History has proven that there is a lot of cash to splash during elections in the country from political parties. The post-election economic indicators have proven that the extent of cash splash is quite significant. So the question is which industries (local and international) become the prime candidates to receive some of the cash. In order of significance;
1. Media: Indeed the media has seen to be the most potent platform to propel candidates into their dream. The various media businesses, creative, electronic, print all made the collective selection of the editor. From what is seen in the last few months to elections in terms of radio, TV, print media and social media adverts, it has been an era for media businesses to cash in. Even the telcos get lost when the parties are on full throttle. Unfortunately it seems only a small ‘aligned’ and ‘powerful’ media houses benefit directly. But in total the media industry is elected the number one beneficiary of electioneering spending.
2. Printing: Supporting the media campaigns are the billboards, posters, fliers, T-shirts and other ancillary visual items. The giant billboards still remain after elections even for those who lost. It rakes the wounds of a lost election and so should have been removed to quell the pain of loss. But the depth of spread of these prints makes removal another huge cost (especially if they are from the lost party) and so decide to leave them displayed while they nurse the pain. Printing took the 2nd position in businesses that benefit most from electioneering spending. To get a slice into this budget a little business push into the parties could earn a printing house some business due to the capacity issues.
3. Hospitality: This was nominated number 3. The campaign trips by all political parties to even the deserted places. The sheer numbers of people bussed for rallies and door-to-door campaigns justifies the hospitality industry to be number three. Catering which is part of hospitality services also gets a good share of the booty. In a recent party rally in one of the coastal capitals, the editor learnt every participant got a pack of fried rice. Considering the crowd, that was money! It would also be reasonable to say no one caterer in Ghana has that capacity and so was time to share. With hotelling and catering put together, hospitality chalked the 3rd position
4. Entertainment (Arts): Elections becomes time when musicians who have been dormant for 4 years suddenly release a song about a political party, presidential candidate, corruption, peace among others. It is time actors, actresses, musicians declare support for their candidates. Persons of the arts industry are seen performing on campaign platforms. It will be time to get their harvest especially if they are on the ruling party’s side. This one requires the ability of the entertainer to make a strategic and calculating choice. Entertainment would usually not have made this position but the influx of arts players in the 2016 elections has justified it. Entertainment Industry stands as number 4.
5. Transportation: Time for buses services of various transport unions and aviation to cash in big time. Parties need them to wheel their faithfuls from one place to the other. The sheer people numbers in rallies and number of days spent at the venues is an opportunity to double revenues by these transport owners. It made the number 5 slightly ahead of Event Management business. The reason event management lost out is because such contracts would only go a ‘known’ few insiders.
These are the editor’s pick on the 5 businesses who would benefit most in the Ghana’s 2016 elections.
However, there is one piece of advice that goes for all businesses who are caught in the way of a political party during election periods. Yank up your rates and double your revenue, because, Man! there is a cash to be splashed! In those moments, procurement procedures go out of the window and even the most business-minded, industrious, horizontally integrated and diversified candidate like Papa Kwesi Nduom would still outsource and who knows, it could be you.