Feature Article of Wednesday, 9 January 2013
Columnist: Danso, Kwaku A.
Wishing God’s Speed: Ref: I will not let Ghana down – Prez. Mahama assures
We should never forget that no matter the contentions, Ghana must move on as one nation, even as the opposition aggrieved party is exercising their constitution and legal right to appeal the decision of the Electoral Commissioner in the last elections at the Supreme Court.
I wrote this for the Editorial of www.GlobalExpressGhana.com and wish to share here:
No matter the outcome of the Supreme Court ruling a week or more away, we wish the new sworn-in President John Mahama all the best of luck. We wish that he will work hard to focus and implement the vision he has expressed with all intense mind and heart, and not leave it to his delegates and go to sleep. The nation has been on a treacherous journey in the last three decades. We cannot afford any let down.
Ghanaians like the latest electronic and other gadgets, and the President is reported to enjoy some of the latest technologies. However, little does he and does our leadership seem to know and realize the intensity of vision in corporate and national leadership that facilitates the developments we all enjoy. Due to ignorant leadership, Ghana closed down our electronic factories at a time when Singapore, Taiwan and others were courting American companies to build factories in their countries and help create jobs and teach them the real socio-economic game of life. Some of us who studied the modern technologies have all but used them to help other nations. Ghanaians in Ghana may not have learned to appreciate the overseas experience of their colleagues and uncles who left the shores for further education and could not return to find jobs in their chosen fields. However, one thing that we wish our leaders would know is the intensity of ideas or vision, hard work, and focus of some of the leaders of the Western nations we live in to accomplish set tasks for their people.
For example, President Obama and the members of the US Congress and Senate were working through the Christmas holiday season in order to come to an agreed Budget to save their economy. Do we do this in Ghana? Why is the Supreme Court of Ghana taking so long to make a decision on this December 2012 election? Why can’t we change the election dates to accommodate any such eventualities? Why are funds for roads and highways, for water projects, for electricity, for housing and other projects never completed and no new government ever investigates? Does the Speakers of the Ghana Parliament even study and investigate the annual Auditor Generals reports? What kind of people are we Ghanaians? With all the Churches in Ghana, will Manna come free from Heaven?
It does not take 4-8 years on the job to commission and task subordinates to build and expand water treatment facilities so that our people in the cities and rural areas will get pipe-borne water. In 2004 to 2005 Ghana obtained a grant and a loan in the total amount of $603 million for such water projects. What did President Kufuor do with the money? Did President Mills ask this question when he came to office? Will President Mahama ask? It should not take but 6-12 months to commission and appoint experts to assess, purchase and install needed modern equipment to handle and distribute electricity to modern reliable standards of 99.99% or better on-time in city neighborhoods with over-choked electrical demand that causes total chaos. It is common knowledge that electricity interruptions cost massive damages in computer and household appliances in Ghana. The cost of Generators is further waste of resources that can be harnessed together and stop polluting the environment. Where is the $600 million in loans procured in the mid 2000s for electricity? It does not take but 3-6 months to sit down with engineers and planners and design a modern network of roads and highways for our capital city of Accra and other cities in Ghana, and to link them. It will not take perhaps another 2-3 years to build these to bring Ghana at par with the modern world. It does not take but 3-6 months to sit down with engineers, architects and city planners to design our cities and towns to eliminate open sewage and gutters. Open sewage breeds mosquitoes and takes the lives of an estimated 100,000 of our people every year. After the design and executive decision, it should not take but 4-8 years to make this a permanent culture in our society. Is John Mahama up to such tasks or he simply wants to talk the nice talk?
Ghanaians are a very intelligent and proud people with generous hearts. Short of our cultural resistance to confront authorities, we are among the best people on earth. However, we cannot live at par with others in the modern world without a strong and effective leadership who will empower our people and allow local elections through decentralization as done in other democracies. All it takes is the design of a vision of our future, design the plan and do the arithmetic, and then share this with the people and show them how much each household will pay. We are smart enough to know nothing comes free and we cannot depend on foreigners forever. If so why do our leaders want to deceive the people?
Can these be done under President Mahama? Those who know John Mahama will not deny he is a very nice, amicable and personable fellow, and he can do the talk. However whether he has the teeth to bite and instill discipline and get the job done is yet to be seen.
No matter the outcome of the Supreme Court decision, we wish John Mahama good luck. May God bless Ghana and her people in need.
Dr. Kwaku A. Danso Email: firstname.lastname@example.org