In The Pipeline

PipesGhana is exceeding expectations.  Even if you take it out of an African context, Ghana is rapidly progressing on the world stage.  And that’s not just a reference to the wild success of its stage performers.  Take oil sales for a start, or the recent interest of the World Bank in Ghana’s climate innovation.  And if you happen to live in Ghana, you are probably concerned about football and the Black Star’s hopes for the 2014 World Cup.  Just pick an angle of development, and Ghana’s got it in the pipeline.

When it comes to oil, Ghana has it, quite literally, in the pipeline.  And in barrel form too.  That does not mean much in and of itself of course, but when you look at it in terms of dollar figures, it says a whole lot.  Apparently, between 2011 and June of 2013, Ghana has brought in over $1.4 billion for the production and export of oil.  That is a rather substantial amount, especially considering that Ghana only holds about 16% of the world’s oil production.  Besides investing revenue in social works programmes, oil companies have also recently upgraded their production and are now achieving a truly impressive 110,000 barrels of oil a day.  And, the increase in production can only mean more money for the country.

But, even if the oil dries up, Ghana is not without other, possibly more sustainable options.  The World Bank has shown a lot of interest in establishing a climate innovation hub in the country, and serious meetings with stakeholders have already happened in Accra.  The first of these centres opened in Kenya in 2011, and following on from its success, talks are in play for Ghana, and other countries to have their own.  The main purpose of these Climate Innovation Centres is to accelerate locally relevant clean technology innovation through financial access, market info, policy advocacy, technical assistance and a host of other support systems.  Whatever the outcome, the World Bank does not tend to get involved unless they can guarantee a return on investment, so bring on the economically and environmentally friendly development.

Natural and technological resources are not the only source of income and development in the pipeline.  Football, which is always a favourite pastime in Ghana, is playing its part in the development of the country.  The 2014 World Cup qualifier match against Zambia brought in over $110,000 from the sale of 33,000 tickets.  And this was not the only match; the game against Sudan grossed only slightly less.  With the 2013-2014 Premier League action about to kick off, and the drama from the end of the last season behind the teams, it looks like this year will be a financial winner for the football clubs.  As the Black Stars prepare for their journey to Brazil next year, fans will want to see more of the players live, bringing in the entertainment bucks.

It just does not seem to matter where you look for development and revenue in Ghana.  Whether it is football or oil, Ghana can safely say “it’s in the pipeline”.

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