Former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Lamido Sanusi, has made a passionate call for the scaling up of girl-child education and women empowerment in sub-Saharan Africa.
Sanusi spoke at a three-day education transformation summit tagged ‘Transforming Education through Grassroots Innovation: A Localised Teacher-Led Approach’ on the sidelines of the ongoing UN General Assembly in New York.
The former CBN boss, who was the 14th Emir of Kano, said he had devoted his lifetime to advancing the cause of the girl-child, women empowerment and gender equality.
“I have had a lifetime commitment and advocacy to quality education and gender equality,” Sanusi, the immediate-past Emir of Kano, said.
“In my work as governor of the central bank, I pushed for gender representation at the highest levels, in the boards and management of the banks.
“And as Emir of Kano, I pushed for codification of putting law to address the rights of women.
“As an SDGs advocate, I have focused on girl-child education in particular, as the main SDG that I’m focused on are SDG four and SDG five,” he said.
Sanusi pointed out that providing the girl child an education and the opportunity to earn income and contribute meaningfully to the society was a single silver bullet that would address many of the other SDGs.
“I am often asked why I advocate for the girl child and my response is simple: if you educate the girl child, you deal with so many other socio-economic issues and make progress towards breaking the intergenerational cycle of illiteracy and poverty.”
The former CBN chief said it had become imperative to emphasise the importance of quality teachers in curbing inequalities in learning outcomes, particularly in under-served regions.
He regretted that currently, “there’s a deficit of 69 million teachers globally,” adding, many of those who are at work, especially in Sub Saharan Africa, Southern Africa and Southern Asia, lacked basic qualifications and training to keep pace with changes in education.
Sanusi said the aim of his project, ‘His Highness Muhammad Sanusi II Sustainable Development Goals (HHMSII SDGs) Challenge, was to assist teachers.
He said the project aimed to inspire and catalyse teacher-led grassroots innovation that supported the achievement of SDGs, particularly quality education and gender equality.