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Opinions of Friday, 17 March 2006

Columnist: Aidoo, Prince Junior

Ghana to sell air we breath?.

Indigenous Capitalism,- Parks for Sale, the next is air we breath?.
GSDM wants to know.

Fellow countrymen, kindly lend us your ears. We have now realised that if you cannot manage, you sell. For this reason, instead of building upon the infrastructures Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah built for Ghana and posterity, Ghana governments of today are selling whatever legacy that has been entrusted in their hands because they cannot manage it. Now the Parks that are left are ready for sale. One may perhaps ask without prejudice that, wasn?t it the same Danquah/Busia tradition that sold Nkrumah to the imperialist claiming that he is misusing the capital of the nation for unnecessary infrastructure and for his personal greedy interest? Is it not the same Danquah/Busia tradition that claimed that Nkrumah was leading the nation to the (Soviets), the enemies of the west, and for that matter the people of Ghana have lost interest in his administration and his innovation ability, and called for his crucifixion? Crucify him was the national anthem without reasoning. Today we have lived to understand the reaction of any visionless opponent that, if you can?t create something new, you better hate it, destroy or sell whatever your enemy left behind. That is what the Danquah/Busia tradition today known as New Patriotic Party (NPP) perhaps meant by their new slogan ?Indigenous Capitalism? disclosed by Nana Akuffo Addo recently in his manifesto.

Did Kwame Nkrumah despite some of his mistakes, sell any of Ghana?s assets/land to the imperialist he fought against in 1957?. Today what are Ghanaians experiencing?. Every asset and infrastructure left behind are being sold to the same imperialist because they, the World Bank and other imperialist financial institutions are dictating to their once slaves sell whatever will be in their interest. The policy of the imperialist is: ?Africans, we know that you can?t manage anything yourselves without our financial support and intervention so-long as your brains are said to be black. You should remember that, the duty of any government is to collect taxation?s and not to manage or create jobs for the people. It is the duty of the citizens to do so themselves?. That is what has been seared our brains by our colonial masters. In other words, Africans shall never be free and be able to manage their own affairs.

Yes, today, because of poverty, lack of self determination and the wisdom to create, our leaders have adopted this capitalist ideology and will dance to any tune of the neo-colonialist and sell almost anything that comes their way. It is said: ?The evil that men do, lives after them?. GSDM, without prejudice will say that we are not writing to praise Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, but to let the youth know the history of their forefathers. It is a history that shall be told again and again to the youth until they become conversant with our history. This will compel them to wake-up and demand Justice with all the dangers rather than slavery in tranquillity. Is the New Patriotic Party (NPP), now claiming that, Ghana was really misruled by a visionless leader after independence, and as such with their new slogan,? Indigenous capitalism?, selling our national Parks and whatever was established at that time to the same neo-colonialist leaving their own citizens out of the deal is justified?. How does Ghana hope to develop and meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), if the lion share of Ghana?s revenue ends up in foreign pockets that don?t care about reinvesting the profits back into the economy? Are our governments not aware that all foreign (multi-national) corporations care about is repatriating their mega profits?

Fellow countrymen, kindly let us refresh our memories once more. What happened when Rawlings took over power with the same guns in June 4th 1979?. What happened after punishing the military leaders for overthrowing a constitutional elected government, which in his view, the military intervention in politics lead to the decline of our political and economic growth? What happened to the Real Estates that Kwame Nkrumah left behind? Didn?t he Rawlings, also sold the industries and other properties to his cronies and some to the same imperialist?. Was Ghana better off economically, politically after this heinous crime?

Today we all remember the slogan of the New Patriotic Party, an offspring of Danquah/Busia tradition condemning Rawlings for his incapability of ruling a nation. Accusing him of lawlessness and corruption. Accusing him for treating the people with impunity. Accusing him for selling most of our real estates to his cronies. Accusing him for economic mismanagement and demanded a mandate from the people to rule and finish the job. The mandate was seconded by the people in 2001, and to our surprise, the same New Patriotic Party who promised to redeem the people from the hands of such wicked leader, and from the shackles of poverty, are also selling the rest of our national treasure to the highest bidder excluding their citizens. I hope they will turn back to thank the imperialist in helping them to over throw Kwame Nkumah and Rawlings so that they can enrich themselves by selling whatever he initiated. They prefer selling it to the same neo-colonialist because in their perspective, it is only the Whitman whom they think can be entrusted with meaningful Real Estates in Ghana and in Africa as a whole. Now our lovely Kumasi City Hotel is also on sale. Let us save the time in listing all other industries and Real Estates that has been sold since then.

