Ghana blazed the trail for decolonization and freedom across the continent by being the first sub-Saharan African country to attain independence from colonial rule on the 6th of March, 1957.
While this historic event is usually commemorated with military parades and pageantry, it must be a constant reminder of the sacrifices and valour of our freedom fighters and patriots of blessed memory who dedicated their lives to a just cause. It is also a wake-up call for Ghana's ruling elite to work towards achieving economic independence without which political independence is meaningless. These gallant pioneers succeeded with the first phase of the struggle for political emancipation but left behind the unfinished agenda which is economic independence.
The CPP and its founder, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah who led the country to independence, was unequivocal in one of his widely acclaimed speeches on the day of independence: ".... From now on today, we must change our attitude and minds. We must realize that we are no longer a colonial people."
As a nation, we have, no doubt achieved some successes but have also had some failures. Firstly, our economy is largely controlled by foreign interest. We have not been able to take control of our resources and transform the structure of our economy into the hands of Ghanaians and care of our sovereign state, after declaring 62 years ago that we are no longer a colonial people. The socialist foundation which was laid during the First Republic to industrialize Ghana and make her self-sufficient was destroyed after the counterrevolution in 1966 and replaced with the economy of our colonial masters; the free-market economy from which Ghana suffered and has since not recovered.
It is incredible that after over six decades of nationhood and with the abundance of resources at our disposal, many Ghanaians continue to live in abject poverty and are not in any gainful employment to fend for themselves and their families. The privileged and well-off minority, on the other hand, could display their wealth and flout the laws of the country with impunity. The law enforcement agencies handle this class of people with kid's gloves while the rest of the population is treated differently.
Secondly, since Ghana's educational system was a carryover from colonial times, the CPP government tailored its curricular development programme in a manner that would help Ghanaians acquire the requisite know-how and skills training for national development. Nkrumah's administration restructured and expanded educational facilities to the country's industrial needs and provided Ghanaians with opportunities and access to free education. It established an ideological institute to empower the youth and create in them an awareness towards a change of attitude and mindset to motherland, politics, religion, ideology, work, economy and corruption, etc. Nkrumah's government made remarkable progress in the economy by establishing several industries which were manned by Ghanaian technocrats and owned by them. But after 1966, successive military and civilian governments reversed all these initiatives. Most of the industries were sold to foreign investors. Our educational system was changed to copy the one our colonial masters have been practising, without recourse to the national interest. They did not focus their attention on the relevant curriculum necessary to improve the mindset of Ghanaians.
Hence, major challenges facing Ghana as we ponder over the 62nd anniversary of independence are not only about the poorly managed state of the economy and the plight of Ghanaians but lies also in the liberation of our dear country from the trap doors of neocolonialism. It is significant to liberate the minds of our people from cultural and spiritual enslavement, engendered by colonialism which till this day undermines our self-confidence and sense of values. As a nation, the inertia and failure of successive governments, after Nkrumah's administration to decolonize our mindset has affected us so much that we can hardly do anything for ourselves, except with the assistance and at the bidding of others.
While commemorating this historic event, let us be reminded of the unfinished agenda, the second and most important phase of the liberation struggle; the economic independence by which the role of the CPP is very crucial. Above all, let us be reminded that we are no longer a colonial people and that we should change our attitude and mindset. This change must start with Ghana's political leadership.
From Dr. rer. pol. Adolf Lutterodt Chairman, Committee for Party Education and Ideology. CPP
6. 3. 2019.