Africa remains a writer’s delight; our beautiful continent continues to be a writer’s paradise.
So completely does art imitates life in Africa that a writer would be considered very imaginative if she only chronicles daily happenings in our beautiful continent.
Standing aside and watch the goings-on in Africa, I often wonder if some of us are for real. And our leaders never fail to produce the comic reliefs to lessen the tensions and the stresses and the grinds in our daily lives.
Mayhap this is deliberate ploy on their parts, as they do not provide any service for the hoi polio.
I watched and listened to some African leaders making speeches at the recent concave of the 67th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
I really have to shake my head and pinch myself several times to make sure that I was not in some dreamland.
Are these leaders from Africa for real? Are there some special diets prepared at our Presidential palaces that make our leaders look and sound like complete schizophrenics – totally divorced from reality?
Or is it the water they drink?
Ordinary mortals like yours truly will never know these top-secrets affairs, but methinks that it is time we all rise up and tell our leaders to stop making complete fools of themselves and embarrassing us further.
How on earth do we have leaders who cannot produce enough food for their people, or give their people potable water or electricity, going on world stage to beat chests and wax bombast?
What on earth is Mr. Jonathan Goodluck doing in New York when he should be in his country working hard to solve the myriads of problems plaguing his country?
With his 100+ advisers (plus their advisers), Mr. Jonathan still appear clueless on how to solve any of the problems Nigeria faces. Boko Haram has made life hellish for Nigerians in the Northern part of the country, and the President has not been able to achieve much, apart from issuing empty declarations of intent.
We are told that Mr. Goodluck recently forayed into Niger and Mali to discuss with the leaders of those countries, believed to harbor the training grounds of the Boko Haram Jihadists.
It is incredible that Jonathan plethora of highly-paid advisors failed to tell him what was evident to yours sincerely, when Mr. Goodluck cast a vote at the UNSC to help NATO launch its invasion of Libya.
One did not need a crystal ball to know that once a strong-man like Brother Ghadaffi is removed from power in a loose, tribal-based country like Libya, one can only harvest a bountiful of chaos.
Jonathan and Zuma, two embarrassments of leaders, failed to realize that the objectives of NATO were narrow and clearly-defined. They also failed to recognize that NATO’s objectives do not, in any way, augur well for their nations’ well-being.
They went ahead to offer support to the imperialists.
Today, Western firms are making a kill from their conquest of Libya, while Africans are left to hold the candle.
No one in NATO today remembers the support of Nigeria and South Africa.
The defeat of Ghadaffi opened a Pandora box of mayhem from which Nigeria is today suffering as Brother Ghadaffi’s massive arsenal was looted by Jihadists.
It is some of these weapons that are today being used to cause havoc across Northern Nigeria. How silly can a leader be?
We still wonder why Jonathan did not ask for something in return for his slavish support of the imperialists.
Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama also made his pitch at the UN.
Many said that it was a well-crafted speech delivered flawlessly.
The President paid glowing tribute to his predecessor and thanked the world for mourning with Ghana. He also extended condolences to Ethiopian, Malawi and Guinea Bissau countries that also lost their leaders.
Ghana’s new leader did not forget to make the ritualistic vow to wage war on poverty, disease, oppression, discrimination, illiteracy and unemployment which “still stifle the potential and shatter the hopes of millions.”
He waxed eloquent on the positive changes in Africa: “Today, Africa boasts some of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with Ghana being one of them. The number of countries engaged in conflict is steadily decreasing year after year.
You see, today, right now, there is something spectacular happening in Africa. Growth is taking the place of stagnation; tranquility is taking the place of turmoil; democratic governance, founded on the rule of law, is taking the place of dictatorship.
This new Africa will wean itself off of handouts and humanitarian relief. It will not continue to succumb to the corruption and oppression of despots. This new Africa will stand on the world stage as a mutual partner.
Africa is ready for that true and sincere partnership.
The president concluded his speech with: “Our time has come.”
As our time really come?
In the next breath, the president that tell the world that Africa’s time has come was pleading with more of the same medicine from the World Bank.
This was how it was reported: “President John Mahama is pleading with the World Bank not to be quick in withdrawing financial assistance to Ghana. The president made the plea at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly sessions ongoing in New York.
President Mahama told the World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, Ghana is not completely out of the woods yet and a complete withdrawal of financial assistance could spell doom for the country.
President Mahama’s advisors should have told him that the World Bank is not in the business of assisting countries to develop their countries. Au Contraire; it was set up to make countries safe for exploitation by Western concerns.
World Bank assistance has never helped to develop any country and it never will.
Apparently buoyed by his well-received UN speech, we are told that the President courts American businessmen to invest in Ghana.
And this was how it was chronicled: “President John Mahama is courting American investors to invest in Ghana.
Speaking to top American investors in New York shortly after addressing the 67th UN General Assembly the president said Africa for that matter Ghana is a “good destination for investment”.
