Zachary M. Seward, Quartz, June 16, 2014
The United States and Ghana are more or less evenly matched on the field. But plans to broadcast today’s World Cup match between the two nations show how far apart their economies remain.
When the teams kick off at 6pm in New York and 10pm in Accra, the most pressing concern for American soccer fans may be how to find the game online. In Ghana, the issue is whether there will be enough electricity to power everyone’s televisions.
Ghana has been suffering from a power shortage this year due to low water levels at hydroelectric dams on the Volta River. The nation’s utilities regulator is already rationing electricity by mandating sporadic shutdowns.
To ensure that World Cup viewing won’t be interrupted, Ghana is purchasing 50 megawatts of electricity from its neighbor, Ivory Coast. Power plants will also be running at maximum capacity, and Volta Aluminum, the nation’s largest smelter and a large drain on electricity, will slow production during the match.