Ghana, the beacon of hope and peace for Africa, the land of democracy as many will call it. The gateway of West Africa as many sees, but how do I see my Ghana? The land of my birth which I have grown to love but it now seems like my land of death though I’m living. I have lived here for the last 20 years but there has never been a day I have felt the wind of change or development in the country in every sector. I remember I could hear vision 2015 or 2020 which I thought it will take us centuries to reach but look here we are but nothing is been done. I have always wondered when my country will be free from ‘ING’ from the developing to be a developed country. We may be independent politically but we need to be economically independent too. This new war need militant; without guns but with the will to fight for the truth and work for the economical independent of the country. Below are my points why the nation is not developing.
LOST OF IDEAS. (FOUNDATION OF THE NATION NOW ON SAND): Of late this great nation has run out of ideas. The nation which was once built on steel now stands on the cliff of a sandy mountain. The foundation of this nation is lost. Talking from the religious view, we have taken God out of our daily dealing thinking we can do it with our own will. Even before our ancestors accepted Christianity we believed in the Supreme Being; we prayed to god through the lesser gods. If we have forgotten, shouldn’t the ‘Gye Nyame’
(Only God) adinkra symbol remind us? With about 58% of the population Christians and good minority of Muslims we have lost sight of the teachings of the Lord; now the truth is treated like an adopted child of a barren woman where he is an outcast. The nation is now ruled without the fear of the Lord and that’s sending us backward. Let look at what happened to the people of Israel when they turn away from the love and teachings of the lord, they went in exile for 70 years; their great men were taken away, so is what happening in the country now. The able-bodied men and women are leaving the land to seek greener pastures overseas but we shouldn’t forget that, it will look greener where we water daily. If we want to be on point on where we want to be, we (our leaders) should seek the advice of the Lord. Religious leaders should be included in the advising committee of the president. This body should be willing to work with any government.
The ideas of our foundering fathers should be thought in our schools. Many political leaders seek the powers of lesser gods and the nation is now under a curse or bondage until they are truthful to ask for the help of the Lord. We cannot continue to be like a flock of sheep with no shepherd.
WE EMBRACE & CELEBRATE MEDIOCRITY: If mediocrity is an act that comes with a reward then no other country will come before us. I may sound ungrateful here but the truth shall always be the truth. I have never celebrated anything from any government I have seen govern the country. Some will argue with me on this point but this is what I have to say. We celebrate what we don’t have to celebrate and ignore what we have to celebrate because there are no national policies and politicians are seen as kings than servants of the land and we have made them more powerful than the law. Who celebrates the baker when she bakes the early Sunday morning bread? No one does because it her job, but why do I have to celebrate the politician when he does his job by providing me with a good drinking water. Why do I have to celebrate a government when Ghana’s debt distress threatens economic livelihoods of its citizens after over spending the allocated budget? This I will never rejoice over the dead body. I live in a country where the Vice president of the country is seen commissioning a public toilet (reported by Daily Guide) Why wouldn’t my old folks celebrates this kind of act? Simply the people don’t know their power. We will continue to suffer as a nation because of our own tomfoolery. And failure to set priorities.
I will celebrate when there are national policies that task every government to build 60 new schools across the 10 regions of the country, 45 new health centres the in country, 300 boreholes across the nation, additional 20km-30km to roads that leads to every natural resource village, 1000 Megawatt of electricity to current power generated in the country, etc., within his tenure of office (4 years) aside his promise of the manifesto. When there are such policies, the people will be able to judge the progress of the government and we will stop been happy over nothing. People like Martha Bissah (won gold in the London Olympics) is forgotten, she is not even celebrated as a national hero. In Ghana when we talk about sports, it means soccer! A shame we have a sports ministry but we have no other major sport discipline than football. Not long ago before the Olympics games in London, one of the national athletes naturalized for the Netherlands because of poor infrastructure and other reasons I am yet to know. We have learnt nothing from our Brazil shame. We are weak people. Shame on all of us that we cannot unite to save this nation’s little resources left. Would we have lost without flying those fans? The national amputee team couldn’t get money for their next world cup in Kenya because they were told there were no funds for then when each player of the second placed team gets $25,000. We talk about the 3 northern regions as being one of the poorest in the country when we give them $25,000(the 3 region) for the Savannah development programme. Who makes them poor?
