Dumsor: A Chinese legacy

I have many tales to tell but boy have I got a roaring good yarn.
This looks to be the biggest conspiracy in the country since Anas busted the judges.

It’s already been established that the Ghanaian government always looks out for number one but recent discoveries have thoroughly enlightened me:
Ghana is indeed looking out for number one but they invited China to the party.

Please don’t get confused. This is indeed a post about the “almost-over” power crisis but trust me, this is so much better than what you’ve read thus far.

This Dumsor catastrophe has ruined more businesses than…well…anything.
If it were a person, it would be dead, resurrected and killed again (repeat indefinitely) until every angry person in Ghana gets a piece of the action.
Babies excluded…cos, no one wants a murderous baby!

The truth behind this Dumsor wahala is actually far worse than originally reported…so prepare yourself for it.

The endless promises (go here or here) were all cover-ups to the true reason behind the protracted power outages in the country.
Simply put: Ghana is in league with China…and they are both profiting from our power issues.

Ignorance is Bliss” they always say but Ghana doesn’t need this bliss.
Why? Well because, the power outages could have been completely resolved two years ago.

Don’t be surprised for I shall soon enlighten you.

The terrible news is, there’s actually no Dumsor.
No electricity problems…and contrary to the lies being spread about, Ghana has both the resources and the infrastructure to provide enough electricity to feed itself plus two more countries.

So then, the question must be asked;
Why this Dumsor and why is the government lying to us (Ghanaians)?

The answer is remarkably simple, yet weighty in its implications:
It is because of China.

Let me explain:
China is such a great and industrious (influential) country, and every other country wants to be at least associated with them…by any means necessary.
From military assistance to manufacturing warehouses, china has something for EVERYBODY.

Therefore, when a country that powerful makes a seemingly simple request, any country in question will do whatever it takes to stay on good terms with the great China.

So what does that have to do with Ghana and the Dumsor crisis?
Everything.
You see, Ghana was in a bit of a pickle back then (…and it still is):
It needed a lot of help from our Asian Giant but alas, it had absolutely nothing to reciprocate with. Absolutely nothing.
Well, not until China finally came forward with their demand(s): a dumping site (more on that later).

The thing is, China is a manufacturing powerhouse and they have goods in EVERY part of the globe.

I bet Eskimos use made-in-China igloos.

They make great (…and not-so-great) products and sell them all over, but recent trends show that people, especially westerners, aren’t clamoring for their products as much as they used to…basically because they want well-known brands that won’t break up upon first contact.
It’s that simple.

So what does China do with its never-ending supply of cheap (and inferior) products?
OH! They daintily waltz over to an aid-desperate country, promise to offer ‘em aid and then, “BOOM!!”, dump all their “unwanted” products in that country.
It’s not as if they have unused warehouses in China…so don’t blame them for taking initiative.
The goods have to end up somewhere and truth be told, Africa is the preferred dumpsite.

Honestly, the relationship between Ghana, China and Dumsor is quite interesting:
Ghana needs foreign aid to properly function;
China can give said aid but desperately need a place to dump its less-than-stellar products;
And Dumsor? Well Duh! Because Ghanaians love it.

Thus, this was the deal:
China stepped forward and offered Ghana all the aid it wanted and in return, Ghana would prolong the Dumsor and afford China the opportunity to use Ghana as an open warehouse.

Why make such a deal with Ghana?
Because they discovered a distinct correlation between Dumsor and the buying behavior of the average Ghanaian;
throughout the previous Dumsor saga, research discovered that Ghanaians bought more gadgets to tide them over as they endured the blackouts…and those gadgets were decidedly more inferior Chinese gadgets than anything else.
So putting two and one together, the Chinese were like,
“OK, you know what? You want aid and we want a place to unload our electronic goods (*wink*).
We have a proposition for you;
prolong your Dumsor, receive our gadgets…and then get all the ‘aids’ you want.”

Who is Ghana to say “NO”?
It was a no-brainer really.

If you think about it now, I am pretty sure you have at least noticed the abnormally high rate at which Chinese gadgets have invaded Ghana since this season of Dumsor premiered.
From powerbank phones (X-TIGI anyone?) to the weird USB-Radio-Bluetooth-MemoryCard Reader-Speaker anomalies.

I tell you this, in the past two years alone, more Chinese gadgets/devices have been sold that far exceed the Ghana population.

At least we can enjoy steady power for a while…till the elections are over.
Just don’t throw away your gadgets just yet.
Pfft!! Who am I kidding? …they won’t last that long to begin with. Just start saving up.

So, there you have it!
The shocking story of the century…but please take it easy on Ghana OK?
She might be 58 years old but she’s still taking huge baby steps.

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: This blog post is entirely fictitious, therefore any and all resemblance to a person or place is PURELY AND UTTERLY coincidental.

 

PS: If this fantastical post truly happened, what would your reaction be?
Sound off in the comments.

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How the National Service Scheme is Failing GHANA!

ghana_national_service_scheme_gnssThere won’t be any fancy intro…no word-plays or puns. I’ll jump straight to the point;
The National Service Scheme is a big mess and a major failure to Ghana.

