Edward Boateng — Director-General, SIGA
Edward Boateng — Director-General, SIGA

TVET pivot for Africa’s economic growth — Edward Boateng

The Director-General of the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA), Ambassador Edward Boateng, has emphasized the transformative power of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in driving industrialisation and economic growth in Africa. 

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Addressing delegates at the 3rd China - Africa Economic expo held in Changsha, Hunan China, he shared examples of strategic cooperation between China and Africa which inspired hope and evidence of a path of mutual benefit.  

Ambassador Boateng, who previously served as Ghana's Ambassador to the People's Republic of China, expressed delight at participating in the expo and the seminar, recounting the deep affection and memories he had experienced during his tenure.

He highlighted the longstanding history of relations between China and Africa in the field of education, describing China's monumental support as leaving a deep footprint in virtually every country on the continent.

Pioneers

It is worth noting that Ambassador Boateng was one of the key implementing pioneers of the China Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE) during his tenure as Ghana’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, a position he held from June, 2017 to September 2020.

The CAETE was one of the pillars proposed by President Xi Jinping during the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation as a part of the broader concept of a community of a shared future for development under the Belt and Road Initiative.  

The expo has over the period of its establishment, worked under very insightful and practical themes; including technology, agriculture, resource management, education among others.

This year’s expo had TVET as one of its themes of deliberation.

TVET as critical pillar

Recognising TVET as a critical pillar of national development, Ambassador Boateng emphasized its potential to harness and sustain a country's industrial strength and creative abilities.

He underlined that skill development not only enables decent jobs and livelihood, but also increases revenue generation for individuals and expands the tax bracket for the nation.

He stressed the worldwide importance of TVET, citing the UN's Sustainable Development Goal 4 and the Education 2030 Framework for Action.

Ambassador Boateng drew attention to China's exceptional TVET programme, highlighting its potential as a game changer as seen by the country's unparalleled industrialisation.

He also emphasized China's assistance to different African countries, particularly Ghana in the TVET sector.

Ghana has embarked on a large effort to create TVET centres across the country, with support from Chinese organisations under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Ambassador Boateng expressed optimism that similar support schemes were being implemented elsewhere on the continent and would contribute to the continent's development.

Concerning the future of TVET in Africa, Ambassador Boateng advocated for a break in the "silo-like" structure of TVET and general education in African countries, emphasizing the necessity for vertical and horizontal synergy between the two systems.

He mentioned the progress made in Ghana under the leadership of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, where technical school graduates were no longer required to take additional general education courses to pursue a university education. 

Integrated approach

Ghana seeks to establish an integrated approach that optimises resources and propels sustainable development by linking TVET and general secondary education.

He encouraged participants at the seminar to consider how best to replicate the Chinese TVET model in their individual nations and expressed confidence that the seminar's discussions would yield productive results and pave the way for significant changes in TVET across Africa.

Ambassador Boateng said as African countries strived to collaborate and increase intra-continental trade through strategic initiatives such as the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), such calls for investment and collaboration in TVET were critical to preparing Africa's human resource for the expected industrialisation wave.

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