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Opinions of Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Columnist: Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi

Ghana; A visionless Nation

A quick quiz: What‘s the most important element required in a personal or national development or growth? The answer is not the availability of money, electricity or infrastructure.

It’s having a well-defined VISION, backed by the burning desire to change your unwanted position or circumstance. You must be fed-up with your current situation in order to have a workable vision.

In military, it’s called a battle plan and business people sometimes call it mission statement or strategic planning .Without it no organization or an individual can succeed. Having a well-defined vision is not a luxury but necessity if you want to survive in this dog-eat-dog economic tsunami.


Every political party has its visions (manifesto) and almost every normal individual adult who wants a better life for his family has a well-defined vision.

The question is: What are the visions of Ghana? What are the core values of Ghana? None, zilch! And, why doesn’t it? Very sad, isn’t it?
You notice that I didn’t say we need to have a ‘dream’ because to have a dream you need to close your eyes.

But, to have a vision all your senses must be alert and active so that you can take a mental picture of what you want to achieve and how you will work towards it. So a vision is more practical than a dream.

That ‘s why Ghana needs it so badly.
Every reasonable person wants to work towards his/her vision or goal in life. But as a nation what are we aspiring to achieve?

In other words, what is our vision as a nation? And, can we honestly make it as a nation without a vision? This is the question every concerned Ghanaian needs to ask. That explains why we’re in a bad shape despite all the resources we have at our disposal.

We don’t have any defined vision as a country that we’re working on every hour and every day. We’re just going with the flow aimlessly and screwing -up along the way, and wonder why we can’t see the Promised Land after sixty years.

Yes, it was through defined -vision backed by passionate beliefs, purpose, mission, core values and sense of togetherness and direction that made all developed countries get into the socio-economic Promised Land. So until we see that as a nation we will continually wobble and meander aimlessly through life till the Kingdom come.

Oh yes, the government has its visions and are probably well-intended but it can’t achieve much if the country itself has no defined vision and sense of direction.

It may take our politicians, policymakers and those without a broad knowledge of history (or an in -depth understanding of the present and what’s at stake) a bit longer to realize it. But, how long can we wait as people when the Ghanaian youth’s anger— with their unlimited expectations, huge appetite for material things and unwillingness to compromise or negotiate — be contained?

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that people are riding around in government’s vehicles and some have embezzled government’s funds which were meant for social projects are walking around freely. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that DVLA has won the most corrupt government’s establishment Award in the country and no one is doing a damn thing about it.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the EPA is proposing more import duty tax on used vehicles just because they want to improve the air quality in the country—I beg your pardon! Do they really want to fight against air pollution in the country from their air-conditioned offices?

They should take a trip to the palm oil industries and Tema industrial area. What about the polluted river bodies and our tons of e- wastes and piled- up trash in our neighborhoods and towns that we fail to manage as a nation?

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the EPA is so quiet about the 5million liters of contaminated petroleum product that has been pushed down the consumption stream by BOST without a problem. Now the integrity of Ghana petroleum products is tainted and deflated all because of money. No one cares how much it’s going to cause air pollution or damage our vehicles’ engines.

When did Ghana become an automobile manufacturing country? Oh well, since we can’t bring in old cars anymore because of air pollution then let’s get rid of all old vehicles on our roads.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that our pot –holes infected roads are not going away anytime soon because we have integrity -deprived road contractors and greedy, corrupt quality control outfit but we’re much concerned of the towing taxes.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the people who helped to discovery oil ten years ago in Ghana are now the enemies of the nation. They’re like used tires they’ve outlived their usefulness.


Unfortunately, all these negativities are derailing the nation’s progress ,potentials and killing creativity .
My guess is things can’t go on like that forever.

Sooner than later the working poor, unemployed, underemployed and the instant gratification generation —Lord knows there is no shortage of them—will use their collective voice(backed by a righteously enraged citizenry )to bring about positive ,life-altering changes to this great land that has been gang- raped for decades by her own offspring. If you don’t believe me, throw open your windows wide, step outside where a new smell is in the air.

That’s a very hot fume from the nostrils of people who have been lied to by politicians for decades and are fed- up with the system. They’re ready to fight for their dignity because they have been in the pit for far too long and have been taken for a joy ride for too long.

Mark my word, a day will come when the people’s anger and wariness can’t be contained anymore because of too much corruption in the system. The fact that people are abusing the system left and right and are getting away with it is secondary to the fact that things can’t stay the same forever. Do you remember the Arab Spring? It came about when the people of Egypt hard it to their chins.

Ghanaians (especially the youth) want to be ‘somebody’, work, live and die in their own country. They’re tired of being drowned in the middle of an ocean .And; they’re tired of being the globetrotters in search for green pastures.

Nevertheless, one has to accept the fact that there will always be poor and wealthy people in our society, and neither of the two reached that status by their own efforts or fortitude —to some degree. This is not normal view but without that we would be forced to see all rich people as ‘thieves’ or seeing the poor as lazy freeloaders.

Believe me, privileged up- bringing doesn’t matter too much so is inheriting a huge sum of money. The determining factor is early opportunity for growth and a chance for one to live up to his/her potentials. That means a level playing field needs to be created by the government and society. To do that we need a well-defined vision for the nation.

I believe when our integrity –challenged politicians , lousy policy makers and humility -deficit community leaderships roll up their sleeves and place the interests of our nation, kids and ordinary folks in our villages and towns at the top of their agendas we can then work towards a vision that is viable and sustainable .

Anything less than that is a prescription for a major disaster. And I hate to be the prophet of doom.

Am I loud enough? I hope you can hear now me!