It baffles me how little Ghanaians in power care about Ghana. They spew such hypocritical nonsense about how they are trying their best to make situations better but we know they are just yanking our chains. From Ministers to Presidents, no one truly cares about Ghana anymore.

We are down, they keep kicking us but we are just too numb to even care.

Give greedy people power they’ve always wanted for eons and what you get is the Ghanaian Government (Past and Present). We get heavier in the mud whiles they get richer and fatter in their penthouse suites.

There’s mismanagement (ECG, Doctors and Cedi) in every facet of the Ghanaian Government but my area of concern for this post is the mismanagement of the National Service Scheme.

“How is the National Service Scheme mismanaged?” you say!
The recent scandals speak volumes. Go here, here and here.

The potential of the National Service Scheme is particularly outstanding, but the people at the top only want more money and further gain perfection in the art of Nepotism.

Each year the Ghanaian Government has over 70000 able-bodied people at its disposal through the National Service Scheme. These people have atop their generic skillset, specialized skills they’ll “use” later on in life. So, why is this goldmine of resources wasted every single year by the government.

Instead of a more targeted approach at posting National Service personnel, the Government covers both eyes and let the stones fall where they may (albeit with some exceptions).
Students with nepotistical family members in the Government rest easy because, they know “fate” is on their side. The unfortunate ones on the other hand invariably get the short end of the stick.

That is basically the story of the NSS;
the “connected” get great placements whiles the linear…well…they get the hard life in villages that have virtually no cellphone reception.

That’s hardly fair!

The men and women who run government organizations do so as they see fit because they feel no real obligation or accountability to us Ghanaians. Well, truth be told, we don’t really expect much from them either…and thus, they don’t care to work more efficiently.

The Pressure no dey!

We’ve been fed up to the back teeth for so long we just don’t give a hoot no more.

It’s been said and it’s been proven that Ghanaian Government workers are lazy and show an extreme lack of initiative, and when they do, it is to fatten up their coffers.

The NSS under the “NSS Act” aims to compulsorily give students the opportunity to make/give meaningful contributions to the government, but at the end of their service, these students are left with an overwhelming sense of void since they give back nothing substantial to their country. All because of poor placements.

Goto the official NSS website and they throw such nice descriptions at you;
“…it has its origins in the desire and demands of Ghanaian Youth for early opportunities to participate in shaping the destiny of our country.”

Yet, year after year the impact of the NSS on the country is negligible at best.
If you take the time to research and examine the notable accomplishments of the vaunted National Service Scheme, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything actually noteworthy.

Talk indeed is cheap and in the end, these NSS personnel have been reduced to just sanitary workers (Go here and here).

With Great Power comes Little Responsibility (to Ghanaians).”

Dear Ghana Government, I don’t understand why my beloved, a petroleum engineer, should be posted to a rural area as a teacher, when her skill-set would be better utilized if she were posted to an industry where she can make actual contributions to the industry and the country as a whole.

If you do admit we are all made for different professions, why then do you tie our hands and push us into dark pits?

WHAT THEN ARE MY RECOMMENDATIONS?

Sorry, RECOMMENDATION; I will give only one area a more targeted approach in deploying personnel will see great results, and if the government likes the idea, they can think of many more…because in the end, they don’t pay me.

MY RECOMMENDATION:
Government can re-purpose old facilities and outfit them with hundreds/thousands of desktop computers.
Conversely, they can dip a hand into an unknown fund and put up such a structure.
We know they can.

The configuration will be nothing fancy; Pentium 4 processors, 1gb of RAM and 80gb HDD.
To reduce the load on these computers, only one suite of application will be installed on them: Microsoft Office.

At these facilities spread across major cities in Ghana, shortlisted people on the National Service Scheme will be given the seemingly simple task of typing out records kept by all relevant Government agencies.
Since the possibility of encountering confidential information is relatively high, anyone who is even remotely involved will be given Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA’s) to sign.
If severely confidential information must be typed out, it can be assigned to carefully selected and screened individuals.
That way, they can effectively muzzle any Anas Aremeyaw Anas wannabees in the facility.

At periodic intervals, the typed info (digital copy) will be collected by the relevant Government Agencies and then backed up online.

Even with the mind-boggling advancements in the technological sphere, it just beats my mind how Government agencies in Ghana still rely on “Pen&Paper”.
Mountains of handwritten records plague every part of Government.
How do they back up the information? Well, they don’t.
And when the fires come…and they always come, they lament on the wealth of information lost to the fires.

But why should that be?
As evidenced by the recent floods, it quite clear that Ghana does not plan for the worst-case-scenario.
We just go with the flow.

The sad part is, the big men all lay down plans that can actually work but when power corrupts them, everything is tossed into the bin until they need votes.

Ghana Government please save the trees…and at least pretend as though you give two hoots about the environment.
Also, you can use my simple but effective example as a template, then base future NSS postings on it, instead of your archaic system.

Cos, in the end, I believe this approach can give the NSS a fresh perspective on handling postings and a renewed interest from  those undertaking it or are yet to.

 

PS: I’d really like to believe the Government thought of something similar to what I am proposing but were just too lazy in its implementation.
(Pls don’t sue me!) 😀