Ambassador Edward Boateng, Director General (DG) of the State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA) and immediate past Ambassador to the Peoples Republic of China has expressed the need to focus on mental health as a nation and called for the effective implementation of the Persons with Disability Act, 2006 Act 715.
Speaking at an event organized to interact and share with the disabled community in the Ashanti Region, he remarked that anyone could be disabled and that disability is not earmarked for a selected few.
“Disability knows no boundaries. It is not reserved for the rich or poor, strong or weak, old or young. It also serves no notice and that is why we need to ensure that the right systems and policies are implemented to enhance the lives of persons with disability”.
Ambassador Boateng encouraged all present especially persons with disability (PWD) to be confident, and aggressive and aim to make a difference in society irrespective of conditions. He cited great men locally and internationally who made an impact to society irrespective of their challenges.
“Disability doesn’t mean inability. You have inherent talents and skills to unearth, harness and aggressively engage to make a difference. President Roosevelt who steered America through the Great Depression and World War II achieved despite being affected by polio and needed mobility aids, Stephen Hawking of Cambridge University achieved great scientific feats despite needing mobility aids and losing his speech, Helen Keller became deaf –blind at the age of 19 months but became an advocate for labour rights and many social causes globally, Paul Anomah Kordieh of e.tv Ghana is visually impaired but reads live news on TV and decorated as Ghana’s first visually impaired news anchor. Chairman B.K. Edusei who championed Kotoko’s Africa club victory in 1971 also had mobility aids. The list goes on and on and on. With technology these days, you can become anything you yearn for”, he said.
Additionally, he donated logistics and aids to the community as part of his annual donation to the disabled community in Ghana.
Among the items donated included white canes, walking crutches, walkers and wheelchairs. Receiving the items on behalf of the group, Mr. Kwasi Kyei thanked Amb. Boateng for his exhibition of genuine love and assured that the group will utilize the logistics in their quest to make life meaningful.
He said “On behalf of the group, I say thank you. We are grateful and assure you that the beneficiaries are capable of achieving great feats. What they require is the support, technology and enabling policies”.
Ambassador Boateng has consistently supported the disabled community and donated logistics and aids to Ghana’s disabled communities. In his previous capacity as Executive Chairman of the Global Media Alliance group; founders of e.tv Ghana, Ambassador Boateng recruited and provided training and logistics to Paul Anomah Kordieh to become Ghana’s and arguably West Africa’s first visually impaired news anchor and commercial television presenter. As the co-founder of the popular Family Fun Run and Corporate 5KM Run events, the annual proceeds of both events are donated to the Mercy Social Centre (an orphanage) and the Ghana Blind Union.
When asked why opted to support the disabled community in his annual charity project, Amb. Boateng shared that less attention is given to the disabled community and even though they also have needs, attention is often given to all other groups except them. “Why not them? You would be surprised to know that the presentation of a white cane or one wheel chair can transform the life and fortunes of our friends here today. But attention is mostly given to other groups. This is not to belittle the needs of all other groups. Giving to other groups is also valid and important but they disabled in society also deserve our support, care and love”, he said.
The event was held at the Kwadaso Methodist Retreat Centre. Among the dignitaries present were Prof. Kingsley Nyarko (Member of Parliament for Kwadaso Constituency), Hon Richmond Agyenim Boateng (Municipal Chief Executive – Kwadaso Municipal Assembly), Mr. Kwasi Kyei (Former Director of Communications – Ashanti Region NPP).