…As Sierra Leone Adopts Policy, Others To Follow Suit
By Frank Amponsah
The boldness with which President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is implementing government flagship program, the Free Senior High School (Free SHS) has inspired some African leaders to also followed suit.
Although the opposition National Democratic Congress has on several platforms sought to discredit the program, countries like Sierra Leone got inspired by Akufo-Addo’s determination and are adopting the Free SHS policy.
President of Sierra Leone is full of commendations for President Akufo-Addo for being his inspiration as his country adopts the Free Senior High School concept of Ghana.
President Julius Maada Bio has indicated that but for the boldness of Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, he could not have understood how he could implement a policy that sought to educate all children in his country.
He said: “In all these, I must particularly mention the man who inspired me, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana. He has shown us the way”
Sierra Leoneans have seen the need to educate their citizens in a similar fashion as we have here, and this, according to President Maada Bio, was inspired by Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
President Akufo-Addo started drumming home his desirous wish to school all Ghanaians at no cost to parents as the state would bear the cost involved since 2008. He repeated same in the run-up to the 2012 elections, and this was consistently lampooned by the National Democratic Congress.
In the 2016 elections, the New Patriotic Party did not abandon the project and campaigned heavily on it whereas the NDC continued its bastardization.
In a related development, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has said the use of some of the country’s oil revenues to fund the Free Senior High School policy, which is guaranteeing all Ghanaian school-going school access to Senior High School education, is most appropriate.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “We are using some of the income from our oil revenue to fund the programme. I believe strongly that this is the most equitable and transparent use of the oil revenue, instead of it finding its way into the pockets of politicians and bureaucrats.”
The President stated that his Government is laying a strong foundation for an educated and skilled workforce of the future, adding that “we are investing in our future scientists, engineers, modern farmers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and transformation agents!”
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Friday, 11th May, 2018, when he delivered the keynote address at the 2018 Oxford Africa Conference, at the University of Oxford.
This year, the Akufo-Addo government has announced that it will spend some GH¢453 million ($103 million) of the country’s oil revenue on funding Free SHS, more than double the amount spent last year on funding the policy.
Addressing the gathering on the theme “Enough Rhetoric: Catalysing an Era of Concrete Action”, the President stated that his administration has embarked on shifting the emphasis in education to ensure that science, technology, engineering and mathematics drive all sectors of the economy.
“We are committing resources to basic and applied science and engineering to ensure that we are able to meet the critical need for technicians and engineers. This process encompasses also a scaling up of technical, vocational and education training to supply the skills needed to build a modern economy,” he added.
He also touched on the trade, where he emphasised that the ratification of the Continental Free Trade Area agreement by the Ghanaian Parliament, would mean that the era of low volumes of intra-continental trade that have defined the activities of the African economies will come to an end.
He said: “Up till now, trade between African regions has remained low compared to other parts of the world. In 2000, intra-regional trade accounted for 10% of Africa’s total trade, and increased marginally to 11% in 2015. Trading amongst members of the European Union, for example, amounted to 70% in 2015.”
He said an increase in intra-regional trade in Africa is the surest way to develop fruitful relations between African countries and that will present immense opportunities to bring wealth and prosperity to the African people, with hard work, ingenuity, innovation and enterprise, for rapid increase in exchanges of agricultural, financial, industrial, scientific and technological products, which would enhance dramatically our attainment of prosperity, and the prospects of employment for the broad masses of Africans, particularly our youth.