?Until we get excited about our own, we are never going to go anywhere in life, and I think that, that is one of the problems we have as people of this country. We don?t celebrate and we are not excited of our own (Nicholas Duncan-Williams).?
We continue from ?The Map of Ghana Sits Precariously on Africa?s Left Lower Jaw? where we concluded with a critical appraisal of media trivialization of pressing national issues. Actually, we attempted to capture the moral essence of Mazrui?s ?African Condition? via analytic metaphorization of Africa on the spatial strength of schematic cartography. The central idea was to try to see if it was possible to establish a supernatural correlation between the lackluster performances of Africa?s post-Nkrumah Eurocentric leadership, particularly Ghana?s, and the claustrophobic squeeze of Africa via a cartographic garrote of sorts. That is, we had wanted to see if the cartographic squeeze had somehow given Africa a metaphoric head concussion, with its cumulative side effects crashing against the artificial political boundaries of individual African polities and the spatial crania of Africa?s post-Nkrumah Eurocentric leadership. Otherwise, why have critical thinking, pragmatism, moral balance, and prescience narrowly escaped the appraisive purview of our leaders?
It is public knowledge that Nkrumah essentially saw the continent as a living, though injured, ?organism, a complete human being, say, and, admittedly, its artificial disintegration as the interactive systems of human anatomy, all of which operated collaboratively in sustaining the homeostatic stability of the organism via unified continentalization. Notably, the organism?s artificial disintegration was a direct outcome of the Berlin Conference, the so-called Scramble for Africa, which, more than anything else singlehandedly distorted, disorganized the internal anatomy of the body politic, the organism, that is. Thus, one of the central pillars of Nkrumah?s philosophical prognoses radically called for the leadership of Africa to undertake an internal anatomic re-organization of the body politic through a political surgery of continental nationalism. His statement ?Our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of Africa? underscores our capsulized interpretation of the yet-to-be-fulfilled prophecy. Nevertheless, this unfulfilled goal continues to remain a Sisyphean task for the new clueless leadership of Africa.
Sadly, our leaders, including Ghana?s, have not learned a single useful lesson after 500 years of dealing with Europe, the West, because, it still appears that after 500 long years of inter-continental socialization our leaders cannot discern a simple fact that the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), for instance, is a commercial entrapment for European recolonization of Africa. This is why the intellectual sightlessness of our leaders is such a worrying trend for Ghana and other African countries. How so? Part of the EPAs?s legal arrangement stipulates that once a prospective signatory, in this case an African nation, has formally approved of this trade agreement with Europe, a corollary conditionality says it behooves the said signatory to allocate 80% of its market to tariff-free goods and services from Europe within twenty years. Why is this arrangement made between the European Union and individual African countries? Even if not between Europe and individual African countries but between Europe and regional bodies like ECOWAS, what do we stand to benefit from this arrangement in the long-term?
Again, haven?t we learned hard lessons from our historical commercial relationship, a relationship of unequal dichotomy, with the outside world, mostly the West, that, substantially depressing tariffs on foreign goods and services, as opposed to the European Union?s, Canada?s, America?s, and Japan?s subsidizing of their agricultural products as well as raising tariffs on goods and services, have literally rendered our economies globally uncompetitive, even snuffing the innovativeness out of their otherwise sustained viability. This skewed arrangement undermines the export potential of our economies. What this also means is that the local production capacity of our economies is stifled. Consequently, this puts a dent in the local economy and unemployment, brain drain, corruption, frustration, religiosity, anomie, greed, and dabbling in superstition become the natural corollaries of misplaced national priorities. It then appears the internalized effects of slavery, colonialism, and neocolonialism have eroded our sense of collective prioritization over foreign exploitation. ?Aren?t we anything but poor imitations of others if we cannot call upon our own sources of cultural and spiritual power?? Asante asks (See ?Nkrumah Celebration?). In fact, Asante?s question is a philosophical rephrasing of Nicholas Duncan-Williams? observation quoted above!
What would Nkrumah have done in this situation? What necessary legal and institutional structures have we put in place to guarantee the sustainability of local entrepreneurship and to prevent serious distortions in the local economy? How do we protect the patronage of local products from stiff foreign competition?? Again, any reliable prognostic response, we believe, may well lie within the narrow schematic confines of Africa?s geographic reference relative to the others! What do we mean metaphorically? This is it: Between Africa and Asia comfortably sits the Red Sea. The Red Sea? Is the word ?red? symbolic of the blood which flowed due to the Arab Trans-Saharan Slave Trade? Just across the Red Sea is Arabia, the burial ground of the Hitlerite giant of political terrorism, Idi Amin. Further, the Red Sea, part of the geographic long-arm of Central-East Africa, is also home to the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabab and Joseph Kony?s Judeo-Christian terrorist ?Lord Resistance Army.? Omar Bashir rules over his caliphate there as well. And East Africa represents one of the holy Meccas of Islamic terrorism. On the other hand, on the western extremity of Africa Ghana sits on landmines of slave dungeons, while, Senegal, a distant neighbor of Ghana, houses Gor?e, otherwise called the ?House of Slaves.? Senegal faces the Americas though she is still beholden to France.
