Ai marketing 5g smartphones nanotechnology developments Letter from Africa: Behind Ghana and Nigeria’s love-hate affair
Publishedduration31 minutes agoimage copyrightGetty ImagesIn our series of letters from African journalists, Ghanaian writer Elizabeth Ohene looks at the fraught relationship between Ghana and Nigeria, which underlies the current tensions over the closure of some Nigerian-owned shops in Ghana.We see them as too loud, and abrasive and chaotic and we believe they think they can…
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period31 minutes ago
In our series of letters from African journalists, Ghanaian author Elizabeth Ohene takes a look at the filled relationship in between Ghana and Nigeria, which underlies the present tensions over the closure of some Nigerian-owned shops in Ghana.
We see them as too loud, and abrasive and disorderly and we believe they think they can outmaneuver everybody, particularly Ghanaians.
They believe we are too submissive, not really wise, constantly punching above our weight and nothing upsets them more than Ghana beating Nigeria, in anything.
The Ghana-Nigeria competition has been around for as long as both countries have existed.
When I was a kid, there was a Nigerian in every town and village in Ghana.
I went to school with them and there was the Nigerian woman – “Mami Alata” they were called – who offered everything and you could wake her up in the middle of the night to purchase 3 cubes of sugar.
The Nigerians were especially noticeable in the retail trade sector and in the diamond mining towns.
The 2 countries do not share borders, however it has actually constantly felt like we did. That we are separated by Togo and Benin has never ever truly mattered – we seem like we are neighbours.
Certainly, something to do with the 2 countries being English-speaking and British nests in the middle of French-speaking nations.
Up until independence, we had the very same currency and airline, and the very same pinnacle court settled all judicial matters.
There were regular sporting competitions between our Achimota School and their Kings College.
I know of one enduring marital relationship that came out of those sporting conferences.
Then in 1955, came the 7-0 knocking by Ghana of the Red Devils, as the Nigerian national football team was called at that time.
It is the stuff of legends, and for several years, it hung there behind every discussion, every argument, personal or nationwide, in between our two countries.
Then Ghana got her self-reliance in March 1957 and our Nigerian cousins got theirs in October1960
This did not feel ideal – for many Nigerians, they were bigger and should have got their independence before little Ghana.
They may be larger, but at the time, Ghana felt and was richer than Nigeria – prior to oil was discovered.
Ai marketing 5g smartphones nanotechnology developments Mass expulsions
We maintained the neighbourly competitions and friendships.
Then came the Development Celebration federal government’s Aliens Compliance Order of November 1969, which bought all undocumented aliens to leave Ghana.
Although there were Togolese, Burkinabes, Ivorians, Nigeriens and other West Africans in the country, Nigerians, primarily ethnic Yorubas from the south-western states of Nigeria, formed the majority of the foreign population in Ghana then.
A Few Of them had been living here for years and were into their second and 3rd generations. It seemed like the exercise was targeted at Nigerians and their journeys home were not pleasant.
Then oil concerned Nigeria and as they became rich, Ghana’s economy collapsed and from around 1974, the exodus to Nigeria was on.
University teachers, architects, engineers, carpenters, masons, tailors, hair stylists, maidservants and our class were cleared of all teachers from kindergarten, primary, secondary and tertiary.
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If you were a Nigerian family of any worth, you needed to have a Ghanaian nanny, a Ghanaian maidservant, a Ghanaian cook, a Ghanaian garden enthusiast and your kids were most likely to have a Ghanaian instructor at school or as a private tutor.
Then in 1983 the Nigerian government revealed the expulsion of all undocumented aliens.
Because Ghanaians constituted most of the aliens, it seemed like this was targeted at Ghanaians.
The informal name for the workout, and for the plastic bag that the desperate departing Ghanaians utilized to carry their belongings, became “Ghana Must Go”.
It was not a pleasant journey back to Ghana. We were at our least expensive ebb and we were mocked mercilessly as we purchased toilet roll and cooking oil to take home.
The Nigerians would never ever confess, of course, but it did seem like the hurt of the Ghanaian 1969 Aliens Compliance Order had been finally mitigated.
Ai marketing 5g smartphones nanotechnology developments Diplomatic stand-off
Slowly, we returned to building a relationship, because we actually couldn’t do without each other.
The West African local organisation, Ecowas, had actually come into being in 1975 and as the two major English-speaking countries in the group, we required each other to make things work.
Things were stable for as long as we recognised their “seniority”. That we were the poor relations was securely developed.
They brought Ghana to a stop in 1982 by stopping the special terms for offering us oil. We went to ask, and it was restored.
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Nigeria’s leader in the 1990 s, General Sani Abacha, sent a luggage filled with $2m, some state $5m, to his Ghanaian equivalent Flt Lt Jerry Rawlings.
In the early 2000 s Ghana’s President John Kufuor visited Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo to inform him the Ghana Authorities Service had 100 cars to its name and Nigeria gave us vehicles for our police.
But we remained a favourite location for their rich and famous, and they send their children to school here in Ghana.
The Black Stars also did not typically play according to the script and every now and then, defeated the Super Eagles, as Nigeria’s national football team were now understood.
The current tensions in between the 2 nations are being blamed on bilateral trade differences.
There is a law that limits immigrants from retail trade – and Ghanaian traders do not desire the Nigerian traders in the markets.
Ai marketing 5g smartphones nanotechnology developments Ghana’s law and the existing crisis:
Immigrants in Ghana can’t run small retail shops, however they can own wholesale firms or other organizations in which around $1m (₤782,000) has been invested
The law is planned to secure smaller sized regional traders and those running small business like barbers or beauty parlor, but is not always enforced
Market traders have often taken the law into their own hands, which prompted the authorities to do an audit of retail stores in August and close some Nigerian-run stalls
Foreigners married to a Ghanaian are exempt from the laws – as are those in a company partnership with a Ghanaian
As the trade ministry try to deal with things, matters have actually presumed diplomatic dimensions.
The Nigerian federal info minister has spoken some strong words.
The Ghana information minister has actually released a detailed counterclaim.
The Nigerian foreign minister has actually been busy on his Twitter account grumbling about “the powerful closure of the shops of Nigerian traders in Ghana” and ascribing factors for the closure.
Our foreign minister felt her equivalent had violated the mark and summoned the Nigerian high commissioner to her workplace to tell her some choice, straight words.
The speaker of our parliament entered the fray and welcomed the speaker of the Nigerian Legislature to Ghana.
He included a strong delegation and after 4 days of conferences he pronounced that “the problem at hand is basically a misunderstanding and misinformation”.
There have been stories in the Nigerian media that Nigerians own most of the structures in the fancy parts of Ghana’s capital, Accra, which may well hold true.
They are talking about the number of Nigerian banks in Ghana and there are recommendations they have adequate economic muscle to squeeze us where it hurts.
The Ghana retail traders might not have 100%assistance among their compatriots about desiring the Nigerian traders out of the marketplaces.
Due To The Fact That, like the “Mami Alata” in days of yore, the Nigerian trader would remain open for one would-be purchaser and not close up for 3 days to go to a funeral.
We are all holding our breath and the feeling is possibly we need to learn to do without these cousins of ours.
But we are yet to learn how the tongue discovers to do without the teeth.
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