CREATIVE ALERT YOUTH NETWORK (CRAYON)

CAN THE YOUTH SHARE IN THE IDEA THAT WE FARM?

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

The National Service Scheme (NSS) which was originally hatched and implemented by the junta of then-Col. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong’s National Redemption Council (NRC) in 1974, was essentially geared towards the massive mobilization of well-educated Ghanaian youth for the rapid development of our country at all spheres of national endeavor. Initially tailored for government-sponsored graduates of tertiary academic and professional institutions, the scheme worked fairly well, particularly in the area of marshalling supplementary instructional personnel for our secondary schools.

Since then, however, either out of spite or sheer administrative ineptitude on the part of successive governments or scheme operatives or both, the program has increasingly become a virtual boondoggle, with paid personnel often being idly engaged, thus creating avoidable wastage of scarce national economic resources, especially with the advent of the Rawlings-led Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) and the accidental inclusion of sixth-formers in an otherwise quite rational and fairly efficient scheme.

Oftentimes the problem has been far less a question of shiftlessness, or outright indolence, on the part of service personnel than the verifiable fact of the latter being almost invariably unsuitably and improperly placed. A striking example of administrative ineptitude as a major contributory factor to the abysmal failure of the NSS to register a desirable impact on Ghana’s development was evinced recently when the executive director of the scheme, Mr. Vincent Kuagbenu, indicated to the media, rather nauseatingly, as well as unprofessionally, that as a means of remedying a perceived high level of indiscipline among Ghanaian youth, the NSS would embark on “a month-long military training program for service personnel” (See “Service Personnel to be Posted into [sic] Farms” MyJoyOnline.com 10/21/09).

Perhaps somebody ought to inform Mr. Kuagbenu that 10 years of professional military experience did not prevent Mr. Jeremiah John Rawlings from upending and irreparably impairing Ghanaian political culture. And so, perhaps, it would be far more productive, and even expedient, for the NSS chieftain to inform the greater Ghanaian public of the scheme’s new-found agenda of training a critical mass of better-educated potential coup-plotters.

First of all, if Mr. Kuagbenu is, indeed, serious about boosting the country’s food-production capacity, or agriculture in general, then it appears to this writer that the most intelligent and effective method of pursuing such an agenda would be to provide adequate farming skills and the requisite implements for the personnel being so posted.

Secondly, the rather facile idea that almost anybody could creditably perform farm work, evidently because none of us could survive for any remarkable length of time without food, is far too primitive to warrant bold and self-righteous espousal by any key government operative.

Going by the preceding logic, it would readily appear as if Mr. Kuagbenu would be possessed of absolutely no reservations, whatsoever, in concurring with the imperative necessity for all Ghanaians to be promptly issued a license to practice medicine because, after all, we all take ill, or fall sick, from time to time.

In an interview that he granted Joy-Fm’s Mr. Stephen Anti, the NSS director is reported to have remarked as follows: “As I speak to you now[,] we are acquiring 20 hectares of land at Ejura and next year[,] we are going into crop production…. We shouldn’t be importing food when we have an army of youth. Who should go into food crop production?”

Our riposte here is simple: People with personal interest in farming who have been adequately trained for the purpose should go into farming! Needless to say, the very notion of rounding up a perceived “idle army of youth” for farm work, merely because the latter appear to be either unemployed or underemployed, reeks of rank administrative incompetence. Maybe Mr. Kuagbenu, himself, needs to be reassigned to work on a farm, since the man clearly seems to be convinced that he would be better off fully engaged in crop production as his singular contribution to Ghana’s economic and cultural development.

