Earlier this year, there was an article in The Economist that flew under the radar which would have filled any Ghanaian with an insurmountable amount of dread had they just given its headline a cursory glance. It said boldly in no uncertain terms “Ghana Is Planning to Sell Most of Its Future Gold Royalties”. Although any discerning reader knows headlines can often be misleading, this one was no different because upon perusing the article you find that the truth of the matter isn’t as bad as the headline will lead you to believe, it’s actually much worse.
The piece in The Economist exposes in frightening detail, how the incumbent government in broad daylight planned to auction off to the highest bidder, all future profits that have yet to be realized from Ghana’s chief bargaining chip, our gold. It detailed how they planned to take even more loans from foreign bodies and by so doing, dig us even deeper while giving away the very tool we would have used to escape the hole we were worsening. In a nutshell, left unchecked, this government is poised and ready in just one short presidential term of four years, to rid us of our gold in the same way they had done with most of the rights to our oil.
The story of Ghana’s oil is a tragedy like none other. A little over a decade ago, Ghana discovered an expansive oil field which led its citizens to believe that the west African nation’s ever rising fuel prices would finally become manageable at the very least. Many years later, with the advent of a viral pandemic that brought international economies to their knees, Ghana’s fuel prices are still rising at a steady rate with no sign of slowing down.
The answer to why this is our reality is simple. Mismanagement, brought on either by officials who are greedy and selling us short to keep the proceeds for themselves or even worse, completely out of their depth and don’t know what they’re doing. But the result remains the same, at the end of the day it is the citizenry that will all suffer for it. Because if in one short presidential term, they have managed to rid us of our oil and already set to work on taking our gold from us, what will there be left to sell off in another 4 years? We mustn’t take a risk and find out the hard way.