1. Ghana closes mining company after fatal explosion

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC News, Accra

    Video content

    Video caption: Footage captured the aftermath

    Following a deadly explosion last week, Ghanaian authorities in Ghana have shut down Maxam Mining Company Limited - the company responsible for manufacturing, storing, and transporting explosive materials for mining operations in the country.

    Ghana's Chief Inspector of Mines has also been suspended.

    Investigations are under way, the authorities say, into Thursday's blast near the mining town of Bogoso, that killed at least 14 people and injured dozens of others.

    The explosion has raised a lot of questions regarding safety protocols as trucks transport explosive materials on busy roads.

    The National Disaster Management Organisation says more than 40 critically injured people are being treated in hospitals, and more than 500 homes have been destroyed.

    Government and non-governmental organizations have been sending relief items to survivors.

    These photos show the site of the blast in the village of Apiatse before, and afterwards:

    Before: 16 January 2022
    After: 22 January 2022
  2. Video content

    Video caption: Ghana blast: Many feared dead after huge explosion near Bogoso

    At least 13 people have been killed in huge explosion in the town of Bogoso, south-western Ghana. Dozens were also injured in the blast.

  3. Ghana explosion: At least 17 dead after huge blast near mining town

    Video content

    Video caption: Rescue teams in Ghana are searching for survivors after a huge explosion near a goldmine

    Rescue teams in Ghana are searching for survivors following a huge explosion that killed at least 17 people.

  4. Video content

    Video caption: Ghana blast: Footage captures aftermath of deadly explosion

    Images show destroyed buildings and scattered debris as residents call for help near the town of Bogoso.

  5. Ghana denies alleged plan to host UK asylum seekers

    Wycliffe Muia

    BBC Monitoring

    Ghana has denied reports that it would consider hosting a processing centre for asylum seekers on behalf of the UK.

    Several British news outlets had reported that the UK was drawing up plans to send thousands of asylum seekers to countries "such as Ghana and Rwanda" for processing and resettlement.

    It is reportedly part of an initiative codenamed "Operation Red Meat".

    In a statement on Twitter, Ghana’s Foreign Ministry referred to the policy as "Operation Dead Meat" and said it had not engaged with the UK on the matter and did not intend to consider "any such operation in the future".

    Rwanda said last year that while it had signed a memorandum of understanding on migration with Denmark, receiving asylum seekers for processing was not part of the deal.

    The African Union last year opposed the exportation of asylum seekers from Europe to Africa, terming the move "xenophobic and completely unacceptable".

  6. Ghana police rescue baby trapped in stolen vehicle

    Ghanaian police have rescued a baby trapped in a vehicle that was stolen by gunmen from a church in Kumasi in Asanti region.

    They are hunting for the suspected thieves who later abandoned the car and escaped after a police patrol team chased after them.

    The incident was posted on social media by a person local media believed to be the baby's father:

    View more on facebook

    The baby was found in a safe condition and has since been reunited with the mother.

    It is not clear how the baby ended up being alone in the car with the suspected thieves.

    The authorities have called on the general public to provide any information to help arrest the suspects.

  7. Ghana's president meets US rappers

    Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo has met two American rappers, Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa, to discuss how to improve links between musicians in the two countries, as well as how to promote Ghana's musical talent.

    Photos of the meeting were posted on the Instagram page of Beyond The Return, a follow-up campaign of Ghana's Year Of Return in 2019, which encouraged members of the African diaspora to visit the country.

    While some people left comments praising the meeting, others thought it a waste of time.

    One person commented on Twitter that the president was meeting "unnecessary people" and should "get better things do".

    Correction 19 January 2022: This post has been amended for editorial reasons

    View more on instagram
  8. Denmark frees 'pirates' captured off West Africa

    The Newsroom

    BBC World Service

    Danish navy warship HDMS Esbern Snare pictured in 2014
    Image caption: The pirates, of unknown nationality, were arrested after an exchange of fire with the Danish naval ship Esbern Snare

    Three suspected pirates detained for six weeks on board a Danish naval frigate off West Africa have been released at sea, after Denmark's justice minister waived charges of attempted manslaughter against them.

    The men were detained in November following an exchange of fire with the Danish vessel in the Gulf of Guinea, off Nigeria, that saw several other suspected pirates killed.

    They could have been brought to Denmark for criminal prosecution, but the justice ministry said there was a risk that they could not subsequently be deported, irrespective of any possible conviction.

    This fact might prove an incentive for others to commit criminal acts in an attempt to get prosecuted in Denmark, it said.

    A fourth suspect, who was injured in the incident and taken to a hospital in Ghana, has been flown to Denmark where he is expected to be prosecuted for attempted manslaughter.

    Denmark said it had no other option as diplomatic efforts to find a solution with Ghana failed, and it was felt he could not be released at sea.

  9. Ghana borders to remain shut to avert Covid wave

    Wycliffe Muia

    BBC Monitoring

    A woman receives an Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine at the Ridge Hospital in Accra, Ghana on March 2, 2021
    Image caption: Ghana has so far administered 6.4 million vaccine doses

    Ghana's land borders will remain closed indefinitely to prevent a potential fourth wave of Covid-19 infections in the country.

    President Nana Akufo-Addo said in a national address on Wednesday that his government was "monitoring the level of threat of the disease and ongoing vaccinations in neighbouring countries" before it can reopen borders.

    "We must do everything possible, at the very least, to maintain this situation, especially as the festive season approaches," President Akufo-Addo said.

    Residents in border towns have protested against the prolonged closure of Ghana's land borders that began when the pandemic broke out last year. Only transit cargo trucks are exempt from the border closure.

    President Akufo-Addo said that the current data points to a “favourable Covid-19 situation” but urged vigilance.

    Meanwhile, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has said that large quantities of Covid-19 jabs distributed in the south-eastern Volta region have expired due to vaccine hesitancy.

    Ghana has so far administered 6.4 million doses out of the 17.7 million vaccines available in the country.

    The West African country has recorded over 130,000 cases and 1,243 deaths.

  10. Covid: Ghana to fine airlines bringing in unvaccinated passengers

    Video content

    Video caption: Airlines will be fined $3,500 for every passenger who's unvaccinated or tests positive

    Airlines will be fined $3,500 for every passenger who's unvaccinated or tests positive for Covid.

  11. Airlines to be fined for flying unvaccinated people to Ghana

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC Ghana correspondent

    A person getting injected
    Image caption: Ghanaian authorities say most of the Omicron cases at Kotoka International Airport are amongst the unvaccinated

    Authorities in Ghana have said that airlines which fly unvaccinated foreign nationals into the country will be fined $3,500 (£2,600) per passenger.

    Airlines also need to make sure that people fill in the required health declaration form.

    The new directive which takes effect on Tuesday is intended to stop the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

    The fine is aimed at strengthening the ban on foreign visitors who have not received the coronavirus vaccine from entering Ghana, which came into effect on Monday.

    Ghanaian citizens and residents abroad are exempt from the ban for the next two weeks, but will be required to get jabbed upon landing at the airport.

    The authorities say they are concerned about a surge of infections over the festive period.

    All travellers have to provide proof of a negative PCR test result conducted within 72 hours of departure and will also be tested at the airport on arrival.

    Ghana has vaccinated less than 10% of its 30 million population.

    The authorities have said that next month the vaccine will be made compulsory for targeted groups including government employees, health workers and students.

    In the last two weeks, Covid-19 cases recorded at the airport accounted for 60% of the total cases in the country, the authorities say.