FeaturedGeneral NewsLocal NewsPolitics

Scholarships Bonanza: Freddie Blay & former IGP’s daughters among those who grabbed scholarships for the needy

Dr Dennis Addo is by all indications an accomplished man. He is the founder and CEO of the Claron Hospital and co-founder of Bisa, an international award-winning health app.

His hospital, located on a quiet street in the affluent Airport Residential area in Accra, caters for some of the country’s elite with deep pockets.

That money came from a fund meant to help needy, underprivileged Ghanaian students to further their education. But for his political connections and social privileges, it is hard to imagine how a man with Dr Addo’s credentials, not to mention wealth, could be classified as needy and eligible to access a government scholarship to the tune of $50,031.

Dr Addo describes himself as a pioneer member of the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) students’ wing, TESCON. He recently contested the NPP’s parliamentary primary at Atwima Nwabiagya South in the Ashanti Region but lost.

For example, the NSS Deputy Director, Gifty Oware-Mensah (née Oware-Aboagye), obtained a government scholarship of £18,450 to study at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom in 2020 to pursue an MSc in Development Policy and Politics.

She was awarded the scholarship three years after she started working for the National Service Secretariat as Deputy Executive Director. In the same year, she acquired Berry Ladies FC, a female football formerly known as Halifax Ladies FC, currently playing in Ghana’s women’s premier league.

Fawzy Ramadan, a relative and personal assistant to Second Lady, Samira Bawumia, was awarded £17,355 to cover the cost of tuition for an MSc in Global Supply Chain Management at Brunel University in the UK.

 However, Mr Ramadan never pursued the course because he claimed he was involved in an accident during the peak of COVID-19 and could not defer the course. Neither he nor the state benefitted in any way from the tuition fee paid to Brunel University on his behalf. He said the school later wrote to him demanding the cost of accommodation from him when he had not stepped foot on the university’s campus.

Then there is Michael Ofori-Atta Jr. The weight of political connections appears to have heavily favoured him, being a relative of President Nana Akufo-Addo and former Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta. In 2020, the Scholarship Secretariat paid the University of Birmingham £16,740 for Michael to enrol in a programme called the Foundation Pathways – Social Sciences, Business and Law. The university describes the course as a “pathway that will lead its students into several possible undergraduate degrees” within its College of Arts and Law or College of Social Sciences.

If social media posts extolling the virtues of the NPP and some of its bigwigs count for anything, then they certainly did for Celestina Amoako Atta. The NPP youth activist was granted a GBP27,980 scholarship to study for an MSc in Information Business Management and Digital Business at Coventry University in the UK in 2019.

Ms Amoako Atta is currently an Assistant Administrative Officer at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).

According to data provided by the Scholarship Secretariat, a leading member of the NPP, Nana Poku Frefre was awarded a £28,080 scholarship to study for an MSc in Strategic Studies and Energy Security at the University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom in 2019. Mr Frefre, who is a founding member of the NPP branch in Scotland, he is now the Head of New Media for the Ashanti Regional NPP Communication team and an aide to the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Bernard Antwi-Bosiako, alias Chairman Wontumi.

Kelvin Ofori Gyimah joined the league of state-sponsored students in the UK in 2020 for a Master of Laws (LLM) degree in International Human Rights Law at Brunel University for £17,355.

He is the current president of the NPP’s student wing (TESCON) in the UK.

Amenyo Kwame Akoto is a Special Assistant to the Member of Parliament for Mpohor, John A. A. Sanie. Mr Akoto received £17,355 for a Master’s programme in International Relations at Brunel University in 2020. We could not reach him for comments.

If the curriculum vitae (CV) of Charles Asmah is anything to go by, then he was nowhere close to being a needy student when he received £28,380 for tuition and cost of living expenses during his studies for a Masters of Law degree in Legal Practice at the BPP University. At the time he secured the scholarship, his online resume showed that he was working as a finance and tax consultant at WhitePoplar UK Limited, and a lecturer at the College of Haringey also in the UK.

 Christine Ofosu-Ampadu has an impeccable resume. She is a private legal practitioner. She graduated with LLB and LLM degrees from the University of Kent in the United Kingdom and had a Bar Professional training education at Nottingham Trent University, also in the United Kingdom. She was called to the bar in New York in 2020. She worked as a crown prosecutor in the UK. With all these credentials she still needed $6,570 from the Scholarship Secretariat to intern at the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands in 2019.

Amma Frimpomaa Dwumah, received $12,200 for a certificate in programme Implementing Public Policy at Harvard University in the United States in 2019. Ms Dwumah was appointed Managing Director of SIC Savings and Loans in July 2017. Before that, she was a legal practitioner with Dery & Co, a law firm owned by the former Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery. She is a former NPP Women’s Organiser for Asunafo North Constituency.

Away from the legal gown, Raphael Patrick Sarfo is among the few who opted for professional development courses the state paid for. He received GBP5,995 for a course in Strategic Human Resource: Aligning with Corporate Vision. The Ashanti Regional NPP Youth Organiser attended Crown Agents Training and Professional Development in the UK in 2019.


 Nana Adubea Asante-Apeatu was in Ashesi University, one of Ghana’s most prestigious private universities, offering Computer Science. Ashesi is a distant dream for many Ghanaian parents because of its high fees and reputation for excellence. Many consider the university as the country’s version of an Ivy League institution.

The Computer Science programme at Ashesi costs GH¢51,200 per semester now. But with a Ghana government scholarship, Nana Adubea, daughter of former Inspector-General of Police, David Asante-Apeatu, withdrew from Ashesi in 2019 and headed to the United Kingdom where she enrolled at the University of Aberdeen to study for a Bachelor of Law degree (with options in Computer Science). In 2019 alone, the state paid GBP27,480 for her tuition and living expenses.

Zina Asante, daughter of actress and CEO of the National Film Authority, Juliet Asante, secured a place at Emmanuel College in the United States of America for a pre-medicine programme, costing $41,026. The school described the course as “a launching pad towards a remarkable journey into the field of medicine.”

Nine others, including Araba Twumasi Mensah, the daughter of a former member of Parliament for Kwesimintim, Joe Mensah, also received funding for the same course. Miss Mensah took a pre-medicine course at the University of Oklahoma from 2019 to 2023. She got the scholarship at a time when her father was a legislator. In 2019 alone, she received $36,675 to cover her tuition and living expenses.

The reputation of a prominent politician and lawyer can effortlessly swing doors open for his children. It probably did for Adom Effah-Dartey, son of Captain Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey, a leading member of the NPP, a former MP and a former deputy minister of Interior in the Kufuor administration. In 2019, Adom was awarded a scholarship to study for a Bachelor of Law degree programme at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom. The Scholarship Secretariat paid £19,130 for the course.

Lucie Blay Ekeleba is a practising lawyer and a daughter of Freddie Blay, the board chairman of the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC), a former First Deputy Speaker of Parliament and until recently, the Chairman of the ruling NPP.

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button