Public Relations Research paper.: Letter to my students.
Public Relations Research paper.: Letter to my students.
As your History and Political Studies teacher, I am writing this letter to respond to your political views that you raised during our last political discussion session we held together. Though most of the political opinions that were raised by quite a number of your students seemed a bit strange to me, I still incorporated them in our discussion session because that is exactly what is expected of a History and Political studies class which comprises of positively minded and knowledgeable students with a vision of exploring and cultivating new and applicable political ideas. Therefore, with the wide History and Political knowledge and teaching experience that I posses, I believe that I will present answers which will guarantee all of you full satisfaction and appropriate recommendations which are aimed at the right actions for your future prospects.
As you have known me very well since your enrollment into this High School or rather for the period we have been together, I have always admired political discussions in relation to political studies which is my professional subject of specialization. I have also been in this countryGhana, for quite sometime. Being anAshantilanguage speaker, I owe my origin from theAshantiregion which is located towards the southern region of this country. Though brought up in thislandofGhana, I have undertaken most of my studies in theUnited States of America. In fact I pursued my teaching profession at an institute of higher learning in theUnited States of America. After my graduation, I came back to my countryGhanaand got employed in this high school as a teacher. This was way back in the year 1947. From this, you can really bear me witness as my students that I possess quite a wealth of experience in this profession and also in this subject in particular. My only worry is that I am almost leaving this profession very soon for my retirement and this may cause a disadvantage to your studies especially in my best performing subject.
Having narrated to you a bit of my historical background, I believe that you will have much confidence with the answers, opinions and recommendations that I am about to present to you. Your political views that you pointed out, though a bit strange, are not new to me. This is because I have also engaged myself in politics since the pre-independence times of this nation and I therefore have enough experience as far as the politics of this land are concerned. I was even at one time been jailed for around five years .this was way back after the military coup that saw the government of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah being overthrown from power in the year 1966. I was also an original member of the convention people’s party which was founded by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in the year 1949 after abandoning the United Gold Convention party where he was the secretary general. By this time my teaching profession was just two years old. It was this convention people’s party headed by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in which I was a member of, which took our country towards the achievement of self government in the year 1951. The party also did not lag behind after the attainment of self governance but further spearheaded campaigns which finally saw therepublicofGhanaattain its full independence in March of the year 1957 with Dr. Kwame Nkrumah becoming the first president of therepublicofGhana.
Therefore allow me now to respond to your raised opinions. First,Ghanaas a country is not that small to guarantee international incompetence. Indeed the state ofGhanais approximately 238,533 square kilometers. This means thatGhanais just nearly the same size as the size of theUnited Kingdom.Ghanaas a country also, has enough natural resources which can guarantee the entire country satisfaction in terms of both the political and economical stability. The political structure of the state ofGhanais indeed the factor to consider for failing the country as a whole as well as its people.
The convention people’s party which was formed by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in the year 1949 saw the state ofGhanaachieve its self government in the year 1951 as well as also gaining self independence from the British colony in the year 1957. The Ghanaian movement which was a political party named the National Liberation Movement was formed in the year 1954. This Ghanaian movement was formed by theAshantiwho were dissatisfied members of the convention people’s party. This Ghanaian movement was strongly opposing the centralization process imposed by the government of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. The movement was however for the opinion of the continuing roles of traditional leaders. The Ghanaian party acquired strong support during the legislative elections of Gold coast elections which took place in 1956. The Ghanaian movement thus became the third largest party garnering twelve seats behind Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s Convention Peoples Party. The discrimination act passed by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in 1957 transformed the Ghanaian movement into an opposition party. This is because the Nkrumah’s Act outlawed the parties which were based on regional, racial and even religious differences.
The National Liberation Movement however advocated for a government which is federal with powers spread over the regions. The convention people’s party was highly criticized for dictatorial tendencies of leadership. It was thus due to this ideological and dictatorial government of Dr. Nkrumah which led to the 1966 coup which saw Dr. Nkrumah’s government removed from power. Since then, there existed several political coups until the last successful coup of 1981 which formed a government which survived into the 1990s with a well organized transition into yet another fresh administration at the onset of the 21st century.
