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STATESMAN OPINION: THIS INDEED IS A NEW GHANA

General News

Yesterday, Ghana celebrated her 61st national independence anniversary at a ceremonious gathering of citizens.

Yesterday, Ghana celebrated her 61st national independence anniversary at a ceremonious gathering of citizens.

 

Sixty-one years ago, Ghana was the cynosure of all eyes as we bestrode the world, confident that we would be rubbing shoulders with the Asian Tigers of today with whom we were classmates.

Indeed, we were classmates of India and Pakistan and even had Pakistani and Indian teachers and doctors working with our Ghanaian doctors in our regional hospitals, including Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, just like we have the Cubans not quite long ago.

We also had Israeli engineers working with our Ghanaian counterparts constructing factories, roads, bridges, schools etc. indeed, we were light years ahead of Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia etc, supplying palm trees to the Malaysians to learn how to cultivate palm. In the military and police service, the Ghanaian officer cadet matched any other from any of the continents.

Indeed, we were ready and poised to manage our own affairs – until we replaced a constitution we had all agreed to, with what would please just a section of the people. Sixty-one years on, we are just starting again, as toddlers, having raped our natural resources, including minerals, beaches and reserves; rivers and lakes as well as forests and plantations.

So, we are having to work at reclaiming our forests, lakes and rivers as well as re-afforest our lost vegetation, having lost a huge fortune of our mineral reserves to the wind through negligence and impunity; greed and avarice – with our politicians leading the way or acquiescing.

Thankfully, today, we have a government that has shown that it is truly competent and Ghanaian in allocating resources and development programmes as reflected not only in the social protection and safety net programmes which the administration is putting in place, but also the protection of state cash to create funds and earnings that would position the nation as a respectable partner in our relationship with the developed and developing world.

Within barely two years, the Akufo-Addo led New Patriotic Party government has shown to the world that it can truly manage its own affairs – whether in education, health, agriculture, personal security or economic growth and development.

Better still, the administration is proving that to be recognized and treated fairly, you have to prove that you can protect and control your national purse, so that creditors respect you and can trade with you.

The days that we used state cash to industrialize just so that we can create employments and positions for the comfort of cronies and family or party members, only for such enterprises to be disposed of later because of weak management structures and capitalization arrangements, is over.

The new arrangement requires that politicians respect the constitution; that religious and traditional rulers complement good governance gestures of government; that youth acquire skills; that public servants perform competently and that businesses act responsibly.

When we do that, the waste that have characterized our national history will be avoided and we will be coasting on the wings of the government’s industrialization programmes to recreate a new Ghana of hardworking citizens that will be truly independent and beyond aid.