26.12.2011 Feature Article


26.12.2011 LISTEN

Ghana, a country formally known as the Gold Coast endeared its heart to the rest of the world. Of all the forty-three forts and castles that was built in West Africa, thirty-three of them found their destination in the then Gold Coast now called Ghana. It is expedient to note that twenty-five of those forts and castles are still in good standing with Elimina, and Cape Coast Castles as well as Fort St. Jago recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage monuments. The Christianborg Castle which was built by the Danish in 1660 and with continous refurbishment houses the sitting president, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills in Osu.

Ghana has contributed its quota to the development needs of Africa and the world at large. As epitomy of democracy in Africa, Ghana has strategically positioned and painted an admirable portriat of itself in the eyes of foreign partners and investors as the destination in Africa. There is no denying the fact that Ghana is indeed the gateway to Africa. The first country in sub-saharan Africa to gain independence in 1957 just as the same time as Malaysia. But the question to ask is: Do we as a nation have our priorities right?

Barely fifty years done the line, we have seen very little as regards to the development of the country. The principles and tenets which we should be guided by have been washed down the drain. We now have a country where moral decadencies at home, in schools and at our workplace is on the ascendency. The codes and conducts that governs us have been ignored and forgotten. Instead of governments thinking of the welfare of the people that gave them the mandate, it rather the opposite.

Over fifty years of independence, what have we to show forth. Is it the dilapidated and outmoded instruments occuping floors of universities laboratories, congested wards with patients in our hospitals, clinics and psychiatric centers at Ankaful or Pantang or the Accra psychiatry or public officials embezzling and looting the state of taxi-payers money.

We as a nation have relegate research and development to the background. Our high institutes of learning and centers have become a dungeon wasting talents and depriving them from doing something meaningful with their lives. Tertiary institutions are under-resourced but we expect skyrocketing results. We keep doing the same thing expecting different result. That is an opulence display and affirmation of the law of insanity.

South Africa for instance spend over R5 billion (1 billion ghana cedis) annually on research and development hence they are the leading partners in the field of science, technology and innovation. Their universities are well equipped and their researches are tailored towards their development needs hence the expected results and booming economy. Students are admitted into universities and are left at the mercy of handout and test books, hence we graduate and has very little to offer. Our society and systems are only interested in celebrating titles and qualifications not the substance or problem solving prowess of the person. We enjoy paper-based examination forgetting that what we confront in reality demands the use intellectual prowess and potency coupled with sound reasoning which can only be gotten from creative thinking and critical brain power which does not come from mere paper-based examination.

I am not against paper-based examinations but too much emphasis have been placed on it hence its essence has lost potency and credibility. Science and technology innovation does not happen without research. Some of the best science has come from young scientists who are passionate, hardworking and determined to succeed. Ghana should be able to create some of these enabling environment for these young talents. Harnessing these talents will give the country the need logistics, armory and the technokrats the prowess to develop as a nation and move up the Human Development Index. We embrace ineptitude instead of developing our people to solve our own problems hence making the ghanaian child to believe that he or she has to imitate somebody to become the person he or she want to be. Hence they grow up living our peoples lives for them.

The society have not helped us and the time to change our attitudes and ways of doing things is now. From the moment we were born we learnt about the right and wrong ways of doing things in society. The time to make things right has come and I dont care what politicial divide you belong because at the end of the day, It is Ghana we all stand for not any political organization. Sycophants and selfish elements must be jettisoned from the midst of us for development. They have made themselves enemies of the state and hence must be treated with such a scorn. We can become really the gateway to Africa if we reorient ourselves on the need to invest where total investment is needed and urge our young gallant man and woman to dedicate their time, energy and resources to developing Ghana.

Lastly when a country relegate and confine its engineers, technologists, technicians and scientists to some lecture theatre, that country is on the verge of massive destruction and will be difficulty to resuscitate itself from doom to stardom. Development of science, technology and engineering is the dot that connect industrialization to booming economy and development not turning our research establishments and higher institute of learning to kindergaten schools making them parrots of reciting mathematical formulae, balancing "shit", dotting figures and reciting chemical formulae. That is not the way to go.

Our politicians should be advised to invest in the country and stop investing in countries outside because that is not the way to go. To develop we need our hands on board and they are no exception. A lot of people are making sacrifices and so they should also make same for speedy development and finally let us wake up from our self-induced coma and start with the desire, diligence, determination, disciplined wined with the spirit of patrotism to see our motherland give birth to the long awaited development.

Ghana, the land of my birth......
Long live the researchers of the land
Long live the Scientists and Engineers of the land
Long live the Professors and lecturers of the land
Long live all the Inhabitants of the land
Long live Ghana
Desmond Edem Fiawoyife

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