19.01.2012 Opinions

Time Is Running Out

19.01.2012 LISTEN
By Salia Mildred Songsore

Ghana is such a great country that I would never wish to be a citizen of anywhere else. There is abounding peace, democracy, no intimidation of any sort and the land is rich in minerals. These are only but a few among a lot of other things such as the numerous problems we face.

These are really problems which I acknowledge because they are too great to ignore. Issues like unemployment, which is a recognized convention in Africa, extreme poverty and hunger, poor health care, lack of basic educational facilities among other things which include the new found trade in insults among politicians, the abuse of democracy so the citizenry can speak to the leaders in disrespectful fashion, impunity , certain unfavorable trade policies and others.

The problems seem endless and I wonder if they will ever be solved someday. They seem to rock the nation like a boat leaving those who are neck deep into them devastatingly hopeless.

Another big problem which I see is the huge divide between the north and south in terms of development and the hub of the economy. Both go in favor of the south. I remember some of my mates asking me whether I am Ghanaian after mentioning that I come from the north while others seriously asked me if there are any Senior High Schools in the north much to my disbelief. Some actually prefer southern schools because of their prejudice about the north as a place with little or no urbanization. The harsh weather conditions may count as well.

It is really surprising the difference one sees. It sets me thinking: over fifty years down the lane and we still face the problem of 'geographic and economic inequality'. How many more years will we need to take to bridge the gap? Now that these two phases of challenges have been mentioned I can confidently say we are in a seemingly bottomless pit of challenges.

As the issue of time has been aforementioned, I will go straight to the point now. The time given to the Government of Ghana to solve problems of extreme poverty and hunger, health and education is fast elapsing. The Millennium Development Goals which the UN mandated all member states to reach by 2015 include eradication of hunger, basic health care to all, and the access to basic education by all among five others. Some policies have been put in place to reach these goals like the FCUBE and NHIS. These are to some extent good as some Ghanaians do not have the money to register for the health insurance while there are limited educational facilities in the rural areas like a decent infrastructure to learn in—rather they make do with what nature has bestowed—they sit under trees instead. Classes are frequently disrupted during the rainy season.

The deadline given is fast approaching. The incumbent policies are not eradicating the problems as they should. They need to be effectively carried out. We need to see the conscious efforts put in. We are tired of hearing about the plans. I respect the SADA mechanism which can help solve the problem of development in the north. But what kind of hope does a program which has used two years in putting the administrative structure alone in place possibly give? This surely gives me the idea that it will take at least ten years before we can anticipate enjoying first fruits.

This is the time work needs to be done to put finishing touches in place before 2015. Unfortunately the government does not seem to be keen on finishing up. It is either they do not realize how near the time is or they simply do not care. Rather what they are doing today is busily spreading false propaganda against their own and dividing themselves up in the process while trying to secure another four years in office. It is undoubted that the governance of the nation is secondary.

We are in a fast paced world. Whether or not we accept it we are on the fast lane but in a slow car that is outdated and needs changing. We must move in the pace of others. We have to struggle to keep up or we suffer. Once again we need to see the conscious efforts in overcoming the challenges. Time is running out.

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