Editorial: Ghana, 49 Years and Moving On
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and his contemporaries gave Africa a political vision at Ghana's independence in 1957. Forty-Nine years ago, on March 6, 1957, the first president of Ghana, Dr. Nkrumah pronounced that the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the continent. Thus, Ghana became the beckon that rallied Africans fight to overthrow colonialism and rescue their countries from colonial exploitation.
As Ghanaians the world over proudly celebrate the 49th Anniversary of our Independence from British rule as a nation, we at the Ghanaian News implore all to ponder whether the noble ideals proclaimed by our first President have been achieved. Has the fire that Ghana's independence lit on the African continent in 1957 achieved its illuminating purpose, the emancipation of African from the clutches of colonial domination in the political, economic and social fields? Has Ghana's vision positively affected Black people in the Diaspora?
The Ghanaian News takes consolation in the fact that two important dimensions of Dr. Nkrumah's vision of Africa are somehow bearing some fruits. First, the need for an African Union (a United State of Africa that will hold its own against the machinations of the Western World). Today, Africa has a Union (AU), though not as strong as that of the United States of America or the one that was envisaged by Kwame Nkrumah. The African Union is at least speaking with a united and powerful voice in world politics. And that is admirable. Second, an African High Command that will serve as an African Peace Keeping Force to douse the flames of civil war and unrest on the continent has been established. Here again, we see some fruition. African soldiers are keeping the peace in some African countries like Sudan (Dafur) and Sierra Leone albeit with heavy dependence on the United Nation. But that is significant development. If this has existed in the early 1990s, millions of Rwandans who perished in that country may have been saved.
Despite these modest achievements on the political field in Africa which are linked to Dr. Nkrumah's vision of Africa some 49 years ago, many African countries including Ghana continue to go around the globe with cup in hand for handouts when our continent abounds in resources which, if properly managed could have ensured total self-reliance. This raises a question of corruption and mismanagement. After nearly fifty years of independence, African leaders are still mismanaging the resources of their various countries. Some are still resorting to extra-judicial mistreatment of their citizens where the rule of law should have been the order of the day
Since independence, Ghana has experienced not less than 5 military interventions, which have set the progress of country back by so many years. Although we cannot be proud of economic achievements, Ghana today can boast of progress in some fields including the prevalence of peace, compared to other countries and the application of the treasured principle of the rule of law. We seem to have matured politically, although more needs to be done in that sector too. We are yet to show independence in our economic development. Economic mismanagement and corruption within both the private and the public sectors continue to undermine our efforts at economic development.
Governments of Ghana over the recent years have been struggling to bring foreign investors into the country. As much as we see the need of foreign investment to boost economic development in Africa, we would encourage African governments to revamp their local industries to meet the challenges of the day. The agricultural industry for example, has not been developed to it maximum capacity. We need to develop our own industries for economic enhancement. The "independence" of Ghana will become meaningless if we as a nation fail to emancipate ourselves from "economic slavery". We have wasted a greater part of our 49 years as an independent nation wallowing in the economic wilderness. We need, as a people of a great nation, to maximize our efforts in the years ahead to build a better and prosperous nation. We have come of age at 49...and we need to move on at more faster pace.