Rebecca Akufo-Addo distances self from Ghana-StarTimes DTT deal

BY: Graphic.com.gh

The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo has denied media reports suggesting that she played a role in the government’s engagement with the Chinese firm, StarTimes Corporation in the management of Ghana’s digital terrestrial transmission (DTT) platform.

According to her, although her foundation, The Rebecca Foundation, has a working relationship to improve the wellbeing of the vulnerable in society, the foundation has neither directly nor indirectly influenced government’s choice of StarTimes Corporation.

A statement issued by the Office of the First Lady on Monday said, “StarTimes has never been, at any time, a partner of the Foundation as has been suggested.”

Read also: Ursula to meet GIBA over DTT and StarTimes brouhaha on Thurs

It explained that, the only time the Foundation engaged StarTimes was when the media firm offered football kits to be donated through the Foundation to the SOS Children’s Village, where the First Lady is a patron.

Related: StarTimes: Why govt must listen to Ghanaians - Omane Boamah writes


Below is the full statement

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 kits to be donated through the Foundation to the SOS Children’s Village, where the First Lady is honoured to be a patron.

FACTS

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 is 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 emphasizing 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 toward 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.