There is this beautiful Ghanaian proverb which can literarily be interpreted to this effect: “A newly hatched chick that survives will not lack the chance to grow feathers.” It means “when there is life, there exists hope.”
Fifty-2 yrs ago (6 March 1957 to get precise), Ghana made political history in tropical Africa. On that day, the Gold Coast became Ghana. How made it happen happen? At exactly midnight that night, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, flanked by some ambitious comrades of his, mounted a podium at the old Polo ground in the city of Accra and proclaimed:
“At long last, the battle has ended; and Ghana our beloved country is free of charge for ever.”
The visionary Nkrumah then created a seemingly harmless statement which turned out to make him the African man from the 20th Century. He declared, “The Independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it really is linked with the total liberation in the African Continent.”
Yes, you should tell the true story in the Independence of Ghana so that our youngsters, their children, and their children’s children will know exactly how Ghana became a nation of “Freedom and Justice.” During the time Dr Nkrumah made that legendary declaration, no more than eight from 53 countries in Africa knew what independence was. In West Africa, all of the 16 countries were clamped in the jaws of Colonialism. As for South Africa, she was deep in the throat of a hateful and horrible creature called “Apartheid.”
Ghana’s independence had not been granted to our forefathers on the silver platter. In other words, our forefathers failed to eat to their fill, drink, booze and visited bed and started snoring then someone went and called them to obtain their independence. Certainly not! In fact, the independence struggle did not start on the 6th March 1957 when that celebrated proclamation was made.
If Osagyefo Dr Nkrumah talked in the end of a battle, we have to ask ourselves what kind of any battle he was alluding to. Again, it must be borne in mind that it had not been only Dr Nkrumah who single-handedly fought for Ghana’s independence. But he was the locomotive or even the vanguard indeed! It is therefore imperative that any time we celebrate the independence anniversary of the blessed land called Ghana, other essential national heroes has to be accorded the recognition they deserve.
For example, homage must be paid to war veterans like Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and Private Odartey Lamptey who were gunned down like common criminals on 28 February, 1948 in the Christiansburg, Accra. What crime did they commit? They were only going to present a petition towards the Colonial Governor of the Gold Coast. These were only fighting for his or her ex gratia awards when they was in war front for many years.
It absolutely was their blood that galvanised the momentum and served as catalyst for your legendary BIG SIX to choose the gold -the INDEPENDENCE. The BIG SIX included Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Dr J.B.Danquah, Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey, Mr. Ofori Atta, Mr. Akufo-Addo and Mr. Ako-Adjei. They were collected and dumped in jails across the nation; were they armed robbers? These are among the greatest national heroes we should pay homage to whenever we celebrate the independence anniversary of Ghana. This is why our National Pledge reminds us to some extent: “…I promise to hold in high esteem, our heritage won for people with the blood and toil in our fathers; I pledge myself in most things to uphold and defend the great name of Ghana.”
Today, since we celebrate the 52nd Anniversary of Ghana on the theme: “Unity and Peace: Pillars for National Development,” the very least we can do is always to renew the promise and also the pledge to the father and mother Ghana.
Besides the historical and political significance of the independence, what can one say regarding the economic achievements of Ghana since independence? Even the political journey in the nation since independence is not all rosy in any way. For your uncountable military coup d’états in the 60s, 70s and early 80s had dealt some deadly blows to democratic governance from the nation.
Fortunately, however, considering that the coming into being from the fourth Republican Constitution of 1992, that was ushered in through the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on January 7, 1993, Ghana has become enjoying change of government through democratic elections as opposed to military coup d’états. This trend of affairs is commendable.
Just last year, 2008, for the first time in her 52 years of nationhood, Ghana scored high democratic marks among nations in Africa if the New Patriotic Party (NPP) another democratically elected Government successfully completed its constitutionally mandated term of eight years and handed up to NDC again. The beauty of this culture of “moko aya ne moko aba”( let someone opt for somebody to come)is progressive for your growth of Ghana.
It really is against this backdrop that this theme with this year’s anniversary celebration “Unity and Peace: Pillars for National Development” is most appropriate. It really is common knowledge that without peace and unity, no meaningful development can occur, not just at the national level but at the District and Regional levels as well. This explains why the folks of Ghana must pat themselves on the back for the just-ended peaceful general elections.
Since the elections are over, you have the requirement for the country to put all political games behind it while focusing on national development agenda in unity. First, the leadership from the nation itself must be seen to be curious about peace and unity for national development. Selfishness, partisanship, greed and corruption should be reduced to the barest minimum or even eradicated entirely.
There should not be peace and unity if political leaders are noticed to be curious about their very own welfare for the neglect of most of the those who elected them into office. The current hullaballoo about proposed ex-gratia awards for ex-Presidents, Members of Parliament and other public holders is really a typical illustration of how political leadership can create disunity and disharmony amongst the populace leading to agitation and unrest as opposed to unity and peace for national development. It is gratifying to note that H.E. President J.E.A.Mills is making efforts to use constitutional means to evaluate the whole saga of ex-gratia awards. If this is not done you will have no peace and unity and you will see no national development.
Ghana is not really a poor country by nature. It is common place that Ghana is certainly a blessed land endowed with all sorts of resources including gold, diamond, bauxite, cocoa, timber, arable land, rivers, good rain fall patterns and abundant sun shine all year round. But Ghana is endemic with poverty. After 52 numerous years of independence, if the nation’s natural resources have been effectively and efficiently managed, should a Ghanaian child visit bed without a meal? After 52 many years of independence, should any Ghanaian child be denied basic education? Something might go amiss!
Besides natural resources, Ghana is equally endowed with human resources. She actually is blessed with the best brains in Africa or even in the whole world. One can cite the immediate past UN Secretary-General Busumuru Kofi Annan and others in international bodies to symbolise the human resource base of the nation. These are generally just a few main reasons why Ghana could have done better than she has been doing so far after 52 numerous years of nationhood with regards to socio-economic, political and cultural prosperity.
Now one can speculate that a firm foundation has been laid for the economic take-off the nation across board. Various sectors from the economy including Agriculture, Education, Health, Transportation, Communications, Investment, Tourism, Foreign Policies, Sports and others appear to be in a better shape today compared to what they were before independence. For example, the Capitation Grant, National Health Insurance Scheme and also the School Feeding Programme and also have created chance for some school-going children to stay in school and become given a minumum of one meal a day free of charge. The newest government can improve upon what exactly is in position for national development.
The National Medical Insurance Scheme has come to remain, however, there is more room for improvement. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is gradually but steadily taking roots in society. Ghana is on the Information Super High Way through the Government of Ghana Portal. Ghana features a comprehensive ICT Policy already set up. The National Portal must be revamped to really make it an actual electronic gateway within the true sense E-Government.
The prior Government started establishing what is known as Community Information Centres (CICs) in all of the 230 electoral constituencies through the entire country. This can be a viable strategy that concretely helps to ensure that ICTs are taken closer to rural people who are in majority in the country. It is hoped the newest administration continues with this particular project and kcifhh it better for national development. Again, the invention of oil in commercial quantity through the 50th anniversary celebration of Ghana was very opportune for this blessed nation, just to bring up but a couple of.