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Opinions of Tuesday, 8 March 2005

Columnist: Albion, Kojo

?Nkwan a w?efim?.? (Spoiled soup)

?Anyone who benefits more than the people he/she is serving is not serving.?



Disclaimer: This is not a political piece. I am not writing this to blame anyone but to express some sentiments and may be state some solutions. Since I am not a Systems Analyst I want to say that as a Theologian I look to God for answers.

Dear reader please read this article with your mind first before you respond. I have written many articles to know that some readers (very few) respond before they think and read between the lines. Well, if you are patient enough to read between the lines, then read on?

An Akan proverb that I have come up with is this: ?Nkwan a w?efim, s3 edze nam fofor biara to mu a, noso befim.? (Any meat that one puts in a spoiled soup will also get infected.)

I came to this conclusion (proverb) when a few days ago I learned that a dear cousin of mine who was trying to set up an agricultural business in Ghana is in deep trouble. He got a loan at over 50% interest rate for this venture but then when the time came to pay the loan back (in Ghana some loan sharks give short term loans only and with over 50% interest rate) the expected revenue was NOT there. This is only the tip of the mess.

For Ghana to declare HIPC (highly indebted poor country) some years ago, let us all agree that something is seriously wrong. I am not casting any blame and so relax. ?Why is Ghana very rich and yet very poor?? Why is Africa so rich and yet so poor??

When a friend of mine, Ekow Bedu, heard about the rise of petrol cost from C20,000 to C30,000 per gallon, this is what he wrote to me:

"The medicine they're prescribing is liable to kill the patient -- in this case the nascent democratic dispensation in Ghana. I am incredulous and wonder how people are surviving. No wonder the place is swarming with bandits like Atta Ayi.

Another thing that got me in the dumps is those comparative pictures of Winneba Main Street they had on Ghanaweb some few weeks ago. Over 40 years and not much to show but deterioration. Nothing new in 40 years!! What bothers me the most is that Winneba is not like a small unknown place. It is one of the major towns in the Central Region and not one pesewa seems to have been invested in infrastructural improvements. Very sad indeed."

"Nkwan"- many institutions in Ghana "w'efim"- spoiled (broken, sick) No matter how we try ("nam fofor" = new meat) any help.....

Does not yield positive results (noso fim)

Therefore: "Nkwan a w'efim, s3 edze nam fofor biara to mu a, noso fim." (When the institution is sick, anything that goes near it gets infected too.") Unless there is a paradigm shift, things will continue to be ?hard saa.?

Item: Imagine you want to buy some seeds from the Ministry of Agriculture for a farm project like my cousin wanted to purchase.

For whatever reason, he had to go through a back channel. This back channel happened to be the Purchasing Clerk. As with many things, give the money to the Clerk and he/she will get the seeds (needed item) for you.

Well, after about a week to two weeks, this Clerk gave him half of the seeds that he wanted to purchase because he/she had diverted some of the money for his/her own personal use. Yes, this Clerk has diverted some of the money for his/her own venture.

?Why not walk in directly and purchase the bulk seeds that you want yourself?? You may ask. Next time try this yourself and see what you will be told.

What about an electric meter for your new house? Advice, go through the back channel or else it will take many years before you get the meter. What about telephone service? What about water? You get the picture.

Please note that this is not how the story will end. There are many success stories but we want more of them. A new generation is ready to take over.

(GNA-March 5,05)The children (students receiving awards) said they were, however, frightened by a certain phenomenon that was gradually destroying the country's social fabric. They said ethnicity was threatening to cast asunder the bonds that had identified and singled out Ghanaians as a hospitable and peace-loving people.

The children said there could be no better cure for this canker than respect for one another, irrespective of gender, ethnicity, creed or political affiliation.?

The future of Ghana is very bright and it up to us serve in a way that the people we serve benefit more than we do. The solution is in each of us and if we take this responsibility seriously, the nation will see better days ahead.

Ghana shall rise again. Let us be determined to hoe our plots diligently and soon we will all meet in the middle. Our hope is in God and with Him all things are possible. May the people we serve benefit more than we do. Taste the soup.

Is it ok?


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