Short of the foregoing, the Atta-Mills government has absolutely no mandate to permit Mr. Kuagbenu to whimsically and indiscriminately turn Ghanaian youth into farm workers. The right of our youth to individually determine the means by which they believe they could best serve their nation is a fundamental human and democratic right that ought not to be disrespected and compromised so lightly.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is a Board Member of the Accra-based Danquah Institute (DI) and the author of 20 books, including “Ghanaian Politics Today” (Atumpan Publications/Lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: okoampaahoofe@aol.com. ###

Source:
Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame cited on ghanaweb

Youth as a leader and peace builders

Inter-denominational summit to empower youth as leaders and peace builders

(Nairobi, Kenya, April 13-18) Responding to the violence that wreaked havoc in Kenya in 2007 after the presidential election, the Kenyan Evangelical Lutheran Church (KELC) will host an inter-denominational youth peace summit from April 13-18 in Nairobi. The meeting will provide a platform for reflecting on the post-election violence and develop youth-led peace building processes geared toward addressing factors that fuel violence in Kenya and wider horn of Africa.

Organized by the Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church (KELC) with financial support from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Global Mission, the event brings together nearly 200 youth. The meeting will strategize responses to the aftermath and challenges posed by the 2007 post-election violence that left more than 350,000 displaced from their homes and another 1,200 dead.

The summit comes at a time that Kenya is striving for national healing and reconciliation among its 42 tribes and cohesion among its population in the context of an increasingly volatile situation in the country and region at large. To ensure the meetings success, KELC has teamed up with Young Women Christian Association (YWCA), Church World Service (CWS), Fellowship of Christian Council and Churches in Great Lakes area and the Horn of Africa (FECLAHA) and All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) in quest for peace.

The inter-denominational and interfaith gathering brings together Muslims, Methodists, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Catholics and Lutherans from across Kenya as well as Rwanda, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, United States, South Africa and hosts Kenya. Youth affected by the Rwanda genocide in 1994 and former internally displaced persons are also expected to participate.

Meeting under the theme ‘Embrace Peace fulfill Dreams’ the summit hopes to reverse the helplessness and hopelessness that many youth face, which fueled by political manipulation, poverty, unemployment, negative ethnicity and inequality, all contributed into flare-up of violence in 2007. To document the conference and share the stories of how youth experienced and responded to the violence, a youth media team has been trained to blog live from the summit at: http://peacesummit2009.wordpress.com.

The summit kicks off the first of a three-phase process to develop youth-led peace initiatives in addition to empowering youth with life skills. As part of the week-long program, participants will learn skills in project development, financial management and entrepreneurship skills, including how to access micro-credit. For the next phase of the process, a peer-review team comprised of youth selected at the conference will determine youth-led peace and development projects to receive small grants.

The Kenya Peace Summit follows up a similar gathering held in Rwanda in March 2008 and series of peace initiatives among churches in East and Horn of Africa. The Youth Gathering in Rwanda was supported by a grant from an offering of the ELCA Youth Gathering, and provided youth in Rwanda a space 14 years after the genocide to reflect, encouraged reconciliation and learn skills to launch small-scale businesses. The Rwandan genocide left more than 300,000 orphans and more than one million dead in 1994.

For more information log on to: http://peacesummit2009.wordpress.com

Contact person
George Arende: 250 0726 469 518

OBAMA'S Speech

President Obama said:

...So I believe that this moment is just as promising for Ghana and for Africa as the moment when my father came of age and new nations were being born. This is a new moment of great promise. Only this time, we've learned that it will not be giants like Nkrumah and Kenyatta who will determine Africa's future. Instead, it will be you -- the men and women in Ghana's parliament -- the people you represent. It will be the young people brimming with talent and energy and hope who can claim the future that so many in previous generations never realized.

"Now, to realize that promise, we must first recognize the fundamental truth that you have given life to in Ghana: Development depends on good governance. That is the ingredient which has been missing in far too many places, for far too long. That's the change that can unlock Africa's potential. And that is a responsibility that can only be met by Africans.


In a special panel discussion on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Tuesday, the youth in Ghana told what they made of Mr Obama’s speech.

