#FellowshipConnect: @JointInitiative Launches Foreign Internship Program for Youths

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“Joint Initiative for Development (JID) is a registered Non-Profit organisation in Nigeria. In over 4 years of our existence, JID has reached over 3,000 young people through our programmes, supported over 300 MSMEs and mobilized over 10 million Naira worth of donations to public schools. Our mission is to increase citizens’ participation in the development of their communities and we take active steps to create programmes and events through which these goals can be achieved.

In light of proposed diversification of the Nigerian Economy towards the real sector, I am pleased to introduce our Fellowship Connect Program. Fellowship Connect is an international human capacity development program that is designed to connect young Nigerian professionals working in the real sector of the economy with Corporate America in a bid to bridge capacity gaps. Fellows will have the opportunity to work with top US firms for a period of between 3-6 months. We also have arrangements for shorter periods too.

The Fellowship Connect candidates will go through a comprehensive application process that will ensure a best-fit match for both the host organization and the intending Fellows. At the end of the fellowship, Fellows will:
•Transfer knowledge gained during the fellowship period
•Develop new practices
•Share new skills and valuable work experience.
•Promote innovation and change in home organization
•Develop professional skill set and refine others
•create a network of global change-makers
•Work locally but think globally

Applications will open on 2nd October 2015 for interested applicants/organisations and the programme will start in February 2016.”

Signed:

Kayode Ajayi-Smith

Executive Director,

Joint Initiative for Development

Websites: http://www.ji4d.org, http://www.internshipconnect.net
Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JIDNigeria
Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter/jointinitiative

We are also shaping the future the soccer way, please visit:

Websites: http://www.futball4future.com,
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Futball4Future

#FreeSimonAtebaNOW: #Choice4Life Advocates Demand Immediate Release of Colleague Detained in Cameroon

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We, #Choice4Life Advocates – a team of 58 young professionals promoting Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Women and Adolescents in Nigeria hereby demand an immediate release of our colleague – Mr. Simon Ateba by the Cameroonian authorities.

Simon Ateba - Journalist & #Choice4Life Advocate

Simon Ateba – Journalist & #Choice4Life Advocate

We read with utmost shock and dismay the reports of arrest and detention of our colleague – Mr. Simon Ateba. According to media reports, he was arrested on Friday, 28th August, 2015 at the Minawao Refugee Camp and taken to Makolo in the far north of Cameroon and has been accused of spying for the Boko Haram terrorists. When allowed to use his mobile phone for five minutes, Mr. Ateba alerted the world about his ordeal through his social media platforms. He said he has been told that he would be taken to Yaoundé, the Cameroonian capital, and handed over to the secret police to be tried for espionage. His whereabouts has since been unknown and concerns are being raised about his health conditions.

Simon joined our group in November 2014 and has used his media platforms to promote reproductive health and rights of Nigerian women and young girls. Though a Cameroonian, he is a popular blogger/journalist who has worked in Nigeria for more than a decade. He breaks real time news stories using his blog www.simonateba.com and his facebook fanpage has over 15,000 followers. He was a former staff of The News/PM News – a reputable media outfit in Lagos. He has been a resourceful, inspiring and innovative young man who is very passionate about his job.

Our ifreeSAnow1nvestigation reveals that Simon is implementing a grant from the Nigerian-based International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) as reportedly confirmed by the Executive Director, Dayo Aiyetan. He had a task to visit the Refugee Camp that accommodates people displaced by the insurgency in Northeast Nigeria and find about their living conditions. His reports, we believe, would have provided information on the sacrifices being made by the government of Cameroon as well as actions that could be taken to improve their living conditions. To us, Simon’s mission to his home country was noble, professional and lawful.

#Choice4Life Advocates consider the allegations by Cameroonian authorities outrageous and bizarre. We also consider his arrest and detention ill-conceived and undeserved given that he had made futile attempt to get permission from the Regional Governor. It is a violation of his fundamental human rights and an attack on the media. Any responsible government is obliged to respect the right to freedom of expression and ensure that journalists are free to carry out their legitimate duties without hindrance, intimidation or threat. We appeal to the African Union and the international community to prevail on the authorities of Cameroon to release him immediately and unconditionally.

We hereby join the Cameroon Journalists Union and other well-meaning groups and individuals to demand that the authorities #FreeSimonAtebaNow!

Signed:

Dr Laz Ude Eze                                                                                   Blessing Timidi-Digha

Team Lead                                                                                        Communications Strategist

leze@fouracesconsulting.com

For #Choice4Life Advocates

#YouthDay: #AfrYPoD Charges African Leaders on Effective Utilization of Youth Demographic Dividend

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Backdrop BannerA TEXT OF PRESS STATEMENT TO MARK THE 2015 INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY AND THE FORMAL LAUNCH OF AfrYPoD

Today, 12th August was in 1999 designated as the International Youth Day by the United Nations general assembly to recognise the efforts of world youth in enhancing global society. This year’s International Youth Day has as its theme “Youth Civic Engagement” which recognises the importance of the engagement and participation of young people in development initiatives. It also seeks to reverse the current situation of little or no engagement of youths in most national, social, economic and political discourse in many countries.

Afrypod-Laz

L-R: Dr Laz Ude Eze (Convener), Dr N. Mabogunje (Ipas Nigeria) & Mr. Ojugo Onyeluka (ECOWAS)

Given that the youth account for over 65 percent of Africa’s population and most countries on the continent in the low and middle income countries category, the importance of engaging this population in developmental issues cannot be over-emphasised, as they are both a major driver and contributor to national development.

From the foregoing, a youth-centred pan-African initiative like the African Youth Initiative on Population, Health and Development (AfrYPoD) being launched today is of essence. AfrYPoD envisions an African society that prioritizes health and sustainable development through active participation of young people as valuable resources. This is more-so as 2009-2018 has been declared the “African Youth Decade” and the recognition that we are the future of society, the product of its evolution, the preserver of its values and the ones to live out the consequences of its current condition.

AfrYPoD’s mission is to build a strong network of individuals and youth-focused organisations in Africa that promote, lead and/or support the implementation of the recommendations of International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Program of Action, ICPD+5 Review, ICPD Beyond 2014 Global Consultations and other internationally agreed conventions that promote health, development and universally acceptable human rights in an efficient, sustainable and acceptable manner across countries in Africa.

In conclusion, as national development translates into the improvement of the lives of all people in communities where development is fundamentally deficient; sustainable and equitable development on the continent in the 21st century must involve the full participation of youths in the planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation of developmental programs and policies and likewise the establishment of acceptable channels of communication with national governments. The youth are said to be leaders of tomorrow; our tomorrow is TODAY!

We hereby call on African heads of government to intensify efforts to achieve the goals of the African Decade for the Youth with effective utilization of the youth demographic dividend via youth civic engagement.

Dr Laz Ude Eze – @donlaz4u

Convener

For @AfrYPoD

David Nnaji’s BEDLAM & Afolayan’s OCTOBER 1 Selected for Woodpecker International Film Festival

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David Nnaji’s directorial film debut “Bedlam” has been selected, alongside Biyi Bandele and Kunle Afolanyan’s Half of a Yellow Sun and October 1 for a special screening in the World Panorama section of 3rd Woodpecker International Film Festival.BEDLAM POSTER

The 3rd Woodpecker International Film Festival is scheduled for September 17‐20, 2015 at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi, India. “It’s for the first time that a serious attempt is being made to bring Nigerian cinema to the Indian audience.

Other selected Nigerian films include ‘Brothers’ directed by Azubuike Erinugha ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’ by Desmond Elliot; ‘Thy Will Be Done’ by Obi Emenloye; ‘Doll House’ by Kayode Peters; ‘Silent Tears,’ a documentary by Ishaya Bako; and ‘Champagne’ by Emem Isong.

Synopsis: A career driven young man abandons his family for work. His determination for success had a negative effect on his relationship with his spouse relentlessly. She had to take a drastic measure to make him realise that family values are much more important than pursuing his profession.

WATCH BEDLAM TRAILER HERE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7evkFHEy7bo&feature=youtu.be

Twitter& Instagram

@DUN_ENT
@IAmDavidNnaji1

 Facebook
www.facebook.com/DUNEntertainment
www.facebook.com/BedlamMovie

#SMDAYAFRICA: HOW AFRICA CELEBRATED 2015 SOCIAL MEDIA DAY BY #SMAA

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Plugged into the global euphoria of the 6th Social Media Day, which is annually marked on June 30, Africa for the first time celebrated the Social Media Day with continental pulse using the hashtag #SMDayAfrica.

