Thinking of Ghana!


So a good friend of mine Selorm Branttie, on a visit to Kigali in Rwanda, put this observation up on his Facebook wall and the discussion that followed was like a seminar session I will like to share.

I have made editions to make it readable and I agree with most of the sentiments expressed in the discussion although they are not mine.


Hmmm Ghanaians and their mouth-mouth…

The streets of Kigali are so clean and orderly, even the traffic lights have timers everywhere, streetlights working, not even a single polythene bag on the street…

Tiny Rwanda… producing Tea and coffee…. 

Ghana: Cocoa, Gold, plenty PhDs, plenty planners, plenty civil service people… One Ghanaboy with me was commenting about the fact that we city people pay 5% of our bloated electricity bill on streetlights….


“You know you are in Ghana when street lights are visible decorations by day and invisible shadows by night.” 

– Nana Awere Damoah in his latest book #ISpeakofGhana

 (Then the discussion starts)

Well, I said it and will say it again, give Rwanda five years and Ghana would have to go study development there. I am really concerned about how we practice development. No one (leadership) seems to listen around here (Ghana).

(sigh) Concert Ghana! The Rwandan story is a modern example of the possibility of an African nation to develop if they put their minds to it.

I am telling you, I am so impressed. The nation seems to have some character and you only need to be there for an hour to see it all. This is a nation going forward. You won’t believe this was a nation that only in the 90s was a disaster country.

 It is the cleanest city I’ve ever visited in Africa. 

Check out their boda boda aka okada (motorbike taxis) and you will love a ride at the back of one. Even their Bodas have one thing in common, even the helmets are all green or blue, with sun visors which are even uniform. Unbelievable really!

It’s amazing. Every rider has a helmet for the passenger and they have the same colors!

This is a country with a visa on arrival for all Africans. They make regional integration begin to make sense. It’s a mindset that Ghana must get.

 Yeah! It’s true the streets of Kigali are clean. They have a no litter policy that’s ingrained in the citizenry unlike in Ghana where even the ‘educated’ litter indiscriminately, it’s even mind boggling.

It is very obvious that until we get the filth out of the minds of our people, we will still be stagnant and we are all aware of what happens when there is stagnation.

‘We’ can’t get the filth out of the minds of ‘our’ people since it has to be a conscious effort on their part -of course plus fines and public education.

But really maybe what Ghana needs is to make the punishment for littering so expensive that people will think twice. 

Honestly don’t know what else can be done about the current breed of Ghanaians because find it interesting that when we move out of Accra to other smaller towns the amount of littering is either less or even non-existent but come to Accra and it is like stepping into the capital of a rubbish heap! 

Everyday as we pass by the Korle lagoon and the Kpeshie lagoon, the level of rubbish in there and the stench is just so overpowering.  As far back as 1998, remember seeing fishermen at work in those lagoons and it wasn’t degraded but then what happened? 

What the hell is wrong with us in this country?!! 

Must there be a gun to our head before we do the right thing??

What is seriously wrong with us?!

Where is our sense of discipline or what ingredient is it that we lack to make these work?

Tough questions lie behind the Rwandan “miracle” which Ghana’s elites will suffer hallucinations from just imagining. Maybe we have too many intellectual idiots in this country. (emphasis mine)

‘We see Ghanaians aspiring to great things on TV and read about them on the Internet, encounter intellectuals on social media and I feel this pride and I tell myself really Ghana is making it. But then I step out to into town or travel outside Accra and see the filth, degradation and poverty and ask myself where are these same Ghanaians to make an impact??’

It is hard to believe we are a country full of stupid people (pardon my harsh language) but I see everything that goes and I wonder if maybe we’ve all lost our sense of reasoning because the really stupid things that go on in this country just makes you want to pack baggage and leave (cc: Brigadier Nunoo).

We were already on our way out but choose to stay here. That’s a sacrifice if you didn’t know. The ultimate sacrifice some of us made was to stay in Ghana and try to make this work.

