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The Association of African Universities (AAU) Informative Workshops on Journal Establishment and Digital Marketing

BY: PAMELA BOAMAH

The Marketing and Digital Marketing as well as the Journal Establishment, Management/Maintenance and Sustainability virtual workshops organized by the Association of African Universities (AAU) will run during the period of the 1st – 21st of December 2020.

Dr. Makuku specified that the 2 workshops would run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for 2 hours each (10am  GMT-12noon GMT and 2pm GMT – 4pm GMT).

The two educative workshops were mainly designed by Dr. Violet Makuku who is also a Facilitator and Workshops Coordinator at the AAU. She was assisted by Mr. Trust P. Nhokovedzo, a digital Marketing Consultant and a founder of Afro Digital, Pan University and Camlock Digital Marketing. Mr Karanja Maina co-facilitates the Journal Establishment works.

The Marketing and Digital Marketing Workshop is meant to assist institutions to build Digital Marketing frameworks and the Journal Establishment, Management/Maintenance Sustainability workshop is to support the establishment of institutional journals. The overall motive behind these workshops has always been to take African Higher and Tertiary Education to the highest level. “Some institutions are not establishing journals not because they do not want to but because they do not have the capacity to,” Dr. Makuku remarked.

The highly interactive first workshop had 67 participants from the United States, Namibia, Liberia, Somalia, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Ethiopia, and Ghana participated in the workshop. Participants were free to make contributions, ask questions, and clarify issues. The 56 participants from Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia, United States, Mexico, Cameroon, Egypt, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana and Ghana also took part in the Journal Establishment, Management/Maintenance Sustainability workshop.

Some aspects discussed during the Marketing and Digital Marketing workshop included the steps for building an effective marketing framework and the Digital Strategy Development. Mr. Nhokovedzo explained that most people make the mistake of thinking about the marketing platforms before considering what the organization wants to achieve.

Dr Makuku indicated the reasons why institutional journals should be established and the main one is to complete the research process. She added that, “Some end up not completing their research studies, some finish but do not publish because they cannot meet the requirements of particular journals”.

Some key issues the Facilitator and Workshop Coordinator raised were how education can survive and the steps to be taken to ensure its survival in this pandemic era. One of these steps she mentioned is the online studies. “If institutions do not shape up, they will ship out.” The digital marketing workshop would enable them to enroll students who are their lifeline. Regarding the issue of courses that are difficult to handle online, Dr. Makuku advised that institutions with students pursuing online practical-oriented programs could go to nearby institutions in their countries for practical sessions.

However, the institutions may need to have Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on how they would work together to assist students. She added such institutions could also engage part time supervisors and monitors in countries where they have students, so that they assist and monitor their practical work. Dr Makuku indicated that more software, applications and platforms for online practical-oriented programmes were being designed. Initially they could be very expensive but they become affordable with time.

Dr. Makuku also told the participants attending the Journal Establishment workshop that they were supposed to establish their own African institutional journals and safeguard their quality instead of publishing in journals of other continents.

During her interaction with the participants, she mentioned that if journals are managed by individuals, they become dormant as soon as the individuals get promoted to professorship levels since individuals manage them to gain promotion. Journals can also be unique through including photography work and written narrations of students’ experiences during field trips. One of the participants, Prof. Raymond Terry added that conduction short time surveys and commentary statements about critical issues for inclusion in journals, can also make some journals unique.

 

PAMELA BOAMAH

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Feature

The Right to Strike

The Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) and its members and allied associations including the Ghana Physician Assistants Association and Ghana Association of Certified Registered Anesthetists withdrew their services on Monday, September 21, 2020.

Does the public know the reason leading to the strike action?

According to these associations, the decision to strike is part of their demands for improved conditions of service.

What do these associations mean by demands for improved conditions of service?

These are allowances due health workers. These are accommodation allowance, fuel allowance and on call duty allowance.

For several years, these allowances were being paid by the facility. For example, if a nurse works at ‘X’ government hospital, that hospital has to pay these allowances to the nurse from the funds generated by the hospital ‘X’.

It got to a point these facilities were not paying these allowances and they attributed it to less funds generated by the facility.

Doctors managed to get these allowances to be paid by the government through the controller. It is part of the doctor’s salary.

These allowances are the ones the GRNMA and other associations are requesting for.

Their request to the government is to pay their due allowances through the controller per what is done for doctors.

