IMF and USA set to ruin Ghana 111

Just ten years ago, Ghana had the most reliable electricity supply in all of Africa and the highest percentage of households connected to the grid in all of Africa – including South Africa. The Volta River Authority, the power producer and distributor was, in my very considerable experience, the best run and most efficient public utility in all of Africa. Indeed it was truly world class, and Ghana was proud of it.

Obviously the sight of truly successful public owned and run enterprise was too much of a threat to the neo-liberal ideologues of the IMF and World Bank. When Ghana needed some temporary financial assistance (against a generally healthy background) the IMF insisted that VRA be broken up. Right wing neoliberal dogma was applied to the Ghanaian electricity market. Electricity was separated between production and distribution, and private sector Independent Power Producers introduced.

The result is disaster. There are more power cuts in Ghana than ever in its entire history as an independent state. Today Ghana is actually, at this moment, producing just 900 MW of electricity – half what it could produce ten years ago. This is not the fault of the NDC or the NPP. It is the fault of the IMF.

Those private sector Independent Power Producers actually provide less than 20% of electricity generation into the grid – yet scoop up over 60% of the revenues! The electricity bills of Ghana’s people go to provide profits to fat cat foreign corporations and of course the western banks who finance them.

Indeed in thirty years close experience the net result of all IMF activity in Africa is to channel economic resources to westerners – and not to ordinary western people, but to the wealthiest corporations and especially to western bankers.

Not content with the devastation they have already caused, the IMF and the USA are now insisting on the privatisation of ECG, the state utility body which provides electricity to the consumer and bills them. The rationale is that a privatised ECG will be more efficient and ruthless in collecting revenue from the poor and from hospitals, clinics, schools and other state institutions.

Doubtless it will be. It will of course be more efficient in channelling still more profits to very rich businessmen and bankers. I suspect that is the real point. That privatised utilities bring better service and cheaper prices to the consumer has been conclusively and forever disproven in the UK. What it does bring is huge profits to the rich and misery to the poor. To unleash this on Ghana is acutely morally reprehensible.

Ghana has a political culture in which the two main parties, NDC and NPP, heatedly blame each other for their country’s problems. But if they only can see it, in truth the electricity sector has been ruined by their common enemy – the IMF and World Bank. I pray that one day the country will escape the grip of these bloodsucking institutions.

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111 thoughts on “IMF and USA set to ruin Ghana

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  • Right Charlie

    Truth be told, African Finance Ministers are all Greek, if you know what I mean. Money for nothing and ouzo for all.

  • Abe Rene

    @Craig “Ghana needed some temporary financial assistance”

    Indeed. And it was their responsibility not to put all their eggs in one basket, so blaming it on the price of one commodity won’t do. In all, they mismanaged their economy, went to a moneylender, accepted his terms, and now the moneylender is to blame?

    The trouble is in Ghana, and not any external body.

    Same to Greece – they’ve been living beyond their means for years, and now it’s time to face reality.

  • Right Charlie

    Not only the African Finance Ministers, our Osborne is at it as we speak, but gotten away with a £800 BILLION increase in national debt over only the past 5 years. Entire Greek debt stands at £300b BTW,whilst we stand at approx £1800b as of today.

    Over the duration of this new Parliament Osborne expects to increase the national debt by a further £600b ! The dumb mancunian meatpie eater Ed Balls had no idea about this simple arithmetic during the elections though.

  • Keith Crosby

    It’s not neo-liberal ideology it’s old-fashioned C19th liberalism in the guise of fascism, one of its C20th variants.

    Soulless utilitarians a-go-go.

  • Mary

    I put up a link to this setup before when Craig was in Ghana.

    Is their interest malign or benign?

    European Union Delegation to the Republic of Ghana

    They have just made this donation.

    EU gives EUR 600 000 to prevent cholera outbreaks in Ghana
    Jun 16, 2015 … The European Union will contribute EUR 600 000 (GHS 2,603,310) to a new multi-donor humanitarian project in Ghana to help prevent ……/press…/20150616_01_en_eucholerasupport.htm

    There are 139 of these EU delegations.

  • conjunction

    Regarding the IMF:

    Hard to understand what is really going on in the Greece situation, but my reading of it from the Guardian and FT was that the Greeks made some massive concessions about a week ago and all the European types were clapping their hands and saying we’ve got a done deal.

    Next thing I read is that the IMF came in and say it’s not right. Their objections? That the Greeks wanted to ramp up corporation tax seemed to be the main one. Suddenly all the European types are backtracking.

