What’s Up Is Down (or Is It the Other Way Around?)

Even when things slow in Ghana (as with Dumsor), nothing ever stands still. It’s just not that kind of place. Things are always growing, changing, transforming, shifting, and generally just moving about. And that’s every corner of life, from the cities to the remotest of buildings.

And, as the laws of nature confirm, there is an equal and opposite reaction for every action. You might think humans would be able to control those reactions better, but not always. So, with all the constant action in Ghana, there are a lot of reactions.

Take, for example, the development of a coal plant President John Dramani Mahama is overseeing. As it stands, this coal plant is set to begin operations in August of this year. And, it includes the importation of some 2,050,000 tonnes of coal from South Africa… annually. This is a messy enough project as it is, especially considering that coal is about as far from a renewable resource as possible. But, it becomes just a little dirtier when you consider that over half of the population in the village where this plant will operate… are children. (And coal processing can be toxic.)

So why was President Mahama appointed to the board of global influencers propping up the UN’s agenda for the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

That’s more than a fair question considering that Goal 7 deals with Affordable and Clean Energy while Goal 13 tackles Climate Action. And that’s before mentioning the state of the children living in Ekumfi Aboano.

Whatever the reasons for the appointment (and we truly hope the UN has alternative motives that include the supply of clean power rather than a coal furnace), it’s not actually surprising.

After all, the Transport Minister was just forced into resignation after spending 3.6 million cedis on painting buses. It wasn’t that those buses required painting maintenance; the money was spent on painting the president’s face on the sides of those vehicles. To be fair, former leaders’ faces appeared as well, but it’s a little suspect given that elections are on the horizon.

But, of course, the biggest travesty of that move is that money really could have been spent in other ways. With the currency declining quickly against the dollar at the end of last year and the rise in rates for essential services, not to mention all the other social issues that Ghanaians face… well…

As much as things are moving, let’s hope a lot of equal and opposite reactions are on the cards. It’s not that Ghana can’t handle a little bit of difficulty (if you can make it through Dumsor, you can perhaps survive anything), it’s that the Premier League kicks off on February 20, and most people are ready to shift their focus to the football.

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