Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Many of those who will read this will find the title of this discourse to be an attempted derision of AU's influence in Africa and the world. However, I will like us to know that this is not the point I am trying to put across. I am not trying to mock the successes chopped by AU on such an august occasion in it's existence, neither am I trying to doubt the capability and competence of the people running the ORGANIZATION. This is just a simple reflection of AUs influence in Africa, then we can talk about the world.

During the first quarter of the year (2011), the Continent (Africa) has witnessed an eruption of happenings; from the South, the black people in SA being given the opportunity to create wealth for themselves, to the North, Sudan divided into two distinct nations, garnished by the Egyptian and Libyan Revolutions; while the West has seen Gbabo's government ousted, just like some great dictators who have had their empires taken away from them by the governed (of course these were all by kind courtesy of our special friends from 'outside'). I am proud to say that the AU watched all the proceedings of these events on CNN, Al Jazeera and BBC. While they waited for our 'friends' to say something (I can hear somebody say watching it on TV is safer).

There is a wind of change blowing over the continent, yet I see no change with heart of the continent as I choose to call them. Perhaps, the Assembly of Head of States deem it a time for sober reflection when they see the fellow colleagues losing their seat of government to alleged hooligans. As the Akan proverb puts it, "WHEN YOU SEE YOUR FRIEND'S BEARD ON FIRE, FETCH SOME WATER AND PUT IT BY YOUR SIDE." All I heard from the AU was what they were going to do, that they never did (this is why we have our friends from 'outside'). The denotative implications of the name African Union is a "United States of Africa". So that we can experience continental growth (using Regional blocks like EU and NATO examples. We all know why we cannot talk about ECOWAS in this regard)

Nine (9) years after its establishment, I am yet to see or hear the Union stamping its authority in the Continent (Please let us not even think about the world yet when we have not been able to deal with our own backyard issues). To me, I do not see anything worth celebrating when I cannot foresee Africa uniting under one voice any time soon. We have numerous disjointed interests in the various blocks in the Continent: Southern countries fighting for independence withing the country itself, we have 'rulers for life' meting out human rights abuses, we have those who are trying to establish an independent country, free from Western influence (here, we are talking about religious interests as well) and we also have those who are trying to spend a common currency. The AU was here on this Continent and it took France, Britain, North America and Nato (our beloved friends from outside) to fight our battles for us. Just look at how powerful we are. I am amazed at the AMOUNT of 'power' adorning us.

Some may argue, "but they have been contributing troops to all these warfare." Well, when was the last time you heard about the 'great rescue orchestrated by AU troops', or ' you heard someone scream, "OMG! I did not know that AU had such fine soldiers, look at how expediently they dealt with the Libyan, or better still, the Ivory Coast issue'. When was the last time you were dazzled by the contributions of AU in the world. Yet we cause financial loss to our State by declaring 'AU DAY' as a holiday in this country. It is appalling! (At least for now till there is something worth celebrating)

I am not belittling humble begins, but I believe the reason why OAU was dissolved was because we needed a formidable International Institution run by Africans for Africa. One that could exert force and make things happen to change the fate of Africa with respect to the world affairs. What I see, read, and continually hear, concerning the Continent and the Institution that represents it in the world is laughable. Nobody really cares about AU or what they say; if they did, we would also get a permanent seat in the UN, then I would have agreed that our voice mattered somewhat. The reason this is so is simple: African Leaders can hardly speak out against each other because they are all brothers and sisters lying in the same bed. Ghana cannot, and should not, be a part of this 'no show'. We should have better things to celebrate in this country. WE DON'T WANT CELEBRATIONS THAT CAUSE FINANCIAL LOSS TO THE STATE. So this is my little homily for the incumbent President.

To the next President of the Nation, (since there are talks of changing the Yutong bus driver), please, spare the country the cost and burden of celebrating an empty Institution. However, let us keep believing that tomorrow, the ant will tell the lions, lie on their back and they will have no choice than to do so. Let us not celebrate AFRICAN UNION when all I see around me is 50 something countries pursuing their own agenda. I rather we celebrate 'Africa Unbecoming' day; at least, that sounds meaningful.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I believe that many of us have heard of this famous argument in relation to character formation. I have been wondering about this issue for quite some time in relation to the attitudes of Ghanaians. Any time I talk to my parents, they remind me of how things have turned out for the worse in the country, in this era of technological advancement. Their argument is based on the fact that during their time Ghana was clean, people were hardworking and kind, respectful and purposeful. They claim in that era, citizens had respect for authority and trusted the decisions of the heads of communities (chiefs); albeit this argument has its pitfalls, the epitome of the argument holds to some extent in the 'traditional' Ghanaian setting (Here traditional refers to years before technological advancement). So where did we falter?

