Africa makes up about 15% of the world's population, and we estimate that almost 90% of that population consists of hardworking people who lead a very simple, humble, and honest life.
They usually keep to themselves and don’t bother anyone. Think about it – you hardly ever hear about an African country invading another country or putting sanctions on it.
The above pictures aren’t meant to cause any disrespect at Africans or poke fun at them. They are instead meant to convey their simplicity and what we think is their general lifestyle.
Despite being nature’s own playground, Africa continues to be plagued by many social, political, and economic issues that have caused the continent to remain largely underdeveloped and impoverished. The world is intrigued by this vast continent and its people, most of whom are well-meaning folk who want to do some good.
While some African economies performed very well last year, since the start of the New Year, even these are facing challenges, especially when it comes to their currencies. One such example is Ghana’s Cedi, which looks to be heavily sedated since the start of the year, even though Ghana was ranked as the second-fastest growing economy in 2011 and as the tenth-fastest in 2013.
Now for the surprising part about Africa: the 11% fall of the cedi against the US dollar during the first two months of 2014 has upset some radio celebrities, who blame the decline on the devil. Other presenters are accusing and cursing witchcraft-practicing forest-dwelling dwarves. Anita Desooso, a political organizer for the ruling National Democratic Congress, told a private radio station that "the black magic is what has made the cedi lose value."
While the radio jockeys are busy trying to arrange a man-hunt for the dwarfs and stop the currency from declining, the Action Chapel has decided to call on the highest power to come to their currency’s rescue. No, not Obama. Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams in fact called on the ultimate savior, Jesus, and said: "I command the resurrection of the cedi! In the name of Jesus!" He also addressed and warned the devil, saying: "Take your hands off the central bank!"
The irony of the situation is that people sometimes describe banks as the brainchild of none other than the devil himself, so asking him to take his hands off the central bank is like asking the devil to abandon his creation. Moreover, the general view in African countries about the West (which brought banking to the region) is that they took undue advantage of the continent’s natural resources, and abandoned Africa after they were done robbing it.
More like time to abandon Africa
At this point, the bidnessmen sincerely hope that the next move to raise the currency or to rid the currency of evils is not exorcism or some other voodoo by witchdoctors.
But calling on god to clean the mess made by humans, or blaming the devil for one’s own doing, is not something that is exclusive to Ghana or Africa alone. It was reported a couple of years ago that Linda Thompson – who was mayor of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania back then – said that God would fix the state’s ailing economy. Now, there is nothing wrong in asking for help, be it from a deity or from someone else. But the most important thing to do in troubled times is to first help yourself by actually doing something productive and effective.
Thompson even went as far as embarking on a three-day fast and prayer campaign to make sure that her state scored divine intervention.
Coming back to Ghana, the people of Ghana are witnessing huge increases in the price of imported goods as a result of the currency slump, with shopkeepers forced to bump up prices. Many shopping malls, car dealerships, and fast-food restaurants are slowly taking on a deserted look as a result of price hikes.
The non-believing number-crunching economists, on the other hand, say that the slump is attributed to many factors, which don’t include dwarfs and black magic. The Federal Reserve's decision to trim its bond-buying program has been blamed though – the tapering has propped the dollar up against global currencies.
That’s what these economists always do; they try to bring reason and logic into everything, even when the Ghanaian archbishop has made it abundantly clear that this is a unique case. The bidnessmen wonder why people don’t believe him.