American University Honours Rawlings, Konadu

1 10 2009

nana konadu receives the awardFormer First Couple, Jerry Rawlings and wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings were last week honoured by the Institute of Global Understanding of the University of Monmouth in New Jersey, United States.

The former President was recognised for his ‘”valuable contributions to the promotion of democracy and development” and Nana Konadu for her “valuable contribution to the empowerment of women”.

The awards were presented to Nana Konadu after she had addressed staff and students of Monmouth last Friday.

Presenting the awards to Mrs. Rawlings, the President of Monmouth University, Admiral Paul Gaffney II praised the former first couple for their diverse contributions to humanity. He said the establishment of the Institute of Global Understanding at the University was part of a drive to expand the university’s focus to promote global understanding, diversity and leadership.

Nana Konadu addressing University of Monmouth

Nana Konadu addressing University of Monmouth

Admiral Gaffney said Nana Konadu’s visit to the university would enhance cooperation between Ghana and his university.

In her address to the University which houses 1600 students and offers 33 undergraduate and 21 graduate programmes, Nana Konadu said the establishment of the 31st December Women’s Movement had given Ghanaian women more visibility in politics as they were groomed to exhibit exemplary leadership qualities.

The address titled “Management Development for Women in Africa, the Contribution of the 31st December Women’s Movement”, Mrs. Rawlings said women were now receiving more political appointments from District Chief Executives to Ministers and their introduction to political office had contributed to the propagation of women issues.

“Other members went on to offer themselves for election and won seats and even at the national level as parliamentarians. Some are serving second and third terms. In this regard, the movement has stimulated political participation for women,” Nana Konadu said.

The former First Lady and President of the 31st December Women’s Movement said the movement imparted critical information on health, life trends, civic awareness, HIV/AIDS, legal rights and other concerns to its members who then disseminated such information to local communities.

“Our women themselves became informed and could apply this information to their lives and their families – thus enhancing human resource quality at the micro level. However, they also became sources of information to others, providing relevant knowledge in both informal and formal settings. In the process our women gained other skills such as becoming effective communicators, facilitators and resource persons for local communities.”

Nana Konadu said capacity building for women meant the movement had to sponsor district and regional level officials to various management programmes including courses organised by the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and the Management, Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI). These programmes, she stated offered the women the opportunity to exchange ideas with men and women from other associations and organisations.

Mrs. Rawlings receives the award

Mrs. Rawlings receives the award

Mrs. Rawlings outlined Day Care Centres, food processing plants, bead making and pottery as some of the projects her organisation had helped establish as income generators for its members and said some of these products were sold for export.

Nana Konadu was pleasantly surprised when one of the Monmouth students, Clara Abbey identified her self as having passed through the Movement’s Day Care Centre at the Ministries in Accra when she was a kid.

Concluding, the former First Lady said the Movement contributed to national economic development in many ways through it diverse activities throughout the country. It provided a forum and base for more effective lobbying, advocating and campaigning on different issues including education and training, resource mobilisation, advocacy, information sharing as well as participated in many of the United Nations processes.

While in the United States to support her husband’s participation in the fifth meeting Clinton Global Initiative Nana Konadu also visited Akers Pharmaceuticals where she signed a working agreement to introduce new technology test kits on malaria, typhoid, diabetes and a host of tropical diseases.

Nana Konadu said Akers Pharmaceuticals had introduced rapid test kits that could diagnose such diseases in five minutes or less. She was optimistic that such test kits when introduced to Ghana will help early diagnoses and help prevent fatalities associated primarily with malaria and typhoid.

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