Opinions Wed, 22 Dec 2010

The Call to Unfinished National Agenda-Ghana's path


By Mr. Jacob Osei Yeboah- Co Founder, United Movement for Change (UMC).

My task is to address the topic “The Call to an Unfinished National Agenda- Ghana’s Path to Building Righteous Systems and Structures for Effective Governance for All”. The topic suggests the existence of an uncompleted agenda. However, every national agenda is an open-ended objective with particular time-specific national aspirations toward a much better stated end.

Some may ask what precisely are Righteous Systems and Structures? Here we are talking about an organized set of ideas, methods and existential patterns that are morally fair and universally accepted in civilized societies. Again, we are also talking about how the individual relates to other creations of God especially the environment.

I would therefore like to limit the deliberations to some key historical and other events that led to political independence, the hope and weaknesses of the freedom fighters in the construct of social cohesiveness and economic emancipation of the masses toward the African personality and identity in the world. I will attempt in simple terms and in congruence to Ghanaian anthropological presumptions in particular and by extension the emulation of the success stories of some key Africa countries as the path to building Righteous Systems and Structures in Ghana that will ensure effective governance for all.

Inherent in the untold success stories of these African nations lays Africa’s unique position as a continent where civilization began. This uniqueness can be applied to help the new world order in redefining its principles of economic and political interdependency, justice, peace and security. This is important, especially for the development partners of Ghana and other African countries to carefully contemplate upon as a going concern, for the deep-seated anguish in the hearts of the new breed of Africa’s leaders in my generation, in order to make up for the loss generation of African leaders who emerged after the freedom fighters over fifty years ago.

The “Think Africa Dialogue” hereafter referred to as TAD, as a concept, gives the opportunity and creates the needed platform for Africans to take both an overview and snapshot of Africa’s untold stories to the world in an African idiom but with the linguistic skills of communicating with clear meaning to the rest of the world about shaping the destiny of Africa as a key player in the world. However, TAD as an envisioned Institution by UMC for Africa does take into consideration the dynamics of globalization to make the concept interconnected to the rest of the world. His Excellency Mr. Clinton, in his response speech to anti-globalisation in 2000 at Warwick University in England, neatly defined globalisation as: “the intensifying process of economic integration and political interdependence”. Therefore, a conference and TAD as an institution are hopefully going to rank as the most important conference and institution for Africa in the 21st century. They will serve as a vehicle and framework for Africa’s true renaissance in redefining and intensifying the process of economic integration not only in Africa alone but also interconnected with Africa’s true Development Partners who believe that their destiny is tied onto that of Africa.

There is a saying in the Tswana language in Botswana “ntwa kgolo ke ya molomo” which means the highest form of war is “Dialogue”. In a time of war, I believe you the reader will agree that there is no diplomacy, but seriousness and discipline to overcome the enemy within the war zone.

Africa development partners ought to show the keen interest and make resources available to institutionalise TAD and open up their presence to redefine true partnership with Africa and to reinforce the G8 stance on new Africa. President Obama remark to the Ghanaian Parliament in July 2009, “The 21st century will be shaped by what happens not just in Rome or Moscow or Washington, but by what happens in Accra, as well. This is the simple truth of a time when the boundaries between people are overwhelmed by our connections. Your prosperity can expand America’s prosperity. And the strength of your democracy can help advance human rights for people everywhere. So I do not see the countries and peoples of Africa as a world apart; I see Africa as a fundamental part of our interconnected world as partners with America on behalf of the future we want for all of our children”.

TAD will, therefore, not be interested in looking externally for Africa’s mess, the solution and the potential to deal with Africa’s symptomatic and disgraceful mess lies internally with Africans. The new breed of African Leaders in my generation will never be satisfied until our leaders are constantly held responsible and the phenomenon of “states vampirism” becomes a disincentive not through the barrel of a gun but through the rule of law and the people power concept and practice that will weary abysmal leadership.

