Sunday was a pretty historic day in Ghana. It marked 59 years of freedom and independence from her colonial master Britain.
Yesterday we were reminded of the toil of our forefathers and the blood they spilled to buy us our freedom.
Usually there’s a funfair around the whole celebration but over the years the excitement seems to have dampened quite a bit.
As the years passed by it seems the significance of the day loses a piece of its essence amongst the citizenry and given the trajectory with which the country has taken for some years now it’s hard to begrudge anyone.
Currently we’re struggling as a country in various sectors of our economy.
Our agriculture sector is on an alarming decline, our energy sector has taken a brutal battering over the past four years, our cedi currency has depreciated in value, education is in disarray, soaring rates of unemployment, don’t get me started on corruption.
All these contributing to the apathetic attitude towards the independence day celebration.
Ever since independence Ghana has been in transition, not being able to move up a gear.
We’ve moved at snail pace in terms of development and progress.
Most of the national assets we had pre and post independence have been privatised or collapsed.
We’ve seen our nation go into HIPC and back yet we find ourselves in huge debts and having to go back to the IMF for bail outs with shackles on our necks.
Over the span of our young democracy (about 21 years) we’ve overseen peaceful change overs in government and come November we’ll be going to the polls again.
We have experienced different regimes and every time we hear campaign messages full of propaganda and short term ideals which hardly contain any strategic plan to take this country to the next level.
We make it easy; they know how to push our buttons, playing on our emotions and manipulating us by our tribal and religious affiliations and every time we fall for it.
Once in power the decisions taken only benefit a few amidst the loot and share.
At 59 years hardly do we think about leaving behind inheritance for posterity.
Always thinking about the wealth we can amass for ourselves now.
We haven’t made any attempts to put our generations unborn at an advantageous position.
Normally you’d get the odd 40 or 50 year development plan but it’s just that, ink on paper, no action.
Plans are scrapped and pushed aside whenever there’s a change in government.
Always pushing the reset button.
Let’s take the United States for example, we’ve all heard of the popular American Dream.
You might have heard it in a movie, song or a speech.
The American Dream is why the USA is referred to as the land of opportunities. That is what the nation is built on; an opportunity for all manner of persons to succeed in America. They have even seen the need to fuse it into their constitution and it has been the bedrock on which every political party has built its message and policies, a template for governance.
The American Dream is their identity.
Quite recently China have also come up with their version.
Not exactly the same as the US but they’ve tweaked it to suit themselves and conditioned it for them to thrive.
China being the most populated country in the world and therefore having a huge chunk of the market share have utilised this and produced goods for themselves, boosting their economy in terms of trade, currency, employment etc. They’re often the butt end of imitation jokes but hey, they are now a powerful force to reckon with.
These two examples send me back to the keynote address by our very own Dr. Mensa Otabil at the 2016 springboard conference. Listen here.
Dr. Otabil was right in everything he said and what he said is not only perculiar Ghana but all of Africa.
We have to hold our politicians accountable to providing us with conducive environments that enables talents to burst forth and blossom.
Enough of the brain drain, why do we always have to travel outside of our countries so as to make ends meet and provide for our families.
We go to churches to fast and pray for a visa just to go to the states or Europe and when we’re “lucky” enough the whole community comes to go see us off at the airports whiles these politicians sit in their comfortable offices piling up unnecessary and frivolous cost at the expense of the tax payer.
Africa as a continent is blessed with so much resource that our current state as a continent shows how undeserving we are to have been placed as custodians of such precious resources.
Since independence Ghana has not made enough of her of self-governance to look back on her emancipation with much fondness.
We have failed to devise systems to accelerate our movement up the development ladder instead we find ourselves in an environment full of sulphur that the onions we produce sting our eyes causing tear drops to run down our cheeks when that shouldn’t be our nature.
If we want to create dreamers, we must create a nation of dreams.
If we want to create dreamers in our nation then the laws of this nation must facilitate the dreams of people.
If we want to create dreamers then policies we put in place must not lead us in the opposite direction but must facilitate where we’re going
– Dr. Mensa Otabil
It’s about time Ghana and Africa woke up from its slumber.
God bless my homeland Ghana!