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Regional News Mon, 26 Nov 2007

Natural resources not panacea for poverty reduction - Prof Kuupole

Accra, Nov. 26, GNA - A lecturer at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) has said the amount natural resources that the continent has is not enough to deliver its people out of poverty, diseases and ignorance. What was needed was investment in people who would be more disciplined, knowledgeable and skilled, Professor Domwin Dabire Kuupole, Dean, Faculty of Arts, UCC, said at the weekend.

"The development and progress of any nation, for that matter our nation, Ghana, hinge on disciplined, knowledgeable and skilled human capital," Prof. Kuupole said in an address to about 90 graduates from across Africa who passed out from the Accra-based Centre of Languages and Professional Studies (CELPS).

The centre, a private initiative, has a vision of bringing Africans together through the breaking down of languages barriers that separate them.

Students are trained to become bilingual professionals in whatever discipline they undertake, with emphasis on secretarial and translation duties.

Prof. Kuupole said Africa was resourced with diverse talents and able-bodied, energetic young men and women, and if people in leadership provided them with the right opportunities and the needed space they would be able to discover their potentials, talents and skills.

"It is a well-trained, well-educated, appropriately skilled, well-informed, well equipped, knowledgeable, well disciplined, competent and dedicated Ghanaians who can successfully push Ghana's development forward.

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"During the glorious times of our independence, our public and civil servants, teachers, medical doctors, engineers and other professionals were rated equal and comparable to any other professionals in the world and especially the western and so-called industrial world." Prof. Kuupole said if Ghana wanted to continue to be the beacon of hope for Africa, it had to invest more in producing the quality of men who led the continent to independence so that the future would be better.

"The best way for us to champion African excellence through education is to invest in the education of our children and the young men and women whom we ourselves have brought forth into this world." Prof. Kuupole called on the state to channel funds and resources into building appropriate infrastructure such as school buildings, training centres, and electricity as well as motivate private individuals, corporate bodies, NGOs, teachers and other stakeholders for them to deliver quality education to the youth.

He congratulated the Director, Management and Staff of CELPS for offering the opportunity to their students to acquire more than one foreign language in such as English, French, Spanish, German and Arabic. "The more languages one acquires the more competitive one becomes in the global village that our world has become."

Prof. Dominic Fobih, Minister of Education, Science and Sports, in a speech read for him said Ghana was indeed championing the African excellence in education through CELPS, by bringing to Ghana dynamic and energetic youth to learn English and bridge the language barrier which was an indispensable tool in promoting the African integration. "We need to integrate for cultural, economic, social, educational and technological advancement as well as promoting good governance in the midst of globalisation."

Mr Iddrisu Mumuni Dimbie, Director (CELPS), said he had been invited by the Ministry of Education on Guinea Conakry to establish a similar institute in the country to train the youth in bilingual studies.

"Hopefully that institution would begin next year," he said. He promised to assist the Ministry of Education with French teachers to promote the study of the French language in Ghanaian schools.

Source: GNA
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