Details have emerged on how members of President Akufo-Addo’s family, continue to raid both state institutions and private businesses, subtly forcing them to dole out cash as sponsorship for their personal projects obviously for the appointees to continue keeping their appointments,failure of which could attract an unspoken sanctions from the first family.
One such clear case of exploitation is the release of a whopping Two Hundred and Twenty Seven Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢227, 000. 00) by the management of the state-owned Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) to the daughters of President Akufo-Addo and his wife, Rebecca Akufo-Addo.
The money was dished out to My Sister’s Keeper Foundation, Co-founded by the three daughters of the President namely; Gyankroma Akufo-Addo, Valerie Obaze and Edwina Akufo-Addo for their charity work.
Documents from GCB, including cheques cited by The Herald showed that the money, was given to the first daughters on May 22, 2018 by the Financial Controller at the GCB Head Office in Accra.
The cheque issued to President Akufo-Addo’s three daughters is numbered, 5229311011130032463.
The President’s daughters in partnership with Glam Africa Magazine, said they had targeted GH¢250,000 to support Autistic children at the Autism Awareness Care and Training Centre (AACT) in Accra, however, The Herald’s findings are that, they got GH¢227, 000. 00 from the state-owned GCB alone in support of their project.
It is unclear, how much President’s daughters raised from the state institutions, government appointees, businessmen and the philanthropists and well-wishers from across the globe, by the President’s girls.
The three ladies, held a programme in Accra which was attended by their parents, state officials and businessmen, who had to buy dinner tables to be present as happened in the cash for seat scandal, which rocked the Akufo-Addo government in 2017, leading to a Parliamentary probe.
In that episode, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, had partnered Millennium Excellence Foundation (MEF), the event organizers and charged between $25,000 and $100,000, to enable expatriates to sit close to the President at the awards ceremony during the 2017 Ghana Expatriates Business Awards ceremony.
My Sister’s Keeper Foundation, had in a statement issued to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) described its fund raising event as highly successful event, and disclosed that funds from various sources, including selling of the dinner tables at the glam event, were raised.
The statement, also revealed that items, including outfits from the Nineteen 57 collection by KOD clothing line, Modella B fashion, paintings from the Autism Awareness Care and Training Centre, art work from respected Ghanaian artist Kofi Agorsor, as well as a brand new vehicle courtesy of Svani Motors owned Thomas Svanikier, which was raffled on the day.
The foundation, said the event brought together philanthropists and well-wishers from across the globe, but failed to mention how much money was realized in total.
President Akufo-Addo and Rebecca Akufo-Addo, were also present to support their children, who are focused on creating an impact-driven organization to give back to the society and help to build a safer and happier nation.
According to Gyankroma Akufo-Addo: “It is imperative for Ghanaians to be educated about Autism Spectrum Disorder in order to stop the stigmatisation that is usually associated with autism. It is sad that in Ghana, some people attribute autism to witchcraft, and in the process, ostracize the affected persons instead of providing an enabling environment for them to be able to gain crucial therapy which will give them the independence to assimilate into ‘conventional’ society.”
The President’s girls, claimed that the funds would be used to improve the lives of the 50 children with ASD being cared for at the Autism Awareness Care and Training Centre, run by Madam Serwah Quaynor; giving these children a new breath of life and hope, as well as to raise much needed awareness for ASD.
The statement stated that, My Sister’s Keeper Foundation, seeks to support Ghana’s Change momentum by positively affecting people throughout Ghana—in their homes, in their communities, and most importantly, in their lives, adding each year, the founders will choose a new passion project they aim to support in the ensuing 12 months, for which the privately-funded charity will build and execute a year-long series of initiatives and events.
The aim, through careful selection of projects, is to not only advocate for their chosen causes, but to directly and indirectly, deliver social impact in the communities that My Sister’s Keeper founders will choose to work in, the GNA reported.
Autism is a highly variable neuro-developmental disorder, which usually affects children at the early stages and presents among other things, great communication and emotional challenges for them. It said in Ghana, autism affects approximately one in every 150 children.