In this era of robotic technology, our cocoa farmers still use the same farm implements used by Tetteh Quarshie centuries ago when he first brought the beans from Fernando Po.
In this machine era, the Kente weavers in Bonwire and other parts of the country still use the same Kweku Ananse web weaving techniques used generations ago when the kente was first discovered.
In this era of ploughs, harrowers and combine harvesters our noble farmers still depend on sticks, hoes and cutlasses to cultivate the land. The question is where are our scientists and engineers that the government spent so much money in training?
It is a known fact that since the days of the Osagyefo other governments have tried in growing our own scientists and engineers. Talented students were sent to universities abroad to acquire the necessary skills needed to help in developing our industries, agriculture, housing, drainage etc.
Apart from the USA and the UK, these so-called talented students were to Eastern European countries to train. Fidel Castro of Cuba also trained scores of them in the field of engineering and science. Despite all these efforts, none of these students has been able to wave the magic wand to change the fortunes of the country.
Some of the students who were under bonds failed to return back to help the country. These traitors now live in the comforts of Europe and USA while the poor people whose backs they rode on to the top still wallow in poverty. The bonds they signed are just worth the papers on which they were written.
The Scholarship Secretariat is also not pursuing them or their guarantors to claw back the money spent on training them. Some of the selfish ones betrayed the country by naturalizing as citizens of their host nations.
They gave several excuses for failing to honour their bonds. The common one is the country does not have the necessary facilities for effecting any scientific change. The irony is these people were sent abroad to acquire the necessary skills that will help us build those facilities.
Anyway, the patriotic and selfless ones listened to their conscience and honoured their bonds. Unfortunately, these bold ones became eagles that cannot soar. In spite of the colossal sums of money spent on training them, we still have open drainages choked with filth in Accra and other places.
Our industries in Tema and North Kaneshie Industrial areas are collapsing due to lack of technology. The poor and needy in society are still at the mercy of blood sucking mosquitoes and are suffering from diseases that could easily be eradicated. Where did we go wrong?
Come to Macedonia and help us
Our scientists and engineers are finding it too tasking to move us to the promise land of milk and honey. Where our children can enjoy and achieve their dreams. Where our teenagers can also play computer games on the Nintendo DS and listen to soul-searching music on iPod Nano. The land flowing with nectar where our youth can watch their Blu-ray (BD) CDs and HD TVs, in peace.
May be what our clueless leaders should do from now is instead of grabbing loans from left-centre-right to buy luxury cars they should rather start grabbing Scientists from the West to help us produce these cars. Since our Scientists and Engineers are falcons that cannot scale the cottons of the heavens, we should seek for Scientists and Engineers abroad.
Even developed countries like the USA or the UK lured Scientists and Engineers into their countries through various science and engineering schemes. We should seek for Engineers who would help us develop underground sewage system so the Korle lagoon will be free from human waste.
Engineers that will help us develop solar panels so we could have uninterrupted power supply which the Akosombo is not capable of providing. Perhaps we also deserve to have the subways or underground railways to ease the traffic congestion in Accra. At least this will prevent workers living in Spintex Road from spending four hrs to reach the centre of Accra instead of half an hour.
President Obama visited Ghana months ago and it was a plus to the country because he chose Ghana over other African countries. Instead of holding our cup in hand begging for aid as usual, we should plead with him to send us Scientists and Engineers from America. Those miracle performers in the Pentagon and NASA to help transform the corn growing belts of the Afram Plains serve the starving masses.
Those super humans who can whisk away onto the moon within a twinkle of an eye to help build canals to irrigate the Accra plains so farmers on the plains can enjoy their kome ke kena (kenkey and fish) once again. The river Volta is allowed to flow freely into the sea at the Ada estuary when the surrounding land is patched.
Talking about kenkey made me wonder why we waste so much time and energy in preparing our local dishes. These dishes are so tasty but it requires too much hard work to prepare them. Let’s take fufu for instance a lot of man’s hour and energy is wasted in preparing this meal. This is because we still depend on the same old method used since the days of the warrior Yaa Asentewaa in preparing this meal.
A simple technology could save us the trouble of using the stick (pestle) to whack any stubborn cassava into submission. It would also have saved chop bar owners at the Circle Neoplan station or Kejetia the trauma of depending on human labour to produce on large scale to feed the trotro and taxi drivers.
Every year DFID, Ford Foundation etc offer scholarships to so-called brainy students from Ghanaian institutions to further their education abroad. Well, DFID or Ford Foundation should consider focusing their attention on our artisans like the blacksmiths, wood carvers, kente weavers etc.
Unlike those so-called scholars, these artisans are more innovative and creative. The blacksmiths for instance produced the hoes, cutlasses etc used on our farms today. These agencies should consider supporting Apostle Kwadwo Safo of Kristo Asafo fame in his quest for technological drive in the country. The agencies should assist the Apostle and his team of Engineers to develop the harrows and combine harvesters so our farmers in the north could grow more millet to feed the nation.
So Aveyime rice growers would not have to break their backs in the rice fields under the scorching sun. The apostle is alleged to have very little respect for our academicians. Anyway, why won’t he when all some of these academicians do is to write project reports and collect research allowances for researches that do not exist?
Our scientist and Engineers just like the politicians have failed us miserably. There is this argument that we had independence at the same time as Malaysia. The irony is while Malaysia is flying high in the field of science and technology we still depend on the same rudimental implements used by our ancestors centuries ago.
This goes to prove that our ancestors had higher IQs than us and were more intelligent too. With all the exposures and trainings we had (which they did not get) we have failed woefully to improve on the inventions they passed down to us.
We have not been able to improve on the farming methods they transferred to us. Neither have we been able to improve on the catering skill they bestowed on us. Yet we keep yapping and boasting instead of bowing down our heads in shame.
By Francis Kwaku Egu
Email: kwakuhull@yahoo. com