Private Sector Snubs Ghana@60 Fundraising

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No Cash For Gh¢20 Million Event Almost One Week To Celebrations

The Ghana@60 Planning Committee, is racing against time to raise the GH¢20 million budget for the Independence celebration, which is barely a week away, but without any momentum to show something is about to happen in the country.

The 35-member committee is even yet to raise GH¢10 million cedis of the amount, spokesperson of the committee, Jefferson Sackey, confirmed to AM show host, Mamavi Owusu Aboagye.

President Akufo-Addo recently declared “This diamond jubilee commemoration is estimated to cost some GH¢ 20 million and I am hoping that individual Ghanaians, the Ghanaian private sector and corporate Ghana in particular, will provide the funds for this anniversary” while unveiling the theme for the celebration.

But Jefferson Sackey, has suggested President Akufo-Addo’s call, has not yielded the desired response. However, the committee is still hoping to get the financial support from corporate Ghana as it rolls out an elaborate plan for the celebration of Ghana’s 60th Anniversary.

Nana Akufo-Addo led administration, has been adamant and has been trumpeting the need to lift national consciousness using activities of the independence celebration.

Concerns have been raised about the need for the new government to sink 20 million cedis into the celebration of an anniversary at a time the country is reeling in debts and struggling to keep its power on for both residential and industrial users.

Recently, three benevolent Ghanaian individuals, donated ghc3, 000,000 each to support the celebration of the ensuing 60 year anniversary, chairman of the Ghana at 60 planning committee, Ken Amankwah, revealed.

Speaking exclusively to GhanaWeb at the launch of the 60 year anniversary cloth, Mr. Amankwah, also noted that one individual, has promised to foot the budget of the ‘festival of culture’ which is part of the week-long celebration of the Ghana at 60 anniversaries.

Unibank, Excellence In Broadcasting (EIB) network and Express Capital, have donated GH¢300,000 cash and GH¢200, 000 worth of airtime and GH¢100, 000 cash respectively to the Ghana@ 60 committee to complement their efforts toward a colorful anniversary.

These donations, came on the back of President Akufo-Addo’s call on corporate Ghana and individuals to borne some of the cost of the celebration

The President is keen to make a positive impression on Ghana’s Independence celebration, which falls on March 6.

A number of activities lined up for the celebration, include a wreath laying ceremony on February 28, 2017, a video documentary of Ghana’s Independence era till date which will be aired on March 1, an inter-schools debate competition, an innovative apps challenge, an international gospel concert, a public lecture, the independence day parade etc.

Each of these activities, will involve an amount of money, which has been pegged at an estimated cost of 20 million cedis.

The planning committee, said no public funds would be used for the celebration and that they would raise the money through sponsorship from corporate institutions.

Even though, some of the activities have begun with the 28th February wreath laying event, the entire funding amount is yet to be raised.

Asked if the committee has raised the budget sum, Jefferson Sackey said “contributions are coming” but the committee has neither raised the 20 million cedis sum, nor has it raised half of that amount.

“We are very confident. The very first day the president inaugurated the logo itself, we had corporate Ghana in there. We had majority of them make some pledges.

It is now up to the sub- committee responsible for sponsorship to follow up on those funds and ensure that we get that amount of money, so that we can commemorate this anniversary,” he said.

Meanwhile: Marian Ansah, has in a article published on citifmonline.com, raised some concerns about the expensive celebrations.

Below is the article published yesterday.

President Nana Addo’s revelation of the projected cost for the Ghana at 60 celebrations has generated mixed reactions among Ghanaians. Whereas some are incensed owing to their perception that the amount involved (20 million cedis) is too much there are others who believe that 60 years of self-rule is such a major achievement that cannot be glossed over.

On the face value, both the proponents for and against commemorating the event seem to have a point.  First of all, we need to establish whether there is need to commemorate this event.

Is Ghana at 60 necessary?

As pointed above, opinion is still divided among Ghanaians on whether commemorating our 60 years of independence will add value to majority of Ghanaians who are still grappling with all manner of humanitarian challenges — lack of shelter, hunger, just to mention a few.

Some Ghanaians have argued the decision to boycott this celebration will be tantamount to suggesting that we do not appreciate our independence. They believe Ghana has achieved so much that warrants the celebration. On the contrary,  others argue that in as much as commemorating  six decades of independence is a good thing, it  should  not be undertaken with such colossal budget especially at a time when a sizable share of our population still lack basic amenities.  For instance, they hold the view that, 60 years on, not all Ghanaians still have access to potable drinking water,  quality health care and thousands are still homeless. So what do we have to show for a country that’s 60 years?

That we have been liberated from what many have described as the exploitation of cruel colonial masters is not in doubt. But this does not warrant blind spending when that very independence has failed to reflect on the lives of citizenry. How can we say we are free from colonial rule when we still go begging the oppressors for crumbs in the name of loans and international agreements?

Even the argument that we are spending less on the same exercise [$20m in 2007 as compared to $5m in 2017] as opposed to the 2007 Ghana@50 celebration, is not a justification for waste. Yes, the event will be funded by the Ghanaian business community as suggested by the Ghana@60 committee but can’t we channel those resources to useful programmes that will positively affect Ghanaians?

Magufuli’s example

When the President of Tanzania, John Magufuli was confronted with a similar opportunity to engage in needless celebrations he rubbished the idea and rather suggested that a communal clean-up exercise be organised. He was quoted as saying that it would be “shameful” to spend huge sums of money on the celebrations when “our people are dying of cholera.” We can equally glean some good lessons from his decision and developments from Ghana at 50 celebrations, should be our guiding principle. It’s very relevant to commemorate the event-it will offer us an opportunity to reflect on our successes and proffer remedy for our failures. We can seize the moment and take advantage of the occasion to mobilise for a better future but let us not waste resources while we are at it. Let us be modest in our celebrations.

By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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