BY MR SAMUEL ZAN AKOLOGO – EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF CARITAS GHANA AND HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AT THE NATIONAL CATHOLIC SECRETARIAT
Madam Chair – Barrister Elizabeth Anderson-Yebuah
My Lord Bishop of Jasikan Diocese and President of Caritas Ghana – Most Rev. Gabriel A. A. Mante
Secretary General and Senior Colleague Staff of the National Catholic Secretariat
Ladies and gentlemen of the media
All present duly acknowledged
I also share in the joy of the Secretary General and the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference in today’s event. Ladies and gentlemen, please receive another portion of welcome and appreciation for your presence.
Madam Chair, recent research findings point to inequality gap reaching new extremes between individuals and social groups and the livelihoods of rural peasants coming under threat. Yet Ghana, like all nations, is enjoined by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals Declaration of September, 2015 to ‘Leave no one behind’! More importantly for us as Church and Christians, our Lord and Master Jesus Christ direct us in the gospels of Mark 6:37, Matthew 14:16 and Luke 9:13 – ‘You yourselves give them something to eat’! Our purpose for today’s event is to unveil the Catholic Church’s plans, structure and framework to respond more vigorously and zealously to the challenges of Ghana’s development and public policy making, in the context of our faith conviction.
Madam Chair, today’s event is also about partnership building and networking in the spirit of promoting effective development cooperation. This means that the Church is adding and contributing to civil society activism in Ghana. It also means extending the opportunities and possibilities of existing cooperation for development to Ghana through Caritas. Globally, the Caritas confederation has existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and other means of authentic collaboration and cooperation with UN Bodies like the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Regional Governments like the European Union (EU) and National Governments in some countries like Germany, The Netherlands, South Sudan, Bangladesh, Jordan and France; to name only a few. By formalizing the existence of Caritas Ghana today, we intend to signal to the Government of Ghana and her Development Partners – both Bilateral and Multilateral, that we are ready and willing to domesticate or replicate these mutually rewarding partnerships in the context of Ghana’s development needs. For example, Ghana’s relief, humanitarian, social inclusion and safety-net policies and programmes could benefit from cooperation and partnership with Caritas Ghana.
In conclusion Madam Chair, by today’s landmark event, we wish to respond to the prayer of His Holiness Pope Francis for the extraordinary jubilee of Mercy in the paragraph: ‘Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing, so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord, and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed, and restore sight to the blind’. Our theme and slogan: GOOD WORKS; GENEROSITY, SHARING will inform our collective response.
Ladies and gentlemen, may the event of today bring you closer to and make you part of Caritas Ghana.
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