Eating the Future

The fat, pot-bellied Ghanaian politician reclined in a chair wide enough to accommodate his ever- widening girth.

He popped one delicious imported grape after the other into his mouth as he reflected on the happenings in his country.

Uncharacteristically, he had a sudden burst of conscience.

A thought kept intruding into his consciousness no matter how much he tried to suppress it. It was as if he was narrating a story to another person.

 

´Once upon a time, I was very rich…..I had all the minerals you could ever dream of.

I had Gold, Diamonds, Lithium, Bauxite, Manganese, Limestone….you name it. I also had Timber in abundance. And oh yes, Salt, Sand, Rubber, Cocoa, Coffee… and so on….

 

When I discovered oil and substantial gas reserves, I was so excited!

Of course, I did not want to make the same mistakes that my brothers the Nigerians had made. I invited experts from all over the world who warned me about the Dutch Disease.

I listened to them, but of course I was not going to do most of  of the things they recommended. How do i rob my people if i solve all their problems?

´National interest, you say?´ Tweaa!

 

So, I called my friend from the other side of the sea to bring his knowledge and money to assist me develop the oil fields.

He was so generous. He gave my nation a whopping 5% of the profits he would make from the development of the oil fields!

Of course, I will continue to import processed petroleum products from him but who cares?

I have run down my refinery so I don’t have much of an option in that regard.

Besides, Ghana is better off than so many African countries.

 

The politician sighed and drifted contentedly into a peaceful slumber,

Assured that he would live like a king the rest of his life.

He shut his eyes tightly to block out the recurrent image of the child who stared at him with eyes full of sorrow

As if to say ´what about my future? ´

 

He did not know how to answer that question.

He had no experience with planning for the future.

He did not possess the ability to delay his gratification.

Or see to the needs of his people the way his colonial masters did theirs.

All he had seen them do was take and take and take.

From Ghana, From Africa

 

France-and-Africa

 

He was just following the example of the white masters who were still dictating to him.

He did not know that by doing the same thing, HE was working against his own people.

He was changing his land administration systems to accommodate his white masters.

He was cutting down his cocoa trees to help the Chinese find gold.

He sold the mango plantations of his people so the Americans could build a ´´Village of Hope´´.

He did all this so that he could be driven around in a 4- Wheeled car and also be called ´´Honourable.´´

 

 

 

 

 

*Tweaa_ A Ghanaian term used to express derision.

 

 

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