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Opinions of Monday, 12 March 2018

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

This is beyond a comedy: Don’t you understand the morphemic ‘Ghana beyond aid?’

It is absolutely true that in the past, Ghanaians sufficiently inured the extraneous slogans such as ‘Mahama Tuaso’, ‘We care for you’, ‘people matter, you matter’, ‘we are transforming lives’, ‘better life agenda’.

It is, therefore, somewhat humdrum to continue reading and listening to the same people who took extreme delight in conjuring meaningless slogans from nowhere attempting desperately to discredit an obvious development theme.

Tell me, my dearest reader, if this is not a sheer political gimmick or insobriety, what would then drive a group of people who previously took solace in vague slogans to accuse their opponent whose only crime is to pronounce a development beyond aid?

Of course, ‘Ghana beyond aid’ is a slogan. But does it mean that the said development mantra cannot be translated into real action? Indeed, we can do it if we change our attitudes and behaviours and work collaboratively towards achieving that goal.

Let us admit, though, all the concerns being raised by sceptics in respect of the likely challenges in our efforts to developing Ghana beyond aid are in perfect order. We should, however, take comfort in the fact that other countries have done it. So why can’t we do it? Of course we can.

The painful truth is, our development has been beclouded by indecisiveness, listless resignation, negligence, corruption and needless dubieties, -----‘we can’t do attitude’.

Consequently, we are often judged by our western counterparts as unproductive and incapable lots who aren’t willing to contribute meaningfully to the advancement of humanity.

As a matter of fact, every discerning African would not be faulted for feeling numb momentarily upon hearing such a heartrending assertion, for, indeed, the truth hurts, they say.

It is against this background that every patriot must be extremely concerned when the impenitent doubters try their level best to shoot down an expedient suggestion that will most likely propel Ghana’s development.

I must confess, I cannot comprehend how and why some Ghanaians can contend somewhat speciously that we cannot develop our nation without grants and loans and would obsequiously insist that it is hackneyed and unconscionable for anyone to suggest that we started life with the likes of South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia, but we are happy to secure loans and other assistance from them.

Indeed, we began life with the likes of South Korea, Malaysia and Brazil, and look at where they are. They are diligently making cars, Mobile phones, electronics, good roads, good housing, and have put in place pragmatic policies and programmes to developed their respective countries and just look at where we are today.

Regrettably, however, we now go to those countries we started life with, and beg for donations, or borrow money--do you recall the STX housing deal which was unsuccessfully pursued by Mills/Mahama administration? I weep for my beloved Ghana.

Well, so long as we have politicians with no vision, myopic and do not think that every child can be educated for free (as has been prudently done by Akufo-Addo’s government), and giving skills to excel in this world, Ghana will probably sink deeper and deeper into the mire.

Obviously, we need a true leadership with vision and ideas, altruistic leadership devoid of corruption, greed, Incompetence and capable of transforming us into an industrialized and robust economy.

Whatever the case, we have to seriously block the sources of corruption and cease measuring our achievements according to the amount of grants and loans facilities we manage to secure from the same countries we started life with.

It is, indeed, extremely worrying and somewhat bizarre that after sixty-one years of independence, Ghana continues to lag behind the rest of the pack in respect of economic advancement. How pathetic?

It would be recalled that during the 6th March 1957 independence proclamation, Osagyefo eloquently recited some important messages which were meant to motivate Ghanaians.

However, as to whether those inspiring messages have impacted positively in the lives of Ghanaians is yet to be seen.

In paraphrasing some of his euphonious and enlivening messages, Dr Nkrumah positively asserted back then, that Blackman was more than ready and capable of ruling himself.

Indeed, he sounded like a manful optimist. Yes, I concur, a Blackman has the requisite knowledge and intelligence to be able to manage his own affairs, but has the intelligent and knowledgeable Blackman been able, and more importantly willing to do so?

And what is more, during the delivery of the tuneful speech, Osagyefo challenged all and sundry to come together and work hard towards the development of the nation, so as to gain our respect amongst nations.

Perfect, that message was melodious to the ear, but have we, as a nation, managed, or in a position to do so? I am afraid, no.

Well, if you disagree with my view point, just listen to the current arguments by the naysayers following Nana Akufo-Addo’s pronouncement of ‘Ghana beyond aid’ and you would not belie the facts by suggesting that some Ghanaians are not ready for advancement through self-reliance.

K. Badu, UK.