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Ghana Light – Not a Light Fee

Yesterday was an interesting fun-filled day.

You see, it’s been about two weeks since I moved to Ghana. I’ve been slowly telling friends, family and the world wide web that I bought a one-way ticket to what feels like freedom.

It’s a different kind of lifestyle than I’m used to; I’m surrounded by family I only was able to see every two years [in the past] and learning to move around as a “local” – something I’ve never been able to do before.

It’s a great life.

However, there seems to be little accountability.

Today I went out with someone to discuss an electricity bill that had been sent by Electricity Company Ghana Ltd. Let’s call this “someone” “L.”

A new tariff had been introduced on 1 October 2013 increasing the tariff by 78.9%. I asked the young man at the counter why – he didn’t know.


SEVENTY-EIGHT POINT NINE PERCENT and apparently no explanation.


I have never seen anything like it. How can that be done? Why is that even possible?

I was told that before this increase approximately 50 Ghana Cedis would last about two to three weeks. Now – about a week.

Admittedly, I believe electricity is a luxury, not a right. HOWEVER, I have been conditioned to be reliant on such amenities and would not consider a permanent life-style without my electricity, running water, gadgets etc. UNLESS, my Father in Heaven requested otherwise… but as He hasn’t – I refuse to negotiate those expenses.

But I can’t believe that families are forced to have to decide when they need electricity the most. What percentage of the population can afford 200 Ghana Cedis a month just for light?!  I was told skilled/ educated workers can expect to start on a salary of about 1K+ a month. So a “skilled worker” may have to spend up to 20% of their income to light their home.

I’m so baffled by this I came to write.


About Combing for Curls

Ghanaian-Nigerian Accra-based natural hair blogger and vlogger. Creator/curator of African culture and political content.


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