Rent Culture 215


Ghana in general is a well balanced society with a good education system and a large middle class. But there is a huge social problem affecting those at the bottom of the ladder, which there appears no will at all among the political class even to acknowledge, let alone tackle, and that is rent.

Ghana’s agricultural production has never collapsed, unlike Nigeria, and the traditional patterns of society in rural areas have not broken down. Modern services, in terms of edication, electrification and clean water, have penetrated rural communities better than in any other African country, though there are still areas of concern, particularly in the North. But the overall good picture means that there has therefore been less extreme urban drift, less shanty town existence, than in most of the developing world, and therefore less urban violence.

But despite all this there is a terrible problem with the rent culture of Accra. The poor all rent housing, rather than own. Demand exceeds supply and landlords invariably demand three, or at the very least two, years’ rent in advance. This is absolutely established as the way the market operates, and for the poor there is no way around it. Three years’ rent is typically over one year’s income, and in consequence the poor are sucked into a permanent life of debt. This applies to the majority of people living in the City. Quite literally, a day never passes in which at least one Ghanaian doesn’t ask me to lend them the money for their rent; yesterday there were four. I help where I can.

This situation was already calamitous but is going to get much worse, as land values are already starting to soar with the coming of the oil industry. I have good friends at the highest levels in all the Ghanaian political parties, but they all seem to have been so indoctrinated with IMF economics that they do not even consider rent controls. Unfortunately the performance of both the NPP and the NDC in building social housing has been very poor. I am forced to the opinion that the plight of the poor is not actually a pressing concern in the minds of the educated classes in Ghana in general.

The fierce party political divisions in Ghana need to be put aside, and an all-party solution on social housing and on rents has to be pursued with vigour, as a primary use for some of Ghana’s oil revenues.


215 thoughts on “Rent Culture

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  • Uzbek in the UK

    @ John Goss
    .
    It is very unlikely that, now late, comrade Kim was murdered. In closed totalitarian societies like North Korean it is very unlikely to murder a leader and at the same time keep course of the regime unchanged. Some still say that Stalin was murdered but so far there is no proof of this. Adding to this that North Korean military, who actually in charge of North Korea, were perfectly happy with comrade Kim and his course.
    .
    As for conspiracy theorists, US was trying in several occasions to end North Korean regime but failed in all of those. Perfect opportunity was in the mid of 1990th but failure again.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    @ Anno
    .
    The difference between secular and non-secular state is that in secular states you can practise religion (even choose from various religions) OR you cannot practise any religion and still be part of that particular society.
    .
    In non-secular state in contrast you MUST practise certain religion, anything else is illegal.
    .
    By denying people choice (and choice of practise or non practice of religion in particular) one lays good foundations to fascism and totalitarianism. In 20th century those two were defined by ideological extremes based on socio-economic concepts. In 21st century it seems in certain type of societies we return to basics, secularism vs religious oppression.

    Defining the above in words that (As I presume closer to your heart and mind): By denying people choice one takes greater responsibility and by definition will (on Judgement Day) be held responsible for everything (and everything wrong in particular).

  • Mary

    Yes Uzbek. I understood. Of course the union flag flies even more proudly there since 1982. Our brave young prince William is going out there soon. Fresh from his night out at the IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM in company with Kate and his brother Harry now certificated to fly one of our killing machines, an Apache.
    .
    Just watching James Hipwell, ex Mirror reporter, who completely contradicted what Piers Morgan said yesterday on his knowledge of phone hacking. Endemic within apparently and ‘bog standard’ within the tabloid press.
    .
    I was comparing the mod cons of the location of Leveson inquiry with those in Court 3 on Monday. I picked this up from their website. Nice little earner for Shami and co.
    .
    Who are the Panel of Assessors?
    Six independent assessors have been appointed to assist Lord Justice Leveson during the course of the Inquiry. They are Sir David Bell, Shami Chakrabarti, Lord (David) Currie, Elinor Goodman, George Jones and Sir Paul Scott-Lee .
    .
    How was the Panel of Assessors selected?
    The Prime Minister announced the chair and assessors on 20 July 2011. In making his announcement about the assessors, the Prime Minister said:
    .
    “These people have been chosen not only for their expertise in the media, broadcasting, regulation, government and policing, but for their complete independence from any interested parties.”
    .
    Why is there no current newspaper Editor or someone with current experience of working on a tabloid newspaper on the panel?
    This issue was raised with Lord Justice Leveson as part of the preliminary hearings and he delivered a ruling on this issue on 18 October 2011.
    .
    Can Lord Justice Leveson appoint additional assessors?
    Lord Justice Leveson does have the power, under the Inquiries Act 2005, to appoint additional assessors.
    .
    Are the assessors being paid?
    The assessors can claim a daily rate of £565 for their work on the Inquiry, together with reasonable costs for travel and subsistence. Not all of the assessors will claim expenses, but the details will be published regularly on this website.
    .
    David Leigh of the Guardian is on later today. Time unknown.

  • tigger1

    Uzbek,
    The economical relation between countries within Soviet bloc were too complicated to make good conclusions. The currencies were at fixed level of exchange within the trade bloc and I do not believe the example that Hungary could get the payment in hard currency.
    I was living in Poland and we often had more balanced knowledge about Soviet Union than its own citizens.
    We had official propaganda consistent with Soviet propaganda but also there was widespread listening to Polish sections of Radio Free Europe or BBC. We had more freedom of speech but lower standard of living than for example Czechs.(you may know the joke: 2 dogs talk at Polish-Czech border – I am going to Czechoslovakia to eat more. And I am going to Poland to do some barking)
    In USSR people could not easy travel from one town to another without permit, the foreign media were jammed, people could not talk openly without being spied on. So we knew perfectly well that Soviet propaganda was using the explanation of massive aid to other “friendly” countries to justify shortages. They could even claim sending food to Poland.
    The oil and gas at that time were not big source of revenue as they were cheap globally. Soviets were sending us the oil but equally there were continuous massive transports of Polish coal to USSR, as well as food (except during the 1980s). Even after 1990, in free economy Russia was still major buyer of food from Poland.
    The prices of trading goods were fixed without any relation to its value, so it is impossible to determine who was giving whom.
    Internet can only access the statistics which were totally falsified.
    I think the issue is impossible to determine so keep our beliefs. Otherwise I appreciate your views.

  • Passerby

    “In non-secular state in contrast you MUST practise certain religion, anything else is illegal.”
    ,
    An expert on religious affairs too. Bollocks!
    ,
    In the “democratic” Tunisia before that poor chap Bou Azzizi self-immolated by setting himself on fire; every Muslim wishing to attend mosque for prayers, had to have a permit. so much for the secular states. In fact in some secular states being religious oppression is OK, because they are secular.
    ,
    As for the religious states, other than Saudi (don’t mention them), and Israeli (only Jewish state) systems, everywhere else anyone can practice anything they like so long as it is not Satanism.

  • Passerby

    Then they squeal like stuffed pigs when their plots get nowhere, and start accusing all and sundry for the failures of their dastardly plots.
    ,
    ,
    Cannot stand the deceitful bastard sock puppets in charge of the beleaguered Arab nations, far too busy with carrying out their orders, with no regards to the plight of their people.
    ,
    This is the line that is so funny if these tossers did not mean it; “…release prisoners, as a first step towards implementing the (Arab) protocol. In other words let out the saboteurs, and cut-throat bastards bent on destruction of the Syria, that you have rounded up, and let our (AL) spies access all freely, to reconnoitre the place in preparations for the intended NATO bombardments.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Arabic proverb truly says that ‘Arrogance diminishes wisdom’.
    .
    For this reason number of Christians were arrested in Iran for drinking communal wine in a house church.
    .
    For this reason Said Musa was put on trial in Afghanistan for converting from Islam to Christianity.
    .
    As for negative examples of secular states one could have utilised their excellent knowledge of Soviet history where atheism was running the show and religion was underground for decades.

