Published online by Cambridge University Press: 04 November 2016
Why did the Ghanaian state go to such extraordinary lengths to facilitate the reliable broadcast of the World Cup in 2014? During a period of frequent power outages, Ghana swapped power with regional neighbours and directed major domestic industries to reduce production in order to allow Ghanaians to watch their national soccer team compete in the World Cup. This paper investigates the politics of the public service provision of electricity in Ghana. We focus on the short-term crisis during the 2014 World Cup to reveal the citizens' and politicians' expectations about electricity as a public good. Drawing on an analysis of archival documents, Ghanaian newspapers, and interviews with government, business, and NGO officials in the energy sector, we argue that the Ghanaian state historically has created the expectation of electricity as a right of national citizenship and explore how this intersects with competitive party politics today.
We thank the Mitsui & Co., Ltd Environment Fund, the Indiana University Office of Sustainability, the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and the Indiana University Faculty Research Support Program for generous funding for this project. We are grateful for comments received at the 2015 Midwest Political Science Association conference, the 2015 African Studies Association conference, and the University of Notre Dame. All remaining errors are our own.