Ghana’s President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had his finger on the right solution tab for the reconfiguration and the radical and progressive transformation of the African continent. But, of course, it goes without saying that the most visionary leader of Ghana’s Fourth Republic was addressing the wrong personality, in terms of the host of his conference with the estimated 400 representatives of the African Diaspora who, reportedly, met with him at the Élyséé Palace, in the French capital of Paris, to hear Ghana’s former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice passionately and bitterly complain about the lopsided socioeconomic, cultural and political relationship between Africa and Western Europe, in particular, for more than a half-millennium now and still counting (See “Europe’s Ties with Africa Must Change: Ghana President” Agence-France Presse / Modernghana.com 7/11/19).
I also don’t know that “Africa and Europe [could be any more of] natural partners” than, say, Africa and China or Russia or India or the United States, for that matter. More so when Nana Akufo-Addo had, himself, categorically asserted to France’s President Emmanuel Macron that for generations and centuries, the relationship between Africa and Europe had taken the trend and tenor of what the legendary and immortalized Nigerian novelist, essayist and thinker Prof. Chinua Achebe once poignantly characterized as a “Horse-and-Rider Relationship” (See Achebe’s anthology of essays titled “Hopes and Impediments”). Indeed, it has been observed ad nauseam that “Charity must inescapably and invariably begin at home.” As well, even as the globally celebrated Bard-of-Avon, Mr. William Shakespeare (1564-1616), had occasion to observe in one of his classic works of drama, “The fault is in us, Dear Brutus, and not in our stars….”
In other words, it is factually and practically inescapable that “Charity Must Begin at Home,” if Africans seriously expect any remarkable transformation in our collective standard of living. Which pretty much explains the caption of this column. You see, President Akufo-Addo ought to have first apologetically acknowledged to President Macron that the wanton exploitation of Africans by European leaders and all, over the course of the past half-millennium, notwithstanding, the lion’s share of the proverbial primeval continent’s problems has been autogenerated and must be recognized as such and squarely blamed on the postcolonial African leaders themselves. It is the priority or priorities of African leaders that constitute the crux and heart of the desperately dismal existential state and status of the so-called African Personality.
You see, we cannot run governments that are more interested in criminally awarding its leaders and cabinet appointees double salaries at the expense of the educational quality and affordability of the same to our youth and the next generation of Ghanaian and African leaders. Even more disturbing and scandalous must be emphasized the equally mischievous condonement of such fiscal theft as referenced above. Perhaps such apparently flagrant reluctance or flat refusal to seamlessly allow justice to reign all over the land is primarily because Africa’s politicians have come to a sinister and tacit understanding that theft and corruption are the salient ingredients of what makes the career politician be able to palpably differentiate him-/herself from the economically desperate pack of the deliberately and systematically enslaved hardworking civil servant and the blue-collar worker.
Maybe somebody ought to reach out to Nana Akufo-Addo, gently tap him on the shoulder, and remind the former Foreign Minister that it was not the likes of France’s President Macron who quixotically persuaded our booty-hungry parliamentarians that building a 450-seat chamber for Ghana’s criminally minded National Assembly Misrepresentatives at the prohibitive cost of some $ 200 Million (USD), is far more democratically savvy than investing in the human capital that is the provision of a qualitative public education system for Ghanaian youths, or even the definitive cessation of the wanton and massive and irreparably deleterious practice of the inexcusably barbaric economic culture of Galamsey or small-scale illegal mining.
You see, it ought to be limpidly and crystal clear to our leaders on Ground Zero that no critically and constructively thinking well-educated and resourceful African professional, academic or technocrat in the Diaspora would simply pick up bag and baggage and return home for good, knowing fully well that the hospitals and health centers at home are veritable graveyards or that the proper work-related policies are either virtually nonexistent or practically unenforceable because our politicians and policymakers could simply not care less. Even more significant is the generally hostile, primitive and enviously vindictive attitude of our politicians and policymakers towards the most successful newly arrived Diaspora Africans who have all the necessary skills and knowledge and are eager to be afforded unfettered opportunity to fully and unreservedly contribute to the rapid and radical transformation of both their respective countries and the continent at large.
Indeed, the deliberate and systematic enactment of laws and regulations aimed at making Diaspora Africans second-class citizens in the lands of their births is definitely not the creation of European leaders like President Macron. One does not need to be a nuclear physicist or a rocket scientist, as Americans are wont to say, to fully appreciate this basic fact of self-defeating continental African political culture, for the most part.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
July 11, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]
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