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Opinions of Friday, 29 March 2013

Columnist: Addo, Kofi

Wherein Lies The Ingenuity Of The Ghanaian?

Some fifty-six (56) years ago the founding President of Ghana,
Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, declared in a landmark speech marking the
Declaration of Independence of this small West African State that The
“Black man is capable of managing his own affairs”.

Indeed these words
are as profound as those penned by Thomas Jefferson in the American
Declaration of Independence that “We hold this truth to be self-evident, that all
men are created equal…,” an age-old document which has become
the reference document of freedom fighters across the world over. The
glaring similarity between these two declarations is that, both were
used as a rallying call for action – a call to rise and build, and a
call to arms.

Dr. Nkrumah’s words in totality, was a call to action and an
admonition for change in the reasoning of the Black race in general, and the
Ghanaian in particular whose years of toil and suffering under the
yoke of Colonialism had affected his self esteem to the point where he
saw the White man as belonging to a superior breed of humans. Dr.
Nkrumah’s efforts did not stop there; he went further to set up
nationalist institutions and an ideology school in Winneba which even
saw freedom fighters from across the African continent coming to Ghana
to study under the feet of Dr. Nkrumah to be imbued with the can-do
spirit.
After instilling this can-do attitude in the Ghanaian, most Ghanaians have grown to
believe in themselves and see themselves as capable of
undertaking any task. Thus, across the length and breadth of the world,
one could find Ghanaians occupying top positions in very important and
powerful institutions. Talk of the former United Nations Secretary
General, Kofi Annan, Dr. Ave Kludze of the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA), and a host of others in different fields of endeavours.

However, in spite of all these individuals who have excelled in their fields of work
thereby bringing fame and admiration for the country,
Ghanaians seem to excel only when they are educated abroad, worked
abroad, came from a privileged background, or swam against the tide of
life and finally broke through the iron curtains of success (Sounds
controversial and ridiculous!) but that could be true, because if all
these individuals are able to perform excellently in leadership
positions elsewhere, why are our home-grown leaders failing us? Read More