Story By: Rahamatu Lahi Zakaria

5th September 2023, the anniversary train of Star-Ghana Foundation was in Tamale to officially launch the Fifth anniversary of the Foundation in the Northern region on the theme ‘’Five years of promoting active citizenship and local philanthropy for inclusive development’’.

Dignitaries at the event included the executive director of Star-Ghana Foundation, Alhaji Ibrahim-Tanko Amidu, board chair of NDA, Dr. Sulemana Abdulai, Northern Regional Minister, Mr. Alhaji Shani Alhassan Shaibu, UDS SRC president, Hussain Rukaya, Vice Chancellor for UDS, Prof Seidu Alhassan and Mr Kobbina Okyere the chair of 5th-anniversary planning committee.

Speaking during the official launch of the anniversary in Tamale, the executive director for Star-Ghana Foundation, Alhaji Ibrahim-Tanko Amidu acknowledged that five years is a relatively short time for the foundation to be beating its drums or celebrating its anniversary but that there was a need for them to reflect and account to Ghanaians for the mandate given them.

‘We are here not necessarily to celebrate but we are here to reflect and we are here to account. We are here to reflect on the journey of Star-Ghana Foundation for the past five years for several reasons. In Ghana, we haven’t had the kind of transition that we have with the Star-Ghana programme from a donor funding programme to a fully Ghanaian-owned and Ghanaian registered Foundation focusing on Ghanaian issues.’’

Mr Ibrahim-Tanko indicated that the transition is the first of its kind in Ghana and the third in Africa. STAR Ghana Foundation started as a programme in 2010 with multi-donor funding but transitioned into a Foundation in 2018 as a national centre for promoting active citizenship and local philanthropy. Its work contributes towards the development of a vibrant, well-informed, and assertive civil society able to contribute to transformational national development and inclusive access to quality public services for all Ghanaians.

Advocating for the need for local philanthropy, Alhaji Tanko added that local philanthropy enables community ownership, enables sustainability of organisations. And there is the need to build strong institutions for inclusive development.

‘’If you launch a fund for Ghanaians to contribute to promoting good governance, I doubt you will get much but if you launch a fund that says that someone is sick and you need money to cover their fees you will get it. And that is also important. So how we can incentivise people to say that no, if we have good governance it won’t be necessary for us to contribute money to release a pregnant woman because she has been detained at the hospital. So that is something for us to think about’’. He added.

The keynote address was given by the Vice-chancellor of the University for Development Studies, Prof. Seidu Alhassan who spoke on the topic, ‘Active Citizenship for Sustainable Development’. He also said advancing technology was key to enhancing sustainable development in the country and called on researchers and policymakers to come up with sustainable solutions to address development challenges to improve the country’s economy.

The Northern regional Minister, Mr. Shani Alhassan Shaibu commended Star-Ghana Foundation for their continued support of the regional coordinating councils in the five regions of the north in building their capacity to deliver good services to citizens. He also acknowledges the foundation’s work in the area of gender, women and children for inclusive development, peace and security issues in the north among others.

The board chair of Northern Development Authority, Dr Sulemana Abdulai also shared the support that Star-Ghana have given the organisation, especially with regards to reviving the Mole Series which is now called the Northern Development Summit, held yearly to discuss the developmental challenges in the north and come up with sustainable developmental solutions to them.

Mr. Kobinna Okyere, the chair of the planning committee of the 5th anniversaries listed gave a presentation on the activities line-up for the celebration.

This included A Speaker’s Breakfast Forum on September 20, 2023, A Stakeholder dialogue, The launch of a volunteerism programme, A Soiree. The anniversary celebration would be climaxed with an Annual General Meeting.

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STAR- Ghana Foundation Celebrates 5 Years of Promoting Active Citizenship in Ghana