Road Tolls and Accountability: The Hole(!) in the Accra-Tema Motorway

I probably should not write this as my parents will be worried when they read it, but the Accra-Tema motorway (or Tema-Accra motorway as we who live in Tema call it) is falling apart.

When I drove to work on Tuesday, I was halted by some serious traffic after just a kilometer or so. I assumed it was one of the common accidents, but was surprised to find the traffic was caused by a hole in one of the bridges on the motorway. The water below could be seen through the hole…

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I subsequently tweeted a warning:

All traveling from Tema to Accra, be careful as one of the bridges, right lane, has a big, gaping hole! @Citi973 @BloggingGhana

— Kajsa Hallberg Adu (@kajsaha) March 11, 2014

As I returned home in the evening around 8PM, the traffic now stretched from the hole all the way to Tema. I tweeted that too:

This evening the #motorway hole caused major traffic…what is being done? @YoungSirGh @BloggingGhana @police_gov_gh @Citi973

— Kajsa Hallberg Adu (@kajsaha) March 11, 2014

This morning, I set my alarm to 5.30 AM to “dodge” the traffic, but was still caught for 30 min by it and tweeted that too (that is what I do when stuck!)

Today’s “hole traffic” already winding on the Tema side of the #motorway @RichardDelaSky @BloggingGhana @InformGhana pic.twitter.com/D2jQUqVHLk

— Kajsa Hallberg Adu (@kajsaha) March 12, 2014

I was happy to just minutes later hear the CitiFM Morningshow crew bringing the issue up and even calling the Minister for Roads and Highways for an explanation. Driving on the Accra-Tema motorway is not free, I pay toll every time I enter, so does everyone else. Finding that the road is not well maintained, that street lights and railings which get hit never are replaced and  holes in the bridges (not the first time) makes me angry! Where is that money?

They are now going to do repairs, but morning show host Bernard Avle asked an important question:

“What is the status of other bridges on the motorway?”- @benkoku @Citi973

— Kajsa Hallberg Adu (@kajsaha) March 12, 2014

As I drive on the motorway everyday, I would like to know. I think my parents would like to know too.

Earlier posts on the motorway: New Ghana Road Tolls Today, One Year of Road Toll in Ghana: My Experience and Kwame Nkrumah: The city of Tema (part 2).

 

 

Summer Internship for a Lecturer: One Week with Citi FM

Tomorrow I start my one-week summer internship with Ghanaian radio station Citi FM. Now you ask yourself: Why would a grown woman with a full-time job do an internship? Just give me a minute and I will tell you!

Back in May when classes were drawing to a close at Ashesi University College where I teach, I thought of what I wanted to do with my summer. As a lecturer who teaches others all year around, I felt inclined to myself learn something new.I do believe in lifelong learning , after all! But what? It was on my mind for a while. I decided it should ideally be something that enhanced my skills in teaching communication, leadership and political science.

Every morning when I drive to work, I tune in to Citi FM and listen to their social commentary morning program Citi Breakfast Show on issues important to Ghanaians such as water, electricity, growing your business and who should be a politician – stuff like that. Every day a new topic, every day a great show. Problem descriptions that showed dedication to journalism, guests with insights, but that were also questioned thoroughly –  and this is not common in an economy where most businesses run on a shoestring (and a generator!) and all of the above takes preparation, skill and time.

I grew curious how they work behind the scenes – how do they prepare? How much time goes into each show? What best practises do they have to share as a successful team? How do they keep their enthusiasm when uncovering so much hardship?

…and now I am to find out! That is if I wake up on time to be there, bright and early at 6 AM.  

Stay tuned for my internship report at the end of the week!

Election Morning on Swedish Radio and at the PreSec Polling Station in Tema

This morning I woke up early to see the sun rise over Ghana’s election day. Before 7 am I had both spoken to Swedish radio and visited my local polling station.

Find the link to the Swedish radio program here. I talked about my role in the elections, the two main contenders, the closeness of the poll and about the 6 additional contenders for the presidency.

At the local polling station about 150 people were already lined up to vote and the voting materials were about to be unpacked. I spoke to two gentlemen who had waited since 2.30 and 5.30 am respectively! The feeling is very calm and the only problems reported so far seems to be voting materials arriving late and polling not starting on time at every polling station, however even so, people are patienly waiting to vote.

Voters waiting to vote, queu in the back.
Voting booth
Local election observer
Street was calm

 

Now, we are off to the polling station where my husband is to vote. Follow my reports on Twitter @kajsaha and the hashtag #GhanaDecides

UPDATE: Now GhanaDecides live stream is up so you can follow election events as they happen.

Frontline on Swedish Radio

In connection with the first broadcast of my program, Frontline 2012, the Swedish national radio called for an interview. When they first called on the day of my TV debut, I had no time to spare, so decided to talk to the reporter from the hair salon chair where I was getting ready for my big night.

Although I was stressed and had to switch ears several times to not interfere with my hair cut, the program Verkligheten i P3 went live on Tuesday and came out really nice in my own humble opinion.

Apparently the program was running a series on “unknown celebrities” and they thought I was a perfect fit as someone interviewing presidential candidates in a country far away!

If you know Swedish or believe you are a language genius, you can listen to the program here.

>Henning Mankell Talks about Imagination on BBC The Forum

> Swedish writer and Africa-lover Henning Mankell was on BBC the other day in a very interesting discussion with Indian economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and Iranian British chilspsychotherapist Camila Batmanghelidj (love the “Batman-ish” name!).

Henning Mankell was making the claim that imagination is more than just an expression of creativity – sometimes imagination is used for raw survival. I was driving when I tuned into the program and it was so fascinating that I never wanted to reach my destination. Hear for yourself here.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel borrowed from the BBC The Forum to visualize the above described discussion.