AOD May Decimate the Oak Population

Woodland Heritage, a coalition of 10 conservation and business groups, are seeking £10 million over the next five years to find a cure for Acute Oak Decline (AOD), a disease with the potential to change the British landscape even more than Dutch elm disease managed 30-years ago. Both of Britain’s native oak species, pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) and sessile oak (Q. petraea) are affected.

AOD is thought to be caused by a previously unknown bacteria that causes trees to “bleed” black fluid, killing them within five years.

At the moment the disease is spreading to North Wales and is also threatening oaks in the West of England, and is even beginning to attack ancient oaks, some of which have lived for more than 400-years.

AOD is not the only disease that British oaks need help in fighting. Another disease, Sudden Oak Death (SOD), caused by a relative of potato blight, has already been recorded at dozens of locations across the UK and, despite its name, affects more than 100 species of plants and trees. SOD is also killing oak and other species of tree and has had devastating effects on the oak populations in California and Oregon.

But early analysis suggests AOD is far more dangerous, causing multiple oozing lesions in the bark of a tree, before gradually destroying leaf growth and leading to death. It attacks oaks which have lived for 50-years or more.

Scientists at Forest Research, the research arm of the Forestry Commission, the government department responsible for the protection and expansion of Britain’s forests and woodlands, have identified three types of bacteria believed to be the cause of the infection, but the precise mechanism of the disease is not understood, hampering attempts to control its spread.

Oaks are by far the most common deciduous trees in England, accounting for 16 per cent of all woodland – double that of the next most common species, beeches and sycamores.

However, there is no need to panic and put off ideas about building a conservatory or orangery for your home in oak. Many conservatory builders in the UK source their oak from sustainable sources in Eastern Europe, so you have the reassurance that you will not be removing oaks from the UK landscape to have a conservatory built.

How Important is Iran to the West and Why Iranians Support the Islamic Republic?

Iran, meaning the land of Arians, is the 18th largest country in the world, with nearly 80 million population, with impressive advancements in science and technology since the 1979 Revolution and establishment of the Islamic Republic. It ranks 8th in arms production in the world, with 11 million trained paramilitary on reserve. It is a country of special geostrategic significance due to its central location in the Middle East and between Europe and Asia. Iran is bordered on the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, on the west by Iraq, northwest by Turkey, on the north by Russia and Kazakhstan, Iran also holds an important position in international energy security and world economy because of its huge reserves of oil and natural gas. Thus, it is utmost important particularly to governments in Europe and United States to understand the Iranian mind and system of government if they desire to have good relations with it.

One of the essential problems toward understanding the nature of the Revolutionary Islamic Republic of Iran is the lack of knowledge of the concept “Islamic Republic.” The result has been a serious misunderstanding of governing principles, political structure, decision making process, the system of operation, and the bases for foreign relations. For proper understanding of this concept, one has to pay attention first to the structure of Islamic religion and then within this context consider the meaning of the republic and ensuing form of government.

Islamic Society

The Islamic religion, unlike Christianity, is devoid of hierarchical structure. For example, under the catholic sect of Christianity, there is a strict hierarchical structure. It starts at its summit with the Pope and goes downward to cardinals, archbishops, bishops and ends with the parish priests. The total operation of the system is governed quite strictly from the top. The higher we go within the administrative structure of Christianity, the offices become more luxurious and the officeholder’s outfits more expensive, more symbolic, more impressive, vary for different occasions, and the number of servants increases. Everything excels to its summit when it reach the Vatican and the highest officeholder, the Pope.

There is no such religious hierarchy in Islam. Islam is an individualized socialistic oriented religion. Everyone is the master of his own faith and individually follows the teachings of Islam to the degree that he desires. Millions of Iranians, as in the rest of the Muslim world, do not pray five times a day, do not fast, don’t believe in full covering of body for women, and do not attend the Friday sermon. Yet, they confidently consider themselves Muslim. Often, it is forgotten that to be a Muslim, you need only to believe in Allah (God) and Mohammed as his prophet. What extras you believe and follow is totally up to you and between you and your creator. In studying the Islamic Principles and Laws developed at the time of Prophet Mohammad and later, it is obvious that many may have problems in proper understanding of them and need to refer to a man of knowledge in Islam to solve them. These are a few who have devoted many years of their life and their time in studying Islam and its corresponding societal norms,

Each large community, depending on its size, has one or more of these men of knowledge. They are classified based on the level of their knowledge, extensiveness of their studies, and scholarly contributions At the lowest official level of knowledge are those known as “mullah” followed by “hojjatol-Islam” and the “ayatollah” which is the highest scholarly degree bestowed upon an expert on Islamic religion, its principles, laws, history and tradition. To reach this title requires many years of hard studies, several levels of examinations, scholarly writings and a final oral examination before a panel of ayatollahs who are recognized as proven experts. The title of ayatollah in Islamic world is comparable to a Ph.D. degree in the other institutions of higher education, but much more difficult to attain. The student is well into his 40s and 50s when he finally becomes qualified for the title.

