We cannot rely on World Bank – Nana Addo
President Akufo-Addo has appealed to African leaders not to rely on Bretton Wood institutions, specifically the World Bank, to develop the potentials of their countries, especially in the area of education.
That, he said, was because “the provision of education for our young people should not become an ideological tussle.”
Addressing the gathering at the auditorium of the London School of Economics during the ‘Africa Summit’ under the theme, ‘Africa at work: educated, employed and empowered,’ over the weekend, he noted that “we should never have to make a choice between basic education or higher education and that we should never have to rely on the World Bank or any other institution to decide for us where the emphasis should be in our education needs.”
He was of the firm belief that “education is the key to our development and therefore we must run our economies to be able to fund the education of our children.”
The President, therefore, urged other African leaders not get into arguments with donor agencies about our priorities.”
He indicated that “we must set our own priorities, and we must accept that we should provide the funds to translate our plans into reality.”
According to him, “That is why despite the bleak economic situation my government inherited, we decided to implement immediately the pledge we had made about providing free Senior High School (SHS) education.”
For him, “The most dramatic aspect of its implementation has been that 90,000 more students entered senior high school in September last year, the first term of the policy than in 2016.”
The President told his audience that“we are reviving the strength of our National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), which under the previous administration, was being strangled by debt. Of the GH¢1.2 billion debt we inherited, the equivalent of $300 million, we have paid in the last 15 months GH¢1 billion, the equivalent of $250 million, and payments to service providers are now current.”
The Scheme, he noted, was “regaining its effectiveness so that for a minimum amount subscribers can have access to a wide range of medical services.”
For now, he said “we have done enough talking and dare I say we have had enough conferences and workshops. We know what we need to do. It is time just to do it. We have run out of excuses for the state of our continent. We have the manpower, we should have the political will. It’s time to make Africa work.”
“There might be 54 countries and we might sometimes resent being lumped together for the wrong reasons, but there are strong ties that bind us together as Africans,” he noted.
“In spite of whatever one may say about the continent, we have good reasons to be proud of who we are, and the beautiful continent that is ours.”
“The geographic space covered by Africa makes it the second largest of the seven continents. It has some of the most breathtaking scenes on our planet. It has plants and animals that are wonders of the world, and critical for the survival of the planet,” he spoke highly of a continent former British Prime Minister Tony Blair described as ‘a scar on the conscience of the world.
The Ghanaian President said that “if we work at it, if we stop being beggars, and spend Africa’s monies inside the continent, Africa would not need to ask for respect from anyone. We would get the respect we deserve.
“Over 30 years ago, Princeton University, one of America’s most prestigious Ivy League Universities offered a course in Mandarin which for years had virtually no takers. Today, there is standing room only. And it is not because the course is any easier, it’s because the position of China has changed. 30 years ago, 20 years ago, China was nowhere near where it is today. China does not ask anyone for respect now, she does not need to,” he emphasized.