‘Why Ghana May Never Develop Considerably In Our Lifetime’

Mon, 18 Feb 2013 Source: Badu, K.

Of course, I was extremely livid when a Taxi Driver once asserted that ‘Africans are not intelligent’. Although, I did not agree with the Taxi Driver at the time, upon reflection, I came to a sad conclusion that most Africans are intelligent, but the reality is most of them do not apply wisdom in their endeavours.

The misinformed Taxi Driver was attributing lack of significant development in Africa to lack of intelligence on the part of Africans. In my opinion, the Driver should have correlated the lack of meaningful development in Africa to the “lack of wisdom on the part of African leadership”. I think I am not far from the actuality, in the sense that it is the leadership that takes all the important decisions in the nation building. To this end, the slack in our development must be directed largely to the leadership.

Yes, we have to attribute the looseness in the economy to the elitists who claim perquisite to politics. Needless to say, it is manifestly indefensible to attribute the slackness in our development to our hard working farmers for instance, who are doing their utmost best to boost the economy.

Indeed, each individual has a part to play in the nation building; nevertheless, if the politicians fail to put in place expedient policies, we cannot realize any meaningful accretion in the socio-economic living standards.

It is crystal-clear that we have knowledgeable men and women in Africa, albeit they are deficient in wisdom. In today’s Ghana for instance, we have individuals in government who boast of enviable skills and qualifications, albeit they lack ‘motivation to transfer’. Indeed, our biggest problem in Ghana is leadership paralysis.

In Ghana, for instance, our leaders’ have failed to initiate expedient policies to rectify the failed policies of agriculture, food security, natural resource management, poverty reduction, resource allocation (e.g. in healthcare, education, finance, infrastructure, etc), supply chain management, humanitarian intervention logistics and security sector planning, amongst others.

Ironically, we boast of abundant natural resources, nevertheless the masses don’t get any meaningful benefits to show for. African leaders’ are indeed wisdom deficient, otherwise how can we command all these resources and be the poorest in the world? We have leaders’ who are greedy and fraudulent; have no vision, they are only thinking of themselves and their cronies. How can we develop as a nation with leaders’ who have no empathetic qualities? Sadly, our leaders’ contribution to the development of Africa is nil.

In fact, our visionless politicians should bow their heads in shame and accept the fact that so long as they have no vision; so long as they are myopic and don’t think that every child can be educated and giving skills to excel in this world, Africa will probably sink deeper and deeper into the mire.

In all honesty, I am reluctant to admit the apocalypse of the politicians lacklustre performances, but the true picture is that, Ghana for instance, may not see any meaningful development, so long as we have Leaders that are myopic, and only count their achievements with how much loan they are able to secure, and the number of schools they are able to remove from “under trees”. Further still, so long as we have Leaders that have no vision, and are greedy and incompetent, we shall forever remain "Modern day Slaves".

Disappointingly, we began with the likes of South Korea, Malaysia and Brazil-Look at where they are. Making cars, Mobile phones, electronics, good roads, good housing, and pragmatic programmes to developed their respective countries; and just look at where we are today. Regrettably, we now go to those countries we started with, and beg for donations, or borrow money--do you recall STX? I weep for Ghana.

“We need LEADERSHIP. We need Leadership with vision and ideas, selfless Leadership devoid of greed, Incompetence, cronyism and capable of transforming us into an industrialized and robust economy.”

Of course we have leaders’ who are intelligent and knowledgeable. But the problem is they lack empathetic qualities; they do not care about the welfare of the populace. It is about time the politicians accepted their lousiness. In addition, they should endeavour to ‘hit the ground running’.

“No heart, no brains, no courage – guys, why haven’t you gone into politics?” says a cartoon of Dorothy chatting to the tin man, the scarecrow, and the lion.

Yes, our politicians have no hearts; they are heartless, otherwise, how can they behave like that? Just look at our current political landscape, and you would agree with me that they, the politicians, have no empathy whatsoever. If that is not the case, how can they think of increasing the prices of fuel to the detriment of the poor in the society? They have indeed turned Ghana into a privilege based society.

Befuddling though is the fact that they, the higher echelons, have exempted themselves from paying for their seemingly excessive use of fuel. How pathetic! Apparently, the free fuel policy is unfair; we cannot build the nation in that way. It is irrational; how can officials who are receiving astronomical figures in remunerations enjoy free fuel on top of that? What about the lumpenproletariats?

If we are indeed serious in building free and just society, then we should try and provide an equal level playing field that everyone would have an equal opportunity. You, the politicians, cannot and must not put the populace at a substantial disadvantage, while you ‘lots’ are enjoying in your comfort zones.

K. Badu, UK.

Columnist: Badu, K.