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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  • Fedup

    Anno,
    ZBC tonight was showing a group (five or six men) of so called “Syrian Opposition” in Turkey who were asking the world for a “no fly zone”. The reason for this was given to be the figures of “6000” Syrians killed out of which 617 have been killed under torture. (No mention of the make up of their (zbc) figures, ie how many soldiers have been shot by the mercenaries on motorbikes, wreaking havoc, and how many of Syrians have these same mercenaries killed? The comments of Mark Golding confirm this too)
    ,
    This “news” was brought to you by John Simpson the liberator of Kabul, without any irony that the same shit was given as the reason for the Libyan shindig, just before the mass killings and total destruction of that country. Also not mentioned were the tally of the dead bodies strewed across Libya with chunks of their flesh gouged out and missing, and the tally of missing; eyes, ears, limbs, and genitals, as well as women whom had been raped and then literally cut to shreds and left to die in agony. Although these events took place whilst NATO was helping the liberation in Libya, and perhaps were not of any relevance!
    ,
    Syrians on this very day have been pouring out in the streets and demonstrating in favour of current government in Damascus and elsewhere in Syria, and in opposition to the “Syrian Transitional Council”. However, that is also of no relevance, because the crazy warmongering bastards, believe they still can get on with their expansion plans.
    ,
    The same Arab league that has kept quiet about the Bahrainis massacre, and the wave of torture and oppression in Bahrain. Is now seeking to take Syria’s case to UN. The current members of the Arab League have nothing in mind other than perpetuating the status quo through their reactionary stance. There is nothing Islamic about the Arab League, these bastards are beneath contempt, hence the absence of Syrians from the meeting. The AL sock puppets would be raping their own grandmas to hang onto their power, hence the accommodating and cooperative Arab League carrying out the instructions that is faxed to them.

  • ingo

    http://www.desertec.org/en/what-you-can-do/spread-the-word/
    Mark, I’m sure you’ll like a bit of positive reality action countering these mind bending mutilating games from Kuma, which stimulate all the testoterone nodes in young mans bodies, but do jack shit for the brain apart from silencing it.
    A non fossile sustainable future, modernity and mutualism beyond continents, a much better diplomatic base than the unsustainable sabre rattling that is our oily foreign policy.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Angry,

    ” Kim Jong-il must have died days if not weeks ago. It must have caused a serious bricking of the underpants when he went because how will his successors justify their rule from now on? If they don’t make themselves unimpeachable rulers of a garrison state then they will lose the one and only purpose for the government’s existence which is the Songun, Army First, policy. This means that either North Korea must attack its neighbours or else it will collapse. This is just a prediction and I may well be talking out of my behind.”

    You may not for the following reasons:-

    1. The country is miltarised.
    2. The people have/had a unifying force in the deceased Kim.
    3. Kim is dead.
    4. The unifying force in the militarised state may ( could) die with the death of the “great/dear leader”.
    5. The military leaders do not want their hold on power to die.
    6. The army first policy has to find a political life line so long as the economy remains in the doldrums.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Angry,

    Just read on “Angry Arab news service”:-

    “per capita income: North Korea versus Afghanistan
    The other day I read in either the New York Times or the Washington Post an article about how awful the economic situation is and how low the per capita income is in North Korea. But the per capita income for North Korea is almost double that of Afghanistan–under NATO tutelage. It is amazing how US media and government apply standards very selectively depending on whether a government is loyal to US interests or not.”

    What a world we live in.

  • Mary

    What do people think about the Met putting these photos out? Reinforcing the stereotypical image of a criminal? ie mainly young black males. These are 66 out of over 2,000 charged or summonsed and over 3,000 arrested.
    .
    Jailed London rioters named by Met Police
    The spree of rioting and looting was the UK’s worst disorder for a generation
    .
    England riots
    Analysis: The riots data so far
    Convictions: How tough are they?
    What has happened in court?
    What’s the impact of a criminal record?
    .
    Details of 66 people jailed in connection with the summer riots in London have been published.
    .
    The Metropolitan Police has issued the names of those convicted of offences such as violent disorder, burglary and handling stolen goods.
    .
    Images of them have been published on the force’s Flickr page.
    .
    Four months on from the disorder in August, the force has made 3,423 arrests and 2,179 people have been charged or summonsed.
    .
    Det Supt Robin Bhairam said: “My thanks go out to all of those members of the public who have come forward and named those involved in these sickening acts of violence.
    .
    /…
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-16297723
    .

