Nationalism And Development: The Ghanaian Case

That strong spirit of nationalism and for that matter, patriotism is the driving force which propels gifted individuals to sacrifice selflessly and to lay down their lives for the liberation of their countries from exploitation of foreign powers and to lay a strong foundation for the building of their nations cannot be disputed by any sincere authoritative and knowledgeable political scientist or cultural expert or critic.

George Washington and other founding nationalists laid down their lives for the liberation of America from British rule and exploitation. And finally, America as country gained her political independence from British rule and exploitation on 4th July, 1776.

African countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana (formerly Gold Coast) won their political independent through strong nationalism and patriotism from gifted individuals who sacrificed and laid down their lives for the liberation and the building of their countries from dependence and exploitation by foreign powers.

In Nigeria, we have individual gifted nationalist individuals such as Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewaetc who identified themselves with strong nationalism and patriotism which led to Nigeria becoming politically independent on 1st October, 1960.

Kenya as a country also won her political independence from British rule and exploitation from individual gifted nationalist and patriots such as Jomo Kenyatta Dedan Kimatietc through the Mau Mau nationalist movement which eventually led to Kenya’s liberation from British rule and exploitation in 1960.

As the star of Africa, the Ghanaian case is very unique and significant as far as nationalism and patriotism are concerned. 

The Ghanaian case had its genesis in the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s when Ghana was known Gold Coast. She had gifted nationalists freedom fighters in the persons such as Paa Grant, Casely Hayford, Dr. J.B Danquah etc.

These nationalists and patriots individuals formed a political nationalist movement called The United Gold Coast Convention (U.G.C.C).

As these Ghanaian nationalist began their fight for the liberation of the Gold Coast from British colonial rule and exploitation, they were later joined by a radical person known as Kwame Nkrumah, who later broke away from his compatriots and found his own political movement or party for that matter called The Convention Peoples Party (C.P.P) in 1949.

Nkrumah unique radicalism and focus for the liberation of the Gold Coast from colonial rule and exploitation led to the political independence of the Gold Coast (now Ghana) on 6th March, 1957.

As this article is focused on Ghanaian nationalism nationalist freedom fighters and their achievements, it will be appropriately and safely said that the building of the nation Ghana, began immediately after Ghana’s achievement of political independence from British rule and exploitation.

The building of Ghana was laid firmly by Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of blessed memory. He began the building of the country soon after his C.P.P political organisation or party helped to win independence for the country.

Nkumah as a strong patriot and nationalist freedom fighter feverishly began to chart Ghana’s building structure by laying the infrastructure such as the construction of Akosombo Hydro Electric Dam, The Tema Harbour , The Tema Motorway, The Atomic Energy at Kwabenya – Accra, The Kade Matches Factory, The Tema Manufacturing Industries and Oil Refinery and Township etc.

Nkrumah had unique foresight of building Ghana to the highest level possible,but alas, his dream of this noble ideal was shattered on 24th February 1966, when a group of army officers led by Colonel Emmanuel Kwashi Kotoka over threw his C.P.P government in a military coup de tat.

Nkrumah’s unique vision for the development of the country was unparalleled on the continent of Africa during his reign as president of Ghana in the 1960’s. In fact Nkrumah’s vision for the development of the country extended to the development of the African Continent, which was hardly underdeveloped amidst ignorance, misery and poverty at that period of time.

Nkrumah indeed selflessly sacrificed and dedicated his entire life for the building of Ghana and his vision of bringing the entire African countries under one government to be known the United States of Africa.

It must be noted that the momentum for the building and development of Ghana and the rest of the other African countries had waned considerably since the attainment of political independence from foreign colonial powers and their exploitation of the African continent.

The spirit of nationalism or patriotism for that matter in the Africa situation is very low as compared to the United States of America. America’s strong spirit of nationalism and patriotism is consistently and continually dynamic up to the present moment. Hence, America is continually advancing and developing as a great and powerful nation on earth today.

After the founding fathers of African nations one can see that African countries derailed on their tracks of national aspiration for nation building and development and unfortunately, up to the present time, the situation has not changed for any better.

Ghana and the rest of Africa lacks strong nationalism and patriotism that are required for the building and development of nations in the world today, such as the United States of America, China, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Japan, India etc.

The above mentioned countries were founded and built on strong nationalism and patriotism and these virtues and values have been sustained and improved upon with the passage of time up to the present moment!.

Ghanaian nationalism and patriotism need to be improved upon and change for the better now in order to build Ghana as a great and powerful nation for the rest of Africa to follow suit.

Myriad forms of corruption subtle and overt had been the order of the day in Ghana’s political situation after attaining independence from British colonial rule and exploitation.

Lack of integrity, dishonesty, greed, avarice, ethnicism, inordinate ambitions of some self-seeking individuals had been the bane of Ghanaians trying to build Ghana to experience realistic and meaningful development as a nation. These vices and immoralities must be eradicated in the Ghanaian political situation to enable Ghana to move forward on the path of development and prosperity as one of the fastest developing countries in the world today.

If these vices and immoralities are completely eradicated from Ghana’s political situation Ghana will easily sail to the haven of development and prosperity within the shortest foreseeable future from now.

The present on going developmental aspiration of Ghana, Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda will have great impetus and bring it to great success if Ghanaians are able to eschew these vices and immoralities that had become deeply entrenched in the Ghanaian society of today.

Besides nationalism and patriotism for that matter, the building of Ghana as a nation to bring about development prosperity, Ghanaian must realize that, development does not mean only physical structures such as broad motor highways, streets, overpasses, high storey buildings, super markets, shopping malls, technological devices, digital business transactions, mobile money, health delivery system, first class hospitals and clinicsetc but development must been seen in moral and spiritual values that are prerogative and conditional for any level of material of physical development and prosperity.

The advanced and highly developed countries mentioned in this article are much aware and conscious of these moral and spiritual values, hence,their amazing and stupendous levels of physical development and prosperity at the present time.

This does not mean that saints and angels are inhabitants of these countries, but however, the nationals of these countries are highly conscious of moralities and spirituality as the fountain from which realistic and meaningful physical development and prosperity can spring from; hence, they attune themselves to these highly essential and priceless values.

I state categorically, that great, powerful nations are built on true, sound and healthy morals and spirituality; and when these values degenerate or deteriorate nations begin to decline or fall eventually as recorded in the annuals of countries in recorded history of mankind.

Ghana is a great nation by virtue of her destiny in the comity of other nations in the world today, and she must realise her great destiny by eschewing all forms of immoralities and vices so that this great destiny should manifest, so that Ghana will become precedent and show way to the rest of Africa as far as nationalism and patriotism are concerned.

In conclusion, I am highly optimistic and have a firm believe that Ghana can soar higher into the skies of development and prosperity; but this will solely depend on the guarantee that Ghana is completely devoid of immoralities and vices that had been mentioned in this article.

Indeed lack of strong nationalism and patriotism is the bane and hindrance to Ghana’scontinued developmental aspirations since attaining political independence from British colonial rule and exploitation; and this uncomplimentary and unpleasant situation must be reversed now in the interests of Ghana.

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