Monday, March 7, 2011

Ghana at 100: What will the national story be at 2057

I hope to be around 46 years from now and have the chance to cross check is any of my dreams and predictions will come true when Ghana our beloved country is 100 years old. The most obvious thing to happen then is that the celebration will be massive and the whole of Africa and the Diaspora will come and celebrate our independence with us. It is for this reason that I impress upon the leader of today, which is not those in position right now but those about to take over, to pay attention and answer the big question of "WHEN WILL GHANA BE ACTUALLY INDEPENDENT?". The Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah left behind would have been truly independent at 50 but for his unfortunate overthrow. Dr Nkrumah did pronounce Ghana independent and showed all the plans that was to make Ghana truly independent but it appears not many people saw that vision and plans with him. Instead the forces of disloyalty gave him up for a token and thereby sent this country 50 years into the abyss. 50 years on it clear that Ghana is still missing the leader of her birth, those citizens who contributes to the removal of the founding father have done this country a great disservice. During the  chaotic times are proceeded the overthrow  of Dr Nkrumah, a lot of Ghana's brilliant and talented people left this country, who now constitute a great resource the country can tap for accelerated growth. Once there is life there is an opportunity to re-engage with the national vision at the day of our birth.

*"A nation that harbors a fatal contradiction, that of a desire for good life but not the desire to master the needed craftsmanship"*

Ghana is 54 years old this year and as is done on birthdays there is alot of introspection and future planning taking place. As I look back into the life of this country and at the same time into the its future, my feelings are mixed. Whilst I see great opportunities and great things happening in this land of my birth, at the same time I am concerned about the many lost opportunities this nation has suffered and will continue to do so due to the mindset of most people here and the leadership that run this country. There is a fatal contradiction in this country and we need true leadership to uproot and change the course of this country from an obvious defeat to progress with certainty. As a teacher, I find it absurd that we have an educational systems that does not attempt in any way or form to screen the talent supply and direct their development. Many career choices are made based on a flimsy and fashionable basis. A developing country like Ghana should train all its youth in the creative and productive sectors of life. We instead have a massive takeover of the educational system by marketing courses which constitute over 50% of all graduates instead of under 10%.  As a consequences this country depends solely on foreign companies for its essential goods and services, case in point: all telecoms are foreign and all the effective drugs are imported.

*The Nation of Ideas*

The next 46 years left for Ghana to celebrate it centenary should be devoted to turning this country into a one of ideas and cutting-edge skills. There is the need to develop a strategic manpower distribution plan, that seeks to survey the talent supply of this country and carefully stratify them and select the appropriate numbers for the vital sectors of the development process. The education system should retrain teachers at the upper primary to evaluate the talent of the pupils and organize them into two streams. After class six the bottom 33 % of the stream one is added to the top 33% of the stream two to constitute stream B at the high school level, while top 66% of stream will go onto stream A and bottom 66% of stream two taking stream C. With this arrangement the high school stream A and B are give a training that is high in mathematics, statistics and science and the stream C is taken through vocational and artisanship training. The products of stream A together with the top 50% of the stream B are sent to the Universities whilst stream C and bottom 50% of stream B are direct into technical education at the tertiary level. In the Universities science and technology education should take more that 60% of all the students whilst visual and performing arts  taking 20% and then marketing and social course taking 20%. This system will effective deliver the kind of trained manpower needed to synthesize new ideas for development.
*The Nation that develops solutions to its problems*

 As the system to generate creative ideas is up and running, the same can create solutions to the difficult problems we face as a country. The issue of low quality of life continues to plaque this country but the point is that we cannot change this situation by constant exportation of farm commodities and raw natural materials and importation of expensive products and services. This will only lead to increased poverty and underdevelopment. During the past 54 years of nationhood, the annual budgets have been supplemented up to 40 % by donor organization. Creative and productive enterprises will make up this deficient and begin multiplying the annual income of this country.

*Self reliant Nation not one dependent on foreign aid and importation of all its goods and services*

 Leadership is what makes development happens, we need youthful, intelligent and development oriented Ghanaian to come forward to lead this country. The era of the presidency being the preserve of old men should be done way with completely. Ghana at 100 will be no difference from Ghana at 54 if this same old men presidency continues. The fact is that new wisdom and skills is what is needed to develop, not the old. Anyone who is 55 and above have passed their peak of productivity and therefore should stay away from executive office. They have to rather take advisory roles and leave the day to day executive functions to young and vibrant people so that they too can be ex-MP or ex-Presidents at 55 and above and provide advice to the next generation to act. The era where the young most productive people are made to stand on the sidelines and watch until all the tired but power-hungry old men leave office should be over. Leadership position should no longer  be given out as a retirement package but rather an office for peak performers. With this kind of leadership Ghana can creative all of its goods and services or at worst concentrate on where its strengths are and export the excess in exchange for those it cannot produce efficiently. This is truly independent Ghana I will like to celebrate come 2057.

