Speech by Her Excellency, Ama Gina Blay, Ambassador of Ghana to the Federal Republic of Germany at AYEA in Hamburg.
It gives me great pleasure to join you this evening for this year’s African Youth Education Awards. This being my first participation, permit me to express a warm appreciation to the organisers -TopAfric- for the invitation extended to me to be the Special Guest of Honour.
I wish to further commend the organisers for their tireless efforts and resourcefulness in sustaining this laudable initiative, for the past eight years. It is worth noting that this event has grown in stature over the years and has hence assumed prominence on the calendar of the African Diaspora in Hamburg. I also recognise, with delight, the motivation the event continues to engender among the youth particularly within the African Diaspora communities to strive for greater heights and excellence in the field of education.
To this year’s award winners, I congratulate you for your hard work and outstanding accomplishments which qualified you to merit these honours. I hope you will not rest on your oars, but continue to shine and serve as role models in your communities.
Let me also acknowledge parents, family members, and teachers of the awardees. Your selfless support and collective efforts have contributed to what they have achieved so far. You are very much part of their success stories and you should be proud of such great achievements.
The UN Population Fund Projections of the world population growth indicate that by the year 2050, approximately 2.2 billion people could be added to the global population and more than half of that growth will occur in Africa. In other words, Africa will account for the highest population spurt and will be home to about 1 billion youth by that time.
In that respect, building the educational capacity of the youth in Africa is key for the economic transformation of the continent because, our commitment to nurturing the expertise and skills of the youth today will determine the sustainable development of the continent tomorrow.
It is against this background that various governments on the continent have made education the cornerstone of their development agenda. In Ghana, the Government under the leadership of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has embarked upon a Free Senior High School Policy which took effect from September 2017. Through that initiative, the intake of Senior High Schools in Ghana for the year 2018/19 academic year shot up by 180,000. The idea is to ensure that every Ghanaian youth, irrespective of the economic status, is given the opportunity to acquire at least high school education in order to contribute positively to national development.
Ghana is also taking technical and vocational education very seriously. There are ongoing reforms to raise the standard of Ghana’s technical and vocational training institutions to give young people the opportunity to acquire relevant skills to make them employable. We believe this will go a long way to reduce the number of unemployed youth and hence stem the tide of illegal migration from our country.
In that regard, I wish to thank the Federal Government for its immense support which includes making Ghana one of the 11 African countries that it has a G20 Compact with. To this end, the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), this week, successfully concluded a €85 million support for 2019/20 with Ghana for assistance in economic development, agriculture and good governance.
In furtherance of Ghana government’s policy to create more job opportunities it has announced that financial clearance has been given for 145,000 jobs, while 18 new factories have been accredited under the Akufo-Addo flagship policy of 1 district, 1 factory (1D1F). These are part of the strategies to revive the Ghanaian economy to attract the youth home, and ab road to contribute their quota to the development of our country and Africa.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let me use this occasion to advise parents within the African communities here in Hamburg and throughout Germany to invest more time and resources in your children’s education. I recognise the challenges you face in having to juggle between work and shouldering parental responsibilities. It is however important to appreciate that devoting more time to support your children’s education and their general welfare brings immense benefits to the family and society as a whole.
On the other hand, failing to pay attention to your children’s education and not giving them the support they require to make them productive in adult life, has unpleasant consequences for you parents in your old age. Thank you for your kind attention and wish you all an enjoyable evening.