In Rwanda, they have a 7 year term of office but that alone is not enough. The quality of their leadership makes it happen. It is high time we started asking very pertinent questions such as what good is this democracy in Ghana.

Would a visionary autocracy perhaps been a good thing to first set the precedence for Ghana? Is Kigali’s semi-dictatorship a model for Ghana to copy? Do we need a ‘benevolent’ dictator in Ghana?

Paul Kagame doesn’t take nonsense and he kicks ass! Our leaders are a bunch of sissies who only look for the next pile of cash to steal!

When drivers are arrested and fined in some cases for offences they had committed, a political meal is made. Okada owners have had a field day because they squeezed the balls of the politicians and they were given the green light because it was around elections. This is the type of leadership we are endowed with.

The question is whether even some of the top civil servants undergo any performance reviews themselves. If they did, it will solve some of these problems

It is obvious from spending time in Kigali that everything looks fine but there are also lots of interesting political problems that the visitor doesn’t have to engage with. The cracks could be revealed once you go below the surface, that there is quite a bit of anxiety.

 It’s like the usual thing we do in Ghana, talk about democracy and praise Malaysia for economic strides.

Some of us are tired of the talk, we need action. Is it not obvious we all know what the problem is and have ideas how to solve it but have the ‘ostrich syndrome’. So the question is: what do we do about it?

It truly is an individual resolve and we need to stop the frigging intellectual discourse and descend to the grassroots. But then, even the so called intellectuals are the worst culprits so where does that leave us? 

The grassroots is all about grit and independent thought that has all but abandoned us. However let’s not forget that Ghana’s soldiers did a great job in Kigali in her darkest hour.

It will be nice to look out for each other and to champion a new leadership agenda offering another perspective to how leadership must be practiced. Hopefully, it is proposed that it will have a curriculum of studies which if followed through, will go a long way to give us the progress we need. The solution is simple. It offers different perspective in conscious education, helping to take care of the mind.

Feel free to join the cause by following The Africa Leadership Agenda on Facebook.

It is high time we roll up our sleeves and get some work done and it must begin at the grassroots. It’s important also that we have this kind of discourse to bring like minds and other stakeholders on board to find solutions.

We talk of change so longingly but we as a people don’t have the commitment, the dedication and the preparedness to shut up for a minute to think and work – always yapping about nothing.

Note: Kigali is in Africa, not Europe.

Some of us are forced to think that maybe war is a positive transformation tool. Japan, Germany, Europe in general and ultimately the USA all had a great transformation after years of war and guess Rwanda is naturally following suit. The toughest political decisions and developmental policies can easily be implemented under such conditions.

People sit in Ghana and titillate themselves that “Ghana is the gateway to Africa.” Obviously, the sayers of the above statement have NEVER travelled anywhere else in Africa.  

For Ghana to work, it depends on YOU.

Like I always say, it begins with YOU!


 For the full discussion:



2 Responses to “Thinking of Ghana!”

  1. It’s attitude, attitude, attitude. I wonder where this attitude came from. On sanitation, aren’t we the same people harping on and on about cleanliness being next to godliness? I just don’t get it. There should be punishment for littering because clearly we can’t leave it to the good conscience of the people to do the right thing. My goodness! Take a walk around the capital and it’s even embarrassing. Heaps of rubbish everywhere. The funny (or not funny) thing is that if the authorities decide to be stringent, certain sections of the population (like you mentioned), would start threatening the government with voting them out of office – so-called “kokromoti power”. And predictably, they bow to such shameless pressure. And we’re always bringing in the Malaysia comparison. This wasn’t the attitude Malaysians employed in building their country. It sad but true that, people do what is inspected not what is expected. Good post.

    • Exactly my point.
      Agree with you totally.
      But as usual u know our people wil always jump out of fines using connections.
      It’s not like the by-laws don’t exist but the enforcers area fallible.

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