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Disgrace At Ghana Airport

Tue, 1 Jan 2008 Source: Danso, Kwaku A.

DISGRACE AT GHANA AIRPORT - ARE THE REST OF THE PEOPLE FOOLS?
(An Open Note to President Kufuor and his Ministers)

The first impressions when one enters a country are hard to forget and they may live with one for ever. There is a sense one gets when one enters any country, America, Canada, UK or Ghana, that all the people are not equal. In Africa the distinction is too glaring. Not only are distinctions in people treatment in basic elements of human comfort and survival, but we also show that we are different from others in the modern world. Analysis should go beyond that.

Our Akan ancestors realized this when they propounded the philosophy of social inequity that “all fingers are not equal”. However, this should not blind us to how people are treated under a democracy or when people are paying money as taxes, duties, NHIL, airline fees, tariffs, property taxes and the many acronyms for governmental taxation! The sad aspect of this is that most of our tax funds end up being like a major highway robbery, an extortion using the law, bloating other peoples’ bellies and not serving intended purposes. They end up benefiting a few and not providing the basic benefits to the people who pay the taxes.
Of all the insults a man may face, there is nothing more hurtful than to be made a fool of. When a person pays for something and the product or services are not delivered, in a direct and indirect way he is she is considered a fool. An example: many Ghanaians today are buying cheap imports some of which break down as soon as used at home, and many are sold on road sides where one cannot go back and seek a refund or return to exchange the item. Many stores refuse to accept defective products back. Similarly people pay property taxes and port duties and yet government cannot plan and provide water, and our roads are designed simply as death traps with potholes and giant speed bumps to ruin many a vehicle. This writer has elaborated in many articles on these in the past. God forbid, but such nonsense, when continued in society for long, leads eventually to social revolutions. Ghana has had its share of social unrest, but in all cases they were done by a military whose leaders ended up being self-centered maniacs and egoists, allowing their cohorts to loot and rob the good people of Ghana whiles they themselves built mansions and tripled their belly sizes. As such nobody should think of or opt for a military intervention when circumstances are bad. In a democracy good leaders need ways to know people’s dissatisfaction and how they can file complaints. Do the leaders care?

I have written about the water situation and roads in Ghana, but let me take this simple case for today – human decency and comfort at our national airport.

At the entry hall of the Ghana airport this writer counted eight (8) split air conditioners. None of them was working when I arrived in Ghana on December 4, 2007. At the final exit chamber, 300 people waited in inhumanly hot temperature of about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Everybody was sweating and uncomfortable and perhaps cursing within. Who the heck is responsible for this!? It must be noted also that in June 2005, none of the Air conditioners were working when I arrived in Ghana. Also in July 2006, I found the same non-functioning AC units. Come ooon! There are only so many excuses one can give for country! This national disgrace must end!

On behalf of the Ghana Leadership Union, Inc. and the Ghana National Party, I am hereby calling on President Kufuor who appoints all Ministers in his government, all mayors of towns and districts in Ghana, the almighty with all the powers, to exercise his powers and act NOW! He must act to end this national disgrace that we cannot even provide the basic elements of human decency and comfort as a people and nation, and yet we are collecting millions of dollars worth of money from arriving passengers and airline companies who use our facilities at the airport.

There seems to be a philosophy of President Kufuor and the NPP government that there are superior humans called “strategic investors” who can solve our problems for us. People who have not had a chance to employ Americans or Westerners, as this writer has, may think that Americans or Westerners are born as innately hard working and Africans are not. This is simply ridiculous. The people of Ghana are not fools and they are not lazy if one employs them in Ghana, or overseas, pays them and manages them. The old notion that Africans are lazy is simply nonsense, a mere racial prejudicial notion of the colonial masters and slave traders who used Africans as cheap labor in the hot sun and justified exploiting them for their own benefits. This writer’s experience as an Engineer and manager /entrepreneur in Ghana indicates that there are craftsmen and artisans who can install, repair and maintain air conditioners, troubleshoot many electronic and mechanical components and in fact many kinds of modern equipment including computers and automobiles. At this time in our history we should indeed be manufacturing these items, if we have the right kind of leadership. These craftsmen are even far better than I have seen in America where the tendency is to replace components and not repair them. However many artisans and craftsmen in Ghana lack basic education, and will need further education and training to do high level global quality work as done in America.

