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Report by Nana Adwoa Pinkra Anti, for Ghana Decides
Catherine Abelema Afeku is a female parliamentary candidate for Evalue Ajomoro-Gwira constituency contesting for a second term in parliament.
She returned to serve her country with an MBA in Business Administration and over fourteen years of experience in Business, and expertise in management of resources. Afeku is proficient in many Ghanaian languages, as well as foreign languages such as French, Italian and Swahili.
She entered the political scene during President Kuffour’s government as the government’s spokesperson for Infrastructure during which she made appearances on National Television and other media outlets. She became the first parliamentary aspirant contesting on the ticket of the NPP to win the Evalue-Gwira constituency seat in the Fourth Republic. The constituency was a swing seat between the NDC and PCP/CPP with the NDC’s Charles Henry Turpin and Edith Hazel winning the 1992 and 2000 elections respectively. In 1996, Kojo Armah contested and won on the ticket of the PCP. In 2004 he won back the seat for the rejuvenated CPP with 49.70 percent of total valid votes cast to become the fourth parliamentarian for the constituency. However in 2008, Catherine Afeku defied history and got a resounding 57.69 percent of valid votes cast to win the seat for the NPP.
One of her landmark achievements as the Member of Parliament is the change of the name of the constituency from Evalue-Gwira to Evalue Ajomoro-Gwira to ensure equitable share of national resources in the five paramount areas in the constituency. Although a member of the minority and opposition party she effectively lobbied in and out of parliament to bring about this historical change.
She has made meaningful contributions on the floor of parliament and serves on the Committees of Road and Transport, Business and Communications Committee as the Deputy Ranking Member. Apart from being in all these committees that are typically dominated by men she is also the only female member of ECOWAS Parliament representing Ghana in the Regional Parliament of West Africa.
One at the heart of her policies and interventions has been to improve the standard of education in her constituency. In consultation with the Nzema East Municipal Director of Education, community elders and opinion leaders she used her share of MP’s GET Fund to provide educational facilities such as the construction of new classroom blocks and early childhood development centre at Awukyire and a new JHS building for Brawire/Akyinam. She has also reconstructed dilapidated teachers’ bungalow at Anagye. She also provided GHC 30,000 worth of furniture for the Anglican Primary School in Axim and constructed a 20-Computer ICT Center for all the Senior High Schools in Axim. She has also supported children from seventy-eight communities across her constituency and paid for Mock Examinations for final year JHS students as well as finance vacation classes for students in the constituency. She also financed a reading excursion for eight Junior High Schools in Axim to the Logos Hope Ship at the Takoradi Harbour. She also supports the Nzema East Basic Education Sports Federation.
She has also supported teachers on training at Holy Child and Fijai in Takoradi as well as other teacher training institutions. Her share of the MP’s Common Fund supports indigenes of the constituency who are students at IPMC, UDS, UCC, UEW and various polytechnics around the country as well as those at Esiama and Korle-Bu Nurses Training College. She has also funded informal training in Batik making for women groups in Apaitam and has also supported the Nzema East Non-Formal Education Division.
She has also made social interventions essential to the development and integration of the constituency. She has supported the Evalue Gwira Mboa Ku, a women’s group in her constituency in their capacity building projects. She single-handedly groomed and registered Evalue Gwira United FC to promote youth sports in Axim. For the first time in the history of the constituency the club had a match with Accra Hearts of Oak which took place in the constituency under the sponsorship of the MP. She has also set up the Catherine Afeku Fan Club, an intellectual club to promote and enhance education among the youth of her constituency. Selected members of this club had a one-week camp trip at the University of Ghana. She has also supported accident Victims at Axim Government Hospital, Ghana Red Cross Society Axim Zone and provided relief items to flooded communities in Axim and Gwira. She has also donated various building materials and other essential items to many communities and interest groups in her constituency.
Her infrastructural projects include the construction of the Dominase Community Shed, Adekelezo Bridge and rehabilitation of Axim Fire Service office. She has also embarked on the construction of boreholes at Dominase in her constituency. She has effectively lobbied for construction to begin on the Axim Amafukuma-Brawira-Akyinim road and to ensure effective work done she got the Committee for Roads and Transport to inspect the road.
Hon. Catherine Abelema Afeku, a wife and mother of three, has proved that women can certainly excel in public office when given opportunities their male counterparts have. She hopes to be voted for a second term to continue her aspirations of empowering voters to hold their elected officials accountable and she has continuously demonstrated that by spelling out what she has done and continues to do for the people of Evalue-Gwira in her annual Town Hall meetings to interact with the citizens in her constituency.
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