Have you ever driven through the city of Accra and did a double take because a new restaurant, condo, or hotel magically appeared out of thin air? It happens to us all the time. Like how the new café mysteriously popped up opposite the National Theatre and how a massive 5 star luxury hotel appeared from thin air. Indeed there are plenty of ongoing developments happening all over our great nation, some because elections are underway of course and others because we are selling our land faster than we can count to 10. Have you asked yourself whom these developments are really benefiting?
Just the other day I was having a conversation with a colleague about the latest in luxury hotels to grace our country. Imagine my surprise when he mentioned that there were no symbolic or cultural artifacts representing Ghana inside the walls of this particular luxury hotel, which was built and is located in Ghana. Was I really surprised though? Not at all. Just because it has been built here doesn’t mean it is for us. And by “us”, I mean the average Joe like you and I. Can we even afford an hour stay inside a few of these lavish places? Probably not. You might disagree with me and say that perhaps a hotel like this is what we need. A breath of fresh air from the more traditional businesses that model themselves using a touch of our culture. Sure you are entitled to your own opinion, that is the beautiful thing about life, but how do you justify the million dollar condominiums that the middle-income Ghanaian will probably never be able to afford?
Will we ever see the day when modest condos will be constructed to accommodate the average middle class Ghanaian or perhaps low-income housing for the less fortunate? It seems our country is for sale and it’s for sale to the highest bidder. Not quite sure who is to blame for this but when people learn to demand more they will get more. Clearly our government and business minded people making these deals to build do not care to bargain in our favor. There must be rules and policies in place to favor our people and our resources. So that we also stand to benefit from these multi-million dollar deals. For instance, if you are going to manufacture skin care products then using Shea Butter from indigenous artisans should be a requirement and if you are going to hire staff a percentage of your staff should be Ghanaian, placed in both upper level and lower level positions. Is that so much to ask for?
Well we should actually brace ourselves for more of this to come, unfortunately. We have said this before and we will say it again “Ghana is for sale and it’s for sale to the highest bidder”. If you don’t agree share your thoughts below. We are dying to know.
Author: Akosua Akyere, threesixtyGh writer