🔷President Nana Akufo-Addo has said Africa has the resources and capacity to finance access to quality education of its citizens, and also promote the interests of the continent.
He said, “we cannot depend on other people to finance the education on our continent. I am saying that not to turn my back or to be ungrateful to all these important or noble people who have committed themselves to help, no.
“But, if we make our policy dependent on other people when their policy changes, we will suffer. But, if we make the policy for ourselves, then it means that, at all times, we will be in control of our own destiny.”
The President said this when he led the Ghanaian delegation to the 3rd International Conference on the “Replenishment of the Funds of the Global Partnership for Education” in Dakar, Senegal.
This was at the invitation of Presidents Macky Sall of Senegalese and Emmanuel Macron of French.
Reiterating his belief that there is an abundance of resources on the continent to finance the development of Africa, President Akufo-Addo stated that the resources can be put to good use by eliminating corruption in public life.
He added that having more intelligent arrangements for those who want to exploit the resources on the continent and preventing the flight of capital out of the continent could further advance development.
“Thabo Mbeki’s Commission that looked at the illicit flows of capital out of Africa, has estimated that for every year, in the last ten years, $50 billion goes out of Africa through illicit means.
“Can you imagine what those monies, if we had our eyes open, and we were not complicit in that illicit outflow, would mean for the capacity of our nations?” he asked.
The challenge, therefore, confronting Africa, the President opined, is “how we can organise ourselves to make sure that the wealth, the huge wealth of this great continent, at least, in the first time in modern history, is used on behalf of the peoples of the continent, and not those outside.”
President Akufo-Addo was confident that “if we are able to close that gap, we will come here to Dakar to talk about education and not the funding of education by others.
“We will be talking about the quality of our education, the changes we need to make to our curricula, and the emphasis we have to place on our history and sociology.”
He added that “So that, I am not misunderstood, all those who have been making the pledges, it is all good. But, I think it is extremely important for us to get our whole mindset right. We have within us the capacity to develop and promote the interest of our continent ourselves. Let’s do it.”
Importance of Education
Touching on the importance of education to the advancement of the continent, the President stated that the paradox of Africa having the youngest population and being the richest continent on the planet, but with the worst living conditions can only be broken by education.
He indicated that “we are going to have to make sure that every young child, boy and girl, have access to education. Not only do they have access to education, but they have access to an education that will allow them to be able to address the challenges of the 21st century.”
Narrating the experience of Ghana, President Akufo-Addo stated that the country is determined to open opportunities for everybody.
In confronting the question of the quality of education that will prepare the young population of Africa for the life of the 21st century, he indicated that it is only a greater focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, which will guarantee the future of the continent.
“We have seen that in the development of the economies of Asia, in China, India, Japan, and Korea. That is the way forward, to be able to make the transition from poor to prosperity,” the President added.
President Akufo-Addo was accompanied to the Conference by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway MP; Education Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh; and officials of the Presidency, Foreign and Education Ministries.
Source; Dailyguide Africa