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Desperate Housewives final season and more on DStv

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The Emmy Award-winning series Desperate Housewives is ending its eight-season run, and it’s time to say goodbye to Eva Longoria, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross and the rest of the cast. DStv audiences can tune in to the final season and more exciting TV viewing! Desperate Housewives VIII: All good things eventually come to an end, and in the final season of this landmark show, the stakes are at an all-time high. The series, which takes a dramatic yet comedic look at suburbia, where the secret lives of housewives aren’t always what they seem, began with Mary Alice Young inside her perfect house, in the loveliest of suburbs, taking her own life. Commenting from her elevated point of view, she takes viewers into the lives of her family, friends and neighbours. Watch how it all comes together or falls apart for the housewives of Wisteria Lane when Desperate Housewives airs from Monday 12 March at 21:15 CAT East and 22:30 CAT West. Blood, Sweat and Luxuries (come to Ghana ): Six young consumers swap their luxury lives for the simple mud huts and shanty towns of Africa and Asia to work alongside the people who mine, manufacture, process and recycle their luxury goods. Their journey starts in Madagascar, where they join the chain gangs of miners tasked with digging up sapphires in the pits. Then it’s off to Ethiopia to experience the abattoirs, tanneries and leather factories that supply shoes to Europe, before heading into the jungle to find out what it’s like to work on a coffee plantation. In Ghana the Brits must cope with 40 degree heat and backbreaking work whilst digging for gold, and are horrified to learn the reality of where our unwanted electrical goods end up. Finally, the group head to the Philippines to join the hundreds of worker making components for MP3 and DVD players. DStv audiences can tune into BBC Knowledge from Monday 19 March at 22:00 CAT to watch their journey which is sometimes hard and at times shocking, but will their experiences change the way we purchase and discard our luxury goods? Junior Doctors: Your Life in Their Hands (Premiere): Every August in the UK, more than 7 000 inexperienced newly-qualified staff face the daunting prospect of walking onto hospital wards as doctors for the first time. What happens when they are left in charge of saving lives? Junior Doctors: Your Life in Their Hands follows six rookies over a four month period as they embark on their chosen careers in large, busy city hospitals in Newcastle in the North-East of England. Find out how they deal with first day nerves, wrestling with drunks, their first experience of death and delivering their first baby. The cameras are also there when their hospital shift ends and their private life begins. DStv audiences can tune into BBC Knowledge from Monday 12 March at 21:00 CAT to watch this fly-on-the-wall series that puts the real-life medical and personal dramas of six newly qualified doctors under the microscope. Heareafter: A drama centred on three people (Matt Damon, Cécile De France and Bryce Dallas) Howard who are haunted by mortality in different ways. George is a blue-collar American who has a special connection to the afterlife. On the other side of the world, Marie, a French journalist, has a near-death experience that shakes her reality. And when Marcus, a London schoolboy, loses the person closest to him, he desperately needs answers. DStv audiences can tune into M-Net West on Tuesday 13 March at 01:00 CAT to watch as their lives will intersect.       