Same cement and brains

Wed, 20 Jul 2011 Source: Danso, Kwaku A.

-Livermore -Vasco Road- Let's compare to our beloved Ghana.

By: Kwaku A. Danso

I want to share this picture and let us discuss a point about our Ghanaian society.

One of the pleasures of old age and retirement is taking a walk to the Bank and nearest shopping center as an exercise and without much aggravation and rushing to punch a time clock. It is assumed one has paid his or her dues in life and has a right to live without open gutters and mosquitoes!

That is where some of us are disillusioned about our nation Ghana and want to push the leaders in government to do the right thing!

It's been over half a century since our nation took the risk of being a free people out of the rule and domination of the British and others. We had the opportunity to learn what others had created ahead of us. We sent our children to school to learn all subjects and we set up governments to utilize the human and material resources, collect taxes and duties, VAT and NHIL, levies and lampoons to build schools, roads, clinics and hospitals, common sewage systems, water, electricity, communication systems, public parks and libraries, roads and transportation systems.

Today the large majority of Ghanaians who will voice out opinions are disillusioned! Today we have debts piled up to $13.5 billion, and going up every year and as governments change hands! Our governments keep getting loans in the billions and hundreds of millions of dollars from the World Bank and IMF without disclosing interest and payment terms. The West goes along and enjoy being called development partners, when in fact less than 10% of all loans for farmers or the poor go to assist the poor farmer and our artisans and craftsmen can't even get a line of credit from local banks.

The big Question is:

Is it not the same cement and brains that are used to build nice durable roads with covered sewage systems, side walks for the young and old to ride their bikes or to take an exercise-walk, and if not then what kind of people are we?

My late grand-uncle Kwame Opong of Abetifi (may he Rest in Peace) occasionally would ask this question when some of our cousins showed what one might describe as deviant behavior. He lived and managed his business in Accra well, and later his farms in Hwee-Hwee and Atadikan villages, and saw the life before and after independence and the advent of Western education. He could make comparative analysis and perhaps thought the white man's education would yield some major benefits for us.

Can we in Ghana say sincerely, that the Western education yielded much benefits to us? What are we producing? What contributions are we making to the world other than digging raw materials and selling?

Even our medicinal plants, are we investing in research as others do to come out with medicines we import!

Is there any reason we cannot use brain power and cement power to build underground sewage and nice roads and sidewalks like the ones shown in the picture!

If so when are we going to start?

When is mayor Vanderpuije, educated and lived in America, and other Metro Chief Executives going to use brain power and exercise their power?

Does the President share a similar vision of a new Ghana agenda or the filthy and stinky open gutters are good enough for him?

Fellow readers, when was the last time you exercised your right as a citizen and called your MP, Minister or even the President's office and asked: when are you planning to provide us with underground sewage, well constructed roads with sidewalks, using the same cement as others use in California, Australia, Canada, UK and some of the Western and Asian nations you have visited??!

Cheers and enjoy your walk for good health.

Dr. Kwaku A. Danso

President -Ghana Leadership Union and Moderator -GLU Forum.

Columnist: Danso, Kwaku A.