During 'their time', some of the systems they talk about was the "saman saman," free and quality education, free and quality healthcare and the use of 'stools' to settle dispute (stool here represent the authority of chiefs and in delegated terms family heads). Whenever I hear them speak of the 'good old days', I ask myself, what was good about those days? Those days were without personal computers, laptops, palmtops, internet, touch-screens, HDTV, cellular/mobile technology, fast cars, etc., the list can go on and on. Despite all these, I still find meaning in their statement. If so, then the big question is, 'WHY HAVEN'T THEY TAUGHT THEIR CHILDREN ABOUT THE THINGS THAT MADE THEIR DAYS GOOD?

If we consider this argument from the Nurture point of view, then I would expect parents to teach their children the values that they hold dear; that is, the values that made their days good. This is because when children are born they come to this world "tabula rasa" (with a clean slate with respect to the mind). It is through socialization that they learn mannerisms and character. FROM THIS I CAN INFER THAT IF CHILDREN FAIL TO ACQUIRE THE CHARACTER OR ATTITUDES THAT IS DEEMED APPROPRIATE BY SOCIETY IT IS BECAUSE THE FIRST POINT OF CONTACT FOR SOCIALIZATION (THE FAMILY) FAILED TO DO THEIR JOB. With this said, we have the appropriate basis to consider the nature argument.

Now those arguing from the nature perspective posit that we learn from our environment. That is, the things we see around us form our attitudes. Hence, a person who grows up in an environment where s/he has to fight for survival de facto develops an aggressive attitude towards life. Those who grow up in an environment filled with dirt might never see anything wrong with engaging in activities the compound the problem. From this, I deduce that BECAUSE THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENT IN THE COUNTRY ENCOURAGES MEDIOCRITY AND THE TENACITY NOT TO DO RIGHT (PER THE STANDARD), THE NATION IS FALLING APART GRADUALLY.

The Nature and Nurture arguments provides us with two best alternatives to deal with societal problems; in this regard, the Ghanaian problem.
One is by focusing on those institutions that nurture our character and attitudes. Here we are talking of family, educational institutions, social groups and religious denominations. These institutions right from the start should teach and encourage its members to be respectful, disciplined, persevering, and purposeful. It should be the job of these institutions to encourage nationalism and the pursuit of excellence. Nothing short of this standard should be encouraged. This is not to imply that we should overly destroy ourselves in the quest for perfection. The balance must be kept.

The other solution is by focusing on the environment. Here , the government must focus on strengthening those institutions that are crucial to the nation's development. Public sector institutions like Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ministry of Water, Works and Housing, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Internal Revenue Service, now Ghana Revenue Authority, Ministry of Education, and the Court system, especially, must be elevated to world acceptable standards

The point I am trying to make is this, as the nation pursues a better Ghana agenda, which I believe should be 'the best Ghana' agenda, we should not encourage the culture of mediocrity and 'substandardness' if that is a word. The pursuit of perfection should also not lead us to ostracize and reject those who are slow to catch up. Rather, with love and encouragement, we should keep motivating ourselves till we all get there. WE SHOULD FOREVER SAY NO TO MEDIOCRITY! This is the way to change the saying of our parents, they should say, this era is the best era to live in, not the 'olden days'.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Today while I was listening to the 6:00pm news on Joy fm, I heard news that spurred my friend and I into a heated argument about the Education system in Ghana once again. This time around the emphasis was on Public School Education. Before we delve into what transpired between us, let me first summarize what the news was about.

