The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Member of Parliament (MP) for the Nadowli-Kaleo Constituency, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has called for a paradigm shift in the national thinking and dependability on natural resources as the solution to ending the country’s development challenges.
Rather than focusing on natural resources to turn the country’s fortunes around, the legislator believes quality education holds the key to moving Ghana to the next pedestal in its development ladder.
Speaking in the Upper West Regional capital, Wa, at a recent event to launch activities marking his silver jubilee in Parliament and his 60th birthday celebrations, Mr Bagbin stated that “the fact that a country is resource rich does not necessarily make the country rich.”
The event, which was organised by the Youth Advocates for Social Democracy (YASOD), a civil society organisation committed to entrenching democratic values among all socialist-oriented thinkers and the Ghanaian populace as a whole, formed part of a year-long programme to celebrate the long-serving MP’s dedicated service to the nation.
Mr Bagbin emphasised that “it is ideas, creativity, innovation and originality that develop a country, not commodities.”
Redirection in national thinking
Citing examples of countries in Africa which are endowed with huge natural resources but have failed to turn around their economies, he admonished for a redirection in the national thinking.
“Cocoa and gold are semi-luxury goods and cannot be relied on to rake in the necessary foreign exchange to balance our current accounts. A country cannot rely on the proceeds of oil and petroleum to develop; if it were so, our neighbour, Nigeria, would have been well developed by now,” he reiterated.
“The answer to the see-saw, up and down type of development we are experiencing is quality education,” he said.
He further took a swipe at the concept of free education, saying “The solution is not just the implementation of a free universal education for all, but a carefully thought-through home-grown system of quality education based on science and technology, and anchored on a culture of integrity.”
Credit: Graphic Online