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General News of Monday, 30 March 2020


China not origin of Coronavirus – Amb. Wang as he gives US$200,000 donation to Ghana

The two companies, Sunon Asogli Power and AWA, offered to donate US$100,000 each. The two companies, Sunon Asogli Power and AWA, offered to donate US$100,000 each.

The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Shi Ting Wang, has debunked assertions that the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) originated from China.

He said although the COVID-19 first broke out in China, it “does not mean that the origin of the virus is China.”

Speaking at a short ceremony in Accra to present an amount of $200,000 to Ghana toward the fight against COVID-19, Mr Wang explained that the epidemic has hit many places across the world and keeps spreading, causing grave suffering and panic.

Mr Wang presented the money to the Ghana government on behalf of two Chinese companies operating in Ghana, Sunon Asogli Power Ghana Ltd., and Africa World Airlines Ltd (AWA) on Sunday, 29 March 2020.

The two companies, Sunon Asogli Power and AWA, offered to donate USD100,000 each. The total sum of USD200,000 was received by Ghana’s Chief of Staff Akosua Frema Osei-Opare on behalf of the Ghanaian government.

President of the National House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede XIV; Chairman of Sunon Asogli Power Ghana Ltd. Yang Qun and Co-chairman of Africa World Airlines Ltd. Luo Cheng attended the ceremony.

Mr Wang expressed concern about the COVID-19 epidemic in Ghana. He commended highly, Ghana’s efforts to flatten the curve and also the two companies for their timely supports.

The Chinese Ambassador also gave special thanks to Togbe Afede XIV, who is the co-founder of the two companies and a good friend of China’s.

He said under President Xi Jinping’s leadership, the whole nation of China fought an all-out people’s war against the epidemic and had seen positive changes.

“In the nation of 1.4 billion population, the number of new domestic transmission cases has become nearly zero,” he said.

He said the “virus has no boundaries. There is only one earth, we are the community with shared future, we are a big family. Though hard hit itself, China will do its utmost to aid Ghana to deal with the spread of COVID-19.”

“Last week, with the assistance of the Chinese Embassy, Ghana took delivery of its consignment of PPE and test kits donated by the Jack Ma Foundation. In addition to Sunon Asogli and AWA, the other Chinese companies in Ghana, facilitated by the Chinese Embassy, are also expressing their willingness to make donations to Ghana.

“And what’s more, the aid from the Chinese government is on its way as well. Hon. Chief of Staff and dear friends, I would like to assure you that more support is coming from China to Ghana,” the Chinese Ambassador pledged.

The Chief of Staff commended China’s progress in controlling the epidemic and spoke highly of Ghana-China cooperation.

She expressed gratitude to China and described the Asian giant’s response to the virus and the heroism of the Chinese people as admirable and hoped that Ghana learns from China’s example.

Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Limited is the biggest Chinese investments in Ghana. The project is a modern, high-efficient, environmentally-friendly, natural gas fuel combine cycle power plant situated at Tema and, over the years, has provided stable power output, comprising 20%-25% of Ghana’s overall power supply.

Africa World Airlines Limited is a joint venture incorporated in 2010. Since its incorporation and flight commencement, AWA has seen rapid fleet development, provided safe and comfortable service to passengers, linked several major cities of Ghana and improved West Africa regional connectivity.

So far, Ghana has confirmed 152 cases with five deaths and two recoveries. The virus, for now, is confined to the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Upper West and Northern regions out of sixteen regions.

As part of efforts to rally resources for the fight against the virus, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Sunday, inaugurated the Board of Trustees of the COVID-19 National Trust Fund, at a brief ceremony at Jubilee House, the seat of the nation’s Presidency.

The Board of Trustees, which is chaired by former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, will receive contributions and donations from the public to assist in the welfare of the needy and the vulnerable.

The other members of the Board are Archbishop Justice Ofei Akrofi, Mr Jude Kofi Bucknor, Gifty Afenyi-Dadzie, Mrs Elsie Addo-Awadzie, Dr Ernest Ofori-Sarpong, Dr Tanko.

Mr Collins Asare will act as Secretary to the Board.

Inaugurating the Board, President Akufo-Addo noted that since the outbreak of the virus in Ghana, especially during the course of last week, organisations and individuals have made donations, with others wanting to find out how they can also contribute to the cause.

“I felt that the best way was to establish a public trust so that the monies that come do not get intermingled with Government money and all of those problems. A public trust that is to be managed by an independent body of trustees, so that people will see that these monies are being properly accounted for and properly deployed,” he said.

The President added that the work of the Board will complement the efforts being made by the State in catering for the poor and vulnerable, stressing that “whatever money we raise, that is the target”.

Pledging the full support of Government for the work to be undertaken by the Board, President said “I have full confidence in the integrity of all the people around this table, and of your dedication to the public welfare of our country. That is why I have chosen you to say on this committee.”

He assured the committee that the Attorney General will, by Monday, complete the legal formalities for the establishment of the public trust, adding that the membership of a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Elsie Addo-Awadzi, is to facilitate the creation of an account at the Bank where funds will be lodged.

“We have to wish each other the best of luck in these very trying times. I believe sincerely, my conviction on that is profound, that the cooperation of people like you, the cooperation of the generality of the Ghanaian people, and, of course, the support of the Almighty, I believe that this challenge is one that we shall overcome,” the President said.

On behalf of the Board, Justice Sophia Akuffo, thanked the President for the confidence reposed in the membership of the committee.

“We undertake to bear the charge that you have placed on us with full integrity and efficiency so as to make sure that all our outcomes are transparent and quality and they fulfil the purpose for which the trust is being set up,” she said.

The former Chief Justice continued, “We are very appreciative of the motivation behind the establishment of the fund. On behalf of the people of Ghana, I wish to thank you that this channel be created to be able to cater for various needs that would arise, but particularly being able to respond to the needs of the vulnerable. I will not say much except to thank you once again”.

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