Given that TAD is a war zone of restoring Africa, may I on behalf of the New Breed of Africa leaders, apologise for the excessive and at times unjustifiable use of Imperialism and Neo-colonialism as an excuse. Some past and present leaders of Africa who have failed, refuse to face the fact that greed, selfishness, self-glorification and unpatriotic abysmal leadership of our own African leaders have been our greatest enemies in our fight against poverty, diseases, illiteracy, corruption, child trafficking and child soldiers and the like.

The Unfinished National Agenda

It is important for us to note that, Ghana was reputed to have completed the first development plan in the world, the Guggisberg Agenda of 1919. The plan was more of a public investment agenda than a comprehensive development agenda but it provided the framework for the first efforts to develop the Gold Coast up to 1926.

From the immediate pre-independence era, the economic and social development agenda of Ghana has been guided by several planning processes. For the benefit of TAD and further references, the archive’s examples of some of the national agendas are;

• The First Ten Year Development Plan (which was condensed into a Five-year Plan 1951-1956)

• The Consolidation Development Plan 1957-1959

• The Second Development Plan 1959-1964

• The Seven-Year Development Plan 1963/64-1969/70

• The Two-Year Development Plan 1968-69-1969/70

• The One-Year Development Plan July 1970-June 1971

• The Five Year Development Plan 1975/76-1979/80

• The Economic Recovery Program 1984-1986

• The National Development Policy Framework: Long-Term Development Objectives (Ghana-Vision 2020)

• The National Economic Forum (1997)

• Public sector reforms under CSPIP, PURFMAP, MTEF, and NIRP (1994)

• World Bank sponsored Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF,1999)

• United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF, 1997)

• Japanese promoted Integrated Human Development Programme (IHDP)

• Decentralization (1988)

• Poverty Reduction (1995)

• Natural Resource Management (1995)

• Gender

• The National Economic Forum (2000)

The list for the major planning processes is endless. However, one wonders whether it was worth wasting precious time detailing all these plans. Let’s not misconstrue, dear reader, the strategic intent of all these agendas are laudable, the strategic content very thoughtful, the strategic processes very ideal but the strategic context in African traditional values is misplaced and displaced given the Ghanaian socio-political background. How many Ghanaians are aware of these national agendas? It is not surprising that there was little or no commitment by even those governments who formulated the plans themselves. What has been lacking in all these national strategic agendas had been the lack of the appropriate structures and systems inherent in real social energy in the Ghanaian and African traditional governance value. This calls for the establishment of a democratic construct relevant to the peculiar Ghanaian and African situation.

In fact, the unfinished national agenda is summarised by the collective views of Ghana’s founders; Dr. Nkrumah mentioned during the 10th anniversary of the CPP in 1960, “We have won the political battle, and have now plunged ourselves into the fight for economic and social reconstruction of our country”. Dr. J.B. Danquah also stated “In my view the African’s great mission in the future lies not in racial politics perpetually reminding the world of the Africa’s colour – black, brown or olive – but in national or cultural politics, in the duty of each nation and culture making a supreme contribution to the achievement and happiness and survival of mankind.”

Therefore, the unfinished national agenda is “the fight for economic and social reconstruction of Ghana in national and cultural politics, in the duty of Ghana’s culture, making a supreme contribution to the achievement and happiness and survival of mankind.”

However, the immediate post independence leaders were overwhelmed by imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism but failed to see that the greatest enemy of any person is firstly his/her own self. What some of the 1st Republic’s government ministers hated about colonialism were the very things they practised. Thus the hope of freedom and justice for the masses were turned into servitude of their own kind in fear and trembling. The 1st Republic became reactionary to opposition because of lack of clear communication with the masses and more importantly derailing the social energy that gave birth to our independence.

The reconstruction of righteous systems and structures would inherently define the artilleries of the strategic processes into sources of passions for ownership. The commitment to implementing the strategies in the context of African traditional values can serve as checks and balances in mitigating the latent nature of political parties’ imperialism often exhibited in the concept of “the tyranny of the majority” in our representative democracy.

