Rebecca Naa Okaikor Akufo-Addo is the current First Lady of Ghana as the wife of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the 5th President of the 4th Republic of Ghana.
As First lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo has been praised for advocating the fight of the disease Malaria in Ghana and has been recognized as a nutrition champion for fighting against malnutrition in children and adolescents, and outstanding contribution to women’s health and efforts against infant mortality in Ghana and across Africa.
In October 2018, The Rebecca Foundation rolled out the ”Learning to read, reading to learn” project. This was to instill a culture of learning in children to enhance literacy. Some of the goals of the project were to build libraries across the country and introduce school and child friendly programs to enable children learn to read. In November 2018, the Foundation launched the ‘Because I want to be’ project. It provides a cushion for underprivileged girls in society and guarantees continuous education and skills training for female school dropouts.
In 2017, she founded the Rebecca Akufo-Addo Foundation, a non-governmental organization to enhance efforts of government amongst Ghanaian women and children. In November 2017, the Rebecca foundation signed a deal with Licang District Experimental School in Qingdao, China. This was for an exchange program that would each year enable ten students from both countries to visit the other. This was a move would enhance academic, sports and cultural harmony between students of both countries.
The foundation built and commissioned a new Pediatric and Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in 2019. In January 2019, she launched the Free to Shine campaign. This was to stop mother-to-child transmission of AIDS and was in line with the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV and AIDS (OAFLA) drive.
In June 2019, the foundation presented six ambulances to some healthcare organizations to enhance the delivery of their services. The ”Save the Child, Save the Mother” project established both a Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) and a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital. It was sponsored by the foundation together with the Multimedia Group and The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hopital and supported by the Manhyia Palace and the Government of Japan. The project was geared towards reducing maternal and infant mortality. In September 2019, she made an appeal for the empowerment of women, at the United Nations General Assembly. This would make it possible for them to impact more on the welfare of their families and communities. It was at a side event put together by the Organization of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) and themed “Renewing commitment towards enhancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in Africa”.
In January 2020, the foundation’s women empowerment program, the Terema Women’s Empowerment Initiative, in conjunction with the National Board for Small Scale Industries, trained women in soap making. In February 2020, the Rebecca Foundation, through the ‘Enhancing the Youth through Education and Health (EYEH) Soup Kitchen’ project, made a donation of assorted food items worth about GH¢15,000 to some street children in Accra. In April 2020, the foundation made a donation of assorted items through its ‘Relief Boxes Challenge’ to the SOS children’s Village. This initiative was in partnership with the government to help groups manage through the partial lockdown better.
In August 2020, Rebecca Akufo-Addo made a donation of $20,000 to help Emmanuel Apraku, a pencil artist treat a liver disease he was battling.
In the same month of August 2020 she donated temperature guns to the Ghana Library Board, to be shared to the libraries across the country. This was to help curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic by checking the temperatures of people who came to use the libraries. In September 2020, she donated some items to the University of Ghana Teaching Hospital. The items included five beds sets, powdered soap, baby diapers, blankets, bedsheets, patient monitors, thermometer guns, 20 gallons of hand sanitizer, nose masks and delivery bowls.
In February 2021, the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, the Kumasi South Hospital and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Teaching Hospital each received 20 electronic beds from the foundation. These were to support their COVID-19 isolation centres.
To many, she is doing what a mother of the land should be doing but truth is, it takes alot of courage to be successful in all these contributions to help better society.
Congratulations to the First Lady of Ghana.
Akwaaba Woman of Excellence 2020