Among some 80 millions Iranians, the number of ayatollahs may be around a hundred.

They are residents in large communities except the City of Gum which is the center of Islamic education and many resident Ayatollahs are full time teachers like professors at the universities. Each ayatollah is free to choose his place of residence. Individuals in their area of residence are free to refer to one of them if they encounter certain religious problems, But the majority of Iranians never refer to an ayatollah or follow them. This is a good evidence of the individual nature of the Islamic religion. Islam is the religion that each individual believe in it on his own and not what the ayatollahs prescribe. Millions of Iranians do not follow the principle of official daily prayer or fasting in the month of Ramadan yet they consider themselves a devote Muslim. Mullahs and other lesser scholars select one or more ayatollah to refer to them in resolving their religious questions. They are free in their choice and can change them at will or may refer to more than one.

Ayatollahs pursue, usually, a modest way of life and easily accessible. In general, they are supported by religious donations or by income from properties donated to the local mosques. They are totally independent from one another though some may be considered by others as more knowledgeable. Scholarly reputation of some may extend far beyond their area of residence even into other countries. These are very few and are called grand ayatollah, such as Grand Ayatollah Sistani in Iraq and Shariatmadari and Montezeri in Iran.

Now, if we transfer this social and religious structure to a republican political system, we get a particular and unique form of government which is socialistic and democratic in its own merit. This fundamental democratic nature of the Iranian Islamic society is the main reason that Ayatollah Khomeini when drafting the new Iranian constitution created a supreme leader with absolute political power controlling all powers of the government including the military and judicial. At the political level we have the system ruled by so-called experts in Islamic religion who are loyal to the supreme leader who also sustain their previous modest way of life while holding high political positions.

The weekly Friday prayer all over the nation is one traditional way of Islamic government keeping in contact with the people. In Tehran, for example, the Friday prayer is held at the University of Tehran grounds where several hundred thousands of people participate and nearly all important government officials, top officials in particular, are present. A top leader, designated by the Supreme Leader, leads the prayer. Historically speaking, Friday prayer has been the foundation of the Islamic governmental structure. It was one of the early steps in the formation of the Islamic state, somehow similar to town meetings in the United States.

It consist of two sermons which must be delivered, The first is religious, glorifying and praising the Lord Allah; the second is political, presenting social, economic and political issues affecting people and daily life. Thus, at least once a week, people have direct contact with their leaders and are made aware of governmental policies and have opportunity to question and communicate with the leadership.

Excluding the office the Supreme Leader, Iran has already developed a two-party system generally known as Moderates and Radicals. Though they are not called political parties, both groups are well organized and quite effective in the electoral process. Iran has a parliamentary legislative body with a total of 290 seats. A positive aspect of this democratic process is that, unlike the U.S. Congress where incumbents have a good chance of getting reelected, in Iran, only around a half of the incumbents running for office are reelected. Democratic process is well alive in the Iranian parliament. Debates are quite open and often very lively. It is not infrequent for some members of one group to vote with another on certain issues of concern. This tendency has eliminated a single majority rule such as England. There have been times that only one-third of the bills proposed by the government has passed through the Majlis (parliament). It has also rejected a higher percentage of nominees for public positions than the United States Senate. These are just some aspects of democracy under the Islamic Republic.

The Concept of Government and the Extent of Limitations on Its Powers

What separates the radicals from the moderates is a deeply routed dispute concerning the role of government in the Islamic society. According to Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, the government is an institution ordained by the Almighty and founded with absolute authority entrusted to the Prophet. It is an entity supplanting secondary statutes of the canonical law in Islam. “The government is a primary rule in Islam taking precedence over praying, fasting, and performing the hajj pilgrimage.” “However, it was wrong to assume that nobody should protest whatever we say or do. Instead, criticism and finding faults are among divine gifts for the promotion of human beings,” But he stopped short of giving an exact definition to Islamic government stating that “under the present sensitive situation,” referring to Iran-Iraq war, “he preferred to remain silent.”

Since then, the role of government in Islamic society has been the subject of hot debates between the two major groups of moderates and radicals. Radicals favor a highly socialistic agenda of large-scale public investment projects, raising taxes, controlling prices, state control over commerce and reforming land ownership. Moderates are against all of these, some claiming that these measures go beyond the strict limits on government action prescribed in the Koran. Presently, the two major groups are far apart from the theoretical viewpoint, The only area of agreement relates to foreign affairs where government policies are supported by both groups. They agree that Islamic governments should be promoted throughout the Islamic world; that Iran should remain free from the foreign ideological influence. Some moderates and most of the radicals consider Western

Ideas as more seductive and therefore more dangerous than communist style ideology.