God bless GHANA
Patrick Kobina Arthur (PhD),


  1. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah took a bold step in declaring Ghana an independent country. Till date we have shown no signs that confer that privilege on us. I think our dear country could be truly classified as 'independent' if we channel our resources into sectors that will benefit us now and for a longer time to come. for example funding a scientific project on an out-break of a disease will not only protect the nation at that instance but will also go a long way in laying building blocks for the future generation should anything if that sort arise later on.

  2. Nkrumah granted us independence from colonial powers. This is like handing a kite to a child who hasn’t flown it before. For a good, skilful and quick learning child, he would struggle a bit with the kite for some time but would eventually get the kite back in flight and even fly it to greater heights. For the opposite child, he would also struggle with it for some time but would finally end up bringing the kite down. The way I see things, if this is still our struggling phase, then it could be that we could send Ghana to greater heights if only we learn the skills of governance very fast and soon, or could collapse the flight and send Ghana down. It all depends on the decisions we take today. Our decisions can change the country for good if we make them right.

  3. It is not our position but our decisions that determines our future.

  4. Nice analysis on the educational system. But I believe that everything is dependent on the attitude of Ghanaians. If a section of students are to be taken to the university and a section to technical and vocational institutes, there are some parents who would not understand and do everything to get their wards to the university and these parents would be those who hold high office those in power. Therefore it is right to say that a new generation of leaders must be trained, leaders who would have the right attitude and energy to turn this nation around before it turns 100. Otherwise, we would be a really lost people with no direction if we spend time and money on massive celebrations when certain areas still lack portable water and electricity whilst others a stricken with disease. Dr Nkrumah did have a plan for Ghana, but all is not lost once there is a will there is a way.

  5. In Ghana, there is the notion that ‘life begins at 40’. No wonder we find old people occupying various positions in government and co-operate bodies. These people tend to want to stay in office for life. Consequently, the young and energetic ones do not get the opportunity to explore their talents and skills.
    I hope Ghana changes at age 100. We must change our retrogressive attitude and channel our resources towards positive development.

  6. Well, for me there is the hope that the nation is going to be better Ghana at 100 but one may argue and not believe in the fact that, there have been almost progressive failure in all aspect of lives in the past years. Owing to this we can not confidently predict what is going to happen Ghana at 100. Even though the past could tell the future, this may not always be the case because Something good can come base on changed of mentality and attitude.I expect this nation to be transformed totally to a nation of ideas and invention.I think that, the main reason why we are seeing what we are seeing is simply due to the fact we expect some specially borned individuals from no where or from some strange land to come and intervene. it seems that, we the sufferers of the problems are too comfortable be motivated by the problem and start to do something.

  7. Well as they say, “where there is hope, there is life”, hence, I think there could be a better Ghana that we all dream of if we do things right. I am very much convinced that the root cause of the problem is attitudinal. Until we all change our attitude, we will continue to be in the ‘abyss’. This could be realized through good leadership. We need leaders who can say, “I don’t care if you change me after my 4 years tenure, I will enforce the laws of the country”.
    Let’s enforce the laws in the country and see if Ghana would not change within 3 years. It is so pathetic the way we behave here in Ghana. The major hindrance to the country’s growth is the gross indiscipline among Ghanaians - “drivers drive anyhow, they want to enter traffic and they enter, they pack in the middle of the road to take passengers whether trotro or taxi, if you tell them they are doing the wrong thing they would argue with you and ask you what right do you have to talk to them and this goes on all over the place, people occupy lands that are not theirs and when you want to sack them so as to build the country and they tell you to compensate them before they leave (the impudence), people sell on the streets and u tell them to leave and they tell you where should they go. You take this person to court and it takes ages. In advanced countries even the lawyer would advise him to settle because if he goes to court he may get punitive damages. The only way is to enforce the laws, till then, we will walk in the tunnel without seeing the end of it where light is.

  8. Ghana at 100 will not be significantly different from Ghana at 50 if this is the sort of leaderships that will continue to leader Ghana.The selfish interest of our leaders must be put aside. If some these leaders had come at the time of Nkrumah, I think they will have develop only villages and relative of themselves and Ghana today would have worse than the colonial era.

  9. our future lies within our hands. it is up to us to make sure that the right people are put at the helm of affairs.if not much would not be desired.