Due Date: Peter Highman must get to LA in five days to be at the birth of his firstborn. He is about to fly home from Atlanta when his luggage and wallet are sent to LA without him, and he is put on the “no-fly” list. Desperate to get home Peter is forced to accept the offer of Ethan Tremblay to hitch a ride with him cross-country. Peter is about to go on the most terrifying and agonizing journey of his life. DStv audiences can tune into M-Net West on Sunday 18 March at 22:00 CAT to watch Robert Downey Jr and Zach Galifianakis in this comedy. Morning Glory: Becky is a hard-working morning TV show producer, or at least she was until she got fired. Desperate to get a job, she finally gets an interview with Jerry – who is desperate to hire a producer for the struggling show ‘Daybreak’. Becky accepts the job and it proves to be more difficult than even she might be able to handle. She has to fire the sexist co-host, then try to convince egotistical news reporter, Mike Pomeroy, to take the job, and then try and get him to actually do the job, properly. And she has to do this while falling for handsome Adam, and trying to save the show from plummeting ratings. Will Becky be able to hold on to her dream job and her sanity? DStv audiences can tune into M-Net West on Monday 19 March at 00:00 CAT to watch this movie starring Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton. Couple’s Retreat (2009): Three couples find out that paradise comes at a price when they must participate in therapy sessions with their friends at a tropical resort. DStv audiences can tune into M-Net Stars on Wednesday 14 March at 19:30 CAT to watch this comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Malin Akerman. The Bridget Jones: Edge Of Reason (2004): An attractive lawyer and Bridget’s former boss threaten her newfound happiness with Mark Darcy. DStv audiences can tune into M-Net Stars on Thursday 22 March at 19:30 CAT to watch this classic romcom starring Renée Zellweger and Hugh Grant. Hell’s Kitchen USA (Season 5 Premiere): A new batch of 16 aspiring chefs step through the doors of Hell’s Kitchen to face world-renowned chef Gordon Ramsay, all hoping they have what it takes to succeed. The chefs get to work right away by preparing and presenting their signature dishes to Chef Ramsay. When the doors of the restaurant open and the intensity heats up, tempers flare, emotions run high. DStv audiences can tune into BBC Entertainment from Wednesday 14 March at 21:10 CAT to watch chefs with their varying degrees of culinary experience, but all are incredibly passionate about food. Demanding absolute perfection, Ramsay puts the chefs through rigorous culinary challenges, testing to see who will boil under the intense pressure. Each week, Ramsay sends one chef home, and the rest are one step closer to the grand prize of a “Head Chef” position at the East Coast’s leading resort destination, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. The Good Cook (Premiere): Simon Hopkinson knows all about good food, and he knows what you need to make great meals in your own kitchen. A hugely acclaimed chef and food writer, Simon draws on his years of experience and love of cooking to show how you can create restaurant quality food at home, with everyday ingredients. Along the way he reveals where and how to find the right produce, which ingredients it’s worth spending your money on, and how to create exquisite meals using cheaper cuts and fabulous flavours instead of the latest food fads. DStv audiences can tune into BBC Lifestyle from Monday 12 March at 20:30 CAT to watch him cook up treats including pappardelle pasta, risotto with Parma ham and asparagus pancakes, cheese and onion pie and roast chicken. Mr Sunshine: On the surface, the life Ben thinks he’s living is great. He has a great job running the Sunshine Center, a landmark sports arena in San Diego and a fun no-strings-attached relationship with a beautiful co-worker, Alice. But on his fortieth birthday, that all comes crashing down as he struggles to deal with the manic situations created by his unbalanced boss and the prospect