Made-In-Ghana Bazaar to facilitate penetration of Ghanaian products into foreign markets


The Made-In-Ghana Bazaar has an ultimate goal of facilitating the penetration of Ghanaian products and services into foreign markets using the network of Ghana’s Missions abroad.

Madam Mavis Nkansah Boadu, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, in-charge of Finance and Administration, said that would invariably support the growth of Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs) and provide them the impetus to expand their reach into markets including that of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

She said this at the opening of the Third Made-In-Ghana Bazaar on the theme: ‘Promoting Made-In-Ghana Goods and Services for Economic Prosperity’, being organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Other supporting organisations are the Ghana Export Promotions Authority, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Association of Ghana Industries.

The Baza
ar seeks to promote Ghanaian products internationally, using the network of Ghana’s Diplomatic Missions.

It is a flagship programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, launched in 2018, following the Government’s decision to re-establish the Economic, Trade and Investment Bureau of the Ministry in 2017, pursuant to its economic and industrial transformation agenda.

The Bazaar brings together more than 150 exhibitors, and the products on display represent some of Ghana’s iconic offerings in the local and international markets.

The products on exhibition range from traditional crafts and artisanal works to manufactured products with cutting-edge technology.

Madam Boadu said the Ministry had executed its economic diplomacy agenda with its diplomatic missions abroad and partner institutions, by assisting Ghanaian businesses to access foreign markets with their goods and services.

It provides trade and consular advisory services to Ghanaian businesses and facilitates the resolution of
trade misunderstanding and conflicts between Ghanaian businesses and their foreign partners.

She reiterated that the agenda would be pursued to identify more markets for Ghanaian products and services.

‘It is in light of this that this Bazaar is being held with the view of compiling data on all our exhibitors and circulate same to Ghana Missions abroad as well as Diplomatic Missions accredited to the Republic of Ghana to help identify market for them and expand their reach,’ Madam Boadu said.

The potential of strategic economic diplomacy had become so evident today that States were seen increasing collaboration between State and non-State actors, increasing importance to World Trade Organisation (WTO) issues and the continuous negotiation of free trade and preferential trade agreements, she said.

Countries had also centered their diplomatic engagements around economic diplomacy where Ministries of Foreign Affairs were forging stronger ties with the private sector to attract the needed foreign direct inves
tment into their countries.

‘It is in this vein that the chosen theme for the Bazaar ‘Promoting Made-in-Ghana Goods and Services for Economic Prosperity’ is apt, as it is strategically designed to harness the innovative efforts of our micro, small and medium size businesses (SMEs).

Madam Boadu said the AfCFTA framework had provided a unique opportunity for intra-African trade and Ghana was at the forefront of implementing that agreement.

Aside hosting its Secretariat, Ghana had been able to trade with a few African countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon and South Africa under the AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative (GTI), launched in October 2022 to pilot the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement.

Mr Kobina Tahir Hammond, the Minister of Trade and Industry, who opened the Bazaar, called on Ghanaians to patronise Made-In-Ghana products.

‘I encourage each of you to patronize these Made-in-Ghana products and services, not just out of functionality and price but also with a sense of pride and patriotism,’
he said.

‘By supporting your local businesses and artisans, you are not only satisfying your needs, but also investing in the local economy and strengthening as well as preserving our productive sectors for future generations.’

‘Every purchase made here today helps to sustain livelihoods and promote productivity and sustainability in our communities.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Tema Traditional Council cautions VALCO against alleged plans to lay workers off


The Tema Traditional Council (TTC) has cautioned management of the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) against alleged plans to lay off some 45 residents of Tema Manhean employed not long ago.

Nii Armah Soumponu II, the Stool Secretary, and Tema Shipi, giving the caution at a news conference, indicated that they had picked up signals of plans to lay off the said workers, who are made up of both indigenes and non-indigenes.

He explained that the workers were employed by Mr. Daniel Titus Glover, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, who was then the Chief Executive Officer VALCO.

According to him, the opportunities created for the 45 residents helped reduce tension in the town, as before their employment, the youth were unhappy about the inability of the industries in Tema to provide jobs for them even though all their farmlands were sacrificed for the industrialization of the country.

‘It is with the utmost pain to note that no sooner had Mr. Titus-Glover left the office than his successor, Mr. Kingsley Aboagy
e Gyedu, started skirmishes to lay off those workers,’ the council alleged.