Youth in Ghana must lead the fight for Africa’s renaissance said Papa Kow Acquaye, Head of Talk Programmes, Joy FM.

“The core of Obama’s speech is that considering the level of promise that we have, we have not fully fulfilled that promise; the older generations have done theirs but then we need transformational leadership. And it is the youth, uncorrupted with the nuances of the system who make that transformation. So what Obama was calling for is transformational leadership above just pushing pen, having a job and living a comfortable life.

This is a country that has retrogressed on every single human indicator of living.”

Harry Amoah Oppong, a marketing executive

“We have more than what it takes [to succeed]. The Ghanaian youth today are very talented, very experienced; they have access to a lot of information. The bit of his speech that keeps on echoing in my mind is the fact that no matter where we are, whatever thing we may do makes as much impact as whatever is happening in Moscow or Rome or Washington. It’s about time that we put this at the back of our minds to harness the knowledge that we’ve acquired in school and then make something for ourselves.”

Esi Cleland, an advertising executive

“There are a lot of people doing great things over there; we just don’t know them. What I am proposing is that we build a strong campaign, call it 300 Strong for Ghana. And by strong I mean people who are brimming with hope who are talented, who are doing things in their communities to effect change and throw it out to all Ghanaians between the ages of 20 and 30. So if you’re doing anything that you know that impacts Ghana, there are spots of them.

“I think it is important to showcase the people who are doing things. The power is that you give them an image; you give them a role model. You give them a 25-year-old who is a social entrepreneur – does something that addresses a social need – and when you do that they see themselves in that person and then they say that wow! I too can do that.

"I think we need a new kind of politics. I don't think what we need right now is NDC and NPP, we need something beyond that; we need people who are going to look at the issues and think beyond party lines.”

"I believe that our genius as a generation is finding ways around the impossible, because you cannot say that the system is not working so I’m going to sit. You find innovative ways around them.”


Anne Sackey, Multi Choice

"But there are not that many people who are really focused on building this nation or contributing to the nation. People seem to be more interested in what they can achieve or gain for themselves. I think our generation and the younger ones are a little bit more complacent and I think it is from what is instilled in them as children from the home, what is taught to them in school and what they themselves genuinely desire to do.

Listeners who called into the programme expressed various views. But for most of them what would define the renaissance of Africa is improving the human capital of the youth – investment in education, skills training and the confidence to take the first step.

Only last week, Multimedia CEO, Mr. Kwasi Twum, was celebrating the youth as the great minds to champion the development of the nation. This was on the occasion of the launching of Multi TV, the newest addition to the Multimedia string of media outlets.

Describing Multi TV as “Another Amazing Grace product,” Mr. Twum said it took the can-do attitude, the creativity and diligence of young Ghanaians to bring the dream of establishing Multi TV to fruition in spite of challenging technical, financial and skills constraints, explaining that when the idea of establishing the multiple channel, digital free television service was first mooted, some local TV professionals and some established European broadcast technicians had advised that it was impossible “because of the sheer magnitude of financial resources required, the complexity of the digital technology, the paucity of local technical capability, and the lack of sophistry of the Ghanaian market.”

“It took the likes of Abdulai Awudu, Kojo Baidoo, Patrick Ayivor, Daniel Tachie, to mention a few... I mean young Ghanaians to achieve this great feat. The story of Multi TV today is a toast to young Ghanaians that given a great vision, an exciting purpose, skills development and training and proper guidance, they can achieve great results even with limited resources. Indeed, the Multi TV project was executed by mostly young men and women under 40.”

Source (www.Myjoyonline.com)

Information Technology

 

 Youth Launch Campaigns for World Summit on the Information Society

Campaigns to create ‘digital opportunities’ for youth regardless of location

Geneva, 10 October 2003 – The Youth Caucus of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) has launched a series of innovative “National Information Society Youth Campaigns” in nineteen countries around the world. The goals of the campaigns are to bring the issues and concerns of youth to national and international decision-makers, and to build local movements where youth work with their peers to create digital opportunities.
 
