Ghana Rugby appoints Ernest Hanson as Board Member

The Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) ( Board approved the appointment of Mr. Ernest Hanson as Board Member on Monday 19 February 2018.

Hanson comes with over 20 years Rugby playing experience. He played schoolboy rugby at Clifton College in the UK and another three years at Gloucester Rugby Academy until the age of 21.

Mr. Herbert Mensah, President and Board Chairman of Ghana Rugby, spearheaded the appointment of Hanson who previously served on the Board of the GRFU.

According to Mensah, Ghana Rugby adopted a new Constitution in 2017 that for the first time in 17 years allowed the Board to appoint Directors in addition to those elected by the Union’s General Meeting.

“The appointment of Ernest Hanson is the first step in a vision I had since taking over as President in 2014,” Mensah said.

Mensah continued to say, “Rugby, as most sporting disciplines, is a business that requires exceptional challenges regarding governance and it is essential to bring resources with a business background into the fold to assist with biggest challenge we face, namely to place the Union on a sustainable funding platform.”

Hanson is currently the MD of Beaufort Properties, a Ghana-based real estate firm. He is passionate about the growth of the game in Ghana and wants others to experience the personal growth and development that comes from playing the sport.

He is also a Level 1 World Rugby Coach and has also played senior rugby for London Nigerians RFC.

Ghana Rugby has a challenging year ahead with three international tournaments planned for May, September and October.

The international circuit kicks off in May when Ghana will be hosting the Rugby Africa Bronze Cup against Lesotho, Mauritius and Rwanda. A win in this competition will see Ghana’s promotion to the Silver Cup and a step closer to Mensah’s mission to take Ghana Rugby to the World Cup.

In September Ghana Rugby plans to organise a Ghana International Sevens tournament against seven other Rugby playing Unions in preparation of the scheduled Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens Tournament in October.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ghana Rugby Football Union.

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UN Migration Agency, Libyan Ministry of Labour Take Step towards Labour Migration Management

This week, IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the Libyan Ministry of Labour took the first steps towards developing a labour migration strategy.

Over three days beginning on Sunday (11/02), the Libyan Minister of Labour and Capacity Building hosted a workshop on developing Libya’s labour market and fostering youth empowerment throughout the country. IOM supported and participated in the workshop.

The event brought together Government authorities such as the Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health, in addition to representatives from the private sector like entrepreneurs and young people. Their discussion focused on the labour market and its role in development. They also examined ways to empower youth into employment, as well as how to develop policies to regulate the labour market.

An overview of labour migration policies was presented during the workshop, clarifying the best practices of labour market assessment, where migrant labour supply is matched to demand. As a result of the workshop, pilot projects to enhance the labour market are expected to be developed.

Following the workshop on labour market assessment and youth empowerment, IOM’s Libya team, as well as their regional labour mobility specialist visited the Libyan-Korean Vocational Training Centre in Tripoli, which trains young people to work in the construction sector – supported by funding from the Government of Korea. IOM then met with the Public Employment Office to discuss labour market integration efforts.

As culmination of these activities, a working session was held between IOM and the heads of the main directorates of the Ministry of Labour on Wednesday (14/02) in Tripoli to develop a strategic workplan on labour migration management, while identifying national priorities. At the end of the meeting, issues related to labour migration and a potential road map to solving them, keeping in mind available capacity, was developed by the participants. “This workshop is very timely, a step towards strengthening labour market integration,” said Suleiman Jumaa, Head of the External Relationship Department of the Ministry of Labour.

“This is a substantial step towards labour migration governance in Libya,” said Maysa Khalil, who participated in the meetings from IOM Libya. “IOM worked closely with the Libyan Ministry of Labour from 2012 to 2014 to strengthen capacities and mechanisms to address labour market needs, when a mass exodus of migrant workers, due to the crisis, affected many services.”

“IOM continues its support to the Libyan authorities as it moves to re-build the country’s economy and develop its labour force. Establishment of effective labour migration policy and programming will form an essential part of the broader strategy to optimize economic growth while enhancing opportunities for Libyan job seekers and improving conditions for foreign workers,” added Khalil.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

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Extension of the Dispatch Term of the International Peace Cooperation Corps in South Sudan

1. Japan has dispatched Headquarters staff personnel and Ground Self Defense Force engineering unit to UNMISS (United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan) since November 2011 and January 2012 respectively. Japan continues to dispatch 4 staff officers (Logistics, Intelligence, Engineer, and Air Operations) to the Mission.

