In his current blog, Felix Grethlein, intern at the First Step Foundation in Ghana, gives insights into the topics “Money, development aid and the general problems of the country”. Read
I have spoken to several Ghanaians about money, development aid and the country’s problems. Nana, a young guy from my hostel in Accra, has even disclosed his livelihood to me. Earning 300 Cedi (60€) per month he even spends 70 alone on the rent of a small room in Accra. The average rent for a single room in Ghana’s capital is about 100 Cedi, he told me. 20 euros converted seem quite affordable for us so far. However, it is common for the young people in Accra to send part of the income to their outside located families. At least 120 Cedi of Nanas’ earnings go to his mother and siblings. Reducing another 60 Cedi for consumption and additional spending for electricity and water, the remaining amount is 10 Cedi, 2€ per month. To make it more visual: 10 Cedi make you afford two simple meals. Because of his tough situation Nana wants to become an electrician and is actually looking for work in neighboring countries. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem motivated. He explains that the government shows a low interest to improve the situation of the youth.
The policy is also criticized by Kwame. In his opinion, not nearly a strategic concept can be recognized. In addition, the only two major parties have completely different persuasions. The government also does not represent a good model for its society. Many educated Ghanaians aim the big money and therefore think exclusively of their own wealth. The gap between bitter poverty and wealth is therefore extreme. Unfortunately, the poor did not benefit from public welfare support through the capitalist system, as it is the case in industrialized countries. Kwame recognizes very few efforts to improve the infrastructure and support the education system sustainably. As I just write this, there is a spot on the television that reminds people to pay taxes while showing the state’s investment examples. In fact, all of the construction work shown can be found in Accra and not in the countryside. The clip addresses the little people particularly: “And if you have such a low income, pay your taxes!” That’s exactly what Kwame criticizes.
These stories surprise me a little because Ghana is classified as one of Africa’s model democracies (Democracy Index) and better developed countries (GDP per capita). Therefore, I will try to further investigate these and similar topics.
Felix Grethlein has been an intern at the First Step Foundation in Ghana since the end of last year. In his blog “Swapping Spaetzle against Fufu” Felix regularly writes about his four-month stay in Ghana and the work of the First Step Foundation.