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 be 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 at 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 of charge for ever.”
The visionary Nkrumah then made a seemingly harmless statement which been found to create him the African man of the twentieth century. He declared, “The Independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it really is linked with the total liberation from the African Continent.”
Yes, it is essential to tell the real story in the Independence of Ghana in order that our youngsters, their kids, as well as their children’s children will know precisely how Ghana became a nation of “Freedom and Justice.” At the time Dr Nkrumah made that legendary declaration, no more than eight out of 53 countries in Africa knew what independence was. In West Africa, all of the 16 countries were clamped in the jaws of Colonialism. Regarding South Africa, she was deep within the throat of a hateful and horrible creature called “Apartheid.”
Ghana’s independence was not granted to the forefathers over a silver platter. In other words, our forefathers did not eat with their fill, drink, booze and went along to bed and started snoring then someone went and called them to have their independence. Not at all! In fact, the independence struggle failed to start on the 6th March 1957 when that celebrated proclamation was created.
If Osagyefo Dr Nkrumah talked from the end of the battle, we should ask ourselves what kind of any battle he was alluding to. Again, it must be borne in mind that 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 actually therefore imperative that any moment we celebrate the independence anniversary of this blessed land called Ghana, other equally important national heroes has to be accorded the recognition they deserve.
For example, homage should 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 in the Christiansburg, Accra. What crime did they commit? They were only going to present a petition to the Colonial Governor in the Gold Coast. These people were only fighting for their ex gratia awards when they was in war front for many years.
It was their blood that galvanised the momentum and served as catalyst for the legendary BIG SIX to choose the gold -the INDEPENDENCE. The BIG 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 whenever we celebrate the independence anniversary of Ghana. This is the reason our National Pledge reminds us partly: “…I promise to hold in high esteem, our heritage won for people from the blood and toil in our fathers; I pledge myself in most items to uphold and defend the best name of Ghana.”
Today, while we celebrate the 52nd Anniversary of Ghana on the theme: “Unity and Peace: Pillars for National Development,” the least we can do would be to renew the promise and also the pledge to the father and mother Ghana.
Apart from the historical and political significance in the independence, what can one say about the economic achievements of Ghana since independence? Even the political journey from the nation since independence is not all rosy at all. For your uncountable military coup d’états in the 60s, 70s and early 80s had dealt some deadly blows to democratic governance from the nation.
Fortunately, however, because the getting into being from the fourth Republican Constitution of 1992, that was 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, the first time in her 52 numerous 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 up to NDC again. The advantage of this culture of “moko aya ne moko aba”( let someone go for somebody to come)is progressive for your continuing development of Ghana.
It is against this backdrop that the theme with this year’s anniversary celebration “Unity and Peace: Pillars for National Development” is best suited. It really is common knowledge that without peace and unity, no meaningful development can take place, not just on the national level but in the District and Regional levels as well. This explains why the folks of Ghana must pat themselves on the back for that just-ended peaceful general elections.
Given that the elections have ended, there is the requirement for the nation to set all political games behind it while focusing on national development agenda in unity. First, the leadership in the nation itself must be seen to be curious about peace and unity for national development. Selfishness, partisanship, greed and corruption should be reduced to the barest minimum or even eradicated entirely.
There can not be peace and unity if political leaders are seen to be curious about their own welfare to the neglect of the majority of the people who elected them into office. The current hullaballoo about proposed ex-gratia awards for ex-Presidents, Members of Parliament and other public holders is really a typical demonstration 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 really is gratifying to note that H.E. President J.E.A.Mills is making efforts to make use of constitutional means to assess the whole saga of ex-gratia awards. If this sounds like not done there will be no peace and unity and you will see no national development.
Ghana will not be an inadequate country by nature. 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 throughout the year. And yet Ghana is endemic with poverty. After 52 many years of independence, in the event the nation’s natural resources had been effectively and efficiently managed, should a Ghanaian child visit bed with no meal? After 52 many 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 the best brains in Africa otherwise in the world. One can cite the immediate past UN Secretary-General Busumuru Kofi Annan and others in international bodies to symbolise the human resource base of the nation. These are generally just a couple of reasons why Ghana might have done a lot better than she did to date after 52 numerous years of nationhood in terms of socio-economic, political and cultural prosperity.
Now one can speculate that the solid foundation has become laid for that economic take-off the nation across board. Various sectors in the economy including Agriculture, Education, Health, Transportation, Communications, Investment, Tourism, Foreign Policies, Sports as well as others seem to be in a better shape today compared to what they were before independence. For instance, the Capitation Grant, National Health Insurance Scheme and also the School Feeding Programme and possess created chance of some school-going children to stay in school and stay given a minumum of one meal a day free of charge. The brand new government can improve upon precisely what is in place for national development.
The National Health Insurance Scheme has arrived to keep, 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 features a comprehensive ICT Policy already in place. The National Portal has to be revamped to make it a genuine electronic gateway in 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 entire country. This is a viable strategy that concretely makes sure that ICTs are taken nearer to rural individuals who are in majority in the nation. It is actually hoped the new administration continues using this project and kcifhh it better for national development. Again, the invention of oil in commercial quantity during the 50th anniversary celebration of Ghana was very opportune for this blessed nation, just to bring up but a couple of.