The #FixTheCountry campaign – mostly made up of the youth – has been one of the most talked about topics for a week or more; whereby the Ghanaian citizenry are asking the leaders to fix some issues in the country which are making life unbearable for Ghanaians.
There have been over 500,000 tweets about this campaign – which has made it the biggest online protest in Ghana so far; but the Ghana Police Service has stopped plans to move this online protest to demonstrations on the ground. Others are also of the view that the citizens of Ghana, including leaders, must fix their attitudes and mindsets if they want to have a better Ghana for all and improve the lives of Ghanaians.
The late Aliu Mahama, Vice President under the Kufour administration between 2001 and 2008, launched a campaign against indiscipline at workplaces, on the roads, in schools and in society that was aimed at achieving socio-economic progress – but our leaders, politicians, the media and citizens of Ghana failed to move this campaign beyond the administration of Kufuor and Aliu Mahama. We failed to give the campaign needed attention and participation beyond 2008, which was the end of their administration.
The late Vice President Aliu Mahama believed that without positive attitudes and behaviour of Ghanaians, it would be a challenge for the country to achieve the intended socio-economic progress. But it is rather unfortunate that we forgot all about the campaign. Fixing the country is not entirely the sole responsibility of government; rather, it is our collective responsibility as citizens of Ghana. This campaign should not be politically biased.
The aim must be to bring the attention of not just the incumbent government but the entire political class to the issues that are affecting the country. After over six decades since Ghana gained independence, we have no concrete excuse as to why we are experiencing some of the ongoing hardships in the country. This should tell you that fixing the country is a collective thing.
The seven pillars of society must also play a part in ensuring that the country is fixed. Religion, Education, Media, Culture, Science & Technology, Economics and Government must all play their respective roles in ensuring the country is fixed to get the Ghana that we want. Leaders in all these seven pillars must see to it that they do the needful in their various sectors.
Governments are truly accountable to citizens, including the vulnerable and marginalised. People in government should ensure that most projects which are more beneficial to the citizens are completed before their term of office ends. If the projects are not completed, the political party that takes over should complete the project and not abandon it because it is not their party’s project.
Religious leaders have a profound influence on all societies and many of the people in the world. Throughout history, they have proven to be the primary force for social progress, motivating individuals’ spiritual qualities and empowering them to make sacrifices for their fellow human beings and contribute to the betterment of their communities.
Education gives children and the youth the knowledge and skills they need to face daily life challenges and take advantage of economic and lifelong learning opportunities. Education happens to be a key driver for reducing poverty, fostering economic growth and achieving social development. It also provides stability, structure and hope for the future.
The media is a powerful force for change in both developed and developing countries. The media has an important role in advancing development agendas and supporting economic roles by stimulating consumer markets. Without communication no society can exist, much less develop and even reach to point of survival. Communication is a fundamental and vital process of every society. It is at the core of equitable music.
- Economic Development
Economic development is a process of targetted activities and programmes that work to improve the economic well-being and quality of life of society by building local wealth, diversifying the economy and creating and retaining jobs. For there to be economic growth, more work should be put in the business and economic sector. Fixing Ghana is a must for all leaders in the many sectors that drive change.
Culture is a powerful driver for development with community-wide social, economic and environmental impacts. Individual behaviour, people’s lifestyles, consumption patterns, values related to environmental stewardship and our interaction with the natural environment are mostly influenced by culture. If development can be regarded as the enhancement of our living standards, then efforts geared toward development cannot ignore culture.
- Science & Technology
Development at any phase is always linked with technology – and technology happens when there is advancement in science. Hence, science, technology and development are all proportional to each other. Development is required in every individual for every nation in all aspects; and for development to happen, science and technology must go hand in hand. For any successful economy, particularly in today’s quest for knowledge-based economies, science, technology and engineering are the basic requisites. If nations do not implement science and technology, then their chances of getting themselves developed become minimal – and thus could be even rated as an underdeveloped country.
In April 2021, Kandifo Institute signed a five-year renewable Memorandum of Understanding with the University Students Association of Ghana (USAG). As a think-tank, coaching and mentoring the youth happens to be one of our top areas of focus. This MoU between Kandifo Institute and USAG makes both the youthful think-tank and student union of about 40 member-institutions with about 300,000 estimated students comprise a powerful force.
By signing this MoU, we have established a leadership programme wherein trained and experienced professionals of various professions will be linked to selected youth to mentor them in leadership, so they become better individuals and citizens and be enabled to contribute in the betterment of Ghana. These leadership training sessions, we believe, will help the youth become responsible adults and have different mindsets toward development of the country.
This campaign is a good beginning for the change that Ghanaians seek, but it should not just be narrowed down as the responsibility of government. We all must play our part if we want to see the changes that we seek. We all want a better Ghana for ourselves and the next generation, but we do very little to see the better Ghana that we want. We expect the country to be fixed by government when we citizens are not prepared to have it fixed.
People are destroying our water-bodies with illegal mining (galamsey), and the security service personnel are taking bribes to allow the continuation of this illegal mining when they are sent out to stop such operations. How can the country be fixed if citizens have unhealthy attitudes like this? The incident that occurred at Kasoa – where a young boy was killed by two teenage boys for money rituals – would not have happened if we had strict structures and laws in place. It is so easy for laws to be introduced; but on the other hand, it is so difficult to ensure they are enforced.
To have the better Ghana that we all want, a Ghana where an ordinary Ghanaian will live a comfortable life, a country where living standards are affordable, we all must play our part to be able to get the Ghana we seek for change for the better. Ghanaians must put their political colours aside and contribute their quota to the development of Ghana and welfare of Ghanaians. Each one of us must be active and involved in building our country.
Self-government is hard work and requires effort. Action is essential in maintaining the foundations of our democracy – no matter which political party happens to take the mantle. The future of development lies in the hands of millions of citizens.
- Religious leaders must collaborate with different organisations to improve the well-being of communities around their vicinity through social and economic development programmes.
- Education must be promoted, as studies have shown that the greater number of years children attend school, the healthier a nation’s economy.
- Government must maintain political stability and international relationships.
- Political leaders should focus more on policies that drive economic growth; like boosting the agricultural sector and minerals and mining sector.
- Technology is one of the biggest drivers of all economies, and so ICT as a subject should be made compulsory for certain courses – allowing learners to seek career paths in the digital world of Ghana.
>>>The writer is the Executive Director, Kandifo Institute. He can be reached on [email protected]