The Tema Shipi stressed, ‘May God forbid this, but if he goes ahead with this wicked agenda that has the potential to discredit the government, we shall resist with unprecedented zeal. We therefore advise him to desist from the wicked intention he is nurturing, or he will be faced with the wrath of our people.’

They further expressed worry that ‘from the way things are going, it is our suspicion that some of those traditional rulers from Kpone and Tema, whom Hon. Titus-Glover has given the privilege to attend VALCO Hospital, shall also be denied this privilege.’

The TTC therefore called on President Akufo-Addo to take prompt action to halt the alleged intention, which it said has the potential to damage the image of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.

Meanwhile, when the Ghana News Agency (GNA) contacted the management of VALCO for their response to the allegations, they said the CEO was out of the country and would therefor
e give their side on a later day when he arrived.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Let’s adopt holistic approach to safeguard Ghana’s cultural heritage


Mr Mark Okraku Mante, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture has called for a holistic approach to safeguard Ghana’s cultural heritage.

He said such an approach should combine legislative framework, educational initiative, and community engagement strategies.

The Deputy Minister made the call at an open forum and closing ceremony of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Project by the National Folklore Board (NFB) in collaboration with UNESCO, in Accra.

He said in an era marked by globalization and rapid urbanization, Ghana’s traditional practices were increasingly vulnerable to erosion, commodification, hence the need for a holistic approach to safeguard them for prosperity.

‘In this digital age, where the world seems to be moving forward at an unprecedented pace, it is imperative to pause, reflect and celebrate the intangible elements that binds us together as a people.’

He said Ghana’s ICH encompasses a wide array of expressions ranging from oral traditions to performing arts, rituals, festive
events to traditional craftsmanship, among others which presents a unique opportunity to reaffirm Ghana’s commitment to safeguarding, promoting, and transmitting these cherished practices to future generations.

Mr Mante said ICH served as a repository of knowledge, and a fountain of inspiration offering a valuable insight into our collective heritage and identity. ‘It serves as a catalyst for socio-economic development.’

He said harnessing the potential of Ghana’s cultural assets, could lead to economic growth, job creation, and poverty alleviation particularly in rural areas, adding the ministry was committed to safeguarding the rich traditions, customs and practices that form the bed rock of our culture.

‘As we embark on this collective journey together let us reaffirm our unwavering commitment and harness the power of collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity to ensure that our cultural legacy continue to thrive and inspire generations yet unborn.’

Mr Carl Ampah, National Professional Officer for Cult
ure, UNESCO, said the project had been part of a systemic effort to safeguard ICH at the national and community level.

He said the project had enhanced the capacities of stakeholders, while also addressing the gaps in policies and strategies for safeguarding living heritage and facilitating the development of a community-based inventory of ICH.

‘Ghana’s ICH is much more than the physical aspects of culture, it is about traditions or living expressions, which include all performing arts, rituals, social practices, festive events, traditional craftsmanship highlife music, symbols and kente weaving.’

Mr Ampah noted that, despite the recognition of their importance, these elements of ICH were at risk of being permanently lost to humanity due to poor or lack of inventory and documentation.

He commended the Asantehene for the facilitating the return of some precious cultural properties, illicitly taken out of the country. ‘It is a milestone contributing to strengthening ICH and UNESCO is looking forward for mor
e collaboration with Ghana and the cultural sector.’

Mrs Bernice Ann Deh-Kumah, Executive Director, NFB, said the project was important as it sought to implement the 2003 UNESCO Convention on safeguarding ICH which was a unique expression of a community’s identity and values, transmitted from generations.

She said the 2003 UNESCO convention provided a framework for the identification, documentation, protection, promotion and transmission of these heritage, and therefore an essential instrument for countries seeking to safeguard their cultural heritage.

‘The project is designed to strengthen capacities to safeguard heritage and contribute to sustainable development, and this forum will further unveil the findings of ICH across the 16 regions which would guide us to put in administrative measures, policies, and legal framework to safeguard and ensure its continuity.’

Mrs Deh-Kumah added that it was essential since the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage could contribute to sustainable developmen
t, create employment opportunities, promote tourism, and generate income for the communities.

‘It plays a role in maintaining cultural diversity, enhancing social cohesion, helps individuals develop sense of identity and belonging, promoting inter-cultural relationships, facilitating communication, and respect for different cultures.

The two-year project on the theme, ‘strengthening capacities to safeguard intangible cultural heritage and contribute to sustainable development.’

