Memories and recalls of the past year

Sometime in the 1970s a Ghanaian pop group did a song titled “Afe aso ama makae masεm bi.” Literally translated, it means ‘the end of year brings back some memories.’  Among the Akan of Ghana the end of year is also the time to remember the departed. Indeed the song strikes a chord in the Ghanaian psyche anytime it is played in times like these. Individually and collectively, Ghanaians and indeed people all over the world reflect on the previous year and make resolutions for a better year. Mistakes and errors committed inform actions to be taken to correct and make things better in the New Year. In Ghana, however, we are only blessed (?) with dashed hopes year in year out.

Ghanaians still remember and recall the verdict after eight months of the trial of NPP contest of the 2012 election results. Some are still reeling of the kind of justice that was dispensed. The anticipation of most Ghanaians was quashed. But for the patriotic stand taken by NPP leader Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo to appeal to his constituency for peace and acceptance of the judicial decision, Ghana would have been in flames as we write. Historic as the petition was, the verdict attracted a host of condemnations from jurists and scholars. Only the morally bankrupted praised the ‘wisdom’ of Atuguba and his ilk.

It is criminally insane for a government to refuse to continue ongoing projects because they were started by the previous government. Projects put in place and started by Kufuor’s NPP administration are still lingering. More than 1500 housing projects are now left in the care of marauders and squatters while the rest of Ghanaians are living on the streets. The state security community had its hopes dashed when the three billion dollar STX loan from South Korea for 50,000 houses went south. Notable of recall was the police assembling at the parliament as the debate over the spurious loan was ongoing.

The ‘better Ghana agenda’ is still a mirage considering the president and his cabinet had to shell out ten percent of their salaries to top up the national budget. The people still recall the fanfare that surrounded the inauguration of the agenda but are now wailing for the continued stagnation made worse by corruption and graft.

Even before oil drilling began, Ghana became a middle income country, so we heard. Is Ghana still in the income achieving game knowing now that that all the hoopla about the oil money is a sham? Ghanaians are still wailing over where the oil money went. Actually what we hear from some prominent economists is that the oil money is used to buy such things as groundnuts (pea nuts to Americans). If it is true then we should stick to growing our cocoa and mining our gold and forget about oil.

As far as we can tell, Ghana’s economy is in the doldrums. Mahama’s economic wizards seem to be confused as they churn out conflicting information. Where is the $3 billion from China that was supposed to support the BGA?

Some events never lose their mnemonic significance. The akonfεm tragicomedy is a most memorable event in modern Ghana. GHC 15 million was spent raising guinea pigs in the north, but an audit only found 600 birds and 20 eggs in a refrigerator. According to the farmers, the rest went to Burkina Faso for a drink. Only in Ghana. The same contractor was offered GHC 30 million to plant trees in the same location but the only evidence found were dried and withered seedlings on a dry patch of land. Someone in his wisdom chose to plant trees in the harmattan season in Northern Ghana.  In all GHC 45 million dissipated into thin air.

Galamsey is on the decline, or that is what the news delivered a couple of weeks ago. Some say, however, that the constant hounding of operators is creating disinterest. But the news report also imputes the decline to falling prices. It has now dropped from around $1600 to around $1200. But Anglogold and Newmont still remain in business. Is it because they can make up their losses kicking out a few hundred miners? Asεm sεbε. I really think the idea is to kick out the small players in favor of the big boys. Fidelis est, nihil ex illo tempore dies isti in Gana.  Loosely translated nothing believable comes out of Ghana these days.

The last time we heard Woyome was in court to prove why he deserves a whopping 51 million Ghana Cedis (approximately $20 million) for no work done. He has not proven anything and the court still remains in a limbo. The man showed Ghanaians that if you play your cards right you can actually get government lawyers to help you obtain free money from the government.  While we wait for the court we have not forgotten that Woyome did nothing to deserve $20 million from Ghanaians.

As we honeymoon with 2014, we recall days not so long ago when Makola women were chased by the nation’s banks to pick up credit for their businesses; when Ghanaians could still use their health insurance cards; when parents were assured their children would be fed lunch at school; and when indeed pregnant women were given free prenatal care, among several goodies. We also remember how road transportation system was revamped with the introduction of intra- and inter-city buses, air conditioned and comfortable. We also remember the new and modern road systems around the country, but we wail over the parts still undone on the Accra-Kumasi highway. We remember how before he died late President John Evans Atta Mills commented that he felt terrible whenever he had to travel the portions of the Accra-Kumasi highway, particularly around the Suhum side of the road.  We thought that would expedite action but it is still stalling. Is it because it passes through opposition strongholds, or is it just a case of ethnic prejudice. We are curious to know.

Is dumso a thing of the past and what about water? The news is that the volume of water per capita for Ghanaians has reduced by a whopping 60 percent, according to FAO. Are we that thirsty in Ghana? And is this something to really, really remember at the end of 2014?

We have a myriad of things to recall and remember but only a few, if any, can be positive.

Afe aso ma makae masεm bi still reverberates. The song drives the writer to reach for the wine cellar. Ahhh!!!! Hmmm!!!

Afe nhyia pa.  Please make 2014 a happy one. Just try.

Posted by on Jan 21 2014. Filed under Features. 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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