Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has admonished Finance ministers in other African countries to focus on allocating more resources or investments into their countries’ education sectors.
This investment in education, according to him, will in the long term result in an increase in their countries’ GDP per capita.
Mr. Ofori-Atta, was speaking during a regional ministerial meeting which saw the launch of the World Bank’s regional education strategy for Western and Central Africa themed, ‘From school to jobs: A journey for the young people of Western and Central Africa’.
“According to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, if investment in human capital in Africa remains unchanged, GDP per capita will increase by 39% in 2050. However, if countries in Africa increase their investment in the health and education of young people, this could trigger an 88% increase in GDP per capita by 2050.”
“Even as we raise more financing for education, our government must continue to prioritize education by allocating funds more fairly and efficiently despite the current pressing fiscal needs. Let us start today and let Finance Ministers begin to change their allocating principles.”
Economists have long believed that investments in education are an important source of economic growth. This is because of its role in enhancing human capital and productivity.
The Ministerial Meeting organised by the World Bank hosted Ministers of Education and Finance from the region, who discussed the need to scale up reforms and build a coalition to improve education outcomes in Western and Central African countries.
Also at the meeting, Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia stressed on the need for African countries to focus on linking educational policies to socio-economic development.
He noted, “More recent empirical literature is very clear on the linkage between human capital and growth and the channels coming through quality education, innovation, and technology to increase productivity. More efforts are needed to rationalize the governance of education systems to achieve greater coherence, cooperation and coordination.”
“The relationship between socio-economic development and human capital is critical and Ghana’s policies on education access, quality, relevance and education financing reflects how Ghana is using education as a lever for human capital development socio-economic transformation.”