Sunday, March 06, 2005

Happy Birthday Ghana

48 years ago today, the British flag went down and was permanently replaced by the red, yellow and green flag as ghana became the first country in 'sub-saharan' Africa to gain its independence. The picture above is from a historic telecast when Kwame Nkrumah, the first prime minister of Ghana, announced to the country that we were free.

That's another picture of Nkrumah. He was a very interesting person. A british trained teacher who became the head of the independence effort in Ghana. He di some great things in his time. Turning the country into a single party state was not one of them. His larger crime, however, was keeping Ghana unaligned in the cold war and accepting help from the Americans, the Russians and the Chinese. His politics were not very popular with the west so, while he was on his way to Vietnam to hopefully mediate, a CIA sponsored coup was organized to remove him from power. He went into exile and the country went through three more tries at becoming a democratic republic.
This time it seems to be working though, if last year's election was any indication. I have faith in my country and the continent in general. We're a relatively new country made up from dozens of differing ethnic groups with diffent languages, social and political traditions. Not to mention old rivalries that were inflamed during the years of colonization. As far as I'm concerned, the fact that we made it this far means that there is hope. We have a stable economy, our educational system is getting better and there is increasing opportunity for people who are willing to work hard, which is pretty much the entire country. I have hope for the future. I guess we'll find out whether or not I'm right sooner or later.

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