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16.03.2007 Feature Article


Alas, after all the paranoia, reservations, raising of eyebrows, attempts at addressing questions and issues raised, the pomp and pageantry, the climax of the Ghana @ 50 celebrations is over. Mind you, I said the climax, not the entire celebrations, because it is expected to be a year-long programme.

The parade was colourful and eventful. The President's address was all-encompassing and cross-cutting. The enthusiasm and participation of every citizen is also noteworthy.

While most Ghanaians felt the day was above politics and joined in the festivities, there were others like the former president Rawlings who distanced themselves from this all-unifying encounter. There were influx of foreign dignitaries, including about twelve (12) or more African heads of state, Jesse Jackson, the Duke of Kent and Paul Wolfowitz of the World Bank.

The Ghana @ 50 celebrations has brought to light the need to really empower the organs of state to work independently and without fear. It is about time the various arms of government, especially the legislature, asserted their independence of the executive. Blanket approval or disapproval of executive decisions and requests along partisan considerations should be a thing of the past.

It is also about time we sustained the unity of purpose with which the event was celebrated. The representation of almost all the political groupings in the country at the parade grounds is very commendable and Oliver will always ask for more.

It is my anticipation that the next 50 years ahead will bring in its wake much more stability and uninterrupted governance. After a chequered independent history, punctuated by a spate of military takeovers, Ghana stands as one of Africa's most respected democracies- an enviable status in a region racked by coups and wars.

Ghanaians living in the Diaspora are also expected to extend their expertise and capital towards building the nation. In return, they should also not be deprived of their right to participate in decision making, especially voting.

Ghana, @ 1957, was the epitome of “the wind of change” that blew across Africa, its independence being a catalyst for the liberation of other African states. No wonder it is presently chairing the African Union. It is expected and hoped that as we are already doing, we shall continue to spearhead the struggle for economic emancipation of Africa. Our political independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with our total liberation from economic and attitudinal shackles and challenges.

We should eschew nepotism, tribal and petty politics as well as all other negative attitudes and vices which have the propensity to draw us backwards. I will agree with President Kufuor that “as we celebrate, we must not become complacent but keep on striving towards achieving excellence... Let us therefore approach the next fifty years with clarity of vision and sustained rational steps and never forgetting our difficult past on this.”


This author has authored 22 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KOBLANUVIADENU

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