Last week the President launched the Youth Enterprise Support (YES) initiative in Accra. This is coming as an addition to numerous policies and programs that have been introduced in the past few years to cure the unemployment among the youth in the country.
Am not here to delve into the merits of this initiative or other previous government initiatives, but a little reflection on the rationale behind these initiatives begs the question of whether or not we have discerning leaders in the country.
We have become accustomed to cleaning up wounds instead of preventing them. Did our leaders have to wait until unemployment could not be ignored anymore. They claim this is an incentive to egg on entrepreneurship in the country, but couldn’t they have inculcated it into our school system to equip us with the skills to pursue entrepreneurship after school.
Sadly enough, this failure to prevent looming difficulties is not limited to just the unemployment issue. Until cholera struck, we did not take steps to have people in place to effectively check and grade the hygiene of commercial food producers and sellers. It is common place to find many a Ghanaian food seller, going about their business right in front of a stinking gutter and yet people swam in and out of the place to buy waakye or plantain. Yet we complain that the death toll on cholera cases here in Accra is on the increase.
Recently I listened to President Obama assure the people of America that attendees of the summit of African countries will receive health screenings for the deadly Ebola virus. “With respect to the summit itself, we’re talking the appropriate precautions,” Obama said during an afternoon news conference at the White House while discussing the Ebola outbreak in Africa. Obama said screenings will be done for “folks who are coming from these countries that have even a marginal risk or an infinitesimal risk of having been exposed in some fashion.” Such screenings, he said, will be done as attendees leave their countries. This kind of swiftness to employ preventive measures is missing from the soles of the feet to the top of a Ghanaian’s head.
Just think about it, did we have to wait for cholera before we stepped up our game with regard to personal and environmental hygiene.
Surprisingly enough, most NGO’s that are set up in the northern Region with the good intention to promote development often become relief agencies consigned to cleaning up the wounds of the people instead on focusing on creating positive and efficient programs that can cause an archetype shift in the perceptions of the people and avert any form of conflict.
I don’t intend to spend much time fussing about something I am guilty of. Did I have to wait until issues such as these came up before truly appreciating the truth in the saying of Benjamin Franklin or should I hide behind the thought that you can truly never prepare for something until you know what is at stake? Hmmmm
It’s time for us to begin taking concrete steps to make sure we don’t leave the next generation with a plague of challenges in all areas of life. Self gratification only satisfies on a temporal basis so the need to prepare for the future has never been more important.
Most people go through life with the mindset that everything is okay so long as it won’t hurt them today; someone else can pay for the damages tomorrow. There wouldn’t be any regret if we consciously made decisions with prevention in mind. To this end, I would advise you remember to do little things that can prevent the big problems tomorrow.
Let me leave you with this thought; safety belts save nearly 14,600 lives each year when people remember to wear them.
Prevention saves the cost of cure.