World Bank pledges to support Free SHS programme

Dr. Hafez Ghanem, the World Bank’s Vice-President

Dr. Hafez Ghanem, the World Bank’s Vice-President, on Monday pledged the Bank’s support toward the smooth implementation of Ghana’s Free Senior High School (SHS) programme to ensure quality education for all children of school-going age.

He challenged other African nations to emulate the success story of Ghana, saying that quality education is the most important and not just access.

He also promised the Bank’s unflinching support for the digital reforms and cited the paperless port system, saying he believes it will enhance financial inclusion and revenue mobilisation to boost economic growth.

The World Bank’s Vice-President gave the assurance when he paid a courtesy call on Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at Jubilee House, the seat of government in Accra.

Dr. Ghanem said Ghana has played an important and pioneering role on the African continent since independence, and lauded the country’s current growth rate – hovering at around six percent.

He gave assurance that the Bank will support the country’s priority areas and channel resources toward their success, especially the vision of modernising the Ghanaian economy and achieving a ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’.

Dr. Ghanem commended President Akufo-Addo’s government for achieving macroeconomic stability over the past two years, and said the Bank has been working with the African Union and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa on strategies for the digital transformation of Africa.

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He outlined the four strategies to achieve the African digitisation agenda as: investing in digital infrastructure; human capacity to ensure more Africans become engineers and entrepreneurs so that Africa becomes a continent for start-ups; modernizing the regulatory institutions to ensure ease of doing business; and improving the electronic governance.

On digitisation, he said Africa has only 21 percent internet accessibility, and underscored the need to increase accessibility to 100 percent.

He said a delegation from the Bank will attend Ghana’s Digital Roadmap Conference slated for May this year.

Dr. Ghanem noted that for every nation to succeed in its industrialisation agenda, there is a need to ensure linkages to the global value chains, and asked the country to follow that trajectory to make headway in its industrialisation agenda.

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