Background: Nana Oye Lithur is a high-profile, gutsy Ghanaian human rights lawyer who champions all human rights including those of homosexuals here in Ghana where it is a crime. She has been nominated by President Mahama for the cabinet position of the Gender, Children and Social Protection ministry. I think her nomination is a stroke of genius: however, her candidature has been met by a fierce reaction by the church here in Ghana. Her vetting will take place either on January 30 or the 31st, my birthday. The vetting sessions are broadcast live on GTV. You can be sure I’ll be watching.
Rationale for my support of President Mahama’s decision:
Increasingly, western governments are tying aid policy into a country’s record on human rights. Witness President Obama’s strong hint in his recent inauguration speech:
And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice – not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice.
And then there’s a more blatant stance coming from the UK. Incidentally, Ghana receives an average of US$36 million per year from the U.K.
Now, it will be interesting to see how strongly President Mahama will defend his choice or whether he will cede to the anti-gay lobby as has his appointee for Foreign Affairs Hannah Tetteh.
P.S. You think I’m delving into subject matter outside the business blog domain. I don’t think so because I believe that business and aid models complement one another in attempting to alleviate the terrible poverty that exists in this country of Ghana. And I think Nana Oye’s presence in cabinet championing the poor and the marginalized will give perspective to policy decisions. Note also that Nana Oye has nothing to lose given she was not elected, not that would make any difference…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME; HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME….hee, hee…