It is all over the news, OIL FOUND IN GHANA! The “black gold” was found just off shore Ghana by UK-based firm Tullow Oil and according to the bbc the finding is one of Africa’s biggest with 600m barrels (which tells me nothing, but news papers also state it is “of commercial value” so it is quite a lot, I guess). Even though it will take years before the oil can be accessed, everybody is discussing the news, many with the critical question “will this commodity really come to benefit the Ghanaian people?” However, the Ghanaian politicians are already celebrating. President Kufuor has stated:
“My joy is that I’ll go down in history as the president under whose watch oil was found to turn the economy of Ghana around for the better”
The politicians sure need some good news. Yesterday, I went to the donor partners Consultative Group meeting in Accra where development partners come together with the Ghanaian government discussing how the aid available can give best value for money. President Kufuor came to the meeting for the closing ceremony. We all rose to the occasion, a respectful silence spread, and the president marched into the conference room with his entourage. He stopped at the podium and Ghana’s national anthem came on. About half way into the anthem, all lights went off, the AC stopped, the anthem was interrupted and we were all, president and ministers included, standing in the dark. It was a not so subtle reminder of the energy crisis here in Ghana.
>In Ghana, as I have reported earlier, there is a power crisis. It is very appearant in the everyday lives of Ghanaians because of the power sharing exercise in place – every third day the power is turned off for 12 hours. Yesterday however, a governmnet representative had some reassuring news to the Ghanaian public:
The deadline for complete stoppage of the load shedding is September 31. Now what we are hoping, and there are no guarantees yet, is that as indicators put in place come up, we will be able to review the load shedding and change the schedule before the complete end of the load shedding.
The opposition was not late to note that there is only 30 days in the month of September…
>I have landed!
Right from the moment I touched African soil I have been enjoying myself and greeted people. We have been lunching, dining and drinking with various friends and relatives – all of them seem very happy to have me here. Coming back is a whole different thing. Just knowing a little bit of what to expect has helped a lot. Although the heat, guessing humid and around 30 degrees has been hard on me. Coming back to stay is also a wholly new experience. Knowing I will have time on my side to do and meet and greet demands a different attitude. I do not have to do everything today.
Ongoing is also an energy crisis and all of today, parts of Saturday and Sunday there was no electricity. That is if you do not have your own generator. Power is being rationed every 6th day, but in between rationing power also goes out. The power situation is right now the most pressing political issue in Ghana and articles like this one are printed every day. Since my boyfriend is one of the engineers working with building a new power plant, I have some interesting information and will come back to this topic.