3 June 2019

Ghana: Invest More Zakat, Sadaqat Fund to Build Knowledgeable Society - Veep

The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has asked the management of the Zakat and Sadaqat Trust Fund of Ghana, to invest more in education to build a knowledgeable society.

This, he explained, would help to remove ignorance and give way to intellectual discourse between inter-faith bodies, for the promotion of tolerance and peaceful co-existence.

The Vice President was speaking at the 9th Annual Night of Power, an initiative of the Muslim Caucus in Parliament that brings Muslims together, in the month of Ramadan, to break their fast and offer prayers and supplications to Allah for his blessings to humankind.

It is also a platform to take stock of the Zakat and Sadaqat Fund in which Muslims contribute a fraction of their wealth, as a religious obligation, to support and empower the needy and the poor in society.

The 2018 annual report of the fund shows that, GH¢ 70,204.77 had been disbursed to support the education of needy students.

Also, the fund guaranteed loans for 36 students in tertiary institutions under the Student Loan Trust Fund.

Speaking on the theme "Fostering Religious Tolerance and Societal Harmony: The Role of the Muslim", Dr Bawumia observed that differences in religion were being exaggerated as a result of intolerance, adding that intolerance was born out of ignorance on both sides of some Christians and Muslims.

"Education of our people will allow us to tolerate one another," Dr Bawumia said and urged the management of the fund to invest more in the education of needy Muslims in line with the religion of Islam that require Muslims to acquire knowledge.

Delving into economic concepts, Dr Bawumia explained that "economics of intolerance" was more acute where there was poverty, adding that education was the key to alleviating poverty and promoting tolerance.

He spoke on the need to build an inclusive society where no one would be left behind, saying "let us try to live in harmony; building inclusive society is key to promoting tolerance."

The acting Administrator of the Zakat and Sadaqat Trust Fund,Hajia Azara Abubakari-Haroun, said the fund received 500 bursary applications in 2018 but the fund could not cater for all the applicants.

She, therefore, urged Muslims to honour their religious obligations by contributing to the fund to support the needy, saying "help us to wipe the tears of our needy Muslims who want to go to school."

The occasion was graced by the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Oquaye, Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, Members of Parliaments, Ministers of State, members of the Diplomatic Corp, representative from Christian Council, Chiefs and cross section of the Muslim community.

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