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Ghana! My beloved country with misplaced priorities.

A Country with Misplaced Priorities
Ghana, the beacon of Africa and a proponent of African democracy has lost its path and foresight to the wonderful land promised by our liberator, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. It is with this conviction that the country, even in the 21st century is rendered opposite to what was imagined about it 6 decades ago. The celerity with which a new administration was set up after independence, coupled with the fast pace in infrastructural development, industrialization and the provision of the basic social needs of citizens was impressive to the point that, we assumed to become the leading country in Africa.
In transforming into a better person, it is consequential that the individual puts in place good values and sets priorities in order of importance. In the same vein, a country must pay attention to the foregoing factors in order to transmogrify its various sections into better ones. Ghana has survived several years of struggle since its autonomy as a country and government. After the overthrow of the first political party that made the country thrive through several coups and republics, the thirst for power escalated. Currently in the fourth republic, it seems not much has been done and the condition of the country still remains unchanged.
The country can barely boast of any better and extraordinary policies, and systems implemented for its citizens. The deplorable state of the systems and lackadaisical attitude of the government in reacting to these failing sectors as health, education, jurisdiction, industrialization and basic amenities remain an impediment to the progress of the country.
Education
Education is undoubtedly the first priority of all developed countries and it’s the key to uphold a nation. This is not the same situation here in Ghana, as in this neoteric technological era, we still have pupils who study under trees in the rural communities, and schools constantly lack basic teaching amenities. Additionally, the accessibility of schools in all communities is a serious dilemma.
Ghanaian universities continue to produce graduates who lack basic skills and are not technically equipped enough to face the work field, owing to the weak educational curriculum layout. Universities incessantly confer degrees upon graduates to the neglection of infusing technicalities into teaching and have eventually rendered graduates vulnerable to failure in the field of work. Ghanaian schools continue to settle for mediocrity, and favouritism and nepotism also keep reigning. Thus, square pegs are fixed in round holes to see to the daily affairs and management of these universities, ignoring competency. This is deliberate negligence on the part of the government and it befouls proper ways of running the affairs of the country. Also, the educational sector lacks the necessary investment and attention because of the low value placed on it and other important sectors.
Health

Moreover, Ghana cannot boast of top notch health facilities and care centres in the country. Most of the leaders of the country endlessly seek health care from outside the country and as a result, health care remains not a priority for the government. Everything in the country including the health sector has been politicised. A project designed to build the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital Maternity Ward to salvage lives of about 1,000 pregnant women and curtail maternal mortality rate has been left undone for about 4 decades due to political issues.

Uncompleted KATH maternity block
The maternity mortality rate has been 319 per 100,000 live births according to a research conducted in 2015 by Index Mundi, placing women under the mercies of their deities when they walk into the labour room. In 2018, the infant mortality rate was 34.9 per 1,000 live births, a research conducted by Knoem, which throws light on the poor operation and condition of the health sector.
The perils of politics do not only pertain to the campaign field but extends to the health sectors, rendering the health and well-being of citizens not a priority of the state. The most surprising moment was when news broke out that some patients were moribund and others had already lost their dear lives due to the no-bed syndrome in our various hospitals. A repugnant situation where beds for treatment and relaxation were limited and some patients had no choice than to sit on plastic chairs or stand to receive health care. It’s absolutely ignominious to see the government allocating millions of cedis for unimportant and needless projects without allotting some pecuniary resources to the improvement of health care.
Industrilisation & Infrastructure

Industrialization and infrastructural development is another factor that needs immense consideration. Productivity on finished goods is extremely low and this has subjected the country to high importation of consumer goods. About 400 industries were started and created by the first president. A project of seven-year development plan (1963-1970) which was designed to create jobs and produce consumer goods was left unattended to. Most of these industries could not be maintained and some didn’t operate at all, succeeding the overthrow of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

Flooded Accra-Tema moto way
This subjected the country to deep failure in these sectors, and now, our only hope relies on the exportation of primary goods to undergo processing, mainly because we lack the means. This is a steep in our economy and the creation of productive industries doesn’t seem a great remedy since the government expends millions on unproductive projects. Countless infrastructure in the country aren’t maintained and given the necessary attention by the appropriate authorities. It is therefore evident that most of the state’s industries are left in dilapidated conditions. The maintenance culture has not been keenly adhered to, being that many state infrastructure such as the Secondi and Tamale Sports Stadia, overhead bridges, schools, the Tema motorway and major roads including state buildings are not properly maintained by the pertinent authorities.
Current state of Sekondi Sports Stadium

The Justice System
Furthermore, the Judiciary arm of government is very porous, unreliable, corrupt and cheaply influenced. The system whose role is to ascertain the freedom, justice and the protection of citizens rather sees to the reverse, thereby subjecting citizens to discomfort. The injustice and corrupt ways of this sector was under-covered by a Ghanaian investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas in 2015, after Judges took bribes in the form of cash, tubers of yam and livestock (goats) to influence judgement.
Anas Aremeyaw Anas
 How cheap could these judges be and ruin the lives of innocent individuals? The reason clearly points out to their lack of a patriotic spirit in seeking the firm justice in the country. It is incontrovertible that the rich has the means of influencing these judges and as such, would go scot-free after being culpable of crimes while the poor suffers even if judgment should be in their favour. Some of these unacceptable behaviours of citizens such as the instant justice (the mob justice) and revenge are largely due to the hopelessness in the justice system in order for the restoration of hope to prevail. The special prosecutor appointed by the president. Who is to be independent, check government officials on curruption has been rendered toothless, powerless by the government aligns to their corrupt activity.
It seems everyone seeks what they would gain from the system rather than how much they can contribute to the well-being of this great nation. The unpatriotic attitude and behavioral traits of citizens are due to the lost hope in the governmental systems, since the well-being of the country and citizens isn’t a priority for the government.
By: Nii Okai Tagoe
Editor: Mr. Kwabena Asare Baffour

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