Friday, February 23

Germany chairs West Africa Volunteers Conference in Ghana

Germany is determined to deepen cultural exchanges with partner countries through voluntary service.

The German Government through its Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development has been providing the financial muscle to Voluntarism in specific geographical regions around the world.

The 2024 West Africa Conference being hosted by Accra, Ghana has participants drawn from Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Benin. The conference ends on the 2nd of February, 2024.

The South-North, and the North-South are the components of the programme.

In the South-North, the German Government sponsors volunteers from countries in the southern hemisphere to Germany.

In this context, Germany deploys volunteers to support the social services sector, especially health, education, and businesses. The other component is the reverse scenario.

The current contingent of German volunteers in Ghana is 150, adding to the cumulative total of 2,500 since 2008. The success story of Ghana partly inspired the formation of the broad components of the programme in 2013. Ghana currently has 8 volunteers serving in the German city of Nuremberg. To take part in the programme, one has to apply to relevant agencies.

Hannah Fischer, one of the project coordinators said, the volunteer service being sponsored by Germany, rests on two pillars, firstly, the exchange of experience which ultimately builds international solidarity, and secondly, to focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs by alerting and assisting partners to that process.

Overtime, she said, it has been observed the programme improved language skills of volunteers, motivated a commitment to global justice, and strengthened partnerships.

Aside from her, the other facilitators were Gifty Claresa Wiafe, also from Eine Welt Netz NRW as Hannah, as well as Gabriel Cudjoe from Ghana Anidaso Woho Foundation, and Nicholas Wassan from Royal Beam Academy.

A Representative of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, Mr.Oliver Wiesel said, Germany will continue to fund the progressive art of volunteerism. German Embassy Officials in Accra were also present at this conference.

Ghana’s Minister of Education, Dr Osei Yaw Adu Twum gave his personal experience. He said, he taught for 12 years in the State of California of the US. His subjects were computer science, and mathematics.

During his 26-year-long stay in the United States, he helped to set up schools.

He said, the Government of Ghana under the direction of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, seeks to revolutionize education by placing emphasis on the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, and Mathematics, STEM, adding that whilst the country is walking the talk it critically needs the assistance of advanced nations such as Germany for greater momentum.

He said centres of excellence have the attachments of well-equipped laboratories where students are advancing themselves in coding, engineering, robotics, and the operation of drones.
The minister also mentioned the Accra STEM Academy in the offing which is to run from kindergarten to high school.