of Alice wanting more. It airs from Tuesday 13 March at 20:00 CAT West. Mildred Pierce: In this drama series, multi-award winner Kate Winslet who plays the title role brings to life the memorable character introduced in James M. Cain’s classic 1941 novel. The miniseries offers an intimate portrait of a uniquely independent woman who finds herself newly divorced during the Depression years, as she struggles to carve out a new life for herself and her family. The story explores Mildred’s unreasonable devotion to her insatiable daughter, Veda, as well as the complex relationships she shares with the men in her life. Mildred Pierce starts on Thursday 15 March at 22:10 CAT East and at 23:00 CAT West. King of Queens (Premiere): Kevin James plays Doug Heffernan, an amiable parcel deliveryman who lives with his wife, Carrie (Leah Remini) and her eccentric father, Arthur (Jerry Stiller). The plump, sports-watching, poker-playing Doug is your average “dude” that viewers can all relate to. Most of the show’s comic conflicts, however, arise because of his naïve or childish behaviour – especially toward his sharp-tongued wife. It starts on Thursday 1 March at 19:00 CAT. We’re No Angels:  Oscar® winners Robert de Niro and Sean Penn team up to play two escaped convicts who are mistaken for priests in this highly entertaining crime caper. While on the run, the two cons take refuge in a monastery, and end up masquerading as holy men while waiting for their opportunity to cross the border into Canada.  The movie is directed by Neil Jordan and will be screened on Tuesday 13 March at 20:30 CAT. Presidential Kidnap Part 1&2: A wife who is hungry for power decides to divorce her husband, the chief security adviser, and marry the President instead. DStv audiences can tune into Africa Magic on Thursday 15 March 2012 at 20:00 CAT to find out how her quest to become the First Lady will end. Cast: Zack Amata, Mike Ezuronye, Nancy Ozoputa and Monalisa Chinda. Game To Heart Part 1&2: Sam didn’t realise how in love he was until he lost his love. Then his friends start to conspire. DStv audiences can tune into Africa Magic on Thursday 22 March at 20:00 CAT to find out whether they have good or bad intentions. Cast:  Jim Iyke, Chika Ike and Halima Abubakar. Campus Game Part 1&2: A couple are happy until someone starts to blackmail them. DStv audiences can tune into Africa Magic on Thursday 22 March at 20:00 CAT to see whether they’ll be able to recover from this. Cast:  Jim Iyke, Chika Ike and Halima Abubakar. World Olympic Dreams – Brazil: DStv audiences can tune into BBC World News on Saturday 17 March at 12:30 CAT to watch Matthew Pinsent travelling to Brazil to find out how Rio de Janeiro will be transformed over the coming year in preparation for two of the biggest sporting events in the world – the FIFA World Cup in 2012 and the Olympics in 2016. Hollywood Weddings and Kardashian Drama On E! Entertainment If you are planning a wedding and looking to add some Hollywood glam to your big day, then tune in to Fascinating Celebrity Weddings airing on Thursdays at 22:00 CAT.  This one-hour special will take viewers inside the hottest and most memorable celebrity weddings of recent years. It takes a revealing look at the most popular designers and trends, the most exotic locations and themes, the most extravagant ceremonies and food lineups, and the most eclectic guest lists. There are also interviews with wedding planners, dress designers and all the people behind the scenes that make these lavish occasions so talked about. Watch Kourtney and Kim Take New York on Sundays at 22:00 CAT where the drama continues to unfold. The Kardashian sisters tackle the challenges of living in the Big Apple under one roof with their partners and see the dramatic episodes as the deep cracks in Kim’s marriage start becoming hard to ignore. Watch it all on E!Entertainment on DStv Channel 124.]]>