Meanwhile, post-Nkrumah Ghana is located not very far from the odontalgic terrorism of Boko Haram. So, the entire descriptive cartographic chaperonage forced on post-colonial Africa via providential or evolutionary oversight makes for a remarkable read, interpretively rendering the continent in a crucified posture of developmental inertness with no possibility of resurrection. Incidentally, the Atlantic Ocean, namely, Ghana?s dressing mirror, is also a burial ground for many an unsung enslaved African heroe and heroine. Could it be possible that the landmines of Ghana?s slave dungeons, the ghosts of the Atlantic Ocean, Boko Haram?s odontalgic terrorism, and the unfair treatment meted out to Kwame Nkrumah, Africa?s greatest son, have come back to haunt Ghana?s post-Nkrumah leadership, thereby culminating in her poor, abysmal performance? Could the transcontinental impingement on Africa have negatively affected Ghana and her leadership? How else does Ghana appease the mistreated political ghost of Nkrumah if not Ghana?s leadership doing right by the people, Nkrumah?s posterity? Is it not high time the clueless leadership of Ghana looked up to the rich legacy of Nkrumah for wisdom, direction, and moral intelligence?
And what is Ghana exactly doing sitting precariously on Africa?s left lower jaw as it faces the Americas, a locational trajectory linking the drug wars in the Americas to those in Africa, particularly West Africa? What if Africa?s left lower jaw develops odontalgic seismism with Boko Haram looking directly on? What becomes of Ghana and her neighbors then? In what way does the cartographic heat trapped in Africa?s cranial confinement, North Africa, affect the clueless heads of Africa?s neocolonial leadership, including Ghana?s? By the way, do we have to reorient their clueless neocolonial heads away from the cartographic impingement of the Americas, Australia, Europe, and Asia on Africa? Is it possible to replace their clueless neocolonial heads with the syndactylous-thinking feet of pre- and post-Apartheid political mindset? Why has the neocolonial leadership of Africa failed so miserably in constructively managing the affairs of the African world? Could Africa break free from the cartographic cacophony and spatial imperialism of trans-continentalism? These are questions for the Ghanaian leadership to answer!
But, answers aside, how do we reposition Africa, Ghana, in the human cartography of technological and developmental advancement? Well, a possible answer to this question points to a moral need for Africa to pursue political and economic independence from the non-African world. In fact, Nkrumah?s nationalistic Ghana led the way, but what has since become of that progressive footslogging? Thus, is political and economic independence from the West not the only forward for Ghana and her sister nations in Africa? The underlying justification for our position is that it?s always possible to draw one?s own ?maps? of cultural convenience if, in fact, one exerts immense economic, political, technological, and scientific clout in world affairs. However, attainment of power also ties into, or derives from, questions of control which a nation-state exercises over its educational system, among others. Admittedly, that also implies Ghana, like the rest of Africa, should radically do away with the instructional continuum of colonial education, which, for the most part, was designed to breastfeed the colonial metropolis.
That means redirecting pedagogical emphasis from the Humanities/Liberal Arts to science, technology, and mathematics. Certainly, science and mathematics are the structural foundation of the institutional edifice of technological knowledge. Still, no nation can usefully talk of political and economic independence without putting in place radical plans to underwrite acquisition of relevant technologies and revolutionary scientific ideas. The legacy of colonial education clearly underscores its blatant failure to produce the relevant technologies to deal with modern-day problems. The political idea behind colonial education was a purposively orchestrated one, to prevent Africa from acquiring the necessary scientific and technological ideas to transform its economies, to manage its extractive industries (natural resources), which Europe needed for her own survival, as her managers came to realize that technology, mathematics, and science wielded economic power over trapped natural resources. Therefore, the colonial metropolis artificially gave up on her colonial holdings in a dubious, if tacit, arrangement, replacing what was to be yet Africa?s continued dependency on Europe for nominal independence. As simple as that!
It, however, took Nkrumah a moment to see through this dubious arrangement and to put the requisite structures in place to neutralize the political and economic repercussions of the arrangement. Nevertheless, KA Busia?s NLM, JB Danquah, Akwasi Afrifa, Emmanuel Kotoka, and others did not want to see this happen and, therefore, opposed Nkrumah viciously on every step of the way. In this context, they collaborated with Nkrumah?s foreign enemies to retard Ghana?s initiative and progress. Today, the local descendants of the coup plotters and Nkrumah?s Western enemies, principally America, Britain, and France, directly and indirectly benefit from his legacy. Today we acknowledge Nkrumah as one of the world?s greatest leaders of all time. Today development economists cautiously tell us Africa?s infrastructural deficits constitute one of the major causations of her artificial underdevelopment. Put another way, this implies Nkrumah?s massive infrastructuralization of Ghana was a positive structural response to colonial underdevelopment of Ghana. Yet, like his other progressive plans, he chose to use his pilot infrastructuralization of Ghana as a blueprint for his larger project, which was the industrialization of Africa. This, too, was cut short by the coup.
Thus, in hindsight, we believe, an economist Jim O?Neill, the former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, may have seconded Nkrumah?s infrastructuralization project. O?Neill recently told a gathering of African intellectuals, economists, policy makers, and politicians about the need for Nigerians to take leadership seriously, while simultaneously stressing the importance of building infrastructure to address the country?s rising problems. As a result, he implored the leadership of Nigeria to set itself up as a paragon of virtue, of which an official inventory of punctuality, fairness, bureaucratic efficiency, efficient management of utilities, and stamping out of lax policies consumed a larger part of his presentation. O?Neill then went on to elaborate on Nigeria?s becoming Africa?s largest economy after re-basing her GDP.? That should displace South Africa as Africa?s largest economy. ?Africa and Nigeria are not the only places in the world with infrastructure challenges,? Phil Hazlewood recalls of O?Neill, quoting him again elsewhere: ?O?Neill?s predicted about the rise of the so-called ?MINT? (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) came after a similar forecast for the ?BRICS? (Brazil, India, China and South Africa) (See ?Improve Leadership to Fulfill Potential, Nigeria Told?).
Is Ghana listening? Is Ghana ready to resolve the festering Dagbon conflict once and for all? Are Ghana and other African countries willing to allow the Africa Finance Corporation to do its job and to prosper on the continent? We wait to see!
We shall return?