The crux of the matter was this, class 3 pupils interviewed by a Joy reporter couldn't read a passage given to them by their teacher. At first, when we were listening we thought it was one of those funny interviews where people who were not eloquent in the Queen's language were interviewed for the sake of humor. I should say, without under scoring the importance of this write-up, it was hilarious. The language (English) spoken by these pupils was a complete sham. Their inability to read a simple passage which might seem innocuous to some, actually points the direction of Public School Education in Ghana. Based on this , I must assert that the future for this country is quite gloomy; especially with respect to public education if this is a true representation of public school education. However, I vehemently refuse (being very subjective) to believe that the voices we heard (in statistics referred to as sample) was a true representation of results for public school education (population) in our beloved country.

The heart of the problem as we were trying to discern is based on the following premise.
1. The blue print for our education system is faulty, especially when we talk about implementation
2. To say the system is faulty is in itself wrong because there is no system to look to now, we must go back to the past before we can get things right.

I believe I should let the world know that I went to a public school. I should also state that before class 3, I could read and write excellently (where excellent here does not imply perfection). Now back to the topic at stake, common sense tells us that the premise chosen for this argument are both right. However, the purpose of this text is to determine which is more appealing and significant for the dispensation we find ourselves in. It should be noted that the full consequences of the two premise will not be fully be addressed in this write-up. However, an overview to clarify the two premise will be given and then the problems identified as the cause of the demise of public school education is also stated and explained briefly.

The argument for the first premise is derived from the notion that the blueprint for Ghana's educational system is superb; however, the problem with the system lies in the way and manner things are carried out (implementation challenges). This is because governments over the years has been toying with the educational system in Ghana. The ushering in of new governments spells out a different direction for the education system in the country. If we study the educational history in Ghana since the time of independence, we will actually find that it has changed significantly over the years (some positive, others negative). If we are to draw a picture for this, we will get a 'roller-coaster' diagram.

The next argument based on the second premise is that we do not have a curriculum for education now (where now denotes this current dispensation we find ourselves in Ghana); we are still in the experimental stage and there is no focal point to what should be studied in the country. The curriculum keeps changing and changing. The nadir of all these changes is the failure of the changes to capture the 'peculiar' educational needs of the 'cloud' generation (which inevitably implies we are flying blind) and that we should go back to the past and review what made education unique in those days. This is to find a solution to poor public education for the "Cloud" generation. Without a properly structured blueprint, we have no means of ever having a better educational system and invariably, a better Ghana. One may ask, why are facing all these troubles? Well, I will try and point out a few observations over the years.

One, we can associate the demise of Public Education to the quality of teachers produced from some of our Teacher Training Colleges. The last time I visited my village, I found reasons that entrenched my position on the issue of never enrolling my children in a public school. This is not only in my village, even when I was in primary school (in Takoradi), I witnessed the abysmal display of mediocrity among some of the ''Teacher College' trained interns in my school. The sad part of all my ranting is this, some of these people are still in classrooms teaching our future leaders. To me, a teacher who cannot display competence in the main language of instruction (English) should be further trained or booted out from the profession to find another job. The fact that we have to meet MDGs does not necessitate Ghana Education Service (GES) to fill our classrooms with 'empty barrels'. The reason why some of these kids speak horrendous English and are unable to read is because the teachers teaching them cannot do so themselves. I wonder what the outcome would have been if the teacher was rather given a passage to read from. In short, you cannot give what you don't have.

Another problem I have observed is the pursuit of goals and objectives set by Bretton Woods institutions as I alluded in meeting MDGs. Most of the time because of the conditions incorporated into grants and loans from such institutions, the country sometimes hurriedly pursues programs that might not cause the economy to burgeon (in terms of best practice and quality assurance), although these programs are relevant.

The third problem is the lack of 'local content'. Local content in this regard refers to a tailored Ghanaian education based on the demands, needs and the challenges we face in our Ghanaian economy. This country can never develop if it keeps using books produced and designed for foreign economies. Never, our chase for development will be but a continuous mirage if we continue in that path. Ghana is a sovereign nation, located in a particular demography, with citizens who have peculiar orientation, characteristics and features. Until we have been able to capture the essence and spirit of the Ghanaian in our curriculum we will never progress from this stage of under development. This particular situation is of uttermost worry to me because as an economics student, every example and textbook I read was in relation to foreign economies. Four years of studies in a university in Ghana and I am well versed in the American economy than my own. I believe we get the picture. So how do we deal with these problems?

