13 December 2012

Ghana: Life Bounces Back in Accra

The capital city, Accra, has sprung back to life after a lull that followed the December 7 election and declaration of results that gave a first round victory to President John Dramani Mahama with 50.70 per cent of the votes.

Traders and shoppers have swarmed the city centre, with Makola and Okaishie, in the Central Business City choking on the sheer number of shoppers and traders, who are looking forward to the Christmas festive season, as the results of the election have begun to sink in and disappear in the background.

"We are back in the Christmas mood. In fact, Christmas is only a few days away and we have to look forward and put the election behind us," said Naa Ameley, a trader, as she shouted out the prices of her second-hand clothes.

Traders have spilled over from the pedestrian pavements onto the streets at Makola and Okaishie with their goods, thus pushing pedestrians into the streets and aggravating the already suffocating vehicular traffic in those areas.

"The 'Abayee people' (AMA Task Force) are on leave," said one trader, apparently in answer to a pedestrian who was complaining about the mess in the city.

The traders are displaying an assortment of goods, from toys, children's dresses, second-hand dresses and shoes, to biscuits, drinks electronic goods, mobile phones, vegetables and foodstuff.

"The election is over. There is a winner. We have to work to earn our income," said Naa Ameley. The Rawlings Park at Makola is overflowing, thus keeping drivers who want parking space wipe their sweat in the sweltering December heat in an unending queue.

The Christmas decorations have begun to take over the market and shops, while Christmas carols could be heard instead of loud party jingles just a week ago. This situation will remain until after the New Year as the AMA, which has been soundly defeated for decades by the Makola women in the war to decongest the city, appear to have run out of ideas.

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