West Africa

Mark Sissons

Three Days In Ghana's Capital Of Accra

Tucked above the Gulf of Guinea along the infamous Gold Coast, Ghana's capital of Accra is everything you imagine a major West African city to be -- steamy, chaotic, colourful and steeped in history. Here is how to get the most of out this fascinating city of three million and its environs over 72 steamy hours.
Fuse

We Now Know the Reasons Behind "Fearbola"

It's been less than a year since the dreaded Ebola virus appeared on North American soil. In a matter of a few weeks, the virus went from being someone else's problem to a homeland threat. In the process, media headlines captured the attention of millions and struck fear into most of them. But Fearbola, as it was coined, was completely unnecessary. Last week, a report came out detailing exactly how the public responded to the Ebola crisis in the United States.
Fuse

We Now Know the Reasons Behind "Fearbola"

It's been less than a year since the dreaded Ebola virus appeared on North American soil. In a matter of a few weeks, the virus went from being someone else's problem to a homeland threat. In the process, media headlines captured the attention of millions and struck fear into most of them. But Fearbola, as it was coined, was completely unnecessary. Last week, a report came out detailing exactly how the public responded to the Ebola crisis in the United States.

Nigeria Confirms Africa's Democratic Trend

The country is known for its endemic corruption, its history of military coups, sectarian violence and fraudulent ''419'' letter schemes. More recently, the world has watched in horror as the country battled, mostly unsuccessfully, the brutal jihadist group Boko Haram in a five year conflict that is blamed for the death of 36,000 people, with 16,000 in the last year alone. Despite these challenges, rather most probably because of them, in an election applauded around the world as a victory not only for Nigeria, but for all of Africa, the continent's most populous country, 160 million strong, ejected their incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan. His People's Democratic Party or PDP had ruled the country since 1999.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ebola and West Africa's Children

Today, Ebola continues to hit hardest in Sierra Leone, which reported 337 new cases in the last week of December, more than double those in Guinea and Liberia combined. In Sierra Leone, which already had the world's highest maternal mortality ratio and the fourth highest infant mortality rate, the impact of Ebola on children is huge and under-reported; and orphans remain the forgotten victims of the crisis.
Kena Betancur via Getty Images

Understanding the "Fearbola" Infection

The extent of the infection of the public mindset inevitably rises towards the apex of a full-blown panic. At this point, the reaction is given a name as if it has become its own threat. In this case, the word was an almost too perfect mix of the reaction and the cause: Fearbola. But as seen in the last week, once the apex has been reached, there is no other direction to go than down back towards calm.
Getty

How #DayoftheGirl Can Help Prevent Ebola Outbreaks

In Africa, Ebola and women's rights are not unrelated. As Bertha, one of the young women in the book, says: "When you educate a girl, everything changes." Everything. Among the many ugly lessons from the Ebola zone is the cost of poor primary health care, and how it is directly correlated to female literacy. We know better. From Vietnam to Jordan to Ghana, we know that frontline health care improves when women are involved. Better still if they are in charge, as professionally trained workers, and educated mothers with freedom to make health care decisions for their families.
AP

After Ebola, Let's Not Forget Sierra Leone

Like a decade ago, the goal is to end the Ebola crisis and allow a nation to begin its recovery. The next step will be to re-open schools shuttered by chaos and fear, allowing the next generation of health practitioners to be educated. But success will only be achieved -- and the next crisis averted before it begins -- if we all follow the example of those Canadian children who refused to ship out of Sierra Leone until the job was done.
John Moore via Getty Images

1,200 DEAD

GENEVA - The U.N. health agency says the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has now killed more than 1,200 people.The World Health Organization says the death toll has risen to 1,229 from among the 2,240 r...
Courtesy, Hellen Keller International

Green Hunger, Mothers' Hopes, and a Child's Cry for Peace in Burkina Faso

Just a few days ago I joined Canada's newly appointed Minister of International Cooperation, Julian Fantino on a trip to Burkina Faso in West Africa. Throughout this visit I was struck by many sights and sounds that will stay with me for a long time -- evidence of how the crisis is affecting lives, how people are coping, and what more needs to be done to avert a crisis from becoming an all-out catastrophe.
YouTube: TheMikeSilverman

The NHL Players who Are Helping Fight Hunger in West Africa

I must admit it bothers me when I look at the cost of a ticket to attend an NHL game (or almost any other pro sports event) as I wonder how this money could be used all around the world and here at home to help children and their families who are facing poverty and despair. Luckily, three NHL stars have joined forces to help World Vision Canada to help thousands of children facing hunger in West Africa.
AP

How You Can Help the West African Famine

I'm thrilled the Government of Canada announced this morning it has agreed to match charitable donations made by Canadians to provide humanitarian relief to West Africa. I've seen how devastating the famine has been. But there are tangible ways you can help...