  • Mary

    It is all so clear now why Cameron, Merkel, Sarko and Peres are going to Havel’s funeral tomorrow.
    .

    Vaclav Havel and Israel.
    .
    ‘In his first speech as president, on New Year’s Day 1990, Havel pledged to re-establish diplomatic relations with Israel, a promise fulfilled the following month.
    In April of that year, Havel became the first leader of a free former Soviet bloc country to visit Israel. It was his second foreign trip as president of Czechoslovakia. Former Havel aide Michael Zantovsky, who later served as the Czech Republic’s ambassador to Israel and is currently ambassador to the United Kingdom, accompanied Havel on the trip. He says that Havel “basically continued in the tradition” of Czechoslovakia’s first president, Tomáš Masaryk, and Masaryk’s son, one-time foreign minister Jan Masaryk, with “his warm feelings for Israel.” (In 1927, the elder Masaryk visited Mandate Palestine, and in 1933, Prague hosted the 18th annual Zionist Congress.)
    As president, Havel opposed the sale of weapons to regimes hostile to Israel, like Syria, a controversial move considering that communist-era Czechoslovakia (and Slovakia in particular) was a major exporter of arms to Soviet clients. Today, according to Israeli Ambassador Yaakov Levy, “the Czech Republic is considered by Israel to be its best friend in Europe and the European Union.”’
    .

    http://www.forward.com/articles/148247/?picks_feed=true#ixzz1hDOtu5Zn
    .
    and
    .
    ‘Havel continued to speak out for Israel and against anti-Semitism well after his retirement, in 2003. Last year, he co-founded the Friends of Israel Initiative, aimed at combating delegitimization of Israel in the realm of international institutions.’

    {http://www.forward.com/articles/148247/?picks_feed=true#ixzz1hDPH9nGu}

  • angrysoba

    Now Ben Fulford’s article begins to make sense.
    .
    That would be a first. Fulford is either a nut or just someone who likes peddling his nuttiness to gullible idiots like you.
    .
    His article goes on about the Rothschilds, naturally they must be involved, right? And their Japanese agents including Nakasone (Nakasone is 93 years old! I didn’t even know he was still alive!). Oh, and the Khazarian satanic cabal (that’s code for the You-Know-Whooooooooos!). In other words, exactly the kind of stuff that weirdo tinfoil nuts lap up.
    .
    By the way, I was right. Kim Jong-il died days before it was announced. As for Kim Jong-un, I think they will try to sell him to the public but there are rumours he’s just not that popular and doesn’t have the oodles of charm and charisma that his father and father’s father had. Also no myths about being born on Mt Paektu it seems. Just a chubby rich kid who likes racist rocker Eric Clapton.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    The best judgement on Havel could be produced by Czechs and Slovaks themselves. It is funny how people view others only in the prism of their relations with Israel without taking history into account. Have not it ever occurred to you guys that passive involvement of Czechoslovakia in Holocaust has largely contributed to the normalisation of relations with Israel?
    .
    Or anyone here is in doubts of Holocaust?

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Slightly off topic.
    .
    According to the information that Vladimir Putin provided to the Central Electoral Committee of the Russian Federation when he registered himself as candidate for presidency, he only managed to earn 17 million rubles which equals to 540.000 USD in the last four years. WHAT a bullocks. Supposedly we now all have to accept this as true?

  • havantaclu

    Anno:

    ‘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.’

    No self-respecting ewe would want to be tupped by a Lib Dem!

    But at least the farmer knows which ram has tupped each ewe!

  • Mary

    I trust that Occupy LSX will invade here once the venue is announced.
    Regenerating the British Economy 1 March 2012 – London, venue to be confirmed

    http://cityforum.co.uk/media/programme60.pdf
    .
    No irony. Sponsored by EADS and Raytheon.
    The conference is advertised on Prospect Magazine. Bronwen Maddox, once of the Times and now editor of Prospect Magazine. She winds up the conference.
    .
    I read a guest piece by her in the Times today. My eyes nearly popped out. She was writing of the Middle East and encouraging Obama to ‘resort to war’ before it is too late as if he had not already been bombing and killing in the last three years. Dreadful and dangerous woman. She is a governor of the Ditchley Foundation outfit.

