One of the popular names that has dominated the Twitter trends this week is Sanitation Minister, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, who has been in the news following an alleged theft involving two of her househelps.
The reports indicate that money and valuables worth thousands of pounds, and a million dollars, are reported to have been stolen from the Minister and her spouse’s house in Abelemkpe, Accra.
The accused, one Patience Botwe, an 18-year-old and 30-year-old Sarah Agyei, are facing one count of conspiracy to commit a crime and five counts of stealing, involving amounts of US$1 million, €300,000, and millions of Ghana Cedis.
During the same period, the pair allegedly stole personal effects from Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, including assorted clothes valued at GH¢95,000, handbags, perfumes, and jewelry valued at US$95,000.
Further accusations involve Patience acting alone to steal six pieces of Kente cloth worth GHC90,000 and six sets of men’s suits valued at US$3,000, which belonged to the minister’s husband, etc.
The news has attracted mixed reactions from the public domain with a section of the public expressing shock while others including former President John Dramani Mahama has questioned why the Minister will keep such a huge amount in her home.
The Minister may be well-known for her significant role in the public sector; however, there are other aspects of her life that remain less familiar to the public. In this piece, The Independent Ghana will shed light on these lesser-known aspects and provide a more comprehensive view of her persona.
Cecilia Abena Dapaah, born on 27 November 1954, is a Ghanaian politician affiliated with the New Patriotic Party. She formerly represented the Bantama constituency in the Parliament. She has held various portfolios in the public sector including serving as the deputy Minister for Water Resources, Works, and Housing, and presently serves as Ghana’s Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, etc.
1. Experience in management and hotelier
In addition to her prominent role in the public sector, Cecilia Abena Dapaah also has experience in management and the hotel industry. She has twenty- five years’ experience in management and a hotelier and this diverse background adds to her multifaceted skills and expertise.
2. Gender and Human Rights activist
She is a Gender and Human Rights activist and has a great passion for the WASH sector which has heavily contributed to Ghana’s great strides in achieving the SDG 6 goal.
Hon. Dapaah’s academic laurels include Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Linguistics in 1979 from the University of Ghana, a certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School in leadership.
She also holds a postgraduate certificate in International Development Studies from the University of Oslo in Norway and a postgraduate certificate in Leadership Development for Women in Management from the Atlanta Management Institute.
4. Roles in the public sector
Hon. Dapaah served as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Ghana Cocoa Processing Company between 2001 and 2006. She was the deputy Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing under the erstwhile President Kufuor’s administration, from 2005 to 2006, and became the Minister of State from 2007 to 2008.
During the Minister’s term as Member of Parliament for Bantama (in the Ashanti Region) , she served on various committees such as Works and Housing; Advisory Committee to the Speaker; Employment, Social Welfare and Youth; Foreign Affairs; and Special Budget.
Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah was the Minister for Aviation from 2017 and served in that capacity till she was moved to the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources in 2018 till date. Whilst serving in the capacity as a Minister, Hon. Dapaah held the position of the Executive Oversight and Chairperson of the Ghana Aids Commission between 2017 and 2021. She was also the Caretaker Minister for the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection for a year (2021-2022). She is the Chairperson of the Infrastructure Committee of Cabinet and the President of the Council of Ministers of the Volta Basin Authority.
5. Enormous contributions at workshops and conferences
Minister Dapaah has participated in several Conferences as their Guest Speaker notable among them are, World Bank Water Week, Sanitation and Water for All Ministers’ meeting, Budapest Water Week, UNESCO International Week, World Water Week among others. The Minister’s dedication to her work has seen her being awarded as the “Incisive Public Servant” in 2019 by the Pan African Top Brands Eminence Awards. She also received the “Balafon award of Excellence” for her exceptional role as an Aviation Minister in 2018.
6. Strong religious faith and marriage
In addition to her notable achievements and public service endeavors, Minister Dapaah is known for her strong religious faith, which has been an integral part of her life and guiding force in her personal and professional journey. She is a member of the Methodist Church. She is also married with one child.