Home   Accommodations   General Info   Land 4 Sale   Editorials

The Tro-Tro Experience in Ghana

God forbid you should ever  have to take one, God forbid you should ever think you will never have to take one, and then you do.

Tro-tros, minibuses, whatever you want to call them, anywhere in the world, leave much to be desired.  It is what public transportation looks like when the government doesn’t assume the responsibility of mass transit for its people.  Instead, it is assumed by the ‘private sector’, that being the lay entrepreneur who’s driven solely by profit.  This results in over crowded buses, bald tires, bad brakes and asinine drivers.  Nothing is more disturbing than the way the vast majority of Ghanaians are shuttled to and from work daily.  If there was ever a case for neglect, this is it.  Transportation is not a luxury, it is a basic necessity that makes it possible for the citizens of any state to go to and from their jobs, without which, this nor any other nation could grow and prosper.  Neither is transportation charity, it is a self sustaining entity that is supported by the small contributions made by each commuter. 

The best way to describe riding in one of Ghana’s tro-tros is to imagine being in a can of sardines under duress,  tossed down the check out counter, with all the other canned foods and finally hurled to the bottom of the bag designated for canned goods.  Small hell, yet and still, your ride home would be better, because you couldn’t possibly mimic the driving skills of a tro-tro driver, unless of course, you left your brain at the check out counter.

In all fairness, Ghana has recently acquired a small fleet of  buses that are supposed to be the beginnings of  a structured mass transit system, but it accounts for less than 1% of the traffic and they  have taken 5 years to accomplish that.  I will never cease to marvel at how our leaders can find the resources to fund the latest planes, cars and military arsenal, not to mention, acquire tastes for the world’s most exotic delicacies, yet they always find excuses for their neglect of the issues that affect the people on a day to day basis, whether it be health, education, jobs or transportation.  I guess it’s no wonder, the levels of despondency evident in the spirit of a once vibrant, proud, and patriotic people. Every step is a struggle and every breath a chore, with little or no support systems in place to catch the thousands that fall through the cracks as a result of mismanagement and neglect. 

Better regulation of the existing transit system, with a fast track plan to replace it, will not alleviate the stress of the average Ghanaian, but it will go a long way to making every day a little easier and a lot safer. For the government, it is one sure way to increase productivity, which will increase our spending power, which will grow our economy, with all its associated costs to be recouped via the taxation of its beneficiaries.  The only ones that loses are those that benefit from the stagnation of an African economy, which holds its captives in the constant state of survival mode, while they go ahead and live at our expense.