The United Bank for Africa (Ghana) has launched the seventh edition of the UBA National Essay Competition aimed at funding Senior High School (SHS) students in any University of choice in Africa.
The UBA Foundation National Essay Competition (NEC) which was launched in 2014 in Ghana has provided a competitive platform to develop the intellectual and writing abilities of SHS students in Ghana, and other African countries where UBA operates and granting winners scholarships to study in any University in Africa.
The competition in Ghana has so far produced over 18 winners currently studying in various universities in the country.
The seventh edition promises to be more intriguing as it is expected to witness an increase in the number of participants to over 5,000.
The participating students will battle it out in the essay writing competition on the captivating topic: “You have been given the opportunity to speak at the U.N general assembly meeting in New York on the challenges facing education of the African Youth in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Write your speech” which was unveiled at the launch.
Speaking at the launch, UBA Ghana MD/CEO, Olalekan Balogun said UBA is very committed to the area of education of the African student in a bid to transform the continent and achieve Africapitalism as espoused by the UBA Foundation Chairman Mr. Tony Elumelu.
He added that Tony Elumelu’s Africapitalism concept believes in using African resources to develop Africa and chief among them is the human resources.
Mr Balogun noted the essay competition forms part of UBA’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives to support the educational sector in Ghana.
He continued that the UBA believes in the future of Africa’s youth and had therefore instituted a number of interventions in education to secure the future of the continent saying “we believe that giving back to the society through education can impact everybody and help the continent grow”.
This year the organisers of the competition are expecting to receive entries from applicants from secondary schools across the entire country.
He reiterated that the advent of the novel coronavirus has also brought in more innovation and therefore there have been modification in the submission process to ensure ease of access and increased participation of senior secondary school students.
Online submission portal
Applicants can now submit entries through an online submission portal www.ubaghana.com/nationalessaycompetition2020.
He therefore urged students, teachers, parents and guardians from all parts of the country to continue supporting for the NEC project by participating or encouraging students to submit their entries.
In spite of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, UBA has kept the winning prizes as US$5,000, US$3,000 and US$2,000 to assist the first, second and third place student to attend any university of a choice in Africa.
Performing the launch, the representative of the Minister of Education, Mr. Godwin Godson Elli, mentioned that this year’s essay topic is one that he finds most appropriate as the world continues to battle the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said over the past six months, COVID-19 has disrupted lives in many ways significantly, and education has borne its share of the brunt.
“Suddenly, many parents are saddled with their children all day long and have come to appreciate the enormity of the teacher’s work. We all owe a great debt to our gallant teachers for the various roles they have played and continue to play in our lives,” he stressed.
Mr. Elli was confident that the essayist would appreciate the issues that the competition seeks to address and avert all their minds not only to the challenges but what they can do to surmount them as they try to restore their lives to normal.
He was delighted to note that UBA is involved in the development of literacy skills, first through its Read Africa project, and also through its National Essay Competition for senior high schools.
He has therefore commended UBA for showing interest in the intellectual growth and development of children, and the Ministry of Education highly praises UBA for this laudable academic development initiative.
Mr Ellis is of the hope and belief that other corporate bodies would be inspired to get involved in partnering government to deliver learning outcomes that spur the country to greater heights of industrialization.
He assured UBA that government remains open to developing strategic partnerships with the non-governmental sector in the realization of these goals.
On her part, the representative of the Director-General of Ghana Education Service (GES), Mrs. Ajuba Adu-Tutu commended management of UBA for proactively promoting the reading culture and encouraging healthy and intellectual competition amongst secondary school students in Ghana.
She called on all heads of schools and the teacher unions to encourage and ensure their students participate in this competition as it opens doors for them to achieve their dreams.
Miss Akpene Yankson, the current champion from Wesley Girls High School encouraged other students to participate in the competition noting it is very competitive and helps students to develop their creative writing skills. Above all, UBA would support the winners with funding to attend tertiary education which she is happy about.