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‘Employed by my body’: Inside Accra’s growing hook-up business



It is 2200 hours on Friday. About 100 girls actively pitch for clients on a Telegram platform with the hope of catching the eye of men who would pay for their bodies and have them for the night.

This is an emerging form of prostitution popularly known as ‘hook-up’ – a departure from the old practice where commercial sex workers operated in sequestered places to offer sex in exchange for money.

The Telegram platform, solely dedicated to sex trading activities, has garnered more than 21,000 members.

One of the advertisements on the platform reads (edited): “Promotion, promotion, promotion. Two rounds with BJ and romance for a cool price. I don’t go out. I host in a hotel at…”

The advertisement mentions services rendered and adds: “I give boyfriend treatment with respect. Come to me and you will not regret.”

A message from another certified account reads: “Ignore your annoying wife and come to me for the best treatment and trust me you will like my personality.” It mentions the locations the advertiser visits within Accra and adds contact details.

Some of the users go to the extent of showing their nakedness and their faces to attract clients.

Some advertisers also sell sexual enhancement products and aphrodisiacs and tout the efficacy of those products.

The Ghana News Agency’s investigative team has identified more than 10 separate groups on Telegram where young women prospect for clients for paid sex and are willing to risk anything for the money.

A member of the news team booked Grace (not her real name) and met her at a Guest House at Lapaz, a suburb of Accra, where she hosts her clients.

A fair slim woman, who is in her late twenties, meets him at the reception and takes him to her room on the second floor of the building.

Her room is filled with an intense smell of a substance (like incense) that appears to have been burned.

She explains that she burns the substance before she receives a client to drive away evil spirits because “not everyone that comes here has good intentions.”

“You don’t know the intentions of the customer, so this offers me spiritual protection,” she said.

A Bible, assorted lubricants, condoms, and tissue lie on a table beside a single-sized bed.

Asked about the Bible, she replies: “You think I’m a bad girl, so I don’t know God,” and giggles.

She cuts the conversation and demands payment before she renders her service. In a telephone conversation before the visit, it was agreed that she would offer one round of sex at a fee of GHc200.

Then she spells her rules: “You cannot touch my breast or kiss me. My breast is for my boyfriend so you must pay an extra 50 cedis to touch it,” she says, and adds: “I can offer you a 360 service with good romance if you pay 400 cedis.”

Asked if she offers unprotected sex, she reluctantly replies: “I’ll consider it if you pay me GHS1,000.”

The client opts for a short massage “without a happy ending” at a fee of GHc200, which will last between 30-40 minutes.

In a friendly conversation, Grace shared that she is a 28-year-old mother of two. She migrated from the North East Region three years ago to Accra to work and fend for her family.

She said her difficulty in finding a job that would match her needs made her join the hook-up business two years ago.

She declines to mention how much she makes in a day but says her dream is to raise enough money to travel outside the country in search of greener pastures.

Grace says she is not comfortable with the business because it is “disgusting”, and the risk outweighs the benefits.

“I will not advise any young woman to do this business. One of our girls disappeared after visiting a client about three months ago and since then I only host in a hotel where I feel safe,” she said.

An engagement with a lot more ladies through the Telegram platform revealed that these young women are overly ambitious and are willing to risk their health and safety for money.

Some of them are either in school or have graduated and after many years of not finding jobs, resort to sex work to earn a living.

An assessment of the profiles of the users of the Telegram platform indicates that many of the ladies are migrants from neighboring African countries who have settled in Ghana to undertake such activities for survival.

Commercial sex work has been identified as a high-risk activity that spreads sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

Dr Stephen Ayisi Addo, Programmes Manager, National AIDS/STI Control Programme, said female sex workers have a higher HIV prevalence rate as compared to the general population.

He said most people who engage in multiple sexual encounters are unaware of their HIV status, making it even more dangerous.

“If you compare the general population prevalence, which is 1.7 percent, with female sex workers, including those who engage in hook-up, their prevalence is 4.6 percent. This means that if you take 100 people, about five of them will be positive,” Dr Addo said.

Dr Addo said if condoms were not used well during a sexual activity both the commercial sex worker and the client would be exposed to higher risk.

Daily, more online sex trading services appear on social media platforms.

The GNA gathered that certified users of a particular Telegram hook-up service pay between GHc 300 and GHc400 fortnightly to ‘faceless’ Group Administrators to be permitted to advertise on the platform.

Mr Adib Saani, Security Analyst and Executive Director of, the Centre for Human Security and Peace Building, said the pervasiveness of uncontrolled online dating and hook-up sites has serious cyber security implications, as criminals could use such platforms to lure and defraud their victims.

He added that children could be susceptible and exposed to inappropriate content and activities online and advised parents to be cautious about their children’s internet habits by restricting some applications on their phones.

The rise in commercial sex workers has been linked to dwindling employment opportunities in the country, particularly among the youth.

The 2021 Population and Housing Census conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service indicates that more than 1.55 million people or 13.4 percent of Ghana’s economically active population are out of work — as compared to the 5.3 percent jobless rate recorded in the 2010 census.

The World Bank in 2016 projected that Ghana would have to create at least 300,000 new jobs annually to absorb the increasing number of unemployed people given the country’s growing youth population.

Mr. Solomon Adjei, President of, the Association of Ghana Start-ups, said the “hook-up” trade should not be considered a business and warned that such activities could jeopardize the future and productivity of the youth.

He appealed to the Government to roll out deliberate policies to support young people who intend to run their businesses after school.

The GNA’s investigations suggest that the main drivers of the hook-up business in Accra are unemployment, uncontrolled immigration, and the absence of a robust national online policy that will check and restrict illicit online activities, especially on social media.

The rate at which the youth engage in such activities should cause national concern as it has implications for the spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections, cyber security, child safety, and the country’s rich cultural, religious, and social values.



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MTN Ghana Introduces New Tariffs Effective November 28, 2023







On November 28, 2023, MTN Ghana implemented new tariffs, marking a significant change in the cost structure for their services. This move has captured the attention of consumers, prompting them to evaluate how these adjustments will impact their communication expenses.


The telecommunications industry is dynamic, with companies frequently reassessing their pricing strategies to align with market demands, technological advancements, and regulatory changes. MTN Ghana, as a major player in this sector, regularly updates its tariffs to maintain competitiveness and provide sustainable services.


One of the notable changes in the new tariffs is the adjustments to call rates. Customers can anticipate shifts in the cost per minute for both on-net and off-net calls. This modification is likely to impact the communication habits of subscribers, influencing the choice between making calls within the MTN network or to other networks.


Additionally, data tariffs have seen revisions, reflecting the growing importance of mobile data in our digital age. As individuals increasingly rely on smartphones for various activities, including work, entertainment, and social interactions, understanding the adjustments to data tariffs is crucial. MTN Ghana aims to strike a balance between affordability and quality service, ensuring that users can access the internet without compromising on speed and reliability.


Moreover, the new tariffs might include changes to SMS charges. With the prevalence of instant messaging apps, traditional SMS usage has declined. However, for certain services and communication scenarios, text messages remain relevant. Subscribers should be aware of any modifications in SMS rates to manage their messaging expenses effectively.


It’s essential for MTN Ghana customers to stay informed about these tariff adjustments to make informed decisions based on their communication needs and budget. The company typically communicates such changes through various channels, including SMS notifications, social media updates, and announcements on their official website.


This tariff adjustment by MTN Ghana may be a response to various factors, such as inflation, infrastructure investments, or changes in regulatory requirements. Understanding the reasons behind these adjustments can provide customers with a broader perspective on the evolving telecommunications landscape.


The new tariffs implemented by MTN Ghana on November 28, 2023, underscore the dynamic nature of the telecommunications industry. Customers are encouraged to review the changes, assess their communication patterns, and make informed choices to ensure their mobile usage remains both convenient and cost-effective in this ever-evolving digital age.


