The book: Campaign to Promote Civic Education in Ghana
Number of Pages: 108
Reviewed by: Oral Ofori
There is this common belief that people in Africa are so preoccupied with focusing on making it through their day by thinking on that which is most important as far as fending for themselves and family is concerned. As a result they barely make time for leisurely activities that are mentally stimulating. One example of such mentally stimulating activity is reading, so it therefore, didn’t surprise me much when Ken Atta-Boakye told me that he has been trying to get his book reviewed but was facing difficulties in achieving that simple purpose.
I offered to give the book a look and offer my take on it because the title was a major draw to my curious mind. “Campaign to Promote Civic Education in Ghana” seemed a somewhat long name for a book, but upon reading it, I realized that not only was this a good read, but it also had a name befitting of its contents. I know there is that popular belief that the best way to hide knowledge from a non-prying mind is to write about it in a book, this is because such minds are most likely not to turn the pages of that book. However, this is one book that I will urge one and all to make it a point to read carefully as its contents speak directly to the Ghanaian and above all, the African mind.
Campaign to Promote Civic Education in Ghana has been written in an unambiguous and concise manner, portraying frankness and honesty in a rather bold stance. It is interesting, innovative, educative, and has come out at the most opportune time. Just half way through reading this book, it totally dawned on me that it is a boon to Ghanaians to rediscover themselves as to whether or not the image about Ghana both within and without the nation’s boarders is correct. This is because the book, which has 108 pages and divided into 7 chapters attempts to raise the level of awareness about problems militating against the rapid development of Ghana as a nation.
Identifying what ails the nation of Ghana which has retarded the country’s rapid development is not only what Atta-Boakye’s book does, it also goes further to provide practical solutions to these problems, how to eradicate them by presenting an entirely realistic remedy. The book has indeed arrived at an opportune time because as many Ghanaians and Africans are grappling with the negativity that corruption and bad leadership has brought to their countries, reading this book not only presents likable solutions but also opens a window of hope for all who read it.
Recent occurrences in Ghana have left the average citizen losing faith in government and its ability to not only lead but to present a future of hope to Ghanaians all over the globe starting with the youth in the country. This according to Atta-Boakye is devastating and demoralizing, which is why the book implores all concerned Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians alike to put on their thinking caps and rally around to find a solution to this canker.
One thing I personally loved about the book was the fact that it did not downplay the positive gains chalked by Ghana and Ghanaians alike in the eyes of the world today. We as a nation have come to occupy a pivotal place in the continent of Africa by being recognized as a doyen of democracy. Ghana today is one of the most friendliest and peaceful nations in the entire world owing to the high level of tolerance amongst its people. This tolerance however must not be taken for granted according to Atta-Boakye’s book. It is to open the eyes of the Ghanaian to the reality of the great opportunity to become what the founding fathers of the nation envisioned the country to be that the book seeks to attain.
This great piece of literary beauty will not live to see the light of day if people do not pick a copy to read… I can not only assure that its an intellectually stimulating read, but also one that makes you want to put more efforts towards helping a nation who’s development will serve as a catalyst to the development and improvement of the standards of lives across the whole continent of Africa.
A three-pronged positive strategy has been designed in the book by Ken to address some of the situations that are slowing the rate of infrastructural and mental development in Ghana and possible solutions to them:
• Interaction with diaspora Ghanaians to get their input in the reconstruction of Ghana owing to the fact that they have the resources and the willingness to help.
• Dialogue with the Ghanaian leadership to bring them home to the reality of the fact that they’re failing to live up to the expectations of the very people to whom they swore an oath to protect and to serve.
• Introducing Civic Clubs in the country’s educational system starting right from the elementary levels and also encouraging the formation of civic clubs at the community levels.
Read this book and you will find great insights on how the author; Ken Atta-Boakye feels on issues like Ghana’s Foreign Aid policy at page 30, the oil wealth which will benefit the country as a result of the off shore oil discovery in Ghana and the STX housing deal, all of which will be found on page 47.
One of my personal favorites is the author’s take on Ghana’s 1992 Constitutional Review Committee, (Page 55; 58). These are a few of the many interesting contents of the book and I will highly recommend it to tall well-meaning Ghanaians and lovers of Ghana and indeed Africa to make it a point to grab themselves a copy when it hits shelves near you. One can also simply contact the publisher for bulk purchases.
The book, which has led to the formation of an organization to look over the shoulders of the leaders of Ghana has not just succeeded in talking the talk but is now walking the talk. The organization which is named after the title of the book; Campaign to Promote Civic Education in Ghana (CPCE), is a non-partisan, non-profit, non-racial, and non-governmental one. All are encouraged to get their copies of this book to enrich themselves with the knowledge of its contents and share them with others.
The CPCE also welcomes ideas from people who share their dream of securing a better future for Ghana’s youth because maybe, just maybe, this will be the beginning of a new dawn for our beloved country. Do not hesitate to reach out to me for more information.