I have been a very strong and vocal advocate for Ghana. I have always believed that Ghana is one of the few African countries getting it right, and very soon she(Ghana) would be a success story and an example for other African countries to follow.
As to what informed my views, I am not exactly sure. Maybe it was the recent developmental figures I see being quoted about Ghana which seems to imply that the country is doing well socio-economically. Or maybe it was the fact that Africa is now known to the rest of the world as the last developmental frontier; with unlimited opportunities for all who care to grab. Could it be the fact that I see a lot of young people in Ghana living the Ghanaian dream on social media?- Posing with the latest phones, driving the latest cars, always talking about buying the latest designer clothing, etc
Whatever my reason was for believing strongly in Ghana, it became very weak and questionable as soon as my plane landed at the Kotoka International Airport. Maybe even before landing. As the plane descended, I looked down through the window and I saw a lot of feeder roads, or red roads, as the white guy beside me described it. Why are the roads looking red-like? He asked. All I could say was that it was still being constructed, but deep down I knew the roads were going to remain in that state for a long time.
Now as we touched down, I looked at our only International Airport and I felt a sharp wave of disappointment. Having spent some time at the Dubai International airport, I couldn’t help but compare.
Our airport looked like a tiny mud house as compared to that of Dubai. When I left Ghana sometime back, I really didn’t realise how archaic our airport was. I don’t know why we cannot build a canopied walk to connect the boarding gates to the plane and t I can’t understand why the air-condition in the buses that convey people never seem to work. As soon as I got out of the plane, I was sharply reminded that I was in a not so functional society.
The inside of the airport felt like a scene in a movie made in 1985. We were welcomed with what looked like an attempt at Christmas decorations. A green and red satin material was draped over a series of arches, which already made the small arrival area very crowded.
If anyone who works at the airport is reading it, please consider this a very honest feedback and remove those decorations. As I was in the queue to pass through immigration, a certain lady in official uniform came to collect the documents of a guy behind me, so she could process his, because apparently, the guy had some ‘connections’. How are we going to grow as a society if we are not going to treat each and everyone fairly and equally? Even with something as simple as standing in a queue, people want to cut corners because they have some ‘connections’ out there.
Even though the baggage collection area was small and unorganised; one thing I would like to commend the airport administration for is the abundant availability of free luggage trolleys. I also realised that there were too many officials standing and chatting amongst themselves at the airport.
Seeing as we like to attract other nationals for tourism or investment purposes, I cannot overemphasize the need to have a state of the art well functioning airport.