In the past few days, I have tried to juxtapose the atmosphere between last year’s and this year’s independence celebrations. Some of the circumstances are similar: last year around this time, the Ghana Cedi was well into its freefall against the Dollar that has culminated in the present GHC 4.7 to 1 Dollar exchange rate; dumsor is still alive and well despite promises to the contrary by the different administrations at the helm in these years; and a bucket load of cash is about to be spent on an anniversary that a number of people don’t deem worth celebrating. Despite all of these, there’s an aura of hope around this year’s celebrations, a temptation to believe that as the nation turns 60, it may finally start to fulfill its incredible potential.
I can remember saying in last year’s Independence Day Musings that Ghana is not as bad as the naysayers would have you believe. That still holds true today. The peaceful transition of power from one party to the other, especially via the defeat of an incumbent, was a wonderful testimony to our claim to be a beacon of democracy in Africa; the nation continues to witness substantial growth, despite the numerous challenges that we face; and our people continue to display the resilience, determination and innovation that our founding fathers would surely applaud.
Our founding fathers would also tell us though that we can do much better than where we are at the moment. Sixty is a relatively young age for a nation – disregard for a moment, please, the comparisons to a human at the same age – but perhaps, now is the time to ditch the excuses, the trials and errors and the inconsistencies in our development as a nation. We can’t continue to alternate between phases of wonderful growth and then patches of regression or hide behind the mistakes or errors of those who came before us. At sixty, we have to own our story, our mistakes and missteps and begin to work towards planning for a better Ghana for posterity.
I believe we are well placed to do just that. Our young people are some of the brightest in the world; fast-paced innovation is ongoing in almost every industry and is unencumbered by the challenges or problems that we currently face; patriotism and love of country is still high and we still have faith in our electoral and democratic process to help us choose the leaders who will spearhead the next wave of our development. So instead of ruminating over all that we haven’t been able to do in the past sixty years, you could instead take a look at all the wonderful nuggets of hope around you and raise a glass to a hopefully better sixty ahead.
If we can manage to do a better job than the fiasco that was last year’s Independence Day celebration, then I think we are well on our way to that!
WRITER- Ferdinand Senam Hassan- threesixtyGhwriter/contributor
Image-Bob pixel photography.