From Sierra Leone to Brazil, India to the Philippines, young people are implementing a wide variety of activities that include; workshops, prime time interactive radio programs, media outreach, video conferences and websites. They’re holding meetings in community halls, raising awareness in schools, sending email newsletters, training others at Internet cafes, talking with decision-makers, and implementing projects at a local level.

“We’re excited about the National Campaigns because they provide space for youth to discover new innovative ways to learn from each other and develop concrete collaborations that will help raise awareness of the issues surrounding the development of the Information Society and to ensure its benefits are extended to youth in both the developed and developing world,” said Nick Moraitis, facilitator of the Youth Caucus. 

Each campaign is conceptualized and implemented by Youth Caucus members in their own countries, together with numerous partner organizations. The Government of Canada and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation have provided mini-grants to support them. 

Ongoing progress from the National Campaigns is profiled on the “Youth Creating Digital Opportunity” website http://www.ycdo.net  At the Summit, their results shall be distributed through a publication, a panel discussion, and in the Youth Hub space of the ICT4D Platform. It is also expected that national campaign coordinators will meet with their Heads of State or Delegations at the Summit to present the results of the Youth Campaigns. 

National Campaigns compliment other Youth Caucus initiatives for the Summit including Youth Day (December 10), WSIS Youth Awards, Youth Hub Exhibition Space at the ICT4D Platform, Youth Media Program and the launch of the Youth Creating Digital Opportunities (YCDO) Fund. 

Contact: Nick Moraitis, Facilitator of the Youth Caucus nick@takingitglobal.org, or 
Alex Fielding, Youth Liaison, WSIS Executive Secretariat, alex@takingitglobal.org