The answer to this question is quite straight forward: we have to deal with the problems mentioned above by pursuing policies that strengthen our institutions, getting the implementation right in the process of course, ensuring that the human resource in that field (education) are enhanced to the best attainable level and ensuring that the curriculum we design for our schools are able to capture the essence and spirit of the Ghanaian and the Ghanaian.
This to me is the way forward. In my opinion this country's economy can perform marvelously only if institutions are strengthened. Ghana Education Service can carry out its duties 'distinctively' if it is strengthened logistically, infrastructural-wise and in terms of the quality of its human resource. This is the only way forward.

In the end, I should say the premise for this write-up (1. The blue print for our education system is faulty, especially when we talk about implementation
2. To say the system is faulty is in itself wrong because there is no system to look to now, we must go back to the past before we can get things right.) are both relevant to this dispensation if we are going to revolutionize Public Education services. It is a combination of the solutions to these two problems stated as our premise that has the potential of changing the phase of Public Education in Ghana.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


It was yesterday that I read in one of the dailies and 'myjoyonline' that a strong young man of 32 years had beheaded a young soul almost one-third his age for ritual purposes. He wanted to be rich and the only way or means he could think of was committing murder for wealth. Now he is in the arms of the law, that dream of riding in big V8 engine SUVs are all gone. He is now going to spend the rest of his life behind bars in a 12 by 12 space till Christ comes again.

Africa is plagued with such occurrences, especially among the youth who want to be rich quick. These situations are becoming overwhelming; in Ghana, it is becoming contagious. How long, how long shall it take us till we stop all this nonsense and realize that wealth is best enjoyed when you have worked for it. How long can this nation continue to watch the people who are supposedly its future leaders meet their demise with constant search for short-cuts in making money.

If Ghana is to develop all this nonsense must end! There are better ways to make money in this country. Although the nature of most of these jobs are not all that appealing in the short-term, at least, it puts bread on the table. I believe things get better with time. These are some of the things that society must address to move this nation forward. For the spiritualist who reported the case I say KUDOS.

I will like to show appreciation and congratulate the spiritualist who reported the case to the police; may whatever god you have put your trust in bless you and give you long live. I will also encourage all spiritualist who receive such appeals from young men who want to get rich quick by committing murder to report such cases to the police. If this is done, Ghana will be on its way to realize the better Ghana vision.

To my fellow young colleagues, money is a dear commodity to us all. However, the means used in obtaining it matters most. It took my father 20 years to buy the SUV he drives. He worked for the luxury he is enjoying now. I cannot, in any capacity, live like my father now because I have not worked to that stage. I am not necessarily saying you have to work 20 years to afford the luxury you crave; no, I am in no means suggesting that. What I am rather preaching is for us to have a vision, an objective, a goal, that will drive us to do whatever we desire to do, legitimately of course, to obtain the luxury we crave. If we are ingenious and innovative, that comfort will come sooner than expected. It took some 5 years to see their dreams come true, others 10, 20, 30, and in some cases only a year. Perseverance pays-off at the end.

The time has come for this madness to end. Committing murder for wealth is mammoth, barbaric, uncivilized, cruel and ultimately, a sin against God. Young Ghanaians be wise and vigilant! Let us not waste our future because of greed.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


So the time has come for the world to finally celebrate all mothers. I believe that one does not necessarily need mothers' day to remember to show gratitude and love to mothers. Each passing day that affords us the opportunity to say thank you, and I love should be fully optimized.


Friday, May 6, 2011


My mother is my world. Believe it or not, I would have been dead if not for her and God's abundant grace. To be alive and not acknowledge my mother's contribution should be likened to a tree claiming to burgeon in cement.

She kept me safe for nine good months; devoid of deformity and other diseases that plague babies because she kept herself well. After (I, ie, me) seeing light from beneath the shadows, she nurtured me in the fear of God. Some say this is typical of most African families. However, I believe mine was and is still unique because of my mother. I remember those days when I was engaged in mischief, she would wait till the break of dawn to administer her justice with the rods of comfort. Yes, my back and some unspoken parts of my body have suffered under my iron fist mom. Nevertheless, I am grateful, for what she did has made me what I am today.

This is my prelude to Sunday's formal salutation.