The changes in MTN Ghana’s tariffs are expected to influence consumer behavior in several ways. With adjustments to call rates, subscribers may reconsider their communication preferences, opting for on-net calls to leverage more cost-effective options. This shift could potentially strengthen MTN’s network usage as customers seek ways to optimize their spending. Similarly, alterations in data tariffs may prompt users to reevaluate their data consumption habits, potentially leading to increased reliance on Wi-Fi networks or more judicious use of mobile data. Understanding these shifts in consumer behavior is crucial for both MTN Ghana and its subscribers, as it enables the company to tailor its services to meet evolving needs.


The telecommunications industry is highly competitive, with various providers vying for market share. MTN Ghana’s tariff adjustments are likely influenced by the need to remain competitive in this dynamic environment. Analyzing how these changes position MTN in comparison to other players in the market provides valuable insights into the company’s strategic approach. Additionally, consumers may compare the new tariffs with those of competitors, exploring potential benefits or drawbacks that could influence their decision to stay with MTN or consider alternative service providers.


Effective communication and transparency play a pivotal role in managing customer expectations during tariff adjustments. MTN Ghana must ensure that its subscribers are well-informed about the changes, providing clear explanations for the reasons behind the adjustments. Transparent communication fosters trust and helps mitigate any potential backlash from customers who may be resistant to changes in pricing. Additionally, proactive communication can guide users on how to navigate the new tariff structure, empowering them to make informed choices that align with their communication needs and budget constraints.


Telecommunications companies operate within a regulatory framework that can impact their pricing strategies. Changes in tariffs may be influenced by regulatory requirements, and understanding this aspect is essential for both the company and its users. MTN Ghana’s compliance with regulations ensures a stable and legal operating environment. Subscribers should be aware of any regulatory factors that contribute to these tariff adjustments, as this knowledge can provide context for the changes and help users appreciate the broader industry dynamics shaping their mobile communication experiences.




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Let’s live harmoniously to safeguard Ghana’s peace – Peace Council on recent clashes




The National Peace Council (NPC) has called on Ghanaians to live harmoniously with each other to safeguard the country’s peace.

It has urged Ghanaians to protect “the peace and security of the country by creating and using avenues of tolerance, cooperation, and coexistence to sustain the country’s identity as an oasis of peace in Africa.”

This follows the unfortunate violent clashes in some parts of the country which have resulted in the deaths of some citizens.

Reports from Kintampo in the Bono East Region, Nkwanta in the Oti Region, and Wenchiki in the Northeast Region indicate that violence has led to the destruction of lives and property in these affected communities.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the NPC reminded Ghanaians “of paragraphs (c), (d) and (i) of
article 41 of the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana which states thus:  The exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms is inseparable from the performance of duties and obligations, and accordingly, it shall be the duty of every citizen.”

“To foster national unity and live in harmony with others;  to respect the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of others, and generally to refrain from doing acts detrimental to the welfare of other persons. To co-operate with lawful agencies in the maintenance of law and order.”

Read the full statement from the NPC here

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Defence and National Security Ministers to appear before parliament today over Kintampo clash




The Ministers of Defence and National Security are expected to appear before the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament on Thursday, November 23, to provide a briefing on actions being taken by the government to forestall a clash between the Mo and Wangara tribes in the Kintampo North municipality.

This comes on the back of a summons by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin.

According to the Member of Parliament for the area, Joseph Kwame Kumah, tensions were high when the Mo tribe requested to perform rituals within the months of November and December, coinciding with the annual Klubi festival of the Wangara community.

In response to calls for a ceasefire by the MP, the Speaker directed that the government must take immediate steps to ensure peaceful coexistence.

“As the first authorities to come to this house to brief the committee on Defense and Interior, this is an urgent matter that should be handled with dispatch. I think Thursday should be okay for the two ministers and their commanders to appear before the committee early tomorrow morning by 9 am to brief the committee. It is an urgent matter.”

“The National Security Council through their regional office should immediately intervene because the chieftaincy institution is one of the cornerstones of the peace and security of our country, and we hold that institution dearly. We will do everything to prevent that institution from falling into disarray,” he stated.

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