The World Bank Vice President for Africa, Dr Hafez Ghanem, has praised the Ghana Government for its revolutionary decision to provide Free Senior High School education to Ghanaian youth, and has pledged the Bank’s support for its sustenance and improvement.
The Bank has also pledged its support for Ghana’s ongoing economic programmes and policies, especially the digitisation agenda, pointing out that technology continues to play a major role in our daily lives and any effort for its further adoption is a step in the right direction.
“We think that your decision to provide free education at the senior secondary school level is an important one and it is something that we would like to support,” Dr Ghanem stated when he called on the Vice President of the Republic, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, at the Jubilee House on Monday 25th March, 2019.
“We already have projects in the education sector, and we would like to do even more to see how we can ensure access to quality education for all Ghanaian boys and girls and how to keep the children in school…Through our education and other projects, we will do our best to support it.”
“Ghana,” Dr Ghanem said, “has always played a very important role in our continent. Ghana has always been a pioneer in many areas in our continent since independence. Today the Ghanaian economy is doing very well under your leadership with growth rates around 6%, and it is important that Ghana’s development continues and even accelerates.
“It is important obviously for Ghana and its people, but also important for the rest of Africa because of the spill over effect, but also of the demonstration effect, to show that a country that is reforming and opening up its economy is achieving good results.”
Citing a number of programmes being undertaken by Government which are beginning to yield fruit, Dr Ghanem expressed confidence that President Akufo-Addo’s vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid is achievable and the Bank would play its part to make sure it succeeds.
“We really think that we have a real opportunity to achieve a Ghana Beyond Aid certainly, and that is something that we should all strive for, to support your vision of a modern Ghanaian economy beyond aid. We agree 100% with that vision.
“So we at the World Bank are committed to supporting you, and we would do all our best to increase the size of our support and to also improve its quality to respond to your needs and priorities.”
Drawing a link between quality education, the growing impact of technology and the Akufo-Addo government’s digitisation drive, Dr Hafez Ghanem said the Bank would like to support and finance the ongoing push across Africa, particularly in Ghana to improve the lives of the people.
“Our objective is to make Africa the Start Up Continent. We need to have more African computer engineers and entrepreneurs.
“Using technology today to improve the quality of education is something that is happening all over the world. Even the quality of healthcare, using digital technology is important. It is really a big area that we would like to support and work with you on.
“Your Excellency, you mentioned using digital finance or fintechs, which is extremely important. That is how we can achieve, quickly, financial inclusion, how we can get everybody to have a bank account.
“You also mentioned plans of industrialisation and basically transforming the Ghanaian economy. We, whether as the World Bank Group itself, or our private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation, would like to be very supportive in this area.”
In brief remarks, Vice President Bawumia expressed Government’s appreciation for the World Bank’s continued support in diverse ways which have helped the nation to achieve remarkable results.
Dr Hafez Ghanem is in Ghana for a three day working visit during which he will interact with leading Ghanaian officials and review the Bank’s programmes.