The Ghanaian movement which mainly comprised of theAshantispeaking ethnic group however tried to overlook the Ewes. The Ewe which was a dominant ethnic group during the year 1956 was spread in the Gold coast and the British Togo as well as the French Togo. Due to the strong support of the Ewes in the British Togo towards their neighboring counterparts on the western side, they finally merged to form the Gold coast. The Ghanaian movement with powers spread over the regions concentrated much of their powers on theAshantispeaking group at the expense of their minor Ewe speaking group.
My recommendations therefore my dear students are, that union with neighboring states to form a huge common market may not work well with our countryGhanaand its Ghanaians in general. It is also true thatGhanawas sufficient enough to guarantee its people both political and economic self determination, but this did not, happen due to the poor political structure and ideologies which were existing by then. The minor ethnic groups were ignored by this system both this cannot also guarantee us to split our country along ethnic lines. This may as well impact negatively not only to us existing citizens, but also to our future generations. Such divisions may also result in internal ethnic conflicts and hence the emergence of civil wars. What is important therefore is to embrace dialogue and negotiations which are geared towards the future prospects of our country. Let’s engage in peaceful talks and negotiations aimed at shaping a nation we can always boast of. As my responsible students, you should not draw lines across your ethnic groups but lest you instead always work in unison. Hope these recommendations will positively contribute to your political thoughts. Thanking you for your cooperation, I remain.
Political Studies teacher.
Ghanais located along theGulfofGuineain theWest Africaregion. The country measures approximately 238,533 square kilometers which is just nearly the same size as the size of theUnited Kingdom. This state borders withBurkina Fasoto the north, Coted’ivoire to the west andTogoto the east. To the south are the Atlantic Ocean and theGulfofGuinea. The country’s official language is English. Other languages sponsored by the government ofGhanainclude Ewe, Akan, Gonja, Dagaare, Kasem and Dagbani among other languages. The capital city ofGhanaisAccrawhich is the largest city in the region. The population ofGhanais about 24.4 million people (McLaughlin & Owusu, 1994, 60).
Ghanaexperiences a tropical kind of climate. The country’s terrain comprises of generally low plains with a plateau which is dissected along the southern central region. The highest point inGhanaismountAfadjatowhich is approximately 880 metres above the sea level while the lowest point in the country is theAtlantic Oceanwhich is zero metres above the sea level (Tony, 2007, 47). The natural resources which are found inGhanainclude Gold, timber, manganese, industrial diamonds, bauxite, fish, rubber as well as hydropower. (Tony, 2007, 49).
The environmental issues surrounding therepublicofGhanainclude draughts, soil erosion, deforestation, overgrazing, poaching as well as destruction of animal habitats. Water pollution and the problem of pure drinking water are also part of the environmental issues inGhana. TherepublicofGhanais a party to a number of international agreements (Tony, 2007, 54). These agreements include biodiversity, desertification, environmental modification, the nuclear test ban, the climate change, endangered species as well as the law of the sea. Other agreements which have been signed by the government ofGhanabut have not yet been ratified include the marine life conservation among others (Tony, 2007, 58).
Accrawhich is the capital city and the largest city inGhanais located in the south easternGhanaon theGulfofGuinea. The city is well known as a commercial and manufacturing centre. Industries which are found in this city include vehicle assembling industries, petroleum industries as well as refining industries (Arishan,1995, 84).Other industries located in the city of Accra are manufacturing industries specifically for foodstuffs, plastics, metal and wood products, textile industries as well as pharmaceutical manufacturing industries.Accracity presents the image of a highly developing city demonstrating a varied mode of appearance. This city emerged to be the capital city ofGhanain the year 1957 when the gold coast colony was transformed into the independent state ofGhana(Arishan, 1995, 87).
TheAshantiregion inGhanahas the highest population concentration of about 3.2 million people followed by the greaterAccraregion with an estimated 2.9 million people. The spread in the people ofGhanaalso showed the Eastern and Northern regions having 2.1million and 1.8 million people respectively. Other regions in therepublicofGhanahave almost equal distribution of people. The most common linguistic group inGhanais the Akans which comprises of theAshantisin the North coast forest region, the Ewe- speaking group of people in the south east, the Frantes along the coast and the Guans who are found on the plains of riverVolta. In relation to religion, the Christians form the largest population of about 64 percent while the Muslims occupy around 15 percent of the entireGhana’s population. The people of theRepublicofGhanagenerally demonstrate diverse attitudes towards their country. The country is in recovery process and people are busy engaging themselves in the exploitation of the various resources in the country for their daily earnings (Arishan, 1995, 93).
