Opinions Sat, 8 Jun 2013

Dog catcher for presidents in Ghana

Francis Aka-ebila Aka-eri. someri21@yahoo.com

Though conservative Africans hate the western world for its sins of slavery and colonial rule, what Africa has unanimously come to embraced is the plaguing ghost of colonialism. In fact, though it is clear that before the white man came to Africa - Africans had great kingdoms governed by mostly sound political systems, many Africans do not know much about African civilization and how it applies to our world today. What we mostly see is what others have achieved and to achieve that too, we beg and pray to God for it. What happened to self-reliance?

The pyramids of Giza and the ancient schools of Timbuktu speak volumes about Africa’s great past. How about Hannibal and his African Army who beat the Roman Army three times in a row and were the only people to ever beat the Romans. Even the science of nuclear reaction was taken from the lion caves of ancient Africa. Yet, many of us still look up to our colonial masters as a sure source of job creation in Africa. What a shame!

As minister of communications during the Rawlings Administration, our current president, John Mahama did an incredible job and was commended by both sides. By embracing the new reality of globalization and the need to link in with the rest of the world for our good and the good of the world, he did well. Such that Ghanaians today are able to dial the United States from their cell phones, while Americans couldn’t do that without ranking up debt on their phone bills. When Mahama became president, most of us were optimistic that he would apply such ingenuity to the creation of jobs in Ghana, through self-help programmes. Unfortunately, he chose to go with the flow like a dead fish. The question is; how can you expect France and the Europeans to invest in job creation in Ghana, when it is obvious the Euro-zone crashed with 19 million jobless Europeans starving on their streets? How could you be so naïve, Mr. President! It is hard to hit home per tradition, but this time you went too far in the wrong direction. Quit begging! Maybe you learned this clueless act of begging from previous leadership, even as what you did is part of a larger problem in Africa as a whole. Nevertheless, we must take this shameful act out from its roots. For as it were, previous presidents have taken on this panhandling role around the globe and have all returned home with peanut and more of shame upon our good name. Couldn’t we have known and done better than this? Why are you trying to make us a nation of beggars? Indeed, we need a ban on this senseless act of begging in Ghana. Perhaps, not only do we not understand the role of government, our presidents seem to not know the role of presidents. As president, your role is to ensure lasting peace and security in Ghana. (We cannot beg or buy our way to it). Besides, there cannot be any growth in business without peace and security. When our peace is secured, your next task is to take the fight to the greedy white man - who wants Africa to remain sharecropper. And return home with honour, Mr. President. No more begging, trust your people and lead our nation to achieve greatness. It’s easy, we can do it!

Minimize corruption by empowering the secret service and the judiciary to fish out the bad nuts of our economy. Set the pace of growth and challenge our people to attain it within reasonable time frames. Get out of the office to the real world, roll your sleeves, and join the hard working men and women of Ghana. Encourage innovation in an African sense and Ghana would win. Besides, our ancestors never begged to attain greatness in Africa.

Make funding available to serious small business owners and empower them to bring their products and services to the world. If the Chinese can make it, then the Africans can make it too with half of our brain tied behind our back. We just need leadership.

Columnist: Aka-eri, Francis Aka-ebila