    However reading the Guardian either they don’t understand properly what’s going on or they’re not reporting it.

  • Mary

    Who is reviewing the papers on Marr?

    Stephanie Flanders, ex BBC economics editor and now at J P Morgan as chief market strategist for Britain and Europe. A seamless move.

    The other is the Independent editor, Amol Rajan.

    The subject of the Greek financial situation came up of course, following the Tunisian reports. Then the possibility of another Scottish referendum. Then osterrrity here and Gideon’s ‘Summer’ budget on 8 July. Women’s football got a mention.

  • Right Charlie

    The empirical evidence for supply side trickle down economics is there for all to see. The Bush tax cuts for the rich continued under Obama, as of today amount to approx $7 TRILLION. Similarly Osborne under the guise of austerity has in effect increased the national debt by a trillion to finance tax cuts for the rich as well.

    All we are seeing is an increase in macdonald zero hour employment and a massive inequality of wealth distribution, so where is the fabled trickle down of all the extra wealth supposed to have been created by the extra trillions of capital not paid in taxes by the rich?

    Since Bush tax cats, its been 10 years, enough time for any conclusive empirical evidence to emerge?! All we are seeing is massive stste debts at low interest rates. THE ONLY POSITIVE IS THAT INTEREST RATES WILL NEVER RISE AGAIN, OR US (eg $19 trillion),UK,JAPAN,SPAIN,ETC WILL ALL GO BANKRUPT !!!

  • Abe Rene

    When the IMF was formed the votes allocate depended on the size of a country’s economy, hence the US dominance.

    Now here’s a thought. Suppose the US economy crashed. What would happen to the IMF and other countries? What would happen to Ghana? Bear in mind that the world’s largest economy would no longer be fuelling anyone’s elses’s.

  • MJ

    “Bear in mind that the world’s largest economy would no longer be fuelling anyone else’s”

    They never do. Smaller economies always fuel the largest, by definition.

  • Mary

    His successor, Madame Lagarde, pays no tax. From Medialens.

    Christine Lagarde, scourge of Greek tax avoiders, pays no tax at all.
    June 28, 2015
    This little gem appears to have missed the eagle eyes of the Media Lens hypocrisy seekers –

    Yes, Greece’s Νέμεσις (Nemesis, the goddess of revenge or divine retribution), Christine Lagarde, earns a salary of $467,940 (£298,675) a year plus $83,760 additional allowance a year and, as an employee of an international institution, pays not a single cent in tax.

    The irony hasn’t been entirely lost on the Greeks, I believe….

  • Robert Crawford

    Craig Murray.

    It is all about CONTROL.

    The man or the country, with money in his/it’s pocket is uncontrollable.

    The controllers don’t like that in the slightest.

    They seem them as a threat.

  • nevermind

    You are saying that Ghana had ‘temporary monetary problem’, to which I assume that they are over now and the debt to the IMF been paid off.

    So a move by Ghana’s Government would/ could/ should be to re-nationalise the whole electricity industry, citing exactly these unsavory terms by the IMF and its leeches.

  • Alex

    I was in Ghana last year and I noticed how few solar panels were in evidence, they are made very cheaply these days, very durable and cheap to install. A local Chief I mentioned this too laughed and said the politicians responsible for power would never undermine their own sweetheart deals by installing such a relative panacea for the benefit of the people. It’s a diamond of a country which if well run would attract tourism and inward investment of all kinds. A real bloody shame.

  • Mark Golding

    The ‘neo-liberal ideologues of the IMF’ and World Bank are of course to any of us with a modicum of awareness, terrorists or ISIS.

    The writing is on the wall with the spiralling collapse of the financial system and also with the gold banking system on it’s last legs (if you don’t hold the gold, you don’t own the gold) the currency reset will struggle with the previous gold alternative.

    The financial terrorists, ie the banking system, is relying on their politician serfs and minions to crush the resulting panic in the UK setting forth public riots and disorder, by using the army and TA already trained in crowd control, more importantly however they will want to detain people like Craig AND MANY OTHERS who might well establish and regulate a new order of government.

    To do this agent Cameron has been instructed by his masters to take Britain out of the Human Rights Act. The Act might prevent containment under a new law waiting at the Parliament back-door called ‘the Defence Authorisation Act’ that contains and ring fences truth-telling journalists as ‘Unprivileged Belligerents’ and it might also prevent prosecution under the existing The Treason Felony Act 1848 that covers, in a peculiar way, TREASON, SECESSION, SUBVERSION AND SEDITION.

