Ghana’s first lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo has said her charity organization has no role to play in any “engagement between Star Times and the Government of Ghana, either directly or indirectly.”
The Chinese company has secured a deal to extend satellite TV to over 300 villages across the country. The communications ministry believes the move will help Ghanaians in rural communities to become alert on national issues and be involved in development since they have will access to content about national projects.
A section of the media is accusing the first lady of taking a whopping sum of money from StarTimes as bribe to influence government to engage the Chinese firm for the contract.
Reacting to the claims, the Rebecca Foundation said: “STAR TIMES has never been, at any time, a partner of the foundation, as has been suggested.”
It said: “The Foundation is, however, very grateful to Star Times for offering football kit to be donated through the Foundation to the SOS Children’s Village, where the First Lady is honoured to be a patron.”
Below are full details of the statement:
RE: THE REBECCA FOUNDATION AND STAR TIMES SPONSORSHIP OF FOOTBALL KITS
The attention of the Office of the First Lady has been drawn to a publication in the media, concerning her charity, The Rebecca Foundation, and a Chinese firm operating in Ghana, STAR TIMES CORPORATION. This is to offer clarification on the matter.
STAR TIMES has never been, at any time, a partner of the foundation, as has been suggested. The Foundation is, however, very grateful to Star Times for offering football kit to be donated through the Foundation to the SOS Children’s Village, where the First Lady is honoured to be a patron.
In 2017, the First Lady, on a trip to China, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Rebecca Foundation and the Licang District Experimental School in Qingdao, to establish an exchange programme between Ghanaian and Chinese school children.
The programme, which seeks to deepen cultural, academic and sports ties between the pupils of the two countries, will see an exchange of 15 pupils each between Ghana and China, annually.
Under the terms of the MOU, Ghanaian pupils will learn martial arts, ping-pong and other disciplines, while Chinese pupils will benefit from football training with their Ghanaian counterparts.
The first group participating this year from Ghana are fifteen (15) children from the SOS Children’s Village.
This experience is anticipated to make a positive impact on the lives of participating children.
STAR TIMES CORPORATION offered to provide football kits for the children because of their association with Ghana football. This worthy effort, it must be stated, was not at the instance of the Foundation.
The support was publicly announced and it is purely for charitable purposes. It is worth emphasising that neither the First Lady nor the Foundation has any role to play in any engagement between Star Times and the Government of Ghana, either directly or indirectly.
The Rebecca Foundation is committed to improving the welfare and well-being of women and children, especially the vulnerable in society, and works with various partners who contribute in diverse ways to our vision and mission.
We are forever grateful for the continuous support the charity is receiving from its well wishers, both in Ghana and abroad.
We wish to assure the general public that the Rebecca Foundation will continue to be guided by the strict principles of honesty, integrity and transparency.