GHANAIAN President Nana Akufo-Addo has urged African countries to invest in human capital value addition by creating an education system that shapes a well-skilled workforce which can compete favourably in the global economy.
And President Akufo-Addo has called for industrialisation of African economies by promoting value addition to raw materials to attain prosperity.
Speaking when he officially opened the 53rd Zambia International Trade Fair (ZITF) yesterday, the Ghanaian leader said Africa needs an education system that can impart skills to citizens for them to realise their full potential.
“Our economies are not structured to meet the needs of our people. What Africa needs above all is value addition, and this can start by adding value to human capital through an education system that provides every child with a skill to realise their full potential.
“This is why on my part I made education as one of the foundations of my vision to build a knowledge-based industrialised economy. Access to free universal quality education is the key to participate in the new global economy,” he said.
This year’s ZITF is being held under the theme ‘Innovation and Industrialisation’.
And President Akufo-Addo has said raw material producing countries need to promote value addition to their products for them to achieve economic prosperity and improved living standards of citizens.
“Raw material producing economies do not create prosperity for their people, the way to prosperity is by ensuring access to value addition,” he said.
He said it is for this reason that every district in Ghana has a factory to promote value addition.
President Akufo-Addo said through the public-private partnership initiative, his country has successfully established enterprises to ensure that it does not become a retailer of cheap imports.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo said successful leaders are innovative and invest in new ideas that can stimulate economic development.
He said leaders must be focused on providing a better future for their citizens.
The visiting President commended ZITF organising committee for successfully hosting this year’s show.
ZITF board chairperson Jane Kabwela appealed to Government to consider improving the infrastructure at the trade fair venue.
Ms Kabwela said the construction of the Copperbelt International Airport will attract various businesses to the province, hence the need to improve infrastructure at the trade fair grounds.
She said the trade fair has continued to grow over the past few years with more than 600 exhibitors participating at this year’s event compared to 400 that took part in last year’s fair.
Earlier, President Lungu and President Akufo-Addo attended a luncheon at Mukuba Hotel sponsored by the National Road Fund Agency and Zesco.