The Social Media Day Africa #SMDayAfrica celebration is a parallel event with the global Social Media Day launched in 2010 by Mashable – a global technology firm. #SMDayAfrica was organized by the Social Media Awards Africa, #SMAA, as an all-day continent-wide virtual event to commemorate the 2015 Social Media Day from an African perspective with global ambience.

#SMDayAfrica_Africans speak!The event which featured eight (8) sessions cutting across diverse sectors and countries of the continent had appearances from leading industry experts with a knack for social media such as Maverick Music Producer, Don Jazzy; HR Expert, Jimi Tewe; Songstress, Simphiwe Dana; Social Commentator, Japheth Omojuwa; Social Media Denizens, Subomi Plumtre and Chioma Chuka; Representatives of the African Media Initiative, AMI; Social Innovators, Yemi Adamolekun and Seun Onigbinde; as well as winners, finalists and nominees of the maiden Social Media Awards Africa #SMAA from across the continent – Ben Kiruthi, Michael Hlatshwayo, Jimi Tewe, Barefootlaw, The Love Tour,Republic of Rwanda Ministry of Youth and ICT, DHL Africa, Stand to End Rape, Adforumco, KCB Group, Afrinolly, #TheNiteTalk, Raha 2.0, Nigeria Trade Hub; amongst other prominent personalities, social media enthusiasts and users across the continent.

The hashtag #SMDayAfrica which started trending in Nigeria within 2 hours of launch had an all-day penetration across Africa reaching over 30million Twitter users. The celebration also had other events at country-levels with active participations by the online community including #SMAA winners, finalists and nominees in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Uganda, Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco.

Opening the conversation on the realities of social media usage and practice in Africa, Chioma Chuka posited that although gradual progress is been made on internet penetration across the continent, yet, more needs to be done on digital penetration and local content generation. Chioma urged Africans to be conscious to their online existence. HR Expert, Jimi Tewe, explained that social media is a growing component of online recruitment which Africans need to come to terms with.

Don Jazzy and Simphiwe Dana, however had a point of difference on whether or not music artistes need to be signed to a record label, considering the growing popularity of digital collaboration – see conversation here.

Sterling Bank Plc, lead sponsor of the Social Media Awards Africa #SMAA, explained that the future of banking on the African continent is social, which, the bank says it is taking the lead in innovating the path and pattern towards the social media boom. The innovative #Onecustomer financial institution which has clearly set the pace in social banking, participated actively and engaged stakeholders for an hour’s session entitled: ‘The Social Media Story: Me and My Bank.’

Relating governance with social media practice in Africa, Seun Onigbinde of BudgIT and Yemi Adamolekun of Enough Is Enough, agreed that although social media tools are viable in advancing governance and accountability processes in Africa, they however cannot in isolation pull through on the desired social needs of the continent, hence, the need for offline and online convergence.

#SMDayAfrica Photo StreamCiting emerging trends such as digital jobs and cloud computing, experts raised the need for Africans to acquire requite digital skills in order to be effectively relevant in the globalized world. They also challenged the African continent to influence and develop itself through local content production and distribution.

Subomi Plumtre challenged African businesses to be more social, leveraging the power of cost-effective social media tools and platforms

Wrapping the all-day TweetChat, was the relationship session tagged: E-Relationship: Love through the web. Gist, Gossip and Tips, anchored by #TheNiteTalk – @LtCaezar, winner of the 2014 #SMAA hashtag of the year award.

As the maiden continental celebration of the world Social Media Day, #SMDayAfrica has succeeded in establishing an African perspective to social media, through robust virtual engagement, education and entertainment.

In coming years, it is hoped that the Social Media Day celebration in Africa will be bigger and broader, towards enriching continental good.

Conversations and other activities of the #SMDayAfrica celebration can be followed via: @sma_africa on Twitter or through Storify.

ABOUT #SMDayAfrica

The Social Media Day Africa #SMDayAfrica is to recognize and celebrate social media’s impact on Africa’s communication and growth, blending the African perspective with global ambience.

This day is marked annually on June 30th in consonance with the global Social Media Day celebration as launched by Mashable, a global tech and social media firm.

ABOUT #SMAA

The Social Media Awards Africa #SMAA is a premier continental initiative poised to recognise and reward excellence, creativity and impact in the use of social media tools and platforms by individuals and organisations.

The Social Media Awards Africa is an initiative of Development Diaries and sponsored by Sterling Bank Plc.

#HAPPYdonorNG: Why should I Donate Blood? See More Q & A on Blood Donation!

