Ours is a give-away motherland. Some compatriots regret that. We cede to others everything that has the potential to lift us from low to high to deepen their prosperity while we continue to wallow in mediocrity. I thought the latest was PDS. Prior to that, there was Aqua Vitens. In our unusual rumour mongering, the airport was also said to have gone. It shouldn't; nothing of ours should go to anyone else but us.
We are experts in rumour mongering. Rumours dogged the colonial government making governors so happy. The one-way radio they introduced would keep mischief makers off air. Kwame Nkrumah did a whole dawn broadcast on it. NLC decreed in futility against it only to retract the decree-no-work. Blaa Kutu made his own attempt and failed to halt it. Shamefully, it is rife on radio when we should have shamed the colonialist by demonstrating that you can have a two-way radio without vile rumour contents.
Our give-away habit began the moment Don Diego d'Azambuja and Kwamena Ansa met in the Edina trade negotiation. See, we gave away Edina and adopted Elmina which the Portuguese concocted right before our eyes on our own soil. They didn't have to take that away to refine and export to us. Accra for Ga, Winneba for Simpa, Apam for Apaa, Mumford for Dwama, Saltpond for Akyemfo, Cape Coast for Oguaa – all littered along our littoral stretch. We would give anything we have away unprocessed and that continued seven good centuries on.
You see, once a top official of one of our state-owned concerns told me point blank that they had heard government was negotiating with a foreign concern to take over management of their organization. As workers, they had resolved it would not happen and that if it happened, they would ensure the foreign entity would not succeed in providing the efficient services expected of it. Good gracious! I exclaimed. I know of no nation that has succeeded with that Konongo Kaya; we won't do any good and we won't allow anyone else to do any good. Konongo Kaya; look there, not 'abrɔ ne bayie'. I have never heard abayifoɔ making noise to kill people slowly. Yet that is what the God-knowing prayer warriors are doing all over the motherland.
We know the worth of everything we give to others to prosper. We seem not to care about the consequences of the give-away as something that would come back to us at a higher price. I think much of it is that stupidity of selfishness. That 'emi meenya me dokon; so let everyone else go hungry, I couldn't care less' attitude. We do not use what we own to help ourselves. We have to give it to someone else to come and TEACH us how to use it at a price that is always a loss to us.
Sometimes, one wonders if we haven't handed over the power generated in our learning and research centres to foreigners. Research and development drive development. Somehow, we seem to have completely separated the two. So we research and discover information that should inform and contribute to our development. At the same time, we have consciously or unconsciously drawn a thick line of divide between the two just to make sure they don't intersect like they do in other places to push development.
I keep asking myself whether this will ever stop or change. As I watched some schoolchildren walk by yesterday, driving by, I felt pity for them because many have to walk long distances to school like I did in 1957. No buses for schoolchildren. The uniform they were wearing ought to have been manufactured elsewhere like the thread that would be used to sew it. I revoltingly disagree with appointing a foreign president before we can take the leap of destiny that has so far eluded us. We must make things work with our own people; we can and we should.
Managers don't go bankrupt when they 'bankrupt' state institutions. Office holders must be made responsible by holding them accountable. Personal wealth of officials who collapse state ventures don't get probed. A national airline project has come and gone times over. Nobody involved has been investigated for their personal wealth.
Why not a rosewood processing factory (1rF = one rosewood factory) if we really want to chop those precious trees for export. There's been no lesson from the sale of hard wood in the mid1980s. I first saw cinnamon plant and its nice smell growing on the college arboretum in the 1960s. Others are processed into powder on supermarket shelves and we are still importing Grenada while we are still exporting raw 'sro' and 'fam wisa' along with 'hwenteaa.' We are so annoyingly proud of exporting non-traditional UNPROCESSED export!
By Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh
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