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"Ghana's History Riddled With Corruption And Shameless Ethnocentric Practices"
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One of Ghana’s foremost industrialists, Akenten Appiah Menkah of Apino Soap fame, yesterday put the country on the spot, describing its past 16-year history as riddled with massive corruption and shameless ethnocentric practices.

He passed the remarks during the Freedom Power Lectures-2012 under the auspices of the Centre For Freedom and Accuracy (CFA), the Andrew Awuni-led think-tank and advocacy grouping. He was the principal speaker.

He said, “The country, during the Fourth Republic and particularly over the last 16 years or so, has been so shamelessly overtaken by the triplet evils of massive corruption, naked and shameless vocal practices of tribalism and conscienceless political party polarisation of all national issues and concerns.”

Unless the country took the necessary steps to address the socio-political anomalies, he warned, “very soon we shall all behave like the animals in George Owell’s ‘Animal Farm’”.

The country’s direction, he noted, had been inordinately inundated with politics all the time as the serious business of economic development of the future was neglected.

“The political direction of the country has all the time been politics, politics and politics without seriously looking at the economic and development aspects of our future,” he said.

He questioned the country’s economic development so far when “we still import toothpicks, chickens, paracetamol, biscuits, wooden doors, ball point pens and toilet rolls”.

The astute businessman, whose ordeal at the hands of players of the so-called revolution which visited the country is well-documented, painted a less gloomy picture when he took a look at the two economy-savvy gentlemen chosen by the two leading political parties as running mates to their flag-bearers for the forthcoming 2012 polls.

The choices by the parties, he noted, “put the nation on the right course to put the private sector development issues above naked issues of politics and policies”.

The future of the nation from 2012, he said, “is going to be determined by which of the political parties can best solve the problems of the private sector to enable Ghana get into the trail of Korea and the Asian tigers for our developmental programme”.

Mr. Appiah Menkah expressed delight that the review of the 1992 Constitution contained an aspect about the long-term economic planning and development of the country, as opposed to what he said was the politicization of grave national issues.

He was not too sure about how much individual Ghanaians would sacrifice as their contribution towards the development of the country, as he asked his compatriots and government to do more.

His asked, “Are we as a people prepared to sacrifice our petty personal interest and comfort, ethnic and tribal preferences to national interests, hollow vote catching political slogans for what is right for the nation in the long run, even if these are against our personal comforts and the interest of our political party?”

Continuing, he quizzed, “Are we as a people prepared to suffer some hardships in the promotion of the ‘Buy Made in Ghana’ campaign in the wake of the modern day globalization and the regional trade blocks?” pointing out that India, China, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and others suffered inconveniences to get their countries where they were today.

The aforementioned countries, he added, “blocked up all their importing gates and when eventually they were opened, they had no rooms for imports into their countries but better competitiveness for their locally produced goods on the export market to the advantage of their national economies.” Ghana, he said, had virtually become the net importer of every product of the world including bamboo-made toothpicks.

Mr. Appiah Menkah’s presentation on the importance of changing the face of Ghana’s economy ties in coincidentally with the contents of the outdoored NPP manifesto which, according to Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, seeks to transform the country into an exporter of finished products, away from the old-fashioned order of raw material exports.
Source: A.R. Gomda

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