Social and Economic Developments and General Welfare Programs

Unlike the late Shah’s period, though Iran has many wealthy individuals, it does not have an economic elite controlling the wealth, resources, and production. So far, the Islamic Republic has been quite socialistic oriented, as the Islamic religion itself, and the major resources and means production have been under public control. Accordingly, the direction of the operation of the government has been not only for political democracy but also for socio-economic democracy and well being of the society as a whole. Despite some important negative factors such as eight-year Iran-Iraq war, oil price fluctuations, economic embargo against Iran and more importantly the population growth, the socio-economic and technological developments since the revolution have been quite impressive.

Transformation of educational and cultural systems can be considered as the most important developments. Textbooks as well as subjects at all educational levels are changed or modified. Outdated materials were substituted by new materials relating to the latest scientific achievements as well as the Islamic culture. All foreign professors were replaced with Iranians. The educational budget was substantially increased particularly, by fifteen fold, in the area of vocational education, Over 140 million elementary and secondary level textbooks are published and distributed each year. Presently, there are some fourteen million students at pre-university level educational institutions, and around 500 thousand at the universities and other institutions of higher education. There are an impressive number of foreign students at the Iranian universities. And all these, except for a few dollars registration fee, are free. Demand for qualified teachers to feed this enormous educational program has caused the creation of many teacher education centers all over the country

For the purpose of self sufficiency, immediately after the end of Iran-Iraq war, 1987-1988, seven new colleges of medicine, dentistry, and pharmacology were established and

the number has been increasing since. Because of demand created by the national health care program, the number of students at these institutions has increased by eight fold. According to projections, by 2020, the goal is to reach the level of one physician for every 300 of the total population.

In the areas of general welfare and social development programs, despite the economic consequences of eight years war, fluctuations in oil prices and economic sanctions, there has been impressive progress. Today, all aged Iranians who do not have adequate means of subsistence, are paid a monthly relief benefit. In addition to national health care program, a national insurance program covers all natural and otherwise damages sustained by every Iranian including unpredictable natural disasters affecting agricultural crops. It also covers those widows who are not able to sustain themselves. Family of prisoners are extensively protected by the law. Those who cannot earn enough to sustain themselves are provided with adequate means of subsistence during the whole prison term of the head of the family.

In the area of transportation, since the revolution, about 180,000 kilometers of roads have been constructed amounting to 128 percent of all reads constructed previous to the Revolution. Special attention has been given to rural areas by constructing over 55,000 kilometers of rural roads by the Reconstruction Crusade organizations.

A pisciculture project was carried out to meet protein requirements of the country and increase the peasants income. The project started in 1982 in the villages and cities with emphasis on fishery through creating artificial ponds. It produces tens of millions of fish each year.

In the area of communication, there has been substantial expansion of telephone network. From about 70 cities at the time of Revolution, it has expanded to all large and middle size cities and some 89 percent of villages. Presently, cell phones are also widely used.

In economic and technological areas, an enormous amount of money has been spent on a variety of development plans including irrigation systems, agricultural developments, and telecommunication services, and very impressive mining explorations. Besides gold and uranium substantial reserves of gas have been discovered. Expert estimates indicate that these resources of gas, if continued to be used at the present level, will last for 1,200 more years. The useful life of the Iranian oil reserves, under its present 2.5 million barrels per day quota of production, is estimated to extend for 60 years.

From a single product country, namely oil, Iran has been gradually transferred to an industrialized and agricultural nation. Since the Revolution, the value of the Iranian non-oil exports has been increasing by an average of 25 percent per year. Eight oil refineries, Arak Petrochemical Complex, Shahid Raja’I and Gharb power stations, Steel Complex of Mubarakeh, casting industry, which cast diesel engines and various parts of vehicles and machineries, are just among some major achievements.

The increase in agricultural products have been substantial particularly since 1986. Agricultural development have been of primary concern to the government. The Agricultural Bank was created for this purpose and has granted billions of dollars in affordable loans to farmers each year. The government has been keenly interested in mechanization of agriculture and the use of modern techniques, different sets of machinery, nearly all manufactured in Iran and sold to farmers with affordable terms. Improvement of seeds and the domestic development of more productive seeds relating to crops, such as wheat, rice, cotton, have caused remarkable increase in yield. Among some 300,000 university students with 68,000 at graduate level and 22,000 at the doctorate in applied sciences, a substantial number are in different fields of agriculture. Once graduated, they play a dominant role in the future of agriculture.

In the pharmaceutical field, for over 20 years Iran has been exporting some of the various medicines it produces. The Iran-Iraq war in addition to embargoes against the country, Pressured Iran, as a matter of survival, to find ways to produce needed supplies of goods and services domestically. This was a tremendous force behind most of developments in the county. From this view point, the war combined with economic embargo was some kind of blessing which caused the nation to advance in scientific, economic, technological and industrial areas. To attend to its tens of thousands wounded solders and civilians, by the end of war, 1987, Iran produced 86.6 percent of its pharmaceutical needs. Pharmaceutical factories were built one after another and continued after the war to the extent that today Iran is over 90 percent self-sufficient and produces substantially more to export.