CountryActivitiesOrganizations Involved
BrazilBrazil’s campaign is already underway with a video conference bringing together youth from four of the major cities to discuss information society issues held on the 12th of September. Five workshops are planned for October across the country, in addition to an e-dialog that will develop a common platform for Brazilian youth.Interagir, Conferedeção Nacional das Indústrias, Natal Voluntários, União dos Escoteiros do Brasil, and the Global Youth Action Network South American Regional Office.
EgyptIn Egypt, the Youth Campaign is producing two publications exploring the use of technology to protect Egypt’s environment and the integration of disabled youth in the Information Society. The forums, to be held at the new Alexandrina Library in Alexandria, and the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo, will lead to the development of a national roadmap for youth creating digital opportunitiesSustainable Development Association (SDA), YES Country Network Egypt, Tourists Friends Association, TakingITGlobal Egypt, and Bibliotheca Alexandrina
GermanyThe youth network YOIS is coordinating a three-day youth conference at the end of October called “Vision Information Society?” with 150 participants to draft a WSIS declaration. They will also support concrete projects for a sustainable information society in their global north-south school network Proday, and launch a book of perspectives on the information society from young authors at the Summit.German Ministry for Economics, Club of Rome, Evangelische Akademie Tutzing, Global Society Dialogue, Global Contract Foundation, Research Institute for Applied Knowledge Processing, and Heinrich Böll Stiftung
GhanaGhana’s campaign is well underway, having launched a national essay competition, and a 30 minute television program. Future activities include a two-Day National Youth Forum (October 25-26) at BusyInternet (West Africa’s largest Internet café), two 1-hour radio call-in programs and the development of a regular newsletter for Ghanaian schools.African Youth Initiative, OneVillage Foundation, Go-Online Africa, TakingITGlobal Ghana, Young Peace Builders Network, Ghana GINKS, Electrobox Global Systems, and Choinia Informatica
Greece Netherlands RomaniaAEGEE (otherwise known as the European Students Forum) is planning national campaigns engaging youth in at least three countries. Two chapters of AEGEE chapters per country are planning events related to the Information Society and a survey is to be distributed across the AEGEE network, leading to the creation of a report.TakingITGlobal, AEGEE-Europe, andAEGEE local chapters in Romania, Netherlands, Greece
IndiaIndia kicked off its Campaign with a conference for 150 youth at the Indian Institute of Technology’s Global Institute for Convergence Studies in New Delhi held in the final week of August 2003. Further activities include two more conferences scheduled for Calcutta and Pune. The Campaign has already been featured in the national press, including the Times of IndiaTakingITGlobal, Center for Youth and Development Activities, and the Global Institute for Convergence Studies
JapanIn Japan, the United Nations Student Association of Japan (UNSAJ) is coordinating research and workshops exploring the experience of Japanese youth in the Information Society, including the negative aspects of it.UNSAJ, the Japanese branch of the International Student Movement of the United Nations (ISMUN).
MoldovaThe national campaign in Moldova has held seminars in two of the biggest cities and five villages to inform youth about Information Society issues, development of a website, media coverage and a program mobilizing young volunteers who provided free Internet access and training for 200 people. The campaign is now being expanded to distribute information about the WSIS process to 30 schools and 10 universities, and create a national network of youth organizations active around technology issues.Balti Students League, Internet Access and Training Program Balti, ProBusinessNord, Future Business Leaders Association, “DECA PRESS”SmallEuroBusiness, Soros Foundation Moldova, National Young Managers’ Association, American Councils for International Education, University Alecu Russo, and the Balti Municipal Library
NigeriaNigerian youth will hold three major workshops for youth exploring Information Society issues in the South, the North, and the capital, Lagos. Other activities include a national youth declaration, an e-consultation, the preparation of a multimedia presentation, press activities, and planning for a National Youth Summit on the Information Society in early 2004 to explore WSIS follow-up in Nigeria.Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, West African NGO Network (WANGONET) National Association of Computer Science Students (NACCOSS), YIELD, TakingITGlobal Nigeria, and the International Young Professionals Foundation (IYPF) 
PhilippinesThe 1st Philippine Youth National Consultative Meeting on WSIS was held in the first week of September, drawing 100 young people from different sectors, as well as other key stakeholders and high-profile speakers. Other activities include a road-show through schools and universities, a series of e-learning seminars, an online discussion, as well as a 2nd meeting to continue collaboration.Young Volunteers for Sustainable Development, TakingITGlobal, and Asian Development Bank
Sierra LeoneIn a country emerging from years of conflict, this Campaign focuses on the potential for young people to use ICTs to promote understanding and peace. One-hour radio programs are planned for two of Freetown’s most popular FM radio stations to raise awareness around the issues, in advance of a 3-Day Youth Forum to be held at the British Council headquartersTakingITGlobal Sierra Leone, Youth Empowerment and Development Ministries, Firestone Community Development and Cultural Organisation, Earth Charter Youth Group Sierra Leone 
Singapore Indonesia Brunei MalaysiaThe World Assembly of Youth is planning a Regional Consultation Forum for early October, bringing together youth, government ministries, and other agencies to diffuse information on WSIS, discuss key information society issues, strengthen digital opportunity projects, and draft a declaration and action plan.World Assembly of Youth, TakingITGlobal, and the National Youth Councils of Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei
TurkeyHaving already run a series of focus groups and conducted a survey of 450 Turkish youth on WSIS in 2003, the Youth Association for Habitat and Agenda 21 is now planning to undertake a secondary survey with 1000 youth across 76 cities to determine the interests and concerns of young people related to the Information SocietyYouth Association for Habitat and Agenda 21, UNDP-Turkey, IULA-EMME, and the State Planning Organization

 

* National Campaigns are being provided with some coordination support from international youth network, TakingITGlobal (www.takingitglobal.org) which helps facilitate the Youth Caucus.

