Independence or idealism/dependence?

BY: Michael Owusu Tabiri
Independence or idealism/dependence?
Independence or idealism/dependence?

Our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of Africa
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

The above popular quotation by the first President of Ghana denotes/connotes the need to seek all-round true freedom in Africa, particularly, in Ghana, and not just partial idealistic independence.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018, marked Ghana’s 61st Independence Day. If Ghana were an employee, Ghana would be on retirement now.

Can Ghanaians confidently boast of true independence? The word, independence can be explained as the act of being free from oppression, suppression, slavery/servitude, constraints and colonialism while the word, “idealism” is a philosophical belief that material things do not exist independently but only as constructions in the mind. Professor Atta Britwum terms, “constructions in the mind” as images mentales (mental pictures or images). This write-up seeks to discuss all-round independence, and not purported imaginary independence in Africa.

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Economic/financial independence

According to Professor Edmund Delle (2018), “Ghana had failed over the 61 years to link the nation’s political independence to economic independence.” Can Ghana continue to depend on the charities and mercies of the foreign countries like, the US, and the UK, and purport to be fully or truly independent?

Successive political leaders in Ghana seem to ignore development projects initiated/spearheaded by their predecessors due to partisan politics or personal political agenda. Total independence encompasses spiritual independence, economic independence, academic independence and political independence.

We cannot continue to be perpetually dependent on foreign aids, and claim to be independent economically and financially. How can we say, we are economically buoyant and independent when we cannot develop our economy and without economic independence in Africa? It seems Africa, particularly Ghana, is suffering from dependence. Can any African country sincerely turn down receiving any foreign aid, like from the United States of America? Can’t Africa survive without foreign assistance? Ghana cannot purport to be truly independent when it continues depending on tied loans and tied aid.

Academic independence

Historically, the cradle of civilisation is Africa. The first university in the world was established in Africa-University of Timbuktu, in Mali. There is nothing wrong with Africans pursuing their education in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, etc, but there is everything wrong, when African scholars decide to seek greener pastures overseas and even become naturalised by discarding and disowning their Africanism. It is so disheartening to know that countless Ghanaian scholars prefer going overseas to living in Ghana. The Government of Ghana must see how to repatriate all Ghanaian scholars living abroad as soon as possible. To be academically independent, is to live in your country and contribute to the development of all-round education devoid of academic naturalisation. People who might not have read history may consider Africa to be uncivilised, as Africans are fond of depending on developed countries for educational upgrading and infrastructures.

Political independence

President Donald Trump might have been compelled to describe Africans as shitholes probably, we seem to shun our value in Africa, and scramble for the US, the UK, etc and consider everything foreign as impeccable to the detriment of African products. How can we say, we are politically independent when we cannot take any meaningful trans-generational socio-economic step or approach to combat numerous challenges and difficulties bedeviling African continent?

Monsieur Gabriel Léon M’ba, the first President of Gabon, once said, “Le Gabon est indépendant , mais entre le Gabon et la France rien n’est changé, tout continue comme avant”, meaning, Gabon is independent, but between Gabon and France nothing has changed, everything goes on as it used to be.

Is Ghana politically independent or colonialism is directly or indirectly going on in Ghana? Is Ghanaian independence a mere profession/confession or in the essence of total liberation from colonial rule as well as foreign influence?

Spiritual independence

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”

(John 8:32). All that Ghana needs is nothing but the truth to total freedom. Ghana can study and imitate what developed countries did to become developed, instead of seeking financial assistance from them. The Bible says, in John 8:36 that, “So if the Son liberates you (makes you free men/women), then you are really and unquestionably free”

According to the Bible, true independence comes from Jesus Christ.

Knowing the total truth is the key to all-round independence in Africa. In other words, without knowing economic/financial, political and academic truth, Africa’s independence is a fiasco or a mirage.

It is, therefore, incumbent upon Ghana to seek to be independent spiritually, economically, financially, politically and academically. Without Ghana experiencing and embracing true spiritual, economic, political and academic independence, Ghana’s Independence Day celebration is a mere idealism or ideology, and not in the essence of total liberation from colonialism.

May the Lord God Almighty set Ghana free forever from armed robbery, sicknesses, diseases, disasters, poverty, retrogression, nepotism, bribery and corruption, in the name of Jesus Christ.

Long live Ghana! Long live Africa!