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Rich Nation - Poor Nation!

Rich Nation - Poor Nation!

Mon, 20 Nov 2006 Source: Danso, Kwaku A.


There are some who pray and hope that Ghana will change and develop like others have done, and some have waited for years, especially those in the Diaspora. A writer commented on one of my articles, and from reading comments, it appears to me obviously some do not understand that the nation of Ghana is ours and ours to manage, and we cannot rely on the goodwill and generosity (and conditions) of other nations we call rich. Those who feel they have accumulated education and usually act like academicians throwing dust should examine their hearts again. We are poor because of many reasons. Some of us feel we can teach our people and we can share our love and touch the real people of Ghana for our nation to progress just as others have done.

I am not a preacher, but often times we have to examine what the people in history did and their thinking. Aristotle for example argues that politicians should not really be expecting pay, because in his argument, the politician gets fame and respect from the population, which he indicates is a reward in itself. Who can argue that Chiefs in Ghana for example and the President of Ghana, and our Ministers and MPs, are given tremendous respect! How much value does one put on it? Do they need to go further and help cripple the economy of Ghana with increased life-style enhancements once in office, as well as their “unnatural means of acquiring goods”, as Aristotle described acquisition of wealth more than a thousand years ago? Ghanaians pray for positive change. Change has been forced on us by globalization, technology and customer demands. Are we keeping up? Are our leaders planning to keep up or being swirled like in a whirlwind of change since they refuse to keep pace with development? A performance evaluation of management and leadership at the Electricity Corporation, Ghana Water Company, and Ghana Telecom suggests we are not keeping up. Closer examination from the writer’s personal interviews for research seems to indicate the default comes from the national leadership.

There is nothing wrong with praying, but even the Bible tells we have to work hard, be disciplined, open our minds to learn from others (do not refuse instruction), stop borrowing all the time else we become servants to the lender. These are management principles also that some of us teach. It also points to the corrupt politicians not to increase their wealth by further oppressing the poor. I study the Bible sometimes from a Management aspect and a few of my favorite quotes to share about the conditions we as a nation in ourselves in, and perhaps point to why we are were we are and perhaps how to move forward.

On sense of Self Reliance, hard work, pride and self-initiative, we have:

“In all labor there is profit, but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury” (The Bible, Proverbs 14: 23).

“The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22: 7)

"The poor is hated even by his own neighbor but the rich has many friends" (Proverbs, 14: 20) The last quote explains why people with good credit, or who have certain decent jobs, or even graduate from college get many solicitations for loans even when they don’t need it. The rich gets pampered when they apply for a loan, as any who has ever owned a house in a rich area of America will testify to this treatment we may call “unfair”. Life is not fair, we may think. Poor people with blemished credit (as we call it in the finance industry) are charged a higher interest when they borrow money, because they are at a higher risk of default. In Ghana I was given packages to seek financing for from America but why would an American lender want to touch them because we don’t even have street addresses. Our laws on land title and litigation on land takes 11 years average to settle!

One of the hardest to understand is this in the Bible also:

"For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away" (The Christian Bible: Mathew 25:29)

This one is a very deep philosophical saying, and depicts the value of savings and investment in our modern days. Many young men and women do not realize the value of investing for the future. Ghanaian leadership, from the NDC to the NPP, do not see the value of investing in good long term roads, underground sewage systems, water treatment and distribution, health care and good communication systems, despite charging 100-200% duties and taxes and fees on imported vehicles and equipment and 15% sales tax (called Value added Tax) and National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL).

One other favorite quotation points to our current Ghanaian and African politicians, as well as some of the leaders of Western nations that exploit the weaknesses of the third world poor nations for their benefit and leave 50,000 people to die daily, according to American author John Perkins (2004)in his book “Confessions of An Economic Hit Man” (A copy of this was donated to President Kufuor in 2005).

“He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want” (Proverbs 22: 16).

On the need to learn from others we have this: “Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction, but he that regardeth reproof shall be honored” (Proverbs 13: 18).

Our change in Ghana will come in the form of instituting the right leaders who have love for the nation, can inspire our people to higher goals, stimulate their minds and give them hope for a better future. First and foremost they must have personal sensitivity to the needs of the people in the nation. Next, the leaders must manage the resources effectively, negotiate well on our behalf with no self gain, and be strong enough to have personal discipline and institute discipline in enforcing laws, codes and punishing crime and eliminating incompetence.

For some of my friends who may not understand what moves me, and for those who do not know me and wonder why my colleagues Ofori Ampofo, Maat Opoku, Maat Afful, Prof. Nti Asare, Prof. Panford, Michel Bowman-Amuah and many others set up a new political party in Ghana to effect change through the ballot box and let those who want compete for the votes of the people to give us the opportunity to change Ghana, let me share a letter from our coordinator Jackson Owusu from Accra:

From: Jackson Owusu [mailto:jackb4jack@yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, November 13, 2006 4:33 AM
To: Ofori Ampofo; K. Danso

We set off around 10am to Mampong in the central region thus an hour drive from Cape Coast to honour an invitation by Atimkwaah constituency group of GNP and also Mfuom to meet the Heman lower Denkyira constituency group of GNP (Ghana National Party).

On board were Mr. Bamfo CR founding father, Mr Affum CR Chairman (interim), Mr. Felix (research director), Kofi Sekyere (driver) and myself.

We got there at 1:15pm to about 200 crowd that two big class rooms could not contain with their executives and Mr Asante WR Chairman (interim) who left a day before because he hails from that area and introduced the party to them. The meeting started at 1:40pm, I gave a brief history about the party, explained some of our policies in our manifesto and how far we have gone concerning the registration of the party. Mr. Bamfo also spoke as well as the other executives. When it got their turn all they had to say was that they want to believe we are in to stay, that we are not going to forget them when all is well, the logistics for them to work and finally they want us to be visiting them from time to time. We closed at 4:30pm and moved to Mfuom where we met about 100 people even with that we were informed that some had already gone because we were not there on time.

We started that meeting at 5pm and closed at 7:30pm so we left at 8pm arrived in Accra some minutes after 11pm.

For my observation and comments lets talk it over on phone. Thanks Snaps attached

It must be noted that such letters are similar to what the Apostles sent and wrote when they were trying to change their society at their time. We who are privileged and blessed enough to have the opportunity of a decent job overseas can sit in our rooms all day and be behind the computers using broadband Internet at 10-100Mbps speeds at less than C450,000 per month which can stay on 24/7, and electricity that can stay uninterrupted 24/7/365. Our nation of Ghana is behind many nations in economic and human development, some of them smaller nations we even emerged from Colonial rule before they did. Are our people learning? Are we teaching our people? Do we care about our people? So far with the exception of Kwame Nkrumah and the first government, it appears the few in leadership positions only serve themselves, spending the little resources and taxing everything in sight as their policy, but still with no results for the people of Ghana. The question we must ask ourselves is: What have we done for our people to effect change? What can we do to help change the situation of our nation and our people from poor nation to rich nation, and receive the same blessings we know exist for our people!!


Kwaku A. Danso, PhD
Email: k.danso@comcast.net
Co-Founder, Ghana National Party,
Website: www.natlparty.com

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

Columnist: Danso, Kwaku A.