The Historical Context in Defining Ghana’s Socio-Traditional Energy (Identity)

It is undeniable truth that a number of our chiefs who are the symbol, embodiment and custodians of Ghana’s traditional culture have demonstrated historically and continue to demonstrate that indeed Traditional Leaders are true patriots and a good source of our social energy to trigger any national aspiration as one people with one destiny. The blood that flows through the veins of our chiefs is ancestry blood of brave men and women who sacrificed their lives and established communities, which we’ve integrated into our beloved country, Ghana.

The bond of 6 March, 1844 signed by our “Illiterate” chiefs with our British Colonial masters triggered the long process to work towards our political Independence on 6 March 1957. The protectorate bond was signed when these chiefs sensed imminent threats to their respective communities. The spirit of patriotism in the late 19th century (1873) caused the chiefs of the Fante Confederation, Ga Confederation, Akyem, Akuapem, Krobo, Ada etc, to unite to resist any extension of power and jurisdiction arrogated by the British colonial masters and this was over 80 years before the first national political party, UGCC was formed in 1947. Even after the formation of a political party, it took one brave Ga Chief, Kwabena Bonne, in January 1948, to organize a boycott of all European goods as an attempt to draw the governor’s attention to the deprived socio-economic plight of the masses.

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, ladies and Gentlemen, whereas our chiefs created an initial platform of unity to fight for Ghana’s political independence from the colonial masters and to set the foundation for our socio-economic development rooted in our anthropological presuppositions as Ghanaians, some of the learned politicians, used the knowledge they’ve acquired to rather divide Ghanaians as one people, meted out atrocities, claimed innocent and hopeful lives , set agendas of lies against one another, used ethnicity to set Ghanaians against one another even before independence. Amidst all these regrettable and despicable actions many of our chiefs as symbols of hope and national aspirations supported our politicians until the agenda of political independence initiated over 80 years was achieved through the available channel of our destiny.

The first Republican government left a trail that rendered the chiefs politically ineffective and subsequent governments have followed the same pattern of relegating our chiefs to the background of our development. The subtlety of our governments and politicians using the constitution to unusually isolate our chiefs and religious leaders in our socio-economic endeavours not only has sucked the creative and innovative spirit of communal project activities in most of our communities but has also derailed any maturity and realisation of national agenda set by the freedom fighters and subsequent governments. That is why it is so sad that some civil societies are of the view that chieftaincy is a relic of the past. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana, in spite of his stance on chieftaincy as a threat to his political power conceded in a speech in Tamale in October 1960, Titled Chieftaincy Is Guaranteed, that “Because of its democratic nature, Chieftaincy in Ghana is capable of adapting itself to changing times and circumstances”.

The question is what democratic value in chieftaincy have our politicians acknowledged? Why have they relegated to the background chieftaincy which is very relevant in our tradition that we could transform in the modern context of democracy?

With the support to institutionalize TAD Ghana has hope and understanding by what President Obama stated about democracy “each nation gives life to democracy in its own way, and in line with its own traditions...Now, America will not seek to impose any system of government on any other nation. The essential truth of democracy is that each nation determines its own destiny. But what America will do is to increase assistance for responsible individuals and responsible institutions”.

In fact, love it or hate it, if there are times in our history as Ghanaians where leadership of our nation tapped into unprecedented energy of socio-traditional systems, the periods could be no other than the pre-independence leadership by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the June 4 1979 AFRC uprising by former President Jerry Rawlings. These are the right moments and pointers to the type of leadership Ghanaians believe in which tend to bring the whole nation together. The hindsight lessons learnt from these great periods in our history has led to the quest in search for a form of social justice that can stand the test of time which future generations can touch and wrought substance of them, and say See! This our fathers did for us.

Tested and Untested Democratic Governing Systems and Structures

Nature and providence have been kind to Ghanaians during the 4th Republic political disposition with deeper lessons to be learnt as Ghanaians. In fact, the African continent staggers on with tested and untested democratic governance systems and structures. What ails the nations of our beloved continent most is not just what has been done with our nations as bequeathed to us by the pioneers of our sovereignty. But more importantly, what is gradually being substituted and institutionalized in the name of our beloved country and continent as viable governing alternatives to what is traditionally known and believed to be sustainable in our nations. These substitutions are alien to our identity and in trying to institutionalize these have found most African nations practising a system of governance that has misplaced and displaced the African identity and choice and thus making most lives of humans and property endangered on the Africa continent.

