Goals May Go In, but Things Are Leaving Too

There’s nothing like a triumph for the Black Stars. No really. Ghanaians thrive when their football team does what everyone believes it can. Given that they continually get close, but hardly ever make it all the way, we’re all just waiting to make it over that hurdle (with clenched stomachs and sweaty palms).

Anticipation will continue to build after the recent 2-1 win over DR Congo – until we settle in front of our televisions on Thursday. Hopefully, the team will build on its strength and take Ghana into the finals – and secure that everyone so desperately wants. (Or, is it needs?)

Building strength and adding voices is likely to become a trend in the next couple of years. Given the political movements of the United States, African countries will want to band together to maintain a firm voice. As it stands, citizens of three African countries (Somalia, Sudan, and Libya) are on the list to be denied entrance to the United States. Many have already been affected by this ban. And, the United States has issued statements that citizens of these countries shouldn’t even bother applying for visas; they will not be seen.

Perhaps that’s one of the reasons that Ghana has opted to support Morocco’s readmission to the African Union. As the AU meets this week, we’ll need to see how this progresses. And, it’s likely that the average Ghanaian doesn’t really care one way or another.

Besides the soccer, there is Ghana @60 to worry about. It’s a milestone birthday party for the country. But aren’t they all?

And, there’s been a huge outcry from the public regarding the party being planned for Independence Day. How can Ghana pay for it? If the campaign statements are to be believed, the country just doesn’t have the money. (And, hey, you don’t really need to look at the statements of politicians – you just need to step outside your front door every now and again to see it for yourself.)

Will the government statement that the planning committee will forego any payment for the work done, that doesn’t mean the celebrations will be free. Parades and pageantry cost money and someone will need to pay for it. And, as easy as it is to believe that there will always be some sort of foreign aid to pick up the tab, those days may soon be over.

Denmark has joined the list of countries that plan to reduce aid to Ghana over the next several years. Ghana has made it to the list of middle-income countries (albeit on the low side of the markers). It may be difficult to believe when countries like Airtel are also planning on leaving the country as they’re just not making the profit they need. (As far as it can be known, the French telecoms giant, Orange, will be taking over those operations.)

But, even when aid and companies leave the country, most Ghanaians agree it will doesn’t matter as much (right now) as a few more goals going in.

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