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happy donorQ.Why Should I Donate Blood?
The need for blood affects us all. Eight out of ten people need blood or blood products at some time in our lives. One out of every ten patients in hospital requires blood transfusion. The number of blood donations that patients receive depends on their medical condition. Although an average of three donations is transfused to a patient, some patients require many more. Blood is in constant demand for the treatment of patients involved in accidents, patients with cancer, leukemia or with a bleeding disorder such as haemophilia among others. Many surgical operations would not be possible without the availability of blood. Blood may be needed during or following childbirth or for an exchange transfusion in newborn babies. The need for blood never stops. Blood donors save lives. Every blood donation gives the person who receives it a new chance at life.

Q. Are There Any Risks?
There are no risks when donating blood. A finger prick test is performed in order to ascertain if your haemoglobin level is within a safe range for donation purposes. In addition, your pulse rate and blood pressure will also be checked.
Potential donors will be permitted to donate only if these measurements are within the defined, acceptable range. If everything is in order you will proceed to donate your blood.
Your body replaces the blood volume (plasma) donated within 24 hours. Red blood cells are replaced by the bone marrow into the circulatory system within three to four weeks, while the lost iron is replaced over approximately six to eight weeks.

Q. Can one be infected through equipment?
No, Certainly not. You cannot get HIV or any other infectious disease by giving blood. The materials used for your blood donation, including the needle, blood bags, tubes and finger prick needle are new, sterile and disposable. These are used only once for your blood donation, dumped in a specialised waste container and incinerated.

Q. Can HIV be spread through blood donation?
Strict procedures are in place to ensure that donors act responsibly when pledging their support by donating blood. These measures ensure that they are not donating blood as a way of getting free HIV/AIDS test, but for the sole purpose of helping to save lives.
The commitment of our blood donors ensures the safety of blood supply. NBTS attempts to encourage donors to give blood for purely altruistic reasons. People who participate in unsafe lifestyle behaviour such as casual sex, male-to-male sex or taking intravenous drugs are advised not to donate blood.
Donors who deliberately donate to spread the HIV only incur more operational costs for NBTS. These costs are incurred in the form of collection of blood, storage, transportation and testing, ultimately, be discarded. It is also the donor’s responsibility to be honest when donating blood. However NBTS uses a Nucleid Acid Implification Technology (NAT) that detect the HIV 6 – 11 days from the day of infection.

Q. Why should I donate?
Donating a unit of this “precious gift of life” saves lives of those in dire need of blood. One must develop a habit of donating blood in order that National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) has sufficient blood stock to ensure that in cases of emergency quality blood is always available for needy patients.

Q. Is there anything special I need to do before donating?
Eat at your regular mealtimes and drink plenty of fluid before you donate blood. Have a snack at least four hours before you donate, but do not eat too much right before the donation. Before you leave the blood donor clinic after your blood donation, have some tea, coffee or a soft drink to help replace the blood volume (approximately 480 ml) which has been reduced as a result of your donation. Avoid taking aspirin or aspirin-like anti-inflammatory medication in the 72 hours prior to your donation, because aspirin inhibits the function of blood platelets. If you have taken aspirin within this period, your blood platelet component cannot be transfused to a patient.

Q. What is the procedure when I donate blood?
Firstly, you will be asked to provide personal details such as your name, address, age, weight, ID number and / or date of birth. A medical history is taken by means of a written questionnaire.

These questions are designed to ascertain that it is medically safe for you to donate blood and that the recipient of your blood will not be harmed in any way. In addition, very personal questions relating to your social behaviour are asked to ascertain that you are not an individual at increased risk of potentially transmitting infection through transfusion. People are asked to exclude themselves from blood donation if any of the exclusion criteria apply to them.

A finger prick test is performed in order to ascertain if your haemoglobin level is within a safe range for donation purposes. In addition, your pulse rate and blood pressure will also be checked. Potential donors will be permitted to donate only if these measurements are within the defined, acceptable range. If everything is in order you will proceed to donate your blood.

Q. How long does the donation take?
The procedure, which is performed by a trained, skilled nurse, takes approximately 30 minutes. You will give about 480ml of blood, after which you will be advised to remain on the donor bed for a few minutes longer while having some refreshments. Plan to spend about half an hour to an hour at the blood clinic for the entire process, depending on the size of the clinic and the number of donors.

