The Praises of the late JH Mensah: May he Rest In Peace
Ghanaians love funerals! Period! And we seem to love the dead and will spend more on a person after he is dead than when he was alive! Every man does his part and leaves a legacy or die in infamy. JH Mensah did his part! How about us today?
When I was in high school, Ghana was heading towards an industrial nation. I heard the name J.H. Mensah as an Economist. Ghana was on a course for industrialization.
Some of us chose to study Engineering for that reason- and some of us were lucky and also adventurous to study overseas with all hope to sacrifice and come back to help our nation! What happened?
All of that hope was curtailed in 1966. In all the last 52 years JH Mensah was involved in the Ghana Economic decisions across many types of phases and kinds of leadership.
Ghana today has more debt than we had in 1966 and hardly any major factories producing much. Over 80% of all we consume are imported. An estimated 75% of our University graduates cannot find meaningful employment and High School graduates are selling imported chewing gum and dog chains at traffic lights.
Ghana still has open gutters and a typical worker takes a week or two off work for malaria every year. And yet still no leadership seems to see any correlation between the financial losses, the economic development of the nation, and cleanliness and the ugly open gutters!!
Ghana does not have property identification and land registration is in chaos! The current government talk about digitisation but we are watching as government offices don’t even pick up phones any more or respond to emails.
In the 1960s a University graduate or even good high school stdents could obtain decent employment, with most able to obtain loans for their own cars.
In the 1960s Kumasi was called a “Garden City” and all towns had libraries for kids and some public parks. Today almost all these libraries have closed down! Ghana is rated 5th dirtiest nation and 2nd in open defecation!
The best most University graduates do today is join some political party and hope for the best opportunity to make deals and get rich quick.
There is a saying that “onipa beyee bi”,, every man came to do his part. For some of us behind we always heard of the big men ahead of us in the 1960s.
So I ask with all humility: With all due respect can anybody do an objective analysis of the Economy of Ghana in 1960, 1966 and compare to today’s economy and tell me what has been transformational and hence justifies all the praises lauded on the late JH Mensah.
Perhaps he did his best. He did his part.
What are those behind doing today!
May the Honorable rest in Peace!
Dr. K. Danso Aug.15, 2018
East Legon, Accra, Ghana.