On the 7th January 2017, history was made. After two failed attempts, Nana Addo Dandwa Akufo-Addo was sworn into the highest office in the land of Ghana.
I have to admit, I was on the bandwagon that thought he should give up, I thought you’ve done well, you’ve made your mark, let a new person come and try his luck. I am actually glad that I am wrong though, it just goes to show, it doesn’t matter what your position, perseverance and belief in oneself is all you need to get to where you want to. He’s not only leaving his legacy of being the president, but he’s illustrated what it’s like not to give up on not to give a **** about what people say you should do.
So I was thinking, if I were to meet him, what would we talk about?
First I would have to address corruption. Public sector corruption, well that’s a given, he knows he has a lot to do there, the last government were the only ones growing fat, while the rest of us were “growing” lean. However, I am also talking about in the private sector. In particular, the multinationals. They may not be directly corrupt but they do use agencies to cut corners.
I would also question whether what they are bringing into the country is commensurate with what they are taking out. I know the cost of living is cheaper in Ghana (or supposed to be) but I still don’t understand how a company paying $4,000 for a role in their own country pays $500 in Ghana. Then to add insult to injury, sell their same products at the cost equivalent to what they would get it in their home country. I think there should be a minimum wage specific to multinationals.
Then there is the “galamsey”. I remember listening to the radio, an Indian man went to the police to report that he’s driver had made off with his gold. No honey, it is not your gold, it belongs to the people of Ghana. I don’t understand how people who are not citizens of the country can send out a local man for pittance to risk his life for gold that will be pocketed by the non-citizen. That needs to stop right away.
Another issue, electricity and the electricity corporation of Ghana. A washing machine, is considered a luxury, a Bentley is an extravagant luxury. Electricity however, is a necessity. Businesses have folded due to the irritant that is “dumsor”. The last government left a huge debt, I think it’s close to $1m, instead of paying their bill, they left a lot of excuses. I can’t see the ECG turning off the power to the Flagstaff House, so hoping the bill gets paid.
Education, this was a big issue for our newly elected president. I think it needs to go one step further to look to the quality of education and not just the quantity. I have met some of the most intelligent, smart and savvy people who barely went to high school, I also university graduates who didn’t have an original thought in their head. Education is more than passing exams, it’s about thinking and being curious, asking questions and seeing different points of view. I hope that it is not just about getting these kids educated but getting them educated right.
These are just a few of my thoughts. In reality, we will see how it goes. I do have high hopes. Unlike many before him, Akufo-Addo comes from political royalty so for me, I see someone who is actually looking to improve the situation of Ghana and not just line his pockets. As long as he pays attention to the people around him and help the people he is being paid to serve, we could see Ghana growing back to her former glory. Time will tell. In the meantime, I wish him all the best.