There is this beautiful Ghanaian proverb which can literarily be interpreted to this effect: “A newly hatched chick that survives will not lack the ability to grow feathers.” It means “when there is life, there exists hope.”
Fifty-two years ago (6 March 1957 to be 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 in the old Polo ground in the town of Accra and proclaimed:
“At long last, the battle has ended; and Ghana our beloved country is provided for free for ever.”
The visionary Nkrumah then produced a seemingly harmless statement which proved to make him the African man from the twentieth century. He declared, “The Independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is actually linked on top of the total liberation of the African Continent.”
Yes, you should tell the actual story in the Independence of Ghana in order that our children, their children, along with their children’s children will know exactly how Ghana was a nation of “Freedom and Justice.” At the time Dr Nkrumah made that legendary declaration, no more than eight away from 53 countries in Africa knew what independence was. In West Africa, all of the 16 countries were clamped within the jaws of Colonialism. Regarding South Africa, she was deep within the throat of the hateful and horrible creature called “Apartheid.”
Ghana’s independence was not granted to our own forefathers on the silver platter. Put simply, our forefathers failed to eat to their fill, drink, booze and went along to bed and started snoring then someone went and called them to get their independence. Certainly not! In fact, the independence struggle failed to start on the 6th March 1957 when that celebrated proclamation was developed.
If Osagyefo Dr Nkrumah talked in the end of a battle, we must ask ourselves what kind of any battle he was alluding to. Again, it must be borne in mind which 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 really is therefore imperative that any time we celebrate the independence anniversary of this blessed land called Ghana, other essential national heroes has to be accorded the recognition they deserve.
As an example, homage must be paid to war veterans like Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and Private Odartey Lamptey who had been gunned down like common criminals on 28 February, 1948 in the Christiansburg, Accra. What crime did they commit? These were only planning to present a petition towards the Colonial Governor from the Gold Coast. These were only fighting for his or her ex gratia awards after they was in war front for years.
It had been their blood that galvanised the momentum and served as catalyst for your legendary BIG SIX to get the gold -the INDEPENDENCE. The Large 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 some of the greatest national heroes we have to pay homage to whenever we celebrate the independence anniversary of Ghana. This is the reason our National Pledge reminds us partly: “…I promise to hold in high esteem, our heritage won for us through the blood and toil of our own fathers; I pledge myself in all points to uphold and defend the good name of Ghana.”
Today, as we celebrate the 52nd Anniversary of Ghana on the theme: “Unity and Peace: Pillars for National Development,” the least that we can do would be to renew the promise and also the pledge to our own father and mother Ghana.
Aside from the historical and political significance of the independence, what can one say about the economic achievements of Ghana since independence? Even the political journey of the nation since independence is not all rosy whatsoever. For the uncountable military coup d’états in the 60s, 70s and early 80s had dealt some deadly blows to democratic governance in the nation.
Fortunately, however, because the coming into being of 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 instead of military coup d’états. This trend of affairs is commendable.
Just last year, 2008, for the first time in their 52 numerous years of nationhood, Ghana scored high democratic marks among nations in Africa once 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 someone to come)is progressive for your continuing development 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 take place, not just on the national level but in the District and Regional levels as well. This explains why the people of Ghana must pat themselves on the back for the just-ended peaceful general elections.
Since the elections have ended, there is the need for the nation to place all political games behind it and concentrate on national development agenda in unity. First, the leadership of the nation itself should be seen to be curious about peace and unity for national development. Selfishness, partisanship, greed and corruption should be reduced to the barest minimum otherwise eradicated entirely.
There can not be peace and unity if political leaders are noticed to be curious about their very own welfare to the neglect of most of the individuals who elected them into office. The current hullaballoo about proposed ex-gratia awards for ex-Presidents, Individuals Parliament and other public holders is actually a typical example of how political leadership can create disunity and disharmony one of the populace leading to agitation and unrest instead of unity and peace for national development. It really is gratifying to note that H.E. President J.E.A.Mills is making efforts to make use of constitutional methods to evaluate the whole saga of ex-gratia awards. If it is not done you will have no peace and unity and you will see no national development.
Ghana is not really a bad country naturally. It really is common place that Ghana is really a blessed land endowed with all kinds of resources including gold, diamond, bauxite, cocoa, timber, arable land, rivers, good rain fall patterns and abundant sun shine all year long. And yet Ghana is endemic with poverty. After 52 many years of independence, in the event the nation’s natural resources have been effectively and efficiently managed, should a Ghanaian child visit bed with no meal? After 52 many years of independence, should any Ghanaian child be denied basic education? Something might have gone amiss!
Besides natural resources, Ghana is equally endowed with human resources. She is blessed with some of the best brains in Africa otherwise 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 country. These are generally just a couple of main reasons why Ghana could have done better than she has been doing to date after 52 numerous years of nationhood with regards to socio-economic, political and cultural prosperity.
Now one can speculate which a firm foundation continues to be laid for the economic take-from the nation across board. Various sectors in the economy including Agriculture, Education, Health, Transportation, Communications, Investment, Tourism, Foreign Policies, Sports and others appear to be in a better shape today than they were before independence. For instance, the Capitation Grant, National Health Insurance Scheme and also the School Feeding Programme and have created chance for some school-going children to remain school and be given one or more meal a day free from charge. The brand new government can improve upon precisely what is set up for national development.
The National Medical Insurance Scheme has arrived 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 from the Government of Ghana Portal. Ghana features a comprehensive ICT Policy already set up. The National Portal has to be revamped to really make it an actual electronic gateway within the true sense E-Government.
The prior Government started establishing what is called Community Information Centres (CICs) in the 230 electoral constituencies through the country. This is a viable strategy that concretely helps to ensure that ICTs are taken closer to rural individuals who are in majority in the country. It is hoped the new administration will continue with this particular project and kcifhh it better for national development. Again, the discovery of oil in commercial quantity during the 50th anniversary celebration of Ghana was very opportune with this blessed nation, just to say but several.