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They Don’t Want Us Any More   
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In the second week of December 2017, I wrote a piece in this very column ‘GETTING THE YOUTH TO STAY HOME’. It was based on a statement the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, the President of the Republic had made imploring the African Youth to stay back home and help with the development of the continent.

So many African leaders have made similar calls to our youth on various platforms and in various countries on various occasions. However, in the prevailing economic and social circumstances confronting the continent, such pleas and admonishing are just equivalent to telling a raging fire to stop burning.

Getting our young people to stop risking their lives requires pragmatic policies and programmes at home that offer hope for their future, programmes that offer a lot of opportunities to them to choose from. We need to do that very urgently. As governments, they cannot also keep mute when the productive youth of their respective countries have their lives cut short because of the challenges faced at home.

As children growing up in the age of Televisions, many of us trooped into the homes of the few households within the vicinity to watch various programmes. In some cases, the children of the owners of Televisions treated us badly or the owners disrespected us to the point of casting insinuations against our poor parents.  Our parents would hold onto their pride and warn us never to step in any home with the view to going to watch Television programmes.

The truth is that the dreamed opportunities out there are diminishing and times and lives are becoming much more difficult out there than they used to be, even though they may still be better than our circumstances here.

Over the last three years or so, three or more political events have happened in Europe and the United States of America which has very subtle message for those of us in Africa and the rest of the third world countries whose citizens think they are still welcomed into those countries as far as migration for opportunities are concerned. It seems that times have changed and the citizens in those countries are grappling with their own challenges as well. The events in Spain, Greece and a few other countries as regards their economies attracted headline news stories a few years ago.

The results of the 2016 Presidential elections in the U.S.A where the Republican candidate, now President Donald Trump campaigned on the slogan ‘AMERICA FIRST’ and won convincingly to the surprise of the Republicans themselves, was a silent protest of the majority of the American voters and citizens that things are not very well at home for them. It was the expectation that the Democrats then led by Hillary Clinton was going to win the elections. The American voters bought the slogan of Donald Trump, ‘America First’ in the hope that their government would concentrate more on solving their problems than those outside of the U.S.A.

For voters in the United States of America to have voted on that slogan can be reasonably interpreted that they wanted a leader who will be more inward looking to deal with the social and economic situations the poor American citizenry were going through. They might have voted out of frustration with a situation in their country where immigrants, in their mind, have taken over job opportunities available while the citizens live on welfare.

The influx of migrants have put a lot of pressure on social benefits to their disadvantage as citizens of the U.S.A. and their solution was to vote in a President who will halt that state of affair and make life more comfortable for them.

Then came the shocking decision of the people of Britain in the referendum to determine whether the people of the United Kingdom wanted to remain with the European Union or opt out. Prime Minister Cameron was so confident he was going to have the people of the UK behind him in this journey. He had the shock of his life when the people voted to walk out of the EU. He had to resign his position as the Prime Minister.

Again, silent though they were, the people of the United Kingdom were not happy with their social and economic situations because of migrants into their country. Job opportunities were dwindling for the citizenry and even where they are available, migrants were ready to receive lower remunerations than what prevails. A lot of pressure is put on their social welfare systems like health, housing and education among others. The migrants are not from only Africa. The British voted Brexit in protest of migrants from even Europe who have invaded their country and making lives much difficult for them.

Angel Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany is known as a moderate who has the heart to admit migrants particularly those who have been pushed out of their countries because of internal conflicts.  Her CDU party in the last election could not garner the number of seats it requires to comfortably form a government. It had to engage in a marathon negotiations to form a coalition with the SDP to be able to form a government, 170 days after the election. Another silent protest by the German electorate on the open door policy of Angela Merkel while ‘they suffer’.

The recent election results of the Italians indicate that the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, considered Euroseptic and anti-immigrant League, may form a strong coalition to govern the fourth largest economy in Europe. Should these two parties form a government, immigrants are surely not going to be welcomed into the country as it used to be.

The above examples are ample testimony that our citizens no longer have solace and succour outside their countries to protect them from the harsh economic conditions back home. A restless productive youthful population cannot wait endlessly to be able to turn their aspirations into practical achievements. We need to act very fast, it is not easy though but we cannot also push the young people to the wall. That will be too dangerous for all of us.

While our governments are working in their interests at this point in time, the plea to the youth is patience and a new mindset directed towards the development of our dear continent. What others have done, we can do it better.


Gradually it seems we are no more reasoning on matters of grave concern to this country as citizens. Depending on the issue and whose interest is affected, emotions take control over us and men lose their reasoning.  We are gradually justifying wrong doings in this country, in fact in some cases, shielding people who have committed crimes, piloting on the wheels of emotions.

Where in the world would the residence of a President be surrounded by artisans, itinerant traders and haberdashery? Now once again, emotions and blurred political vision has crowded judgements of a section of the citizenry who think the businesses of some of our compatriots around residential areas must be above the security and safety of the President of the Republic.

Now the questions these people need to answer using their brains are: did the traders and artisans put up those structures they operate from around the President’s residence before the residence was put up? Are the areas they are operating from zoned and designated areas, so called, for their activities or part of the lawless siting up of any structures on any available open space for the purpose of engaging in an economic activity as has become an albatross hanging around the necks of city planners?

Strangely, the very people who are criticizing the move by National Security to ensure the safety of the President and his family will jump to the courts to defend an inch of their land, but when the state does so, the issue of economic reasons are raised. Nations are developed on the basis of rational thinking and not emotive vituperations. Yes, when there is a battle between emotions and reason, emotion always wins, but that victory is ephemeral. Let us look at issues reasonably than emotional.

Three tots for my weekend, Daavi

Source: Kwesi Biney/[email protected]

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