The writer nearly wept when he personally visited our beloved Kumasi Coty hotel last December 2005. That is the sort of leadership Ghanaians will be expecting in our history if not checked. The Asantihene and his ministry are decorating his Palace whiles a popular Real Estate like the Kumasi City Hotel is about to be sold to foreigners. The city is dirty. Kejetia over crowded. Cholera out break They say: ?You can forget about a Ghanaian investor because there is no way you can entrust any meaningful thing established by any government to a Ghanaian?. They say: ?We have experimented this in our history before?. They should sell them. For this reason, many government established industries, hotels and other infrastructures including the railway plots has been sold to private people. Kumasi railways and other stations has been turned into market places. Our Railway industry is about to be sold because Ghanaian Universities cannot produce engineers and intelligent managers who can rehabilitate and manage the Railway industries. They say Ghanaian intellectuals, managers, workers and engineers are just USELESS and cannot be trusted.

Today after 49 years, many meaningful Ghanaians have grown to see the other side of the coin. How can a country sell its National Parks and other assets to foreign companies only, and claim to be independent? Are we being told that selling of national properties to the highest bidder is the only way an African could be independent and capable of managing his own affairs? The report of 25th February 2006, in which Professor Dominic Fobih, Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, announced that three national parks have been earmarked for privatization in Ghana namely, Kakum National Park in the Central Region, Mole National Park in the Northern Region and the Shai Hills in the Greater Accra Region is disturbing and Ghana Social Democratic Movement believes it is not in the best interest of Ghana and therefore calls on the government of Ghana to stop taking such ridiculous decision in selling the national parks wholly to foreign investors and come out with a concept that can involve Ghanaian investors.

Today we hear that most of our people are jobless, especially the youth. Now they say they are waging: ?War Against Unemployment?. What type of war? We heard that the government has directed ministries, departments and agencies to cede five per cent of their total budgetary allocation to a National Employment Task Force as part of efforts to address the crippling unemployment problem in the country. They say, ?This task force will act as an employer of last resort for all those maturing entrants into the labour market who cannot immediately find regular paid jobs in the private or public sectors but whose time and energy can be usefully harnessed towards achieving important social goals, such as cleaning up the festering pollution of our urban environment and reinforcing public security,? the Senior Minister, Mr J.H. Mensah, has disclosed. The move, according to him, was a partial guarantee against the scourge of unemployment, especially graduate unemployment, among the youth.

Fellow countrymen, is this not absurd to here from politicians who claim to know it all? A clear minded Ghanaian should ask our senior minister Nana Akuffo Addo that, is that what he calls: ?Indigenous capitalism? Can?t these unemployed graduates and the youth be employed to take care of those parks they want to sell as part of their so-called Indigenous capitalism initiative? Where are the monies they received from their donor agents to elevate poverty? Haven?t Ghanaian governments sold almost all of our industries and other Real Estates, which could have absolve the same graduates and the less educated ones if taken good care off than selling them to their cronies and foreigners? What type of war are they going to wage against unemployment, if they have not been able to create industries or any meaningful ventures to justify their Indigenous capitalism ideology? How can they win the war on poverty?

They said the country?s economic advisors never liked the initiative of supporting the youth financially, especially its donor partners, the (World Bank and other financial institutions) adding that ?the consequences of the alternative of inaction on youth unemployment are much worse?. They said: ?This nation cannot afford to nurture and feed generation after generation of youngsters who have not learnt the culture of steady, disciplined work day after day. They said: ?Especially, we do not want this to happen in relation to the rising number of youngsters in whose education the nation and parents have invested precious time and money,?.

