Britain Declares to Ghana, No More Free Lunch
Dependency is a mark of underdevelopment and poverty, but somehow the Ghanaian political class finds solace in dependency than independence. The British High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin, reminds us of the meaning and implications of Ghana’s independence from Britain when he says, “the era of aid has come to an end.”
While one could criticize Britain or the High Commissioner for his country’s colonial exploitation of Ghana, the verity of his declaration is inarguable. Ghana is independent, and the time has come for us to earn our keep, to act as an independent people in an interdependent world.
It is disheartening, 59 years after independence, a British High Commissioner reminds Ghana that she is an independent nation and must to act like it. The truth hurts, but it is the truth nonetheless. Ghana needs to soul search. We must ask ourselves, what happened to the passion that motivated the movement for independence. Can we still hear Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s hopeful declaration on the eve of Ghana’s independence?
Can we hear Osagyefo’s voice, declaring to the world saying—there is a new black man in the world, and that black man is capable of managing his own affairs. There is no better time for Ghana to align her conduct with the spirit and vision of Osagyefo’s declaration. In fact, there is no better motivation after 59 years of pseudo-independence.
It is perhaps not a coincidence that this awakening comes from a British official, on the precipice of Ghana’s 60th anniversary. It is almost akin to a father reminding a son, on the eve of his marriage that he is now a man. In other words, Ghana must see the declared end of Britain’s aid, as a call to recapture the passions that stirred the faith of forebears to demand self-rule or independence.
In many ways, the High Commissioner has reminded Ghana that she is independent and the world is going to treat her as such. So, the task ahead is evident. We must rise, just as our forebears, to take responsibility for the destiny of our nation. This is the calling of our generation, and we cannot afford to decline it.
It falls to us, to work hard, not only talk about it. To work even harder for Ghana, our homeland, not only sing about it. And finally, we must pledge ourselves to the service of Ghana with all our strength and with all our hearts, but not only delight in the nationalistic sound of it.
For Ghana to become the dreamed nation of black men, capable of managing their own affairs, we must invariably embrace the art of relying on ourselves. That is what our ancestors demanded and earned in 1957; now it is our turn, to materialize their dream.