The point at issue is failure in leadership and management. If leaders have airports, railways, buildings, national monuments, public libraries or parks built, it is their responsibility to appoint the right Ministers and Executives and make sure that they perform. I recall one time former President Rawlings lamenting if the 100 tractors he was commissioning for the Affram Plains would still be functional in a few years. The fact is that he should have taken responsibility as a leader to appoint manager and monitored them to manage our peoples’ assets. Did he?

It is with regret that I write this but African societies look so dirty, with exposed red soil and dust ruining many nice buildings and electronic equipment simply because our leaders lack vision and have failed the people! This is a major disgrace and this writer is calling on President Kufuor to stop this disgrace and stop it now! Ghanaians are not fools! We are not people of lower intelligence compared to our counterparts overseas, and there are thousands who have proven this to be true in the top Universities around the world. Why then should we suffer this disgrace and indignity when we return home? Why? Why should our people and visitors have to suffer under torching hot temperatures at the airports, in offices, classrooms and churches when indeed the technology for comfort is not that expensive in today’s world! President Kufuor, with his entourage, has spent the taxpayers’ funds to travel all over the world for reasons sometimes unknown but to himself. Whatever the reasons for the travels, one would have wished and expected that some knowledge would trickle down to the benefit of the people of Ghana. Insider reports indicate that even when these Ministers return home sometimes they issue no reports, let alone financial account reports of their expenses. Is the President managing resources for the people of Ghana? Isn’t that part of leadership?

For God’s sake, where is the chest-thumping African pride of old! Why can’t any of the elements of civilization found globally today rob on the mindset of the President and his men and women for him to institute some elements of beauty and decent standard of living for his people? Any observant analyst will realize in Ghana that nobody seems to do anything on his own, nobody seems responsible for the society around, and there are no avenues or phone numbers for complaint. The President is buying the most expensive vehicles and suits, but if the gutter in front of his house and other locations are open and stinky, or dust in the air, does that describe a polished man? Let us be real. Ghana’s constitution is blemished and nobody will be blamed but the President since he appoints almost all executives of government. If he tells then when to jump and how high, then the only person in Ghana with powers to act in the interest of the people is President Kufuor. He should act and act now to stop the national disgrace! Ghana Airport is the gateway and this is not a simple slogan, but a reality that we should maintain our facilities, buses, toilets, air conditioning and even decorations as perfect as we see overseas if not better. Why should we allow others to look down on us as Ghanaians or Africans for something as simple to do and that we can fix with our abundant cheap labor?
The President and his Ministers pass through entry and exit corridors that are comfortable and have the air conditioning working. This indicates that the President and his Ministers consider themselves better people and the rest of the people are fools. However does that include our many visitors and other personnel and consultants who come to Ghana? It is indeed a disgrace to have 300 or more men and women wait in line for hours at the entry halls, or sit and wait for hours at the last exit chambers of Ghana airport, in 90 to 100 degrees plus temperatures whiles they have paid sometimes $2,000 or more to travel to Ghana. This issue is strictly non-partisan. We appeal to the President to keep his eyes on the ground for such things and in fact appeal to him to shirk the colonial benefit of the government executives using different entry and exit chambers that are prepared for them. It will be very difficult to justify these separate chambers for security reasons, since Ghana has never had any instance to justify this. The President is reminded that the taxpayers of Ghana are paying for these facilities and the travelers from overseas and Ghana need to be respected and treated with as much respect and comfort as he and his executives accord themselves.
In the service of Ghana,

Dr. Kwaku A. Danso,
President – Ghana Leadership Union, Inc. (NGO)
Co-founder and Diaspora Chairman-Ghana National Party


Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.



