Eminence of National discourse
…Bole still Counts
Amongst all the ten regions in Ghana, Bole, a small district of the Northern region is one of the few towns to have ushered in countless number of political gurus, great personalities, mentors and leaders of the country, though Nkroful, a village in the Ellembelle district of the Western part of Ghana also contributed their quota by giving us Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who aided in gaining independent for us.
Bole whose major occupation is farming due to it fertile vegetation, is the capital of the Bole District of Northern Region.
The town is strategically located in the western corridor of Northern Region serving as a major link to Wa (Upper West Regional Capital) to the north, Damongo and Tamale to the east and Techiman and Kumasi to the south. The Bole District shares a long boundary line with the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire to the west. Bole has an estimated six thousand (6,000) people respectively.
Even though Bole has a Black Volta that people do fish in it, the natives themselves are not really into fishing but do farming and petty trading, while their youth are into mining.
This town though relatively small as compared to many towns in the country has become more politically significant in recent times because it has produced countless number of great leaders of the country, including two of the five known Presidential aspirants for the 2012 elections.
Ghana has had personalities from Bole town playing significant roles in most political activities in the country since the days of Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
E.A. Mahama (Late father of President John Mahama) was a Minister in Nkrumah’s government. Colonel Amadu Iddisah was a Commissioner (Minister) in governments of Colonel Kutu Acheampong’s and Edward Akuffo’s regime.
Professor Yakubu Saaka who nearly became the PNC Flag bearer before the 2008 elections was a Minister in Dr Hilla Liman’s PNP government. Alhaji Gilbert Iddi and John Mahama were Ministers in the PNDC/NDC government of J.J. Rawlings. The only exception was the Progress Party government under Dr K.A. Busia and the NPP government under President John Agyekum Kufour, which did not appoint any person from Bole into their government though Busia, won the Bole seat in the 1969 Parliamentary elections.
Bole over the last few years has been blessed with great personalities in the likes of our very own President of the Republic of Ghana, Commissioner of Police (COP) Dr Seidu Mohamadu Zakariah who is the Director of the Ghana Police Hospital- Accra; Dr. Ahmed Nuhu Zakariah, a technically competent and renowned Intensive Care Specialist who is currently the Chief Director of the National Ambulance Service; Dr Afisah Zakariah who was adjudged as the Outstanding Female Doctor of the year 2014 and currently the Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Health; and others.
Bringing to you from newslinegh, is a brief profile of a complied lists of dignitaries in leadership that beautifies this very small town called Bole.
First on the list, is President John Dramani Mahama who is the president of the Republic of Ghana, Dr. Afisah Zakariah, Dr. Abu Sakara Foster, Dr. Ahmed Zakariah and Miss Otiko Afisah Djaba.
PRESIDENT JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA
President John Dramani Mahama, born 29 November 1958 is a Ghanaian politician who has been President of Ghana since July 2012.
He was the Vice President of Ghana from 2009 to 2012, and he took office as President on 24 July 2012 following the death of his predecessor, President John Atta Mills.
He was elected to serve his first term as president in December 2012 following a peaceful election. A communication expert, historian, and writer, Mahama was a Member of Parliament from 1997 to 2009 and Minister of Communications from 1998 to 2001.
A member of the Gonja ethnic group, he hails from Bole. Mahama was born in Damongo, in the Damango-Daboya constituency of Ghana into a political tradition dating back to the country’s First Republic.
His father, Emmanuel Adama Mahama, a wealthy rice farmer and teacher, was the first Member of Parliament for the West Gonja Constituency and the first Regional Commissioner of the Northern Region during Ghana’s First Republic under his first president, Kwame Nkrumah.
Mahama had his early education at Achimota School and then proceeded to Ghana Secondary School (Tamale, Northern Region of Ghana) and the University of Ghana, Legon, receiving a bachelor’s degree in history in 1981 and a postgraduate diploma in communication studies in 1986.
He also studied at the Institute of Social Sciences, Moscow in the then Soviet Union, specializing in social psychology, obtaining a postgraduate degree in 1988.
President Mahama was first elected to the Parliament of Ghana in the 1996 elections to represent the Bole/Bamboi Constituency for a four-year term. In April 1997, Mahama was appointed Deputy Minister of Communications.
He became the substantive Minister of Communications in November 1998; a position he held until January 2001 when the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the then ruling party, handed over power to the New Patriotic Party’s government.
In 2000, he was re-elected for another four-year term as the Member of Parliament for the Bole/Bamboi Constituency.
He was again re-elected in 2004 for a third term. From 2001 to 2004, Mahama served as the Minority Parliamentary Spokesman for Communications. In 2002, he was appointed the Director of Communications for the NDC.