Unhealthy and Threatening Pointers Toward Current Democratic Disposition

Ghana’s 4th Republic is threatened not only possibly by another military adventurism, but also by the same advocates of “democracy”, who undermine the authority of the constitution; ironically, a case in point is the government apparatus disallowing right institutions in taking decisive action that can give confidence of fairness, freedom and justice to all. Such a pitiable institution is the police service which, for instance, a police commander in the northern region confessed to be helpless because of politics by the government’s political party so called foot soldiers. “Foot Soldiers” is an interesting and developing phenomenon which though the rationale is constitutional as the authority of government resides in the people but the application is immature and aggressive but they are nature’s way of wonderfully warning our government that we need to become the change that we believe in.

Our environment and water bodies have been threatened especially by the activities of small scale miners where our soil is being polluted with poisonous mercury which has a vicious cycle of causing cancer to the future generations. Traditional leaders who, out of genuine concern, advocate for the right method of mining by the small scale miners in an effort to mitigate mercury pollution are either threatened not by the miners only but by sometimes through the actions and inactions of the security forces. The Ghana educational system is seriously under threat by political parties’ decisions without giving due cognisance to professional advice and the majority wish of parents.

The 4th Republic parliaments by successive governments have not spared the nation by the “tyranny of the majority” decisions on critical national assets and socio-economic contextual projects. The electorates are wallowing in despair of our representative democracy and wonder if Members of Parliament truly represent the interests and aspirations of our nation and whether elected governments are for political parties’ key cronies or are for the nation as a whole. There is increasing social disorderliness exhibited not only by the frustration of the masses but by government officials and MPs who are called “Honourable” in our society engaging in politics of insults and vulgar language even on radio discussions.

These are really symptoms of latent heat of destruction knocking at Ghana’s gates of the current tested democratic systems and structures for the past 18 years into the 4th Republic. The most devastated tester of current democratic systems and structures in Ghana and Africa is the complexity of ethno-linguistic divisions with its dynamic tool of sharp political polarisation, which has ruined most nations such as Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Sudan on the African continent. One wonders whether the electorates are ignorant in electing successive governments wrongly or elected governments are just like the blind leading the clueless with misunderstanding of application of democratic tenets, systems and structures!

The STX Korea housing deal of $10bn is of grave concern to future generation as a clearer implementation would only require less than $1bn revolving fund. Ghana had never gotten it right in managing our natural resources but the worse to hit us is the destructive path the government had chosen in managing our newly found natural resources (Oil) by contracting huge loans from some Asian Tigers. The management of the oil revenue by politicians and not institution without transparency gives no hope for Ghana to learn from other nations’ management dynamics.

Thomas Mann, a Germany novelist remarked “the destiny of man presents its meaning in political terms” and if Ghana’s leading political parties were to be the compass pointing the direction of Ghana’s destiny, then Ghanaians are like innocent sheep heading towards the destiny of the abattoir to be slaughtered by depraved politicians. The three bye-elections held by the current 5th government of the 4th Republic have witnessed increasing trend of destruction of lives and properties which historically depraved politicians are willing to sacrifice at the expense of political exigencies. The Ghanaian media as a very important institution in our national development seem to perform creditably but the reality of the media’s own parlance of “SOLI” which is a concept of who calls the shot with huge pocket money will be heard irrespective of how destructive the news can stir up the masses. There is enough room for the media to help educate the masses and we’ve absolute trust they will live up to expectation for God and country. No amount of well couched diplomatic flattery by the international community can make Ghanaians accept the fact that the country is not at cross-roads of destruction and would be lucky during the 2012 general elections.

