Sunday, January 29, 2012

2012

Fireworks illuminate the night sky in The Hague not in December but in August 2011
2012 started with such momentum that I forgot to even acknowledge that we entered a new year. This year literally started with a bang all over West Africa. First there were the sad and unfortunate Christmas bombings in Nigeria even before the new year had started. Also in Nigeria the astronomical increase in fuel prices led to civil protests that surprisingly got the government to concede and reduce the price of fuel. The implications for the ability of people power to bring about change are tantalizing. Sadly, still in Nigeria, mid January then saw more violence with coordinated bomb blasts in Kano killing more people. 

Further west, in Senegal, a court has just ruled that octogenarian president Abdoulaye Wade can seek a 3rd term in office. This has led to violent protests and unrest in the country. It appears the writing is clearly on the wall but whether President Wade chooses to read it is another matter.

Meanwhile in Ghana, the first month of the year has been marked with quite a lot of activity. There have been major ministerial changes; one fired, one resigning, a number shuffled in, a number shuffled out and quite a few shuffled around. In the background has been the incessant humming noise of the (so-called) 'Woyome Saga' that just does not seem to go away. 2012 will be a momentous year for Ghana since at the end of the year, Ghanaians will decide who will govern the country for the next 4 years. Well, here's to 2012. May it be a peaceful and productive year that lives up to everyone's expectations. 

7 comments:

Sam said...

So do you think that the Woyome-Saga will influence the elections?
Compared to the "gay-aid"-hype (in the media), people seem to be pretty relaxed about 58 Mio GHS...

Abena Serwaa said...

@Sam thanks for stopping by.In my opinion, it all depends on the handling of the case and also who is implicated especially from the former administration. If it is not handled swiftly and transparently by the current administration and the previous administration officials are not shown to be culpable then I guarantee it will feature heavily on the opposition campaign trail. With the margin as close as it was in the last election, any issue that may put off some from voting could actually influence the outcome.

If serious culpability is demonstrated on both sides, then it will most probably die a natural death. The focus will shift to how such issues are a problem for the nation Ghana and not just one political party.

Besides, knowing Ghanaian politics,regardless of the outcome, the Woyome saga could be forgotten by May and give way to some other issue.

Abena Serwaa said...

@Sam about the gay-aid hype.I think the issues were seen as more clear-cut and Ghanaians were more united across party-lines when it came to what David Cameron did (or did not?) say. In the end, expressing the most homophobic views on the radio was somehow socially acceptable in defense of supposedly protecting our cultural, moral and religious beliefs....

Sam said...

I generally agree. But I'm just wondering: If the former gouvernment is somehow culpable - why didn't it come up yet? Either from the govt or from the media?

Anyway, let's concentrate on semi-nude singers and actresses and of course the Black Stars now. ;)

Abena Serwaa said...

Hi again Sam, It has come up but not definitively. The investigating body the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) was steering towards that direction and invited former officials to come and answer question but they refused on the grounds that EOCO does not have the legal mandate to investigate issues from Parliament. Looks like the whole thing is going to be long an drawn out. Also, it looks like the UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon has just come forward to give much needed relief from the (Woyome) heat (wave)!

Nana Adomah said...

I second your wish that 2012 is a peaceful one. I'm determined to comment more this year too as I was unbelievably awful last year.

Thanks for keeping me up to date on African politics and the rest and I look forward to reading more procrastinations from you this year.

Abena Serwaa said...

Thanks Nana Adomah....Good to see you around! Your voice has been missed in the blogosphere and come to think of it, Twitterverse lately!