That same year, he served as a member of the team of International Observers selected to monitor Zimbabwe’s Parliamentary Elections.
On 7 January 2009, Mahama became the Vice-President of Ghana. He also served as the Chairman of the National Economic Management Team, the Armed Forces Council of Ghana, the Decentralization and Implementation Committee and the Police Council of Ghana in this capacity
In line with Ghana’s constitution, Mahama became President of Ghana on 24 July 2012 on the death of his predecessor, John Atta Mills. He said in parliament upon being sworn in:
Mahama won the December 2012 general election with 50.70% of the total valid votes cast and a 3% winning marginal win and was installed as president on the 7th January, 2013.
He is married to Lordina Mahama and has seven children. He is a ChristianDR, born and raised a Presbyterian but is now a member of Assemblies of God, Ghana due to marriage.
His family is multi-faith consisting of Christians and Muslims. Mahama is also a polyglot, fluent in six languages, specifically, English, Akan (Twi and Fante), Ga, Gonja, Dagbani and Hausa and proficient in Ewe and Russian.
DR. ABU SAKARA FOSTER
Dr. Michael Abu Sakara Foster, popularly known as Dr. Abu Sakara, is an agronomist (Agricultural Scientist) and the flagbearer of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) in the 2012, December general elections in Ghana.
Abu Sakara’s current and past efforts are firmly rooted in the belief that Ghana’s democracy will benefit from a process that depolarizes the political landscape to produce a more mature constructive opposition that emerges an alternative third force in Government.
Dr Sakara has supported parliamentarians in four constituencies in northern Ghana since 1996 and participated in two election campaigns. He has also been an active member of the Patriots whose efforts were aimed at rebuilding the CPP.
Dr. Sakara contested in the 2007 congress and won a position as the first National Vice Chairperson of the CPP. He considers it a privilege that it is his generation’s turn to take on the mantle of responsibility to move the vision of the founding fathers from political liberation to achieve economic emancipation.
Dr. Sakara’s experience includes technical, managerial and policy roles over a twenty five year career, with postings to Central America (Mexico), Southern Africa (Zambia), Eastern Africa (Tanzania, Uganda) and West Africa (Nigeria). He has also visited more than 30 countries on the five continents in his professional capacity on a range of projects and programs.
Dr. Sakara speaks six languages. He is fluent in Gonja, Hausa and Swahili and conversant with Twi. His working languages are English and Spanish.
He is a family man, married to Mary-Lily Kafela (MBA), an economist and Business Administrator.
MISS OTIKO AFISAH DJABA
Miss Otiko Afisah Chrissie Djaba contested as a Parliamentary candidate in the 2008 general elections on 7th December in an NDC stronghold and her maternal uncles are the late Professor Yakubu Saaka and Hon. John ‘Obama’ Mahama, the current President of Ghana who was an MP for the Bole-Bamboi constituency for the past 16 years and was a minister in the NDC regime.
The current National Women’s Organizer of the main opposition NPP, Otiko Afisah Djaba is a great-grand daughter of Ndewuara Jakpa and other NPP stalwarts like Mr. Adams Zakariah a royal of Bole and Principal of the Bagabaga Training College in Tamale who nearly became the running mate to Nana Akuffo-Addo in the 2008 elections are also indigenes of Bole.
The 49years old lady from Bole-Bamboi, Northern Ghana , Otiko Afisah Chrissie is dynamic, vibrant, innovative and with fresh ideas to help propel her country forward. She is a strong resilient individual who believes in equality for all and an advocate for more women in politics, the right to education for all and above all believes in Ghana.
She has worked in the political sphere for a couple years as the Personal Assistant to the late former Vice President Alui Mahama and has inched to the forefront of politics where she belongs. She has worked with women’s groups and children in her constituency for the past 10 years.
She is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer 2002 of Miidan Educational Trust (NGO) and also a communications consultant and a development practitioner (Consultant on the Rights of Children since 2003).
Otiko Djaba received her formative education in Ghana. She attended Tamale Secondary School followed by sixth form at Rye St Anthony Girl’s School (Headington Oxford- U.K) from 1978 to 1980.
After sixth form, she obtained a diploma in secretarial studies at Queen’s Secretarial College (London, U.K), from Oct 1980 to Oct 1981, followed by a certificate in marketing at the Institute of Marketing ( London- U.K), from 1981 to 1983. She acquired a Certificate in Information Technology- Women in I.T and a Diploma in Systems Analysis- Computer Sciences.
Otiko also has a Bachelor Degree in Arts at the University of Development Studies, also in the Northern region of Ghana.
