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Opinions of Saturday, 7 January 2017

Columnist: Akoto, Serwaa

Letter to the President-elect




Today I have the singular honour to congratulate you, the
president-elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo for winning this year's
elections.

The fact that you contested for the presidency for the third
consecutive time is a motivation enough and needed morale booster for
myself and others. With perseverance, hard work and determination the
dream that seemed almost impossible or insurmountable has come to pass.

Sir I know winning of this year's presidential election and gaining
comfortable majority in parliament was very important to the very party
you represent.

It is interesting and worth mentioning the crop of names that are
coming up purportedly to be part of the new government. I must state
unequivocally that it's an arduous task for a team to be put together in
the midst of equally qualified and varied talents that the NPP can
boast of.

It is therefore understandable if a respite is given to you to fix
your government ahead of the investiture. But as much as it is prudent
for that reprieve to be given, there is the need that I remind you Sir,
of the party's 2016 Manifesto of the quota of appointment for women as captured in the 2016 manifesto.

The 2016 manifesto states inter alia the NPP remains committed to
gender equality and children's rights and will work assiduously to
achieve the following:

Appointment of women to at least 30% of available public office positions, setting aside 50% of MASLOC funds for female applicants, reintroduce and enforce the administrative directive on the Reservation of 30% of poverty alleviation/credit funds of MMDA's to service womens' enterprises have one thing I am looking out for President-elect Nana Addo as the needed consideration is being taken to appoint ministers and deputies for the next government.

Mr President-elect, individuals are watching to see that the 30%
quota for women in the administration of the country, as stipulated by
the constitution of Ghana is strictly adhered to by your government.Hope to see more women not just in positions, but in higher positions that will propel the country to move forward in every aspect of
development.

Sir I have heard you say on several platforms that you will keep
every promise you made to Ghanaians during the campaign period but just
to remind you, NPP's manifesto for 2016 promised to set aside 50 percent
of the Micro and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) funds for female
applicants to expand their businesses when given the nod, 30 per cent of
poverty alleviation/credit funds of Metropolitan, Municipal and
District Assembly's (MMDAs) to service women's enterprise.

The manifesto said, Mr President-elect, that if the NPP win the
December 7 elections gender equality and women's empowerment would be
reintroduced just as the Kufuor administration demonstrated by
establishing Women and Children's Ministry, now Ministry of Gender,
Children and Social Protection and again fill at least 30 percent of the
available public office positions and provide alternate life skills
training and seed capital to reduce the kayayei phenomenon as well as
partnering the private sector and charities to provide temporary hostel
facilities.

Thanks for hearing my plea Mr. President-Elect.

My name is Obaasima Serwaa Akoto. I am for female
empowerment. The NPP, under the Kufuor-led NPP government, in
demonstration of the importance of women and children in the society,
set up Ghana's first Ministry for Women and Children's Affairs. Today,
the NPP remains committed to gender equality and children's rights and
will work assiduously to achieve the following:

Appointment of women to at least 30% of available public office positions
Setting aside 50% of MASLOC funds for female applicants Reintroduce and enforce the administrative directive on the reservation of 30% of poverty alleviation/credit funds of MMDA's to service womens' enterprises
Reducing the Kayayei (Head Porters) phenomenon by:

improving the economy of their districts of origin to curb the migration
providing alternate life skills training and seed capital, as well
as partnering the private sector, NGOs and charities to provide temporary hostel facilities we will work with the District Assemblies to exempt Kayayei from market tolls and taxes currently imposed on them, and New Patriotic Party (NPP)
Manifesto for Election 2016 (129)

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT CHAPTER 11

Improving their access to education and health care.

In addition, NPP will pursue in the area of women and children;s welfare the
following:

implementing fully the Domestic Violence, Human Trafficking and
Disability Acts and ensuring that other relevant pieces of legislation
are implemented in full continue implementing the policies that increased enrollment and retention in schools, like the school feeding programme and capitation grant.

Special emphasis will also be placed on proper diagnosis and
treatment of children with learning disabilities like dyslexia and other
special needs. Their education will be mainstreamed as far as practicable with the full implementation of the inclusive education policy
introducing a District Integrated Social Services programme for children, families and vulnerable adults to consolidate the relevant health, education, and justice systems, as well as all social protection programmes
strengthening and enforcing regulations, and introducing national minimum
standards for residential children's homes, and
strengthening regulations and reforming the adoption and foster care regime and providing incentives for fostering at-risk child.

Broadcast Journalist Kasapa FM