View Full Version : Ghana is fifty-four (54) years: Have we gone or we have come?

7th March 2011, 08:20 AM
Ghana is fifty-four years today, 6th March, 2011 and I wish all Ghanaians a happy birthday. We fought for independence because the colonialists violated our every right to enjoy the good things of life. We fought for independence because we wanted to improve upon our human and material wellbeing. We fought for independence at the peril of some people’s lives. We fought for independence, unity, peace and development.

In all this, Ghana became the first African country south of the Sahara, or Black Africa or Sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence. Generally, Ghana was one of the first British colonies worldwide to gain independence after countries such as India and Egypt. Ghana gained her independence in March, 1957 whilst Malaysia another British colony gained hers in August, 1957. That is why the independence of Ghana is often compared with that of Malaysia.

To begin with, since independence 54 years today we have achieved very little of all the aspirations that informed our fight for independence. What is even more revealing is the fact that the colleagues of Ghana such as Malaysia are several miles ahead of Ghana in all aspects of human endeavor be it economic, Political, Social inter alia. The five coup d’états that Ghana has witnessed, the coups of 1966, 1972, 1978, 1979 and 1981 are indications of misrule, immaturity, absence of peace, injustice and underdevelopment. Let no one be deceived by the present nineteen years or so of consistent democratic rule as a proof of some meaning to our independence. That is just nineteen years out of fifty-four. Democracy has been thrown to the dogs of this country and we tend to politicize every issue. I will not be surprised that very soon, the air we breathe will be politicized. Attaining political power is now an “all die be die” affair. No wonder some people refer to our democracy as “demo crazy”.

The legend Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s dream has been that, independent Ghana would become self-reliant through import substitution and indigenization. To bridge the yawning gap between the north and south of Ghana by the introduction of the 50 year northern education scholarship. Today, what do we see? The gap between the north and south has widened further. We have hit the fifty year northern education scholarship yet, the level of education for me in the north is nothing to properly write home about. Pupils still sit under trees to have lessons and senior high school students sometimes stay at home for months as a result of inadequate feeding grants. This is not acceptable in this 21st century. Resources are not also equally distributed between the north and the south of Ghana. The only University in the north which is the University for Development Studies is under-resourced and ill-equipped to undertake quality teaching and research. As a country, Ghana cannot survive economically without borrowing from the Whiteman who we proudly evicted claiming we desired independence or self-rule. Britain, our former colonial master is still solidly behind our present slouching rate of development. Our yearly budgets are financed by foreign countries otherwise it would be difficult to cope with the huge budget deficit. We cannot do without the “twin-doctors” of Bretton woods – the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development also known as the World Bank. Unemployment is on the ascendancy especially among the youth and the future seems to be uncertain for the youth because there are limited opportunities available. We tend to import everything including toothpick but with the exception of toilet roll.

Do we call this independence? Are we not depending on the magnanimity of the Whiteman? Why do we still blame our little squabbles and numerous problems on the Whiteman? Talk of the other civilized democracies that we aspire to – Britain, France, Germany, U.S.A and even South Africa.

Corruption which seems to be part of our culture has retarded growth and development of our country over the years. According to Professor Kwasi Wiredu formerly of the University of Ghana, political corruption in Africa and for that matter Ghana is a moral pollution. To overcome this, we need what he calls a conceptual moral revolution.

Ghana’s independence in the right sense of the word is rather very superficial or to say the least, unreal. Statistics available indicate that we are poorer now than before independence. And that, the more we grow, the poorer we become. As of 1964, Ghana was in the comity of middle income countries and was richer than countries such as Portugal. The situation is different today. Have we gone or we have come?

Anything that has meaning has very positive effects. This cannot be said of Ghana’s independence. In the past, Ghana had the best infrastructure and one of the best labour force in Africa. Can we boast of that today? God help us!

In conclusion, I must state categorically however that, now there are no apparent infringements on the rights of citizens because these are safeguarded by the constitution and other security networks – the police, army, navy, fire among others.

Francis Xavier Tuokuu/fxtuokuu@yahoo.com