JAK Foundation launches GH¢80m fundraising campaign

BY: Salomey Appiah-Adjei
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor (right), addressing participants in the launch. With him is Ms Joyce Aryee (left), Executive Director of Salt and Light Ministries. Picture: EDNA ADU-SERWAA
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor (right), addressing participants in the launch. With him is Ms Joyce Aryee (left), Executive Director of Salt and Light Ministries. Picture: EDNA ADU-SERWAA

A campaign to raise GH¢80 million to set up an endowment fund to sustain the vision of former President John Agyekum Kufuor has been launched in Accra.

The year-long campaign being organised by the John Agyekum Kufuor (JAK) Foundation on the theme: “80for80” is to commemorate the former President’s 80th birthday which falls on December 8, 2018.

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The fund will be used to, among other things, construct the Kufuor Centre for Leadership and Governance at a cost of $5 million and the rest invested under an endowment fund.

The vision of former President Kufuor is to establish a peaceful, well-governed and economically sustained society in Ghana and Africa through the promotion of effective leadership.

Mr Kufuor was the President of Ghana from 2001 to 2008. He established the JAK Foundation in 2009 to promote and sustain the development of Ghana and Africa.

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A life worth celebrating

At a brief ceremony to launch the campaign in Accra yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer of the JAK Foundation, Professor Baffour Agyemang-Duah, said the former President was worth celebrating, considering his contribution to the development of the country.

He indicated that his vision of ensuring effective leadership, good governance and socio-economic development in Ghana and Africa as a whole needed to be sustained, hence the campaign.

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He further explained that the returns on the endowment fund would be used to run the foundation’s programme, including the Kufuor Scholarship, Kufuor Young Entrepreneurs’ Network, Annual Lecture Series on Governance and Development, the Kufuor Election Observer Group and the Kufuor Prize for Best Community Leadership.

Prof. Agyemang-Duah mentioned that activities to mark the year-long programme were a musical concert, celebrity walk, soccer match, fundraising dinner, gala night to celebrate Mr Kufuor’s birthday and a thanksgiving service.

The Founder of the Salt and Light Ministries, Ms Joyce Rosalind Aryee, who launched the campaign, said raising good leaders was important as they would also impact others to make the society a better place.

She, therefore, commended the former President for his contribution to the development of the nation, saying: “Life is what you give to others and the value you add to people’s lives.”

“We need great leaders”

In his remarks, former President Kufuor said the real bane of Africa was poor leadership which had led the continent to wallow in poverty, ignorance and diseases in spite of the natural resources the continent was blessed with.

Additionally, he stressed that Africa’s history of colonialism also instilled self-doubt and low self-confidence in Africans, a situation which needed to change.

For that reason, former President Kufuor said it was important to raise and train the youth in leadership to enable them to be challenged for the development of the continent, adding: “We need leaders who will take us to the promised land”.

According to him, leadership should not be limited to politics but every area of life, adding that a good leader breeds good governance”.

Former President Kufuor expressed his gratitude to persons who were working to make the campaign a success.