Saturday, June 28, 2008

Blackout, the blind following the blind

In the far South of the continent, there is the Republic of South Africa. South Africa produces one of the “Dirtiest” electricity in the whole world (from coal), yet South Africa is rationing electricity. Please do NOT tell me they did not see it coming. They have Ghana as an example to learn from. Sure, they are more advance than Ghana, but presently, they are where Ghana was a year ago. Is that stupid or dumb? Is this the case of the blind following the blind?

It is surprising that a country like Botswana with all her Diamond and Gold, have to depend on South Africa for more that 50% of her electricity. Why can’t Botswana build her own coal-fired electricity plant?

Lets look at Uganda. Idi Amin is gone, Obote is gone. There is a new guard, and the new guard is doing something positive. Heavy fuel plant facility is in the works. A hydro “green” electric plant is under construction at Bujagali and another one at Karuma.
They sure deserve a “pat” on the back.
Sure every politician steals some money or takes bribes, in some cases (and no names, cannot afford a lawsuit), they steal more and hide them in far away Switzerland than they spend on the masses (these Africans really believe in the application of the 80-20 rule).

There is a new crop of Ugandan leadership that seem to care some about the little guyLet me give them credit where credit is due.

Then we have the new gurd in the Republic of Congo have come to recognized what it would take to move into the 21st century. Lets give them a pat on the back for the work they are doing in Grand Inga. With some luck they will be able to light up half of the continent.
Lets not forget, the money was here when we came, and it will be here when we check out and go to face our Maker. Hording the loot for you alone in a Swiss number account, will do nobody any good when you check out, except the Swiss government, who gets to keep the unclaimed loot

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Africa's need for Electricity

I stopped short of pointing out some relevant issues. Here we go.

The West has a way of ganging up on any small fish (guppy) that tries to play in their league or compete against them, the guppy gets crushed.
Ghana can better serve herself by not selling aluminum as a piglet billet or ingot, but rather finished products. The West and for that matter China wants and needs Ghana’s aluminum, Ghana should set up plants to make aluminum products, and have the West or whomever, buy the finished goods. That means more jobs for Ghanaians down the line.

China is being very good and generous to Ghana; China has given Ghana interest “FREE” loan to build another “green” electricity plant in the Northwestern part of the country at Bui.
Why would China do something like that (there are no free lunches)?
Could it be they want to get access to Ghana’s aluminum, manganese, gold, diamond, and other raw materials?

Before the rotating blackouts started in Ghana, and up to the point where Valco turned off its lights, I did not see the Chinese offering to give Ghana money to buy generators.

Why is it that China is only buying raw material from Ghana, and selling finished goods? Why are Chinese coming to Ghana in droves, and staying, but they are NOT letting Ghanaians, and for that matter, Africans stay a day past their visa dates

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Electricity Africa

It is very sad that as Africans, we do not learn from the mistakes or demise of other African countries.
For most part of 2005, 2006, 2007, Ghana was having problem with electricity.
Ghana’s electricity is very “green”; as a matter of fact the “greenest” after wind generated electricity, hydro!
The only problem is that, water is a very tricky business. Both water and wind are dependent on Nature, but water more so than wind.
The water situation in Ghana became so acute that Valco (probably the only industry) that produces something that majority of the world needs, has to shut down.
One can only buy so many basket, carvings and leather goods, and then he is awash in it, and would not buy anymore for a while. But aluminum or aluminium that is a different item. When VALCO went off line, the world market price of aluminum went up more than 10%. Can you imagine THAT! Little Ghana can have an effect on the world price of a commodity overnight, WOW!
Ghanaians have quite an appetite for electronic goods, and Ghana does NOT produce any electronic gadget of her own, everything has to be imported.
Remember, Valco is down, and there is hardly any industry that brings foreign exchange with which Ghana can barter for the electronic goods. Granted, Ghana makes textiles, plastic chairs, plastic plates, and a few plastic cups to be sold to her neighbors, who are just as poor and have their own appetite for electronic goods.

Now it is the Republic of South Africa that is rationing electricity