What an awesomely refreshing article coming from one of the people who make up the greater portion of Africa and Ghana’s demographic—the youth. Though you did not write for praise, your vision is definitely worthy of praise and my heart’s desire is that the sentiment expressed and the spirit of this article is a prevailing one through blessed Ghana. I too am a proud young Ghanaian who has been ruminating on the great destiny and place this nation has amongst the constellation of nations.

We do come from awesome stock…John Mensah Sarbah, Kobina Sekyi, Ephraim Amu, J.B. Danquah, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Professor John Evans Atta Mills etc. It is my theory that the gate we opened as a nation through ushering in the first coup d’état that opened the doors for many others—short circuited our developmental progress. It also brutalised our consciences. The bloodshed and madness that prevailed from that time till 1992 beat the lions out of us and only now are we seeing that lion arise again. You wrote, “I want to be able to die for my country”. That’s the spirit of the lion. Thank GOD for restoration. When death loses its manipulative hold over men, then and only then are they ready to sit in the driving seat of their collective destinies. Such is the persuasion of history makers. Such is the mindset of those who can leave a proud legacy for their children and children’s children.

Although we must not put all the blame on “aban” and the funny policies of the IMF and other Bretton Woods institutions, their culpability cannot and must not be played down. That is not to say you played it down. It is true that we as a people must do our little bits in our own corner—stop the bribery, pay the bills and not discard refuse everywhere. It is true that segments of the youth should seek for a better way of living and say NO to negative behaviours like the “sakawa” culture. These things you proffer are very good and I am for them 1000%. These are internal factors but the influence on external or macro-environmental factors are just as important and the Ghanaian society must pay attention to them. The external factors include the Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal factors that exert a great amount of influence on the individual Ghanaian. For example, let’s assume a young enterprising Ghanaian wants to realise the pro-capitalist dream and set up a business after School. Or lets assume some Ghanaians like Patrick Awuah of Ashesi University want to come down to set up a business and put in their two cents in the industrialization process. The individuals may be of the highest ethical character but could be dissuaded by the attitude and behaviours of segments of the ‘aban’ and some of the external factors I mentioned scaring away motivation, innovation, creativity and visionary Ghanaians—young and old, local or international.

For instance, every business is subject to certain unavoidable political factors such as government regulation or policy. If regulation is unfavourable or lobbied to favour one group against another, this impedes holistic development for all. This external factor affects the way business is carried out and hence can be used in gauging the attractiveness of a particular market in which a business operates. Likewise, economic factors such as interest rates, taxation changes, economic growth, inflation and exchange rates all affect how a business will fare in Ghana and anywhere else. When the interest rates are too high, it scares away investments because the cost of borrowing is higher. Social factors such as demographics also affect businesses. Businesses located in Northern Ghana may not have as much strong hands to work as in the south because of the migration of youth from North to south. This is the job of ‘aban’ to craft policies that even out the unevenness’ in our society.

I was talking with a German politician and we were discussing the fall of the Berlin wall. When the wall came down, there was a mass exodus of youths from East (the former communist impoverished section) to the West (the pro capitalist wealthy portion). The government understood that the mass migration was unfavourable for a unified Germany so they started to craft policies that caused reverse migration. One simple policy was giving cheaper or free education in the East. This caused many who might not be able to school at the Uni’s in the West to relocate to the East and after graduation, because Government had invested and developed the East to a certain extent hence creating jobs, some of these graduates did not move back to the West. My point, while agree with all you have said is to be careful not to abdicate the role of ‘aban’ and other external factors in the fight for a better Ghana.

A couple of years ago, I sat in a class with some politicians at GIMPA and a lecturer made a comment about GHANA rice which the politicians present confirmed. He bemoaned the fact that it’s not that Ghana cannot feed itself but rather a mindset which you quoted “everything white good, everything black bad”. When Ghana rice is presented to the public, we deride and disdain it. The end result is that the Ghana made food rots. To solve this challenge, some traders decided to put Ghana rice in sacks with foreign labels and guess what, Ghanaians patronised this same rice they claimed was not good simply because they thought it was foreign made. How sad! The funny thing in white man’s country, it’s not, ‘everything black good, everything white bad’. NO! They respect and honour their products. It’s about high time we do same with ours. Your comment about adding value to our raw materials is spot on. In fact I truly appreciated the entire peace. Keep writing!

God gave each of us only ONE land. We might respect it or not but it’s OUR land. It behoves us to start loving OUR land and taking care of her like she has us for decades. The black star of Africa will arise and shine once more! I was in the EU recently and contrary to what others might think, they too are hustling. Recently the G20 nations specifically the BRIC nations i.e. Brazil, Russia, India and China had to contribute money to bail the countries in the EUROZONE out.

Who would ever have thought that developing nations i.e. BRICS and Mexico would one day be giving money to bailing out Europe? The five-nation BRICS bloc has helped increase IMF’s resources and give a boost to the $430 billion fund being used as a firewall to support struggling EUROZONE economies. According to Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyo, the BRICS committed to pledge USD 60 billion to boost the firewall. The IMF said China was offering $43 billion, Brazil, Russia and Mexico $10 billion each, $5 billion from Turkey, and smaller sums from a handful of other up-and-coming economies. IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said that 12 more countries offered money to the fund during the Group of 20 meeting in the Mexican resort of Los Cabos, bringing the total number of donors to 37.

You wrote, “Somehow, at the core of our being, there has always been an intangible common spirit that pervades through all our spirits- a freedom-loving spirit- that is kind, and cheerful, optimistic and God-fearing, respectful of our elders and each other, and unshakeable in its sense of justice”. My response: DITO! Let us keep up this spirit and endeavour to be better citizens doing our individual parts to promote development and very soon, Ghana will matter and be sought after when the “Adults” sit to dialogue about world events.

Thanks again for a brilliant piece.

Best regards,
Solomon Appiah