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Ghana and Africa, Which way forward ?

Sat, 28 Feb 2009 Source: Tamakloe, Kojo

I wish to state that my posts are not meant for a political bias . In life you state the facts as they are . Sometimes we perform a comparative analysis and in the process come up with best course of action. In industry this is called a SWOT analysis, strength, weaknesses opportunities and threats A winner is one who plays to his strengths while minimizing weaknesses and threats .

There are certain facts we need to face irrespective of the political and tribal divide . Do we need schooling, health care, industries, roads , hospitals, jobs,? Are these restricted to one party or tribe? Does Africa need to move ahead ? What makes the big nations what they are and who are they and what do they have in common . what policies have they adopted to be where they are today? Do the insults and the bashing solve these problems . My posts are meant to raise these issues and not be debased to the usual tribal arguments as the use of diversity and unity represents our strength Why Danquah-Busia dinosaur? They followed a philosophy which as posted led to a way of thinking . Private enterprise or individual efforts will lead to wealth creation. But this capitalist route deals with retail and maximization of profit All efforts should be profit driven So are there areas that no one will venture into as there will be no profit ?

. It is obvious Africans have been brain washed by this kind of philosophy and we whip it even though after 50 years we do not reap the fruits .The IMF and The World Bank are also great proponents of this ideology. . The question is ,are they efficient and why not? All we need do is read our history of the miseries caused by that philosophy. Shylock by W Shakespeare , Great Expectations, Charles Dickens, David Copperfield , the famous Robin Hood and Allan Adale and the shouts of “ egalite, egalite” as they chopped off the heads of the aristocracy and the wealthy capitalists . The havoc in Russia as they got rid of the Czars , and the demise of the ruling class in China . We need to remember the excessive crime, caused by poverty and deprivation amid plenty , that resulted in the creation of penal colonies in S Africa and Australia.. Then we ask if Africa has CAPITAL, and ENTERPRISE? If we have where are the jobs ? If not then how do we move forward ?Is economic colonization the option, always with a begging bowl, waiting for some ones approval?

Socialism devoid of its political aspects tries to solve the problems of removing profit as an allocator of priorities . State ownership at its highest level is seen to be inefficient . There will always be persons who will use their enterprise and there will be persons who need help. When Nkrumah, is condemned especially, by persons who benefited from free education , I marvel as they benefited from socialism. Can all those who went to Varsity on State of Ghana scholarship please stand up . How much did they pay for health care at the hospitals ? How do you call these services? Nkrumah and the CPP , (sorry if I am mentioning some taboo words) sought a middle ground ., social democracy . In Chinua Achebe’ s Things Fall apart’ one reads of the African custom as when, Okonkwo reaching man hood is aided by his age mates to clear up and plant his first farm. He is also helped to build his first hut. The family helps him to take his first wife and then through his own efforts thereafter prospers . The land belongs to the community , labor is provided on the basis of reciprocity . Some may call it communalism . It is African, and it is original . Biologically we can have a parasitic relationship in which the parasite feeds on and finally kills the host or symbiotic one where both work together to achieve each others interest . It is these relationships that we need to explore . I will ask the same question , must we repeat the same mistakes of our colonizers? Who will be the slave class and who the slave owner?. Are the conditions present today the same as yester year ,or do we need to modify our approach ? My final suggestion then is social democracy .

The concept of social democracy has changed throughout the decades since its inception. It is dynamic , perhaps like the Volta virus that mutates . Its positions often include support for a democratic welfare state which incorporates elements of both socialism and capitalism sometimes termed the mixed economy This differs from traditional socialism, which aims to end the predominance of capitalism altogether. Social democrats aim to reform capitalism democratically through state regulation and the creation of programs that work to counteract or remove the social injustice and inefficiencies they see as inherent in capitalism.

A mixed economy consisting of both private enterprise and government-owned or subsidized programs of education, health care, child care and related social services for all citizens.

An extensive system of social security (although usually not to the extent advocated by socialists), with the stated goal of counteracting the effects of poverty and insuring the citizens against loss of income following illness, unemployment or retirement. Government bodies that regulate private enterprise in the interests of workers and consumers by ensuring labor rights(i.e. supporting worker access to trade unions), consumer protections, and fair market competition. Environmentalism and environmental protection laws; for example, funding for alternative energy resources and laws designed to combat global warming. A value-added/progressive taxation system to fund government expenditures. A secular and progressive social policy, Multiculturalism Fair trade over free trade.

Advocacy of social justice, human rights, social rights civil rights and civil liberties In this we need to define the aim of education . This should be relevant to our needs . Are we still going for education for civil service or education that helps in self employment . Skills that are relevant should be encouraged and schooling should be geared towards this end .

Leadership and managerial skills . I put these in as one can see the demise of our enterprises , Ghana Airways, Black Star Line, Asutsuare Sugar, etc Oil production should create certain industries that the State and the average Ghanaian should be investing in and creating new jobs like salt production and the use of the by products for polythene etc Finally we need to expand our markets especially in Africa The progress of China. Japan , USA and Europe is underlined by a large market Let us not forget that after the second world war , there was a Marshall Plan for Germany and Japan that involved a lot of spending to re create the lost industrial base. In Africa we cannot expect that kind of help . We got to do it by ourselves

Africa , awake. You must move forward for if you stand still you move backwards

Kojo Tamakloe

The writer believes in a United African States from the axiom “ The Independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked with the total liberation of Africa” Our next challenge is economic independence . Let us use our African inter dependence to create our economic independence

Columnist: Tamakloe, Kojo