  • Ben

    IMF, USA set to ruin Ghana, Greece and Ukraine. Objectivity requires they ‘destroy the village in order to save it”.

    Dickensian work houses the only answer.

  • Ben

    “The context is that in many countries included in the aftermath of the great recession, the percentage of the population under the poverty line increased. In fact that the World Bank indicates from 9.9 in 2007 to almost 20 percent in 2012. Of course, the IMF we are mindful of this high poverty rate. We are concerned about it and indeed that’s one of the reasons for then the subsequent program that has been put in place. And amongst other things it has set a floor on social spending expenditure to protect the most vulnerable Jamaicans and as growth and confidence continues to increase in Jamaica they program is on track, the poverty rate is expected to decrease over time so we’ll monitor that as we go forward. Again disputing the correlation between the IMF program and increased poverty rates, I just don’t think, I don’t think that’s right.
    There’s one last question then I’ll come back in the room. And that is on, that is one Ghana and it is the Ghana’s minister of finance says the government intends to issue a billion dollar 10 year euro bond in 2015. What is the status of talks with the IMF in this regard? This euro bond issue was indeed envisaged under the program with Ghana. There is a context to it for countries at high risk of debt distress like Ghana reducing the debt burden and associated vulnerabilities is a priority. So the authorities have to be very selective with regard to new non-concessional borrowing. Since that can escalate debt obviously, so fund policies are flexible, the can accommodate some”

    The pattern is unmistakeable for IMF….ask for too much and then refuse to negotiate.

  • Ben

    “Running mate of the opposition New Patriotic Party, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia had in a recent lecture at the Central University College, predicted a massive retrenchment come 2017 after Government surreptitiously baits Ghanaians to get their mandate in 2016.

    “My understanding is that Government wants the IMF agreement to delay the worker layoffs until after the 2016 election. I wonder why? I suppose the message is ‘vote for me before I fire you’,” he posited in a 70-paged presentation in March.
    His prediction has been confirmed by the new report by the International Monetary Fund sighted by Joy Business.”

  • Mary

    ‘Dickensian work houses the only answer’

    None left Ben. They have all been converted into bijou apartments by Agent Cameron’s developer friends and partei donors!

  • Mark Golding


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    ISIS media and government smoke screens and attention grabbers are constructed on these techniques.

    Whether or not an individual can be coerced and subverted is codified on substantial metadata and HUMINT from social media, intercepted plain language email and messages, blogs such as CraigMurray and Internet web-sites essentially ‘Plenty of Fish’ and other similar dating sites.

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    Please become experts if you will in this modus operandi – stay prepared.

  • Tim

    Abe – the whole problem is that IMF governance has not kept pace and the U.S. Veto keeps stopping it

    A big reason China has been promoting initiatives like AIIB and BRICS bank has been the U.S. Attitude to greater Chinese involvement in the Bretton Woods Institutions

  • Mary

    Who’s who on the ECB Board from their very user unfriendly website.

    Mario Draghi President of the ECB
    Vítor Constâncio Vice-President of the ECB
    Benoît Cœuré Member of the Executive Board
    Sabine Lautenschläger Member of the Executive Board
    Yves Mersch Member of the Executive Board
    Peter Praet Member of the Executive Board

    ‘The European Central Bank says it not increasing its emergency funding for Greek banks, amid fears that Greece may default on its debts on Tuesday.

    The decision not to raise the cap on aid to Greece increases the likelihood of bank closures and restrictions on cash withdrawals, analysts say.

    That in turn could eventually result in Greece leaving the euro.

    The ECB said that it stood ready to review the decision and would work closely with the Bank of Greece.’

  • John Goss

    Most readers of Craig’s blog are aware that the Bilderberg (World Domination) Group congregated in Watford in 2013. “Africa’s Challenges” was one of the topics being discussed. There were, as far as I have been able to establish, no representatives from African governments and none from any of the BRICS countries. Africa, including Tunisia which relies heavily on tourism and Ghana as Craig observes, continues to fall apart under the immoral IMF and World Bank ‘loans with ties’ deals. They had already turned the paradise of Libya into a perpetual war-zone to make people like Tony Buckingham even richer on stolen oil gains. Only with the collapse of the western financial systems can the world have any chance of recovery.

    Old Mark at 11.32 am. Well observed. He does it all the time.

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