Sunday, 29 January 2017

Ghanaians Ought To Be Bold And Fearless In Facing The Future

''There is so much in the world for us all if we only have the eyes to see it, and the heart to love it, and the hand to gather it to ourselves.''
               - Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942) 

Denmark's Ambassador to Ghana, Her Excellency Tove Degnbol,  stated recently that her country will soon cease providing aid to Ghana - and focus instead on increasing trade between the two nations.  That is very good news indeed.

It is a marvellous development - as it  provides the private-sector in both nations with countless  opportunities to form win-win partnerships that will create wealth and jobs in the two countries. Brilliant.

It is time we weaned ourselves from depending on the charity and goodwill of taxpayers in foreign nations - and made our way to a prosperous future for our homeland Ghana under our own steam, as it were.

There is nothing we cannot do as a people if we put our minds to it. And if only our nation's ruling elites would be more honest and sincere in governing Ghana, and a tad more creative in their thinking, this country would move ahead rapidly.

Why give the collection of money from tolled roads to regime-cronies instead of offering it to road construction companies that bid to build and maintain tolled roads throughout Ghana using simple low-tech plastic road construction technology - in which melted plastic waste is mixed with bitumen?

Would that not remove a burden from taxpayers - whiles providing the nation with a network of well-maintained tolled roads nationwide to drive on,  because plastic roads remain pothole-free throughout their long lifespan, last three times as long as ordinary roads, bear heavier loads and are never washed away by flash floods because plastic is impermeable to water?

Over the years, Norway has been paying millions of dollars annually for tropical forests in places such as Guyana to be preserved - as a low carbon development  initiative.

Why do we not target low-carbon development schemes of that nature too - and create prosperity for fringe-forest communities throughout rural Ghana: for whom the preservation of our natural heritage will be of paramount interest because it earns them regular income?

The question there is: Why don't we simply change the business model of the Forestry Service of the Forestry Commission from the current one - in which, alas, many of its poorly-paid employees are in bed with crooked timber companies: and are busy looting what is left of Ghana's  forest cover in the most egregious of fashions?

Would a new green business model  not rather  benefit both fringe forest communities and the Forestry Commission itself too - one in which the Forestry Commission  enters into win-win partnerships with companies to leverage what is left of our nation's natural  heritage in carbon credit initiatives: that enable corporate entities make annual payments to neutralise their carbon footprints?

Ditto organise sundry groups of unemployed youths to establish cooperatives  across rural Ghana to plant different types of  indigenous tree species in agro-forestry plantations on land degraded by illegal gold miners,  illegal sand-winners and illegal loggers - as Redd+ projects that earn them annual cash payments?

And what have our leaders got  to lose in talking to companies like Uber and self-driving vehicle manufacturers such as Tesla and Ford - about financing the building of concrete motorways from Tema to the border with Burkina Faso, and from Aflao to Elubo: for the exclusive use of Tesla anf Ford self-driving vehicles carrying freight and passengers that are escorted by police special forces officers to protect them from armed highway robbers?

Uber, Tesla and Ford could operate those tolled concrete motorways for self-driving vehicles, the building and maintenance of which they finance themselves for up to some 50 years - and will not have to pay any taxes on their profits for the whole of that period in return.

And what have our nation's leaders got to lose in inviting both the leading two hyperloop companies to develop and build a hyperloop system that connects all the regional capitals to each other to move people and freight - and charge their own rates and operate on a tax-free basis for the next 50 years?

Could we not also do a deal with Russia in which two of the Russian Navy's Zubr-class air-cushioned landing craft transport goods and passengers across the Volta Lake - as a joint-venture commercial undertaking between the Ghanaian and Russian navies?

This blog is pretty sure that companies like the Arizona University spin-off, MetOxs Electrochemicals, would be happy to collaborate with Ghana to eliminate toxic waste from the operations of gold mining companies here - by introducing their new cutting-edge inventions that make toxin-free mining possible into our gold mining sector.

And so on and so forth. The list literally is endless.

Indeed, there is nothing that we cannot do as a people if we think creatively - and unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of ordinary Ghanaians: by abolishing personal income tax and putting Ghana on the world map as the nation with the world's lowest corporate tax rates.

Let us be bold and fearless in facing the future as a people - so that together we can transform our beautiful and peaceful country into a prosperous and modern nation that is an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia: in which all those who work hard prosper and the vulnerable are always protected and provided for by the state.
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