President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says Ghana’s engagement with the IMF to repair the country’s public finances will not affect the government’s flagship pro-poor education policies such as the Free Senior High School.
Speaking in an interview on UAR Radio in Bolgatanga, Upper East Region on Friday, President Akufo-Addo said Free SHS and Free TVET were at the heart of the government and would remain on the country’s public expenditure.
The IMF Country Director recently indicated that the government’s pro-poor policies such as the Free SHS programme would not be affected by Ghana’s engagement with the Fund.
He said it was imperative to note that “when we came into office, we were into an IMF programme in 2017. Before we exited the IMF, Free SHS was introduced in the September of my first term in office, a whole nine months of my coming under an IMF Programme.”
President Akufo-Addo stated that the government began the implementation of the Free SHS when it was under an IMF Programme and would be “illogical for us to have a programme we started under an IMF programme and because we are going to have a new one, sacrifice it. That doesn’t make sense and it will not happen.”
On how to ensure that Ghana does not seek IMF support in the future, the President said the country’s structural transformation from its current dependence on the production and export of raw materials to value addition and industrialisation was the surest way to go.
“That is why we’ve had this emphasis on industrial transformation coming out of the 1D1F Programme and certain other targeted industrial transformation measures that we’ve taken in the automotive industry in enhancing the value addition of our strategic mineral resources like our bauxite, iron ore.”
He that was key to a future robust economy, that is having an economy that is self-sufficient with the ability to produce the basic needs of the people.
President Akufo-Addo appealed to residents of the Upper East region to assist the security agencies to curb incidences of border infiltration in the area.
The President said the security agencies will need, “the active cooperation of the population for us to make the security response as effective as possible and that’s why the National Security Ministry has proposed the slogan ‘See Something, Say Something,’ which is basically about involving the community, the population in the work of the security and intelligence agencies.
“It is much better for us to invest such resources that we have in preventing the terrorist menace from being imported into the country than fighting it once it is here. The cost of that is astronomical in terms of the disruption of social activities,” the President added.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD