According to world bank group, aids from donor countries to developing countries has over the years support that country develop their natural resources ,facilitate industrialization and job creations and also improve the quality of life. In view of that, experts says donor supports makes it difficult to address their critical needs. The 61 years old Ghana was born independently above all black countries, capable of managing his own affairs, uniting and fighting for the total liberation of the African continent. The slogan for All African People conference held in Accra in December 1958 was “Hands off Africa”. The conference held in Accra under the presidency of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was a wayward on how to achieve continental freedom, achieving independence with no violence in all endeavors. Today due to the movement of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and other African Leaders, the continent is totally free and united as one family giving rise to ECOWAS, AU and other organization bodies. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah speaking in Addis Ababa in 1963 said “Independence is only the prelude to a new and more involved struggle for the right to conduct our own economic and social affairs to construct our society according to our aspirations, unhampered by crushing and humiliating neo-colonialist controls and interference”. Nkrumah believed in independent Africa and the unity of its countries, because the African continent with all its resources would have been the greatest continent ever on our planet. But due to diverse political views and corruption, nepotism, power a “continent of greatness” has become a “continent of poverty”. There is no time to waste as a country. We must strive to put Ghana beyond Aid now or perished. Bawumia said and I quote “Ghana beyond Aid means mobilizing and leveraging domestic savings and revenue transparently to expand financial inclusions with credit services and saving system for all especially women and financing through local capital market in local government”. I strongly believe Ghana has the resources to put itself beyond Aid. It was colonialism in the first place that prevented us from accumulating the effective capital but today we ourselves have failed to make full use of our power in independence to mobilize our resources for the most effective takeoff into thorough-going economic and social development. We cannot afford to pace our needs, our development to the gait of donor countries. A Ghana beyond Aid defined by His Excellency Nana Akuffo Addo is a prosperous and self – confident Ghana that is in charge of her economic destiny, a transformed Ghana that is prosperous enough to be beyond needing aid and that engages competitively with the rest of the world through trade and investment. Moving Ghana beyond Aid means ensuring that future generations of Ghanaians have a healthier environment to inherit. Ghana is now in her pension age but today the she is still striving hard enough to elevate itself from poverty to middle level income. Surely, we can afford to continually depend on donor countries for aid in order to execute our core policies. This cannot continue because if the policies of the donor countries change then the countries economic growth is also affected. Ghana Beyond aid is achievable because anything you dream of can be achieved but sometimes it takes courage and bold steps to get there. I have therefore highlighted important facts below for Ghana to put herself beyond aid
Building Accessible and Quality Education Reform
“Ghana is endowed with a good education system” a statement made by BBC news Monitoring Department. The development of a country depends on how well the citizens are educated. Ghana aims to reach the middle-income country status by the year 2020. Therefore the country has developed a road map called VISION 2020. The vision 2020 contains an education policy with objectives to ensure all citizens regardless of gender or social status, are functionally literate and productive at the minimum. To achieve this primary purpose, the education system must embrace science and technology as it is the technological era and countries that fail to recognize this will not be able to escape the clutches of poverty. From 1961 – 1966, the vision of the country was education for accelerated development. The government of Ghana at that time saw in education the key to social and economic development. At the time of independence, Ghana had an articulated plan of how education was going to support the efforts to become a prosperous economy.
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah outlined his government vision which had education centered to contribute to the country’s economy to the legislative Assembly in 1957. Nkrumah’s development on education was to achieve three goals namely;
First as a tool for producing a scientifically literate population, Secondly tackling environmental causes of low productivity and thirdly produce knowledge to harness Ghana’s economic potential. Nkrumah being so pessimistic about the country’s future said “We must seek an African view to the problems of Africa. This does not mean that western techniques and methods are not applicable to Africa. It does mean, however that in Ghana we must look at every problem from the African point of view. Our whole education must be geared to producing a scientifically-technically mined people. Because of the limitations placed on us we have to produce of necessity a higher standard of technical education than is necessary in most advanced countries of the Western world. I believe that one of the most important services which Ghana can perform for Africa is to devise a system of education based at its university level on concrete studies of the problem of the tropical world. The University will be the coordinating body for education research and we hope that it will eventually be associated with Research Institutions dealing with agriculture, biology and the physical and chemical sciences which we hope to establish. Today in a country of five million people, half a million children enjoy primary education. We must however provide further outlets for these children and give them an opportunity to learn something of engineering, tropical agriculture and of the problems of tropical medicine and hygiene. Only with a population so educated can we hope to face the tremendous problems which confront any country attempting to rouse the standard of life in a tropical zone.”
Through his speech have some important facts that would have shaped the newly independent Ghana. He had determination that education would advance the economic growth of Ghana. Scientific Technology can also accelerate economic growth with vocational and technical as a key to accelerate economic growth. Introduction of teacher’s welfare as an investment portfolio to promote quality primary education. Nkrumah’s plan for education must seem ambitious but closer examinations shows that they were informed by a realistic assessment of resource constraints. Education Act 1961 which articulates the vision of education and structures for delivering its goals. Some few years ago, Ghana’s education system was described as one of the most respected in Africa with statics of 8144 primary schools, 2277 middle schools, 105 Secondary schools, 83 teacher training school, 11 technical school and 3 Universities by 1966. But what about now?
Ghana beyond aid is possible and achievable only if we can enforce the 1961 education reforms draft out by Nkrumah. And also setting up a committee to analyze the document and bring out a better solution to curb our failing education system. We must educate people to think about the challenging problems of our environment and have them apply their knowledge and abilities at solving the problems in the country. Stronger vocational and technical education must be embarked to achieve VISION 2020.Advancements and good branding of our vocational and technical institution to drive the interest of students to partake in technical courses across the country. Sixty – one years after independence but Ghana’s education has brought more harm than good, now we must be realistic about improving the quality of education, teachers work and living conditions as well. I vote the education Act in 1961 as the key to advance our education system to contribute to Ghana beyond Aid agenda.
Implementing the Seven-year development plan of 1964
A night before May Day, 1963 Dr. Nkrumah spoke about some of the things we can do to help our young men and women to make full use of the opportunities available to them, thus prepare them for the future. The plan was to indeed transform Ghana into a modern, industrial state. The seven-year development plan provide the blueprint for the future progress and development of Ghana thereby revolute our agricultural and industrial sector. It provided the basis not only of our national progress and prosperity but ability to contribute to the advancement of the African continent. Our aim is to establish in Ghana a strong and progressive society in which no one will have any anxiety about the basic means of life, work, food and shelter and where poverty and illiteracy no longer exist and diseases is brought under control and where our educational facilities provide all the children of Ghana with the best possible opportunities for their development of their potentials. The plan was to build in Ghana a socialist state which accepts full responsibility for promoting the well-being of the masses. It’s always not too late to do the right thing. Ghana at this state must realized the relevance of the seven year development plan and its contribution to the development of the county’s economy.
We must be responsible for our own actions
A 61 years old Ghana has gone too far to let others manage her affairs whilst she sits aside and watch. The Nkrumah Ghana is capable of managing her own affairs as he says “A black man is capable of managing his own affairs”. What has gone wrong, a country who sits down for IMF to detect to her what is good for her nation. How can we sit down ideal thinking like we can’t for others to take responsibility of our own actions? The recent 3 year loan agreement concluded between the Government of Ghana and the International Monetary Fund contains agreement to freeze employments in government departments except for those under education and health. Therefore raising unemployment rate to 5.77%.
Implementing the various modules of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) respectively. The working force of a country is mainly its youth. Ghana my motherland has a young age structure with approximately 57% of the population under the age of 25 years. Ghana’s youth dependency ratio is 67.1 whiles the total dependency ratio is 73. The YEA established under the Youth Employment Act 2015 was to empower our young people to contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic and sustainable development of the nation and supporting the youth between the ages of 15 to 35 years through skills training and internship modules to transit from a situation of unemployment to that of employment. In the year 2011, BBC ranked YEA as the best youth employment programme in Africa. Currently, there are about ten modules namely; Industrial Attachment, Information Communication Technology, Agriculture and Afforestation, Sanitation and Coastal Assistants, Trades and Vocation, Entrepreneurship and Apparel and Textiles. To achieve Ghana Beyond Aid through YEA , we must realized that Ghana from birth has been in the agriculture age and therefore more labor force is needed in the agricultural sector to add value to our products thereby increasing productivity.
Being Pessimistic About the Future.
Nkrumah was a pessimistic leader with great insight about the countries future. Nkrumah in most of his speech is classified to be a definite pessimist. A definite pessimist believes the future can be known but since it will be bleak, he must prepare for it. Perhaps surprisingly, China is the most definitely pessimistic place in the world today. When Ghana see the Chinese economy grow ferociously fast, we project a confident country mastering its future. But this is because Ghana lacks focus and we project the future with no corrective measures. From China’s viewpoint, economic growth cannot come fast enough. China is growing so fast because its starting base is low. The easiest way for Ghana to grow is to relentlessly copy what has worked in the West. Every class of people in Ghana do not take the future seriously due to our mindset of “God will provide”
But what is all this advancement, if we do not support and sustain it with a strong moral and spiritual foundation. If we combine moral degeneration with technological and scientific progress then Ghana will surely fail. This of course has been a lesson of history. Look at the temperament, attitude towards work, honesty and integrity of the men and women of any country and you have a good indication how low or high is the moral and spiritual quality of the nation. We as a nation promise on our honor to be faithful and loyal to Ghana, to serve her with all our hearts; and in all things uphold Ghana’s good name. So help we God.
By David Adjei
God is my helper