Sat, Mar

An illustration showing NASA's Perseverance rover firing up its descent stage engines as it nears Mars' surface. NASA

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The lack of commitment by our leaders to offer continuous and intentional development for us, Ghanaians, continue to hamper our progress and it is not getting any better.

It was refreshing to watch the successful landing of Perseverance on the red planet, Mars. Seemed like an NFL moment where all of mankind was waiting just for that touchdown to win the Super Bowl. I guess that explains the exhilarating euphoria in NASA offices.

However, this piece is not really inspired by this great leap, but by how through conscious and intentional development, a country has successfully landed on another planet other than ours.

Related: Perseverance lands on Mars

Just a few centuries ago, it was an abominable thing to suggest that the earth goes round the sun. Today, here we are, weaklings in the fray of eternity, admiring our ability to go farther from the very thing that we now accept as the centre of our solar system.

Perseverance lands on Mars

But why do I write this, for which Facebook will send an annual reminder which will continue to get me saddened?

perseverance lands on Mars

Perseverance lands on Mars

In 1961, some 60years ago, the Russians shot a man to space. His name, Yuri Gagarin. The Americans did not take this lightly, and mind you, this was around the height of the Cold War I believe.

Their next step, during the presidency of J. F. Kennedy, was to challenge their scientists, their engineers, and their people, of they also reaching not just space, but even farther.

A year later, in 1962, John Glenn succeeded in orbiting the earth and finally represented the Americans in the space game. Later that decade, they landed on the moon, and today, they have added another milestone to their achievements. This has been through the continuous contribution and commitment by subsequent governments since 1961 to continue their work towards being a super power in space.

What am I driving at?

The lack of commitment by our leaders to offer continuous and intentional development for us, Ghanaians, continue to hamper our progress and it is not getting any better.

The lack of us committing to a common agenda on national development, irrespective of which political party is in office is one of our biggest setbacks.

For over 3 decades, as in over 30 solid years, the Accra - Kumasi Highway has still not been completed. Also the Eastern Corridor road project still remains a campaign promise with no promising effort to complete these projects at a hard timeline. There also seems to be no plan regarding our health sector, with each government deciding to do what it pleases mainly for votes. The basic amenities, for which taxes are to be used in funding, are now campaign promises with which politicians try to hold us ransom for.

The ministerial vetting has also showed the lack of accountability and the seeming 'I-don't-care' attitude by ministers of state after they are appointed, as many of them are not even aware of what goes on in their own ministries.

Things don't seem to be changing anytime soon, and that is the worry.

According to those whose business it is to study the earth and its life in geographical timescale, there have been about 5 cataclysmic events that have been responsible for wiping out about 90% of the earth's life. Meaning that, ceteris paribus, another event will happen that will consume most of the life on earth.

That is why it has become critical for man to be an inter-terrestrial being in order to survive what is to come.

Where would Africans be when it is time for people to leave earth in their space shuttles should another cataclysmic event occur? Or would we be begging for lift, just as we are pleading for the crumbs of the vaccines?

Also, did you know the US has a space 'army' that is to defend the planet against any insurgency from space?  We just dey hear dey chop gobɛ! And can't even use soldiers to stop galamsey. 

Oh Ghana!

We have a looooonnnngggg way to go. But are we even on the right path, to know if it is indeed that long?

My name is Edwin Kotey, and I still hold on to some hope.

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