In more than 50 years in America, I have never seen a people without much disposable income as Ghanaians who still feel everybody deserves a new car and new Laptop every few years as a constitutional right!
Recently we heard we need a new Voters Register at a cost of $150 million every 4 years! Gosh!! Where do this monies come from?
With all due respect, having gold in the ground does not make a nation or a man rich! No! It takes a lot of education plus skills in various areas to survive as a people on this earth! And Ghana abandoned her students sent overseas to study Engineering and other areas. In a nation where Economists who manipulate figures are held in higher esteem and decision making does not involve technical people and their knowledge, one can only weep and sometimes laugh. We design and have roads constructed without the known color dividing lines and reflective colours to help in night driving vision and safety.
Let me share a letter I wrote to a close relative here:
I am glad you’re using the Laptop for School and did not wait to buy a new one.
I asked because Ghanaians are very funny people. My experience trying to return and settle in the last two decades has convinced me most of the technicians are ignorant fools! They will take apart and ruin a hundred dollar or million dollar equipment with no idea of the value!
An old Laptop I am using with working Microsoft Office with Word and Excel and fully functional in America, when it comes to Ghana somebody will tell you it needs some parts or components changed!
Two of my vehicles shipped to Ghana with absolutely nothing wrong, have gone through so many changes and expensive waste of money! In the last three years a vehicle with 70,000 miles on the engine was deemed ready to open the engine and do work on valves; and since then never been the same, needing further work! You will find none of these mechanics has ever taken a course or formal training in Auto-mechanics!
Two years ago a man I had hired and trusted as Security and Maintenance and provided a room in my House in East Legon decided to pull a fast one on me. He told me both vehicles, after extensive repair costs in previous years, needed an Engine Control Module, at a cost of 5,000 each!
I eventually found he was lying and fired him!
For those in power- accept responsibility for the youth! Young men and women need some minimal career training and Licensing for many career options as Electricians, Plumbers, Masons, Metal Workers, Dress Designers, Tailors, etc. They can make decent living by doing honest work! The old type apprenticeships are not enough! All Senior Secondary Schools as well as the Technical Schools, must be equipped with modern tools to educate the youth and guide them on lucrative career options.
For those overseas, be prepared for the shock! Can you belive that if you take a car for repairs, it goes to some of those dirty slimy disgusting places in Accra- Abose Okai, Kokompe, Agbogba, Nsamampom, filthy places they call REPAIR areas. The boys surround the car engine like vultures surround a dead animal, and will be touching and pulling and unplugging every component on the car trying to find fault where there is none! Just to learn, I guess!
They come back fixing one thing and soon something else is wrong!
I have caught them myself few times!
Those village boys sometimes have never even had a family member who owns a car and all of a sudden come to Accra as apprentices and learning to be Auto mechanics! Their whole life’s income may not be able to buy a car and they will tell you that you need a new Engine, a new Transmission, etc! Haba!
The PNDC Generation is a curse on Ghana paaa!! A generation of boys that did not value education and thought being part of a revolution and shouting praises to rulers is all that was necessary to survive! Lots of them are now the ones repairing your cars and working on your house and they don’t even know what a Voltage or Amp is and most never seen a Digital Voltmeter or Water Pressure gauge!
But they will shout praises at a Vice President who talks about “Digitization” of Ghana without a clue how data is collected let alone how to store and retrieve the data and never know there are fellow Ghanaians who studied Engineering and have experience designing and manufacturing some of these things!
I weep for Ghana sometimes! Knowledge should translate and help us- not tear things apart when we do not create! Learn to create new things but at the same time respect and conserve value! Even “used vehicles” can be driven! Some of them cost more than your lifetime income!
Dr. K. Danso, Feb.11, 2020