Mr John-Peter Amewu, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, on Wednesday, received the Pan-African Enterprise and Achievers Award for being the Innovative Minister of the year 2017, in recognition for his untiring efforts to halt illegal mining.
Professor Victor Yankah, the Director-General of the Bureau of Research, Governance, Commerce and Administration, an affiliate of the Confederation of Governance Assessment Institute, presented the award to the Minister at the Ministry in Accra.
The award is a beautifully designed golden plaque, which recognises the Minister’s unwavering fight against illegal mining, otherwise known as “galamsey”.
In attendance were Mr Benito-Owusu-Bio, a Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Forestry, Professor Patrick Agbesinyale, the Chief Director of the Ministry and other principal officers of the Ministry.
Prof Yankah, who presented the award to the Minister, said although the mining sector faced a herculean challenge, the innovative ideas and strides made so far by the Minister within a year in office is worth celebrating.
“This is just to let the public know that, whatever ministers do, the NGOs out there appreciate it, and so we decided to give him this token in recognition of his efforts,” he said.
Mr Isaac Rockson, the Communication Strategist of the Organisation, said there is the need for civil society organisations to recognise government officials, who were performing creditably in their respective ministries.
“Your efforts have to be honoured for Ghanaians to see what you have done,” he said.
In a related development, the Volta Regional branch of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) also presented a citation to the Minister for supporting students’ education in the Region.
Mr Divine Kporha, the immediate past Regional President of NUGS, on behalf of the Union, read the citation to the Minister for his contribution to education and fighting against illegal mining.
He said a committee was established by NUGS to identify influential people in the region who have been supportive to education and inspire the youth.
“Mr Amewu’s name came up as the most influential personalities in the region, “so as a Union, we deemed it necessary to acknowledge the good works he has done, not only in the Ministry, but the good works he has done to a number of students in the region, who have not come out to announce it”.
“It’s just prudent that we honour the one whose honour is due since the Minister had uplifted the name of the region in his recent fight against illegal mining, and we cannot talk about illegal mining without mentioning Mr Amewu’s name”.
Mr Amewu, in his acceptance address, expressed his appreciation to the organisations for recognising his efforts and the entire workforce of the Ministry.
The Minister said he was only spearheading the Ministry, but they worked as a team in implementing government’s programmes to better the quality of life of Ghanaians.
He said the award was a demonstration that organisations in the country were monitoring and assessing the work of the Ministry and this would give them the necessary impetus to work harder to meet the aspirations of all Ghanaians.