BRIBERY& CORRUPTION: These twins are also known in my country and they are accepted here too as any other country in the world. Government corruption has been defined as the abuse of public power for private gain. Human government are funded by their citizens, most often through taxes and duties. This flow of money tempts some officials to steal, while others accept bribes from people who want them to cut their taxes or other payment due government; the citizens are willing to pay bribes than taxes for development. we have institution that owes the state millions of cedis but are not ready to pay because a group of corrupt officials are getting the back pay for what due the citizens of the country and no one is ready to talk about this corrupt and bribery conducts because it’s now ‘normal’ and they believe it’s too hard to fight it. There is an act of corruption in every sector of the economy. The 2013 Global Corruption Barometer, published by Transparency International, reported that people that worldwide have the perception that the five most corrupt institutions are political parties, the police, public officials, the legislature, and the judiciary. There has been investors who have gone back to their countries because they weren’t ready to pay the “little legal” fees; officials expect to receive 10% “gift” from people ready to do business in the country. Corruption involves more than just accepting bribes. These corrupt officials sometimes appropriate goods, take advantage of services to which they are not entitled, or even steal funds outright. Irony is to see pot holes on roads that toll booths are less than 2km afar. When these act continue to go on, a vicious cycle may result- the government raises taxes to make up for such losses, and this in turn fosters more corruption. In an environment like this, people who are honest suffer most.
Does it make sense for a cash strapped nation to chase a football trophy and 1.8 million with 5.8 million dollars? – sounds like a useless question, right?
Minister of Youth and Sports, Mahama Ayariga has accused Ghanaian journalists demanding details about the expenditure incurred for the just ended African Cup of Nations (AFCON) of asking him “useless questions.”
The Minister, who is also the MP for Bawku Central, says he has better things to do than answer “useless questions” from journalists who “have no understanding of public administration” yet ask for the budget of the Black Stars to be made public.
“You should ask questions that will add more value to the sports ministry and not ask questions about things and procedures you don’t have any knowledge about” he stated on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem morning show on Thursday, after which he dropped the phone.
He had earlier done his phone banging act the night before on the stations political show Burning Issues, hosted by Afia Pokua.
Ghanaians have been demanding a detailed account of how much the country spent on the Black Stars and the technical team before and during the tournament.
The incessant calls inspite of, Mahama Ayariga refused to disclose the budget allocation for the 2015 AFCON with the explanation that the budget report will be submitted to the proper authorities.
He disclosed to Parliament yesterday that government spent about $8,017,099.19 on Ghana’s preparation and participation in the AFCON tournament in Equatorial Guinea.
He noted that what he expected from journalists were questions that would bring development to the sports ministry and the way forward rather than asking questions that are not beneficial to the ministry.
“It is not my job to respond to useless questions as far as the AFCON 2015 is concerned. Talk about the developmental issues of the ministry and not questions that will not benefit us.”
He continued: “I am not the Auditor General to be explaining the budget to journalists and so if you need any explanations, just go to the Auditor General and not me. You need to be fair to the Black Stars” he fumed. How do we move on with this kind of attitude and corrupt practices like these?
As a law abiding citizen wouldn’t it be too much to pay for good governance aside paying taxes?
WOMEN & YOUTHS: Women really rule the world; they are responsible about everything, but the irony of the situation is, women are not putted into the recognizable place to do so. Men are afraid to put them at the right place because they understand that eventually they will raise to their proper place. Is this the reason women aren’t given the chance to help fuel development in the nation over the past 57 years after independence? I believe women have what it takes to help bring change and development into the nation; women have a sixth sense, they know when something is in a mess. They see things that go undetected in a man’s eye. They pay attention to the slightest detail. If we are not ready to place women in the realm of governance, let look at the role of queen Esther in the bible and how she help saved her people. If women are given same chances as men, things wouldn’t be the way it is now. All I call for is a female vice president so the feminine side of the story can told by a woman.
Another major problem is the opportunities of the youths in this country. The youths of this land has no future built for them and I wonder why we are called future leaders when we are not given equal chances given to these leaders when they were our age. Youths and women are side-lined when there are policies than govern them for the development of the country. We have youth’s excelling in their field who need a little push to help make difference in the land but, seems it far from reality; they go unnoticed. When you compare the opportunities of a university graduate in Ghana and that of another country in Africa, it like racing with Bolt in a 200m race where he is about 60m ahead of you. The person here have a slim chance of making it here in his home country. We have old people who have passed their pension age but are still in government offices taking fat salaries at the expense of the youth. When women and the youth are given the chance to help govern the country, they will come out new ideas that can change lives and development. When an idea is presented to an elderly person or a leader the response will be “we haven’t seen it done this way before and it will take time so let do it our old way.” The only thing the leaders think of the youth are moral values which most of them don’t have. They blame us for sagging, clubbing at nights, sexing and singing profane songs forgetting that when they deny someone of have a basic social amenity is the worse.
