Filling In the Gaps

Finding_the_GapsThe economy may be growing, and Ghana may be booming as a destination for expats, but there are still a few gaps to fill.  Fortunately, the powers that be are doing just that – and it is happening across the country.  Ghanaians are not avoiding the issues; instead, they are looking for solutions.

Take the 9,000 social housing units that are about to be built with the help of international loans.  There is no doubt these homes are desperately needed.  In 1960, the population of Accra was less than half a million people.  By 2010, that figure had reached over 4 million, and people need to live somewhere.  With a loan of $400 million from Barclay’s Bank and Credit Suisse, both Brazilian and Ghanaian companies will have the means to build the homes that are so desperately needed.  About 500 units should be completed by the end of the year, signalling fantastic news for families desperate for adequate housing resources.  Although a total of 85,000 units may be required over the next 20 years to conform to need, this is surely only the beginning, and certainly the largest push the country has seen since independence.

Housing is not the only area where the gaps are closing.  Ghanaian libraries will soon be partnering with Chinese counterparts, to promote cultural awareness and education.  With Chinese financial investments prevalent throughout the African continent, students wanting to facilitate growth for the country (and themselves) will soon be able to take advantage of increased Chinese resources, and potentially, exchange programmes.  Strangely enough, a Chinese housing deal was just put to rest; perhaps a better understanding between the parties would have created a successful partnership.  After all, between the opportunities at home – and those in the East – someone has to bridge the gap, and if it can be Ghanaians who do it, the continent as a whole can benefit.

But the gaps on everyone’s lips at the moment are the six stunning ones Black Star players found in their recent World Cup qualifier match against Egypt.  Looking for an entrance into the 2014 World Cup, Ghana football players certainly upped the ante with their crushing win.  It does not guarantee the Black Stars a place among 5 African teams who will travel to Brazil next year, but it will be incredibly difficult for Egypt to unseat them now.  With football rooted deep in the hearts of Ghanaians, the country will be waiting with baited breath for the results.  There is only one more chance for both Ghana and Egypt to seize their place; the Black Stars’ away match will take place in the middle of November – and both teams will be looking for the gaps.

Fortunately, it seems that Ghanaians are looking to fill them all in, and succeeding.  These solutions (and goals) are coming from high level decision making, which is clearly headed in the right direction.

Whether it is housing, cultural education or scoring goals for national pride, the country and its people are taking care of business.

K.S.

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