Q. Does the needle hurt the entire time?
No. There may be a little sting when the needle is inserted, but there should be no pain whatsoever during the rest of the donation.

Q. How long will it take my body to replenish the donated blood?
Your body replaces the blood volume (plasma) within 24 hours. Red blood cells are replaced by the bone marrow into the circulatory system within about three to four weeks, while the lost iron is replaced over approximately six to eight weeks.

Q. How will I feel after the donation?
Most people feel great! Donors who know what to expect and have eaten regular meals, or have had a snack and fluids before donating, are usually fine. Most people who donate blood have no after-effect. Drink extra fluids four hours following your donation. A small number of people feel light-headed and others occasionally faint after donating.

In the unlikely event that you feel faint, be sure to quickly lie completely flat. Lying flat, even if on the floor, with your legs elevated, will usually resolve any feelings of dizziness or light-headedness quite quickly and may prevent fainting. In the event that you do not feel well after a blood donation, please contact the staff at your nearest blood donor centre.

Q. Can I donate during my menstrual period?
Yes, if you are feeling well.

Q. How soon after donating can I participate in sport?
After donation, it’s best to have a snack and drink plenty of fluids over the next four hours. You can then resume routine sporting or training activity. It is advisable not to donate blood three to four weeks before participating in a major sporting event such as the Comrades Marathon, or a competitive rugby or soccer match, where you intend to push yourself to the limit of your ability.

In the unlikely event that you do feel faint, light-headed or unwell during any sporting activities, the standard good advice is to immediately stop the activity and rest. Many active sports people are active blood donors. Sportsmen who frequently push themselves to their limit during their sporting activities should consider donating only platelets. In this situation the red blood cells are returned to the donor after the donation and the individual’s oxygen-carrying capacity and performance aren’t compromised.

Q. How often can I donate blood?
You may donate either whole blood or a specific blood component such as blood platelets. Each type of donation requires a certain waiting period before you can give again. After a whole blood donation, a person must wait at least 56 days before donating again.

This makes six donations a year quite possible. Most people can comfortably give four donations per year. Women of childbearing age are advised to give no more than four donations per year. Platelet donors are able to donate as often as once a month (12 times per year), while dedicated whole blood donors can even fit in seven donations every second year.

Q. Is it possible to get AIDS from donating blood?
No, certainly not! You cannot get Aids or any other infectious disease by giving blood. This is a commonly asked question, especially among young people, who have heard of the link between HIV and blood. The materials used for your blood donation, including the needle, bag, tubes and finger prick needle are new, sterile and disposable. These are used only once for your blood donation and then destroyed after use.

Q. What is a “unit” of blood?
A unit is about 480ml of donated blood. The average adult has between four and five litres of blood in his or her body, and can easily spare one unit.

Q. Why Nigerians Should Donate Blood?
Nigerians are often reluctant to donate blood voluntarily. But there are good health implications of doing so Former Health Minister, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, last week, lamented that only 1,130,000, units of blood are collected annually through the various types of donations as against 1,336,000 estimates of blood units needed by Nigerians to survive. That deficit, according to him, has resulted in numerous preventable deaths especially among women and children and people living with certain diseases. “In Nigeria, we are currently faced with a situation, whereby 60 per cent of all blood donations are from commercial donors, 30 per cent from family replacement and only 10 per cent are from voluntary donors”, he said.

Chukwu who made this disclosure on the occasion of the 2012 World Blood Donor Day, added that deaths associated with lack of blood can be avoided if only two per cent of Nigerian adult population committed themselves to regular voluntary non- remunerated blood donation. We join the health minister in the call for Nigerians to voluntarily donate blood.

According to medical practitioners, those who need blood transfusion include victims who have been involved in road accident and have lost blood, patients going for surgery and those with blood disorder, like sickle cell anaemia. There are also patients whose blood don’t clot (hereditary bleeding disease e. g. haemophilia) as well as children whose blood cells have been depleted by malaria. Cancer patients also use lots of blood as well as do those with burns. Women on ante-natal or about to deliver a baby use lots of blood while statistics have indeed revealed that women use at least 53 per cent of the blood that is collected, men only use 47 per cent. Also, with the increase in the wave of terrorism, bomb blasts, suicide bombing, etc., there is now a serious demand for blood to treat emergency cases.

