Ghana marks another year of independence; Africans are moving towards a more United Africa told authentically by Influential Ghanaians.
Sixty-four years ago, on the 6th of March, Ghana became the first country south of the Sahara to gain British rule independence.
On the eve of Ghana’s independence, then referred to as Gold Coast, the first president, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, gave one of the most inspirational speeches in the world of politics and Pan Africanism. One of the famous quotes from that speech is, “The independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it’s linked up to the total liberation of Africa.”
Indeed, one only has to look at other African countries that gained independence in the years that followed, especially in the 1960s after that speech, to realize its impact.
Countries such as Togo, Nigeria, Zambia, DR Congo, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali are a few of many countries that gained independence from both British and French colonial rule within that period.
It’s also worth noting that not only did he want Africa liberated from the shackles of colonialism but to become united as one mighty continent. It is for this reason that the Organization of African Unity was established in May 1963.
We ask six influential Ghanaians whose work transcends Ghana’s shores what they envision for Ghana and Africa in the years to come.
When providing insight on current events, it’s vital to speak to the community and people who live it every day.
Producer, TV Host, Author, and Speaker
I envision Ghana continuing on the path to slow change. Although there have been many advancements over the decades, I believe there are things that have been slow to adapt.
When I say this, I speak of some infrastructure that needs improvement to realize some of Ghana’s goals fully. The biggest positive I see for Ghana and Africa is that there are so many diasporans seeing the country and the continent in a new light.
Because of the many stories of others who have come and made an impact, it inspires others to take the same changes. I see more collaborations between Africans on the continent and those in the diaspora to create business and development.
Founder, Ameyaw Debrah Media
As Ghana celebrates its 64th Independence Day, I hope that our country and continent would reflect on global events and see things anew.
Slowly coming out of Covid-19 should inspire us to explore policies and projects that would transport us from over-dependence on foreign aid and cause us to look more within.
When we rely on our abilities and gifts and use them to cause a revolution in manufacturing, agriculture, and technology, we can genuinely compete globally.
I pray we’re no longer divided by our partisan politics, so we see national problems and find national solutions to them.
Kwame Asante Ofori
Radio Producer and Segment Host at Voice of America
Accra, Ghana / Washington DC, USA
Ghana is still a growing country trying to find its way amidst the chaos of the world.
In envisioning what I believe Ghana and Africa will look like in the coming years, the one word that comes to mind is stability. There is a continental shift towards that world.
Crazy as it may sound, over 60% of youth that make up the continent’s population are tired of the status quo that our parents left for us to follow.
Young people like us are pushing hard to forge a new path towards “stability” because the status quo left for us has not been working.
I am not saying it was all bad, but things need a new direction. Without stability, there can’t be growth. And we, the youth from and on the continent, deserve growth.
We need it to leapfrog into the new century and exhibit our fullest potential to the world.
Juliet Yaa Asantewaa Asante
Chief Executive, National Film Authority
By 2030, African youth will make up 42% of the world’s youth population, and 75% of people on the African continent are likely to be under the age of 35.
The power to change our story is within our grasp and within our lifetime. Africa needs to invest and empower its youth population to change the African narrative.
The alternative is if we don’t, then most disempowered and hungry people are a threat to security, not only to Africa but also to the world. We can have a beautiful story or a very bad experience. It is up to us.
Emmanuella Akelentugna Afulani
I believe Ghana is destined to become a shining star. A little land blessed with tremendous resources.
Since Ghana, the black star of Africa, began to rise, it has played a vital role in establishing good governance on the African continent.
Our democracy has been acknowledged all over the world, albeit imperfect. We have also become an oil-producing nation, a development that promises to make available the needed financial resources to help develop our dear country early.
I see an Africa where systems are put in place to empower women to be the best they can be in whatever capacity they find themselves in such as Science and Technology.
Fashion Designer, Founder, House of Paón
As a Pan-Africanist, I fully hold to all the diverse ethnic groups’ moral values and culture. It’s who we indeed are even as the world is moving into a global village.
At the beginning of my journey as a designer, I entirely took on the artistry of my early inspirations, that is, French fashion and mostly the western world.
But it took me some time to move back and draw inspiration from my roots, Ghana, and the beautiful culture from various parts of Africa. It was a beautiful awakening.
It’s something I fully envision for Ghana and Africa, to go back to our beautiful roots and, with our awakening and newfound knowledge, build a modern culture that puts Ghana and Africa in the light that has always been on us.
What our forefathers and ancestors fought for includes representations of all forms, inclusivity, and respect for all.
Thank you to all of the Influential Ghanaians who took the time to speak on what matters to them about their country.