Saturday, 12 November 2016

Original Thinking And The Ability To Do Lateral Thinking Vital For Making Ghana A Better Place For All Its Citizens

 "It is the power of thought which gives man the mastery over nature."
              - Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875).

Our homeland Ghana has a very bright future - despite its many challenges - because the vast majority of its younger generations are exceptionally talented in many fields of human endeavour.

That ought to be pretty  obvious to all those who are clear-sighted, and far-sighted, enough, to recognise the possible potential impacts of the dynamism and amazing intelligence, of our country's educated younger generations.

One's hope, is that our nation's political class will be able to have the nous and gumption, needed to leverage the innovative and disruptive technologies, which  are changing the world for the better - and use them to help transform Ghanaian society into a prosperous one.

Towards that end, this blog is throwing a challenge to the leaderships of all the political parties in Ghana: Why do they not think creatively and make our country a global leader in the adoption of some of the world's most disruptive technologies - such as the use of self-driving vehicles - on a wide scale?

In the case of self-driving vehicles, for example, this blog is of the humble view that our ruling elites must be bold to approach companies like Uber; Lyft; Juno; Didi Chuxing; Google;  Ford;  Mercedes Benz;  BMW; Apple;  and Tesla, with a mutually beneficial proposal.

Surely, those companies could be persuaded by our leaders to form a consortium to undertake a feasibility study, on the viability of building  purpose-built concrete motorways from Tema to Paga, and from Aflao to Elubo, for the exclusive use of self-driving commercial vehicles - if the carrot for them will be that Ghana will make income from self-driving commercial vehicles using those motorways, tax-free?

And why do our ruling elites not also put the idea to Facebook that it could  partner Ghana in developing a national ID system using its DeepFace artificial intelligence software and bought-in proprietary  blockchain technology from  industry-class-leading companies such as Blockchain Technologies Corp?

The idea there is to issue all who reside in Ghana with hack-proof digital IDs that work like Facebook's users' "pages" that will enable them to have real-time, two-way conversations with state institutions, such the security agencies; the Ghana Revenue Authority; the National Health Insurance Authority; second-cycle and tertiary educational institutions;  etc., etc.

And could they also not put the idea to Mr. Aliko Dangote, the Nigerian tycoon, that he could develop a new lucrative business, building tolled concrete motorways from Accra to all the regional capitals - and charge motorists to use same for 25 years: after which his company will share the toll revenues on a 50-50 basis with Ghana in perpetuity - till the very end of time? Literally?

And if some of our oil money is used as helicopter-money to empower  entrepreneurs producing  sundry handmade products, with fair-trade value-chains, to access global e-commerce platforms, such as Etsy and Shopify, would that not create wealth and enable hundreds of thousands of SMEs - such as the truly-amazing Fiinas Decor, opposite Kasoa's Pink FM building, which has a training school that trains gifted but disadvantaged young adult females - to create jobs galore?

And since the only way to ensure that Ghanaians can have affordable electricity, is to have 100 percent renewable energy powering our country, why do our leaders not ask the VRA and GNPC to form a consortium with energy companies such as the U.S. energy storage company,  Aqueon, and the world's biggest wind turbine manufacturing companies, Goldwind from China, and Denmark's Vestas,  to produce 10,000MW of  renewable energy, from what will be the world's biggest offshore wind energy farm - with funding from a partnership with Alphabet, Google's parent company?

Ghana indeed has a very bright future - its myriad of problems not withstanding. All that our educated urban elites need - to help them make Ghana a better place for all its citizens, today, and tomorrow - is the gift of original thinking, and the ability to do some  lateral thinking, on their feet.

Naturally, many will doubtless say that the above-mentioned ideas are zany and not worth considering. That is their opinion. Sodden negative-spoil-sports who never see the silver lining in dark clouds. Pity.

The question there is:  As a people, what have we got to lose, by approaching those potential win-win nation-building partners mentioned above, and  having a conversation based on those ideas with them?

In life, is it not  those who dare dream, and fight hard to actualise those dreams, who  invariably win life's many battles? So one's prayer, is that our educated urban elites will be gifted with the ability to do some original thinking, and be able to think laterally, on their feet. Always.  Amen.

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