January 27th, 1982 was an excellent day in Accra, Ghana, in West Africa. It was a sunny day. It was the very day I was scheduled to fly from Accra to Toronto (Canada) through London in the UK. This day and the events that followed in subsequent days had been etched in my memory as well as consciousness forever and for a countless number of generations to come. Though I don’t remember the duration of the flight period from Heathrow to the Toronto Pearson International Airport, it was not only my third airplane travel, but also the most memorable and much more formative experience I had ever had in my life. Let me tell you why this is the most enjoyable as well as memorable flight I’ve ever had to date.
At some point in time, our long flight for Heathrow to the Toronto Pearson International Airport was almost coming to its ultimate conclusion. I was sitting in a window seat then. Sooner or later, the aircraft was continuously being guided to slowly and methodically descend. At every inch of descent, my personal curiosity and excitement continually took the better part of me. The glorious opportunity I had in my Window seat to take it all in regarding the gorgeous landscape of the city of Toronto consumed and controlled me.
I had neither seen nor ever experienced such a beauteous landscape in my own life—given the place I was coming from to Toronto, Canada. The layout of the City of Toronto; the organization of trees; hedges; buildings; fields; water bodies; railway tracks; roads; and a countless number of many others brought my mind back to my Grade 4 English Reader at the Delukope Roman Catholic Elementary School in Ghana. The picture of Toronto that had now flooded and populated my whole being vividly reminded me of a similar picture I saw on the first page of one of the chapters we had to read on a particular day from one of the Chapters in this British Textbook or Reader.
As the Aircraft continued on with the descent and landing processes it immediately dawned on me that my own wish as a Grade 4 kid regarding having the opportunity to experience the place of that photograph was being fulfilled. As the aircraft was intentionally guided to continually lose altitude, my mind became fully engaged with a diversity of nagging questions. One of the most impactful of these troubling queries was: “Senyo, why do you think the city of Toronto is so well-laid out; very well organized; beautiful; neat and tidy; and as aesthetically pleasant in myriads of ways?”
As I continued to enjoy the scenery and the impeccable beauty of Toronto from the sky, another nagging question popped into my mind. This question asked: “Senyo, what do you think and believe to be the reason for the actual differences between Toronto and where you were coming from?” At first, I wanted to brush this question aside—just to continue on with my full enjoyment of the experience. Yet, sadly, these questions refused to fizzle away. As a result, many more questions followed in quick succession. Some of these additional questions include the following:
Given the unlimited nature of the foregoing resources Ghanaians as well as people from other developing countries receive from the developed nation states, do you know what the real and/or primary source of their perennial failures and persistent underdevelopment is?
Many more questions did follow. My mind went crazy. I was convoluted. I wanted to know the answers. Yet, as I did struggle within my senses, doing my best to locate the answers, the aircraft landed. When I got myself into a taxi in order to be taken to my dorm room at the Graduate Student’s Accommodation, the waves of cognitive dissonance had immediately begun to dissipate. Sadly, as soon as I got there over the weekend and got into my first class—being several weeks late in attending lectures, all the nagging questions disappeared from my whole memory. At that time then, my primary preoccupation and focus were no longer on my burning quest to find answers to the numerous nagging queries. They became filed and tucked away into the bottom of the storage space within my memory. Sooner or later, they all got so deeply buried there that I totally forgot about them and went on to complete my MA. Economics Degree in at York University.
As soon as this degree program was completed, I moved to Vancouver, British Columbia to enroll in my PhD. Degree Program in Economics at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in the Fall of 1983. Running out of my meager financial resources and also not being sure that the authorities would offer any scholarships to me at UBC, I decided to apply to Simon Fraser University (SFU)—hoping that I would be granted some Financial Assistance. The good news was that the personnel of the Economics Department at SFU offered me a place for the PhD Program. In addition, I was also granted a very generous Financial Assistance Package. I took the offer without any hesitations and abandoned my PhD Degree Program at UBC for that of SFU.
My starting place regarding the Human Factor Research Agenda was a Term Paper I wrote for one of my Theories of Economic Development Courses at the Economics Department of Simon Fraser University. In that paper, I argued that without people who are rich in the positive qualities of the human factor, any wealth of land, labor, capital, entrepreneurs, politicians, managers, leaders, and other citizens will NEVER EVER achieve any significant Economic Growth without the influence of Human-Factor Development. This Graduate School Term Paper was an Econometric Analysis of the Human Factor Quality in Development (i.e., it was an empirical analysis of perennial failure in all of Africa).
Sadly, though, upon the completion of my PhD. Degree Program, my initial research work concentrated on Theoretical Econometric Analyses. My Time, Energy, and all other Resources were fully channeled into Research in Econometrics and its Analyses. By this time, I had begun teaching as a Sessional Instructor in the Economics Department at SFU.
During this time, I had an invitation from the African Students’ Association at SFU to give a talk on any topic. For some reasons unknown to me, I decided to speak to the members of this association on the Significance of the Human Factor Foundation of the Lack of Development and the Reality of Underdevelopment in African Countries. My primary thesis was: “Until Africans commit and work hand-in-hand to develop the positive human factor qualities, they will never ever experience any sort of sustained development—regardless of the enormity of development assistance they receive from elsewhere (i.e., from the Citizens of the Developed Countries).”
Upon having completed my speech, the audience of about sixty individuals broke into two distinct and fiercely and/or vigorous combative debating groups. From about 6:30pm through to 12:00 Midnight, the debate raged on with great intensity, vigor, and animosity. While members of one of the two distinct groups agreed with and debated on my behalf, those of the opposing side did everything possible to dismiss my thesis of regarding the centrality of the quality of the human factor in development anywhere—globally. After we had concluded our debate into the early hours, I began to drive back home around this hour of the new day, and I had total peace within my deepest Core of Inner Being to switch my Research Focus from Econometrics to the development of the Human Factor Theory and Its Significance to Any People’s Development and Quality of Life. It was at this moment of time that the Human Factor Story became a full reality.
We have continued to successfully expand the boundaries of this story to higher dimensions. As you join us on this journey and learn with us, you will come to the true realization that when it comes to dealing effectively with the diverse human problems that we all face, nothing else works any better than our own individualized as well as combined human factor qualities. Indeed, every problem we face on Planet Earth is Human Factor-based. As such, if we are to become and remain, forever, successful in dealing with the problems that face us, we will achieve our goals when we spend tremendous amounts of our own financial resources into a program of activities aimed at improving upon our Human Factor Qualities.