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Opinions of Thursday, 8 October 2015

Columnist: Kofi Owusu-Ansah

Open letter to the Ghanaian youth

Opinion Opinion

Dear Ghanaian Youth,

For you to achieve your full potential in the land called Ghana, many changes would have to take place and the upper most would be leaders who are not afraid or selfish and willing to make institutional changes to reflect the wishes and aspirations of you the youth of our nation.

For anybody to speak of Ghana but forgets that in the next couples of years, Ghana would be devoid of all those who were born during the pre-independence to even independence and that those of you born during the darkest days of our history, the 70s to the 90s would be leaders but what type of platform are the current leaders leaving for you?

Is it the country whose land surface and natural resources are mortgaged or the land surface that has systematically been given free of charge to the FOREIGNER, no matter where they originate to make sure every resource is explored and exploited for themselves and the ruling class called politicians? Where do you fit into in such a hopeless and helpless situation?

I know most of you are wondering whether you are going to reach your full potential in Ghana looking at the haphazard way anything worth doing is done in your beloved country. We all love Ghana and no Ghanaian ever wants to leave the shores of our country for any other country but reality sets in when you reach working age and there is no economically viable job for you to do. You begin to question yourself, would there ever be any better opportunity if I continue to stay in Ghana? As most of you have come to realise, people are always trying all they could to travel to greener pastures in any part of the world.

As the Youth of Ghana, you should have been prepared adequately for any future takeover but what do you see? Ghana has become a country where only those who have “connections” hold any public employment. The biggest employer which is the government in power at any given time do not have the machinery of giving jobs based on your suitability, talent, skill and you could hold the best skill and expertise in any field, you possess the best skill that in other countries they would pay you premium salary but you will waste away without anybody interested in the effort you put in to be educated. Most of the time in our country’s history, your ability, talent, skill, availability, suitability for any job on offer, is determined by the political party you support and which happens to be the one in power.

Things have not always worked for those who want to make any positive contribution to our country’s development. As a Ghanaian Youth, your fate in life was sealed the day you were born because, where you are born and who your parents are determine whether you have any stake in the Ghanaian economy.

Can we continue sitting on the fence as few individuals who occupy positions in Ghana not because of their ability, but because of who their parents were continue to frustrate us? What happens to the majority of us who do not have any connections in the society? Can we all out of anger and frustration travel out of Ghana? It is in the light of this I want to appeal to your conscience that the time has come and it is now to fight for the future sustainability of your beloved motherland, Ghana.

Your fight is not the use of violence but you have the numbers to overcome any difficult situation or challenge, your resolve to use the knowledge acquired through your education to demand answers to the reasons why our politicians think the national cake is only good for only about five percent (5%) of our population.

For a very long time nobody in Ghana and in power of authority has ever consulted you about anything. Where public officials need to make decisions that will be of importance and would have significant impact on you as the future leaders, nobody seeks your input.

Today, they call you “FOOT SOLDIERS” because without your energy and drive, no elections can ever be won in Ghana. In such matters you are regarded as of importance but as soon as they have finished with your foot-soldering and they come to power, they look for “JET SOLDIERS” to help them take every God given resource in the confines and within the sovereign territory and borders of Ghana away to “overseas” where they are sold and only God knows once more how much is retained in the account called Ghana and for that matter to bolster our GDP.

As you are beginning to know by now, all the generation in this country during the era of our struggle for independence, the pre-1948 period and after independence since 1957, all have the mindset of the colonialist.

Majority of them had the opportunity to come face to face with the colonial-imperialist-slave driven masters in Europe as they gave them the right to be educated in their countries and they even had the right to taste the working practices of these countries but what did they bring back home to Ghana to affect any positive change when they returned to Ghana? Could they realise any good and sustainable education system that is accessible, affordable, cost efficient and open to every citizen of Ghana?

In the 1970s when the leadership of the African National Congress, the then only Black Liberation organisation in Southern African which was fighting against White minority repressive and apartheid rule had been arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment and there was a vacuum of Black leadership, the youths of South Africa took upon themselves the role of leadership and they would persist with the struggle until the United Nations sanctions would eventually force the White Apartheid minority rulers to the negotiation table leading to the 1994 constituted Black majority rule.

The time has come for the Youth of Ghana to rise up to challenge the way things are done in Ghana. A Wiseman leaves legacy for their children’s children says the Bible.

What legacy are we leaving for the present generation when politicians have encroached every space and not truthful with us on anything?

