The Office of the First Lady has refuted suggestions that the Rebecca Foundation’s past association with Chinese firm StarTimes, has a bearing on its role in Ghana’s Digital Terrestrial Television network space.
The office clarified that it has had no ties with StarTimes since the company made a donation to the SOS Children’s Village in 2017.
“StarTimes has never been, at any time, a partner of the foundation, as has been suggested. The Foundation is however very grateful to StarTimes for offering football kit to be donated through the Foundation to the SOS Children’s Village, where the First Lady is honored to be a patron,” a statement from the First Lady’s office said.
According to the statement, StarTimes only “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 added.
“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 StarTimes and the Government of Ghana, either directly or indirectly.”
Though the First Lady’s Office’s statement does not attribute the claims to anyone, the MP for Tamale North, Alhassan Suhuyini, had suggested on The Big Issue on Citi FM/Citi TV over the weekend that President Nana Akufo-Addo may be compromised when it came to StarTimes’ work in Ghana.
“In the case of StarTimes, I am beginning to suspect that perhaps, he [the President] has compromised himself in a way.”
“I say so because we have all heard and read about the President’s itinerary when he went to China recently and in one of his engagements, he had a special meeting with the President of StarTimes. We have also seen donations that StarTimes has made to the wife.”
Find below the full statement detailing the First Lady’s ties to StarTimes
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 StarTimes 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.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citinewsroom.com/Ghana