  • Komodo

    Good to see, though, that some sense of the unreliability of turning your economy into a Ponzi scheme is beginning to be dimly recognised. Pity they didn’t ask any engineers along, seeing as manufacturing is to be the new derivatives trading.
    .
    Meanwhile the banks continue to blot up money…
    Monbiot turns a good phrase when it suits him:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/dec/19/bastardised-libertarianism-makes-freedom-oppression
    Modern libertarianism is the disguise adopted by those who wish to exploit without restraint. It pretends that only the state intrudes on our liberties. It ignores the role of banks, corporations and the rich in making us less free. It denies the need for the state to curb them in order to protect the freedoms of weaker people. This bastardised, one-eyed philosophy is a con trick, whose promoters attempt to wrongfoot justice by pitching it against liberty.

  • Passerby

    “that’s code for the You-Know-Whooooooooos!… stuff .. weirdo tinfoil nuts lap up………I was right. Kim Jong-il died days before it was announced. ” Said the antisemitefinder pursuivant
    ,
    ,
    You sure were on the button, carried out the instruction to the letter; cut and pasted from your mailbox onto this board.
    ,
    Kim did not die whilst on duty serving the DPRK, instead he was found dead in a cat-house in Paris. He died whilst tupping a twenty dollar Kansas City whore, who talk ever so pretty, using sexy words like; “I declare Mr. Kim ……. ”
    ,
    Now mail this back to GIYUS and get a HP gold star, who knows they may even up your horlicks rations?
    ,
    ,
    What a lot of bollocks? Are you trying to kid the Western hamburger munchers, or are you trying to get the mourners in DPRK instead of sobbing and crying, to start swearing and spitting? Alas no one from DPRK can read this board, English is not their first language you know.

  • Mary

    Is the MS correct? They are naming Somalia as the next Libya.
    .

    Comment
    The march to another war
    Thursday 22 December 2011

    Is our war-addicted government craving another hit already? Barely two months after Muammar Gadaffi’s bloodied corpse was paraded on the internet and mere days after the Iraq war was declared over – officially, at least – our ministers are banging the drum for another round of bombing.
    .
    This time the target is Somalia, the latest state to be labelled a threat to Britain’s security.
    .
    That claim ought to raise eyebrows after a decade’s worth of wars based on lies.
    .
    And minister Andrew Mitchell’s claim that Britain won’t be “putting boots on the ground” rings hollow after the way our Libyan mission to “protect civilians” escalated into indiscriminate slaughter.
    .
    Another military intervention in a country with a long inglorious history of Western imperial meddling, complex ethnic and religious tensions, and a number of rival factions with agendas we don’t fully understand – what could possibly go wrong?
    .
    /…

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/113468

  • Fedup

    Mary,
    Meles Zenawi softened the target, then Kenyans joined in to further soften the Somalis, now the Imperial forces can walk, and declare another victory, hence the sudden thirst to liberate Somalia.
    ,
    The story of the money junkies, is similar to that of the crack addicts, both look for soft targets to rob. Therefore, we can safely assume that Somalia will be liberated next.
    ,
    Among the many facts that are not spoken about Somalia;
    1- This place was a Petri dish for experiments in organic power structures in the absence of any formal constructs.
    2- Whilst Somalians were killing each other, there always was a steady flow of Coca Cola, in fact there was factory to manufacture it locally.
    3- Damn place is loaded with minerals, Gas, and Oil.
    4- Africom is over the road in Djibouti next door.
    5- I wager the next liberation will happen in Eritrea, shortly after.
    ,

  • Fedup

    John Goss,
    DM site has a weird template; the date stamp is the current date, whilst the article is ancient. Where did you get the original pointer from? This is circa 2003~2007 news.

  • Fedup

    “This hoax appears to be going global”
    ,
    This is a malicious attempt of manipulative fuckwits trying to score points in their silly little games.
    ,
    All the while suppressing the debate that ought to be under way. As of the day before yesterday Iraqi Vice president has been implicated in the on going bombing campaign in Iraq. He was offering his staff upwards of $3000 for each “operation”, and Iraqi courts have issued his arrest warrant. As of this moment the little bastard is holed up in the Kurdish region, and he has no intentions of surrounding to the Iraqi authorities. The money he was sponsoring the bombers with, has been traced to Saudi.

  • Mary

    Should we send Mr Anthony Charles Lynton Bliar out to Baghdad to intervene in the civil war he and his friend George W Bush have created and left behind?

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