2057 – Centennial (100 years) celebration – “Achieve”

Feature Article of Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Columnist: Fordjour, Kwadwo

It is March 6, 2057, and Ghana celebrates its 100
years of independence. WOW!!! How many Ghanaians today will live to celebrate
this centennial? Someone born on March 6, 2007 will be 50 years old, and another
born this year, 2013 will be 46 years old. Majority of Ghana’s current political
leaders, corporate executives, doctors, university professors, lawyers, farmers
and citizens 40 years and older may not live to see this moment. However, it is
incumbent upon these legendary Ghanaians today to strive to leave a legacy for Ghana
to remember or recognize them for on March 6, 2057. There are a very few,
including the BIG SIX who are currently remembered when Ghana celebrates its
independence day. How do you want to be remembered or recognized on March 6,
2057? This is a question all current and aspiring Ghanaian politicians must
answer.

Ghana
is a country with an abundance of natural resources. Gold, timber, cocoa,
diamond, manganese and oil make up the major sources of foreign exchange in
Ghana. Ghana’s
population has increased by 20% since independence from 5 million to 25 million
people. The vast majority of the growth is occurring in the urban areas. Currently,
50% or more of the population of Ghana live in cities and their suburbs. The
reason for such growth is migration from the rural areas for better livelihood,
but has led to significant economic, security, health and environmental
problems because lack of foresight and leadership. The population of Ghana is
expected to reach between 35 million to 50 million by 2057.

Where has Ghana be in the past 50 plus years? Are we
satisfied with where we are today? Do we want to bequeath Ghana in its current
state to the future generation 50 years from today? Whether we like it or not,
Ghana’s independence will be 100 years in 2057. How do we get there? This
starts with a vision. What is Ghana’s vision for the next 50 years? Who
develops this vision?

What is a Vision? The Webster Dictionary defines a
vision as “an intelligent foresight, extra-ordinary foresight, or one with
extraordinary beauty”: Vision is a mystical experience of seeing as if with an
eye of a supernatural being. “ A vision is an aspirational description of what an
organization ( country) would like to achieve or accomplish in the mid-term or
long-term future. It is intended to serve as a clear guide for choosing current and
future courses of action.” The vision is
developed through a process that integrates broad ideas and the direction of
the country for its future. The country explores, in detail, possible options
for achieving the goals and objectives identified in the vision in a unified
and comprehensive manner.

Don’t Ghanaians have an intelligent foresight to see
the extraordinary beauty of Ghana and its people in 2057? I bet we do. However,
it will take extraordinary effort and hard work to achieve this beauty.

Ok! I call upon all stakeholders, including the three
arms of government, academic institutions, chieftaincy, religions bodies, civil
society groups, businesses, and all socio-economic groups under the umbrella of
the National Development Planning Commission and Regional Planning Agencies to
make it the highest national priority to develop a vision, and blueprint to
implement all policies, programs, and project for the next 50 years. This will
not be a party manifesto or platform. This will be a Ghana vision enshrined in
our laws, school curriculum, budget, national security, environment and
everyday lives.

I see Ghana ACHIEVE a true middle class industrialized
Country in 2057 with full employment and one of the highest GDP in the world.
All workers are paid living wages to cater for the needs of their families,
take regular vacations, and save for retirement. Anyone born after 2013 can
read and write, at least, at senior secondary school level, and is employable.
Hunger is a thing of the past as all children have 3 square meals a day. Ghana has
first class hospitals and trauma centers in every district and region. No one
dies from malaria, maternal mortality, and other environmental diseases. Every
Ghanaian has health insurance. Our elders are well taken care of at modern
retirement facilities or in their own homes.

Majority of Ghanaians own their homes or live in
affordable homes or apartments with reliable clean potable water supply and efficient
energy from renewable and alternative energy sources. Every home is connected to
the internet. All
residences are accessible by well drained paved roads lined with trees and lights.
Garbage and other household wastes are recycled, reused and reduced with modern
waste management operations. No waste is lying around on the streets and in
open spaces. Every community has parks and recreation facilities as well as a
library. Urban centers are great places to live and work.

Ghana has complete streets and first class roads
named after our forefathers, leaders, and people who sacrificed unselfishly to
make Ghana a great county. Ghana has one of the world’s most efficient
interconnected multi-modal transportation systems for walking, biking, transit,
rail, highways and airports. Every working adult can own a new car.

Ghana has some of the most competitive universities,
research centers and technical institutions that produce some of the best
leaders, entrepreneurs, physicians, as well as innovative math, science,
engineering and ICT professionals in the world. All children have access to
K-Secondary School education in ultra-modern facilities and teaching
technology.

Ghana is led by some of the world’s most visionary,
ethical, selfless, dedicated, servant-leaders, collaborative, and
representative politicians. The legislature, executive and judicial branches of
government are truly separate. All
Ghanaians, irrespective of where they live or work, participate in the
electoral dispensation by voting and contesting for any political position at
national, district or local level. All localities and municipalities are run by
people elected by the indigenes, and not appointed by the president.

The Ghanaian police are neighbors and friends who
keep our streets and neighborhoods safe at all times. Our justice system is one
of the best and most trusted in the world, and the media reporting is truly
independent and fair. Everyone pay taxes responsibly because they trust
government and believe in the system.

“In
2057-Centennial Anniversary, Ghana would have ACHIEVED a true middle class
economy that our founders envisioned 100 years ago on March 6, 1957”.

This is the vision I have for Ghana… as one people
with common destiny. It will take critical thinking, ethics and practical
solutions to set up performance goals that can be measured, managed and
implemented for Ghana to achieve a true middle class economy. This not the work
of the present government or future government to do, but the work of all
affected, interested and beneficiary Ghanaians. The Government may facilitate
the process, but the people must own the vision. Ghana should start planning
for the Centennial celebration with a Vision today.

As Lummi Chairman Tim Ballew, II,
said “We must manage our resources for the seventh generation of our people.”
Our unique heritage requires us to honor our past, present, and future
generations. Thus, in our heart and mind we have managed our resources in this
manner from time immemorial. As a tribal government, we have adopted the
critical goal that we must preserve, promote, and protect our Schelangen (“way
of life”). Lummi Nation is a Native American Tribe in Washington State, USA.

Kwadwo Fordjour, AICP, [email protected]

Environmental and Community Development Foundation

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