Otiko has sought to make a difference in the lives of impoverished in her constituency. She has been relentless in her quest to provide education and training and empowering the women and youth by embarking on worthwhile projects.
She has travelled widely with Ghanaian children to Australia and the United States, giving them encouragement to achieve their potential and recognize their rights and has provided personal funding for the education of several children and youth at secondary and tertiary levels of their education.
Otiko established women’s income generating groups in Bole – Bamboi and created popular children’s television programme called Kokrokoo on the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC).
Extended branches of Miidan Educational Trust from Tumu to WA and Bole in the Upper West and Northern Regions of Ghana. She also established 58 Rights of Children’s Clubs in the Sissala Districts, 40 in the Wa Districts and 168 in the Bole-Bamboi Constituency with a membership of over 10,000 children and youth.
Miss Afisah Djaba was the first person to take rural and deprived children on a visit to the President of Ghana and Parliament to interact and present the situation of children in the Sissala Districts and the first person to introduce the Sissala dialect on GTV nationwide.
She trained and sent children from very remote and rural communities in the Sissala Districts to participate in various fora on media and child participation in Australia, Geneva and Mali. Also the initiator and facilitator of the establishment of the first ever radio station in Tumu.
The affable Djaba who is the National Women’s Organizer of the New Patriotic Party also speaks at least 6 Ghanaian languages and various other dialects.
DR. AFISAH ZAKARIAH
Dr. Afisah Zakariah is the Acting Director of the Ministry of Health in the fourth republic of Ghana and Outstanding Female Doctor of the year 2014, at the Ghana Women’s Awards
Coming from Bole in the Northern part of Ghana, a Medical Doctor who is happily married with four children, born on December 24, 1967, Dr. Afisah Zakariah had her second cycle education at the St. Francis Girls Assisi, Jirapa in the Upper West Region of Ghana between 1979-1983 respectively.
This hard-wearing individual who believes in women empowerment and advocate for more women in leadership entered the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial School (1983-1987) in the Republic of Cuba to obtain a Bachelor of Science Degree.
In 1988-1989, Dr. Afisah Zakariah had a year course in Russian language as well as a preparatory course for Medical training in the Russian Language School, Tashkent-Uzbekistan. Moving on to the Tashkent Medical School also in Tashkent-Uzbekistan from 1989-1990, she later asked for a transfer to Kharkov Medical University, Kharkov in Ukraine to continue her medical training and came out as Qualified Medical Doctor (MD) in 1995.
After qualifying as Medical Doctor, obtaining a master Programme in Public Health Methodology at the School of Public Health, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels-Belgium, she carried out an original research on maternal death in the Greater Accra for the 2000 and obtained a Master of Philosophy Degree (MPhil) in Medical Science (PublicHealth) between the years 2000-2002.
The “Outstanding” female Doctor also holds a PhD in Medical Science from the School of Public Health, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels-Belgium, holds a Diploma in French from the Ecole de St. Josephine, Brussels-Belgium and has more than twenty-five Certificates also to her credits.
Certificate in science research, Havana (Cuba), an Advanced Certificate in Monitoring and Evaluation (Japan),a Certificate in Health System Strengthening-Financing for Results (Rwanda), Certificate in Facilitation of Vaccinology Course (TropEd, Belgium), Certificate on Child Mortality Estimates (Senegal), Certificate in Impact Evaluation (South Africa) and many other certificates.
Her exquisite working life took her to a number of establishments after school, and this no doubt enabled her to gather a lot of experience that she brings to bear in her professional life.
Between 1987 to 1988 after her first degree, she had her Service with the Tamale Teaching Hospital, serving as laboratory assistant where she took a specimen, did a routine examination of the specimen, prepare medium for culture, stain specimen and read results. She also assisted in cleaning specimen bottles as well as cleaning up the laboratory.
She also worked as Medial Officer at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital between 1997- 2000, where her duty was to perform Caesarean sections, perform Minor operations, conduct normal and assisted deliveries, Resuscitation of new born babies, Evacuation of Uterus and also assisted with major surgeries.
Dr. Mrs. Afisah Zakariah has also served as Deputy Programmes Manager of Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI). She was directly involved in the daily running of the Programme, coordinating research activities, Committee meetings, training, monitoring and supportive supervision to regions and districts.
She was also in charge of report writing, coordinating investigations into adverse events following immunization (AEFIs) and involved with accelerated disease control activities in the country.
Other activities she was involved in were; Polio eradication initiatives, training of Medical students both locally and international as well as Post graduate students in Vaccinology. She actively participated in the mass immunization campaigns such as measles, tetanus and meningitis campaigns.
