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UK, US mount subtle pressure on Ghana over homosexuals, lesbians, others

Indications that the United Kingdom and the United States are keen on pushing LGBTQ rights, considered a cultural aberration in Ghana, have emerged.

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Indications that the United Kingdom and the United States are keen on pushing LGBTQ rights, considered a cultural aberration in Ghana, have emerged.

The High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to Ghana, Iain Walker has said his government owes itself and the world a right of duty to ensure that laws that set out to ‘intentionally or unintentionally’ discriminate against homosexuality are changed or new favourable ones created.

The High Commissioner passed this comments on GhanaWeb’s 21 Minutes with KKB over the weekend as monitored by MyNewsGH.com.

Mr Walker’s comments were in reaction to a question about what might have prompted Theresa May, UK Prime Minister to offer to help Ghana change its laws to be more favourable and accommodating to homosexuals when President Akufo Addo participated in a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting hosted in London by the United Kingdom.

The UK High Commisioner said Theresa May’s comments were “within the context of LGBT rights”, adding that “it (homosexuals rights) is something that we the UK feel very strongly about”.

The UK High Commisioner becomes the second top diplomat of a powerful Western Nation to add his voice to the call for de-criminalization of homosexuality in Ghana.

The United States Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson had earlier said he thinks Ghanaians are “myopic” on the subject of homosexuality.

He said Ghanaians’ attitude towards the subject reflects a “lack of understanding of the sciences”.

In the interview with Ghanaweb’s Kyenkyenhene Boateng, the US Ambassador had categorically replied to a question as to whether he holds the view that it is myopic to oppose the basic human rights of gays just because of their sexuality. The Ambassador had replied: “I do think it’s myopic. I think it reflects a lack of understanding of the science.”

In apparent response to public outcry, however, the UK High Commissioner, Iain Walker, has cleared the air on the raging volatile issue on homosexuality and the role his home country is playing as far as the topic is concerned.

He stressed that contrary to what many believed to be the stance, UK would never dictate terms to Ghana as far as laws on the community of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer rights were concerned.

“Ghana’s a very tolerant country. I well understand the fact that many LGBT people live in societies and are not persecuted. They are accepted and there’s the tolerance of it… I think we say that we in the UK helped create laws that were unintentionally or at the time intentional but now unintentionally discriminatory. We feel the responsibility that if countries wish to change those laws we’d like to find a way of helping and that’s what Theresa May was saying when she spoke to all members of the commonwealth,” he stated.

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Culture

Ghana mourns as top gospel music icon Koda passes away

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The Ghanaian entertainment industry has, once again, been thrown into mourning following the death of renowned gospel musician, Kofi Owusu Dua Anto, known professionally as Koda, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 46.

According to reports, the gospel music icon and producer died from a kidney-related condition he had been suffering from for sometime.

Koda, renowned for hit songs like “Hossana”, “Nkwaa Abodo”, “Nsem Pii” and “Adooso”, was also a producer of repute who gained fame for his inspiring compositions and his captivating, soul-stirring vocals that struck a chord with audiences nationwide.

A local media reports that he worked with a lot of Gospel musicians in Ghana and Nigeria including popular Nigerian gospel singer, Nathaniel Bassey.

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Culture

Ghana’s Elmina Fishing Harbour welcomes first-ever cruise liner SH Vega

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The Ghanaian tourism industry got a big boost when the legendary Elmina Fishing Harbour welcomed its first ever cruise liner, the SH Vega, a 280-capacity passenger vessel with a total of 115 persons, comprising 106 passengers and nine crew members.

The CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Àkwasi Agyeman, who recieved the vessel, said
nationalities of the tourists aboard the cruise vessel included Australia, Austria, China, France, Germany, Greece, Russia, and Nigeria among others.

Agyeman who spoke with journalists on the historic visit, said the visitors were given the opportunity to explore the Elmina castle and township, the Batik making centre at global mamas in Elmina, the Kakum National Park and the Cape Coast castle.

“It’s another win and boost for Ghana’s tourism industry when the Elmina Fishing Harbour welcomed its first-ever cruise liner, the SH Vega on Thursday, April 18,” Agyeman said.

“Ghana continues to fare well as a favourite destination of cruise passengers worldwide with Tema and Takoradi being the traditional Ports of call.

“The tourists toured Elmina castle and its township, the Batik making Centre at Global Mamas in Elmina, the Kakum National Park and the Cape coast castle amidst traditional drumming and some dance lessons.

“The vessel, SH Vega, dropped its anchor in the Elmina waters, about 8.8 cables away from the port’s main breakwater. It then lowered its Zodiac (inflatable boats) into the water before carefully disembarking the 115 passengers and crew members into the zodiac in safe batches.

“The vessel had previously sailed to some ports including Angola, Benin, Congo, Gabon, Togo and São Tomé.

“This game-changing moment for the cruise liner business in Ghana showcases our limitless possibilities and the excellent potential for the tourism industry in the Central Region and Ghana.

“We stand proud of this historic moment,” Agyeman stated.

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