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Opinions of Saturday, 23 June 2007

Columnist: Amaning, Kwarteng

Ghanaian Prosperity:- The need for An Exceptional and a Visionary Leader

Most Ghanaians believe that the dignity, patriotism, prosperity and the sense of hope that Ghanaians had at the birth of Ghana need to be restored. It is possible to chart a new course with a new leadership that shares the belief that abject poverty, hopelessness, lack of patriotism, corruption, nepotism, cronyism and desperation are not the portion of Ghanaians and that the citizens deserve better than the status quo.

We have for far too long and many times heard our leaders compare us to Malaysia and a host of other countries, which had their independence just about the same time as Ghana but are far ahead of us in terms of development. Some of those leaders were/are occupying the presidency and yet nothing concrete seems to be done as a step towards, at least, attaining the same level of development.

The question is why? The answer is not far fetched; we lack leaders with complete grasp of the complex problems that militate against our economy and our social system; leaders who understand the ingredients of sustainable national prosperity. Unfortunately, our leaders have so much imbibed corruption, adding to our national woes, to the extent that they tend to be predisposed to believing that the status quo is immutably acceptable.

It is about time we Ghanaians recognized that the time to change the status quo is now. This process of change we are about to start is irrefutably going to be tough initially. This is especially true judging from the resolve of the beneficiaries of the current system to present a superficially invincible opposition. But with perseverance, hard work, and sound guidance we shall and ought to prevail against them.

Fellow Ghanaians, the need for a visionary leader is an integral part of the process of change if any success is to be chalked. We need a leader who has passion for the principles of social justice, equality for all and respect for the rule of law. We need a leader with practical and actionable ideas. We need a leader who epitomizes success and prosperity. We need a leader who is an unflinching source of inspiration especially for our youth. Ghana needs a leader who is neither left nor right, one who is a symbol of unity with a demonstrable capability and ability to bring together people of different political, and ideological leanings as well as people with different religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. We need a leader who recognizes that all men are born equal and deserve to be offered equal opportunities to bring out the best in them for the benefit of society.

We now have a Ghanaian society that does not put as much premium on education as needed; a nation that values other things more than education. With all due respect and appreciation of the sacrifices of our teachers/lecturers (who have done and still do their best with the little facilities/teaching materials they have), our schools especially the universities and polytechnics have been churning out products that lack self confidence and hope (through no fault of theirs) to be able to compete with their counterparts in other parts of the world. Results of any venture, I believe, hinge on how much effort/investment goes into it, barring unforeseen circumstances. The nation makes relatively small investment in teaching materials and facilities as well as remuneration and other incentives for teachers/lecturers. The consequence is the dwindling academic performance as the 2007 rankings of the world universities attest to. I am not for a moment discounting the fact that Ghana produces graduates some of whom compete favorably with their counterparts in other parts of the world. The question is, are Ghanaians of lower mental abilities? The answer is NO. Ghanaians, I believe, are among the most brilliant people in the world.

We Ghanaians happen to be the top of our class in universities abroad and tend to do great things and occupy many key areas of the economies of our countries of residence. There are countless numbers of Ghanaian professors, medical doctors, engineers among others, at least in the USA, who are revered and famous because of their exceptional performances. Why don’t we see more of that in our motherland? The answer is our society precludes those massive possibilities by not providing the opportunities for the best education and the necessary environment, tools and support for success and prosperity.

We need a leader who can introduce the Ghanaian portion of “the American Dream” in our motherland so that all Ghanaians in the Diaspora will be attracted by endless depth of opportunities and wealth-creation environment prevailing in our country. Such a leader is needed to develop an environment that favors entrepreneurship and security for people’s investments and protection for private property.

We desperately want an environment that promotes unity and equality and happiness, one that discourages tribalism, nepotism, corruption and cronyism. We need an environment that recognizes the Ghanaian as someone who is able to perform exceptionally well with no limits given the support and opportunity.

Fellow Ghanaians, we need that leader and the time is here.

Though I do not intend to be political in my discussion, I, like most Ghanaians and for that matter Ghana, will be most grateful if Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, who as most people will concur, epitomizes the symbol of leadership Africa needs to put us on the path of sustainable prosperity and respect, could be kind and patriotic enough to run for the presidency of Ghana. Dr. Nduom is a problem solver, anticipatory and experienced.

Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, we the youth of Ghana both abroad and at home as well as Ghanaians in general respectfully and humbly ask that you take your national service to the next level. Posterity, Ghana and for that matter Africa will be disappointed if you do not help save the countless number of people who are wallowing in abject poverty, dying of hunger, preventable and curable diseases and illnesses.

I implore all Ghanaians especially the youth and more especially our university students as well as graduates to come together to form a movement called “the youth for a better Ghana”. I hope this piece will provoke a meaningful discussion on the way forward for Ghana and who we think that leader Ghana so badly deserves should be.

The Writer:- Kwarteng Amaning E mail ( USA

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