It appears that our nation abounds with negative types. A prime example being the “Civvy-Street-Carpers” – who were carping recently at the current regime: for planning to purchase some US$680 millions worth of military hardware for the Ghana Armed Forces. What those complaining-types forget, when they question why “a nation that is not at war” and “which has no intention of going to war” (to paraphrase one such group of super-clever Ghanaians in the Ghanaian media) is planning to spend so much equipping its military, is that many peaceful nations around the globe, such as Switzerland, Sweden, and Austria, arm themselves to the teeth, for a simple reason: They understand perfectly, the importance of being in a position to deter and repulse attacks, from belligerent regimes: which might suddenly appear at their doorstep, and decide to wage war on them, someday – in order to divert the attention of their citizens from problems at home.
Perhaps such Ghanaians do not realize that we live in a largely-hostile sub-region – full of malevolent regimes that whiles professing friendship with our country, secretly wish us ill: simply because we are a successful democracy whose citizens enjoy personal liberties unheard of, in much of
We must also ensure that a law is also passed that will make it mandatory for helicopters of the Ghana Air Force to be the only aircraft allowed to ferry men and equipment for all oil rigs operating off our coastline, that are sited on our continental shelf (and at international industry rates for such services). Above all, a law must also be passed that makes it mandatory for all foreign companies in the Ghanaian oil industry supply-services sub-sector, to have Ghanaian partners: before they can operate legally in our country – and make sure that our country benefits as much as is possible from the oil and natural gas industries, that way, too. We must stop merely admonishing Ghanaian businesspeople to prepare for the coming oil boom – and act positively by passing the necessary legislation to empower them to take the “commanding heights” of the industry (to use General Kutu Acheampong’s, famous phrase of economic empowerment!).
Well, dear reader, after hearing so many inanities this week, about how to grow our tourism industry, I guess that even an ignoramus and a buffoon like me, is allowed to humbly make a few suggestions, to the current regime – as my “widow’s mite” contribution to growing Ghana’s tourism industry: To begin with, may I suggest that we must ensure that in addition to “Zoil Ghana Limited” cleaning up our beaches, all the roads leading to tourism sites in Ghana, are turned into first class roads: as soon as it is practicable to do so? A dear friend from Scranton-Pennsylvania, USA, who will not be returning to Ghana anytime soon, because of the atrocious infrastructure (lack of potable water nationwide, and the erratic electric power supply across the country, that she encountered whiles here last February and March!), was indeed appalled by the poor state of the roads in our country.
Hopefully, when our political class finally cottons on to the fact that the more roads Ghana builds, the quicker will those roads fill up with smoke-belching and gas-guzzling vehicles (mostly imported scraped vehicles from the various developed world “cash-for-clunkers” programmes, designed to get their citizens to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles), they will begin to see the logic of borrowing billions from China (and issuing them with our sovereign bonds as insurance of payment), and setting up joint-ventures between the Ghana Railways Company and the best-resourced state-owned Chinese railway construction companies: to enable Ghana build (and operate rail passenger and freight services on ) railways to all the regional and district capitals throughout Ghana.
As we shall soon be celebrating World Tourism Day here, I do hope that the ministry for tourism will consider inviting Mr. Brain Mullis, of the renowned US responsible travel entity, Sustainable Travel International (STI), to help them “green” Ghana’s tourism industry (as well as corporate Ghana, generally!). Ditto inviting Mr. Peter Richards, of the Community-based Eco-tourism Institute of Changmai University in
Finally, yet another simple but effective idea, would be for the president of Ghana to invite the two gentlemen (the policeman and the professor – who joined US President Barack Obama, in the White House gardens for a “beer summit”) at the centre of the infamous Harvard University “wrongful arrest” case: in which an African-American Harvard professor was arrested for breaking into his home, when he misplaced the keys to his own house, to Ghana – as our contribution to improving race-relations in the US? Will the global electronic media camera-teams that will follow their trip to Ghana to visit the slave-dungeons in Cape Coast and Elmina castles, as well as travel along the ancient slave-route from the north (taking in a safari at Mole National Park to see the magnificent heard of elephants there, whiles up north!), not put Ghana on the world map for zilch, dear reader? One certainly hopes that those put in charge of the tourism ministry will listen to such commonsense advice – and above all invite Mr. John Mason (the brilliant Canadian-Ghanaian head of the Nature Conservation Research Centre - NCRC) and Mrs. Gifty Kwansa, of the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB), to become their special advisers on responsible tourism in Ghana: as they are amongst the most knowledgeable on the subject, in Ghana? A word to the wise…
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