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Colonial policy cause of illiteracy and poverty in north

By GNA

Accra, April 29, GNA – Mr David Ofosu-Dorte, a lawyer, on Tuesday attributed the high rate of underdevelopment and illiteracy in the three northern regions to the colonial policy which sought to make the north the labour force of the whole country.

“During the colonial era, northerners and the northern region were designated to provide labour for all the activities that would take place in the south and due to that, education was the least of the priorities of the colonial masters as far as the north was concerned,” he explained.

Speaking at a forum organized by IMANI, a public awareness oriented organization, Mr Ofosu-Dorte, Managing Partner of AB David and Law, said due to this policy, only one secondary school was built for the whole of the three northern regions, which was at the time just one region.

He said this colonial policy was what had led to numerous “kayayei”, (female porters), on the streets of Accra and other areas because “an illiterate parent would likely not see the need to educate his child”.

Mr Ofosu-Dorte also blamed successive governments which also failed to address the issue after numerous promises on their campaign trails.

He condemned instances whereby inhabitants wanted indigenes to be given political appointments because it was believed that they would be more committed and would identify with the needs of the people.

Mr Ofosu-Dorte cited Colonel George Minyila and Mr Joshua Alabi as political leaders who made a lot of positive impact on the people that they served although they did not come from those areas.

He appealed to governments to continue with good policies started by their predecessors and also work towards changes in reports issued by government institutions.

“Comparing the 1959 Report on Local Government to the 1998 Auditor General’s Report, one could tell almost all the findings were the same (corruption and misappropriation of state funds) and not much had been done towards change,” Mr Ofosu-Dorte said.

He called on the media to come out with issues which were more development oriented for the benefit of the people and put a stop to false political stories which only heightened tensions.

Mr Ofosu-Dorte appealed to Ghanaians to avoid the Ghana Man Time (GMT) syndrome of not keeping to time and also not to confuse justice with vengeance.

GNA