Sacrificing for next generation

Thu, 24 Dec 2015 Source: Kobby Asmah

Christmas means different things to different people. Too often, during the hustle and bustle of the season, we tend to lose sight of its significance – the birth of Christ and the principles He stands for.

With three days to the Yuletide, my mind is not only on his birth, but also on the birth of Ghana, 58 years ago, and which development direction it is treading.

As nationals we can pride ourselves on our political freedom and independence. But it seems we as a nation are failing to unite for economic freedom to complete the freedom agenda we so badly need as a nation.

Today, I shudder to ask what our beautiful national anthem means to the citizen, particularly the political leadership.

Though we have been touted globally as a beacon of democracy in the sub-region, there are many things we take for granted as nationals and which invariably slows down our development, our sense of time is apologetic. This does not make us a serious country; Our generation is overdosed on debt, corruption perception is phenomenal, we are still grappling with meeting our energy needs (dumsor), filth has engulfed us, indiscipline is our stock in trade, a nation with direction but not moving along guided principles, we have been labelled by some foreign football coaches as talking too much but doing very little (sleeping nation).

These, no doubt, are worrying. Indeed, do we really need to brand a bus, for instance, at a whopping cost to the taxpayer before it starts operating to meet the needs of the citizenry? What are the prospects for the next generation if we continue to live life as usual?

A sacrificing nation

Every nation – developed, developing or even the so-called underdeveloped – that has succeeded, has had its citizens sacrificing once upon a time for a better tomorrow. In Ghana, a generation has to sacrifice. Are we the ones that have to sacrifice for the next generation? This is a question for both the governing and the governed.

Undoubtedly, a focused and well-defined government policy plays an important role in leaving a lasting legacy for the next generation. It is all about nurturing a more enabling environment, implementing right policy directions, reforms, setting stretchy but attainable targets and sticking to multi-year commitments.

But we cannot rely just on the government alone, equally important are roles played by the citizenry or the governed to help the next generation stand a better chance of overcoming the real threat of declining living standards.

As citizens, we must also play a greater role in equipping our children for a more challenging future. We should also care for those members of society who are marginalised and vulnerable.

Christmas in the air

This time Christmas is in the air, but once we are done with the Yuletide and 2016 is with us, the nation’s mood will swing back to partisan politics. Politicians will throw everything to the dogs and do whatever, sometimes unimaginable, to win votes. But after elections are won what next? Will our aspirations be met? What do we need to do to demand accountability? These are additional questions we will need to constantly ask as we make critical governance choices in 2016.

Going into the next Jubilee, this nation will need the right leadership, a leadership that is selfless and led by example. A leadership that is accountable and will help steer the nation from the path of dwindling fortunes to progress and prosperity. These are food for thought for all Ghanaians as we celebrate Xmas and look forward to the New Year.

May God bless us all as we also ponder to become a sacrificing nation for the wellbeing of tomorrow. Afehyia pa.

Columnist: Kobby Asmah