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Africans don’t trust each other – my experience with Ethiopian taxi driver in Las Vegas

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Ameyaw Debrah at palazzo gondola

My recent trip to Las Vegas, Nevada came with many experiences, as I put myself out there to explore the city a lot more than I did in my previous two visits. My first time in Vegas was for one night only, to attend the Miss Universe finale in 2017.  My second time was for the Day N Vegas festival in 2019, which also brought me back for a third time this year.

On day-two of Day N Vegas, I had an experience that corroborated the belief of many Africans, that we do not trust one another.  Due to Day N Vegas, most of the area around the Las Vegas Festival Grounds was closed to taxis and rideshare apps such as Uber and Lift, which made it very stressful to get a car whenever I closed from the festival and headed to my hotel room. It meant that after walking and standing at the grounds for hours, we had to walk quite a distance to look for cars.

My experience was even made worse when the data on my AT&T phone number kept failing, meaning that after all the stress covering the concerts, I couldn’t use Uber to request for a ride.  On the night of day 2, I discovered that there was a pick-up point for taxis within the Circus Circus Hotel, Casino & Theme Park. Sadly the taxis were not coming in as rapidly as I would have wished for. I was the third in line, but it took over one hour of standing in the queue till I finally got a taxi.

When the taxi came, I got in but when the driver asked for the address I was going to, I couldn’t remember the location of my hotel. I mentioned the name of the hotel, but the driver wasn’t familiar with it and insisted that he couldn’t take me if I didn’t get the address for him. I wasn’t willing to waste the hours of standing and waiting to be turned down by any driver. My internet wasn’t working, and I tried to ask him to use his internet Ito locate the hotel, but he was indifferent. I told him “lets go to downtown and I will know where my hotel is,  because it’s not far from the Fremont Street”.

Finally, he agreed and moved on. Then he started a conversation with me, once he suspected I was from Africa. I told him I was from Ghana when he told me he was Ethiopian. He asked about my visit and thought I was a ‘new rich African’ when I told him I was in town for Day N Vegas.

When, I finally arrived at my hotel I tried to pay with a card. Since it was a metered cab, I could see my fare right in front of me, with a POS device for payment. But I noted it was slightly expensive paying with  a card compared to paying cash, so I told the driver that I would rather pay with cash, after all I am African!

Then surprisingly he asked me how much I would pay him, the meter said $18 so I said I will give him $20 but he screamed “no $25!” I then gave him a $100 note to which he retorted, “are you sure it’s not fake?”.  I said no, laughed it off and collected my change.

Watch my vlog on the experience below:

Interestingly, the following night, I had internet, so I ordered for an Uber ride after the Day N Vegas finale, and again the driver was Ethiopian. This time it was a younger driver and we had an interesting conversation about Africa and the civil war in Ethiopia.

I had noticed that there were a lot of Ethiopians in Vegas. Most of the African restaurants listed on Uber Eats are Ethiopian and most of the drivers were too. When I pointed it out in our conversation, he told me that Vegas has the next biggest concentration of Ethiopians in the USA after the DMV tristate.  I also found out that affluent Ethiopians like to buy Mississauga Real Estate styled homes in the USA.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 68,001 people reported Ethiopian ancestry in 2000. Between 2007 and 2011, there were approximately 151,515 Ethiopia-born residents in the United States. According to Aaron Matteo Terrazas, “if the descendants of Ethiopian-born migrants (the second generation and up) are included, the estimates range upwards of 460,000 in the United States.

Some Ethiopians living in the US enjoy using exquisitely designed Ten Point Crossbow in archery games. Football is the most popular sport in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian national football team called the “Walyia Antelopes” won the 1962 African Cup of nations and in 2013 Ethiopia qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 31 years.

Other sports played include basketball, volleyball, and tennis. Ethiopia has a tradition of medal-winning runners: Abebe Bikila, Belayneh Dinsamo, and Derartu Tulu. Haile Gebreselassie has set several world records.

Ethiopia has made remarkable progress in education, with primary school net enrolment tripling between 2000 and 2016 to the current 100 per cent.  Although most children enroll in school, many do not complete their education: 85 per cent make it past Grade 5 and 54 per cent past Grade 8. Progress has been enabled through a sustained government-led effort to reduce poverty and expand the public education system equitably. This has been backed by substantial increases in national education expenditure and aid to the sector, as well as improved planning and implementation capacity at all levels. According to Boardingschools.ca, there is a good number of Ethiopians having higher education in Canada.

Ethiopian national identity is grounded in the long history of Christianity and Islam in the region, and independence from foreign rule since antiquity.

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Money or a treat? The perfect Christmas gift for my hard-working team

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Yes, it is Christmas time again and as usual I am thinking of gift ideas for family and friends. This year, all my team members have been amazing, particularly my video team. I had a record number of video productions since we started Ameyaw TV almost four years ago.

A lot of these videos have been event coverages, promotional campaigns, interviews, and our regular contents which this year grew to include formats such as ‘Ameyaw Can Cook’.  Our clientele base grew, and thanks to my team, we met the various demands and expectations. We worked with clients like Rex Originals link building services, for some amazing, sponsored articles throughout the year.

If you follow us on social media, you will know it’s been a fun year for the team as well, with lots of shared experiences around food, travel and more. But for Christmas, I am looking for the cherry on top.  Last year we did hampers for the team and a little karaoke drink up party at work. This year I want it to be a little different so here are my options

That’s because choosing what bonus you will give your staff, if any, will come down to individual factors such as your current and predicted profit margins, the individual tasks that your staff perform, your specific industry and even the way your office operates.

