Dream and vision inspired policies – Kwame Nkrumah versus African leaders
By Owusu-Gyamfi Clifford
The African mind is a man for today. However bleak the future might unfold to him, his present selfish ambition will permit him to do nothing about it. In Africa we have been talking about poor leadership and unscrupulous management of resources. Today, to say African leaders are corrupt is not a vague opinion or fallacy. This allegation alone might have been ill irritating to African leaders to change attitudes. But the response is like “enough said we won’t change.”
What do African leaders do for their people at all? Well they do construct roads, build hospitals, pipe borne water system, schools, etc. They also go about giving donation to institutions and organizations. But the question is how many people are benefited and how have these reflected in changing the face of Africa’s beauty?
Am just thinking of something; isn’t it the right of every citizen in a country to have access to good road networks, good drinking water, health facilities and educational reforms? And these things do not attract applause because my 18 years old nephew knows he will construct the road that leads to his mother’s hometown when he becomes a president.
But something central lacks in the administration of African leaders which needs to be addressed for effective leadership and that is dream and vision about what happens next after today.
I began by saying that the African mind is a man of today because most African leaders ascend to leadership thrones to be worshiped as kings other than taking up the mattock of responsibility to expand territorial horizons. Some of them see leadership as an opportunity for a new business network. Too much love for money has captivated them hand cuffed into corruptible investment and loan deals. And when they are questioned of poor governance, they make excuses by shifting blames on their predecessors.
What I mean by dream and vision inspired policies are that which leads to breakthrough. These are policies in which resources return wealth and the wealth becomes the property of the people and the property becomes the cushion for more future developments.
One of Kwame Nkrumah’s, first president of Ghana and father of Africa, policies was industrialization. Nkrumah took Ghana from a clean slate, meaning, there were not much development in the areas of infrastructure and industry. The British served this country for their own selfish interest. Dr. Kwame Osei an African historian, wrote in his article A Tribute to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Why Ghanaians Must Salute This African Hero, “It must be remembered that the British colonialists LEFT NOTHING in terms of infrastructure, development and industry. The only thing the British did was to partly build railways to take the gold from Kumasi to Accra and another railway line from Kumasi to the port of Takoradi.” He further wrote that “Part of Osagyefo’s grand vision for Ghana was to take it into the industrial age and make the country self-reliant and self-sufficient in all areas of nation building and development and take the country from an enslaved colonial economy to an economically liberated one.” The result of Nkrumah’s vision brought about the Akosombo Dam, Tema Oil Refinery, Tema Steel Company, Tema Food Complex (GIHOC), VALCO, GIHOC, Tema Harbour, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital etc.
For more than 50 years after Nkrumah, how many industries have been added? One may be interested to visit these places and would be sad to see how some have deteriorated or devoid with improvement. If we can’t procreate, we should maintain; but we mess both.
Good governance is not based on how much or advantages are at ones disposal but the creation of advantageous policies that permit further development both now and after. In fact in most cases, it might not be necessary the creation of structure but how efficient the structures are revolving. It is the right invention of ideas to meet both immediate and future demands. How can a leader achieve maximum returns when he spends time investing in menial policies? Or how can a nation grow when she thinks of leaning on foreign loans? Government is a body that must move, act and participate.
What African leaders must realize now is to see leadership as belonging to the people and hence taking up its responsibilities is to enhance the quality good for the people. Let them encourage local investors, cut down exportation of raw materials, build industries, expand banking system, enhance transportation (railways and metro mobility), fight corruption, encouragement of digital and technology to speed up processing, scholarship and sponsorship in education, research fields for students, etc. This is what they ought to have done and not lame kind of leadership.