You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2009 02 07Article 157220

Opinions of Saturday, 7 February 2009

Columnist: Asamoah, Adams O

The Failed Generation and a Call for Duty

Our dear nation has definitely evolved from the times of queuing for sardine and soap to a perhaps a more advanced context. Yet there is more to be done. Look around you and you could find all sorts of talents and a great nation not at its great potential. You could see a nation retrogressing into deeper destitution. You could see a nation that refuses to utilize the brain gains of its own. You could see a nation divided on tribal and partisanship. You could see a nation only claiming to be the hope of Africa but it’s perhaps the failed leader of the continent.

These pronouncements are not meant to ignore the progress been achieved so far. Of course, we as a nation have evolved; our recent election is a clear example of what we have become. Where in Africa would you see a vibrant incumbent fall and allowing an opposition with a mixed record take over? It is absolutely beyond comprehension in the African context.

This is a country of great potential; a country that could have been better if and only if its generation of leaders had taken on the mantle to continue its further liberation from the grips of poverty, underdevelopment, tribalism, and selfishness. Our problem isn’t because we cannot. Our problem isn’t because we are a developing country. Our problem isn’t because we are Africans. The issue is not if we lack the skills and talents to make a better nation.

The problem is the failed generation in helms of our socioeconomic development and leadership. Don’t get me wrong on this. Our country has raised great talents in both private and public sectors. We still have the likes of Nana Addo, John Mahama, Alban Bagbin, Victor Gbeho, Kofi Annan, Kwasi Nduom, Courage Quashigah, Ofori Atta of Databank, Arthur K Kennedy, our Black Star, two great women in Justice and Parliament, and the list goes on and on. And I thought either Prof. Mills or Nana Addo would do a good job if only they believed in their own rhetoric. It isn’t that we lack the talent and it isn’t that we don’t want to see a better nation.

It’s how we get there that matters. There is a difference between exclamation for a middle income nation (whatever this means) and the dedication and vision to see this nation move forward. Who said Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Brazil and perhaps China will be better of than Ghana? Yet these countries have evolved into a more developed country than we have. Why? This will be a big question to answer.

It may seem unfair to compare because each country has its own history and sociopolitical structure requiring a different analysis. Nonetheless, is it wrong to compare? The same IMF and World Bank were manipulating how the countries above lived amid the influx of foreign interest dictating their economic and political structures; the Asian crisis of the 1990s was a clear example of consequences of this interference. But they became what they are because of a dedicated and selfless leadership generation that emerged to make their lives better.

On the contrary, you have a great country like Ghana with selfish and self glorifying individuals who only ask the question how would my family eat, which foreign school should my children attend, which and how many gas guzzling SUV should the government buy, how many houses should Ex-Presidents have, and no way should we allow our foreign trained brothers and sisters come home to help in key positions because they are a threat to our very way of living. It is sad to see this in a country such as ours.

This is a failed generation and I strongly believe it may not even matter which political party in power. This generation might have benefited from the goodness of this country than any other generation. Free school; allowance to go to school; better education system (Middle school through Six Form education); and many more. Yet they have rather failed the generations that came after them by their reckless and selfish motives.

What did the younger generation do to deserve this from these leaders?

Look at our parliament and you will see MPs who do not even understand why and how they got to the House. Look at our Ministers and you could see the lack of leadership and vision to move their departments forward. Just view our Municipalities and Districts and you will see self glorifying individuals who do not understand simple ideas of development and service to the citizen. Look not far from our public sector and you will find people who only go to work for work sake and with no nationalistic feeling for public service. Look at our police and you will find some elements of no sense of duty. I would perhaps spare the civil servants and the law enforcement personnel because they may not be the problem, their superiors and policy makers have rather failed them too.

Any country without dedicated generation will continue to linger in the wilderness of deprivation and lack. What happened to HIPC funds and countless donations from foreign governments? We all admit that dependence is a crippling disease. But if we have to use foreign help to develop our own domestic capacity then it may not be a wrong thing to do. However, if we lack the ideas and vision to use our resources for the public good, then someone will manipulate and advise that we rather sell our national interest.

Look at our mining sector; one would have expected that if oil prices made oil producing countries richer then higher commodity prices should perhaps make us better too. Ghana is counted among the highest gold producing countries in the world. Yet rising prices have no meaning to our development. What will oil do if our leaders lack the vision to use revenue for our development? They may cry no to this kismet sayings because they believe oil will turn the fortunes of this country. That is absolutely true. Nevertheless we have all seen the lack of prioritization in our policy agenda and we have also witnessed the lack of seeking our national interest in our interaction with other countries.

It’s a call to duty of every Ghanaian to stand up to this generation. Now we know guns are worthless to our cause; our thumb and voice are the most powerful tools to change our Mother land. The younger generation should listen with great attention because this generation is “mortgaging their future”. They are selling the soul and interest of the country to foreigners; creating more debt for the young and future young generations; creating divisions via tribal sentiments; exploiting the ignorance of our illiterate folks; amassing wealth when our education system only teaches theory and no practical application to meet the challenges of 21st century; in plush offices, cars, presidential palaces, armed guards when the larger population is in deep poverty, no access to better drinking water, no lights, Chorkor, Alajo and others facing no future along with hustling everywhere in Ghana.

They will all see the effect too if God prolong their lives; a deficient economy will definitely catch up with them when they are old and weak, when inflation had made their wealth worth less, when sick but no better health care to attend, poor water and sanitation, and foreigners are dictating who governs. That day will not only be a pain to the young, it will be for ANY Ghanaian.

If it were my will, I would say President Atta Mills should be the last of the old generation to manage the welfare of the nation. The near young should take over and include all Ghanaians everywhere in recreating Ghana for what she is supposed to be.

Hear me out for if Mother Ghana gets well, all stratum of our society will definitely benefit. I believe in the will and greatness of Ghana, we shall get there.

Adams O Asamoah A concern Citizen