Policy think tank Danquah Institute (DI) has called for a unique fusion of democracy and religious influence to foster a more patriotic, self-sacrificing, and selfless Ghanaian society.
At a Founders’ Day Lecture at the Institute, dubbed “African Nationalism: A Road to Patriotism and the Struggle for Self-determination”, its Executive Director, Dr Antoinette Tsiboe-Darko, asserted that the time has come to elevate issues of governance, patriotism, peace, and conflict resolution to the pulpit, aligning them with the powerful moral compass of religious institutions.
The Executive Director believes that such an approach will help in harnessing the immense influence of religion, which is deeply rooted in African culture, to drive transformative change in Ghanaian society.
Urging religious leaders to discuss and promote national values, she expressed the hope that a reinvigorated sense of unity, purpose, and collective responsibility can be instilled within the populace.
She noted that the pulpit, as a platform of moral influence, can amplify the values that underpin good governance, social harmony, and sustainable development. She emphasised that just as African forebears achieved great strides in their time, the present generation has a responsibility to advance the cause of the nation through shared ideals and actions.
Agreeing with the comments, Dr Lawrence Boakye, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana, who was the speaker for the lecture, stressed that the principles of unity, patriotism, youth activism, self-reliance, pan-Africanism, and mental re-orientation advocated by forebearers of the country should serve as guiding principles to create a better Ghana for all and future generations.
According to Dr. Boakye, in today’s circumstances, the only factor that can ignite citizens’ passion to generously contribute to the development and progress of the nation is patriotic values.
He indicated that the lack of this quality will result in throwing “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?” he asked.
He further reminded the public of the plethora of factors that had mediated the struggle for independence. He mentioned colonial education, the churches, ideas and expressions of support from individuals of African ancestry through the Pan-African movement, among others.
Dr Boakye recounted that the Christian church and colonial education became pivotal tools in the “Europeans’ civilizing missions” in Africa, and also inadvertently became the tools that the African would use in fighting for freedom.
He added that although Ghana has made some strides since the attainment of independence, it must not be complacent, urging all stakeholders to drive good governance processes and ensure the improvement of human development index for the benefit of all.