Current Events in Ghana

Posted: April 20, 2013 in All Posts, Ghana

by Jamin Shih

Retired Supreme Court Justice Justice Crabbe

In order to get a more nuanced view of the events that are happening in Ghana, I have decided to stay away from a topical-style blog post this week and focus instead on a variety of current events. Ghana has its own news website that reports entirely about political, business, health, and other aspects of news relevant to those who live in or are interested in Ghana. It’s extraordinarily interesting and I think it’s worth a read if anyone is at all interested.

The first story that popped my eye while writing this post was a report of a retired Supreme Court justice questioning the validity and fairness of elections in Ghana. The point he makes essentially is that there is not enough funding to the people and systems that support and run elections. Because of this inadequate funding, it is impossible to get a process as official and credible as he thinks is necessary for the people of Ghana. He also brings up worries of corruption, that money is being used to help public officials instead of aiding the needs of the people. Indeed, his words reminded me of Transparency International, the NGO that we talked about in class.

Speaking of Transparency, how does Ghana rank on their corruption scale? Ghana is actually doing quite well when compared to much of the world. It scored in the 60th percentile of the entire world on their scale. While obviously, this is not ideal, they are still performing better than most of the rest of the world in regards to political corruption. They rank 64th of the 176 countries examined by the NGO. It should be noted, however, that this survey is missing some key factors of corruption like bribe paying and anti-bribe conventions. This may have skewed Ghana’s score better than it should be.

It ranks a remarkable 41 out of 179 in regards to press freedom, which is amazing and something I’ve noticed from finding several news sites about Ghana. There doesn’t seem to be a lack of articles criticizing the government or laws in a way that is constructive and thoughtful. The abstract “voice and accountability” score, which denotes how much it appears that citizens matter and can get directly involved in the political and election process, is also quite good. Ghana scores in the 63 percentile, again beating most of the world. It’s really great to hear that Ghana is staying competitive in some areas of human rights.

Source: Ghana Web

The final article that caught my eye was about a doctor’s strike in Ghana. There has been quite a big of controversy regarding the government not funding expensive post-graduate studies. In response, members from the Ghana Medical Association [or GMA] have been protesting and threatening to strike this coming Monday the 22nd.

Opponents have criticized that this puts patients at risk and also may not be technically legal, but the potential strikers have responded that the cause is important, no one can force them to work, and they are not worried.

I think this is a supremely interesting current event with major implications and I’m excited to see how this situation resolves itself.

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