Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Second hand tyres in Ghana

The problem of second hand tyres is the problem of second hand everything in Ghana. JoyNews the other day asked second hand tyre dealers their thoughts on the ban of second hand tyres in Ghana. Many of them weirdly said that the new tyres from China were not as good as the used tyres from Europe because, get this, the Chinese tyres were made for a different climate but the Scandinavian and German tyres were made to suit the Ghanaian climate.

If anything this point to the lack of education in Ghana. To think that China's climate is different from Europe's or that non-Mediterranean Europe's climate matched that found in Ghana is frankly too sad to be funny. The lie that has been poured to the African that 'West is Best' is yet again manifesting itself in this saga and it may just cost our lives. What is interesting is that there are many people who feel as though their livelihoods will be taken away from them as of this September. Where is the entrepreneurial spirit Afro-optimists make noise about? In Kwame Nkrumah's day my grandfather faced a number of setbacks due to government bans on goods, it didn't stop him from diversifying and moving forward. Must it be the end of the world?

Unlike my post on the then proposed ban on second hand cars, I support the government on this policy wholeheartedly. No faze out time, just pure and simple, quick and painless cut off of the supply of sub-standard tyres, especially when Ghana suffers such a high rate of road accidents. That being said, second hand tyres serve more than one purpose. They need not find themselves back on the underbelly of a car. The government may wish to explain and suggest to these dealers the various things they can do with a second hand tyre. Yes I did just Google that phrase and offer it as a solution. If I can do that surely ordinary Ghanaian tyre dealers can too.

This is my favourite compilation of second hand tyre uses:

So once again, I guess all I'm saying is that if the government want people to change their lifestyle, be it hawking or selling second hand tyres surely it isn't too much to ask that they educate the people: Number 1 that new from anywhere is better than used from anywhere, #2 that China and Europe have a more similar climate than any of those places and Ghana, and 3. that tyres don't hand just one purpose, the most exciting, innovative and entrepreneurial brain will find other uses and kickstart the manufacturing revolution in Ghana out of a minor problem like too much stock of waste tyres. I just hoe the enforcers really do enforce this time, for the sake of lives on the road.


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