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Review: The Future of Ghana Debate

The Future of Ghana Debate

Were you there?

 

As Ghanaians, do we have an obligation to keep our culture relevant within the Diaspora?

 From your perspective, what is the role of the Ghana High Commission in the UK?

 To what extent are the conditions of roads in Ghana an issue for the nation’s development?

With the above three questions put to an audience of people passionate about the development of Mother Ghana the stage was set for a lively debate.

It was incredibly encouraging to witness people (Ghanaian & non Ghanaian alike) turn out in their numbers to support this topical debate.

Upon arrival we were handed a schedule detailing the night’s events in addition to an overview of the panellists.

We had a mixture of young & mature Ghanaians among the distinguished panellists:

Twi Teacher, who has created a platform enabling Ghanaians the world over to communicate. This platform is aptly named ‘Twi Teacher’.

Mr Kobla Mensa-Kuma’ an architect by profession & Chief Executive of Kuma Environmental Design Limited.

Yaa Nyarko, the online editor and blogger the Me Firi Ghana team and host of the debate.

Ben Anim-Antwi, an aspiring writer / journalist extraordinaire.

Between the four of them they helped to field all sorts of questions from the audience whilst offering their invaluable insight into matters surrounding the Ghanaian community.

 

As Ghanaians, do we have an obligation to keep our culture relevant within the Diaspora?

The first question, regarding the obligation to keep the Ghanaian culture relevant as anticipated, created a buzz around the building. It was refreshing to hear young British born Ghanaians admit to the fact that some of them knew very little about the culture or the language but were keen to soak up as much knowledge as possible.

We touched on a common thread which was that for British born Ghanaians of a certain age who were not exposed to the mother tongue or culture that we were assimilated into a British way of life because our parents did not deem it essential for us to know Twi or Ga etc.

This not only created a language barrier between us & our parents as one person put it “We viewed our parents as being Ghanaian but regarded ourselves as being British

So suggestions were made as to how best we could combat this. The emergence of the Cultural Group CIC founded by Ben & Naomi Fletcher has helped to fill this void.

 

From your perspective, what is the role of the Ghana High Commission in the UK?

The second question brought about a very colourful dialogue between members of the audience & the panellists themselves.

It is clear that the High Commission are in need of raising their profile within the Ghanaian community, as only being familiar with them for their work with visa’s & passports is not enough.

On a more positive note, solutions were given as to how the High Commission, our gateway to Ghana could be improved. A member of the audience suggested that the High Commission send out a weekly or monthly newsletter to inform the Ghanaian community of events & work surrounding the Commission.

 

To what extent are the conditions of roads in Ghana an issue for the nation’s development?

Pot holes, failure to adhere to road traffic laws, vehicles that are not road worthy or the refusal by drivers to wear seat belts were all issues that I could see affected just about everyone who attended the debate on some level.

If you have ever been to Ghana, this would be an everyday occurrence.

Without the use of good roads it is increasingly difficult for lorry drivers to transport goods throughout the country. However, lorry drivers themselves have fallen foul of over loaded vehicles this coupled with bad roads leads to lorries breaking down on a regular basis.

With no real equivalent to the AA or the RAC, it is hard to get ‘said’ Lorries back on the road again so that the drivers can deliver their goods. All too often collisions usually involving more than one vehicle are regarded as a common sight on Ghana’s roads.

 

So how do we counter these problems?

Here are selections of the most common answers from the audience:

Lower the speed limit on the roads & motorways; a 100 mph speed limit on Ghana’s motorways is quite simply unnecessary not to mention highly dangerous.

Better road safety campaigns / education for drivers & pedestrians alike.

Here is a novel idea…Instead of the Ghanaian Government pouring money into new initiatives that seemingly never seem to reach their conclusion perhaps pouring some this public money into improving pre-existing roads would be a better idea.

The people of Ghana have a right to feel safe out there on the roads.

Full credit to the Me Firi team for providing assurances that they would take our concerns to the ‘Powers that be’ at the High Commission to bring about change.

Ben Fletcher kindly spoke to us about the Cultural Group, an organisation which enables individuals to learn the Twi, Fante or Ga language.

With closing words, evaluation forms & an opportunity to network Me Firi Ghana’s debut debate went down a storm.

Mahatma Gandhi famously said “Be the change you want to see”.

I believe this is happening with the Me Firi Ghana movement. The eagerly anticipated next debate will only serve to help us to grow & move in one direction together.

Nkonsonkonson – In Unity Lies Strength

By Caroline N. Mensah