DISGRACE AT GHANA AIRPORT - ARE THE REST OF THE PEOPLE FOOLS?
(An Open Note to President Kufuor and his Ministers)

The first impressions when one enters a country are hard to forget and they may live with one for ever. There is a sense one gets when one enters any country, America, Canada, UK or Ghana, that all the people are not equal. In Africa the distinction is too glaring. Not only are distinctions in people treatment in basic elements of human comfort and survival, but we also show that we are different from others in the modern world. Analysis should go beyond that.

Our Akan ancestors realized this when they propounded the philosophy of social inequity that “all fingers are not equal”. However, this should not blind us to how people are treated under a democracy or when people are paying money as taxes, duties, NHIL, airline fees, tariffs, property taxes and the many acronyms for governmental taxation! The sad aspect of this is that most of our tax funds end up being like a major highway robbery, an extortion using the law, bloating other peoples’ bellies and not serving intended purposes. They end up benefiting a few and not providing the basic benefits to the people who pay the taxes.
Of all the insults a man may face, there is nothing more hurtful than to be made a fool of. When a person pays for something and the product or services are not delivered, in a direct and indirect way he is she is considered a fool. An example: many Ghanaians today are buying cheap imports some of which break down as soon as used at home, and many are sold on road sides where one cannot go back and seek a refund or return to exchange the item. Many stores refuse to accept defective products back. Similarly people pay property taxes and port duties and yet government cannot plan and provide water, and our roads are designed simply as death traps with potholes and giant speed bumps to ruin many a vehicle. This writer has elaborated in many articles on these in the past. God forbid, but such nonsense, when continued in society for long, leads eventually to social revolutions. Ghana has had its share of social unrest, but in all cases they were done by a military whose leaders ended up being self-centered maniacs and egoists, allowing their cohorts to loot and rob the good people of Ghana whiles they themselves built mansions and tripled their belly sizes. As such nobody should think of or opt for a military intervention when circumstances are bad. In a democracy good leaders need ways to know people’s dissatisfaction and how they can file complaints. Do the leaders care?

I have written about the water situation and roads in Ghana, but let me take this simple case for today – human decency and comfort at our national airport.

At the entry hall of the Ghana airport this writer counted eight (8) split air conditioners. None of them was working when I arrived in Ghana on December 4, 2007. At the final exit chamber, 300 people waited in inhumanly hot temperature of about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Everybody was sweating and uncomfortable and perhaps cursing within. Who the heck is responsible for this!? It must be noted also that in June 2005, none of the Air conditioners were working when I arrived in Ghana. Also in July 2006, I found the same non-functioning AC units. Come ooon! There are only so many excuses one can give for country! This national disgrace must end!

On behalf of the Ghana Leadership Union, Inc. and the Ghana National Party, I am hereby calling on President Kufuor who appoints all Ministers in his government, all mayors of towns and districts in Ghana, the almighty with all the powers, to exercise his powers and act NOW! He must act to end this national disgrace that we cannot even provide the basic elements of human decency and comfort as a people and nation, and yet we are collecting millions of dollars worth of money from arriving passengers and airline companies who use our facilities at the airport.

There seems to be a philosophy of President Kufuor and the NPP government that there are superior humans called “strategic investors” who can solve our problems for us. People who have not had a chance to employ Americans or Westerners, as this writer has, may think that Americans or Westerners are born as innately hard working and Africans are not. This is simply ridiculous. The people of Ghana are not fools and they are not lazy if one employs them in Ghana, or overseas, pays them and manages them. The old notion that Africans are lazy is simply nonsense, a mere racial prejudicial notion of the colonial masters and slave traders who used Africans as cheap labor in the hot sun and justified exploiting them for their own benefits. This writer’s experience as an Engineer and manager /entrepreneur in Ghana indicates that there are craftsmen and artisans who can install, repair and maintain air conditioners, troubleshoot many electronic and mechanical components and in fact many kinds of modern equipment including computers and automobiles. At this time in our history we should indeed be manufacturing these items, if we have the right kind of leadership. These craftsmen are even far better than I have seen in America where the tendency is to replace components and not repair them. However many artisans and craftsmen in Ghana lack basic education, and will need further education and training to do high level global quality work as done in America.

