- The Problem, Like What You Said, Is Honest Leadership (Letter from a reader).Dear readers,
Under normal circumstances one would consider this a private letter. However, once a club is formed consisting of Ghanaians around the globe, some messages are worth sharing. The technology was not available to us some ten years ago. Let?s use it!
I received this from a writer and my response (modified a little) is below to share:
Sent: Wednesday, February 09, 2005 2:03 AM
Dear Mr Danso,
I read with great enthusiasm your inaugural statement published on the Ghanaweb in January and have been moved by the vision the organisation has envisaged .This dream of Selfless Leadership has been a project I have, for sometime, on my planning board and always ask myself, where are the Ghanaians or Africans who can wake up to champion the course of our total emancipation .Your brilliant idea to harness our full human potential to create a sustainable system for Mother Ghana can not be compared with any debt relief or loans that would be given to our country .We are not poor as it seems by many standards. The problem, like what you said, is Honest Leadership and not ONLY private or foreign investments or loans etc. At current ,we are at a point where most of our leaders know nothing less than Greed and Arrogance .I do not blame them because the society ,unfortunately, doesn`t know anything else since our colonial past and it`s a movement let GLU with this vision that can change the system. I`m a Ghanaian by birth and resides in Rotterdam ,The Netherlands, and pays regular visits to Ghana. In Ghana, I reside at Adenta-Accra. It`ll be great if we could get in touch and see how best we can make the GLU goals materialises by creating a network within the continents .Please also enlighten me on membership procedures and any info. which might be necessary.
Despite where we live, there is no place we can relate to as Home except Mother Ghana. Congratulations for getting the ball rolling.
Xxxx (name deleted for privacy and substituted a pseudo-name Sam)
From: K.Danso [mailto:email@example.com]
It gives me great pleasure to receive letters such as yours. I am pressed for time, but let me be spontaneous and send this now. You have touched my heart this morning and if I don?t do this now, I may not be able to do it for a few weeks.
We knew on starting this venture that there are bound to be Ghanaians who feel a love for our nation of Ghana and were willing to sacrifice. So far within a short time, 15 people from around the world have committed to pay from $2,000 to $5,000 (3 year period) as founding members to get the ideas of Ghana Leadership Union going so we can do something for our country. After almost 50 years of our nation sacrificing to send her children overseas for education, our people are really tired of our lack of development! We intend to spend GLU money very prudently; we felt that was the least we should do as a people, to put some money where our proverbial mouths and pens have been! We always talk about Ghana wherever I meet them, at funerals or any function. Well, let?s do it! Let?s get on it! General membership as you see from the attached, is not that much - only $200 per year for those in the Diaspora.
When you decide to be a founding member, don?t worry, time is not against you. For the founding and other members we have devised a formula that will make people feel comfortable when they pay in money, like an investment. We want to avoid any of the negative things that have happened in the past when people joined organizations with nice aims that never made much progress or were dissolved. In some cases I can recollect during University days, even some were known to have ?chopped? the money! I also want to make sure the union does not revolve around one man. If for some unforeseen catastrophe we were to dissolve GLU, the founding members will get back a percentage of the net amount left, based on their percentage contributions. It is worth the investment to rebuild our society. Yesterday a member sent a picture of a village library, and one does not know whether to cry or laugh. Many of us have books and computers lying around idle, and some I know can even donate their used cars if need be; but when you send them home, government wants you to pay extortion money at the ports, higher than the value of the vehicles or items! Why? We start with trust and have the faith that we will succeed in helping our nation. Nobody but us will do it!
Sam, the investment in GLU is small! Some may consider this too personal, but what the heck, we have to learn to be open and break that culture that is holding us back! Consider this personal example. As I write, it has cost me alone, not counting the other nice houses in our area in East Legon of Accra, so far in excess of $10,000 in order to control some water situation on my land building site, develop a drainage system with a gutter in 2003, cover the 2003-built gutter again in July 2004 and join the drainage system to a new government-contracted gutter (built 9 months after ours was built). It is still breeding mosquitoes! Water delivery is still not reliable! How do I rent my flats if visitors from around the world run out of water one day! It?s a shame and instead of society solving this together through the powers given to our government, they fail us!
As I write in February 2005, we are covering the gutters with concrete slabs being made in front of the house and digging and expanding on an existing well. Why? I want my house to look like it does in America! I will not accept second- class citizenship of the world simply because I live in Ghana! No!! In the mean time I had built a water reservoir in August 2004 (cost about C10 Million) just to guarantee water supply. Why! Oh! Why won?t any civilized person pay only say $40 per month and say an initial $1,000, for water and sewage, if government can guarantee these things just like done overseas where we have lived or have seen done?
We know nothing is free and people pay for it. Contrary to popular beliefs of the doomsday preachers, many people, in affluent areas, pay for services or products if the delivery is there. After all the people who are not provided water in many suburbs of Accra buy water in small truck-mobiles. Please see the picture I took in Madina in Sept, 2004.
In California and America here, as I am sure done in all the West, when you are building, at the time the builder is seeking permit, the amount is added to the fee, and the cost of infrastructures such as water and phone lines and electricity lines are all distributed and spread so that even poor areas get basic water, electricity and garbage and sewage services. In Ghana try to get a building permit! The system is broken down you can?t even register land anymore! If President Kufuor were to try and manage Ghana (assume he wants to) and he investigated under normal Western norms, there will not be enough room for our prisons for all these incompetent thieves in the system who are holding Ghana back from progress! Look at where Singapore and Korea are ? nations we were at par economically with in 1957 time!!
My brother, please join us and let us work together. We plan to set up branches in all areas of Ghana and in Europe and Asia and wherever Ghanaians are.
Welcome. Please feel free to call me or any members of GLU executive as listed (noting that Eric is in Australia, I am in California Pacific time, Kissi and Bonna are on the East Coast time). .