Ghana –47 Years Of Mismanaged Opportunities
Today, March 6, 2013, marks the 56th anniversary of the day our beloved Ghana gained her independence from British colonial rule, which lasted over a 100 years.
However, of the 56 years of existence, nine years can be truly celebrated, while a whopping 47 years have shackled Ghana with the lamentable story of gross mismanagement of golden opportunities by misguided military adventurists and short-sighted and plan-less politicians.
In the first nine years of independence, Ghana chalked impressive achievements under the dynamic rule of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and his Convention Peoples Party (CPP) government. In those halcyon years, Nkrumah laid the foundations for a glorious future, which his successors have since thought wise to destroy.
Those were the years of Ghana Airways, the Black Star Line, the Tema Township, Tema Harbour, Akosombo Dam, the Atomic Energy Commission, Free, Compulsory Education, Free Health, University of Science & Technology, Kumasi, University of Cape Coast, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Ghana Industrial Holdings Corporation, Ghana Telecom, Workers Brigade, Ghana Navy, Ghana Air force, the near-completion Gold Refinery, etc, etc.
Of the above, Ghana Airways is no more, Black Star Line is dead, the Atomic Energy Commission is a living dead, GIHOC is more or less an empty shell, unable to seed our industrialisation that it was set up for, Workers Brigade is buried six feet under the earth, and the CSIR deliberately under-funded, based on the advice of envious graduates of non-science disciplines.
Admittedly, Nkrumah and the CPP made quite some mistakes – the declaration of one-party state, introduction of the Preventive Detention Act, following various attempts on his life, including bombings, alleged perversion of the Young Pioneers to spy on parents, etc.
With two opponents of Nkrumah – local politicians denied their political rights and white hegemonists, afraid of losing the wealth of Africa if Nkrumah was allowed to succeed with his transformation agenda for Ghana -achieving a rare coincidence of need, the CPP government was dethroned on February 24, 1966, in a coup d’état led by Emmanuel Kotoka and Akwasi Amankwa Afrifa of the Ghana Army.
The Chronicle is happy Ghanaian politicians had their freedom of speech, of movement and association restored to them on February 24, 1966. But we find it regrettable, indeed highly condemnable, that they seem to have lost their right thinking along with it.
How come the politicians who fled the country to escape the PDA, but returned after the coup to serve as advisers to the soldiers, recommended the scrapping of almost every good thing in sight? And thus threw away the baby with the bath water?
They said Ghana did not need atomic energy for anything, reportedly a piece of equipment brought in for the commission, shortly before the coup was dashed out to the International Atomic Energy Commission.
They said Ghana was happily selling her raw gold on the world market. Therefore, a gold refinery that was about 90 per cent complete was allowed to rot away.
Plans that were far advanced to build the Bui dam and other regional dams to complement the Akosombo dam were abandoned as too ambitious, they advised the discontinuance of free health and free education as unsustainable and abolition of the workers’ brigade …
Maybe, Ghanaians, especially the politicians, should shut up about the inconveniences bedevilling us today. We are lying on the bed that we prepared for ourselves.
If the atomic energy project had been continued after the coup, we would not be sweating from dumso dumso, under any circumstance. If politicians had not sold the state enterprises to themselves and cronies, and workers brigade not disbanded, more youths would be employed today.
With our development 47 years behind schedule and saddled with plan-less politicians, Ghanaians should stop complaining and rather thank God for His bottomless benevolence to us.
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