The African Union (AU) Commission has commended the Government of Ghana for implementing the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy, saying that it is a sure way of ensuring the growth of the country and the African Continent.
Ambassador Thomas Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson, African Union Commission, gave the commendation at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) High Level Panel Discussion, in Geneva, Switzerland.
He said the implementation of the free SHS in Ghana would give greater impetus to the AU’s agenda of having every African child enrolled in school by the end of the decade.
Ambassador Quartey declared: “Africa has the largest number of young people, and this Commission has at its theme; Education, Education, Education. It is in that spirit that I would like to commend the government of Ghana, at the risk of sounding unduly nationalist, that the SHS programme, the free compulsory secondary school programme that they have introduced, is really a good idea, and Ghana is to be commended for that”.
The ambition of the African Union, Ambassador Quartey said, was to have every African child in school by the year 2020, adding; “We would like to have a literate and a numerate Africa. We want an Africa where illiteracy is a thing of the past. With a literate and numerate Africa, the continent would be ready now to imbibe technology, apply science and technology, and find solutions.”
The panel discussion, organised by the UNCTAD is on the theme: “Accelerating Progress in Building Productive Capacities in Least Developing Countries and Other Vulnerable Developing Economies”.
UNCTAD is the United Nations body responsible for development issues, particularly international trade as the main driver of development.
It brought together world leaders including, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD; Madam Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, High-Representative and Under-Secretary-General for OHRLLS, New York; and Madam Hu Xiaolian, Chairman, China-Exim Bank.
The rest are Dr. Celestin Monga, Vice-President and Chief Economist, African Development Bank, Abidjan; Mr. Hiroshi Kuniyoshi, Deputy Director-General, UNIDO; Dr. Robert Wade, Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science; and Ghana’s Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.