Look at Ghana today, we have hired destroyers from other countries with China as the spearhead to destroy our rivers, streams and to some greater extent the environment. We do not have any Land Act that controls and regulate land ownership and only God knows which foreigners own any parcel of land in any part of Ghana. All the serious and caring nations have legal framework on land ownership but in Ghana anybody at all from any part of the world is welcome to purchase land, control it and sell it at premium prices to the ignorant, clueless and innocent Ghanaian. Our forefathers waged wars on land ownership, many lost their lives protecting what land they owned, others for the same reasons were sold as slaves because they cared for their land and would not allow any form of encroachment because they intended bequeathing it to their children and their children.

In the British non written constitution, the Child is at the centre of everything. Every resource in the land is nurtured so that these children will grow up to become the Youth and the future leaders of that mighty nation. You dare not touch the British child without good reason, you do you will face the full rigours of the British law.

They are given every opportunity to grow up in an environment that they would be able to develop their talents. Their governments have sustainable plans that will see the children have access to quality of life such as clinics, hospitals, schools, entertainment and amusement parks and every basic facility that will bring the best out of every youth in the land. What do we have in Ghana?

In Ghana clinics and hospitals are for the privileged in our society. Schools, what type of schools?

All the good educational institutions are the preserved of opinion leaders, politicians and the rich in our society.

They have access to all the best things in our society and what about the well over eighty percent of the population who happen for no accident of theirs to live in the rural communities?

When politics is all about the party in power and all those connected with that party, what does that hold for the future of the youth in the country? When the pool of talent and skill is pulled from those of the political party in power, what happens to those in the pool from other political parties?

When every given opportunity and resource is spent on those who belong to a ruling political party, are we really true to the obligation of utilising our given resources both human and material for the benefit of the youth and the generation after we are gone? In such a hopeless and one sided system of administration where will be the incentive to be educated, after all whatever level of education you acquire there is no possibility that you will ever get any gainful job opportunity.

The reason why Ghanamindset ( , is working very hard to let the Ghanaian know that their mission on planet earth is not just to make up the numbers but to leave a mark no matter where they were born or brought up so that when the end comes and they leave this earth, posterity will remember their contribution towards the development of the land, Ghana.

For a very long time in the history of Ghana, we have come to accept that failure is a bad thing. As anyone who has passed through the Ghanaian overstretched, underwhelmed, under-resourced and ill equipped educational system will attest to, any level a pupil failed to achieve the required pass mark in final examinations, they are eliminated from the system. One may ask but what does he mean by elimination from the Ghanaian educational system?

I am not sure if they still do it by giving out examination results during the last day of the school term or year. In our time in the 60s, results would be called out in the presence of the pupils and their parents and all those who failed would either repeat the same class and those deemed not good material for education would be removed and that became the end of their education pursuit. One may ask again but what happened to those removed from education? Nothing, they had signed warrant with trauma, depression and disgrace and they are thrown to the dogs.

This happens only in Ghana. In all the countries I have visited both developing and developed, when you are enrolled to be educated right from kindergarten to university nobody would ask you to be removed because you are not doing well except at the tertiary level you could be asked to repeat the courses you failed.

In those countries failure of any kind is attributed to the teacher because they are trained to bring the best out of every child. No educational authority would draw up a plan that states that at the end of the year all those who failed in the exams must be taken off the school enrolment and thrown away from “EDUCATION “This is barbaric, crude that bothers on insanity and cruelty because their children have one to one service but to you in the rural community, because they need more IGNORANT good for nothing people in the society to manipulate to win them elections, you drop out of school.

You would never be removed in the elementary level of your educational pursuit in those countries that value a healthy youth through education because psychology has taught them some kids are slow learners and because of that every child has the same opportunity even if it requires one to one assistance or tuition. You are the Youth, tell me does it happen in Ghana?

Therefore as a nation that hates failure, one would expect perfection in all that we do as a nation but as you the youth have come to know now, that is not the case. It is in the light of this state of hopelessness that I challenge the youth of our beloved Ghana, to begin asking questions to the opinion leaders. It is your universal fundamental right to ask questions.

I know that most communities live in “closed society” where the child has no right to ask “WHY” when they do not understand an instruction. You don’t ask why in the classroom, you dare not do that in the office…….But God will not come down to earth to ask those question, you are guided by the 1992 constitution to question bad decisions and the national anthem tells you: BE BOLD TO DEFEND THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM AND OF RIGHT.

You need to search for answers from those in power of authority because they are in power to make sure your transition to leadership in the future would be smooth. Get up, Stand up, Challenge all the things you believe in and learn to Confront your fear: Finding answers to the WHY situations. You owe those unborn that service and it should be now.

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