The point at issue is failure in leadership and management. If leaders have airports, railways, buildings, national monuments, public libraries or parks built, it is their responsibility to appoint the right Ministers and Executives and make sure that they perform. I recall one time former President Rawlings lamenting if the 100 tractors he was commissioning for the Affram Plains would still be functional in a few years. The fact is that he should have taken responsibility as a leader to appoint manager and monitored them to manage our peoples’ assets. Did he?

It is with regret that I write this but African societies look so dirty, with exposed red soil and dust ruining many nice buildings and electronic equipment simply because our leaders lack vision and have failed the people! This is a major disgrace and this writer is calling on President Kufuor to stop this disgrace and stop it now! Ghanaians are not fools! We are not people of lower intelligence compared to our counterparts overseas, and there are thousands who have proven this to be true in the top Universities around the world. Why then should we suffer this disgrace and indignity when we return home? Why? Why should our people and visitors have to suffer under torching hot temperatures at the airports, in offices, classrooms and churches when indeed the technology for comfort is not that expensive in today’s world! President Kufuor, with his entourage, has spent the taxpayers’ funds to travel all over the world for reasons sometimes unknown but to himself. Whatever the reasons for the travels, one would have wished and expected that some knowledge would trickle down to the benefit of the people of Ghana. Insider reports indicate that even when these Ministers return home sometimes they issue no reports, let alone financial account reports of their expenses. Is the President managing resources for the people of Ghana? Isn’t that part of leadership?

For God’s sake, where is the chest-thumping African pride of old! Why can’t any of the elements of civilization found globally today rob on the mindset of the President and his men and women for him to institute some elements of beauty and decent standard of living for his people? Any observant analyst will realize in Ghana that nobody seems to do anything on his own, nobody seems responsible for the society around, and there are no avenues or phone numbers for complaint. The President is buying the most expensive vehicles and suits, but if the gutter in front of his house and other locations are open and stinky, or dust in the air, does that describe a polished man? Let us be real. Ghana’s constitution is blemished and nobody will be blamed but the President since he appoints almost all executives of government. If he tells then when to jump and how high, then the only person in Ghana with powers to act in the interest of the people is President Kufuor. He should act and act now to stop the national disgrace! Ghana Airport is the gateway and this is not a simple slogan, but a reality that we should maintain our facilities, buses, toilets, air conditioning and even decorations as perfect as we see overseas if not better. Why should we allow others to look down on us as Ghanaians or Africans for something as simple to do and that we can fix with our abundant cheap labor?
The President and his Ministers pass through entry and exit corridors that are comfortable and have the air conditioning working. This indicates that the President and his Ministers consider themselves better people and the rest of the people are fools. However does that include our many visitors and other personnel and consultants who come to Ghana? It is indeed a disgrace to have 300 or more men and women wait in line for hours at the entry halls, or sit and wait for hours at the last exit chambers of Ghana airport, in 90 to 100 degrees plus temperatures whiles they have paid sometimes $2,000 or more to travel to Ghana. This issue is strictly non-partisan. We appeal to the President to keep his eyes on the ground for such things and in fact appeal to him to shirk the colonial benefit of the government executives using different entry and exit chambers that are prepared for them. It will be very difficult to justify these separate chambers for security reasons, since Ghana has never had any instance to justify this. The President is reminded that the taxpayers of Ghana are paying for these facilities and the travelers from overseas and Ghana need to be respected and treated with as much respect and comfort as he and his executives accord themselves.
In the service of Ghana,

Dr. Kwaku A. Danso,
President – Ghana Leadership Union, Inc. (NGO)
Co-founder and Diaspora Chairman-Ghana National Party


Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.



Columnist: Danso, Kwaku A.