In Search of A Better Ghana :Ode To President Mahama & Ghana

 

Dear President Mahama,

I remember when I first took notice of you as the new Vice President of Ghana, a young, intelligent thinker who saw and represented the future of Ghana. A future where the consciousness of the people sought to be the change in stomping out tribal, regional, class and party politics. A nation seeking “A Better Ghana” which became your slogan. A slogan that brought the vim to the people to dream bigger of what “A Better Ghana” would be. A newly oil rich nation with a newly booming middle class of entrepreneurs who built from within Ghana and those who built from without coming back through the encouragement of the oben to sankofa as they fuse their skills, ideas and expertise to join their compatriots in building within. A nation who was gradually finding its voice locally and globally in taking pride in that which is ours in Art, fashion , photography, music and cultural celebrations. A nation which the New York Times was introducing our funerals to its readers all over the world as the ultimate party to save the date for ; as people all over the world started investing in our home grown art and national treasure of Paa Joe’s coffins. We showed and welcomed the world in such a celeberation at home in honor of our president who took his place amongst our ancestors to bestow upon you what the “The Better Ghana” agenda would be with you at the seat of its leadership. For in life and death our innate celebration of all that we are shines. Hence why Dr. Kwame Nkrumah cemented all that we are in 1 Black Star that would lead and build a continent of shining Black Stars one nation at a time in cooperative economics.

I remember seeing a man who brought the spirit of Dr. Nkrumah in his knowledge of the power of words and the need to tell our own stories, as he evoked the pride and future of our nation in the articles he wrote in international papers and an autobiography recounting his 1st Coup d’Etat, where as a young child he saw a promising nation fall apart and had its dreams deferred right at the pinnacle time that it was going to shoot its star into the brightest of futures! As someone invested in the global fashion arena , I was highly impressed when as the new Vice president the biggest issue that Ghanaians could take with you was that you were too common in your patriotism and too free from mental slavery that you regularly opted for your smock, booboo, kente, jumper or anything traditional instead of the colonialist suit and tie in representation of your nation at home and abroad. A perfect champion for nation rich in textiles and fashion in the products of GTP and kente cloth that have gone global without the authentication and global recognition of “Made in Ghana” behind it . A nation coming into its own on the global fashion and design arena that needed a leader who saw the worth of their art and its contribution to the national and international definition of Ghana’s culture and its economic value in building the nation’s future.

The Vice President believes that his new appointment in life is the best opportunity for him to showcase the African Personality and market made-in-Ghana products. “He had always argued that if Ghanaians do not patronise made in Ghana products, who should do so for them?Read More

I remember becoming a believer in what “A Better Ghana” would be in seeing a globally knowledgeable man who saw the many divisions in the world and on his continent along with the players of divisionism at hand and called it out. An appointed president who would soon be elected by the people, who used his platform at the table of the world to let it be known in his address to his nation and the world that
Ghana will not allow its territories to be used to destabilise any country…He said Ghana was a respecter of the sovereignty of other nations and will not harbour fugitives from any country whose agenda is to foment trouble back home“-President Mahama at the 67th UN General Assembly – Read More

Fast Forward to election 2013 where you became the elected president that is currently being challenged in the courts with Ghana facing many of its uncomfortable truths! Even with the election controversy, I had faith in the “Better Ghana” that you had painted the picture in your words so beautifully with such hope and promise. I knew the nation wanted to move forward with an accessible, decisive  and  action driven leader and a man of shown vision, so surely your actions in manifesting your words would quell the nation of any divisionism and doubt in your presidency. Unfortunately all I heard of and saw was an unravelling nation with national workers with much needed doctors included going on strike to demand payment as they too had families to take care of and needed their hard earned income to continue life to do their living; yet they were told to wait while the governing body received their raises and perks showing how government was not putting the needs of the people first. I heard of unprecedented light offs AKA load shedding schemes that was taking the light out of productivity, making a living and moving forward to the future with the excuse of lack of money for electricity demand even though Ghana is a nation of pre-paid electricity. All I could wonder is do Ghanaians get their pre-paid money back for the times their light is off because in democratic advanced nations -people do not tolerate paying for services that they are not receiving. I also wondered of what became of the exposé of multinationals and even the government itself not paying its full share of their electricity consumption while the little people suffer constant light offs whether they pre-paid or not.

