“Dumsor-Dumsor”: Electricity and Productivity in Ghana

Last year, Ghana was among the fastest growing economies in the world. That was while supply of electricity or “light” as we say here, was patchy at best, but often cut off according to a “load shedding schedule” every other or every two days for 6-12 hours (dumsor-dumsor refers to the sound when light go off in an entire area).

I have a “tag” here on my blog for power problems (16 posts so far, 17 with this one!), set up in 2007, the year I moved to Ghana. Then load shedding was every other day. I remember it vividly as we used to go to a movie place, pay 50 pesewas to sit in a room with fans, pay no attention to whatever movie was on and go home when the dark had made the temperature drop slightly.

This week, the World Bank came out with a report “Energizing Economic Growth in Ghana” on how we could avoid being here again in 5 years time. There is nothing really new in the report, actually on radio the World Bank guy said it was 90% the same report presented in 2010! However, it made me think:

Where would Ghana be in terms of politics, creativity, productivity, growth and well being if Dumsor-Dumsor was a thing of the past?

The only sector partially thriving from dumsor-dumsor or dumso-dumso is the music industry churning out songs on the topic, one is embedded at the top!

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  1. if any other English speaking country in the developed world goes through these power outages, “dumsor” would have been added to the English dictionary, cos is describes the phenomenon like no other word