Cash bonus

Due to factors such as uncertain economy and rising cost of living, offering a straightforward cash bonus may be preferred by staff but is the most reasonable option for a small business such as Ameyaw Debrah Media? Well, I have the following options to look at if I want to go that way…

  1. The flat rate

With a flat rate bonus, all staff receive the exact same bonus amount. Depending on your setup, this option is often a great way to ‘level the field’ and to ensure staff see this bonus as a gift, rather than being tied to performance or seniority.

If I choose this option, I must be ready to understand that whatever amount I choose will be setting a precedent for years to come!

  1. The salary percentage

Many small businesses find that by offering a bonus of 1.5 percent of the annual wage, this affords their staff an additional one- or two-weeks extra pay for the holidays. This amount might not buy them a trip to Aqua Safari, but most staff respond very well to this option.

Gift, perks or party bonuses

While cash bonuses are usually very well received by employees, they can often cause too much strain on the company cash flow. Many small business owners choose to offer non-cash bonuses or extra employee perks instead. Imagine a certificate to enjoy foot care for seniors within your staff or their families.

For physical gifts, things like gift certificates for local restaurants or an Xmas Hamper work well. But I’ve done that before!

Another option that is gaining popularity, offers staff additional employee perks around the holidays. Something as simple as allowing staff to finish a couple of hours early in the week leading up to Christmas or offering an extra day or two off over the Christmas period is a great crowd-pleaser and requires no additional budget. But I feel my team will not appreciate this much because our working schedules are already very flexible.

A little pampering

Well as a sign of telling the team they have worked hard all year round; a little pampering won’t be bad at all. Maybe a stay at Peduase Valley Resort with the full complement of food, spa treatment, music and more won’t be bad looking at our relationship with the resort this year. Having a calm swim in their majestic pool, which uses the best odor control chemicals to ensure cleanliness and safety, would be simply good for my team members.

 

Well I am certainly spoilt with options and I know I will come up with the best treat for the team, that would be within my means.

 

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Lifestyle – basic rules and recommendations

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A properly developed individual system of time allocation for various activities affects the level of a person’s happiness. A lifestyle is a list of a variety of activities that generates a certain style of behavior, rules, habits and rituals. It is formed under the influence of historical, geographical, national, age, professional aspects.

Active lifestyle and entertainment

Hobbies and hobbies take the leading place in human life. People seeking peace of mind choose creative pursuits – handicrafts, reading, learning foreign languages. Adventure lovers – sports, tourism. Trips to different cities and countries for entertainment events are very popular. For example, if you are a football fan, you can purchase a tour to the USA. There are 32 teams playing in the NFL today. The league itself appeared in 1920 under the name of the American Professional Football Association. For 50 years, the nfl logo has been modernized, the edging, color and frame have been changed.

Healthy lifestyle criteria

The number of people supporting healthy lifestyles is growing. This lifestyle is aimed at rejuvenation, improvement of the whole body, adherence to the daily regimen, and rejection of bad habits. Main advantages:

  • Increase of the body’s defense systems;
  • reducing the risk of developing chronic ailments;
  • normalization of the emotional background of the body;
  • maintaining vital activity as long as possible;
  • the presence of a healthy and fit body;
  • delaying the appearance of the first age-related changes in the body;
  • the emergence of new life plans, opportunities.

The main components of a healthy lifestyle are a well-designed diet, sports, good rest, hygiene, communication with society.

A healthy lifestyle contributes to the preservation and improvement of human health and well-being. From year to year, it becomes more and more in demand, because many people want not only to enjoy life, but also to live it as long as possible. And a healthy lifestyle helps with this perfectly, increases the number of years lived.

