Income inequality: Ghana’s big hidden issue

Benard koku avle
Bernard Avle

The host of Accra based Citi FM’s morning show, Bernard Koku Avle has said that income inequality poses a big problem for Ghana’s democracy.

According to the 2017 GJA Journalist of the Year, an economic system that is not inclusive creates a feeling of anger in those who are excluded from its benefits.

Mr Avle made this known in an interview in his office on Tuesday, 6th August.

Income inequality is the extreme concentration of wealth or income in the hands of a small percentage of a population.

‘It is a very big problem for the social structure we have, because there are a lot of people who feel that if democracy doesn’t deliver development for them, it’s not really worth it,’ he said.

‘If an economic system creates people who are excluded from the benefits, like in 2011 Ghana’s GDP grew 14 percent,  most of that money went to the private companies that drilled the oil,’ he added.

The award winning host made it clear that if Ghana’s economy is the ‘world’s largest grower’ and ‘yet people don’t get jobs, people don’t have social services provided, what you are doing is that you are just creating resentment.’

Moreover, he was emphatic that it is ‘dangerous’ for a society to create people who have ‘nothing to lose.’

However, he pointed out that the reason why income inequality do not receive much coverage in the media is because of the gradual and less obvious manner it develops.

If there is an ‘accident’ or an ‘earthquake’ everybody can see it, ‘but if the number of people who are getting poorer is increasing gradually every year’ you can’t see that.

According to him, that is because ‘it is not sudden, specific and not less complex’ and not that journalists are not interested.

He said income inequality is ‘one of the biggest problems our economy faces’ and it is ‘like the movement of ice on the mountain. It is moving every second but nobody sees it until it approaches you.’

 

By: Kofi Boateng

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Joe Bright Nyarko Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of aptnewsghana.com, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.