Source: National Blood Transfusion Services Blood Donor FAQ

Ghanaian Surgeon writes angry letter to Spanish Ambassador over Visa Denial

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A Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon at Ghana’s apex hospital, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Agbeko Ocloo, reportedly wrote to the Spanish Ambassador protesting the refusal of a visa to him without proper justification.
Below is the full letter as published on Joy Online

The Deputy Head of Mission

Embassy of Spain

Accra, Ghana

26th April 2015

Dear Sir:

I applied for a short-term visa to attend a medical conference in Barcelona from 26th April to 29th April 2015 and by your response dated 22nd April 2015 I had been denied an entry visa to your country. As was written in your rejection letter, I have an option of lodging a contentious-administrative appeal at the High Court of Justice of Madrid (Spain) within a two-month deadline counting from the date of serving. Since it is nigh impossible for me to get myself to Madrid and lodge my appeal I have decided to personally write to you for some clarification.

The reasons for denying me an entry visa were that the information regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable and also that my intention to leave your country before the expiry of the visa could not be ascertained.

I know it is your prerogative to decide whom to grant a visa to but I feel personally insulted for the reasons you have given for the denial.

I am a highly trained orthopedic surgeon with specialty interest in orthopedic sports medicine and complex joint reconstruction. I have been a doctor for the past 20yrs. My current positions are:

  1. Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon at the KorleBu Teaching Hospital.
  2. Lecturer at the University of Ghana Medical School
  3. Fellow of the West African College of Surgeons
  4. Consultant for West Africa Rescue Association WARA. (I treat patients from the expatriate and diplomatic community including quite a number from Spain) I am sure if you were to injure yourself, am the most likely surgeon that you will be referred to.

I have attended medical conferences in Germany, Switzerland, South Africa, Japan, Canada, USA and Norway. Incidentally all these countries found my purpose for travelling justifiable except you. The letter of invitation I presented to you was written by a renowned surgeon in Madrid who trained in the same institution as I did in the United States. But I guess you did not find a letter written by such a person credible enough.

I find it laughable that you think I will not return to Ghana and end up as an illegal immigrant in Spain where people of my skin tone are treated as second-class citizens. I have a wife and children whom I do not intend to abandon. Although I do not consider myself wealthy, I am very comfortable economically and have investments in property and other assets in Ghana. How did you ever come to the conclusion that I was a flight risk?

May I kindly remind you of some basic facts about your country?

  1. The unemployment rate in Spain presently is 25% and youth unemployment tops 50%. Why will I leave a stable job and to go and join the unemployment ranks in your country.
  2. From January 2009 to end of 2013, 400,000 Spaniards emigrated to look for work outside of your country. And this is expected to rise in the coming years.
  3. Doctors in Spain are the least/worst paid in the whole Euro zone. Why will I want to go work in a country where my counterparts are leaving in droves for economic reasons?
  4. In the year 2012, it is on record that 2405 medical doctors applied for certification to work abroad, according to The Medical Spanish Association – a 75% increase compared with 2011. 83% of doctors seek jobs in Europe (mainly the UK and France) and 7% America.
  5. In 2009, the Health Ministry warned that there was a shortage and that the country needed around 3,200 more doctors. By 2025, at the present rate the shortfall will be around 25,000. The Spanish government has talked of increasing the number of university and medical school places, as well as making it easier for overseas personnel to work here.

Sir, as a representative of the country of Spain you have failed woefully in your responsibility to promote the interest of your country by denying me a visa.  My skill, knowledge and experience will be invaluable to the Spanish people even if I decided not to come back to Ghana. Furthermore, my budget for this conference topped € 5000. This is the amount of money that would have been injected into the Spanish economy in a week. Can you imagine the economic loss if all the doctors from all over the world attending this conference were denied entry into Spain? I was due to present two papers and since I was not able to go I have informed the conveners of the conference of my inability to attend. This is an international conference and can you imagine the embarrassment your compatriot doctors will feel when it is announced that I could not present my scientific papers because you denied me a visa? Never mind that I cannot get a full refund for my ticket and my total booking for the hotel is not refundable.

Given the reason for visa rejection, a detailed explanation on which aspects of my application did not provide sufficient evidence that I will return to Ghana is most welcome. I am particularly curious to know of the lofty economic standards set for Ghanaians to visit to Spain when Spaniards themselves barely meet these standards.

Yours truly,

Dr. Agbeko Ocloo MB.ChB FWACS

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Cc:

The Ambassador

Embassy of Spain

Accra, Ghana

Source: Joy Online