Politicians from Ghana visited Sweden

March 24th, 2012   Education | Ghana | News

Mustapha Ussif (left) and Anthony Puowele Karbo.

“We have learned how important the institutions are for democracy to work,” explains Anthony Puowele Karbo, Chairman of the NPP’s youth organization in Ghana. He and Mustapha Ussif was part of a group of young politicians from the Foundation’s sister party in Ghana that visited Sweden for a week in March.
Mustapha Ussif recounts the group’s visit to the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the City of Stockholm. He was impressed by that fact that the department’s work goes on as planned also when the political leadership of the city changes.
“This is not the case in Ghana”, he explains, adding that in this respect Ghana has something to learn from Sweden.
Anthony Puowele Karbo is impressed by the great tolerance that political opponents show each other.
“Ghana is a young nation and we have a lot to learn. I have learned that it is better to focus on what we have in common than what separates two parties. Here in Sweden politi- cians seem to think a lot about the nation’s best. That’s great.”
Ghana has a functioning democracy since the beginning of the 1990s. John Evans Atta Mills of National Democratic Congress is president since 2009 when he took over from John Agye- kum Kufuor of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). NPP won the elections in 2000 and 2004. The next presidential and parliamentary elections will be held later this year, on 7 December.
Education is a problem in Ghana, the two young politicians say. Of the current population, over 15 years of age, hardly 66 per cent are lit- erate. The equivalent figure for women is about 60 percent. (Utrikespolitiska Institutet; 2008).
The first nine years of schooling in Ghana are free of charge. Though, you have to pay for education above that level. This is something that NPP wants to change. One of the party’s campaign promises is to eliminate the fees for secondary school. NPP also wants to introduce more practical secondary education.
Unemployment is high in Ghana. Approximately 45 percent of the population has no jobs and the number of young unemployed people is even higher. The country is certainly rich in oil but this part of the business sector does not contribute with numerous new jobs. Thus, a large portion of the population is immigrating to neighboring countries such as Libya.
“It is important to create new companies in wake of the oil industry”, said Anthony Karbo who is also hoping for a positive development in the case of cocoa production and processing.
What can Sweden do to help the youth in Ghana?
“The global economic crisis has made an increasing number of young people believe that the market economy is failing. Therefore it is important for us to educate young people in ideology”, explains Anthony Karbo, adding that “otherwise, socialism will take over.”

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