Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ghana- A Brief Look

I’m all packed and ready to leave tomorrow. I can tell my dogs are not excited about my packed bags; they have been following me around all day. At one point while packing, my Labrador laid on my packing list and was determined not to move. It was cute, and made me not want to leave for about one second.

We fly out of Indy to Dulles airport in DC and then onto Accra, Ghana. Although our schedule isn’t concrete until George and I meet the rest of our teams, I thought it might be nice to give a snapshot of where my schedule is taking me currently, but it all can change!

The city of Accra has been Ghana's capital since 1877, and it stretches along the Atlantic Coast. Its architecture ranges elegant 19th Century colonial buildings to skyscrapers and apartment blocks made of concrete, glass and steel in the 1970s. Shanty towns at the city's edges are where the majority of Accra's ever expanding population can be found. The city is well gifted with luxury hotels, excellent restaurants and night clubs. A range of museums, monuments, modern business and commercial areas, as well as busy markets and tree-lined residential suburbs, also can be found. The centre of Accra contains the main banks, the large department stores, the Cocoa Marketing board headquarters and a whole area known as The Ministries, where the government administration is concentrated. The beaches around this area and up the coast are also well known and beautiful tourist spots.

Tamale is the capital city of the Northern region of Ghana. Being close to the Sahara Desert (in comparison with other major cities in Ghana), one has the opportunity to enjoy a true tropical sunbath in Tamale. The hamattan (very dry winds from November to March) season presents two extreme weather conditions each day. There is the extreme cold temperature of the early dawns and morning and the very warm afternoon. This area is mostly inhabited by the Mole-Dagomba linguistic group. The city is home to about 350,000 people. It is a nodal city that serves as convergence zone as well as the commercial capital of the three northern regions. Tamale is reputed to be one of the fastest growing cities in West Africa. Even though limited in natural resources, seasonal farming is the major occupation of the natives. There is a suburb called Education Ridge in the northwestern part of the city where one can find over 20 schools crammed together ranging from Kindergartens through junior secondary and senior secondary schools, teachers training colleges, and the central administration of the only university in the northern part of Ghana.

Kumasi is a very important and historical centre for Ghana. Tradition is held very high in Kumasi and blends very well with modernity. It is popularly known as "The Garden City" or "heart beat" of Ghana because of its many beautiful species of flowers and plants. The ancient capital of the Ashanti kingdom, Kumasi is still the heart of Ashanti country and the site of West Africa's largest cultural center, the palace of the Ashanti king. To add to the appeal, it's surrounded by rolling green hills and has a vast central market as vibrant as any in Africa.

Sounds like quite the educational and cultural snapshot. I can’t wait to get over there and meet the people!



  1. Just found out that Accra is a sister city with Chicago! They are here celebrating all of the sister cities.

  2. And Tamale is a sister city to Louisville, KY!! I even had a picture from Tamale with the Louisville Rd sign. - Amanda