Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Sunday, 25 November 2018 joined the chiefs and people of Nandom Traditional Area to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Kakube Festival in the Upper West Region, where he noted that the government’s Free Senior High School programme has so far been a saviour to 270,000 students who would have otherwise missed out on second-cycle education.
The Kakube festival is celebrated to mark the end of the farming season each year and to show appreciation to the Almighty for His guidance and protection during the farming season.
It is also an occasion for the people of Nandom traditional area to renew relationships, put on display their rich culture and traditions and preserve them for future generations.
Speaking on the theme for the festival, “Quality Education and Cultural Integration: Pre-Requisite For National Development”, Vice-President Bawumia indicated that the government was committed to providing holistic national development, as well as enhanced access to, and quality education for, the people of Ghana, through the implementation of far-reaching policies and programmes.
“Quality education and good cultural upbringing require leadership commitment. Our President, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is walking the talk. Through the government’s ‘agenda for jobs’ programme, the government is implementing quality economic and social development policies.”
According to Dr Bawumia, the implementation of these programmes started, among others, with the Free SHS in 2017.
“With the implementation of Free SHS, 90,000 of our brothers and sisters who would otherwise have been at home gained access to Senior High School education. This year, 180,000 more have gained admission to SHS. That is a total of 270,000 teenagers who would otherwise not have gained access to education in just two years. These are teenagers who want to go to school rather than be selling on the roadside and getting into trouble. You can imagine the numbers in 10 or 15 years. Free SHS is clearly an agenda to create a future with prosperity and equal opportunities.”
Other programmes, such as Planting for Food and Jobs, which has led to self-sufficiency in maize for Ghana as well as the provision of subsidized fertilizer and improved seeds for farming; and the provision of essential infrastructure to address sanitation and water supply needs through the Infrastructure for Poverty Reduction Programme (IPEP) are also ongoing.
Dr Bawumia, who was Special Guest of Honour, commended the sons and daughters of Nandom for the peace the traditional area continues to enjoy and urged them to use it as a platform for the accelerated development of the area.
Vice President Bawumia also commended Naa (Dr) Puo-Uore Chiir VII, Paramount Chief and President of the Nandom Traditional Council for his able leadership over the years that has led to peace and progress in the traditional area.
“I was here last year at the celebration and was the Guest of Honour. This year, you have given me the same opportunity to celebrate with you. I am most honoured, delighted and grateful."
“I wish to congratulate you on this celebration and this alone is clear testimony of the Peace and Unity that exists amongst you. I encourage you to maintain this high standard of Peace and Unity. And let that become a platform of development for the Nandom people so that it will become an example for others.”
The Paramount Chief of Nandom, Naa (Dr) Puo-Uore Chiir VII, thanked government for fulfilling the promise made to the chiefs last year to construct a number of roads in the traditional area.
He also commended the government for implementing the Free Senior High School programme, which had alleviated the huge financial burden parents had faced over the years, as well as the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, which had provided essential support to farmers.
The One Village-One Dam programme, he said, would be a welcome relief and provide an opportunity for year-round farming.
Earlier in the day, Vice President inspected ongoing works on the Nandom town roads, and urged the contractors, P & W Ghanem Limited, to ensure the highest quality of road to guarantee the people of Nandom value for money on the investment.