Sierra Leone seeks Ghana’s support to implement “free Quality Education”

Accra, Oct. 22, GNA – Sierra Leone has asked
Ghana for technical support in the form of experts in the area of technical and
vocational education training, to aid that country’s recently introduced Free
Quality Education policy.

Sierra Leonean Leader Julius Maada Bio, who is
on a two-day official visit to Ghana, made the request when he met President
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House in Accra on Monday.

He said Sierra Leone had followed keenly
Ghana’s progress in implementing the Free Senior High School Policy (FSHS), and
had subsequently factored Ghana’s experiences into the implementation of that
of his country, to scale up and improve the socio-economic fortunes of that
West African nation.

Ghana, Mr Maada Bio said, was had made
significant strides in many areas, and had become an example of other countries
in the West African region and on the Continent, thus there was a lot his
country could learn from Ghana.

“Today Ghana is way ahead. Ghana has been with
us at difficult times and at this point in time as we prepare to start our own
development process proper, I am here to let you know that we acknowledge the
fact that you have made admirable strides and we think that we should learn
from your experience,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo on his part noted that
the historical and cultural ties between Ghana and Sierra Leone were borne
largely out of trade and education, dating back two centuries.

He said Mr Bio’s presence in Ghana “should
spur our two nations on to develop stronger ties and explore several areas of
co-operation to the mutual benefit of our two peoples.”

The President praised the Sierra Leonean
leader for implementing “Free Quality Education” initiative in his country,
urging him “to stand firm and see it through, regardless of the opposition you
will face.”

“For us in Ghana, our Free Senior High School
education policy, within the first two years of its implementation, has ensured
that 270,000 more students, whose education would otherwise have been truncated
for financial reasons, have access to secondary education,” the President said.

President Akufo-Addo told Mr Bio that it was
his desire that Ghana and Sierra Leone continually searched for ways to
co-operate, irrespective of who was at the helm of affairs of their respective
countries.

“I have no doubt, however, that, together, the
two of us can forge a new, strong partnership for cooperation between our two
nations for the mutual benefit of our two peoples.”

The President also lauded the Sierra Leonean
President’s initiatives in the area of agriculture, aimed at enhancing food security
for the people of that country.

“It was also good to see Your Excellency sign
the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, during the 31st African
Union Summit, in Nouakchott, Mauritania.

I will, respectfully, urge your Government to
see to the expeditious ratification of the Agreement, so that we can quickly
reach the minimum threshold of ratification by twenty-two-member states that
will enable the CFTA to come into effect, and permit our continent to take
advantage of its huge market.

“This will present great opportunities to
increase intra-African trade, create jobs, enhance incomes, and put the
continent onto the path of progress and prosperity. In so doing, it is equally
important for us to take the necessary measures that will make our regional
market of ECOWAS effective, as a sound building block for the success of the
CFTA. If our regional markets work well, our continental market will work
well.” 

With both leaders reviewing the bilateral
relations between the two countries, President Akufo-Addo assured his Sierra
Leonean counterpart that Ghana would, within its modest means, support the
education, health, sanitation and other initiatives of his government, stating,
“The details and modalities will be worked out shortly, and the commitments
will be upheld.”

He made a passionate call to his West African
counterpart to forge synergies that would address the security challenges,
particularly the terrorist menace that was engulfing the Sahel sector.

“We are required to be resolute and find,
together in the region, the necessary economic, political and military means to
reverse this pernicious development, and bring peace and stability to the lives
of all our people in our region,” he noted.

GNA

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