02.03.2024 Feature Article

Celebrating Ghana: A Reflection on Cultural Identity and Sovereignty

People holding the flag of Ghana.People holding the flag of Ghana.
02.03.2024 LISTEN

It is very heartwarming to see that when some misguided young people express disappointment at a movie in Ga language, the majority of people responding to them and calling them to order are not even Ga or Dangbe people whose language the movie was recorded in.

Seeing all the media houses competing on who represents Ghana better from the very first day of March, a month considered Ghana month, is yet again another sign of progress. That schools are flexible in the use of the mother tongue, contrary to the frown on it in the name of vanecular, is a sign that we are making progress in loving our identity.

I was particularly proud when I visited Kwame Nkrumah Mausuleom to see the large number of schoolchildren of different levels trooping in there to learn about our history. I was even prouder when the receptionist told me they are fully booked for the month of March and that it will take consideration to fix a date for my school.

Coincidentally, this is the month in which we expect the President to assent to the anti-LGBTQ bill so it becomes law. What is usually presented to us as a matter of human rights is, in fact, an aimless political ideology. Why on earth should a human being's identity and personality be defined by his or her sexuality? Why must there be a movement to introduce children to LGBTQ as an acceptable behaviour? Do straight people form movements to teach children what it means to be straight and love women? Why are the United States and its European allies fixated on this agenda to the extent of threatening economic sanctions?

I will be particularly proud and very happy to see the United States sanction us. I hope the United States will be bold enough to make the sanctions as thorough as possible. That will mean preventing our politicians from visiting their countries not only for holidays but also for health care and for their wives to deliver their babies. We hope it will include preventing politicians from having bank accounts in their country and returning every dollar the Ghanaian politician has in their banks back to us. I also hope that it means they will relinquish the use of the airport terminal we have given them free access to and that they will withdraw all their military bases here. I also hope that any sanction by the US will include withdrawing American businesses, including KFCs, from our country so we can actually eat our delicious local dishes. It is my hope that any sanction will include withdrawal from influencing our education, foreign, and public health policies. If the US government is serious about sanctions, it should be thorough, and if it is thorough, that indeed will signal our first bold step towards self-reliance. As Nkrumah said, "We cannot be independent of others and at the same time rely on them for the power we need to survive."

We must learn to survive by ourselves. We have been to the IMF 17 times. The IMF has always had the same solutions to our problems. They tell us to prove to them that we are capable of paying our debts, and in our bid to do that, we overtax our economy into a coma and squeeze every penny out of the citizens. By doing so, we make it extremely difficult to save and build capital. When people are unable to build capital, they can't invest, and so there are no local businesses to create jobs and ensure the money stays here. Foreign companies take advantage. They put their money here, harvest everything, and take the money back to their country. Our Cedi then suffers. Because we don't have money here, we borrow for everything, including consumption, and in the end, we go back to the IMF when we are stuck. So our economy is not for the people. When the economy is good, it has no positive impact on the people, but when it is bad, the people suffer.

The recent emergence of BRICS nations is seeing a gradual tilt from the US dollar hergimony. Ghana should be doing business with anyone, whether Western or BRICS, with our superior interest and our sovereignty in mind and nothing else. Any country that cannot respect our sovereignty and that will have its embassy write letters as if we are a state in that country or a colony of theirs should not be entertained.

We are Ghana; it must mean something.