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Opinions of Friday, 27 May 2011

Columnist: Ashiagbor, Kwaku Kele

The Ghanaian Condition (Part 16)


Today 25th May is African Union day but how many of us on the African Continent are aware of this?
Unfortunately the whole concept of we Africans Uniting as one big body speaking with one voice and acting in unison at all levels of power in the International Stage is becoming like a bad dream with no relief in sight.
It is so sad that the present crops of African Heads of States are like pygmies in thoughts and actions when compared with giants like Kwame Nkrumah,Julius Nyerere,Kenneth Kaunda,Nnamdi Azikiwe,Jomo Kenyatta,Gamel Nazzer and others .
The question is what went wrong and why? It will be too naive and simplistic to try and give an exhaustive answer to this. This notwithstanding my humble submission is that the present crop of leaders we have,(majority of them) sadly have not got what it takes to be a transformational and selfless leader whose prime most concern and dedication is to forge the unity amongst themselves so as to move mother Africa into the 21st Century.
As postulated many years ago by Dr.Aggrey ‘We are eagles who should fly/soar to greater heights instead of believing that we are chickens and get rooted to the ground’. As long as we have leaders who believe they are chickens instead of eagles,Africa’s resources will be exploited by foreigners and we will forever remain hewers of wood and drawers of water.
In the last century the continent of Africa was literally raped by the Europeans in terms of our man power (the slave trade) and our natural resources.
Even to this day ,this exploitation and pillage continues in the guise of multinational companies bribing our corrupt leaders with pittances to induce them to sign contracts inimical to our national interests when it comes to our mineral and agricultural resources.
Just take the case of mother Ghana as an example.These multinationaks have been mining gold, bauxite and other minerals for God knows how long but have we marginally benefited as a Nation ,to say the least. One has to visit these mining areas to witness the damages being done to the environment, and the living standard of the people.
As if the European exploitations and pillages of our resources are not bad enough, we now have the Chinese and Indians doing the same, all under the guise of trade and investment.
What does it take for us to trade amongst ourselves. We have all the resources on this mother earth but what is lacking is the political will and selfless leadership.We simply cannot trade on a large scale amongst ourselves but instead prefer to do business with outsiders.
How many African countries have the factories to convert our raw

resources into finished products and sell on the world market? Do we process our cocoa coffee, cotton ,gold ,timber and others too many to mention into finished products?
As the late Bob Marley said in one of his songs—Redemption Song ‘We must eradicate ourselves from mental slavery and that none will do it for us but ourselves. Another song of his says ‘Africa Unite’. I pray our leaders are listening.
It is about time the Africa Union ceases to be a talking shop where our leaders go and have a jamboree instead of addressing the multiple issues confronting our people.
Africa is the only continent in this day and age which is still suffering from the proverbial ‘Dutch Disease’. This simply means that in the midst of plenty we are still poor due to our innate inability to utilise our resources to our benefit so as to uplift our people from the abject poverty which is our lot.
Lastly but most importantly, we the people have ourselves to blame for electing these pygmies into office in the first place.
Truly has it been said that ‘The People Deserve the type of Leadership they get.