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“Spirit of patriotism” lost in Ghana, rekindling urgently needed – UoG lecturer

He said this at DI's Founders’ Day lecture on the topic; “African Nationalism: A Road to Patriotism and the Attainment of Self-determination”

Senior lecturer at the University of Ghana (UoG), Dr Lawrence Boakye, has stated that the spirit of patriotism that motivated the forebears of the current generation to fight for our independence and the right of self determination has been lost ad there is the need to rekindle it in Ghanaians.

He made the observation when he delivered a paper at the Danquah Institute (DI) Founders’ Day lecture series today 4 August 2023, on the topic; “African Nationalism: A Road to Patriotism and the Attainment of Self-determination”.

African Nationalism

Dr Boakye started his lecture by tracing the history of African Nationalism noting that it is “a subjective feeling of kinship or affinity shared by people of African descent. He explained further that Africa Nationalism “is a feeling based on shared cultural norms, traditional institutions, racial heritage, and a common historical experience”.

Dr Antoinette Tsiboe-Darko, the Executive Director of DI, in discussion with Dr Lawrence Boakye at the Founders Day lecture series

One enduring historical experience shared by nearly all Africans Dr Boakye said, “was colonial oppression”, stressing that “along with this sense of shared identity is a collective desire to maintain one’s own cultural, social, and political values independent of outside control”.

“It is worth stressing that African nationalism, like nationalism elsewhere in the world, is not new; it is as old as ancient times. In fact, in Africa, contrary to a common view in Western scholarship of Africa, African nationalism predates colonialism” Dr Lawrence Boakye stated.

After discussing the independence struggle that the African continent experienced, Dr Boakye turned his attention to Ghana and zeroed in on the big six who are largely celebrated as the founding fathers of the Republic of Ghana.

 Rekindle spirit of patriotism

 The UoG department for the study of religions lecturer in his presentation said “in our Gold Coast we discover the UGCC ( United Gold Coast Convention)  we remember the six leaders (Kwame Nkrumah, Ebenezer Ako-Adjei, Edward Akufo-Addo, Joesph Boakye Danquah, Emmanuel Obetsebi-Lamptey, and William Ofori Atta).

“These founders of our dear nation understood that the continued existence of colonialism was going to prevent the development of international economic co-operation, impede the social, cultural, and economic development of our nation, and will militate against the ideals of universal peace.

Dr Antoinette Tsiboe-Darko, the Executive Director of DI, with Dr Lawrence Boakye

“For these reasons these men and many others risked their lives for this country. Today (4 August) as we celebrate these courageous compatriots, we reflect on their heroism, sacrifice, leadership, the restoration of patriotism, and the establishment of the foundation of our democracy” Dr Boakye said.

“In our circumstances today, the only factor that can enkindle our passion to contribute magnanimously to the development and progress of our nation is our patriotic values. When we lack this quality, we throw our own destiny into chaos, dishonesty, apathy, and dismay, turning back our clock of development.

“Our founders Day celebration comes with a clarion call to ask ourselves some vital questions regarding our country Ghana. As a people what are our aspirations, what do we lack as a nation, what is our vision for Mother Ghana. May the resilience of our past leaders continue to enkindle and awaken the civil consciousness, the desire for identity, freedom, unity, self-determination, and the restoration of the spirit of patriotism” he further stated.

“Our Self-determination and our patriotism are integral to the realization of our freedoms. “It is only through the realization of this very basic right of people to determine, with no compulsion or coercion, holding onto their own future, political status and independence that we can begin to address other important factors such as dignity, justice, progress and equity,” Dr Lawrence Boakye added.

Danquah Institute

 The Danquah Institute regards itself as guardians and ambassadors of the political and economic thought known as liberalism and how its promotion must benefit Africa and the African as members of the greater global community.

Dr Antoinette Tsiboe-Darko, the Executive Director of DI, reviewing a document with Dr Lawrence Boakye

DI seeks through its work to advance Danquah’s beliefs in individual freedom, rule of law, multiparty democracy, liberal economics and equality of opportunity and ensure they inform the actions of the democratically elected Government of Ghana and governments of other African states.

Through the examination, evaluation, publication and promotion of alternative and novel policy approaches based on these principles, together with a critical analysis of existing political prescriptions, DI aims to improve the quality of the decision-making process and the efficaciousness of social, political and economic policies in Ghana and other African states.

The Institute’s intention is to make a courageous, imaginative, constructive and coordinated contribution to nation-building and Africa’s development in general, with the purpose of enhancing the life of every individual citizen and, through this, the development of the Ghanaian, Ghana, the African and Africa.

DI actively seek to promote its ideas, principles, values and ideals within Ghana and the African continent. In subscribing diligently, explicitly and conscientiously to those values of democracy, rule of law, human rights, free movements of people, ideas, cultures, knowledge, technology, goods and services, the institute can strengthen the building up of the power of Africa as an economic and peaceful, self-disciplined and cooperative community of opportunities and individual liberties, a force of reason and initiative to be reckoned with and emulated in the global arena.

The institute aims to achieve this through public advocacy of the ideas and philosophy of J B Danquah, particularly among Ghana’s youth, as well as research into governance, the economy and the media.

It also undertakes publication of research papers, seminar proceedings and a periodic journal, the DI Quarterly, organises events to provide a forum to debate and evaluate policy prescriptions, and networks with like-minded think tanks and groups across the African continent.

DI has been a rich breeding ground for leaders of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), including its pioneers such as Nana Bediatuo Asante, Saratu Atta, Samuel Abu Jinapor, Dr Mustapha Hamid, Sophia Kokor, Eugene Arhin, Herbert Krapa, Dr Stephen Amoah, Annor Dompreh, and Ambassador Mike Oquaye Jr and many more.

Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra

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