The Iranian modern military industry is about 80 years old. However up to the Revolution, 1979, even one single type of ammunition was not produced in quantities to satisfy the demand under war conditions. Billions each year were spent in purchase of modern armament by the Shah. After the Revolution, all foreign advisors and experts connected with the military production were dismissed and substituted with Iranian experienced experts. Rapid developments caused about 80 percent of all kinds of ammunitions used in war be produced domestically. The total Iranian arm industry has developed many folds since then. Today, Iran produces its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, guided missiles, submarines, military ships and armored speed boats, helicopters, radar systems, grenades, various kinds of detonators, heavy bombs up to 4,400 pounds, rocket launchers, a variety of unmanned arial vehicles (drones), short and middle range surface to surface missiles, ballistic missiles, anti-tank TOW missiles, All kinds of weapons and ammunitions, and fighter-bomber planes.

There has been impressive advancement in the field of electronics. Simulators used with all kinds of weapons and various radar and communication devices, electronic devices deviating guided missiles, and missile guidance systems are just some examples. The Iran-Iraq war which obliged Iran to place primary emphasis on military industry, has raised Iran to rank eighth in the world among arm producing countries.

A few words need to be said about Iran’s military and military policies. During Iran-Iraq war the Iranian military strength at its peak was estimated at two million nearly all volunteers. Presently, there are two distinct military forces: the regular armed forces and the Revolutionary Guard forces. Together, they total 545,000 active troops and 350,000 reserve. In addition, Iran has well trained volunteer militia force called Basij including some 90,000 ful time, active duty uniformed members. About eleven million men and women are members of the Basij who could be called for service at any time if needed. It is estimated that Iran can mobilize up to one million men at the time of emergency which is considered among the kargest troop mobilization in the world. Iran has a sustained military policy historically proven. It has not invaded any country for over two centuries. Its military policy is based on deterrence. If it seeks atomic weapons, based on this long standing policy will also be for deterrence against countries which possess such weapons in the region. Considering strong nationalistic feelings of Iranians in the case of invasion by foreign forces, beside Basij members, millions of well trained Iranians will volunteer to join the military. This was evident during Iran-Iraq war where many volunteers were well over 60 years old. They volunteered to run over mine fields installed by Iraqi forces to clear the way for the advancing Iranian forces.

As all the facts presented here about the economic and social developments show the continuous efforts of the Islamic Republic from the date of its inception to advance the well being of its people and advancing the nation to stand on its own feet despite all adversities the government faced from the outside. It compels a great majority of Iranians to support the system. People are satisfied the way the system operates for their benefits and are not sure the situation will be the same if the system changes. There is also satisfaction with the term of Islamic Republic since some over 90 percent of Iranians are Muslim. However, this support of the system does not means that they are happy with the leadership. Definitely, the majority are not satisfied. Historically, for thousands of years Iranians have lived with democratic values in their local communities. They have never sustained a dictatorial regime in power for long, The story of late Shah is a good example, After American government overthrow the democratic regime of Prime Minister Dr. Musaddegh and brought the Shah back, it took near 18 years of opposition that finally people got rid of him. But they again were betrayed by Ayatollah Khomeini who methodically eliminated the democratic minded leaders, including the first elected president Bakhtiar, and formulized a theocratic dictatorship, through drafting a constitution and forcing its approval upon the people that Iran suffers again under such a regime. Majority of Iranians want to get rid of these dictatorial elements at the top. These include the abolition of the office the Supreme Leader who has absolute power over every action of government: political, economic or social; abolition of the Council of Guardians which has veto power over the acts of parliament and has to approve candidates running for political offices. But the problem is not so easy. The constitution must be modified. Iranians want to keep the Islamic Republic but don’t want to be ruled by the clergy with absolute dictatorial powers. If we know Iranians and history of Iran we can assume that they will succeed this time as well regardless how much time it may take.

One more point. No government Iranians detest more than the American while they like American people and many aspects of American life and ideals. Iran with its very important strategic position in the Middle East, 80 million educated and conscious population, scientifically, technologically and industrially far advanced than any other country in the region, except perhaps Israel, commanding position in the Persian Gulf, a source of aspiration for many Muslim nations in the region and beyond, and close association with Russia and China, is of vital importance to the Western powers all of which desire stability in the region and free flow of its petroleum and its derivatives to their countries. Iran is the most valuable geostrategic country in the region. Whoever becomes ally with Iran would have first call on its vast oil and gas resources and a strong voice in the future of the Middle East, The United States may in the long run establish normal relationship with Iran, but it will not be easy to turn it into a friendly relationship.

