Catherine Ablema Afeku with President Nana Akufo-Addo
Catherine Ablema Afeku, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Evalue Jomoro-Gwira, has expressed excitement over her nomination as Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, and called on all stakeholders to support her to achieve enviable success at the ministry even ahead of her vetting and confirmation.
Catherine Afeku explained that her priority would be to rejuvenate the creative arts sector and get it properly structured and well oiled enough to attract the requisite tourists to Ghana.
Speaking to Kwesi Aboagye, host of Peace FM’s Entertainment Review last Saturday, she expressed the hope that she would be successful at the vetting and once her nomination is confirmed, her immediate priority would be to establish the much-awaited Creative Arts Council and also get parliament to pass into law the Creative Arts Bill.
Catherine Afeku admitted that her would-be predecessor, Elizabeth Ofusu-Agyare, played a pivotal role in pushing the Creative Arts, Bill but until it becomes an act or law, the creative arts sector would still not have the structures it ought to have.
On her prospective deputy, Catherine Afeku said he would have wished for a male deputy and preferably someone from the creative arts sector, but she would leave that decision to the discretion of President Akufo-Addo.
“Based on the experience of my predecessors, some of us women turn to work well with men. Nothing discriminatory but we should balance gender as well…it is my wish that the deputy would come from the industry, the creative arts and talented artistes. So we would present the names to the president but the prerogative is with the president. He would consult us but the ultimate decision is with him,” she stated.
Catherine Afeku is reputed as a strong lobbyist and an affable person who has a listening ear for all manner of persons and ideas.
She first entered parliament in January 2009, but she lost the December 2012 elections and has fought hard to return to parliament in January 2017.
In her first encounter with parliament, Catherine Afeku served on three committees – the Road and Transport Committee, the Communications Committee as the Deputy Ranking Member and the Business Committee.
She also became the government’s spokesperson for infrastructure during ex-President John Kufuor’s regime.
By Halifax Ansah-Addo