It comprises of an inception meeting, technical team capacity building workshop, cultural mapping exercise, community-based inventorying pilot project in eight selected border districts, and a database management training.

Source: Ghana News Agency

AngloGold Ashanti supplies oil palm seedlings to farmers in Adansi enclave


AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine has distributed 60,000 high yielding oil palm seedlings to farmers in six districts in the Adansi enclave.

It is part of the Climate Resilience Oil Palm Plantation (CROPP) project, which is being undertaken by AngloGold, in partnership with Solidaridad West Africa.

It aims at supporting farmers in the Adansi enclave through oil palm production to improve their livelihoods, while contributing to the deforestation mitigation targets through agro forestry.

The beneficiaries are farmers from the Obuasi Municipal, Obuasi East, Adansi North and South, Adansi Asokwa and Adansi Akrofoum districts.

The company in 2023 distributed 30,000 seedlings under the project to farmers in the districts.

Mr Daniel Arthur-Bentum, Economic Development Superintendent of AngloGold Obuasi Mine, speaking at the presentation ceremony, said most arable lands in the Adansi enclave had been significantly depleted due to illegal mining activities.

This had caused rising temperatures, increased inconsiste
ncies in rainfall patterns, reduced suitable areas for farming, and reduced farm yield.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Birim Central Municipal NCCE celebrates constitution week with churches


The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in the Birim Central Municipality has observed the 2024 Constitution Week, focusing on churches as key locations where individuals tend to engage in social issues and activities.

The Constitution Week celebration is an initiative of the NCCE to promote constitutional literacy among the Ghanaian population and encourage citizens to exercise their civic responsibilities.

This year’s event in Birim Central, held on the theme ‘Together We Can Build Ghana, So Get Involved,’ saw participation from several churches.

They include the Apostolic International Worship Centre, E. P. Church, Global Evangelical Church (Good Shepherd Chapel), Church of Pentecost (Jerusalem), and the Presbyterian Church at Community Six in Akim Oda.

In her remarks, Madam Rejoice Biscoff, Director of the Birim Central Municipal NCCE, highlighted the successes achieved over the past three decades of Ghana’s journey towards constitutional democratic rule in the Fourth Republic.

She said G
hana’s democratic governance trajectory has seen stability, with citizens exercising their freedom of expression and participating in free and fair multi-party elections.

However, she noted that while some successes have been achieved, there were also challenges, including the influence of money in the political system, leading to vote buying.

She urged all individuals to refrain from such practices, emphasizing the importance of building a better Ghana for all.

Additionally, she reminded the congregation about the ongoing limited registration exercise and encouraged them to take advantage and participate in the registration process.

She urged them to inform their friends and relatives who have reached the age of 18 or above to register so that they can have a say in who governs them.

‘This is a civil responsibility and must not be shirked,’ she said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

UNFPA holds stakeholder inception meeting on peacebuilding project in Bongo


The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has held a stakeholder inception meeting on a peacebuilding project aimed at promoting social cohesion in Bongo in the Upper East Region.

Dubbed ‘Peace Building Fund (PBF)’, the two-year project is in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with coordination support from the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator Office.

It is aimed at preventing and addressing the root causes of localized and spillover conflicts and vulnerabilities to violent extremism in Northern Ghana, particularly in the Upper East, Upper West, and North East Regions.

The project also focused on empowering local governance institutions, actors, and customary governance structures to ensure inclusive governance and enable functional spaces for dialogue and mediation for conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

The project is benefitting three communities in the Bongo District namely Feo, Soe, and Namoo.

Madam Selina Owusu, the National Gender Analyst, UNFPA, speak
ing at the inception meeting on the theme ‘Enhancing social cohesion and social contract through the empowerment of women and youth in the three Regions of the North’, believed the project would contribute significantly to strengthen social cohesion in beneficiary communities and beyond.

Madam Owusu noted that because of tensions over unresolved chieftaincy and land disputes, coupled with the country’s porous borders exposing border communities to the Sahel crisis the people, especially the youth, were vulnerable to violent extremists.

That, she highlighted, made it crucial for the people to be sensitized to build a social bond among them to guard themselves against radicalization.

Madam Owusu who doubled as the Focal Person for the project underscored that ensuring peaceful coexistence and harmonious environment among the varied people in the communities would advance development and help alleviate the vulnerable groups, including women and children from poverty and suffering.

‘The development of every c
ommunity is hinged on peace, and that is what this project is seeking to achieve: to foster inclusive dialogue and promote peace for sustainable development by enhancing the agency of the youth and women to contribute to local governance,’ she added.

