Sunday, 21 July

Travel but don’t abandon Ghana – Darmoe to youth

Dr Joseph Darmoe at the George Ayittey Memorial Awards 2023

The Director of Programmes, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, has stated he is in favour of people, especially the youth, relocating abroad.

His only caveat was that these travellers forever keep their love for their country ablaze and contribute to help build it.

Dr Joseph Darmoe was addressing the audience at the maiden George Ayittey Memorial Awards (GAMA) ceremony, held on Saturday, November 25, 2023, at Airport View Hotel, Accra.

Organised by ACEYE, the 2023 GAMA had IMANI Centre for Policy and Education as a partner, and was sponsored by Atlas Network.

Dr Darmoe said he is “okay” with people leaving the country in search of so called greener pastures. He only admonished that folks migrating “do not leave Ghana out of your heart”.

While “people think there is no hope in this country” and so despair, Dr Darmoe encouraged his audience, predominantly youth, “there is hope in yourself”.

As a keynote speaker, he recalled his travel as a young man to the United States of America.

Upon reaching the airport, he said an immigration officer strongly impressed on him to utilise fully the opportunity given him, to turn his life around and seize the future.

At school, he also noted his lecturer, a Ghanaian, lamented how he felt his generation had failed the West African country, giving the young Darmoe the impression he had a charge to do better.

He asserted also that Africa at large, and Ghana specifically, is not in economic ruin “because politicians are bad, but it’s because we are bad.” With that, he urged his audience to rise up and change the status quo.

Dr J. Darmoe, an experienced manager and lecturer who has worked in both industry and academia, studied at Oklahoma State University between 2001 and 2003, and the University of Texas at Dallas between 2006 and 2010. 

At GAMA 2023, he lauded the late renowned economist and author Prof George Ayittey for his passion for Africa and its youth. 

Prof Ayittey delineated between two people on the African continent and its diaspora: Hippos and Cheetahs.

In a 2010 CNN Special, he explained: "The Cheetah Generation refers to the new and angry generation of young African graduates and professionals... They are dynamic, intellectually agile, and pragmatic. They may be the "restless generation" but they are Africa's new hope. The Cheetahs do not look for excuses for government failure by wailing over the legacies of the slave trade, Western colonialism, imperialism, the World Bank or an unjust international economic system.

"The outlook and perspectives of the Cheetahs are refreshingly different from those of many African leaders, intellectuals, or elites, whose mental faculties are so foggy and their reasoning or logic so befuddled that they cannot distinguish between right and wrong. They blame everybody else for Africa's problems except themselves.

"This is the "Hippo Generation," intellectually astigmatic and stuck in their muddy colonialist pedagogical patch. They can see with eagle-eyed clarity the injustices perpetrated by whites against blacks, but they are hopelessly blind to the more heinous injustices they perpetrate against their own black people."

Meanwhile, in June 2022, the BBC pointed to a new survey of more than 4,500 young people in Africa, aged 18-24, which had found that 52% of them are likely to consider emigrating in the next few years, citing economic hardship and education opportunities as the top reasons.

Source: Benjamin