A former beauty queen, Giusepina Baafi, is on a list of scholarship beneficiaries obtained by the Fourth Estate in response to a Right to Information request.

Miss Baafi, who won the Miss Ghana pageant in 2013, was given €18,500 as stipend to study for her Master’s at the Schellhammer Business School in Spain.

She got the award six years after she won the coveted crown, which would later be a subject of controversy, leading to her resignation.

Also on the list are Sidney Osei-Owusu, Kieve Kuuku Kittoe and Abednego Mathias Bonir. They received multiple scholarships.

Sdney Osei-Owusu received £28,330 in 2019 to cover his living expenses and tuition for an MSc degree in Management at the Brunel University in London. In 2020, the secretariat again paid GBP15,750 for his MBA at the University of the West of England.

For Kieve Kuuku Kittoe, he got US$ 38,475 for an MA in Design Management at Savanna College in the United States in 2019. The following year, Mr Kittoe also received GBP14,500 for an MA in Visual Communication at the University of Derby in the United Kingdom.

Mathias Abednego Bonir received a total of 81,948.46 Canadian dollars (CAD) — the equivalent of GHS807,192 (based on today’s exchange rate of GHS9.85) for a post-graduate certificate in Project Management in 2019, as well as Human Resource Management in 2020. He attended the Georgian College in Canada.

The Secretariat spent CAD16,441.13 on his tuition in 2019 and CAD17,507.33 in 2020. He received CAD2,000 as stipend monthly in the course of his studies.

His stipend alone amounted to GHS19,700.00 monthly. This amount is more than sufficient to cover the full tuition (GHS17,696) for a Master of Science in Project Management at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA).

Mr Bonir’s stipend could almost have covered the total fees (GHS20,423) for a Master of Science in Project Management at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

His total fees and stipend for the two programmes he pursued would have been adequate to cover the fees of 45 M.Sc. Project Management students at UPSA and 39 at KNUST.

Apart from these beneficiaries, The Fourth Estate’s investigations revealed the funnelling of scholarship funds to influential people, as well as children, relatives and associates of powerful figures at the expense of the brilliant but underprivileged.

The Fourth Estate conducted an analysis of the data, specifically focusing on scholarships funded by the government of Ghana. This analysis included a breakdown of the expenditures on scholarship recipients in various countries, details of the programmes pursued by the beneficiaries and their backgrounds.

From our analysis, in 2019-2020, the Scholarship Secretariat spent at least 291,480 pounds sterling (GBP), 146,502 US dollars (USD) and 7,685 Canadian dollars (CAD) respectively on influential individuals and the associates of the political elite.

According to the Secretariat, it disbursed GHS237.5 million in 2019 and GHS200 million in 2020.

In the last few days, The Fourth Estate has been publishing a series of reports highlighting some grave anomalies in Ghana’s scholarships system where, for example, a good chunk of available funding had gone to people connected to the political and social elite.

The Fourth Estate provides below the second part of the list of government of Ghana scholarships beneficiaries for the years 2019 and 2020: