On January 7, the new EI office premises in Accra, Ghana, were formally opened by the Minister of Education for Ghana, in the presence of EI President Susan Hopgood, EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen and EI Deputy General Secretary Charlie Lennon.
The event was also attended by representatives of many member organisations from West Africa, by the former EI President now South African MP Thulas Nxesi and by the former Chief Regional Coordinator Tom Bediako. The President and the Deputy General Secretary of BUPL, Denmark, an EI affiliate developing a project in Ghana, were also in attendance as well as diplomatic representatives and representatives of NGOs.
The highly successful event was organised by Chief Regional Coordinator Assibi Napoe, with her colleague coordinators and the staff of the regional office. In his speech at the opening ceremony, van Leeuwen mentioned the difficult challenges teacher unions face in Africa, such as “the achievement of quality education for all children, the improvement of education standards across the continent, and the protection and enhancement of teachers’ rights and employment conditions.”
“Today most education unions in Africa are members of EI. They have high expectations of their International, and we are determined to meet those expectations and provide all the services and assistance that are required” he added.
He also thanked “our member organisations in Togo as well as the Togolese authorities for supporting our work in the past 15 years in which we have operated from their country.”