Anti-Americanism has become a part of national feeling which will live on for quite a long period of time. It goes back for four generations, starting with the overthrow of a democratic government which Iranians had achieved after a long struggle, bringing back Mohammad Reza Shah, helping him to impose a brutal dictatorship during which thousands last their lives, many under torture in prisons until they were able to organize a general strike in 1978 which forced him to flee. The new government was formed by democratic minded leaders from 1950s but soon taken over by the clergy under command of Ayatollah Khomeini which established also a harsh dictatorship. When it was invaded by Iraq in 1980, the United States sided with Iraq, by which 500,000 Iranians lost their lives and twice as much were wounded and maimed, and because of the U. S. economic embargo Iran could not get vital supplies needed for continuation of war. Iranians cannot easily forget such devastation of human life and destruction of their cities and thousands of civilian casualties all aided by the United States. They also consider their present dictatorial regime the consequence of the previous U. S. mistaken and selfish policies.

Finally, the Islamic Republic, through its eight years of single handed struggle against Iraq which was supported and aided by the United States, France, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, its persistent resistance, and ending the war without any territorial loss, emerged stronger than ever. This success gave the system prestige among Muslim people in many countries. Today, Iran’s resistance against the United States supported by other major nations, in exerting its right to do research and experimentation in the area of atomic energy is supported by Muslims in many countries though their government may not like it, and the Islamic Republic is admired because of its humanistic policies in regard to its people, such as health care, education, anti-poverty measures, and its enormous achievements in science, technology and industrialization.

Dr. Reza Rezazadeh

Two Pairs Of Eyes – West Africa – Perception Of The New Generation and History

West Africa was unexpectedly rapped, parcelled and alienated with the catchphrase” acquire what you can but do not fight about it” Colonization had begun. The British Gold Coast was established in 1821. Before then the West African youth was happy, the greatest gift in life.The British detained privately owned lands at the coastal regions as well as the Danish Gold Coast in 1850 and the Dutch Gold Coast and Fort Elmina in 1871. By 1901, the Gold Coast was a British colony. The Gold Coast (Ghana) assisted the British in battles in World War 1 and 11 in Cameroon and in the East Africa campaign respectively as well as granting Ghana independence.

Economic and social development

In the twentieth century the British administered the Gold Coast. They maintain that there was significant progress in social, economic, and educational development. Communications improved because the Sekondi-Tarkwa railroad, which began in 1898, was extended to connect important enterprise centre’s of the south, and by 1937, there were 9,700 kilometres of roads. They initiated Telecommunication and postal services. There was an economic system in which, the British controlled the country’s trade and industry. There were no industries which was a social system in which the developing nations needed in order to survive. There was no answerability.

The Gold Coast (Ghana) was not mechanized and had to depend on the industrialized countries. Britain and the Western European countries who took Ghana`s riches were regarded as built-up countries together with the recipient of the Triangular Trade, America. Ghana was branded as Non-built-up country. It was a term applied, to include Africa, Asia, and Latin America which were formerly colonized. American collaborators identified themselves the First World and the Eastern nations were acknowledged as the Second or the Third World. The Third World countries that produced oil were Gabon, Algeria, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Nigeria. No one characterized them as third worlds except Nigeria. These countries gained economically because they could raise oil prices whenever it suited them. They were aware of the fact that the industrialized world was dependent on oil. The Oil producing countries were the (OPEC) countries.

Definite countries produced essential raw materials such as Jamaica, Australia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. Chile, Peru, Zaire and Zambia who produced copper were not cost-effective as in oil, because, the industrial world depended on oil rather than copper. The countries that produced cocoa, coffee and other foods, such as Brazil, the Ivory Coast, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan had some economic gain whilst countries such as Ghana gained less from its export of cocoa. However, EEC assured reasonable income for countries with agricultural products but Ghana had not profited by it despite the British inheritance.

However, the general state and manner of survival in Ghana was not branded by adversity and distress. General public dealt effectively with their struggles and situations. They tried to make noteworthy commendable improvement and inspiring achievements. Agriculture, farming and crop growing were in improvement. Although they did not have advanced technical and scientific aid, because the British left the country to its own strategy there were cattle’s domestic animals, farm animals, hoes, cutlasses and machetes; their ability to function was tolerable. For the young generation it was clear that poverty was not merely a subject of riches but sustainable farming. Nobody was starving; they did not have access to communal services but they had shared meetings. They were not ill-treated; there was no aggression inside and outside their families. The young generation tried to surmount their problems through the guidance of their families, elders and chiefs and attuned to circumstances in response to their smallest requirements.

The young generations were physically powerful and their spirits could put up with the Europeans who entered their region in great numbers. There was no famine in the region and the citizens were, not deprived of their basic needs. The nation was not decomposed like poor figs.

It was basically in the light of the young generation who lived in it and knew what they needed to survive and, to develop a lifestyle familiar to them. There were overwhelming twists and turns in every human life irrespective of inheritance, something that was handed down, or remained from our ancestors in the course of human developments. The young generation in West Africa knew that it was all about ability and the moment of nature’s performance and timing. No human being could envisage or anticipate the activities and consequences of the works of natural world. Human beings are, expected to see what humans see. To expose something that is concealed or kept secret by nature can under no circumstances be seen.

