Feature: Development Must Be Organic And Grassroots-Oriented – By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jnr., Ph.D.

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jnr., Ph.D.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jnr., Ph.D.

On a visit to the Asantehene’s Manhyia Palace, as part of his three-day working tour of the Asante Region, President John Mahama reportedly promised to construct an ultra-modern market on the site of the Kumasi Central Market (See “Prez Mahama Promises Ultra-Modern Market for Kumasi” Ghana News Agency / Ghanaweb.com 5/5/14). I hope Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II was not facilely taken in by such cheap and empty promise.

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The last time that I checked, the Kotokouraba Market Project in Cape Coast, the Central Regional Capital, had not even gotten off the ground, much less speak of its completion or near-completion. Actually, the last time that I checked, the former Atta-Mills arch-lieutenant was reported to have embarked on a library project in memory of the country’s first president to either die or be assassinated in office, depending on whose version of the Atta-Mills death narrative one buys into.

I am quite sure that Cape Coast already contains enough libraries to cater to the intellectual and cultural needs of its residents. There is already a regional library which may be in dire need of ICT upgrading. And then there are the tens of qualitative high schools whose libraries could also be upgraded and rendered accessible to residents in their surrounding communities. As well, the main library on the campus of the University of Cape Coast could be brought up to international tertiary institutional standards and equally made available to the residents of the Cape Coast metropolis.

Not long ago, either Mr. Mahama himself or one of his cabinet appointees told the country, and the rest of the world, that the National Democratic Congress’ government had plans afoot to construct, once again, “an ultra-modern” theater complex in Kumasi. Since that announcement, not much else has been heard about this purportedly mega-job-creating monster. Maybe Mr. Mahama takes Otumfuo Osei-Tutu for a prostitute whose facile wooing requires mere torrents of empty promises which the Bole-Bamboi native does not intend to fulfill.

Else, he would be more cautious and deliberate about the issuance of such promises. In the good, old days, failure at the fulfillment of such ponitifical promises could well have cost the President his noggins, and his marbles as well.

Where the Brazilian government comes in is what most piques my interest presently. For instance, is Mr. Mahama claiming that the Brazilians have already constructed for themselves the world’s most ultra-modern market facilities, or at least the most ultra-modern market facilities in the southern hemisphere? And if so, what prevents the Ghana government from engaging architects from the Kumasi-located Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), in collaboration with the Dansoman-constructed Ghana State Construction Corporation (SCC), to undertake such a landmark venture?

Or is it simply because Ghanaians have become so diffident as to have completely lost our sense of personal and national pride? Or is it just that God capriciously left us out of his parcelling out of human talents and ingenuity? Actually, what I wanted to ask here was whether Ghanaians abjectly lacked this thing called “genius.” I mean, if the Brazilians have what it takes to let their own national genius and ingenuity reflect on their major landmarks, what prevents Ghanaians from doing the same? Or, is someone fervidly looking towards contractually setting aside the Nkrumah-minted “10-percent” for use in entrenching the Mahama regime at the Flagstaff House?

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D. Department of English Nassau Community College of SUNY Garden City, New York Board Member, The Nassau Review

E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

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