Ghana celebrates her 50th anniversary amid both joy and controversy. At least 24 heads of state will be attending. There has been much criticism of the amount of money that is being spent on the celebration, when public sector workers have not been paid and education and health care badly need investment. Deforestation has caused environmental problems, including causing more drought. There is a list of ways the present government has sold out Ghana to foreign interests for the sake of a big party.

The former President Rawlings sent his congratulations to the Ghanaian people, but declined to attend. He explains his reasons in a press release here.

The present President Kufuor, is a member of the party who worked against independence, saying Ghana wasn’t ready, and was the person who refused to let Nkrumah return to Ghana when Nkrumah was dying of cancer.

Nevertheless, Ghana’s independence is a wonderful thing, and worthy of celebration by everyone who cares for Ghana and for Africa. Ghana has led the way in self government. And if she can invest in herself, and preserve her democracy, she can continue to lead the way. Martin Luther King was in Ghana on March 6, 1957, and preached a sermon one month later on what he saw and felt, that still resonates.

All of us who love Ghana, her people and her promise, should put our hands together, raise our glasses, and send all our best wishes and our love to Ghana on her 50th anniversary.