Nation Building: The Ghanaian experience
That Ghana had had four consecutive military coups d’etat in her annals as a developing nation is something that is not impressive or glorious in a nation’s developmental process, cannot be disputed by many a sincere authoritative political scientist or cultural critic.
On the basis of the above assertion, Ghana can be said to have had challenging and chequered experience since attaining political independence from Britain colonial rule and exploitation on 6th March, 1957.
Had there been a continued sustainable developmental process in the experience of Ghana, the story would have been quite different from what is evident at the present time, as far as economic growth, development and prosperity are concerned.
The intermittent military coups d’etat had done more harm than good to the country. And consequently, the country had suffered and has been prevented from achieving the best that is possible in terms of economic growth, development and prosperity.
Analysing the factors that had been responsible for the unimpressive developmental achievement in the Ghanaian situation, the argument for and against can be labourious, boring and endless in the context of human logic and human reasoning.
Some violent skeptical and biased critics and even some cynics will advance views or ideas that will fall meaningless, irrelevant and unappealing in the criteria of the bottom line of criticism. (Meaning, relevance, appeal)
Thus, I will sincerely assert that what had gone amiss in Ghana developmental process since attaining political freedom as nation are simply misplaced and self – seeking human interests above that of a collective national interest in a nation’s building process.
What this implies is that there had been some self-seeking and overambitious individuals who placed their myopic narrow and selfish interests and consequently acted in a way that militated against a smooth and healthy developmental process which is devoid of instability but sustainable and continual.
To me, this is the stark truth in Ghana’s experience which may be denounced and rejected from some quarters in Ghana’s life as a nation.
However, since in the arena of criticism, we have relative truth and that of the absolute truth of God. I will tolerate this misguided opposition of the truth from theses quarters on Ghana’s chequered developmental experience.
At the present time, Ghana as a nation still survives and is poised to achieve further greater economic growth, development and prosperity, and is embarking on developmental aspirations such as the present ongoing one known as the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda. This is commendable and a big plus in Ghana’s efforts to experience economic growth, development and prosperity.
Development process is continual in the life of a nation, and the result is immeasurable and tangible; and dependent on a people’s vision, struggle and determination.
A typical example of this situation is the nation, America. The United States of America is a highly progressive and developed nation since attaining political independence from British colonial rule and exploitation on July 4, 1776; and indisputably, she is the greatest, wealthy and most powerful nation on earth today.
For the purpose of this article, it will be of much interest to find out what had been responsible for America’s stupendous wealth, power and prosperity as a nation.
This will serve as inspiration to all nations, particularly developing nations in the modern world today such as the nation Ghana, the star of Africa.
America as a nation has a brilliant and impressive history in her developmental process up to date. America can boast of having had a continual sustainable development experience up to the present time.
Before attaining political independence from British colonial rule and exploitation, America was a nation disunited and made up of the Northern states and the Southern states which are totally fifty one states in number.
The northern and the southern states were oppressed and subjected to British dictatorial rule after Britain had gained control over America; after America had been founded by Christopher Columbus in 1492.
With time, the northern and southern states were inspired and directed by George Washington and other spirited citizens to agitate and fight for political independence from Britain which eventually occurred on July 4, 1776.
Since this date, the nation, America had gone through a continual and sustainable process of development under the democratic system of governance which is clearly postulated by Abraham Lincoln as “government of the people by the people for the people”
This continual stability under democracy system of governance had been responsible for what the nation America is in the eyes of the modern world today – a stupendous and amazing level of economic growth, development and prosperity, which surpasses any nation on earth today.
America can easily pass as a prototype for any nation aspiring to become wealthy, powerful and prosperous.
And Ghana as a fast developing African nation today can learn a lot from the American experience in her continual efforts to experience optimum economic growth, development and prosperity.
In order to realise this noble goal, Ghana as a nation must create the following positive condition:
The first is strong unity devoid of sentiments of ethnic belonging. The second is clear vision and strong determination to succeed as a nation. The third is selflessness, hard work and sacrifice, the fourth is effective continual and sustainable democratic pattern of governance.
If the immediate foregoing spelt out ideal conditions manifest in Ghana’s developmental process, Ghana will definitely surmount many challenges and obstacles and experience much economic growth, development and prosperity to make her great and powerful.
Ghana is a blessed nation with great destiny just like America, and what she needs now is to exhibit in practical terms the above stated sterling conditions in her developmental aspirations.
This will surely guarantee Ghana’s noble destiny as a nation.
Nation building is a collective affair, inspired and spearheaded by highly spirited and gifted individuals who sacrifice and dedicate their lives for the national cause to benefit all. This had been the case of America, and it can also be the case for Ghana.
Although besetted by series of unfortunate episodes as mentioned in the beginning of this article, there is much hope for Ghana in her developmental process, if only she will be inspired by the glorious vision of the founding fathers of the nation in the persons of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. J.B Danquah and others, who selflessly sacrificed and laid down their lives for the attainment of political independence from British colonial rule and exploitation.
This glowing vision of the founding fathers can be reactivated now by the present generation of political leaders to steer Ghana for the achievement of great development and prosperity.
Ghana had been in the forefront of African affairs since the 1960’s and it is imperative that she must assert herself now for the achievement of the ideal in developmental aspirations for the rest of the African countries to follow suit.
Ghana is the beacon for African liberation and aspirations; and she must by virtue of her position strive very hard to attain a very high level of development and prosperity by practising an effective, continual and sustainable pattern of democratic governance.
This will certainly bring about a realistic and meaningful development and prosperity that can be comparable to highly developed nations on earth today such as Germany, France, Britain, Japan, Spain, Italy, China, India etc. or America the super nation by all standards.
In conclusion, I am highly optimistic for Ghana, developmental aspirations; and have the glowing vision that Ghana will rise to the skies in the foreseeable future from now; and become a giant and super power on the African continent.
BY MICHAEL AKENOO