Accra, April 27, GNA – Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Senior Minister, has urged Ghanaians to rekindle the spirit of volunteerism to achieve the “Ghana Beyond Aid” dream.
“Volunteerism and working with others to address the challenges of our communities is essential to our development as a people,” he noted.
Mr Osafo-Maafo was addressing the 6th District Conference of Rotary International District 9102, made up of Rotarians from Ghana, Togo, Benin, Niger and Kenya, in Accra.
The Conference would assess and share experiences on how to improve upon their humanitarian services in their various communities.
He explained that Ghana Beyond Aid did not meant Ghana was not in need and would not need help but to get its resources managed properly.
“As a country, we are looking forward to become a prosperous and self-reliant nation by better managing our resources instead of having a mentality to depend on aid and benevolence of others,” he said.
It also meant that Ghanaians should accelerate own development, desist from importation as well as add value to the raw materials available.
The Senior Minister said Ghana had no business being where it was and should be providing aid to other developing countries, and that, the judicious use of the resources available was essential.
Mr Osafo-Maafo said, if Ghana had 50 percent of the citizenry with Rotarian hearts and minds, the country would change for the better.
Rotary, he said, existed to mobilise resources for the purpose of empowering the poor and addressing national concerns, saying that, lives had been transformed by the benevolence of its members.
He cited that Rotary had improved cleanliness in the city of Accra by proving litter bins to complement government’s effort to rid the city of filth, which had become a challenge.
The Senior Minister commended the club for its services such as peace and conflict prevention and resolution, disease prevention and treatment, improving water and sanitation, providing maternal and child health, basic education and literacy as well as economic and community development which he said were all aligned with government’s programmes.
He, therefore, encouraged Ghanaians to emulate their example to achieve the Ghana Beyond Aid dream as Ghana would not continue to depend on foreign support.
Mr Osafo-Maafo was happy that Ghana had not recorded a Polio case for the past ten years and expressed the hope that the gains would be sustained and Africa would be declared Polio free.
He called on the club to expedite action on getting the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Training Centre confirmed as the Rotary Peace Centre, which if finally done, would be the seventh of such peace centres in the world and the first in Africa.
In a speech read on his behalf, Mr Barry Rassin, President of Rotary Club International, said the future for Africa was bright, because of a pool of talents and resources to enhance Rotary.
“You are the silent heroes, you are the ones bringing about the change and this is the new face of Rotary in Africa,” he noted.
Mr Jeffrey Afful, the District Governor, in giving the state of the club, said it had organised 12,300 Interact clubs in 133 countries and the Rotary Community Corps (RCCs) have 7,500 RCCs in 80 countries.
Rotaract had also orgainsed clubs to promote leadership, professional development and service among young adults as well as.