ACCRA– Africa cannot depend on others to finance education on the continent when it has the ability to do so itself, says President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana.

Africa has the resources and capacity to finance access to quality education for its citizens, and also promote the interests of the continent, he said when addressing the 3rd International Global Partnership for Education Conference in Dakar, Senegal, over the weekend.

“If we make our policy dependent on other people, when their policy changes, we will suffer. But, if we make the policy for ourselves, then it means that, at all times, we will be in control of our own destiny.

President Akufo-Addo had attended the conference, which seeks to galvanise funds for education in developing nations, at the behest of Senegalese President Macky Sall and French President Emmanuel Macron. The two countries co-hosted the event.

President Akufo-Addo noted that even though Africa had enough resources to fund its development, corruption in public life must be eliminated, better arrangements made for resource exploitation and capital flight from the continent must be prevented.

The Thabo Mbeki Commission which looked at the illicit flows of capital out of Africa has estimated that for every year, in the last ten years, 50 billion US dollars had gone out of Africa through illicit means. Can you imagine what those monies, if we had our eyes open, and we were not complicit in that illicit outflow, would mean for the capacity of our nations? he asked.

The President stated that the challenge confronting Africa was how we can organize ourselves to make sure that the wealth, the huge wealth of this great continent at least, for the first time in modern history, is used on behalf on the peoples of the continent, and not those outside.

If we are able to close that gap, we will come here to Dakar to talk about education, and not the funding of education by others. We will be talking about the quality of our education, the changes we need to make to our curricula, and the emphasis we have to place on our history and sociology,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo said it was ironic that Africa had the youngest population, and was the richest continent on the planet, but had the worst living conditions, a situation which he said could only be broken by education.