The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Member of Parliament (MP) for the Nadowli-Kaleo Constituency, Hon. 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 developmental challenges.
Rather than focusing on natural resources to turn the country’s fortunes around, the respected legislator believes quality education holds the key to moving Ghana to the next pedestal on its developmental ladder.
Speaking in the Upper West Regional capital, Wa, at a recent event to launch activities marking his Silver Jubilee in Parliament and his Sixtieth birthday celebrations, Honourable Bagbin stated that “the fact that a country is resource rich does not necessarily make the country rich.”
The event which was organized by the Youth Advocates for Social Democracy (YASOD), a civil society organization committed to entrenching democratic values among all socialist-oriented thinkers and the Ghanaian populace as a whole, forms part of a year-long programme to celebrate the long-serving MP’s dedicated service to the nation.
Present at the gathering were traditional rulers, the deputy Upper West Regional Minister, religious leaders, former and present Members of Parliament, representatives of political parties and the media. The programme also saw large attendance from people from all over the three Northern regions.
Honourable Bagbin in a short address to thank organizers and guests at the gathering as well as his constituents for their support emphasized the fact that “it is ideas, creativity, innovation and originality that develop a country not commodities.”
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 seesaw, up and down type of development we are experiencing is quality education.” 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.”
Honourable Bagbin’s call comes of the heels of recent uproar among a large section of the Ghanaian populace on the decision by the current government to mortgage some mineral resources of the country for financial support from China.