Friday, December 30, 2011

Ghanapolitics 101: How to End an Action Year with a *Bang*

In January 2011, the government of Ghana declared that 2011 was an "Action Year". Indeed, the government hit the ground running with the first order of business being a  20-30% fuel price increment which came into effect on 4 January 2011. This and other swift actions that characterised the first full week of 2011 were captured in "Ghanapolitics 101: How to Start an Action Year with a *Bang*".  It seems that Action Year 2011 has also ended on a similar note with a 20% increase in fuel prices that came into effect yesterday.

Apparently the fuel price increase was necessitated by  international crude price increases and depreciation of the cedi. The ripple effects of the price hike have also been rapid with transport operators having also swiftly increased their prices. It seems public engagement is lacking and already the Ghana Trade Union Congress (TUC) is asking the government to explain the fuel price increment since it is coming at a a time when "the cost of living in the country is high".

On Peace FM this morning it was pointed out that the government does not have control over the fuel price increments and it is up to the  National Petroleum Authority (NPA). Therefore it would be great if the NPA would hold a public forum to interact with the public and explain in detail the justifications for the hike. 

Also on Peace FM this morning, the deputy secretary-general of the ruling asked people not to "play politics" with the issue. Finally, could a ceasefire on playing politics with fuel prices be in the offing? That would be great since for the entire decade that I've lived in Ghana, one thing that has remained a mainstay of Ghanaian politics has been playing politics with fuel prices!

Well, the jury is still out on whether 2011 was indeed an Action Year in Ghana. The government insists that the Better Ghana Agenda is underway while the main opposition insists a Bitter Ghana Agenda is in full effect. Ordinary people seem ambivalent to the situation but do lament that prices are going up from utilities to fuel. Hopefully the government will release a pamphlet soon with a listing of the successes chalked in 2011 to remind the populace that things are indeed getting better and not bitter. Alas, some may also then say that pamphlets are unfortunately not edible.

4 comments:

nanawireko said...

Interesting read! We live in a country where everything is politicized. Until a solution is found, whatever a government does will never be appreciated. It's time for Ghanaians to evaluate governments based on their works and throw away partisan politics. I know we are far away from achieving that but I hope we do some day. Thanks for this post.

Abena Serwaa said...

Thanks Nana! Wise words indeed...Well said..

gamelmag said...

Word!

Abena Serwaa said...

LOL @Gamelmag thanks :)