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18.05.2002 Feature Article

Something to think about

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The start that Nkrumah gave Ghana created the impression that he would have gone very far. Well, don't we have a saying in Fante that says: " s3 nsu boto a, mframa dzi kan." Impression is what keeps hope alive.

Nkrumah's understanding of economic theory may have been inadequate but he was able to provide education to the masses. I have heard a lot of Ghanaians admit that their parents could not have been able to provide them with secondary and tertiary education if Nkrumah's educational policy had not been in effect. After nearly 40 years of his overthrow, what do we have to say about the quality of education in Ghana today? Looks like the gulf between the educated and uneducated is widening today. What will that do for the future of Ghana and who do we have to blame? Nkrumah, I guess.

Nkrumah's understanding of economic theory may have been inadequate but we had uninterrupted electricity supply in 1966 (when he was overthrown). What do we have to say about our current energy situation in 2002? Right now in Accra, the power goes off and on like a yo-yo. What is that doing to the climate of business and to appliances like freezers/refrigerators, etc.? What is the impact on economic development? Nkrumah had an atomic energy policy going on at Kwabenya (a suburb of Accra), where is that project today? Maybe we were fearful of his intentions, but couldn't the effort have been re-channeled to alleviate our current energy crisis?

Nkrumah's understanding of economic theory may have been inadequate but we did not have to worry about the availability of water during his reign. I am sure you have all heard and read about water problems facing Ghanaians in the major cities today. Some residents of Adenta (in Accra) have not had water running in their pipes for the past 4-5 years. Those who can afford it buy water from tankers to supply their households and businesses. I guess Nkrumah had something to do with that too.

A friend of mine points out that the US Govt. created General Motors and quickly sold the shares to the public for management and control. Nkrumah's govt. also created industries like GIHOC, Ghana Airways, Black Star Line, etc., -- why didn't his successors (who supposedly have adequate and a better understanding of economic theories) sell the industries to the public for management and control? As a matter of fact, where are those industries today? Today, Ghana Airways is a laughing stock - I guess Nkrumah has something to do with that too.

Thank God Nkrumah was overthrown to stem some of his excesses and to save Ghana from ending up like Castro's Cuba or Sekou Toure's Guinea -- so are we to conclude, after nearly 40 years, that we are today not totally frustrated and crippled by the powers that be? Are we better off today (or worse off) than we were yesterday? Yes, we have every right to manage and/or mismanage our own affairs. I must say that we are doing a very good job of one of them! Whether Nkrumah would have remained a steadfast socialist or not is now history. At least I have the example of Rawlings coming in as a socialist but departing as a born again democratic capitalist.

Nkrumah said the black man could do anything. Kuffour says to the IMF and World Bank today that the we cannot do anything right and therefore we are HIPC. Let us pray for Kuffour to complete his 4/8 years in office with something good to say about what his administration did for our economy and our standard of living.

Bingo Brew-Hammond
Bingo Brew-Hammond, © 2002

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