A healthy lifestyle is the value of a modern person. It is recommended to follow the rules of a healthy lifestyle in combination. Better to get used to it from early childhood. The following tips will help you improve your quality of life:

  • you need to go outdoors at least once a week;
  • go for walks, take dynamic breaks for yourself;
  • monitor your health status by visiting a doctor;
  • try to eat right;
  • find a hobby for your liking;
  • travel;
  • relax, communicate with friends and loved ones.

Stress and human health

Positive emotions are important for human health. It is important to be able to relax, lead an active social life. You should not forget about good rest. Relaxation, socializing, and entertainment have a positive effect on emotional well-being. Find something to your liking – someone is fond of cycling, someone loves ping-pong, and someone just football or collects logos of games that are constantly being re-branded.

The lifestyle should not bring additional difficulties, all actions should be a joy to a person. It is better to instill good habits gradually. Over time, you will begin to feel more confident and calmer, and you will be able to achieve goals that previously seemed unattainable.

 

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The psychology of color: how does the choice of color palette affect perception?

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All marketers are well aware that a person first perceives a visual presentation, and only then creates a conscious representation of the brand. This is how the human brain works – it perceives visual pictures as the main information and, on a subconscious level, does a lot of interesting things with the information received. For example, it sorts the colors, determines what the image belongs to – food or a dangerous object, if the picture is pleasant, then he categorizes it, if, on the contrary, it is unpleasant, then it belongs to another category, etc. There are a lot of processes in which we cannot consciously join. Therefore, let’s look at how colors affect perception in order to better understand why manufacturers choose certain solutions for themselves.

 

List of base colors used in design

 

Below is a list of colors used by designers from all over the world:

 

  1. Red.
  2. Orange.
  3. Yellow.
  4. Green.
  5. Blue.
  6. Purple.
  7. Pink (Fuchsia).
  8. Black.
  9. White, silver.

 

One way or another, the variation of these colors is applied everywhere, we can see them almost everywhere. To better understand how these colors affect human perception, it is necessary to dwell on each of them in detail.

 

How are colors perceived by the viewer?

 

Let’s go through the list of the most popular and basic colors in order to better understand how they are perceived by the viewer:

  1. Red – this color carries both positive

 and often negative energy. This is a rather bold choice, because it can cause both a storm of pleasant emotions and create associations with something negative. For example, this shade can simultaneously symbolize strength, passion and fearlessness, or it can evoke associations with pain and danger. If you take the YouTube logo as an example, you can easily track how skillfully the designers approached its creation – it fits perfectly into the context and always evokes only positive emotions.

  1. Yellow – many viewers associate it with warmth and optimism. But like any other color, it can have the opposite effect – for many, it is yellow that means cowardice and frustration, so you need to be extremely careful when using this color.
  2. Blue is one of the most popular colors that symbolizes trust, consistency and security. For this reason, it is so favored by businessmen. But in a negative context, it can be perceived as coldness or unattractiveness.
  3. Green is one of the most beloved colors of man, which is perceived by the brain as a unity with nature. Therefore, it can cause both calmness and relaxation, and stimulate the growth of energy. But dull green tones can cause melancholy and suppress mood, and excessively bright ones can cause associations with something unpleasant.
  4. Black is the color of luxury and elegance. A person who chooses black is distinguished by courage and delicate taste. And at the same time, this color is able to raise a gloomy mood, if its choice is not approached very competently.
  5. White, silver – purity and freshness. White is the base color that can sometimes symbolize sterility.

 

Based on the above information, it becomes clear why most electric motorcycle companies tend to choose green, white and blue colors in their work. Sometimes they can use red or its shades to remind of energy, but in general, the message is always the same – cleanliness, ecology and reliability. Using this simple information, you can create a brand for yourself and choose the optimal palette that will satisfy your requirements.

 

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Ghana could be without donkeys soon

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Donkeys (Equus asinus) are domestic working animals in horse family that have been used for more than 5,000 years. Another name for a donkey is an ass, the male donkey is called a jack, the female  a Jenny and  young, foal. Donkeys are believed to have been domesticated around 3000 BC from the African Wild Ass (Equus africanus).

