Today is the 60th Anniversary of Ghana's Independence. Parades have been held at the Black Star Square, in Accra, as well as Regional and District capitals to mark the Diamond Jubilee. In attendance were personnel of the security agencies, pupils and students, teachers, market women and other identifiable organisation. Yesterday, sixty Senior High School students who distinguished themselves in the 2016 Basic Education Certificate Examination were presented with scholarship packages. In the past years, only 20 students, a girl and a boy from each region, received such honours, But this year, the Ghana at 60 National Planning Committee, decided to increase the number to sixty to commemorate the diamond jubilee.
After gaining political Independence on March 6, 1957, Ghana has achieved some modest successes and made strides in its economic development. From the First to the current Fourth Republic, various governments have contributed their quota and played diverse roles towards building a prosperous Ghana. It will therefore, not be out of place to commend all citizens for the national development efforts for the past six decades even though the nation could have done better. Political Independence from the British Colonial rule gave Ghanaians the much needed space to build a prosperous and economically viable country, we so much desire. However, since attaining the much anticipated independence, one thing that has consistently eluded the nation is the attainment of economic independence. So, one might be tempted to ask what is the celebration for. What constitutes the mission and vision for the next generation of Ghanaians? Where do we want to see Ghana at 70, 80, 90 or even 100?
Despite the attainment of political Independence, sixty years down the lane, Ghana is yet to come up with made in Ghana solution to most of its socio-economic challenges. In the midst of abundant natural resources, why should the country be struggling to attain socio-economic freedom. After sixty years of nationhood, ugly scenes like activities of illegal miners, commonly referred to as ‘galamsey’, with local and foreign national's participation which destroy and pollute water resources should not be entertained. Traditional rulers, opinion leaders, politicians, security personnel, among many others, are involved in the destruction of the environment under the pretext of mining. Can we continue to look while such activities dry up our rivers? Sadly, our economic survival is still dictated by foreign countries and development partners. Our budgets are always supported from external sources and yet we are not prudent in resource management and expenditure.
When it rains in Accra, it becomes dangerous driving through most suburbs of the city, which is an indication that we are not prepared for the rainy season, which will surely start soon. So soon, we have forgotten the calamity of June 3, 2015 when more than 150 innocent lives were lost, due to the lackadaisical attitudes of some Ghanaians including the city authorities and government at large. What has happened to the projects initiated to forestall such incidents in the future? Indeed, in dealing with our very many social and economic problems, it is envisaged that we begin to build consensus on national issues, irrespective of political affiliations to find Ghanaian solutions to our problem.
Those in political leadership must lead the crusade to bring everybody on board in order to build consensus to arrive at the acceptable solution to our economic and social challenges. To achieve economic sovereignty, Ghanaians need to do things differently to achieve purposeful outcomes. Political leaders, traditional rulers, the clergy, Imams and indeed the media all have a role to play. Selfish interest must give way to oneness of purpose with the objective of nation building for a prosperous nation.
Long Live Ghanaians, Long Live Ghana.
BY: DAN OSMAN MWIN, HEAD OF PUBLIC RELATIONS OF THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION.