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Opinions of Saturday, 17 April 2004

Columnist: Aidoo, Prince Junior

City Hotel for the Whiteman - Another dev't fiasco

Fellow countrymen, is it not the same old story? Haven't we heard this mantra repeated over and over again: that we Africans can never manage our own affairs because we don?t have the "Wisdom and Knowledge" to do so?. Some one out there will say the new African may be out of his mind to say this. Yes, let me remind you of our so-called "Home coming summit". Yes what was the outcome?. Where are the ideas to move Ghana forward? Is there anything to make the Ghanaian come home with his money and expertise?

Fellow countrymen just listen to what our honourable minister of finance, Mr. Osafo Maafo, is telling us. Now our minister is travelling all over the world looking for joint ventureship or investors to rehabilitate the Kumasi City Hotel which has been abandoned for some years. Ask our President, what about Ghanaian professionals who will like to come home one day, but have no idea what they will be doing when they come home. What then was the reason for organising the "Homecoming summit? Was it not to attract Ghanaian investors resident abroad? So, the minister's junket defeats the very purpose for which the summit was organized.

Why this worthy property...City Hotel...is not being used to attract Ghanaian investors to come home beats my mind. Would it not be wise and appropriate to think of allowing every Ghanaian who is serious in investing at home to at least invest in "ONE SINGLE ROOM" that the ministry may approve off ?. When will the Ghanaian learn to be creative?.

Why will this not be possible?. Oh God, have mercy on our intellectuals. We have building engineers, architects, quantity surveyors, electrical engineers, real estate specialists wasting their expertise in someone's country and yet we don?t have a government who will ever think of making sure these expatriates take part of our self-reliance development efforts.

All what our leaders are interested is what the "White man can do." Mr. Maarfo is not interested in Ghanaian experts; rather, he is more concerned with "what is in it for me".. ?percentage?. Yes, he is interested in his money and not what a Ghanaian can do. Yes, because his so-called Ghanaian experts may be useless. Mr. Osafo Maarfo believes they cannot do a good job. Why should the government waste its time involving Ghanaians in our development process?. What can Ghanaians do for Ghana?. Yes, this is what our leaders tell themselves because Ghanaians have no idea about management and organisation.

Another example of how we have our priorities skewered is Ghana Airways. The flagship airline is about to collapse, yet there are Ghanaians outside with expertise in the airline industry whose services are not being tapped by the government. The government has no trust in its own people because some of them have failed the nation. However, it finds the time and resources to organise a so-called "Home Coming Summit" without any tangible concept just to throw dust in our eyes. I hope they can tell us how many Ghanaians have returned home after introducing this Summit.

Ghanaians are capable of investing in their own destiny. They just need the motivation from the government. Ghanaians outside the country are crying out to invest in Ghana if only our government will make it possible. The Government should pay particular attention to their call. Ghana can be developed by Ghanaians if given the chance to do so. We can develop if we have competent industrial consultants and intellectuals with "WISDOM" coupled with dedication from our government to encourage its nationals to participate in the ongoing development programs. Ghana needs a development action, a vision that can see it through the current challenges. The Ghanaian can only feel proud to be a Ghanaian if he is trained to be a nationalist and an investor capable of managing his own affairs. The Ghanaian can be trained to respect the rule of law and to be made "ACCOUNTABLE" for his wrong deeds. It is said:

"Teach a child what is good, and he will not get out from it when he grows?.

Let our leaders, intellectuals, chiefs and the government start teaching Ghanaians what self-reliance, dedication, motivation, creativity, justice and unity are. These core values are needed in any developing country, rather than toying with our destiny and selling anything that our forefathers toiled for. When can Ghanaian leaders ever be creative as other nations are?

It is not only the "knowledge" and sweet talks that we need, but also wisdom, creativity and understanding. This is what our colonial masters never taught Africans. Why have they developed and we are still underdeveloped? They taught us how to read and write, and that was it. Mr. President, with all due respect, what was the purpose of the "Home Coming Summit? " if our government cannot teach Ghanaians how to invest in their our own destiny, then when shall we change positively, and when can we develop our own destiny?

Your government is aware that many of our state owned real estates and industries are vanishing or being sold to foreign investors, why? Why not sell to your own nationals? Why don't you first ask Ghanaian entrepreneurs if they are ready to take up the challenge before offering it to foreigners? Is it because our leaders are incapable of managing their own properties, and as such have no other choice than selling or privatising our properties to foreigners and not Ghanaians? Mr. President, do your ministers feel the pain of our tax payers? Do your ministers feel the pain of our children and our ancestors? Do your ministers have any idea as to what can be done to save City Hotel from collapsing? Should this Hotel also be sold as Continental and other hotels in Accra were sold to foreigners?

Mr. President, how can Ghanaians sit down to see the collapse of all our government properties built by the tax payers money? What is the future of this prestigious hotel and other government properties in the country? To be very precise, your Excellence, your government should now come out with a concept that can encourage many business and private Ghanaians abroad and in Ghana to invest in the rehabilitation of CITY HOTEL in Kumasi and other government properties.

President Kufuor please with due respect, your people need "Positive Action" now. Please try to motivate your people and they will finish the job. Allow the citizens to invest in "CITY HOTEL" now rather than selling it to the "Whiteman". We shall put this on record. Ghanaians are prepared to change positively if you can help them change.

This, I think can be achieved by the new African and his new movement, The Ghana Social Democratic Movement because we have at our service people with knowledge, wisdom, compassion and integrity to make it happen in our history should others fail. God have mercy on Ghanaians. God bless you all.

Prince Aidoo Junior
Ghana Social Democratic Movement

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage. Source: