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When The Last Ghanaian-owned Company Dies
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Daniel Ofosu-Asamoah, The Writer
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What happens when the last Ghanaian-owned company dies? We all become slaves in our own country. What happens when the last Ghanaian-owned country becomes weak? Our livelihoods suffer as the quality of our lives will largely depend on the fatness of our purse.

But what happens when Ghanaian-owned companies are strong? Citizens of the country will determine their future and their livelihoods. Citizens of Ghana will feel spiritually, psychologically and physically strong.

It’s in the nature of man to feel good and confident when he or she can boast of what he or she has gained through daily sweat.

The call to be “a citizen and not a spectator” is a call to every citizen to be seen to be actively performing his or her role and not just be an observer or a free rider. At this time that two Ghanaian-owned companies have fallen, we have to come together and solidarise with our fallen heroes.

I strongly believe the dreamers/brains behind these businesses are heroes who have suffered temporary setbacks. These are brave men who ventured into the unknown with the hope of providing livelihood for themselves and countless Ghanaians.

Unfortunately, for them they have suffered a setback, and this setback has a lot of implications for many Ghanaians—those who benefit from their resources directly and those they have employed, not to mention those who also depend on these employees.

Yes, they might have made some mistakes; however, we should be measured in our criticisms so as not to discourage the young and upcoming entrepreneurs from venturing into the unknown to create better opportunities for all of us. There is also the need to learn from this experience so that present and future businesses can use such lessons as springboards to chart better paths. Our society has always been known to defend and protect its own in times of trouble.

There is therefore the need for us to come together as a nation at this moment in history to support our Ghanaian-owned companies to survive the temporary trying times. Our  economy can only be said to be a Ghanaian-owned economy when majority of companies indigenous.

To wit, what belongs to Ghanaians is what Ghanaians have dreamt of and created in their own way to suit their needs. It is the same that we can only bequeath to our progeny. We cannot give to the future what does not belong to us.

There are several reasons for which we need to play our roles as citizens to protect and make sure that Ghanaian-owned companies survive and thrive at all times. The first reason is the fact that a company owned by a Ghanaian would live on our motherland. It’s what we can call our own and what future generations can boast of. Resources realised from these companies will always remain in our country and would continue to keep our economy strong.

Second, a Ghanaian company gives today and future generations a sense of pride—a belief in themselves that they can equal or outdo their predecessors in terms of the achievements made in building businesses. What our budding business minds need most in our world today is a group of successful business people who can allay their fears and anxieties about doing business and inspire them to achieve greater feats. Again, many people today believe more in what they see and not what they read in books.

Finally, there is pride in what people achieve through their own effort. This builds people’s confidence and urges them to try and do more when they realize that their efforts can lead them to greater heights notwithstanding the difficulties they face. That is why our society must encourage and support those who may face difficulties along the way. We need to encourage people to continue to try and not be afraid to fail. We need to help our society to appreciate that failure is part of the game and that we can still learn from the failures and use them as springboards to succeed.

“Be a citizen and not a spectator.” We all have duties to perform as citizens of Ghana to ensure that we build a Ghanaian-owned economy. Article 34 of our Constitution spells out the duties of a citizen of Ghana. If we all bring our minds to the dictates of the Constitution regarding the duties of a citizen of the land, and put them into practice as required of us, we will make Ghana a place to be—a place that guarantees true freedom: freedom that gives us power to determine how we want to chart our path as a nation since we have control over our resources. This is freedom that gives us power to determine the kind of food we eat, the kind of attire we wear, and the kind of building we put up.

Our society, from time immemorial, has stood for one another in times of difficulties. Times of loss have always brought our society together. It’s the period that we put all differences aside and then fight our common trouble with a united effort. We either play the role of citizens by performing our duties as required of us or play the role of spectators by just watching as things get destroyed. In each case we will have our rewards. In a stadium, we have players (Citizens) and spectators, and each of them receive their rewards after the game is over. Players receive their bonuses while spectators go home empty-handed.

For our local businesses to thrive, and for our national economy to be prosperous, we all need to exhibit values and work ethics that promote growth of these businesses. As a society, we all need to own these businesses founded by the sweat and toil of people who hail from our own communities. We need to work with all honesty, zeal, the required energy and with love for God, country and posterity. We must thus eschew practices that will draw back the progress of the Ghanaian companies that we are working for. If we see ourselves as one people, then our efforts will be channeled towards the good of all, as we know that any harm caused the institutions and companies we are working for amounts to harm caused ourselves and our brothers and sisters.

Where is the pride of a man in our society if he has no job? Where is the pride of a man in our society when he loses his job and has to be fed by society? What will be the pride of our country if men and women who through their sweat and toil build businesses which collapse in future? When our indigenous businesses fail, we will lose the power of control of our destinies as a people. We will work for others and they will determine what we eat, where we sleep, where we school, when we sleep and when we wake up. Why this conclusion? He that controls your stomach controls your mind.

When we were young and lived under the care of our parents, they determined everything for us. Why? This was because our parents controlled the purse. When we grew up and found jobs to do which paid us something, we gained our independence. Consequently, when the last Ghanaian-owned company collapses, we all become slaves in our own country. You surely don’t want to be that and I definitely don’t want to be that either. “Be a citizen and not a spectator!”

Source: Daniel Ofosu-Asamoah, Email: [email protected]

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