Outgoing World Bank Country Director, Dr. Yusupha Crooks, has paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection in Ghana Nana Oye Lithur.
The visit is to inform the Minister of the end of his tenure as the Country Director of the World Bank and his departure.
In her farewell message, Nana Oye recounted her first meeting with Dr. Crooks in 2013, who showed enthusiasm on how to turn social protection in Ghana around. She also revealed her excitement when her Ministry was the first to be invited by the Country Director to the United States to recount Ghana’s story on Social protection.
“You told us about the social protection in Pakistan and the Benezia Botu programme and how we could replicate it in Ghana. Through your personal support and intervention, the government of Ghana was able to sort $50 million dollars World Bank to start our social protection programme. Today we have the National targeting unit, with your help we are promoting LEAP, expanding to 200,000 households and we are going to start on a pilot basis in the Upper West Region where we are going to have a database for all that and this is all due to your personal commitment”, she emphasized.
Nana Oye expressed gratitude to Dr Crooks on behalf of the President, the Nation and on the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection. “Thank you very much for the support you have given us in the area of social protection. We Wish you well and congratulate you for the good work you have done, she noted.
On his part, Dr Crooks, expressed his appreciation to the government of Ghana, the ministry and the media for supporting social protection works.
“I was impressed when I first set foot into Ghana and I wondered what can be done in developing a well developed social protection. This takes a lot of work and how to identify the poor is the main problem. I thought of a system that would elevate people gradually from poverty. My surprise in Ghana was that Ghana was already ahead of the game and I was impressed”, he emphasized.
He added that it was easier for his outfit to help the Ministry since the foundation was already in place and above all the vision and commitment of protecting the poor and vision of expanding, empowering the poor to migrate out of poverty was one of the mechanism in place in Ghana.
“Ghana has managed to grow, and reduce poverty at the same time. Universally it is not every poor person that is lifted up, but Ghana is credited with the record of moving the poor people up from a 52% of poverty in 1992 to where we are today. There is a challenge to deal with areas where there are extreme poor people”, he hinted.
He commended the Minister’s leadership, commitment and advocacy on the project, while noting that his outfit has enjoyed working with the Minister and her Ministry. Dr. Crooks who was welcomed with the sounds and music from the “Seprewa” could not mince his surprise at the music from the instrument. He pointed to the Minister that, the instrument should be used at most social functions to get more people acquainted with it as it has played a major role in the history of African Music in Mali and Senegal.
“It’s about time that the “Seprewa” also takes the world by storm, he remarked.
The Minister and her two deputies, Hon. Dela Sowah and Hon. John Alexander Ackom also presented a token to the outgoing Country Director of the World Bank.
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