It’s a Drive to the Future (or Just onto the Field)

Ghana never seems to stand still. Even when people and business battle daily dumsor, nothing seems to stop; it just slows down. And it doesn’t stay like that for long either. At some point, Ghanaians start moving again, and they do it quickly.

Last Friday was a clear example of this as Ghana played host to the global launch of the new “End Poverty” campaign. This initiative aims to do more than simply reduce poverty. The World Bank Group is gearing up to eradicate extreme poverty completely in the world by 2030. We know that’s a big ask, but let’s be frank – any movement to reduce this crippling state is a good one. And, Ghana should feel the honor of being chosen to host the launch, though it is hardly the most affected country on the continent.

At the same time, launches that benefit Ghana were happening in other parts of the world. New York and Washington D.C. in the United States recently hosted the international media launches for the 2016  Ghana Music Week. Though it may seem a strange place to focus media efforts for an event happening on the African continent, there is a significant number of Ghanaians residing in the United States. And, those attending the ceremony (and presiding over it) called on the Ghanaian diaspora to contribute and promote this event in any way they could. With partnerships springing up all over the place, this small event does seem to have the power to make waves around the world.

Speaking of 2016 events, it’s almost time for elections again. As with any African election, and certainly those in Ghana, we’re in for a media treat. However close the last election was, the next one is likely to be one of the biggest runoffs ever seen on the continent. Ghanaian Archbishops may have called an unofficial start to campaigning when they recently requested all involved parties to maintain free and fair elections. The Archbishops also requested a review of the voter registration process and lists as it appears that non-Ghanaians have been allowed to register and vote in previous elections. We’ll see how useful this pressure becomes as the new year opens to full-on campaigning.

Though dumsor is slightly less of a challenge than it has been for the past several months, we can expect this topic along with the weakness of the Cedi to feature throughout the campaign. And, that’s likely why the call for green energy and better use of solar power is becoming a hot topic. You’ll see a lot of these initiatives cropping up across the country (and especially in areas where the population is split between parties).

One thing is certain, though. If these drives fail, Ghanaians aren’t in the mood to standby and watch. After all, they took to the soccer pitch in Sekondi recently to show their displeasure at the reffing of the match. Standing still and allowing events to play out, it seems, is never an option in Ghana.

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