Taken from the Economist -
'LAST year oil was found off the coast of Ghana. There was rejoicing, of course. But the mood was tempered by the knowledge of how oil has polluted the nearby Niger Delta and corrupted Nigeria. More than anything, Ghanaians were seized by a determination to avoid the “resource curse” of Nigeria.
Now, with a general election on December 7th, it is the curse of the ballot box that Ghanaians want to avoid. After electoral disasters in Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe in the past 18 months, everyone is hoping, and many are praying, that Ghana will avoid the bloodshed, chicanery and political warring of its African peers......
Ever since Ghana became the first sub-Saharan country to win independence (from Britain) in 1957, Ghanaians have been conscious of being in the vanguard of African history. Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development says it is still the case. “There is a popular desire to maintain a record of not behaving like others on the continent in these elections. It is a point of pride.”
That Ghanaians are peace loving people is without a doubt. This attitude has saved us time and again from needless violence and bloodshed witnessed in other african nations. I pray peace continues even when the stakes are high, with the discovery of oil in the region. Human nature is the same everywhere and when enough pressure is applied, it can crack. As we come to another landmark in this nation's history, may Ghana truly stand out as a beacon of hope and light. The 1st African Nation to gain independence from colonial rule, the 1st african nation to throw wide it's doors to African Americans and descendants of Africans everywhere, Ghana is setting a good example. I hope the country continues to enjoy peace and stability. Most of my family live in Ghana, and in the future, I intend to live, at least, part of the year there.