Excerpt from “Learning how to play to win”
We are in danger that our future leaders will become complacent and look to the western world for direction, while ignoring our home grown genius. And this will inevitably lead to dependency on international development aid and political begging. Leaders who have not had the benefit of seeing the larger picture and are not at home with their own cultural values are developmentally blind; they will only see concrete roads and sky scrapers as the ultimate symbols of development. This brand of covetous leadership will invariably generate social chaos, as was the case for over twenty years of ‘military cum civilian governance’. What is the point in transferring western construction and infrastructure models to Ghana when such ‘improvements’ cannot be maintained or sustained with our scarce resources, such as electrical power?
In 2007, Ghana celebrates fifty years of independence. The British colonial rule in Ghana lasted for fifty years. Thus, in 2007 we have had equal time to undo the wrongs they supposedly did to us. We cannot any longer hide behind excuses of colonialism as the causes s of our problems. Let us not use our development partners as scapegoats for our own inefficiencies and frivolities. Planning for a country like Ghana means ensuring the use of scarce public resources to achieve maximum benefit. Our foreign partners can at best only contribute to a locally owned development agenda; they cannot be expected to plan it for us. If they did, we loose any control of who are or what this nation can become. Many of the current trends in development are self-defeating. What is required is a new paradigm of sustainable development. We must strive to go beyond the last century and move ahead to create prosperity for our nation. But the creation of prosperity must begin by first working on the motives and attitudes of the people. That includes each of us.