One of the most important things that we can do for ourselves as a nation is to have shared dreams and desires.
These are dreams and desires that transcend political and parochial lines.
And in my view, it is important that these visions are broken down into as many pieces as possible and blown like confetti to reach everyone.
This country must have a dream. And besides the payment of taxes, everyone must partake in making this dream come to pass. So the question that I ask is - what are our dreams as a nation?
Yes, there are some vague ideas of the kind of nation that we want to build for ourselves.
And some of the ideas are simply ideas that every nation would want for itself.
Every nation should aim at constant and consistent energy and electricity for its people.
Every nation desires to have decent housing and accommodation for its people.
Every nation desires to have a healthy citizenry.
There are so many good things that a nation should aspire to.
But for a developing country like ours, we need to be clear in our minds what our dreams and aspirations are at any point in time.
And unfortunately, we seem not to have that.
And this is completely a leadership failure.
We are on autopilot and we simply hope to get to a good place – if we ever get there.
But we are not deliberate about the vision and dreams we have for ourselves.
And because the vision and dreams of this nation are not clear enough, there is no consistency in our thoughts and action.
So far, the government’s current refrain is “Ghana Beyond Aid”.
And by the terms of this vision, Ghana is supposed to be in a place where she no longer needs to walk up to other countries with a cup in hand.
That is the big dream.
And any well meaning person should understand and support this dream.
But the problem is how do we break down this vision of “Ghana Beyond Aid” into quantifiable, action points in order to get there. Have we made up our minds as to what or who the drivers of this “Ghana Beyond Aid” agenda will be?
Will it be in the services sector? Will it be in technology? Will it be in agriculture?
Will it be in the mining and extractive sectors? What or who exactly is going to drive this freedom from aid agenda?
This may be clear in the minds of the President and his functionaries. But is it a shared vision?
Is it something the man on the bus from Madina to Ashaley Botwe will know and understand? Is it something that the prospective university candidate who is about to choose his courses will buy into and choose his courses in a way to fit government’s agenda?
The government must not be coy about its intention.
It must be bold – very bold about them; and seek to have as many people internalise them as possible.
The heights reached by some of the great countries we admire was not attained by mere slogans and attractive taglines.
There was a deliberate policy to achieve that.
And this was not achieved overnight.
There was a consistent drive and attempt over a long period of time.
Take Singapore for instance.
This country did not become a financial hub overnight.
They built their systems and processes over a long period of time.
Take Rwanda. This country was deliberate in its ways and thoughts.
But are we? It takes a government to articulate a vision.
But the real difference is not made by governments.
It is made by individual initiatives.
But then again, the individual initiatives must make sense within the government’s broader goals and plans.
Take the case of Kantaka for instance. This is a brilliant initiative but with no realistic vision.
This is a Ghanaian company that ignores the transport needs of many Ghanaians and is rather fixated on the production of luxury vehicles which no one is able to afford.
One would have thought that the company would focus its efforts on building its brand locally and can from that point scale up into other areas.
And for as long as the company keeps making vehicles that is above what many Ghanaians can afford, it is depriving itself of the opportunity to make a real difference.
Make no mistake.
This country can become better and greater than anyone can imagine.
We just need to put our act together.
And this will take a lot of time but with dedication and vision, there is nothing that this nation cannot achieve – absolutely nothing.
Nations have gone to the moon and back. We too can turn around our fortunes.
We just need to be clear on what our dreams and visions are.