Wed Jul 8, 2015 6:5AM
Protesters hold placards during a demonstration organized by the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Accra against the worsening power crisis and economic challenges in Ghana, February 18, 2015. (AFP photo)
Protesters hold placards during a demonstration organized by the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Accra against the worsening power crisis and economic challenges in Ghana, February 18, 2015. (AFP photo)
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Ghana gets more Western praise than almost any other African nation, so why are Ghanaians in despair over the direction of their country?

Until relatively recently, all the news coming out of Ghana has been good. Rapid growth, middle income status, discovery of oil, and free and fair elections, a role-model blazing a trail for the rest of the continent. Some even talked of the Black Star Nation becoming the Dubai or Kuwait of West Africa.

But while Ghana was getting praised by foreign institutions like the IMF, World Bank and the EU, at home, things have been getting worse. Growth has slowed down from 9 to 4%, interest rates have shot up, the currency is in free fall, the budget deficit has ballooned, and worst of all, the government has had to go borrow nearly a billion dollars from the IMF.

For many Ghanaians, though, nothing symbolizes their decline more than “dumsor, dumsor” (lights on, lights off), a reference to the series of power cuts that have plagued them for the last three years.

In this program, we will examine why the continent’s brightest star appears to have lost its shine, and ask whether there are African alternatives to the Western solutions that are being prescribed.