trying to do the best he knew and could, under his peculiar circumstances".
He will be remembered for "contributing to the sustenance of democratic governance" in Ghana, Mr Kufuor added.
African Union Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat has paid tribute to Ghana's former leader Jerry Rawlings, saying that "Africa has lost a stalwart of Pan-Africanism and a charismatic continental statesman".
"My sincere condolences to his family, the people and the government of Ghana," he wrote on Twitter.
Rawlings family requests privacy
The family of former Ghanaian President Jerry Rawlings has just issued a short statement following his death at the age of 73.
His eldest daughter Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings said: "It is with deep sadness that the family... informs the general public that the former President of the Republic passed away on Thursday morning after a short illness.
"The family requests privacy at this difficult moment. Details of funeral arrangements will be announced in due course."
Africa will miss 'the great leader'
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has sent his "heartfelt condolences" to the government and people of Ghana following the death of former President Jerry Rawlings.
"The entire African continent will sorely miss the sterling qualities of
the great leader," Mr Buhari said in a message of condolence.
He also said he "believes the passion, discipline and moral strength that the former
Ghanaian leader employed to reposition his country over many years" would "continue to
reverberate across the continent and beyond."
Mr Buhari also hoped that Rawlings' ideas "for development in Africa... will always be
Ghana's president declares seven days of mourning
Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo has declared seven days of mourning following the death of former president and military ruler Jerry Rawlings.
Mr Akufo-Addo said he had suspended campaigning for next month's election, and flags would fly at half-mast.
The seven days of mourning will start on Friday.
"A great tree has fallen, and Ghana is poorer for the loss," Mr Akufo-Addo said, adding that Mr Rawlings would be given a "fitting" state funeral.
The former president died at a state hospital in the capital Accra at the age of 73.
Ghana presidential candidate suspends campaigning
Ghana's opposition presidential candidate John Mahama has announced that he is suspending campaigning for next month's election following the death of former leader Jerry Rawlings.
Mr Mahama is the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which was founded by Mr Rawlings.
Ghana activists push government to rescue maids from Lebanon
BBC News, Accra
The United Nations Youth Association Ghana is pushing for the
Ghanaian government to help rescue over 8,000 stranded domestic workers –
most of them women – from Lebanon.
The Middle East has become a popular
destination for African women to move to for work as maids – with an estimated three million women from Africa working in Gulf states.
But some end up in dangerous situations.
I spoke to three women in their twenties who have returned to Ghana from Lebanon.
They told me of long shifts - sometimes as long as 14 hours - without food.
One of the women told me that her boss drugged her.
Two of the three said their boss tried to rape them.
At the root of the problem is a visa system called Kafala which makes workers extremely vulnerable, says Asie Kabukie Ocansey from the Nekotech
Centre for Labour Migration:
Quote Message: African migrant domestic workers are entering into a kind of domestic system that Asia, the Philippines and Indonesia have rejected - and that system is called Kafala. Kafala was started in the 1950s when the oil boom started in the Middle East and it means an adoption. They are not allowed to change an employer no matter how abusive the situation is and that is not correct."
African migrant domestic workers are entering into a kind of domestic system that Asia, the Philippines and Indonesia have rejected - and that system is called Kafala. Kafala was started in the 1950s when the oil boom started in the Middle East and it means an adoption. They are not allowed to change an employer no matter how abusive the situation is and that is not correct."
The UN youth association is also urging African leaders to ratify the Domestic Workers Convention to protect the rights of domestic workers - especially young women working abroad.