EDITORIAL: Protecting Our Heritage
7/24/2012 3:30:30 PM -
It is good to have open arms to accept neighbours into your home, especially when such neighbours are in distress.
From time immemorial, Ghana has served as a safe haven for many foreigners within our sub-region. Today, in fulfilment of its claim as the gateway to West Africa, Ghana receives people from all parts of the world who are in need of investment opportunities.
Indeed, 20 years of democratic governance has nurtured an environment of peace and stability, thereby positioning Ghana as an attractive destination for foreign direct investment.
But, sometimes, the Ghanaian hospitality has been taken for granted by our visitors who abuse their welcome by getting involved in all kinds of prohibited activities.
Recently, local retailers staged street protests to draw the attention of the government to the virtual take-over of the retail trade by foreigners, especially the Chinese.
At a time when the world had become a global village, it is untenable for any country to practise a closed-system policy. There are, however, exceptions, since even the so-called advanced economies do not promote unfettered liberalisation. They have reserved strategic investment opportunities solely for their citizens.
The Daily Graphic is, therefore, at a loss as to why Ghana has opened its doors so wide that anybody on the globe is allowed to engage in petty trading here when our laws do not allow such activities.
The Dagombas have a saying that when a handshake extends beyond the elbow, then it becomes something else, perhaps a wrestling encounter.
It appears that some of our foreign visitors have outlived their welcome to become a nuisance to the Ghanaian hospitality and the economic health of our country.
It is about time the government acted, and swiftly so, to get citizens of other countries who are flouting our laws to live within our norms and values.
The Daily Graphic is aware of the sensibilities that this move is likely to evoke because of the exigencies of diplomatic tenets and norms, but we must know the policies and programmes that promote our national interest and that of the citizens.
Anything to the contrary is objectionable and must be confined to the back burner.
No foreign national’s interest can override that of Ghanaians, no matter how well-meaning and benevolent the country from where these citizens come may be.
The Daily Graphic endorses the call by the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana to the leadership of the country to tackle the issue of galamsey with the needed urgency in order to save the future of the country.
According to him, Ghana had been invaded and was being raped of its resources but what was sad was that nobody, including the national leadership, chiefs, among others, seemed to care about what was going on.
Sadly, as this group of foreigners rape our national resources with diplomatic contempt, our authorities, including the security agencies, look on in helpless amazement.
The Daily Graphic calls on men of conviction and conscience to continue to impact on national dialogue, policies and programmes to such an extent that they can “incite” our governments and public officials to protect the heritage of our country for the present and future generations.
We have always insisted that the country risks sacrificing sustainable development for the needs of the present generation if we do not apply the brakes on the way we are exploiting the country’s resources to the extent of allowing foreigners to engage in the destructive galamsey business.