Rejoinder: Why Sweat Elsewhere? – by Kobby Parker

My friend Kobby Parker shares his thoughts in response to my earlier article. Kobby is a banker and a writer.
 
Ghana Today
Recently, I was on a flight from Takoradi toAccra. The plane was full. I was the only chocolate-coloured man (I am not black) on the plane. The plane was full with cream-coloured (they are not white) people.
As the plane taxied and took off, I asked myself: What are they doing here? What do they want here? What have they seen that I haven’t seen?
 
I reasoned further: They are not here to work in factories. There is risk of malaria and robbery. They are safer in their country and yet they come in droves. In my own country, my own people cannot afford to use planes that fly within the country.
From the America’s, Europe and Asia they have come to harvest what God gave us and we only watch and wonder whilst they plunder.
Today, it is estimated by the Ghana Immigration Service and other government agencies that there are more than 300,000 Chinese inGhana. They have gone to the bushes in the hinterlands. They are digging out sacred rivers and forests, in search of gold. Three Chinese men I know make an average of $1million in gold sales DAILY! They attack local villagers for coming close to their illegal mining sites and the police do nothing.
The politician and the police do not blink. What can an individual do then?
Deut 28:33 – A nation whom you have not known shall eat the fruit of your land and the produce of your labour and you shall be only oppressed continually.
Ghana Today
I have taken note of a curious development in Ghanaian banking circles. A Ghanaian businessman cannot obtain financing from banks inGhana without collateral. If you want a loan for a factory, the bank would ask you to deposit the requested amount in cash as collateral or submit your house documents. If your house is not worth the amount you have requested, forget it. It then amazes me why Ghanaians are surprised there aren’t enough factories inGhana to employ our able bodied youth. But the story gets interesting.
Most foreigners doing business inGhanado not need collateral to obtain bank loans. Most banks, be they Ghanaian or foreign-owned, are more likely to avail a loan to a foreigner than a local.
Recently, a foreign-owned company has commissioned a $51 million flour processing factory inGhana. Many banks were over themselves to have a piece of the ‘financing pie’. only three banks won the race to give the company money – $17 million each. The only collateral is the factory itself and a piece of paper from the company’s head office inSingapore that is called a corporate guarantee.
If this is a workable model, then why don’t Banks inGhana finance factories to be owned by Ghanaians? Won’t those factories create more jobs for unemployed youth? And won’t the profit earned stay in the country to develop other sectors of the economy?

Deut. 28:43 – The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.

Ghana Today
Accra used to be safe, but not that safe anymore. Maybe it’s still relatively safer than elsewhere. But I would drive the shortest distance than walk and I would never carry anything resembling a laptop bag whilst walking. Lest I be struck with sudden fear. In spite of my fear of sudden fear, I have been mugged twice by my own country people at knife point. Twice!

Deut 28:66 – Your life shall hang in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night, and have no assurance of life.

Ghana Tomorrow
There is hope for the future says the Lord.
Is there anything more comforting than hope?
 

9 Responses to Rejoinder: Why Sweat Elsewhere? – by Kobby Parker

  1. A very interesting post, thought provoking with well conceived comments.

  2. Albert says:

    A very interesting subject. It’s sad to note that Ghanaians like to tackle such issues with prayer. Prayer is good but then it needs to be backed with action. One needs to crawl before they walk and run but unfortunately African counties in our attempt to walk, fall and roll back a couple of steps. What we rather need to pray for is wisdom for our leaders and also for ourselves on how to deal with these issues. The reason why some countries are so developed is that their leaders lead to gain good name and then the wealth follows. On the contrary, African leaders lead to gain riches to be followed by death and shame.
    We all need to help to effect change and I’ll suggest a few attitudes that will go a long way to bring about change.
    a) Stop bribing the police man. If a policeman stops you and you know there is no cause, make a sacrifice and let him delay you but still don’t give him any bribe. I have done it before.
    b) If you go to the bank and there is a queue, wait in line till it gets to your turn. Don’t pay money to the counter clerk to see to you quicker.
    c) Let all the public servants such as the police, politicians etc know that you pay them with your tax to serve you and not the other way round.
    Let me tell you something I experienced. On my way back to the UK from a holiday in Ghana, the custom officer, migration officer, airline checking-in clerks and any staff I came across wanted something from me. I felt so ashamed and was asking myself that what respect do these people have for the uniforms they were wearing? None and again for the office they were holding, none too. No wonder I saw a white man standing at the final point of entry into the aircraft looking onto an electronic screen. He works at the Kotoka Airport and definitely sees what the Ghanaian staff are doing. Hence, I believed he was the final point of check.
    Prayer will not stop these but education will. Educating from the top. What we need to pray for is how to go about with the education for it to be imbedded into the hearts and minds of Ghanaians.

  3. Veronica says:

    Hmmm… Nana, this topic is interesting and I guess we all have our veiw points and schools of thought.
    The verses in this rejoinder can be said of many cities in the world and countries. Check the internet for these things…joblessness (Greece, London, US); Insecurity, inequality (there is evidence all over the world that the gap between the rich and the poor keeps widening – the rich are getting richer and the poor, poorer)
    I think each of us has a choice to make – face the challenges in your own country and hope that your meagre efforts can change something or leave to a place you consider relatively safer (and I hope the perception is as true as the reality) to pursue your dreams.
    We are responsible for how we face our challenges and overcome them. If we think we are helpless we will act as such and continue to get exploited. If we find our strength and chose to brave the odds at least we will have a fighting chance.

  4. Amanartey says:

    Leadership. A country where the sick go to the hospital in taxis and the dead get to ride in the ambulance and the politicians are ok with it. As for the financial sector, the least said about them the better.

  5. Senyo says:

    There is certainly hope and hope does not disappoint says the Bible in Rom. 5:5. We never stop hoping so far as we have life that a troop of youth from the ruins of Africa as it seems, will halt and change the route of our Journey from Poverty to Prominence, To the youth we won’t rest our oars. Nkrumah was one person(easy for extermination) but the rest of the world is going to have a full troop to deal with and relentless one for that matter. We know who we are and where are from.

  6. Ebo Selby says:

    Great piece. Our problem is leadership, but i think we are getting there, albeit, slowly. Our leaders have sold the future for political glory. But, i see a crop of new and young leaders who have excellence as their first names.

  7. Well written. Some of us can also help by praying as well and not saying it over and over again. Other nations started from somewhere. its just that the youth do not want to take up roles to shape the country as required. WORD BROTHER

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