There have been back-door negotiations but it has not being fruitful. It has got to a point that these groups of health workers believe they cannot be taken for granted, therefore resulting in the strike action taking place now.

Now the questions to be answered are:

Is it the right time for strike action especially during this COVID-19 pandemic?

Is it the right of these health workers to go on strike?

The jury is still out as to the right course of action and the recourse to be taken.

 


Ivy Yemoteley Anum
Student Journalist and Writer
African University College of Communications (AUCC)

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Feature

The Wage Gap Syndrome: Equity Not Equality Among Genders in Ghana

The global economy is hit significantly due to the inequality in wages among males and females in the labor force. Due to the inequality in wages among genders, economies across the globe are estimated to loss about $160 trillion in GDP. According to the World Economic Forum, in 2019 only, wage inequality in countries such as France, where wage inequality is considered to be the smallest and Germany where wage inequality is considered to be the largest, is 78 cents per euro and 88 cents per euro in a female to male ratio respectively.  To addressing this issue, the World Economic Forum forecasts that, it will take the global economy about 202 years to bridge the gap of inequality in wages.

Gender Wage Inequality is defined as a ratio of average earnings of all full-time, year-round working females as compared to males in the labor market. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), in lower-middle income countries such as Ghana, women’s average earning all year is estimated to be nearly 16% less than that of men’s average earnings all year round. Based on this assertion, it is evident that the average woman working all year-round losses a significant amount of money as compared to men whiles doing the same type of job.

I believe the concept of equity must be the surest strategy in addressing the wage gap syndrome Since equity leads to equality, by inculcating the needs of women while addressing the wage gap in the country will further ensure that equality in wages in achieved and this will aid in bridging the gap in wages among genders in the country. Per the 2010 population and housing census report, the ratio of males to females in Ghana is 95.2/100. Impliedly, a chunk of the population are females as opposed to males in Ghana hence if the wage gap syndrome is addressed, it will go a long way in contributing significantly to the overall gross domestic product (GDP) of the country and help shrink the loss in GDP due to inequality in wages across the world.

In Ghana, a major factor of gender wage inequality is the number of hours that men and women spend on a job. Majority of women in Ghana often opt to take up part-time employment as opposed to a full-time employment. With this arrangement, women are able to balance work and family responsibilities (which is not tied to any commensurate income) thus accounting for the indifference in wages among genders.

Also, it is difficult to identify women within the labor force with high work experience as compared their male counterpart men due to the fact that there exist limited opportunities for women in various sectors of the economy. Efforts over the years have been initiated by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection under the Government of Ghana seeking to address the inequality in the wage gap syndrome but have proven futile.

Over the years, educating the girl child has been one of the endeavoring elements adopted in most developing countries such as Ghana in other to curtail the wage gap syndrome among genders. Increasing the rate of girl child participation in education will increase women’s involvement in the formal labor sector which will also further enhance economic growth in the country. It is however worth knowing that research disproves that education alone is sufficient to dismantle this segmentation of inequality in wages among genders.

Evidently, the aforementioned factors are just but a few pointers that trigger the sort of inequality in wages we witness in Ghana. Other similar factors include Gender bias, where jobs undertaken by women are considered to be inferior as against that of men, career breaks, the time women take out of the work force, under-representation of women at the leadership level and the level of discrimination against women in the labor force.

Irrespective of the fact that globally there have been projected estimates pertaining to how such issues are expected to thrive into the foreseeable future, I believe issues such as these must be addressed structurally in developing countries. Policies and its effective implementation should be holistic in addressing the long established cultural reasons that leads to the gap in wages among genders and further seek to promote gender neutral choices of individuals at all times in the labor market. This will agree with Price Waterhouse Cooper’s (PWC) findings that gains in gross domestic product (GDP) to the global economy will exceed $6 trillion and further cause women’s earnings to increase by $2 trillion.

 


David Sem
Department of Economics
University of Ghana

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FeatureLifeStyle

Decolonization Of The African Mind

It is not an easy situation to which I’m introducing this topic but, a landscape which has been captured by racism and interrogated by the Unknown; this is the reason why the black mind has been imprisoned, causing the destruction of black cultural-heritage which has led the black innovative mind into complete captivity and catastrophe.

According to the Marian Webster Dictionary, Decolonization has been defined as the change colonized countries go through when they become politically independent from their former colonizers.  Strategically under this topic, Decolonization is also defined as the many changes which the human mind goes through after having a negative and reddish ideology about a situation.

