Australian High Commission
Ghana
Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Togo, Mali, Senegal, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea

Speech140808KokofuICTCentre

Speech of the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana

Launch of the Kokofu-Anhwiaso Primary School ICT Project

Kokofo-Anhwiaso, Bosome-Freho District, Ashanti Region, 8 August 2014

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Good morning everyone and thank you for the very warm welcome to Kokofu-Anhwiaso!

It is a real pleasure to be here today. I spend too much of my time in Accra and not enough time visiting the real Ghana, the Ghana I see here today.

And although today is my first time here, I already feel like family.

Uncle Seth is one of our most loved members of the Australian High Commission, and he has played a big role in creating the links between the community here and Australia.

It’s also thanks to Dr Kate, and we were delighted when she became a Queen Mother of the village in 2011.

I can see familiar faces here who I met in December last year, who travelled to Accra to participate in a DAP Launch for all our projects that we held at the High Commission.

Thank you again for making that journey, and it’s a pleasure to see you again.

And I can’t forget our other colleagues and friends at the Bosome Freho District Assembly, the local Chieftaincy and the Kokofu-Anhwiaso Primary School itself, who have also played a role in realising this project.

And what a project it is.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I am here to formally open the Information Technology Centre at the Kokofu-Anhwiaso Primary School.

Education is absolutely critical to increasing economic development and reducing poverty.

And education in computer science is important, so that Ghana’s children have access to employment choices, and are fully equipped to deal with the modern world.

Sadly, although computer science is a compulsory subject for all Ghanaian students, many do not have access to a computer to practice on.

Well, through this project I am pleased to say that the children here today will now have access to an entire computer laboratory!

The project has been funded through a grant from the High Commission’s Direct Aid Program.

Our grant has paid for 20 computers, 20 power supplies (UPSs), a printer and a scanner.

But working in partnership with NGOs and local authorities is very important, and it has been a real team effort.

The Dr Kate Foundation raised a substantial sum of money, all the way from Australia, to buy the construction materials for the building itself.

The involvement of the District Assembly has been important to ensure the buy-in, and coordination, of local authorities.

While I understand that some of the funding from the Assembly was not able to come through in time for the building of the centre, I am hopeful that this will be made available soon to support the expansion of the Centre into something even more useful for the local community.

But all of this would not have been possible without the hard work and labour of the community to actually build the Centre over the past few months.

You should be very proud of your efforts.

The rewards will continue to pay off as your children benefit from education in computer science.

They will be able to use computers to know more about the world, find better jobs, and give back to their community.

My final words will be to encourage each and every child to make the most of the opportunities put before you – like this computer laboratory – to make the most for yourself and your community.

Australia is a willing partner in Ghana’s development, but it is you who must lead the charge.

Thank you once again for the very warm welcome, and I look forward to visiting again soon!