It is not only visionary, but also timely and appropriate a Foundation such as Mo Ibrahim’s for Africa in helping future African leaders to first recognise their identity by positioning Africa at the noble heights of competitiveness and being counted as key players in charting the course of destiny for humanity. The unfinished national agenda requires a search for a path in Africa in building righteous systems and structures.

Ghana’s Path in Building Righteous Systems and Structures

This discourse completes with Ghana’s path in building righteous systems and structures for effective governance for all so that Ghana can clear the traps and impediments at this cross-roads of destruction.

It is heart-warming to note that the disconnects among nations of Africa have enigmatically defined the righteous path for Ghana and African nations to emulate based on untold stories by bold and righteous decision by the electorates and of rich traditional values. The tested socio-traditional governing systems and structures have long sustained democracy in some countries on the African continent; managed our mineral natural resources creditably, shown true leadership examples with traditional values for social cohesion, applied the spirit and not the letter of social justice for accelerated economic national development. The few righteous examples of countries are Benin, Republic of South Africa, Botswana and Mauritius.

Botswana: Tested Democracy for Africa Inherent in Traditional Heritage.

Botswana is a multi-ethnic country but a very unique example in Africa. Botswana has indeed demonstrated to be the cradle of African’s tested democracy. Many researchers today have come to appreciate the fact that the notion of democracy does not lack roots in Africa. Since its independence in 1966 and the introduction of its democratic system of government, Botswana has maintained and transformed its traditional institutions. When some countries either fell into military rule, or one-party systems, Botswana remained a multi-party democratic system. It has never suspended the constitution.

The uniqueness of Botswana lies with its ability to adapt to western multi-party democracy whilst maintaining and transforming its own traditional political systems pivoted on the functions and influence of chiefs and decision making discussions at the village Assembly (Traditional Parliament) called Kgotla. On major political decisions, the chief was expected to (after due consultations with those who qualified to be consulted) “go to the kgotla to announce his likely decision and hear the public reactions.

A chief was “a ruler, judge, maker and guardian of the law, repository of wealth, dispenser of gifts, leader in war, priest and magician of the people”. Despite this fusion of power, there were limits and responsibilities that went with his powers. Practice recorded from Botswana’s past, as well as some cultural expressions shed light on what was expected of the chief as he exercised his authority. First, the chief ruled with the guidance of and in consultation with his advisors. Most of these were from the royal family although some respected village elders also qualified to provide such advice.

A chief in Botswana is consulted with the consent of his people. In other words, the authority of the chief resides in the Sovereign Will of the people. More importantly, the chiefs are accountable to the people they lead.

Both elected officials and civil servants use the kgotla from time to time either soliciting views of the communities on proposed developments, or informing communities about any issues they consider is of relevant to their lives. Thus the Kgotla serves both as a court and a place where the process of consultation, consensus and accountability are practised by the leaders and their people.

Botswana's second chamber of parliament is an advisory body called the House of Chiefs. All legislation must go to the House of Chiefs for comment. Botswana's reputation for accountability and transparency has been formalized through mechanisms such as the constitution and legislation requiring open government, accountability, and transparency. The righteous Kgotla system had ensured transparency in the economic management of Botswana’s mineral resources as leaders are accountable to the people.

Botswana is showing the righteous path to Africans’ development partners to go to the Kgotla, that is where the African is found or kgotla is where the Informal and Traditional sectors of our economy resides. Not with some central governments who get huge sums of development fund but only gives loans of equivalent $50 or $100 per farmer. How can one expect these farmers to pay back? The results of such aid have mostly been “white elephant” farms with sizeable ghost names.

Botswana had its independence 9 years after Ghana’s independence with only Diamond as the main natural resources. Botswana did not contract huge sums of billion dollar-loans for its mineral natural resource. Where is the pride of leadership in Ghana coming to think of Botswana’s GDP of over $12Bn and GDP per capital of over $12,800. If the government of Ghana wants to manage its new oil find for the benefit of the good people of Ghana, the righteous systems and structures to emulate is Botswana Kgotla systems and structures.