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. The modern Ghanahas once acquired its name from the ancient kingdomof Ghana, which flourished until the eleventh century. The kingdomof Ghanamanned the gold trade in the Saharan northern trade routes. The ancient Ghanawas also the main focus towards the export trade in the Saharan salt and copper. The Portuguese then arrived in the country in search for the source of the gold in Africathey then established a mine along the gold coast and started trading in gold (Tony, 2007, 62). The Europeans also followed the Portuguese to the gold coast in same struggle for the gold trade. In the due course, the Europeans abandoned the gold trade and shifted to the slave trade which by then, it seemed to be more lucratic. The pressure by the Europeans quarrelling over the coastal trade access left most of ancient Ghanaian regions depopulated and destroyed (John, 2008, 80). During the 19th century, the Asantes and Fantes merged and arose to fight for the restoration of their country. TheAsante Empire started slowly penetrating into the coast where the British colonies by then had established full control of the coastal trade from the Europeans. The British tried to control the expansion of the Asantes but unfortunately, this empire continued demonstrating much efficiency in their administration structure (John, 2008, 82). Finally, in the year 1874 the British colony failed to control theAsante Empire which ventured into theKumasi region and took over the gold mines. The Fantes were also not left behind during this struggle for the restoration of their land (Benedict, 1978, 124).
The Asanteand Fante traditions and their anger for autonomy still remained during the British colonial ruling period. The riots of 1948 in the gold coast sparked the peoples urge for independence. This was the start of a long struggle towards independence which was highly catalyzed by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. In the year 1949, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah abandoned the United Gold Convention where he was acting as the secretary general and formed the Convention Peoples Party which was aimed at the attainment of Ghana’s self government (Benedict, 1978, 126). In the year 1951 Kwame Nkrumah’s Convention Peoples Party won the battle and made the Gold coast to be the first African British Colony to achieve self government. Finally on the march of 1957, the country achieved its full independence with Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as the prime minister. On July 1st of 1960, the state ofGhana finally became a republic with Dr. Kwame Nkrumah being the first president of the land (John, 2008, 87).
During this time, the government ofGhanaled the African political advancement where Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as the president laid foundations for unity. The president was strongly supporting the commonwealth and the non-aligned movement. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah incorporated ideologies such as the communism as well as socialism which did not actually go well with his government structures (Nkrumah, 1961, 16).These ideologies did not satisfy his opponents and this dissatisfaction finally led to the military coup which saw Dr. Kwame Nkrumah being overthrown from leadership in the year 1966. This coup was organized by the armed forces as well as the police. The national liberation council was then formed which was under the leadership of Lieutenant General Joseph Arthur. Later on General Joseph Arthur was also removed from office in the year 1969 by another Dr. Kofi A. Busia who became the prime minister under the three man presidential commission. Another coup took place again in the year 1972 which was organized by the Ghana Armed Forces under the leadership of Colonel Ignatius Kutu who took over the government after their victory. In the year 1979 another huge revolt of junior officers overthrew the government again. This internal struggle for power continued until the year 1990 when there emerged countrywide forums where the people of therepublicofGhanagave their views concerning the form of government they wanted to have. After evaluation of the views, the National Commission for Democracy realized that the Ghanaian citizens wanted multi-party kind of government. The journey to the formation of the country’s constitution thus started until the year 1992 when the country acquired its constitution through a national referendum (Benedict, 1978, 131).
TheGhanapolitical system assumes a framework of a democratic government headed by a president. The president in this country is the head of the government. The political system in therepublicofGhanaconsists of a government which is divided into the executive, the judiciary and the legislature. This country has a constitution which was officially approved in April 1992 after a long struggle since the country got freedom from British back in March of the year 1957 (John,2008, 92).This constitution declares the state of Ghana as a republic which is unitary with sovereignty resting with the Ghanaian people. The constitution ofGhanaalso advocates for a system comprising of checks and balances. All the powers ofGhanaas a state are shared between the president, the country’s parliament, the state council and the judiciary which is an independent body. The constitution of this country strongly supports the power sharing ideologies. The political system inGhanaalso supports two major political parties. These parties include the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress which form the major government branches. The country’s politics also comprises of ten regional divisions. These divisions include theAshanti, the Greater Accra, the central, the Eastern, the Northern as well as the central regions. Other regions are the Brong-Ahafo theVolta, the Upper west, the Upper east as well as the Western regions (John, 2008, 96).