  • Passerby

    For this reason number of Christians were arrested in Iran for drinking communal wine in a house church.
    ,
    You must be referring to evangelist with a zionist fervour to come up with “house church”. The churches in Iran are a plenty, and Christians living in Iran have for long enjoyed their freedom of religion, as well as Iranian Jews enjoying their freedom to worship. However, if a bunch of rowdy drunkards have been arrested (use of alcohol is prohibited), and in their defence have come out with the alibi of “house church”, and worship thereof. This is good enough for the Uzbek whom hates all things Iranian; as yet another example of the Iranians oppressive practices.
    ,
    Reading your copious comments on all matters, there is every indication an of ex soviet Jew, sort of Natan Sharansky lite. AlthoughgGiven that Anapa was getting a lecture on decolonisation, yet time and again you have come out in support of the other colonisers namely the ziocrazies, but hey we cannot question the Uzbek’s shitlist, can we?
    ,
    ,
    ,
    In the other news the wonderful world of secularism that reduces men and women to mere sexual toys, there has been an advisory; 50,000 UK women urged not to panic over implant scare Because more than sixty percent of these would in all likelihood have implants manufactured from industrial silicone, due to cost cutting measures in PIP the manufacturers.
    ,

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Mr/Ms Arrogance,
    .
    I am the same Jew as you are Martian.
    .
    And just out of curiosity, does being ex-Soviet Jew make one less Human? And if not then why bringing this up?
    .
    And just for information, I do not support Zionists but I also do not support the view that Jews do not have a right for statehood. As well as I support the idea that Kurds as well as Uigurs as well as Tibetians, and Chechens, and (this might come to your surprise) as well as Palestinian Arabs should have right to establish their own state.

  • Passerby

    And just out of curiosity, does being ex-Soviet Jew make one less Human? And if not then why bringing this up?
    ,
    Your patent hatred of all things; Islamic, Iran, Soviet, Arab, etc. Whilst the clear cut lines of exceptional-ism concerning the other colonisers; ziofuckwits, which you have reiterated yet again, without so much as any irony, as well as your general bollocksological take on events, concepts and history.
    ,
    For someone coming form the provinces of the old USSR, your absolutist take on all matters of USSR, and “ Totalitarianism” seem to belong to someone who was a next door neighbour to Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin, and well read on US pulp fiction passed as “news media”

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Hold your horses.
    .
    I do not hate Islam, but I hate when someone in the name of Islam tries to convince me that I should shut up because it is against Islam to speak up your mind.
    .
    I do not hate Iran, but I hate Iranian government that denies Iranians basic rights.
    .
    Yes, I do hate USSR and I am extremely happy that it has collapsed and that Uzbekistan is now independent. Karimov will not live longer than prescribed by nature. And in long run we (Uzbekistanis) are certainly better off than Chechens are.
    .
    I do not hate Arabs, but I hate hypocrisy that surrounds inter-Arabic relations as well as relations of Arabic nations with non-Arabs including non-Arab Muslims.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    To add to my last point is that if you want to know what I mean, at least ask Pakistanis how they are being treated in UAE airports while waiting for transit flights.

  • Passerby

    Now Ben Fulford’s article begins to make sense. The campaign has began to rubbish Kim Jong-il: (hard as it may seem to rubbish the rubbish)

    The apparent manner of his death – in service to the nation – was cited by some of his thousands of mourners in the country as a factor compounding their grief. The official state news agency said mourners “young and old” were pointing to his death on duty as evidence of his “total dedication day and night to the happiness of the people.”
    ,
    then comes the kick;
    But questions have been raised over this official version by Won Sei-hoon, the head of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, who said surveillance footage revealed that the dictator’s personal train on which he is said to have died did not move over the weekend…….the train was stationary when the North Korean authorities claimed he had died…….. raised questions over ….. death.. ‘stage managed’ to bolster his legacy and the standing on his son and anointed successor Kim Jung-un.
    ,
    Simply put the operation let us try and shake up the new boy to see how he reacts, has started.
    ,
    Although at the end of the above article there is a sort of tacit resignation; the half hearted attempt is for reasons of Western circle jerk than for the benefits of the North Koreans.

