The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, has cited the establishment of the Gambaga Girls Senior High School (SHS) in the East Mumprusi Municipality of the North East Region as her proudest achievement.
She said the school, which she started with only 25 girls in 2008, now had 1,200 girls.
In her remarks at a brief ceremony in Accra to award her for her contribution to socio-economic development in her municipality and the country, she said she always asked herself where these girls would have been if the school was not in existence and that motivated her to push for more development in her constituency.
The award comprised a recognition certificate and an insurance cover worth GH¢50,000 to be provided by Best Assurance Company Limited.
Hajia Mahama, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nalerigu-Gambaga, was awarded by the Voiceless Media Consult for establishing the Gambaga Girls SHS and also facilitating the establishment of the Nalerigu Nursing Training School among others.
Expressing her gratitude to the Voiceless Media Consult, Hajia Mahama said the recognition was a source of motivation especially because politicians were often criticised and rarely recognised and appreciated for their good work.
“The Gambaga SHS started with the single track, went to the double and has now reverted to the single track and that was because we pushed for more infrastructure development there,” she said.
She said in the last two years, she had opened two more SHSs and indicated that sometimes going through the Ministry of Education (MoE) processes to start a school took time so she often mobilised resources to start as a community school as an MP and later lobby for the ministry’s support, approval and adoption.
“The Nursing Training in Nalerigu also started with the certificate programme, moved on to diploma and is now offering State Registered Nursing and Midwifery courses with over 4,000 students, which I am also proud to have been involved in its establishment,” she said.
Committed to service
Hajia Mahama said she was committed to dedicated service and that was her motivation for venturing into politics, following the lead and example of her father.
“I devote all my time and resources to service and my constituents and local government officials can attest to this. I don’t give what I don’t have but where I can push for development that was not within the reach of my MP’s Common Fund allocation, I gladly did and that is what I am required to do,” she said.
She, therefore, appealed to more qualified women to make deliberate efforts to participate in governance and public life as they had the capabilities.
She said her call was premised on the fact that it had been proven beyond all reasonable doubt that women had the potential to drive sustainable development due to their nature such as being critical, diligent and focused.
Hajia Mahama also called on men to make deliberate efforts to support and encourage more women to participate in public life to boost socio-economic development.
“I am doing my part as a women to become a beacon of hope and an example to many more women to venture into governance and public life,” she said.
The Managing Director of the Voiceless Consult, Chief Akilu Sayibu, who presented the award, congratulated Hajia Alima on her charisma, determination, selflessness and hard work.
He also commended the minister for her leadership skills, persistence in climbing further the academic ladder to become one of the first women in her community to be called to the Ghana Bar, a Member of Parliament and a Minister of State among others.