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Danish Ambassador meets Minister for Education

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The ambassador of Denmark to Ghana, Her Excellency, Tove Degnbol, has met with the Minister for Education, Hon. Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, in her office to discuss DANIDA’s support to the Skills Development Fund under the auspices of COTVET; its sustainability and government’s counterpart funding in the next phase.

Madam Tove Degnbol, who was accompanied by Mr. Lars Joker, Head of Business and Green Growth, indicated that the Danish Embassy wanted to know the Ministry’s intention to provide the counterpart funding for the next phase of the programme to enable it brief its government in February to see the way forward.

According to her, Denmark appreciates the Ghana Government’s commitment to the programme but needs to know its commitment towards contributing to the fund since DANIDA alone was not going to be able to continue to fund the programmes.

Mr. Lars Joker in his contribution assured the Minister that DANIDA will continue with dialogue to sort out the challenges.

Responding to the issues raised by Ambassador Degnbol, Prof. Naana Opoku-Agyemeng commended the Danish government for the support over the years in the skills development programme and said she had visited some agencies and schools and seen for herself the impact of the programme and will therefore lend support to anything that will enhance skills development.

The Minister called for continuous discussions on how much money is always available for each year’s activities because the Ministry, which takes about 30% of the entire national budget, was unable to take any amount of money from any department or agency since the 2016 budget had already been approved for implementation.

She stressed that the Ministry needed more information on how much money they started with, and how much they are currently spending on the programme, adding that they should be a way for the beneficiaries to pay back a certain percentage to DANIDA because “every country needs value for money”.

Throwing more light on the issue of counterpart funding from government, The Minister acknowledged the fact that effects of the skills development programme on the beneficiaries were enormous, however, the difficulty is how to advance the discussions with government to find out other sources of funding.

Prof. Opoku-Agyemeng told her guest that holding government to account for something that was not in the existing document, that is, government’s commitment to provide counterpart funding, was untenable. As a result, she called for the review of the old document by all the stakeholders, a copy of which should be sent to the ministry before it is forwarded to the Ministry of Finance for their attention.

Present at the meeting was the Director of Public Relations of the Ministry.


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