Ghana, A Failed State

Ghana, A Failed State

Ghana, A Failed State

Let’s not sugarcoat the truth: Ghana is a failed state. Ghana is going to be 58 years old in about a week, but has nothing to show for it – do not say the Black Stars. At 58 years old, illiteracy rate is still hovering around 50%, only a good amount of its citizens have constant access to clean water and the whole country continues to live in an era of darkness – or “Dumsor” as Ghanaians will call it.

Yes, Ghana is young compared to other nations like the United States or other developed countries but that should not be an excuse for lack of constant success or growth. “A child who will buy a plane in the future begins by asking the price of a bicycle tire” – A Ghanaian Proverb. This simply means that our actions today can help predict who or what we are going to be in the future. Our decisions today is a good indicator of the future. If drastic changes don’t occur, Ghana will continue to fail because by the look of things, as the world around us continue to progress, we regress.

Malaysia is on the verge of being a developed nation and the interesting thing is, Malaysia gained independence the very same year Ghana gained hers. While Ghana turns 58 on March 6th in darkness, in August of this year, Malaysia will also be turning 58 years in light. The people of Ghana can sit and blame the influence of some Western powers, but that does not solve the issue of corruption in Ghana by Ghanaians. I do not expect Ghana to be a developed overnight – it is simply not going to happen that fast – but I would like for Ghana to trend towards a success. It is not the destination, but the journey. The people deserve to have competent leaders who should be committed to the success of the nation instead of the growth of their bank accounts. The people need access to clean water and they do need to operate with constant electricity.

On the basis on illiteracy, lack of electricity and clean water, I can simply conclude that Ghana has failed. We are in the 21st century for Christ’s sake. Without robust education, there is no future. Without electricity there is no productivity and without clean water to every part of Ghana, the health of the people are in serious jeopardy.

If Ghana does not break the cycle of failure and incompetence, it will continue to fail for generations to come which will be detrimental to the development of West Africa as a whole.

The Solution:
This does not start from leadership but the people. Yes, some leaders are going to be corrupt for the next few years, but if the people of Ghana can rise up and fight corruption and hold the government accountable, they will have leaders who will be willing to serve them instead of exploit them; they will have leaders who will look out for the interest of the citizens instead of serving their own interests. The people should force the government to put in place checks and balances to help curb corruption and the people should hold them accountable to the office of leadership.

Ghanaians often blame their leaders but they forget about themselves. Positive lasting changes starts from the “bottom up” and not “top down”. Bottom up approach comes from the citizens while the top down approach stems from the leaders at the top. In Ghana, the top down approach will not work, because it is evident that majority of the leaders only care about what they care about and not what will better serve the people of Ghana. But Ghanaian citizens can force the bottom up approach – they should not always wait to vote people out of office but rather be proactive about keeping the leaders “in line” and holding them accountable. The citizens of Ghana often talk more than act. They complain and do nothing about the real issues and the leaders have come to accept this – so they are not afraid to be publicly corrupt while insulting the citizens in the process. In Ghana, the leaders are bold to be corrupt because they know the people will not act but just talk. Talk is indeed cheap. Actions might cost you, but they promote value.

Ghana has so much potential to continue to fail. It has so much potential to be stagnant. The people of Ghana should rise up and demand the change they deserve. They should rise up and fight for themselves because they simply deserve so much better.

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Joe Darko
Instagram: @joe_darko
Twitter: @joe_darko
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One comment

  1. Joe Darko, from my understanding of the words “failed state”, Ghana can never be described as a failed state despite the under development problems you identified. This is because a failed state has a legal definition which includes among others, the lack of effective political and administrative order. A state of disorder, or total break down of law and order, where there is no central government in control of affairs. For example, criminal gangs or drug barons control parts or the whole of the country. Law and order has broken down completely in parts or the whole country. Often, it is accompanied by some form of (armed) or civil conflict, drug wars between opposing drug barons, etc.

    I do not see such problems in Ghana though I must admit that law and order is not what one would have expected, especially, when it come to the enforcement and compliance of laws, rules and regulations in Ghana but that is not an indication of total break down of law and order but rather a matter of indiscipline, corruption, who you know and the rich, powerful and famous with connections being above the law in Ghana.

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