06.05.2021 Feature Article

My preliminary take on Uncle Sam Jonah's (KBE), speech

My preliminary take on Uncle Sam Jonah's (KBE), speech
LISTEN MAY 6, 2021

The day l read Uncle Sam Jonah's (KBE) speech, l was not necessarily moved, because he was doing what is either real or quasi-real - repeating what is known or perceptively known, or exaggerating what we know. Nevertheless, as Uncle Jonah is a business mogul, I was also interested in reading his tried wits in providing real and rare answers to Ghana's challenges.

Obviously, for many reasons including partisanship, Uncle Sam Jonah's speech circulated with the speed of light across social media and mainstream media. There were key issues that he emphasised in his flowery speech. He reminded, not revealed, to us of the long journey ahead of us - as we run a treadmill race against underdevelopment.

However, since these days, we have all mastered the art of identifying challenges and offering knee-jerk responses, l wanted more of Uncle Sam Jonah's sagacity.

Since Uncle Sam Jonah did not entirely convince me of his solutions to Ghana's challenges, l decided to cross-check how much transformation he has brought to the University of Cape Coast (UCC), my alma mater.

Since Uncle Jonah has been the chancellor of the UCC, for years, l was wondering how he has helped manage the university - a microscopic representation of Ghana.

As far as l know, the UCC has a long way to go, just like what he said about Ghana. While l am not oblivious of the politics of university ranking, my own UCC has hardly appeared on the international ranking index.

Given that the UCC also deserves better, what are we not doing right with the university's administration? Do we have enough teaching and learning materials, including a science laboratory that matches the global, iconic status of Uncle Sam Jonah?

Do we have relatively cheap and adequate accommodation for students? What about a regular supply of clean water for the university? And lest l forget, what about efficient school administration? If these are a tall list for Uncle Jonah, is the management of Ghana not equally dependent on the machination of global politics - world system theory?

Meanwhile, the University of Ghana and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology keep popping up on international rankings - with much to show the world.

If it is so difficult to lift Ghana from ground zero to the international stage, what about the UCC?

Perhaps, l am asking too much of Uncle Sam Jonah. But my point is simply that: leadership anywhere must be visibly impactful everywhere. Otherwise, we are all talking and indeed talking we are talking. So long us "talk is cheap", to reference Kwagyir Aggrey, let us keep talking.

Nevertheless, if we want a real impact with our talk, let us all help build Ghana. How much am l prepared to sacrifice to push Ama Ghana? Am l corrupt? Do l do in my own space what l accuse politicians of?

If the politicians are putatively failing us, we must all rescue the country.

Anyways, l hear Uncle Sam Jonah KBE successfully transformed the mining industry in Ghana - l may be wrong with what l heard, though.


Prempeh Charles ([email protected]), African University College of Communications, Accra

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