Ghana, like every other developing country, is linked to the more developed economies – and the policies they impart on the rest of the globe. Although Africa is not making the currency headlines to the same extent as the Asian markets, inflation and exchange rates are taking their toll. Still, Ghana is not burying her head in the sand; instead, she is taking the reins and leading the rest of the continent into action.
At a recent high level meeting at Peduase Lodge in the Eastern Region of the country, President Mahama outlined his plans to transform the nation, and to participate actively in all continental efforts to develop within a sustainable African framework. President Mahama met with various members of the Diplomatic Corps, as well as several senior representatives from his own government. His plans include the reduction, and indeed removal, of trade barriers within the African continent, and the development of a singular African currency. However, with the recent declaration of an East African currency, a far reaching currency shift may happen in stages, with each region working to strengthen their own areas first. Still, according to declarations made by President Mahama, Ghana will take a leading role in the active promotion of peace on the continent.
Not so far away from peacekeeping and currency, is the development of regional power, and the sustainable supply of natural gas in the region. With assistance from its neighbouring countries, Ghana is spearheading the integration of individual gas companies into a larger, regional gas company. The goal of a unified group is to ensure that hindrances in one area do not negatively impact on the whole. Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and Equatorial Guinea have all pledged their support to this Ghanaian project. And, the formation of such a company cannot come too soon. Ghana’s electricity consumption continues to increase along with extended development across the country.
Indeed, development is creating a host of new opportunities within Western Africa. Although the majority of Africans (Ghanaians included) access the internet through their mobile phones, the costs are still unwieldy for too many people. That is something Ghana (and the UN’s Millennium Development Goals) hope to end shortly. The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) has launched a new drive to reduce connectivity costs. This will, in turn, create additional opportunities for the development and education of all Ghanaians. A4AI aims to create a coalition comprised of all the stakeholders and to push for government policy to effect change.
Clearly, Ghana is leading change on the continent. It seems to be a matter of pushing forward, despite challenges. That spirit seems to radiate throughout the county, as the countdown to the World Cup and this year’s Commonwealth Games draws ever nearer. The 2014 World Cup games in Brazil will be held in June and July, followed by the July and August Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Both events are sure to provide exactly the entertainment and drama Ghana needs after such hard work in the first half of the year.