  • Passerby

    Uzbek,
    You have gone on record admitting your hatred of all things; Islamic, Iran, USSR, Arab, Syria, etc. however with a flimsy qualification, and the usual homilies of; “we don’t have a fight with Iraqis, but our fight is with Saddam”. Although empirically we find the one and one half-million dead Iraqis, five million made into refugees, and three million maimed and injured Iraqis, and nearly a decade of occupation later, based on; there still is no hatred of any Iraqis Just Saddam! (new speak for wishing them all dead).
    ,
    Then comes to the touche moment; at least ask Pakistanis how they are being treated in UAE airports while waiting for transit flights.
    ,
    Before that asking from in-transit Pakistanis, about their treatment, best ask about the experience of Pakistanis resident and wishing to fly out or into the UK, US?
    ,
    You have game the away, just another one of those HP saucers as someone else has put it.

  • Mary

    The new boy looks distinctly unhealthy to me. Somewhat obese. It is said that he has been moulded to resemble the grandfather but that might be some more Western propaganda.

  • Passerby

    Mary,
    This is the story about his uncle is to be advising him.
    ,
    Note half way down the page the array of propaganda balloons readied to be fired to DPRK. The fog war, and it is war; no ceasefire was declared at the end of the Korean war. the truth is casualty, as early as 1950s those singing from a different hymn sheet were getting “raptured”, “kellyed”, or “Olsoned”, note the fleeting reference to the Korean war
    ,
    Further search could point to the scale of atrocities, and war crimes, on an industrial scale. DPRK to date is awaiting the next wave of attacks, as their posturing indicates.

  • ingo

    What if Kim Yong un wants to act up to some of the principles we value, what if all this name calling, ‘babyface’ ‘fatboy’ and the now racking over Kim Il Yongs body politics and western allures has anything to do with goading North Korea into a militaryu adventure, something China will not like at all?

    What if the young Swiss educated man wants to open up rapport with the south, wants peace talks and brake the stalemate cease fire? What if he is fighting the military generals and their agenda internally, all of them old and decrepit, what if he is more modern than we are being told.

    Who would want a war with North Korea most? the impoverished state ate the brink of another winter famine, or those in the west who are itching to have a go?
    The 12 days of mourning is not over yet, still the western vasalls are already sharpening their pens and egging Yon Un on to make a mistake, calamitous indeed. Why not let the young man grieve for another week, why lay into him and his dead dad if we want peacefull relationships with North Korea?

  • Mary

    ZBC can hadly contain themselves. There are a total of sixteen links including this page.
    .
    How genuine are the tears in North Korea?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16262027
    .
    In the one written by Jonathan Marcus, Did US Intelligence Fail?, they even get in a mention of Obama watching the operation that supposedly killed Osama Bin Laden.
    .
    Quite ridiculous and dangerous propaganda.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    A CIA agent, Amir Mirzai Hekmati has been uncovered in Tehran. Hekmati who previously worked for the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) told interrogators he worked for a computer games developer called ‘Kuma Games’ developing free episodic first person shooters (FPS) funded by the CIA. The company has also created a number of machinima movies for their games, particularly The Dinohunters.
    .
    The CIA worked with Hekmati to develop games aimed at influencing Iranian ‘gamers’ and the Iranian general public that America was doing good by advancing democracy in the Middle East.
    .
    Iran was part of the ‘axis of evil’ a term initially used by the former United States President George W. Bush in his State of the Union Address on January 29, 2002 in the lead up to the Iraq war.
    .
    America had denied the accusations.
    .
    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/american-amir-hekmati-alleged-cia-spy-held-iran/story?id=15197330#.TvIuOPT_mU8

  • Mary

    Very telling that Cameron and these other war criminals are attending Havel’s funeral on Friday
    .
    Cameron to attend funeral of Czech leader Vaclav Havel
    Thousands of people accompanied Mr Havel’s coffin as it was carried through the Prague streets
    .
    In pictures: Honouring Havel
    Tributes paid after Havel’s death
    .
    Prime Minister David Cameron will attend the funeral of former Czech president Vaclav Havel in Prague on Friday, Downing Street has confirmed.
    .
    Mr Havel, who led the 1989 overthrow of communism, died on Sunday aged 75.
    .
    Mr Cameron said he had “devoted his life to the cause of human freedom” and Europe owed him “a profound debt”.

