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From Independence Celebrations to Foreign Aid Dependence: A Reflection on National Independence



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Reflecting on his experiences celebrating Independence Days in both America and Ghana, George Mwinnyaa, a recent Ph.D. graduate from Johns Hopkins University, shares insights on the essence of national independence.

Mwinnyaa recounts his first Fourth of July in Fernley, Nevada, where the vibrant celebrations and diverse crowds led him to ponder the historical significance and colonial past of America.

From the elaborate parades to the mesmerizing fireworks display in Washington D.C., Mwinnyaa was captivated by the sense of unity and diversity that defines America’s Independence Day.

Transitioning to his childhood memories of Ghana’s Independence Day, Mwinnyaa vividly describes the rigorous marching practice and the thrill of representing his school in the annual competition in Kwame Danso.

Winning second place in the march brought him a cherished reward – a bottle of Coca-Cola, a rare treat in his village that symbolized the joy of independence.

While recalling Kwame Nkrumah‘s vision of African liberation tied to Ghana’s independence, Mwinnyaa questions the true essence of independence in the face of foreign aid dependence prevalent in Ghana and other African nations.

As he contemplates the continuous struggle for true independence, Mwinnyaa draws parallels to the current societal challenges in America and the ideals of unity and equality enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.

Despite the complexities and ongoing work toward independence, Mwinnyaa cherishes the small moments of pride and joy, from childhood marches to sipping a soda, that embody the spirit of independence in both personal and national contexts.

Rachel Adams

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