Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Ghana by Eli Shany אלי שני

Ghana is having elections.

Ghana is doing well.

Its economy is growing at nearly 10 % a year.

It has oil, cocoa and gold.

The World Bank now describes Ghana as a 'middle-income country'.

The mortality rate for children below the age of 5 has almost halved in the past 20 years.

76 % of its children go through primary school.

Lagos by Ulf Ryttgens

Politics in Ghana is partly tribal.

Politics in Ghana is partly about the struggle between the USA and China for Africa's mineral wealth.

The present government is led by President John Atta Mills, of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The NDC is centre-left, believing in a strong role for the state in running the economy and managing Ghana's new oil wealth

The opposition is led by Nana Akufo-Addo, of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The NPP is centre-right, believing in the free market. The NPP's last time in government ended with a huge budget deficit.

The NPP has a small lead in the polls.

The NDC has been criticised for arranging a $3 billion loan from the China Development Bank in return for oil from the Ghana National Petroleum Corp.

The state electricity company has failed to collect debts of more than $200 million, much of it owed by multinational companies.

The NDC tends to be supported by the Ewe tribes, while the NPP tends to be supported by the Ashanti. Both tribal groups are mainly Christian.

The Dagomba in the north are Islamic.

So far, Ghana has largely avoided tribal and religious conflict.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Ghana, just like Nigeria, is starting to have the 'black' curse grow on it. Before oil became endemic, Nigeria had cocoa, groundnut pyramids and palm oil. We also had a sprinkling of precious metals up North too.

Then came oil and the most prosperous segment of our economy - the farmers - left their farms for the oilfields and politics. These farmers, by virtue of their financial well-being, were able to buy and influence political appointments for their children, relatives and favored ones. Others, who could not afford to buy political positions and influence bought guns for the restive youths to disrupt elections.

Influential and rich citizens from the oil producing areas armed their youths to hold the oil industry hostage and force the Federal government to negotiate with them. The farms went fallow and the palm oil and groundnut pyramids simply vanished overnight.

Malaysia, which came to Nigeria to obtain seedlings for palm kernels, is today the world's leading producer. The Malaysians also took Melina seedlings from the South of Nigeria and today are ace producers of newsprint, a produce of the Melina tree.

These trends are manifesting themselves in Ghana today. The international oil speculators are corrupting everything in sight and Ghanaians are quickly and surely losing their appetite for farming and even mining.

Politicians in Ghana are arming their youth and turning them into militants, just as Nigeria did, to manipulate elections in their localities. Tribal, religious and ethnic differences are being exploited and manipulated. Discontent and dissent are growing. The rest is just a matter of time before things start to implode as they are now in my country, Nigeria.

Political appointments are the in-thing in Ghana and the prize is the tremendous earnings that can be made from corrupt activities which the rapid flow of petro-dollars ensure. Soon, the cancer will spread and things will start to fail in Ghana, just as they are in Nigeria... and that won't be doing so well.

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