On the 6th of March 1957, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah made a declaration that, “Ghana, our beloved country, is free forever!” and about 60 years down the line, there are still questions as to whether we are free as a people or not. Well, the world applauds Ghana every day for one thing: peace and sustainable democracy which we mistakenly call freedom. Yes, it is freedom indeed! – freedom to steal, to cheat, lie, idle and gamble, and to oppress her citizens! What sort of freedom is this such that only 275 people ‘think’ and make decisions to bind a 27 million people? They are given the highest pay to sit under the roof of Parliament to eat, drink, and drive freely in the most expensive cars while the entrepreneurs who spend sleepless nights finding solutions to the peoples’ problems pay for it all through taxation.
Does it make sense that, somebody somewhere decides how much you should earn for a living or how to spend your money? If indeed there is freedom in Ghana, then it should include economic freedom where each person decides on how much he wants to earn and how he wants to spend it without a third party’s interference.
How much you earn should not be determined by the position you hold or just your qualification but how much work you can do and the results you are able to show. Our ‘misleaders’ as Patrick Lumumba calls them should take their hands off the peoples’ businesses. I am not saying that the government should not function, but it should limit its interference with the economic rights of Ghanaians. It should stop encouraging mediocracy and idleness among others while exploiting hard working entrepreneurs in the name of stabilizing the economy.
All we are asking our ‘misleaders’ to do for us is to give us equal opportunities in life, not an equal share of other peoples’ wealth! If you still don’t get me right, let me show you one thing. Take a look at the SHS placement system in Ghana. Why was it implemented? – to ensure equal entry to SHS for all and avoid the old system where the rich sent their kids to the top performing schools while the poor kids ended up in the less privileged schools? Is this really true? Find out from the records; how many kids from northern schools make it to Mfantispim, Prempeh College, Presec and other top schools in the southern part of Ghana today? Also, check to see how many of the ministers’/MPs’ kids have the computerized system ever mistakenly placed in a school in northern Ghana? So, who are we deceiving? Give everyone equal opportunities; a fair leveled ground to play and let us all decide for ourselves and stop misleading us.
The government should get out of the way and let Ghanaians pay a price for their education through private educational facilities. We need Patrick Awuah’s Ashes which is worldly acclaimed for its quality and commitment to its vision and mission of seeing a new Africa through quality education, not the polluted government-ran institutions! We all know that there is no free lunch anywhere on earth so stop deceiving us by promising us free lunch. We are not crying for ‘free education’; we are crying for a free market system where we decide what to sell, who to sell to, and how much to sell it. We want our economic freedom as a people, not empty promises.
Until Ghanaians grow restless about this situation and rise to get our misleaders out of the way, we will go nowhere as a people. The politicians know the truth–giving the people economic freedom will get them out of hiding behind the shelter of their ill-gotten wealth into the hot sun to equally work for their livelihood. The people will have the power to make decisions that affect them, not the politicians doing that for them. According to Ambassador Terry Miller and Anthony B. Kim, the 2017 economic freedom index shows that sub-Saharan Africa scores below 60 out of 100 points and Ghana is among the 73 countries with a declining economic freedom. What this means is that our governments dominate our countries’ economies with heavy taxation and deficit spending and end up impoverishing us through prolonged economic stagnation worsened by high debt burdens.
It is actually funny to hear politicians say ‘free…’, nothing is free under the sun and the so called ‘free’ things are costly. The state has its own enterprises so why doesn’t the government use what it gets from them to service its projects and pay its workers?The reality is that nothing is working in the state-owned enterprises! Managers just do what they want and create ‘spaces’ for their relatives to fit in once they have the ‘qualification’ when in actual fact, there are no results to show! If not in such institutions, which entrepreneur will employ four secretaries to be working through a single computer?
In summary, the independence and freedom of Ghana mean nothing until Ghanaians are able to fully exercise their economic rights. This can only happen through free market capitalism where there is limited government interference on economic activities and the people are able to exercise their economic rights of determining what to produce, where to sell, who to sell to and how much to sell it. The government should let the system check itself! Competition should drive the market, not a central body where the minority decides on the share of the majority. Entrepreneurs should be given the chance to trade freely without the government burdening them with taxes and unfavorable trade policies. Ghanaians should learn from why Africa as a continent is still poor despite the ‘free money’(aid) which she has been enjoying the western world since the 40s. The truth of the matter is that, if you gather all the money in the world and give it to one person, it will definitely go back to wherever you collected it from. It’s simple; let’s get government packing and allow private individuals to drive the economy through competition.
Author: Ayebilla Avoka,
Institution: Ashesi University College
Major: Computer Engineering
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