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Opinions of Thursday, 21 May 2015

Columnist: Dynamics, Cosmic

The Root Causes of Our Predicament

Whatever the aims and objectives of the Dumsor vigil were, I doubt they were achieved. First and foremost we have to do some thinking and determine what the root causes of these power outages are. The blame game is not going to solve the problem. Any aspiring presidential candidate who demonizes President Mahama’s government will probably come to office and worsen the situation, unless the fundamental causes are dealt with. I’m not implying I am a supporter of the current government.

Until we understand how we are as a people, shaped in thinking by culture and religion and other devices, we will continue to play the blame game ad infinitum.

The power crisis did not begin with this government. Preceding governments lived through it but did nothing about it. So we’ve been in this together all along. That is who we are: we don’t solve problems; we live with and accommodate them. But guess what? Problems unattended to compound exponentially and then eventually people start complaining when they get to unbearable limits, and that is where we are with the electricity situation right now. We’re all partly to blame. We just don’t care about anything. It’s our culture. It’s our nature.

We need Think Tanks to brainstorm and come up with workable plans to execute.
We need such people whose only duty would be to develop policies and long term plans for national development. Without such institutions in place, or without any proposal or solution to the issue at stake, any vigil or demonstration is a complete waste of time. I doubt whether any aspiring presidential candidate has a solution. If they do, this is the time to prove they have the nation at heart. We would all like to hear what they have to offer.

In light of this, the current government most likely has no immediate solution, just like their predecessors. Have governments thought about solar and wind energy? In the developed world, countries and cities, communities are shifting to these clean, green forms of energy. Solar farms are springing up every now and then.

In April, an army base in Georgia, Fort Benning, held a groundbreaking ceremony to build a $75 million solar panel farm, one of the largest renewable solar power projects in the state. The farm will feature 136,900 4-foot by 6-foot panels covering about 200 acres on the installation. The farm is scheduled to begin operation in 2016, providing about 40 percent of peak electrical demand. The solar project at Fort Benning and two other installations in the state will provide a 30-megawatt, alternating current, solar photovoltaic array on each post.


Even if we lack ideas why can’t we replicate what others have done or are doing? And even if we know what to do to help alleviate the problem, given the resources are we the kind of people to have a groundbreaking ceremony and have it ready in 1.5 years’ time?

Is it possible to build one in every district to augment the electricity from Akosombo and other sources? I believe we can generate the money but our priorities are somewhere else. We want things to be done for us, but reality is one thing, fantasy is another.

Can we have a program to go solar entirely in ten years’ time? Where are the so-called solar experts? Now we need their expertise. Can we have a solar panel research and development center bringing Ghana-made solar panel to the market by 2025? Are we waiting for the white man to come and do it for us?

We can excel in sports, music, school (academic memorization), and in other disciplines, but when it comes to applying the knowledge learned in school to develop our countries, or build automobiles and computers, we fall short.

We live in a country blessed with abundance and yet we lack everything. Does that make us feel guilty? We should be ashamed as well. Lawlessness is the law in Ghana. Corruption has spread, and continues to spread like a cancerous tumor. Sanity now has a prefix. Yes, you guessed right.

We import everything, even tooth picks. What happened to our factories we had some time ago? They all run down and collapsed because of mismanagement and lack of maintenance. Our national airline is one pride which disappeared because of a similar reason. The list can go on and on. That is who we are as a people. Compared to other countries that had independence at about the same time we gained independence, we’re retrograding while they are progressing.

Do we really consider ourselves created equal to other races? Is the black man really capable of ruling and managing his/her own affairs, or was that just political utterances? How much have we progressed since independence? The only difference between races of people is the programs or softwares (mentality) that our hardwares (brains) run on. These programs are undoubtedly shaped by culture, and to some extent religion and belief system. These influences are the banes of our predicaments, in my opinion.

It is true but sad to say that we as a people are selfish, we are not hardworking, we are apathetic, we are not problem solvers, we don’t believe in ourselves. Our educational system doesn’t challenge us to be thinkers. We’ve been trained to complete school and wait to be employed. We’ve not been trained to be innovative, and create jobs opportunities for ourselves and other. We’re not self-motivators. We almost always want to be told what to do. We love routine. And we like to depend on religion to solve our problems.

“Let there be Light and there was light” doesn’t mean God is going to provide us with light. We have to do it ourselves. God created us and gave us the freewill (or toolbox) to do whatever we want with it. Others took advantage and developed their countries. What do you expect when you apply for visa to go into these progressive countries?

I would like Ghanaians to cease the opportunity during these times (before the next elections) to choose their next leaders with eyes wide open. Ask the aspirants questions and let them pour out their vision for the country. Ask them to sign their death warrants if they fail to achieve 40% of what they have written in their platforms; just 40 %.

Are we really ready for a change for a better Ghana? It’s going to take a lot of sacrifice. If we’re not ready then there’s no point demonstrating, or going on vigils.
We are our own problems, and only we can solve them. When you look in the mirror what you see is the problem; every one of us. The first thing we need to do is have a change of mind (delete obsolete programs and install new workable ones). The moment we change the way we look at things, the things we look at begin to change. Our perspective of things will change. If we skip this fundamental level, we’d continue on the trajectory to total oblivion.
No building rests on no foundation!

We need to WAKE UP AND THINK and come up with a workable and executable plan to correct all the wrongs and rebuild our country. It is certainly within the realms of possibility.
Are we really ready to go all out?

The author is a free thinker, truth seeker, truth speaker.
Progressive comments are welcome.