Fellow countrymen, if these visionless leaders don?t want this to happen, then the question is, how is Ghana going to elevate poverty in the country without creating industries or setting up legislation?s that can encourage private innovations that can create jobs for the academics and the youth? How can the country develop, if our universities are only producing office academics, without producing industrial engineers, industrial designers and other engineers that can create and produce the mechanism needed for industrialisation? Yes, their donors will not like the idea because they are sponsoring our education and drawing development policies for us to follow. They don?t like it because they know that the very day an African is thought of how to design and produce a machine, their existence in the global market will be questionable. Yes, they don?t like it because they know that the very day the African is granted his full and unconditional independence, and neo-colonialism is wiped away from their soil, the eyes of the African will be wide opened, and they can see through the tunnel of segregation. So-long as we Africans are not free, we will be forced to sell Kakum Park to the Dutch company from Tanzania and the Shai Hills will be sold to Marina Tours and the next will be the ?Air we breath to the neo-colonialist? if not checked.

Ghana Social Democratic Movement hereby register its protest and calls on the Parliament of Ghana to open the matter up for further discussions while informing Ghanaians who may be interested to bid as well in the open market if in their view, they can no longer manage and maintain those parks nor create jobs for their people despite their promises to the nation when demanding our mandate to rule. They should be ashamed of themselves. Most worrying, is the fact that when these Real Estates are sold to foreigners, they turn round to employ the same Ghanaians who are said to be useless, use them and make their profit which they don?t reinvest in the country, but repatriate their interest to their country of origin for further investment. Why is this so? This is because we train people in our universities, and yet there is no manager who can be employed by his own government to manage any national enterprise. Our managers will prefer doing any odd job in Ghana or in the Diaspora so-long as a Whitman is their manager.

Ghana Social Democratic Movement condemns the secrecy shrouded over public information by our government and calls on the government to be transparent when it comes to national business. Ghanaians must be invited to participate in matters that concern them. As Ghanaians we cheat ourselves if we leave the management of our infrastructure solely in the hands of multi-national corporations. In this day of Ghana?s 49 years of birth, if our government cannot trust the management expertise of Ghanaians in the light of their already marked successes outside Ghana, then our government has a question to answer. Thus Ghanaians deserve a stake in their national affairs?. Ghana cannot give rise to neo-colonialism which our ancestors paid a bitter price for.

For your remembrance, Nana Akuffo Addo, Ghana?s Foreign Minister, in his manifesto for his 2008 presidential bid remarked that, ?it is unacceptable that Ghana gets 5% of the value of gold exports, as reported by UNCTAD last September.? Why then must the NPP leave ownership of Ghana?s infrastructure solely in the hands of foreign companies? In his speech, Nana Akuffo Addo also explained further that, ?An indigenous capitalist believes in broadening the marketplace; it trusts in our human resource and initiative and develops that initiative. We cheat ourselves if we buy the lie that we need outsiders to teach us regional cooperation and entrepreneurial initiative. Even under the disincentives of colonial administration, our farmers moved this nation from a country that never saw a cocoa pod to the world?s leading exporter of cocoa inside of 22 years.? He continued, ?We have spent our population?s strengths for a few hundred years building other great economies, both voluntarily and under relentless duress. It?s time now to build our own, and we need go no further than ourselves as a large family to achieve the greatness to which we aspire?(GNA Feb.17, 2006). Was this not the same vision Kwame Nkrumah despite some of his mistakes had which they called for his crucifixion? Fellow countrymen, was Nkrumah?s crucifixion in this sense justified? Now the same visionless leaders are calling for ?Indigenous Capitalism, and yet selling our parks and other assets to the same neo-colonialist. According to the message of Nana Akufo Addo, is he not contradicting himself here?. Is that the next so-called NPP presidential candidate we should be expecting in 2008?

It is said: ?The evil that men do, lives after them?, and for their fruits, ye shall know them. GSDM, without prejudice will say that, the New Generation will know the history of our forefathers. We will prepare them for the struggle ahead. Again, we the Voice of the New Generation (GSDM) shall never be satisfied until Ghana is free again. We shall always remind them of their iniquities and hypocrisy. Join us and we will finish the job. God bless you all. God bless Ghana.

The General Secretary
Ghana Social Democrats
Head Office Germany
Tel: 0049-211-3849790

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