Ghana has always survived on one crop, cocoa, ever since it found its way into this country. What has been done with this crop apart from exporting it in its raw form? Not much.
Oil palm was taken out of this country to Malaysia. While the Malaysians are making industrial use of oil palm, even in the automobile industry, Ghana's excellence in the use of oil palm is soap making and margarine. All other aspects of oil palm are virtually thrown away.
For almost 200 years, some towns in this country have produced one of the finest gold in the world, namely Obuasi and Tarkwa, to name just a few. Just go to these towns, there is nothing golden about these towns. Basic social amenities are denied them. Everything about the gold-producing areas of this country is poverty. Today it has been proven that much of the land is rich in gold deposits, not just limited to a few towns and communities. Once again the stupidity of the leadership is not planning how to exploit this resource in a manner which will ensure that our generation benefits out of it without depriving the next generation the opportunity of also exploiting it or even benefiting from its exploitation today.The government have allowed everybody to scoop out the gold from the bowel of the earth anywhere, without any guidance and regulations. As for the Minerals Commission, their uselessness has been exposed by their corruption in the management of gold resources and their silence over the criminal exploitation of the resource. River bodies are filled with mercury, a harmful substance to the body, and nobody seems to care, knowing very well that to the majority of our people, rivers and streams are the primary sources of water. Recent medical reports indicate that many more people are suffering from kidney problems as a result of high concentration of mercury in their blood system. It is criminal for any nation to stand and stare while its innocent citizens are subjected to such deadly conditions by greedy individuals and groups of individuals. What is needed to be done is to determine which areas of the country the gold should be mined from, for say a period of 50 years. In this case, all other areas of gold would not be touched. This will make for a very efficient and sustainable exploitation of the resource. After the 50 years, when we are sure that the gold has been exhausted, we reclaim the area for another economic activity and move on to another area of gold concentration for mining. Sadly we are destroying everything in the way of gold just to satisfy the greed and affluence of the few in our society, without the slightest consideration for the unborn.
Some 40 years back, timber used to be one of the major exports of this country; today, local timber-based industries have collapsed and wood for domestic consumption has become a serious problem for a hitherto timber exporting country. In its stead, we are importing everything furniture from China. Ghana did not plan the exploitation of our timber resources in a manner that would meet the needs of the generation then and the future generation. Ghana allowed all manner of people, particularly Syrians and Lebanese to exploit our timber resources from all corners of this country, with their local greedy collaborators. They did that with total disregard for the future. Stupid as the leaders were and perhaps still are, they established the Ghana Timber Marketing Company, without taking into account the fact that timber has to be produced before they are marketed. Ghana succeeded in marketing all the timber from all the corners of the country, but foolish enough not to establish a timber-producing company.
Any nation with people with right thinking caps would plan how its resources should be exploited for the overall benefit of all generations. The collective resources are expropriated without due regards for the next generation. We should protect certain parts of our natural resources, and even when it becomes very necessary for us to exploit any available resources, common sense should tell us that we cannot destroy everything nature has been kind enough to bestow on us. We owe nature that respect and appreciation for giving us so much for our survival. The earlier we sit down and properly plan our lives, the better it will be for us and the future.