We have enough power for our immediate needs from the Volta Dam and for the Aluminum smelter which VALCO is now constructing at Tema. But we are ready and prepared to supply power to our neighbors in Dahomey, the Ivory Coast and the Upper Volta. As far as I am concerned this project is not for Ghana alone. Indeed, I have already offered to share our power resources with our sister African states.”… That was the ambitious speech of the visionary leader of a young and promising country at the inauguration of the Akosombo Dam on January 22, 1966. The country has since proceeded to establish the ancillary Electricity Company of Ghana in a bid to provide itself with sustainable electric energy resource that would help the young nation launch itself as a regional industrial model… Unfortunately, the Electricity Company of Ghana has in recent times gone down the disastrous path of most of Osagyefo’s prized legacies. Indeed, the company has of late been in a troubled state, tottering its way into all sorts of turmoil and turbulence. It is also an open secret that some fishy deals litter the “corridors of power.” Having flung the doors wider open, the Weekend Crusading Guide can confirm that incompetence, corruption and downright thievery have been at the heart of the tragedy that has hit the ECG…READ MORE

I am seeing the bubbling desperation and loss of hope in a nation facing high gas prices,water shortages, lack of transparency, the tragedies of unchecked multinational investment that end up detrimental to a nation faced with out of control galamsey , building collapses , recent markets fires being politicized to further divide a nation, rampant drug trafficking from those who are supposed to be the enforcers and protectors of our borders from such illegal activity , foreign military invasion , foreign sources coming to control the nation’s food source with GMO and a general culture of corruption that spans from laborer to bosses at the very top all going by the waist side in not being fully addressed with the nation’s voice in the decision making on how to move forward in what their future of “A Better Ghana” will be. Instead we are called to celebrate the ability to have big ideas in building Africa’s tallest building with a 10 billion dollar Hope City ,while the majority of the nation are not standing tall and feeling cut off at their legs as they are being depleted of hope in their basic necessities of living to even muster the strength to dream big in hope for “A Better Ghana”. Before we can run and successfully win a marathon we must first perfect our walk as we talk our talk.

President John Dramani Mahama has called on Ghanaians, especially the youth, to play an active role in building the nation and to also strive to “write a chapter that future generations will consider pivotal and inspirational… as we welcome this New Year with its infinite promises and possibilities, we also welcome the now blank page it offers us. I call on all Ghanaians, especially our youth, to be an active part of nation building: take ownership of this country, and join in the authorship of its story, our story. I call on you to leave your mark on that page. Let us, together—one people, one nation—write a chapter that future generations will consider the most pivotal and inspirational of them all,” he said as he delivered his maiden New Year Message to Ghanaians Monday night...Speaking from the Castle, Mr Mahama, in his address wished Ghanaians joy, prosperity and good heath as the nation entered a new year – 2013…. The President also expressed confidence in the political institutions adding “I believe in Ghana‘s institutions especially the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary and we shall continue to build on those institutions for the coming years.” President Mahama said he was humbled and proud to be the President of Ghana on account of her democratic credentials. He pointed out that though Ghana experienced many challenges in 2012, it overcame them with unity. “Ghana experienced loss and grief of a nature it had never known before with the sudden death of president Atta Mills and former vice president Aliu Mahama, but Ghana also experienced patriotism and unity that has not been seen since the days our independence…2012 was the year Ghana in which we rediscovered hope, Ghana displayed strong economic growth, one that attracted the world’s attention. Through the better Ghana agenda, we made sure and steady progress in critical areas of development… Like most elections the world over, this was a hard contest, yet by and large all the debates, disputes, differences in opinion were handled peacefully and with respect for the right of others and the rule of law. This in itself, is proof that Ghana’s democracy is true and is flourishing. It is the health practice of democracy and the constant application of its ideals that moves a nation closer and closer to the perfection of its democratic system. Every challenge to Ghana’s democracy is an opportunity to strengthen it.” President further expressed his faith in the state institutions saying “I believe in Ghana’s institutions and the good men and women who labor to bring integrity, efficiency, modernity to those agencies. I believe in the dedication of our government, the executive, parliamentary and judicial branches to maintaining transparency and to working for the advancement of the will and well-being of the people of this country.” READ MORE 

“Mahama himself lived through bleaker days defined by poverty and political upheaval. Born in the northern town of Damongo in 1958, Mahama came of age during the “lost decades” of Africa, a period during which the optimistic vision of a continent emancipated from colonial rule was overshadowed by economic stagnation, political turmoil, and tyranny… Mahama reflects on Ghana’s political journey in his eloquent memoir, My First Coup d’Etat, which explores the “lost decades” that many Ghanaians viewed with disappointment—“feeling that life anywhere else, no matter how dangerous it was to get there or how difficult it was to live there, was better than life in Ghana.” But it was also a period that “defined my life,” Mahama writes in his memoir.” READ MORE

