There is this beautiful Ghanaian proverb which can literarily be interpreted to this effect: “A newly hatched chick that survives will not lack the opportunity to grow feathers.” It means “when there is life, there is hope.”
Fifty-two years ago (6 March 1957 to get precise), Ghana made political history in tropical Africa. On that day, the Gold Coast became Ghana. How did it 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 city of Accra and proclaimed:
“At long last, the battle has ended; and Ghana our beloved country is free of charge for ever.”
The visionary Nkrumah then produced a seemingly harmless statement which turned out to create him the African man of the twentieth century. He declared, “The Independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is actually linked with the entire liberation from the African Continent.”
Yes, it is essential to tell the real story of the Independence of Ghana in order that our kids, their children, and their children’s children will know just how Ghana became a nation of “Freedom and Justice.” During 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 of the 16 countries were clamped inside the jaws of Colonialism. In terms of South Africa, she was deep inside the throat of any hateful and horrible creature called “Apartheid.”
Ghana’s independence had not been granted to the forefathers on a silver platter. In other words, our forefathers did not eat with their fill, drink, booze and went to bed and started snoring then someone went and called them to have their independence. Not at all! In fact, the independence struggle did not start on the 6th March 1957 when that celebrated proclamation was developed.
If Osagyefo Dr Nkrumah talked from the end of any battle, we must ask ourselves what kind of any battle he was alluding to. Again, it must be borne in mind which it was not only Dr Nkrumah who single-handedly fought for Ghana’s independence. But he was the locomotive or the vanguard indeed! It is actually therefore imperative that any time we celebrate the independence anniversary with this blessed land called Ghana, other incredibly important national heroes has to be accorded the recognition they deserve.
For instance, homage must be paid to war veterans like Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and Private Odartey Lamptey who have been gunned down like common criminals on 28 February, 1948 at the Christiansburg, Accra. What crime did they commit? These people were only likely to present a petition to the Colonial Governor from the Gold Coast. These people were only fighting for their 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 your legendary BIG SIX to choose 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 throughout the country; were they armed robbers? These are some of the greatest national heroes we must pay homage to if we celebrate the independence anniversary of Ghana. For this reason our National Pledge reminds us in part: “…I promise to hold in high esteem, our heritage won for people from the blood and toil in our fathers; I pledge myself in all points to uphold and defend the good name of Ghana.”
Today, since we celebrate the 52nd Anniversary of Ghana on the theme: “Unity and Peace: Pillars for National Development,” minimal that we can do would be to renew the promise and the pledge to our father and mother Ghana.
Apart from the historical and political significance from the independence, what can one say concerning the economic achievements of Ghana since independence? Even the political journey in the nation since independence is not all rosy at all. For the uncountable military coup d’états of the 60s, 70s and early 80s had dealt some deadly blows to democratic governance of the nation.
Fortunately, however, considering that the coming into being in the fourth Republican Constitution of 1992, which was ushered in by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on January 7, 1993, Ghana has been enjoying change of government through democratic elections rather than military coup d’états. This trend of affairs is commendable.
Just last year, 2008, the first time in her own 52 many years of nationhood, Ghana scored high democratic marks among nations in Africa once the New Patriotic Party (NPP) another democratically elected Government successfully completed its constitutionally mandated term of eight years and handed over to NDC again. The beauty of this culture of “moko aya ne moko aba”( let someone opt for somebody to come)is progressive for your growth of Ghana.
It is actually against this backdrop the theme for this year’s anniversary celebration “Unity and Peace: Pillars for National Development” is best suited. It is actually common knowledge that without peace and unity, no meaningful development can take place, not only at 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 the just-ended peaceful general elections.
Now that the elections have ended, you have the need for the country to place all political games behind it and focus on national development agenda in unity. First, the leadership from the nation itself should be seen to be curious about peace and unity for national development. Selfishness, partisanship, greed and corruption must be reduced to the barest minimum if not eradicated entirely.
There can not be peace and unity if political leaders are seen to be interested in their very own welfare to the neglect of a lot of the people who elected them into office. The current hullaballoo about proposed ex-gratia awards for ex-Presidents, Individuals Parliament as well as other public holders is a typical demonstration of how political leadership can create disunity and disharmony among the populace leading to agitation and unrest rather than unity and peace for national development. It is gratifying to note that H.E. President J.E.A.Mills is making efforts to make use of constitutional means to review the whole saga of ex-gratia awards. If this sounds like not done you will see no peace and unity and there will be no national development.
Ghana is not an inadequate country by nature. It really is common place that Ghana is certainly a blessed land endowed with all types of resources including gold, diamond, bauxite, cocoa, timber, arable land, rivers, good rain fall patterns and abundant sun shine all year long. But Ghana is endemic with poverty. After 52 years of independence, if the nation’s natural resources was effectively and efficiently managed, should a Ghanaian child head to bed without having a meal? After 52 years of independence, should any Ghanaian child be denied basic education? Something might go amiss!
Besides natural resources, Ghana is equally endowed with human resources. She actually is blessed with some of the best brains in Africa otherwise in the world. One can cite the immediate past UN Secretary-General Busumuru Kofi Annan yet others in international bodies to symbolise a persons resource base of the nation. These are generally just a few main reasons why Ghana could have done much better than she did to date after 52 numerous years of nationhood with regards to socio-economic, political and cultural prosperity.
Now one can speculate which a solid foundation has been laid for your economic take-off of the nation across board. Various sectors of the economy including Agriculture, Education, Health, Transportation, Communications, Investment, Tourism, Foreign Policies, Sports as well as others are most often in a better shape today than they were before independence. For example, the Capitation Grant, National Medical Insurance Scheme and the School Feeding Programme and have created chance of some school-going children to stay in school and stay given one or more meal a day free of charge. The newest government can improve upon what exactly is in place for national development.
The National Medical Insurance Scheme has arrived to remain, but 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 from the Government of Ghana Portal. Ghana has a comprehensive ICT Policy already in place. The National Portal has to be revamped to make it an actual electronic gateway inside the true sense E-Government.
The prior Government started establishing what is referred to as Community Information Centres (CICs) in all the 230 electoral constituencies through the country. This is a viable strategy that concretely makes sure that ICTs are taken nearer to rural people who are in majority in the united states. It is hoped the brand new administration will 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 mention but several.