Minister of Communication and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful became the subject of social media critique after reports went viral that she had reportedly named a government project after her mother.
The inauguration of the Akim Oda Library and Digital Hub was graced by Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, with reports indicating that the facility had been named after the minister’s mother, Akua Brago Daiwuo, on the occasion of her 80th birthday.
Social media outrage
For most people lashing out at the Minister, they based their views on the fact that Ursula had supposedly chosen to honour her mother with a government project.
“Hi @UrsulaOw, what is this? How can you name a publicly funded facility after your mother?
“Look, use your money to build something and name it after her. This is unethical and beyond outrageous. Do better8,” one critic posted on Twitter with a link to a gbcghanaonline.com story.
Another said referencing the GBC story: “The facility was resourced by GIFEC a state organisation and you name it after your mother. These people errrrrrrrhhhhhh.”
Meanwhile, Accra-based TV channel, Onua TV, posted a photo of the minister hugging her mother with the caption: “Minister of Communication and Digitalisation Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has come under criticism for naming a library and tech hub after her mother
“The Christiana Akua Brago Diawuo Library and Tech Hub was inaugurated on Thursday, March 30 at Akim Oda in the Eastern Region.”
Ministry newsletter article on the project
According to a Ministry of Communications Newsletter shared on their Twitter page on April 2, the minister established the facility and donated same to the community but that it was resourced by public and private agencies.
“The Library and ICT hub is a project established by the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful in honor of her mother’s 80th birthday.”
It continued: “The facility is fully equipped with digitalised e-learning materials including access to the internet connectivity laptops, desktops, e-library, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics essentials.”
The article stated that the project was established with the support of the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), Ghana Library Authority (GhLA), MTN, Huawei and the Birim Central Municipal Assembly.
Akim Oda gets Library and Tech Hub. It was donated by the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful and Commissioned by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia @UrsulaOw @APomaaBoateng @GIFECGhana @Huawei @APomaaBoateng @konkrumah pic.twitter.com/QIUyuIGFDh— Ministry of Comms (@mocghana) April 1, 2023
Ursula speaks on the project
The Minister said of the project on her Facebook page: “Recounting my past and acknowledging the contributions of my mother, Christina Akua Brago Diawuo, which has propelled me to my current state, I can only be thankful.
“Thank you, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, for joining me to inaugurate ‘The Christina Akua Brago Diawuo Library and Technology hub’ at Akim Oda, an honour to my mother.
“The facility resourced by the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), Huawei Ghana, MTN Ghana and the Ghana Library Authority is equipped with an ICT hub, a robotics centre, a library, and a video conferencing centre.”
Scanning through the photos shared on her page, there is one of the main signage to the facility and it is written at the bottom thus: Facility Donated by: Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communication and Digitalisation.
From the above, it is clear that the Minister had put up the structure for the community and that it had only been resourced by among others, an agency under the Communications and Digitalization Ministry, the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC).
What presidency said about Bawumia’s role in inauguration
The presidency posted an article that spoke about Bawumia’s involvement in the event as well as what he said relative to government’s strides in education generally and in the area of technological skills acquisition.
“The library component of the facility is expected to promote reading and learning among Primary, Junior High and Senior High School students in the Oda township and the surrounding communities.
“The ICT Centre is expected to support knowledge and skills development in ICT among the people of this community, while the robotics centre of the facility is to help improve critical thinking and technology innovation among the youth.
“The Vice President commended various agencies which contributed to the facility, such as the Ghana Library Authority, the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), MTN and Huawei Technologies, among others,” the publication stated.