When Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia assured the indigenes of the over 3000 countrywide Zongos about his commitment to have students from this segment of the population access scholarships for medical studies in Cuba, cynics in politics trivialized it with a shrug.
Last Monday, forty (40) students comprising boys and girls were formally offered scholarships to go and study medicine in Cuba, a life-changing opportunity whose impact on Zongos is palpable.
What more can a government do for a segment of a population whose youth have hardly been considered for such educational opportunities.
For a government noted for making good its promises, the ceremony at the National Chief Imam’s New Fadama residence, where the scholarships were presented, was another outstanding testimonial for President Akufo-Addo and Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia.
The establishment of a Zongo Ministry and the Zongo Development Fund – both evidence of the President’s seriousness about changing the lot of Zongo indigenes – are gestures which must be supported to succeed by all stakeholders.
This is more important than listening to discredited liars parading themselves as cherishers of the downtrodden people of the Zongos.
The God-endowed talents in the Zongo communities need educational intervention from a caring government for this to be harnessed for national development. With the Free SHS now operational and the possibility of scholarships for science-oriented students from the Zongos, what else can the liars say, especially in an election year?
During the ceremony, a Zongo man, a retired Rear Admiral of the Ghana Navy now the Chairman of the Board of the Zongo Development Fund, was in attendance.
It would have been appropriate to showcase him to the students who are about to proceed to the Caribbean country to pursue their medical studies.
The Rear Admiral like the beneficiaries of the scholarships hails from a Zongo in Accra but by dint of hard he completed his education and joined the military.
Today, he is a light and role model to others in the Zongos. As the Deputy Minister of Education who attended the ceremony said, there are talents in the Zongos and these require government intervention to be developed and tapped.
The human resource development of the Zongos as it is in other parts of the country can only be achieved through education. It is for this reason that we associate ourselves with the admonition to the students to remain focused on their studies.
The expression of gratitude by the National Chief Imam and Zongo chiefs to President Akufo-Addo and Vice-President Mahamudu Bawunia for the scholarship gesture is in the right direction. After all, the gesture, specifically earmarked for the countrywide Zongos, is unrivalled in the post-independence history of the country.
Let them return after their studies and serve as role models and lights in the Zongo communities they hail from.
We are particularly excited about the cross-sectional offer of the scholarships, a clear indication of fairness in the management of the opportunities.
We are hopeful that Dr. Bawumia, who has adopted the scholarship initiative for Zongo students as a project, would ensure its consistency.
The Zongo Development Fund must, in our view, be given an additional role of managing it on behalf of the Office of the Vice-President.