First Lady of the Ghana, her Exellency Rebecca Akuffo-Addo has denied rumors and allegations that her charity foundation played a part in StarTimes reaching an agreement with Government of Ghana to secure a contract to extend satellite Tv to 300 Communities in the country.
In a press release for the first lady’s outlet, she has set the records straight by stating that it is not true her charity foundation had any part to play.
Chinese broadcast giants StarTimes and the Government of Ghana has reached an agreement and they will be extending satellite TV to 300 communities in the country. As part of the project, StarTimes has also been awarded a deal by the Ministry of Communication to complete the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Network Platform started by local IT firm K-NET.
The move has been widely opposed by the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) with strong criticism from the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
A picture of Her Exellency being handed a jersey by StarTimes raised suspicion amongst parties who are against StarTimes being given the nod to go ahead with the project. A gesture many believes is part of a bigger picture where the first lady was influenced to aid StarTimes to secure the deal.
The report and rumors heightened last week with allegations that Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo had been bribed to make the deal happen.
In a response to the claims, the Rebecca Foundation in a press releases has stated; “StarTimes has never been, at any time, a partner of the foundation, as has been suggested.”
On the issue of the first lady being offered a jersey in a picture, they say; “STARTIMES 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 statement further clarifies that StarTimes only donated football kit to the Rebecca Foundation to be distributed to the SOS Children’s Village, of which the First Lady is the patron.
Below is the full statement:
RE: THE REBECCA FOUNDATION AND STARTIMES 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, STARTIMES CORPORATION. This is to offer clarification on the matter.
STARTIMES 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.
STARTIMES 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.