The Ghanaian cultural structure is a dynamic one. The country consists of several ethnic groups with many other sub-groups and dialects attached to them. However the main ethnic group in therepublicofGhanais the Ewe speaking group of people which forms approximately 68.5 percent of the population of ethnic groups inGhana. Others in this category of ethnic groups are the Akan and the Guma with 8.5 percent and 6.5 percent respectively. Each of these ethnic groups has its own subgroups and dialects as well. The social structure of therepublicofGhanaalso comprises of organized groups which are headed by chiefs at the settlement levels. The relationship between the people ofGhanaand the government is a strong one the Ghanaian people also have strong faith and most of them have already transformed from the traditional religions to Christianity. However the proportion of men who already subscribe to the faith of Christianity is slightly lower than that of women. (Benedict, 1978, 136).
The political ideologies of therepublicofGhanawere instilled at first by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who was the first president of the country after it attained independence. The most common political ideologies which were advocated by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah included the socialism, the communism as well as the Nkrumaism. All these ideologies were incorporated in schools, colleges as well as in the working places. The ideology of socialism inGhanafor instance, saw the establishment of many state owned enterprises. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s ideologies finally made him a dictator whose actions of leadership were not acceptable to the opposition (Benedict, 1978, 139). This then made therepublicofGhanato become politically unstable and also insecure economically. It was thus due to this political repressive situation as well as the pronounced poor economic policies that led to the toppling of the government by the military coup in the year 1966. At this point we should learn that the political system of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah greatly lacked advice and opinions. The actions of any president in power can really cause a great impact on the citizens as well as the country as a whole. Corruption coupled with inapplicable ideologies can really impact negatively on the political and economical stability of any given state. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah should have rather concentrated on ethical characters of leadership instead of adopting ideologies which would not take the country and its people any far. The president should have also from time to time paused for sometime to assess and evaluate the progressiveness of his leadership styles. Lack of leadership satisfaction by the people ofGhanais all what made them to turn against the government of Kwame Nkrumah. (Tony, 2007, 92).
From the varied scenarios we have studied above, we can then arrive at a conclusion that therepublicofGhanahas all along been faced with different crises in its leadership. Since from the time this country attained full independence from the British colony, very little was done to improve on the state of the economy ofGhana. IndeedGhanawas large enough and even sufficient enough to offer its people a stable political and economic structure. The state ofGhanaalso had more than enough resources which could have been utilized wisely to reinstate the economy of the country. The Ghanaian people presented a very strong trust to the kind of leadership which was comprised of ideological policies that could not even take the country any far. Dr.Kwame Nkrumah, as the founder and the first president of the country lacked advice and wisdom while on his track of leadership. He actually did not take his time to pause for some time and reflect on the progress he had made so far. Many of the managers of his reign were not qualified at all and this resulted to great failure due to their incompetence as well as their inefficiency. Nevertheless, the situation has nowadays somehow changed after the country acquired its internal constitution in the year 1992. The government is now somehow competent and efficient. For the sake of a successful republic, we should not concentrate our interests on ethnicity for this is almost yearning for our own selfish gains. Ethnic divisions can also lead us to civic wars which can bring devastating impacts to our own found land. Continued dialogue and diplomacy should therefore be embraced nationally and with this then we shall be assured of finally getting ourselves to the kind of government we have ever been dreaming of.
Arishan, L. Asafo and Destoolment in ColonialSouthern Ghana, 1900-1953.
(International Journal of African Historical Studies, 1995). 84-178
Benedict, A. Imagined Communities. Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. (London.New York, 1978). 123-258.
John, M. GhanaHistory. New Encyclopedia ofAfrica. (The Gale Group. Vol.2, 2008). 81-137
Kwame Nkrumah, I Speak of Freedom. A Statement of African Ideology.
(William Heinemann.London, 1961). 15-24
McLaughlin, L. and Owusu, A. The IndependentGhana. (1994). 56-186.
Tony, C. Historical Dictionary ofGhana. (2007). 46-124.
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