The term decolonization is popular among activists of color, yet loaded and hard to pin down. As our attentions has been drawn to changing the minds of Africans, it is important to act as in a place of a warrior in conquering our lost society (Africa). Africa must admit that she indeed lives in a tragic continent.

However, decolonization is not merely a matter of political independence, structures of government and other institutions, the way in which a country is economically organized, as well as the way in which former colonial subjects were encouraged to think are often still determined by the said former colonial powers in post-colonial countries, as a result, the economic and cultural power have now turned into mere chaff.

It is now time that Africans follow their own lifestyle and embrace their cultural-heritage rather than copying the tradition of others.

Africa is the only continent in the world where we embrace the cultures and acts of other continents and yet so willingly disperse with our own; this is unprecedented in modern day civilization.

Africans have adapted a wrong philosophy which implies in short that success is achieved from abroad or out of Africa, this is the chief reason why when a person leaves the west eddies, he/she is treated with much more respect and honor.

I can vividly record those days when agriculture was the back bone of Africa, I can also remember when morality was our daily breakfast and our vernacular was the best tone that sounded pleasant to our ears, but I can sorrowfully say that, there’s none left, all that we currently have is, memories and fake histories made our own.

Our minds have been corrupted, our historical deviance’s have been squandered and now we have no story, not even a song of that of a bird.

Therefore, to claim that the colonial project stops having an impact on the newly decolonized generation and it’s descendants is wrong and naive. It is important to understand just how deeply the colonial project affected those generations and their descendants.

In order to overcome the legacy of colonialism, it’s therefore necessary to also decolonize the intellectual landscape of the continent and ultimately decolonize the minds of the formerly colonized.

Notwithstanding, hereinafter are some of the steps involved in the Decolonization of the African mind;

1. RECOVERY
2. MOURNING
3. DREAMING
4. COMMITMENT
5. ACTION

Firstly, decolonization involves the process of Recovery.

The foundation for the eventual decolonization of the society, and those who have suffered the consequences of colonialism tend to question their assumed place as inferior to the dominant culture.

One must therefore begin to rediscover their indigenous history and recover lost aspects of their culture such as; language and tradition.

Secondly, mourning is the time when the people are able to lament their victimization.

Some victimization include Slavery, Civil crisis, Abuse of Power, Abuse of human rights and the list is goes on and on.

Additionally, decolonization also involves the vital task of dreaming.

Dreaming is arguably the most crucial part in the cog process of decolonization, it is a stage in which the full panorama of possibilities are expressed and considered through debate, consultation, and building dreams on further dreams which eventually becomes a floor and platform for the creation of a new social order.

This restructuring involves reassessment of existing institutional power structures and expanding world for all nations.

Moreover, committing to your dreams and making them become a reality is also cardinal on the list.

Africans need to commit themselves to their continent and stand for her unity and justice.

Finally, Action is one of the stages of decolonization that needs to be highly respected, adopted and implemented.

“No matter how beautiful your dreams are, you’ll have to wake up every morning and work towards it” States Malcolm X.

Indeed, Action is the point an individual reaches to put all what they have gathered throughout the aforementioned four stages to use, so that they can make a difference and give back to society and the world at large.

After going through the five stages, it is important then that we stop shifting blames and hold ourselves liable and accountable for the nigh catastrophic lives most in Africa live because we have refused to be the change we wish to see.

It is now time that we learn to speak and write our very own vernacular, dress in our own African fabric, uphold to our own norms and respect our culture and traditions, and most importantly be proud to call our native names everywhere we go.

Africa the world’s comfort zone.

There is more to the persistent negative portrayal of Africa by the western media than meets the eye. The westerners have a developed mindset that, wherever an African lives around the world, regard said continent as a lost entity filled with dying people, with no future and no hope.

It is on these points that African Philosophers need to teach the African Philosophy and strategically decolonize the Black mind because racism has become our next door neighbor.

Regardless, we must keep the faith and still believe that the bank of Justice has not been bankrupted.

Therefore, we are asking for a check for the creation of design Architecture, Architecture that only Africans can use their black inks for.

I’m of the conviction that Africa shall one day rise despite the odds arrayed against us, because together we TRULY can…
Oh! Yes we can.

 

COURTESY: Bleeding inks (From Liberia)
•    Ahmad Sarnor
•    Yassah Pinky Roberts
•    Alice Kerkula
•    Maude Mensah
•    Jefferson Neyo

 

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