The new generation in Ghana, more distant from what went before World Wars, colonialism and violence did, not take part in those severe miseries. Thus they did not realize the mental suffering, physical and psychosomatic pains in the lives of those men and women. In the minds of the Ghanaian young generations they feel, it is because of the dreadful insincerity of perceptiveness, dissimilarities and decisions, as a substitute of taking concern of our planet earth. The unset of Global warning was present but no one noticed because Europeans acquisition of countries.

The young generation identified the silhouetted of shortages that gloomed the people who lived in many provinces. Commanding rule was not the way out. At the back of the mind, row upon row the scars of colonialism was too deep. The young generation of West Africa today have learned how much colonialism had altered their everyday lives. It took bravery and submissiveness to live in the colonies. Their only salvation was for the older citizens to obey to the commands of the juvenile Europeans. Many citizens died out because slavery and fears were planted in their off springs. The new generation that followed them lingered behind in progress and development of former fundamental importance. The way colonialism had to handle Ghana was to acknowledge their common background, traditions, Diasporas, tribal ties, way of thinking, insights and understanding, perspective and source of revenue. Obviously, how could they have accomplished and bring about all these.

Cacao was introduced in 1878 an boozed the nation’s economy in the 1920s because when disease wiped out Brazil’s cocoa trees By the end of that decade, the nation could export more than half of the world’s cocoa supply. Export of timber and gold increased but in 1890s gold mining remained in the hands of Ashanti Goldfields Corporation because of better technology, and up-to-the-minute modes. The European mining companies and the colonial government accumulated much of the riches. Returns from export of natural resources financed domestic improvements in road and rail network and societal services. Educational structure, Achimota College which, was ahead of its time in West Africa resulted from these sells overseas revenues. The first University College of the Gold Coast was opened in 1948. Guggisberg was the governor. Technical school and teachers training college was established at Accra in 1909 and missionaries set up secondary schools.

Natural resources such as gold, metal ores, ivory, diamonds, timber, pepper, cocoa, bauxite, manganese, grain were shipped from the Gold Coast by the British. In addition the Akosombo Dam built in 1965 on the Volta River exports hydro electricity to the neighbouring countries. The British built a railway system and a complicated transport infrastructure in modern-day Ghana. We, the young generation never benefitted from these services except some tradition Hospitals and Schools as reward for the Ghanaian produce exported. It answers some of the questions why Africa with all its assets never developed and why there is poverty. However, by 1945, limitless demands for sovereignty by the Gold Coast population were beginning to arise, in the wake of the end of the Second World War and the beginnings of the decolonization progression across the world.

In modern Ghana,oilfield containing up to 3 billion barrels (480,000,000 m3) of light oil was discovered in 2007. Exploration is ongoing and the amount of oil continues to increase. Although, Unsuccessful economic policies of the earlier period led to inflationary arrears financing, downgrading of the Cedi, Ghana remains one of the more cost-effectively sound countries in Africa. In July, 2007, the Bank of Ghana introduced a currency re-denomination exercise, from the Cedi (c) to the new currency, the Ghana Cedi (GHc). The transfer rate is 1 Ghana Cedi for every 10,000 Cedis. In 2008 the currency was stable, Exchange rate of $USD=1.1

As the country developed, and succession of unfairness’ arose in the country, government power was transferred from the British to Ghanaians. It was through students who school worked in Britain that Ghanaian leaders gained the means and the desire for self governing.

EDUCATION IN ENGLAND: The University was, approved its first written announcement unfolding the privileges of the School in 1836. There were two institutions of the University, the University College of London and the King’s College. They were, founded in 1827 and 1829 respectively, the St. Bartholomew’s Medical School Hospital was part of Queen Mary and St. Thomas Medical School Hospital was part of the King’s College in London. London University operated as an examination body for the Colleges. After 1858, its degrees were available to the United Kingdom and the students studying by far-off or learning all over the whole wide world. It was an External bargain.

In the nineteenth century it was not only a body for examination but centralized Teaching University.It also kept an eye one educational excellence and course contends of the academies. In 1878, the University was first to declare women into its confines. From 1888 women began to be instructed at the university. The women who were accepted, and who went all the way through full courses in arts and science, received BA (Bachelor of Arts) and (Bachelor of Science) degrees, respectively. The university had more than 4000 students, which, was greater than Oxford and Cambridge Universities combined. Thus, it was the fifth largest university in the United Kingdom and in the world. Countless overseas students had occasion to be trained in politics and law, which benefited them to return to their individual countries with the knowledge they had receive to run their own. As to whether or not they, managed, reasonably and resourcefully were, based on each individual’s objectives in life. The University attracted worldwide attention in the British colonies. Britain made an effort to recommend hopefulness to people as well as deep human amnesty and deliberation of freedom from strife and continuing elimination of wishes aimed to hurt people through a new war. Britain thus, built up strong opinion for human right and fair management. Britain made Laws based on the ethics of fair dealing, sympathy for the viciously treated and the readiness and capability to put up with religious practices and racial broad-mindedness thus, England was a place of possible hope for all students all over the globe to obtain knowledge.

