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CAN WE HAVE A NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MODERN GHANA HISTORY? A 12 year old pleads.

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 11, 2012

A LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT:

My name is Prince Ben Ofosu –Appiah. I am 12 years of age and a sixth grader at the Morning Glory Montessori Child Development Center, Teshie Nungua.  I have a question that I would like to ask; WHY ARE THERE NO MUSEUMS IN GHANA?

When I was about 4 years old, my parents and I visited the United States. We went to Maryland, Virginia, Boston Massachusetts, New York and Washington DC area. We visited many national monuments, galleries, museums,  etc  and learned a lot about American history. Back home in Ghana, I realized we don’t have many national monuments, and apart from the Kwame Nkrumah mausoleum where I had the privilege of visiting in a school excursion recently, there are no national museums of note in the country. The National Cultural Center in Kumasi and the Arts Center in Accra are the only exceptions.  Why can’t we have a National Musuem of Modern History of Ghana? My father said “a country that does not preserve its past has no future”.

Where is the pen that Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah used to sign the declaration of independence? Where is the original document of Ghana’s declaration of independence and a change of name from The Gold Coast to Ghana? I recently watched the film of Nkrumah’s declaration of independence on Youtube and after that I wanted to see in person the smock Nkrumah wore and the white handkerchief he waved and I asked my father where that is preserved.  I couldn’t find them in the Kwame Nkrumah mausoleum, so where are they? Where is the open car Nkrumah rode in after declaring Ghana our beloved country is free forever? If we can’t preserve these very important aspects of our modern history for our children and for future generations then as my father says we may have no future.

My family and I drove around Kotoka International Airport last week after a school event and I saw a Ghana Airways DC 10 aircraft sitting in a bushy part of the airport covered with dust, dirt and bush. Since my Mum used to work for Ghana Airways I asked why is the airplane abandoned at the mercy of the weather? I know that Ghana has no national airline anymore but why can’t we put this airplane in a museum and kids can visit there as part of their school excursion so that they will know that once upon a time Ghana had a national airline but we ran it down just like we did to the Black Star Line and many other national assets. I believe there’s educational value in preserving this aircraft in a museum than to let it rot away in the sun and in the bush. When we visited the Washington DC area, one place I loved most was the Smithsonian Institute and all the aeronautical exhibits I saw there.

Another thing my father said is that we are very bad at keeping records as a nation. I study ICT in school and I know it is more efficient and easier to keep records in digital form rather than in paper form. In the era of ICT, why do we still keep records in files and paper form? Many countries have gone digital long time and all records are kept in a data base which is well protected and easily accessible.  Every now and then I see in the news fire has gutted this office or that office and has destroyed all records. A case in point is the fire that destroyed the Lands Commission Office in Accra destroying records. These records can be protected and preserved if they are kept in a central data base that links all government departments and Ministries.

When I was 6 years old I spent one year in Japan because my father is resided there. Japan is a child friendly country. In my school, Montessori Child Development Center( MCDC), our motto/our slogan is “MCDC : where children matter’.  In Japan there are many parks everywhere for children to play equipped with the facilities for children and their parents to have a fun and relaxing time. Children’s parks with amusement park facilities, parks for picnics, parks for all kinds of sporting activities etc. When I returned to Ghana a year later, I remembered realizing for the first time there are no parks in Ghana and asking my parents why. If a tiny and overcrowded country like Japan can set aside space to develop parks why can’t we do the same in Ghana where land isn’t a big problem? DO CHILDREN REALLY MATTER IN GHANA, Mr. President? Can we build Ghana into a country where children matter?  I think my father will say a country that does not invest in its children has no future, and I agree.

Mr. President, I would like to appeal to you to build a NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MODERN GHANA HISTORY and also BUILD MORE CHILDREN’s PARKS across the country to promote the healthy well being and development of children; places where children can run around and play freely since childhood obesity is increasingly becoming a big problem in our society too.

I would be honoured to read from you, sir.

Thank you very much.

Sincerely yours,

Prince Ben Ofosu-Appiah (12 years)

Morning Glory Montessori Child Development Center, Primary Department, Grade 6A, Teshie Nungua., Accra

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