MTN Ghana has launched its Economic Empowerment Project (EEP) to assist persons with disabilities to be financially independent and not become a liability on society.
Under the project, MTN Ghana is assisting members of the Ghana Federation of Disability (GFD) to become MTN Mobile Money agents.
For a start, MTN has supported 100 physically challenged members of the GFD, with each member receiving seed money of GH¢4000 to start the Mobile Money business.
In addition, each of the beneficiaries had been given MTN Mobile Money user-friendly kiosks and phones to start the Mobile Money business.
Speaking at the launch of the EEP at the office of the GFD in Accra on Wednesday, the General Manager of Mobile Money Limited (MML), Eli Hini said the EEP formed part of activities marking the 10th anniversary of MTN Mobile Money and also help persons with disability to establish their own businesses and eke out a better living and not become a burden on society.
He said one of the highlights of the celebration was to identify and invest in corporate social investment initiatives that would help alleviate the plight of a marginalised group in the country.
Against this backdrop, he said MTN Ghana decided to extend its support to persons living with disability and reached the GFD for that purpose.
“This project is part of MTN’s effort to economically empower persons living with disabilities in Ghana as part of activities to commemorate the 10th anniversary of MTN Momo services in Ghana,” Mr Hini said.
He said MTN Ghana was proud to have partnered the federation to execute the project and urged the beneficiaries to work hard for the project to succeed.
The Director of the National Association of the Deaf, Juventus Dourinaah commended MTN Ghana and MML for the project.
“As an organisation of persons with disabilities, we are more concerned about development of all categories of persons with disabilities in educational, social, political and economic lives, the reason for which we embrace the partnership with MTN which has resulted in creating employment for a good number of persons with disabilities,” he said.
The Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah in his address said the need to “facilitate the integration of persons living with disabilities into the world of work is non-negotiable.”
He said Ghana was estimated to have about one-fifth of its population being people with physical, intellectual or emotional disability.
Mr Awuah said persons with disabilities had been subjected to severe stigmatisation, discrimination, maltreatment and neglect and people living with disabilities needed to be integrated into the world of work, saying “this often results in the lack of access to employment, education, healthcare and social services.”
The Minister commended MTN Ghana for the project and urged the beneficiaries to manage the businesses well to achieve the objectives for which the EEP was established.
By Kingsley Asare