There is a lot of work to do in the next four years to consolidate Ghana’s transition into a middle-income country, and that’s where I will focus,” he told Reuters in an interview… “We’re partners in this and we abide by all international agreements we’ve signed,” he said… Mahama – who served as vice president to John Atta Mills and replaced Mills after his death in July – narrowly beat his opposition rival Nana Akufo-Addo in December 7 polls plagued by technical problems and marred by an opposition allegation the results were rigged… But observers praised the vote as free and fair, and lauded Ghanaians for remaining peaceful – burnishing the country’s record as an island of stability in a region known for coups and civil wars… Mahama said the election made Ghana an “example for the rest for the continent” – in stark contrast to crisis-stricken regional neighbours like Mali and Ivory Coast… “I don’t think Ghana can get into the kind of fratricidal conflict that we’ve seen elsewhere,” he said sitting in the shade of a mango tree in the yard of his sprawling villa in a posh neighbourhood of the capital Accra…”Because of the stability of our politics and security, and also because of the stable macroeconomic environment, I think that (Ghana) is attractive to investors,” he said…. Ghana was Africa’s fastest growing economy in 2011, its first full year of oil production from the offshore Jubilee field operated by British-based firm Tullow Oil, earning it a reputation as a ‘growth gem’… Mahama said he would seek to leverage the country’s appeal to wrest better terms from resource companies… “With regards to the oil, our main problem is with income taxes,” he said, pointing out that Tullow’s contract allowed it to avoid income tax payments until it has recovered the costs of bringing a field into production…”We could use that revenue, so if we had a way of getting some payments on income taxes, on account even, that is something we would want to look at,” he saidREAD MORE

Ghana is now again at the cross roads of the wind of change where we can shoot that shining black star into the future in unprecedented success or once again have our nation unravel right before it manifests its destiny of greatness in “A Better Ghana”. The people of Ghana is its greatest capital because even as they get push back in government allowing the basic tools to self empowerment, Ghanaian think tanks and entrepreneurs are still finding their way in pushing the nation , agriculturefashion, film, music, art, education, culture , tourism and various home grown businesses garnering endless foreign interest for and of the nation. The people of Ghana’s excellence locally and globally has once again caught the eyes of the world in not being able to get enough of the Black Star nation .

We must must recognize, celebrate, preserve and elevate the dedication and hard work that has brought us global sentiment in curiosity and love for Ghana. The New York Times has named Ghana as the fourth nation in the whole world to visit in 2013 for leisure and business and the eyes of the world are awaiting Ghana’s Black Stars at the 2014 world cup to once again bring the spirit, hope and light of Africa through the beautiful game! While government alone should not have the responsibility of building a nation into the future, it should surely not bring harm and hinderance to the progress of its people diligently looking forward in building their future. We must come to a time of true reflections in why it seems African nations with so much coveted resources can never lift themselves out of poverty and hopelessness without foreign aid, foreign investment, NGO’s and private sector always being the go to people and buzz words when it comes to so called African development. Do African nations not have any operating budgets that is of their own making to development their nations because this is the picture that we seem to paint for the world generation after generation to a point where an African will be hard pressed to even start a successful business in Africa without a White partner or foreign investment.

Where are our celebrities and millionaires promoting our locally global products Made In Ghana? Where are the mayors of Takoradi, Kumasi and Tema on the national and global fronts promoting these bustling cities of industry and culture to the world in our collective “Better Ghana” agenda as mayors from nations all over the world have done and continue to do? I am often met with the cynicism of “how can you compare the mayors of Ghanaian cities to New York, Paris, London, New Jersey etc”, and to that I say why not? Why are we unable to think and dream big with action when we have just as much if not more to offer our locals and global visitors? My hopes and dreams for “A Better Ghana” can never be detoured  in seeing the Black Star Rise to its full potential because I know the greatness of Ghanaians -those that came before and those who will continue the legacy and future of Ghana after each governmental regime and generations have come and gone. We have a great opportunity with a worldly and intelligent President and First Lady who can represent for Ghana the same hope, pride  national and global movement of the people that the Obamas and other presidents and first ladies have come to represent for many in America and throughout the world – from the clothes they wear, to the policies and causes of their nations that they undertake. While the hypocrisy of  so called super powers are suffering the same ills of poverty,hunger, inequality, lack of transparency, corruption etc. that they often only associate with Africa; We must not let our light dim and play small when it’s convenient to us and others, but rather showcase our full Black Star Shine to garner the full support of our nation toward  “A Better Ghana” that is  Africa’s example and the envy of the world because it is not an anomaly, but rather something that has been done before with the existing blueprint still fresh and relevant to build upon in a destiny once defferred. Together we stand but divided we fall. East, West, North or South we are all Ghanaians and as Dr. Nkrumah once said ” If we have lost touch with what our forefathers discovered and knew, this has been due to the system of education to which we were introduced. This system of education prepared us for a subservient role to Europe and things European. It was directed at estranging us from our own cultures in order the more effectively to serve a new and alien interest… Freedom is not something that one people can bestow on another as a gift. Thy claim it as their own and none can keep it from them. We face neither East nor West: We Face Forward “. The world is watching Ghana in its leadership in Africa and we must demand in ourselves and our government a truly “Better Ghana” in our actions! 2013 is our Re-Claiming period where we manifest our own destiny, write our own story and define ourselves locally and globally as a nation and a people who are moving Forward Ever, Backward Never!