Schools and the colleges were designed for students who had to work in order to pay for their college tuition. Britain had put in order students from all over the world a wide range of learning opportunities to those over school age. There were courses conducted in the evenings only and courses conducted during daytime only or both day and evening and had been maintained ever since. There were many students who worked and paid for their own tuition when they attended those courses. Thus, educational opportunities were for everybody, part-time or fulltime.

Retrospectively, it was all in full swing when Portugal occupied Ceuta. Portuguese and Spanish navigators had explored the Americas and the African coasts, the Middle East, India and East Asia. Britain, France and the Netherlands, established their empires around the world and there were competitions amongst them. At the end of 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, colonization accelerated however, Portugal lost his colonies. England began to liberate its colonies, it was declaring Egypt and Iraq self-government in 1922 and 1932 respectively; they lost India, Ceylon, Burma, Malaysia and Singapore, and India in 1947, Ghana in 1954, Trans-Jordan and Palestine in 1946 and 1948 in that order. Italy departed from Libya in 1951. France lost Syria and Lebanon in 1946, Indochina (Vietnam) in 1954 as well as Laos and Cambodia. France also lost Tunisia and Morocco two years later. The Netherlands left Indonesia in 1949. Many sub Saharan regions and Madagascar including Ghana, Malawi and Zambia were preparing for liberation from colonial rule. Portugal intended to liberate Angola, Mozambique and Belgium was to liberate Zaire (Congo).Thus, people from different regions with different cultures, languages, religions, different up-bringing, different societal make- ups had to leave their fatherland into European societies.

The world’s poor and disadvantaged countries incurred immeasurable financial amount outstanding yet to be paid by weak countries to global monetary institutions, business-related, district expansion banks, and the governments of industrial countries. It is without a doubt one of the greatest hardship against the annihilation of global poverty. The burden of international debt prompted and prevented countless countries from developing and, to provide a minimum standard of living for the general public. This spending money is used to repay creditors and loans. Thus, education and healthcare which are of essential significance for developments are discontinued. Innumerable afflictions plague the world’s poor and disadvantaged. The financial debt owed by Underdeveloped countries to international financial institutions, commercial and regional development banks, as well as to the governments of developed countries, is undoubtedly one of the greatest of these hardships, and a tremendous force effective against the eradication of global poverty. Due to the burden of international debt, countless countries are prevented from developing, and from even providing a minimum standard of living for many of their citizens. This is not only because much-needed money is being sidetracked from domestic spending to repay creditors, but also because of the stringent conditions attached to certain loans. These conditions require countries to cut spending on social services such as education and healthcare- two necessary elements for development. Regardless, some still believe that the debt must be repaid. The underlying principle behind this position must first be addressed and outlined prior to discussing the reasoning for cancelling the financial debt of the world’s poorest countries. Innumerable afflictions plague the world’s poor and disadvantaged. The financial debt owed by underdeveloped countries to international financial institutions, business and regional development banks, as well as to the governments of developed countries, is undoubtedly one of the greatest of these hardships, and certainly a tremendous force working against the eradication of global poverty. Due to the burden of international debt, countless countries are prevented from developing, and from even providing a minimum standard of living for many of their citizens. This is not only because much-needed money is being diverted from domestic spending to pay off creditors, but also because of the severe conditions attached to certain loans. These conditions require countries to cut spending on social services such as education and healthcare- two necessary elements for development. Regardless, some still believe that the debt must be repaid. The rationale behind this position must first be addressed and outlined prior to discussing the reasoning for cancelling the financial debt of the world’s poorest countries.

Many countries felt quite euphoric at being free from colonialism, the new generation of free youth. Poverty had begun but citizens were unable to envisage it because it was sinister in coming. The euphemism of being self-governing blinded them. There was wealth to enjoy however; there were slums, malnutrition and disease to overcome. Population in Gold Coast was estimated to be 2.5million in the 1948s, Accra remained the capital and in 1957 the Gold Coast Colony became independent state of Ghana. The population in 1990 was approximately to be 953,500 in Accra.

In Ghana, the young generation migrated to Britain long before independence and from Belgium Congo to Belgium. Immigrants from Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and many other regions saturated Europe. People migrated from India to England in 1945 and 1950s, and from Pakistan, migrations took place from 1947. There were many gallant students, their courage most resolute, their devotion to country and family, unquestioning. The students had the imaginative notion that by sacrificing themselves in leaving their parents and homelands to a foreign country, they would create a world of sweetness and light for their parents and descendants to inhabit. There were host of reasons why countries mired in miseries to such an extent that people became deficient in every facet of livelihood and the young generation with clear vision, creative and innovative thinking needed a fresh beginning. To scores of people, Britain in 1950s was a cornucopia of education and opportunities. English was, spoken worldwide. United States of America had already gathered its share. They spoke English because they were English.

