There May Be Power Alternatives, But It’s Not Helping the Cedi

Dumsor is a disaster in every quarter. Sure, it’s not as though someone is purposefully creating the chaos of darkness in Ghana, but it still feels malicious in the middle of it. Fresh food would be nice – as would the means to prepare it and store any leftovers. More troubling is when you can’t pay for your groceries because the card machines are down… and so are the ATMs.

Fortunately (for some), Stanbic has rolled out plans for solar powered ATMs. Ghanaians will be able to get cash, even in the middle of Dumsor. (Getting the groceries may be another story.) Another upswing of this is the lessened strain on the national grid even though that won’t be enough to supply continual power everywhere.

It’s little wonder then that Ghanaians want to turn their attention elsewhere when they can. Football, for example. It is the national sport – and even though it seems like we’re just recovering from a World Cup, we’ve still got the next one to consider. The 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifiers begin in November, and the Black Stars are gearing up for the challenge. They’ve just announced an international friendly against the Canadian Canucks on 13 October. That would certainly be a game to watch – if there were enough power to run the television and if the time difference didn’t make it even harder to justify.

But, perhaps, rugby will pick up some of the sporting slack over the next couple of months. Although Ghana doesn’t have a team in the Rugby World Cup taking place from 18 September through 31 October, there will be a lot of it available – and at a decent hour as well. Indeed, the Ghana Rugby Football Union is hoping the sport will attract the attention of the Ghanaian public. The preliminary schedule for the 2015/2016 Ghana Rugby Club Championship has been announced and is set to begin in November, about a week after the World Cup Final. If an African team or one of the underdogs can take it, Ghanaians are sure to become involved.

There’s no telling though whether it will be a smooth ride anywhere (even if the electricity does return). Even the Miss Universe Ghana organisation has come under attack after their latest pageant. Many people feel that the voting was rigged and that perhaps Hilda Akua Frimpong shouldn’t actually be representing the country on the global stage.

And now is the time to shine on the world stage. Considering the state of the Cedi (which is aiding the ambitions of Nana Akufo-Addo), and the announcement that Ghana is again a “High Risk of Debt Distress” country, the country needs a win – whether it’s the Black Stars or Miss Ghana. And, oh yeah, some electricity might be nice too. It doesn’t make any sense to have solar powered ATMs if you can’t put any Cedis in the bank to begin with.

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