Ghana: Did God save the Akosombo Dam?

We start off this week’s review with Ghana’s electricity crisis, which started in August 2006, but has seen a considerable improvement almost a year later. Could it be because priests prayed for the Akosombo Dam to fill up? Ghana Unite opines:

Prayer is a powerful tool, but I also believe God has equipped us with what we need, or at least some of what we need..and what do we do? We decide not to use it. As much as we should trust in God to turn our situation around, why not use the lovely brains he's blessed us with and come together to find a permanent situation to the electricity situation??

It is certainly a valid question to ask, since it’s clear from the Christian culture that “God helps those who help themselves”. Ghana Unite adds:

You might be wondering where I'm going with all of this…basically, all I'm saying is its about time we Ghanaians start putting our money where our mouths are. This electricity situation happens basically every year. And every year we say we'll work on it, but every single year we're back at Square 1. Honestly, this is a vicious cycle we NEED to break, otherwise we're wasting both our time and money by investing in certain things when even the basic utilities of our people cannot be met. Maybe I'm just ranting and raving up in here, but seriously, even before the 2008 Elections roll in and the politicians start throwing soon-to-be-unfulfilled promises left, right and center, start thinking about which potential leaders might actually have Ghana at heart. I hope we continue to pray for our homeland

Ghana and other African countries in general. In the meantime, lets get to work!

While Ghanaians hope that the policy-makers are getting to work, others are getting to work of a different kind altogether—as exemplified by Lolade Adewuyi, a Nigerian journalist based in Ghana. He chronicles in his blog, L'etat,les situations generale how he trekked from Tema, a city east of the capital city, Accra, on foot! His trek to Tema proves to be an inspirational lesson in humility, as well as a seriously epiphanous one:

I picked myself up, like all great people have done all through the centuries and dusted myself up and returned to my journey. Slowly and painfully, I trekked the long road from Tema to Accra. Thank God that the sun hid itself behind the clouds for most of that morning. I passed brooks and springs, crossed bridges and was overtaken by many a moving vehicle all speeding away to the city. Then it occurred to me, life’s journey is a lone road. We might be lucky sometimes to get a companion that would make it with us but as much as possible we do it on our own. The measure of each man is to make life’s journey as bravely as they only can for the shoes will hurt several times and the strength will fail, but we need to always stop and rest to regain energy and plod on because nobody ever received a prize for quitting.

Meanwhile, South Africa is up for some flak as three blog entries touching on different aspects of African development refer to how it must do better. The first is by Emmanuel of Trials & Tribulations of a Freshly-Arrived Denizen who continues his series on the developments of the proposed takeover by South African-based Standard Bank of Ghana’s only Agricultural Development Bank:

That's what I am talking about–supporting the Ghanaian industry no matter what. Idem with the ADB/Stanbic furore.I have actually been accused elsewhere of being xenophobic towards South Africans, because of my acerbic post about Stanbic.If it behooves me to hold strong viewson a so-called strategic foreign investor that is clearly in

Ghana to maximize whatever profits it can — under the guise of facilitating Ghana to the Promised land of a West African gateway, then I'm all against it! Stanbic is now providing loans for the re-construction of Flagstaff House; it's also intent on partnering with the country's state paper Daily Graphic on some projects.Nice try, Stanbic. Get into the hearts and minds of Ghanaians, and maybe, just maybe, the divestiture-friendly governmentwill give you the nod–and maybe, a wink with good measure.Again, not so fast, Stanbic.You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of them all of the time!I don't want Stanbic money in any part of my economy. What I want is autonomy to manage my country's own affairs!

The second is by Martin Egblewogbe, of ewomi. In this particular entry, he discusses the importance of a single Africa Union Government, and how it could deal with immigration and (the management of) resources. On immigration, he writes:

What people are afraid of: For example, will South Africa be flooded by job seekers from elsewhere in the continent? Very likely. Will this flood (a) continue (b) distort the local economy?Answer (a) the flood will quickly abate. Because when Africa is, there will be so much more opportunity for wealth creation continent-wide. (You better believe this. The resources of this continent are vast). To answer (b) there will be distortion, but not all unpleasant. For example, the detrimental brain drain might just be redirected. Ghanaian doctors who want to flee Ghana might end up in South Africa. They've fled, but they're still in the country. Some creative South Africans who have learnt a trick or two about gold might turn up in Obuasi. Ghanaian electrical engineers night wind up rebuilding Liberia's grid network. (Or did that already happen?) Maybe I have not made the point succinctly enough, but you catch my drift…Immigration will also lead to stabilization of those areas that are not economically viable for residence. If the truth be told, there are some places on this continent that are suited only for mineral exploitation and ‘safari’, not to plant towns and cities. Witness the endless droughts and attendant starvation in certain areas of the continent. People must leave those areas and make a life in more viable places. Never mind if a Nigerian settlement appears in Ghana – oh – has that already happened?Often, the joke of the modern world is that immigrants have a beneficial effect on a country's economy and a humbling effect on the population (look how dese foreigners haf taken all howa jobs)…!

As for managing natural resources, he suggests that sufficient regulation by the AU authority would help minimize potential conflict:

On the question of resources, a responsible central authority will ensure that there is more appropriate management and distribution. Is theNile River going to be a source of conflict? Perhaps, and more likely so, when there are two or more countries in contention. If there was a single political and economic structure (African Government) that would deal fairly with all the people, such conflict will not arise.

Finally, Obed Sarpong of Sarpong Obed–Ready to Chew ruminates over the attitude of South Africa towards other Africans, especially the country’s fellow neighbour Zimbabwe:

And the South African military: they roam the border 24 hours with dogs, big dogs that would be unleashed on any fellow black brother from Zimbabwe trying to cross. I'm not saying South Africans should let people flood in their nation (a vast land which is also for all Africans by all standards), but at least treat them in humane ways considering the circumstance in Zimbabwe now. It's only normal.

He asks:

What would have happened if Zimbabwe and the rest of
Africa (including my Ghana) closed their borders on South African when they were struggling under the barbaric white apartheid regime, ha? Remember those times (about 45 years ago) no South African student living in Ghana payed school fees. Never! It was even statutory that South Africans shouldn't pay schools in Ghana, then. See? South Africans owe pan Africa a moral obligation and in every way must pay the restitution when they could — to any African.

Basing his killer-question on New African magazine Editor Baffour Ankomah, and his column “Baffour’s Beefs,” he wonders:

I don't know if South Africans are demented and are suffering from brain haemorrhage (forgive me), but they should rethink, and soon. As Baffour of NewsAfrica put it, they shouldn't forget so soon!

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