In 1980 I visited Ghana for the first time, participating in a voluntary project. Volu, the Ghanaian Voluntary Organisation, offers the possibility to Ghanaian volunteers, mostly students and teachers, but also to volunteers from abroad to participate in voluntary projects all over the country. There are different types of voluntary work like construction work, working at a plantation or with kids and in hospitals. The VOLU office is in the citycentre at the Highstreet, not far from Akuma village. I had to register in advance, but could chose the type of work first in the VOLU office after arrival.
With a lot of Ghanaian volunteers -and some European- I helped with the start of building a community centre in the Volta Region. For my first acquaintance with Africa below the Sahara, it was a very good decision to meet the people by staying in one village for some time instead of touring around and see all quickly from a distance. Participating in a VOLU project became one of the most impressive experiences in my life.
Kwame Nkrumah Circle is the main traffic circle where Accra ring road cross Nsawam road. The largest Tro Tro station, Neoplan station is located very close. Kwame Nkrumah market is located on the other side of the road.
GPS coordinate 5°34'10.78" N 0°13'1.69" W
Favorite thing: A dirty mud river runs from North to south in Accra. It cross the Ring road west close to Neoplan tro-tro station, 300 m from Kwame Nkrumah Circle. The area is crowded due to the bus stations, and the street business for traders are better here than other places. People work and live in the tiny barracks and stalls along the river. The river is smelly, and a bath is of course not recommended.
Favorite thing: Beliefs and superstitions are a way of life in many places in Ghana, also what you eat and dring matters. If you want a nice, powerful body and slim waist, drink Bitters Body waist and power. They also can mix different types of brewing for other purposes.
Favorite thing: The catch of fish on the beach is sometimes too small to feed a family. 8 people go out in the boat, 20 people on the beach help to pull inn the nets and 10 people mend the nets when they are finished. Children who helps to pull in the nets will normally get a small fish to eat when they are done with the work.
When I first arrived in Accra, one of the first things I saw was a postcard with a picture of an interchange on it. Interchanges like you see every 10 kilometres in Europe. I was really surprised by this postcard, because it was nothing special to me.
After two months of staying in the high North of the country I came back to Accra, and then I understood why they make a postcard of this piece of infrastructure. NOWHERE in Ghana you find flyovers, so something like a huge interchange is really something special for the country and something to be proud of.
At the Ring Road around the citycentre you find a few flyovers like King Tackie Overpass and Ako Adjei Overpass, and on the way to the north towards Aburi and Kumasi you cross the interchange that was on the postcard: Tetteh Quarshie Interchange.
Getting a tourist visa to Ghana is quite hard for people from other countries than West-Africa. (People from Nigeria, Benin, Mauritania, Niger, Gambia, Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Togo, Cote D'ivoire, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Cape Verde and Mali can enter without a visa). The visa for other nationals could in some way be issued on arrival if the Director of Immigration has prior notification, and you must pay 150 USD for it.
The airlines will not let you enter the aircraft without having the visa or a proof of a legally document from the immigration. I didn't want to have any trouble at the airport or the passport control, so I sent my passport to the embassy in Copenhagen to get the tourist visa. The price was 700 DKK (120 USD).
Fondest memory: Reading an official Ghanaian web page: Tourism is ghana's third largest source of foreign currency, and the country is said to work hard to promote tourism. I don't think their visa rules is a way to promote tourism.
Favorite thing: The African women are carrying buckets or other items on their heads. They often carry heavy items, and for long distances. Learning to carry items on the head and keep the balance is not an easy task for a white man. It takes years of training.
Fondest memory: Labadi beach has an entrance fee of 5 Cedis (3,5 USD) for all people entering the area except restaurant workers and the guests staying in one of the closest hotels. You pay the fee and get a ticket when you enter the area. 10 meters after that will two people re-check your ticket, and once in a while they give the guests a soft drink for entering the place legally.
Within Accra, one gets the sense that it is definitely a developing country. Yet, there was not the sense of extreme poverty that I expected. Its boldest and grandest buildings were quite modest compared to other overly-opulent monoliths that dominate the cityscapes of other cities in the developing world. The roads were remarkbly clean, the traffic was orderly. Really gave me the sense that it shouldn't be looked at and compared in the same light as other developing countries. Indeed, I thought that it would feel more at ease if it were to remain undeveloped - any attempt at rapid development would only ruin its character..
Fondest memory: The friendly people.
I arrived in Accra from Abidjan, and was heading to Libreville afterwards. Both of those cities felt much more hostile than Accra.
Fondest memory: The ghanaians are a loudmouthed people. As a foreign visitor you will probably notice the shouting way of communication. It's not just to attract attention, but is also done in communication across the streets. It's interesting to hear the Tro-Tro's shared taxis driving by with the ticket collector shouting Accra, Accra, Accra out of the car window. It's sounds like crows.
I will take them to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum.This is the last resting place of the first President of Ghana, and a famous pan-Africanist.
The George Padmore Research Library of African Affairs
A famous research and educational centre for African-American studies.
Fondest memory: It night vision and the wonderful people of Accra.
It beaches and coastal lines.
GO TO LABODIE BEACH...LOTS OF PEOPLE THEIR WHO ARE TRYING TO RIP YOU OFF...JUST LOOK PAST THEM AND ENJOY THE CULTURE! GREAT PLACE TO BUY A DRUM, OR GET AN IDEA OF WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE...WHATEVER YOU DO...BARGAIN....
CULTURAL MARKET IS A GREAT PLACE TO BUY SOVEIGNERS
Fondest memory: WHEN I THINK OF ACCRA I THINK OF ARGUING WITH THE TAXI DRIVERS...THEY REALLY TRY TO RIP OF FOREIGNERS.
THEIR IS ALSO A GREAT PLACE PAST LABODIE BEACH..I BELEIVE IT IS CALLED SIDE DOOR...GREAT PLACE FOR FOOD AND DANCING AND MEETING PEOPLE
there is the museums and of coarse the beaches. accra in general iss so busy it can take up to 2 hours to travel 5 miles through the city. there is plenty of night life but make sure they dont rip you off for entrance fees, as they will, no question.
Fondest memory: the people in general are nice however, as africa is a third world country, this niceness extended to you by alot of ghanians comes with a price.They would be happy with 1 cedi, which is roughly equivalent to about 50 pence.there are others who want to sell you things and wont take know for an answer. you buy things alot of the time through peer pressure.everything is so relaxed over there and sometimes i wondered if anything actually got done.
Fondest memory: A famous Ghanaian man in Accra was invited to hold a speech in a Cultural party at Next Door Resort. He talked about the social problems in Ghana when people should be happy and dance. Many people wanted to have their picture taken with him. Who is this famous Ghanaian man?