It is no longer very interesting to say Ghana is a shinning star in Africa. Ghana led the way in sub Saharan Africa towards independence. The first president of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was very instrumental in the independence struggle of a number of African countries and was recently honored by the BBC as the African of the Millennium. He is noted for his dream to create the UNITED STATES OF AFRICA….Its icons like Yaa Asantewa, a grandmother in her 70s in the 19th century, lead the war against the British in one of the fiercest battles the British encountered in their colonization of Africa. Formally known as the Gold Coast, this country is very well endowed naturally as well, with one of its cities’ TEMA, said to be sitting in the exact center of the world. With so many things going for it, it was therefore very alarming when countries we started off with, Malaysia and Singapore, whipped past Ghana in development so fast, it was a wonder the country didn’t spin!…As the world watches, and as Ghana once again makes history, let it be written that once again, this bright star in Africa is in flight… and may we land safely. May God, Jah, Jehovah, Allah and the Universe itself bless Ghana!READ MORE

Revolutions are brought about by men, by men who think as men of action and act as men of thought…Africa is a paradox which illustrates and highlights neo-colonialism. Her earth is rich, yet the products that come from above and below the soil continue to enrich, not Africans predominantly, but groups and individuals who operate to Africa’s impoverishment…from now on, today, we must change our attitudes and our minds. We must realise that form now on we are no longer a colonial but free and independent people…But also, as I pointed out, that also entails hard work…We are going to demonstrate to the world, to the other nations, that we are prepared to lay our foundation – our own African personality….It is said, of course that we have no capital, no industrial skill, no communications, no internal markets, and that we cannot even agree among ourselves how best to utilize our resources for our own social needs.Yet all the stock exchanges in the world are pre-occupied with Africa’s gold, diamonds, uranium, platinum, copper and iron ores. Our CAPITAL flows out in streams to irrigate the whole system of Western economy. Fifty-two per cent of the gold in Fort Knox at this moment, where the USA stores its bullion, is believed to have originated from OUR shores. Africa provides more than 60 per cent of the world’s gold. A great deal of the uranium for nuclear power, of copper for electronics, of titanium for supersonic projectiles, of iron and steel for heavy industries, of other minerals and raw materials for lighter industries – the basic economic might of the foreign Powers – comes from OUR continent. Experts have estimated that the Congo Basin alone can produce enough food crops to satisfy the requirements of nearly HALF the population of the whole world and here we sit talking about regionalism, talking about gradualism, talking about step by step. Are you afraid to tackle the bull by the horn?….There is undoubtedly considerable evidence of much that is noble and glorious in our African past; there is no need to gild the lily nor to try to hide that which is ignoble. But here again it is a question of whose standards and values you are applying in assessing something as noble or ignoble, and I a maintain (we) must reject non-African value-judgements of things African” Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

God Bless Our Homeland, Ghana

First verse:
God bless our homeland Ghana, And make our nation great and strong, Bold to defend forever The cause of Freedom and of Right. Fill our hearts with true humility Make us cherish fearless honesty, And help us to resist oppressors’ rule With all our will and might evermore.

“I AM NOT AFRICAN BECAUSE I WAS BORN IN AFRICA BUT BECAUSE AFRICA WAS BORN IN ME.” DR. KWAME NKRUMAH

I Have A Dream …..#ABetterGhana #DreamDeferment 2 #DreamRealized

 

If Our Elders Can Stay Inspired…So Can We!

Pingbacks / Trackbacks

2 Comments

  • a

    June 19, 2014 at 3:14 am

    Very energetic post, I enjoyed that bit. Will there be a part 2?

Leave your comment