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RE: Change Socio-economic discrimination of the north

Sat, 28 Oct 2006 Source: Jeffrey, Peter Nee

The assertion by the Concerned Youth Associations of the Upper Regions that governments after independence in 1957 failed to reverse the colonial legacy is disingenuous and false. It is true that the 3 northern regions lag behind the rest of the country in developmental terms, but this cannot be blamed on the CPP that Nkrumah led and the Progress Party of Busia.
Soon after independence, Dr Nkrumah embarked on rapid modernisation of the country. He started with his education policy by offering free education to our northern cousins and set up scholarship schemes for our cocoa farmers. Along side these policies were the formation of the Young Pioneers Movement which enabled many boys and girls from the northern Ghana to go to school.
Recognising the blatant discrimination that the northern half of the country suffered under colonialism Dr Nkrumah set about to redress this imbalance by putting in policies to turn the most developed part in modern day Ghana. Tamale (this writer’s adopted home town) was to be the hub of the most advanced transport system in the West Africa sub-Region.
In his master plan, the biggest inland air cargo port was planned for Tamale, sadly the 1966 coup which was plotted by the CIA and local thugs denied the north this opportunity. It was true that at time of Nkrumah’s overthrown the Ghanaian exchequer was broke; Dr Busia saw the importance of the north to the socio-economic importance of Ghana that he pledged to implement Nkrumah’s master plan. Coming from a region that boarder the north (Brong Ahafo Region) Busia knew the level of poverty pertaining in the north was unacceptable. Busia, a world renowned scholar was impressed about the plan to establish a University for Development Studies, including school for medical sciences in Tamale and its environs. Dr Busia’s overthrown by the Supreme Military Council was a double blow for the north.
The notion that northern Ghana is perceived by Southerners as an “economic desert” and “destitute of minerals wealth” is wrong and dangerous. No government deliberately ignore the north, however one cannot deny the fact that no major investment went to the region in the past. The NDC government under Rawlings and the NPP government under Kufuor recognised that to entice investment into the region, the transport infrastructure must be first developed. With improvement of transportation linking the south to the northern towns and villages that investment would follow. That is what we must strive to achieve. It is in all our interest to develop the 3 northern regions with Tamale as the hub.
Investment in the north must be the number one priority of every Ghanaian living everywhere. It is this writer’s wish that Tamale becomes the biggest transport hub in Ghana as was envisage by Dr Nkrumah and Dr Kofi Busia. I want to assure northerners and Ghanaians that the region stands at the pinnacle of achieving greatness. All the presidential aspirants have pledged to eradicate poverty in the north and channel more investment to the region. This writer will hold the one who becomes the president of Republic of Ghana to their promise.
To conclude I am directly appealing to all northerners, especially CYAUR to excise restrain as we embark on the first leg of our development to turn our motherland into a Middle income by 2020. The north stands to agin most. God Bless the 3 Upper Regions, God Bless Tamale, Bolgatanga and Wa, God Bless Ghana. Hen so yen asasi ni (meaning the land belongs to all of us).



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

The assertion by the Concerned Youth Associations of the Upper Regions that governments after independence in 1957 failed to reverse the colonial legacy is disingenuous and false. It is true that the 3 northern regions lag behind the rest of the country in developmental terms, but this cannot be blamed on the CPP that Nkrumah led and the Progress Party of Busia.
Soon after independence, Dr Nkrumah embarked on rapid modernisation of the country. He started with his education policy by offering free education to our northern cousins and set up scholarship schemes for our cocoa farmers. Along side these policies were the formation of the Young Pioneers Movement which enabled many boys and girls from the northern Ghana to go to school.
Recognising the blatant discrimination that the northern half of the country suffered under colonialism Dr Nkrumah set about to redress this imbalance by putting in policies to turn the most developed part in modern day Ghana. Tamale (this writer’s adopted home town) was to be the hub of the most advanced transport system in the West Africa sub-Region.
In his master plan, the biggest inland air cargo port was planned for Tamale, sadly the 1966 coup which was plotted by the CIA and local thugs denied the north this opportunity. It was true that at time of Nkrumah’s overthrown the Ghanaian exchequer was broke; Dr Busia saw the importance of the north to the socio-economic importance of Ghana that he pledged to implement Nkrumah’s master plan. Coming from a region that boarder the north (Brong Ahafo Region) Busia knew the level of poverty pertaining in the north was unacceptable. Busia, a world renowned scholar was impressed about the plan to establish a University for Development Studies, including school for medical sciences in Tamale and its environs. Dr Busia’s overthrown by the Supreme Military Council was a double blow for the north.
The notion that northern Ghana is perceived by Southerners as an “economic desert” and “destitute of minerals wealth” is wrong and dangerous. No government deliberately ignore the north, however one cannot deny the fact that no major investment went to the region in the past. The NDC government under Rawlings and the NPP government under Kufuor recognised that to entice investment into the region, the transport infrastructure must be first developed. With improvement of transportation linking the south to the northern towns and villages that investment would follow. That is what we must strive to achieve. It is in all our interest to develop the 3 northern regions with Tamale as the hub.
Investment in the north must be the number one priority of every Ghanaian living everywhere. It is this writer’s wish that Tamale becomes the biggest transport hub in Ghana as was envisage by Dr Nkrumah and Dr Kofi Busia. I want to assure northerners and Ghanaians that the region stands at the pinnacle of achieving greatness. All the presidential aspirants have pledged to eradicate poverty in the north and channel more investment to the region. This writer will hold the one who becomes the president of Republic of Ghana to their promise.
To conclude I am directly appealing to all northerners, especially CYAUR to excise restrain as we embark on the first leg of our development to turn our motherland into a Middle income by 2020. The north stands to agin most. God Bless the 3 Upper Regions, God Bless Tamale, Bolgatanga and Wa, God Bless Ghana. Hen so yen asasi ni (meaning the land belongs to all of us).



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

Columnist: Jeffrey, Peter Nee

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