Sunday, March 04, 2007

Spotlight on Ghana's 50th Independence

UPDATED:

Happy 50th Independence, Ghana! It's today (6th March)!



We have also launched our 50th anniversary logo today!


Schoolchildren wave Ghanaian flags in Accra
Accra is now one big sea of Ghana's Black Star flags
People across Ghana are celebrating the 50th anniversary of its independence from Britain.

Ghana was the first sub-Saharan country to break with its colonial power, prompting many others to seek independence in the following years.

More than 20 heads of state are attending the events alongside popular figures including the footballer, Pele.

Thousands of people are out on the streets to watch fireworks and to enjoy festivities across the country.

The Ghanaian authorities have spent $20m (£10.4m; 15.2m euros) on the commemorations which are due to continue for the next 12 months.

Thousands gathered in Independence Square in the capital, Accra, for a re-enactment of the declaration and fireworks were planned to mark the precise anniversary.

"I am a Ghanaian and I came tonight because I wanted to witness the joy," 17-year-old Joshua Ameh told Reuters news agency.

Pride

On 5 March 1957, the Duchess of Kent formally transferred power to independence leader Kwami Nkrumah.

When you look at how our friends have suffered, by God's grace we are here, we have reason to be proud
Nora Kattah

The Duke of Kent is in Ghana to remember the occasion, which triggered a chain reaction as other African nations moved towards independence.

African leaders, including South Africa's Thabo Mbeki, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Olusegun Obasanjo from Nigeria, are attending the ceremonies.

Singer Stevie Wonder is expected to perform a version of his track Happy Birthday dedicated to Ghana.

In the capital and beyond, the country's Black Star flag is fluttering from electricity poles, car windows and palm trees.

On the streets of city, many are celebrating. "When you look at how our friends have suffered, by God's grace we are here, we have reason to be proud," Nora Kattah told Reuters.

Dissent

The BBC's Will Ross in Accra says many of the years following independence were like a roller coaster with coups and economic meltdown but recent stability has offered hope.

Guinea Bissau President Bernado Vierra arrives in Ghana for the celebrations
Numerous African heads of state will be attending the celebrations
The country is often cited as an example of stability, steady growth, and low inflation, with increases in its output of major exports including cocoa and gold.

But others questioned the wisdom of holding lavish celebrations while many in the country remain without basic services.

President Jerry Rawlings, who ruled for almost two decades, has criticised the events and is boycotting them.

In a statement, he said he would not share a stage with "the same people who have taken every opportunity to denigrate us".

"Politically our leaders have failed us," Accra resident Emmanuel Danso said.

"Only politicians or people who know people live well in this country," he added.



Have our politicians failed us? The same question to ask ourselves come August.

With all due respect to Ghana, I hope that we will always 'be better than Ghana'.


***

March the 6th. 50 years of independence (from the British) of Ghana. Yes, the same as Malaysia, who gained independence 6 months later. And yes. It seems that 'We are better than Ghana'.

Here are some spotlights on Ghana by the media.

From Bernama: Ghana Looking Forward For Stronger Relations With Malaysia

From BBC: Dealing with the brain drain

The brain drain, and the best way to retain talent, is a hot topic of debate across Africa.

The loss of medical talent, for example, is a source of great concern.


The architect of Ghana's independence


The reality of Ghana's independence

And also an interview with Ghana's President John Kufuor:

Watch the full video here.

Will the Beebs do the same for Malaysia? Guess, you have booked a place with our PM, eh, Jonathan Kent? Better be quick, he's gonna be busy soon coz here is what the Chief Speculator says...

Many are speculating as to when the next general election will be held. Some say it will be before August this year. Others say it will be before 15 April 2008 when Anwar Ibrahim would then be eligible to contest the election. Many swear that Malaysia’s economy is doing so well it would be foolish not to hold a snap general election as soon as possible. Nevertheless, the opposition parties are already conducting courses and training seminars in anticipation of a snap general election any day soon.

Well, I have news for you: the economy will not be the deciding factor for the next general election. What or who will decide when the election will be held will be that same Feng Shui master who advised Abdullah on the date of the 11th General Election -- 21 March 2004 -- and a date which proved perfect and enabled Abdullah to pull of the best election result in 50 years. So, what dates has the Feng Shui master given Abdullah this time around?

19 May 2007
25 November 2007
15 December 2007
15 March 2008

Yes, those are the four dates that the 12th General Election will be held and the Elections Commission (SPR) has already been informed of these dates. But which of these four will be that final date is yet to be decided. However, any of the four dates will allow Abdullah to repeat his success of 21 March 2004.


Don't blame him for his Feng Shui believes. He has some Chinese blood in him, remember? ;)

Oh, btw, has this Feng Shui thingy prompted The Star to publish articles like this and this?

You don't want this to happen, do you?




Related African posts:


The Malaysian-Zimbabwean Connection



If We Are So Obsessed Of Comparing Ourselves With Africa, Let Me Do It Here...


And about the Zimbabwean 'social contract'.

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