That Ghana is undoubtedly the heart and light of Africa cannot be denied by any sincere knowledgeable and enlightened cultural or literary critic.
The foregoing assertion is what Ghana really is in the affairs of contemporary Africa today.
It is a fact that Ghana is currently one of the fastest developing country in the world today. It is also a fact that Ghana was the first black African country, south of the Sahara to attain political independence from British colonial rule and exploitation on 6th March 1957; and had since then been in the fore front for the total political liberation of the African continent and playing very significant roles for the achievement of this noble objective for Africans.
Under Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of blessed memory Ghana left no stone unturned in the fight against colonialism on the African continent, which eventually led to the formation of the Organization of African Unity in 1963, which had its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Indisputably it was Nkrumah’s initiative and brain child which gave birth to the Organization Of African Unity (OAU) in 1963.
Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah strongly advocated for a united states of Africa, which he believed will be a sure guarantee for the total political and economic liberation of Africa from the long standing of European domination and exploitation.
To this end, he indeed sacrificed and dedicated his entire life for the achievement of this noble objective.
Dr. Nkrumah demonstrated in practical terms and in finance for the liberation of certain parts of the African continent like Angola, Mozambique, Congo, Central Africa and others.
With the co-operation of a few other African leaders such as Emperor Haille Selassie of Ethiopia, Nkrumah managed to bring into existence, the organization of African unity (O.A.U) which he believed would be the preparatory grounds and a spring board for the achievement of United States of Africa.
Unfortunately, however, Nkrumah’s vision and dream was aborted by a well-calculated western conspiracy and connivance which bought about his overthrowby a military coup de tat on February 24, 1966 by the Ghana Armed Forces.
The aftermath of Nkrumah’s era saw Ghana and Africa in a ding dong situation as the clock of progress slowed down considerably in the fight against neo-colonialism, imperialism and exploitation of the African people by Europeans.
The fact is that, a strong grip of European thinking and mentality, had been entrenched among Africans owing to the negative psychosis of effect on Africans way of thinking as a result of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade on the African continent during the era of the nineteenth century.
Majority of Africans, especially among the illiterates and less educated have come to accept that, they are inferior to Europeans and to this end, they see Europeans as superior human beings with superior brains and intelligence.
This indeed is a fallacy; and utter nonsense imperically; and has become a bane and stumbling block to the advancement and progress of Africans as human beings with their own brains and natural abilities as endowed them by God their creator.
However, it is gladdening to note that many Africans are now beginning to awake from this long standing falsehood and stupidity; and to see themselves as equals to Europeans in all spheres of human endeavor. To this end, Africans are now reasserting themselves as uniquely created human beings with their own destinies to fulfill.
The fact is that Africans are the most blessed human beings to inhabit the planet earth owing to the exhaustible natural resources that the African continent is endowed with as compared to the rest of the continents in the world.
And this fortunate position of the African continent makes her the richest of all the continents. But paradoxically, the African continent is the poorest as at now!
One will then logically pose the question: what had gone wrong with Africans and their richest naturally endowed continent?
The answer to this question involve a lot of factors that cannot be realistically and convincingly analyzed and discoursed in this short article like this.
However, the most prominent and significant factors that are accountable for the under development of the African continent today are the entrenched ignorance; and disunity among the African peoples. Africans are not strongly united and see themselves as different bands of ethnic groups with different destinies.
It is stated clearly in the holy scriptures of the Christian Bible that for the lack of knowledge my people perish. The Africans present unfortunate state of affairs can be explained in the context of this Holy Scripture. Africans as a people have been wallowing in deep ignorance up to the present time which has veiled and blinded them not to see their right position and destiny as one united people with their own God gifted destiny.
They see themselves as enemies; and this unfortunate situation has given Europeans a big advantage to continue their domination, and their so called superiority of brains and intelligence to exploit Africans of their rich natural resources to advance further forward in development and prosperity.
As afore mentioned, Ghana is the heart and light of the African continent owing to a number of factors which include knowledge, political governance and self-determination.
The Ghanaian mentality and intelligence is exceptional high and commendable in the African situation; hence the persistent striving for what is good for himself and others.
It is in the light of this background of the typical Ghanaian character that one can say that, the agitation for self-rule and self-determinationbegan in the land of Ghana and produced highly knowledgeable and enlightened dignitaries in the persons of Dr. J.B Danquah, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Mr. Obetsebi Lamptey, Mr. William Ofori Atta, Mr. Edward Akuffo Addo etc, who did sacrifice and laid down their lives to fight for freedom and self-determination; which eventually resulted into the gaining of political independence for Ghana on 6th March 1957 from British colonial rule and exploitation under the inspired leadership of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of blessed memory.
In fact, it was Nkrumah who worked tirelessly to arouse Ghanaians out of their ignorance for the acceptance of British rule and exploitation; and inspired them to fight against this situation.
This laudable and remarkable achievement of Ghanaians to denounce British colonialism and to assert themselves independently, soon spreadlike wild bush fire to engulf the rest of the African continent to fight for their independence from European colonialism which saw many African countries like Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Mali, Togo, Benin, Uganda, Tanzania etc gaining their independence from European colonialism.
Indeed, Nkrumah lighted a sparkof fire to light the whole African continent in the 1960’s which is unprecedentedin the annals of Africa.
As the first black African country to gain political independence, south of the Sahara, Ghana still plays key and crucial roles in African affairs, and is still making realistic and meaningful efforts to achieve optimum economic growth development and prosperity to become the pace setter and precedent to the rest of Africa to follow suit.
In the light of this great mission of Ghana, she is at the moment pursuing the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda, under the current political leadership of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo of the N.P.P political party.
And all things being equal in strategies and direction, Ghana hopes to achieve this great and noble task within a relatively short space of time from now for the rest of Africa to follow.
By a systematic critical analysis and evaluation, Ghana is in a favourable position to succeed in the pursuance of this noble ideal. This is due to the fact that Ghana has inexhaustible natural resources coupled with a sufficiently developed human resource to make this possible.
One cardinal factor that must be seriously addressed now among Ghanaians, and for that matter Africans, is that of strong unity.
The dream of Ghanaians and Africans becoming truly economically independent from European and elsewhere influence and aid, will certainly depend on strong unity anddetermination to be self-reliant and independent.
Ghanaians and Africans must not continue to live in delusion, thinking that there will be a miracle and “manna falling from heaven”. That is next to impossibility so to speak! Ghanaians and Africans must work very hard to achieve the ideal.
In conclusion, I state categorically that Ghana and for that matter, Africa have come very close to the new epoch of self-determination and self-dependence than whatmany skeptics and cynics may think. This is because there are credible signs everywhere among local Ghanaians and Africans in the diaspora through their utterances and actions that they are highly awake and poised for the achievement of the African ideal or “Utopia” for that matter!
By Michael Akenoo; Theatre Critic