My last article has generated and a lot of interest. I therefore present a rejoinder to several of the comments. As a Ghanaian, I love my country; however I have a different view to building a nation if we are to become second to none in Africa. I grew up in Fante New Town, Kumasi and have struggled in life until recently. I have no party affiliation nor is my call for the CPP in 2008. I do not belong to any Fante political group, because the few high Fante profiles are all self centered with foolish ego's and have money from Deloitte Touch?. With their Ph D's in women studies from the University of Milwaukee they think that money can buy them power. However, this is my candid observation in Ghana, having returned after years of sojourns, that through my articles, the truth should not hurt the man of good will and intent.
We thank President Kuffour for sustaining and continuing the freedom of the press which is among the best in Africa. This is the foundation of democracy, upon which checks and balances are needed to sustain the country on its path to development. Leadership with a vision uses checks and balances as a process for national development; however others mistake it as a hatred of the government. We are in a new political era, whereby information and communication tools can be used effectively and strategically to combat poverty, promote sustainable economic growth. It can also empower individuals and communities to participate more fully and creatively in their societies and economies. Thus leadership in this present era means accountability. It involves the ability to identify successes and failures of development strategies so far employed and to initiate a process through which all can discuss their long-term goals and aspirations.
I don?t have a problem with the President assembling his relatives and the so called Kumasi club to rule the country so far as they are good and are qualified. The unfortunate thing is that the people being ruled are at a loss, since with all that bad advice; there is no opportunity for any objective policy. Unfortunately some of his advisors are of narrow thoughts from uneducated schools, who think they know it all and some aspire to become leaders. There are few ones with very old ideas that are not suited for the present day trend of development and are using their 1970?s ideas to develop the Country. Others in the inner circles have no time to read about modern day development, except drinking beer in my neighborhood during funerals on Saturdays at Amakom in Kumasi. They follow anyone who comes with an idea without any in-depth analysis. They cherish themselves with the pride as the first African Country to attain independence and of Busia ?Danquah heritage but they really come empty shitting on the gold reserves. Where there is no clear vision or strategy, everything becomes ad hoc and that is why we continue to be a beggar nation.
Rosa Whittaker, the so called lobbyist and representative of Ghana in the US take credit for AGOA and Allan Kyerematen champion himself for its implementation. For political gains and more photo ops, they never came up with any action plan for the African governments. What they don?t realize is that many Africans and Ghanaian women have been designing African fabrics and textiles for the past fifteen years for export to many places in Europe and North America before AGOA. Last year when a sister who has been exporting fabrics to the USA wanted an explanation of AGOA from the Ministry in Accra, the official wanted to date her and was just admiring her beautiful legs. He had no clue on what to do with AGOA.
Alcoa?s (one of the sponsors of the dinner for Kuffour's delegation to Washington DC) interest in Ghana is through Volta Aluminum Company (Valco). This company has interests in bauxite mine capacity in Australia, at their Del Park reserves, Brazil at Pocos De Caldas, and the Suriname plant at Coirmotobo. They also have aluminum refinery capacity in Texas, Spain, Australia, Brazil, Tennessee and many other places. Has Allan Kterematen and his advisors including Rosa Whittaker undertaken a review as to the best interest of Ghana among these competing nations? . Alcoa can shut the plant down overnight, but they can't take away an investment in human resource. It up to the Ghana Government to have its Ministry to examine studies by Alcoa. The President to should sit back with a grand vision for Country but not selling himself to these corporate giants at dinners because they play politics of convenience, therefore you play their game.
It's such a pity to attend graduate schools in Europe and North American to find Ghanaians and other Africans struggling to type and spending hours and hours to search for the letter P. This is a problem of illiteracy that takes a leader who has a grand vision to lay the foundation if we are to compete in this world. Typing should be made compulsory in all schools even if one has a typewriter or not and it should be made a requirement before graduation. Secondly, the taxes and duties on all typewriters and computers should be removed. The importation of old typewriters and computers should be expedited. This is visionary and it lays the foundation for Ghanaians in the IT human resource investment. Again, take a look at the telecommunication sector and asses the role of IT to business and schools. It is important to free up this sector from bureaucracy. Instead of delays and problems faced by investors who are bidding for telecom license ( which is corrupted) , there should be a guideline or condition that part of the licensing fees should be used to wire schools and colleges, instead of the few pocketing the license fees in the name of the Agency. Once all this done, incentives for technology parks can be created, investors will follow suit and the outsourcing of hi-tech industries will flow, job creation grow and many of boys will stop selling condoms on the streets, because they have learned how to type or use the computers and they will find jobs. This is what a visionary leader does. What we have now are leaders cutting ribbons for internet cafes with no idea on modern day role of IT in business, in the finance sector, schools and colleges.
Has any leader in the government taken a look at the contracts undertaken by the Ghana Government to ascertain our priorities. Through the development of its 10-year Tourism Master Plan, Ghana embarked upon an ambitious program to improve the performance of the tourism sector. Georgia State University's Robinson College of Business was selected to deliver a program of support for capacity building and to help develop and market Ghana's tourism assets. The five million dollar project was just a job for the Robinson College in Atlanta but not to help Ghanaians. The printing of brochures to market and training in hospitality industry was not a panacea. After all I understand there is a Ghanaian in New York City who has written a good book on Ghana and has been donating and selling the books in North America to promote Ghana.. Our folks just sit down and append their signature to any grant a donation that is given to them without any in-depth analysis themselves.
The people of Ghana are now young, diverse and well read. From the young female professors at Harvard, to the Ghanaian shoe shine boys at Port Elizabeth in South Africa and to the street boys in Accra, they are beginning to understand the art of government and nation building after all their sojourns. They are not going to sit down for the hijacking of the Presidency in 2008..