South Sudan gained independence in July 2011 after a long civil war between the northern and the southern Sudan and the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). In South Sudan, the National Dialogue seeking the promotion of national reconciliation is currently being undertaken. The efforts for stability of the nation are also in progress. For example, neighboring countries facilitated the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities by the parties in South Sudan last December. The Government of Japan recognizes that the peace and stability of South Sudan is important for the peace and stability of Africa, and that the international community needs to work cooperatively on this issue.

On 14 December 2017, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 2392 (2017), which extended the mandate of UNMISS until 15 March 2018.

In relation to this, the Government of Japan decided to revise the Implementation Plans for International Peace Cooperation Assignments and extend its period.

According to the International Peace Corporation Law Article 7 (i) and (ⅲ), the Prime Minister will report the contents pertaining to the revision and the status of implementation to the Diet.

2. Major Points of Revision are following.

[Extension of the Period]

  • Current : 28 Feb 2018
  • After Revision : 31 May 2018 (3 months extension)

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

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Merck Foundation and Uganda Ministry of Health together empower childless women through “Merck More Than a Mother’ community groups

Merck Foundation (, a non-profit organization and a subsidiary of Merck KGaA Germany (, and Uganda Ministry of Health ( continue their commitment towards childless women through “Merck More than a Mother’ campaign in the heart of Africa. Merck Foundation evaluated the social and economic impact of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ on childless women in Uganda and encouraged them to continue leading an independent and happier life.

In 2016, Merck Foundation in partnership with Uganda Ministry of Health had started ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ Campaign in the country with the aim to raise awareness about infertility prevention and management, build fertility care capacity and break the stigma around infertile women. They established various income generating projects to support infertile women across the country with the aim of empowering them socially and economically. The business set by Merck Foundation has benefitted over 800 women across Uganda.

“The childless women groups we created in each village are doing a great job. I remember last year they had no purpose in life, no respect from their community and no source of income. Today they have a bank account and a steady monthly income; now they are much happier and stronger.” Explained Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation.

“For me, it’s essential to frequently visit ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ heroines across Africa to influence their transformation. The base of change in these villages is remarkable, and with our efforts and passion this change will be sustainable”, she further emphasized.

During the event, Hon. Sarah Opendi, Minister of State of Health, Uganda said, “The journey that Merck Foundation has started is a very special journey that has touched the lives of women who have been forgotten in the communities. It has touched not only women but also the lives of men who have been mistreating their women thinking that infertility is an issue of women, not know that 50% infertility is due to the malefactor. I want to thank Merck Foundation for thinking about these women.”

“I feel grateful and honored to be a part of the joy and happiness of these amazing women, who suffered the infertility stigma all their lives. I am glad that the efforts of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ paid off. Now, these women are independent and getting the respect and support they deserved from the community.” Dr. Rasha Kelej added.

About ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign; In many Cultures, childless women suffer discrimination, stigma, and ostracism. Their inability to have children results in great isolation, disinheritance, and assaults. “Merck More Than a Mother” empowers such women through the access to information, health, change of mindsets and economic empowerment.

Merck Foundation provided for more than 40 candidates, three months to six months clinical and practical training for fertility specialists and embryologists in more than 15 countries across Africa and Asia.

Merck Foundation is making history in many African countries where they never had fertility specialists or training facilities before ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ intervention, to train the first fertility specialists such as; in Sierra Leone, Liberia, The Gambia, Niger, Chad, and Guinea.

Merck Foundation plan supported the establishment of the first public IVF in Ethiopia through providing the clinical and practical training necessary for their staff. Merck Foundation also plans to support the establishment of the first public IVF in Tanzania soon.

Over 1,200 infertile women in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, CAR, Ethiopia, Liberia, Tanzania, Niger, The Gambia and Cote D’Ivoire who can no longer be treated have been empowered socially and economically to lead independent and happier lives through “Empowering Berna.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Merck Foundation.

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The Merck Foundation (, established in 2017, is a philanthropic organization that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to innovative healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation Website. Please go to to read more and/or register online to interact and exchange experience with our registered members.
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Founded in 1668, Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.

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