Feature Article of Saturday, 27 August 2011

Columnist: Offeh-Gyimah, Abena Kwatemaa

The Future of Ghana

Abena Kwatemaa Offeh-Gyimah

The future of Ghana lies in the hands of its young people. After travelling to Ghana twice within this year, this message rings true as I went through several villages, towns and cities. However, it is discouraging to see the way of life for many of these young people or the types of jobs they have if they have any at all. Many of these youths are mate of unsafe public transportations, selling on the streets between cars and beside the roads, and several other risky jobs. These are not summer jobs but rather it is a way for them to make a living.
Ghana has no set programs for the growing generation, no patriotism among the youths, no urge to build a better Ghana than the one they currently live in. it is difficult to see this and to hear a lot of young people say, “this is Ghana,” instead of “Ghana will get better.” Although Ghana is currently developing in some areas, these areas do not include jobs, school-related internships, and programs for the young people. Although some young people are enrolled in several secondary and post secondary schools, these are people who can afford it, especially for the universities. Education has become a struggle for many parents to be able to afford for their children. The young people live as ‘each one for himself or herself!’ It is almost as if they have been neglected in the political agenda, completely disregarded.
How can young people make the future of their country better when they have no drive of where to take the country? How can they be the future that makes the difference when they still witness bribery among the older generation? How can they lead the country when they still see the Ghana of Rawlings/Kufour/Mills? How can a whole generation who are indefinitely the future of Ghana lack many of the resources, tools, training and opportunities to lead a country to its full potential?
The youth of Ghana need to see beyond the older generation, they need to see beyond the ones currently in power, they need to see a different future for Ghana. They ought to envisage a Ghana that holds the youth as its central core, thereby making education a must for every child. An educated child in a country is one less child on the street. Education is the power to freedom in the mind of the youth that eventually shows as the child gets older and acquires more knowledge. A child who is well-equipped is armored for change, willing to fight and create change in his/her country.
Instead of the government of Ghana borrowing ridiculous amount of money from the World Bank for the excuse of building private jets, and other reasons and end up squandering the money for political campaigns and distributing it among ministers, that money can be used wisely towards programs for the young people.
A new Ghana needs to arise, one that realizes that these are serious times to equip and prepare the youth in making Ghana better, taking Ghana where it should be. The young people are the future of Ghana and so if they do not have the tools and resources to prepare themselves to lead the country, how can they do so when the time comes? Equipping the youth must be the engine that propels the ‘Better Ghana’ agenda!