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10.10.2004 General News

First Lady appeals to women to promote national development

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Amanokrom-Akuapem, Oct 10, GNA - The First Lady, Mrs Theresa Kufuor, has called on women to use their majority in the population as a catalyst to propel national development at all levels of society, especially the education of children.

She said without their involvement in the education of children, many of them would grow to be destitute and a burden on society. Mrs Kufuor made the call in a speech read on her behalf by the Minister of Interior, Mr Hackman Owusu Agyeman, at the annual Odwira durbar of the Akuapem Gyaseman at Amanokrom-Akuapem on Saturday.

The occasion also coincided with the fifth anniversary celebration of the installation of the Gyasehemaa of Akuapem Traditional Area and Queenmother of Amanokrom, Nana Manko Aba 11.

Mrs Kufuor commended the people for their sense of unity and development-oriented by inaugurating a project each year to mark the festival.

She expressed her delight about the important role of women in the implementation of the development.

Mrs Kufuor said it was her desire to help improve the deplorable condition of many children that compelled her to establish the Women and Children Foundation and urged women to support her effort to attain its objectives.

On the HIV/AIDS pandemic, she called on all sectors of the community to be involved in the crusade to combat the disease as well as showing compassion towards those infected by the disease instead of stigmatising them.

On the forthcoming general elections, the First Lady called on Ghanaians to exercise restraint for peaceful elections and that the elections should not be allowed to divide them.

The President of the Togo National House of Chiefs, Togbui Agboli Agokoli 1V, who is leading a delegation of 15 paramount chiefs to join the chiefs and people of the Akuapem Traditional Area to celebrate the Odwira festivals, called on chiefs and people in the West Africa to continue to uphold and develop their cultural heritage for posterity.

He said visits by chiefs in the sub-region would promote the cultural and social unity and cordial relationship among the people. The chief of Amanokrom and Gyasehene of the Akuapem Traditional Area, Oyeeman Wereko Ampem 11, commended the Gyasehemaa for her role in mobilizing the resources of the women to help in undertaking self-help projects to develop the town, especially in education and health.

He said a five-year-old Gyaseman Educational Foundation had raised 240 million cedis to offer scholarships to over 100 needy beneficiaries from the basic up to the tertiary levels.

He said the seed capital would be raised to 300 million cedis during this year's festival.

Nana Aba declared her support for women advocates who hold the view that there were so much women could do to turn around the fortunes of their families and the nation.

She threw a challenge to women in the town to join her to explore how best they could do to better their lot through increased production. Nana Aba appealed to the Akuapem North District Assembly to assist women with micro-finance to enable them to embark on income generating ventures.

The First Lady donated five million cedis in support of the development projects launched during the festival.

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