Decentralize – Okyehene urges Ghana Government

By Amandla

The King of Akyem Abuakwa in the Eastern Region of Ghana, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin has called on the government of Ghana to decentralize some sectors of the economy. This, he believes would optimize productivity and enhance efficiency. The King made this observation at a durbar held in his honor at the Renaissance Function Hall, Worcester, MA organized by Okyeman Association of New England October

26. He was speaking on the theme “Tradition vs. Modernism in developing post colonial Africa. Do traditional modes of behavior constitute impediments or resources for Africa’s development”.

The king pointed out that times have changed, hence the need to adapt to the changes. He said the population of Ghana has increased from about 5 million at Independence to about 25 million in 2013 and inferred that “business cannot be done in the same old ways”. He wondered aloud the rationale for the Head Offices and Headquarters of the Ministry of Agriculture to be housed in the capital, Accra, where there are no viable farms. He urged government, as a matter of urgency to place school systems and infrastructure in the hands of local people, since “they know the

basic and unique needs of their locality.” Osagyefuo Amoatia lamented on the gradual erosion of authority and powers of traditional leaders in post independent Ghana. He said it is high time government gave back some powers to traditional leaders in the interest of developments.

Tokens of royalties given to traditional leaders by the central government do not yield much productivity. The Okyehene challenged Ghanaians in the diaspora to collaborate with reputable nongovernment agencies to help establish or resuscitate Scholarship Schemes for the needy. He cited as an example, the quondam Okyeman Council Scholarship that benefited several Ghanaians to realize their educational potentials. “The structures of such schemes are already established, what is needed now is funding,” he stated.

He said Ghanaians in the Diaspora must be selfless in helping academic brilliant, financially-challenged students back home. He remarked that it was Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech that paved the way for U.S. President Barack Obama (then a toddler) to realize his fullest potential.

Earlier, King Amoatia told a cross section of Akyem citizens the havoc caused by illegal gold miners in his traditional area. He said the land laws of Ghana give government the authority to own everything underneath the surface of the land. Traditional leaders and individuals own only whatever is on the surface of the land. He commented that it is extremely difficult to control mining in any form, because at the end of the day, it is government that issues licenses to miners. He said he has been a victim of “galamsey,” (gather and sell) a term used to describe illegal mining.

On Tuesday, October 22, 2013, the Boston Bar Association hosted Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, where he spoke and shared his experiences on “sustainability and global warming.” Yet again he took his message of Saving the Earth, Saving Humanity: A Lecture on Agriculture, Environment Sustainability, and Poverty Alleviation to the Worcester Polytechnic Institute October 24. He would share his experience on the Environment at Yale University, Connecticut November 12. Osagyefuo Amoatia is a known advocate on Environmental Sustainability with a strong interest in social and environmental justice.

Worcester is home to one of the largest Ghanaian communities outside of Ghana.

Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin is the 35th King of Akyem Abuakwa. His visit was sponsored in parts by Worcester Polytechnic institute, Tufts University, Yale University, the Boston Bar Association, First Baptist Church, NJ, headed by Dr.Soares, and Okyeman Association of New England.

Credit: Douglas Agyei

Posted by on Dec 14 2013. Filed under top stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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