About YOUTH CAUCUS:
Participation of youth in WSIS is organized around a "Caucus" with over 1000 members from 150 countries. The Youth Caucus has been very active at all WSIS Preparatory Meetings on the regional, national and international levels. National WSIS Youth Campaigns have begun in many countries like Ghana, Brazil, Nigeria, the Philippines and India to initiate local activities and projects around WSIS. At the Summit itself, the Youth Caucus has an ambitious slate of activities including a Youth HUB Space at the ICT4D Platform with exhibitions and workshops, the YCDO Awards Program, a Youth Media Program, and the launch of a publication and video on best practice Youth ICT4D projects. The WSIS Youth Caucus is facilitated by TakingITGlobal, as part of the Youth Creating Digital Opportunity initiative. www.ycdo.net/wsis 

About WSIS:
The World Summit on the Information Society provides a unique opportunity for all key stakeholders to develop a common vision and understanding and to address the whole range of relevant issues related to the Information Society. It aims to bring together Heads of State, Executive Heads of the United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations, civil society entities, industry leaders and media representatives to foster a clear statement of political will and concrete plan of action to shape the future of the global information society and to promote the urgently needed access of all countries to information, knowledge and communication technologies for development. 
The Summit has been endorsed by the UN General Assembly and will take place under the high patronage of Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General, with the International Telecommunication Union taking the lead role in its preparation. 
The Summit will be held in two phases: Geneva (10-12 December 2003) and Tunisia (16-18 November 2005). www.wsis.org

 

 

Youth and ponography

Pornography, often referred to as porno, as defined by Oxford Advance Learner's Dictionary, is the describing or showing of naked people or sexual acts in order to cause sexual excitement. Pornography involves books, magazines, videos, and devices and has moved from the periphery of society into the mainstream through the renting of video cassettes, VCD, DVD, sales of so-called "soft-porn" magazines, and the airing of sexually explicit movies on television and the internet.

To some, pornography is nothing more than a few pictures of scantily-clad women and men in seductive poses. But pornography has become much more than just photographs of nude women and men. In Ghana, especially in the cities, one can easily find several kinds of pornographic materials displayed. Most young people purchase, borrow, rent, loan or even steal these materials. Most often, pornographic materials are used, that is, watched or viewed secretly. Today, the most viewed source of pornography is the internet. In a research I conducted two years ago in some internet cafes in Accra, I realized that young people between the ages of 12-17 years were exposed to internet pornography. I was really surprised. All the internet cafes I visited were full of this age group. Most of them told me they use their pocket money to pay for browsing the internet and spend most of their break time and after close of school to visit these internet cafés. Some even decide not to attend extra classes because they have to go to the cafes to surf the internet. Those would be young people with minds and morals still forming, kids so inexperienced at life that they begin to believe deviate pornographic behavior is normal and acceptable. For many of those young people, pornography changes the way they think and behave, and their expectations of young women and women. I am sure most people are shocked by the fact that the stigma of shame once attached to pornography is disappearing.

In Ghana, pornography can be divided in to several types, these are

• ADULT MAGAZINES. These are primarily directed towards an adult audience an example is the Playboy magazine. These magazines are readily available in most newsstands and shops in the Accra central area. (I don't want to give directions to particular areas, I know some young people are reading)

• VIDEO CASSETTES. These are rented or sold in most video shops and clubs and have now become a growth industry for pornography. People who would never go to a cinema or theatre to watch a pornographic movie will obtain these video cassettes through their video clubs and watch them in the privacy of their homes. Usually these videos display a high degree of hard core pornography and illegal acts. • MOTION PICTURES. Rating standards in Ghana are being relaxed and many pornographic movies are being shown and distributed. I quite remember watching a movie with a cousin who is about 16 years, all of a sudden there was a sex scene, so I asked my cousin to 'vanish', he told me the film is rated 15 and he is 16years so he is more than qualified to watch, I was surprised .So you see!