She, therefore called on relevant stakeholders such as the Regional Coordinating Council, traditional authorities, youth group leaders, and community members, to play critical roles to strengthen the prevailing peace and prevent spillover of activities of violent extremists.

Alhaji Ibrahim Habila, District Coordinating Director, Bongo District Assembly, reiterated that, as a key stakeholder, the Assembly would ensure the implementation of the project to enhance peace for development.

Naba Azaare Anye-Naba, Chief of Feo community, thanked the UNFPA and its partners for working to foster peace in the communities, adding that ‘a peaceful environment would help attract investors to enhance development.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Life behind the glasses: Time to love nature’s gift


Mr Sanutey Dikpetey, a teacher, never imagined that the phone camera could one day become a lens to aid him in reading from the projector screen when he is a bit distant from the screen.

Testimonies

For him to follow the presentation, he took pictures of the presentations with his mobile phone to read from the phone screen. ‘Yes, that was how bad it was,’ he said.

As human, Mr Dikpetey told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that he rejected the condition from the onset. He said it was the brightness or darkness of the environment that was causing his inability to read from the projector screen.

According to him, he would always ask the colleagues: ‘Can you read what is projected on the screen?’ But he became uncomfortable when they responded in the affirmative.

‘I feared I was losing is sight and might end up wearing glasses, but now I feel comfortable wearing glasses to aid me in my work,’ the teacher in his early 30s said.

Just like Mr Dikpetey, Prudence Mwinikpeong does not experience any difficulty with
her sight during a normal day’s work, household chores. She felt everything was all right with her.

However, in the classroom, Prudence would go through a grave ordeal to participate in teaching and learning.

As a second-year student of Eremon Senior High Technical School, Prudence went through difficulties reading from the marker board and had to solicit the assistance of her colleagues in class to do so.

That prompted her to think that there was something wrong with her eyesight, but she did not know the means to find a remedy to her problem.

‘We are using a marker board in the school so, when the teacher writes on it, I am not able to see, and if I strain my eyes to read from it then they will be tearing.

‘Because of that when we are copying notes I must wait and later collect a colleague’s book to copy the notes.

When we are doing exercise, I go to sit in front and if I am still not able to see then I let a colleague read the question for me,’ she explained.

Prudence’s ordeal continued until she wa
s diagnosed with refractive error and provided with a reading glass.

This problem is not peculiar to Prudence, many people are ‘living behind the glasses.’ Many others, especially school children, are also going through similar or even severe eye problems but do not know the route to finding a solution to their problems.

Statistics

According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), data from the Ghana Blindness and Visual Impairment Study, 2015 indicates that there are about 300,000 Ghanaians who are living with blindness and about 332,000 who suffer from severe visual impairment.

The data added that the most common causes of blindness are cataracts, which contributed about 54.5 per cent; Glaucoma, 19.4 per cent; and Posterior Segment Disease including Diabetic Retinopathy, 12.9 per cent and corneal-related causes contributing 11.2 per cent.

It is a palpable truth that millions of individuals experience eye problems annually with some eye issues resulting in permanent vision lo
ss or blindness, while others can be corrected with contact lenses or glasses.

A delicate sense organ

The human eye is one of the sense organs gifted to man by nature or God.

Of the five human sense organs – the Eyes for sight or Ophthalmoception, the Ears for hearing or audioception, the Tongue for taste or Gustaoception, the Nose for smell or Olfalcoception and Skin for touch or Tactioception – the eye and the ear could be considered as the most delicate organs.

Wearing eyeglasses, aside from adding to one’s beauty bequeathed to him or her by nature, is also a means of protecting one’s vision.

It is the only artificial means of restoring one’s gift of nature, the gift of seeing well and interacting with nature.

Importance of the eye

The eye could be described as the gateway of a man’s soul to the world. It enables a person to behold the beauty of nature, God’s handy works.

Once lost, the eye cannot be replaced. That denies a person the privilege to witness the impeccable beauty of nature.

Man’s int
eraction with nature becomes mental imaginational through the remaining four sense organs once his or her sight is lost.

For this reason, one could ascribe the human eye as a critical organ of the human body that needed meticulous in caring for it.

Importance of eye in education

Children with eye problems go through challenges to actively partake in academic activities. Some of such children, no matter how academically good they might be, tend to be poor academically.

Some are often scolded by teachers ignorantly for acting strangely in class including moving from one location to the other, which the teacher might consider inappropriate.

