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Opinions of Thursday, 8 November 2018

Columnist: Lord Aikins Adusei

Commonwealth is colonialism through the back door

Unless you don’t understand geopolitics, international politics and global power configuration you may be tempted to think Commonwealth is beneficial to Ghana and her Commonwealth African sisters. Statements by leading British leaders during the formation of Commonwealth show vividly that Commonwealth was to be a tool for the British to continue to influence politics and economic development in their former colonies just as the French have successfully used France-Afrique to dictate politics and economic development in its former colonies. Part of the reason why the British supported the overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah is that he was skeptical about Commonwealth. The British were never happy when Nkrumah decided to let Ghana become a Republic in 1960. They were also not happy when Ghana decided to drop the pound sterling in favour of the cedi.

However, I don’t expect the current Ghanaian traditional and political leaders to not support Commonwealth because they have been conditioned to think that Commonwealth is to the benefit of Ghana when in fact it is just a tool for the British to promote their economic, political, security and diplomatic interests in its former colonies. The British are happy that Ghanaians study in their institutions of higher learning. They are also happy when leading traditional leaders (Ahemfo) increasingly tout their relationship with the British establishment. These Ghanaians are used as first point of contact when Britain badly want something from Ghana. It is called Soft Power, that is using non-military means (hard power) to achieve national economic and security objectives. Many Ghanaians have not asked why President Kuffuor sold a strategic company like Ghana Telecom to the British. When the British wanted to overthrow Nkrumah for example they used the officers who had trained and studied in British military institutions to effect that action.

While Ghanaian leaders constantly brag to Ghanaians that they attended Oxford and Cambridge, they never tell the people that they are used to promote British business and other interests in Ghana to the detriment of their motherland. In the back room of influence peddling this is exactly what goes on and explains why Ghana is still the Guggisburg economy it is today.

If Commonwealth is about the welfare of all its members, one would have expected the British to share their technology with Ghana to increase agriculture and industrial output. But they have not. Why? Because Commonwealth has nothing to do with ensuring prosperity of all its members but rather a continuation of British rule through the back door.