View Full Version : Our Attitude, Our Problem

12th July 2011, 09:24 AM
If asked to describe a Ghana, apart from all the other things we already know about ourselves, I would add that a Ghana has a dependent personality: she isn’t sure of herself, asks others for help all the time and can’t seem to do anything for herself. About four years ago, we celebrated fifty years of “independence”.

There was a lot of enthusiasm, euphoria, colorful displays of the national colors, wearing Ghana @ 50 shirts and feeling patriotic. What exactly did we celebrate? I would say fifty years of “struggling”, or “making time”, in a nut shell.

Once I looked up an article of Ghana on Wikipedia, sown the Economy section it says something like: Ghana has about twice the GDP of the poorer African countries. We had fifty years and that’s all we’ve been reduced to. It’s very obvious the sharp contrast produced when we are compared to Malaysia. So let’s leave that as homework. When will we be able to build an economy comparable to that of the guys in the G-8, etc? When will we remove this poverty tag from our necks? That’s how we are seen. I’m pretty sure we all have, continue to, and/or will fantasies about going “abroad” for even a day. Guess what? We can build our dreams into a reality and live it right here in our country.

Knowledge, they say is power. Article 25 Subsection 1 of our 1992 Constitution says “All persons shall have the right to equal educational opportunities and facilities ….”. According to our latest census, we are about 25 million in number. How many of us had/have access to education? Better still, how many of us had/have access to quality education? By quality education, I mean one that enables to pass your B.E.C.E. well enough, go to S.H.S., pass your W.A.S.S.C.E. and become an asset (a solution) to the state.

As at now, most of S.H.S graduates can read and write but haven’t received any employable skills training (the purpose of education). Fifty years down the lane, we haven’t changed that much: we can only boast of 4 medical schools, and God know how many engineering schools. How do we intend to build our country anyway? Continue importing doctors and paying them money? Something we started a very long time ago while our partners have been building more medical schools to supply us with doctors. Or we intend to bring in engineers to design our roads, bridges and Presidential Palace (Jubilee House) for us? I hope it doesn’t have to come to importing teachers, nurses, etc anytime soon.

Over fifty years done the lane, we keep boasting we are one of the leading exporters of cocoa, gold, timber, etc. What a shame. When would we start thinking beyond raw materials? We keep exporting gold bars and they keep buying it and stashing it in their reserves but it doesn’t bother us. Look at this scenario: we sell gold (non-perishable good stored in gold reserves) so someone buys it. We use the money we get to buy cars (perishable goods we love to own) from some place. We’ve had malaria longer enough than we can remember and it’s still there starring us in the face and making fun of us. How much how we contributed ourselves to the fight against this disease. Our kids done in their number of respiratory tract and gastrointestinal infections, but we haven’t seen any significant change in policy to solve these problems –our problems.

What is it that interests us as a nation? What are our priorities?
In the beginning of President Mills’ administration, he complained about our State’s foreign expenses. We have about 45 embassies (according to the website of Ghana Embassy, Australia). How much do we spend on them? More importantly, how much do we gain from them? You would be surprised. Only God knows how many opportunities we have lost due to the “chronic government worker syndrome”, both home and abroad, at the expense of the toils of the cocoa farmer and market woman’s toils under the tropical sun (take the go-and-come scenario for instance).

Thomas H. Huxley, a famous English biologist once said “the great end of life is not knowledge but action”. Every society gives its people an education so that those educated ones in turn would solve the problems of that society. In our society, we have a really educated people that are not allowed to solve our problems. We don’t our local coaches are competent enough to run our national team. We think our engineers and contractors are no capable of designing and building apartments for the country’s labour force or a Presidential Palace, roads, etc.

We think our doctors and the hospitals they work in are not good enough to treat us of our ailments so those who can afford it (whether or not at the tax payers’ expense) travel abroad for health related reasons, and something end up dead. We need to take actions to solve our problems.

Get a paper and a pen and start recording how many times you’ve head of our governments presenting vehicles to MDA’s Is the lack of vehicles our priority? I know of at least of on country, or friend for more than fifty years, whose population is about half of ours, who’s GDP is about twice ours, who have been under economic blockade for about fifty years, and whose workers use vehicles that our D.V.L.A might not consider road worthy. Yet we depend on them for help. Interesting phenomenon.

I wonder why our leaders sit down and wait to be told to work towards some goals by a specific time limit. Why? Are our leaders blind and don’t notice the problems of the people who elected them. I think this goes to question the quality of leaders we have. Imagine a group of people several thousand miles from us notice that we are hungry, lack good education and adequate health care, and design solutions for us. What about our leaders? What are they doing? Probably thinking which way to send their cup-in-hand.

In our democracy, our very own democracy, our presidents’ go through the streets with entire squadrons (maybe bigger) armed to the teeth. Should the president be scared of the us? The very people who elected him through the secret ballot? Did you know that we borrow money from richer countries who’s leaders drive in smaller motorcades and without rifle wielding bodyguards around them?

It’s about time we change our perception of who a patriot is. I suggest we do away with the Ghana @ 50 t-shirt wearing patriot and pave way for the guy who goes to work on time, works hard for 8 hours (or more) and doesn’t steal office stationery, the guys who doesn’t litter the street, the guy who reports criminal activities, etc. Being a patriot is doing the little things of everyday that no one notices.

The decision is yours.

Source: Andrew S. Dzebu/donkhermikal@gmail.com