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The Emergent Ghana

By Michael Brobbey

12/31/2004 -

I promise on my honour, to be faithful and loyal to Ghana, my motherland. I pledge myself to the service of Ghana, with all my strength and with all my heart.

I promise to hold in high esteem our heritage won for us, through the blood and toil of our fathers, and I pledge myself in all things to uphold and defend the good name of Ghana, so help me GOD.

There comes a time in the life of a people when issues will have to be revisited, assessed and refocused to realize the dream of the land. Shall we in unison, offer thanks to the Almighty God for sustaining us as a nation till date. We need be grateful for the peace we have enjoyed since our birth; we have to appreciate it more especially amidst all the turmoil around us in the sub-region. Then also let’s show gratitude to our forefathers, from the ruling class, through the academia to the peasant farmer; their invaluable services in various forms have kept us alive. We cannot fail to acknowledge the contribution of our sportsmen, artists and kings; these have helped keep our dreams alive in spite of all the hardships our people have suffered. God bless you for living and fulfilling your portion, indeed you served your generation.

There is the need for an emergent Ghana since the dreams of the majority of Ghanaians have become but a mirage. Since independence the literates into whose hands the country have been entrusted have faithfully failed the people. Greed and wickedness have been the characteristic of their reign. Education which was meant to improve the lot of all Ghanaians has on the contrary been used to exploit them. Many Ghanaians now pursue further education only to earn a fat purse but not to serve Ghanaians or humanity better. And it’s more painful when you know that these literates were educated with the proceeds from cocoa. I hope none gets me wrong, consider the rot in the country and answer me who made it so? We have never been ruled by illiterates in the sense that all of the institutions that make a nation develop or better-off, have been managed or headed by literates. The banks, educational institutions, hospitals, security services, social services and the like have since independence been headed by literates supposed to have the requisite knowledge. But what can we proudly write home about these heads if not the greed and selfishness with which they instituted schemes to enrich themselves and exploit the illiterate class. And look at the present state of our institutions.

It’s more painful as you travel outside and meet nationals of the developed countries in the classroom, ordinary students like any average Ghanaian student. Then we have to ask ourselves again, where did we get it wrong? One basic truth stands out, that it takes more than the “chew and pour class” (literates or intellectuals) to build a nation. School knowledge is helpful, but not all that is in appointing or nominating a leader. Neither is wisdom the chief thing since king Solomon in all his wisdom was also very oppressive (2 Chronicles 10:4).

A fair study of the history in the development of most countries evolved as nationals of all spectrum of society were respected and their contributions acknowledged. The ingenuity of the motor car and recently the internet will give us fair view. The academia helped in developing but they were not the initiators. Consequently the individuals were accorded the due respect. The first error on our part as a nation was when the literates began to look with suspicion everything an indigenous Ghanaian had initiated. Then also our academia refusing to see the wisdom in our local people and therefore not helping them to improve on their inventions. It’s unfortunate that it took such a long time for our physicians to acknowledge the potency of herbal medicine. Thanks to some present generation of leaders who have seen wisdom in our local people. It need be expedited as it is a potential source of foreign exchange earning, our professionals must help towards maximizing our share of the global market. Our professionals need be thought that as they faithfully commit themselves to the needs of the populace, they will be serving needs and consequently creating wealth. A careful consideration of the life of some of the men revered most today indicates they were chiefly occupied with some needs of their communities or humanity at large. I hope this shall provoke the academia to begin to liaise with Apostle Kwadwo Safo of Kristo Asafo towards nation building.

When solving the needs of our people becomes our preoccupation, it matters not who can be of help. We shall learn to work in teams, something really lacking among Ghanaians. Then also appropriately remunerating everyone based on the practical contribution and not laurels. One thing we have to acknowledge in our Emergent Ghana is the place of the various skills in production. These are namely the use of the mind, the use of the hand and the use of strength. In the past the other two arms of production i.e. use of the hand and use of strength have been underrated and exploited. These would not have to continue. This has been responsible for the recent polytechnics strike action.

We have to appreciate the place of each in production because each has a unique role in production and none can replace the other. The mind cannot do the work of the hand if skill is required; similarly the hand cannot do the work requiring strength, likewise when there is the need for the use of the mind, strength is meaningless. But as a team they deliver perfectly. However, because the mind has the power of decision making, it has invariably attached so much importance to its role. This has been to the detriment of the other two arms of production. And no tangible reason can be assigned to their supposed worth but greediness and selfishness. This is because amidst all they fix legally for themselves within the frame work of the power bequeathed to them, they are also corrupt. Can one end the roll call of past heads of government and institutions who have stolen from national coffers? Let’s not talk of those who have been found out but also those who through the magic of the pen escaped detection and prosecution.

In the Emergent Ghana we are not proposing that all skills need be rated the same but fairly and better than the existing ratio of the worth of the manager to the labourer. For the naïve in Ghana, most of our literate managing or ruling class live in accommodations provided by the government and some pay virtually nothing for rent. Further they use state run vehicles, fuelled and maintained by the Ghana government, vehicles which transport their families and work twenty-four hours on weekends. They do not consider all of the above as part of their salary, but as a benefit. Where is this done in the capitalist west? Then amidst all these, they relatively enjoy the fattest salaries in Ghana with unimaginable allowances like entertainment allowance. All of these the other arms of production do not enjoy. They have to pay for accommodation and transport, out of their meager salary. What is more exploitative than these?

NB: Lest I forget the Greenstreet report that allowed former president Rawlings to enrich himself with the fleet of cars at the end of his term of service is still in operation, will President Kufour give the nation a similar treat at the end of his term? This is what we have to rise up against, the established laws that exploit the Ghanaian.

To be continued.

Disclaimer: "The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article." © Michael Brobbey.