March 7, 2022|3 Minutes|In Editor's Desk|Chris BishopBy Chris Bishop

Editor's Desk

Black star bright in a warring world

Amid these violent times of war, there was a joyful moment as Africa passed an important milestone – the celebration of 65 years of hope and self-determination.

This story holds a lesson for us all from Accra to London, New York to Moscow.

Ghana celebrated 65 years since it became the first nation In sub-Saharan Africa to become independent of colonial rulers.

As I write this, on a Sunday night, it is about the same time the country’s first President Kwame Nkrumah was on his way to the famous midnight speech of liberation that resounded around the world. On a night of cheering euphoria under the stars , overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Nkrumah and his deputies wore their prison hats. It was a mocking rebuke to the British colonial authorities who had locked them all up as they campaigned for freedom in the years leading up to this crisp, clear, moment of hope.

“At long last the battle has ended! And thus Ghana, your beloved country, is free for ever,” Nkrumah shouted into the night

“Our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with total liberation of the African continent.”

In the crowd was Martin Luther-King Junior who told reporters straight afterwards that if Ghana was able to find freedom for the its people there was no reason why the United States couldn’t do so.

Where does all of this optimism stand in 2022 when a brutal Russian force rips its way through another independent nation – Ukraine? A world where artillery shells fleeing women and children – inhuman.

There is no doubt that the ills of this nasty war will seep through into Africa. It’ll mean more instability, greater risk, less investment, higher interest rates, rising energy rates, higher inflation. In short, a basinful of economic poison.

Ghana’s story, at the very least, stands out like a beacon of hope. You could argue that Ghana was a country born from  violence and instability from the barbarous slave trade, the Anglo-Ashanti wars in the colonial scramble of the early 19th century.

Yet, in its own period of self-determination, Ghana has worked hard to ward off wars and build economic freedom.

The democrats overcame the hazards of military coups towards democracy and forging economic growth. Even the critics of Ghana concede that the country has come a long way and can show the way ahead.

Let’s hope in 2057, Ghana will be able to celebrate a stable, peaceful and prosperous nation able stand tall in what threatens to be a divided and brutal world.