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USE OF GHANA'S OIL REVENUE TO FUND FREE SHS IS APPROPRIATE—PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO

The Government of Ghana, this year, announced the use of some GH¢453 million ($103 million) of the country’s oil revenue to fund the Free Senior High School (SHS) Policy, which is more than double, the amount spent last year on the implementation of the Policy. 

 

This, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has described as the most equitable and transparent use of the oil revenue, instead of it finding its way into the pockets of politicians and bureaucrats.

 

According to President Akufo-Addo his Government was laying a strong foundation for an educated and skilled workforce for the future, adding that “we are investing in our future scientists, engineers, modern farmers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and transformation agents!” 

 

Delivering the keynote address on the theme: “Enough Rhetoric: Catalysing an Era of Concrete Action” at the 2018 Oxford Africa Conference at the University of Oxford on Friday, President Akufo-Addo said his Government  was placing emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education to drive all sectors of the Ghanaian economy.

 

President Akufo-Addo explained that resources were being committed to basic and applied science, and engineering to ensure that the critical need for technicians and engineers was met, adding that the process also encompassed a scaling up of technical, vocational and education training to supply the skills needed to build a modern economy.

 

Increased trade among African countries

 

On the issue of trade and investment among African countries, President Akufo-Addo said the recent ratification of the Continental Free Trade Area agreement by the Ghanaian Parliament meant that the era of low volumes of intra-continental trade that had characterised the activities of the African economies would end.

 

“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,” the President said.

 

He noted that with Africa’s population set to reach the 2 billion mark in 20 years, an increase in intra-regional trade in Africa was the surest way to develop fruitful relations among African countries.

 

This market, he argued, would present immense opportunities in wealth and prosperity to the African people, with hard work, ingenuity, innovation and enterprise.

 

“It will mean a rapid increase in exchanges of our agricultural, financial, industrial, scientific and technological products, which will enhance dramatically our attainment of prosperity, and the prospects of employment for the broad masses of Africans, particularly our youth. Our economies would then be shaped not by the production and export of raw materials, but by the things we make,” he emphasized.

 

Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)