Unfortunately, many children in pre-tertiary institutions are suffering from diverse eye conditions ignorantly or are unable to access treatment due to financial challenges.

In the Sissala East Municipality for instance, Mr Lewil Charles, the Municipal Director of Education, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview in Tumu that their checks revealed that sight p
roblems were a major challenge for children in Basic Schools in the Municipality.

‘If the children cannot see well, it affects their ability to grasp the lessons, either they have to strain the eyes or they have to draw close to the board and all that is a problem,’ Mr Lewil explained.

Caring for the eye

Dr. Zakarea Al-Hassan Balure, an Optometrist, has a popular saying: ‘The eye has no spare parts, once it is lost, it is gone, and you cannot replace it.’ This is to emphasise the importance one should attach to his or her eye care.

He encouraged the members of the public to take their eye care seriously by going for regular checkups, at least once a year.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview in Wa, Dr. Balure admonished: ‘Don’t wait until you have an eye problem and when your vision is blurring before you come to check. Do it regularly.’

He said negligence on the side of people in caring for their eyes and seeking prompt medical attention, when necessary, could result in a ‘needless b
lind community.’

‘I am saying needless because there are solutions to most of the eye problems that people have, but the problem is that they are reluctant to go to the clinic for attention.

We must change our attitudes and prioritise our eye care,’ said the Optometrist, who is also the Manager of Bliss Eye Care, a private eye clinic in Wa.

Vision for children

Considering the importance of good eyesight for children’s effective participation in academic activities, eye care and treatment for children must be seen as a priority for parents and guardians.

For Dr. Balure, regular eye screening and proper treatment for children was non-negotiable to avoid preventable sight loss for children.

Mr Martin Gangmur, the In-Charge of the Eye Unit of St. Theresa’s Hospital in Nandom, encouraged pregnant women to take their antenatal care seriously to help ensure the healthy development of their unborn children including their sight.

He said the failure of some women to attend antenatal care led to them transferrin
g some infections to their unborn children, which could affect the child’s vision in his or her later life.

Mr Gangmur said this in relation to little Lateef Anfaana, about seven years from Hamile in the Lambussie District who had congenital cataract – a condition he developed from birth.

That condition of little Lateef nearly caused him to go blind, but for the timely intervention he had from the clinic.

Traditional medication

One enemy of proper eye care, especially in rural communities, was seeking traditional treatment for eye problems.

While traditional medications for eye problems come in different forms such as herbs, tying ropes around the neck of a person, especially a child with an eye condition was more celebrated among some rural folks.

Many children were spotted in some communities during eye screening exercises with ropes around their necks to treat their eye conditions.

Some children were seen at Loggu and Bulenga communities, both in the Wa East District and Boli community in the Wa Mun
icipality going through different traditional medications for their eyes.

At the Boli community, two children who came for screening virtually lost their sight, which Dr. Balure said could have been averted if the parents had sought early medical attention for them.

The father of one of the children said he spent a lot of money to seek different traditional medications for the son who eventually lost one of his eyesight.

Dr. Balure appealed to the public to access treatment for their eye conditions at the hospital instead of resorting to traditional medications.

He could not fathom why some people still relied on traditional medications for a remedy to their eye problems rather than health facilities, which have the technology to offer proper treatment of those conditions.

‘We are still appealing that once we have advanced to this level they (the public) should always give us (the health facilities) the first offer else mostly when they get to the clinic after they have done all those things (traditional
medications) it is difficult to salvage the situation that arises from that’, Dr. Balure explained.

The BS4Ks project

Though philanthropists around the world have distinct kinds and motives for gifting the needy in society, for Bliss Eye Care, the gift of sight is considered the most precious gift that a person could ever receive.

The love of children remained an integral part of the benevolence activities of Bliss Eye Care as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Through the Blissful Sight for Kids (BS4Ks), thousands of less privileged children in rural and peri-urban communities have received free eye screening, treatment, and eyeglasses.

Bliss Eye Care has been implementing the BS4Ks project for close to a decade now to help restore the eyesight of less privileged school children to enable them to participate actively in academic activities.

Currently, the BS4Ks project is being implemented in partnership with GhanaVision, a philanthropic organisation based in Switzerland.

The project h
ad saved many school children from rough hands of one eye condition or the other.

One of such children was Prudence Mwinikpeong who restored her vision through the free eyeglasses she had through the project.