The young generation was thoughtful and was weighed down by anxieties both large and small because of colonialism. Most of them felt that they were persons whom, life had battered, and who had such an ordeal, that every blow and every snub made a wound and panic. Life had constantly snubbed their good intentions. At certain periods in their life’s they gave way and lost hope. They did not have any imagination to devise ways for a better life. They had to keep the promise they made to their families and to return to Africa as educated persons to help the development of the country. Some did return others not.

In retrospect, the British erected schools and outdated schools mainly in Accra, the capital, Kumasi, the second capitals whereas the majority of towns were left untouched. Today, the majority of British buildings are obsolete. In comparison with the industrialized world, it may seem today that the British left the colony in a deplorable state. They did not. West Africans failed to take care of what was left for them because of financial teething troubles.

My mother’s passing away robbed me of a deep and invaluable stabilizing presence. Growing up, I discovered, was a beneficial experience and provided me with a relief because of my ambitions and open expression of my strong feelings. My parents had learned from wars and miseries amongst humanity and the adverse effects of colonization. My family was not judgmental and their cultures were, interwoven with every human being which was really an eye opening and humbling experience to understanding of the world we lived in. In West Africa, the family devoted themselves to each other. No one was at the end of his or her tether; we, the children of four were never at the limit of our patience or endurance, and we were never at the end of our ropes. Thus, we could understand why the Europeans felt themselves different than the West Africans, especially if nobody made an attempt to understand the way others think, their behavioural patterns and culture.

Not everyone had the opportunity to attend school because of financial difficulties, but those whom the chance of attending school to study with caring locally trained teachers, loved to go to school. The teachers understood and embraced the unique ways in which children think and learn. The unique education provided the school children all the benefits of a nurturing environment. The children flourished and felt at home. The children had freedom to think creatively and to explore new ideas because; the teachers motivated them to learn conscientiously for a better West Africa after colonialism.

Because of World War II decolonization began, West Africans and other nations began to send youthful West African students to Europe for supplementary schooling. There was peace and harmony and the traumatized decolonized humankind began to see light after wars and turbulence. A new era arose; it was a doorway to prospect without dreads and discomforts. During that period, there were travelling activities from British colonies to the United Kingdom. Britain accepted African students. There were by now African slaves brought to the United Kingdom in 1760s. They were about 14.000 according to my grandparents but by 1772, their importation to Britain stopped and the number of slaves declined. In 1939, before the strong earthquake in Ghana, and in 1945 many Africans got employment as seamen and shore workers; others hid themselves in ships and sailed to Britain without papers, capital or personal belongings. African students studying in Britain increased and migrants from many British colonies followed after 1955, the number accelerated.

Ouagadougou: the country was subjected to uninterrupted conflict between 16th to early 19th century. The citizens were burnt out. However, with the arrival of the French, Ouagadougou, the country just above Ghana, was liberated by the French in the beginning of the 19th century. The chief Samori Ture was expelled by the French thus; it was part of French West Africa. However, they gained Independence from the French in 1960.The country was renamed Burkina Faso in 1984.

.Benin: In 1625 there were slave traders, the Fon, established Dahomey and conquered the neighbouring towns and villages of Dan and Allada and extended their imperialism as far as in the vicinity of Porto Novo. France established a trading post in 1857 at Grand-Popo. The French advanced to capture because of dispute against slavery in Dahomey In 1892 Dahomey was in the hands of the French, a protectorate and was sucked up into French West Africa in 1904. It was not until 1960 that they gained Independence from the French. The citizens renamed the country Benin.

Cape Verde: Portuguese took ownership of the colony in 1462. The Portuguese also had custody of Guinea. There was a quarrel of the emancipation of the settlement and the mainland Guinea. This consignment was intolerable for the Portuguese in 1975. They awarded the two countries independence with the view that the two countries could come together under a new state of Guinea-Bissau. Cape Verde came apart as sovereign republic in 1981.


In the 13th century the area was under the sway of Islam. It was not until the 18th and the 19th century that the British and the French were conscious of the condition. The British and the French became responsive of the circumstance but the British took control of the region, it became British dependency in 1888. Gambia achieved independence in 1965.


The young generation, more distant from former colonists are of the opinion that foreign settlers in Africa have in one way or the other cemented the financial system in West Africa. European colonists exported unprocessed supplies to be produced in Europe. Fabricated produce were brought back and put up for sale in Africa. This coordination made available mechanized nations in Europe with inexpensive unprocessed substances to increase their Cost-cutting assess. West African raw materials included cotton, crude oil, and minerals and cocoa just to mention a few and in return machineries, electrical paraphernalia, and textiles and fabrics to point out the minority. All previous Settlers were trade collaborators of their earlier colonies in West Africa. As one would expect, it would be impracticable to try to be at odds with the cultivators in industrialized countries. It would mean freezing the hand of one who nourishes you. Worldwide trade laws should favour industrialized states. They have higher outlay of manual Labour, employment and levies.