Prof. Dzodzi Akuyo Tsikata, Professor of Development Sociology and Director, Institute of African Studies (IAS), has posed a question on how the state in Ghana is experienced by citizens, and how its acts of commission and omission affect class, gender and spatial differences in Ghana. She made these remarks at her inaugural lecture on the topic: “The Road Has Many Stories: Encounters between the State and Citizens of the Different Ghanas”.
Giving the literal and metaphorical juxtaposition to “the Road” in her topic, Prof. Tsikata noted that “the Road” is a metaphor for the social contract between the state and citizens in Ghana. Prof. Akuyo Tsikata commenced the lecture by expressing the importance of the topic to the current global and national conjuncture. “This topic is important not only because it has animated my intellectual endeavours in the last three decades; it also concerns the current global and national conjuncture, where the experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic have generated a lively commentary about the state society relations”, she explained. She added that the great suffering that accompanied lockdowns, border closures and other containment measures exposed the fact that the economic and social systems of neo-liberal globalisation were not designed to deal with unexpected crises. She urged Ghana as a country to look at these issues as well as the elevated levels of insecurity, civil strife, coup d’etats and national disintegration in the West Africa region and have a cause to pause, reflect and take preventive and remedial action.
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