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Optimism rises for increased cocoa yield in Ivory Coast

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Similarly, the Western region of Daloa witnessed 77.1 millimetres of rain last week, even as the central region of Bongouanou received 43.8 millimetres of rain; all above the average levels previously recorded.

Many Ivorian cocoa farmers were excited to welcome the rainfalls, with one of them telling this to Reuters: “We are very happy. We weren’t expecting such rain now. We hope the mid-crop will have a good yield.”

Meanwhile, even though “everything is in place on the trees and the fruits are developing well,” as farmer Salame Kone said, others have also expressed concerns that the rains may not help to improve cocoa bean quality. And Business Insider Africa understands that exporters have been rejecting some deliveries because the prolonged dry season led to poor quality beans.

Like most countries in West Africa, Ivory Coast’s dry season starts from late November and ends early to mid March.

At 2,034,000 metric tonnes, the Francophone West African country is currently the world’s largest cocoa producer, according to World Population Review. Alongside Ghana which produces 883,652 metric tonnes, the two countries account for about 50% of the world’s cocoa output. This is why any developments that could affect output (either positively or negatively) are closely monitored.



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Suffering, human rights abuses and deaths – the story of migrant workers in Qatar

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Amnesty International has recorded several human rights abuses among migrant employees working at Qatar Meta Coats (QMC). Among the several workers interviewed, some said they do not have any day off to rest and they are forced to work long hours under threats of pay cuts. For example, security guards told Amnesty International that their pay could be cut up to six days pay if they decide to absent themselves from work to rest.

We work from January to January, Sunday to Sunday. No day off. If you absent yourself, they will deduct two or more days’ wages,” Godfrey, one of the migrant workers from Uganda revealed.

There have also been reports of unexplained deaths among migrant workers in Qatar. These deaths have been linked to the unsafe working conditions in the country but authorities have failed to investigate the underlying causes of these deaths.

When some of the workers got fed up with the company’s repeated promises and submitted complaints to Qatar’s Labour Tribunal, QMC told workers that they could only be paid if they agreed to end their contracts early and go home. Many other employees said they were stopped from coming to work after the court issue, or for refusing to end their contracts.

By the end of February 2020, QMC had pulled all remaining workers off the stadium and asked them to report to its factory which manufactures aluminium and steel. Many of the workers are currently in critical situations, made worse by the fact that QMC has failed to renew their residence permits.

This is a clear case of exploitation and abuse, and the attention of Amnesty International has been drawn to the issue because it is a case of violation of the rights of workers and a serious offence under international law. When Amnesty International raised the issue and informed Qatari authorities, FIFA and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Qatar’s World Cup organising body, some workers began to receive part of what they had been owed, but many of the workers have still not received their salaries in full.

Several reports have been filed against Qatari authorities over the exploitative system that exists in the country, especially against migrant workers but Amnesty International has noted that no change has been seen so far. Organisers of the World Cup said they had known about the salary delays since 2019, but allowed workers to continue working without pay.

Many migrant workers currently in Qatar risk detention and deportation because Qatar Meta Coats (QMC), the construction company working on the Al Bayt Stadium, has failed to renew employee’s residence and working permits. Many of these workers still live in ‘cramped’ accommodations in Doha as a result of COVID 19 lockdown measures.

Interviews and preliminary investigations conducted by Amnesty International revealed that salary delays began in 2019 and deteriorated in 2020 where many of the workers received no salary at all for their work between September 2019 and March 2020. The migrant workers include employees from Ghana, Kenya, Nepal and the Philippines among others.

The situation is also dire because under Qatar’s Kafala system, migrant workers rely on their employers for almost every aspect of their legal presence in the country. Employers have a responsibility to provide valid residence permits, without which migrants cannot work legally in the country. Failure to have a valid residence permit also attracts fines and migrants could face detention and deportation. Migrants also cannot change jobs without their employer’s permission.

Amnesty International Ghana has joined the global campaign to call on FIFA to take immediate actions to resolve the problem before it deteriorates further. The fact that FIFA has been unaware of the plight of workers at one of its World Cup stadiums for so long suggests that it is not taking human rights abuses linked to the Qatar 2022 World Cup seriously enough.

“If over the past ten years, FIFA had held its World Cup partners to account, and used its clout to push Qatar to fully reform its system, we wouldn’t be hearing the same tales of workers’ suffering,” Steve Cockburn stated.

By: Redeemer Buatsi (Youth Leader/Activist)

Amnesty International Ghana



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Quiz: How good looking are you?

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Do you turn heads or the “gods are not to be blamed?”. Have this quiz and find out how you are doing.



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Prophet Kumchacha casts out marine spirit from Abena Korkor (WATCH)

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During the prayer, Prophet Kumchacha soaked Abena Korkor in the blood of Jesus and said “any spirit that is not from you, whether from her family, the marine or any gods, today I cast all of you out“.

From today, your life shall be renewed like how He gave Lazarus a new life, Abena Korkor, from today you shall walk in Christ,” he concluded.

The mental health advocate shared the video of Kumchacha praying for her and captioned it “Thank You soo much for the word of prayer Prophet KumChaCha“. See her post below which has attracted over 500 comments.

Social media users however have a lot to say about the video. One Instagrammer, @nanaefyalortty wrote “Abena are u sure u no go do again?” with @team_5o9 saying that “I hope he doesn’t make the list ooo“.

Commenting on the same post by Abena Korkor, another Instagram user @blaq_american44 said “waste of time and energy, this one will go back to default settings tomorrow norr” but @maabyna_papabi said “Amen amen amen 🙏🏾 I want to give offering to seal this prayer



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