Ghana at 67: Centre seems to be shattering, breaking hearts and minds

I have never shied away from my love for my country Ghana. I wear it on my sleeves because having tasted bits of what might seem great elsewhere in my estimation, country Ghana towers even greater.

We have been blessed with almost all the natural resources under the sun that should make a nation prosperous. We do not lack quality human resources. We have relative peace.

We are blessed with sunshine all year round. We have an ideal environment to promote socialisation. We have good food, good weather, and closer relationships and one hardly feels alone with families of old school alliances, church connections, workplace friends and other social clubs and associations, all linking us in one way or the other. Even amid poverty and deprivation, one finds something to smile about.

With a few days to our 67th birthday, I have been casting my mind back to see how one could celebrate Ghana at 67. My memory rather went back to unloading some of the good marks the nation has scored and which presented or continues to present us with something to boast about.

Ghana has been referred to as the shining star of Africa having been the first, south of the Sahara to dismantle colonialism. We set our minds then, to lead in the total liberation of the entire continent.

Ghana, from its colonial name of Gold Coast, was no doubt, a land rich in gold, a blessing that could open doors to prosperity. Ghana was a lead producer of cocoa. Our cocoa was ranked amongst the best in the world.

Unfortunately, we suffered a jolt along the line and we ceded that right to our neighbour, La Cote D’Ivoire (CDI) and became the second-best producer in the world. In sports, Ghana was known as a great football and boxing nation.  We were highly celebrated in the football world for example.

We produced some of the finest civil servants, judges, teachers, doctors and nurses in great demand outside the country. We have lost some of the preferred status, kept some and at 67, still discovering others.

Cleanest fuel

It was gratifying to note earlier this week, that Ghana has the best fuel in the whole of West Africa. The Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, who is also the President of the African Refiners and Distributions Association (ARDA), is reported to have claimed that Ghana has the cleanest fuel in the sub-region.

According to him, “Ghana’s fuel specifications which are set at Sulphur content of 50 parts per million (PPM) in fuel is the cleanest”. This is great news at the threshold of 67 years.

However, as a nation at three scores and seven, reflections on some former glories leave sour grapes in one’s mouth, coupled with disappointments. News out there indicates that some celebrated pluses are in the process of eroding as old age dawns.


For example, apart from losing our first place in world cocoa production to CDI, there is disappointing news that Ecuador, a South American country, is set to “unseat Ghana” as the world’s second-largest producer of cocoa.

According to data from the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO), within the global cocoa industry, Ecuador’s cocoa output has been driven by strategic investment, improved farming techniques and favourable growing conditions thus pushing its status.

The country is said to have been intentional about its cocoa industry and consequently been committed to sustainability and quality control, both of which have further strengthened its position as a key player in the cocoa trade.

Whereas Ecuador is said to have recorded a 20.5 per cent growth rate in the last couple of years, Ghana on the other hand saw a 0.44 percent decline during the same period.

While this recent news on the country’s proud crop and our position on the world market breaks and shatters one’s heart, one perhaps should not be too surprised at all. Did we not see it coming with the copious destruction by illegal mining or galamsey in our cocoa-growing areas, for example?


It is no artifice, neither has it been a secret, the looming danger of galamsey. While some farms have been cut down to give way to supposed prospecting and subsequent illegal mining, the lands that could have been used for sustainable farming and those trees left standing have suffered pollution by dangerous chemicals and processes used in illegal mining.

Unfortunately, while a few are enriching themselves with galamsey, a whole nation’s pride and beautiful prospect is left limping not only locally but at the international cocoa trading front too. The same reality has befallen our football and its position even on sub-regional levels.

Our recent performance at the African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024) in CDI tells the story adequately.  The shining star seems to be dimming to the disappointment of many.

Is the centre shattering and hearts breaking for Ghana at 67? No, that should not be. We need to save our nation so that if for nothing at all, in some three years, Ghana at 70 will be a glorious celebration.

It is possible!


The writer can be contacted via email at Writer’s email: vickywirekoandoh@yahoo.com

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