There is a report of  approximately 5,000-year-old ass skeletons found embedded in tombs in one of the early Pharaonic mortuary complex at Abydos, Middle Egypt. Donkeys served as the ancient transport systems in Africa and Asia. There are 82 references of donkeys in the Bible and it was used by Romans in agriculture and transport, including pastoral services. Donkeys may be considered as the first ungulate to come from Africa and have spread around the world.

In Ghana, donkeys are mostly found in the upper part of the country such as Bolgatanga, Walewale, Dabo, and in some parts of Oti region. Over 14,500 donkeys were owned by Ghanaians in 2015 according to FAOSTAT, and the figure has been dwindling since. The importance of donkeys in the economy has been overlooked for many years considering the contributions donkeys bring to the lives  of people in the country.

Donkeys play an important role in agriculture by providing draught power for ploughing of lands, transportation of water over long distances in rural areas, and hiring out the services of the animal to earn a living. In other parts of the world, donkey milk is used  in anti-aging cosmetics and has been shown to have superior qualities compared to other animal milk such as cow and goat milk. Donkey milk is considered the closest to human breast milk, thus, it was used to feed orphaned children in the past. Cleopatra is reported to have maintained her soft smooth skin thanks to donkey milk baths. Hippocrates is known to use donkey mild to treat arthritis, cough and wounds. The fashion industry is also known to profit from the skin of donkeys; you can learn more about it in the Fashion TV special, ‘Donkey fashion’. 

Donkeys are also used as companion animals/pet and in circus for entertainment. These are major aspects in poor societies which are needed for poverty alleviation and provision of good healthcare for women and children. This indicates that donkeys play a significant role in achieving sustainable development goals 1 and 2.  

 

There are three main threats to donkey populations in Ghana and the world. 

First, difficulty in breeding donkeys. The donkey population in the world has been in a declining trend since 2010 with the advent of increased demand to Asia. Data shows that China which has the largest demand has used a chunk of its donkey population which was 11.1 million in 1990 to 2.5 million in 2018. The question then is why not breed to replace? The requirements to breed donkeys successfully are difficult to achieve. In developed country donkey are kept in sophisticated stables with a heatline providing warmth for them in cold weather. 

To supply 300,000 donkeys through commercial farming, it would take an area of about 600 square miles which is about 4 times (4x) the area of Kakum national park as each donkey requires at least 0.5 acres of grazing land. Another reason is donkeys require a very long gestation period of about 11-14 months to give birth to one foal and often consumption of high fiber diet to achieve and maintain acceptable minimum body conditions. Production of this high fiber diet is expensive and labor-intensive.

The second threat to the donkey population in Ghana is the trade of donkey hide. It is estimated that the Ejiao industry which depends on gelatin produced from donkey skins and used in traditional Chinese medicine and beauty products requires approximately 4.8 million donkey skins annually. Due to Chinas depletion of its stock, it has now turned to the global market to channel significant amounts of donkey skin to meet the demands for Ejiao. This has unfortunately spiked the trade of donkeys across Africa  leading to devastating effects on donkey population in Africa. Between 2016 – 2018, 15% of Kenyas donkey population was slaughtered, a similar situation occurred in Ghana such that the price of a donkey doubled. You can learn more about how donkey meat has sadly become a delicacy on BBC Lifestyle this Christmas. 

The third and final threat is the lack of enforcement of laws relating to donkey trade and welfare. On 17th January 2017, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture banned the slaughter and export of donkey skin in Ghana. This ban was met with undeniable disregard from persons in the donkey trade business. The lack of enforcement facilitated this trade to thrive to the extent that Ghana currently relies on neighboring countries for the supply of donkeys. Donkey importation has added to the myriad of exchange rate wreckers in our economy. To the animal and veterinary industry, donkey importation should be of utmost concern as it constitutes a plausible gateway for disease transmission, especially to areas where poverty is already rife. This lack of law enforcement on the ban has also left Ghana as a hotspot for donkey smuggling across Africa. 

