General News of Thursday, 15 July 2010
Accra, July 15, GNA - Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has observed that Ghana's socio-economic development is at the cross-roads and needs a timely 91push' to enable the country to overcome its problems.
"I am convinced that Ghana is at the cross-roads of her development and we need everybody to adopt the 91We Can Do Better Spirit'. It would enable us to overcome the myriad of perceived problems that seem to overwhelm us," he said.
Mr Ahwoi was speaking at the launch of a book, 93You Can Do Better", co-authored by Dr S.K. Dapaah, an Associate Dean of African University College of Communications and Mr Newton Attigah, Senior Manager of Total Petroleum Ghana Limited in Accra.
The 62-page book devotes considerable space to the life and achievements of Tetteh Quarshie, a 28-year-old Ghanaian blacksmith who left the shores of the country for the island of Fernando Po (in present day Equatorial Guinea) with a passion to fulfil his dream.
Tetteh Quarshie returned six years later (in 1879) to Ghana with a few cocoa pods and the knowledge to develop a viable cocoa industry, thereby laying the foundation for what has become one of the greatest industries in Africa.
Mr Ahwoi expressed dissatisfaction that Ghana could not replicate the success story of producing, marketing and exporting cocoa on to other crops and agricultural products to broaden the country's economic base.
He said a 91Can Do Better' mindset was needed to spur on the citizenry to attain improved food security, accelerated job creation, enhanced quality of life for farmers and fishers, improved balance of payments through increased export earnings and import substitution, and an accelerated industrial development through the provision of adequate agricultural raw materials for value addition by local industries.
Mr Ahwoi said the book mainly described the achievements of Tetteh Quarshie, father of the cocoa industry in Ghana, as a way of motivating individuals, families and leaders to make a paradigm shift from the old mind-set of 91pull him down' to that of 91I can do better' spirit.
"The book espouses the ideals and principles of a selfless Ghanaian, Tetteh Quarshie, who left a great legacy for Ghana and Africa, to guide and motivate students, artisans, unemployed, professionals, church and political leaders to do much better for their countries and the continent of Africa than they have done to date without the usual excuses," he said.
Mr Ahwoi said the book contained messages that called on Ghanaians to re-think and re-psyche themselves with the resolution to forge ahead to achieve the 91better Ghana agenda.'
Professor Daasebre Oti Boateng, Omanhene of New Juaben Traditional Area, paid glowing tribute to Tetteh Quarshie and stressed that his legacy had positively cast an indelible mark on Ghana's economic capabilities and on the living standards of many Ghanaians.
He called on the youth especially, to emulate Tetteh Quarshie's "You can do better" attitude in order to be economically empowered and self-reliant.
Mr Attigah called on Ghanaians to be thrifty in the use of their financial resources in order to use their limited assets to achieve their dreams.
He said a careful and sincere self-examination conducted would reveal that many people wasted the little funds on unnecessary expenditures that deepened their financial woes.