For the past week, many a patriotic Ghanaian and by large, African, are having sleepless nights thinking about the Chinese foothold into the cocoa market.
Our worry is not only centered on the Asian giant rivalling our precious premium cocoa bean on the international market, or their illegal mining activities on our shores contributing to the destruction of rainforests, cutting down cocoa trees, and releasing indestructible mercury into the land to have its deposits in the priced commodity; making it a candidate for rejection by the European market.
Our main worry is about the way and manner they've added technology to their farming of the product (cocoa), which we've seen traditionally Ghanaian/African, and it's the mainstay of our economy.
A video circulating online shows the Chinese cocoa farmers having something like a tractor which passing through the farm do collects the harvested ripe pods, peel and sort out the cocoa beans for drying. Something which takes human labour for tedious hours here in Africa before we reach what the Chinese do within a minute.
They didn't just enter the cocoa market to add to the numbers. Ghana and Côte D'Ivoire since the days of my great-granduncle, Kwame Aponkye, have been at the top of cocoa production in the world, farmers using the same obsolete tools, sleeping in huts, and sharing drinking water with animals on the farm.
Those farmers mostly illiterates, do send their children to schools hoping to change things for the better upon graduation. But what they end up learning rather better than the lots of those we sell the beans to as a raw commodity.
African students are only taught to rote, read and memorise, write and pass exams, to be certified and continue the system that is palpable patronage by the West, cutting us in by the chocolate makers and all cocoa users.
*What at all are our schools teaching? Let me ask again.*
Today, we're in the mango season. Go and see how the fruits rot under the trees, from my native Goka, through Buni, and everywhere mango grows in Africa. Students and the citizenry alike, if not for commercial purposes, do not know traditional or scientific means to store and preserve the seasonal fruits for future usage?
That's not any concern for the current African heads. No.
The status quo needs a complete overhaul. Kwame Nkrumah in his _The Dark Days In Ghana_ mentioned how bad our education system was when he came to power at the dawn of independence, and the angst with which he was working to repair it until the doom of a coup that still hangs on the necks of our progress today ousted and hounded him to exile in Conakry.
The New Africa Movement I lead is angrier than probably Dr. Nkrumah was because, for the past sixty years, Ghana/Africa should have managed her own affairs in freedom from colonialism. But if after six decades we still can't add value to our raw commodities and sell it at a giveaway price in their crudest form, then we must rise up and retire the old system.
Let's build a new Ghana, a new Africa, a true Africa!
And that starts with overhauling and revamping our education system for the best.
Written by: Charles Yeboah (Sir Lord)
The Founder of The New Africa Movement.
Email: [email protected]