Statement of the Socialist Forum of Ghana commemorating the 52 anniversary of Ghana’s Republic.
REPUBLIC DAY STATEMENT
On July 1, 2012, Ghana will mark its 52nd anniversary of achieving Republican status and thereby freeing itself from the remnants of the shackles of British colonialism. In celebrating this day, the Socialist Forum of Ghana recalls a statement made by Ghana's founding President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah more than 50 years ago. He said; “They the colonialists were like robbers taking what does not belong to them. They have partitioned the continent and turned the natural owners of the land into slaves and servants. This state of affairs must end!
It is indeed a matter of deep concern that 52 years after attainment of Republican Status, this state of affairs Nkrumah so eloquently describes continues to persist not just in Ghana but throughout Africa. The resources of Ghana and Africa continue to be exploited not for the benefit of the African masses but to shore up the profits of multi- national corporations of the West.
Ghana now gets less than 5 per cent of the total value of gold exported and its share holding interest in a number of major mines is less than 3 per cent. Ghana also has only a carried interest of 10 per cent in on-going crude oil extraction ventures.
Over the last 30 years, Ghana has privatized more than 400 of its state owned production units under the marching orders of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. These privatizations have occurred for purely doctrinaire reasons and have led to a massive transfer of vital state resources into hostile foreign hands. It is also instructive that many of the privatized entities have collapsed and created conditions for Ghana to become even more dependant on imports.
Today, we import grains, tubers and fish to feed our ever growing population and even simple personal and household items like handkerchiefs, underwears, stoves and fridges are all imported.
In our view the rising unemployment and the general worsening of the economic conditions of the working people is the direct result of under production and the very low levels of productivity in the national economy.
Instead of addressing the fundamental problems which confront the working people of Ghana and Africa, the SFG notes that the African ruling elite is embarking upon another suicidal enterprise of entering into an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union.
We fully endorse the views of the Third World Network stated in its policy brief on the EPA and note that with regards to trade in goods, the interim agreement commits Ghana to eliminate tariffs on 80 per cent of goods imported from the European Union. In view of the fact that 40 percent of all of Ghana's imports come from Europe, the signing and enforcement of this agreement will substantially reduce the level of government revenue from import duties with far reaching consequences for the national budget and resource allocation. In addition the agreement will lead to the collapse of domestic infant industries which cannot withstand competition with heavily subsidized imports from Europe. This will also lead to significant job losses.
On the occasion of the anniversary of the declaration of Ghana as a Republic, the SFG calls on all progressive forces to oppose the Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU and to rally around the call to take back African resources for the benefit of the African people.
We dare not fail in this heroic task of liberating our people from the clutches of neo-colonialism because our very survival depends on it.
We salute Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah and the Founding Fathers of Ghana on this historic occasion.
Kwesi Pratt, Jnr.