One other beneficiary was little Lateef Anfaana, about seven years from Hamile in the Lambussie District, who had a congenital cataract – a condition he developed from birth.

He went through surgery at St. Theresa’s Hospital in Nandom to remove the cataract, but still could not see well and needed eyeglasses for correction.

Madam Memuna Anfaana, the mother of Lateef, said she was worried about the condition of her child but could not raise the GHS1,500.00 needed to acquire the eyeglasses for him.

She took advantage of the BS4Ks programme, traveled from Hamile to Lawra for the BS4Ks free eye screening to help save her son’s sight.

Thousands of school children in the Upper West Region and beyond can now participate actively in academic activities courtesy of the BS4Ks project.

Stigma against eye con
ditions

Aside from ignorance and financial challenges that hindered people, especially children from accessing proper eye treatment and care, the fear of stigma from peers also discouraged them from wearing eyeglasses on medical conditions.

However, Dr. Balure encouraged people to consider having good eyesight through every medically appropriate means such as wearing eyeglasses or surgery paramount.

Recommendations

Recognising the importance of good eyesight in the effective education of the child and his or her meaningful participation in social activities, there is the need to intensify the early detection and treatment of children with eye problems.

Dr. Balure reiterated the importance of regular eye screenings saying, ‘Occasionally visit the facility to have your eyes checked.’

The government and its development partners need to support eye care organisations and individuals who engage in free eye screening services for children to scale up their interventions to reach more children in the country.

I
mperatively, teachers should also constantly observe children in the class to identify and assist those who suffer from one eye condition or the other ignorantly.

Parents ought to take eye care of their children seriously and to seek proper treatment for them when necessary.

‘Living behind the glasses’ should not be seen as a ‘curse to blindness’ but as a ‘new way of life’, not only to enhance one’s vision, but also protect the vision from permanent destruction. We must all be reminded of the sages that say, ‘A stitch in time saves nine’ and work hard to protect the eye.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Morocco urges African countries to recommit achieving Continental Education Strategy


Mrs Imane Ouaadil, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Ghana, has urged African countries to recommit themselves to achieving the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA).

The objective of the Strategy is to develop programmes to support national, regional, and continental higher education activities with keen focus on quality assurance; harmonisation and mutual recognition of qualifications; excellence in research, innovation, and entrepreneurship; teaching and learning; and institutional leadership.

Mrs Ouaadil, who is also the Dean of the African Group of Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Ghana, made the appeal on Friday in her address at a flagraising ceremony to mark the 61st Anniversary Celebration of the African Union (AU) in Accra.

The event, which was on the theme ‘Educate an African fit for the 21st Century: Building Resilient Education Systems for Increased Access to Inclusive, Lifelong, Quality, and Relevant Learning in Africa’, saw Mrs Ouaadil and Mr Kwaku Ampra
tum-Sarpong, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in-charge of Political and Economics, planting tree seedlings at the Forecourt of the State House in Accra.

It was attended by Members of the diplomatic community in Ghana, students from Accra High School, Accra Girls Senior High School, and St Thomas Aquinas Senior High School.

Mrs Ouaadil said commitment to education had marked the continent’s progress since the 1960s era of independence; adding that ‘now more than ever, this resolve must transform Africa into the world’s powerhouse for the 21st century’.

‘The AU Year of Education is a unique opportunity to recommit member states to achieving the Continental Strategy for Education in Africa, Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, as well as Agenda 2063,’ she stated.

‘If knowledge is power, then education is the key to unlocking that power. Education is now front and centre of the development debate – and with good reason.

‘Today, 40 per cent of all Africans are un
der 15. Another 100 million children will be born here by 2050.

‘Yet, of the 1 million Africans entering the labour market every month, fewer than 25 per cent find a job in the formal economy.’

The Ambassador said this demographic dividend should offer a tremendous opportunity for Africa to build a valuable base of human capital that would serve as the engine for the economic transformation of our continent.

She reiterated that the time had never been more auspicious to focus on education, particularly in science, technology, and mathematics.

Mrs Ouaadil said the burgeoning youth population of Africa would drive the growth and prosperity of the continent to the next generation, but only if they equipped them to do so.

She expressed gratitude and appreciation to the Government of Ghana for celebrating the unique day (AU Day) with the African Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Ghana.

‘As the Principal Representatives of our respective countries, it is part of our cardinal responsibilities to
promote political, economic, and socio-cultural partnerships that will lead to the realisation of mutual benefits.’

Source: Ghana News Agency