Education: I see our educational system as joke though that was what I had. Governments always confuses itself with school and education thinking when they build a three unit classroom in a remote village they have given the people some education. Education is broad but let me narrow myself to formal education. Government invests little or no money in the quality of education in the country because their wards don’t attend these government schools they built for themselves. As a history student, I recall we used a book which will be over 20-25 years older than me if am not exaggerating. With the current trend and change in education, we should have syllabus and books that can help us be at par with our colleagues in other countries. It high time we stop reading about Microsoft word (2003) in our high schools and introduce us to the use of the computer and the internet. I believe every high school graduate should know the power and importance of the computer and the internet as a tool for developmental change. If one graduates from high school, he must be able to use a twitter account or blog. There must be an introduction to new programmes to our universities which are relevant to our current economic and social situations. If the government believes in the empowerment of the citizens, they must have education from the auto mechanic to the woman who harvest Shea. The national commission for civic education are always sleeping until it time for elections where media houses will do their work for them too.
TRADE, AGRICULTURE & FORIENG POLICIES: I think these are the areas we’re failing to look to help turn things around. We are a country who loves to beg for aid, loans and grants which doesn’t favour the people of the land. Instead of us going in for investors we burden ourselves with debts! If we receive monies as aid for sanitation, why don’t we invest this monies into getting a recycling plant in the country, buying dustbins and education the population on how to dispose waste properly? Because this money will come again next year we don’t think about these.
Ghana is a rice producing country but we receive rice as an aid from the USA government through the IMF. With this policy, the government have scrubbed the subsidy of the fertilizer rice farmers us where in America, the US government pays about 78% subsidy for it farmers. Sending rice to Ghana is like sending diamonds to Liberia. We go in for loans that will let some people lose their jobs or won’t be employed because it will be stated that the project will be completed by the nationals of the nation the loan is coming from. If we adjust to the situation and get ready to solve our problems, loans will never be an option.
Loans will never be an option when we trade among ourselves in the continent. Not long ago the minister for tourism was talking about Ghana-Europe tourism trade which I ask if we have had this trade with Africa tourism giants in the south. If countries like Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria come together trade wouldn’t we have a greater voice in the cocoa market? What of South Africa and Ghana trading in Gold? Think about that. The land is full of resources but we don’t know how to manage it; from 8 hours of sunshine to the new black gold most Ghanaians can’t enjoy a three square meal. We have made agriculture not attractive to the youths but these same youths will travel to Europe to work on farms. Instead of us investing in other countries agriculture sector such as Ghana sponsor a group of young graduate to visit south Africa and learn about the cultivation of apples, the minister will prefer going to a fashion programme in Italy so he can buy a new phone and perfumes.
OUR FEAR FOR CHANGE: Change they say it not easy but I believe there can be change. We have this if it isn’t broke don’t fix it attitude that’s not helping anything. We love to sweep everything under the carpet and will never be revisited again. Our morning radio programmes are talk, talk, and talk political issue with no walking the talk. The government tends to put blames on the previous government for everything that happens. Now the country faces electricity problems which makes it possible to have power for 48 hours in a week. This problem could have been solved if we maintained/ serviced the turbines regularly to avoid any break downs but we wouldn’t because it was broke. We mostly depend on the dam Dr. K. Nkrumah built for some 4.4 million people who barely knew what television was to now a population of about 26.4 million which the average Ghanaian youth charges his two phone at least thrice a day. ECG bought 80,000 Megawatt of power from Ivory Coast just to help Ghanaians watch 90 minutes of soccer and the power goes off after the match. Maybe we will be happy to sleep in darkness with an AFCON trophy. But no power can be purchased to power industries to generate employment. No power can be purchased to keep our hospitals to save sick patients. No power can be bought to sustain our schools to improve learning. No power can be purchased to keep our street lights on throughout the night. The current situation has affected everything in the country from the quality to the speed of internet connection to even the taste of foods not to talk about health care delivery and education; final year students don’t even have lights to learn at nights. It took a group of German officials (came for military purposes) to draw the attention of the speaker of parliament that we can generate power with solar. The woman who spoke said,”Ghana is blessed with many resources; if we HAVE 8 HOURS of SUNSHINE in Germany then we are lucky.” Before the Hon could say he will help to make it a reality in Ghana.
Another area is the use of internet; most ministries have internet connections but they don’t have social media account to help answer question of the public and those with websites have information as old as the creed. We must use the internet wisely. Recently the website of the government and the judiciary services were hacked for some time because there are not enough trained personals for it.
If we ready to live to the change we want to see, it will take us less than 4 years to get our country on track again. The citizen should be more patriotic (not very easy now for most youths) in terms of nation building. Our political differences should be hidden point to the government his flaws and lauds.
We must understand the importance of voting and make our leaders accountable to us
And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good. We can have a decent life for all.
NB: My post is not directed to any person. I am responsible for what I write and you’re for how you understand it. English language has no meaning we give it meaning.