Friday, June 04, 2010

When the BBC Worldservice Called from London...When in Accra

Let me get this straight. For the past few days, the BBC Africa Service has been travelling through the sub-region in a bus to get a feel of the so-called football fever in the run-up to the FIFA 2010 world cup in South Africa.

The "Africa Have Your Say" programme is live on air in Africa every Tuesday to Thursday. The "Africa Have Your Say" bus started off in Cote d'Ivoire, landed at the Western region of Ghana's capital--Takoradi--on Tuesday, Cape Coast on Wednesday, and landed in Accra on Thursday. They even had a live session of the programme yesterday looking at electricity provision

It is to that end that one Ishta Kutesa Nandi contacted me asking:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ishta Kutesa
Date: 2010/6/3
Subject: Message via your Google Profile: Electricity in Ghana
To: ekbensah@gmail.com


Hello Emmanuel,

My name is Ishta and I'm contacting you from the BBC World Service in London. I've read quite a few of your blog posts and I find your views on utility provision in Ghana quite interesting. I'd love to talk to you about possibly taking part in a live debate we're holding this afternoon. Please reply with a phone number I can contact you on so that we can discuss this further.

Kind regards,
Ishta

So, after a response and exchange of emails, I got a call shortly after. We talked for some 15 minutes, in which she asked a whole host of questions and asked for some solutions that I see for the way forward:

1. the government should continue to invest in the old electricity sytstem, which has been under-invested for many years

2. the government should establish more sub-stations to cater for a rapidly-growing population

3. ghanaians should have at their disposal a FREE hotline--not one where you pay landline rates on a mobile!

4. we should be getting streetlights as every blessed customer pays for them

5. if Ghana can provide our neigbouring countries (Cote d'ivoire and Togo) with electricity, we ought to have regular provision HERE in Ghana!

Ishta was supposed to call back and help me make inputs into the live session, but I never got that call. I know a fellow blogger--Golda--who was there at the live session, but didn't hear her name on air.

Whatever the case, a few ghanablogging members got recognised--and for that I am happy. To be recognised by no less than the BBC on the issues that concern us most--electricity; streetlights; utility provision, etc--is the biggest boost anyone can get.

Never mind writing about our own lives...
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