Friday, August 03, 2007

As the Week Draws to a Close in Accra: Stanbic Must Leave Ghana's ADB Alone; MTN Ghana is Born but What's Changed?

A journalist friend of mine came by my workplace yesterday to introduce an innovation in this country--a free newspaper!

Not to steal his thunder or anything, but his paper will be called "Real News", and there is even a website in the offing. Sounds all exciting!

Even more so was our conversation after he told me he's been using the same Areeba # for five years.

"I prefer ONETOUCH these days" I started. "You can surf the 'Net on it. Did you even know that ONETOUCH is launching Mobile television with a Korean firm?".

As he started to text away a message, he remarked: "what, do you know someone working there--the way you're doing P.R. for them!"

"Not at all" I quipped, "it's because they're almost-all Ghanaian!"

He broke out in a semi-laugh, adding "I see!"

That's what I am talking about--supporting the Ghanaian industry no matter what. Idem with the ADB/Stanbic furore.

I have actually been accused elsewhere of being xenophobic towards South Africans, because of my acerbic post about Stanbic.

If it behooves me to hold strong viewson a so-called strategic foreign investor that is clearly in Ghana to maximize whatever profits it can -- under
the guise of facilitating Ghana to the Promised land of a West African gateway, then I'm all against it!

Stanbic is now providing loans for the re-construction of Flagstaff House; it's also intent on partnering with thw country's state paper Daily Graphic on some projects.

Nice try, Stanbic. Get into the hearts and minds of Ghanaians, and maybe, just maybe, the divestiture-friendly governmentwill give you the nod--and maybe, a wink with good measure.

Again, not so fast, Stanbic.

You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of them all of the time!

I don't want Stanbic money in any part of my economy. What I want is autonomy to manage my country's own affairs!

MTN is Born

I'm really bored by the yellow front cover that most newspapers had today regarding the changeover from AREEBA to MTN--yet another South African entity.

I am hoping more that what MTN Ghana brings is quality to the execrable network that AREEBA was offering. With its humongous subscriber-base of circa two million subscribers, eclipsing that of TIGO; ONETOUCH and KASAPA, it better get delivering--fast!

At least I have my AREEBA/MTN number for life. It's an easy number to remember, so I gotta get filling it with credit;-)

Have a good weekend!


peculiar VIrtue said...

Yessss, MTN definitely took the place by storm! Their PR campaign is to be applauded! I happened to be in Papaye, Osu, when the 'launch' took off... I swore it was Carnival back home in the VI!

But I do support your sentiments, a la "Ghana for the Ghanaians". Foreign control of finance and telecommunications are seldom in the best interest of the locals. The Virgin Islands is unfortunately a prime victim of such.

P.S. It was nice chatting with you as well. I thought I had said something wrong when you made such a speedy exit... but the hotel was charging me even for the local call, so it worked out. :o)

God bless!

Unknown said...

Been reading your blog for a while and I thought to leave a note. I feel like you're not being really fair on the South Africans man. You sound all hypocritic when you talk about SA coming to take over the economy when in fact the Lebanese and Indians have been the ones in charge for a donkey years.

You should try to give credit to SA for at least striving hard to make an impact on Africa instead of us having all these other nationalities come to take away our stuff.

In one of your earlier comments regarding Stanbic, you stated that you would have felt better if it was a Nigerian entity that was doing such but I doubt your and other Ghanaians' sincerity towards any other group of Africans who seem to be excelling economically.

The Nigerian banks suffered a lot of bashing when they came in and they still do till date. I think Ghanaians cannot just stomach anything that's bigger than them.

The world is now a global village so you need to deal with the fact that institutions are expanding all over the world. If an Indian firm can buy up a European steel concern, why can't a South African company invest in a Ghanaian company? Or is it that skin colour supercedes everything else in your dictionary?


Have a nice week.


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