President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated the commitment of his government towards the prioritisation of technical education and the skills development of students in the country’s senior high and tertiary institutions, as it holds the key to the country’s industrial development.

According to President Akufo-Addo, “if the ambitions we have for this country are going to come into fruition, a great deal of it depends on what is going to happen in places like this. You are going to be at the centre of the industrial revolution of our country. That revolution needs to happen now if Ghana is going to make progress.”

The President noted that “all those countries in the world that used to be like us, but are now places of prosperity and development, became so because they paid a great deal of attention and committed a lot of resources to the development of their educational system, especially the development of their technical and scientific education.”

President Akufo-Addo made this known on Sunday, 14th May, 2017, when he addressed students of the Ho Technical University, at its auditorium, at the climax of his 2-day visit to the Volta Region.

The President stressed that if Ghana is to emulate the successes of the Asian tigers, especially countries who gained their independence around the same time as Ghana did, then technical institutions must have priority in the country’s educational expenditure.

It is for this reason, he said, that the process of reorganising and re-prioritising the country’s educational expenditure is on-going, evident in the 2017 Asempa Budget ensuring a substantial increase in the budgetary allocation to the educational sector.

Technical education, the President indicated “is the key to our future. Whatever we can do to support your development, to make it relatively easy for you to study hard and to get the information to be able to contribute to the progress and development of the country, the Akufo-Addo administration is going to do exactly that.”

President Akufo-Addo continued, “We cannot continue to be raw material producing and exporting countries, depending on the production of unprocessed cocoa or unprocessed gold. There is no future in that for us as a people. We will continue to be poor if we go down that line. We must make a systematic effort to change the structure of our economy. We cannot do it unless we have people like you primed and ready to assist the process of transformation.”

Completion of school projects

Government, the President said, is committed to the completion of projects such as the Industrial Art building, the housing project for faculty staff and the completion of the residence for the Vice Chancellor of the Ho Technical University, the three projects of priority of the institution.

With the administration of President Kufuor responsible for “80% of the infrastructural development at this university”, the Vice Chnacellor of the University indicated that not much has been done, in terms of infrastructural development, for the school.

“So it would be very fitting if I carried off from where he (President Kufuor) left off. That is a commitment I am making to you, and I am going to do exactly just that,” he said, to a rapturous applause from students of the institution, adding that “it will be my pleasure to come here and commission these uncompleted projects before my four years are over”.

Stay united as a people

President Akufo-Addo urged the students, and by extension all Ghanaians, to “remember that we are part and parcel of the same dream. The men and women who sacrificed to make it possible to get our freedom had a vision of Ghana as a beacon, and the light of the world. We have to hold onto that vision”.

Ghana, President Akufo-Addo added, “is a rich country. If we agree that we will govern ourselves in an intelligent, modern and progressive manner, eschew corruption, look at best practices, put aside tribalism, insist on excellence that we are not going to be satisfied with second best but only the best, that promise of Ghana is going to be realised in our time.”

He continued, “We are going through difficulties now because of things that happened in the past. Don’t let us allow the past to constrain our future. Let us believe that we are capable of leaving the past behind and soldering on to that bright future that beckons for us. If we have that belief in ourselves and we translate it into action, in 10 years time, none of us will recognise the Ghana of today. We will see a new Ghana of progress and prosperity, and you are going to be beneficiaries of that new Ghana.”