Mauritius: Tested Democracy for Human Development in Poly-ethnic Society in Africa- Consociation System Solution

Mauritius’ Righteous consociation system of governance represents a striking contrast in a region where nations are blessed with natural resources but are devoid of good governance. Its main treasure is its people, their good education and professional skills with an adult literacy rate of 84.4% and school population of 90%. Making people so valuable couldn't be possible without a system of governance based on peoples consent and constant approval.

The shining example of Mauritius to be ranked as the first democratic country in Africa came about as a result of good governance based, in part, on the consent of Mauritians to develop measuring system indices for Human Development over the past decades after its independence. The quality of Human Resource of a nation is a key measure of a knowledge-based society that can take good informed decision in electing quality leadership for its destiny.

Mauritius has demonstrated that quality leadership is the key to unlock Africa’s accelerated development in the contest of the challenges of globalisation. The role of Mauritius in the colonial design is fundamental to the definition of its socio-economic and political development. Mauritius was a settler colony similar to that of South Africa and Zimbabwe and also poly-ethnic society with minority ethnic groups just like most other countries on the continent.

The economy hinges mainly on sugar cane plantation (per capital GDP of $12, 400 in 2009) developed on the basis of slave labour which was later superseded by indentured labour. Patriotic Civil society not affiliated to political parties’ interests has played and continues to play a critical role in the sustenance and progress of good governance. Not only that, their traditional vibrancy has a certain impact on the determination of the course of events and policies of state as well as non-state institutions.

State of Governance in Mauritius

Your Excellencies, Mauritius’ righteous systems and structures has been the initial defining solution for African nations’ democratic structure in a plural society. Mauritius when faced with the same challenge like newly formed independent nations in Africa in the 1950s, the two antagonistic parties, the PMSD and the Independence Party, came together to form the government of national unity and the move thus marked the alliance formation between the economic and political ruling elite. Had it not been the case, Mauritius, like in other cases in Africa, could have evolved into a de facto one party state. It did not.

The political competition has given rise to a quasi consociation system. Consociational democracy is defined as one where the decentralizing powers inherent in a pluralistic society are neutralized by the co-operative attitudes and behaviour of the leaders of the different segments of the population. Parliament itself gives extra seats to several small ethnic minorities thus guaranteeing their representation and, therefore, their interests. This combination of mechanisms prevents tyranny from above and uncontrollable large discontent from below.

The question is how to engineer and sustain such a state in Africa? Mauritius has managed to develop such a state system while having a vibrant democracy that evolved from its specific socio-historical circumstances. The efforts of Mauritius are the shadows of the evolving righteous democratic structure for Africa democratization.

Benin – Defines The Righteous Democratic Structure For Africa Poly-Ethnic Society

The election of President Thomas Yayi Boni in April 2006 by Benin as Independent Presidential Candidate marks the beginning of the African continent defining the soul of righteous democratic structure.

Let me restate in the inaugural speech of United Movement for Change (UMC) on 30th October, 2010 at the British Council, with a theme -Establishing the Foundation for the Emerging Ghana, A Task for UMC- that “UMC holds it as self-evident based on African’s anthropological make up that, the sustainable democratic structure on the African continent for African’s progress finds its true meaning with the election of an independent presidential candidate with the political parties operating at the legislative level. UMC supports what the Republic of Benin has achieved for the rest of Africa nations to emulate. The republic of Benin has witnessed the triumph of justice for Africa democratic structure, the unsung victory and unreflective possibility that seems impossible because Africa fails to originate its own democracy based on its tradition and anthropological make up. The Independent Presidential Candidacy democratic structure has an inherent demeanour to forge the power of national cohesiveness which has been Africa’s greatest challenge because of ethno-linguistic fractionations. “

The Beninese history of governance citing from Military Commander Mathieu Kerekou’s coup in 1972 till 1990 when he lost to President Nicephore Soglo in a democratic election. President Mathieu Kerekou reclaimed the presidency in 1996 and won a controversial re-election in 2001. President Kerekou, however, bowed to constitutional requirement of age in 2005. During this period, Benin was at a cross-roads with political supremacy and polarisation of the Beninese society by the leading political figures of President Soglo and the successor of President Kerekou, Adrien Houngbedji.

