There is this beautiful Ghanaian proverb which can literarily be interpreted to this effect: “A newly hatched chick that survives will not lack the ability to grow feathers.” It means “when there is life, there is hope.”
Fifty-2 yrs ago (6 March 1957 to become precise), Ghana made political history in tropical Africa. On that day, the Gold Coast became Ghana. How made it happen happen? At exactly midnight that night, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, flanked by some ambitious comrades of his, mounted a podium on the old Polo ground within the town of Accra and proclaimed:
“At long last, the battle has ended; and Ghana our beloved country is free for ever.”
The visionary Nkrumah then created a seemingly harmless statement which been found to create him the African man from the 20th Century. He declared, “The Independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is actually linked on top of the total liberation from the African Continent.”
Yes, it is important to tell the real story from the Independence of Ghana in order that our children, their children, as well as their children’s children will know exactly how Ghana became a nation of “Freedom and Justice.” At the time Dr Nkrumah made that legendary declaration, just about eight away from 53 countries in Africa knew what independence was. In West Africa, all the 16 countries were clamped within the jaws of Colonialism. As for South Africa, she was deep in the throat of any hateful and horrible creature called “Apartheid.”
Ghana’s independence had not been granted to our own forefathers on the silver platter. Quite simply, our forefathers did not eat to their fill, drink, booze and went along to bed and started snoring then someone went and called them to obtain their independence. Certainly not! As a matter of fact, the independence struggle did not start on the 6th March 1957 when that celebrated proclamation was developed.
If Osagyefo Dr Nkrumah talked of the end of a battle, we have to ask ourselves what kind of the battle he was alluding to. Again, it should be borne in mind which it had not been only Dr Nkrumah who single-handedly fought for Ghana’s independence. But he was the locomotive or perhaps the vanguard indeed! It is therefore imperative that any time we celebrate the independence anniversary of this blessed land called Ghana, other equally important national heroes has to be accorded the recognition they deserve.
As an example, homage must be paid to war veterans like Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and Private Odartey Lamptey who were gunned down like common criminals on 28 February, 1948 on the Christiansburg, Accra. What crime did they commit? These were only planning to present a petition towards the Colonial Governor of the Gold Coast. They were only fighting for ex gratia awards once they have been in war front for a long time.
It was their blood that galvanised the momentum and served as catalyst for that legendary BIG SIX to get the gold -the INDEPENDENCE. The Large SIX included Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Dr J.B.Danquah, Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey, Mr. Ofori Atta, Mr. Akufo-Addo and Mr. Ako-Adjei. These were collected and dumped in jails across the country; were they armed robbers? These are some of the greatest national heroes we should pay homage to if we celebrate the independence anniversary of Ghana. This is why our National Pledge reminds us in part: “…I promise to hold in high esteem, our heritage won for all of us from the blood and toil of our own fathers; I pledge myself in most items to uphold and defend the great name of Ghana.”
Today, while we celebrate the 52nd Anniversary of Ghana on the theme: “Unity and Peace: Pillars for National Development,” minimal that people can do is always to renew the promise and also the pledge to our father and mother Ghana.
Apart from the historical and political significance of the independence, what can one say concerning the economic achievements of Ghana since independence? Even the political journey of the nation since independence has not been all rosy in any way. For your uncountable military coup d’états from the 60s, 70s and early 80s had dealt some deadly blows to democratic governance in the nation.
Fortunately, however, because the getting into being from the fourth Republican Constitution of 1992, which had been ushered in from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on January 7, 1993, Ghana has been enjoying change of government through democratic elections instead of military coup d’états. This trend of affairs is commendable.
Just last year, 2008, for the first time in her 52 many years of nationhood, Ghana scored high democratic marks among nations in Africa if the New Patriotic Party (NPP) another democratically elected Government successfully completed its constitutionally mandated term of eight years and handed up to NDC again. The advantage of this culture of “moko aya ne moko aba”( let someone opt for somebody to come)is progressive for your advancement of Ghana.
It really is against this backdrop that the theme for this year’s anniversary celebration “Unity and Peace: Pillars for National Development” is most suitable. It really is common knowledge that without peace and unity, no meaningful development can happen, not just on the national level but on the District and Regional levels as well. This explains why the individuals of Ghana must pat themselves on the back for that just-ended peaceful general elections.
Now that the elections are over, there is a requirement for the world to put all political games behind it and concentrate on national development agenda in unity. First, the leadership from the nation itself must be seen to be curious about peace and unity for national development. Selfishness, partisanship, greed and corruption has to be reduced towards the barest minimum or even eradicated entirely.
There can not be peace and unity if political leaders are seen to be curious about their very own welfare to the neglect of the majority of the those who elected them into office. The current hullaballoo about proposed ex-gratia awards for ex-Presidents, Individuals Parliament and other public holders is actually a typical example of how political leadership can create disunity and disharmony amongst the populace leading to agitation and unrest rather than unity and peace for national development. It is actually gratifying to note that H.E. President J.E.A.Mills is making efforts to make use of constitutional methods to evaluate the whole saga of ex-gratia awards. If this sounds like not done you will see no peace and unity and you will have no national development.
Ghana is not a poor country naturally. It really is common place that Ghana is really a blessed land endowed with all kinds of resources including gold, diamond, bauxite, cocoa, timber, arable land, rivers, good rain fall patterns and abundant sun shine all year long. And yet Ghana is endemic with poverty. After 52 numerous years of independence, if the nation’s natural resources had been effectively and efficiently managed, should a Ghanaian child visit bed without having a meal? After 52 numerous years of independence, should any Ghanaian child be denied basic education? Something might have gone amiss!
Besides natural resources, Ghana is equally endowed with human resources. She is blessed with the best brains in Africa if not in the whole world. One can cite the immediate past UN Secretary-General Busumuru Kofi Annan and others in international bodies to symbolise a persons resource base of the country. These are generally just a couple of main reasons why Ghana might have done a lot better than she has been doing to date after 52 many years of nationhood in terms of socio-economic, political and cultural prosperity.
Now one can speculate that a firm foundation has become laid for your economic take-off of the nation across board. Various sectors in the economy including Agriculture, Education, Health, Transportation, Communications, Investment, Tourism, Foreign Policies, Sports and others seem to be in a better shape today compared to they were before independence. For example, the Capitation Grant, National Health Insurance Scheme as well as the School Feeding Programme and possess created opportunity for some school-going children to stay in school and be given one or more meal a day free from charge. The brand new government can improve upon precisely what is in position for national development.
The National Medical Insurance Scheme comes to keep, however, there is more room for improvement. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is gradually but steadily taking roots in society. Ghana is on the Information Super High Way through the Government of Ghana Portal. Ghana includes a comprehensive ICT Policy already set up. The National Portal has to be revamped to really make it an actual electronic gateway inside the true sense E-Government.
The previous Government started establishing what is known as Community Information Centres (CICs) in all of the 230 electoral constituencies throughout the country. This can be a viable strategy that concretely helps to ensure that ICTs are taken nearer to rural people who are in majority in the country. It is actually hoped the brand new administration continue with this particular project and kcifhh it better for national development. Again, the discovery of oil in commercial quantity during the 50th anniversary celebration of Ghana was very opportune for this particular blessed nation, just to bring up but a couple of.