    Other world leaders, including France’s Nicolas Sarkozy, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Israel’s Shimon Peres, are also expected (to) attend the funeral.

    .
    /…http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16295148

  • anno

    Mark Golding
    ‘With Tony Blair and New Labour we witnessed subtle changes, instead of a sovereign and autonomous population or citizenry, that ‘sovereign’ became a notion and Britain moved towards a representative oligarchy and government and law decision makers appeared only by the oligarchs support and approval. In our capitalist society, capital amassed in the minority and money bought policies while our own individual tax burden became regressive and corrupt.’
    Blair developed the Thatcher idea of responsibility, from individual responsibility to reciprocal responsibility.
    Now we would not just have to pay the state our taxes to pay for public services, but also have a moral responsibility to give the governors a personal kick back for looking after us so beautifully.
    Neo-cons and Neo-socs borrow a concept from Socialism of land belonging to the nation. First they sell off the council houses and stop building houses, so there’s a shortage. Now they are scrapping the planning laws and going to make a fortune.
    The neo-soc and neo-con politics are both corrupt derivatives of the original capital and social -isms. Shortly we will have post-neo-capitalism and post-neo-socialism which we could call retro-feudalism and retro-Leninism.The word ‘retro’ will come to mean the same as the Arabic ‘Salaf’, by which fascist control will be exercised in the name of returning to a glorious age of the past, when in reality the main principles of the original faith, i.e. humanity, justice, humility, equality, brotherhood, sincerity, are all omitted. Whether it be Monarchy,Communism or Islam we are discussing, the mind-set prevails amongst modern,
    political human thinking, always to short-change. Didn’t Mrs T. patent a new method of increasing the bulk of ice-cream by whipping extra air in?

  • Mary

    Hope everyone is enjoying watching the Millies. Excruciating stuff. Soap opera actors, presenters, royal princes and princess, hangers on, clarkson, beckham, slebs, gordon ramsay even, all milking it for all it is worth and that is the wailing of the military wives choir. And all under the auspices of The Sun/Murdoch. Unbelievable. This year the propaganda for war has been put out at its highest ;evel. There must be a special department in the MoD that produces and plans it.
    .
    Couldn’t agree more with the headline here
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/4012605/Celebs-humbled-by-Millies-heroes.html

  • anno

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/19/libyan-rebel-abdel-hakim-belhadj?newsfeed=true
    It appears that this guy not only has stayed within the moral boundaries of Islamic qisas/revenge , by limiting his actions as leader of the Libyan Military Council to targeted revenge of known Gaddafi henchmen, but also he is helping us in the UK in our revenge against Blair. Before all you woolly-dyed liberals complain, what have any of us here in the UK been able to achieve against Blair and his New Labour henchmen/women?

  • anno

    Talking of which I saw a field of sheep next to the M50 the other day, half the ewes with red coloured bottoms and half of them with blue ones. Half of them retro-feudals and half of them retro-Lenins. No sign at all of any yellow bottoms.

  • Fedup

    An innocuous bit of new;
    <a href="http://www.yle.fi/uutiset/news/2011/12/missile_shipment_confirmed_aboard_detained_vessel_3120008.html&quot; A British cargo vessel detained at Kotka harbour has been found to be carrying a shipment of American-made Patriot missiles
    ,
    These antimissile missiles were despatched from Germany (US arsenal based there) and were destined to South Korea. Where these were to be deployed, and what were these to guard from the potential DPRK missiles?

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