from Sharon Jefferson's
There's a surplus of talented people in Ghana who cannot reach their highest potential because there is no system in place to do so. They've been let down first by their unsanctified British colonizers and later by leaders who have been running the country since Ghana's independence in March of 1957. For example, construction is underway to replace the presidential palace with a new 50 million dollar one, when in my opinion, the money could be better used to improve the country's water and sewage system for example. Still, Ghana remains politically stable. Let's understand that it takes generations to get a nation-state running smoothly. Remember, the United States had a Civil War less than 100 years after our independence.
Besides, Ghana is about to come up. She recently has been blessed with the discovery of 600 million barrels of oil off its shores. Let's pray that Ghana's President John Kufuor's desire to see Ghana become an "African tiger" economically, with all the money the oil will generate, comes true.
One of the highlights of my trips was a vist with King Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofari Panin who leads Akyem Abuakwa--the Eastern Region of Ghana. He held a special reception for our group. He had only recently become king after living several years in the United States. He was hesitant about taking on that role, but his mother insisted that it was his duty to come back home and serve his people.
He spoke eloquently about the relationship that he would like to see developed with Africans and African-Americans. He said "Africa wants your solidarity, not your pity." He related Black Americans' experiences to that of Joseph in the Bible. He was taken from Canaan to be a slave in Egypt. After gaining his freedom he prospered and shared his blessings with his brothers who were facing challenges in their family's motherland.
Just like any family, we help our brothers or sisters out and tomorrow they may have to bail us out. You never know when you might need a cup of oil.Thanks Sharon for sharing your Ghananian experience with the visitors of the Old School Mix. I'm sure Sharon would be delighted to repond to any questions or comments OSM readers might have about her trip. The following is a link for more information about the National Book Club Conference.