The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Filial Heart Foundation (FHF), Dr. Ernest K.P. Kwarko, has asked the government to be careful with the way and manner it goes about dealing with its largest trading partner – China.
According to him, Ghana in particular, and Africa in general, can only be developed by its people and not by the Chinese.
Dr. Kwarko stressed the need to be careful with the Chinese, who have, themselves, learnt a lesson from collateralisation, by which Hong Kong was collateralised by the British for 99 years.
According to him, collateralisation started when China was a poor state, and the Chinese were to pay back the collateral with Hong Kong, which was not part of main land China, but just a tourist site with a good island.
According to Dr. Kwarko, the Chinese reclaimed Hong Kong after 99 years, having paid the debt they owed the British.
He attributed the slower pace of Ghana’s development to corruption and mismanagement of the economy, which led to the overthrow of the Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Kofi Abrefa Busia and Hilla Liman governments, stressing that “Perhaps the only thing we (Ghanaians) are learning is not learning from history.”
Dr. Kwarko cautioned Ghanaian leaders to be very careful, adding the Chinese are quite smart and that we have to approach everything with cautious optimism, stressing, “Africa can be developed only by Africans.”
He made these observations during the Silver for Republic Amateur Concept programme over the weekend in Kumasi.
Dr. Kwarko, a senior Gynaecologist and Obstetrician at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), walked the audience through the history of the Fourth Republic.
Exhibiting his artistic best, the medical officer and amateur actor also reflected on what he described as the era of the John, giving a vivid history about what led to the overthrow of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, before Dr. Busia took over.
In a remark about the Akufo-Addo administration, the medical officer, donning African print designed in the national colours of red, yellow and green, noted that President Akufo-Addo had admonished Ghanaians to be citizens and not spectators, which, according to him, is a clarion call.
He described the President’s ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ vision as very laudable.
Recollecting what President John Dramani Mahama noted in his first statement to the nation on assumption of office, Dr. Kwarko indicated that Mahama rescinded his party’s decision not to join the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) forum when it was only 39 days to the elections.
He noted that after the demise of the late Prof Evans Atta Mills, many were the critics who said Mahama could not win, but he was determined to make it, and he won the elections by 50.56%.
According to him, in John Mahama’s first State of the Nation Address, he stated that the Ghanaian national kitty was depleted.
This, he said, signalled that something was wrong, because it is customary that the year Ghana goes to the polls, the cedi depreciates, and this happens to all regimes, since “we are not disciplined in our expenditure.”
Dr. Kwarko continued that during the John Mahama regime, the country overshot its expenditure by 21% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which was about GH¢8.7 billion in nominal terms and equivalent to US$ 4.3 billion, which led the country to the Bretton Woods Institution.
He also mentioned that the crippling energy crisis, popularly known as ‘Dum-so’, eroded the gains of the Mahama-led administration, thus crumbling the economy.
Peoples’ shops began to collapse, thereby rendering them penniless. This, he continued, culminated in the Senchi Conference, which led to Ghana signing a credit facility with the IMF.
In spite of these efforts, “we are still suffering from that pact, because Mr. Mahama borrowed heavily for infrastructural revolution,” Dr. Kwarko said.
In a poem recited by Compassion Children from Adom Baptist Child Development Centre, it read: “Oh Ghana, Our Motherland! Ghana, we are blessed with Gold, Diamond, Bauxite, Timber, Cocoa, and Crude Oil. Ghana, we are blessed with Peace and a Stable Republic. Oh Ghana, we are too Rich to be Poor! Our Leaders, Mummies and Daddies, Aunties and Uncles, Big Brothers and Sisters; We, your children, the future of Ghana, are begging you To sacrifice for Ghana now, so we can all enjoy in the future. We believe in Our Ghana Beyond Aid. Please help us now; and we will arise and make Ghana proud in the future that belongs to us. Thank you and May God bless you all!