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Navrongo NDC decides: I run out of money few days to 2019 primaries – Dr. Paarechuga Anankware

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Dr. Jacob Paarechuga Anankware has decried the excessive monetization of politics within the country. Dr. Anankware, one of the four people who have successfully filed their nomination to contest in the upcoming primaries for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Navrongo Central constituencies, recounted that during the previous elections, he ran out of funds just a few days to the election. 

This, he said, was because elections had become extremely expensive in Ghana. Dr. Anankware was speaking to A1 Radio’s Mark Smith on the Day Break Upper East Show recently. 

He explained that because of the excessive monetization of politics, it had become extremely difficult for young professionals passionate about development to become politicians or seek elected roles. Meanwhile, the situation has made it extremely easy for dishonest and corrupt individuals to win elections. 

“I am a victim of the circumstance. In 2019 when I decided to contest, I said okay, I am not going to anybody for money [and] I would use my personal funds. I was so ignorant at the time. I thought I could use my personal funds to run the campaign. A few days to the election, I was totally down. I had exhausted every single cedi that was available to me.”

After he ran out of campaign funds, all his supporters didn’t stay any longer with him, Dr. Anankware said.

“All the people who were by me, supporting me, standing by me, and all that, when you see them during the election, you even see them turning their faces, then you knew you had lost the election.”

“They come to me, we want money. [They say], give us money, and we will vote for you. I was brokenhearted not because I would lose the election but because of the nature of the people at the time. I was saddened. With all due respect to the delegates of Navrongo, I am not insulting them, and I would never do that because they are people I love and cherish, but I think that it is because others have conscientize us to think that money is the way to go,” he said.

Dr. Anankware encouraged delegates to be cautious about candidates who offer them so much money in exchange for votes. 

“If someone comes to your farm and tells you I am going to weed your farm and give you money in addition, do you think the person is being sincere?”

Dr. Jacob Paarechuga Anankware is a Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Horticulture and Crop Production at the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) with over 35 publications in peer reviewed journals and a book on hermetic storage of grain against major insect pests. 

Dr. J.P. Anankware attended Navrongo Secondary School (Navasco) from 2001-2004. He proceeded to the University for Development Studies from 2005-2009 (BSc Applied Biology), and served as a teaching assistant from 2009-2010. In 2009, he won a US$7000.00 grant with a scientific breakthrough at UDS for developing a natural control for major insect pests. He continued to the University of Ghana and pursued M.Phil. Entomology at the prestigious African regional Postgraduate Programme in Insect Science (ARPPIS) from 2010-2012. In the first semester, he won US$11,500.00 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to further improve his previous research on insect pests. 

Prior to his graduation, he worked as a consultant at Vestergaard Frandsen (Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research), Legon from 2012 to 2013. At Vestergaard, he established the largest insectary in Ghana from scratch; developed rearing protocols for major storage pests and conducted bioassays for the popular deltamethrin-impregnated ZeroFly grain storage bag. Paarechuga resigned to pursue his PHD in Entomology at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the University of Nairobi in 2013 and graduated in 2016. Whiles pursuing his PHD, Paarechuga was the Deputy Country Director of Fish for Africa (an NGO specialised in rearing insects for protein in feed); he helped raised about €3 million Euros from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Swiss National Science Foundation and immediately resigned in August, 2014 and joined Aspire Food Group (An NGO rearing edible insects for human consumption) as the Ghana Country Director. 

Dr. Paarechuga helped build Aspire Food Group from scratch with a US$1million grant from the Bill Clinton Global Initiative and the Hult Prize. He resigned in September, 2016 to concentrate and finish his PHD in November, 2016 and became the first and only entomophagical entomologist in Africa. Paarechuga is the Founder and CEO of AnePaare Farms (www.anepaarefarm.com); a global player in entomophagy (eating of insects) and a board chairman of Neat Eco-Feeds Ltd (www.neatecofeeds.com)

He was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Michigan, USA, a 2017 Mandela Washington Fellow at the Purdue University, USA and a 2018 Humboldt Scholar at the Humboldt University in Germany. Paarechuga is currently pursuing his fourth Post-Doctoral fellowship at the New York University School of Medicine; focussing on Research Ethics and Integrity.

He once enrolled at the Oxford University in the UK and abandoned it to pursue other interests in Ghana.

He is currently working on a US$1.85 million DANIDA funded project on the nexus of agriculture, nutrition and infectious diseases among women and children and how edible insects can contribute to mitigating the injuriousness caused by iron-deficiency and anaemia. 

He has successfully trained and empowered over 2000 farmers in the Bono, Bono East, Ahafo, Ashanti and Eastern regions of Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Kenya to sustainably rear larvae of the African palm weevil (Rhynchophorus phoenicis), also called “akokono” in Akan, to improve their nutrition and income. He also rears larvae of the black soldier fly (Hermetia illuscens) as a cheap source of protein to replace fish meal and soybean meal in fish and poultry feed. This will make it easy for Ghanaian farmers to produce meat and fish cheaply. 

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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