 

Finally, these demands and an unrelenting thirst for donkey skin have made donkeys one of the most abused animals in Africa. The incessant demand of the animal from global market coupled with the lack of rapid breeding raises concern that Ghana will be without donkeys very shortly.

By Daniel Baba Abiliba 

Animal Welfare Advocate 

abilibadanielbaba11@gmail.com

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Ashesi launches a Collaborative Research Project with McGill University to Track Experiential Learning and Entrepreneurial Activities of Students and Alumni

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Ashesi University has launched a research project with McGill University to understand the pathways from experiential education to the entrepreneurial actions of their students and graduates. The research, a Mastercard Foundation (MCF) Partner Research Fund (PRF) sponsored project, primarily focuses on MCF Scholarship beneficiaries and provides an opportunity to study students in general.

 

The Provost of Ashesi University, Professor Angela Owusu-Ansah, highlighted the importance of the collaboration between Ashesi and McGill University.

“In our current era of uncertainty, complexity, and the rate of change in technology being new every six months and knowledge being generated at that rate, no one institution can brace these challenges on their own. So, collaboration is the key. Hence, when Ashesi and McGill decided to collaborate, it was to join these different mindsets and their wisdom. On one hand there is Ashesi, young, risk-taker, and exploratory and then McGill being an older institution. These differences have naturally set the path for the two institutions to learn from and complement each other”. 

 

She also mentioned that the collaboration to carry out this research project is a step in the right direction. She explained that “one unique thing that connects Ashesi and McGill is  having Mastercard Foundation scholars of African descent.  The beauty of it is that as we train them in entrepreneurship, we are training young leaders with the courage and desire to stay here or come back and impact the continent”. Prof. Owusu-Ansah was optimistic that the research will uncover nuances and the impact that institutions make on the entrepreneurial journey of a student or a graduate.

 

The university invited other MCF partner institutions such as Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and  Technology (KNUST) , Campaign for Female Education (CamFed Ghana), African Institute of Mathematical Science (AIMS Ghana), Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) Ghana Tech Lab, and other institutions with focused incubation programs such as the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) Innovation and Incubation Center, University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) Business Incubation Hub, and Academic City University College Technology and Entrepreneurship Center.

 

Presenting the focus of the research, Dr Gordon Adomdza, the Co-principal Investigator, and Associate Professor at Ashesi University, indicated that the research centered around how to capture the nature of experiential education provided through courses, internships, and community service engagements. More importantly, Dr. Gordon Adomdza noted that the research will investigate when and how these various experiential exposures trigger entrepreneurial activity by students and alumni.

 

The Co-principal Investigator, Dr Nii Antiaye Addy, Associate Director (Africa Outreach) in the office of the Deputy Provost Student Life and Learning (DPSLL) at McGill University, noted that the research, in many ways, also compares programs in two different institutions in different regions of the world. It will provide an empirical lens for capturing how different programs delivered within a young institutional structure such as Ashesi University in Ghana, about 20 years old, are from those delivered in a 200-year-old university such as McGill University in Canada. He noted that the research design provided an opportunity to have a much broader sense of these programs and their effectiveness.

 

The invited institutions also had the opportunity to share their challenges in tracking the activities of their program participants after engaging them in training programs. ​​Although they were making significant impacts through their programs, many shared gaps in documenting these impacts.They indicated a high interest in improving on their data collection processes in their entrepreneurship training programs. 

 

As part of the next steps, the researchers noted that they will take a process-based approach which will send them to 5 African countries where Ashesi draws the majority of its pan-African students. In these countries, they will conduct interviews and build case studies on the experiential learning and entrepreneurial journeys of alumni. The research partners will also track entrepreneurial support events at Ashesi and McGill to understand how the universities’ experiential educational experiences guide the participants in their actions in entrepreneurship.

 

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