Since 2007 till now, Dr. Afisah has been a member of an Oversight Committee of Network for Education and Support in Immunizations (NESI) Belgium, a facilitator of Vaccinology Course of the African Regional Vaccinology Course for Anglophone countries, which is being organized by WHO AFRO mainly for EPI Managers, Academia and other heath personnel working with vaccines and also a facilitator of advanced Vaccinology module for International Master Students of the TropEd, European Network for Education in International Health, Rixensart-Belgium and Berlin-Germany.
She therefore became the Deputy Director with the Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate of the Ministry of Health (MOH) in the period of May 2009 to December 2009 respectively, as the Coordinator of National Health Insurance Scheme and in charge of Public Health issues at MOH.
During that same period, she served in committees and boards as the Ministry’s representative. Committees such as Inter-Agency Steering Committee for NHIS World Bank Project; Country Coordinating Mechanism for Global Fund; Member of the Police Hospital Board, Ghana; Technical Expert of the West African Assemblies of Health Ministers; Inter Agency Coordinating Committee for Immunization and Child Survival Initiatives as well as Technical Advisor of Results Base Financing to reduce maternal and child mortality and morbidity.
Dr. became the head of Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of Health also in January 2010 to April 2012, where she performed a review of the sector, reviewed special initiatives, joint monitoring visits, adhoc monitoring visits, supportive supervision,and research as well as partners coordination.
In April 2012, she was called to serve as the Acting Director, Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME) of the Ministry of Health and have been serving till now as the Acting Director of MOH, since her appointment.
Her overwhelming hard work and dedication to the cause of saving lives and her love for mankind won the hearts of many and led to her being appointed as Acting Director of health of the fourth Republic.
To her, the only platform she had to shape the way things are done for the betterment of the health sector was to put into practice the medical skills she has obtained over the past few years to save lives and since her work was appreciated by Ghana, she was obliged to do so.
However, with Afisah as Acting Director of MOH, the situation is in sharp dissimilarity with what was anticipated.
As Director for Health, her areas of interest has always been in maternal, child and adolescent health matter, mentoring of people, enquiries into maternal and neonatal deaths, evidence base financing, diseases prevention, control, elimination and eradication activities, caring for needy and children. These and many more adds to the beauty of this honorable working class lady, a wife and a mother for all.
Under her able leadership, she has ensured that emotions never took the better part of her side and placed premium on issues that was going to inure to the benefits of the masses and the health sector as whole.
Due to her hard work, loyalty and dedication to both the country and health service, she is recognized and was adjudged the “Outstanding Female of the Year 2013.
MR. AHMED ZAKARIAH
Dr. Ahmed Zakariah is a consultant in Intensive Care Medicine and the Director of National Ambulance Service, Ghana.
He also had the privilege to participate in the development of Emergency Medicine as a medical specialty in two distinct projects in Ethiopia and Ghana.
After several years of positioning stakeholders in the Ministry of Health, Addis Ababa Regional Health Bureau, Addis Ababa University, and the Black Lion Hospital, the first official specialty training program began in Ethiopia in November 2010, where Dr. took part in this activity.
Similarly in Ghana, Emergency Medicine is gaining recognition as an important component of the healthcare delivery system and one important player is the Ghana Ambulance Service.
Since 2007, Dr. Ahmed Nuhu Zakariah has been fortunate to participate in various continuing education programs and healthcare summits for emergency medicine in Ethiopia. In 2009, I was invited to continue to participate in the educational foundation for the fledgling department of Emergency Medicine at the Black Lion Teaching Hospital (BLH) in Addis Ababa. Alongside the University of Wisconsin, the American International Healthcare Alliance and People to People (an Ethiopian Diaspora healthcare organization) we developed curriculum for faculty specialty training in the US and Ethiopia for 4 attending physicians at BLH, as well as local training for resident and attending physicians, nurses and pre hospital care workers in Addis.
In November 2010, Dr. Zakariah returned to Addis to kick off the Emergency Ultrasound training program along with faculty from the University of Wisconsin and the Black Lion Hospital.
For Ghana, his role has been mostly that of a facilitator. The University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville hosted Dr. Ahmed Zakariah, director of the Ghana National Ambulance Service in a 6-week observational position in the Department of Emergency Medicine.
In November 2009, the African Federation for Emergency Medicine was established where both Ethiopia and Ghana were important players in the development of specialized emergency physicians and other emergency healthcare personnel including him.
In addition to learning about the administrative and patient care roles of specialized emergency physicians, Dr. Zakariah has had the opportunity to conduct interviews with Emergency Medical Services in Jacksonville and surrounding areas in order to learn about the training and dispatch procedures for pre-hospital personnel. He also utilized datas to develop a strategy to improve the efficiency and efficacy of the ambulance service.
Exclusively on newslinegh
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