“Ghana happens to be the gate way to West Africa…Whatever we produce, rice maize, and everything many of the traders from Burkina Faso, Mali Niger which are constantly food starved come to Ghana to take their supplies."
“All the other West African countries have a demand for food supplies and so Ghana could become the hub for supplying all these counties with food," he said.
He conceded however that Ghana’s weakest link is manufacturing and industry and implored the investors to take advantage of those opportunities, adding the country will provide all the necessary resources and raw materials for such industries to work.
He also touted Ghana’s democratic credentials which he said will be consolidated in the December elections.
“Perhaps the best thing going for Ghana is stability and peace. It is seen as an oasis of peace in a turbulent continent.
“Ghana’s democracy has been consolidated. It is going to be consolidated further in December when we hold the next elections,” he stated.
The gods know that this writer has done his best to tell our leaders in Africa that no investor will set up manufacturing shops in our countries until we get the basics right.
The world has become globalized and information is freely available. Investors look for safe havens for their money and they are not going to put it in countries with shaky or non-existence infrastructures.
African leaders should try to fix the roads, water, electricity, and telecommunications and, above all, provide security and investors will flock in like no man’s business.
We can make this Femi Rules of Attracting Investors 101
Meanwhile, our MPs continue to get in the news for the wrong reasons.
Rescue me if I’m wrong, please, but I have never seen a single report of one MP sponsoring a single bill on how to improve the lives of Ghanaians.
Apart from debating and approving foreign loans and grants, no one knows what else our MPs do.
Our so-called Honourables make waves only when there are salary increases to be discussed.
It is sad that whilst Ghanaians groan under severe economic hardships, their MPs decided to increase their own pay.
This was how it was captured by Citi News: “Salaries Of MPs Go Up From GHC3,000 to 7,200
"Salaries of Ghana’s Members of Parliament have shot up from GhC3,000 to GhC7,200, insider reports reaching Citi News indicate.
Information reaching Citi News indicates that each legislator will receive the new amount as their new consolidated take home pay. The new pay will take retrospective effect from January 2009.
The MPs previously earned under GHC3, 000, a situation they complained was woefully inadequate compared to other African countries.”
If people can get such a truly hefty pay hike and a back-dated one for that matter, we should stop wondering why politics have become a do or die affair in our beautiful country.
We should now know why everyone wants to go to parliament.
Sadly, whilst our MPs are getting and enjoying their consolidated new pay, no one cares about the hoi polio.
How about this story from Peacefmonline: “Cholera Outbreak Kills Three; Over 200 People Affected.”
“Three people have been confirmed dead in the latest numbers released by the Health directorate of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly.
More than 200 cases have also been recorded in the past one month.
Health officials say the soaring numbers of cholera cases calls for urgent pragmatic action.
The director of health at the AMA, Dr. Simpson Anim Boateng who spoke to XYZ News said the severity of the cases has reduced a little.
“The cholera situation is now better, it has reduced for sometime but since the beginning of this month it has started rising.
“But we are enforcing the by-laws, we are educating the people and it is working, that is why now the number has reduced significantly” Dr. Anim Boateng said. -
And, how about this story, also from Peacefmonline: ECG Intensifies Load-Shedding.
“If you have been suspicious about the way the Electricity Company of Ghana is going about the ongoing load-shedding exercise, your suspicions may be well-founded.
ECG says it has had to review the schedule because the power available for distribution to homes and businesses especially during the day has reduced.
Consumers under the previous schedule would be without power twice every three days, once during the day with the other outage at night.” -
And if you think that now it cannot get worse, they you have not seen this news item carried by Peacefmonline: We Gave Out 215m Cedis For Rituals Before Commencement Of Gas Project - Dr Sipa-Yankey
"The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC), Dr. George Sipa-Yankey, has revealed that his outfit gave out an amount of 215 million old Ghana cedis for ritual purposes at Atuabo in the Ellembelle District before the commencement of the gas infrastructure project.
Dr Sipa-Yankey said this was done to enable the contractors for the gas project, Sinopec, to cut down the deity tree "Hohor" at the project site.
The chief priestess of the Tohor deity, Mame Kpolakeh, performed the first ritual on Friday, October 12, and the second one on Wednesday, 17 October, respectively.
"According to GNGC CEO, the chief priestess, had warned that if the necessary rituals were not performed, she would not allow the tree to be cut, therefore the GNGC had to dole out the money to purchase some items for the pacification rites before it was felled by the contractors executing the project.
He further disclosed that the chief priestess also dared the Chinese contractors that if "they are men enough" they should cut the tree without performing the rituals adding that since GNGC wanted the project to be completed as scheduled, they negotiated with her for the necessary rituals to be performed.
The chief priest is also said to have demanded money to perform rituals on another deity tree called "Banzela", which also has to be cut down, so that no misfortune strikes the men working on the project. -
To put things in good perspective for us Dr. Sipa-Yankey was quoted as saying: "...we are in a country where superstition in our traditional set-up is very much respected and important hence the decision to convert the items demanded by the chief priestess into money for the rituals.”