• Another type of pornography is TELEVISION. As in motion pictures, standards for commercial television have been continuously lowered. But cable television poses an even greater threat. The Regulatory body in Ghana I think does not regulate cable in the same way it does public access stations. Thus, many pornographic movies are shown on cable television. Like video cassettes, cable TV provides the average person with easy access to pornographic material.

• The other type of pornography is CYBERPORN. This type is now the most dangerous and easily accessible. Hard core pictures, movies, online chat, and even live sex acts can be downloaded and viewed by virtually anyone through the Internet. Sexually explicit images can be found on web pages and in news groups and are far too easy for anyone of any age to view. What was only available to a small number of people willing to drive to the bad side of town can now be viewed at any time in the privacy of one's home.

Access to pornography has developed a lot of effect on people especially the young ones, most of these young people are not aware of the kind of effects they are developing. These effects are both psychological and sociological. Let us take a quick look at these effects. • Pornography corrupts the minds of young people and even the older ones. Emotionally and sexually exciting images set off a physical chain reaction, which burns images that can remain in a man's mind for years. It goes ahead to teach men to dehumanize women by viewing them as sexual objects. Men who repeatedly look at pornography lose their ability to give women the respect they deserve. Instead of enjoying the mind and heart of a woman, they focus on her body--undressing her in their thoughts and picturing what it would be like to have a sexual encounter with her. They can mistake a woman's innocence, friendly smile as a flirtatious come-on of a centerfold model. In many cases, they find it difficult and uncomfortable to imagine them being involved with a woman in any other way than physically.

• Whether a man is married or not, he is in danger of transmitting the infection of pornography into his current or future marriage. Even though people have certain views about pornography, sexually explicit material does not enhance sex between a husband and wife. It creates unrealistic demands about the frequency of sex, specific sexual acts, and the nature of a woman's sexual response, to name just a few. Real life seldom lives up to what is represented in the fake world of pornography. And when a husband demands that reality imitate his fantasy, sex becomes empty for him and degrading to his wife. In the end, both feel resentful and less interested in sex with each other.

• Violent people may watch violent pornography and are more likely to rape. • Watching pornography makes you think about sex.

• Pornography provides a powerful sexual stimulant or aphrodisiac effect, followed by sexual release, most often through masturbation. The above effects tell us how dangerous pornography can be. It also reminds us about the several other effects of pornography which may even include the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, death and many others. Therefore how can we deal with the issue of pornography? I have the following suggestions.

• Parents should set a positive example for their children, and take time to discuss stories, programmes, and songs with them. They must teach them what sex is, and must evaluate their exposure to media (magazines, TV shows, etc) with inappropriate sexual themes. They must re-double their efforts to provide for the sound moral formation of children and youth. This includes inculcation of healthy attitudes toward human sexuality based on respect for the dignity of every person as a child of God, on the virtue of chastity and on the practice of self-discipline.

• Furthermore, we should try not to patronize stores that sell pornographic materials.

• We should also consider organizing programmes and activities in order to get community attention focused on the problem.

• Also, our governments should try and take a second look at programmes shown on our television channels and pass laws that would not encourage the broadcasting of pornographic programmes.They should also ban the printing and publication of pornographic materials in Ghana.

But for some internet cafés, I don't know what to say to them, they need to do something about their business. I know there are softwares that they can used to block access to pornographic sites. I also suggest they monitor the usage of their computers by young people and as much as possible advice clients not to browse these sites.

Our churches, mosques, and all other religious bodies should make it a point to preach against pornography in all the activities that they organize. Young people themselves can help to stem the tide of pornography by responding positively to the initiatives of their parents and educators and by taking responsibility for their own moral decisions in the choice of entertainment. I know these maybe very difficult to undertake but when serious measures are put in place, it would go a long way in saving our nation Ghana from the plague of Pornography.

EMAIL:ayiku13@hotmail.com

Source: Charles Ayiku