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Programmes Manager for the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Mary Awelana Addah has asserted that corruption has taken all the benefits of the national cake.

She explained that corruption has hampered the equal distribution of state resources and retarded economic growth in the country, thus the life of the citizenry is not improving.

“We have seen that corruption has taken away the benefits of the national cake. We see on a daily basis people we have gone to school with and were ordinary come to Parliament or become Ministers of State and in the spate of four years are able to build houses and drive in the big cars, and to show wealth then it is not surprising that people are complaining,” she said.

She made the comments on Saturday, April 30, on Newsfile during discussions on Ghana’s democracy following President Akufo-Addo’s address on Thursday, April 28, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Referendum that endorsed the 1992 Constitution.

The President noted that democracy under the 4th Republic has been good for Ghana. This, according to him, is because it has banished the spectra of instability that disfigured much of Ghana’s early existence.

He added that, despite all the gains made in the 4th Republic, Ghanaians must acknowledge that the country has not reached the potential it should have.

Her comments also follow an observation by the United States Department of State that corruption is still prevalent in Ghana.

According to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2021, “officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.”

It also noted that although laws stipulate punishments for corrupt officials, the government hardly implements them effectively.

In spite of the achievements touted by the President, Mrs. Addah bemoaned the fact that corruption and unemployment are still rife and continue to remain a challenge for the country.

“As individuals, if you were born 30 years ago, the normal thing you would want to see in the growth cycle would be that by now you should be gainfully employed and you should be earning a living for yourself.

“But for us, it is not so because we do not see any growth. We see a lot of unemployment happening and now we even have an association for unemployed graduates which is unfortunate,” she added.

In the course of the interaction, the host of Newsfile, Samson Lardy Anyenini, intimated that in spite of all the challenges outlined, “we cannot take it away the fact that for 30 years, Ghana has done a great job and we are the envy of many countries in Africa.” 

In response to this, she said “we know that in the land of the blind, we see that the one-eyed man is king and that is clearly our situation in Ghana. We see that the sub-region is bedeviled by a lot of conflicts, tyrannical rule, human rights are suppressed and we don’t see the growth.

“So for most of the nations in our sub-region, when they come to Ghana, they believe we are the shining light because we have all the Laws, and institutions that are set up to ensure that we are effecting the democracy we have chosen to pursue,” she added.

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Mrs. Addah joined GII in November 2009 as a Senior Programmes and Research Officer. Since May 2014 Mrs. Addah has been leading GII’s Programmes team as the Programmes Manager.

Prior to joining GII, Mrs. Addah worked in various state and non-state organisations including the Ghana Trade and Livelihoods Coalition (GTLC), the Centre for Community and Social Development (CENCOSAD), and the Ghana Education Service.

Mrs. Addah holds an MA in Development Studies and a BA in Sociology with a focus on Social Work both from the University of Ghana. She also has special expertise in Participatory Videoing (PV) and a certificate in Multi-Stakeholder Processes and Social Learning awarded by the Centre for Development Innovation (CDI), Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

In her current capacity, Mrs. Addah is responsible for all aspects of project management including programmes concept development and design, technical proposal writing, project implementation, and monitoring & evaluation.

She sits on multiple representative bodies and is a key member of the steering committee of Ghana’s Citizens’ Movement against Corruption (CMaC). 

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