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Ghana government cuts power to companies to ensure fans watch World Cup matches

Published on: 13 June 2014
Black Stars are seeking new dance to excite Ghanaian fans

Ghana will boost power production during its World Cup matches and asked the nation’s largest aluminium smelter to reduce consumption to make sure that scheduled blackouts don’t interfere with the Black Stars’ games.

Neighbour Ivory Coast has agreed to supply 50 megawatts to Ghana during its games, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission said in an e-mailed statement.

The Volta Aluminum has been asked to reduce power use during Black Stars matches, the agency said.

Ghana plays its first game on June 16 in Natal, Brazil, against the US.

The tournament starts tomorrow, with the host nation’s team facing Croatia.

“These plans are put in place for consumers to watch uninterruptible football matches during the World Cup,” the agency said in the statement.

“Within these arrangements the load-shedding schedule, though varied, still exists.”

Ghana will probably have to ration power through the first quarter of 2015 because it lacks the spare capacity to replace plants shut down for repair, the Volta River Authority said last month.

The agency provides 80 percent of the nation’s electricity.

Ghana has been rationing power this month because of a shortage of natural gas and below average levels of water at hydroelectric plants.

The Black Stars want to advance beyond the quarterfinals this year, the stage in which they lost to Uruguay on penalty kicks in 2010 in South Africa, Kudjoe Fianoo, executive committee member of the Ghana Football Association, said in an interview in Sao Paulo.

Nation’s Passion

“Football is the passion of the nation,” he said, referring to Ghana as the Brazil of Africa.

“It is no wonder the government is spending extra money to get us reliable power at this very important time in our nation.”

Ghana, which has about 24 million residents, moved up one step to 37th place on the FIFA rankings released on June 5.

The world’s second-largest cocoa producer generates about 2,000 megawatts of power, below capacity of 2,800 megawatts, according to the Volta River Authority.

“That essentially sounds like a populist measure given the reforms needed in the power sector of the country” Shilan Shah, economist at Capital Economics in London, said by phone.

“There is growing dismay among the people over cost of living, rising inflation and government putting cap on wages.”


Extra Cost

Ghana will probably report a budget gap above 10 percent of gross domestic product for a third year in 2014 because of rising government wages and a decline in the currency that is making imports more expensive, Fitch Ratings said this year.

The central bank said today it financed the government’s deficit in the first quarter, a move Fitch warned risks stoking inflation that reached 14.8 percent in May.

“The government wants the people to have power so they can watch the game,” Yvonne Mhango, Johannesburg-based sub-Saharan Africa economist at Renaissance Capital, said by phone.

“The government should be concerned that if this was not budgeted for from the beginning of the year, it represents an additional cost on the annual budget.” - Bloomberg News


This article has 7 comment(s), give your comment
  • Kofi says:
    June 13, 2014 02:37 pm
    Thank you CIV!
  • NII-BI says:
    June 13, 2014 04:00 pm
    GSN it seems you are always behind of updating we your cherish funs. This mail came in three days far away and you are now bringing it here. Pls, its your job so i will suggest that you guys should do better than you are doing now. By the way, good job though...!
  • benny says:
    June 13, 2014 04:37 pm
    Stories like this makes me really sad and angry. 57 years of Independence still can't point to one thing Ghana is doing right. 20 years under Blood sucking cannibal Rawlings could not ensure sustainable power yet he would not let our ears rest with his senseless ranting. It took same 20 years under a visionary to transform Singapore my favourite country to what it is today without blood shed. Singapore comes no where near the resources Ghana has. Our political leaders are too selfish and the populace follow them blindly. Politicians everywhere are the same ,corrupt and selfish. Now it has come to a situation where companies who pay taxes has to cut production because Ghana government fear backlash from the populace .They more interested to savr their face than save the shambolic economy they have created with their selfishness and cluelessness. The sad thing is that the populace are not worried about the dangers of the government action . it is time that Ghanain stand up to the politicians to fulfil theiir political promises and stop the lips services.NDC,NPP etc they all the same. l agree that Ghanains have access to electricity to watch football but not at the expense of the economy.Promises upon promises.It the same here in UK and everywhere.The difference is that the people in the western world stand up to the politicians and not condone politicians action by tribal affiliations as pertains in Ghana.God have mercy on Ghana.
  • Stranger Danger says:
    June 13, 2014 04:42 pm
    Dumb asses! Why did it have to come down to the World Cup for you to start thinking about energy issues? And so what if there was no World Cup? then you wouldn't care if your people lived in darkness would would you? Idiotic corrupted government
  • Kudju says:
    June 13, 2014 06:18 pm
    We need development in Ghana,what is wrong with our politicians.Now we Hv to import electricity from CIV who by the way also happen to have their team in Brazil but still are miles ahead of us when it comes to power distribution.What a shame!!
  • dasaintshy says:
    June 14, 2014 11:09 am
    Enough said. This was the same anger in me ten years ago that made me left my motherland to the states. After graduating from the Knust and having gotten some sense in my head, I look at our leadership and I said I needed to leave and thus what I did. I would have gotten blood pressure by now of I had stayed. The Accra road was under construction when I was leaving in 2004, came back in 2011, it was still under construction. Dumso has been the order since 1997, when it first became apparent. Rawlings and pndc are really lucky to be alive.
  • Ghanaman says:
    June 13, 2014 06:23 pm
    Ok,so after the w/cup Ghana is bk in darkness.