In Ghana, there is this common expression, ‘Ghana-man time’. It refers to the frequent arrival of people to various public functions late.
This trait makes it very difficult to set time in Ghana. When it rains, there’s an excuse; when there’s traffic, there’s an excuse to be late.
President Akufo-Addo has spoken about the sense of time consciousness and said promptness within his office is key.
At 2:15pm Friday, the Ghana-Nigeria Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation was yet to begin a programme, despite the time being set at 1pm. The seats at the conference hall were mostly empty, while journalists while their time away, and some even dosed off.
There was no sign of either the Foreign Minister who was billed to grace the event, but information had been shared by PR officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that the minister was within reach having lunch.
To some, this may seem petty, and insignificant, however the consistent incidences of lateness during programmes countrywide, is rather telling of the level of seriousness attached, and is not reflective of the President’s pledge to time consciousness.
The session is 7th of the Commission and was set to see bilateral talks between the two West African power houses.
We were later told that the Nigerian Foreign Minister who was supposed to be part of the programme had to leave town for an urgent assignment, with the assurance that Ghana’s Foreign Minister will join later after having lunch with her Lithuanian visitors at a hotel.
Finally, the programme started at about 3pm.
Maybe it is time we examined this Ghana-man time and the effect on Ghana’s development.