Former President John Agyekum Kufuor says Ghana rushed in developing as a nation right after its independence in 1957 from the British.
According to him, this prevented the country from learning some of the rudiments of a developing nation, so, the country should have acted like a baby, thus, to crawl before running but the country chose the latter.
“Ghana gained its independence in 1957 with a population of six million but now we are close to forty million, especially if you add those in the diaspora to those in Ghana. At age 64, our land size has not increased, our natural resources have not increased.
“After our independence in 1957, as a developing country [with all the] leadership challenges, we did not take our time; we could not learn how to crawl before walking and running but we immediately jumped into running,” President Kufuor explained in an interview monitored by GhanaWeb.
He attributed the failing Ghanaian economy to Ghana’s rush to develop.
“…our economy is not working properly, social mobility, unemployment and all the other challenges are because we rushed.
“It was good for us as a new nation to have the vision to rise but we did not plan it very well, we just rushed and its result is the hardships we are feeling today,” President Kufuor stated further.
He continued: “immediately after our independence, we said we wanted to industrialize, so we should build factories. In the first Republic, factories were springing up and we needed money to do so, so we used our reserves at the Bank of Ghana…our reserves were close to 400 million dollars because we were only six million people…
“Four years after our independence; before our population reached about ten million, all our reserves have been spent because instantly, we wanted to construct factories; shoe factory, leather factory among others.
“We did not understand that because of the reserves, we needed to plan. Even though we needed the factories, we needed to strategize and find a way to add to our reserves but we did not, which has affected our economy today…”
He added that importing foreign cultures, practices and ideologies without understanding why it is being practised on the foreign land are all part of the hardships in Ghana.
Kufuor noted that, if Ghanaians want the country to be fixed, then they need to exercise patience and plan.
He is of the view that if politicians try to portray that when they come into power, they will be solving all the problems of its citizenry in one day then they must be joking.
“It is all part of part-politics. Because I would like to occupy your seat, the only way to get that seat is to destroy you, convince Ghanaians that you are not performing so that they can remove you. If you don’t take care, your own friend who would also like to have a feel of what being in power looks like will overthrow you with a coup,” J. A. Kufuor stressed.