Kofi Abrefa Busia (1913-1978), was born a member of the royal house of Wenchi, Ghana. He was a political leader and sociologist. A scholar by inclination he symbolized the dilemma of the intellectual in politics—the man of thought forced by events to become the man of action. Educated at church missions and at Mfantsipim School, he became a teacher at Achimota College, one of Ghana's leading secondary schools. After three years he attained his goal of a scholarship to Oxford in 1939 and earned his BA Honours in Politics, Philosophy and Economics in 1941, then subsequently his Doctorate (DPhil (Oxon)) in Social Anthropology in 1947. He returned to Oxford to teach as a Fellow of St. Antony’s College during political exile in the 1960s.
Politically, Busia was the leader of the opposition to Kwame Nkrumah from 1956–1959; and he served as Prime Minister of the Second Republic from 1969-1972 after returning in February 1966, following the overthrow of Nkrumah and he steered careful negotiations with the military council for an orderly return to civilian role.
Busia combined scholarship, politics and Christian faith in unique ways at a time when the newly independent Ghana was struggling to define its national identity. He was the first African Professor and Head of Department (of Sociology) of the newly established University at Legon, but during his exile he taught at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, and El Colegio de Mexico, in Mexico City, as well as Oxford University.
His scholarly contribution has proved invaluable for the African seeking his identity after centuries of colonial rule. One of Busia's major studies, The Position of the Chief in the Modern Political System of the Ashanti (1951), was ground-breaking and is a revered work of academic reference to this day
Three later works, The Challenge of Africa (1962), A Purposeful Education for Africa (1964) and África in Search of Democracy (1967) all contemplate Africa undergoing rapid social transformation. Together they act as testimonials to the importance of, and difficulty in, implementing democratic traditions. Busia considered the importance of traditional African practices and ideologies, the institutions they supported and the influence of native systems of thought on the modern national state. He believed their contribution added to a healthy democratic environment.
Beyond being a man for his people, he was a lay preacher, a loving father and an inspirational father-figure to a nation. No doubt ahead of his time, the principles he taught continue to live on in African studies and Ghanaian politics, his name has become short hand for the establishment of free Democratic traditions in Ghana today.
Over 300,000 Ghanaians are at risk of going blind, about 200,000 individuals have gone totally blind with cataract being the leading cause. The prevalence rate of blindness in the country is at 7.4 per thousand, representing 207,200 people living with total blindness. For many patients, financial barriers are the most commonly cited reasons patients do not follow through with ophthalmic surgery. Not only is the $50 surgery beyond many patients’ budgets, but costs such as accommodation for accompanying family members, coupled with lost work and other such factors, makes treatment financially prohibitive. Therefore although the major causes of visual impairment and blindness are largely preventable or treatable (especially with early eye care service interventions) many go blind through lack of funds.
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With blessings and gratitude,
from the Speak The Word Audio Family