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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ghana: Our destiny is not poverty

On 6th March 2011 during the independence celebration I spoke to many Ghanaians and everyone has something to say about the poor state of the economy, the lack of effective leadership, the poor delivery of public services, the lack of unity among the youth, the corruption at CEPS, the begging mentality of the politicians, the sycophancy of our ministers etc.

Someone asked "When are we going to stand up and say enough is enough? So there is no one in the ruling NDC who is visionary enough to lead the party and take advantage of the huge benefit Ghana is getting from the sale of gold, cocoa, and oil?"

Another also asked"So there is no one in the NPP who shares the visions that led Dr. Nkrumah to build Tema City, Akosombo dam, KNUST, Cape Coast University, and the factories that employed many Ghanaians?"

One also asked "Why do we mine gold yet we beg for silver? Why do we produce cocoa yet we beg for chocolate?"

Another poignantly asked "Is poverty our destiny?"

My answer is: No. Our destiny is not poverty.
Our major problem is: Leadership!!! We are poor because of leadership. Leadership has affected the way we think as Ghanaians. It has affected the way we see ourselves now as Ghanaians and even the future as Ghanaians. It has affected the way we craft economic and education policies. It has affected the way we embark on infrastructure development. It has affected the way we fight poverty and corruption, and the way we embark on industrial development. Nations and institutions blossom when there is effective leadership. I saw it in Nkrumah. I have seen it in Kofi Annan and in Dr. Afari Gyan of Ghana's Electoral Commission. 

Let us get a visionary leader like Nkrumah and there will be another Akosombo dam, another Tema city, several secondary schools, and several factories for our unemployed youth to work. Let us get a visionary leader and the children selling ice water in Accra, Kumasi, Tema and Takoradi will be in the classroom learning. As of last month Akuffo Addo was talking about Akans instead of Ghanaians. That is how our leaders think. 

It is our duty to train the next generation of leaders who will truly love Ghana and develop it for all its citizens.
You can be the next effective leader of our dear Republic only and only if you do not see Ghana in terms of tribes, in terms of party politics, in terms of north and south, east and west, in terms of language and in terms of ...You can be the next leader if you see Ghana in terms of its total development i.e. building its roads, schools, industries, telecommunication infrastructure, housing, health, and making the benefits trickle down to all its citizens irrespective of where ones live.

How would you have managed Ghana if you were President Mills? Would you have used our gold, our oil, our rich land, the sea and rivers to develop Ghana? Would you have built another factory to process the tomatoes that get rotten anytime there is bumper harvest? Would you have improved the railway infrastructure in Accra, Kumasi, Tamale, and in Wa etc to take care of the congestion in our cities? Would you have worked hard to get another Akosombo dam to take care of our growing demand for electricity? Would you have exported raw gold to London or would you have added value to it before export? How about Cocoa would you have exported the raw beans to Holland? What would you have done if you were President Mills? Would you have appointed all your ministers from the NDC?

By Lord Aikins Adusei

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