President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has said his administration is gradually reviving the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), which was struggling under the Mahama government due to indebtedness.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “of the GH¢1.2 billion debt we [government] inherited, the equivalent of $300 million, we[government] have paid, in the last 15 months, GH¢1 billion, the equivalent of $250 million.”
As a result, “the Scheme is regaining its effectiveness so that for a minimum amount, subscribers can have access to a wide range of medical services.”
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Saturday, April 21, 2018, when he delivered the keynote speech at the London School of Economics’ Africa Summit, on the theme “Africa at Work: Educated, Employed, Empowered.”
Addressing a packed gathering, President Akufo-Addo noted that the urgent responsibility confronting the continent is to make African countries attractive for African youth, and for them to see the Continent to see as places of opportunities.
“It means we must provide education, quality education and skills training. It means our young people must acquire the skills that run modern economies,” he said.
The President indicated that with the African Union’s Agenda 2063, titled “The Africa We Want” calling for an education and skills revolution to meet the human resource needs for inspiring Africa’s socio-economic development, he noted that the AU has to some extent placed high premium on science, technology and innovation as critical proponents towards its achievement.
“The provision of education for our young people should not become an ideological tussle. We should never have to make a choice between basic education or higher education. We should never have to rely on the World Bank or any other institution to decide for us where the emphasis should be in our education needs,” the President said.
While stressing that education is the key to Africa’s development, he noted that African countries must run their economies to be able to fund the education of African children.
“We should not get into arguments with donor agencies about our priorities. We must set our own priorities, and we must accept that we should provide the funds to translate our plans into reality,” he said.
The President continued, “That is why, despite the bleak economic situation my government inherited, we decided to implement immediately the pledge we had made about providing Free Senior High School education. The most dramatic aspect of its implementation has been that 90,000 more students entered senior high school in September last year, the first term of the policy, than in 2016.”
He was confident that “if we stop being beggars, and spend Africa’s monies inside the continent, Africa would not need to ask for respect from anyone. We would get the respect we deserve.”
President Akufo-Addo also revealed that, in Ghana, whereas the indications are that the economic dividends are on the horizon, there are other areas where the nation is thriving.