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Opinions of Sunday, 18 January 2015

Columnist: Blege, Alex

Making sense in the minds of ourselves.

“ …Stroke of my pen”: Making sense in the minds of ourselves.

Alex Blege

As white as snow, no, as white as the foam of fresh palm wine. Yes that is how it is supposed to be; the use of our environment to make meaning to our process of development.

The issues that confront our daily lives do not have results in imported solutions. We need to look within ourselves and take pragmatic steps for the development of ourselves.

Development must not take an imposing strategy; it must take a collaborative effort in identifying the problems and their consequent solutions.

In the Wa Municipality, Upper West Region for instance, there are two critical issues that border on the environment and health: open defaecation and bush burning during the harmattan.

The Wa Township Plantation, around the walls of both the Wa Senior High and Wa School are places that serve as places for convenience for most natives. Bush burning is another issue.

These two challenges have been age old attitudes that do not look like going away soon. Underlying this fact is the issue of involving the people- natives in finding out what the solution is.

One problem about strategies to create positive attitudes is, when the strategy is applied for some time and people respond in a positive way, the communication strategists feel that the issue is solved, and then the old attitude slowly crawls back. Communication strategies that seek to change attitudes must be done consistently and continuously until a total acceptance of the new and positive ways are seen to be applied.

Traditional leaders are very important in bringing positive change to our communities. In the Chiana Traditional Area, Upper East Region, the GBC reported on January 5, 2015, “Traditional Authorities have banned the sale and use of alcoholic beverages and a locally produced substance called ‘acera’”. This was done to halt the damage alcohol and drug abuse was causing to the youth in the area – development in action.



We as a people should begin to think inwardly and take actions that do not put us in very dicey and difficult situations. A case in point is the mandate for our political leaders – four years, this is too short a time to achieve any positive change. Change is a gradual process; it walks into the minds of people slowly.

On January 7, 2015, President of the Republic, John Dramani Mahama celebrated two years in office. Two years already and there is so much to be done. New problems keep cropping up every day- and he Mahama has only four years to fix the problems.

Even if Mahama takes a magic wand and says “abracadabra”, power and energy crises, labour force strikes, occupyghana and as one musician sang, ‘the beat goes on’ will not quickly come to an end, before he goes away or he gets another term.

This is a situation we’ve put ourselves into and it’s hurting our planning process. Political parties or politicians are prone to planning how to win elections than planning development for the nation; no need to do any math to arrive at this assertion. You have four years; you desire to retain power, as long as you can, so you promote your ideas of retaining power. But again, who caused this?

In an attempt to move in line with the world – that is the West we brought in democracy. We forgot that those we were copying took into consideration their circumstances. Our circumstances differed from theirs and so we should have thought it wise that it is not only important to copy but it is important to copy wisely.

The United States have problems but not with bad roads, schools under trees, health problems, educational change from four to three or three to four years, but we went ahead to copy like no body’s business.

Once again, I will like all those who will not look at things from an umbrella or an elephant or any coloured symbol of any group to begin talking about the number of years our political leaders need. Also, the issue of empowering a body that is apolitical and checks whether the president is following a National Development Plan not a “party manifesto” .

This development plan must be targeted at seven to seventy years or five to fifty years, and whoever comes in must be bound by law to continue.


Our development planning should be based on our peculiar circumstances not those of some group of people somewhere. Four years for any government will always be targeted at promoting political party agenda rather than national development agenda.

History of the Seven Year Educational Plan of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah should guide us; let’s take a cue, we’ve nothing to lose.

Writer’s email and blog address: kw.ameblege@hotmail.com/www.gudzetsekomla.blogspot.com