The Beninese electorate chose the righteous path of security, peace, development and national unity by electing an Independent presidential candidate, Thomas Yayi Boni when they realised their lives and properties were endangered by the political parties’ activities, just like what the bye-elections especially the recent one at Atiwa Constituency has depicted to Ghanaians what the general election 2012 may possibly look like. Beninese chose to live as an example and credible alternative for Africans to cross the road of destruction.

South Africa- Nelson Mandela Defines Justice Application for National Development

Nelson Mandela, the first President of the Republic of South Africa is eulogized today not because he fought apartheid and brought freedom to his people but more importantly, the greatest lesson coming out of a crushing soul, spirit and body by inhuman despicable atrocities of the tenets of apartheid. The greatest experience by himself and the witness of atrocities meted on Mandela’s loved ones by white South African would have more than qualified the letter of application of Justice!

But what happened? However, out of the overshadowed brood of darkness starring in the face of the world for the demonstration of weird power and application of the Letter of Justice when Mandela was the head in government rather birthed the tiny spot light of the Spirit of Justice rooted in forgiveness, hope and truth for reconciliation.

Former President Mandela stated in his inaugural speech “Out of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long, must be born a society of which all humanity will be proud. Our daily deeds as ordinary South Africans must produce an actual South African reality that will reinforce humanity’s belief in justice, strengthen its confidence in nobility of human soul and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all. All this we owe both to ourselves and the peoples of the world”.

The reinforcement of humanity’s belief in justice that can bring true Africa renaissance is what Africans must believe in. It is through this nobility of justice that we require of our former Presidents of Africa who are alive to share the truth in their memoirs in confidence to their peculiar leadership. The context of globalization propensity and the timing in history of their respective countries’ aspirations and challenges is the key knowledge to unlock Africa’s defined leadership. Not their demonization, nor their imprisonment, nor their perceived greed and amassing of wealth and retributive justice are required. But what Africa needs is the opportunity for future presidents to create a platform for former presidents to use their available resources positively towards re-building their respective nations. Such acts will add the names of these former leaders to history of new heroes of Africa who faced their past with boldness and dignity.

That is why Ghana is so much favoured to have our two former presidents, J.J. Rawlings and J.A Kuffour whose collective strengths and weaknesses and paths to ascendency unto leadership in their peculiar dispensations holds the key to unlock the 21st century leadership in Africa.

Therefore, any cry for Justice that will not lead to hope, peace and development for future generations never deserves our dignified attention but egoistic and self-glorification of protagonists and wasting of valuable resources of humanity.

If there is a righteous application of Justice in the world, let all peoples in the new world order emulate what Africa has shown the world, that there may be peace in Iraq, that there may be peace in Afghanistan, that there may peace in Palestine, that there may be peace in Israel and that there may peace in Iran and above all in every country on the African continent. Understanding that one day as we lay peace stone upon stone that these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them and that humanity will remember us as New Heroes who transform the jangling discord of the world insecurity and hopelessness into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood, where neither religion, race, ethnicity nor colour will divide the world.


The African continent over the years has proven its robustness and sophistication of surviving complex situations and its children have been wallowing through the valleys of despair of slave trade, colonialism, refuse dump of the world, mercantilism, and the stone mountain of abysmal non traditional leadership over fifty years after its Independence. The new heroes of Africa are more determined to descend through the valley of brood darkness of despair to lit the flaring torch of hope for the continent and position Africa as the cornerstone of peace, innovativeness and the epitome of constructing the world and social cohesiveness.

With this mission, Africa can sing its new Anthem “Africa our continent of inexpressible words of pride. Oh you who have languished in pain and exploited because of your riches. Thus your moment has come, to rise to your noble heights of riches and glory in splendour of cultures to preserve the world. Rejoice now and never look back onto your past with retribution but with divine love and forgiveness. Arise oh Africa, Arise in the comity of nations, arise and never set.”

Columnist: Yeboah, Jacob Osei