As you well know, President John Mahama has promised that the evilness known as dumsor will soon be over. (He has not promised to bring electricity to the most marginalised that have not yet experienced connections to the national grid, however).
Claims were made, and very expensive solutions were brought into the country to generate enough electricity for people to use the grid continuously. But, most people on the ground haven’t seen the results of these efforts yet.
Perhaps too many people were lost in the business of Christmas shopping to take much notice of the president’s promise. Black Friday made it to Ghanaian shores for the first time (along with other urban centres on the African continent). People were seen vying for the best deals and, just as fistfights erupted in Manchester, there was no shortage of squabbles in Accra.
What people bought is another story. While electronics and technology are the big sellers in North America, they also have a steady stream of power to charge and operate everything they receive. Ghanaian businesses that sell everything from fridges to lights must consider whether it is worth it to post extravagant deals. Generators, on the other hand, may do well if dumsor continues much longer.
There is some positive news, however, Fitch Ratings, the agency responsible for downgrading Ghana’s financial status in the world, believes it is possible for Ghana to achieve a higher score at the next grading. This will require the Ghanaian government to remain transparent in all their dealings. A higher rating will improve the country’s ability to borrow money internationally… and, hopefully, put that money towards the provision of power for everyone in the country.
A recent trade delegation from Ireland certainly adds to this promise. Representatives from over 40 companies in Ireland recently visited Ghana to determine spaces for bilateral trade growth and development. That’s good news for Ghanaians wondering where they can sell their products and raw materials in light of the lack of lights.
Of course, it all comes down to dumsor at this crucial time and whether the power flows freely before the end of the year. We all wait with baited breath (and the desire to fill the fridge for holiday lunches).