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Entertainment of Saturday, 5 June 2010

Source: The Ghanaian Times

Where Is The Government’s GH¢150,000?

With exactly six days for the 2010 World Cup tournament to commence in South Africa, the leadership of the Africa Awake project are at loggerheads with each other over the whereabouts of GH¢150,000 allegedly given to the project, Times Weekend has learnt.

The money (equivalent of 1.5 billion old cedis), is said to have come from the President, Prof John Evans Atta Mills, for the programme.

The Africa Awake project is a multi-sectoral public-private initiative driven by the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture and other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA), such as the Ministries of Tourism, Trade Industry, Youth and Sports, as well as the Ghana Export and Investment Development Fund, and the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), among others.

It aims, among others, to stir support for the participating African teams, particularly the Black Stars.

Whereas some of the executive members are crying ‘no-transparency’ in the way the money is being put to use, others are saying nothing has been into the bank account of the project at all.

Some are also claiming the money has surreptitiously found its way into the bank accounts of a certain musician (name withheld), and that they suspect foul-play.

“As things are now, they’re telling us that the President has not given out the money yet and they want us to believe this Kwaku Ananse story,” a peeved executive remarked on anonymity, adding that “we’re also doing our own checks with the Castle to find out the truth.”

In a telephone interview however, the chairman of the project, Mr David Dontoh, clarified that it was true the President promised the money, but was yet to “give us that money.” Fuming, he said: “As they’re saying, Amandzeba has an account with ADB so they can go and find out if the money is in”.

In sober tones, he appealed to Ghanaian artists: “the President has given us his word and we only have to wait for that.”

A statement issued about a month ago by the leadership indicated that the project had secured venues in South Africa to stage musical concerts with Ghanaian musicians before matches involving the Black Stars.

Some of the musicians named were Amandzeba, Rex Omar, Gyedu Blay Ambolley, Bessa Simons, Kwabena Kwabena, Shasha Marley, Becca, George Darko, Ayisoba and AB Crentsil, all backed by the Mega Star and Win Afrique bands.

It also added that, other “cultural pageants” and “an economic fair” would be staged to showcase the cultural worth of the country to the outside world, including taking along a tradition chief who would carried in his palanquin.